Genesis chapter 29 - Jacob marries Rachel.Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel29 Then Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. 2 As he looked, he saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well's mouth was large, 3 and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place over the mouth of the well.4 Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where do you come from?” They said, “We are from Haran.” 5 He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” They said, “We know him.” 6 He said to them, “Is it well with him?” They said, “It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep!” 7 He said, “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go, pasture them.” 8 But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.” 9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well's mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman, and that he was Rebekah's son, and she ran and told her father.13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister's son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things, 14 and Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh!” And he stayed with him a month.15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” 16 Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her. 21 Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.” 22 So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he went in to her. 25 And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” 26 Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” 28 Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years. 35 And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing.
1 Adam, Sheth, Enosh, 2 Kenan, Mahalaleel, Jered, 3 Henoch, Methuselah, Lamech, 4 Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 5 The sons of Japheth; Gomer, and Magog, and Madai, and Javan, and Tubal, and Meshech, and Tiras. 6 And the sons of Gomer; Ashchenaz, and Riphath, and Togarmah. 7 And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. 8 The sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, Put, and Canaan. 9 And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabta, and Raamah, and Sabtecha. And the sons of Raamah; Sheba, and Dedan. 10 And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be mighty upon the earth. 11 And Mizraim begat Ludim, and Anamim, and Lehabim, and Naphtuhim, 12 And Pathrusim, and Casluhim, (of whom came the Philistines,) and Caphthorim. 13 And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth, 14 The Jebusite also, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite, 15 And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, 16 And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite. 17 The sons of Shem; Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad, and Lud, and Aram, and Uz, and Hul, and Gether, and Meshech. 18 And Arphaxad begat Shelah, and Shelah begat Eber. 19 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg; because in his days the earth was divided: and his brother's name was Joktan. 20 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah, 21 Hadoram also, and Uzal, and Diklah, 22 And Ebal, and Abimael, and Sheba, 23 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab. All these were the sons of Joktan. 24 Shem, Arphaxad, Shelah, 25 Eber, Peleg, Reu, 26 Serug, Nahor, Terah, 27 Abram; the same is Abraham. 28 The sons of Abraham; Isaac, and Ishmael. 29 These are their generations: The firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth; then Kedar, and Adbeel, and Mibsam, 30 Mishma, and Dumah, Massa, Hadad, and Tema, 31 Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael. 32 Now the sons of Keturah, Abraham's concubine: she bare Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And the sons of Jokshan; Sheba, and Dedan. 33 And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Henoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these are the sons of Keturah. 34 And Abraham begat Isaac. The sons of Isaac; Esau and Israel. 35 The sons of Esau; Eliphaz, Reuel, and Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah. 36 The sons of Eliphaz; Teman, and Omar, Zephi, and Gatam, Kenaz, and Timna, and Amalek. 37 The sons of Reuel; Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. 38 And the sons of Seir; Lotan, and Shobal, and Zibeon, and Anah, and Dishon, and Ezar, and Dishan. 39 And the sons of Lotan; Hori, and Homam: and Timna was Lotan's sister. 40 The sons of Shobal; Alian, and Manahath, and Ebal, Shephi, and Onam. and the sons of Zibeon; Aiah, and Anah. 41 The sons of Anah; Dishon. And the sons of Dishon; Amram, and Eshban, and Ithran, and Cheran. 42 The sons of Ezer; Bilhan, and Zavan, and Jakan. The sons of Dishan; Uz, and Aran. 43 Now these are the kings that reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the children of Israel; Bela the son of Beor: and the name of his city was Dinhabah. 44 And when Bela was dead, Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his stead. 45 And when Jobab was dead, Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his stead. 46 And when Husham was dead, Hadad the son of Bedad, which smote Midian in the field of Moab, reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Avith. 47 And when Hadad was dead, Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his stead. 48 And when Samlah was dead, Shaul of Rehoboth by the river reigned in his stead. 49 And when Shaul was dead, Baalhanan the son of Achbor reigned in his stead. 50 And when Baalhanan was dead, Hadad reigned in his stead: and the name of his city was Pai; and his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. 51 Hadad died also. And the dukes of Edom were; duke Timnah, duke Aliah, duke Jetheth, 52 Duke Aholibamah, duke Elah, duke Pinon, 53 Duke Kenaz, duke Teman, duke Mibzar, 54 Duke Magdiel, duke Iram. These are the dukes of Edom.
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 34 Psalm 34 (Listen) Taste and See That the Lord Is Good 1 Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away. 34 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together! 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.5 Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. 8 Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!9 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. 11 Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.12 What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.14 Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. 15 The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.16 The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.17 When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.20 He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.21 Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.22 The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned. Footnotes  34:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet (ESV) Pentateuch and History: 1 Samuel 25 1 Samuel 25 (Listen) The Death of Samuel 25 Now Samuel died. And all Israel assembled and mourned for him, and they buried him in his house at Ramah. David and Abigail Then David rose and went down to the wilderness of Paran. 2 And there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. The man was very rich; he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. He was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was discerning and beautiful, but the man was harsh and badly behaved; he was a Calebite. 4 David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5 So David sent ten young men. And David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal and greet him in my name. 6 And thus you shall greet him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. 7 I hear that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, and they missed nothing all the time they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.'” 9 When David's young men came, they said all this to Nabal in the name of David, and then they waited. 10 And Nabal answered David's servants, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants these days who are breaking away from their masters. 11 Shall I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers and give it to men who come from I do not know where?” 12 So David's young men turned away and came back and told him all this. 13 And David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage. 14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, “Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them. 15 Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, and we did not miss anything when we were in the fields, as long as we went with them. 16 They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 17 Now therefore know this and consider what you should do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his house, and he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him.” 18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs1 of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. 19 And she said to her young men, “Go on before me; behold, I come after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 And as she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain, behold, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them. 21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain have I guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him, and he has returned me evil for good. 22 God do so to the enemies of David2 and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.” 23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. 25 Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal3 is his name, and folly is with him. But I your servant did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent. 26 Now then, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, because the LORD has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. 27 And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the LORD, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. 