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2 Samuel 4:1-6:23; John 13:31-14:14; Psalms 119:17-32; Proverbs 15:31-32 (Contemporary English Version)

2 Samuel 4-6

Ishbosheth Is Killed

Ishbosheth[a] felt like giving up after he heard that Abner had died in Hebron. Everyone in Israel was terrified.

Ishbosheth had put the two brothers Baanah and Rechab in charge of the soldiers who raided enemy villages. Rimmon was their father, and they were from the town of Beeroth, which belonged to the tribe of Benjamin. The people who used to live in Beeroth had run away to Gittaim, and they still live[b] there.

Saul’s son Jonathan had a son named Mephibosheth,[c] who had not been able to walk since he was five years old. It happened when someone from Jezreel told his nurse that Saul and Jonathan had died.[d] She hurried off with the boy in her arms, but he fell and injured his legs.

One day about noon, Rechab and Baanah went to Ishbosheth’s house. It was a hot day, and he was resting 6-7 in his bedroom. The two brothers went into the house, pretending to get some flour. But once they were inside, they stabbed Ishbosheth in the stomach and killed him. Then they cut off his head and took it with them.

Rechab and Baanah walked through the Jordan River valley all night long. Finally they turned west and went to Hebron. They went in to see David and told him, “Your Majesty, here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of your enemy Saul who tried to kill you! The Lord has let you get even with Saul and his family.”

David answered:

I swear that only the Lord rescues me when I’m in trouble! 10 When a man came to Ziklag and told me that Saul was dead, he thought he deserved a reward for bringing good news. But I grabbed him and killed him.

11 You evil men have done something much worse than he did. You’ve killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed. I’ll make you pay for that. I’ll wipe you from the face of the earth!

12 Then David said to his troops, “Kill these two brothers! Cut off their hands and feet and hang their bodies by the pool in Hebron. But bury Ishbosheth’s head in Abner’s tomb near Hebron.” And they did.

David Becomes King of Israel

Israel’s leaders met with David at Hebron and said, “We are your relatives. Even when Saul was king, you led our nation in battle. And the Lord promised that someday you would rule Israel and take care of us like a shepherd.”

During the meeting, David made an agreement with the leaders and asked the Lord to be their witness. Then the leaders poured olive oil on David’s head to show that he was now the king of Israel.

David was thirty years old when he became king, and he ruled for forty years. He lived in Hebron for the first seven and a half years and ruled only Judah. Then he moved to Jerusalem, where he ruled both Israel and Judah for thirty-three years.

How David Captured Jerusalem

The Jebusites lived in Jerusalem, and David led his army there to attack them. The Jebusites did not think he could get in, so they told him, “You can’t get in here! We could run you off, even if we couldn’t see or walk!”

7-9 David told his troops, “You will have to go up through the water tunnel to get those Jebusites. I hate people like them who can’t walk or see.”[e]

That’s why there is still a rule that says, “Only people who can walk and see are allowed in the temple.”[f]

David captured the fortress on Mount Zion, then he moved there and named it David’s City. He had the city rebuilt, starting with the landfill to the east. 10 David became a great and strong ruler, because the Lord All-Powerful was on his side.

11 King Hiram of Tyre sent some officials to David. Carpenters and stone workers came with them, and they brought cedar logs so they could build David a palace.

12 David knew that the Lord had made him king of Israel and that he had made him a powerful ruler for the good of his people.

David’s Sons Born in Jerusalem

13 After David left Hebron and moved to Jerusalem, he married many women[g] from Jerusalem,[h] and he had a lot of children. 14 His sons who were born there were Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada,[i] and Eliphelet.

David Fights the Philistines

17 The Philistines heard that David was now king of Israel, and they came into the hill country to try and capture him. But David found out and went into his fortress.[j] 18 So the Philistines camped in Rephaim Valley.[k]

19 David asked the Lord, “Should I attack the Philistines? Will you let me win?”

The Lord told David, “Attack! I will let you win.”

20 David attacked the Philistines and defeated them. Then he said, “I watched the Lord break through my enemies like a mighty flood.” So he named the place “The Lord Broke Through. “[l] 21 David and his troops also carried away the idols that the Philistines had left behind.

22 Some time later, the Philistines came back into the hill country and camped in Rephaim Valley. 23 David asked the Lord what he should do, and the Lord answered:

Don’t attack them from the front. Circle around behind and attack from among the balsam[m] trees. 24 Wait until you hear a sound like troops marching through the tops of the trees. Then attack quickly! That sound will mean I have marched out ahead of you to fight the Philistine army.

