June 19

2 Samuel 11

1Now in the spring, at the time when kings go out to war, David sent Joab and his servants and all Israel with him; and they made waste the land of the children of Ammon, and took up their position before Rabbah, shutting it in. But David was still at Jerusalem.

2Now one evening, David got up from his bed, and while he was walking on the roof of the king’s house, he saw from there a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful.

3And David sent to get knowledge who the woman was. And one said, Is this not Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite?

4And David sent and took her; and she came to him, and he took her to his bed: (for she had been made clean;) then she went back to her house.

5And the woman became with child; and she sent word to David that she was with child.

6And David sent to Joab saying, Send Uriah the Hittite to me. And Joab sent Uriah to David.

7And when Uriah came to him, David put questions to him about how Joab and the people were, and how the war was going.

8And David said to Uriah, Go down to your house and let your feet be washed. And Uriah went away from the king’s house, and an offering from the king was sent after him.

9But Uriah took his rest at the door of the king’s house, with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.

10And when word was given to David that Uriah had not gone down to his house, David said to Uriah, Have you not come from a journey? why did you not go down to your house?

11And Uriah said to David, Israel and Judah with the ark are living in tents, and my lord Joab and the other servants of my lord are sleeping in the open field; and am I to go to my house and take food and drink, and go to bed with my wife? By the living Lord, and by the life of your soul, I will not do such a thing.

12And David said to Uriah, Be here today, and after that I will let you go. So Uriah was in Jerusalem that day and the day after.

13And when David sent for him, he took meat and drink with him, and David made him the worse for drink: and when evening came, he went to rest on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14Now in the morning, David gave Uriah a letter to take to Joab.

15And in the letter he said, Take care to put Uriah in the very front of the line, where the fighting is most violent, and go back from him, so that he may be overcome and put to death.

16So while Joab was watching the town, he put Uriah in the place where it was clear to him the best fighters were.

17And the men of the town went out and had a fight with Joab: and a number of David’s men came to their death in the fight, and with them Uriah the Hittite.

18Then Joab sent David news of everything which had taken place in the war:

19And he gave orders to the man who took the news, saying, After you have given the king all the news about the war,

20If the king is angry and says, Why did you go so near the town for the fight? was it not certain that their archers would be on the wall?

21Who put Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal, to death? did not a woman send a great stone down on him from the wall, putting him to death at Thebez? why did you go so near the wall? Then say to him, Your servant Uriah the Hittite is among the dead.

22So the man went, and came to David, and gave him all the news which Joab had sent him to give; then David was angry with Joab and said, Why did you go so near the town for the fight? was it not certain that their archers would be on the wall? who put Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal, to death? did not a woman send a great stone down on him from the wall, putting him to death at Thebez? why did you go so near the wall?

23And the man said to David, Truly the men got the better of us, and came out against us into the open country, but we sent them back to the very doors of the town.

24And the archers sent their arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s servants are dead, and among them is your servant Uriah the Hittite.

25Then David said to the man, Go and say to Joab, Do not let this be a grief to you; for one man may come to his death by the sword like another: put up an even stronger fight against the town, and take it: and do you put heart into him.

26And when the wife of Uriah had news that her husband was dead, she gave herself up to weeping for him.

27And when the days of weeping were past, David sent for her, and took her into his house, and she became his wife and gave him a son. But the Lord was not pleased with the thing David had done.

2 Samuel 12

1And the Lord sent Nathan to David. And Nathan came to him and said, There were two men in the same town: one a man of great wealth, and the other a poor man.

2The man of wealth had great numbers of flocks and herds;

3But the poor man had only one little she-lamb, which he had got and taken care of: from its birth it had been with him like one of his children; his meat was its food, and from his cup it took its drink, resting in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him.

4Now a traveller came to the house of the man of wealth, but he would not take anything from his flock or his herd to make a meal for the traveller who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and made it ready for the man who had come.

5And David was full of wrath against that man; and he said to Nathan, By the living Lord, death is the right punishment for the man who has done this:

6And he will have to give back four times the value of the lamb, because he has done this and because he had no pity.

7And Nathan said to David, You are that man. The Lord God of Israel says, I made you king over Israel, putting holy oil on you, and I kept you safe from the hands of Saul;

8I gave you your master’s daughter and your master’s wives for yourself, and I gave you the daughters of Israel and Judah; and if that had not been enough, I would have given you such and such things.

