Week 21, Day 3 in the LEB

May 22, 2024

Podcast: Play in new window (Duration: 22:08 — 6.38MB)
The reading for today is 2 Samuel 18-20; Psalm 34; Romans 2.

Scripture quotations are from the Lexham English Bible. Copyright 2012 Logos Bible Software. Lexham is a registered trademark of Logos Bible Software.

2 Samuel 18

Then David mustered the people who were with him, and he appointed over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. David sent forth a third of the troops under the command of Joab, and a third under the command of Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, and the remaining third under the command of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the troops, "I, even I, will certainly go out with you." Then the troops said, "You will not go out, for if we must flee, then they will not care about us; even if half of us die, they will not care about us, but now, you are like ten thousand of us. And so then, it is better for us that you be in the city to help." The king said to them, "I will do what seems good in your eyes." So the king stood at the side of the gate while all of the troops went out by hundreds and by thousands. The king ordered Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, "With respect to the young man Absalom, deal gently for me." And all the troops heard when the king ordered all of the commanders concerning the matter of Absalom.

The army went out to the field to meet Israel, and the battle was fought in the forest of Ephraim. The army of Israel was defeated there before the servants of David, and the defeat there was great on that day: twenty thousand. The battle there was spreading over the surface of all the land, and the forest devoured more among the army than the sword did on that day. Absalom was found in the presence of the servants of David as he was riding on the mule. The mule went under the thicket of the great oak tree, and his head was caught in the tree. He was left hanging between heaven and earth, and the mule which was under him went on. When a certain man saw it, he told Joab, and he said, "Look, I saw Absalom hanging in the oak tree!" Then Joab said to the man who was telling him, "Look, if you saw, why did you not strike him down to the ground there? I would have gladly given you ten pieces of silver and a leather belt." The man said to Joab, "Even if I felt the weight of a thousand pieces of silver in my palms, I would not have sent my hand against the son of the king, for in our ears the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Whoever you may be, protect the young man Absalom.’ If I had dealt treacherously against his life, and there is not any matter hidden from the king, you would have presented yourself aloof." Joab said, "No longer will I wait in your presence." Then he took three spears in his hand and thrust them into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the oak tree. Then ten of the young men who bore the weapons of Joab surrounded him and struck and killed Absalom. Then Joab blew on the trumpet and the troops returned from pursuing after Israel, for Joab kept back the troops. They took Absalom and they threw him into the large pit in the forest and raised a very great heap of stones over him. Then all of Israel fled, each to his tent.

(Now Absalom had taken and set up for himself in his lifetime a stone pillar that is in the valley of the king, because he said, "I have no son in order to remember my name," and he called the stone pillar by his name. It is called the monument of Absalom until this day). Now Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, "Please let me run and bring the good news to the king that Yahweh has vindicated him from the hand of his enemies." Joab said to him, "You will not be a man bringing good news this day! You may bring good news on another day, but today you will not be bringing good news because the king’s son is dead." Then Joab said to the Cushite, "Go, tell the king what you have seen"; then the Cushite bowed down to Joab and ran off. Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok again said to Joab, "Come what may, please let me also run after the Cushite." Joab asked, "Why are you wanting to run, my son, when for you there is no messenger’s reward?" "Come what may, I want to run." He said to him, "Run," so Ahimaaz ran on the road on the plain, and he passed the Cushite.

Now David was sitting between the two gates, and the sentinel went up to the roof of the gate by the wall and he lifted up his eyes and watched, and look, a man was running by himself. The sentry called and told the king, and the king said, "If he is alone, good news is in his mouth." He kept coming closer. Then the sentinel saw another man running, so the sentinel called to the gatekeeper and said, "Look, a man running alone." The king said, "This one also is bringing good news." The sentinel said, "I am seeing that the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zakok." The king said, "He is a good man; he will come, for good news." Then Ahimaaz called and said to the king, "Peace." He bowed down to the king with his face to the ground, and he said, "May Yahweh your God be blessed, who has delivered the men who raised their hand against my lord the king." The king said, "Is it peace for the young man Absalom?" Ahimaaz said, "I saw the great commotion when Joab the servant of the king sent your servant, but I do not know what it was all about." Then the king said, "Turn aside, take your place here," so he turned aside and waited. Suddenly the Cushite arrived and said, "May my lord the king receive the good news, for Yahweh has vindicated you today from the power of all who stood up against you." The king said to the Cushite, "Is it peace for the young man Absalom?" Then the Cushite answered, "May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you to harm you be like the young man!" The king was upset, and he went up to the upper room of the gate and wept. He said as he went, "My son, Absalom, my son, my son, Absalom. If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son."