25 David obeyed the Lord and defeated the Philistines. He even chased them all the way from Geba to the entrance to Gezer.

David Brings the Sacred Chest Back to Jerusalem

David brought together thirty thousand of Israel’s best soldiers and led them to Baalah in Judah, which was also called Kiriath-Jearim. They were going there[n] to get the sacred chest and bring it back to Jerusalem. The throne of the Lord All-Powerful is above the winged creatures[o] on top of this chest, and he is worshiped there.[p]

They put the sacred chest on a new ox cart and started bringing it down the hill from Abinadab’s house. Abinadab’s sons Uzzah and Ahio were guiding the ox cart, with Ahio[q] walking in front of it. Some of the people of Israel were playing music on small harps and other stringed instruments, and on tambourines, castanets, and cymbals. David and the others were happy, and they danced for the Lord with all their might.

But when they came to Nacon’s threshing-floor, the oxen stumbled, so Uzzah reached out and took hold of the sacred chest. The Lord God was very angry at Uzzah for doing this, and he killed Uzzah right there beside the chest.

David got angry at God for killing Uzzah. He named that place “Bursting Out Against Uzzah,”[r] and that’s what it’s still called.

David was afraid of the Lord and thought, “Should I really take the sacred chest to my city?” 10 He decided not to take it there. Instead, he turned off the road and took it to the home of Obed Edom, who was from Gath.[s]

11-12 The chest stayed there for three months, and the Lord greatly blessed Obed Edom, his family, and everything he owned. Then someone told King David, “The Lord has done this because the sacred chest is in Obed Edom’s house.”

Right away, David went to Obed Edom’s house to get the chest and bring it to David’s City. Everyone was celebrating. 13 The people carrying the chest walked six steps, then David sacrificed an ox and a choice cow. 14 He was dancing for the Lord with all his might, but he wore only a linen cloth.[t] 15 He and everyone else were celebrating by shouting and blowing horns while the chest was being carried along.

16 Saul’s daughter Michal looked out her window and watched the chest being brought into David’s City. But when she saw David jumping and dancing for the Lord, she was disgusted.

17 They put the chest inside a tent that David had set up for it. David worshiped the Lord by sacrificing animals and burning them on an altar,[u] 18 then he blessed the people in the name of the Lord All-Powerful. 19 He gave all the men and women in the crowd a small loaf of bread, some meat, and a handful of raisins, and everyone went home.

Michal Talks to David

20 David went home so he could ask the Lord to bless his family. But Saul’s daughter Michal went out and started yelling at him. “You were really great today!” she said. “You acted like a dirty old man, dancing around half-naked in front of your servants' slave-girls.”

21 David told her, “The Lord didn’t choose your father or anyone else in your family to be the leader of his people. The Lord chose me, and I was celebrating in honor of him. 22 I’ll show you just how great I can be! I’ll even be disgusting to myself. But those slave-girls you talked about will still honor me!”

23 Michal never had any children.

Footnotes:

  1. 4.1 Ishbosheth: Hebrew “The Son of Saul.”
  2. 4.3 live: The Hebrew word means that they did not have the full legal rights of citizens.
  3. 4.4 Mephibosheth: Some manuscripts of one ancient translation have “Mephibaal.” In 1 Chronicles 8.34 and 9.40 he is called “Meribbaal.” See the note on “baal” and “bosheth” at 2.8.
  4. 4.4 Saul. . . died: See 1 Samuel 31.1-6.
  5. 5.7-9 You will. . . or see: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. 5.7-9 temple: Or “palace.”
  7. 5.13 married many women: Some of these women were second-class wives (see the note at 3.7).
  8. 5.13 from Jerusalem: Or “in Jerusalem.”
  9. 5.16 Eliada: See 1 Chronicles 3.8. First Chronicles 14.7 has “Baalyada.”
  10. 5.17 fortress: Probably the fortress of Adullam, which was David’s former hideout (see 1 Samuel 22.1,4; 24.22). Or it could refer to the older walled city of Jerusalem, called the “fortress on Mount Zion” in verses 7-9.
  11. 5.18 Rephaim Valley: A few miles southwest of Jerusalem.
  12. 5.20 The Lord Broke Through: Or “Baal-Perazim.”
  13. 5.23 balsam: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  14. 6.2 to Baalah. . . there: The Dead Sea Scrolls and 1 Chronicles 13.6; the Standard Hebrew Text “from Baalah in Judah. They had gone there.”
  15. 6.2 winged creatures: Two golden statues of winged creatures were on top of the sacred chest and were symbols of the Lord’s throne on earth (see Exodus 25.18).
  16. 6.2 he is worshiped there: Or “the chest belongs to him.”
  17. 6.3,4 Ahio. . . Ahio: Or “his brother. . . his brother.”
  18. 6.8 Bursting. . . Uzzah: Or “Perez-Uzzah.”
  19. 6.10 Gath: Or perhaps, “Gittaim.”
  20. 6.14 only a linen cloth: The Hebrew word is “ephod,” which can mean either a piece of clothing like a skirt that went from the waist to the knee or a garment like a vest or a jacket that only the priests wore.
  21. 6.17 sacrificing. . . altar: The Hebrew mentions two kinds of sacrifices. In one kind of sacrifice, the whole animal was burned on the altar. In the other kind, only part was burned, and the worshipers ate the rest, as in verse 19 (see Leviticus 1.2-17; 3.1-17).
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John 13:31-14:14

