May 8

Judges 9

1Now Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal, went to Shechem to his mother’s family, and said to them and to all the family of his mother’s father,

2Say now in the ears of all the townsmen of Shechem, Is it better for you to be ruled by all the seventy sons of Jerubbaal or by one man only? And keep in mind that I am your bone and your flesh.

3So his mother’s family said all this about him in the ears of all the townsmen of Shechem: and their hearts were turned to Abimelech, for they said, He is our brother.

4And they gave him seventy shekels of silver from the house of Baal-berith, with which Abimelech got the support of a number of uncontrolled and good-for-nothing persons.

5Then he went to his father’s house at Ophrah, and put his brothers, the seventy sons of Jerubbaal, to death on the same stone; however, Jotham, the youngest, kept himself safe by going away to a secret place.

6And all the townsmen of Shechem and all Beth-millo came together and went and made Abimelech their king, by the oak of the pillar in Shechem.

7Now Jotham, on hearing of it, went to the top of Mount Gerizim, and crying out with a loud voice said to them, Give ear to me, you townsmen of Shechem, so that God may give ear to you.

8One day the trees went out to make a king for themselves; and they said to the olive-tree, Be king over us.

9But the olive-tree said to them, Am I to give up my wealth of oil, by which men give honour to God, and go waving over the trees?

10Then the trees said to the fig-tree, You come and be king over us.

11But the fig-tree said to them, Am I to give up my sweet taste and my good fruit and go waving over the trees?

12Then the trees said to the vine, You come and be king over us.

13But the vine said to them, Am I to give up my wine, which makes glad God and men, to go waving over the trees?

14Then all the trees said to the thorn, You come and be king over us.

15And the thorn said to the trees, If it is truly your desire to make me your king, then come and put your faith in my shade; and if not, may fire come out of the thorn, burning up the cedars of Lebanon.

16So now, if you have done truly and uprightly in making Abimelech king, and if you have done well to Jerubbaal and his house in reward for the work of his hands;

17(For my father made war for you, and put his life in danger, and made you free from the hands of Midian;

18And you have gone against my father’s family this day, and have put to death his sons, even seventy men on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his servant-wife, king over the townsmen of Shechem because he is your brother;)

19If then you have done what is true and upright to Jerubbaal and his family this day, may you have joy in Abimelech, and may he have joy in you;

20But if not, may fire come out from Abimelech, burning up the townsmen of Shechem and Beth-millo; and may fire come out from the townsmen of Shechem and Beth-millo, for the destruction of Abimelech.

21Then Jotham straight away went in flight to Beer, and was living there for fear of his brother Abimelech.

22So Abimelech was chief over Israel for three years.

23And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the townsmen of Shechem; and the townsmen of Shechem were false to Abimelech;

24So that punishment for the violent attack made on the seventy sons of Jerubbaal, and for their blood, might come on Abimelech, their brother, who put them to death, and on the townsmen of Shechem who gave him their help in putting his brothers to death.

25And the townsmen of Shechem put secret watchers on the tops of the mountains, and they made attacks on all who went by on the road and took their goods; and word of this came to Abimelech.

26Then Gaal, the son of Ebed, came with his brothers, and went over to Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their faith in him.

27And they went out into their fields and got in the fruit of their vines, and when the grapes had been crushed, they made a holy feast and went into the house of their god, and over their food and drink they were cursing Abimelech.

28And Gaal, the son of Ebed, said, Who is Abimelech and who is Shechem, that we are to be his servants? Is it not right for the son of Jerubbaal and Zebul his captain to be servants to the men of Hamor, the father of Shechem? But why are we to be his servants?

29If only I had authority over this people! I would put Abimelech out of the way, and I would say to Abimelech, Make your army strong, and come out.

30Now Zebul, the ruler of the town, hearing what Gaal, the son of Ebed, had said, was moved to wrath.

31And he sent to Abimelech at Arumah, saying, See, Gaal, the son of Ebed, and his brothers have come to Shechem, and they are working up the town against you.

32So now, get up by night, you and your people, and keep watch in the field secretly;

33And in the morning, when the sun is up, get up early and make a rush on the town; and when he and his people come out against you, do to them whatever you have a chance to do.

34So Abimelech and the people with him got up by night, in four bands, to make a surprise attack on Shechem.

