1Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not the result of my work in the Lord?2Even though I may not be an apostle to others, surely I am to you! For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.3This is my defense to those who sit in judgment on me.4Don’t we have the right to food and drink?5Don’t we have the right to take a believing wife along with us, as do the other apostles and the Lord’s brothers and Cephas ?6Or is it only I and Barnabas who lack the right to not work for a living?7Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk?8Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing?9For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned?10Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.11If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you?12If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.13Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar?14In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.15But I have not used any of these rights. And I am not writing this in the hope that you will do such things for me, for I would rather die than allow anyone to deprive me of this boast.16For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!17If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.18What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make full use of my rights as a preacher of the gospel.
19Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.26Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.27No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
1After Ahab’s death, Moab rebelled against Israel.2Now Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice of his upper room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, saying to them, “Go and consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, to see if I will recover from this injury.”3But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Go up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going off to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron?’4Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘You will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!’ ” So Elijah went.5When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, “Why have you come back?”6“A man came to meet us,” they replied. “And he said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, “This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!” ’ ”7The king asked them, “What kind of man was it who came to meet you and told you this?”8They replied, “He had a garment of hair and had a leather belt around his waist.” The king said, “That was Elijah the Tishbite.”9Then he sent to Elijah a captain with his company of fifty men. The captain went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “Man of God, the king says, ‘Come down!’ ”10Elijah answered the captain, “If I am a man of God, may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then fire fell from heaven and consumed the captain and his men.11At this the king sent to Elijah another captain with his fifty men. The captain said to him, “Man of God, this is what the king says, ‘Come down at once!’ ”12“If I am a man of God,” Elijah replied, “may fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty men!” Then the fire of God fell from heaven and consumed him and his fifty men.13So the king sent a third captain with his fifty men. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. “Man of God,” he begged, “please have respect for my life and the lives of these fifty men, your servants!14See, fire has fallen from heaven and consumed the first two captains and all their men. But now have respect for my life!”15The angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So Elijah got up and went down with him to the king.16He told the king, “This is what the LORD says: Is it because there is no God in Israel for you to consult that you have sent messengers to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Because you have done this, you will never leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!”17So he died, according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken. Because Ahaziah had no son, Joram succeeded him as king in the second year of Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah.18As for all the other events of Ahaziah’s reign, and what he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?
1When the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.2Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.3The company of the prophets at Bethel came out to Elisha and asked, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” Elisha replied, “so be quiet.”4Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, Elisha; the LORD has sent me to Jericho.” And he replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So they went to Jericho.5The company of the prophets at Jericho went up to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take your master from you today?” “Yes, I know,” he replied, “so be quiet.”6Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.” And he replied, “As surely as the LORD lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.7Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan.8Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.9When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.10“You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”11As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind.12Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.13Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.14He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.15The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.16“Look,” they said, “we your servants have fifty able men. Let them go and look for your master. Perhaps the Spirit of the LORD has picked him up and set him down on some mountain or in some valley.” “No,” Elisha replied, “do not send them.”17But they persisted until he was too embarrassed to refuse. So he said, “Send them.” And they sent fifty men, who searched for three days but did not find him.18When they returned to Elisha, who was staying in Jericho, he said to them, “Didn’t I tell you not to go?”
19The people of the city said to Elisha, “Look, our lord, this town is well situated, as you can see, but the water is bad and the land is unproductive.”20“Bring me a new bowl,” he said, “and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him.21Then he went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying, “This is what the LORD says: ‘I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive.’ ”22And the water has remained pure to this day, according to the word Elisha had spoken.
23From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some boys came out of the town and jeered at him. “Get out of here, baldy!” they said. “Get out of here, baldy!”24He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys.25And he went on to Mount Carmel and from there returned to Samaria.
1This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the late crops were coming up.2When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, “Sovereign LORD, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”3So the LORD relented. “This will not happen,” the LORD said.4This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: The Sovereign LORD was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land.5Then I cried out, “Sovereign LORD, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”6So the LORD relented. “This will not happen either,” the Sovereign LORD said.7This is what he showed me: The Lord was standing by a wall that had been built true to plumb, with a plumb line in his hand.8And the LORD asked me, “What do you see, Amos?” “A plumb line,” I replied. Then the Lord said, “Look, I am setting a plumb line among my people Israel; I will spare them no longer.9“The high places of Isaac will be destroyed and the sanctuaries of Israel will be ruined; with my sword I will rise against the house of Jeroboam.”
10Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent a message to Jeroboam king of Israel: “Amos is raising a conspiracy against you in the very heart of Israel. The land cannot bear all his words.11For this is what Amos is saying: “ ‘Jeroboam will die by the sword, and Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land.’ ”12Then Amaziah said to Amos, “Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there.13Don’t prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.”14Amos answered Amaziah, “I was neither a prophet nor the son of a prophet, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees.15But the LORD took me from tending the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’16Now then, hear the word of the LORD. You say, “ ‘Do not prophesy against Israel, and stop preaching against the descendants of Isaac.’17“Therefore this is what the LORD says: “ ‘Your wife will become a prostitute in the city, and your sons and daughters will fall by the sword. Your land will be measured and divided up, and you yourself will die in a pagan country. And Israel will surely go into exile, away from their native land.’ ”