2 Samuel 12; 2 Samuel 13; Luke 16

1 The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David. Nathan went to him and said, "There were two men who lived in the same town; one was rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had many cattle and sheep, 3 while the poor man had only one lamb, which he had bought. He took care of it, and it grew up in his home with his children. He would feed it some of his own food, let it drink from his cup, and hold it in his lap. The lamb was like a daughter to him. 4 One day a visitor arrived at the rich man's home. The rich man didn't want to kill one of his own animals to fix a meal for him; instead, he took the poor man's lamb and prepared a meal for his guest." 5 David became very angry at the rich man and said, "I swear by the living Lord that the man who did this ought to die! 6 For having done such a cruel thing, he must pay back four times as much as he took." 7 "You are that man," Nathan said to David. "And this is what the Lord God of Israel says: "I made you king of Israel and rescued you from Saul. 8 I gave you his kingdom and his wives; I made you king over Israel and Judah. If this had not been enough, I would have given you twice as much. 9 Why, then, have you disobeyed my commands? Why did you do this evil thing? You had Uriah killed in battle; you let the Ammonites kill him, and then you took his wife! 10 Now, in every generation some of your descendants will die a violent death because you have disobeyed me and have taken Uriah's wife. 11 I swear to you that I will cause someone from your own family to bring trouble on you. You will see it when I take your wives from you and give them to another man; and he will have intercourse with them in broad daylight. 12 You sinned in secret, but I will make this happen in broad daylight for all Israel to see.' " 13 "I have sinned against the Lord," David said. Nathan replied, "The Lord forgives you; you will not die. 14 But because you have shown such contempt for the Lord in doing this, your child will die." 15 Then Nathan went home. The Lord caused the child that Uriah's wife had borne to David to become very sick. 16 David prayed to God that the child would get well. He refused to eat anything, and every night he went into his room and spent the night lying on the floor. 17 His court officials went to him and tried to make him get up, but he refused and would not eat anything with them. 18 A week later the child died, and David's officials were afraid to tell him the news. They said, "While the child was living, David wouldn't answer us when we spoke to him. How can we tell him that his child is dead? He might do himself some harm!" 19 When David noticed them whispering to each other, he realized that the child had died. So he asked them, "Is the child dead?" "Yes, he is," they answered. 20 David got up from the floor, took a bath, combed his hair, and changed his clothes. Then he went and worshiped in the house of the Lord. When he returned to the palace, he asked for food and ate it as soon as it was served. 21 "We don't understand this," his officials said to him. "While the child was alive, you wept for him and would not eat; but as soon as he died, you got up and ate!" 22 "Yes," David answered, "I did fast and weep while he was still alive. I thought that the Lord might be merciful to me and not let the child die. 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Could I bring the child back to life? I will some day go to where he is, but he can never come back to me." 24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He had intercourse with her, and she bore a son, whom David named Solomon. The Lord loved the boy 25 and commanded the prophet Nathan to name the boy Jedidiah, because the Lord loved him. 26 Meanwhile Joab continued his campaign against Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon, and was about to capture it. 27 He sent messengers to David to report: "I have attacked Rabbah and have captured its water supply. 28 Now gather the rest of your forces, attack the city and take it yourself. I don't want to get the credit for capturing it." 29 So David gathered his forces, went to Rabbah, attacked it, and conquered it. 30 From the head of the idol of the Ammonite god Molech David took a gold crown which weighed about seventy-five pounds and had a jewel in it. David took the jewel and put it in his own crown. He also took a large amount of loot from the city 31 and put its people to work with saws, iron hoes, and iron axes, and forced them to work at making bricks. He did the same to the people of all the other towns of Ammon. Then he and his men returned to Jerusalem.
1 David's son Absalom had a beautiful unmarried sister named Tamar. Amnon, another of David's sons, fell in love with her. 2 He was so much in love with her that he became sick, because it seemed impossible for him to have her; as a virgin, she was kept from meeting men. 3 But he had a friend, a very shrewd man named Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shammah. 4 Jonadab said to Amnon, "You are the king's son, yet day after day I see you looking sad. What's the matter?" "I'm in love with Tamar, the sister of my half brother Absalom," he answered. 5 Jonadab said to him, "Pretend that you are sick and go to bed. When your father comes to see you, say to him, "Please ask my sister Tamar to come and feed me. I want her to fix the food here where I can see her, and then serve it to me herself.' " 6 So Amnon pretended that he was sick and went to bed. King David went to see him, and Amnon said to him, "Please let Tamar come and make a few cakes here where I can see her, and then serve them to me herself." 7 So David sent word to Tamar in the palace: "Go to Amnon's house and fix him some food." 8 She went there and found him in bed. She took some dough, prepared it, and made some cakes there where he could see her. Then she baked the cakes 9 and emptied them out of the pan for him to eat, but he wouldn't. He said, "Send everyone away" - and they all left. 10 Then he said to her, "Bring the cakes here to my bed and serve them to me yourself." She took the cakes and went over to him. 11 As she offered them to him, he grabbed her and said, "Come to bed with me!" 12 "No," she said. "Don't force me to do such a degrading thing! That's awful! 13 How could I ever hold up my head in public again? And you - you would be completely disgraced in Israel. Please, speak to the king, and I'm sure that he will give me to you." 14 But he would not listen to her; and since he was stronger than she was, he overpowered her and raped her. 15 Then Amnon was filled with a deep hatred for her; he hated her now even more than he had loved her before. He said to her, "Get out!" 16 "No," she answered. "To send me away like this is a greater crime than what you just did!" But Amnon would not listen to her; 17 he called in his personal servant and said, "Get this woman out of my sight! Throw her out and lock the door!" 18 The servant put her out and locked the door. Tamar was wearing a long robe with full sleeves, the usual clothing for an unmarried princess in those days. 19 She sprinkled ashes on her head, tore her robe, and with her face buried in her hands went away crying. 