35And Gaal, the son of Ebed, went out, and took his place at the doorway into the town; then Abimelech and his people got up from the place where they had been waiting.

36And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, See! people are coming down from the tops of the mountains. And Zebul said to him, You see the shade of the mountains like men.

37And Gaal said again, See! people are coming down from the middle of the land, and one band is coming by way of the oak-tree of the Seers.

38Then Zebul said to him, Now where is your loud talk when you said, Who is Abimelech that we are to be his servants? Is this not the people whom you were rating so low? Go out now, and make war on them.

39So Gaal went out at the head of the townsmen of Shechem and made war on Abimelech.

40And Abimelech went after him and he went in flight before him; and a great number were falling by the sword all the way up to the town.

41Then Abimelech went back to Arumah; and Zebul sent Gaal and his brothers away and would not let them go on living in Shechem.

42Now the day after, the people went out into the fields; and news of it came to Abimelech.

43And he took his people, separating them into three bands, and was waiting secretly in the field; and when he saw the people coming out of the town, he went up and made an attack on them.

44And Abimelech with his band made a rush, and took up their position at the doorway into the town; and the other two bands made a rush on all those who were in the fields, and overcame them.

45And all that day Abimelech was fighting against the town; and he took it, and put to death the people who were in it, and had the town pulled down and covered with salt.

46Then all the townsmen of the tower of Shechem, hearing of it, went into the inner room of the house of El-berith.

47And word was given to Abimelech that all the men of the tower of Shechem were there together.

48Then Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, with all his people; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand and, cutting down branches of trees, took them and put them on his back. And he said to the people who were with him, Be quick and do as you have seen me do.

49So all the people got branches, every man cutting down a branch, and they went with Abimelech at their head and, massing the branches against the inner room, put fire to the room over them; so all those who were in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, were burned to death with it.

50Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and put his army in position against Thebez and took it.

51But in the middle of the town there was a strong tower, to which all the men and women of the town went in flight and, shutting themselves in, went up to the roof of the tower.

52And Abimelech came to the tower and made an attack on it, and got near to the door of the tower for the purpose of firing it.

53But a certain woman sent a great stone, such as is used for crushing grain, on to the head of Abimelech, cracking the bone.

54Then quickly crying out to his body-servant, he said to him, Take out your sword and put an end to me straight away, so that men may not say of me, His death was the work of a woman. So the young man put his sword through him, causing his death.

55And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they went away, every man to his place.

56In this way Abimelech was rewarded by God for the evil he had done to his father in putting his seventy brothers to death;

57And God sent back on to the heads of the men of Shechem all the evil they had done, and the curse of Jotham, the son of Jerubbaal, came on them.

Job 38

1And the Lord made answer to Job out of the storm-wind, and said,

2Who is this who makes the purpose of God dark by words without knowledge?

3Get your strength together like a man of war; I will put questions to you, and you will give me the answers.

4Where were you when I put the earth on its base? Say, if you have knowledge.

5By whom were its measures fixed? Say, if you have wisdom; or by whom was the line stretched out over it?

6On what were its pillars based, or who put down its angle-stone,

7When the morning stars made songs together, and all the sons of the gods gave cries of joy?

8Or where were you when the sea came to birth, pushing out from its secret place;

9When I made the cloud its robe, and put thick clouds as bands round it,

10Ordering a fixed limit for it, with locks and doors;

11And said, So far you may come, and no farther; and here the pride of your waves will be stopped?

12Have you, from your earliest days, given orders to the morning, or made the dawn conscious of its place;

13So that it might take a grip of the skirts of the earth, shaking all the evil-doers out of it?

14It is changed like wet earth under a stamp, and is coloured like a robe;

15And from the evil-doers their light is kept back, and the arm of pride is broken.

16Have you come into the springs of the sea, walking in the secret places of the deep?

17Have the doors of death been open to you, or have the door-keepers of the dark ever seen you?

18Have you taken note of the wide limits of the earth? Say, if you have knowledge of it all.

19Which is the way to the resting-place of the light, and where is the store-house of the dark;

20So that you might take it to its limit, guiding it to its house?

21No doubt you have knowledge of it, for then you had come to birth, and the number of your days is great.

22Have you come into the secret place of snow, or have you seen the store-houses of the ice-drops,

23Which I have kept for the time of trouble, for the day of war and fighting?

24Which is the way to the place where the wind is measured out, and the east wind sent out over the earth?

