Judges 11-12 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
11 1-5 The leaders of the Gilead clan decided to ask a brave warrior named Jephthah son of Gilead to lead the attack against the Ammonites.
Even though Jephthah belonged to the Gilead clan, he had earlier been forced to leave the region where they had lived. Jephthah was the son of a prostitute, but his half brothers were the sons of his father’s wife.
One day his half brothers told him, “You don’t really belong to our family, so you can’t have any of the family property.” Then they forced Jephthah to leave home.
Jephthah went to the country of Tob, where he was joined by a number of men who would do anything for money.
So the leaders of Gilead went to Jephthah and said, 6 “Please come back to Gilead! If you lead our army, we will be able to fight off the Ammonites.”
7 “Didn’t you hate me?” Jephthah replied. “Weren’t you the ones who forced me to leave my family? You’re coming to me now, just because you’re in trouble.”
8 “But we do want you to come back,” the leaders said. “And if you lead us in battle against the Ammonites, we will make you the ruler of Gilead.”
9 “All right,” Jephthah said. “If I go back with you and the Lord lets me defeat the Ammonites, will you really make me your ruler?”
10 “You have our word,” the leaders answered. “And the Lord is a witness to what we have said.”
11 So Jephthah went back to Mizpah[a] with the leaders of Gilead. The people of Gilead gathered at the place of worship and made Jephthah their ruler. Jephthah also made promises to them.
12 After the ceremony, Jephthah sent messengers to say to the king of Ammon, “Are you trying to start a war? You have invaded my country, and I want to know why!”
13 The king of Ammon replied, “Tell Jephthah that the land really belongs to me, all the way from the Arnon River in the south, to the Jabbok River in the north, and west to the Jordan River. When the Israelites came out of Egypt, they stole it. Tell Jephthah to return it to me, and there won’t be any war.”
14 Jephthah sent the messengers back to the king of Ammon, 15 and they told him that Jephthah had said:
Israel hasn’t taken any territory from Moab or Ammon. 16 When the Israelites came from Egypt, they traveled in the desert to the Red Sea[b] and then to Kadesh. 17 They sent messengers to the king of Edom and said, “Please, let us go through your country.” But the king of Edom refused. They also sent messengers to the king of Moab, but he wouldn’t let them cross his country either. And so the Israelites stayed at Kadesh.
18 A little later, the Israelites set out into the desert, going east of Edom and Moab, and camping on the eastern side of the Arnon River gorge. The Arnon is the eastern border of Moab, and since the Israelites didn’t cross it, they didn’t even set foot in Moab.
19 The Israelites sent messengers to the Amorite King Sihon of Heshbon. “Please,” they said, “let our people go through your country to get to our own land.”
20 Sihon didn’t think the Israelites could be trusted, so he called his army together. They set up camp at Jahaz, then they attacked the Israelite camp. 21 But the Lord God helped Israel defeat Sihon and his army. Israel took over all of the Amorite land where Sihon’s people had lived, 22 from the Arnon River in the south to the Jabbok River in the north, and from the desert in the east to the Jordan River in the west.
23 The messengers also told the king of Ammon that Jephthah had said:
The Lord God of Israel helped his nation get rid of the Amorites and take their land. Now do you think you’re going to take over that same territory? 24 If Chemosh your god[c] takes over a country and gives it to you, don’t you have a right to it? And if the Lord takes over a country and gives it to us, the land is ours!
25 Are you better than Balak the son of Zippor? He was the king of Moab, but he didn’t quarrel with Israel or start a war with us.
26 For three hundred years, Israelites have been living in Heshbon and Aroer and the nearby villages, and in the towns along the Arnon River gorge. If the land really belonged to you Ammonites, you wouldn’t have waited until now to try to get it back.
27 I haven’t done anything to you, but it’s certainly wrong of you to start a war. I pray that the Lord will show whether Israel or Ammon is in the right.
28 But the king of Ammon paid no attention to Jephthah’s message.
29 Then the Lord’s Spirit took control of Jephthah, and Jephthah went through Gilead and Manasseh, raising an army. Finally, he arrived at Mizpah in Gilead, where 30 he promised the Lord, “If you will let me defeat the Ammonites 31 and come home safely, I will sacrifice to you whoever comes out to meet me first.”
32 From Mizpah, Jephthah attacked the Ammonites, and the Lord helped him defeat them.
33 Jephthah and his army destroyed the twenty towns between Aroer and Minnith, and others as far as Abel-Keramim. After that, the Ammonites could not invade Israel any more.
34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, the first one to meet him was his daughter. She was playing a tambourine and dancing to celebrate his victory, and she was his only child.
35 “Oh!” Jephthah cried. Then he tore his clothes in sorrow and said to his daughter, “I made a sacred promise to the Lord, and I must keep it. Your coming out to meet me has broken my heart.”
36 “Father,” she said, “you made a sacred promise to the Lord, and he let you defeat the Ammonites. Now, you must do what you promised, even if it means I must die. 37 But first, please let me spend two months, wandering in the hill country with my friends. We will cry together, because I can never get married and have children.”
