Thematic Bible: Ambition


Thematic Bible








Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus.



Adonijah son of Haggith kept exalting himself, saying, “I will be king!” He prepared chariots, cavalry, and 50 men to run ahead of him.

You have indeed defeated Edom, and you have become overconfident. Enjoy your glory and stay at home. Why should you stir up such trouble that you fall—you and Judah with you?”

Their graves are their eternal homes,
their homes from generation to generation,
though they have named estates after themselves.

You said to yourself:
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will set up my throne
above the stars of God.
I will sit on the mount of the gods’ assembly,
in the remotest parts of the North.

What are you doing here? Who authorized you to carve out a tomb for yourself here, carving your tomb on the height and cutting a crypt for yourself out of rock?

Moreover, wine betrays;
an arrogant man is never at rest.
He enlarges his appetite like Sheol,
and like Death he is never satisfied.
He gathers all the nations to himself;
he collects all the peoples for himself.


At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”


But Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles dominate them, and the men of high position exercise power over them.

The greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.


Shining morning star, how you have fallen from the heavens! You destroyer of nations, you have been cut down to the ground. You said to yourself: "I will ascend to the heavens; I will set up my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of the [gods'] assembly, in the remotest parts of the North. I will ascend above the highest clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." read more.
But you will be brought down to Sheol into the deepest regions of the Pit.

One who loves to offend loves strife;
one who builds a high threshold invites injury.

"Therefore this is what the Lord God says: Since it became great in height and set its top among the clouds, and it grew proud on account of its height, I determined to hand it over to a ruler of nations; he would surely deal with it. I banished it because of its wickedness.


the joy of the wicked has been brief and the happiness of the godless has lasted only a moment? Though his arrogance reaches heaven, and his head touches the clouds, he will vanish forever like his own dung. Those who know him will ask, "Where is he?" read more.
He will fly away like a dream and never be found; he will be chased away like a vision in the night. The eye that saw him will see [him] no more, and his household will no longer see him.

They are exalted for a moment, then they are gone;
they are brought low and shrivel up like everything else.
They wither like heads of grain.

Their graves are their eternal homes, their homes from generation to generation, though they have named estates after themselves. But despite [his] assets, man will not last; he is like the animals that perish. This is the way of those who are arrogant, and of their followers, who approve of their words. Selah read more.
Like sheep they are headed for Sheol; Death will shepherd them. The upright will rule over them in the morning, and their form will waste away in Sheol, far from their lofty abode. But God will redeem my life from the power of Sheol, for He will take me. Selah Do not be afraid when a man gets rich, when the wealth of his house increases. For when he dies, he will take nothing at all; his wealth will not follow him down. Though he praises himself during his lifetime- and people praise you when you do well for yourself- he will go to the generation of his fathers; they will never see the light. A man with valuable possessions but without understanding is like the animals that perish.





After this, Absalom got himself a chariot, horses, and 50 men to run before him. He would get up early and stand beside the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone had a grievance to bring before the king for settlement, Absalom called out to him and asked, "What city are you from?" If he replied, "Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel,"

He added, “If only someone would appoint me judge in the land. Then anyone who had a grievance or dispute could come to me, and I would make sure he received justice.”


“What do you want?” He asked her.“Promise,” she said to Him, “that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and the other on Your left, in Your kingdom.”

“Woe to you Pharisees! You love the front seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.


Come, let Us go down there and confuse their language so that they will not understand one another’s speech.”





When he was alive, Absalom had set up a pillar for himself in the King’s Valley, for he had said, “I have no son to preserve the memory of my name.” So he gave the pillar his name. It is still called Absalom’s Monument today.

