June 18

2 Samuel 9

1And David said, Is there still anyone of Saul’s family living, so that I may be a friend to him, because of Jonathan?

2Now there was of Saul’s people a servant named Ziba, and they sent him to David; and the king said to him, Are you Ziba? And he said, I am.

3And the king said, Is there anyone of Saul’s family still living, to whom I may be a friend in God’s name? And Ziba said, There is a son of Jonathan, whose feet are damaged.

4And the king said to him, Where is he? And Ziba said to the king, He is in the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel, in Lo-debar.

5Then King David sent, and had him taken from Lo-debar, from the house of Machir, the son of Ammiel.

6And Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, came to David, and falling down on his face, gave him honour. And David said, Mephibosheth. And answering he said, Your servant is here.

7And David said to him, Have no fear: for truly I will be good to you, because of your father Jonathan, and I will give back to you all the land which was Saul’s; and you will have a place at my table at all times.

8And he went down on his face before the king, and said, What is your servant, for you to take note of a dead dog such as I am?

9Then the king sent for Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, All the property of Saul and of his family I have given to your master’s son.

10And you and your sons and your servants are to take care of the land for him, and get in the fruit of it, so that your master’s son may have food: but Mephibosheth, your master’s son, will have a place at my table at all times. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.

11Then Ziba said to the king, Every order which you have given to your servant will be done. As for Mephibosheth, he had a place at David’s table, like one of the king’s sons.

12And Mephibosheth had a young son named Mica. And all the people living in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth.

13So Mephibosheth went on living in Jerusalem; for he took all his meals at the king’s table; and he had not the use of his feet.

2 Samuel 10

1Now after this, death came to the king of the children of Ammon, and Hanun, his son, became king in his place.

2And David said, I will be a friend to Hanun, the son of Nahash, as his father was a friend to me. So David sent his servants, to give him words of comfort on account of his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.

3But the chiefs of the children of Ammon said to Hanun their lord, Does it seem to you that David is honouring your father by sending comforters to you? has he not sent his servants to go through the town and make secret observation of it, and overcome it?

4So Hanun took David’s servants, and after cutting off half the hair on their chins, and cutting off the skirts of their robes up to the middle, he sent them away.

5When David had news of it, he sent men out with the purpose of meeting them on their way, for the men were greatly shamed: and the king said, Go to Jericho till your hair is long again, and then come back.

6And when the children of Ammon saw that they had made themselves hated by David, they sent to the Aramaeans of Beth-rehob and Zobah, and got for payment twenty thousand footmen, and they got from the king of Maacah a thousand men, and from Tob twelve thousand.

7And hearing of this, David sent Joab and all the army and the best fighting-men.

8And the children of Ammon came out and put their forces in position at the way into the town: and the Aramaeans of Zobah and of Rehob, with the men of Tob and Maacah, were by themselves in the field.

9Now when Joab saw that their forces were in position against him in front and at his back, he took the best of the men of Israel and put them in line against the Aramaeans;

10And the rest of the people he put in position against the children of Ammon, with Abishai, his brother, at their head.

11And he said, If the Aramaeans are stronger and get the better of me, then you are to come to my help; but if the children of Ammon get the better of you, I will come to your help.

12Take heart, and let us be strong for our people and for the towns of our God, and may the Lord do what seems good to him.

13Then Joab and the people with him went forward to the fight against the Aramaeans, and they went in flight before him.

14And when the children of Ammon saw the flight of the Aramaeans, they themselves went in flight from Abishai, and came into the town. So Joab went back from fighting the children of Ammon and came to Jerusalem.

15And when the Aramaeans saw that Israel had overcome them, they got themselves together.

16And Hadadezer sent for the Aramaeans who were on the other side of the River: and they came to Helam, with Shobach, the captain of Hadadezer’s army, at their head.

17And word of this was given to David: and he got all Israel together and went over Jordan and came to Helam. And the Aramaeans put their forces in position against David, and made an attack on him.

18And the Aramaeans went in flight before Israel; and David put to the sword the men of seven hundred Aramaean war-carriages and forty thousand footmen, and Shobach, the captain of the army, was wounded, and came to his death there.

19And when all the kings who were servants of Hadadezer saw that they were overcome by Israel, they made peace with Israel and became their servants. So the Aramaeans, in fear, gave no more help to the children of Ammon.

Daniel 5

1Belshazzar the king made a great feast for a thousand of his lords, drinking wine before the thousand.

2Belshazzar, while he was overcome with wine, gave orders for them to put before him the gold and silver vessels which Nebuchadnezzar, his father, had taken from the Temple in Jerusalem; so that the king and his lords, his wives and his other women, might take their drink from them.

3Then they took in the gold and silver vessels which had been in the Temple of the house of God at Jerusalem; and the king and his lords, his wives and his other women, took wine from them.

4They took their wine and gave praise to the gods of gold and silver, of brass and iron and wood and stone.

5In that very hour the fingers of a man’s hand were seen, writing opposite the support for the light on the white wall of the king’s house, and the king saw the part of the hand which was writing.

6Then the colour went from the king’s face, and he was troubled by his thoughts; strength went from his body, and his knees were shaking.

