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4 When Ish-bosheth, the son of Saul, heard that his general Abner was dead, murdered in Hebron, he panicked, and so did all Israel. 2 Now the two captains of Ish-bosheth’s raiding parties were Baanah and Rechab, the sons of Rimmon, a Benjaminite from the town of Beeroth (which was considered to belong to Benjamin since the time its original inhabitants tricked the Israelites into making a pact of friendship with them. 3 The people of Beeroth fled to Gittaim, where they still live as aliens).
4 Saul’s son Jonathan, David’s friend, had a son named Mephibosheth who was unable to use his feet. When he was only five, the news of his father and grandfather’s defeat came from Jezreel. In her rush to flee, his nurse grabbed him up, and Mephibosheth fell; he had been lame ever since.
5 Baanah and Rechab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, hatched a plan. They set out, and they came to Ish-bosheth’s residence during the noonday heat as he was taking a nap. 6-7 They crept inside the house as if to get some wheat. There they stabbed Ish-bosheth in the abdomen while he lay asleep on his bed, killing him. Then Rechab and his brother Baanah cut off Ish-bosheth’s head and escaped. They carried his head away and traveled all night across the desert plains.[a]
8 At Hebron, they brought Ish-bosheth’s head before David.
Baanah and Rechab: Here is the head of your enemy, Ish-bosheth, son of Saul, who tried to kill you. Today the Eternal One has avenged my lord, the king, against Saul and his clan.
David: 9 As the Eternal One lives, the One who has redeemed my life from every danger, 10 when the messenger brought me the word, “Saul is dead”—as though that would be some reason for me to rejoice, that would get him a reward—I seized him and had him killed at Ziklag. That was his reward for bringing me such news. 11 How much more do you deserve to be punished, you wicked men who kill a righteous man in his own bedroom? Don’t you imagine that now I’ll make you answer for his blood with your own and wipe you from the face of the earth?
12 David commanded his young men, and they killed Baanah and Rechab. Then the young men cut off their hands and feet and hung their bodies as an example beside the pool at Hebron. But Ish-bosheth’s head they took and buried in Abner’s tomb in Hebron.
5 Then all the tribes that made up the people of Israel came to David at Hebron.
Leaders of Israel: We are all related: we are flesh of your flesh, bone of your bones. 2 When Saul was king, you always led the army of Israel out and then brought it back safely. The Eternal said to you, “You will be the shepherd of My people Israel, the ruler over all of them.”
3 All the leaders of Israel came before the king there at Hebron. So King David made a covenant with the leaders there before the Eternal, and they anointed David king over all Israel. 4 David was 30 years old when he first became king, and he was king for 40 years; 5 he reigned in Hebron over Judah alone for 7½ years, and then he reigned over the united kingdom of Judah and Israel for 33 years.
6 At one point, David and his army marched to Jerusalem to fight the Jebusites who lived there. The Jebusites felt secure behind their walls and were sure David could not enter into the city. They jeered, “Even the blind and the lame could defend this city against you.” 7 Despite the taunts, David and his army managed to capture the fortress of Zion, which became the city of David.[b]
David (to his army): 8 If you want to strike down the Jebusites—these blind and lame defenders whom I hate—then go through the water tunnel.
(From this exchange came the saying, “The blind and the lame cannot enter the house.”)
9 Once David captured the fortress, he stayed there and named it the city of David. He built it up all around, carefully terracing the hillside from the Millo[c] inward. 10 And David continued to grow in power and reputation because the Eternal God, Commander of heavenly armies, was with him.
11 King Hiram of Tyre sent diplomats to David with cedars and carpenters and masons to build David a palace.
12 David realized then that the Eternal One had established him as king over Israel and that He was increasing David’s kingdom in power and majesty for the sake of His people Israel.
13-14 After the move from Hebron to Jerusalem, David married more women from Jerusalem, took more concubines, and fathered more sons and daughters: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.
17 When David’s former allies, the Philistines, discovered that David, whom they still considered a vassal of Gath, was now king over a united Israel, they sent an army to battle him; but David heard they were coming and withdrew into the fortress.
18 The Philistines spread their forces in the valley of Rephaim southwest of Jerusalem.
David (to the Lord): 19 Should I go to war against the Philistines? Will You make me victorious over them?