9Why then have you had no respect for the word of the Lord, doing what is evil in his eyes? You have put Uriah the Hittite to death with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife; you have put him to death with the sword of the children of Ammon.

10So now the sword will never be turned away from your family; because you have had no respect for me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.

11The Lord says, From those of your family I will send evil against you, and before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to your neighbour, and he will take your wives to his bed by the light of this sun.

12You did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel and in the light of the sun.

13And David said to Nathan, Great is my sin against the Lord. And Nathan said to David, The Lord has put away your sin; death will not come on you.

14But still, because you have had no respect for the Lord, death will certainly overtake the child who has newly come to birth.

15Then Nathan went back to his house. And the hand of the Lord was on David’s son, the child of Uriah’s wife, and it became very ill.

16So David made prayer to God for the child; and he took no food day after day, and went in and, stretching himself out on the earth, was there all night.

17And the chief men of his house got up and went to his side to make him get up from the earth, but he would not; and he would not take food with them.

18And then on the seventh day the child’s death took place. And David’s servants were in fear of giving him the news of the child’s death: for they said, Truly, while the child was still living he gave no attention when we said anything to him: what will he do to himself if we give him word that the child is dead?

19But when David saw that his servants were talking together quietly, he was certain that the child was dead: and he said to his servants, Is the child dead? and they said, He is.

20Then David got up from the earth, and after washing and rubbing himself with oil and changing his clothing, he went into the house of the Lord and gave worship: then he went back to his house, and at his order they put food before him and he had a meal.

21Then his servants said to him, Why have you been acting in this way? you were weeping and going without food while the child was still living; but when the child was dead, you got up and had a meal.

22And he said, While the child was still living I went without food and gave myself up to weeping: for I said, Who is able to say that the Lord will not have mercy on me and give the child life?

23But now that the child is dead there is no reason for me to go without food; am I able to make him come back to life? I will go to him, but he will never come back to me.

24And David gave comfort to his wife Bath-sheba, and he went in to her and had connection with her: and she had a son to whom she gave the name Solomon. And he was dear to the Lord.

25And he sent word by Nathan the prophet, who gave him the name Jedidiah, by the word of the Lord.

26Now Joab was fighting against Rabbah, in the land of the children of Ammon, and he took the water-town.

27And Joab sent men to David, saying, I have made war against Rabbah and have taken the water-town.

28So now, get the rest of the people together, and put them in position against the town and take it, for if I take it, it will be named after my name.

29Then David got all the people together and went to Rabbah and made war on it and took it.

30And he took the crown of Milcom from his head; the weight of it was a talent of gold, and in it were stones of great price; and it was put on David’s head. And he took a great store of goods from the town.

31And he took the people out of the town and put them to work with wood-cutting instruments, and iron grain-crushers, and iron axes, and at brick-making: this he did to all the towns of the children of Ammon. Then David and all the people went back to Jerusalem.

Daniel 6

1Darius was pleased to put over the kingdom a hundred and twenty captains, who were to be all through the kingdom;

2And over them were three chief rulers, of whom Daniel was one; and the captains were to be responsible to the chief rulers, so that the king might undergo no loss.

3Then this Daniel did his work better than the chief rulers and the captains, because there was a special spirit in him; and it was the king’s purpose to put him over all the kingdom.

4Then the chief rulers and the captains were looking for some cause for putting Daniel in the wrong in connection with the kingdom, but they were unable to put forward any wrongdoing or error against him; because he was true, and no error or wrong was to be seen in him.

5Then these men said, We will only get a reason for attacking Daniel in connection with the law of his God.

6Then these chief rulers and the captains came to the king and said to him, O King Darius, have life for ever.

7All the chief rulers of the kingdom, the chiefs and the captains, the wise men and the rulers, have made a common decision to put in force a law having the king’s authority, and to give a strong order, that whoever makes any request to any god or man but you, O King, for thirty days, is to be put into the lions’ hole.

8Now, O King, put the order in force, signing the writing so that it may not be changed, like the law of the Medes and Persians which may not come to an end.

9For this reason King Darius put his name on the writing and the order.

10And Daniel, on hearing that the writing had been signed, went into his house; (now he had windows in his room on the roof opening in the direction of Jerusalem;) and three times a day he went down on his knees in prayer and praise before his God, as he had done before.

