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1 Chronicles 4:5-5:17; Acts 25:1-27; Psalms 5:1-12; Proverbs 18:19 (Contemporary English Version)

1 Chronicles 4:5-5:17

Ashhur, who settled the town of Tekoa, had two wives: Helah and Naarah. Ashhur and Naarah were the parents of Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari. Ashhur and Helah were the parents of Zereth, Izhar, and Ethnan.

Koz, the father of Anub and Zobebah, was also the ancestor of the clans of Aharhel, the son of Harum.

Jabez was a man who got his name because of the pain he caused his mother during birth.[a] But he was still the most respected son in his family. 10 One day he prayed to Israel’s God, “Please bless me and give me a lot of land. Be with me so I will be safe from harm.”[b] And God did just what Jabez had asked.

11 Chelub was the brother of Shuhah and the father of Mehir. Later, Mehir had a son, Eshton, 12 whose three sons were Bethrapha, Paseah, and Tehinnah. It was Tehinnah who settled the town of Nahash.[c] These men and their families lived in the town of Recah.

13 Kenaz was the father of Othniel and Seraiah. Othniel had two sons: Hathath and Meonothai,[d] 14 who was the father of Ophrah. Seraiah was the father of Joab, who settled a place called “Valley of Crafts”[e] because the people who lived there were experts in making things.

15 Caleb son of Jephunneh had three sons: Iru, Elah, and Naam. Elah was the father of Kenaz.

16 Jehallelel was the father of Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel.

17-18 Ezrah was the father of Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon. Mered was married to Bithiah the daughter of the king of Egypt. They had a daughter named Miriam and two sons: Shammai and Ishbah. It was Ishbah who settled the town of Eshtemoa. Mered was also married to a woman from the tribe of Judah, and their sons were Jered, Heber, and Jekuthiel. Jered settled the town of Gedor; Heber settled the town of Soco; and Jekuthiel settled the town of Zanoah.

19 A man named Hodiah was married to the sister of Naham. Hodiah’s descendants included Keilah of the Garmite clan and Eshtemoa of the Maacathite clan.

20 Shimon was the father of Amnon, Rinnah, Benhanan, and Tilon.

Ishi was the father of Zoheth and Benzoheth.

21-22 Judah also had a son named Shelah, whose descendants included Jokim and the people of the town of Cozeba, as well as Er who settled the town of Lecah and Laadah who settled the town of Mareshah. The people who lived in Beth-Ashbea were also descendants of Shelah, and they were experts in weaving cloth. Shelah was the ancestor of Joash and Saraph, two men who married Moabite women and then settled near Bethlehem[f]—but these family records are very old. 23 The members of these clans were the potters who lived in the towns of Netaim and Gederah and worked for the king.

The Descendants of Simeon

24 Simeon had five sons: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, and Shaul. 25 The descendants of Shaul included his son Shallum, his grandson Mibsam, and his great-grandson Mishma. 26 The descendants of Mishma included his son Hammuel, his grandson Zaccur, and his great-grandson Shimei. 27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters. But his brothers did not have as many children, so the Simeon tribe was smaller than the Judah tribe.

28-31 Before David became king, the people of the Simeon tribe lived in the following towns: Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar-Shual, Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad, Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag, Beth-Marcaboth, Hazarsusim, Bethbiri, and Shaaraim. 32 They also lived in the five villages of Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Tochen, and Ashan, 33 as well as in the nearby villages as far as the town of Baal. These are the places where Simeon’s descendants had settled, according to their own family records.

34-38 As their families and clans became larger, the people of Simeon had the following leaders: Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah son of Amaziah, Joel, Jehu,[g] Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, and Ziza.[h] 39 When the people needed more pastureland for their flocks and herds, they looked as far as the eastern side of the valley where the town of Gerar[i] is located, 40 and they found a lot of good pastureland that was quiet and undisturbed. This had once belonged to the Hamites, 41 but when Hezekiah was king of Judah, the descendants of Simeon attacked and forced the Hamites and Meunites off the land, then settled there.