7The king, crying out with a loud voice, said that the users of secret arts, the Chaldaeans, and the readers of signs, were to be sent for. The king made answer and said to the wise men of Babylon, Whoever is able to make out this writing, and make clear to me the sense of it, will be clothed in purple and have a chain of gold round his neck, and will be a ruler of high authority in the kingdom.

8Then all the king’s wise men came in: but they were not able to make out the writing or give the sense of it to the king.

9Then King Belshazzar was greatly troubled and the colour went from his face, and his lords were at a loss.

10The queen, because of the words of the king and his lords, came into the house of the feast: the queen made answer and said, O King, have life for ever; do not be troubled by your thoughts or let the colour go from your face:

11There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of your father, light and reason like the wisdom of the gods were seen in him: and King Nebuchadnezzar, your father, made him master of the wonder-workers, and the users of secret arts, and the Chaldaeans, and the readers of signs;

12Because a most special spirit, and knowledge and reason and the power of reading dreams and unfolding dark sayings and answering hard questions, were seen to be in him, even in Daniel (named Belteshazzar by the king): now let Daniel be sent for, and he will make clear the sense of the writing.

13Then they took Daniel in before the king; the king made answer and said to Daniel, So you are that Daniel, of the prisoners of Judah, whom my father took out of Judah.

14And I have had news of you, that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that light and reason and special wisdom have been seen in you.

15And now the wise men, the users of secret arts, have been sent in before me for the purpose of reading this writing and making clear to me the sense of it: but they are not able to make clear the sense of the thing:

16And I have had news of you, that you have the power of making things clear, and of answering hard questions: now if you are able to make out the writing and give me the sense of it, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain round your neck and be a ruler of high authority in the kingdom.

17Then Daniel made answer and said to the king, Keep your offerings for yourself, and give your rewards to another; but I, after reading the writing to the king, will give him the sense of it.

18As for you, O King, the Most High God gave to Nebuchadnezzar, your father, the kingdom and great power and glory and honour:

19And because of the great power he gave him, all peoples and nations and languages were shaking in fear before him: some he put to death and others he kept living, at his pleasure, lifting up some and putting others down as it pleased him.

20But when his heart was lifted up and his spirit became hard with pride, he was put down from his place as king, and they took his glory from him:

21And he was sent out from among the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts’, and he was living with the asses of the fields; he had grass for his food like the oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till he was certain that the Most High is ruler in the kingdom of men, and gives power over it to anyone at his pleasure.

22And you, his son, O Belshazzar, have not kept your heart free from pride, though you had knowledge of all this;

23But you have been lifting yourself up against the Lord of heaven, and they have put the vessels of his house before you, and you and your lords, your wives and your women, have taken wine in them; and you have given praise to gods of silver and gold, of brass and iron and wood and stone, who are without the power of seeing or hearing, and without knowledge: and to the God in whose hand your breath is, and whose are all your ways, you have not given glory;

24Then the part of the hand was sent out from before him, and this writing was recorded.

25And this is the writing which was recorded, Mene, tekel, peres.

26This is the sense of the words: Mene; your kingdom has been numbered by God and ended.

27Tekel; you have been put in the scales and seen to be under weight.

28Peres; your kingdom has been cut up and given to the Medes and Persians.

29Then, by the order of Belshazzar, they put a purple robe on Daniel, and a gold chain round his neck, and a public statement was made that he was to be a ruler of high authority in the kingdom.

30That very night Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldaeans, was put to death.

31And Darius the Mede took the kingdom, being then about sixty-two years old.

Mark 4:1-20

1And again he was teaching by the seaside. And a very great number of people had come to him, so that he got into a boat on the sea and took his seat; and all the people were on the land by the seaside.

2And he gave them teaching about a number of things in the form of stories, and said to them in his teaching, Give ear:

3A man went out to put seed in the earth:

4And while he was doing it, some was dropped by the wayside, and the birds came and took it for food.

5And some went on the stones, where it had not much earth; and it came up straight away, because the earth was not deep:

6And when the sun was high, it was burned; and because it had no root, it became dry and dead.

7And some went among the thorns, and the thorns came up, and it had no room for growth and gave no fruit.

8And some, falling on good earth, gave fruit, coming up and increasing, and giving thirty, sixty, and a hundred times as much.

9And he said to them, Whoever has ears, let him give ear.

10And when he was by himself, those who were round him with the twelve put questions to him about the purpose of the stories.

11And he said to them, To you is given the secret of the kingdom of God, but to those who are outside, all things are given in the form of stories;

12So that seeing they may see, and it will not be clear to them; and hearing it, they will not get the sense; for fear that they may be turned again to me and have forgiveness.

13And he said to them, If you are not clear about this story, how will you be clear about the others?

14The seed is the word.

15And these are they by the wayside, where the word is planted; and when they have given ear, the Evil One comes straight away and takes away the word which has been planted in them.

16And in the same way, these are they who are planted on the stones, who, when the word has come to their ears, straight away take it with joy;

17And they have no root in themselves, but go on for a time; then, when trouble comes or pain, because of the word, they quickly become full of doubts.

18And others are those planted among the thorns; these are they who have given ear to the word,

19And the cares of this life, and the deceits of wealth, and the desire for other things coming in, put a stop to the growth of the word, and it gives no fruit.

20And these are they who were planted on the good earth; such as give ear to the word, and take it into their hearts, and give fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundred times as much.

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