1 Samuel 27-29 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
27 1 but he thought to himself, “One of these days, Saul is going to kill me. The only way to escape from him is to go to Philistia. Then I’ll be outside of Israel, and Saul will give up trying to catch me.”
2-3 David and his six hundred men went across the border to stay in Gath with King Achish the son of Maoch. His men brought their families with them. David brought his wife Ahinoam whose hometown was Jezreel, and he also brought his wife Abigail who had been married to Nabal from Carmel. 4 When Saul found out that David had run off to Gath, he stopped trying to catch him.
5 One day, David was talking with Achish and said, “If you are happy with me, then let me live in one of the towns in the countryside. I’m not important enough to live here with you in the royal city.”
6 Achish gave David the town of Ziklag that same day, and Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since.
7 David was in Philistia for a year and four months. 8 The Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites lived in the area from Telam to Shur[a] and on as far as Egypt, and David often attacked their towns. 9 Whenever David and his men attacked a town, they took the sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and the clothing, and killed everyone who lived there.
After he returned from a raid, David always went to see Achish, 10 who would ask, “Where did you attack today?”[b]
David would answer, “Oh, we attacked some desert town that belonged to the Judah tribe.” Sometimes David would say, “Oh, we attacked a town in the desert where the Jerahmeel clan lives” or “We attacked a town in the desert where the Kenites[c] live.” 11 That’s why David killed everyone in the towns he attacked. He thought, “If I let any of them live, they might come to Gath and tell what I’ve really been doing.”
David made these raids all the time he was in Philistia. 12 But Achish trusted David and thought, “David’s people must be furious with him. From now on he will have to take orders from me.”
Saul Talks with Samuel’s Ghost
28 1-3 Samuel had died some time earlier,[d] and people from all over Israel had attended his funeral in his hometown of Ramah.
Meanwhile, Saul had been trying to get rid of everyone who spoke with the spirits of the dead.[e] But one day the Philistines brought their soldiers together to attack Israel.
Achish told David, “Of course, you know that you and your men must fight as part of our Philistine army.”
David answered, “That will give you a chance to see for yourself just how well we can fight!”
“In that case,” Achish said, “you and your men will always be my bodyguards.”
4 The Philistines went to Shunem and set up camp. Saul called the army of Israel together, and they set up their camp in Gilboa. 5 Saul took one look at the Philistine army and started shaking with fear. 6 So he asked the Lord what to do. But the Lord would not answer, either in a dream or by a priest or a prophet. 7 Then Saul told his officers, “Find me a woman who can talk to the spirits of the dead. I’ll go to her and find out what’s going to happen.”
His servants told him, “There’s a woman at Endor who can talk to spirits of the dead.”
8 That night, Saul put on different clothing so nobody would recognize him. Then he and two of his men went to the woman, and asked, “Will you bring up the ghost of someone for us?”
9 The woman said, “Why are you trying to trick me and get me killed? You know King Saul has gotten rid of everyone who talks to the spirits of the dead!”
10 Saul replied, “I swear by the living Lord that nothing will happen to you because of this.”
11 “Who do you want me to bring up?” she asked.
“Bring up the ghost of Samuel,” he answered.
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed. Then she turned to Saul and said, “You’ve tricked me! You’re the king!”
13 “Don’t be afraid,” Saul replied. “Just tell me what you see.”
She answered, “I see a spirit rising up out of the ground.”
14 “What does it look like?”
“It looks like an old man wearing a robe.”
Saul knew it was Samuel, so he bowed down low.
15 “Why are you bothering me by bringing me up like this?” Samuel asked.
“I’m terribly worried,” Saul answered. “The Philistines are about to attack me. God has turned his back on me and won’t answer any more by prophets or by dreams. What should I do?”
16 Samuel said:
If the Lord has turned away from you and is now your enemy, don’t ask me what to do. 17 I’ve already told you: The Lord has sworn to take the kingdom from you and give it to David. And that’s just what he’s doing! 18 When the Lord was angry with the Amalekites, he told you to destroy them, but you didn’t do it. That’s why the Lord is doing this to you. 19 Tomorrow the Lord will let the Philistines defeat Israel’s army, then you and your sons will join me down here in the world of the dead.
20 At once, Saul collapsed and lay stretched out on the floor, terrified at what Samuel had said. He was weak because he had not eaten anything since the day before.
