Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

We are locked into a spiritual battle over areas of our lives that the enemy seeks to control, including our families, our finances, and our safety. But God gives us the strength and ability to skillfully confront and win every battle that rages against us.

David understood the principles of both spiritual and natural warfare; consequently, he fought his battles with not only the sword but also praise and worship. The results of his victory in spiritual warfare are evident in Psalm 144: blessings to his sons and daughters

God wants to bless you, but until you learn spiritual warfare, you will live under the enemy's curse. You may be begging and pleading with God for blessing, while all the time the thief is actually stealing your inheritance and blessings!

Begin today to praise and worship the Lord for the victory won for you at the cross and through the resurrection. Focus on your position in the heavenlies (Ephesians 2:6), and demand that the devil loose your family, finances, and security. Your blessings must release. You may have to fight for a while, but the victory is assured if you persevere!

2 Kings 9:14-10:31

Jehu Kills Joram and Ahaziah9:21-29pp — 2Ch 22:7-9

14 So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, the son of Nimshi, conspired against Joram. (Now Joram and all Israel had been defending Ramoth GileadS Dt 4:43; S 2Ki 8:28 against Hazael king of Aram,15 but King JoramHebrew Jehoram, a variant of Joram; also in verses 17 and 21-24 had returned to Jezreel to recoverS 2Ki 8:29 from the wounds the Arameans had inflicted on him in the battle with Hazael king of Aram.) Jehu said, “If you desire to make me king, don’t let anyone slip out of the city to go and tell the news in Jezreel.”16 Then he got into his chariot and rode to Jezreel, because Joram was resting there and Ahaziah2Ch 22:7 king of Judah had gone down to see him.

17 When the lookoutS 1Sa 14:16; Isa 21:6 standing on the tower in Jezreel saw Jehu’s troops approaching, he called out, “I see some troops coming.”

“Get a horseman,” Joram ordered. “Send him to meet them and ask, ‘Do you come in peace?S 1Sa 16:4’”

18 The horseman rode off to meet Jehu and said, “This is what the king says: ‘Do you come in peace?’”

“What do you have to do with peace?” Jehu replied. “Fall in behind me.”

The lookout reported, “The messenger has reached them, but he isn’t coming back.”

19 So the king sent out a second horseman. When he came to them he said, “This is what the king says: ‘Do you come in peace?’”

Jehu replied, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me.”

20 The lookout reported, “He has reached them, but he isn’t coming back either. The driving is like2Sa 18:27 that of Jehu son of Nimshi—he drives like a maniac.”

21 “Hitch up my chariot,” Joram ordered. And when it was hitched up, Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah rode out, each in his own chariot, to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of ground that had belonged to Naboth1Ki 21:1-7, 15-19 the Jezreelite.22 When Joram saw Jehu he asked, “Have you come in peace, Jehu?”

“How can there be peace,” Jehu replied, “as long as all the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother Jezebel1Ki 18:19; Rev 2:20 abound?”

23 Joram turned about and fled, calling out to Ahaziah, “Treachery,2Ki 11:14 Ahaziah!”

24 Then Jehu drew his bowS 1Ki 22:34 and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow pierced his heart and he slumped down in his chariot.25 Jehu said to Bidkar, his chariot officer, “Pick him up and throw him on the field that belonged to Naboth the Jezreelite. Remember how you and I were riding together in chariots behind Ahab his father when the Lord spoke this prophecy1Ki 21:19-22, 24-29 against him:26 ‘Yesterday I saw the blood of NabothS 1Ki 21:19 and the blood of his sons, declares the Lord, and I will surely make you pay for it on this plot of ground, declares the Lord.’See 1 Kings 21:19. Now then, pick him up and throw him on that plot, in accordance with the word of the Lord.”S 1Ki 21:29

27 When Ahaziah king of Judah saw what had happened, he fled up the road to Beth Haggan.Or fled by way of the garden house Jehu chased him, shouting, “Kill him too!” They wounded him in his chariot on the way up to Gur near Ibleam,S Jdg 1:27 but he escaped to Megiddo2Ki 23:29 and died there.28 His servants took him by chariot2Ki 14:20; 23:30 to Jerusalem and buried him with his ancestors in his tomb in the City of David.29 (In the eleventh2Ki 8:25 year of Joram son of Ahab, Ahaziah had become king of Judah.)

Jezebel Killed

30 Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she put on eye makeup,Jer 4:30; Eze 23:40 arranged her hair and looked out of a window.31 As Jehu entered the gate, she asked, “Have you come in peace, you Zimri,1Ki 16:9-10 you murderer of your master?”Or “Was there peace for Zimri, who murdered his master?”

