1 Chronicles 19–21

1 Now it happened after this that Nahash the king of the Ammonites died, and his son reigned in his place. 2 Then David said, “I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me.” So David sent messengers to comfort him concerning his father. And David’s servants came to Hanun in the land of the Ammonites to comfort him.

3 But the leaders of the Ammonites said to Hanun, “Do you think that David is honoring your father because he sent consolers? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?” 4 So Hanun took the servants of David, shaved them, cut their garments in half as far as the hip, and sent them away.

5 Then some came and told David about the men, so he sent to meet them, for the men were greatly humiliated. The king said, “Remain in Jericho until your beards grow full, and then return.”

6 When the Ammonites saw that they had become a stench to David, Hanun and the Ammonites sent one thousand talents of silver to hire chariots and horsemen from Aram Naharaim, Aram Maakah, and Zobah. 7 So they hired for themselves thirty-two thousand chariots, with the king of Maakah and his people. They camped before Medeba as the Ammonites gathered from their cities to go out to war.

8 When David heard of it, he sent Joab and all the army of the mighty men. 9 So the Ammonites went out and formed ranks for battle at the entrance to the city while the kings who had come were by themselves in the open country.

10 When Joab saw the battle line was drawn in front of him and behind him, he chose some of the best men in Israel and arrayed them against the Arameans. 11 The rest of the people he placed in the charge of his brother Abishai, and they took up positions to engage the Ammonites. 12 Then he said, “If the Arameans are too strong for me, then you will come help me, but if the Ammonites are too strong for you, I will come help you. 13 Take courage, and let us prove worthy of our people and the cities of our God. May the Lord do what seems right to Him.”

14 So Joab and the people who were with him drew near to the Arameans for battle, and they fled before him. 15 When the Ammonites saw the Arameans fleeing, they also fled before Abishai his brother and entered the city. So Joab returned to Jerusalem.

16 When the Arameans saw that they had been defeated by Israel, they sent messengers and summoned the Arameans who were beyond the River, and Shophak, the commander of Hadadezer’s army went before them.

17 When David was told about it, he gathered all Israel, crossed over the Jordan, and came against them. He divided his ranks and prepared to engage the Arameans in battle, so they fought against him. 18 But the Arameans fled before Israel, and David killed seven thousand chariot drivers and forty thousand infantry men of the Arameans, and killed Shophak, the commander of the army.

19 And when the servants of Hadadezer saw that they were defeated before Israel, they negotiated peace with David and served him.

So the Arameans were not willing to aid the Ammonites in battle again.

Chapter 20

1 Now at the beginning of the year when kings would go out to war, Joab led the army and devastated the land of the Ammonites. He came and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem. So Joab struck Rabbah and overthrew it. 2 Then David took the crown of their king from his head and found it weighed about a talent of gold with a precious stone set in it. And it was placed on David’s head. He also brought out a great abundance of plunder from the city. 3 He brought out the people who were in it, and put them to work with saws, sharp iron tools, and axes. Thus David did to all the cities of the Ammonites, and then he and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

4 Now after this, when war broke out in Gezer with the Philistines, Sibbekai of Hushah killed Sippai, who was one of the descendants of the giants, and they were humbled.

5 Again there was war with the Philistines, and Elhanan the son of Jair killed Lahmi, the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose wooden spear was like a weaver’s beam.

6 Yet again there was war at Gath, where there was a man of great stature, who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also was descended from the giants. 7 When he taunted Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimea, David’s brother, killed him.

8 These were descended from the giants in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and his servants.

Chapter 21

1 Now Satan stood against Israel and incited David to number Israel. 2 Then David said to Joab and the leaders of the people, “Go count Israel from Beersheba to Dan and bring me a report, that I may know their number.”

3 But Joab said, “May the Lord increase the number of His people one hundred times more. My lord the king, are not all of them my lord’s servants? Why then should my lord require this? Why should it bring guilt on Israel?”

4 Nevertheless, the king’s word prevailed against Joab, so Joab departed and went throughout all Israel. Then he returned to Jerusalem. 5 Joab gave the results of the census of the people to David: All Israel had one million one hundred thousand men who drew the sword, and in Judah four hundred and seventy thousand men drew the sword.

