Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Meditation is not the process of clearing your mind, but of filling your mind with truth. It is like a rock displacing water in a vessel. Your mind is exposed continually to the doubt, atrocities, filth, and strife of the world around you. Trying to clear out those thoughts is very difficult, but there is a remedy: meditation upon God's Word.

It takes a conscious effort to focus your mind and heart upon the truth of God's Word. Once you do, however, you will reap the benefits. Joshua 1:8 says, "Study this Book of the Law continually. Meditate on it day and night so you may be sure to obey all that is written in it. Only then will you succeed."

Reading the Bible is good, but meditation is life changing, for it involves thinking about a verse until it drops from your mind into your heart. The root word meditate means "to mutter," or "to utter." The more you speak the Word, the more it drops into your spirit. As you go about your daily business, speak the Word to yourself. Continually "mutter" it, mulling it over in your mind.

Whatever your area of need, select several promises that apply to your situation and memorize them. Then meditate on them all day long (Psalm 119:97). When doubt, fear, discouragement, and strife enter your mind, "think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise" (Philippians 4:8). Your faith will grow, your mind will change, and your way will become successful!

2 Samuel 14:1-15:22

Absalom Returns to Jerusalem

14 JoabS 2Sa 2:18 son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart longed for Absalom.So Joab sent someone to TekoaNe 3:5; Jer 6:1; Am 1:1 and had a wise woman2Sa 20:16 brought from there. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning. Dress in mourning clothes, and don’t use any cosmetic lotions.S Ru 3:3; S Isa 1:6 Act like a woman who has spent many days grieving for the dead.Then go to the king and speak these words to him.” And Joabver 19 put the words in her mouth.

When the woman from Tekoa wentMany Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Vulgate and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts spoke to the king, she fell with her face to the ground to pay him honor, and she said, “Help me, Your Majesty!”

The king asked her, “What is troubling you?”

She said, “I am a widow; my husband is dead.I your servant had two sons. They got into a fight with each other in the field, and no one was there to separate them. One struck the other and killed him.Now the whole clan has risen up against your servant; they say, ‘Hand over the one who struck his brother down, so that we may put him to deathNu 35:19 for the life of his brother whom he killed; then we will get rid of the heirMt 21:38 as well.’ They would put out the only burning coal I have left,Dt 19:10-13 leaving my husband neither name nor descendant on the face of the earth.”

The king said to the woman, “Go home,1Sa 25:35 and I will issue an order in your behalf.”

But the woman from Tekoa said to him, “Let my lord the king pardon1Sa 25:24 me and my family,Mt 27:25 and let the king and his throne be without guilt.1Sa 25:28

10 The king replied, “If anyone says anything to you, bring them to me, and they will not bother you again.”

11 She said, “Then let the king invoke the Lord his God to prevent the avengerS Nu 35:12, 21 of blood from adding to the destruction, so that my son will not be destroyed.”

“As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “not one hairS Mt 10:30 of your son’s head will fall to the ground.S 1Sa 14:45

12 Then the woman said, “Let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.”

“Speak,” he replied.

13 The woman said, “Why then have you devised a thing like this against the people of God? When the king says this, does he not convict himself,S 2Sa 12:7; 1Ki 20:40 for the king has not brought back his banished son?2Sa 13:38-3914 Like waterJob 14:11; Ps 58:7; Isa 19:5 spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die.Job 10:8; 17:13; 30:23; Ps 22:15; Heb 9:27 But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished personNu 35:15, 25-28 does not remain banished from him.

15 “And now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. Your servant thought, ‘I will speak to the king; perhaps he will grant his servant’s request.16 Perhaps the king will agree to deliver his servant from the hand of the man who is trying to cut off both me and my son from God’s inheritance.’S Ex 34:9; S 1Sa 26:19

17 “And now your servant says, ‘May the word of my lord the king secure my inheritance, for my lord the king is like an angelS 1Sa 29:9 of God in discerning1Ki 3:9; Da 2:21 good and evil. May the Lord your God be with you.’”

18 Then the king said to the woman, “Don’t keep from me the answer to what I am going to ask you.”

“Let my lord the king speak,” the woman said.

