Let them praise your great and awesome name. He is Holy! Psalm 99:3

Judges 8-9

Judges 8

Gideon Defeats Zebah and Zalmunna

1 The men of Ephraim said to Gideon, “Why have you treated us this way, that you didn’t call for us when you went to fight with Midian?” They rebuked him sharply. 2 He said to 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 The Lord has delivered into your hand the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb! What was I able to do in comparison with you?” Then their anger was abated toward him when he had said that.

4 Gideon came to the Jordan and passed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, faint, yet pursuing.

5 He said to the men of Succoth, “Please give loaves of bread to the people who follow me; for they are faint, and I am pursuing Zebah and Zalmunna, the kings of Midian.”

6 The princes of Succoth said, “Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your army?”

7 Gideon said, “Therefore when the Lord has delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.”

8 He went up there to Penuel, and spoke to them in the same way; and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered. 9 He spoke also to the men of Penuel, saying, “When I come back in peace, I will break down this tower.”

10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their armies with them, about 15,000 men, all who were left of all the army of the people of the east; for 120,000 swordsmen fell.

11 Gideon went up by the way of those who lived in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and struck the army; for the army felt secure. 12 Zebah and Zalmunna fled, and he pursued them. He took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and confused all the army. 13 Gideon, the son of Joash, returned from the battle from the ascent of Heres. 14 He caught a young man from the men of Succoth, and inquired of him; and he described for him the princes of Succoth, and its elders, 77 men. 15 He came to the men of Succoth, and said, “See Zebah and Zalmunna, concerning whom you taunted me, saying, ‘Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in your hand, that we should give bread to your men who are weary?’ ” 16 He took the elders of the city, and with the thorns of the wilderness and briers, he disciplined 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 whom you killed at Tabor?”
They answered, “They were like you. They all resembled the children of a king.”

19 He said, “They were my brothers, the sons of my mother. As the Lord lives, if you had let them live, I would not kill you.”

20 He said to Jether his firstborn, “Get up and kill them!” But the youth did not draw his sword; for he was afraid, because he was yet a youth.

21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, “You rise and fall on us; for as the man is, so is his strength.” Gideon arose, and killed Zebah and Zalmunna, and took the crescents that were on the necks of their camels.

Gideon’s Ephod

22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, both you, your son, and your son’s son also; for you have saved us out of the hand of Midian.”

23 Gideon said to them, “I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you. The Lord shall rule over you.”

24 Gideon said to them, “I do have a request: that you would each give me the earrings of his plunder.” (For 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 plunder into it. 26 The weight of the golden earrings that he requested was 43 pounds of gold, in addition to the crescents, and the pendants, and the purple clothing that was on the kings of Midian, and in addition to the chains that were around their camels’ necks. 27 Gideon made an ephod out of it, and put it in Ophrah, his city. Then all Israel played the prostitute with it there; and it became a snare to Gideon and to his house.

Forty Years of Peace

28 So Midian was subdued before the Israelites, and they raised their heads no more. The land had rest for 40 years in the days of Gideon.

29 Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and lived in his own house. 30 Gideon had 70 sons conceived from his body, for he had many wives. 31 His concubine who was in Shechem also bore him a son, and he named him Abimelech.

Gideon’s Death

32 Gideon the son of Joash died at a good old age, and was buried in the tomb of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

33 As soon as Gideon was dead, the Israelites turned back and played the prostitute following the Baals, and made Baal Berith their god. 34 The Israelites did not remember the Lord their God, who had delivered them from the hand of all their enemies on every side; 35 neither did they show kindness to the house of Jerubbaal (that is, Gideon) according to all the goodness which he had shown to Israel.

Judges 9

Abimelech’s Conspiracy

1 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, saying, 2 “Please speak in the ears of all the men of Shechem, ‘Is it better for you that all the sons of Jerubbaal, who are 70 persons, rule over you, or that one rule over you?’ Remember also that I am your flesh and blood.”

3 His maternal uncles spoke of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words. Their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, “He is our brother.” 4 They gave him 70 pieces of silver out of the house of Baal Berith, with which Abimelech hired vain and reckless fellows who followed him. 5 He went to his father’s house at Ophrah, and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, being 70 persons, on one stone; but Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, for he hid himself. 6 All the men of Shechem assembled together with all the house of Millo, and went and made Abimelech king by the oak of the pillar that was in Shechem.

Jotham’s Parable

7 When they told it to Jotham, he went and stood on the top of Mount Gerizim and lifted up his voice, cried out, and said to them,

“Listen to me, you men of Shechem,
that the Lord may listen to you.
8 The trees set out to anoint a king over themselves.
They said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’

9 “But the olive tree said to them,
‘Should I stop producing my oil,
with which they honor the Lord and man by me,
and go to wave back and forth over the trees?’

10 “The trees said to the fig tree,
‘Come and reign over us.’

11 “But the fig tree said to them,
‘Should I leave my sweetness, and my good fruit,
and go to wave back and forth over the trees?’

12 “The trees said to the vine,
‘Come and reign over us.’

13 “The vine said to them,
‘Should I leave my new wine, which cheers the Lord and man,
and go to wave back and forth over the trees?’

14 “Then all the trees said to the bramble,
‘Come and reign over us.’

15 “The bramble said to the trees,
‘If in truth you anoint me king over you,
then come and take refuge in my shade;
and if not, let fire come out of the bramble,
and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’

16 “Now therefore, if you have dealt truly and righteously, in making Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done for him according to what he deserves for the work of his hands 17 (for my father fought for you, risked his life, and delivered you from the hand of Midian; 18 and you have risen up against my father’s house today and have slain his sons, 70 persons, on one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his female servant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother); 19 if you then have dealt truly and righteously with Jerubbaal and with his house today, then rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you;  20 but if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and devour the men of Shechem and the house of Millo; and let 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.

