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21 May 2017 Bible Reading

It today’s reading from Proverbs 15, we see a reference to Sheol. It simply means “the place of the dead” or “the place of departed souls.” The New Testament Greek equivalent to Sheol is Hades, which is also a general reference to “the place of the dead.” The Greek word gehenna is used in the New Testament for “Hell” and is derived from the Hebrew word hinnom.

1 Samuel 29-31:13
29 Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek; and the Israelites encamped by the spring which is in Jezreel. 2 The lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds and by thousands; and David and his men passed on in the rear with Achish.
3 Then the princes of the Philistines said, “What about these Hebrews?”
Achish said to the princes of the Philistines, “Isn’t this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or rather these years, and I have found no fault in him since he fell away to today?”
4 But the princes of the Philistines were angry with him; and the princes of the Philistines said to him, “Make the man return, that he may go back to his place where you have appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he become an adversary to us. For with what should this fellow reconcile himself to his lord? Should it not be with the heads of these men? 5 Isn’t this David, of whom people sang to one another in dances, saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands?’”
6 Then Achish called David, and said to him, “As Yahweh lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army is good in my sight; for I have not found evil in you since the day of your coming to me to this day. Nevertheless, the lords don’t favor you. 7 Therefore now return, and go in peace, that you not displease the lords of the Philistines.”
8 David said to Achish, “But what have I done? What have you found in your servant so long as I have been before you to this day, that I may not go and fight against the enemies of my lord the king?”
9 Achish answered David, “I know that you are good in my sight, as an angel of God. Notwithstanding the princes of the Philistines have said, ‘He shall not go up with us to the battle.’ 10 Therefore now rise up early in the morning with the servants of your lord who have come with you; and as soon as you are up early in the morning, and have light, depart.”
11 So David rose up early, he and his men, to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines, and the Philistines went up to Jezreel.
30 When David and his men had come to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid on the South, and on Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag, and burned it with fire, 2 and had taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They didn’t kill any, but carried them off, and went their way. 3 When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, their sons, and their daughters were taken captive. 4 Then David and the people who were with him lifted up their voice and wept until they had no more power to weep. 5 David’s two wives were taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6 David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the souls of all the people were grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters; but David strengthened himself in Yahweh his God. 7 David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring the ephod here to me.”
Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 David inquired of Yahweh, saying, “If I pursue after this troop, will I overtake them?”
He answered him, “Pursue; for you will surely overtake them, and will without fail recover all.”
9 So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men; for two hundred stayed behind, who were so faint that they couldn’t go over the brook Besor. 11 They found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he ate; and they gave him water to drink. 12 They gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins. When he had eaten, his spirit came again to him; for he had eaten no bread, and drank no water for three days and three nights. 13 David asked him, “To whom do you belong? Where are you from?”
He said, “I am a young man of Egypt, servant to an Amalekite; and my master left me, because three days ago I got sick. 14 We made a raid on the South of the Cherethites, and on that which belongs to Judah, and on the South of Caleb; and we burned Ziklag with fire.”
15 David said to him, “Will you bring me down to this troop?”
He said, “Swear to me by God that you will not kill me and not deliver me up into the hands of my master, and I will bring you down to this troop.”
16 When he had brought him down, behold, they were spread around over all the ground, eating, drinking, and dancing, because of all the great plunder that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. 17 David struck them from the twilight even to the evening of the next day. Not a man of them escaped from there, except four hundred young men, who rode on camels and fled. 18 David recovered all that the Amalekites had taken; and David rescued his two wives. 19 There was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither plunder, nor anything that they had taken to them. David brought back all. 20 David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drove before those other livestock, and said, “This is David’s plunder.”
21 David came to the two hundred men, who were so faint that they could not follow David, whom also they had made to stay at the brook Besor; and they went out to meet David, and to meet the people who were with him. When David came near to the people, he greeted them. 22 Then all the wicked men and base fellows, of those who went with David, answered and said, “Because they didn’t go with us, we will not give them anything of the plunder that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, that he may lead them away, and depart.”
23 Then David said, “Do not do so, my brothers, with that which Yahweh has given to us, who has preserved us, and delivered the troop that came against us into our hand. 24 Who will listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays with the baggage. They shall share alike.” 25 It was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day. 26 When David came to Ziklag, he sent some of the plunder to the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, “Behold, a present for you from the plunder of Yahweh’s enemies.” 27 He sent it to those who were in Bethel, to those who were in Ramoth of the South, to those who were in Jattir, 28 to those who were in Aroer, to those who were in Siphmoth, to those who were in Eshtemoa, 29 to those who were in Racal, to those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, to those who were in the cities of the Kenites, 30 to those who were in Hormah, to those who were in Borashan, to those who were in Athach, 31 to those who were in Hebron, and to all the places where David himself and his men used to stay.
31 Now the Philistines fought against Israel; and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines overtook Saul and on his sons; and the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab, and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. 3 The battle went hard against Saul, and the archers overtook him; and he was greatly distressed by reason of the archers. 4 Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me through with it, lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me!” But his armor bearer would not; for he was terrified. Therefore Saul took his sword, and fell on it. 5 When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell on his sword, and died with him. 6 So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor bearer, and all his men, that same day together.
7 When the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were beyond the Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities and fled; and the Philistines came and lived in them. 8 On the next day, when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 They cut off his head, stripped off his armor, and sent into the land of the Philistines all around, to carry the news to the house of their idols, and to the people. 10 They put his armor in the house of the Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan. 11 When the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the valiant men arose, went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan; and they came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. 13 They took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

