Week 29, Day 5 in the LEB

Jul 21, 2023

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The reading for today is 2 Kings 4-6; Matthew 5.

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

2 Kings 4

A certain woman from the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, "Your servant my husband is dead. Now you know that your servant was a fearer of Yahweh, but the creditor came to take two of my children for himself as slaves. Elisha asked her, "What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?" Then she said, "Your servant has nothing in the house except a jar of olive oil." Then he said to her, "Go, ask for yourself some containers from the streets, from all your neighbors. You must collect as many empty containers as you can! You must also go and shut the door behind you and your children, and you must pour out oil into all of these containers and set the filled ones aside." So she went from him, and she shut the door behind her and her children. They were bringing containers to her, and she kept pouring. It happened that when the containers were full, she said to her son, "Bring near me another container," but he said to her, "There is not another container." Then the olive oil stopped flowing. So she came and told the man of God, and he said, "Go, sell the olive oil and repay your debt. You and your sons can live on what is left over."

It happened one day that Elisha passed through to Shunem where there was a wealthy woman, and she urged him to eat bread; so it happened each time he passed through, he would stop there to eat. She said to her husband, "Please now, I know that he is a holy man of God who is passing our way regularly; let us make a small enclosed room upstairs and put a bed, table, chair, and lampstand there for him, so that when he comes to us, he can turn and stay there. One day it happened that he came there and went to the upper room and lay down there. He said to Gehazi his servant, "Call to this Shunammite," so he called to her, and she stood before him. He said to him, "Please say to her, ‘Look, you took all this trouble, showing care for us; what is there for me to do for you? To speak for you to the king or to the commander of the army?’" She said, "I am living among my people." Then he said, "What may be done for her?" Gehazi said, "Well, she has no son, and her husband is old." And he said, "Call for her," so he called for her and she stood in the doorway. And he said, "At this time next spring, you will be embracing a son." She said, "No, my lord, O man of God! You must not tell a lie to your servant!" But the woman conceived, and she bore a son in the spring, which Elisha had promised to her.

The child grew older, and it happened one day that he went out to his father and to the reapers. Then he said to his father, "My head, my head!" So he said to the servant, "Carry him to his mother." So they carried him and brought him to his mother; he sat on her lap until noon and then died. She went up, laid him on the bed of the man of God, closed the door, and went out behind it. She called to her husband and said, "Please send one of the servants and one of the female donkeys for me, so that I can go quickly up to the man of God and return." And he said, "Why are you going to him today? It is neither the new moon nor the Sabbath!" And she said, "Peace." She saddled the female donkey, and she said to her servant, "Drive along and go; you must not hold me back from riding, unless I tell you." So she went and came to the man of God by Mount Carmel. It happened when the man of God saw her at a distance, he said to Gehazi his servant, "There is this Shunammite. Now, please run to meet her and ask her, ‘Is it peace for you? Is it peace for your husband? Is it peace for the boy?’" She said, "Peace." So she came to the man of God at the mountain, and she caught hold of his feet. Then Gehazi came near to push her away, but the man of God said, "Let her alone, for her soul is bitter, and Yahweh has hidden it from me and has not told me." Then she said, "Did I ask for a son from my lord? Did I not say that you must not mislead me?"

Then he said to Gehazi, "Gird up your loins and take my staff in your hand and go. If you meet anyone, you must not greet them; if anyone greets you, you must not answer them. You must put my staff on the face of the boy." Then the mother of the boy said, "As Yahweh lives and as your soul lives, I will surely not leave you." So he got up and went after her. Gehazi crossed over before them, and he put the staff on the face of the boy; but there was no sound, and there was no sign of life, so he returned to meet him. He told him, saying, "The boy did not wake up."

When Elisha came to the house, here was the boy dead, lying on his bed. He went and closed the door behind the two of them and prayed to Yahweh. Then he went up and lay upon the child and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his palms on his palms. As he bent down over him, the flesh of the boy became warm. He returned and went to and fro in the house one time, then he went up and bent over him. Then the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. Elisha called to Gehazi and said, "Call this Shunammite." So he called her and she came to him; then he said, "Pick up your son." She came and fell at his feet and bowed down to the ground; then she picked up her son and went out.

So Elisha returned to Gilgal. Now the famine was in the land, and the sons of the prophets were sitting before him. He said to his servant, put on the large pot and cook a stew for the sons of the prophets. One went out to the field to gather herbs, and he found a wild vine and gathered wild gourds from it and filled his cloak. Then he came and cut them into the pot of stew, but they did not know what they were. They served the men to eat, but when they ate from the stew, they cried out and said, "There is death in the pot, O man of God!" They were not able to eat it. Then he said, "Bring some flour," and he threw it into the pot. He then said, "Serve the people and let them eat." There was nothing harmful in the pot.

