Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.20For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.21For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.22Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,23that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.24"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.25I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.26For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.27And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.28"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice29and come out--those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.30By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
31"If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.32There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid.33"You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth.34Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved.35John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.36"I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.37And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,38nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.39You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,40yet you refuse to come to me to have life.41"I do not accept praise from men,42but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.43I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.44How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God ?45"But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.46If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.47But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"
In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, Joab led out the armed forces. He laid waste the land of the Ammonites and went to Rabbah and besieged it, but David remained in Jerusalem. Joab attacked Rabbah and left it in ruins.
David took the crown from the head of their king--its weight was found to be a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones--and it was placed on David's head. He took a great quantity of plunder from the city
and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then David and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.
In the course of time, war broke out with the Philistines, at Gezer. At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Sippai, one of the descendants of the Rephaites, and the Philistines were subjugated.
In another battle with the Philistines, Elhanan son of Jair killed Lahmi the brother of Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's rod.
In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot--twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha.
When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimea, David's brother, killed him.
These were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men.
Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.
So David said to Joab and the commanders of the troops, "Go and count the Israelites from Beersheba to Dan. Then report back to me so that I may know how many there are."
But Joab replied, "May the LORD multiply his troops a hundred times over. My lord the king, are they not all my lord's subjects? Why does my lord want to do this? Why should he bring guilt on Israel?"
The king's word, however, overruled Joab; so Joab left and went throughout Israel and then came back to Jerusalem.
Joab reported the number of the fighting men to David: In all Israel there were one million one hundred thousand men who could handle a sword, including four hundred and seventy thousand in Judah.
But Joab did not include Levi and Benjamin in the numbering, because the king's command was repulsive to him.
This command was also evil in the sight of God; so he punished Israel.
Then David said to God, "I have sinned greatly by doing this. Now, I beg you, take away the guilt of your servant. I have done a very foolish thing."
The LORD said to Gad, David's seer,
"Go and tell David, 'This is what the LORD says: I am giving you three options. Choose one of them for me to carry out against you.' "
So Gad went to David and said to him, "This is what the LORD says: 'Take your choice:
three years of famine, three months of being swept away before your enemies, with their swords overtaking you, or three days of the sword of the LORD--days of plague in the land, with the angel of the LORD ravaging every part of Israel.' Now then, decide how I should answer the one who sent me."
David said to Gad, "I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men."
So the LORD sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead.
And God sent an angel to destroy Jerusalem. But as the angel was doing so, the LORD saw it and was grieved because of the calamity and said to the angel who was destroying the people, "Enough! Withdraw your hand." The angel of the LORD was then standing at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
David looked up and saw the angel of the LORD standing between heaven and earth, with a drawn sword in his hand extended over Jerusalem. Then David and the elders, clothed in sackcloth, fell facedown.
David said to God, "Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? I am the one who has sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? O LORD my God, let your hand fall upon me and my family, but do not let this plague remain on your people."
Then the angel of the LORD ordered Gad to tell David to go up and build an altar to the LORD on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
So David went up in obedience to the word that Gad had spoken in the name of the LORD.
While Araunah was threshing wheat, he turned and saw the angel; his four sons who were with him hid themselves.
Then David approached, and when Araunah looked and saw him, he left the threshing floor and bowed down before David with his face to the ground.
David said to him, "Let me have the site of your threshing floor so I can build an altar to the LORD, that the plague on the people may be stopped. Sell it to me at the full price."
Araunah said to David, "Take it! Let my lord the king do whatever pleases him. Look, I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing sledges for the wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give all this."
But King David replied to Araunah, "No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing."
So David paid Araunah six hundred shekels of gold for the site.
David built an altar to the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He called on the LORD, and the LORD answered him with fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.
Then the LORD spoke to the angel, and he put his sword back into its sheath.
At that time, when David saw that the LORD had answered him on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, he offered sacrifices there.
The tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses had made in the desert, and the altar of burnt offering were at that time on the high place at Gibeon.
But David could not go before it to inquire of God, because he was afraid of the sword of the angel of the LORD.
Again the word of the LORD Almighty came to me.
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her."
This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain."
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age.
The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there."
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me?" declares the LORD Almighty.
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west.
I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God."
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "You who now hear these words spoken by the prophets who were there when the foundation was laid for the house of the LORD Almighty, let your hands be strong so that the temple may be built.
Before that time there were no wages for man or beast. No one could go about his business safely because of his enemy, for I had turned every man against his neighbor.
But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past," declares the LORD Almighty.
"The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people.
As you have been an object of cursing among the nations, O Judah and Israel, so will I save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong."
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Just as I had determined to bring disaster upon you and showed no pity when your fathers angered me," says the LORD Almighty,
"so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid.
These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts;
do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this," declares the LORD.
Again the word of the LORD Almighty came to me.
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace."
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come,
and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, 'Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going.'
And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him."
This is what the LORD Almighty says: "In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.' " AN ORACLE