1 Samuel 14The Message (MSG)
14 1-3 Later that day, Jonathan, Saul’s son, said to his armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to the Philistine garrison patrol on the other side of the pass.” But he didn’t tell his father. Meanwhile, Saul was taking it easy under the pomegranate tree at the threshing floor on the edge of town at Geba (Gibeah). There were about six hundred men with him. Ahijah, wearing the priestly Ephod, was also there. (Ahijah was the son of Ahitub, brother of Ichabod, son of Phinehas, who was the son of Eli the priest of God at Shiloh.) No one there knew that Jonathan had gone off.
4-5 The pass that Jonathan was planning to cross over to the Philistine garrison was flanked on either side by sharp rock outcroppings, cliffs named Bozez and Seneh. The cliff to the north faced Micmash; the cliff to the south faced Geba (Gibeah).
6 Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come on now, let’s go across to these uncircumcised pagans. Maybe God will work for us. There’s no rule that says God can only deliver by using a big army. No one can stop God from saving when he sets his mind to it.”
7 His armor bearer said, “Go ahead. Do what you think best. I’m with you all the way.”
8-10 Jonathan said, “Here’s what we’ll do. We’ll cross over the pass and let the men see we’re there. If they say, ‘Halt! Don’t move until we check you out,’ we’ll stay put and not go up. But if they say, ‘Come on up,’ we’ll go right up—and we’ll know God has given them to us. That will be our sign.”
11 So they did it, the two of them. They stepped into the open where they could be seen by the Philistine garrison. The Philistines shouted out, “Look at that! The Hebrews are crawling out of their holes!”
12 Then they yelled down to Jonathan and his armor bearer, “Come on up here! We’ve got a thing or two to show you!”
13 Jonathan shouted to his armor bearer, “Up! Follow me! God has turned them over to Israel!” Jonathan scrambled up on all fours, his armor bearer right on his heels. When the Philistines came running up to them, he knocked them flat, his armor bearer right behind finishing them off, bashing their heads in with stones.
14-15 In this first bloody encounter, Jonathan and his armor bearer killed about twenty men. That set off a terrific upheaval in both camp and field, the soldiers in the garrison and the raiding squad badly shaken up, the ground itself shuddering—panic like you’ve never seen before!
Straight to the Battle
16-18 Saul’s sentries posted back at Geba (Gibeah) in Benjamin saw the confusion and turmoil raging in the camp. Saul commanded, “Line up and take the roll. See who’s here and who’s missing.” When they called the roll, Jonathan and his armor bearer turned up missing.
18-19 Saul ordered Ahijah, “Bring the priestly Ephod. Let’s see what God has to say here.” (Ahijah was responsible for the Ephod in those days.) While Saul was in conversation with the priest, the upheaval in the Philistine camp became greater and louder. Then Saul interrupted Ahijah: “Put the Ephod away.”
20-23 Saul immediately called his army together and they went straight to the battle. When they got there they found total confusion—Philistines swinging their swords wildly, killing each other. Hebrews who had earlier defected to the Philistine camp came back. They now wanted to be with Israel under Saul and Jonathan. Not only that, but when all the Israelites who had been hiding out in the backwoods of Ephraim heard that the Philistines were running for their lives, they came out and joined the chase. God saved Israel! What a day!
The fighting moved on to Beth Aven. The whole army was behind Saul now—ten thousand strong!—with the fighting scattering into all the towns throughout the hills of Ephraim.
24 Saul did something really foolish that day. He addressed the army: “A curse on the man who eats anything before evening, before I’ve wreaked vengeance on my enemies!” None of them ate a thing all day.
25-27 There were honeycombs here and there in the fields. But no one so much as put his finger in the honey to taste it, for the soldiers to a man feared the curse. But Jonathan hadn’t heard his father put the army under oath. He stuck the tip of his staff into some honey and ate it. Refreshed, his eyes lit up with renewed vigor.
28 A soldier spoke up, “Your father has put the army under solemn oath, saying, ‘A curse on the man who eats anything before evening!’ No wonder the soldiers are drooping!”
29-30 Jonathan said, “My father has imperiled the country. Just look how quickly my energy has returned since I ate a little of this honey! It would have been a lot better, believe me, if the soldiers had eaten their fill of whatever they took from the enemy. Who knows how much worse we could have whipped them!”