19 The king asked, “Isn’t the hand of Joabver 3 with you in all this?”

The woman answered, “As surely as you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything my lord the king says. Yes, it was your servant Joab who instructed me to do this and who put all these words into the mouth of your servant.20 Your servant Joab did this to change the present situation. My lord has wisdom1Ki 3:12, 28; 10:23-24; Isa 28:6 like that of an angel of God—he knows everything that happens in the land.2Sa 18:13

21 The king said to Joab, “Very well, I will do it. Go, bring back the young man Absalom.”

22 Joab fell with his face to the ground to pay him honor, and he blessed the king.S Ge 47:7 Joab said, “Today your servant knows that he has found favor in your eyes, my lord the king, because the king has granted his servant’s request.”

23 Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem.24 But the king said, “He must go to his own house; he must not see my face.” So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the face of the king.

25 In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him.26 Whenever he cut the hair of his head2Sa 18:9—he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekelsThat is, about 5 pounds or about 2.3 kilograms by the royal standard.

27 Three sons2Sa 18:18 and a daughter were born to Absalom. His daughter’s name was Tamar,S 2Sa 13:1 and she became a beautiful woman.

28 Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king’s face.29 Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab refused to come to him. So he sent a second time, but he refused to come.30 Then he said to his servants, “Look, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barleyS Ex 9:31 there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.

31 Then Joab did go to Absalom’s house, and he said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?S Jdg 15:5

32 Absalom said to Joab, “Look, I sent word to you and said, ‘Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, “Why have I come from Geshur?S 2Sa 3:3 It would be better for me if I were still there!”’ Now then, I want to see the king’s face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death.”1Sa 20:8

33 So Joab went to the king and told him this. Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissedLk 15:20 Absalom.

Absalom’s Conspiracy

15 In the course of time,S 2Sa 12:11 Absalom provided himself with a chariotS 1Sa 8:11 and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him.He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate.S Ge 23:10; 2Sa 19:8 Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.”Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.”Pr 12:2And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land!Jdg 9:29 Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.”

Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him.Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the heartsRo 16:18 of the people of Israel.

At the end of fourSome Septuagint manuscripts, Syriac and Josephus; Hebrew forty years, Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the Lord.While your servant was living at GeshurS 2Sa 3:3 in Aram, I made this vow:S Ge 28:20 ‘If the Lord takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the Lord in Hebron.Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew does not have in Hebron.’”

The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he went to Hebron.

10 Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets,1Ki 1:34, 39; 2Ki 9:13 then say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’”11 Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter.12 While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophelver 31, 34; 2Sa 16:15, 23; 17:14; 23:34; 1Ch 27:33 the Gilonite, David’s counselor,Job 19:14; Ps 41:9; 55:13; Jer 9:4 to come from Giloh,Jos 15:51 his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing.Ps 3:1

David Flees

13 A messenger came and told David, “The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.”

14 Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come! We must flee,1Ki 2:26; Ps 3 Title; 132:1 or none of us will escape from Absalom.2Sa 19:9 We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin on us and put the city to the sword.”

15 The king’s officials answered him, “Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses.”

16 The king set out, with his entire household following him; but he left ten concubines2Sa 16:21-22; 20:3 to take care of the palace.17 So the king set out, with all the people following him, and they halted at the edge of the city.18 All his men marched past him, along with all the KerethitesS 1Sa 30:14; 2Sa 20:7, 23; 1Ki 1:38, 44; 1Ch 18:17 and Pelethites; and all the six hundred Gittites who had accompanied him from Gath marched before the king.

19 The king said to Ittai2Sa 18:2 the Gittite, “Why should you come along with us? Go back and stay with King Absalom. You are a foreigner,S Ge 31:15 an exile from your homeland.20 You came only yesterday. And today shall I make you wanderS 1Sa 22:2 about with us, when I do not know where I am going? Go back, and take your people with you. May the Lord show you kindness and faithfulness.”Septuagint; Hebrew May kindness and faithfulness be with you2Sa 2:6

21 But Ittai replied to the king, “As surely as the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king may be, whether it means life or death, there will your servant be.”Ru 1:16-17; Pr 17:17

22 David said to Ittai, “Go ahead, march on.” So Ittai the Gittite marched on with all his men and the families that were with him.

Joab Arranges for Absalom’s Return

14 Joab realized how much the king longed to see Absalom.So he sent for a woman from Tekoa who had a reputation for great wisdom. He said to her, “Pretend you are in mourning; wear mourning clothes and don’t put on lotions.Hebrew don’t anoint yourself with oil. Act like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for a long time.Then go to the king and tell him the story I am about to tell you.” Then Joab told her what to say.

