The Word of Elohim, Gabriel Bible Prophets

The HEBREW BIBLE is divided into 3 parts: The Torah, the Prophets and the Writings. This online Hebrew Bible is also divided into 3 parts because the file is too big to load and work properly.

See the COMPLETE INDEX HERE. See the INTRODUCTION HERE

YEHOSHUA
JUDGES
1 SAMUEL
2 SAMUEL
1 KINGS
2 KINGS
ISAIAH
JEREMIAH
EZEKIEL
DANIEL*
HOSEA
JOEL
AMOS
OBADIAH
JONAH
MICAH
NAHUM
HABAKKUK
ZEPHANIAH
HAGGAI
ZECHARIAH
MALACHI

* I suspect that Daniel was originally part of the Prophets section, and moved to the writings section by the Masorites, due to the Talmudic curse on anyone (like me) who dares to inquire into the Messianic prophecy of Chapter 9.

Yehoshua 1 (Joshua)

Chapters 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24

The Word of Elohim
Word of Elohim INDEX

1 After the death of Moses, Yehovah’s servant, Yehovah spoke to Yehoshua [Yehoshua thruout the book] the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, and said, 2 Moses My servant is dead, so get up and cross over the Jordan River, you and all these people into the land that I’m giving to you Israelites. 3 I’ve given you every place that the sole of your foot will tread on, as I told Moses. 4 From the wilderness, and this Lebanon, to the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, to the great sea toward the going down of the sun. That will be your border. 5 No one will be able to stand before you all the days of your life. I’ll be with you just like I was with Moses. I won’t fail you or forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you’ll cause these people to inherit the land that I swore to their ancestors to give them. 7 Be strong and courageous, and be certain to obey the entire Torah that Moses My servant commanded you. Don’t turn away from it to the right or to the left. Then you’ll be successful wherever you go. 8 This book of the Torah must never leave your 'conversations'. You must meditate on it day and night. Be sure to do everything that’s written in it. Then you’ll be prosperous and quite successful. 9 Haven’t I commanded you to be strong and courageous? Don’t be afraid or lose hope, because Yehovah your Elohim is with you anywhere you go.

10 “Then Yehoshua commanded the officers of the people: 11 “Go thru the middle of the camp, and command the people, saying, “Prepare food, because within three days you are to pass over this Jordan River to go in and possess the land that Yehovah your Elohim is giving you to possess.” 12 Yehoshua spoke to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, and said, 13 Remember the instruction that Moses the servant of Yehovah commanded you, saying, “Yehovah your Elohim gives you rest, and will give you this land. 14 Your wives, your children, and your livestock will live in the land that Moses gave you beyond the Jordan River, but you’ll pass over before your brothers armed, all the warriors of valor, and help them 15 until Yehovah has given your brothers rest, as He has given you, and they’ve also possess the land that Yehovah your Elohim is giving them. Then you’ll return to the land of your possession, and possess it, that Moses the servant of Yehovah gave you beyond the Jordan River toward the sunrise.” 16 They told Yehoshua, “Everything that you’ve commanded us we’ll do, and we’ll go wherever you send us. 17 Just like we listened to Moses in everything, that’s how we’ll listen to you. Only may Yehovah your Elohim be with you, as He was with Moses. 18 Whoever rebels against your commandment, and doesn’t listen to your words in everything that you command them will be put to death. Only be strong and courageous.”

Yehoshua 2

1 Yehoshua the son of Nun secretly sent two men out of Acacia Grove as scouts, he said, “Go explore the land, including Jericho.” So they went to the house of a whore whose name was Rahab and slept there. 2 The king of Jericho was told, “Men, Israelites, came in here tonight to scout out the land!” 3 The king of Jericho sent word to Rahab, he said, “Bring out the men who came to you and entered your house because they came to explore the entire land.” 4 The woman had taken the two men and hid them, and she said, “Yes, the men came to me, but I don’t know where they came from.” 5 Then about the time the gate was shut, when it was dark, the men left. I don’t know where the men went. Pursue them quickly and you can overtake them. 6 But she had brought them up to the roof, and hid them with the stalks of flax that she had laid in order on the roof. 7 The men pursued them all the way to the fords of the Jordan River, and as soon as those who pursued them had left, they shut the gate. 8 Before they laid down, she came up to them on the roof, 9 and she told the men, “I know that Yehovah has given you the land, and that the fear of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land melt away before you. 10 We have heard how Yehovah dried up the water of the Red Sea before you, when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan River, to Sihon and to Og, who you completely destroyed.” 11 As soon as we had heard about it the 'morale' of the people suffered a meltdown, there was no spirit remaining in any of them because of you. Yehovah your Elohim is Elohim in Heaven above and on earth below. 12 So please swear to me by Yehovah that since I’ve dealt kindly with you, you’ll also deal kindly with my father’s household, and give me a true token 13 indicating that you’ll save my father’s life, my mother, my brothers, my sisters and everything they have, and save our lives from death. 14 So the men told her, “Our life for yours, if you don’t talk about this business of ours, then, when Yehovah gives us the land, we’ll deal kindly and truly with you.”

15 “Then she let them down by a cord thru the window, because her house was on the side of the wall, and she lived on the wall. 16 She told them, “Go to the mountain, otherwise the men pursuing you will find you. Hide there for three days until they have returned. Afterward you can go your way.” 17 The men told her, “The oath we’ve sworn to you is only binding if 18 when we come into the land you tie this line of scarlet thread onto the window that you let us down by. Then gather your father, your mother, your brothers, and your father’s entire household into the house. 19 Then whoever goes out thru the doors of your house into the street, their blood will be on their head, and we’ll be innocent. Whoever is with you in the house, their blood will be on our heads, if any hand is on him. 20 But if you talk about this business of ours, then we’ll be innocent of your oath that you’ve made us to swear.” 21 She said, “According to your words, so be it.” She sent them away, and they left. She tied the scarlet line in the window. 22 They went to the mountain, and stayed there three days, until those who were pursuing them had returned. 'They' looked for them the whole way, but didn’t find them.

23 “Then the two men returned and came down from the mountain, passed over, and came to Yehoshua the son of Nun, and told him everything that had happened to them. 24 They told Yehoshua, “Truly Yehovah has handed us the entire land. All the inhabitants of the land melt away before us.”

Yehoshua 3

Crossing the Jordan

1 Yehoshua got up early in the morning, and he and all the Israelites left Acacia Grove and went to the Jordan River. They camped there before crossing over. 2 Then after three days the officers went thru the camp, 3 and they commanded the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of Yehovah your Elohim and the priests and the Levites carrying it, you must break camp and follow them. 4 You must keep a space between you and them of about 2,000 cubits in length. Don’t approach them to find out which way to go, since you’ve never traveled this way before.” 5 Yehoshua told to the people, “Dedicate yourselves, because tomorrow Yehovah will do amazing things among you.” 6 Yehoshua said to the priests, “Pick up the ark of the covenant, and cross over ahead of the people.” So they picked up the ark of the covenant and left ahead of them.” 7 Yehovah told Yehoshua, “Today I’ll begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so that they’ll know that I’m with you, just like I was with Moses. 8 Order the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, go and stand in the river.’”

9 Yehoshua told the Israelites, “Come here, and listen to the 'message' of Yehovah your Elohim.” 10 Yehoshua said, “Here is how you’ll really know that the living Elohim is among you, and that He’ll force out the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites ahead of you. 11 Watch the ark of the covenant of the Sovereign of the entire earth as it crosses over before you into the Jordan River! 12 Now choose twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13 Once the priests who carry the ark of Yehovah, the Sovereign of the entire earth, set foot in the water of the Jordan River, the flow of water of the Jordan River will be cut off and the water flowing from upstream will stop and stand up like a wall.”

14 So the people left their tents to cross the Jordan River. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant went ahead of the people. 15 When the priests who were carrying the ark entered the Jordan River, and put their feet in the water (since the Jordan River overflows all its banks thruout the harvest time.), 16 the water that flowed from above piled up as far away as the city of Adam, the city that adjoins Zarethan, and the water that went down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, was entirely cut off. Then the people crossed over near Jericho. 17 The priests bearing the ark of the covenant of Yehovah stood firmly on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan River, as all Israel crossed over on dry ground until the entire nation had crossed the Jordan River.

Yehoshua 4

1 Then after the entire nation had completely crossed over the Jordan River, Yehovah spoke to Yehoshua: 2 “Take twelve men from the people, one man from each tribe, 3 and command them to take twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, from the place where the priests’ feet stood firm, and carry them over with you, and lay them down where you’ll be staying tonight. 4 Then Yehoshua called together the twelve men he had selected of the Israelites, one man from each tribe. 5 Yehoshua told them, “Pass over before the ark of Yehovah your Elohim into the middle of the Jordan River, and each of you pick up a stone and put it on your shoulder, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the Israelites. 6 This will be a marker for you, so that in the future when your children ask, “What do these stones mean to you?”, 7 you can tell them, ‘The water from the Jordan River was cut off before the ark of the covenant of Yehovah. When the ark crossed over the Jordan River, the water of the Jordan River stopped flowing. These stones will serve as a memorial to the Israelites forever.’” 8 The Israelites did what Yehoshua commanded, and picked up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan River, as Yehovah told Yehoshua, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, and they carried them over with them to the place where they camped, and laid them down. 9 Yehoshua set up twelve stones in the middle of the Jordan River, in the place where the feet of the priests who carried the ark of the covenant stood, and they are still there today.

10 “The priests who carried the ark stood in the middle of the Jordan River, until everything was finished that Yehovah had commanded Yehoshua to tell the people, that is, everything that Moses commanded Yehoshua, and the people hurriedly crossed over. 11 Then when everyone had completely crossed over, the ark of Yehovah crossed over with the priests in the presence of the people. 12 The descendants of Reuben, and the descendants of Gawd, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, crossed over armed before the Israelites, as Moses ordered them. 13 About forty thousand men ready and armed for war crossed over before Yehovah to battle, to the plains of Jericho. 14 When that day came, Yehovah Yehoshua great in the sight of all Israel, and they stood in awe of him, like they stood in awe of Moses all the days of his life.

15 “Yehovah said to Yehoshua: 16 “Command the priests who carry the ark of the testimony to come up out of the Jordan River.” 17 So Yehoshua commanded the priests to come up out of the Jordan River! 18 Then when the priests who carried the ark of the covenant of Yehovah came up out of the middle of the Jordan River, and the soles of the priests’ feet were lifted up to the dry ground, the water of the Jordan River returned to its place, and it spilled over its banks as before. 19 The people came up from the Jordan River on the tenth day of the first month and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho.

20 “Yehoshua set up the twelve stones that they took out of the Jordan River in Gilgal. 21 He spoke told Israelites, “In the time to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?” 22 Then you’ll explain to your children that Israel came over the Jordan River on dry land, 23 because Yehovah your Elohim dried up the water of the Jordan River from before you, until you had crossed over, as Yehovah your Elohim had done to the Red Sea. He dried it up before us until we had crossed over, 24 so that all the people on earth will know the hand of Yehovah is strong. He did it so that you would fear Yehovah your Elohim forever.”

Yehoshua 5

1 Then when all the kings of the Amorites who were west of the Jordan River, and all the kings of the Canaanites who were by the sea heard how Yehovah had dried up the water of the Jordan River before the Israelites, until we had passed over, the 'morale' of the people suffered a meltdown, they were totally dispirited by the Israelites.

2 “At that time, Yehovah told Yehoshua, “Make flint knives, and circumcise the Israelites a second time.” 3 Yehoshua made flint knives, and circumcised the Israelites at the hill of the foreskins. 4 This is the reason why Yehoshua circumcised all the males who came out of Egypt—because all the men of war had died in the wilderness along the way after they left Egypt. 5 For all the people who came out were circumcised, but none of the people who were born in the wilderness along the way as they left Egypt had been circumcised.

6 “The Israelites walked forty years in the wilderness, until the entire nation, including the men of war who came out of Egypt 'had died', because they hadn’t listened to the voice of Yehovah. Yehovah swore to them that He wouldn’t let them see the land that Yehovah swore to our ancestors that He would give us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 7 Their children who He raised up in their place were circumcised by Yehoshua because they were uncircumcised, because they hadn’t circumcised them along the way. 8 Then when they were finished circumcising the entire nation, they stayed in their places in the camp until they were healed. 9 Yehovah told Yehoshua, “Today I’ve rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you. So the name of that place was called Gilgal to this today.” 10 The Israelites camped in Gilgal. They celebrated the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month at evening in the plains of Jericho. 11 They ate unleavened cakes and parched grain of the produce of the land on the day following the Passover, that very day. 12 The manna ceased on the next day, once they began eating the produce of the land. The Israelites didn’t have manna any more, instead they ate of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

13 “When Yehoshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him holding a drawn sword. Yehoshua approached Him and asked, “Are You for us or for our enemies?” 14 He said, “No, you don’t understand, I’ve come as the Commander of Yehovah’s army.” Yehoshua fell face down to the earth, and as he bowed in worship, he asked Him, “Master what 'message' do you have for Your servant?”

15 “The Commander of Yehovah’s Army [Yeshua; Jesus; Yehoshua], replied “Remove your sandals from your feet, because the place where you are standing is kadosh [1].” So Yehoshua did so.

[1] This is exactly what the Messenger of Yehovah (Yeshua Jesus) told Moses.

Yehoshua 6

1 Now Jericho was tightly shut up because of the Israelites. No one went out and no one came in. 2 Yehovah told Yehoshua, “I’ve handed Jericho over to you, along with its king and the warriors of valor! 3 All your men of war must march around the city once. You must do this for six days. 4 Seven priests will carry seven Jubilee shofars [1] before the ark. On the seventh day, you must march around the city seven times, and then have the priests blow the shofars. 5 When they make a long blast with the Jubilee horns U] and when you hear the sound of the shofars, then all the people will shout with a loud shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the men will rush straight ahead into the city.”

6 “Then Yehoshua the son of Nun called the priests, and told them, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and have seven priests carry seven Jubilee shofars before the ark of Yehovah.” 7 They told the people, “Advance! March around the city, and have the armed men pass on before Yehovah’s ark.” 8 Then when Yehoshua had spoken to the people, the seven priests carrying the seven Jubilee shofars before Yehovah advanced, and blew the shofars, and the ark of the covenant of Yehovah followed them. 9 The armed men went before the priests who blew the shofars, and the ark went after them. The shofars sounded as they went. 10 But Yehoshua had given a command to the people. He said, “You must not shout or raise your voices. Don't let a word leave your mouth until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout.” 11 So he had the ark of Yehovah taken around the city once. Then they returned to the camp and spent the night in the camp. 12 Yehoshua got up early in the morning, and the priests picked up the ark of Yehovah. 13 The seven priests carrying the seven Jubilee shofars before the ark of Yehovah kept going as they blew the shofars, and the armed men went before them. The rear guard came after the ark of Yehovah; blowing the shofars as they went. 14 The second day they marched around the city once, and returned into the camp. They did this for six days.

15 “Then on the seventh day, they got up early, at dawn, and marched around the city in the same manner, except on this particular day they marched around the city seven times. 16 Then on the seventh time that the priests blew the shofars, Yehoshua told the people, “Shout, because Yehovah has given you the city! 17 The city and everything in it will be dedicated to Yehovah for destruction. Only Rahab the prostitute is to live, she and everyone in the house with her, because she hid the spies that we sent. 18 Now concerning you, avoid keeping for yourselves the things dedicated for destruction. If you take anything dedicated for destruction into the camp, you’ll curse the camp of Israel and and bring trouble on it. 19 But all the silver and gold and the vessels of bronze and iron are kadosh to Yehovah. They go into Yehovah’s treasury.” 20 So the people shouted, and the priests blew the shofars. Then when the people heard the sound of the shofars, the people shouted with a loud shout and the wall fell flat, so the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. 21 They completely destroyed everyone in the city, both man and woman, young and old, even the oxen, sheep and donkeys with the edge of the sword.

22 “Yehoshua told the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the innkeeper’s house and bring out the woman and everything she has as you swore to her.” 23 The young scouts went in and brought out Rahab with her father, her mother, her brothers, and everything she had. They also brought out her relatives, and they set them outside of the camp of Israel. 24 They burned the city, and everything in it, but they put the silver, the gold and the bronze implements and of iron into the treasury of Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 25 But Rahab the innkeeper, her father’s household, and everything she had, Yehoshua saved alive. She lives in Israel to this day, because she hid the spies who Yehoshua sent to spy out Jericho.

26 “Then Yehoshua made them take an oath at that time, he said, “Cursed is the man before Yehovah, who rises up and rebuilds the city of Jericho. With the loss of his firstborn he would lay its foundation, and with the loss of his youngest son he would set up its gates.”

27 “So Yehovah was with Yehoshua, and his fame spread thruout the land.

[1] It is highly unlikely that any version of the Bible you have is honest here. They omit the word ‘Jubilee’ here for the same reason that they add ‘Jubilee’ to Leviticus 25:9!

Yehoshua 7

1 But the Israelites were unfaithful in regard to the things dedicated for destruction things, because Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah from the tribe of Judah took some of the things dedicated for destruction. So Yehovah’s anger burned against the Israelites.

2 “Yehoshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, that is beside Beth Aven on the east side of Bethel, and told them, “Go up and scout out the land.” The men went up and spied out Ai. 3 They returned to Yehoshua, and told him, “Don’t allow all the people to go up, but allow about two or three thousand men to go up and strike Ai. Don’t make all the people toil there, because there are only a few of them.” 4 So about three thousand men of the 'group' went up there, and they fled before the men of Ai. 5 The men of Ai struck about thirty-six of the men, and they chased them from before the gateway all the way to Shebarim, and struck them at the descent. The 'morale' of the people had a meltdown, and became like water. 6 Yehoshua tore his clothes and fell to the ground on his face before the ark of Yehovah until the evening, he and the elders of Israel, and they put dust on their heads.

7 “Yehoshua said, “Oh no, Sovereign Yehovah, why did You even bring these people over the Jordan River, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, and cause us to die? I wish that we had been content to live beyond the Jordan River! 8 Yehovah, what will I say, after Israel has turned their backs before their enemies! 9 The Canaanites and everyone else in the land will hear about it and surround us, and 'wipe' our name from the earth. Then what will You do for Your great name?” 10 Yehovah told Yehoshua, “Get up! Why have you fallen on your face like that? 11 Israel has sinned. Yes, they’ve even transgressed My covenant that I commanded them. Yes, they’ve even taken things dedicated for destruction, and have also stolen, and deceived. They’ve even put it among their own stuff. 12 So the Israelites can’t stand before their enemies. They turn their backs before their enemies, because they’ve become devoted for destruction. I won’t be with you any longer unless you destroy the things dedicated for destruction from among you. 13 “Get up! Purify the people, and say, ‘Purify yourselves for tomorrow, because Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, says: There is something dedicated for destruction among you, Israel. You can’t stand before your enemies until you get rid the things dedicated for destruction from among you. 14 ‘In the morning you’ll be brought near by your tribes. Then the tribe that Yehovah selects will come near by families. The family that Yehovah selects will come near by households. The household that Yehovah selects will come near man by man. 15 Then he who is caught with the things dedicated for destruction will be burnt with fire, he and everything he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of Yehovah, and because he has done something shameful in Israel.”

16 “So Yehoshua got up early in the morning and brought Israel near by their tribes. The tribe of Judah was selected. 17 He brought the tribe of Judah near, and he selected the family of the Zerahites. He brought near the family of the Zerahites man by man, and Zabdi was selected. 18 He brought near his household man by man, and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was selected. 19 Yehoshua said to Achan, “My son, please give praise to Yehovah, Elohim of Israel, and confess to Him. Now tell me what you’ve done! Don’t hide it from me!” 20 So Achan told Yehoshua, “I’ve truly sinned against Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, and this is what I’ve done. 21 When I saw among the spoil a beautiful Babylonian robe, two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. See, they are hidden in the ground in the middle of my tent, with the silver under it.” 22 So Yehoshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and saw that it was hidden in his tent, with the silver under it. 23 They took them from among the tent, and brought them to Yehoshua and to all the Israelites. They laid them down before Yehovah. 24 Yehoshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the wedge of gold, his sons, his daughters, his cattle, his donkeys, his sheep, his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them up to the Valley of Achor. 25 Yehoshua said, “Why have you brought trouble on us? Yehovah will bring trouble on you today.” Then all Israel stoned him with stones, and they burned them with fire after stoning them with stones. 26 They 'piled' over him a huge heap of stones that remains to this day. Yehovah turned from the fierceness of His anger. So the name of that place is called the Valley of Achor” to this day.

Yehoshua 8

1 Yehovah told Yehoshua, “Don’t be afraid or dismayed. Take all the fighting men with you, and get up and go to Ai. I’ve handed over the king of Ai to you, with his people, his city and his land! 2 You’ll do to Ai and her king what you did to Jericho and her king, except that you’ll take its spoil and its livestock as plunder for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the 'city'.” 3 So Yehoshua got up with all the fighting men to go up to Ai. Yehoshua chose thirty thousand warriors of valor, and sent them out during the night. 4 He commanded them, “You must prepare an ambush behind the city. Don’t go very far from the city, but you should all remain ready. 5 I and all the people with me will approach the city. Then when they come out against us, as before, we’ll flee before them. 6 They’ll come out after us, until we have drawn them away from the city, because they’ll say, ‘They’re fleeing before us as before.’ So we’ll flee ahead of them, 7 then come out of the ambush and seize the city, because Yehovah your Elohim will hand it over to you. 8 Then once you’ve seized on the city, set the city on fire. You’ll do this according to the Word of Yehovah as I’ve commanded you! 9 Yehoshua sent them out, and they went to prepare the ambush, and stayed between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of Ai, but Yehoshua stayed with the people that night.

10 “Yehoshua got up early in the morning, mustered the people, and went up, he and the elders of Israel before the people to Ai. 11 All the people including the men of war who were with him went up and approached the city, and camped on the north side of Ai. Now there was a valley between him and Ai. 12 He took about five thousand men, and prepared an ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. 13 So they stationed the entire army—the main encampment that was north of the city, and their ambush on the west of the city, and Yehoshua spent that night in the valley. 14 Then when the king of Ai saw it, they hurried and got up early, and the men of the city went out against Israel to fight, he and all his people, at the time appointed, before the Arabah, but he didn’t know that there was an ambush set behind the city. 15 Yehoshua and all Israel pretended that they were beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness. 16 All the people who were in the city were called together to pursue them. They pursued Yehoshua, and were drawn away from the city. 17 There wasn’t a man left in Ai or Beth El who didn’t go out after Israel. They left the city open, and pursued Israel.

18 “Yehovah told Yehoshua, “Stretch out the javelin in your hand toward Ai, because I’ll hand it to you.” Yehoshua stretched out the javelin in his hand toward the city. 19 The men in the ambush rose quickly from their position and rushed forward once he stretched out his hand. They entered the city and took it, and quickly set the city on fire. 20 When the men of Ai looked behind them, they saw the smoke of the city ascending up to heaven, and they had no power to flee this way or that way. The people who fled to the wilderness turned back on the pursuers. 21 When Yehoshua and all Israel saw that the the men in ambush had taken the city, and saw the smoke of the city ascending, they turned around and killed the men of Ai. 22 The others came out of the city against them, so they were in the middle of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side. They struck them without allowing any of them to remain or escape. 23 They captured the king of Ai alive, and brought him to Yehoshua. 24 Then when Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness where they pursued them, and they had all fallen by the edge of the sword until they were consumed, then all Israel returned to Aic and attacked it with swords. 25 Twelve thousand men and women fell that day, including all the men of Ai. 26 For Yehoshua didn’t withdraw his hand when he stretched out the javelin, until he had completely destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai. 27 Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Israel took as booty for themselves, according to the Word of Yehovah that He commanded Yehoshua. 28 So Yehoshua burnt Ai, and made it a heap forever, desolate to this day. 29 He hanged the king of Ai on a tree until the evening, and at sundown Yehoshua ordered that they take his body down from the tree, and toss it at the gateway of the city, and raise a huge heap of stones over it that remains to this day.

30 “Then Yehoshua built an altar to Yehovah, Elohim of Israel, in Mount Ebal, 31 as Moses the servant of Yehovah commanded the Israelites, as the Writings say in the book of the Torah of Moses, an altar of uncut stones that no man had used an iron tool on. They offered burnt offerings on it to Yehovah as well as fellowship offerings. 32 He wrote there on the stones a copy of the Torah of Moses, that he wrote in the presence of the Israelites. 33 All Israel, and their elders and officers and their judges stood on this side of the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites who carried the ark of Yehovah’s covenant, the foreigners as well as the natives, half of them in front of Mount Gerizim, and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of Yehovah had commanded initially to bless the House of Israel. 34 Afterward he read every word of the Torah, the blessings and the curses, according to everything that is written in the book of the Torah. 35 There wasn’t a word of anything that Moses had commanded, that Yehoshua didn’t read before the entire community of Israel, with the women, the little ones, and the foreigners who were among them.

Yehoshua 9

1 Then when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan River, in the hill country, and in the lowland, and along the entire sea shore of the great sea in front of Lebanon, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, heard about it, 2 they gathered together to fight against Yehoshua and with Israel in unison.

3 “But when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Yehoshua had done to Jericho and to Ai, 4 they resorted to a ruse, pretending that they were ambassadors, and took old sacks on their donkeys, and wineskins, old and torn and bound up, 5 and old patched sandals on their feet, and wore old clothing. All the bread of their provision was dry and moldy. 6 They went to Yehoshua to the camp at Gilgal, and told him and the men of Israel, “We have come from a far country. So make a covenant with us.” 7 The men of Israel told the Hivites, “What if you live among us. How could we make a covenant with you?” 8 They told Yehoshua, “We are your servants”. Yehoshua asked them, “Who are you? Where do you come from?” 9 They told him, “Your servants have come from a very far country because of the name of Yehovah your Elohim, because we have heard of His fame, and everything that He did in Egypt, 10 and everything that He did to the kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan River, to Sihon king of Heshbon and to Og king of Bashan, who was at Ashtaroth.” 11 Our elders and all the inhabitants of our country spoke to us, saying, “Take provision in your hand for the journey, and go to meet them, and tell them, ‘We are your servants. Now make a covenant with us.” 12 This our bread we took hot for our provision out of our houses on the day we left to come to you, but now, look, it’s dry and moldy. 13 These wineskins that we filled were new, and look, they’re torn. Our clothing and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey. 14 The men sampled their provisions, but didn’t seek counsel from Yehovah. 15 Yehoshua made peace with them, and made a covenant with them to let them live. The leaders of the community swore to them.

16 “Then three days after they had made a covenant with them, they heard that they were their neighbors and that they lived among them. 17 The Israelites traveled to their cities on the third day. Now their cities were Gibeon, Chephirah, Beeroth, and Kiriath Jearim. 18 The Israelites didn’t strike them, because the leaders of the community had sworn to them by Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel. The whole community murmured against the princes. 19 But all the leaders said to the entire community, “We have sworn to them by Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, so now we can’t touch them. 20 So we’ll let them live, otherwise wrath would be on us, because of the oath that we swore to them.” 21 The leaders told them, “Let them live,” so they became wood cutters and water haulers for the entire community, as the leaders had told them. 22 Yehoshua called for them, and he asked them, “Why have you deceived us by saying, ‘We are very far from you,’ when you live among us? 23 So now you are cursed, and some of you will never fail to be bond servants, both wood cutters and water haulers for the house of my Elohim.” 24 They replied to Yehoshua, “Because your servants were clearly told how Yehovah your Elohim commanded His servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you. So we were very afraid for our lives because of you, so we did this. 25 Now, look, we’re in your hand. Do to us what seems good and right for you to do.” 26 He did so to them, and delivered them out of the grasp of the Israelites so that they wouldn’t kill them. 27 That day Yehoshua made them wood cutters and water haulers for the community and for the altar of Yehovah, to today, in the place that he should choose.

Yehoshua 10

1 Now when Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem heard how Yehoshua had taken Ai, and had completely destroyed it, as he had done to Jericho and her king, as he had done to Ai and her king, and how the inhabitants of Gibeon had made peace with Israel, and were among them. 2 They were very afraid, because Gibeon was a great city, as one of the royal cities, and because it was greater than Ai, and all its men were mighty. 3 So Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem sent to Hoham king of Hebron, to Piram king of Jarmuth, to Japhia king of Lachish, and to Debir king of Eglon: 4 “Come up to me, and help me, and let’s strike Gibeon, because it has made peace with Yehoshua and with the Israelites.” 5 So the five kings of the Amorites, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish and the king of Eglon gathered together and went up, they and all their armies, and camped before Gibeon, and made war against it.

6 “The men of Gibeon sent to Yehoshua to the camp to Gilgal, saying, “Don’t abandon your servants! Come up to us quickly and save us, and help us, because all the kings of the Amorites that live in the hill country have gathered together against us.” 7 So Yehoshua went up from Gilgal, he, and all the soldiers with him, and all the warriors of valor. 8 Yehovah told Yehoshua, “Don’t fear them, because I’ve delivered them into your hands. Not a man of them will stand before you.” 9 Yehoshua came on them suddenly, having marched all night from Gilgal. 10 Yehovah confused them before Israel, and he killed them in a huge slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them by the way of the ascent of Beth Horon, and struck them as far as Azekah and Makkedah. 11 Then as they fled from before Israel, while they were at the descent of Beth Horon, Yehovah threw down great stones from the sky on them to Azekah and they died. There were more who died from the hailstones than those the Israelites killed with swords. 12 Then Yehoshua spoke to Yehovah in the day when Yehovah delivered up the Amorites before the Israelites, and he said in the sight of Israel: Sun, stand still on Gibeon! Moon, stop in the valley of Aijalon!” 13 The sun stood still, and the moon stopped, until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. Isn’t this written in the book of Jashar? The sun stayed in mid sky, and wasn’t in a hurry to set for about a whole day. 14 There was no day like that before it or after it. Yehovah listened to the voice of a man, because Yehovah fought for Israel. 15 Yehoshua returned, and all Israel with him to the camp to Gilgal.

16 “These five kings fled, and hid themselves in a cave at Makkedah. 17 Yehoshua was told, “The five kings have been found, hidden in a cave at Makkedah.” 18 Yehoshua said, “Roll large stones to the mouth of the cave, and set men by it to guard them, 19 but don’t stay. Pursue your enemies and attack them from the rear. Don’t allow them to enter their cities, because Yehovah your Elohim has handed them over to you.”

20 “Then Yehoshua and the Israelites finished killing them in a very huge slaughter until they were consumed, and some of them remained who had entered the fortified cities, 21 All the people returned to the camp to Yehoshua at Makkedah in peace. None moved his tongue against any of the Israelites. 22 Then Yehoshua said, “Open the mouth of the cave, and bring those five kings out of the cave to me.” 23 They did so, and brought the five kings out of the cave to him, the king of Jerusalem, the king of Hebron, the king of Jarmuth, the king of Lachish and the king of Eglon. 24 Then when they brought the kings out to Yehoshua, Yehoshua called for all the men of Israel, and told the leaders of the men of war who went with him, “Come near, put your feet on the necks of these kings.” They came near and put their feet on their necks. 25 Yehoshua told them, “Don’t be afraid or be dismayed. Be strong and of good courage, because Yehovah will do this to all your enemies who fight against you.” 26 Afterward Yehoshua struck them, put them to death, and hanged them on five trees. They were hanging on the trees until the evening. 27 Then at sundown, Yehoshua commanded, and they took them down from the trees, and threw them into the cave that they had hidden themselves in, and laid huge stones on the mouth of the cave that remains to this very day.

28 “Yehoshua took Makkedah on that day, and struck it with the edge of the sword, with its king. He completely destroyed them and everyone who was in it. He left no survivors. He did to the king of Makkedah what he did to the king of Jericho.

29 “Yehoshua passed from Makkedah, and all Israel with him, to Libnah, and fought against Libnah. 30 Yehovah delivered it also, with its king into the hands of Israel. He struck it with the edge of the sword, and all the lives who were in it. He left no one remaining in it. He did to its king what he had done to the king of Jericho. 31 Yehoshua passed from Libnah, and all Israel with him to Lachish, and camped against it, and fought against it. 32 Yehovah delivered Lachish into the hands of Israel. He took it on the second day, and struck it with the edge of the sword, with all the people who were in it. He did everything that he had done to Libnah. 33 Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish, and Yehoshua struck him and his people, until he had left him no survivors.

34 “Yehoshua passed from Lachish, and all Israel with him, to Eglon, and they camped against it and fought against it. 35 They took it on that day, and struck it with the edge of the sword. He completely destroyed all the people who were in it that day, just as he had done to Lachish.

36 “Yehoshua went up from Eglon, and all Israel with him, to Hebron, and they fought against it. 37 They took it, and struck it with the edge of the sword, with its king and all its cities, and all the lives who were in it. He left no survivors, just as he had done to Eglon, but he completely destroyed it, and all the lives who were in it.

38 “Yehoshua returned, and all Israel with him, to Debir, and fought against it. 39 He took it, with its king and all its cities. They struck them with the edge of the sword, and completely destroyed all the people who were in it. He left none remaining. As he had done to Hebron, so he did to Debir, and to its king, as he had done also to Libnah, and to its king.

40 “So Yehoshua struck the entire land, the hill country, and the South, and the lowland, and the slopes, and all their kings. He left no survivors, but he completely destroyed everything that breathed, as Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, commanded. 41 Yehoshua struck them from Kadesh Barnea even to Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, all the way to Gibeon. 42 Yehoshua took all these kings and their land at one time, because Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, fought for Israel. 43 Yehoshua returned, and all Israel with him to the camp to Gilgal.

Yehoshua 11

1 Then when Jabin king of Hazor heard about it, he sent to Jobab king of Madon, to the king of Shimron, to the king of Achshaph, 2 and to the kings who were on the north, in the hill country, in the Arabah south of Chinneroth, in the lowland, and in the heights of Dor on the west, 3 to the Canaanites on the east and on the west, and the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites in the hill country, and the Hivites below Hermon in the land of Mizpah. 4 They went out, they and all their armies with them, many people, like the sand of the seashore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots. 5 All these kings met together, and they came and camped together at the water of Merom, to fight with Israel. 6 Yehovah told Yehoshua, “Don’t be afraid of them, because tomorrow at this time, I’ll deliver them up all slain before Israel. You’ll hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire. 7 So Yehoshua came, and all the fighting men with him, against them by the water of Merom suddenly, and descended on them. 8 Yehovah delivered them into the hand of Israel, and they struck them, and chased them to great Sidon, and to Misrephoth Maim, and to the valley of Mizpeh eastward. They struck them until they left no one remaining. 9 Yehoshua did to them as Yehovah told him. He hamstrung their horses and burnt their chariots with fire.

10 “Yehoshua turned back at that time, and took Hazor, and struck its king with a sword, because Hazor used to be the head of all those kingdoms. 11 They struck all the lives who were in it with the edge of the sword, completely destroying them. There was no one left breathing. He burnt Hazor with fire. 12 Yehoshua captured all the cities of those kings, with their kings, and he struck them with the edge of the sword, and completely destroyed them, just as Moses the servant of Yehovah commanded. 13 But as for the cities that stood on their mounds, Israel burned none of them except for Hazor. Yehoshua burned that. 14 The Israelites took all the spoil of these cities, with the livestock, as spoils for themselves, but every man they struck with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them. They didn’t leave anyone breathing, 15 as Yehovah had commanded Moses His servant, so Moses commanded Yehoshua. Yehoshua did so. He left nothing undone that Yehovah had commanded Moses.

16 “So Yehoshua captured all that land, the hill country, all the South, all the land of Goshen, the lowland, the Arabah, the hill country of Israel, and the lowland of the same, 17 from Mount Halak, that goes up to Seir, as far as Baal Gawd in the valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. He took all their kings, struck them, and put them to death. 18 Yehoshua made war a long time with all those kings. 19 There wasn’t a city that made peace with the Israelites, except for the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took all the others in battle. 20 It was of Yehovah to harden their sentiments, to come against Israel in battle, so that He could completely destroy them, so that they would have no favor, but that He could destroy them, as Yehovah had commanded Moses.

21 “Yehoshua came at that time and eliminated the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel, Yehoshua completely destroyed them with their cities. 22 There were none of the Anakim left in the land of the Israelites. Except a few remained in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod.

23 “So Yehoshua took the whole land, according to everything that Yehovah had instructed Moses, and Yehoshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes. The land had rest from war.

Yehoshua 12

1 Now these are the kings of the land who the Israelites struck, taking possession of their land beyond the Jordan River toward the sunrise, from the valley of the Arnon to Mount Hermon, and all the Arabah eastward. 2 Sihon king of the Amorites lived in Heshbon, and ruled from Aroer on the bank of the valley of the Arnon, and the middle of the valley, and half of Gilead, all the way to the Jabbok river, the border of the 'land' of Ammon, 3 and the Arabah to the sea of Chinneroth, eastward to the sea of the Arabah, as far as the Salt Sea, eastward all the way to Beth Jeshimoth, and on the south, under the slopes of Pisgah, 4 and the border of Og king of Bashan, of the 'survivors' of the Rephaim, who lived at Ashtaroth and at Edrei, 5 and ruled in Mount Hermon, and in Salecah, and thruout Bashan, to the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and half Gilead, the border of Sihon king of Heshbon. 6 Moses the servant of Yehovah and the Israelites struck them. Moses the servant of Yehovah gave it as a possession to the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

7 “These are the kings of the land who Yehoshua and the Israelites struck beyond the Jordan River westward, from Baal Gawd in the valley of Lebanon even to Mount Halak, that goes up to Seir. Yehoshua gave it to the tribes of Israel as a possession according to their divisions, 8 in the hill country, and in the lowland, and in the Arabah, and in the slopes, and in the wilderness, and in the South, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, 9 the king of Jericho, one, the king of Ai, that is beside Bethel, one, 10 the king of Jerusalem, one, the king of Hebron, one, 11 the king of Jarmuth, one, the king of Lachish, one, 12 the king of Eglon, one, the king of Gezer, one, 13 the king of Debir, one, the king of Geder, one, 14 the king of Hormah, one, the king of Arad, one, 15 the king of Libnah, one, the king of Adullam, one, 16 the king of Makkedah, one, the king of Bethel, one, 17 the king of Tappuah, one, the king of Hepher, one, 18 the king of Aphek, one, the king of Sharon, one, 19 the king of Madon, one, the king of Hazor, one, 20 the king of Shimron Meron, one, the king of Achshaph, one, 21 the king of Taanach, one, the king of Megiddo, one, 22 the king of Kedesh, one, the king of Jokneam in Carmel, one, 23 the king of Dor in the height of Dor, one, the king of Goiim in Gilgal, one, 24 the king of Tirzah, one, all the kings thirty-one.

Yehoshua 13

1 When Yehoshua was many years of age. Yehovah told him: “You are very old and a great deal of land is yet to be conquered. 2 This is the land that still remains, the entire region of the Philistines, and all that of the Geshurites, 3 from the Shihor that is before Egypt, all the way to the border of Ekron northward, that is considered as Canaanite, the five Philistine leaders, the Gazites, and the Ashdodites, the Ashkelonites, the Gittites, the Ekronites and the Avvim. 4 On the south, all the land of the Canaanites, and Mearah in the region of Sidon, as far as Aphek and to the Amorite border, 5 the territory of Byblos and all of Lebanon toward the sunrise, from Baal Gawd under Mount Hermon to Lebo Hamath. 6 I'll drive out all of the inhabitants of the hill country from Lebanon to Misrephoth Maim, and all the Sidonians in advance of the Israelites. Be sure to allocate it to Israel for an inheritance, as I’ve commanded you. 7 So divide this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes and the half-tribe of Manasseh. 8 With him the Reubenites and the Gadites received the inheritance that Moses had given them, beyond the Jordan River eastward, just as Moses the servant of Yehovah gave them, 9 from Aroer, on the bank of the valley of the Arnon, and the city that is in the middle of the valley, and the entire plain of Medeba to Dibon, 10 and all the cities of Sihon king of the Amorites, who reigned in Heshbon, as far as the border of the 'land' of Ammon, 11 and Gilead, and the border of the Geshurites and Maacathites, and all of Mount Hermon, and all of Bashan to Salecah, 12 all the kingdom of Og in Bashan, who reigned in Ashtaroth and in Edrei (the same was left of the 'survivors' of the Rephaim), because Moses attacked these, and drove them out. 13 But the Israelites didn’t drive out the Geshurites, or the Maacathites. The Geshur and Maacath live in the middle of Israel to this day. 14 But he didn’t give an inheritance to the tribe of Levi. The zebakim of Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, made by fire are his inheritance, just as he told him.

15 “Moses gave to the tribe of the descendants of Reuben according to their families. 16 Their border was from Aroer, on the bank of the valley of the Arnon, and the city in the middle of the valley, and the entire plain by Medeba, 17 Heshbon, and all its cities that are in the plain, Dibon, Bamoth Baal, Beth Baal Meon, 18 Jahaz, Kedemoth, Mephaath, 19 Kiriathaim, Sibmah, Zereth Shahar in the mount of the valley, 20 Beth Peor, the slopes of Pisgah, Beth Jeshimoth, 21 all the cities of the plain, and the entire kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites who reigned in Heshbon, who Moses struck with the leaders of Midian, Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, and the leaders of Sihon, who lived in the land.” 22 The Israelites also killed Balaam, the son of Beor, the soothsayer with a sword, along with the rest of their slain. 23 The border of the descendants of Reuben was the bank of the Jordan River. This was the inheritance of the descendants of Reuben according to their families, the cities and its villages.

24 “Moses gave to the tribe of Gawd, to the descendants of Gawd, according to their families. 25 Their border was Jazer, and all the cities of Gilead, and half of the 'land' of Ammon, to Aroer that is before Rabbah, 26 and from Heshbon to Ramath Mizpeh, and Betonim, and from Mahanaim to the border of Debir, 27 and in the valley, Beth Haram, Beth Nimrah, Succoth, and Zaphon, the rest of the kingdom of Sihon king of Heshbon, the Jordan river’s bank, to the remotest part of the sea of Chinnereth, beyond the Jordan River eastward. 28 This is the inheritance of the descendants of Gawd according to their families, the cities and its villages.

29 “Moses gave an inheritance to the half-tribe of Manasseh. It was for the half-tribe of the descendants of Manasseh according to their families. 30 Their border was from Mahanaim, all Bashan, all the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, and all the cities of Jair in Bashan, sixty cities. 31 Half of Gilead, Ashtaroth, and Edrei, the cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan were given to the descendants of Makir son of Manasseh, to half the descendants of Makir by their clans.

32 “These are the inheritances that Moses distributed in the plains of Moab, beyond the Jordan River by Jericho, eastward. 33 But Moses gave no inheritance to the tribe of Levi. Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel was their inheritance, just as He had promised them.

Yehoshua 14

1 These are the inheritances that the Israelites took in the land of Canaan that Eleazar the priest, Yehoshua the son of Nun, and the heads of the ancestral households of the tribes of the Israelites distributed to them, 2 by the lot of their inheritance, as Yehovah commanded by Moses, for the nine tribes, and for the half-tribe. 3 Since Moses had given the inheritance of the two tribes and the half-tribe beyond the Jordan River, but he gave no inheritance to the Levites among them. 4 The descendants of Joseph were two tribes, Manasseh and Ephraim, and they gave no part to the Levites in the land, except cities to live in, with their pasture lands for their livestock and for their property. 5 The Israelites did as Yehovah had commanded Moses, and they divided the land.

6 “Then the House of Judah came near to Yehoshua in Gilgal. Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite told him, “You know what Yehovah told Moses the man of Elohim concerning me and concerning you in Kadesh Barnea. 7 I was forty years old when Moses the servant of Yehovah sent me from Kadesh Barnea to surveil the land. I brought him an accurate report as to what 'I had witnessed'. 8 But my brothers who went up with me caused a meltdown in the morale of the people, but I wholly followed Yehovah my Elohim.” 9 Moses swore that day, “Surely the land where you walked will be an inheritance to you and to your children forever, because you’ve completely followed Yehovah my Elohim.” 10 Now, look, Yehovah has kept me alive as he said these forty-five years, from the time that Yehovah 'gave' this 'message' to Moses, while Israel walked in the wilderness. Now, look, I’m eighty-five years old, today, 11 and yet, I’m as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me, as my strength was then, just like my strength is now for war, to go out and to come in. 12 So give me the hill country that Yehovah mentioned that day, because you heard when this day arrives how the Anakim were there, and great and fortified cities. Perhaps Yehovah will be with me, and I’ll drive them out, as Yehovah said. 13 Yehoshua blessed him, and he gave Hebron to Caleb the son of Jephunneh as an inheritance. 14 So Hebron became the inheritance of Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite to today, because he wholly followed Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel. 15 Now the name of Hebron used to be Kiriath Arba, after the greatest man among the Anakim. The land had rest from war.

Yehoshua 15

1 The lot for the tribe of the House of Judah according to their clans was to the border of Edom, as far as the wilderness of Zin southward, at the remotest part of the south. 2 Their southern border was from the lower end of the Salt Sea, from the bay that faces south, 3 and it extended south of the Scorpion Ascent. It continued to Zin, and went over the south to Kadesh Barnea. Then it ran past Hezron, went up to Addar, and turned toward Karka, 4 and it passed along to Azmon, went out at the brook of Egypt, and the border ended at the sea. This will be your southern border. 5 The eastern border was the Salt Sea, at the end of the Jordan River. The border of the northern quarter was from the bay of the sea at the end of the Jordan River. 6 The border went up to Beth Hoglah, and passed along north of Beth Arabah, and the border went up to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. 7 The border went up to Debir from the Valley of Achor, and so northward, facing Gilgal, that is over against the ascent of Adummim, that is on the southern side of the river. The border passed along to the water of En Shemesh, and ended at En Rogel. 8 The border went up by the valley of the son of Hinnom to the side of the Jebusite southward (that is, Jerusalem), and the border went up to the top of the mountain that lies before the valley of Hinnom westward, that is at the farthest part of the valley of Rephaim northward. 9 The border extended from the top of the mountain to the spring of the water of Nephtoah, and went out to the cities of Mount Ephron, and the border extended to Baalah (that is, Kiriath Jearim), 10 and the border turned about from Baalah westward to Mount Seir, and passed along to the side of Mount Jearim on the north (the same is Chesalon), and went down to Beth Shemesh, and passed along by Timnah, 11 and the border went out to the side of Ekron northward, and the border extended to Shikkeron, and passed along to Mount Baalah, and went out at Jabneel, and the goings out of the border were at the sea. 12 The west border was to the shore of the great sea. This is the border of the House of Judah according to their families.

13 “To Caleb the son of Jephunneh he gave a portion among the House of Judah, according to the commandment of Yehovah to Yehoshua, even Kiriath Arba, named after the father of Anak (the same is Hebron). 14 Caleb drove the three sons of Anak out of there: Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai, the children of Anak. 15 He went up against the inhabitants of Debir, now the name of Debir before was Kiriath Sepher. 16 And Caleb said, “I’ll give Achsah my daughter as a wife to whoever attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it.” 17 Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it, and he gave him Achsah his daughter as a wife. 18 Then when she came, she had him ask her father for a field. She got off of her donkey, and Caleb said, “What do you want?” 19 She said, “Give me a blessing. Because you’ve set me in the land of the South, give me springs of water as well.” He gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

20 “This is the inheritance of the tribe of the House of Judah according to their families. 21 The farthest cities of the tribe of the House of Judah toward the border of Edom in the South were Kabzeel, Eder, Jagur, 22 Kinah, Dimonah, Adadah, 23 Kedesh, Hazor, Ithnan, 24 ZiphTelem, Bealoth, 25 Hazor Hadattah, Kerioth Hezron (the same is Hazor), 26 Amam, Shema, Moladah, 27 Hazar Gaddah, Heshmon, Beth Pelet, 28 Hazar Shual, Beersheba, Biziothiah, 29 Baalah, Iim, Ezem, 30 Eltolad, Chesil, Hormah, 31 Ziklag, Madmannah, Sansannah, 32 Lebaoth, Shilhim, Ain, and Rimmon — a total of twenty-nine cities and their villages.

33 “In the lowland, Eshtaol, Zorah, Ashnah, 34 Zanoah, En Gannim, Tappuah, Enam, 35 Jarmuth, Adullam, Socoh, Azekah, 36 Shaaraim, Adithaim and Gederah (or Gederothaim), fourteen cities and their villages. 37 Zenan, Hadashah, Migdal Gawd, 38 Dilean, Mizpeh, Joktheel, 39 Lachish, Bozkath, Eglon, 40 Cabbon, Lahmam, Chitlish, 41 Gederoth, Beth Dagon, Naamah, and Makkedah, sixteen cities and their villages. 42 Libnah, Ether, Ashan, 43 Iphtah, Ashnah, Nezib, 44 Keilah, Achzib, and Mareshah, nine cities and their villages. 45 Ekron, with its cities and its villages, 46 from Ekron all the way to the sea, all that were by the side of Ashdod, and their villages. 47 Ashdod, its cities and its villages, Gaza, its cities and its villages, to the brook of Egypt, and the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

48 “In the hill country, Shamir, Jattir, Socoh, 49 Dannah, Kiriath Sannah (that is Debir), 50 Anab, Eshtemoh, Anim, 51 Goshen, Holon, and Giloh, eleven cities with their villages. 52 Arab, Dumah, Eshan, 53 Janim, Beth Tappuah, Aphekah, 54 Humtah, Kiriath Arba (the same is Hebron), and Zior, nine cities with their villages. 55 Maon, Carmel, Ziph, Jutah, 56 Jezreel, Jokdeam, Zanoah, 57 Kain, Gibeah, and Timnah, ten cities with their villages. 58 Halhul, Beth Zur, Gedor, 59 Maarath, Beth Anoth, and Eltekon, six cities with their villages. 60 Kiriath Baal (the same is Kiriath Jearim), and Rabbah, two cities with their villages.

61 “In the wilderness, Beth Arabah, Middin, Secacah, 62 Nibshan, the City of Salt, and En Gedi, six cities and their villages.

63 “As for the Jebusites, the residents of Jerusalem, the House of Judah couldn’t drive them out, but the Jebusites live with the House of Judah in Jerusalem to this day.

Yehoshua 16

1 The lot for the descendants of Joseph went from the Jordan River at Jericho to the water of Jericho on the east, including the wilderness going from Jericho thru the hill country to Bethel. 2 It went from Bethel to Luz, and passed along to the border of the Archites to Ataroth, 3 and it went down westward to the border of the Japhletites, to the border of Beth Horon the lower, all the way to Gezer, and ended at the Mediterranean Sea.

4 “The children of Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim took their inheritance. 5 This was the border of the descendants of Ephraim according to their families. The border of their inheritance eastward was Ataroth Addar, to Beth Horon the upper. 6 The border went out westward at Michmethath on the north. The border turned about eastward to Taanath Shiloh, and passed along it on the east of Janoah. 7 It went down from Janoah to Ataroth, to Naarah, reached to Jericho, and went out at the Jordan River. 8 From Tappuah the border went along westward to the brook of Kanah, and ended at the sea. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the descendants of Ephraim according to their families, 9 together with the cities that were set apart for the descendants of Ephraim amid the inheritance of the descendants of Manasseh, all the cities and their villages. 10 They didn’t drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer. The Canaanites live among the Ephraimites to this day and have become forced laborers.

Yehoshua 17

1 This was the lot for the tribe of Manasseh, because he was Joseph’s firstborn. As for Machir the firstborn of Manasseh, the father of Gilead, because he was a man of war, so he was given Gilead and Bashan. 2 So this was for the rest of the descendants of Manasseh according to their families, for the descendants of Abiezer, the descendants of Helek, the descendants of Asriel, the descendants of Shechem, the descendants of Hepher, and for the descendants of Shemida, these were the male descendants of Manasseh the son of Joseph according to their families. 3 But Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons, but daughters, and these are the names of his daughters, Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. 4 They came before Eleazar the priest, and before Yehoshua the son of Nun, and before the princes, saying, “Yehovah commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers.” So according to the commandment of Yehovah he gave them an inheritance among the brothers of their father. 5 Ten shares fell to Manasseh, besides the land of Gilead and Bashan, beyond the Jordan River, 6 because the daughters of Manasseh had an inheritance among his sons. The land of Gilead belonged to the rest of the sons of Manasseh.

7 “The territory of Manasseh was from Asher to Michmethath, that is before Shechem. The border went along to the right hand, to the inhabitants of En Tappuah. 8 The land of Tappuah belonged to Manasseh, but Tappuah on the border of Manasseh belonged to the descendants of Ephraim. 9 The border descended to the brook of Kanah, south of the brook. These cities belonged to Ephraim among the cities of Manasseh. The border of Manasseh was on the north side of the brook, and ended at the sea. 10 Southward it was Ephraim’s, and northward it was Manasseh’s, and the sea was his border. They reached to Asher on the north, and to Issachar on the east. 11 Manasseh had three heights in Issachar, in Asher Beth Shean and its cities, and Ibleam and its cities, and the inhabitants of Do 12 But the descendants of Manasseh couldn’t take possession of these cities, because the Canaanites persisted were determined to live in that land. 13 Then when the Israelites had grown strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but didn’t completely drive them out.

14 “The descendants of Joseph asked Yehoshua, “Why have you given me just one lot and one part for an inheritance, when we’re a numerous people who Yehovah has blessed so far?” 15 Yehoshua told them, “If you are a numerous people, then go up to the forest, and clear land for yourself there in the land of the Perizites and the Rephaim, since the hill country of Ephraim is too narrow for you.” 16 The descendants of Joseph said, “The hill country isn’t enough for us. All the Canaanites who live in the land of the valley have iron chariots, both those who are in Beth Shean and its cities, and those who are in the Jezreel Valley.” 17 Yehoshua told to the House of Joseph the House of Joseph—Ephraim and Manasseh, “You are a numerous people with great power. You won’t just have one lot. 18 The hill country will also be yours. Tho it’s a forest, you’ll cut it down, and it’s farthest extent will be yours. You’ll drive the Canaanites out, tho they have iron chariots, and tho they’re strong.”

Yehoshua 18

1 The whole community of the Israelites gathered together in Shiloh, and set up the kadosh Tent there. The land was subdued before them.

2 “But there were still seven tribes in Israel who hadn’t received their allotment yet. 3 Yehoshua told the Israelites, “How long will you neglect to go in to possess the land that Yehovah, the Elohim of your ancestors has given you? 4 You should appoint three men from each tribe. I’ll send them, and they’ll get up and walk thru the land, and describe it according to their inheritance, and they’ll come to me. 5 They’ll divide it into seven portions. Judah will live in his borders on the south, and the House of Joseph will live in their borders on the north. 6 You’ll survey the land into seven parts, and bring the description here to me, and I’ll cast lots for you here before Yehovah our Elohim. 7 The Levites have no portion among you, because the priesthood of Yehovah is their inheritance. Gawd, Reuben, and the half-tribe of Manasseh have received their inheritance beyond the Jordan River eastward, that Moses the servant of Yehovah gave them.”

8 “The men got up and went. Yehoshua commanded those who went to survey the land: “Go walk thru the land, survey it, and return to me. I’ll cast lots for you here before Yehovah in Shiloh.” 9 The men went thru the land, and surveyed it by cities into seven portions in a book. They came to Yehoshua to the camp in Shiloh. 10 Yehoshua cast lots for them in Shiloh before Yehovah. There Yehoshua divided the land to the Israelites according to their divisions.

11 “The lot of the tribe of the Benjaminites came up according to their families. The border of their lot went out between the House of Judah and the descendants of Joseph. 12 Their border on the north quarter was from the Jordan River. The border went up to the side of Jericho on the north, and went up thru the hill country westward. It ended at the wilderness of Beth Aven. 13 The border passed along from there to Luz, to the side of Luz (also known as Bethel), southward. The border went down to Ataroth Addar, by the mountain that lies on the south of Beth Horon the lower. 14 The border extended, and turned around on the west quarter southward, from the mountain that lies before Beth Horon southward, and ended at Kiriath Baal (the same is Kiriath Jearim), a city of the House of Judah. This was the west quarter. 15 The south quarter was from the farthest part of Kiriath Jearim. The border went out westward, and went out to the spring of the water of Nephtoah. 16 The border went down to the farthest part of the mountain that lies before the valley of the son of Hinnom, that is in the valley of Rephaim northward. It went down to the valley of Hinnom, to the side of the Jebusite southward, and went down to En Rogel. 17 It extended northward, went out at En Shemesh, and went out to Geliloth, that is over against the ascent of Adummim. It went down to the stone of Bohan the son of Reuben. 18 It passed along the side over against the Arabah northward, and went down to the Arabah. 19 The border passed along to the side of Beth Hoglah northward, and the border ended at the north bay of the Salt Sea, at the south end of the Jordan River. This was the south border. 20 The Jordan River was its border on the east quarter. This was the inheritance of the Benjaminites, by the borders around it, according to their families.

21 “Now the cities of the tribe of the Benjaminites according to their clans were Jericho, Beth Hoglah, Emek Keziz, 22 Beth Arabah, Zemaraim, Bethel, 23 Avvim, Parah, Ophrah, 24 Chephar Ammoni, Ophni, and Geba, twelve cities with their villages. 25 Gibeon, Ramah, Beeroth, 26 Mizpeh, Chephirah, Mozah, 27 Rekem, Irpeel Taralah, 28 Zelah, Eleph, the Jebusite (the same is Jerusalem), Gibeath, and Kiriath, fourteen cities with their villages. This is the inheritance of the Benjaminites according to their families.

Yehoshua 19

1 The second lot fell to Simeon, to the tribe of the descendants of Simeon according to their families. Their inheritance was in the middle of the inheritance of the House of Judah. 2 They had for their inheritance Beersheba (or Sheba), Moladah, 3 Hazar Shual, Balah, Ezem, 4 Eltolad, Bethul, Hormah, 5 Ziklag, Beth Marcaboth, Hazar Susah, 6 Beth Lebaoth and Sharuhen, thirteen cities with their villages, 7 Ain, Rimmon, Ether and Ashan, four cities with their villages, 8 and all the villages that were around these cities to Baalath Beer, Ramah of the South. This is the inheritance of the tribe of the descendants of Simeon according to their families. 9 Out of the part of the House of Judah was the inheritance of the descendants of Simeon, because the portion of the House of Judah was too much for them. So the descendants of Simeon had their inheritance in the middle of their inheritance.

10 “The third lot fell to the descendants of Zebulun according to their families. The border of their inheritance was to Sarid. 11 Their border went up westward, all the way to Maralah, and reached to Dabbesheth. It reached to the brook near Jokneam. 12 It turned from Sarid eastward toward the sunrise to the border of Chisloth Tabor. It went out to Daberath, and went up to Japhia. 13 From there it passed along eastward to Gath Hepher, to Ethkazin, and it went out at Rimmon that stretches to Neah. 14 The border turned around it on the north to Hannathon, and it ended at the valley of Iphtah El, 15 Kattath, Nahalal, Shimron, Idalah and Bethlehem; twelve cities with their villages. 16 This is the inheritance of the descendants of Zebulun according to their families, these cities with their villages.

17 “The fourth lot fell to Issachar, to the descendants of Issachar according to their families. 18 Their border was to Jezreel, Chesulloth, Shunem, 19 Hapharaim, Shion, Anaharath, 20 Rabbith, Kishion, Ebez, 21 Remeth, Engannim, En Haddah and Beth Pazzez. 22 The border reached to Tabor, Shahazumah and Beth Shemesh. Their border ended at the Jordan River; sixteen cities with their villages. 23 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the descendants of Issachar according to their families, the cities with their villages.

24 “The fifth lot fell to the tribe of the descendants of Asher according to their families. 25 Their border was Helkath, Hali, Beten, Achshaph, 26 Allammelech, Amad and Mishal. It reached to Carmel westward and to Shihorlibnath. 27 It turned toward the sunrise to Beth Dagon, and reached to Zebulun, and to the valley of Iphtah El northward to Beth Emek and Neiel. It went out to Cabul on the left hand, 28 and Ebron, Rehob, Hammon and Kanah as far as great Sidon. 29 The border turned to Ramah, to the fortified city of Tyre, and the border turned to Hosah. It ended at the sea by the region of Achzib, 30 Included were Ummah, Aphek and Rehob; twenty-two cities with their villages. 31 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the descendants of Asher according to their families, these cities with their villages.

32 “The sixth lot came out for the descendants of Naphtali, to the descendants of Naphtali according to their families. 33 Their border was from Heleph, from the oak in Zaanannim, Adaminekeb and Jabneel, to Lakkum. It ended at the Jordan River. 34 The border turned westward to Aznoth Tabor, and went out from there to Hukkok. It reached to Zebulun on the south, and reached to Asher on the west, and to Judah at the Jordan River toward the sunrise. 35 The fortified cities were Ziddim, Zer, Hammath, Rakkath, Chinnereth, 36 Adamah, Ramah, Hazor, 37 Kedesh, Edrei, En Hazor, 38 Iron, Migdal El, Horem, Beth Anath and Beth Shemesh; nineteen cities with their villages. 39 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the descendants of Naphtali according to their families, the cities with their villages.

40 “The seventh lot fell to the tribe of the Danites according to their families. 41 The border of their inheritance was Zorah, Eshtaol, Irshemesh, 42 Shaalabbin, Aijalon, Ithlah, 43 Elon, Timnah, Ekron, 44 Eltekeh, Gibbethon, Baalath, 45 Jehud, Bene Berak, Gath Rimmon, 46 Me-jarkon and Rakkon, with the border over against Joppa. 47 The border of the Danites went out beyond them, because the Danites went up and fought against Leshem, and took it, and struck it with the edge of the sword, and possessed it, and lived there, and renamed it Dan, after their ancestor Dan. 48 This is the inheritance of the tribe of the Danites according to their families, these cities with their villages.

49 “When they had finished distributing the land for inheritance by its borders. The Israelites gave an inheritance to Yehoshua the son of Nun in the middle of them. 50 According to the commandment of Yehovah, they gave him the city that he asked for—Timnathserah in the hill country of Ephraim, and he built the city and lived there.

51 “These are the inheritances that Eleazar the priest, Yehoshua the son of Nun and the heads of the ancestral households of the tribes of the Israelites, distributed for inheritance by lot in Shiloh before Yehovah, at the door of the Congregational Tent. So they finished dividing the land.

Yehoshua 20

1 Yehovah spoke to Yehoshua: 2 “Tell the Israelites, saying: ‘Assign the cities of refuge that I had Moses tell you about, 3 so that a person who accidentally or unintentionally kills someone can flee to. They’ll be a refuge for anyone from an avenger of blood. 4 He’ll flee to one of those cities, and stand at the gateway of the city, and announce his cause in the ears of the elders of that city. They’ll take him into the city with them, and give him a place, so that he can live among them. 5 If the avenger of blood pursues him, then they won’t hand over the person who accidentally killed someone, because he struck his neighbor unintentionally, and without premeditation. 6 He’ll live in that city until he stands before the assembly for judgment, and until the death of the high priest presiding in those days. Then that person will return.”

7 “They set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the hill country of Naphtali, Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the hill country of Judah. 8 Beyond the Jordan River at Jericho eastward, they assigned Bezer in the wilderness in the plain from the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead from the tribe of Gawd, and Golan in Bashan from the tribe of Manasseh. 9 These were the appointed cities for all the Israelites, including the foreigners living among them, that whoever kills any person unintentionally could flee to, and not die by the hand of the avenger of blood prior to standing trial before the assembly.

Yehoshua 21

1 Then the leaders of the families of Levi approached Eleazar the priest, Yehoshua the son of Nun and the leaders of the families of the other Israelite tribes. 2 They spoke to them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, “Yehovah commanded Moses to give us cities to live in with their pasture lands for our livestock. 3 The Israelites gave the Levites out of their inheritance, according to the commandment of Yehovah, these cities with their pasture lands.”

4 “The first lot fell to the clans of the Kohathites. The descendants of Aaron the priest, who were of the Levites, had thirteen cities by lot from the tribe of Judah, from the tribe of the Simeonites, and from the tribe of Benjamin. 5 The rest of the descendants of Kohath had ten cities by lot out of the clans of the tribe of Ephraim, from the tribe of Dan, and from the half-tribe of Manasseh. 6 The descendants of Gershon had thirteen cities by lot from the clans of the tribe of Issachar, from the tribe of Asher, from the tribe of Naphtali and from the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan. 7 The descendants of Merari according to their clans had twelve cities from the tribe of Reuben, from the tribe of Gawd and from the tribe of Zebulun.

8 “The Israelites gave these cities with their pasture lands by lot to the Levites, as Yehovah commanded by Moses. 9 They gave from the tribe of the House of Judah, and from the tribe of the descendants of Simeon, these cities that are mentioned by name, 10 and they were for the descendants of Aaron, from the clans of the Kohathites, who were of the descendants of Levi, because theirs was the first lot. 11 They gave them Kiriath Arba, named after the ancestor of Anak (the same is Hebron), in the hill country of Judah, with its pasture lands around it. 12 But they gave the fields of the city and its villages to Jephunneh’s son Caleb of for his possession. 13 To the descendants of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron with its pasture lands, the city of refuge for the person who accidentally killed someone, Libnah with its pasture lands, 14 Jattir with its pasture lands, Eshtemoa with its pasture lands, 15 Holon with its pasture lands, Debir with its pasture lands, 16 Ain with its pasture lands, Juttah with its pasture lands, and Beth Shemesh with its pasture lands, nine cities out of those two tribes. 17 From the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with its pasture lands, Geba with its pasture lands, 18 Anathoth with its pasture lands, and Almon with its pasture lands, four cities. 19 All the cities of the descendants of Aaron, the priests, were thirteen cities with their pasture lands.

20 “The clans of the of Kohath, the Levites and the rest of the descendants of Kohath, were allotted cities from the tribe of Ephraim. 21 They gave them Shechem with its pasture lands in the hill country of Ephraim, the city of refuge for an accidental killer, and Gezer with its pasture lands, 22 Kibzaim with its pasture lands, and Beth Horon with its pasture lands, four cities. 23 From the tribe of Dan, Elteke with its pasture lands, Gibbethon with its pasture lands, 24 Aijalon with its pasture lands, Gath Rimmon with its pasture lands, four cities. 25 From the half-tribe of Manasseh Taanach with its pasture lands, and Gath Rimmon with its pasture lands, two cities. 26 All ten cities and their pasturelands were given to the rest of the Kohathite clans.

27 They gave the families of Gershon’s descendants, who were in the tribe of Levi, two cities with pasturelands from the half-tribe of Manasseh, they gave Golan in Bashan, the city of refuge for anyone accused of murder, with its pasture lands, and Be-eshterah with its pasture lands; two cities. 28 From the tribe of Issachar, Kishion with its pasture lands, Daberath with its pasture lands, 29 Jarmuth with its pasture lands, En Gannim with its pasture lands, four cities. 30 From the tribe of Asher, Mishal with its pasture lands, Abdon with its pasture lands, 31 Helkath with its pasture lands, and Rehob with its pasture lands, four cities. 32 From the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with its pasture lands, the city of refuge for the accidental killer, Hammothdor with its pasture lands, and Kartan with its pasture lands, three cities. 33 All the cities of the Gershonites according to their clans were thirteen cities with their pasture lands.

34 “To the clans of the descendants of Merari, the rest of the Levites, from the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with its pasture lands, Kartah with its pasture lands, 35 Dimnah with its pasture lands, and Nahalal with its pasture lands, four cities. 36 From the tribe of Reuben, Bezer with its pasture lands, Jahaz with its pasture lands, 37 Kedemoth with its pasture lands, and Mephaath with its pasture lands, four cities. 38 From the tribe of Gawd, Ramoth in Gilead with its pasture lands, the city of refuge for anyone accused of murder, and Mahanaim with its pasture lands, 39 Heshbon with its pasture lands, Jazer with its pasture lands; four cities in all. 40 All these were the cities of the descendants of Merari according to their families, and all the rest of the clans of the Levites. Their lot was twelve cities. 41 All the cities of the Levites in the middle of the possession of the Israelites were forty-eight cities with their pasture lands. 42 Each of these cities included their pasture lands around them. It was this way with all these cities.

43 “So Yehovah gave to Israel all the land that He swore to give to their ancestors. They took possession of it and lived there. 44 Yehovah gave them rest all around, just like He swore to their ancestors. Not a man of all their enemies stood before them. Yehovah delivered all their enemies into their hands. 45 None of the good promises that Yehovah had made to the House of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled.

Yehoshua 22

1 Then Yehoshua summoned the Reubenites and the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh, 2 He told them, “You’ve done everything that Moses the servant of Yehovah commanded, and you’ve obeyed me in everything I commanded. 3 You haven’t abandoned your brothers these many days, down to today, but have been careful to obey the commands of Yehovah your Elohim. 4 Now Yehovah your Elohim has given rest to your brothers, as He told them. So now return to your tents, to the land of your possession, that Moses the servant of Yehovah gave you, beyond the Jordan River. 5 But be very careful to obey the commandments and the Torah that Moses the servant of Yehovah commanded you, to love Yehovah your Elohim, to 'live by' all His ways, to obey His Commandments, to be loyal to Him, and to serve Him with all your mind and with all your life.” 6 So Yehoshua blessed them, and sent them away, and they went to their tents. 7 Now to the one half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given inheritance in Bashan, but to the other half Yehoshua gave to their brothers beyond the Jordan River westward. When Yehoshua sent them away to their tents, he blessed them, 8 and told them: “Return with much wealth to your tents, with very much livestock, with silver, gold, bronze, iron and with a lot of clothing. Divvy up the plunder of your enemies with your brothers.”

9 “The descendants of Reuben and the descendants of Gawd and the half-tribe of Manasseh returned, and left from the Israelites out of Shiloh, in the land of Canaan, to go to the land of Gilead, to the land of their possession, that they owned, according to the commandment of Yehovah by Moses. 10 When they came to the region near the Jordan River, in the land of Canaan, the descendants of Reuben and the descendants of Gawd and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an altar there by the Jordan River, a great altar to look at. 11 The Israelites heard this, “The descendants of Reuben and the descendants of Gawd and the half-tribe of Manasseh have built an altar in the forefront of the land of Canaan, in the region around the Jordan River, on the side that belongs to the Israelites! 12 When the Israelites heard about it, the entire community of the Israelites gathered together at Shiloh to start a war with them. 13 The Israelites sent Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest to the descendants of Reuben, and to the descendants of Gawd, and to the half-tribe of Manasseh, in the land of Gilead, 14 and with him ten princes, one leader of a fathers’ house for each of the tribes of Israel, and every one of them was head of their fathers’ houses among the thousands of Israel. 15 They came to the descendants of Reuben, and the descendants of Gawd, and the half-tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they told them, 16 This is what the entire assembly of Yehovah, “What trespass is this that you’ve committed against the Elohim of Israel, to turn away today from following Yehovah, by building yourselves an altar, to rebel against Yehovah today? 17 Is the wickedness of Peor too little for us, from which we haven’t cleansed ourselves to today, tho a plague came on the community of Yehovah there, 18 that you must turn away today from following Yehovah? It will be, since you rebel today against Yehovah, that tomorrow He’ll be angry with the entire community of Israel. 19 However, if the land of your possession is unclean, then pass over to the land of the possession of Yehovah, that Yehovah’s tabernacle dwells, and take possession among us, but don’t rebel against Yehovah, or rebel against us by building an altar other than the altar of Yehovah our Elohim. 20 Didn’t Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the kadosh thing, and wrath fell on the entire community of Israel? That man didn’t die alone in his wickedness.

21 “Then the descendants of Reuben and the descendants of Gawd and the half-tribe of Manasseh replied to the heads of the thousands of Israel, 22 “The Mighty One, Elohim, Yehovah, the Mighty One, Elohim, Yehovah knows, and Israel will know if it was in rebellion, or if in trespass against Yehovah (don’t save us today), 23 that we have built ourselves an altar to turn away from following Yehovah, or to offer burnt offering or grain offering, or if to offer zebakim [sacrifices] of fellowship offerings, let Yehovah Himself require it. 24 If we haven’t done this out of concern, and for a reason, saying, “In time to come your children might ask our children, ‘What have you to do with Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel? 25 Yehovah has made the Jordan River a border between us and you, you descendants of Reuben and descendants of Gad. You have no portion in Yehovah.” So your children might make our children stop fearing Yehovah. 26 So we said, “Let’s prepare to build ourselves an altar, not for burnt offering, or for zebakim, 27 but to be a a witness between us and you, and between our generations after us, so that we can perform the service of Yehovah before him with our burnt offerings, with our zebakim and with our fellowship offerings,’ then your descendants won’t tell our descendants in time to come, ‘You have no portion with Yehovah.’ 28 So we said, ‘Then when they tell us or our descendants this in time to come, we’ll say, ‘Look the pattern of the altar of Yehovah, that our ancestors made, not for burnt offering, or for zebakim, but it’s a witness between us and you.’ 29 Far be it from us to rebel against Yehovah, and turn away from following Yehovah today, to build an altar for burnt offerings, grain offerings or for zebakim, besides the altar of Yehovah our Elohim that is before His tabernacle!”

30 “When Phinehas the priest, and the leaders of the community and the heads of the thousands of Israel that were with him heard the words that the descendants of Reuben and the descendants of Gawd and the descendants of Manasseh spoke, it pleased them well. 31 Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest told the descendants of Reuben, the descendants of Gawd, and the descendants of Manasseh, ‘Today we know that Yehovah is among us, because you haven’t committed this trespass against Yehovah. Now you’ve delivered the Israelites out of the grasp of Yehovah.” 32 Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, and the princes, returned from the descendants of Reuben, and from the descendants of Gawd, from the land of Gilead, to the land of Canaan, to the Israelites, and brought them word again. 33 It pleased the Israelites, and the Israelites blessed Elohim, and spoke no more of going to war against them, to destroy the land where the descendants of Reuben and the descendants of Gawd lived. 34 The descendants of Reuben and the descendants of Gawd named the altar: A Witness Between Us that Yehovah is Elohim.”

Yehoshua 23

1 After many days, when Yehovah had given rest to Israel from their enemies all around, and Yehoshua was old and well advanced in years, 2 Yehoshua called for all Israel, for their elders and for their heads, and for their judges and for their officers, and told them, “I’m old and well advanced in years. 3 You’ve seen everything that Yehovah your Elohim has done to all these nations because of you, because it’s Yehovah your Elohim who has fought for you. 4 I’ve allotted to you these nations that remain, to be an inheritance for your tribes, from the Jordan River with all the nations that I’ve cut off, all the way to the great sea toward the going down of the sun! 5 Yehovah your Elohim will thrust them out from before you, and drive them out of your sight. You’ll possess their land, just as Yehovah your Elohim promised you.

6 “So be very courageous to obey everything that’s written in the book of the Torah of Moses, so that you won’t turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, 7 or come among these nations, these that remain among you, or make mention of the name of their gods, or cause someone to swear by them, or serve them or bow down to them, 8 but hold fast to Yehovah your Elohim, as you’ve done today. 9 For Yehovah has driven great and strong nations out from before you. But as for you, no man has stood against you to today. 10 One of your men will chase a thousand, because it’s Yehovah your Elohim who fights for you, just as He told you. 11 So be very careful to love Yehovah your Elohim. 12 But if for any reason you turn back, and hold fast to the 'survivors' of these nations, these very people who remain among you, and make marriages with them, and go in to them, and they to you, 13 then know for certain that Yehovah your Elohim will no longer drive these nations from out of your sight. They’ll be snares and traps to you, scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until you die from off this good land that Yehovah your Elohim has given you.

“14 Today I’m going 'to return to the ground'! You know in all your minds and in all your lives that not one thing has failed of all the good things that Yehovah your Elohim promised you. Everything has happened to you. Nothing has failed. 15 “Then as all the good things have come on you of that Yehovah your Elohim spoke to you, so Yehovah will bring on you all the evil things, until he has destroyed you from off this good land that Yehovah your Elohim has given you. 16 When you disobey the covenant of Yehovah your Elohim, that He commanded you, and go and serve other gods, and bow down to them. Then the anger of Yehovah will be kindled against you, and you’ll die quickly from off the good land that He has given to you.”

Yehoshua 24

1 Yehoshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, for their leaders, for their judges and for their officers, and they presented themselves before Elohim. 2 Yehoshua said to all the people, “This is what Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel says: Long ago your ancestors lived beyond the River, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods. 3 I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him thru the entire land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac. 4 I gave to Isaac, Jacob and Esau, and I gave Esau Mount Seir, to possess. Jacob and his children went down into Egypt. 5 ‘I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to what I did among you, and afterward I brought you out. 6 I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, and you came to the sea. The Egyptians pursued your ancestors with chariots and with horsemen to the Red Sea. 7 When they cried out to Yehovah, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea on them, and covered them, and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt, and you lived in the wilderness many days. 8 ‘I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan River, and they fought with you, and I gave them into your hand. You possessed their land, and I destroyed them from before you. 9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, got up and fought against Israel. He sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you. 10 But I wouldn’t listen to Balaam, so he blessed you still. So I delivered you out of his hand. 11 You crossed over the Jordan River, and came to Jericho. The men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I delivered them into your hand. 12 I sent hornets before you, that drove them out from before you, including the kings of the Amorites, not with your sword or with your bow. 13 I gave you a land that you hadn’t labored for, and cities that you didn’t build, and you live in them. You eat from vineyards and olive groves that you didn’t plant. 14 So fear Yehovah, and serve Him in sincerity and in truth. Remove the gods that your ancestors served beyond the River, in Egypt, and serve Yehovah.

15 “If it seems evil to you to serve Yehovah, choose today who you’ll serve, whether the gods that your ancestors served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell, but as for me and my house, we’ll serve Yehovah. 16 The people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake Yehovah, and serve other gods, 17 for it’s Yehovah our Elohim who brought us and our ancestors up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us everywhere we went, and among all the people thru the middle of who we passed. 18 Yehovah drove out from before us all the people, even the Amorites who lived in the land. So we also will serve Yehovah, because He is our Elohim.”

19 “Yehoshua told the people, “You can’t serve Yehovah, because He is a kadosh Elohim. He is a jealous Elohim. He won’t forgive your rebellion or your sins. 20 If you forsake Yehovah, and serve foreign gods, then He’ll turn against you, and harm you, and exterminate you, after He has been so good to you.”

21 “The people said to Yehoshua, “No, we’ll serve Yehovah.” 22 Yehoshua told the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves since you’ve chosen Yehovah for yourselves, to serve Him.” They said, “We are witnesses.” 23 Now put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your sentiments to Yehovah, Elohim of Israel. 24 The people said to Yehoshua, “We will serve Yehovah our Elohim, and we’ll listen to His voice.”

25 “So Yehoshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 26 Yehoshua wrote these words in the book of the Torah of Elohim, and he took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the 'Temple' of Yehovah. 27 Yehoshua said to all the people, “This stone will be a witness against us, because it has heard the entire 'message' of Yehovah that He spoke to us! It will be a witness against you, otherwise you deny your Elohim.” 28 So Yehoshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance.

29 “Then after these things Yehoshua the son of Nun, the servant of Yehovah, died, being one hundred and ten years old. 30 They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, that is in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash. 31 Israel served Yehovah all the days of Yehoshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Yehoshua, and had known all the work of Yehovah, that he had done for Israel.

32 “They buried the bones of Joseph that the Israelites had brought up out of Egypt, in Shechem, in the parcel of ground that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of silver. They became the inheritance of the descendants of Joseph.

33 “Eleazar the son of Aaron died. They buried him in the hill of Phinehas his son that was given to him in the hill country of Ephraim.

JUDGES 1

Chapters 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21

1 After the death of Yehoshua, the Israelites asked Yehovah, “Who should go up for us first against the Canaanites, to fight against them?” 2 Yehovah says, “Judah will go up. I’ve delivered the land into his hand!” 3 Judah said to Simeon his brother, “Come up with me into my allotment, so that we can fight against the Canaanites, and in turn, I’ll go with you into your allotment.” So Simeon went with him.

4 “Judah went up, and Yehovah delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand, and in Bazek they struck ten thousand of their men. 5 They found Adoni-Bezek in Bezek, and they fought against him, and they struck the Canaanites and the Perizzites. 6 But Adoni-Bezek fled, and they pursued him, and caught him and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. 7 Adoni-Bezek said, “Seventy kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their food under my table, as I’ve done, so Elohim has requited me.” They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there. 8 The House of Judah fought against Jerusalem, and took it, and struck it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

9 “Afterward the House of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who lived in the hill country, and in the South, and in the lowland. 10 Judah went against the Canaanites who lived in Hebron (now the name of Hebron before was Kiriath Arba), and they struck Sheshai, and Ahiman and Talmai. 11 From there he went against the inhabitants of Debir. (Now the name of Debir before was Kiriath Sepher.) 12 Caleb said, “He who strikes Kiriath Sepher and takes it, to him I'll give Achsah my daughter as wife.” 13 Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it, and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife. 14 Then when she came to him, she moved him to ask her father for a field, and she got down from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What would you like?” 15 She told him, “Give me a blessing, because you’ve set me in the land of the South, give me springs of water as well.” So Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

16 “The descendants of the Kenite, Moses’ brother-in-Torah, went up out of the city of palm trees with the House of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, that is in the south of Arad, and they went and lived with the people.

17 “Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they struck the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath, and completely destroyed it. The name of the city was called Hormah. 18 Also Judah took Gaza with its territory, and Ashkelon with its territory, and Ekron with its territory. 19 Yehovah was with Judah, and drove out the inhabitants of the hill country, because he couldn’t drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had iron chariots. 20 They gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had spoken, and he drove out the three sons of Anak. 21 The Benjaminites didn’t drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem, but the Jebusites live with the Benjaminites in Jerusalem still today.

22 “The House of Joseph also went up against Bethel, and Yehovah was with them. 23 The House of Joseph explored Bethel. (The name of the city before was Luz.) 24 The watchermen saw a man coming out of the city, and they told him, “Show us, we ask you, the entrance into the city, and we’ll deal kindly with you.” 25 He showed them the entrance to the city, and they struck the city with the edge of the sword, but they let the watchman go and all his family. 26 The man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called its name Luz, that is its name to this today.

27 “Manasseh didn’t drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shean and its cities, or of Taanach and its cities, or the inhabitants of Dor and its cities, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its cities, or the inhabitants of Megiddo and its cities, but the Canaanites were determined to live in that land. 28 Then when Israel had grown strong they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but didn’t completely drive them out.

29 “Ephraim didn’t drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, and the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them.

30 “Zebulun didn’t drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of Nahalol, but the Canaanites lived among them, and became subject to forced labor.

31 “Asher didn’t drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon, or Ahlab, Achzib, Helbah, Aphik or Rehob, 32 but the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land, because they didn’t drive them out.

33 “Naphtali didn’t drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, or the inhabitants of Beth Anath, but they lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land, but the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh and of Beth Anath became subject to forced labor.

34 “The Amorites forced the Danites into the hill country, because they wouldn’t allow them to come down to the valley, 35 but the Amorites were determined to live in Mount Heres, in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim, yet the hand of the House of Joseph36 “The border of the Amorites was from the ascent of Akrabbim, from the rock and upward.

JUDGES 2

1 The Messenger of Yehovah [1] came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And He said, “I brought you out of Egypt into the land that I swore to give to your ancestors, and I said, ‘I’ll never break My covenant with you. 2 You must not make any covenants with the inhabitants of this land, and you must break down their altars.” But you haven’t listened to Me. Why have you done this? 3 So I also said, ‘I won’t drive them out ahead you; they’ll be like thorns in your sides, and their gods will snare you. 4 Then when the Messenger of Yehovah presented this 'message' to all the Israelites, and the people lifted up their voices, and cried. 5 They called the name of that place Bochim, and they made offerings there to Yehovah.

6 “Now when Yehoshua had sent the people away, every Israelite man went to his inheritance to possess the land. 7 The people served Yehovah all the days of Yehoshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Yehoshua, who had seen all the great works that Yehovah He had done for Israel. 8 Yehoshua the son of Nun, the servant of Yehovah, died, being one hundred and ten years old. 9 They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash. 10 When that entire generation was gathered to their ancestors, and another generation arose after them who didn’t know Yehovah, or the things that he had worked for Israel, 11 the Israelites did what was evil in the sight of Yehovah, and served the Baals, 12 and they abandoned Yehovah, the Elohim of their ancestors, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, the gods of the people who were around them, and bowed down to them, and they provoked Yehovah to anger. 13 They abandoned Yehovah, and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. 14 The anger of Yehovah was kindled against Israel, and He turned them over to spoilers who despoiled them, and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15 Wherever they went out, the hand of Yehovah was against them for harm, as Yehovah had spoken, and as Yehovah had sworn to them, and they were very distressed. 16 Then Yehovah raised up judges, who saved them out of the grasp of those who despoiled them. 17 Yet they didn’t listen to their judges, because they practiced prostitution after other gods, and bowed down to them. They turned aside quickly from the way that their ancestors walked, of obeying the Commandments of Yehovah, but they didn’t do so. 18 When Yehovah raised a judge for them, then Yehovah was with the judge, and rescued them from the grasp of their enemies all the days of the judge. It grieved Yehovah because of their groaning because of those who oppressed them and troubled them. 19 But afterh a judge died, they turned back, and became even more corrupt than their ancestors, in following the gods and serving them, and bowing down to them. They refused to give up wicked practices and stubborn ways.

20 “The anger of Yehovah was kindled against Israel, and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed the covenant that I commanded their ancestors, and haven’t listened to My voice, 21 I'll no longer drive out any of the nations that Yehoshua left when he died from before them. 22 That is how I can test Israel, to see whether they’ll obey the ways of Yehovah to 'live' there, as their ancestors did—obeying it, or not.” 23 So Yehovah left those nations, without quickly driving them out, just as He hadn’t handed them over to Yehoshua.

[1] Wrongly called “the Messenger (angel) of the Elohim”. In reality He is “the Word of Elohim”

JUDGES 3

1 These are the nations that Yehovah left to test the Israelites who had not fought any war in Canaan. 2 This was to teach the generations of the Israelites war, at least those who knew nothing about it. 3 These nations were the five Philistine leaders, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal Hermon to the entrance of Hamath. 4 They were left to test Israel, to determine whether they would listen to the Commandments of Yehovah that He commanded their ancestors by Moses. 5 So the Israelites lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites. 6 They took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons and served their gods.

7 “The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of Yehovah, and forgot Yehovah their Elohim, and served the Baals and the Asheroth. 8 So the anger of Yehovah was kindled against Israel, and He delivered them into the hand of Cushan Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia, and the Israelites served Cushan Rishathaim for eight years. 9 When the Israelites cried to Yehovah, Yehovah raised up a liberator to the Israelites, who saved them—Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10 The spirit [feminine word] of Yehovah came on him and he judged Israel, and he went out to war, and Yehovah delivered Cushan Rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand, and his hand prevailed against Cushan Rishathaim. 11 The land had rest forty years. Then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

12 “Again the Israelites continued to do what was evil in the sight of Yehovah, and Yehovah strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of Yehovah. 13 He gathered to him the 'Ammonites' and Amalek, and he went and struck Israel, and they took possession of the city of palm trees. 14 The Israelites served Eglon the king of Moab for eighteen years.

15 “But when the Israelites cried to Yehovah, Yehovah raised them up a liberator, Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man. The Israelites sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16 Ehud made a double edged sword, a cubit in length, and he wore it under his clothing on his right thigh. 17 He offered tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18 When he was finished bringing the offering tribute, he sent away the people who bore the tribute. 19 But he himself turned back from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret errand for you, king.” The king said, “Keep silence!” So everyone who stood by him left him. 20 Ehud came to him, and he was sitting by himself alone in the cool upper room. Ehud said, “I have a message from Elohim to you.” He got up out of his seat. 21 Then Ehud reached with his left hand, and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his stomach, 22 and the haft also went in after the blade, and the fat closed on the blade, because he didn’t draw the sword out of his body, and excrement came out behind. 23 Then Ehud went out onto the porch, and shut the doors of the upper room on him, and locked them. 24 Then, after he had left, his servants came, and they saw that the doors of the upper room were locked, and they said, “Surely he is using the restroom in the upper chamber.” 25 They waited until they were embarrassed, and still he didn’t open the doors of the upper room, so they took the key, and opened them, and saw that their master had fallen down dead on the ground. 26 Ehud escaped while they waited, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped to Seirah. 27 Then when he came, he blew a shofar in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hill country, and he before them.

28 “He told them, “Follow me, because Yehovah has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” They followed him, and took the fords of the Jordan River against the Moabites, and didn’t allow anyone to cross. 29 Then they struck about ten thousand Moabite men, every one a stout man of valor, and not a single man escaped. 30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. The land had rest for eighty years.