29 If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the LORD your God. And the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And when the LORD has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince4 over Israel, 31 my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord working salvation himself. And when the LORD has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.” 32 And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33 Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand! 34 For as surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.” 35 Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice, and I have granted your petition.” 36 And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until the morning light. 37 In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. 38 And about ten days later the LORD struck Nabal, and he died. 39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the LORD who has avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. The LORD has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and spoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.” 41 And she rose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” 42 And Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey, and her five young women attended her. She followed the messengers of David and became his wife. 43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and both of them became his wives. 44 Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim. Footnotes  25:18 A seah was about 7 quarts or 7.3 liters  25:22 Septuagint to David  25:25 Nabal means fool  25:30 Or leader (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Daniel 6 Daniel 6 (Listen) Daniel and the Lions' Den 6 It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom 120 satraps, to be throughout the whole kingdom; 2 and over them three high officials, of whom Daniel was one, to whom these satraps should give account, so that the king might suffer no loss. 3 Then this Daniel became distinguished above all the other high officials and satraps, because an excellent spirit was in him. And the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. 4 Then the high officials and the satraps sought to find a ground for complaint against Daniel with regard to the kingdom, but they could find no ground for complaint or any fault, because he was faithful, and no error or fault was found in him. 5 Then these men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.” 6 Then these high officials and satraps came by agreement1 to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! 7 All the high officials of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an injunction, that whoever makes petition to any god or man for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions. 8 Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document and injunction. 10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously. 11 Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God. 12 Then they came near and said before the king, concerning the injunction, “O king! Did you not sign an injunction, that anyone who makes petition to any god or man within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be cast into the den of lions?” The king answered and said, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13 Then they answered and said before the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or the injunction you have signed, but makes his petition three times a day.” 14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was much distressed and set his mind to deliver Daniel. And he labored till the sun went down to rescue him. 15 Then these men came by agreement to the king and said to the king, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no injunction or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.” 16 Then the king commanded, and Daniel was brought and cast into the den of lions. The king declared2 to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, deliver you!” 17 And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel. 18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him. 19 Then, at break of day, the king arose and went in haste to the den of lions. 20 As he came near to the den where Daniel was, he cried out in a tone of anguish. The king declared to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21 Then Daniel said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.” 23 Then the king was exceedingly glad, and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24 And the king commanded, and those men who had maliciously accused Daniel were brought and cast into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. And before they reached the bottom of the den, the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces. 25 Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: “Peace be multiplied to you. 26 I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people are to tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring forever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end.27 He delivers and rescues; he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” 28 So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian. Footnotes  6:6 Or came thronging; also verses 11, 15  6:16 Aramaic answered and said; also verse 20 (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: Luke 3:23–4:13 Luke 3:23–4:13 (Listen) The Genealogy of Jesus Christ 23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,1 the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. The Temptation of Jesus 4 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'” 5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'” 9 And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,' 11 and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” 12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. Footnotes  3:27 Greek Salathiel (ESV)
Luke 3:23–4:14 (ESV) 23Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, the son of Neri, 28the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. 1And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.' ” 5And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “ ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.' ” 9And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,' 11and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.' ” 12And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.' ” 13And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. 14And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country.
Isaac was grief stricken mourning the death of his mother, Sarah. Abraham knew that he was unable to give Isaac the kind of comfort he needed and what Isaac needed was not another mother, but a comforting wife. Abraham sent his servant, Eliezer, to the city of Nahor in Mesopotamia to find a wife for his son Isaac. Abraham's servant was a man who worshipped YeHoVaH. Through answered prayer, Eliezer was invited to Abraham's kindred's home where he formally asked for Rebekah to wed Isaac. Laban was the spokesperson for the family and Rebekah's brother. Eliezer testified about his commission and before he ate their food, he had a confirmation that his mission was successful. With her family's permission, Rebekah agreed to go with Eliezer to marry Isaac. Rebekah and her nurse departed with Abraham's servant, and his men.
Old Testament: 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) Psalm: Psalm 39 Psalm 39 (Listen) What Is the Measure of My Days? To the choirmaster: to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. 39 I said, “I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence.”2 I was mute and silent; I held my peace to no avail, and my distress grew worse.3 My heart became hot within me. As I mused, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: 4 “O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!5 Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah6 Surely a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing1 they are in turmoil; man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather! 7 “And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.8 Deliver me from all my transgressions. Do not make me the scorn of the fool!9 I am mute; I do not open my mouth, for it is you who have done it.10 Remove your stroke from me; I am spent by the hostility of your hand.11 When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath! Selah 12 “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.13 Look away from me, that I may smile again, before I depart and am no more!” Footnotes  39:6 Hebrew Surely as a breath (ESV) New Testament: Luke 3 Luke 3 (Listen) John the Baptist Prepares the Way 3 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,1 make his paths straight.5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways,6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'” 7 He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics2 is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.” 15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18 So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison. 21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;3 with you I am well pleased.”4 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ 23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,5 the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. Footnotes  3:4 Or crying, Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord  3:11 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin  3:22 Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved  3:22 Some manuscripts beloved Son; today I have begotten you  3:27 Greek Salathiel (ESV)
Abraham's eldest servant is believed to be Eliezer who ruled over all Abraham had, even though Abraham had two sons. Eliezer was Abraham's chief servant. He was born in Abraham's house, and he was like a son to Abraham. Eliezer was taught by Abraham to keep the way of YeHoVaH, and Eliezer had been circumcised by Abraham. Abraham had faith that a wife for his son, Isaac, would come from amongst his kindred. Abraham had Eliezer swear an oath to YeHoVaH, the Elohim of heaven and earth, but released his servant from the oath if no one would come from there. Eliezer, being in charge of all Abraham's goods, took what he needed and left for Mesopotamia and the city of Nahor.
