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29 May 2017 Bible Reading

Joab played a pivotal role as the commander of David’s forces during Absalom’s rebellion. Absalom led a good part of Israel in rebellion against David, who was forced to flee with only his most trusted men. David could not bring himself to harm his son, and ordered that none of his men should kill Absalom during the battle. When a man reported that he killed Absalom when he had been found, alive, caught in a tree, Joab and his men killed him. Hearing of David’s grief over the reported death of Absalom, Joab confronted and admonished David. The king followed Joab’s advice to make a public appearance to encourage his troops.

2 Samuel 14-15:22
14 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king’s heart was toward Absalom. 2 Joab sent to Tekoa, and brought a wise woman from there, and said to her, “Please act like a mourner, and put on mourning clothing, please, and don’t anoint yourself with oil, but be as a woman who has mourned a long time for the dead. 3 Go in to the king, and speak like this to him.” So Joab put the words in her mouth.
4 When the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, showed respect, and said, “Help, O king!”
5 The king said to her, “What ails you?”
She answered, “Truly I am a widow, and my husband is dead. 6 Your servant had two sons, and they both fought together in the field, and there was no one to part them, but the one struck the other, and killed him. 7 Behold, the whole family has risen against your servant, and they say, ‘Deliver him who struck his brother, that we may kill him for the life of his brother whom he killed, and so destroy the heir also.’ Thus they would quench my coal which is left, and would leave to my husband neither name nor remainder on the surface of the earth.”
8 The king said to the woman, “Go to your house, and I will give a command concerning you.”
9 The woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My lord, O king, may the iniquity be on me, and on my father’s house; and may the king and his throne be guiltless.”
10 The king said, “Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he will not bother you any more.”
11 Then she said, “Please let the king remember Yahweh your God, that the avenger of blood destroy not any more, lest they destroy my son.”
He said, “As Yahweh lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the earth.”
12 Then the woman said, “Please let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.”
He said, “Say on.”
13 The woman said, “Why then have you devised such a thing against the people of God? For in speaking this word the king is as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring home again his banished one. 14 For we must die, and are like water split on the ground, which can’t be gathered up again; neither does God take away life, but devises means, that he who is banished not be an outcast from him. 15 Now therefore seeing that I have come to speak this word to my lord the king, it is because the people have made me afraid. Your servant said, ‘I will now speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his servant.’ 16 For the king will hear, to deliver his servant out of the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together out of the inheritance of God. 17 Then your servant said, ‘Please let the word of my lord the king bring rest; for as an angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and bad. May Yahweh, your God, be with you.’”
18 Then the king answered the woman, “Please don’t hide anything from me that I ask you.”
The woman said, “Let my lord the king now speak.”
19 The king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?”
The woman answered, “As your soul lives, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken; for your servant Joab urged me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your servant; 20 to change the face of the matter has your servant Joab done this thing. My lord is wise, according to the wisdom of an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.”
21 The king said to Joab, “Behold now, I have done this thing. Go therefore, and bring the young man Absalom back.”
22 Joab fell to the ground on his face, showed respect, and blessed the king. Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord, king, in that the king has performed the request of his servant.”
23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 The king said, “Let him return to his own house, but let him not see my face.” So Absalom returned to his own house, and didn’t see the king’s face. 25 Now in all Israel there was no one to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty. From the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no defect in him. 26 When he cut the hair of his head (now it was at every year’s end that he cut it; because it was heavy on him, therefore he cut it); he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels,[a] after the king’s weight. 27 Three sons were born to Absalom, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar. She was a woman with a beautiful face. 28 Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, and he didn’t see the king’s face. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. Then he sent again a second time, but he would not come. 30 Therefore he said to his servants, “Behold, Joab’s field is near mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.
31 Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom to his house, and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?”
32 Absalom answered Joab, “Behold, I sent to you, saying, ‘Come here, that I may send you to the king, to say, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there still. Now therefore let me see the king’s face, and if there is iniquity in me, let him kill me.”’”
33 So Joab came to the king, and told him; and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king; and the king kissed Absalom.
15 After this, Absalom prepared a chariot and horses for himself, and fifty men to run before him. 2 Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate. When any man had a suit which should come to the king for judgment, then Absalom called to him, and said, “What city are you from?”
He said, “Your servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.”
3 Absalom said to him, “Behold, your matters are good and right; but there is no man deputized by the king to hear you.” 4 Absalom said moreover, “Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man who has any suit or cause might come to me, and I would do him justice!” 5 It was so, that when any man came near to do him obeisance, he stretched out his hand, and took hold of him, and kissed him. 6 Absalom did this sort of thing to all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. 7 At the end of forty years, Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to Yahweh, in Hebron. 8 For your servant vowed a vow while I stayed at Geshur in Syria, saying, ‘If Yahweh shall indeed bring me again to Jerusalem, then I will serve Yahweh.’”
9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.”
So he arose, and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron!’”
11 Two hundred men went with Absalom out of Jerusalem, who were invited, and went in their simplicity; and they didn’t know anything. 12 Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. The conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom. 13 A messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.”
14 David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee; or else none of us will escape from Absalom. Hurry to depart, lest he overtake us quickly, and bring down evil on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”
15 The king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king chooses.”
16 The king went out, and all his household after him. The king left ten women, who were concubines, to keep the house. 17 The king went out, and all the people after him; and they stayed in Beth Merhak. 18 All his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who came after him from Gath, passed on before the king. 19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you also go with us? Return, and stay with the king; for you are a foreigner, and also an exile. Return to your own place. 20 Whereas you came but yesterday, should I today make you go up and down with us, since I go where I may? Return, and take back your brothers. Mercy and truth be with you.”
21 Ittai answered the king, and said, “As Yahweh lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in what place my lord the king is, whether for death or for life, your servant will be there also.”
22 David said to Ittai, “Go and pass over.” Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones who were with him.

