Bible in one year

May 23

2 Samuel 17:1-29
1. One day Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Here's what I suggest. Choose 12,000 men. Start out tonight and go after David.
2. Attack him while he's tired and weak. Fill him with terror. Then all of the people who are with him will run away. Don't strike down anyone except the king.
3. Bring all of the other people back. After the man you want to kill is dead, everyone else will return to you. And none of the people will be harmed."
4. Ahithophel's plan seemed good to Absalom. It also seemed good to all of the elders of Israel.
5. But Absalom said, "Send for Hushai, the Arkite. Then we can find out what he suggests."
6. Hushai came to him. Absalom said, "Ahithophel has given us his advice. Should we do what he says? If we shouldn't, tell us what you would do."
7. Hushai replied to Absalom, "The advice Ahithophel has given you isn't good this time.
8. You know your father and his men. They are fighters. They are as strong as a wild bear whose cubs have been stolen from her. Besides, your father really knows how to fight. He won't spend the night with his troops.
9. In fact, he's probably hiding in a cave or some other place right now. "Suppose he attacks your troops first. When people hear about it, they'll say, 'Many of the troops who followed Absalom have been killed.'
10. Then the hearts of your soldiers will melt away in fear. Even those who are as brave as a lion will be terrified. That's because everyone in Israel knows that your father is a fighter. They know that those who are with him are brave.
11. "So here's what I suggest. Bring together all of the men of Israel from the town of Dan all the way to Beersheba. They are as many as the grains of sand on the seashore. You yourself should lead them into battle.
12. "Then we'll attack David no matter where we find him. As dew completely covers the ground, we'll completely overpower his entire army. We won't leave him or any of his men alive.
13. He might try to get away by going into a city. If he does, all of us will bring ropes to that city. We'll drag the whole city down into the valley. No one will be able to find even a piece of that city."
14. Absalom and all of the men of Israel agreed. They said, "The advice of Hushai, the Arkite, is better than the advice of Ahithophel." The Lord had decided that Ahithophel's good advice would fail. The Lord wanted to bring horrible trouble on Absalom.
15. Hushai spoke to the priests Zadok and Abiathar. He said, "Ahithophel has given advice to Absalom and the elders of Israel. He suggested that they should do one thing. But I suggested something else.
16. "Send a message right away. Tell David, 'Don't spend the night at the place in the desert where people can go across the Jordan River. Make sure you go on across. If you don't, you and all of the people who are with you will be swallowed up.' "
17. Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En Rogel just outside Jerusalem. They knew they would be in danger if anyone saw them entering the city. A female servant was supposed to go and tell them what had happened. Then they were supposed to go and tell King David.
18. But a young man saw Jonathan and Ahimaaz and told Absalom about it. So the two men left quickly. They went to the house of a man in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard. They climbed down into it.
19. The man's wife got a covering and spread it out over the opening of the well. Then she scattered grain on the covering. So no one knew that the men were hiding in the well.
20. Absalom's men came to the house. They asked the woman, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?" She answered, "They went across the brook." When the men looked around, they didn't find anyone. So they returned to Jerusalem.
21. After the men had gone, Jonathan and Ahimaaz climbed out of the well. They went to tell King David what they had found out. They said to him, "Go across the river right away. Ahithophel has told Absalom how to come after you and strike you down."
22. So David and all of the people who were with him started out. They went across the Jordan River. By sunrise, everyone had crossed over.
23. Ahithophel saw that his advice wasn't being followed. So he put a saddle on his donkey. He started out for his house in his hometown. When he got there, he put everything in order. He made out his will. Then he killed himself. So he died, and his body was buried in his father's tomb.
24. David went to Mahanaim. Absalom went across the Jordan River with all of the men of Israel.
25. Absalom had made Amasa commander of the army in place of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Jether. Jether belonged to the family line of Ishmael. He had gotten married to Abigail. She was the daughter of Nahash and the sister of Zeruiah. Zeruiah was the mother of Joab.
26. Absalom and the people of Israel camped in the land of Gilead.
27. David came to Mahanaim. Shobi, the son of Nahash, met him there. Shobi was from Rabbah in the land of Ammon. Makir, the son of Ammiel from Lo Debar, met him there too. So did Barzillai from Rogelim in the land of Gilead.
28. They brought beds, bowls and clay pots. They brought wheat, barley, flour, and grain that had been cooked. They brought beans and lentils.
29. They brought honey, butter, sheep and cheese that was made from cows' milk. They brought all of that food for David and his people to eat. They said, "These people have become hungry. They've become tired and thirsty in the desert."

