Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

David's army was awesome. Some of his men were ambidextrous, so skilled and versatile that they could shoot arrows or sling stones with either hand. One was so powerful that he snatched a spear from an Egyptian who was seven and a half feet tall and killed him with his own spear (1 Chronicles 11:23). Others "were expert with both shield and spear, as fierce as lions and as swift as deer on the mountains" (12:8).

The common thread running throughout David's army was courage. Not one was fearful, hesitant, or puny. All were talented, resolute, and aggressive. They worked with precision, totally destroying the enemies of God with an awesome unity of spirit.

Paul, too, showed courage. He was so brave that he simply "shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed" (Acts 28:5). The islanders kept waiting for him to collapse, but he just kept right on going.

The day of weak and cowardly soldiers is over! The world is watching your courage in adversity. Quit taking your spiritual temperature all the time, and step into your mighty position in God. You are in His awesome army!

1 Chronicles 11:1-12:18

David Becomes King Over Israel11:1-3pp — 2Sa 5:1-3

11 All IsraelS 1Ch 9:1 came together to David at HebronS Ge 13:18; S 23:19 and said, “We are your own flesh and blood.In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns.S 1Sa 18:5, 16 And the Lord your God said to you, ‘You will shepherdPs 78:71; Mt 2:6 my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.S 1Ch 5:2’”

When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed1Sa 16:1-13 David king over Israel, as the Lord had promised through Samuel.

David Conquers Jerusalem11:4-9pp — 2Sa 5:6-10

David and all the Israelites marched to Jerusalem (that is, Jebus). The JebusitesS Ge 10:16; S 15:18-21; S Jos 3:10; S 15:8 who lived theresaid to David, “You will not get in here.” Nevertheless, David captured the fortress of Zion—which is the City of David.

David had said, “Whoever leads the attack on the Jebusites will become commander-in-chief.” JoabS 2Sa 2:13 son of Zeruiah went up first, and so he received the command.

David then took up residence in the fortress, and so it was called the City of David.He built up the city around it, from the terracesOr the MilloS 2Sa 5:9; 2Ch 32:5 to the surrounding wall, while Joab restored the rest of the city.And David became more and more powerful,Est 9:4 because the Lord Almighty was with him.

David’s Mighty Warriors11:10-41pp — 2Sa 23:8-39

10 These were the chiefs of David’s mighty warriors—they, together with all Israel,ver 1 gave his kingship strong support to extend it over the whole land, as the Lord had promisedver 3; 1Ch 12:2311 this is the list of David’s mighty warriors:S 2Sa 17:10

Jashobeam,Possibly a variant of Jashob-Baal a Hakmonite, was chief of the officersOr Thirty; some Septuagint manuscripts Three (see also 2 Samuel 23:8); he raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed in one encounter.

12 Next to him was Eleazar son of Dodai the Ahohite, one of the three mighty warriors.13 He was with David at Pas Dammim when the Philistines gathered there for battle. At a place where there was a field full of barley, the troops fled from the Philistines.14 But they took their stand in the middle of the field. They defended it and struck the Philistines down, and the Lord brought about a great victory.S Ex 14:30; S 1Sa 11:13

15 Three of the thirty chiefs came down to David to the rock at the cave of Adullam, while a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley1Ch 14:9; Isa 17:5 of Rephaim.16 At that time David was in the stronghold,S 2Sa 5:17 and the Philistine garrison was at Bethlehem.17 David longed for water and said, “Oh, that someone would get me a drink of water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem!”18 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew water from the well near the gate of Bethlehem and carried it back to David. But he refused to drink it; instead, he pouredS Dt 12:16 it out to the Lord.19 “God forbid that I should do this!” he said. “Should I drink the blood of these men who went at the risk of their lives?” Because they risked their lives to bring it back, David would not drink it.

Such were the exploits of the three mighty warriors.

20 AbishaiS 1Sa 26:6 the brother of Joab was chief of the Three. He raised his spear against three hundred men, whom he killed, and so he became as famous as the Three.21 He was doubly honored above the Three and became their commander, even though he was not included among them.

22 Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant fighter from Kabzeel,S Jos 15:21 performed great exploits. He struck down Moab’s two mightiest warriors. He also went down into a pit on a snowy day and killed a lion.1Sa 17:3623 And he struck down an Egyptian who was five cubitsThat is, about 7 feet 6 inches or about 2.3 meters tall. Although the Egyptian had a spear like a weaver’s rodS 1Sa 17:7 in his hand, Benaiah went against him with a club. He snatched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with his own spear.24 Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors.25 He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard.

