May 6

Judges 6

1And the children of Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord; and the Lord gave them up into the hand of Midian for seven years.

2And Midian was stronger than Israel; and because of the Midianites, the children of Israel made holes for themselves in the mountains, and hollows in the rocks, and strong places.

3And whenever Israel’s grain was planted, the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east came up against them;

4And put their army in position against them; and they took all the produce of the earth as far as Gaza, till there was no food in Israel, or any sheep or oxen or asses.

5For they came up regularly with their oxen and their tents; they came like the locusts in number; they and their camels were without number; and they came into the land for its destruction.

6And Israel was in great need because of Midian; and the cry of the children of Israel went up to the Lord.

7And when the cry of the children of Israel, because of Midian, came before the Lord,

8The Lord sent a prophet to the children of Israel, who said to them, The Lord the God of Israel, has said, I took you up from Egypt, out of the prison-house;

9And I took you out of the hands of the Egyptians and out of the hands of all who were cruel to you, and I sent them out by force from before you and gave you their land;

10And I said to you, I am the Lord your God; you are not to give worship to the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living, but you did not give ear to my voice.

11Now the angel of the Lord came and took his seat under the oak-tree in Ophrah, in the field of Joash the Abiezrite; and his son Gideon was crushing grain in the place where the grapes were crushed, so that the Midianites might not see it.

12And the angel of the Lord came before his eyes, and said to him, The Lord is with you, O man of war.

13Then Gideon said to him, O my lord, if the Lord is with us why has all this come on us? And where are all his works of power, of which our fathers have given us word, saying, Did not the Lord take us out of Egypt? But now he has given us up, handing us over to the power of Midian.

14And the Lord, turning to him, said, Go in the strength you have and be Israel’s saviour from Midian: have I not sent you?

15And he said to him, O Lord, how may I be the saviour of Israel? See, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

16Then the Lord said to him, Truly, I will be with you, and you will overcome the Midianites as if they were one man.

17So he said to him, If now I have grace in your eyes, then give me a sign that it is you who are talking to me.

18Do not go away till I come with my offering and put it before you. And he said, I will not go away before you come back.

19Then Gideon went in and made ready a young goat, and with an ephah of meal he made unleavened cakes: he put the meat in a basket and the soup in which it had been cooked he put in a pot, and he took it out to him under the oak-tree and gave it to him there.

20And the angel of God said to him, Take the meat and the unleavened cakes and put them down on the rock over there, draining out the soup over them. And he did so.

21Then the angel of the Lord put out the stick which was in his hand, touching the meat and the cakes with the end of it; and a flame came up out of the rock, burning up the meat and the cakes: and the angel of the Lord was seen no longer.

22Then Gideon was certain that he was the angel of the Lord; and Gideon said, I am in fear, O Lord God! for I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.

23But the Lord said to him, Peace be with you; have no fear: you are in no danger of death.

24Then Gideon made an altar there to the Lord, and gave it the name Yahweh-shalom; to this day it is in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

25The same night the Lord said to him, Take ten men of your servants and an ox seven years old, and after pulling down the altar of Baal which is your father’s, and cutting down the holy tree by its side,

26Make an altar to the Lord your God on the top of this rock, in the ordered way and take the ox and make a burned offering with the wood of the holy tree which has been cut down.

27Then Gideon took ten of his servants and did as the Lord had said to him; but fearing to do it by day, because of his father’s people and the men of the town, he did it by night.

28And the men of the town got up early in the morning, and they saw the altar of Baal broken down, and the holy tree which was by it cut down, and the ox offered on the altar which had been put up there.

29And they said to one another, Who has done this thing? And after searching with care, they said, Gideon, the son of Joash, has done this thing.

30Then the men of the town said to Joash, Make your son come out to be put to death, for pulling down the altar of Baal and cutting down the holy tree which was by it.

31But Joash said to all those who were attacking him, Will you take up the cause of Baal? will you be his saviour? Let anyone who will take up his cause be put to death while it is still morning: if he is a god, let him take up his cause himself because of the pulling down of his altar.

32So that day he gave him the name of Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal take up his cause against him because his altar has been broken down.

33Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east, banding themselves together, went over and put up their tents in the valley of Jezreel.

34But the spirit of the Lord came on Gideon; and at the sound of his horn all Abiezer came together after him.