After this, Absalom got himself a chariot, horses, and 50 men to run before him. He would get up early and stand beside the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone had a grievance to bring before the king for settlement, Absalom called out to him and asked, "What city are you from?" If he replied, "Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel," Absalom said to him, "Look, your claims are good and right, but the king does not have anyone to listen to you." read more.
He added, "If only someone would appoint me judge in the land. Then anyone who had a grievance or dispute could come to me, and I would make sure he received justice." When a person approached to bow down to him, Absalom reached out his hand, took hold of him, and kissed him. Absalom did this to all the Israelites who came to the king for a settlement. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. When four years had passed, Absalom said to the king, "Please let me go to Hebron to fulfill a vow I made to the Lord. For your servant made a vow when I lived in Geshur of Aram, saying: If the Lord really brings me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the Lord in Hebron." "Go in peace," the king said to him. So he went to Hebron. Then Absalom sent messengers throughout the tribes of Israel with this message: "When you hear the sound of the ram's horn, you are to say, 'Absalom has become king in Hebron!' " Two hundred men from Jerusalem went with Absalom. They had been invited and were going innocently, for they knew nothing about the whole matter. While he was offering the sacrifices, Absalom sent for David's adviser Ahithophel the Gilonite, from his city of Giloh. So the conspiracy grew strong, and the people supporting Absalom continued to increase. Then an informer came to David and reported, "The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom."


That day Haman left full of joy and in good spirits.But when Haman saw Mordecai at the King's Gate, and Mordecai didn't rise or tremble in fear at his presence, Haman was filled with rage toward Mordecai. Yet Haman controlled himself and went home. He sent for his friends and his wife Zeresh to join him. Then Haman described for them his glorious wealth and his many sons. He told them all how the king had promoted him in rank and given him a high position over the other officials and the royal staff. read more.
"What's more," Haman added, "Queen Esther invited no one but me to join the king at the banquet she had prepared. I am invited again tomorrow to join her with the king. Still, none of this satisfies me since I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the King's Gate all the time."

Haman entered, and the king asked him, "What should be done for the man the king wants to honor?" Haman thought to himself, "Who is it the king would want to honor more than me?" Haman told the king, "For the man the king wants to honor: Have them bring a royal garment that the king himself has worn and a horse the king himself has ridden, which has a royal diadem on its head. read more.
Put the garment and the horse under the charge of one of the king's most noble officials. Have them clothe the man the king wants to honor, parade him on the horse through the city square, and proclaim before him, 'This is what is done for the man the king wants to honor.' "


Since you have plundered many nations, all the peoples who remain will plunder you- because of human bloodshed and violence against lands, cities, and all who live in them. Woe to him who unjustly gains wealth for his house to place his nest on high, to escape from the reach of disaster!




“What do you want?” He asked her.“Promise,” she said to Him, “that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and the other on Your left, in Your kingdom.”


"In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate [it]; she also gave [some] to her husband, [who was] with her, and he ate [it].


You have mocked the Lord through your messengers.
You have said:With my many chariots
I have gone up to the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon.
I cut down its tallest cedars,
its choice cypress trees.
I came to its farthest outpost,
its densest forest.


Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I do not get involved with things too great or too difficult for me. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself like a little weaned child with its mother; I am like a little child.




Moreover, wine betrays;
an arrogant man is never at rest.
He enlarges his appetite like Sheol,
and like Death he is never satisfied.
He gathers all the nations to himself;
he collects all the peoples for himself.


What are you doing here? Who authorized you to carve out a tomb for yourself here, carving your tomb on the height and cutting a crypt for yourself out of rock?




They said, “Does the Lord speak only through Moses? Does He not also speak through us?” And the Lord heard it.


They came together against Moses and Aaron and told them, “You have gone too far! Everyone in the entire community is holy, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the Lord’s assembly?”


Shining morning star, how you have fallen from the heavens! You destroyer of nations, you have been cut down to the ground. You said to yourself: "I will ascend to the heavens; I will set up my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of the [gods'] assembly, in the remotest parts of the North. I will ascend above the highest clouds; I will make myself like the Most High." read more.
But you will be brought down to Sheol into the deepest regions of the Pit.


What is the source of the wars and the fights among you? Don't they come from the cravings that are at war within you? You desire and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. You do not have because you do not ask.


Then a dispute also arose among them about who should be considered the greatest.


