2 Samuel 12–13

1 The Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said, “There were two men in a certain city. One was wealthy, but the other was poor. 2 The wealthy man had a very large flock and herd, 3 but the poor man had nothing except a single small ewe lamb that he had acquired. He nourished it and raised it together with himself and his sons. From his crumbs, it would eat; from his cup, it would drink; and in his arms it would lie. It was like a daughter to him.

4 “There came a visitor to the wealthy man, but he was unwilling to take from his own flock or herd to prepare a meal for the wanderer who had come to him. Instead he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared food for the wanderer who had come to him.”

5 David became very angry because of this man. He said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die. 6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

7 Then Nathan told David, “You are this man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anointed you as king over Israel and I rescued you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave to you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms, and I gave to you the house of Israel and Judah. If this were too little, I would have continued to do for you much more. 9 Why have you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in His sight? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and you took his wife as a wife for yourself. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now the sword will never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.

11 “Thus says the Lord: See, I will raise up trouble against you from within your own house. I will take your wives before your eyes and will give them to your neighbor, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 Although you did it secretly, I will do this thing before all of Israel, and under the sun.”

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan said to David, “Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.”

15 Then Nathan went to his house. The Lord struck the child that the wife of Uriah had born for David, and he became sick. 16 David entreated God on behalf of the child. He fasted for a period, and he would go in and lie throughout the night on the ground. 17 The elders of his house stood beside him to rouse him from the ground, but he was not willing, nor would he consume food with them.

18 The child died on the seventh day, and the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child had died. They said, “When the child was alive, we would speak to him, but he would not acknowledge our voices. Now how can we say to him, ‘The child is dead’? He may do harm.”

19 When David noticed that his servants were whispering to one another, he perceived that the child was dead. So he asked his servants, “Is the child dead?”

They said, “He is dead.”

20 So David arose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his garments. Then he entered the house of the Lord and worshipped. He then went in to his own house. When he asked, they set down food for him and ate.

21 His servants said to him, “What is this thing you have done? You fasted and wept for the sake of the living child, but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”

22 He explained, “As long as the child was alive, I fasted and wept because I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me, so that the child may live.’ 23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Am I able to bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

24 Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife. He went to her and lay with her, so that she conceived a son. They named him Solomon, and the Lord loved him. 25 So He sent a word by way of the prophet Nathan that he should be named Jedidiah for the sake of the Lord.

26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and assumed control of the royal city. 27 So Joab sent messengers to David and reported, “I have fought against Rabbah, and I have occupied the water supply of the city. 28 Now gather the remainder of the people, lay siege to the city, and take it. Otherwise, I myself will capture the city, and it will be called by my name.”

29 So David gathered all of the people and they went to Rabbah, fought against it, and took it. 30 David took the crown of their king from his head, and its weight was a talent of gold and precious stone. It was placed upon the head of David. He brought out large quantities of plunder from the city. 31 He brought out the people who were in it, and he put them to work with saws, and iron picks, and iron axes, and sent them to work in the brick kiln. Thus he did to all of the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all of the people returned to Jerusalem.

Chapter 13

1 After this, Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar, and Amnon the son of David fell in love with her.

2 It depressed Amnon to the point of falling ill that Tamar his sister was a virgin, but it was impossible for Amnon to pursue her.

3 Now Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab the son of Shimeah, the brother of David, and Jonadab was a very crafty individual. 4 He asked him, “Why are you, the son of the king, so sullen morning after morning? Will you not tell me?”

Amnon told him, “I am in love with Tamar, the sister of Absalom my brother.”

5 Jonadab instructed him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please allow Tamar, my sister, to come and prepare some food for me. She should make the food here, so that when I see it, I may eat it from her hand.’”

6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come here to make a couple of cakes, so that I may be nourished from her hand.”

7 Then David sent word to Tamar at the house, “Please go to the house of Amnon your brother, and prepare food for him.” 8 So Tamar went to the house of Amnon her brother, where he was lying. She took the dough, kneaded it, and made the cakes before him. Then she baked them. 9 Then she took the baking tray and served the cakes to him, but he refused to eat.

Amnon said, “Send everyone away.” So they all left him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes that she had made and brought them in the bedroom to Amnon her brother. 11 When she brought them close for him to eat, he took hold of her and said, “Come, lie with me, my sister.”

