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1 Samuel 11The Message (MSG)

11 So Nahash went after them and prepared to go to war against Jabesh Gilead. The men of Jabesh petitioned Nahash: “Make a treaty with us and we’ll serve you.”

Nahash said, “I’ll make a treaty with you on one condition: that every right eye among you be gouged out! I’ll humiliate every last man and woman in Israel before I’m done!”

The town leaders of Jabesh said, “Give us time to send messengers around Israel—seven days should do it. If no one shows up to help us, we’ll accept your terms.”

4-5 The messengers came to Saul’s place at Gibeah and told the people what was going on. As the people broke out in loud wails, Saul showed up. He was coming back from the field with his oxen.

Saul asked, “What happened? Why is everyone crying?”

And they repeated the message that had come from Jabesh.

6-7 The Spirit of God came on Saul when he heard the report and he flew into a rage. He grabbed the yoke of oxen and butchered them on the spot. He sent the messengers throughout Israel distributing the bloody pieces with this message: “Anyone who refuses to join up with Saul and Samuel, let this be the fate of his oxen!”

7-8 The terror of God seized the people, and they came out, one and all, not a laggard among them. Saul took command of the people at Bezek. There were 300,000 men from Israel, another 30,000 from Judah.

9-11 Saul instructed the messengers, “Tell this to the folk in Jabesh Gilead: ‘Help is on the way. Expect it by noon tomorrow.’”

The messengers set straight off and delivered their message. Elated, the people of Jabesh Gilead sent word to Nahash: “Tomorrow we’ll give ourselves up. You can deal with us on your terms.” Long before dawn the next day, Saul had strategically placed his army in three groups. At first light they broke into the enemy camp and slaughtered Ammonites until noon. Those who were left ran for their lives, scattering every which way.

12 The people came to Samuel then and said, “Where are those men who said, ‘Saul is not fit to rule over us’? Hand them over. We’ll kill them!”

13-14 But Saul said, “Nobody is going to be executed this day. This is the day God saved Israel! Come, let’s go to Gilgal and there reconsecrate the kingship.”

15 They all trooped out to Gilgal. Before God, they crowned Saul king at Gilgal. And there they worshiped, sacrificing peace offerings. Saul and all Israel celebrated magnificently.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

1 Samuel 12The Message (MSG)

“Don’t Chase After Ghost-Gods”

12 1-3 Samuel addressed all Israel: “I’ve listened to everything you’ve said to me, listened carefully to every word, and I’ve given you a king. See for yourself: Your king among you, leading you! But now look at me: I’m old and gray, and my sons are still here. I’ve led you faithfully from my youth until this very day. Look at me! Do you have any complaints to bring before God and his anointed? Have I ever stolen so much as an ox or a donkey? Have I ever taken advantage of you or exploited you? Have I ever taken a bribe or played fast and loose with the law? Bring your complaint and I’ll make it right.”

“Oh no,” they said, “never. You’ve never done any of that—never abused us, never lined your own pockets.”

“That settles it then,” said Samuel. “God is witness, and his anointed is witness that you find nothing against me—no faults, no complaints.”

6-8 And the people said, “He is witness.”

Samuel continued, “This is the God who made Moses and Aaron your leaders and brought your ancestors out of Egypt. Take your stand before him now as I review your case before God in the light of all the righteous ways in which God has worked with you and your ancestors. When Jacob’s sons entered Egypt, the Egyptians made life hard for them and they cried for help to God. God sent Moses and Aaron, who led your ancestors out of Egypt and settled them here in this place.

“They soon forgot their God, so he sold them off to Sisera, commander of Hazor’s army, later to a hard life under the Philistines, and still later to the king of Moab. They had to fight for their lives.

10 “Then they cried for help to God. They confessed, ‘We’ve sinned! We’ve gone off and left God and worshiped the fertility gods and goddesses of Canaan. Oh, deliver us from the brutalities of our enemies and we’ll worship you alone.’

11 “So God sent Jerub-Baal (Gideon), Bedan (Barak), Jephthah, and Samuel. He saved you from that hard life surrounded by enemies, and you lived in peace.

12 “But when you saw Nahash, king of the Ammonites, preparing to attack you, you said to me, ‘No more of this. We want a king to lead us.’ And God was already your king!

