1 Chronicles 21 - 1:03 . 1 Chronicles 22 - 8:07 . 1 Chronicles 23 - 12:24 . Psalm 104 - 17:22 . In his latter days, David charges his son Solomon to build the temple for the worship of God, and this is when we learn a few pieces of new information. First, we learn that the Lord did not allow David to build the temple because his hands had shed so much blood and because he had waged great wars. We also realize that David looked forward to the building of the temple even though he himself couldn't build it, charging his son with the task and spending his own time and resources to create a stockpile for the project. David also assigns duties and tasks for the Levite priests before he dies, paving the way for transition from the tabernacle to the temple once Solomon becomes king.:::Christian Standard Bible translation.All music written and produced by John Burgess Ross.Co-produced by the Christian Standard Bible.facebook.com/commuterbibleinstagram.com/commuter_bibletwitter.com/CommuterPodpatreon.email@example.com
Psalms and Wisdom: Proverbs 25–26 Proverbs 25–26 (Listen) More Proverbs of Solomon 25 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied. 2 It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.3 As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable.4 Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel;5 take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness.6 Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence or stand in the place of the great,7 for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble. What your eyes have seen8 do not hastily bring into court,1 for2 what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame?9 Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another's secret,10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you, and your ill repute have no end. 11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.12 Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters.14 Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give. 15 With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.16 If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.17 Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you.18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.19 Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.20 Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda.21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,22 for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.23 The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.24 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.25 Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.27 It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory.328 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.26 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest, so honor is not fitting for a fool.2 Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying, a curse that is causeless does not alight.3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey, and a rod for the back of fools.4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself.5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.6 Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.7 Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless, is a proverb in the mouth of fools.8 Like one who binds the stone in the sling is one who gives honor to a fool.9 Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard is a proverb in the mouth of fools.10 Like an archer who wounds everyone is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.411 Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.12 Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road! There is a lion in the streets!”14 As a door turns on its hinges, so does a sluggard on his bed.15 The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.16 The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.17 Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.18 Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death19 is the man who deceives his neighbor and says, “I am only joking!”20 For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.21 As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.22 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.23 Like the glaze5 covering an earthen vessel are fervent lips with an evil heart.24 Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips and harbors deceit in his heart;25 when he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart;26 though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.28 A lying tongue hates its victims, and a flattering mouth works ruin. Footnotes  25:8 Or presence of a noble, as your eyes have seen. 8Do not go hastily out to court  25:8 Hebrew or else  25:27 The meaning of the Hebrew line is uncertain  26:10 Or hires a fool or passersby  26:23 By revocalization; Hebrew silver of dross (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Deuteronomy 26 Deuteronomy 26 (Listen) Offerings of Firstfruits and Tithes 26 “When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken possession of it and live in it, 2 you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name to dwell there. 3 And you shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, ‘I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come into the land that the LORD swore to our fathers to give us.' 4 Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the LORD your God. 5 “And you shall make response before the LORD your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. 6 And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor. 7 Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8 And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror,1 with signs and wonders. 9 And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O LORD, have given me.' And you shall set it down before the LORD your God and worship before the LORD your God. 11 And you shall rejoice in all the good that the LORD your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you. 12 “When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year, which is the year of tithing, giving it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your towns and be filled, 13 then you shall say before the LORD your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion out of my house, and moreover, I have given it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all your commandment that you have commanded me. I have not transgressed any of your commandments, nor have I forgotten them. 14 I have not eaten of the tithe while I was mourning, or removed any of it while I was unclean, or offered any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the voice of the LORD my God. I have done according to all that you have commanded me. 15 Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.' 16 “This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and rules. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 You have declared today that the LORD is your God, and that you will walk in his ways, and keep his statutes and his commandments and his rules, and will obey his voice. 18 And the LORD has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, 19 and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.” Footnotes  26:8 Hebrew with great terror (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Micah 1–2 Micah 1–2 (Listen) 1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah of Moresheth in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. The Coming Destruction 2 Hear, you peoples, all of you;1 pay attention, O earth, and all that is in it, and let the Lord GOD be a witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple.3 For behold, the LORD is coming out of his place, and will come down and tread upon the high places of the earth.4 And the mountains will melt under him, and the valleys will split open, like wax before the fire, like waters poured down a steep place.5 All this is for the transgression of Jacob and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? Is it not Samaria? And what is the high place of Judah? Is it not Jerusalem?6 Therefore I will make Samaria a heap in the open country, a place for planting vineyards, and I will pour down her stones into the valley and uncover her foundations.7 All her carved images shall be beaten to pieces, all her wages shall be burned with fire, and all her idols I will lay waste, for from the fee of a prostitute she gathered them, and to the fee of a prostitute they shall return. 8 For this I will lament and wail; I will go stripped and naked; I will make lamentation like the jackals, and mourning like the ostriches.9 For her wound is incurable, and it has come to Judah; it has reached to the gate of my people, to Jerusalem. 10 Tell it not in Gath; weep not at all; in Beth-le-aphrah roll yourselves in the dust.11 Pass on your way, inhabitants of Shaphir, in nakedness and shame; the inhabitants of Zaanan do not come out; the lamentation of Beth-ezel shall take away from you its standing place.12 For the inhabitants of Maroth wait anxiously for good, because disaster has come down from the LORD to the gate of Jerusalem.13 Harness the steeds to the chariots, inhabitants of Lachish; it was the beginning of sin to the daughter of Zion, for in you were found the transgressions of Israel.14 Therefore you shall give parting gifts2 to Moresheth-gath; the houses of Achzib shall be a deceitful thing to the kings of Israel.15 I will again bring a conqueror to you, inhabitants of Mareshah; the glory of Israel shall come to Adullam.16 Make yourselves bald and cut off your hair, for the children of your delight; make yourselves as bald as the eagle, for they shall go from you into exile. Woe to the Oppressors 2 Woe to those who devise wickedness and work evil on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in the power of their hand.2 They covet fields and seize them, and houses, and take them away; they oppress a man and his house, a man and his inheritance.3 Therefore thus says the LORD: behold, against this family I am devising disaster,3 from which you cannot remove your necks, and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be a time of disaster.4 In that day they shall take up a taunt song against you and moan bitterly, and say, “We are utterly ruined; he changes the portion of my people; how he removes it from me! To an apostate he allots our fields.”5 Therefore you will have none to cast the line by lot in the assembly of the LORD. 6 “Do not preach”—thus they preach— “one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us.”7 Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Has the LORD grown impatient?4 Are these his deeds? Do not my words do good to him who walks uprightly?8 But lately my people have risen up as an enemy; you strip the rich robe from those who pass by trustingly with no thought of war.59 The women of my people you drive out from their delightful houses; from their young children you take away my splendor forever.10 Arise and go, for this is no place to rest, because of uncleanness that destroys with a grievous destruction.11 If a man should go about and utter wind and lies,
Reading Judges 18:1-31 (NLT) ~ Scripture reading followed by discussion. Dan looking for easier land to conquer. Moses' grandson being reviled as the apostate Levite. It doesn't matter what family you are from; you need your own personal relationship with the LORD. We set our hearts on the things we love, when we should be setting our hearts on God. Micha had put his hope in things that could be easily taken away. It was better for Micha that the idols were taken from his life. Short tempered men literally translated bitter of soul, people whose bitter disappointment with life has made their actions unpredictable. Letting our actions reflect our circumstances vs letting our actions reflect God's love. The call to love others as God has loved us. We can have our hearts set on God and then get distracted by our circumstance, so keep your heart set on God and seek Jesus' response in every situation.
Au sommaire: interview de Marie Owens Thomsen sur l'état des lieux du trafic aérien; les ONG s'inquiètent d'une nouvelle loi sur l'information en Turquie; et un reportage dans le Sindh au Pakistan où les villageois subissent une pénurie d'eau.
With family: Deuteronomy 26; Psalms 117–118 Deuteronomy 26 (Listen) Offerings of Firstfruits and Tithes 26 “When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance and have taken possession of it and live in it, 2 you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from your land that the LORD your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket, and you shall go to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name to dwell there. 3 And you shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, ‘I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come into the land that the LORD swore to our fathers to give us.' 4 Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the LORD your God. 5 “And you shall make response before the LORD your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous. 6 And the Egyptians treated us harshly and humiliated us and laid on us hard labor. 7 Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8 And the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great deeds of terror,1 with signs and wonders. 9 And he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 And behold, now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground, which you, O LORD, have given me.' And you shall set it down before the LORD your God and worship before the LORD your God. 11 And you shall rejoice in all the good that the LORD your God has given to you and to your house, you, and the Levite, and the sojourner who is among you. 12 “When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year, which is the year of tithing, giving it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, so that they may eat within your towns and be filled, 13 then you shall say before the LORD your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion out of my house, and moreover, I have given it to the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, according to all your commandment that you have commanded me. I have not transgressed any of your commandments, nor have I forgotten them. 14 I have not eaten of the tithe while I was mourning, or removed any of it while I was unclean, or offered any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the voice of the LORD my God. I have done according to all that you have commanded me. 15 Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey.' 16 “This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and rules. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 You have declared today that the LORD is your God, and that you will walk in his ways, and keep his statutes and his commandments and his rules, and will obey his voice. 18 And the LORD has declared today that you are a people for his treasured possession, as he has promised you, and that you are to keep all his commandments, 19 and that he will set you in praise and in fame and in honor high above all nations that he has made, and that you shall be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.” Footnotes  26:8 Hebrew with great terror (ESV) Psalms 117–118 (Listen) The Lord's Faithfulness Endures Forever 117 Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!2 For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! His Steadfast Love Endures Forever 118 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! 2 Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”3 Let the house of Aaron say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”4 Let those who fear the LORD say, “His steadfast love endures forever.” 5 Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.6 The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?7 The LORD is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. 8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. 10 All nations surrounded me; in the name of the LORD I cut them off!11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the LORD I cut them off!12 They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off!13 I was pushed hard,1 so that I was falling, but the LORD helped me. 14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.15 Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the LORD does valiantly,16 the right hand of the LORD exalts, the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!” 17 I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.18 The LORD has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death. 19 Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.20 This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.223 This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar! 28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.29 Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! Footnotes  118:13 Hebrew You (that is, the enemy) pushed me hard  118:22 Hebrew the head of the corner (ESV) In private: Isaiah 53; Matthew 1 Isaiah 53 (Listen) 53 Who has believed what he has heard from us?1 And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.3 He was despised and rejected2 by men, a man of sorrows3 and acquainted with4 grief;5 and as one from whom men hide their faces6 he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief;7 when his soul makes8 an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see9 and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,10 and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,11 because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. Footnotes  53:1 Or Who has believed what we have heard?  53:3 Or forsaken  53:3 Or pains; also verse 4  53:3 Or and knowing  53:3 Or sickness; also verse 4  53:3 Or as one who hides his face from us  53:10 Or he has made him sick  53:10 Or when you make his soul  53:11 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll he shall see light  53:12 Or with the great  53:12 Or with the numerous (ESV) Matthew 1 (Listen) The Genealogy of Jesus Christ 1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram,1 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph,2 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos,3 and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. 12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,4 and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. The Birth of Jesus Christ 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ5 took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed6 to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus. Footnotes  1:3 Greek Aram; also verse 4  1:7 Asaph is probably an alternate spelling of Asa; some manuscripts Asa; also verse 8  1:10 Amos is probably an alternate spelling of Amon; some manuscripts Amon; twice in this verse  1:12 Greek Salathiel; twice in this verse  1:18 Some manuscripts of the Christ  1:18 That is, legally pledged to be married (ESV)
Au sommaire: la conférence internationale sur la crise alimentaire; le partage de Berlin après la guerre raconté dans un livre; et la distinction par l'UE d'une association roumaine de réhabilitation du patrimoine.
