June 24 - Mark 7.1-13, 2 Samuel 17 and Daniel 11.2-20
The Teaching of the Ancestors
( 3 For the Pharisees, as well as the rest of the Jews, follow the teaching they received from their ancestors: they do not eat unless they wash their hands in the proper way; 4nor do they eat anything that comes from the market unless they wash it first. And they follow many other rules which they have received, such as the proper way to wash cups, pots, copper bowls, and beds. )
5So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law asked Jesus, "Why is it that your disciples do not follow the teaching handed down by our ancestors, but instead eat with ritually unclean hands?"
6Jesus answered them, "How right Isaiah was when he prophesied about you! You are hypocrites, just as he wrote:
'These people, says God, honor me with their words,
but their heart is really far away from me.
7It is no use for them to worship me,
because they teach human rules
as though they were my laws!'
8"You put aside God's command and obey human teachings."
9And Jesus continued, "You have a clever way of rejecting God's law in order to uphold your own teaching. 10For Moses commanded, 'Respect your father and your mother,' and, 'If you curse your father or your mother, you are to be put to death.' 11But you teach that if people have something they could use to help their father or mother, but say, 'This is Corban' (which means, it belongs to God), 12they are excused from helping their father or mother. 13In this way the teaching you pass on to others cancels out the word of God. And there are many other things like this that you do."
Hushai Misleads Absalom2 Samuel 17 Not long after that, Ahithophel said to Absalom, "Let me choose twelve thousand men, and tonight I will set out after David. 2I will attack him while he is tired and discouraged. He will be frightened, and all his men will run away. I will kill only the king 3and then bring back all his men to you, like a bride returning to her husband. You want to kill only one man; the rest of the people will be safe." 4This seemed like good advice to Absalom and all the Israelite leaders.
5Absalom said, "Now call Hushai, and let us hear what he has to say." 6When Hushai arrived, Absalom said to him, "This is the advice that Ahithophel has given us; shall we follow it? If not, you tell us what to do."
7Hushai answered, "The advice Ahithophel gave you this time is no good. 8You know that your father David and his men are hard fighters and that they are as fierce as a mother bear robbed of her cubs. Your father is an experienced soldier and does not stay with his men at night. 9Right now he is probably hiding in a cave or some other place. As soon as David attacks your men, whoever hears about it will say that your men have been defeated. 10Then even the bravest men, as fearless as lions, will be afraid because everyone in Israel knows that your father is a great soldier and that his men are hard fighters. 11My advice is that you bring all the Israelites together from one end of the country to the other, as many as the grains of sand on the seashore, and that you lead them personally in battle. 12We will find David wherever he is, and attack him before he knows what's happening. Neither he nor any of his men will survive. 13If he retreats into a city, our people will all bring ropes and just pull the city into the valley below. Not a single stone will be left there on top of the hill."
14Absalom and all the Israelites said, "Hushai's advice is better than Ahithophel's." The LORD had decided that Ahithophel's good advice would not be followed, so that disaster would come on Absalom.
David Is Warned and Escapes15Then Hushai told the priests Zadok and Abiathar what advice he had given to Absalom and the Israelite leaders and what advice Ahithophel had given. 16Hushai added, "Quick, now! Send a message to David not to spend the night at the river crossings in the wilderness, but to cross the Jordan at once, so that he and his men won't all be caught and killed."
17Abiathar's son Jonathan and Zadok's son Ahimaaz were waiting at the spring of Enrogel, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, because they did not dare be seen entering the city. A servant woman would regularly go and tell them what was happening, and then they would go and tell King David. 18But one day a boy happened to see them, and he told Absalom; so they hurried off to hide in the house of a certain man in Bahurim. He had a well near his house, and they got down in it. 19The man's wife took a covering, spread it over the opening of the well and scattered grain over it, so that no one would notice anything. 20Absalom's officials came to the house and asked the woman, "Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?"
"They crossed the river," she answered.
The men looked for them but could not find them, and so they returned to Jerusalem. 21After they left, Ahimaaz and Jonathan came up out of the well and went and reported to King David. They told him what Ahithophel had planned against him and said, "Hurry up and cross the river." 22So David and his men started crossing the Jordan, and by daybreak they had all gone across.
23When Ahithophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and went back to his hometown. After putting his affairs in order, he hanged himself. He was buried in the family grave.
24David had reached the town of Mahanaim by the time Absalom and the Israelites had crossed the Jordan. ( 25Absalom had put Amasa in command of the army in the place of Joab. Amasa was the son of Jether the Ishmaelite; his mother was Abigail, the daughter of Nahash and the sister of Joab's mother Zeruiah.) 26Absalom and his men camped in the land of Gilead.
27When David arrived at Mahanaim, he was met by Shobi son of Nahash, from the city of Rabbah in Ammon, and by Machir son of Ammiel, from Lodebar, and by Barzillai, from Rogelim in Gilead. 28-29They brought bowls, clay pots, and bedding, and also food for David and his men: wheat, barley, meal, roasted grain, beans, peas, honey, cheese, cream, and some sheep. They knew that David and his men would get hungry, thirsty, and tired in the wilderness.
The Kingdoms of Egypt and Syria>Daniel 11 The angel said, "Three more kings will rule over Persia, followed by a fourth, who will be richer than all the others. At the height of his power and wealth he will challenge the kingdom of Greece.
3"Then a heroic king will appear. He will rule over a huge empire and do whatever he wants. 4But at the height of his power his empire will break up and be divided into four parts. Kings not descended from him will rule in his place, but they will not have the power that he had.
5"The king of Egypt will be strong. One of his generals, however, will be even stronger and rule a greater kingdom. 6After a number of years the king of Egypt will make an alliance with the king of Syria and give him his daughter in marriage. But the alliance will not last, and she, her husband, her child, and the servants who went with her will all be killed. 7Soon afterward one of her relatives will become king. He will attack the army of the king of Syria, enter their fortress, and defeat them. 8He will carry back to Egypt the images of their gods and the articles of gold and silver dedicated to those gods. After several years of peace 9the king of Syria will invade Egypt, but he will be forced to retreat.
10"The sons of the king of Syria will prepare for war and gather a large army. One of them will sweep on like a flood and attack an enemy fortress. 11In his anger the king of Egypt will go to war against the king of Syria and capture his huge army. 12He will be proud of his victory and of the many soldiers he has killed, but he will not continue to be victorious.
13"The king of Syria will go back and gather a larger army than he had before. When the proper time comes, he will return with a large, well-equipped army. 14Then many people will rebel against the king of Egypt. And some violent people from your nation, Daniel, will rebel because of a vision they have seen, but they will be defeated. 15So the king of Syria will lay siege to a fortified city and capture it. The soldiers of Egypt will not continue to fight; even the best of them will not have enough strength. 16The Syrian invader will do with them as he pleases, without opposition. He will stand in the Promised Land and have it completely in his power.
17"The king of Syria will plan an expedition, using his whole army. Then, in order to destroy his enemy's kingdom, he will make an alliance with him and offer him his daughter in marriage; but his plan will not succeed. 18After that he will attack the nations by the sea and conquer many of them. But a foreign leader will defeat him and put an end to his arrogance; indeed he will turn the arrogance of Syria's king back on him. 19The king will return to the fortresses of his own land, but he will be defeated, and that will be the end of him.
20"He will be followed by another king, who will send an officer to oppress the people with taxes in order to increase the wealth of his kingdom. In a short time that king will be killed, but not publicly and not in battle."
This reading is from The Holy
Bible, Today's English Version, Second Edition copyright © American
Bible Society, 1992;
Old Testament copyright © American Bible Society, 1976, 1992; New Testament © American Bible Society, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992.
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