Acts 19:21-41; Judges 11:34-40; Judges 12; Job 40

Acts 19:21-41

The Riot in Ephesus

21 When these events were over, Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem. "After I've been there," he said, "I must see Rome as well!" 22 So after sending two of those who assisted him, Timothy and Erastus, to Macedonia, he himself stayed in the province of Asia for a while. 23 During that time there was a major disturbance about the Way. 24 For a person named Demetrius, a silversmith who made silver shrines of Artemis, provided a great deal of business for the craftsmen. 25 When he had assembled them, as well as the workers engaged in this type of business, he said: "Men, you know that our prosperity is derived from this business. 26 You both see and hear that not only in Ephesus, but in almost the whole province of Asia, this man Paul has persuaded and misled a considerable number of people by saying that gods made by hand are not gods! 27 So not only do we run a risk that our business may be discredited, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may be despised and her magnificence come to the verge of ruin-the very one whom the whole province of Asia and the world adore." 28 When they had heard this, they were filled with rage and began to cry out, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" 29 So the city was filled with confusion; and they rushed all together into the amphitheater, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's traveling companions. 30 Though Paul wanted to go in before the people, the disciples did not let him. 31 Even some of the provincial officials of Asia, who were his friends, sent word to him, pleading with him not to take a chance by going into the amphitheater. 32 Meanwhile, some were shouting one thing and some another, because the assembly was in confusion, and most of them did not know why they had come together. 33 Then some of the crowd gave Alexander advice when the Jews pushed him to the front. So motioning with his hand, Alexander wanted to make his defense to the people. 34 But when they recognized that he was a Jew, a united cry went up from all of them for about two hours: "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!" 35 However, when the city clerk had calmed the crowd down, he said, "Men of Ephesus! What man is there who doesn't know that the city of the Ephesians is the temple guardian of the great Artemis, and of the image that fell from heaven? 36 Therefore, since these things are undeniable, you must keep calm and not do anything rash. 37 For you have brought these men here who are not temple robbers or blasphemers of our goddess. 38 So if Demetrius and the craftsmen who are with him have a case against anyone, the courts are in session, and there are proconsuls. Let them bring charges against one another. 39 But if you want something else, it must be decided in a legal assembly. 40 In fact, we run a risk of being charged with rioting for what happened today, since there is no justification that we can give as a reason for this disorderly gathering." 41 After saying this, he dismissed the assembly.

Judges 11:34-40

34 When Jephthah went to his home in Mizpah, there was his daughter, coming out to meet him with tambourines and dancing! She was his only child; he had no other son or daughter besides her. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, "No! [Not] my daughter! You have devastated me! You have brought great misery on me. I have given my word to the Lord and cannot take [it] back." 36 Then she said to him, "My father, you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me as you have said, for the Lord brought vengeance on your enemies, the Ammonites." 37 She also said to her father, "Let me do this one thing: Let me wander two months through the mountains with my friends and mourn my virginity." 38 "Go," he said. And he sent her away two months. So she left with her friends and mourned her virginity as she wandered through the mountains. 39 At the end of two months, she returned to her father, and he kept the vow he had made about her. And she had never been intimate with a man. Now it became a custom in Israel 40 [that] four days each year the young women of Israel would commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.

Judges 12

Conflict with Ephraim

1 The men of Ephraim were called together and crossed [the Jordan] to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, "Why have you crossed over to fight against the Ammonites but didn't call us to go with you? We will burn your house down with you [in it]!" 2 Then Jephthah said to them, "My people and I had a serious conflict with the Ammonites. So I called for you, but you didn't deliver me from their power. 3 When I saw that you weren't going to deliver me, I took my life in my own hands and crossed over to the Ammonites, and the Lord handed them over to me. Why then have you come today to fight against me?" 4 Then Jephthah gathered all of the men of Gilead. They fought and defeated Ephraim, because Ephraim had said, "You Gileadites are Ephraimite fugitives in [the territories of] Ephraim and Manasseh." 5 The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim. Whenever a fugitive from Ephraim said, "Let me cross over," the Gileadites asked him, "Are you an Ephraimite?" If he answered, "No," 6 they told him, "Please say Shibboleth." If he said, "Sibboleth," because he could not pronounce it correctly, they seized him and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time, 42,000 from Ephraim died. 7 Jephthah judged Israel six years, and when he died, he was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon

8 Ibzan, who was from Bethlehem, judged Israel after Jephthah 9 and had 30 sons. He gave his 30 daughters in marriage [to men] outside the tribe and brought back 30 wives for his sons from outside [the tribe]. Ibzan judged Israel seven years, 10 and when he died, he was buried in Bethlehem. 11 Elon, who was from Zebulun, judged Israel after Ibzan. He judged Israel 10 years, 12 and when he died, he was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun. 13 After Elon, Abdon son of Hillel, who was from Pirathon, judged Israel. 14 He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons, who rode on 70 donkeys. Abdon judged Israel eight years, 15 and when he died, he was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

Job 40

1 The Lord answered Job: 2 Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct [Him]? Let him who argues with God give an answer. 3 Then Job answered the Lord: 4 I am so insignificant. How can I answer You? I place my hand over my mouth. 5 I have spoken once, and I will not reply; twice, but [now] I can add nothing. 6 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: 7 Get ready to answer Me like a man; When I question you, you will inform Me. 8 Would you really challenge My justice? Would you declare Me guilty to justify yourself? 9 Do you have an arm like God's? Can you thunder with a voice like His? 10 Adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, and clothe yourself with honor and glory. 11 Unleash your raging anger; look on every proud person and humiliate him. 12 Look on every proud person and humble him; trample the wicked where they stand. 13 Hide them together in the dust; imprison them in the grave. 14 Then I will confess to you that your own right hand can deliver you. 15 Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you. He eats grass like an ox. 16 Look at the strength of his loins and the power in the muscles of his belly. 17 He stiffens his tail like a cedar tree; the tendons of his thighs are woven firmly together. 18 His bones are bronze tubes; his limbs are like iron rods. 19 He is the foremost of God's works; [only] his Maker can draw the sword against him. 20 The hills yield food for him, while all [sorts of] wild animals play there. 21 He lies under the lotus plants, hiding in the protection of marshy reeds. 22 Lotus plants cover him with their shade; the willows by the brook surround him. 23 Though the river rages, Behemoth is unafraid; he remains confident, even if the Jordan surges up to his mouth. 24 Can anyone capture him while he looks on, or pierce his nose with snares?
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