28In those days the Philistines gathered their forces for war, to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, You know, of course, that you and your men are to go out with me in the army. 2David said to Achish, Very well, then you shall know what your servant can do. Achish said to David, Very well, I will make you my bodyguard for life.
3 Now Samuel had died, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his own city. Saul had expelled the mediums and the wizards from the land. 4The Philistines assembled, and came and encamped at Shunem. Saul gathered all Israel, and they encamped at Gilboa. 5When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart trembled greatly. 6When Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord did not answer him, not by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. 7Then Saul said to his servants, Seek out for me a woman who is a medium, so that I may go to her and inquire of her. His servants said to him, There is a medium at Endor.
8 So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothes and went there, he and two men with him. They came to the woman by night. And he said, Consult a spirit for me, and bring up for me the one whom I name to you. 9The woman said to him, Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the wizards from the land. Why then are you laying a snare for my life to bring about my death? 10But Saul swore to her by the Lord, As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this thing. 11Then the woman said, Whom shall I bring up for you? He answered, Bring up Samuel for me. 12When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out with a loud voice; and the woman said to Saul, Why have you deceived me? You are Saul! 13The king said to her, Have no fear; what do you see? The woman said to Saul, I see a divine being* coming up out of the ground. 14He said to her, What is his appearance? She said, An old man is coming up; he is wrapped in a robe. So Saul knew that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.
15 Then Samuel said to Saul, Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up? Saul answered, I am in great distress, for the Philistines are warring against me, and God has turned away from me and answers me no more, either by prophets or by dreams; so I have summoned you to tell me what I should do. 16Samuel said, Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy? 17The Lord has done to you just as he spoke by me; for the Lord has torn the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbour David. 18Because you did not obey the voice of the Lord, and did not carry out his fierce wrath against Amalek, therefore the Lord has done this thing to you today. 19Moreover, the Lord will give Israel along with you into the hands of the Philistines; and tomorrow you and your sons shall be with me; the Lord will also give the army of Israel into the hands of the Philistines.
20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of the words of Samuel; and there was no strength in him, for he had eaten nothing all day and all night. 21The woman came to Saul, and when she saw that he was terrified, she said to him, Your servant has listened to you; I have taken my life in my hand, and have listened to what you have said to me. 22Now therefore, you also listen to your servant; let me set a morsel of bread before you. Eat, that you may have strength when you go on your way. 23He refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, urged him; and he listened to their words. So he got up from the ground and sat on the bed. 24Now the woman had a fatted calf in the house. She quickly slaughtered it, and she took flour, kneaded it, and baked unleavened cakes. 25She put them before Saul and his servants, and they ate. Then they rose and went away that night.
29Now the Philistines gathered all their forces at Aphek, while the Israelites were encamped by the fountain that is in Jezreel.
2As the lords of the Philistines were marching on by hundreds and by thousands, and David and his men were marching in the rear with Achish,
3the commanders of the Philistines said, What are these Hebrews doing here? Achish said to the commanders of the Philistines, Is this not David, the servant of King Saul of Israel, who has been with me now for days and years? Since he deserted to me I have found no fault in him to this day.
4But the commanders of the Philistines were angry with him; and the commanders of the Philistines said to him, Send the man back, so that he may return to the place that you have assigned to him; he shall not go down with us to battle, or else he may become an adversary to us in the battle. For how could this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Would it not be with the heads of the men here?
5Is this not David, of whom they sing to one another in dances,
Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands?
6 Then Achish called David and said to him, As the Lord lives, you have been honest, and to me it seems right that you should march out and in with me in the campaign; for I have found nothing wrong in you from the day of your coming to me until today. Nevertheless the lords do not approve of you. 7So go back now; and go peaceably; do nothing to displease the lords of the Philistines. 8David said to Achish, But what have I done? What have you found in your servant from the day I entered your service until now, that I should not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king? 9Achish replied to David, I know that you are as blameless in my sight as an angel of God; nevertheless, the commanders of the Philistines have said, He shall not go up with us to the battle. 10Now then rise early in the morning, you and the servants of your lord who came with you, and go to the place that I appointed for you. As for the evil report, do not take it to heart, for you have done well before me.* Start early in the morning, and leave as soon as you have light. 11So David set out with his men early in the morning, to return to the land of the Philistines. But the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
30Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid on the Negeb and on Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag, burned it down, 2and taken captive the women and all* who were in it, both small and great; they killed none of them, but carried them off, and went on their way. 3When David and his men came to the city, they found it burnt down, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept, until they had no more strength to weep. 5Davids two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6David was in great danger; for the people spoke of stoning him, because all the people were bitter in spirit for their sons and daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
7 David said to the priest Abiathar son of Ahimelech, Bring me the ephod. So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8David inquired of the Lord, Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them? He answered him, Pursue; for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue. 9So David set out, he and the six hundred men who were with him. They came to the Wadi Besor, where those stayed who were left behind. 10But David went on with the pursuit, he and four hundred men; two hundred stayed behind, too exhausted to cross the Wadi Besor.
