Judges 5 (NLT)

Click here to read my blog post on Judges 5.  Click here to read the chapter in a translation of your choosing.

1 On that day Deborah and Barak son of Abinoam sang this song:

2 “Israel’s leaders took charge,
    and the people gladly followed.
Praise the Lord!
3 “Listen, you kings!
    Pay attention, you mighty rulers!
For I will sing to the Lord.
    I will make music to the Lord, the God of Israel.
4 “Lord, when you set out from Seir
    and marched across the fields of Edom,
the earth trembled,
    and the cloudy skies poured down rain.
5 The mountains quaked in the presence of the Lord,
    the God of Mount Sinai—
in the presence of the Lord,
    the God of Israel.
6 “In the days of Shamgar son of Anath,
    and in the days of Jael,
people avoided the main roads,
    and travelers stayed on winding pathways.
7 There were few people left in the villages of Israel—
    until Deborah arose as a mother for Israel.
8 When Israel chose new gods,
    war erupted at the city gates.
Yet not a shield or spear could be seen
    among forty thousand warriors in Israel!
9 My heart is with the commanders of Israel,
    with those who volunteered for war.
Praise the Lord!
10 “Consider this, you who ride on fine donkeys,
    you who sit on fancy saddle blankets,
    and you who walk along the road.
11 Listen to the village musicians
    gathered at the watering holes.
They recount the righteous victories of the Lord
    and the victories of his villagers in Israel.
Then the people of the Lord
    marched down to the city gates.
12 “Wake up, Deborah, wake up!
    Wake up, wake up, and sing a song!
Arise, Barak!
    Lead your captives away, son of Abinoam!
13 “Down from Tabor marched the few against the nobles.
    The people of the Lord marched down against mighty warriors.
14 They came down from Ephraim—
    a land that once belonged to the Amalekites;
    they followed you, Benjamin, with your troops.
From Makir the commanders marched down;
    from Zebulun came those who carry a commander’s staff.
15 The princes of Issachar were with Deborah and Barak.
    They followed Barak, rushing into the valley.
But in the tribe of Reuben
    there was great indecision.
16 Why did you sit at home among the sheepfolds—
    to hear the shepherds whistle for their flocks?
Yes, in the tribe of Reuben
    there was great indecision.
17 Gilead remained east of the Jordan.
    And why did Dan stay home?
Asher sat unmoved at the seashore,
    remaining in his harbors.
18 But Zebulun risked his life,
    as did Naphtali, on the heights of the battlefield.
19 “The kings of Canaan came and fought,
    at Taanach near Megiddo’s springs,
    but they carried off no silver treasures.
20 The stars fought from heaven.
    The stars in their orbits fought against Sisera.
21 The Kishon River swept them away—
    that ancient torrent, the Kishon.
March on with courage, my soul!
22 Then the horses’ hooves hammered the ground,
    the galloping, galloping of Sisera’s mighty steeds.
23 ‘Let the people of Meroz be cursed,’ said the angel of the Lord.
    ‘Let them be utterly cursed,
because they did not come to help the Lord—
    to help the Lord against the mighty warriors.’
24 “Most blessed among women is Jael,
    the wife of Heber the Kenite.
    May she be blessed above all women who live in tents.
25 Sisera asked for water,
    and she gave him milk.
In a bowl fit for nobles,
    she brought him yogurt.
26 Then with her left hand she reached for a tent peg,
    and with her right hand for the workman’s hammer.
She struck Sisera with the hammer, crushing his head.
    With a shattering blow, she pierced his temples.
27 He sank, he fell,
    he lay still at her feet.
And where he sank,
    there he died.
28 “From the window Sisera’s mother looked out.
    Through the window she watched for his return, saying,
‘Why is his chariot so long in coming?
    Why don’t we hear the sound of chariot wheels?’
29 “Her wise women answer,
    and she repeats these words to herself:
30 ‘They must be dividing the captured plunder—
    with a woman or two for every man.
There will be colorful robes for Sisera,
    and colorful, embroidered robes for me.
Yes, the plunder will include
    colorful robes embroidered on both sides.’
31 “Lord, may all your enemies die like Sisera!
    But may those who love you rise like the sun in all its power!”
Then there was peace in the land for forty years.

