1After the death of Saul, when David had returned from defeating the Amalekites, David remained two days in Ziklag. 2On the third day, a man came from Sauls camp, with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground and did obeisance. 3David said to him, Where have you come from? He said to him, I have escaped from the camp of Israel. 4David said to him, How did things go? Tell me! He answered, The army fled from the battle, but also many of the army fell and died; and Saul and his son Jonathan also died. 5Then David asked the young man who was reporting to him, How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan died? 6The young man reporting to him said, I happened to be on Mount Gilboa; and there was Saul leaning on his spear, while the chariots and the horsemen drew close to him. 7When he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. I answered, Here, sir. 8And he said to me, Who are you? I answered him, I am an Amalekite. 9He said to me, Come, stand over me and kill me; for convulsions have seized me, and yet my life still lingers. 10So I stood over him, and killed him, for I knew that he could not live after he had fallen. I took the crown that was on his head and the armlet that was on his arm, and I have brought them here to my lord.
11 Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them; and all the men who were with him did the same. 12They mourned and wept, and fasted until evening for Saul and for his son Jonathan, and for the army of the Lord and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword. 13David said to the young man who had reported to him, Where do you come from? He answered, I am the son of a resident alien, an Amalekite. 14David said to him, Were you not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lords anointed? 15Then David called one of the young men and said, Come here and strike him down. So he struck him down and he died. 16David said to him, Your blood be on your head; for your own mouth has testified against you, saying, I have killed the Lords anointed.
17 David intoned this lamentation over Saul and his son Jonathan.
18(He ordered that The Song of the Bow* be taught to the people of Judah; it is written in the Book of Jashar.) He said:
19 Your glory, O Israel, lies slain upon your high places!
How the mighty have fallen!
20 Tell it not in Gath,
proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon;
or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice,
the daughters of the uncircumcised will exult.
21 You mountains of Gilboa,
let there be no dew or rain upon you,
nor bounteous fields!*
For there the shield of the mighty was defiled,
the shield of Saul, anointed with oil no more.
22 From the blood of the slain,
from the fat of the mighty,
the bow of Jonathan did not turn back,
nor the sword of Saul return empty.
23 Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely!
In life and in death they were not divided;
they were swifter than eagles,
they were stronger than lions.
24 O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul,
who clothed you with crimson, in luxury,
who put ornaments of gold on your apparel.
25 How the mighty have fallen
in the midst of the battle!
Jonathan lies slain upon your high places.
26 I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan;
greatly beloved were you to me;
your love to me was wonderful,
passing the love of women.
27 How the mighty have fallen,
and the weapons of war perished!
2After this David inquired of the Lord, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah? The Lord said to him, Go up. David said, To which shall I go up? He said, To Hebron. 2So David went up there, along with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 3David brought up the men who were with him, every one with his household; and they settled in the towns of Hebron. 4Then the people of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.
When they told David, It was the people of Jabesh-gilead who buried Saul, 5David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh-gilead, and said to them, May you be blessed by the Lord, because you showed this loyalty to Saul your lord, and buried him! 6Now may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you! And I too will reward you because you have done this thing. 7Therefore let your hands be strong, and be valiant; for Saul your lord is dead, and the house of Judah has anointed me king over them.
8 But Abner son of Ner, commander of Sauls army, had taken Ishbaal* son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim. 9He made him king over Gilead, the Ashurites, Jezreel, Ephraim, Benjamin, and over all Israel. 10Ishbaal,* Sauls son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned for two years. But the house of Judah followed David. 11The time that David was king in Hebron over the house of Judah was seven years and six months.
12 Abner son of Ner, and the servants of Ishbaal* son of Saul, went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13Joab son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David, went out and met them at the pool of Gibeon. One group sat on one side of the pool, while the other sat on the other side of the pool. 14Abner said to Joab, Let the young men come forward and have a contest before us. Joab said, Let them come forward. 15So they came forward and were counted as they passed by, twelve for Benjamin and Ishbaal* son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16Each grasped his opponent by the head, and thrust his sword in his opponents side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim,* which is at Gibeon. 17The battle was very fierce that day; and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten by the servants of David.
