Daily Bible Readinghttps://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/Judges 16:23-31https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/3639https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/3639<div class="ExternalClass13C91220EB6F4557B0239218CAB58CD0"><p><sup>23</sup>Now the lords of the Philistines gathered to offer a great sacrifice to their god Dagon, and to rejoice; for they said, &quot;Our god has given Samson our enemy into our hand.&quot; <sup>24</sup>When the people saw him, they praised their god; for they said, &quot;Our god has given our enemy into our hand, the ravager of our country, who has killed many of us.&quot; <sup>25</sup>And when their hearts were merry, they said, &quot;Call Samson, and let him entertain us.&quot; So they called Samson out of the prison, and he performed for them. They made him stand between the pillars; <sup>26</sup>and Samson said to the attendant who held him by the hand, &quot;Let me feel the pillars on which the house rests, so that I may lean against them.&quot; <sup>27</sup>Now the house was full of men and women; all the lords of the Philistines were there, and on the roof there were about three thousand men and women, who looked on while Samson performed.</p><p><sup>28</sup>Then Samson called to the LORD and said, &quot;Lord GOD, remember me and strengthen me only this once, O God, so that with this one act of revenge I may pay back the Philistines for my two eyes.&quot; <sup>29</sup>And Samson grasped the two middle pillars on which the house rested, and he leaned his weight against them, his right hand on the one and his left hand on the other. <sup>30</sup>Then Samson said, &quot;Let me die with the Philistines.&quot; He strained with all his might; and the house fell on the lords and all the people who were in it. So those he killed at his death were more than those he had killed during his life. <sup>31</sup>Then his brothers and all his family came down and took him and brought him up and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of his father Manoah. He had judged Israel twenty years.<br></p></div>10/04/2023Judges 16:1-22https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/3638https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/3638<div class="ExternalClass7B811001461943A28652FDF9C1DE4252"><p><sup>1</sup>Once Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute and went in to her. <sup>2</sup>The Gazites were told, &quot;Samson has come here.&quot; So they circled around and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They kept quiet all night, thinking, &quot;Let us wait until the light of the morning; then we will kill him.&quot; <sup>3</sup>But Samson lay only until midnight. Then at midnight he rose up, took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two posts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron.</p><p><sup>4</sup>After this he fell in love with a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. <sup>5</sup>The lords of the Philistines came to her and said to her, &quot;Coax him, and find out what makes his strength so great, and how we may overpower him, so that we may bind him in order to subdue him; and we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.&quot; <sup>6</sup>So Delilah said to Samson, &quot;Please tell me what makes your strength so great, and how you could be bound, so that one could subdue you.&quot; <sup>7</sup>Samson said to her, &quot;If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that are not dried out, then I shall become weak, and be like anyone else.&quot; <sup>8</sup>Then the lords of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not dried out, and she bound him with them. <sup>9</sup>While men were lying in wait in an inner chamber, she said to him, &quot;The Philistines are upon you, Samson!&quot; But he snapped the bowstrings, as a strand of fiber snaps when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known.</p><p><sup>10</sup>Then Delilah said to Samson, &quot;You have mocked me and told me lies; please tell me how you could be bound.&quot; <sup>11</sup>He said to her, &quot;If they bind me with new ropes that have not been used, then I shall become weak, and be like anyone else.&quot; <sup>12</sup>So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to him, &quot;The Philistines are upon you, Samson!&quot; (The men lying in wait were in an inner chamber.) But he snapped the ropes off his arms like a thread.</p><p><sup>13</sup>Then Delilah said to Samson, &quot;Until now you have mocked me and told me lies; tell me how you could be bound.&quot; He said to her, &quot;If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and make it tight with the pin, then I shall become weak, and be like anyone else.&quot; <sup>14</sup>So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and wove them into the web, and made them tight with the pin. Then she said to him, &quot;The Philistines are upon you, Samson!&quot; But he awoke from his sleep, and pulled away the pin, the loom, and the web.<br> <sup>15</sup>Then she said to him, &quot;How can you say, 'I love you,' when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me three times now and have not told me what makes your strength so great.&quot; <sup>16</sup>Finally, after she had nagged him with her words day after day, and pestered him, he was tired to death. <sup>17</sup>So he told her his whole secret, and said to her, &quot;A razor has never come upon my head; for I have been a nazirite to God from my mother's womb. If my head were shaved, then my strength would leave me; I would become weak, and be like anyone else.&quot;</p><p><sup>18</sup>When Delilah realized that he had told her his whole secret, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, &quot;This time come up, for he has told his whole secret to me.&quot; Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and brought the money in their hands. <sup>19</sup>She let him fall asleep on her lap; and she called a man, and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. He began to weaken, and his strength left him. <sup>20</sup>Then she said, &quot;The Philistines are upon you, Samson!&quot; When he awoke from his sleep, he thought, &quot;I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free.&quot; But he did not know that the LORD had left him. <sup>21</sup>So the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes. They brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles; and he ground at the mill in the prison. <sup>22</sup>But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.<br></p></div>10/03/2023Judges 14:1-20https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/3637https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/3637<div class="ExternalClassC17810BAC5FE4032B43BB626F1A18173"><p><sup>1</sup>Once Samson went down to Timnah, and at Timnah he saw a Philistine woman. <sup>2</sup>Then he came up, and told his father and mother, &quot;I saw a Philistine woman at Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.&quot; <sup>3</sup>But his father and mother said to him, &quot;Is there not a woman among your kin, or among all our people, that you must go to take a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?&quot; But Samson said to his father, &quot;Get her for me, because she pleases me.