42 Some time later, five hundred men from the Simeon tribe went into Edom[j] under the command of Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel the sons of Ishi. 43 They killed the last of the Amalekites and lived there from then on.

The Descendants of Reuben

Reuben was the oldest son of Jacob,[k] but he lost his rights as the first-born son[l] because he slept with one of his father’s wives.[m] The honor of the first-born son was then given to Joseph, even though it was the Judah tribe that became the most powerful and produced a leader.

Reuben had four sons: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.

4-6 The descendants of Joel included Shemaiah, Gog, Shimei, Micah, Reaiah, Baal, and Beerah, a leader of the Reuben tribe. Later, King Tiglath Pileser of Assyria took Beerah away as prisoner.

7-8 The family records also include Jeiel, who was a clan leader, Zechariah, and Bela son of Azaz and grandson of Shema of the Joel clan. They lived in the territory around the town of Aroer, as far north as Nebo and Baal-Meon, and as far east as the desert just west of the Euphrates River. They needed this much land because they owned too many cattle to keep them all in Gilead.

10 When Saul was king, the Reuben tribe attacked and defeated the Hagrites, then took over their land east of Gilead.

The Descendants of Gad

11 The tribe of Gad lived in the region of Bashan, north of the Reuben tribe. Gad’s territory extended all the way to the town of Salecah. 12 Some of the clan leaders were Joel, Shapham, Janai, and Shaphat. 13 Their relatives included Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jacan, Zia, and Eber.

14 They were all descendants of Abihail, whose family line went back through Huri, Jaroah, Gilead, Michael, Jeshishai, Jahdo, and Buz. 15 Ahi, the son of Abdiel and the grandson of Guni, was the leader of their clan.

16 The people of Gad lived in the towns in the regions of Bashan and Gilead, as well as in the pastureland of Sharon. 17 Their family records were written when Jotham was king of Judah and Jeroboam was king of Israel.

Footnotes:

  1. 4.9 Jabez. . . pain. . . birth: In Hebrew “Jabez” sounds like “pain.”
  2. 4.10 I. . . harm: Or “keep me from harm, so I won’t cause any pain.”
  3. 4.12 who settled the town of Nahash: Or “who was the father of Irnahash.”
  4. 4.13 and Meonothai: Two ancient translations; these words are not in the Hebrew text.
  5. 4.14 Valley of Crafts: Hebrew “Geharashim.”
  6. 4.21,22 who married Moabite women and then settled near Bethlehem: Or “who ruled in Moab and Jashubi-Lahem” or “who ruled in Moab but then returned to Lahem.”
  7. 4.34-38 Jehu: Hebrew “Jehu son of Joshibiah son of Seraiah son of Asiel.”
  8. 4.34-38 Ziza: Hebrew “Ziza son of Shiphi son of Allon son of Jedaiah son of Shimri son of Shemaiah.”
  9. 4.39 Gerar: One ancient translation; Hebrew “Gedor.”
  10. 4.42 Edom: The Hebrew text has “Mount Seir,” a common name for the nation of Edom.
  11. 5.1 Jacob: See the note at 1.34.
  12. 5.1 rights as the first-born son: The first-born son inherited the largest amount of property, as well as the leadership of the family.
  13. 5.1 wives: See Genesis 35.22; 49.3,4.
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Acts 25

Paul Asks To Be Tried by the Roman Emperor

25 Three days after Festus had become governor, he went from Caesarea to Jerusalem. There the chief priests and some Jewish leaders told him about their charges against Paul. They also asked Festus if he would be willing to bring Paul to Jerusalem. They begged him to do this because they were planning to attack and kill Paul on the way. But Festus told them, “Paul will be kept in Caesarea, and I am soon going there myself. If he has done anything wrong, let your leaders go with me and bring charges against him there.”

Festus stayed in Jerusalem for eight or ten more days before going to Caesarea. Then the next day he took his place as judge and had Paul brought into court. As soon as Paul came in, the Jewish leaders from Jerusalem crowded around him and said he was guilty of many serious crimes. But they could not prove anything. Then Paul spoke in his own defense, “I have not broken the Law of my people. And I have not done anything against either the temple or the Emperor.”