11Then these men were watching and saw Daniel making prayers and requesting grace before his God.

12Then they came near before the king and said, O King, have you not put your name to an order that any man who makes a request to any god or man but you, O King, for thirty days, is to be put into the lions’ hole? The king made answer and said, The thing is fixed by the law of the Medes and Persians which may not come to an end.

13Then they made answer and said before the king, Daniel, one of the prisoners of Judah, has no respect for you, O King, or for the order signed by you, but three times a day he makes his prayer to God.

14When this thing came to the king’s ears, it was very evil to him, and his heart was fixed on keeping Daniel safe, and till the going down of the sun he was doing everything in his power to get him free.

15Then these men said to the king, Be certain, O King, that by the law of the Medes and Persians no order or law which the king has put into force may be changed.

16Then the king gave the order, and they took Daniel and put him into the lions’ hole. The king made answer and said to Daniel, Your God, whose servant you are at all times, will keep you safe.

17Then they got a stone and put it over the mouth of the hole, and it was stamped with the king’s stamp and with the stamp of the lords, so that the decision about Daniel might not be changed.

18Then the king went to his great house, and took no food that night, and no … were placed before him, and his sleep went from him.

19Then very early in the morning the king got up and went quickly to the lions’ hole.

20And when he came near the hole where Daniel was, he gave a loud cry of grief; the king made answer and said to Daniel, O Daniel, servant of the living God, is your God, whose servant you are at all times, able to keep you safe from the lions?

21Then Daniel said to the king, O King, have life for ever.

22My God has sent his angel to keep the lions’ mouths shut, and they have done me no damage: because I was seen to be without sin before him; and further, before you, O King, I have done no wrong.

23Then the king was very glad, and gave orders for them to take Daniel up out of the hole. So Daniel was taken up out of the hole and he was seen to be untouched, because he had faith in his God.

24And at the king’s order, they took those men who had said evil against Daniel, and put them in the lions’ hole, with their wives and their children; and they had not got to the floor of the hole before the lions overcame them and all their bones were broken.

25Then King Darius sent a letter to all the peoples, nations, and languages, living in all the earth: May your peace be increased.

26It is my order that in all the kingdom of which I am ruler, men are to be shaking with fear before the God of Daniel: for he is the living God, unchanging for ever, and his kingdom is one which will never come to destruction, his rule will go on to the end.

27He gives salvation and makes men free from danger, and does signs and wonders in heaven and earth, who has kept Daniel safe from the power of the lions.

28So this Daniel did well in the kingdom of Darius and in the kingdom of Cyrus the Persian.

Mark 4:21-41

21And he said to them, When the light comes in, do people put it under a vessel, or under the bed, and not on its table?

22There is nothing covered which will not be seen openly, and nothing has been made secret which will not come to light.

23If any man has ears, let him give ear.

24And he said to them, Take care what you give ear to: in the same measure as you give you will get, and more will be given to you.

25He who has, to him will be given: and he who has not, from him will be taken even that which he has.

26And he said, Such is the kingdom of God, as if a man put seed in the earth,

27And went to sleep and got up, night and day, and the seed came to growth, though he had no idea how.

28The earth gives fruit by herself; first the leaf, then the head, then the full grain.

29But when the grain is ready, he quickly sends men to get it cut, because the time for cutting has come.

30And he said, What picture may we give of the kingdom of God, or with what story may we make it clear?

31It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is put in the earth, is smaller than all the seeds on the earth,

32But when it is planted, it comes up, and becomes taller than all the plants, and puts out great branches, so that the birds of heaven are able to take rest in its shade.

33And with a number of such stories he gave them his teaching, as they were able to take it:

34And without a story he said nothing to them: but privately to his disciples he made all things clear.

35And on that day, when the evening had come, he said to them, Let us go over to the other side.

36And going away from the people, they took him with them, as he was, in the boat. And other boats were with him.

37And a great storm of wind came up, and the waves came into the boat, so that the boat was now becoming full.

38And he himself was in the back of the boat, sleeping on the cushion: and they, awaking him, said, Master, is it nothing to you that we are in danger of destruction?

39And he came out of his sleep, and gave strong orders to the wind, and said to the sea, Peace, be at rest. And the wind went down, and there was a great calm.

40And he said to them, Why are you full of fear? have you still no faith?

41And their fear was great, and they said one to another, Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea do his orders?

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