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

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2 Samuel 9

1 David asked, "Is there anyone left in Saul's family to whom I can show kindness for Jonathan's sake?"
2 Now, Saul's family had a servant whose name was Ziba. He was summoned to [come to] David. "Are you Ziba?" the king asked him. "[Yes,] I am," he answered.
3 David asked, "Is there someone left in Saul's family to whom I can show God's kindness?" "Jonathan has a son who is disabled," Ziba answered.
4 "Where is he?" the king asked. Ziba replied, "He is at the home of Machir, Ammiel's son, in Lo Debar."
5 So King David sent men to get him from the home of Ammiel's son Machir in Lo Debar.
6 When Mephibosheth (son of Jonathan and grandson of Saul) came to David, he quickly bowed down with his face touching the ground. "Mephibosheth!" David said to him. "Yes, sir," he answered.
7 "Don't be afraid," David told him, "I will certainly show you kindness for your father Jonathan's sake. I will give back to you all the land of your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table."
8 Mephibosheth bowed down [again] and answered, "Who am I that you would look at a dead dog like me?"
9 Then the king called for Ziba, Saul's servant, and said to him, "I have given your master's grandson everything that belonged to Saul and his family.
10 You, your sons, and your servants should farm the land for him and harvest [the crops] so that your master's family will have food to eat. However, your master's grandson Mephibosheth will always eat at my table." (Ziba had 15 sons and 20 servants.)
11 Ziba responded, "I will do everything you've commanded, Your Majesty." From then on, Mephibosheth ate at David's table as one of the king's sons.
12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Mica. Everyone who lived at Ziba's home became Mephibosheth's servant.
13 However, Mephibosheth, who was disabled, lived in Jerusalem. He always ate at the king's table.

2 Samuel 10

1 Later the king of Ammon died, and his son Hanun became king in his place.
2 David thought, "I will show kindness to Hanun as his father Nahash showed me kindness." So David sent his servants to comfort Hanun after his father's [death]. But when David's servants entered Ammonite territory,
3 the Ammonite princes asked their master Hanun, "Do you think David is honoring your father because he sent men to comfort you? Hasn't David sent his men to explore the city, spy on it, and destroy it?"
4 So Hanun took David's men, shaved off half of each man's beard, cut off their clothes from the waist down, and sent them away.
5 After David was told [what had happened], he sent [someone] to meet them because they were deeply humiliated. The king said to them, "Stay in Jericho until your beards have grown back, and then return [to Jerusalem]."
6 The Ammonites realized that they had made themselves offensive to David. So they hired the Arameans from Beth Rehob and Zobah (20,000 foot soldiers), [the army of] the king of Maacah (1,000 men), and the men of Tob (12,000 men).
7 After David heard about this, he sent Joab and all the elite troops.
8 The Ammonites formed a battle line at the entrance of the [city] gate, while the Arameans from Zobah and Rehob and the men from Tob and Maacah remained by themselves in the open country.
9 When Joab saw he was under attack in front and behind, he took the select troops of Israel and organized them for combat against the Arameans.
10 He put his brother Abishai in charge of the rest of the troops. Abishai organized them for combat against the Ammonites.
11 Joab said, "If the Arameans are too strong for my [troops], be ready to help me. And if the Ammonites are too strong for your [troops], I'll come to help you.
12 Be strong! Let's prove ourselves strong for our people and for the cities of our God, and the LORD will do what he considers right."
13 Then Joab and his troops advanced to fight the Arameans, and the Arameans fled.
14 When the Ammonites saw that the Arameans had fled, the Ammonites fled from Abishai and went into the city. So Joab stopped his campaign against the Ammonites and returned to Jerusalem.
15 Realizing that Israel had defeated them, the Arameans reassembled [their troops].
16 Hadadezer sent [messengers] to get Arameans from beyond the Euphrates River. The Arameans came to Helam with Shobach, the commander of Hadadezer's army, leading them.
17 When David was told [about this], he assembled Israel's army, crossed the Jordan River, and came to Helam. The Arameans formed a battle line against David's [troops] and fought him.
18 The Arameans fled from Israel, and David killed 700 chariot drivers and 40,000 horsemen. David struck Shobach dead.
19 When all the kings who were subject to Hadadezer saw that Israel had defeated them, they made peace with Israel and became their subjects. And the Arameans were afraid to help the Ammonites anymore.