13-15 “So here’s the king you wanted, the king you asked for. God has let you have your own way, given you a king. If you fear God, worship and obey him, and don’t rebel against what he tells you. If both you and your king follow God, no problem. God will be sure to save you. But if you don’t obey him and rebel against what he tells you, king or no king, you will fare no better than your fathers.

16-17 “Pay attention! Watch this wonder that God is going to perform before you now! It’s summer, as you well know, and the rainy season is over. But I’m going to pray to God. He’ll send thunder and rain, a sign to convince you of the great wrong you have done to God by asking for a king.”

18 Samuel prayed to God, and God sent thunder and rain that same day. The people were greatly afraid and in awe of God and of Samuel.

19 Then all the people begged Samuel, “Pray to your God for us, your servants. Pray that we won’t die! On top of all our other sins, we’ve piled on one more—asking for a king!”

20-22 Samuel said to them, “Don’t be fearful. It’s true that you have done something very wrong. All the same, don’t turn your back on God. Worship and serve him heart and soul! Don’t chase after ghost-gods. There’s nothing to them. They can’t help you. They’re nothing but ghost-gods! God, simply because of who he is, is not going to walk off and leave his people. God took delight in making you into his very own people.

23-25 “And neither will I walk off and leave you. That would be a sin against God! I’m staying right here at my post praying for you and teaching you the good and right way to live. But I beg of you, fear God and worship him honestly and heartily. You’ve seen how greatly he has worked among you! Be warned: If you live badly, both you and your king will be thrown out.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

1 Chronicles 1The Message (MSG)

Israel’s Family Tree: The Trunk

1-4 Adam

Seth

Enosh

Kenan

Mahalalel

Jared

Enoch

Methuselah

Lamech

Noah

Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

The Japheth Branch

Japheth had Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras.

Gomer had Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah.

Javan had Elisha, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim.

The Ham Branch

Ham had Cush, Mizraim, Put, and Canaan.

Cush had Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raamah, and Sabteca.

Raamah had Sheba and Dedan.

10 Cush had Nimrod, the first great hero on earth.

11-12 Mizraim was ancestor to the Ludim, the Anamim, the Lehabim, the Naphtuhim, the Pathrusim, the Casluhim, and the Caphtorim from whom the Philistines descended.

13-16 Canaan had Sidon (his firstborn) and Heth, and was ancestor to the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites.

The Shem Branch

17 Shem had Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, Aram, Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech.

18-19 Arphaxad had Shelah and Shelah had Eber. Eber had two sons: Peleg (Division) because in his time the earth was divided up; his brother was Joktan.

20-23 Joktan had Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, Ebal, Abimael, Sheba, Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab—all sons of Joktan.

24-28 The three main branches in summary: Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah, Eber, Peleg, Reu, Serug, Nahor, Terah, and Abram (Abraham). And Abraham had Isaac and Ishmael.

The Family of Abraham

29-31 Abraham’s family tree developed along these lines: Ishmael had Nebaioth (his firstborn), then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah—the Ishmael branch.

32-33 Keturah, Abraham’s concubine, gave birth to Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Then Jokshan had Sheba and Dedan. And Midian had Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. These made up the Keturah branch.

34-37 Abraham had Isaac, and Isaac had Esau and Israel (Jacob). Esau had Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. Eliphaz had Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, Kenaz, Timna, and Amalek. And Reuel had Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah.

38-42 Seir then had Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. Lotan had Hori and Homam. Timna was Lotan’s sister. Shobal had Alian, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, and Onam. Zibeon had Aiah and Anah. Anah had Dishon. Dishon had Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Keran. Ezer had Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan. And Dishan had Uz and Aran.

The Edomite King List

43-51 A list of the kings who ruled in the country of Edom before Israel had a king:

Bela son of Beor; his city was Dinhabah.

Bela died; Jobab son of Zerah from Bozrah was the next king.

Jobab died; Husham from the country of the Temanites was the next king.

Husham died; Hadad son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, was the next king; his city was Avith.

Hadad died; Samlah from Masrekah was the next king.

Samlah died; Shaul from Rehoboth-by-the-River was the next king.

Shaul died; Baal-Hanan son of Acbor was the next king.

Baal-Hanan died; Hadad was the next king; his city was Pau and his wife was Mehetabel daughter of Matred, the daughter of Me-Zahab.

