1After the death of Ahab, Moab rebelled against Israel.
2 Ahaziah had fallen through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay injured; so he sent messengers, telling them, Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this injury. 3But the angel of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbite, Get up, go to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? 4Now therefore, thus says the Lord, You shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die. So Elijah went.
5 The messengers returned to the king, who said to them, Why have you returned? 6They answered him, There came a man to meet us, who said to us, Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him: Thus says the Lord: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but shall surely die. 7He said to them, What sort of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things? 8They answered him, A hairy man, with a leather belt around his waist. He said, It is Elijah the Tishbite.
9 Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty with his fifty men. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, O man of God, the king says, Come down. 10But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty. Then fire came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty.
11 Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty with his fifty. He went up* and said to him, O man of God, this is the kings order: Come down quickly! 12But Elijah answered them, If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty. Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
13 Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. So the third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and entreated him, O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight. 14Look, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties; but now let my life be precious in your sight. 15Then the angel of the Lord said to Elijah, Go down with him; do not be afraid of him. So he set out and went down with him to the king, 16and said to him, Thus says the Lord: Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron,is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word?therefore you shall not leave the bed to which you have gone, but you shall surely die.
17 So he died according to the word of the Lord that Elijah had spoken. His brother* Jehoram succeeded him as king in the second year of King Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat of Judah, because Ahaziah had no son. 18Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel?
2Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel. But Elisha said, As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you. So they went down to Bethel. 3The company of prophets* who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you? And he said, Yes, I know; keep silent.
4 Elijah said to him, Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho. But he said, As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you. So they came to Jericho. 5The company of prophets* who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you? And he answered, Yes, I know; be silent.
6 Then Elijah said to him, Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan. But he said, As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you. So the two of them went on. 7Fifty men of the company of prophets* also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.
9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you. Elisha said, Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit. 10He responded, You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not. 11As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12Elisha kept watching and crying out, Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen! But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.
13 He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah? When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over.
15 When the company of prophets* who were at Jericho saw him at a distance, they declared, The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha. They came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16They said to him, See now, we have fifty strong men among your servants; please let them go and seek your master; it may be that the spirit of the Lord has caught him up and thrown him down on some mountain or into some valley. He responded, No, do not send them. 17But when they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, Send them. So they sent fifty men who searched for three days but did not find him. 18When they came back to him (he had remained at Jericho), he said to them, Did I not say to you, Do not go?
19 Now the people of the city said to Elisha, The location of this city is good, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful. 20He said, Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it. So they brought it to him. 21Then he went to the spring of water and threw the salt into it, and said, Thus says the Lord, I have made this water wholesome; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it. 22So the water has been wholesome to this day, according to the word that Elisha spoke.
23 He went up from there to Bethel; and while he was going up on the way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him, saying, Go away, baldhead! Go away, baldhead! 24When he turned round and saw them, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two she-bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the boys. 25From there he went on to Mount Carmel, and then returned to Samaria.
3In the eighteenth year of King Jehoshaphat of Judah, Jehoram son of Ahab became king over Israel in Samaria; he reigned for twelve years. 2He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, though not like his father and mother, for he removed the pillar of Baal that his father had made. 3Nevertheless he clung to the sin of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to commit; he did not depart from it.
4 Now King Mesha of Moab was a sheep breeder, who used to deliver to the king of Israel one hundred thousand lambs, and the wool of one hundred thousand rams. 5But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 6So King Jehoram marched out of Samaria at that time and mustered all Israel. 7As he went he sent word to King Jehoshaphat of Judah, The king of Moab has rebelled against me; will you go with me to battle against Moab? He answered, I will; I am with you, my people are your people, my horses are your horses. 8Then he asked, By which way shall we march? Jehoram answered, By the way of the wilderness of Edom.
9 So the king of Israel, the king of Judah, and the king of Edom set out; and when they had made a roundabout march of seven days, there was no water for the army or for the animals that were with them. 10Then the king of Israel said, Alas! The Lord has summoned us, three kings, only to be handed over to Moab. 11But Jehoshaphat said, Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord? Then one of the servants of the king of Israel answered, Elisha son of Shaphat, who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah, is here. 12Jehoshaphat said, The word of the Lord is with him. So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.
