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Acts 19:1-20; Judges 10; Judges 11:1-33; Job 39

Acts 19:1-20

Twelve Disciples of John the Baptist

1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior regions and came to Ephesus. He found some disciples 2 and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" "No," they told him, "we haven't even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 "Then with what [baptism] were you baptized?" he asked them. "With John's baptism," they replied. 4 Paul said, "John baptized with a baptism of repentance, telling the people that they should believe in the One who would come after him, that is, in Jesus." 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began to speak with [other] languages and to prophesy. 7 Now there were about 12 men in all.

In the Lecture Hall of Tyrannus

8 Then he entered the synagogue and spoke boldly over a period of three months, engaging in discussion and trying to persuade them about the things related to the kingdom of God. 9 But when some became hardened and would not believe, slandering the Way in front of the crowd, he withdrew from them and met separately with the disciples, conducting discussions every day in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 And this went on for two years, so that all the inhabitants of the province of Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord.

Demonism Defeated at Ephesus

11 God was performing extraordinary miracles by Paul's hands, 12 so that even facecloths or work aprons that had touched his skin were brought to the sick, and the diseases left them, and the evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists attempted to pronounce the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "I command you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches!" 14 Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15 The evil spirit answered them, "Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize-but who are you?" 16 Then the man who had the evil spirit leaped on them, overpowered them all, and prevailed against them, so that they ran out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known to everyone who lived in Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. Then fear fell on all of them, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. 18 And many who had become believers came confessing and disclosing their practices, 19 while many of those who had practiced magic collected their books and burned them in front of everyone. So they calculated their value, and found it to be 50,000 pieces of silver. 20 In this way the Lord's message flourished and prevailed.

Judges 10

Tola and Jair

1 After Abimelech, Tola son of Puah, son of Dodo [became judge] and began to deliver Israel. He was from Issachar and lived in Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. 2 Tola judged Israel 23 years, and when he died, was buried in Shamir. 3 After him came Jair the Gileadite, who judged Israel 22 years. 4 He had 30 sons who rode on 30 young donkeys. They had 30 towns in Gilead, which are called Jair's Villages to this day. 5 When Jair died, he was buried in Kamon.

Israel's Rebellion and Repentance

6 Then the Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. They worshiped the Baals and the Ashtoreths, the gods of Aram, Sidon, and Moab, and the gods of the Ammonites and the Philistines. They abandoned the Lord and did not worship Him. 7 So the Lord's anger burned against Israel, and He sold them to the Philistines and the Ammonites. 8 They shattered and crushed the Israelites that year, and for 18 years [they did the same to] all the Israelites who were on the other side of the Jordan in the land of the Amorites in Gilead. 9 The Ammonites also crossed the Jordan to fight against Judah, Benjamin, and the house of Ephraim. Israel was greatly oppressed, 10 so they cried out to the Lord, saying, "We have sinned against You. We have abandoned our God and worshiped the Baals." 11 The Lord said to the Israelites, "When the Egyptians, Amorites, Ammonites, Philistines, 12 Sidonians, Amalekites, and Maonites oppressed you, and you cried out to Me, did I not deliver you from their power? 13 But you have abandoned Me and worshiped other gods. Therefore, I will not deliver you again. 14 Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them deliver you in the time of your oppression." 15 But the Israelites said, "We have sinned. Deal with us as You see fit; only deliver us today!" 16 So they got rid of the foreign gods among them and worshiped the Lord, but He became weary of Israel's misery. 17 The Ammonites were called together, and they camped in Gilead. So the Israelites assembled and camped at Mizpah. 18 The rulers of Gilead said to one another, "Which man will lead the fight against the Ammonites? He will be the leader of all the inhabitants of Gilead."

Judges 11:1-33

Jephthah Becomes Israel's Leader

1 Jephthah the Gileadite was a great warrior, but he was the son of a prostitute, and Gilead was his father. 2 Gilead's wife bore him sons, and when they grew up, they drove Jephthah out and said to him, "You will have no inheritance in our father's house, because you are the son of another woman." 3 So Jephthah fled from his brothers and lived in the land of Tob. Then some lawless men joined Jephthah and traveled with him. 4 Some time later, the Ammonites fought against Israel. 5 When the Ammonites made war with Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob. 6 They said to him, "Come, be our commander, and let's fight against the Ammonites." 7 Jephthah replied to the elders of Gilead, "Didn't you hate me and drive me from my father's house? Why then have you come to me now when you're in trouble?" 8 They answered Jephthah, "Since that's true, we now turn to you. Come with us, fight the Ammonites, and you will become leader of all the inhabitants of Gilead." 9 So Jephthah said to them, "If you are bringing me back to fight the Ammonites and the Lord gives them to me, I will be your leader." 10 The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, "The Lord is our witness if we don't do as you say." 11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead. The people put him over themselves as leader and commander, and Jephthah repeated all his terms in the presence of the Lord at Mizpah.