Ecclesiastes 10

Click here to read my blog post on Ecclesiastes 10:11.  Click here to read this chapter in a different translation.

1. Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink, so a little foolishness is weightier than wisdom and honor. 2. A wise man’s heart directs him toward the right, but the foolish man’s heart directs him toward the left. 3. Even when the fool walks along the road, his sense is lacking and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool. 4. If the ruler’s temper rises against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses.

5. There is an evil I have seen under the sun, like an error which goes forth from the ruler— 6. folly is set in many exalted places while rich men sit in humble places. 7. I have seen slaves riding on horses and princes walking like slaves on the land.

8. He who digs a pit may fall into it, and a serpent may bite him who breaks through a wall. 9. He who quarries stones may be hurt by them, and he who splits logs may be endangered by them. 10. If the [d]axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success. 11. If the serpent bites before being charmed, there is no profit for the charmer. 12. Words from the mouth of a wise man are gracious, while the lips of a fool consume him; 13. the beginning of his talking is folly and the end of it is wicked madness. 14. Yet the fool multiplies words. No man knows what will happen, and who can tell him what will come after him? 15. The toil of a fool so wearies him that he does not even know how to go to a city. 16. Woe to you, O land, whose king is a lad and whose princes feast in the morning. 17. Blessed are you, O land, whose king is of nobility and whose princes eat at the appropriate time—for strength and not for drunkenness. 18. Through indolence the rafters sag, and through slackness the house leaks. 19. Men prepare a meal for enjoyment, and wine makes life merry, and money is the answer to everything. 20. Furthermore, in your bedchamber do not curse a king, and in your sleeping rooms do not curse a rich man, for a bird of the heavens will carry the sound and the winged creature will make the matter known.

Judges 4 (New Living Translation)

Click here to select a different translation.  Click here to read my thoughts on this chapter.

1 After Ehud’s death, the Israelites again did evil in the Lord’s sight. 2 So the Lord turned them over to King Jabin of Hazor, a Canaanite king. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-haggoyim. 3 Sisera, who had 900 iron chariots, ruthlessly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help.

4 Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth, was a prophet who was judging Israel at that time. 5 She would sit under the Palm of Deborah, between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites would go to her for judgment. 6 One day she sent for Barak son of Abinoam, who lived in Kedesh in the land of Naphtali. She said to him, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, commands you: Call out 10,000 warriors from the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun at Mount Tabor. 7 And I will call out Sisera, commander of Jabin’s army, along with his chariots and warriors, to the Kishon River. There I will give you victory over him.”

8 Barak told her, “I will go, but only if you go with me.”

9 “Very well,” she replied, “I will go with you. But you will receive no honor in this venture, for the Lord’s victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman.” So Deborah went with Barak to Kedesh. 10 At Kedesh, Barak called together the tribes of Zebulun and Naphtali, and 10,000 warriors went up with him. Deborah also went with him.

11 Now Heber the Kenite, a descendant of Moses’ brother-in-law[a] Hobab, had moved away from the other members of his tribe and pitched his tent by the oak of Zaanannim near Kedesh.

12 When Sisera was told that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13 he called for all 900 of his iron chariots and all of his warriors, and they marched from Harosheth-haggoyim to the Kishon River.

14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Get ready! This is the day the Lord will give you victory over Sisera, for the Lord is marching ahead of you.” So Barak led his 10,000 warriors down the slopes of Mount Tabor into battle. 15 When Barak attacked, the Lord threw Sisera and all his chariots and warriors into a panic. Sisera leaped down from his chariot and escaped on foot. 16 Then Barak chased the chariots and the enemy army all the way to Harosheth-haggoyim, killing all of Sisera’s warriors. Not a single one was left alive.

17 Meanwhile, Sisera ran to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because Heber’s family was on friendly terms with King Jabin of Hazor. 18 Jael went out to meet Sisera and said to him, “Come into my tent, sir. Come in. Don’t be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket.

19 “Please give me some water,” he said. “I’m thirsty.” So she gave him some milk from a leather bag and covered him again.

20 “Stand at the door of the tent,” he told her. “If anybody comes and asks you if there is anyone here, say no.”

