Bible 2016: 29 April Daily Bible Reading
Context and Comment:
Sixty stadia is the approximate equivalent of 7.5 miles.
22 Abimelech was prince over Israel three years. 23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, 24 that the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and that their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers. 25 The men of Shechem set an ambush for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who came along that way by them, and Abimelech was told about it. 26 Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brothers, and went over to Shechem; and the men of Shechem put their trust in him. 27 They went out into the field, harvested their vineyards, trod the grapes, held festival, and went into the house of their god, and ate and drank, and cursed Abimelech. 28 Gaal the son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Isn’t he the son of Jerubbaal? Isn’t Zebul his officer? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem, but why should we serve him? 29 I wish that this people were under my hand! Then I would remove Abimelech.” He said to Abimelech, “Increase your army, and come out!”
30 When Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger burned. 31 He sent messengers to Abimelech craftily, saying, “Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brothers have come to Shechem; and behold, they incite the city against you. 32 Now therefore, go up by night, you and the people who are with you, and lie in wait in the field. 33 It shall be that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you shall rise early, and rush on the city. Behold, when he and the people who are with him come out against you, then may you do to them as you shall find occasion.”
34 Abimelech rose up, and all the people who were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies. 35 Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city. Abimelech rose up, and the people who were with him, from the ambush.
36 When Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, “Behold, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains.”
Zebul said to him, “You see the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.”
37 Gaal spoke again and said, “Behold, people are coming down by the middle of the land, and one company comes by the way of the oak of Meonenim.”
38 Then Zebul said to him, “Now where is your mouth, that you said, ‘Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him?’ Isn’t this the people that you have despised? Please go out now and fight with them.”
39 Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. 40 Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many fell wounded, even to the entrance of the gate. 41 Abimelech lived at Arumah; and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brothers, that they should not dwell in Shechem. 42 On the next day, the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech. 43 He took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field; and he looked, and behold, the people came out of the city. So, he rose up against them, and struck them. 44 Abimelech and the companies that were with him rushed forward, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city; and the two companies rushed on all who were in the field, and struck them. 45 Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and killed the people in it. He beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.
46 When all the men of the tower of Shechem heard of it, they entered into the stronghold of the house of Elberith. 47 Abimelech was told that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. 48 Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him; and Abimelech took an ax in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it up, and laid it on his shoulder. Then he said to the people who were with him, “What you have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done!” 49 All the people likewise each cut down his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them at the base of the stronghold, and set the stronghold on fire on them; so that all the people of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women. 50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. 51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and all the men and women of the city fled there, and shut themselves in, and went up to the roof of the tower. 52 Abimelech came to the tower, and fought against it, and came near to the door of the tower to burn it with fire. 53 A certain woman cast an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head, and broke his skull.
54 Then he called hastily to the young man his armor bearer, and said to him, “Draw your sword, and kill me, that men not say of me, ‘A woman killed him.’ His young man thrust him through, and he died.”
55 When the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they each departed to his place. 56 Thus God repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did to his father, in killing his seventy brothers; 57 and God repaid all the wickedness of the men of Shechem on their heads; and the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal came on them.
10 After Abimelech, Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, arose to save Israel. He lived in Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. 2 He judged Israel twenty-three years, and died, and was buried in Shamir.
3 After him Jair, the Gileadite arose, and he judged Israel twenty-two years. 4 He had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkey colts, and they had thirty cities, which are called Havvoth Jair to this day, which are in the land of Gilead. 5 Jair died, and was buried in Kamon.
6 The children of Israel again did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, and served the Baals, the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines. They abandoned Yahweh, and didn’t serve him. 7 Yahweh’s anger burned against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the children of Ammon. 8 They troubled and oppressed the children of Israel that year. For eighteen years, they oppressed all the children of Israel that were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. 9 The children of Ammon passed over the Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim, so that Israel was very distressed. 10 The children of Israel cried to Yahweh, saying, “We have sinned against you, even because we have forsaken our God, and have served the Baals.”
11 Yahweh said to the children of Israel, “Didn’t I save you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? 12 The Sidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, oppressed you; and you cried to me, and I saved you out of their hand. 13 Yet you have forsaken me, and served other gods. Therefore I will save you no more. 14 Go and cry to the gods which you have chosen. Let them save you in the time of your distress!”
15 The children of Israel said to Yahweh, “We have sinned! Do you to us whatever seems good to you; only deliver us, please, today.” 16 They put away the foreign gods from among them, and served Yahweh; and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.
17 Then the children of Ammon were gathered together and encamped in Gilead. The children of Israel assembled themselves together and encamped in Mizpah. 18 The people, the princes of Gilead, said to one another, “Who is the man who will begin to fight against the children of Ammon? He shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”
13 Behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was sixty stadia from Jerusalem. 14 They talked with each other about all of these things which had happened. 15 While they talked and questioned together, Jesus himself came near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 He said to them, “What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?”
18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things which have happened there in these days?”
19 He said to them, “What things?”
They said to him, “The things concerning Jesus, the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people; 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that it was he who would redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Also, certain women of our company amazed us, having arrived early at the tomb; 23 and when they didn’t find his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of us went to the tomb, and found it just like the women had said, but they didn’t see him.”
25 He said to them, “Foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Didn’t the Christ have to suffer these things and to enter into his glory?” 27 Beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he explained to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. 28 They came near to the village, where they were going, and he acted like he would go further.
29 They urged him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is almost evening, and the day is almost over.”
He went in to stay with them. 30 When he had sat down at the table with them, he took the bread and gave thanks. Breaking it, he gave to them. 31 Their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished out of their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us, while he spoke to us along the way, and while he opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 They rose up that very hour, returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 They related the things that happened along the way, and how he was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
36 As they said these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be to you.”
37 But they were terrified and filled with fear, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled? Why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is truly me. Touch me and see, for a spirit doesn’t have flesh and bones, as you see that I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While they still didn’t believe for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”
42 They gave him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. 43 He took them, and ate in front of them. 44 He said to them, “This is what I told you, while I was still with you, that all things which are written in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me must be fulfilled.”
45 Then he opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures. 46 He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 Behold, I send out the promise of my Father on you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.”
50 He led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he withdrew from them, and was carried up into heaven. 52 They worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
A Psalm of thanksgiving.
100 Shout for joy to Yahweh, all you lands!
2 Serve Yahweh with gladness.
Come before his presence with singing.
3 Know that Yahweh, he is God.
It is he who has made us, and we are his.
We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, and bless his name.
5 For Yahweh is good.
His loving kindness endures forever,
his faithfulness to all generations.
11 The house of the wicked will be overthrown,
but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12 There is a way which seems right to a man,
but in the end it leads to death.