25By whom has the way been cut for the flowing of the rain, and the flaming of the thunder;

26Causing rain to come on a land where no man is living, on the waste land which has no people;

27To give water to the land where there is waste and destruction, and to make the dry land green with young grass?

28Has the rain a father? or who gave birth to the drops of night mist?

29Out of whose body came the ice? and who gave birth to the cold mist of heaven?

30The waters are joined together, hard as a stone, and the face of the deep is covered.

31Are the bands of the Pleiades fixed by you, or are the cords of Orion made loose?

32Do you make Mazzaroth come out in its right time, or are the Bear and its children guided by you?

33Have you knowledge of the laws of the heavens? did you give them rule over the earth?

34Is your voice sent up to the cloud, so that you may be covered by the weight of waters?

35Do you send out the thunder-flames, so that they may go, and say to you, Here we are?

36Who has put wisdom in the high clouds, or given knowledge to the lights of the north?

37By whose wisdom are the clouds numbered, or the water-skins of the heavens turned to the earth,

38When the earth becomes hard as metal, and is joined together in masses?

39Do you go after food for the she-lion, or get meat so that the young lions may have enough,

40When they are stretched out in their holes, and are waiting in the brushwood?

41Who gives in the evening the meat he is searching for, when his young ones are crying to God; when the young lions with loud noise go wandering after their food?

Acts 18

1After these things, he went away from Athens, and came to Corinth.

2And there he came across a certain Jew named Aquila, a man of Pontus by birth, who not long before had come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had given orders that all Jews were to go away from Rome: and he came to them;

3And because he was of the same trade, he was living with them, and they did their work together; for by trade they were tent-makers.

4And every Sabbath he had discussions in the Synagogue, turning Jews and Greeks to the faith.

5And when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul was completely given up to the word, preaching to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.

6And when they put themselves against him, and said evil words, he said, shaking his clothing, Your blood be on your heads, I am clean: from now I will go to the Gentiles.

7And moving from there, he went into the house of a man named Titus Justus, a God-fearing man, whose house was very near the Synagogue.

8And Crispus, the ruler of the Synagogue, with all his family, had faith in the Lord; and a great number of the people of Corinth, hearing the word, had faith and were given baptism.

9And the Lord said to Paul in the night, in a vision, Have no fear and go on preaching:

10For I am with you, and no one will make an attack on you to do you damage: for I have a number of people in this town.

11And he was there for a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

12But when Gallio was ruler of Achaia, all the Jews together made an attack on Paul, and took him to the judge’s seat,

13Saying, This man is teaching the people to give worship to God in a way which is against the law.

14But when Paul was about to say something, Gallio said to the Jews, If this was anything to do with wrongdoing or crime, there would be a reason for me to give you a hearing:

15But if it is a question of words or names or of your law, see to it yourselves; I will not be a judge of such things.

16And he sent them away from the judge’s seat.

17And they all made an attack on Sosthenes, the ruler of the Synagogue, and gave him blows before the judge’s seat; but Gallio gave no attention to these things.

18And Paul, after waiting some days, went away from the brothers and went by ship to Syria, Priscilla and Aquila being with him; and he had had his hair cut off in Cenchrea, for he had taken an oath.

19And they came down to Ephesus and he left them there: and he himself went into the Synagogue and had a discussion with the Jews.

20And being requested by them to be there for a longer time, he said, No;

21And went from them, saying, I will come back to you if God lets me; and he took ship from Ephesus.

22And when he had come to land at Caesarea, he went to see the church, and then went down to Antioch.

23And having been there for some time, he went through the country of Galatia and Phrygia in order, making the disciples strong in the faith.

24Now a certain Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, and a man of learning, came to Ephesus; and he had great knowledge of the holy Writings.

25This man had been trained in the way of the Lord; and burning in spirit, he gave himself up to teaching the facts about Jesus, though he had knowledge only of John’s baptism:

26And he was preaching in the Synagogue without fear. But Priscilla and Aquila, hearing his words, took him in, and gave him fuller teaching about the way of God.

27And when he had a desire to go over into Achaia, the brothers gave him help, and sent letters to the disciples requesting them to take him in among them: and when he had come, he gave much help to those who had faith through grace:

28For he overcame the Jews in public discussion, making clear from the holy Writings that the Christ was Jesus.

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