31 “After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck six hundred Philistine men with an oxgoad, and he also saved Israel.

JUDGES 4

Deborah and Barak

1 When Ehud was dead, the Israelites did what was evil in the sight of Yehovah again. 2 Yehovah sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor, the captain of whose army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth. 3 The Israelites cried to Yehovah, because he had nine hundred iron chariots, and for twenty years he had severely oppressed the Israelites.

4 “Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth judged Israel at that time. 5 She lived under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites came up to her for judgment. 6 She called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh Naphtali, and asked him, “Hasn’t Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, commanded, ‘Go and draw to Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the descendants of Naphtali and of the descendants of Zebulun?’” 7 I’ll diploy Sisera to you, the captain of Jabin’s army, to the river Kishon, with his chariots and his multitude, and I’ll deliver him into your hand.” 8 Barak said to her, ‘If you’ll go with me, then I’ll go, but if you won’t go with me, I won’t go’. 9 She said, “I’ll surely go with you, but the journey that you take won’t be for your honor, because Yehovah will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Deborah got up, and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh, and there ten thousand men went up under his command, and Deborah went up with him. 11 Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, from the descendants of Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, that is by Kedesh.

12 “They told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor. 13 Sisera gathered together all his chariots, nine hundred iron chariots, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth to the river Kishon. 14 Deborah said to Barak, “Go, because this is the day that Yehovah has delivered Sisera into your hand. Hasn’t Yehovah gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. 15 Yehovah destroyed Sisera, and all his chariots, and his entire army, with the edge of the sword before Barak, and Sisera got down from his chariot, and fled away on foot. 16 But Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword, there wasn’t a man left.

17 “Meanwhile Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 Jael went out to meet Sisera, and told him, “Turn aside, my master, turn aside to me, don’t be afraid.” He came in to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19 He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, because I’m thirsty.” She opened a bottle of milk, and gave him a drink, and covered him. 20 He said to her, “Stand at the door of the tent, and then if anyone comes and asks, “Is there any man here?” Then you must say, “No”. 21 Then Jael, Heber’s wife, took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and struck the pin into his temples, and it pierced thru into the ground, because he was in a deep sleep, so he swooned and died. 22 Look, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and told him, “Come, and I’ll show you the man you’re looking for.” He came to her, and there was Sisera, lying dead, with a tent peg thru his temples.

23 “So Elohim subdued Jabin the king of Canaan that day before the Israelites. 24 The hand of the Israelites prevailed more and more against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

JUDGES 5

1 Then Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam sang on that day: 2 “Because the leaders took the lead in Israel, and the people offered themselves willingly, bless Yehovah! 3 Hear, you kings! Listen, you princes! I, even I, will sing to Yehovah. I’ll sing praise to Yehovah, Elohim of Israel.”

4 “Yehovah, when You left Seir, when You marched out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the sky dropped. Yes, the clouds dropped water. 5 The mountains quaked at the presence of Yehovah, even Sinai, at the presence of Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel.

6 “In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied. The travelers walked thru byways. 7 The rulers ceased in Israel. They ceased until I, Deborah got up, until a mother in Israel arose. 8 They chose new gods. Then war was in the gates. Was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?

9 “My mind is toward the governors of Israel, who offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless Yehovah!

10 “Tell of it, you who ride on white donkeys, you who sit on rich carpets, and you who walk by the way. 11 Far from the noise of archers, in the places of drawing water, there they’ll rehearse the righteous acts of Yehovah, even the righteous acts of his rule in Israel. Then the people of Yehovah went down to the gates.

12 “‘Wake up, wake up, Deborah! Wake up, wake up, utter a song! Get up, Barak, and lead away your captives, son of Abinoam.’ 13 Then 'survivors' of the nobles and the people came down. Yehovah came down for me against the mighty. 14 Those whose root is in Amalek came out of Ephraim, after you, Benjamin, among your people. Governors came down out of Machir. Those who handle the marshal’s staff came out of Zebulun. 15 The leaders of Issachar were with Deborah. As was Issachar, so was Barak. They rushed into the valley at his feet. By the watercourses of Reuben, they were were having second thoughts. 16 Why did you sit among the sheepfolds, lisening to the playing of pipes for the flocks? At the watercourses of Reuben they were were having second thoughts. 17 Gilead lived beyond the Jordan River. Why did Dan remain in ships? Asher sat still at the haven of the sea, and lived by his creeks. 18 The people of Zebulun frequently risked their lives, Naphtali also, on the heights of the field.

19 “The kings came and fought, then the kings of Canaan fought at Taanach by the water of Megiddo. They took no plunder of silver. 20 From the sky the stars fought. From their courses, they fought against Sisera. 21 The river Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. My soul, march on with strength. 22 Then the horse hoofs stamped because of the prancings, the prancings of their strong ones. 23 ‘Curse Meroz,’ said the Messenger of Yehovah. ‘Curse bitterly its inhabitants, because they didn’t come to help Yehovah, to help Yehovah against the mighty.’ 24 Jael will be blessed above women, the wife of Heber the Kenite, she will be above women in the tent. 25 He asked for water. She gave him milk. She brought him butter in a majestic dish. 26 She grabbed a tent peg, and in her right hand a workmen’s hammer. With the hammer she struck Sisera. She struck him thru his head. Yes, she pierced and struck thru his 'Temple's. 27 At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay. At her feet he bowed, he fell. Where he bowed, there he fell dead. 28 She looked out thru the windows, and cried, Sisera’s mother looked thru the lattice. ‘Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why do the wheels of his chariots wait?’ 29 Her wise ladies answered her, yes, she returned answer to herself, 30 ‘Haven’t they found, haven’t they divided the spoil? A lady, two ladies to every man, to Sisera a spoil of dyed clothing, a spoil of dyed clothing embroidered, of dyed clothing embroidered on both sides, on the necks of the spoil?’ 31 So let all your enemies die, Yehovah, but let those who love Him be like the sun when it rises in its strength. Then the land had rest for forty years.

JUDGES 6

1 The Israelites did what was evil in the sight of Yehovah, and Yehovah handed them over to Midian for seven years. 2 Midian prevailed over Israel, and because of Midian the Israelites made dens in the mountains, the caves and strongholds. 3 So when Israel had sown, the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the descendants of the east would come up against them, 4 and they camped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, until you come to Gaza, and left no sustenance in Israel, no sheep, or oxen or donkies. 5 They came up with their livestock and their tents, they came in as numerous as locusts, both they and their camels were beyond counting, and they came into the land to destroy it. 6 Israel was brought very low because of Midian, and the Israelites cried to Yehovah. 7 Then when the Israelites cried to Yehovah because of Midian, 8 Yehovah sent a prophet to the Israelites, who told them, “This is what Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel says: I brought you out of Egypt, and brought you out of a 'place' of bondage, 9 and I delivered you from the grasp of the Egyptians, and from the grasp of everyone who oppressed you, and drove them out from before you, and gave you their land, 10 and I said to you, ‘I am Yehovah your Elohim, you won’t fear the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But you haven’t listened to My voice.’”

11 “The Messenger of Yehovah came, and sat under the oak that was in Ophrah, that pertained to Yehoash the Abiezrite, and his son Gideon was threshing out wheat in the wine press to hide it from the Midianites. 12 The Messenger of Yehovah appeared to him, and told him, “Yehovah is with you, you mighty man of valor!” 13 Gideon asked Him, “My master, if Yehovah is with us, then why has all of this happened to us? Where are all His wonderful works that our ancestors told us about, saying, “Didn’t Yehovah bring us up from Egypt?” But now Yehovah has throw us off, and delivered us into the hand of Midian. 14 Yehovah looked at him, and said, “Go in this your might, and save Israel from the grasp of Midian. Haven’t I sent you?” 15 He told him, “Yehovah, how will I save Israel? My family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I’m the least in my father’s house! 16 Yehovah told him, “Surely I’ll be with you, and you’ll strike the Midianites as one man. 17 He told him, “If now I’ve found favor in your sight, then show me a sign that it’s you who talk with me. 18 Please don’t go away until I come to you, and bring out my present, and lay it before you. He said, “I’ll wait until you come back.”

19 “Gideon went in, and prepared a young goat, and unleavened cakes from an ephah of meal. He put the meat in a basket and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out to Him under the oak, and presented it. 20 The Messenger of Elohim told him, “Take the meat and the unleavened cakes, and lay them on this rock, and pour out the broth. He did so. 21 Then the Messenger of Yehovah touched the meat and unleavened bread with the tip of the staff in His hand, and fire flamed up from the rock and incinerated the meat and the unleavened bread. Then the Messenger of Yehovah vanished from his sight. 22 That’s when Gideon realized that he had seen the Messenger of Yehovah, and Gideon said, “Sovereign Yehovah, I’m doomed! I’ve seen the Messenger of Yehovah face to face!” 23 But Yehovah reassured him, “Shalom friend! Don’t be afraid. You aren’t going to die!” 24 Then Gideon built an altar there to Yehovah, and called it “Yehovah is Peace”. To today it’s still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

25 “Then the same night Yehovah told him, “Take your father’s bull, the second bull seven years old, and knock down the altar of Baal that your father has, and cut down the Asherah that’s by it, 26 and build an altar to Yehovah your Elohim on the top of this stronghold, in the orderly manner, and take the second bull, and offer a burnt ze’bak [sacrifice] with the wood of the Asherah that you’ll cut down. 27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as Yehovah had told him, and it happened, because he feared his father’s household and the men of the city, that he couldn’t do it during the day, so he did it at night. 28 When the men of the city got up early in the morning they saw that the altar of Baal had been broken down, and the Asherah was cut down near by it, and the second bull was offered on the altar that was built. 29 They asked each other, “Who did this?” When they inquired, they said, “Gideon the son of Yehoash has done this.” 30 Then the men of the city said to Yehoash, “Bring out your son to die, because he has broken down the altar of Baal, and because he has cut down the Asherah that was by it. 31 Yehoash asked everyone who stood against him, “Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? He who contends for him should be put to death while it’s still morning. If he is a god, let him contend for himself, because someone has broken down his altar. 32 So that day he named him Jerub-Baal, saying, “Let Baal contend against him, because he has broken down his altar.

33 “Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the descendants of the east gathered together, and they passed over and camped in the valley of Jezreel. 34 But the spirit of Yehovah, came on Gideon, and he blew a trumpet, and Abiezer was gathered together after him. 35 He sent messengers thruout all Manasseh, and they also were gathered together after him, and he sent messengers to Asher, and to Zebulun, and to Naphtali, and they came up to meet them. 36 Gideon said to Elohim, “If you’ll save Israel by my hand, as you’ve said, 37 then I’ll put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor, if there is dew on the fleece only, and it is dry on all the ground, then I’ll know that you’ll save Israel by my hand, as You’ve said. 38 When he got up early on the next day, he pressed the fleece together, and wrung the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. 39 Gideon said to Elohim, “Don’t let Your anger be kindled against me, and I’ll speak but this once. Please let me make a trial just this once with the fleece. Let it now be dry only on the fleece, and on all the ground be covered with dew. 40 Elohim did so that night. Only the fleece was dry, but there was dew all over the ground.

JUDGES 7

1 Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people who were with him got up early and camped beside the spring of Harod, and the camp of Midian was north of them by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. 2 Yehovah told Gideon, “There are too many people with you for Me to hand the Midianites to you, otherwise Israel would boast against Me, saying, ‘I handled this myself, saving myself.’ 3 So announce where the people can hear, “Whoever is fearful and trembling should return and depart from Mount Gilead.” Twenty-two thousand people returned, while ten thousand remained. 4 Yehovah told Gideon, “There are still too many people. Bring them down to the water, and I’ll test them for you there. If I say to you, ‘These will go with you,’ those will go with you, and if I tell you, “Those won’t go with you,’ those won’t go. 5 So he brought the people down to the water, and Yehovah told Gideon, “Everyone who laps the water with his tongue like a dog laps, separate them, likewise everyone who bows down on his knees to drink. 6 The number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth was three hundred men, but all the rest of the people bowed down on their knees to drink water. 7 Yehovah told Gideon, “I’ll save you with the three hundred men who lapped, and hand the Midianites over to you. Have all the other people leave, each to his own place.” 8 So the people took food in their hand, and their shofars, and he sent every single Israelite to his tent, but retained the three hundred men, and the camp of Midian was below him in the valley.

9 “Then the same night Yehovah told him, “Get up, go down into the camp, because I’ve delivered it into your hand. 10 But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp, 11 and you’ll hear what they say, “And afterward your hands will be strengthened to go down into the camp. Then he went down with Purah his servant to the outermost part of the armed men who were in the camp. 12 The Midianites and the Amalekites and all the 'people' of the east lay along in the valley like locusts for multitude, and their camels were countless, like the sand on the seashore in number. 13 When Gideon came, there was a man telling a dream to his fellow, and he said, “I had a dream, and a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian, and came to the tent, and struck it and it fell, and turned it upside down and flattened the tent!” 14 His fellow answered, “This is nothing other than the sword of Gideon the son of Yehoash, a man of Israel. Elohim has handed Midian over with all the army.” 15 Then when Gideon heard the dream being told, and its interpretation, he worshiped, and he returned to the camp of Israel, and said, “Get up, because Yehovah has delivered the army of Midian into your hand!”

16 “He divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put shofars into all of their hands, and empty pitchers with torches inside of the pitchers. 17 He told them, “Watch me, and do likewise. When I come to the edge of the camp, then you should do what I do. 18 When I blow a shofar, I and everyone with me, then blow 'your' shofars also on every side of the camp, and shout, “For Yehovah and for Gideon!’” 19 So Gideon, and the one hundred men who were with him came to the edge of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch, when they had just set the watch, and they blew their shofars, and broke to pieces the pitchers that were in their hands. 20 The three companies blew their shofars, and broke the pitchers, and held the torches in their left hands, and the shofars in their right hands that they were to blow, and they shouted, “The sword of Yehovah and of Gideon!” 21 They every man stood in his place around the camp, and the entire army ran, and they shouted, and put them to flight. 22 They blew the three hundred shofars, and Yehovah set every man’s sword against his fellow, and against the entire army, and the army fled as far as Beth Shittah toward Zererah, and as far as the border of Abel Meholah, by Tabbath.

23 “The men of Israel were gathered together from Naphtali, and out of Asher, and from all Manasseh, and pursued Midian. 24 Gideon sent messengers thruout all the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down against Midian, and take control of the waterways ahead of them as far as Beth Barah, and the Jordan River!” So all the men of Ephraim were gathered together, and took the waterways as far as Beth Barah, and the Jordan River. 25 They took the two leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb, and they killed Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and they killed Zeeb at the wine press of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and they brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon beyond the Jordan River.

JUDGES 8

1 The men of Ephraim asked him, “Why have you treated us this way, not calling us when you went to fight with Midian?” They reprimanded him sharply. 2 He told them, “What have I now done in comparison with you? Isn’t the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? 3 Elohim has handed over the leaders of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb! What was I able to do in comparison with you?” Then their anger was abated toward him, when he said that.

4 “Gideon came to the Jordan River, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men who were with him, weary, yet pursuing. 5 He told the men of Succoth, “Please give loaves of bread to the people who follow me, because they’re weary, and I’m pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian. 6 The leaders of Succoth said, “Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, so that we should give bread to your army?” 7 Gideon said, “Alright, then. Once Yehovah has handed Zebah and Zalmunna over, then I’ll tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers. 8 He went up there to Penuel, and spoke to them similarly, and the men of Penuel answered him the same way the men of Succoth had answered. 9 He also told the men of Penuel, “When I come back in peace, I’ll break down this tower.

10 “Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their armies with them, about fifteen thousand men, everyone left of the army of the descendants of the east, because there fell one hundred twenty thousand men who drew swords. 11 Gideon went up by the way of those who lived in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and struck the army, because the army was secure. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled, and he pursued them, and he took the kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and their whole army panicked.

13 “Gideon the son of Yehoash returned from the battle from the ascent of Heres. 14 He caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and inquired of him, and he described for him the leaders of Succoth, and its elders, seventy-seven men. 15 He came to the men of Succoth, and said, “See Zebah and Zalmunna, concerning who you taunted me, saying, “Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, so that we should give bread to your men who are weary?” 16 He took the elders of the city, and thorns and briers from the wilderness, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. 17 He broke down the tower of Penuel, and killed the men of the city. 18 Then he said to Zebah and Zalmunna, “What kind of men were they who you killed at Tabor?” They answered, “They were like you. Each one resembled the children of a king. 19 He said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As Yehovah lives, if you had saved them alive, I wouldn’t kill you. 20 He said to Jether his firstborn, “Get up, and kill them!” But the youth didn’t draw his sword, because he was afraid since he was still a youth. 21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Rise and fall on us, because as the man is, so is his strength. Gideon got up and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescents that were on their camels’ necks.

22 “Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, both you, and your son, and your son’s son also, because you’ve saved us from the grasp of Midian. 23 Gideon told them, “I won’t rule over you, and my son won’t rule over you. Yehovah will rule over you. 24 Gideon told them, “I would make a request of you, that each of you give me the earrings from his plunder. (They had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) 25 They answered, “We will willingly give them. They spread a garment, and every man threw the earrings of his spoil into it. 26 The weight of the golden earrings that he requested was one thousand seven hundred shekels of gold, besides the crescents, and the pendants, and the purple clothing that was on the kings of Midian, and besides the chains that were around their camels’ necks. 27 Gideon made an ephod of it, and put it in his city, in Ophrah, and all Israel prostituted themselves with it there, and it became a snare to Gideon, and his household.

28 “So Midian was subdued before the Israelites, and they lifted up their heads no more. The land had rest forty years in the days of Gideon.

29 “Jerubbaal the son of Yehoash went and lived in his own house. 30 Gideon had seventy sons conceived from his body, because he had many wives. 31 His concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech. 32 Gideon the son of Yehoash died at a good old age, and was buried in the tomb of Yehoash his father in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 33 Then, as soon as Gideon was dead the Israelites turned again, and prostituted themselves to the Baals, and made Baal Berith their god. 34 The Israelites didn’t remember Yehovah their Elohim, who had delivered them from the grasp of all their enemies on every side, 35 They did’t show kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, (that is, Gideon) for all the good he had done for Israel.

JUDGES 9

1 Then Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem to his mother’s brothers, and spoke with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father: 2 “Please speak in the 'hearing' of all the men of Shechem. Is it better for you for all the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy people, to rule over you, or for one to rule over you?” Remember that I’m your bone and your flesh. 3 His mother’s brothers spoke of him in the 'hearing' of all the men of Shechem all these words, and their sentiments inclined to follow Abimelech, because they said, “He is our brother.” 4 They gave him seventy pieces of silver from the house of Baal Berith, and with this Abimelech hired worthless and reckless guys, who followed him. 5 He went to his father’s house in Ophrah, and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, being seventy persons, on one stone, but Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, because he hid himself. 6 All the men of Shechem gathered together, and the whole house of Millo, and went and made Abimelech king beside the oak of the pillar in Shechem.

7 “When they told Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and told them, “Listen to me you men of Shechem, that Elohim may listen to you. 8 The trees went out on a time to anoint a king over them, and they told the olive tree, “Reign over us.” 9 But the olive tree told them, ‘Should I stop producing oil, since by me they honor Elohim and man, and go to wave back and forth over the trees?’ 10 The trees told the fig tree, “Come and reign over us.” 11 But the fig tree told them, “Should I leave my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to wave back and forth over the trees?” 12 The trees told the grapevine, “Come and reign over us.” 13 The grapevine told them, “Should I leave my new wine that cheers Elohim and man, and go to wave back and forth over the trees?” 14 Then all of the trees said to the bramble, “Come and reign over us.” 15 The bramble told the trees, “If you truly anoint me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade, and if not, fire will come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.” 16 So if you’ve dealt sincerely and rightly in making Abimelech king, and if you’ve dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done to him according to the deserving of his hands 17 (for my father fought for you, and risked his life, and delivered you from the grasp of Midian, 18 and you’ve risen up against my father’s house today, and have slain his sons, seventy persons, on one stone, and made Abimelech, the son of his female servant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother), 19 then if you’ve dealt sincerely and rightly with Jerubbaal and with his house today, then celebrate in Abimelech, and let him also celebrate in you, 20 but if not, may fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo, and may fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. 21 Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and lived there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.

22 “Abimelech reigned over Israel for three years. 23 Elohim sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem, and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, 24 so that the violence committed against the seventy sons of Jerubbaal would be 'avenged' and their blood would be 'avenged' on Abimelech their brother, who killed them, and on the 'citizens' of Shechem, who 'encouraged' him to kill his brothers. 25 The men of Shechem set an ambush for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed everyone who came along that way by them, and Abimelech was told.

26 Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brothers, and went over to Shechem, and the men of Shechem put their trust in him. 27 They went out into the field, and harvested their vineyards, and trod the grapes, and held a feast, and went into the house of their god, and ate and drank, and cursed Abimelech. 28 Gaal the son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? Isn’t he the son of Jerubbaal? And Zebul his officer? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem, but why should we serve him? 29 I wish that these people were under my 'control'! Then I would remove Abimelech. He said to Abimelech, “Increase your army and come out!” 30 When Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. 31 He sent messengers to Abimelech secretly, saying, “Look, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brothers have come to Shechem, and look, they constrain the city to take part against you. 32 So go up at night, you and the people who are with you, and lie in wait in the field, 33 then, in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, get up early and rush on the city, and when he and the people who are with him come out against you, then you cando to him whatever you can!” 34 Abimelech and all the people who were with him got up at night, and they laid in wait against Shechem in four companies.

35 “Gaal the son of Ebed went out and stood in the gateway of the city, and Abimelech got up, and the people who were with him, from the ambush. 36 When Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, “Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains.” Zebul told him, “You see the shadow of the mountains as if they were men. 37 Gaal spoke again and said, “Look, people are coming down from the center of the land, and one company comes from the direction of the diviners’ tree.” 38 Then Zebul asked him,“Where is your mouthing off now? You said, “Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him?” Aren’t these the people that you’ve despised? Go out now, please, and fight with them. 39 Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. 40 Abimelech chased him, and he fled from him, and many fell wounded, all the way to the entrance of the gate. 41 Abimelech lived at Arumah, and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brothers, so that they wouldn’t live in Shechem.

42 “Then the next day, the people went out into the field and they told Abimelech. 43 He took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid in wait in the field, and he looked, and saw that the people were coming out of the city. He got up against them, and struck them. 44 Abimelech and the companies that were with him, rushed forward, and stood in the gateway of the city, and the two companies rushed on everyone who were in the field, and struck them. 45 Abimelech fought against the city all that day, and he took the city, and killed the people there, and he beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.

46 “When all the men of the tower of Shechem heard about it, they went into the stronghold of the house of Elberith. 47 Then Abimelech was told that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. 48 Abimelech got up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him, and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it up, and laid it on his shoulder, and he told the people who were with him, “You’ve seen what I did, hurry and do what I’ve done!” 49 All the people likewise each cut down his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them at the base of the stronghold, and set the stronghold on fire on them, so that all the people of the tower of Shechem also died, about a thousand men and women.

50 “Then Abimelech went to Thebez, and camped against Thebez, and took it. 51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and they all fled, the men and women and everyone in the city, and shut themselves in, and took them up to the roof of the tower. 52 Abimelech came to the tower, and fought against it, and approached the door of the tower to burn it. 53 A certain woman threw an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head, and crushed his skull. 54 Then he quickly called to the young man, his armor bearer, and told him, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that men won’t say of me, ‘A woman killed him.’ So his young man thrust him thru, and he died.” 55 When the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, then every man left to his place.

56 So Elohim repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, He did to his father, in killing his seventy brothers, 57 and all the wickedness of the men of Shechem, Elohim returned on their own heads, and on them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal.

JUDGES 10

1 After Abimelech, Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar arose to save Israel. He lived in Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. 2 He judged Israel twenty-three years, died, and was buried in Shamir.

3 “After him Jair, the Gileadite rose up, and he judged Israel twenty-two years. 4 He had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkey colts, and they had thirty cities that are called Havvoth Jair to today, in the land of Gilead. 5 Jair died, and was buried in Kamon.

6 “The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of Yehovah, and served the Baals, the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, the gods of the Philistines and they abandoned Yehovah and didn’t serve Him. 7 So the anger of Yehovah was kindled against Israel, and He sold them into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the Ammonites. 8 They troubled and oppressed the Israelites that year. For eighteen years they oppressed all the Israelites that were beyond the Jordan River in the land of the Amorites, that is in Gilead. 9 The Ammonites crossed over the Jordan River to fight also against Judah, against Benjamin and against the house of Ephraim, so that Israel was very distressed. 10 The Israelites cried to Yehovah, “We have sinned against you, because we have forsaken our Elohim, and have served the Baals. 11 Yehovah asked the Israelites, “Didn’t I save you from the Egyptians, from the Amorites, from the 'Ammonites' and from the Philistines? 12 The Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites also oppressed you, and you cried to Me and I saved you from their grasp. 13 Yet you’ve forsaken Me, and served other gods, so I’ll save you no more. 14 Go and cry to the gods that you’ve chosen. Let them save you in the time of your distress!” 15 The Israelites said to Yehovah, “We have sinned. Do to us whatever seems good to You, only save us, we ask you, today. 16 They removed the gods of the nations from among them, and served Yehovah, and He was grieved due to the misery of Israel.

17 “Then the 'Ammonites' were gathered together, and camped in Gilead. The Israelites gathered together, and camped in Mizpah. 18 The people, the leaders of Gilead, said one to another, “Who among us will begin to fight against the 'Ammonites'? He’ll be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.

JUDGES 11

1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, and he was the son of a whore, and Gilead became the father of Jephthah. 2 Gilead’s wife bore him sons, and when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove out Jephthah, and told him, “You will have no inherit in our father’s house, because you are the son of another woman. 3 Then Jephthah fled from his brothers, and lived in the land of Tob, and worthless men banded together with Jephthah, and they went out raiding with him.

4 “Then after a while, the 'Ammonites' made war against Israel. 5 And so it was, that when the 'Ammonites' made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah out of the land of Tob, 6 and they said to Jephthah, “Come and be our leader, so that we can fight with the 'Ammonites'. 7 Jephthah asked the elders of Gilead, “Didn’t you hate me, and drive me out of my father’s house? Why have you come to me now when you are in distress?” 8 The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “So we have turned again to you now, so that you can go with us, and fight with the 'Ammonites', and you’ll be our leader over all the inhabitants of Gilead. 9 Jephthah told the elders of Gilead, “If you bring me home again to fight with the 'Ammonites', and Yehovah delivers them before me, will I be your leader?” 10 The elders of Gilead said to Jephthah, “Yehovah will be witness between us, if we don’t do what you say. 11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him leader and commander over them, and Jephthah spoke all his words before Yehovah in Mizpah.

12 “Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the 'Ammonites', saying, “What have you to do with me, that you’ve come to me to fight against my land?” 13 The king of the 'Ammonites' replied to the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel took away my land, when he came up out of Egypt, from the Arnon all the way to the Jabbok, and to the Jordan River. Now restore those lands again peaceably. 14 Jephthah sent messengers back to the king of the 'Ammonites', 15 and they told him, “Jephthah says, Israel didn’t take away the land of Moab or the land of the 'Ammonites', 16 but when they came up from Egypt, Israel went thru the wilderness to the Red Sea, and came to Kadesh. 17 Then Israel sent messengers to the king of Edom, saying, “Please let me pass thru your land,’ but the king of Edom didn’t listen. Similarly, he sent to the king of Moab, but he wouldn’t, and Israel lived in Kadesh. 18 Then they went thru the wilderness, and went around the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and they camped on the other side of the Arnon, but they didn’t come within the border of Moab, because the Arnon was the border of Moab. 19 Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon, and Israel told him, “Let us please pass, thru your land to our place.” 20 But Sihon didn’t trust Israel to pass thru his border, and Sihon gathered all his people together, and camped in Jahaz, and fought against Israel. 21 Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they struck them, so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 22 They possessed all the border of the Amorites, from the Arnon all the way to the Jabbok, and from the wilderness all the way to the Jordan River. 23 So now Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel has dispossessed the Amorites from before His people Israel, and should you possess them? 24 Won’t you possess what Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whoever Yehovah our Elohim has dispossessed from before us, we will we possess. 25 Now are you anything better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them? 26 While Israel lived in Heshbon and its cities, and in Aroer and its cities, and in all the cities that are along by the side of the Arnon, three hundred years, why didn’t you recover them within that time? 27 I have not sinned against you, but you do me wrong by fighting against me. May Yehovah, the Judge, render judgment today between the Israelites and the 'Ammonites'. 28 However the king of the 'Ammonites' didn’t listen to the 'message' of Jephthah that he sent him.

29 “Then the spirit of Yehovah came on Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over to the 'land of the Ammonites'. 30 Jephthah made a vow to Yehovah, and said, “If you’ll indeed deliver the 'Ammonites' into my hand, 31 then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the 'land of the Ammonites', it will be Yehovah’s, and I’ll offer it up for a burnt offering. 32 So Jephthah passed over to the 'land of the Ammonites' to fight against them, and Yehovah handed them over to him. 33 He defeated twenty towns from Aroer to the entrance of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim, with a very great slaughter. So the 'Ammonites' were subdued before the Israelites.

34 “Jephthah came to Mizpah to his house. She was dancing with tambourines in her hands. She was his only child, he had no other sons or daughters. 35 Then when he saw her, he tore his clothes, and said, “Oh no, my daughter! You’ve brought me very low, and you are one of those who trouble me, because I’ve opened my mouth to Yehovah, and I can’t go back. 36 She told him, “My father, you’ve opened your mouth to Yehovah, so do to me whatever proceeded from your mouth, because Yehovah has taken vengeance for you on your enemies the 'Ammonites'. 37 She said to her father, “Let this thing be done for me, leave me alone for two months, so that I can depart and go down on the mountains, and mourn my virginity with my friends.” 38 He said, “Go”. He sent her away for two months, and she departed, she and her friends, and mourned her virginity on the mountains. 39 Then at the end of two months, she returned to her father, who did with her what he had vowed and she was a virgin. It was a custom in Israel 40 that four days every year the young women of Israel would lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.

JUDGES 12

1 The men of Ephraim were gathered together, and crossed over northward, and they said to Jephthah, “Why did you cross over to fight against the 'Ammonites' without calling on us to go with you? We will burn your house down on you.” 2 Jephthah told them, “I and my people were at great strife with the 'Ammonites', and when I called you, you didn’t rescue me from their grasp. 3 So when I saw that you didn’t save me, I put my life in my hand, and crossed over against the 'Ammonites', and Yehovah delivered them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me today, to fight against me?” 4 Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim, and the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they said, “You are fugitives of Ephraim, you Gileadites, in the middle of Ephraim, and in the middle of Manasseh. 5 The Gileadites seized the fords of the Jordan River against the Ephraimites. Then when any of the fugitives of Ephraim said, “Let me go over”, the men of Gilead told him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If he said, “No,” 6 then they told him, “Now say ‘Shibboleth,’” and he said “Sibboleth”, because he couldn’t manage to pronounce it right, then they laid hold of him, and killed him at the fords of the Jordan River. At that time, forty-two thousand of Ephraim fell.

7 “Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead. 8 After him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 9 He had thirty sons, and thirty daughters he sent abroad, and thirty daughters he brought in from abroad for his sons. He judged Israel seven years. 10 Ibzan died and was buried in Bethlehem.

11 “After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel, and he judged Israel for ten years. 12 Elon the Zebulunite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.

13 “After him Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. 14 He had forty sons and thirty grandsons who rode on seventy donkey colts, and he judged Israel eight years. 15 Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.

JUDGES 13

1 The Israelites again did what was evil in the sight of Yehovah, so Yehovah handed them over to the Philistines for forty years.

2 “There was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah, and his wife was barren, and didn’t have any children. 3 The Messenger of Yehovah appeared to the woman, and told her, “See now, you are barren, and have no children, but you’ll conceive and bear a son. 4 Now please be careful not to drink wine or liquor, and don’t eat anything unclean, 5 because you’ll conceive, and bear a son! No razor will come on his head, because the child will be a Nazarite to Elohim from the womb, and he’ll begin to save Israel from the grasp of the Philistines.

6 “Then the woman came and told her husband, “A Man of Elohim came to me, and His face was like the face of the Messenger of Elohim, very awesome, and I didn’t ask Him where He was from, and He didn’t tell me His name, 7 but He told me, “You’ll conceive, and bear a son, but don’t drink any wine or liquor, and don’t eat anything unclean, because the child will be a Nazarite to Elohim from the womb to the day of his death!

8 “Then Manoah asked Yehovah, “Yehovah, please have the Man of Elohim who You sent come again to us, and teach us what we’ll do with the child who will be born. 9 Elohim listened to the voice of Manoah, and the Messenger of Elohim came again to the woman as she sat in the field, but Manoah, her husband, wasn’t with her. 10 The woman hurried, and ran, and told her husband, “The Man has appeared to me, the one who came to me the other day! 11 Manoah got up, and followed his wife, and came to the Man, and asked Him, “Are You the Man who spoke to my wife?” He said, “I am”. 12 Manoah said, “Now let Your words happen. What will be the purpose of the child, and what will we do with him?” 13 The Messenger of Yehovah told Manoah, “Of all that I told the woman let her beware. 14 She may not eat anything that comes from a grapevine. Don’t allow her to drink wine or liquor, or eat anything unclean. She must do everything I commanded her to do. 15 Manoah told the Messenger of Yehovah, “I ask that we can detain you, so that we can prepare a young goat for You. 16 The Messenger of Yehovah told Manoah, “Tho you detain Me, I won’t eat your bread, and if you’ll prepare a burnt offering, you must offer it to Yehovah. For Manoah didn’t know that He was the Messenger of Yehovah. 17 Then Manoah asked the Messenger of Yehovah, “What is Your name? When what You say happens, we’ll honor You.” 18 The Messenger of Yehovah asked him, “Why are you asking for My name? It is a secret.” 19 So Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering, and offered it on the rock to Yehovah, and He did something amazing as Manoah and his wife watched. 20 As the flames from the altar ascended skyward from the altar, the Messenger of Yehovah ascended in the flame. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell face down on the ground. 21 When the Messenger of Yehovah was no longer visible to Manoah or his wife, Manoah realized that He was the Messenger of Yehovah. 22 So Manoah said to his wife, “We’re going to die, because we have seen Elohim.” 23 But his wife said, “If Yehovah had wanted to kill us, He wouldn’t have accepted our burnt offering and grain offering. He wouldn’t have just now shown us all these things or spoken like this to us.”

24 “So the woman gave birth to a son and named him Samson. The child grew up, and Yehovah blessed him. 25 The spirit of Yehovah, she began to move him in Mahaneh Dan, between Zorah and Eshtaol.

JUDGES 14

1 Samson went down to Timnah, and saw a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines. 2 He came up, and told his father and his mother, “I’ve seen a woman in Timnah of the daughters of the Philistines, so get her for me as wife. 3 Then his father and his mother asked him, “Isn’t there a woman among the daughters of your brothers, or among all our people, that you wouldn’t need to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?” Samson said to his father, “Get her for me, because she pleases me well. 4 But his father and mother didn’t know that it was Yehovah’s doing, because He wanted an opportunity to move against the Philistines. Now at that time the Philistines were ruling over Israel.

5 “Then Samson and his father and his mother went down to Timnah, and came to the vineyards of Timnah, and saw a young lion roaring at him. 6 The spirit of Yehovah came mightily on him, and he tore him as he would have torn a young goat, and he had nothing in his hand, but he didn’t tell his father or his mother what he had done. 7 He went down, and talked with the woman, and she pleased Samson well. 8 After a while he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and saw a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. 9 He took it into his hands and went on, eating as he went, and he came to his father and mother, and gave some to them, and they ate it, but he didn’t tell them that he had taken the honey from the body of a lion.

10 “His father went down to the woman, and Samson made a feast there, because the young men used to do that. 11 Then when they saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him. 12 Samson told them, “I want to tell you a riddle now. If you can explain it to me within the seven days of the feast, and discern its meaning, then I’ll give you thirty linen garment and thirty changes of clothing, 13 but if you can’t explain it to me, then you’ll give me thirty linen clothing and thirty changes of clothing. They told him, “Tell us your riddle so that we can hear it. 14 He told them, “Out of the eater food came out. Out of the strong something sweet. In three days they couldn’t explain the riddle. 15 Then on the seventh day they said to Samson’s wife, “Entice your husband, so that he’ll explain to us the riddle, otherwise we’ll burn you and your father’s house up. Have you called us to impoverish us? Isn’t that right?” 16 Samson’s wife cried before him, and said, “You just hate me, you don’t love me. You’ve given a riddle to her countrymen, and haven’t told me. He told her, “Look, I haven’t told my father or my mother, so why should I tell you?” 17 She cried before him seven days, while their feast lasted, and then on the seventh day he told her, because she pressured him greatly, and she explained the riddle to her countrymen. 18 The men of the city told him on the seventh day before the sun went down, “What is sweeter than honey? What is stronger than a lion?” He told them, “If you hadn’t plowed with my heifer, you wouldn’t have solved my riddle.

19 “The spirit of Yehovah came on him mightily, and he went down to Ashkelon, and struck killed thirty men of the men, and took their spoil, and gave the changes of clothing to the people who explained the riddle. His anger was aroused, and he went up to his father’s house. 20 But Samson’s wife was given to his companion, who he had used as his best man.

JUDGES 15

1 But after a while, at the time of the wheat harvest, Samson visited his wife with a young goat, and he said, “I’ll go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father wouldn’t allow him to go in.” 2 Her father said, “I most certainly thought that you had completely hated her, so I gave her to your companion. Isn’t her younger sister more beautiful than she? Please take her, instead. 3 Samson told them, “This time I’ll be blameless in regard of the Philistines, when I harm them. 4 Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took torches, and turned them tail to tail, and put a torch in the middle between every two tails. 5 When he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing grain of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks and the standing grain, and the olive groves. 6 Then the Philistines said, “Who did this?” They said, “Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he has taken his wife, and given her to his companion. The Philistines came up, and lit her and her father on fire. 7 Samson told them, “If you behave like this, surely I’ll take vengeance on you, and after that I’ll cease. 8 He struck them hip and thigh with a great slaughter, and he went down and lived in the cleft of the rock of Etam.

9 “Then the Philistines went up, and camped in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. 10 The men of Judah asked, “Why have you come up against us?” They said, “We came up to bind Samson, to do to him what he has done to us.” 11 Then three thousand men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock of Etam, and said to Samson, “Don’t you know that the Philistines are our rulers? Why have you done this to us?” He told them, “I did to them what they did to me.” 12 They told him, “We have come down to bind you, so that we can hand you over to the Philistines.” Samson told them, “Swear to me that you won’t fall on me yourselves.” 13 They told him, “No, but we’ll tie you tightly, and hand you over to them, but we certainly won’t kill you.” So they tied him with two new ropes, and brought him up from the rock. 14 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines shouted as they met him, and the spirit of Yehovah came mightily on him, and the ropes that were on his arms became like flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands dropped from off his hands. 15 He found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and reached out and took it and struck a thousand men with it. 16 Samson said, “With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps on heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey I’ve struck a thousand men.” 17 Then when he was finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone that he was holding, and that place was called Ramath Lehi. 18 He was very thirsty, and called to Yehovah, “You’ve given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant, and now You’ll allow me die of thirst, and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” 19 But Elohim split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out of it. When he had drunk, his spirit returned and he revived. That’s why he named it En-hakkore. It is still there in Lehi today.

20 “He judged Israel in the days of the Philistines for twenty years.

JUDGES 16

1 Samson went to Gaza, and saw a whore there and had sex with her. 2 When the Gazites heard, “Samson is here!” They surrounded him, and laid in wait for him all night in the gateway of the city, and were quiet all night: “Wait until the morning light, then we’ll kill him.” 3 Samson lay until midnight, and got up at midnight, and laid hold of the doors of the gateway of the city and the two posts, and pulled them up, bar and all, and put them on his shoulders and carried them up to the top of the mountain facing Hebron.

4 “It came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman named Delilah in the valley of Sorek. 5 The Philistines rulers came up to her, and told her, “Entice him, and see where his great strength lies, and how we can overcome him, and bind him to oppress him, and we’ll each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver. 6 Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, and how you could be bound and afflicted.” 7 Samson told her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that had never dried, then I'll become weak, just like any other man.” 8 Then the Philistine leaders brought up to her seven fresh bowstrings that hadn’t been dried, and she bound him with them. 9 Now she had an ambush waiting in the inner chamber. She told him, “The Philistines are attacking you, Samson!” He snapped the bowstrings like a thread snaps when it touches fire. So his strength wasn’t revealed. 10 Delilah said to Samson, “Look, you’ve mocked me, and told me lies, now tell me, please, how could you be bound.” 11 He said to her, “If they only bind me with new ropes that no work has been done with, then I'll become weak, and be like any other man.” 12 So Delilah took new ropes, and bound him with them, and told him, “The Philistines are on you, Samson!” The ambush was waiting in the inner chamber. He broke them off his arms like a thread. 13 Delilah said to Samson, “Until now, you’ve mocked me and told me lies. Tell me how you could be bound.” He said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web. 14 She fastened it with the pin, and told him, “The Philistines are on you, Samson!” He awakened from his sleep, and plucked away the pin of the beam, and the web. 15 She asked him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your sentiments aren’t with me? You’ve mocked me these three times, and haven’t told me where your great strength lies.” 16 Then when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, he was annoyed to death. 17 He told her everything he knew, and said to her, “No razor has ever come on my head, because I’ve been a Nazarite to Elohim from my mother’s womb. If I’m shaved, then my strength will leave me, and I’ll become weak, and be like any other man.”

18 “When Delilah saw that he had told her everything he knew, she sent for the Philistine leaders, saying, “Come up this time, because he has told me everything he knows.” Then the Philistine leaders came up to her, and brought the silver in their hand. 19 She made him sleep on her knees, and she called for a man, and shaved off the seven locks of his head, and she began to oppress him, and his strength left him. 20 She said, “The Philistines are attacking you, Samson!” He awoke out of his sleep, and said, “I’ll go out as before, and shake myself free.” But he didn’t know that Yehovah had left him. 21 The Philistines grabbed him, and put out his eyes, and they brought him down to Gaza, and tied him with bronze bonds, and he ground at the mill in the prison. 22 However the hair of his head began to grow again after he had been shaved.

23 “The Philistine leaders gathered together to offer a great sacrifice to Dagon their god, and to celebrate, because they said, “Our god has delivered Samson our enemy into our hand.”

24 “When the people saw him, they praised their god, because they said, “Our god has delivered into our hands our enemy and the destroyer of our country, who has slain so many of us.” 25 Then when they were feeling good, they said, “Call for Samson, so that he can entertain us.” They called Samson out of the prison, and he performed before them. They set him between the pillars, 26 and Samson told the boy who held him by the hand, “Allow me to feel the pillars that support the 'Temple', so that I can lean on them.” 27 Now the house was full of men and women, and all the Philistine leaders were there, and there were about three thousand men and women on the roof, who were watching while Samson performed. 28 Samson called to Yehovah, and said, “Sovereign Yehovah, remember me, please, and strengthen me, please, one more time, Elohim, so that I can be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.” 29 Samson took hold of the two middle pillars that the house rested on, and leaned on them, the one with his right hand, and the other with his left. 30 Samson said, “Let me die with the Philistines!” He bowed himself with all his might, and the house fell on the masters, and on all the people who were there. So the dead that he killed in his death were more than those who he killed in his life. 31 Then his brothers and all the house of his father came down and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial site of Manoah his father. He had judged Israel for twenty years.

JUDGES 17

1 There was a man from the hill country of Ephraim named Micah. 2 He said to his mother, “The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you, that you spoke a curse over, that I overheard, look, the silver is with me, I took it. His mother said, “Blessed be my son of Yehovah. 3 He restored the eleven hundred pieces of silver to his mother, and his mother said, “I most certainly dedicate the silver to Yehovah from my hand for my son, to make an engraved image and a cast image. So I’ll restore it to you. 4 When he restored the silver to his mother, his mother took two hundred shekels of silver and gave them to a silversmith who made an engraved image and a cast image with it, and put it in Micah’s house. 5 The man Micah had a house of gods, and he made an ephod and household idols, and dedicated one of his sons, who became his priest. 6 In those days there was no king in Israel, every man did what was right in his own eyes.

7 “There was a young man from Bethlehem Judah, from the tribe of Judah, who was a Levite, and he stayed there. 8 The man left the city, out of Bethlehem Judah, to stay where he could find a place, and he came to the hill country of Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he traveled. 9 Micah asked him, “Where did you come from?” He told him, “I’m a Levite from Bethlehem Judah, and I’m looking for a place to live. 10 Micah told him, “Come and live with me, and be to me a father and a priest, and I’ll give you ten shekels of silver per year, a suit of clothing, and your food. So the Levite went in. 11 The Levite was content to live with the man, and the young man was to him as one of his sons. 12 Micah dedicated the Levite, and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah. 13 Then Micah said, “Now I know that Yehovah will do good for me, since I have a Levite as my priest.

JUDGES 18

1 In those days there was no king in Israel, and in those days the tribe of the Danites were looking for 'territory' to live in, because to that day their inheritance hadn’t been allotted to them among the tribes of Israel. 2 So the Danites sent out five valliant men of their family from their whole number, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to surveil the land, and explore it, and they told them, “Go, explore the land!” They came to the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and camped there. 3 When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man, the Levite, and they turned aside there, and asked him, “Who brought you here? What do you do in this place? What do you have here?” 4 He told them, “This and that Micah has done for me, and he has hired me, and I’ve become his priest. 5 They told him, “Ask counsel, please, of Elohim, so that we can know whether the way that we are going will be prosperous. 6 The priest told them, “Go in peace. Yehovah is leading you on your way. 7 So the five men left and came to Laish, and saw that people who were there lived in security, like the Sidonians, quiet and peaceful; because there was no one in the land with the authority to put them to shame in anything, and they were far from the Sidonians, and had no dealings with anyone. 8 They came to their brothers in Zorah and Eshtaol, and their brothers asked them, “What do you say?” 9 They said, “Get up. Let’s go up against them, because we have seen the land, and we see that it’s very good. Do you stand still? Don’t be lazy, go and enter the and land take possession of it. 10 When you go, you’ll come to a secure people, and the land is large, because Elohim has handed it to you, a place where there is no lack of anything that is in the earth.

11 “So six hundred men from the family of the Danites set out from Zorah and out of Eshtaol, armed with weapons of war. 12 They went up, and camped in Kiriath Jearim, in Judah, so they called that place Mahaneh Dan, to today. It’s behind Kiriath Jearim. 13 They passed there to the hill country of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah. 14 Then the five men who went to scout out the country of Laish answered their brothers, “Do you know that there is in these houses an ephod, household idols, an engraved image, and a cast image? So consider what you have to do. 15 They turned aside there, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, to the house of Micah, and asked him how he was doing. 16 The six hundred men armed with their weapons of war who were Danites stood by the entrance of the gate. 17 The five men who went to scout out the land went up, and came in there, and took the engraved image, the ephod, the household idols and the cast image, and the priest stood by the gateway with the six hundred men armed with weapons of war. 18 When they went into Micah’s house, and got the engraved image, the ephod, the household idols, and the cast image, the priest asked them, “What are you doing?” 19 They told him, “Hold your peace, put your hand on your mouth, and come with us, and be a father and a priest to us. Is it better for you to be priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and a family in Israel?” 20 The priest was glad, and he took the ephod, the household idols and the engraved image, and went in among of the people. 21 So they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the livestock and the goods before them.

22 “When they were a good way from Micah’s house, the men who were in the houses near to Micah’s house gathered together, and overtook the Danites. 23 They cried to the Danites. They turned to Micah and asked, “What’s the matter with you? Why have you called out your men to fight?” 24 He said, “You’ve taken away the gods that I made, the priest, and have gone away, and what more do I have? So how can you ask, “What’s the matter with you?” 25 The Danites told him, “Don’t let your voice be heard among us, otherwise angry men will descend on you, and you’ll die, along with your household. 26 The Danites went their way, and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his house.

27 “They took what Micah and the priest who he had, and went to Laish, to a people quiet and secure, and struck them with the edge of the sword, and they burnt the city 'down'. 28 There was no deliverer, because it was far from Sidon, and they had no dealings with anyone, and it was in the valley that lies by Beth Rehob. They built the city, and lived there. 29 They named the city Dan, after their ancestor Dan, who was born to Israel, however the name of the city was Laish before that. 30 The Danites set up for themselves the engraved image, and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses [footnotes], he and his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day of the captivity of the land. 31 So they set up Micah’s engraved image that he made, all the time that the 'Tabernacle' of Elohim was in Shiloh.

JUDGES 19

1 Then in those days, when there was no king in Israel, there was a certain Levite staying on the far side of the hill country of Ephraim who took a concubine from Bethlehem Judah. 2 But his concubine was unfaithful to him. She left him and went to her father’s home, to Bethlehem in Judah. She was there for a period of four months. 3 Her husband got up and went after her, to speak kindly to her and bring her back again, having his servant with him, and a couple of donkeys, and she brought him into her father’s house, and when the father of the young lady saw him, he was glad to meet him. 4 His father-in-law, the young lady’s father, retained him, and he stayed with him for three days, so they ate and drink, and camped there. 5 Then on the fourth day they got up early in the morning, and he got up to leave, and the young lady’s father said to his son-in-law, “Strengthen yourself with a morsel of bread, and afterward you can go your way. 6 So they sat down, ate, and drank, both of them together, and the young lady’s father told the man, “Please be content to stay all night and enjoy yourself.” 7 The man got up to leave, but his father-in-law urged him, and he camped there again. 8 He got up early in the morning on the fifth day to leave, and the young lady’s father said, “Please strengthen yourself and stay until the 'afternoon',” and they both ate. 9 When the man got up to leave, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father-in-law, the young lady’s father, told him, “Look, night is coming. Please stay all night, look, the day is nearly over, stay here. Stay here, and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up head home.” 10 But the man wouldn’t stay that night. He got up and left, and came opposite Jebus (the same is Jerusalem), and there were with him a couple of donkeys saddled, his concubine also was with him.

11 “When they were by Jebus, it was very late in the day. The servant said to his master, “Please come and let’s turn aside to this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it.” 12 His master replied, “We won’t turn aside into the city of a foreigner who isn’t an Israelite, but we’ll pass over to Gibeah.” 13 He said to his servant, “Let’s try to reach one of these places, and we’ll lodge in Gibeah or in Ramah.” 14 So they passed on and went their way, and the sun went down on them near to Gibeah, in Benjamin. 15 They turned aside there, to go in to lodge in Gibeah, and he went in, and sat down in the street of the city, because there no one took them into their house to lodge. 16 Then an old man came in from his work out of the field at evening. The man was from the hill country of Ephraim, and he stayed in Gibeah, but the men of the place were Benjamites. 17 He looked up and saw the wayfaring man in the city street, and the old man said, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?” 18 He told him, “We are traveling from Bethlehem Judah to the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim. I’m from there, and I went to Bethlehem Judah. I’m going to Yehovah’s 'Temple', and no one will take me into his home. 19 Yet there is both straw and provender for our donkeys, and there is bread and wine also for me, and for your handmaid, and for the young man who is with your servants, there is no lack of anything. 20 The old man said, “Peace be to you, however allow me to take care of your needs, just don’t stay in the street.” 21 So he brought him into his house, and gave the donkeys fodder, and they washed their feet, and ate and drink.

22 “While they were enjoying themselves, the men of the city, certain perverted men, surrounded the house, beating at the door, and they spoke to the master of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came into your house, so that we can have sex with him!” 23 The man, the master of the house, went out to them, and told them, “No, my brothers, please don’t act so wickedly, seeing that this man has come into my house, don’t commit this outrage. 24 Look, here is my virgin maiden and his concubine. I’ll bring them out now. Humble them, and do with them what seems good to you, but don’t do any such thing to this man. 25 But the men wouldn’t listen to him, so the man grabbed his concubine, and brought her out to them, and they had sex with her, and abused her all night until the morning, and when the day began to dawn, they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman came and collapsed at the door of the man’s house where her master was, until it was light. 27 Her master got up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way, and look, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, “Get up, and let’s go!” but no one answered. Then he took her up on the donkey, and the man got up, and went to his place. 29 When he came into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her thruout all the borders of Israel. 30 Then everyone who saw it said, “Nothing like this has been seen from the day that the Israelites came up out of the land of Egypt until today! Consider it, take counsel and speak out.

JUDGES 20

1 Then all the Israelites went out, and gathered together as one man, from Dan all the way to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, to Yehovah at Mizpah. 2 The leaders of all the people, all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of Elohim, four hundred thousand foot soldiers who drew swords. 3 (Now the Benjaminites heard that the Israelites had gone up to Mizpah.) The Israelites said, “Tell us, how did this wickedness happen?” 4 The Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered, “I came into Gibeah in Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge. 5 The men of Gibeah rose against me, and surrounded the house one night. They thought about killing me, and they forced my concubine, and she died. 6 So I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her thruout all the country of the inheritance of Israel, because they’ve committed lewdness and outrage in Israel. 7 Look, you Israelites, all of you, give me your advice and counsel. 8 All the people got up as one man, saying, “None of us will return to our tent, or return to our house. 9 Now this is what we’ll do to Gibeah, we’ll go up against it by lot, 10 and we’ll take ten men from one hundred thruout all the tribes of Israel, and one hundred from one thousand, and a thousand from ten thousand, to get food for the people, so that when they come to Gibeah in Benjamin, they can punish them for all the despicable things they’ve done in Israel.”

11 “So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man. 12 The tribes of Israel sent men thru all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What wickedness is this that has happened among you? 13 Now hand over the men, the perverted men in Gibeah, so that we can put them to death, and put away evil from Israel.” But Benjamin wouldn’t listen to their brothers the Israelites. 14 The Benjaminites gathered together out of the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the Israelites. 15 The Benjaminites were numbered on that day out of the cities, twenty-six thousand men who drew swords, in addition to seven hundred of the best young men from Gibeah. 16 Among all these people there were seven hundred chosen left-handed men, everyone could sling stones at a hair-breadth, and not miss. 17 The men of Israel, besides Benjamin, numbered four hundred thousand men who drew swords, all these were men of war.

18 “The Israelites got up, and went up to Bethel, and asked counsel of Elohim, and they asked, “Who will go up for us first to fight against the Benjaminites?” Yehovah says, “Judah will go up first.” 19 The Israelites got up in the morning, and camped against Gibeah. 20 The men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin, and the men of Israel set the battle in array against them at Gibeah. 21 The Benjaminites came out of Gibeah, and cut down to the ground of the Israelites on that day twenty-two thousand men. 22 The people, the men of Israel, encouraged themselves, and set the battle again in array in the place where they set themselves in array the first day. 23 The Israelites went up and cried before Yehovah until evening, and they asked of Yehovah, saying, “Will I again draw near to battle against the Benjaminites my brother?” Yehovah said, “Go against him. 24 The Israelites again approached the Benjaminites the second day. 25 Benjamin went out against the men of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites again eighteen thousand men, all these drew swords. 26 Then all the Israelites, and all the people, went up and came to Bethel, and wept and sat there before Yehovah, and fasted that day until evening, and they offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before Yehovah. 27 The Israelites asked Yehovah (for the ark of the covenant of Elohim was there in those days, 28 and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), asking, “Should I go out again in battle against the Benjaminites my brothers, or should I stop?” Yehovah said, “Go up, because tomorrow I’ll deliver him into your hand.

29 “So Israel set ambushes all around Gibeah. 30 The Israelites went up against the Benjaminites on the third day, and arrayed themselves against Gibeah, as before. 31 The Benjaminites went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city, and they began to strike and kill the people, as before, in the highways that leads to Bethel, and the other to Gibeah, in the field, about thirty men of Israel. 32 The Benjaminites said, “They are struck down before us, as before. But the Israelites said, “Let’s flee, and draw them away from the city to the highways. 33 All the men of Israel got up out of their place, and arrayed themselves at Baal Tamar, and the ambushers of Israel broke out of their positions all the way to Maareh Geba. 34 There came over against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was fierce, but they didn’t realize that disaster was about to 'strike' them. 35 Yehovah defeated Benjamin before Israel, and the Israelites destroyed twenty-five thousand one hundred Benjamite men, all these drew swords. 36 So the Benjaminites saw that they were defeated, because the men of Israel had given ground to Benjamin, because they trusted the ambushers who they had set against Gibeah. 37 The ambushers hurried, and rushed on Gibeah, and the ambushers drew themselves along, and struck all the city with the edge of the sword.

38 “Now the appointed sign between the men of Israel and the ambushers was that they should make a great cloud of smoke rise up out of the city. 39 The men of Israel turned in the battle, and Benjamin began to strike and kill about thirty men of Israel, because they said, “Surely they are struck down before us, as in the first battle. 40 But when the cloud began to arise up out of the city in a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, and saw that the entire city was going up in smoke to the sky. 41 The men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were dismayed, because they saw that disaster had come on them. 42 So they turned their backs before the men of Israel to the direction of the wilderness, but the battle overtook them, and those who came out of the cities destroyed them there. 43 They surrounded the Benjamites, chased them and trampled them down at their resting place, as far as over against Gibeah toward the sunrise. 44 Eighteen thousand Benjamite men fell, all of them were men of valor. 45 They turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and they picked off five thousand of them along the highways, and pursued them all the way to Gidom, and struck two thousand more men. 46 So that all the Benjamites who fell that day were twenty-five thousand men who drew swords, all these were men of valor. 47 But six hundred men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and lived in the rock of Rimmon four months. 48 The men of Israel turned again on the Benjaminites, and struck them with the edge of the sword, the entire city and all the livestock, and everyone they found, furthermore all the cities that they found they set on fire.

JUDGES 21

1 Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpah that, “There won’t be any of us to give his daughter to Benjamin as wives.” 2 The people came to Bethel, and sat there until evening before Elohim, and raised their voices, and cried bitterly. 3 They said, “Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, why has this happened in Israel, that there should be today one tribe missing in Israel?” 4 Then the next day the people got up early and built an altar there, and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. 5 The Israelites said, “Who is there among all the tribes of Israel who didn’t come up in the assembly to Yehovah?” They had made a great oath concerning the one who didn’t come up to Yehovah at Mizpah, saying, “He’ll surely be put to death.” 6 The Israelites grieved for Benjamin their brother, and said, “There is one tribe eliminated from Israel today. 7 How will we provide wives for those who remain, seeing we have sworn by Yehovah that we won’t give them our daughters for wives?” 8 Then they asked, “Which of the tribes of Israel failed to come up to Yehovah to Mizpah?” And they found that no one from Jabesh Gilead had come to the assembly in the camp.

9 “When the people were numbered they saw that there were none of the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead there.

10 “The assembly sent twelve thousand of the most valiant men there, and commanded them, “Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the little ones. 11 This is the thing that you’ll do, you’ll completely destroy every male, and every woman who has lain with a man. 12 They found among the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead four hundred young virgins, who hadn’t known man by lying with him, and they brought them to the camp to Shiloh, that is in the land of Canaan. 13 The whole assembly sent and spoke to the Benjaminites who were in the rock of Rimmon, and proclaimed peace to them. 14 Benjamin returned at that time, and they gave them the women who they had spared of the women of Jabesh Gilead, and yet so there weren’t enough for them.

15 “The people grieved for Benjamin, because Yehovah had made a breach in the tribes of Israel. 16 Then the elders of the community said, “How will we provide wives for those who remain, since the women of Benjamin have been destroyed?” 17 They said, “There must be an inheritance for those who have escaped from Benjamin, so that a tribe won’t be blotted out from Israel. 18 However we must not give our daughters as wives, because the Israelites had sworn, “Cursed is he who gives a wife to Benjamin.” 19 They said, “Look, there is a Feast of Yehovah from year to year in Shiloh, on the north of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah. 20 They instructed the Benjaminites, saying, “Go and lie in wait in the vineyards, 21 and watch for the daughters of Shiloh as they come out to dance, then come out of the vineyards, and each man catch his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22 Then when their fathers or their brothers come to complain to us, we’ll say to them, “Grant them mercifully to us, because we didn’t take for each man his wife in battle, and we did’t give 'your daughters' to them, otherwise you would now be guilty. 23 The Benjaminites did so, and took wives, according to their number, of those who danced, who they carried off. They went and returned to their inheritance, rebuilt the cities, and lived in them. 24 The Israelites left there at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from there every man to his inheritance.

25 “In those days there was no king in Israel, every man did what was right in his own eyes.

“1” SAMUEL 1

Chapters 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30, 31

1 Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim Zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite, 2 and he had two wives, the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of other Peninnah, and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3 This man went up from his city from year to year to worship and to offer ze’bakim [sacrifice] to Yehovah the Commander in Shiloh. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, priests to Yehovah were there. 4 When the day came that Elkanah made his offering, he gave Peninnah his wife, and all her sons and her daughters portions, 5 but he gave Hannah a double portion, because he loved Hannah, but Yehovah had shut up her womb. 6 Her rival wife provoked her severely and taunted her, because Yehovah had closed her womb. 7 So it was every year, when she went up to Yehovah’s 'Temple', she would provoke her; so that she wept and wouldn’t eat.

8 “Elkanah, her husband asked her, “Hannah, why are you crying? Why don’t you eat? Why are your sentiments grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” 9 So Hannah got up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his seat by the doorpost of the 'Temple' of Yehovah. 10 She was deeply troubled, praying to Yehovah and weeping bitterly. 11 She made a vow: “Yehovah the Commander, if You’ll indeed look on the oppression of Your handmaid, and remember me, and not forget Your handmaid, but give Your handmaid a boy, then I’ll give him to Yehovah all the days of his life, and no razor will ever come on his head. 12 Then, as she continued praying before Yehovah, Eli noticed her mouth. 13 Now Hannah was speaking to herself. Only her lips moved, and her voice wasn’t heard. So Eli thought she was drunk. 14 Eli said to her, “How long are you going to be drunk? Put your wine away.” 15 Hannah answered, “No, my master, I’m a deeply troubled woman. I haven’t drunk any wine or liquor, but I’m pouring myself out before Yehovah. 16 Don’t consider your handmaid to be a wicked woman, because I’ve been speaking out of the abundance of my complaint and my provocation.” 17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the Elohim of Israel grant the petition that you’ve asked of Him.” 18 She said, “Allow your handmaid to find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way, and ate, and her facial expression wasn’t sad any more.

19 “They got up early in the morning, and worshiped before Yehovah, and returned, and came to their house in Ramah, and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and Yehovah remembered her. 20 Then when the time came, Hannah conceived, and gave birth to a son, and she named him Samuel, because she said “I’ve asked Yehovah for him.”

21 “Elkanah, and all his household went up to offer a zebak to Yehovah, the yearly zebak, and his vow. 22 But Hannah didn’t go up, because she said to her husband, “Not until the child is weaned, then I’ll bring him, so that he can appear before Yehovah, and stay there forever. 23 Elkanah her husband told her, “Do what seems best to you. Wait until you’ve weaned him, and may Yehovah establish His word.” So the woman waited and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, one ephah of meal and a skin of wine and brought him to Yehovah’s 'Temple' in Shiloh. The child was young. 25 They killed the bull, and brought the child to Eli. 26 She said, “My master, as you live, my master, I’m the woman who stood by you here, praying to Yehovah. 27 This is the child I prayed for, and Yehovah has given me the petition that I asked Him for. 28 So I’ve given him to Yehovah. As long as he lives he belongs to Yehovah. He worshiped Yehovah there.

1 SAMUEL 2

1 Hannah prayed, “Inwardly I exult in Yehovah! My 'strength' is exalted in Yehovah. My mouth 'ridicules' my enemies, because I rejoice in your deliverance. 2 There is no one as kadosh as Yehovah, there is no one besides You, and there is no Rock like our Elohim.

3 “Don’t boast so arrogantly or allow arrogance to come out of your mouth, because Yehovah is an Elohim of knowledge. He’ll weigh our actions. 4 The bows of the warriors are broken. Those who stumbled are girded with strength. 5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread. Those who were hungry are no longer hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, but the mother of many children withers away.

6 “Yehovah kills and makes alive. He brings down to sheol, and brings up. 7 Yehovah makes poor and makes rich. He brings down and He lifts up. 8 He raises the poor from the dust. He lifts the needy from the dunghill and has them sit with princes, and makes them inherit the throne of splendor. The pillars of the earth are Yehovah’s. He has set the world on them.

9 “He’ll preserve the feet of His kadosh ones, but the wicked will be put to silence in darkness, because no one will prevail by strength. 10 Those who strive with Yehovah will be broken to pieces. He’ll thunder against them in the sky, “Yehovah will judge the remotest regions of the earth. He’ll give strength to His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed.

11 “Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. The child served Yehovah before Eli the priest.

12 “The sons of Eli were perverted men, they didn’t know Yehovah. 13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man gave a zebak, the priest’s servant came while the flesh was boiling, with a three pronged fork in his hand, 14 and he struck it into the pan, kettle, caldron or pot, all that the fork brought up the priest took. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Yes, before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and told the man who offered zebakim, “Give meat to roast to the priest, because he won’t accept boiled meat from you, but raw. 16 If the man told him, “Allow the fat to be burned first, and then take as much as you want,” then he would say, “No, you’ll give it to me now, or I’ll take it by force. 17 The sin of the young men was very great before Yehovah, because the men despised the offering of Yehovah.

18 “But Samuel ministered before Yehovah, even as a child, girded with a linen ephod. 19 His mother made him a little robe, and brought it to him from year to year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly zebak. 20 Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, “May Yehovah give you other children by this woman in place of the one she dedicated to Yehovah. Then they went home. 21 Yehovah visited Hannah, she became fertile and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. The child Samuel grew before Yehovah.

22 “Now Eli was very old, and he heard what his sons were doing thruout Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the door of the kadosh Tent. 23 He told them, “Why do you do such things? I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24 No, my sons, it’s not a good report that I hear the people of Yehovah circulating. 25 If a person sins against another, Elohim will judge him. However, when a person sins against Yehovah, who can intercede for him?” But they wouldn’t listen to the voice of their father, so Yehovah wanted to kill them. 26 The child Samuel was growing and increasing in favor both with Yehovah and with men.

27 “A man of Elohim came to Eli, and told him, “This is what Yehovah says: “Did I reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh’s house? 28 Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? Did I give to the house of your father all the offerings of the Israelites made by fire? 29 Why do you kick at My zebak and at My offering that I’ve commanded in my habitation, and honor your sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the zebakim of Israel My people?” 30 So Yehovah, Elohim of Israel, says: I said indeed that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever. But now Yehovah says: “Far be it from me, because those who honor Me I’ll honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed. 31 Look, the days are coming when I’ll cut off your arm, and the arm of your father’s house, so there won’t be an old man in your house. 32 You’ll see the oppression of my habitation, in all the wealth that Elohim will give Israel, and there won’t be an old man in your house forever. 33 The man of yours, who I won’t remove from My altar, will be to consume your eyes, and to grieve you, and all the increase of your house will die in the flower of their age. 34 ‘This will be a sign to you that will come on your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas on the day when they both die. 35 I’ll raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will serve Me and do what I have in mind. I’ll firmly establish his family, and he’ll walk before My anointed always. 36 Then everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread, and say, “Please put me into one of the priests’ offices, so I can eat a morsel of bread.”

1 SAMUEL 3

1 The child Samuel ministered to Yehovah before Eli. Word from Yehovah was rare in those days; there were no breakthru visions. 2 During this time, as Eli was lying down in his place (his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he couldn’t see), 3 and the lamp of Elohim hadn’t yet gone out, and Samuel had laid down to go to sleep in the 'Temple' of Yehovah, where the ark of Elohim was. 4 Then Yehovah called to Samuel, and he replied, “Here I am”. 5 He ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, because you called me. He replied, “I didn’t call, lie down again.” He went and lay down. 6 Yehovah called once again, “Samuel”! Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, because you called me.” He answered, “I didn’t call, my son, lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel didn’t yet know Yehovah, and the Word of Yehovah hadn’t been revealed to him yet. 8 Yehovah called Samuel a third time. He got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, because you called me.” Eli perceived that Yehovah had called the child. 9 So Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and then if He calls you, you should say, ‘Speak, Yehovah, because Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 “Yehovah came and stood, and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, because your servant hears.” 11 Yehovah told Samuel, “I’m going to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle. 12 That is when I’ll perform against Eli everything I’ve spoken about his house, from the beginning all the way to the end. 13 For I’ve told him that I’ll judge his house forever, because of the wickedness that he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves, and he didn’t restrain them. 14 That is why I’ve sworn to the house of Eli that the wickedness of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by zebakim or offerings forever.

15 “Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of Yehovah’s 'Temple'. Samuel feared to show Eli the vision. 16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, “Samuel, my son!” He said, “Here I am.” 17 He said, “What is it that Yehovah has spoken to you? Please don’t hide it from me. Elohim do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything at all from me that He told you. 18 Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. He said, “It is Yehovah. Let him do what seems good to him.”

19 “Samuel grew, and Yehovah was with him, and may none of his words fall to the ground. 20 All Israel from Dan all the way to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of Yehovah. 21 Yehovah appeared again in Shiloh, because Yehovah revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the Word of Yehovah.

1 SAMUEL 4

1 The 'message' of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and camped beside Ebenezer while the Philistines camped in Aphek. 2 The Philistines deployed in battle array against Israel, and when they joined the battle, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, and they killed about four thousand 'soldiers' on the battlefield. 3 When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has Yehovah struck us today before the Philistines? Let’s get the ark of Yehovah’s covenant of out of Shiloh , so that it [or He] may be with us, and save us from the grasp of our enemies. 4 So the people sent to Shiloh, and they got the ark of the covenant of Yehovah the Commander, who sits above the cherubim. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of Elohim.

5 “When the ark of the covenant of Yehovah came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth rang again. 6 When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does all this shouting in the Hebrew camp mean?” They understood that the ark of Yehovah had come into the camp. 7 The Philistines were afraid, because they said, “Elohim has come into the camp.” They said, “Oh, there hasn’t been such a thing before! 8 Oh, who will save us from the grasp of these mighty gods? These are the gods that struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. 9 Be strong, and behave like men, you Philistines, so that you don’t become servants of the Hebrews, as they’ve been to you. Strengthen yourselves like men, and fight!” 10 The Philistines fought, and Israel was struck, and every man fled to his tent, and there was a very great slaughter, because thirty thousand footsoldiers of Israel fell. 11 The ark of Elohim was taken, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were killed.

12 “A man from the tribe of Benjamin ran from the front line, and came to Shiloh the same day, with his clothes torn and with dust on his head. 13 When he came, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road watching, because he was worried about the ark of Elohim. When the man came into the city, and told about it, everyone in the city cried out. 14 When Eli heard the sound of the crying, he said, “What does this noisy commotion mean?” The man hurried, and came and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old, and his eyes 'had failed' and he couldn’t see. 16 The man told Eli, “I’m the one who came from the battlefield. I escaped from the front line today. He replied, “Tell me what happened, my son?” 17 The one who brought the news answered, “Israel has fled before the Philistines, and there has also been a great slaughter among the people. Your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas are dead, and the ark of Elohim has been captured. 18 Then when he made mention of the ark of Elohim, Eli fell from off of his seat backward by the side of the gate, and broke his neck, and he died, because he was a heavy old man. He had judged Israel for forty years.

19 “His daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was pregnant, and near the time of delivery. So when she heard the news that the ark of Yehovah had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. 20 About the time of her death the women who stood by her said to her, “Don’t be afraid, because you’ve given birth to a son. But she didn’t answer or even acknowledge it. 21 She named the child Ichabod, and said, “The splendor has left Israel,” because the ark of Elohim was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The splendor left Israel, because the ark of Elohim has been taken.”

1 SAMUEL 5

1 Now the Philistines had taken the ark of Elohim, and they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. 2 The Philistines took the ark of Elohim, and brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it beside Dagon. 3 When the people of Ashdod got up early the next day, they saw that Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yehovah. So they took Dagon, and set him in his place again. 4 When they got up early on the next day morning, they saw that Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of Yehovah again, and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands lay cut off on the threshold, only the stump of Dagon was left intact. 5 This is the reason why the priests of Dagon and everyone else who comes into Dagon’s 'shrine 'still don’t step on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.

6 “But the hand of Yehovah was heavy on them of Ashdod, and He destroyed them, and struck them with tumors, even Ashdod and its borders. 7 When the men of Ashdod saw this, they said, “The ark of the Elohim of Israel must not stay with us, because His hand is severe on us, and on Dagon our god. 8 They sent for and gathered all the Philistine leaders together, and asked, “What should we do with the ark of the Elohim of Israel?” They answered, “The ark of the Elohim of Israel should be carried over to Gath.” So they carried the ark of the Elohim of Israel there. 9 Then, after they had carried it around, the hand of Yehovah was against the city with a very great confusion, and He struck the men of the city, both small and great, and tumors broke out on them. 10 So they sent the ark of Elohim to Ekron. Then, as the ark of Elohim came to Ekron, the Ekronites cried out, “They have brought the ark of the Elohim of Israel to us, to kill us and our people.” 11 So they sent for and gathered together all the Philistine leaders, and they said, “Send the ark of the Elohim of Israel away, and let it go back to its own place, so it doesn’t kill us and our people. There was a deadly confusion thruout all the city, the hand of Elohim was very heavy there. 12 The men who didn’t die were struck with tumors, and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

1 SAMUEL 6

1 The ark of Yehovah was in Philistine territory for seven months. 2 The Philistines called for the priests and the diviners, and asked them, “What should we do with the ark of Yehovah? Tell us how to return it to its place. 3 They said, “If you send the ark of the Elohim of Israel back, don’t send it back without a gift, by all means return it to Him with a guilt offering, then you’ll be healed, and it will be known to you why His hand isn’t removed from you. 4 Then they said, “What should the guilt offering be that we’ll return to Him?” They said, “Five golden hemorrhoids, and five golden mice, according to the number of the Philistine leaders, because one plague was on you all, and on your masters. 5 You must make images of your hemorrhoids, and images of your mice that ravage the land, and pay honor to the Elohim of Israel. Perhaps He’ll lift His hand from you and your gods and your land. 6 Why are you as unreasonable as the Egyptians and as unreasonable as Pharaoh? After he had severely punished them, didn’t they allow the people to go on their way? 7 Now prepare yourselves a new cart, and two milk cows that have never worn a yoke, and tie the cows to the cart, and bring their calves home from them, 8 then take the ark of Yehovah, and put it on the cart, and put the golden items beside it that you are returning to Him for a guilt offering, in a chest by its side, and send it on its way. 9 If it goes up by the way of its own border to Beth Shemesh, then He has done this great evil to us, but if not, then we’ll know that it’s not His hand that struck us, that it was a random happening we experienced.

10 “The men did so. They took two milk cows, and tied them to the cart, and penned up their calves at home, 11 and they put the ark of Yehovah on the cart, and the coffer with the mice of gold and the hemorrhoid images. 12 The cows took the straight way by the way to Beth Shemesh, they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and didn’t turn aside to the right or to the left, and the Philistine leaders followed them to the border of Beth Shemesh. 13 The people of Beth Shemesh were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley, and they looked up, and saw the ark, and celebrated to see it. 14 The cart came into the field of Yehoshua of Beth Shemesh, and stood there, where there was a great stone, and they split the wood of the cart, and offered up the cows for a burnt offering to Yehovah. 15 The Levites took down the ark of Yehovah, and the coffer that was with it, that jewels of gold were, and put them on the huge stone, and the men of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and offered zebakim the same day to Yehovah. 16 When the five Philistine leaders had seen it, they returned to Ekron the same day.

17 “These are the golden hemorrhoids that the Philistines returned for a guilt offering to Yehovah, for Ashdod one, for Gaza one, for Ashkelon one, for Gath one, for Ekron one, 18 and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five masters, both of fortified cities and of country villages, even to the huge stone, whereon they set down the ark of Yehovah, and the stone remains to today in the field of Yehoshua of Beth Shemesh. 19 He struck some of the men of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Yehovah, he struck seventy of the people, and the people mourned, because Yehovah had struck the people with a great slaughter. 20 The men of Beth Shemesh said, “Who can stand before Yehovah, this kadosh Elohim? To who he will go up from us?” 21 They sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kiriath Jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the ark of Yehovah, come down, and bring it up to yourselves.

1 SAMUEL 7

1 So the men of Kiriath Jearim came and took the ark of Yehovah, and brought it into Abinadab’s house on the hill, and commissioned Eleazar his son to have charge of the ark of Yehovah.

2 “Then, from the day that the ark resided in Kiriath Jearim, a long time passed, twenty years in all, and the entire the House of Israel mournfully and sought Yehovah. 3 Samuel told the whole household of Israel, “If you want to return to Yehovah with all of your being, then get rid of your foreign gods and Ashtoreth [Easter] icons, and establish yourselves with Yehovah, and only serve Him, and He’ll deliver you from the grasp of the Philistines. 4 So the Israelites got rid of their baalim [Lords], and their Easter icons, and only served Yehovah. 5 Then Samuel said, “Gather all of Israel to Mizpah, and I'll pray to Yehovah for you.” 6 So they gathered at Mizpah, and drew water, and poured it out before Yehovah, and fasted that day, and it was there that they confessed, “We have sinned against Yehovah.” Samuel became the judge of the Israelites in Mizpah.

7 “When the Philistines heard that the Israelites had gathered in Mizpah, the lords of the Philistines advanced against Israel. When the Israelites heard about it, they were afraid of the Philistines. 8 The Israelites asked Samuel, “Don’t stop crying to Yehovah our Elohim for us. Ask Him to rescue us from the grasp of the Philistines.” 9 Then Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a whole burnt offering to Yehovah, and Samuel cried to Yehovah for Israel, and Yehovah answered him. 10 While Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines approached to fight against Israel. But Yehovah thundered loudly that day against the Philistines, and threw them into chaos, and they were routed before the Israelites. 11 The men of Israel left Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them, until they came as far as Beth Kar. 12 Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and called it Ebenezer, saying, “Yehovah helped us as far as this. 13 So the Philistines were subdued, and they no longer came within the border of Israel. The hand of Yehovah was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel. 14 The cities that the Philistines had taken from Israel were returned to Israel, from Ekron all the way to Gath. Israel was delivered from the grasp of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

15 “Samuel continued to judge Israel for the rest of his life. 16 He went from year to year in a circuit to Bethel and Gilgal, and Mizpah, and he judged Israel in all of those places. 17 He always returned to Ramah, where his house was, and there he judged Israel. And he built an altar to Yehovah there.

1 SAMUEL 8

1 Then when Samuel was old, he made his sons over Israel. 2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah. They were judges in Beersheba. 3 His sons didn’t 'live' the way he did. They grappled for dishonest gain, and took bribes and perverted justice.

4 “Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and went to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They told him, “You’re old, and your sons don’t 'live their lives' like you do. So appoint a king for us to rule over us, just like all the other nations have.” 6 But Samuel was very angry when they said, “Give us a king to rule over us. So Samuel prayed to Yehovah. 7 Yehovah told Samuel, “Listen to what the people are saying, to you, because they haven’t rejected you, but they’ve rejected Me as their King! 8 As with everything they’ve done since the day that I brought them out of Egypt, including today, they’ve forsaken Me and served other gods, and they’re treating you the same way. 9 So listen to what they’re saying, “But you must strongly warn and explain the rights of the king who will reign over them.”

10 “Samuel presented the entire 'message' of Yehovah to the people who asked him for a king. 11 He said, “This is how the king will reign over you, he’ll take your sons and appoint them to himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen, and they’ll run before his chariots. 12 He’ll appoint them to himself for captains of thousands, and captains of fifties, and he’ll have someone harrow his ground, and gather his harvest, and make his instruments of war, and the instruments of his chariots. 13 He’ll take your daughters to be perfumers, and cooks, and bakers. 14 He’ll take your fields, and your vineyards, and your olive groves, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. 15 He’ll take a tenth of your seed, and your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants. 16 He’ll take your male servants, and your female servants, and your best young men, and your donkeys, and put them to doing his work. 17 He’ll take a tenth of your flocks, and you’ll be his servants. 18 When that time comes you’ll cry out because of the king you’ve chosen for yourselves, but Yehovah won’t answer you then.

19 “But the people refused to listen to what Samuel said, and they replied, “No, want a king over us, 20 so that we can be like all the other nations, and our king can judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles. 21 SAMUEL heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the ears of Yehovah. 22 Yehovah told Samuel, “Listen to what they say and make them a king”. Samuel told the men of Israel, “Everyone should return to his own city.”

1 SAMUEL 9

1 There was a Benjamite whose name was Kish, the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, a Benjamite, a mighty man of valor. 2 He had a son whose name was Saul, an impressive young man, and there wasn’t a better looking person among the Israelites than he. From his shoulders and upward he was taller than any of the people. 3 The donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. Kish said to Saul his son, “Take one of the servants with you, and get up and find the donkeys.” 4 He traveled thru the hill country of Ephraim, and thru the land of Shalishah, but they didn’t find them, then they went thru the land of Shaalim, and they weren’t there, and he traveled thru the land of the Benjamites, but they didn’t find them. 5 When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Let’s go back, otherwise my father will stop caring about the donkeys, and be worried about us. 6 He told him, “Look, there is a man of Elohim in this city, and he is a man who is held in honor. Whatever he says always happens. Now let’s go there. Maybe he can tell us which way to go.” 7 Then Saul said to his servant, “But if we go, what will we bring the man? The bread in our vessels is gone, and there isn’t a present to bring to the man of Elohim. What do we have?” 8 The servant answered Saul again, “Look, I have in my hand a fourth of a silver shekel. I’ll give that to the man of Elohim, to tell us the way. 9 (In earlier times in Israel, when a man went to inquire of Elohim, he would say, “Come, let’s go to the seer,” because he who is now called a prophet was previously called a Seer.) 10 Then Saul said to his servant, “Well said. Come, let’s go.” So they went to the city where the man of Elohim was.

11 “As they went up the ascent to the city, they found some young maidens coming out to draw water, and asked them, “Is the seer here?” 12 They answered, “He is. He’s in front of you. Hurry now, because he has come into the city today, because the people have a zebak today in the high place.” 13 As soon as you come into the city, you’ll find him right away, before he goes up to the high place to eat, since the people won’t eat until he comes, because he blesses the zebak. Afterward those who are invited eat. Now go up, because you’ll find him there now. 14 They went up to the city, and as they came in the city, they saw Samuel coming out toward them, heading for the high place.

15 “Now Yehovah had revealed to Samuel a day before Saul came: 16 “Tomorrow about this time I’ll send a man from the land of Benjamin to you. Anoint him to be leader over My people Israel. He’ll deliver My people out of the grasp of the Philistines. I’ve seen My people since their cry has come to Me.” 17 When Samuel saw Saul, Yehovah told him, “There’s the man I told you about! He’ll rule over My people.”

18 “Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate, and said, “Please tell me where the seer’s house is.” 19 Samuel answered Saul, “I’m the seer. Go up before me to the high place and you’ll eat with me today. In the morning I’ll let you go, and tell you everything that is on your mind. 20 As for your donkeys that were lost three days ago, don’t 'worry' about them, because they’ve been found. Who is all of Israel longing for? Isn’t it for you and all of your father’s household?” 21 Saul answered, “Am I not a Benjamite of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? And isn’t my family the smallest of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? So why are you talking to me like this?” 22 Samuel took Saul and his servant, and brought them into the guest room, and made them sit in the best place among those who were invited, about thirty people. 23 Samuel told the cook, “Bring the portion that I gave you, the one I told you to set aside. 24 So the cook picked up the thigh, and what was on it, and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “This has been reserved for you. Eat, because it was set aside for this appointed time, ever since I invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day. 25 After they came down from the high place into the city, he talked with Saul on the housetop. 26 They got up about daybreak, and Samuel called to Saul on the housetop, “Get up so that I can send you away.” Saul got up and both of them went out, he and Samuel together. 27 As they were going down to the outskirts of the city, Samuel asked Saul, “Tell the servant to go on ahead of us” (so he went ahead.) “but stay here for a while, so that I can tell you the 'message' of Elohim.

1 SAMUEL 10

1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it on his head, and kissed him, and said, “Hasn’t Yehovah anointed you to be leader over His inheritance? 2 When you leave me today, you’ll find two men by Rachel’s tomb, along the border of Benjamin at Zelzah, and they’ll tell you, “The donkeys that you were looking for have been found, and look, your father has stopped caring about the donkeys, and is worried about you, and asking, ‘What should I do for my son?’” 3 Then you’ll go on from there, and come to the oak of Tabor, and three men going up to worship Elohim in Bethel will meet you there, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a wineskin full of wine. 4 They’ll greet you, and give you two loaves of bread, that you will accept from their hand. 5 After that you’ll come to the hill of Elohim, where the garrison of the Philistines is, and when you come into the city, you’ll meet a band of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, a tambourine, a pipe, and a harp, before them, and they’ll be prophesying, 6 and the spirit of Yehovah, she will come on you strongly, and you’ll prophesy with them, and you will be changed into a different person. 7 After these signs take place, do what you need to do, because Elohim is with you. 8 You’ll go down ahead of me to Gilgal, and I’ll come down to you to zebak, and to make fellowship offerings! You must wait seven days, until I come to you, and show you what to do.

9 “Then, once he had turned his back to go from Samuel, Elohim changed his 'attitude', and all those signs happened that day. 10 When they came to the hill, a band of prophets met him, and the spirit of Elohim, she came on him strongly, and he prophesied among them. 11 Then when everyone who knew him before saw that he was prophesying with the prophets, the people said to each other, “What is this that has happened to the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?” 12 Someone who lived there asked, “Who is their father?” So it became a proverb, “Is Saul one of the prophets?”

13 “Once he was finished prophesying, he came to the high place. 14 Saul’s uncle asked him and his servant, “Where did you go?” He said, “To seek the donkeys. When we saw that they were not to be found, we came to Samuel. 15 Saul’s uncle said, “Tell me, please, what Samuel said to you. 16 Saul said to his uncle, “He told us plainly that the donkeys were found. But as for the matter of the kingdom that Samuel spoke of, he didn’t tell him.”

17 “Samuel called the people together to Yehovah to Mizpah, 18 and he told the Israelites, “This is what Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel says: “I brought Israel out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the grasp of the Egyptians, and from the reach of every kingdom that oppressed you.” 19 But today you’ve rejected your Elohim, the One who saves you from all your adversities and your distresses, and you’ve told Him, ‘No, set a king over us.’ So present yourselves before Yehovah by your tribes, and by your thousands.” 20 So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel near, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen. 21 He brought the tribe of Benjamin near by their families, and the family of the Matrites was chosen, and Saul the son of Kish was chosen, but when they looked for him, he couldn’t be found. 22 So they inquired of Yehovah further, “Has he arrived here yet?” Yehovah answered, “He has hidden himself among the baggage!” 23 They ran and got him, and when he stood among the people, he was head and shoulders above the other people. 24 Samuel asked all the people, “Do you see the one Yehovah has chosen? There is no one like him in the entire population.” Then all the people shouted, “Oh king live forever!” 25 Then Samuel told the people the regulations of the kingdom, and wrote them in a book, and laid it up before Yehovah. Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house. 26 Saul also went to his house to Gibeah, and the army went with him, whose minds Elohim had touched. 27 But certain worthless fellows said, “How could this man save us?” They despised him, and didn’t bring him any presents. But he remained silent.

1 SAMUEL 11

1 Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and camped against Jabesh Gilead, and all the men of Jabesh said to Nahash, “Make a covenant with us, and we’ll serve you. On this condition I'll make a treaty with you, that I gouge out all your right eyes, to bring shame on all Israel.” 2 Nahash the Ammonite told them, “On this condition I’ll make a treaty with you, I gouge out all your right eyes, so as to bring reproach on all Israel.” 3 The elders of Jabesh told him, “Give us seven days, so that we can send messengers to all the borders of Israel, and then, if there is no one to save us, we’ll come out to you.

4 “Then the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul, and presente this 'message' in the hearing of the people, and all the people lifted up their voices, and cried. 5 Look, Saul came following the oxen out of the field, and Saul said, “What is bothering the people that they cry?” They told him the words of the men of Jabesh. 6 The spirit of Elohim, she came on Saul strongly when he heard those words, and he was burning with anger. 7 He took a yoke of oxen, and cut them in pieces, and sent them thruout all the borders of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, “This is what will happen to the oxen of anyone who doesn’t follow Saul and Samuel.” The dread of Yehovah fell on the people, and they came out as one man. 8 He numbered them in Bezek, and the Israelites were three hundred thousand, and the men of Judah were thirty thousand.

