2 Samuel 1-2 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
David Finds Out about Saul’s Death
1 Saul was dead.
Meanwhile, David had defeated the Amalekites and returned to Ziklag. 2 Three days later, a soldier came from Saul’s army. His clothes were torn, and dirt was on his head.[a] He went to David and knelt down in front of him.
3 David asked, “Where did you come from?”
The man answered, “From Israel’s army. I barely escaped with my life.”
4 “Who won the battle?” David asked.
The man said, “Our army turned and ran, but many were wounded and died. Even King Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”
5 David asked, “How do you know Saul and Jonathan are dead?”
6 The young man replied:
I was on Mount Gilboa and saw King Saul leaning on his spear. The enemy’s war chariots and cavalry were closing in on him. 7 When he turned around and saw me, he called me over. I went and asked what he wanted.
8 Saul asked me, “Who are you?”
“An Amalekite,” I answered.
9 Then he said, “Kill me! I’m dying, and I’m in terrible pain.”[b]
10 So I killed him. I knew he was too badly wounded to live much longer. Then I took his crown and his arm-band, and I brought them to you, Your Majesty. Here they are.
11 Right away, David and his soldiers tore their clothes in sorrow. 12 They cried all day long and would not eat anything. Everyone was sad because Saul, his son Jonathan, and many of the Lord’s people had been killed in the battle.
13 David asked the young man, “Where is your home?”
The man replied, “My father is an Amalekite, but we live in Israel.”
14-16 David said to him, “Why weren’t you afraid to kill the Lord’s chosen king? And you even told what you did. It’s your own fault that you’re going to die!”
Then David told one of his soldiers, “Come here and kill this man!”
David Sings in Memory of Saul
17 David sang a song in memory of Saul and Jonathan, 18 and he ordered his men to teach the song to everyone in Judah. He called it “The Song of the Bow,” and it can be found in The Book of Jashar.[c] This is the song:
19 Israel, your famous hero
22 The arrows of Jonathan struck,
23 It was easy to love Saul
24 Women of Israel, cry for Saul.
26 Jonathan, I miss you most!
27 Our warriors have fallen,
David Becomes King of Judah
2 Later, David asked the Lord, “Should I go back to one of the towns of Judah?”
The Lord answered, “Yes.”
David asked, “Which town should I go to?”
“Go to Hebron,” the Lord replied.
2 David went to Hebron with his two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail. Ahinoam was from Jezreel, and Abigail was the widow of Nabal from Carmel. 3 David also had his men and their families come and live in the villages near Hebron.
4 The people of Judah met with David at Hebron and poured olive oil on his head to show that he was their new king. Then they told David, “The people from Jabesh in Gilead buried Saul.”
5 David sent messengers to tell them:
The Lord bless you! You were kind enough to bury Saul your ruler, 6 and I pray that the Lord will be kind and faithful to you. I will be your friend because of what you have done. 7 Saul is dead, but the tribe of Judah has made me their king. So be strong and have courage.
Ishbosheth Becomes King of Israel
8 Abner the son of Ner[g] had been the general of Saul’s army. He took Saul’s son Ishbosheth[h] across the Jordan River to Mahanaim 9 and made him king of Israel,[i] including the areas of Gilead, Asher,[j] Jezreel, Ephraim, and Benjamin. 10 Ishbosheth was forty years old at the time, and he ruled for two years. But the tribe of Judah made David their king, 11 and he ruled from Hebron for seven and a half years.
The War between David and Ishbosheth
12 One day, Abner and the soldiers of Ishbosheth[k] left Mahanaim and went to Gibeon. 13 Meanwhile, Joab the son of Zeruiah[l] was leading David’s soldiers, and the two groups met at the pool in Gibeon.[m] Abner and his men sat down on one side of the pool, while Joab and his men sat on the other side. 14 Abner yelled to Joab, “Let’s have some of our best soldiers get up and fight each other!”
Joab agreed, 15 and twelve of Ishbosheth’s men from the tribe of Benjamin got up to fight twelve of David’s men. 16 They grabbed each other by the hair and stabbed each other in the side with their daggers. They all died right there! That’s why the place in Gibeon is called “Field of Daggers.”[n] 17 Then everyone started fighting. Both sides fought very hard, but David’s soldiers defeated Abner and the soldiers of Israel.
