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1 Kings 2:1-3:2

David’s Charge to Solomon

When David’s time to die approached, he gave instructions to Solomon his son, saying, “I am going the way of all the earth [as dust to dust]. Be strong and prove yourself a man. Keep the charge of the Lord your God, [that is, fulfill your obligation to] walk in His ways, keep His statutes, His commandments, His precepts, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, so that you may succeed in everything that you do and wherever you turn, so that the Lord may fulfill His promise concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons are careful regarding their way [of life], to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and mind and with all their soul, you shall not fail to have a man (descendant) on the throne of Israel.’

Now you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah [my sister] did to me, and what he did to the two commanders of the armies of Israel, to Abner the son of Ner and to Amasa the son of Jether, [both of] whom he murdered; avenging the blood of war in [a time of] peace. And he put the [innocent] blood of war [of Abner and Amasa] on his belt that was around his waist, and on his sandals on his feet. So act in accordance with your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol (the place of the dead) in peace. But be gracious and kind to the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who [have the honor to] eat at your table; for they met me [with kindness] when I fled from your brother Absalom. And look, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite of Bahurim; he is the one who cursed me with a sinister curse the day I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan [on my return], and I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ But now do not let him go unpunished, for you are a wise man; and you will know what to do to him, and you will bring his gray head down to Sheol [covered] with blood.”

Death of David

10 So David lay down with his fathers [in death] and was buried in the City of David. 11 The time that David reigned over Israel was forty years: he reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12 Then Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.

13 Now Adonijah the son of [David and] Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. She said, “Do you come in peace?” And he said, “In peace.” 14 Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” And she said, “Speak.” 15 So he said, “You know that the kingdom belonged to me [as the eldest living son] and all Israel looked to me and expected me to be king. However, the kingdom has passed [from me] and became my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord. 16 So now I am making one request of you; do not refuse me.” And she said to him, “Speak.” 17 He said, “Please speak to King Solomon, for he will not refuse you; ask that he may give me Abishag the Shunammite as a wife.” 18 Bathsheba replied, “Very well; I will speak to the king for you.”

Adonijah Executed

19 So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her, bowed before her, and sat down on his throne; then he had a throne set for her, the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. 20 Then she said, “I am making one small request of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Ask, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” 21 So she said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as a wife.” 22 King Solomon answered and said to his mother, “And why are you asking for Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask the kingdom for him also—since he is my older brother—[ask it] for him and for Abiathar the priest and Joab the son of Zeruiah [his supporters]!” 23 Then King Solomon swore by the Lord, saying, “May God do the same to me, and more also, if Adonijah has not requested this [deplorable] thing against his own life. 24 So now, as the Lord lives, who has established me and set me on the throne of David my father, and who has made me a house as He promised, Adonijah shall indeed be put to death today.” 25 So King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he struck Adonijah and he died.

26 Then the king said to Abiathar the priest, “Go to Anathoth to your own fields, for you certainly deserve to die; but I will not put you to death this day, because you carried the ark of the Lord God before my father David, and you suffered everything that my father endured.” 27 So Solomon dismissed Abiathar [a descendant of Eli] from being priest to the Lord, fulfilling the word of the Lord, which He had spoken concerning the house (descendants) of Eli in Shiloh.

Joab Executed

28 Now the news reached Joab, for Joab had supported and followed Adonijah, although he had not followed Absalom. So Joab fled to the [sacred] tent of the Lord and took hold of the horns of the altar [to seek asylum]. 29 King Solomon was told that Joab had fled to the tent of the Lord and was at that moment beside the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, strike him down.” 30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and told Joab, “This is what the king commands, ‘Come out of there.’” But Joab said, “No, for I will die here.” Then Benaiah brought word to the king again, saying, “This is what Joab said, and this is how he answered me.” 31 The king said to him, “Do as he has said. Strike him down and bury him, so that you may remove from me and from my father’s house the innocent blood which Joab shed. 32 The Lord will return his bloody deeds upon his own head, because he struck down two men more righteous and honorable than he and killed them with the sword, without my father David knowing: Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 So shall their blood return on the head of Joab and the heads of his descendants forever. But for David, his descendants, his house, and his throne, may there be peace from the Lord forever.” 34 So Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up [to the tabernacle] and struck and killed Joab, and he was buried at his own house in the wilderness [of Judah]. 35 The king appointed Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in Joab’s place, and appointed Zadok the priest in place of Abiathar.

Shimei Executed

36 Now the king sent word and called for Shimei and said to him, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there. Do not go from there to any other place. 37 For on the day you leave and cross over the Brook Kidron, know for certain that you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.” 38 Shimei said to the king, “The word (ruling) is good. As my lord the king has said, so will your servant do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem for many days.

39 But it happened after three years, that two of Shimei’s servants ran away to Achish the son of Maacah, the king of Gath. And Shimei was told, “Behold, your [runaway] servants are in Gath.” 40 So Shimei arose, saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to [King] Achish to look for his servants. And Shimei went and brought them back from Gath. 41 Now Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had returned. 42 So the king sent word and called for Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, ‘Know for certain that on the day you leave [Jerusalem] and go anywhere, you shall surely die’? And you said to me, ‘The word (ruling) I have heard is good.’ 43 Why then have you not kept the oath of the Lord, and the command which I gave you?” 44 The king also said to Shimei, “You are aware in your own heart of all the evil you did to my father David; so the Lord shall return your evil on your own head. 45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.” 46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck down Shimei, and he died.

