2 Samuel 9; 2 Samuel 10; 2 Samuel 11; Luke 15:11-32

1 One day David asked, "Is there anyone left of Saul's family? If there is, I would like to show him kindness for Jonathan's sake." 2 There was a servant of Saul's family named Ziba, and he was told to go to David. "Are you Ziba?" the king asked. "At your service, sir," he answered. 3 The king asked him, "Is there anyone left of Saul's family to whom I can show loyalty and kindness, as I promised God I would?" Ziba answered, "There is still one of Jonathan's sons. He is crippled." 4 "Where is he?" the king asked. "At the home of Machir son of Ammiel in Lodebar," Ziba answered. 5 So King David sent for him. 6 When Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul, arrived, he bowed down before David in respect. David said, "Mephibosheth," and he answered, "At your service, sir." 7 "Don't be afraid," David replied. "I will be kind to you for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will give you back all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always be welcome at my table." 8 Mephibosheth bowed again and said, "I am no better than a dead dog, sir! Why should you be so good to me?" 9 Then the king called Ziba, Saul's servant, and said, "I am giving Mephibosheth, your master's grandson, everything that belonged to Saul and his family. 10 You, your sons, and your servants will farm the land for your master Saul's family and bring in the harvest, to provide food for them. But Mephibosheth himself will always be a guest at my table." (Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.) 11 Ziba answered, "I will do everything Your Majesty commands." So Mephibosheth ate at the king's table, just like one of the king's sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. All the members of Ziba's family became servants of Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth, who was crippled in both feet, lived in Jerusalem, eating all his meals at the king's table.
1 Some time later King Nahash of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king. 2 King David said, "I must show loyal friendship to Hanun, as his father Nahash did to me." So David sent messengers to express his sympathy. When they arrived in Ammon, 3 the Ammonite leaders said to the king, "Do you think that it is in your father's honor that David has sent these men to express sympathy to you? Of course not! He has sent them here as spies to explore the city, so that he can conquer us!" 4 Hanun seized David's messengers, shaved off one side of their beards, cut off their clothes at the hips, and sent them away. 5 They were too ashamed to return home. When David heard about what had happened, he sent word for them to stay in Jericho and not return until their beards had grown again. 6 The Ammonites realized that they had made David their enemy, so they hired twenty thousand Syrian soldiers from Bethrehob and Zobah, twelve thousand men from Tob, and the king of Maacah with a thousand men. 7 David heard of it and sent Joab against them with the whole army. 8 The Ammonites marched out and took up their position at the entrance to Rabbah, their capital city, while the others, both the Syrians and the men from Tob and Maacah, took up their position in the open countryside. 9 Joab saw that the enemy troops would attack him in front and from the rear, so he chose the best of Israel's soldiers and put them in position facing the Syrians. 10 He placed the rest of his troops under the command of his brother Abishai, who put them in position facing the Ammonites. 11 Joab said to him, "If you see that the Syrians are defeating me, come and help me, and if the Ammonites are defeating you, I will go and help you. 12 Be strong and courageous! Let's fight hard for our people and for the cities of our God. And may the Lord's will be done!" 13 Joab and his men advanced to attack, and the Syrians fled. 14 When the Ammonites saw the Syrians running away, they fled from Abishai and retreated into the city. Then Joab turned back from fighting the Ammonites and went back to Jerusalem. 15 The Syrians realized that they had been defeated by the Israelites, and so they called all their troops together. 16 King Hadadezer sent for the Syrians who were on the east side of the Euphrates River, and they came to Helam under the command of Shobach, commander of the army of King Hadadezer of Zobah. 17 When David heard of it, he gathered the Israelite troops, crossed the Jordan River, and marched to Helam, where the Syrians took up their position facing him. The fighting began, 18 and the Israelites drove the Syrian army back. David and his men killed seven hundred Syrian chariot drivers and forty thousand cavalry, and they wounded Shobach, the enemy commander, who died on the battlefield. 19 When the kings who were subject to Hadadezer realized that they had been defeated by the Israelites, they made peace with them and became their subjects. And the Syrians were afraid to help the Ammonites any more.
