2 Samuel 23; 2 Samuel 24; Luke 19:1-27

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2 Samuel 23

1 These are the last words of David: "Here is the declaration by David, son of Jesse-- the declaration by the man whom God raised up, whom the God of Jacob anointed, the singer of Israel's psalms:
2 "The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me. His words were on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel spoke to them. The rock of Israel told me, 'The one who rules humans with justice rules with the fear of God.
4 He is like the morning light as the sun rises, like a morning without clouds, like the brightness after a rainstorm. The rain makes the grass grow from the earth.'
5 "Truly, God considers my house to be that way, because he has made a lasting promise to me, with every detail arranged and assured. [He promised] everything that helps me, everything that pleases me. Truly, he makes these things happen.
6 "Worthless people are like thorns. All of them are thrown away, because they cannot be picked by hand.
7 A person who touches them uses iron [tools] or the shaft of a spear. Fire will burn them up completely wherever they are."
8 These are the names of David's fighting men: Josheb Basshebeth from Tahkemon's family was leader of the three. He used a spear to kill 800 men on one occasion.
9 Next in rank to him was Eleazar, another one of the three fighting men. He was the son of Dodo and grandson of Aho. Eleazar was with David at Pas Dammim when the Philistines gathered there for battle. When the soldiers from Israel retreated,
10 he attacked and killed Philistines until his hand got tired and stuck to his sword. So the LORD won an impressive victory that day. The army returned to Eleazar, but they only returned to strip the dead.
11 Next in rank to him was Shammah, the son of Agee from Harar. The Philistines had gathered at Lehi, where there was a field of ripe lentils. When the troops fled from the Philistines,
12 he stood in the middle of the field and defended it by killing Philistines. So the LORD won an impressive victory.
13 At harvest time three of the thirty leading men came to David at the cave of Adullam when a troop from the Philistine army was camping in the valley of Rephaim.
14 While David was in the fortified camp, Philistine troops were at Bethlehem.
15 When David became thirsty, he said, "I wish I could have a drink of water from the well at the city gate of Bethlehem."
16 So the three fighting men burst into the Philistine camp and drew water from the well. They brought it to David, but he refused to drink it. He poured it out [as an offering] to the LORD and said,
17 "It's unthinkable that I would do this, LORD. This is the blood of men who risked their lives!" So he refused to drink it. These are the things which the three fighting men did.
18 Joab's brother Abishai, Zeruiah's son, was the leader of the thirty. He used his spear to kill 300 men. He was as famous as the three
19 and was honored more than they were. So he became their captain, but he didn't become a member of the three.
20 Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, was from Kabzeel and was a brave man who did many things. He killed two distinguished soldiers from Moab. He also went into a pit and killed a lion on the day it snowed.
21 And he killed a handsome Egyptian. The Egyptian had a spear in his hand. Benaiah went to him with a club, grabbed the spear from him, and killed him with it.
22 These are the things that Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, did. He was as famous as the three fighting men.
23 He was honored more than the thirty, but he was not a member of the three. David put him in charge of his bodyguards.
24 One of the thirty was Joab's brother Asahel. [The thirty leading men were] Elhanan (son of Dodo) from Bethlehem,
25 Shammah from Harod, Elika from Harod,
26 Helez the Paltite, Ira (son of Ikkesh) from Tekoa,
27 Abiezer from Anathoth, Mebunnai (son of Hushai),
28 Zalmon (descendant of Ahohi), Maharai from Netophah,
29 Heleb (son of Baanah) from Netophah, Ittai (son of Ribai) from Gibeah in Benjamin,
30 Benaiah from Pirathon, Hiddai from the Gaash ravines,
31 Abi Albon from Beth Arabah, Azmaveth from Bahurim,
32 Elihba from Shaalbon, Bene Jashen,
33 Jonathan ([son of] Shammah the Hararite), Ahiam (son of Sharar the Hararite),
34 Eliphelet (son of Ahasbai and grandson of a man from Maacah), Eliam (son of Ahithophel) from Gilo,
35 Hezrai from Carmel, Paarai from Arabah,
36 Igal (son of Nathan) from Zobah, Bani from the tribe of Gad,
37 Zelek from Ammon, Naharai from Beeroth, armorbearer for Zeruiah's son Joab,
38 Ira (descendant of Ithra), Gareb (descendant of Ithra),
39 Uriah the Hittite-- 37 in all.

