Luke 3:1–20; Ephesians 4:25–32; Psalm 119:65–72; 1 Kings 13–14

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

In the fifteenth year of the reign of jTiberius Caesar, kPontius Pilate lbeing governor of Judea, and mHerod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during nthe high priesthood of Annas and oCaiaphas, pthe word of God came to qJohn the son of Zechariah in rthe wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming sa baptism of repentance tfor the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in uthe book of the words of Isaiah the prophet,

vThe voice of one crying in the wilderness:

wPrepare the way of the Lord,1

make his paths straight.

xEvery valley shall be filled,

yand every mountain and hill shall be made low,

zand the crooked shall become straight,

and the rough places shall become level ways,

aand all flesh shall see bthe salvation of God.

He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, cYou brood of dvipers! Who warned you to flee from ethe wrath to come? Bear fruits fin keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, gWe have Abraham as our father. For I tell you, God is able from hthese stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. iEvery tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

10 And the crowds asked him, jWhat then shall we do? 11 And he answered them, kWhoever has two tunics2 is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise. 12 lTax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, Teacher, jwhat shall we do? 13 And he said to them, mCollect no more than you are authorized to do. 14 Soldiers also asked him, And we, jwhat shall we do? And he said to them, mDo not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your nwages.

15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, owhether he might be pthe Christ, 16 qJohn answered them all, saying, I baptize you with water, but rhe who is mightier than I is coming, sthe strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you twith the Holy Spirit and ufire. 17 His vwinnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to wgather the wheat into his barn, xbut the chaff he will burn with yunquenchable fire.

18 So zwith many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19 But aHerod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added this to them all, that bhe locked up John in prison.


25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you uspeak the truth with his neighbor, for vwe are members one of another. 26 wBe angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and xgive no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather ylet him labor, zdoing honest work with his own hands, so athat he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 bLet no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give cgrace to those who hear. 30 And ddo not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, eby whom you were sealed for the day of fredemption. 31 gLet all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 hBe kind to one another, tenderhearted, iforgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.


Teth

65  You have dealt well with your servant,

O Lord, zaccording to your word.

66  Teach me agood judgment and knowledge,

for I believe in your commandments.

67  bBefore I was afflicted I went astray,

but now I keep your word.

68  cYou are good and do good;

dteach me your statutes.

69  eThe insolent fsmear me with lies,

but with my whole heart I gkeep your precepts;

70  their heart is unfeeling hlike fat,

but I idelight in your law.

71  It is jgood for me that I was afflicted,

that I might learn your statutes.

72  kThe law of your mouth is better to me

than thousands of gold and silver pieces.


A Man of God Confronts Jeroboam

13 And behold, la man of God came out of Judah by the word of the Lord to Bethel. Jeroboam was standing by the altar mto make offerings. nAnd the man cried against the altar by the word of the Lord and said, O altar, altar, thus says the Lord: Behold, a son shall be born to the house of David, oJosiah by name, and he shall sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who make offerings on you, and human bones shall be burned on you. And he gave pa sign the same day, saying, This is the sign that the Lord has spoken: Behold, the altar shall be torn down, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out. And when the king heard the saying of the man of God, which he cried against the altar at Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar, saying, Seize him. And his hand, which he stretched out against him, dried up, so that he could not draw it back to himself. The altar also was torn down, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign that the man of God had given by the word of the Lord. And the king said to the man of God, qEntreat now the favor of the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me. And the man of God entreated the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him and became as it was before. And the king said to the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and rI will give you a reward. And the man of God said to the king, sIf you give me half your house, tI will not go in with you. And I will not eat bread or drink water in this place, for so was it commanded me by the word of the Lord, saying, You shall neither eat bread nor drink water nor return by the way that you came. 10 So he went another way and did not return by the way that he came to Bethel.

The Prophet’s Disobedience

11 Now uan old prophet lived in Bethel. And his sons1 came and told him all that the man of God had done that day in Bethel. They also told to their father the words that he had spoken to the king. 12 And their father said to them, Which way did he go? And his sons showed him the way that the man of God who came from Judah had gone. 13 And he said to his sons, Saddle the donkey for me. So they saddled the donkey for him and he mounted it. 14 And he went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak. And he said to him, Are you the man of God who came from Judah? And he said, I am. 15 Then he said to him, Come home with me and eat bread. 16 And he said, vI may not return with you, or go in with you, neither will I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place, 17 for it was said to me wby the word of the Lord, You shall neither eat bread nor drink water there, nor return by the way that you came. 18 And he said to him, I also am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, Bring him back with you into your house that he may eat bread and drink water. But he lied to him. 19 So he went back with him and ate bread in his house and drank water.