6 However, he did not include the Levites and Benjamin because the word of the king was abhorrent to Joab. 7 Now this thing was evil in the sight of God, and He struck Israel.

8 So David said to God, “I have sinned greatly in doing this thing. Now, please, take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.”

9 And the Lord spoke to Gad, David’s seer, saying, 10 “Go and speak to David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Three things I offer you; choose one of these for yourself that I may do to you.’”

11 So Gad came to David and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Select for yourself, 12 either three years of famine, or three months of being swept away before your foes while the sword of your enemy overtakes you, or three days of the sword of the Lord, even pestilence in the land, with the angel of the Lord destroying throughout all the territory of Israel.’ Now then consider what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.”

13 David replied to Gad, “I am in great distress. Let me fall into the hands of the Lord, for His mercies are very great, but do not let me fall into the hand of man.”

14 So the Lord sent a plague throughout Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell. 15 And God sent an angel to Jerusalem to destroy it, but as he prepared to destroy it, the Lord looked and relented from the calamity. And He said to the angel bringing the destruction, “It is enough. Remove your hand.” The angel of the Lord was then standing by the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.

16 David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord standing between earth and heaven with his sword drawn in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. So David and the elders, covered in sackcloth, fell on their faces.

17 David said to God, “Was it not I who gave the command to number the people? I am the one who has sinned and surely done evil. But these sheep, what have they done? O Lord my God, I pray, let Your hand be against me and my father’s house, but do not let Your people be plagued.”

18 Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to tell David that David should go up and raise an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite. 19 So David went up at the word of Gad which he delivered in the name of the Lord.

20 Now Ornan turned and saw the angel, but his four sons who were with him hid themselves as Ornan threshed the wheat. 21 As David came to Ornan, Ornan looked and saw David and went out from the threshing floor and bowed down before David with his face to the ground.

22 Then David said to Ornan, “Give me the site of the threshing floor so that I may build an altar on it to the Lord. Sell it to me at full price so the plague on the people may be restrained.”

23 So Ornan replied to David, “Take it for yourself, and let my lord the king do whatever seems good in his eyes. Look, I will give the oxen for the burnt offerings, the threshing wagons for wood, and the wheat for the grain offering. I will give it all.”

24 Then King David said to Ornan, “No, for I will surely acquire it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the Lord nor offer burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”

25 So David gave Ornan six hundred shekels of gold by weight for the site, 26 and David built there an altar to the Lord and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings. He called on the Lord, and the Lord answered him by fire from heaven on the altar of burnt offering.

27 So the Lord spoke to the angel, and he put away his sword in its sheath. 28 At that time, when David saw that the Lord had answered him at the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, he sacrificed there. 29 For the tabernacle of the Lord and the altar of burnt offering that Moses had made in the wilderness were in the high place in Gibeon at that time. 30 But David was unable to go before it to inquire of God, because he was terrified by the sword of the angel of the Lord.

John 8:1–27

1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 Early in the morning He returned to the temple. All the people came to Him, and He sat down and taught them. 3 The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery. When they had put her in the middle, 4 they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us to stone such, but what do You say?” 6 They said this, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him.

But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear them. 7 So when they continued asking Him, He stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 Being convicted by their conscience, those who heard it went out one by one, beginning with the eldest even to the last. Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had stood up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

12 Again, Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

13 The Pharisees therefore said to Him, “You bear witness of Yourself. Your testimony is not true.”

14 Jesus answered them, “Though I bear witness of Myself, My testimony is true. For I know where I came from and where I am going. But you do not know where I came from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh. I judge no one. 16 Yet if I do judge, My judgment is true. For I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. 17 Even in your law it is written that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Me bears witness of Me.”

19 Then they said to Him, “Where is Your Father?”

Jesus answered, “You know neither Me nor My Father. If you knew Me, you would know My Father also.” 20 Jesus spoke these words in the treasury, as He taught in the temple. No one arrested Him, for His hour had not yet come.

21 Again, Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will seek Me, and you will die in your sins. Where I am going, you cannot come.”

22 So the Jews said, “Will He kill Himself? For He said, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’”

23 He said to them, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins. For unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

25 They said to Him, “Who are You?”

Jesus said to them, “Just who I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true. So I tell the world what I heard from Him.”

27 They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father.