31-32 They killed Philistines that day all the way from Micmash to Aijalon, but the soldiers ended up totally exhausted. Then they started plundering. They grabbed anything in sight—sheep, cattle, calves—and butchered it where they found it. Then they glutted themselves—meat, blood, the works.
33-34 Saul was told, “Do something! The soldiers are sinning against God. They’re eating meat with the blood still in it!”
Saul said, “You’re biting the hand that feeds you! Roll a big rock over here—now!” He continued, “Disperse among the troops and tell them, ‘Bring your oxen and sheep to me and butcher them properly here. Then you can feast to your heart’s content. Please don’t sin against God by eating meat with the blood still in it.’”
And so they did. That night each soldier, one after another, led his animal there to be butchered.
35 That’s the story behind Saul’s building an altar to God. It’s the first altar to God that he built.
Find Out What God Thinks
36 Saul said, “Let’s go after the Philistines tonight! We can spend the night looting and plundering. We won’t leave a single live Philistine!”
“Sounds good to us,” said the troops. “Let’s do it!”
But the priest slowed them down: “Let’s find out what God thinks about this.”
37 So Saul prayed to God, “Shall I go after the Philistines? Will you put them in Israel’s hand?” God didn’t answer him on that occasion.
38-39 Saul then said, “All army officers, step forward. Some sin has been committed this day. We’re going to find out what it is and who did it! As God lives, Israel’s Savior God, whoever sinned will die, even if it should turn out to be Jonathan, my son!”
Nobody said a word.
40 Saul said to the Israelites, “You line up over on that side, and I and Jonathan my son will stand on this side.”
The army agreed, “Fine. Whatever you say.”
41 Then Saul prayed to God, “O God of Israel, why haven’t you answered me today? Show me the truth. If the sin is in me or Jonathan, then, O God, give the sign Urim. But if the sin is in the army of Israel, give the sign Thummim.”
The Urim sign turned up and pointed to Saul and Jonathan. That cleared the army.
42 Next Saul said, “Cast the lots between me and Jonathan—and death to the one God points to!”
The soldiers protested, “No—this is not right. Stop this!” But Saul pushed on anyway. They cast the lots, Urim and Thummim, and the lot fell to Jonathan.
43 Saul confronted Jonathan. “What did you do? Tell me!”
Jonathan said, “I licked a bit of honey off the tip of the staff I was carrying. That’s it—and for that I’m to die?”
44 Saul said, “Yes. Jonathan most certainly will die. It’s out of my hands—I can’t go against God, can I?”
45 The soldiers rose up: “Jonathan—die? Never! He’s just carried out this stunning salvation victory for Israel. As surely as God lives, not a hair on his head is going to be harmed. Why, he’s been working hand-in-hand with God all day!” The soldiers rescued Jonathan and he didn’t die.
46 Saul pulled back from chasing the Philistines, and the Philistines went home.
47-48 Saul extended his rule, capturing neighboring kingdoms. He fought enemies on every front—Moab, Ammon, Edom, the king of Zobah, the Philistines. Wherever he turned, he came up with a victory. He became invincible! He smashed Amalek, freeing Israel from the savagery and looting.
49-51 Saul’s sons were Jonathan, Ishvi, and Malki-Shua. His daughters were Merab, the firstborn, and Michal, the younger. Saul’s wife was Ahinoam, daughter of Ahimaaz. Abner son of Ner was commander of Saul’s army (Ner was Saul’s uncle). Kish, Saul’s father, and Ner, Abner’s father, were the sons of Abiel.
52 All through Saul’s life there was war, bitter and relentless, with the Philistines. Saul conscripted every strong and brave man he laid eyes on.
1 Chronicles 4The Message (MSG)
An Appendix to the Family of Judah
4 1-2 Sons of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur, and Shobal. Reaiah, Shobal’s son, had Jahath; and Jahath had Ahumai and Lahad. These made up the families of the Zorathites.
3-4 Sons of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma, and Idbash. Their sister was named Hazzelelponi. Penuel had Gedor and Ezer had Hushah. These were the sons of Hur, firstborn son of Ephrathah, who was the father of Bethlehem.
5-8 Ashhur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah. Naarah gave birth to Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari—Naarah’s children. Helah’s sons were Zereth, Zohar, Ethnan, and Koz, who had Anub, Hazzobebah, and the families of Aharhel son of Harum.
9-10 Jabez was a better man than his brothers, a man of honor. His mother had named him Jabez (Oh, the pain!), saying, “A painful birth! I bore him in great pain!” Jabez prayed to the God of Israel: “Bless me, O bless me! Give me land, large tracts of land. And provide your personal protection—don’t let evil hurt me.” God gave him what he asked.
