May 5

Judges 4

1And the children of Israel again did evil in the eyes of the Lord when Ehud was dead.

2And the Lord gave them up into the hands of Jabin, king of Canaan, who was ruling in Hazor; the captain of his army was Sisera, who was living in Harosheth of the Gentiles.

3Then the children of Israel made prayer to the Lord; for he had nine hundred iron war-carriages, and for twenty years he was very cruel to the children of Israel.

4Now Deborah, a woman prophet, the wife of Lapidoth, was judge of Israel at that time.

5(And she had her seat under the palm-tree of Deborah between Ramah and Beth-el in the hill-country of Ephraim; and the children of Israel came up to her to be judged.)

6And she sent for Barak, the son of Abinoam, from Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, given orders saying, Go and get your force into line in Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?

7And I will make Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his war-carriages and his forces, come against you at the river Kishon, where I will give him into your hands.

8And Barak said to her, If you will go with me then I will go; but if you will not go with me I will not go.

9And she said, I will certainly go with you: though you will get no honour in your undertaking, for the Lord will give Sisera into the hands of a woman. So Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh.

10Then Barak sent for Zebulun and Naphtali to come to Kedesh; and ten thousand men went up after him, and Deborah went up with him.

11Now Heber the Kenite, separating himself from the rest of the Kenites, from the children of Hobab, the brother-in-law of Moses, had put up his tent as far away as the oak-tree in Zaanannim, by Kedesh.

12And word was given to Sisera that Barak, the son of Abinoam, had gone up to Mount Tabor.

13So Sisera got together all his war-carriages, nine hundred war-carriages of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles as far as the river Kishon.

14Then Deborah said to Barak, Up! for today the Lord has given Sisera into your hands: has not the Lord gone out before you? So Barak went down from Mount Tabor and ten thousand men after him.

15And the Lord sent fear on Sisera and all his war-carriages and all his army before Barak; and Sisera got down from his war-carriage and went in flight on foot.

16But Barak went after the war-carriages and the army as far as Harosheth of the Gentiles; and all Sisera’s army was put to the sword; not a man got away.

17But Sisera went in flight on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; for there was peace between Jabin, king of Hazor, and the family of Heber the Kenite.

18And Jael went out to Sisera, and said to him, Come in, my lord, come in to me without fear. So he went into her tent, and she put a cover over him.

19Then he said to her, Give me now a little water, for I have need of a drink. And opening a skin of milk, she gave him drink, and put the cover over him again.

20And he said to her, Take your place at the door of the tent, and if anyone comes and says to you, Is there any man here, say, No.

21Then Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent-pin and a hammer and went up to him quietly, driving the pin into his head, and it went through his head into the earth, for he was in a deep sleep from weariness; and so he came to his end.

22Then Jael went out, and meeting Barak going after Sisera, said to him, Come, and I will let you see the man you are searching for. So he came into her tent and saw, and there was Sisera stretched out dead with the tent-pin in his head.

23So that day God overcame Jabin, king of Canaan, before the children of Israel.

24And the power of the children of Israel went on increasing against Jabin, king of Canaan, till he was cut off.

Judges 5

1At that time Deborah and Barak, the son of Abinoam, made this song, saying:

2Because of the flowing hair of the fighters in Israel, because the people gave themselves freely, give praise to the Lord.

3Give attention, O kings; give ear, O rulers; I, even I, will make a song to the Lord; I will make melody to the Lord, the God of Israel.

4Lord, when you went out from Seir, moving like an army from the field of Edom, the earth was shaking and the heavens were troubled, and the clouds were dropping water.

5The mountains were shaking before the Lord, before the Lord, the God of Israel.

6In the days of Shamgar, the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were not used, and travellers went by side roads.

7Country towns were no more in Israel, *** were no more, till you, Deborah, came up, till you came up as a mother in Israel.

8They had no one to make arms, there were no more armed men in the towns; was there a body-cover or a spear to be seen among forty thousand in Israel?

9Come, you rulers of Israel, you who gave yourselves freely among the people: give praise to the Lord.

10Let them give thought to it, who go on white asses, and those who are walking on the road.

11Give ear to the women laughing by the water-springs; there they will give again the story of the upright acts of the Lord, all the upright acts of his arm in Israel.

12Awake! awake! Deborah: awake! awake! give a song: Up! Barak, and take prisoner those who took you prisoner, O son of Abinoam.

13Then the chiefs went down to the doors; the Lord’s people went down among the strong ones.

14Out of Ephraim they came down into the valley; after you, Benjamin, among your tribesmen; from Machir came down the captains, and from Zebulun those in whose hand is the ruler’s rod.

15Your chiefs, Issachar, were with Deborah; and Naphtali was true to Barak; into the valley they went rushing out at his feet. In Reuben there were divisions, and great searchings of heart.

16Why did you keep quiet among the sheep, hearing nothing but the watchers piping to the flocks?

17Gilead was living over Jordan; and Dan was waiting in his ships; Asher kept in his place by the sea’s edge, living by his inlets.