When the woman from Tekoa approachedAs in many Hebrew manuscripts and Greek and Syriac versions; Masoretic Text reads spoke to. the king, she bowed with her face to the ground in deep respect and cried out, “O king! Help me!”

“What’s the trouble?” the king asked.

“Alas, I am a widow!” she replied. “My husband is dead.My two sons had a fight out in the field. And since no one was there to stop it, one of them was killed.Now the rest of the family is demanding, ‘Let us have your son. We will execute him for murdering his brother. He doesn’t deserve to inherit his family’s property.’ They want to extinguish the only coal I have left, and my husband’s name and family will disappear from the face of the earth.”

“Leave it to me,” the king told her. “Go home, and I’ll see to it that no one touches him.”

“Oh, thank you, my lord the king,” the woman from Tekoa replied. “If you are criticized for helping me, let the blame fall on me and on my father’s house, and let the king and his throne be innocent.”

10 “If anyone objects,” the king said, “bring him to me. I can assure you he will never harm you again!”

11 Then she said, “Please swear to me by the Lord your God that you won’t let anyone take vengeance against my son. I want no more bloodshed.”

“As surely as the Lord lives,” he replied, “not a hair on your son’s head will be disturbed!”

12 “Please allow me to ask one more thing of my lord the king,” she said.

“Go ahead and speak,” he responded.

13 She replied, “Why don’t you do as much for the people of God as you have promised to do for me? You have convicted yourself in making this decision, because you have refused to bring home your own banished son.14 All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.

15 “I have come to plead with my lord the king because people have threatened me. I said to myself, ‘Perhaps the king will listen to me16 and rescue us from those who would cut us off from the inheritanceOr the property; or the people. God has given us.17 Yes, my lord the king will give us peace of mind again.’ I know that you are like an angel of God in discerning good from evil. May the Lord your God be with you.”

18 “I must know one thing,” the king replied, “and tell me the truth.”

“Yes, my lord the king,” she responded.

19 “Did Joab put you up to this?”

And the woman replied, “My lord the king, how can I deny it? Nobody can hide anything from you. Yes, Joab sent me and told me what to say.20 He did it to place the matter before you in a different light. But you are as wise as an angel of God, and you understand everything that happens among us!”

21 So the king sent for Joab and told him, “All right, go and bring back the young man Absalom.”

22 Joab bowed with his face to the ground in deep respect and said, “At last I know that I have gained your approval, my lord the king, for you have granted me this request!”

23 Then Joab went to Geshur and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem.24 But the king gave this order: “Absalom may go to his own house, but he must never come into my presence.” So Absalom did not see the king.

Absalom Reconciled to David

25 Now Absalom was praised as the most handsome man in all Israel. He was flawless from head to foot.26 He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was so heavy. When he weighed it out, it came to five pounds!Hebrew 200 shekels [2.3 kilograms] by the royal standard.27 He had three sons and one daughter. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she was very beautiful.

28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, but he never got to see the king.29 Then Absalom sent for Joab to ask him to intercede for him, but Joab refused to come. Absalom sent for him a second time, but again Joab refused to come.30 So Absalom said to his servants, “Go and set fire to Joab’s barley field, the field next to mine.” So they set his field on fire, as Absalom had commanded.

31 Then Joab came to Absalom at his house and demanded, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?”

32 And Absalom replied, “Because I wanted you to ask the king why he brought me back from Geshur if he didn’t intend to see me. I might as well have stayed there. Let me see the king; if he finds me guilty of anything, then let him kill me.”

33 So Joab told the king what Absalom had said. Then at last David summoned Absalom, who came and bowed low before the king, and the king kissed him.

Absalom’s Rebellion

15 After this, Absalom bought a chariot and horses, and he hired fifty bodyguards to run ahead of him.He got up early every morning and went out to the gate of the city. When people brought a case to the king for judgment, Absalom would ask where in Israel they were from, and they would tell him their tribe.Then Absalom would say, “You’ve really got a strong case here! It’s too bad the king doesn’t have anyone to hear it.I wish I were the judge. Then everyone could bring their cases to me for judgment, and I would give them justice!”

When people tried to bow before him, Absalom wouldn’t let them. Instead, he took them by the hand and kissed them.Absalom did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and so he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel.

After four years,As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads forty years. Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and fulfill a vow I made to him.For while your servant was at Geshur in Aram, I promised to sacrifice to the Lord in HebronAs in some Greek manuscripts; Hebrew lacks in Hebron. if he would bring me back to Jerusalem.”

