This failure on your part isn’t good! 1 As surely as the Lord lives, you people who have not protected your lord, the Lord’s chosen one, are as good as dead! 2 Now look where the king’s spear and the jug of water that was by his head are!”
So Saul disguised himself and put on other clothing and left, accompanied by two of his men. They came to the woman at night and said, “Use your ritual pit to conjure up for me the one I tell you.” 1
David said to the messenger, “Tell Joab, ‘Don’t let this thing upset you. 1 There is no way to anticipate whom the sword will cut down. 2 Press the battle against the city and conquer 3 it.’ Encourage him with these words.” 4
Amasa did not protect himself from the knife in Joab’s other hand, and Joab 1 stabbed him in the abdomen, causing Amasa’s 2 intestines to spill out on the ground. There was no need to stab him again; the first blow was fatal. 3 Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bicri.
When the king heard what the prophet 1 cried out against the altar in Bethel, Jeroboam, standing at the altar, extended his hand 2 and ordered, 3 “Seize him!” The hand he had extended shriveled up 4 and he could not pull it back.
He followed in his father Asa’s footsteps and was careful to do what the Lord approved. 1 (22:44) 2 However, the high places were not eliminated; the people continued to offer sacrifices and burn incense on the high places.
Elijah 1 said to the king, 2 “This is what the Lord says, ‘You sent messengers to seek an oracle from Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron. You must think there is no God in Israel from whom you can seek an oracle! 3 Therefore you will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die.’” 4
When Josiah turned around, he saw the tombs there on the hill. So he ordered the bones from the tombs to be brought; 1 he burned them on the altar and defiled it. This fulfilled the Lord’s announcement made by the prophet while Jeroboam stood by the altar during a festival. King Josiah 2 turned and saw the grave of the prophet who had foretold this. 3
He ordered the altars of the Baals to be torn down, 1 and broke the incense altars that were above them. He smashed the Asherah poles, idols and images, crushed them up and sprinkled the dust over the tombs of those who had sacrificed to them.
Even if a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years – even if he lives a long, long time, 1 but cannot enjoy his prosperity – even if he were to live forever 2 – I would say, “A stillborn child 3 is better off than he is!” 4
For you say, “We have made a treaty with death, with Sheol 1 we have made an agreement. 2 When the overwhelming judgment sweeps by 3 it will not reach us. For we have made a lie our refuge, we have hidden ourselves in a deceitful word.” 4
This is a message 1 about the animals in the Negev: Through a land of distress and danger, inhabited by lionesses and roaring lions, 2 by snakes and darting adders, 3 they transport 4 their wealth on the backs of donkeys, their riches on the humps of camels, to a nation that cannot help them. 5
Why does no one challenge me when I come? Why does no one respond when I call? 1 Is my hand too weak 2 to deliver 3 you? Do I lack the power to rescue you? Look, with a mere shout 4 I can dry up the sea; I can turn streams into a desert, so the fish rot away and die from lack of water. 5
We are all like one who is unclean, all our so-called righteous acts are like a menstrual rag in your sight. 1 We all wither like a leaf; our sins carry us away like the wind.
You people of this generation, listen to what the Lord says. “Have I been like a wilderness to you, Israel? Have I been like a dark and dangerous land to you? 1 Why then do you 2 say, ‘We are free to wander. 3 We will not come to you any more?’
They will be spread out and exposed to the sun, the moon and the stars. 1 These are things they 2 adored and served, things to which they paid allegiance, 3 from which they sought guidance, and worshiped. The bones of these people 4 will never be regathered and reburied. They will be like manure used to fertilize the ground. 5
The people to whom they are prophesying will die through war and famine. Their bodies will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem 1 and there will be no one to bury them. This will happen to the men and their wives, their sons, and their daughters. 2 For I will pour out on them the destruction they deserve.” 3
But you, Lord, know all their plots to kill me. Do not pardon their crimes! Do not ignore their sins as though you had erased them! 1 Let them be brought down in defeat before you! Deal with them while you are still angry! 2
So 1 the Lord has this to say about Josiah’s son, King Jehoiakim of Judah: People will not mourn for him, saying, “This makes me sad, my brother! This makes me sad, my sister!” They will not mourn for him, saying, “Poor, poor lord! Poor, poor majesty!” 2