2 Samuel 12-13 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
12 1 and he sent Nathan the prophet to tell this story to David:
A rich man and a poor man lived in the same town. 2 The rich man owned a lot of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had only one little lamb that he had bought and raised. The lamb became a pet for him and his children. He even let it eat from his plate and drink from his cup and sleep on his lap. The lamb was like one of his own children.
4 One day someone came to visit the rich man, but the rich man didn’t want to kill any of his own sheep or cattle and serve it to the visitor. So he stole the poor man’s little lamb and served it instead.
5 David was furious with the rich man and said to Nathan, “I swear by the living Lord that the man who did this deserves to die! 6 And because he didn’t have any pity on the poor man, he will have to pay four times what the lamb was worth.”
7 Then Nathan told David:
You are that rich man! Now listen to what the Lord God of Israel says to you: “I chose you to be the king of Israel. I kept you safe from Saul 8 and even gave you his house and his wives. I let you rule Israel and Judah, and if that had not been enough, I would have given you much more. 9 Why did you disobey me and do such a horrible thing? You murdered Uriah the Hittite by having the Ammonites kill him, so you could take his wife.
10 “Because you wouldn’t obey me and took Uriah’s wife for yourself, your family will never live in peace. 11 Someone from your own family will cause you a lot of trouble, and I will take your wives and give them to another man before your very eyes. He will go to bed with them while everyone looks on. 12 What you did was in secret, but I will do this in the open for everyone in Israel to see.”
13-14 David said, “I have disobeyed the Lord.”
“Yes, you have!” Nathan answered. “You showed you didn’t care what the Lord wanted.[a] He has forgiven you, and you won’t die. But your newborn son will.” 15 Then Nathan went back home.
David’s Young Son Dies
The Lord made David’s young son very sick.
16 So David went without eating to show his sorrow, and he begged God to make the boy well. David would not sleep on his bed, but spent each night lying on the floor. 17 His officials stood beside him and tried to talk him into getting up. But he would not get up or eat with them.
18 After the child had been sick for seven days, he died, but the officials were afraid to tell David. They said to each other, “Even when the boy was alive, David wouldn’t listen to us. How can we tell him his son is dead? He might do something terrible!”
19 David noticed his servants whispering, and he knew the boy was dead. “Did my son die?” he asked his servants.
“Yes, he did,” they answered.
20 David got up off the floor; he took a bath, combed his hair, and dressed. He went into the Lord’s tent and worshiped, then he went back home. David asked for something to eat, and when his servants brought him some food, he ate it.
21 His officials said, “What are you doing? You went without eating and cried for your son while he was alive! But now that he’s dead, you’re up and eating.”
22 David answered:
While he was still alive, I went without food and cried because there was still hope. I said to myself, “Who knows? Maybe the Lord will have pity on me and let the child live.” 23 But now that he’s dead, why should I go without eating? I can’t bring him back! Someday I will join him in death, but he can’t return to me.
Solomon Is Born
24 David comforted his wife Bathsheba and slept with her. Later on, she gave birth to another son and named him Solomon. The Lord loved Solomon 25 and sent Nathan the prophet to tell David, “The Lord will call him Jedidiah.”[b]
The End of the War with Ammon
26 Meanwhile, Joab had been in the country of Ammon, attacking the city of Rabbah. He captured the royal fortress 27 and sent a messenger to tell David:
I have attacked Rabbah and captured the fortress guarding the city water supply. 28 Call the rest of the army together. Then surround the city, and capture it yourself. If you don’t, everyone will remember that I captured the city.
29 David called the rest of the army together and attacked Rabbah. He captured the city 30 and took the crown from the statue of their god Milcom.[c] The crown was made of seventy-five pounds of gold, and there was a valuable jewel on it. David put the jewel on his own crown.[d] He also carried off everything else of value. 31 David made the people of Rabbah tear down the city walls[e] with iron picks and axes, and then he put them to work making bricks. He did the same thing with all the other Ammonite cities.
David went back to Jerusalem, and the people of Israel returned to their homes.
