Judges 18, 19
1 In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days, the tribe of Dan sought for itself an inheritance to inhabit, because no inheritance had befallen it until that day in the midst of the tribes of Israel. 2 So the sons of Dan sent five men of their family from their territory, sons of valor from Zorah and Eshtaol, to spy upon the land and to search it out. They said to them, “Go, search the land.” And they went as far as Mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and there they lodged. 3 While at the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young Levite. They turned toward him and said to him, “Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? What do you have here?”
4 He said to them, “This is what Micah did for me. He hired me and I became his priest.” 5 So they said to him, “Ask now of God, so we may know if we will be successful on our journey that we go on.” 6 And the priest said to them, “Go in peace. The way in which you go is before the Lord.”
7 So the five men departed and came to Laish. Here they saw the people in the midst of it, dwelling securely, as the affairs of the Sidonians were quiet. Here no one was perverting or shaming people or events in the land. There were no heirs extorting treasures; and the land was far from the Sidonians, with no ties of mutuality between them. 8 And the five men came back to their brethren at Zorah and Eshtaol and said to their brethren, “Why do you sit, preparing for nothing?” 9 And they said, “Arise, let us go up against them, for we have seen the land, and indeed it is very good, yet you are unmotivated. Do not delay. Go and enter the land to possess it. 10 When you go, you will meet a people at peace, and the land is extensive, for God has given it into your hands, a place where there is nothing lacking in the land.”
11 And six hundred men of the family of Dan, armed with weapons of war, departed from Zorah and Eshtaol. 12 They went up and encamped in Kirjath Jearim in Judah. Therefore they call that place the camp of Dan to this day. There it is, behind Kirjath Jearim. 13 And they passed from there to Mount Ephraim and came to the house of Micah. 14 Then the five men who had spied upon the country of Laish spoke and said to their brethren, “Do you know that in this house there is an ephod, idols, and a carved and molten image? Therefore, consider what you should do.” 15 So they turned aside there and went into where the young Levite man stayed—into the house of Micah. In peace, they asked how he was. 16 The six hundred men armed with their weapons of war, who were of the sons of Dan, remained standing by the door of the gate.
17 Then the five men who had spied upon the land went up, 18 and they entered the house of Micah. The priest stood up as they took the carved image, the ephod, the idols, and the molded image, and said to them, “The priest asks what are you doing?” 19 And they said to him, “Be silent, put your hand over your mouth, and come with us; and be a father and a priest to us. Is it better for you to be a priest to the household of one man, or to be a priest to a tribe and house for a family of Israel?”
20 The heart of the priest was glad, and he took the ephod, the idols, and the carved and molten image and came into the midst of the people. 21 Then they turned and departed, putting the children, the livestock, and the baggage in front of them. 22 When they had traveled far from the house of Micah, behold Micah and the men in the houses near the house of Micah cried out and overtook the sons of Dan. 23 And the sons of Dan turned their face and said to Micah, “What is the matter with you that you cry out?” 24 Micah responded, “Because you took away the carved image which I made, and my priest, and left. What remains for me? How is it you can say to me, ‘Why do you cry out?’ ”
25 And the sons of Dan said to him, “Do not let your voice be heard among us, lest men bitter in soul fall upon us and take away your life and the lives of your household!” 26 Then the sons of Dan went their way. And when Micah saw they were far stronger than himself, he turned back toward his house.
27 So the sons of Dan took what Micah had made, and the priest who was with him, and they came to Laish, to a people quiet and secure, and they struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire. 28 There was no deliverer, for the city was far from the Sidonians, and no agreements of mutuality. It is in the valley of the house of Rahab, and they restored the city and dwelt in it. 29 And they called the city Dan, after Dan their father, who was born to Israel. Formerly, the city was named Laish.
30 Then the sons of Dan set up for themselves the carved image; and Jonathan the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of exile for the nation. 31 So they set up for themselves, for as long as the house of God was in Shiloh, the carved image Micah made.
A Levite Takes a Concubine
1 And it was so in the days when there was no king in Israel, there was a certain Levite sojourning on the lower slopes of Mount Ephraim. He took for himself a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah, 2 but his concubine left him and returned to the house of her father, to Bethlehem in Judah. She remained there for four months. 3 Then her husband arose and sought after her, to speak kindly to her and win her back to himself. His young servant and a pair of asses were with him. So she brought him into her father’s house, and when her father saw him, he was well-pleased to meet him. 4 Now his father-in-law, the father of the young woman, delayed him, and he stayed with him for three days. And they ate and drank and lodged there. 5 Then on the fourth day, they arose early in the morning to depart; but the young woman’s father said to his son-in-law, “Strengthen your heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way.”
6 So he sat down, and the two of them ate and drank together. Then the young woman’s father said to the man, “Please come lodge here, and let your heart be merry.” 7 And when the man stood to depart, his father-in-law urged him, so he sat and lodged there again. 8 Then on the fifth day, he arose early in the morning to depart, but the father of the young woman said, “Please, strengthen your heart and camp here until the day starts to wane,” and the two men ate a meal together. 9 And when the man stood to depart—he and his concubine and his servant—his father-in-law, the father of the young woman, said to him, “Look, the day is now drawing toward evening: please spend the night. See, the day is coming to an end: lodge here that your heart may be merry, and tomorrow go your way early, so that you may get home.”