Last of all Hadad died.

51-54 The chieftains of Edom after that were Chief Timna, Chief Alvah, Chief Jetheth, Chief Oholibamah, Chief Elah, Chief Pinon, Chief Kenaz, Chief Teman, Chief Mibzar, Chief Magdiel, and Chief Iram. These were the chieftains of Edom.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

2 Corinthians 11The Message (MSG)

Pseudo-Servants of God

11 1-3 Will you put up with a little foolish aside from me? Please, just for a moment. The thing that has me so upset is that I care about you so much—this is the passion of God burning inside me! I promised your hand in marriage to Christ, presented you as a pure virgin to her husband. And now I’m afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ.

4-6 It seems that if someone shows up preaching quite another Jesus than we preached—different spirit, different message—you put up with him quite nicely. But if you put up with these big-shot “apostles,” why can’t you put up with simple me? I’m as good as they are. It’s true that I don’t have their voice, haven’t mastered that smooth eloquence that impresses you so much. But when I do open my mouth, I at least know what I’m talking about. We haven’t kept anything back. We let you in on everything.

7-12 I wonder, did I make a bad mistake in proclaiming God’s Message to you without asking for something in return, serving you free of charge so that you wouldn’t be inconvenienced by me? It turns out that the other churches paid my way so that you could have a free ride. Not once during the time I lived among you did anyone have to lift a finger to help me out. My needs were always supplied by the believers from Macedonia province. I was careful never to be a burden to you, and I never will be, you can count on it. With Christ as my witness, it’s a point of honor with me, and I’m not going to keep it quiet just to protect you from what the neighbors will think. It’s not that I don’t love you; God knows I do. I’m just trying to keep things open and honest between us.

12-15 And I’m not changing my position on this. I’d die before taking your money. I’m giving nobody grounds for lumping me in with those money-grubbing “preachers,” vaunting themselves as something special. They’re a sorry bunch—pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers—posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core. And no wonder! Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. So it shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. But they’re not getting by with anything. They’ll pay for it in the end.

Many a Long and Lonely Night

16-21 Let me come back to where I started—and don’t hold it against me if I continue to sound a little foolish. Or if you’d rather, just accept that I am a fool and let me rant on a little. I didn’t learn this kind of talk from Christ. Oh, no, it’s a bad habit I picked up from the three-ring preachers that are so popular these days. Since you sit there in the judgment seat observing all these shenanigans, you can afford to humor an occasional fool who happens along. You have such admirable tolerance for impostors who rob your freedom, rip you off, steal you blind, put you down—even slap your face! I shouldn’t admit it to you, but our stomachs aren’t strong enough to tolerate that kind of stuff.

21-23 Since you admire the egomaniacs of the pulpit so much (remember, this is your old friend, the fool, talking), let me try my hand at it. Do they brag of being Hebrews, Israelites, the pure race of Abraham? I’m their match. Are they servants of Christ? I can go them one better. (I can’t believe I’m saying these things. It’s crazy to talk this way! But I started, and I’m going to finish.)

23-27 I’ve worked much harder, been jailed more often, beaten up more times than I can count, and at death’s door time after time. I’ve been flogged five times with the Jews’ thirty-nine lashes, beaten by Roman rods three times, pummeled with rocks once. I’ve been shipwrecked three times, and immersed in the open sea for a night and a day. In hard traveling year in and year out, I’ve had to ford rivers, fend off robbers, struggle with friends, struggle with foes. I’ve been at risk in the city, at risk in the country, endangered by desert sun and sea storm, and betrayed by those I thought were my brothers. I’ve known drudgery and hard labor, many a long and lonely night without sleep, many a missed meal, blasted by the cold, naked to the weather.

28-29 And that’s not the half of it, when you throw in the daily pressures and anxieties of all the churches. When someone gets to the end of his rope, I feel the desperation in my bones. When someone is duped into sin, an angry fire burns in my gut.

30-33 If I have to “brag” about myself, I’ll brag about the humiliations that make me like Jesus. The eternal and blessed God and Father of our Master Jesus knows I’m not lying. Remember the time I was in Damascus and the governor of King Aretas posted guards at the city gates to arrest me? I crawled through a window in the wall, was let down in a basket, and had to run for my life.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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