Acts 23

Acts 23: 40 Jews try to kill Paul

                Paul goes before the Sanhedrin  and opens up by saying; “…Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.” (Acts 23:1) and before Paul could finish, Ananias the high priest commanded the guards standing next to Paul to smack him across the face for his words. Paul quickly responds; “…God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?” (Acts 23:3)

The Sanhedrin’s reaction to Paul statement is divided between Pharisees (who do believe in the resurrection of the dead) and the Saducees (who do not). It gets so bad at one point that Paul has to be rescued by the Roman commander, so he doesn’t get pulled apart from the mess. Paul is told in a dream that he will go to Rome and testify there. Forty Jews vow not to eat or drink until they have accomplished in killing Paul. Paul is warned by his nephew, who learns of the plot. Paul escapes to Caesarea  with a full military escort and a letter referring his case to the governor of the providence. The letter says that Paul is not worthy of death. Paul awaits trial in Caesarea.

Esther 3-4

Esther 3-4

Chapter 3: Haman Arranges to Kill the Jews

King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him.

All the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage. Then the king’s servants who were within the king’s gate said to Mordecai, “Why do you transgress the king’s command?”

They spoke to him daily and he would not listen to them, that they told it to Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s words would stand; for Mordecai had told them that he was a Jew. When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath. But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus; the people of Mordecai.

In the first month, which is the month of Nisan, in the twelfth year of King Ahasuerus, they cast Pur (that is, the lot), before Haman to determine the day and the month, untilit fell on the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar.

Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of your kingdom; their laws are different from all other people, and they do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not fitting for the king to let them remain. If it pleases the king, let a decree be written that they be destroyed, and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver into the hands of those who do the work, to bring it into the king’s treasuries.”

So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. And the king said to Haman, “The money and the people are given to you, to do

The King’s scribes were called on the thirteenth day of the first month, and a decree was written according to all that Haman commanded; to the king’s satraps, to the governors who were over each province, to the officials of all people, to every province according to its script, and to every people in their language. In the name of King Ahasuerus it was written, and sealed with the king’s signet ring. And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions. A copy of the document was to be issued as law in every province, being published for all people, that they should be ready for that day. The couriers went out, hastened by the king’s command; and the decree was proclaimed in Shushan the citadel. So the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Shushan was perplexed.

Chapter 4: Mordecai and the Jews mourn + Fast

When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry. He went as far as the front of the king’s gate, for no one might enter the king’s gate clothed with sackcloth. And in every province where the king’s command and decree arrived, there was great mourning among the Jews, with fasting, weeping, and wailing; and many lay in sackcloth and ashes.

Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her, and the queen was deeply distressed. Then she sent garments to clothe Mordecai and take his sackcloth away from him, but he would not accept them. Then Esther called Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs whom he had appointed to attend her, and she gave him a command concerning Mordecai, to learn what and why this was. So Hathach went out to Mordecai in the city square that was in front of the king’s gate. And Mordecai told him all that had happened to him, and the sum of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasuries to destroy the Jews.

He also gave him a copy of the written decree for their destruction, which was given at Shushan, that he might show it to Esther and explain it to her, and that he might command her to go in to the king to make supplication to him and plead before him for her people. So Hathach returned and told Esther the words of Mordecai. Then Esther spoke to Hathach, and gave him a command for Mordecai: “All the king’s servants and the people of the king’s provinces know that any man or woman who goes into the inner court to the king, who has not been called, he has but one law: put all to death, except the one to whom the king holds out the golden scepter, that he may live. Yet I myself have not been called to go in to the king these thirty days.” So they told Mordecai Esther’s words.

Mordecai told them to answer Esther: “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, who is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” So Mordecai went his way and did according to all that Esther commanded him.

1 Samuel 19-20

1 Samuel 19-20

Chapter 19: Saul Seeks to Kill David

We learned from the last chapter that Saul has become jealous of David. Saul commands Jonathan and his servants to go off and kill David. The problem is that Jonathan likes David and ells David to hide. David goes into hiding, meanwhile Jonathan talks to his father Saul and tries to reason with him and make him understand that all David has done is serve him. Saul changes him mind and agrees to not kill him.

So, David returns to his service and there is another battle with the Philistines, where David has great success in getting rid of the Philistines. Because of this, the jealousy combined with the evil spirit in Saul comes back and while David is playing the harp to help soothe the evil spirit, Saul takes a spear and attempts to spear David to the wall. But David is able to avoid the spear and runs off. When Michal finds out, she tells David that Saul is going to come for him and that he needs to hide. So she lowers him down from the window and makes a dummy to go into David’s bed. When they finally find out that David is not “real” Saul asks Michal why she would deceive him like that. But Michal (probably to protect herself) tells Saul that she was forced to do it, because David had threatened to kill her if she didn’t.

So Saul finds out that David had gone to see Samuel in a place called Naioth. So Saul sends a group of men to go get him, but they end up prophesying. Saul sends two more groups and they also prophesy. Finally Saul goes himself and he too… is filled with the Spirit and prophesies!

Chapter 20: David and Jonathan; Covenant of Friendship

This chapter opens up with Jonathan being baffled by the fact that Saul was trying to kill David, telling David that his father would have told him about this. David tells Jonathan that his father probably didn’t tell him anything this time, because he knew that they were friends.

Jonathan asks David what he can do for him, and David comes up with a plan. It’s almost time for the New Moon Festival and David decides to not go, and asks Jonathan to make up an excuse as to why he is absent. If Saul is fine with him being absent than that will mean that everything is fine between them, but if Saul gets angry about David not being there, then he must want to kill David.
Jonathan tells David that he will go to the festival and then bring him word from his father. But David is worried about how they will meet up again to talk. So they come up with a plan, a few days after the festival they will meet in a field. Jonathan will go out to practice with his bow and when the servant goes to collect the arrows, he will use a code. If David is safe, he will tell his servant that the arrows are to the side of him, and if David is in danger, he will tell his servant that the arrows are beyond him. If he is in danger, David is supposed to run away.

So Jonathan goes to the festival and 2 days after the festival Saul asks about David’s absence. Jonathan tells him and Saul gets angry, even throwing a spear at Jonathan. So Jonathan goes out and to shoot arrows and loses control and just yells to David to “Go quickly and run!” – The servant must have been really confused.

David decides to still wait and when the servant is gone comes out to Jonathan and weeps saying goodbye!