32 He looked up at the window and called out, “Who is on my side? Who?” Two or three eunuchs looked down at him.33 “Throw her down!” Jehu said. So they threw her down, and some of her blood spattered the wall and the horses as they trampled her underfoot.Ps 7:5

34 Jehu went in and ate and drank. “Take care of that cursed woman,” he said, “and bury her, for she was a king’s daughter.”S 1Ki 16:3135 But when they went out to bury her, they found nothing except her skull, her feet and her hands.36 They went back and told Jehu, who said, “This is the word of the Lord that he spoke through his servant Elijah the Tishbite: On the plot of ground at Jezreel dogsPs 68:23; Jer 15:3 will devour Jezebel’s flesh.See 1 Kings 21:23.S 1Ki 21:2337 Jezebel’s body will be like dungPs 83:10; Isa 5:25; Jer 8:2; 9:22; 16:4; 25:33; Zep 1:17 on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that no one will be able to say, ‘This is Jezebel.’”

Ahab’s Family Killed

10 Now there were in SamariaS 1Ki 13:32 seventy sonsS Jdg 8:30 of the house of Ahab. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria: to the officials of Jezreel,Hebrew; some Septuagint manuscripts and Vulgate of the cityS 1Ki 21:1 to the elders and to the guardiansver 5 of Ahab’s children. He said,“You have your master’s sons with you and you have chariots and horses, a fortified city and weapons. Now as soon as this letter reaches you,choose the best and most worthy of your master’s sons and set him on his father’s throne. Then fight for your master’s house.”

But they were terrified and said, “If two kings could not resist him, how can we?”

So the palace administrator, the city governor, the elders and the guardians sent this message to Jehu: “We are your servantsJos 9:8 and we will do anything you say. We will not appoint anyone as king; you do whatever you think best.”

Then Jehu wrote them a second letter, saying, “If you are on my side and will obey me, take the heads of your master’s sons and come to me in Jezreel by this time tomorrow.”

Now the royal princes, seventy of them, were with the leading men of the city, who were rearing them.When the letter arrived, these men took the princes and slaughtered all seventyS 1Ki 21:21 of them. They put their headsS 2Sa 4:8 in baskets and sent them to Jehu in Jezreel.When the messenger arrived, he told Jehu, “They have brought the heads of the princes.”

Then Jehu ordered, “Put them in two piles at the entrance of the city gate until morning.”

The next morning Jehu went out. He stood before all the people and said, “You are innocent. It was I who conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these?10 Know, then, that not a word the Lord has spoken against the house of Ahab will fail. The Lord has done what he announced2Ki 9:7-10 through his servant Elijah.”S 1Ki 21:2911 So JehuHos 1:4 killed everyone in Jezreel who remained of the house of Ahab, as well as all his chief men, his close friends and his priests, leaving him no survivor.ver 14; Job 18:19; Mal 4:1

12 Jehu then set out and went toward Samaria. At Beth Eked of the Shepherds,13 he met some relatives of Ahaziah king of Judah and asked, “Who are you?”

They said, “We are relatives of Ahaziah,2Ki 8:24, 29; 2Ch 22:8 and we have come down to greet the families of the king and of the queen mother.S 1Ki 2:19

14 “Take them alive!” he ordered. So they took them alive and slaughtered them by the well of Beth Eked—forty-two of them. He left no survivor.S ver 11

15 After he left there, he came upon JehonadabJer 35:6, 14-19 son of Rekab,1Ch 2:55; Jer 35:2 who was on his way to meet him. Jehu greeted him and said, “Are you in accord with me, as I am with you?”

“I am,” Jehonadab answered.

“If so,” said Jehu, “give me your hand.”Ezr 10:19; Eze 17:18 So he did, and Jehu helped him up into the chariot.16 Jehu said, “Come with me and see my zealS Nu 25:13 for the Lord.” Then he had him ride along in his chariot.

17 When Jehu came to Samaria, he killed all who were left there of Ahab’s family;2Ki 9:8 he destroyed them, according to the word of the Lord spoken to Elijah.

Servants of Baal Killed

18 Then Jehu brought all the people together and said to them, “Ahab servedS Jdg 2:11 Baal a little; Jehu will serve him much.19 Now summon1Ki 18:19 all the prophets of Baal, all his servants and all his priests. See that no one is missing, because I am going to hold a great sacrifice for Baal. Anyone who fails to come will no longer live.” But Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy the servants of Baal.