Genesis 30:25–31:55 After Rachel gave birth to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send me on my way so I can go back to my own homeland. Give me my wives and children, for whom I have served you, and I will be on my way. You know how much work I've done for you.” But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, please stay. I have learned by divination that the Lord has blessed me because of you.” He added, “Name your wages, and I will pay them.” Jacob said to him, “You know how I have worked for you and how your livestock has fared under my care. The little you had before I came has increased greatly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I have been. But now, when may I do something for my own household?” “What shall I give you?” he asked. “Don't give me anything,” Jacob replied. “But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them: Let me go through all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb and every spotted or speckled goat. They will be my wages. And my honesty will testify for me in the future, whenever you check on the wages you have paid me. Any goat in my possession that is not speckled or spotted, or any lamb that is not dark-colored, will be considered stolen.” “Agreed,” said Laban. “Let it be as you have said.” That same day he removed all the male goats that were streaked or spotted, and all the speckled or spotted female goats (all that had white on them) and all the dark-colored lambs, and he placed them in the care of his sons. Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban's flocks. Jacob, however, took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond and plane trees and made white stripes on them by peeling the bark and exposing the white inner wood of the branches. Then he placed the peeled branches in all the watering troughs, so that they would be directly in front of the flocks when they came to drink. When the flocks were in heat and came to drink, they mated in front of the branches. And they bore young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. Jacob set apart the young of the flock by themselves, but made the rest face the streaked and dark-colored animals that belonged to Laban. Thus he made separate flocks for himself and did not put them with Laban's animals. Whenever the stronger females were in heat, Jacob would place the branches in the troughs in front of the animals so they would mate near the branches, but if the animals were weak, he would not place them there. So the weak animals went to Laban and the strong ones to Jacob. In this way the man grew exceedingly prosperous and came to own large flocks, and female and male servants, and camels and donkeys. Jacob heard that Laban's sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” And Jacob noticed that Laban's attitude toward him was not what it had been. Then the Lord said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. He said to them, “I see that your father's attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I've worked for your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,' then all the flocks bore streaked young. So God has taken away your father's livestock and has given them to me. “In breeding season I once had a dream in which I looked up and saw that the male goats mating with the flock were streaked, speckled or spotted. The angel of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob.' I answered, ‘Here I am.' And he said, ‘Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and where you made a vow to me. Now leave this land at once and go back to your native land.'” Then Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father's estate? Does he not regard us as foreigners? Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us. Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you.” Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels, and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated in Paddan Aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan. When Laban had gone to shear his sheep, Rachel stole her father's household gods. Moreover, Jacob deceived Laban the Aramean by not telling him he was running away. So he fled with all he had, crossed the Euphrates River, and headed for the hill country of Gilead. On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled. Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead. Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.” Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead when Laban overtook him, and Laban and his relatives camped there too. Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You've deceived me, and you've carried off my daughters like captives in war. Why did you run off secretly and deceive me? Why didn't you tell me, so I could send you away with joy and singing to the music of timbrels and harps? You didn't even let me kiss my grandchildren and my daughters goodbye. You have done a foolish thing. I have the power to harm you; but last night the God of your father said to me, ‘Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.' Now you have gone off because you longed to return to your father's household. But why did you steal my gods?” Jacob answered Laban, “I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force. But if you find anyone who has your gods, that person shall not live. In the presence of our relatives, see for yourself whether there is anything of yours here with me; and if so, take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods. So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he found nothing. After he came out of Leah's tent, he entered Rachel's tent. Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them inside her camel's saddle and was sitting on them. Laban searched through everything in the tent but found nothing. Rachel said to her father, “Don't be angry, my lord, that I cannot stand up in your presence; I'm having my period.” So he searched but could not find the household gods. Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. “What is my crime?” he asked Laban. “How have I wronged you that you hunt me down? Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household? Put it here in front of your relatives and mine, and let them judge between the two of us. “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night. This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes. It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.” Laban answered Jacob, “The women are my daughters, the children are my children, and the flocks are my flocks. All you see is mine. Yet what can I do today about these daughters of mine, or about the children they have borne? Come now, let's make a covenant, you and I, and let it serve as a witness between us.” So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. He said to his relatives, “Gather some stones.” So they took stones and piled them in a heap, and they ate there by the heap. Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, and Jacob called it Galeed. Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” That is why it was called Galeed. It was also called Mizpah, because he said, “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other. If you mistreat my daughters or if you take any wives besides my daughters, even though no one is with us, remember that God is a witness between you and me.” Laban also said to Jacob, “Here is this heap, and here is this pillar I have set up between you and me. This heap is a witness, and this pillar is a witness, that I will not go past this heap to your side to harm you and that you will not go past this heap and pillar to my side to harm me. May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” So Jacob took an oath in the name of the Fear of his father Isaac. He offered a sacrifice there in the hill country and invited his relatives to a meal. After they had eaten, they spent the night there. Early the next morning Laban kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then he left and returned home.
1 Chronicles 1–2 1 Chronicles 1–2 (Listen) From Adam to Abraham 1 Adam, Seth, Enosh; 2 Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared; 3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech; 4 Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 5 The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. 6 The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath,1 and Togarmah. 7 The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Rodanim. 8 The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. 9 The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabta, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. 10 Cush fathered Nimrod. He was the first on earth to be a mighty man.2 11 Egypt fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 12 Pathrusim, Casluhim (from whom the Philistines came), and Caphtorim. 13 Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth, 14 and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 15 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 16 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. 17 The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. And the sons of Aram:3 Uz, Hul, Gether, and Meshech. 18 Arpachshad fathered Shelah, and Shelah fathered Eber. 19 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg4 (for in his days the earth was divided), and his brother's name was Joktan. 20 Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 21 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 22 Obal,5 Abimael, Sheba, 23 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan. 24 Shem, Arpachshad, Shelah; 25 Eber, Peleg, Reu; 26 Serug, Nahor, Terah; 27 Abram, that is, Abraham. From Abraham to Jacob 28 The sons of Abraham: Isaac and Ishmael. 29 These are their genealogies: the firstborn of Ishmael, Nebaioth, and Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 30 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, Hadad, Tema, 31 Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. These are the sons of Ishmael. 32 The sons of Keturah, Abraham's concubine: she bore Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. The sons of Jokshan: Sheba and Dedan. 33 The sons of Midian: Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the descendants of Keturah. 34 Abraham fathered Isaac. The sons of Isaac: Esau and Israel. 35 The sons of Esau: Eliphaz, Reuel, Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. 36 The sons of Eliphaz: Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, Kenaz, and of Timna,6 Amalek. 37 The sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. 