O Lord, how many are your works! In wisdom, you have made them all. The earth is full of your riches. Psalm 104:24
The Levite and his Concubine
1 In those days, when there was no king in Israel, there was a certain Levite living on the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim, who took for himself a concubine from Bethlehem Judah. 2 His concubine was unfaithful to him and went away from him to her father’s house to Bethlehem Judah, and was there for four months. 3 Her husband got up and went after her to speak kindly to her, to bring her back, having his servant with him and a couple of donkeys. 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, kept him there; and he stayed with him for three days. So they ate and drank, and stayed there.
5 On the fourth day, they got up early in the morning, and he rose up to depart. The young lady’s father said to his son-in-law, “Strengthen your heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward you shall go your way.” 6 So they sat down, ate, and drank, both of them together. Then the young lady’s father said to the man, “Please be content to stay all night and enjoy yourself.” 7 The man rose up to depart; but his father-in-law urged him, and he stayed there again. 8 He arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the young lady’s father said, “Please strengthen your heart and stay until the day declines,” and they both ate.
9 When the man and his concubine, and his servant rose up to depart, his father-in-law, the young lady’s father, said to him, “Now the day is drawing toward evening, please stay all night. The day is ending. Stay here, that you may enjoy yourself; and tomorrow go on your way early, that you may go home.”
10 But the man would not stay that night, but he rose up and went near Jebus (also called Jerusalem). With him were a couple of saddled donkeys. His concubine also was with him.
11 When they were by Jebus, the day was almost over; and the servant said to his master, “Please come and let’s enter into this city of the Jebusites, and stay in it.”
12 His master said to him, “We won’t enter into the city of a foreigner that is not of the Israelites; but we will pass over to Gibeah.” 13 He said to his servant, “Come and let’s draw near to one of these places; and we will lodge in Gibeah, or in Ramah.” 14 So they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down on them near Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin. 15 They went over there, to go in to stay in Gibeah. He went in, and sat down in the street of the city; for there was no one who took them into his house to stay.
16 An old man came from his work out of the field at evening. Now the man was from the hill country of Ephraim, and he lived in Gibeah; but the men of the place were Benjamites. 17 He looked up and saw the wayfaring man in the street of the city; and the old man said, “Where are you going? Where did you come from?”
18 He said to him, “We are passing from Bethlehem Judah to the farther side of the hill country of Ephraim. I am from there, and I went to Bethlehem Judah. I am going to the house of the Lord; and there is no one who has taken me into his house. 19 Yet there is both straw and feed for our donkeys; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for your servant, 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! Just let me supply all your needs, but don’t sleep in the street.” 21 So he brought him into his house, and gave the donkeys fodder. Then they washed their feet, and ate and drank.
22 As they were enjoying themselves, the men of the city, certain wicked 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, that we can have sex with him!”
23 The man, the master of the house, went out to them, and said to them, “No, my brothers, please don’t act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, don’t do this disgraceful thing. 24 Here is my virgin daughter and his concubine. I will bring them out now. Humble them, and do with them what seems good to you; but to this man don’t do any such disgraceful thing .”
25 But the men would not 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. When the day began to dawn, they let her go. 26 Then the woman came in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her master was, until it was light.
27 Her master rose up in the morning and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way; and the woman, his concubine, had fallen down at the door of the house, with her hands on the threshold.
28 He said to her, “Get up, and let’s get going!” but no one answered. Then he took her up on the donkey; and the man rose up, and went to his place.
29 When he had come into his house, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, and divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the borders of Israel. 30 And so it was, that all who saw it said, “Such a deed has not been done or seen from the day that the Israelites came up out of the land of Egypt to this day! Consider it, take counsel, and speak.”
The Decrees of the Assembly
1 Then all the Israelites went out, and the congregation was assembled as one man, from Dan to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, before the Lord at Mizpah. 2 The leaders of all the people, all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of the Lord, 400,000 footmen who drew the sword. 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 that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to spend the night. 5 The men of Gibeah rose against me, and surrounded the house by night. They intended to kill me and they raped my concubine, and she is dead. 6 I took my concubine and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel; for they have committed lewdness and disgrace in Israel. 7 You Israelites, all of you, give here your advice and counsel.”
8 All the people arose as one man, saying, “None of us will go to his tent, neither will any of us return to his house. 9 But now this is what we will do to Gibeah: we will go up against it by lot; 10 and we will take ten men out of every 100 throughout all the tribes of Israel, and 100 out of 1,000, and 1,000 out of 10,000 to get food for the people, so that when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, they may repay them according to all the disgrace that the men of Gibeah have 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 through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, “What wickedness is this that has happened among you? 13 Now therefore deliver up the men, the wicked men who are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death and put away evil from Israel.”
But Benjamin would not listen to the voice of their brothers, the Israelites. 14 The Benjaminites gathered together from the cities to Gibeah, to go out to battle against the Israelites.
15 The Benjaminites were counted on that day from the cities, 26,000 men who drew the sword, in addition to the inhabitants of Gibeah, who were counted, 700 chosen men. 16 Among all these soldiers there were 700 chosen men who were left-handed. Every one of them could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.
17 The men of Israel, besides Benjamin, were counted 400,000 men who drew sword. All these were men of war.
Civil War against Benjamin
18 The Israelites arose, went up to Bethel, and asked counsel of the Lord. They asked, “Who shall go up for us first to battle against the Benjaminites?”
