1 Kingdoms 24, 25
1 Then David went up from there and stayed in the strongholds at En Gedi. 2 Now when Saul returned from following the Philistines, it was reported to him, saying, “David is in the desert of En Gedi.” 3 Then he took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the face of Sadaiem. 4 On the way, he came across a flock of sheep, and nearby there was a cave. Saul entered the cave to make preparations. Now sitting in the recesses of this same cave were David and his men. 5 And David’s men said to him, “Look! This is the day of which the Lord spoke to you, that He would deliver your enemy into your hands, to do to him as it seems good from your perspective.” So David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 6 Then it happened that David’s heart afflicted him afterward, because he cut the corner of his robe. 7 And David said to his men, “The Lord forbid me, that I should do this to my lord, for he is the anointed of the Lord.” 8 By these words David persuaded his men not to rise up and kill Saul.
So Saul got up from the cave and went his way. 9 After Saul departed, David went out from the cave and cried out to Saul, saying, “My lord, O king!” And Saul looked back, and David, bowing to the ground, prostrated himself. 10 And David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of the people who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your life’? 11 Take notice! This day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you into my hand in the cave; but I would not kill you. I spared you and said, ‘I will not put my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ 12 Here in my hand is the corner of your robe! I cut off the corner, but did not kill you. See and know today, there is no evil or impiety or breach of faith in my hand. I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it. 13 Let the Lord pass judgment between you and me, and let the Lord vindicate me from you. But my hand shall not be against you. 14 As the ancient proverb says, ‘Out of lawlessness shall come wrongdoing, but my hand will not be against you.’ 15 Now after whom do you seek, O King of Israel? Whom do you hunt after? Are you after a dying dog or perhaps a flea? 16 Let the Lord be judge and jury, each one in my midst, and each one in your midst. And let the Lord observe and decide my judgment and vindicate me from your hand.”
17 And it came to pass, when David finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Truly this is your voice, O son David.” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 18 Then he said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you repaid me with good, but I repaid you with evil. 19 Today you make known how you dealt well with me, how when the Lord delivered me into your hand today, you did not kill me. 20 For if a man finds his enemy in distress and yet in a good way sends him out, the Lord will reward him with good, just as you did today. 21 And now behold, I know that you shall be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hands. 22 Therefore by the Lord, swear now to me that you will not cut off my seed after me, and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s house.” 23 So David swore to Saul. And Saul went to his place, but David and his men went up to the stronghold at Messara.
The Death of Samuel
1 And Samuel died, and all Israel gathered together and lamented for him, and they buried him at his home in Ramah.
David and Abigail
And David arose and went down to the Desert of Maon. 2 Now there was a man in Maon who was very notable and whose flocks were in Carmel. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And he was in Carmel to shear his sheep. 3 The man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was a woman of good understanding and very beautiful in appearance; but the man was harsh and wicked in his doings, like a dog.
4 While in the desert wilderness, David heard that Nabal the Carmelite was shearing his sheep. 5 David sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Carmel, go to Nabal, and in my name, greet him in peace. 6 And here is what you say, ‘Peace be to you and your house and all that is yours. 7 Behold, I now hear that they shear for you. As to your shepherds, those with us in the desert wilderness, as long as they were in Carmel we did not hinder them, nor did we demand anything from them. 8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a good day. Please give whatever your hand finds to your son David.’ ”
9 So when David’s young men came, they told Nabal all these words in the name of David, and he leapt up. 10 Then Nabal replied to David’s servants and said, “Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away, each one from his master. 11 Shall I then take my bread and my wine and my meat that I killed for my shearers of sheep, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?”
12 So David’s young men turned back and returned. They came and told him these words. 13 Then David said to his men, “Every man gird on his sword.” And about four hundred men went with David, and two hundred stayed with the supplies. 14 Now one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Look, David sent messengers from the desert to bless our master, but Nabal turned away from them. 15 But the men were very good to us, and they did not hinder us, and they did not demand anything from us as long as we accompanied them when we were in the fields. 16 They were like a wall around us by night and day, all the time we were with them keeping the sheep. 17 And now consider and see what you will do, for malice has been decided against our master and against all his household. For Nabal is such a son of mischief that no one can speak to him.”
18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five ephahs of roasted grain, a gomer of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs and loaded them on donkeys. 19 And she said to her servants, “Go ahead of me, and behold, I will come behind you.” But she did not tell her husband. 20 And it came to pass that she was riding on her donkey and going down under the protection of the mountain; and look, David and his men were coming down toward her, and she met them. 21 Now David had said, “Perhaps I was wrong to protect everything this fellow has in the desert wilderness and to command that nothing of his be taken; yet he repaid me evil for good. 22 May God do so and more to David, if I leave even one male of all belonging to Nabal until the morning.”
