Day 150 of the Holy Bible One Year Challenge. David joins the Philistines. Saul consults a witch of Endor. Jesus is whipped then nailed to a cross.
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1 Samuel 26
1 Samuel 27
1 Samuel 28
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1 Samuel 26
David and Abishai Enter Saul’s Camp
The people of Ziph went to see Saul at Gibeah and said to him, “David is hiding on Hakilah Hill across
2 Saul gathered 3000 of the best soldiers in Israel and went down to the desert of Ziph to search for David there. 3 Saul set up his camp by the road at Hakilah Hill across from Jeshimon.
David was still in the desert, and he heard that Saul had come there to look for him. 4 So David sent out spies to find out for sure that Saul was there. 5 Then David went to where Saul had set up his camp. He saw where Saul and Abner were sleeping. (Abner son of Ner was the commander of Saul’s army.) They were in the middle of the camp, with soldiers sleeping all around them.
6 Then David went to Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah. (Abishai was Joab’s brother.) He asked them, “Which one of you would like to go down into the camp with me after Saul?”
Abishai answered, “I’ll go with you.”
7 When night came, David and Abishai went into Saul’s camp. Saul was asleep in the middle of the camp. His spear was stuck in the ground near his head. Ab- ner and the other soldiers were asleep all around him. 8 Abishai said to David, “Today God has given your enemy to you. Let me pin Saul to the ground with his spear. One strike is all I will need!”
9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t kill him! Anyone who harms the LORD’s chosen king* must be punished. 10 As surely as the LORD lives, the LORD himself will punish Saul. Maybe he will die naturally or be killed in battle. 11 But I pray that the LORD never lets me harm the LORD’s chosen king. Now pick up the spear and water jug by Saul’s head and let’s go.”
12 So David took the spear and water jug that were near Saul’s head, and then David and Abishai left Saul’s camp. No one knew what had happened or saw it. No one even woke up. Saul and all his soldiers slept because the LORD had put them into a deep sleep.
David Shames Saul Again
13 David crossed over to the other side of the valley. He stood on top of the mountain across the valley from Saul’s camp. David and Saul’s camp were far apart. 14 David shouted to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Answer me, Abner!”
Abner answered, “Who are you? Why are you calling the king?”
15 David said, “You are an important man, aren’t you? You are better than any other man in Israel. Is that right? So why didn’t you guard your master, the king? An ordinary man came into your camp to kill your master. 16 You made a big mistake. As surely as the LORD lives, you and your men should die, because you didn’t protect your master, the LORD’s chosen king. Look for the king’s spear and the water jug that was near Saul’s head. Where are they?”
17 Saul knew David’s voice and said, “Is that your voice, David my son?”
David answered, “Yes, it is my voice, my lord the king. 18 Sir, why are you chasing me? What wrong have I done? What am I guilty of? 19 My lord the king, listen to me. If the LORD caused you to be angry with me, let him accept an of- fering. But if men caused you to be angry with me, I ask the LORD to curse them. They forced me to leave the land that the LORD gave me and told me to go and serve other gods. 20 Now don’t make me die far away from the LORD’s presence. The king of Israel has come out looking for a flea. You are like a man hunting partridges in the mountains.”†
21 Then Saul said, “David, my son! I have sinned. Come back. Today you showed me that my life is important to you, so I won’t try to hurt you. I have acted foolishly. I have made a big mistake.”
22 David answered, “Here is the king’s spear. Let one of your young men come here and get it. 23 The LORD pays ev- ery man for what he does—he rewards him if he does right, and he punishes him if he does wrong. The LORD gave you to me today, but I wouldn’t harm the LORD’s chosen king. 24 Today I showed you that your life is important to me. In the same way, the LORD will show that my life is important to him. He will save me from every trouble.”
25 Then Saul said to David, “God bless you, David my son. You will do great things, and you will win.”
David went on his way, and Saul went back home.
1 Samuel 27
David Lives With the Philistines
But David thought to himself, “Saul will catch me some day.
The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up looking for me in Israel. That way I will escape from him.”
2 So David and his 600 men left Israel and went to Achish son of Maoch. Achish was king of Gath. 3 David, his men, and their families lived in Gath with Achish. David had his two wives with him—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel. Abigail was the widow of Nabal. 4 Some people told Saul that David had run away to Gath, so Saul stopped look- ing for him.
