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18 June 2017 Bible Reading

Jezebel was the daughter of a king of Tyre. Baal was worshiped in Tyre and Jezebel brought this worship to the world of king Ahab. In today’s reading in Acts, king Herod continues a relationship with Tyre and Sidon.

1 Kings 19:1-21
19 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I don’t make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time!”
3 When he saw that, he arose, and ran for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. 4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree. Then he requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is enough. Now, O Yahweh, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.”
5 He lay down and slept under a juniper tree; and behold, an angel touched him, and said to him, “Arise and eat!”
6 He looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on the coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. 7 Yahweh’s angel came again the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.”
8 He arose, and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, God’s Mountain. 9 He came to a cave there, and camped there; and behold, Yahweh’s word came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
10 He said, “I have been very jealous for Yahweh, the God of Armies; for the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
11 He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before Yahweh.”
Behold, Yahweh passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before Yahweh; but Yahweh was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake; but Yahweh was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire passed; but Yahweh was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a still small voice. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle, went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. Behold, a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
14 He said, “I have been very jealous for Yahweh, the God of Armies; for the children of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.”
15 Yahweh said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 Anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi to be king over Israel; and anoint Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah to be prophet in your place. 17 He who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill; and he who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. 18 Yet I reserved seven thousand in Israel, all the knees of which have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth which has not kissed him.”
19 So he departed from there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. Elijah went over to him, and put his mantle on him. 20 Elisha left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me please kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.”
He said to him, “Go back again; for what have I done to you?”
21 He returned from following him, and took the yoke of oxen, and killed them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave to the people, and they ate. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and served him.

Acts 12:1-23
12 1 Now about that time, King Herod stretched out his hands to oppress some of the assembly. 2 He killed James, the brother of John, with the sword. 3 When he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This was during the days of unleavened bread. 4 When he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of four soldiers each to guard him, intending to bring him out to the people after the Passover. 5 Peter therefore was kept in the prison, but constant prayer was made by the assembly to God for him. 6 The same night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains. Guards in front of the door kept the prison.
7 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side, and woke him up, saying, “Stand up quickly!” His chains fell off from his hands. 8 The angel said to him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” He did so. He said to him, “Put on your cloak, and follow me.” 9 And he went out and followed him. He didn’t know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he saw a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city, which opened to them by itself. They went out, and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.
11 When Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I truly know that the Lord has sent out his angel and delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from everything the Jewish people were expecting.” 12 Thinking about that, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John who was called Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. 13 When Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a maid named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she didn’t open the gate for joy, but ran in, and reported that Peter was standing in front of the gate.
15 They said to her, “You are crazy!” But she insisted that it was so. They said, “It is his angel.” 16 But Peter continued knocking. When they had opened, they saw him, and were amazed. 17 But he, beckoning to them with his hand to be silent, declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. He said, “Tell these things to James, and to the brothers.” Then he departed, and went to another place.
18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers about what had become of Peter. 19 When Herod had sought for him, and didn’t find him, he examined the guards, and commanded that they should be put to death. He went down from Judea to Caesarea, and stayed there. 20 Now Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. They came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus, the king’s personal aide, their friend, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the king’s country for food. 21 On an appointed day, Herod dressed himself in royal clothing, sat on the throne, and gave a speech to them. 22 The people shouted, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!” 23 Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him, because he didn’t give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died.

Psalm 136:1-26
136 Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good;
for his loving kindness endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods;
for his loving kindness endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords;
for his loving kindness endures forever:
4 To him who alone does great wonders;
for his loving kindness endures forever:
5 To him who by understanding made the heavens;
for his loving kindness endures forever:
6 To him who spread out the earth above the waters;
for his loving kindness endures forever:
7 To him who made the great lights;
for his loving kindness endures forever:
8 The sun to rule by day;
for his loving kindness endures forever;
9 The moon and stars to rule by night;
for his loving kindness endures forever:
10 To him who struck down the Egyptian firstborn;
for his loving kindness endures forever;
11 And brought out Israel from among them;
for his loving kindness endures forever;
12 With a strong hand, and with an outstretched arm;
for his loving kindness endures forever:
13 To him who divided the Red Sea apart;
for his loving kindness endures forever;
14 And made Israel to pass through the middle of it;
for his loving kindness endures forever;
15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea;
for his loving kindness endures forever:
16 To him who led his people through the wilderness;
for his loving kindness endures forever:
17 To him who struck great kings;
for his loving kindness endures forever;
18 And killed mighty kings;
for his loving kindness endures forever:
19 Sihon king of the Amorites;
for his loving kindness endures forever;
20 Og king of Bashan;
for his loving kindness endures forever;
21 And gave their land as an inheritance;
for his loving kindness endures forever;
22 Even a heritage to Israel his servant;
for his loving kindness endures forever:
23 Who remembered us in our low estate;
for his loving kindness endures forever;
24 And has delivered us from our adversaries;
for his loving kindness endures forever:
25 Who gives food to every creature;
for his loving kindness endures forever.
26 Oh give thanks to the God of heaven;
for his loving kindness endures forever.

Proverbs 17:14-15
14 The beginning of strife is like breaching a dam,
therefore stop contention before quarreling breaks out.
15 He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous,
both of them alike are an abomination to Yahweh.

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