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2 Kings 3:1-4:17

Moab’s rebellion

Joram,[a] Ahab’s son, became king of Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat, Judah’s king. He ruled for twelve years. He did what was evil in the Lord’s eyes, but he wasn’t as bad as his father and mother. He removed the sacred pillar of Baal that his father had made. But he nevertheless clung to the sins that Jeroboam, Nebat’s son, had caused Israel to commit. He didn’t deviate from them.

Now Moab’s King Mesha kept sheep. He would pay Israel’s king one hundred thousand lambs and the wool from one hundred thousand rams. But when Ahab died, Moab’s king rebelled against Israel’s king. So King Joram set out from Samaria at once. He prepared all Israel for war. He sent word to Judah’s King Jehoshaphat, “Moab’s king has rebelled against me. Will you go with me to fight against Moab?”

Jehoshaphat responded, “Yes, I’ll go. We’ll fight as one: you and I, our troops and our horses.”

“Which road should we take?” Joram asked.

Jehoshaphat responded, “The road that goes through the Edomite wilderness.”

So Israel’s and Judah’s kings set out with the king of Edom. They marched around for seven days until there was no water left for the army or for the animals with them. 10 Israel’s king said, “This is terrible! Has the Lord brought us three kings together only to hand us over to Moab?”

11 Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there any prophet of the Lord around, so we could question the Lord through him?”

One of the servants of Israel’s king answered, “Elisha, Shaphat’s son, is here. He used to pour water on Elijah’s hands.”

12 Jehoshaphat said, “He has the Lord’s word!” So Israel’s king and Jehoshaphat and Edom’s king went down to see Elisha.

13 Elisha said to Israel’s king, “What do we have to do with each other? Go to your father’s or mother’s prophets.”

Then Israel’s king said to him, “Don’t say that, because it is the Lord who has brought us three kings together—but only to hand us over to Moab!”

14 Elisha said, “I swear by the life of the Lord of heavenly forces, the one I stand before and serve, if I didn’t care about Judah’s King Jehoshaphat, I wouldn’t notice you or even look at you! 15 Now bring me a musician.” While the musician played, the Lord’s power came over Elisha. 16 He said, “This is what the Lord says: This valley will be filled with pools.[b] 17 This is what the Lord says: You won’t see any wind or rain, but that valley will be full of water. Then you’ll be able to drink—you, your cattle, and your animals. 18 This is easy for the Lord to do. He will also hand Moab over to you. 19 You will then attack every fort and every grand city, cutting down all the good trees, stopping up all the springs, and ruining the good fields with stones.”

20 The next morning, at the time to offer the grain offering, water came flowing from the direction of Edom. The land filled up with water.

21 Now all the Moabites had heard how these kings had come to fight against them. So all who were able to fight were summoned, and they took up positions along the border. 22 They got up early in the morning as the sun’s rays shone on the water. The Moabites saw the water from a distance. It looked as red as blood. 23 They said, “It’s blood! The kings must have fought each other and killed themselves! Now get the plunder, Moab!”

24 But when they entered Israel’s camp, the Israelites rose up and attacked the Moabites. The Moabites fled from them. Israel moved forward, striking the Moabites down as they went.[c] 25 Then the Israelites destroyed the Moabite cities. Each Israelite threw a stone on every piece of good land until it was covered. They stopped up every spring and cut down every good tree. Only Kir-hareseth remained with its stone wall intact,[d] but then stone throwers[e] surrounded it and attacked it.

26 Moab’s king saw that he was losing the battle. So he took seven hundred soldiers with him, each with sword in hand, to break through to Edom’s king. But they failed. 27 Then he took his oldest son, who was to succeed him as king, and he offered him on the wall as an entirely burned offering. As a result, outrage was expressed by Israel. So they pulled back from Moab’s king and returned to their own country.

A poor widow

Now there was a woman who had been married to a member of a group of prophets. She appealed to Elisha, saying, “My husband, your servant, is dead. You know how he feared the Lord. But now someone he owed money to has come to take my two children away as slaves.”

Elisha said to her, “What can I do for you? Tell me what you still have left in the house.”

She said, “Your servant has nothing at all in the house except a small jar of oil.”

He said, “Go out and borrow containers from all your neighbors. Get as many empty containers as possible. Then go in and close the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all those containers. Set each one aside when it’s full.”

She left Elisha and closed the door behind her and her sons. They brought her containers as she kept on pouring. When she had filled the containers, she said to her son, “Bring me another container.”

He said to her, “There aren’t any more.” Then the oil stopped flowing, and she reported this to the man of God.

He said, “Go! Sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what remains.”

A rich woman

One day Elisha went to Shunem. A rich woman lived there. She urged him to eat something, so whenever he passed by, he would stop in to eat some food. She said to her husband, “Look, I know that he is a holy man of God and he passes by regularly. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof. We’ll set up a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp for him there. Then when he comes to us, he can stay there.”

