A A A A A
Bible in one year
April 22

Judges 9:1-57
1. One day Gideon's son Abimelech went to Shechem to visit his mother's brothers. He said to them and to the rest of his mother's family,
2. "Ask the people of Shechem whether they want to be ruled by all seventy of Gideon's sons or by one man. And remember, I am your own flesh and blood!"
3. So Abimelech's uncles spoke to all the people of Shechem on his behalf. And after listening to their proposal, they decided in favor of Abimelech because he was their relative.
4. They gave him seventy silver coins from the temple of Baal-berith, which he used to hire some soldiers who agreed to follow him.
5. He took the soldiers to his father's home at Ophrah, and there, on one stone, they killed all seventy of his half brothers. But the youngest brother, Jotham, escaped and hid.
6. Then the people of Shechem and Beth-millo called a meeting under the oak beside the pillar at Shechem and made Abimelech their king.
7. When Jotham heard about this, he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted, "Listen to me, people of Shechem! Listen to me if you want God to listen to you!
8. Once upon a time the trees decided to elect a king. First they said to the olive tree, `Be our king!'
9. But it refused, saying, `Should I quit producing the olive oil that blesses both God and people, just to wave back and forth over the trees?'
10. "Then they said to the fig tree, `You be our king!'
11. But the fig tree also refused, saying, `Should I quit producing my sweet fruit just to wave back and forth over the trees?'
12. "Then they said to the grapevine, `You be our king!'
13. But the grapevine replied, `Should I quit producing the wine that cheers both God and people, just to wave back and forth over the trees?'
14. "Then all the trees finally turned to the thornbush and said, `Come, you be our king!'
15. And the thornbush replied, `If you truly want to make me your king, come and take shelter in my shade. If not, let fire come out from me and devour the cedars of Lebanon.'
16. "Now make sure you have acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelech your king, and that you have done right by Gideon and all of his descendants. Have you treated my father with the honor he deserves?
17. For he fought for you and risked his life when he rescued you from the Midianites.
18. But now you have revolted against my father and his descendants, killing his seventy sons on one stone. And you have chosen his slave woman's son, Abimelech, to be your king just because he is your relative.
19. If you have acted honorably and in good faith toward Gideon and his descendants, then may you find joy in Abimelech, and may he find joy in you.
20. But if you have not acted in good faith, then may fire come out from Abimelech and devour the people of Shechem and Beth-millo; and may fire come out from the people of Shechem and Beth-millo and devour Abimelech!"
21. Then Jotham escaped and lived in Beer because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech.
22. After Abimelech had ruled over Israel for three years,
23. God stirred up trouble between Abimelech and the people of Shechem, and they revolted.
24. In the events that followed, God punished Abimelech and the men of Shechem for murdering Gideon's seventy sons.
25. The people of Shechem set an ambush for Abimelech on the hilltops and robbed everyone who passed that way. But someone warned Abimelech about their plot.
26. At that time Gaal son of Ebed moved to Shechem with his brothers and gained the confidence of the people of Shechem.
27. During the annual harvest festival at Shechem, held in the temple of the local god, the wine flowed freely, and everyone began cursing Abimelech.
28. "Who is Abimelech?" Gaal shouted. "He's not a true descendant of Shechem! Why should we be Abimelech's servants? He's merely the son of Gideon, and Zebul is his administrator. Serve the men of Hamor, who are Shechem's true descendants. Why should we serve Abimelech?
29. If I were in charge, I would get rid of Abimelech. I would say to him, `Get some more soldiers, and come out and fight!'"
30. But when Zebul, the leader of the city, heard what Gaal was saying, he was furious.
31. He sent messengers to Abimelech in Arumah, telling him, "Gaal son of Ebed and his brothers have come to live in Shechem, and now they are inciting the city to rebel against you.
32. Come by night with an army and hide out in the fields.
33. In the morning, as soon as it is daylight, storm the city. When Gaal and those who are with him come out against you, you can do with them as you wish."
34. So Abimelech and his men went by night and split into four groups, stationing themselves around Shechem.
35. Gaal was standing at the city gates when Abimelech and his army came out of hiding.
36. When Gaal saw them, he said to Zebul, "Look, there are people coming down from the hilltops!" Zebul replied, "It's just the shadows of the hills that look like men."
37. But again Gaal said, "No, people are coming down from the hills. And another group is coming down the road past the Diviners' Oak. "
38. Then Zebul turned on him triumphantly. "Now where is that big mouth of yours?" he demanded. "Wasn't it you that said, `Who is Abimelech, and why should we be his servants?' The men you mocked are right outside the city! Go out and fight them!"
39. Gaal then led the men of Shechem into battle against Abimelech,
40. but he was defeated and ran away. Many of Shechem's warriors were killed, and the ground was covered with dead bodies all the way to the city gate.
41. Abimelech stayed in Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his brothers out of Shechem.
42. The next day the people of Shechem went out into the fields to battle. When Abimelech heard about it,
43. he divided his men into three groups and set an ambush in the fields. When Abimelech saw the people coming out of the city, he and his men jumped up from their hiding places and attacked them.
44. Abimelech and his group stormed the city gate to keep the men of Shechem from getting back in, while Abimelech's other two groups cut them down in the fields.
45. The battle went on all day before Abimelech finally captured the city. He killed the people, leveled the city, and scattered salt all over the ground.
46. When the people who lived in the tower of Shechem heard what had happened, they took refuge within the walls of the temple of Baal-berith.
47. Someone reported to Abimelech that the people were gathered together in the temple,
48. so he led his forces to Mount Zalmon. He took an ax and chopped some branches from a tree, and he put them on his shoulder. "Quick, do as I have done!" he told his men.
49. So each of them cut down some branches, following Abimelech's example. They piled the branches against the walls of the temple and set them on fire. So all the people who had lived in the tower of Shechem died, about a thousand men and women.
50. Then Abimelech attacked the city of Thebez and captured it.
51. But there was a strong tower inside the city, and the entire population fled to it. They barricaded themselves in and climbed up to the roof of the tower.
52. Abimelech followed them to attack the tower. But as he prepared to set fire to the entrance,
53. a woman on the roof threw down a millstone that landed on Abimelech's head and crushed his skull.
54. He said to his young armor bearer, "Draw your sword and kill me! Don't let it be said that a woman killed Abimelech!" So the young man stabbed him with his sword, and he died.
55. When Abimelech's men saw that he was dead, they disbanded and returned to their homes.
56. Thus, God punished Abimelech for the evil he had done against his father by murdering his seventy brothers.
57. God also punished the men of Shechem for all their evil. So the curse of Jotham son of Gideon came true.