2 Samuel 19

And it was told to Joab that the king was weeping and he mourned over Absalom, so the victory turned to mourning on that day for all the army, because they had heard that day, "The king is grieving over his son." The army came secretly into the city on that day because the army was disgraced when they fled in the battle, and because the king had covered his face and cried with a loud voice, "My son, Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son."

Then Joab came to the king’s house and said, "Today you have humiliated the faces of all of your servants who have saved your life this day, and the life of your sons and your daughters, the life of your wives, and the life of your concubines, by loving those who hate you and hating those who love you. Indeed, you have made clear this day that you have no regard for your commanders or officers, for I have realized today that were Absalom alive, and all of us were dead, then that would have been right in your eyes! So then, get up and go out and speak kindly to your servants, for I swear by Yahweh, if you do not go out, no man will lodge this night with you, and this disaster will be greater for you than any disaster that has come upon you from your childhood until now!" So the king got up and he sat in the gate, and they told all the army, "Look, the king is sitting in the gate." Then all the army came before the king; whereas all of Israel had fled, each to his tent.

Then it happened that all the people were disputing among all the tribes of Israel, saying, "The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies, and he saved us from the hand of the Philistines, but now he has fled from the land because of Absalom. Now Absalom whom we anointed as king over us has died in the battle; so then, why are you taking no action to restore the king?" Then King David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, "Speak to the elders of Judah: ‘Why are you last to bring back the king to his house? The talk of all Israel has come to the king in his house. My brothers, you are my bones and you are my flesh. Why should you be the last to bring back the king?’ To Amasa you shall say: ‘Are you not my bones and my flesh? May God punish me if you are not the commander of my army before me forever, in place of Joab.’" So he turned the heart of all the men of Judah as one man, and they sent word to the king, "Return, you and all your servants."

Then the king returned and he came to the Jordan; Judah had come to Gilgal to come to meet the king, to bring the king over the Jordan. Then Shimei the son of Gera, the son of the Benjaminite, who was from Bahurim quickly came down with the men of Judah to meet King David, and a thousand men were with him from Benjamin. Too, Ziba the servant of the household of Saul and fifteen of his sons and twenty of his servants were with him, and they rushed to the Jordan before the king. The crossing took place to bring the household of the king over and to do good in his eyes. Then Shimei the son of Gera fell before the king when he crossed over the Jordan, and he said to the king, "May not my lord hold me guilty, and may you not remember how your servant did wrong on the day that my lord the king went out from Jerusalem, by taking it to heart! For your servant knows that I have sinned; look, I have come this day as the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king." Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah responded and said, "Because of this, should not Shimei be put to death, for he cursed the anointed one of Yahweh?" Then David said, "What is it to me or to you, sons of Zeruiah, that you should be an adversary today? Should anyone be put to death in Israel? Do I not know today that I am king over Israel?" Then the king said to Shimei, "You shall not die," and so the king swore to him.

Now, Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king; he had not taken care of his feet nor trimmed his moustache nor washed his clothes from the day the king left until the day he came back in peace. It happened that when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king said to him, "Why did you not come with me, Mephibosheth?" Then he said, "My lord the king, my servant deceived me, for your servant had said, ‘Let me saddle the donkey that I may ride on her and go with the king,’ for your servant is lame. But he slandered against your servant to my lord the king. My lord the king is like the angel of God; do as you see fit.." For there was no one in all the house of my father who were not doomed to death before my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. Do I have any righteousness any longer except to cry out to the king?" Then the king said to him, "Why should you speak any more about the matter? I have decided: you and Ziba shall divide the land." Then Mephibosheth said to the king, "Let him take the whole thing, since my lord the king has come safely to his house."