9 “They told the messengers who came, “This is what you must tell the men of Jabesh Gilead, ‘Tomorrow, by the time the sun is hot, you’ll be delivered.’” The messengers came and told the men of Jabesh, and they were glad. 10 So the men of Jabesh said, “Tomorrow we’ll come out to you, and you’ll do with us whatever seems good to you.” 11 So the next day, Saul divided the people in three companies, and they came into the middle of the camp in the morning watch, and struck the Ammonites until the heat of the day. Then those who remained were scattered, so that no two of them were left together.

12 “The people said to Samuel, “Who asked, ‘Will Saul reign over us?’ Bring those men, so that we can put them to death!” 13 Saul said, “No one will be put to death today, because today Yehovah has brought deliverance in Israel.” 14 Then Samuel said to the people, “Come, let’s go to Gilgal and renew the kingdom there.” 15 All the people went to Gilgal, and there they made Saul king before Yehovah in Gilgal, and they offered zebakim—fellowship offerings before Yehovah there, and that is where Saul and all the men of Israel celebrated.

1 SAMUEL 12

1 Samuel said to all Israel, “Look, I’ve listened to what you’ve said regarding everything you told me, and have made a king over you. 2 Now, look, the king walks before you, and I’m old and gray-headed. My sons are with you. I’ve walked before you from my youth until now. 3 Here I am. Testify against me before Yehovah and before His anointed king. Whose ox have I taken? Whose donkey have I taken? Who have I cheated? Who have I oppressed? From whose hand have I taken a ransom to blind my eyes? I’ll restore it to you.” 4 They said, “You haven’t cheated us, or oppressed us, and you haven’t taken anything from anyone’s hand. 5 He told them, “Yehovah is witness against you, and His anointed is witness today, that you haven’t found anything in my hand.” They said, “He is a witness.”

6 “Samuel told the people, “It is Yehovah who appointed Moses and Aaron, and who brought your ancestors up out of the land of Egypt. 7 Now stand still, so that I can plead with you before Yehovah concerning all the righteous acts of Yehovah that He did to you and to your ancestors.” 8 When Jacob came into Egypt, and your ancestors cried to Yehovah, Yehovah sent Moses and Aaron, who brought your ancestors out of Egypt, and settled them in this place. 9 But they forgot Yehovah their Elohim, He sold them into the clutches of Sisera, captain of the army of Hazor, and into the clutches of the Philistines, and into the clutches of the kings of Moab, who fought against them. 10 They cried to Yehovah, and said, ‘We have sinned, because we have forsaken Yehovah, and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, but now deliver us out of the clutches of our enemies, and we’ll serve You.” 11 Yehovah sent Jerubbaal, and Bedan, and Jephthah, and Samuel, and delivered you out of the clutches of your enemies on every side, and you lived in safety. 12 When you saw that Nahash the king of the 'Ammonites' came against you, you told Me, “No, a king will reign over us” when Yehovah your Elohim was already your king. 13 So see the king who you’ve chosen, and who you’ve asked for, and look, Yehovah has set a king over you. 14 If you’ll fear Yehovah, and serve Him, and listen to His voice, and not rebel against the commandment of Yehovah, and both you and also the king who reigns over you are followers of Yehovah your Elohim all will be well. 15 But if you won’t listen to the voice of Yehovah, but rebel against the commandment of Yehovah, then the hand of Yehovah will be against you, as it was against your for your ancestors. 16 So stand still and witness this great thing that Yehovah will do before your eyes. 17 Isn’t the wheat being harvested today? I’ll call to Yehovah, so that He can send thunder and rain, and you’ll know and see that your wickedness is great, that you’ve done in the sight of Yehovah, in asking for a king.

18 “So Samuel called to Yehovah, and Yehovah sent thunder and rain that day, and all the people greatly feared Yehovah and Samuel. 19 All the people said to Samuel, “Pray for your servants to Yehovah your Elohim, that we don’t die, because we have added to all our sins this evil, in asking for a king.” 20 Samuel told the people, “Don’t be afraid. You’ve indeed done all this evil, yet don’t turn aside from following Yehovah, but serve Yehovah with 'a clean' conscience. 21 Don’t turn back, because then you would be following futile things that can’t profit or deliver, since they are useless. 22 For the sake of His great name, Yehovah won’t abandon His people, because Yehovah is willing to make you His people. 23 As for me, far be it from me to sin against Yehovah in ceasing to pray for you, but I’ll instruct you in the good and right way. 24 Only fear Yehovah, and serve Him in truth with your whole being, and consider the wonderful things He has done for you. 25 But if you continue to be wicked, you’ll be incinerated, both you and your king.”

1 SAMUEL 13

1 Saul was thirty years old when he began to reign, and when he had reigned over Israel forty two years,

2 “Saul chose three thousand men of Israel for himself. Two thousand of them were with Saul in Michmash and in the Mount of Bethel, and one thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin, and the rest of the people he sent every man to his tent. 3 Jonathan struck the garrison of the Philistines in Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Saul blew the shofar thruout the land, saying, “The Hebrews must hear!” 4 All Israel heard the news that Saul had destroyed the garrison of the Philistines, and also that Israel had become loathsome to the Philistines. And the people were called out to join Saul at Gilgal. 5 Then the Philistines gathered together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand that is on the seashore in multitude, and they came up, and camped in Michmash, eastward of Beth Aven. 6 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a bind (because the people were hard pressed), they hid themselves in caves, and in thickets, among the rocks, in cellars, and in cisterns. 7 Now some of the Hebrews had crossed over the Jordan River to the land of Gawd and Gilead, but as for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and everyone followed him trembling. 8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel, but Samuel didn’t come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering from him. 9 So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings to me.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 No sooner than he finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel came, and Saul went out to greet him and bless him. 11 SAMUEL said, “What have you done?” Saul said, “I saw that the people were scattering from me, and that you hadn’t come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines had gathered themselves together at Michmash, 12 so I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down on me to Gilgal, and I haven’t entreated the favor of Yehovah.” So I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” 13 Samuel said to Saul, “You’ve done foolishly. You haven’t obeyed the commandment of Yehovah your Elohim, that He commanded you. If you had, Yehovah would have established your 'kingdom' [dynasty] over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom won’t endure. Yehovah has found a man with His own mindset, and Yehovah has already appointed him as leader over His people, because you haven’t done what Yehovah commanded you.” 15 Samuel got up and went from Gilgal to Gibeah of Benjamin. Saul numbered the people who were present with him, about six hundred men. 16 Saul, and Jonathan his son, and the people who were there with them stayed in Geba of Benjamin, while the Philistines camped at Micmash. 17 Raiding parties left the camp of the Philistines in three companies, one company turned toward Ophrah, in the vicinity of Shual, 18 and another company turned toward Beth Horon, and another company turned toward the border that overlooks the valley of Zeboim near the wilderness. 19 There were no blacksmiths thruout the entire land of Israel, because the Philistines said, “Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears,” 20 but all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, and every man sharpened his harrow, tine, mattock, axe, and sickle. 21 The price was two-thirds [[?] of a shekel for sharpening a harrow tine, and a mattock, and a third [[?] of a shekel for sharpening an ax and for repointing goads. 22 So on the day of the battle, there was not a sword or a spear to be found in the hands of any of the people who were with Saul and Jonathan. Only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.

23 “A detachment of Philistines went out to the pass of Michmash.

1 SAMUEL 14

1 One day Jonathan the son of Saul told his young armor bearer, “Come on, let’s go over to the Philistines’ garrison on the other side.“But he didn’t tell his father. 2 Saul was staying in the outskirts of Gibeah under the pomegranate tree in Migron, and about six hundred men were with him, 3 including Ahijah, the son of Ahitub, Ichabod’s brother, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eli, the priest of Yehovah in Shiloh. Ahijah was wearing an ephod. No one realized that Jonathan was gone. 4 Between the passes that Jonathan intended to cross to reach the Philistine garrison, there was a 'steep' cliff on the one side, and a steep cliff on the other side. The name of the one was Bozez, and the name of the other Seneh. 5 The one cliff rose up on the north in front of Michmash, and the other on the south in front of Geba. 6 Jonathan told the young man who carried his armor, “Come on, and let’s go over to the garrison of these uncircumcised. It can be that Yehovah will work for us, because there is no restraint on Yehovah to save by many or by few. 7 His armor bearer told him, “Do whatever you have in mind. Turn and, look, I’m with you whatever you have in mind.” 8 Then Jonathan said, “Look, we’ll go over to the men, and we’ll reveal ourselves to them. 9 If they say thus to us, ‘Wait until we come to you!’ Then we’ll stand still in our place, and won’t go up to them. 10 But if they say this, ‘Come up to us!’ Then we’ll go up, because Yehovah has delivered them into our hands. This will be the sign to us.” 11 Both of them revealed themselves to the garrison of the Philistines, and the Philistines said, “Look, the Hebrews are coming out of the holes where they had hidden themselves!” 12 The men of the garrison told Jonathan and his armor bearer, “Come up to us, and we’ll show you something!” Jonathan said to his armor bearer, “Come up after me, because Yehovah has delivered them into the hand of Israel.” 13 Jonathan climbed up on his hands and on his feet, and his armor bearer after him, and they fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer killed them after him. 14 The first slaughter that Jonathan and his armor bearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were half a furrow’s length in an acre of land. 15 There was a trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people, the garrison, and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked, so there was an exceeding great trembling.

16 “The watchmen of Saul in Gibeah of Benjamin looked and saw the multitude melted away, and they went here and there. 17 Then Saul told to the people who were with him, “Count now, and see who is missing from us.” After they had counted they saw that Jonathan and his armor bearer weren’t there. 18 Saul said to Ahijah, “Bring the ark of Elohim here.” The ark of Elohim was there at that time with the Israelites. 19 Then, while Saul talked to the priest, the tumult that was in the camp of the Philistines went on and increased, and Saul told the priest, “Withdraw your hand!” 20 Saul and all the people who were with him were gathered together, and came to the battle saw that every man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was much confusion. 21 Now the Hebrews who had previously been with the Philistines, and who went up with them into the camp, from all around, also turned to be with the Israelites who were with Saul and Jonathan. 22 Likewise all the men of Israel who had hidden themselves in the hill country of Ephraim, when they heard that the Philistines fled, they also followed hard after them in the battle. 23 So Yehovah saved Israel that day, and the battle passed over by Beth Aven. 24 The men of Israel were distressed that day, because Saul had adjured the people, saying, “Cursed is the man who eats any food until it’s evening, and I’m avenged of my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food. 25 All the people came into the forest, and there was honey on the ground. 26 When the people entered the forest they saw honey trickling from bee hives, but no one put a handful in his mouth, because the people were afraid of the curse. 27 But Jonathan didn’t hear what his father had ordered the people, or about the curse, so he stretched out the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in the honeycomb, and put a handful into his mouth, and his eyes were 'lit up'. 28 Then one of the men said, “Your father strictly put the people under oath, saying, ‘Anyone who eats food today is cursed.’ That’s why the men are ‘exhausted.’” 29 Jonathan answered, “My father has made trouble for the country. See how my eyes lit up when I ate a little of this honey? 30 How much better it would have been if the men had eaten some of the spoils of their enemies that they found today! The slaughter among the Philistines could have been much greater.”

31 “They struck the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon. The people were very faint, 32 and the people flew on the spoil, and took sheep, and cattle, and calves, and killed them on the ground, and the people ate them with the blood. 33 Then they told Saul, “Look, the people are sinning against Yehovah, in that they are eating meat with the blood.” He said, “You’ve dealt treacherously. Roll a large stone to me today!” 34 Saul said, “Disperse yourselves among the people, and tell them, ‘Bring me every man’s his ox, and every man’s sheep, and kill them here, and eat them, and don’t sin against Yehovah by eating meat with the blood.’“All the people brought their oxen with them that night, and killed them there. 35 Saul built an altar to Yehovah. This was the first altar that he built to Yehovah.

36 “Saul said, “Let’s go down after the Philistines during the night, and take spoil from them until the morning light, and let’s not leave a man 'standing'.“They said, “Do whatever seems best to you.” Then the priest said, “Let’s draw near to Elohim here.” 37 So Saul asked Elohim, “Should I descend on the Philistines? Will You hand them over to Israel?” But He didn’t answer him that day. 38 Saul said, “Come here, all you leaders of the people, and know and see that this sin has been today. 39 For, as Yehovah lives, who saves Israel, tho it’s in Jonathan my son, he’ll surely die.” But there wasn’t a man among all the people who answered him. 40 Then he said to all Israel, “You be on one side, and I and Jonathan my son will be on the other side.” The people said to Saul, “Do what seems best to you.” 41 So Saul said to Yehovah, Elohim of Israel, “Show the whole truth.” Jonathan and Saul were chosen, but the people escaped. 42 Saul said, “Throw lots between me and Jonathan my son.” Jonathan was selected. 43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, “Tell me what you’ve done!” Jonathan told him, “I certainly tasted a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand, and now I must die?” 44 Saul said, “Elohim do so and more also, because you’ll surely die, Jonathan.” 45 The people said to Saul, “Will Jonathan die, who has worked this great deliverance in Israel? Absolutely not! As Yehovah lives, there won’t be one hair of his head fall to the ground, because he has worked with Elohim today!” So the people rescued Jonathan, so that he wouldn’t die. 46 Then Saul went up from following the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.

47 “Now when Saul had taken the kingdom over Israel, he fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the 'Ammonites', and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines, and wherever he turned, he was victorious. 48 He was valiant, and struck the Amalekites, and delivered Israel out of the clutches of those who had plundered them.

49 “Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishvi, and Malchishua, and the names of his two daughters were these, the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal, 50 and the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. The name of the captain of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle. 51 Kish was the father of Saul, and Ner the father of Abner was the son of Abiel.

52 “There was an intense war against the Philistines all the days of Saul, and when Saul saw any mighty man, or any valiant man, he drafted him into his army.

1 SAMUEL 15

1 SAMUEL said to Saul, “Yehovah sent me to anoint you to be king over His people, over Israel. So listen to the voice of the words of Yehovah. 2 This is what Yehovah the Commander said: I’ve marked what Amalek did to Israel, how he ambushed him along the way, when he came up out of Egypt. 3 Now go and strike Amalek, and completely destroy everything that they have, and don’t spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey. 4 Saul summoned the people, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.

5 “Saul came to the city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley. 6 Saul told the Kenites: Go, depart, go down from among the Amalekites, otherwise I'll destroy you with them, because you showed kindness to all the Israelites, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites left from among the Amalekites. 7 Saul struck the Amalekites from Havilah all the way to Shur, that is before Egypt. 8 He took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and completely destroyed all the people by the edge of the sword. 9 But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the cattle, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and everything that was good, and wouldn’t completely destroy them, just everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed completely.

10 “Then the Word of Yehovah came to Samuel: 11 “It grieves me that I’ve set up Saul to be king, because he has turned back from following Me, and hasn’t performed My Commandments.” Samuel was angry, and he cried to Yehovah all night. 12 When Samuel got up early to meet Saul in the morning, and Samuel was told, “Saul came to Carmel, and he set up a monument for himself, and turned, and passed on, and went down to Gilgal.” 13 Samuel came to Saul, and Saul told him, “You are blessed by Yehovah! I’ve performed the commandment of Yehovah.” 14 But Samuel said, “Then what is this bleating of sheep I’m hearing, and the lowing of the cattle that I hear?” 15 Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites, because the people spared the best of the sheep and of the cattle, for zebakim to Yehovah your Elohim. We have completely destroyed the rest.” 16 Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stay, and I’ll tell you what Yehovah has told me last night.” He told him, “Tell me.”

17 “Samuel said, “When you were little in your own sight, weren’t you made the head of the tribes of Israel? Yehovah anointed you king over Israel, 18 and Yehovah sent you on a journey, and said, ‘Go, and completely destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19 So why didn’t you obey the voice of Yehovah? Instead you took the spoils, and did what was evil in the sight of Yehovah?” 20 Saul said to Samuel, “But I have obeyed the voice of Yehovah, and have gone the way that Yehovah sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have completely destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took of the spoil, sheep and cattle, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to zebak to Yehovah your Elohim in Gilgal.” 22 So Samuel asked, “Has Yehovah as great a delight in burnt offerings and zebakim, as in obeying the voice of Yehovah? Obedience is better than zebakim, and listening than the fat of rams. 23 Rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is like idolatry and household idols. Because you’ve rejected the Word of Yehovah, He has also rejected you from being king.” 24 Saul said to Samuel, “I’ve sinned, because I’ve transgressed the commandment of Yehovah, and your words, because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice. 25 So please pardon my sin, and turn again with me, so that I can worship Yehovah.” 26 But Samuel said to Saul, “I won’t return with you, because you’ve rejected the Word of Yehovah, and Yehovah has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27 As Samuel turned around to go away, Saul grabbed the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28 Samuel told him, “Yehovah has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today, and has given it to a neighbor of yours who is better than you. 29 Also the Eminence of Israel won’t lie or change His mind, because He doesn’t grieve His decisions the way people do.” 30 Then he said, “I’ve sinned, but honor me now, please, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and come back with me, so that I can worship Yehovah your Elohim.” 31 So Samuel went back with Saul, and Saul worshiped Yehovah.

32 “Then Samuel said, “Bring Agag the king of the Amalekites here to me!” Agag came to him cheerfully. Agag said, “Surely the bitterness of death is past.” 33 So Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so your mother will be childless among women!” Samuel hacked Agag in pieces before Yehovah in Gilgal. 34 Then Samuel went to Ramah, and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.

35 “Samuel no longer came to see Saul until the day of his death. Nevertheless, Samuel mourned for Saul, and Yehovah rued having made Saul king over Israel.

1 SAMUEL 16

1 Yehovah asked Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I’ve rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I’m sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, because I’ve provided a king for Myself from among his sons.” 2 But Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears about it, he’ll kill me.” Yehovah said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I’ve come to make azebak to Yehovah.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the zebak, and I’ll show you what to do. You must anoint for Me the one I designate to you.” 4 Samuel did what Yehovah said, and went to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” 5 He said, “Peaceably, I’ve come to make a zebak to Yehovah. Dedicate yourselves, and come with me for the offering.” He dedicated Jesse and his sons, and called them to the zebak.

6 “Once they came, he looked at Eliab, and said, “Surely Yehovah’s anointed is before him.” 7 But Yehovah told Samuel, “Don’t look at his 'appearance', or at 'how tall he is', because I’ve rejected him, because Yehovah doesn’t view things the way a man does, because men look at the outward appearance, but Yehovah looks at the 'conscience'.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and had him pass in front of Samuel. He said, “Yehovah hasn’t chosen this one.” 9 Then Jesse made Shammah to pass by. He said, “Yehovah hasn’t chosen this one.” 10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. Samuel said to Jesse, “Yehovah hasn’t chosen these.” 11 SAMUEL said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” He said, “There is still the youngest. He’s out tending the sheep.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Send someone to get him, because we won’t sit down until he arrives.” 12 He sent someone to get him. Now he was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features. Yehovah said, “Get up, anoint him, because he is the one.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and the spirit of Yehovah, [she] came on David strongly from that day forward. So Samuel got up, and went to Ramah.

14 “Now the spirit of Yehovah, (she) left Saul, and an antagonistic spirit from Yehovah troubled him. 15 Saul’s servants told him, “See now, an antagonistic spirit from Elohim troubles you. 16 Our master should command your servants who are before you, to find a man who is a skillful harp player. Then, when the antagonistic spirit from Elohim is on you, he’ll strike the strings, and you’ll feel better.” 17 Saul said to his servants, “Find me a man who can play well, and bring him to me.” 18 Then one of the young men said, “Look, I’ve seen a son of Jesse the Bethlehemite who is a skilled player, a mighty man of valor, a man of war, prudent in speech, and a handsome person, and Yehovah is with him.” 19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse, and said, “Send me your son David, the shepherd.” 20 Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, and a skin of wine, and a young goat, and sent them with David his son, to Saul. 21 David came to Saul, and stood before him. He loved him greatly, and he became his armor bearer. 22 Saul sent to Jesse, and asked, “Pleasehave David stand before me, because he has found favor in my sight. 23 Then when the antagonistic spirit from Elohim was on Saul, David took the harp, and played the strings, and Saul was refreshed, and the antagonistic spirit left him as well.”

1 SAMUEL 17

1 Now the Philistines gathered their armies together for battle, and they gathered at Socoh, that belongs to Judah, and they camped between Socoh and Azekah, in Ephesdammim. 2 Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and camped in the valley of Elah, and formed in battle array against the Philistines. 3 The Philistines stood on the mountain on one side, and Israel stood on the mountain on the other side, and there was a valley between them. 4 And a mighty champion from the camp of the Philistines named Goliath of Gath came out. He was six cubits and a span tall. 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head, and he was clad with a coat of mail, and the weight of his coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. 6 He had bronze shin armor on his legs, and a bronze javelin between his shoulders. 7 The staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his iron spear head weighed six hundred shekels, and his shield bearer went before him. 8 He stood and cried to the armies of Israel, and told them, “Why have you come out set in battle array? Am I not a Philistine, and you servants to Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight with me, and kill me, then we will be your servants, but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you’ll be our servants, and serve us.” 10 The Philistine said, “I defy the armies of Israel today! Give me a man so that we can fight together!” 11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid.

12 “Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem of Judah, whose name was Jesse, and he had eight sons, and the man was an old man in the days of Saul, stricken in years among men. 13 The three oldest sons of Jesse had gone after Saul to the battle, and the names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, and next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. 14 David was the youngest, and the three oldest followed Saul. 15 Now David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father’s sheep at Bethlehem. 16 The Philistine came near morning and evening, and presented himself for forty days. 17 Jesse said to David his son, “Now take for your brothers an ephah of this parched grain, and these ten loaves, and carry them quickly to your brother’s camp, 18 and bring these ten cheeses to the captain of their thousand, and see how your brothers are doing, and bring back news.” 19 Now Saul, and they, and all the men of Israel were in the valley of Elah, fighting with the Philistines.

20 “David got up early in the morning, and left the sheep with a shepherd, and took the supplies and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he arrived at the encampment just as the army that was heading for the battlefield, shouting their battle cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines put the battle in array, army against army. 22 David left his supplies in the hand of the supplier of the baggage, and ran to the army, and came and greeted his brothers. 23 As he talked with them, he saw the Philistine champion from Gath, named Goliath, coming from the ranks of the Philistines, shouting his usual taunt, and David heard them. 24 When all of the men of Israel saw the man, they fled from him in terror. 25 The men of Israel said, “Have you seen this man who comes up? He has surely come up to defy Israel. If a man manages to kill him, the king will enrich him with great wealth, and give him his daughter, and make his father’s family exemption of taxes in Israel.“ 26 David asked the men who stood by him, “What will happen to the man who kills this Philistine, and takes away the reproach of Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living Elohim?” 27 The people repeated to him what they had been told, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.” 28 Eliab his oldest brother heard when he asked the men, and Eliab’s anger was hot against David, and he said, “Why have you come down? Who have you left the few sheep in the wilderness? I know your arrogance, and your bad attitude. You’ve come down in order to see the battle.” 29 David said, “What have I done now? Can’t I even ask a question?” 30 He turned away from him toward someone else and asked the same question, and the men answered him as before.

31 “When the words were heard that David spoke, they rehearsed them before Saul, and he sent for him. 32 David told Saul, “No one should be daunted by him. Your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” 33 Saul said to David, “You aren’t able to go against this Philistine to fight with him, because you are but a youth, and he has been a man of war from his youth. 34 David said to Saul, “Your servant was keeping his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came, and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after him and struck him, and rescued it out of his mouth. When he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and struck him, and killed him. 36 Your servant struck both a lion and a bear. This uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has defied the armies of the living Elohim. 37 David said, “Yehovah who delivered me from the paws of a lion, and from the claws of a bear will deliver me from the grasp of this Philistine. Saul said to David, “Go, and Yehovah will be with you.

38 “Saul dressed David with his clothing. He put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clad him with a coat of mail. 39 David strapped his sword on his clothing, and he tried to move, because he hadn’t tried it. David said to Saul, “I can’t go with these, because I haven’t tested them. So David took them off. 40 He took his staff in his hand, and chose for himself five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag that he had, even in his wallet. His sling was in his hand, and he approached the Philistine. 41 The Philistine walked out toward David, with his shield-bearer in front of him. 42 When the Philistine saw David, he despised him, because he was just a red headed boy 'without facial hair' [?]. 43 The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” The Philistine cursed David by his own [v.45b] elohim. 44 The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds from the air and to the wild animals.” 45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of Yehovah the Commander, the Elohim of the armies of Israel who you’ve defied. 46 Today Yehovah will deliver you into my hand. I’ll strike you, and take off your head. I’ll give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines to the birds from the air today, and to the wild animals from the land, so that all the earth can know that there is an Elohim in Israel. 47 So the entire community will know that Yehovah doesn’t save with sword and spear, because the battle is Yehovah’s, and He’ll hand you over to me.”

48 “Then when the Philistine moved closer to attack David, David rushed toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 David put his hand in his bag, took a stone, and slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, and the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine, and killed him, but David didn’t have a sword in his hand. 51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of its sheath, and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran. 52 The men of Israel and Judah 'rushed in' shouting, and pursued the Philistines as far as the valley, and the gates of Ekron. Fatally wounded Philistines fell along the way to Shaaraim and all the way to Gath and Ekron. 53 The Israelites returned from chasing after the Philistines, and they plundered their camp. 54 David took the head of the Philistine, and brought it to Jerusalem, but he kept his armor in his tent.

55 When Saul saw David go out against the Philistine, he asked Abner, the captain of the army, “Abner, whose son is this youth?” Abner said, “As you live, king, I don’t know.” 56 The king said, “Find out whose son the young man is!” 57 When David returned from killing the Philistine, Abner brought him to Saul, with the head of the Philistine in his hand. 58 Saul asked him, “Whose son are you, young man?” David answered, “I’m the son of your servant Jesse the Bethlehemite.”

1 SAMUEL 18

1 Then when he was finished speaking to Saul, Jonathan was bonded in spirit with David, and Jonathan loved him as he loved himself. 2 Saul took him that day, and wouldn’t let him go to his father’s house any more. 3 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him, and gave it to David, as well as his clothing, even his sword, his bow, and his sash.

5 “David went out wherever Saul sent him, and behaved wisely, and Saul set him over the men of war, and it was good in the sight of all the people, and also in the sight of Saul’s servants. 6 Then as they came, when David returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tambourines, with joy, and with musical instruments. 7 The women sang to each other as they played, and said, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”

8 “Saul was very angry, and this saying displeased him, and he said, “They have ascribed to David ten thousands, and to me they’ve ascribed but thousands. What can he have more but the kingdom?” 9 Saul eyed David from that day forward. 10 The next day, an evil spirit from Elohim overcame Saul, and he began speaking under its influence within his house while David was playing the harp, as he every day. Saul had a spear in his hand, 11 and Saul threw the spear, because he said, “I’ll pin David to the wall!” David escaped from his presence twice.

12 “Saul was afraid of David, because Yehovah was with him, and had left Saul. 13 So Saul removed him from his presence, and made him captain over a thousand. David led the troops out to battle and back again. 14 David behaved wisely in all his ways, and Yehovah was with him. 15 When Saul saw that he behaved very wisely, he stood in awe of him. 16 But everyone in Israel and Judah loved David, because he led them coming and leaving battle. 17 Saul said to David, “I’ll give you my eldest daughter Merab as your wife. Only be valiant for me, and fight Yehovah’s battles.” Saul was thinking, “Don’t let my hand be on him, but let the hand of the Philistines be on him.” 18 David said to Saul, “Who am I, and what is my life, or my father’s family in Israel, that I should be a son-in-law of the king?” 19 But it happened at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as his wife.

20 “Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved David, and they told Saul, and it pleased him. 21 Saul said, I’ll give her to him, so that she’d be a snare to him, and so that the hand of the Philistines would be against him. So Saul said to David a second time, “Today again you can be my son-in-law.” 22 Saul commanded his servants, “Talk with David secretly, and say, ‘Look, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you, so now be the king’s son-in-law.’” 23 Saul’s servants presented this 'message' in the ears of David. David said, “Does it seems to you a 'small' thing to be the king’s son-in-law, seeing that I’m a poor man, and lightly esteemed?” 24 The servants of Saul told him, “David said this.” 25 Saul said, “You tell David, ‘The king wants no dowry except for one hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul thought this would cause David to fall by the hands of the Philistines. 26 When his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. So before the allotted time elapsed, 27 David got up and left with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines, and David brought their foreskins, and gave the full number to the king, so that he could be the king’s son-in-law. Saul gave him Michal his daughter as his wife. 28 Saul was aware that Yehovah was with David, and Michal, Saul’s daughter, loved him. 29 Saul was even more afraid of David, and Saul was David’s enemy continually. 30 Then the leaders of the Philistines went out, and it happened that as often as they went out, David behaved wiser than all the servants of Saul, so that his name was highly esteemed.

1 SAMUEL 19

1 Saul told his son Jonathan and all his servants to kill David. But Jonathan, Saul’s son, really liked David. 2 So Jonathan told David, “My father Saul wants to kill you. So be on your guard tomorrow morning. Find a hiding place, and stay hidden. 3 I’ll go out and stand beside my father in the field where you are, and I’ll talk with my father about you, and if I see anything, I’ll tell you.” 4 Jonathan said good things about David to his father Saul, and told him, “The king shouldn’t sin against his servant, against David, because he hasn’t sinned against you, and because his works have been very good toward you, 5 for he put his life in his hand, and struck the Philistine, and Yehovah worked a great victory for all Israel. You saw it, and celebrated. So why would you sin against innocent blood by killing David for no reason?” 6 Saul listened to what Jonathan said, and Saul swore, “As Yehovah lives, he won’t be assassinated.” 7 Jonathan called David, and Jonathan showed him all those things. Jonathan brought David to Saul, and he was in his presence as before.

8 “Once again there was war. David went out, and fought with the Philistines, and killed them in a great slaughter, and they fled before him. 9 An evil spirit of Yehovah was on Saul, as he sat in his house with his spear in his hand, while David was playing his harp again. 10 Saul tried to pin David to the wall with the spear. But he dodged it, and Saul’s spear stuck into the wall. David fled, and escaped that night. 11 Saul sent messengers to David’s house to watch him and to kill him in the morning. Michal, David’s wife, told him, “If you don’t 'run' for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.” 12 So Michal let David down thru the window. He fled, and escaped. 13 Michal took the household idols, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats’ hair at its head, and covered it with the clothes. 14 When Saul sent messengers to take David, she said, “He’s sick.” 15 Saul sent the messengers to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me in the bed, so that I can kill him.” 16 When the messengers came in they saw that the household idols was in the bed, with the pillow of goats’ hair at its head. 17 Saul said to Michal, “Why have you deceived me this way, and let my enemy go, so that he is escaped?” Michal answered Saul, “He told me, ‘Let me go! Why should I kill you?’”

18 “Now David fled, and escaped, and came to Samuel to Ramah, and told him everything that Saul had done to him. He and Samuel went and lived in Naioth. 19 Saul was told, “David is at Naioth in Ramah!” 20 Saul sent messengers to take David, and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them, the spirit of Elohim, she came on Saul’s messengers, and they also prophesied. 21 When Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they also prophesied. Saul sent messengers a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Then he also went to Ramah, and came to the great well that is in Secu, and he asked, “Where are Samuel and David?” One said, “They are at Naioth in Ramah.” 23 He went there to Naioth in Ramah. Then the spirit of Elohim, she came on him also, and he went on, and prophesied, until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 He also stripped off his clothes, and he also prophesied before Samuel, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. So they say, “Is Saul also among the prophets?”

1 SAMUEL 20

1 David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and asked Jonathan, “What have I done? What is my wickedness? What is my sin before your father that he is trying to take my life?” 2 He told him, “Far from it, you won’t die. Look, my father does nothing either great or small without telling me about it, so why would my father hide this from me? It’s not so.” 3 David swore: “Your father is well aware that I’ve found favor in your eyes, and he says: Don’t let Jonathan know this, otherwise he will be grieved. As surely as Yehovah lives, and as you live, there is but a step between me and death.” 4 Then Jonathan told David, “Whatever you want, I’ll do it for you.” 5 David said to Jonathan, “Look, tomorrow is the new moon, and I must dine with the king, but let me go, so that I can hide myself in the field to the third day at evening. 6 If your father misses me at all, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me so that he could run to Bethlehem his city, because it’s the yearly zebak there for all the family.’ 7 If he says: ‘It is well,’ your servant will have peace, but if he is angry, then you can be certain that evil is determined by him. 8 So deal kindly with your servant, because you’ve brought your servant into a covenant of Yehovah with you, but if there is wickedness in me, kill me yourself, because why should you bring me to your father?” 9 Jonathan said, “Far be it from you, because if I should at all know that evil were determined by my father to come on you, then wouldn’t I tell you that?” 10 Then said David to Jonathan, “Who will tell me if perhaps your father answers you harshly?” 11 Jonathan told David, “Come, let’s go out into the field.” They both went out into the field.

12 “Jonathan told David, “With Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, as witness, when I’ve discussed this with my father about this time tomorrow, or the third day, if he is favorably disposed toward you, I'll no doubt send word to you, and let you know. 13 Yehovah do to Jonathan, and even more, if my father wants to do you harm, and I don’t tell you about it, and send you away, so that you can go in peace, and Yehovah be with you, as he has been with my father. 14 Show me the unfailing love of Yehovah as long as I live, so that I won’t be killed, 15 but also, you must never remove your kindness from my family—not even when Yehovah has eliminated with swords every one of David’s enemies from the face of the earth.” 16 So Jonathan made a covenant with the dynasty of David, saying, “Yehovah will require it at the hand of David’s enemies.” 17 Jonathan caused David to swear again, because the love that he had for him, because he loved him as he loved his own life.

18 “Then Jonathan told him, “Tomorrow is the new moon, and you’ll be missed, because your seat will be empty. 19 When you’ve stayed three days, you must go down quickly, and come to the place where you hid yourself when the business was in hand, and remain by the stone Ezel. 20 I’ll shoot three arrows on its side, as tho I shot at a mark. 21 Look, I’ll send the boy, saying, ‘Go, find the arrows!’ If I tell the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are on this side of you. Take them,’ then come, because there is peace to you and no harm, as Yehovah lives. 22 But if I tell the boy, ‘Look, the arrows are beyond you,’ then go your way, because Yehovah has sent you away. 23 Concerning the matter that you and I have spoken of, Yehovah is between you and me forever!”

24 “So David hid himself in the field, and when the new moon came, the king sat down to eat food. 25 The king sat on his seat, as usual, on the seat by the wall, and Jonathan stood up, and Abner sat by Saul’s side, but David’s place was empty. 26 But Saul didn’t say anything that day, because he thought, “Something has happened to him. He isn’t clean. Surely he is unclean.” 27 Then the next day, the day after the new moon, David’s place was still empty, so Saul asked his son Jonathan, “Why hasn’t Jesse’s come to eat, either yesterday, or today?” 28 Jonathan answered Saul, “David earnestly asked permission to leave me to go to Bethlehem.” 29 He said, “Please let me go, because our family has a zebak in the city. My brother has commanded me to be there. Now, if I’ve found favor in your eyes, let me get away, please, and see my brothers.” This is why he hasn’t come to the king’s table. 30 Then Saul’s anger was hot against Jonathan, and he told him, “You son of a perverse rebellious woman, don’t I know that you’ve chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother’s nakedness? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on earth, you and your kingship aren’t secure. So now send and bring him to me, because he must surely die!” 32 Jonathan replied to Saul his father, “Why should he be put to death? What has he done?” 33 Saul threw his spear at him to strike him. This is how Jonathan knew that his father was determined to put David to death. 34 So Jonathan got up from the table in fierce anger, and ate no food the second day after the new moon, because he was grieved for David, because his father had treated him shamefully.

35 “Then in the morning, Jonathan went out into the field at the appointed time with David, and a little boy with him. 36 He said to his boy, “Run and find the arrows that I shoot.” As the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him. 37 When the boy came to the place of the arrow that Jonathan had shot, Jonathan called to the boy, and said, “Isn’t the arrow beyond you?” 38 Jonathan called to the boy, “Go fast! Hurry! Don’t delay!” Jonathan’s boy gathered up the arrows, and came to his master. 39 But the boy didn’t know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40 Jonathan gave his weapons to his boy, and told him, “Go, carry them to the city.” 41 As soon as the boy was gone, David got up out of a place toward the South, and fell face down to the ground, and bowed himself three times. They kissed one another, and cried one with another, and David cried the most. 42 Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, because we have both sworn in the name of Yehovah, saying, ‘Yehovah will be between me and you, and between my descendants and your descendants, forever.’” He got up and left, and Jonathan went into the city.

1 SAMUEL 21

1 Then David came to Nob to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech came to meet David trembling, and asked him, “Why are you alone, with no one with you?” 2 David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has commissioned me with a matter and told me, ‘Don’t let anyone know anything about the mission I’m sending you on, and what I’ve ordered you to do. I’ve stationed my young men in a certain place.’ 3 So what is under your hand? Put five loaves of bread in my hand, or whatever there is present.” 4 The priest answered David, “There is no common bread under my hand, but there is kadosh bread, if only the young men have kept themselves from women.” 5 David answered the priest, “Truly, women have been kept from us for about three days. When I came out, the vessels of the young men were kadosh, tho it was but a common journey. How much more then today will their vessels be kadosh?” 6 So the priest gave him kadosh bread, because there was no bread there except for the bread of the Presence that was removed from before Yehovah in order to put hot bread in its place when it was taken away. 7 Now one of Saul’s servants was there that day, detained before Yehovah, and his name was Doeg the Edomite, Saul’s lead herdsmen. 8 David asked Ahimelech, “Do you have a spear or sword on hand? I didn’t bring my sword or my weapons with me since the king’s mission was urgent.” 9 The priest said, “The sword of Goliath the Philistine, who you killed in the valley of Elah is here wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want to take that, take it, because there is no other except that here.” David said, “There is none like it; give it to me.”

10 “David got up and fled that day for fear of Saul, and went to Achish the king of Gath. 11 The servants of Achish told him, “Isn’t this David the king of the land? Didn’t they sing to each other about him in dances, saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands?’” 12 David laid up these words in his mind, and was very afraid of Achish the king of Gath. 13 So he changed his behavior when he was in their presence, and acted insane 'around them', and he scribbled on the doors of the gate, and drooled on his beard. 14 Then Achish told his servants, “Look, you can see that the man is mad. So why have you brought him to me? 15 Do I lack madmen, is that why you’ve brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence? Should this guy come into my house?”

1 SAMUEL 22

1 So David left there and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and all his father’s house heard about it, they went down there to him. 2 Everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontent, gathered with him, and he became their captain, and about four hundred men were with him there. 3 David went there to Mizpeh of Moab, and he told the king of Moab, “Please let my father and my mother come out with you, until I know what Elohim will do for me.” 4 He brought them to the king of Moab, and they lived with him all the while that David was in the stronghold. 5 The prophet Gawd said to David, “Don’t stay in the stronghold. Leave here, and go into the land of Judah.” Then David left, and came to the forest of Hereth.

6 “Saul heard that David and the men who were with him had been discovered. Now Saul was sitting in Gibeah, under the tamarisk tree in Ramah with his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing around him. 7 Saul said to his servants who stood by, “Listen, you Benjamites! Will the son of Jesse give everyone of you fields and vineyards making you all captains of thousands and captains of hundreds, 8 that all of you have conspired against me, and there is no one who discloses to me when my son makes a league with the son of Jesse, and there are none of you who is sorry for me, or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as of today?” 9 Then Doeg the Edomite, who stood by the servants of Saul, answered, “I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob, to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. 10 He inquired of Yehovah for him, gave him food, and gave him Goliath the Philistine’s sword.”

11 “Then the king sent to call Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father’s house, the priests who were in Nob, and they all came to the king. 12 Saul said, “Listen, you son of Ahitub.” He answered, “Here I am, my master.” 13 Saul asked him, “Why have you conspired against me, you and the son of Jesse, in that you’ve given him bread, and a sword, and have inquired of Elohim for him, that he should rise against me, to lie in wait, as of today?” 14 Then Ahimelech answered the king, “Who among all your servants is so faithful as David, who is the king’s son-in-law, and is taken into your council, and is honorable in your house? 15 Have I today begun to inquire of Elohim for him? Be it far from me! Don’t allow the king impute anything to his servant, nor to all the house of my father, because your servant knows nothing of all this, less or more.” 16 The king said, “You will surely die, Ahimelech, you, and all your father’s house.” 17 The king told the guard who stood about him, “Turn, and kill the priests of Yehovah, because their hand also is with David, and because they knew that he fled, and didn’t disclose it to me.” But the servants of the king wouldn’t put forth their hand to fall on the priests of Yehovah. 18 The king said to Doeg, “Turn and attack the priests!” Doeg the Edomite turned, and he attacked the priests, and he killed that day eighty-five people who wore a linen ephod. 19 He struck Nob, the city of the priests with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and nursing babies, and cattle and donkeys and sheep, with the edge of the sword.

20 “One of the sons of Ahimelech, the son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped, and fled after David. 21 Abiathar told David that Saul had slain Yehovah’s priests. 22 David said to Abiathar, I knew on the day when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I’m responsible for the death of all the people of your father’s house. 23 Stay with me, don’t be afraid, because he who seeks my life seeks your life. With me you’ll be safe.

1 SAMUEL 23

1 David was told, “The Philistines are fighting against Keilah, and are robbing the threshing floors”! 2 So David asked Yehovah, “Should I go and strike these Philistines?” Yehovah told David, “Go strike the Philistines and save Keilah.” 3 David’s men told him, “We’re afraid here in Judah, how much more then if we go to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines?” 4 Then David inquired of Yehovah yet again. Yehovah replied, “Get up and go down to Keilah, because I’ll deliver the Philistines into your hand.” 5 David and his men went to Keilah and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their livestock, and killed them in a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah. 6 Then when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, he came down with an ephod in his hand.

7 “Saul was told that David had gone to Keilah. Saul said, “Elohim has handed him over to me, because he is shut in, by entering into a city that has gates and bars.” 8 Saul summoned all the people to go to war, to go down to Keilah and besiege David and his men. 9 When David discovered that Saul was plotting against him, he told Abiathar the priest, “Bring the ephod here.” 10 Then David said, “Oh Yehovah, Elohim of Israel, your servant has surely heard that Saul seeks to come to Keilah and destroy the city because of me. 11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me into his hand? Will Saul come down, as your servant has heard? Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, I beg you, tell your servant.” Yehovah said, “He’ll come down.” 12 Then David said, “Will the men of Keilah hand me and my men over to Saul?” Yehovah said, “They’ll deliver you up.” 13 Then David and his men, who numbered about six hundred, got up and left Keilah, and went wherever they could go. Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, and he gave up going there.

14 “David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. Saul sought him every day, but Elohim didn’t hand him over. 15 David saw that Saul came out to kill him. David was in the wilderness of Ziph in the wood. 16 Jonathan, Saul’s son, got up, and went to David into the woods and strengthened his hand in Elohim. 17 He told him, “Don’t be afraid, because my father Saul won’t find you; you’ll be king over Israel, and I’ll be next to you, and my father Saul knows that.” 18 They both made a covenant before Yehovah, and David remained in the woods, and Jonathan went to his house.

19 “Then the Ziphites came up to Saul in Gibeah, and asked, “Doesn’t David hide himself with us in the strongholds in the wood, in the hill of Hachilah, south of the desert? 20 Sthe king, come down, according to all the desire of your life, and our part will be to deliver him up into the king’s hand.” 21 Saul said, “You are blessed by Yehovah, because you’ve had compassion on me. 22 Please go and be absolutely certain; see the exact place where his haunt is, and who has seen him there, because I’ve been told that he is very cunning. 23 See and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hides himself, and come again to me with certainty, and I’ll go with you, and then if he is in the land, I’ll find him among all the thousands of Judah.” 24 They got up and went to Ziph before Saul, but David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the Arabah on the south of the desert.

25 “Saul and his men went to seek him. When David was told, he went down to the rock, and stayed in the wilderness of Maon. When Saul heard that, he pursued David in the wilderness of Maon. 26 Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain, and David hurried to get away for fear of Saul, because Saul and his men surrounded David and his men to take them. 27 But a messenger came to Saul, and said, “Hurry and come, because the Philistines have made a raid on the land!” 28 So Saul returned from pursuing David, and went against the Philistines. So they called that place Sela Hammahlekoth.

29 “David left there, and lived in the strongholds of En Gedi.

1 SAMUEL 24

1 Then once Saul returned from persuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the wilderness of En Gedi!” 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went looking for David and his men on the rocks of the wild goats. 3 He came to the sheep pens along the way where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were staying in the deepest parts of the cave. 4 David’s men told him, “This is the day that Yehovah spoke of when he told you, ‘I’ll hand your enemy over to you, and you’ll do to him whatever you want!” Then David got up, and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly. 5 Afterward, David’s 'conscience bothered him', because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. 6 He said to his men, “Yehovah forbid that I would do this to my master, Yehovah’s anointed, to reach out against him, since he is Yehovah’s anointed.”

7 “So David restrained his men with these words, and didn’t allow them to rise against Saul. Saul left the cave and went on his way. 8 Afterward David also got up and left the cave, and called out to Saul, “Your majesty the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed face down to the ground in homage. 9 David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to men’s words, saying, ‘Look, David seeks your hurt?’ 10 Look, today your eyes have seen how Yehovah had delivered you today into my hand in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you, and I said, ‘I won’t reach out my hand against my master because he is Yehovah’s anointed.’ 11 My father, notice the edge of your robe in my hand. I cut off that edge of your robe, but I didn’t kill you. It’s 'easy' to see my lack of evil intent or treason. Nothing at hand indicates that I’ve sinned against you, even tho you are hunting me down to take my life. 12 May Yehovah judge between me and you, and may Yehovah take vengeance on you for me, but I'll never lay a hand on you. 13 As the proverb of the ancients says: Out of the wicked comes wickedness,’ but my hand won’t be against you. 14 Against who has the king of Israel come out? Who do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea? 15 May Yehovah act as judge and decide between me and you. May he consider my situation and vindicate me by delivering me out of your hands.”

16 “When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Saul lifted up his voice, and cried. 17 He said to David, “You are more righteous than I, because you did good to me, while I’ve done evil to you. 18 You’ve announced today how you’ve dealt well with me, because when Yehovah had delivered me up into your hand, you didn’t kill me. 19 If a man finds his enemy, will he let him leave unharmed? So may Yehovah reward you well for what you’ve done to me today. 20 Now, look, I know that you’ll surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. 21 So swear to me by Yehovah, so that you won’t eliminate my descendants after me, and that you won’t destroy my name from my father’s house.” 22 David swore to Saul. Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

1 SAMUEL 25

1 SAMUEL died, and all Israel gathered themselves together, and lamented him, and they buried him in his house at Ramah. David got up, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.

2 “There was a man in Maon whose possessions were in Carmel, and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats, and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 The man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name, Abigail. The woman was sensible and beautiful, while the man was harsh and wicked in his dealings. He was a descendant of Caleb. 4 David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5 David sent ten young men, and David told the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. 6 Tell him, ‘Long life to you! Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to everything that you have.’ 7 Now I’ve heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds have now been with us, and we did them no harm, and they missed nothing, all the while they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men, and they’ll tell you. So, let the young men find favor in your eyes, because we came on a good day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants, and to your son David.”

9 “When David’s young men arrived, they relayed all these things to Nabal on David’s behalf. Then they waited. 10 Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants who break away from their masters these days. 11 Why should I take my 'food' and water, and the meat that I butchered for my shearers, and give it to men who came from who knows where? 12 So David’s young men turned on their way, and went back, and came and told him all these words. 13 David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” So every man put on his sword. David also put on his sword. About four hundred men followed David, and two hundred stayed by the baggage.

14 “But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers out to the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them! 15 But the men were very good to us, and we were not hurt, we lacked nothing as long as we went with them when we were in the fields. 16 They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 17 So know and consider what you’ll do, because evil is determined against our master, and against all his household, because he is such a worthless fellow that one can’t speak to him.

18 “Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred loaves of bread, two bottles of wine, five sheep ready dressed, five measures of parched grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. 19 She said to her young men “Go on before me. Look, I’ll come after you. But she didn’t tell her husband, Nabal. 20 As she rode on her donkey into a mountain ravine, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them! 21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain have I guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missing of anything that belonged to him. He has returned me evil for good. 22 May Elohim do this to the enemies of David, and even more, if by morning I leave even one who urinates on a wall who belongs to him.”

23 “When Abigail saw David, she hurried, and got off of her donkey, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet, and said, “On me, my master, on me be the wickedness, and please let your handmaid speak in your ears. Hear the words of your handmaid. 25 Please my master, disregard regard this worthless fellow Nabal. His name means 'fool,' and he is a fool! I, your handmaid, didn’t see the young men of my master who you sent. 26 So my master, as Yehovah lives, and as you live, since Yehovah has withheld you from blood guiltiness, and from avenging yourself with your own hand, so let your enemies, and those who seek evil to my master, be as Nabal. 27 Now this present that your servant has brought to my master, let it be given to the young men who follow my master. 28 Please forgive the trespass of your handmaid. For Yehovah will certainly make my master lasting 'dynasty', because my master fights the battles of Yehovah, and evil won’t be found in you all your days. 29 Tho men may rise up to pursue you, and seek your life, yet the life of my master will be bound in the bundle of life with Yehovah your Elohim. He’ll sling out the lives of your enemies as from the hollow of a sling. 30 Once Yehovah has done to my master all the good that he has promised concerning you, and has appointed you leader over Israel, 31 this will not cause you any regrets, or a troubled conscience my master, either of having shed blood needlessly, or by my master having avenged himself. When Yehovah has given you success my master, then remember your handmaid.” 32

David said to Abigail, “Blessed is Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! 33 Blessed is your discretion, and blessed are you, who have kept me today from blood guiltiness, and from avenging myself with my own hands. 34 Indeed, as Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, lives, who has withheld me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely there wouldn’t have been left to Nabal by the morning light so much as one who urinates on a wall.” 35 So David accepted from her what she handed him, and he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. I’ve heeded to your 'advice', and granted your request.” 36

Abigail came to Nabal and saw that he was hosting a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. Nabal was in a good mood because he was very drunk. So she didn’t tell him anything at all until dayreak. 37 Then in the morning, when Nabal 'was sober again', his wife explained everything to him, and he had a 'seizure' and became as paralyzed as a stone. 38 Then about ten days later, Yehovah struck Nabal, and he died. 39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed is Yehovah, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and has held back His servant from evil. Yehovah has returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head.” David sent 'a proposal' to Abigail about taking her as his wife. 40 When the servants of David came to Abigail to Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you about taking you to him as his wife.” 41 She got up, and bowed herself with her face to the earth, and said, “Look, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my master.” 42 Abigail hurried, and got up, and rode on a donkey, with five of her ladies following her, and she followed David’s messengers and became his wife.

43 “David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both became his wives. 44 Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Laish’s son Palti, who was from Gallim.

1 SAMUEL 26

1 The Ziphites came to Saul to Gibeah, saying, “David is hiding himself on the hill of Hachilah across from Jeshimon, isn't he?” 2 Then Saul got up, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, looking for David in the wilderness of Ziph. 3 Saul camped on the hill of Hachilah near Jeshimon, beside the road. But David remained in the wilderness, and he realized that Saul came after him into the wilderness. 4 David sent out spies once he knew that Saul was definitely coming. 5 David got up and came to the place where Saul had camped, and David saw the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his army, and Saul lay within the place of the wagons, and the people were camped around him. 6 David then asked Ahimelek the Hittite and Zeruiah’s son Abishai, Joab’s brother, “Who will go with me down into Saul’s camp?” Abishai said, “I’ll go down with you.” 7 So David and Abishai came to the people during the night, and saw Saul lying asleep in the vicinity of the wagons, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Abner and the soldiers were lying around him. 8 Then said Abishai to David, “Elohim has delivered your enemy into your hand today. So please let me strike him with the spear to the earth with one stroke, and I won’t strike him the second time.” 9 David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him, because who can reach out his hand against Yehovah’s anointed, and be guiltless?” 10 David said, “As Yehovah lives, Yehovah will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he’ll go down into battle and die. 11 Yehovah forbid that I should put forth my hand against Yehovah’s anointed, but now please take the spear that is at his head, and the jar of water, and let’s go.” 12 So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head, and they went away, and no man saw it, or knew about it. None of them woke up because Yehovah had put Saul's men into a deep sleep.

13 “Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of the mountain afar off, a great space being between them, 14 and David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Don’t you answer, Abner?” Then Abner answered, “Who are you who cries to the king?” 15 David said to Abner, aren’t you a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your master, the king? One of the people came in to destroy your master the king. 16 What you have done is not good. As Yehovah lives, all of you must surely die, because you did not guard your master, Yehovah’s anointed. Now see where the king’s spear is, and the jar of water that was by his head. 17 Saul knew David’s voice, and said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” David said, “It is my voice, my master, the king.” 18 He said, “Why does my master pursue his servant? What have I done? Or what evil is in my hand? 19 So please let your majesty the king hear the 'message' of his servant. If Yehovah has stirred you up against me, let him accept an offering. But if it’s someone else, they are cursed before Yehovah, because they’ve driven me away today so that I would be deprived of Yehovah’s inheritance [homeland], essentially having said, ‘Go, serve other gods!’ 20 So don’t let my blood fall to the ground away from the presence of Yehovah, because the king of Israel has come out to seek a flea, like when someone hunts a partridge in the mountains. 21 Then Saul said, “I’ve sinned. Return, my son David, because I’ll no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes today. Look, I’ve played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.” 22 David answered, “Look at the spear, king! Then let one of the young men come over and get it. 23 Yehovah will render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness, because Yehovah delivered you into my hand today, yet I wouldn’t reach out my hand against Yehovah’s anointed. 24 Look, as your life was respected today in my eyes, so may my life be respected in the sight of Yehovah, and may He deliver me out of all oppression. 25 Then Saul said to David, “You are blessed, my son David. You’ll both do mightily, and will surely prevail.” So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.

1 SAMUEL 27

1 David said to himself, “I’ll now die one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should escape into the land of the Philistines, and Saul will despair of me, to seek me any more in all the borders of Israel. So I'll escape out of his grasp.” 2 David got up, and passed over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3 David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s wife. 4 Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, and he stopped looking for him.

5 “David said to Achish, “If now I’ve found favor in your eyes, let them give me a place in one of the cities in the country, so that I can live there. Why should your servant live in the royal city with you?” 6 Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day. That’s why Ziklag belongs to the kings of Judah to today. 7 The number of days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.

8 “David and his men went up, and made a raid on the Geshurites, and the Girzites and the Amalekites, because those nations were the inhabitants of the land, who were of old, as you go to Shur, even to the land of Egypt. 9 David attacked the land and didn’t leave a man or a woman alive, and he took the sheep, the cattle, the donkeys, the camels and the clothing, and he returned, and came to Achish. 10 Achish said, “Against who have you made a raid today?” David said, “Against the South of Judah, against the South of the Jerahmeelites, and against the South of the Kenites. 11 David didn’t leave a man or a woman alive, to bring them to Gath. He 'thought' they might tell the others about us, saying, ‘this is what David did,’ This was David's approach the whole time he stayed in the Philistine territory. 12 Achish believed David, saying, “He has made his people Israel completely to abhor him. So he’ll be my servant forever.”

1 SAMUEL 28

1 Then in those days, that the Philistines gathered their armies together for warfare, to fight with Israel. Achish said to David, “Know assuredly that you’ll go out with me in the army, you and your men.” 2 David said to Achish, “Very well, you will see what your servant can do.” Achish said to David, “I'll make you my bodyguard for life.”

3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had lamented him and buried him in Ramah, his own town. Saul had removed from the land all the mediums and spiritists.

4 “The Philistines gathered themselves together, and came and camped in Shunem, and Saul gathered all Israel together, and they camped in Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the army of the Philistines, he was afraid, and he trembled greatly. 6 When Saul inquired of Yehovah, Yehovah didn’t answer him either by dreams or by Urim or by prophets. 7 Then Saul said to his servants, “Find me a woman who has a familiar spirit, so that I can go to her, and inquire of her.” His servants told him, “Look, there is a woman who has a familiar spirit at Endor.” [Commentary].

8 “Saul disguised himself, and put on other clothing, and went, he and two men with him, and they came to the woman one night, and he said, “Please divine to me by the familiar spirit, and bring me up whoever I’ll name to you.” 9 The woman told him, “Look, you know what Saul has done, how he has eliminated those who have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land. Why then do you lay a snare for my life, to cause me to die?” 10 Saul swore to her by Yehovah, saying, “As Yehovah lives, no punishment will come to you for this.” 11 Then the woman said, “Who should I bring up to you?” He said, “Bring Samuel up for me.” 12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice, and the woman spoke to Saul, saying, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!” 13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?” The woman said to Saul, “I see a god coming up out of the earth.” 14 He said to her, “What does he look like?” She said, “An old man comes up. He is covered with a robe. Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he bowed with his face to the ground, and did obeisance.”

15 “Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul answered, “I’m very distressed, because the Philistines are at war with me and Elohim has left me, and answers me no more, not by prophets, or by dreams. So I’ve called you, so that you can reveal to me what I should do.” 16 Samuel said, “Why then do you ask of me, since Yehovah has left you and has become your adversary? 17 Yehovah has done to you as he spoke by me. Yehovah has torn the kingdom out of your hand, and given it to your neighbor, to David. 18 Because you didn’t obey the voice of Yehovah, and didn’t execute His fierce wrath on Amalek. That’s why Yehovah has done this thing to you today. 19 Yehovah will deliver Israel and you into the hand of the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. Yehovah will hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines.” 20 Then Saul fell immediately his full length on the earth, and was terrified, because of what Samuel said. There was no strength in him, because he had eaten nothing all day and all night.

21 “The woman came to Saul, and saw that he was quite troubled, and told him, “Look, your handmaid has listened to you, and I’ve put my life in my hand, and listened to the words that you spoke to me. 22 Now please listen to the voice of your handmaid, and let me set a morsel of bread before you, and eat, so that you can have strength as you go on your way.” 23 But he refused, and said, “I won’t eat.” But his servants, together with the woman, constrained him, and he listened to them. So he got up from the floor, and sat on the bed. 24 The woman had a fattened calf in the house. She hurried and killed it, and she took flour, kneaded it and baked unleavened bread from it. 25 She brought it to Saul, and his servants, and they ate. Then they got up and left that night.

1 SAMUEL 29

1 Now the Philistines gathered together all their armies to Aphek, and the Israelites camped by the spring in Jezreel. 2 The the lords of the Philistines passed on by hundreds, and by thousands: and David and his men were marching at the rear with Achish. 3 Then the leaders of the Philistines said, “What about these Hebrews?” Achish told the leaders of the Philistines, “Isn’t this David, the servant of Saul the king of Israel, who has been with me these days, or rather these years, and I’ve found no fault in him since he fell away to today?” 4 But the leaders of the Philistines were angry with him, and the leaders of the Philistines told him, “Make the man return to the place where you’ve appointed him, and don’t let him go down with us to battle, otherwise in the battle he will become an adversary to us. Is there a better way for him to be reconciled with his lord than by handing our heads over to him? 5 Isn’t this David, of who they sang one to another in dances, saying, ‘Saul has slain his thousands, David his ten thousands?’” 6 Then Achish called David, and told him, “As Yehovah lives, you’ve been virtuous, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army is good in my sight, because I haven’t found evil in you since the day of your coming to me to today. But, the masters don’t favor you. 7 So now return, and go in peace, so as not to displease the Philistine lords.” 8 David asked Achish, “But what have I done? What have you found in your servant so long as I’ve been before you to today, so that I can’t go and fight against the enemies of your majesty the king?” 9 Achish answered David, “I know that you are good in my sight, like a Messenger of Elohim. But the lords of the Philistines have said, ‘He won’t go up with us to the battle.’ 10 So now get up early in the morning with the servants of your lord who have come with you, and as soon as you are up early in the morning light, depart. 11 So David got up early, he and his men, to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. The Philistines went up to Jezreel.

1 SAMUEL 30

1 Then when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid on the South, and on Ziklag, and had struck Ziklag, and burned it 'down', 2 and had taken captive the women and all who were there, both small and great. They didn’t kill any, but carried them off, and went their way. 3 When David and his men came to the city, and saw that it had been set on fire, and their wives, their sons and their daughters were taken captive, 4 David and the people who were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep. 5 David’s two wives were taken captive, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 6 David was greatly distressed, because the people spoke of stoning him, because the life of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters, but David strengthened himself in Yehovah his Elohim. 7 David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring me here the ephod.” Abiathar brought the ephod to David. 8 David inquired of Yehovah, saying, “If I pursue after this troop, will I overtake them?” He replied, “Pursue, because you’ll surely overtake them, and will without fail recover all.”

9 “So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those who were left behind stayed. 10 But David pursued, he and four hundred men, because two hundred stayed behind, who were so faint that they couldn’t go over the brook Besor. 11 They found an Egyptian in the field, and brought him to David, and gave him bread, and he ate, and they gave him water to drink. 12 They gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins. When he had eaten, his spirit came again to him, because he had eaten no bread and drunk no water for three days and three nights. 13 David asked him, “To who do you belong? Where are you from?” He said, “I’m a young man from Egypt, servant to an Amalekite, and my master left me, because three days ago I fell sick. 14 We made a raid on the South of the Cherethites, and on what belongs to Judah, and on the South of Caleb and we burned Ziklag with fire.” 15 David told him, “Will you bring me down to this troop?” He said, “Swear to me by Elohim that you won’t kill me or hand me over to my lord, and I’ll bring you down to this troop.” 16 And when he had taken him down, they saw them spread around over all the ground, eating, drinking and dancing, because of the vast amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and the land of Judah. 17 David struck them from the twilight all the way to the evening of the next day. Not one of them escaped from there, except four hundred young men, who rode on camels and fled. 18 David recovered everything that the Amalekites had taken, and David rescued his two wives. 19 There was nothing missing, small or great, sons or daughters, spoils or anything that they had taken. David brought it all back. 20 David took all the flocks and the herds that they drove before the other livestock, and said, “This is David’s spoil.”

21 “Then David approached the two hundred men who had been so exhausted that they couldn’t follow 'him', who had stayed behind by the Besor brook. They came out to meet David and the troops with him. As David approached the men, he greeted them. 22 But then all the wicked and worthless men among David’s followers said, “Because they didn’t go with us, we won’t give them any of the spoils that we have recovered. Each of them should just take his wife and children and leave.” 23 But David said, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what Yehovah has given us. He has protected us and handed us the raiding party that attacked us. 24 Who will listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so will his share be who tarries by the baggage, they’ll share alike.” 25 It was so from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to today.

26 When David came to Ziklag, he sent the spoil to the elders of Judah, including his friends, saying, “Look, a present for you from the spoils of the enemies of Yehovah.” 27 He sent it to those who were in Bethel, and to those who were in Ramoth of the South, and to those who were in Jattir, 28 and to those who were in Aroer, to those who were in Siphmoth, to those who were in Eshtemoa, 29 to those who were in Racal, to those who were in the cities of the Jerahmeelites, to those who were in the cities of the Kenites, 30 to those who were in Hormah, to those who were in Borashan, to those who were in Athach, 31 to those who were in Hebron and to all the places where David himself and his men used to stay.

1 SAMUEL 31

1 Now the Philistines fought against Israel, and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain on Mount Gilboa. 2 The Philistines followed hard on Saul and on his sons, and the Philistines killed Jonathan, Abinadab and Malchishua, the sons of Saul. 3 The battle went badly against Saul, and the archers overtook him, and he was greatly distressed ecause of the archers. 4 Then Saul said to his armor bearer, “Draw your sword, and thrust me thru with it, otherwise these uncircumcised will come and thrust me thru, and abuse me!” But his armor bearer wouldn’t, because he was terrified. So Saul took his sword, and fell on it. 5 When his armor bearer saw that Saul was dead, he likewise fell on his sword and died with him. 6 So Saul died, his three sons, his armor bearer and all his men, that same day together. 7 When the men of Israel who were on the other side of the valley, and those who were beyond the Jordan River saw that the men of Israel had fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they abandoned the cities, and fled, and the Philistines came and lived in them.

8 “Then the next day when the Philistines came to strip the slain, they found Saul and his three sons fallen on Mount Gilboa. 9 They cut off his head and stripped off his armor, and sent 'messengers' thruout the land of the Philistines everywhere, to bring the good news to the 'shrines' of their idols, and to the people. 10 They put his armor in the 'shrine' of the Ashtaroth, and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth Shan. 11 When the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, 12 all the valiant men got up, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth Shan, and they came to Jabesh, and burnt them there. 13 They took their bones, and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

“2” SAMUEL 1

Chapters 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24. 1st and 2nd Samuel are really one book.

1 After the death of Saul, when David had returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, David stayed in Ziklag for two days. 2 On the third day, a man came from Saul’s camp with torn clothes and dirt on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honor! 3 David asked him, “Where did you come from?” He told him, “I’ve escaped from the camp of Israel.” 4 David asked him, “How did it go? Please tell me.” He answered, “The people have fled from the battle, and many of the people also have fallen and are dead. Saul and Jonathan his son are also dead.” 5 David asked the young man who told him, “How do you know that Saul and Jonathan his son are dead?” 6 The young man who told him said, “As I happened by chance on Mount Gilboa, Saul was leaning on his spear, and the chariots and the horsemen were closing in on him! 7 And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called to me. I answered, ‘Here I am.’ 8 “He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ I replied, ‘I’m an Amalekite.’ 9 “He told me, ‘Stand beside me please and kill me, because the agony of death has seized me, but I’m still alive.’ 10 So I stood beside him, and killed him, because I was sure that he wouldn’t live after he had fallen. I took the crown that was on his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them here to my lord. 11 Then David took hold on his clothes, and tore them, and likewise all the men who were with him. 12 They mourned, and wept, and fasted until evening, for Saul and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of Yehovah, and for the House of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.

13 “David said to the young man who told him, “Where are you from?” He answered, “I’m the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite.” 14 David asked him, “How is it you were not afraid to reach out and destroy Yehovah’s anointed?” 15 David called one of the young men, and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him and he died. 16 David told him, “Your blood is on your own head, because you testified against yourself, by saying, ‘I’ve slain Yehovah’s anointed.’”

17 “David sang this song of lament for Saul and his son Jonathan, 18 (and he ordered them teach the House of Judah the Song of the Bow, and it is recorded in the book of Jashar.) 19 Your splendor, Israel, is slain on your 'shrines'! How the mighty have fallen! 20 Don’t tell it in Gath. Don’t publish it in the streets of Ashkelon, or the daughters of the Philistines will celebrate; the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph. 21 You mountains of Gilboa, there shoild be no dew or rain on you, or fields of offerings. There the shield of the mighty was vilely thrown away. The shield of Saul wasn’t anointed with oil. 22 From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, Jonathan’s bow didn’t turn back. Saul’s sword didn’t return empty. 23 Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives. In their deaths they were not divided. They were swifter than eagles. They were stronger than lions. 24 You daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet delicately, who put ornaments of gold on your clothing. 25 How the mighty have fallen in battle! Jonathan is slain on your high places. 26 I’m distressed for you, my brother Jonathan. You’ve been very pleasant to me. Your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. 27 How the mighty have fallen. The weapons of war are destroyed!”

2 SAMUEL 2

1 Then afterward David asked Yehovah, “Will I go up into any of the cities of Judah?” Yehovah told him “Go up”. David said, “Where should I go up?” He said, “To Hebron. 2 So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite. 3 David brought up his men who were with him, every man with his household. They lived in the cities of Hebron.

4 “The men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the tribe of Judah. They told David, “The men of Jabesh Gilead were those who buried Saul.” 5 David sent messengers to the men of Jabesh Gilead, and told them, “Blessed are you by Yehovah, that you’ve shown this kindness to your master, even to Saul, and have buried him. 6 Now may Yehovah show unfailing love and truth to you. I also will reward you for this kindness, because you’ve done this. 7 So may your hands be strong and valiant, because Saul your master is dead, and also the tribe of Judah has anointed me king over them.”

8 “Now Abner the son of Ner, captain of Saul’s army, had taken Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and brought him over to Mahanaim, 9 and he made him king over Gilead, and over the Ashurites, and over Jezreel, and over Ephraim, and over Benjamin and over all Israel. 10 Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, was forty years old when he began to reign over Israel, and he reigned two years. But the tribe of Judah followed David. 11 The time that David was king in Hebron over the tribe of Judah was seven years and six months.

12 “Abner the son of Ner and the servants of Ishbosheth the son of Saul went out from Mahanaim to Gibeon. 13 Joab the son of Zeruiah, and the servants of David went out and met them by the pool of Gibeon, and they sat down, one on the one side of the pool, and the other on the other side of the pool. 14 Abner said to Joab, “Please let the young men arise and play before us!” Joab said, “Let them arise!” 15 Then they got up and went over by number, twelve for Benjamin, and for Ishbosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. 16 They caught everyone his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side, so they fell down together, so that place was called Helkath Hazzurim, that is in Gibeon. 17 The battle was very severe that day, and Abner was beaten, and the men of Israel, before the servants of David.

18 “The three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, and Abishai, and Asahel, and Asahel was as light of foot as a wild gazelle. 19 Asahel pursued Abner, and in going he didn’t turn to the right hand or to the left from following Abner. 20 Then Abner looked behind him, and said, “Is it you, Asahel?” He answered, “It is I.” 21 Abner told him, “Turn aside to your right hand or to your left, and grab one of the young men, and take his armor.” But Asahel wouldn’t turn aside from following him. 22 Abner said again to Asahel, “Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then should I hold up my face to Joab your brother?” 23 However he refused to turn aside. So Abner with the back end of the spear struck him in the body, so that the spear came out behind him, and he fell down there, and died in the same place. Then everyone who came to the place where Asahel fell down and died, stood still.

24 “But Joab and Abishai pursued Abner, and the sun went down when they came to the hill of Ammah, along the road to the wilderness of Gibeon. 25 The Benjaminites gathered together after Abner, and became one band, and stood on the top of a hill. 26 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, “Will the sword devour forever? Don’t you know that it will be bitterness in the latter end? How long will it be then, before you bid the people to return from following their brothers?” 27 Joab said, “As Elohim lives, if you hadn’t spoken, surely then in the morning the people would have gone away, and not each followed his brother.” 28 So Joab blew his shofar, and all the people stood still, and pursued Israel no more, and stopped fighting.

29 “Abner and his men traveled all that night thru the Arabah, and they passed over the Jordan River, and went thru all Bithron, and came to Mahanaim. 30 Joab returned from following Abner, and when he had gathered all the people together, nineteen of David’s servants and Asahel were missing. 31 But David’s servants had struck three hundred sixty Benjaminites and Abner's men. 32 They took Asahel and buried him in the tomb of his father in Bethlehem. Then they traveled all night and reached Hebron by dawn.

2 SAMUEL 3

1 There was long war between Saul’s dynasty and David’s dynasty, and David grew stronger and stronger, while Saul’s dynasty grew weaker and weaker.

2 “Sons were born to David in Hebron, and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, 3 and his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite, and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur, 4 and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith, and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital, 5 and the sixth, Ithream, of Eglah, David’s wife. These were born to David in Hebron.

6 “Then, while there was war between Saul’s dynasty and David’s dynasty, Abner made himself strong in Saul’s dynasty. 7 Now Saul had a concubine named Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, and Ishbosheth said to Abner, “Why did you have sex with my father’s concubine?” 8 Then Abner was very angry about what Ishbosheth said, and responded, “Am I a dog’s head that belongs to Judah? Today I show kindness to Saul your father’s dynasty, to his brothers, and to his friends, and have not delivered you into the hand of David, and yet you charge me today with a fault concerning this woman! 9 May Elohim 'punish' Abner, and more also, if as Yehovah has sworn to David, if I don’t do this for him, 10 transferring the kingdom from the dynasty of Saul, and setting up David’s throne over Israel and over Judah, from Dan all the way to Beersheba.” 11 He couldn’t answer Abner another word, because he feared him.

12 “Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, “Whose is the land?” and saying, “Make your alliance with me, and look, my hand will be with you, to bring all Israel around to you.” 13 He said, “Good, I’ll make a league with you, but one thing I require of you. That is, you won’t see my face, unless you first bring Michal, Saul’s daughter, when you come to see me.” 14 David sent messengers to Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, saying, “Deliver me my wife Michal, who I pledged to be married to me for one hundred foreskins of the Philistines.” 15 Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, from Paltiel the son of Laish. 16 Her husband went with her, crying as he went, and followed her to Bahurim. Then Abner told him, “Go! Return!” and he returned.

17 “Abner had communication with the elders of Israel, saying, “In times past, you wanted David to be your king. 18 Now then do it, because Yehovah has spoken of David, saying, ‘By the hand of my servant David, I’ll save My people Israel out of the grasp of the Philistines, and out of the grasp of all their enemies’”. 19 Abner also spoke 'to' the Benjamites, and Abner also went to speak to David in Hebron all that seemed good to Israel, and to the whole House of Benjamin. 20 So Abner came to David in Hebron, and twenty men with him. David made Abner and the men who were with him a feast. 21 Abner said to David, “I’ll arise and go, and gather all Israel to your majesty the king, so that they may make a covenant with you, so that you can reign over everything you desire.” David sent Abner away, and he went in peace.

22 “Just then David’s men and Joab came from a raid, and brought a large amount of plundered goods with them, but Abner wasn’t with David in Hebron, since he had sent him away, and he had gone in peace. 23 When Joab and all the army that was with him came, they told Joab, “Abner the son of Ner came to the king, and he has sent him away, and he left in peace.” 24 Then Joab came to the king, and asked, “What have you done? Look, Abner came to you. Why is it that you’ve sent him away, He's long gone now! 25 You know Abner the son of Ner came to deceive you, and to know your going out and your coming in, and to know everything you’re doing.” 26 When Joab came out from David, he sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the well of Sirah, but David didn’t know it. 27 When Abner had returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the gateway to speak with him quietly, and struck him there in the stomach and he died for killing his brother Asahel.

28 “Afterward, when David heard aboutit, he said, “I and my kingdom are guiltless before Yehovah forever of the blood of Abner the son of Ner. 29 Let it fall on the head of Joab, and on all his father’s house. May there not fail from the house of Joab one who has an issue, or who is a person with a skin disease, or who leans on a staff, or who falls by the sword, or who lacks bread.” 30 So Joab and Abishai his brother killed Abner, because he had killed their brother Asahel at Gibeon in the battle. 31 David said to Joab, and to all the people who were with him, “Tear your clothes, and clothe yourselves with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner.” King David followed the bier. 32 They buried Abner in Hebron, and the king lifted up his voice, and cried at the grave of Abner, and all the people wept. 33 The king lamented for Abner, and said, “Should Abner die as a fool dies? 34 Your hands were not bound, and your feet weren’t put into shackles. As a man falls before the wicked, you fell. All the people cried again over him. 35 All the people came to cause David to eat bread while it was yet day, but David swore, saying, ‘Elohim do so to me, and more also, if I taste bread or anything else until the sun goes down.’” 36 All the people took notice of it, and it pleased them, as whatever the king did pleased all the people. 37 So all the people and all Israel understood that day that it wasn’t the king’s will to kill Abner the son of Ner. 38 The king said to his servants, “Don’t you know that there is a leader and a great man has fallen today in Israel? 39 I’m weak today, tho anointed king, and these sons of Zeruiah are too hard for me. May Yehovah reward the evildoer according to his wickedness.”

2 SAMUEL 4

1 When Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands became feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled. 2 Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, had two men who were captains of bands, the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, of the Benjaminites (since Beeroth is considered part of Benjamin, 3 and the Beerothites fled to Gittaim, and have lived as foreigners there until today). 4 Now Jonathan, Saul’s son, had a son who was lame in his feet. He was five years old when the news came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him, and fled, and it happened, as she made haste to flee, that he fell and became lame. His name was Mephibosheth. 5 The sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, as he was resting at noon. 6 They came into the middle of the house, as tho they would have fetched wheat, and they struck his body, and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. 7 Now when they came into the house, as he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, they struck him, and killed him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and went by the way of the Arabah all night. 8 They brought the head of Ishbosheth to David to Hebron, and told the king, “Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, your enemy, who sought your life! Yehovah has avenged your majesty the king today of Saul, and of his descendants.

9 “David replied to Rechab and Baanah his brother, the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, “As Yehovah lives, who has redeemed my life out of all adversity, 10 when someone told me, ‘Saul is dead,’ thinking to have brought good news, I took hold of him, and killed him in Ziklag, that was the reward I gave him for his news. 11 How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house on his bed, will I not 'hold you responsible for' his blood of your hand, by removing you from the earth?” 12 David commanded his young men, and they killed them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up beside the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ishbosheth, and buried it in the grave of Abner in Hebron.

2 SAMUEL 5

1 Then all the tribes of Israel came to David to Hebron, saying, “Look, we’re your bone and your flesh. 2 In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led us out and brought in Israel. Yehovah told you, ‘You will be shepherd of My people Israel, and you’ll be leader over Israel.’” 3 So all the elders of Israel came to the king to Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them in Hebron before Yehovah, and they anointed David king over Israel. 4 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 5 In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all of Israel and Judah.

6 “The king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who told David, “Unless you take away the blind and the lame, you won’t come in here,” thinking, “David can’t come in here.” 7 But David took the stronghold of Zion, the same is the city of David. 8 David said when that day comes, “Whoever strikes the Jebusites must climb the water tunnel, and strike the lame and the blind, who are hated by David.” So they say, “the blind and the lame can’t come into the house.” 9 David lived in the stronghold, and called it the city of David. David built around from Millo and inward. 10 David grew greater and greater, because Yehovah the Commander was with him.

11 “Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, cedar trees, carpenters and masons, and they built David a house. 12 David perceived that Yehovah had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted His kingdom for His people Israel’s sake.

13 “David took more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem after he came from Hebron, and there were more sons and daughters born to David. 14 These are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem, Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 15 Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, 16 Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet.

17 “When the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went looking for David, and David heard about it, and went down to the stronghold. 18 Now the Philistines came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim. 19 David inquired of Yehovah, “Should I go up against the Philistines? Will you deliver them into my hand?” Yehovah told David, “Go up, because I’ll certainly handr the Philistines over to you.” 20 David came to Baal Perazim, and David struck them there, and he said, “Yehovah has broken my enemies before me, like the breach of waters.” So he called the name of that place Baal Perazim. 21 They left their images there, and David and his men took them away.

22 “The Philistines came up once again, and overran the valley of Rephaim. 23 When David inquired of Yehovah, he said, “You must not go up. Circle around behind them, and attack them over against the mulberry trees. 24 Then when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then stir yourself up, because then Yehovah has gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines.” 25 David did as Yehovah commanded him, and struck the Philistines from Geba all the way to Gezer.

2 SAMUEL 6

1 David again gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2 David got up and went with all the people who were with him from Baale Judah, to bring the ark of Elohim up from there, that bears the Name the name of Yehovah the Commander who is enthroned between the cherubim. 3 They set the ark of Elohim on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in the hill, and Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab drove the new cart. 4 They brought it out of the house of Abinadab, that was on the hill, with the ark of Elohim, and Ahio walked before the ark. 5 David and all the House of Israel played before Yehovah with all kinds of instruments made of fir wood, harps, stringed instruments, tambourines with castanets and cymbals. 6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of Elohim, and grabbed it, because the cattle stumbled. 7 The anger of Yehovah was kindled against Uzzah, and Elohim struck him there for his error, and he died there by the ark of Elohim. 8 David was displeased, because Yehovah had 'killed' Uzzah, and to this day that place is called Perez Uzzah. 9 David was afraid of Yehovah that day, and he said, “How will the ark of Yehovah come to me?” 10 So David wouldn’t move the ark of Yehovah to be with him in the city of David, but David carried it aside into Obed-Edom the Gittite’s house. 11 The ark of Yehovah remained in Obed-Edom the Gittite’s house for three months, and Yehovah blessed Obed-Edom, and all his house.

12 “King David was told, “Yehovah has blessed the house of Obed-Edom, and everything that pertains to him, because of the ark of Elohim.” David went and brought the ark of Elohim from Obed-Edom’s house into the city of David with joy. 13 Then when those who carried the ark of Yehovah had gone six paces, he made offerings of an ox and a fattened calf. 14 David danced before Yehovah with all his might, and David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the House of Israel were bringing up the ark of Yehovah with shouting, and with the sound of a shofar. 16 Then as the ark of Yehovah came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before Yehovah, and she despised him. 17 They brought in the ark of Yehovah, and set it in its place, in the middle of the tent that David had pitched for it, and David offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before Yehovah. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of Yehovah the Commander. 19 He dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, both to men and women, to everyone a cake of bread, and a portion of flesh, and a cake of raisins. So all the people left everyone to his house.

20 “Then David returned to bless his household. Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How splendid the king of Israel was today, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as some vain fellow shamelessly uncovers himself!” 21 David said to Michal, “It was before Yehovah, who chose me above your father, and above all his house, to appoint me leader over the people of Yehovah, over Israel. So I'll celebrate before Yehovah. 22 I’ll degrade myself even more than this. Even if I am base in your eyes, I will be held in honor by the servant girls you mentioned.” 23 Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

2 SAMUEL 7

1 After the king had settled in his palace, Yehovah gave him rest from all the surrounding enemies, 2 the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I live in a house of cedar, but the ark of Elohim sits inside tent curtains." 3 Nathan told the king, “Go and do everything that you have in mind, because Yehovah is with you.” 4 But that same night the Word of Yehovah came to Nathan and said: 5 “Go and tell My servant David, ‘This is what Yehovah says: “Are you the one who will build a house for Me to live in? 6 I haven’t lived in a house since the time I brought the Israelites out of Egypt until now. 'Instead' I’ve moved around in a tent that served as My tabernacle. 7 Wherever I’ve walked with all the people of Israel, did I ever say a word to any of the tribes of Israel who I commanded to be shepherds of My people Israel, “Why haven’t you built Me a cedar house?”

8 “So tell My servant David: ‘This is what Yehovah the Commander says: I took you from the pasture, from following sheep, to be leader of My people Israel. 9 I’ve been with you wherever you went, and annihilated all your enemies right in front of you. Now I’ll make your name as famous as the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 I’ll establish a homeland for My people Israel, and plant them so that they can live in a place of their own, never to be disturbed again. The wicked will no longer oppress them as in the past, 11 ever since the day I appointed judges to lead My people Israel. I’ll cause you to rest from all your enemies. Yehovah [the Father] tells you that Yehovah [the Son] will make you a house. 12 “When your days are finished and you lie down with your ancestors, I’ll set up one of your descendants after you of 'your direct lineage', and I’ll establish his kingdom. 13 He [Solomon] will build a 'Temple' [house] 'dedicated to' My name, and I’ll establish the throne of his kingdom [dynasty] forever. 14 I’ll be his father, and he’ll be My son. If he sins, I’ll discipline him with a rod 'wielded by' men—wounds from others. 15 But My favor will not be taken from him, like I took it from Saul, who I removed from your presence. 16 Your royal household and your kingdom will endure before Me forever; your throne will be established forever.’” 17 Nathan reported to David all these words exactly, the entire vision.

18 “Then David the king went in, and sat before Yehovah, and he said, “Who am I, Sovereign Yehovah, and what is my house, that You’ve brought me this far? 19 This was still a small thing in your eyes, Sovereign Yehovah, but You’ve spoken also of Your servant’s house for a great while to come, and this after the manner of men, Sovereign Yehovah! 20 What more can David say to You? Because You know Your servant, Sovereign Yehovah. 21 Because of Your word’s sake, and according to Your own mind, You’ve performed all this greatness, to make Your servant aware. 22 “So You are great, Yehovah Elohim. There is no one like You. There is no Elohim besides You, according to everything that we have heard with our ears. 23 What one nation on earth is like Your people, like Israel, who Elohim went to redeem to Himself for a people, and to make for Himself a name, and to do great things for You, and awesome things for Your land, before Your people who You redeem to Yourself out of Egypt, from the nations and their gods? 24 You established for Yourself Your people Israel to be a people to You forever, and You, Yehovah, became their Elohim. 25 “Now, Yehovah Elohim, the 'message' that you’ve spoken concerning Your servant, and concerning his house, confirm it forever, and do as You’ve spoken. 26 Let your name be magnified forever, saying, ‘Yehovah the Commander is Elohim over Israel’, and the house of your servant David will be established before you.’ 27 because you, Yehovah the Commander, the Elohim of Israel, have revealed to Your servant that, ‘I’ll build you a 'Temple'.’ So Your servant has found in his mind to pray this prayer to You. 28 “Now, Sovereign Yehovah, you are Elohim, and Your words are truth, and You’ve promised this good thing to your servant. 29 So let it please You to bless the household of Your servant, that it may continue forever before You, because You, Sovereign Yehovah, have said it. May the household of Your servant be blessed forever with Your blessing.”

2 SAMUEL 8

1 After this, David struck the Philistines, and subdued them, and David took the bridle of the mother city out of the grasp of the Philistines. 2 He struck Moab, and measured them with a line, making them lie down on the ground, and he measured two lines to put to death, and one full line to keep alive. The Moabites became servants to David, and brought tribute. 3 David also struck Hadadezer the son of Rehob, king of Zobah, as he went to recover his dominion at the River. 4 David took from him one thousand seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen, and David hamstrung all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for one hundred chariots. 5 When the Syrians of Damascus came to help Hadadezer king of Zobah, David struck twenty-two thousand Syrian men. 6 Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus, and the Syrians became servants of David, and brought tribute. Yehovah gave victory to David wherever he went. 7 David took the golden shields that were on the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. 8 From Betah and from Berothai, cities of Hadadezer, King David took very much bronze.

9 “When King Toi of Hamath heard that David had struck the entire army of Hadadezer, 10 Toi sent Joram his son to King David, to greet him, and to bless him, because he had fought against Hadadezer and struck him, because Hadadezer had wars with Toi. Joram brought with him vessels of silver, vessels of gold and vessels of bronze, 11 King David also dedicated these things to Yehovah, with the silver and gold that he had dedicated from all the nations he subdued: 12 from Syria, Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistines, Amalek, and the spoil of Hadadezer, son of Rehob, king of Zobah.

13 David became even more famous when he returned from killing eighteen thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt. 14 He put garrisons in Edom, thruout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became servants to David. Yehovah gave victory to David wherever he went. 15 David reigned over all Israel, and David executed justice and righteousness to all his people.

16 “Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army, and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder. 17 Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar were priests, and Seraiah was scribe. 18 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and David’s sons were chief ministers.

2 SAMUEL 9

1 David said, “Is there a survivor of Saul’s dynasty, that I can show kindness to for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 There was a servan of the household of Sault whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David, and the king asked him, “Are you Ziba?” He said, “I am your servant.” 3 The king said, “Are there no survivors of the household of Saul that I can show the kindness of Elohim to?” Ziba told the king, “Jonathan still has a son who is lame in both feet.” 4 The king asked him, “Where is he?” Ziba told the king that he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar. 5 Then King David sent for him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar. 6 Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, and fell on his face, and did obeisance. David said, “Mephibosheth.” He answered, “Look, your servant!” 7 David told him, “Don’t be afraid, because I’ll surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and restore all the land to you that belonged to Saul your grandfather, and you’ll always eat at my table.” 8 He did obeisance, and asked, “What is your servant, that you should look on such a dead dog as I am?”

9 “Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and told him, “Everything that belonged to Saul and his entire household I have given to your master’s son. 10 You’ll till the land for him, you, and your sons, and your servants, and you’ll harvest the fruit, so that your master’s son can have bread to eat, but Mephibosheth your master’s son will always eat bread at my table.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. 11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to everything that your majesty the king commands his servant, so your will servant do. So Mephibosheth ate at the king’s table, like one of the king’s sons. 12 Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Mica. All that lived in the house of Ziba were servants to Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he ate continually at the king’s table. He was lame in both feet.

2 SAMUEL 10

1 Then after this, the king of the 'Ammonites' died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place. 2 David said, “I’ll show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent by his servants to comfort him concerning his father. David’s servants came into the land of the 'Ammonites'. 3 But the leaders of the 'Ammonites' said to Hanun their master, “Do you think that David honors your father, in that he has sent comforters to you? Hasn’t David sent his servants to you to search the city, to scout it out and to overthrow it?” 4 So Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved off the one half of their beards, and cut off their clothing in the middle, even to their buttocks, and sent them away. 5 When they told it to David, he sent to meet them, because the men were greatly ashamed. The king said, “Wait at Jericho until your beards have grown, and then return.”