18It was the people of Zebulun who put their lives in danger, even to death, with Naphtali on the high places of the field.

19The kings came on to the fight, the kings of Canaan were warring; in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo: they took no profit in money.

20The stars from heaven were fighting; from their highways they were fighting against Sisera.

21The river Kishon took them violently away, stopping their flight, the river Kishon. Give praise, O my soul, to the strength of the Lord!

22Then loudly the feet of the horses were sounding with the stamping, the stamping of their war-horses.

23A curse, a curse on Meroz! said the angel of the Lord. A bitter curse on her townspeople! Because they came not to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord among the strong ones.

24Blessings be on Jael, more than on all women! Blessings greater than on any in the tents!

25His request was for water, she gave him milk; she put butter before him on a fair plate.

26She put out her hand to the tent-pin, and her right hand to the workman’s hammer; and she gave Sisera a blow, crushing his head, wounding and driving through his brow.

27Bent at her feet he went down, he was stretched out; bent at her feet he went down; where he was bent down, there he went down in death.

28Looking out from the window she gave a cry, the mother of Sisera was crying out through the window, Why is his carriage so long in coming? When will the noise of his wheels be sounding?

29Her wise women gave answer to her, yes, she made answer again to herself,

30Are they not getting, are they not parting the goods among them: a young girl or two to every man; and to Sisera robes of coloured needlework, worked in fair colours on this side and on that, for the neck of the queen?

31So may destruction come on all your haters, O Lord; but let your lovers be like the sun going out in his strength. And for forty years the land had peace.

Job 35

1And Elihu made answer and said,

2Does it seem to you to be right, and righteousness before God, to say,

3What profit is it to me, and how am I better off than if I had done wrong?

4I will make answer to you and to your friends:

5Let your eyes be turned to the heavens, and lifted up to see the skies; they are higher than you.

6If you have done wrong, is he any the worse for it? and if your sins are great in number, what is it to him?

7If you are upright, what do you give to him? or what does he take from your hand?

8Your evil-doing may have an effect on a man like yourself, or your righteousness on a son of man.

9Because the hand of the cruel is hard on them, men are making sounds of grief; they are crying out for help because of the arm of the strong.

10But no one has said, Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night;

11Who gives us more knowledge than the beasts of the earth, and makes us wiser than the birds of the heaven?

12There they are crying out because of the pride of the evil-doers, but he gives them no answer.

13But God will not give ear to what is false, or the Ruler of all take note of it;

14How much less when you say that you do not see him; that the cause is before him, and you are waiting for him.

15And now … ;

16And Job’s mouth is open wide to give out what is of no profit, increasing words without knowledge.

Acts 16:16-40

16And when we were going to the place of prayer, we came across a girl with a spirit which gave knowledge of the future, whose masters made great profit from her power.

17She came after Paul and us, crying out and saying, These men are the servants of the Most High God, who are giving you news of the way of salvation.

18And this she did on a number of days. But Paul was greatly troubled and, turning, said to the spirit, I give you orders in the name of Jesus Christ, to come out of her. And it came out that very hour.

19But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they took Paul and Silas, pulling them into the market-place before the rulers;

20And when they had taken them before the authorities, they said, These men, who are Jews, are greatly troubling our town;

21Teaching rules of living which it is not right for us to have or to keep, being Romans.

22And the people made an attack on them all together: and the authorities took their clothing off them, and gave orders for them to be whipped.

23And when they had given them a great number of blows, they put them in prison, giving orders to the keeper of the prison to keep them safely:

24And he, having such orders, put them into the inner prison with chains on their feet.

25But about the middle of the night, Paul and Silas were making prayers and songs to God in the hearing of the prisoners;

26And suddenly there was an earth-shock, so that the base of the prison was moved: and all the doors came open, and everyone’s chains came off.

27And the keeper, coming out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, took his sword and was about to put himself to death, fearing that the prisoners had got away.

28But Paul said in a loud voice, Do yourself no damage, for we are all here.

29And he sent for lights and came rushing in and, shaking with fear, went down on his face before Paul and Silas,

30And took them out and said, Sirs, what have I to do to get salvation?

31And they said, Have faith in the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will have salvation.

32And they gave the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.

33And that same hour of the night, he took them, and when he had given attention to their wounds, he and all his family had baptism straight away.

34And he took them into his house and gave them food, and he was full of joy, having faith in God with all his family.

35But when it was day, the authorities sent the police, saying, Let these men go.

36And the keeper said to Paul, The authorities have given orders to let you go: come out now, and go in peace.

37But Paul said to them, They have given us who are Romans a public whipping without judging us, and have put us in prison. Will they now send us out secretly? no, truly, let them come themselves and take us out.

38And the police gave an account of these words to the authorities, and they were full of fear on hearing that they were Romans;

39Then they came and made prayers to them, requesting them, when they had taken them out, to go away from the town.

40And they came out of the prison and went to the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brothers they gave them comfort and went away.

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