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2 Samuel 9:1-11:27; John 15:1-27; Psalms 119:49-64; Proverbs 16:1-3 (Complete Jewish Bible)

2 Samuel 9-11

David inquired, “Is there anyone still alive from the family of Sha’ul, to whom, for Y’honatan’s sake, I can show kindness?” In Sha’ul’s household there had been a servant named Tziva, and they summoned him to David. The king asked him, “Are you Tziva?” and he answered, “At your service.” The king said, “Is there anyone still alive from the family of Sha’ul, to whom I can show God’s grace?” Tziva said to the king, “There is still Y’honatan’s son with the lame legs.” The king said to him, “Where is he?” and Tziva answered, “He’s there in the house of Makhir the son of ‘Ammi’el, in Lo-D’var.” King David sent and took him from the house of Makhir the son of ‘Ammi’el in Lo-D’var. M’fivoshet the son of Y’honatan, the son of Sha’ul, came to David, fell on his face and prostrated himself. David said, “M’fivoshet!” and he answered, “Here is your servant!” David said to him, “Don’t be afraid, for I am determined to be kind to you for the sake of Y’honatan your father. I will restore to you all the land of Sha’ul your [grand]father, and you will always eat at my table.” He prostrated himself and said, “What is your servant that makes you pay such attention to a dead dog like me?” The king called to Tziva, Sha’ul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given everything Sha’ul and his family owned to your master’s [grand]son. 10 You are to work the land for him, you, your sons and your slaves. Harvest the crops, so that your master’s [grand]son will have food to feed his family; but M’fivoshet your master’s [grand]son will always eat at my table.” Tziva had fifteen sons and twenty slaves. 11 Tziva said to the king, “Your servant will do everything my lord the king commands his servant, although M’fivoshet has been eating at my table as one of the king’s descendants.” 12 M’fivoshet had a young son whose name was Mikha. Everyone living in Tziva’s house was a servant of M’fivoshet. 13 But M’fivoshet lived in Yerushalayim; he always ate at the king’s table, and he was lame in both legs.

10 Some time later, when the king of the people of ‘Amon died, his son Hanun became king in his place. David said, “I will show grace to Hanun the son of Nachash, as his father showed grace to me.” So David sent his servants to pass him a message of comfort concerning his father.

David’s servants entered the territory of the people of ‘Amon; but the leaders of the people of ‘Amon said to Hanun their lord, “Do you really think David is honoring your father by sending people to comfort you? Hasn’t David actually sent his servants to you in order to look the city over, reconnoiter it and overthrow it?” So Hanun took David’s servants, shaved off half their beards, cut off their clothes halfway up, at their buttocks, and then sent them away. On hearing how they had been treated, David sent a delegation to meet them, because the men had been deeply humiliated. The king said, “Stay in Yericho until your beards have grown back, and then return.”

Aware that they were utterly abhorrent to David, the people of ‘Amon sent and hired 20,000 Aram foot soldiers from Beit-Rechov and Tzovah, the king of Ma‘akhah with 1,000 men, and 12,000 soldiers from Tov. When David heard of it, he sent Yo’av with his entire army of trained soldiers.

The army of ‘Amon came out and went into battle formation at the entrance to the city gate; the men of Aram from Tzovah and Rechov and the men of Tov and Ma‘akhah were by themselves in the open countryside. When Yo’av saw that he would be fighting on two fronts, ahead and behind, he chose the best troops of Isra’el to deploy against Aram; 10 while the rest of the army he put under the command of Avishai his brother to deploy against the army of ‘Amon. 11 He said, “If Aram is too strong for me, you help me; but if the army of ‘Amon is too strong for you, then I will come and help you. 12 Take courage, and let’s be strong for the sake of our people and the cities of our God. May Adonai do what seems good to him.”

13 So Yo’av and the people with him went to battle Aram, and they fled before him. 14 When the people of ‘Amon saw that Aram had fled, they likewise fled before Avishai and retreated into the city. Yo’av returned from the people of ‘Amon and went to Yerushalayim.

15 When Aram saw that Isra’el had gotten the better of them, they gathered themselves together. 16 Hadad‘ezer sent and brought out the people of Aram who lived beyond the [Euphrates] River. They came to Heilam with Shovakh the commander of Hadad‘ezer’s army at their head. 17 It was reported to David; so he gathered all Isra’el together, crossed the Yarden and came to Heilam. Aram deployed themselves against David and fought him. 18 But Aram fled before Isra’el; David killed 700 chariot-drivers and 40,000 horsemen from Aram, and he struck Shovakh the commander of their army, so that he died there. 19 When all Hadad‘ezer’s vassal kings saw that they had been defeated by Isra’el, they made peace with Isra’el and became their subjects. So Aram was afraid to help the people of ‘Amon any more.

11 In the spring, at the time when kings go out to war, David sent out Yo’av, his servants who were with him and all Isra’el. They ravaged the people of ‘Amon and laid siege to Rabbah. But David stayed in Yerushalayim. Once, after his afternoon nap, David got up from his bed and went strolling on the roof of the king’s palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful. David made inquiries about the woman and was told that she was Bat-Sheva the daughter of Eli‘am, the wife of Uriyah the Hitti. David sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he went to bed with her (for she had been purified from her uncleanness). Then she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent a message to David, “I am pregnant.”