Then Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim and crossed with the king over the Jordan to escort him through the Jordan. Now Barzillai was very old, eighty years old. Now he had provided the king with food while he was staying at Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. The king said to Barzillai, "You cross over with me, and I will provide for you to dwell with me in Jerusalem." Then Barzillai said to the king, "What are the days of the years of my life, that I should go with the king to Jerusalem? I am eighty years old today. Can I discern between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I still hear the voice of singing men and women? Why should your servant be a burden any longer to my lord the king? Your servant shall go over the Jordan with the king a little way, but why should the king recompense me with this reward? Please let your servant return, and let me die in my city in the tomb of my father and my mother. Here is your servant Kimham; let him cross over with my lord the king, and do for him that which is good in your eyes." The king said, "Let Kimham go over with me, and I will do for him the good in your eyes, and all that you desire of me I will do for you."

Then all the people crossed over the Jordan, and the king crossed and kissed Barzillai and blessed him; then he returned to his place. The king went over to Gilgal, and Kimham went over with him. All the people of Judah went over with the king, and half of the people of Israel too. Suddenly, all the men of Israel were coming to the king. They said to the king, "Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen away and brought the king and his household over the Jordan, with all the men of David?" Then all the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, "Because the king is my close relative! Why are you this angry over this matter? Have we by any means eaten anything from the king? Did we take by any means anything that was not ours?" Then the people of Israel answered the men of Judah and said, "I have ten times as much in the king, moreover in David I have more than you. Why did you treat me with contempt by not giving me first chance to bring back my king?" But the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the word of the men of Israel.

2 Samuel 20

Now a man of wickedness was found there whose name was Sheba the son of Bichri, a Benjaminite. He blew the horn and said, "There is no share for us in David, and there is no inheritance for us in the son of Jesse; each to his tents, O Israel!" Then all the men of Israel went up from following after David, following instead after Sheba the son of Bicri, but the men of Judah stuck to their king from the Jordan up to Jerusalem. David went up to his house in Jerusalem, then the king took the ten concubines whom he had left to look after the house, and he put them under confinement. However, he provided for them, but he did not sleep with them. So they were confined until the day of their death, like a lifetime of widowhood.

Then the king said to Amasa, "Summon for me the men of Judah within three days, and be here yourself." So Amasa went to summon Judah, but he tarried more than the appointed time which he had set for him. Then David said to Abishai, "Now Sheba the son of Bicri will do us more harm than Absalom. You take the servants of your lord and pursue after him, lest he find fortified cities for himself and escape from us." Then the men of Joab, the Kerethites and the Pelethites, and all the mighty warriors went out after him; they went out from Jerusalem to pursue after Sheba the son of Bicri. They were near the big rock that is in Gibeon, and Amasa came before them. Joab was dressed in his military clothing, with a utility belt on him and a sword strapped to his waist in its scabbard. Now he went out, and it fell out. Then Joab said to Amasa, "Is it peace, O you my brother?" Then the right hand of Joab took hold of the beard of Amasa as if to kiss him. Now Amasa was not on his guard against the sword that was in Joab’s hand, and he struck him with it into the stomach, and his entrails poured out to the ground. He did not strike him again, and he died. Then Joab and Abishai his brother pursued after Sheba the son of Bicri. A young man stood over him, from the young men of Joab, and he said, "Whoever takes delight in Joab and whoever is for David, follow after Joab." Now Amasa was wallowing in the blood in the middle of the highway; when the man saw that all the people stood there, he turned Amasa over from the highway into the field, and he threw a garment over him because he had seen that all who had come by him had stopped. After he was removed from the highway, all the men passed by after Joab to pursue after Sheba the son of Bicri.

