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Judges 11-12

Jephthah Becomes Israel’s Leader

11 Jephthah the Gileadite was a great warrior, but he was the son of a prostitute, and Gilead was his father. Gilead’s wife bore him sons, and when they grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, “You will have no inheritance in our father’s house, because you are the son of another woman.” So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Then some lawless men joined Jephthah and traveled with him.

Some time later, the Ammonites fought against Israel. When the Ammonites made war with Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob. They said to him, “Come, be our commander, and let’s fight against the Ammonites.”

Jephthah replied to the elders of Gilead, “Didn’t you hate me and drive me from my father’s house? Why then have you come to me now when you’re in trouble?”

They answered Jephthah, “Since that’s true, we now turn to you. Come with us, fight the Ammonites, and you will become leader of all the inhabitants of Gilead.”

So Jephthah said to them, “If you are bringing me back to fight the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me, I will be your leader.”

10 The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “The Lord is our witness if we don’t do as you say.” 11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead. The people put him over themselves as leader and commander, and Jephthah repeated all his terms in the presence of the Lord at Mizpah.

Jephthah Rejects Ammonite Claims

12 Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites, saying, “What do you have against me that you have come to fight against me in my land?”

13 The king of the Ammonites said to Jephthah’s messengers, “When Israel came from Egypt, they seized my land from the Arnon to the Jabbok and the Jordan. Now restore it peaceably.”

14 Jephthah again sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites 15 to tell him, “This is what Jephthah says: Israel did not take away the land of Moab or the land of the Ammonites. 16 But when they came from Egypt, Israel traveled through the wilderness to the Red Sea and came to Kadesh. 17 Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, ‘Please let us travel through your land,’ but the king of Edom would not listen. They also sent messengers to the king of Moab, but he refused. So Israel stayed in Kadesh.

18 “Then they traveled through the wilderness and around the lands of Edom and Moab. They came to the east side of the land of Moab and camped on the other side of the Arnon but did not enter into the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the boundary of Moab.

19 “Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon. Israel said to him, ‘Please let us travel through your land to our country,’ 20 but Sihon would not trust Israel to pass through his territory. Instead, Sihon gathered all his people, camped at Jahaz, and fought with Israel. 21 Then the Lord God of Israel handed over Sihon and all his people to Israel, and they defeated them. So Israel took possession of the entire land of the Amorites who lived in that country. 22 They took possession of all the territory of the Amorites from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the wilderness to the Jordan.

23 “The Lord God of Israel has now driven out the Amorites before His people Israel, and will you now force us out? 24 Isn’t it true that you may possess whatever your god Chemosh drives out for you, and we may possess everything the Lord our God drives out before us? 25 Now are you any better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever contend with Israel or fight against them? 26 While Israel lived 300 years in Heshbon and its villages, in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, why didn’t you take them back at that time? 27 I have not sinned against you, but you have wronged me by fighting against me. Let the Lord who is the Judge decide today between the Israelites and the Ammonites.” 28 But the king of the Ammonites would not listen to Jephthah’s message that he sent him.

Jephthah’s Vow and Sacrifice

29 The Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah, who traveled through Gilead and Manasseh, and then through Mizpah of Gilead. He crossed over to the Ammonites from Mizpah of Gilead. 30 Jephthah made this vow to the Lord: “If You will hand over the Ammonites to me, 31 whatever comes out of the doors of my house to greet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites will belong to the Lord, and I will offer it as a burnt offering.”

32 Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them, and the Lord handed them over to him. 33 He defeated 20 of their cities with a great slaughter from Aroer all the way to the entrance of Minnith and to Abel-keramim. So the Ammonites were subdued before the Israelites.

34 When Jephthah went to his home in Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with tambourines and dancing! She was his only child; he had no other son or daughter besides her. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, “No! Not my daughter! You have devastated me! You have brought great misery on me.[a] I have given my word to the Lord and cannot take it back.”

36 Then she said to him, “My father, you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me as you have said, for the Lord brought vengeance on your enemies, the Ammonites.” 37 She also said to her father, “Let me do this one thing: Let me wander two months through the mountains with my friends and mourn my virginity.”

38 “Go,” he said. And he sent her away two months. So she left with her friends and mourned her virginity as she wandered through the mountains. 39 At the end of two months, she returned to her father, and he kept the vow he had made about her. And she had never been intimate with a man. Now it became a custom in Israel 40 that four days each year the young women of Israel would commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.

Conflict with Ephraim

12 The men of Ephraim were called together and crossed the Jordan to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, “Why have you crossed over to fight against the Ammonites but didn’t call us to go with you? We will burn your house down with you in it!”

Then Jephthah said to them, “My people and I had a serious conflict with the Ammonites. So I called for you, but you didn’t deliver me from their power. When I saw that you weren’t going to deliver me, I took my life in my own hands and crossed over to the Ammonites, and the Lord handed them over to me. Why then have you come[b] today to fight against me?”

Then Jephthah gathered all of the men of Gilead. They fought and defeated Ephraim, because Ephraim had said, “You Gileadites are Ephraimite fugitives in the territories of Ephraim and Manasseh.” The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim. Whenever a fugitive from Ephraim said, “Let me cross over,” the Gileadites asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he answered, “No,” they told him, “Please say Shibboleth.” If he said, “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce it correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time 42,000 from Ephraim died.

Jephthah judged Israel six years, and when he died, he was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.[c]

Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon

Ibzan, who was from Bethlehem, judged Israel after Jephthah and had 30 sons. He gave his 30 daughters in marriage to men outside the tribe and brought back 30 wives for his sons from outside the tribe. Ibzan judged Israel seven years, 10 and when he died, he was buried in Bethlehem.

