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2 Kings 9:14-10:31; Acts 17:1-34; Psalms 144:1-15; Proverbs 17:27-28 (Complete Jewish Bible)

2 Kings 9:14-10:31

14 Yehu the son of Y’hoshafat, the son of Nimshi, formed a conspiracy against Yoram. (At the time, Yoram was guarding Ramot-Gil‘ad, he and all Isra’el, because of Haza’el king of Aram; 15 but Yoram himself had returned to Yizre‘el to recover from the wounds Aram had inflicted on him when fighting Haza’el king of Aram.) “If you agree,” said Yehu, “then don’t allow anyone to leave town and take the news to Yizre‘el.” 16 So Yehu, riding in a chariot, went to Yizre‘el, for Yoram was laid up there. Achazyah king of Y’hudah had come down to visit Yoram.

17 The lookout standing on the watchtower in Yizre‘el saw Yehu’s troops approaching and said, “I see some troops coming.” Yoram said, “Have a horseman go to meet him and ask, “Are you coming in peace?” 18 So a man on horseback went to meet him and said, “The king asks if you are coming in peace.” Yehu answered, “Peace? What business is that of yours? Turn around, and get behind me!” The watchman reported, “The messenger reached them, but he isn’t coming back.” 19 So he sent out a second man on horseback, who, on coming to him, said, “The king asks if you are coming in peace.” Yehu answered, “Peace? What business is that of yours? Turn around, and get behind me!” 20 The watchman reported, “He reached them, but he isn’t coming back. Also, it looks like the driving of Yehu Nimshi’s [grand]son — he’s driving like a maniac!” 21 “Harness my chariot!” ordered Yoram. They got it ready. Then Yoram king of Isra’el and Achazyah king of Y’hudah, each in his chariot, went out to meet Yehu. They met him in the field of Navot the Yizre‘eli.

22 When Yoram saw Yehu he said, “Are you coming in peace, Yehu?” He answered, “Peace? With your mother Izevel continuing all her cult prostitution and witchcraft? What a question!” 23 Yoram wheeled around and fled, shouting, “Treachery, Achazyah!” 24 Yehu drew his bow with all his strength and struck Yoram between the shoulder-blades; the arrow went through his heart, and he collapsed in his chariot. 25 “Pick him up,” said Yehu to Bidkar his servant, “and throw him into the field of Navot the Yizre‘eli; for remember how, when you and I were riding together after Ach’av his father, Adonai pronounced this sentence against him: 26 Adonai says: “Yesterday I saw the blood of Navot and the blood of his sons.” Adonai also says: “I will pay you back in this field.”’ Therefore, pick him up; and throw him into the field, in keeping with what Adonai said.”

27 But when Achazyah the king of Y’hudah saw this, he fled on the road past Beit-HaGan. Yehu pursued him and ordered, “Strike him too in his chariot!” [So they struck him] at the Gur ascent, near Yivle‘am. He fled to Megiddo, but there he died. 28 His servants carried him in a chariot to Yerushalayim and buried him in his tomb with his ancestors in the City of David.

29 It was in the eleventh year of Yoram the son of Ach’av that Achazyah had begun his rule over Y’hudah.

30 When Yehu reached Yizre‘el, and Izevel heard of it, she put on eye make-up, fixed her hair and looked out the window. 31 As Yehu came through the city gate, she asked, “Are you here in peace, you Zimri, you murderer of your master?” 32 Looking up at the window he said, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three officers looked out toward him. 33 He said, “Throw her down!” So they threw her down. Some of her blood splashed onto the wall and the horses, and she was trampled underfoot. 34 He went in, ate and drank, and then said, “Deal with this accursed woman — bury her, because she’s a king’s daughter.” 35 They went to bury her but found no more of her than her skull, feet and hands. 36 So they came back and told him. He said, “This is what Adonai said through his servant Eliyahu from Tishbe: ‘In the field of Yizre‘el the dogs will eat the flesh of Izevel; 37 Izevel’s corpse in the field of Yizre‘el will be like dung on the ground, unrecognizable as Izevel.’”

10 There were seventy descendants of Ach’av in Shomron. Yehu wrote letters and sent them to Shomron to the rulers of Yizre‘el, to the leaders, and to the guardians of Ach’av’s sons. The letters said, “You have with you your master’s sons, also chariots and horses, as well as fortified cities and armor. So, as soon as this letter reaches you, choose the best and most suitable of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne and fight for your master’s dynasty.” They were panic-stricken and said, “If the other two kings couldn’t withstand him, how will we?” So the administrator of the palace, the governor of the city, the leaders and the children’s guardians sent this message to Yehu: “We are your servants. We will do everything you ask us to; we won’t appoint anyone king. Do as you see fit.”

