2 Samuel 9-11 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
David Is Kind to Mephibosheth
9 One day, David thought, “I wonder if any of Saul’s family are still alive. If they are, I will be kind to them, because I made a promise to Jonathan.” 2 David called in Ziba, one of the servants of Saul’s family. David said, “So you are Ziba.”
“Yes, Your Majesty, I am.”
3 David asked, “Are any of Saul’s family still alive? If there are, I want to be kind to them.”
Ziba answered, “One of Jonathan’s sons is still alive, but he can’t walk.”
4 “Where is he?” David asked.
Ziba replied, “He lives in Lo-Debar with Machir the son of Ammiel.”
5-6 David sent some servants to bring Jonathan’s son from Lo-Debar. His name was Mephibosheth,[a] and he was the grandson of Saul. He came to David and knelt down.
David asked, “Are you Mephibosheth?”
“Yes, I am, Your Majesty.”
7 David said, “Don’t be afraid. I’ll be kind to you because Jonathan was your father. I’m going to give you back the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul. Besides that, you will always eat with me at my table.”
8 Mephibosheth knelt down again and said, “Why should you care about me? I’m worth no more than a dead dog.”
9 David called in Ziba, Saul’s chief servant, and told him, “Since Mephibosheth is Saul’s grandson, I’ve given him back everything that belonged to your master Saul and his family. 10 You and your fifteen sons and twenty servants will work for Mephibosheth. You will farm his land and bring in his crops, so that Saul’s family and servants[b] will have food. But Mephibosheth will always eat with me at my table.”
11-13 Ziba replied, “Your Majesty, I will do exactly what you tell me to do.” So Ziba’s family and servants worked for Mephibosheth.
Mephibosheth was lame, but he lived in Jerusalem and ate at David’s[c] table, just like one of David’s own sons. And he had a young son of his own, named Mica.
Israel Fights Ammon
10 Some time later, King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king. 2 David said, “Nahash was kind to me, and I will be kind to his son.” So he sent some officials to the country of Ammon to tell Hanun how sorry he was that his father had died.
3 But Hanun’s officials told him, “Do you really believe David is honoring your father by sending these people to comfort you? He probably sent them to spy on our city, so he can destroy it.” 4 Hanun arrested David’s officials and had their beards shaved off on one side of their faces. He had their robes cut off just below the waist, and then he sent them away. 5 They were terribly ashamed.
When David found out what had happened to his officials, he sent a message and told them, “Stay in Jericho until your beards grow back. Then you can come home.”
6 The Ammonites realized that they had made David very angry, so they hired more foreign soldiers. Twenty thousand of them were foot soldiers from the Aramean cities of Beth-Rehob and Zobah, one thousand were from the king of Maacah, and twelve thousand were from the region of Tob. 7 David heard what they had done, and he sent out Joab with all of his well-trained soldiers.
8 The Ammonite troops came out and got ready to fight in front of the gate to their city. The Arameans from Zobah and Rehob and the soldiers from Tob and Maacah formed a separate group in the nearby fields.
9 Joab saw that he had to fight in front and behind at the same time, and he picked some of the best Israelite soldiers to fight the Arameans. 10 He put his brother Abishai in command of the rest of the army and had them fight the Ammonites. 11 Joab told his brother, “If the Arameans are too much for me to handle, you can come and help me. If the Ammonites are too strong for you, I’ll come and help you. 12 Be brave and fight hard to protect our people and the cities of our God. I pray that the Lord will do whatever pleases him.”
13 Joab and his soldiers attacked the Arameans, and the Arameans ran from them. 14 When the Ammonite soldiers saw that the Arameans had run away, they ran from Abishai’s soldiers and went back into their own city. Joab stopped fighting the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.
15 The Arameans realized they had lost the battle, so they brought all their troops together again. 16 Hadadezer sent messengers to call in the Arameans who were on the other side of the Euphrates River. Then Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer’s army, led them to the town of Helam.
17 David found out what the Arameans were doing, and he brought Israel’s whole army together. They crossed the Jordan River and went to Helam, where the Arameans were ready to meet them. 18 The Arameans attacked, but then they ran from Israel. David killed seven hundred chariot drivers and forty thousand cavalry.[d] He also killed Shobach, their commander.
19 When the kings who had been under Hadadezer’s rule saw that Israel had beaten them, they made peace with Israel and accepted David as their ruler. The Arameans were afraid to help Ammon any more.
David and Bathsheba
11 It was now spring, the time when kings go to war.[e] David sent out the whole Israelite army under the command of Joab and his officers. They destroyed the Ammonite army and surrounded the capital city of Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem.
