Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, "With the help of the LORD I have brought forth a man."
2Later she gave birth to his brother Abel. Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil.
3In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD.
4But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,
5but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
6Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?
7If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
8Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
9Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?"
10The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground.
11Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand.
12When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."
13Cain said to the LORD, "My punishment is more than I can bear.
14Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me."
15But the LORD said to him, "Not so ; if anyone kills Cain, he will suffer vengeance seven times over." Then the LORD put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him.
So Cain went out from the Lord's presence and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden.
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.
2One 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,
3and 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?"
4Then 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.
5The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."
6So David sent this word to Joab: "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent him to David.
7When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.
8Then 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.
9But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master's servants and did not go down to his house.
10When 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?"
11Uriah 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!"
12Then 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.
13At 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.
14In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah.
15In 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."
16So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were.
17When 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.
18Joab sent David a full account of the battle.
19He instructed the messenger: "When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle,
20the 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?
21Who 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.'"
22The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say.
23The 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.
24Then 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."
25David 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."
26When Uriah's wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.
27After 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.
1The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor.
2The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle,
3but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4"Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him."
5David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die!
6He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity."
7Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.
8I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.
9Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.
10Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.'
11"This is what the LORD says: 'Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.
12You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.'"
13Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan replied, "The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die.
14But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die."
15After Nathan had gone home, the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife had borne to David, and he became ill.
16David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and went into his house and spent the nights lying on the ground.
17The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused, and he would not eat any food with them.
18On the seventh day the child died. David's servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, "While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate."
19David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. "Is the child dead?" he asked. "Yes," they replied, "he is dead."
20Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
21His servants asked him, "Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!"
22He answered, "While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, 'Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.'
But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me."
Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel, close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.
2Ahab said to Naboth, "Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth."
3But Naboth replied, "The LORD forbid that I should give you the inheritance of my fathers."
4So Ahab went home, sullen and angry because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, "I will not give you the inheritance of my fathers." He lay on his bed sulking and refused to eat.
5His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, "Why are you so sullen? Why won't you eat?"
6He answered her, "Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, 'Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.' But he said, 'I will not give you my vineyard.'"
7Jezebel his wife said, "Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I'll get you the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite."
8So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, placed his seal on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth's city with him.
9In those letters she wrote: "Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people.
10But seat two scoundrels opposite him and have them testify that he has cursed both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death."
11So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth's city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them.
12They proclaimed a fast and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people.
13Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, "Naboth has cursed both God and the king." So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death.
14Then they sent word to Jezebel: "Naboth has been stoned and is dead."
15As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, "Get up and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead."
16When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth's vineyard.
17Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite:
18"Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth's vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it.
19Say to him, 'This is what the LORD says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?' Then say to him, 'This is what the LORD says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth's blood, dogs will lick up your blood--yes, yours!'"
20Ahab said to Elijah, "So you have found me, my enemy!" "I have found you," he answered, "because you have sold yourself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD.
21'I am going to bring disaster on you. I will consume your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male in Israel--slave or free.
22I will make your house like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have provoked me to anger and have caused Israel to sin.'
23"And also concerning Jezebel the LORD says: 'Dogs will devour Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.'
24"Dogs will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds of the air will feed on those who die in the country."
25(There was never a man like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the LORD, urged on by Jezebel his wife.
26He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the LORD drove out before Israel.)
27When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.
28Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite:
"Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day, but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son."