Gaal Conspires with the Shechemites

22 Abimelech was prince over Israel for three years. 23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, 24 that the violence done to the 70 sons of Jerubbaal might come, and that their blood might be laid on Abimelech their brother who killed them, and on the men of Shechem who strengthened his hands to kill his brothers. 25 The men of Shechem set an ambush for him on the tops of the mountains, and they robbed all who came along that way by them; and Abimelech was told about it.

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, harvested their vineyards, trod the grapes, celebrated, 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? Isn’t Zebul his officer? Serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem, but why should we serve Abimelech? 29 I wish that this people were under my hand! 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 burned. 31 He sent messengers to Abimelech craftily, saying, “Gaal the son of Ebed and his brothers have come to Shechem; and they are inciting the city against you. 32 Now therefore, go up by night, you and the people who are with you, and lie in wait in the field. 33 It shall be that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, you shall rise early and rush on the city. When he and the people who are with him come out against you, then may you do to them as you shall find occasion.”

Abimelech Sows the City with Salt

34 Abimelech rose up, and all the people who were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies. 35 Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city. Abimelech rose 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 said to him, “You see the shadows of the mountains as if they were men.”

37 Gaal spoke again and said, “Look! People are coming down by the middle of the land, and one company is coming by the way of the oak of Meonenim.”

38 Then Zebul said to him, “Now where is your mouth, that you said, ‘Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him?’ Isn’t this the people that you have despised? Please go out now and fight with them.”

39 Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. 40 Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many fell wounded, up to the entrance of the gate. 41 Abimelech lived at Arumah; and Zebul drove out Gaal and his brothers, that they should not dwell in Shechem.

42 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 wait in the field; and he looked, and the people came out of the city. So, he rose up against them and struck them.

44 Abimelech and the companies that were with him rushed forward and stood in the entrance of the gate of the city; and the two companies rushed on all 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 in it. He beat down the city and sowed it with salt.

46 When all the men of the tower of Shechem heard of it, they entered into the stronghold of the house of Elberith.

47 Abimelech was told that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. 48 Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people who were with him; and Abimelech took an ax in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it up, and laid it on his shoulder. Then he said to the people who were with him, “What you have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done!” 49 All the people likewise each cut down his bough, followed Abimelech, and put them at the base of the stronghold, and set the stronghold on fire over them, so that all the people of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.

A Millstone Dropped on Abimelech

50 Then Abimelech went to Thebez and encamped against Thebez, and took it. 51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and all the men and women of the city fled there, and shut themselves in, and went up to the roof of the tower. 52 Abimelech came to the tower and fought against it, and came near to the door of the tower to burn it with fire. 53 A certain woman cast an upper millstone on Abimelech’s head, and broke his skull.

54 Then he called hastily to the young man, his armor bearer, and said to him, “Draw your sword and kill me, that men not say of me, ‘A woman killed him.’ His young man thrust him through, and he died.”

55 When the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they each departed to his place.

Jotham’s Curse Fulfilled

56 Thus the Lord repaid the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did to his father in killing his 70 brothers; 57 and the Lord repaid all the wickedness of the men of Shechem on their heads; and the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal came on them.

Luke 23:44-24:12

The Death of Jesus

44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 45 The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Having said this, he breathed his last.

47 When the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous man.” 48 All the multitudes that came together to see this, when they saw the things that were done, returned home beating their breasts. 49 All his acquaintances and the women who followed with him from Galilee stood at a distance, watching these things.

The Burial of Jesus

50 A man named Joseph, who was a member of the Sanhedrin, a good and righteous man 51 (he had not consented to their counsel and action), from Arimathaea, a city of the Jews, who was also waiting for the Kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate, and asked for Jesus’ body. 53 He took it down, and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb that was cut in stone, where no one had ever been laid.

54 It was the day of the Preparation, and the Sabbath was drawing near. 55 The women, who had come with him out of Galilee, followed after, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid. 56 They returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

Luke 24

The Resurrection

1 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they and some others came to the tomb, bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 They entered in, and did not find the Lord Jesus’ body. 4 While they were greatly perplexed about this, two men stood by them in dazzling clothing.

5 Becoming terrified, they bowed their faces down to the earth.
They said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen. Remember what he told you when he was still in Galilee, 7 saying that the Son of Man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and the third day rise again?”

8 They remembered his words, 9 returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest.

10 Now they were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James. The other women with them told these things to the apostles. 11 These words seemed to them to be nonsense, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter got up and ran to the tomb. Stooping and looking in, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he departed to his home, wondering what had happened.

Psalm 99

1 The Lord reigns! Let the peoples tremble.
He sits enthroned among the cherubim.
Let the earth be moved.
2 The Lord is great in Zion.
He is high above all the peoples.
3 Let them praise your great and awesome name.
He is Holy!

4 The King has strength and also loves justice.
You establish equity.
You execute justice and righteousness in Jacob.
5 Exalt the Lord our God.
Worship at his footstool.
He is Holy!

6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel was among those who call on his name.
They called on the Lord, and he answered them.
7 He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud.
They kept his testimonies,
the statute that he gave them.
8 You answered them, Lord our God.
You are a God who forgave them,
although you took vengeance for their actions.
9 Exalt the Lord, our God.
Worship at his holy hill,
for the Lord, our God, is holy!

Proverbs 14:9-10

9 Fools mock at making atonement for sins,
but among the upright there is good will.
10 The heart knows its own bitterness and joy;
he will not share these with a stranger.

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