Judges 10:1-18
1. After Abimelech's death, Tola, the son of Puah and descendant of Dodo, came to rescue Israel. He was from the tribe of Issachar but lived in the town of Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim.
2. He was Israel's judge for twenty-three years. When he died, he was buried in Shamir.
3. After Tola died, a man from Gilead named Jair judged Israel for twenty-two years.
4. His thirty sons rode around on thirty donkeys, and they owned thirty towns in the land of Gilead, which are still called the Towns of Jair.
5. When Jair died, he was buried in Kamon.
6. Again the Israelites did evil in the LORD's sight. They worshiped images of Baal and Ashtoreth, and the gods of Aram, Sidon, Moab, Ammon, and Philistia. Not only this, but they abandoned the LORD and no longer served him at all.
7. So the LORD burned with anger against Israel, and he handed them over to the Philistines and the Ammonites,
8. who began to oppress them that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites east of the Jordan River in the land of the Amorites (that is, in Gilead).
9. The Ammonites also crossed to the west side of the Jordan and attacked Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim. The Israelites were in great distress.
10. Finally, they cried out to the LORD, saying, "We have sinned against you because we have abandoned you as our God and have served the images of Baal."
11. The LORD replied, "Did I not rescue you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines,
12. the Sidonians, the Amalekites, and the Maonites? When they oppressed you, you cried out to me, and I rescued you.
13. Yet you have abandoned me and served other gods. So I will not rescue you anymore.
14. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen! Let them rescue you in your hour of distress!"
15. But the Israelites pleaded with the LORD and said, "We have sinned. Punish us as you see fit, only rescue us today from our enemies."
16. Then the Israelites put aside their foreign gods and served the LORD. And he was grieved by their misery.
17. At that time the armies of Ammon had gathered for war and were camped in Gilead, preparing to attack Israel's army at Mizpah.
18. The leaders of Gilead said to each other, "Whoever attacks the Ammonites first will become ruler over all the people of Gilead."

