Mark 2; 2 Samuel 4; 2 Samuel 5; Daniel 2:24-49

Mark 2

The Son of Man Forgives and Heals

1 When He entered Capernaum again after some days, it was reported that He was at home. 2 So many people gathered together that there was no more room, not even in the doorway, and He was speaking the message to them. 3 Then they came to Him bringing a paralytic, carried by four men. 4 Since they were not able to bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above where He was. And when they had broken through, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic was lying. 5 Seeing their faith, Jesus told the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." 6 But some of the scribes were sitting there, thinking to themselves: 7 "Why does He speak like this? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 8 Right away Jesus understood in His spirit that they were reasoning like this within themselves and said to them, "Why are you reasoning these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, pick up your stretcher, and walk'? 10 But so you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins," He told the paralytic, 11 "I tell you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go home." 12 Immediately he got up, picked up the stretcher, and went out in front of everyone. As a result, they were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

The Call of Matthew

13 Then Jesus went out again beside the sea. The whole crowd was coming to Him, and He taught them. 14 Then, moving on, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office, and He said to him, "Follow Me!" So he got up and followed Him.

Dining with Sinners

15 While He was reclining at the table in Levi's house, many tax collectors and sinners were also guests with Jesus and His disciples, because there were many who were following Him. 16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked His disciples, "Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?" 17 When Jesus heard this, He told them, "Those who are well don't need a doctor, but the sick [do need one]. I didn't come to call the righteous, but sinners."

A Question about Fasting

18 Now John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. People came and asked Him, "Why do John's disciples and the Pharisees' disciples fast, but Your disciples do not fast?" 19 Jesus said to them, "The wedding guests cannot fast while the groom is with them, can they? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. 20 But the time will come when the groom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. 21 No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new patch pulls away from the old cloth, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost as well as the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins."

Lord of the Sabbath

23 On the Sabbath He was going through the grainfields, and His disciples began to make their way picking some heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to Him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" 25 He said to them, "Have you never read what David and those who were with him did when he was in need and hungry- 26 how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest and ate the sacred bread-which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests-and also gave some to his companions?" 27 Then He told them, "The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. 28 Therefore the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."

2 Samuel 4

The Assassination of Ish-bosheth

1 When Saul's son [Ish-bosheth] heard that Abner had died in Hebron, his courage failed, and all Israel was dismayed. 2 Saul's son had two men who were leaders of raiding parties: one named Baanah and the other Rechab, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite of the Benjaminites. Beeroth is also considered part of Benjamin, 3 and the Beerothites fled to Gittaim and still live there as aliens to this very day. 4 Saul's son Jonathan had a son whose feet were crippled. He was five years old when the report about Saul and Jonathan came from Jezreel. His nurse picked him up and fled, but as she was hurrying to flee, he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth. 5 Rechab and Baanah, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, set out and arrived at Ish-bosheth's house during the heat of the day while the king was taking his midday nap. 6 They entered the interior of the house as if to get wheat and stabbed him in the stomach. Then Rechab and his brother Baanah escaped. 7 They had entered the house while Ish-bosheth was lying on his bed in his bedroom and stabbed and killed him. Then they beheaded him, took his head, and traveled by way of the Arabah all night. 8 They brought Ish-bosheth's head to David at Hebron and said to the king, "Here's the head of Ish-bosheth son of Saul, your enemy who intended to take your life. Today the Lord has granted vengeance to my lord the king against Saul and his offspring." 9 But David answered Rechab and his brother Baanah, sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, "As surely as the Lord lives, [the One] who has redeemed my life from every distress, 10 when the person told me, 'Look, Saul is dead,' he thought he was a bearer of good news, but I seized him and put him to death at Ziklag. That was my reward to him for his news! 11 How much more when wicked men kill a righteous man in his own house on his own bed! So now, should I not require his blood from your hands and wipe you off the earth?" 12 So David gave orders to the young men, and they killed Rechab and Baanah. They cut off their hands and feet and hung [their bodies] by the pool in Hebron, but they took Ish-bosheth's head and buried it in Abner's tomb in Hebron.

