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Bible 2015: 31 May Daily Bible Reading

Context and Comment:
Crucifixion was developed as a terror weapon to control populations through fear. Victims were left on display after death as warnings to others who might disobey. Crucifixion was designed as a death that was particularly slow, painful, gruesome, humiliating, and public, using whatever means were most expedient for that goal. Our English word ‘excruciating’ is adapted from the Latin for ‘out of crucifying’.

2 Samuel 17:1-20
17 Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me now choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David tonight. 2 I will come on him while he is weary and exhausted, and will make him afraid. All the people who are with him will flee. I will strike the king only, 3 and I will bring back all the people to you. The man whom you seek is as if all returned. All the people shall be in peace.”
4 The saying pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel. 5 Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he says.”
6 When Hushai had come to Absalom, Absalom spoke to him, saying, “Ahithophel has spoken like this. Shall we do what he says? If not, speak up.”
7 Hushai said to Absalom, “The counsel that Ahithophel has given this time is not good.” 8 Hushai said moreover, “You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men, and they are fierce in their minds, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Your father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people. 9 Behold, he is now hidden in some pit, or in some other place. It will happen, when some of them have fallen at the first, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There is a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom!’ 10 Even he who is valiant, whose heart is as the heart of a lion, will utterly melt; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and those who are with him are valiant men. 11 But I counsel that all Israel be gathered together to you, from Dan even to Beersheba, as the sand that is by the sea for multitude; and that you go to battle in your own person. 12 So shall we come on him in some place where he shall be found, and we will light on him as the dew falls on the ground; and of him and of all the men who are with him we will not leave so much as one. 13 Moreover, if he has gone into a city, then shall all Israel bring ropes to that city, and we will draw it into the river, until there isn’t one small stone found there.”
14 Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For Yahweh had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that Yahweh might bring evil on Absalom. 15 Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the elders of Israel that way; and I have counseled this way. 16 Now therefore send quickly, and tell David, saying, ‘Don’t lodge tonight at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over; lest the king be swallowed up, and all the people who are with him.’”
17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying by En Rogel; and a female servant used to go and tell them; and they went and told king David. For they might not be seen to come into the city. 18 But a boy saw them, and told Absalom. Then they both went away quickly, and came to the house of a man in Bahurim, who had a well in his court; and they went down there. 19 The woman took and spread the covering over the well’s mouth, and spread out bruised grain on it; and nothing was known. 20 Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house; and they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?”
The woman said to them, “They have gone over the brook of water.”
When they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

John 19:23-42
23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also the coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 24 Then they said to one another, “Let’s not tear it, but cast lots for it to decide whose it will be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled, which says,
“They parted my garments among them.
For my cloak they cast lots.”
Therefore the soldiers did these things. 25 But there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 Therefore when Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing there, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” From that hour, the disciple took her to his own home.
28 After this, Jesus, seeing that all things were now finished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I am thirsty.” 29 Now a vessel full of vinegar was set there; so they put a sponge full of the vinegar on hyssop, and held it at his mouth. 30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, “It is finished.” He bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.
31 Therefore the Jews, because it was the Preparation Day, so that the bodies wouldn’t remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a special one), asked of Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Therefore the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was crucified with him; 33 but when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was already dead, they didn’t break his legs. 34 However one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 He who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, that you may believe. 36 For these things happened, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “A bone of him will not be broken.” 37 Again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they pierced.”
38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked of Pilate that he might take away Jesus’ body. Pilate gave him permission. He came therefore and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred Roman pounds. 40 So they took Jesus’ body, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden. In the garden was a new tomb in which no man had ever yet been laid. 42 Then because of the Jews’ Preparation Day (for the tomb was near at hand) they laid Jesus there.

Psalm 119:129-152
PEY
129 Your testimonies are wonderful,
therefore my soul keeps them.
130 The entrance of your words gives light.
It gives understanding to the simple.
131 I opened my mouth wide and panted,
for I longed for your commandments.
132 Turn to me, and have mercy on me,
as you always do to those who love your name.
133 Establish my footsteps in your word.
Don’t let any iniquity have dominion over me.
134 Redeem me from the oppression of man,
so I will observe your precepts.
135 Make your face shine on your servant.
Teach me your statutes.
136 Streams of tears run down my eyes,
because they don’t observe your law.
TZADI
137 You are righteous, Yahweh.
Your judgments are upright.
138 You have commanded your statutes in righteousness.
They are fully trustworthy.
139 My zeal wears me out,
because my enemies ignore your words.
140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested,
and your servant loves them.
141 I am small and despised.
I don’t forget your precepts.
142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness.
Your law is truth.
143 Trouble and anguish have taken hold of me.
Your commandments are my delight.
144 Your testimonies are righteous forever.
Give me understanding, that I may live.
KUF
145 I have called with my whole heart.
Answer me, Yahweh!
I will keep your statutes.
146 I have called to you. Save me!
I will obey your statutes.
147 I rise before dawn and cry for help.
I put my hope in your words.
148 My eyes stay open through the night watches,
that I might meditate on your word.
149 Hear my voice according to your loving kindness.
Revive me, Yahweh, according to your ordinances.
150 They draw near who follow after wickedness.
They are far from your law.
151 You are near, Yahweh.
All your commandments are truth.
152 Of old I have known from your testimonies,
that you have founded them forever.

Proverbs 16:12-13
12 It is an abomination for kings to do wrong,
for the throne is established by righteousness.
13 Righteous lips are the delight of kings.
They value one who speaks the truth.

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