1 After the death of Saul, David returned from his victory over the Amalekites and spent two days in Ziklag. 2 On the third day a man arrived from Saul’s army camp. He had torn his clothes and put dirt on his head to show that he was in mourning. He fell to the ground before David in deep respect. 3 “Where have you come from?” David asked. “I escaped from the Israelite camp,” the man replied. 4 “What happened?” David demanded. “Tell me how the battle went.” The man replied, “Our entire army fled from the battle. Many of the men are dead, and Saul and his son Jonathan are also dead.” 5 “How do you know Saul and Jonathan are dead?” David demanded of the young man. 6 The man answered, “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and there was Saul leaning on his spear with the enemy chariots and charioteers closing in on him. 7 When he turned and saw me, he cried out for me to come to him. ‘How can I help?’ I asked him. 8 “He responded, ‘Who are you?’ “‘I am an Amalekite,’ I told him. 9 “Then he begged me, ‘Come over here and put me out of my misery, for I am in terrible pain and want to die.’ 10 “So I killed him,” the Amalekite told David, “for I knew he couldn’t live. Then I took his crown and his armband, and I have brought them here to you, my lord.” 11 David and his men tore their clothes in sorrow when they heard the news. 12 They mourned and wept and fasted all day for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the LORD ’s army and the nation of Israel, because they had died by the sword that day. 13 Then David said to the young man who had brought the news, “Where are you from?” And he replied, “I am a foreigner, an Amalekite, who lives in your land.” 14 “Why were you not afraid to kill the LORD ’s anointed one?” David asked. 15 Then David said to one of his men, “Kill him!” So the man thrust his sword into the Amalekite and killed him. 16 “You have condemned yourself,” David said, “for you yourself confessed that you killed the LORD ’s anointed one.” 17 Then David composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan, 18 and he commanded that it be taught to the people of Judah. It is known as the Song of the Bow, and it is recorded in 19 Your pride and joy, O Israel, lies dead on the hills! Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen! 20 Don’t announce the news in Gath, don’t proclaim it in the streets of Ashkelon, or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice and the pagans will laugh in triumph. 21 O mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor fruitful fields producing offerings of grain. For there the shield of the mighty heroes was defiled; the shield of Saul will no longer be anointed with oil. 22 The bow of Jonathan was powerful, and the sword of Saul did its mighty work. They shed the blood of their enemies and pierced the bodies of mighty heroes. 23 How beloved and gracious were Saul and Jonathan! They were together in life and in death. They were swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. 24 O women of Israel, weep for Saul, for he dressed you in luxurious scarlet clothing, in garments decorated with gold. 25 Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen in battle! Jonathan lies dead on the hills. 26 How I weep for you, my brother Jonathan! Oh, how much I loved you! And your love for me was deep, deeper than the love of women! 27 Oh, how the mighty heroes have fallen! Stripped of their weapons, they lie dead.
1 After this, David asked the LORD, “Should I move back to one of the towns of Judah?” “Yes,” the LORD replied. Then David asked, “Which town should I go to?” “To Hebron,” the LORD answered. 2 David’s two wives were Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel. So David and his wives 3 and his men and their families all moved to Judah, and they settled in the villages near Hebron. 4 Then the men of Judah came to David and anointed him king over the people of Judah. When David heard that the men of Jabesh-gilead had buried Saul, 5 he sent them this message: “May the LORD bless you for being so loyal to your master Saul and giving him a decent burial. 6 May the LORD be loyal to you in return and reward you with his unfailing love! And I, too, will reward you for what you have done. 7 Now that Saul is dead, I ask you to be my strong and loyal subjects like the people of Judah, who have anointed me as their new king.” 8 But Abner son of Ner, the commander of Saul’s army, had already gone to Mahanaim with Saul’s son Ishbosheth. 9 There he proclaimed Ishbosheth king over Gilead, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, the land of the Ashurites, and all the rest of Israel. 10 Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he became king, and he ruled from Mahanaim for two years. Meanwhile, the people of Judah remained loyal to David. 11 David made Hebron his capital, and he ruled as king of Judah for seven and a half years. 12 One day Abner led Ishbosheth’s troops from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 About the same time, Joab son of Zeruiah led David’s troops out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. The two groups sat down there, facing each other from opposite sides of the pool. 14 Then Abner suggested to Joab, “Let’s have a few of our warriors fight hand to hand here in front of us.” “All right,” Joab agreed. 