20 Jehu said, “Call an assemblyS Ex 32:5 in honor of Baal.” So they proclaimed it.21 Then he sent word throughout Israel, and all the servants of Baal came; not one stayed away. They crowded into the temple of Baal until it was full from one end to the other.22 And Jehu said to the keeper of the wardrobe, “Bring robes for all the servants of Baal.” So he brought out robes for them.

23 Then Jehu and Jehonadab son of Rekab went into the temple of Baal. Jehu said to the servants of Baal, “Look around and see that no one who serves the Lord is here with you—only servants of Baal.”24 So they went in to make sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had posted eighty men outside with this warning: “If one of you lets any of the men I am placing in your hands escape, it will be your life for his life.”S Jos 2:14

25 As soon as Jehu had finished making the burnt offering, he ordered the guards and officers: “Go in and killS Ex 22:20; S 2Ki 11:18 them; let no one escape.”S 1Ki 18:40 So they cut them down with the sword. The guards and officers threw the bodies out and then entered the inner shrine of the temple of Baal.26 They brought the sacred stoneS Ex 23:24 out of the temple of Baal and burned it.27 They demolished the sacred stone of Baal and tore down the templeS 1Ki 16:32 of Baal, and people have used it for a latrine to this day.

28 So Jehu1Ki 19:17 destroyed Baal worship in Israel.29 However, he did not turn away from the sinsS 1Ki 12:30 of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he had caused Israel to commit—the worship of the golden calvesS Ex 32:4 at Bethel1Ki 12:32 and Dan.

30 The Lord said to Jehu, “Because you have done well in accomplishing what is right in my eyes and have done to the house of Ahab all I had in mind to do, your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel to the fourth generation.”2Ki 15:1231 Yet Jehu was not carefulDt 4:9; Pr 4:23 to keep the law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He did not turn away from the sins1Ki 12:30 of Jeroboam, which he had caused Israel to commit.

Jehu Kills Joram and Ahaziah

14 So Jehu son of Jehoshaphat, son of Nimshi, led a conspiracy against King Joram. (Now Joram had been with the army at Ramoth-gilead, defending Israel against the forces of King Hazael of Aram.15 But King JoramHebrew Jehoram, a variant spelling of Joram; also in 9:17, 21, 22, 23, 24. was wounded in the fighting and returned to Jezreel to recover from his wounds.) So Jehu told the men with him, “If you want me to be king, don’t let anyone leave town and go to Jezreel to report what we have done.”

16 Then Jehu got into a chariot and rode to Jezreel to find King Joram, who was lying there wounded. King Ahaziah of Judah was there, too, for he had gone to visit him.17 The watchman on the tower of Jezreel saw Jehu and his company approaching, so he shouted to Joram, “I see a company of troops coming!”

“Send out a rider to ask if they are coming in peace,” King Joram ordered.

18 So a horseman went out to meet Jehu and said, “The king wants to know if you are coming in peace.”

Jehu replied, “What do you know about peace? Fall in behind me!”

The watchman called out to the king, “The messenger has met them, but he’s not returning.”

19 So the king sent out a second horseman. He rode up to them and said, “The king wants to know if you come in peace.”

Again Jehu answered, “What do you know about peace? Fall in behind me!”

20 The watchman exclaimed, “The messenger has met them, but he isn’t returning either! It must be Jehu son of Nimshi, for he’s driving like a madman.”

21 “Quick! Get my chariot ready!” King Joram commanded.

Then King Joram of Israel and King Ahaziah of Judah rode out in their chariots to meet Jehu. They met him at the plot of land that had belonged to Naboth of Jezreel.22 King Joram demanded, “Do you come in peace, Jehu?”

Jehu replied, “How can there be peace as long as the idolatry and witchcraft of your mother, Jezebel, are all around us?”

23 Then King Joram turned the horses aroundHebrew turned his hands. and fled, shouting to King Ahaziah, “Treason, Ahaziah!”24 But Jehu drew his bow and shot Joram between the shoulders. The arrow pierced his heart, and he sank down dead in his chariot.

25 Jehu said to Bidkar, his officer, “Throw him into the plot of land that belonged to Naboth of Jezreel. Do you remember when you and I were riding along behind his father, Ahab? The Lord pronounced this message against him:26 ‘I solemnly swear that I will repay him here on this plot of land, says the Lord, for the murder of Naboth and his sons that I saw yesterday.’ So throw him out on Naboth’s property, just as the Lord said.”

