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Mark 5:1-20; 2 Samuel 13; Daniel 7

Mark 5:1-20

Demons Driven Out by the Master

1 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 As soon as He got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met Him. 3 He lived in the tombs. No one was able to restrain him any more-even with chains- 4 because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had snapped off the chains and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 And always, night and day, he was crying out among the tombs and in the mountains and cutting himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice, "What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don't torment me!" 8 For He had told him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" 9 "What is your name?" He asked him. "My name is Legion," he answered Him, "because we are many." 10 And he kept begging Him not to send them out of the region. 11 Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. 12 The demons begged Him, "Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them." 13 And He gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there. 14 The men who tended them ran off and reported it in the town and the countryside, and people went to see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed by the legion, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 The eyewitnesses described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and [told] about the pigs. 17 Then they began to beg Him to leave their region. 18 As He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed kept begging Him to be with Him. 19 But He would not let him; instead, He told him, "Go back home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you." 20 So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed.

2 Samuel 13

Amnon Rapes Tamar

1 Some time passed. David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and David's son Amnon was infatuated with her. 2 Amnon was frustrated to the point of making himself sick over his sister Tamar because she was a virgin, but it seemed impossible to do anything to her. 3 Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, a son of David's brother Shimeah. Jonadab was a very shrewd man, 4 and he asked Amnon, "Why are you, the king's son, so miserable every morning? Won't you tell me?" Amnon replied, "I'm in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister." 5 Jonadab said to him, "Lie down on your bed and pretend you're sick. When your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Please let my sister Tamar come and give me [something] to eat. Let her prepare food in my presence so I can watch and eat from her hand.' " 6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, "Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my presence so I can eat from her hand." 7 David sent word to Tamar at the palace: "Please go to your brother Amnon's house and prepare a meal for him." 8 Then Tamar went to his house while Amnon was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his presence, and baked them. 9 She brought the pan and set it down in front of him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, "Everyone leave me!" And everyone left him. 10 "Bring the meal to the bedroom," Amnon told Tamar, "so I can eat from your hand." Tamar took the cakes she had made and went to her brother Amnon's bedroom. 11 When she brought [them] to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, "Come sleep with me, my sister!" 12 "Don't, my brother!" she cried. "Don't humiliate me, for such a thing should never be done in Israel. Don't do this horrible thing! 13 Where could I ever go with my disgrace? And you-you would be like one of the immoral men in Israel! Please, speak to the king, for he won't keep me from you." 14 But he refused to listen to her, and because he was stronger than she was, he raped her. 15 After this, Amnon hated Tamar with such intensity that the hatred he hated her with was greater than the love he had loved her with. "Get out of here!" he said. 16 "No," she cried, "sending me away is much worse than the great wrong you've already done to me!" But he refused to listen to her. 17 Instead, he called to the servant who waited on him: "Throw this woman out and bolt the door behind her!" 18 Amnon's servant threw her out and bolted the door behind her. Now Tamar was wearing a long-sleeved garment, because this is what the king's virgin daughters wore. 19 Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long-sleeved garment she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away weeping. 20 Her brother Absalom said to her: "Has your brother Amnon been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister. He is your brother. Don't take this thing to heart." So Tamar lived as a desolate woman in the house of her brother Absalom.

