August 23

1 Chronicles 20

1Now in the spring, at the time when kings go out to war, Joab went out at the head of the armed forces and made waste all the land of the Ammonites and put his men in position before Rabbah, shutting it in. But David was still at Jerusalem. And Joab took Rabbah and made it waste.

2And David took the crown of Milcom from off his head; its weight was a talent of gold and it had stones of great price in it; and it was put on David’s head, and he took a great store of goods from the town.

3And he took the people out of the town and put them to work with wood-cutting instruments, and iron grain-crushers, and axes. And this he did to all the towns of the children of Ammon. Then David and all the people went back to Jerusalem.

4Now after this there was war with the Philistines at Gezer; then Sibbecai the Hushathite put to death Sippai, one of the offspring of the Rephaim; and they were overcome.

5And again there was war with the Philistines; and Elhanan, the son of Jair, put to death Lahmi, the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the stem of whose spear was like a cloth-worker’s rod.

6And again there was war at Gath, where there was a very tall man, who had twenty-four fingers and toes, six fingers on his hands and six toes on his feet; he was one of the offspring of the Rephaim.

7And when he put shame on Israel, Jonathan, the son of Shimea, David’s brother, put him to death.

8These were of the offspring of the Rephaim in Gath; they came to their death by the hands of David and his servants.

1 Chronicles 21

1Now Satan, designing evil against Israel, put into David’s mind the impulse to take the number of Israel.

2And David said to Joab and the captains of the people, Now let all Israel, from Beer-sheba to Dan, be numbered; and give me word so that I may be certain of their number.

3And Joab said, May the Lord make his people a hundred times more in number than they are; but, my lord king, are they not all my lord’s servants? why would my lord have this done? why will he become a cause of sin to Israel?

4But the king’s word was stronger than Joab’s. So Joab went out and went through all Israel and came to Jerusalem.

5And Joab gave David the number of all the people; all the men of Israel, able to take up arms, were one million, one hundred thousand men; and those of Judah were four hundred and seventy thousand men, able to take up arms.

6But Levi and Benjamin were not numbered among them, for Joab was disgusted with the king’s order.

7And God was not pleased with this thing; so he sent punishment on Israel.

8Then David said to God, Great has been my sin in doing this; but now, be pleased to take away the sin of your servant, for I have done very foolishly.

9Then the word of the Lord came to Gad, David’s seer, saying,

10Go and say to David, The Lord says, Three things are offered to you: say which of them you will have, so that I may do it to you.

11So Gad came to David and said to him, The Lord says, Take whichever you will:

12Three years when there will not be enough food; or three months of war, when you will go in flight before your haters, being in great danger of the sword; or three days of the sword of the Lord, disease in the land, and the angel of the Lord taking destruction through all the land of Israel. Now give thought to the answer I am to take back to him who sent me.

13And David said to Gad, This is a hard decision for me to make: let me come into the hands of the Lord, for great are his mercies: let me not come into the hands of men.

14So the Lord sent disease on Israel, causing the death of seventy thousand men.

15And God sent an angel to Jerusalem for its destruction: and when he was about to do so, the Lord saw, and had regret for the evil, and said to the angel of destruction, It is enough; do no more. Now the angel of the Lord was by the grain-floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

16And David, lifting up his eyes, saw the angel of the Lord there between earth and heaven, with an uncovered sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then David and the responsible men, clothed in haircloth, went down on their faces.

17And David said to God, Was it not I who gave the order for the people to be numbered? It is I who have done the sin and the great wrong; but these are only sheep; what have they done? let your hand, O Lord God, be lifted up against me and against my family, but not against your people to send disease on them.

18Then the angel of the Lord gave orders to Gad to say to David that he was to go and put up an altar to the Lord on the grain-floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

19And David went up, as Gad had said in the name of the Lord.

20And Ornan, turning back, saw the angel, and his four sons who were with him went to a secret place. Now Ornan was crushing his grain.

21And when David came, Ornan, looking, saw him, and came out from the grain-floor and went down on his face to the earth before him.

22Then David said to Ornan, Give me the place where this grain-floor is, so that I may put up an altar here to the Lord: let me have it for its full price; so that this disease may be stopped among the people.

23And Ornan said to David, Take it, and let my lord the king do what seems right to him. See, I give you the oxen for burned offerings and the grain-cleaning instruments for fire-wood, and the grain for the meal offering; I give it all.

24And King David said to Ornan, No; I will certainly give you the full price for it, because I will not take for the Lord what is yours, or give a burned offering without payment.

25So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the place.

26And David put up an altar there to the Lord, offering burned offerings and peace-offerings with prayers to the Lord; and he gave him an answer from heaven, sending fire on the altar of burned offering.

27Then the Lord gave orders to the angel, and he put back his sword into its cover.

28At that time, when David saw that the Lord had given him an answer on the grain-floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he made an offering there.

29For the House of the Lord, which Moses had made in the waste land, and the altar of burned offerings, were at that time in the high place at Gibeon.

30But David was not able to go before it to get directions from the Lord, so great was his fear of the sword of the angel of the Lord.

1 Chronicles 22:1

1Then David said, This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar for Israel’s burned offerings.

Zechariah 8

1And the word of the Lord of armies came to me, saying,

2These are the words of the Lord of armies: I am angry about the fate of Zion, I am angry about her with great wrath.

