7 July 2017 Bible Reading
The Romans considered the appeal of a Roman citizen sacred. Under their law, if any Roman authority punished a Roman citizen who had made an appeal to Caesar, the authority could themselves be condemned. Most citizens would not want to appear before Caesar, but Paul knows he must go to Rome.
1 Chronicles 4:5-5:17
5 Ashhur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah. 6 Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni, and Haahashtari. These were the sons of Naarah. 7 The sons of Helah were Zereth, Izhar, and Ethnan. 8 Hakkoz became the father of Anub, Zobebah, and the families of Aharhel the son of Harum.
9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother named him Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him with sorrow.”
10 Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me indeed, and enlarge my border! May your hand be with me, and may you keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!”
God granted him that which he requested. 11 Chelub the brother of Shuhah became the father of Mehir, who was the father of Eshton. 12 Eshton became the father of Beth Rapha, Paseah, and Tehinnah the father of Ir Nahash. These are the men of Recah. 13 The sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah. The sons of Othniel: Hathath. 14 Meonothai became the father of Ophrah: and Seraiah became the father of Joab the father of Ge Harashim; for they were craftsmen. 15 The sons of Caleb the son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah, and Naam. The son of Elah: Kenaz. 16 The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria, and Asarel. 17 The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher, and Jalon; and she bore Miriam, Shammai, and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa. 18 His wife the Jewess bore Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah. These are the sons of Bithiah the daughter of Pharaoh, whom Mered took. 19 The sons of the wife of Hodiah, the sister of Naham, were the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maacathite. 20 The sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben Hanan, and Tilon. The sons of Ishi: Zoheth, and Ben Zoheth. 21 The sons of Shelah the son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the families of the house of those who worked fine linen, of the house of Ashbea; 22 and Jokim, and the men of Cozeba, and Joash, and Saraph, who had dominion in Moab, and Jashubilehem. These records are ancient. 23 These were the potters, and the inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah: they lived there with the king for his work. 24 The sons of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah, Shaul; 25 Shallum his son, Mibsam his son, and Mishma his son. 26 The sons of Mishma: Hammuel his son, Zaccur his son, Shimei his son. 27 Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters; but his brothers didn’t have many children, and all their family did not family multiply like the children of Judah. 28 They lived at Beersheba, Moladah, Hazarshual, 29 at Bilhah, at Ezem, at Tolad, 30 at Bethuel, at Hormah, at Ziklag, 31 at Beth Marcaboth, Hazar Susim, at Beth Biri, and at Shaaraim. These were their cities until David’s reign. 32 Their villages were Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Tochen, and Ashan, five cities; 33 and all their villages that were around the same cities, to Baal. These were their settlements, and they have their genealogy. 34 Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah the son of Amaziah, 35 Joel, Jehu the son of Joshibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel, 36 Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah, 37 and Ziza the son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah— 38 these mentioned by name were princes in their families. Their fathers’ houses increased greatly.
39 They went to the entrance of Gedor, even to the east side of the valley, to seek pasture for their flocks. 40 They found fat pasture and good, and the land was wide, and quiet, and peaceful; for those who lived there before were descended from Ham. 41 These written by name came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and struck their tents. The Meunim who were found there, and they destroyed them utterly to this day, and lived in their place; because there was pasture there for their flocks. 42 Some of them, even of the sons of Simeon, five hundred men, went to Mount Seir, having for their captains Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah, and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi. 43 They struck the remnant of the Amalekites who escaped, and have lived there to this day.
5 The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (for he was the firstborn; but, because he defiled his father’s couch, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph the son of Israel; and the genealogy is not to be listed according to the birthright. 2 For Judah prevailed above his brothers, and from him came the prince; but the birthright was Joseph’s)— 3 the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 4 The sons of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son, 5 Micah his son, Reaiah his son, Baal his son, 6 and Beerah his son, whom Tilgath Pilneser king of Assyria carried away captive. He was prince of the Reubenites. 7 His brothers by their families, when the genealogy of their generations was listed: the chief, Jeiel, and Zechariah, 8 and Bela the son of Azaz, the son of Shema, the son of Joel, who lived in Aroer, even to Nebo and Baal Meon; 9 and he lived eastward even to the entrance of the wilderness from the river Euphrates, because their livestock were multiplied in the land of Gilead.