18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel was as swift of foot as a wild gazelle. 19Asahel pursued Abner, turning neither to the right nor to the left as he followed him. 20Then Abner looked back and said, Is it you, Asahel? He answered, Yes, it is. 21Abner said to him, Turn to your right or to your left, and seize one of the young men, and take his spoil. But Asahel would not turn away from following him. 22Abner said again to Asahel, Turn away from following me; why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I show my face to your brother Joab? 23But he refused to turn away. So Abner struck him in the stomach with the butt of his spear, so that the spear came out at his back. He fell there, and died where he lay. And all those who came to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, stood still.
24 But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner. As the sun was going down they came to the hill of Ammah, which lies before Giah on the way to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25The Benjaminites rallied around Abner and formed a single band; they took their stand on the top of a hill. 26Then Abner called to Joab, Is the sword to keep devouring for ever? Do you not know that the end will be bitter? How long will it be before you order your people to turn from the pursuit of their kinsmen? 27Joab said, As God lives, if you had not spoken, the people would have continued to pursue their kinsmen, not stopping until morning. 28Joab sounded the trumpet and all the people stopped; they no longer pursued Israel or engaged in battle any further.
29 Abner and his men travelled all that night through the Arabah; they crossed the Jordan, and, marching the whole forenoon,* they came to Mahanaim. 30Joab returned from the pursuit of Abner; and when he had gathered all the people together, there were missing of Davids servants nineteen men besides Asahel. 31But the servants of David had killed of Benjamin three hundred and sixty of Abners men. 32They took up Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father, which was at Bethlehem. Joab and his men marched all night, and the day broke upon them at Hebron.
3There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David; David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker.
2 Sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel; 3his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; the third, Absalom son of Maacah, daughter of King Talmai of Geshur; 4the fourth, Adonijah son of Haggith; the fifth, Shephatiah son of Abital; 5and the sixth, Ithream, of Davids wife Eglah. These were born to David in Hebron.
6 While there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, Abner was making himself strong in the house of Saul. 7Now Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah daughter of Aiah. And Ishbaal* said to Abner, Why have you gone in to my fathers concubine? 8The words of Ishbaal* made Abner very angry; he said, Am I a dogs head for Judah? Today I keep showing loyalty to the house of your father Saul, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not given you into the hand of David; and yet you charge me now with a crime concerning this woman. 9So may God do to Abner and so may he add to it! For just what the Lord has sworn to David, that will I accomplish for him, 10to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul, and set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan to Beer-sheba. 11And Ishbaal* could not answer Abner another word, because he feared him.
12 Abner sent messengers to David at Hebron,* saying, To whom does the land belong? Make your covenant with me, and I will give you my support to bring all Israel over to you. 13He said, Good; I will make a covenant with you. But one thing I require of you: you shall never appear in my presence unless you bring Sauls daughter Michal when you come to see me. 14Then David sent messengers to Sauls son Ishbaal,* saying, Give me my wife Michal, to whom I became engaged at the price of one hundred foreskins of the Philistines. 15Ishbaal* sent and took her from her husband Paltiel the son of Laish. 16But her husband went with her, weeping as he walked behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner said to him, Go back home! So he went back.
17 Abner sent word to the elders of Israel, saying, For some time past you have been seeking David as king over you. 18Now then bring it about; for the Lord has promised David: Through my servant David I will save my people Israel from the hand of the Philistines, and from all their enemies. 19Abner also spoke directly to the Benjaminites; then Abner went to tell David at Hebron all that Israel and the whole house of Benjamin were ready to do.
20 When Abner came with twenty men to David at Hebron, David made a feast for Abner and the men who were with him. 21Abner said to David, Let me go and rally all Israel to my lord the king, in order that they may make a covenant with you, and that you may reign over all that your heart desires. So David dismissed Abner, and he went away in peace.
22 Just then the servants of David arrived with Joab from a raid, bringing much spoil with them. But Abner was not with David at Hebron, for David* had dismissed him, and he had gone away in peace. 23When Joab and all the army that was with him came, it was told Joab, Abner son of Ner came to the king, and he has dismissed him, and he has gone away in peace. 24Then Joab went to the king and said, What have you done? Abner came to you; why did you dismiss him, so that he got away? 25You know that Abner son of Ner came to deceive you, and to learn your comings and goings and to learn all that you are doing.