27 When King Ahaziah of Judah saw what was happening, he fled along the road to Beth-haggan. Jehu rode after him, shouting, “Shoot him, too!” So they shot AhaziahAs in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew lacks So they shot Ahaziah. in his chariot at the Ascent of Gur, near Ibleam. He was able to go on as far as Megiddo, but he died there.28 His servants took him by chariot to Jerusalem, where they buried him with his ancestors in the City of David.29 Ahaziah had become king over Judah in the eleventh year of the reign of Joram son of Ahab.

The Death of Jezebel

30 When Jezebel, the queen mother, heard that Jehu had come to Jezreel, she painted her eyelids and fixed her hair and sat at a window.31 When Jehu entered the gate of the palace, she shouted at him, “Have you come in peace, you murderer? You’re just like Zimri, who murdered his master!”See 1 Kgs 16:9-10, where Zimri killed his master, King Elah.

32 Jehu looked up and saw her at the window and shouted, “Who is on my side?” And two or three eunuchs looked out at him.33 “Throw her down!” Jehu yelled. So they threw her out the window, and her blood spattered against the wall and on the horses. And Jehu trampled her body under his horses’ hooves.

34 Then Jehu went into the palace and ate and drank. Afterward he said, “Someone go and bury this cursed woman, for she is the daughter of a king.”35 But when they went out to bury her, they found only her skull, her feet, and her hands.

36 When they returned and told Jehu, he stated, “This fulfills the message from the Lord, which he spoke through his servant Elijah from Tishbe: ‘At the plot of land in Jezreel, dogs will eat Jezebel’s body.37 Her remains will be scattered like dung on the plot of land in Jezreel, so that no one will be able to recognize her.’”

Jehu Kills Ahab’s Family

10 Ahab had seventy sons living in the city of Samaria. So Jehu wrote letters and sent them to Samaria, to the elders and officials of the city,As in some Greek manuscripts and Latin Vulgate (see also 10:6); Hebrew reads of Jezreel. and to the guardians of King Ahab’s sons. He said,“The king’s sons are with you, and you have at your disposal chariots, horses, a fortified city, and weapons. As soon as you receive this letter,select the best qualified of your master’s sons to be your king, and prepare to fight for Ahab’s dynasty.”

But they were paralyzed with fear and said, “We’ve seen that two kings couldn’t stand against this man! What can we do?”

So the palace and city administrators, together with the elders and the guardians of the king’s sons, sent this message to Jehu: “We are your servants and will do anything you tell us. We will not make anyone king; do whatever you think is best.”

Jehu responded with a second letter: “If you are on my side and are going to obey me, bring the heads of your master’s sons to me at Jezreel by this time tomorrow.” Now the seventy sons of the king were being cared for by the leaders of Samaria, where they had been raised since childhood.When the letter arrived, the leaders killed all seventy of the king’s sons. They placed their heads in baskets and presented them to Jehu at Jezreel.

A messenger went to Jehu and said, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.”

So Jehu ordered, “Pile them in two heaps at the entrance of the city gate, and leave them there until morning.”

In the morning he went out and spoke to the crowd that had gathered around them. “You are not to blame,” he told them. “I am the one who conspired against my master and killed him. But who killed all these?10 You can be sure that the message of the Lord that was spoken concerning Ahab’s family will not fail. The Lord declared through his servant Elijah that this would happen.”11 Then Jehu killed all who were left of Ahab’s relatives living in Jezreel and all his important officials, his personal friends, and his priests. So Ahab was left without a single survivor.

12 Then Jehu set out for Samaria. Along the way, while he was at Beth-eked of the Shepherds,13 he met some relatives of King Ahaziah of Judah. “Who are you?” he asked them.

And they replied, “We are relatives of King Ahaziah. We are going to visit the sons of King Ahab and the sons of the queen mother.”

14 “Take them alive!” Jehu shouted to his men. And they captured all forty-two of them and killed them at the well of Beth-eked. None of them escaped.

15 When Jehu left there, he met Jehonadab son of Recab, who was coming to meet him. After they had greeted each other, Jehu said to him, “Are you as loyal to me as I am to you?”

“Yes, I am,” Jehonadab replied.

“If you are,” Jehu said, “then give me your hand.” So Jehonadab put out his hand, and Jehu helped him into the chariot.16 Then Jehu said, “Now come with me, and see how devoted I am to the Lord.” So Jehonadab rode along with him.