Morning: Nehemiah 12–13 Nehemiah 12–13 (Listen) Priests and Levites 12 These are the priests and the Levites who came up with Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua: Seraiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, 2 Amariah, Malluch, Hattush, 3 Shecaniah, Rehum, Meremoth, 4 Iddo, Ginnethoi, Abijah, 5 Mijamin, Maadiah, Bilgah, 6 Shemaiah, Joiarib, Jedaiah, 7 Sallu, Amok, Hilkiah, Jedaiah. These were the chiefs of the priests and of their brothers in the days of Jeshua. 8 And the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who with his brothers was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving. 9 And Bakbukiah and Unni and their brothers stood opposite them in the service. 10 And Jeshua was the father of Joiakim, Joiakim the father of Eliashib, Eliashib the father of Joiada, 11 Joiada the father of Jonathan, and Jonathan the father of Jaddua. 12 And in the days of Joiakim were priests, heads of fathers' houses: of Seraiah, Meraiah; of Jeremiah, Hananiah; 13 of Ezra, Meshullam; of Amariah, Jehohanan; 14 of Malluchi, Jonathan; of Shebaniah, Joseph; 15 of Harim, Adna; of Meraioth, Helkai; 16 of Iddo, Zechariah; of Ginnethon, Meshullam; 17 of Abijah, Zichri; of Miniamin, of Moadiah, Piltai; 18 of Bilgah, Shammua; of Shemaiah, Jehonathan; 19 of Joiarib, Mattenai; of Jedaiah, Uzzi; 20 of Sallai, Kallai; of Amok, Eber; 21 of Hilkiah, Hashabiah; of Jedaiah, Nethanel. 22 In the days of Eliashib, Joiada, Johanan, and Jaddua, the Levites were recorded as heads of fathers' houses; so too were the priests in the reign of Darius the Persian. 23 As for the sons of Levi, their heads of fathers' houses were written in the Book of the Chronicles until the days of Johanan the son of Eliashib. 24 And the chiefs of the Levites: Hashabiah, Sherebiah, and Jeshua the son of Kadmiel, with their brothers who stood opposite them, to praise and to give thanks, according to the commandment of David the man of God, watch by watch. 25 Mattaniah, Bakbukiah, Obadiah, Meshullam, Talmon, and Akkub were gatekeepers standing guard at the storehouses of the gates. 26 These were in the days of Joiakim the son of Jeshua son of Jozadak, and in the days of Nehemiah the governor and of Ezra, the priest and scribe. Dedication of the Wall 27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres. 28 And the sons of the singers gathered together from the district surrounding Jerusalem and from the villages of the Netophathites; 29 also from Beth-gilgal and from the region of Geba and Azmaveth, for the singers had built for themselves villages around Jerusalem. 30 And the priests and the Levites purified themselves, and they purified the people and the gates and the wall. 31 Then I brought the leaders of Judah up onto the wall and appointed two great choirs that gave thanks. One went to the south on the wall to the Dung Gate. 32 And after them went Hoshaiah and half of the leaders of Judah, 33 and Azariah, Ezra, Meshullam, 34 Judah, Benjamin, Shemaiah, and Jeremiah, 35 and certain of the priests' sons with trumpets: Zechariah the son of Jonathan, son of Shemaiah, son of Mattaniah, son of Micaiah, son of Zaccur, son of Asaph; 36 and his relatives, Shemaiah, Azarel, Milalai, Gilalai, Maai, Nethanel, Judah, and Hanani, with the musical instruments of David the man of God. And Ezra the scribe went before them. 37 At the Fountain Gate they went up straight before them by the stairs of the city of David, at the ascent of the wall, above the house of David, to the Water Gate on the east. 38 The other choir of those who gave thanks went to the north, and I followed them with half of the people, on the wall, above the Tower of the Ovens, to the Broad Wall, 39 and above the Gate of Ephraim, and by the Gate of Yeshanah,1 and by the Fish Gate and the Tower of Hananel and the Tower of the Hundred, to the Sheep Gate; and they came to a halt at the Gate of the Guard. 40 So both choirs of those who gave thanks stood in the house of God, and I and half of the officials with me; 41 and the priests Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah, and Hananiah, with trumpets; 42 and Maaseiah, Shemaiah, Eleazar, Uzzi, Jehohanan, Malchijah, Elam, and Ezer. And the singers sang with Jezrahiah as their leader. 43 And they offered great sacrifices that day and rejoiced, for God had made them rejoice with great joy; the women and children also rejoiced. And the joy of Jerusalem was heard far away. Service at the Temple 44 On that day men were appointed over the storerooms, the contributions, the firstfruits, and the tithes, to gather into them the portions required by the Law for the priests and for the Levites according to the fields of the towns, for Judah rejoiced over the priests and the Levites who ministered. 45 And they performed the service of their God and the service of purification, as did the singers and the gatekeepers, according to the command of David and his son Solomon. 46 For long ago in the days of David and Asaph there were directors of the singers, and there were songs2 of praise and thanksgiving to God. 47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel and in the days of Nehemiah gave the daily portions for the singers and the gatekeepers; and they set apart that which was for the Levites; and the Levites set apart that which was for the sons of Aaron. Nehemiah's Final Reforms 13 On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people. And in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever enter the assembly of God, 2 for they did not meet the people of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them—yet our God turned the curse into a blessing. 3 As soon as the people heard the law, they separated from Israel all those of foreign descent. 4 Now before this, Eliashib the priest, who was appointed over the chambers of the house of our God, and who was related to Tobiah, 5 prepared for Tobiah a large chamber where they had previously put the grain offering, the frankincense, the vessels, and the tithes of grain, wine, and oil, which were given by commandment to the Levites, singers, and gatekeepers, and the contributions for the priests. 6 While this was taking place, I was not in Jerusalem, for in the thirty-second year of Artaxerxes king of Babylon I went to the king. And after some time I asked leave of the king 7 and came to Jerusalem, and I then discovered the evil that Eliashib had done for Tobiah, preparing for him a chamber in the courts of the house of God. 8 And I was very angry, and I threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber. 9 Then I gave orders, and they cleansed the chambers, and I brought back there the vessels of the house of God, with the grain offering and the frankincense. 10 I also found out that the portions of the Levites had not been given to them, so that the Levites and the singers, who did the work, had fled each to his field. 11 So I confronted the officials and said, “Why is the house of God forsaken?” And I gathered them together and set them in their stations. 12 Then all Judah brought the tithe of the grain, wine, and oil into the storehouses. 13 And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouses Shelemiah the priest, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah of the Levites, and as their assistant Hanan the son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, for they were considered reliable, and their duty was to distribute to their brothers. 14 Remember me, O my God, concerning this, and do not wipe out my good deeds that I have done for the house of my God and for his service. 15 In those days I saw in Judah people treading winepresses on the Sabbath, and bringing in heaps of grain and loading them on donkeys, and also wine, grapes, figs, and all kinds of loads, which they brought into Jerusalem on the Sabbath day. And I warned them on the day when they sold food. 16 Tyrians also, who lived in the city, brought in fish and all kinds of goods and sold them on the Sabbath to the people of Judah, in Jerusalem itself! 17 Then I confronted the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing that you are doing, profaning the Sabbath day? 18 Did not your fathers act in this way, and did not our God bring all this disaster3 on us and on this city? Now you are bringing more wrath on Israel by profaning the Sabbath.” 19 As soon as it began to grow dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the Sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and gave orders that they should not be opened until after the Sabbath. And I stationed some of my servants at the gates, that no load might be brought in on the Sabbath day. 20 Then the merchants and sellers of all kinds of wares lodged outside Jerusalem once or twice. 21 But I warned them and said to them, “Why do you lodge outside the wall? If you do so again, I will lay hands on you.” From that time on they did not come on the Sabbath. 22 Then I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come and guard the gates, to keep the Sabbath day holy. Remember this also in my favor, O my God, and spare me according to the greatness of your steadfast love. 23 In those days also I saw the Jews who had married women of Ashdod, Ammon, and Moab. 24 And half of their children spoke the language of Ashdod, and they could not speak the language of Judah, but only the language of each people. 25 And I confronted them and cursed them and beat some of them and pulled out their hair. And I made them take an oath in the name of God, saying, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, or take their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. 26 Did not Solomon king of Israel sin on account of such women? Among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was beloved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless, foreign women made even him to sin. 27 Shall we then listen to you and do all this great evil and act treacherously against our God by marrying foreign women?” 28 And one of the sons of Jehoiada, the son of Eliashib the high priest, was the son-in-law of Sanballat the Horonite. Therefore I chased him from me. 29 Remember them, O my God, because they have desecrated the priesthood and the covenant of the priesthood and the Levites. 30 Thus I cleansed them from everything foreign, and I established the duties of the priests and Levites, each in his work; 31 and I provided for the wood offering at appointed times, and for the firstfruits. Remember me, O my God, for good. Footnotes  12:39 Or of the old city  12:46 Or leaders  13:18 The Hebrew word can mean evil, harm, or disaster, depending on the context (ESV) Evening: Acts 4:23–37 Acts 4:23–37 (Listen) The Believers Pray for Boldness 23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,1 said by the Holy Spirit, “‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain?26 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed'2— 27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, 30 while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. They Had Everything in Common 32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. Footnotes  4:25 Or child; also verses 27, 30  4:26 Or Christ (ESV)
Au sommaire: interview de Laetitia Krupa sur les législatives; point sur les promesses d'ouverture et d'assouplissement faites par les talibans en Afghanistan; et le rôle de la religion dans les négociations de paix.
