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New Testament Reading
ACT 24:1 Five days later the high priest Ananias went down to Caesarea with some of the elders and a lawyer named Tertullus, and they brought their charges against Paul before the governor.
ACT 24:2 When Paul was called in, Tertullus presented his case before Felix: "We have enjoyed a long period of peace under you, and your foresight has brought about reforms in this nation.
ACT 24:3 Everywhere and in every way, most excellent Felix, we acknowledge this with profound gratitude.
ACT 24:4 But in order not to weary you further, I would request that you be kind enough to hear us briefly.
ACT 24:5 "We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect
ACT 24:6 and even tried to desecrate the temple; so we seized him.
ACT 24:8 By examining him yourself you will be able to learn the truth about all these charges we are bringing against him."
ACT 24:9 The Jews joined in the accusation, asserting that these things were true.
ACT 24:10 When the governor motioned for him to speak, Paul replied: "I know that for a number of years you have been a judge over this nation; so I gladly make my defense.
ACT 24:11 You can easily verify that no more than twelve days ago I went up to Jerusalem to worship.
ACT 24:12 My accusers did not find me arguing with anyone at the temple, or stirring up a crowd in the synagogues or anywhere else in the city.
ACT 24:13 And they cannot prove to you the charges they are now making against me.
ACT 24:14 However, I admit that I worship the God of our fathers as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that agrees with the Law and that is written in the Prophets,
ACT 24:15 and I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked.
ACT 24:16 So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man.
ACT 24:17 "After an absence of several years, I came to Jerusalem to bring my people gifts for the poor and to present offerings.
ACT 24:18 I was ceremonially clean when they found me in the temple courts doing this. There was no crowd with me, nor was I involved in any disturbance.
ACT 24:19 But there are some Jews from the province of Asia, who ought to be here before you and bring charges if they have anything against me.
ACT 24:20 Or these who are here should state what crime they found in me when I stood before the Sanhedrin--
ACT 24:21 unless it was this one thing I shouted as I stood in their presence: 'It is concerning the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial before you today.'"
ACT 24:22 Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. "When Lysias the commander comes," he said, "I will decide your case."
ACT 24:23 He ordered the centurion to keep Paul under guard but to give him some freedom and permit his friends to take care of his needs.
ACT 24:24 Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was a Jewess. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus.
ACT 24:25 As Paul discoursed on righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, "That's enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you."
ACT 24:26 At the same time he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.
ACT 24:27 When two years had passed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but because Felix wanted to grant a favor to the Jews, he left Paul in prison.
Old Testament Reading
1 In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,
3 and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"
4 Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.) Then she went back home.
5 The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."
6 So David sent this word to Joab: "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent him to David.
7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.
8 Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet." So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him.
9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master's servants and did not go down to his house.
10 When David was told, "Uriah did not go home," he asked him, "Haven't you just come from a distance? Why didn't you go home?"
11 Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord's men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!"
12 Then David said to him, "Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.
13 At David's invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master's servants; he did not go home.
14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.
15 In it he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die."
16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were.
17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David's army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.
18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle.
19 He instructed the messenger: "When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle,
20 the king's anger may flare up, and he may ask you, 'Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn't you know they would shoot arrows from the wall?
21 Who killed Abimelech son of Jerub-Besheth? Didn't a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?' If he asks you this, then say to him, 'Also, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.'"
22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say.
23 The messenger said to David, "The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance to the city gate.
24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king's men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead."
25 David told the messenger, "Say this to Joab: 'Don't let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.' Say this to encourage Joab."
26 When Uriah's wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.
27 After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD.
Bible Verse of the Day (c) NIV 2011