2 Samuel 18:1-33
1. David brought together the men who were with him. He appointed commanders of thousands over some of them. He appointed commanders of hundreds over the others.
2. Then David sent the troops out in three companies. One company was under the command of Joab. Another was under Joab's brother Abishai, the son of Zeruiah. The last was under Ittai, the Gittite. The king told the troops, "You can be sure that I myself will march out with you."
3. But the men said, "You must not march out. If we are forced to run away, our enemies won't care about us. Even if half of us die, they won't care. But you are worth 10,000 of us. So it would be better for you to stay here in the city. Then you can send us help if we need it."
4. The king said, "I'll do what you think is best." So the king stood beside the city gate. The whole army marched out in companies of hundreds and companies of thousands.
5. The king gave an order to Joab, Abishai and Ittai. He commanded them, "Be gentle with the young man Absalom. Do it for me." All of the troops heard the king give the commanders that order about Absalom.
6. David's army marched into the field to fight against Israel. The battle took place in the forest of Ephraim.
7. There David's men won the battle over Israel's army. A huge number of men were wounded or killed that day. The total number was 20,000.
8. The fighting spread out over the whole countryside. But more men were killed in the forest that day than out in the open.
9. Absalom happened to come across some of David's men. He was riding his mule. The mule went under the thick branches of a large oak tree. Absalom's head got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in the air. The mule he was riding kept on going.
10. One of David's men saw what had happened. He told Joab, "I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree."
11. Joab said to the man, "What! You saw him? Why didn't you strike him down right there? Then I would have had to give you four ounces of silver and a soldier's belt."
12. But the man replied, "I wouldn't lift my hand to harm the king's son. I wouldn't do it even for 25 pounds of silver. We heard the king's command to you and Abishai and Ittai. He said, 'Be careful not to hurt the young man Absalom. Do it for me.'
13. Suppose I had put my life in danger by killing him. The king would have found out about it. Nothing is hidden from him. And you wouldn't have stood up for me."
14. Joab said, "I'm not going to waste any more time on you." So he got three javelins. Then he went over and drove them into Absalom's heart. He did it while Absalom was still hanging there alive in the oak tree.
15. Ten of the men who were carrying Joab's armor surrounded Absalom. They struck him down and killed him.
16. Then Joab blew his trumpet. He ordered his troops to stop chasing Israel's army.
17. Joab's men threw Absalom's body into a big pit in the forest. They covered his body with a large pile of rocks. While all of that was going on, all of the Israelites ran back to their homes.
18. Earlier in his life Absalom had set up a pillar in the King's Valley. He had put it up as a monument to himself. He thought, "I don't have a son to carry on the memory of my name." So he named the pillar after himself. It is still called Absalom's Monument to this very day.
19. Ahimaaz said to Joab, "Let me run and take the news to the king. Let me tell him that the Lord has saved him from the power of his enemies." Ahimaaz was the son of Zadok.
20. "I don't want you to take the news to the king today," Joab told him. "You can do it some other time. But you must not do it today, because the king's son is dead."
21. Then Joab said to a man from Cush, "Go. Tell the king what you have seen." The man bowed down in front of Joab. Then he ran off.
22. Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, spoke again to Joab. He said, "I don't care what happens to me. Please let me run behind the man from Cush." But Joab replied, "My son, why do you want to go? You don't have any news that will bring you a reward."
23. He said, "I don't care what happens. I want to run." So Joab said, "Run!" Then Ahimaaz ran across the flatlands of the Jordan River. As he ran, he passed the man from Cush.
24. David was sitting in the area between the inner and outer gates of the city. The man on guard duty went up to the roof over the entrance of the gate by the wall. As he looked out, he saw someone running alone.
25. He called out to the king and reported it. The king said, "If the runner is alone, he must be bringing good news." The man came closer and closer.
26. Then the man on guard duty saw another man running. He called out to the man who was guarding the gate. He said, "Look! There's another man running alone!" The king said, "He must be bringing good news too."
27. The man on guard duty said, "I can see that the first one runs like Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok." "He's a good man," the king said. "He's bringing good news."
28. Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, "Everything's all right!" He bowed down in front of the king with his face toward the ground. He said, "You are my king and master. Give praise to the Lord your God! He has handed over to you the men who lifted their hands to kill you."
29. The king asked, "Is the young man Absalom safe?" Ahimaaz answered, "I saw total disorder. I saw it just as Joab was about to send the king's servant and me to you. But I don't know what it was all about."
30. The king said, "Stand over there and wait." So he stepped over to one side and stood there.
31. Then the man from Cush arrived. He said, "You are my king and master. I'm bringing you some good news. The Lord has saved you today from all those who were trying to kill you."
32. The king asked the man from Cush, "Is the young man Absalom safe?" The man replied, "King David, may your enemies be like that young man. May all those who rise up to harm you be like him."
33. The king was very upset. He went up to the room over the entrance of the gate and sobbed. As he went, he said, "My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! I wish I had died instead of you. Absalom! My son, my son!"