INTRODUCTION Leviticus 19 is sometimes called the Sermon on the Mount of the Old Testament, since like the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, it is a collection of moral instructions for God's people, including the specific command that is the second greatest commandment: “love your neighbor as yourself.” Repeated twice in this chapter, we should understand the whole chapter (and Jesus says the whole Old Testament) as a lesson on that point. THE TEXT “And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the congregation of the children of Israel, and say unto them, Ye shall be holy: for I the Lord your God am holy…” SUMMARY OF THE TEXT Since piety begins at home, God's people are to fear their mother and their father, keep God's sabbaths, and not turn to idols (19:1-4). When they offer peace offerings, they may only eat the feast for two days, preventing overindulgence, laziness, and greed – probably implying the need to share and be generous (19:5-8). Related, God requires business owners to leave leftovers for the poor (19:9-10). God's people must not steal, lie, swear falsely, or rob anyone, even by being slow to pay what we owe, particularly to the poor (19:11-13). All cruelty, especially to the disabled, is condemned, as well as all injustice through favoritism or partiality (19:14-15). All gossip and slander are prohibited as forms of murder and hatred, and if you have a problem with someone, you must talk to them directly (19:16-17). God's people are to reject all vengeance and grudges, and love their neighbors as themselves (19:18). While mixing seeds and fabrics may have been prohibited as a sign of distinctions between Jews and Gentiles, this law also points to God's insistence that His people not confuse and mix the “fabric” of the way God made the world, e.g. male and female (19:19). While justice is to be without partiality, God insists that those with less power (e.g. slaves) be granted greater benefit of the doubt, particularly in cases of sexual immorality (19:20-22). The people were required to trust God for the fruit of their newly planted trees, waiting until the fifth year to eat it (19:23-25). All idolatry is prohibited: whether through consuming blood, pagan hairstyles, tattoos, prostitution, or witchcraft (19:26-31). The chapter returns to where it began, reminding the people to keep sabbath, rise up before the elderly, love strangers as themselves, and keep justice, since God is the Lord and brought them out of Egypt (Lev. 19:32-37). LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF Jesus and the New Testament writers repeatedly insist that the whole law is found in this summary: love your neighbor as yourself (Lk. 10:27-28, Gal. 5:14, Js. 2:8). This is the law and the prophets, and all the laws are summarized and fulfilled in this one: love your neighbor as yourself (Mt. 22:39-40, Rom. 13:9-10). Love is more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices (Mk. 12:29-33). This completely contradicts those who claim that the law of God is opposed to love, or that the Old Testament was not about the love of God. Love is obedience to God from the heart. But to truly understand the law of God is to see how far short we fall of God's love. This love requires strict justice and fairness in some matters (19:11-13, 15, 35-36), but also loves mercy and generosity (19:9-10, 20-22). Even manners are love in the little things: clothing, hair, standing for the elderly (19:19, 27, 32). Love works hard, honestly, avoiding the need to receive charity, with the goal of being able to give generously to those in need (Lev. 19:5-6, 9-10, 34, cf. 2 Thess. 3:5ff, Eph. 4:28). While civil magistrates have a duty to love God by enforcing strict justice, they have no business coercing the “love” or charity of others. Government programs and the taxation they require only robs people of the opportunity to love freely. WHO IS MY NEIGHBOR? When the lawyer asked Jesus who his neighbor was that he was to love, Jesus famously answered with the parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10:29-37). The striking thing is that Jesus shifts the question from “Who is my neighbor?” (object) to “Who acted as a neighbor?” (subject) (Lk. 10: 29, 36). The point is that we are required to have a certain disposition, ready to love. Notice that the so-called rule-followers (the Levite and Priest) are the ones who fail to be neighbors, and the one notorious for breaking rules (the Samaritan) is the one who loves the nearly-dead Jew. The Samaritan is incredibly lavish, and Jesus emphasizes this: bandages, oil, wine, transportation, lodging, further care, future care, and all expenses paid (Lk. 10:34-35). Most interpreters take the Samaritan to be a type of Jesus, an outcast, come to rescue the nearly-dead human race in Adam, which certainly works. It may also be the case that Jesus intends to be prefigured in the stripped, beaten, and robbed man among the thieves, setting the goal of neighbor-love as ultimately aimed at loving Him, through the least of these my brethren (Mt. 25:40). In either case, the conclusion is that in order to love your neighbor as yourself, you must reckon yourself an outsider, a foreigner, a threat, a criminal, already rejected, having nothing to lose (Gal. 2:20). In other words, love means reckoning yourself as among the rescued, as among the slaves because you were freed from Egypt (Lev. 19:34, 36). CONCLUSIONS As we consider our duty to love, we should remember the difference between refugees and apostles from the world. Refugees are fleeing from the world and frequently show up looking like the world, talking like the world, and full of the confusions of the world but they are teachable and hungry to learn. Apostles show up with a message from the world about how backward and narrow-minded Biblical thinking and living is. Refugees are welcome to come and learn and grow; apostles should be corrected a couple times and then not given the time of day (Tit. 3:10). Throughout the text, the line is repeated: “I am the Lord,” and it seems that this should be taken as shorthand for the bookends: “I the Lord your God am holy” (Lev. 19:2) and “I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt” (19:36). God's holiness is directed at saving His people, and God's holiness is bound up with His love. But this holy love is not content to merely “affirm” anyone just as they are or in whatever they want to do or be. No, this holy love is determined to bring Christ into every moment, to see Him in those around us (however weak or foreign or unlovely) until His image emerges clearly in them. We are called to this love because it is precisely the kind of love that God has bestowed upon us.
In this section, Moses directs Israelite farmers to pay the triennial tithe, which God intended for the Levites, strangers, orphans and widows in their towns (Deut 26:12-15). Then Moses closes this section by directing all Israel to obey the Lord and walk with Him, and that if they do, God will bless and exalt them above all the nations (Deut 26:16-19). Reminder to Give the Triennial Tithe Moses opens this section, saying, “When you have finished paying all the tithe of your increase in the third year, the year of tithing, then you shall give it to the Levite, to the stranger, to the orphan and to the widow, that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied” (Deut 26:12). In a previous section, Moses had addressed the annual tithe of produce that was to be taken to the tabernacle/temple and eaten with the family and Levites (Deut 14:22-27). Here, Moses references the tithe that was taken every third year and deposited—not at the sanctuary—but in the Israelite's own town. This triennial tithe was for the less fortunate and vulnerable within the community (see Deut 14:28-29). It's likely the food was stored in city storerooms where the poor could go and draw from those resources over a period of time and not merely on one occasion. God had blessed Israel with freedom (Deut 5:6), land (Deut 4:1; 9:6), and the ability to make a profit (Deut 8:18). Giving the tithe was a test of their heart, to see if they loved the Lord and would trust Him as their Provider. When it came to helping the Levite, the alien, the orphan, and the widow, Israelites were to be generous and open-handed when surrendering the tenth of their labor-produce. This tithe would secure the needs of the economically vulnerable in the community. By means of this contribution, obedient-to-the-Word Israelites would serve as conduits of God's grace. When the Israelite farmer followed God's Word and gave this tithe to help the Levite, the alien, the orphan, and the widow, he revealed the two-dimensional way his mind and will operated as he looked upward to the Lord in faith and then acted outward for the benefit of others. Moses continued, saying, “You shall say before the LORD your God, ‘I have removed the sacred portion from my house, and also have given it to the Levite and the alien, the orphan and the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed or forgotten any of Your commandments” (Deut 26:13). The Israelite farmers, after setting aside this tithe, were to make a declaration “before the LORD” in which they stated their faithful obedience to God's directive. Daniel Block believes the statement was made at the tabernacle/temple, saying, “After Israelite farmers have demonstrated covenantal loyalty to Yahweh by taking care of the poor, they are to make a pilgrimage to the central sanctuary and perform the verbal ritual that follows.” However, Peter Craigie holds that the statement was probably made at the Israelite's home, saying, “After distributing the tithe, the worshipper made a declaration before the Lord your God; since the words were probably to be spoken in the settlements, not at the central sanctuary, these words may indicate that this worship and declaration in the third year of settlement were performed in the home.” This latter view makes more sense, since the food that was set aside by the farmer was handed over to the local residents. The collection and giving of the tithe of produce every third year was an act of loyal obedience by the Israelite farmer. Apparently, it was collected and stored at the farmer's home until the appropriate time when it was handed over. Moses calls this tithe “the sacred portion” because it was sacred to the Lord, for His glory and the benefit of His people. The tithe of produce was to be held on deposit in the Israelite's home until the day it was delivered to the Levite and the alien, the orphan, and the widow in the community. Here, giving to God's needy people was the same as giving to God Himself; an identification truth we find elsewhere in Scripture (Matt 25:34-40; Acts 9:1-4). Earl Kalland states: "Being sacred, the tenth is definitely not for the donor's use. This sacred tithe was not conceived of as merely a secular tax for the welfare of the poor but as an act inspired by the Lord. Both the giving of it by the donor and the reception of it by the Levite or underprivileged were spiritual acts, and the tithe itself was to be recognized as holy." Additionally, the Israelite was to say, “I have not eaten of it while mourning, nor have I removed any of it while I was unclean, nor offered any of it to the dead. I have listened to the voice of the LORD my God; I have done according to all that You have commanded me” (Deut 26:14). The offering of the tithe was given to God and others, not because the offerer had produced it by means of his own hard work and clever industry, but because God had blessed him, both with the land and the power to make wealth. Once the tithe was dedicated to God, it was to be treated as sacred and could not be touched for any other purpose. That the farmer had not eaten any of the tithe while mourning, nor removed any of it while unclean, nor offered it to the dead, all seems to refer to Canaanite pagan practices that were forbidden by God. Eugene Merrill states: "The best understanding here is that he had not participated in use of the tithe while engaged in pagan rites of fertility or sympathetic magic. Such rites were characteristic of Canaanite worship as a means of inducing the underworld deities to fertilize the soil and guarantee a bountiful harvest. They would include the presentation of offerings and a sacred drama in which weeping and lamentation would play a part (cf. Ezek 8:14)…Ordinary mourning occasioned by death was not in view here, however, for the offerer was to disclaim having made any offering to the dead. This no doubt is to be understood in terms of Canaanite ritual in which deities such as Baal who had been consigned to the Netherworld were sustained by food offerings until they could revive and return to their procreative function on the earth." Having declared covenant loyalty to the Lord, the Israelite was to ask God to fulfill His Word to them by blessing their efforts, saying, “Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel, and the ground which You have given us, a land flowing with milk and honey, as You swore to our fathers” (Deut 26:15). Though the Israelite was to address God in heaven, it was understood that God was everywhere present (Psa 139:7-10; Isa 66:1-2). The request for God to bless His people was in keeping with His promise to them. The blessing included both His people and the land He'd given to them. The land which God was giving to His people was of particular interest to the Lord, as He'd promised it to the patriarchs and their descendants (Gen 17:7-8; 26:3-4; 28:13-14). Moses described it as “a land for which the LORD your God cares; the eyes of the LORD your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year” (Deut 11:12). God's blessing upon His people did not mean everyone would receive equal outcomes, as social and economic stratification continued throughout the nation. Rather, it meant all would be cared for under Yahweh's protections and provisions. Directive to Obey All the Lord's Commands Having discussed Israel's obligations after entering the land of Canaan, Moses here calls his hearers back to the present, and the primary concern of living in obedience to all God's directives. Moses states, “This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances. You shall therefore be careful to do them with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deut 26:16). Though Moses had been speaking, what was being communicated was the Word of God; saying, “This day the LORD your God commands you to do these statutes and ordinances” (Deut 26:16a). Adhering to these directives meant they were following God. Furthermore, obedience to God implied they'd heard His Word and committed it to their hearts. This was not a one and done event. If Israel was to display covenant loyalty, it meant nothing less than a lifelong devotion to learning God's Word and then applying it by faith to every aspect of their lives, whether marriage, family, work, war, economics, social activities, judicial matters, or religious duties. For the committed Israelite, it meant “his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psa 1:2). He says, “O how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day” (Psa 119:97). Unfortunately, most of Israel's history was marked by disobedience, and this grieved the Lord (see Psa 81:11-14). Having heard God's commitment to His people and providing directives for them to follow, the people were to recognize the solemnity of their oaths, as Moses states, “You have today declared the LORD to be your God, and that you would walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments and His ordinances, and listen to His voice” (Deut 26:17). Having agreed to the terms of the covenant, God then promised to bless them if they kept His directives. Moses said, “The LORD