May 14

Judges 17

1Now there was a man of the hill-country of Ephraim named Micah.

2And he said to his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver which were taken from you, about which you took an oath and said in my hearing, I have given this silver to the Lord from my hand for myself, to make a pictured image and a metal image: see, I have the silver, for I took it: so now I will give it back to you. And his mother said, May the blessing of the Lord be on my son.

3And he gave back the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, and his mother said, I have made the silver holy to the Lord from me for my son, to make a pictured image and a metal image.

4So he gave the silver back to his mother. Then his mother took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a metal-worker who made a pictured image and a metal image from them: and it was in the house of Micah.

5And the man Micah had a house of gods; and he made an ephod and family gods and put one of his sons in the position of priest.

6In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did as seemed right to him.

7Now there was a young man living in Beth-lehem-judah, of the family of Judah and a Levite, who was not a townsman of the place.

8And he went away from the town of Beth-lehem-judah, looking for somewhere to make his living-place; and on his journey he came to the hill-country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah.

9And Micah said to him, Where do you come from? And he said to him, I am a Levite from Beth-lehem-judah, and I am looking for a living-place.

10Then Micah said to him, Make your living-place with me, and be a father and a priest to me, and I will give you ten shekels of silver a year and your clothing and food.

11And the Levite said he would make his living-place with the man, and he became to him as one of his sons.

12And Micah gave the position to the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.

13Then Micah said, Now I am certain that the Lord will do me good, seeing that the Levite has become my priest.

Judges 18

1In those days there was no king in Israel, and in those days the Danites were looking for a heritage for themselves, to be their living-place; for up to that time no distribution of land had been made to them among the tribes of Israel.

2So the children of Dan sent five men from among their number, strong men, from Zorah and from Eshtaol, to take a look at the land and make a search through it; and they said to them, Go and make a search through the land; and they came to the hill-country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, where they made a stop for the night.

3When they were near the house of Micah, hearing a voice which was not strange to them, that of the young Levite, they went out of their road to his place, and said to him, How did you come here? and what are you doing in this place? and why are you here?

4And he said to them, This is what Micah did for me, and he gave me payment and I became his priest.

5Then they said, Do get directions from God for us, to see if the journey on which we are going will have a good outcome.

6And the priest said to them, Go in peace: your way is guided by the Lord.

7Then the five men went on their way and came to Laish and saw the people who were there, living without thought of danger, like the Zidonians, quiet and safe; for they had everything on earth for their needs, and they were far from the Zidonians and had no business with Aram.

8So they came back to their brothers in Zorah and Eshtaol, and their brothers said to them, What news have you?

9And they said, Up! and let us go against Laish; for we have seen the land, and it is very good: why are you doing nothing? Do not be slow to go in and take the land for your heritage.

10When you come there you will come to a people living without thought of danger; and the land is wide, and God has given it into your hands: a place where there is everything on earth for man’s needs.

11So six hundred men of the Danites from Zorah and Eshtaol went out armed with instruments of war.

12And they went up and put up their tents in Kiriath-jearim in Judah: so that place is named Mahaneh-dan to this day. It is to the west of Kiriath-jearim.

13From there they went on to the hill-country of Ephraim and came to the house of Micah.

14Then the five men who had gone to make a search through the country of Laish, said to their brothers, Have you knowledge that in these houses there is an ephod and family gods and a pictured image and a metal image? So now you see what to do.

15And turning from their road they came to the house of the young Levite, the house of Micah, and said to him, Is it well with you?

16And the six hundred armed men of the Danites took their places by the doorway.

17Then the five men who had gone to make a search through the land, went in and took the pictured image and the ephod and the family gods and the metal image; and the priest was by the doorway with the six hundred armed men.

18And when they went into Micah’s house and took out the pictured image and the ephod and the family gods and the metal image, the priest said to them, What are you doing?

19And they said to him, Be quiet; say nothing, and come with us and be our father and priest; is it better for you to be priest to one man’s house or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?

20Then the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod and the family gods and the pictured image and went with the people.

21So they went on their way again, putting the little ones and the oxen and the goods in front of them.

22When they had gone some way from the house of Micah, the men from the houses near Micah’s house came together and overtook the children of Dan,

23Crying out to them. And the Danites, turning round, said to Micah, What is your trouble, that you have taken up arms?

24And he said, You have taken my gods which I made, and my priest, and have gone away; what is there for me now? Why then do you say to me, What is your trouble?

25And the children of Dan said to him, Say no more, or men of bitter spirit may make an attack on you, causing loss of your life and the lives of your people.

26Then the children of Dan went on their way; and when Micah saw that they were stronger than he, he went back to his house.

27And they took that which Micah had made, and his priest, and came to Laish, to a people living quietly and without thought of danger, and they put them to the sword without mercy, burning down their town.