1 The following spring, at the time of the year when kings usually go to war, David sent out Joab with his officers and the Israelite army; they defeated the Ammonites and besieged the city of Rabbah. But David himself stayed in Jerusalem. 2 One day, late in the afternoon, David got up from his nap and went to the palace roof. As he walked around up there, he saw a woman taking a bath in her house. She was very beautiful. 3 So he sent a messenger to find out who she was, and learned that she was Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. 4 David sent messengers to get her; they brought her to him and he made love to her. (She had just finished her monthly ritual of purification.) Then she went back home. 5 Afterward she discovered that she was pregnant and sent a message to David to tell him. 6 David then sent a message to Joab: "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent him to David. 7 When Uriah arrived, David asked him if Joab and the troops were well, and how the fighting was going. 8 Then he said to Uriah, "Go on home and rest a while." Uriah left, and David had a present sent to his home. 9 But Uriah did not go home; instead he slept at the palace gate with the king's guards. 10 When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he asked him, "You have just returned after a long absence; why didn't you go home?" 11 Uriah answered, "The men of Israel and Judah are away in battle, and the Covenant Box is with them; my commander Joab and his officers are camping out in the open. How could I go home, eat and drink, and sleep with my wife? By all that's sacred, I swear that I could never do such a thing!" 12 So David said, "Then stay here the rest of the day, and tomorrow I'll send you back." So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 David invited him to supper and got him drunk. But again that night Uriah did not go home; instead he slept on his blanket in the palace guardroom. 14 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. 15 He wrote: "Put Uriah in the front line, where the fighting is heaviest, then retreat and let him be killed." 16 So while Joab was besieging the city, he sent Uriah to a place where he knew the enemy was strong. 17 The enemy troops came out of the city and fought Joab's forces; some of David's officers were killed, and so was Uriah. 18 Then Joab sent a report to David telling him about the battle, 19 and he instructed the messenger, "After you have told the king all about the battle, 20 he may get angry and ask you, "Why did you go so near the city to fight them? Didn't you realize that they would shoot arrows from the walls? 21 Don't you remember how Abimelech son of Gideon was killed? It was at Thebez, where a woman threw a millstone down from the wall and killed him. Why, then, did you go so near the wall?' If the king asks you this, tell him, "Your officer Uriah was also killed.' " 22 So the messenger went to David and told him what Joab had commanded him to say. 23 He said, "Our enemies were stronger than we were and came out of the city to fight us in the open, but we drove them back to the city gate. 24 Then they shot arrows at us from the wall, and some of Your Majesty's officers were killed; your officer Uriah was also killed." 25 David said to the messenger, "Encourage Joab and tell him not to be upset, since you never can tell who will die in battle. Tell him to launch a stronger attack on the city and capture it." 26 When Bathsheba heard that her husband had been killed, she mourned for him. 27 When the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to the palace; she became his wife and bore him a son. But the Lord was not pleased with what David had done.
11 Jesus went on to say, "There was once a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to him, "Father, give me my share of the property now.' So the man divided his property between his two sons. 13 After a few days the younger son sold his part of the property and left home with the money. He went to a country far away, where he wasted his money in reckless living. 14 He spent everything he had. Then a severe famine spread over that country, and he was left without a thing. 15 So he went to work for one of the citizens of that country, who sent him out to his farm to take care of the pigs. 16 He wished he could fill himself with the bean pods the pigs ate, but no one gave him anything to eat. 17 At last he came to his senses and said, "All my father's hired workers have more than they can eat, and here I am about to starve! 18 I will get up and go to my father and say, "Father, I have sinned against God and against you. 19 I am no longer fit to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired workers." ' 20 So he got up and started back to his father. "He was still a long way from home when his father saw him; his heart was filled with pity, and he ran, threw his arms around his son, and kissed him. 21 "Father,' the son said, "I have sinned against God and against you. I am no longer fit to be called your son.' 22 But the father called to his servants. "Hurry!' he said. "Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and shoes on his feet. 23 Then go and get the prize calf and kill it, and let us celebrate with a feast! 24 For this son of mine was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.' And so the feasting began. 25 "In the meantime the older son was out in the field. On his way back, when he came close to the house, he heard the music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him, "What's going on?' 27 "Your brother has come back home,' the servant answered, "and your father has killed the prize calf, because he got him back safe and sound.' 28 The older brother was so angry that he would not go into the house; so his father came out and begged him to come in. 29 But he spoke back to his father, "Look, all these years I have worked for you like a slave, and I have never disobeyed your orders. What have you given me? Not even a goat for me to have a feast with my friends! 30 But this son of yours wasted all your property on prostitutes, and when he comes back home, you kill the prize calf for him!' 31 "My son,' the father answered, "you are always here with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be happy, because your brother was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost, but now he has been found.' "
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