26 The mighty warriors were:

AsahelS 2Sa 2:18 the brother of Joab,

Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem,

27 Shammoth1Ch 27:8 the Harorite,

Helez the Pelonite,

28 Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa,

Abiezer1Ch 27:12 from Anathoth,

29 SibbekaiS 2Sa 21:18 the Hushathite,

Ilai the Ahohite,

30 Maharai the Netophathite,

Heled son of Baanah the Netophathite,

31 Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah in Benjamin,

Benaiah1Ch 27:14 the Pirathonite,S Jdg 12:13

32 Hurai from the ravines of Gaash,

Abiel the Arbathite,

33 Azmaveth the Baharumite,

Eliahba the Shaalbonite,

34 the sons of Hashem the Gizonite,

Jonathan son of Shagee the Hararite,

35 Ahiam son of Sakar the Hararite,

Eliphal son of Ur,

36 Hepher the Mekerathite,

Ahijah the Pelonite,

37 Hezro the Carmelite,

Naarai son of Ezbai,

38 Joel the brother of Nathan,

Mibhar son of Hagri,

39 Zelek the Ammonite,

Naharai the Berothite, the armor-bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah,

40 Ira the Ithrite,

Gareb the Ithrite,

41 Uriah2Sa 11:6 the Hittite,

Zabad1Ch 2:36 son of Ahlai,

42 Adina son of Shiza the Reubenite, who was chief of the Reubenites, and the thirty with him,

43 Hanan son of Maakah,

Joshaphat the Mithnite,

44 Uzzia the Ashterathite,S Dt 1:4

Shama and Jeiel the sons of Hotham the Aroerite,

45 Jediael son of Shimri,

his brother Joha the Tizite,

46 Eliel the Mahavite,

Jeribai and Joshaviah the sons of Elnaam,

Ithmah the Moabite,

47 Eliel, Obed and Jaasiel the Mezobaite.

Warriors Join David

12 These were the men who came to David at Ziklag,S Jos 15:31 while he was banished from the presence of Saul son of Kish (they were among the warriors who helped him in battle;they were armed with bows and were able to shoot arrows or to sling stones right-handed or left-handed;S Jdg 3:15 they were relatives of SaulS 2Sa 3:19 from the tribe of Benjamin):

Ahiezer their chief and Joash the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; Jeziel and Pelet the sons of Azmaveth; Berakah, Jehu the Anathothite,and Ishmaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty warrior among the Thirty, who was a leader of the Thirty; Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, Jozabad the Gederathite,In Hebrew texts the second half of this verse (Jeremiah … Gederathite) is numbered 12:5, and 12:5-40 is numbered 12:6-41.Jos 15:36Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah and Shephatiah the Haruphite;Elkanah, Ishiah, Azarel, Joezer and Jashobeam the Korahites;and Joelah and Zebadiah the sons of Jeroham from Gedor.S Jos 15:58

Some GaditesS Ge 30:11 defected to David at his stronghold in the wilderness. They were brave warriors, ready for battle and able to handle the shield and spear. Their faces were the faces of lions,2Sa 17:10 and they were as swift as gazellesS 2Sa 2:18 in the mountains.

Ezer was the chief,

Obadiah the second in command, Eliab the third,

10 Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,

11 Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,

12 Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,

13 Jeremiah the tenth and Makbannai the eleventh.

14 These Gadites were army commanders; the least was a match for a hundred,S Lev 26:8 and the greatest for a thousand.S Dt 32:3015 It was they who crossed the Jordan in the first month when it was overflowing all its banks,S Jos 3:15 and they put to flight everyone living in the valleys, to the east and to the west.

16 Other BenjamitesS 2Sa 3:19 and some men from Judah also came to David in his stronghold.17 David went out to meet them and said to them, “If you have come to me in peace to help me, I am ready for you to join me. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when my hands are free from violence, may the God of our ancestors see it and judge you.”

18 Then the SpiritS Jdg 3:10; 1Ch 28:12; 2Ch 15:1; 20:14; 24:20 came on Amasai,S 2Sa 17:25 chief of the Thirty, and he said:

“We are yours, David!

We are with you, son of Jesse!

Success,1Sa 25:5-6 success to you,

and success to those who help you,

for your God will help you.”

So David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands.