Psalms 66:16-20
16. Come and listen, all of you who have respect for God. Let me tell you what he has done for me.
17. I cried out to him with my mouth. I praised him with my tongue.
18. If I had enjoyed having sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
19. But God has listened. He has heard my prayer.
20. Give praise to God. He has accepted my prayer. He has not held his love back from me.

Proverbs 16:31-32
31. Gray hair is a glorious crown. You get it by living the right way.
32. It is better to be patient than to fight. It is better to control your temper than to take a city.

John 7:28-53
28. Jesus was still teaching in the temple courtyard. He cried out, "Yes, you know me. And you know where I am from. I am not here on my own. The One who sent me is true. You do not know him.
29. But I know him. I am from him, and he sent me."
30. When he said this, they tried to arrest him. But no one laid a hand on him. His time had not yet come.
31. Still, many people in the crowd put their faith in him. They said, "How will it be when the Christ comes? Will he do more miraculous signs than this man?"
32. The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering things like this about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.
33. Jesus said, "I am with you for only a short time. Then I will go to the One who sent me.
34. You will look for me, but you won't find me. You can't come where I am going."
35. The Jews said to one another, "Where does this man plan to go? Does he think we can't find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks? Will he go there to teach the Greeks?
36. What did he mean when he said, 'You will look for me, but you won't find me'? And, 'You can't come where I am going'?"
37. It was the last and most important day of the Feast. Jesus stood up and spoke in a loud voice. He said, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.
38. Does anyone believe in me? Then, just as Scripture says, streams of living water will flow from inside him."
39. When he said this, he meant the Holy Spirit. Those who believed in Jesus would receive the Spirit later. Up to that time, the Spirit had not been given. This was because Jesus had not yet received glory.
40. When some of the people heard his words, they said, "This man must be the Prophet we've been expecting."
41. Others said, "He is the Christ." Still others asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee?
42. Doesn't Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family? Doesn't it say that he will come from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?"
43. So the people did not agree about who Jesus was.
44. Some wanted to arrest him. But no one laid a hand on him.
45. Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees. They asked the guards, "Why didn't you bring him in?"
46. "No one ever spoke the way this man does," the guards replied.
47. "You mean he has fooled you also?" the Pharisees asked.
48. "Have any of the rulers or Pharisees believed in him?
49. No! But this mob knows nothing about the law. There is a curse on them."
50. Then Nicodemus, a Pharisee, spoke. He was the one who had gone to Jesus earlier. He asked,
51. "Does our law find someone guilty without hearing him first? Doesn't it want to find out what he is doing?"
52. They replied, "Are you from Galilee too? Look into it. You will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee."
53. Then each of them went home.