has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you, and that you should keep all His commandments; 19 and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, for praise, fame, and honor; and that you shall be a consecrated people to the LORD your God, as He has spoken” (Deut 26:18-19). In this statement, both God and Israel promised to keep their part of the covenant agreement. Israel was to learn and faithfully observe God's directives. This was true for the generation that Moses was addressing, as well as subsequent generations born into the covenant community. If Israel would walk with the Lord, He would elevate them above all other nations. The result would be that Israel receive “praise, fame, and honor” by the other nations. Earl Radmacher states, “These verses conclude the legal corpus of Deuteronomy (12:1–26:19) in which Moses developed and applied the laws of the Book of the Covenant to a new situation, as Israel was about to enter the land. It is also an appropriate anticipation of the next section with its focus on covenant renewal (27:1–30:20).” This last statement anticipates the blessings in Deuteronomy 28:1-14 that God promised to pour out on His people if they would walk with Him and obey His commands. Israel Past, Present, and Future God called Abraham into a special relationship (Gen 12:1-3; 15:1-18), and through his descendants, God would form a special nation (Gen 17:7-8). Abraham's descendants went into Egypt, where they stayed for 400 years (Gen 15:13; 46:1-4; cf. Ex 12:40). Afterwards, God called Israel out of Egypt in 1445 BC under the leadership of Moses. When that happened, God created the nation of Israel (Isa 43:1), which He intended to be His holy people (Deut 7:6), to walk with Him in righteousness (Deut 5:33; 8:6). Under the Mosaic Law, Israel would know blessing if they obeyed God's commands (Deut 28:1-15) and cursing if they did not (Deut 28:16-68). After Moses died, God brought the Israelites into the land of Canaan (i.e., the land promised to Abraham) under the leadership of Joshua (Deut 31:23; Josh 1:1-9), and there the land was divided, giving a portion to each of the descendants of Jacob. After Joshua died (Josh 24:29-31), Israel repeatedly fell into idolatry and suffered divine discipline for their rebellion (read Judges). This went on for over 300 years as Israel fell into a pattern of idolatry. The period of the Judges was marked by people who did not obey the Lord, but “did what was right in their own eyes” (Judg 17:6; 21:25). Samuel was the last of Israel's judges, and then the people cried for a king because they wanted to be like the other nations (1 Sam 8:4-5). God gave them their request (1 Sam 8:22), and Saul became the first king in Israel (1 Sam 10:1). Though Saul started well, he quickly turned away from the Lord and would not obey God's commands. Saul reigned for approximately 40 years and his leadership was a failure (1 Sam 13:1; cf. Acts 13:21). Later, God raised up David to be king in Israel (1 Sam 16:1-13), and David reigned for 40 years and was an ideal king who followed God and encouraged others to do the same (1 Ki 2:10-11). God decreed David's throne would be established forever through one of his descendants (2 Sam 7:16; Psa 89:3-4, 34-36), and this is Jesus (Luke 1:31-33). After David died, Solomon reigned for 40 years (1 Ki 2:12; 11:42-43), and though He was wise and did many good things (ruled well, built the temple, wrote Scripture, etc.), he eventually turned away from God and worshiped idols (1 Ki 11:1-10), and the kingdom was divided afterward (1 Ki 11:11-41). Solomon's son, Rehoboam, ruled over the two southern tribes (Judah) and Jeroboam ruled over the ten northern tribes (Israel). Israel—the northern kingdom—had 19 kings throughout its history and all were bad, as they led God's people into idolatry (i.e., the “sins of Jeroboam” 1 Ki 16:31; 2 Ki 3:3; 10:31; 13:2). The ten northern tribes came under divine discipline because of their idolatry and were destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 BC. Judah—the southern kingdom—had 20 kings throughout its history and 8 were good (some more than others), as they obeyed God and led others to do the same (they were committed to the Lord like David, 1 Ki 15:11). However, Judah repeatedly fell into idolatry—as the 10 northern tribes had done—and were eventually destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The dispersion of Israel was promised by God if they turned away from Him and served other gods (Deut 28:63-68). Since the destruction by Babylon, Israel has been under Gentile dominance (Luke 21:24; Rom 11:25). After a temporary regathering under Ezra and Nehemiah, Israel continued under Gentile dominance with the Medes & Persians, Greeks, and Romans. Because of their rejection of Jesus as Messiah, God disciplined Israel again in AD 70, and the Jews were scattered all over the world (Jam 1:1; 1 Pet 1:1). Jesus' pronouncement of judgment was, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 38 Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 39 For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord'” (Matt 23:37-39). The apostle Paul tells us, “a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; 26 and so all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob'” (Rom 11:25-26). Israel will be restored as God's special people when Messiah returns to establish His kingdom on earth (Rev 19:11-21; 20:4-6). Jack Deere states: "Through disobedience and rebellion, generation after generation of Israelites forfeited their right to be exalted over the nations. But Isaiah wrote that Israel's rebellion would not continue forever, for the Lord will raise up a generation of faithful Israelites in the future who will enjoy God's grace in a golden age of blessing (Isa 60–62). That age is commonly called the Millennium."  Daniel I. Block, The NIV Application Commentary: Deuteronomy, ed. Terry Muck (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 605.  Peter C. Craigie, The Book of Deuteronomy, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1976), 322–323.  Earl S. Kalland, “Deuteronomy,” in The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, ed. Frank E. Gaebelein, vol. 3 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1992), 156.  Eugene H. Merrill, Deuteronomy, vol. 4, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1994), 336.  Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen, and H. Wayne House, Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1999), 260.  Jack S. Deere, “Deuteronomy,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 309.
Psalms and Wisdom: Proverbs 11–12 Proverbs 11–12 (Listen) 11 A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight.2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.3 The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.5 The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight, but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.6 The righteousness of the upright delivers them, but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.7 When the wicked dies, his hope will perish, and the expectation of wealth1 perishes too.8 The righteous is delivered from trouble, and the wicked walks into it instead.9 With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor, but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices, and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.12 Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.13 Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.15 Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm, but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.16 A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches.17 A man who is kind benefits himself, but a cruel man hurts himself.18 The wicked earns deceptive wages, but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.19 Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live, but he who pursues evil will die.20 Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD, but those of blameless ways are his delight.21 Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished, but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.22 Like a gold ring in a pig's snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good, the expectation of the wicked in wrath.24 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.26 The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.27 Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor,2 but evil comes to him who searches for it.28 Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.29 Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.31 If the righteous is repaid on earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!12 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.2 A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but a man of evil devices he condemns.3 No one is established by wickedness, but the root of the righteous will never be moved.4 An excellent wife is the crown of her husband, but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.5 The thoughts of the righteous are just; the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.6 The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the mouth of the upright delivers them.7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous will stand.8 A man is commended according to his good sense, but one of twisted mind is despised.9 Better to be lowly and have a servant than to play the great man and lack bread.10 Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast, but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.11 Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.12 Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers, but the root of the righteous bears fruit.13 An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,3 but the righteous escapes from trouble.14 From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.16 The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.17 Whoever speaks4 the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness utters deceit.18 There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.19 Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.20 Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy.21 No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.22 Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who act faithfully are his delight.23 A prudent man conceals knowledge, but the heart of fools proclaims folly.24 The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.25 Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.26 One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor,5 but the way of the wicked leads them astray.27 Whoever is slothful will not roast his game, but the diligent man will get precious wealth.628 In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death. Footnotes  11:7 Or of his strength, or of iniquity  11:27 Or acceptance  12:13 Or In the transgression of the lips, there is an evil snare  12:17 Hebrew breathes out  12:26 Or The righteous chooses his friends carefully  12:27 Or but diligence is precious wealth (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Deuteronomy 18 Deuteronomy 18 (Listen) Provision for Priests and Levites 18 “The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the LORD's food offerings1 as their2 inheritance. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them. 3 And this shall be the priests' due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. 4 The firstfruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. 5 For the LORD your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for all time. 6 “And if a Levite comes from any of your towns out of all Israel, where he lives—and he may come when he desires3—to the place that the LORD will choose, 7 and ministers in the name of the LORD his God, like all his fellow Levites who stand to minister there before the LORD, 8 then he may have equal portions to eat, besides what he receives from the sale of his patrimony.4 Abominable Practices 9 “When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering,5 anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11 or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, 12 for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, 14 for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this. A New Prophet like Moses 15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—16 just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.' 17 And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or6 who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.' 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?'—22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. Footnotes  18:1 Or the offerings by fire to the Lord  18:1 Hebrew his  18:6 Or lives—if he comes enthusiastically  18:8 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain  18:10 Hebrew makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire  18:20 Or and (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Amos 2:6–16 Amos 2:6–16 (Listen) Judgment on Israel 6 Thus says the LORD: “For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not revoke the punishment, because they sell the righteous for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals—7 those who trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth and turn aside the way of the afflicted; a man and his father go in to the same girl, so that my holy name is profaned;8 they lay themselves down beside every altar on garments taken in pledge, and in the house of their God they drink the wine of those who have been fined. 9 “Yet it was I who destroyed the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars and who was as strong as the oaks; I destroyed his fruit above and his roots beneath.10 Also it was I who brought you up out of the land of Egypt and led you forty years in the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.11 And I raised up some of your sons for prophets, and some of your young men for Nazirites. Is it not indeed so, O people of Israel?” declares the LORD. 12 “But you made the Nazirites drink wine, and commanded the prophets, saying, ‘You shall not prophesy.' 13 “Behold, I will press you down in your place, as a cart full of sheaves presses down.14 Flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not retain his strength, nor shall the mighty save his life;15 he who handles the bow shall not stand, and he who is swift of foot shall not save himself, nor shall he who rides the horse save his life;16 and he who is stout of heart among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day,” declares the LORD. (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: Matthew 1:1–17 Matthew 1:1–17 (Listen) The Genealogy of Jesus Christ 1 The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. 2 Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, 3 and Judah the father of Perez and Zerah by Tamar, and Perez the father of Hezron, and Hezron the father of Ram,1 4 and Ram the father of Amminadab, and Amminadab the father of Nahshon, and Nahshon the father of Salmon, 5 and Salmon the father of Boaz by Rahab, and Boaz the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, 6 and Jesse the father of David the king. And David was the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah, 7 and Solomon the father of Rehoboam, and Rehoboam the father of Abijah, and Abijah the father of Asaph,2 8 and Asaph the father of Jehoshaphat, and Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, and Joram the father of Uzziah, 9 and Uzziah the father of Jotham, and Jotham the father of Ahaz, and Ahaz the father of Hezekiah, 10 and Hezekiah the father of Manasseh, and Manasseh the father of Amos,3 and Amos the father of Josiah, 11 and Josiah the father of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the deportation to Babylon. 12 And after the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,4 and Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 and Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, and Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor, 14 and Azor the father of Zadok, and Zadok the father of Achim, and Achim the father of Eliud, 15 and Eliud the father of Eleazar, and Eleazar the father of Matthan, and Matthan the father of Jacob, 16 and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. 17 So all the generations from Abraham to David were fourteen generations, and from David to the deportation to Babylon fourteen generations, and from the deportation to Babylon to the Christ fourteen generations. Footnotes  1:3 Greek Aram; also verse 4  1:7 Asaph is probably an alternate spelling of Asa; some manuscripts Asa; also verse 8  1:10 Amos is probably an alternate spelling of Amon; some manuscripts Amon; twice in this verse  1:12 Greek Salathiel; twice in this verse (ESV)