6 “When the 'Ammonites' saw that they were become odious to David, the 'Ammonites' sent and hired the Syrians of Beth Rehob, and the Syrians of Zobah, twenty thousand footmen, and the king of Maacah with one thousand men, and the men of Tob twelve thousand men. 7 When David heard of it, he sent Joab, and the entire army of warriors. 8 The 'Ammonites' came out, and put the battle in array at the entrance of the gate, and the Syrians of Zobah and of Rehob, and the men of Tob and Maacah were by themselves in the field. 9 Now when Joab saw that the battle was set against him before and behind, he chose all the best men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians, 10 The rest of the people he committed into the hand of Abishai his brother, and he put them in array against the 'Ammonites'. 11 He said, “If the Syrians are too strong for me, then you’ll help me, but if the 'Ammonites' are too strong for you, then I’ll come and help you. 12 Be of good courage, and let’s be strong for our people, and for the cities of our Elohim, and Yehovah do what seems good to Him.” 13 So Joab and the people who were with him approached the battle against the Syrians, and they fled before him. 14 When the 'Ammonites' saw that the Syrians had fled, they likewise fled before Abishai, and entered into the city. Then Joab returned from the 'Ammonites' and came to Jerusalem.

15 “When the Syrians saw that they were defeated by Israel, they gathered themselves together. 16 Hadadezer sent, and brought out the Syrians who were beyond the River, and they came to Helam, with Shobach the captain of the army of Hadadezer at their head. 17 David was informed and he gathered all Israel together, and passed over the Jordan River, and came to Helam. The Syrians set themselves in array against David, and fought with him. 18 The Syrians fled before Israel, and David killed seven 'thousand' [1] Syrian men on chariots, and forty thousand 'footmen' [1], and struck Shobach the captain of their army, so that he died there. 19 When all the kings who were servants to Hadadezer saw that they were defeated before Israel, they made peace with Israel, and served them. So the Syrians feared to help the 'Ammonites' any more.

[1] The Masoretic scribes made two copying mistakes here, since 1 Chronicles 19:18 says 7,000, not 700; and 40,000 footmen, not horsemen. Some versions of the (Greek) Septuagint (LXX) say ‘footmen’ here, agreeing with 1 Chronicles 19:18, indicating that the Masorets accidentally altered this verse from an older (pre masoretic) Hebrew version that the LXX was translated from.

2 SAMUEL 11

1 Then at the turn of the year, when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel, and they destroyed the 'Ammonites' and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem. 2 Then at evening, David got up from off his bed, and walked on the roof of the king’s palace, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful. 3 David send and inquired about the woman. One said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 David sent messengers and took her, and she came in to him and he lay with her (because she was purifying herself from her impurities), and she returned to her house.

5 “The woman conceived and sent word to David:, “I’m pregnant.” 6 David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked of him how Joab did, and how the people fared, and how the war prospered. 8 David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” Uriah left out of the king’s palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s palace with all the servants of his master, and didn’t go down to his house. 10 When they had told David, saying, “Uriah didn’t go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Haven’t you come from a journey? Why didn’t you go down to your house?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark, Israel and Judah, are staying in tents, and my master Joab and the servants of my master are camped in the open field. Should I go into my house to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As surely as you live and by your life, I will not do this!” 12 David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I’ll let you depart.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day, and the next day. 13 When David had called him, he ate and drink before him, and he made him drunk. At evening, he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his master, but didn’t go down to his house.

14 “Then in the morning, David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 He wrote in the letter, saying, “Send Uriah to the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, so that he can be struck and die.” 16 Then when Joab kept watch on the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew that valiant men were. 17 The men of the city went out, and fought with Joab. Some of the people fell, even of the servants of David, and Uriah the Hittite died also. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things about the war, 19 and he commanded the messenger, “When you’ve finished telling all the things concerning the war to the king, 20 it will be that, if the king’s wrath gets up, and he asks you, ‘Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Didn’t you know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who struck Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Didn’t a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ Then you’ll say, “Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 22 So the messenger went, and came and showed David everything that Joab had sent him for. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men prevailed against us, and came out to us into the field, and we were on them even to the entrance of the gate. 24 The archers shot at your servants from off the wall, and some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 25 Then David told the messenger, “So you’ll tell Joab, ‘Don’t let this thing displease you, because the sword devours one as well as another. Make your battle stronger against the city, and overthrow it.’ Encourage him.”

26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she made lamentation for her husband. 27 When the mourning was past, David sent and took her home to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased Yehovah.

2 SAMUEL 12

1 Yehovah sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and told him, “There were two men in one city, one rich, and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3 but the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb that he had bought and raised. It grew up together with him, and with his children. It shared his food, drank from the man’s cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him. 4 A traveler came to the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man who came to him, but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man who came to him.”

5 “David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As Yehovah lives, the man who has done this should die! 6 He’ll restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity!” 7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man. This is what Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, says: I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the grasp of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house, and put your master’s wives into your arms, and I gave you the House of Israel and Judah, and if that had been too little, I would have given you much more. 9 Why have you despised the Word of Yehovah, and done what is evil in His sight? You’ve struck Uriah the Hittite with a sword, and taken his wife to be your wife, and slain him with an 'Ammonite' sword. 10 So from this time on, the sword will never leave your household, because you’ve despised Me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own.” 11 “This is what Yehovah says: “Look, I’ll raise up evil against you out of your own house, and I’ll take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he’ll lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 You did it secretly, but I’ll do this in broad daylight before all Israel.” 13 David responded to Nathan, “I’ve sinned against Yehovah.” Then Nathan replied to David, “Yehovah has passed over [or crossed out] your sin. You’re not going to die. 14 However, because by this deed you’ve given great occasion to Yehovah’s enemies to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you will surely die.” 15 Nathan left to his house. Yehovah struck the child that Uriah’s wife carried to David, and it was very sick. 16 David begged Elohim for the child, and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night on the ground. 17 The elders of his house got up, and stood beside him, to raise him up from the ground, but he wouldn’t, and he didn’t eat bread with them. 18 Then on the seventh day the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, because they said, “While the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he didn’t listen to 'us'. How might he harm himself if we tell him that the child is dead?” 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead, and David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” 20 Then David got up from the ground, washed and anointed himself, changed his clothing, and went to Yehovah’s 'Temple', and worshiped, returned to the palace, and when he asked, they set bread before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants asked him, “What is this that you’ve done? You fasted and cried for the child while he was alive, but when the child was dead, you got up and ate bread.” 22 He said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, because I thought, ‘Who knows whether or not Yehovah will be merciful to me and allow the child to live?” 23 But now he is dead, so why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I’ll go to him, but he won’t return to me.”

24 “David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her, and lay with her. She bore a son, and he named him Solomon. Yehovah loved him, 25 and he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah, for Yehovah’s sake.

26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the 'Ammonites', and took the royal city. 27 Joab sent messengers to David, and said, “I’ve fought against Rabbah. Yes, I’ve taken the city of water.” 28 So gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city and take it, otherwise I’ll take the city, and it will be named after me. 29 David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it. 30 He took the crown of their king from off his head, and its weight was a talent of gold, and in it were precious stones, and it was set on David’s head. He took a vast quantity of plunder from the city. 31 He also took the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with saws, iron picks, and iron axes, and to labor at brickmaking. This is what he did to all the Ammonite cities. David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

2 SAMUEL 13

1 Then after this, David’s son of Absalom had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar, and David’s son Amnon loved her. 2 Amnon was so troubled that he fell sick because of his sister Tamar. It was difficult for him to be alone with her because she was a virgin. 3 But Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, and Jonadab was a very devious man. 4 He asked him, “Why, son of the king, are you so sad every day? Won’t you tell me?” Amnon told him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” 5 Jonadab told him, “Lay down on your bed, and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to see you, tell him, ‘Please allow my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare food in my sight, so I can see it, and eat it from her hand.’” 6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon asked the king, “Please allow my sister Tamar to come and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, so that I can eat from her hand.” 7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.” 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, and while he was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. 9 She took the pan, and poured them out before him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Have all the men leave me.” So everyone left him. 10 Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the room, so that I can eat from your hand.” Tamar took the cakes that she had made, and brought them into the room to Amnon her brother. 11 When she had brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister!” 12 She replied, “No, my brother, don’t force me! No such thing should be done in Israel. Don’t you do this folly. 13 I, where would I carry my shame? And as for you, you’ll be as one of the fools in Israel. So please speak to the king, because he won’t withhold me from you.” 14 However he wouldn’t listen to her, but being stronger than she, he forced her, and lay with her.

15 “Then Amnon hated her with exceeding great hatred, because the hatred that he hated her was greater than the love with that he had loved her. Amnon told her, “Get up and go!” 16 But she said to him, “No! This wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you did to me.” But he wouldn’t listen to her. 17 Then he called his servant who ministered to him, and said, “Put this woman away from me, and bolt the door behind her.” 18 She had a garment of various colors on her, because with such robes the king’s daughters who were virgins dressed. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door behind her. 19 Tamar put ashes on her head and tore her garment of various colors that was on her, and she laid her hand on her head, and went her way, crying aloud as she went. 20 Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother. Don’t dwell on this thing.” So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 But when King David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 22 Absalom never said anything good or bad to Amnon, because he had violated his sister Tamar.

23 “Then after two full years, Absalom had sheep shearers in Baal Hazor, beside Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 Absalom came to the king, and said, “Look, your servant has sheep shearers. Please have the king and his servants go with your servant.” 25 The king said to Absalom, “No, my son, we shouldn’t all go, or we would be burdensome to you.” He pressed him, however he wouldn’t go, but blessed him. 26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.” The king asked him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. 28 Absalom commanded his servants, “Mark now, when Amnon is merry with wine, and when I tell you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I commanded you? Be courageous, and be valiant!” 29 The Absalom’s servants did to Amnon what Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons jumped onto their mules and fled. 30 Then, while they were in the way, the news came to David, “Absalom has slain all the king’s sons, and there isn’t one of them left!” 31 Then the king got up and tore his clothing, and lay on the earth, and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn. 32 Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered, “Don’t let my master suppose that they’ve killed all the young men the king’s sons, because only Amnon is dead, because by the appointment of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he violated his sister Tamar. 33 So your majesty the king shouldn’t take this thing to hard, thinking that all the king’s sons are dead, because only Amnon is dead.” 34 But Absalom fled. The young watchman looked up and saw that many people were coming from the road behind him by the side of the mountain. 35 Jonadab told the king, “Look, the king’s sons are coming! It’s as your servant said.” 36 Then, as soon as he had finished speaking he saw the king’s sons coming, and lifted up their voice, and cried. The king also and all his servants cried bitterly. 37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammihur, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son every day. 38 So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.

39 King David longed to be reunited with his son Absalom, having finished grieving over Amnon’s death.

2 SAMUEL 14

1 Now Zeruiah’s son Joab perceived that the king’s thoughts were toward Absalom. 2 So Joab sent someone for a wise woman in Tekoa and told her, “Please act like a mourner, and put on mourning clothing, please, and don’t anoint yourself with oil, but be as a woman who has mourned a long time for the dead. 3 Go in to the king, and speak like this to him.” So Joab put the words in her mouth. 4 When the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground, and did obeisance, and said, “Help, king!” 5 The king said to her, “What ails you?” She answered, “Truly I’m a widow, and my husband is dead. 6 Your handmaid had two sons, and they both fought together in the field, and there was no one to part them, but the one struck the other, and killed him. 7 Now the whole family has risen against your handmaid, and they say, ‘Hand over the one who struck his brother down so that we can kill him for the life of his brother who he killed in order to destroy the heir as well.’ They would quench the ember that is left, by not preserving my husband's name or a descendant on the face of the earth.” 8 The king told the woman, “Go to your house, and I’ll give a command for you.” 9 The woman from Tekoa told the king, “My master the king, the guilt is on me and my father’s house, but the king and his throne are guiltless.” 10 The king said, “Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he won’t touch you any more.” 11 Then she said, "Please let the king remember Yehovah your Elohim, so that the avenger of blood won’t destroy any more, otherwise they’ll destroy my son.” He said, “As Yehovah lives, not one hair of your son will fall to the earth.”

12 “Then the woman said, “Please allow your handmaid to speak a word to your majesty the king.” He said, “Go ahead.” 13 The woman said, “Why then have you devised such a thing against the people of Elohim? In speaking this 'message' the king is as one who is guilty, in that the king doesn’t bring home again his banished one. 14 We must die, and are as water split on the ground that can’t be gathered up again, nor does Elohim take away life, but devises means, that he who is banished not be an outcast from him. 15 “So seeing that I’ve come to speak this word to your majesty the king, it’s because the people have made me afraid, and your handmaid said, ‘I’ll talk to the king, perhaps the king will perform the request of his servant.’ 16 The king will listen and deliver his servant from the grasp of the man who would destroy me and my son together from the heritage of Elohim.’ 17 Then your handmaid said, “Please let the word of your majesty the king bring rest, because like a Messenger of Elohim, so is your majesty the king to discern good and bad. May Yehovah, your Elohim, be with you.”

18 “Then the king answered the woman, “Please don’t hide anything from me that I ask you.” The woman said, “May your majesty the king now speak.” 19 The king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” The woman answered, “As you live, your majesty the king, no one can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that your majesty the king has spoken, because your servant Joab urged me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your handmaid, 20 to change the face of the matter has your servant Joab done this. My master is wise, according to the wisdom of a Messenger of Elohim, to know everything that happens in the land.”

21 “The king said to Joab, “Look now, I’ve done this thing. Go and bring the young man Absalom back.” 22 Joab fell to the ground on his face, and did obeisance, and blessed the king. Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I’ve found favor in your sight, my master the king, in that the king has performed the request of his servant.” 23 So Joab got up and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 The king said, “Let him return to his own house, but don’t let him see my face.” So Absalom returned to his own house, and didn’t see the king’s face.

25 “Now in all Israel there was no one as renowned as Absalom for being handsome, from the sole of his foot all the way to the crown of his head there was no defect in him. 26 When he cut the hair on his head (now it was at every year’s end that he cut it, because it was heavy on him, so he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels, after the king’s weight. 27 To Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar, she was a woman with a very beautiful appearance.

28 “Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, and he didn’t see the king’s face. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he wouldn’t come to him, and he sent for him a second time, but he wouldn’t come. 30 So he said to his servants, “Look, Joab’s field is near mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. So Joab’s servants came to him with their clothes torn and said “Absalom’s servants have set the field on fire.” [1] 31 Then Joab got up and came to Absalom’s house, and asked him, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?” 32 Absalom answered Joab, “I sent someone to tell you to come here so that I could send you to the king to ask why I needed to come from Geshur. It would be better for me to be there still. Let me see the king; if he finds me guilty of anything, then he should kill me.” 33 So Joab came to the king, and told him, and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom.

[1] The italicized sentence “appears in the Dead Seas Scrolls but not the Masoret. The writers note that this may well have been a scribal error in that the scribe’s eye wrote ‘field on fire’, looked, then looked back, and maybe his eyes skipped ahead to the second place where it said ‘set the field on fire’, thus failing to copy the quotation, but only the original narrative.”

2 SAMUEL 15

1 After this, Absalom got a chariot and horses ready, and fifty men to run ahead of him. 2 Absalom got up early and stood beside the roadway of the city gate. Then when any man had a suit that should be brought to the king for judgment, Absalom called to him, and asked, “What city are you from?” He said, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” 3 Absalom told him, “Look, your matters are good and right, but there is no man deputized by the king to hear you.” 4 Absalom said furthermore, “Oh that I were made judge in the land, every man who has any suit or cause could come to me, and I would do him justice!” 5 So when any man approached to do him obeisance, he reached out his hand and took hold of him, and kissed him. 6 This is how Absalom treated every Israelite who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the affection of the men of Israel.

7 “Then at the end of forty years, Absalom told the king, “Please let me go and pay the vow that I’ve made to Yehovah, in Hebron. 8 because your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Syria, saying, ‘If Yehovah will indeed bring me again to Jerusalem, then I’ll serve Yehovah.’” 9 The king told him, “Go in peace.” So he got up and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies thruout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the shofar sound, you must say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron!’” 11 Two hundred men went with Absalom out of Jerusalem who were invited, but were entirely uninformed about what was happening. 12 Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor from his city Giloh, while he was offering zebakim. The conspiracy was strong, because the people with Absalom were steadily increasing.

13 “A messenger came to David, saying, “The sentiments of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” 14 David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem, “Get up, and let us flee, or else none of us will escape from Absalom. Leave quickly, otherwise he’ll overtake us quickly, and bring down evil on us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 The king’s servants told the king, “Your servants are ready to do whatever your majesty the king chooses!” 16 The king went out, and all of his household after him. The king left ten women, who were concubines to keep the house. 17 The king went out, and all the people after him, and they stayed in Beth Merhak. 18 All his servants passed on beside him, and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who came after him from Gath, passed on before the king. 19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you also go with us? Return, and stay with the king, because you are a foreigner and an exile. Return to your own place. 20 Since you came but yesterday, should I today make you go up and down with us, seeing I go where I may? Return, and take back your brothers. Mercy and truth be with you.” 21 Ittai told the king, “As Yehovah lives, and as your majesty the king lives, surely wherever your majesty the king is, whether in death or in life, is where I'll be your servant.” 22 David said to Ittai, “Go and cross over.” Ittai the Gittite crossed over, and all his men, and all the little ones who were with him. 23 All the country cried with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over, the king also himself passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness.

24 “Look, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of Elohim, and they set down the ark of Elohim, and Abiathar went up, until all the people finished passing out of the city. 25 The king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of Elohim back into the city. If I find favor in the sight of Yehovah, he’ll bring me again, and show me both it and his habitation, 26 but if he says: ‘I have no delight in you,’ look, here am I. Let him do to me as seems good to him.” 27 The king said also to Zadok the priest, “Aren’t you a seer? Return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 I’ll stay at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me!” 29 Zadok so and Abiathar carried the ark of Elohim back to Jerusalem, and they stayed there. 30 David went up by the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and cried as he went up, and he had his head covered, and went barefoot, and all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, crying as they went up. 31 Someone told David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” David said, “Yehovah, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.”

32 “Then when David came to the top of the ascent where Elohim was worshiped, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn, and dirt on his head. 33 David told him, “If you cross on with me, then you’ll be a burden to me, 34 but if you return to the city, and tell Absalom, ‘I’ll be your servant, king. As I’ve been your father’s servant in the past, I'll now be your servant, then you can thwart the counsel of Ahithophel for me. 35 Don’t you have Zadok and Abiathar the priests there with you? So it will be, that whatever you hear out of the king’s palace, you’ll tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 They are there with their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son, and by them you must send to me everything that you hear. 37 So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.

2 SAMUEL 16

1 When David was a little past the sumit, Ziba’s servant Mephibosheth met him with a couple of donkeys saddled, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred clusters of raisins, one hundred summer fruits and a skin of wine. 2 The king said to Ziba, “What do you mean by these?” Ziba said, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine is for those who are faint in the wilderness to drink.” 3 The king said, “Where is your master’s son?” Ziba told the king, “He is staying in Jerusalem, because he said, ‘Today the House of Israel will restore me the kingdom of my father.’” 4 Then the king said to Ziba, “Everything that belonged to Mephibosheth is yours.” Ziba replied, “I bow before you. May I always find favor in your sight, my master the king.” 5 When King David came to Bahurim, a man came out of the village cursing them. His name was Shimei son of Gera, a relative Saul’s ‘clan’. 6 He threw stones at David, and at all the servants of King David, and all the people and all the warriors were on his right hand on his left. 7 Shimei said when he cursed, “Be gone, be gone, you man of blood, and base fellow! 8 Yehovah has returned to you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you’ve reigned! Yehovah has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom your son! YouŇve been overcome by your evil you bloody man!” 9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah asked the king, “Why should this dead dog curse your majesty the king? Please let me go over and cut off his head.” 10 The king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? Because he curses, and because Yehovah has told him, ‘Curse David,’ who then will say, ‘Why did you do that?’ 11 David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, “Look, my son, who came from my bowels, seeks my life. How much more this Benjamite, now? Leave him alone, and let him curse, because Yehovah has invited him. 12 Perhaps Yehovah will look on the wrong done to me, and Yehovah will repay me good for his cursing me today.” 13 So David and his men went down the road, and Shimei was walking along on the hillside opposite him, cursing, throwing stones and kicked up dust. 14 The king and everyone with him were tired from travel, so he rested there.

15 “Absalom, and everyone with him, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. 16 Then when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “King Darius, live forever. King Darius, live forever!” 17 Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loving commitment to your friend? Why didn’t you go with your friend?” 18 Hushai answered Absalom, “No, I want to side with the one who Yehovah, these people, and all the men Israel have chosen. I’ll side with him and stay with him. 19 Again, who should I serve? Shouldn’t I serve in the presence of his son? As I’ve served in your father’s presence, so I’ll serve you.”

20 “Then Absalom told Ahithophel, “Give your advice, what we should do.” 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Have sex with your father’s concubines, the ones he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that your father despises you. This will strengthen the resolve of everyone who is on your side.” 22 So they spread Absalom a tent on the top of the house, and Absalom had sex with his father’s concubines in plain sight of all Israel. 23 In those days Ahithophel’s council was regarded as a revelation [not oracle] from Elohim. Ahithophel’s counsel was regarded this way by both David and Absalom.

2 SAMUEL 17

1 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me now choose twelve thousand men, and I’ll arise and pursue David tonight. 2 I’ll come on him while he is weary and exhausted, and make him afraid. All the people who are with him will flee. I’ll only strike the king. 3 I’ll bring all the people back to you. Since you are only going to take one life, all the people will be at peace. 4 This pleased Absalom well, and all the elders of Israel. 5 Then Absalom said, “Now call Hushai the Archite, and let’s hear what he has to say.” 6 When Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom asked him, “Ahithophel said this. Should we do what he says? If not, speak up.” 7 Hushai said to Absalom, “The counsel that Ahithophel has given this time isn’t good.” 8 Hushai went on to say, “You know that your father and his men are fierce warriors, as enraged as a bear robbed of her cubs in the 'wild'. Your father is a man of war, he won’t camp with the rest of the people. 9 He is now hidden in a ravine or some other place! Then when some of them are killed in the initial attack, someone will report, ‘Absalom’s men are being slaughtered!’ 10 Even the strongest of, someone with the 'courage' of a lion will completely melt, because all Israel knows that your father is a powerful man, and that those who are with him are valiant men. 11 My counsel is that all Israel be gathered together from Dan to Beersheba, as grains of sand by the sea for multitude, with you yourself leading them into battle. 12 Then we’ll come on him in some place where he’ll be found, and we’ll light on him as the dew falls on the ground, and of him and of all the men who are with him we won’t leave so much as one. 13 If he has gone into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we’ll draw it into the river until there isn’t one small stone found there.” 14 Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For Yehovah had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that Yehovah might bring evil on Absalom.”

15 “Then Hushai said to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, “Ahithophel counseled Absalom and the elders of Israel that way, and I’ve counseled this way. 16 So send messengers quickly, and tell David, ‘Don’t stay at the fords of the wilderness tonight, but by all means cross over, otherwise the king and all the people who are with him will be 'killed'.’” 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying by En Rogel, and a female servant used to go and tell them, and they went and told King David, because they could not be risk being seen coming into the city. 18 But a boy saw them, and told Absalom. Then they both went away quickly, and came to the house of a man in Bahurim who had a well in his court, and they went down there. 19 The woman spread the covering over the well’s mouth, and spread out bruised grain on it, and nothing was known. 20 Absalom’s servants came to the woman to the house, and they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” The woman told them, “They have crossed over the brook. When they looked and couldn’t find them, they returned to Jerusalem.” 21 Then, after they had left, they came up out of the well, and went and told King David, and they said to David, “Get up and quickly cross over the water, because Ahithophel has counseled against you.” 22 Then David got up, and all the people who were with him, and they crossed over the Jordan River. By morning light there wasn’t one of them who hadn’t crossed over the Jordan River.

23 “When Ahithophel saw that his counsel wasn’t followed, he saddled his donkey, got up, and went home to his city, and set his house in order, and hanged himself, and he died, and was buried in the tomb of his father.

24 “Then David came to Mahanaim. Absalom crossed over the Jordan River, he and all the men of Israel with him. 25 Absalom set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Now Amasa was the son of a man whose name was Ithra the Israelite, who had sex with Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead. 27 Then when David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the 'Ammonites', and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim, 28 brought beds and basins and clay pots and wheat and barley and meal and parched grain and beans and lentils and parched pulse 29 and honey and butter and sheep and cheese of the herd, for David and for the people who were with him to eat, because they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty, in the wilderness.”

2 SAMUEL 18

1 David numbered the people who were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them. 2 David sent the people out, a third of them under the 'command' of Joab, and a third of them under the 'command' of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and a third of them under the 'command' of Ittai the Gittite. The king told the people, “I’ll surely go out with you myself.” 3 But the people said, “You should’t go out, because if we retreat, they won’t care about us, and if half of us die, they won’t care either. But you’re worth ten thousand of us. So it’s better if you support us from the city.” 4 The king told them, “I’ll do what seems best to you.” The king stood beside the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands. 5 The king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, “Treat the young man Absalom gently for my sake.” And all the troops heard the king’s orders to all the commanders about Absalom.

6 “So the people went out into the field against Israel, and the battle was in the forest of Ephraim. 7 The people of Israel were defeated by David’s soldiers, and there was a great massacre there that day of twenty thousand men. 8 The battle had spread over the surface of the entire country, and the forest claimed more people that day than the 'battle'.

9 “Absalom happened to meet the servants of David. Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a huge oak. Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree, and he was left hanging between the sky and earth, while the mule that was under him kept going. 10 A certain man saw it, and told Joab, “I saw Absalom hanging in an oak”! 11 When one of the men saw what had happened, he told Joab, “You saw it, so why didn’t you strike him there to the ground? I would have given you ten pieces of silver, and a sash.” 12 The man said to Joab, “Even if a thousand silver shekels were weighed out into my hands, I wouldn’t raise my hand against the king’s son, because we heard the king command you and Abishai and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for my sake.’ 13 If I had jeopardized his life (and there is nothing hidden from the king), then you yourself would have stood against me. 14 Then Joab said, “I’m not going to waist time like this with you.” He took three spears in his hand, and thrust them into Absalom’s heart while he was still alive in the oak tree. 15 Ten young men who carried Joab’s armor surrounded and struck Absalom, and killed him. 16 Joab blew a shofar, and the people returned from pursuing Israel, because Joab held the people back. 17 They took Absalom, and threw him into a huge pit in the forest, and piled over him a very huge heap of stones. Then everyone in Israel fled to their tents. 18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself the pillar, that is in the king’s dale, because he said, “I have no son to keep my name in memory.” He named the pillar after himself, and it’s called Absalom’s monument to this day.

19 “Then Zadok’s son Ahimaaz said, ““Let me run and bring the king news that Yehovah has 'delivered' him from the hands of his enemies.” 20 Joab told him, ““You are not the man to report the news today. You can report the news some other day. You must not report the news today because the king’s son is dead.” 21 Then Joab told a Cushite, “Go tell the king what you’ve seen!” The Cushite bowed to Joab, and ran. 22 Then Zadok’son Ahimaaz repeated to Joab, “Come what may, please let me also run after the Cushite.” Joab said, “Why do you want to run, my son, seeing that you’ll have no reward for the news?” 23 But come what may,” he said, “I’ll run.” So he told him, “Run!” Then Ahimaaz ran by the highway of the Plain, and outran the Cushite.

24 “Now David was sitting between the two gateways, and the watchman went up to the roof of the gateway to the wall, and 'looked' up and saw a man running alone. 25 The watchman cried out to the king, and the king said, “If he is alone, he has good news.” And he came closer and closer. 26 The watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called to the porter, and said, “Look, a man running alone!” The king said, “He also brings news.” 27 The watchman said, “I think the man in front runs like Zadok’s son Ahimaaz.” The king said, “He is a good man, and comes with good news.” 28 Ahimaaz called, and told the king, “All is well. He bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground, and said, ‘Blessed is Yehovah your Elohim, who has handed over the men who lifted up their hand against your majesty the king!’” 29 The king said, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant, even me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I don’t know what it was.” 30 The king said, “Turn aside, and stand here. He turned aside, and stood still.” 31 The Cushite came and said, “News for your majesty the king, because Yehovah has avenged you today of all those who got up against you.” 32 The king told the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” The Cushite answered, “May the enemies of your majesty the king, and all who rise up against you to do you harm, be as that young man is.”

33 “The king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and cried. As he went, he said, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! I wish I had died for you, Absalom, my son, my son!”

2 SAMUEL 19

1 Joab was told, “The king is crying and mourning for Absalom”! 2 The victory that day was turned into mourning for all the people, because the people heard that day, “The king is grieving for his son.” 3 The people snuck into the city that day, as people who are ashamed steal away when they flee in battle. 4 The king covered his face, and the king cried aloud, “My son Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son!” 5 Joab came into the house to the king, and said, “You’ve shamed the faces of all your servants who have saved your life today, and the lives of your sons and of your daughters, and the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines, 6 in that you love those who hate you, and hate those who love you. Because you’ve announced today that leaders and servants are nothing to you. Today I perceive that if Absalom had lived, and all of us had died today, then you would have beeen quite pleased. 7 So Get up, go out, and speak to comfort your servants, because I swear by Yehovah, if you don’t go out, not a man will stay with you tonight. That would be worse for you than all the evil that has happened to you from your youth until now.”

8 “Then the king got up, and sat in the gate. Then all of the people were told, “The king is sitting in the gate”! All the people came before the king. Now Israel had fled every man to his tent. 9 All the people were at strife thruout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “The king delivered us out of the grasp of our enemies, and he saved us out of the grasp of the Philistines, and now he has fled out of the land from Absalom. 10 Absalom, who we anointed over us, is dead in battle. So why don’t you speak a word of bringing the king back?” 11 King David sent word to the priests, Zadok and Abiathar: “Ask the elders of Judah, ‘Why are you the last to bring the king back to his palace? The talk of all Israel has reached the king at his quarters? 12 You are my brothers, you are my bone and my flesh. So why are you the last to bring the king back?’” 13 Ask Amasa, “Aren’t you my bone and my flesh? Elohim do so to me, and more also, if you aren’t captain of the army before me continually in the room of Joab.” 14 He won over the sentiments of all the men of Judah, they were in total agreement. So they sent word to the king, “Return, you and all your servants.” 15 So the king returned, and came to the Jordan River. Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to bring the king over the Jordan River.

16 “Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, who was of Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David. 17 There were a thousand Benjamites with him, and Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him, and they went thru the Jordan River in the presence of the king. 18 A ferry boat went to bring over the king’s household, and to do what he thought was best. Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king, when he came over the Jordan River. 19 He told the king, “Don’t allow my master to impute wickedness to me. Don’t you remember what your servant did perversely the day that your majesty the king went out of Jerusalem. May the king ‘forget about it.’” 20 I know I’ve sinned. So, look, I’ve come today the first of all the House of Joseph24 “Mephibosheth the son of Saul came down to meet the king. He hadn’t dressed his feet, or trimmed his beard, or washed his clothes, from the day the king left until the day he came home in peace. 25 Then when he came to Jerusalem to meet the king, the king asked him, “Why didn’t you go with me, Mephibosheth?” 26 He answered, “My master, the king, my servant deceived me. Because your servant said, I’ll saddle me a donkey, so that I can ride on it, and go with the king, because your servant is lame. 27 He has slandered your servant to your majesty the king, but your majesty the king is like a Messenger of Elohim. Do so what is good in your eyes. 28 For all my father’s house were but dead men before your majesty the king, yet you set your servant among those who ate at your own table. What right do I still have I to cry any more to the king?” 29 The king asked him, “Why do you speak any more of your matters? I say, you and Ziba divide the land.” 30 Mephibosheth told the king, “Yes, let him take everything, because your majesty the king has come in peace to his own house.

31 “Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and he went over the Jordan River with the king, to conduct him over the Jordan River. 32 Now Barzillai was a very aged man, eighty years old, and he had provided the king with sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim, because he was a very great man. 33 The king said to Barzillai, “Come over with me, and I’ll sustain you with me in Jerusalem.” 34 Barzillai replied to the king, “How many more years will I live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? 35 I’m eighty years old today. Can I discern between good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I still hear the voice of men and women singing? So why should your servant be yet another burden to your majesty the king? 36 Your servant would but just go over the Jordan River with the king. Why should the king repay me with such a reward? 37 Please allow your servant to turn back again, so that I can die in my own city, by the grave of my father and my mother. But consider your servant Chimham, let him go over with your majesty the king, and do to him what seems best to you. 38 The king answered, “Chimham will go over with me, and I’ll do to him what seems best to you. Whatever you require of me is what I’ll do for you.” 39 All the people went over the Jordan River, and the king went over. Then the king kissed Barzillai, and blessed him, and he returned to his own place. 40 So the king went over to Gilgal, and Chimham went over with him. All the people of Judah brought the king over, and half the House of Israel as well.

41 “ Look, all the men of Israel came to the king, and asked the king, “Why have our brothers the men of Judah stolen you away, and brought the king and his household over the Jordan River, and all David’s men with him?” 42 All the men of Judah answered the men of Israel, “Because the king is a close relative of ours. So why are you angry about this? Have we eaten anything at the king’s cost? Or has he given us any gift?” 43 The men of Israel answered the men of Judah, “We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more claim to David than you. So why did you despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king?” The words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.

2 SAMUEL 20

1 There happened to be a worthless fellow named Sheba there, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite, and he blew the shofar announcing, “We have no share in David, no inheritance in Jesse’s son! Every man to his tent, Israel!” 2 So all the men of Israel went up from following David, and followed Sheba the son of Bichri, but the men of Judah joined with their king, from the Jordan River even to Jerusalem. 3 David came to his house in Jerusalem, and the king took the ten women, his concubines, who he had left to keep the house, and put them in custody, and provided them with sustenance, but didn’t have sexual relations with them. They were shut up to the day of their death, living in widowhood. 4 Then the king said to Amasa, “Call the men of Judah together within three days, and be present here.” 5 So Amasa went to call the men of Judah together, but he stayed longer than the set time that he had appointed him. 6 David said to Abishai, “Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your master’s servants, and pursue him, otherwise he’ll establish fortified cities, and escape from our sight.” 7 Joab’s men went out after him, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and all the warriors, and they left Jerusalem to pursue Sheba, the son of Bichri.

8 “When they were at the great stone in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was girded with the war apparel that he wore, and there was a sash with a sword fastened on his waist in its sheath, and as he went out it fell out. 9 Joab said to Amasa, “Is everything well with you, my brother?” Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. 10 But Amasa paid no attention to the sword that was in Joab’s hand. So he struck him with it, and spilled his bowels to the ground without striking him again, and he died. Joab and Abishai his brother pursued Sheba the son of Bichri. 11 One of Joab’s young men stood by him and said, “He who favors Joab, and he who is for David, let him follow Joab!” 12 Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the middle of the highway. When the man saw that all the people were standing still, he carried Amasa off of the highway and into a field, and threw a garment over him when he saw that everyone who came by him stood still. 13 Once he was removed out of the highway, everyone went on after Joab, in pursuit of Sheba the son of Bichri.

14 “He went thru all the tribes of Israel to Abel, and to Beth Maacah, and all the Berites, and they were gathered together, and also went after him. 15 They came and besieged him in Abel of Beth Maacah, and they threw up a mound against the city, and it stood against the rampart, and all the people who were with Joab battered the wall, to knock it down. 16 Then a wise woman cried out of the city, “Hear, hear! Please say to Joab, ‘Come by here, so that I can speak with you.’” 17 He came near her, and the woman said, “Are you Joab?” He answered, “I am.” Then she told him, “Hear the words of your handmaid.” He answered, “I’m listening.” 18 Then she spoke, saying, “They used to be a saying long ago, ‘They’ll surely ask counsel at Abel, and so they settled it.” 19 I’m among the peaceable and faithful in Israel. You seek to destroy a city and a mother in Israel. Why will you swallow up the inheritance of Yehovah?” 20 Joab answered, “Far be it, far be it from me, that I should swallow up or destroy. 21 The matter isn’t so. But a man of the hill country of Ephraim, Sheba the son of Bichri by name, has lifted up his hand against the king, even against David. Deliver him only, and I’ll depart from the city.” The woman said to Joab, “Look, his head will be thrown to you over the wall.” 22 Then the woman went to all the people in her wisdom. They cut off the head of Sheba the son of Bichri, and threw it out to Joab. He blew the shofar, and they were dispersed from the city, every man to his tent. Joab returned to Jerusalem to the king.

23 “Now Joab was over all the army of Israel, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and over the Pelethites. 24 Adoram was in charge of forced labor; Ahilud’s son Jehoshaphat was the recorder. 25 Sheva was the secretary, and Zadok and Abiathar were priests; 26 Ira the Jairite was also David’s priest.

2 SAMUEL 21

1 During the reign of David there was a famine that went on for three straight years, so David inquired of Yehovah. Yehovah said, “It is because of Saul, and his bloody house, due to his putting the Gibeonites to death.” 2 The king called the Gibeonites, and told them (now the Gibeonites were not Israelites, but the 'survivors' of the Amorites, and the Israelites had sworn to them, and Saul tried to kill them in his zeal for the Israelites and Judah), 3 and David told the Gibeonites, “What can I do for you? And how can I make atonement, so that you can bless the inheritance of Yehovah?” 4 The Gibeonites told him, “It is not a matter of silver or gold between us and Saul, or his house, and we don’t want to put to death anyone in Israel.” He said, “Whatever you say, that’s what we’ll do for you.” 5 They replied to the king, “As for the man who annihilated us and planned to prevent us from remaining within the territory of Israel, 6 have seven of his sons turned over to us. We’ll hang them in the presence of Yehovah in Gibeah of Saul, Yehovah’s chosen.” The king said, “I’ll give them to you.” 7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan the son of Saul, because of Yehovah’s oath that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, who she carried to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth, and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, who she carried to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. 9 He delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the mountain before Yehovah, and all seven of them fell together. They were put to death at the beginning of the grain harvest, the beginning of the barley harvest.

10 “Then Aiah’s daughter Rizpah took some sackcloth and spread it out for herself on the rock, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell from the heavens on their bodies, and she didn’t allow either birds from the air to light on them during the day, or wild animals at night. 11 David was told what Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul had done. 12 David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh Gilead, who had stolen them from the street of Beth Shan where the Philistines had hanged them during the time when the Philistines killed Saul in Gilboa, 13 and he brought up from there the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son, and they gathered the bones of those who were hanged. 14 They buried the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son in the country of Benjamin in Zela, in the tomb of Kish his father, and they did everything that the king commanded. After that Elohim was entreated for the land.

15 “The Philistines warred against Israel again, and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines and David became weary. 16 Ishbibenob, who was one of the descendants of the giant, the weight of whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels was brandishing a new sword, and he 'intended' to kill David. 17 But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine, and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him: “You must never again go out with us to battle, so that Israel’s lamp is not extinguished”

18 “After this there was another battle with the Philistines at Gob; here Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, another descendant of the giant.

19 “In yet another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath’s brother [1] the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver’s beam.

20 “In still another battle at Gath, there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand, and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; he also was a descendant of the giant. 21 When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, killed him.

22 “These four were descended from the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hands of David and his soldiers.

[1] 1 Chronicles 20:5; Lahmi, the brother of Goliath

2 SAMUEL 22

1 David sang the words of this song to Yehovah on the day Yehovah rescued him from the 'grasp' of all his enemies, including Saul’s. 2 He said, “Yehovah is my rock, my fortress, and my rescuer, 3 Elohim is my rock, in Him I’ll take refuge. He is my shield, and the horn of my deliverance, my high tower, and my refuge. You save me from violence. 4 I’ll call on Yehovah, who is worthy to be praised, I'll be saved from my enemies.

5 “Waves of death engulfed me. Torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. 6 Ropes from sheol were surrounding me. Death traps were coming for me. 7 In my distress I called to Yehovah. Yes, I called to my Elohim. He heard my voice from His 'Temple'. My cry reached His ears.

8 “Then the earth shook and trembled. The foundations of the heavens trembled and quaked because of His anger. 9 Smoke rose from his nostrils, and devouring fire from His mouth. Coals were set fire by it. 10 He bent [1] the heavens and came down. Thick darkness was under His feet. 11 He rode on a cherub, and flew, and He appeared on the wings of the wind. 12 He made darkness a sukkah [booth] around Himself, amassing water and thick clouds from the skies. 13 Out of the brightness of His presence, coals burst into flames. 14 Yehovah thundered from heaven. The Highest One let His voice be heard! 15 He shot arrows and scattered 'His enemies'; and His lightning threw them into confusion. 16 Then the ravines of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the world were laid bare by the reprimand of Yehovah, at the blast of the breath of His nostrils.

17 “He reached down from high above and took hold of me; He pulled me out of the deep water. 18 He rescued me from my powerful enemies, from those who hated me, since they were too strong for me. 19 They confronted me during the time of my disaster, but Yehovah supported me. 20 He brought me out into an expanse. He rescued me because He delighted in me.

21 “Yehovah compensated me for having been fair. He paid me back for having kept my hands clean [innocence]. 22 For I’ve obeyed the ways of Yehovah, and have not wickedly against my Elohim. 23 For all His ordinances were before me. As for His statutes, I didn’t depart from them. 24 I was also perfect toward Him. I kept myself from my wickedness. 25 So Yehovah has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in His sight. 26 With the merciful you’ll show yourself merciful. With the kadosh ones You’ll show Yourself perfect. 27 With the kadosh you’ll show yourself pure. With the crooked you’ll show yourself 'shrewd'. 28 You’ll save the oppressed people, but your eyes are on the arrogant to bring them low. 29 You are my lamp, Yehovah. Yehovah will light up my darkness. 30 By you, I run against a troop. By my Elohim, I can leap over a wall. 31 As for Elohim, His way is perfect. The Word of Yehovah is tested. He is a shield to all those who take refuge in Him.

32 “Who is Elohim, besides Yehovah? Who is a rock, besides our Elohim? 33 Elohim is my strong fortress. He makes my way perfect. 34 He makes His feet like hinds’ feet, and sets me on my high places. 35 He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can draw back a bronze bow. 36 You’ve also given me the shield of your deliverance. Your gentleness has made me great. 37 You’ve enlarged my steps under me. My feet have not slipped. 38 I’ve pursued my enemies and destroyed them. I didn’t turn again until they were consumed. 39 I’ve consumed them, and struck them thru, so that they can’t arise. Yes, they’ve fallen under my feet, 40 because You’ve armed me with strength for the battle. You’ve subdued under me those who got up against me. 41 You’ve also made my enemies turn their backs to me so I could eliminate those who hate me. 42 They looked, but there was no one to save them, even to Yehovah, but He didn’t answer them. 43 Then I beat them as small as the dust of the earth. I crushed them as the mire of the streets, and spread them abroad.

44 “You also have delivered me from the strivings of my people. You’ve kept me to be the head of the nations. A people who I haven’t known will serve me. 45 Foreigners will submit to me. As soon as they hear of Me, they’ll obey Me. 46 Foreigners will fade away, and come trembling out of their close places. 47 Yehovah lives! Blessed be my Rock! Exalted be Elohim, the Rock of my deliverance, 48 even the Elohim who executes vengeance for me, who brings people down under me, 49 who brings me away from my enemies. Yes, You lift me up above those who rise up against me. You deliver me from violent men. 50 So I’ll give thanks to You, Yehovah, among the nations. I’ll sing praises to Your name. 51 He gives great deliverance to his king, and shows unfailing love to his anointed, to David and to his descendants, forever.”

[1] “But if space is bent, it has to be bent in at least a fourth dimension, which is likely to be that space is bent in time. If mass is really a thickness in quantum time, then the faster an object moves, and the more apparen’t mass it has because of that motion, the stronger the gravitational field. So if gravity is bent space, as Einstein suggests, and space is bent in time, then as one becomes thicker in time the bending would increase proportional to the thickness.”

2 SAMUEL 23

1 These are the last words of David: the declaration of David the son of Jesse and the declaration of the man who was raised up concerning [1] the Messiah [Anointed one] of the Elohim of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel: 2 “The spirit of Yehovah spoke thru me. His 'message' was on my tongue. 3 The Elohim of Israel said: “The Rock of Israel told me: ‘The one who rules the people with justice, who rules in the fear of Elohim, 4 will be like the morning light at sun rise, a morning without clouds, when the tender grass springs from the earth, thru sunshine after rain.’ 5 Most certainly my house is NOT [2] with Elohim, yet He has made an everlasting covenant with me, ordered and secured in every detail, because it’s all my salvation and all my desire. Truly He makes these things grow. 6 But all of the wicked will be like thorns to be thrust away, because they can’t bepicked up by hand. 7 But the man who touches them must be armed with iron and the staff of a spear. They’ll be completely set on fire in their place.

8 “These are the names of David’s warriors: Josheb Basshebeth a Tahchemonite, chief of the captains, he was Adino the Eznite, against eight hundred slain at one time. 9 After him was Eleazar the son of Dodai, the son of an Ahohite, one of the three mighty warriors with David, when they defied the Philistines who were gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel had left. 10 He got up and struck the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand froze to the sword, and Yehovah worked a great victory that day, and the people returned after him only to take spoil. 11 After him was Shammah the son of Agee a Hararite. The Philistines were gathered together into a company where there was a plot of ground 'planted’' in lentils, and the people fled from the Philistines. 12 But he stood in the middle of the plot and defended it, and killed the Philistines, and Yehovah worked a great victory.

13 “Three of the thirty chief men went down, and came to David during harvest time to the cave of Adullam, and a troop of the Philistines was camped in the valley of Rephaim. 14 David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then in Bethlehem. 15 David longed, and said, “Oh that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem by the gate!” 16 The three mighty warriors broke thru the army of the Philistines, and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem by the gate, and took it to David, but he wouldn’t drink it, instead he poured it out to Yehovah. 17 He said, “Be it far from me, Yehovah, that I should do this! Isn’t it the blood of the men who jeopardized their lives?” So he wouldn’t drink it. The three mighty warriors did these things.

18 “Abishai, the brother of Joab, the son of Zeruiah, was chief of the three. He lifted up his spear against three hundred and killed them, and had a name among the three. 19 Wasn’t he the most honorable of the three? So he was made their captain, however he didn’t attain to the first three.

20 “Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, the son of a valiant man of Kabzeel, who had done mighty deeds, he killed the two sons of Ariel of Moab, he went down also and killed a lion in the middle of a pit on a snowy day. 21 He killed a handsome Egyptian, and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand, but he went down to him with a staff, and grabbed the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and killed him with his own spear. 22 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada did these things and had a reputation among the three warriors. 23 He was more honorable than the thirty, but he didn’t attain to the first three. David set him over his guard.

24 “Asahel the brother of Joab was one of the thirty, Elhanan the son of Dodo of Bethlehem, 25 Shammah the Harodite, Elika the Harodite, 26 Helez the Paltite, Ira the son of Ikkesh the Tekoite, 27 Abiezer the Anathothite, Mebunnai the Hushathite, 28 Zalmon the Ahohite, Maharai the Netophathite, 29 Heleb the son of Baanah the Netophathite, Ittai the son of Ribai of Gibeah of the Benjaminites, 30 Benaiah a Pirathonite, Hiddai of the brooks of Gaash. 31 Abialbon the Arbathite, Azmaveth the Barhumite, 32 Eliahba the Shaalbonite, the sons of Jashen, Jonathan, 33 Shammah the Hararite, Ahiam the son of Sharar the Ararite, 34 Eliphelet the son of Ahasbai, the son of the Maacathite, Eliam the son of Ahithophel the Gilonite, 35 Hezro the Carmelite, Paarai the Arbite, 36 Igal the son of Nathan of Zobah, Bani the Gadite, 37 Zelek the Ammonite, Naharai the Beerothite, armor bearers to Joab the son of Zeruiah, 38 Ira the Ithrite, Gareb the Ithrite, 39 Uriah the Hittite, thirty-seven in all.

[1] The Messianic Hope, page 40-41

[2] All 10 newer translations I checked indicate that David’s family was in great shape—completely changing the meaning. All older translations and revised KJV versions indicate the opposite. Commentary: See v.5.

2 SAMUEL 24

1 Again the anger of Yehovah was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them, saying, “Go number Israel and Judah.” 2 The king said to Joab, the captain of the army who was with him, “Now go thru all the tribes of Israel, from Dan all the way to Beersheba, and count the people, so that I’ll know the number of people.” 3 Joab told the king, “May Yehovah your Elohim add to the people, however many they may be, one hundred times, and may the eyes of your majesty the king see it. But why would your majesty the king want to know this?” 4 Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the army. Joab and the captains of the army left the king to to take a census of the House of Israel. 5 They passed over the Jordan River, and camped in Aroer, on the right side of the city in the middle of the valley of Gawd, and to Jazer, 6 then they came to Gilead, and to the land of Tahtim Hodshi, and they came to Dan Jaan, and around to Sidon, 7 and came to the stronghold of Tyre, and to all the cities of the Hivites, and the Canaanites, and they went out to the south of Judah, to Beersheba. 8 So when they had gone thru all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. 9 Joab reported the census figures to the king, and there were eight hundred thousand valiant men men who could handle a sword in Israel, and in Judah there were five hundred thousand men.

10 “David was conscience-stricken after he had numbered the people. David said to Yehovah, “I’ve sinned greatly by what I’ve done. But now, Yehovah, remove, I beg you, the wickedness of Your servant, because I’ve acted very foolishly.” 11 When David got up in the morning, the Word of Yehovah came to the prophet Gawd, David’s seer: 12 “Go and speak to David, ‘This is what Yehovah says: I’m offering you three choices. Select the one you want Me to do to you.’” 13 So Gawd came to David, and asked him, “Should seven years of famine come to you and your land, or should you flee for three months before your enemies as they chase you? or should there be three days plague in your land? Now, think it over and decide how I should answer the One who sent me.” 14 David said to Gawd, “I’m in distress. Let us fall now into the hand of Yehovah, because His mercies are great. But don’t allow me to fall into the hands of man.” 15 So Yehovah sent a disease on Israel from morning till the appointed time, and seventy thousand men died, people from Dan all the way to Beersheba. 16 When the Messenger stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem to destroy it, Yehovah relented of the disaster, and told the Messenger who destroyed the people, “Enough! Withdraw your hand.” The Messenger of Yehovah was by the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. 17 David spoke to Yehovah when he saw the Messenger who struck the people, and said, “Look, I’ve sinned, and I’ve done perversely, but these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me, and against my father’s house.”

18 “Gawd came that day to David, and told him, “Go up, build an altar to Yehovah on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite.” 19 David went up just as Gawd said, as Yehovah commanded. 20 Araunah looked out, and saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. Then Araunah went out, and bowed before the king with his face to the ground. 21 Araunah said, “Why has your majesty the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy your threshing floor, to build an altar to Yehovah, so the plague will stop afflicting the people.” 22 Araunah said to David, “May your majesty the king offer whatever seems good to him. Here are the cattle for the burnt zebak and the threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood. 23 My king, Araunah gives everything here to the king.” Araunah told the king, ‘May Yehovah your Elohim accept you.’” 24 The king said to Araunah, “No, I’ll most certainly buy it from you for a price. I won’t offer burnt offerings to Yehovah my Elohim that costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25 David built an altar to Yehovah there, and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. So Yehovah answered his prayer for the land, and the plague in Israel was stopped.

“1” KINGS

Chapters 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22

1 Now King David was old and advanced in years, and tho they covered him with clothes he couldn’t stay warm. 2 So his servants told him, “We should find our master the king a young virgin, and have her take care of the king, and cherish you, and have her lie in your 'arms', so our master the king can remain warm.” 3 So they looked for a beautiful young lady thruout the land of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The young lady was very beautiful, and she cherished the king, and took care of to him, but the king didn’t know her intimately.

5 “Meanwhile, Adonijah the son of David by Haggith 'took the opportunity' to say , “I’ll be king”, and he prepared chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. 6 His father hadn’t displeased him at any time in saying, “Why have you done this?” He was also a very handsome man, and he was born after Absalom. 7 He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest, and they following Adonijah helped him. 8 But Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei and Rei, and David’s security force did not side with Adonijah. 9 Adonijah killed sheep and cattle and fattened cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, beside En Rogel, and he called all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants, 10 but he didn’t call Nathan the prophet or Benaiah or the warriors or his brother Solomon.

11 “Then Nathan asked Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother, “Haven’t you heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith reigns, and David our master doesn’t know it?” 12 So come, please let me counsel you, so that you can save your own life, and the life of your son Solomon. 13 Go in the King David, and tell him, “Didn’t you, my master, king, swear to your handmaid, saying, ‘Assuredly Solomon your son will reign after me, and he’ll sit on my throne?’ So why is Adonijah reigning?” 14 Then, while you are still talking with the king, I’ll come in after you, and confirm your words.

15 So Bathsheba went to see the aged king in his room. The king was very old, and Abishag the Shunammite was ministering to the king. 16 Bathsheba bowed down before the king, and the king asked, “What would you like?” 17 She replied, “Your majesty, you swore by Yehovah your Elohim to your handmaid, ‘Your son Solomon will certainly reign after me, and he’ll sit on my throne.’ 18 But now Adonijah is reigning, and you, your majesty the king, don’t even know it. 19 He has made ze’bakim [sacrifices] of oxen and fattened cattle and sheep in abundance, and has invited all the king’s sons, Abiathar the priest and Joab the commander of the army, but he hasn’t invited your servant Solomon. 20 You, your majesty the king, the eyes of all Israel are on you, and you should tell them who will sit on the throne of your majesty the king after you. 21 Otherwise, as soon as your majesty the king is laid to rest with his ancestors, my son Solomon and I will be regarded as criminals.”

22 “Then while she was still talking with the king, Nathan the prophet came in. 23 They told the king, “Here is Nathan the prophet!” When he come in before the king, he bowed before the king with his face to the ground. 24 Nathan said, “Your majesty the king, did you say, ‘Adonijah will reign after me, and he’ll sit on my throne?” 25 He has gone down today, and has made zebakim of oxen and fattened cattle and sheep in abundance, and has called all the king’s sons, and the commanders of the army, and Abiathar the priest. Right now they are eating and drinking in his presence, and saying, ‘Long live king Adonijah!’” 26 But he didn’t invite me—me your servant or Zadok the priest or Benaiah the son of Jehoiada or your servant Solomon. 27 Was this done by your majesty the king without your indicating to your servants who would sit on the throne of your majesty the king after him?”

28 “Then King David answered, ‘Call Bathsheba to me.’ She came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. 29 The king took an oath and said, “As Yehovah lives, who has redeemed me from every difficulty, 30 just as I swore to you by Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, ‘Assuredly your son Solomon will reign after me, and he’ll sit on my throne in my place.’ I’m going to make this happen today!” 31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the ground, and did obeisance to the king, and said, “May his majesty King David live forever!”

32 “King David said, “Call Zadok the priest in here, Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada.” They came before the king. 33 The king told them, “Take the servants of your master with you, and have Solomon my son ride on my own mule, and bring him down to Gihon. 34 Have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him as king over Israel there. Blow a shofar, and announce, ‘Long live King Solomon!’” 35 Then escort him back here, and he’ll come and sit on my throne, because he’ll be king in my place. I’ve appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. 36 Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, “Aw-main. May Yehovah, the Elohim of your majesty the king, say so. 37 As Yehovah has been with your majesty the king, may He also be with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of his majesty King David.”

38 “So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon ride on King David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon. 39 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil out of the Tent, and anointed Solomon. They blew a shofar, and all the people said, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 All the people came up after him, and the people played the pipes, and celebrated with such joy that the earth vibrated from the sound.

41 “ Adonijah and all the guests who were with him heard it as they were finishing the meal. When Joab heard the sound of the shofar, he asked, “Why is the city in such an uproar?” 42 While he was still speaking he saw Jonathan, the son of Abiathar the priest coming, and Adonijah said, “Come in, because you are a worthy man, bringing good news.” 43 Jonathan replied to Adonijah, “Most certainly our majesty King David has made Solomon king. 44 The king sent with him Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and the Pelethites, and they’ve had him ride on the king’s mule. 45 Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet have anointed him king in Gihon. They’ve come up from there rejoicing, so much that the city rang again. This is what you heard. 46 Solomon is sitting on the throne of the kingdom. 47 The king’s servants came to bless our majesty King David, saying, ‘May your Elohim make the name of Solomon better than your name, and make his throne greater than your throne,’ and the king bowed down in his bed. 48 The king also said, ‘Blessed be Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, who has allowed me to see the successor to my throne today with my own eyes’”

49 “All of Adonijah’s guests were afraid. Each man got up and left. 50 Adonijah was afraid because of Solomon, so he got up and took hold of the horns of the altar. 51 Solomon was told, “Adonijah fears you King Solomon, and has taken hold on the horns of the altar, and is asking, ‘Have King Solomon swear to me first that he won’t kill his servant with a sword.’” 52 Solomon said, “If he proves to be a worthy man, not a hair of his will fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he’ll die.” 53 So King Solomon summoned Adonijah, and they brought him down from the altar. He came and bowed down to King Solomon, and Solomon told him, “Go home.”

1 KINGS 2

1 Now David was nearing the time when he would die, so he commanded Solomon his son, 2 I’m about 'to return to the ground', but you be strong and show yourself a man. 3 Obey the instruction of Yehovah your Elohim 'living' by His ways, and obeying His statutes, His Commandments, His ordinances, and His statutes—everything written in the Torah of Moses, then you will prosper in everything that you do, and wherever you turn, 4 so that Yehovah can establish His 'message' that He spoke about me: ‘If your children are careful in their way to live before Me in truth with all their mind and with all their life, you won’t fail to have a descendant on the throne of Israel.’ 5 “You know about what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, and what he did to the two captains of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner, and to Amasa the son of Jether, who he killed, and shed the blood of war in peace, and put the blood of war on the sash around his waist, and in the sandals that were on his feet. 6 So do according to your wisdom, and don’t let his gray head go down to sheol in peace. 7 But show kindness to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and allow them be among those who eat at your table, because they came to me when I fled from Absalom your brother. 8 Look, there is with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite, of Bahurim, who cursed me with a severe curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim, but he came down to meet me at the Jordan River, and I swore to him by Yehovah, ‘I won’t put you to death with a sword.’ 9 So don’t hold him guiltless, because you are a wise man, and you’ll know what you should to do to him, and you’ll bring his gray head down to sheol with blood.”

10 “David died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David. 11 David reigned over Israel for forty years, he reigned seven years in Hebron, and he reigned thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12 Solomon sat on his father David’s throne, and his kingdom was firmly established.

13 “Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. She asked, “Do you come in peace?” He said, “Peaceably.” 14 Then he said, “I have something to tell you.” She said, “Go ahead.” 15 He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel looked to me to reign. However the kingdom is turned around, and has become my brother’s, because it was his from Yehovah. 16 Now I ask one petition of you. Don’t deny me. She told him, “Go ahead.” 17 He said, “Please speak to Solomon the king (because he won’t say ‘no’ to you), and ask that he give me Abishag the Shunammite as wife.” 18 Bathsheba said, “Alright. I’ll speak for you to the king.”

19 “So Bathsheba went to king Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. The king got up to meet her, and bowed down to her, and sat down on his throne, and had a throne set for the king’s mother, and she sat at his right hand side. 20 Then she said, “I ask one small petition of you, don’t deny me. The king said to her, ‘Ask on mother, because I won’t deny you.’” 21 She said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as his wife.” 22 King Solomon answered his mother, “Why are you asking Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah?” Why not ask me to give him the kingdom as well, because he is my older brother, and on his side are Abiathar the priest, and Joab the son of Zeruiah.” 23 Then King Solomon swore by Yehovah, saying, “Elohim do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah hasn’t presented this 'message' against his own life.” 24 So as Yehovah lives, who has established me, and set me on David my father’s throne, and who has made me a house, as he promised, surely Adonijah will be put to death today. 25 King Solomon sent by Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he ‘struck him down’ and he died.

26 Abiathar the priest told the king, “Go to Anathoth, to your own fields, because you are worthy of death. But I won’t put you to death now, because you carried the ark of the Sovereign Yehovah before David my father, and because you were oppressed in all that my father was afflicted.” 27 So Solomon removed Abiathar from being priest to Yehovah in order to fulfill the Word of Yehovah, that he spoke about the house of Eli in Shiloh.

28 “The news came to Joab, because Joab had conspired with Adonijah, tho he didn’t conspire with Absalom. Joab fled to the Tent of Yehovah, and clung to the horns of the altar. 29 Then King Solomon was told, “Joab has fled to the Tent of Yehovah, and he is by the altar”! Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and said, “Go strike him down.” 30 Benaiah came to the Tent of Yehovah, and told him, “So says the king, ‘Come out!’” He said, “No, I’ll die here.” Benaiah reported to the king, “This is what Joab told me.” 31 The king told him, “Do as he has said, and strike him down and bury him so that you can remove the blood that Joab shed for no reason, from me and from my father’s house. 32 Yehovah will return his blood on his own head, because he struck down two men more righteous and better than he, killing them with a sword, and my father David didn’t know it, Abner the son of Ner, captain of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, captain of the army of Judah. 33 So their blood will return on the head of Joab, and on the head of his descendants forever. But to David, and to his descendants, and to his house and to his throne there will be peace forever from Yehovah.” 34 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up, and struck him down, and killed him, and he was buried in his own house in the wilderness. 35 The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his room over the army, and the king put Zadok the priest in the room of Abiathar.

36 “The king sent for Shimei, and told him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem, and live there, and don’t leave there anywhere. 37 On the day you go out, and pass over the brook Kidron, know for certain that you’ll die, your blood will be on your own head.” 38 Shimei told the king, “The saying is good. As your majesty the king has said, so will your servant do.” Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days. 39 Then at the end of three years, two of the servants of Shimei ran away to Achish, son of Maacah, king of Gath. They told Shimei, “Your servants are in Gath!” 40 Shimei got up, and saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish, to seek his servants, and Shimei went, and brought his servants from Gath. 41 Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and came again. 42 The king sent and called for Shimei, and told him, “Didn’t I adjure you by Yehovah, and warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you leave and walk abroad any where you’ll surely die?’ You told me, ‘The saying that I’ve heard is good.’ 43 Why then have you not kept the oath of Yehovah, and the commandment that I’ve instructed you with?” 44 The king said furthermore to Shimei, “You are certainly aware of all the wicked things that you did to my father David. So Yehovah will return your wickedness on your own head. 45 But King Solomon will be blessed, and David’s throne will be established before Yehovah forever.” 46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out, and struck him down, and he died. The kingdom was firmly established in Solomon’s grasp.

1 KINGS 3

1 Solomon formed a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh’s daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he was finished building his own house, and Yehovah’s 'Temple', and the wall all the way around Jerusalem. 2 But the people made offerings in the 'shrines', because the 'Temple' honoring the name of Yehovah had not yet been built. 3 Solomon loved Yehovah, 'following' in the statutes of his father David, but he made offerings and burned incense in the 'shrines'. 4 The king went to Gibeon to make an offering there, because that was the great high place. Solomon offered a thousand burnt zebakim on that altar.

5 “In Gibeon Yehovah appeared to Solomon in a dream one night, and Elohim said, “Ask Me what I should give you.” 6 Solomon said, “You’ve shown your servant David my father great unfailing love, because he walked before You in truth and righteousness, and 'faithful' to You. You’ve kept for him this great unfailing love, and You’ve given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is today. 7 Now, Yehovah my Elohim, You’ve made Your servant king instead of David my father. I’m but a little child. I don’t know how to go out or come in. 8 Your servant is among Your people that You’ve chosen, a great people that can’t be numbered or counted due to the large number. 9 So give Your servant an understanding mind to judge Your people so that I can discern between good and evil, because who is able to judge Your great people?” 10 Yehovah was pleased that Solomon had requested this. 11 Elohim told him, “Because you’ve asked for this, and didn’t ask for long life or wealth for yourself, or for the life of your enemies, but you asked for wisdom to discern justice, 12 I’ve done what you asked for! I’ve given you a wise and an understanding mind, like no one has had before you or ever will have after you! 13 I’ve also given you what you haven’t asked for, both wealth and honor, so that no king in any kingdom will be your equal for the rest of life. 14 If you’ll 'live' in My ways, and obey My statutes and My Commandments, as your father David 'lived', I’ll also lengthen your days.” 15 Solomon awoke, and saw that it was a dream. Then he went to Jerusalem, and stood before the ark of the covenant of Yehovah, and offered burnt offerings, and offered fellowship offerings, and held a banquet for all his servants.

16 “Then two women who were prostitutes came to the king, and stood before him. 17 The one woman said, “My master, I and this woman live in one house. I delivered a child with her in the house. 18 Then on the third day after I delivered, this woman delivered also. We were together. There was no stranger with us in the house, just the two of us in the house. 19 This woman’s child died one night, because she laid on it. 20 She got up at midnight, and took my son from beside me, while your handmaid slept, and laid it by her bosom, and laid her dead child on my bosom. 21 When I got up in the morning to nurse my child, I saw that it was dead! But when I looked at it in the morning I saw that it wasn’t the son I bore.” 22 The other woman said, “No, the living baby is my son, and the dead one is your son.” But the first woman said, “No! The dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.” This is what they told the king. 23 Then the king said, “The one says: This is my son who lives, and your son is the dead,’ and the other says: ‘No, your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” 24 The king said, “Get me a sword.” So they brought a sword to the king. 25 The king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.” 26 Then the woman who was the real mother of the living child was filled with compassion for her son, and she said to the king, “Oh master, give her the living child! Don’t kill him!” But the other woman said, “It won’t be mine or yours. Divide him.” 27 Then the king answered, “Give her the living child, and in no way kill it. She is its mother.” 28 All Israel heard of the judgment that the king had made, and they feared the king, because they saw that the wisdom of Elohim was in him to administer justice.

1 KINGS 4

1 King Solomon was king over all Israel. 2 These were the leaders who he had, Azariah the son of Zadok, the priest, 3 Elihoreph and Ahijah, the sons of Shisha, scribes, Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud, the recorder, 4 and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was commander of the army. Zadok and Abiathar were priests, 5 and Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers, and Zabud the son of Nathan was chief minister, and the king’s friend. 6 Ahishar was over the household, and Adoniram the son of Abda was over the men subject to forced labor.

7 “Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household, each man had to make provisions for one month of the year. 8 These are their names, Ben Hur, in the hill country of Ephraim, 9 Ben Deker, in Makaz, and in Shaalbim, and Beth Shemesh, and Elon Beth Hanan, 10 Ben Hesed, in Arubboth (Socoh and all the land of Hepher belonged to him), 11 Ben Abinadab, in all the height of Dor (he married Taphath, Solomon’s daughte), 12 Baana the son of Ahilud, in Taanach and Megiddo, and all Beth Shean that is beside Zarethan, beneath Jezreel, from Beth Shean to Abel Meholah, as far as beyond Jokmeam, 13 Ben Geber, in Ramoth Gilead, he had the settlements of Jair the son of Manasseh in Gilead. He also had the region of Argob in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars), 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim, 15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he also took Basemath the daughter of Solomon as his wife), 16 Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth, 17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar, 18 Shimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin, 19 Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, the country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan, and he was the only officer in the land.

20 “Judah and Israel numbered as many as grains of sand by the seashore in multitude, eating and drinking and making merry. 21 Solomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the River to the land of the Philistines, and to the border of Egypt, they brought tribute, and served Solomon all the days of his life. 22 Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty measures of fine flour, and sixty measures of meal, 23 ten head of fat cattle, and twenty head of cattle out of the pastures, and one hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks and 'domesticated' fowl. 24 He had dominion over the entire region on this side the Euphrates River, from Tiphsah all the way to Gaza, and over all the kings on this side the River, and he had peace on all sides around him. 25 Judah and Israel lived safely, every man under his grapevine and under his fig tree, from Dan all the way to Beersheba, all the days of Solomon. 26 Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen. 27 Those officers provided food for King Solomon, and for everyone who came to king Solomon’s table, every man in his month, they saw to it that nothing was lacking. 28 Barley also and straw for the horses and swift steeds were brought to the place where the officers were, every man according to his duty.

29 “Elohim gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, as countless as grains of sand on the seashore. 30 Solomon’s wisdom exceeded the wisdom of all the people of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 He was wiser than anyone else including Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, Darda and the sons of Mahol. His reputation spread thruout the surrounding nations. 32 He 'composed' three thousand proverbs, and he wrote one thousand five songs. 33 He 'classified' trees, from the cedars of Lebanon to the hyssop that springs from the wall, he also classified animals and birds, and reptiles and fish. 34 People from everywhere came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, including all the kings in the world who had heard of his wisdom.

1 KINGS 5

1 Hiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon, because he had heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, because Hiram had always loved David. 2 Solomon sent to Hiram: 3 “You know that my father David couldn’t build a 'Temple' for the name of Yehovah his Elohim due to the wars waged against him by the surrounding nations, until Yehovah put them under the soles of his feet. 4 But now Yehovah my Elohim has given me rest on every side. There is no enemy or crisis. 5 I intend to build a 'Temple' for the name of Yehovah my Elohim, as Yehovah spoke to David my father, saying, ‘Your son, who I’ll set on your throne in your room, he’ll build the house for My name!’ 6 So commission men to cut cedar trees for me from Lebanon. My servants will 'work' with your servants, and I’ll pay your servants whatever wages you ask. Because you know that none of us knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.”

7 “Then when Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he was overjoyed, and said, “Blessed is Yehovah today, who has given to David a wise son over this great nation." 8 Hiram sent word to Solomon, “I’ve received your message, and I’ll do whatever you want regarding the cedar and cypress timber. 9 My servants will bring them down from Lebanon to the sea. I’ll make them into rafts to float by sea to any place you specify. I’ll have them separated there, and you’ll receive them. You can compensate me by providing food for my household.” 10 So Hiram supplied as much cedar and cypress timber as much as he wanted. 11 Solomon gave Hiram twenty thousand measures of wheat for food to his household, and twenty measures of pure olive oil. Solomon provided this to Hiram every year. 12 Yehovah gave Solomon wisdom, as he promised him, and there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and they made a treaty together.

13 “King Solomon raised a levy on all Israel, and the levy was thirty thousand men. 14 He sent them to Lebanon, ten thousand a month by courses, they spent a month in Lebanon, and two months at home, and Adoniram was over the men subject to forced labor. 15 Solomon had seventy thousand transporters, and eighty thousand stonecutters in the mountains, 16 besides Solomon’s chief officers who were over the work, three thousand three hundred, who ruled over the people who labored in the work. 17 The king commanded, and they cut out great stones, costly stones, to lay the foundation of the 'Temple' with worked stone. 18 Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and the Gebalites fashioned them, and prepared the timber and the stones to build the 'Temple'.

1 KINGS 6

1 Then in the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Ziv, that is the second month, he began to build Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 2 The 'Temple' that King Solomon built for Yehovah was sixty cubits in length, and twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. 3 The portico in front of the main hall of the 'Temple' was twenty cubits long, corresponding to the width of the 'Temple', and its width in front of the 'Temple' was ten cubits. 4 He also made windows with lattices for the 'Temple'. 5 Against the walls of the 'Temple' he built rooms that surrounded the exterior of the 'Temple', both the central area and the inner Kadosh Place and he built side chambers all around. 6 The lowest story was five cubits wide, and the middle was six cubits wide, and the third was seven cubits wide, because on the outside he made offsets in the wall of the 'Temple' all around, so that beams wouldn’t protrude thru the walls of the 'Temple'. 7 The 'Temple', while it was being built, was built of stone prepared at the quarry, and there were no hammers or axes or any other iron tools heard in the 'Temple', while it was being built. 8 The door for the middle side chambers was in the right side of the 'Temple', and they went up by winding stairs into the middle story, and out of the middle into the third. 9 So he built the 'Temple', and finished it, and he covered the 'Temple' with beams and planks of cedar. 10 He built chambers along the entire 'Temple', each five cubits high, and they rested on the 'Temple' with cedar timbers.

11 “The Word of Yehovah came to Solomon and said: 12Concerning this 'Temple' that you’re building, if you 'live by' My statutes, and utilize My ordinances, and guard all of My Commandments by 'livjng by' them, then I’ll fulfill thru you the 'promises' I made to your father David. 13 I’ll live among the Israelites, and won’t forsake My people Israel.”

14 “So Solomon built the 'Temple', and finished it. 15 He built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, from the floor of the 'Temple' to the walls of the ceiling, he covered them on the inside with wood, and he covered the floor of the 'Temple' with boards of fir. 16 He built twenty cubits on the back side of the 'Temple' with boards of cedar from the floor to the walls of the ceiling, he built them for it within, for a Kadosh Place, the most Kadosh Place. 17 The rest of the main open area in front was forty cubits long. 18 There was cedar inside the 'Temple', carved with buds and open flowers, all was cedar, there was no stone seen. 19 He prepared a Kadosh Place in the middle of the 'Temple', to set the ark of the covenant of Yehovah in. 20 Within the Kadosh Place was a space twenty cubits in length, twenty cubits in width and twenty cubits in its height that he overlaid with pure gold, and he covered the altar with cedar. 21 So Solomon overlaid the 'Temple' inside with pure gold, and he drew chains of gold across before the Kadosh Place, and he overlaid it with gold. 22 The whole 'Temple' he overlaid with gold, until the entire 'Temple' was finished, also the whole altar that belonged to the Kadosh Place he overlaid with gold.

23 “In the Kadosh Place he made two cherubim of olive wood, each ten cubits high. 24 Five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub, from the end of the one wing to the end of the other were ten cubits. 25 The other cherub was ten cubits, both the cherubim were of one measure and one form. 26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it with the other cherub. 27 He set the cherubim within the innermost area, and the wings of the cherubim were stretched out so that the wing of the one touched the one wall and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall, and their wings touched one another in the middle of the 'Temple'. 28 He overlaid the cherubim with gold.

29 “He carved all the walls of the 'Temple' around with carved figures of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, inside and outside. 30 He overlaid the floor of the 'Temple' with gold, inside and out. 31 The entrance of the Kadosh Place he made doors of olive wood, the lintel and door posts were a fifth part of the wall. 32 So he made two doors of olive wood, and he carved on them carvings of cherubim and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and he spread the gold on the cherubim, and on the palm trees. 33 So also made he for the entrance of the 'Temple' door posts of olive wood, out of a fourth part of the wall, 34 and two doors of fir wood, the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding. 35 He carved cherubim and palm trees and open flowers on them, and he overlaid them with gold applied on the engraved work.

36 “He built the inner courtyard with three courses of cut stone, and a course of cedar beams.

37 “In the fourth year the foundation of Yehovah’s 'Temple' was laid in the month Ziv. 38 In the eleventh year in the month of Bul, the eighth month, the 'Temple' was finished in every detail and according to every specification. So he was seven years in building it.

1 KINGS 7

1 It took Solomon thirteen years to complete the construction of his entire 'palace' complex. 2 He built the 'Palace' of the Forest of Lebanon one hundred cubits long, and fifty cubits wide, and its height thirty cubits, with four rows of cedar pillars, with cedar beams on the pillars. 3 It was paneled with cedar atop the side chambers that rested on forty-five pillars, fifteen to a row. 4 There were beams in three rows, and window opposite window in three ranks. 5 All the doors and posts were made square with beams, and window opposite window in three ranks. 6 He made the Hall of Pillars, its length was fifty cubits, and its width thirty cubits, and a portico before them, and pillars and a threshold before them. 7 He made the Hall of Justice of the throne room where he was to judge, and it was covered with cedar from floor to floor. 8 His house where he was to live, the other courtyard behind the Hall of Justice was of similar work. He also made a house for Pharaoh’s daughter (who Solomon had married), like this Hall of Justice.

9 “All these were made of costly cut stone according to specifications,, cut with saws, inside and outside, even from the foundation to the coping, and so on the outside to the great court. 10 The foundation was made of huge costly stones, including large stones ten cubits long and stones eight cubits long. 11 Above were costly cut stones, according to specifications, and cedar wood. 12 The great courtyard was surrounded by three courses of cut stone, and a course of cedar beams, as as the inner courtyard of Yehovah’s 'Temple' and the portico surrounding the 'Temple'.

13 “King Solomon brought in Hiram from Tyre, 14 the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, whose father was from Tyre, a bronze worker who was filled with wisdom and understanding, skilled in all sorts of bronze working. He came to king Solomon and did all his bronze] work.

15 “He cast the two bronze pillars, each eighteen cubits high, and twelve cubits in circumference. 16 He made two capitals of cast bronze to set on the tops of the pillars, the height of the one capital was five cubits, and the height of the other capital was five cubits. 17 There were lattices of checker work, and twisted threads of chainwork for the capitals that were on top of the pillars, seven for the one capital, and seven for the other capital. 18 So he made the pillars, and two rows around on the one network, to cover the capitals that were on the top of the pillars, as he did he for the other capital. 19 The capitals that were on the top of the pillars in the portico shaped like lilies, four cubits. 20 There were also capitals above on the two pillars, close by the belly that was beside the network, and two hundred pomegranates were in rows around on the other capital. 21 He set up the pillars at the portico of the 'Temple', and he set up the right pillar, and called it Jachin, and he set up the left pillar, and called it Boaz. 22 The capitals on the pillars were shaped like lilies. So the work of the pillars was finished.

23 “He made the molten sea ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and its height was five cubits, and a line of thirty cubits in circumference. 24 Under its brim around there were buds that encircled it, for ten cubits, encircling the sea, the buds were in two rows, cast with the rest. 25 'The sea' stood on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing toward the south, and three facing east. The sea was set on top of them, and their rear parts faced the center. 26 It was a handbreadth thick, and its brim was fashioned like the brim of a cup or a lily flower. It held two thousand baths [11,000 gallons].

27 “He made the ten bases of bronze, four cubits was the length of one base, and four cubits its width, and three cubits its height. 28 This is how the stands were made: they had frames; the frames were between the ledges, 29 and on the frames that were between the ledges were lions, oxen and cherubim, and on the ledges there was a pedestal above, and beneath the lions and oxen bands of bronze hanging down. 30 Every base had four bronze wheels, and axles of bronze, and the four feet of it had supports, beneath the basin were molten shoulder-pieces behind every garland. 31 Its opening inside the crown was a cubit at the top, and its opening was round like the design of a pedestal, a cubit and a half; and also on its opening there were engravings, and their borders were square, not round. 32 The four wheels were underneath the panels, and the axles of the wheels were in the base, and the height of a wheel was a cubit and half a cubit. 33 The workmanship of the wheels was like that of a chariot wheel, their axles, and their rims, and their spokes and their spokes were all cast. 34 There were four supports at the four corners of each base, its supports were from the base itself. 35 On top of the base there was a circular band half a cubit high, and on the top of the base its stays and its panels were part of it. 36 On the plates of its stays, and on its panels, he engraved cherubim, lions and palm trees on the surfaces of each, with additions all around. 37 This is how he made the ten bases: all of them had one casting, one measure and one form. 38 He made ten basins of bronze, one basin contained forty baths, and every basin was four cubits, and on every one of the ten bases one basin. 39 He set five of the bases on the right side of the 'Temple', and five on the left side of the 'Temple', and he set the sea on the right side of the 'Temple' eastward, toward the south.

40 “Hiram also made the basins and the shovels and the bowls. This concluded all the work Huram had undertaken for King Solomon in Yehovah’s 'Temple',

41 “ the two pillars, and the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars, and the two networks to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the top of the pillars, 42 the four hundred pomegranates for the two networks, and two rows of pomegranates for each network to cover the two bowls of the capitals that were on the pillars, 43 the ten bases, the ten basins on the bases, 44 the one sea, the twelve oxen under the sea, 45 the pots, the shovels, the basins, including all these vessels that Hiram made for King Solomon, in Yehovah’s 'Temple' were of burnished bronze. 46 The king cast them in clay 'molds' in the Jordan River plain between Succoth and Zarethan.

47 “Solomon left all the vessels unweighed, because there were so many, the weight of the bronze couldn’t be determined.

48 “Solomon made all the vessels that were in Yehovah’s 'Temple', the golden altar, the golden table where the show bread was placed, 49 the menorahs, five on the right side, and five on the left, before the Kadosh Place, of pure gold, the flowers, the lamps, the golden tongs, 50 the cups, the snuffers, the basins, the spoons, the pure gold fire pans, the hinges, both for the doors of the inner house, the most Kadosh Place, and for the doors of the 'Temple', and for the golden gates of the 'Temple'.

51 “So all the work that King Solomon did in Yehovah’s 'Temple' was finished. Solomon brought in the things that his David father had dedicated, the silver, the gold and the vessels, and put them in the treasuries of Yehovah’s 'Temple'.

1 KINGS 8

1 Then Solomon gathered the elders of Israel, and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the ancestral households of the Israelites the king Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring the ark of the covenant of Yehovah out of the city of David, that is Zion. 2 All the Israelites came together to King Solomon at the Feast [Tabernacles] in the month Ethanim, that is the seventh month. 3 All the elders of Israel came, and the priests took up the ark. 4 They brought the ark of Yehovah, and the Congregational Tent, and all the kadosh vessels that were in the Tent. The priests and the Levites brought all these up. 5 King Solomon and the entire assembly of Israel who were with him were before the ark, offering so many sheep and oxen as zebakim that they could not be counted or numbered. 6 The priests brought Yehovah’s ark of the covenant to the most Kadosh Place, into the innermost room of the 'Temple', under the wings of the cherubim. 7 The cherubim spread out their wings over the place of the ark, and the cherubim covered the ark and its poles above. 8 The poles were so long that the ends of the poles were seen from the Kadosh Place before the Innermost Room, but they were not seen outside, and they are still there today. 9 There was nothing in the ark other than the two stone tables that Moses put there at Horeb when Yehovah made a covenant with the Israelites, when they came out of the land of Egypt. 10 So when the priests had come out of the Kadosh Place, the cloud filled Yehovah’s 'Temple', 11 and the priests couldn’t stand to minister because of the cloud, since the splendor of Yehovah filled Yehovah’s 'Temple'.

12 “Then Solomon said, “Yehovah has said that He would live in the thick darkness. 13 I’ve surely built You a 'Temple' to live in, a place for You to live in forever.”

14 “The king 'looked' all around and blessed the entire assembly of Israel, and the entire assembly of Israel stood. 15 He said, “Blessed is Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, who spoke 'directly' to David your father, and then fulfilled it with His hand when He said: 16 ‘Since the day that I brought My people Israel out of Egypt, I chose no city out of all the tribes of Israel to build a 'Temple', where My name could reside, but I chose David to be over My people Israel.’ 17 Now my father David had in mind to build a 'Temple' for the name of Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel. 18 But Yehovah told David my father, “Since you wanted to build a 'Temple' for My name, your intentions were good. 19 But, you won’t build the 'Temple', but your son who’ll be your 'descendant' will build the 'Temple' for My name.’ 20 Yehovah has established His word that He spoke, because I’ve risen up in the place of David my father, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as Yehovah promised, and have built the 'Temple' for the name of Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel. 21 There I’ve set a place for the ark, that is the covenant of Yehovah, that He made with our ancestors, when He brought them out of the land of Egypt.”

22 “Then Solomon stood before the altar of Yehovah in the presence of the entire assembly of Israel, and spread out his hands toward heaven, 23 and he said, “Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, there is no Elohim like You in heaven above,or on earth beneath who keeps covenant and unfailing love with Your servants, who 'live' before You 'resolutely'. 24 You have kept your promise to my father. Yes, You 'Personally' spoke, and have fulfilled it with Your hand, as it is today. 25 So Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, keep Your promise with Your servant David my father that You promised when You said, ‘You won’t fail to have a 'descendant' to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your descendants guard their lives, and 'live' in My presence just like you 'lived' in My presence.’ 26 So Elohim of Israel, please allow Your word to be verified that You spoke to Your servant David my father.

27 “But will Elohim really live on the earth? Look, Heaven and the Heaven of heavens can’t contain You, how much less this 'Temple' that I’ve built! 28 Yet have respect for the prayer of Your servant, and for his plea for mercy, Yehovah my Elohim, to listen to the cry and to the prayer that Your servant prays before You today, 29 so that Your eyes can remain open toward this 'Temple' night and day, even toward the place that You’ve said, ‘My name will be there,’ to listen to the prayer that Your servant will pray toward this place. 30 Listen to the request of Your servant and Your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear us from heaven where You live, and when You hear, forgive.

31 “When anyone sins against their neighbor and is required to take an oath, and comes to take the oath before Your altar in this 'Temple', 32 then listen from heaven and judge Your servants’ claims. Condemn the guilty party by bringing down on his own head what he has done, and vindicate the innocent and give both of them what they deserve.

33 “When Your people Israel are defeated by their enemies because they’ve sinned against You, and they return to You and 'confess' [or praise] Your name, and pray and plead with You for mercy in this 'Temple', 34 then hear from heaven, and forgive the sins of Your people Israel, and bring them back to the land that You gave to their ancestors.

35 “When the sky is shut up, and there is no rain, because they’ve sinned against You, if they pray toward this place [Jerusalem], and confess Your name, and turn from their sin when You punish them, 36 then hear from heaven and forgive the sins of Your servants and of Your people Israel. Teach them the right way to 'live', and send rain on Your land that You gave Your people for an inheritance.

37 “If there is famine in the land, if there is disease, if there is blight, mildew, locusts or grasshoppers, if their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, 38 whenever a prayer or request for help is made by any man or by all of Your people Israel, as they acknowledge their pain and stretch out their hands toward this 'Temple', 39 then listen in heaven where You live, and forgive, and take action with everyone commensurate with each ones behavior, whose 'motives' You know, (because You alone know the 'motives' of every human.) 40 Then they’ll fear You all the days that they live in the land that you gave to our ancestors.

41 “Even foreigners who don’t belong to Your people Israel will come from distant countries because of Your name [reputation]. 42 Once they hear about Your great name and Your strong hand, and Your outstretched arm, they’ll come and pray toward this 'Temple'. 43 Then listen from Your heavenly home, and grant what the foreigners ask You for, so that all the people of the earth can know Your name and fear You, as do Your people Israel, and that they can know that this 'Temple' that I’ve built is called by Your name.

44 “When Your people go to war against their enemies, regardless of where You send them, and they pray to Yehovah in the direction of the city that You’ve chosen and in the direction of the 'Temple' that I’ve built for Your name, 45 then hear their prayers and their plea from heaven and support their cause. 46 “When they sin against You (because there is no one who doesn’t sin), and You become angry with them and hand them over to their enemies who take them captive to their own lands whether far off or near by, 47 if they 'consider their ways' in the land where they’re held captive, and repent, and plead with You in the land of their captors, and say, ‘We have sinned, done wrong, and been wicked,’ 48 if they return to You with all their 'sentiments' and with all their 'being' in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to You in the direction of the land that you gave to their ancestors, toward the city that You’ve chosen, and the 'Temple' that I’ve built for Your name, 49 then hear their prayers and their pleas for mercy in heaven, Your home, and support their cause, 50 and forgive Your people who sinned against You of all the offenses they’ve committed against You. Show them compassion in the sight of their captors, so that they may be compassionate to them. 51 (because they are Your people, and Your inheritance, that You brought out of Egypt, from among the furnace of iron), 52 that Your eyes can be open to the plea for mercy of Your servant, and to the plea for mercy of Your people Israel, to listen to them whenever they cry to you. 53 because You separated them from all the people of the earth, to be Your inheritance, as You spoke by Moses Your servant, when You brought our ancestors out of Egypt, the Sovereign Yehovah.”

54 “Once Solomon had finished praying this entire prayer and petition to Yehovah, he got up from before Yehovah’s altar where he had been kneeling with his hands stretched out toward heaven, 55 and he stood and in a loud voice blessed the entire assembly of Israel: 56 “Blessed is Yehovah who has given rest to His people Israel, according to everything that He promised. Not one word of all His good promise has failed, that He promised by Moses His servant. 57 May Yehovah our Elohim be with us, as He was with our ancestors. May He never leave us, or forsake us. 58 May He may incline our minds to Him, to 'live' in all His ways, and to obey His Commandments, and His statutes, and His ordinances that He commanded our ancestors. 59 Allow these my words that I’ve made a plea for mercy before Yehovah be near Yehovah our Elohim day and night, that He may maintain the cause of His servant, and the cause of His people Israel, as every day will require, 60 that all the people of the earth may know that Yehovah is Elohim. There is no one else. 61 May your thoughts be perfect with Yehovah our Elohim, to 'live' by His statutes, and to obey His Commandments, as at today.”