38 The sons of Seir: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. 39 The sons of Lotan: Hori and Hemam;7 and Lotan's sister was Timna. 40 The sons of Shobal: Alvan,8 Manahath, Ebal, Shepho,9 and Onam. The sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah. 41 The son10 of Anah: Dishon. The sons of Dishon: Hemdan,11 Eshban, Ithran, and Cheran. 42 The sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.12 The sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran. 43 These are the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king reigned over the people of Israel: Bela the son of Beor, the name of his city being Dinhabah. 44 Bela died, and Jobab the son of Zerah of Bozrah reigned in his place. 45 Jobab died, and Husham of the land of the Temanites reigned in his place. 46 Husham died, and Hadad the son of Bedad, who defeated Midian in the country of Moab, reigned in his place, the name of his city being Avith. 47 Hadad died, and Samlah of Masrekah reigned in his place. 48 Samlah died, and Shaul of Rehoboth on the Euphrates13 reigned in his place. 49 Shaul died, and Baal-hanan, the son of Achbor, reigned in his place. 50 Baal-hanan died, and Hadad reigned in his place, the name of his city being Pai; and his wife's name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Mezahab. 51 And Hadad died. The chiefs of Edom were: chiefs Timna, Alvah, Jetheth, 52 Oholibamah, Elah, Pinon, 53 Kenaz, Teman, Mibzar, 54 Magdiel, and Iram; these are the chiefs of Edom. A Genealogy of David 2 These are the sons of Israel: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, 2 Dan, Joseph, Benjamin, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. 3 The sons of Judah: Er, Onan and Shelah; these three Bath-shua the Canaanite bore to him. Now Er, Judah's firstborn, was evil in the sight of the LORD, and he put him to death. 4 His daughter-in-law Tamar also bore him Perez and Zerah. Judah had five sons in all. 5 The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul. 6 The sons of Zerah: Zimri, Ethan, Heman, Calcol, and Dara, five in all. 7 The son14 of Carmi: Achan, the troubler of Israel, who broke faith in the matter of the devoted thing; 8 and Ethan's son was Azariah. 9 The sons of Hezron that were born to him: Jerahmeel, Ram, and Chelubai. 10 Ram fathered Amminadab, and Amminadab fathered Nahshon, prince of the sons of Judah. 11 Nahshon fathered Salmon,15 Salmon fathered Boaz, 12 Boaz fathered Obed, Obed fathered Jesse. 13 Jesse fathered Eliab his firstborn, Abinadab the second, Shimea the third, 14 Nethanel the fourth, Raddai the fifth, 15 Ozem the sixth, David the seventh. 16 And their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. The sons of Zeruiah: Abishai, Joab, and Asahel, three. 17 Abigail bore Amasa, and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite. 18 Caleb the son of Hezron fathered children by his wife Azubah, and by Jerioth; and these were her sons: Jesher, Shobab, and Ardon. 19 When Azubah died, Caleb married Ephrath, who bore him Hur. 20 Hur fathered Uri, and Uri fathered Bezalel. 21 Afterward Hezron went in to the daughter of Machir the father of Gilead, whom he married when he was sixty years old, and she bore him Segub. 22 And Segub fathered Jair, who had twenty-three cities in the land of Gilead. 23 But Geshur and Aram took from them Havvoth-jair, Kenath, and its villages, sixty towns. All these were descendants of Machir, the father of Gilead. 24 After the death of Hezron, Caleb went in to Ephrathah,16 the wife of Hezron his father, and she bore him Ashhur, the father of Tekoa. 25 The sons of Jerahmeel, the firstborn of Hezron: Ram, his firstborn, Bunah, Oren, Ozem, and Ahijah. 26 Jerahmeel also had another wife, whose name was Atarah; she was the mother of Onam. 27 The sons of Ram, the firstborn of Jerahmeel: Maaz, Jamin, and Eker. 28 The sons of Onam: Shammai and Jada. The sons of Shammai: Nadab and Abishur. 29 The name of Abishur's wife was Abihail, and she bore him Ahban and Molid. 30 The sons of Nadab: Seled and Appaim; and Seled died childless. 31 The son17 of Appaim: Ishi. The son of Ishi: Sheshan. The son of Sheshan: Ahlai. 32 The sons of Jada, Shammai's brother: Jether and Jonathan; and Jether died childless. 33 The sons of Jonathan: Peleth and Zaza. These were the descendants of Jerahmeel. 34 Now Sheshan had no sons, only daughters, but Sheshan had an Egyptian slave whose name was Jarha. 35 So Sheshan gave his daughter in marriage to Jarha his slave, and she bore him Attai. 36 Attai fathered Nathan, and Nathan fathered Zabad. 37 Zabad fathered Ephlal, and Ephlal fathered Obed. 38 Obed fathered Jehu, and Jehu fathered Azariah. 39 Azariah fathered Helez, and Helez fathered Eleasah. 40 Eleasah fathered Sismai, and Sismai fathered Shallum. 41 Shallum fathered Jekamiah, and Jekamiah fathered Elishama. 42 The sons of Caleb the brother of Jerahmeel: Mareshah18 his firstborn, who fathered Ziph. The son19 of Mareshah: Hebron.20 43 The sons of Hebron: Korah, Tappuah, Rekem and Shema. 44 Shema fathered Raham, the father of Jorkeam; and Rekem fathered Shammai. 45 The son of Shammai: Maon; and Maon fathered Beth-zur. 46 Ephah also, Caleb's concubine, bore Haran, Moza, and Gazez; and Haran fathered Gazez. 47 The sons of Jahdai: Regem, Jotham, Geshan, Pelet, Ephah, and Shaaph. 48 Maacah, Caleb's concubine, bore Sheber and Tirhanah. 49 She also bore Shaaph the father of Madmannah, Sheva the father of Machbenah and the father of Gibea; and the daughter of Caleb was Achsah. 50 These were the descendants of Caleb. The sons21 of Hur the firstborn of Ephrathah: Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim, 51 Salma, the father of Bethlehem, and Hareph the father of Beth-gader. 52 Shobal the father of Kiriath-jearim had other sons: Haroeh, half of the Menuhoth. 53 And the clans of Kiriath-jearim: the Ithrites, the Puthites, the Shumathites, and the Mishraites; from these came the Zorathites and the Eshtaolites. 54 The sons of Salma: Bethlehem, the Netophathites, Atroth-beth-joab and half of the Manahathites, the Zorites. 55 The clans also of the scribes who lived at Jabez: the Tirathites, the Shimeathites and the Sucathites. These are the Kenites who came from Hammath, the father of the house of Rechab. Footnotes  1:6 Septuagint; Hebrew Diphath  1:10 Or He began to be a mighty man on the earth  1:17 Septuagint; Hebrew lacks And the sons of Aram  1:19 Peleg means division  1:22 Septuagint, Syriac (compare Genesis 10:28); Hebrew Ebal  1:36 Septuagint (compare Genesis 36:12); Hebrew lacks and of  1:39 Septuagint (compare Genesis 36:22); Hebrew Homam  1:40 Septuagint (compare Genesis 36:23); Hebrew Alian  1:40 Septuagint (compare Genesis 36:23); Hebrew Shephi  1:41 Hebrew sons  1:41 Septuagint (compare Genesis 36:26); Hebrew Hamran  1:42 Septuagint (compare Genesis 36:27); Hebrew Jaakan  1:48 Hebrew the River  2:7 Hebrew sons  2:11 Septuagint (compare Ruth 4:21); Hebrew Salma  2:24 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew in Caleb Ephrathah  2:31 Hebrew sons; three times in this verse  2:42 Septuagint; Hebrew Mesha  2:42 Hebrew sons  2:42 Hebrew the father of Hebron  2:50 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew son (ESV)
Proper 12 First Psalm: Psalm 24; Psalm 29 Psalm 24 (Listen) The King of Glory A Psalm of David. 24 The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof,1 the world and those who dwell therein,2 for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. 3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.5 He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.2 Selah 7 Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!9 Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah Footnotes  24:1 Or and all that fills it  24:6 Septuagint, Syriac, and two Hebrew manuscripts; Masoretic Text who seek your face, Jacob (ESV) Psalm 29 (Listen) Ascribe to the Lord Glory A Psalm of David. 29 Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,1 ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.2 3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over many waters.4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.8 The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth3 and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, “Glory!” 10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.11 May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless4 his people with peace! Footnotes  29:1 Hebrew sons of God, or sons of might  29:2 Or in holy attire  29:9 Revocalization yields makes the oaks to shake  29:11 Or The Lord will give . . . The Lord will bless (ESV) Second Psalm: Psalm 8; Psalm 84 Psalm 8 (Listen) How Majestic Is Your Name To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith.1 A Psalm of David. 8 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.2 Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,4 what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 5 Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings2 and crowned him with glory and honor.6 You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,8 the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! Footnotes  8:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term  8:5 Or than God; Septuagint than the angels (ESV) Psalm 84 (Listen) My Soul Longs for the Courts of the Lord To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith.1 A Psalm of the Sons of Korah. 84 How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts!2 My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.26 As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.7 They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. 8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah9 Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed! 10 For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.12 O LORD of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you! Footnotes  84:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term  84:5 Hebrew lacks to Zion (ESV) Old Testament: Joshua 24:1–15 Joshua 24:1–15 (Listen) The Covenant Renewal at Shechem 24 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And they presented themselves before God. 2 And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates,1 Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. 3 Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River2 and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac. 4 And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. 5 And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and afterward I brought you out. 6 “‘Then I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea. And the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. 