David Becomes King of All Israel

11 Then all Israel gathered before David at Hebron and told him, “We are your own flesh and blood.In the past,Or For some time. even when Saul was king, you were the one who really led the forces of Israel. And the Lord your God told you, ‘You will be the shepherd of my people Israel. You will be the leader of my people Israel.’”

So there at Hebron, David made a covenant before the Lord with all the elders of Israel. And they anointed him king of Israel, just as the Lord had promised through Samuel.

David Captures Jerusalem

Then David and all Israel went to Jerusalem (or Jebus, as it used to be called), where the Jebusites, the original inhabitants of the land, were living.The people of Jebus taunted David, saying, “You’ll never get in here!” But David captured the fortress of Zion, which is now called the City of David.

David had said to his troops, “Whoever is first to attack the Jebusites will become the commander of my armies!” And Joab, the son of David’s sister Zeruiah, was first to attack, so he became the commander of David’s armies.

David made the fortress his home, and that is why it is called the City of David.He extended the city from the supporting terracesHebrew the millo. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. to the surrounding area, while Joab rebuilt the rest of Jerusalem.And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord of Heaven’s Armies was with him.

David’s Mightiest Warriors

10 These are the leaders of David’s mighty warriors. Together with all Israel, they decided to make David their king, just as the Lord had promised concerning Israel.

11 Here is the record of David’s mightiest warriors: The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader of the Three—the mightiest warriors among David’s men.As in some Greek manuscripts (see also 2 Sam 23:8); Hebrew reads leader of the Thirty, or leader of the captains. He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle.

12 Next in rank among the Three was Eleazar son of Dodai,As in parallel text at 2 Sam 23:9 (see also 1 Chr 27:4); Hebrew reads Dodo, a variant spelling of Dodai. a descendant of Ahoah.13 He was with David when the Philistines gathered for battle at Pas-dammim and attacked the Israelites in a field full of barley. The Israelite army fled,14 but Eleazar and DavidHebrew they. held their ground in the middle of the field and beat back the Philistines. So the Lord saved them by giving them a great victory.

15 Once when David was at the rock near the cave of Adullam, the Philistine army was camped in the valley of Rephaim. The Three (who were among the Thirty—an elite group among David’s fighting men) went down to meet him there.16 David was staying in the stronghold at the time, and a Philistine detachment had occupied the town of Bethlehem.

17 David remarked longingly to his men, “Oh, how I would love some of that good water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem.”18 So the Three broke through the Philistine lines, drew some water from the well by the gate in Bethlehem, and brought it back to David. But David refused to drink it. Instead, he poured it out as an offering to the Lord.19 “God forbid that I should drink this!” he exclaimed. “This water is as precious as the blood of these menHebrew Shall I drink the lifeblood of these men? who risked their lives to bring it to me.” So David did not drink it. These are examples of the exploits of the Three.

David’s Thirty Mighty Men

20 Abishai, the brother of Joab, was the leader of the Thirty.As in Syriac version; Hebrew reads the Three; also in 11:21. He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle. It was by such feats that he became as famous as the Three.21 Abishai was the most famous of the Thirty and was their commander, though he was not one of the Three.

22 There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two championsOr two sons of Ariel. of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it.23 Once, armed only with a club, he killed an Egyptian warrior who was 7 1⁄2 feetHebrew 5 cubits [2.3 meters]. tall and who was armed with a spear as thick as a weaver’s beam. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it.24 Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the three mightiest warriors.25 He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard.

26 David’s mighty warriors also included:

Asahel, Joab’s brother;

Elhanan son of Dodo from Bethlehem;

27 Shammah from Harod;As in parallel text at 2 Sam 23:25; Hebrew reads Shammoth from Haror.

Helez from Pelon;

28 Ira son of Ikkesh from Tekoa;

Abiezer from Anathoth;

29 Sibbecai from Hushah;

ZalmonAs in parallel text at 2 Sam 23:28; Hebrew reads Ilai. from Ahoah;

30 Maharai from Netophah;

Heled son of Baanah from Netophah;

31 Ithai son of Ribai from Gibeah (in the land of Benjamin);

Benaiah from Pirathon;

32 Hurai from near Nahale-gaashOr from the ravines of Gaash.;

Abi-albonAs in parallel text at 2 Sam 23:31; Hebrew reads Abiel. from Arabah;

33 Azmaveth from BahurimAs in parallel text at 2 Sam 23:31; Hebrew reads Baharum.;

Eliahba from Shaalbon;