62 “The king, and all Israel with him offered zebakim before Yehovah. 63 Solomon offered a zebak of fellowship offerings. He offered twenty-two thousand head of cattle, and one hundred twenty thousand sheep to Yehovah. So the king and all the Israelites dedicated Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 64 The same day the king dedicated the middle of the court that was before Yehovah’s 'Temple', because there he offered the burnt offering, and the grain offering, and the fat of the fellowship offerings, because the bronze altar that was before Yehovah was too small to receive the burnt offering, and the grain offering, and the fat of the fellowship offerings.

65 “So Solomon held the Feast [Tabernacles] at that time, and all Israel with him, a great assembly, from the entrance of Hamath to the brook of Egypt, before Yehovah our Elohim, seven days and seven more days, fourteen days in all. 66 On the eighth day he dismissed the people, and they blessed the king, and went to their tents rejoicing and with gratitude for all the goodness that Yehovah had shown to David His servant, and to Israel His people.

1 KINGS 9

1 Then when Solomon had finished building Yehovah’s 'Temple', and the king’s palace, and everything Solomon desired, everything he wanted to do, 2 Yehovah appeared to Solomon a second time, just as He had appeared to him in Gibeon. 3 Yehovah told him: “I’ve heard your prayer and your petition for mercy that you made to Me. I’ve set this 'Temple' that you’ve built apart by putting My name there forever. My eyes and My sentiments will always be there. 4 “Now as for you, if you 'live your life' for Me like your father David 'did', with integrity and virtue, doing everything that I’ve commanded you by obeying My statutes and My ordinances, 5 then I’ll defend your royal 'dynasty' over Israel forever, as I promised your father David when I said, ‘You will never fail to have a 'descendant' on the throne of Israel.’ 6 But if you or your descendants 'reject' Me, and fail to obey My Commandments and My statutes that I’ve set before you, and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I’ll 'remove' Israel from the land that I’ve given them. And I’ll hurl this 'Temple' that I’ve made kadosh for My name out of My sight, and Israel will be a farce and a euphemism among the nations. 8 Even tho this 'Temple' is very high, everyone who passes by will be astonished, and hiss, and they’ll ask, “Why has Yehovah done this to this land, and to this 'Temple'?” 9 Others will answer, “Because they abandoned Yehovah their Elohim, who brought their ancestors out of the land of Egypt, and clung to other gods, and worshiped them, and served them. So Yehovah has brought all this evil on them.”

10 “It took twenty years for Solomon to build the two 'structures', Yehovah’s 'Temple' and the king’s palace. 11 (Now Hiram the king of Tyre had furnished Solomon with cedar trees and fir trees, and with gold that he wanted.) Then King Solomon gave Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. 12 Hiram came out from Tyre to see the cities that Solomon had given him, and they didn’t please him. 13 He said, “What cities are these that you’ve given me, brother?” He called them the land of Cabul [Good for Nothing] to this day. 14 Hiram sent the king one hundred twenty talents of gold.

15 “This is the reason for the levy that King Solomon raised, to build Yehovah’s 'Temple', and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo and Gezer. 16 Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up, and taken Gezer, and burnt it with fire, and slain the Canaanites who lived in the city, and given it for a portion to his daughter, Solomon’s wife. 17 Solomon built Gezer, and Beth Horon the lower, 18 and Baalath, and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land of Judah, 19 and all the storage cities that Solomon had, and the cities for his chariots, and the cities for his cavalry, and whatever Solomon wanted to build for his pleasure in Jerusalem and Lebanon and thruout the land of his dominion. 20 As for all the people who were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites who were not of the Israelites, 21 their children who were left after them in the land, who the Israelites were not able completely to destroy, of them Solomon raised a levy of bond servants to today. 22 But of the Israelites Solomon made no bond servants. They were the men of war, and his servants, his princes, his captains, and rulers of his chariots and of his cavalry. 23 They were the chief officers who were over Solomon’s work, five hundred fifty, who ruleed over the people who did the work. 24 But Pharaoh’s daughter came up out of the city of David to her house that Solomon had built for her, then he built Millo. 25 Three times a year Solomon offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar that he built to Yehovah, burning incense there on the altar that was before Yehovah. So he finished the 'Temple'.

26 King Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion Geber, beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red Sea in the land of Edom. 27 Hiram sent in the navy his servants, sailors who had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon. 28 They came to Ophir, and acquired gold from there, four hundred and twenty talents, and brought it to King Solomon.

1 KINGS 10

1 When the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning Yehovah’s name, she came to test him with difficult questions. 2 She came to Jerusalem with a very large entourage—with camels carrying spices, large quantities of gold and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about everything that was on her mind. 3 Solomon answered all of her questions; there was nothing too esoteric for the king to provide her an answer. 4 Once the queen of Sheba had personally witnessed all of Solomon’s wisdom, and seen the 'Temple' he had built, 5 the food on his table, the seating of his officials, the attending servants in their robes, his cup bearers and even his personal stairway up to Yehovah’s 'Temple', it took her breath away. 6 She told the king, “It was true what I heard in my own land of your acts, and of your wisdom. 7 But I didn’t believe what I heard until I came and saw it with my own eyes. I wasn’t told the half of it! Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame that I heard. 8 Your men are happy and your servants are happy as they stand continually before you and hear your wisdom. 9 Blessed is Yehovah your Elohim, who delighted in you, setting you on the throne of Israel. Because Yehovah loved Israel forever, so he made you king, to do justice and righteousness.”

10 “She gave the king one hundred twenty talents of gold, large quantities of spices, and precious stones. Never again did a comparable quantity of spices arrive as those the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. 11 Also Hiram’s navy brought gold from Ophir as well as a great many algum logs from Ophir and precious stones. 12 The king made the algum logs into pillars for Yehovah’s 'Temple', and for the king’s palace, harps and stringed instruments for the singers. There had never been so much sandalwood imported into Israel, and there has’nt been that much seen since. 13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba whatever she wanted, whatever she asked for, besides what Solomon gave her from his royal bounty. So she returned to her own land along with her servants.

14 “Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred sixty-six talents of gold, 15 not counting taxes that came from the merchants and traders, and all the [the tribute money] from the Arabian kings and governors of the land. 16 King Solomon made two hundred bucklers of hammered gold, six hundred shekels of gold went to one buckler. 17 He made three hundred shields of hammered gold, three minas of gold went to one shield, and the king put them in the house of the forest of Lebanon. 18 The king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the finest gold. 19 There were six steps to the throne, and the top of the throne was round behind, and there were stays on either side by the place of the seat, and two lions standing beside the stays. 20 Twelve lions stood there, one on either end of each of the six steps; nothing of the kind had ever been made for any other kingdom. 21 All of King Solomon’s drinking vessels were made of gold, and all the vessels of the house of the forest of Lebanon were made of pure gold. (Nothing was made of silver, since it wasn’t considered valuable in Solomon’s day.) 22 The king had at sea a navy of Tarshish with the navy of Hiram, once every three years the navy of Tarshish came bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes and peacocks.

23 “King Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth in wealth and in wisdom. 24 All the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear the wisdom that Elohim had put in his mind. 25 Every man brought his tribute, vessels of silver, vessels of gold, clothing, armor, spices, horses and mules, so much year after year. 26 Solomon gathered together chariots and horsemen, and he had fourteen hundred chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen, that he stationed in the chariot cities, and also with him in Jerusalem. 27 The king made silver as common in Jerusalem as stone, and cedar timber as common as sycamore trees in the foothills. 28 The horses that Solomon had were imported from Egypt, and the king’s merchants received them in droves, each drove at a price. 29 A chariot imported from Egypt cost six hundred shekels of silver, and a horse cost a hundred and fifty. They were then exported to all the Hittite kings as well as the Aramean kings.

1 KINGS 11

1 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women including the daughter of Pharaoh, Moabite women, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites, 2 from the nations that Yehovah told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, and they must not intermarry with you, because they’ll most certainly turn your sentiments toward their gods.” Yet Solomon was deeply attached to them in love. 3 He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his sentiments away. 4 Then when Solomon was old, his wives turned his sentiments toward other gods. He was not completely devoted to Yehovah his Elohim, as his father David had been. 5 Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the detestable practice of the Ammonites. 6 Solomon did evil in the sight of Yehovah, and didn’t fully follow Yehovah as his father David had.

7 “Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh, the detestable practice of Moab, on the mountain before Jerusalem, and for Moloch the detestable practice of the 'Ammonites'. 8 He did this for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and made offerings to their gods. 9 Yehovah was angry with Solomon because his mind was turned away from Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had given him the directive not to go after other gods, but he didn’t obey Yehovah’s directions. 11 So Yehovah told Solomon, “Because of your behavior—your not obeying My covenant and My statutes that I commanded you, I'll certainly tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. 12 But I won’t do it in your lifetime, for David your father’s sake, but I’ll tear it from of your son’s reach. 13 However I won’t tear away the entire kingdom. I’ll give one tribe to your son, for David My servant’s sake, and for the sake of Jerusalem that I’ve chosen.”

14 “Yehovah raised up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite, from the royal line in Edom. 15 Earlier, when David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army had gone to bury the dead, he killed all the males in Edom, 16 (because Joab and all Israel remained there six months, until he had eliminated every male in Edom). 17 But Hadad escaped to Egypt with some Edomites who had served his father, Hadad still only a boy. 18 They got up out of Midian, and came to Paran, and they took men with them from Paran, and they came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house, and provided his food, and gave him land. 19 Hadad found great favor in the sight of Pharaoh, so he gave him as wife the sister of his own wife, the sister of queen Tahpenes. 20 Tahpenes sister bore him Genubath his son, who Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house, and Genubath was in Pharaoh’s house with Pharaoh’s own sons. 21 When Hadad heard in Egypt that David died and was buried with his ancestors, and that Joab the captain of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me leave, so that I can go to my own country.” 22 Pharaoh asked him, “What do you lack here with me that would make you want to go back to your own country?” He answered, “Nothing, but let me go anyway.

23 “Elohim raised up another adversary to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his master Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 He gathered men to him, and became captain over a troop, when David killed them of Zobah. They went to Damascus and stayed there and they reigned in Damascus. 25 He was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, besides the mischief that Hadad did, and he abhorred Israel, and reigned over Syria.

26 Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephraimite from Zeredah, a servant of Solomon, whose mother’s name was Zeruah, a widow, also raised his hand against the king. 27 This is why he raised his hand against the king, Solomon built Millo, and repaired the breach of the city of David his father. 28 Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor, and Solomon saw that the young man was industrious, and he put him in charge of all the labor of the House of Joseph. 29 Then when Jeroboam left Jerusalem, the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him along the way, now Ahijah had clad himself with a new garment, and the two of them were alone in the field. 30 Ahijah laid hold of the new garment that was on him, and tore it in twelve pieces. 31 He said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces, because Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel says, ‘I’ll tear the kingdom from the grasp of Solomon, and give ten tribes to you 32 (but he’ll have one tribe, for My servant David’s sake and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city that I’ve chosen out of all the tribes of Israel), 33 because they’ve forsaken Me, and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of Moab, and Milcom the god of the 'Ammonites'. They haven’t 'lived by' My ways or done what is right in My eyes, and obeyed My statutes and My ordinances, as his father David did. 34 “However I won’t take the whole kingdom out of his hand, but I’ll make him leader all the days of his life, for David My servant’s sake who I chose, who kept My Commandments and My statutes. 35 I’ll remove the kingdom from his son’s hands and give you ten tribes! 36 But I’ll give one tribe to his son, so that David My servant will always have a lamp shining in my presence in Jerusalem, the city that I chose to put My name. 37 I’ll take you, and you’ll reign over whatever you want. You’ll be king over Israel. 38 Then if you listen to everything that I command you, and 'live' by My ways, and do what is right in My eyes, and obey My statutes and My Commandments, as My servant David did, then I’ll be with you, and build you a 'lasting dynasty', as I built for David, and give Israel to you. 39 For this I’ll oppress the descendants of David, but not forever.” 40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, where he stayed until Solomon’s death.

41 “ The rest of the significant events of Solomon’s regime, everything else he did, and his wisdom are recorded in the Book of the Acts of Solomon. 42 The duration of Solomon’s regime in Jerusalem over all of Israel was forty years. 43 Solomon died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of his father David, and his son Rehoboam succeeded him.

1 KINGS 12

1 Rehoboam went to Shechem, since all of Israel had gone to Shechem to make him king. 2 Then when Jeroboam the son of Nebat heard about it (because he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon, and Jeroboam lived in Egypt, 3 they sent for him), and Jeroboam and the entire assembly of Israel came, and told Rehoboam, 4 Your father made our yoke grievous, so make the severe service of your father, and his heavy yoke that he put on us, lighter, and we’ll serve you. 5 He told them, “Leave me for three days, then come back.” So the people left.

6 “King Rehoboam conferred with the elders who had served his father Solomon while he was alive. He asked them, “How do you advise me to answer these people?” 7 They told him, “If you’ll be a servant to these people today, and serve them, and say good things to them, then they’ll be your servants forever. 8 But he ignored the counsel that his elder advisers had given him and consulted with the young men who had grown up with him, who were 'serving' him.” 9 He asked them, “What advice do you have in reply to these people who have asked to me, ‘Make the yoke that your father put on us lighter’?” 10 The young men who had grown up with him told him; “You should tell these people who asked you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, but make it lighter for us,’ ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist.’” 11 My father burdened you with a heavy yoke, but I’ll add to your yoke. My father chastised you with whips, but I’ll chastise you with scorpions.

12 “So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king asked, saying, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered the people roughly, and ignored the counsel that the elders had given him, 14 and spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, and said, “My father made your yoke heavy, but I’ll add to your yoke. My father chastised you with whips, but I’ll chastise you with scorpions.” 15 So the king didn’t listen to the people, because it was something brought about by Yehovah, in order to establish the word that Yehovah had spoken by Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat. 16 When all Israel saw that the king wouldn’t listen to them, the people told the king, “What portion have we in David? Nor do we have an inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your tents, Israel! Now see to your own house, David. So Israel went to their tents. 17 But as for the Israelites who lived in the cities of Judah, Rehoboam reigned over them.

18 “Then king Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was over the men subject to forced labor, and all Israel stoned him to death with stones. King Rehoboam hurriedly got to his chariot and fled to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against David’s dynasty to this day. 20 Then when all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent for him to the assembly, and made him king over all Israel. No one remained loyal to the dynasty of David except for the tribe of Judah.

21 “When Rehoboam came to Jerusalem, he gathered the entire tribe of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin, 180,000 chosen warriors to fight against the House of Israel and return the kingdom to Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. 22 But the 'message' of Elohim came to Shemaiah the man of Elohim: 23 “Tell Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and all the tribe of Judah and Benjamin, and the rest of the people, 24 ‘This is what Yehovah says: “You won’t go up, or fight against your brothers, the Israelites. Everyone return to his house, because this thing is of Me.’” So they listened to the Word of Yehovah, and returned on their way, according to the Word of Yehovah.

25 “Then Jeroboam built Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim, and lived there, and he went out from there and built Penuel. 26 Jeroboam thought to himself, “Now the kingdom will return to the dynasty of David. 27 If these people go up to offer zebakim in Yehovah’s 'Temple' in Jerusalem, then the sentiments of these people will return to their master Rehoboam king of Judah, and they’ll kill me, and return to Rehoboam king of Judah.” 28 So the king took counsel, and made two golden calves and he told them, “It is too difficult for you to go up to Jerusalem. Look at your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” 29 He set the one in Bethel, and the other he put in Dan. 30 This became a great sin, because the people went as far as Dan to worship the 'idols' there. 31 He made 'shrines', and made priests of the people there, who were not sons of Levi. 32 Jeroboam instituted an alternative feast on the fifteenth day of the eighth month 'imitating' the Feast [Tabernacles] in Judah. So he went up to the altar in Bethel and offered ze’bakim [sacrifices] to the calves he had made, and he stationed priests in Bethel for the'shrines' that he had made. 33 Then he went to his altar in Bethel on the fifteenth day of the eighth month, in the very month that he had concocted from his own imagination, and he instituted a feast for the Israelites, and went up to the altar to burn incense.

1 KINGS 13

1 A man of Elohim came out of Judah by the Word of Yehovah to Beth El, and Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense. 2 He cried out 'condemning' the altar by the Word of Yehovah, “Altar, altar! This is what Yehovah says: “A son named Josiah will be born to the dynasty of David. On you he’ll burn the priests of the 'shrines' as offerings, those who burn incense on you, and human bones will be burned on you.” 3 He gave a sign the same day, saying, “This is the sign that Yehovah has spoken, Look, the altar will be split apart, and the ashes that are on it will be poured out.” 4 Then when the king heard the man of Elohim 'condemning' the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam pointed as he stood by the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the 'arm' that he used to point him out shriveled up, and he couldn’t bring it back. 5 The altar also was split apart, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign that the man of Elohim had given by the Word of Yehovah. 6 The king answered the man of Elohim, “Now entreat the favor of Yehovah your Elohim, and pray for me, that my 'arm' can be restored to me again.” The man of Elohim entreated Yehovah, and the king’s hand was restored again, and became as it was before. 7 The king told the man of Elohim, “Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and I’ll give you a reward.” 8 The man of Elohim told the king, “Even if you gave me half of your house, I wouldn’t go in with you or eat bread or drink water in this place, 9 because I was commanded by the Word of Yehovah, saying, ‘You will eat no bread, nor drink water, nor return by the way that you came.’” 10 So he went another way, and didn’t return the same way that he came to Bethel.

11 There was an old prophet was living in Bethel, and one of his sons came and told him everything the that the man of Elohim had done that day in Bethel. They also told their father the words that he had spoken to the king. 12 Their father asked them, “Which way did he go?” Now his sons had seen which way the man of Elohim went, who came from Judah. 13 He said to his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” So they saddled the donkey for him, and he rode on it. 14 He went after the man of Elohim, and found him sitting under an oak. He told him, “Are you the man of Elohim who came from Judah?” He said, “I am.” 15 Then he told him, “Come home with me, and eat bread.” 16 He said, “I may not return with you, or go in with you, or eat bread or drink water with you in this place. 17 I was told by the Word of Yehovah, ‘You must eat no bread or drink any water there, or return by the way that you came.’” 18 He told him, “I’m also a prophet as you are, and a messenger spoke to me by the Word of Yehovah, saying, ‘Bring him back with you into your house, so that he can eat bread and drink water.’” [1] He lied to him. 19 So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.

20 “Then, as they sat at the table, the Word of Yehovah came to the prophet who brought him back, 21 and he cried to the man of Elohim who came from Judah, “This is what Yehovah says: “Because you’ve been disobedient to the 'word' of Yehovah, and have not kept the commandment that Yehovah your Elohim commanded you, 22 but came back, and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of that He said to you, ‘Eat no bread, and drink no water,’ your corpse won’t be placed in the tomb of your ancestors. 23 Then, after he had eaten bread, and after he had drunk, he saddled the donkey for the prophet who he had brought back. 24 When he had gone, a lion met him by the way, and killed him. His corpse was lying on the road, and the donkey stood by it. The lion also stood by the corpse. 25 Look, men passed by, and saw the corpse lying on the road, and the lion standing by the body, and they came and told it in the city where the old prophet lived. 26 When the prophet who brought him back from the way heard of it, he said, “It is the man of Elohim who was disobedient to the mouth of Yehovah. So Yehovah has delivered him to the lion that mauled him and killed him, according to the Word of Yehovah, that he spoke to him.” 27 He spoke to his sons, saying, “Saddle the donkey for me.” They saddled it. 28 He went and found his corpse lying on the road, and the donkey and the lion standing by the corpse. The lion hadn’t eaten the corpse, or mauled the donkey. 29 The prophet took up the corpse of the man of Elohim, and laid it on the donkey, and brought it back. He came to the city of the old prophet to mourn, and to bury him. 30 He laid his corpse in his own grave, and they mourned over him, saying, “Oh no, my brother!” 31 Then, after he had buried him, he told his sons, “When I’m dead, then bury me in the tomb that the man of Elohim is buried in. Lay my bones beside his bones.” 32 The saying that he cried by the Word of Yehovah against the altar in Bethel, and against all the 'shrines' that are in the cities of Samaria, will surely happen.

33 “After this event Jeroboam didn’t repent of his evil ways, but appointed more priests for the 'shrines', including` the most extreme people. He 'ordained' anyone who wanted to be a priest, so that there would be priests for the 'shrines'. 34 This was the sin that ended the dynasty of Jeroboam, eradicating it from the face of the earth.

[1] RED FLAG! When a man of “religious authority” assures you that something, anything is right, and your conscience is telling you otherwise, be extremely careful!

1 KINGS 14

1 At that time Jeroboam’s son Abijah fell sick. 2 Jeroboam said to his wife, “Please get up and disguise yourself, so that you won’t be recognized as the wife of Jeroboam. Go to Shiloh. There is Ahijah the prophet, who spoke concerning me that I should be king over these people! 3 Take with you ten loaves, cakes and a jar of honey, and go to him. He’ll tell you what will become of the child.” 4 So Jeroboam’s wife got up and went to Shiloh, and came to Ahijah’s house. Ahijah was blind. His eyes were dim due to his age. 5 Yehovah told Ahijah, “The wife of Jeroboam comes to inquire of you about her son, because he is sick! You’re to say such and such to her. When she arrives, she’ll pretend to be another woman.” 6 So when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, he said, “Come in, you wife of Jeroboam! Why do you pretend to be another? I have bad news for you. 7 Go tell Jeroboam that this is what Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel says: ‘I raised you up from among the people and made you leader over My people Israel, 8 and tore the kingdom away from the dynasty of David, and gave it you, and yet you haven’t been as My servant David, who kept My Commandments, and who followed Me with all his being, doing only what was right in My eyes, 9 but have done more evil than everyone who lived before you, and have proceeded to make for yourself other gods and cast images. You provoked Me to anger by 'turning' your back on Me. 10 So I’ll bring disaster on the house of Jeroboam, and eliminate from Jeroboam every male who urinates against the wall, both slave and free in Israel. I’ll make a clean sweep of the dynasty of Jeroboam like someone sweeping away dung, until it’s all gone. 11 He who dies of Jeroboam in the city the dogs will eat, and he who dies in the field will be eaten by the birds from the air, for Yehovah has spoken it. 12 Arise and go to your house. When your feet enter the city, the child will die. 13 All Israel will mourn for him, and bury him. He is the only one of Jeroboam’s family who will be buried, because in him something good was found in regard to Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, out of the entire dynasty of Jeroboam. 14 Yehovah will raise up for Himelf a king over Israel who will eradicate Jeroboam’s dynasty, someone living today and into the future. [1] 15 Yehovah will strike Israel like a reed swaying in the water, and He’ll uproot Israel from this good land that He gave to their ancestors, and scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they’ve made their Asherim pillars [steeples], provoking Yehovah to anger. 16 He’ll give Israel up because of Jeroboam’s sins, and consequently Israel’s sins. 17 Jeroboam’s wife got up and left, and came to Tirzah. When she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. 18 All Israel buried him, and mourned for him, according to the Word of Yehovah that He spoke by His servant Ahijah the prophet.

19 “The rest of the events of Jeroboam’s regime, how he waged war and the way he reigned are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 20 Jeroboam reigned for twenty-two years, and he died and was buried with his ancestors, and Nadab his son reigned in his place.

21 “Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city that Yehovah had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put His name there, and his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 22 Judah did what was evil in the sight of Yehovah, and they provoked Him to jealousy with their sins that they committed, beyond anything that their ancestors had done. 23 They also built themselves 'shrines', obelisks [stone], and Asherim [wood] on every high hill and under every evergreen tree, 24 and there were also sodomites in the land, people engaged in all the abominations of the nations that Yehovah drove out prior to the Israelites.

25 “Then in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. 26 He took away the treasures of Yehovah’s 'Temple' and the treasures of the king’s palace. He took everything, 'notably' the golden shields that Solomon had made. 27 King Rehoboam made in their place bronze shields, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who guarded the entry of the king’s palace. 28 Whenever the king entered Yehovah’s 'Temple', guards would carry them and then return them to the armory.

29 “The rest of the events of Rehoboam’s reign, and everything that he did are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 30 There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 31 Rehoboam died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David, and his mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. Abijam his son reigned in his place.

[1] From the Aramaic Targum. The Hebrew is obscure and debated.

1 KINGS 15

1 'Beginning' in the eighteenth year of Nebat’s son Jeroboam’s regime, Abijah began to reign over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah [aka Micaiah] the daughter of Abishalom. 3 He committed the same sins that his father had committed before him. He wasn’t 'completely devoted' to Yehovah his Elohim the way his ancestor David had been. 4 But for David’s sake Yehovah his Elohim gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem, 5 because David did what was right in the sight of Yehovah, and didn’t turn aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, other than in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 6 Now there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life.

7 “The rest of the acts of Abijam, and everything that he did are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. There was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. 8 Abijam died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David, and Asa his son reigned in his place.

9 “In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel Asa began to reign over Judah. 10 He reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 11 Asa did what was right in the sight of Yehovah, as David his ancestor had done. 12 He put to death [Leviticus 20:13] the sodomites of the land, and got rid of all the idols that his ancestors had made. 13 He also deposed Maacah his grandmother from her position as Queen Mother, because she had made a horrid image on an Asherah pole, and Asa cut her image down, and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 14 Altho the 'shrines' were not removed, Asa was fully devoted to Yehovah all of his life. 15 He brought the things that he and his father had dedicated into Yehovah’s 'Temple'—silver, gold, and utensils.

16 “There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. 17 King Baasha of Israel invaded Judah, and fortified Ramah to deny anyone access to Judah’s King Asa. 18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that were left in the treasuries of Yehovah’s 'Temple' and from his royal palace, and handed them over to his servants. And king Asa sent them to Ben Hadad, the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, who lived at Damascus, and said: 19 “Let’s make a treaty between you and me, like there was between my father and your father. See, I’ve sent to you a gift of silver and gold. Go and break your treaty with King Baasha of Israel so that he will retreat from me.” 20 Ben Hadad listened the king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel, and struck Ijon, Dan, Abel Beth Maacah and all Chinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali. 21 When Baasha heard about it, he quit fortifying Ramah, and withdrew to Tirzah. 22 Then king Asa made a proclamation to all Judah—no one was exempt—and they carried away the stones and timbers that Baasha had been fortifying Judah with. King Asa used them to fortify Geba in Benjamin and Mizpah.

23 “The rest of all the events of Asa’s reign, all his accomplishments and everything he did, and the cities he built are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. But in his old age he developed a disease in his feet. 24 Asa died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David his father, and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place.

25 “Nadab the son of Jeroboam began to reign over Israel in the second year of Asa king of Judah, and he reigned over Israel for two years. 26 He did evil in Yehovah’s sight, and followed the practices of his father, and encouraged Israel to sin. 27 Baasha the son of Ahijah from the house of Issachar conspired against him, and Baasha struck him at Gibbethon in Philistia, because Nadab and all Israel were laying siege to Gibbethon. 28 So Baasha killed him during the third year of the regime of Asa king of Judah and reigned in his place. 29 Then as soon as he was king, he struck down the entire family of Jeroboam, he didn’t leave Jeroboam anyone who breathed, until he had destroyed him, according to the saying of Yehovah, that he spoke by his servant Ahijah the Shilonite, 30 because of the sins that Jeroboam committed, and because he led Israel into sin, and because he aroused the anger of Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel.

31 “Now the rest of the events of Nadab’s reign, and everything that he did are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel. 32 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days.

33 “In the third year of Asa king of Judah Baasha the son of Ahijah began to reign over all Israel in Tirzah, and reigned twenty-four years. 34 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, followed the example of Jeroboam and leading Israel into sin.

1 KINGS 16

1 The Word of Yehovah came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha: 2 “I raised you out of the dust, and made you leader over My people Israel, but you’ve walked in the way of Jeroboam, and caused My people Israel to sin, provoking Me to anger with their sins, 3 I’ll completely sweep away Baasha and his house, and I’ll make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat! 4 Any of Baasha’s 'family' who dies in the city will be eaten by dogs, and any of his 'family' who dies in the field will be eaten by the birds of the air.”

5 “The rest of all the events of Baasha’s reign, all his 'accomplishments' are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel. 6 Baasha died and was buried with his ancestors in Tirzah, and Elah his son reigned in his place.

7 “Also the 'message' of Yehovah against Baasha and his 'family' came thru Hanani’s son Jehu the prophet, not only because of all of the things that Baasha had done in Yehovah’s sight, provoking Him to anger by the way he handled things, acting just like Jeroboam’s 'family'—but also because he struck him.

8 “In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah Elah the son of Baasha began to reign over Israel in Tirzah, and reigned two years. 9 His servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him. Now he was in Tirzah, getting drunk in Arza’s house, who managed the household at Tirzah, 10 and Zimri went in and struck him, and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place. 11 Then when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, he struck the entire 'family' of Baasha, he didn’t leave him a single one who urinates on a wall, or even any of his relatives or friends. 12 So Zimri destroyed the entire household of Baasha, according to the Word of Yehovah, that He spoke against Baasha thru the prophet Jehu, 13 because of all the sins that Baasha and his son Elah had committed, and because of what they did to lead Israel into sin, provoking the anger of Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel with their idols.

14 “Now the rest of the events of Elah’ reign, and everything that he did and all his 'achievements' are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel.

15 “In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. Now the people were camped against Gibbethon, that belonged to the Philistines. 16 The people who were camped heard it said, “Zimri has conspired, and struck the king down”, so all Israel made Omri, the captain of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. 17 Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah. 18 And when Zimri saw that the city had been captured, he went into the citadel of the royal palace, and burned it down over himself, and died. 19 The sins he committed, doing what was evil in the sight of Yehovah, 'living' as Jeroboam had, and influencing Israel to sin.

20 “Now the rest of the events of Zimri’s reign, and his treasony are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel.

21 “Then the House of Israel was divided into two parts, half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king, and half followed Omri. 22 But the people who followed Omri prevailed against the people who followed Tibni the son of Ginath, so Tibni died, and Omri reigned.

23 “In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah Omri began to reign over Israel, and reigned twelve years, he reigned six years in Tirzah. 24 He bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and he built on the hill, and named the city that he built after Shemer, the owner of the hill, Samaria. 25 Omri did what was evil in the sight of Yehovah, and dealt wickedly above and beyond everyone who preceded him. 26 He 'lived' entirely in the manner of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sins in that he caused Israel to sin, to provoke Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, to anger with their vanities.

27 “Now the rest of the events of Omri’s reign, and everything that he did and all his 'achievements' are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel. 28 So Omri died and was buried with his ancestors in Samaria, and Ahab his son reigned in his place.

29 “In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria for twenty-two years. 30 Ahab the son of Omri did what was evil in the sight of Yehovah above and beyond any of the kings before him. 31 Then, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshiped him. 32 He erected an altar for Baal in the 'shrine' of Baal, that he had built in Samaria. 33 Ahab made the Asherah, and Ahab did even more to provoke Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who preceded him.

34 “In his days Hiel the Bethelite built Jericho, he laid its foundation with the loss of Abiram his firstborn, and set up its gates with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the Word of Yehovah, that He spoke by Yehoshua the son of Nun.

1 KINGS 17

1 Elijah the Tishbite, one of the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel lives who I 'serve', there will be no dew or rain in the years ahead until I give the word!”

2 “The Word of Yehovah came to him and said: 3 “Leave here and travel eastward. Hide out beside the Wadi Cherith where it 'enters' the Jordan River. 4 You can drink from the wadi. I’ve commanded the ravens to provide for you there.” 5 So he went and did as the Word of Yehovah told him, he went and lived beside the brook Cherith before the Jordan River. 6 The ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

7 “Then after a while, the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. 8 The Word of Yehovah came to him: 9 “Get up, go to Zarephath near Sidon, and stay there. I’ve commanded a widow there to sustain you.” 10 So he got up and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, he saw that a widow was there gathering sticks, and he called to her, and said, “Please give me a little water in a vessel, so I can drink.” 11 As she was going to get it, he called to her, and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 She said, “As Yehovah your Elohim lives, I don’t have a cake, but a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in the jar. I’m gathering two sticks, so that I can go in and bake it for me and my son, so that we can it, and die!” 13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go and do what you said, but make me little cake from it first, and bring it out to me, and then make some for you and for your son. 14 This is what Yehovah the Elohim of Israel says: The jar of meal won’t empty, nor will the jar of oil fail, until the day that Yehovah sends rain on the earth.” 15 She went and did according to the saying of Elijah, and she, and he, and her house, ate many days. 16 The jar of meal didn’t empty, nor did the jar of oil fail, according to the Word of Yehovah that he spoke by Elijah.

17 “Then after these things, the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, became sick, and his sickness was so severe that he quit breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What have I to do with you, you man of Elohim? You’ve come to me to bring my sin to memory, and to kill my son!” 19 He said to her, “Give me your son.” He took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into the room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. 20 He cried to Yehovah, and asked, “Yehovah my Elohim, have You also brought disaster on the widow who I’m staying with, by killing her son?” 21 He stretched himself on the child three times, and cried to Yehovah, and said, “Yehovah, my Elohim, please allow this child’s life to return to him.” 22 Yehovah listened to the voice of Elijah, and the life of the child came back to him again, and he revived. 23 Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and gave him to his mother, and Elijah said, “Look, your son lives.” 24 The woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of Elohim, and that the Word of Yehovah that you 'speak' is the truth.”

1 KINGS 18

1 Some time later, in the third year of the drought, the Word of Yehovah came to Elijah, and said, “Go and present yourself to Ahab, and I’ll allow rain to fall on the land.” 2 Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. The famine was severe in Samaria. 3 Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared Yehovah greatly, 4 because when Jezebel was killing Yehovah’s prophets, Obadiah took a hundred prophets, hid them in two caves, fifty in each, and fed them with food and water.) 5 Ahab said to Obadiah, “Go thru the land to all the springs of water, and to all the brooks. Perhaps we can find grass and save the horses and mules lives, so that we don’t lose all the animals.” 6 So they divided the land between them to pass thruout it, Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.

7 “While Obadiah was on the road, he saw Elijah and met him, and he recognized him, and fell face down and said, “Is it you, my master Elijah?” 8 He replied, “It is I. Go tell your master, ‘Elijah is here!’” 9 He said, “What have I done for you to hand your servant over to Ahab to kill me? 10 As Yehovah your Elohim lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master hasn’t sent people looking for you. When they said, ‘He isn’t here,’ he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they didn’t find you.” 11 Now you say, “Go tell your master, ‘Elijah is here.’” 12 Then, as soon as I leave you, the Spirit of Yehovah will carry you off to who knows where. [1] When I come and tell Ahab, and he can’t find you, he’ll kill me. But I your servant have revered Yehovah from my youth. 13 Master, weren’t you told what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of Yehovah, how I hid one hundred men of Yehovah’s prophets with fifty to a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14 Now you say that I should tell my master, “Elijah is here,” but he’ll kill me. 15 Elijah said, “As Yehovah the Commander lives, before who I stand, I’ll surely show myself to him today.”

16 “So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 Then when Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab told him, “Is that you, you trouble maker against Israel?” 18 He answered, “I haven’t troubled Israel, but you and your father’s house, in that you’ve forsaken the Commandments of Yehovah, and you’ve followed the Baals. 19 So send, and gather to me all Israel to Mount Carmel, and four hundred fifty of the prophets of Baal, and four hundred of the prophets of the Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

20 “So Ahab sent to all the Israelites, and gathered the prophets together to Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah came near to all the people, and said, “How long will you waver between the two sides? If Yehovah is Elohim, follow Him, but if Baal, then follow him.” The people didn’t say a word. 22 Then Elijah told the people, “I, even I only, am left a prophet of Yehovah, but Baal’s prophets number four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let them give us two bulls, and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under it, and I’ll dress the other bull, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under it. 24 You call on the name of your god, and I’ll call on the name of Yehovah. The Elohim who answers by fire is the 'real' Elohim. All the people answered, ‘It is well said.’” 25 Elijah told the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull for yourselves, and dress it first, because you are many, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it.” 26 They took the bull that was given to them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, “Baal, hear us.” But there was no voice, no one answered. They leaped around the altar they had made. 27 Then at noon Elijah mocked them, and said, “Cry louder, because he is a god. Maybe he is daydreaming or relieving himself, or he is on a journey. Or maybe he’s asleep and you have to wake him up.” 28 They cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. 29 By now midday had passed, so they prophesied until the time of their sacrifice, but there was no voice, no answer, and no one cared.

30 “Elijah said to all the people, “Come near to me,” so all the people came near him. He repaired the altar of Yehovah that was thrown down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to who the Word of Yehovah came, saying, “Israel will be your name.” 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of Yehovah. He made a trench around the altar, large enough to contain two measures of seed. 33 He put the wood in order, and cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, “Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt zebak, and on the wood.” 34 He said, “Do it a second time,” and they did it a second time. He said, “Do it a third time,” and they did it a third time. 35 The water flowed around the altar, and he also filled the trench with water. 36 Then at the time of the presenting of the zebak, Elijah the prophet came near, and said, “Yehovah, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are Elohim in Israel, and that I’m your servant, and that I’ve done all these things at Your request. 37 Hear me, Yehovah, hear me, so that these people may know that You, Yehovah, are Elohim, and that You’ve turned their sentiments back again.” 38 Then the fire of Yehovah fell, and incinerated the burnt zebak, the wood, the stones and the dust, and licked up the water in the trench. 39 When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces. They said, “Yehovah, He is Elohim! Yehovah, He is Elohim!” 40 Elijah told them, “Seize the prophets of Baal! Don’t let one of them escape!” So they seized them. Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and killed them there.

41 “ Elijah said to Ahab, “Get up, eat and drink, because there is the sound of abundance of rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, and he bowed down on the earth, and put his face between his knees. 43 He said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea. He went up, and looked, and said, ‘There is nothing.’ Elijah told him seven times, “Go again.” 44 Then after the seventh time, he said, “A small cloud like a man’s hand is rising out of the sea!” He said, “Go tell Ahab, ‘Get ready and go down, so that the rain doesn’t stop you.’” 45 Then in a little while, the sky became black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 46 The hand of Yehovah was on Elijah, and he tucked his coat into his belt and ran ahead of Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

[1] It seems as tho Elijah was no stranger to being whisked away! This is before he was whisked off in a chariot of fire in 2 Kings 2:11.

1 KINGS 19

1 Ahab told Jezebel everything that Elijah had done, about how he had killed all the prophets with a sword. 2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, to say, “May the gods do the same to me, and even more if I don’t make your life like the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time!” 3 When he saw that, he got up and fled for his life, and came to Beersheba, part of 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, and he prayed that he would die, and said, “It is enough. Now, Yehovah, take my life, because I’m no better than my ancestors.” 5 He laid down and slept under a juniper tree, but then a messenger touched him, and told him, “Get up and eat!” 6 He looked up and saw that there by his head was a cake that was baked over coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and laid down again. 7 The Messenger of Yehovah came a second time, and touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” 8 He got up, and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the Mount of Elohim.

9 “He came to a cave, and stayed there, and the Word of Yehovah came to him! He asked him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I’ve been very jealous for Yehovah, the Elohim warrior, because the Israelites have forsaken Your covenant, knocked down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with swords. I, I alone am left, and they want to kill me.” 11 He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before Yehovah.” Yehovah passed by, and a very strong wind tore into the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before Yehovah, but Yehovah wasn’t in the wind! After the wind there was an earthquake, but Yehovah wasn’t in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire passed, but Yehovah wasn’t in the fire, and after the fire there was a still small voice. 13 So when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entrance of the cave. A voice came to him, and asked, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, “I’ve been very jealous for Yehovah, Elohim the Commander. The Israelites have abandoned Your covenant, torn down your altars, and killed Your prophets with swords. I’m the only one left, and they’re trying to end my life too.” 15 Yehovah told him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive, you’ll anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 You’ll anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi to be king over Israel, and you’ll anoint Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel Meholah to be prophet in your place. 17 Then anyone who escapes from the sword of Hazael, Jehu will kill, and anyone who escapes from the sword of Jehu, Elisha will kill. 18 Yet I'll leave seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that hasn’t kissed him.”

19 “So he left there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat. He was harrowing [1] with twelve yoke of oxen [12 pairs] in front of him, and he was using the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and tossed his mantle over him. 20 He left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I’ll follow you.” He told him, “Go back again, because 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 got up, and followed Elijah, and served him.

[1] “A primitive root; to scratch”: Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. Ancient “plowing” resembled modern no-till more than mold board plowing: “One early type of plow used in the United States was little more than a crooked stick with an iron point attached, sometimes with rawhide, which simply scratched the ground.”

1 KINGS 20

1 Ben Hadad the king of Syria gathered his entire army together, and there were thirty-two kings with him, and horses and chariots, and he went up and laid siege to Samaria, and fought against it. 2 He sent messengers to Ahab king of Israel, into the city, and told him, “Ben Hadad says, 3 ‘Your silver and your gold is mine. Your wives as well as your children, even the best, are mine. 4 The king of Israel answered, “It is according to your saying, my master, the king. I’m yours, and everything that I have.” 5 The messengers came again, and said, “Ben Hadad sends this message: ‘You will hand over to me your silver, your gold, your wives and your children, 6 but I’ll send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they’ll search your house, and the houses of your servants, and then whatever is pleasant in your eyes, they’ll put it in their hand, and take it away.’”

7 “Then the king of Israel called all the elders of the land, and said, “Please notice how this man seeks mischief, because he sent to me for my wives, my children, my silver, my gold, and I didn’t deny him.” 8 All the elders and all the people told him, “Don’t listen or consent.” 9 So he told Ben Hadad’s messengers, “Tell your majesty the king that everything you requested your servant to initially I’ll do, but I can’t do this.” The messengers left, and brought him back the message. 10 Ben Hadad sent to him, and said, “The gods do so to me, and more also, if the dust of Samaria will suffice for handfuls for all the people who follow me.” 11 The king of Israel answered, “Tell him, ‘Don’t let the one who puts on his armor brag like the one who takes it off.’” 12 Then when Ben Hadad heard this message, as he was drinking, he and the kings, in the pavilions, he said to his servants, “Prepare to attack!” They prepared to attack the city.

13 “Look, a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel, and said, “This is what Yehovah says: “Have you seen this great multitude? I’ll deliver it into your hand today, and you’ll realize that I am Yehovah! 14 Ahab asked, “By whom?” He replied, “This is what Yehovah says: ‘By the young men of the leaders of the provinces.’ Then he said, “Who will begin the battle?” He answered, “You will.” 15 Then he gathered the young men of the leaders of the provinces, and they were two hundred and thirty-two. After them, he gathered all the people, all the Israelites, being seven thousand. 16 They went out at noon. But Ben Hadad was drinking himself drunk in the pavilions, he and the kings, the thirty-two kings who helped him. 17 The young men of the leaders of the provinces went out first, and Ben Hadad sent out, and they told him, “Men are coming out from Samaria.” 18 He said, “If they’ve come out for peace, take them alive, and if they’ve come out for war, take them alive.” 19 So these went out of the city, the young men of the leaders of the provinces, and the army that followed them. 20 They each killed his man. The Syrians fled, and Israel pursued them. Ben Hadad the king of Syria escaped on horseback with some of the cavalry. 21 The king of Israel went out, and struck the horses and chariots, and killed the Syrians with a great slaughter.

22 “The prophet approached the king of Israel, and told him, “Go strengthen yourself, and consider what you have to do, because in the new year the king of Syria will attack again.”

23 “The servants of the king of Syria told him, “Their god is a god of the hills, so they were stronger than we. But let’s fight against them in the plain, and surely we’ll be stronger than they. 24 So do this: Take the kings away from their commands, and replace them with field commanders! 25 Gather an army, like the army that you lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot. We’ll fight against them on the plain, and surely we’ll be stronger than they are.” He listened to their voice, and did so.

26 Then in the new year, Ben Hadad mustered the Syrians, and went up to Aphek to fight against Israel. 27 The Israelites were organized and supplied, and went against them. The Israelites camped before them like two little flocks of young goats, but the Syrians filled the country. 28 A man of Elohim came near and told the king of Israel, “This is what Yehovah says: “Because the Syrians have said, ‘Yehovah is a god of the hills, but He isn’t a god of the valleys,’ I’ll deliver this entire multitude into your hand, and you’ll realize that I am Yehovah.” 29 They remained camped opposite each other for seven days. On the seventh day the battle began, and the Israelites killed one hundred thousand Syrian footmen in one day.

30 “But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city, and the wall fell on twenty-seven thousand men who were left. Ben Hadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber. 31 His servants told him, “See now, we have heard that the kings of the House of Israel are merciful kings. Please let us put sackcloth on our bodies, and ropes on our heads, and go out to the king of Israel. Maybe he’ll save your lives.” 32 So they put sackcloth on their bodies and ropes on their heads, and came to the king of Israel, and said, “Your servant Ben Hadad says: Please let me live.” He said, “Is he still alive? He is my brother.” 33 Now the men observed diligently, and hurried to take this phrase, and they said, “Your brother is Ben Hadad.” Then he said, “Go, bring him.” Then Ben Hadad came out to him, and he caused him to come up into the chariot. 34 Ben Hadad told him, “The cities that my father took from your father I’ll restore. You’ll make streets for yourself in Damascus, as my father made in Samaria.” Ahab said, “I'll let you go with this covenant.” So he made a covenant with him, and let him go.

35 “A certain man of the 'Guild' of Prophets said to his fellow by the Word of Yehovah, “Please strike me!” The man refused to strike him. 36 Then he said to him, “Because you haven’t obeyed the voice of Yehovah, as soon as you’ve left me, a lion will kill you.” As soon as he left him, a lion found him, and killed him. 37 Then he found another man, and said, “Please strike me.” The man struck him, smiting and wounding him. 38 So the prophet left, and waited for the king along the way, and disguised himself with his headband over his eyes. 39 As the king passed by, he cried to the king, “Your servant went out into the middle of the battle, and saw a man turned aside, and brought a man to me, and said, ‘Guard this man! If by any means he is missing, then your life will be for his life, or else you’ll pay a talent of silver.’ 40 As your servant was busy here and there, he was gone. The king of Israel told him, ‘So your judgment will be, you’ve decided it.’ 41 He hurried, and took the headband away from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized that he was one of the prophets. 42 He told him, “This is what Yehovah says: “Because you allowed the man I said must be destroyed to escape, you must die instead of him, and your people will die instead of his people.” 43 The king of Israel went to his house sullen and angry, and came to Samaria.

1 KINGS 21

1 Then after these things, Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard that was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. 2 Ahab told Naboth, “Give me your vineyard, so that I can have it for an herb garden, because it’s near my house, and I’ll give you a better vineyard than it. Or, if it seems good to you, I’ll give you its worth in silver. 3 Naboth said to Ahab, “May Yehovah forbid me from giving the inheritance of my ancestors to you!” 4 Ahab went home sullen and angry because of what Naboth the Jezreelite had told him, because he had said, “I won’t give you the inheritance of my ancestors. He laid down on his bed, and turned away his face, and wouldn’t eat any bread. 5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and asked, “Why is your spirit so sad that you aren’t eating any bread?” 6 He told her, “Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and told him, “Give me your vineyard for silver, or else, if it pleases you, I’ll give you another vineyard for it.’ He answered, “I won’t give you my vineyard. 7 Jezebel his wife told him, “Don’t you govern the kingdom of Israel? Get up, and eat, and cheer up. I’ll give you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

8 “So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters to the elders and the nobles who were in his city, who lived with Naboth. 9 She wrote in the letters, “Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10 Set two perverted men, before him, and let them testify against him, saying, “You cursed Elohim and the king!’ Then carry him out and stone him to death. 11 The men of his city, the elders and the nobles who lived in his city did exactly what Jezebel had asked them to do, as was written in the letters she sent. 12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 13 The two perverted men came in and sat before him. The perverted men testified against Naboth, in the presence of the people, “Naboth cursed Elohim and the king!” Then they carried him out of the city, and stoned him to death with stones. 14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, “Naboth has been stoned, and is dead. 15 Then when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned to death, Jezebel said to Ahab, “Get up, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, that he refused to give you for silver, because Naboth isn’t alive, but dead. 16 Then when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab got up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.

17 “The Word of Yehovah came to Elijah the Tishbite: 18 “Get up, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who lives in Samaria. He is in the vineyard of Naboth, where he has gone down to take possession of it. 19 Tell him, saying, “This is what Yehovah says: “Have you murdered someone just to steal his property?” You must tell him ‘This is what Yehovah says: “In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, dogs will lick your own blood!’” 20 Ahab said to Elijah, “Have you found me, my enemy?” He answered, “I’ve found you, because you’ve sold yourself to do what is evil in the sight of Yehovah. 21 Look, I’ll bring evil on you, and completely sweep you away and eliminate from Ahab everyone who urinates against a wall, whether slave or freeman in Israel. 22 I’ll make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah for the provocation that you’ve provoked My anger and have led Israel into sin.’ 23 Yehovah also told Jezebel, “The dogs will eat Jezebel by the rampart of Jezreel. 24 The dogs will eat anyone who dies from Ahab’s family in the city, and the birds of the air will eat those who die in the country.”

25 There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do what was evil in the sight of Yehovah, under the influence of his wife Jezebel. 26 He did very abominably in following idols, according to everything that the Amorites did, who Yehovah threw out before the Israelites.”

27 “Then when Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sackcloth on his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly. 28 The Word of Yehovah came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “See how Ahab humbles himself in My presence? Because he humbles himself in My presence, I won’t bring the evil during his 'lifetime', but in his son’s 'lifetime' I’ll bring the evil on his family.”

1 KINGS 22

1 Three years passed without war between Syrians and Israel. 2 Then in the third year, Jehoshaphat the king of Judah came down to the king of Israel. 3 The king of Israel said to his servants, “You know that Ramoth Gilead is ours, but we’re still not doing anything to free it from the king of Syria’s grasp?” 4 He said to Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to battle against Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat told the king of Israel, “I’m as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.”

5 “Jehoshaphat told the king of Israel, “First let’s consult the Word of Yehovah.” 6 Then the king of Israel gathered the false prophets [Targum] together, about four hundred men, and told them, “Should I go against Ramoth Gilead to battle or not?” They said, “Go up, because Yehovah will deliver it into the hand of the king.” 7 But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there a [true] prophet of Yehovah here to ask?” 8 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man who could consult Yehovah for us, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, because he doesn’t prophesy anything good about me, only bad.” Jehoshaphat replied, “The king shouldn’t say that.” 9 Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, “Quickly get Micaiah the son of Imlah.”

10 “Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting on their respective thrones, arrayed in their robes, in an open place at the entrance of the gate of Samaria, and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 11 Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron, and said, “This is what Yehovah says: “With these you’ll push the Syrians until they are consumed.” 12 All the prophets prophesied, “Go up to Ramoth Gilead, and prosper, because Yehovah will deliver it into the hand of the king.”

13 “The messenger who went to call Micaiah advised him, “Look, the 'messages' of the prophets are unanimously favorable toward the king. Please let your response be like the response of any one of them, and speak favorably.” 14 Micaiah said, “As Yehovah lives, what Yehovah says to me, that I’ll speak.” 15 When he came to the king, the king told him, “Micaiah, should we go to Ramoth Gilead to battle or shouldn’t we?” He replied, “Go up and prosper, and Yehovah will deliver it into the hand of the king.” 16 The king askd him, “How many times have I asked you to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of Yehovah?” 17 He said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd.” Yehovah said, “These have no master. Let them each return to his house in peace.” 18 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he wouldn’t prophesy good concerning me, but evil?”

19 “Micaiah said, “So hear the Word of Yehovah. I saw Yehovah sitting on His throne, and the entire army of Heaven standing by Him on His right hand on His left. 20 Yehovah asked, ‘Who will entice Ahab to go up and fall at Ramoth Gilead?’ One said one thing, and another said another. 21 Then a spirit came out and stood before Yehovah, and said, ‘I’ll entice him.’ 22 Yehovah asked him, “How?” He said, “I’ll go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.” He said, “You will entice him and then prevail. Go out and do so.” 23 So see, Yehovah has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all of your prophets, and Yehovah has spoken evil concerning you.

24 “Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near, and struck Micaiah on the cheek, and said, “Which way did the Spirit of Yehovah go from me to speak to you?” 25 Micaiah said, “Look, you’ll see on that day, when you go into an inner chamber to hide yourself.” 26 The king of Israel said, “Take Micaiah, and carry him back to Amon the governor of the city, and to Yehoash the king’s son. 27 Say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in the prison, and feed him with the bread of oppression and with water of affliction until I come in peace.’” 28 Micaiah said, “If you return at all in peace, Yehovah hasn’t spoken by me.” He said, “Listen, all you people!”

29 “So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth Gilead. 30 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “I’ll disguise myself, and go into the battle, but you put on your robes.” The king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle. 31 Now the king of Syria had commanded the thirty-two captains of his chariots, “Don’t attack anyone but the king of Israel.” 32 Then when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, they said, “Surely that is the king of Israel!” and they turned aside to fight against him. Jehoshaphat cried out. 33 Then when the captains of the chariots saw that it wasn’t the king of Israel, they turned back from pursuing him.

34 “A certain man drew his bow at random, and struck the king of Israel between the joints of the armor. So he told the driver of his chariot, “Turn your hand, and carry me out of the battle, because I’m severely wounded.” 35 The battle increased that day. The king was propped up in his chariot facing the Syrians, and died that evening. The blood ran out of the wound into the bottom of the chariot. 36 A cry went thruout the army about sundown: “Every man to his city, and every man to his country!” 37 So the king died, and was brought to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria. 38 They washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood where the prostitutes washed themselves, according to the Word of Yehovah that he spoke.

39 “Now the rest of the events of Ahab’s reign, and everything that he did, and the ivory house that he built, and all the cities that he built, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel. 40 So Ahab died and was buried with his ancestors, and Ahaziah his son reigned in his place.

41 “ Jehoshaphat the son of Asa began to reign over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 He 'lived' the way of Asa his father, He didn’t turn aside from it, doing what was right in the sight of Yehovah, however the 'shrines' were not taken away, the people still made offerings and burned incense in the 'shrines'. 44 Jehoshaphat made peace with the king of Israel.

45 “Now the rest of the events of Jehoshaphat’s reign, and his might that he showed, and how he fought are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 46 The 'survivors' of the sodomites that remained in the days of his father Asa were removed from the land. 47 There was no king in Edom, a deputy was king. 48 Jehoshaphat made Tarshish-styled ships to sail to Ophir for gold. But the ships never set sail, because they were shipwrecked at Ezion Geber. 49 Then Ahaziah the son of Ahab said to Jehoshaphat, “Have my servants go with your servants in the ships.” But Jehoshaphat wouldn’t. 50 Jehoshaphat died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David his father, Jehoram his son reigned in his place.

51 “Ahaziah the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the seventeenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and he reigned two years over Israel. 52 He did evil in Yehovah’s sight, 'living just like' his father and mother, and like Nebat’s son Jeroboam, who led Israel into sin. 53 He served Baal, and worshiped him, and provoked to anger Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, according to everything that his father had done.

“2” KINGS 1

Chapters 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25. 1st and 2nd Kings are really one book!

1 Moab rebelled against Israel after the death of Ahab. 2 Ahaziah fell thru a lattice window in his upstairs room in Samaria and injured himself. So he sent messengers, and told them, “Go ask Baalzebub, the god of Ekron, if I’ll recover from this injury.” 3 But the Messenger of Yehovah told Elijah the Tishbite, “Get up and meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and ask them, ‘Is it because there is no Elohim in Israel, that you go to inquire of Baalzebub, the god of Ekron? 4 This is what Yehovah says: “You won’t leave the bed you are lying on. You’ll certainly die.’” Then Elijah left.

5 “The messengers returned to him, and he told them, “Why have you returned?” 6 They told him that a man came up to meet us, and told us, “Go back to the king who sent you, and tell him, ‘This is what Yehovah asks: Is it because there is no Elohim in Israel, that you send men to inquire of Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron? So you won’t get up from your sickbed, you’ll certainly die.’”ť 7 He asked them, “What kind of man was he who came up to meet you, and told you these words?” 8 They replied, “He was a man wearing clothing made of hair with a leather belt around his waist.” ‘The king’ said, “It’s Elijah the Tishbite.”

9 “Then the king sent a captain of fifty with his fifty to him. He went up to him and saw that he was sitting on the top of the hill. He told him, “Man of Elohim, the king says, ‘Come down!’” 10 Elijah answered the captain of fifty, “If I’m a man of Elohim, fire will come down from the sky and incinerate you and your fifty!” Fire came down from the sky, and incinerated him and his fifty. 11 Again he sent to him another captain of fifty and his fifty. He replied, “Man of Elohim, the king has said, ‘Come down quickly!’ 12 Elijah answered them, “If I’m a man of Elohim, fire will come down from the sky, and incinerate you and your fifty!” The fire of Elohim came down from the sky, and incinerated him and his fifty. 13 Again he sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. The third captain of fifty went up, and came and fell on his knees before Elijah, and begged him, “Man of Elohim, , please spare my life and the lives of these, your fifty servants. 14 Look, fire came down from the sky, and incinerated the two former captains of fifty with their fifties. But now may my life be precious in your sight.” 15 The Messenger of Yehovah told Elijah, “Go down with him. Don’t be afraid of him. He got up, and went down with him to the king.” 16 He told him [the king], “This is what Yehovah says: “Because you’ve sent messengers to inquire of Baalzebub, the god of Ekron, is it because there is no Elohim in Israel to inquire of His Word? So you won’t get up from your sickbed—but you’ll certainly die.’”ť 17 So he died according to the Word of Yehovah that Elijah had spoken. Jehoram began to reign in his place in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, because he had no son.

18 “Now the rest of the events of Ahaziah’s reign that he did are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel.

2 KINGS 2

1 Then when Yehovah was about to take Elijah up by a tornado into heaven, Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Wait here, because Yehovah is sending me all the way to Bethel.” Elisha said, “As Yehovah lives, and as you yourself live, I won’t leave you.” So they went on to Bethel. 3 The 'Guild' of Prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and asked him, “Do you know that Yehovah is going to take your master away from you today?” He answered, “Yes, I know it, 'calm down'.” 4 Elijah told him, “Wait here Elisha, because Yehovah has sent me to Jericho.” He said, “As Yehovah lives, and as you yourself live, I won’t leave you.” So they went to Jericho. 5 The 'Guild' of Prophets who were in Jericho approached Elisha, and asked him, “Do you know that Yehovah is going to take your master away from you today?” He answered, “Yes, I know it, 'calm down'.” 6 Elijah told him, “Wait here, because Yehovah has sent me to the Jordan River.” He said, ‘As Yehovah lives, and as you yourself live, I won’t leave you.’ So the two of them moved on. 7 Fifty men of the 'Guild' of Prophets went and stood opposite them at a distance, and they both stood by the Jordan River.

8 “Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and struck the waters, and they were divided here and there, so they both went over on dry ground. 9 Then once they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I’m taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please allow me to have a double portion [1] of your spirit.” 10 He said, “You’ve asked something difficult. If you see me after I’ve been taken from you, it will happen for you, but if not, it won’t happen.” 11 As they were walking along and talking, 'suddenly' a fiery chariot with fiery horses appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up into the sky * in a tornado! [2] 12 Elisha saw it, and yelled, “My father, my father, the chariot and cavalry of Israel!” When he couldn’t see him anymore, he latched onto his own clothes and tore them into two pieces.

13 “He also took Elijah’s mantle that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of the Jordan River. 14 He took Elijah’s mantle that fell from him, and struck the waters, and said, “Where is Yehovah, the Elohim of Elijah?” When he also had struck the waters, they were divided here and there, and Elisha crossed over. 15 When the 'Guild' of Prophets who were in Jericho opposite him saw him, they said, “The spirit [always feminine] of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him, and bowed to the ground in front of him. 16 They told him, “See now, there are with your servants fifty strong men. Let them go, please, and seek your master. Perhaps the spirit of Yehovah has taken him up, and put him on some mountain, or into some valley.” He replied, “Don’t send them.” 17 When they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, “Send them.” So they sent fifty men, and they searched for three days, but didn’t find him. 18 They came back to him, while he stayed at Jericho, and he told them, “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t go?’”

19 “The men of the city said to Elisha, “Please, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my master sees, but the water is bad, and the land won’t produce crops.” 20 He said, “Bring me a new jar, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 21 He went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, and said, “This is what Yehovah says: ‘I’ve healed this water. There won’t be any more death or crop failures from this.” 22 To this day the water remains pure, just as Elisha said.

23 “As he traveled from there to Bethel and was walking along the road, some punks came out of the city and harassed him by yelling, “Get out of here, baldy. Get out of here, baldy!” 24 He looked behind him and saw them, and cursed them in the name of Yehovah. Then two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of them. 25 He went from there to Mount Carmel, and from there he returned to Samaria.

[1] The double portion indicated that Elisha was granted honorary firstborn status. This explains the “father” comment of verse 12.

[2] Most commentators have great difficulty reconciling this event with the letter Elijah sent perhaps 7 years later, as recorded in 2 Chronicles 21:12. The problem is that people assume that Elijah died and went to heaven rather than having experienced a dramatic ending of his mission there and then. See more on Elijah here under the heading: The Fifth Coming of Elijah! Elijah never left the atmosphere: John 3:13

2 KINGS 3

1 Now Jehoram the son of Ahab began to reign over Israel in Samaria in the eighteenth year of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, and reigned twelve years. 2 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, but not like his father and mother, because he removed the pillar of Baal that his father had made. 3 But he cleaved to the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, in that he caused Israel to sin, he didn’t turn away from it.

4 “Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder, and he gave the king of Israel the wool of one hundred thousand lambs, and of one hundred thousand rams. 5 But when Ahab was dead, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel. 6 King Jehoram left Samaria at that time, and mustered all Israel. 7 He sent this message to Jehoshaphat the king of Judah: “The king of Moab has rebelled against me. Will you go with me against Moab to battle?” He said, “I’ll go up. I’m as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 8 He said, “Which way will we go up?” He answered, “The way of the wilderness of Edom.”

9 “So the king of Israel went, and the king of Judah, and the king of Edom, and they made a circuit of seven days’ journey. There was no water for the army or for the animals that followed them. 10 The king of Israel said, “Alas! Yehovah has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.” 11 But Jehoshaphat said, “Isn’t there a prophet of Yehovah here that we may inquire of Yehovah by him?” One of the king of Israel’s servants answered, “Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured water on the hands of Elijah.” 12 Jehoshaphat said, “The Word of Yehovah is with him.” So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat and the king of Edom went down to him.

13 “Elisha told the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father, and to the prophets of your mother.” The king of Israel told him, “No. Yehovah has called these three kings together to deliver them into the hand of Moab.” 14 Elisha said, “As Yehovah the Commander lives, before who I stand, if I didn’t respect the presence of Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I wouldn’t look toward you or see you. 15 But now bring me a minstrel.” Then when the minstrel played, the hand of Yehovah came on him. 16 He said, “This is what Yehovah says: “Make this valley full of trenches.” 17 This is what Yehovah says: “You won’t see wind or rain, yet that valley will be filled with water, and you’ll drink, both you and your livestock and your animals. 18 This is but a light thing in the sight of Yehovah. He’ll also deliver the Moabites into your hand. 19 You’ll strike every fortified city, and every choice city, and cut down every good tree, stop all springs of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.” 20 Then in the morning, about the time of the offering, water came by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.

21 “Now when all the Moabites heard that the kings came up to fight against them, they gathered together everyone who was able to put on armor, and upward, and stood on the border. 22 They got up early in the morning, and the sun shone on the water, and the Moabites saw the water over against them as red as blood. 23 They said, “This is blood. The kings are surely destroyed, and they’ve struck each other. So Moab, let’ take the spoils!” 24 When they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites got up and struck the Moabites, so that they fled before them, and they went forward into the land killing the Moabites. 25 They destroyed the cities, and each of them threw stones to cover every good field. They stopped all the springs and cut down all the useful trees, until only the stones of Kir Hareseth were left. Then men with slings surrounded the city and attacked it. 26 When the king of Moab saw that the battle was too fierce for him, he took seven swordsmen with him to break thru to the king of Edom, but they couldn’t. 27 Then he took his oldest son, who would have reigned in his place, and offered him as a sacrifice on the wall. There was great wrath against Israel, and they withdrew from him, and returned to their own land.

2 KINGS 4

1 Now certain of the wives of the 'Guild' of Prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead. You know that your servant feared Yehovah. Now the creditor has come to take for himself my two children to be slaves.” 2 Elisha said to her, “What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” She said, “Your handmaid has nothing in the house except a pot of oil.” 3 Then he said, “Go, borrow containers from of all your neighbors, empty containers. Don’t get just a few. 4 Then you and your sons come inside and shut the door behind you. Pour oil into all those containers, setting aside each one when it is full.” 5 So she left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They were bringing containers to her while she kept pouring oil. 6 Then when the containers were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another container.” But he replied, “There aren’t any more.” Then the oil stopped flowing.” 7 Then she came and told the man of Elohim. He said, “Go, sell the oil, and pay your debt, and you and your sons live on the rest.”

8 “One day Elisha passed by Shunem where there was a prominent woman who persuaded him to eat. Afterward, whenever he was in the area, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, “See now, I perceive that this is a 'special' man of Elohim who passes by us continually. 10 Let’s make him a little chamber on the wall and set up a bed, a table, a chair and a menorah for him there. Then when he comes to us, he’ll turn in there.” 11 One day he came by and turned into the chamber and lay there. 12 He said to Gehazi his servant, “Call this Shunammite.” When he had called her, she stood before him. 13 He told him, “Say now to her, ‘You’ve cared for us with diligently. What can to be done for you? Should we speak on your behalf to the king or to the commander of the army?’ She answered, “I live among my own people.” 14 He said, “What then is to be done for her?” Gehazi answered, “Most certainly she has no son, and her husband is old.” 15 He said, “Call her.” When he had called her, she stood in the door. 16 He said, “At this time next year you’ll be embracing a son.” She said, “No master, you man of Elohim, don’t mislead your servant.” 17 The woman conceived and bore a son about that same the next year, as Elisha had told her.

18 “After the child had grown up, one day he went out to his father and the reapers. 19 He said to his father, “My head! My head!” He said to his servant: “Carry him to his mother.” 20 When he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees until noon, and then died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of Elohim, and shut the door on him, and went out. 22 She called to her husband, and said, “Please send me one of the servants, and one of the donkeys, so that I can run to the man of Elohim, and come again.” 23 He said, “Why would you want to go to him today? It’s neither a new moon or the Sabbath.” She said, “It’s alright.” 24 Then she saddled a donkey and said to her servant, “Drive ahead! Don’t slow the pace for me unless I tell you to.”

25 “So she left, and came to the man of Elohim to Mount Carmel. Then when the man of Elohim saw her from a distance, he said to Gehazi his servant, “Look, there’s the Shunammite.” 26 Please run now to meet her, and ask her, “Is everything alright with you? Is your husband alright? Is your child alright?” She answered, “Everything is alright.” 27 When she came to the man of Elohim on the hill, she grabbed his feet. Gehazi came by to push her away, but the man of Elohim said, “Leave her alone! She is deeply troubled, and Yehovah has hidden it from me, and hasn’t told me why.” 28 Then she said, “Did I ask for a son of my master? Didn’t I say, Don’t mislead me?” 29 Then he said to Gehazi, “Tuck your coat into your belt and take my staff in hand, and take the road. If you meet anyone, don’t greet them, and if anyone greets you, don’t reply. Then lay my staff on the boy’s face.” 30 The child’s mother said, “As long as Yehovah and you live, I won’t leave you.” Then he got up and followed her.

31 “Gehazi went ahead of them and laid the staff on the boy’s face, but there was no sound or 'response'. So he went back to meet him and told him, “The boy didn’t wake up.” 32 When Elisha came into the house, the boy was dead and lying dead on his bed! 33 He went in and shut the door on them both, and prayed to Yehovah. 34 He went up, and lay on the boy, and put his mouth to his mouth, and his eyes to his eyes, and his hands on his hands. As he stretched himself over the boy and his flesh began to warm. 35 Then he returned, and walked in the house once back and forth, and went up, and stretched himself on him. Then the boy sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. 36 He called Gehazi, and said, “Call the Shunammite!” So he called her. When she came in to him, he said, “Take your son back!” 37 Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and she took her son and left.

38 “When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. The 'Guild' of Prophets were sitting before him, and he said to his servant, “Put on the large pot and make stew for the 'Guild' of Prophets.” 39 Someone went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered wild gourds from it until his garment was full, and came and shred them into the pot of stew, tho no one was aware of what they were. 40 They poured some out for the men to eat. Then, as they were eating the stew, they cried out, and said, “Man of Elohim, the pot of stew is 'poisonous'!” So they couldn’t eat it. 41 But he said, “Then get some flour.” He tossed it into the pot and said, “Serve it to the people so they can eat.” Then there was no longer anything harmful in the pot.

42 “Later on, a man from Baal-shalishah came and brought the man of Elohim twenty loaves of bread in a sack as a first fruit offering made from [or ‘and’] fresh grain. He said, “Give it to the people so they can eat.” 43 His servant said, “What, am I to serve only this to a hundred men?” But he said, “Serve the people so that they can eat, because Yehovah said: ‘They’ll eat and have some left over.’” 43 So he served them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the Word of Yehovah.

2 KINGS 5

1 Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him Yehovah had given victory to Syria, he was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a person with a skin disease. 2 The Syrians had gone out in bands, and had kidnapped from the land of Israel a little maiden, and she became a servant to Naaman’s wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “I wish that my master were with the prophet from Samaria! Then he would heal him of his skin disease.” 4 Someone went in, and told his master, “The maiden who is from the land of Israel said this.” 5 The king of Syria said, “Go now, and I’ll send a letter to the king of Israel.” He departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6 He brought the letter to the king of Israel that said, “When this letter has come to you, I’ve already sent Naaman my servant to you, so that you can heal him of his skin disease.” 7 Then when the king of Israel had read the letter, he tore his clothes, and said, “Am I Elohim, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends to me to heal a man of his skin disease? But consider, please, and see how he seeks a quarrel against me.”

8 “When Elisha, the man of Elohim, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, asking, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, and he’ll know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to him who told him, “Go wash in the Jordan River seven times, and your flesh will be restored for you, and you’ll be clean.” 11 But Naaman got angry and left, and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me, stand and call on the name of Yehovah his Elohim, and wave his hand over the 'infection' and cure the skin disease. 12 Aren’t Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the water of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and left in a rage. 13 His servants approached and asked him “My father, if the prophet had asked you do something great, wouldn’t you have done it? Why is it not more preferable that he told you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’” 14 So he went down, and dipped seven times in the Jordan River, as the man of Elohim had said, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

15 “He returned to the man of Elohim, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him, and he said, “Now I know that there is no Elohim in all the earth other than in Israel. So please take a gift from your servant.” 16 But he said, “As Yehovah lives, before who I stand, I’ll receive nothing.” He then urged him to take it, but he refused. 17 Naaman said, “If you won’t take it, then please have someone give me as much Israelitesoil as a pair of mules can carry, because from now on your servant will no longer offer burnt offering or zebak to any other Elohim than Yehovah. 18 In this matter may Yehovah pardon your servant: when my master goes into the 'shrine 'of Rimmon to worship, and he leans on my 'arm' for support [?], and I too bow in the house of Rimmon—when I bow down in the 'shrine 'of Rimmon, may Yehovah pardon your servant in this instance.

19 “He told him, “Go in peace.” So he left from him a little way. 20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of Elohim, said, “Look, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not receiving at his hands what he brought. As Yehovah lives, I’ll run after him, and take something from him.” 21 So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman noticed someone running toward him, he got down from his chariot to greet him and asked, “Is everything all right?” 22 He said, “Everything is fine. My master has sent me, saying, ‘Look, even now two young men from the 'Guild' of Prophets have come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.’” 23 Naaman said, “Please take two talents.” He urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags along with two changes of clothing, and laid them on two of his servants, and they carried them before him. 24 When he came to the hill, he took them from their hand, and stored them in the house. Then he let the men go, and they left. 25 But he went in, and stood before his master. Elisha asked him, “Where did you come from, Gehazi?” He said, “Your servant went nowhere.” 26 He asked him, “Didn’t an 'awareness' of me go with you when the man turned from his chariot to greet you? Is it a time to receive silver, and to receive clothing, and olive groves and vineyards, sheep and cattle, and male servants and female servants? 27 So Naaman’s skin disease will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” He left Elisha’s presence infected with the skin disease—as white as snow.

2 KINGS 6

1 The 'Guild' of Prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we live with you is too small for us. 2 Please let us go to the Jordan River where we can each get a beam to build ourselves a place to live there.” So he said, “Go.” 3 Someone said, “Please be willing to go with your servants.” He answered, “I’ll go.” 4 So he went with them. When they came to the Jordan River they cut down wood. 5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water. Then he cried, and said, “Oh no master! It was borrowed.” 6 The man of Elohim asked, “Where did it fall?” He showed him the place. He cut down a stick, threw it in there, and made the iron float. 7 He said, “Take it.” So he reached out his hand took it.

8 “Now the king of Syria was warring against Israel, and he took counsel with his servants, saying, “My camp will be in such and such a place.” 9 The man of Elohim sent a message to the king of Israel: “Be careful passing by this place, because the Arameans are going down there.” 10 The king of Israel 'forwarded' the message to the place that the man of Elohim mentioned and warned him of. Having been forewarned, he protected himself there more than once or twice. 11 The mind of the king of Syria was very troubled about this. He called his servants, and told them, “Won’t you show me which of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 One of his servants said, “No, my master, the king, but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.”

13 “He said, “Go and see where he is, so that I can arrange to capture him.” And he was told, “He is in Dothan!” 14 So he sent horses, chariots, and a great army there. They came at night and surrounded the city. 15 When the servant of the man of Elohim had risen early, and gone out, he saw an army with horses and chariots surrounding the city. His servant told him, “Oh no master! What will we do?” 16 He answered, “Don’t be afraid, because those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Elisha prayed, and said, “Yehovah, please open his eyes so that he can see.” Yehovah opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw that the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire around Elisha!

18 “When they came down to him, Elisha prayed to Yehovah, and said, “Please strike these people with blindness.” He struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked. 19 Elisha told them, “This isn’t the way, nor is this the city. Follow me, and I’ll bring you to the man who you’re looking for.” He led them to Samaria. 20 Then when they had arrived in Samaria, Elisha said, “Yehovah, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Yehovah opened their eyes, and they saw that they were in the middle of Samaria. 21 The king of Israel said to Elisha, when he saw them, “My father, should I strike them? Should I strike them?” 22 He answered, “You won’t strike them. Would you strike those who you’ve taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, so that they can eat and drink, and go to their master.” 23 He prepared a great feast for them. Once they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. The bands of Syria stopped raiding the land of Israel.

24 “Then after this Benhadad king of Syria gathered all his army, and went up and besieged Samaria. 25 There was a great famine in Samaria. They laid siege against it until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty silver shekels, and a fourth of a kab of vetches for five silver shekels!

26 As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall, a woman cried to him: “Help, my master, the king!” 27 He said, “If Yehovah doesn’t help you, where can I get you help? From the threshing floor or from the wine press?” 28 The king asked her, “What’s bothering you?” She answered, “This woman told me, ‘Give me your son so we can eat him today, and we’ll eat my son tomorrow.’” 29 So we boiled my son, and ate him, and I told her on the next day, “Give up your son, so that we can eat him,’ but she has hidden her son.” 30 When the king heard what the woman said, he ripped his clothes. As he was walking along the wall, and people noticed he was wearing sackcloth underneath his clothes next to his skin. 31 Then he said, “Elohim do so to me, and more also, if the head of Elisha the son of Shaphat remains on him today.”

32 “But Elisha was sitting in his house, and the elders were sitting with him. Then the king sent a man from before him, but before the messenger came to him, he told the elders, “Do you see how this son of a murderer has sent people to take off my head? When the messenger comes, shut the door, and hold the door shut against him! Isn’t the sound of his master’s feet behind him?” 33 While he was still talking with them, the messenger came down to him! Then he said, “This evil is from Yehovah! Why should I wait for Yehovah any longer?”

2 KINGS 7

1 Elisha said, “Hear the Word of Yehovah. This is what Yehovah says: “Tomorrow about this time a seah [approx 11 qts] of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, or two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” 2 Then the king’s 'right-hand man' leaned over and told the man of Elohim, “If Yehovah made windows in heaven, could this happen?” He said, “You’ll see it with your own eyes, but you won’t eat any!”

3 “Now there were men with a serious skin disease at the entrance of the city gate. They said one to another, “Why are we sitting here waiting to die? 4 If we say ‘Let’s go into the city’, then we’ll die of famine in the city, and if we sit still here, we’ll still die. So let’s go to the Arameans’ camp. If they spare us we’ll live, and if they kill us, we’ll only die.” 5 So they got up at twilight and went to the Aramean camp. But when they arrived at the outskirts of the Aramean camp there was no one there! 6 Yehovah had caused the army of the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a huge army, and they said one to another, “The king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 7 So they got up and fled in the twilight. They abandoned their tents, their horses and their donkeys. They left the entire camp just as it was and fled for their lives. 8 When these men with the skin disease came to the outskirts of the camp, they went into a tent, and ate and drank, and carried away silver, gold and clothing, and went and hid it. Then they came back and entered another tent, and looted it also, and went and hid it too.

9 “Then they said one to another, “We aren’t doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we keep silent. If we wait until the morning light, punishment will overtake us. So come, let’s go and tell the king’s household.” 10 So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and they told them, “We came to the camp of the Arameans, and saw that there was no one there, no sounds from men—nothing but tethered horses and donkeys and tents left just as they were!” 11 The gatekeepers announced the news to the king’s household. 12 The king got up in the night, and said to his servants, “I’ll show you what the Arameans have done to us. They know that we’re hungry. So they’ve left their encampment to hide themselves in the fields, thinking, ‘When they come out of the city, we’ll capture them alive, and get into the city.’” 13 One of his servants said, “Please let some of us take five of the horses still remaining in the city. They’ll be no worse off than all the Israelites left here in the city who have already died! So let’s send them and see.” 14 So they took two chariots with horses, and the king sent them after the Aramean army and said, “Go and surveil!” 15 So they followed them as far as the Jordan River, and found the entire roadway strewn with clothes and equipment that the Arameans had thrown away in their rush to leave! The messengers returned, and reported to the king. 16 The people went out and plundered the camp of the Arameans. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the Word of Yehovah.

17 “The king appointed 'his right-hand man' to be in charge of the gate, but the people trampled him to death in the gateway, just as the man of Elohim had foretold when the king came down to him. 18 It was just like the man of Elohim had told the king: “Tomorrow about this time a seah of fine flour will be sold for a shekel, or two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” 19 and the officer replied to the man of Elohim, “If Yehovah made windows in heaven, could this happen?” and he said, “You’ll see it with your own eyes, but you won’t eat any!” 20 And that is precisely what happened to him, because the people trampled him to death in the gateway.

2 KINGS 8

1 Now Elisha had spoken to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Get up and go, you and your household, and stay for a while wherever you can, because Yehovah has called for a famine. It will also come on the land for seven years.” 2 The woman got up, and did according to the word of the man of Elohim. She went with her household, and stayed in the land of the Philistines for seven years. 3 Then at the seven years’ end, the woman returned from the land of the Philistines. She went out to cry to the king for her house and for her land. 4 Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of Elohim, saying, “Please tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5 Then, as he was telling the king how he had restored to life someone who was dead, the woman whose son he had restored to life cried to the king for her house and for her land! Gehazi said, “My master, the king, this is the woman, and this is her son, who 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 everything that was hers, and all the produce of the field since the day that she left the land until now.”

7 “Elisha came to Damascus, and Benhadad the king of Syria was sick. He was told, “The man of Elohim has come here.” 8 The king said to Hazael, “Take a present in hand, and go and meet the man of Elohim, and inquire of Yehovah by him. Ask, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’” 9 So Hazael went to meet him, and took a present with him, including every good thing from Damascus, forty camels’ burden, and came and stood before him, and said, “Your son Benhadad king of Syria has sent me to you, asking, ‘Will I recover from this sickness?’” 10 Elisha told him Go, tell him, ‘You will surely recover,’ however Yehovah has shown me that he’ll surely die. 11 He settled his gaze steadfastly on him, until he was ashamed. Then the man of Elohim wept. 12 Hazael said, “Why do you weep, my master?” He answered, “Because I know the evil that you’ll do to the Israelites. You’ll set their strongholds on fire, and you’ll kill their young men by the sword, and dash in pieces their little ones, and rip up their pregnant women. 13 Hazael said, “But what is your servant, who is but a dog, that he should do this great thing?” Elisha answered, “Yehovah has shown me that you’ll be king over Syria.”

14 “Then he left Elisha, and came to his master, who asked him, “What did Elisha say to you?” He answered, “He told me that you would surely recover.” 15 Then, 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 the reign of Joram the son of Ahab king of Israel, when Jehoshaphat was king of Judah, Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat became king of Judah. 17 He was thirty-two years old when he began to reign. He reigned eight years in Jerusalem. 18 He 'lived' the way of the kings of Israel, as the 'family' of Ahab, because he had married the daughter of Ahab. He did evil in the sight of Yehovah. 19 However Yehovah wouldn’t destroy Judah, for David his servant’s sake, as He promised to give 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 went over to Zair, and all his chariots with him, and he got up at 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. And Libnah revolted at the same time.

23 “The rest of the acts of Joram, and everything that he did are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 24 Joram died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David, 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 wenty-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 'lived' in the way of the 'family' of Ahab, and did what was evil in the sight of Yehovah, as did the 'family' of Ahab, because he was the son-in-law of the 'family' of Ahab. 28 He went with Joram the son of Ahab to war against Hazael king of Aram at Ramoth Gilead. The Arameans wounded Joram. 29 King Joram returned to be healed in Jezreel from the wounds that the Arameans had inflicted on him in 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.

2 KINGS 9

1 Elisha the prophet summoned a man from the 'Guild' of Prophets, and told him, “Put on your 'money belt', and take this vial of oil in hand, and go to Ramoth Gilead. 2 When you get there, find Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brothers, and carry him to an inner room. 3 Then take the vial of oil, and pour it on his head, and say, ‘This is what Yehovah says: “I’ve anointed you king over Israel. Then open the door, flee, and don’t wait.’”

4 “So the young man, the young man the prophet, went to Ramoth Gilead. 5 When he came, he saw that the captains of the army were sitting. Then he said, “I have a message for you, captain. Jehu said, “To which of us?” He said, “To you captain.” 6 He got up, and went into the house. Then he poured the oil on his head, and told him, “This is what Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel says: ‘I’ve anointed you king over the people of Yehovah, over Israel. 7 You’ll strike the house of Ahab your master, so that I can avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of Yehovah at the hand of Jezebel. 8 The whole house of Ahab will die. I’ll eliminate from Ahab everyone who urinates against a wall, whether slaves or freemen in Israel. 9 I’ll make the house of Ahab 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 will be no one to bury her.” He opened the door, and fled.

11 “Then Jehu came to the servants of his master, and someone asked him, “Is all well? Why did this mad fellow come to you?” He told them, “You know the man and what his talk was.” 12 They said, “That is a lie. Tell us now.” He said, “He told me, ‘This is what Yehovah says: “I’ve anointed you king over Israel.’” 13 Then they hurriedly each took his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew the shofar, saying, “Jehu is king.” 14 So Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi conspired against Joram. (Now Joram was keeping Ramoth Gilead, he and all Israel, because of Hazael king of Syria, 15 but king Joram had returned to be healed in Jezreel of the wounds that the Syrians had given him when he fought with Hazael king of Syria.) Jehu said, “If this is your thinking, then let no one escape and leave the city, to go to tell it in Jezreel.”

16 “So Jehu rode in a chariot into Jezreel, because Joram lay there. Ahaziah king of Judah came down to see Joram. 17 Now the watchman was standing on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, “I see a company.” Joram said, “Send a horseman to meet them and ask, ‘Do you come in peace?’” 18 So a horseman went to meet him, and said, “The king asks, ‘Is it peace?’” Jehu said, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me!” The watchman said, “The messenger came to them, but he isn’t coming back.” 19 Then he sent out a second on horseback, who came to them, and said, “The king asks, ‘Is it peace?’” Jehu answered, “What do you have to do with peace? Fall in behind me!” 20 The watchman said, “He came to them, and isn’t coming back. The driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi, because he drives furiously.”

21 “Joram said, “Get ready!” They got his chariot ready. Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out to meet Jehu, and found him on the property of Naboth the Jezreelite. 22 Then when Joram saw Jehu, he asked, “Do you come in peace, Jehu?” He answered, “What peace, so long as the prostitution of your mother Jezebel and her witchcraft abound?” 23 Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, “There is treason, Ahaziah!” 24 Jehu drew his bow with his full strength, and struck Joram between his arms, and the arrow came out thru his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot. 25 Then Jehu said to Bidkar his captain, “Pick him up, and throw him in the plot of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite, because remember how when you and I rode together after Ahab his father, Yehovah laid this burden on him. 26 ‘Surely I’ve seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons,’ Yehovah says, “and I’ll repay you in this plot of ground,” says Yehovah. ‘So take him and throw him onto the plot of ground, according to the Word of Yehovah.”

27 “But when Ahaziah the king of Judah saw this, he fled on the road leading to the garden house. Jehu followed after him, and said, “Shoot him too, while he is in his chariot.” They shot him on the way up to Gur near Ibleam. He fled to Megiddo, and died there. 28 His servants carried him in a chariot to Jerusalem, and buried him in his tomb with his ancestors in the city of David. 29 In the eleventh year of Joram the son of Ahab began Ahaziah to reign over Judah.

30 “When Jehu came to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it, and she painted her eyes, and attired her head, and looked out at the window. 31 As Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, “Do you come in peace, Zimri, you murderer of your master?” 32 He lifted up his face to the window, and said, “Who is on my side? Anyone?” Two or three eunuchs looked out at him. 33 He said, “Throw her down!” So they threw her down, and some of her blood splattered on the wall, and on the horses trampled her under foot. 34 When he came in, he ate and drank, and he said, “Look to this cursed woman, and bury her, because she is a king’s daughter.” 35 They went to bury her, but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. 36 So they came back, and told him. He said, “This is the Word of Yehovah, that he spoke by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, “The dogs will eat the flesh of Jezebel on the plot of Jezreel, 37 and the body of Jezebel will be like manure on the ground in the plot at Jezreel, so that they won’t be able tosay, ‘This is Jezebel.’”

2 KINGS 10

1 Now Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. Jehu wrote letters, and sent them to Samaria, to the rulers of Jezreel, the elders, and the guardians of Ahab’s descendants in Samaria, that said, 2 “Now as soon as this letter comes to you, since your master’s sons are with you, and there are with you chariots and horses, a fortified city also, and armor, 3 select the best and fittest of your master’s sons, set him on his father’s throne, and fight for your master’s house.” 4 But they were terrified and said, “If two kings couldn’t stand up to him, how could we?” 5 So the palace administrator, the mayor of the city, the elders, and the guardians sent a message to Jehu: “We are your servants, and will do whatever you ask us, but we won’t make any man king; do what is best in your sight.” 6 Then he wrote a second letter to them that said, “If you are on my side, and if you’ll listen to 'me', take the heads of the men your master’s sons, and come to me to Jezreel by tomorrow this time.” Now the king’s sons, being seventy persons, were with the great men of the city, who were rearing them.

7 “Then when the letter came to them, they took the king’s sons, and killed them, all seventy of them, and put their heads in baskets, and sent them to him to Jezreel. 8 A messenger came and told him, “They have brought the heads of the king’s sons.” He said, “Lay them in two heaps at the entrance of the gate until the morning.” 9 Then in the morning he went out and stood and said to all the people, “You are innocent. I conspired against my master and killed him, but who killed all these men? 10 You can be sure that not a word will fall to the ground that Yehovah spoke against the house of Ahab. For Yehovah has done what He said thru His servant Elijah.” 11 So Jehu killed all that remained of the house of Ahab in Jezreel, all his most powerful men, close friends and priests, until he left him without a survivor.

12 “He got up and left, and went to Samaria. As he was at the shearing house of the shepherds along the way, 13 Jehu met with the brothers of Ahaziah king of Judah, and said, “Who are you?” They answered, “We are the brothers of Ahaziah. We are going down to greet the children of the king and the children of the queen.” 14 He said, “Take them alive!” They took them alive, and killed them at the pit of the shearing house, all forty-two men. He didn’t leave any of them.

15 “When he had left from there, he met Jehonadab the son of Rechab coming to meet him. He greeted him, and told him, “Are you as loyal to me as I am to you?” “I am,” “Then if it is, give me your hand.” He gave him his hand, and he took him up to him into the chariot. 16 He said, “Come with me, and see my zeal for Yehovah.” So they made him ride in his chariot. 17 When he came to Samaria, he killed everyone who remained to Ahab in Samaria, until he had destroyed him, according to the Word of Yehovah, that he spoke to Elijah.