5 David said to Achish, “If you are pleased with me, give me a place in one of the country towns. I am only your servant. I should live there, not here with you in this royal city.”
6 That day Achish gave David the town of Ziklag. And Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since. 7 David lived with the Philistines for one year and four months.
David Fools King Achish
8 David and his men went out on raids against the Amalekites, the Girzites, and the Geshurites. These were people who lived in the area from Telem* near Shur all the way to Egypt. 9 In all these places that David attacked, he did not leave anyone alive. He took all their sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels, and clothes and brought them back to King Achish.
10 Each time Achish asked David, “What places did you raid today?” And David would answer, “We were in the southern part of Judah,” or “down south where the people of Jerahmeel live” or “the desert where the Kenites live”.† 11 David never brought a man or woman alive to Gath. He thought, “If we let anyone live, they might tell Achish what I really did.”
David did this all the time he lived in the Philistine land. 12 Achish began to trust David and said to himself, “Now David’s own people, the Israelites, hate him very much. He will serve me forever.”
1 Samuel 28
The Philistines Prepare for War
Later, the Philistines gathered their armies to fight against Israel. Achish said to David, “Do you understand that you and your men must go with me to fight against Israel?”
2 David answered, “We will be glad to fight against Israel! Then you will see for yourself what I can do for you.”
Achish said, “Then I will make you my bodyguard from now on.”
Saul and the Woman at Endor
3 After Samuel died, all the Israelites mourned for him and buried him in Ramah, his home town.
Now Saul had made a law in Israel against anyone trying to contact ghosts* or spirits of the dead for advice or secret knowledge.
4 But then the Philistines came to Shunem prepared for war, and they set up camp there. Saul gathered all the Is- raelites and set up his camp at Gilboa. 5 Saul saw the Philistine army, and he was afraid. His heart pounded with fear. 6 He prayed to the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him. He got no answer in a dream or by using lots,† and he got no word from a prophet. 7 Finally, Saul said to his officers, “Find me a woman who contacts ghosts. Then I can go to her and find out what’s going to happen.”
His officers answered, “There is a woman at Endor‡ who contacts ghosts.” 8 That night Saul put on different clothes so that no one would know who he was. He went with two of his men to see the woman. He said to her, “I want you to contact a ghost to find out what will happen to me. Call up for me the ghost of the person I name.”
9 But the woman said to him, “I’m sure you know what Saul has done. He made a law in Israel against anyone trying to contact ghosts or spirits of the dead for advice or secret knowledge. Are you try- ing to trap me and get me killed?”
10 So Saul made a promise to the woman with an oath in the LORD’s name: “As surely as the LORD lives, you will not be punished for doing this.”
11 The woman asked, “Who do you want me to bring up for you?”
Saul answered, “Bring up Samuel.”
12 When the woman saw Samuel, she screamed and said to Saul, “You tricked me! You are Saul.”
13 The king said to the woman, “Don’t be afraid! What do you see?”
The woman said, “I see a spirit coming up out of the ground.”¶
14 Saul asked, “What does he look like?”
The woman answered, “He looks like an old man wearing a special robe.”
Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down with his face to the ground. 15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why did you bother me? Why did you bring me up?” Saul answered, “I am in trouble! The Philistines have come to fight me, and God has left me. God won’t answer me any more. He won’t use prophets or dreams to answer me, so I called you. I want you to tell me what to do.”
16 Samuel said, “The LORD left you and is now your enemy, so why are you asking me for advice? 17 The LORD used me to tell you what he would do, and now he is doing what he said he would do. He is tearing the kingdom out of your hands and giving it to your neighbor, David. 18 The LORD was angry with the Amalekites and told you to destroy them. But you did not obey him. That’s why the LORD is doing this to you now. 19 And the LORD will let the Philistines defeat you and Israel. Tomorrow, you and your sons will be here with me. And the LORD will put the army of Israel under the control of the Philistines.”
20 Saul quickly fell to the ground and lay stretched out there. Saul was afraid because of what Samuel said. Saul was also very weak because he had not eaten any food all that day and night.
21 The woman came over to Saul and saw how afraid he was. She said, “Look, I am your servant. I have obeyed you. I risked my life and did what you told me to do. 22 Please, listen to me. You need to eat. Let me get you some food. Then you will have enough strength to go on your way.”
