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2 Samuel 20:14-21:22

14 Now Joab went through all the tribes of Israel to Abel, even Beth-maacah, and all the Berites; and they assembled and also went after Sheba. 15 And [a]the army of Joab came and besieged Sheba in Abel Beth-maacah, and they built up an [b]assault ramp against the city, and it stood against the outer rampart; and all the people who were with Joab were wreaking destruction to make the wall fall. 16 Then a wise woman cried out from the city, “Hear, hear! Tell Joab, ‘Come here so that I may speak to you.’” 17 So when he approached her, the woman asked, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she said to him, “Listen to the words of your maidservant.” He answered, “I am listening.” 18 Then she said, “In the past people used to say, ‘They will certainly ask advice at Abel,’ and so they settled the dispute. 19 I am one of the peaceable and faithful in Israel. You are seeking to destroy a city, and a mother in Israel. Why would you swallow up (devour) the inheritance of the Lord?” 20 Joab answered, “Far be it, far be it from me that I would swallow up or destroy! 21 That is not true. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand [in rebellion] against King David. Only hand him over, and I will leave the city.” And the woman said to Joab, “Behold, his head shall be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman in her wisdom went to all the people [to inform them of the agreement]. And they beheaded Sheba the son of Bichri and threw his head [down] to Joab. So he blew the trumpet [signaling the end of the attack], and they dispersed from the city, every man to his own tent. And Joab returned to Jerusalem to [David] the king.

23 Now Joab was [commander] over the entire army of Israel; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was [commander] over the Cherethites and Pelethites [the king’s bodyguards]; 24 Adoram was over the forced labor; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; 25 Sheva was the scribe; and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 also Ira the Jairite was a priest to David.

Gibeonite Revenge

21 There was famine in the days of David for three consecutive years; and David sought the presence (face) of the Lord [asking the reason]. The Lord replied, “It is because of Saul and his bloody house, because [c]he put the Gibeonites to death.” So the king called the Gibeonites and spoke to them (now the Gibeonites were not of the sons (descendants) of Israel but of the remnant (survivors) of the Amorites. The Israelites had sworn [an oath] to [spare] them, but Saul in his zeal for the sons of Israel and Judah had sought to strike down the Gibeonites). So David said to the Gibeonites, “What should I do for you? How can I make it good so that you will bless the Lord’s inheritance (Israel)?” The Gibeonites said to him, “We will not accept silver or gold belonging to Saul or his household (descendants); nor is it for us to put any man to death in Israel.” David said, “I will do for you whatever you say.” So they said to the king, “The man who consumed us and planned to exterminate us from remaining in any territory of Israel, let seven men [chosen] from his sons (descendants) be given to us and we will hang them before the Lord [that is, put them on display, impaled with broken legs and arms] in [d]Gibeah of Saul, the chosen one of the Lord.” And the king said, “I will give them.”

But the king spared Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the Lord’s oath that was between David and Saul’s son Jonathan. So the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth, and the five sons of [e]Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. He handed them over to the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the hill before the Lord, and the seven died together. They were put to death in the first days of the grain harvest, the beginning of the barley harvest [in the spring].

10 Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest [in the spring] until [the autumn] rain fell on them; and she allowed neither the birds of the sky to rest on their bodies by day, nor the beasts of the field [to feed on them] by night. 11 David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the [f]concubine of Saul, had done. 12 Then David went and took the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-gilead, who had stolen them from the open square of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them on the day when the Philistines had killed Saul in Gilboa. 13 He brought up the bones of Saul and of Jonathan his son from there, and they gathered the bones of those who had been hanged [with their arms and legs broken]. 14 They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father; and they did all that the king commanded. After that, God was moved by prayer for the land.

15 Now the Philistines were at war again with Israel. David went down with his servants, and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. 16 Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels (six pounds) of bronze, was armed with a new sword, and he intended to kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah came to David’s aid, and struck and killed the Philistine. Then David’s men swore to him, “You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel.”

