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1 Kings 19

Elijah Flees from Jezebel

19 Now Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets [of Baal] with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me, and even more, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your [a]life like the life of one of them.” And Elijah was afraid and arose and ran for his life, and he came to [b]Beersheba which belongs to Judah, and he left his servant there. But he himself traveled a day’s journey into the wilderness, and he came and sat down under a juniper tree and asked [God] that he might die. He said, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” He lay down and slept under the juniper tree, and behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” He looked, and by his head there was a bread cake baked on hot coal, and a pitcher of water. So he ate and drank and lay down again. Then the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Get up, and eat, for the journey is too long for you [without adequate sustenance].” So he got up and ate and drank, and with the strength of that food he traveled forty days and nights to Horeb (Sinai), the mountain of God.

Elijah at Horeb

There he came to a cave and spent the night in it; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very [c]zealous (impassioned) for the Lord God of hosts (armies) [proclaiming what is rightfully and uniquely His]; for the sons of Israel have abandoned (broken) Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I, only I, am left; and they seek to take away my life.”

11 So He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord was passing by, and a great and powerful wind was tearing out the mountains and breaking the rocks in pieces before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind, [there was] an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake, [there was] a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire, [there was] the sound of a gentle blowing. 13 When Elijah heard the sound, he wrapped his face in his mantle (cloak) and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts (armies), because the sons of Israel have abandoned (broken) Your covenant, torn down Your altars and killed Your prophets with the sword. And I, only I, am left; and they seek to take away my life.”

15 The Lord [d]said to him, “Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael as king over Aram (Syria); 16 and you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel; and anoint Elisha the son of Shaphat of [e]Abel-meholah as prophet in your place. 17 It shall come about that Jehu shall put to death whoever escapes from the sword of Hazael, and Elisha shall put to death whoever escapes the sword of Jehu. 18 Yet I will leave 7,000 [survivors] in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed down to Baal and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

19 So Elijah departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his mantle (coat) on him. 20 He left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, “Please let me kiss my father and mother [goodbye], then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go on back; for what have I done to [stop] you?” 21 So Elisha left him and went back. Then he took a pair of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their meat with the implements of the oxen [as fuel], and gave the meat to the people, and they ate. Then he stood and followed Elijah, and served him.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Kings 19:2 Lit soul.
  2. 1 Kings 19:3 Beersheba was about ninety miles south of Jezreel and was not part of Ahab’s kingdom.
  3. 1 Kings 19:10 Or jealous, i.e. intolerant of unfaithfulness.
  4. 1 Kings 19:15 God tells Elijah how to complete the destruction of the worship of Baal. First, Hazael was to be placed on the Aramean (Syrian) throne in order to attack Ahab. Second, when Ahab was weakened, Jehu was to seize his throne because he opposed the worship of Baal and was a powerful military man. Third, Elijah was to appoint Elisha as his successor, as the one who would, along with Jehu, strike down Baal’s remaining followers.
  5. 1 Kings 19:16 This city was located in the tribal territory of Manasseh in the Jordan River valley.
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Acts 12:1-23

Peter’s Arrest and Escape

12 Now at that time [a]Herod [Agrippa I] the king [of the Jews] arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to harm them. And he had James the brother of John put to death with a sword; and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to have Peter arrested as well. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread [the Passover week]. When he had seized Peter, he put him in prison, turning him over to four squads of soldiers of four each to guard him [in rotation throughout the night], planning after the Passover to bring him out before the people [for execution]. So Peter was kept in prison, but fervent and persistent prayer for him was being made to God by the church.

The very night before Herod was to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries were in front of the door guarding the prison. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared [beside him] and a light shone in the cell. The angel struck Peter’s side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly!” And the chains fell off his hands. The angel said to him, “Prepare yourself and strap on your sandals [to get ready for whatever may happen].” And he did so. Then the angel told him, “Put on your robe and follow me.” And Peter went out following the angel. He did not realize that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first guard and the second, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city. Of its own accord it swung open for them; and they went out and went along one street, and at once the angel left him. 11 When Peter came to his senses, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel and has rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting [to do to me].” 12 When he realized what had happened, he went to the house of [b]Mary the mother of John, who was also called [c]Mark, where many [believers] were gathered together and were praying continually [and had been praying all night]. 13 When he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant-girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she failed to open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter was standing in front of the gateway. 15 They said to her, “You are out of your mind!” But she kept insisting that it was so. They kept saying, “It is his angel!” 16 But [meanwhile] Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were completely amazed. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to be quiet and listen, he described how the Lord had led him out of the prison. And he said, “Report these things to [d]James and the brothers and sisters.” Then he left and went to another place.