12 She pled with him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not to be done in Israel. Do not carry out this awful thing. 13 As for me, where could I escape my disgrace? And you would be like one of the fools in Israel. Now, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 But he refused to listen to her. So, being stronger than her, he overpowered her and lay with her.

15 Then Amnon hated her greatly, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up, go away.”

16 She said to him, “No, because this great offense of dismissing me is worse than the other which you did to me.”

But he refused to listen to her. 17 He called his personal servant and said, “Send this woman out from me, and secure the door behind her.” 18 Now she was wearing a long robe, because the virgin daughters of the king were clothed in such garments. So his servant put her out and secured the door behind her. 19 So Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long robe that she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and left, wailing as she went.

20 Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Keep silent for now, my sister. He is your brother. Do not take this thing to heart.” So Tamar stayed in the house of Absalom, her brother, a desolate woman.

21 When King David heard about these things, he was very angry. 22 And Absalom would not speak with Amnon, either pleasantly or angrily; but Absalom hated Amnon because he had raped his sister Tamar.

23 Two full years later, the sheepshearers of Absalom were in Baal Hazor, near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all of the sons of the king. 24 Then Absalom came to the king and requested, “Your servant has sheepshearers; will the king and his servants kindly go with your servant?”

25 The king said to Absalom, “No, my son, we must not all go or we will be a burden to you.” When he urged him, he refused to go, but gave him his blessing.

26 Absalom said, “If not, allow my brother Amnon to go with us.”

But the king replied to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Absalom urged him until he sent Amnon and all of the king’s sons along with him.

28 Now, Absalom had commanded his servant, “Look for Amnon to become carefree on account of the wine. Then I will say to you, ‘Strike Amnon, and kill him.’ Do not be afraid, for am not I myself commanding you? Be strong and brave.” 29 So, the servants of Absalom did to Amnon that which Absalom had commanded. Then the sons of the king arose, each mounting his mule, and fled.

30 While they were on the way, the report reached David: “Absalom struck down all of the sons of the king, and there is not one of them remaining.” 31 Then the king arose, tore his garments, and lay on the ground, while all of his servants who were standing nearby tore their garments.

32 But Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, said, “My lord should not think that they have killed all of the servants who are the king’s sons. Amnon alone is dead, for this has been determined from the day he raped Tamar, his sister, by the very declaration of Absalom. 33 Now, my lord the king should not take this matter to heart, thinking that all of the king’s sons are dead. Instead Amnon alone is dead.”

34 Absalom fled.

Now when the servant who was keeping watch looked up, he saw many people coming on the road beyond him, around the hill.

35 So Jonadab said to the king, “See, the king’s sons are coming. As your servant spoke, so it is.”

36 As soon as he had finished speaking, the sons of the king arrived, lifted their voices, and wept. The king and all of his servants also wept loudly.

37 Now Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur, but David mourned over his son every day.

38 When Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he was there for three years. 39 Then King David longed to go out to Absalom, for he was consoled over the death of Amnon.

Luke 16

1 He told His disciples: “There was a rich man who had a steward who was accused to the man of wasting his resources. 2 So he called him and said, ‘How is it that I hear this about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you may no longer be steward.’

3 “Then the steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, for my master is taking away the stewardship from me? I cannot dig. I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what to do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, others may receive me into their houses.’

5 “So he called each of his master’s debtors, and said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’

6 “He said, ‘Eight hundred gallons of oil.’

“He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write four hundred.’

7 “Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’

“He said, ‘One thousand bushels of wheat.’

“He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eight hundred.’

8 “The master commended the dishonest steward, because he had acted prudently. For the sons of this world are wiser in their own generation than the sons of light. 9 I say to you, make friends for yourself by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when you fall short, they may receive you into eternal dwellings.

10 “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much. And he who is dishonest in the least is dishonest also in much. 11 So if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will commit to your trust the true riches? 12 And if you have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who will give you that which is your own?

13 “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

14 The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things and derided Him. 15 He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed before men is an abomination before God. 16 “The Law and the Prophets were preached until John. Since then the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. 17 It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of the law to fail. 18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and whoever marries her who is divorced by her husband commits adultery.

19 “There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 There was also a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores, who had been placed at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed the crumbs falling from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 “It came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s presence. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham from a distance and Lazarus in his presence. 24 So he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue. For I am tormented in this flame.’

25 “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things. But now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf, so that those who would pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

27 “He said, ‘Then I pray you, father, to send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, to testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’

29 “Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets. Let them hear them.’

30 “He said, ‘No, father Abraham. But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’”