21He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand?22For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.23If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”24“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more.25Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
26He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.27Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.28All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head.29As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
30Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it?31It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth.32Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.”33With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand.34He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.
35That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”36Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.37A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.38Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”39He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.40He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”41They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
1In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.2One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,3and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”4Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.) Then she went back home.5The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”6So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David.7When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.8Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him.9But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.10David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?”11Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”12Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.13At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.14In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.15In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die.”16So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were.17When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.18Joab sent David a full account of the battle.19He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle,20the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall?21Who killed Abimelek son of Jerub-Besheth ? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’ ”22The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say.23The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate.24Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”25David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.”26When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.27After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.
1The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.2The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle,3but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.4“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”5David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, “As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this must die!6He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity.”7Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.8I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.9Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.10Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’11“This is what the LORD says: ‘Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity on you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight.12You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.’ ”13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.14But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the LORD, the son born to you will die.”15After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill.16David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying in sackcloth on the ground.17The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.18On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”19David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”20Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.21His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”22He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’23But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”24Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him;25and because the LORD loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.26Meanwhile Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel.27Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply.28Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me.”29So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it.30David took the crown from their king’s head, and it was placed on his own head. It weighed a talent of gold, and it was set with precious stones. David took a great quantity of plunder from the city31and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking. David did this to all the Ammonite towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.
1It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom,2with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss.3Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom.4At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.5Finally these men said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God.”6So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever!7The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.8Now, Your Majesty, issue the decree and put it in writing so that it cannot be altered—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”9So King Darius put the decree in writing.10Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.11Then these men went as a group and found Daniel praying and asking God for help.12So they went to the king and spoke to him about his royal decree: “Did you not publish a decree that during the next thirty days anyone who prays to any god or human being except to you, Your Majesty, would be thrown into the lions’ den?” The king answered, “The decree stands—in accordance with the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be repealed.”13Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays three times a day.”14When the king heard this, he was greatly distressed; he was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort until sundown to save him.15Then the men went as a group to King Darius and said to him, “Remember, Your Majesty, that according to the law of the Medes and Persians no decree or edict that the king issues can be changed.”16So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”17A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed.18Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.19At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den.20When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”21Daniel answered, “May the king live forever!22My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”23The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.24At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.25Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth: “May you prosper greatly!26“I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. “For he is the living God and he endures forever; his kingdom will not be destroyed, his dominion will never end.27He rescues and he saves; he performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth. He has rescued Daniel from the power of the lions.”28So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.