20 And as they sat at the table, the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back. 21 And he cried to the man of God who came from Judah, Thus says the Lord, Because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord and have not kept the command that the Lord your God commanded you, 22 but have come back and have eaten bread and drunk water in the place of which he said to you, Eat no bread and drink no water, your body shall not come to the tomb of your fathers. 23 And after he had eaten bread and drunk, he saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 And as he went away xa lion met him on the road and killed him. And his body was thrown in the road, and the donkey stood beside it; the lion also stood beside the body. 25 And behold, men passed by and saw the body thrown in the road and the lion standing by the body. And they came and told it in the city where ythe old prophet lived.

26 And when the prophet who had brought him back from the way heard of it, he said, It is the man of God who disobeyed the word of the Lord; therefore the Lord has given him to the lion, which has torn him and killed him, according to the word that the Lord spoke to him. 27 And he said to his sons, Saddle the donkey for me. And they saddled it. 28 And he went and found his body thrown in the road, and the donkey and the lion standing beside the body. The lion had not eaten the body or torn the donkey. 29 And the prophet took up the body of the man of God and laid it on the donkey and brought it back to the city2 to mourn and to bury him. 30 And he laid the body in his own grave. And they mourned over him, saying, zAlas, my brother! 31 And after he had buried him, he said to his sons, When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; alay my bones beside his bones. 32 bFor the saying that he called out by the word of the Lord against the altar in Bethel and against call the houses of the high places that are in the cities of dSamaria shall surely come to pass.

33 After this thing Jeroboam did not turn from his evil way, but made priests for the high places again from among all the people. Any who would, he ordained to be priests of the high places. 34 eAnd this thing became sin to the house of Jeroboam, fso as to cut it off and to destroy it from the face of the earth.

Prophecy Against Jeroboam

14 At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam fell sick. And Jeroboam said to his wife, Arise, and disguise yourself, that it not be known that you are the wife of Jeroboam, and go to gShiloh. Behold, Ahijah the prophet is there, hwho said of me that I should be king over this people. iTake with you ten loaves, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what shall happen to the child.

Jeroboam’s wife did so. She arose and went to gShiloh and came to the house of jAhijah. Now jAhijah could not see, for his eyes were dim because of his age. And the Lord said to jAhijah, Behold, the wife of Jeroboam is coming to inquire of you concerning her son, for he is sick. Thus and thus shall you say to her.

When she came, she pretended to be another woman. But when jAhijah heard the sound of her feet, as she came in at the door, he said, Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another? For I am charged with unbearable news for you. Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: kBecause I exalted you from among the people and made you leader over my people Israel and ltore the kingdom away from the house of David and gave it to you, and yet you have not been mlike my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in my eyes, but you have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and nmade for yourself other gods and ometal images, provoking me to anger, and phave cast me behind your back, 10 therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and qwill cut off from Jeroboam every male, rboth bond and free in Israel, and swill burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. 11 tAnyone belonging to Jeroboam who dies in the city the dogs shall eat, and anyone who dies in the open country the birds of the heavens shall eat, for the Lord has spoken it. 12 Arise therefore, go to your house. uWhen your feet enter the city, the child shall die. 13 And all Israel shall mourn for him and bury him, for he only of Jeroboam shall come to the grave, because in him vthere is found something pleasing to the Lord, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam. 14 wMoreover, the Lord will raise up for himself a king over Israel who shall cut off the house of Jeroboam today. And henceforth, 15 the Lord will strike Israel as a reed is shaken in the water, and xroot up Israel out of ythis good land that he gave to their fathers and scatter them zbeyond the Euphrates,3 because they have made their aAsherim, provoking the Lord to anger. 16 And he will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he sinned and made Israel to sin.

17 Then Jeroboam’s wife arose and departed and came to bTirzah. And cas she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. 18 And all Israel buried him and mourned for him, daccording to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the prophet.

The Death of Jeroboam

19 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, ehow he warred and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel. 20 And the time that Jeroboam reigned was twenty-two years. And he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his place.

Rehoboam Reigns in Judah

21 fNow Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, gthe city that the Lord had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. hHis mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite. 22 iAnd Judah did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and they jprovoked him to jealousy with their sins that they committed, more than all that their fathers had done. 23 For they also built for themselves khigh places land pillars and mAsherim on every high hill and nunder every green tree, 24 and there were also omale cult prostitutes in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations that the Lord drove out before the people of Israel.

25 pIn the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. 26 He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house. qHe took away everything. He also took away all the shields of gold rthat Solomon had made, 27 and King Rehoboam made in their place shields of bronze, and committed them to the hands of the officers of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house. 28 And as often as the king went into the house of the Lord, the guard carried them and brought them back to the guardroom.

29 sNow the rest of the acts of Rehoboam and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 30 tAnd there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 31 And Rehoboam slept with his fathers and was buried with his fathers in the city of David. uHis mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonite. And vAbijam his son reigned in his place.