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Bible Reading Plan
Daily Bible Reading
April 24 - Old & New Testament
1 And Samuel's word came to all Israel.
The Philistines Capture the Ark
Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer,(a) and the Philistines at Aphek.(b) 2 The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. 3 When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, "Why(c) did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark(d) of the Lord 's covenant from Shiloh,(e) so that he may go with us(f) and save us from the hand of our enemies."
4 So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim.(g) And Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
5 When the ark of the Lord 's covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout(h) that the ground shook. 6 Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, "What's all this shouting in the Hebrew(i) camp?"
When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, 7 the Philistines were afraid.(j) "A god has[a] come into the camp," they said. "Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. 8 We're doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck(k) the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues(l) in the wilderness. 9 Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they(m) have been to you. Be men, and fight!"
10 So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated(n) and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.(o)
Death of Eli
12 That same day a Benjamite(p) ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust(q) on his head. 13 When he arrived, there was Eli(r) sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry.
14 Eli heard the outcry and asked, "What is the meaning of this uproar?"
The man hurried over to Eli, 15 who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes(s) had failed so that he could not see. 16 He told Eli, "I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day."
Eli asked, "What happened, my son?"
17 The man who brought the news replied, "Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead,(t) and the ark of God has been captured."(u)
18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led[b](v) Israel forty years.(w)
19 His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. 20 As she was dying, the women attending her said, "Don't despair; you have given birth to a son." But she did not respond or pay any attention.
21 She named the boy Ichabod,[c](x) saying, "The Glory(y) has departed from Israel"—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, "The Glory(z) has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured."(aa)
The Ark in Ashdod and Ekron
1 After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer(a) to Ashdod.(b) 2 Then they carried the ark into Dagon's temple and set it beside Dagon.(c) 3 When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen(d) on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord ! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. 4 But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord ! His head and hands had been broken(e) off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. 5 That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon's temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.(f)
6 The Lord 's hand(g) was heavy on the people of Ashdod and its vicinity; he brought devastation(h) on them and afflicted them with tumors.[a](i) 7 When the people of Ashdod saw what was happening, they said, "The ark of the god of Israel must not stay here with us, because his hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god." 8 So they called together all the rulers(j) of the Philistines and asked them, "What shall we do with the ark of the god of Israel?"
They answered, "Have the ark of the god of Israel moved to Gath.(k)" So they moved the ark of the God of Israel.
9 But after they had moved it, the Lord 's hand was against that city, throwing it into a great panic.(l) He afflicted the people of the city, both young and old, with an outbreak of tumors.[b] 10 So they sent the ark of God to Ekron.(m)
As the ark of God was entering Ekron, the people of Ekron cried out, "They have brought the ark of the god of Israel around to us to kill us and our people." 11 So they called together all the rulers(n) of the Philistines and said, "Send the ark of the god of Israel away; let it go back to its own place, or it[c] will kill us and our people." For death had filled the city with panic; God's hand was very heavy on it. 12 Those who did not die(o) were afflicted with tumors, and the outcry of the city went up to heaven.
The Ark Returned to Israel
1 When the ark of the Lord had been in Philistine territory seven months, 2 the Philistines called for the priests and the diviners(a) and said, "What shall we do with the ark of the Lord ? Tell us how we should send it back to its place."
3 They answered, "If you return the ark of the god of Israel, do not send it back to him without a gift;(b) by all means send a guilt offering(c) to him. Then you will be healed, and you will know why his hand(d) has not been lifted from you."
4 The Philistines asked, "What guilt offering should we send to him?"
They replied, "Five gold tumors and five gold rats, according to the number(e) of the Philistine rulers, because the same plague(f) has struck both you and your rulers. 5 Make models of the tumors(g) and of the rats that are destroying the country, and give glory(h) to Israel's god. Perhaps he will lift his hand from you and your gods and your land. 6 Why do you harden(i) your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharaoh did? When Israel's god dealt harshly with them,(j) did they(k) not send the Israelites out so they could go on their way?
7 "Now then, get a new cart(l) ready, with two cows that have calved and have never been yoked.(m) Hitch the cows to the cart, but take their calves away and pen them up. 8 Take the ark of the Lord and put it on the cart, and in a chest beside it put the gold objects you are sending back to him as a guilt offering. Send it on its way, 9 but keep watching it. If it goes up to its own territory, toward Beth Shemesh,(n) then the Lord has brought this great disaster on us. But if it does not, then we will know that it was not his hand that struck us but that it happened to us by chance."
10 So they did this. They took two such cows and hitched them to the cart and penned up their calves. 11 They placed the ark of the Lord on the cart and along with it the chest containing the gold rats and the models of the tumors. 12 Then the cows went straight up toward Beth Shemesh, keeping on the road and lowing all the way; they did not turn to the right or to the left. The rulers of the Philistines followed them as far as the border of Beth Shemesh.
13 Now the people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat(o) in the valley, and when they looked up and saw the ark, they rejoiced at the sight. 14 The cart came to the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and there it stopped beside a large rock. The people chopped up the wood of the cart and sacrificed the cows as a burnt offering(p) to the Lord . 15 The Levites(q) took down the ark of the Lord , together with the chest containing the gold objects, and placed them on the large rock.(r) On that day the people of Beth Shemesh(s) offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices to the Lord . 16 The five rulers of the Philistines saw all this and then returned that same day to Ekron.
17 These are the gold tumors the Philistines sent as a guilt offering to the Lord —one each(t) for Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron. 18 And the number of the gold rats was according to the number of Philistine towns belonging to the five rulers—the fortified towns with their country villages. The large rock on which the Levites set the ark of the Lord is a witness to this day in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.
19 But God struck down(u) some of the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy[a] of them to death because they looked(v) into the ark of the Lord . The people mourned because of the heavy blow the Lord had dealt them. 20 And the people of Beth Shemesh asked, "Who can stand(w) in the presence of the Lord , this holy(x) God? To whom will the ark go up from here?"
21 Then they sent messengers to the people of Kiriath Jearim,(y) saying, "The Philistines have returned the ark of the Lord . Come down and take it up to your town."
The Parable of the Persistent Widow
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.(a) 2 He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared what people thought. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice(b) against my adversary.'
4 "For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don't fear God or care what people think, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won't eventually come and attack me!'"(c)
6 And the Lord(d) said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out(e) to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man(f) comes,(g) will he find faith on the earth?"
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness(h) and looked down on everyone else,(i) Jesus told this parable: 10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray,(j) one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself(k) and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast(l) twice a week and give a tenth(m) of all I get.'
13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast(n) and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'(o)
14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."(p)
The Little Children and Jesus(q)
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child(r) will never enter it."
The Rich and the Kingdom of God(s)
18 A certain ruler asked him, "Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"(t)
19 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'[a]"(u)
21 "All these I have kept since I was a boy," he said.
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, "You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor,(v) and you will have treasure in heaven.(w) Then come, follow me."
23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy.
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