These words of Ish-bosheth really angered Abner and he said, “Am I the head of a dog that belongs to Judah? This very day I am demonstrating 1 loyalty to the house of Saul your father and to his relatives 2 and his friends! I have not betrayed you into the hand of David. Yet you have accused me of sinning with this woman today! 3
Gad went to David and told him, “Shall seven 1 years of famine come upon your land? Or shall you flee for three months from your enemy with him in hot pursuit? Or shall there be three days of plague in your land? Now decide 2 what I should tell the one who sent me.”
“You know what Joab son of Zeruiah did to me – how he murdered two commanders of the Israelite armies, Abner son of Ner and Amasa son of Jether. 1 During peacetime he struck them down like he would in battle; 2 when he shed their blood as if in battle, he stained his own belt and the sandals on his feet. 3
King Ahaz ordered Uriah the priest, “On the large altar 1 offer the morning burnt sacrifice, the evening grain offering, the royal burnt sacrifices and grain offering, the burnt sacrifice for all the people of Israel, their grain offering, and their libations. Sprinkle all the blood of the burnt sacrifice and other sacrifices on it. The bronze altar will be for my personal use.” 2
three 1 years of famine, or three months being chased by your enemies and struck down by their swords, 2 or three days being struck down by the Lord, during which a plague will invade the land and the Lord’s messenger will destroy throughout Israel’s territory.’ 3 Now, decide what I should tell the one who sent me.”
Asa prayed 1 to the Lord his God: “O Lord, there is no one but you who can help the weak when they are vastly outnumbered. 2 Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on you and have marched on your behalf against this huge army. 3 O Lord our God, don’t let men prevail against you!” 4
When all this was over, the Israelites 1 who were in the cities of Judah went out and smashed the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherah poles, and demolished 2 all the high places and altars throughout Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Manasseh. 3 Then all the Israelites returned to their own homes in their cities. 4
So now take 1 seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job will intercede 2 for you, and I will respect him, 3 so that I do not deal with you 4 according to your folly, 5 because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has.” 6
The Lover to His Beloved: I have entered my garden, O my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my balsam spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk! The Poet to the Couple: 1 Eat, friends, and drink! 2 Drink freely, O lovers!
“If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and becomes another man’s wife, he may not take her back again. 1 Doing that would utterly defile the land. 2 But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods. 3 So what makes you think you can return to me?” 4 says the Lord.
Once again there will be sounds 1 of joy and gladness and the glad celebrations of brides and grooms. 2 Once again people will bring their thank offerings to the temple of the Lord and will say, “Give thanks to the Lord who rules over all. For the Lord is good and his unfailing love lasts forever.” 3 For I, the Lord, affirm 4 that I will restore the land to what it was 5 in days of old.’ 6
I sent all my servants the prophets to warn you over and over again. They said, “Every one of you, stop doing the evil things you have been doing and do what is right. 1 Do not pay allegiance to other gods 2 and worship them. Then you can continue to live in this land that I gave to you and your ancestors.” But you did not pay any attention or listen to me.
Before Jeremiah could turn to leave, the captain of the guard added, “Go back 1 to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon appointed to govern 2 the towns of Judah. Go back and live with him 3 among the people. Or go wherever else you choose.” Then the captain of the guard gave Jeremiah some food and a present and let him go.
“When a righteous person turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I set an obstacle 1 before him, he will die. If you have not warned him, he will die for his sin. The righteous deeds he performed will not be considered, but I will hold you accountable for his death.
“A son naturally honors his father and a slave respects 1 his master. If I am your 2 father, where is my honor? If I am your master, where is my respect? The Lord who rules over all asks you this, you priests who make light of my name! But you reply, ‘How have we made light of your name?’