15 So twelve men were chosen to fight from each side—twelve men of Benjamin representing Ishbosheth son of Saul, and twelve representing David. 16 Each one grabbed his opponent by the hair and thrust his sword into the other’s side so that all of them died. So this place at Gibeon has been known ever since as the Field of Swords. 17 A fierce battle followed that day, and Abner and the men of Israel were defeated by the forces of David. 18 Joab, Abishai, and Asahel—the three sons of Zeruiah—were among David’s forces that day. Asahel could run like a gazelle, 19 and he began chasing Abner. He pursued him relentlessly, not stopping for anything. 20 When Abner looked back and saw him coming, he called out, “Is that you, Asahel?” “Yes, it is,” he replied. 21 “Go fight someone else!” Abner warned. “Take on one of the younger men, and strip him of his weapons.” But Asahel kept right on chasing Abner. 22 Again Abner shouted to him, “Get away from here! I don’t want to kill you. How could I ever face your brother Joab again?” 23 But Asahel refused to turn back, so Abner thrust the butt end of his spear through Asahel’s stomach, and the spear came out through his back. He stumbled to the ground and died there. And everyone who came by that spot stopped and stood still when they saw Asahel lying there. 24 When Joab and Abishai found out what had happened, they set out after Abner. The sun was just going down as they arrived at the hill of Ammah near Giah, along the road to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 Abner’s troops from the tribe of Benjamin regrouped there at the top of the hill to take a stand. 26 Abner shouted down to Joab, “Must we always be killing each other? Don’t you realize that bitterness is the only result? When will you call off your men from chasing their Israelite brothers?” 27 Then Joab said, “God only knows what would have happened if you hadn’t spoken, for we would have chased you all night if necessary.” 28 So Joab blew the ram’s horn, and his men stopped chasing the troops of Israel. 29 All that night Abner and his men retreated through the Jordan Valley. They crossed the Jordan River, traveling all through the morning, and didn’t stop until they arrived at Mahanaim. 30 Meanwhile, Joab and his men also returned home. When Joab counted his casualties, he discovered that only 19 men were missing in addition to Asahel. 31 But 360 of Abner’s men had been killed, all from the tribe of Benjamin. 32 Joab and his men took Asahel’s body to Bethlehem and buried him there in his father’s tomb. Then they traveled all night and reached Hebron at daybreak.
1 One Sabbath day Jesus went to eat dinner in the home of a leader of the Pharisees, and the people were watching him closely. 2 There was a man there whose arms and legs were swollen. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in religious law, “Is it permitted in the law to heal people on the Sabbath day, or not?” 4 When they refused to answer, Jesus touched the sick man and healed him and sent him away. 5 Then he turned to them and said, “Which of you doesn’t work on the Sabbath? If your son or your cow falls into a pit, don’t you rush to get him out?” 6 Again they could not answer. 7 When Jesus noticed that all who had come to the dinner were trying to sit in the seats of honor near the head of the table, he gave them this advice: 8 “When you are invited to a wedding feast, don’t sit in the seat of honor. What if someone who is more distinguished than you has also been invited? 9 The host will come and say, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then you will be embarrassed, and you will have to take whatever seat is left at the foot of the table! 10 “Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, ‘Friend, we have a better place for you!’ Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests. 11 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” 12 Then he turned to his host. “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. 13 Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.” 15 Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!” 16 Jesus replied with this story: “A man prepared a great feast and sent out many invitations. 17 When the banquet was ready, he sent his servant to tell the guests, ‘Come, the banquet is ready.’ 18 But they all began making excuses. One said, ‘I have just bought a field and must inspect it. Please excuse me.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have just bought five pairs of oxen, and I want to try them out. Please excuse me.’ 20 Another said, ‘I now have a wife, so I can’t come.’ 21 “The servant returned and told his master what they had said. His master was furious and said, ‘Go quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and invite the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 After the servant had done this, he reported, ‘There is still room for more.’ 23 So his master said, ‘Go out into the country lanes and behind the hedges and urge anyone you find to come, so that the house will be full. 24 For none of those I first invited will get even the smallest taste of my banquet.’”