A man came from Baal-Shalishah and brought food to the man of God: firstfruits and twenty loaves of barley bread, with ripe grain in his sack. He said, "Give it to the people and let them eat." Then his servant said, "How can I set this before a hundred men?" He said, "Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus Yahweh says, ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’" So he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of Yahweh.

2 Kings 5

Now Naaman was the commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man before his master and highly regarded, for by him Yahweh had given victory to Aram. Now the man was a mighty warrior, but he was afflicted with a skin disease. When the Arameans went on a raid, they brought back a young girl from the land of Israel, and she came into the service of the wife of Naaman. She said to her mistress, "If only my lord would come before the prophet who is in Samaria; then he would cure his skin disease." He came and told his master, saying, "Thus and so the girl who is from the land of Israel said." So the king of Aram said, "Go, I will send a letter to the king of Israel." He went and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten sets of clothing.

So he brought the letter of the king to Israel, saying, "Now, when this letter comes to you, I have just sent Naaman my servant to you that you may cure him from his skin disease." It happened that when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, "Am I God to cause death or to give life? This man is sending a man to me to cure his disease. Indeed! But know and see that he seeks an opportunity against me."

It happened that as soon as Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, "Why did you tear your clothes? Please may he come to me, that he might know that there is a prophet in Israel." Then Naaman came with his horses and his chariots, and he stopped at the doorway of the house of Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go, you must wash seven times in the Jordan, then your flesh shall return to you, and you shall be clean." But Naaman became angry and he went and said, "Look, I said to myself, ‘Surely he will come out, stand, call upon the name of Yahweh his God, and wave his hands over the spot; then he would take away the skin disease.’ Are not the Abana and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all of the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them that I may be clean?" Then he turned and left in anger. But his servants came near and spoke to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had spoken a difficult thing to you to do, would you not have done it? Why not even when he says to you, ‘Wash and you shall be clean’?" So he went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh returned as the flesh of a small boy, and he was clean.

When he returned to the man of God, he and all of his army, he came and stood before him and said, "Please now, I know that there is no God in all of the world except in Israel. So then, please take a gift from your servant." And he said, "As Yahweh lives, before whom I stand, I surely will not take it." Still he urged him to take it, but he refused. Then Naaman said, "If not, then please let a load of soil on a pair of mules be given to your servants, for your servant will never again bring a burnt offering and sacrifice to other gods, but only to Yahweh. As far as this matter, may Yahweh pardon your servant when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he is leaning himself on my arm, that I also bow down in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down in the house of Rimmon, may Yahweh please pardon your servant in this matter." He said to him, "Go in peace," so he went from him a short distance.

But Gehazi the servant of Elisha, the man of God, thought, "Look, my master has refrained from taking what this Aramean Naaman brought from his hand. As Yahweh lives, I will certainly run after him, and I will accept something from him." So Gehazi pursued after Naaman. When Naaman saw someone running after him, he jumped off his chariot to meet him and asked him, "Is it peace?" He said, "Peace. My master has sent me saying, ‘Look, just now two servants from the hill country of Ephraim came to me, from the sons of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.’" Then Naaman said, "Be prepared to accept two talents." So he urged him and tied up two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing and gave it to two of his servants and they carried it before him. When he came to the citadel, he took them from their hand and put them in the house, then sent away the men so that they went. When he went and stood by his master, Elisha asked him, "From where have you come, Gehazi?" And he said, "Your servant has not gone anywhere."

Then he said to him, "Did not my heart go with you as the man turned from on his chariot to meet you? Is it time to take silver, clothes, olive orchards, vineyards, sheep, oxen, male slaves, and female slaves? The skin disease of Naaman shall cling to you and to your offspring forever." Then he went out from before him having a skin disease like the snow.

2 Kings 6

Then the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, "Please look; the place where we are living before you is too cramped for us. Let us please go to the Jordan and each bring from there one log that we might make a place there for us to live." Then he said, "Do so." Then a certain one said, "Please be prepared and go with your servants," and he said, "I will go." He went with them, and they went to the Jordan, and they cut down the trees. It happened as the one was felling the log, that the iron ax fell into the water. He called out and said, "Oh, no! My master, it was borrowed!" Then the man of God said, "Where did it fall?" So he showed him the place, and then he cut off a stick and threw it there and made the iron ax float. Then he said, "Pick it up for yourself," so he stretched out his hand and took it.

The king of Aram was fighting with Israel, so he consulted with his officers, saying, "My camp is at such and such a place." Then the man of God sent to the king of Israel, saying, "Take care while crossing over to this place, because the Arameans are descending there." So the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God said to him and warned him, so he was on guard there continually.

