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II Kings 7, 8, 9

71But Elisha said, ‘Hear the word of the Lord: thus says the Lord, Tomorrow about this time a measure of choice meal shall be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, at the gate of Samaria.’ 2Then the captain on whose hand the king leaned said to the man of God, ‘Even if the Lord were to make windows in the sky, could such a thing happen?’ But he said, ‘You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat from it.’

The Arameans Flee

3 Now there were four leprous* men outside the city gate, who said to one another, ‘Why should we sit here until we die? 4If we say, “Let us enter the city”, the famine is in the city, and we shall die there; but if we sit here, we shall also die. Therefore, let us desert to the Aramean camp; if they spare our lives, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.’ 5So they arose at twilight to go to the Aramean camp; but when they came to the edge of the Aramean camp, there was no one there at all. 6For the Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the sound of chariots and of horses, the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, ‘The king of Israel has hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to fight against us.’ 7So they fled away in the twilight and abandoned their tents, their horses, and their donkeys, leaving the camp just as it was, and fled for their lives. 8When these leprous* men had come to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent, ate and drank, carried off silver, gold, and clothing, and went and hid them. Then they came back, entered another tent, carried off things from it, and went and hid them.

9 Then they said to one another, ‘What we are doing is wrong. This is a day of good news; if we are silent and wait until the morning light, we will be found guilty; therefore let us go and tell the king’s household.’ 10So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, ‘We went to the Aramean camp, but there was no one to be seen or heard there, nothing but the horses tied, the donkeys tied, and the tents as they were.’ 11Then the gatekeepers called out and proclaimed it to the king’s household. 12The king got up in the night, and said to his servants, ‘I will tell you what the Arameans have prepared against us. They know that we are starving; so they have left the camp to hide themselves in the open country, thinking, “When they come out of the city, we shall take them alive and get into the city.” 13One of his servants said, ‘Let some men take five of the remaining horses, since those left here will suffer the fate of the whole multitude of Israel that have perished already;* let us send and find out.’ 14So they took two mounted men, and the king sent them after the Aramean army, saying, ‘Go and find out.’ 15So they went after them as far as the Jordan; the whole way was littered with garments and equipment that the Arameans had thrown away in their haste. So the messengers returned, and told the king.

16 Then the people went out, and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a measure of choice meal was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord. 17Now the king had appointed the captain on whose hand he leaned to have charge of the gate; the people trampled him to death in the gate, just as the man of God had said when the king came down to him. 18For when the man of God had said to the king, ‘Two measures of barley shall be sold for a shekel, and a measure of choice meal for a shekel, about this time tomorrow in the gate of Samaria’, 19the captain had answered the man of God, ‘Even if the Lord were to make windows in the sky, could such a thing happen?’ And he had answered, ‘You shall see it with your own eyes, but you shall not eat from it.’ 20It did indeed happen to him; the people trampled him to death in the gate.

The Shunammite Woman’s Land Restored

8Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, ‘Get up and go with your household, and settle wherever you can; for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will come on the land for seven years.’ 2So the woman got up and did according to the word of the man of God; she went with her household and settled in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 3At the end of the seven years, when the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, she set out to appeal to the king for her house and her land. 4Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, ‘Tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.’ 5While he was telling the king how Elisha had restored a dead person to life, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and her land. Gehazi said, ‘My lord king, here is the woman, and here is her son whom Elisha restored to life.’ 6When the king questioned the woman, she told him. So the king appointed an official for her, saying, ‘Restore all that was hers, together with all the revenue of the fields from the day that she left the land until now.’

Death of Ben-hadad

7 Elisha went to Damascus while King Ben-hadad of Aram was ill. When it was told him, ‘The man of God has come here’, 8the king said to Hazael, ‘Take a present with you and go to meet the man of God. Inquire of the Lord through him, whether I shall recover from this illness.’ 9So Hazael went to meet him, taking a present with him, all kinds of goods of Damascus, forty camel loads. When he entered and stood before him, he said, ‘Your son King Ben-hadad of Aram has sent me to you, saying, “Shall I recover from this illness?” 10Elisha said to him, ‘Go, say to him, “You shall certainly recover”; but the Lord has shown me that he shall certainly die.’ 11He fixed his gaze and stared at him, until he was ashamed. Then the man of God wept. 12Hazael asked, ‘Why does my lord weep?’ He answered, ‘Because I know the evil that you will do to the people of Israel; you will set their fortresses on fire, you will kill their young men with the sword, dash in pieces their little ones, and rip up their pregnant women.’ 13Hazael said, ‘What is your servant, who is a mere dog, that he should do this great thing?’ Elisha answered, ‘The Lord has shown me that you are to be king over Aram.’ 14Then he left Elisha, and went to his master Ben-hadad,* who said to him, ‘What did Elisha say to you?’ And he answered, ‘He told me that you would certainly recover.’ 15But the next day he took the bed-cover and dipped it in water and spread it over the king’s face, until he died. And Hazael succeeded him.

