May 7

Judges 7

1Then Jerubbaal, that is, Gideon, and all the people with him, got up early and put up their tents by the side of the water-spring of Harod; the tents of Midian were on the north side of him, under the hill of Moreh in the valley.

2And the Lord said to Gideon, So great is the number of your people, that if I give the Midianites into their hands they will be uplifted in pride over me and will say, I myself have been my saviour.

3So now, let it be given out to the people that anyone who is shaking with fear is to go back from Mount Galud. So twenty-two thousand of the people went back, but there were still ten thousand.

4Then the Lord said to Gideon, There are still more people than is necessary; take them down to the water so that I may put them to the test for you there; then whoever I say is to go with you will go, and whoever I say is not to go will not go.

5So he took the people down to the water; and the Lord said to Gideon, Put on one side by themselves all those drinking up the water with their tongues like a dog; and in the same way, all those who go down on their knees to the water while drinking.

6Now the number of those who took up the water with their tongues was three hundred; all the rest of the people went down on their knees to the water.

7And the Lord said to Gideon, By those three hundred who were drinking with their tongues I will give you salvation and give the Midianites into your hands; let the rest of the people go away, every man to his place.

8So they took the vessels of the people, and their horns from their hands, and he sent them away, every man to his tent, keeping only the three hundred; and the tents of Midian were lower down in the valley.

9The same night the Lord said to him, Up! go down now against their army, for I have given them into your hands.

10But if you have fear of going down, take your servant Purah with you and go down to the tents;

11And after hearing what they are saying, you will get strength to go down against the army. So he went down with his servant Purah to the outer line of the tents of the armed men.

12Now the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the people of the east were covering the valley like locusts; and their camels were like the sand by the seaside, without number.

13When Gideon came there, a man was giving his friend an account of his dream, saying, See, I had a dream about a cake of barley bread which, falling into the tents of Midian, came on to the tent, overturning it so that it was stretched out flat on the earth.

14And his friend in answer said, This is certainly the sword of Gideon, the son of Joash, the men of Israel: into their hands God has given up all the army of Midian.

15Then Gideon, hearing the story of the dream and the sense in which they took it, gave worship; then he went back to the tents of Israel, and said, Up! for the Lord has given the army of Midian into your hands.

16Then separating the three hundred men into three bands, he gave every man a horn, and a vessel in which was a flaming branch.

17And he said to them, Keep your eyes on me, and do what I do; when I come to the outer line of tents, whatever I do, you are to do the same.

18At the sound of my horn, and the horns of those who are with me, let your horns be sounded all round the tents, and say, For the Lord and for Gideon.

19So Gideon and the three hundred men who were with him came to the outer line of tents, at the start of the middle watch, when the watchmen had only then taken their stations; and the horns were sounded and the vessels broken.

20So the three bands all gave a loud note on their horns, and when the vessels had been broken, they took the flaming branches in their left hands, and the horns in their right hands ready for blowing, crying out, For the Lord and for Gideon.

21Then they made a line round the tents, every man in his place; and all the army, awaking from sleep, came running out, and with loud cries went in flight.

22And the three hundred gave a loud note on their horns, and every man’s sword was turned by the Lord against his brother all through the army; and the army went in flight as far as Beth-shittah in the direction of Zeredah, to the edge of Abel-meholah by Tabbath.

23And the men of Israel came together from Naphtali and from Asher and all Manasseh, and went after Midian.

24Then Gideon sent through all the hill-country of Ephraim saying, Come down against Midian, and keep the ways across Jordan before they come. So all the men of Ephraim, massing themselves together, kept the ways across Jordan.

25And they took the two chiefs of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; and they put Oreb to death at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb they put to death at the place of the grape-crushing in Zeeb, and they went after Midian; but the heads of Oreb and Zeeb they took across Jordan to Gideon.

Judges 8

1And the men of Ephraim came and said to him, Why did you not send for us when you went to war against Midian? And they said sharp and angry words to him.

