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2 Samuel 17:1-29; John 19:23-42; Psalms 119:129-152; Proverbs 16:12-13 (New English Translation)

2 Samuel 17

The Death of Ahithophel

17 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me pick out twelve thousand men. Then I will go and pursue David this very night. When I catch up with him he will be exhausted and worn out. I will rout him, and the entire army that is with him will flee. I will kill only the king and will bring the entire army back to you. In exchange for the life of the man you are seeking, you will get back everyone. The entire army will return unharmed.”

This seemed like a good idea to Absalom and to all the leaders of Israel. But Absalom said, “Call for Hushai the Arkite, and let’s hear what he has to say.” So Hushai came to Absalom. Absalom said to him, “Here is what Ahithophel has advised. Should we follow his advice? If not, what would you recommend?”

Hushai replied to Absalom, “Ahithophel’s advice is not sound this time.” Hushai went on to say, “You know your father and his men—they are soldiers and are as dangerous as a bear out in the wild that has been robbed of her cubs. Your father is an experienced soldier; he will not stay overnight with the army. At this very moment he is hiding out in one of the caves or in some other similar place. If it should turn out that he attacks our troops first, whoever hears about it will say, ‘Absalom’s army has been slaughtered!’ 10 If that happens even the bravest soldier—one who is lion-hearted—will virtually melt away. For all Israel knows that your father is a warrior and that those who are with him are brave. 11 My advice therefore is this: Let all Israel from Dan to Beer Sheba—in number like the sand by the sea!—be mustered to you, and you lead them personally into battle. 12 We will come against him wherever he happens to be found. We will descend on him like the dew falls on the ground. Neither he nor any of the men who are with him will be spared alive—not one of them! 13 If he regroups in a city, all Israel will take up ropes to that city and drag it down to the valley, so that not a single pebble will be left there!”

14 Then Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Arkite sounds better than the advice of Ahithophel.” Now the Lord had decided to frustrate the sound advice of Ahithophel, so that the Lord could bring disaster on Absalom.

15 Then Hushai reported to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, “Here is what Ahithophel has advised Absalom and the leaders of Israel to do, and here is what I have advised. 16 Now send word quickly to David and warn him, “Don’t spend the night at the fords of the desert tonight. Instead, be sure you cross over, or else the king and everyone who is with him may be overwhelmed.”

17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying in En Rogel. A female servant would go and inform them, and they would then go and inform King David. It was not advisable for them to be seen going into the city. 18 But a young man saw them on one occasion and informed Absalom. So the two of them quickly departed and went to the house of a man in Bahurim. There was a well in his courtyard, and they got down in it. 19 His wife then took the covering and spread it over the top of the well and scattered some grain over it. No one was aware of what she had done.

20 When the servants of Absalom approached the woman at her home, they asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman replied to them, “They crossed over the stream.” Absalom’s men searched but did not find them, so they returned to Jerusalem.

21 After the men had left, Ahimaaz and Jonathan climbed out of the well. Then they left and informed King David. They advised David, “Get up and cross the stream quickly, for Ahithophel has devised a plan to catch you.” 22 So David and all the people who were with him got up and crossed the Jordan River. By dawn there was not one person left who had not crossed the Jordan.

23 When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and returned to his house in his hometown. After setting his household in order, he hanged himself. So he died and was buried in the grave of his father.

24 Meanwhile David had gone to Mahanaim, while Absalom and all the men of Israel had crossed the Jordan River. 25 Absalom had made Amasa general in command of the army in place of Joab. (Now Amasa was the son of an Israelite man named Jether, who had married Abigail the daughter of Nahash and sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.) 26 The army of Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead.

27 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, Makir the son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim 28 brought bedding, basins, and pottery utensils. They also brought food for David and all who were with him, including wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, 29 honey, curds, flocks, and cheese. For they said, “The people are no doubt hungry, tired, and thirsty there in the desert.”

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John 19:23-42

23 Now when the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and made four shares, one for each soldier, and the tunic remained. (Now the tunic was seamless, woven from top to bottom as a single piece.) 24 So the soldiers said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but throw dice to see who will get it.” This took place to fulfill the scripture that says, “They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they threw dice.” So the soldiers did these things.

25 Now standing beside Jesus’ cross were his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 So when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, look, here is your son!” 27 He then said to his disciple, “Look, here is your mother!” From that very time the disciple took her into his own home.

Jesus’ Death

28 After this Jesus, realizing that by this time everything was completed, said (in order to fulfill the scripture), “I am thirsty!” 29 A jar full of sour wine was there, so they put a sponge soaked in sour wine on a branch of hyssop and lifted it to his mouth. 30 When he had received the sour wine, Jesus said, “It is completed!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

31 Then, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies should not stay on the crosses on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was an especially important one), the Jewish leaders asked Pilate to have the victims’ legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men who had been crucified with Jesus, first the one and then the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out immediately. 35 And the person who saw it has testified (and his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth), so that you also may believe. 36 For these things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled, “Not a bone of his will be broken.” 37 And again another scripture says, “They will look on the one whom they have pierced.”

Jesus’ Burial

38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus (but secretly, because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate if he could remove the body of Jesus. Pilate gave him permission, so he went and took the body away. 39 Nicodemus, the man who had previously come to Jesus at night, accompanied Joseph, carrying a mixture of myrrh and aloes weighing about seventy-five pounds. 40 Then they took Jesus’ body and wrapped it, with the aromatic spices, in strips of linen cloth according to Jewish burial customs. 41 Now at the place where Jesus was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden was a new tomb where no one had yet been buried. 42 And so, because it was the Jewish day of preparation and the tomb was nearby, they placed Jesus’ body there.

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Psalm 119:129-152

פ (Pe)

129 Your rules are marvelous.
Therefore I observe them.
130 Your instructions are a doorway through which light shines.
They give insight to the untrained.
131 I open my mouth and pant,
because I long for your commands.
132 Turn toward me and extend mercy to me,
as you typically do to your loyal followers.
133 Direct my steps by your word!
Do not let any sin dominate me!
134 Deliver me from oppressive men,
so that I can keep your precepts.
135 Smile on your servant!
Teach me your statutes!
136 Tears stream down from my eyes,
because people do not keep your law.

צ (Tsade)

137 You are just, O Lord,
and your judgments are fair.
138 The rules you impose are just,
and absolutely reliable.
139 My zeal consumes me,
for my enemies forget your instructions.
140 Your word is absolutely pure,
and your servant loves it!
141 I am insignificant and despised,
yet I do not forget your precepts.
142 Your justice endures,
and your law is reliable.
143 Distress and hardship confront me,
yet I find delight in your commands.
144 Your rules remain just.
Give me insight so that I can live.

ק (Qof)

145 I cried out with all my heart, “Answer me, O Lord!
I will observe your statutes.”
146 I cried out to you, “Deliver me,
so that I can keep your rules.”
147 I am up before dawn crying for help.
I find hope in your word.
148 My eyes anticipate the nighttime hours,
so that I can meditate on your word.
149 Listen to me because of your loyal love!
O Lord, revive me, as you typically do!
150 Those who are eager to do wrong draw near;
they are far from your law.
151 You are near, O Lord,
and all your commands are reliable.
152 I learned long ago that
you ordained your rules to last.

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Proverbs 16:12-13

12 Doing wickedness is an abomination to kings,
because a throne is established in righteousness.
13 The delight of kings is righteous counsel,
and they love the one who speaks uprightly.

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New English Translation (NET)

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