Morning: Ezra 9–10 Ezra 9–10 (Listen) Ezra Prays About Intermarriage 9 After these things had been done, the officials approached me and said, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands with their abominations, from the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. 2 For they have taken some of their daughters to be wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race1 has mixed itself with the peoples of the lands. And in this faithlessness the hand of the officials and chief men has been foremost.” 3 As soon as I heard this, I tore my garment and my cloak and pulled hair from my head and beard and sat appalled. 4 Then all who trembled at the words of the God of Israel, because of the faithlessness of the returned exiles, gathered around me while I sat appalled until the evening sacrifice. 5 And at the evening sacrifice I rose from my fasting, with my garment and my cloak torn, and fell upon my knees and spread out my hands to the LORD my God, 6 saying: “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. 7 From the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt. And for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as it is today. 8 But now for a brief moment favor has been shown by the LORD our God, to leave us a remnant and to give us a secure hold2 within his holy place, that our God may brighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our slavery. 9 For we are slaves. Yet our God has not forsaken us in our slavery, but has extended to us his steadfast love before the kings of Persia, to grant us some reviving to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us protection3 in Judea and Jerusalem. 10 “And now, O our God, what shall we say after this? For we have forsaken your commandments, 11 which you commanded by your servants the prophets, saying, ‘The land that you are entering, to take possession of it, is a land impure with the impurity of the peoples of the lands, with their abominations that have filled it from end to end with their uncleanness. 12 Therefore do not give your daughters to their sons, neither take their daughters for your sons, and never seek their peace or prosperity, that you may be strong and eat the good of the land and leave it for an inheritance to your children forever.' 13 And after all that has come upon us for our evil deeds and for our great guilt, seeing that you, our God, have punished us less than our iniquities deserved and have given us such a remnant as this, 14 shall we break your commandments again and intermarry with the peoples who practice these abominations? Would you not be angry with us until you consumed us, so that there should be no remnant, nor any to escape? 15 O LORD, the God of Israel, you are just, for we are left a remnant that has escaped, as it is today. Behold, we are before you in our guilt, for none can stand before you because of this.” The People Confess Their Sin 10 While Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly. 2 And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, addressed Ezra: “We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. 3 Therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and their children, according to the counsel of my lord4 and of those who tremble at the commandment of our God, and let it be done according to the Law. 4 Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; be strong and do it.” 5 Then Ezra arose and made the leading priests and Levites and all Israel take an oath that they would do as had been said. So they took the oath. 6 Then Ezra withdrew from before the house of God and went to the chamber of Jehohanan the son of Eliashib, where he spent the night,5 neither eating bread nor drinking water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles. 7 And a proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the returned exiles that they should assemble at Jerusalem, 8 and that if anyone did not come within three days, by order of the officials and the elders all his property should be forfeited, and he himself banned from the congregation of the exiles. 9 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. And all the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain. 10 And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have broken faith and married foreign women, and so increased the guilt of Israel. 11 Now then make confession to the LORD, the God of your fathers and do his will. Separate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.” 12 Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, “It is so; we must do as you have said. 13 But the people are many, and it is a time of heavy rain; we cannot stand in the open. Nor is this a task for one day or for two, for we have greatly transgressed in this matter. 14 Let our officials stand for the whole assembly. Let all in our cities who have taken foreign wives come at appointed times, and with them the elders and judges of every city, until the fierce wrath of our God over this matter is turned away from us.” 15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah opposed this, and Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite supported them. 16 Then the returned exiles did so. Ezra the priest selected men,6 heads of fathers' houses, according to their fathers' houses, each of them designated by name. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to examine the matter; 17 and by the first day of the first month they had come to the end of all the men who had married foreign women. Those Guilty of Intermarriage 18 Now there were found some of the sons of the priests who had married foreign women: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah, some of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brothers. 19 They pledged themselves to put away their wives, and their guilt offering was a ram of the flock for their guilt.7 20 Of the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah. 21 Of the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah. 22 Of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah. 23 Of the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (that is, Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer. 24 Of the singers: Eliashib. Of the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem, and Uri. 25 And of Israel: of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Hashabiah,8 and Benaiah. 26 Of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah. 27 Of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza. 28 Of the sons of Bebai were Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai. 29 Of the sons of Bani were Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth. 30 Of the sons of Pahath-moab: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh. 31 Of the sons of Harim: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon, 32 Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah. 33 Of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei. 34 Of the sons of Bani: Maadai, Amram, Uel, 35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi, 36 Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, 37 Mattaniah, Mattenai, Jaasu. 38 Of the sons of Binnui:9 Shimei, 39 Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah, 40 Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, 41 Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah, 42 Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph. 43 Of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah. 44 All these had married foreign women, and some of the women had even borne children.10 Footnotes  9:2 Hebrew offspring  9:8 Hebrew nail, or tent-pin  9:9 Hebrew a wall  10:3 Or of the Lord  10:6 Probable reading; Hebrew where he went  10:16 Syriac; Hebrew And there were selected Ezra . . .  10:19 Or as their reparation  10:25 Septuagint; Hebrew Malchijah  10:38 Septuagint; Hebrew Bani, Binnui  10:44 Or and they put them away with their children (ESV) Evening: Acts 1 Acts 1 (Listen) The Promise of the Holy Spirit 1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 And while staying1 with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with2 the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” The Ascension 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas 12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day's journey away. 13 And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. 14 All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.3 15 In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, 16 “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17 For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.” 18 (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong4 he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. 19 And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms, “‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it'; and “‘Let another take his office.' 21 So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.” 23 And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus, and Matthias. 24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen 25 to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26 And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles. Footnotes  1:4 Or eating  1:5 Or in  1:14 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verse 15  1:18 Or swelling up (ESV)
Psalms and Wisdom: Proverbs 9 Proverbs 9 (Listen) The Way of Wisdom 9 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars.2 She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine; she has also set her table.3 She has sent out her young women to call from the highest places in the town,4 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” To him who lacks sense she says,5 “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed.6 Leave your simple ways,1 and live, and walk in the way of insight.” 7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse, and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.8 Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.9 Give instruction2 to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.11 For by me your days will be multiplied, and years will be added to your life.12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it. The Way of Folly 13 The woman Folly is loud; she is seductive3 and knows nothing.14 She sits at the door of her house; she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,15 calling to those who pass by, who are going straight on their way,16 “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!” And to him who lacks sense she says,17 “Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”18 But he does not know that the dead4 are there, that her guests are in the depths of Sheol. Footnotes  9:6 Or Leave the company of the simple  9:9 Hebrew lacks instruction  9:13 Or full of simpleness  9:18 Hebrew Rephaim (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Deuteronomy 15:19–16:17 Deuteronomy 15:19–16:17 (Listen) 19 “All the firstborn males that are born of your herd and flock you shall dedicate to the LORD your God. You shall do no work with the firstborn of your herd, nor shear the firstborn of your flock. 20 You shall eat it, you and your household, before the LORD your God year by year at the place that the LORD will choose. 21 But if it has any blemish, if it is lame or blind or has any serious blemish whatever, you shall not sacrifice it to the LORD your God. 22 You shall eat it within your towns. The unclean and the clean alike may eat it, as though it were a gazelle or a deer. 23 Only you shall not eat its blood; you shall pour it out on the ground like water. Passover 16 “Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 And you shall offer the Passover sacrifice to the LORD your God, from the flock or the herd, at the place that the LORD will choose, to make his name dwell there. 3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction—for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste—that all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 No leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the flesh that you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain all night until morning. 5 You may not offer the Passover sacrifice within any of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, 6 but at the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell in it, there you shall offer the Passover sacrifice, in the evening at sunset, at the time you came out of Egypt. 7 And you shall cook it and eat it at the place that the LORD your God will choose. And in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. 8 For six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD your God. You shall do no work on it. The Feast of Weeks 9 “You shall count seven weeks. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the LORD your God blesses you. 11 And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your towns, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, at the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there. 12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt; and you shall be careful to observe these statutes. The Feast of Booths 13 “You shall keep the Feast of Booths seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your winepress. 14 You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns. 15 For seven days you shall keep the feast to the LORD your God at the place that the LORD will choose, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. 16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. They shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you. (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Hosea 14 Hosea 14 (Listen) A Plea to Return to the Lord 14 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.2 Take with you words and return to the LORD; say to him, “Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows1 of our lips.3 Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride on horses; and we will say no more, ‘Our God,' to the work of our hands. In you the orphan finds mercy.” 4 I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.5 I will be like the dew to Israel; he shall blossom like the lily; he shall take root like the trees of Lebanon;6 his shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like Lebanon.7 They shall return and dwell beneath my2 shadow; they shall flourish like the grain; they shall blossom like the vine; their fame shall be like the wine of Lebanon. 8 O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you.3 I am like an evergreen cypress; from me comes your fruit. 9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them; for the ways of the LORD are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them. Footnotes  14:2 Septuagint, Syriac pay the fruit  14:7 Hebrew his  14:8 Hebrew him (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: Philemon 8–22 Philemon 8–22 (Listen) Paul's Plea for Onesimus 8 Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, 9 yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus—10 I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus,1 whose father I became in my imprisonment. 11 (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) 12 I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart. 13 I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel, 14 but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own accord. 15 For this perhaps is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, 16 no longer as a bondservant2 but more than a bondservant, as a beloved brother—especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord. 17 So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. 18 If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. 19 I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. 20 Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. 21 Confident of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say. 22 At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you. Footnotes  1:10 Onesimus means useful (see verse 11) or beneficial (see verse 20)  1:16 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; twice in this verse (ESV)