34 the sons of JashenAs in parallel text at 2 Sam 23:32; Hebrew reads sons of Hashem. from Gizon;

Jonathan son of Shagee from Harar;

35 Ahiam son of ShararAs in parallel text at 2 Sam 23:33; Hebrew reads son of Sacar. from Harar;

Eliphal son of Ur;

36 Hepher from Mekerah;

Ahijah from Pelon;

37 Hezro from Carmel;

PaaraiAs in parallel text at 2 Sam 23:35; Hebrew reads Naarai. son of Ezbai;

38 Joel, the brother of Nathan;

Mibhar son of Hagri;

39 Zelek from Ammon;

Naharai from Beeroth, the armor bearer of Joab son of Zeruiah;

40 Ira from Jattir;

Gareb from Jattir;

41 Uriah the Hittite;

Zabad son of Ahlai;

42 Adina son of Shiza, the Reubenite leader who had thirty men with him;

43 Hanan son of Maacah;

Joshaphat from Mithna;

44 Uzzia from Ashtaroth;

Shama and Jeiel, the sons of Hotham, from Aroer;

45 Jediael son of Shimri;

Joha, his brother, from Tiz;

46 Eliel from Mahavah;

Jeribai and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam;

Ithmah from Moab;

47 Eliel and Obed;

Jaasiel from Zobah.Or the Mezobaite.

Warriors Join David’s Army

12 The following men joined David at Ziklag while he was hiding from Saul son of Kish. They were among the warriors who fought beside David in battle.All of them were expert archers, and they could shoot arrows or sling stones with their left hand as well as their right. They were all relatives of Saul from the tribe of Benjamin.Their leader was Ahiezer son of Shemaah from Gibeah; his brother Joash was second-in-command. These were the other warriors:

Jeziel and Pelet, sons of Azmaveth;

Beracah;

Jehu from Anathoth;

Ishmaiah from Gibeon, a famous warrior and leader among the Thirty;

Verses 12:4b-40 are numbered 12:5-41 in Hebrew text.Jeremiah, Jahaziel, Johanan, and Jozabad from Gederah;

Eluzai, Jerimoth, Bealiah, Shemariah, and Shephatiah from Haruph;

Elkanah, Isshiah, Azarel, Joezer, and Jashobeam, who were Korahites;

Joelah and Zebadiah, sons of Jeroham from Gedor.

Some brave and experienced warriors from the tribe of Gad also defected to David while he was at the stronghold in the wilderness. They were expert with both shield and spear, as fierce as lions and as swift as deer on the mountains.

Ezer was their leader.

Obadiah was second.

Eliab was third.

10 Mishmannah was fourth.

Jeremiah was fifth.

11 Attai was sixth.

Eliel was seventh.

12 Johanan was eighth.

Elzabad was ninth.

13 Jeremiah was tenth.

Macbannai was eleventh.

14 These warriors from Gad were army commanders. The weakest among them could take on a hundred regular troops, and the strongest could take on a thousand!15 These were the men who crossed the Jordan River during its seasonal flooding at the beginning of the year and drove out all the people living in the lowlands on both the east and west banks.

16 Others from Benjamin and Judah came to David at the stronghold.17 David went out to meet them and said, “If you have come in peace to help me, we are friends. But if you have come to betray me to my enemies when I am innocent, then may the God of our ancestors see it and punish you.”

18 Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, the leader of the Thirty, and he said,

“We are yours, David!

We are on your side, son of Jesse.

Peace and prosperity be with you,

and success to all who help you,

for your God is the one who helps you.”

So David let them join him, and he made them officers over his troops.

11 Then all Israel gathered themselves to David unto Hebron, saying, Behold, we are thy bone and thy flesh.

And moreover in time past, even when Saul was king, thou wast he that leddest out and broughtest in Israel: and the Lord thy God said unto thee, Thou shalt feed my people Israel, and thou shalt be ruler over my people Israel.

Therefore came all the elders of Israel to the king to Hebron; and David made a covenant with them in Hebron before the Lord; and they anointed David king over Israel, according to the word of the Lord by Samuel.

And David and all Israel went to Jerusalem, which is Jebus; where the Jebusites were, the inhabitants of the land.

And the inhabitants of Jebus said to David, Thou shalt not come hither. Nevertheless David took the castle of Zion, which is the city of David.

And David said, Whosoever smiteth the Jebusites first shall be chief and captain. So Joab the son of Zeruiah went first up, and was chief.

