2 Samuel 1; 2 Samuel 2; Luke 14:1-24

1 After Saul's death David came back from his victory over the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag for two days. 2 The next day a young man arrived from Saul's camp. To show his grief, he had torn his clothes and put dirt on his head. He went to David and bowed to the ground in respect. 3 David asked him, "Where have you come from?" "I have escaped from the Israelite camp," he answered. 4 "Tell me what happened," David said. "Our army ran away from the battle," he replied, "and many of our men were killed. Saul and his son Jonathan were also killed." 5 "How do you know that Saul and Jonathan are dead?" David asked him. 6 He answered, "I happened to be on Mount Gilboa, and I saw that Saul was leaning on his spear and that the chariots and cavalry of the enemy were closing in on him. 7 Then he turned around, saw me, and called to me. I answered, "Yes, sir!' 8 He asked who I was, and I told him that I was an Amalekite. 9 Then he said, "Come here and kill me! I have been badly wounded, and I'm about to die.' 10 So I went up to him and killed him, because I knew that he would die anyway as soon as he fell. Then I took the crown from his head and the bracelet from his arm, and I have brought them to you, sir." 11 David tore his clothes in sorrow, and all his men did the same. 12 They grieved and mourned and fasted until evening for Saul and Jonathan and for Israel, the people of the Lord, because so many had been killed in battle. 13 David asked the young man who had brought him the news, "Where are you from?" He answered, "I'm an Amalekite, but I live in your country." 14 David asked him, "How is it that you dared kill the Lord's chosen king?" 15 Then David called one of his men and said, "Kill him!" The man struck the Amalekite and mortally wounded him, 16 and David said to the Amalekite, "You brought this on yourself. You condemned yourself when you confessed that you killed the one whom the Lord chose to be king." 17 David sang this lament for Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 and ordered it to be taught to the people of Judah. (It is recorded in [The Book of Jashar.]) 19 "On the hills of Israel our leaders are dead! The bravest of our soldiers have fallen! 20 Do not announce it in Gath or in the streets of Ashkelon. Do not make the women of Philistia glad; do not let the daughters of pagans rejoice. 21 "May no rain or dew fall on Gilboa's hills; may its fields be always barren! For the shields of the brave lie there in disgrace; the shield of Saul is no longer polished with oil. 22 Jonathan's bow was deadly, the sword of Saul was merciless, striking down the mighty, killing the enemy. 23 "Saul and Jonathan, so wonderful and dear; together in life, together in death; swifter than eagles, stronger than lions. 24 "Women of Israel, mourn for Saul! He clothed you in rich scarlet dresses and adorned you with jewels and gold. 25 "The brave soldiers have fallen, they were killed in battle. Jonathan lies dead in the hills. 26 "I grieve for you, my brother Jonathan; how dear you were to me! How wonderful was your love for me, better even than the love of women. 27 "The brave soldiers have fallen, their weapons abandoned and useless."
1 After this, David asked the Lord, "Shall I go and take control of one of the towns of Judah?" "Yes," the Lord answered. "Which one?" David asked. "Hebron," the Lord said. 2 So David went to Hebron, taking with him his two wives: Ahinoam, who was from Jezreel, and Abigail, Nabal's widow, who was from Carmel. 3 He also took his men and their families, and they settled in the towns around Hebron. 4 Then the men of Judah came to Hebron and anointed David as king of Judah. When David heard that the people of Jabesh in Gilead had buried Saul, 5 he sent some men there with the message: "May the Lord bless you for showing your loyalty to your king by burying him. 6 And now may the Lord be kind and faithful to you. I too will treat you well because of what you have done. 7 Be strong and brave! Saul your king is dead, and the people of Judah have anointed me as their king." 8 The commander of Saul's army, Abner son of Ner, had fled with Saul's son Ishbosheth across the Jordan to Mahanaim. 9 There Abner made Ishbosheth king of the territories of Gilead, Asher, Jezreel, Ephraim, and Benjamin, and indeed over all Israel. 10 He was forty years old when he was made king of Israel, and he ruled for two years. But the tribe of Judah was loyal to David, 11 and he ruled in Hebron over Judah for seven and a half years. 12 Abner and the officials of Ishbosheth went from Mahanaim to the city of Gibeon. 13 Joab, whose mother was Zeruiah, and David's other officials met them at the pool, where they all sat down, one group on one side of the pool and the other group on the opposite side. 14 Abner said to Joab, "Let's have some of the young men from each side fight an armed contest." "All right," Joab answered. 15 So twelve men, representing Ishbosheth and the tribe of Benjamin, fought twelve of David's men. 16 Each man caught his opponent by the head and plunged his sword into his opponent's side, so that all twenty-four of them fell down dead together. And so that place in Gibeon is called "Field of Swords." 