17 When Jehu arrived in Samaria, he killed everyone who was left there from Ahab’s family, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.

Jehu Kills the Priests of Baal

18 Then Jehu called a meeting of all the people of the city and said to them, “Ahab’s worship of Baal was nothing compared to the way I will worship him!19 Therefore, summon all the prophets and worshipers of Baal, and call together all his priests. See to it that every one of them comes, for I am going to offer a great sacrifice to Baal. Anyone who fails to come will be put to death.” But Jehu’s cunning plan was to destroy all the worshipers of Baal.

20 Then Jehu ordered, “Prepare a solemn assembly to worship Baal!” So they did.21 He sent messengers throughout all Israel summoning those who worshiped Baal. They all came—not a single one remained behind—and they filled the temple of Baal from one end to the other.22 And Jehu instructed the keeper of the wardrobe, “Be sure that every worshiper of Baal wears one of these robes.” So robes were given to them.

23 Then Jehu went into the temple of Baal with Jehonadab son of Recab. Jehu said to the worshipers of Baal, “Make sure no one who worships the Lord is here—only those who worship Baal.”24 So they were all inside the temple to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed eighty of his men outside the building and had warned them, “If you let anyone escape, you will pay for it with your own life.”

25 As soon as Jehu had finished sacrificing the burnt offering, he commanded his guards and officers, “Go in and kill all of them. Don’t let a single one escape!” So they killed them all with their swords, and the guards and officers dragged their bodies outside.Or and they left their bodies lying there; or and they threw them out into the outermost court. Then Jehu’s men went into the innermost fortressHebrew city. of the temple of Baal.26 They dragged out the sacred pillarAs in Greek and Syriac versions and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew reads sacred pillars. used in the worship of Baal and burned it.27 They smashed the sacred pillar and wrecked the temple of Baal, converting it into a public toilet, as it remains to this day.

28 In this way, Jehu destroyed every trace of Baal worship from Israel.29 He did not, however, destroy the gold calves at Bethel and Dan, with which Jeroboam son of Nebat had caused Israel to sin.

30 Nonetheless the Lord said to Jehu, “You have done well in following my instructions to destroy the family of Ahab. Therefore, your descendants will be kings of Israel down to the fourth generation.”31 But Jehu did not obey the Law of the Lord, the God of Israel, with all his heart. He refused to turn from the sins that Jeroboam had led Israel to commit.

14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram had kept Ramothgilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria.

15 But king Joram was returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds which the Syrians had given him, when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) And Jehu said, If it be your minds, then let none go forth nor escape out of the city to go to tell it in Jezreel.

16 So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram.

17 And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace?

18 So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again.

19 Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me.

20 And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously.

21 And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.

22 And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?

23 And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah.

24 And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot.

25 Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the Lord laid this burden upon him;

26 Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the Lord; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the Lord. Now therefore take and cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of the Lord.

27 But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled by the way of the garden house. And Jehu followed after him, and said, Smite him also in the chariot. And they did so at the going up to Gur, which is by Ibleam. And he fled to Megiddo, and died there.

28 And his servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his sepulchre with his fathers in the city of David.

29 And in the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah.

30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.

31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master?

32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs.

33 And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot.

34 And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter.

35 And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.

36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:

37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.

10 And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab's children, saying,

Now as soon as this letter cometh to you, seeing your master's sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fenced city also, and armour;

Look even out the best and meetest of your master's sons, and set him on his father's throne, and fight for your master's house.

But they were exceedingly afraid, and said, Behold, two kings stood not before him: how then shall we stand?

And he that was over the house, and he that was over the city, the elders also, and the bringers up of the children, sent to Jehu, saying, We are thy servants, and will do all that thou shalt bid us; we will not make any king: do thou that which is good in thine eyes.

Then he wrote a letter the second time to them, saying, If ye be mine, and if ye will hearken unto my voice, take ye the heads of the men your master's sons, and come to me to Jezreel by to morrow this time. Now the king's sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, which brought them up.

And it came to pass, when the letter came to them, that they took the king's sons, and slew seventy persons, and put their heads in baskets, and sent him them to Jezreel.

And there came a messenger, and told him, saying, They have brought the heads of the king's sons. And he said, Lay ye them in two heaps at the entering in of the gate until the morning.

And it came to pass in the morning, that he went out, and stood, and said to all the people, Ye be righteous: behold, I conspired against my master, and slew him: but who slew all these?