38 “Yes, you may have two months,” Jephthah said.
She and some other girls left, and for two months they wandered in the hill country, crying because she could never get married and have children. 39 Then she went back to her father. He did what he had promised, and she never got married.
That’s why 40 every year, Israelite girls walk around for four days, weeping for[d] Jephthah’s daughter.
The Ephraim Tribe Fights Jephthah’s Army
12 The men of the Ephraim tribe got together an army and went across the Jordan River to Zaphon to meet with Jephthah. They said, “Why did you go to war with the Ammonites without asking us to help? Just for that, we’re going to burn down your house with you inside!”
2 “But I did ask for your help,” Jephthah answered. “That was back when the people of Gilead and I were having trouble with the Ammonites, and you wouldn’t do a thing to help us. 3 So when we realized you weren’t coming, we risked our lives and attacked the Ammonites. And the Lord let us defeat them. There’s no reason for you to come here today to attack me.”
4 But the men from Ephraim said, “You people of Gilead are nothing more than refugees from Ephraim. You even live on land that belongs to the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.”[e]
So Jephthah called together the army of Gilead, then they attacked and defeated the army from Ephraim. 5 The army of Gilead also posted guards at all the places where the soldiers from Ephraim could cross the Jordan River to return to their own land.
Whenever one of the men from Ephraim would try to cross the river, the guards would say, “Are you from Ephraim?”
“No,” the man would answer, “I’m not from Ephraim.”
6 The guards would then tell them to say “Shiboleth,” because they knew that people of Ephraim could say “Sibboleth,” but not “Shiboleth.”
If the man said “Sibboleth,” the guards would grab him and kill him right there. Altogether, forty-two thousand men from Ephraim were killed in the battle and at the Jordan.
8 Ibzan, the next leader[h] of Israel, came from Bethlehem. 9 He had thirty daughters and thirty sons, and he let them all marry outside his clan.
Ibzan was a leader for seven years, 10 before he died and was buried in Bethlehem.
11 Elon from the Zebulun tribe was the next leader[i] of Israel. He was a leader for ten years, 12 before he died and was buried in Aijalon that belonged to the Zebulun tribe.
13-15 Abdon the son of Hillel was the next leader[j] of Israel. He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, and each one of them had his own donkey.[k] Abdon was a leader for eight years, before he died and was buried in his hometown of Pirathon, which is located in the part of the hill country of Ephraim where Amalekites used to live.
Luke 6:1-26 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
A Question about the Sabbath
6 One Sabbath when Jesus and his disciples were walking through some wheat fields,[a] the disciples picked some wheat. They rubbed the husks off with their hands and started eating the grain.
2 Some Pharisees said, “Why are you picking grain on the Sabbath? You’re not supposed to do that!”
3 Jesus answered, “You surely have read what David did when he and his followers were hungry. 4 He went into the house of God and took the sacred loaves of bread that only priests were supposed to eat. He not only ate some himself, but even gave some to his followers.”
5 Jesus finished by saying, “The Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath.”
A Man with a Crippled Hand
6 On another Sabbath[b] Jesus was teaching in a Jewish meeting place, and a man with a crippled right hand was there. 7 Some Pharisees and teachers of the Law of Moses kept watching Jesus to see if he would heal the man. They did this because they wanted to accuse Jesus of doing something wrong.
8 Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he told the man to stand up where everyone could see him. And the man stood up. 9 Then Jesus asked, “On the Sabbath should we do good deeds or evil deeds? Should we save someone’s life or destroy it?”
10 After he had looked around at everyone, he told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did, and his bad hand became completely well.
11 The teachers and the Pharisees were furious and started saying to each other, “What can we do about Jesus?”
Jesus Chooses His Twelve Apostles
12 About that time Jesus went off to a mountain to pray, and he spent the whole night there. 13 The next morning he called his disciples together and chose twelve of them to be his apostles. 14 One was Simon, and Jesus named him Peter. Another was Andrew, Peter’s brother. There were also James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus. The rest of the apostles were Simon, known as the Eager One,[c] 16 Jude, who was the son of James, and Judas Iscariot,[d] who later betrayed Jesus.
Jesus Teaches, Preaches, and Heals
17 Jesus and his apostles went down from the mountain and came to some flat, level ground. Many other disciples were there to meet him. Large crowds of people from all over Judea, Jerusalem, and the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon were there too. 18 These people had come to listen to Jesus and to be healed of their diseases. All who were troubled by evil spirits were also healed. 19 Everyone was trying to touch Jesus, because power was going out from him and healing them all.
Blessings and Troubles
20 Jesus looked at his disciples and said:
God will bless you people
22 God will bless you when others hate you and won’t have anything to do with you. God will bless you when people insult you and say cruel things about you, all because you are a follower of the Son of Man. 23 Long ago your own people did these same things to the prophets. So when this happens to you, be happy and jump for joy! You will have a great reward in heaven.
24 But you rich people
26 You are in for trouble when everyone says good things about you. That is what your own people said about those prophets who told lies.
Click the button below to continue.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.