20 When her brother Absalom saw her, he asked, "Has Amnon molested you? Please, sister, don't let it upset you so much. He is your half brother, so don't tell anyone about it." So Tamar lived in Absalom's house, sad and lonely. 21 When King David heard what had happened, he was furious. 22 And Absalom hated Amnon so much for having raped his sister Tamar that he would no longer even speak to him. 23 Two years later Absalom was having his sheep sheared at Baal Hazor, near the town of Ephraim, and he invited all the king's sons to be there. 24 He went to King David and said, "Your Majesty, I am having my sheep sheared. Will you and your officials come and take part in the festivities?" 25 "No, my son," the king answered. "It would be too much trouble for you if we all went." Absalom insisted, but the king would not give in, and he asked Absalom to leave. 26 But Absalom said, "Well, then, will you at least let my brother Amnon come?" "Why should he?" the king asked. 27 But Absalom kept on insisting until David finally let Amnon and all his other sons go with Absalom. Absalom prepared a banquet fit for a king 28 and instructed his servants: "Notice when Amnon has had too much to drink, and then when I give the order, kill him. Don't be afraid. I will take the responsibility myself. Be brave and don't hesitate!" 29 So the servants followed Absalom's instructions and killed Amnon. All the rest of David's sons mounted their mules and fled. 30 While they were on their way home, David was told: "Absalom has killed all your sons - not one of them is left!" 31 The king stood up, tore his clothes in sorrow, and threw himself to the ground. The servants who were there with him tore their clothes also. 32 But Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shammah, said, "Your Majesty, they haven't killed all your sons. Only Amnon is dead. You could tell by looking at Absalom that he had made up his mind to do this from the time that Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33 So don't believe the news that all your sons are dead; only Amnon was killed." 34 In the meantime Absalom had fled. Just then the soldier on sentry duty saw a large crowd coming down the hill on the road from Horonaim. He went to the king and reported what he had seen. 35 Jonadab said to David, "Those are your sons coming, just as I said they would." 36 As soon as he finished saying this, David's sons came in; they started crying, and David and his officials also cried bitterly. 37 Absalom fled and went to the king of Geshur, Talmai son of Ammihud, and stayed there three years. David mourned a long time for his son Amnon; 39 but when he got over Amnon's death, he was filled with longing for his son Absalom.
1 Jesus said to his disciples, "There was once a rich man who had a servant who managed his property. The rich man was told that the manager was wasting his master's money, 2 so he called him in and said, "What is this I hear about you? Turn in a complete account of your handling of my property, because you cannot be my manager any longer.' 3 The servant said to himself, "My master is going to dismiss me from my job. What shall I do? I am not strong enough to dig ditches, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 Now I know what I will do! Then when my job is gone, I shall have friends who will welcome me in their homes.' 5 So he called in all the people who were in debt to his master. He asked the first one, "How much do you owe my master?' 6 "One hundred barrels of olive oil,' he answered. "Here is your account,' the manager told him; "sit down and write fifty.' 7 Then he asked another one, "And you - how much do you owe?' "A thousand bushels of wheat,' he answered. "Here is your account,' the manager told him; "write eight hundred.' 8 As a result the master of this dishonest manager praised him for doing such a shrewd thing; because the people of this world are much more shrewd in handling their affairs than the people who belong to the light." 9 And Jesus went on to say, "And so I tell you: make friends for yourselves with worldly wealth, so that when it gives out, you will be welcomed in the eternal home. 10 Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones; whoever is dishonest in small matters will be dishonest in large ones. 11 If, then, you have not been faithful in handling worldly wealth, how can you be trusted with true wealth? 12 And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to someone else, who will give you what belongs to you? 13 "No servant can be the slave of two masters; such a slave will hate one and love the other or will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money." 14 When the Pharisees heard all this, they made fun of Jesus, because they loved money. 15 Jesus said to them, "You are the ones who make yourselves look right in other people's sight, but God knows your hearts. For the things that are considered of great value by people are worth nothing in God's sight. 16 "The Law of Moses and the writings of the prophets were in effect up to the time of John the Baptist; since then the Good News about the Kingdom of God is being told, and everyone forces their way in. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest detail of the Law to be done away with. 18 "Any man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery; and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 19 "There was once a rich man who dressed in the most expensive clothes and lived in great luxury every day. 20 There was also a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who used to be brought to the rich man's door, 21 hoping to eat the bits of food that fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs would come and lick his sores. 22 The poor man died and was carried by the angels to sit beside Abraham at the feast in heaven. The rich man died and was buried, 23 and in Hades, where he was in great pain, he looked up and saw Abraham, far away, with Lazarus at his side. 24 So he called out, "Father Abraham! Take pity on me, and send Lazarus to dip his finger in some water and cool off my tongue, because I am in great pain in this fire!' 25 But Abraham said, "Remember, my son, that in your lifetime you were given all the good things, while Lazarus got all the bad things. But now he is enjoying himself here, while you are in pain. 26 Besides all that, there is a deep pit lying between us, so that those who want to cross over from here to you cannot do so, nor can anyone cross over to us from where you are.' 27 The rich man said, "Then I beg you, father Abraham, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28 where I have five brothers. Let him go and warn them so that they, at least, will not come to this place of pain.' 29 Abraham said, "Your brothers have Moses and the prophets to warn them; your brothers should listen to what they say.' 30 The rich man answered, "That is not enough, father Abraham! But if someone were to rise from death and go to them, then they would turn from their sins.' 31 But Abraham said, "If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone were to rise from death.' "
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