The Lord said, “Judah first.”
19 The Israelites rose up in the morning and encamped 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 on that day destroyed 22,000 of the Israelite men down to the ground. 22 The people, the men of Israel, took courage, and set themselves in battle formation again in in the place where they had arrayed themselves the first day. 23 The Israelites went up and wept before the Lord until evening; and they asked of the Lord, saying, “Shall I again draw near to battle against the descendants of Benjamin my brother?”
The Lord said, “Go up against him.”
Defeat of the Benjamites
24 The Israelites came near against the Benjaminites the second day. 25 Benjamin went out against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites again 18,000 men. All these drew the sword.
26 Then all the Israelites and all the people went up, and came to Bethel, and wept, and sat there before the Lord, and fasted that day until evening; then they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. 27 The Israelites asked the Lord (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, 28 and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days), saying, “Shall I yet again go out to battle against the descendants of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease?”
The Lord said, “Go up; for tomorrow I will deliver him into your hand.”
29 Israel set ambushes all around Gibeah. 30 The Israelites went up against the Benjaminites on the third day, and set themselves in battle formation against Gibeah, as at other times. 31 The Benjaminites went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to strike and kill some of the people as at other times, in the highways, one of which one goes up to Bethel and the other to Gibeah, in the field, about 30 men of Israel.
32 The Benjaminites said, “They are struck down before us, like the first time.” But the Israelites said, “Let’s flee, and draw them away from the city to the highways.”
33 All the men of Israel rose up out of their place and set themselves in array at Baal Tamar. Then the Israelites in ambush broke out of their place, from Maareh Geba. 34 Ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel came over against Gibeah, and the battle was severe; but they did not know that disaster was close to them. 35 The Lord struck Benjamin before Israel; and the Israelites destroyed of 25,100 Benjaminite swordsmen that day.
36 So the Benjaminites saw that they were struck, for the men of Israel yielded to Benjamin because they trusted the Israelites in ambush whom they had set against Gibeah.
37 The Israelites in ambush hurried, and rushed on Gibeah; then the Israelites in ambush spread out, and struck the entire city with the edge of the sword. 38 Now the appointed sign between the men of Israel and the Israelites in ambush 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 of the men of Israel about 30 people; for they said, “Surely they are struck down before us, like the first battle.”
40 But when the cloud began to rise up out of the city in a pillar of smoke, the Benjaminites looked behind them; and the whole city went up in smoke to the sky. 41 The men of Israel turned, and the men of Benjamin were dismayed; for they saw that disaster had come on them. 42 Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel to the way of the wilderness, but the battle followed hard after them; and those who came out of the cities destroyed them in the midst of it. 43 They surrounded the Benjaminites, chased them, and trod them down at their resting place, as far as near Gibeah toward the sunrise. 44 Eighteen thousand men of Benjamin fell; all these were warriors. 45 They turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon. They killed 5,000 of them in the highways, and followed hard after them to Gidom, and struck down 2,000 more of them.
46 So that all who fell that day of Benjamin were 25,000 men who drew the sword. All these were warriors. 47 But 600 men turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon, and stayed in the rock of Rimmon for four months. 48 The men of Israel turned again on the Benjaminites, and struck them with the edge of the sword—including the entire city, the livestock, and all that they found. Moreover they set all the cities which they found on fire.
John’s Testimony Concerning Jesus
22 After these things, Jesus came with his disciples into the land of Judea. He stayed there with them and baptized. 23 John also was baptizing in Enon near Salim, because there was much water there. They came and were baptized; 24 for John was not yet thrown into prison.
25 Therefore a dispute arose on the part of John’s disciples with some Jews about purification. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, he baptizes, and everyone is coming to him.”
27 John answered, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah,’ but, ‘I have been sent before him.’ 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the voice of the bridegroom. This, my joy, therefore is made full. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 What he has seen and heard, of that he testifies; and no one receives his witness. 33 He who has received his witness has set his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for God gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. 36 One who believes in the Son has eternal life, but one who disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
1 Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself didn’t baptize, but his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed into Galilee. 4 He needed to pass through Samaria.
5 So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being tired from his journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.
24 O Lord, how many are your works!
In wisdom, you have made them all.
The earth is full of your riches.
25 There is the sea, great and wide,
in which are innumerable living things,
both small and large animals.
26 There the ships go,
and leviathan, whom you formed to play there.
27 These all wait for you,
that you may give them their food in due season.
28 You give to them; they gather.
You open your hand; they are satisfied with good things.
29 You hide your face; they are troubled.
You take away their breath; they die and return to the dust.
30 You send forth your Spirit and they are created.
You renew the face of the earth.
31 Let glory of the Lord endure forever.
Let the Lord rejoice in his works.
32 He looks at the earth, and it trembles.
He touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praise to my God while I have any being.
34 Let my meditation be sweet to him.
I will rejoice in the Lord.
35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth.
Let the wicked be no more.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
Praise the Lord!
22 Do they not go astray who plot evil?
But love and faithfulness belong to those who plan good.
23 In all hard work there is profit,
but the talk of the lips leads only to poverty.
24 The crown of the wise is their riches,
but the folly of fools crowns them with folly.