28And they had no saviour, because it was far from Zidon, and they had no business with Aram; and it was in the valley which is the property of Beth-rehob. And building up the town again they took it for their living-place.

29And they gave the town the name of Dan, after Dan their father, who was the son of Israel: though the town had been named Laish at first.

30(And the children of Dan put up the pictured image for themselves; and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses, and his sons were priests for the tribe of the Danites till the day when the ark was taken prisoner.)

31And they put up for themselves the image which Micah had made, and it was there all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.

Psalms 43

1Be my judge, O God, supporting my cause against a nation without religion; O keep me from the false and evil man.

2You are the God of my strength; why have you put me from you? why do I go in sorrow because of the attacks of my haters?

3O send out your light and your true word; let them be my guide: let them take me to your holy hill, and to your tents.

4Then I will go up to the altar of God, to the God of my joy; I will be glad and give praise to you on an instrument of music, O God, my God.

5Why are you crushed down, O my soul? and why are you troubled in me? put your hope in God, for I will again give him praise who is my help and my God.

Acts 21:37-40

37And when Paul was about to be taken into the building, he said to the chief captain, May I say something to you? And he said, Have you a knowledge of Greek?

38Are you by chance the Egyptian who, before this, got the people worked up against the government and took four thousand men of the Assassins out into the waste land?

39But Paul said, I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, which is not an unimportant town: I make a request to you to let me say a word to the people.

40And when he let him do so, Paul, from the steps, made a sign with his hand to the people, and when they were all quiet, he said to them in the Hebrew language,

Acts 22:1-29

1My brothers and fathers, give ear to the story of my life which I now put before you.

2And, hearing him talking in the Hebrew language, they became the more quiet, and he said,

3I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia by birth, but I had my education in this town at the feet of Gamaliel, being trained in the keeping of every detail of the law of our fathers; given up to the cause of God with all my heart, as you are today.

4And I made attacks on this Way, even to death, taking men and women and putting them in prison.

5Of which the high priest will be a witness, and all the rulers, from whom I had letters to the brothers; and I went into Damascus, to take those who were there as prisoners to Jerusalem for punishment.

6And it came about that while I was on my journey, coming near to Damascus, about the middle of the day, suddenly I saw a great light from heaven shining round me.

7And when I went down on the earth, a voice came to my ears saying to me, Saul, Saul, why are you attacking me so cruelly?

8And I, answering, said, Who are you; Lord? And he said to me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are attacking.

9And those who were with me saw the light, but the voice of him who was talking to me came not to their ears.

10And I said, What have I to do, Lord? And the Lord said to me, Get up, and go into Damascus; and it will be made clear to you what you have to do.

11And because I was unable to see because of the glory of that light, those who were with me took me by the hand, and so I came to Damascus.

12And one Ananias, a God-fearing man, who kept the law, and of whom all the Jews in that place had a high opinion,

13Came to my side and said, Brother Saul, let your eyes be open. And in that very hour I was able to see him.

14And he said, You have been marked out by the God of our fathers to have knowledge of his purpose, and to see the Upright One and to give ear to the words of his mouth.

15For you will be a witness for him to all men of what you have seen and of what has come to your ears.

16And now, why are you waiting? get up, and have baptism, for the washing away of your sins, giving worship to his name.

17And it came about that when I had come back to Jerusalem, while I was at prayer in the Temple, my senses became more than naturally clear,

18And I saw him saying to me, Go out of Jerusalem straight away because they will not give hearing to your witness about me.

19And I said, Lord, they themselves have knowledge that I went through the Synagogues putting in prison and whipping all those who had faith in you:

20And when Stephen your witness was put to death, I was there, giving approval, and looking after the clothing of those who put him to death.

21And he said to me, Go, for I will send you far away to the Gentiles.

22And they gave him a hearing as far as this word; then with loud voices they said, Away with this man from the earth; it is not right for him to be living.

23And while they were crying out, and pulling off their clothing, and sending dust into the air,

24The chief captain gave orders for him to be taken into the army building, saying that he would put him to the test by whipping, so that he might have knowledge of the reason why they were crying out so violently against him.

25And when they had put leather bands round him, Paul said to the captain who was present, Is it the law for you to give blows to a man who is a Roman and has not been judged?

26And hearing this, the man went to the chief captain and gave him an account of it, saying, What are you about to do? for this man is a Roman.

27And the chief captain came to him and said, Give me an answer, are you a Roman? And he said, Yes.

28And the chief captain said, I got Roman rights for myself at a great price. And Paul said, But I had them by birth.

29Then those who were about to put him to the test went away: and the chief captain was in fear, seeing that he was a Roman, and that he had put chains on him.

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