17 Then a furious battle broke out, and Abner and the Israelites were defeated by David's men. 18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Asahel, who could run as fast as a wild deer, 19 started chasing Abner, running straight for him. 20 Abner looked back and said, "Is that you, Asahel?" "Yes," he answered. 21 "Stop chasing me!" Abner said. "Run after one of the soldiers and take what he has." But Asahel kept on chasing him. 22 Once more Abner said to him, "Stop chasing me! Why force me to kill you? How could I face your brother Joab?" 23 But Asahel would not quit; so Abner, with a backward thrust of his spear, struck him through the stomach so that the spear came out at his back. Asahel dropped to the ground dead, and everyone who came to the place where he was lying stopped and stood there. 24 But Joab and Abishai started out after Abner, and at sunset they came to the hill of Ammah, which is to the east of Giah on the road to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 The men from the tribe of Benjamin gathered around Abner again and took their stand on the top of a hill. 26 Abner called out to Joab, "Do we have to go on fighting forever? Can't you see that in the end there will be nothing but bitterness? We are your relatives. How long will it be before you order your men to stop chasing us?" 27 "I swear by the living God," Joab answered, "that if you had not spoken, my men would have kept on chasing you until tomorrow morning." 28 Then Joab blew the trumpet as a signal for his men to stop pursuing the Israelites; and so the fighting stopped. 29 Abner and his men marched through the Jordan Valley all that night; they crossed the Jordan River, and after marching all the next morning, they arrived back at Mahanaim. 30 When Joab gave up the chase, he gathered all his men and found that nineteen of them were missing, in addition to Asahel. 31 David's men had killed 360 of Abner's men from the tribe of Benjamin. 32 Joab and his men took Asahel's body and buried it in the family tomb at Bethlehem. Then they marched all night and at dawn arrived back at Hebron.
1 One Sabbath Jesus went to eat a meal at the home of one of the leading Pharisees; and people were watching Jesus closely. 2 A man whose legs and arms were swollen came to Jesus, 3 and Jesus spoke up and asked the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, "Does our Law allow healing on the Sabbath or not?" 4 But they would not say a thing. Jesus took the man, healed him, and sent him away. 5 Then he said to them, "If any one of you had a child or an ox that happened to fall in a well on a Sabbath, would you not pull it out at once on the Sabbath itself?" 6 But they were not able to answer him about this. 7 Jesus noticed how some of the guests were choosing the best places, so he told this parable to all of them: 8 "When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place. It could happen that someone more important than you has been invited, 9 and your host, who invited both of you, would have to come and say to you, "Let him have this place.' Then you would be embarrassed and have to sit in the lowest place. 10 Instead, when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that your host will come to you and say, "Come on up, my friend, to a better place.' This will bring you honor in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For those who make themselves great will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be made great." 12 Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or your rich neighbors - for they will invite you back, and in this way you will be paid for what you did. 13 When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind; 14 and you will be blessed, because they are not able to pay you back. God will repay you on the day the good people rise from death." 15 When one of the guests sitting at the table heard this, he said to Jesus, "How happy are those who will sit down at the feast in the Kingdom of God!" 16 Jesus said to him, "There was once a man who was giving a great feast to which he invited many people. 17 When it was time for the feast, he sent his servant to tell his guests, "Come, everything is ready!' 18 But they all began, one after another, to make excuses. The first one told the servant, "I have bought a field and must go and look at it; please accept my apologies.' 19 Another one said, "I have bought five pairs of oxen and am on my way to try them out; please accept my apologies.' 20 Another one said, "I have just gotten married, and for that reason I cannot come.' 21 The servant went back and told all this to his master. The master was furious and said to his servant, "Hurry out to the streets and alleys of the town, and bring back the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.' 22 Soon the servant said, "Your order has been carried out, sir, but there is room for more.' 23 So the master said to the servant, "Go out to the country roads and lanes and make people come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you all that none of those who were invited will taste my dinner!' "
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