18 jIn those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days kthe tribe of the people of Dan was seeking for itself an inheritance to dwell in, for until then no inheritance among the tribes of Israel had fallen to them. 2 So the people of Dan sent five able men from the whole number of their tribe, lfrom Zorah and from Eshtaol, mto spy out the land and to explore it. And they said to them, “Go and explore the land.” And they came nto the hill country of Ephraim, to the house of Micah, and lodged there. 3 When they were by the house of Micah, they recognized the voice of the young Levite. And they turned aside and said to him, “Who brought you here? What are you doing in this place? What is your business here?” 4 And he said to them, “This is how Micah dealt with me: ohe has hired me, and I have become his priest.” 5 And they said to him, p“Inquire of God, please, that we may know whether the journey on which we are setting out will succeed.” 6 And the priest said to them, q“Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the Lord.”
7 Then the five men departed and came to rLaish and saw the people who were there, how they lived in security, after the manner of the Sidonians, squiet and unsuspecting, lacking1 nothing that is in the earth and possessing wealth, and how tthey were far from the Sidonians and had no dealings with anyone. 8 And when they came to their brothers at uZorah and Eshtaol, their brothers said to them, “What do you report?” 9 They said, v“Arise, and let us go up against them, for we have seen the land, and behold, it is very good. wAnd will you do nothing? xDo not be slow to go, to enter in and possess the land. 10 As soon as you go, you will come to an yunsuspecting people. The land is spacious, for God has given it into your hands, za place where there is no lack of anything that is in the earth.”
11 So 600 men of the tribe of Dan, aarmed with weapons of war, set out from Zorah and Eshtaol, 12 and went up and encamped at Kiriath-jearim in Judah. On this account that place is called bMahaneh-dan2 to this day; behold, it is west of cKiriath-jearim. 13 And they passed on from there to dthe hill country of Ephraim, and came to the house of Micah.
14 Then the five men who had gone to scout out the country of Laish said to their brothers, “Do you know that ein these houses there are an ephod, household gods, a carved image, and a metal image? Now therefore consider what you will do.” 15 And they turned aside there and came to the house of the young Levite, at the home of Micah, and fasked him about his welfare. 16 Now the 600 men of the Danites, garmed with their weapons of war, stood by the entrance of the gate. 17 And hthe five men who had gone to scout out the land went up and entered and took ithe carved image, the ephod, the household gods, and the metal image, while the priest stood by the entrance of the gate with the 600 men armed with weapons of war. 18 And when these went into Micah's house and took ithe carved image, the ephod, the household gods, and the metal image, the priest said to them, “What are you doing?” 19 And they said to him, “Keep quiet; jput your hand on your mouth and come with us and be to us ka father and a priest. Is it better for you to be priest to the house of one man, or to be priest to a tribe and clan in Israel?” 20 And the priest's heart was glad. He took the ephod and the household gods and the carved image and went along with the people.
21 So they turned and departed, putting the little ones and the livestock and lthe goods in front of them. 22 When they had gone a distance from the home of Micah, the men who were in the houses near Micah's house were called out, and they overtook the people of Dan. 23 And they shouted to the people of Dan, who turned around and said to Micah, “What is the matter with you, that you come with such a company?” 24 And he said, m“You take my gods that I made and the priest, and go away, and what have I left? How then do you ask me, ‘What is the matter with you?’” 25 And the people of Dan said to him, “Do not let your voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows fall upon you, and you lose your life with the lives of your household.” 26 Then the people of Dan went their way. And when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back to his home.
27 But the people of Dan took what Micah had made, and the priest who belonged to him, and they came to Laish, to a people nquiet and unsuspecting, and ostruck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire. 28 And there was no deliverer because it was pfar from Sidon, and they had no dealings with anyone. It was in the valley that belongs to qBeth-rehob. Then they rebuilt the city and lived in it. 29 And they named the city rDan, after the name of Dan their ancestor, who was born to Israel; but sthe name of the city was Laish at the first. 30 And the people of Dan set up the carved image for themselves, and Jonathan the son of Gershom, tson of Moses,3 uand his sons were priests to the tribe of the Danites until the day vof the captivity of the land. 31 So they set up Micah's carved image that he made, was long as the house of God was at Shiloh.
22 w“Brothers and fathers, hear the defense that I now make before you.”
3 y“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated zat the feet of aGamaliel2 baccording to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, cbeing zealous for God das all of you are this day. 4 eI persecuted fthis Way gto the death, binding and delivering to prison both men and women, 5 as hthe high priest and ithe whole council of elders can bear me witness. From them I received letters to jthe brothers, and I journeyed toward Damascus to take those also who were there and bring them in bonds to Jerusalem to be punished.
6 k“As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon a great light from heaven suddenly shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ 8 And I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said to me, ‘I am lJesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ 9 mNow those who were with me saw the light but did not understand3 the voice of the one who was speaking to me. 10 And I said, n‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do.’ 11 And since I could not see because of the brightness of that light, I was led by the hand by those who were with me, and came into Damascus.