35And he sent through all Manasseh, and they came after him; and he sent to Asher and Zebulun and Naphtali, and they came up and were joined to the others.

36Then Gideon said to God, If you are going to give Israel salvation by my hand, as you have said,

37See, I will put the wool of a sheep on the grain-floor; if there is dew on the wool only, while all the earth is dry, then I will be certain that it is your purpose to give Israel salvation by my hand as you have said.

38And it was so: for he got up early on the morning after, and twisting the wool in his hands, he got a basin full of water from the dew on the wool.

39Then Gideon said to God, Do not be moved to wrath against me if I say only this: let me make one more test with the wool; let the wool now be dry, while the earth is covered with dew.

40And that night God did so; for the wool was dry, and there was dew on all the earth round it.

Job 36

1And Elihu went on to say,

2Give me a little more time, and I will make it clear to you; for I have still something to say for God.

3I will get my knowledge from far, and I will give righteousness to my Maker.

4For truly my words are not false; one who has all knowledge is talking with you.

5Truly, God gives up the hard-hearted, and will not give life to the sinner.

6His eyes are ever on the upright, and he gives to the crushed their right;

7Lifting them up to the seat of kings, and making them safe for ever.

8And if they have been prisoned in chains, and taken in cords of trouble,

9Then he makes clear to them what they have done, even their evil works in which they have taken pride.

10Their ear is open to his teaching, and he gives them orders so that their hearts may be turned from evil.

11If they give ear to his voice, and do his word, then he gives them long life, and years full of pleasure.

12But if not, they come to their end, and give up their breath without knowledge.

13Those who have no fear of God keep wrath stored up in their hearts; they give no cry for help when they are made prisoners.

14They come to their end while they are still young, their life is short like that of those who are used for sex purposes in the worship of their gods.

15He makes the wrong done to the poor the way of their salvation, opening their ears by their trouble.

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20…

21Take care not to be turned to sin, for you have taken evil for your part in place of sorrow.

22Truly God is lifted up in strength; who is a ruler like him?

23Who ever gave orders to him, or said to him, You have done wrong?

24See that you give praise to his work, about which men make songs.

25All people are looking on it; man sees it from far.

26Truly, God is great, greater than all our knowledge; the number of his years may not be searched out.

27For he takes up the drops from the sea; he sends them through his mist as rain,

28Flowing down from the sky, and dropping on the peoples.

29And who has knowledge of how the clouds are stretched out, or of the thunders of his tent?

30See, he is stretching out his mist, covering the tops of the mountains with it.

31For by these he gives food to the peoples, and bread in full measure.

32He takes the light in his hands, sending it against the mark.

33The thunder makes clear his passion, and the storm gives news of his wrath.

Acts 17:1-15

1Now when they had gone through Amphipolis and Apollonia they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Synagogue of the Jews:

2And Paul, as he generally did, went in to them, and on three Sabbath days had discussions with them from the holy Writings,

3Saying to them clearly and openly that Christ had to be put to death and come back to life again; and that this Jesus, whom, he said, I am preaching to you, is the Christ.

4And some of them had faith, and were joined to Paul and Silas; and a number of the God-fearing Greeks, and some of the chief women.

5But the Jews, being moved with envy, took with them certain low persons from among the common people, and getting together a great number of people, made an outcry in the town, attacking the house of Jason with the purpose of taking them out to the people.

6And when they were not able to get them, they took Jason and some of the brothers by force before the rulers of the town, crying, These men, who have made trouble all over the world have now come here;

7Whom Jason has taken into his house: and they are acting against the orders of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.

8And hearing these things the people and the rulers of the town were troubled.

9And having made Jason and the others give an undertaking to keep the peace, they let them go.

10And the brothers straight away sent Paul and Silas away by night to Beroea: and they, when they came there, went to the Synagogue of the Jews.

11Now these were more noble than the Jews of Thessalonica, for they gave serious attention to the word, searching in the holy Writings every day, to see if these things were so.

12And a number of them had faith, and no small number of the Greek women of high position and of the men.

13But when the Jews of Thessalonica had news that Paul was preaching the word at Beroea, they came there, troubling the people and working them up.

14So the brothers sent Paul straight away to the sea: but Silas and Timothy kept there still.

15But those who went with Paul took him as far as Athens, and then went away, with orders from him to Silas and Timothy to come to him quickly.

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