11-12 Kelub, Shuhah’s brother, had Mehir; Mehir had Eshton; Eshton had Beth Rapha, Paseah, and Tehinnah, who founded Ir Nahash (City of Smiths). These were known as the men of Recah.
13 The sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah.
The sons of Othniel: Hathath and Meonothai.
14 Meonothai had Ophrah; Seraiah had Joab, the founder of Ge Harashim (Colony of Artisans).
15 The sons of Caleb son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah, and Naam.
The son of Elah: Kenaz.
16 The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel.
17-18 The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. One of Mered’s wives, Pharaoh’s daughter Bithiah, gave birth to Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. His Judean wife gave birth to Jered father of Gedor, Heber father of Soco, and Jekuthiel father of Zanoah.
19 The sons of Hodiah’s wife, Naham’s sister: the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maacathite.
20 The sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-Hanan, and Tilon.
The sons of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben-Zoheth.
21-23 The sons of Shelah son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, Laadah the father of Mareshah and the family of linen workers at Beth Ashbea, Jokim, the men of Cozeba, and Joash and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and Jashubi Lehem. (These records are from very old traditions.) They were the potters who lived at Netaim and Gederah, resident potters who worked for the king.
The Family of Simeon
24-25 The Simeon family tree: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, and Shaul; Shaul had Shallum, Shallum had Mibsam, and Mibsam had Mishma.
26 The sons of Mishma: Hammuel had Zaccur and Zaccur had Shimei.
27-33 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters, but his brothers were not nearly as prolific and never became a large family like Judah. They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar Shual, Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth Marcaboth, Hazar Susim, Beth Biri, and Shaaraim. They lived in these towns until David became king. Other settlements in the vicinity were the five towns of Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Token, and Ashan, and all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath. These were their settlements. And they kept good family records.
34-40 Meshobab; Jamlech; Joshah the son of Amaziah; Joel; Jehu the son of Joshibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel; Elioenai; Jaakobah; Jeshohaiah; Asaiah; Adiel; Jesimiel; Benaiah; and Ziza the son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah—all these were the leaders in their families. They prospered and increased in numbers so that they had to go as far as Gedor (Gerar) to the east of the valley looking for pasture for their flocks. And they found it—lush pasture, lots of elbow room, peaceful and quiet.
40-43 Some Hamites had lived there in former times. But the men in these family trees came when Hezekiah was king of Judah and attacked the Hamites, tearing down their tents and houses. There was nothing left of them, as you can see today. Then they moved in and took over because of the great pastureland. Five hundred of these Simeonites went on and invaded the hill country of Seir, led by Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. They killed all the escaped Amalekites who were still around. And they still live there.
2 Corinthians 13The Message (MSG)
He’s Alive Now!
13 1-4 Well, this is my third visit coming up. Remember the Scripture that says, “A matter becomes clear after two or three witnesses give evidence”? On my second visit I warned that bunch that keeps sinning over and over in the same old ways that when I came back I wouldn’t go easy on them. Now, preparing for the third, I’m saying it again from a distance. If you haven’t changed your ways by the time I get there, look out. You who have been demanding proof that Christ speaks through me will get more than you bargained for. You’ll get the full force of Christ, don’t think you won’t. He was sheer weakness and humiliation when he was killed on the cross, but oh, he’s alive now—in the mighty power of God! We weren’t much to look at, either, when we were humiliated among you, but when we deal with you this next time, we’ll be alive in Christ, strengthened by God.
5-9 Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it. I hope the test won’t show that we have failed. But if it comes to that, we’d rather the test showed our failure than yours. We’re rooting for the truth to win out in you. We couldn’t possibly do otherwise.
We don’t just put up with our limitations; we celebrate them, and then go on to celebrate every strength, every triumph of the truth in you. We pray hard that it will all come together in your lives.
10 I’m writing this to you now so that when I come I won’t have to say another word on the subject. The authority the Master gave me is for putting people together, not taking them apart. I want to get on with it, and not have to spend time on reprimands.
11-13 And that’s about it, friends. Be cheerful. Keep things in good repair. Keep your spirits up. Think in harmony. Be agreeable. Do all that, and the God of love and peace will be with you for sure. Greet one another with a holy embrace. All the brothers and sisters here say hello.
14 The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.