June 13 - Mark 1.1-20, 2 Samuel 2.1-3.1 and Daniel 1
The Preaching of John the Baptist
"I am sending my messenger
to get the way ready for you.
3In the desert someone is shouting,
'Get the road ready for the Lord!
Make a straight path for him.' "
4So John the Baptist showed up in the desert and told everyone, "Turn back to God and be baptized! Then your sins will be forgiven."
5From all Judea and Jerusalem crowds of people went to John. They told how sorry they were for their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.
6John wore clothes made of camel's hair. He had a leather strap around his waist and ate grasshoppers and wild honey.
7John also told the people, "Someone more powerful is going to come. And I am not good enough even to stoop down and untie his sandals. 8I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!"
The Baptism of Jesus
Jesus and Satan
Jesus Begins His Work
Jesus Chooses Four Fishermen
19Jesus walked on and soon saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat, mending their nets. 20At once Jesus asked them to come with him. They left their father in the boat with the hired workers and went with him.
David Becomes King of Judah2 Samuel 2 Later, David asked the LORD, "Should I go back to one of the towns of Judah?"
The LORD answered, "Yes."
David asked, "Which town should I go to?"
"Go to Hebron," the LORD replied.
2David went to Hebron with his two wives, Ahinoam and Abigail. Ahinoam was from Jezreel, and Abigail was the widow of Nabal from Carmel. 3David also had his men and their families come and live in the villages near Hebron.
4The people of Judah met with David at Hebron and poured olive oil on his head to show that he was their new king. Then they told David, "The people from Jabesh in Gilead buried Saul."
5David sent messengers to tell them:
The LORD bless you! You were kind enough to bury Saul your ruler, 6and I pray that the LORD will be kind and faithful to you. I will be your friend because of what you have done. 7Saul is dead, but the tribe of Judah has made me their king. So be strong and have courage.
Ishbosheth Becomes King of Israel8Abner the son of Ner had been the general of Saul's army. He took Saul's son Ishbosheth across the Jordan River to Mahanaim 9and made him king of Israel, including the areas of Gilead, Asher, Jezreel, Ephraim, and Benjamin. 10Ishbosheth was forty years old at the time, and he ruled for two years. But the tribe of Judah made David their king, 11and he ruled from Hebron for seven and a half years.
The War between David and Ishbosheth12One day, Abner and the soldiers of Ishbosheth left Mahanaim and went to Gibeon. 13Meanwhile, Joab the son of Zeruiah was leading David's soldiers, and the two groups met at the pool in Gibeon. Abner and his men sat down on one side of the pool, while Joab and his men sat on the other side. 14Abner yelled to Joab, "Let's have some of our best soldiers get up and fight each other!"
Joab agreed, 15and twelve of Ishbosheth's men from the tribe of Benjamin got up to fight twelve of David's men. 16They grabbed each other by the hair and stabbed each other in the side with their daggers. They all died right there! That's why the place in Gibeon is called "Field of Daggers." 17Then everyone started fighting. Both sides fought very hard, but David's soldiers defeated Abner and the soldiers of Israel.
18Zeruiah's three sons were there: Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Asahel could run as fast as a deer in an open field, 19and he ran straight after Abner, without looking to the right or to the left.
20When Abner turned and saw him, he said, "Is that you, Asahel?"
Asahel answered, "Yes it is."
21Abner said, "There are soldiers all around. Stop chasing me and fight one of them! Kill him and take his clothes and weapons for yourself."
But Asahel refused to stop.
22Abner said, "If you don't turn back, I'll have to kill you! Then I could never face your brother Joab again."
23But Asahel would not turn back, so Abner struck him in the stomach with the back end of his spear. The spear went all the way through and came out of his back. Asahel fell down and died. Everyone who saw Asahel lying dead just stopped and stood still. 24But Joab and Abishai went after Abner. Finally, about sunset, they came to the hill of Ammah, not far from Giah on the road to Gibeon Desert. 25Abner brought the men of Benjamin together in one group on top of a hill, and they got ready to fight.
26Abner shouted to Joab, "Aren't we ever going to stop killing each other? Don't you know that the longer we keep on doing this, the worse it's going to be when it's all over? When are you going to order your men to stop chasing their own relatives?"
27Joab shouted back, "I swear by the living God, if you hadn't spoken, my men would have chased their relatives all night!" 28Joab took his trumpet and blew the signal for his soldiers to stop chasing the soldiers of Israel. Right away, the fighting stopped.
29Abner and his troops marched through the Jordan River valley all that night. Then they crossed the river and marched all morning until they arrived back at Mahanaim.
30As soon as Joab stopped chasing Abner, he got David's troops together and counted them. There were nineteen missing besides Asahel. 31But David's soldiers had killed 360 of Abner's men from the tribe of Benjamin. 32Joab and his troops carried Asahel's body to Bethlehem and buried him in the family burial place. Then they marched all night and reached Hebron before sunrise.
2 Samuel 3 This battle was the beginning of a long war between the followers of Saul and the followers of David. Saul's power grew weaker, but David's grew stronger.
Daniel and His FriendsDaniel 1 In the third year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia attacked Jerusalem. 2The Lord let Nebuchadnezzar capture Jehoiakim and take away some of the things used in God's temple. And when the king returned to Babylonia, he put these things in the temple of his own god.
3One day the king ordered Ashpenaz, his highest palace official, to choose some young men from the royal family of Judah and from other leading Jewish families. 4The king said, "They must be healthy, handsome, smart, wise, educated, and fit to serve in the royal palace. Teach them how to speak and write our language 5and give them the same food and wine that I am served. Train them for three years, and then they can become court officials."
6Four of the young Jews chosen were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, all from the tribe of Judah. 7But the king's chief official gave them Babylonian names: Daniel became Belteshazzar, Hananiah became Shadrach, Mishael became Meshach, and Azariah became Abednego.
8Daniel made up his mind to eat and drink only what God had approved for his people to eat. And he asked the king's chief official for permission not to eat the food and wine served in the royal palace. 9God had made the official friendly and kind to Daniel. 10But the man still told him, "The king has decided what you must eat and drink. And I am afraid he will kill me, if you eat something else and end up looking worse than the other young men."
11The king's official had put a guard in charge of Daniel and his three friends. So Daniel said to the guard, 12"For the next ten days, let us have only vegetables and water at mealtime. 13When the ten days are up, compare how we look with the other young men, and decide what to do with us." 14The guard agreed to do what Daniel had asked.
15Ten days later, Daniel and his friends looked healthier and better than the young men who had been served food from the royal palace. 16After this, the guard let them eat vegetables instead of the rich food and wine.
17God made the four young men smart and wise. They read a lot of books and became well educated. Daniel could also tell the meaning of dreams and visions.
18At the end of the three-year period set by King Nebuchadnezzar, his chief palace official brought all the young men to him. 19The king interviewed them and discovered that none of the others were as outstanding as Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. So they were given positions in the royal court. 20From then on, whenever the king asked for advice, he found their wisdom was ten times better than that of any of his other advisors and magicians. 21Daniel served there until the first year of King Cyrus.
This reading is from The
Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American
Bible Society, 1995.
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