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2 Kings 8:1-9:13; Acts 16:16-40; Psalms 143:1-12; Proverbs 17:26 (New English Translation)

2 Kings 8:1-9:13

Elisha Again Helps the Shunammite Woman

Now Elisha advised the woman whose son he had brought back to life, “You and your family should go and live somewhere else for a while, for the Lord has decreed that a famine will overtake the land for seven years.” So the woman did as the prophet said. She and her family went and lived in the land of the Philistines for seven years. After seven years the woman returned from the land of the Philistines and went to ask the king to give her back her house and field. Now the king was talking to Gehazi, the prophet’s servant, and said, “Tell me all the great things which Elisha has done.” While Gehazi was telling the king how Elisha had brought the dead back to life, the woman whose son he had brought back to life came to ask the king for her house and field. Gehazi said, “My master, O king, this is the very woman and this is her son whom Elisha brought back to life!” The king asked the woman about it, and she gave him the details. The king assigned a eunuch to take care of her request and ordered him, “Give her back everything she owns, as well as the amount of crops her field produced from the day she left the land until now.”

Elisha Meets with Hazael

Elisha traveled to Damascus while King Ben Hadad of Syria was sick. The king was told, “The prophet has come here.” So the king told Hazael, “Take a gift and go visit the prophet. Request from him an oracle from the Lord. Ask him, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’” So Hazael went to visit Elisha. He took along a gift, as well as forty camel loads of all the fine things of Damascus. When he arrived, he stood before him and said, “Your son, King Ben Hadad of Syria, has sent me to you with this question, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’” 10 Elisha said to him, “Go and tell him, ‘You will surely recover,’ but the Lord has revealed to me that he will surely die.” 11 Elisha just stared at him until Hazael became uncomfortable. Then the prophet started crying. 12 Hazael asked, “Why are you crying, my master?” He replied, “Because I know the trouble you will cause the Israelites. You will set fire to their fortresses, kill their young men with the sword, smash their children to bits, and rip open their pregnant women.” 13 Hazael said, “How could your servant, who is as insignificant as a dog, accomplish this great military victory?” Elisha answered, “The Lord has revealed to me that you will be the king of Syria.” 14 He left Elisha and went to his master. Ben Hadad asked him, “What did Elisha tell you?” Hazael replied, “He told me you would surely recover.” 15 The next day Hazael took a piece of cloth, dipped it in water, and spread it over Ben Hadad’s face until he died. Then Hazael replaced him as king.

Jehoram’s Reign over Judah

16 In the fifth year of the reign of Israel’s King Joram, son of Ahab, Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram became king over Judah. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he became king and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. 18 He followed in the footsteps of the kings of Israel, just as Ahab’s dynasty had done, for he married Ahab’s daughter. He did evil in the sight of the Lord. 19 But the Lord was unwilling to destroy Judah. He preserved Judah for the sake of his servant David to whom he had promised a perpetual dynasty.

20 During his reign Edom freed themselves from Judah’s control and set up their own king. 21 Joram crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. The Edomites, who had surrounded him, attacked at night and defeated him and his chariot officers. The Israelite army retreated to their homeland. 22 So Edom has remained free from Judah’s control to this very day. At that same time Libnah also rebelled.

23 The rest of the events of Joram’s reign, including a record of his accomplishments, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Judah. 24 Joram passed away and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David. His son Ahaziah replaced him as king.

Ahaziah Takes the Throne of Judah

25 In the twelfth year of the reign of Israel’s King Joram, son of Ahab, Jehoram’s son Ahaziah became king over Judah. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he became king and he reigned for one year in Jerusalem. His mother was Athaliah, the granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. 27 He followed in the footsteps of Ahab’s dynasty and did evil in the sight of the Lord, like Ahab’s dynasty, for he was related to Ahab’s family.

28 He joined Ahab’s son Joram in a battle against King Hazael of Syria at Ramoth Gilead in which the Syrians defeated Joram. 29 King Joram returned to Jezreel to recover from the wounds he received from the Syrians in Ramah when he fought against King Hazael of Syria. King Ahaziah son of Jehoram of Judah went down to visit Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, for he was ill.

Jehu Becomes King

Now Elisha the prophet summoned a member of the prophetic guild and told him, “Tuck your robes into your belt, take this container of olive oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. When you arrive there, look for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi and take him aside into an inner room. Take the container of olive oil, pour it over his head, and say, ‘This is what the Lord says, “I have designated you as king over Israel.”’ Then open the door and run away quickly!”