&quot; <sup>4</sup>His father and mother did not know that this was from the LORD; for he was seeking a pretext to act against the Philistines. At that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.</p><p><sup>5</sup>Then Samson went down with his father and mother to Timnah. When he came to the vineyards of Timnah, suddenly a young lion roared at him. <sup>6</sup>The spirit of the LORD rushed on him, and he tore the lion apart barehanded as one might tear apart a kid. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done. <sup>7</sup>Then he went down and talked with the woman, and she pleased Samson. <sup>8</sup>After a while he returned to marry her, and he turned aside to see the carcass of the lion, and there was a swarm of bees in the body of the lion, and honey. <sup>9</sup>He scraped it out into his hands, and went on, eating as he went. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them, and they ate it. But he did not tell them that he had taken the honey from the carcass of the lion.</p><p><sup>10</sup>His father went down to the woman, and Samson made a feast there as the young men were accustomed to do. <sup>11</sup>When the people saw him, they brought thirty companions to be with him. <sup>12</sup>Samson said to them, &quot;Let me now put a riddle to you. If you can explain it to me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty linen garments and thirty festal garments. <sup>13</sup>But if you cannot explain it to me, then you shall give me thirty linen garments and thirty festal garments.&quot; So they said to him, &quot;Ask your riddle; let us hear it.&quot; <sup>14</sup>He said to them,<br> &quot;Out of the eater came something to eat.<br> Out of the strong came something sweet.&quot;<br> But for three days they could not explain the riddle.</p><p><sup>15</sup>On the fourth day they said to Samson's wife, &quot;Coax your husband to explain the riddle to us, or we will burn you and your father's house with fire. Have you invited us here to impoverish us?&quot; <sup>16</sup>So Samson's wife wept before him, saying, &quot;You hate me; you do not really love me. You have asked a riddle of my people, but you have not explained it to me.&quot; He said to her, &quot;Look, I have not told my father or my mother. Why should I tell you?&quot; <sup>17</sup>She wept before him the seven days that their feast lasted; and because she nagged him, on the seventh day he told her. Then she explained the riddle to her people. <sup>18</sup>The men of the town said to him on the seventh day before the sun went down,<br> &quot;What is sweeter than honey?<br> What is stronger than a lion?&quot;<br> And he said to them,<br> &quot;If you had not plowed with my heifer,<br> you would not have found out my riddle.&quot;<br> <sup>19</sup>Then the spirit of the LORD rushed on him, and he went down to Ashkelon. He killed thirty men of the town, took their spoil, and gave the festal garments to those who had explained the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father's house. <sup>20</sup>And Samson's wife was given to his companion, who had been his best man.<br></p></div>10/02/2023Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/3636https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/3636<div class="ExternalClassCDDAA39A461D489690692797C938B974"><p>​<strong>Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost</strong><br><sup>1</sup>The word of the LORD came to me&#58; <sup>2</sup>What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, &quot;The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge&quot;? <sup>3</sup>As I live, says the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. <sup>4</sup>Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine&#58; it is only the person who sins that shall die.<br></p><p><sup>25</sup>Yet you say, &quot;The way of the LORD is unfair.&quot; Hear now, O house of Israel&#58; Is my way unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair? <sup>26</sup>When the righteous turn away from their righteousness and commit iniquity, they shall die for it; for the iniquity that they have committed they shall die. <sup>27</sup>Again, when the wicked turn away from the wickedness they have committed and do what is lawful and right, they shall save their life. <sup>28</sup>Because they considered and turned away from all the transgressions that they had committed, they shall surely live; they shall not die. <sup>29</sup>Yet the house of Israel says, &quot;The way of the LORD is unfair.&quot; O house of Israel, are my ways unfair? Is it not your ways that are unfair?</p><p><sup>30</sup>Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, all of you according to your ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions; otherwise iniquity will be your ruin. <sup>31</sup>Cast away from you all the transgressions that you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? <sup>32</sup>For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord GOD. Turn, then, and live.<br></p><p><br></p></div>10/01/2023Mark 11:27-33https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/3632https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/3632<div class="ExternalClassBF1C4C2291B04CEEA2425E16FC084866"><p>​<sup>27</sup>Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him <sup>28</sup>and said, &quot;By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?&quot; <sup>29</sup>Jesus said to them, &quot;I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. <sup>30</sup>Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.&quot; <sup>31</sup>They argued with one another, &quot;If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say, 'Why then did you not believe him?' <sup>32</sup>But shall we say, 'Of human origin'?&quot; — they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. <sup>33</sup>So they answered Jesus, &quot;We do not know.&quot; And Jesus said to them, &quot;Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.&quot;<br></p></div>09/30/2023Daniel 10:10-14; 12:1-3https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/3631https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/3631<div class="ExternalClass5601990105C44E07B2749C8142525C28"><p><strong>​Michael and All Angels</strong><br></p><p><sup>10&#58;10</sup>But then a hand touched me and roused me to my hands and knees. <sup>11</sup>He said to me, &quot;Daniel, greatly beloved, pay attention to the words that I am going to speak to you. Stand on your feet, for I have now been sent to you.&quot; So while he was speaking this word to me, I stood up trembling. <sup>12</sup>He said to me, &quot;Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and I have come because of your words. <sup>13</sup>But the prince of the kingdom of Persia opposed me twenty-one days. So Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, and I left him there with the prince of the kingdom of Persia, <sup>14</sup>and have come to help you understand what is to happen to your people at the end of days. For there is a further vision for those days.&quot;</p><p><sup>12&#58;1</sup>At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. <sup>2</sup>Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. <sup>3</sup>Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.<br></p></div>09/29/2023