He wrote a second letter to them, which said, “If you are on my side, and if you are ready to obey my orders, then bring the heads of your master’s sons to me in Yizre‘el by this time tomorrow.” Now the seventy sons of the king were with the prominent men who had raised them. When the letter reached them, they seized the king’s sons and killed them, all seventy of them, put their heads in baskets and sent them to Yehu in Yizre‘el. A messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.” He said, “Leave them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning.” When morning came, he went out, stood before the people and said, “You are not responsible [for the deaths of these men]. Yes, I conspired against my master and killed him. But who killed all these? 10 Understand, then, that no part of Adonai’s word which Adonai spoke concerning the dynasty of Ach’av falls to the ground; because Adonai has done what he said through his servant Eliyahu.” 11 So Yehu killed everyone who remained from the house of Ach’av in Yizre‘el, all his leading men, his close friends and his cohanim, until not one of them was left alive. 12 Then he set out and went to Shomron.

On the way he reached a shearing shed for shepherds, 13 where he encountered relatives of Achazyah king of Y’hudah. “Who are you?” he asked. “We’re relatives of Achazyah,” they answered, “and we’re going down to pay our respects to the families of the king and of the queen mother.” 14 “Take them alive,” said Yehu. They took them alive, forty-two men, slaughtered them and threw them into the shearing shed’s pit; he spared not one of them.

15 On leaving there, he happened upon Y’honadav the son of Rekhav coming toward him. He greeted him and said to him, “Are you wholeheartedly with me, as I am with you?” “Yes,” answered Y’honadav. “If so, give me your hand.” He gave him his hand, and Yehu took him up into the chariot. 16 He said, “Come with me, and see how zealous I am for Adonai.” So they had him ride in his chariot.

17 On arriving in Shomron he put to death everyone that Ach’av still had in Shomron, until he had destroyed him, in keeping with the word of Adonai which he had spoken to Eliyahu.

18 Next, Yehu assembled all the people and said to them, “Ach’av served Ba‘al in limited measure, but Yehu will serve him with full zeal. 19 Therefore summon all the prophets of Ba‘al to me, all his worshippers and all his priests. None of them is to be missing, because I am going to offer a great sacrifice to Ba‘al; whoever is missing will not remain alive.” But Yehu was setting a trap, in order to destroy the worshippers of Ba‘al. 20 Yehu said, “Proclaim a solemn assembly for Ba‘al,” and they did so. 21 Yehu sent throughout all Isra’el, and all the worshippers of Ba‘al came, so that there was not one man left that didn’t come. They entered the temple of Ba‘al, and the temple of Ba‘al was filled from one end to the other. 22 To the man in charge of the wardrobe he said, “Bring out robes for all the worshippers of Ba‘al”; and he brought them clothes. 23 Yehu and Y’honadav the son of Rekhav entered the house of Ba‘al and said to the worshippers of Ba‘al, “Search to see that none of the servants of Adonai is here with you, only worshippers of Ba‘al.” 24 Then they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings.

But Yehu had chosen eighty men to remain outside. He said, “If any of the men I am about to put in your hands escapes, it will be your life for his.” 25 As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, Yehu said to the guards and officers, “Go in, and kill them; don’t let one of them get out.” So they killed them with the sword; then, after the guards and officers had thrown their bodies outside, they went into the temple of Ba‘al’s inner shrine, 26 brought out the pillars in the temple of Ba‘al and burned them. 27 Finally, they broke down Ba‘al’s standing-stone and demolished the temple of Ba‘al, converting it into a latrine, which it still is today. 28 Thus Yehu rid Isra’el of Ba‘al.

29 However, Yehu did not turn away from the sins of Yarov‘am the son of N’vat, with which he had led Isra’el into sin, the gold calves that were in Beit-El and Dan. 30 Adonai said to Yehu, “Because you did well in accomplishing what is right from my perspective, and have done to the house of Ach’av everything that was in my heart, your descendants down to the fourth generation will sit on the throne of Isra’el.” 31 But Yehu made no effort to live wholeheartedly according to the Torah of Adonai the God of Isra’el and did not turn away from the sins of Yarov‘am, with which he had led Isra’el into sin.

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Acts 17

17 After passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, Sha’ul and Sila came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue. According to his usual practice, Sha’ul went in; and on three Shabbats he gave them drashes from the Tanakh, explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and that “this Yeshua whom I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah.” Some of the Jews were persuaded and threw in their lot with Sha’ul and Sila, as did a great many of the Greek men who were “God-fearers,” and not a few of the leading women.