7 And when they cried to the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness a long time. 8 Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan. They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. 9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. And he sent and invited Balaam the son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I would not listen to Balaam. Indeed, he blessed you. So I delivered you out of his hand. 11 And you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, and the leaders of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And I gave them into your hand. 12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. 13 I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.' Choose Whom You Will Serve 14 “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Footnotes  24:2 Hebrew the River  24:3 That is, the Euphrates; also verses 14, 15 (ESV) New Testament: Acts 28:23–31 Acts 28:23–31 (Listen) 23 When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. 24 And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. 25 And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: 26 “‘Go to this people, and say, “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.”27 For this people's heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.' 28 Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”1 30 He lived there two whole years at his own expense,2 and welcomed all who came to him, 31 proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. Footnotes  28:28 Some manuscripts add verse 29: And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, having much dispute among themselves  28:30 Or in his own hired dwelling (ESV) Gospel: Mark 2:23–28 Mark 2:23–28 (Listen) Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath 23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of1 Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.” Footnotes  2:26 Or in the passage about (ESV)
Genesis 29:1–30:24 Then Jacob went on his journey and came to the land of the people of the east. As he looked, he saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well's mouth was large, and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place over the mouth of the well. Jacob said to them, “My brothers, where do you come from?” They said, “We are from Haran.” He said to them, “Do you know Laban the son of Nahor?” They said, “We know him.” He said to them, “Is it well with him?” They said, “It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep!” He said, “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go, pasture them.” But they said, “We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.” While he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep, for she was a shepherdess. Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well's mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother. Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's kinsman, and that he was Rebekah's son, and she ran and told her father. As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister's son, he ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things, and Laban said to him, “Surely you are my bone and my flesh!” And he stayed with him a month. Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be?” Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah's eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her. Then Jacob said to Laban, “Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed.” So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and made a feast. But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he went in to her. (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, “What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me?” Laban said, “It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. Complete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years.” Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years. When the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben, for she said, “Because the Lord has looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me.” She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also.” And she called his name Simeon. Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be attached to me, because I have borne him three sons.” Therefore his name was called Levi. And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” Therefore she called his name Judah. Then she ceased bearing. When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” Then she said, “Here is my servant Bilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth on my behalf, that even I may have children through her.” So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son.” Therefore she called his name Dan. Rachel's servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed.” So she called his name Naphtali. When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. Then Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. And Leah said, “Good fortune has come!” so she called his name Gad. Leah's servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. And Leah said, “Happy am I! For women have called me happy.” So she called his name Asher. In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son's mandrakes.” But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son's mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son's mandrakes.” When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must come in to me, for I have hired you with my son's mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. Leah said, “God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband.” So she called his name Issachar. And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons.” So she called his name Zebulun. Afterward she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah. Then God remembered Rachel, and God listened to her and opened her womb. She conceived and bore a son and said, “God has taken away my reproach.” And she called his name Joseph, saying, “May the Lord add to me another son!”
Psalms and Wisdom: Song of Solomon 1:1–8 Song of Solomon 1:1–8 (Listen) 1 The Song of Songs, which is Solomon's. The Bride Confesses Her Love She1 2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine;3 your anointing oils are fragrant; your name is oil poured out; therefore virgins love you.4 Draw me after you; let us run. The king has brought me into his chambers. Others We will exult and rejoice in you; we will extol your love more than wine; rightly do they love you. She 5 I am very dark, but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, like the tents of Kedar, like the curtains of Solomon.6 Do not gaze at me because I am dark, because the sun has looked upon me. My mother's sons were angry with me; they made me keeper of the vineyards, but my own vineyard I have not kept!7 Tell me, you whom my soul loves, where you pasture your flock, where you make it lie down at noon; for why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions? Solomon and His Bride Delight in Each Other He 8 If you do not know, O most beautiful among women, follow in the tracks of the flock, and pasture your young goats beside the shepherds' tents. Footnotes  1:2 The translators have added speaker identifications based on the gender and number of the Hebrew words (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Joshua 23–24 Joshua 23–24 (Listen) Joshua's Charge to Israel's Leaders 23 A long time afterward, when the LORD had given rest to Israel from all their surrounding enemies, and Joshua was old and well advanced in years, 2 Joshua summoned all Israel, its elders and heads, its judges and officers, and said to them, “I am now old and well advanced in years. 3 And you have seen all that the LORD your God has done to all these nations for your sake, for it is the LORD your God who has fought for you. 4 Behold, I have allotted to you as an inheritance for your tribes those nations that remain, along with all the nations that I have already cut off, from the Jordan to the Great Sea in the west. 5 The LORD your God will push them back before you and drive them out of your sight. And you shall possess their land, just as the LORD your God promised you. 6 Therefore, be very strong to keep and to do all that is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, turning aside from it neither to the right hand nor to the left, 7 that you may not mix with these nations remaining among you or make mention of the names of their gods or swear by them or serve them or bow down to them, 8 but you shall cling to the LORD your God just as you have done to this day. 9 For the LORD has driven out before you great and strong nations. And as for you, no man has been able to stand before you to this day. 10 One man of you puts to flight a thousand, since it is the LORD your God who fights for you, just as he promised you. 11 Be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God. 12 For if you turn back and cling to the remnant of these nations remaining among you and make marriages with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, 13 know for certain that the LORD your God will no longer drive out these nations before you, but they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good ground that the LORD your God has given you. 14 “And now I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things1 that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed. 15 But just as all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you have been fulfilled for you, so the LORD will bring upon you all the evil things, until he has destroyed you from off this good land that the LORD your God has given you, 16 if you transgress the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them. Then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land that he has given to you.” The Covenant Renewal at Shechem 24 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And they presented themselves before God. 2 And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates,2 Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. 3 Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River3 and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac. 4 And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. 5 And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and afterward I brought you out. 6 “‘Then I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea. And the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. 7 And when they cried to the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness a long time. 8 Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan. They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. 