26 When Joab came out from Davids presence, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the cistern of Sirah; but David did not know about it. 27When Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gateway to speak with him privately, and there he stabbed him in the stomach. So he died for shedding* the blood of Asahel, Joabs* brother. 28Afterwards, when David heard of it, he said, I and my kingdom are for ever guiltless before the Lord for the blood of Abner son of Ner. 29May the guilt* fall on the head of Joab, and on all his fathers house; and may the house of Joab never be without one who has a discharge, or who is leprous,* or who holds a spindle, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks food! 30So Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.
31 Then David said to Joab and to all the people who were with him, Tear your clothes, and put on sackcloth, and mourn over Abner. And King David followed the bier.
32They buried Abner at Hebron. The king lifted up his voice and wept at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept.
33The king lamented for Abner, saying,
Should Abner die as a fool dies?
34 Your hands were not bound,
your feet were not fettered;
as one falls before the wicked
you have fallen.
And all the people wept over him again. 35Then all the people came to persuade David to eat something while it was still day; but David swore, saying, So may God do to me, and more, if I taste bread or anything else before the sun goes down! 36All the people took notice of it, and it pleased them; just as everything the king did pleased all the people. 37So all the people and all Israel understood that day that the king had no part in the killing of Abner son of Ner. 38And the king said to his servants, Do you not know that a prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel? 39Today I am powerless, even though anointed king; these men, the sons of Zeruiah, are too violent for me. The Lord pay back the one who does wickedly in accordance with his wickedness!
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling-place*
in all generations.
2 Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn us* back to dust,
and say, Turn back, you mortals.
4 For a thousand years in your sight
are like yesterday when it is past,
or like a watch in the night.
5 You sweep them away; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning;
6 in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers.
7 For we are consumed by your anger;
by your wrath we are overwhelmed.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
9 For all our days pass away under your wrath;
our years come to an end* like a sigh.
10 The days of our life are seventy years,
or perhaps eighty, if we are strong;
even then their span* is only toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
11 Who considers the power of your anger?
Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due to you.
12 So teach us to count our days
that we may gain a wise heart.
13 Turn, O Lord! How long?
Have compassion on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work be manifest to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
17 Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us,
and prosper for us the work of our hands
O prosper the work of our hands!
5But a man named Ananias, with the consent of his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property; 2with his wifes knowledge, he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles feet. 3Ananias, Peter asked, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? 4While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us* but to God! 5Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it. 6The young men came and wrapped up his body,* then carried him out and buried him.
7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter said to her, Tell me whether you and your husband sold the land for such and such a price. And she said, Yes, that was the price. 9Then Peter said to her, How is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out. 10Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear seized the whole church and all who heard of these things.
12 Now many signs and wonders were done among the people through the apostles. And they were all together in Solomons Portico. 13None of the rest dared to join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14Yet more than ever believers were added to the Lord, great numbers of both men and women, 15so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on cots and mats, in order that Peters shadow might fall on some of them as he came by. 16A great number of people would also gather from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all cured.
17 Then the high priest took action; he and all who were with him (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), being filled with jealousy, 18arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. 19But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, brought them out, and said, 20Go, stand in the temple and tell the people the whole message about this life. 21When they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and went on with their teaching.
When the high priest and those with him arrived, they called together the council and the whole body of the elders of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought. 22But when the temple police went there, they did not find them in the prison; so they returned and reported, 23We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them, we found no one inside. 24Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were perplexed about them, wondering what might be going on. 25Then someone arrived and announced, Look, the men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people! 26Then the captain went with the temple police and brought them, but without violence, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
27 When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, 28saying, We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,* yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this mans blood on us. 29But Peter and the apostles answered, We must obey God rather than any human authority.* 30The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. 31God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Saviour, so that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.
33 When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 35Then he said to them, Fellow-Israelites,* consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. 36For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. 37After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; 39but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow themin that case you may even be found fighting against God!
They were convinced by him,
40and when they had called in the apostles, they had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41As they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonour for the sake of the name.
42And every day in the temple and at home* they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah.*
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