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1 Kings 2:1-3:2; Acts 5:1-42; Psalms 125:1-5; Proverbs 16:25 (New English Translation)

1 Kings 2:1-3:2

David’s Final Words to Solomon

When David was close to death, he told Solomon his son: “I am about to die. Be strong and become a man! Do the job the Lord your God has assigned you by following his instructions and obeying his rules, commandments, regulations, and laws as written in the law of Moses. Then you will succeed in all you do and seek to accomplish, and the Lord will fulfill his promise to me, ‘If your descendants watch their step and live faithfully in my presence with all their heart and being, then,’ he promised, ‘you will not fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.’

“You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me—how he murdered two commanders of the Israelite armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. During peacetime he struck them down like he would in battle; when he shed their blood as if in battle, he stained his own belt and the sandals on his feet. Do to him what you think is appropriate, but don’t let him live long and die a peaceful death.

“Treat fairly the sons of Barzillai of Gilead and provide for their needs, because they helped me when I had to flee from your brother Absalom.

“Note well, you still have to contend with Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who tried to call down upon me a horrible judgment when I went to Mahanaim. He came down and met me at the Jordan, and I solemnly promised him by the Lord, ‘I will not strike you down with the sword.’ But now don’t treat him as if he were innocent. You are a wise man and you know how to handle him; make sure he has a bloody death.”

10 Then David passed away and was buried in the City of David. 11 David reigned over Israel forty years; he reigned in Hebron seven years, and in Jerusalem thirty-three years.

Solomon Secures the Throne

12 Solomon sat on his father David’s throne, and his royal authority was firmly solidified.

13 Haggith’s son Adonijah visited Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. She asked, “Do you come in peace?” He answered, “Yes.” 14 He added, “I have something to say to you.” She replied, “Speak.” 15 He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine and all Israel considered me king. But then the kingdom was given to my brother, for the Lord decided it should be his. 16 Now I’d like to ask you for just one thing. Please don’t refuse me.” She said, “Go ahead and ask.” 17 He said, “Please ask King Solomon if he would give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife, for he won’t refuse you.” 18 Bathsheba replied, “That’s fine, I’ll speak to the king on your behalf.”

19 So Bathsheba visited King Solomon to speak to him on Adonijah’s behalf. The king got up to greet her, bowed to her, and then sat on his throne. He ordered a throne to be brought for the king’s mother, and she sat at his right hand. 20 She said, “I would like to ask you for just one small favor. Please don’t refuse me.” He said, “Go ahead and ask, my mother, for I would not refuse you.” 21 She said, “Allow Abishag the Shunammite to be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.” 22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why just request Abishag the Shunammite for him? Since he is my older brother, you should also request the kingdom for him, for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab son of Zeruiah!”

23 King Solomon then swore an oath by the Lord, “May God judge me severely, if Adonijah does not pay for this request with his life! 24 Now, as certainly as the Lord lives (he who made me secure, allowed me to sit on my father David’s throne, and established a dynasty for me as he promised), Adonijah will be executed today!” 25 King Solomon then sent Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he killed Adonijah.

26 The king then told Abiathar the priest, “Go back to your property in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but today I will not kill you because you did carry the ark of the sovereign Lord before my father David and you suffered with my father through all his difficult times.” 27 Solomon dismissed Abiathar from his position as priest of the Lord, fulfilling the decree of judgment the Lord made in Shiloh against the family of Eli.

28 When the news reached Joab (for Joab had supported Adonijah, although he had not supported Absalom), he ran to the tent of the Lord and grabbed hold of the horns of the altar. 29 When King Solomon heard that Joab had run to the tent of the Lord and was right there beside the altar, he ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada, “Go, strike him down.” 30 When Benaiah arrived at the tent of the Lord, he said to him, “The king says, ‘Come out!’” But he replied, “No, I will die here!” So Benaiah sent word to the king and reported Joab’s reply. 31 The king told him, “Do as he said! Strike him down and bury him. Take away from me and from my father’s family the guilt of Joab’s murderous, bloody deeds. 32 May the Lord punish him for the blood he shed; behind my father David’s back he struck down and murdered with the sword two men who were more innocent and morally upright than he—Abner son of Ner, commander of Israel’s army, and Amasa son of Jether, commander of Judah’s army. 33 May Joab and his descendants be perpetually guilty of their shed blood, but may the Lord give perpetual peace to David, his descendants, his family, and his dynasty.” 34 So Benaiah son of Jehoiada went up and executed Joab; he was buried at his home in the wilderness. 35 The king appointed Benaiah son of Jehoiada to take his place at the head of the army, and the king appointed Zadok the priest to take Abiathar’s place.

36 Next the king summoned Shimei and told him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there—but you may not leave there to go anywhere! 37 If you ever do leave and cross the Kidron Valley, know for sure that you will certainly die! You will be responsible for your own death.” 38 Shimei said to the king, “My master the king’s proposal is acceptable. Your servant will do as you say.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for a long time.