Then the heart of the king of Aram was stormy because of this matter, so he called his servants and said to them, "Can you not tell me who among us sides with the king of Israel?" Then one of his servants said, "No, my lord the king, but Elisha the prophet who is in Israel tells the king of Israel things which you speak in your own bedchamber." Then he said, "Go and see where he is so that I can send and capture him." Then he was told to him, "Look, he is in Dothan." So he sent horses, chariots, and an oppressing army there. They arrived at night and surrounded the town. The attendant of the man of God arose early and went out, and look, the army was surrounding the city with horses and chariots. His servant said to him, "Oh no, my master! What shall we do?" And he said, "Don’t be afraid, for more are with us than are with them." Then Elisha prayed and said, "O Yahweh, please open his eyes that he may see," and Yahweh opened the eyes of the servant, and he saw, and look, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. They came down to him, and Elisha prayed to Yahweh and said, "Please strike this people with blindness," so he struck them with blindness as Elisha had spoken. Then Elisha said to them, "This is not the way and this is not the city. Come after me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek." Then he brought them to Samaria.

It happened at the moment they came to Samaria, Elisha said, "O Yahweh, open the eyes of these that they may see," so Yahweh opened their eyes, and they saw, and look, the middle of Samaria! Then the king of Israel said to Elisha when he saw them, "Shall I kill them? Shall I kill, my father?" And he said, "You shall not kill. Would you kill those whom you took captive with the sword or with the bow? Put food and water before them that they may eat and drink and then go to their master." So he made a great feast for them, and they ate and drank; then he sent them, and they went to their master. And the bands of the Arameans did not come again into the land of Israel.

It happened after this that Ben-Hadad king of Aram assembled all of his army and marched up and laid siege against Samaria. There was a great famine in Samaria, and behold, a siege was against it, until the head of a donkey went for eighty shekels of silver, and one fourth of the measure of the dung of doves went for five shekels of silver. It happened that the king of Israel was crossing over on the wall, and a woman called out to him, saying, "Help, my lord the king!" He said, "No, let Yahweh help you. How can I save you? From the threshing floor or from the wine press?" The king said to her, "What is the problem?" Then the woman said, "This woman said to me, ‘Give me your son, and let us eat him today, then tomorrow we will eat my son.’ So we cooked my son and ate him, and I said to her the next day, ‘Give your son that we may eat him.’ But she had hidden her son." It happened that when the king heard the words of the woman, he tore his clothes. Now he had been walking on the wall, and the people saw, and behold, sackcloth was over his flesh underneath. Then he said, "May God do to me and thus may he add, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today!" Now Elisha was sitting in his house and the elders were sitting with him, and the king dispatched a man from before him, but before the messenger came to him, he said to the elders, "Did you see that this son of a murderer has sent to remove my head? Look, when the messenger comes, close the door; and you must hold the door closed against him. Is not the sound of the feet of his master behind him?" While he was still speaking with them, suddenly the messenger was coming down to him, and he said, "Look this trouble is from Yahweh. Why should I wait for Yahweh any longer?"

Matthew 5

Now when he saw the crowds, he went up the mountain and after he sat down, his disciples approached him. And opening his mouth he began to teach them, saying,

"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    because theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the ones who mourn,
    because they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    because they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are the ones who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    because they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful,
    because they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    because they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    because they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    because theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you
    when they insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things against you, lying on account of me. Rejoice and be glad, because your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets before you.

"You are the salt of the earth. But if salt becomes tasteless, by what will it be made salty? It is good for nothing any longer except to be thrown outside and trampled under foot by people. You are the light of the world. A city located on top of a hill cannot be hidden, nor do they light a lamp and place it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it shines on all those in the house. In the same way let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

"Do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets. I have not come to destroy them but to fulfill them. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one tiny letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all takes place. Therefore whoever abolishes one of the least of these commandments and teaches people to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever keeps them and teaches them, this person will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you that unless your righteousness greatly surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter into the kingdom of heaven.

"You have heard that it was said to the people of old, ‘Do not commit murder,’ and ‘whoever commits murder will be subject to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry at his brother will be subject to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Stupid fool!’ will be subject to the council, and whoever says, ‘Obstinate fool!’ will be subject to fiery hell. Therefore if you present your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and first go be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your gift. Settle the case quickly with your accuser while you are with him on the way, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you will never come out of there until you have paid back the last penny!

"You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. And if your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it from you! For it is better for you that one of your members be destroyed than your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it from you! For it is better for you that one of your limbs be destroyed than your whole body go into hell.

"And it was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for a matter of sexual immorality, causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

"Again you have heard that it was said to the people of old, ‘Do not swear falsely, but fulfill your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all, either by heaven, because it is the throne of God, or by the earth, because it is the footstool of his feet, or by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great king. And do not swear by your head, because you are not able to make one hair white or black. But let your statement be ‘Yes, yes; no, no,’ and anything beyond these is from the evil one.

"You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the evildoer, but whoever strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also. And the one who wants to go to court with you and take your tunic, let him have your outer garment also. And whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

"You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘Hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven, because he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not the tax collectors also do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing that is remarkable? Do not the Gentiles also do the same? Therefore you be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.