“All right,” the king told him. “Go and fulfill your vow.”

So Absalom went to Hebron.10 But while he was there, he sent secret messengers to all the tribes of Israel to stir up a rebellion against the king. “As soon as you hear the ram’s horn,” his message read, “you are to say, ‘Absalom has been crowned king in Hebron.’”11 He took 200 men from Jerusalem with him as guests, but they knew nothing of his intentions.12 While Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel, one of David’s counselors who lived in Giloh. Soon many others also joined Absalom, and the conspiracy gained momentum.

David Escapes from Jerusalem

13 A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell David, “All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!”

14 “Then we must flee at once, or it will be too late!” David urged his men. “Hurry! If we get out of the city before Absalom arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster.”

15 “We are with you,” his advisers replied. “Do what you think is best.”

16 So the king and all his household set out at once. He left no one behind except ten of his concubines to look after the palace.17 The king and all his people set out on foot, pausing at the last house18 to let all the king’s men move past to lead the way. There were 600 men from Gath who had come with David, along with the king’s bodyguard.Hebrew the Kerethites and Pelethites.

19 Then the king turned and said to Ittai, a leader of the men from Gath, “Why are you coming with us? Go on back to King Absalom, for you are a guest in Israel, a foreigner in exile.20 You arrived only recently, and should I force you today to wander with us? I don’t even know where we will go. Go on back and take your kinsmen with you, and may the Lord show you his unfailing love and faithfulness.As in Greek version; Hebrew reads and may unfailing love and faithfulness go with you.

21 But Ittai said to the king, “I vow by the Lord and by your own life that I will go wherever my lord the king goes, no matter what happens—whether it means life or death.”

22 David replied, “All right, come with us.” So Ittai and all his men and their families went along.

14 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was toward Absalom.

And Joab sent to Tekoah, and fetched thence a wise woman, and said unto her, I pray thee, feign thyself to be a mourner, and put on now mourning apparel, and anoint not thyself with oil, but be as a woman that had a long time mourned for the dead:

And come to the king, and speak on this manner unto him. So Joab put the words in her mouth.

And when the woman of Tekoah spake to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, Help, O king.

And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, I am indeed a widow woman, and mine husband is dead.

And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one smote the other, and slew him.

And, behold, the whole family is risen against thine handmaid, and they said, Deliver him that smote his brother, that we may kill him, for the life of his brother whom he slew; and we will destroy the heir also: and so they shall quench my coal which is left, and shall not leave to my husband neither name nor remainder upon the earth.

And the king said unto the woman, Go to thine house, and I will give charge concerning thee.

And the woman of Tekoah said unto the king, My lord, O king, the iniquity be on me, and on my father's house: and the king and his throne be guiltless.

10 And the king said, Whoever saith ought unto thee, bring him to me, and he shall not touch thee any more.

11 Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the Lord thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the Lord liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.

12 Then the woman said, Let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak one word unto my lord the king. And he said, Say on.

13 And the woman said, Wherefore then hast thou thought such a thing against the people of God? for the king doth speak this thing as one which is faulty, in that the king doth not fetch home again his banished.

14 For we must needs die, and are as water spilt on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither doth God respect any person: yet doth he devise means, that his banished be not expelled from him.

15 Now therefore that I am come to speak of this thing unto my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid: and thy handmaid said, I will now speak unto the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his handmaid.

16 For the king will hear, to deliver his handmaid out of the hand of the man that would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God.

17 Then thine handmaid said, The word of my lord the king shall now be comfortable: for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad: therefore the Lord thy God will be with thee.

18 Then the king answered and said unto the woman, Hide not from me, I pray thee, the thing that I shall ask thee. And the woman said, Let my lord the king now speak.

19 And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with thee in all this? And the woman answered and said, As thy soul liveth, my lord the king, none can turn to the right hand or to the left from ought that my lord the king hath spoken: for thy servant Joab, he bade me, and he put all these words in the mouth of thine handmaid:

20 To fetch about this form of speech hath thy servant Joab done this thing: and my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.

21 And the king said unto Joab, Behold now, I have done this thing: go therefore, bring the young man Absalom again.

22 And Joab fell to the ground on his face, and bowed himself, and thanked the king: and Joab said, To day thy servant knoweth that I have found grace in thy sight, my lord, O king, in that the king hath fulfilled the request of his servant.

23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.