23 Now when Abigail saw David, she jumped from her donkey, fell on her face before David, and prostrated herself on the ground 24 about his feet and said, “O my lord, let this unrighteousness be on me! Let your handmaiden speak in your ears, and hear the words of your handmaiden. 25 Please, let not my lord set his heart against this man of pestilence. For as his name is, so is he. His name is Nabal, and folly is with him. But I, your handmaiden, did not see the young men whom you sent. 26 Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, since the Lord held you back from coming to innocent bloodshed and from sparing your hand, now then, let your enemies and those who seek malice against my lord become like Nabal. 27 And now, take this token of goodwill your handmaiden brought to my lord and give it to the servants who follow my lord. 28 I pray you will remove the trespass of your handmaiden. For the Lord will certainly make a faithful house for my lord, because my lord fights the battles of the Lord, so no evil will be found in you at any time. 29 If a man should rise up and pursue you, to seek your life, nevertheless, the life of my lord shall be so tightly bound with the Lord God, that you will sling your enemies like a stone from a sling. 30 And when the Lord has done for my lord all the good things He said concerning you, and He has appointed you ruler over Israel, 31 will this not be an abomination to my lord and an offense to my lord, to have shed innocent blood without cause, for my lord to have avenged himself? May the Lord do good to my lord, and you shall remember to do good to your handmaiden.”
32 Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent you to meet me this very day! 33 And blessed is your conduct and blessed are you, because today you kept me from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself. 34 But as the Lord God of Israel lives, who kept me from hurting you, if you had not hastened and come to meet me, surely I say that by morning light not one male would have been left to Nabal.” 35 So David received from her hand everything that she had brought him and said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have heeded your voice and respected your presence.”
36 Now Abigail returned to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. Thus, she decided to say not a word to him, not even one, until morning light. 37 In the morning, when Nabal had slept off the wine, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became like a stone. 38 And it came to pass about ten days later that the Lord struck Nabal and he died. 39 So when David heard, he said, “Blessed be the Lord, who judged my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and who saved His servant from doing evil. For the Lord returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head.”
And David sent out a message concerning Abigail, to take her as his own wife. 40 So the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel and spoke to her, saying, “David sent us to you, to ask you to become his wife.” 41 She arose and bowed her face to the earth and said, “Behold your handmaiden, a servant to wash the feet of your servants.” 42 And Abigail rose and mounted her donkey, and five of her maidens followed behind her as she followed after the servants of David, and she became his wife. 43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and both of them were his wives. 44 But Saul gave Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, from Gallim.
1 A psalm of an ode for the sons of Korah.
His foundations are in the holy mountains;
2 The Lord loves the gates of Zion
More than all the dwellings of Jacob.
3 Glorious things were said concerning you, O city of God.
4 I will make mention of Rahab and Babylon to those who know Me;
And behold, foreigners, and the people of Tyre and Ethiopia,
These were born there.
5 A man will say, “Mother Zion,”
And a man was born in her;
For the Most High Himself founded it.
6 The Lord shall describe it in a written account of the peoples
And of the rulers, of those who were born in her.
7 How glad are all who have their dwelling in you.
6 The lips of a man without discernment lead him into evil things,
And his rash mouth calls upon death.
7 The mouth of a man without discernment is destruction to him,
And his lips are the snare of his soul.
8 Fear destroys slothful men,
And the souls of cowardly men shall hunger.
9 He who does not heal himself by his works,
He is the brother of him who maltreats himself.
10 The name of the Lord is of great strength,
And when the righteous run to it, they are exalted.
11 The substance of a rich man is a strong city,
And its glory casts a great shadow.
29 And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
30 “For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
31 “The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.
32 “The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.
The Lamp of the Body
(Matt. 6:22, 23)
33 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.
34 “The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.
35 “Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.
36 “If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”
Woe to the Pharisees and Lawyers
37 And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went in and sat down to eat.
38 When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that He had not first washed before dinner.
39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness.
40 “Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?
41 “But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you.
42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
43 “Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.
44 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like graves which are not seen, and the men who walk over them are not aware of them.”
45 Then one of the lawyers answered and said to Him, “Teacher, by saying these things You reproach us also.”
46 And He said, “Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.
47 “Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
48 “In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs.
49 “Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’
50 “that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation,
51 “from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.
52 “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”
53 And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things,
54 lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him.