10 However, the man was not willing to spend that night. So he rose and departed, and came to a place opposite Jebus—that is, Jerusalem. There with him were the two saddled donkeys and his concubine. 11 They had come as far as Jebus, and the day was far advanced, and the young servant said to his master, “Come, let us turn aside into this city of the Jebusites and lodge in it.” 12 But his master said to him, “We will not turn aside into a foreign city where there are no sons of Israel. We will go onward as far as Gibeah.” 13 So he said to his young servant, “Come, let us draw near to one of these places and lodge in Gibeah or in Ramah.” 14 And they passed by and went on their way. The sun went down on them near Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin. 15 There they turned aside to find lodging in Gibeah. And when he went in, he sat down in the open square of the city, and there was not a man who would take them into his house to lodge.
16 And behold, an old man came in from his work in the field at evening. He was from Mount Ephraim and he sojourned in Gibeah. The men of this place were sons of Benjamin. 17 And his eyes looked upward, and he saw the traveler in the street of the city. The old man said to him, “Where are you going, and where do you come from?” 18 So he said to him, “We are passing from Bethlehem in Judah toward the lower slopes of Mount Ephraim. I am from there and I traveled as far as Bethlehem of Judah. But there is no man to take me into his house, 19 yet we have straw and food for our donkeys, and bread and wine for me and my handmaid, and for the young man with your servant. There is no lack of anything.”
20 And the old man said, “Peace be with you. And let all your needs be upon me, only do not lodge in the open street.” 21 So he brought him into his house and made a place for the asses. And they washed their feet, and ate and drank.
22 As they were comforting their heart, men of the city, sons of lawlessness, surrounded the house and beat on the door. They spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who entered your house, that we may know him!” 23 But the man, the master of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my brethren! I beg you, do not act so wickedly! Seeing this man has come into my house, do not commit this foolishness. 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter and the man’s concubine; I will lead them out now. Subdue and control them, do with them what is good in your eyes; but to this man do not do such a thoughtless thing!”
25 But the men were not inclined to heed him. So the man took his concubine and brought her out to them. And they knew her and abused her all night until morning; and when dawn came, they let her go. 26 And toward dawn, the woman came and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her master was, till there was daylight. 27 When her master arose in the morning and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way, there was his concubine, fallen at the door of the house with her hands on the threshold. 28 And he said to her, “Get up and let us be going.” But she did not answer, for she was dead. He carried her upon his ass and went to his place.
29 Then he took a sword, laid hold of his concubine, and divided her into twelve pieces. He sent the twelve pieces throughout all the tribes of Israel. 30 And it was so, that everyone who saw it said, “A day such as this has never happened nor been seen from the day the children of Israel were brought out of the land of Egypt until this day. Take counsel amongst yourselves and proclaim your findings!”
1 Concerning understanding; for Asaph.
Give heed, O my people, to my law;
Incline your ear to the words of my mouth;
2 I shall open my mouth in parables;
I shall speak of hidden things from of old.
3 What things we heard, these we also knew,
And our fathers described them to us.
4 It was not hidden from their children in a different generation,
Who declare the praises of the Lord
And His mighty deeds
And His wondrous things He did.
5 He raised up a testimony in Jacob
And appointed a law in Israel,
Whatever He commanded our fathers
To make these things known to their children,
6 That a different generation may know,
Children yet to be born;
And they will arise, and declare these things to their children,
7 So they may put their hope in God,
And not forget the works of God,
And seek out His commandments,
8 So they may not become like their fathers,
A generation rebellious and embittered,
A generation that did not keep its heart right,
And its spirit was not faithful with God.
9 The sons of Ephraim who bend and shoot their bows
Turned back in the day of battle.
10 They did not keep God’s covenant,
And they did not desire to walk in His law;
11 And they forgot His good deeds
And His wonders He showed them
12 In the sight of their fathers,
The marvelous things He did
In the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13 He parted the sea and led them through;
The waters stood like a dam,
14 And He led them with a cloud by day,
And all night by the light of a fire.
15 He split the rock in the desert
And gave them water to drink as in a great deep;
16 And He brought out water from the rock,
And He brought it down like the waters of rivers.
17 And they still continued to sin against Him;
They rebelled against the Most High in a place without water,
6 There is an oracle on the lips of a king,
And his mouth does not err in judgment.
7 The weight of a scale is righteousness before the Lord,
For His works are righteous standards.
8 He who does evil things is an abomination to a king,
For the throne of a ruler is prepared with righteousness.
9 Righteous lips are acceptable to a king,
And he loves upright words.
10 The wrath of a king is a messenger of death,
But a wise man will appease him.
1 Now it happened on the second Sabbath after the first that He went through the grainfields. And His disciples plucked the heads of grain and ate them, rubbing them in their hands.
2 And some of the Pharisees said to them, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?”
3 But Jesus answering them said, “Have you not even read this, what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him:
4 “how he went into the house of God, took and ate the showbread, and also gave some to those with him, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat?”
5 And He said to them, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”
Healing on the Sabbath
(Matt. 12:9–14; Mark 3:1–6)
6 Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered.
7 So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him.
8 But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man who had the withered hand, “Arise and stand here.” And he arose and stood.
9 Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?”
10 And when He had looked around at them all, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
11 But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
The Twelve Apostles
(Matt. 10:1–4; Mark 3:13–19)
12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:
14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew;
15 Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot;
16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.
Jesus Heals a Great Multitude
(cf. Matt. 4:24, 25; Mark 3:7–12)
17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases,
18 as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed.
19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.
20 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said:
“Blessed are you poor,
For yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
For you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
For you shall laugh.
22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man’s sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
Jesus Pronounces Woes
24 “But woe to you who are rich,
For you have received your consolation.
25 Woe to you who are full,
For you shall hunger.
Woe to you who laugh now,
For you shall mourn and weep.
26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you,
For so did their fathers to the false prophets.