9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. And he sent and invited Balaam the son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I would not listen to Balaam. Indeed, he blessed you. So I delivered you out of his hand. 11 And you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, and the leaders of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And I gave them into your hand. 12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. 13 I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.' Choose Whom You Will Serve 14 “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” 16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods, 17 for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. 18 And the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.” 19 But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20 If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.” 21 And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the LORD.” 22 Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 23 He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel.” 24 And the people said to Joshua, “The LORD our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.” 25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place statutes and rules for them at Shechem. 26 And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. 27 And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.” 28 So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance. Joshua's Death and Burial 29 After these things Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being 110 years old. 30 And they buried him in his own inheritance at Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash. 31 Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the LORD did for Israel. 32 As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money.4 It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph. 33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died, and they buried him at Gibeah, the town of Phinehas his son, which had been given him in the hill country of Ephraim. Footnotes  23:14 Or words; also twice in verse 15  24:2 Hebrew the River  24:3 That is, the Euphrates; also verses 14, 15  24:32 Hebrew for a hundred qesitah; a unit of money of unknown value (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Jeremiah 15:10–16:21 Jeremiah 15:10–16:21 (Listen) Jeremiah's Complaint 10 Woe is me, my mother, that you bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me. 11 The LORD said, “Have I not1 set you free for their good? Have I not pleaded for you before the enemy in the time of trouble and in the time of distress? 12 Can one break iron, iron from the north, and bronze? 13 “Your wealth and your treasures I will give as spoil, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory. 14 I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn forever.” 15 O LORD, you know; remember me and visit me, and take vengeance for me on my persecutors. In your forbearance take me not away; know that for your sake I bear reproach.16 Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.17 I did not sit in the company of revelers, nor did I rejoice; I sat alone, because your hand was upon me, for you had filled me with indignation.18 Why is my pain unceasing, my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will you be to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail? 19 Therefore thus says the LORD: “If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them.20 And I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you, but they shall not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you, declares the LORD.21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked, and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.” Famine, Sword, and Death 16 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “You shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place. 3 For thus says the LORD concerning the sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning the mothers who bore them and the fathers who fathered them in this land: 4 They shall die of deadly diseases. They shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried. They shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. They shall perish by the sword and by famine, and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth. 5 “For thus says the LORD: Do not enter the house of mourning, or go to lament or grieve for them, for I have taken away my peace from this people, my steadfast love and mercy, declares the LORD. 6 Both great and small shall die in this land. They shall not be buried, and no one shall lament for them or cut himself or make himself bald for them. 7 No one shall break bread for the mourner, to comfort him for the dead, nor shall anyone give him the cup of consolation to drink for his father or his mother. 8 You shall not go into the house of feasting to sit with them, to eat and drink. 9 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will silence in this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. 10 “And when you tell this people all these words, and they say to you, ‘Why has the LORD pronounced all this great evil against us? What is our iniquity? What is the sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?' 11 then you shall say to them: ‘Because your fathers have forsaken me, declares the LORD, and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, 12 and because you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me. 13 Therefore I will hurl you out of this land into a land that neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you shall serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.' The Lord Will Restore Israel 14 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,' 15 but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.' For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers. 16 “Behold, I am sending for many fishers, declares the LORD, and they shall catch them. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and every hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks. 17 For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes. 18 But first I will doubly repay their iniquity and their sin, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable idols, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.” 19 O LORD, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble, to you shall the nations come from the ends of the earth and say: “Our fathers have inherited nothing but lies, worthless things in which there is no profit.20 Can man make for himself gods? Such are not gods!” 21 “Therefore, behold, I will make them know, this once I will make them know my power and my might, and they shall know that my name is the LORD.” Footnotes  15:11 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: Matthew 27:27–66 Matthew 27:27–66 (Listen) Jesus Is Mocked 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters,1 and they gathered the whole battalion2 before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. The Crucifixion 32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. The Death of Jesus 45 Now from the sixth hour3 there was darkness over all the land4 until the ninth hour.5 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. 51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son6 of God!” 55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. Jesus Is Buried 57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The Guard at the Tomb 62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.' 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,' and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard7 of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. Footnotes  27:27 Greek the praetorium  27:27 Greek cohort; a tenth of a Roman legion, usually about 600 men  27:45 That is, noon  27:45 Or earth  27:45 That is, 3 p.m.  27:54 Or a son  27:65 Or Take a guard (ESV)
With family: Joshua 24; Acts 4 Joshua 24 (Listen) The Covenant Renewal at Shechem 24 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem and summoned the elders, the heads, the judges, and the officers of Israel. And they presented themselves before God. 2 And Joshua said to all the people, “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, ‘Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates,1 Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. 3 Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River2 and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many. I gave him Isaac. 4 And to Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt. 5 And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt with what I did in the midst of it, and afterward I brought you out. 6 “‘Then I brought your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea. And the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen to the Red Sea. 7 And when they cried to the LORD, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians and made the sea come upon them and cover them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. And you lived in the wilderness a long time. 8 Then I brought you to the land of the Amorites, who lived on the other side of the Jordan. They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand, and you took possession of their land, and I destroyed them before you. 9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. And he sent and invited Balaam the son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I would not listen to Balaam. Indeed, he blessed you. So I delivered you out of his hand. 11 And you went over the Jordan and came to Jericho, and the leaders of Jericho fought against you, and also the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And I gave them into your hand. 12 And I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out before you, the two kings of the Amorites; it was not by your sword or by your bow. 13 I gave you a land on which you had not labored and cities that you had not built, and you dwell in them. You eat the fruit of vineyards and olive orchards that you did not plant.' Choose Whom You Will Serve 14 “Now therefore fear the LORD and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” 16 Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the LORD to serve other gods, 17 for it is the LORD our God who brought us and our fathers up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight and preserved us in all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed. 18 And the LORD drove out before us all the peoples, the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.” 