So the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon.

Solomon’s Rule Consolidated

Now Solomon became a son-in-law to Pharaoh king of Egypt [and formed an alliance] by taking Pharaoh’s daughter [in marriage]. He brought her to the City of David [where she remained temporarily] until he had finished building his own house (palace) and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. But [in the meantime] the people were still sacrificing [to God] on the high places (hilltops) [as the pagans did to their idols], for there was no [permanent] house yet built for the Name of the Lord.

Amplified Bible (AMP)Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Acts 5

Fate of Ananias and Sapphira

Now a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s full knowledge [and complicity] he kept back some of the proceeds, bringing only a portion of it, and set it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and [secretly] keep back for yourself some of the proceeds [from the sale] of the land? As long as it remained [unsold], did it not remain your own [to do with as you pleased]? And after it was sold, was the money not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this act [of hypocrisy and deceit] in your heart? You have not [simply] lied to people, but to God.” And hearing these words, Ananias fell down suddenly and died; and great fear and awe gripped those who heard of it. And the young men [in the congregation] got up and wrapped up the body, and carried it out and buried it.

Now after an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, “Tell me whether you sold your land for so much?” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” Then Peter said to her, “How could you two have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 And at once she fell down at his feet and died; and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear and awe gripped the whole church, and all who heard about these things.

12 At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders (attesting miracles) were continually taking place among the people. And by common consent they all met together [at the temple] in [the covered porch called] Solomon’s portico. 13 But none of the rest [of the people, the non-believers] dared to associate with them; however, the people were holding them in high esteem and were speaking highly of them. 14 More and more believers in the Lord, crowds of men and women, were constantly being added to their number, 15 to such an extent that they even carried their sick out into the streets and put them on cots and sleeping pads, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on one of them [with healing power]. 16 And the people from the towns in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing the sick and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.

Imprisonment and Release

17 But the high priest stood up, along with all his associates (that is, the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with jealousy and resentment. 18 They arrested the apostles and put them in a public jail. 19 But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors, and leading them out, he said, 20 “Go, stand and continue to tell the people in the temple [courtyards] the whole message of this Life [the eternal life revealed by Christ and found through faith in Him].” 21 When they heard this, they went into the temple [courtyards] about daybreak and began teaching.

Now when the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), even all the council of elders of the sons of Israel, and sent word to the prison for the apostles to be brought [before them]. 22 But when the officers arrived, they did not find them in the prison; and they came back and reported, 23 “We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened [the doors], we found no one inside.” 24 Now when the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests heard these things, they were greatly perplexed, wondering what would come of this. 25 But someone came and told them, “The men whom you put in prison are standing [right here] in the temple [area], teaching the people!” 26 Then the captain went with the officers and brought them back, without hurting them (because they were afraid of the people, worried that they might be stoned).

27 So they brought them and presented them before the Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court). The high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this Man’s blood on us [by accusing us as His murderers].” 29 Then Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men [we have no other choice]. 30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross [and you are responsible]. 31 God exalted Him to His right hand as Prince and Savior and Deliverer, in order to grant repentance to Israel, and [to grant] forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has bestowed on those who obey Him.”

Gamaliel’s Counsel

33 Now when they heard this, they were infuriated and they intended to kill the apostles. 34 But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law [of Moses], highly esteemed by all the people, stood up in the Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) and ordered that the men be taken outside for a little while. 35 Then he said to the Council, “Men of Israel, be careful in regard to what you propose to do to these men. 36 For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody [of importance], and a group of about four hundred men allied themselves with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were scattered and came to nothing. 37 After this man, Judas the Galilean rose up, [and led an uprising] during the time of the census, and drew people after him; he was also killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men [merely human in origin], it will fail and be destroyed; 39 but if it is of God [and it appears that it is], you will not be able to stop them; or else you may even be found fighting against God!”

40 The Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court) took his advice; and after summoning the apostles, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and released them. 41 So they left the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy [dignified by indignity] to suffer shame for [the sake of] His name. 42 And every single day, in the temple [area] and in homes, they did not stop teaching and telling the good news of Jesus as the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed).

Amplified Bible (AMP)Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Psalm 125

The Lord Surrounds His People.

A Song of Ascents.

125 Those who trust in and rely on the Lord [with confident expectation]
Are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but remains forever.

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the Lord surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever.

For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land of the righteous,
So that the righteous will not reach out their hands to do wrong.


Do good, O Lord, to those who are good
And to those who are upright in their hearts.

But as for those who turn aside to their crooked ways [in unresponsiveness to God],
The Lord will lead them away with those who do evil.
Peace be upon Israel.

Amplified Bible (AMP)Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 16:25

25 
There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him,
But its end is the way of death.

Amplified Bible (AMP)Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

 

 

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