Psalms 50:1-6
1. The mighty God, the LORD, has spoken; he has summoned all humanity from east to west!
2. From Mount Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines in glorious radiance.
3. Our God approaches with the noise of thunder. Fire devours everything in his way, and a great storm rages around him.
4. Heaven and earth will be his witnesses as he judges his people:
5. "Bring my faithful people to me--those who made a covenant with me by giving sacrifices."
6. Then let the heavens proclaim his justice, for God himself will be the judge.

Proverbs 14:25-27
25. A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is a traitor.
26. Those who fear the LORD are secure; he will be a place of refuge for their children.
27. Fear of the LORD is a life-giving fountain; it offers escape from the snares of death.

Luke 16:1-31
1. Jesus told this story to his disciples: "A rich man hired a manager to handle his affairs, but soon a rumor went around that the manager was thoroughly dishonest.
2. So his employer called him in and said, 'What's this I hear about your stealing from me? Get your report in order, because you are going to be dismissed.'
3. "The manager thought to himself, 'Now what? I'm through here, and I don't have the strength to go out and dig ditches, and I'm too proud to beg.
4. I know just the thing! And then I'll have plenty of friends to take care of me when I leave!'
5. "So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, 'How much do you owe him?'
6. The man replied, 'I owe him eight hundred gallons of olive oil.' So the manager told him, 'Tear up that bill and write another one for four hundred gallons. '
7. "'And how much do you owe my employer?' he asked the next man. 'A thousand bushels of wheat,' was the reply. 'Here,' the manager said, 'take your bill and replace it with one for only eight hundred bushels. '
8. "The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the citizens of this world are more shrewd than the godly are.
9. I tell you, use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. In this way, your generosity stores up a reward for you in heaven.
10. "Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities.
11. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?
12. And if you are not faithful with other people's money, why should you be trusted with money of your own?
13. "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."
14. The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, naturally scoffed at all this.
15. Then he said to them, "You like to look good in public, but God knows your evil hearts. What this world honors is an abomination in the sight of God.
16. "Until John the Baptist began to preach, the laws of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and eager multitudes are forcing their way in.
17. But that doesn't mean that the law has lost its force in even the smallest point. It is stronger and more permanent than heaven and earth.
18. "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery."
19. Jesus said, "There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed and who lived each day in luxury.
20. At his door lay a diseased beggar named Lazarus.
21. As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man's table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.
22. Finally, the beggar died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried,
23. and his soul went to the place of the dead. There, in torment, he saw Lazarus in the far distance with Abraham.
24. "The rich man shouted, 'Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in anguish in these flames.'
25. "But Abraham said to him, 'Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish.
26. And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. Anyone who wanted to cross over to you from here is stopped at its edge, and no one there can cross over to us.'
27. "Then the rich man said, 'Please, Father Abraham, send him to my father's home.
28. For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them about this place of torment so they won't have to come here when they die.'
29. "But Abraham said, 'Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read their writings anytime they want to.'
30. "The rich man replied, 'No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will turn from their sins.'
31. "But Abraham said, 'If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead.'"