2 Samuel 5

David, King of Israel

1 All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, "Here we are, your own flesh and blood. 2 Even while Saul was king over us, you were the one who led us out [to battle] and brought us back. The Lord also said to you, 'You will shepherd My people Israel and be ruler over Israel.' " 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron. King David made a covenant with them at Hebron in the Lord's presence, and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was 30 years old when he began his reign; he reigned 40 years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned 33 years over all Israel and Judah. 6 The king and his men marched to Jerusalem against the Jebusites who inhabited the land. The Jebusites had said to David: "You will never get in here. Even the blind and lame can repel you," thinking, "David can't get in here." 7 Yet David did capture the stronghold of Zion, the city of David. 8 He said that day, "Whoever attacks the Jebusites must go through the water shaft to reach the lame and the blind who are despised by David." For this reason it is said, "The blind and the lame will never enter the house." 9 David took up residence in the stronghold, which he named the city of David. He built it up all the way around from the supporting terraces inward. 10 David became more and more powerful, and the Lord God of Hosts was with him. 11 King Hiram of Tyre sent envoys to David; [he also sent] cedar logs, carpenters, and stonemasons, and they built a palace for David. 12 Then David knew that the Lord had established him as king over Israel and had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel. 13 After he arrived from Hebron, David took more concubines and wives in Jerusalem, and more sons and daughters were born to him. 14 These are the names of those born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet. 17 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over Israel, they all went in search of David, but he heard about it and went down to the stronghold. 18 So the Philistines came and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 19 Then David inquired of the Lord: "Should I go to war against the Philistines? Will you hand them over to me?" The Lord replied to David, "Go, for I will certainly hand the Philistines over to you." 20 So David went to Baal-perazim and defeated them there and said, "Like a bursting flood, the Lord has burst out against my enemies before me." Therefore, he named that place the Lord Bursts Out. 21 The Philistines abandoned their idols there, and David and his men carried them off. 22 The Philistines came up again and spread out in the Valley of Rephaim. 23 So David inquired of the Lord, and He answered, "Do not make a frontal assault. Circle around behind them and attack them opposite the balsam trees. 24 When you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, act decisively, for then the Lord will have marched out ahead of you to attack the camp of the Philistines." 25 So David did exactly as the Lord commanded him, and he struck down the Philistines all the way from Geba to Gezer.

Daniel 2:24-49

24 Therefore Daniel went to Arioch, whom the king had assigned to destroy the wise men of Babylon. He came and said to him, "Don't kill the wise men of Babylon! Bring me before the king, and I will give him the interpretation." 25 Then Arioch quickly brought Daniel before the king and said to him, "I have found a man among the Judean exiles who can let the king know the interpretation." 26 The king said in reply to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, "Are you able to tell me the dream I had and its interpretation?" 27 Daniel answered the king: "No wise man, medium, diviner-priest, or astrologer is able to make known to the king the mystery he asked about. 28 But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has let King Nebuchadnezzar know what will happen in the last days. Your dream and the visions [that came into] your mind [as you lay] in bed were these: 29 Your Majesty, while you were in your bed, thoughts came [to your mind] about what will happen in the future. The revealer of mysteries has let you know what will happen. 30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have more wisdom than anyone living, but in order that the interpretation might be made known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.

The Dream's Interpretation

31 "My king, as you were watching, a colossal statue appeared. That statue, tall and dazzling, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was terrifying. 32 The head of the statue was pure gold, its chest and arms were silver, its stomach and thighs were bronze, 33 its legs were iron, and its feet were partly iron and partly fired clay. 34 As you were watching, a stone broke off without a hand touching it, struck the statue on its feet of iron and fired clay, and crushed them. 35 Then the iron, the fired clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were shattered and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors. The wind carried them away, and not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. 36 "This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. 37 Your Majesty, you are king of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and glory. 38 Wherever people live-or wild animals, or birds of the air-He has handed them over to you and made you ruler over them all. You are the head of gold. 39 "After you, there will arise another kingdom, inferior to yours, and then another, a third kingdom, of bronze, which will rule the whole earth. 40 A fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron; for iron crushes and shatters everything, and like iron that smashes, it will crush and smash all the others. 41 You saw the feet and toes, partly of a potter's fired clay and partly of iron-it will be a divided kingdom, though some of the strength of iron will be in it. You saw the iron mixed with clay, 42 and that the toes of the feet were part iron and part fired clay-part of the kingdom will be strong, and part will be brittle. 43 You saw the iron mixed with clay-the peoples will mix with one another but will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with fired clay. 44 "In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. 45 You saw a stone break off from the mountain without a hand touching it, and it crushed the iron, bronze, fired clay, silver, and gold. The great God has told the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its interpretation certain."

Nebuchadnezzar's Response

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell down, paid homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present an offering and incense to him. 47 The king said to Daniel, "Your God is indeed God of gods, Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, since you were able to reveal this mystery." 48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many generous gifts. He made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 At Daniel's request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to manage the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king's court.
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