19 But Joshua said to the people, “You are not able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions or your sins. 20 If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you harm and consume you, after having done you good.” 21 And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the LORD.” 22 Then Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the LORD, to serve him.” And they said, “We are witnesses.” 23 He said, “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel.” 24 And the people said to Joshua, “The LORD our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.” 25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and put in place statutes and rules for them at Shechem. 26 And Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone and set it up there under the terebinth that was by the sanctuary of the LORD. 27 And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words of the LORD that he spoke to us. Therefore it shall be a witness against you, lest you deal falsely with your God.” 28 So Joshua sent the people away, every man to his inheritance. Joshua's Death and Burial 29 After these things Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being 110 years old. 30 And they buried him in his own inheritance at Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash. 31 Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the work that the LORD did for Israel. 32 As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money.3 It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph. 33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died, and they buried him at Gibeah, the town of Phinehas his son, which had been given him in the hill country of Ephraim. Footnotes  24:2 Hebrew the River  24:3 That is, the Euphrates; also verses 14, 15  24:32 Hebrew for a hundred qesitah; a unit of money of unknown value (ESV) Acts 4 (Listen) Peter and John Before the Council 4 And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, 2 greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. 3 And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4 But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand. 5 On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, 6 with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high-priestly family. 7 And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, “By what power or by what name did you do this?” 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, 9 if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, 10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by him this man is standing before you well. 11 This Jesus1 is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone.2 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men3 by which we must be saved.” 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. 14 But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. 15 But when they had commanded them to leave the council, they conferred with one another, 16 saying, “What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. 17 But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.” 18 So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, 20 for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” 21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. 22 For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old. 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,4 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'5— 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  4:11 Greek This one  4:11 Greek the head of the corner  4:12 The Greek word anthropoi refers here to both men and women  4:25 Or child; also verses 27, 30  4:26 Or Christ (ESV) In private: Jeremiah 13; Matthew 27 Jeremiah 13 (Listen) The Ruined Loincloth 13 Thus says the LORD to me, “Go and buy a linen loincloth and put it around your waist, and do not dip it in water.” 2 So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the LORD, and put it around my waist. 3 And the word of the LORD came to me a second time, 4 “Take the loincloth that you have bought, which is around your waist, and arise, go to the Euphrates and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” 5 So I went and hid it by the Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me. 6 And after many days the LORD said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there.” 7 Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the loincloth was spoiled; it was good for nothing. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 9 “Thus says the LORD: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing. 11 For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen. The Jars Filled with Wine 12 “You shall speak to them this word: ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “Every jar shall be filled with wine.”' And they will say to you, ‘Do we not indeed know that every jar will be filled with wine?' 13 Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: Behold, I will fill with drunkenness all the inhabitants of this land: the kings who sit on David's throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 14 And I will dash them one against another, fathers and sons together, declares the LORD. I will not pity or spare or have compassion, that I should not destroy them.'” Exile Threatened 15 Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the LORD has spoken.16 Give glory to the LORD your God before he brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, and while you look for light he turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness.17 But if you will not listen, my soul will weep in secret for your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears, because the LORD's flock has been taken captive. 18 Say to the king and the queen mother: “Take a lowly seat, for your beautiful crown has come down from your head.”19 The cities of the Negeb are shut up, with none to open them; all Judah is taken into exile, wholly taken into exile. 20 “Lift up your eyes and see those who come from the north. Where is the flock that was given you, your beautiful flock?21 What will you say when they set as head over you those whom you yourself have taught to be friends to you? Will not pangs take hold of you like those of a woman in labor?22 And if you say in your heart, ‘Why have these things come upon me?' it is for the greatness of your iniquity that your skirts are lifted up and you suffer violence.23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard his spots? Then also you can do good who are accustomed to do evil.24 I will scatter you1 like chaff driven by the wind from the desert.25 This is your lot, the portion I have measured out to you, declares the LORD, because you have forgotten me and trusted in lies.26 I myself will lift up your skirts over your face, and your shame will be seen.27 I have seen your abominations, your adulteries and neighings, your lewd whorings, on the hills in the field. Woe to you, O Jerusalem! How long will it be before you are made clean?” Footnotes  13:24 Hebrew them (ESV) Matthew 27 (Listen) Jesus Delivered to Pilate 27 When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. 2 And they bound him and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate the governor. Judas Hangs Himself 3 Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus1 was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders, 4 saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? See to it yourself.” 5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself. 6 But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 So they took counsel and bought with them the potter's field as a burial place for strangers. 8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. 9 Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel, 10 and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me.” Jesus Before Pilate 11 Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” 12 But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” 14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. The Crowd Chooses Barabbas 15 Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. 16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. 17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew that it was out of envy that they had delivered him up. 19 Besides, while he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today in a dream.” 20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus. 21 The governor again said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?” And they said, “Barabbas.” 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said, “Let him be crucified!” 23 And he said, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Let him be crucified!” Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified 24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man's blood;2 see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged3 Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. Jesus Is Mocked 27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor's headquarters,4 and they gathered the whole battalion5 before him. 28 And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30 And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him. The Crucifixion 32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34 they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it. 35 And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36 Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.” 38 Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” 41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42 “He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.'” 44 And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way. The Death of Jesus 45 Now from the sixth hour6 there was darkness over all the land7 until the ninth hour.8 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. 51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son9 of God!” 55 There were also many women there, looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to him, 56 among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and the mother of the sons of Zebedee. Jesus Is Buried 57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. 58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud 60 and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb. The Guard at the Tomb 62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise.' 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,' and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard10 of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard. Footnotes<