2-4 Late one afternoon, David got up from a nap and was walking around on the flat roof of his palace. A beautiful young woman was down below in her courtyard, bathing as her religion required.[f] David happened to see her, and he sent one of his servants to find out who she was.
The servant came back and told David, “Her name is Bathsheba. She is the daughter of Eliam, and she is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”
David sent some messengers to bring her to his palace. She came to him, and he slept with her. Then she returned home. 5 But later, when she found out that she was going to have a baby, she sent someone to David with this message: “I’m pregnant!”
6 David sent a message to Joab: “Send Uriah the Hittite to me.”
Joab sent Uriah 7 to David’s palace, and David asked him, “Is Joab well? How is the army doing? And how about the war?” 8 Then David told Uriah, “Go home and clean up.”[g] Uriah left the king’s palace, and David had dinner sent to Uriah’s house. 9 But Uriah didn’t go home. Instead, he slept outside the entrance to the royal palace, where the king’s guards slept.
10 Someone told David that Uriah had not gone home. So the next morning David asked him, “Why didn’t you go home? Haven’t you been away for a long time?”
11 Uriah answered, “The sacred chest and the armies of Israel and Judah are camping out somewhere in the fields[h] with our commander Joab and his officers and troops. Do you really think I would go home to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? I swear by your life that I would not!”
12 Then David said, “Stay here in Jerusalem today, and I will send you back tomorrow.”
Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day. Then the next day, 13 David invited him for dinner. Uriah ate with David and drank so much that he got drunk, but he still did not go home. He went out and slept on his mat near the palace guards. 14 Early the next morning, David wrote a letter and told Uriah to deliver it to Joab. 15 The letter said: “Put Uriah on the front line where the fighting is the worst. Then pull the troops back from him, so that he will be wounded and die.”
16 Joab had been carefully watching the city of Rabbah, and he put Uriah in a place where he knew there were some of the enemy’s best soldiers. 17 When the men of the city came out, they fought and killed some of David’s soldiers—Uriah the Hittite was one of them.
18 Joab sent a messenger to tell David everything that was happening in the war. 19 He gave the messenger these orders:
When you finish telling the king everything that has happened, 20 he may get angry and ask, “Why did you go so near the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Don’t you know how Abimelech the son of Gideon[i] was killed at Thebez? Didn’t a woman kill him by dropping a large rock from the top of the city wall? Why did you go so close to the city walls?”
Then you tell him, “One of your soldiers who was killed was Uriah the Hittite.”
22 The messenger went to David and reported everything Joab had told him. 23 He added, “The enemy chased us from the wall and out into the open fields. But we pushed them back as far as the city gate. 24 Then they shot arrows at us from the top of the wall. Some of your soldiers were killed, and one of them was Uriah the Hittite.”
25 David replied, “Tell Joab to cheer up and not to be upset about what happened. You never know who will be killed in a war. Tell him to strengthen his attack against the city and break through its walls.”[j]
26 When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 Then after the time for mourning was over, David sent someone to bring her to the palace. She became David’s wife, and they had a son.
The Lord’s Message for David
The Lord was angry at what David had done,
Luke 15:11-32 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
11 Jesus also told them another story:
Once a man had two sons. 12 The younger son said to his father, “Give me my share of the property.” So the father divided his property between his two sons.
13 Not long after that, the younger son packed up everything he owned and left for a foreign country, where he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 He had spent everything, when a bad famine spread through that whole land. Soon he had nothing to eat.
17 Finally, he came to his senses and said, “My father’s workers have plenty to eat, and here I am, starving to death! 18 I will go to my father and say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer good enough to be called your son. Treat me like one of your workers.’”
20 The younger son got up and started back to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son and hugged and kissed him.
21 The son said, “Father, I have sinned against God in heaven and against you. I am no longer good enough to be called your son.”
22 But his father said to the servants, “Hurry and bring the best clothes and put them on him. Give him a ring for his finger and sandals[c] for his feet. 23 Get the best calf and prepare it, so we can eat and celebrate. 24 This son of mine was dead, but has now come back to life. He was lost and has now been found.” And they began to celebrate.
25 The older son had been out in the field. But when he came near the house, he heard the music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants over and asked, “What’s going on here?”
27 The servant answered, “Your brother has come home safe and sound, and your father ordered us to kill the best calf.” 28 The older brother got so angry that he would not even go into the house.
His father came out and begged him to go in. 29 But he said to his father, “For years I have worked for you like a slave and have always obeyed you. But you have never even given me a little goat, so that I could give a dinner for my friends. 30 This other son of yours wasted your money on prostitutes. And now that he has come home, you ordered the best calf to be killed for a feast.”
31 His father replied, “My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we should be glad and celebrate! Your brother was dead, but he is now alive. He was lost and has now been found.”
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