21 The woman came over to Saul, and when she saw that he was completely terrified, she said, “Your Majesty, I listened to you and risked my life to do what you asked. 22 Now please listen to me. Let me get you a little something to eat. It will give you strength for your walk back to camp.”
23 “No, I won’t eat!”
But his officers and the woman kept on urging Saul, until he finally agreed. He got up off the floor and sat on the bed. 24 Right away the woman killed a calf that she had been fattening up. She cooked part of the meat and baked some thin bread.[f] 25 Then she served the food to Saul and his officers, who ate and left before daylight.
The Philistines Send David Back
29 The Philistines had brought their whole army to Aphek,[g] while Israel’s army was camping near Jezreel Spring. 2-3 The Philistine rulers and their troops were marching past the Philistine army commanders in groups of a hundred and a thousand. When David and his men marched by at the end with Achish, the commanders said, “What are these worthless Israelites doing here?”
“They are David’s men,” Achish answered. “David used to be one of Saul’s officers, but he left Saul and joined my army a long time ago. I’ve never had even one complaint about him.”
4 The Philistine army commanders were angry and shouted:
Send David back to the town you gave him. We won’t have him going into the battle with us. He could turn and fight against us! Saul would take David back as an officer if David brought him the heads of our soldiers. 5 The Israelites even dance and sing,
“Saul has killed
6 Achish called David over and said:
I swear by the living Lord that you’ve been honest with me, and I want you to fight by my side. I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong from the day you joined me until this very moment. But the other Philistine rulers don’t want you to come along. 7 Go on back home and try not to upset them.
8 “But what have I done?” David asked. “Do you know of anything I’ve ever done that would keep me from fighting the enemies of my king?”[h]
9 Achish said:
I believe that you’re as good as an angel of God, but our army commanders have decided that you can’t fight in this battle. 10 You and your troops will have to go back to the town I gave you.[i] Get up and leave tomorrow morning as soon as it’s light. I am pleased with you, so don’t let any of this bother you.[j]
11 David and his men got up early in the morning and headed back toward Philistia, while the Philistines left for Jezreel.
Luke 13:1-22 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Turn Back to God
13 About this same time Jesus was told that Pilate had given orders for some people from Galilee to be killed while they were offering sacrifices. 2 Jesus replied:
Do you think that these people were worse sinners than everyone else in Galilee just because of what happened to them? 3 Not at all! But you can be sure that if you don’t turn back to God, every one of you will also be killed. 4 What about those eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Do you think they were worse than everyone else in Jerusalem? 5 Not at all! But you can be sure that if you don’t turn back to God, every one of you will also die.
A Story about a Fig Tree
6 Jesus then told them this story:
A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. One day he went out to pick some figs, but he didn’t find any. 7 So he said to the gardener, “For three years I have come looking for figs on this tree, and I haven’t found any yet. Chop it down! Why should it take up space?”
8 The gardener answered, “Master, leave it for another year. I’ll dig around it and put some manure on it to make it grow. 9 Maybe it will have figs on it next year. If it doesn’t, you can have it cut down.”
Healing a Woman on the Sabbath
10 One Sabbath, Jesus was teaching in a Jewish meeting place, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by an evil spirit for eighteen years. She was completely bent over and could not straighten up. 12 When Jesus saw the woman, he called her over and said, “You are now well.” 13 He placed his hands on her, and right away she stood up straight and praised God.
14 The man in charge of the meeting place was angry because Jesus had healed someone on the Sabbath. So he said to the people, “Each week has six days when we can work. Come and be healed on one of those days, but not on the Sabbath.”
15 The Lord replied, “Are you trying to fool someone? Won’t any one of you untie your ox or donkey and lead it out to drink on a Sabbath? 16 This woman belongs to the family of Abraham, but Satan has kept her bound for eighteen years. Isn’t it right to set her free on the Sabbath?” 17 Jesus' words made his enemies ashamed. But everyone else in the crowd was happy about the wonderful things he was doing.
A Mustard Seed and Yeast
18 Jesus said, “What is God’s kingdom like? What can I compare it with? 19 It is like what happens when someone plants a mustard seed in a garden. The seed grows as big as a tree, and birds nest in its branches.”
20 Then Jesus said, “What can I compare God’s kingdom with? 21 It is like what happens when a woman mixes yeast into three batches of flour. Finally, all the dough rises.”
The Narrow Door
22 As Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he taught the people in the towns and villages.
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