And David dwelt in the castle; therefore they called it the city of David.

And he built the city round about, even from Millo round about: and Joab repaired the rest of the city.

So David waxed greater and greater: for the Lord of hosts was with him.

10 These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the Lord concerning Israel.

11 And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had; Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time.

12 And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, who was one of the three mighties.

13 He was with David at Pasdammim, and there the Philistines were gathered together to battle, where was a parcel of ground full of barley; and the people fled from before the Philistines.

14 And they set themselves in the midst of that parcel, and delivered it, and slew the Philistines; and the Lord saved them by a great deliverance.

15 Now three of the thirty captains went down to the rock to David, into the cave of Adullam; and the host of the Philistines encamped in the valley of Rephaim.

16 And David was then in the hold, and the Philistines' garrison was then at Bethlehem.

17 And David longed, and said, Oh that one would give me drink of the water of the well of Bethlehem, that is at the gate!

18 And the three brake through the host of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem, that was by the gate, and took it, and brought it to David: but David would not drink of it, but poured it out to the Lord.

19 And said, My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? for with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mightiest.

20 And Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them, and had a name among the three.

21 Of the three, he was more honourable than the two; for he was their captain: howbeit he attained not to the first three.

22 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done many acts; he slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day.

23 And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear.

24 These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and had the name among the three mighties.

25 Behold, he was honourable among the thirty, but attained not to the first three: and David set him over his guard.

26 Also the valiant men of the armies were, Asahel the brother of Joab, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem,

27 Shammoth the Harorite, Helez the Pelonite,

28 Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, Abiezer the Antothite,

29 Sibbecai the Hushathite, Ilai the Ahohite,

30 Maharai the Netophathite, Heled the son of Baanah the Netophathite,

31 Ithai the son of Ribai of Gibeah, that pertained to the children of Benjamin, Benaiah the Pirathonite,

32 Hurai of the brooks of Gaash, Abiel the Arbathite,

33 Azmaveth the Baharumite, Eliahba the Shaalbonite,

34 The sons of Hashem the Gizonite, Jonathan the son of Shage the Hararite,

35 Ahiam the son of Sacar the Hararite, Eliphal the son of Ur,

36 Hepher the Mecherathite, Ahijah the Pelonite,

37 Hezro the Carmelite, Naarai the son of Ezbai,

38 Joel the brother of Nathan, Mibhar the son of Haggeri,

39 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Berothite, the armourbearer of Joab the son of Zeruiah,

40 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite,

41 Uriah the Hittite, Zabad the son of Ahlai,

42 Adina the son of Shiza the Reubenite, a captain of the Reubenites, and thirty with him,

43 Hanan the son of Maachah, and Joshaphat the Mithnite,

44 Uzzia the Ashterathite, Shama and Jehiel the sons of Hothan the Aroerite,

45 Jediael the son of Shimri, and Joha his brother, the Tizite,

46 Eliel the Mahavite, and Jeribai, and Joshaviah, the sons of Elnaam, and Ithmah the Moabite,

47 Eliel, and Obed, and Jasiel the Mesobaite.

12 Now these are they that came to David to Ziklag, while he yet kept himself close because of Saul the son of Kish: and they were among the mighty men, helpers of the war.

They were armed with bows, and could use both the right hand and the left in hurling stones and shooting arrows out of a bow, even of Saul's brethren of Benjamin.

The chief was Ahiezer, then Joash, the sons of Shemaah the Gibeathite; and Jeziel, and Pelet, the sons of Azmaveth; and Berachah, and Jehu the Antothite.

And Ismaiah the Gibeonite, a mighty man among the thirty, and over the thirty; and Jeremiah, and Jahaziel, and Johanan, and Josabad the Gederathite,

Eluzai, and Jerimoth, and Bealiah, and Shemariah, and Shephatiah the Haruphite,

Elkanah, and Jesiah, and Azareel, and Joezer, and Jashobeam, the Korhites,

And Joelah, and Zebadiah, the sons of Jeroham of Gedor.

And of the Gadites there separated themselves unto David into the hold to the wilderness men of might, and men of war fit for the battle, that could handle shield and buckler, whose faces were like the faces of lions, and were as swift as the roes upon the mountains;

Ezer the first, Obadiah the second, Eliab the third,

10 Mishmannah the fourth, Jeremiah the fifth,

11 Attai the sixth, Eliel the seventh,

12 Johanan the eighth, Elzabad the ninth,

13 Jeremiah the tenth, Machbanai the eleventh.

14 These were of the sons of Gad, captains of the host: one of the least was over an hundred, and the greatest over a thousand.