John 18:1-24
18 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples over the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, into which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 Judas then, having taken a detachment of soldiers and officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. 4 Jesus therefore, knowing all the things that were happening to him, went out, and said to them, “Who are you looking for?”
5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Jesus said to them, “I am he.”
Judas also, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When therefore he said to them, “I am he,” they went backward, and fell to the ground.
7 Again therefore he asked them, “Who are you looking for?”
They said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If therefore you seek me, let these go their way,” 9 that the word might be fulfilled which he spoke, “Of those whom you have given me, I have lost none.”
10 Simon Peter therefore, having a sword, drew it, and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 Jesus therefore said to Peter, “Put the sword into its sheath. The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not surely drink it?”
12 So the detachment, the commanding officer, and the officers of the Jews, seized Jesus and bound him, 13 and led him to Annas first, for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should perish for the people. 15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, as did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and entered in with Jesus into the court of the high priest; 16 but Peter was standing at the door outside. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought in Peter. 17 Then the maid who kept the door said to Peter, “Are you also one of this man’s disciples?”
He said, “I am not.”
18 Now the servants and the officers were standing there, having made a fire of coals, for it was cold. They were warming themselves. Peter was with them, standing and warming himself. 19 The high priest therefore asked Jesus about his disciples, and about his teaching. 20 Jesus answered him, “I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues, and in the temple, where the Jews always meet. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them. Behold, these know the things which I said.”
22 When he had said this, one of the officers standing by slapped Jesus with his hand, saying, “Do you answer the high priest like that?”
23 Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken evil, testify of the evil; but if well, why do you beat me?”
24 Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas, the high priest.

Psalm 119:97-112
MEM
97 How I love your law!
It is my meditation all day.
98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
for your commandments are always with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged,
because I have kept your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil way,
that I might observe your word.
102 I have not turned aside from your ordinances,
for you have taught me.
103 How sweet are your promises to my taste,
more than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts, I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.
NUN
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet,
and a light for my path.
106 I have sworn, and have confirmed it,
that I will obey your righteous ordinances.
107 I am afflicted very much.
Revive me, Yahweh, according to your word.
108 Accept, I beg you, the willing offerings of my mouth.
Yahweh, teach me your ordinances.
109 My soul is continually in my hand,
yet I won’t forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,
yet I haven’t gone astray from your precepts.
111 I have taken your testimonies as a heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.
112 I have set my heart to perform your statutes forever,
even to the end.

Proverbs 16:8-9
8 Better is a little with righteousness,
than great revenues with injustice.
9 A man’s heart plans his course,
but Yahweh directs his steps.

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