12 “And oone Ananias, a devout man paccording to the law, qwell spoken of by all the Jews who lived there, 13 rcame to me, and standing by me said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And sat that very hour I received my sight and saw him. 14 And he said, t‘The God of our fathers uappointed you to know his will, vto see wthe Righteous One and xto hear a voice from his mouth; 15 for yyou will be a witness for him to everyone of what zyou have seen and heard. 16 And now why do you wait? aRise and be baptized and bwash away your sins, ccalling on his name.’
17 d“When I had returned to Jerusalem and ewas praying in the temple, I fell into fa trance 18 and saw him saying to me, g‘Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about me.’ 19 And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another hI imprisoned and ibeat those who believed in you. 20 And when the blood of Stephen jyour witness was being shed, kI myself was standing by and lapproving and kwatching over the garments of those who killed him.’ 21 And he said to me, ‘Go, for I will send you mfar away to the Gentiles.’”
22 Up to this word they listened to him. Then they raised their voices and said, n“Away with such a fellow from the earth! For ohe should not be allowed to live.” 23 And as they were shouting and throwing off their cloaks and flinging dust into the air, 24 the tribune ordered him to be brought into pthe barracks, saying that he should be qexamined by flogging, to find out why they were shouting against him like this. 25 But when they had stretched him out for the whips,4 Paul said to the centurion who was standing by, “Is it lawful for you to flog ra man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned?” 26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the tribune and said to him, “What are you about to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.” 27 So the tribune came and said to him, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?” And he said, “Yes.” 28 The tribune answered, “I bought this citizenship for a large sum.” Paul said, “But I am a citizen by birth.” 29 So those who were about sto examine him withdrew from him immediately, and the tribune also twas afraid, ufor he realized that Paul was a Roman citizen and that vhe had bound him.
30 But on the next day, wdesiring to know the real reason why he was being accused by the Jews, he unbound him and commanded the chief priests and all the council to meet, and he brought Paul down and set him before them.
32 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord nin the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, owhich was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar. 2 At that time the army of the king of Babylon was besieging Jerusalem, and Jeremiah the prophet pwas shut up in qthe court of the guard that was in the palace of the king of Judah. 3 For Zedekiah king of Judah had imprisoned him, saying, “Why do you prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord: rBehold, I am giving this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall capture it; 4 sZedekiah king of Judah shall not escape out of the hand of the Chaldeans, rbut shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and shall speak with him face to face and see him eye to eye. 5 And the shall take Zedekiah to Babylon, and there he shall remain until I visit him, declares the Lord. uThough you fight against the Chaldeans, you shall not succeed’?”
6 Jeremiah said, “The word of the Lord came to me: 7 Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you and say, v‘Buy my field that is at wAnathoth, xfor the right of redemption by purchase is yours.’ 8 Then Hanamel my cousin came to me in qthe court of the guard, in accordance with the word of the Lord, and said to me, ‘Buy my field that is at wAnathoth in the land of Benjamin, for the right of possession and redemption is yours; buy it for yourself.’ Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord.
9 “And I bought the field at wAnathoth from Hanamel my cousin, and yweighed out the money to him, seventeen shekels of silver. 10 zI signed the deed, asealed it, bgot witnesses, and yweighed the money on scales. 11 Then I took the sealed deed of purchase, containing the terms and conditions and the open copy. 12 And I gave the deed of purchase to cBaruch the son of Neriah son of Mahseiah, in the presence of Hanamel my cousin, in the presence of dthe witnesses who signed the deed of purchase, and in the presence of all the Judeans who were sitting in qthe court of the guard. 13 I charged cBaruch in their presence, saying, 14 ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Take these deeds, both this sealed deed of purchase and this open deed, and put them in an earthenware vessel, that they may last for a long time. 15 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and efields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.’
16 “After I had given the deed of purchase to fBaruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to the Lord, saying: 17 ‘Ah, Lord God! It is gyou who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by hyour outstretched arm! iNothing is too hard for you. 18 jYou show steadfast love to thousands, jbut you repay the guilt of fathers kto their children after them, O great and lmighty God, whose name is the mLord of hosts, 19 ngreat in counsel and omighty in deed, pwhose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man, qrewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds. 20 You have shown rsigns and wonders in the land of Egypt, and to this day in Israel and among all mankind, sand have made a name for yourself, as at this day. 21 tYou brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a strong hand and uoutstretched arm, tand with great terror. 22 And you gave them this land, vwhich you swore to their fathers to give them, va land flowing with milk and honey. 23 And they entered and took possession of it. wBut they did not obey your voice or walk in your law. They did nothing of all you commanded them to do. Therefore you have made all this disaster come upon them. 24 Behold, xthe siege mounds have come up to the city to take it, and ybecause of sword and famine and pestilence zthe city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans who are fighting against it. What you spoke has come to pass, and behold, you see it. 25 Yet you, O Lord God, have said to me, a“Buy the field for money band get witnesses”—though zthe city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.’”