10 In the days of Saul, they made war with the Hagrites, who fell by their hand; and they lived in their tents throughout all the land east of Gilead. 11 The sons of Gad lived over against them, in the land of Bashan to Salecah: 12 Joel the chief, Shapham the second, Janai, and Shaphat in Bashan. 13 Their brothers of their fathers’ houses: Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jacan, Zia, and Eber, seven. 14 These were the sons of Abihail, the son of Huri, the son of Jaroah, the son of Gilead, the son of Michael, the son of Jeshishai, the son of Jahdo, the son of Buz; 15 Ahi the son of Abdiel, the son of Guni, chief of their fathers’ houses. 16 They lived in Gilead in Bashan, and in its towns, and in all the suburbs of Sharon, as far as their borders. 17 All these were listed by genealogies in the days of Jotham king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam king of Israel.
25 Festus therefore, having come into the province, after three days went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. 2 Then the high priest and the principal men of the Jews informed him against Paul, and they begged him, 3 asking a favor against him, that he would summon him to Jerusalem; plotting to kill him on the way. 4 However Festus answered that Paul should be kept in custody at Caesarea, and that he himself was about to depart shortly. 5 “Let them therefore”, said he, “that are in power among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong in the man, let them accuse him.”
6 When he had stayed among them more than ten days, he went down to Caesarea, and on the next day he sat on the judgment seat, and commanded Paul to be brought. 7 When he had come, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing against him many and grievous charges which they could not prove, 8 while he said in his defense, “Neither against the law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar, have I sinned at all.”
9 But Festus, desiring to gain favor with the Jews, answered Paul and said, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem, and be judged by me there concerning these things?”
10 But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar’s judgment seat, where I ought to be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you also know very well. 11 For if I have done wrong, and have committed anything worthy of death, I don’t refuse to die; but if none of those things is true that they accuse me of, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar!”
12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with the council, answered, “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you shall go.”
13 Now when some days had passed, King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea, and greeted Festus. 14 As he stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, “There is a certain man left a prisoner by Felix; 15 about whom, when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews informed me, asking for a sentence against him. 16 To whom I answered that it is not the custom of the Romans to give up any man to destruction, before the accused has met the accusers face to face, and has had opportunity to make his defense concerning the matter laid against him. 17 When therefore they had come together here, I didn’t delay, but on the next day sat on the judgment seat, and commanded the man to be brought. 18 Concerning whom, when the accusers stood up, they brought no charge of such things as I supposed; 19 but had certain questions against him about their own religion, and about one Jesus, who was dead, whom Paul affirmed to be alive. 20 Being perplexed how to inquire concerning these things, I asked whether he was willing to go to Jerusalem and there be judged concerning these matters. 21 But when Paul had appealed to be kept for the decision of the emperor, I commanded him to be kept until I could send him to Caesar.”
22 Agrippa said to Festus, “I also would like to hear the man myself.”
“Tomorrow,” he said, “you shall hear him.”
23 So on the next day, when Agrippa and Bernice had come with great pomp, and they had entered into the place of hearing with the commanding officers and principal men of the city, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24 Festus said, “King Agrippa, and all men who are here present with us, you see this man, about whom all the multitude of the Jews petitioned me, both at Jerusalem and here, crying that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But when I found that he had committed nothing worthy of death, and as he himself appealed to the emperor I determined to send him. 26 Of whom I have no certain thing to write to my lord. Therefore I have brought him out before you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, that, after examination, I may have something to write. 27 For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to also specify the charges against him.”
For the Chief Musician, with the flutes. A Psalm by David.
5 Give ear to my words, Yahweh.
Consider my meditation.
2 Listen to the voice of my cry, my King and my God;
for to you do I pray.
3 Yahweh, in the morning you shall hear my voice.
In the morning I will lay my requests before you, and will watch expectantly.
4 For you are not a God who has pleasure in wickedness.
Evil can’t live with you.
5 The arrogant shall not stand in your sight.
You hate all workers of iniquity.
6 You will destroy those who speak lies.
Yahweh abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.
7 But as for me, in the abundance of your loving kindness I will come into your house.
I will bow toward your holy temple in reverence of you.
8 Lead me, Yahweh, in your righteousness because of my enemies.
Make your way straight before my face.
9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth.
Their heart is destruction.
Their throat is an open tomb.
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Hold them guilty, God.
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Thrust them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
for they have rebelled against you.
11 But let all those who take refuge in you rejoice,
Let them always shout for joy, because you defend them.
Let them also who love your name be joyful in you.
12 For you will bless the righteous.
Yahweh, you will surround him with favor as with a shield.
19 A brother offended is more difficult than a fortified city;
and disputes are like the bars of a fortress.