They came together against Moses and Aaron and told them, "You have gone too far! Everyone in the entire community is holy, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the Lord's assembly?" When Moses heard [this], he fell facedown. Then he said to Korah and all his followers, "Tomorrow morning the Lord will reveal who belongs to Him, who is set apart, and [the one] He will let come near Him. He will let the one He chooses come near Him. read more.
Korah, you and all your followers are to do this: take firepans, and tomorrow place fire in them and put incense on them before the Lord. Then the man the Lord chooses will be the one who is set apart. It is you Levites who have gone too far!" Moses also told Korah, "Now listen, Levites! Isn't it enough for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the Israelite community to bring you near to Himself, to perform the work at the Lord's tabernacle, and to stand before the community to minister to them? He has brought you near, and all your fellow Levites who are with you, but you are seeking the priesthood as well. Therefore, it is you and all your followers who have conspired against the Lord! As for Aaron, who is he that you should complain about him?" Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, but they said, "We will not come! Is it not enough that you brought us up from a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? Do you also have to appoint yourself as ruler over us? Furthermore, you didn't bring us to a land flowing with milk and honey or give us an inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you gouge out the eyes of these men? We will not come!" Then Moses became angry and said to the Lord, "Don't respect their offering. I have not taken one donkey from them or mistreated a single one of them." So Moses told Korah, "You and all your followers are to appear before the Lord tomorrow-you, they, and Aaron. Each of you is to take his firepan, place incense on it, and present his firepan before the Lord-250 firepans. You and Aaron [are] each [to present] your firepan also." Each man took his firepan, placed fire in it, put incense on it, and stood at the entrance to the tent of meeting along with Moses and Aaron. After Korah assembled the whole community against them at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the glory of the Lord appeared to the whole community. The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, "Separate yourselves from this community so I may consume them instantly." But Moses and Aaron fell facedown and said, "God, God of the spirits of all flesh, when one man sins, will you vent Your wrath on the whole community?" The Lord replied to Moses, "Tell the community: Get away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram." Moses got up and went to Dathan and Abiram, and the elders of Israel followed him. He warned the community, "Get away now from the tents of these wicked men. Don't touch anything that belongs to them, or you will be swept away because of all their sins." So they got away from the dwellings of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. Meanwhile, Dathan and Abiram came out and stood at the entrance of their tents with their wives, children, and infants. Then Moses said, "This is how you will know that the Lord sent me to do all these things and that it was not of my own will: If these men die [naturally] as all people would, and suffer the fate of all, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord brings about something unprecedented, and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them along with all that belongs to them so that they go down alive into Sheol, then you will know that these men have despised the Lord." Just as he finished speaking all these words, the ground beneath them split open. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, all Korah's people, and all [their] possessions. They went down alive into Sheol with all that belonged to them. The earth closed over them, and they vanished from the assembly. At their cries, all [the people of Israel] who were around them fled because they thought, "The earth may swallow us too!" Fire also came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men who were presenting the incense.


They said, "Does the Lord speak only through Moses? Does He not also speak through us?" And the Lord heard [it]. Moses was a very humble man, more so than any man on the face of the earth. Suddenly the Lord said to Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, "You three come out to the tent of meeting." So the three of them went out. read more.
Then the Lord descended in a pillar of cloud, stood at the entrance to the tent, and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them came forward, He said: "Listen to what I say: If there is a prophet among you from the Lord, I make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak with him in a dream. Not so with My servant Moses; he is faithful in all My household. I speak with him directly, openly, and not in riddles; he sees the form of the Lord. So why were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?" The Lord's anger burned against them, and He left. As the cloud moved away from the tent, Miriam's [skin] suddenly became diseased, as [white] as snow. When Aaron turned toward her, he saw that she was diseased


I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have first place among them, does not receive us.


I wrote something to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have first place among them, does not receive us. This is why, if I come, I will remind him of the works he is doing, slandering us with malicious words. And he is not satisfied with that! He not only refuses to welcome the brothers himself, but he even stops those who want to do so and expels them from the church.