Jephthah Rejects Ammonite Claims

12 Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites, saying, "What do you have against me that you have come to fight against me in my land?" 13 The king of the Ammonites said to Jephthah's messengers, "When Israel came from Egypt, they seized my land from the Arnon to the Jabbok and the Jordan. Now restore it peaceably." 14 Jephthah again sent messengers to the king of the Ammonites 15 to tell him, "This is what Jephthah says: Israel did not take away the land of Moab or the land of the Ammonites. 16 But when they came from Egypt, Israel traveled through the wilderness to the Red Sea and came to Kadesh. 17 Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, 'Please let us travel through your land,' but the king of Edom would not listen. They also sent [messengers] to the king of Moab, but he refused. So Israel stayed in Kadesh. 18 "Then they traveled through the wilderness and around the lands of Edom and Moab. They came to the east side of the land of Moab and camped on the other side of the Arnon but did not enter into the territory of Moab, for the Arnon was the boundary of Moab. 19 "Then Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, king of Heshbon. Israel said to him, 'Please let us travel through your land to our country,' 20 but Sihon did not trust Israel. Instead, Sihon gathered all his people, camped at Jahaz, and fought with Israel. 21 Then the Lord God of Israel handed over Sihon and all his people to Israel, and they defeated them. So Israel took possession of the entire land of the Amorites who lived in that country. 22 They took possession of all the territory of the Amorites from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the wilderness to the Jordan. 23 "The Lord God of Israel has now driven out the Amorites before His people Israel, but will you drive us out? 24 Isn't it true that you may possess whatever your god Chemosh drives out for you, and we may possess everything the Lord our God drives out before us? 25 Now are you any better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever contend with Israel or fight against them? 26 While Israel lived 300 years in Heshbon and its villages, in Aroer and its villages, and in all the cities that are on the banks of the Arnon, why didn't you take them back at that time? 27 I have not sinned against you, but you have wronged me by fighting against me. Let the Lord [who is] the Judge decide today between the Israelites and the Ammonites." 28 But the king of the Ammonites would not listen to Jephthah's message that he sent him.

Jephthah's Vow and Sacrifice

29 The Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah, who traveled through Gilead and Manasseh, and then through Mizpah of Gilead. He crossed over to the Ammonites from Mizpah of Gilead. 30 Jephthah made this vow to the Lord: "If You will hand over the Ammonites to me, 31 whatever comes out of the doors of my house to greet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites will belong to the Lord, and I will offer it as a burnt offering." 32 Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them, and the Lord handed them over to him. 33 He defeated 20 of their cities with a great slaughter from Aroer all the way to the entrance of Minnith and to Abel-keramim. So the Ammonites were subdued before the Israelites.

Job 39

1 Do you know when mountain goats give birth? Have you watched the deer in labor? 2 Can you count the months they are pregnant so you can know the time they give birth? 3 They crouch down to give birth to their young; they deliver their newborn. 4 Their offspring are healthy and grow up in the open field. They leave and do not return. 5 Who set the wild donkey free? Who released the swift donkey from its harness? 6 I made the wilderness its home, and the salty wasteland its dwelling. 7 It scoffs at the noise of the village and never hears the shouts of a driver. 8 It roams the mountains for its pastureland, searching for anything green. 9 Would the wild ox be willing to serve you? Would it spend the night by your feeding trough? 10 Can you hold the wild ox by its harness to the furrow? Will it plow the valleys behind you? 11 Can you depend on it because of its strength? Would you leave it to do your hard work? 12 Can you trust the wild ox to harvest your grain and bring [it] to your threshing floor? 13 The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully, but are her feathers and plumage like the stork's? 14 She abandons her eggs on the ground and lets them be warmed in the sand. 15 She forgets that a foot may crush them or that some wild animal may trample them. 16 She treats her young harshly, as if [they] were not her own, with no fear that her labor may have been in vain. 17 For God has deprived her of wisdom; He has not endowed her with understanding. 18 When she proudly spreads her wings, she laughs at the horse and its rider. 19 Do you give strength to the horse? Do you adorn his neck with a mane? 20 Do you make him leap like a locust? His proud snorting [fills one with] terror. 21 He paws in the valley and rejoices in his strength; He charges into battle. 22 He laughs at fear, since he is afraid of nothing; he does not run from the sword. 23 A quiver rattles at his side, along with a flashing spear and a lance. 24 He charges ahead with trembling rage; he cannot stand still at the trumpet's sound. 25 When the trumpet blasts, he snorts defiantly. He smells the battle from a distance; he hears the officers' shouts and the battle cry. 26 Does the hawk take flight by your understanding and spread its wings to the south? 27 Does the eagle soar at your command and make its nest on high? 28 It lives on a cliff where it spends the night; its stronghold is on a rocky crag. 29 From there it searches for prey; its eyes penetrate the distance. 30 Its brood gulps down blood, and wherever corpses lie, it is there.
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