With family: Deuteronomy 18; Psalm 105 Deuteronomy 18 (Listen) Provision for Priests and Levites 18 “The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the LORD's food offerings1 as their2 inheritance. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them. 3 And this shall be the priests' due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. 4 The firstfruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. 5 For the LORD your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for all time. 6 “And if a Levite comes from any of your towns out of all Israel, where he lives—and he may come when he desires3—to the place that the LORD will choose, 7 and ministers in the name of the LORD his God, like all his fellow Levites who stand to minister there before the LORD, 8 then he may have equal portions to eat, besides what he receives from the sale of his patrimony.4 Abominable Practices 9 “When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering,5 anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer 11 or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, 12 for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, 14 for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this. A New Prophet like Moses 15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—16 just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.' 17 And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or6 who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.' 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?'—22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him. Footnotes  18:1 Or the offerings by fire to the Lord  18:1 Hebrew his  18:6 Or lives—if he comes enthusiastically  18:8 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain  18:10 Hebrew makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire  18:20 Or and (ESV) Psalm 105 (Listen) Tell of All His Wondrous Works 105 Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!2 Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works!3 Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!4 Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!5 Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,6 O offspring of Abraham, his servant, children of Jacob, his chosen ones! 7 He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.8 He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,9 the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac,10 which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant,11 saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as your portion for an inheritance.” 12 When they were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it,13 wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people,14 he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account,15 saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!” 16 When he summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply1 of bread,17 he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave.18 His feet were hurt with fetters; his neck was put in a collar of iron;19 until what he had said came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him.20 The king sent and released him; the ruler of the peoples set him free;21 he made him lord of his house and ruler of all his possessions,22 to bind2 his princes at his pleasure and to teach his elders wisdom. 23 Then Israel came to Egypt; Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.24 And the LORD made his people very fruitful and made them stronger than their foes.25 He turned their hearts to hate his people, to deal craftily with his servants. 26 He sent Moses, his servant, and Aaron, whom he had chosen.27 They performed his signs among them and miracles in the land of Ham.28 He sent darkness, and made the land dark; they did not rebel3 against his words.29 He turned their waters into blood and caused their fish to die.30 Their land swarmed with frogs, even in the chambers of their kings.31 He spoke, and there came swarms of flies, and gnats throughout their country.32 He gave them hail for rain, and fiery lightning bolts through their land.33 He struck down their vines and fig trees, and shattered the trees of their country.34 He spoke, and the locusts came, young locusts without number,35 which devoured all the vegetation in their land and ate up the fruit of their ground.36 He struck down all the firstborn in their land, the firstfruits of all their strength. 37 Then he brought out Israel with silver and gold, and there was none among his tribes who stumbled.38 Egypt was glad when they departed, for dread of them had fallen upon it. 39 He spread a cloud for a covering, and fire to give light by night.40 They asked, and he brought quail, and gave them bread from heaven in abundance.41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out; it flowed through the desert like a river.42 For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham, his servant. 43 So he brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing.44 And he gave them the lands of the nations, and they took possession of the fruit of the peoples' toil,45 that they might keep his statutes and observe his laws. Praise the LORD! Footnotes  105:16 Hebrew staff  105:22 Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome instruct  105:28 Septuagint, Syriac omit not (ESV) In private: Isaiah 45; Revelation 15 Isaiah 45 (Listen) Cyrus, God's Instrument 45 Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have grasped, to subdue nations before him and to loose the belts of kings, to open doors before him that gates may not be closed:2 “I will go before you and level the exalted places,1 I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut through the bars of iron,3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the LORD, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.4 For the sake of my servant Jacob, and Israel my chosen, I call you by your name, I name you, though you do not know me.5 I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me,6 that people may know, from the rising of the sun and from the west, that there is none besides me; I am the LORD, and there is no other.7 I form light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the LORD, who does all these things. 8 “Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout; I the LORD have created it. 9 “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?' or ‘Your work has no handles'?10 Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?' or to a woman, ‘With what are you in labor?'” 11 Thus says the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and the one who formed him: “Ask me of things to come; will you command me concerning my children and the work of my hands?212 I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.13 I have stirred him up in righteousness, and I will make all his ways level; he shall build my city and set my exiles free, not for price or reward,” says the LORD of hosts. The Lord, the Only Savior 14 Thus says the LORD: “The wealth of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush, and the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over to you and be yours; they shall follow you; they shall come over in chains and bow down to you. They will plead with you, saying: ‘Surely God is in you, and there is no other, no god besides him.'” 15 Truly, you are a God who hides himself, O God of Israel, the Savior.16 All of them are put to shame and confounded; the makers of idols go in confusion together.17 But Israel is saved by the LORD with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity. 18 For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the LORD, and there is no other.19 I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek me in vain.'3 I the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right. 20 “Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, you survivors of the nations! They have no knowledge who carry about their wooden idols, and keep on praying to a god that cannot save.21 Declare and present your case; let them take counsel together! Who told this long ago? Who declared it of old? Was it not I, the LORD? And there is no other god besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. 22 “Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.23 By myself I have sworn; from my mouth has gone out in righteousness a word that shall not return: ‘To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.'4 24 “Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength; to him shall come and be ashamed all who were incensed against him.25 In the LORD all the offspring of Israel shall be justified and shall glory.” Footnotes  45:2 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll, Septuagint level the mountains  45:11 A slight emendation yields will you question me about my children, or command me concerning the work of my hands?  45:19 Hebrew in emptiness  45:23 Septuagint every tongue shall confess to God (ESV) Revelation 15 (Listen) The Seven Angels with Seven Plagues 15 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished. 2 And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. 3 And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, “Great and amazing are your deeds,
Psalms and Wisdom: Proverbs 7 Proverbs 7 (Listen) Warning Against the Adulteress 7 My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you;2 keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;3 bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call insight your intimate friend,5 to keep you from the forbidden1 woman, from the adulteress2 with her smooth words. 6 For at the window of my house I have looked out through my lattice,7 and I have seen among the simple, I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense,8 passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house9 in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness. 10 And behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.311 She is loud and wayward; her feet do not stay at home;12 now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait.13 She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face she says to him,14 “I had to offer sacrifices,4 and today I have paid my vows;15 so now I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.16 I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen;17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.18 Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love.19 For my husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey;20 he took a bag of money with him; at full moon he will come home.” 21 With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him.22 All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast523 till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life. 24 And now, O sons, listen to me, and be attentive to the words of my mouth.25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways; do not stray into her paths,26 for many a victim has she laid low, and all her slain are a mighty throng.27 Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death. Footnotes  7:5 Hebrew strange  7:5 Hebrew the foreign woman  7:10 Hebrew guarded in heart  7:14 Hebrew peace offerings  7:22 Probable reading (compare Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac); Hebrew as a chain to discipline a fool (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Deuteronomy 14 Deuteronomy 14 (Listen) Clean and Unclean Food 14 “You are the sons of the LORD your God. You shall not cut yourselves or make any baldness on your foreheads for the dead. 2 For you are a people holy to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 3 “You shall not eat any abomination. 4 These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat, 5 the deer, the gazelle, the roebuck, the wild goat, the ibex,1 the antelope, and the mountain sheep. 6 Every animal that parts the hoof and has the hoof cloven in two and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. 7 Yet of those that chew the cud or have the hoof cloven you shall not eat these: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger, because they chew the cud but do not part the hoof, are unclean for you. 8 And the pig, because it parts the hoof but does not chew the cud, is unclean for you. Their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch. 9 “Of all that are in the waters you may eat these: whatever has fins and scales you may eat. 10 And whatever does not have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean for you. 11 “You may eat all clean birds. 12 But these are the ones that you shall not eat: the eagle,2 the bearded vulture, the black vulture, 13 the kite, the falcon of any kind; 14 every raven of any kind; 15 the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind; 16 the little owl and the short-eared owl, the barn owl 17 and the tawny owl, the carrion vulture and the cormorant, 18 the stork, the heron of any kind; the hoopoe and the bat. 19 And all winged insects are unclean for you; they shall not be eaten. 20 All clean winged things you may eat. 21 “You shall not eat anything that has died naturally. You may give it to the sojourner who is within your towns, that he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother's milk. Tithes 22 “You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. 23 And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. 24 And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the LORD your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the LORD your God chooses, to set his name there, 25 then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the LORD your God chooses 26 and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household. 27 And you shall not neglect the Levite who is within your towns, for he has no portion or inheritance with you. 28 “At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. 29 And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do. Footnotes  14:5 Or addax  14:12 The identity of many of these birds is uncertain (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Hosea 11:1–11 Hosea 11:1–11 (Listen) The Lord's Love for Israel 11 When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.2 The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols. 3 Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk; I took them up by their arms, but they did not know that I healed them.4 I led them with cords of kindness,1 with the bands of love, and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws, and I bent down to them and fed them. 5 They shall not2 return to the land of Egypt, but Assyria shall be their king, because they have refused to return to me.6 The sword shall rage against their cities, consume the bars of their gates, and devour them because of their own counsels.7 My people are bent on turning away from me, and though they call out to the Most High, he shall not raise them up at all. 8 How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.9 I will not execute my burning anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim; for I am God and not a man, the Holy One in your midst, and I will not come in wrath.3 10 They shall go after the LORD; he will roar like a lion; when he roars, his children shall come trembling from the west;11 they shall come trembling like birds from Egypt, and like doves from the land of Assyria, and I will return them to their homes, declares the LORD. Footnotes  11:4 Or humaneness; Hebrew man  11:5 Or surely  11:9 Or into the city (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: Philemon 1–3 Philemon 1–3 (Listen) Greeting 1 Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our beloved fellow worker 2 and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house: 3 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)
