Through the Bible – Day 116

Bible text(s)

The Thirty Warriors

18Joab's brother Abishai was the leader of the Thirty Warriors, and in one battle he killed three hundred men with his spear. He was as famous as the Three Warriors 19and certainly just as famous as the rest of the Thirty Warriors. He was the commander of the Thirty Warriors, but he still did not become one of the Three Warriors.

20Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was a brave man from Kabzeel who did some amazing things. He killed two of Moab's best fighters, and on a snowy day he went down into a pit and killed a lion. 21Another time, he killed an Egyptian, as big as a giant. The Egyptian was armed with a spear, but Benaiah only had a club. Benaiah grabbed the spear from the Egyptian and killed him with it. 22-23Benaiah did these things. He never became one of the Three Warriors, but he was just as famous as they were and certainly just as famous as the rest of the Thirty Warriors. David made him the leader of his bodyguard.

24-39Some of the Thirty Warriors were:

    Asahel the brother of Joab
    Elhanan the son of Dodo from Bethlehem
    Shammah from Harod
    Elika from Harod
    Helez the Paltite
    Ira the son of Ikkesh from Tekoa
    Abiezer from Anathoth
    Mebunnai the Hushathite
    Zalmon the Ahohite
    Maharai from Netophah
    Heleb the son of Baanah from Netophah
    Ittai the son of Ribai from Gibeah of the tribe of Benjamin
    Benaiah from Pirathon
    Hiddai from the streams on Mount Gaash
    Abialbon from Beth-Arabah
    Azmaveth from Bahurim
    Eliahba from Shaalbon
    Jashen
    Jonathan the son of Shammah the Hararite
    Ahiam the son of Sharar the Hararite
    Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai from Maacah
    Eliam the son of Ahithophel from Gilo
    Hezro from Carmel
    Paarai the Arbite
    Igal the son of Nathan from Zobah
    Bani the Gadite
    Zelek from Ammon
    Naharai from Beeroth, who carried the weapons of Joab the son of Zeruiah
    Ira the Ithrite
    Gareb the Ithrite
    Uriah the Hittite
    There were thirty-seven in all.

David counts the people

1The LORD was angry with Israel again, and he made David think it would be a good idea to count the people in Israel and Judah. 2So David told Joab and the army officers, “Go to every tribe in Israel, from the town of Dan in the north all the way south to Beersheba, and count everyone who can serve in the army. I want to know how many there are.”

3Joab answered, “I hope the LORD your God will give you a hundred times more soldiers than you already have. I hope you will live to see that day! But why do you want to do a thing like this?”

4But when David refused to change his mind, Joab and the army officers went out and started counting the people. 5They crossed the River Jordan and began with Aroer and the town in the middle of the river valley. From there they went towards Gad and on as far as Jazer. 6They went to Gilead and to Kadesh in Syria. Then they went to Dan, Ijon, and on towards Sidon. 7They came to the fortress of Tyre, then went through every town of the Hivites and the Canaanites. Finally, they went to Beersheba in the Southern Desert of Judah. 8After they had gone through the whole land, they went back to Jerusalem. It had taken them nine months and twenty days.

9Joab came and told David, “In Israel there are eight hundred thousand who can serve in the army, and in Judah there are five hundred thousand.”

The LORD punishes David

10After David had everyone counted, he felt guilty and told the LORD, “What I did was stupid and terribly wrong. LORD, please forgive me.”

11Before David even got up the next morning, the LORD had told David's prophet Gad 12-13to take a message to David. Gad went to David and told him:

You must choose one of three ways for the LORD to punish you: will there be seven years when the land won't grow enough food for your people? Or will your enemies chase you and make you run from them for three months? Or will there be three days of horrible disease in your land? Think about it and decide, because I have to give your answer to God, who sent me.

14David was really frightened and said, “It's a terrible choice to make! But the LORD is kind, and I'd rather be punished by him than by anyone else.”

15-16So that morning, the LORD sent an angel to spread a horrible disease everywhere in Israel, from Dan to Beersheba. And before it was over, seventy thousand people had died.

When the angel was about to destroy Jerusalem, the LORD felt sorry for all the suffering he had caused and told the angel, “That's enough! Don't touch them.” This happened at the threshing place that belonged to Araunah the Jebusite.

17David saw the angel killing everyone and told the LORD, “These people are like sheep with me as their shepherd. I have sinned terribly, but they have done nothing wrong. Please, punish me and my family instead of them!”

David buys Araunah's threshing place

18-19That same day the prophet Gad came and told David, “Go to the threshing place that belongs to Araunah and build an altar there for the LORD.”

So David went.

20Araunah looked and saw David and his soldiers coming up towards him. He went over to David, bowed down low, 21and said, “Your Majesty! Why have you come to see me?”

David answered, “I've come to buy your threshing place. I have to build the LORD an altar here, so this disease will stop killing the people.”

22Araunah said, “Take whatever you want and offer your sacrifice. Here are some oxen for the sacrifice. You can use the threshing boards and the wooden yokes for the fire. 23Take them—they're yours! I hope the LORD your God will be pleased with you.”

24But David answered, “No! I have to pay you what they're worth. I can't offer the LORD my God a sacrifice that I got for nothing.” So David bought the threshing place and the oxen for fifty pieces of silver. 25Then he built an altar for the LORD. He sacrificed animals and burnt them on the altar.

The LORD answered the prayers of the people, and no one else died from the terrible disease.

2 Samuel 23:18-24:25CEVOpen in Bible reader

A widow and a judge

1Jesus told his disciples a story about how they should keep on praying and never give up:

2In a town there was once a judge who didn't fear God or care about people. 3In that same town there was a widow who kept going to the judge and saying, “Make sure that I get fair treatment in court.”

4For a while the judge refused to do anything. Finally, he said to himself, “Even though I don't fear God or care about people, 5I will help this widow because she keeps on bothering me. If I don't help her, she will wear me out.”

6The Lord said:

Think about what that crooked judge said. 7Won't God protect his chosen ones who pray to him day and night? Won't he be concerned for them? 8He will hurry and help them. But when the Son of Man comes, will he find on this earth anyone with faith?

A Pharisee and a tax collector

9Jesus told a story to some people who thought they were better than others and who looked down on everyone else:

10Two men went into the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood over by himself and prayed, “God, I thank you that I am not greedy, dishonest, and unfaithful in marriage like other people. And I am really glad that I am not like that tax collector over there. 12I go without eating for two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all I earn.”

13The tax collector stood off at a distance and did not think he was good enough even to look up towards heaven. He was so sorry for what he had done that he pounded his chest and prayed, “God, have pity on me! I am such a sinner.”

14Then Jesus said, “When the two men went home, it was the tax collector and not the Pharisee who was pleasing to God. If you put yourself above others, you will be put down. But if you humble yourself, you will be honoured.”

Jesus blesses little children

15Some people brought their little children for Jesus to bless. But when his disciples saw them doing this, they told the people to stop bothering him. 16So Jesus called the children over to him and said, “Let the children come to me! Don't try to stop them. People who are like these children belong to God's kingdom. 17You will never get into God's kingdom unless you enter it like a child!”

Luke 18:1-17CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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