11 In the open country they found an Egyptian, and brought him to David. They gave him bread and he ate; they gave him water to drink; 12they also gave him a piece of fig cake and two clusters of raisins. When he had eaten, his spirit revived; for he had not eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. 13Then David said to him, To whom do you belong? Where are you from? He said, I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite. My master left me behind because I fell sick three days ago. 14We had made a raid on the Negeb of the Cherethites and on that which belongs to Judah and on the Negeb of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag down. 15David said to him, Will you take me down to this raiding party? He said, Swear to me by God that you will not kill me, or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them.
16 When he had taken him down, they were spread out all over the ground, eating and drinking and dancing, because of the great amount of spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah. 17David attacked them from twilight until the evening of the next day. Not one of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled. 18David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken; and David rescued his two wives. 19Nothing was missing, whether small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything that had been taken; David brought back everything. 20David also captured all the flocks and herds, which were driven ahead of the other cattle; people said, This is Davids spoil.
21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow David, and who had been left at the Wadi Besor. They went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him. When David drew near to the people he saluted them. 22Then all the corrupt and worthless fellows among the men who had gone with David said, Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except that each man may take his wife and children, and leave. 23But David said, You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us; he has preserved us and handed over to us the raiding party that attacked us. 24Who would listen to you in this matter? For the share of the one who goes down into the battle shall be the same as the share of the one who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike. 25From that day forward he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel; it continues to the present day.
26 When David came to Ziklag, he sent part of the spoil to his friends, the elders of Judah, saying, Here is a present for you from the spoil of the enemies of the Lord;
27it was for those in Bethel, in Ramoth of the Negeb, in Jattir,
28in Aroer, in Siphmoth, in Eshtemoa,
29in Racal, in the towns of the Jerahmeelites, in the towns of the Kenites,
30in Hormah, in Bor-ashan, in Athach,
31in Hebron, all the places where David and his men had roamed.
1 I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord,* for ever;
with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.
2 I declare that your steadfast love is established for ever;
your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.
3 You said, I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to my servant David:
4 I will establish your descendants for ever,
and build your throne for all generations.
5 Let the heavens praise your wonders, O Lord,
your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones.
6 For who in the skies can be compared to the Lord?
Who among the heavenly beings is like the Lord,
7 a God feared in the council of the holy ones,
great and awesome* above all that are around him?
8 O Lord God of hosts,
who is as mighty as you, O Lord?
Your faithfulness surrounds you.
9 You rule the raging of the sea;
when its waves rise, you still them.
10 You crushed Rahab like a carcass;
you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 The heavens are yours, the earth also is yours;
the world and all that is in ityou have founded them.
12 The north and the south*you created them;
Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name.
13 You have a mighty arm;
strong is your hand, high your right hand.
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;
steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
15 Happy are the people who know the festal shout,
who walk, O Lord, in the light of your countenance;
16 they exult in your name all day long,
and extol* your righteousness.
17 For you are the glory of their strength;
by your favour our horn is exalted.
18 For our shield belongs to the Lord,
our king to the Holy One of Israel.
3One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three oclock in the afternoon. 2And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. 3When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. 4Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, Look at us. 5And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6But Peter said, I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,* stand up and walk. 7And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
11 While he clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomons Portico, utterly astonished. 12When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, You Israelites,* why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant* Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. 14But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, 15and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. 16And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus* has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
17 And now, friends,* I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah* would suffer. 19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, 20so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah* appointed for you, that is, Jesus, 21who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets. 22Moses said, The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people* a prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you. 23And it will be that everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be utterly rooted out from the people. 24And all the prophets, as many as have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, also predicted these days. 25You are the descendants of the prophets and of the covenant that God gave to your ancestors, saying to Abraham, And in your descendants all the families of the earth shall be blessed. 26When God raised up his servant,* he sent him first to you, to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011