May 4

Judges 2

1Now the angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, *** I took you out of Egypt, guiding you into the land which I gave by an oath to your fathers; and I said, My agreement with you will never be broken by me:

2And you are to make no agreement with the people of this land; you are to see that their altars are broken down: but you have not given ear to my voice: what have you done?

3And so I have said, I will not send them out from before you; but they will be a danger to you, and their gods will be a cause of falling to you.

4Now on hearing these words which the angel of the Lord said to all the children of Israel, the people gave themselves up to loud crying and weeping.

5And they gave that place the name of Bochim, and made offerings there to the Lord.

6And Joshua let the people go away, and the children of Israel went, every man to his heritage, to take the land for themselves.

7And the people were true to the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the responsible men who were still living after the death of Joshua, and had seen all the great work of the Lord which he had done for Israel.

8And death came to Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, he being a hundred and ten years old.

9And they put his body in the earth in the land of his heritage in Timnath-heres, in the hill-country of Ephraim to the north of Mount Gaash.

10And in time death overtook all that generation; and another generation came after them, having no knowledge of the Lord or of the things which he had done for Israel.

11And the children of Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord and became servants to the Baals;

12And they gave up the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had taken them out of the land of Egypt, and went after other gods, the gods of the peoples round about them, worshipping them and moving the Lord to wrath.

13And they gave up the Lord, and became the servants of Baal and the Astartes.

14And the wrath of the Lord was burning against Israel, and he gave them up into the hands of those who violently took their property, and into the hands of their haters all round them, so that they were forced to give way before them.

15Wherever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had taken his oath it would be; and things became very hard for them.

16Then the Lord gave them judges, as their saviours from the hands of those who were cruel to them.

17But still they would not give ear to their judges, but went after other gods and gave them worship; quickly turning from the way in which their fathers had gone, keeping the orders of the Lord; but they did not do so.

18And whenever the Lord gave them judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and was their saviour from the hands of their haters all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved by their cries of grief because of those who were cruel to them.

19But whenever the judge was dead, they went back and did more evil than their fathers, going after other gods, to be their servants and their worshippers; giving up nothing of their sins and their hard-hearted ways.

20And the wrath of the Lord was burning against Israel, and he said, Because this nation has not been true to my agreement which I made with their fathers, and has not given ear to my voice;

21From now on I will not go on driving out from before them any of the nations which at the death of Joshua were still living in this land;

22In order to put Israel to the test, and see if they will keep the way of the Lord, walking in it as their fathers did, or not.

23So the Lord let those nations go on living in the land, not driving them out quickly, and did not give them up into the hands of Joshua.

Judges 3

1Now these are the nations which the Lord kept in the land for the purpose of testing Israel by them, all those who had had no experience of all the wars of Canaan;

2Only because of the generations of the children of Israel, for the purpose of teaching them war–only those who up till then had no experience of it;

3The five chiefs of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites and the Zidonians and the Hivites living in Mount Lebanon, from the mountain Baal-hermon as far as Hamath:

4For the purpose of testing Israel by them, to see if they would give ear to the orders of the Lord, which he had given to their fathers by the hand of Moses.

5Now the children of Israel were living among the Canaanites, the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites:

6And they took as wives the daughters of these nations and gave their daughters to their sons, and became servants to their gods.

7And the children of Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and put out of their minds the Lord their God, and became servants to the Baals and the Astartes.

8So the wrath of the Lord was burning against Israel, and he gave them up into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia; and the children of Israel were his servants for eight years.

9And when the children of Israel made prayer to the Lord, he gave them a saviour, Othniel, the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.

10And the spirit of the Lord came on him and he became judge of Israel, and went out to war, and the Lord gave up Cushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia, into his hands and he overcame him.

11Then for forty years the land had peace, till the death of Othniel, the son of Kenaz.

12Then the children of Israel again did evil in the eyes of the Lord; and the Lord made Eglon, king of Moab, strong against Israel, because they had done evil in the Lord’s eyes.

13And Eglon got together the people of Ammon and Amalek, and they went and overcame Israel and took the town of palm-trees.

14And the children of Israel were servants to Eglon, king of Moab, for eighteen years.

15Then when the children of Israel made prayer to the Lord, he gave them a saviour, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man; and the children of Israel sent an offering by him to Eglon, king of Moab.

16So Ehud made himself a two-edged sword, a cubit long, which he put on at his right side under his robe.

17And he took the offering to Eglon, king of Moab, who was a very fat man.

18And after giving the offering, he sent away the people who had come with the offering.

19But he himself, turning back from the stone images at Gilgal, said, I have something to say to you in secret, O king. And he said, Let there be quiet. Then all those who were waiting before him went out.

20Then Ehud came in to him while he was seated by himself in his summer-house. And Ehud said, I have a word from God for you. And he got up from his seat.

21And Ehud put out his left hand, and took the sword from his right side, and sent it into his stomach;

22And the hand-part went in after the blade, and the fat was joined up over the blade; for he did not take the sword out of his stomach. And he went out into the …

23Then Ehud went out into the covered way, shutting the doors of the summer-house on him and locking them.