21 But when Sisera fell asleep from exhaustion, Jael quietly crept up to him with a hammer and tent peg in her hand. Then she drove the tent peg through his temple and into the ground, and so he died.

22 When Barak came looking for Sisera, Jael went out to meet him. She said, “Come, and I will show you the man you are looking for.” So he followed her into the tent and found Sisera lying there dead, with the tent peg through his temple.

23 So on that day Israel saw God defeat Jabin, the Canaanite king. 24 And from that time on Israel became stronger and stronger against King Jabin until they finally destroyed him.

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1 Peter 2 NLT

Click here to see my blog post on 1 Peter 2:9.  Click here to select a different translation.

1 So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord’s kindness.

4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God’s temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor.

5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 6 As the Scriptures say,

“I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem,
    chosen for great honor,
and anyone who trusts in him
    will never be disgraced.”
7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him. But for those who reject him,

“The stone that the builders rejected
    has now become the cornerstone.”
8 And,

“He is the stone that makes people stumble,
    the rock that makes them fall.”
They stumble because they do not obey God’s word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them.

9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.

10 “Once you had no identity as a people;
    now you are God’s people.
Once you received no mercy;
    now you have received God’s mercy.”
11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

13 For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, 14 or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.

15 It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. 16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love the family of believers. Fear God, and respect the king.

18 You who are slaves must submit to your masters with all respect. Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. 19 For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.

21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

22 He never sinned,
    nor ever deceived anyone.
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
    nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
    who always judges fairly.
24 He personally carried our sins
    in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
    and live for what is right.
By his wounds
    you are healed.
25 Once you were like sheep
    who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
    the Guardian of your souls.

Joshua 24 NASB Translation

Click here to read my blog post on Joshua 24:14.  Click here to read Joshua 24 in a different translation.

1. Then Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel and for their heads and their judges and their officers; and they presented themselves before God. 2. Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘From ancient times your fathers lived beyond the River, namely, Terah, the father of Abraham and the father of Nahor, and they served other gods. 3. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him through all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his descendants and gave him Isaac. 4. To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau, and to Esau I gave Mount Seir to possess it; but Jacob and his sons went down to Egypt. 5. Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt by what I did in its midst; and afterward I brought you out. 6. I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea; and Egypt pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. 7. But when they cried out to the Lord, He put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them and covered them; and your own eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness for a long time. 8. Then I brought you into the land of the Amorites who lived beyond the Jordan, and they fought with you; and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land when I destroyed them before you. 9. Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel, and he sent and summoned Balaam the son of Beor to curse you. 10. But I was not willing to listen to Balaam. So he had to bless you, and I delivered you from his hand. 11. You crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho; and the citizens of Jericho fought against you, and the Amorite and the Perizzite and the Canaanite and the Hittite and the Girgashite, the Hivite and the Jebusite. Thus I gave them into your hand. 12. Then I sent the hornet before you and it [f]drove out the two kings of the Amorites from before you, but not by your sword or your bow. 13. I gave you a land on which you had not labored, and cities which you had not built, and you have lived in them; you are eating of vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.’

14. “Now, therefore, [g]fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15. If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

16. The people answered and said, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17. for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did these great signs in our sight and preserved us through all the way in which we went and among all the peoples through whose midst we passed. 18. The Lord drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land. We also will serve the Lord, for He is our God.”

19. Then Joshua said to the people, “You will not be able to serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgression or your sins. 20. If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you after He has done good to you.” 21. The people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord.” 22. Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen for yourselves the Lord, to serve Him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 23. “Now therefore, put away the foreign gods which are in your midst, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.” 24. The people said to Joshua, “We will serve the Lord our God and we will [k]obey His voice.” 25. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 26. And Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. 27. Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be for a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us; thus it shall be for a witness against you, so that you do not deny your God.” 28. Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to his inheritance.

29. It came about after these things that Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being one hundred and ten years old. 30. And they buried him in the territory of his inheritance in Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of Mount Gaash.

31. Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, and had known all the deeds of the Lord which He had done for Israel.

32. Now they buried the bones of Joseph, which the sons of Israel brought up from Egypt, at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for one hundred [n]pieces of money; and they became the inheritance of Joseph’s sons. 33. And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him at Gibeah of Phinehas his son, which was given him in the hill country of Ephraim.

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