30 April 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s Bible reading moves us into the Gospel of John – congratulations on keeping up!
11 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, and he was the son of a prostitute. Gilead became the father of Jephthah. 2 Gilead’s wife bore him sons. When his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out, and said to him, “You will not inherit in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.” 3 Then Jephthah fled from his brothers, and lived in the land of Tob. Outlaws joined up with Jephthah, and they went out with him.
4 After a while, the children of Ammon made war against Israel. 5 When the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah out of the land of Tob. 6 They said to Jephthah, “Come and be our chief, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.”
7 Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “Didn’t you hate me, and drive me out of my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?”
8 The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “Therefore we have turned again to you now, that you may go with us, and fight with the children of Ammon. You will be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.”
9 Jephthah said to the elders of Gilead, “If you bring me home again to fight with the children of Ammon, and Yahweh delivers them before me, will I be your head?”
10 The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “Yahweh will be witness between us. Surely we will do what you say.”
11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and chief over them. Jephthah spoke all his words before Yahweh in Mizpah.
12 Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the children of Ammon, saying, “What have you to do with me, that you have come to me to fight against my land?”
13 The king of the children of Ammon answered to the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel took away my land, when he came up out of Egypt, from the Arnon even to the Jabbok, and to the Jordan. Now therefore restore that territory again peaceably.”
14 Jephthah sent messengers again to the king of the children of Ammon; 15 and he said to him, “Thus says Jephthah: Israel didn’t take away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon, 16 but when they came up from Egypt, and Israel went through the wilderness to the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh; 17 then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, ‘Please let me pass through your land;’ but the king of Edom didn’t listen. In the same way, he sent to the king of Moab; but he would not: and Israel stayed in Kadesh. 18 Then they went through the wilderness, and went around the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and they encamped on the other side of the Arnon; but they didn’t come within the border of Moab, for the Arnon was the border of Moab. 19 Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said to him, ‘Please let us pass through your land to my place.’ 20 But Sihon didn’t trust Israel to pass through his border; but Sihon gathered all his people together, and encamped in Jahaz, and fought against Israel. 21 Yahweh, the God of Israel, delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they struck them. So Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 22 They possessed all the border of the Amorites, from the Arnon even to the Jabbok, and from the wilderness even to the Jordan. 23 So now Yahweh, the God of Israel, has dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and should you possess them? 24 Won’t you possess that which Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whoever Yahweh our God has dispossessed from before us, them will we possess. 25 Now are you anything better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them? 26 While Israel lived in Heshbon and its towns, and in Aroer and its towns, and in all the cities that are along by the side of the Arnon, three hundred years; why didn’t you recover them within that time? 27 I therefore have not sinned against you, but you do me wrong to war against me. May Yahweh the Judge be judge today between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.”
28 However the king of the children of Ammon didn’t listen to the words of Jephthah which he sent him. 29 Then Yahweh’s Spirit came on Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he passed over to the children of Ammon.
30 Jephthah vowed a vow to Yahweh, and said, “If you will indeed deliver the children of Ammon into my hand, 31 then it shall be, that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, it shall be Yahweh’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”
32 So Jephthah passed over to the children of Ammon to fight against them; and Yahweh delivered them into his hand. 33 He struck them from Aroer until you come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and to Abelcheramim, with a very great slaughter. So the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
34 Jephthah came to Mizpah to his house; and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances. She was his only child. Besides her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes, and said, “Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you are one of those who trouble me; for I have opened my mouth to Yahweh, and I can’t go back.”
36 She said to him, “My father, you have opened your mouth to Yahweh; do to me according to that which has proceeded out of your mouth, because Yahweh has taken vengeance for you on your enemies, even on the children of Ammon.” 37 She said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me. Leave me alone two months, that I may depart and go down on the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my companions.”
38 He said, “Go.” He sent her away for two months: and she departed, she and her companions, and mourned her virginity on the mountains. 39 At the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed. She was a virgin. It was a custom in Israel 40 that the daughters of Israel went yearly to celebrate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.
12 The men of Ephraim were gathered together, and passed northward; and they said to Jephthah, “Why did you pass over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didn’t call us to go with you? We will burn your house around you with fire!”
2 Jephthah said to them, “I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, you didn’t save me out of their hand. 3 When I saw that you didn’t save me, I put my life in my hand, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and Yahweh delivered them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me today, to fight against me?”
4 Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim. The men of Gilead struck Ephraim, because they said, “You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the middle of Ephraim, and in the middle of Manasseh.” 5 The Gileadites took the fords of the Jordan against the Ephraimites. When the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me go over,” the men of Gilead said to him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No”; 6 then they said to him, “Now say ‘Shibboleth;’” and he said “Sibboleth”; for he couldn’t manage to pronounce it right: then they seized him, and killed him at the fords of the Jordan. At that time, forty-two thousand of Ephraim fell.
7 Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died, and was buried in the cities of Gilead.
8 After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 9 He had thirty sons; and thirty daughters he sent outside his clan, and thirty daughters he brought in from outside his clan for his sons. He judged Israel seven years. 10 Ibzan died, and was buried at Bethlehem.
11 After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years. 12 Elon the Zebulunite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.
13 After him Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. 14 He had forty sons and thirty sons’ sons, who rode on seventy donkey colts. He judged Israel eight years. 15 Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him. Without him was not anything made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn’t overcome it. 6 There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came as a witness, that he might testify about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but was sent that he might testify about the light. 9 The true light that enlightens everyone was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, and the world didn’t recognize him. 11 He came to his own, and those who were his own didn’t receive him. 12 But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name: 13 who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John testified about him. He cried out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me, for he was before me.’” 16 From his fullness we all received grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The one and only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has declared him.
19 This is John’s testimony, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?”
20 He declared, and didn’t deny, but he declared, “I am not the Christ.”
21 They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
22 They said therefore to him, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”
24 The ones who had been sent were from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”
26 John answered them, “I baptize in water, but among you stands one whom you don’t know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, who is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I’m not worthy to loosen.” 28 These things were done in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
A Psalm by David.
101 I will sing of loving kindness and justice.
To you, Yahweh, I will sing praises.
2 I will be careful to live a blameless life.
When will you come to me?
I will walk within my house with a blameless heart.
3 I will set no vile thing before my eyes.
I hate the deeds of faithless men.
They will not cling to me.
4 A perverse heart will be far from me.
I will have nothing to do with evil.
5 I will silence whoever secretly slanders his neighbor.
I won’t tolerate one who is haughty and conceited.
6 My eyes will be on the faithful of the land,
that they may dwell with me.
He who walks in a perfect way,
he will serve me.
7 He who practices deceit won’t dwell within my house.
He who speaks falsehood won’t be established before my eyes.
8 Morning by morning, I will destroy all the wicked of the land;
to cut off all the workers of iniquity from Yahweh’s city.
13 Even in laughter the heart may be sorrowful,
and mirth may end in heaviness.
14 The unfaithful will be repaid for his own ways;
likewise a good man will be rewarded for his ways.