from Bible readings:
books of the Prophets

This page:

Joshua
Judges
Samuel (I and 2)
Kings (I and 2)

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Joshua

probable date: prior to 1,000 BCE

For translation and copyright information, see version links in the left column.

JPS 2:9 She said to the men, “I know that the LORD has given the country to you, because dread of you has fallen upon us, and all the inhabitants of the land are quaking before you.”

Compare to:

Sun Tzu

24:19-20

Joshua, however, said to the people, “You will not be able to serve the LORD, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions and your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve alien gods, He will turn and deal harshly with you and make an end of you, after having been gracious to you.”

text checked (see note) May 2009

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Judges

traditionally attributed to Samuel
probable date: sometime after 1,000 BCE

For translation and copyright information, see version links in the left column.

JPS 10:3-4

After him arose Jair the Gileadite, and he led Israel for twenty-two years. (He had thirty sons, who rode on thirty burros and owned thirty boroughs in the region of Gilead; these are called Havvoth-jair to this day.)

Note (Hal’s):
Using “burros” and “boroughs,” the translators reproduce a Hebrew pun.

— end note

Topic:

Puns

13:21b-23 [...] Manoah then realized that it had been an angel of the LORD. And Manoah said to his wife, “We shall surely die, for we have seen a divine being.” But his wife said to him, “Had the LORD meant to take our lives, He would not have accepted a burnt offering and meal offering from us, nor let us see all these things; and He would not have made such an announcement to us.”

text checked (see note) May 2009

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The Books of
Samuel

I and 2 Samuel: a single book in Hebrew
probable date: between 930 BCE and the second exile (seventh century BCE)

For translation and copyright information, see version links in the left column.

JPS I Samuel 8:11-20

He said, “This will be the practice of the king who will rule over you: He will take your sons and appoint them as his charioteers and horsemen, and they will serve as outrunners for his chariots. He will appoint them as his chiefs of thousands and of fifties; or they will have to plow his fields, reap his harvest, and make his weapons and the equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters as perfumers, cooks, and bakers. He will seize your choice fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his courtiers. He will take a tenth part of your grain and vintage and give it to his eunuchs and courtiers. He will take your male and female slaves, your choice young men, and your asses, and put them to work for him. He will take a tenth part of your flocks, and you shall become his slaves. The day will come when you cry out because of the king whom you yourselves have chosen; and the LORD will not answer you on that day.”

But the people would not listen to Samuel’s warning. “No,” they said. “We must have a king over us, that we may be like all the other nations: Let our king rule over us and go out at our head and fight our battles.”

Topic:

Royalty

15:22-23 But Samuel said:

“Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices

As much as in obedience to the LORD’s command?

Surely, obedience is better than sacrifice,

Compliance than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is like the sin of divination,

Defiance, like the iniquity of teraphim.

Because you rejected the LORD’s command,

He has rejected you as king.”

22:1-2

David departed from there and escaped to the cave of Adullam; and when his brothers and all his father’s house heard, they joined him down there. Everyone who was in straits and everyone who was in debt and everyone who was desperate joined him, and he became their leader; there were about four hundred men with him.

II Samuel 6:20-22

David went home to greet his household. And Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “Didn’t the king of Israel do himself honor today—exposing himself today in the sight of the slavegirls of his subjects, as one of the riffraff might expose himself!” David answered Michal, “It was before the LORD who chose me instead of your father and all his family and appointed me ruler of the LORD’s people Israel! I will dance before the LORD and dishonor myself even more, and be low in my own esteem; but among the slavegirls that you speak of I will be honored.”

Topic:

Dancing

15:2-4 Absalom used to rise early and stand by the road to the city gates; and whenever a man had a case that was to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” And when he answered, “Your servant is from such and such a tribe in Israel,” Absalom would say to him, “It is clear that your claim is right and just, but there is no one assigned to you by the king to hear it.” And Absalom went on, “If only I were appointed judge in the land and everyone with a legal dispute came before me, I would see that he got his rights.”

Topic:

Propaganda

NEB 23:14-17 At that time David was in the stronghold and a Philistine garrison held Bethlehem. One day a longing came over David, and he exclaimed, ‘If only I could have a drink of water from the well by the gate of Bethlehem!’ At this the heroic three made their way through the Philistine lines and drew water from the well by the gate of Bethlehem and brought it to David. But David refused to drink it; he poured it out to the LORD and said, ‘God forbid that I should do such a thing! Can I drink the blood of these men who risked their lives for it?’ So he would not drink it. Such were the exploits of the heroic three.

Cited by:

Rudyard Kipling

text checked (see note) Jun 2005; Jun 2009

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The Books of
Kings

I and 2 Kings: a single book in Hebrew
probable date: between 562 and 539 BCE

For translation and copyright information, see version links in the left column.

JPS I Kings 6:1 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the Israelites left the land of Egypt, in the month of Ziv—that is, the second month—in the fourth year of his reign over Israel, Solomon began to build the House of the LORD.

Reference for:

Moses (date)

12:6-11

King Rehoboam took counsel with the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. He said: “What answer do you advise [me] to give to this people?” They answered him, “If you will be a servant to those people today and serve them, and if you respond to them with kind words, they will be your servants always.” But he ignored the advice that the elders gave him, and took counsel with the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. “What,” he asked, “do you advise that we reply to the people who said to me, ‘Lighten the yoke that your father placed upon us’?” And the young men who had grown up with him answered, “Speak thus to the people who said to you, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy, now you make it lighter for us.’ Say to them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins. My father imposed a heavy yoke on you, and I will add to your yoke; my father flogged you with whips, but I will flog you with scorpions.’ ”

Topics:

Advice

Government

NEB 22:17-25 Then Micaiah said, ‘I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep without a shepherd; and I heard the LORD say, “They have no master, let them go home in peace.” ’ The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, ‘Did I not tell you that he never prophesies good for me, nothing but evil?’ Micaiah went on, ‘Listen now to the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD seated on his throne, with all the host of heaven in attendance on his right and on his left. The LORD said, “Who will entice Ahab to attack and fall on Ramoth-gilead?” One said one thing and one said another; then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, “I will entice him.” “How?” said the LORD. “I will go out”, he said, “and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.” “You shall entice him,” said the LORD, “and you shall succeed; go and do it.” You see, then, how the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, because he has decreed disaster for you.’ Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah came up to Micaiah and struck him in the face: ‘And how did the spirit of the LORD pass from me to speak to you?’ he said. Micaiah answered, ‘That you will find out on the day when you run into an inner room to hide yourself.’

Reference in:

Charles Williams

text checked (see note) Jan 2005; Jun 2009

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