24 And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face. So Absalom returned to his own house, and saw not the king's face.

25 But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.

26 And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year's end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight.

27 And unto Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar: she was a woman of a fair countenance.

28 So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face.

29 Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come.

30 Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire.

31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore have thy servants set my field on fire?

32 And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still: now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be any iniquity in me, let him kill me.

33 So Joab came to the king, and told him: and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.

15 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.

And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee.

Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.

And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

And it came to pass after forty years, that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the Lord, in Hebron.

For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the Lord shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.

And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron.

10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron.

11 And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing.

12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.

13 And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.

14 And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword.

15 And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.

16 And the king went forth, and all his household after him. And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house.

17 And the king went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off.

18 And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the king.

19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile.

20 Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.

21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.

22 And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him.

John 18:1-24

Jesus Arrested18:3-11pp — Mt 26:47-56; Mk 14:43-50; Lk 22:47-53

18 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley.2Sa 15:23 On the other side there was a garden,ver 26; S Mt 21:1 and he and his disciples went into it.Mt 26:36

Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.Lk 21:37; 22:39So Judas came to the garden, guidingAc 1:16 a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees.ver 12 They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him,Jn 6:64; 13:1, 11 went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”ver 7

“Jesus of Nazareth,”S Mk 1:24 they replied.

“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.)When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.

Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”ver 4

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.”This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”John 6:39S Jn 6:39

10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)

11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cupS Mt 20:22 the Father has given me?”

12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officialsver 3 arrested Jesus. They bound him13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas,ver 24; S Mt 26:3 the high priest that year.14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.Jn 11:49-51

Peter’s First Denial18:16-18pp — Mt 26:69, 70; Mk 14:66-68; Lk 22:55-57

15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest,S Mt 26:3 he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard,Mt 26:58; Mk 14:54; Lk 22:5416 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in.

17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she asked Peter.

He replied, “I am not.”ver 25

18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fireJn 21:9 they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.Mk 14:54, 67

The High Priest Questions Jesus18:19-24pp — Mt 26:59-68; Mk 14:55-65; Lk 22:63-71

19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.

20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagoguesS Mt 4:23 or at the temple,Mt 26:55 where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret.Jn 7:2621 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.”

22 When Jesus said this, one of the officialsver 3 nearby slapped him in the face.Mt 16:21; Jn 19:3 “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.

23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”Mt 5:39; Ac 23:2-524 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphasver 13; S Mt 26:3 the high priest.

Jesus Is Betrayed and Arrested

18 After saying these things, Jesus crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples and entered a grove of olive trees.Judas, the betrayer, knew this place, because Jesus had often gone there with his disciples.The leading priests and Pharisees had given Judas a contingent of Roman soldiers and Temple guards to accompany him. Now with blazing torches, lanterns, and weapons, they arrived at the olive grove.

Jesus fully realized all that was going to happen to him, so he stepped forward to meet them. “Who are you looking for?” he asked.

“Jesus the Nazarene,”Or Jesus of Nazareth; also in 18:7. they replied.

I am he,”Or “The ‘I am’ is here”; or “I am the Lord”; Greek reads I am; also in 18:6, 8. See Exod 3:14. Jesus said. (Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.)As Jesus said I am he,” they all drew back and fell to the ground!Once more he asked them, “Who are you looking for?”

And again they replied, “Jesus the Nazarene.”

“I told you that I am he,” Jesus said. “And since I am the one you want, let these others go.”He did this to fulfill his own statement: “I did not lose a single one of those you have given me.”See John 6:39 and 17:12.

10 Then Simon Peter drew a sword and slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave.11 But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Shall I not drink from the cup of suffering the Father has given me?”

Jesus at the High Priest’s House

12 So the soldiers, their commanding officer, and the Temple guards arrested Jesus and tied him up.13 First they took him to Annas, since he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest at that time.Greek that year.14 Caiaphas was the one who had told the other Jewish leaders, “It’s better that one man should die for the people.”

Peter’s First Denial

15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another of the disciples. That other disciple was acquainted with the high priest, so he was allowed to enter the high priest’s courtyard with Jesus.16 Peter had to stay outside the gate. Then the disciple who knew the high priest spoke to the woman watching at the gate, and she let Peter in.17 The woman asked Peter, “You’re not one of that man’s disciples, are you?”

“No,” he said, “I am not.”

18 Because it was cold, the household servants and the guards had made a charcoal fire. They stood around it, warming themselves, and Peter stood with them, warming himself.