15 These are they that went over Jordan in the first month, when it had overflown all his banks; and they put to flight all them of the valleys, both toward the east, and toward the west.

16 And there came of the children of Benjamin and Judah to the hold unto David.

17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.

18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.

Acts 28:1-31

Paul Ashore on Malta

28 Once safely on shore, weS Ac 16:10 found out that the islandAc 27:26, 39 was called Malta.The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold.Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand.When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand,Mk 16:18 they said to each other, “This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, the goddess Justice has not allowed him to live.”Lk 13:2, 4But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects.Lk 10:19The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead; but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god.Ac 14:11

There was an estate nearby that belonged to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us to his home and showed us generous hospitality for three days.His father was sick in bed, suffering from fever and dysentery. Paul went in to see him and, after prayer,Jas 5:14, 15 placed his hands on himS Ac 6:6 and healed him.Ac 9:40When this had happened, the rest of the sick on the island came and were cured.10 They honored usPs 15:4 in many ways; and when we were ready to sail, they furnished us with the supplies we needed.

Paul’s Arrival at Rome

11 After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered in the island—it was an Alexandrian shipAc 27:6 with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux.12 We put in at Syracuse and stayed there three days.13 From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium. The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli.14 There we found some brothers and sistersS Ac 1:16 who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome.15 The brothers and sistersS Ac 1:16 there had heard that we were coming, and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. At the sight of these people Paul thanked God and was encouraged.16 When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.Ac 24:23; 27:3

Paul Preaches at Rome Under Guard

17 Three days later he called together the local Jewish leaders.Ac 25:2 When they had assembled, Paul said to them: “My brothers,S Ac 22:5 although I have done nothing against our peopleS Ac 25:8 or against the customs of our ancestors,S Ac 6:14 I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Romans.18 They examined meAc 22:24 and wanted to release me,Ac 26:31, 32 because I was not guilty of any crime deserving death.S Ac 23:919 The Jews objected, so I was compelled to make an appeal to Caesar.S Ac 25:11 I certainly did not intend to bring any charge against my own people.20 For this reason I have asked to see you and talk with you. It is because of the hope of IsraelAc 26:6, 7 that I am bound with this chain.”S Ac 21:33

21 They replied, “We have not received any letters from Judea concerning you, and none of our peopleS Ac 22:5 who have come from there has reported or said anything bad about you.22 But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.”S Ac 24:5, 14

23 They arranged to meet Paul on a certain day, and came in even larger numbers to the place where he was staying. He witnessed to them from morning till evening, explaining about the kingdom of God,S Mt 3:2; Ac 19:8 and from the Law of Moses and from the ProphetsS Ac 8:35 he tried to persuade them about Jesus.Ac 17:324 Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe.Ac 14:4; 17:4, 525 They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your ancestors when he saidS Heb 3:7 through Isaiah the prophet:

26 “‘Go to this people and say,

“You will be ever hearing but never understanding;

you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”

27 For this people’s heart has become calloused;Ps 119:70

they hardly hear with their ears,

and they have closed their eyes.

Otherwise they might see with their eyes,

hear with their ears,

understand with their hearts

and turn, and I would heal them.’Isaiah 6:9,10 (see Septuagint)Isa 6:9, 10; S Mt 13:15

28 “Therefore I want you to know that God’s salvationLk 2:30 has been sent to the Gentiles,S Ac 13:46 and they will listen!”[29] Some manuscripts include here After he said this, the Jews left, arguing vigorously among themselves.

30 For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him.31 He proclaimed the kingdom of Godver 23; S Mt 4:23 and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ—with all boldnessS Ac 4:29 and without hindrance!

Paul on the Island of Malta

28 Once we were safe on shore, we learned that we were on the island of Malta.The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us.

As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, bit him on the hand.The people of the island saw it hanging from his hand and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.”But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed.The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw that he wasn’t harmed, they changed their minds and decided he was a god.

Near the shore where we landed was an estate belonging to Publius, the chief official of the island. He welcomed us and treated us kindly for three days.As it happened, Publius’s father was ill with fever and dysentery. Paul went in and prayed for him, and laying his hands on him, he healed him.Then all the other sick people on the island came and were healed.10 As a result we were showered with honors, and when the time came to sail, people supplied us with everything we would need for the trip.