Jehoram Reigns over Judah

16 In the fifth year of King Joram son of Ahab of Israel,* Jehoram son of King Jehoshaphat of Judah began to reign. 17He was thirty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned for eight years in Jerusalem. 18He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as the house of Ahab had done, for the daughter of Ahab was his wife. He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord. 19Yet the Lord would not destroy Judah, for the sake of his servant David, since he had promised to give a lamp to him and to his descendants for ever.

20 In his days Edom revolted against the rule of Judah, and set up a king of their own. 21Then Joram crossed over to Zair with all his chariots. He set out by night and attacked the Edomites and their chariot commanders who had surrounded him;* but his army fled home. 22So Edom has been in revolt against the rule of Judah to this day. Libnah also revolted at the same time. 23Now the rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? 24So Joram slept with his ancestors, and was buried with them in the city of David; his son Ahaziah succeeded him.

Ahaziah Reigns over Judah

25 In the twelfth year of King Joram son of Ahab of Israel, Ahaziah son of King Jehoram of Judah began to reign. 26Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; he reigned for one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, a granddaughter of King Omri of Israel. 27He also walked in the way of the house of Ahab, doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord, as the house of Ahab had done, for he was son-in-law to the house of Ahab.

28 He went with Joram son of Ahab to wage war against King Hazael of Aram at Ramoth-gilead, where the Arameans wounded Joram. 29King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him at Ramah, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. King Ahaziah son of Jehoram of Judah went down to see Joram son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was wounded.

Anointing of Jehu

9Then the prophet Elisha called a member of the company of prophets* and said to him, ‘Gird up your loins; take this flask of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead. 2When you arrive, look there for Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi; go in and get him to leave his companions, and take him into an inner chamber. 3Then take the flask of oil, pour it on his head, and say, “Thus says the Lord: I anoint you king over Israel.” Then open the door and flee; do not linger.’

4 So the young man, the young prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead. 5He arrived while the commanders of the army were in council, and he announced, ‘I have a message for you, commander.’ ‘For which one of us?’ asked Jehu. ‘For you, commander.’ 6So Jehu* got up and went inside; the young man poured the oil on his head, saying to him, ‘Thus says the Lord the God of Israel: I anoint you king over the people of the Lord, over Israel. 7You shall strike down the house of your master Ahab, so that I may avenge on Jezebel the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord. 8For the whole house of Ahab shall perish; I will cut off from Ahab every male, bond or free, in Israel. 9I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha son of Ahijah. 10The dogs shall eat Jezebel in the territory of Jezreel, and no one shall bury her.’ Then he opened the door and fled.

11 When Jehu came back to his master’s officers, they said to him, ‘Is everything all right? Why did that madman come to you?’ He answered them, ‘You know the sort and how they babble.’ 12They said, ‘Liar! Come on, tell us!’ So he said, ‘This is just what he said to me: “Thus says the Lord, I anoint you king over Israel.” 13Then hurriedly they all took their cloaks and spread them for him on the bare* steps; and they blew the trumpet, and proclaimed, ‘Jehu is king.’

Joram of Israel Killed

14 Thus Jehu son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. Joram with all Israel had been on guard at Ramoth-gilead against King Hazael of Aram; 15but King Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him, when he fought against King Hazael of Aram. So Jehu said, ‘If this is your wish, then let no one slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.’ 16Then Jehu mounted his chariot and went to Jezreel, where Joram was lying ill. King Ahaziah of Judah had come down to visit Joram.

17 In Jezreel, the sentinel standing on the tower spied the company of Jehu arriving, and said, ‘I see a company.’ Joram said, ‘Take a horseman; send him to meet them, and let him say, “Is it peace?” 18So the horseman went to meet him; he said, ‘Thus says the king, “Is it peace?” ’ Jehu responded, ‘What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.’ The sentinel reported, saying, ‘The messenger reached them, but he is not coming back.’ 19Then he sent out a second horseman, who came to them and said, ‘Thus says the king, “Is it peace?” ’ Jehu answered, ‘What have you to do with peace? Fall in behind me.’ 20Again the sentinel reported, ‘He reached them, but he is not coming back. It looks like the driving of Jehu son of Nimshi; for he drives like a maniac.’

21 Joram said, ‘Get ready.’ And they got his chariot ready. Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah set out, each in his chariot, and went to meet Jehu; they met him at the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22When Joram saw Jehu, he said, ‘Is it peace, Jehu?’ He answered, ‘What peace can there be, so long as the many whoredoms and sorceries of your mother Jezebel continue?’ 23Then Joram reined about and fled, saying to Ahaziah, ‘Treason, Ahaziah!’ 24Jehu drew his bow with all his strength, and shot Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow pierced his heart; and he sank in his chariot. 25Jehu said to his aide Bidkar, ‘Lift him out, and throw him on the plot of ground belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite; for remember, when you and I rode side by side behind his father Ahab, how the Lord uttered this oracle against him: 26“For the blood of Naboth and for the blood of his children that I saw yesterday, says the Lord, I swear I will repay you on this very plot of ground.” Now therefore lift him out and throw him on the plot of ground, in accordance with the word of the Lord.’

