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25 June 2017 Bible Reading

Roman citizens had the right to trial and the right of appeal. They could not be tortured or beaten. Paul’s assertions due to his citizenship were a serious matter for the magistrates who had imprisoned him.

2 Kings 8-9:13
8 Now Elisha had spoken to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Arise, and go, you and your household, and stay for a while wherever you can; for Yahweh has called for a famine. It will also come on the land for seven years.”
2 The woman arose, and did according to the man of God’s word. She went with her household, and lived in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 3 At the end of seven years, the woman returned from the land of the Philistines. Then she went out to beg the king for her house and for her land. 4 Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, “Please tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5 As he was telling the king how he had restored to life him who was dead, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, begged the king for her house and for her land. Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life.”
6 When the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed to her a certain officer, saying, “Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now.”
7 Elisha came to Damascus; and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick. He was told, “The man of God has come here.”
8 The king said to Hazael, “Take a present in your hand, and go, meet the man of God, and inquire of Yahweh by him, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’”
9 So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, even of every good thing of Damascus, forty camels’ burden, and came and stood before him, and said, “Your son Benhadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’”
10 Elisha said to him, “Go, tell him, ‘You will surely recover;’ however Yahweh has shown me that he will surely die.” 11 He settled his gaze steadfastly on him, until he was ashamed. Then the man of God wept.
12 Hazael said, “Why do you weep, my lord?”
He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the children of Israel. You will set their strongholds on fire, and you will kill their young men with the sword, and will dash their little ones in pieces, and rip up their pregnant women.”
13 Hazael said, “But what is your servant, who is but a dog, that he could do this great thing?”
Elisha answered, “Yahweh has shown me that you will be king over Syria.”
14 Then he departed from Elisha, and came to his master, who said to him, “What did Elisha say to you?”
He answered, “He told me that you would surely recover.”
15 On the next day, he took a thick cloth, dipped it in water, and spread it on his face, so that he died. Then Hazael reigned in his place.
16 In the fifth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Jehoshaphat being king of Judah then, Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah began to reign. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign. He reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 He walked in the way of the kings of Israel, as did Ahab’s house; for he married Ahab’s daughter. He did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight. 19 However Yahweh would not destroy Judah, for David his servant’s sake, as he promised him to give to him a lamp for his children always.
20 In his days Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah, and made a king over themselves. 21 Then Joram passed over to Zair, and all his chariots with him: and he rose up by night, and struck the Edomites who surrounded him, and the captains of the chariots; and the people fled to their tents. 22 So Edom revolted from under the hand of Judah to this day. Then Libnah revolted at the same time. 23 The rest of the acts of Joram, and all that he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 24 Joram slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in David’s city; and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place. 25 In the twelfth year of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah began to reign. 26 Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign; and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah the daughter of Omri king of Israel. 27 He walked in the way of Ahab’s house, and did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, as did Ahab’s house; for he was the son-in-law of Ahab’s house. 28 He went with Joram the son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Syria at Ramoth Gilead, and the Syrians wounded Joram. 29 King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel from the wounds which the Syrians had given him at Ramah, when he fought against Hazael king of Syria. Ahaziah the son of Jehoram king of Judah went down to see Joram the son of Ahab in Jezreel, because he was sick.
9 Elisha the prophet called one of the sons of the prophets, and said to him, “Put your belt on your waist, take this vial of oil in your hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 When you come there, find Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him rise up from among his brothers, and take him to an inner room. 3 Then take the vial of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, ‘Yahweh says, “I have anointed you king over Israel.”’ Then open the door, flee, and don’t wait.”
4 So the young man, even the young man, the prophet, went to Ramoth Gilead. 5 When he came, behold, the captains of the army were sitting. Then he said, “I have a message for you, captain.”
Jehu said, “To which of us all?”
He said, “To you, O captain.” 6 He arose, and went into the house. Then he poured the oil on his head, and said to him, “Yahweh, the God of Israel, says, ‘I have anointed you king over the people of Yahweh, even over Israel. 7 You must strike your master Ahab’s house, that I may avenge the blood of my servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of Yahweh, at the hand of Jezebel. 8 For the whole house of Ahab will perish. I will cut off from Ahab everyone who urinates against a wall, both him who is shut up and him who is left at large in Israel. 9 I will make Ahab’s house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah. 10 The dogs will eat Jezebel on the plot of ground of Jezreel, and there shall be no one to bury her.’” Then he opened the door and fled.
11 When Jehu came out to the servants of his lord, and one said to him, “Is all well? Why did this mad fellow come to you?”
He said to them, “You know the man and how he talks.” 12 They said, “That is a lie. Tell us now.”
He said, “He said to me, ‘Yahweh says, I have anointed you king over Israel.’”
13 Then they hurried, and each man took his cloak, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew the trumpet, saying, “Jehu is king.”

Acts 16:16-40
16 As we were going to prayer, a certain girl having a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much gain by fortune telling. 17 Following Paul and us, she cried out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us a way of salvation!” 18 She was doing this for many days.
But Paul, becoming greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” It came out that very hour. 19 But when her masters saw that the hope of their gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas, and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers. 20 When they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men, being Jews, are agitating our city, 21 and advocate customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”
22 The multitude rose up together against them, and the magistrates tore their clothes off of them, and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 When they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely, 24 who, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison, and secured their feet in the stocks.
25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were loosened. 27 The jailer, being roused out of sleep and seeing the prison doors open, drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, “Don’t harm yourself, for we are all here!”
29 He called for lights, sprang in, fell down trembling before Paul and Silas, 30 brought them out, and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him, and to all who were in his house.
33 He took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes, and was immediately baptized, he and all his household. 34 He brought them up into his house, and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his household, having believed in God.
35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, “Let those men go.”
36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go; now therefore come out, and go in peace.”
37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, without a trial, men who are Romans, and have cast us into prison! Do they now release us secretly? No, most certainly, but let them come themselves and bring us out!”
38 The sergeants reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans, 39 and they came and begged them. When they had brought them out, they asked them to depart from the city. 40 They went out of the prison, and entered into Lydia’s house. When they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them, and departed.

Psalm 143:1-12
A Psalm by David.
143 Hear my prayer, Yahweh.
Listen to my petitions.
In your faithfulness and righteousness, relieve me.
2 Don’t enter into judgment with your servant,
for in your sight no man living is righteous.
3 For the enemy pursues my soul.
He has struck my life down to the ground.
He has made me live in dark places, as those who have been long dead.
4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me.
My heart within me is desolate.
5 I remember the days of old.
I meditate on all your doings.
I contemplate the work of your hands.
6 I spread out my hands to you.
My soul thirsts for you, like a parched land.
Selah.
7 Hurry to answer me, Yahweh.
My spirit fails.
Don’t hide your face from me,
so that I don’t become like those who go down into the pit.
8 Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning,
for I trust in you.
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
for I lift up my soul to you.
9 Deliver me, Yahweh, from my enemies.
I flee to you to hide me.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.
11 Revive me, Yahweh, for your name’s sake.
In your righteousness, bring my soul out of trouble.
12 In your loving kindness, cut off my enemies,
and destroy all those who afflict my soul,
For I am your servant.

Proverbs 17:26
26 Also to punish the righteous is not good,
nor to flog officials for their integrity.

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