(He had passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel and Beth Maacah; now all of the Berites had been treated badly, so they also followed after him.) And they came and besieged him in Abel Beth Maacah. They threw up a siege ramp against the city, and they stood against the ramparts. And all the army who were with Joab were battering to cause the wall to fall. Then a wise woman from the city called out, "Listen, listen! Please speak to Joab to come near here so that I may speak to you." Then he came near to her, and the woman asked, "Are you Joab?" And he said, "I am." Then she said to him, "Listen to the words of your servant." He said, "I am listening." Then she said, "In former times, they would always say, ‘By all means, let them inquire in Abel,’ and so they settled things. I am one of the faithful representatives of Israel. You are seeking to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow the inheritance of Yahweh?" Then Joab answered and said, "Far be it, far be it from me that I should swallow or I should destroy. That is not the matter. But a man from the mountains of Ephraim, whose name is Sheba the son Bicri, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Give only him to us, and I will depart from the city." The woman said to Joab, "Look, his head is being thrown down to you over the wall." The woman went to all of the people with her wise plan, so they cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bicri and threw it to Joab. Then he blew the horn and dispersed from the city, each to his tent. Then Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king. Now Joab was over all the army of Israel and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Carites and over the Pelethites. Adoram was over the forced labor, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was the recorder. Shiya was secretary, and Zadok and Abiathar were priests. Also Ira the Jairite was priest for David.

Psalm 34

Of David, when he pretended to be crazy in front of Abimelech

so that he drove him out, and so he departed.

I will bless Yahweh at all times;
his praise shall be in my mouth continually.
My soul makes its boast in Yahweh;
let the humble hear and be glad.
Magnify Yahweh with me,
and let us exalt his name together.
I sought Yahweh and he answered me,
and from all my terrors he delivered me.
They looked to him and were radiant,
and their faces shall not be ashamed.
This poor man called and Yahweh heard,
and saved him from all his troubles.
The angel of Yahweh encamps
around those who fear him,
and he rescues them.
Taste and see that Yahweh is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear Yahweh, you his saints,
for there is no lack for those who fear him.
The young lions are in want and suffer hunger,
but those who seek Yahweh will not lack for any good thing.
Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of Yahweh.
Who is the man who desires life,
who loves many days in order to see good?
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn from evil and do good.
Seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of Yahweh are toward the righteous,
and his ears toward their cry for help.
The face of Yahweh is against evildoers,
to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
They cry out and Yahweh hears
and delivers them from all of their troubles.
Yahweh is near to those who are heartbroken
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Many are the distresses of the righteous,
but Yahweh delivers him out of them all.
He protects all his bones;
not one of them is broken.
Evil will slay the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will incur guilt.
Yahweh redeems the life of his servants,
and none who take refuge in him will incur guilt.

Romans 2

Therefore you are without excuse, O man, every one of you who passes judgment. For in that which you pass judgment on someone else, you condemn yourself, for you who are passing judgment are doing the same things. Now we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who do such things. But do you think this, O man who passes judgment on those who do such things, and who does the same things, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the wealth of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart, you are storing up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and of the revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will reward each one according to his works: to those who, by perseverance in good work, seek glory and honor and immortality, eternal life, but to those who act from selfish ambition and who disobey the truth, but who obey unrighteousness, wrath and anger. There will be affliction and distress for every human being who does evil, of the Jew first and of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.

For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be declared righteous. For whenever the Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature the things of the law, these, although they do not have the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written on their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts one after another accusing or even defending them on the day when God judges the secret things of people, according to my gospel, through Christ Jesus.

But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God and know his will and approve the things that are superior, because you are instructed by the law, and are confident that you yourself are a guide of the blind, a light of those in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth in the law. Therefore, the one who teaches someone else, do you not teach yourself? The one who preaches not to steal, do you steal? The one who says not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery? The one who abhors idols, do you rob temples? Who boast in the law, by the transgression of the law you dishonor God! For just as it is written, "The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you."

For circumcision is of value if you do the law, but if you should be a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. Therefore, if the uncircumcised person follows the requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be credited for circumcision? And the uncircumcised person by nature who carries out the law will judge you who, though provided with the precise written code and circumcision are a transgressor of the law. For the Jew is not one outwardly, nor is circumcision outwardly, in the flesh. But the Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter, whose praise is not from people but from God.