11 So one day Elisha came there, headed to the room on the roof, and lay down. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call this Shunammite woman.” Gehazi called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha then said to Gehazi, “Say to her, ‘Look, you’ve gone to all this trouble for us. What can I do for you? Is there anything I can say on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’”

She said, “I’m content to live at home with my own people.”

14 Elisha asked, “So what can be done for her?”

Gehazi said, “Well, she doesn’t have a son, and her husband is old.”

15 Elisha said, “Call her.” So Gehazi called her, and she stood at the door. 16 Elisha said, “About this time next year, you will be holding a son in your arms.”

But she said, “No, man of God, sir; don’t lie to your servant.”

17 But the woman conceived and gave birth to a son at about the same time the next year. This was what Elisha had promised her.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Kings 3:1 Heb Jehoram (also in 3:6); the king’s name is variously spelled in either long Jehoram or short Joram form.
  2. 2 Kings 3:16 LXX, Vulg Fill this valley with ditches.
  3. 2 Kings 3:24 Heb uncertain
  4. 2 Kings 3:25 Heb uncertain
  5. 2 Kings 3:25 Heb uncertain
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Acts 14:8-28

Healing a crippled man in Lystra

In Lystra there was a certain man who lacked strength in his legs. He had been crippled since birth and had never walked. Sitting there, he heard Paul speaking. Paul stared at him and saw that he believed he could be healed.

10 Raising his voice, Paul said, “Stand up straight on your feet!” He jumped up and began to walk.

11 Seeing what Paul had done, the crowd shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have taken human form and come down to visit us!” 12 They referred to Barnabas as Zeus and to Paul as Hermes, since Paul was the main speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was located just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates. Along with the crowds, he wanted to offer sacrifices to them.

14 When the Lord’s messengers Barnabas and Paul found out about this, they tore their clothes in protest and rushed out into the crowd. They shouted, 15 “People, what are you doing? We are humans too, just like you! We are proclaiming the good news to you: turn to the living God and away from such worthless things. He made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything in them.[a] 16 In the past, he permitted every nation to go its own way. 17 Nevertheless, he hasn’t left himself without a witness. He has blessed you by giving you rain from above as well as seasonal harvests, and satisfying you with food and happiness.” 18 Even with these words, they barely kept the crowds from sacrificing to them.

19 Jews from Antioch and Iconium arrived and won the crowds over. They stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing he was dead. 20 When the disciples surrounded him, he got up and entered the city again. The following day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.

Returning to Antioch

21 Paul and Barnabas proclaimed the good news to the people in Derbe and made many disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, where 22 they strengthened the disciples and urged them to remain firm in the faith. They told them, “If we are to enter God’s kingdom, we must pass through many troubles.” 23 They appointed elders for each church. With prayer and fasting, they committed these elders to the Lord, in whom they had placed their trust.

24 After Paul and Barnabas traveled through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia. 25 They proclaimed the word in Perga, then went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed to Antioch, where they had been entrusted by God’s grace to the work they had now completed. 27 On their arrival, they gathered the church together and reported everything that God had accomplished through their activity, and how God had opened a door of faith for the Gentiles. 28 They stayed with the disciples a long time.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 14:15 Ps 146:6
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Psalm 140

Psalm 140

For the music leader. A psalm of David.

140 Rescue me from evil people, Lord!
    Guard me from violent people
    who plot evil things in their hearts,
    who pick fights every single day!
They sharpen their tongues like a snake’s;
    spider poison[a] is on their lips. Selah

Protect me from the power of the wicked, Lord!
    Guard me from violent people
        who plot to trip me up!
Arrogant people have laid a trap for me with ropes.
    They’ve spread out a net alongside the road.
    They’ve set snares for me. Selah

I tell the Lord, “You are my God!
    Listen to my request for mercy, Lord!”
My Lord God, my strong saving help—
    you’ve protected my head on the day of battle.
Lord, don’t give the wicked what they want!
    Don’t allow their plans to succeed,
    or they’ll exalt themselves even more![b] Selah

Let the heads of the people surrounding me
    be covered with the trouble their own lips caused![c]
10 Let burning coals fall on them!
    Let them fall into deep pits and never get out again!
11 Let no slanderer be safe in the land.
    Let calamity hunt down violent people—and quickly![d]

12 I know that the Lord will take up the case of the poor
    and will do what is right for the needy.
13 Yes, the righteous will give thanks to your name,
    and those who do right will live in your presence.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 140:3 LXX snake poison
  2. Psalm 140:8 Heb uncertain
  3. Psalm 140:9 Heb uncertain
  4. Psalm 140:11 Heb uncertain
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Proverbs 17:22

22 A joyful heart helps healing,
    but a broken spirit dries up the bones.

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Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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