Ahaziah of Judah Killed

27 When King Ahaziah of Judah saw this, he fled in the direction of Beth-haggan. Jehu pursued him, saying, ‘Shoot him also!’ And they shot him* in the chariot at the ascent to Gur, which is by Ibleam. Then he fled to Megiddo, and died there. 28His officers carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his ancestors in the city of David.

29 In the eleventh year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah began to reign over Judah.

Jezebel’s Violent Death

30 When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; she painted her eyes, and adorned her head, and looked out of the window. 31As Jehu entered the gate, she said, ‘Is it peace, Zimri, murderer of your master?’ 32He looked up to the window and said, ‘Who is on my side? Who?’ Two or three eunuchs looked out at him. 33He said, ‘Throw her down.’ So they threw her down; some of her blood spattered on the wall and on the horses, which trampled on her. 34Then he went in and ate and drank; he said, ‘See to that cursed woman and bury her; for she is a king’s daughter.’ 35But when they went to bury her, they found no more of her than the skull and the feet and the palms of her hands. 36When they came back and told him, he said, ‘This is the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, “In the territory of Jezreel the dogs shall eat the flesh of Jezebel; 37the corpse of Jezebel shall be like dung on the field in the territory of Jezreel, so that no one can say, This is Jezebel.”

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Psalm 108

Praise and Prayer for Victory

A Song. A Psalm of David.
1 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;*
   I will sing and make melody.
   Awake, my soul!*
2 Awake, O harp and lyre!
   I will awake the dawn.
3 I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples,
   and I will sing praises to you among the nations.
4 For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens,
   and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.


5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
   and let your glory be over all the earth.
6 Give victory with your right hand, and answer me,
   so that those whom you love may be rescued.


7 God has promised in his sanctuary:*
   ‘With exultation I will divide up Shechem,
   and portion out the Vale of Succoth.
8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;
   Ephraim is my helmet;
   Judah is my sceptre.
9 Moab is my wash-basin;
   on Edom I hurl my shoe;
   over Philistia I shout in triumph.’


10 Who will bring me to the fortified city?
   Who will lead me to Edom?
11 Have you not rejected us, O God?
   You do not go out, O God, with our armies.
12 O grant us help against the foe,
   for human help is worthless.
13 With God we shall do valiantly;
   it is he who will tread down our foes.

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Acts 23

23While Paul was looking intently at the council he said, ‘Brothers,* up to this day I have lived my life with a clear conscience before God.’ 2Then the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near him to strike him on the mouth. 3At this Paul said to him, ‘God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting there to judge me according to the law, and yet in violation of the law you order me to be struck?’ 4Those standing nearby said, ‘Do you dare to insult God’s high priest?’ 5And Paul said, ‘I did not realize, brothers, that he was high priest; for it is written, “You shall not speak evil of a leader of your people.”

6 When Paul noticed that some were Sadducees and others were Pharisees, he called out in the council, ‘Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. I am on trial concerning the hope of the resurrection* of the dead.’ 7When he said this, a dissension began between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, or angel, or spirit; but the Pharisees acknowledge all three.) 9Then a great clamour arose, and certain scribes of the Pharisees’ group stood up and contended, ‘We find nothing wrong with this man. What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?’ 10When the dissension became violent, the tribune, fearing that they would tear Paul to pieces, ordered the soldiers to go down, take him by force, and bring him into the barracks.

11 That night the Lord stood near him and said, ‘Keep up your courage! For just as you have testified for me in Jerusalem, so you must bear witness also in Rome.’

The Plot to Kill Paul

12 In the morning the Jews joined in a conspiracy and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. 13There were more than forty who joined in this conspiracy. 14They went to the chief priests and elders and said, ‘We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food until we have killed Paul. 15Now then, you and the council must notify the tribune to bring him down to you, on the pretext that you want to make a more thorough examination of his case. And we are ready to do away with him before he arrives.’

16 Now the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush; so he went and gained entrance to the barracks and told Paul. 17Paul called one of the centurions and said, ‘Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to report to him.’ 18So he took him, brought him to the tribune, and said, ‘The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you; he has something to tell you.’ 19The tribune took him by the hand, drew him aside privately, and asked, ‘What is it that you have to report to me?’ 20He answered, ‘The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more thoroughly into his case. 21But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they kill him. They are ready now and are waiting for your consent.’ 22So the tribune dismissed the young man, ordering him, ‘Tell no one that you have informed me of this.’

Paul Sent to Felix the Governor

23 Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, ‘Get ready to leave by nine o’clock tonight for Caesarea with two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen. 24Also provide mounts for Paul to ride, and take him safely to Felix the governor.’ 25He wrote a letter to this effect:

26 ‘Claudius Lysias to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings. 27This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them, but when I had learned that he was a Roman citizen, I came with the guard and rescued him. 28Since I wanted to know the charge for which they accused him, I had him brought to their council. 29I found that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but was charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment. 30When I was informed that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, ordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him.*

31 So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him during the night to Antipatris. 32The next day they let the horsemen go on with him, while they returned to the barracks. 33When they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. 34On reading the letter, he asked what province he belonged to, and when he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35he said, ‘I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.’ Then he ordered that he be kept under guard in Herod’s headquarters.*

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v 2.2.7
10 February 2011

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.7 10 February 2011.