26 The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: 27 “Behold, I am the Lord, cthe God of all flesh. dIs anything too hard for me? 28 Therefore, thus says the Lord: eBehold, I am giving this city into the hands of the Chaldeans and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall capture it. 29 The Chaldeans who are fighting against this city fshall come and set this city on fire and burn it, gwith the houses on whose roofs offerings have been made to Baal gand drink offerings have been poured out to other gods, hto provoke me to anger. 30 For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight ifrom their youth. The children of Israel have done nothing but hprovoke me to anger jby the work of their hands, declares the Lord. 31 This city has aroused my anger and wrath, from the day it was built to this day, kso that I will remove it from my sight 32 because of all the evil of the children of Israel and the children of Judah that they did to provoke me to anger—ltheir kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets, the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 33 mThey have turned to me their back and not their face. And though I have taught them npersistently, they have not listened oto receive instruction. 34 They set up ptheir abominations in the house that is called by my name, to defile it. 35 They built the high places of Baal qin the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, rto offer up their sons and daughters to Molech, sthough I did not command them, nor did it enter into my mind, that they should do pthis abomination, tto cause Judah to sin.
36 “Now therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, u‘It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine, and by pestilence’: 37 vBehold, I will gather them from all the countries wto which I drove them in xmy anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, yand I will make them dwell in safety. 38 zAnd they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 39 aI will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, bfor their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 cI will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. dAnd I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. 41 eI will rejoice in doing them good, fand I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.
42 “For thus says the Lord: gJust as I have brought all this great disaster upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good that I promise them. 43 hFields shall be bought in this land iof which you are saying, ‘It is a desolation, without man or beast; jit is given into the hand of the Chaldeans.’ 44 Fields shall be bought for money, and kdeeds shall be signed and ksealed and kwitnessed, lin the land of Benjamin, lin the places about Jerusalem, land in the cities of Judah, lin the cities of the hill country, lin the cities of the Shephelah, and in the cities of the Negeb; for mI will restore their fortunes, declares the Lord.”
1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that ahave been accomplished among us, 2 bjust as those who cfrom the beginning were deyewitnesses and eministers of fthe word ghave delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write han orderly account for you, imost excellent jTheophilus, 4 that you may have kcertainty concerning the things lyou have been taught.
5 mIn the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah,1 nof othe division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 And they were both prighteous before God, walking qblamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. 7 But they had no child, because rElizabeth was barren, and sboth were advanced in years.
8 Now twhile he was serving as priest before God when uhis division was on duty, 9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot vto enter wthe temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And the whole multitude of the people xwere praying youtside at the hour of incense. 11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of zthe altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and afear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for byour prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and cyou shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will drejoice at his birth, 15 for he will be egreat before the Lord. And fhe must not drink wine or strong gdrink, and ghe will be hfilled with the Holy Spirit, ieven from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and jhe will go before him kin the spirit and power of Elijah, lto turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and mthe disobedient to the wisdom of the just, nto make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”
18 And Zechariah said to the angel, o“How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” 19 And the angel answered him, “I am pGabriel. qI stand in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. 20 And behold, ryou will be silent and unable to speak until the day that these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.” 21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah, and they were wondering at his delay in sthe temple. 22 And when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in sthe temple. And the kept making signs to them and remained mute. 23 And uwhen his time of vservice was ended, he went to his home.
24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, wto take away my reproach among people.”
26 In the sixth month the angel xGabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named yNazareth, 27 zto a virgin betrothed2 to a man whose name was Joseph, aof the house of David. And the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, bO favored one, cthe Lord is with you!”3 29 But dshe was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for eyou have found favor with God. 31 And behold, fyou will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and gyou shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of hthe Most High. And the Lord God iwill give to him the throne of jhis father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob kforever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”4
35 And the angel answered her, l“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of hthe Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born5 will be called mholy—nthe Son of God. 36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her owho was called barren. 37 For pnothing will be impossible with God.” 38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant6 of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And qthe angel departed from her.
39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into rthe hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth swas filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, t“Blessed are you among women, and ublessed is vthe fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of wmy Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And xblessed is she who believed that there would be7 a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
48 for dhe has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
For behold, from now on all generations ewill call me blessed;
and hholy is his name.
50 And ihis mercy is for those who fear him
51 jHe has shown strength with his arm;
khe has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 jhe has brought down the mighty from their thrones
land exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled mthe hungry with good things,
and the rich nhe has sent away empty.
qin remembrance of his mercy,
55 ras he spoke to our fathers,
qto Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58 And her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord shad shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 And ton the eighth day they came to circumcise the child. And they would have called him Zechariah after his father, 60 but his mother answered, “No; uhe shall be called John.” 61 And they said to her, “None of your relatives is called by this name.” 62 And vthey made signs to his father, inquiring what he wanted him to be called. 63 And he asked for wa writing tablet and wrote, u“His name is John.” And they all wondered. 64 xAnd immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue yloosed, and he spoke, zblessing God. 65 And afear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all bthe hill country of Judea, 66 and all who heard them claid them up in their hearts, saying, “What then will this child be?” For dthe hand of the Lord was with him.
min the house of his servant David,
71 pthat we should be saved from our enemies
72 qto show the mercy promised to our fathers
73 tthe oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
might serve him uwithout fear,
for zyou will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
ain the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the btender mercy of our God,