18 “Jehu gathered all the people together, and told them, “Ahab served Baal a little, but Jehu will serve him much. 19 Summon to me all the prophets of Baal, all of his worshipers, and all of his priests. Make sure no one is absent, because I have a great ze’bak [sacrifice] to Baal. Whoever is absent wpll not live.” But Jehu was acting deceptively in order to destroy anyone who worshiped Baal. 20 Jehu said, “Dedicate a solemn assembly for Baal!” They proclaimed it. 21 Jehu sent thru all Israel, and all the Baal worshipers came, so that there wasn’t a man left who didn’t come. They came into the 'shrine' of Baal, and the 'shrine' of Baal was filled from one end to another. 22 He told the one who was over the vestry, “Bring out robes for all the Baal worshipers!” He brought robes out to them. 23 Jehu went with Jehonadab the son of Rechab into the house of Baal. Then he told the Baal worshipers, be certain that there are none of the servants of Yehovah here, only Baal worshipers. 24 They went in to offer sacrifices and burnt offerings. Now Jehu had stationed eighty men outside, and said, “If any of the men I’ve placed in your hands escapes, you will forfeit your life for theirs.” 25 Then, as soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, Jehu told the guard and to the captains, “Go in and kill them! Allow no one to escape.” They killed them with the edge of the sword, and the guards and the captains threw them out and went into the inner room of the 'shrine' of Baal. 26 They brought out the pillars that were in the 'shrine' of Baal, and burned them. 27 They broke down the pillar of Baal, and broke down the 'shrine' of Baal, and made it a latrine to this day.

28 “So Jehu destroyed Baal out of Israel. 29 However he didn’t turn away from the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat who made Israel sin, that is the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan. 30 Yehovah told Jehu, “Because you’ve done well in executing what is right in My eyes, and have done to the house of Ahab everything that was in My mind, your sons of the fourth generation will sit on the throne of Israel. 31 But Jehu took no heed to walk in the Torah of Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, with all his mind. He didn’t turn away from the sins of Jeroboam, in that he caused Israel to sin.

32 “In those days Yehovah began to cut off portions of Israel, and Hazael 'defeated' them thruout the territory of Israel 33 from the Jordan River eastward, all the land of Gilead, the Gadites, and the Reubenites, and the Manassites, from Aroer, that is by the valley of the Arnon, including Gilead and Bashan.

34 “Now the rest of the events of Jehu’s reign, and everything that he did, and all his achievements are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel. 35 Jehu died and was buried with his ancestors in Samaria. Jehoahaz his son reigned in his place. 36 The time that Jehu reigned over Israel in Samaria was twenty-eight years.

2 KINGS 11

1 Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she got up and destroyed all the royal offspring. 2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Yehoash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were slain, him and his nurse, and put them in a bedchamber, and they hid him from Athaliah, so that he wasn’t killed. 3 He was with her hidden in Yehovah’s 'Temple' for six years. Athaliah reigned over the land.

4 “In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the captains over hundreds of the Carites and the guards, and brought them to him into Yehovah’s 'Temple', and he made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in Yehovah’s 'Temple', and showed them the king’s son. 5 He commanded them, “This is what you must do: a third of you who come on duty on the Sabbath must guard the royal palace. 6 A third will be at the Sur gate, and a third at the gate behind the guard. You are to take turns protecting the palace. 7 The two divisions that go off duty on the Sabbath are to protect Yehovah’s 'Temple' for the king. 8 You must surround the king, each man with his weapons in his hand, and anyone who comes within the ranks is to be killed. Be with the king when he goes out, and when he comes in.”

9 “The captains over hundreds did everything that Jehoiada the priest commanded. They each brought their men, those who were to come in on the Sabbath, with those who were to go out on the Sabbath, and came to Jehoiada the priest. 10 The priest gave the captains over hundreds the spears and shields that had been King David’s that were in Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 11 The guard stood, every man with his weapons in his hand, from the right side of the house to the left side of the house, along the altar and the 'Temple', around the king. 12 Then he brought out the king’s son, and put the crown on him, and gave him the 'Torah', and they made him king, and anointed him, and they clapped their hands, and said, “King Darius, live forever.”

13 “When Athaliah heard the noise of the guard and of the people, she came to the people into Yehovah’s 'Temple', 14 and she looked, and saw the king standing by the pillar, as the manner was, and the captains and the trumpets by the king, and all the people of the land celebrated, and blew trumpets. Then Athaliah tore her clothes, and cried, “Treason! Treason!” 15 Jehoiada the priest commanded the captains of hundreds who were set over the army, and told them, “Bring her out between the ranks. Kill anyone who follows her with a sword.” The priest said, “Don’t allow her to be slain in Yehovah’s 'Temple'.” 16 So they arrested her as she went thru the horses’ entrance to the royal palace, and she was put to death there.

17 “Jehoiada made a covenant between Yehovah and the king and the people, so that they would be Yehovah’s people, also between the king and the people. 18 All the people of the land went to the house of Baal, and broke it down, his altars and his images were broken to pieces thoroly, and they killed Mattan the priest of Baal before the altars. The priest appointed officers over Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 19 He took the captains over hundreds, and the Carites, and the guards, and all the people of the land, and they brought the king down from Yehovah’s 'Temple', and came by way of the guards’ gate to the king’s palace. He [little Yehoash] sat on the throne of the kings. 20 So all the people of the land celebrated, and the city was quiet. They had slain Athaliah with a sword at the king’s palace. 21 Yehoash was seven years old when he began to reign.

2 KINGS 12

1 In the seventh year of Jehu, Yehoash began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Zibiah of Beersheba. 2 Yehoash did what was right in the sight of Yehovah all his days that Jehoiada the priest instructed him. 3 However the 'shrines' were not taken away, the people still made offerings and burned incense in the 'shrines'.

4 “Yehoash told the priests, “All the silver [money] dedicated for things brought into Yehovah’s 'Temple'—the silver collected in the census, the silver from vows and all the silver voluntarily given for Yehovah’s 'Temple', 5 each priest should receive the contribution from his donor, and use it to repair whatever damage is found in the 'Temple'. 6 But by the twenty-third year of the reign of King Joash, the priests hadn’t repaired the damages of the 'Temple'. 7 Then king Yehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and for the other priests, and asked them, “Why aren’t you repairing damage done to the 'Temple'? Don’t take any more silver from your donors, but hand it over for repairing the 'Temple'.” 8 So the priests agreed they wouldn’t take silver from donors and they wouldn’t repair the damage to the 'Temple'. 9 But Jehoiada the priest took a chest, and bored a hole in its lid, and set it beside the altar, on the right side as one comes into Yehovah’s 'Temple', and the priests who kept the threshold put there, all the silver that was brought into Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 10 And whenever they saw that there was a large amount of silver in the chest, the royal secretary and the high priest would go to Yehovah’s 'Temple' and count the silver found there and tie it up in bags. 11 They handed the silver that was weighed out to those who did the work, who had the oversight of Yehovah’s 'Temple', and they paid it out to the carpenters and the builders who worked on Yehovah’s 'Temple', 12 and the masons and the stone cutters for buying timber and cut stone to repair the damage of Yehovah’s 'Temple', and for all that was laid out for the 'Temple' to repair it. 13 But there were no cups of silver, snuffers, basins, trumpets, any vessels of gold, or vessels of silver made for Yehovah’s 'Temple' of the silver that was brought into Yehovah’s 'Temple', 14 because they gave that to those who did the work of repairing Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 15 They didn’t demand an accounting from the men who were handed the silver to give to those who did the work, because they worked with integrity. 16 The silver for the guilt offerings, and the silver for the sin offerings wasn’t brought into Yehovah’s 'Temple', it was the priests.’

17 “Then Hazael king of Syria went up, and fought against Gath, and took it, and Hazael set 'out' to go up to Jerusalem. 18 Yehoash king of Judah took all the kadosh things that Jehoshaphat and Jehoram and Ahaziah, his fathers, kings of Judah had dedicated, and his own kadosh things, and all the gold that was found in the treasures of Yehovah’s 'Temple', and of the king’s palace, and sent it to Hazael king of Syria, and he went away from Jerusalem.

19 “Now the rest of the events of Yehoash’s reign, and everything that he did, and all his achievements are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 20 His servants plotted against him and killed him at the house of Millo on the road that goes down to Silla. 21 Jozacar the son of Shimeath, and Jehozabad the son of Shomer, his servants, struck him, and he died, and they buried him with his ancestors in the city of David, and Amaziah his son reigned in his place.

2 KINGS 13

1 In the twenty third year of Yehoash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned seventeen years. 2 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, and followed the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, in that he made Israel to sin, he didn’t depart from it. 3 The anger of Yehovah was kindled against Israel, and He delivered them into the hand of Hazael king of Syria, and into the hand of Benhadad the son of Hazael, continually. 4 Jehoahaz begged Yehovah, and Yehovah listened to him, because he saw the oppression of Israel, and how the king of Syria oppressed them. 5 (Yehovah gave Israel a liberator, so they went out from under the hand of the Syrians, and the Israelites lived in their tents as before. 6 But they didn’t depart from the sins of the house of Jeroboam, in that he made Israel to sin; he 'continued' in them, and also left the Asherah in Samaria.) 7 He didn’t leave to Jehoahaz of the people save fifty cavelrymen, and ten chariots, and ten thousand footmen, because the king of Syria destroyed them, and made them like the dust in threshing.

8 “Now the rest of the events of Jehoahaz’s reign, and everything that he did and all his 'achievements' are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel. 9 Jehoahaz died and was buried with his ancestors in Samaria, and Yehoash his son reigned in his place.

10 “In the thirty-seventh year of Yehoash king of Judah Yehoash the son of Jehoahaz began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned sixteen years. 11 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, he didn’t depart from any of the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, in that he made Israel to sint; he 'continued' in them.

12 “Now the rest of the events of Yehoash’s reign, and his fight against Amaziah king of Judah are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel. 13 Yehoash died and was buried with his ancestors, and Jeroboam sat on his throne, and Yehoash was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel.

14 “Now Elisha had fallen sick with the sickness that he died of, and Yehoash the king of Israel came down to him, and cried over him, and said, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” 15 Elisha told him, “Take a bow and arrows,” and he brought him a bow and arrows. 16 He told the king of Israel, “Put your hand on the bow,” so he put his hand on it. Elisha laid his hands on the king’s hands. 17 He said, “Open the window eastward,” so he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot!” So he shot. He said, “Yehovah’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Syria. You’ll strike the Syrians in Aphek until you’ve consumed them.” 18 He said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. He told the king of Israel, “Strike the ground,” and he struck it three times, and stopped. 19 The man of Elohim was angry with him, and said, “You should have struck it five or six times. Then you would have struck Syria until you had consumed it, but now you’ll strike Syria just three times.”

20 “Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the turn of the year. 21 Then, as they were burying a man, they spied a band, and they threw the man into the tomb of Elisha, and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood up on his feet.

22 “Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz. 23 But Yehovah was merciful to them, and had compassion on them, and had respect for them, because of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and wouldn’t destroy them or 'banish' them from His presence as yet. 24 Hazael king of Syria died, and Benhadad his son reigned in his place. 25 Yehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again from the grasp of Benhadad the son of Hazael the cities that he had taken from the grasp of Jehoahaz his father by war. Yehoash struck him three times, and recovered the cities of Israel.

2 KINGS 14

Israel defeats Judah

1 In the second year of Yehoash the son of Joahaz king of Israel, Amaziah the son of Yehoash king of Judah began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned for twenty-nine years in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Jehoaddin of Jerusalem. 3 He did what was right in the sight of Yehovah, but not like David his father, he did according to everything that Yehoash his father had done. 4 However the 'shrines' were not taken away, the people still offered zebakim and burnt incense in the 'shrines'.

5 “Then, as soon as the kingdom was established in his hand, he killed his servants who had slain his father the king, 6 but he didn’t put to death the children of the murderers, according to what is written in the book of the Torah of Moses, as Yehovah commanded, saying, “The fathers won’t be put to death for the children, and the children won’t be put to death for the fathers, but every man will die for his own sin.”

7 “He killed ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt, and took Sela in battle, and renamed it Joktheel, the name it has to this day.

8 “Then Amaziah sent messengers to Yehoash, the son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu, king of Israel, saying, “Come, let’s 'meet' one another face 'to face'.” 9 Yehoash the king of Israel sent a message to King Amaziah of Judah: “A thistle in Lebanon a message to the cedar in Lebanon, ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ Then a wild animal in Lebanon passed by, and trampled down the thistle. 10 You’ve defeated Edom, and now you have become arrogant. Enjoy the splendor but stay at home. Why should you provoke trouble and your own downfall and take Judah with you?” 11 But Amaziah wouldn’t listen. So Yehoash king of Israel went up, and he and Amaziah king of Judah met one another face 'to face' in Beth Shemesh, that belongs to Judah. 12 Judah was defeated by Israel, and every man fled to his tent. 13 Yehoash king of Israel took Amaziah king of Judah, the son of Yehoash the son of Ahaziah, at Beth Shemesh, and came to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner gate, four hundred cubits. 14 He took all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in Yehovah’s 'Temple', and the treasures of the king’s palace, as well as hostages, and returned to Samaria.

15 “Now the rest of the events of Yehoash’s reign, and all of his 'achievements', and how he fought with Amaziah king of Judah are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel. 16 Yehoash died and was buried with his ancestors in Samaria with the kings of Israel, and Jeroboam his son reigned in his place.

17 “Amaziah the son of Yehoash king of Judah lived after the death of Yehoash son of Jehoahaz king of Israel for fifteen years.

18 “Now the rest of the events of Amaziah’s reign are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 19 They made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish, but they followed him to Lachish, and killed him there. 20 They brought him on horses, and he was buried in Jerusalem with his ancestors in the city of David. 21 All the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king in the room of his father Amaziah. 22 He built Elath, and restored it to Judah, after the king died and was buried with his ancestors.

23 “In the fifteenth year of Amaziah the son of Yehoash king of Judah Jeroboam the son of Yehoash king of Israel began to reign in Samaria, and he reigned for forty-one years. 24 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, he didn’t depart from all the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, in that he made Israel to sin. 25 He restored the border of Israel from the entrance of Hamath to the sea of the Arabah, according to the Word of Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, that He spoke by His servant Jonah the son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher. 26 Yehovah saw that the affliction of Israel was very bitter. There was no one left, bond or free to help Israel. 27 Yehovah didn’t say that He would blot out the name of Israel from under the sky, but He saved them by the hand of Jeroboam the son of Yehoash.

28 “Now the rest of the events of Jeroboam’s reign, and everything that he did, and all of his 'achievements', how he fought and how he recovered Damascus and Hamath for Israel, that had belonged to Judah, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 29 Jeroboam died and was buried with his ancestors, the kings of Israel, and Zechariah his son reigned in his place.

2 KINGS 15

1 In the twenty-seventh year of Jeroboam king of Israel’s reign, Azariah the son of Amaziah began to rule as king of Judah. 2 He was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. 3 He did what was right in the sight of Yehovah, according to everything that his father Amaziah had done. 4 However the 'shrines' were not taken away, the people still made offerings and burned incense in the 'shrines'. 5 Yehovah struck the king, so that he was a person with a skin disease to the day of his death, and lived in a separate house. Jotham the king’s son was over the household, judging the people of the land.

6 “Now the rest of the events of Azariah’s reign, and everything that he did are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 7 Azariah died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David, and Jotham his son reigned in his place.

8 “In the thirty-eighth year of Azariah king of Judah, Zechariah the son of Jeroboam reigned over Israel in Samaria for six months. 9 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, as his ancestors had done, he didn’t turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, in that he caused Israel to sin. 10 Shallum the son of Jabesh conspired against him, and struck him before the people, and killed him, and reigned in his place.

11 “Now the rest of the events of Zechariah’s reign are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel. 12 This was the Word of Yehovah that He spoke to Jehu, “Your descendants will sit on the throne of Israel for four generations.” And so they did.

13 “Shallum the son of Jabesh began to reign in the thirty-ninth year of Uzziah king of Judah, and he reigned for a month in Samaria. 14 Menahem the son of Gadi went up from Tirzah, and came to Samaria, and struck Shallum the son of Jabesh in Samaria, and killed him, and reigned in his place.

15 “Now the rest of the events of Shallum’s reign, and the conspiracy he led, are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel. 16 Then Menahem attacked Tiphsah, and everyone with him there, and its territory, from Tirzah, because they didn’t surrender to him; he attacked it, and ripped open all the pregnant women.

17 “In the thirty-ninth year of Azariah the king of Judah Menahem the son of Gadi began to reign over Israel, and reigned ten years in Samaria. 18 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, he didn’t depart all his days from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, in that he caused Israel to sin. 19 The King of Assyria came against the land Pul, and Menahem gave Pul one thousand talents of silver, so that his hand might be with him to confirm the kingdom in his hand. 20 Menahem exacted the silver of Israel, including of all the warriors of wealth, of each man fifty shekels of silver, to give to the King of Assyria. So the King of Assyria turned back, and didn’t stay there in the land.

21 “Now the rest of the events of Menahem’s reign, and everything that he did are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel. 22 Menahem died and was buried with his ancestors, and Pekahiah his son reigned in his place.

23 “In the fiftieth year of Azariah king of Judah Pekahiah the son of Menahem began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned two years. 24 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, he didn’t turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, in that he caused Israel to sin. 25 Pekah the son of Remaliah, his officer, conspired against him, he assassinated Pekahiah, along with Argob and Arieh, in the citadel of the royal palace. With Pekah were fifty Gileadites. So he killed Pekahiah and became king in his place.

26 Now the rest of the events of Pekahiah’s reign, and everything that he did are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel.

27 “In the fifty-second year of Azariah the king of Judah, Pekah the son of Remaliah began to reign over Israel in Samaria, and reigned twenty years. 28 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, he didn’t turn away from the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, in that he caused Israel to sin.

29 “In the days of Pekah king of Israel Tiglath Pileser became King of Assyria, and took Ijon, and Abel Beth Maacah, and Janoah, and Kedesh, and Hazor, and Gilead, and Galilee and all the land of Naphtali, and he carried them captive to Assyria. 30 Hoshea the son of Elah conspired against Pekah the son of Remaliah, and struck him, and killed him, and reigned in his place, in the twentieth year of Jotham the son of Uzziah.

31 “Now the rest of the events of Pekah’s reign, and everything that he did are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Israel.

32 “In the second year of Pekah the son of Remaliah king of Israel Jotham the son of Uzziah king of Judah began to reign. 33 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok. 34 He did what was right in the sight of Yehovah, he did according to everything that his father Uzziah had done. 35 However the 'shrines' were notremoved, the people still made offerings and burned incense in the 'shrines'. He built the upper gate of Yehovah’s 'Temple'.

36 “Now the rest of the events of Jotham’s reign, and everything that he did are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 37 In those days Yehovah began to send Rezin the king of Syria, and Pekah the son of Remaliah against Judah. 38 Jotham died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David his father, and Ahaz his son reigned in his place.

2 KINGS 16

1 In the seventeenth year of Pekah the son of Remaliah, Ahaz the son of Jotham king of Judah began to reign. 2 Ahaz was twenty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem, and he didn’t do what was right in the sight of Yehovah his Elohim like his ancestor David. 3 But he 'lived' the way of the kings of Israel, and made his son pass thru the fire, like the abominations of the nations who Yehovah had thrown out from before the Israelites! 4 He made offerings and burnt incense in the 'shrines', and on the hills, and under every evergreen tree.

5 “Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah son of Remaliah king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to fight, and they besieged Ahaz, but couldn’t overcome him. 6 At that time Rezin king of Syria recovered Elath to Syria, and drove the Jews [1] from Elath, and the Syrians came to Elath, and have lived there to this day. 7 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglath Pileser King of Assyria, saying, “I’m your servant and your son. Come up, and save from the grasp of the king of Syria, and from the grasp of the king of Israel, who rise up against me.” 8 Ahaz took the silver and gold that was found in Yehovah’s 'Temple', and in the treasures of the king’s palace, and sent it as a present to the King of Assyria. 9 The King of Assyria listened to him, and the King of Assyria went up against Damascus, and took it, and carried its people captive to Kir, and killed Rezin.

10 “King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath Pileser King of Assyria, and saw the altar in Damascus, and king Ahaz sent a blueprint of the altar and plans for its construction to Uriah the priest. 11 Urijah the priest built an altar just like what king Ahaz had sent from Damascus, so Urijah the priest made it before King Ahaz returned from Damascus. 12 When the king came from Damascus, the king saw the altar, and the king approached the altar, and made an offering on it. 13 He burnt his burnt offering and his grain offering, and poured his wine offering, and sprinkled the blood of his fellowship offerings on the altar. 14 He took the bronze altar that was before Yehovah from the forefront of the house, from between his altar and Yehovah’s 'Temple', and put it on the north side of his altar. 15 King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, “On the great altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening grain offering, and the king’s burnt zebak, and his grain offering, with the burnt offering of all the people of the land, and their grain offering, and their liquid offerings, and sprinkle on it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the offering, but the bronze altar will be for me to inquire by.” 16 Urijah the priest did everything that king Ahaz had commanded. 17 King Ahaz cut off the panels of the bases, and removed the basin from them, and took down the sea from off the bronze oxen that were under it, and put it on a pavement of stone. 18 The covered way for the Sabbath that they had built in the 'Temple', and the king’s entry outside, he turned to Yehovah’s 'Temple', because of the King of Assyria.

19 “Now the rest of the events of Ahaz’s reign are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 20 Ahaz died and was buried with his ancestors in the city of David, and Hezekiah his son reigned in his place.

[1] This is the first reference to “Jews” in the Bible. The Jews were at war with Israel, next verse. See also 1 Kings 12:21 (and you thought the Jews were Israel!)

2 KINGS 17

1 In the twelfth year of Ahaz king of Judah Hoshea the son of Elah began to reign in Samaria over Israel, and reigned nine years. 2 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, yet not as the kings of Israel who were before him. 3 Shalmaneser King of Assyria came up against him, and Hoshea became his vassal, and paid him tribute. 4 The King of Assyria found conspiracy in Hoshea, because he had sent messengers to the king of Egypt, and offered no tribute to the King of Assyria, as he had been doing annually, so the King of Assyria arrested him and put him in prison. 5 Then the King of Assyria came up thruout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and laid siege against it for three years. 6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the King of Assyria captured Samaria, and deported the Israelites to Assyria, and settled them in Halah, along the Habor River in Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

7 “All this took place because the Israelites had sinned against Yehovah their Elohim, who had brought them out of Egypt from under the 'fist' of Pharaoh, king of Egypt and because they had worshiped other gods 8 and 'followed the ‘customs of the nations that Yehovah had driven out before the Israelites, as well as the customs that the kings of Israel had introduced. 9 The Israelites did things secretly that were not right with Yehovah their Elohim. They built themselves 'shrines' in all their cities, from a watchtower to a fortified city. 10 They set up sacred pillars and Asherah poles on every high hill, and under every evergreen tree. 11 They burned incense in all the 'shrines' just like the nations that Yehovah had driven away before them had done. They did wicked things to provoke Yehovah to anger, [this sounds deliberate]. 12 They worshiped idols, even tho Yehovah had told them, “You must never do this”. ... 17 They passed their sons and daughters thru the fire, and practiced divination and interpreted omens, and devoted themselves to do evil in the sight of Yehovah and made Him angry. 18 So Yehovah was very angry with Israel and removed them from His presence. Only the tribe of Judah was left. 19 Even Judah failed to obey the Commandments of Yehovah their Elohim. They 'adopted' the 'practices' that Israel had introduced. 20 Yehovah rejected all descendants of Israel, afflicted them, and handed them over to their attackers until He had exiled them out of His sight.

21 “He tore Israel away from David’s dynasty, and they made Jeroboam the son of Nebat their king. Then Jeroboam drove Israel away from following Yehovah, and encouraged them to commit a serious sin. 22 The people of Israel 'persisted' in all the sins that Jeroboam had committed and never turned away from them. 23 Finally, Yehovah removed Israel from His sight, as He warned He would do thru all His servants the prophets. So Israel was exiled from their land to Assyria, where they remain to this day.

24 “The King of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Avva, and from Hamath and Sepharvaim, and settled them in the cities of Samaria instead of the Israelites, and they took possession of Samaria, and lived in its cities. 25 So at the beginning of their dwelling there they didn’t fear Yehovah, so Yehovah sent lions among them that killed some of them. 26 So they told the King of Assyria: “The nations that you’ve carried away, and placed in the cities of Samaria, don’t know the Torah of the Elohim of the land.” So He has sent lions among them, and we see that they are killing them, because they don’t know the Torah of the Elohim of the land. 27 Then the King of Assyria commanded: “Bring back one of the priests who you captured from there, and let them go and live there, and have him teach them the instructions of the god of the land.” 28 So one of the priests who they had captured from Samaria came and lived in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear Yehovah. 29 However every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the 'shrines' that the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities where they lived. 30 The men of Babylon made Succoth Benoth, and the men of Cuth made Nergal, and the men of Hamath made Ashima, 31 and the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burnt their children in the fire to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim. 32 So they feared Yehovah, and appointed from among themselves priests for the 'shrines', who made offerings for them in the 'shrines'. 33 They also feared Yehovah, and served their own gods, as was customary of the nations where they had been deported from.

34 “To this day they do what they did before, they don’t really fear Yehovah, or 'live by' their statutes, their ordinances, the Torah or the Commandments that Yehovah 'gave' the descendants of Jabob, who He renamed Israel, 35 with who Yehovah had made a covenant, and commanded them, saying, “You won’t fear other gods, or bow yourselves to them, or serve them, or make zebakim to them, 36 but you’ll fear Yehovah, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt with great power and with an outstretched arm, and you’ll bow yourselves to Him, and you’ll offer zebakim to Him.” 37 The statutes and the ordinances, and the Torah and the Commandments that he wrote for you, you must observe and do forever. You must not 'worship' other gods. 38 You must not forget the covenant that I made with you, you must not 'worship' other gods.. 39 But you must 'worship' Yehovah your Elohim, and He’ll deliver you from the grasp of all your enemies. 40 Yet they didn’t listen, they did what they did before.

41 “So these nations professed to 'worship' Yehovah, but they also served their engraved images. Their children as well as their grandchildren, as their ancestors had done, as they do to this day.

2 KINGS 18

Hezekiah Reigns over Judah

1 Now during the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah. 3 He did what was right in the sight of Yehovah, according to everything that David his father had done. 4 He removed the 'shrines', smashed the obelisks, cut down the Asherah poles and broke to pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, because in those days the Israelites burnt incense to it, and he called it Nehushtan. 5 He trusted in Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, so that after him there was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, or among those who were before him. 6 He clung to Yehovah, and he didn’t stop following Him. He obeyed the Commandments as Yehovah had commanded Moses. 7 Yehovah was with him, wherever he went out he prospered, and he rebelled against the King of Assyria, and didn’t serve him. 8 He defeated the Philistines as far as Gaza and its borders, from the watchtower to the fortified city.

9 “Then in the fourth year of king Hezekiah, in what was the seventh year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, Shalmaneser King of Assyria came up against Samaria and besieged it. 10 At the end of three years they took it, in the sixth year of Hezekiah, being the ninth year of Hoshea king of Israel, Samaria was taken. 11 The King of Assyria carried Israel away to Assyria, and put them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes, 12 because they didn’t obey the voice of Yehovah their Elohim, but transgressed His covenant, and everything that Moses the servant of Yehovah commanded, and wouldn’t hear of it, or do it.

13 “Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah, Sennacherib King of Assyria come up against all the fortified cities of Judah, and took them. 14 King Hezekiah of Judah sent a message to the King of Assyria to Lachish: “I’ve done wrong, withdraw from me, and I’ll pay whatever you impose on me.” So the king of Assyria exacted from King Hezekiah of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 15 Hezekiah gave him all the silver found in Yehovah’s 'Temple', and in the treasures of the king’s palace. 16 At that time Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of Yehovah’s 'Temple', and from the pillars that King Hezekiah of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the King of Assyria.

17 “The King of Assyria sent Tartan and Rabsaris and the field commander from Lachish the king Hezekiah with a large army to Jerusalem. They went up to Jerusalem, and when they arrived they came and stood by the aqueduct of the Upper Pool on the road to the fuller’s field. 18 When they had called to the king, Eliakim the son of Hilkiah who was over the household came out to them, and Shebnah the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder. 19 The field commander told them to say to Hezekiah, “The great king, the King of Assyria, asks, “What is the basis of your confidence? 20 You say (but they are vain words), ‘There is counsel and strength for war.’ Now who do you trust in, that you’ve rebelled against me? 21 Now, look, you trust in the staff of this bruised reed, in Egypt. If a man leans on it, it will puncture his hand, and pierce it. So is Pharaoh king of Egypt for everyone who trusts him. 22 But if you tell me, “We trust in Yehovah our Elohim,” isn’t He the one whose 'shrines' and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, and has said to Judah and to Jerusalem, “You will worship before this altar in Jerusalem?” 23 So please give pledges to your majesty the king of Assyria, and I’ll give you two thousand horses, if you’re able to supply riders for them! 24 How could you repel a single officer among the least of master’s servants, and put your trust in Egypt for chariots and charioteers? 25 Have I come up against this place to destroy it without Yehovah’s approval? Yehovah told me, ‘Attack this land and destroy it.’”

26 “Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, Shebnah and Joah, said to the field commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, because we understand it, but don’t speak the language of Judah to us within earshot of the people on the wall.” 27 But the field commander told them, “Has my master sent me to your master, and to you, to speak these words? Hasn’t he sent me to the men who sit on the wall, to eat their own dung and drink their own urine along with you?” 28 Then the field commander stood, and cried with a loud voice in the Jews’ language, “Hear the 'message' of the great king, the King of Assyria.” 29 The king says, “Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you, because he won’t be able to deliver you from his 'grasp'. 30 Don’t allow Hezekiah to persuade you to trust in Yehovah, saying, ‘Yehovah will surely deliver us, and this city won’t be handed over to the King of Assyria.’ 31 Don’t listen to Hezekiah, because the King of Assyria says: “Make your peace with me, and surrender to me! Everyone will eat from their own grapevine and fig tree and drink water from their own cistern, 32 until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey, so that you can live, and not die. Don’t listen to Hezekiah, when he persuades you, saying, ‘Yehovah will deliver us.’ 33 Have any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the grasp of the King of Assyria? 34 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria from my 'grasp'? 35 Who among all the gods of the lands has delivered his country from my 'grasp', that Yehovah would rescue Jerusalem from my 'grasp'” 36 But the people held their peace and did’t respond to him, because the king had commandmed, “Don’t answer him.”

37 “Then Eliakim son of Hilkiah the palace administrator came with Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and presented the 'message' of the field commander to him.

2 KINGS 19

1 Then when king Hezekiah heard it, he tore his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 2 He sent Eliakim the palace administrator, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz. 3 They told him, “Hezekiah says, ‘This day is a day of distressrebuke, and rejection; because children have come to the point of birth, but there is no strength to deliver them. 4 It could be that Yehovah your Elohim will hear the 'message's of the field commander, who the King of Assyria his master has sent to defy the living Elohim, and reprimand the words that Yehovah your Elohim has heard. So offer a prayer for the remnant that still survives.” 5 So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah. 6 Isaiah told them, “So you must tell your master, “This is what Yehovah says: “Don’t be afraid of the 'message' you’ve heard, that the servants of the King of Assyria have blasphemed Me. 7 Look, I’ll put a spirit in him, and he’ll hear news, and return to his own land. I’ll cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.”

8 “So the field commander returned, and found the King of Assyria warring against Libnah, because he had heard that he had left Lachish.

9 “When he heard it said of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia had come out to fight against you, he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying 10 “Tell King Hezekiah of Judah, ‘Don’t let your Elohim who you trust in deceive you by saying that Jerusalem won’t be 'handed' over to the King of Assyria. 11 You’ve heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them completely. Will you be spared? 12 Did the gods of the nations that my ancestors destroyed save them, including Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena and Ivvah?”

14 “Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers, and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to Yehovah’s 'Temple' and spread it before Yehovah. 15 Hezekiah prayed before Yehovah, and said, “Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, who sits above the cherubim, you are the Elohim, You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made Heaven and earth. 16 'Make an effort' to hear, Yehovah. Open your eyes, Yehovah, and see. Hear the 'message' that Sennacherib sent in defiance of the living Elohim. 17 Truly, Yehovah, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands, 18 and have thrown their gods into the fire, because they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. So they’ve destroyed them. 19 So Yehovah our Elohim, save us, I beg you, from his 'grasp', so that all the kingdoms of the earth will know that You, Yehovah, are Elohim alone.”

20 “Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah, saying, “This is what Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel says: ‘Since you’ve prayed to Me against Sennacherib King of Assyria, I’ve heard you. 21 This is the 'message' that Yehovah has spoken concerning him, ‘The virgin Maiden Zion has despised you and ridiculed you. The maiden Jerusalem has shaken her head at you. 22 Who have you defied and blasphemed? Against who have you exalted your voice and lifted up your eyes on high? Against the Kadosh One of Israel. 23 By your messengers you’ve defied Yehovah, and have said, ‘With the multitude of my chariots, I’ve come up to the height of the mountains, to the innermost parts of Lebanon, and I’ll cut down its tall cedars, and its choice fir trees, and I’ll enter his farthest lodging place, the forest of his fruitful fields. 24 I’ve dug and drunk strange waters, and with the sole of my feet I'll dry up all the rivers of Egypt.’ 25 Haven’t you heard how I’ve done it long ago, and formed it from ancient times? Now have I brought it to pass, that it should be yours to lay waste fortified cities into ruinous heaps. 26 So their inhabitants were of little power. They were dismayed and humiliated. They were like grass in the field, and like green herbs, like the grass on the housetops, and like grain blasted before it has grown up. 27 “But I know your sitting down, and your going out, your coming in and your raging against Me. 28 Because of your raging against Me, and because your arrogance has come up into My ears, I'll put My hook in your nose, and My bridle in your lips, and I’ll turn you back by the way by that you came.’

29 “This will be the sign to you, you’ll eat this year what grows by itself, and in the second year what springs from the same, and in the third year sow, and reap, and plant vineyards, and eat its fruit.

30 “The 'survivors' who have escaped of the tribe of Judah will again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. 31 A remnant will leave Jerusalem, and survivors will escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of Yehovah will perform this.’

32 “So this is what Yehovah says about the King of Assyria: “He won’t come to this city, or shoot an arrow there, or come before it with a shield or mount a siege against it. 33 He will leave the way that he came, and he won’t come to this city,” says Yehovah. 34 “I’ll defend this city to save it, for My own sake, and for My servant David’s sake.”

35 “Then that night, the Messenger of Yehovah went out, and struck one hundred eighty-five thousand in the camp of the Assyrians. When men got up early in the morning, they saw all their dead bodies. 36 So Sennacherib King of Assyria broke camp and returned, and lived at Nineveh. 37 Then, as he was worshiping in the house of Nisroch his god, Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him with a sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. Esar Haddon his son reigned in his place.

2 KINGS 20

1 In those days Hezekiah was deathly sick. Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him, and told him, “This is what Yehovah says: “Set your house in order, because you’ll die, and not live.” 2 Then he turned his face to the wall, and prayed to Yehovah: 3 “Remember now, Yehovah, I beg you, how I’ve 'lived' before you in faith and sincerity, and have done what is good in Your sight.” Hezekiah cried bitterly. 4 Then, before Isaiah had left the mid part of the city, the Word of Yehovah came to him: 5 “Return, and tell Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘This is what Yehovah says: “The Elohim of David your father: I’ve heard your prayer. I’ve seen your tears. I’ll heal you! In three days, you must go up to Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 6 I’ll add fifteen years to your life. I’ll deliver you and this city out of the grasp of the King of Assyria. I’ll defend this city for My own sake, and for My servant David’s sake.” 7 Isaiah said, “Take a cake of figs.” They took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered. 8 Hezekiah asked Isaiah, “What will be the sign that Yehovah will heal me, and that I’ll go up to Yehovah’s 'Temple' in three days?” 9 Isaiah said, “This will be the sign to you from Yehovah, that Yehovah will do what He has said. Should the shadow go forward ten steps, or go back ten steps?” 10 Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for a shadow to advance ten steps. So have the shadow go backward ten steps.” 11 Isaiah the prophet called out to Yehovah, and he brought the shadow ten steps backward, so it went down on Ahaz’s dial.

12 “At that time Berodach Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, because he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them his entire treasury, including the silver, gold, spices, precious oil, the house of his armor and everything that was found in his treasures, there was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah didn’t show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came the king Hezekiah, and asked him, “What did these men say? Where did they come to you from?” Hezekiah said, “They came from a far away country, from Babylon.” 15 He said, “What have they seen in your palace?” Hezekiah answered, “They saw everything that is in my palace. There is nothing among my treasures that I haven’t shown them.” 16 Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the Word of Yehovah.” 17 Yehovah says, “The time is coming when everything that is in your house, and what your ancestors have laid up in store up to this time will be carried to Babylon. Nothing will be left. 18 They’ll take away some of your sons who will descend from you, who you’ll father, and they’ll be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The Word of Yehovah that you’ve spoken is good.” He said furthermore, “Isn’t it good that peace and stability will endure in my lifetime?”

20 “Now the rest of the events of Hezekiah’s reign, and everything he did, and how he made the pool, and the conduit and brought water into the city are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 21 Hezekiah died and was buried with his ancestors, and Manasseh his son reigned in his place.

2 KINGS 21

1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Hephzibah. 2 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, like the abominations of the nations who Yehovah threw out before the Israelites. 3 He rebuilt the 'shrines' that Hezekiah his father had destroyed, and he reared up altars for Baal, and made an Asherah, just as Ahab king of Israel, and worshiped the entire host of the heavens and served them. 4 He built altars in Yehovah’s 'Temple', where Yehovah said, “I’ll put My name in Jerusalem.” 5 He built altars for all the army of the heavens in the two courts of Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 6 He made his son pass thru the fire, and practiced sorcery, and used enchantments, and dealt with those who had familiar spirits and with wizards. He did a great deal of evil in the sight of Yehovah to provoke Him to anger. 7 He took the carved Asherah pole he made and put it in the 'Temple' that Yehovah said to David and to his son Solomon, “I'll establish My name forever in this 'Temple' and in Jerusalem, that I’ve chosen from all the tribes of Israel. 8 I won’t cause the feet of Israel to wander any more out of the land that I gave their ancestors, if only they’ll be sure to do everything that I’ve commanded them, in accord with the entire Torah that My servant Moses commanded them.” 9 But they didn’t listen, and Manasseh seduced them to do what is evil more than the nations that Yehovah had destroyed before the Israelites.

10 “Yehovah spoke by his servants the prophets: 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, and has done wickedly beyond anything that the Amorites did, who were before him, and has made Judah also to sin with his idols, 12 this is what Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel says: I'll bring such evil on Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears about it, both his ears will tingle! 13 I’ll stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria, and the plummet of the house of Ahab, and I’ll wipe Jerusalem like a man wiping a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 I’ll throw off the rest of My inheritance, and hand them over to their enemies. They’ll become a prey and a spoil to all their enemies, 15 because they’ve done what is evil in My sight, and have provoked Me to anger, since the day their ancestors came out of Egypt to this day.”

16 “Manasseh shed innocent blood very much, until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides his sin with that he made Judah to sin, in doing what was evil in the sight of Yehovah.

17 “Now the rest of the events of Manasseh, and everything that he did, and the sins that he committed are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 18 Manasseh died and was buried with his ancestors in the garden of his own palace, in the garden of Uzza, and Amon his son reigned in his place.

19 “Amon was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, as his father Manasseh had done. 21 He 'practiced' all the ways that his father had 'practiced', and served the idols that his father served, and worshiped them, 22 and he abandoned Yehovah, the Elohim of his ancestors, and didn’t 'live' in the way of Yehovah. 23 The servants of Amon conspired against him, and put the king to death in his own palace. 24 But the people of the land killed everyone who had conspired against King Amon, and made his son Josiah king in his place.

25 “Now the rest of the events of Amon’s reign are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 26 He was buried in his tomb in the garden of Uzza, and Josiah his son reigned in his place.

2 KINGS 22

1 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. 2 He did what was right in the sight of Yehovah, and walked in all the ways of his ancestor David, and didn’t turn to the right hand or to the left.

3 “Then in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, the king sent Shaphan, the son of Azaliah the son of Meshullam, the scribe, to Yehovah’s 'Temple'. He said: 4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him count the silver that is brought into Yehovah’s 'Temple' that the keepers of the threshold have gathered from the people. 5 Have them hand some of it to the workmen who have oversight of Yehovah’s 'Temple', and have them give it to the workmen in Yehovah’s 'Temple' to repair the breaches of the 'Temple', 6 to the carpenters, the builders, the masons, and for buying timber and cut stone to repair the house. 7 However there need not be any accounting for the silver that is handed to them, because they deal honestly.”

8 “Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, “I’ve found the book of the Torah in Yehovah’s 'Temple'.” Hilkiah delivered the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 9 Shaphan the scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, “Your servants have emptied out the silver that was found in the 'Temple', and have handed it to the workmen who have the oversight of Yehovah’s 'Temple'.” 10 Shaphan the scribe told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has delivered a book to me.” Shaphan read it before the king. 11 Then once the king had heard the words of the book of the Torah, he tore his clothes. 12 The king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant: 13 “Go inquire of Yehovah for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that was found, because great is the wrath of Yehovah that is kindled against us, because our ancestors have not listened to the words of this book, to do according to everything what is written concerning us.”

14 “So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the second quarter), and they talked with her. 15 She told them, “This is what Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel said, “Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 ‘This is what Yehovah says: “I’ll bring evil on this place, and on its inhabitants, everything written in the book that the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they’ve forsaken Me, and burned incense to other gods in order to provoke Me to anger with all the work of their hands, so My wrath will be kindled against this place, and it won’t be quenched.’” 18 “But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of Yehovah, this is what you’re to tell him, ‘This is what Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel says about the words that you’ve heard: 19 Since you were 'sorry', and you humbled yourself before Yehovah, when you heard what I spoke against this place, and against its inhabitants, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and have torn your clothes, and cried before Me, I also have heard you,’ says Yehovah. 20 ‘So I’ll have you join your ancestors, and you’ll join them in your grave in peace. You won’t see all the evil that I’ll bring on this place.’” They brought back this message to the king.

2 KINGS 23

1 The king sent, and they gathered to him all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 The king went up to Yehovah’s 'Temple', and all the men of Judah and all the residents of Jerusalem with him, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great, and he read ‘so that they could hear’ all the words of the Book of the Covenant that was found in Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 3 The king stood by the pillar, and made a covenant before Yehovah, to walk after Yehovah, and to obey His Commandments, and His testimonies, and His statutes with all his mind, and all his life, to confirm the words of this covenant that were written in this book, and all the people took a stand for the covenant.

4 “The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the gatekeepers to remove from the 'Temple' of Yehovah all the vessels that were made for Baal, the grove poles, and the entire army of heaven, and he burned them outside of Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. 5 He put down the idolatrous priests, who the kings of Judah had appointed to burn incense in the 'shrines' in the cities of Judah, and in the places around Jerusalem, those also who burned incense to Baal, to the sun, the moon, the planets and to the entire army of the heavens. 6 He took the Asherah from Yehovah’s 'Temple' to the brook Kidron, outside of Jerusalem, and burned it at the Kidron brook, and beat it to dust, and threw its dust on the graves of the common people. 7 He broke down the houses of the male 'Temple' prostitutes that were in Yehovah’s 'Temple', where the women wove hangings for the Asherah. 8 He brought all the priests out of the cities of Judah, and made the 'shrines' where the priests had burned incense unclean, from Geba to Beersheba, and he broke down the 'shrines' of the gates that were at the entrance of the gate of Yehoshua the governor of the city, that were on a man’s left hand at the gate of the city. 9 But the priests of the 'shrines' didn’t come up to the altar of Yehovah in Jerusalem, but they ate unleavened bread among their brothers. 10 He made Topheth, in the valley of the descendants of Hinnom unclean, so that no man could make his son or his daughter to pass thru the fire to Moloch. 11 He took away the horses that the kings of Judah had given to the sun, at the entrance of Yehovah’s 'Temple', by the chamber of Nathan Melech the officer who was in the court, and he burned the chariots of the sun with fire. 12 The king broke down the altars that were on the roof, the upper chamber of Ahaz, that the kings of Judah had made, and the altars that Manasseh had made in the two courts of the house of Yehovah, and he crushed them there and threw their dust into the Kidron brook. 13 The king made the 'shrines' unclean. They were before Jerusalem, that were on the right hand of the mountain of corruption, that Solomon the king of Israel had built for Ashtoreth the detestable practice of the Sidonians, and for Chemosh the detestable practice of Moab, and for Milcom the detestable practice of the 'Ammonites'. 14 He broke in pieces the pillars, and cut down the Asherim, and filled their places with the bones of men.

15 “He also tore down the altar in Bethel at the high place that Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel sin, had made, that same altar and high place he broke down. Then he demolished its stones, ground them to dust, and burned the Asherah. 16 As Josiah turned himself, he spied the tombs that were there in the mountain, and he sent, and took the bones out of the tombs, and burned them on the altar, and made them unclean, according to the Word of Yehovah that the man of Elohim proclaimed, who proclaimed these things. 17 Then he said, “What is this monument I see?” The men of the city told him, “It is the tomb of the man of Elohim, who came from Judah and proclaimed these things that you’ve done against the altar of Bethel.” 18 He said, “Let him be! Don’t let anyone remove his bones.” So they left his bones alone, along with the bones of the prophet who came out of Samaria.

19 “All the 'shrines' that were in the cities of Samaria, that the kings of Israel had made to provoke Yehovah to anger, Josiah took away, and did to them according to all the acts that he had done in Bethel. 20 He killed all the priests of the 'shrines' who were there on the altars, and burned men’s bones on them, and he returned to Jerusalem.

21 “The king ordered all the people to celebrate the Passover to Yehovah your Elohim, as the Writings say in this Book of the Covenant. 22 Certainly no one has celebrated such a Passover from the days of the judges who judged Israel, or in all the days of the kings of Israel, or of the kings of Judah, 23 but in the eighteenth year of king Josiah this Passover was celebrated to Yehovah in Jerusalem.

24 “Those who had familiar spirits, and the wizards, and the household idols, and the idols, and all the abominations that were seen in the land of Judah and in Jerusalem, Josiah removed, so that he could confirm the words of the Torah that were written in the book that Hilkiah the priest found in Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 25 There had never been a king like him before, who turned to Yehovah with all his mind, and with all his life, and with all his might, committed to the entire Torah of Moses, and there has never been a king like him since.

26 But, Yehovah didn’t turn from the fierceness of his great fury. His anger was kindled against Judah, because of all the provocations that Manasseh had done. 27 Yehovah said, “I’ll also remove Judah from My sight the way I’ve removed Israel, and I’ll reject this city Jerusalem that I chose, and the 'Temple' where I said My name would be.”

28 “Now the rest of the events of Josiah’s reign, and everything that he did are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah.

29 “In his days Pharaoh Necoh king of Egypt went up against the King of Assyria to the river Euphrates, and king Josiah went against him, and Pharaoh Necoh killed him at Megiddo when he saw him. 30 His servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. The people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father’s place.

31 “Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 32 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, doing everything that his ancestors had done. 33 Pharaoh Necoh put him in bonds at Riblah in the land of Hamath, so that he couldn’t reign in Jerusalem, and imposed the land to a tribute of one hundred talents of silver, and a talent of gold. 34 Pharaoh Necoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the place of Josiah his father, and changed his name to Jehoiakim, but he took Jehoahaz away, and he came to Egypt, and died there. 35 Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh, but he taxed the land to give the silver just as the Pharaoh had ordered, he extracted the silver and the gold from the people of the land, of everyone according to his taxation, to give it to Pharaoh Necoh.

36 “Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Zebidah the daughter of Pedaiah of Rumah. 37 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, doing everything that his ancestors had done.

2 KINGS 24

Jehoiachin’s Short Reign

1 In his days King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant for three years, then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 Yehovah sent bands of Chaldeans against him, and bands of Syrians, and bands of Moabites, and bands of 'Ammonites'. He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the Word of Yehovah that He had spoken thru His servants the prophets. [1] 3 This happened to Judah, without doubt, at the command of Yehovah, to remove them from His sight, because of the sins of Manasseh and everything that he had done, 4 and because of the innocent blood that he had shed, since he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and Yehovah wouldn’t pardon it.

5 “Now the rest of the events of Jehoiakim’s reign, and everything that he did are recorded in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah. 6 So Jehoiakim rested with his ancestors, and Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place. 7 The king of Egypt didn’t leave his land any more, because the king of Babylon had taken everything from the brook of Egypt to the river Euphrates that pertained to the king of Egypt.

8 “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months, and his mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, just like his father had done.

Nebuchadnezzar raids Jerusalem

10 At that time the servants of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to the city, while his servants were besieging it, 12 and Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he, and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers, and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his regime. 13 He removed all the treasures of Yehovah’s 'Temple', and the treasures of the king’s palace, and cut all the vessels of gold into pieces that Solomon king of Israel had made in the 'Temple' of Yehovah, as Yehovah had said. 14 He carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the warriors of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths, no one remained except for the poorest class of the people in the land. 15 He took Jehoiachin away into exile to Babylon, as well as the king’s mother, the king’s wives, his eunuchs, and the leading men of the land, and he exiled them from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 The king of Babylon deported to Babylon all seven thousand men of valor, and one thousand craftsmen and the smiths, all of the exiles were strong and fit for war. 17 The king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king is his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

18 “Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem, and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 He did evil in the sight of Yehovah, just as Jehoiakim had done.

20 “This happened in Jerusalem and Judah because of the anger of Yehovah, until He had removed them out from His presence. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

[1] Would this not be a divorce?

2 KINGS 25

1 Then in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s regime, on the tenth day of the tenth month, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came, he and his entire army against Jerusalem. They set up camp and built siege works surrounding the city. 2 So the city was besieged until the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. 3 By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city, that there was no 'food' for the people of the land. 4 Then a breach was made in the city, and all the warriors fled one night by the way of the gate between the two walls that was by the king’s garden, even tho the Chaldeans surrounded the city, and they escaped along the route to the Arabah, 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king, and overtook him in the plains of Jericho, where his entire army was scattered. 6 Then they took the king, and exiled him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah, and they pronounced judgment on him. 7 They killed Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes, and put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him in fetters, and took him to Babylon.

8 “Now on the seventh day of the fifth month of the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s regime in Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem. 9 He burnt Yehovah’s 'Temple', and the king’s palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem, as well as every great house, he set them all on fire. 10 The entire 'Babylonian' army who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 The rest of the people in the city, and those who fell away, who fell to the king of Babylon, and the remainder of the multitude, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive. 12 But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to work the vineyards and fields. 13 The pillars of bronze that were in Yehovah’s 'Temple', and the bases and the bronze sea that were in Yehovah’s 'Temple', the Chaldeans broke in pieces, and carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 The pots, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the spoons, and all the vessels of bronze that they ministered with were taken away. 15 The captain of guard took away the fire pans, the basins and anything made of gold or silver. 16 The two pillars, the one sea, and the bases that Solomon had made for Yehovah’s 'Temple', the bronze of all these vessels was beyond measure. 17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and a capital of bronze was on it, and the height of the capital was three cubits, with network and pomegranates on the capital around it, all of bronze. And the second pillar was the same as these, with a network.

18 “The captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the threshold. 19 From the city he took an officer who had been appointed over the warriors, and five of the king’s 'advisers' who were found in the city, and the scribe of the captain of the army who enlisted the people of the land and sixty common men who were found in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah. 21 The king of Babylon struck them, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away captive from their own land.

22 “As for the people who were left in the land of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had left over them Ahikam’s son Gedaliah, the grandson of Shaphan as governor. 23 Now when all the captains of the forces, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, namely, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men. 24 Gedaliah swore to them and to their men, “Don’t be afraid of the servants of the Chaldeans. Live in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it will be well with you.” 25 But in the seventh month Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama of the royal family came, and ten men with him, and struck Gedaliah, and killed him and the Jews and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. 26 All the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces, got up, and went to Egypt, because they were afraid of the Chaldeans.

27 “Then in the thirty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, on twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month, Evilmerodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison, 28 and he spoke kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon, 29 and changed his prison clothing. Jehoiachin ate bread before him continually for the rest of his life, 30 and as for his allowance, there was a continual allowance given to him by the king, every day a portion, for the remainder of his life.

ISAIAH 1

Jerusalem’s Leaders Crushed

Chapters 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39,

40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58,59,60,61,62,63,64,65,66, Commentary

1 This is the vision that Amoz’s son Isaiah saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem during the 'regimes' of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

2 “Listen, heavens, and hear earth, because Yehovah has spoken: “I’ve reared children and brought them up, but they’ve rebelled against My Word*. 3 An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master’s feeding trough, but Israel doesn’t know, My people don’t understand.

4 “Oh sinful nation, a people weighed down with disgusting injustice, descendants of evildoers, depraved children! They’ve forsaken Yehovah. They’ve despised the Kadosh One of Israel and turned their backs on Him. 5 Why should you be beaten any more? Why do you keep on rebelling? Your whole head is sick, and your whole 'mentality' is failing. 6 From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no sign of logic—only bruises, sores and filthy festering wounds, bandaged, or soothed with olive oil.”

7 “Your land lies desolate; your cities have been incinerated. Your fields are being raided by foreigners as you look on; it’s been devastated, overrun by foreigners. 8 The Maiden Zion is left like an abandoned shelter in a vineyard, like a watchman’s hut in a cucumber field, or like a city under siege. 9 Unless Yehovah the Commander had left us a few survivors, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.

10 “Hear the Word of Yehovah, you rulers of Sodom! Heed the Torah of our Elohim, you people of Gomorrah! 11 Yehovah asks, “What good are your numerous ze’bakim [sacrifices] to Me?” I’ve had enough of your burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of well-fed animals; and I take no pleasure in the blood of bulls, lambs or goats. 12 When you come to appear before Me, who insists that you trample My Temple courts? 13 Stop bringing worthless offerings! Your incense is an abomination to Me. I can’t stand YOUR new moons, Sabbaths, public assemblies, and the disgusting injustice within a solemn assembly. 14 My Word* hates YOUR New Moons and YOUR appointed feasts. They’ve become a burden to Me. I’m tired of enduring them. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I’ll hide My eyes from you. Even if you continually pray, I won’t listen because your hands are covered with blood. 16 Wash yourselves. Become clean. Rid your evil behavior from the presence of My Word*. Stop being evil.”

17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Relieve the oppressed. Defend orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

18 “Come now, let’s reason together,” says Yehovah, “Even if your sins are like scarlet, they’ll be as white as snow. Tho they are crimson red, they’ll look like wool. 19If you’re willing to obey, you’ll eat the best the land produces; 20 but if you refuse to obey My Word* and rebel, you’ll be 'killed by your enemies'. The Word* of Yehovah has spoken.”

21 “See how the faithful city has become a whore! She had been completely just. Righteousness used to reside there, but now only murderers live there. 22 Your silver has become lead ore, your wine is diluted with water. 23 Your leaders are rebels, the cohorts of thieves. Everyone loves bribes, and demands kickbacks. They don’t defend orphans, and pay no attention to a widow’s pleas.” 24 So the Sovereign, Yehovah the Commander, the Mighty One of Israel, says: “Now I’ll avenge Myself against My enemies! 25 I’ll turn My hand against you, and smelt away your dross as with lye, and remove your impurity [lit: tin] entirely. 26 Then I’ll restore your judges as before, and your advisers as in the beginning. Afterward you’ll be called ‘The City of Righteousness’ and ‘The Faithful City.’ 27 Zion will be redeemed with justice, and those who return will be pardoned by righteousness. 28 But rebels and sinners will all be crushed, and those who forsake Yehovah will be terminated.

29 'You' will be ashamed of the oak trees you so desired, and you’ll be embarrassed by the gardens you chose. 30 You’ll be like an oak whose leaves are withering, like an unwatered garden. 31 The strongest of you will be like tinder, and their work like a spark. They’ll both burn together, with no one to quench the flames.”

ISAIAH 2

Yehovah’s Mountain Home

1 The message that Amoz’s son Isaiah envisioned concerning Judah and Jerusalem:

2 “In the future, at the end of the 'age', the mountain of Yehovah’s 'Temple' will be established on the summits of the mountains, and be borne above the hills, and all nations will beam [or flow] into it.

Torah Rule Worldwide

3 People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Yehovah, to the House of Jacob’s Elohim. He’ll teach us His path to life, and we’ll 'live' His way. The Torah will go out from Zion, and the Word of Yehovah from Jerusalem.” 4 He’ll govern the nations, and 'settle the feuds' of many nations, and they’ll beat their swords into harrows, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations won’t raise swords against other nations, and they won’t learn how to wage war any more. 5 Come, House of Jacob, let’s 'live' in the light of Yehovah.

6 You’ve abandoned Your people, the House of Jacob, because they are filled with influences from the east and they are fortune-tellers like the Philistines, and they make deals shaking hands with foreigners. 7 Their land has been filled with silver and gold, there is no end of their treasures; their land is filled with horses, and there are endless chariots. 8 Their land has been filled with idols; they worship the work of their hands, things their own fingers made.

9 “So humanity will be put down, everyone’s stature lowered, so don’t lift them [U] [1].”

The Day of Reckoning

10 “Hide among the rocks, or hide in the debris from the terror of Yehovah, and from the splendor of His majesty. 11 When this day arrives the arrogant looks of humanity will be humbled. The proud will be brought down, and Yehovah alone will be exalted. 12 Yehovah the Commander will have a Day of Reckoning for everyone who is arrogant and proud, their pompous pride will become humiliation 13 against all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and exalted, for all the oaks of Bashan, 14 against all the high mountains, and all the lofty hills, 15 against every high tower, and every fortified wall, 16 against all the ships of Tarshish, and and every pleasant craft. 17 When this day arrives the pride of humanity will be humbled, and the arrogance of men will be laid low. Yehovah alone will be exalted. 18 The idols will completely vanish. 19 Men will go into rock caves and into holes in the ground, for fear of Yehovah, and the splendor of His majesty, when He determines to terrify the earth. 20 When that day comes, people will throw away their silver and golden idols that they made for themselves, and worship moles and the bats. [sarcasm] 21 They’ll escape to caverns in the rocks, and crevices in cliffs, from the dread of Yehovah, and from the splendor of His majesty, when He arises to terrify the earth. 22 “Stop trusting people, their breath of life depends on their nose. What good are they?”

[1] The word ‘lift’ here is almost universally translated as ‘forgive’ in this verse (monkey see, monkey do), yet it far more frequently means lift. Actually the survivors of “Judah and Jerusalem” will have their pride lowered, not lifted, but they’ll be forgiven! Rather than word it here “do not forgive them”, the story of forgiveness for the humbled survivors is found just a few chapters ahead in Isaiah 11:11-13.

ISAIAH 3

Judah’s Next Holocaust

1 “Note this! The Sovereign, Yehovah the Commander is going to remove from Jerusalem and Judah both sustenance and security: all the food supplies and all the water supplies, 2 He’ll remove the heroes and warriors, the judges and prophets, the fortune-tellers and elders, 3 the commanders of fifty, the honorable men, the counselors, the skilled craftsmen, and the skilled mediums. 4 I’ll have boys [in ability for governing] become their leaders, and unpredictable babies [in warlike might] will rule over them. 5 And the people will be oppressed—'man' against 'man', neighbor against neighbor. Deranged young against the elders, and the worthless against the honorable. 6 A man will grab one of his brothers in their father’s houses, and say, ‘You have a cape—you be our leader! These ruins should be under your control’”. 7 When that day comes he’ll cry out, “I can’t be a healer, there isn’t even food or clothing in my house. Don’t appoint me as leader of the people!” 8 Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen, their words and deeds are against Yehovah, in defiance of His magnificent presence. 9 The look on their faces gives them away. They flaunt their sin like Sodom; they don’t hide it. It will be dreadful for them! They have brought disaster on themselves!”

Tell the Righteous...

10 “Tell the righteous that it will go well for them! They’ll savor the fruit of their deeds.”

The Wicked Condemned

11 “It will be dreadful for the wicked! Too bad for them. What they’ve done will be done to them.

12 “Children oppress My people, and women rule over them. My people, your guides lead you astray; sending you down the wrong path.” 13 Yehovah rises to argue the case, and stands to judge the people. 14 Yehovah enters into judgment with the elders and leaders of His people: “You’ve devastated the vineyard. The plunder of the poor is in your houses. 15 What do you mean by crushing My people, and grinding the faces of the poor?” Asks the Sovereign, Yehovih [a variant spelling] the Commander.

16 “Yehovah says: “Because the maidens of Zion are arrogant, walking along with outstretched necks, flirting with their eyes, prancing along as they walk, jingling their ankle bracelets, 17 So Yehovah will bring sores on the heads of the women of Zion; and Yehovah will strip them naked. 18 When that day comes Yehovah will strip away their beautiful anklets, headbands, crescent necklaces, 19 pendants, bracelets, veils, 20 hats, ankle chains, sashes, perfumes, amulets, 21 signet rings, nose rings, 22 party clothes, capes, shawls, purses, 23 mirrors, lovely lingerie, tiaras and veils. 24 Then instead of sweet fragrances, there will a stench; instead of belts, ropes; instead of beautifully styled hair, a plucked-out scalp; instead of fine clothes, sackcloth; and branding instead of beauty.

25 Your men will fall in 'war', and your warriors in battle. 26 Her city gates will lament and mourn; destitute, she’ll sit on the ground.”

ISAIAH 4

The Tabernacle Above Mount Zion

1 “When this day arrives, seven women will grab a man, and say, ‘We’ll eat our own bread, and cloth ourselves. Just let us take on your name thru marriage. Take away our stigma.’”

2 “When that day arrives, Yehovah’s branch will be beautiful and splendid, and the 'harvest' of the land will be the beauty and splendor of the refugees of Israel. 3 Then anyone left alive in Zion, anyone who is left behind in Jerusalem will be called kadosh, everyone who is recorded among the living in Jerusalem, 4once Yehovah has washed away the filth of the maidens of Zion, and rinsed the bloodstains from Jerusalem, by a spirit of justice, and a spirit that sets ablaze! 5 Yehovah will create ABOVE the entire site of Mount Zion and ABOVE her assemblies a cloud during the day and smoke, and a bright flaming fire during the night; because ABOVE all the splendor there will be a place of shelter. 6 There will be a sukkah [tabernacle] to provide 'shade' in the daytime from the heat, and for a refuge and shelter from storms and rain.”

ISAIAH 5

Captivity Due to Ignorance

1 I’ll sing a song for the one I love about His vineyard: “The one I love had a vineyard on a 'very fertile hill'. 2 He fenced it and cleared away the stones, planted it with select grapevines, built a tower in the middle, and carved out a wine press. He thought it would yield good grapes, but it produced worthless grapes. 3 So now, residents of Jerusalem and people of Judah, please judge between Me and My vineyard. 4 What more could I have been done for My vineyard that I haven’t already done? Why did it yield worthless grapes when I expected it to produce good ones? 5 Now I’ll tell you what I’m going to do to My vineyard. I’ll remove its thorny hedge, and it will be eaten up. “I’ll break down its stone wall and it will be trampled down. 6 I’ll make it a wasteland. It won’t be pruned or hoed, rather, it will be overgrown with briers and thorns. I’ll also command the clouds not to rain on it. 7 The vineyard of Yehovah the Commander is the House of Israel, and the people of Judah are His delightful garden. He looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.

8 “It will be dreadful for those who 'accumulate' houses, and buy field after field until there is no room for others to live, thinking that they should live alone in the land! [Targum clarified] 9 In my ears, Yehovah the Commander said: “Surely many houses will be desolate, even fine mansions will be unoccupied. 10 Ten 'acres' [lit: a team of oxen] of vineyard will yield only one bath [6 gallons], and a homer [50 gallons] of seed will yield an ephah [23.3 quarts].” 11 How dreadful it will be for those who get up early in the morning so they can chase down strong liquor, who stay up late at night as wine inflames them! 12 At their feasts they have lyres, harps, tambourines, flutes and wine, but they have no regard for what Yehovah is doing, and they don’t consider His handiwork. 13 “So My people go into captivity due to ignorance [or apathy or lack of discernment]; their dignitaries are starving, and many others are parched with thirst.” 14 So sheol increased its appetite and opened its limitless mouth, and her splendor, her masses, her brawlers and the revelers among them descend into it. 15 So humanity will be humbled and the 'elite' degraded, and the eyes of arrogant will be brought down, 16 but Yehovah the Commander will be praised as the honored Judge, and Elohim the Kadosh One is distinguished by His righteousness. 17 Then the lambs will graze freely as if in their own pastures, and 'nomads' will eat amid the ruins of the rich.

The Wicked Anticipate His Return!

18 It will be dreadful for those who drag wickedness with cords of deceit, and sin as with cart ropes, 19 who say, “He should hurry, He should rush His work, so that we can see it. May the plan of the Kadosh One of Israel approach us, so that we can understand it! 20 It will be dreadful for those who call evil good, and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitterness for sweetness, and sweetness for bitterness!” 21 “It will be dreadful for those who consider themselves wise, the 'experts' in their own sight! 22 “It will be dreadful for the spirited wine drinkers, the champions in mixing liquors, 23 who acquit the guilty for bribes, and deny justice to the innocent. 24 So like flames devouring chaff, and like dry grass shriveling down in a flame, that is how their roots will rot, and their blossoms will rise like dust, because they rejected the Torah of Yehovah the Commander, AND spurned the Word*, the Kadosh One of Israel.

25 “That’s why Yehovah’s anger burns against His people, and He has raised His 'fist' against them and struck them down. The mountains tremble, and their corpses are like refuse in the middle of streets. After all this His anger still isn’t finished, and His 'fist' is still raised.

A Swift and Unstoppable Exodus!

26 He’ll lift up an emblem to the [hostile] distant nations, and whistle for them from the far reaches of the earth. Look how quickly and how swiftly they come! 27 None of them grows weary or stumbles, none slumbers or sleeps; not one belt is loosened at the waist, no sandal strap is broken. 28 Their arrows are sharp and all their bows are strung. Their horses’ hooves seem like flint and their wheels like tornadoes. 29 Their roaring is like a lioness, they roar like young lions; they growl as they seize their prey and carry it off, with no one to save them! 30 When this day arrives, 'Judah' will roar against them like the roaring sea. When someone looks across the land they’ll see darkness and distress; even the daylight is darkened by clouds.

ISAIAH 6

Here I am. Send me!

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw Yehovah sitting on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the 'Temple'. 2 The seraphim stood above Him, each with six wings: With two 'they' covered 'their' faces, with two 'they' covered 'their' feet, and with two 'they' flew. 3 They were calling to one another: “Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh is Yehovah the Commander! The whole earth is filled with His splendor!” 4 The foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of the one who called, and the 'Temple' was filled with smoke.

5 Then I said, “How dreadful for me, I’m ruined! I’m a man with unclean lips, and I live among people with unclean lips, and I’ve seen Yehovah the Commander with my own eyes!”

6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a glowing coal in his hand that he had taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it, and said, “This has touched your lips. Now your wickedness is gone and your sin is atoned for!” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Word* of Yehovah, saying, “Who should I send? Who will go for US?” Then I said, “Here I am. Send me!” 9 And He replied: “Go and tell these people to keep listening, but never understanding; keep looking, but never comprehending.” 10 Desensitize the 'minds' of these people: deafen their ears, and dim their 'vision'. Otherwise they might see with their eyes and hear with their ears, comprehend, turn back, and be healed.”

11 Then I asked, “For how long, Yehovah?” And He replied, “Until the cities are devastated and without inhabitants—houses without people, and the land is completely wasted, 12 until Yehovah has removed His people far away, and there are many abandoned places thruout the land. 13 And tho a tenth of the people remain in 'the land', it will be burned again. But like a terebinth or an oak stump remains when they are cut down, the kadosh 'stump' still lives to shoot up again.”

ISAIAH 7

Briars and Thorns

1 During the regime when Jotham’s son Ahaz was king of Judah, King Rezin of Syria, and Remaliah’s son Pekah, king of Israel approached Jerusalem to fight against it, but they couldn’t 'defeat' it. 2 When David’s family was told that the Arameans were allied with Ephraim, 'Ahaz' and his people were 'deeply disturbed' and shaken, like trees in a forest shaking in the wind.

3 Then Yehovah told Isaiah, “Go out with your son Shear-Jashub to meet Ahaz at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool along the highway to Launderer’s Field. 4 Tell him, ‘Be careful, stay calm. Don’t be afraid or cowardly because of these two incendiary firebrands—at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah. 5 Because Aram, Ephraim, and Remaliah’s son have plotted to harm you. They’e saying, 6 “Let’s attack Judah, and harass and terrorize it, and divide it among ourselves, and instate Tabeel’s son as king!” 7 ‘This is what the Sovereign Yehovah says: “It won’t take place. It will never happen. 8 The head [capitol] of Aram is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. Within another sixty-five years the Kingdom of Ephraim will cease to exist. 9 The head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is Remaliah’s son. If you don’t believe, then you won’t remain.’”

10 Then Yehovah spoke to Ahaz again: 11 “Ask Yehovah your Elohim for a sign, whether in the depths of the earth or heights of heaven.’” 12 But Ahaz said, “I won’t ask; I won’t tempt Yehovah.” 13 Then he [Isaiah] said, “Listen now, family of David! Isn’t it enough for you to try the patience of people, and now you’re trying the patience of my Elohim as well? 14 “So Yehovah will Personally give you a sign. A virgin will conceive, and give birth to a Son, and she will name Him Immanuel! 15 He’ll eat curds and honey until He knows enough to reject evil and choose what’s right. 16 But before the child knows enough to reject evil, and choose what’s right, the land whose kings you dread will be abandoned.”

17 “Yehovah will bring on you and your people, and on your father’s house, a 'time' unlike any since Ephraim seceded from Judah—the king of Assyria is coming.” 18 “When that day comes Yehovah will whistle for flies from the headwaters of Egypt’s rivers, and for bees from the land of Assyria. 19 They’ll come and settle in the steep ravines and in the rocky crevices, in all the thorn bushes, and on all the pastures. 20 When that day comes Yehovah will hire a “razor” from beyond the Euphrates River—the king of Assyria—and use it to shave off your hair from head to foot, and even your beard. 21 “When this day arrives a person will only be able to keep a young cow, and two sheep alive, 22 and because of the abundance of milk produced they’ll eat butter. Everyone who is left in the land will only eat butter and honey.

23 “When this day arrives, every place where there used to be a thousand grapevines worth a thousand shekels of silver, there will only be briers and thorns. 24 “People will come there with bows and arrows, because the entire land will be briers and thorns. 25 As for all the hills that used to be tended with hoes, you won’t go there any more due to the briers and thorns. They’ll be places for pasturing oxen and letting sheep run.”

ISAIAH 8

The Rock of Stumbling

1 Yehovah told me, “Take a large tablet, and write on it with an ordinary pen: ‘Hurry to the booty, speed to the spoil’. 2 Then I'll appoint Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah as My dependable witnesses.” 3 After I was intimate with the prophetess, she became pregnant, and bore a son. Then Yehovah told me, “Call him ‘Hurry to the booty, speed to the spoil’, 4 because before the child knows how to say, ‘My father’ or ‘My mother’, the wealth of Damascus and the spoils of Samaria will be carried away by the King of Assyria.”

5 The Word* of Yehovah spoke to me once again, and said, 6 “These people have refused the gently flowing water of Shiloah, and are delighted with Rezin and Remaliah’s son.” 7 That is why Yehovah is going to cause the Euphrates River to rise against the king of Assyria and all his power. It will overflow all its channels, and run over all its banks. 8 It will rush into Judah. It will overflow and pass thru, it will reach neck-deep, and its outspread wings will cover the width of your land, Emmanuel. 9 “Be broken, you nations; be crushed! Pay attention, all you distant countries. Prepare for battle, but be terrified! 10 Devise your strategy, tho it will fail; make a 'proposal', but it won’t stand, since Elohim is with us.”

11 Yehovah has given me a strong 'warning', instructing me not to 'live' the way these people do. He said: 12 “Don’t say that everything these people call a conspiracy is a conspiracy. Don’t share their fears. Don’t dread it.” 13 Yehovah the Commander is the One you must regard as kadosh. He is the One you should fear. He is the One you should dread. 14 He [Yeshua Jesus] will be a safe haven. But for both houses of Israel, He’ll be a Stone to trip over, and a Rock to stumble over. He’ll be a trap and a snare for the residents of Jerusalem. [1]. 15 A great many will stumble over Him, fall, be broken, be snared, and be captured. 16 ““In a time of distress, bind up [2] the Testimony and put a seal on [3] the Torah among My disciples. 17 I’ll wait for Yehovah, who has 'turned away' from the House of Jacob, and I’ll eagerly look for Him. 18 I and the children [disciples] who Yehovah has given Me are for signs and miracles in Israel from Yehovah the Commander, who lives on Mount Zion!”

19 “When they tell you to consult with mediums who use ventriloquism and wizards who whisper and mutter, shouldn’t people consult their Elohim? Should they consult the dead regarding the living?

The Torah AND the Testimony!

20 To the Torah AND to the Testimony! If people don’t speak in agreement with these Words, it’s because it [the truth] hasn’t dawned on them [4]! 21 “They’ll pass thru 'the land' greatly distressed and famished, and when they are famished they’ll become enraged, and as they look up they’ll curse their king and their Elohim, 22 or they’ll look to the earth, and see distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish, and they’ll be thrown into darkness.”

[1] This is how it reads in the oldest known Scriptures, the Aramaic Targums, “And if you won’t obey, His Word* will come among you for revenge, as a stumbling stone and as a rock of offense to both houses of the leaders of Israel, for destruction and as a snare, because they are fighting against the House of Judah who are living in Jerusalem.” [See 1 Peter 2:4-8] [2] See why the Testimony was written during a time of distress. [3] Literally, “Seal. This is like a seal of approval, or like a signature on a contract.” It’s a completed deal. [4] or, as the New Living Translation says: “People who contradict His Word are completely in the dark.”

ISAIAH 9

A Son is Given

1 But there will be no more gloom for those who were in anguish. In the past, He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but in the end time He’ll make the road by the sea magnificent, the land beyond the Jordan River, multinational Galilee. 2 The people walking in darkness will see a great light. The light will shine on those living in a land of deep darkness. 3 You’ll enlarge the nation. You’ll increase their joy. They’ll celebrate before You in the festivities of the harvest, like men celebrate when they’re dividing spoils. 4 The yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you’ve broken as in the day Midian was defeated. 5 All of the commotion of battle is heard with terror [1], and the clothing rolled in blood will be burned, fuel for the fire. 6 A Child will be born for us, a Son is given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. He’ll be named Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty Elohim, Eternal Father, Peaceful Leader. 7 Of the increase of His dominion and prosperity there will be no end, from David’s throne and over His kingdom, arranging it and maintaining it, with justice and righteousness from that time on—forever. The zeal of the Word* of Yehovah the Commander will make it happen.

8 “Yehovah has sent a message against Jacob, and it will fall on Israel. 9 All the people will know it—Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria, asserting in pride and in arrogance: 10 ‘The bricks have fallen down, but we’ll rebuild with hewn stone. The sycamores have been cut down, but we’ll replace them with cedars.’ 11 So Yehovah has raised adversaries from Rezin against him, and spurs their enemies on, 12 the Arameans on the east and Philistines on the west, and they’ll devour Israel with wide open mouths. Despite all this, His anger has not subsided, and His 'fist' is still raised to strike.

13 “Yet the people don’t turn to the One who struck them. They don’t seek Yehovah the Commander. 14 So Yehovah will eliminate from Israel both the head and the tail, palm branches and bulrushes in a single day. 15 Elders and honored men are the head, and the prophets who teach fables are the tail. 16 The leaders of these people are leading them astray, and those they mislead are confused. 17 That’s why Yehovah has no pity on their young men, and He won’t show compassion toward their orphans and widows, since every one of them is profane and evil, and every mouth is speaking foolishness. “After all of this His anger hasn’t diminished, and His 'fist' is still raised to strike. 18 “Wickedness burns like a fire. It devours briers and thorns, it even sets the thickets in the forest ablaze, and they roll up in a column of smoke. 19 The land is burnt up by the wrath of Yehovah the Commander, and the people are like fuel for the fire; no one spares their neighbor. 20 They carve food with their right hand, and are still hungry; they eat with the left, but they’re not satisfied. Everyone will eat the flesh of their own children [or arm], 21 Manasseh is against Ephraim. Ephraim is against Manasseh, and together they are against Judah. “Yet after all this His anger has not subsided, and His fist is still 'raised'.”

[1] Aramaic (Syriac) Barnes footnotes.

ISAIAH 10

'Survivors' Will Return

1 “How dreadful it will be for those who enact evil laws, and for those who write oppressive regulations 2 to deprive the needy of justice and to rob the poor of My people of their rights, so that widows are their 'victims', and so that they can rob orphans. 3 What will you do on the Fateful Day when devastation comes from afar? Who will you flee to for help, and where will you stash your 'cash'? 4 There will be nothing to do but to crouch among the captives or fall among the dead. “After all of this His anger hasn’t subsided, and His 'fist' is still raised to strike.”

5 “It will be dreadful for Assyria, the rod of My anger, the one handling the staff of My wrath! 6 I’ll send him against a secular nation, against the people who anger Me. I’ll give him the command to take loot and to seize plunder, and trample them down like the mud in the streets. 7 But it’s not something they planned, it wasn’t something premeditated, it’s just in their nature to destroy, to conquer 'one nation after another'. 8 “He asks, ‘Aren’t all of my commanders kings? 9 Isn’t Calno like Carchemish? Isn’t Hamath like Arpad, and Samaria like Damascus?’ 10 I grasped the idolatrous kingdoms, whose carved images excelled those of Jerusalem and of Samaria, 11 so shouldn’t I deal with Jerusalem and her images the way I dealt with Samaria and her idols?’”

12 “When Yehovah has finished all His work against Mount Zion and Jerusalem, He’ll punish the king of Assyria for the pride and arrogance he 'displays'. 13 He has said, “I’ve handled this by my own power and wisdom, because I’m so resourceful. I eliminated national boundaries and looted their treasures; as a mighty conqueror I brought down people who sat on thrones. 14 I found the wealth of the people like 'robbing' a nest; like someone gathering abandoned eggs, I gathered the entire earth. Not one of them flapped a wing, opened its mouth or chirped.’ 15 “Does an ax rise against the person who splits with it? Does a saw become greater than the person who saws with it? Can rod strike without someone to move it, can a cane lift someone up? 16 So the Sovereign, Yehovah the Commander will send a wasting disease among his elite warriors. And under His splendor a fire will be kindled like a blazing flame. 17 “Israel’s Light will become a fire, and His Kadosh One a flame, and it will burn and devour his thorns and briers in a single day. [1]. 18 He’ll destroy the majestic forest and the orchards, both 'life' and body, like when a sick person wastes away. 19 The remaining trees in his forest will be so few that a child could list them.”

20 At that time the 'survivors' of Israel and the surviving House of Jacob will never again rely on the one who struck them, but will truly rely on the Word* of Yehovah, the Kadosh One of Israel. 21 'Survivors' will return, 'survivors' of Jacob to the Mighty Elohim. 22 Tho your people Israel are like grains of sand on the seashore, only some 'survivors' of them will return. Righteous destruction is necessary. 23 The Sovereign, Yehovih [a variant spelling] the Commander has decreed complete destruction on the 'region'.

24 So the Sovereign, Yehovih [a variant spelling] the Commander, says: “My people who live in Zion, don’t be afraid of the Assyrian who beats you with a rod and raises his staff against you, the way Egypt did. 25 In just a little while My anger against you will be finished, and My anger will turn to their destruction.” 26 Yehovah the Commander will raise a whip against him, like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; His rod will be over the Red Sea, and He’ll lift it up the way He did in Egypt. 27 At that time his burden will be lifted from your shoulders, and his yoke from your neck, and the yoke will be destroyed because you’ve grown fat.”

28 “'The Assyrian' has come to Aiath and passed thru Migron, storing his equipment in Michmash. 29 They’ve gone thru the pass saying, “We’ll spend the night in Geba.” Ramah trembles; Gibeah of Saul has fled. 30 Cry out loud, daughter of Gallimm! Pay attention, Laish and miserable Anathoth! 31 Madmenah is a fugitive. The people of Gebim fled for safety. 32 Today he [the Assyrian] will stop at Nob, shaking his fist at the mountain of the Maiden Zion at Jerusalem’s hill. 33 The Sovereign, Yehovah the Commander will lop the boughs with terrifying force! The tall will be cut down, and the lofty will be felled. 34 He’ll cut down the thickets of the forest with an iron ax, and Lebanon will fall in front of the Majestic One.”

[1] This is how it reads in the oldest known Scriptures, the Aramaic targums, “Then Yehovah, the Light of Israel, and His Kadosh One, His Word*, strong as fire, and His word as a flame will kill and put an end to his rulers and governors in one day.”

ISAIAH 11

Wolves Will Live With Lambs

1 “Then a shoot will sprout from the stump of Jesse, and a BRANCH from his roots will take root. 2 The spirit of Yehovah [Hebrew feminine] will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and power, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of Yehovah. 3 He’ll be delighted with and in awe of Yehovah. He won’t judge by appearances, or make judgments based on hearsay. 4 He’ll judge the poor with righteousness, making decisions with equality for the poor of the earth. He’ll strike the earth with the scepter of His mouth, and with a breath from His lips He’ll destroy the wicked. 5 Righteousness will be the belt around His waist, and faithfulness the belt around His hips.”

6 “Wolves will live with lambs, and leopards will lie down with young goats. Calves, young lions and fattened calves grazing together, and little children will lead them. 7 Cows and bears will graze together, and their young ones will lie down together. Lions will eat straw like oxen. 8 Babies will play near cobras’ holes, and young children will put their hands into viper’s dens. 9 They won’t hurt or destroy in all My kadosh mountain, because the earth will be as filled with the knowledge of Yehovah, as the water covering the sea.”

10 This is when the nations will seek the root of Jesse, who stands as a rallying banner for the nations. His resting place will be majestic.

11 “When that day comes Yehovah will extend His hand a second time to recover the survivors of His people from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 He’ll raise a banner 'among' the nations and gather the exiles of Israel, AND gather together the scattered people of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

13 Ephraim’s jealousy will vanish, and those who harass Judah will be cut down. Ephraim won’t envy Judah, and Judah won’t show hostility toward Ephraim. 14 They’ll swoop down on the slopes of the Philistines on the west, and together they’ll plunder the nations to the east. They’ll take possession of Edom and Moab, and the Ammonites will be subject to them. 15 Yehovah will completely 'dry up' the 'forks' of the 'Red' Sea with His scorching wind. He’ll wave His hand over the Euphrates River, and split it into seven streams so that people can across in sandals. 16 There will be a highway for the survivors of His people from Assyria, like there was for Israel during the day when they came out of Egypt.

ISAIAH 12

Proclaim His Name

1 When that day comes you’ll say, “I’ll praise You, Yehovah, because tho You were angry with me, You turned Your anger away from me, and You comfort me. 2 “Surely Elohim will save me. I’ll trust, and not be afraid, because Yah, Yehovah, is my strength, my song, and He has become my deliverer.” 3 With joy you will draw water from the springs of deliverance. 4 “When that day comes you’ll say, “Give thanks to Yehovah! Proclaim His name. Tell the nations what He is doing. Let them know that His name is highly honored! 5 “Sing to Yehovah, because He has done excellent things! Make this known thruout the earth! 6 Sing to Yehovah; for He’s done wonderful things. This should be understood thruout the earth!”

ISAIAH 13

The Day of Yehovah is Coming

1 The 'burdensome message' of Babylon that Amoz’s son Isaiah saw. 2 “Raise a banner on the bare mountain! Raise your voice to them! Wave them on as they enter the gates of the nobles. 3 I’ve commanded My chosen ones; I’ve summoned My warriors, those who rejoice in My triumph, to execute My anger. 4 “Commotion on the mountains, like that of many people! There’s an uproar among the kingdoms, like nations being gathered together! Yehovah the Commander is mobilizing the army for the battle. 5 They’re coming from a far off country, from the furthest 'horizon', Yehovah and the weapons of His wrath—to destroy the whole land.”

6 Cry loudly, because the Day of Yehovah is near! It will come like destruction from the Sovereign. 7 That’s why everyone’s hands will go limp, and everyone’s courage will fail. 8 They’ll be terrified. Pain and sorrows will overcome them. They’ll writhe in pain like a woman in labor. They’ll look at each other in astonishment. Their faces aflame with fear. 9 The Day of Yehovah is coming—a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation, and to destroy all the sinners within it. 10 The stars in the sky and their constellations will no longer shine. The sun will be darkened when it rises, and the moon won’t reflect its light. [This event precedes the shaking of v.13, when the Day of Yehovah is “at hand”] 11 I’ll punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their wickedness. I’ll put an end to the arrogance of the proud, and humble the pride of the ruthless. 12 I’ll make people scarcer than pure gold, and mankind than the gold of Ophir. 13 So I’ll make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place at the wrath of Yehovah the Commander, during the day of His fierce anger. 14 Like hunted gazelle, like sheep without a 'shepherd', they’ll each return to their own people, and each will flee to their own land. 15 Anyone who is found will be stabbed to death, and whoever is caught will be 'executed'. 16 Their babies will be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses will be ransacked and their wives raped.

17 I’ll stir up the Medes against them, who don’t value silver and have no desire for gold. 18 Their bows will cut young men to pieces. They’ll have no mercy on the 'little ones', and they won’t have compassion on the children. 19 And Babylon, the jewel of the kingdoms, the splendor and pride of the 'Babylonians' will be overthrown by Elohim like Sodom and Gomorrah. 20 'Babylon' will never be inhabited. No one will settle there from generation to generation. Shepherds won’t even let their flocks rest there. 21 But desert animals will lie there, and owls will fill the houses. Ostriches will also live there, and shaggy goats will frolic there. 22 Hyenas will howl in their castles, and dragons * in the luxurious palaces. Her time is about to come, and the 'time' will not be postponed.

ISAIAH 14

Fallen From Heaven

1 Yehovah will have mercy on Jacob, and choose Israel again, and settle them in their own land. Immigrants [voluntary proselytes] will join them and merge with Jacob’s descendants. 2 The nations will escort them to their 'homeland'. The House of Israel will take their captors captive and will rule over their oppressors, making them servants and handmaids—ruling over their oppressors in Yehovah’s chosen land. 3 During this time, Yehovah will give you rest from your sorrow and trouble, and from the harsh labor that you endured.

4 “You’ll taunt the king of Babylon by saying: “How the tyrant has ceased! The slavedriver has ceased!” 5 Yehovah has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers, 6 who struck people down with wrath and incessant blows, who furiously subdued the nations with relentless tyranny. 7 The whole earth is at rest, and quiet. They burst into shouts of joy. 8 Even the cypress trees and the cedars of Lebanon gloat over you and say, ‘Since you were downed, no lumberjack has come against us.’ 9 “Sheol [the grave; “hell”: KJV] below is excited about meeting you at your coming. It wakes up the spirits of the dead for you, all the lead goats of the earth; it raises all the kings of the nations from their thrones. 10 They will all say to you, ‘You’ve become as weak as we are! You’ve just like one of us! 11 Your pomp is brought down to sheol, along with the sound of your stringed instruments. Maggots are spread out like a bed beneath you, and worms are your covers.”

12 “How you’ve fallen from heaven, morning star [not Lucifer!], son of the dawn! You’ve been cut down to the ground, you who brought down the nations! 13 You said to yourself, ‘I’ll ascend to heaven! I’ll raise my throne above the stars of Elohim! I’ll sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches north! 14 I’ll ascend above the highest clouds! I’ll make myself comparable to the Highest One!’ 15 Yet you’ll be brought down to sheol, to the depths of the pit. 16 “Those who see you will gaze at you and ponder, ‘Is this the man who caused the earth to quake and made the kingdoms tremble, 17 who made the world like a wilderness and overthrew its cities, who wouldn’t allow his captives to go home?’ 18 The kings of the nations all lie sleeping in splendor, each in his own tomb. 19 But you were thrown out of your tomb like an abominable branch, covered with the slain who were impaled with swords, who descend to the stones of the pit like a trampled corpse. 20 You won’t join them in burial, because you’ve destroyed your land and slaughtered your people. May the offspring of the wicked one never be mentioned again! 21 Prepare a slaughter house for his children because of the sins of their ancestors [that they imitate], so they’ll never rise up and take over the earth, and fill the surface of the earth with such cities.