2 Samuel 24

1 The LORD became angry with Israel again, so he provoked David to turn against Israel. He said, "Go, count Israel and Judah."
2 King David said to Joab, the commander of the army who was with him, "Go throughout the tribes of Israel from Dan to Beersheba and count the people. That way I will know how many there are."
3 Joab responded to the king, "May the LORD your God multiply the people a hundred times over, and may Your Majesty [live] to see it. But why does Your Majesty wish to do this?"
4 However, the king overruled Joab and the commanders of the army. So they left the king [in order] to count the people of Israel.
5 They crossed the Jordan River and camped at Aroer, south of the city in the middle of the valley. Then they went to Gad and to Jazer.
6 They went to Gilead and to Tahtim Hodshi and then to Dan Jaan and around toward Sidon.
7 They went to the fortified city of Tyre and all the cities of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Then they went to Beersheba in the Negev of Judah.
8 When they had covered the whole country, they came to Jerusalem after 9 months and 20 days.
9 Joab reported the census figures to the king: In Israel there were 800,000 able-bodied men who could serve in the army, and in Judah there were 500,000.
10 After David counted the people, his conscience troubled him. David said to the LORD, "I have committed a terrible sin by what I have done. LORD, please forgive me because I have acted very foolishly."
11 When David got up in the morning, the LORD spoke his word to the prophet Gad, David's seer.
12 "Go and tell David, 'This is what the LORD says: I'm offering you three choices. Choose the one you want me to do to you.'"
13 When Gad came to David, he told David this and asked, "Should seven years of famine come to you and your land, or three months during which you flee from your enemies as they pursue you, or should there be a three-day plague in your land? Think it over, and decide what answer I should give the one who sent me."
14 "I'm in a desperate situation," David told Gad. "Please let us fall into the LORD's hands because he is very merciful. But don't let me fall into human hands."
15 So the LORD sent a plague among the Israelites from that morning until the time he had chosen. Of the people from Dan to Beersheba, 70,000 died.
16 But when the Messenger stretched out his arm to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD changed his mind about the disaster. "Enough!" he said to the Messenger who was destroying the people. "Put down your weapon." The Messenger of the LORD was at the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.
17 When David saw the Messenger who had been killing the people, he said to the LORD, "I've sinned. I've done wrong. What have these sheep done? Please let your punishment be against me and against my father's family."
18 That day Gad came to David and said to him, "Go, set up an altar for the LORD at Araunah the Jebusite's threshing floor."
19 David went as Gad had told him and as the LORD had commanded him.
20 When Araunah looked down and saw the king and his men coming toward him, he went out and bowed down with his face touching the ground in front of the king.
21 "Why has Your Majesty come to me?" Araunah asked. David answered, "To buy the threshing floor from you and to build an altar for the LORD. Then the plague on the people will stop."
22 Araunah said to David, "Take it, Your Majesty, and offer whatever you think is right. There are oxen for the burnt offering, and there are threshers and oxen yokes for firewood."
23 All this Araunah gave to the king and said, "May the LORD your God accept you."
24 "No!" the king said to Araunah. "I must buy it from you at a [fair] price. I won't offer the LORD my God burnt sacrifices that cost me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for 1¼ pounds of silver.
25 David built an altar for the LORD there and sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. So the LORD heard the prayers for the country, and the plague on Israel stopped.

Luke 19:1-27

1 Jesus was passing through Jericho.
2 A man named Zacchaeus was there. He was the director of tax collectors, and he was rich.
3 He tried to see who Jesus was. But Zacchaeus was a small man, and he couldn't see Jesus because of the crowd.
4 So Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed a fig tree to see Jesus, who was coming that way.
5 When Jesus came to the tree, he looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down! I must stay at your house today."
6 Zacchaeus came down and was glad to welcome Jesus into his home.
7 But the people who saw this began to express disapproval. They said, "He went to be the guest of a sinner."
8 [Later, at dinner,] Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Lord, I'll give half of my property to the poor. I'll pay four times as much as I owe to those I have cheated in any way."
9 Then Jesus said to Zacchaeus, "You and your family have been saved today. You've shown that you, too, are one of Abraham's descendants.
10 Indeed, the Son of Man has come to seek and to save people who are lost."
11 Jesus was getting closer to Jerusalem, and the people thought that the kingdom of God would appear suddenly. While Jesus had the people's attention, he used this illustration.
12 He said, "A prince went to a distant country to be appointed king, and then he returned.
13 [Before he left,] he called ten of his servants and gave them ten coins. He said to his servants, 'Invest this money until I come back.'
14 "The citizens of his own country hated him. They sent representatives to follow him and say [to the person who was going to appoint him], 'We don't want this man to be our king.'
15 "After he was appointed king, he came back. Then he said, 'Call those servants to whom I gave money. I want to know how much each one has made by investing.'
16 "The first servant said, 'Sir, the coin you gave me has earned ten times as much.'
17 "The king said to him, 'Good job! You're a good servant. You proved that you could be trusted with a little money. Take charge of ten cities.'
18 "The second servant said, 'The coin you gave me, sir, has made five times as much.'
19 "The king said to this servant, 'You take charge of five cities.'
20 "Then the other servant said, 'Sir, look! Here's your coin. I've kept it in a cloth for safekeeping because
21 I was afraid of you. You're a tough person to get along with. You take what isn't yours and harvest grain you haven't planted.'
22 "The king said to him, 'I'll judge you by what you've said, you evil servant! You knew that I was a tough person to get along with. You knew that I take what isn't mine and harvest grain I haven't planted.
23 Then why didn't you put my money in the bank? When I came back, I could have collected it with interest.'
24 The king told his men, 'Take his coin away, and give it to the man who has ten.'
25 "They replied, 'Sir, he already has ten coins.'
26 "'I can guarantee that everyone who has something will be given more. But everything will be taken away from those who don't have much.
27 Bring my enemies, who didn't want me to be their king. Kill them in front of me.'"