Festus wanted to please the leaders. So he asked Paul, “Are you willing to go to Jerusalem and be tried by me on these charges?”

10 Paul replied, “I am on trial in the Emperor’s court, and that’s where I should be tried. You know very well that I have not done anything to harm the Jewish nation. 11 If I had done something deserving death, I would not ask to escape the death penalty. But I am not guilty of any of these crimes, and no one has the right to hand me over to these people. I now ask to be tried by the Emperor himself.”

12 After Festus had talked this over with members of his council, he told Paul, “You have asked to be tried by the Emperor, and to the Emperor you will go!”

Paul Speaks to Agrippa and Bernice

13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice came to Caesarea to visit Festus. 14 They had been there for several days, when Festus told the king about the charges against Paul. He said:

Felix left a man here in jail, 15 and when I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and the Jewish leaders came and asked me to find him guilty. 16 I told them that it isn’t the Roman custom to hand a man over to people who are bringing charges against him. He must first have the chance to meet them face to face and to defend himself against their charges.

17 So when they came here with me, I wasted no time. On the very next day I took my place on the judge’s bench and ordered him to be brought in. 18 But when the men stood up to make their charges against him, they did not accuse him of any of the crimes that I thought they would. 19 Instead, they argued with him about some of their beliefs and about a dead man named Jesus, who Paul said was alive.

20 Since I did not know how to find out the truth about all this, I asked Paul if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and be put on trial there. 21 But Paul asked to be kept in jail until the Emperor could decide his case. So I ordered him to be kept here until I could send him to the Emperor.

22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would also like to hear what this man has to say.”

Festus answered, “You can hear him tomorrow.”

23 The next day Agrippa and Bernice made a big show as they came into the meeting room. High ranking army officers and leading citizens of the town were also there. Festus then ordered Paul to be brought in 24 and said:

King Agrippa and other guests, look at this man! Every Jew from Jerusalem and Caesarea has come to me, demanding for him to be put to death. 25 I have not found him guilty of any crime deserving death. But because he has asked to be judged by the Emperor, I have decided to send him to Rome.

26 I have to write some facts about this man to the Emperor. So I have brought him before all of you, but especially before you, King Agrippa. After we have talked about his case, I will then have something to write. 27 It makes no sense to send a prisoner to the Emperor without stating the charges against him.

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Psalm 5

(A psalm by David for the music leader. Use flutes.)

A Prayer for Help

Listen, Lord, as I pray!
    Pay attention when I groan.[a]
You are my King and my God.
Answer my cry for help
    because I pray to you.
Each morning you listen
    to my prayer,
as I bring my requests[b] to you
    and wait for your reply.

You are not the kind of God
who is pleased with evil.
    Sinners can’t stay with you.
No one who boasts can stand
in your presence, Lord,
    and you hate evil people.
You destroy every liar,
    and you despise violence
    and deceit.

Because of your great mercy,
    I come to your house, Lord,
and I am filled with wonder
as I bow down
    to worship
    at your holy temple.
You do what is right,
    and I ask you to guide me.
    Make your teaching clear
    because of my enemies.

Nothing they say is true!
    They just want to destroy.
Their words are deceitful
    like a hidden pit,
    and their tongues are good
    only for telling lies.
10 Punish them, God,
    and let their own plans
    bring their downfall.
Get rid of them!
    They keep committing crimes
    and turning against you.

11 Let all who run to you
for protection
    always sing joyful songs.
Provide shelter for those
who truly love you
    and let them rejoice.
12 Our Lord, you bless those
    who live right,
    and you shield them
    with your kindness.

Footnotes:

  1. 5.1 when I groan: Or “to my thoughts” or “to my words.”
  2. 5.3 requests: Or “sacrifices.”
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Proverbs 18:19

19 Making up with a friend
    you have offended[a]
    is harder than breaking
    through a city wall.

Footnotes:

  1. 18.19 Making. . . offended: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
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