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Old Testament:  2 Samuel 12-13

2 Samuel 12

Nathan Rebukes David
 1  So the LORD sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: "There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor.  2  The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle.  3  The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man's own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter.  4  One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man's lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest."
   5  David was furious. "As surely as the LORD lives," he vowed, "any man who would do such a thing deserves to die!  6  He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity."
   7  Then Nathan said to David, "You are that man! The LORD, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul.  8  I gave you your master's house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more.  9  Why, then, have you despised the word of the LORD and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife.  10  From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah's wife to be your own.
   11  "This is what the LORD says: Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man before your very eyes, and he will go to bed with them in public view.  12  You did it secretly, but I will make this happen to you openly in the sight of all Israel."

David Confesses His Guilt
 13  Then David confessed to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD."
  Nathan replied, "Yes, but the LORD has forgiven you, and you won't die for this sin.  14  Nevertheless, because you have shown utter contempt for the LORD [14]  by doing this, your child will die."
   15  After Nathan returned to his home, the LORD sent a deadly illness to the child of David and Uriah's wife.  16  David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground.  17  The elders of his household pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused.
   18  Then on the seventh day the child died. David's advisers were afraid to tell him. "He wouldn't listen to reason while the child was ill," they said. "What drastic thing will he do when we tell him the child is dead?"
   19  When David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. "Is the child dead?" he asked.
  "Yes," they replied, "he is dead."
   20  Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, [20]  and changed his clothes. He went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the LORD. After that, he returned to the palace and was served food and ate.
   21  His advisers were amazed. "We don't understand you," they told him. "While the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again."
   22  David replied, "I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, `Perhaps the LORD will be gracious to me and let the child live.'  23  But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me."
   24  Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and David [24]  named him Solomon. The LORD loved the child  25  and sent word through Nathan the prophet that they should name him Jedidiah (which means "beloved of the LORD"), as the LORD had commanded. [25] 

David Captures Rabbah
 26  Meanwhile, Joab was fighting against Rabbah, the capital of Ammon, and he captured the royal fortifications. [26]   27  Joab sent messengers to tell David, "I have fought against Rabbah and captured its water supply. [27]   28  Now bring the rest of the army and capture the city. Otherwise, I will capture it and get credit for the victory."
   29  So David gathered the rest of the army and went to Rabbah, and he fought against it and captured it.  30  David removed the crown from the king's head, [30]  and it was placed on his own head. The crown was made of gold and set with gems, and it weighed seventy-five pounds. [30]  David took a vast amount of plunder from the city.  31  He also made slaves of the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with [31]  saws, iron picks, and iron axes, and to work in the brick kilns. [31]  That is how he dealt with the people of all the Ammonite towns. Then David and all the army returned to Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 13

The Rape of Tamar
 1  Now David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. And Amnon, her half brother, fell desperately in love with her.  2  Amnon became so obsessed with Tamar that he became ill. She was a virgin, and Amnon thought he could never have her.
   3  But Amnon had a very crafty friend—his cousin Jonadab. He was the son of David's brother Shimea. [3]   4  One day Jonadab said to Amnon, "What's the trouble? Why should the son of a king look so dejected morning after morning?"
  So Amnon told him, "I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister."
   5  "Well," Jonadab said, "I'll tell you what to do. Go back to bed and pretend you are ill. When your father comes to see you, ask him to let Tamar come and prepare some food for you. Tell him you'll feel better if she prepares it as you watch and feeds you with her own hands."
   6  So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. And when the king came to see him, Amnon asked him, "Please let my sister Tamar come and cook my favorite dish [6]  as I watch. Then I can eat it from her own hands."  7  So David agreed and sent Tamar to Amnon's house to prepare some food for him.
   8  When Tamar arrived at Amnon's house, she went to the place where he was lying down so he could watch her mix some dough. Then she baked his favorite dish for him.  9  But when she set the serving tray before him, he refused to eat. "Everyone get out of here," Amnon told his servants. So they all left.
   10  Then he said to Tamar, "Now bring the food into my bedroom and feed it to me here." So Tamar took his favorite dish to him.  11  But as she was feeding him, he grabbed her and demanded, "Come to bed with me, my darling sister."
   12  "No, my brother!" she cried. "Don't be foolish! Don't do this to me! Such wicked things aren't done in Israel.  13  Where could I go in my shame? And you would be called one of the greatest fools in Israel. Please, just speak to the king about it, and he will let you marry me."
   14  But Amnon wouldn't listen to her, and since he was stronger than she was, he raped her.  15  Then suddenly Amnon's love turned to hate, and he hated her even more than he had loved her. "Get out of here!" he snarled at her.
   16  "No, no!" Tamar cried. "Sending me away now is worse than what you've already done to me."
  But Amnon wouldn't listen to her.  17  He shouted for his servant and demanded, "Throw this woman out, and lock the door behind her!"
   18  So the servant put her out and locked the door behind her. She was wearing a long, beautiful robe, [18]  as was the custom in those days for the king's virgin daughters.  19  But now Tamar tore her robe and put ashes on her head. And then, with her face in her hands, she went away crying.
   20  Her brother Absalom saw her and asked, "Is it true that Amnon has been with you? Well, my sister, keep quiet for now, since he's your brother. Don't you worry about it." So Tamar lived as a desolate woman in her brother Absalom's house.
   21  When King David heard what had happened, he was very angry. [21]   22  And though Absalom never spoke to Amnon about this, he hated Amnon deeply because of what he had done to his sister.