In this section (Deut 26:1-11), Moses reminds Israel of God's deliverance from Egyptian bondage, His faithfulness to bring them into the land of promise, and how they were to show their loyalty and gratitude by annually giving Him the first fruits of their agricultural production. Directives for Entering Canaan God was giving Israel the land of Canaan as an inheritance, which was a reminder that God owns the world and controls who occupies territories (cf. Lev 25:23; Deut 10:14; Psa 24:1; 89:11; Acts 17:24-26). The time of this annual celebration was to begin after Israel had entered the land of Canaan, as Moses said, “Then it shall be, when you enter the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance, and you possess it and live in it” (Deut 26:1). This would be the first celebration of the feast of Firstfruits, in which Israelites gave to the priests the first and best of their produce of the land (see Deut 18:1-5). It was given to the priests because they served as God's representatives, meditating between the people and God. Also, the priests were not given land and had to rely on their fellow Israelites for their daily needs. This new celebration marked a shift from Israel's life as herders to farmers. Peter Craigie states: "Unlike Passover and the covenant ceremony, the offering of firstfruits would be a new religious institution in Israel; before taking possession of the land, they were not an agricultural people and therefore had no harvest festival. Thus, this first offering of the firstfruits by the Israelites, once they had taken possession of the land, would mark the inauguration of the new life which had been anticipated for so long on the basis of the covenant promise of God." Israel was a theocracy (Isa 33:22), and the annual practice of going to the tabernacle/temple was intended as a display of loyalty and appreciation to God for His blessings. The Israelite who had worked the land and been blessed by God with a harvest was to bring the first fruits to the tabernacle/temple once a year. Moses directed them, saying, “you shall take some of the first of all the produce of the ground which you bring in from your land that the LORD your God gives you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place where the LORD your God chooses to establish His name” (Deut 26:2). Once at the location of God's choosing (the sacred space), the Israelite was to take a portion of his gift and place it in a basket and give it to the priest. Earl Radmacher states: "The Israelites were to offer to God the fruit that ripened first, even though there was always a possibility that the rest of the crop would not ripen or be harvested because of some unforeseen circumstance. By offering the first of the produce to the Lord, the people expressed their trust in God's provision and their gratitude for His good gifts." Along with the basket of produce, Israelites were to bring a statement that recognized God's faithfulness to bring them into the land of promise, as well as His promise to bless them. Moses said, “You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him, ‘I declare this day to the LORD my God that I have entered the land which the LORD swore to our fathers to give us'” (Deut 26:3). Here was a collaboration of worship, both by the giver and the priest in office at the time the gift was given. After the offeror had made his declaration that recognized God's faithfulness and goodness, “Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the LORD your God” (Deut 26:4). The priest, who received the basket of produce and placed it before the altar, apparently gave it back to the offeror, who also placed it at the altar (see Deut 26:10). The altar mentioned here was the altar that was in the courtyard where animals were sacrificed, as the altar of incense was located in the holy place, where only priests could enter. After giving the priest the offering, Moses directed the giver to speak directly to God, saying, “You shall answer and say before the LORD your God” (Deut 26:5a). The recitation that follows is a short summary of Israel's history from the divine perspective. The Israelites were to remember their ancestral heritage from nomadic wandering to Egyptian slavery and suffering, their cry to the Lord for help, His compassionate deliverance from slavery to freedom, and then freedom to eventual blessing in the land of promise. The specific wording to be spoken by the offeror was as follows: "My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; but there he became a great, mighty and populous nation. 6 And the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us. 7 Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction and our toil and our oppression; 8 and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror and with signs and wonders; 9 and He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 Now behold, I have brought the first of the produce of the ground which You, O LORD have given me." (Deut 26:5b-10a) This wording is likely a creedal statement that was to be memorized by the worshipper and repeated year after year, at the time of the offering of the first fruits. There are five parts to the statement: 1) a recognition of Jacob's wandering until God brought him to Egypt where his family grew in number (Deut 26:5), 2) how the Egyptians afflicted them (Deut 26:6), 3) how the Israelites cried to God and He delivered them by His great power (Deut 26:7-8), 4), how God brought His people into the land of Canaan (Deut 26:9), and 5) the Lord's goodness to bless them in the land (Deut 26:10). This statement was intended to help the Israelites frame their current blessings from the divine perspective. The specific breakdown of this statement is as follows. The Israelite offeror was to open with the statement, “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; but there he became a great, mighty and populous nation” (Deut 26:5b). The reference to “my father” was likely a reference to Jacob, whose mother was an Aramean (Gen 25:20), and he worked as a shepherd in Aram for twenty years while serving his uncle Laban (Gen 31:41-42). After Jacob returned to Canaan and lived there for several years, God caused a famine on the land (Gen 41:25-32), and Jacob's family suffered hunger which drove them to Egypt for food (Gen 46:1-7). Though Jacob and his family were seventy in number when they went to Egypt (Gen 46:26-27; Ex 1:5), God protected and blessed them, and over four hundred years they grew to be a great nation (Ex 1:7; Deut 10:22). However, though the Israelites grew in number while in Egypt, they were eventually mistreated. The Israelite offeror was to say, “And the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us and imposed hard labor on us” (Deut 26:6). Apparently, because of the growing Israelite population, the Egyptian leadership felt threatened by them and chose to oppress them as a means of controlling them. Such behavior is indicative of the arrogant who are enslaved by human viewpoint, which often resorts to oppression and bully tactics as a means of controlling others. During their captivity and suffering, the Israelites sought the Lord, saying, “Then we cried to the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our affliction and our toil and our oppression” (Deut 26:7; cf., Ex 2:23-25). This speaks of the Israelite condition prior to their deliverance and how they cried out to the Lord to intervene, which He did. The confession recognizes God's deliverance, saying, “and the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm and with great terror and with signs and wonders” (Deut 26:8). The Lord had previously promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, that their descendants would become a great nation and possess the land of Canaan (Gen 17:7-8; 26:24; 28:13-14), so He brought them out of Egypt to fulfill His word (Deut 5:6; 6:12; 8:14), and thus He created the nation of Israel (Isa 43:15; 45:11). Because Egypt was the greatest superpower of the day, it took God's intervention to liberate His people. Moses, throughout his address in Deuteronomy, references Egypt 49 times. Some of those instances were intended to infuse into Israelite thinking their time of Egyptian slavery (Deut 5:15; 15:15; 16:12; 24:18, 22), and that memory was to have a direct influence on how they appreciated God and behaved toward others. And after their deliverance and wilderness wanderings, the Israelite was to recognize God as the One who brought them into the land of blessing, saying, “and He has brought us to this place and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey” (Deut 26:9). Here was a recognition of God's faithfulness to His Word. Lastly, as a display of covenant loyalty to the Lord, the offeror was to say, “Now behold, I have brought the first of the produce of the ground which You, O LORD have given me” (Deut 26:10a). God owns everything and needs nothing (Lev 25:23; Deut 10:14; Psa 24:1; 89:11; Acts 17:24-26); therefore, the annual gift was a test of the believer's heart (see 1 Ch 29:11-18). After reciting the above script, Moses directed the offeror to place the gift before the Lord and to worship Him. The worship also included the priest, the alien, and the members of the worshipper's household. Moses said, “And you shall set it down before the LORD your God, and worship before the LORD your God, and you and the Levite and the alien who is among you shall rejoice in all the good which the LORD your God has given you and your household” (Deut 26:10b-11). Daniel Block states: "The final phase of this ritual (v. 10b) involves actions by the worshiper: He is to set the basket with the firstfruits before Yahweh, and then in a gesture of homage and submission prostrate himself before Him. Having done so, he is to invite his entire household, as well as Levites and aliens from his town, to join him in celebrating all the benefactions Yahweh has lavished on them. Like the pilgrimages described in Deuteronomy 12:5-12, this is to be a joyful event, presumably involving a meal eaten at the sanctuary in the presence of Yahweh with the entire household, as well as with Levites and aliens whom the worshiper has invited to accompany him to the sanctuary (cf. Deut 12:7, 12, 18; 14:26-27; 16:11, 14)." Here we observe how the worshipper included his family, the Levites, and the alien who lived within the covenant community. This shows that the worship associated with the feast of First Fruits was to be an ongoing annual activity, at the prescribed location of the tabernacle/temple, was public, and corporate. Present Application Though both the people of God, Israel and the Church are distinct, the latter being blessed by the former. But not everyone recognizes this distinction, as replacement theologians teach that the Church replaces Israel. As a result, they have sought to find corresponding replacements for Israel's religious offices and practices. For example, the Roman Catholic Church believes: Israel had a specific location for worship in Jerusalem, so the Church must have a specific holy place, which they've designated as Vatican City in Rome. Israel had a specialized priesthood, and the Church should have a specialized priesthood as well. Israel had a tiered priestly system consisting of the high priest, ordinary priests, and Levites who served at the temple and in the community; likewise, the Roman Catholic Church has a tiered system with the pope, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and priests. Israel's priests had special clothing, and the Roman Catholic Church has special clothing for its leaders. Israel offered ongoing animal sacrifices, and the Roman Catholic Church teaches that the Lord's Supper is a perpetual sacrifice (transubstantiation). However, the New Testament reveals there is a distinction between Israel and the Church (1 Cor 10:32), and that worship and service in ancient Israel was different than that of the Christian living in dispensation of the church age. Israel was a nation (Ex 19:6), but the church is not a nation (Rom 10:19). God's program for Israel focused on the land promised to Abraham (Gen 12:1; 15:18; 17:8), whereas the church is called to go out to many lands (Matt 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). Israel was mentioned throughout the Old Testament and recognized by other nations (Num 14:15; Josh 5:1), but the church was a mystery not known in the Old Testament (Eph 3:1-6; Col 1:26-27; cf. Rom 16:25-26). Israel had a priesthood that was specific to the tribe of Levi (Num 3:6-7), whereas all Christians are priests to God (Rev 1:6; cf. 1 Pet 2:5, 9). Israel worshipped first at the Tabernacle and later the Temple (Ex 40:18-38; 2 Ch 8:14-16), but for Christians, their body is the temple of the Lord, and they gather locally where they want (1 Cor 6:19-20; cf. 1 Cor 16:19; Col 4:15). Israel was required to tithe from the produce of their land (Deut 14:22-23; 28-29; Num 18:21), but there is no tithe required from Christians, only a joyful attitude when giving, “for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor 9:7). Israel offered produce and animal sacrifices to God (Lev 4:1-35), but Christians offer spiritual sacrifices (1 Pet 2:5; cf. Rom 12:1-2; Heb 13:15). The Christian's spiritual sacrifices to the Lord include: The giving of one's body for service to the Lord: “Therefore, I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom 12:1-2) The sacrifice of praise for worship: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name” (Heb 13:15). The doing of good works and sharing with others: And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Heb 13:16; cf., Phil 4:18). The sacrifice of one's life for the benefit of others: “But even if I am being poured out as a [sacrificial] drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all” (Phil 2:17; cf., Phil 1:21-26). To walk in sacrificial love: “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma” (Eph 5:1-2).  Peter C. Craigie, The Book of Deuteronomy, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1976), 320.  Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald Barclay Allen, and H. Wayne House, Nelson's New Illustrated Bible Commentary (Nashville: T. Nelson Publishers, 1999), 259.  Daniel I. Block, The NIV Application Commentary: Deuteronomy, ed. Terry Muck (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2012), 604.