So the young prophet went to Ramoth Gilead. When he arrived, the officers of the army were sitting there. So he said, “I have a message for you, O officer.” Jehu asked, “For which one of us?” He replied, “For you, O officer.” So Jehu got up and went inside. Then the prophet poured the olive oil on his head and said to him, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘I have designated you as king over the Lord’s people Israel. You will destroy the family of your master Ahab. I will get revenge against Jezebel for the shed blood of my servants the prophets and for the shed blood of all the Lord’s servants. Ahab’s entire family will die. I will cut off every last male belonging to Ahab in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated. I will make Ahab’s dynasty like those of Jeroboam son of Nebat and Baasha son of Ahijah. 10 Dogs will devour Jezebel on the plot of ground in Jezreel; she will not be buried.’” Then he opened the door and ran away.

11 When Jehu rejoined his master’s servants, they asked him, “Is everything all right? Why did this madman visit you?” He replied, “Ah, it’s not important. You know what kind of man he is and the kinds of things he says.” 12 But they said, “You’re lying! Tell us what he said.” So he told them what he had said. He also related how he had said, “This is what the Lord says, ‘I have designated you as king over Israel.’” 13 Each of them quickly took off his cloak and they spread them out at Jehu’s feet on the steps. The trumpet was blown and they shouted, “Jehu is king!”

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Acts 16:16-40

Paul and Silas Are Thrown Into Prison

16 Now as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave girl met us who had a spirit that enabled her to foretell the future by supernatural means. She brought her owners a great profit by fortune-telling. 17 She followed behind Paul and us and kept crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” 18 She continued to do this for many days. But Paul became greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out of her at once. 19 But when her owners saw their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. 20 When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion. They are Jews 21 and are advocating customs that are not lawful for us to accept or practice, since we are Romans.”

22 The crowd joined the attack against them, and the magistrates tore the clothes off Paul and Silas and ordered them to be beaten with rods. 23 After they had beaten them severely, they threw them into prison and commanded the jailer to guard them securely. 24 Receiving such orders, he threw them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the rest of the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly a great earthquake occurred, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. Immediately all the doors flew open, and the bonds of all the prisoners came loose. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the doors of the prison standing open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, because he assumed the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul called out loudly, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 Calling for lights, the jailer rushed in and fell down trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them outside and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him, along with all those who were in his house. 33 At that hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and all his family were baptized right away. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set food before them, and he rejoiced greatly that he had come to believe in God, together with his entire household. 35 At daybreak the magistrates sent their police officers, saying, “Release those men.” 36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent orders to release you. So come out now and go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to the police officers, “They had us beaten in public without a proper trial—even though we are Roman citizens—and they threw us in prison. And now they want to send us away secretly? Absolutely not! They themselves must come and escort us out!” 38 The police officers reported these words to the magistrates. They were frightened when they heard Paul and Silas were Roman citizens 39 and came and apologized to them. After they brought them out, they asked them repeatedly to leave the city. 40 When they came out of the prison, they entered Lydia’s house, and when they saw the brothers, they encouraged them and then departed.

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Psalm 143

Psalm 143

A psalm of David.

O Lord, hear my prayer!
Pay attention to my plea for help!
Because of your faithfulness and justice, answer me!
Do not sit in judgment on your servant,
for no one alive is innocent before you.
Certainly my enemies chase me.
They smash me into the ground.
They force me to live in dark regions,
like those who have been dead for ages.
My strength leaves me;
I am absolutely shocked.
I recall the old days;
I meditate on all you have done;
I reflect on your accomplishments.
I spread my hands out to you in prayer;
my soul thirsts for you in a parched land.
Answer me quickly, Lord!
My strength is fading.
Do not reject me,
or I will join those descending into the grave.
May I hear about your loyal love in the morning,
for I trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
because I long for you.
Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord!
I run to you for protection.
10 Teach me to do what pleases you,
for you are my God.
May your kind presence
lead me into a level land.
11 O Lord, for the sake of your reputation, revive me!
Because of your justice, rescue me from trouble!
12 As a demonstration of your loyal love, destroy my enemies!
Annihilate all who threaten my life,
for I am your servant.

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Proverbs 17:26

26 It is terrible to punish a righteous person,
and to flog honorable men is wrong.

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New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.

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