The High Priest Questions Jesus

19 Inside, the high priest began asking Jesus about his followers and what he had been teaching them.20 Jesus replied, “Everyone knows what I teach. I have preached regularly in the synagogues and the Temple, where the peopleGreek Jewish people; also in 18:38. gather. I have not spoken in secret.21 Why are you asking me this question? Ask those who heard me. They know what I said.”

22 Then one of the Temple guards standing nearby slapped Jesus across the face. “Is that the way to answer the high priest?” he demanded.

23 Jesus replied, “If I said anything wrong, you must prove it. But if I’m speaking the truth, why are you beating me?”

24 Then Annas bound Jesus and sent him to Caiaphas, the high priest.

18 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.

Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.

10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,

13 And led him away to Annas first; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.

14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.

16 But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.

17 Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not.

18 And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.

19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.

20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.

21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.

22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?

23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?

24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.

Psalm 119:97-112

מ Mem

97 Oh, how I love your law!S ver 47

I meditateS ver 15 on it all day long.

98 Your commands are always with me

and make me wiserver 130; S Dt 4:6; Ps 19:7; 2Ti 3:15 than my enemies.

99 I have more insight than all my teachers,

for I meditate on your statutes.ver 15

100 I have more understanding than the elders,

for I obey your precepts.S ver 56; S Dt 6:17

101 I have kept my feetPr 1:15 from every evil path

so that I might obey your word.S ver 57

102 I have not departed from your laws,S Dt 17:20

for you yourself have taughtS Dt 4:5 me.

103 How sweet are your words to my taste,

sweeter than honeyS Ps 19:10 to my mouth!Pr 24:13-14

104 I gain understandingS Ps 111:10 from your precepts;

therefore I hate every wrong path.ver 128

נ Nun

105 Your word is a lampPr 20:27; 2Pe 1:19 for my feet,

a lightver 130; Pr 6:23 on my path.

106 I have taken an oathS Ne 10:29 and confirmed it,

that I will follow your righteous laws.ver 7

107 I have suffered much;

preserve my life,S ver 25 Lord, according to your word.

108 Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth,Ps 51:15; 63:5; 71:8; 109:30

and teach me your laws.S ver 64

109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,S Jdg 12:3

I will not forgetS ver 61 your law.

110 The wicked have set a snarePs 25:15; S 64:5; Isa 8:14; Am 3:5 for me,

but I have not strayedver 10 from your precepts.

111 Your statutes are my heritage forever;

they are the joy of my heart.ver 14, 162

112 My heart is setS Ps 108:1 on keeping your decrees

to the very end.Or decrees / for their enduring rewardver 33

Mem

97 Oh, how I love your instructions!

I think about them all day long.

98 Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,

for they are my constant guide.

99 Yes, I have more insight than my teachers,

for I am always thinking of your laws.

100 I am even wiser than my elders,

for I have kept your commandments.

101 I have refused to walk on any evil path,

so that I may remain obedient to your word.

102 I haven’t turned away from your regulations,

for you have taught me well.

103 How sweet your words taste to me;

they are sweeter than honey.

104 Your commandments give me understanding;

no wonder I hate every false way of life.

Nun

105 Your word is a lamp to guide my feet

and a light for my path.

106 I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again:

I will obey your righteous regulations.

107 I have suffered much, O Lord;

restore my life again as you promised.

108 Lord, accept my offering of praise,

and teach me your regulations.

109 My life constantly hangs in the balance,

but I will not stop obeying your instructions.

110 The wicked have set their traps for me,

but I will not turn from your commandments.

111 Your laws are my treasure;

they are my heart’s delight.

112 I am determined to keep your decrees

to the very end.

97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

98 Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.

99 I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

100 I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.

101 I have refrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep thy word.

102 I have not departed from thy judgments: for thou hast taught me.

103 How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104 Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

106 I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.

107 I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O Lord, according unto thy word.

108 Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me thy judgments.

109 My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.

110 The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.

111 Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.

112 I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.

Proverbs 16:8-9

Better a little with righteousness

than much gainS Ps 37:16 with injustice.S Pr 15:16; 17:1; Ecc 4:6

In their hearts humans plan their course,

but the Lord establishes their steps.S ver 1; S Job 33:29; S Ps 90:12

Better to have little, with godliness,

than to be rich and dishonest.

We can make our plans,

but the Lord determines our steps.

Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.

A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

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