3This is what the Lord has said: I have come back to Zion, and will make my living-place in Jerusalem: and Jerusalem will be named The town of good faith; and the mountain of the Lord of armies The holy mountain.

4This is what the Lord of armies has said: There will again be old men and old women seated in the open spaces of Jerusalem, every man with his stick in his hand because he is so old.

5And the open spaces of the town will be full of boys and girls playing in its open spaces.

6This is what the Lord of armies has said: If this is a wonder to the rest of this people, is it a wonder to me? says the Lord of armies.

7This is what the Lord of armies has said: See, I will be the saviour of my people from the east country, and from the west country;

8And I will make them come and be living in Jerusalem and they will be to me a people and I will be to them a God, in good faith and in righteousness.

9This is what the Lord of armies has said: Let your hands be strong, you who are now hearing these words from the mouths of the prophets, that is to say, in the days when the base of the house of the Lord of armies has been put in place for the building of the house, that is the Temple.

10For before those days there was no payment for a man’s work, or for the use of a beast, and there was no peace for him who went out or him who came in, because of the attacker: for I had every man turned against his neighbour.

11But now I will not be to the rest of this people as I was in the past, says the Lord of armies.

12For I will let the seed of peace be planted; the vine will give her fruit and the land will give her increase and the heavens will give their dew; and I will give to the rest of this people all these things for their heritage.

13And it will come about that, as you were a curse among the nations, O children of Judah and children of Israel, so I will give you salvation and you will be a blessing: have no fear and let your hands be strong.

14For this is what the Lord of armies has said: As it was my purpose to do evil to you when your fathers made me angry, says the Lord of armies, and my purpose was not changed:

15So in these days it is again my purpose to do good to Jerusalem and to the children of Judah: have no fear.

16These are the things which you are to do: Let every man say what is true to his neighbour; and let your judging give peace in your towns.

17Let no one have any evil thought in his heart against his neighbour; and have no love for false oaths: for all these things are hated by me, says the Lord.

18And the word of the Lord of armies came to me, saying,

19This is what the Lord of armies has said: The times of going without food in the fourth month and in the fifth and the seventh and the tenth months, will be for the people of Judah times of joy and happy meetings; so be lovers of good faith and of peace.

20This is what the Lord of armies has said: It will again come about that when peoples and those living in great towns come,

21And the people of one town go to another and say, Let us certainly go with a request for grace from the Lord, and to give worship to the Lord of armies, then I will go with you.

22And great peoples and strong nations will come to give worship to the Lord of armies in Jerusalem and to make requests for grace from the Lord.

23This is what the Lord of armies has said: In those days, ten men from all the languages of the nations will put out their hands and take a grip of the skirt of him who is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for it has come to our ears that God is with you.
John 5:19-47
19So Jesus made answer and said, Truly I say to you, The Son is not able to do anything himself; he is able to do only what he sees the Father doing; whatever the Father does the Son does it in the same way.

20For the Father has love for the Son and lets him see everything which he does: and he will let him see greater works than these so that you may be full of wonder.

21In the same way, as the Father gives life to the dead, even so the Son gives life to those to whom he is pleased to give it.

22The Father is not the judge of men, but he has given all decisions into the hands of the Son;

23So that all men may give honour to the Son even as they give honour to the Father. He who gives no honour to the Son gives no honour to the Father who sent him.

24Truly I say to you, The man whose ears are open to my word and who has faith in him who sent me, has eternal life; he will not be judged, but has come from death into life.

25Truly I say to you, The time is coming, it has even now come, when the voice of the Son of God will come to the ears of the dead, and those hearing it will have life.

26For even as the Father has life in himself, so he has given to the Son to have life in himself.

27And he has given him authority to be judge because he is the Son of man.

28Do not be surprised at this: for the time is coming when his voice will come to all who are in the place of the dead,

29And they will come out; those who have done good, into the new life; and those who have done evil, to be judged.

30Of myself I am unable to do anything: as the voice comes to me so I give a decision: and my decision is right because I have no desire to do what is pleasing to myself, but only what is pleasing to him who sent me.

31If I gave witness about myself, my witness would not be true.

32There is another who gives witness about me and I am certain that the witness he gives about me is true.

33You sent to John and he gave true witness.

34But I have no need of a man’s witness: I only say these things so that you may have salvation.

35He was a burning and shining light, and for a time you were ready to be happy in his light.

36But the witness which I have is greater than that of John: the work which the Father has given me to do, the very work which I am now doing, is a witness that the Father has sent me.

37And the Father himself who sent me has given witness about me. Not one of you has ever given ear to his voice; his form you have not seen.

38And you have not kept his word in your hearts, because you have not faith in him whom he has sent.

39You make search in the holy Writings, in the belief that through them you get eternal life; and it is those Writings which give witness about me.

40And still you have no desire to come to me so that you may have life.

41I do not take honour from men;

42But I have knowledge of you that you have no love for God in your hearts.

43I have come in my Father’s name, and your hearts are not open to me. If another comes with no other authority but himself, you will give him your approval.

44How is it possible for you to have faith while you take honour one from another and have no desire for the honour which comes from the only God?

45Put out of your minds the thought that I will say things against you to the Father: the one who says things against you is Moses, on whom you put your hopes.

46If you had belief in Moses you would have belief in me; for his writings are about me.

47If you have no belief in his writings, how will you have belief in my words?

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