and requested letters from him to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, either men or women, he might bring them as prisoners to Jerusalem.
Some Ziphites came up to Saul at Gibeah and said, "David is hiding among us in the strongholds in Horesh on the hill of Hachilah south of Jeshimon.
Now, whenever the king wants to come down, let him come down. Our part will be to hand him over to the king."
"May you be blessed by the LORD," replied Saul, "for you have taken pity on me.
The officials then said to the king, "This man ought to die, because he is weakening the morale of the warriors who remain in this city and of all the people by speaking to them in this way. This man is not seeking the well-being of this people, but disaster."
So he swore oaths to her: "Whatever you ask me I will give you, up to half my kingdom."
Then she went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for?" "John the Baptist's head!" she said.
Immediately she hurried to the king and said, "I want you to give me John the Baptist's head on a platter-- right now!"
Herod was very glad to see Jesus; for a long time he had wanted to see Him, because he had heard about Him and was hoping to see some miracle performed by Him.
So he kept asking Him questions, but Jesus did not answer him.
The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing Him.
Then Herod, with his soldiers, treated Him with contempt, mocked Him, dressed Him in a brilliant robe, and sent Him back to Pilate.
That very day Herod and Pilate became friends. Previously, they had been hostile toward each other.
Pilate called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people,
and said to them, "You have brought me this man as one who subverts the people. But in fact, after examining Him in your presence, I have found no grounds to charge this man with those things you accuse Him of.
Neither has Herod, because he sent Him back to us. Clearly, He has done nothing to deserve death.
Therefore I will have Him whipped and [then] release Him."
[[For according to the festival he had to release someone to them.]]
Then they all cried out together, "Take this man away! Release Barabbas to us!"
(He had been thrown into prison for a rebellion that had taken place in the city, and for murder.)
Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again,
but they kept shouting, "Crucify! Crucify Him!"
A third time he said to them, "Why? What has this man done wrong? I have found in Him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have Him whipped and [then] release Him."
But they kept up the pressure, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And their voices won out.
So Pilate decided to grant their demand
When it was day, the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves under a curse: neither to eat nor to drink until they had killed Paul.
There were more than 40 who had formed this plot.
These men went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have bound ourselves under a solemn curse that we won't eat anything until we have killed Paul.
So now you, along with the Sanhedrin, make a request to the commander that he bring him down to you as if you were going to investigate his case more thoroughly. However, before he gets near, we are ready to kill him."
In fact, I myself supposed it was necessary to do many things in opposition to the name of Jesus the Nazarene.
This I actually did in Jerusalem, and I locked up many of the saints in prison, since I had received authority for that from the chief priests. When they were put to death, I cast my vote against them.
In all the synagogues I often tried to make them blaspheme by punishing them. Being greatly enraged at them, I even pursued them to foreign cities.
The wicked lies in wait for the righteous and seeks to kill him;
the LORD will not leave him in his hand or allow him to be condemned when he is judged.
Hide me from the scheming of the wicked, from the mob of evildoers,
who sharpen their tongues like swords and aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from concealed places at the innocent. They shoot at him suddenly and are not afraid.
They encourage each other in an evil plan; they talk about hiding traps and say, "Who will see them?"
They devise crimes [and say,] "We have perfected a secret plan." The inner man and the heart are mysterious.
[For the choir director. A Davidic psalm.] Rescue me, LORD, from evil men. Keep me safe from violent men
who plan evil in their hearts. They stir up wars all day long.
They make their tongues as sharp as a snake's bite; viper's venom is under their lips. Selah
Protect me, LORD, from the clutches of the wicked. Keep me safe from violent men who plan to make me stumble.
The proud hide a trap with ropes for me; they spread a net along the path and set snares for me. Selah
Then certain ones said, "Come, let's make plans against Jeremiah, for the law will never be lost from the priest, or counsel from the wise, or an oracle from the prophet. Come, let's denounce him and pay no attention to all his words."
They will do these things because they haven't known the Father or Me.
And why not say, just as some people slanderously claim we say, "Let us do evil so that good may come"? Their condemnation is deserved!