Amnon Disgraces Tamar
13 David had a beautiful daughter named Tamar, who was the sister of Absalom. She was also the half sister of Amnon,[f] who fell in love with her. 2 But Tamar was a virgin, and Amnon could not think of a way to be alone with her. He was so upset about it that he made himself sick.
3 Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, who was the son of David’s brother Shimeah. Jonadab always knew how to get what he wanted, 4 and he said to Amnon, “What’s the matter? You’re the king’s son! You shouldn’t have to go around feeling sorry for yourself every morning.”
Amnon said, “I’m in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”
5 Jonadab told him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to see you, ask him to send Tamar, so you can watch her cook something for you. Then she can serve you the food.”
6 So Amnon went to bed and pretended to be sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said, “Please, ask Tamar to come over. She can make some special bread[g] while I watch, and then she can serve me the bread.”
7 David told Tamar, “Go over to Amnon’s house and fix him some food.” 8 When she got there, he was lying in bed. She mixed the dough, made the loaves, and baked them while he watched. 9 Then she took the bread out of the pan and put it on his plate, but he refused to eat it.
Amnon said, “Send the servants out of the house.” After they had gone, 10 he said to Tamar, “Serve the food in my bedroom.”
Tamar picked up the bread that she had made and brought it into Amnon’s bedroom. 11 But as she was taking it over to him, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me!”
12 She answered, “No! Please don’t force me! This sort of thing isn’t done in Israel. It’s too disgusting! 13 Think of me. I’ll be disgraced forever! And think of yourself. Everyone in Israel will say you’re nothing but trash! Just ask the king, and he will let you marry me.”
14 But Amnon would not listen to what she said. He was stronger than she was, so he overpowered her and raped her. 15 Then Amnon hated her even more than he had loved her before. So he told her, “Get up and get out!”
16 She said, “Don’t send me away! That would be worse than what you have already done.”
But Amnon would not listen. 17 He called in his servant and said, “Throw this woman out and lock the door!”
18 The servant made her leave, and he locked the door behind her.
The king’s unmarried daughters used to wear long robes with sleeves.[h] 19 Tamar tore the robe she was wearing and put ashes on her head. Then she covered her face with her hands and cried loudly as she walked away.
Absalom Kills Amnon
20 Tamar’s brother Absalom said to her, “How could Amnon have done such a terrible thing to you! But since he’s your brother, don’t tell anyone what happened. Just try not to think about it.”
Tamar soon moved into Absalom’s house, but she was always sad and lonely. 21 When David heard what had happened to Tamar, he was very angry. But Amnon was his oldest son and also his favorite, and David would not do anything to make Amnon unhappy.[i]
22 Absalom treated Amnon as though nothing had happened, but he hated Amnon for what he had done to his sister Tamar.
23 Two years later, Absalom’s servants were cutting wool from his sheep in Baal-Hazor near the town of Ephraim, and Absalom invited all of the king’s sons to be there.[j] 24 Then he went to David and said, “My servants are cutting the wool from my sheep. Please come and join us!”
25 David answered, “No, my son, we won’t go. It would be too expensive for you.” Absalom tried to get him to change his mind, but David did not want to go. He only said that he hoped they would have a good time.
26 Absalom said, “If you won’t go, at least let my brother Amnon come with us.”
David asked, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Absalom kept on insisting, and finally David let Amnon and all his other sons go with Absalom.
Absalom prepared a banquet fit for a king.[k] 28 But he told his servants, “Keep an eye on Amnon. When he gets a little drunk from the wine and is feeling good, I’ll give the signal. Then kill him! I’ve commanded you to do it, so don’t be afraid. Be strong and brave.”
29 Absalom’s servants killed Amnon, just as Absalom had told them. The rest of the king’s sons quickly rode away on their mules to escape from Absalom.
30 While they were on their way to Jerusalem, someone told David, “Absalom has killed all of your sons! Not even one is left.” 31 David got up, and in his sorrow he tore his clothes and lay down on the ground. His servants remained standing, but they tore their clothes too.