18 After this, there was war again with the Philistines at Gob (Gezer). At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph (Sippai), who was among the descendants of the giant. 19 There was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim, a Bethlehemite, killed Goliath the Gittite, whose spear shaft was like a weaver’s beam. 20 There was war at Gath again, where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; he also was a descendant of the giants. 21 And when he taunted and defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, killed him. 22 These four [warriors] were descended from the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hands of David and his servants.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 20:15 Lit they.
  2. 2 Samuel 20:15 Probably the most famous example of this was the huge ramp built against Masada by the Romans, which still stands.
  3. 2 Samuel 21:1 There is no more information about this elsewhere. The Gibeonites had tricked Israel into making a treaty with them (Josh 9:3-15) and Saul apparently tried to exterminate them to right the original wrong perpetrated by them against Israel (cf v 2).
  4. 2 Samuel 21:6 Saul’s home had been in Gibeah (1 Sam 10:26).
  5. 2 Samuel 21:8 So Greek and some Hebrew mss; MT has Michal.
  6. 2 Samuel 21:11 See note Gen 22:24.
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Acts 1

Introduction

The first [a]account I made, Theophilus, was [a continuous report] about all the things that Jesus began to do and to [b]teach until the day when He ascended to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given instruction to the apostles (special messengers) whom He had chosen. To these [men] He also showed Himself alive after His suffering [in Gethsemane and on the cross], by [a series of] many infallible proofs and unquestionable demonstrations, appearing to them over a period of forty days and talking to them about the things concerning the kingdom of God. While being together and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Of which,” He said, “you have heard Me speak. For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized and empowered and united with the Holy Spirit, not long from now.”

So when they had come together, they asked Him repeatedly, “Lord, are You at this time reestablishing the kingdom and restoring it to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power and ability when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be My witnesses [to tell people about Me] both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth.”

The Ascension

And after He said these things, He was caught up as they looked on, and a cloud took Him up out of their sight. 10 While they were looking intently into the sky as He was going, two men in white clothing suddenly stood beside them, 11 who said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This [same] Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will return in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”

The Upper Room

12 Then the disciples returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet (Olive Grove), which is near Jerusalem, [only] a Sabbath day’s journey (less than one mile) away. 13 When they had entered the city, they went upstairs to the upper room where they were staying [indefinitely]; that is, Peter, and John and [his brother] James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew (Nathanael) and Matthew, [c]James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas (Thaddaeus) the son of James. 14 All these with one mind and one purpose were continually devoting themselves to prayer, [waiting together] along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

15 Now on one of these days Peter stood up among the brothers and sisters (a gathering of about a hundred and twenty believers was there) and he said, 16 “Brothers and sisters, it was necessary that the Scripture be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the lips of David [king of Israel] about Judas [Iscariot], who acted as guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he (Judas) was counted among us and received his share [by divine allotment] in this ministry.” 18 (Now Judas Iscariot [d]acquired a piece of land [indirectly] with the [money paid him as a] reward for his treachery, and falling headlong, his body burst open in the middle and all his intestines poured out. 19 All the people in Jerusalem learned about this, so in their own dialect—Aramaic—they called the piece of land Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For in the book of Psalms it is written,

Let his place of residence become desolate,
And let there be no one to live in it’;

and [again],

Let another take his position as overseer.’

21 So of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus spent with us, 22 beginning with the baptism by John [at the outset of Jesus’ ministry] until the day when He was taken up from us—one of these men must become a witness with us [to testify] of His resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two men, Joseph, the one called Barsabbas (who was surnamed Justus), and Matthias. 24 They prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know all hearts [their thoughts, motives, desires], show us which one of these two You have chosen 25 to occupy this ministry and apostleship which Judas left to go to his own place [of evil].” 26 And they [e]cast lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 1:1 Luke is referring to his gospel.
  2. Acts 1:1 As the gospel tells us what Jesus began to do and teach, so Acts tells what He continued to do and teach by His Holy Spirit (F. F. Bruce).
  3. Acts 1:13 Also known as James the Less or James the Younger. His mother, Mary (Gr Maria), may have been either a sister or sister-in-law of Mary (Gr Mariam), the mother of Jesus.
  4. Acts 1:18 Peter means that the chief priests purchased the field in Judas’ name. He had returned to them with the money, and when they refused to accept it, he threw it into the temple sanctuary (Matt 27:3 ff). Afterwards they decided to buy the field for use as a burial ground for strangers. Peter goes on to say that Judas was disemboweled in a fall, while Matthew reports that Judas hanged himself (Matt 27:5). One explanation for the apparent discrepancy is that the rope or line that Judas was using broke, and the body fell in such a way as to be disemboweled (Matt 27:3 ff).
  5. Acts 1:26 The custom of the Jews was to write the names on stones, place them in a container and shake it until one stone fell out.
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Psalm 121

The Lord the Keeper of Israel.

A Song of [a]Ascents.

121 I will lift up my eyes to the hills [of Jerusalem]—
From where shall my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber [briefly] nor sleep [soundly].


The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.

The sun will not strike you by day,
Nor the moon by night.

The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your life.

The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in [everything that you do]
From this time forth and forever.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 121:1 See Psalm 120 title note.
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Proverbs 16:18

18 
Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before a fall.

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Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

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