Eternal One: Yes, go. I will certainly give you victory.
20 So David battled the Philistines at Baal-perazim and defeated them.
David: The Eternal has broken through my enemies in front of me like water bursting through a dam.
That is why the place was named Baal-perazim, meaning “the Lord who bursts through.”
21 The Philistines abandoned their idols on the field, and David and his forces carried them away.
22 Yet again the Philistines came up and prepared for battle in the valley of Rephaim. 23 David asked the Eternal One what he should do.
Eternal One: Do not directly face their forces. Circle around behind them, and array yourselves for battle in front of the balsam trees. 24 When you hear the sound of a mighty army marching, reverberating in the tops of the balsam trees, come quickly and fight, for the Eternal has gone ahead of you into battle to destroy the army of the Philistines.
25 David did just as the Eternal One commanded and won a great victory. He struck down the fleeing Philistines from Geba all the way to Gezer, just before the coastal plain.
6 Once again David gathered the elite soldiers of Israel, some 30,000, 2 and they went down to Baale-judah to bring back the covenant chest of the True God, called by the Name: the Eternal One, Commander of heavenly armies, who sits enthroned above the winged creatures who protect the chest.
3-4 They carried the covenant chest of the True God on a new cart from the house of Abinadab on the hill where it had rested, and Abinadab’s sons Uzzah and Ahio directed the new cart, with Ahio walking in front of the chest. 5 David and all the Israelites were joyous before the Eternal; and they were accompanied by wooden lyres and harps, tambourines, castanets, and cymbals.
6 When they came alongside the threshing floor of Nacon, the oxen stumbled, and Uzzah put out his hand to steady the covenant chest. 7 The Eternal burned with anger against Uzzah, and the True God struck Uzzah dead on the spot for daring to touch the covenant chest.
The covenant chest represents something amazing—it is filled with God’s presence and is supposed to be kept in the most separate, most holy of places. David knows that having the covenant chest near him as he rules is important. Therefore he begins the journey toward Jerusalem. The journey is interrupted with Uzzah’s death. David leaves the covenant chest short of its final resting place, but he eventually completes the journey by bringing it into the city of Jerusalem to its final home—and bringing God’s blessing with it. Although it is dangerous, it is also the most tangible symbol of God’s past victories on Israel’s behalf and represents God’s presence.
8 David was angry that the Eternal One had broken through to strike Uzzah, so the place was named Perez-uzzah, meaning “Breech against Uzzah,” to remember that act. 9 David was also frightened of the Eternal that day.
David: How can I be responsible for the covenant chest of the Eternal One?
10 So he decided he did not want to take the chest of the Eternal into the city of David, and he left it there in the care of Obed-edom, a man from the Philistine city Gath. 11 The covenant chest of the Eternal One remained there for three months; and in that time, the Eternal One blessed the household and farms of Obed-edom the Gittite.
12 When news was taken to King David that the Eternal had blessed Obed-edom and all his household because of the covenant chest of God, the king went down and brought the chest from Obed-edom’s house up to the city of David, again accompanying it with rejoicing and ceremony. 13 When the people carrying the chest of the Eternal had gone six steps, David sacrificed an ox and a fattened calf; 14 and he danced before the Eternal One with all his might, clad in a priestly vest.
15-16 So David and the house of Israel carried the covenant chest of the Eternal One up to the city of David with shouts and the sounding of the trumpet. When Michal, the daughter of Saul, looked out the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Eternal without thought for how he looked, she hated him.
17 They carried the covenant chest of the Eternal One to its place inside the tent David had pitched to house it, and the king offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings to the Eternal. 18 When he had finished with the sacrifices and peace offerings, he spoke a priestly blessing over the people in the name of the Eternal One, the Commander of heavenly armies; and 19 he gave all of the Israelites—every man and woman—a loaf of bread, a date roll,[d] and a raisin cake. Then they all returned to their homes.
20 On David’s return, he wanted to bestow good favor on his household, but Michal, the daughter of Saul, came out to meet him.
Michal (sarcastically): The king has distinguished himself today in front of his servants’ maids. He revealed quite a lot, just as the lowest of the low might expose himself.