The New Command

31 After Judas had gone, Jesus said:

Now the Son of Man will be given glory, and he will bring glory to God. 32 Then, after God is given glory because of him, God will bring glory to him, and God will do it very soon.

33 My children, I will be with you for a little while longer. Then you will look for me, but you won’t find me. I tell you just as I told the people, “You cannot go where I am going.” 34 But I am giving you a new command. You must love each other, just as I have loved you. 35 If you love each other, everyone will know that you are my disciples.

Peter’s Promise

36 Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?”

Jesus answered, “You can’t go with me now, but later on you will.”

37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I go with you now? I would die for you!”

38 “Would you really die for me?” Jesus asked. “I tell you for certain that before a rooster crows, you will say three times that you don’t even know me.”

Jesus Is the Way to the Father

14 Jesus said to his disciples, “Don’t be worried! Have faith in God and have faith in me.[a] There are many rooms in my Father’s house. I wouldn’t tell you this, unless it was true. I am going there to prepare a place for each of you. After I have done this, I will come back and take you with me. Then we will be together. You know the way to where I am going.”

Thomas said, “Lord, we don’t even know where you are going! How can we know the way?”

“I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father. If you had known me, you would have known the Father. But from now on, you do know him, and you have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need.”

Jesus replied:

Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don’t you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father? 10 Don’t you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn’t said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things.

11 Have faith in me when I say that the Father is one with me and that I am one with the Father. Or else have faith in me simply because of the things I do. 12 I tell you for certain that if you have faith in me, you will do the same things that I am doing. You will do even greater things, now that I am going back to the Father. 13 Ask me, and I will do whatever you ask. This way the Son will bring honor to the Father. 14 I will do whatever you ask me to do.

Footnotes:

  1. 14.1 Have faith in God and have faith in me: Or “You have faith in God, so have faith in me.”
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Psalm 119:17-32

17 Treat me with kindness, Lord,
    so that I may live
    and do what you say.
18 Open my mind
    and let me discover
    the wonders of your Law.
19 I live here as a stranger.
    Don’t keep me from knowing
    your commands.
20 What I want most of all
and at all times
    is to honor your laws.
21 You punish those boastful,
worthless nobodies
    who turn
    from your commands.
22 Don’t let them sneer
and insult me
    for following you.
23 I keep thinking about
    your teachings, Lord,
    even if rulers plot
    against me.
24 Your laws are my greatest joy!
    I follow their advice.

25 I am at the point of death.
    Let your teachings
    breathe new life into me.
26 When I told you my troubles,
you answered my prayers.
    Now teach me your laws.
27 Help me to understand
    your teachings,
    and I will think about
    your marvelous deeds.
28 I am overcome with sorrow.
    Encourage me,
    as you have promised to do.
29 Keep me from being deceitful,
    and be kind enough
    to teach me your Law.
30 I am determined to be faithful
    and to respect your laws.
31     I follow your rules, Lord.
    Don’t let me be ashamed.
32 I am eager to learn all
    that you want me to do;
    help me to understand
    more and more.

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Proverbs 15:31-32

31 Healthy correction is good,
    and if you accept it,
    you will be wise.
32 You hurt only yourself
    by rejecting instruction,
    but it makes good sense
    to accept it.

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