10 Know now that there shall fall unto the earth nothing of the word of the Lord, which the Lord spake concerning the house of Ahab: for the Lord hath done that which he spake by his servant Elijah.

11 So Jehu slew all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great men, and his kinsfolks, and his priests, until he left him none remaining.

12 And he arose and departed, and came to Samaria. And as he was at the shearing house in the way,

13 Jehu met with the brethren of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, Who are ye? And they answered, We are the brethren of Ahaziah; and we go down to salute the children of the king and the children of the queen.

14 And he said, Take them alive. And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of the shearing house, even two and forty men; neither left he any of them.

15 And when he was departed thence, he lighted on Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him: and he saluted him, and said to him, Is thine heart right, as my heart is with thy heart? And Jehonadab answered, It is. If it be, give me thine hand. And he gave him his hand; and he took him up to him into the chariot.

16 And he said, Come with me, and see my zeal for the Lord. So they made him ride in his chariot.

17 And when he came to Samaria, he slew all that remained unto Ahab in Samaria, till he had destroyed him, according to the saying of the Lord, which he spake to Elijah.

18 And Jehu gathered all the people together, and said unto them, Ahab served Baal a little; but Jehu shall serve him much.

19 Now therefore call unto me all the prophets of Baal, all his servants, and all his priests; let none be wanting: for I have a great sacrifice to do to Baal; whosoever shall be wanting, he shall not live. But Jehu did it in subtilty, to the intent that he might destroy the worshippers of Baal.

20 And Jehu said, Proclaim a solemn assembly for Baal. And they proclaimed it.

21 And Jehu sent through all Israel: and all the worshippers of Baal came, so that there was not a man left that came not. And they came into the house of Baal; and the house of Baal was full from one end to another.

22 And he said unto him that was over the vestry, Bring forth vestments for all the worshippers of Baal. And he brought them forth vestments.

23 And Jehu went, and Jehonadab the son of Rechab, into the house of Baal, and said unto the worshippers of Baal, Search, and look that there be here with you none of the servants of the Lord, but the worshippers of Baal only.

24 And when they went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings, Jehu appointed fourscore men without, and said, If any of the men whom I have brought into your hands escape, he that letteth him go, his life shall be for the life of him.

25 And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, that Jehu said to the guard and to the captains, Go in, and slay them; let none come forth. And they smote them with the edge of the sword; and the guard and the captains cast them out, and went to the city of the house of Baal.

26 And they brought forth the images out of the house of Baal, and burned them.

27 And they brake down the image of Baal, and brake down the house of Baal, and made it a draught house unto this day.

28 Thus Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel.

29 Howbeit from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel to sin, Jehu departed not from after them, to wit, the golden calves that were in Bethel, and that were in Dan.

30 And the Lord said unto Jehu, Because thou hast done well in executing that which is right in mine eyes, and hast done unto the house of Ahab according to all that was in mine heart, thy children of the fourth generation shall sit on the throne of Israel.

31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the law of the Lord God of Israel with all his heart: for he departed not from the sins of Jeroboam, which made Israel to sin.

Acts 17:1-34

In Thessalonica

17 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica,ver 11, 13; Php 4:16; 1Th 1:1; 2Th 1:1; 2Ti 4:10 where there was a Jewish synagogue.As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue,S Ac 9:20 and on three SabbathS Ac 13:14 days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,Ac 8:35; 18:28explaining and proving that the Messiah had to sufferLk 24:26; Ac 3:18 and rise from the dead.Lk 24:46; S Ac 2:24 “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,”S Ac 9:22 he said.Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas,S Ac 15:22 as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.

But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city.ver 13; S 1Th 2:16 They rushed to Jason’sRo 16:21 house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.Or the assembly of the peopleBut when they did not find them, they draggedS Ac 16:19 Jason and some other believersS Ac 1:16 before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the worldS Mt 24:14 have now come here,Ac 16:20and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.”Lk 23:2; Jn 19:12When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil.Then they made Jasonver 5 and the others post bond and let them go.

