30The commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews. So the next day he released him and ordered the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrin to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them.
1Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, “My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.”2At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.3Then Paul said to him, “God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!”4Those who were standing near Paul said, “How dare you insult God’s high priest!”5Paul replied, “Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.’ ”6Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, “My brothers, I am a Pharisee, descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead.”7When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.8(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)9There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. “We find nothing wrong with this man,” they said. “What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?”10The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.11The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.”
12The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.13More than forty men were involved in this plot.14They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, “We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul.15Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here.”16But when the son of Paul’s sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.17Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him.”18So he took him to the commander. The centurion said, “Paul, the prisoner, sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you.”19The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, “What is it you want to tell me?”20He said: “Some Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him.21Don’t give in to them, because more than forty of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request.”22The commander dismissed the young man with this warning: “Don’t tell anyone that you have reported this to me.”
1In those days Israel had no king. Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah.2But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents’ home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months,3her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents’ home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him.4His father-in-law, the woman’s father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking, and sleeping there.5On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Refresh yourself with something to eat; then you can go.”6So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman’s father said, “Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.”7And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night.8On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the woman’s father said, “Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!” So the two of them ate together.9Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman’s father, said, “Now look, it’s almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home.”10But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine.11When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, “Come, let’s stop at this city of the Jebusites and spend the night.”12His master replied, “No. We won’t go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah.”13He added, “Come, let’s try to reach Gibeah or Ramah and spend the night in one of those places.”14So they went on, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin.15There they stopped to spend the night. They went and sat in the city square, but no one took them in for the night.16That evening an old man from the hill country of Ephraim, who was living in Gibeah (the inhabitants of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields.17When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?”18He answered, “We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the LORD. No one has taken me in for the night.19We have both straw and fodder for our donkeys and bread and wine for ourselves your servants—me, the woman and the young man with us. We don’t need anything.”20“You are welcome at my house,” the old man said. “Let me supply whatever you need. Only don’t spend the night in the square.”21So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.22While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”23The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this outrageous thing.24Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don’t do such an outrageous thing.”25But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go.26At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.27When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold.28He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.29When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel.30Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, “Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!”
1We have heard it with our ears, O God; our ancestors have told us what you did in their days, in days long ago.2With your hand you drove out the nations and planted our ancestors; you crushed the peoples and made our ancestors flourish.3It was not by their sword that they won the land, nor did their arm bring them victory; it was your right hand, your arm, and the light of your face, for you loved them.4You are my King and my God, who decrees victories for Jacob.5Through you we push back our enemies; through your name we trample our foes.6I put no trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory;7but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.8In God we make our boast all day long, and we will praise your name forever.9But now you have rejected and humbled us; you no longer go out with our armies.10You made us retreat before the enemy, and our adversaries have plundered us.11You gave us up to be devoured like sheep and have scattered us among the nations.12You sold your people for a pittance, gaining nothing from their sale.13You have made us a reproach to our neighbors, the scorn and derision of those around us.14You have made us a byword among the nations; the peoples shake their heads at us.15I live in disgrace all day long, and my face is covered with shame16at the taunts of those who reproach and revile me, because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.17All this came upon us, though we had not forgotten you; we had not been false to your covenant.18Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path.19But you crushed us and made us a haunt for jackals; you covered us over with deep darkness.20If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god,21would not God have discovered it, since he knows the secrets of the heart?22Yet for your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.23Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever.24Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression?25We are brought down to the dust; our bodies cling to the ground.26Rise up and help us; rescue us because of your unfailing love.