32 Then David’s nephew[l] Jonadab said, “Your Majesty, not all of your sons were killed! Only Amnon is dead. On the day that Amnon raped Tamar, Absalom decided to kill him. 33 Don’t worry about the report that all your sons were killed. Only Amnon is dead, 34 and Absalom has run away.”
35 Jonadab said, “Your Majesty, look! Here come your sons now, just as I told you.”
36 No sooner had he said it, than David’s sons came in. They were weeping out loud, and David and all his officials cried just as loudly. 37-38 David was sad for a long time because Amnon was dead.
David Lets Absalom Come Home
Absalom had run away to Geshur, where he stayed for three years with King Talmai[o] the son of Ammihud. 39 David still felt so sad over the loss of Amnon that he wanted to take his army there and capture Absalom.[p]
Luke 16 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
A Dishonest Manager
16 Jesus said to his disciples:
A rich man once had a manager to take care of his business. But he was told that his manager was wasting money. 2 So the rich man called him in and said, “What is this I hear about you? Tell me what you have done! You are no longer going to work for me.”
3 The manager said to himself, “What shall I do now that my master is going to fire me? I can’t dig ditches, and I’m ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I’ll do, so that people will welcome me into their homes after I’ve lost my job.”
5 Then one by one he called in the people who were in debt to his master. He asked the first one, “How much do you owe my master?”
6 “A hundred barrels of olive oil,” the man answered.
So the manager said, “Take your bill and sit down and quickly write ‘fifty’.”
7 The manager asked someone else who was in debt to his master, “How much do you owe?”
“A thousand bushels[a] of wheat,” the man replied.
The manager said, “Take your bill and write ‘eight hundred’.”
8 The master praised his dishonest manager for looking out for himself so well. That’s how it is! The people of this world look out for themselves better than the people who belong to the light.
9 My disciples, I tell you to use wicked wealth to make friends for yourselves. Then when it is gone, you will be welcomed into an eternal home. 10 Anyone who can be trusted in little matters can also be trusted in important matters. But anyone who is dishonest in little matters will be dishonest in important matters. 11 If you cannot be trusted with this wicked wealth, who will trust you with true wealth? 12 And if you cannot be trusted with what belongs to someone else, who will give you something that will be your own? 13 You cannot be the slave of two masters. You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than to the other. You cannot serve God and money.
Some Sayings of Jesus
14 The Pharisees really loved money. So when they heard what Jesus said, they made fun of him. 15 But Jesus told them:
You are always making yourselves look good, but God sees what is in your heart. The things that most people think are important are worthless as far as God is concerned.
16 Until the time of John the Baptist, people had to obey the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets.[b] But since God’s kingdom has been preached, everyone is trying hard to get in. 17 Heaven and earth will disappear before the smallest letter of the Law does.
18 It is a terrible sin[c] for a man to divorce his wife and marry another woman. It is also a terrible sin for a man to marry a divorced woman.
Lazarus and the Rich Man
19 There was once a rich man who wore expensive clothes and every day ate the best food. 20 But a poor beggar named Lazarus was brought to the gate of the rich man’s house. 21 He was happy just to eat the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. His body was covered with sores, and dogs kept coming up to lick them. 22 The poor man died, and angels took him to the place of honor next to Abraham.[d]
The rich man also died and was buried. 23 He went to hell[e] and was suffering terribly. When he looked up and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side, 24 he said to Abraham, “Have pity on me! Send Lazarus to dip his finger in water and touch my tongue. I’m suffering terribly in this fire.”
25 Abraham answered, “My friend, remember that while you lived, you had everything good, and Lazarus had everything bad. Now he is happy, and you are in pain. 26 And besides, there is a deep ditch between us, and no one from either side can cross over.”
27 But the rich man said, “Abraham, then please send Lazarus to my father’s home. 28 Let him warn my five brothers, so they won’t come to this horrible place.”
29 Abraham answered, “Your brothers can read what Moses and the prophets[f] wrote. They should pay attention to that.”
30 Then the rich man said, “No, that’s not enough! If only someone from the dead would go to them, they would listen and turn to God.”
31 So Abraham said, “If they won’t pay attention to Moses and the prophets, they won’t listen even to someone who comes back from the dead.”
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