22 “I’ll rise up against them,” says Yehovah the Commander “and wipe out Babylon’s [royal] name [reputation?], offspring and posterity,” says Yehovah. 23 “I’ll make it a home for hedgehogs [or owls, etc], and pools of water. I’ll sweep it with a broom of destruction,” says Yehovah the Commander.

The Assyrian Crushed

24 “Yehovah the Commander has sworn, “Just as I intended, so it will happen, and just as I planned, so it will stand. 25 I’ll crush the Assyrian in My land, and trample him under foot on My mountains. Then his yoke will be removed from them and his burden removed from their shoulders.” 26 “This is the plan in store for the whole earth; and this is the hand that is reaching out against all the nations. 27 Yehovah the Commander has planned it, and who can stop it? Once His hand is reached out, who could turn it back?”

28 This 'burdensome message' came during the year that king Ahaz died: 29 “None of you Philistines should be celebrating now that the [Jewish] rod that struck you is broken, because from the serpent’s stock a viper will emerge, and his 'offspring' will be a flying serpent. 30 The 'poorest' of the poor will eat, and the needy will lie down in safety. But I’ll destroy your root with famine, and your survivors will be killed. 31 Wail, you gates! Cry out, city! Melt in fear, Philistia, because a dust cloud is coming from the north. There are no stragglers. Everyone is in their appointed place. 32 What should we tell the ambassadors of the nations? Tell them, Yehovah has founded Zion, and in her the afflicted of His people WILL TAKE REFUGE.”

ISAIAH 15

Against Moab

1 The 'prophecy' against Moab: “Ar in Moab is devastated, destroyed in a night. Kir of Moab is laid waste in one night—ruined 2 They’ve gone up to the 'shrine 'and Dibon, to the 'shrines' to weep. Moab wails over Nebo and over Medeba. Every head is shaved and every beard is cut off. 3 In the streets they wear sackcloth; on their housetops and in their squares everyone is wailing and going around crying. 4 Heshbon and Elealeh cry out, their voices are heard as far as Jahaz. So the armed men of Moab cry aloud, trembling from within. 5 My 'spirit' cries out for Moab; his fugitives flee as far as Zoar and Eglath-shelishiyah. They go up the slope of Luhith crying; on the road to Horonaim they raise a cry of distress over their destruction. 6 The water of Nimrim is desolate and the grass has withered away; new growth has ceased and nothing green is left.

7 So they’ll carry away the wealth they’ve acquired and their belongings over the Brook of the Willows. 8 Their cry of distress has echoed thruout the territory of Moab; her wailing reaches as far as Eglaim, their lamentation as far as Beer Elim. 9 The streams of Dimon are full of blood, but I’ll bring even more on Dimon—lions for those who escape from Moab, and for the survivors in the land.”

ISAIAH 16

Fugitives in ‘Petra’

1 “You [Moabite fugitives in Edom] send tribute lambs to the ruler of the land, from Selah [Petra] thru the wilderness to the mountain of the Maiden Zion. 2 The daughters of Moab will be like fluttering birds forced from their nest at the fords of the Arnon river. 3 “Give us advice and make a decision! Cast your shadow like night at high noon! Shelter the fugitives! Don’t betray the refugees! 4 Allow My fugitives of Moab to stay with you! Be a hiding place to them from the destroyer.” The oppressor has come to an end, and destruction has ceased, and marauders have vanished from the land. 5 A throne will be established in faithfulness. Someone from the tent of David will sit on it who seeks justice, a Righteous Judge who swiftly does what is right.” 6 “We’ve heard about Moab’s pride, such extreme pride—his arrogance, his conceit, his wrath, and his groundless lies. 7 So Moab will wail for Moab. All of the Moabites will wail. Lament and grieve over the ruins [or raisin cakes] of Kir-hareseth. 8 The fields of Heshbon have withered as well as the vineyards of Sibmah; the rulers of the nations have trampled down its choice clusters that reached as far as Jazer and spread toward the desert. Its tendrils spread out and reached the sea.

9 “So I’ll cry bitterly for Jazer and the vineyards of Sibmah; I’ll 'drench' Heshbon and Elealeh with My tears, since the shouts of joy over your summer fruit and your grain harvest have fallen silent. 10 Joy and gladness have been taken away from the orchards; no one is singing or shouting for joy in the vineyards. No one treads out wine in the presses. I’ve made the shouting stop. 11 So my 'insides' moan like a harp for Moab, as does my innermost being for Kir Heres. 12 So when Moab appears at his high place, he only tires himself out; when he enters his sanctuary to pray, he won’t be able.”

13 “This is the 'message' [Lit: word] that Yehovah gave to Moab in the past. 14 But now Yehovah says, “Within three years, as a hireling bound by a contract would count them, the splendor of Moab will be degraded, 'despite' her large population, and her survivors will be very few and insignificant.”

ISAIAH 17

Against Damascus

1 The 'burdensome message' against Damascus: “Damascus is about to become a heap of ruins rather than a city! 2 The cities of Oraru [Dead Seas Scrolls] will be deserted. They’ll be places for flocks to lie down, and no one will frighten them. 3 The fortifications will disappear from Ephraim, and sovereignty from Damascus. The survivors of Aram [Syria] will be like the splendor of the Israelites,” declares Yehovah the Commander.

4 “When this day arrives the splendor of Jacob will 'fade', and his fattened 'body' will become gaunt. 5 It will be like a harvester gathering standing grain [by the armful], and harvesting the ears with the [other] arm. It will be like gathering grain in the Rephaim Valley. 6 But some gleanings [of Israel] will remain, like 'shaking' an olive tree—two or three olives in the topmost bough, four or five on the fruitful boughs,” declares Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel.

7 When that day comes, people will look to their Creator, and they’ll 'see' the Word, the Kadosh One of Israel [1]. 8 They’ll disregard the altars they made with their hands, they won’t respect what their fingers made, or the Asherah poles or the sun images. 9 “When that day comes their strong cities will be like abandoned places in the forest, or like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth because of the Israelites; and the land will be devastated. 10 You’ve forgotten the Elohim of your deliverance, and haven’t remembered the Rock whose Word* was your strength. So you plant luscious plants, and propagate exotic cuttings. 11 On the day that you transplant them, you fence them in. One morning you nurture them so they’ll grow, but the expected harvest becomes a pile of brush in a time of grief and unbearable sorrow.

12 “How terrible it will be for many people who rage like the roaring sea! The uproar of nations is like the roar of 'rushing' water! 13 Tho the nations roar like a surge of rushing water, He’ll reprimand them, and they’ll scatter far away, driven like chaff in the mountains before the wind, or like whirling dust before a gale. 14 In the evening, sudden terror! By morning, they no longer exist! This is the 'fate' of those who plunder us, and what will happen to those who rob us.”

[1] This is how it reads in the oldest known Scriptures, the Aramaic targum: ... And they’ll hopefully see the Word, the Kadosh One of Israel with their own eyes.”

ISAIAH 18

Against Ethiopia (or Egypt?)

1 How terrible it will be for the land of whirring wings, beyond the rivers of Cush, 2 that sends ambassadors by the sea in papyrus boats over the water. Go, swift messengers, to a nation of tall and smoothed skinned people feared far and wide, a powerful and oppressive nation whose land is divided by rivers. 3 Listen, all you inhabitants of the world, everyone who lives on the earth. When a warning banner is raised on the mountain, you’ll see it! When the shofar sounds, you’ll hear it! 4 This is what Yehovah told me: “I’ll remain quiet and watch from My dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the harvest warmth.” 5 Tho before the harvest, when the blossoming is over and sour grapes become ripening grapes, He’ll cut off the shoots with a pruning knife and clear away the spreading branches. 6 They’ll be left to the mountains’ ravenous birds and the wild animals from the land. The ravenous birds will summer on them, and all of wild animals of the land will winter on them. 7 At that time tribute will be brought to Yehovah the Commander from a tall and smooth skinned people who are feared 'far and wide', a powerful and oppressive nation, whose land is divided by rivers, to the place where Yehovah the Commander is renouned—Mount Zion.

ISAIAH 19

Against Egypt

1 The 'burdensome message' against Egypt: “Yehovah rides on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt! The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, and the 'courage' of the Egyptians will melt from within them. 2 I’ll incite Egyptians against Egyptians; and everyone will fight against their brothers, everyone against their neighbors, city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. 3 The spirits of the Egyptians within them will be drained of courage, and I’ll frustrate their plans. They’ll resort to idols and ghosts of the dead, to mediums and spiritists. 4 I’ll hand over the Egyptians to a cruel lord. A fierce king will rule over them,” declares the Sovereign, Yehovah the Commander.

5 “The water sources [DSS] of the sea will dry up, and the [Nile] riverbed will become parched and dry. 6 The canals will stink; and the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up. The reeds and rushes will wither away. 7 The bulrushes along the Nile, at the edge of the Nile, and all the fields planted beside the Nile river will dry up, blow away and vanish. 8 The fishermen will lament, and everyone who fishes in the Nile will mourn, anyone who casts nets on the water will waste away. 9 Those who make linen from combed flax, and those who weave white cloth will despair. 10 Those who are pillars will be crushed; and all her wage earners will be demoralized.” 11 “The princes of Zoan are complete fools; Pharaoh’s wisest advisers give senseless advice. How can you say to Pharaoh, “I’m a descendant of wise men, a descendant of ancient kings”? 12 So where then are your wise men? They should speak up now, and reveal what Yehovah the 'Commander’s plan is for Egypt. 13 The officials of Zoan have become fools; the princes of Memphis are delusional. The cornerstones of her tribes have led Egypt astray. 14 Yehovah has poured a spirit of confusion on her. 'Her leaders' have led Egypt astray in everything that it does, like a drunk sliding around in his own vomit. 15 There will be nothing that Egypt can do—from the head to the tail, palm branch or bulrush.

16 When that day comes the Egyptians will be like women. They’ll tremble in fear because Yehovah the Commander is shaking His 'fist', He’s shaking it 'at' them. 17 The mere mention of the land of Judah [not all 12 tribes] will terrify Egypt, because of what Yehovah the Commander is planning against it. 18 When that day comes there will be five cities in Egypt that will speak the language of Canaan [Hebrew], and swear by Yehovah the Commander. One will be called Sun City [1]. 19 When that day comes there will be an altar to Yehovah in the center of the land of Egypt, and a monument to Yehovah at its border. 20 It will become a sign and a witness to Yehovah the Commander in Egypt. When they cry out to Yehovah because of their oppressors, He’ll send them a Liberator [The Son] and Champion [Mighty One] who will rescue them. 21 When this day arrives, Yehovah will reveal Himself to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know Yehovah. They’ll even worship with zebakim [sacrifices], and offerings, and make vows to Yehovah and keep them. 22 Yehovah will strike Egypt with a plague, striking but then healing. They’ll turn to Yehovah, and He’ll respond to them and heal them. 23 When that day comes there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will travel to Egypt, and the Egyptians to Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. 24 When that day comes, Israel will be part of a triple alliance with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing amid the earth. 25 Yehovah the Commander will bless them, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My heritage.”

[1] Some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Masoretic manuscripts read “Sun City”, while most Masoretic texts read “City of Destruction”.

ISAIAH 20

Assyria Against Egypt

1 During the year when King Sargon of Assyria sent his commander to attack Ashdod and capture it, 2 is when Yehovah spoke thru Amoz’s son Isaiah: “Go, and untie the sackcloth from your waist, and remove the sandals from your feet.” So he went around around naked and barefoot. 3 Then Yehovah said, “Just as My servant Isaiah has gone around naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a harbinger against Egypt and Cush, 4 in the same way the king of Assyria will lead away Egyptian captives and the exiles of Cush, young and old, naked and barefoot, with bared butts—to Egypt’s shame. 5 They’ll be shattered and humiliated, because of Cush their hope, and Egypt their pride. 6 At that time people on this coast will say, ‘Look at what happened to those we relied on for help and rescue from the king of Assyria! Now, how can we escape?’”

ISAIAH 21

Babylon Has Fallen

1 The 'burdensome message' against the desert by the sea: “Like tornadoes sweeping thru the Negev, it comes from the wilderness, from a land of terror. 2 A troubling vision has been shown to me: A traitor betrays, and a destroyer destroys. Go up, Elam, attack Media! I’ve put an end to the groaning she caused. 3 So my stomach is filled with anguish; pangs have seized me, like the pangs of a woman in labor; I’m in so much pain that I can’t hear. I’m so terrified I can’t see. 4 My 'mind' is reeling, horror overwhelms me; the twilight I longed for has turned into terror. 5 They set the tables, they spread the carpets, they eat, they drink! Get up captains, oil your shields!”

6 This is what Yehovah told me: “Go, station a lookout and have him report what he sees. 7 When he sees chariots, horsemen in pairs, a troop of donkeys, riders on donkeys and riders on camels, have him pay close attention, very close attention.” 8 Then the lookout called like a lion, “Yehovah, I stand continually on the watchtower during the day, and I stay at my guard post every night. 9 Here comes chariots, horsemen in pairs! And one of them is saying: ‘Babylon has fallen, has fallen!’ And He has smashed all the images of her gods to the ground.” 10 You are my crushed people 'lying' on the threshing floor! What I’ve heard from Yehovah the Commander, the Elohim of Israel, I’m announceing to you.”

11 The 'burdensome message' against Dumah [Edom]. “Someone keeps calling to me from Seir, ‘Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?’ 12 The watchman replies, ‘Morning is coming, but also the night. If you want to ask, then ask! Come back again.’”

13 The 'burdensome message' against Arabia: “Caravans of Dedanites will camp for the night in the thickets in Arabia. 14 People of Tema, bring water for the thirsty, and meet the fugitives with their bread. 15 They fled from the swords, from drawn swords, and from bent bows and from the 'heat' of battle.”

16 This is what Yehovah told me: “Within a year, as a hired worker counts 'years', all the splendor of Kedar will have gone. 17 The surviving Kedarite archers will be few in number, as Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel has spoken.”

ISAIAH 22

The Key of David

1 The prophecy against the Valley of Vision: “What is troubling you? Why have you all gone up to the housetops? 2 You [Jerusalem] were filled with noise, a jubilant city, a city of revelry; your dead weren’t killed by 'violence'; they didn’t die in battle. 3 All your rulers fled at once, and have been captured without their bows [unarmed]. All the fugitives who were found were rounded up, tho they had fled far away. 4 So I said, “Don’t look at me. Allow me to cry bitterly. Don’t insist on consoling me about the destruction of the daughter of my people.” 5 The Sovereign Yehovah the Commander has planned a day of panic, trampling and perplexity, battering down walls and crying to the mountain [1] in the Valley of Vision. 6 Elam took up their quivers with chariots, 'infantry' and horsemen. Kir uncovers its shields. 7 Your favored valleys were full of chariots, and the horsemen took up fixed positions at the gates. 8 He stripped away the defenses of Judah.” During that time you 'depended' on the weapons of the House of the Forest of Lebanon [1 Kings 7:2-6]. 9 You saw the many breaches in the wall of the city of David, so you stored water from the Lower Pool. 10 Then you numbered the houses of Jerusalem and tore 'some' down to fortify the wall. 11 You built a reservoir between the two walls 'to store' water from the Old Pool. But you didn’t 'depend' on its Maker or take into consideration the One who planned it long ago. 12 The Sovereign, Yehovih [a variant spelling] the Commander called for crying and mourning that day, for 'shaving heads' and wearing sackcloth. 13 Instead, there is joy and revelry, butchering cattle and slaughtering sheep, eating meat and drinking wine, they were thinking, “Let’s eat and drink, because tomorrow we die.” 14 Yehovah the Commander 'Personally' told me: “Surely your wickedness won’t be forgiven until you die’ [2], says the Sovereign, Yehovah the Commander.”

15 This is what the Sovereign, Yehovih [a variant spelling] the Commander says, “Go to Shebna, the treasurer in charge of the palace, and ask him, 16 ‘What are you doing here. What right do you have to carve out a tomb for yourself, hewing your grave on an elevated site, chiseling your resting place out of rock? 17 Yehovah is about to firmly grab you and hurl you away violently! 18 He’ll roll you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a vast country. You’ll die and your splendid chariots will remain there. You’re a shame to your master’s house. 19 I’ll remove you from your office. You’ll be thrown out of your position. 20 When that time comes, I’ll call for My servant, Hilkiah’s son Eliakim. 21 I’ll give him your robe to wear and tie your sash securely around him. I’ll hand him your authority, and he’ll be like a father to the residents of Jerusalem and the tribe of Judah. 22 I’ll place the key of David’s dynasty on his shoulder. What he opens no one will shut, and what he shuts no one will open. 23 I’ll drive him like a nail into a secure place. He’ll be a throne of honor to his father’s family. 24 They’ll hang on him all the honor of his father’s family, the descendants and offspring, and every small utensil, from the cups to all the jars. 25 On that day,” declares Yehovah the Commander, “the nail that was firmly driven will give way. It will sheer off and fall, as will the load hanging from it.” Yehovah has spoken.

[1] Compare this mountain to Isaiah 2:2-3, Micah 4:2 and Zechariah 8:3

[2] The Targum interpretation is the second death: no forgiveness even after they die—Gills.

ISAIAH 23

Tyre Forgotten Seventy Years

1 The revelation [not oracle] concerning Tyre. “Wail, you ships of Tarshish! Tyre is laid waste, without house or harbor! Reports have come in from the land of Kittim. [1] 2 Be silent, you inhabitants of the coastland, you merchants from Sidon, whose seafarers are overflowing with merchandise. 3 On 'the Mediterranean' the grain of the Nile came as her revenue. She was the marketplace for the nations. 4 Be ashamed, Sidon, the stronghold by the sea has spoken, “ I’ve never labored or given birth, or raised young men or brought up virgins.” 5 When the news reaches Egypt, they’ll be in anguish over the report about Tyre. 6 Cross over to Tarshish! Wail inhabitants of the coastland! 7 Is this your blissful city founded in antiquity, whose 'voyagers' carried her people to colonize distant lands? 8 Who planned this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, whose merchants are princes, whose importers are among the honored people on earth. 9 Yehovah the Commander has planned it to humiliate the arrogant beauties and to humiliate all the renowned people of the earth. 10 Pour over your land like the Nile, daughter of Tarshish. There is nothing left to restrain you. 11 He has stretched out His hand over the sea and made its kingdoms tremble. Yehovah has ordered the destruction of Canaan’s fortresses. 12 He said, “You will no longer celebrate, oppressed virgin maiden of Sidon. Get up, cross over to Kittim—even there you’ll find no rest.

13 “Consider the land of the Chaldeans. Their nation didn’t exist until the Assyrians founded it for the wild amimals. They set up their siege towers. They overthrew its palaces. They made it a ruin. 14 Wail, ships of Tarshish, because your fortress is destroyed!”

15 At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king’s life. At the end of seventy years, Tyre’s destiny is as in the song of the whore: 16 “Take a harp and 'strut' around the city, you forgotten whore. Play a sweet melody. Sing many songs, so you’ll be remembered.” 17 Then when the seventy years have elapsed, Yehovah will revive [Barnes] Tyre, and she’ll return to her hire as a whore with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. 18 Her merchandise and her profits will be set apart for Yehovah. It won’t be stored or hoarded. Her merchandise will be for those who live in the presence of Yehovah, an abundance of food and fine clothing.

[1] In Genesis 10, Kittim is listed as a son of Javan, the son of Japheth, likely representing the Japanese.

ISAIAH 24

Earth Shaken Violently

1 “Yehovah is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it, mar its surface and scatter its inhabitants! 2 It will be the same for priest as with other people, servants like masters, mistresses like maids, buyers like sellers, lenders like borrowers, creditors like debtors. 3 The earth will be completely emptied and completely spoiled, because Yehovah has spoken this 'message'. 4 The earth mourns and withers. The world decays and fades away. The prominent leaders of the earth will be helpless. 5 The earth is polluted by its inhabitants, because they transgressed the Torah, violated the statutes, and broke the everlasting covenant. 6 So a curse devours the earth, and those who live there are found guilty. The earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and few people survive.

7 The wine 'grapes' mourn as the vines wither. All the carousers groan. 8 The delightful sound of tambourines has stopped. The sound of jubilation ends. The delightful sound of harps has ceased. 9 They no longer sing 'when they' drink wine; alcohol 'seems' bitter to those who drink it. 10 The chaotic city deteriorates; every house is closed to entry. 11 In the streets 'they' cry for wine. All cheer is darkened. Joy is banished from the earth. 12 The city is devastated, its gate is battered to pieces. 13 That’s how it will be on earth among the nations—like shaking of an olive tree [to gather strays], or like gleaning grapes when the harvest is over.”

14 “They raise their voices; they shout for joy; they cry aloud from the [Mediterranean] Sea the majesty of Yehovah. 15 So honor Yehovah in the east, even the name of Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, in the islands of the sea! 16 From the remotest parts of the earth we have heard singing: ‘The Splendor of the Righteous One.’ But I say, ‘I’m wasting away! I’m wasting away! The treacherous continue their treachery, the treacherous are very treacherous.’”

17 “Terror and pit and snare confront the inhabitants of the earth. 18 Whoever flees at the sound of the terror will fall in a pit, and whoever climbs up out of the pit will be caught in a snare, because the windows of the heavens are opened, and the foundations of the earth tremble. 19 The earth is broken up. The earth is split apart. The earth is shaken violently. 20 The earth will reel like a drunkard, and will sway back and forth like a portable shelter. Its rebellion weighs heavy on it. It [rebellion, comp v.23] will fall and never rise again [1]. 21 When that day comes Yehovah will punish the army of angels in the heavenly heights, and the kings of the earth on the earth. 22 They’ll be rounded up like prisoners in a dungeon. They be confined in the prison, and after many days they’ll be punished. 23 Then the moon will be humiliated, and the sun ashamed, because Yehovah the Commander will reign on Mount Zion, He’ll display His splendor in the presence of His elders.”

[1] There is an attempted coup after a thousand years (Revelation 20:7-10), but it will not prevail.

ISAIAH 25

No Death, No Tears!

1 Yehovah, You are my Elohim. I’ll exalt You! I’ll praise Your name, because You’ve done wonderful things, things planned long ago in complete faithfulness and truth. 2 You’ve turned cities [plural Aramaic] into waves of rubble, fortified cities into ruins, the foreigners’ strongholds are cities no more. They will never be rebuilt. 3 So strong people will honor You; cities of ruthless nations will revere You. 4 You’ve been a refuge to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in their distress, a shade from the heat, when the breath of the ruthless is like a violent storm pummeling a wall. 5 [1] Like a thick cloud tempering the heat of the sun on a burnt land, Your intervention, 'silences' the victory songs of the formidable.

6 “Yehovah the Commander will prepare a 'lavish' banquet on this mountain using the 'best foods' for every nation, a banquet with well aged wines, of 'choice' cuts full of marrow, and refined wines. 7 On this mountain He’ll remove the shroud that looms over’ all people, the veil that 'overshadows' every nation. 8 He’ll devour death forever! The Sovereign Yehovah will wipe away the tears from every face. He’ll eliminate the scorn of His people from the entire earth. Yehovah has spoken!

9 “When this day arrives, Israel will be saying, ‘This is our Elohim! We have been waiting for Him to rescue us! This is Yehovah! We’ve been waiting for Him. Let’s rejoice and celebrate His rescue!’

10 Yehovah’s hand will rest on this mountain, and Moab will be trampled under 'foot' like urine soaked straw is trampled into manure in a 'stall'! 11 'The Moabites' will spread out their hands in 'the manure' like someone swimming spreads out their hands to swim, but 'Yehovah' will dash their pride along with his slight of hands. 12 He’ll bring down the unassailable fortifications of your walls, lay them low and raze them to the ground, to the very dust.

[1] This verse was clarified by the oldest known Scriptures, the Aramaic Targums.

ISAIAH 26

Yehovah is Coming!

1 When that day comes this song will be sung in the land of Judah: “We have a strong city; He sets up walls and ramparts for security. 2 Open the gates so that the righteous nation that remains faithful can enter. 3 Those whose minds remain focused will stay in perfect peace because they trust in You. 4 Trust in Yehovah forever, because in Yah, Yehovah, is an everlasting Rock. 5 He has brought down those who live in the high and unassailable city. He brings it down, down to the ground. He throws it to the dust. 6 It is trampled underfoot by the feet of the oppressed, while the needy step over it.

7 “The road of the righteous is level, because You level the path of the righteous. 8 In the path of Your judgments, Yehovah, have we waited expectantly for You; Your name and Your Torah [DSS] are the desire of our lives! 9 I long for You in the night. My spirit within me earnestly searches for You, because when Your judgments are on the earth, the world’s inhabitants will learn righteousness. 10 Even if favor is shown to the wicked, they still don’t learn to do what is right. Even in a land of righteousness they go on doing evil, and disregard Yehovah’s majesty. 11 Yehovah, Your hand is lifted up to strike, but they don’t see it, but they’ll see Your zeal for the people and be ashamed. Indeed, fire will devour Your enemies. 12 Yehovah, You’ll establish peace for us, since you’ve already done everything else for us. 13 Yehovah our Elohim, other masters besides You’ve ruled over us, but we only acknowledge Your name. 14 They are dead, they won’t live again. Those departed spirits won’t arise. You’ve punished them and destroyed them, and deleted all memory of them. 15 You’ve enlarged the nation, Yehovah. You’ve enlarged the nation. You’ve gained honor. You’ve expanded all the borders of the land. 16 Yehovah, they came to You in their distress. They could only whisper a prayer when You were chastening them. 17 Like a pregnant woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pain, so were we before You, Yehovah. 18 We have been pregnant. We writhed in pain. We gave birth, it seems, only to wind. We haven’t brought any delivery to the earth; no births of people into the world.”

19 “

Your dead will live. Their bodies will rise. Those who lie in the dust will wake up and sing for joy [first resurrection]. Your dew reflects a delightful light, and the earth will push out her dead. 20 “Come, My people, enter your safe chambers [1] and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourselves briefly until 'His' fury has ended. 21 Yehovah is coming out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their wickedness. The earth will reveal her bloodshed and will no longer cover her slain [resurrection of the wicked]”.

[1] A look at the 38 usages of this word is often associated with comfort, but never a tomb. This is a place of tranquility during Yehovah’s Day of great wrath.

ISAIAH 27

The Great Shofar Sounds

1 During that time, Yehovah will pay Leviathan a visit, along with His fierce, large and very sharp sword, the fugitive Leviathan, that twisted serpent, and He’ll kill the dragon * in the sea.

2 “When that day comes, sing about a pleasant vineyard! 3 I, Yehovah watch over it. I water it continuously. I guard it night and day so that no one will harm it. 4 I’m no longer furious [with Israel]. I wish I had briers and thorns confronting Me! I would set them all on fire. 5 Or else he should come to Me for refuge, so that he could make peace with Me. He should make peace with Me!” 6 In the time to come, Jacob will take root. Israel will blossom and sprout. They’ll fill the surface of the earth with fruit. 7 Has He [Yehovah] struck them [Israel] the way He struck those who struck them? Or have they been killed the way their killers were killed? 8 You contended with them incrementally [Barnes] by banishing them, by sending them away. He has expelled them with His fierce wind on the day of the east wind. 9 So thru this the wickedness of Jacob will be atoned for, and this is the full 'price' of 'pardoning' his sin: When he makes all the [pagan] alter stones look like crushed chalk stones; and no Ashera poles or incense altars are left standing. 10 Fortified cities will be deserted; abandoned settlements forsaken like the desert. Calves will graze there, lie down there, and strip branches bare. 11 When its branches dry out, they’ll be broken off, and women will come and make fires with them. They are a people without understanding. Their Maker won’t have compassion on them, and their Creator will show them no mercy.

12 When that day comes, Yehovah will thresh [harvest] from the 'Euphrates' river valley to the Nile * of Egypt. You Israelites will be gleaned one by one. 13 Also during that day the great shofar will sound, and those who were dying in the land of Assyria and those who were banished to the land of Egypt will come and worship Yehovah on the Kadosh Mountain in Jerusalem.

ISAIAH 28

Covenant With Death Canceled

1 How terrible it will be for the arrogant crown of the drunks of Ephraim, and the fading flower of its beautiful splendor, set at the head of the fertile valley of those who are overcome with wine! 2 Yehovah [DSS] has a mighty and strong 'agent'! Like a hailstorm, like a storm with strong flooding water—He has cast it down to the ground with His hand. 3 The arrogant crown of the drunks of Ephraim will be trampled underfoot. 4 The fading flower of his splendid beauty at the head of the fertile valley will be like the first-ripe figs prior to summer— whenever someone sees it, they swallow it as soon as it’s in their hand.

5 When that day comes, Yehovah the Commander will become a magnificent crown, and a beautiful diadem for the survivors of His people. 6 He’ll give a spirit of justice to your judges, and strength to those who repel the 'onslaught' at the gate.

7 They also reel with wine, and stagger from liquor. Priests and prophets reel with liquor; they are confused by wine, they stagger from liquor; they reel while seeing visions and stagger when rendering decisions. 8 All their tables are covered with vomit, with not a clean spot left.

9 Who is He trying to teach? Who would He explain the message to? Those just weaned from milk; those just taken from the breast? 10 [The drunkards mockingly say] “Rule after rule, rule after rule, order after order, order after order, a little here, a little there.” 11 So He’ll speak to these people thru stammering speech and a foreign 'language'. 12 He had told them: “This is a place of rest, allow the weary to rest. This is a place of tranquility”—but they wouldn’t listen. 13 So the Word of Yehovah to them will be: “Rule after rule, rule after rule, order after order, order after order, a little here, a little there,”—so they’ll go stumbling backward, to be broken, trapped, and taken captive.

14 “So listen to the 'message' from Yehovah, you scoffers who rule these people in Jerusalem, 15 You said, ‘We’ve made a covenant with death, and we made an agreement with sheol. So when the overwhelming scourge passes by it won’t reach us, since we’ve made lies our refuge and have concealed ourselves with deception.’ 16 So the Sovereign Yehovah says, “I [the Father] am laying a foundation Stone in Zion, a Rock, a tested Stone, a precious Cornerstone, a sure Foundation; [The Son, 1 Peter 2:4-8]! Those who maintain their faith won’t act hastily. 17 I’ll make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the mason’s level. The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and water will flood your hiding place. 18 Your covenant with death will be canceled, and your agreement with sheol won’t stand. When the overflowing scourge passes by, you’ll be trampled. 19 As often as it passes by, it will seize you; morning after morning, by day and by night, and it will be sheer terror to understand what it means.” 20 The bed is too short to stretch out on, and the blanket too narrow to wrap yourself in.

21 Yehovah will stand on Mount Perazim. He’ll be angry as in the Gibeon Valley, in order to do His work, His strange work, and to do His task—His alien task! 22 So don’t be scoffers, or your shackles will become stronger. I’ve heard from the Sovereign, Yehovih [a variant spelling] the Commander of destruction for the whole earth [or land].

23 “Listen to what I 'say'. Pay attention to what I’m saying. 24 Does a man harrow nonstop to sow seeds? Does he continuously harrow to prepare the ground? 25 Once he has leveled the surface, doesn’t he sow black cumin and cumin seed. He plants spelt in rows and barley in plots with rye around its borders. [1] 26 His Elohim instructs and teaches him the right way to plant. 27 The black cumin isn’t threshed with a a threshing sledge, and a cart wheel isn’t rolled over cumin. Black cumin is threshed with a rod, and cumin with a club. 28 Bread grain must be ground; you don’t keep threshing it forever. Tho he runs the wheel of his threshing cart over it, his horses aren’t grinding it. 29 This also comes from Yehovah the Commander, whose counsel is wonderful and whose wisdom is magnificent.”

[1] This is an example of a companion planting system.

ISAIAH 29

Your Prophets Put to Sleep

1 “It will be dreadful for Ariel! Ariel, the city where David camped! Year after year, celebrate the feasts in the annual cycle. 2 Then I’ll pressure Ariel, there will be mourning and crying. She’ll be like an altar hearth to Me. 3 I’ll lay siege against you on every side, and blockade you with towers. I’ll raise siege works against you. 4 You’ll fall down, and speak from the ground. Your voice will emanate from the dust. Your voice will resemble a medium’s coming out of the ground. Your voice will whisper from the dust. 5 Your many enemies will be like fine dust. The ruthless hordes will be like chaff flying in the wind. It will happen suddenly, instantaneously. 6 Yehovah the Commander will come [not Yeshua alone] with thunder clouds, with an earthquake, intense howling from hurricanes and tornadoes, and the flames of a consuming fire. 7 The horde of nations that go to war against Ariel, everyone who attacks her and her fortifications and besieges her, will be like a dream, a vision in the night. 8 They will be like a hungry man who dreams he is eating, but when he wakes up, he’s still hungry, or like when a thirsty man dreams of drinking, but when he wakes up, he is still faint and thirsty. That is how it will be for the hordes of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion.

9 “Stop and be amazed! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine, they stagger, but not from liquor. 10 It’s because Yehovah has poured over you a spirit of deep sleep, and closed the eyes of your prophets, and He has covered the heads of your 'star gazers'.” 11 “For you this whole vision will be like words in a sealed scroll. When people give it to someone who can read, and ask, ‘Read this, please,’ they’ll say, ‘I can’t, because it’s sealed.’ 12 Then the book is handed to someone who is illiterate and asked, ‘Please read this.’ And he’ll say, ‘I can’t read.’”

13 Then Yehovah said, “These people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but they’ve removed their thoughts far from Me, and their awe of Me is based on human dogma, 14 So watch out! I’ll proceed to do a marvelous work among these people, a marvelous work and a wonder, and the wisdom of their wise men will die, and the understanding of their prudent men will be hidden.”

15 “I pity those who try to hide their plans from Yehovah, whose works are done in the dark, and who say, “Who sees us?” And, “Who knows about us?” 16 You turn things upside down! Should a potter be thought to be like clay, so that something he made should say about the one who made it, ‘He didn’t make me,’ or the thing formed say of the one who formed it, ‘He has no understanding?’ 17 “In a very little while Lebanon will be turned into a fruitful field, and a fruitful field will be thought of as a forest? 18 On that day the deaf will hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind will see out of obscurity and out of darkness. 19 The humble also will increase their joy in Yehovah, and the poor among men will celebrate in the Kadosh One of Israel. 20 The ruthless are brought to nothing, and scoffers will cease, and all the evil scammers will be killed— 21 those who falsely incriminate others, who set a trap for the defense in court, needlessly depriving the innocent of justice with their lies. 22 So this is what Yehovah who redeemed Abraham, says about the descendants of Jacob: ‘Jacob will no longer be ashamed and his face will no longer turn pale. 23 But when they see their children, My handiwork among them, they’ll revere My name. They’ll honor the Kadosh One of Jacob, AND stand in awe of the Elohim of Israel. 24 Those who are confused will learn the truth, and those who complain will accept instruction.’”

ISAIAH 30

Your Teachers Revealed

1 Yehovah says, “You rebellious children who carry out plans that are not from Me, and who make an alliance, but not by My spirit, piling sin on top of sin. 2 They proceed down to Egypt without consulting Me; seeking refuge under Pharaoh’s protection, and seeking shelter in Egypt’s shadow! 3 So Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame, and refuge in Egypt’s shadow your humiliation. [DSS: your longing] 4 tho they have officials in Zoan and ambassadors as far as Hanes, 5 they’ll all be ashamed because of a people who can’t benefit them, who are of no help or advantage, but only shame and reproach.”

6 The 'burdensome message' about the animals of the Negev: “Thru the land of trouble and anguish, home of lionesses and lions, vipers and flying serpents, they carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys, and their treasures on the humps of camels, to a people [Egyptians] who will not help them. 7 Egypt’s help is totally worthless; call her ‘Rahab who just sits still.’”

8 “Now go, write it on a tablet in their presence, and inscribe it on a scroll, so that in the future it will serve as a witness forever. 9 They are rebellious people, deceptive children, children unwilling to hear Yehovah’s Torah. 10 They say to the seers, ‘Don’t see visions,’ and to the prophets, ‘Don’t prophesy the truth to us. Tell us pleasant things. Prophesy illusions. 11 Get out of the way! Get off of the path. Stop bothering us with the Kadosh One of Israel.’

12 So the Kadosh One of Israel says: “Since you’ve rejected this 'message', and relied on oppression and deceit, and have depended on them, 13 this sin will be like a bulging breach in a high wall that collapses 'very' suddenly on you. 14 Its collapse will be like when a potter’s vessel is smashed, crushed so savagely that no one could find among the broken pieces a shard big enough to scoop fire from a hearth, or to draw water from a cistern.” 15 This is what the Sovereign Yehovah, the Kadosh One of Israel says: “You’ll be saved by returning and resting. Your strength is in calmness and trust. But you were not willing. 16 You said, ‘No, we’ll escape on horses.’ So you’ll flee! And “We’ll ride on the swift horses.’ So those who chase you will be swifter! 17 A thousand will flee being threatened by one; being threatened by five you’ll flee until you are left like a flagpole on a mountain top, or like a banner on a hill.”

The Restoration of Israel

18 “Nevertheless, Yehovah is longing to show you mercy. He awaits high above to have compassion on you, because Yehovah is an Elohim of justice. Everyone waiting for Him is blessed.” 19 The people of Zion, living in Jerusalem will no longer cry. He’ll surely be merciful to you at the sound of your cry. When He hears you, He’ll answer you. 20 Even tho Yehovah gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers [yes, it’s plural] won’t be hidden any longer. You’ll see your teachers with your own eyes. [Commentary] 21 When you turn to the right or turn to the left, you’ll hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the direction. Walk this way.”

Idolaters Saved!

22 You’ll acknowledge that your silver-plated idols and your gold-plated images are unclean. You’ll throw them away like a menstrual rags, and say to them, “Good riddance!” 23 Then He’ll send rain for the seed that you will sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. When that day comes your livestock will graze in spacious pastures. 24 The oxen and the donkeys that work the ground [Say good-by big ag] will eat salted fodder that people winnow with shovels and forks. 25 There will be brooks and streams of water on every lofty mountain and on every high hill in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall [earthquake]. 26 The light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days, on the day when Yehovah binds up the fracture of His people, and heals the wounds He inflicted.

27 “The name of Yehovah comes from far away, with burning anger amid thick rising smoke! His lips are filled with fury, and His tongue is like a devouring fire. 28 His breath is like an inundation that rises to the neck. He’ll sift the nations in a sieve of destruction, and put a bridle in their jaws to lead them astray. 29 You’ll sing a song as you would on nights when you celebrate a kadosh Festival. You’ll be filled with joy like someone marching to the sound of a flute, going up to Yehovah’s mountain, to the Rock of Israel. [1]

30 Yehovah will cause His majestic voice to be heard, and reveal the descending of His arm striking in fierce anger, and in the flame of a consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail. 31 Assyria will be terrified by the voice of Yehovah, when He strikes them with His scepter. 32 Every blow from the staff of 'punishment' that Yehovah will lay on him will be to the sound of tambourines and lyres, as He fights them in battle brandishing weapons. 33 The Fire Pit [Gehenna] has long been prepared; truly it is for the[Assyrian] king. He has made it deep and large, a pyre of fire with more than enough wood; Yehovah’s breath, like a stream of burning brimstone, will set it ablaze.

[1] “It is a common notion of the Jews that the slaughter of the Assyrian army was on the night of the Passover... and it will be at evening time that the latter day [splendor] shall break out, and songs of joy be heard from the uttermost parts of the earth, Zechariah 14:7.”—Gills

ISAIAH 31

Yehovah Shields Jerusalem

1 “How dreadful it will be for 'the people' who go down to Egypt for help, and who depend on horses! They trust in their numerous chariots and their mighty cavalry, but don’t look to the Kadosh One of Israel, or seek Yehovah! 2 In his wisdom He’ll bring disaster. He doesn’t go back on what He says. But He’ll arise up against the house of the wicked, and against the allies of those who do evil. 3 The Egyptians are men, not gods, and their horses flesh, not spirits. When Yehovah reaches out His hand, the helper [Egypt] will stumble and the one who is helped [Judah] will fall; and all of them will perish together.”

4 This is what Yehovah told me: “A lion, even a young lion growls over its prey; and even when a band of shepherds is called out against it, it isn’t frightened by their shouts or disturbed by their commotion, similarly Yehovah the Commander will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its heights. 5 Like birds hovering overhead, Yehovah the Commander will shield Jerusalem. He’ll protect and save it. He’ll ‘Pass-over’ [1] it and rescue it.” 6 You Israelites! Return to the One you’ve blatantly rebelled against. 7 When that day comes everyone will throw away their hand made silver and gold idols that you made in sin. 8 “The Assyrian/s will fall by a sword but not by a human made sword—a sword not wielded by humans will devour them, and his young men will become forced laborers. 9 Their 'strength' will fail due to terror, and their commanders will be terrified because of the battle standard,” declares Yehovah, whose fire is in Zion, and whose furnace in Jerusalem.

[1] This Hebrew word that literally means to “pass over” is often associated with Passover, as it is here.

ISAIAH 32

...Until the Spirit is Poured On Us

1 “You see, a king will reign in righteousness, and rulers will rule with justice. 2 Each will be like a shelter from the wind, and a shelter from storms, like streams of water in the desert and like the shade of a 'huge' rock in a 'parched' land. 3 Then the eyes of those who see won’t be 'closed', and the ears of those who hear will listen. 4 The 'minds' of the reckless will discern the truth, and the tongues of those who stammer will hurry to speak clearly. 5 Fools will no longer be called noble, and scoundrels won’t be highly regarded. 6 Fools speaks nonsense, their minds are preoccupied with evil. They practice unrighteousness and spread lies about Yehovah, depriving the hungry of food and the thirsty of water. 7 A scoundrel’s methods are wicked. He devises wicked schemes to destroy poor people with lies, even when the needy people plead for justice. 8 But those who are noble devise noble things, and they stand up for noble causes.

9 “Rise up, you ladies of leisure and listen to me! You overconfident daughters, listen to what I am saying! 10 In a little more than a year you overconfident women will shudder; the grape harvest will fail; there will be no harvest. 11 Shudder, you ladies of leisure; tremble with fear, you overconfident daughters. Strip down to the waist. Then wrap yourselves in sackcloth and beat your breasts [DSS]. 12 Beat your breasts over the pleasant fields, over the fruitful grapevines, 13 and over the land of my people growing thorns and briers— Yes, mourn over all the joyful houses and over this city of revelry. 14 The palace will be abandoned. The populous city will be deserted. The citadel and the watchtowers will become animal lairs before long, a [1] [U], a playground for wild donkeys, pasture for flocks, 15 until the spirit is poured on us from high above, and a wilderness becomes a fertile field, and a fertile field is considered a forest.”

16 “Then justice will settle into the wilderness, and righteousness will occupy the fertile fields. 17 The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and security forever. 18 My people will live in a peaceful environment, in secure homes, and in undisturbed resting places. 19 But hail will level the forest, and the woodland [DSS] will be completely leveled. 20 How blessed those of you will be when you sow crops along the rivers, and allow your oxen and donkeys free range.”

[1] My “before long” used here (in connection with verse 10) is incredibly more logical than the word other Bibles use here: 'forever'. The very first word of verse 15: “until” and the rest of the chapter precludes Jerusalem being a wasteland “forever” (not to mention history and prophecy and that city in the news).

ISAIAH 33

The Sinners in Zion Are Terrified

1 “It will be dreadful for the destroyer, tho you weren’t destroyed. How horrible it will be for you, betrayer, tho you haven’t been betrayed! Once you’re finished destroying, you’ll be destroyed; and once you’re finished betraying, you’ll be betrayed.”

2 “Yehovah, be merciful to us. We have waited for You. Be our strength every morning, our deliverance in times of trouble.

3 “At the sound of thunder, the people flee. When You rise up, the nations scatter. 4 Your plunder is like a locust 'invasion'. People will swarm over it like an infestation of locusts. 5 Yehovah is exalted, because He lives high above. He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. 6 There will be stability in your time, an abundance of deliverance, wisdom and knowledge. The fear of Yehovah is your treasure.”

7 “Listen! Their warriors cry out in the streets; the ambassadors of peace cry bitterly. 8 The highways are deserted; travel has ceased. The Covenant has been broken. He [the enemy] despises the cities and respects no one. 9 The land mourns and wastes away, Lebanon is ashamed and withers; Sharon is like a desert plain, and Bashan and Carmel lose their leaves.”

10 “Now I’ll rise up,” Yehovah says, “Now I’ll be exalted. Now I’ll be lifted up.” 11 You conceive chaff, you give birth to stubble; your breath will incinerate you like a fire. 12 The people will be burned to ashes, like cut thorns they’ll be set ablaze.” 13 Those of you who are far away, listen to what I’ve done; and you who are near, know My strength. 14 The sinners in Zion are terrified. Trembling has seized the secular people. Could any of us live thru the devouring fire? Which of us could live with continual burning? 15 Those who 'live' the right way, and speak the truth, who despise profiting from oppression, who gesture with their hands refusing a bribe, who stop their ears from hearing plots of murder, and refuse to 'endorse' evil 16 will live high above. Their refuge will be the mountain fortress. Their bread will be supplied, their water will be assured.

17 “Your eyes will see the King in His splendor. You’ll see a land that stretches into the distance. 18 You’ll meditate on the terror. “Where is the accountant? Where is the one who weighs the money? Where is the one who counts the towers [1]? 19 You’ll no longer see the 'barbarians', people with a 'foreign' language that none of you can comprehend, whose stammering 'speech' is incomprehensible. 20 Look at Zion, the city of our appointed Feasts. Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet home, an immovable tent; it’s stakes will never be pulled up, and none of its ropes will be severed. 21 But the majestic Yehovah will be there with us, a place of broad rivers and streams, where no galley with oars will go, or any powerful ship pass by. 22 Because Yehovah is our judge. Yehovah writes our laws. Yehovah is our King. He’ll rescue us. 23 Your rigging is insecure. You can’t fasten the base of the mast and spread the sail. Then an abundance of plunder will be divided, and even the lame will take plunder. 24 No one living there will say, ‘I’m sick.’ The people who live there will be forgiven of their disgusting injustice.”

[1] Possibly the “engineer, to take care of the fortifications”: Gills

ISAIAH 34

A Year of Payback

1 “Come near, you nations, and listen. Pay attention, you people! The earth and everything on it should hear, the world, and every living thing. 2 Yehovah is angry with all the nations, and furious with their armies. He has completely destroyed them. He doomed them to slaughter. 3 Their slain will be thrown out, and the stench of their dead bodies will rise. The mountains will be drenched with their blood. 4 The entire array of 'stars' will disappear. The sky will roll down like a scroll, and all of its 'stars' will fall like leaves falling from a grapevine or a figs from a tree [1]. 5 My sword was drenched with blood in the sky. Now it will descend on Edom, the nation I have marked for destruction. 6 Yehovah’s sword is drenched with blood. It’s covered with fat, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with fat from the kidneys of rams. Yehovah 'will receive' a zebak in Bozrah, a great slaughter in the land of Edom. 7 Men as strong as a monoclonius [?] will fall next to them, young bulls with strong ones. Their land will be saturated with blood, and their soil will be greasy with fat. 8 Because Yehovah has a Time of Vengeance, a Year of Payback settling the dispute over Zion. 9 Edom’s streams will be turned into pitch, and the ground turned to burning sulfur, and its land will become burning pitch. 10 It won’t be quenched night or day. Its smoke will go up forever. From generation to generation, it will remain deserted. No one will ever travel thru it. 11 But pelicans [?] and porcupines [?] will take over, and owls and ravens wills be at home. 'Elohim' will stretch a measuring line of chaos over it, and a plumb line of emptiness. 12 Her nobles will have no one left to proclaim king, and all her princes will vanish. 13 Her palaces will be overgrown with thorns; her fortified cities with nettles and thistles. It will be a haunt for dragons *, the habitat of ostriches! 14 The desert creatures will meet with the hyenas, and hairy goats will cry to each other. Liliths will settle there, finding their resting places. 15 Arrow snakes [?] will make their nests there, and lay their eggs, hatch them and gather their young under the shadow of their wings. Raptors will gather there, each with its mate.”

16 “Search in Yehovah’s book, and read: Not one of these will be missing. Not one will lack a mate. He 'spoke' the command, and His own spirit gathers them. 17 He has cast a lot for them, and His hand has divided it to them with a measuring line forever. From generation to generation they’ll live in it.”

[1] I believe that top heavy New Jerusalem will shift north and become the new north pole, allowing for a stable rotation. As it moves, the stars will appear to be rolling south. As the motion accelerates they’ll seemingly disappear, just like stars disappear from the image of a moving camera.

ISAIAH 35

The Kadosh Highway

1 “The wilderness and the parched land will rejoice; the desert will celebrate and blossom like a rose [?]. 2 It will blossom profusely, and celebrate with joy and singing. It will have Lebanon’s splendor, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They’ll see Yehovah’s splendor, the majesty of our Elohim. 3 Encourage the 'exhausted', steady the shaking knees! 4 Tell those who are afraid, ‘Be strong. Don’t be afraid. Your Elohim will come with vengeance, Elohim’s retribution is coming, but He’ll save you.’ 5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unimpeded. 6 Then the lame will leap like deer, and the 'mute' will sing for joy. Water will flow in the wilderness and streams in the desert. 7 The scorched sand will become pools, and thirsty ground artesian springs. The haunts where dragons * once lived will become grass, reeds, and papyrus.”

8 “A highway will be there, a roadway, and it will be called The Kadosh Highway. The unclean won’t travel on it, but it will be for those who walk the Way. Fools won’t wander onto it. 9 There won’t be any lions there, or any other ferocious beasts getting on it. They won’t be found there, but the redeemed will walk there. 10 Those Yehovah has ransomed will return, will enter Zion with singing with everlasting joy crowning their heads. They’ll be overcome with gladness and joy, as sorrow and mourning flee away.”

ISAIAH 36

Sennacherib Attacks Judah

1 During the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah’s reign, King Sennacherib of Assyria attacked all the fortified cities of Judah and seized them. 2 The king of Assyria sent his field commander from Lachish to Jerusalem the king Hezekiah with a large army. And he stood by the aqueduct of the Upper Pool on the highway to the Fuller’s Field. 3 Then Hilkiah’s son Eliakim, the palace administrator, and Shebna the secretary, and Asaph’s son Joah, the archivist went out to him. 4 The field commander said to them: “Tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, asks: Why are you so confident? 5 I say that your strategy and preparedness for the war are only futile words. Now who are you relying on that you’re rebelling against me? 6 If you’re relying on Egypt, that shattered reed of a staff will pierce the hand of anyone who leans on it. That is what Pharaoh king of Egypt is to anyone who relies on him! 7 But if you tell me, “We trust in Yehovah our Elohim,” isn’t it He whose 'shrines' and whose altars Hezekiah has taken away, while he told Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You will worship before this altar?’ 8 So now, come and make a deal with my master the king of Assyria, and I’ll give you two thousand horses, horses if you’re able to put riders for them! 9 So how can you 'repel' a single commander among the weakest of my master’s 'officials', and rely on Egypt for chariots and horsemen? 10 Have I 'marched' against this land without Yehovah’s approval to destroy it? Yehovah Himself told me, ‘March' against this land and destroy it.’

11 Then Eliakim, Shebna and Joah said to the field commander, “Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, since we understand it, and don’t speak to us in the Judean language where the people on the wall can hear it.” 12 But the field commander asked, “Has my master only sent me to your master and to you to say these 'things', and not to the men who sit on the wall—who, like you, are doomed to eat their own excrement and drink their own urine?” 13 Then the field commander stood, and called out with a loud voice in the Judean language, and said, “Listen to the 'message' of the great king, the King of Assyria! 14 This is what the king says: “Don’t let Hezekiah deceive you. He is unable to save you! 15 Don’t let Hezekiah persuade you to rely on Yehovah when he says, “Yehovah will really rescue us. The city will never be handed over to the king of Assyria!” 16 Don’t listen to Hezekiah, because the King of Assyria says: ‘Make peace with me and come out to me, and each of you will eat from your own vine and from your own fig tree, and each of you will drink water from your own cistern, 17 till I come and take you to a land like your own land, a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards.’ 18 Be careful not to let Hezekiah mislead you when he says,“Yehovah will save us.” Have any of the gods of the nations rescued his land from the 'grasp' of the king of Assyria? 19 Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? And when have they rescued Samaria from my grasp? 20 Who among all the gods of these countries has released their country from my grasp? So why would Yehovah rescue Jerusalem from my grasp?” 21 But they remained silent, and said nothing in reply, because the king’s commandment was, “Don’t answer him.” 22 Then Hilkiah’s son Eliakim, the palace administrator, and Shebna the secretary, and Asaph’s son Joah, the archivist, approached Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him what the field commander had said.

ISAIAH 37

Sennacherib Killed

1 When King Hezekiah heard this, he tore his clothes and covered himself with sackcloth, and entered Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 2 He sent Eliakim, who was the palace administrator, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, all wearing sackcloth, to the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz. 3 They told him that this is what Hezekiah is saying, “Today is a day of distress, rebuke and shame. Children have come to the point of birth, but there isn’t the strength to deliver. 4 Perhaps Yehovah your Elohim will hear the 'message' of the field commander, who his master the King of Assyria has sent to defy the living Elohim, and reprimand him for the words that Yehovah your Elohim has heard. So pray for the 'survivors' that remain.”

5 “King Hezekiah’s servants went to Isaiah. 6 Isaiah answered them, “Tell your master that this is what Yehovah says: ‘Don’t be frightened by the message you heard—words that the underlings of the King of Assyria have blasphemed Me with. 7 Listen! I’m going to put a spirit in him, and he too will hear a message. He’ll return to his own country where I’ll have him cut down with a sword.’”

8 When the field commander returned, he found the King of Assyria fighting against Libnah, because he had heard that the king had left Lachish. 9 Now 'Sennacherib' got word that Tirhakah, the Cushite king was coming out to fight against him. When he heard it, he again sent messengers to Hezekiah to say, 10 “Tell King Hezekiah of Judah, ‘Don’t let the Elohim who you trust in deceive you when He says, “Jerusalem won’t be handed over to the King of Assyria.” 11 You’ve heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all the other countries, destroying them completely! So will you be spared? 12 Did the gods of the nations that my ancestors destroyed rescue them—Gozan, Haran, Rezeph, and the people of Eden who were in Telassar? 13 Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah?’”

14 Hezekiah took the letter from the messengers hand, and read it. Then Hezekiah went up to Yehovah’s 'Temple', and spread it before Yehovah. 15 And Hezekiah prayed to Yehovah, 16 “Oh Yehovah the Commander, the Elohim of Israel, the One enthroned between the cherubim, You alone are the Elohim of all the kingdoms of the earth. You made Heaven and earth. 17 Bend your ear, Yehovah, and listen. Open your eyes, Yehovah, and look. Listen to the 'message' that Sennacherib has sent to defy the living Elohim. 18 Truly, Yehovah, the kings of Assyria have devastated many nations and their lands, 19 and have thrown their gods into the fire, because they weren’t the real Elohim, just wood and stone, sculptured by human hands. So 'the Assyrians' destroyed them. 20 Now, Yehovah our Elohim, rescue us from his grasp, so that all the kingdoms of the earth will know that you are Yehovah, You alone.”

21 Then Amoz’s son Isaiah sent a message to Hezekiah, that said, “This is what Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel says: Since you’ve prayed to Me about Sennacherib King of Assyria, 22 this is the 'message' that Yehovah has spoken against him. ‘The virgin maiden of Zion despises you and scorns you. The maiden Jerusalem wags her head at your back sides as you flee [U]! 23 Who have you mocked and blasphemed? Who have you shouted at and 'glared' at so arrogantly? Against the Kadosh One of Israel! 24 By your servants you’ve mocked Yehovah and have said, “With my numerous chariots I’ve ascended the highest mountains, the remotest peaks of Lebanon. I cut down its tallest cedars and its finest cypress trees. I’ll reach its highest peak, its most verdant forest. 25 I’ve dug wells and drunk water, and with the sole of my feet I’ve dried up all the rivers of Egypt.” 26 Then Yehovah said, “Haven’t you heard? I destined it long ago. I planned it in ancient times. I’ve caused you to crush fortified cities into heaps of rubble. 27 Their inhabitants were weak. They were frightened and confused. They were like vegetation in the fields, like green herbs, like grass on the housetops, scorched before it matures. 28 But Sennacherib, I know where you live, when you leave and when you return, and how you rage against Me. 29 Because of your rage against Me, and because your arrogance has reached My ears, I'll put My hook in your nose and My bridle in your mouth, and I’ll turn you back by the road you came.

30 “Judah, ‘This will be the sign for you. You’ll eat what grows by itself this year, and in the second year [Jubilee] what springs up from that. But in the third year you’ll sow and harvest and plant vineyards, and eat their fruit. 31 The remaining survivors of the tribe of Judah will again put roots down, and raise a crop. 32 A few survivors will leave Jerusalem, a band of survivors from Mount Zion. The passionate commitment of Yehovah the Commander will cause this.’

33 “But this is what Yehovah says about the King of Assyria: ‘He won’t come to this city, or shoot an arrow here. He won’t approach it with a shield, or shove a siege ramp against it. 34 The road that he came in by is the road he’ll leave by. He won’t enter this city,” says Yehovah! 35 Because I’ll defend this city and save it for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David!’”

36 “The Messenger of Yehovah went out and struck 185,000 soldiers in the camp of the Assyrians. When the people got up early in the morning, all they saw was corpses! 37 King Sennacherib of Assyria trekked back home to Nineveh, and stayed there. 38 Then, as he was worshiping in the 'shrine 'of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with a sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. His son Esarhaddon succeeded him as king.

ISAIAH 38

A Sign for Hezekiah

1 In those days Hezekiah became deathly ill. Amoz’s son Isaiah the prophet went to visit him and told him, “This is what Yehovah says: ‘Set your house in order, because you are going to die, you won’t recover.’” 2 Hezekiah turned facing the wall and prayed to Yehovah, 3 and said, “Please remember, Yehovah, how I’ve lived in Your presence in truth and sincerity, and have done what is good in Your sight.” Hezekiah cried bitterly. 4 Then the Word of Yehovah came to Isaiah, 5 “Go, and tell Hezekiah, ‘This is what Yehovah, the Elohim of your ancestor David says: “I’ve heard your prayer. I’ve seen your tears. I'll add fifteen years to your life! 6 I’ll rescue you and this city out of the grasp of the King of Assyria. I'll defend this city! 7 Isaiah said, This will be the sign to you from Yehovah, that Yehovah will do what He has promised: 8 I’ll cause the shadow on the stairway that has moved down Ahaz’s stairway to move backward ten steps!” So the sun moved backward ten steps on the stairway that it had just gone down.’”

9 “King Hezekiah of Judah wrote this after his illness and recovery: 10 I said, “In mid life am I to enter the gates of sheol? Am I to be deprived of the rest of my years?” 11 I said, “I won’t see Yah, Yah in the land of the living. I won’t see the inhabitants of the world any more. 12 Like a shepherd’s tent my home is pulled up and removed from me. Like a weaver I have rolled up my life, and He cuts me off from the loom. You ended my life in a day and a night. 13 I waited patiently till dawn for reprieve but like a lion He broke all my bones [1]. You ended my life in a day and a night. 14 I chattered like a swallow or a crane. I moaned like a dove. My eyes are weary from looking upward. Yehovah, I’m oppressed. Be my security. 15 But what could I say, now that He has spoken to me, and Personally caused it. I’ll wander around the rest of my years because of the bitterness of my life. 16 Yehovah, people live with these things, and my spirit finds life in them too. You restore my health and allow me to live! 17 Surely it was for my benefit that I had such anguish. You’ve lovingly kept me from the rotting pit. You’ve tossed all my sins behind Your back. 18 Sheol doesn’t thank You. Death doesn’t praise You. Those who go down into the pit can never anticipate Your truth. 19 The living, only the living, praise You, as I do today. A Father must tell his sons about Your truth. 20 Yehovah will save me. So we’ll play my songs on stringed instruments all the days of our life in Yehovah’s 'Temple'.

21 Isaiah had said, “Take a poultice of figs, and apply it to the boil, and he’ll recover.” 22 Hezekiah had asked, “What is the sign that I’ll go up to Yehovah’s 'Temple'?”

[1] “You ended my life in a day and a night” “is not repeated at the end of this verse in the Syriac version; and a MS. omits it. It seems to have been inserted a second time in the Hebrew text by mistake.”

ISAIAH 39

Babylon Visits the Temple

1 At that time, Merodach-Baladan son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, because he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2 Hezekiah was delighted with them, and showed them everything in his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil, the entire armory, and everything contained in his treasury. There was nothing in his palace or in his entire kingdom that Hezekiah didn’t show them. 3 Then Isaiah the prophet went the king Hezekiah, and asked him, “What did those men say, and where did they come to you from?” Hezekiah said, “They came to me from a distant country, from Babylon.” 4 Then he asked, “What did they see in your palace?” Hezekiah answered, “They’ve seen everything in my palace. There is nothing in my treasuries that I didn’t show them.”

5 Then Isaiah told Hezekiah, “Listen to the 'message' of Yehovah the Commander, 6 ‘The time is coming when everything in your palace, and everything that your predecessors have stored up to this day will be carried off to Babylon! Nothing will be left,’ says Yehovah. 7 “They’ll take some of your descendants who come from you, and they’ll become eunuchs in the king of Babylon’s palace.’” 8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “Yehovah’s words that you’ve spoken are good”, since he thought: “There will be peace and security during my 'lifetime'”.

ISAIAH 40

Yehovah is Coming!

1 “Comfort, comfort My people,” says your Elohim. 2 “Speak kindly to Jerusalem, and announce to her that her warfare is over, and that her injustice has been pardoned, and that she has received from Yehovah’s hand double for all her sins.” 3 A voice is calling, ‘Prepare the way for Yehovah in the wilderness! Make a smooth and straight highway in the wilderness for our Elohim.’ 4 Every valley will be raised, and every mountain and hill will be lowered. Steep terrain will be leveled, and rugged terrain will become broad valleys. 5 Then the splendor of Yehovah will be revealed, and all 'humanity' will see it together, because Yehovah has spoken.”

6 The voice said, “Shout!” Then I asked, “What should I shout?” “All 'humanity' is like grass, and all its splendor is like a field of wildflowers. 7 The grass withers and flowers fade away when Yehovah’s breath blows on 'them'. Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our Elohim endures forever.”

9 “Zion, climb a mountain and herald the good news! Jerusalem, herald of good news, raise your voice fearlessly. Say to the cities of Judah, ‘Here is your Elohim!’ 10 The Sovereign Yehovah will come in power, and His Arm will rule for Him! His reward is with Him, and His compensation accompanies Him! 11 He’ll tend His flock like a shepherd. He’ll gather the lambs in His arm, and carry them in His arms. He’ll gently lead the nursing ewes.”

12 “Who has measured the water in the sea [DSS] in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens with a hand span, and calculated the dust of the earth in a third of a measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance, and the hills in a pair of scales? 13 Who has fathomed the spirit of Yehovah, or has taught Yehovah as His counselor? 14 Who did He consult, and who enlightened Him, and taught Him the path of justice. Who was the mentor who showed Him the path of understanding? 15 The nations are like a drop in a bucket, like specks of dust on a balance beam scale! He raises islands as if they were specks of dirt. 16 Lebanon can’t supply sufficient fuel, or enough animals for a burnt offering. 17 All the nations are like nothing before Him [See v.12 comment]. They are regarded by Him as non-existent, as primordial chaos. 18 So who will you compare Elohim to? Or what would you say He is like? 19 A craftsman casts an idol, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold, and attaches silver chains to it. 20 Someone too impoverished for such an offering chooses a rot resistant wood. He then finds an artisan to set up an engraved image for him that won’t fall over.”

21 “You know, don’t you? You’ve heard, haven’t you? Haven’t you been told from the beginning? Haven’t you understood from the founding of the earth? 22 It’s the One who sits above the horizons [or circle] of the earth, and views its inhabitants like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. 23 He reduces dignitaries to nothing, and voids the judges of the earth. 24 No sooner than they are planted, no sooner than they’ve been sown and taken root in the ground, He merely blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. 25 “So who will you compare Me to? Who is My equal?” asks the Kadosh One. 26 'Look' high above and see who has created these stars, the One who mobilizes the innumerable advance, calling them all by name. Because of His great power and 'incomparable' strength, not one of them is missing.”

27 “Jacob, why do you say, and Israel, why do you assert, “My 'situation' is hidden from Yehovah, and the justice due me is ignored by my Elohim?” 28 Don’t you realize? Haven’t you heard? The everlasting Elohim, Yehovah, the Creator of the farthest reaches of the earth doesn’t grow tired or weary, and there is no limit to His understanding. 29 He empowers the weary and He strengthens the powerless. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who anticipate Yehovah will regain their strength. They’ll soar on wings like eagles; they’ll run without tiring, they [others] will walk and not grow tired.”

ISAIAH 41

A Fresh Start for Israel

1 “'Distant lands beyond the ocean! [Comment], listen to Me in silence, as the nations renew their strength. Now come and speak, and allow them to make claims. Let’s come together for judgment. 2 Who has roused 'him' up from the east, calling him to his 'feet' in righteousness? He hands nations over to him, and makes him ruler over kings. He turns them to dust with his sword, to windblown chaff with his bow. 3 He pursues them, passing by unscathed on a path his feet had never traversed before. 4 Who has worked and done this, summoning the generations from the beginning? It is I, Yehovah, the first and the last—I am the One!”

5 “The 'distant lands beyond the ocean' have seen and are afraid; those from the far reaches of the earth tremble. They approach, and come forward. 6 Everyone helps their neighbors. They say to their companions, ‘Be strong!’ 7 So the craftsman encourages the goldsmith, and the hammer maker encourages the 'blacksmith' in striking the anvil, saying “the soldering is good”. And he fastens it with nails so that it won’t topple.”

8 “But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob who I’ve chosen, descendants of My friend Abraham, 9 I took you from the far reaches of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, I said to you: ‘You are My servant, I’ve chosen you and haven’t tossed you aside.’ 10 Don’t be afraid, because I’m with you. Don't be intimidated, because I’m your Elohim. I’ll strengthen you. I’ll help you; I’ll uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

11 “Everyone who is angry with you will be put to shame and humiliated! Those who strive against you will come to nothing and die. 12 You’ll look for those who quarreled with you, but not find them. Those who fought against you will become absolutely non-existent.”

13 “I am Yehovah your Elohim who holds your right hand tells you, ‘Don’t be afraid, I’ll help you.’ 14 Don’t be afraid, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel, I’ll help you,’ declares Yehovah, your Redeemer, the Kadosh One of Israel. 15 “I’ve made you into a new sharp threshing instrument with teeth! You’ll thresh the mountains and pulverize them, and turn the hills to chaff. 16 You’ll winnow them and the wind will lift them up, and a tornado will scatter them. You’ll celebrate in Yehovah. Your splendor is in the Kadosh One of Israel. 17 “The poor and needy search for water, yet there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. I, Yehovah, will answer them. As the Elohim of Israel, I won’t abandon them. 18 I’ll open rivers on the bare heights, and springs amid the valleys. I’ll put pools of water in the wilderness, and springs of water will spring from the parched land. 19 I’ll 'plant' cedar, acacia, myrtle and olive trees in the wilderness. And I’ll also 'plant' fir trees, pines and cypresses in the deserts, 20 so that everyone can see, know, consider, and understand that Yehovah has handled this, and that the Kadosh One of Israel has created it.”

21 “Present your case,” Yehovah says, “Submit your best arguments,” says Jacob’s King. 22 Have them come and tell us what is going to happen. Explain past events so that we can consider them, and discern the ultimate outcome—foretell the future. 23 Prophecy the future so that we will know that you are gods. Do something good or evil, so that we can be both astonished and afraid.” 24 “You are worthless and your work amounts to nothing. Anyone who chooses you is detestable!” 25 “I’ve raised up someone from the north, and he is coming—from the rising of the sun he calls on My name, and he’ll tread on rulers as if they were mortar, like a potter trampling clay. 26 Who predicted this from the beginning, so that we could know, or from times past, so that we could say, “He is right”? There was certainly no one who foretold it! There was certainly no one with a proclamation! No one heard you speak. 27 I’m the first to say to Zion, “Here they are!” And to Jerusalem: “I’ll send a messenger with good news.” 28 But when I look, there is no one, and there is no counselor among them, no one who can give an answer when I ask them. 29 They are all false! What they do amounts to nothing. Their metal images are like the wind and primordial chaos.”

ISAIAH 42

Yeshua, My Servant

1 “This is My Servant, the One I back, My Chosen One, I delight in Him. I'll put [1] My Spirit on Him; He’ll bring justice to the nations! 2 He won’t shout or raise His voice, or be heard crying out in the streets. 3 He won’t break a bruised reed, and He won’t snuff out a smoldering wick. He’ll faithfully bring justice. 4 He won’t grow faint or be discouraged before He has established justice on the earth, and distant lands beyond the ocean! [Comment] will wait expectantly for His Torah.”

5 This is what El, Yehovah—the Creator of the heavens, who stretched them out, He who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and 'life' to those who walk on it says, 6 “I, Yehovah, have called You [Yeshua] in righteousness, and I'll hold Your hand and watch over You, and make You a covenant for the people, and a light for the nations, 7 to open blind eyes, to free prisoners from dungeons, and release those sitting in darkness from prison. [Luke 4:16-19]

8 “I am Yehovah. That is My name. I won’t give My splendor to another, or My praise to carved idols. 9 Previous events have come and gone, but now I’m announcing new things. I’ll tell you about them before they spring into being!”

10 “Sing to Yehovah a new song, sing His praise from the remotest parts of the earth, you who 'travel' by sea and by everything in it, you 'distant lands beyond the oceans' and those who live there. 11 The wilderness and its cities will raise their voices, along with the villages that Kedar inhabits. The inhabitants of Sela will sing. They’ll shout from the mountain tops! 12 They’ll give honor to Yehovah, and announce His praise on the 'distant lands beyond the oceans'. 13 Yehovah will march out like a warrior. He’ll stir up His passion like a soldier. He’ll shout, He’ll give a cry. He’ll triumph over His enemies. 14 I’ve remained silent for a long time. I’ve been quiet and restrained Myself. Now I’ll cry out like a woman during childbirth. I’ll gasp and pant. 15 I’ll lay waste mountains and hills, and dry up all their vegetation. I’ll turn the rivers into islands and dry up the pools. 16 I’ll lead the blind by a way that they don’t know, along unfamiliar paths. I’ll turn darkness into light before them, and turn rough places into level ground. These are the things I’ll do. I won’t forsake them. 17 Those who trust in carved images, who say to cast images, ‘You are our gods,’ will be turned back in utter shame.”

18 “Hear, you deaf, and look, you blind, so you can see. 19 Who is blind, but My servant [Israel]? Or who is as deaf as the messenger I send? Who is as blind as the one [claiming] commitment to Me, and as blind as Yehovah’s servant? 20 You’ve seen many things, but you discern nothing. Your ears are open, but you hear nothing. 21 It pleased Yehovah, for His righteousness’ sake, to magnify the Torah, and make it majestic. 22 But these are a robbed and plundered people; all of them are trapped in pits or hidden away in prisons. They have become targets with no one to rescue them, and fair game, and no one says, ‘Send them back.’ 23 Which of you will listen to this and consider it in the time to come?”

24 “Who gave Jacob to looters, and Israel to plunderers? Wasn’t it Yehovah, the One we have sinned against? They wouldn’t follow His ways; they disobeyed His Torah. 25 So He drenched him with His burning anger, the violence of war, and the fire completely engulfed him, but he didn’t understand; it burned him, but he 'paid no attention'.”

[1] This verse perfectly illustrates “traditional translation”—merely revising previous versions. Of the 21 versions linked here, 17 of them say “have put” My spirit on Him, 2 say “have placed” and 1 says “have given”—all past tense. Only the NIV, “a completely original translation” (with a very good Tanak) says “will put” My spirit on Him, consistent with the first seven verses being obviously a future prophecy—not something taking place eight centuries BC. Yeshua did not have the spirit “put” on Him until He came in the flesh! Matthew 12:17-21 specifically explains this. The pre-incarnate Yeshua was the literal personification of the spirit until He emptied Himself to become human—Philippians 2:6-8.

ISAIAH 43

The Chosen People

1 Now this is what Yehovah says, your Creator who formed you, Jacob. “Don’t be afraid, because I’ve redeemed [reclaimed] you; I’ve called you by name; you are Mine! 2 When you travel the 'sea', I’ll be with you. When you go thru rivers, they won’t overwhelm you. When you walk thru fire, you won’t be burned and the flames won’t harm you. 3 Because I am Yehovah your Elohim, the Kadosh One of Israel, your Deliverer. I’ve given Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba instead of you. 4 Since you’re precious and honored in My sight, and I love you, I’ll give other people in exchange for you, other nations in exchange for your life.”

5 “Don’t be afraid, because I’m with you. I’ll bring your descendants from the east, and gather you from the west. 6 I’ll say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Don’t hold them back!’ Bring My sons from afar, and my daughters from the remotest parts of the earth— 7 everyone who is called by My name, and created for My splendor—everyone I’ve formed and made. 8 “Bring out a people who are blind but have eyes, and are deaf, tho they have ears. 9 All the nations have gathered together so the people can assemble. Who among them can 'foretell' this, and declare previous events? They should present their witnesses to vindicate themselves, so they can hear, and attest, ‘It’s true.’ 10 “You are My witnesses,” declares Yehovah, “as well as My Servant who I’ve chosen, so that you can know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. No Elohim was formed before Me, and there will be none after Me. 11 I, I am Yehovah, and there is no Savior besides Me. 12 I’ve revealed and saved and proclaimed. There were no foreign gods among you. So you are My witnesses,” says Yehovah, “that I am Elohim. 13 From the first day, I am He, and there is no one who can deliver out of My hand. When I act, who can reverse it?” 14 This is what Yehovah says—Your Redeemer, the Kadosh One of Israel: “For your sake I have sent to Babylon, and I’ll bring all of them down as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, in the ships they were so proud of. 15 I am Yehovah, your Kadosh One, the Creator of Israel, your King.”

16 This is what Yehovah says—who makes a way in the sea, and a path thru the rushing water, 17 who brings out chariots and horses, armies and mighty warriors (they lie down together, never to rise again. They have been quenched, extinguished like a wick): 18 “Don’t think about previous events; don’t dwell on things of the past. 19 I’m about to do something new! It is approaching right now. Don’t you realize it? I’ll make a highway in the wilderness, and pathways [DSS] in the desert. 20 The wild animals will honor Me, the dragons * and ostriches, because I provide water in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to provide 'water' for My people, My chosen people [1]. 21 The people that I formed for Myself will announce My praise.”

22 “Yet you haven’t called on Me. Israel, you’ve grown tired of Me. 23 You haven’t brought Me your sheep for burnt offerings, or honored Me with your zebakim. I haven’t burdened you with meal offerings or wearied you with demands for incense. 24 You haven’t bought Me any sweet cane with silver, or satisfied Me with the fat of your zebakim, but you’ve burdened Me with your sins. You’ve made me tired of your wickedness. 25 I, I’m the One who wipes out your rebellious acts for My own sake, remembering your sins no more. 26 Remind Me of your merits; let’s debate your case; state your case so that you can be vindicated. 27 Your first ancestor sinned, and your spiritual advisers have rebelled against Me. 28 So I’ll pierce the leaders of the 'Temple'; I’ll oust Jacob to destruction, and Israel to defamation.

[1] The KJV has no reference to Israel being the “chosen people”, using the exact commonly used term, but the Masoretic text has it once here. The KJV’s only reference to “chosen people” applies to Israel’s enemy in Daniel 11:15.

ISAIAH 44

The First and the Last

1 “But now listen, Jacob My servant, and Israel, My chosen. 2 This is what Yehovah who made you and formed you from the womb, and who will help you says: “Don’t be afraid, Jacob My servant, the upright one [Jeshurun] I’ve chosen. 3 I’m going to pour out water on those who are thirsty, and streams on the dry ground. I’ll pour My spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your descendants. 4 They’ll spring up like grass, like willows by streams of water. 5 Some will say, ‘I am Yehovah’s,’ others will name themselves after Jacob; others will write on their hands ‘Belonging to Yehovah’, and adopt the name of Israel.”

6 This is what Yehovah, the King of Israel [the Father], AND His Redeemer [the Son], Yehovah the Commander, says, “I am the first, and I am the last, and there is no Elohim besides Me. 7 Who is like Me? Have him make the claim! Have him explain to Me the sequence of events from the time that I established the ancient people? Have him announce future events! 8 Don’t tremble or be afraid. Didn’t I reveal this to you long ago? You are My witnesses. Is there any Elohim besides Me? There is no other Rock; I know of none.

9 Anyone who makes idols is as worthless as the things they treasure. Their advocates are blinded and will be put to shame. 10 Who would fashion a god or cast an idol for no profit? 11 All of his friends will be put to shame; the craftsmen are mere men. They should all get together and take their stand, be terrified and humiliated together. 12 A blacksmith takes a tool, works with it in the coals, fashions it [the idol] with hammers, working it with his strong arm. He gets hungry, and loses his strength, he drinks no water and becomes weak. 13 A carpenter stretches out a measuring line. He marks it [the idol] out with red chalk. He shapes it with planes. He outlines it with a compass, and makes it into a human figurine, a beautiful person, to occupy a shrine. 14 He cuts down cedars for himself, or maybe a cypress or an oak and lets it grow strong among the trees of his forest. Or he plants a fir tree, and the rain makes it grow. 15 Then it becomes fuel for someone to burn, so he takes some of it and warms himself; and with some he kindles a fire to bake bread. He fashions a god and worships it. He also makes an engraved image and falls down and worships it! 16 He burns half of it in a fire, and on that half he roasts meat and is satisfied. Yes, he warms himself, and says “Ah! I’m warm 'basking by' the fire.” 17 From the rest he makes a god, his engraved image. He falls down before it and worships. He prays to it, and says, “Save me because you are my god!” 18 They don’t realize; they don’t consider, because He has 'glazed over' their eyes so they can’t see, and closed their minds so they can’t understand. 19 No one considers, no one has the perception or insight to say, “I burned half of it in the fire. I baked bread on its coals. I roasted meat and ate it. So then I made the rest of it into an abomination? Should I fall down before a block of wood!” 20 He feeds on ashes. A deceived mind has turned him aside. He can’t save himself, or ask “Isn’t this thing in my right hand a lie?”

21 “Remember these things, Jacob, Israel, because you are My servant. I’ve formed you, you are My servant. Israel, I will never forget you! 22 I’ve swept away your defiant conduct like a thick cloud, and your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, because I’ve redeemed you.” 23 Shout for joy, sky, because Yehovah has acted! Shout, you depths of the earth! Break into shouts of joy, you mountains, forests and every tree on them, because Yehovah has redeemed Jacob, and shows His splendor in Israel.” 24

24 “This is what Yehovah your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb says, ‘I am Yehovah who made everything. I stretched out the heavens by Myself. Who was with Me when I fashioned the earth? 25 Frustrating the signs of the 'false prophets' and making fools of diviners, and causing their fortune-tellers to back off, 'exposing' the foolishness of their 'knowledge', 26 who confirms the 'words' of His servants, and carrying out the 'predictions' of His messengers, who says of Jerusalem, “She’ll be inhabited,” and of the cities of Judah, “They’ll be rebuilt,” and “I’ll restore all your ruins!” 27 Who says to the depths of the sea, “Be dry, I’ll dry up your rivers,” 28 who says of Cyrus, “He’s My shepherd, and will carry out everything that I want; even saying of Jerusalem, ‘She’ll be rebuilt,’ and of the 'Temple', ‘Your foundation will be laid again’”

ISAIAH 45

You Don’t Know Me!

1 This is what Yehovah says to Cyrus, His anointed, whose right hand I’ve grasped to conquer nations before him, and strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates won’t be closed: 2 “I’ll go before you, and level the mountains [DSS]. I’ll shatter bronze doors and cut thru iron bars. 3 I’ll give you the hoarded treasures, and riches hidden in secret places, so that you can know that it’s I, Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel, who calls you by name. 4 For the sake of My servant Jacob, Israel My chosen, I’ve called you by name. I’ve surnamed you, tho you don’t know Me. 5 I am Yehovah, and there is no other. Besides Me, there is no Elohim. I’ll strengthen you, even you don’t know Me [1], 6 so that they can know from the rising of the sun to the setting of the sun that there is no one other than Me. “I am Yehovah, and there is no other.”

7 “I form the light and create darkness. I make peace and create disaster [2] I, Yehovah, do all these things.

8 “Rain down, heavens, from above; may the clouds pour down righteousness. May the earth open up so that it can bring about deliverance, and may righteousness spring up with it. I, Yehovah have created it. 9 How dreadful it will be to those who argue with their Creator. Just another clay pot among other earthenware pots! Does the clay ask the potter, “What are you making?” Or does your work say, “There are no hands?” 10 It will be dreadful for someone who says to a father, ‘What have you become the father of?’ Or to a mother, ‘To what are you 'giving birth' to?’ 11 This is what Yehovah, the Kadosh One of Israel, the One who created him says: “Do you question what I’m going to do for My children? Are you going to give Me orders about My handiwork? 12 I made the earth, and created people to live on it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands, and I commanded all the 'heavenly lights'.”

13 “I’ve raised him up in righteousness. I'll make all his roads straight. He’ll rebuild My city, and he’ll let My exiles go free, without any payments or compensation,” says Yehovah the Commander.

14 “This is what Yehovah says: “The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush and the Sabeans, men of stature will walk behind you, they’ll come to you in chains, and they’ll be yours. They’ll bow down to you. They’ll say: ‘Surely Elohim is with you, and there is no one else. There is no other Elohim.’”

15 “Truly you are an Elohim who hides Himself, Elohim of Israel, our Rescuer. 16 They will all be put to shame. The idol makers will go away in humiliation together. 17 Israel will be liberated by Yehovah with an everlasting liberation. You won’t be ashamed or humiliated for ages everlasting. 18 This is what Yehovah says who created/transformed the universe, the Elohim who originally created the earth and put it in order, who established it, and didn’t create it as a desolate wasteland, who formed it to be inhabited I am Yehovah, and there is no other. 19 I haven’t spoken in secret from somewhere in a land of darkness. I didn’t say to the House of Jacob, “Seek Me in a wasteland.” I, Yehovah, speak truth, declaring what is right. 20 “Gather together and come; come together, you survivors from the nations! Those who carry around their wooden images, and pray to a god that can’t save them are ignorant. 21 Explain and present your case! Allow them to consult each other. Who foretold this from antiquity? Who declared it from the distant past? Haven’t I, Yehovah? There is no Elohim other than Me, a just Elohim and a Deliverer; there is no one other than Me. 22 Turn to Me and be rescued, everyone who lives in the earth’s remote regions, because I am Elohim, and there is no other!

23 I have sworn by Myself, I have 'spoken' the truth, a statement that won’t be revoked: ‘Every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.’ 24 They’ll say of Me, “Yehovah is the only source of righteousness and strength.” Anyone who was angry with Him will come to Him and be ashamed. 25 But all the descendants of Israel will find deliverance in Yehovah, be justified and gain high renown.”

[1] The modern nations of Israel claim to “know God”, but with few exceptions the people are entirely clueless! That all changes very soon: Ezekiel 20:30-44. [2] or distress, misery, injury, calamity, but not always “evil”.

ISAIAH 46

Declaring the End From the Beginning

1 “Bel bows down, Nebo stoops over, their idols are carried by beasts and cattle. The things you carry around are a burdensome load on the weary beasts. 2 They stoop over, they bow down together; they’re unable to rescue the burden, but they themselves go into captivity.

3 “Listen to me, House of Jacob, and all of the 'survivors' of the House of Israel who have been borne by Me since your birth, and have been carried since you were born. 4 Even during your old age I’m the One, and even as your hair turns gray I’ll carry you. I’ve made you, and I’ll sustain you. I’ll carry you and I’ll rescue you.

5 “Who will you compare Me to or make My equal—compare Me, so that we’re comparable? 6 Some pour gold from their bags, and weigh silver on balancing scales. They hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god. Then they fall down and worship it! 7 They lift it to their shoulders and carry it. They set it in its place, and it remains, it can’t move from that spot. Someone may cry to it, but it can’t answer or save them from their distress. 8 Remember this, and stand firm, recall it, you transgressors. 9 Remember the events of antiquity, because I’m Elohim, and there is no other, I’m Elohim, and there’s no one like Me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that haven’t been done yet. I say that My purposes will be established, and I’ll do the things I delight in. 11 I’m summoning a bird of prey from the east, a man for My purpose from a far country. Truly I’ve spoken, I’ll certainly make it happen. I’ve planned it and I’ll carry it out.

12 “Listen to Me, you hard headed people who are far from righteousness, 13 I’m bringing My righteousness near, it isn’t far off. My saving [Jerusalem] can’t wait. I’ll grant salvation in Zion, My splendor in Israel.”

ISAIAH 47

No More ‘Queen of Kingdoms’

1 “Come down and sit in the dust virgin maiden of Babylon, sit on the ground without a throne, daughter of the Chaldeans, because you won’t be called tender and delicate any longer. 2 Take millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, strip off your skirt, bare your legs and wade thru the streams. 3 Your nakedness will be uncovered and your shame exposed. I’ll take vengeance without intervening for anyone. 4 Our Redeemer, whose name is Yehovah the Commander, is the Kadosh One of Israel. 5 “Sit silently, and go into darkness, daughter of the Chaldeans, because you’ll no longer be called the Queen of Kingdoms. 6 I was angry with My people, I profaned My heritage and handed them over to you. You showed them no mercy; you laid a very heavy yoke on the elderly. 7 You said, ‘I’ll be a queen [or mistress] forever.’ But you didn’t take these things into consideration or think about their consequences 8 So hear this, you lover of luxury, lounging with no cares, and saying to yourself, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me, I won’t sit as a widow, and I won’t experience the loss of children.’ 9 Both of these things will overcome you suddenly, in one day, the loss of children, and widowhood, they’ll come on you in their full measure, they come on you in spite of your sorceries, and the potency of your spells.”

10 “You felt secure in your wickedness and said, ‘No one sees me’. Your wisdom and your knowledge has deluded you. You’ve said 'to yourself', ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’ 11 So calamity will come to you and you won’t know an incantation to make it go away; a disaster you can’t atone for; sudden devastation you were not anticipating. 12 “Take a stand now with your magic spells and with the many sorceries that you’ve worked on from your youth. Perhaps you’ll be able to profit, perhaps you’ll succeed in causing terror! 13 Your multitude of counsels have worn you out; have the astrologers, the stargazers and those who make prognostications every new moon stand up and save you from what’s coming to you. 14 They’ll be like chaff, the fire will burn them up, they can’t save themselves from the grasp of the flames. It won’t be glowing coals to keep them warm, or a fire to sit by! 15 This is what those who have conspired with you from your youth have become. Each has wandered their own way. There is no one to save you.

ISAIAH 48

When 'Creation Began' I Was There

1 “Listen to this, you House of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel, especially you who came from the line of Judah, who swear by the name of Yehovah, and declare the Elohim of Israel, but not in truth or righteousness. 2 They call themselves 'citizens of' the kadosh city, and claim to rely on the Elohim of Israel—Yehovah the Commander is His name: 3 I foretold past events long ago! They left My mouth; I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they happened. 4 Since I knew that you are obstinate, and your neck is an iron tendon, and your forehead is bronze, 5 I declared them to you long ago; before it happened I showed them to you, so that you couldn’t claim, ‘My idol caused them, and my engraved image, and my cast image controlled them.’ 6 You’ve heard about it, look at them all. Are you going to acknowledge it? Now I’m going to show you new things, previously hidden things you were unaware of. 7 They are created now, and not from long ago; you haven’t heard of them before today, so you can’t say, ‘Yes, I knew about them.’ 8 You haven’t heard; you haven’t understood. Your ears have never been opened, because I knew how treacherous you are; and that you’ve been known as a 'rebel' from 'birth'. 9 For the sake of My name I’ll delay My anger; for the sake of My praise I’ll hold it back for you, so as not to destroy you. 10 I’ve refined you, but not like silver—I’ve tested you in the furnace of affliction! 11 For My own sake, for My own sake, I’ll act. How can it [i.e. My name] be profaned? I won’t yield My splendor to another.”

