Then the apostles and elders, with the whole church, decided to choose some of their own men and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They chose Judas (called Barsabbas) and Silas, two men who were leaders among the brothers.
With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said.
So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul--
men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.
It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:
You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.
The men were sent off and went down to Antioch, where they gathered the church together and delivered the letter.
The people read it and were glad for its encouraging message.
Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the brothers.
After spending some time there, they were sent off by the brothers with the blessing of peace to return to those who had sent them.
But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, where they and many others taught and preached the word of the Lord.
Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing."
Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them,
but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus,
but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.
He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
After the death of Joshua, the Israelites asked the LORD, "Who will be the first to go up and fight for us against the Canaanites?"
The LORD answered, "Judah is to go; I have given the land into their hands."
Then the men of Judah said to the Simeonites their brothers, "Come up with us into the territory allotted to us, to fight against the Canaanites. We in turn will go with you into yours." So the Simeonites went with them.
When Judah attacked, the LORD gave the Canaanites and Perizzites into their hands and they struck down ten thousand men at Bezek.
It was there that they found Adoni-Bezek and fought against him, putting to rout the Canaanites and Perizzites.
Adoni-Bezek fled, but they chased him and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and big toes.
Then Adoni-Bezek said, "Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off have picked up scraps under my table. Now God has paid me back for what I did to them." They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.
The men of Judah attacked Jerusalem also and took it. They put the city to the sword and set it on fire.
After that, the men of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites living in the hill country, the Negev and the western foothills.
They advanced against the Canaanites living in Hebron (formerly called Kiriath Arba) and defeated Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai.
From there they advanced against the people living in Debir (formerly called Kiriath Sepher).
And Caleb said, "I will give my daughter Acsah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher."
Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Acsah to him in marriage.
One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, "What can I do for you?"
She replied, "Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water." Then Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.
The descendants of Moses' father-in-law, the Kenite, went up from the City of Palms with the men of Judah to live among the people of the Desert of Judah in the Negev near Arad.
Then the men of Judah went with the Simeonites their brothers and attacked the Canaanites living in Zephath, and they totally destroyed the city. Therefore it was called Hormah.
The men of Judah also took Gaza, Ashkelon and Ekron--each city with its territory.
The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had iron chariots.
As Moses had promised, Hebron was given to Caleb, who drove from it the three sons of Anak.
The Benjamites, however, failed to dislodge the Jebusites, who were living in Jerusalem; to this day the Jebusites live there with the Benjamites.
Now the house of Joseph attacked Bethel, and the LORD was with them.
When they sent men to spy out Bethel (formerly called Luz),
the spies saw a man coming out of the city and they said to him, "Show us how to get into the city and we will see that you are treated well."
So he showed them, and they put the city to the sword but spared the man and his whole family.
He then went to the land of the Hittites, where he built a city and called it Luz, which is its name to this day.
But Manasseh did not drive out the people of Beth Shan or Taanach or Dor or Ibleam or Megiddo and their surrounding settlements, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that land.
When Israel became strong, they pressed the Canaanites into forced labor but never drove them out completely.
Nor did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites living in Gezer, but the Canaanites continued to live there among them.
Neither did Zebulun drive out the Canaanites living in Kitron or Nahalol, who remained among them; but they did subject them to forced labor.
Nor did Asher drive out those living in Acco or Sidon or Ahlab or Aczib or Helbah or Aphek or Rehob,
and because of this the people of Asher lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land.
Neither did Naphtali drive out those living in Beth Shemesh or Beth Anath; but the Naphtalites too lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the land, and those living in Beth Shemesh and Beth Anath became forced laborers for them.
The Amorites confined the Danites to the hill country, not allowing them to come down into the plain.
And the Amorites were determined also to hold out in Mount Heres, Aijalon and Shaalbim, but when the power of the house of Joseph increased, they too were pressed into forced labor.
The boundary of the Amorites was from Scorpion Pass to Sela and beyond.
"But now, Job, listen to my words; pay attention to everything I say.
I am about to open my mouth; my words are on the tip of my tongue.
My words come from an upright heart; my lips sincerely speak what I know.
The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Answer me then, if you can; prepare yourself and confront me.
I am just like you before God; I too have been taken from clay.
No fear of me should alarm you, nor should my hand be heavy upon you.
"But you have said in my hearing-- I heard the very words--
'I am pure and without sin; I am clean and free from guilt.
Yet God has found fault with me; he considers me his enemy.
He fastens my feet in shackles; he keeps close watch on all my paths.'
"But I tell you, in this you are not right, for God is greater than man.
Why do you complain to him that he answers none of man's words ?
For God does speak--now one way, now another-- though man may not perceive it.
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds,
he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings,
to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride,
to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.
Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in his bones,
so that his very being finds food repulsive and his soul loathes the choicest meal.
His flesh wastes away to nothing, and his bones, once hidden, now stick out.
His soul draws near to the pit, and his life to the messengers of death.
"Yet if there is an angel on his side as a mediator, one out of a thousand, to tell a man what is right for him,
to be gracious to him and say, 'Spare him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for him'--
then his flesh is renewed like a child's; it is restored as in the days of his youth.
He prays to God and finds favor with him, he sees God's face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state.
Then he comes to men and says, 'I sinned, and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved.
He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.'
"God does all these things to a man-- twice, even three times--
to turn back his soul from the pit, that the light of life may shine on him.
"Pay attention, Job, and listen to me; be silent, and I will speak.
If you have anything to say, answer me; speak up, for I want you to be cleared.
But if not, then listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom."