Bible 2015: 13 April Daily Bible Reading
Context and Comment:
Joshua read all of God’s law to the Israelites after a successful battle. We all need reminders when things are going well.
16 So Joshua rose up early in the morning and brought Israel near by their tribes. The tribe of Judah was selected. 17 He brought near the family of Judah; and he selected the family of the Zerahites. He brought near the family of the Zerahites man by man, and Zabdi was selected. 18 He brought near his household man by man, and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was selected. 19 Joshua said to Achan, “My son, please give glory to Yahweh, the God of Israel, and make confession to him. Tell me now what you have done! Don’t hide it from me!”
20 Achan answered Joshua, and said, “I have truly sinned against Yahweh, the God of Israel, and this is what I have done. 21 When I saw among the plunder a beautiful Babylonian robe, two hundred shekels[a] of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, then I coveted them and took them. Behold, they are hidden in the ground in the middle of my tent, with the silver under it.”
22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent. Behold, it was hidden in his tent, with the silver under it. 23 They took them from the middle of the tent, and brought them to Joshua and to all the children of Israel. They laid them down before Yahweh. 24 Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his cattle, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had; and they brought them up to the valley of Achor. 25 Joshua said, “Why have you troubled us? Yahweh will trouble you today.” All Israel stoned him with stones, and they burned them with fire and stoned them with stones. 26 They raised over him a great heap of stones that remains to this day. Yahweh turned from the fierceness of his anger. Therefore the name of that place was called “The valley of Achor” to this day.
8 Yahweh said to Joshua, “Don’t be afraid, and don’t be dismayed. Take all the warriors with you, and arise, go up to Ai. Behold, I have given into your hand the king of Ai, with his people, his city, and his land. 2 You shall do to Ai and her king as you did to Jericho and her king, except you shall take its goods and its livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush for the city behind it.”
3 So Joshua arose, with all the warriors, to go up to Ai. Joshua chose thirty thousand men, the mighty men of valor, and sent them out by night. 4 He commanded them, saying, “Behold, you shall lie in ambush against the city, behind the city. Don’t go very far from the city, but all of you be ready. 5 I and all the people who are with me will approach to the city. It shall happen, when they come out against us, as at the first, that we will flee before them. 6 They will come out after us, until we have drawn them away from the city; for they will say, ‘They flee before us, like the first time.’ So we will flee before them, 7 and you shall rise up from the ambush, and take possession of the city; for Yahweh your God will deliver it into your hand. 8 It shall be, when you have seized the city, that you shall set the city on fire. You shall do this according to Yahweh’s word. Behold, I have commanded you.”
9 Joshua sent them out; and they went to set up the ambush, and stayed between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai; but Joshua stayed among the people that night. 10 Joshua rose up early in the morning, mustered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel, before the people to Ai. 11 All the people, even the men of war who were with him, went up, and came near, and came before the city, and encamped on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between him and Ai. 12 He took about five thousand men, and set them in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. 13 So they set the people, even all the army who was on the north of the city, and their ambush on the west of the city; and Joshua went that night into the middle of the valley. 14 When the king of Ai saw it, they hurried and rose up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to battle, he and all his people, at the time appointed, before the Arabah; but he didn’t know that there was an ambush against him behind the city. 15 Joshua and all Israel made as if they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 16 All the people who were in the city were called together to pursue after them. They pursued Joshua, and were drawn away from the city. 17 There was not a man left in Ai or Beth El who didn’t go out after Israel. They left the city open, and pursued Israel.
18 Yahweh said to Joshua, “Stretch out the javelin that is in your hand toward Ai, for I will give it into your hand.”
Joshua stretched out the javelin that was in his hand toward the city. 19 The ambush arose quickly out of their place, and they ran as soon as he had stretched out his hand, and entered into the city, and took it. They hurried and set the city on fire. 20 When the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw, and behold, the smoke of the city ascended up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way. The people who fled to the wilderness turned back on the pursuers. 21 When Joshua and all Israel saw that the ambush had taken the city, and that the smoke of the city ascended, then they turned again, and killed the men of Ai. 22 The others came out of the city against them, so they were in the middle of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side. They struck them, so that they let none of them remain or escape. 23 They captured the king of Ai alive, and brought him to Joshua.
24 When Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness in which they pursued them, and they had all fallen by the edge of the sword, until they were consumed, all Israel returned to Ai, and struck it with the edge of the sword. 25 All that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai. 26 For Joshua didn’t draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the javelin, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 27 Israel took for themselves only the livestock and the goods of that city , according to Yahweh’s word which he commanded Joshua. 28 So Joshua burnt Ai, and made it a heap forever, even a desolation, to this day. 29 He hanged the king of Ai on a tree until the evening, and at sundown Joshua commanded, and they took his body down from the tree, and threw it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raised a great heap of stones on it that remains to this day.
30 Then Joshua built an altar to Yahweh, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal, 31 as Moses the servant of Yahweh commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of uncut stones, on which no one had lifted up any iron. They offered burnt offerings on it to Yahweh and sacrificed peace offerings. 32 He wrote there on the stones a copy of Moses’ law, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel. 33 All Israel, their elders and officers, and their judges, stood on both sides of the ark before the priests the Levites, who carried the ark of Yahweh’s covenant, the foreigner as well as the native; half of them in front of Mount Gerizim, and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of Yahweh had commanded at the first, that they should bless the people of Israel. 34 Afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessing and the curse, according to all that is written in the book of the law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua didn’t read before all the assembly of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the foreigners who were among them.
9 When all the kings who were beyond the Jordan, in the hill country, and in the lowland, and on all the shore of the great sea in front of Lebanon, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard of it 2 they gathered themselves together to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord.
16 He also said to his disciples, “There was a certain rich man who had a manager. An accusation was made to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 He called him, and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’
3 “The manager said within himself, ‘What will I do, seeing that my lord is taking away the management position from me? I don’t have strength to dig. I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I will do, so that when I am removed from management, they may receive me into their houses.’ 5 Calling each one of his lord’s debtors to him, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe to my lord?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred batos of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘How much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred cors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’
8 “His lord commended the dishonest manager because he had done wisely, for the children of this world are, in their own generation, wiser than the children of the light. 9 I tell you, make for yourselves friends by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when you fail, they may receive you into the eternal tents. 10 He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. 11 If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 If you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You aren’t able to serve God and Mammon.”
14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they scoffed at him. 15 He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God. 16 The law and the prophets were until John. From that time the Good News of God’s Kingdom is preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one tiny stroke of a pen in the law to fall. 18 Everyone who divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery. He who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.
A Psalm by Asaph.
82 God presides in the great assembly.
He judges among the gods.
2 “How long will you judge unjustly,
and show partiality to the wicked?”
3 “Defend the weak, the poor, and the fatherless.
Maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.
4 Rescue the weak and needy.
Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.”
5 They don’t know, neither do they understand.
They walk back and forth in darkness.
All the foundations of the earth are shaken.
6 I said, “You are gods,
all of you are sons of the Most High.
7 Nevertheless you shall die like men,
and fall like one of the rulers.”
8 Arise, God, judge the earth,
for you inherit all of the nations.
2 By the fruit of his lips, a man enjoys good things;
but the unfaithful crave violence.
3 He who guards his mouth guards his soul.
One who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.