2And he said to them, What have I done in comparison with you? Is not that which Ephraim took up after the grape-cutting better than all the grapes which Abiezer got in from the grape-cutting?

3God has given into your hands the chiefs of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb; what have I been able to do in comparison with you? And when he said this, their feeling about him became kinder.

4Then Gideon came to Jordan and went over it with his three hundred, overcome with weariness and in need of food.

5And he said to the men of Succoth, Give bread cakes to my people, for they are overcome with weariness, and I am going on after Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.

6But the chiefs of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna even now in your hand that we are to give bread to your army?

7Then Gideon said, Because of this, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hands, I will have you stretched on a bed of thorns of the waste land and on sharp stems, and have you crushed as grain is crushed on a grain-floor.

8So he went up from there to Penuel and made the same request to the men of Penuel; but they gave him the same answer as the men of Succoth had given.

9So he said to the men of Penuel, When I come back in peace, I will have this tower broken down.

10Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor and their armies with them, about fifteen thousand men, those of all the army of the children of the east who were still living; for a hundred and twenty thousand of their swordsmen had been put to death.

11And Gideon went up by the way used by the people living in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and made an attack on the army when they had no thought of danger.

12And Zebah and Zalmunna went in flight; and he went after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and put all the army to the curse.

13Then Gideon, the son of Joash, went back from the fight:

14And taking prisoner a young man of the people of Succoth, he got from him, in answer to his questions, a list of the chiefs of Succoth and the responsible men, seventy-seven men.

15So he came to the men of Succoth and said, Here are Zebah and Zalmunna, on account of whom you made sport of me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna even now in your hand, that we are to give bread to your army who are overcome with weariness?

16Then he took the responsible men of the town and had them crushed on a bed of thorns and sharp stems.

17And he had the tower of Penuel broken down and the men of the town put to death.

18Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, Where are the men whom you put to death at Tabor? And they gave answer, As you are, so were they; every one of them was like a king’s son.

19And he said, They were my brothers, my mother’s sons: by the life of the Lord, if you had kept them safe, I would not put you to death.

20Then he said to Jether, his oldest son, Up! Put them to death. But the boy did not take out his sword, fearing because he was still a boy.

21Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Up! Put an end to us yourself: for you have a man’s strength. Then Gideon got up and put Zebah and Zalmunna to death and took the ornaments which were on their camels’ necks.

22Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, Be our ruler, you and your son and your son’s son after him; for you have been our saviour from the hands of Midian.

23But Gideon said to them, I will not be a ruler over you, and my son will not be a ruler over you: it is the Lord who will be ruler over you.

24Then Gideon said to them, I have a request to make to you; let every man give me the ear-rings he has taken. (For they had gold ear-rings, because they were Ishmaelites.)

25And they gave answer, We will gladly give them. So they put down a robe, every man dropping into it the ear-rings he had taken.

26The weight of the gold ear-rings which he got from them was one thousand, seven hundred shekels of gold; in addition to the moon-ornaments and jewels and the purple robes which were on the kings of Midian, and the chains on their camels’ necks.

27And Gideon made an ephod from them and put it up in his town Ophrah; and all Israel went after it there and were false to the Lord; and it became a cause of sin to Gideon and his house.

28So Midian was broken before the children of Israel and the Midianites never got back their strength. And the land had peace for forty years, in the days of Gideon.

29And Jerubbaal, the son of Joash, went back to his house and was living there.

30Gideon had seventy sons, the offspring of his body; for he had a number of wives.

31And the servant-wife he had in Shechem had a son by him, to whom he gave the name Abimelech.

32And Gideon, the son of Joash, came to his end when he was very old, and his body was put in the resting-place of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

33And after the death of Gideon, the children of Israel again went after the gods of Canaan and were false to the Lord, and made Baal-berith their god.

34And the children of Israel did not keep in their minds the Lord their God, who had been their saviour from all their haters on every side;

35And they were not kind to the house of Jerubbaal, that is, Gideon, in reward for all the good he had done to Israel.

Job 37

1At this my heart is shaking; it is moved out of its place.

