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Bible Reading Plan
Daily Bible Reading
May 15 - Bible-in-a-Year
A Levite and His Concubine
1 In those days Israel had no king.
Now a Levite who lived in a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim(a) took a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah.(b) 2 But she was unfaithful to him. She left him and went back to her parents' home in Bethlehem, Judah. After she had been there four months, 3 her husband went to her to persuade her to return. He had with him his servant and two donkeys. She took him into her parents' home, and when her father saw him, he gladly welcomed him. 4 His father-in-law, the woman's father, prevailed on him to stay; so he remained with him three days, eating and drinking,(c) and sleeping there.
5 On the fourth day they got up early and he prepared to leave, but the woman's father said to his son-in-law, "Refresh yourself(d) with something to eat; then you can go." 6 So the two of them sat down to eat and drink together. Afterward the woman's father said, "Please stay tonight and enjoy yourself.(e)" 7 And when the man got up to go, his father-in-law persuaded him, so he stayed there that night. 8 On the morning of the fifth day, when he rose to go, the woman's father said, "Refresh yourself. Wait till afternoon!" So the two of them ate together.
9 Then when the man, with his concubine and his servant, got up to leave, his father-in-law, the woman's father, said, "Now look, it's almost evening. Spend the night here; the day is nearly over. Stay and enjoy yourself. Early tomorrow morning you can get up and be on your way home." 10 But, unwilling to stay another night, the man left and went toward Jebus(f) (that is, Jerusalem), with his two saddled donkeys and his concubine.
11 When they were near Jebus and the day was almost gone, the servant said to his master, "Come, let's stop at this city of the Jebusites(g) and spend the night."
12 His master replied, "No. We won't go into any city whose people are not Israelites. We will go on to Gibeah." 13 He added, "Come, let's try to reach Gibeah or Ramah(h) and spend the night in one of those places." 14 So they went on, and the sun set as they neared Gibeah in Benjamin.(i) 15 There they stopped to spend the night.(j) They went and sat in the city square,(k) but no one took them in for the night.
16 That evening(l) an old man from the hill country of Ephraim,(m) who was living in Gibeah (the inhabitants of the place were Benjamites), came in from his work in the fields. 17 When he looked and saw the traveler in the city square, the old man asked, "Where are you going? Where did you come from?"(n)
18 He answered, "We are on our way from Bethlehem in Judah to a remote area in the hill country of Ephraim where I live. I have been to Bethlehem in Judah and now I am going to the house of the Lord .[a](o) No one has taken me in for the night. 19 We have both straw and fodder(p) for our donkeys(q) and bread and wine(r) for ourselves your servants—me, the woman and the young man with us. We don't need anything."
20 "You are welcome at my house," the old man said. "Let me supply whatever you need. Only don't spend the night in the square." 21 So he took him into his house and fed his donkeys. After they had washed their feet, they had something to eat and drink.(s)
22 While they were enjoying themselves,(t) some of the wicked men(u) of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, "Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.(v)"
23 The owner of the house went outside(w) and said to them, "No, my friends, don't be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don't do this outrageous thing.(x) 24 Look, here is my virgin daughter,(y) and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But as for this man, don't do such an outrageous thing."
25 But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her(z) and abused her(aa) throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. 26 At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.
27 When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. 28 He said to her, "Get up; let's go." But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.
29 When he reached home, he took a knife(ab) and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel.(ac) 30 Everyone who saw it was saying to one another, "Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt.(ad) Just imagine! We must do something! So speak up!(ae)"
For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A maskil.[b]
1 We have heard it with our ears,(a) O God;
our ancestors have told us(b)
what you did in their days,
in days long ago.(c)
2 With your hand you drove out(d) the nations
and planted(e) our ancestors;
you crushed(f) the peoples
and made our ancestors flourish.(g)
3 It was not by their sword(h) that they won the land,
nor did their arm bring them victory;
it was your right hand,(i) your arm,(j)
and the light(k) of your face, for you loved(l) them.