18 Now when day came, there was no small disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter. 19 When Herod had searched for him and could not find him, he interrogated the guards and commanded that they be led away to execution. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea [Maritima] and spent some time there.

Death of Herod

20 Now Herod [Agrippa I] was [e]extremely angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon; and their delegates came to him in a united group, and after persuading Blastus, [f]the king’s chamberlain [to support their cause], they asked for peace, because their country was fed by [imports of grain and other goods from] the king’s country. 21 On an appointed day Herod dressed himself in his [g]royal robes, sat on his throne (tribunal, rostrum) and began delivering a speech to the people. 22 The assembled people kept shouting, “It is the voice of a god and not of a man!” 23 And at once an angel of the Lord struck him down because he did not give God the glory [and instead permitted himself to be worshiped], and [h]he was eaten by worms and died [five days later].

Footnotes:

  1. Acts 12:1 I.e. Herod Agrippa I was the grandson of Herod the Great. Since he was of Hasmonean descent he was partly Jewish.
  2. Acts 12:12 According to Col 4:10 this Mary was the aunt of Barnabas, so her son John Mark and Barnabas were cousins.
  3. Acts 12:12 John Mark wrote the Gospel of Mark.
  4. Acts 12:17 James, the oldest of the Lord’s half brothers, was the leader of the Jerusalem church and wrote the Letter of James.
  5. Acts 12:20 Nothing is known about the reason for Herod’s hatred. It may have had something to do with competition between Caesarea Maritima and the two northern cities, since all three were major sea ports.
  6. Acts 12:20 I.e. a trusted, highly regarded chief officer.
  7. Acts 12:21 The Jewish historian Josephus describes this as a glittering silver garment.
  8. Acts 12:23 Herod’s painful death over a five day period in a.d. 44 is recorded by Josephus, the Jewish historian.
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Psalm 136

Thanks for the Lord’s Goodness to Israel.

136 [a]Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever.

Give thanks to the God of gods,
For His lovingkindness endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
For His lovingkindness endures forever.

To Him who alone does great wonders,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;

To Him who made the heavens with skill,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;

To Him who stretched out the earth upon the waters,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;

To Him who made the great lights,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;

The sun to rule over the day,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;

The moon and stars to rule by night,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;

10 
To Him who struck the firstborn of Egypt,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
11 
And brought Israel out from among them,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
12 
With a strong hand and with an outstretched arm,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
13 
To Him who divided the [b]Red Sea into parts,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
14 
And made Israel pass through the midst of it,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
15 
But tossed Pharaoh and his army into the Red Sea,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
16 
To Him who led His people through the wilderness,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
17 
To Him who struck down great kings,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
18 
And killed mighty kings,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
19 
Sihon, king of the Amorites,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
20 
And Og, king of Bashan,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
21 
And gave their land as a heritage,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
22 
Even a heritage to Israel His servant,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;

23 
Who [faithfully] remembered us in our lowly condition,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
24 
And has rescued us from our enemies,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
25 
Who gives food to all flesh,
For His lovingkindness endures forever;
26 
Give thanks to the God of heaven,
For His lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 136:1 The ancient rabbis said that the twenty-six verses of this Psalm correspond to the twenty-six generations from Adam to Moses. They maintained that since these generations were not given the Torah (Law), they could not earn merit and were sustained only by God’s “lovingkindness.”
  2. Psalm 136:13 Lit Sea of Reeds.
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Proverbs 17:14-15

14 
The beginning of strife is like letting out water [as from a small break in a dam; first it trickles and then it gushes];
Therefore [a]abandon the quarrel before it breaks out and tempers explode.
15 
He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous
Are both repulsive to the Lord.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 17:14 The ancient rabbis derived from this statement the principle of seeking a settlement before a case comes to court (cf Matt 5:25; Luke 12:58).
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