David: 21 It was for the Eternal One that I danced. The Lord chose me in place of your father Saul and all his descendants; He appointed me to rule over Israel, the Eternal’s people. 22 I will lower myself even further—maybe I will even shame myself in my own eyes—but in the eyes of those maidservants of whom you speak, I will receive honor.
23 And to her dying day, Michal, the daughter of Saul, was humbled before God and did not bear a child. Therefore no descendant of Saul ever regained the throne of Israel.
31 Upon Judas’s departure, Jesus spoke:
Jesus: Now the Son of Man will be glorified as God is glorified in Him. 32 If God’s glory is in Him, His glory is also in God. The moment of this astounding glory is imminent. 33 My children, My time here is brief. You will be searching for Me; and as I told the Jews, “You cannot go where I am going.” 34 So I give you a new command: Love each other deeply and fully. Remember the ways that I have loved you, and demonstrate your love for others in those same ways. 35 Everyone will know you as My followers if you demonstrate your love to others.
Simon Peter: 36 Lord, where are You going?
Jesus: Peter, you cannot come with Me now, but later you will join Me.
Peter: 37 Why can’t I go now? I’ll give my life for You!
Jesus: 38 Will you really give your life for Me? I tell you the truth: you will deny Me three times before the rooster crows.
Ultimately Peter is telling the truth. He is more than willing to lay down his life. But none of His disciples understand the magnitude of the persecution and hatred that is about to be unleashed.
Even Peter, Jesus’ dear Peter, is afraid. He protests any inference to Jesus’ impending departure. Each of the twelve would do the same. Jesus calms their fears over and over again with stories, metaphors, and outright promises, saying, “I will never abandon you like orphans; I will return to be with you” (14:18).
14 Jesus: Don’t get lost in despair; believe in God, and keep on believing in Me. 2 My Father’s home is designed to accommodate all of you. If there were not room for everyone, I would have told you that. I am going to make arrangements for your arrival. 3 I will be there to greet you personally and welcome you home, where we will be together. 4 You know where I am going and how to get there.
Thomas: 5 Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the path?
Jesus: 6 I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 7 If you know Me, you know the Father. Rest assured now; you know Him and have seen Him.
Philip: 8 Lord, all I am asking is that You show us the Father.
Jesus (to Philip): 9 I have lived with you all this time, and you still don’t know who I am? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father. How can you keep asking to see the Father? 10 Don’t you believe Me when I say I abide in the Father and the Father dwells in Me? I’m not making this up as I go along. The Father has given Me these truths that I have been speaking to you, and He empowers all My actions. 11 Accept these truths: I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me. If you have trouble believing based on My words, believe because of the things I have done. 12 I tell you the truth: whoever believes in Me will be able to do what I have done, but they will do even greater things, because I will return to be with the Father. 13 Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father will get glory from the Son. 14 Let Me say it again: if you ask for anything in My name, I will do it.
17 Treat Your servant well, Lord,
so that I may live and remain faithful to Your word.
18 Let me see clearly so that I may take in
the amazing things coming from Your law.
19 I am a sojourner in the world;
do not keep Your commands hidden from me.
20 My soul aches from craving
Your wise rulings day and night.
21 You rebuke those who are proud,
and those who stray from Your commands are cursed.
22 Free me from the contempt and disdain of others
because I keep Your decrees.
23 Even though powerful princes conspire against me,
I fix my mind on what You require.
24 Yes, Your testimonies are my joy;
they are like the friends I seek for counsel.
25 My very being clings to the dust;
preserve my life, in keeping with Your word.
26 I have admitted my ways are wrong, and You responded;
now help me learn what You require.
27 Compel me to grasp the way of Your statutes
so I will fix my mind on Your wonderful works.
28 My soul weeps, and trouble weighs me down;
give me strength so I can stand according to Your word.
29 Eliminate faithlessness You find in my step,
be gracious, and give me Your guidance.
30 I have decided to take the path of faith;
I have focused my eyes on Your regulations.
31 I cling to Your decrees; O Eternal One,
do not let me face disgrace!
32 I will chase after Your commandments
because You will expand my understanding.
31 Those who learn from the lessons of life
will join the others who are wise.
32 Those who disregard discipline sabotage themselves,
but those who are open to correction gain understanding.