24Now when he had gone, the king’s servants came, and saw that the doors of the summer-house were locked; and they said, It may be that he is in his summer-house for a private purpose.

25And they went on waiting till they were shamed, but the doors were still shut; so they took the key, and, opening them, saw their lord stretched out dead on the floor.

26But Ehud had got away while they were waiting and had gone past the stone images and got away to Seirah.

27And when he came there, he had a horn sounded in the hill-country of Ephraim, and all the children of Israel went down with him from the hill-country, and he at their head.

28And he said to them, Come after me; for the Lord has given the Moabites, your haters, into your hands. So they went down after him and took the crossing-places of Jordan against Moab, and let no one go across.

29At that time they put about ten thousand men of Moab to the sword, every strong man and every man of war; not a man got away.

30So Moab was broken that day under the hand of Israel. And for eighty years the land had peace.

31And after him came Shamgar, the son of Anath, who put to death six hundred Philistines with an ox-stick; and he was another saviour of Israel.

Job 34

1And Elihu made answer and said,

2Give ear, you wise, to my words; and you who have knowledge, give attention to me;

3For words are tested by the ear, as food is tasted by the mouth.

4Let us make the decision for ourselves as to what is right; let us have the knowledge among ourselves of what is good.

5For Job has said, I am upright, and it is God who has taken away my right;

6Though I am right, still I am in pain; my wound may not be made well, though I have done no wrong.

7What man is like Job, a man who freely makes sport of God,

8And goes in the company of evil-doers, walking in the way of sinners?

9For he has said, It is no profit to a man to take delight in God.

10Now then, you wise, take note; you men of knowledge, give ear to me. Let it be far from God to do evil, and from the Ruler of all to do wrong.

11For he gives to every man the reward of his work, and sees that he gets the fruit of his ways.

12Truly, God does not do evil, and the Ruler of all is not a false judge.

13Who put the earth into his care, or made him responsible for the world?

14If he made his spirit come back to him, taking his breath into himself again,

15All flesh would come to an end together, and man would go back to the dust.

16If you are wise, take note of this; give ear to the voice of my words.

17How may a hater of right be a ruler? and will you say that the upright Ruler of all is evil?

18He who says to a king, You are an evil-doer; and to rulers, You are sinners;

19Who has no respect for rulers, and who gives no more attention to those who have wealth than to the poor, for they are all the work of his hands.

20Suddenly they come to an end, even in the middle of the night: the blow comes on the men of wealth, and they are gone, and the strong are taken away without the hand of man.

21For his eyes are on the ways of a man, and he sees all his steps.

22There is no dark place, and no thick cloud, in which the workers of evil may take cover.

23For he does not give man a fixed time to come before him to be judged.

24He sends the strong to destruction without searching out their cause, and puts others in their place.

25For he has knowledge of their works, overturning them in the night, so that they are crushed.

26The evil-doers are broken by his wrath, he puts his hand on them with force before the eyes of all onlookers.

27Because they did not go after him, and took no note of his ways,

28So that the cry of the poor might come up to him, and the prayer of those in need come to his ears.

29…

30…

31…

32…

33…

34Men of knowledge, and all wise men, hearing me, will say,

35Job’s words do not come from knowledge; they are not the fruit of wisdom.

36May Job be tested to the end, because his answers have been like those of evil men.

37For in addition to his sin, he is uncontrolled in heart; before our eyes he makes sport of God, increasing his words against him.

Acts 16:1-15

1And he came to Derbe and Lystra: and there was a certain disciple there named Timothy, whose mother was one of the Jews of the faith, but his father was a Greek;

2Of whom the brothers at Lystra and Iconium had a high opinion.

3Paul had a desire for him to go with him, and he gave him circumcision because of the Jews who were in those parts: for they all had knowledge that his father was a Greek.

4And on their way through the towns, they gave them the rules which had been made by the Apostles and the rulers of the church at Jerusalem, so that they might keep them.

5So the churches were made strong in the faith and were increased in number every day.

6And after they had gone through the land of Phrygia and Galatia, the Holy Spirit did not let them take the word into Asia;

7And having come to Mysia, they made an attempt to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not let them;

8And going past Mysia, they came down to Troas.

9And Paul had a vision in the night; a man of Macedonia came, requesting him, and saying, Come over into Macedonia and give us help.

10And when he had seen the vision, straight away we made the decision to go into Macedonia, for it seemed certain to us that God had sent us to give the good news to them.

11So, from Troas we went straight by ship to Samothrace and the day after to Neapolis;

12And from there to Philippi, which is the most important town of Macedonia and a Roman colony: and we were there for some days.

13And on the Sabbath we went outside the town, by the river, where we had an idea that there would be a place of prayer; and, being seated, we had talk with the women who had come together.

14And a certain woman named Lydia, a trader in purple cloth of the town of Thyatira, and a God-fearing woman, gave ear to us: whose heart the Lord made open to give attention to the things which Paul was saying.

15And when she and her family had had baptism, she made a request to us, saying, If it seems to you that I am true to the Lord, come into my house and be my guests. And she made us come.

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