Absalom's Revenge on Amnon
 23  Two years later, when Absalom's sheep were being sheared at Baal-hazor near Ephraim, Absalom invited all the king's sons to come to a feast.  24  He went to the king and said, "My sheep-shearers are now at work. Would the king and his servants please come to celebrate the occasion with me?"
   25  The king replied, "No, my son. If we all came, we would be too much of a burden on you." Absalom pressed him, but the king would not come, though he gave Absalom his blessing.
   26  "Well, then," Absalom said, "if you can't come, how about sending my brother Amnon with us?"
  "Why Amnon?" the king asked.  27  But Absalom kept on pressing the king until he finally agreed to let all his sons attend, including Amnon. So Absalom prepared a feast fit for a king. [27] 
   28  Absalom told his men, "Wait until Amnon gets drunk; then at my signal, kill him! Don't be afraid. I'm the one who has given the command. Take courage and do it!"  29  So at Absalom's signal they murdered Amnon. Then the other sons of the king jumped on their mules and fled.
   30  As they were on the way back to Jerusalem, this report reached David: "Absalom has killed all the king's sons; not one is left alive!"  31  The king got up, tore his robe, and threw himself on the ground. His advisers also tore their clothes in horror and sorrow.
   32  But just then Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shimea, arrived and said, "No, don't believe that all the king's sons have been killed! It was only Amnon! Absalom has been plotting this ever since Amnon raped his sister Tamar.  33  No, my lord the king, your sons aren't all dead! It was only Amnon."  34  Meanwhile Absalom escaped.
  Then the watchman on the Jerusalem wall saw a great crowd coming down the hill on the road from the west. He ran to tell the king, "I see a crowd of people coming from the Horonaim road along the side of the hill."&
   35  "Look!" Jonadab told the king. "There they are now! The king's sons are coming, just as I said."
   36  They soon arrived, weeping and sobbing, and the king and all his servants wept bitterly with them.  37  And David mourned many days for his son Amnon.
  Absalom fled to his grandfather, Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur.  38  He stayed there in Geshur for three years.  39  And King David, [39]  now reconciled to Amnon's death, longed to be reunited with his son Absalom. [39] 
<<  12:14 As in Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text reads the L<%=ftSC%>ORD's enemies.
<<  12:20 Hebrew anointed himself.
<<  12:24 Hebrew he; an alternate Hebrew reading and some Hebrew manuscripts read she.
<<  12:25 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads because of the L<%=ftSC%>ORD.
<<  12:26 Or the royal city.
<<  12:27 Or captured the city of water.
<<  12:30a Or from the head of Milcom (as in Greek version). Milcom, also called Molech, was the god of the Ammonites. 12:30b Hebrew 1 talent [34 kilograms].
<<  12:31a Or He also brought out the people of Rabbah and put them under. 12:31b Or and he made them pass through the brick kilns.
<<  13:3 Hebrew Shimeah (also in 13:32), a variant spelling of Shimea; compare 1 Chr 2:13.
<<  13:6 Or a couple of cakes; also in 13:8, 10.
<<  13:18 Or a robe with sleeves, or an ornamented robe. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
<<  13:21 Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek version add But he did not punish his son Amnon, because he loved him, for he was his firstborn.
<<  13:27 As in Greek and Latin versions (compare also Dead Sea Scrolls); the Hebrew text lacks this sentence.
<<  13:34 As in Greek version; Hebrew lacks this sentence.
<<  13:39a Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek version read And the spirit of the king. 13:39b Or no longer felt a need to go out after Absalom.