4 You are my King(m) and my God,(n)
who decrees[c] victories(o) for Jacob.
5 Through you we push back(p) our enemies;
through your name we trample(q) our foes.
6 I put no trust in my bow,(r)
my sword does not bring me victory;
7 but you give us victory(s) over our enemies,
you put our adversaries to shame.(t)
8 In God we make our boast(u) all day long,(v)
and we will praise your name forever.[d](w)
9 But now you have rejected(x) and humbled us;(y)
you no longer go out with our armies.(z)
10 You made us retreat(aa) before the enemy,
and our adversaries have plundered(ab) us.
11 You gave us up to be devoured like sheep(ac)
and have scattered us among the nations.(ad)
12 You sold your people for a pittance,(ae)
gaining nothing from their sale.
13 You have made us a reproach(af) to our neighbors,(ag)
the scorn(ah) and derision(ai) of those around us.
14 You have made us a byword(aj) among the nations;
the peoples shake their heads(ak) at us.
15 I live in disgrace(al) all day long,
and my face is covered with shame(am)
16 at the taunts(an) of those who reproach and revile(ao) me,
because of the enemy, who is bent on revenge.(ap)
17 All this came upon us,
though we had not forgotten(aq) you;
we had not been false to your covenant.
18 Our hearts had not turned(ar) back;
our feet had not strayed from your path.
19 But you crushed(as) us and made us a haunt for jackals;(at)
you covered us over with deep darkness.(au)
20 If we had forgotten(av) the name of our God
or spread out our hands to a foreign god,(aw)
21 would not God have discovered it,
since he knows the secrets of the heart?(ax)
22 Yet for your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep(ay) to be slaughtered.(az)
23 Awake,(ba) Lord! Why do you sleep?(bb)
Rouse yourself!(bc) Do not reject us forever.(bd)
24 Why do you hide your face(be)
and forget(bf) our misery and oppression?(bg)
25 We are brought down to the dust;(bh)
our bodies cling to the ground.
26 Rise up(bi) and help us;
rescue(bj) us because of your unfailing love.(bk)
30 The commander wanted to find out exactly why Paul was being accused by the Jews.(av) So the next day he released him(aw) and ordered the chief priests and all the members of the Sanhedrin(ax) to assemble. Then he brought Paul and had him stand before them.
1 Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin(a) and said, "My brothers,(b) I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience(c) to this day." 2 At this the high priest Ananias(d) ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.(e) 3 Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall!(f) You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!"(g)
4 Those who were standing near Paul said, "How dare you insult God's high priest!"
5 Paul replied, "Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: ‘Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.'[a]"(h)
6 Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees(i) and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, "My brothers,(j) I am a Pharisee,(k) descended from Pharisees. I stand on trial because of the hope of the resurrection of the dead."(l) 7 When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided. 8 (The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection,(m) and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees believe all these things.)
9 There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees(n) stood up and argued vigorously. "We find nothing wrong with this man,"(o) they said. "What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?"(p) 10 The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.(q)
11 The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, "Take courage!(r) As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome."(s)
The Plot to Kill Paul
12 The next morning some Jews formed a conspiracy(t) and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.(u) 13 More than forty men were involved in this plot. 14 They went to the chief priests and the elders and said, "We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul.(v) 15 Now then, you and the Sanhedrin(w) petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here."
16 But when the son of Paul's sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks(x) and told Paul.
17 Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, "Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him." 18 So he took him to the commander.
The centurion said, "Paul, the prisoner,(y) sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you."
19 The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, "What is it you want to tell me?"
20 He said: "Some Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin(z) tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him.(aa) 21 Don't give in to them, because more than forty(ab) of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him.(ac) They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request."
22 The commander dismissed the young man with this warning: "Don't tell anyone that you have reported this to me."
the Sixth Week after Easter