Paul Arrives at Rome

11 It was three months after the shipwreck that we set sail on another ship that had wintered at the island—an Alexandrian ship with the twin godsThe twin gods were the Roman gods Castor and Pollux. as its figurehead.12 Our first stop was Syracuse,Syracuse was on the island of Sicily. where we stayed three days.13 From there we sailed across to Rhegium.Rhegium was on the southern tip of Italy. A day later a south wind began blowing, so the following day we sailed up the coast to Puteoli.14 There we found some believers,Greek brothers. who invited us to spend a week with them. And so we came to Rome.

15 The brothers and sistersGreek brothers. in Rome had heard we were coming, and they came to meet us at the ForumThe Forum was about 43 miles (70 kilometers) from Rome. on the Appian Way. Others joined us at The Three Taverns.The Three Taverns was about 35 miles (57 kilometers) from Rome. When Paul saw them, he was encouraged and thanked God.

16 When we arrived in Rome, Paul was permitted to have his own private lodging, though he was guarded by a soldier.

Paul Preaches at Rome under Guard

17 Three days after Paul’s arrival, he called together the local Jewish leaders. He said to them, “Brothers, I was arrested in Jerusalem and handed over to the Roman government, even though I had done nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors.18 The Romans tried me and wanted to release me, because they found no cause for the death sentence.19 But when the Jewish leaders protested the decision, I felt it necessary to appeal to Caesar, even though I had no desire to press charges against my own people.20 I asked you to come here today so we could get acquainted and so I could explain to you that I am bound with this chain because I believe that the hope of Israel—the Messiah—has already come.”

21 They replied, “We have had no letters from Judea or reports against you from anyone who has come here.22 But we want to hear what you believe, for the only thing we know about this movement is that it is denounced everywhere.”

23 So a time was set, and on that day a large number of people came to Paul’s lodging. He explained and testified about the Kingdom of God and tried to persuade them about Jesus from the Scriptures. Using the law of Moses and the books of the prophets, he spoke to them from morning until evening.24 Some were persuaded by the things he said, but others did not believe.25 And after they had argued back and forth among themselves, they left with this final word from Paul: “The Holy Spirit was right when he said to your ancestors through Isaiah the prophet,

26 ‘Go and say to this people:

When you hear what I say,

you will not understand.

When you see what I do,

you will not comprehend.

27 For the hearts of these people are hardened,

and their ears cannot hear,

and they have closed their eyes—

so their eyes cannot see,

and their ears cannot hear,

and their hearts cannot understand,

and they cannot turn to me

and let me heal them.’Isa 6:9-10 (Greek version).

28 So I want you to know that this salvation from God has also been offered to the Gentiles, and they will accept it.”Some manuscripts add verse 29, And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, greatly disagreeing with each other.

30 For the next two years, Paul lived in Rome at his own expense.Or in his own rented quarters. He welcomed all who visited him,31 boldly proclaiming the Kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. And no one tried to stop him.

28 And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita.

And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold.

And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there came a viper out of the heat, and fastened on his hand.

And when the barbarians saw the venomous beast hang on his hand, they said among themselves, No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he hath escaped the sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.

And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm.

Howbeit they looked when he should have swollen, or fallen down dead suddenly: but after they had looked a great while, and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds, and said that he was a god.

In the same quarters were possessions of the chief man of the island, whose name was Publius; who received us, and lodged us three days courteously.

And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.

So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed:

10 Who also honoured us with many honours; and when we departed, they laded us with such things as were necessary.

11 And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.

12 And landing at Syracuse, we tarried there three days.

13 And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli:

14 Where we found brethren, and were desired to tarry with them seven days: and so we went toward Rome.

15 And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage.

16 And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul was suffered to dwell by himself with a soldier that kept him.

17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.

18 Who, when they had examined me, would have let me go, because there was no cause of death in me.

19 But when the Jews spake against it, I was constrained to appeal unto Caesar; not that I had ought to accuse my nation of.

20 For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.

21 And they said unto him, We neither received letters out of Judaea concerning thee, neither any of the brethren that came shewed or spake any harm of thee.

22 But we desire to hear of thee what thou thinkest: for as concerning this sect, we know that every where it is spoken against.

23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.

24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

25 And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers,

26 Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive:

27 For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,

31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

Psalm 9:1-12

Psalm 9Psalms 9 and 10 may originally have been a single acrostic poem in which alternating lines began with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. In the Septuagint they constitute one psalm.In Hebrew texts 9:1-20 is numbered 9:2-21.