But the unbelieving Jews grew jealous; so they got together some vicious men from the riffraff hanging around in the market square, collected a crowd and started a riot in the city. They attacked Jason’s house, hoping to bring Sha’ul and Sila out to the mob. But when they didn’t find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city authorities and shouted, “These men who have turned the whole world upside down have come here too! And Jason has let them stay in his home! All of them are defying the decrees of the Emperor; because they assert that there is another king, Yeshua!” Their words threw the crowd and the authorities into a turmoil, so that only after Jason and the others had posted bond did they let them go. 10 But as soon as night fell, the brothers sent Sha’ul and Sila off to Berea.

As soon as they arrived, they went to the synagogue. 11 Now the people here were of nobler character than the ones in Thessalonica; they eagerly welcomed the message, checking the Tanakh every day to see if the things Sha’ul was saying were true. 12 Many of them came to trust, as did a number of prominent Greek women and not a few Greek men.

13 But when the unbelieving Jews of Thessalonica learned that the word of God had been proclaimed by Sha’ul in Berea as well, they went there too to make trouble and agitate the crowds. 14 The brothers sent Sha’ul away at once to go down to the seacoast, while Sila and Timothy stayed behind. 15 Sha’ul’s escort went with him as far as Athens, then left with instructions for Sila and Timothy to come as quickly as they could.

16 While Sha’ul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit within him was disturbed at the sight of the city full of idols. 17 So he began holding discussions in the synagogue with the Jews and the “God-fearers,” and in the market square every day with the people who happened to be there.

18 Also a group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers started meeting with him. Some asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others, because he proclaimed the Good News about Yeshua and the resurrection, said, “He sounds like a propagandist for foreign gods.” 19 They took and brought him before the High Council, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 Some of the things we are hearing from you strike us as strange, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners living there used to spend their spare time talking or hearing about the latest intellectual fads.)

22 Sha’ul stood up in the Council meeting and said, “Men of Athens: I see how very religious you are in every way! 23 For as I was walking around, looking at your shrines, I even found an altar which had been inscribed, ‘To An Unknown God.’ So, the one whom you are already worshipping in ignorance — this is the one I proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the universe and everything in it, and who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in man-made temples; 25 nor is he served by human hands, as if he lacked something; since it is he himself who gives life and breath and everything to everyone.

26 “From one man he made every nation living on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the limits of their territories and the periods when they would flourish. 27 God did this so that people would look for him and perhaps reach out and find him although in fact, he is not far from each one of us, 28 ‘for in him we live and move and exist.’ Indeed, as some of the poets among you have said, ‘We are actually his children.’ 29 So, since we are children of God, we shouldn’t suppose that God’s essence resembles gold, silver or stone shaped by human technique and imagination.

30 “In the past, God overlooked such ignorance; but now he is commanding all people everywhere to turn to him from their sins. 31 For he has set a Day when he will judge the inhabited world, and do it justly, by means of a man whom he has designated. And he has given public proof of it by resurrecting this man from the dead.”

32 At the mention of a resurrection of dead people, some began to scoff; while others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 So Sha’ul left the meeting. 34 But some men stayed with him and came to trust, including the High Council member Dionysius; there was also a woman named Damaris; and others came to trust along with them.

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Psalm 144

144 (0) By David:

(1) Blessed be Adonai, my rock,
who trains my hands for war
and my fingers for battle.
He shows me grace; and he is my fortress,
my stronghold, in whom I find shelter,
my shield, in whom I take refuge,
who subdues my people under me.

Adonai, what are mere mortals,
that you notice them at all;
humans, that you think about them?
Man is like a puff of wind,
his days like a fleeting shadow.

Adonai, lower the heavens, and come down;
touch the mountains, make them pour out smoke.
Shoot out lightning, and scatter them;
send out your arrows, and rout them.
Reach out your hands from on high;
rescue me; save me out of deep water,
out of the power of strangers,
whose mouths speak worthless words
and whose right hands swear false oaths.

God, I will sing a new song to you;
sing praises to you with a ten-stringed harp.
10 You give kings their victories;
you save your servant David from the cruel sword.
11 Rescue me, save me from the power of strangers,
whose mouths speak worthless words
and whose right hands swear false oaths.

12 Our sons in their youth will be
like full-grown saplings,
our daughters will be like sculptured pillars
fit for the corner of a palace.
13 Our barns are full with crops of every kind;
the sheep in our fields number thousands, tens of thousands.
14 our oxen are well-fed,
our city walls have no breach,
our people are not taken captive,
and there are no cries of protest in our cities’ open places.
15 How happy the people who live in such conditions!
How happy the people whose God is Adonai!

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Proverbs 17:27-28

27 A knowledgeable person controls his tongue;
    a discerning person controls his temper.

28 Even a fool, if he stays silent, is thought wise;
    he who keeps his mouth shut can pass for smart.

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Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

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