New Testament:  Luke 16

Luke 16

Parable of the Shrewd Manager
 1  Jesus told this story to his disciples: "There was a certain rich man who had a manager handling his affairs. One day a report came that the manager was wasting his employer's money.  2  So the employer called him in and said, `What's this I hear about you? Get your report in order, because you are going to be fired.'
   3  "The manager thought to himself, `Now what? My boss has fired me. I don't have the strength to dig ditches, and I'm too proud to beg.  4  Ah, I know how to ensure that I'll have plenty of friends who will give me a home when I am fired.'
   5  "So he invited each person who owed money to his employer to come and discuss the situation. He asked the first one, `How much do you owe him?'  6  The man replied, `I owe him 800 gallons of olive oil.' So the manager told him, `Take the bill and quickly change it to 400 gallons. [6] '
   7  "`And how much do you owe my employer?' he asked the next man. `I owe him 1,000 bushels of wheat,' was the reply. `Here,' the manager said, `take the bill and change it to 800 bushels. [7] '
   8  "The rich man had to admire the dishonest rascal for being so shrewd. And it is true that the children of this world are more shrewd in dealing with the world around them than are the children of the light.  9  "Here's the lesson: Use your worldly resources to benefit others and make friends. Then, when your earthly possessions are gone, they will welcome you to an eternal home."    10  "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities."  11  And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?  12  And if you are not faithful with other people's things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?
   13  "No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money."    14  The Pharisees, who dearly loved their money, heard all this and scoffed at him.  15  Then he said to them, "You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God.
   16  "Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in. [16]   17  But that doesn't mean that the law has lost its force. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the smallest point of God's law to be overturned.
   18  "For example, a man who divorces his wife and marries someone else commits adultery. And anyone who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery."

Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus
 19  Jesus said, "There was a certain rich man who was splendidly clothed in purple and fine linen and who lived each day in luxury.  20  At his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus who was covered with sores.  21  As Lazarus lay there longing for scraps from the rich man's table, the dogs would come and lick his open sores.
   22  "Finally, the poor man died and was carried by the angels to be with Abraham. [22]  The rich man also died and was buried,  23  and his soul went to the place of the dead. [23]  There, in torment, he saw Abraham in the far distance with Lazarus at his side.
   24  "The rich man shouted, `Father Abraham, have some pity! Send Lazarus over here to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. I am in anguish in these flames.'
   25  "But Abraham said to him, `Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish.  26  And besides, there is a great chasm separating us. No one can cross over to you from here, and no one can cross over to us from there.'
   27  "Then the rich man said, `Please, Father Abraham, at least send him to my father's home.  28  For I have five brothers, and I want him to warn them so they don't end up in this place of torment.'
   29  "But Abraham said, `Moses and the prophets have warned them. Your brothers can read what they wrote.'
   30  "The rich man replied, `No, Father Abraham! But if someone is sent to them from the dead, then they will repent of their sins and turn to God.'
   31  "But Abraham said, `If they won't listen to Moses and the prophets, they won't listen even if someone rises from the dead.'"
<<  16:6 Greek 100 baths . . . 50 [baths].
<<  16:7 Greek 100 korous . . . 80 [korous].
<<  16:9 Or you will be welcomed into eternal homes.
<<  16:16 Or everyone is urged to enter in.
<<  16:22 Greek into Abraham's bosom.
<<  16:23 Greek to Hades.

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