12 “Listen to Me, Jacob, and Israel My called one: I am He, I am the first, I am the last. 13 My hand laid the foundations of the earth, and My right hand spread out the heavens! When I call to them, they stand up together. 14 All of you come together and listen: Which of them [idols or astrologers] has foretold these things? Yehovah loves the one who will carry out His pleasure on Babylon, and His Arm will be against the Chaldeans. 15 I—I have spoken; indeed, I’ve called and I’ve brought him, and his path will be successful. 16 Approach Me and listen to this. Even from the beginning I never spoke in secret. From the time that 'creation began' I was there. Now the Sovereign Yehovah has sent Me, endowed with His spirit. 17 This is what Yehovah says—Your Redeemer, the Kadosh One of Israel: “I am Yehovah your Elohim, who teaches you to succeed, who leads you in the way you should go. 18 If you had only paid attention to My commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea. 19 Your descendants would have been like the sand, and your offspring like its grains. Their name wouldn’t be expunged or eliminated from My presence.

20 “Get out of Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans! Make the proclamation with jubilant shouting. Send it out to the remotest parts of the earth; say, ‘Yehovah has redeemed His servant Jacob.’ 21 They didn’t thirst when He led them thru the deserts, He caused water to flow out of the rock for them; He split open the rock and water gushed out. 22 “There is no peace for the wicked.” says Yehovah.

ISAIAH 49

My Servant Yeshua

1 “Listen to Me 'distant lands beyond the oceans'. Hear this, you far off nations: Yehovah called Me from the womb. He named Me while I was in My mother’s 'body'. 2 He made My mouth like a sharp sword; He hid Me in the shadow of His hand. He made Me like a sharpened arrow and concealed Me in His quiver. 3 He said to me, ‘You are My Servant, Israel; I’ll be clothed with splendor thru You.’ 4 But I said, “My labor was wasted, I’ve spent my strength for nothing and futility.” Yet undoubtedly the justice due to Me is with Yehovah, and My reward is with My Elohim. 5 And now Yehovah, the One who formed Me in the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob back to Him, so that Israel could be regathered to Him (because I’m honored in the sight of Yehovah, and My Elohim has become My strength), 6 asks, “It is not enough for you to be My Servant [Yeshua] to reestablish the tribes of Jacob, and to bring back the Israelites who were 'spared?' I’ll make You a light to the nations, so that you can bring My message of deliverance to the remotest parts of the earth. 7 “This is what Yehovah says, the Redeemer of Israel, and 'their' Kadosh One, to the One who man despises, to the One the nation abhors, to the Servant of rulers: “Kings will see You and rise, and leaders will bow down, because of Yehovah who is faithful, the Kadosh One of Israel, who has chosen You.”

8 “This is what Yehovah says: ‘In a favorable time I have answered You, and in a day of deliverance I have helped You. I’ll protect You [the Messiah: Barnes] and give You to the people as a covenant [the covenantee], to restore the land, and to repossess its desolate heritage. 9 You will say to the prisoners, “Come out” and to those who are in darkness, ‘Show yourselves’! They’ll be My sheep, grazing along the roads and finding pastures on all the high places that had been bare. 10 They won’t hunger or thirst, and the heat or sun won’t beat down on them, because the One who has mercy on them will lead them. He’ll guide them to springs of water. 11 I’ll make all My mountains traversable, and My highways in the valleys will be elevated. 12 They will come from far away! They will come from the north and from the west, and they will come from Australia. 13 Shout for joy, you heavens, and earth rejoice, and break out into singing, you mountains, because Yehovah has comforted His people, and will have compassion on His meek and afflicted.

14 “But Zion said, ‘Yehovah has forsaken me. Yehovah has forgotten me.” 15 Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not to have compassion on the child she has borne? Well they may forget, but I won’t forget you! 16 I’ve engraved you [Zion] on the palms of My hands [nail prints: Gill’s], your walls [New Jerusalem?] are continually before Me! 17 Your children will hurry back. Those who overthrew you and devastated you will flee from you. 18 'Look' around, and see, all your children gathering together, and returning to you. ‘As long as I live,’ Yehovah says, ‘You will adorn yourself with them all like jewelry, and put them on you, like a bride does. 19 As for your desolate places and your devastated land—surely now you’ll be too small for the inhabitants, and those who engulfed you will be far away. 20 The children of your bereavement will yet again say in your ears, “The place is too small for me, give me a place to live.” 21 Then you’ll ask yourself, “Who has borne these children for me since I’ve been bereaved of my children and barren, exiled, and became a wanderer? Who raised these children? I was left all alone! Where did these children come from?’

22 “The Sovereign Yehovah says: ‘I’ll 'wave' My hand in a summoning gesture to the nations. They’ll bring your sons in their 'arms', and your daughters will be carried on their shoulders.’ 23 “Kings will be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers, they’ll bow down to you with their faces to the ground, and lick the dust at your feet, and you’ll [finally] realize that I am Yehovah. Those who anticipate My arrival won’t be disappointed.

24 “Can loot be taken from warriors, or even legally obtained captives be set free? 25 But Yehovah says, “Even the captives of the warriors will be 'brought back', and the plunder of terrorists will be retrieved, because I’ll fight with those who fought with you, and I’ll save your descendants! 26 I’ll feed your oppressors their own flesh, and they’ll be drunk on their own blood, as if it were new wine. Then all of 'humanity' will know that I, Yehovah, am your Deliverer, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

ISAIAH 50

Your Mother’s Divorce

1 This is what Yehovah says: “Where is your mother’s divorce certificate that I used to send her away? Or which of My creditors did I sell you to? You were sold for your sins, and your mother [Targum interprets as “congregation”] was sent away because of your rebellion. 2 Why was no 'one' there when I came? When I called, why was no one there to answer? Was My 'arm' too short to redeem you? Don’t I have enough strength to rescue you? By My mere rebuke I dry up the sea, I turn rivers into deserts; their fish stink for lack of water and die of thirst. 3 I dress the heavens in black and make their covering from sackcloth.” 4

“The Sovereign Yehovah has given Me gifted speech, so that I know what to say to comfort the weary. Morning by morning He awakens Me and opens My understanding as a disciple. 5 The Sovereign Yehovah has opened My 'mind'. I have not rebelled or turned away. 6 I offered My back to those who scourged Me, and My cheeks to those who pulled out My beard. I didn’t hide My face from insults and spitting. 7 The Sovereign Yehovah helps Me, so I’m not humiliated. I set My face like a flint, and I know that I won’t be put to shame.

8 The One who vindicates Me is near. Who dares bring charges against Me? Let’s confront each other! Where are My accusers? They should confront Me! 9 The Sovereign Yehovah will help Me! Who will find Me guilty? All of them will decay like old moth eaten clothes!

10 “Who among you fears Yehovah and obeys the voice of His Servant? Anyone walking in the dark without a light should trust in the name of Yehovah and rely on their Elohim. 11 But watch out, all of you who start a fire and encircle yourselves with firebrands, walking in the firelight, and among the brands that you’ve lit. This is what you’ll get from Me: you’ll lie down in torment.”

ISAIAH 51

Return to Zion

1 “Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness, those of you looking for Yehovah: Look to the rock you were cut from and to the quarry you were dug from. 2 Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; when I called him he was only one man, then I blessed him and gave him many descendants. 3 Yehovah will comfort Zion. He’ll have compassion on all her ruin, and make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like Yehovah’s garden. Joy and happiness will be found there, thanksgiving, and the sound of music.|”

4 “Pay attention to Me, My people. Hear Me, My nation, because My Torah will go out from Me, and I’ll establish My justice as a light to the nations. 5 My righteousness is near, My deliverance is coming, and My arms will judge the nations, the 'distant lands beyond the oceans' will wait for Me, and wait in hope for My Arm.

6 'Look' up to the skies, and look at the earth below, because the skies will vanish like smoke, and the earth will wear out like clothing, and those who live there will die like a swarm of gnats [1], but My deliverance will be forever, and My righteousness will never be shattered. 7 Listen to Me, you who understand righteousness, you people who have 'internalized' My Torah. Don’t be afraid of people’s scorn, or fear their insults. 8 Moths will eat them up like clothing, and worms will eat them like they do wool, but My righteousness will last forever, and My deliverance [from sin] thru all generations.

9 Wake up! Wake up! Clothe yourself with strength, arm of Yehovah awaken, as in the days of old, as in generations of long ago. Didn’t you cut Rahab in pieces. Who pierced the dragon? 10 Didn’t you dry up the sea, the water of the great depths, making the depths of the sea a pathway for the redeemed to cross over? 11 Those ransomed by Yehovah will return, and come singing into Zion. Everlasting joy will 'crown' their heads; they’ll be overwhelmed with gladness and joy, as sorrow and sighing flee away. 12 I, yes I am the One who comforts you. So why are you afraid of mortals, humans made like grass. 13 You’ve forgotten Yehovah your Creator, who stretched out the skies, and laid the foundations of the earth. You live in constant fear all day long because of the fury of the oppressor, as he prepares for your destruction. But where is the fury of the oppressor? 14 The captive exiles will soon be set free. They won’t die in dungeons or go without food. 15 I am Yehovah your Elohim, who stirs up the sea, so that its waves roar, Yehovah the Commander is My name. 16 I’ve put My words in your mouth, and covered you in the shadow of My hand, so that I can establish the skies, and lay the foundations of the earth, and tell Zion, ‘You are My people.’

17 “Wake up, wake up, stand up, Jerusalem, you who have drunk at Yehovah’s hand the cup of His anger. You’ve drained to the dregs the 'chalice' of reeling. 18 There is no one to guide her out of all the sons she has borne, no one to take her by the hand of all the children she raised. 19 These two 'tragedies' have happened to you. Who will mourn for you? Devastation and destruction, famine and sword—who can console you? 20 Your sons have fainted, they lie helpless at every street 'corner', like an antelope in a net. They are full of Yehovah’s wrath, the reprimand of your Elohim. 21 So hear this, you afflicted one, made drunk, but not with wine, 22 This is what the Sovereign Yehovah says, “Your Elohim who defends His people: “I’ve removed the cup of staggering from your hand; the chalice of My anger. You’ll never drink from it again! 23 I’ll put it into the hand of your tormentors, those who said, ‘Lie down, so that we can walk over you.’ You’ve even made your back like the ground, and like the street for them to cross.”

[1] This is not an end of the world/universe reference, the time frame of this chapter clearly concerns the catastrophic Day of Yehovah and the imminent establishment of the Everlasting Kingdom. This topic is further addressed in 2 Peter 3.

ISAIAH 52

Messiah Crucified

1 Wake up, wake up, Zion! Clothe yourself with strength. Put on your beautiful clothes, Jerusalem, the kadosh city, because from now on the uncircumcised and the unclean won’t enter you. 2 Shake off your dust, get up and sit on your throne [Barnes], Jerusalem. Free yourself from the chains on your neck, captive maiden Zion. 3 This is what Yehovah says: “You were sold for nothing, and you’ll be bought back without silver.” 4 The Sovereign Yehovah says: “My people initially went down into Egypt to stay there; then the Assyrian oppressed them for no reason. 5 So Yehovah asks, “What do I find here? My people are taken away for nothing. Those who rule over them mock [DSS] Me”, Yehovah says, “and My name is blasphemed non stop all day long. 6 So My people will know My name. When this day arrives they’ll know that I am the One who is speaking, ‘Here I am.’ 7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the One who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of good, who publishes deliverance, who says to Zion: ‘Your Elohim reigns!’ 8 Listen to the voice of your watchmen! They shout for joy together, because they’ll see it with their own eyes [ [Barnes] when Yehovah returns to Zion. 9 Break out into shouts of joy, you ruined places of Jerusalem, because Yehovah has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 Yehovah has bared His kadosh arm [for battle: Barnes] within view of all the nations, and all of the remotest parts of the earth have seen deliverance by our Elohim.

Second Exodus

11 Leave! Leave, get away from there! Touch nothing unclean! Get out of her 'presence'! Cleanse yourselves, you who bear the vessels of Yehovah [1]. 12 You won’t go out 'fleeing', and you won’t go as fugitives, because Yehovah will go before you [Father?], and the Elohim of Israel will be your rear guard [Son?].”

13 “My Servant will act wisely; He’ll be lifted up and highly exalted! 14 Just as many were appalled at You—His appearance was disfigured beyond human recognition, He didn’t even appear human— 15 so He’ll sprinkle many nations [with His blood]. Kings will be speechless because of Him. They’ll see things they’d never been told about, and understand things that they’d never heard about.

[1] The vessels of Yehovah are those hidden by Jeremiah just prior to the destruction of the second 'Temple', that may be found and used in the third 'Temple'.

ISAIAH 53

He’ll Bear Their Sins

1 “Who has believed our message? Who has the Arm [1] of Yehovah been revealed to? 2 He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. There was nothing particularly stately or majestic about His appearance; nothing about His appearance that would have attracted our attention to Him. 3 He was despised, and rejected by humanity, a man of suffering who understood being grief stricken. He was despised like someone who people would hide their face from; and we considered Him worthless. 4 Surely He has borne our sickness, and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken, struck down by Elohim, and punished. 5 But He was pierced for our rebellion. He was crushed for our wickedness. His punishment brought about our peace, and by His wounds we are healed. 6 We have all strayed like sheep. Each of us has turned our own way. Yet Yehovah has laid on Him the punishment for all of our sins! 7 He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He didn’t 'say a word'. He was led to the slaughter like a lamb, and like a sheep is silent before its shearers, He didn’t open His mouth. 8 He was taken away due to oppression and judgment, and as for His generation, who considered that He was eliminated from the land of the living and struck down because of My people’s rebellion. 9 He was given a grave with the wicked, 'buried' in a rich man’s grave, tho He had done nothing violent, and He never 'said' anything deceitful.”

10 “Yet it was Yehovah’s desired plan to crush Him, putting Him to grief; if it would render Him a sin offering. He’ll see His offspring, and prolong His days, and the desirable things of Yehovah will advance by His hand. 11 After the suffering in His life, He’ll see His accomplishment and be satisfied. My righteous Messiah [Targum Jonathan] will justify many by what He has learned through suffering. He’ll bear their sins. 12 As a result, He’ll inherit the 'survivors of many nations' [2], and He’ll divide the spoils of the strong, because He poured out His life in death, and was considered a rebel, yet He bore the sins of many, and interceded for the rebels.”

[1] As is so often the case, there are equivalent metaphors in English. We call an indispensable associate a “right hand man,” and we refer to the enforcement of the Law as “the arm of the Law”. Yeshua (Jesus) is the Arm of the Torah, the Enforcer!

[2] This verse was clarified by the oldest known Scriptures, the Aramaic Targums, as well as the Septuagint.

ISAIAH 54

Your Makers Are Your Husbands

1 “Shout for joy, you childless women who never had children. Break into shouts of joy, you women who have not been in labor! Because the forsaken 'woman' will have more children than the children of a married woman,” says Yehovah. 2 Expand your tent site, stretch your tent curtains farther out! Don’t hold back; lengthen your ropes, and drive your pegs deeper. 3 You’ll spread aboard to the right and to the left, and your descendants will occupy other nations and resettle the deserted cities. 4 Don’t be afraid, because you won’t be ashamed or humiliated. You won’t be put to shame, and you’ll forget the shame of your youth. You won’t remember the stigmatism of widowhood. 5 Your Makers are your HUSBANDS [1], Yehovah the Commander is His name, and the Kadosh One of Israel is your Redeemer. He is called the Elohim of the entire earth. 6 Yehovah has called you like a deserted wife tormented by grief, like a wife rejected early in life,” says your Elohim. 7 For a brief moment I let you alone, but with infinite compassion I’ll bring you back. 8 In a spurt of anger I hid My face from you momentarily, but with eternal love I’ll have compassion on you,” says Yehovah your Redeemer.

9 “To Me, this is like Noah’s floodwaters, when I swore that Noah’s floodwaters would never cover the earth again. And now I’ve sworn that I won’t be angry with you, or reprimand you. 10 Tho the mountains may be removed, and the hills may shake, My kindness will never leave you, and My covenant of peace won’t be shaken,” says Yehovah, who has mercy on you. 11 You storm battered, afflicted and unconsoled 'city'! I’ll reset your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. 12 I’ll make your pinnacles [?] of jasper, and your gates with crystal, and your outer wall with beautiful stones. 13 All your children will be taught by Yehovah, and your children will experience unlimited peace. 14 You’ll be ethically reestablished. You’ll be far from oppression, and you won’t be afraid of anything because nothing frightening will come near you. 15. If anyone attacks you, it won’t be My doing. Whoever attacks you will fall before you. 16 I’ve created blacksmiths who fan coals in the fire, and forge weapons as their 'occupation', and I’ve created destroyers to wreak havoc! 17 No weapon forged against you will prevail; and you’ll refute any condemning accusation raised against you. This is the heritage of the servants of Yehovah, and their righteousness is from Me,” declares Yehovah.

[1] Yes, both are plural, but not a trinity. This site source has plenty of plurality verses that I consider Binity. But to read historical statements confirming the fact that Yehovah was recognized as a Binity until Constantine forced a “reconsideration”, see this link. Also, when last I checked, Wikipedia’s article on Binitarianism was an equally informative article that is as persuasive as it can be, while still maintaining the necessary air of neutrality required of an encyclopedia.

ISAIAH 55

Nations Will Come Running to Israel

1 “Everyone who is thirsty should come to the water. Anyone without silver should come, buy and eat! Yes, come and buy wine and milk without silver and without cost. 2 Why do you spend silver for something that isn’t food? Why labor for something that doesn’t satisfy? Listen to Me carefully, and eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. 3 Turn your ear, and come to Me. Listen, so that you can live! I’ll make an everlasting covenant with you [Israel], the unfailing love I promised to David. 4 I’ve made Him [Messiah: Barnes] a witness [or Testimony] to the people, a leader and commander of the nations! 5 You [Israel] will summon nations you don’t know, and nations that didn’t know you will come running to you, because of Yehovah Your Elohim, the Kadosh One of Israel, since He has honored you.”

6 “Seek Yehovah while He can be found. Call on Him while He is near. 7 The wicked should change their ways, and the unfair their thoughts. They should turn to Yehovah, and He’ll have mercy on them, AND to our Elohim, since He is very willing to pardon. 8 My thoughts aren’t your thoughts, and your ways aren’t My ways,” says Yehovah.

9 “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.

10 Just like rain and snow come falling from the sky, and don’t return before watering the earth, and causing it to sprout and grow, providing seeds for the sower and food for the hungry, 11 that’s how My word is as it leaves My mouth, it won’t return to Me without an effect; it will accomplish what I want, and it will prosper in whatever I sent it to do. 12 You’ll leave [Babylon] with joy, and be led [into Israel] in peace, the mountains and the hills will burst into shouts of joy before you, and all of the trees in the land will clap their hands. 13 Instead of thorns, cypress trees will come up, and instead of briers myrtle trees will grow. These things will bring renown to Yehovah, an everlasting sign that will never be destroyed.”

ISAIAH 56

Foreigners Will Join Yehovah

1 This is what Yehovah says: “Maintain justice, and do the right things, because My YESHUA WILL COME, and My righteousness will be revealed. 2 People who do these things are blessed, the 'people' who 'stand' fast, who keep from profaning the Sabbath, and keep their hands from doing any evil, 3 who don’t allow a foreigner who has joined himself to Yehovah to say, ‘Yehovah will certainly separate me from His people,’ or allow a eunuch say,‘I’m a dry tree!’ 4 This is what Yehovah says: “To the eunuchs who regard My Sabbaths, and choose the things that please Me, and hold firmly onto My covenant, 5 In My 'Temple', within My walls, I’ll give them a memorial and a name better than that of sons and daughters. I’ll give them an everlasting name that will never die. 6 And foreigners who join themselves to Yehovah, to serve Him, and to love the name of Yehovah, to be His servants, everyone who regards the Sabbath without profaning it, and who holds fast to My covenant, 7 these I'll bring to My kadosh mountain, and bring delight to in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their zebakim will be accepted on My altar, since My house [Temple] will be called a house of prayer for all nations.

8 The Sovereign [always plural!] Yehovah [always plural!], who gathers the outcasts of Israel [during the Second Exodus], says: “I'll gather still others to Him [1], besides those already gathered.

9 “All you animals in the fields, all you animals in the forest, come and devour. 10 'Israel’s' watchmen are blind and ignorant. They’re all like silent watch dogs unable to bark. They lie around dreaming; they love to sleep. 11 These dogs have fierce appetites. They are never full. They are ignorant shepherds, each going their own way, every last one looking for dishonest gain. 12 Come, say they, “I’ll get wine, and we’ll fill ourselves with booze! Then tomorrow will be like today, only far better!”

[1] As correctly rendered in many older versions and KJV updates, but possibly unique with capitalization.

ISAIAH 57

Israel, Healed In The End

1 “The righteous die, and no one gives it any thought; and righteous people are taken away, with no one understanding that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil times. 2 'They' enter into peace, they rest in their 'graves', those who 'lived' in integrity.

3 “But come here, you sons of a sorceress, children of adulterers and prostitutes. 4 Who are you mocking? Who are you opening your mouth to and sticking out your tongue at? Aren’t you children of rebellion, the offspring of liars? 5 You inflame yourselves among the oaks, under every evergreen tree, you 'sacrifice' your children in the ravines, below the clefts of the rocks. 6 Your allotment is among the smooth stones of the valley, they [their idols] are your lot. You’ve even poured a wine offering to them. You’ve made a grain offering. Should I be appeased with these? 7 On a high and lofty mountain you’ve made your bed. You also you went up there to offer zebakim [sacrifices]. 8 Behind the doors and the doorposts you’ve set up your [pagan] symbols. Forsaking Me, you stripped yourself, and widened your bed. You’ve cut a deal for yourself with them; you’ve loved their 'bed' and you’ve lusted for their 'genitals'. 9 You went to the king [or Moloch] with oil, and increased your perfumes. You sent your envoys great distances, even to sheol. 10 You were worn out by continual wandering, yet you didn’t say, “It’s hopeless.” You found 'renewed strength', so you didn’t grow weak. 11 Who have you dreaded and feared so much that you lied and haven’t remembered Me or given Me any consideration? Isn’t it because I’ve been silent for so long that you don’t fear Me? 12 I’ll expose your righteousness and your works, and they won’t benefit you. 13 When you cry out, have your collection of idols save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a breath will blow them all away. But whoever takes refuge in Me will possess the land, and inherit My kadosh mountain.”

14 “'He' [Targum] will say, “Clear the way, clear the way, level the highway. Remove every obstacle from My people’s way.” 15 The High and exalted One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Kadosh says: “I live in the high and Kadosh Place [New Jerusalem], along with the One who is to be destroyed [root word crushed or broken] and humiliated in spirit, who will be returning to life the spirits of the crushed, and returning to life the consciousnesses of the crushed, [U] 16 because I won’t strive with you forever, or remain angry, because spirits are overwhelmed in My presence, the spirits I created. 17 I was enraged by the depravity of his [Judah’s] covetousness, so I punished him; I hid My face in anger, as he kept turning back to his own 'rationalizations'. 18 I’ve seen his ways, but I’ll heal him; I’ll guide him, and restore comfort to him, to those who mourn for him. 19 I’ll create 'praise on his' lips. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” Yehovah says, “And I’ll heal him.” 20 But the wicked are tossed like the sea [DSS], because it can’t be stilled, and its waves churn up mire and mud. 21 “There is no peace for the wicked” says my Elohim.

ISAIAH 58

Rebuilding Ancient Ruins

1 “Shout aloud, hold nothing back, lift up your voice like a shofar, and announce to My people their disobedience, and to the House of Jacob their sins. 2 Yet they seek Me daily, appearing to favor My ways as if they were a righteous nation that didn’t forsake the ordinances of their Elohim. They ask for My righteous judgments, 'ostensibly' delighted to draw near Elohim. 3 They ask, ‘Why have we fasted without Your seeing? And why have we humbled ourselves without Your noticing?’ Well, on your fast days you do whatever you want to and mistreat your workers. 4 You fast only to quarrel and fight, and to strike with a wicked fist. You don’t fast today to make your voice heard high above! 5 Is this the kind of fast that I’ve chosen? Isn’t this a day for people to humble themselves? Shouldn’t you bow your heads down like reeds, spreading sackcloth and ashes to lie on? Would you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to Yehovah? 6 Isn’t this the fast that I’ve chosen: to release the chains of wickedness, to untie the ropes of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? 7 Isn’t it to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the wandering poor into your house? And cover the naked with clothes when you see them, rather than hide from your own 'relatives'?”

8 “Then your light will break thru like the dawn, and your recovery will spring along quickly. Your righteousness will precede you, and the splendor of Yehovah will be your rear guard. 9 Then you’ll call, and Yehovah will answer, you’ll cry, and He’ll say, ‘Here I am’. If you get rid of the yoke, and quit pointing your finger, and saying wicked things. 10 If you give some of your 'resources' to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your darkness will be like noonday. 11 Yehovah will guide you continually, and satisfy you in scorched places, and strengthen your bones. You’ll be like a well watered garden, like an unfailing artesian spring. 12 Some of your people will rebuild the ancient ruins, you’ll raise up the foundations of many generations. You’ll be called ‘those who repair broken walls and restore the streets where people live.’[1]

13 “If you keep your feet from trampling the Sabbath, from doing whatever you want on My kadosh day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the kadosh day of Yehovah honorable, and honor it by not going your own way or persuing your own pleasure or speaking ordinary words, 14 then you’ll take delight in Yehovah, and I’ll cause you to ride on the heights of the earth, and I’ll cause you to feast on your ancestor Jacob’s inheritance.” Yehovah expressed this 'personally'!

[1] The oldest possible interpretation of this is the Targum (Aramaic): “They will call you one who confirms the right way, and converts the profane to the Torah.”

ISAIAH 59

Truth Has Vanished

1 “Yehovah’s hand isn’t so short that it can’t save, and His ears aren’t so 'impaired' that they can’t hear, 2 but your disgusting injustice has been separating you from your Elohim, and your sins have hidden His face [actually plural] from you, so that He won’t listen. 3 Your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with wickedness, your lips have spoken lies, and your tongues mutter disgusting injustice. 4 No one brings a lawsuit fairly, and no one pleads honestly, they trust in 'deranged arguments' and tell lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to injustice. 5 They hatch adders’ eggs and weave spiderwebs. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is cracked open a viper is hatched. 6 Their webs won’t serve as clothing, and they can’t cover themselves with their works, their works are works of disgusting injustice, and acts of violence occupy their hands. 7 Their feet rush to evil, and they hurry to shed innocent blood, their thoughts are sinful thoughts. Devastation and destruction [DSS] lie in their paths. 8 They don’t know the pathway to peace, and there is no justice in their tracks, the paths they made are crooked; no one who walks on them will know peace.”

9 “So justice is far from us, and righteousness doesn’t reach us. We hope for light, but only see darkness; for brightness, but we walk in great darkness. 10 We grope along the wall like the blind, we grope like those who have no eyes. We stumble at noon as if it were twilight; among those who are healthy we’re like the dead. 11 All of us growl like bears, and coo sadly like doves, we hope for justice, but there is none, for deliverance, but it’s far from us. 12 Our offenses are numerous before You, and our sins testify against us, because our offenses remain with us, and we acknowledge our disgusting injustice. 13 They’ve rebelled in treachery against Yehovah, and are turning away from following our Elohim, inciting oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering the lying words 'they had in mind'. 14 Justice is driven back, and righteousness stands far off, because truth has fallen in the public square, and integrity can’t enter. 15 Truth has vanished, and whoever departs from evil becomes a prey. Yehovah looked and it displeased Him that there was no justice. 16 He saw that there was no man, and was amazed that there was no one to intercede, so His own Arm brought deliverance to Him, and His righteousness upheld Him. 17 He put on righteousness like a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation on His head, and He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped Himself with zeal as a coat. 18 He’ll repay their deeds proportionately: wrath to His adversaries, retribution to His enemies; compensation to the 'distant lands beyond the oceans'. 19 So they’ll fear the name of Yehovah from the west, and His splendor from the rising sun, because He’ll come like a rushing stream that the spirit [or breath] of Yehovah drives. 20 A Redeemer will come to Zion for the descendants of Jacob who turn from rebellion,” says Yehovah. 21 “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” Yehovah says, “My spirit that is on you, and My words that I’ve put in your mouth, won’t depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your descendants, or from the mouths of their descendants from now on and forever,” says Yehovah.”

ISAIAH 60

Your Sun Will Never Set

1 “Rise and shine! Your light has come, and the splendor of Yehovah has risen over you. 2 Darkness will cover the earth, and thick darkness the people, but Yehovah will shine on you, and His splendor will be seen on you! 3 Nations will come to your light, and kings will come to the brightness of your rising. 4 'Take a look' all around. They all gather together, they come to you. Your sons will come from 'distant lands', and your daughters will be carried in their arms. 5 Then you’ll look around and be radiant, and you’ll be 'overcome with joy', because the wealth of the seas will be brought to you, and the wealth of the nations will come to you. 6 Vast caravans of camels will cover your land, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephah. All the people from Sheba will come bringing gold and frankincense and proclaiming the praises of Yehovah. 7 All the flocks of Kedar will be brought to you, the rams of Nebaioth will serve you, they’ll be accepted on My altar, and I’ll decorate My beautiful 'Temple'.”

8 “Who are these that fly along like clouds, like doves to their homes? 9 Surely the 'distant lands beyond the oceans' will wait for Me, and the ships of Tarshish will arrive first, bringing your sons from 'distant lands', along with their silver and their gold, for the 'honor' of Yehovah your Elohim, and for the Kadosh One of Israel, because He has clothed you with splendor. 10 Foreigners will rebuild your walls, and their kings will serve you. I struck you in anger, but in My reconciliation I have had mercy on you. 11 Your gates will always be open, they’ll never be shut, day or night, so people can bring you the wealth of the nations, with their kings being led in procession. 12 Any nation and kingdom that won’t serve you will be destroyed; those nations will be completely wasted. 13 The splendor of Lebanon will come to you: fir trees, pines, and cypresses, to beautify the place of My 'Temple', and I’ll make the place of My feet splendid. 14 The descendants of those who oppressed you will come bowing to you, and everyone who despised you will bow down at your feet, and they’ll call you ‘The City of Yehovah’ and ‘The Zion of the Kadosh One of Israel’”.

15 “Instead of being forsaken and hated with no one traveling thru you, I’ll make you an everlasting excellency, the joy of all generations. 16 You’ll nurse on the milk of the nations, being nursed from royal breasts, and then you’ll know [after the Great Tribulation] that I, Yehovah, am your Life Giver, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. 17 Instead of bronze I’ll bring you gold, and instead of iron I’ll bring you silver, instead of wood, bronze, instead of stones, iron. I’ll make peace your overseers, and righteousness your taskmasters/oppressors [1]. 18 Violence will no longer be heard of in your land, and desolation and destruction won’t exist within your borders, but you’ll call your walls ‘Deliverance’, and your gates ‘Praise’. 19 The sun will no longer be your light during the day, and the moonlight won’t shine on you, because Yehovah will your everlasting light, and your Elohim your splendor. 20 Your sun will never set again, and will your moon will no longer wane, because you will have Yehovah as your everlasting light, and your days of mourning will be over. 21 Your people will all be righteous, they’ll inherit the land forever, a shoot that I planted, the work of My hands bringing about My splendor. 22 The least of you will become a thousand, and the smallest one a mighty nation. I, Yehovah, will do it quickly when it’s time.”

[1] Few translators catch the dry humor here, relevant to the slavery that Israel will have just left.

ISAIAH 61

Jubilee!

1 “The spirit of the Sovereign Yehovah is with me, because Yehovah has anointed me to bring Good News to the afflicted. He has sent me to relieve the grief stricken, to proclaim liberty to the captives, recovery of sight for the blind [1] and to set the oppressed free; 2 to proclaim the favorable year of Yehovah [Jubilee, 2028 AD!], and the day of vengeance of our Elohim [Yeshua (Jesus)] stopped quoting here.], and to comfort everyone who mourns [due to the end time holocaust]; 3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion, to give to them garlands instead of ashes on their heads, the oil of joy instead of mourning, clothing of praise instead of a spirit of weakness, so that they can be called ‘terebinth trees of righteousness’, ‘a cluster planted by Yehovah’, so that they can display His splendor.

4 They’ll rebuild places desolate since antiquity, they’ll rebuild the ancestral places and places now wasted and deserted, and they’ll restore cities parched from heat, and places deserted for many generations. 5 Foreigners will tend your flocks; they’ll farm your land and work your vineyards. 6 And you’ll be called the priests of Yehovah, people will call you the ministers of our Elohim. You’ll savor the wealth of the nations. You’ll change places with them. 7 Your shame will be replaced with a double inheritance, and instead of humiliation you’ll shout for joy over your territory. So in your land you’ll own twice as much as the other nations. You’ll have everlasting joy. 8 Because I, Yehovah, love justice. I hate robbery and injustice. I’ll certainly give you your compensation, and I’ll make an everlasting covenant [i.e. The New Covenant] with you. 9 Your descendants will be revealed [2] among the nations, and their descendants among all ethnicities. Everyone who sees them will acknowledge that they are the descendants of the people who Yehovah has blessed.” [Today, Israel is considered scum by the nations].”

10 “I’ll greatly rejoice in Yehovah, I’ll be joyful in my Elohim, because He has clothed me with the clothing of deliverance, He has covered me with a robe of righteousness, like a bridegroom serving as a priest wearing a garland, and like a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 Like the soil pushing up sprouts, and like a garden enabling things that are sown in it to spring up, so the Sovereign Yehovah will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.

[1] The phrase about blindness, that Yeshua quoted in Luke 4:18 was deleted by the Masorites.

[2] Currently, even Judah needs the “lost” tribes of Israel to be revealed to them.

ISAIAH 62

Zion Never Again Forsaken

1 “For Zion’s sake I won’t remain silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I won’t remain quiet, until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her deliverance like a burning torch. 2 The nations will see your righteousness, and every king your splendor. You’ll be called by a new name that Yehovah will announce. 3 You’ll be a beautiful crown in Yehovah’s hand, and a royal diadem in Elohim’s hand.

4 “You’ll never again be called ‘Forsaken’, and your land will never be called ‘Desolate’ again, instead, you’ll be called ‘Hephzibah’ [Literally, “My delight is in her”], and your land ‘Beulah’ [Literally, to marry], because Yehovah delights in you, and your land will be married to Him.”

5 “Just like a young man marrying a virgin, your sons will marry you [the land of Israel], and like a bridegroom rejoicing over his bride, that’s how your Elohim will rejoice over you. 6 Jerusalem, I’ve posted watchmen on your walls who will never be silent day or night. You who call on Yehovah, never rest, 7 and give Him no rest till He establishes Jerusalem and makes her praiseworthy thruout the earth. 8 Yehovah has sworn by His right hand, and by the arm of His strength, “I’ll never again give your grain away to feed your enemies, and foreigners won’t drink the new wine that you’ve labored for.” 9 Those who harvest it will eat it and praise Yehovah, and those who harvest the vintage will drink it [during feasts] in the courts surrounding My 'Temple'.”

10 “Go thru, go thru the gates! Clear the way for the people! Build up! Build up the highway! Clear away the stones! Raise a flag [or banner] for the people. 11 Yehovah has proclaimed to the 'far reaches' of the earth, “Tell the Maiden Zion, ‘Your Rescuer is coming, and His compensation accompanies Him!’” 12 They’ll call them ‘The Kadosh People’, and the ‘Redeemed of Yehovah’, and you’ll be called ‘Sought Out’, and ‘The City No Longer Deserted.’”

ISAIAH 63

The Year of Redemption

1 “Who is this coming from Edom in crimson-stained garments from Bozra—the One robed in majesty, striding forward in His great strength? “It is I, proclaiming victory, saving thru might.” 2 Why is your clothing red, and your clothing like someone who treads in a wine press? 3 I’ve been treading the wine press alone, no one was there to help Me. In My anger I'll tread them in My anger and trample them in My fury; their 'blood' is splattered on My clothing, and all my clothing has been stained. 4 The Day of Vengeance was on My mind, and My Year of Redemption [Jubilee] [1] has come. 5 I looked around, and no one was there to help, and I was appalled that there was no support, so I supplied My 'own' deliverance, and My wrath sustained Me. 6 I trampled the people in My anger, and made them drunk in My fury, and I spilled their lifeblood on the ground.”

7 I’ll mention the unfailing love of Yehovah, and the renown of Yehovah, because of everything that Yehovah has done for the House of Israel, that He has done for them in His compassion, and by His unlimited mercy. 8 He said, “Surely, these are My people, children who won’t defraud Me.” So He rescued them. 9 In all their distress He too was distressed, and the Messenger of His Presence [Yeshua] rescued them. In His love and mercy He reclaimed them. He lifted them up and carried them for many years in the past. 10 Yet they rebelled and grieved His kadosh spirit, so He turned against them as an enemy and fought against them. 11 Then His people recalled the days of old, of Moses and his people. Where is the One who brought the shepherds of His flock up out of the sea? Where is the One who put His kadosh spirit among them? 12 who sent His splendid Arm to be at Moses’ right hand, who divided the water in front of them to win an everlasting name, 13 who led them thru the depths [of the Red Sea] like a horse in the wilderness, so they wouldn’t stumble. 14 Like the cattle that go down into the valley, the spirit of Yehovah gave them rest. You led Your people this way to make Yourself a splendid name.

15 Look down from heaven and see from Your kadosh and splendid home. Where is Your zeal and Your might? Your 'yearning' and compassion is withheld from me. 16 You are our Father, even tho Abraham doesn’t know us, and Israel doesn’t recognize us. You, Yehovah, have been called our Father and our Redeemer from ancient times. 17 Yehovah, why do you allow us to stray from Your ways, and harden our 'resolve' from fearing You? Return for the sake of Your servants, the tribes of Your heritage. 18 Your kadosh people held possession of the Kadosh Place briefly, but now our adversaries have trampled it down. 19 We’ve become like those You never ruled over, like those who were never called by Your name.

[1] Israel will be 'purchased', redeemed on the next Jubilee year, beginning with the 144,000 of Revelation 14:1-4.

ISAIAH 64

Jerusalem in Ruins

1 If only You would tear the heavens and come down, so the mountains would quake in Your presence. 2 Like fire setting kindling ablaze, and a fire causing water to boil—make Your name known to Your adversaries, so the nations will tremble at Your presence! 3 When You did the awesome things that we expected [DSS: 1QIsa], You came down and the mountains quaked at Your presence. 4 Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen an elohim other than You, who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. 5 You welcome those who gladly do what’s right, those who remember You and Your ways. You were angry when we sinned. We have been sinning for a long time. Can we still be saved? 6 We have all become like someone who is unclean, and all of our righteousness is like a menstrual rag; and we all fade like leaves, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. 7 There is no one who calls on Your name, striving to take hold of You, because You’ve hidden Your face from us, and have and made us melt because of our sins.

8 But now, Yehovah, you are our Father, we’re the clay; You are the potter, and we all are the work of Your hands. 9 Don’t be angry beyond measure, Yehovah, or remember our wickedness forever. Please look, we’re all Your people! 10 Your kadosh cities have become a wilderness, Zion has become a wilderness, Jerusalem a ruins. 11 Our kadosh and beautiful 'Temple', where our ancestors praised You, has been set on fire, and all our precious things lies in ruins. 12 Yehovah, will You restrain Yourself after all this? Will you remain silent and punish us beyond measure?

ISAIAH 65

New Heavens and a New Earth

1 “I revealed Myself to those who didn’t ask for Me [DSS, Tg, Syr], I allowed Myself to be found by those who didn’t seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am! Here I am!’ to a nation that didn’t call on My name. 2 I reached out My hands all the day long to a rebellious people who 'live' in a way that isn’t good, pursuing their own inclinations. 3 These people constantly provoke Me to My face, offering sacrifices in gardens, and burning incense on brick altars. 4 They sit amid graves, and spend the night in secret places; they eat swine’s flesh, and put the broth of abominable flesh in their pots.” 5 They say, ‘Stay away! Don’t come near me, because I’m more kadosh than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, a fire that burns all day long. 6 It’s written before Me, “I won’t remain silent—I’ll repay; I’ll repay back into their laps, 7 due to both your own sins, as well as the sins of your ancestors,” Yehovah says. “Because they have burned incense on the mountains and scorned Me on the hills, I'll compensate their work into their laps proportionately.”

8 This is what Yehovah says: “Just as new wine grapes are found in clusters, and someone says, “Don’t destroy them, because they are a blessing,’ so I'll act for My servants’ sake, so as not to destroy them all! 9 I’ll bring Jacob’s descendants AND heirs to My mountains from Judah; My select will inherit them, and My servants will live there. 10 Sharon will become pasture land for flocks, and the Valley of Achor a resting place for herds, for My people who seek Me. 11 But you who forsake Yehovah, who forget My kadosh mountain, who spread sacred tables for Gawd, the god of Fortune, and pour liquid offerings to Fortuna.” 12 “I’ll destine you for 'warfare', and you’ll all bow down to the slaughter, because when I called, you didn’t answer, when I spoke, you didn’t listen, but you did evil in My 'sight' and chose what displeases Me.”

13 So the Sovereign Yehovah says: “My servants will eat, but you’ll go hungry; My servants will drink, but you’ll be thirsty; My servants will celebrate, but you’ll be put to shame! 14 My servants will sing with 'peace of mind', but you’ll cry with 'painful thoughts', and wail from a broken spirit. 15 You’ll leave your name for My chosen ones to use as a curse, and the Sovereign Yehovah will kill you, and He’ll call His servants by another name, 16 Anyone who is blessed in the land will be blessed by the Elohim of truth, and anyone who swears in the land will swear by the Elohim of truth, because the previous troubles are forgotten and hidden from My eyes.”

17 I’m going to create a New Heavens and a New Earth, and the previous ones won’t be remembered, or come to mind! 18 Be glad and rejoice forever in what I’m going to create, because I’m creating Jerusalem for rejoicing, and her people a joy. 19 I’ll celebrate in Jerusalem, and take delight in My people, and there will no longer be heard in her the sound of weeping and crying. 20 Never again will there be an infant who lives for only a few days, or an old man who hasn’t lived out his days. A son who only lives to be a hundred years old would die young, because a family member who dies at one hundred years of age would be cursed. 21 They’ll build houses to live in, and eat fruit from the vineyards they plant. 22 They won’t build homes for others to live in, and they won’t plant for others to harvest. My people will live as long as the trees, and My select will long enjoy the work of their hands. 23 They won’t work for nothing, or have children doomed to misfortune, because they are the 'people' blessed by Yehovah, along with their children. 24 Before they call, I’ll answer. While they are still asking, I’ll hear. 25 Wolves and lambs will feed together, and lions will eat straw like oxen, but dust will be the serpent’s food. No one will hurt or destroy anything on My entire kadosh mountain,” says Yehovah.

ISAIAH 66

You’ll Be Comforted in Jerusalem

1 This is what Yehovah says: “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. What kind of house could you build for Me? And where could I rest? 2 All of these things were hand made by Me. That’s how all these things came into being”,” says Yehovah. “I'll look favorably toward those who have a humble and contrite spirit, and who tremble at My Word. 3 “Someone who slaughters an ox is like someone who kills a man, someone who offers a lamb, is like someone who breaks a dog’s neck; someone who offers a grain offering is like someone who offers swine’s blood, someone who burns frankincense is like someone who blesses an idol. They’ve chosen their own ways, and they delight in their abominations! 4 So I’ll choose their punishment and bring on them what they dread, because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they didn’t listen. They did what was evil in My sight, and chose what doesn’t please Me.”

5 “Hear the Word of Yehovah, you who tremble at His words. “Your relatives who hate you, and refuse to associate with you because of My name, say, ‘May Yehovah be clothed with splendor’, but He’ll appear to your joy, and they’ll be ashamed. 6 “The sound of an uproar from the city, and noise from the 'Temple'. It’s the sound of Yehovah paying back His enemies.

7 Before she had any labor pains, before any pain she gave birth to a son! 8 Who has heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such a thing? Can a country be born in one day? Can a nation be born instantly? Yet as soon as Zion had labor pains, she gave birth to her children! 9 Would I bring to the moment of birth, and not bring about the delivery?” Asks Yehovah, “Would I, the One who brings about births shut the womb?” Asks your Elohim.

10 “Celebrate with Jerusalem and be happy for her. Everyone who mourns over her should be extremely delighted. 11 You can nurse and be satisfied with her comforting breasts. You can drink deeply and be delighted with her overflowing splendor.”

12 Yehovah says: “I’ll extend peace to her like a river, and the splendor of the nations like an overflowing stream. You’ll nurse and be carried on her side, and bounced on her knees! 13 As a mother comforts her child, that’s how I’ll comfort you, and you’ll be comforted in Jerusalem. 14 When you see it, you’ll feel like celebrating, and your bones will flourish like tender grass, and the hand of Yehovah will be apparent to His servants, but He’ll be angry with His enemies. 15 “Yehovah will come with fire, and His chariots will be like a tornado! He’ll return with fierce anger and punish them with flames of fire. 16 Yehovah will execute judgment by fire and with His sword on all 'humanity', and many will be slain by Yehovah.” 17 “Those who “sanctify” themselves and purify themselves in the idol groves, following the one [priest] in the middle, eating swine’s flesh, and detestable things like mice will be terminated all at once,” says Yehovah. [1]

18 “Because I know about their behavior and their thoughts, the time is coming when I’ll gather gather all people of every language. They’ll come and see My splendor. 19 “I’ll set up signs among them and send some survivors to the nations—to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Meshech, Rosh, Tubal, Javan, to the distant lands beyond the oceans! [Comment] who haven’t heard of My fame or seen My splendor. They’ll announce My splendor among the nations. 20 They’ll bring all of your relatives from all the nations as an offering to Yehovah, on horses, on chariots, on litters, on mules and on dromedaries to My kadosh mountain Jerusalem,” Yehovah says, “like the Israelites bring their offering in a ceremonially clean vessel into Yehovah’s 'Temple'. 21 “I’ll also appoint some of them to be priests and Levites [Ezekiel 44:6-15],” says Yehovah.

22 “As the New Heavens and the New Earth that I’ll make will endure in My presence”, declares Yehovah, “So your descendants and your name will endure. 23 In the future, from one new moon to the next new moon, and from one Sabbath to the next Sabbath, all of humanity will come to worship before Me”, declares Yehovah. 24 “They’ll go out and see the carcasses of the people who rebelled against Me, because the maggots devouring them won’t die off. The fire that burning them won’t go out. They’ll be abhorrent to everyone [2].”

[1] This is descriptive of the activities taking place in the notorious Bohemian Grove in California.

[2] Unfortunately, there will be a steady stream of wicked people being thrown into the fire every ‘moonth’, all thru the time of the “New Heavens and the New Earth,” keeping the maggots fed.

JEREMIAH 1

Jeremiah Commissioned

Chapters 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,33,34,35,36

37,38,39,40,41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,COMMENTARY

1 The words of Hilkiah’s son Jeremiah, who was one of the priests in Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 2 The Word of Yehovah came to him during the thirteenth year of the regime of Ammon’s son Josiah, the king of Judah, 3 and during the regime of Josiah’s son Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and continued until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month, at the end of the eleventh year of the regime of Josiah’s son Zedekiah, the king of Judah.

4 The Word of Yehovah came to me. He said, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart. I’ve selected you to be a prophet to the nations.” 6 Then I said, “Sovereign Yehovah! I don’t know how to speak, because I’m only a youth!” 7 But Yehovah told me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m only a youth’, because you must go everywhere I send you, and say whatever I command you. 8 Don’t be afraid of them, since I’m with you to rescue you,” says Yehovah. 9 Then Yehovah stretched out His hand and touched My mouth, and Yehovah told me, “I’ve put My words in your mouth! 10 Today I’ve appointed you over nations and over the kingdoms, to uproot and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant!”

The Almond Branch and Boiling Pot

11 The Word of Yehovah came to me. He said, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” I said, “I see an almond branch.” 12 Then Yehovah said to me, “That is right, since I am watching [1] over My 'message' to fulfill it.” 13 The Word of Yehovah came to me a second time. He said: “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot tilted away from the north.” 14 Then Yehovah told me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on everyone living in the land. 15 I’m calling all the clans of the kingdoms of the north,” Yehovah says, “They’ll come and set each of their thrones at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all its surrounding walls, and against all the cities of Judah. 16 I’ll pronounce My judgments against them because of all their wickedness in abandoning Me, for burning incense to other gods, and for worshiping the 'craftsmanship' of their own hands.”

17 “So 'get ready'! Stand up and tell them everything that I’ve commanded you. Don’t be terrified by them, or I’ll terrify you in front of them. 18 Today I’ve made you like a fortified city, like an iron pillar, and like bronze walls in opposition to the entire land—opposing the kings of Judah, its leaders, its priests, and opposed to the people of the land! 19 They’ll fight against you, but they won’t prevail against you, since I’m with you to rescue you.” says Yehovah.

[1] ISV footnote: The Heb. word almond (shaqed) sounds like the Hebrew word watching (shoqed).

JEREMIAH 2

The Bride Forsakes Yehovah

1 The Word of Yehovah came to me. He said, 2 “Go, and herald where Jerusalem can hear you, ‘This is what Yehovah says: “I remember the kindness of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed Me in the wilderness into a barren land. 3 Israel was dedicated to Yehovah, the firstfruits of His harvest, anyone who devoured him became guilty, and disaster struck them,’” says Yehovah.’”

4 Hear the Word of Yehovah, House of Jacob, and all the clans of the House of Israel! 5 This is what Yehovah says: “What fault did your ancestors find in Me, that they wandered so far from Me and pursued worthless things, becoming worthless themselves? 6 They didn’t ask, ‘Where is Yehovah who brought us up from of the land of Egypt, who led us thru the wilderness, thru a land of deserts and ravines, thru a land of drought and deep darkness, thru a land that no one ventures, and where no one lives? 7 I brought you into a fertile land to enjoy its bounty and goodness. But you came and defiled My land, and turned My heritage into an abomination. 8 The priests didn’t ask, ‘Where is Yehovah’? And those who taught the Torah didn’t know Me. The rulers turned against Me, and the prophets prophesied in the name of Baal, and pursued worthless 'idols'. 9 “So I’ll bring My case against you,” Yehovah says, “and I’ll bring a case against your grandchildren.”

10 “Cross over to the islands of Cyprus and take a look. Send someone to Kedar, and have them look carefully to see if there has ever been anything like this! 11 Has a nation ever changed its gods that aren’t really gods? But My people have traded their splendor for worthless 'idols'. 12 Be appalled over this, heavens. Be terribly afraid,” says Yehovah. 13 My people have committed two sins: They’ve abandoned Me, the spring of living water, and dug their own cisterns, cracked cisterns that don’t hold water.”

14 “Is Israel a slave? Is he a native-born servant? Why has he become a prey? 15 The young lions have roared at him; they have roared loudly. They’ve laid waste his land; his cities are destroyed and deserted. 16 The people of Memphis and Tahpanhes have 'shaved' the crown of your head. 17 Haven’t you done this to yourself by forsaking Yehovah your Elohim, while He was leading you along the way? 18 Now why are you taking the road to Egypt to drink water from the Nile? And why are you taking the road to Assyria to drink water from the 'Euphrates'? 19 Your own wickedness will discipline you; your own apostasies will punish you. Realize that it’s something evil and bitter for you to have forsaken Yehovah your Elohim, and to have no fear of Me, declares the Sovereign, Yehovah the Commander. 20 “Long ago [in Egypt] you broke off your yoke and ripped off your chains. You said, ‘I won’t be a slave! Yet on every high hill and under every evergreen tree you lie down like captive exiled prostitutes. 21 I planted you like a cultivated grapevine, a select 'clone', so how have your branches degenerated into a wild grapevine for Me? 22 Tho you wash yourself with lye, and use a lot of soap, the stain of your guilt is still before Me,” declares the Sovereign Yehovah.

23 “How can you say, ‘I’m not defiled, I haven’t pursued the Baals?’ Look at what you’ve done in the valley! You are like a restless young she-dromedary running here and there [in heat], 24 or a wild donkey 'at home' in the wilderness, sniffing the wind in her craving. In her mating season who can restrain her? No males will wear themselves our searching for her; in her 'mating season' they’ll find her. 25 Don’t 'run your shoes off' [?] and your throat dry. But you say, “It is hopeless! I love foreign gods, and I’ll pursue them.” 26 Like a thief is ashamed when he is caught, so the House of Israel is ashamed—they, their kings, their leaders, their priests, and their prophets. 27 They say to a timber, ‘You are my father’, and to a stone, ‘You gave birth to me.’ They’ve turned their backs to Me, and not their faces; but in their time of trouble they’ll say, ‘Come and save us!’ 28 But where are the gods you made for yourself? Have them come; see if they can rescue you in your time of trouble. You have as many gods as you have cities, Judah. 29 Why do you bring a case against Me? You’ve all rebelled against Me,” declares Yehovah. 30 I’ve punished your children in vain; they accepted no correction. Your own sword has devoured your prophets like a ravaging lion. 31 'This' generation should consider the Word of Yehovah: “Have I been a wilderness to Israel or a land of thick darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We’re free to roam; we won’t come to You any longer? 32 Can a virgin forget to wear her jewelry, or a bride her wedding 'dress'? Yet My people have forgotten Me countless days. 33 You are so skilled in your search for love! Even the wickedest of women learn from your ways. 34 The lifeblood of the innocent poor is found on your clothes. You didn’t catch them breaking in, but in spite of this 35 you say, ‘I’m innocent; He certainly isn’t angry with me.’” But I will certainly judge you because you say, ‘I haven’t sinned.’ 36 Why do you change your 'mind' so easily? You’ll be put to shame by Egypt, like you were put to shame by Assyria. 37 You’ll be led out of here with your hands on your head since Yehovah has rejected those you trust in, and you won’t succeed with them.”

JEREMIAH 3

Apostates, Divorce

1 “'Suppose' a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, would he ever take her back again? Wouldn’t that land be greatly polluted? But you’ve prostituted yourself with many lovers, and now you want to come back to Me?” asks Yehovah. 2 Look toward the barren heights and see if there is any place that you haven’t defiled. You sat waiting for them, like an Arab in the desert. You’ve defiled the land with your prostitution and your wickedness. 3 That’s why the rain has been withheld, and there have been no 'spring' showers. You have the shameless look of a whore, and you refuse to be ashamed. 4 Even now you tell Me, ‘Father, you’ve been my guide since I was young.’ 5 ‘Will He be angry forever? Will He stay indignant till the end?’ You’ve said and done as many evil things as you could.”

6 Yehovah said to me during the regime of King Josiah, “Have you seen what unfaithful Israel did? She climbed every high hill and went under every evergreen tree to prostitute herself there.” 7 Yet even after she had done all this, I thought she might return to Me. But she didn’t, and her treacherous sister Judah witnessed it. 8 She saw that I divorced unfaithful Israel because of her adultery, and that I had sent her away and gave her a certificate of divorce, but her treacherous sister Judah still wasn’t afraid; she also went and prostituted herself. 9 She treated her prostitution so lightly. She polluted the land by committing adultery with stone and wooden pillars. 10 Even after all this, her treacherous sister Judah only pretends to have returned to Me, not with actual determination,” says Yehovah.

11 Yehovah told me, “Faithless Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.

12 “Go and proclaim this 'message' toward the north: ‘Come back, unfaithful Israel,’ Yehovah says, ‘I won’t look toward you in anger, because I’m the Kadosh One’, says Yehovah, ‘I won’t stay angry forever. 13 Only acknowledge your sins—that you’ve rebelled against Yehovah your Elohim, and have dispersed your 'favors' to strangers under every evergreen tree, and that you haven’t obeyed My voice,’ says Yehovah.

14 “Come back, you apostate people” Yehovah says, “because I have married you. I’ll take one of you from this city, and two from that family, and I’ll bring you to Zion. 15 I’ll give you shepherds who understand Me, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And once your land is filled with people again,” Yehovah says, “they’ll no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of Yehovah.’ It won’t come to mind, they won’t remember it or miss it, or make another one. 17 At that time they’ll call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of Yehovah’, and all of the nations will gather there in the name of Yehovah, to Jerusalem. They’ll cease to 'live by' their stubborn evil desires. 18 In those days the House of Judah will live with the House of Israel, and you’ll return together from the Land of the North, to the land that I gave to your ancestors as an inheritance.”

19 “I said how much I wanted to treat you like My children, and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful 'property' of any nation. And I said, ‘You’ll call Me Father, and never turn away from Me.’ 20 Surely like when a treacherous wife leaves her 'husband', that’s how you’ve been unfaithful with Me, House of Israel,” says Yehovah.

21 “A voice is heard on the barren heights, the crying and the pleading of the Israelites, because they have perverted their ways, they’ve forgotten Yehovah their Elohim. 22 Return, you apostate children, and I’ll heal your apostasy.” “We’re coming to You, because You are Yehovah our Elohim!” 23 Surely, falsehood comes from the hills, and commotion from the mountains. The only rescue of Israel will be by Yehovah our Elohim. 24 From the earliest days of our nation the worship of that shameful one, [Baal], has consumed everything our ancestors worked for: their flocks and their herds, and even their sons and daughters. 25 We must lie down in our shame, and cover ourselves with dishonor, because we have sinned against Yehovah our Elohim, we and our ancestors. From our earliest times to this very day we have not obeyed the voice of Yehovah our Elohim.”

JEREMIAH 4

Not Complete destruction

1 “If you’ll return, Israel,” Yehovah says, “If you’ll return to Me, and if you’ll remove your abominations [abominations] from My presence without wavering, 2 and if you’ll swear, ‘As surely as Yehovah lives,’ in truth, in justice and in righteousness, then the nations will be blessed by Him, and pride themselves in Him.’ 3 This is what Yehovah says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem: “Harrow your fallow ground, and don’t sow among thorns. 4 Circumcise yourselves to Yehovah, and remove the foreskins of your minds, you men of Judah and residents of Jerusalem, or My wrath will flare up like a fire and burn with no one to put it out, because of your evil actions.”

5 Announce in Judah and proclaim in Jerusalem: “Blow a shofar in the land!” Cry aloud and say, ‘Gather together and let’s flee to the fortified cities!’ 6 Raise a standard toward Zion! Flee for safety, don’t stand around, because I’m bringing calamity from the north, and great destruction. 7 A lion has left his thicket; a destroyer of nations is on his way. He’s left his 'lair' to ruin your land. Your cities will be wastelands without inhabitants. 8 So put on sackcloth, mourn and wail, because the 'burning' anger of Yehovah hasn’t turned away from us. 9 “On that day,” declares Yehovah, “the 'courage' of the king will fail, and the courage of the leaders will fail, the priests will be appalled and the prophets will be astounded.” 10 Then I said, “Sovereign Yehovah! You’ve greatly deceived these people and Jerusalem. You said they would have peace, but a sword 'is at' their throats.”

11 “At that time these people and Jerusalem will be told, “A scorching wind from the barren heights in the wilderness is blowing toward My 'beloved' people, but not to winnow or cleanse, 12 a wind too strong for that will come from Me. Then I’ll pronounce judgments against them.”

13 He [the enemy] advances like the clouds, and his chariots like a tornado, his horses are swifter than eagles. Oh, we’re ruined! 14 Jerusalem, wash your thoughts from wickedness, so that you can be saved. How long will your evil thoughts remain with you? 15 A voice is announcing from Dan, proclaiming disaster from Mount Ephraim.

16 “Warn the nations, announce to Jerusalem: “Besieging forces are coming from a distant country, raising their voices against the cities of Judah. 17 They are like watchmen surrounding a field, because she has rebelled against Me,” says Yehovah. 18 “Your 'lifestyles' and your behaviors have brought these things on you. This is your punishment, and it is very bitter, because it has touched your minds.”

19 “My anguish, my anguish! I’m writhing in pain. My heart is racing. I can’t remain silent because I’ve heard the sound of a shofar, an alarm for war. 20 Disaster after disaster is announced. The entire region has been devastated. Suddenly my tents are destroyed, and my curtains are gone instantly. 21 How long must I see the battle standard, and hear the sound of the shofar?

22 “My people are foolish, they don’t know Me, they are foolish children, and they have no understanding, they are skilled in doing evil, but they have no knowledge of doing good.

23 I inspected the earth, and it was devoid of form, an empty waste, and I looked to the heavens, and there was no light. 24 I looked at the mountains, and they were quaking, and even the hills were swaying. 25 I looked, and there weren’t any people, and all the birds in the sky had fluttered away. 26 I looked, and the fruitful gardens had become a wilderness, and all its cities were broken down in the presence of Yehovah, and before His fierce anger. 27 This is what Yehovah says: “The whole land will be devastated, but I won’t completely destroy it. 28 So the earth will mourn, and the heavens above will grow dark, because I have spoken it, I’ve decided, and I won’t change My mind or turn back on My word.”

29 Every city flees at the sound of the horsemen and archers, some go into the thickets, others climb up on the rocks, every city is abandoned, no one lives there. 30 When you are devastated, what will you do? Tho you clothe yourself with scarlet, tho you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, tho you highlight your eyes with paint, you’re wasting your time highlighting your eyes with makeup because your lovers despise you, they want to kill you. 31 I heard a cry like a woman in labor, the anguish of a woman giving birth to her first child, the cry of the Maiden Zion gasping for breath, reaching out her hands and saying'How tragic', my life is ebbing away in front of murderers!”

JEREMIAH 5

The Prophets Are Blowhards

1 “Roam up and down thru every street in Jerusalem. Search its broad places and see if you can find even one just and honest person, and I’ll pardon her. 2 Altho they say, ‘As Yehovah lives,’ they are swearing falsely.”

3 Yehovah, don’t Your eyes look for truth? You’ve struck them, but they weren’t even fazed. You’ve crushed them, but they refused to take correction. They hardened faces tougher than stone, and refused to repent. 4 Then I thought: “These are only the poor and foolish, they don’t know the way of Yehovah, or the judgments of their Elohim, 5 so I’ll go to the great leaders and speak to them. Surely they know the way of Yehovah, and the judgments of their Elohim.” But they too without exception had broken the yoke and burst the bonds.”

6 “So a lion from the forest will attack them, a wolf from the desert will destroy them, a leopard is lurking near their cities. Anyone who tries to leave will be torn to pieces, because of their many acts of rebellion and their numerous apostasies. 7 “Why should I pardon you? Your children have forsaken Me, and sworn by those who aren’t gods. Once I satisfied their 'needs', they committed adultery, and gathered like troops at houses of prostitution. 8 They were like well-fed lusty stallions, each neighing for his neighbor’s wife. 9 “Shouldn’t I punish them for this?¨ asks Yehovah? “Shouldn’t I seek retribution on a nation like this?”

10 “Go thru her vineyard terraces and destroy them, but don’t entirely destroy them. Strip off her branches, because they aren’t Yehovah’s. 11 the House of Israel and the House of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to Me”,” says Yehovah. 12 They’ve lied about Yehovah, and said, “He doesn’t exist. Nothing bad will happen to us. We won’t experience 'warfare' and famine.” 13 The prophets are 'blowhards'. The Word is not in them. May their predictions happen to them. 14 So this is what Yehovah the Commander says: “Because you people say these things, I’m going to make My words a fire in your mouth, and these people are the wood, and it will 'burn them up'! 15 House of Israel, I’m bringing a distant nation against you from far away,” Yehovah says! “It’s an enduring nation, it’s an ancient nation, a nation whose language you don’t know. You’ll have no idea what they’re saying. 16 Their quiver is an open grave, all of them are mighty warriors. 17 They’ll devour your harvest, and your stored food. They’ll devour your sons and daughters, they’ll eat your flocks and your herds, they’ll devour your vineyards and your fig trees. They’ll demolish the fortified cities you trust in with 'their armies'.

18 “But even during that 'time',” Yehovah says, “I won’t totally destroy you. 19 Then when you ask: ‘Why has Yehovah our Elohim done all these things to us?’ you’ll tell them: Just as you’ve forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, that is how you’ll serve strangers in a land that isn’t yours.’”

20 ‘Announce this to the House of Jacob; proclaim the following in Judah: 21 ‘Now hear this you foolish and 'stupid' people: You have eyes that don’t see, and ears that don’t hear. 22 ‘Don’t you fear Me?’ Yehovah says, “Don’t you tremble at My presence? I placed the sand as the boundary for the seas as a fixed limitation that it won’t cross. And tho the waves surge, they can’t prevail. Tho they roar, they can’t cross their bounds. 23 But these people are stubborn and rebellious, they revolted and wandered away . 24 They don’t say to themselves ‘We should fear Yehovah our Elohim, who gives us rain, both the early rain and the latter rain on time, who makes sure that we have sufficient weeks of harvest.’ 25 Your depravity has diverted these blessing from you; your sins have deprived you of good. 26 Wicked people are interspersed among My people. They watch like fowlers 'lying in wait'. They set traps to catch people. 27 Like a cage filled with birds, their houses are full of deceit. That’s how they became rich and powerful. 28 They are fat and sleek. They excel in wickedness. They have no respect for the rights of orphans. 29 Shouldn’t I punish for these things,” says Yehovah? “Shouldn’t I take vengeance on a nation as this? 30Something horrible and shocking has happened in this land: 31 The prophets prophesy lies, and the priests make rulings on their own authority, and My people love it that way! But what will you do when the end comes?”

JEREMIAH 6

Impending Destruction Of Jerusalem

1 “Flee for safety, you Benjaminites, leave Jerusalem, and sound a shofar in Tekoa. Raise a signal over Beth Haccherem, because disaster and great destruction are coming down from the north. 2 I’ll destroy the lovely and delicate Maiden Zion. 3 Shepherds and their flocks will come against her. They’ll pitch their tents around her, each grazing livestock in his own place. 4 “Prepare for war against her! Get up, let’s attack at noon. Oh, the daylight is dwindling, and the evening shadows are lengthening. 5 Get up, let’s attack at night and destroy her fortresses!”

6 This is what Yehovah the Commander says: “Cut down trees, and build siege ramps against Jerusalem. This city will be punished. There is nothing but oppression there. 7 Like an artesian spring gushing out water, she refreshes her wickedness. Violence and destruction resound in her; sickness and wounds are continually before Me. 8 Be warned, Jerusalem, or I’ll turn away from you and make you a desolate and uninhabited land.”

9 This is what Yehovah the Commander says: “They’ll thoroly glean the 'survivors' of Israel like a grapevine; once again pass your hand over the branches like someone gathering grapes.” 10 Who can I 'give' the warning to in order for them to listen? Their ears are uncircumcised, so they’re unable to listen! The Word of Yehovah offends them, they have no use for it. 11 But I’m full of Yehovah’s wrath, I’m tired of holding it in. I’ll pour it out on the 'gangs' of young men in the street. Even husbands and wives will be taken, the old and the very old. 12 Their houses will be turned over to others, their fields and their wives as well, when I reach out My hand against the people living in the land,” says Yehovah. 13 “From the least of them to the greatest, everyone is greedy for gain; from prophets to priests, everyone is lying. 14 They’ve superficially treated the open wounds of My people, claiming, ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they committed an abomination? No, they weren’t ashamed at all—they don’t even know how to blush! So they’ll fall among the fallen. When I punish them, they’ll crash,” says Yehovah.

16 This is what Yehovah says: “Stand at the crossroads and look around, and ask for the ancient pathways where the journey is pleasant. Walk that way, and you’ll find your rest,” but they said, “We won’t walk that way”. 17 I posted watchmen over you and said, “Listen for the sound of the shofar,” but they said: “We won’t listen”. 18 So listen, you nations. Be witnesses and take note of what will happen to them. 19 Listen, earth! I’m going to bring disaster on these people. It is the 'result' of their own schemes, because they haven’t listened to My words, and as for My Torah, they’ve rejected it too. 20 Why are you bringing Me frankincense from Sheba, and sweet cane from a remote country? Your burnt offerings aren’t acceptable, and your zebakim don’t please Me.” 21 So this is what Yehovah says: “I’m putting obstacles before these people. Fathers and sons alike will stumble over them; friends and neighbors will also die.”

22 This is what Yehovah says: “An 'army' is coming from the north country, and a great nation will be stirred up from the most remote regions of the earth! 23 They grasp bows and spears, they’re cruel and merciless. It sounds like the roaring sea as they ride on their horses, everyone arrayed for battle to attack you, Maiden Zion.” 24 We heard the intelligence about it, and our hands grew limp. Agony has seized us, pain like a woman in labor. 25 Don’t go out into the fields or travel the roads, because the enemy is armed with swords, and terror is on every side. 26 Daughter of My people, put on sackcloth and roll in the ashes! Mourn as you would for an only son, the most bitter lamentation, because the destroyer will come on us suddenly.

27 “I’ve made you a metal analyst and a refiner of My people, so that you can observe and assay their way of life. 28 They’re the most extreme rebels, going around slandering. They’re bronze and iron [base metals], all of them are corrupt. 29 The bellows blows fiercely to melt the lead away in the fire. The assayer keeps on refining, but the wicked aren’t smelted out. 30 They’re called rejected silver, because Yehovah has rejected them.

JEREMIAH 7

The Coming Diaspora

1 This is the 'message' that came to Jeremiah from Yehovah: 2 “Stand at the gate of Yehovah’s 'Temple', and announce this message from there, ‘Hear the 'message' of Yehovah, all you people of Judah who enter thru these gates to worship Yehovah.’” 3 This is what Yehovah the Commander, the Elohim of Israel says: “Change your ways and your deeds, and I’ll let you to live in this place. 4 Don’t trust in lying words, saying, ‘The 'Temple' of Yehovah, the 'Temple' of Yehovah, the 'Temple' of Yehovah’. 5 If you truly change your ways and your behavior, if you truly deal with interpersonal relationships fairly, 5 and if you don’t oppress foreigners, orphans and widows, and don’t shed innocent blood here, or follow other gods to your own ruin, 7 then I’ll allow you to live here in the land that I gave to your ancestors forever and ever. 8 You trust in lying words of no value. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery and perjure, burn incense to Baal, and pursue other gods that you haven’t known, 10 and then come and stand before Me in the 'Temple' that is called by My name, and say, “We are saved”, so that you can commit all these abominations? 11 Has this 'Temple' that is called by My name become a den of thieves in your eyes? I’ve 'personally' seen it,” says Yehovah! 12 “Now go to My place that was in Shiloh, where I first established My name, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. 13 Now, because you’ve done all these things,” Yehovah says, “and because I spoke to you, 'again and again', but you wouldn’t listen, and I called you, but you wouldn’t answer, 14 I’ll do to the 'Temple' that is called by My name—that you trust in—the place I gave to you and your ancestors what I did to Shiloh. 15 I’ll drive you out of My sight just like I drove out all your brothers, all of Ephraim’s [the ‘Lost 10 Tribes’] descendants.

16 So don't cry or offer a petition for them, or ask Me to intercede, because I won’t listen! 17 Aren’t you 'aware' of what they’re doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers light the fires, and the women knead dough to make cakes 'representing' the Queen of Heaven, and pour out 'wine' offerings to other gods in order to provoke My anger. 19 “Yehovah asks, ‘Are they provoking Me?’ Aren’t they really provoking themselves, to their own shame? 20 So the Sovereign Yehovah says: “My anger and My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and beast, on the trees in the fields and on the produce of the land; it will burn without being quenched!”

21 This is what Yehovah the Commander, the Elohim of Israel says: “Add your burnt offerings to your other zebakim, and eat meat yourselves. 22 When I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, I didn’t speak to them or give commands about burnt offerings or zebakim, 23 but this is what I commanded them, ‘Listen to My voice, and I’ll be your Elohim, and you’ll be My people, and 'live' in all the ways that I command you, so it will be well for you.’ 24 But they didn’t listen or 'pay attention', but followed their own counseling, stubbornly following their own evil inclinations, and went backward, not forward. 25 Since the day that your ancestors left the land of Egypt until now, I’ve sent to you all My servants the prophets, sending them 'time after time'. 26 But they didn’t listen to Me or 'pay attention', but became 'headstrong'; they did more evil than their ancestors. 27 You must tell them all of these 'things', but they won’t listen to you. You’ll call to them, but they won’t answer you. 28 You’ll tell them, ‘This is the nation that hasn’t listened to the voice of Yehovah their Elohim, or accepted instruction, truth has died, and completely vanished from their mouths.’

29 “Cut off your hair and throw it away; take up a lamentation on the barren heights, because Yehovah has rejected and forsaken the generation of His wrath. 30 “The 'people' of Judah have done evil as I 'see' it,” Yehovah says, “They’ve set up their abominations in the 'Temple' that bears My name to defile it. 31 They’ve built the 'shrines' of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom [Gehennah] to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire—something I never commanded; it never even entered My mind! 32 “So the time is coming,” declares Yehovah,” when it will no longer be called Topheth, or the valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter, because they’ll bury in Topheth until there is no more room. 33 The carcasses of these people will be food for the birds from the air, and the animals of the region, and no one will scare them away. 34 Then I'll bring to an end the voices of joy and gladness, and the voices of the bridegroom and the bride from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem, because the land will become a wasteland.”

JEREMIAH 8

The Torah Misrepresented

1 “At that time,” Yehovah says, “they’ll bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the residents of Jerusalem from their graves. 2 They’ll spread them before the sun and the moon, and all the 'stars' in the heavens that they loved, served, 'followed', consulted and worshiped. They won’t be gathered or buried, they’ll be like manure on the face of the earth. 3 “Death will be more preferable than life for all the survivors of this evil family who remain wherever I’ve driven them,” says Yehovah the Commander.

4 “You must tell them, ‘This is what Yehovah says: “When people fall, don’t they get up again? When someone turns away, don’t they repent and return? 5 So why have the people of Jerusalem turned away in a perpetual apostasy? They cling to deceit and refuse to repent. 6 I have listened and heard, but they didn’t speak the truth, no one repents of their wickedness, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone has stayed his course, like a horse charging headlong into battle. 7 Even a stork in the sky knows her appointed times, and a turtledove and swallows and cranes observe the time of their migration, but My people don’t know what Yehovah requires.

8 “How can you say, ‘We're wise, and the Torah of Yehovah is with us, [1]’ when, 'in fact', the scribes have used their pens to turn these teachings into lies? 9 The “wise men” will be 'exposed', they’ll be shocked and taken captive. They’ve rejected the Word of Yehovah, so how much wisdom do they really have? 10 So I’ll give their wives to other men, and their fields to new owners, because everyone from the least important to the greatest is greedy for gain. From prophets to priests, everyone is corrupt. 11 They’ve healed the injury of My 'beloved' people superficially, saying ‘Peace, peace,’ when there is no peace. 12 Were they ashamed when they had committed abominations? No, they were not ashamed at all; they don’t even know how to blush. So they’ll 'be' among those who fall. During the time of their punishment they’ll be brought down,” says Yehovah. 13 “I’ll completely consume them,” says Yehovah. “There will be no grapes on the vines, no figs on the fig trees, and the leaves will wither, and the things that I’ve given them will be taken during the harvest.”

14 Why are we just sitting still? Let’s gather together and enter the fortified cities, and await death there! Yehovah our Elohim has condemned us, and given us poisonous gall water to drink, because we have sinned against Yehovah. 15 We waited for peace, but nothing good came; and for a time of healing, but there was only terror! 16 The snorting of his horses is heard from Dan. As the neighing of his strong ones is heard the whole land quakes. They’ve come to devour the land and everything in it, the city and everyone who lives there. 17 I’ll send serpents among you, including adders that can’t be charmed, and they’ll bite you,” says Yehovah!

18 Oh that I could find comfort from my sorrow, my 'thoughts' are filled with grief. 19 Listen to the cry of My 'beloved' people from a distant land: “Is Yehovah no longer in Zion? Is her King no longer there?” Why have they provoked Me to anger with their carved images, and with their worthless foreign gods? 20 The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we haven’t been rescued. 21 I’m crushed along with My 'beloved' people. I mourn as horror overwhelms Me. 22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why has the health of my 'beloved' people not been restored?

[1] The fault is not primarily in translation; it is in “scholarly commentary”, as in dismissing literal truths as “figurative” wording.

JEREMIAH 9

Call The Mourners

1 “If only my head were a spring and my eyes a fountain of tears, so I could cry day and night for the slain of my 'beloved' people.

2 “If only I had a 'camping' shelter in the wilderness, so that I could leave my people, and get away them! They are all adulterers [idolaters], a bunch of unfaithful people. 3 They bend their tongues like their bows. Lies rather than truths permeate the land. They go from one sin to another, and they don’t know Me,” says Yehovah. 4 “Be on guard against your friends, and don’t trust any brother, since every brother is a deceiver, and every friend is a slanderer. 5 Everyone deceives their acquaintances, refusing to speak the truth. Their tongues have mastered speaking lies, they wear themselves out sinning. 6 You [Targum: people of Jerusalem] live immersed in deception, and because you are deceived you refuse to know Me,” says Yehovah. 7 So this is what Yehovah the Commander says: “I’ll refine them and test them. What else can I do 'with' My 'beloved' people? 8 Their tongues are deadly arrows that utter deceptions. With their mouths they all speak peacefully to their acquaintances, but inwardly they set traps for them. 9 Shouldn’t I punish them for these things,” asks Yehovah? “Shouldn’t I avenge Myself on a nation like this?” 10 I’ll cry and mourn for the mountains, and lament for the wilderness grasslands, because they are so burned up that no one travels thru them. The sound of cattle is no longer heard. The birds in the sky and the animals alike have fled; they’re gone. 11 I’ll make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a lair of dragons, and I’ll destroy the cities of Judah so that they’ll be uninhabitable.”

12 Who is wise enough to understand this? And who has Yehovah revealed this to so that they can explain it? Why is the land ruined and scorched like a desert that no one travels thru?” 13 Yehovah replied, “Because they’ve forsaken My Torah that I set in front of them. They haven’t obeyed what I said, or 'followed' it. 14 Instead, they followed their own stubborn inclinations, and worshiped the Baals the way their ancestors taught them.” 15 So this is what Yehovah the Commander, the Elohim of Israel says: “I’ll feed these people with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink! 16 I’ll scatter them among the nations that they and their ancestors haven’t heard of. I’ll send 'armies' after them until I’ve annihilated them.”

17 This is what Yehovah the Commander says: “Consider calling the professional mourning women to come; and send for the skilled wailing women to come. 18 They should hurry and begin wailing for us, so that our eyes overflow with tears and our eyelids stream with water. 19 The sound of mourning is heard from Zion: ‘How devastated we are! How great is our shame since we’ve abandoned the land, and they’ve torn down our houses.’” 20 “Yet hear the Word of Yehovah, you women, and attune your ears to the words from His mouth. Teach your daughters how to mourn, and women teach your neighbors a dirge. 21 Death climbs thru our windows and has entered our palaces, to eliminate children from the streets, and young men from the city squares. 22 Say, “This is what Yehovah says: ‘Human corpses will fall like manure on the open field, like cut grain behind a reaper, but no one will gather them.’”

23 This is what Yehovah says: “A wise man should never brag about his wisdom; a strong man should never brag about his strength; the rich should never brag about their wealth. 24 But someone who brags should brag about this, that they understand and know Me, that I am Yehovah and I show kindness, justice and righteousness on earth. I delight in these things,” says Yehovah.

25 “The 'time' is coming,” Yehovah says, “when I’ll punish all those who are only circumcised in their flesh: 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, the people of Ammon, Moab, all those who live in the wilderness and shave the sides of their beards; because all these nations are uncircumcised, and the whole House of Israel is 'spiritually' uncircumcised.”

JEREMIAH 10

Decked Out Trees

1 Hear the 'message' that Yehovah has for you, House of Israel! 2 This statement is from Yehovah: “Don’t learn the traditions of other nations, and don’t be in awe of signs in the heavens, because the nations hold them in awe. 3 The traditions of those people are delusional, like when people cut down trees from the forest, the job of a craftsman with an axe. 4 They deck them with silver and gold; they fasten them down with hammers and nails, so that they won’t fall over. 5 They’re like a columnar palm of turned work. They don’t speak, they must be carried, because they can’t move. Don’t be afraid of them, because they can’t do any harm, and they can’t do any good.” 6 No one is like you, Yehovah. You are great, and Your name is great and powerful. 7 Who shouldn’t fear You, King of the nations? This is what you deserve! Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like You. 8 But they’re all stupid and foolish, instructed by tree idols! 9 Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz, the work of craftsmen and the handiwork of goldsmiths. Their clothing is violet and purple—all made by skilled workers. 10 But Yehovah is the true Elohim; He is the living Elohim and the everlasting King. The earth quakes at His wrath, and the nations can’t endure His indignation. 11 You are to tell them: “These gods who didn’t create the heavens and the earth will be exterminated from the earth and from under these heavens.”

12 He made the earth by His power; He established the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding. 13 When His voice sounds there is thunder in the water of the heavens, and He causes the clouds to ascend from the far reaches of the earth. He sends lightning with the rain and brings wind from His treasuries. 14 Everyone is stupid and ignorant. Every goldsmith is put to shame by his carved images, since his cast images are frauds, and there is no 'life' in them. 15 They are worthless products of delusion, when their time of punishment comes, they’ll be destroyed. 16 Jacob’s Portion [Yehovah] isn’t like these. He made everything, and Israel is the tribe of His inheritance. Yehovah the Commander is His name.

17 Pick up your belongings from the ground, you who live under siege. 18 This is what Yehovah says: “I’m slinging everyone living in the land out at this time, and bringing on distress that they’ll feel!” 19 Oh, I’m hurt! My wound is incurable. But I said, “This is certainly my sickness, and I must endure it. 20 My tent is destroyed, and all my tent cords are broken. My children have all left me, and they are no more. There is no one to pitch my tent any more or set up my curtains. 21 The shepherds have become like beasts, and haven’t inquired of Yehovah, so they haven’t prospered, and their whole flock is scattered. 22 The sound of a report is coming—a great commotion from the land to the north! It will make the cities of Judah desolate, a haunt of dragons.”

23 Yehovah, I know that our path of life is not our own, it isn’t within us to 'direct' our steps. 24 Yehovah, correct me, but in measure, not in Your anger. Otherwise You’ll bring me to nothing. 25 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that don’t acknowledge You, and on the families that don’t call on Your name, because they’ve devoured Jacob, they’ve devoured him and finished him off and destroyed his homeland.

JEREMIAH 11

Covenants Have Consequences

1 This is the 'message' that came to Jeremiah from Yehovah: 2 “Listen to the terms of this covenant, and inform the men of Judah, and the residents of Jerusalem. 3 Tell them, ‘Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel says that anyone who doesn’t obey the terms of this covenant is cursed. 4 I commanded your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the iron furnace: ‘Listen to Me, and do everything I command you, so you can be My people, and I can be your Elohim, 5 so I can fulfill the oath that I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is today.’” Then I answered, “Aw-main, Yehovah.” 6 Yehovah told me, “Proclaim this entire 'message' in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, say: ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and do them. 7 I warned your ancestors when I brought them up out of the land of Egypt, even to this very day, saying 'again and again', “Obey what I 'said'.” 8 But they didn’t obey, or 'listen'. Instead, everyone stubbornly 'pursued' their evil thoughts. So I enforced on them all the terms [consequences] of this covenant, that I commanded them to do, since they hadn’t done them.’”

9 “Yehovah told me, “I have discovered a conspiracy among the people of Judah, and the residents of Jerusalem. 10 They have returned to the sins of their ancestors who refused to hear My words, and have pursued other gods to serve them. The House of Israel and the House of Judah have broken the covenant that I made with their ancestors.” 11 So this is what Yehovah says: “I’ll bringing a disaster on them that they won’t be able to escape. They’ll cry out to Me, but I won’t listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem will go and cry to the gods they have been burning incense to, but they certainly won’t save them in their time of disaster. 13 Judah, you have as many gods as you have cities; and the altars you’ve set up to burn incense to that shameful Baal are as numerous as the streets of Jerusalem. 14 So don’t pray for these people, or make any plea or request, because I won’t listen to them when they cry out to Me in the time of their disaster. 15 What right has My beloved in My house when she has done so many vile things? Can sacrificial flesh prevent your disaster so you can celebrate.” 16 Yehovah once described you as a thriving olive tree with beautiful fruit and well shaped. But with the roar of a mighty storm He has set it on fire, and its branches are tormented. 17 For Yehovah the Commander, who planted you, has decreed disaster against you, because of the evil that the House of Israel and of the House of Judah have done. They’ve provoked Me to anger by offering incense to Baal.”

18 Yehovah revealed it to me, making me aware, then He showed me what they were doing. 19 But I was like a gentle lamb being led to the slaughter, and I didn’t realize that they had devised plots against me. They were thinking, “Let’s destroy the tree with its 'fruit', and let’s cut him off from the land of the living, so his name will no longer be remembered.” 20 But Yehovah the Commander, who judges righteously examines 'motives' and 'thoughts', I want to see Your vengeance on them, because I've committed my case to You.

21 So this is what Yehovah says regarding the people of Anathoth who want to kill you, warning, “Don’t prophesy in the name of Yehovah or you’ll die by our hands.” 22 This is Yehovah the Commander’s response: “I’ll punish them. Their young fighting men will die by the sword and their sons and daughters will die of famine. 23 There won’t be any survivors left, because I’ll bring disaster on the people of Anathoth in the year of their punishment!”

JEREMIAH 12

Why Do The Wicked Thrive?

1 You are always righteous, Yehovah, when I bring a case before You. So I would like to discuss a matter of justice with You: Why is wickedness so rewarding? Why are all those treacherous people thriving? 2 You plant them and they take root, they grow, they even produce fruit. They often 'mention' You, but You’re far from their 'thoughts'. 3 But You know me, Yehovah; you see me and examine my thoughts toward You. Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter. Set them aside for the day of butchering! 4 How long must the land mourn, and the vegetation of the countryside wither? Because of the wickedness of those who live there, the animals and the birds have been swept away, because they say, “He can’t see what will happen to us.”

5 If you’ve raced with runners on foot, and they’ve worn you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a peaceful land, then how will you cope with the thickets of the Jordan River? 6 Even your brothers, and your father’s family have betrayed you. They’ve cried aloud against you. Don’t believe them, even if they say nice things to you. 7 I’ve abandoned My house, I’ve renounced My inheritance, I’ve handed the love of My life to her enemies. 8 My inheritance has become like a lion in the forest to me. She roars at me; so I’ve come to hate her. 9 Is my inheritance like a speckled bird of prey to me? Are the birds of prey surrounding her on every side? Go, gather all the wild animals; bring them to devour her. 10 Many shepherds have destroyed My vineyard; they’ve trampled down my field; they’ve turned My pleasant homestead into a desolate wasteland. 11 They’ve made it a desolate wasteland, it mourns to Me. The whole land has been made a wasteland because no one cares about it. 12 Destroyers have come on all the barren heights in the wilderness, so the sword of Yehovah is devouring from the one end of the land to the other. No one has peace. 13 They’ve sown wheat and harvested thorns, they’ve exhausted themselves without showing a profit. You’ll be ashamed of your harvest because of the fierce anger of Yehovah.

14 This is what Yehovah says about all My wicked neighbors who strike out against the inheritance I’ve granted to My people Israel: “I’m about to uproot them from their land, and I’ll uproot the House of Judah from among them. 15 Then after that I’ve uprooted them, I’ll return and have compassion on them, and bring each of them back to their own inheritance, each of them to their own land. 16 Then if they really learn the ways of My people and swear by My name, saying ‘As Yehovah lives’, the way they taught My people to swear by Baal. Then they’ll be established among My people. 17 But if they won’t listen, then I’ll uproot that nation, uproot and destroy it,” says Yehovah.

JEREMIAH 13

The Ruined Linen Belt

1 This is what Yehovah told me: “Go buy yourself a linen belt, and put it around your waist, and don’t let it get wet.” 2 So I bought a belt as the Word of Yehovah directed me, and put it around my waist. 3 The Word of Yehovah came to me again. He said, 4 “Take the belt that you bought, that’s around your waist, and get up, go to the Euphrates River, and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks.” 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as Yehovah had instructed me. 6 After many days, Yehovah told me, “Get up and go to the Euphrates, and get the belt from where I told you to hide it.” 7 So I went to the Euphrates and dug it up and took the belt from where I had hidden it, and the belt was ruined, it was totally worthless. 8 Then The Word of Yehovah came to me. He said, 9 “This is how I’ll allow the pride of Judah and the arrogance of Jerusalem to go to ruin. 10 These wicked people refuse to listen to My Word. They stubbornly follow their own desires, led by other gods [demons] to serve them and to worship them. They will be like this belt that is entirely worthless!” 11 Yehovah says, “I have caused the House of Israel and the entire the