You have mocked the Lord through your messengers.
You have said:With my many chariots
I have gone up to the heights of the mountains,
to the far recesses of Lebanon.
I cut down its tallest cedars,
its choice cypress trees.
I came to its farthest outpost,
its densest forest.


When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He set his affairs in order and hanged himself. So he died and was buried in his father’s tomb.


Abimelech son of Jerubbaal went to his mother's brothers at Shechem and spoke to them and to all his maternal grandfather's clan, saying, "Please speak in the presence of all the lords of Shechem, 'Is it better for you that 70 men, all the sons of Jerubbaal, rule over you or that one man rule over you?' Remember that I am your own flesh and blood." His mother's relatives spoke all these words about him in the presence of all the lords of Shechem, and they were favorable to Abimelech, for they said, "He is our brother." read more.
So they gave him 70 pieces of silver from the temple of Baal-berith. Abimelech hired worthless and reckless men with this money, and they followed him. He went to his father's house in Ophrah and killed his 70 brothers, the sons of Jerubbaal, on top of a large stone. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerubbaal, survived, because he hid himself. Then all the lords of Shechem and of Beth-millo gathered together and proceeded to make Abimelech king at the oak of the pillar in Shechem.


"In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate [it]; she also gave [some] to her husband, [who was] with her, and he ate [it].


King Jehoash of Israel sent word to Amaziah king of Judah, saying, “The thistle that was in Lebanon once sent a message to the cedar that was in Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son as a wife.’ Then a wild animal that was in Lebanon passed by and trampled the thistle.


Is it not enough that you brought us up from a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the wilderness? Do you also have to appoint yourself as ruler over us?




Adonijah son of Haggith kept exalting himself, saying, “I will be king!” He prepared chariots, cavalry, and 50 men to run ahead of him.







Brothers, I do not consider myself to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God's heavenly call in Christ Jesus.




You said to yourself: "I will ascend to the heavens; I will set up my throne above the stars of God. I will sit on the mount of the [gods'] assembly, in the remotest parts of the North. I will ascend above the highest clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."


For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but the one now restraining will do so until he is out of the way,


Adonijah son of Haggith kept exalting himself, saying, “I will be king!” He prepared chariots, cavalry, and 50 men to run ahead of him.

You have indeed defeated Edom, and you have become overconfident. Enjoy your glory and stay at home. Why should you stir up such trouble that you fall—you and Judah with you?”

Their graves are their eternal homes,
their homes from generation to generation,
though they have named estates after themselves.

You said to yourself:
“I will ascend to the heavens;
I will set up my throne
above the stars of God.
I will sit on the mount of the gods’ assembly,
in the remotest parts of the North.

What are you doing here? Who authorized you to carve out a tomb for yourself here, carving your tomb on the height and cutting a crypt for yourself out of rock?

Moreover, wine betrays;
an arrogant man is never at rest.
He enlarges his appetite like Sheol,
and like Death he is never satisfied.
He gathers all the nations to himself;
he collects all the peoples for himself.


I will do this,’ he said. ‘I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones and store all my grain and my goods there.

who says, “I will build myself a massive palace,
with spacious upper rooms.”
He will cut windows in it,
and it will be paneled with cedar
and painted with vermilion.

the king exclaimed, “Is this not Babylon the Great that I have built by my vast power to be a royal residence and to display my majestic glory?”

The house he built is like a moth’s cocoon
or a booth set up by a watchman.

But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The river crashed against it, and immediately it collapsed. And the destruction of that house was great!”





After this, Absalom got himself a chariot, horses, and 50 men to run before him. He would get up early and stand beside the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone had a grievance to bring before the king for settlement, Absalom called out to him and asked, "What city are you from?" If he replied, "Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel,"

He added, “If only someone would appoint me judge in the land. Then anyone who had a grievance or dispute could come to me, and I would make sure he received justice.”


“What do you want?” He asked her.“Promise,” she said to Him, “that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right and the other on Your left, in Your kingdom.”

“Woe to you Pharisees! You love the front seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.




Then a dispute also arose among them about who should be considered the greatest.


Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers.