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2 Kings 8:1-9:13; Acts 16:16-40; Psalm 143; Proverbs 17:26 (Complete Jewish Bible)

2 Kings 8:1-9:13

Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Move away, you and your household, and stay wherever you can; because Adonai has called for a famine; and it will be on the land for seven years.” The woman acted at once and did as the man of God had said — she went with her household and stayed in the land of the P’lishtim for seven years. At the end of seven years the woman returned from the land of the P’lishtim and sought an audience with the king to claim her house and land. The king was talking with Geichazi the servant of the man of God. “Tell me,” he said, “all the great things Elisha has done.” Just as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead person to life, at that very moment the woman whose son he had restored to life came to the king with her claim for her house and land. Geichazi said, “My lord, king, this is the woman; and this is her son, the one Elisha restored to life.” On being asked by the king, the woman verified it. At this, the king appointed a special officer and charged him, “Restore everything that belongs to her, including the income her fields have produced from the day she left them until now.”

Elisha went to Dammesek. Ben-Hadad the king of Aram was ill; and he was told, “The man of God has come here.” The king said to Haza’el, “Take with you a gift, go meet the man of God and consult Adonai through him; ask if I will recover from this illness.” Haza’el went to meet him, taking with him a gift that included everything good Dammesek had, forty camel-loads. He came, stood before him and said, “Your son Ben-Hadad king of Aram has sent me to you; he asks, ‘Will I recover from this illness?’” 10 Elisha answered, “Go and say to him, ‘You will surely recover’ — even though Adonai has shown me that he will surely die.” 11 Then the man of God fixed his gaze on him for so long that Haza’el became embarrassed; finally Elisha began to cry. 12 Haza’el asked, “Why is my lord crying?” He answered, “Because I know the disasters you will bring on the people of Isra’el — you will set their fortresses on fire, you will kill their young men with the sword, you will dash their little ones to pieces and rip their pregnant women apart.” 13 Haza’el said, “But what is your servant? Nothing but a dog! How could he do anything of such magnitude?” Elisha answered, “Adonai has shown me that you will be king over Aram.”

14 Then he left Elisha and returned to his master, who asked him, “What did Elisha say to you?” “He told me you would surely recover.” 15 The next day he took a blanket, dipped it in water and spread it on his face, so that he died; and Haza’el took his place as king.

16 It was when Yoram the son of Ach’av king of Isra’el was in the fifth year of his reign that Y’horam the son of Y’hoshafat began his rule over Y’hudah. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he began to rule, and he ruled eight years in Yerushalayim. 18 He lived after the example of the kings of Isra’el, as did the house of Ach’av; because he had married Ach’av’s daughter; he did what was evil from Adonai’s perspective. 19 However, Adonai was unwilling to destroy Y’hudah, because of his servant David; inasmuch as he had promised to give him and his children a lamp that would burn forever.

20 During his time Edom revolted against Y’hudah and set up its own king. 21 In response, Yoram crossed to Tza‘ir with all his chariots. At night he and his chariot commanders set out and attacked Edom who had surrounded him; then the people fled to their tents. 22 Nevertheless, since that day Edom has remained free of Y’hudah’s domination. Livnah revolted at the same time. 23 Other activities of Yoram and all his accomplishments are recorded in the Annals of the Kings of Y’hudah. 24 Yoram slept with his ancestors and was buried with his ancestors in the City of David, and Achazyah his son took his place as king.

25 It was in the twelfth year of Yoram the son of Ach’av king of Isra’el that Achazyah the son of Y’horam king of Y’hudah began his reign. 26 Achazyah was twenty-two years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for one year in Yerushalayim. His mother’s name was ‘Atalyahu the daughter of ‘Omri king of Isra’el. 27 He lived after the example of the house of Ach’av; he did what was evil from Adonai’s perspective, as had the house of Ach’av; for he was a son-in-law in the house of Ach’av.

28 With Yoram the son of Ach’av he went to war against Haza’el king of Aram at Ramot-Gil‘ad, and the Aramim wounded Yoram. 29 King Yoram returned to Yizre‘el to be healed of the wounds which the Aramim had inflicted on him at Ramah while fighting Haza’el king of Aram. Achazyah the son of Y’horam, king of Y’hudah, went down to visit Yoram the son of Ach’av in Yizre‘el, because he was not feeling well.

Elisha the prophet summoned one of the guild prophets and said to him, “Prepare for traveling, take this flask of oil in your hand and go to Ramot-Gil‘ad. When you get there, look for Yehu the son of Y’hoshafat, the son of Nimshi. Enter, have him step away from his companions, and take him to an inside room. Then take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and say, ‘This is what Adonai says: “I have anointed you king over Isra’el.”’ After that, open the door; and get away from there as fast as you can.”

So the young prophet left for Ramot-Gil‘ad. When he arrived, he found the senior army officers sitting there. He said, “I have a message for you, commander.” Yehu asked, “For which one of us?” “For you, commander,” he said. Yehu got up and went into the house. Then the prophet poured the oil on his head and said to him, “This is what Adonai the God of Isra’el says: ‘I have anointed you king over the people of Adonai, over Isra’el. You will attack the house of Ach’av your master, so that I can avenge the blood of my servants the prophets and of all the servants of Adonai, blood shed by Izevel. The entire house of Ach’av will perish; I will cut off from Ach’av every male, whether a slave or free in Isra’el. I will make the house of Ach’av like the house of Yarov‘am the son of N’vat and like the house of Ba‘sha the son of Achiyah. 10 Moreover, the dogs will eat Izevel in the dumping-ground of Yizre‘el, and there will be no one to bury her.’” Then he opened the door and fled.

11 Yehu returned to the servants of his lord, and one of them said to him, “Is everything all right? Why did this meshugga come to you?” He answered them, “You know the kind and how they babble.” 12 They said, “You’re being evasive. Come on, tell us the truth.” Then he said, “This is exactly what he said to me and how he said it: ‘Here is what Adonai says: “I have anointed you king over Isra’el.”’” 13 At this, they hurried each one to take his cloak and put it under Yehu at the top of the stairs. Then they blew the shofar and proclaimed, “Yehu is king!”

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Acts 16:16-40

16 Once, when we were going to the place where the minyan gathered, we were met by a slave girl who had in her a snake-spirit that enabled her to predict the future. She earned a lot of money for her owners by telling fortunes. 17 This girl followed behind Sha’ul and the rest of us and kept screaming, “These men are servants of God Ha‘Elyon! They’re telling you how to be saved!” 18 She kept this up day after day, until Sha’ul, greatly disturbed, turned and said to the spirit, “In the name of Yeshua the Messiah, I order you to come out of her!” And the spirit did come out, at that very moment.

19 But when her owners saw that what had come out was any further prospect of profit for them, they seized Sha’ul and Sila and dragged them to the market square to face the authorities. 20 Bringing them to the judges, they said, “These men are causing a lot of trouble in our city, since they are Jews. 21 What they are doing is advocating customs that are against the law for us to accept or practice, since we are Romans.” 22 The mob joined in the attack against them, and the judges tore their clothes off them and ordered that they be flogged. 23 After giving them a severe beating, they threw them in prison, charging the jailer to guard them securely. 24 Upon receiving such an order, he threw them into the inner cell and clamped their feet securely between heavy blocks of wood.

25 Around midnight, Sha’ul and Sila were praying and singing hymns to God, while the other prisoners listened attentively. 26 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake which shook the prison to its foundations. All the doors flew open and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The jailer awoke, and when he saw the doors open he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, for he assumed that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Sha’ul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We’re all here!”

29 Calling for lights, the jailer ran in, began to tremble and fell down in front of Sha’ul and Sila. 30 Then, leading them outside, he said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They said, “Trust in the Lord Yeshua, and you will be saved — you and your household!” 32 Whereupon they told him and everyone in his household the message about the Lord.

33 Then, even at that late hour of the night, the jailer took them and washed off their wounds; and without delay, he and all his people were immersed. 34 After that, he brought them up to his house and set food in front of them; and he and his entire household celebrated their having come to trust in God.

35 The next morning, the judges sent police officers with the order, “Release those men.” 36 The jailer told Sha’ul, “The judges have sent word to release both of you. So come out, and go on your way in peace.” 37 But Sha’ul said to the officers, “After flogging us in public when we hadn’t been convicted of any crime and are Roman citizens, they threw us in prison. Now they want to get rid of us secretly? Oh, no! Let them come and escort us out themselves!”

38 The officers reported these words to the judges, who became frightened when they heard that Sha’ul and Sila were Roman citizens. 39 They came and apologized to them; then, after escorting them out, requested them to leave the city. 40 From the prison they went to Lydia’s house, and after seeing and encouraging the brothers they departed.

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Psalm 143

143 (0) A psalm of David:

(1) Adonai, hear my prayer;
listen to my pleas for mercy.
In your faithfulness, answer me,
and in your righteousness.
Don’t bring your servant to trial,
since in your sight no one alive
would be considered righteous.

For an enemy is pursuing me;
he has crushed my life into the ground
and left me to live in darkness,
like those who have been long dead.
My spirit faints within me;
my heart is appalled within me.

I remember the days of old,
reflecting on all your deeds,
thinking about the work of your hands.
I spread out my hands to you,
I long for you like a thirsty land. (Selah)

Answer me quickly, Adonai,
because my spirit is fainting.
Don’t hide your face from me,
or I’ll be like those who drop down into a pit.
Make me hear of your love in the morning,
because I rely on you.
Make me know the way I should walk,
because I entrust myself to you.
Adonai, rescue me from my enemies;
I have hidden myself with you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
because you are my God;
Let your good Spirit guide me
on ground that is level.
11 For your name’s sake, Adonai, preserve my life;
in your righteousness, bring me out of distress.
12 In your grace, cut off my enemies;
destroy all those harassing me;
because I am your servant.

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Proverbs 17:26

26 To punish the innocent is not right,
    likewise to flog noble people for their uprightness.

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Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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