2 Samuel 11

1 In the spring, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, his mercenaries, and Israel's army [to war]. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked Rabbah, while David stayed in Jerusalem.
2 Now, when evening came, David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the royal palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing, and she was very pretty.
3 David sent someone to ask about the woman. The man said, "She's Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite."
4 So David sent messengers and took her. She came to him, and he went to bed with her. (She had just cleansed herself after her monthly period.) Then she went home.
5 The woman had become pregnant. So she sent someone to tell David that she was pregnant.
6 Then David sent a messenger to Joab, saying, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent Uriah to David.
7 When Uriah arrived, David asked him how Joab and the troops were and how the war was going.
8 "Go home," David said to Uriah, "and wash your feet." Uriah left the royal palace, and the king sent a present to him.
9 But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace among his superior's mercenaries. He didn't go home.
10 When they told David, "Uriah didn't go home," David asked Uriah, "Didn't you just come from a journey? Why didn't you go home?"
11 Uriah answered David, "The ark and [the army of] Israel and Judah are in temporary shelters, and my commander Joab and Your Majesty's mercenaries are living in the field. Should I then go to my house to eat and drink and go to bed with my wife? I solemnly swear, as sure as you're living, I won't do this!"
12 David said to Uriah, "Then stay here today, and tomorrow I'll send you back." So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next.
13 David summoned him, ate and drank with him, and got him drunk. But that evening Uriah went to lie down on his bed among his superior's mercenaries. He didn't go home.
14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.
15 In the letter he wrote, "Put Uriah on the front line where the fighting is heaviest. Then abandon him so that he'll be struck down and die."
16 Since Joab had kept the city under observation, he put Uriah at the place where he knew the experienced warriors were.
17 The men of the city came out and fought Joab. Some of the people, namely, some of David's mercenaries, fell and died--including Uriah the Hittite.
18 Then Joab sent [a messenger] to report to David all the details of the battle.
19 And he commanded the messenger, "When you finish telling the king about the battle,
20 the king may become angry. He might ask you, 'Why did you go so close to the city to fight? Didn't you know they would shoot from the wall?
21 Who killed Jerubbesheth's son Abimelech? Didn't a woman on the wall of Thebez throw a small millstone at him and kill him? Why did you go so close to the wall?' If the king asks this, then say, 'Your man Uriah the Hittite is also dead.'"
22 The messenger left, and when he arrived, he reported to David everything Joab told him to say.
23 The messenger said, "Their men overpowered us and came to attack us in the field. Then we forced them back to the entrance of the city gate.
24 The archers on the wall shot down at your mercenaries, and some of Your Majesty's mercenaries died. Your man Uriah the Hittite also is dead."
25 David said to the messenger, "This is what you are to say to Joab, 'Don't let this thing trouble you, because a sword can kill one person as easily as another. Strengthen your attack against the city, and destroy it.' Say this to encourage him."
26 When Uriah's wife heard that her husband Uriah was dead, she mourned for him.
27 When her mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to his home, and she became his wife. Then she gave birth to a son. But the LORD considered David's actions evil.

Luke 15:11-32

11 Then Jesus said, "A man had two sons.
12 The younger son said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the property.' So the father divided his property between his two sons.
13 "After a few days, the younger son gathered his possessions and left for a country far away from home. There he wasted everything he had on a wild lifestyle.
14 He had nothing left when a severe famine spread throughout that country. He had nothing to live on.
15 So he got a job from someone in that country and was sent to feed pigs in the fields.
16 No one in the country would give him any food, and he was so hungry that he would have eaten what the pigs were eating.
17 "Finally, he came to his senses. He said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more food than they can eat, while I'm starving to death here?
18 I'll go at once to my father, and I'll say to him, "Father, I've sinned against heaven and you.
19 I don't deserve to be called your son anymore. Make me one of your hired men."'
20 "So he went at once to his father. While he was still at a distance, his father saw him and felt sorry for him. He ran to his son, put his arms around him, and kissed him.
21 Then his son said to him, 'Father, I've sinned against heaven and you. I don't deserve to be called your son anymore.'
22 "The father said to his servants, 'Hurry! Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23 Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let's celebrate with a feast.
24 My son was dead and has come back to life. He was lost but has been found.' Then they began to celebrate.
25 "His older son was in the field. As he was coming back to the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 He called to one of the servants and asked what was happening.
27 "The servant told him, 'Your brother has come home. So your father has killed the fattened calf to celebrate your brother's safe return.'
28 "Then the older son became angry and wouldn't go into the house. His father came out and begged him to come in.
29 But he answered his father, 'All these years I've worked like a slave for you. I've never disobeyed one of your commands. Yet, you've never given me so much as a little goat for a celebration with my friends.
30 But this son of yours spent your money on prostitutes, and when he came home, you killed the fattened calf for him.'
31 "His father said to him, 'My child, you're always with me. Everything I have is yours.
32 But we have something to celebrate, something to be happy about. This brother of yours was dead but has come back to life. He was lost but has been found.'"