13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, What have I to do with you? Go to your fathers prophets or to your mothers. But the king of Israel said to him, No; it is the Lord who has summoned us, three kings, only to be handed over to Moab. 14Elisha said, As the Lord of hosts lives, whom I serve, were it not that I have regard for King Jehoshaphat of Judah, I would give you neither a look nor a glance. 15But get me a musician. And then, while the musician was playing, the power of the Lord came on him. 16And he said, Thus says the Lord, I will make this wadi full of pools. 17For thus says the Lord, You shall see neither wind nor rain, but the wadi shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your cattle, and your animals. 18This is only a trifle in the sight of the Lord, for he will also hand Moab over to you. 19You shall conquer every fortified city and every choice city; every good tree you shall fell, all springs of water you shall stop up, and every good piece of land you shall ruin with stones. 20The next day, about the time of the morning offering, suddenly water began to flow from the direction of Edom, until the country was filled with water.
21 When all the Moabites heard that the kings had come up to fight against them, all who were able to put on armour, from the youngest to the oldest, were called out and were drawn up at the frontier. 22When they rose early in the morning, and the sun shone upon the water, the Moabites saw the water opposite them as red as blood. 23They said, This is blood; the kings must have fought together, and killed one another. Now then, Moab, to the spoil! 24But when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and attacked the Moabites, who fled before them; as they entered Moab they continued the attack.* 25The cities they overturned, and on every good piece of land everyone threw a stone, until it was covered; every spring of water they stopped up, and every good tree they felled. Only at Kir-hareseth did the stone walls remain, until the slingers surrounded and attacked it. 26When the king of Moab saw that the battle was going against him, he took with him seven hundred swordsmen to break through, opposite the king of Edom; but they could not. 27Then he took his firstborn son who was to succeed him, and offered him as a burnt-offering on the wall. And great wrath came upon Israel, so they withdrew from him and returned to their own land.
1 Praise the Lord!
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures for ever.
2 Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord,
or declare all his praise?
3 Happy are those who observe justice,
who do righteousness at all times.
4 Remember me, O Lord, when you show favour to your people;
help me when you deliver them;
5 that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
that I may glory in your heritage.
6 Both we and our ancestors have sinned;
we have committed iniquity, have done wickedly.
7 Our ancestors, when they were in Egypt,
did not consider your wonderful works;
they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,
but rebelled against the Most High* at the Red Sea.*
8 Yet he saved them for his names sake,
so that he might make known his mighty power.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea,* and it became dry;
he led them through the deep as through a desert.
10 So he saved them from the hand of the foe,
and delivered them from the hand of the enemy.
11 The waters covered their adversaries;
not one of them was left.
12 Then they believed his words;
they sang his praise.
13 But they soon forgot his works;
they did not wait for his counsel.
14 But they had a wanton craving in the wilderness,
and put God to the test in the desert;
15 he gave them what they asked,
but sent a wasting disease among them.
16 They were jealous of Moses in the camp,
and of Aaron, the holy one of the Lord.
17 The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
and covered the faction of Abiram.
18 Fire also broke out in their company;
the flame burned up the wicked.
19 They made a calf at Horeb
and worshipped a cast image.
20 They exchanged the glory of God*
for the image of an ox that eats grass.
21 They forgot God, their Saviour,
who had done great things in Egypt,
22 wondrous works in the land of Ham,
and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.*
23 Therefore he said he would destroy them
had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him,
to turn away his wrath from destroying them.
24 Then they despised the pleasant land,
having no faith in his promise.
25 They grumbled in their tents,
and did not obey the voice of the Lord.
26 Therefore he raised his hand and swore to them
that he would make them fall in the wilderness,
27 and would disperse* their descendants among the nations,
scattering them over the lands.
28 Then they attached themselves to the Baal of Peor,
and ate sacrifices offered to the dead;
29 they provoked the Lord to anger with their deeds,
and a plague broke out among them.
30 Then Phinehas stood up and interceded,
and the plague was stopped.
31 And that has been reckoned to him as righteousness
from generation to generation for ever.
