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When Damascus dies
Listen. One day Damascus won’t exist anymore,
Except as a pile of broken stones.
2People will desert towns in and around Aroer.
Untended flocks will graze freely in the fields,
With no one to scare them away.
3Ephraim’s towns won’t need to worry
About defenses such as city walls.
The Damascus threat will end.
Syrian survivors will share the fate
That is coming to Israelite people.
The LORD of everyone says so.
Israel falls, Rephaim Valley goes silent
4When this happens
The Israelite golden age
Dives to dirt.
Its economy breaks,
People lose it all.
5The land will look as bare
As a field picked clean,
Silent and naked in Rephaim Valley.
6You’ll find no more people
Than olives in a harvested tree.
Two or three here and there,
Four or five high and low.
That’s what the LORD says,
7This is when Israel will come back to God.
They’ll look to their Holy One for help.
Isaiah 17, Casual English Bible
See Rephaim Valley in Joshua 15:8 also as northern boundary
The northern boundary follows a line along these locations:
Beth-hoglah north of Beth-arabah and the Bohan Stone, named after Reuben’ son. 7It climbs out of Trouble Valley and continues to Debir and then north to Gilgal. Gilgal faces Adummin Hill, which is south of the dry creek. It goes on the En-shemesh springs of water and to En-rogel. 8The boundary continues along the Son of Hinnom Valley. It doesn’t include Jerusalem, where Jebusites live. The boundary runs along the Jerusalem hillside just south of the city. Then it climbs to the top of the hill on the west side of Hinnom Valley. That’s at the north end of the Valley of Rephaim.
9Judah’s northern boundary runs over to the Nephtoah spring and to the towns on Mount Ephron. It includes Baalah, a city also called Kiriath-jearim. 10The boundary continues west to Mount Seir. And it runs along the north hillside of Mount Jearim, also known as Chesalon, and then on to Beth-shemesh and to Timnah. 11From there, it continues to Ekron’s northern hill. Then it moves along to Shikkeron, Mount Baalah, Jabneel, and ends at the Mediterranean Sea.
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Saul kills all 85 priests at Nob
Saul kills priests at NobKing Saul wiped out an entire community of priests. He killed all 85 priests in Nob. David, on the run from King Saul, tricked those priests at Nob into giving him and some of this men food. They had no idea he had fallen out of favor with King Saul and that Saul was hunting him. When Saul found out the priests had helped him, here's what happened, reported in 1 Samuel 22:11-19.
Saul sends for the priests11Saul sent for the priest and his entire family. Everyone came. 12Saul told the priest, “Listen up, son of Ahitub.” The priest said, “I am here listening, my king.” 13Saul said, “Why are you helping my enemy, the son of Jesse? You gave him bread, a sword, and you took his requests to God. And now he’s leading a rebellion against me and trying to kill me. You helped him do that. Why?” 14Ahimelech said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about. What official or any other servant do you have who is more devoted to you than David? My goodness, he’s your son-in-law. When you give him a mission, he completes it quickly. Everyone in your family respects him. 15Besides, that wasn’t the first time I took one of his questions to God. So, I don’t understand why there’s a problem with this one. Please don’t think that me or my family opposes you. I don’t understand what you’re saying about us or David.”
Sentenced to death16“You’ll understand this,” the king said. “I sentence you and your family to death.” 17Saul ordered the nearby guards, “Kill the priests. They’re with David. They knew he was a fugitive. And they didn’t bother to tell me that he came to them.” The guards refused to kill priests of the LORD. 18So the king said, “Doeg, kill the priests.” Doeg killed 85 men who were dressed in the linen that priests wore. 19Then Doeg went to their town of Nob and killed the people and their livestock. He led the slaughter of men, women, children, babies, cattle, donkeys, and sheep. He killed them all with swords. 20One of Ahimelech’s sons escaped: Abiathar. He went to David. 21Abiathar told David that the king had killed his entire family, including all the priests of the LORD. Compare the story in other Bible translations at Bible Gateway.
Solomon's JerusalemKing Solomon's Jerusalem sat on ridge and stretched about one kilometer (3/4 miles) from the Temple Mount on the top of the ridge, down to Lower Jerusalem called the City of David. King David's Jerusalem was about half as big. Solomon added the Temple and surrounding area later.
Kings after Solomon began extending Jerusalem to the west. The Jerusalem of Jesus, during the Roman occupation of Israel, was much larger...until Rome crushed a Jewish revolt and destroyed the city in AD 70. That was the last Temple the Jews ever had. Arab invaders conquered the land and 1400 years ago built a Muslim shrine on the Temple Mount. It's now Jerusalem's most famous landmark: the Dome of the Rock.
For another angle on Jerusalem, see the map with Nehemiah 7. Here's a sampling of King Solomon's unusual writing, which many scholars say was written centuries later by a writer borrowing Solomon's name.
WHATEVER WE DO, IT’S A WASTE OF TIME1David’s son, the Scholar and King of Jerusalem, offers these observations
2It’s a pitiful waste of time, the Scholar says.
It’s all worthless and meaningless.
3What do people get for all their hard work,
For spilling their sweat under the sun?
4A generation dies and another is born,
But it makes no difference to the everlasting earth.
5The sun rises. The sun sets.
Then it races all night to rise again.
6The wind blows north.
The wind blows south.
The wind blows round and round.
It follows its route, comes back home,
Then it starts all over again.
7Rivers and streams flow into the sea
But the sea always has room for more.
So, water returns to the streams where it came from
And the streams flow back to the sea.
8Everything is exhausting,
Too exhausting for words.
What we see isn’t satisfying.
8What we hear isn’t good enough.
Ecclesiastes 1:1-8, Casual English Bible