For the director of music. To the tune of “The Death of the Son.” A psalm of David.

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart;Ps 86:12; 111:1; 119:2, 10, 145; 138:1

I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.S Dt 4:34

I will be glad and rejoiceS Job 22:19; Ps 14:7; 31:7; 70:4; 97:8; 126:3; Pr 23:15; Isa 25:9; Jer 30:19; Joel 2:21; Zep 3:14; S Mt 5:12; Rev 19:7 in you;

I will sing the praisesS 2Ch 31:2 of your name,Ps 92:1 O Most High.

My enemies turn back;

they stumble and perish before you.

For you have upheld my rightS 1Ki 8:45 and my cause,S Job 16:21

sitting enthronedPs 11:4; 47:8; Isa 6:1 as the righteous judge.Ps 7:11; 67:4; 98:9; 1Pe 2:23

You have rebuked the nationsGe 20:7; S 37:10; S 1Ch 16:21; Ps 59:5; 105:14; Isa 26:14; 66:15 and destroyed the wicked;

you have blotted out their nameS Job 18:17 for ever and ever.

Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies,

you have uprooted their cities;S Dt 29:28; Jer 2:3; 46:1-51:58; Zep 2:8-10

even the memory of themPs 34:16; 109:15; Ecc 9:5; Isa 14:22; 26:14 has perished.

The Lord reigns forever;S 1Ch 16:31; Rev 19:6

he has established his thronePs 11:4; 47:8; 93:2; Isa 6:1; 66:1 for judgment.

He rules the world in righteousnessS ver 4; Ps 7:11

and judges the peoples with equity.Ps 11:7; 45:6; 72:2

The Lord is a refugeS Dt 33:27; S 2Sa 22:3 for the oppressed,Ps 10:18; 74:21

a stronghold in times of trouble.Ps 32:7; 121:7

10 Those who know your namePs 91:14 trust in you,

for you, Lord, have never forsakenS Ge 28:15; S Dt 4:31; Ps 22:1; 37:25; 71:11; Isa 49:14; Jer 15:18; Heb 13:5 those who seek you.Ps 70:4

11 Sing the praisesPs 7:17 of the Lord, enthroned in Zion;S Ps 2:6

proclaim among the nationsPs 18:49; 44:11; 57:9; 106:27; Isa 24:13; Eze 20:23; 1Ti 3:16 what he has done.Ps 105:1

12 For he who avenges bloodS 2Sa 4:11 remembers;

he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.ver 18; Ps 10:17; 22:24; 72:4; Isa 49:13

Psalm 9

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be sung to the tune “Death of the Son.”

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;

I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.

I will be filled with joy because of you.

I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.

My enemies retreated;

they staggered and died when you appeared.

For you have judged in my favor;

from your throne you have judged with fairness.

You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked;

you have erased their names forever.

The enemy is finished, in endless ruins;

the cities you uprooted are now forgotten.

But the Lord reigns forever,

executing judgment from his throne.

He will judge the world with justice

and rule the nations with fairness.

The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed,

a refuge in times of trouble.

10 Those who know your name trust in you,

for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.

11 Sing praises to the Lord who reigns in Jerusalem.Hebrew Zion; also in 9:14.

Tell the world about his unforgettable deeds.

12 For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless.

He does not ignore the cries of those who suffer.

I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works.

I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

When mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence.

For thou hast maintained my right and my cause; thou satest in the throne judging right.

Thou hast rebuked the heathen, thou hast destroyed the wicked, thou hast put out their name for ever and ever.

O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.

But the Lord shall endure for ever: he hath prepared his throne for judgment.

And he shall judge the world in righteousness, he shall minister judgment to the people in uprightness.

The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

11 Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings.

12 When he maketh inquisition for blood, he remembereth them: he forgetteth not the cry of the humble.

Proverbs 19:1-3

19 Better the poor whose walk is blameless

than a fool whose lips are perverse.Pr 28:6

Desire without knowledge is not good—

how much more will hasty feet miss the way!Pr 29:20

A person’s own follyPs 14:1; Pr 9:13; 24:9; Isa 32:6 leads to their ruin,

yet their heart rages against the Lord.Jas 1:13-15

19 Better to be poor and honest

than to be dishonest and a fool.

Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good;

haste makes mistakes.

People ruin their lives by their own foolishness

and then are angry at the Lord.

19 Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good; and he that hasteth with his feet sinneth.

The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the Lord.

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