Absalom Murders Amnon

21 When King David heard about all these things, he was furious. 22 Absalom didn't say anything to Amnon, either good or bad, because he hated Amnon since he disgraced his sister Tamar. 23 Two years later, Absalom's sheepshearers were at Baal-hazor near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king's sons. 24 Then he went to the king and said, "Your servant has just hired sheepshearers. Will the king and his servants please come with your servant?" 25 The king replied to Absalom, "No, my son, we should not all go, or we would be a burden to you." Although Absalom urged him, he wasn't willing to go, though he did bless him. 26 "If not," Absalom said, "please let my brother Amnon go with us." The king asked him, "Why should he go with you?" 27 But Absalom urged him, so he sent Amnon and all the king's sons. 28 Now Absalom commanded his young men, "Watch Amnon until he is in a good mood from the wine. When I order you to strike Amnon, then kill him. Don't be afraid. Am I not the one who has commanded you? Be strong and courageous!" 29 So Absalom's young men did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded. Then all [the rest of] the king's sons got up, and each fled on his mule. 30 While they were on the way, a report reached David: "Absalom struck down all the king's sons; not even one of them survived!" 31 In response the king stood up, tore his clothes, and lay down on the ground, and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn. 32 But Jonadab, son of David's brother Shimeah, spoke up: "My lord must not think they have killed all the young men, the king's sons, because only Amnon is dead. In fact, Absalom has planned this ever since the day Amnon disgraced his sister Tamar. 33 So now, my lord the king, don't take seriously the report that says all the king's sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead." 34 Meanwhile, Absalom had fled. When the young man who was standing watch looked up, there were many people coming from the road west of him from the side of the mountain. 35 Jonadab said to the king, "Look, the king's sons have come! It's exactly like your servant said." 36 Just as he finished speaking, the king's sons entered and wept loudly. Then the king and all his servants also wept bitterly. 37 Now Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur where he stayed three years. 39 Then King David longed to go to Absalom, for David had finished grieving over Amnon's death.

Daniel 7

Daniel's Vision of the Four Beasts

1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream with visions in his mind as he was lying in his bed. He wrote down the dream, and here is the summary of his account. 2 Daniel said, "In my vision at night I was watching, and suddenly the four winds of heaven stirred up the great sea. 3 Four huge beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. 4 "The first was like a lion but had eagle's wings. I continued watching until its wings were torn off. It was lifted up from the ground, set on its feet like a man, and given a human mind. 5 "Suddenly, another beast appeared, a second one, that looked like a bear. It was raised up on one side, with three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, 'Get up! Gorge yourself on flesh.' 6 "While I was watching, another beast appeared. It was like a leopard with four wings of a bird on its back. It had four heads and was given authority to rule. 7 "While I was watching in the night visions, a fourth beast appeared, frightening and dreadful, and incredibly strong, with large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and it trampled with its feet whatever was left. It was different from all the beasts before it, and it had 10 horns. 8 "While I was considering the horns, suddenly another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. There were eyes in this horn like a man's, and it had a mouth that spoke arrogantly.

The Ancient of Days and the Son of Man

9 "As I kept watching, thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took His seat. His clothing was white like snow, and the hair of His head like whitest wool. His throne was flaming fire; its wheels were blazing fire. 10 A river of fire was flowing, coming out from His presence. Thousands upon thousands served Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was convened, and the books were opened. 11 "I watched, then, because of the sound of the arrogant words the horn was speaking. As I continued watching, the beast was killed and its body destroyed and given over to the burning fire. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, their authority to rule was removed, but an extension of life was granted to them for a certain period of time. 13 I continued watching in the night visions, and I saw One like a son of man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. 14 He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.

Interpretation of the Vision

15 "As for me, Daniel, my spirit was deeply distressed within me, and the visions in my mind terrified me. 16 I approached one of those who were standing by and asked him the true meaning of all this. So he let me know the interpretation of these things: 17 'These huge beasts, four in number, are four kings who will rise from the earth. 18 But the holy ones of the Most High will receive the kingdom and possess it forever, yes, forever and ever.' 19 "Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, the one different from all the others, extremely terrifying, with iron teeth and bronze claws, devouring, crushing, and trampling with its feet whatever was left. 20 [I also wanted to know] about the 10 horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three fell-the horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke arrogantly, and that was more visible than the others. 21 As I was watching, this horn made war with the holy ones and was prevailing over them 22 until the Ancient of Days arrived and a judgment was given in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, for the time had come, and the holy ones took possession of the kingdom. 23 "This is what he said: 'The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, different from all the other kingdoms. It will devour the whole earth, trample it down, and crush it. 24 The 10 horns are 10 kings who will rise from this kingdom. Another, different from the previous ones, will rise after them and subdue three kings. 25 He will speak words against the Most High and oppress the holy ones of the Most High. He will intend to change religious festivals and laws, and the holy ones will be handed over to him for a time, times, and half a time. 26 But the court will convene, and his dominion will be taken away, to be completely destroyed forever. 27 The kingdom, dominion, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be given to the people, the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will serve and obey Him.' 28 "This is the end of the interpretation. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts terrified me greatly, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself."
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