2Give ear to the rolling noise of his voice; to the hollow sound which goes out of his mouth.

3He sends it out through all the heaven, and his thunder-flame to the ends of the earth.

4After it a voice is sounding, thundering out the word of his power; he does not keep back his thunder-flames; from his mouth his voice is sounding.

5He does wonders, more than may be searched out; great things of which we have no knowledge;

6For he says to the snow, Make the earth wet; and to the rain-storm, Come down.

7He puts an end to the work of every man, so that all may see his work.

8Then the beasts go into their holes, and take their rest.

9Out of its place comes the storm-wind, and the cold out of its store-houses.

10By the breath of God ice is made, and the wide waters are shut in.

11The thick cloud is weighted with thunder-flame, and the cloud sends out its light;

12And it goes this way and that, round about, turning itself by his guiding, to do whatever he gives orders to be done, on the face of his world of men,

13For a rod, or for a curse, or for mercy, causing it to come on the mark.

14Give ear to this, O Job, and keep quiet in your place; and take note of the wonders worked by God.

15Have you knowledge of God’s ordering of his works, how he makes the light of his cloud to be seen?

16Have you knowledge of the balancings of the clouds, the wonders of him who has all wisdom?

17You, whose clothing is warm, when the earth is quiet because of the south wind,

18Will you, with him, make the skies smooth, and strong as a polished looking-glass?

19Make clear to me what we are to say to him; we are unable to put our cause before him, because of the dark.

20How may he have knowledge of my desire for talk with him? or did any man ever say, May destruction come on me?

21And now the light is not seen, for it is dark because of the clouds; but a wind comes, clearing them away.

22A bright light comes out of the north; God’s glory is greatly to be feared.

23There is no searching out of the Ruler of all: his strength and his judging are great; he is full of righteousness, doing no wrong.

24For this cause men go in fear of him; he has no respect for any who are wise in heart.

Acts 17:16-34

16Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was troubled, for he saw all the town full of images of the gods.

17So he had discussions in the Synagogue with the Jews and God-fearing Gentiles, and every day in the market-place with those who were there.

18And some of those who were supporters of the theories of the Epicureans and the Stoics, had a meeting with him. And some said, What is this talker of foolish words saying? And others, He seems to be a preacher of strange gods: because he was preaching of Jesus and his coming back from the dead.

19And they took him to Mars’ Hill, saying, Will you make clear to us what is this new teaching of yours?

20For you seem to us to say strange things, and we have a desire to get the sense of them.

21(Now all the Athenians and the men from other lands who come there were giving all their time to talking or hearing of anything new.)

22And Paul got to his feet on Mars’ Hill and said, O men of Athens, I see that you are overmuch given to fear of the gods.

23For when I came by, I was looking at the things to which you give worship, and I saw an altar with this writing on it, TO THE GOD OF WHOM THERE IS NO KNOWLEDGE. Now, what you, without knowledge, give worship to, I make clear to you.

24The God who made the earth and everything in it, he, being Lord of heaven and earth, is not housed in buildings made with hands;

25And he is not dependent on the work of men’s hands, as if he had need of anything, for he himself gives to all life and breath and all things;

26And he has made of one blood all the nations of men living on all the face of the earth, ordering their times and the limits of their lands,

27So that they might make search for God, in order, if possible, to get knowledge of him and make discovery of him, though he is not far from every one of us:

28For in him we have life and motion and existence; as certain of your verse writers have said, For we are his offspring.

29If then we are the offspring of God, it is not right for us to have the idea that God is like gold or silver or stone, formed by the art or design of man.

30Those times when men had no knowledge were overlooked by God; but now he gives orders to all men in every place to undergo a change of heart:

31Because a day has been fixed in which all the world will be judged in righteousness by the man who has been marked out by him for this work; of which he has given a sign to all men by giving him back from the dead.

32Now on hearing about the coming back from death, some of them made sport of it, but others said, Let us go more fully into this another time.

33And so Paul went away from among them.

34But some men gave him their support: among whom was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

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