In Berea

10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and SilasS Ac 15:22 away to Berea.ver 13; Ac 20:4 On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.S Ac 9:2011 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica,S ver 1 for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the ScripturesLk 16:29; Jn 5:39 every day to see if what Paul said was true.Dt 29:2912 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.S Ac 2:41

13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea,S Heb 4:12 some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up.14 The believersS Ac 9:30 immediately sent Paul to the coast, but SilasS Ac 15:22 and TimothyS Ac 16:1 stayed at Berea.15 Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athensver 16, 21, 22; Ac 18:1; 1Th 3:1 and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.Ac 18:5

In Athens

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols.17 So he reasoned in the synagogueS Ac 9:20 with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there.18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good newsS Ac 13:32 about Jesus and the resurrection.ver 31, 32; Ac 4:219 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus,ver 22 where they said to him, “May we know what this new teachingMk 1:27 is that you are presenting?20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.”21 (All the AtheniansS ver 15 and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagusver 19 and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.ver 1623 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worshipJn 4:22—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in itIsa 42:5; Ac 14:15 is the Lord of heaven and earthDt 10:14; Isa 66:1, 2; Mt 11:25 and does not live in temples built by human hands.1Ki 8:27; Ac 7:4825 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.Ps 50:10-12; Isa 42:526 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.Dt 32:8; Job 12:2327 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.Dt 4:7; Isa 55:6; Jer 23:23, 2428 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’From the Cretan philosopher EpimenidesDt 30:20; Job 12:10; Da 5:23 As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’From the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.Isa 40:18-20; Ro 1:2330 In the past God overlookedAc 14:16; Ro 3:25 such ignorance,ver 23; 1Pe 1:14 but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.Lk 24:47; Tit 2:11, 1231 For he has set a day when he will judgeS Mt 10:15 the world with justicePs 9:8; 96:13; 98:9 by the man he has appointed.S Ac 10:42 He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”S Ac 2:24

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead,ver 18, 31 some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.”33 At that, Paul left the Council.34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus,ver 19, 22 also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

Paul Preaches in Thessalonica

17 Paul and Silas then traveled through the towns of Amphipolis and Apollonia and came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue.As was Paul’s custom, he went to the synagogue service, and for three Sabbaths in a row he used the Scriptures to reason with the people.He explained the prophecies and proved that the Messiah must suffer and rise from the dead. He said, “This Jesus I’m telling you about is the Messiah.”Some of the Jews who listened were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.Some manuscripts read quite a few of the wives of the leading men.

But some of the Jews were jealous, so they gathered some troublemakers from the marketplace to form a mob and start a riot. They attacked the home of Jason, searching for Paul and Silas so they could drag them out to the crowd.Or the city council.Not finding them there, they dragged out Jason and some of the other believersGreek brothers; also in 17:10, 14. instead and took them before the city council. “Paul and Silas have caused trouble all over the world,” they shouted, “and now they are here disturbing our city, too.And Jason has welcomed them into his home. They are all guilty of treason against Caesar, for they profess allegiance to another king, named Jesus.”

The people of the city, as well as the city council, were thrown into turmoil by these reports.So the officials forced Jason and the other believers to post bond, and then they released them.

Paul and Silas in Berea

10 That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.

13 But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble.14 The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind.15 Those escorting Paul went with him all the way to Athens; then they returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him.

Paul Preaches in Athens

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city.17 He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.

18 He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What’s this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he’s picked up?” Others said, “He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods.”

19 Then they took him to the high council of the city.Or the most learned society of philosophers in the city. Greek reads the Areopagus. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said.20 “You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.”21 (It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)

22 So Paul, standing before the council,Traditionally rendered standing in the middle of Mars Hill; Greek reads standing in the middle of the Areopagus. addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way,23 for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.

24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples,25 and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need.26 From one manGreek From one; other manuscripts read From one blood. he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.

27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of yourSome manuscripts read our. own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’29 And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.

30 “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him.31 For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”

32 When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.”33 That ended Paul’s discussion with them,34 but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council,Greek an Areopagite. a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

17 Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:

And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,

Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.

And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.

And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;

Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.

And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.

10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

12 Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.

13 But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.

14 And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.

15 And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.

16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.

17 Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

18 Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say? other some, He seemeth to be a setter forth of strange gods: because he preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

19 And they took him, and brought him unto Areopagus, saying, May we know what this new doctrine, whereof thou speakest, is?

20 For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean.

21 (For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, To The Unknown God. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;

25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:

28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter.

33 So Paul departed from among them.

34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

Psalm 144:1-15

Psalm 144

Of David.

Praise be to the Lord my Rock,S Ge 49:24

who trains my hands for war,

my fingers for battle.

He is my loving God and my fortress,Ps 59:9; 91:2

my strongholdPs 27:1; 37:39; 43:2 and my deliverer,

my shield,S Ge 15:1; S Ps 18:2 in whom I take refuge,

who subdues peoplesMany manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls, Aquila, Jerome and Syriac; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text subdues my peopleS Jdg 4:23; S Ps 18:39 under me.