23 But Saul refused. He said, “I won’t eat.”
Saul’s officers joined the woman and begged him to eat. Finally, Saul listened to them. He got up from the ground and sat on the bed. 24 The woman had a calf that she had been fattening, so she quickly killed it. She took some flour and pressed it with her hands. Then she baked some bread without yeast. 25 The woman put the food before Saul and his officers and they ate. Then they got up and left during the night.
Then Pilate ordered that Jesus be taken away and whipped.
2 The soldiers did what Pilate ordered.
And they made a crown from thorny branches and put it on his head. Then they put a purple robe* around him. 3 They kept coming up to him and say- ing, “We salute you, king of the Jews!” And they kept hitting him in the face.
4 Again Pilate came out and said to the Jewish leaders, “Look! I am bringing Jesus out to you. I want you to know that I find nothing I can charge him with.”
5 Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
6 When the leading priests and the Temple police saw Jesus they shouted, “Kill him on a cross! Kill him on a cross!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and nail him to a cross yourselves. I find nothing I can charge him with.”
7 The Jewish leaders answered, “We have a law that says he must die, because he said he is the Son of God.”
8 When Pilate heard this, he became very afraid. 9 So he went back inside the palace and asked Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus did not answer him. 10 Pilate said, “You refuse to speak to me? Remember, I have the power to make you free or to kill you on a cross.”
11 Jesus answered, “The only power you have over me is the power given to you by God. So the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
12 After this, Pilate tried to let Jesus go free. But the Jewish leaders shouted, “Anyone who makes himself a king is against Caesar. So if you let this man go free, that means you are not Caesar’s friend.”
13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out to the place called “The Stone Pavement”. (In Aramaic the name is Gabbatha.) Pilate sat down on the judge’s seat there. 14 It was now almost noon on the day of Preparation for Passover. Pi- late said to the Jewish leaders, “Here is your king!”
15 They shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Kill him on a cross!”
Pilate asked them, “Do you want me to kill your king on a cross?”
The leading priests answered, “The only king we have is Caesar!”
16 Then Pilate handed Jesus over to the soldiers with orders for him to be killed on a cross. So they took him away.
Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross
(Matt. 27:32-44; Mark 15:21-32; Luke 23:26-43)
17 Jesus carried his own cross to a place called “The Place of the Skull”. (In Aramaic the name of this place is “Gol- gotha”.) 18 There they nailed Jesus to the cross. They also nailed two other men to crosses. They put them on each side of Jesus with him in the middle.
19 Pilate told them to write a sign and put it on the cross. The sign said, “Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the jews”. 20 The sign was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. Many of the Jews read this sign, because the place where Jesus was nailed to the cross was near the city.
21 The leading Jewish priests said to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The King of the Jews.’ But write, ‘This man said, I am the King of the Jews.’”
22 Pilate answered, “I will not change what I have written.”
23 After the soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross, they took his clothes and divided them into four parts. Each soldier got one part. They also took his tunic. It was all one piece of cloth woven from top to bottom. 24 So the soldiers said to each other, “We should not tear this into pieces. Let’s throw lots to see who will get it.” This happened to make clear the full meaning of what the Scriptures say: “They divided my clothes among them, and they threw lots for what I was wearing.”
So that is what the soldiers did.
25 Jesus’ mother stood near his cross. Her sister was also standing there with Mary the wife of Clopas and with Mary Magdalene. 26 Jesus saw his mother. He also saw the follower he loved very much standing there. He said to his mother, “Look at him, Mother. He is now your son.” 27 Then he said to the fol- lower, “She is your mother now.” So after that, this follower took Jesus’ mother to live in his home.
21 God will smash the heads of his enemies.
He will punish those who fight against him.†
22 The Lord said, “If they run up to Bashan or down to the depths of the sea,
I will bring them back.
23 So you will march through pools of their blood,
and there will be plenty left for your dogs.”
24 God, everyone can see your victory parade—
the victory march of my God and King into his holy place!‡
25 Singers come marching in front, followed by the musicians;
they are surrounded by young girls play- ing tambourines.
26 Praise God in the meeting place;
praise the LORD, people of Israel!
27 There is the smallest tribe, Benjamin, leading them.
And there comes a large group of leaders from Judah.
Following them are the leaders of Zebulun and Naphtali.
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