11 Elon, who was from Zebulun, judged Israel after Ibzan. He judged Israel 10 years, 12 and when he died, he was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.

13 After Elon, Abdon son of Hillel, who was from Pirathon, judged Israel. 14 He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons, who rode on 70 donkeys. Abdon judged Israel eight years, 15 and when he died, he was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

Footnotes:

  1. Judges 11:35 Lit have been among those who trouble me
  2. Judges 12:3 Lit come to me
  3. Judges 12:7 LXX reads in his city in Gilead
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John 1:1-28

Prologue

In the beginning was the Word,[a]
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
All things were created through Him,
and apart from Him not one thing was created
that has been created.
Life was in Him,[b]
and that life was the light of men.
That light shines in the darkness,
yet the darkness did not overcome[c] it.

There was a man named John
who was sent from God.
He came as a witness
to testify about the light,
so that all might believe through him.[d]
He was not the light,
but he came to testify about the light.
The true light, who gives light to everyone,
was coming into the world.[e]

10 He was in the world,
and the world was created through Him,
yet the world did not recognize Him.
11 He came to His own,[f]
and His own people[g] did not receive Him.
12 But to all who did receive Him,
He gave them the right to be[h] children of God,
to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born,
not of blood,[i]
or of the will of the flesh,
or of the will of man,[j]
but of God.

14 The Word became flesh[k]
and took up residence[l] among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son[m] from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed,
“This was the One of whom I said,
‘The One coming after me has surpassed me,
because He existed before me.’”)
16 Indeed, we have all received grace after grace
from His fullness,
17 for the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has ever seen God.[n]
The One and Only Son[o]
the One who is at the Father’s side[p]
He has revealed Him.

John the Baptist’s Testimony

19 This is John’s testimony when the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him, “Who are you?”

20 He did not refuse to answer, but he declared: “I am not the Messiah.”

21 “What then?” they asked him. “Are you Elijah?”

“I am not,” he said.

“Are you the Prophet?”[q]

“No,” he answered.

22 “Who are you, then?” they asked. “We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What can you tell us about yourself?”

23 He said, “I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord[r]—just as Isaiah the prophet said.”

24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 So they asked him, “Why then do you baptize if you aren’t the Messiah, or Elijah, or the Prophet?”

26 “I baptize with[s] water,” John answered them. “Someone stands among you, but you don’t know Him. 27 He is the One coming after me,[t] whose sandal strap I’m not worthy to untie.”

28 All this happened in Bethany[u] across the Jordan,[v] where John was baptizing.

Footnotes:

  1. John 1:1 The Word (Gk Logos) is a title for Jesus as the communication and the revealer of God the Father; Jn 1:14,18; Rv 19:13.
  2. John 1:4 Other punctuation is possible: . . . not one thing was created. What was created in Him was life
  3. John 1:5 Or grasp, or comprehend, or overtake; Jn 12:35
  4. John 1:7 Or through it (the light)
  5. John 1:9 Or The true light who comes into the world gives light to everyone, or The true light enlightens everyone coming into the world.
  6. John 1:11 The same Gk adjective is used twice in this verse: the first refers to all that Jesus owned as Creator (to His own); the second refers to the Jews (His own people).
  7. John 1:11 The same Gk adjective is used twice in this verse: the first refers to all that Jesus owned as Creator (to His own); the second refers to the Jews (His own people).
  8. John 1:12 Or become
  9. John 1:13 Lit bloods; the pl form of blood occurs only here in the NT. It may refer either to lineal descent (that is, blood from one’s father and mother) or to the OT sacrificial system (that is, the various blood sacrifices). Neither is the basis for birth into the family of God.
  10. John 1:13 Or not of human lineage, or of human capacity, or of human volition
  11. John 1:14 The eternally existent Word (vv. 1-2) took on full humanity but without sin; Heb 4:15.
  12. John 1:14 Or and dwelt in a tent; lit and tabernacled; this word occurs only here in John. A related word, referring to the Festival of Tabernacles, occurs only in 7:2; Ex 40:34-38.
  13. John 1:14 Son is implied from the reference to the Father and from Gk usage.
  14. John 1:18 Since God is an infinite being, no one can see Him in His absolute essential nature; Ex 33:18-23.
  15. John 1:18 Other mss read God
  16. John 1:18 Lit is in the bosom of the Father
  17. John 1:21 Probably the Prophet in Dt 18:15
  18. John 1:23 Is 40:3
  19. John 1:26 Or in
  20. John 1:27 Other mss add who came before me
  21. John 1:28 Other mss read in Bethabara
  22. John 1:28 Another Bethany, near Jerusalem, was the home of Lazarus, Martha, and Mary; Jn 11:1.
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Psalm 101

Psalm 101

A Vow of Integrity

A Davidic psalm.

I will sing of faithful love and justice;
I will sing praise to You, Lord.
I will pay attention to the way of integrity.
When will You come to me?
I will live with a heart of integrity in my house.
I will not set anything worthless before my eyes.
I hate the practice of transgression;
it will not cling to me.
A devious heart will be far from me;
I will not be involved with[a] evil.

I will destroy anyone
who secretly slanders his neighbor;
I cannot tolerate anyone
with haughty eyes or an arrogant heart.
My eyes favor the faithful of the land
so that they may sit down with me.
The one who follows the way of integrity
may serve me.
No one who acts deceitfully
will live in my palace;
no one who tells lies
will remain in my presence.[b]
Every morning I will destroy
all the wicked of the land,
eliminating all evildoers from the Lord’s city.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 101:4 Lit not know
  2. Psalm 101:7 Lit in front of my eyes
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Proverbs 14:13-14

13 Even in laughter a heart may be sad,
and joy may end in grief.

14 The disloyal one will get what his conduct deserves,
and a good man, what his deeds deserve.

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