Lord, what are human beingsHeb 2:6 that you care for them,

mere mortals that you think of them?

They are like a breath;S Job 7:7; 27:3; Isa 2:22

their days are like a fleeting shadow.S 1Ch 29:15; S Job 14:2; S Jas 4:14

Part your heavens,Ps 18:9; Isa 64:1 Lord, and come down;S Ge 11:5; S Ps 57:3

touch the mountains, so that they smoke.Ps 104:32

Send forth lightningHab 3:11; Zec 9:14 and scatterS Ps 59:11; S 68:1 the enemy;

shoot your arrowsPs 7:12-13; 18:14 and rout them.

Reach down your hand from on high;S 2Sa 22:17

deliver me and rescue mePs 3:7; S 57:3

from the mighty waters,Ps 69:2

from the hands of foreignersS Ps 18:44

whose mouths are full of lies,Ps 12:2; 41:6

whose right handsGe 14:22; Dt 32:40 are deceitful.S Ps 36:3

I will sing a new songS Ps 28:7; S 96:1 to you, my God;

on the ten-stringed lyrePs 33:2-3; S 71:22 I will make music to you,

10 to the One who gives victory to kings,S 2Sa 8:14

who delivers his servant David.Ps 18:50

From the deadly swordS Job 5:2011 deliver me;

rescue mePs 3:7; S 25:20 from the hands of foreignersS Ps 18:44

whose mouths are full of lies,Ps 41:6-7

whose right hands are deceitful.Ps 12:2; S 36:3; 106:26; Isa 44:20

12 Then our sons in their youth

will be like well-nurtured plants,Ps 92:12-14; S 128:3

and our daughters will be like pillarsSS 4:4; 7:4

carved to adorn a palace.

13 Our barns will be filledPr 3:10

with every kind of provision.

Our sheep will increase by thousands,

by tens of thousands in our fields;

14 our oxenPr 14:4 will draw heavy loads.Or our chieftains will be firmly established

There will be no breaching of walls,2Ki 25:11

no going into captivity,

no cry of distress in our streets.Isa 24:11; Jer 14:2-3

15 Blessed is the peopleDt 28:3 of whom this is true;

blessed is the people whose God is the Lord.

Psalm 144

A psalm of David.

Praise the Lord, who is my rock.

He trains my hands for war

and gives my fingers skill for battle.

He is my loving ally and my fortress,

my tower of safety, my rescuer.

He is my shield, and I take refuge in him.

He makes the nationsSome manuscripts read my people. submit to me.

O Lord, what are human beings that you should notice them,

mere mortals that you should think about them?

For they are like a breath of air;

their days are like a passing shadow.

Open the heavens, Lord, and come down.

Touch the mountains so they billow smoke.

Hurl your lightning bolts and scatter your enemies!

Shoot your arrows and confuse them!

Reach down from heaven and rescue me;

rescue me from deep waters,

from the power of my enemies.

Their mouths are full of lies;

they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.

I will sing a new song to you, O God!

I will sing your praises with a ten-stringed harp.

10 For you grant victory to kings!

You rescued your servant David from the fatal sword.

11 Save me!

Rescue me from the power of my enemies.

Their mouths are full of lies;

they swear to tell the truth, but they lie instead.

12 May our sons flourish in their youth

like well-nurtured plants.

May our daughters be like graceful pillars,

carved to beautify a palace.

13 May our barns be filled

with crops of every kind.

May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands,

even tens of thousands,

14 and may our oxen be loaded down with produce.

May there be no enemy breaking through our walls,

no going into captivity,

no cries of alarm in our town squares.

15 Yes, joyful are those who live like this!

Joyful indeed are those whose God is the Lord.

144 Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:

My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and he in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me.

Lord, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!

Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.

Bow thy heavens, O Lord, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke.

Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them.

Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children;

Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood.

I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.

10 It is he that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword.

11 Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood:

12 That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace:

13 That our garners may be full, affording all manner of store: that our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets:

14 That our oxen may be strong to labour; that there be no breaking in, nor going out; that there be no complaining in our streets.

15 Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.

Proverbs 17:27-28

27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint,S Job 6:24

and whoever has understanding is even-tempered.S Pr 14:29

28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent,

and discerning if they hold their tongues.S Job 2:13; 13:5; S Pr 10:19

27 A truly wise person uses few words;

a person with understanding is even-tempered.

28 Even fools are thought wise when they keep silent;

with their mouths shut, they seem intelligent.

27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

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