David sent this order to Yo’av: “Send me Uriyah the Hitti.” Yo’av sent Uriyah to David. When Uriyah had come to him, David asked him how Yo’av was doing, how the people were feeling and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriyah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” Uriyah left the king’s palace and was followed by a present of food from the king. But Uriyah slept at the door of the king’s palace with all the servants of his lord and didn’t go down to his house. 10 When they told David, “Uriyah didn’t go down to his house,” David said to Uriyah, “Haven’t you just arrived from a journey? Why didn’t you go down to your house?” 11 Uriyah answered David, “The ark, Isra’el and Y’hudah stay in tents; and my lord Yo’av and the servants of my lord are camping in the countryside. So should I go into my house to eat and drink and go to bed with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!” 12 David said to Uriyah, “Stay here today also; tomorrow I will let you leave.” So Uriyah stayed in Yerushalayim that day and the following day. 13 David summoned him, ate and drank with him, and got him drunk. But in the evening he went out and lay on his bed with his lord’s servants and did not go down to his house.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Yo’av and sent it with Uriyah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Put Uriyah on the front lines of the fiercest fighting; then pull back from him, so that he will be wounded and killed.” 16 So while Yo’av had the city under siege, he assigned Uriyah to the place where he knew the toughest defenders were. 17 The men of the city went out and fought Yo’av; a number of people fell, including some of David’s servants, with Uriyah the Hitti among the dead.

18 Yo’av sent a message to David reporting all the news concerning the war, 19 and he instructed the messenger, “When you have finished telling the king all the news about the war, 20 he may become angry and ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot from the wall? 21 Didn’t you think about the person who struck Avimelekh the son of Yerubeshet, that a woman threw an upper millstone down on him from the wall, so that he died at Tevetz? Why did you go so near the wall?’ If he says this, tell him, ‘Your servant Uriyah is dead also.’” 22 So the messenger left, and on arrival he told David all that Yo’av had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men were overpowering us and came out after us into the countryside. But we chased them back all the way to the entrance of the city gate. 24 The archers shot at your servants from the wall; some of the king’s servants are dead; also your servant Uriyah the Hitti is dead.” 25 David said to the messenger, “Tell Yo’av, ‘Don’t let this matter get you down — the sword devours in one way or another. Intensify your battle against the city, and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.”

26 When the wife of Uriyah heard that Uriyah her husband was dead, she mourned her husband. 27 When the mourning was over, David sent and took her home to his palace, and she became his wife and bore him a son.

But Adonai saw what David had done as evil.

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John 15

15 “I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch which is part of me but fails to bear fruit, he cuts off; and every branch that does bear fruit, he prunes, so that it may bear more fruit. Right now, because of the word which I have spoken to you, you are pruned. Stay united with me, as I will with you — for just as the branch can’t put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine, so you can’t bear fruit apart from me.

“I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who stay united with me, and I with them, are the ones who bear much fruit; because apart from me you can’t do a thing. Unless a person remains united with me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up. Such branches are gathered and thrown into the fire, where they are burned up.

“If you remain united with me, and my words with you, then ask whatever you want, and it will happen for you. This is how my Father is glorified — in your bearing much fruit; this is how you will prove to be my talmidim.

“Just as my Father has loved me, I too have loved you; so stay in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will stay in my love — just as I have kept my Father’s commands and stay in his love. 11 I have said this to you so that my joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.

12 “This is my command: that you keep on loving each other just as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than a person who lays down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends, if you do what I command you. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a slave doesn’t know what his master is about; but I have called you friends, because everything I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, I chose you; and I have commissioned you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that whatever you ask from the Father in my name he may give you. 17 This is what I command you: keep loving each other!

18 “If the world hates you, understand that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would have loved its own. But because you do not belong to the world — on the contrary, I have picked you out of the world — therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they kept my word, they will keep yours too. 21 But they will do all this to you on my account, because they don’t know the One who sent me.

22 “If I had not come and spoken to them, they wouldn’t be guilty of sin; but now, they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done in their presence works which no one else ever did, they would not be guilty of sin; but now, they have seen them and have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this has happened in order to fulfill the words in their Torah which read, ‘They hated me for no reason at all.’[a]

26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send you from the Father — the Spirit of Truth, who keeps going out from the Father — he will testify on my behalf. 27 And you testify too, because you have been with me from the outset.

Footnotes:

  1. John 15:25 Psalms 35:19; 69:5(4)
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Psalm 119:49-64

ז (Zayin)

49 Remember your promise to your servant,
through which you have given me hope.
50 In my distress my comfort is this:
that your promise gives me life.
51 Though the arrogant scorn me completely,
I have not turned away from your Torah.
52 Adonai, I keep in mind your age-old rulings;
in them I take comfort.
53 Fury seizes me when I think of the wicked,
because they abandon your Torah.
54 Your laws have become my songs
wherever I make my home.
55 I remember your name, Adonai, at night;
and I observe your Torah.
56 This [comfort] has come to me,
because I observe your precepts.

ח (Het)

57 Adonai, I say that my task
is to observe your words.
58 I beg your favor with my whole heart;
show pity to me, in keeping with your promise.
59 I thought about my ways
and turned my feet toward your instruction.
60 I hurry, I don’t delay,
to observe your mitzvot.
61 Even when the cords of the wicked close around me,
I don’t forget your Torah.
62 At midnight I rise to give you thanks
because of your righteous rulings.
63 I am a friend of all who fear you,
of those who observe your precepts.
64 The earth, Adonai, is full of your grace;
teach me your laws.

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Proverbs 16:1-3

16 A person is responsible to prepare his heart,
    but how the tongue speaks is from Adonai.

All a man’s ways are pure in his own view,
    but Adonai weighs the spirit.

If you entrust all you do to Adonai,
    your plans will achieve success.

Read More
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

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