18 Zeruiah’s three sons were there: Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Asahel could run as fast as a deer in an open field, 19 and he ran straight after Abner, without looking to the right or to the left.
20 When Abner turned and saw him, he said, “Is that you, Asahel?”
Asahel answered, “Yes it is.”
21 Abner said, “There are soldiers all around. Stop chasing me and fight one of them! Kill him and take his clothes and weapons for yourself.”
But Asahel refused to stop.
22 Abner said, “If you don’t turn back, I’ll have to kill you! Then I could never face your brother Joab again.”
23 But Asahel would not turn back, so Abner struck him in the stomach with the back end of his spear. The spear went all the way through and came out of his back. Asahel fell down and died. Everyone who saw Asahel lying dead just stopped and stood still. 24 But Joab and Abishai went after Abner. Finally, about sunset, they came to the hill of Ammah, not far from Giah on the road to Gibeon Desert. 25 Abner brought the men of Benjamin together in one group on top of a hill, and they got ready to fight.
26 Abner shouted to Joab, “Aren’t we ever going to stop killing each other? Don’t you know that the longer we keep on doing this, the worse it’s going to be when it’s all over? When are you going to order your men to stop chasing their own relatives?”
27 Joab shouted back, “I swear by the living God, if you hadn’t spoken, my men would have chased their relatives all night!” 28 Joab took his trumpet and blew the signal for his soldiers to stop chasing the soldiers of Israel. Right away, the fighting stopped.
29 Abner and his troops marched through the Jordan River valley all that night. Then they crossed the river and marched all morning[o] until they arrived back at Mahanaim.
30 As soon as Joab stopped chasing Abner, he got David’s troops together and counted them. There were nineteen missing besides Asahel. 31 But David’s soldiers had killed 360 of Abner’s men from the tribe of Benjamin. 32 Joab and his troops carried Asahel’s body to Bethlehem and buried him in the family burial place. Then they marched all night and reached Hebron before sunrise.
Luke 14:1-24 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Jesus Heals a Sick Man
14 One Sabbath, Jesus was having dinner in the home of an important Pharisee, and everyone was carefully watching Jesus. 2 All of a sudden a man with swollen legs stood up in front of him. 3 Jesus turned and asked the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law of Moses, “Is it right to heal on the Sabbath?” 4 But they did not say a word.
Jesus took hold of the man. Then he healed him and sent him away. 5 Afterwards, Jesus asked the people, “If your son or ox falls into a well, wouldn’t you pull him out right away, even on the Sabbath?” 6 There was nothing they could say.
How To Be a Guest
7 Jesus saw how the guests had tried to take the best seats. So he told them:
8 When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the best place. Someone more important may have been invited. 9 Then the one who invited you will come and say, “Give your place to this other guest!” You will be embarrassed and will have to sit in the worst place.
10 When you are invited to be a guest, go and sit in the worst place. Then the one who invited you may come and say, “My friend, take a better seat!” You will then be honored in front of all the other guests. 11 If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honored.
12 Then Jesus said to the man who had invited him:
When you give a dinner or a banquet, don’t invite your friends and family and relatives and rich neighbors. If you do, they will invite you in return, and you will be paid back. 13 When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 They cannot pay you back. But God will bless you and reward you when his people rise from death.
The Great Banquet
15 After Jesus had finished speaking, one of the guests said, “The greatest blessing of all is to be at the banquet in God’s kingdom!”
16 Jesus told him:
A man once gave a great banquet and invited a lot of guests. 17 When the banquet was ready, he sent a servant to tell the guests, “Everything is ready! Please come.”
18 One guest after another started making excuses. The first one said, “I bought some land, and I’ve got to look it over. Please excuse me.”
19 Another guest said, “I bought five teams of oxen, and I need to try them out. Please excuse me.”
20 Still another guest said, “I have just gotten married, and I can’t be there.”
21 The servant told his master what happened, and the master became so angry that he said, “Go as fast as you can to every street and alley in town! Bring in everyone who is poor or crippled or blind or lame.”
22 When the servant returned, he said, “Master, I’ve done what you told me, and there is still plenty of room for more people.”
23 His master then told him, “Go out along the back roads and fence rows and make people come in, so that my house will be full. 24 Not one of the guests I first invited will get even a bite of my food!”
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