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11 All Israel gathered around David at Hebron. “We are your own flesh and blood,” they said. 2 “Even in the past when Saul ruled, you were the one who led Israel on its campaigns to war. The Lord your God has said to you, ‘You will be shepherd of my people Israel, the leader of my people Israel.’”
3 All the leaders of Israel had come to Hebron. David made an agreement with them at Hebron in front of the Lord. So they anointed David king of Israel, as the Lord had spoken through Samuel.
4 David and all Israel went to Jerusalem (that is, Jebus). The Jebusites were living in that region. 5 They told David, “You will never get in here.” But David captured the fortress Zion (that is, the City of David).
6 Now, David said, “Whoever is the first to kill a Jebusite will be made a general and a prince.” Zeruiah’s son Joab was the first to go into Jerusalem, so he became the general.
7 David lived in the fortress, so it was called the City of David. 8 He built the city of Jerusalem around it, starting from the Millo[a] and making a complete circuit. Joab rebuilt the rest of the city. 9 David continued to grow more powerful because the Lord of Armies was with him.
10 Now, these were the commanders of David’s fighting men, who exercised power with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel they made him king according to the Lord’s word to Israel. 11 The first of David’s fighting men was Jashobeam, son of Hachmon, the leader of the three.[b] He used his spear to kill 300 men on one occasion. 12 Next in rank to him was Eleazar, another one of the three fighting men. He was the son of Dodo and grandson of Aho. 13 Eleazar was with David at Pas Dammim when the Philistines gathered there for battle. There was a field of ripe barley. When the troops fled from the Philistines, 14 they stood in the middle of the field and defended it by killing Philistines. So the Lord saved them with an impressive victory. 15 Once three of the thirty leading men went down to David’s rock at the cave of Adullam when the army of the Philistines was camping in the valley of Rephaim. 16 While David was in the fortified camp, Philistine troops were in Bethlehem.
17 David was thirsty and said, “I wish I could have a drink of water from the cistern at the city gate of Bethlehem.” 18 So the three burst into the Philistine camp and drew water from the cistern. They brought it to David, but he refused to drink it. He poured it out as an offering to the Lord 19 and said, “It’s unthinkable that I would do this, God. Should I drink the blood of these men who risked their lives? They had to risk their lives to get this water.” So he refused to drink it.
These are the things which the three fighting men did.
20 Joab’s brother Abishai was the leader of the thirty. He used his spear to kill 300 men, but he was not one of the three, 21 although he was honored more than they were. So he became their captain but didn’t become a member of the three.
22 Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, was from Kabzeel and was a brave man who did many things. He killed two distinguished soldiers from Moab. He also went into a cistern and killed a lion on the day it snowed. 23 He killed an eight-foot-tall Egyptian. The Egyptian had a spear like a weaver’s beam in his hand. But Benaiah went to him with a club, grabbed the spear away from him, and killed him with it. 24 These are the things that Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, did. He was as famous as the three fighting men. 25 He was honored more than the thirty, but he was not a member of the three. David put him in charge of his bodyguards.
26 The distinguished fighting men were
Joab’s brother Asahel,
Elhanan (son of Dodo) from Bethlehem,
27 Shammoth from Harod,
Helez the Pelonite,
28 Ira (son of Ikkesh) from Tekoa,
Abiezer from Anathoth,
29 Sibbecai (son of Hushai),
Ilai (descendant of Ahohi),
30 Maharai from Netophah,
Heled (son of Baanah) from Netophah,
31 Ithai (son of Ribai) from Gibeah in Benjamin,
Benaiah from Pirathon,
32 Hurai from the Gaash ravines,
Abiel from Beth Arabah,
33 Azmaveth from Bahurim,
Eliahba from Shaalbon,
34 Bene Hashem from Gizon,
Jonathan (son of Shage the Hararite),
35 Ahiam (son of Sachar the Hararite),
Eliphal (son of Ur),
36 Hepher the Mecherathite,
Ahijah the Pelonite,
37 Hezro from Carmel,
Naari (son of Ezbai),
38 Joel (son of Nathan),
Mibhar (son of Hagri),
39 Zelek from Ammon,
Naharai from Beroth, armorbearer for Zeruiah’s son Joab,
40 Ira (descendant of Ithra),
Gareb (descendant of Ithra),
41 Uriah the Hittite,
Zabad (son of Ahlai),
42 Adina (son of Shiza) from the tribe of Reuben (who was leader of the tribe of Reuben and had his own group of thirty soldiers),
43 Hanan (son of Maacah),
and Joshaphat the Mithnite,
44 Uzzia from Ashteroth,
Shama and Jeiel (sons of Hotham from Aroer),
45 Jediael (son of Shimri) and
his brother Joha the Tizite,
46 Eliel the Mahavite,
Jeribai and Joshaviah (sons of Elnaam),
Ithmah from Moab,
Jaasiel the Mezobaite.
12 These are the men who came to David at Ziklag when he was banished by Saul, son of Kish. They were among the soldiers who went into battle with David. 2 They were armed with bows and could sling stones or shoot arrows with either their right or their left hands. They were Saul’s relatives, from the tribe of Benjamin. 3 Ahiezer was the leader, then Joash (they were the sons of Shemaah from Gibeah), Azmaveth’s sons Jeziel and Pelet, Beracah and Jehu from Anathoth, 4 Ishmaiah from Gibeon (one of the thirty fighting men and one of their leaders),[c] Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, and Jozabad from Gederah, 5 Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, and Shephatiah from Haruph, 6 Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam (Korah’s descendants), 7 and Joelah and Zebadiah, Jeroham’s sons from Gedor.