John 11:54-12:19
54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews, but departed from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim. He stayed there with his disciples.
55 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand. Many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought for Jesus and spoke one with another, as they stood in the temple, “What do you think—that he isn’t coming to the feast at all?” 57 Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had commanded that if anyone knew where he was, he should report it, that they might seize him.
12 Then six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, who had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 2 So they made him a supper there. Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with him. 3 Mary, therefore, took a pound of ointment of pure nard, very precious, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. 4 Then Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, one of his disciples, who would betray him, said, 5 “Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and given to the poor?” 6 Now he said this, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and having the money box, used to steal what was put into it. 7 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She has kept this for the day of my burial. 8 For you always have the poor with you, but you don’t always have me.”
9 A large crowd therefore of the Jews learned that he was there, and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests conspired to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.
12 On the next day a great multitude had come to the feast. When they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 they took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet him, and cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the King of Israel!”
14 Jesus, having found a young donkey, sat on it. As it is written, 15 “Don’t be afraid, daughter of Zion. Behold, your King comes, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” 16 His disciples didn’t understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about him, and that they had done these things to him. 17 The multitude therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, and raised him from the dead, was testifying about it. 18 For this cause also the multitude went and met him, because they heard that he had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “See how you accomplish nothing. Behold, the world has gone after him.”

Psalm 118:1-18
118 Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good,
for his loving kindness endures forever.
2 Let Israel now say
that his loving kindness endures forever.
3 Let the house of Aaron now say
that his loving kindness endures forever.
4 Now let those who fear Yahweh say
that his loving kindness endures forever.
5 Out of my distress, I called on Yah.
Yah answered me with freedom.
6 Yahweh is on my side. I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
7 Yahweh is on my side among those who help me.
Therefore I will look in triumph at those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in Yahweh,
than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in Yahweh,
than to put confidence in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me,
but in Yahweh’s name, I cut them off.
11 They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me.
In Yahweh’s name I indeed cut them off.
12 They surrounded me like bees.
They are quenched like the burning thorns.
In Yahweh’s name I cut them off.
13 You pushed me back hard, to make me fall,
but Yahweh helped me.
14 Yah is my strength and song.
He has become my salvation.
15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous.
“The right hand of Yahweh does valiantly.
16 The right hand of Yahweh is exalted!
The right hand of Yahweh does valiantly!”
17 I will not die, but live,
and declare Yah’s works.
18 Yah has punished me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.

Proverbs 15:24-26
24 The path of life leads upward for the wise,
to keep him from going downward to Sheol.
25 Yahweh will uproot the house of the proud,
but he will keep the widow’s borders intact.
26 Yahweh detests the thoughts of the wicked,
but the thoughts of the pure are pleasing.

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