With family: Deuteronomy 16; Psalm 103 Deuteronomy 16 (Listen) Passover 16 “Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover to the LORD your God, for in the month of Abib the LORD your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 And you shall offer the Passover sacrifice to the LORD your God, from the flock or the herd, at the place that the LORD will choose, to make his name dwell there. 3 You shall eat no leavened bread with it. Seven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of affliction—for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste—that all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 No leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory for seven days, nor shall any of the flesh that you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain all night until morning. 5 You may not offer the Passover sacrifice within any of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, 6 but at the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell in it, there you shall offer the Passover sacrifice, in the evening at sunset, at the time you came out of Egypt. 7 And you shall cook it and eat it at the place that the LORD your God will choose. And in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. 8 For six days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the LORD your God. You shall do no work on it. The Feast of Weeks 9 “You shall count seven weeks. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the LORD your God with the tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give as the LORD your God blesses you. 11 And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your towns, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, at the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there. 12 You shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt; and you shall be careful to observe these statutes. The Feast of Booths 13 “You shall keep the Feast of Booths seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your winepress. 14 You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns. 15 For seven days you shall keep the feast to the LORD your God at the place that the LORD will choose, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. 16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. They shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you. Justice 18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 You shall not pervert justice. You shall not show partiality, and you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. 20 Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the LORD your God is giving you. Forbidden Forms of Worship 21 “You shall not plant any tree as an Asherah beside the altar of the LORD your God that you shall make. 22 And you shall not set up a pillar, which the LORD your God hates. (ESV) Psalm 103 (Listen) Bless the Lord, O My Soul Of David. 103 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. 6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.7 He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.10 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.13 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.14 For he knows our frame;1 he remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.17 But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children's children,18 to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.19 The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!21 Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!22 Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul! Footnotes  103:14 Or knows how we are formed (ESV) In private: Isaiah 43; Revelation 13 Isaiah 43 (Listen) Israel's Only Savior 43 But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.3 For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you.4 Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you.6 I will say to the north, Give up, and to the south, Do not withhold; bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth,7 everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” 8 Bring out the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears!9 All the nations gather together, and the peoples assemble. Who among them can declare this, and show us the former things? Let them bring their witnesses to prove them right, and let them hear and say, It is true.10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.11 I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.12 I declared and saved and proclaimed, when there was no strange god among you; and you are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and I am God.13 Also henceforth I am he; there is none who can deliver from my hand; I work, and who can turn it back?” 14 Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “For your sake I send to Babylon and bring them all down as fugitives, even the Chaldeans, in the ships in which they rejoice.15 I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King.” 16 Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters,17 who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:18 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.20 The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches, for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,21 the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise. 22 “Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel!23 You have not brought me your sheep for burnt offerings, or honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, or wearied you with frankincense.24 You have not bought me sweet cane with money, or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins; you have wearied me with your iniquities. 25 “I, I am he who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.26 Put me in remembrance; let us argue together; set forth your case, that you may be proved right.27 Your first father sinned, and your mediators transgressed against me.28 Therefore I will profane the princes of the sanctuary, and deliver Jacob to utter destruction and Israel to reviling. (ESV) Revelation 13 (Listen) The First Beast 13 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. 2 And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority. 3 One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast. 4 And they worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it?” 5 And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling,1 that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them.2 And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8 and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear: 10 If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. The Second Beast 11 Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence,3 and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed. 13 It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, 14 and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of4 the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15 And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. 16 Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave,5 to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, 17 so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. 18 This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.6 Footnotes  13:6 Or tabernacle  13:7 Some manuscripts omit this sentence  13:12 Or on its behalf  13:14 Or on behalf of  13:16 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface  13:18 Some manuscripts 616 (ESV)
Saint Bartholomew was one of the Twelve Apostles, a Galilean; the Gospel accounts say little more about him. It is said that, after receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, he traveled in the service of the Gospel to Arabia and Persia, and brought to India a translation of the Gospel according to Matthew. Eusebius writes that one hundred years later Pantaenus, an illustrious Alexandrian scholar, found this gospel when he traveled in India. By most accounts Bartholomew ended his life in Armenia, where he met his martyrdom by crucifixion. According to many, he and Nathaniel are the same person: the Gospel accounts that speak of Bartholomew do not mention Nathaniel; and St John's Gospel,which mentions Nathanael as one of the Twelve, does not mention Bartholomew. But according to the Greek Synaxarion, Bartholomew and Simon the Zealot are one and the same. Saint Barnabas was one of the Seventy, from Cyprus, a Levite and at one time a fellow-student with St Paul under Gamaliel. After Christ's Ascension, he led the Seventy until the Apostle Paul's conversion. He is mentioned often in the Acts of the Apostles, which describes some of his travels as a companion of St Paul. By all accounts, he was the first to preach the Gospel of Christ in Rome and in Milan. His wonder-working relics were discovered on the island of Cyprus in the time of the Emperor Zeno; on this basis the Church of Cyprus was established as an independent Church, since it had an apostolic foundation.
Readings* Psalm 97* Psalm 85* Numbers 32:1–27* Luke 24:1–27* Formula of Concord: Solid Declaration, XII, 39–40FestivalToday we celebrate the Festival of St. Barnabas, Apostle. A Levite from Cyprus, Barnabas sold some land that he owned and donated the proceeds to the early Christian community in Jerusalem. Sent to oversee the Church in Antioch, Barnabas retrieved Paul from Tarsus and accompanied him back to Antioch, and from there to Paul's first missionary journey. Tradition holds that Barnabas was martyred in Cyprus, by being stoned.ReaderCorey J. MahlerCopyright NoticesUnless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.Unless otherwise indicated, all quotations from the Lutheran Confessions are from Concordia: The Lutheran Confessions, copyright © 2005, 2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of Concordia, call 800-325-3040.Support the show
Psalms and Wisdom: Proverbs 6:1–19 Proverbs 6:1–19 (Listen) Practical Warnings 6 My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor, have given your pledge for a stranger,2 if you are snared in the words of your mouth, caught in the words of your mouth,3 then do this, my son, and save yourself, for you have come into the hand of your neighbor: go, hasten,1 and plead urgently with your neighbor.4 Give your eyes no sleep and your eyelids no slumber;5 save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,2 like a bird from the hand of the fowler. 6 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.7 Without having any chief, officer, or ruler,8 she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.9 How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?10 A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man. 12 A worthless person, a wicked man, goes about with crooked speech,13 winks with his eyes, signals3 with his feet, points with his finger,14 with perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord;15 therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly; in a moment he will be broken beyond healing. 16 There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him:17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil,19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Footnotes  6:3 Or humble yourself  6:5 Hebrew lacks of the hunter  6:13 Hebrew scrapes (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Deuteronomy 12 Deuteronomy 12 (Listen) The Lord's Chosen Place of Worship 12 “These are the statutes and rules that you shall be careful to do in the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. 2 You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3 You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place. 4 You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way. 5 But you shall seek the place that the LORD your God will choose out of all your tribes to put his name and make his habitation1 there. There you shall go, 6 and there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, your vow offerings, your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock. 7 And there you shall eat before the LORD your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your households, in all that you undertake, in which the LORD your God has blessed you. 8 “You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes, 9 for you have not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance that the LORD your God is giving you. 10 But when you go over the Jordan and live in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all your enemies around, so that you live in safety, 11 then to the place that the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the LORD. 12 And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your sons and your daughters, your male servants and your female servants, and the Levite that is within your towns, since he has no portion or inheritance with you. 13 Take care that you do not offer your burnt offerings at any place that you see, 14 but at the place that the LORD will choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I am commanding you. 15 “However, you may slaughter and eat meat within any of your towns, as much as you desire, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you. The unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and as of the deer. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it out on the earth like water. 17 You may not eat within your towns the tithe of your grain or of your wine or of your oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock, or any of your vow offerings that you vow, or your freewill offerings or the contribution that you present, 18 but you shall eat them before the LORD your God in the place that the LORD your God will choose, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your towns. And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God in all that you undertake. 19 Take care that you do not neglect the Levite as long as you live in your land. 20 “When the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,' because you crave meat, you may eat meat whenever you desire. 21 If the place that the LORD your God will choose to put his name there is too far from you, then you may kill any of your herd or your flock, which the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you, and you may eat within your towns whenever you desire. 22 Just as the gazelle or the deer is eaten, so you may eat of it. The unclean and the clean alike may eat of it. 23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh. 24 You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the earth like water. 25 You shall not eat it, that all may go well with you and with your children after you, when you do what is right in the sight of the LORD. 26 But the holy things that are due from you, and your vow offerings, you shall take, and you shall go to the place that the LORD will choose, 27 and offer your burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, on the altar of the LORD your God. The blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out on the altar of the LORD your God, but the flesh you may eat. 28 Be careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the LORD your God. Warning Against Idolatry 29 “When the LORD your God cuts off before you the nations whom you go in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods?—that I also may do the same.' 31 You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the LORD hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods. 2 32 “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. Footnotes  12:5 Or name as its habitation  12:31 Ch 13:1 in Hebrew (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Hosea 9 Hosea 9 (Listen) The Lord Will Punish Israel 9 Rejoice not, O Israel! Exult not like the peoples; for you have played the whore, forsaking your God. You have loved a prostitute's wages on all threshing floors.2 Threshing floor and wine vat shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail them.3 They shall not remain in the land of the LORD, but Ephraim shall return to Egypt, and they shall eat unclean food in Assyria. 4 They shall not pour drink offerings of wine to the LORD, and their sacrifices shall not please him. It shall be like mourners' bread to them; all who eat of it shall be defiled; for their bread shall be for their hunger only; it shall not come to the house of the LORD. 5 What will you do on the day of the appointed festival, and on the day of the feast of the LORD?6 For behold, they are going away from destruction; but Egypt shall gather them; Memphis shall bury them. Nettles shall possess their precious things of silver; thorns shall be in their tents. 7 The days of punishment have come; the days of recompense have come; Israel shall know it. The prophet is a fool; the man of the spirit is mad, because of your great iniquity and great hatred.8 The prophet is the watchman of Ephraim with my God; yet a fowler's snare is on all his ways, and hatred in the house of his God.9 They have deeply corrupted themselves as in the days of Gibeah: he will remember their iniquity; he will punish their sins. 10 Like grapes in the wilderness, I found Israel. Like the first fruit on the fig tree in its first season, I saw your fathers. But they came to Baal-peor and consecrated themselves to the thing of shame, and became detestable like the thing they loved.11 Ephraim's glory shall fly away like a bird— no birth, no pregnancy, no conception!12 Even if they bring up children, I will bereave them till none is left. Woe to them when I depart from them!13 Ephraim, as I have seen, was like a young palm1 planted in a meadow; but Ephraim must lead his children out to slaughter.214 Give them, O LORD— what will you give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts. 15 Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal; there I began to hate them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no more; all their princes are rebels. 16 Ephraim is stricken; their root is dried up; they shall bear no fruit. Even though they give birth, I will put their beloved children to death.17 My God will reject them because they have not listened to him; they shall be wanderers among the nations. Footnotes  9:13 Or like Tyre  9:13 Hebrew to him who slaughters (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: Titus 3:8–11 Titus 3:8–11 (Listen) 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. 9 But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. (ESV)