8 Some men left Gad to join David at the fortified camp in the desert. They were warriors, trained soldiers, able to fight with shields and spears. They looked like lions and were as fast as gazelles on the hills. 9 Ezer was the first of these soldiers. The second was Obadiah. The third was Eliab. 10 The fourth was Mishmannah. The fifth was Jeremiah. 11 The sixth was Attai. The seventh was Eliel. 12 The eighth was Johanan. The ninth was Elzabad. 13 The tenth was Jeremiah. The eleventh was Machbannai. 14 These descendants of Gad were army officers. The least able one was in command of 100 men, and the best one was in command of 1,000. 15 In the first month of the year, these men crossed the Jordan River when it was flooding its banks. They chased away all the people in the valleys to the east and west.
16 Some of the men of Benjamin and Judah came to David at the fortified camp. 17 David went to meet them. He told them, “If you’ve come to help me as friends would, then you may join me. But if you’ve come to betray me to my enemies, even though I haven’t committed a crime, may the God of our ancestors see this and judge you.”
18 Then the Spirit gave Amasai, the leader of the thirty, the strength to say,
“We are yours, David.
We are with you, son of Jesse.
Success, success to you!
Success to those who help you,
because your God is helping you.”
So David welcomed them and made them officers over his troops.
28 When we were safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta. 2 The people who lived on the island were unusually kind to us. They made a fire and welcomed all of us around it because of the rain and the cold.
3 Paul gathered a bundle of brushwood and put it on the fire. The heat forced a poisonous snake out of the brushwood. The snake bit Paul’s hand and wouldn’t let go. 4 When the people who lived on the island saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer! He may have escaped from the sea, but justice won’t let him live.”
5 Paul shook the snake into the fire and wasn’t harmed. 6 The people were waiting for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But after they had waited a long time and saw nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.
7 A man named Publius, who was the governor of the island, had property around the area. He welcomed us and treated us kindly, and for three days we were his guests. 8 His father happened to be sick in bed. He was suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went to him, prayed, placed his hands on him, and made him well.
9 After that had happened, other sick people on the island went to Paul and were made well. 10 They showed respect for us in many ways, and when we were going to set sail, they put whatever we needed on board.
11 After three months we sailed on an Alexandrian ship that had spent the winter at the island. The ship had the gods Castor and Pollux carved on its front. 12 We stopped at the city of Syracuse and stayed there for three days. 13 We sailed from Syracuse and arrived at the city of Rhegium. The next day a south wind began to blow, and two days later we arrived at the city of Puteoli. 14 In Puteoli we discovered some believers who begged us to spend a week with them.
15 Believers in Rome heard that we were coming, so they came as far as the cities of Appius’ Market and Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and felt encouraged. So we finally arrived in the city of Rome. [a] 16 After our arrival, Paul was allowed to live by himself, but he had a soldier who guarded him.
17 After three days Paul invited the most influential Jews in Rome to meet with him. When they assembled, he said to them, “Brothers, I haven’t done anything against the Jewish people or violated the customs handed down by our ancestors. Yet, I’m a prisoner from Jerusalem, and I’ve been handed over to the Roman authorities. 18 The Roman authorities cross-examined me and wanted to let me go because I was accused of nothing for which I deserved to die. 19 But when the Jews objected, I was forced to appeal my case to the emperor. That doesn’t mean I have any charges to bring against my own people. 20 That’s why I asked to see you and speak with you. I’m wearing these chains because of what Israel hopes for.”
21 The Jewish leaders told Paul, “We haven’t received any letters from Judea about you, and no Jewish person who has come to Rome has reported or mentioned anything bad about you. 22 However, we would like to hear what you think. We know that everywhere people are talking against this sect.”
23 On a designated day a larger number of influential Jews than expected went to the place where Paul was staying. From morning until evening, Paul was explaining God’s kingdom to them. He was trying to convince them about Jesus from Moses’ Teachings and the Prophets. 24 Some of them were convinced by what he said, but others continued to disbelieve.
25 The Jews, unable to agree among themselves, left after Paul had quoted this particular passage to them: “How well the Holy Spirit spoke to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah! 26 The Spirit said: ‘Go to these people and say,
“You will hear clearly but never understand.
You will see clearly but never comprehend.
27 These people have become close-minded
and hard of hearing.
They have shut their eyes
so that their eyes never see.
Their ears never hear.
Their minds never understand.
And they never turn to me for healing.”’
28 “You need to know that God has sent his salvation to people who are not Jews. They will listen.”[b]
30 Paul rented a place to live for two full years and welcomed everyone who came to him. 31 He spread the message about God’s kingdom and taught very boldly about the Lord Jesus Christ. No one stopped him.
1 I will give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart.
I will tell about all the miracles you have done.
2 I will find joy and be glad about you.
I will make music to praise your name, O Most High.
3 When my enemies retreat, they will stumble and die in your presence.
4 You have defended my just cause:
You sat down on your throne as a fair judge.
5 You condemned nations.
You destroyed wicked people.
You wiped out their names forever and ever.
6 The enemy is finished—in ruins forever.
You have uprooted their cities.
Even the memory of them has faded.
7 Yet, the Lord is enthroned forever.
He has set up his throne for judgment.
8 He alone judges the world with righteousness.
He judges its people fairly.
9 The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
10 Those who know your name trust you, O Lord,
because you have never deserted those who seek your help.
11 Make music to praise the Lord, who is enthroned in Zion.
Announce to the nations what he has done.
12 The one who avenges murder has remembered oppressed people.
He has never forgotten their cries.
Better to be a poor person who lives innocently
than to be one who talks dishonestly and is a fool.
2 A person without knowledge is no good.
A person in a hurry makes mistakes.
3 The stupidity of a person turns his life upside down,
and his heart rages against the Lord.