39 Three years later two of Shimei’s servants ran away to King Achish son of Maacah of Gath. Shimei was told, “Look, your servants are in Gath.” 40 So Shimei got up, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish at Gath to find his servants; Shimei went and brought back his servants from Gath. 41 When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had then returned, 42 the king summoned Shimei and said to him, “You will recall that I made you take an oath by the Lord, and I solemnly warned you, ‘If you ever leave and go anywhere, know for sure that you will certainly die.’ You said to me, ‘The proposal is acceptable; I agree to it.’ 43 Why then have you broken the oath you made before the Lord and disobeyed the order I gave you?” 44 Then the king said to Shimei, “You are well aware of the way you mistreated my father David. The Lord will punish you for what you did. 45 But King Solomon will be empowered and David’s dynasty will endure permanently before the Lord.” 46 The king then gave the order to Benaiah son of Jehoiada who went and executed Shimei.

So Solomon took firm control of the kingdom.

The Lord Gives Solomon Wisdom

Solomon made an alliance by marriage with Pharaoh, king of Egypt; he married Pharaoh’s daughter. He brought her to the City of David until he could finish building his residence and the temple of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. Now the people were offering sacrifices at the high places, because in those days a temple had not yet been built to honor the Lord.

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Acts 5

The Judgment on Ananias and Sapphira

Now a man named Ananias, together with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property. He kept back for himself part of the proceeds with his wife’s knowledge; he brought only part of it and placed it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of the land? Before it was sold, did it not belong to you? And when it was sold, was the money not at your disposal? How have you thought up this deed in your heart? You have not lied to people but to God!”

When Ananias heard these words he collapsed and died, and great fear gripped all who heard about it. So the young men came, wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him. After an interval of about three hours, his wife came in, but she did not know what had happened. Peter said to her, “Tell me, were the two of you paid this amount for the land?” Sapphira said, “Yes, that much.” Peter then told her, “Why have you agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!” 10 At once she collapsed at his feet and died. So when the young men came in, they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear gripped the whole church and all who heard about these things.

The Apostles Perform Miraculous Signs and Wonders

12 Now many miraculous signs and wonders came about among the people through the hands of the apostles. By common consent they were all meeting together in Solomon’s Portico. 13 None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high honor. 14 More and more believers in the Lord were added to their number, crowds of both men and women. 15 Thus they even carried the sick out into the streets, and put them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow would fall on some of them. 16 A crowd of people from the towns around Jerusalem also came together, bringing the sick and those troubled by unclean spirits. They were all being healed.

Further Trouble for the Apostles

17 Now the high priest rose up, and all those with him (that is, the religious party of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy. 18 They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the prison, led them out, and said, 20 “Go and stand in the temple courts and proclaim to the people all the words of this life.” 21 When they heard this, they entered the temple courts at daybreak and began teaching.

Now when the high priest and those who were with him arrived, they summoned the Sanhedrin—that is, the whole high council of the Israelites—and sent to the jail to have the apostles brought before them. 22 But the officers who came for them did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, 23 “We found the jail locked securely and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the commander of the temple guard and the chief priests heard this report, they were greatly puzzled concerning it, wondering what this could be. 25 But someone came and reported to them, “Look! The men you put in prison are standing in the temple courts and teaching the people!” 26 Then the commander of the temple guard went with the officers and brought the apostles without the use of force (for they were afraid of being stoned by the people).

27 When they had brought them, they stood them before the council, and the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name. Look, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood on us!” 29 But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than people. 30 The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, whom you seized and killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him to his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses of these events, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”

33 Now when they heard this, they became furious and wanted to execute them. 34 But a Pharisee whose name was Gamaliel, a teacher of the law who was respected by all the people, stood up in the council and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 35 Then he said to the council, “Men of Israel, pay close attention to what you are about to do to these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and about four hundred men joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and nothing came of it. 37 After him Judas the Galilean arose in the days of the census, and incited people to follow him in revolt. He too was killed, and all who followed him were scattered. 38 So in this case I say to you, stay away from these men and leave them alone, because if this plan or this undertaking originates with people, it will come to nothing, 39 but if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them, or you may even be found fighting against God.” He convinced them, 40 and they summoned the apostles and had them beaten. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. 41 So they left the council rejoicing because they had been considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 42 And every day both in the temple courts and from house to house, they did not stop teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus was the Christ.

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Psalm 125

Psalm 125

A song of ascents.

Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion;
it cannot be upended and will endure forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people,
now and forevermore.
Indeed, the scepter of a wicked king will not settle
upon the allotted land of the godly.
Otherwise the godly might
do what is wrong.
Do good, O Lord, to those who are good,
to the morally upright!
As for those who are bent on traveling a sinful path,
may the Lord remove them, along with those who behave wickedly!
May Israel experience peace!

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Proverbs 16:25

25 There is a way that seems right to a person,
but its end is the way that leads to death.

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New English Translation (NET)

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