32 They angered the Lord * at the waters of Meribah,
and it went ill with Moses on their account;
33 for they made his spirit bitter,
and he spoke words that were rash.
34 They did not destroy the peoples
as the Lord commanded them,
35 but they mingled with the nations
and learned to do as they did.
36 They served their idols,
which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to the demons;
38 they poured out innocent blood,
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan;
and the land was polluted with blood.
39 Thus they became unclean by their acts,
and prostituted themselves in their doings.
40 Then the anger of the Lord was kindled against his people,
and he abhorred his heritage;
41 he gave them into the hand of the nations,
so that those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them,
and they were brought into subjection under their power.
43 Many times he delivered them,
but they were rebellious in their purposes,
and were brought low through their iniquity.
44 Nevertheless, he regarded their distress
when he heard their cry.
45 For their sake he remembered his covenant,
and showed compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
46 He caused them to be pitied
by all who held them captive.
47 Save us, O Lord our God,
and gather us from among the nations,
that we may give thanks to your holy name
and glory in your praise.
48 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.
And let all the people say, Amen.
Praise the Lord!
21When we had parted from them and set sail, we came by a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.* 2When we found a ship bound for Phoenicia, we went on board and set sail. 3We came in sight of Cyprus; and leaving it on our left, we sailed to Syria and landed at Tyre, because the ship was to unload its cargo there. 4We looked up the disciples and stayed there for seven days. Through the Spirit they told Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 5When our days there were ended, we left and proceeded on our journey; and all of them, with wives and children, escorted us outside the city. There we knelt down on the beach and prayed 6and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home.
7 When we had finished* the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais; and we greeted the believers* and stayed with them for one day. 8The next day we left and came to Caesarea; and we went into the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9He had four unmarried daughters* who had the gift of prophecy. 10While we were staying there for several days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11He came to us and took Pauls belt, bound his own feet and hands with it, and said, Thus says the Holy Spirit, This is the way the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles. 12When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13Then Paul answered, What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. 14Since he would not be persuaded, we remained silent except to say, The Lords will be done.
15 After these days we got ready and started to go up to Jerusalem. 16Some of the disciples from Caesarea also came along and brought us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we were to stay.
17 When we arrived in Jerusalem, the brothers welcomed us warmly. 18The next day Paul went with us to visit James; and all the elders were present. 19After greeting them, he related one by one the things that God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry. 20When they heard it, they praised God. Then they said to him, You see, brother, how many thousands of believers there are among the Jews, and they are all zealous for the law. 21They have been told about you that you teach all the Jews living among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, and that you tell them not to circumcise their children or observe the customs. 22What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23So do what we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow. 24Join these men, go through the rite of purification with them, and pay for the shaving of their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself observe and guard the law. 25But as for the Gentiles who have become believers, we have sent a letter with our judgement that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled* and from fornication. 26Then Paul took the men, and the next day, having purified himself, he entered the temple with them, making public the completion of the days of purification when the sacrifice would be made for each of them.
27 When the seven days were almost completed, the Jews from Asia, who had seen him in the temple, stirred up the whole crowd. They seized him, 28shouting, Fellow-Israelites, help! This is the man who is teaching everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this place; more than that, he has actually brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place. 29For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian with him in the city, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple. 30Then all the city was aroused, and the people rushed together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut. 31While they were trying to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in an uproar. 32Immediately he took soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. When they saw the tribune and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul. 33Then the tribune came, arrested him, and ordered him to be bound with two chains; he inquired who he was and what he had done. 34Some in the crowd shouted one thing, some another; and as he could not learn the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks. 35When Paul* came to the steps, the violence of the mob was so great that he had to be carried by the soldiers. 36The crowd that followed kept shouting, Away with him!
37 Just as Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the tribune, May I say something to you? The tribune* replied, Do you know Greek? 38Then you are not the Egyptian who recently stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand assassins out into the wilderness? 39Paul replied, I am a Jew, from Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of an important city; I beg you, let me speak to the people. 40When he had given him permission, Paul stood on the steps and motioned to the people for silence; and when there was a great hush, he addressed them in the Hebrew* language, saying:
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