THE BEGINNING OF THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT. Grace Bible Church & Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries Copyright © 2009 by Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin Gbible.org 02/24/08 Rom 9:1-4, “I am communicating doctrine, I am not lying, my conscience bearing joint testimony with me in the Holy Spirit, but I have a great sorrow and constant pain in my right lobe, so I could wish that I myself would be accursed, consequently, separated from Christ, but it cannot be, for the sake of, or on behalf of my brethren, the racial Jews, my fellow countrymen, national Jews according to earthly descent, who are Israelites, to whom is the adoption as sons and the glory [the Shekinah glory], and the covenants and the gift of the law, and the worship of the true God, and the promises.” We now move to the next three Greek words, Kai hai diatheekai, correctly translated and the covenants. This is referring primarily to the Abrahamic covenant, though others are included as well. The Abrahamic covenant was the beginning of the Jews, and the beginning of God's promises to Israel. The whole issue in these covenants is very simple. God is faithful, and God keeps His word; God will fulfill every obligation. The integrity of God makes it impossible for Him not to fulfill an obligation. Remember that the integrity of God is composed of His justice and His righteousness, and the only Jews to whom these promises are pertinent are the spiritual, rather than the physical, seed of Abraham. Only those Jews who receive the imputation of Divine righteousness (+R), as did Abraham, in Genesis 15, where Abraham was told that his progeny would be as the stars of the heaven, or like the sands of the sea. In that passage it also says, “Abraham had believed in the Lord [GEN 15:6], and it was credited to his account for righteousness.” The only Jews who receive the promises of the Abrahamic, Palestinian, Davidic, and New Covenants to Israel are those Jews who have +R. Remember that the justice of God imputes blessing to the righteousness of God only, and no Jew is a true Jew until he has the righteousness of God. Human life imputed at birth, plus Adams original sin, equals the first potential, the potential of salvation. Then the pertinent doctrine, the Gospel, equals the first hope or absolute confidence that when you believe in Christ you have eternal life. Then comes the adjustment to the justice of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There can be no blessing from God, unless you possess God's righteousness. Through perception, metabolization, and application of doctrine, one attains maturity and develops capacity to receive Divine blessing. We have the imputation of eternal life, plus the imputation of blessing in time which equals the third potential: Pertinent doctrine plus undeserved suffering equals absolute confidence that when we stand at the judgment seat of Christ in a resurrection body, we are going to receive the imputation of Divine blessing; and this is the plan of God. So, there can be no blessing, no eternal blessing to anyone, without +R. The ditheke, the covenant, is a disposition made by God to Abraham, and in this case we're dealing with the heritage of Israel. Like all the covenants, this is a part of the Divine decrees, and Abraham is a beneficiary without merit. God promised Abraham, he would crack the maturity barrier. God promised unconditionally certain things to Abraham and his spiritual seed; not all Israel is Israel, only those who believe on Christ for +R, as Abraham did in GEN 15:6. These promises are forever so you have to have God's life, eternal life. These promises demand a point of imputation. God can only bless on the basis of His righteousness (+R), not on the basis of our righteousness; today we have people inserting their own self-righteousness, and of course that does not work. We can't reinvent the wheel; God's already done it; it's His plan, not our plan! There is no place for self-righteousness, or any action or any deed no matter how legitimate, no matter how wonderful, or no matter how legalistic; there's simply no place for any human effort to try to gain blessing from God. The justice of God is free to fulfill the Abrahamic covenant to any Jew (anyone who has the genes of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) who is born again through faith in TLJC. That is absolutely necessary. So, all of these promises we simply call the Abrahamic covenant are merely a summary of everything that God promised to Abraham and to his spiritual seed. GEN 12:1-3, Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” These verses emphasize the isolation and separation necessary for the development of the new race. The third dynasty of Ur is about to be destroyed, and God is separating Abraham from that famous Acadian nation. This is why verse 2 says And I will manufacture from you a great nation. This does not refer to the seed of Ishmael nor does it refer to the seed of the five sons of Keturah. Abraham had seven sons; but the great nation would come through one only, Isaac: one great nation called the Jews, the Hebrews. Now there are a lot of nations from Abraham; many of them are descendents through Ishmael, or descendents from Abraham through the five sons of Keturah. However, the great nation in GEN 12:2 is elected, but not adopted until the Second Advent, because while Israel has been great in the past, it is nothing compared to what will happen in the Millennial reign of the Lord Jesus Christ. Israel will be the source of blessing for the entire world. Israel in the Millennium is the great nation. Israel in all eternity after the Millennium is the great nation, but the only racial Jews who can be in that great nation are those who are qualified by having +R and eternal life. No-one can qualify without believing in Christ for eternal life. Now it becomes important, and that's why Paul was so burdened in Romans 9, because these Jews, many of them in arrogance, thought that they recognized their great heritage, but they misinterpreted their heritage and related it to physical birth, rather than the new birth. That's why, to one of the leaders of the Jews, the Pharisee Nicodemus, Jesus said; “Ye must be born again.” Even though this man was a Pharisee and a brilliant scholar and understood his racial heritage, he was still relating the heritage of Israel to physical life rather than spiritual life. But at least he was positive, for he is one of the Pharisees who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ as a result of His earthly ministry. Being born again is only possible through believing in the salvation work of our Lord. That was the challenge, not only to Nicodemus, but to all Jews: They must be born again. So, our Lord tells Nicodemus that it isn't a physical re-birth; it's a spiritual re-birth. It's a birth by means of the Spirit, from the water of the Word and from the Spirit. It isn't the physical seed of Abraham that has the great heritage of the future; it is the spiritual seed of Abraham, those who are born again. When God promised unconditionally He simply said I will. That's it. “I will manufacture from you a great nation, I will bless you, and I will cause your name to become famous, therefore become a blessing, and I will bless those who bless you.” That brings us to today. The United States of America is a client nation of God, right now. We do not have the spiritual heritage of Israel. We have a glorious heritage of freedom, but nothing compares to the spiritual heritage of Israel in the past. So here we are today, a client nation of God. With that we have the responsibility. We have, first of all, the freedom with its privacy, its property, and its umbrella of authority. We have the freedom to evangelize. From this freedom comes the ability to advance to maturity. From this freedom comes missionary activity to reach out to any nation, or any group of people wherever they may be found, who are positive toward God and God-consciousness, and they will hear the Gospel. God will provide the missionaries and the means, and they are generally sent from a client nation. One other thing that's keeping us going today, and is very important to continue and protect, is that we as a nation are not anti-Semitic. We have some anti-Semitic people in the nation, but as a nation we are not anti-Semitic. We are pro-Semitic with relationship to the Jewish people. We have offered our country, as a client nation to God, as a haven for the Jews, where they have the same opportunity and the same citizenship that we have. No distinction is made and they are protected. We are about to have a great attack of anti-Semitism in this country, which is just one of the many manifestations of Satan's action. One of the worst things that you can ever do, is to ever become involved with anyone who is anti-Semitic. We want to stay absolutely clear from that vicious, monstrous evil. Nothing is more Satanic than anti-Semitism. The greatest Satanic movement in all of history, reaching its peak in the middle of the Tribulation, is anti-Semitism. The reason for Satanic opposition to the Jews is related to the four unconditional promises (covenants) of God: The Abrahamic, Palestinian, Davidic, and New Covenant. All of these covenants guarantee the future of Israel and have not yet been fulfilled, with one exception. God will destroy any person or any nation involved in anti-Semitism. It is not God's will for you to enter into anti-Semitism. Racial prejudice is one of the greatest evils you could ever imagine. Whenever anyone feels any racial prejudice, all they have to do is remember that Christ was judged for that person on the Cross. How did all of this evil in the Middle East start? We must begin with a descendant of Shem who for 99 years was an Arab, and the Arab's claim him as one of them. However, at age 99 God claimed Abraham for Himself and started a brand new race called the Jews. Let's review the profile of Abraham so that you will know something about him as an Arab and how he became a Jew. This applies directly to America's war in the Middle East. Abraham was called Abram in the Bible before God changed his name. Abraham was a Gentile who became a Jew when God started the Jewish race through him at age 99. He was the ninth generation descended from Noah's son, Shem. He was born in the city of Ur about 2161 B.C., and the accounts about Abraham are found in GEN 11:26 - GEN 25:11, with the focus on four important aspects of his life. First, his migration: Abraham's story begins with his migration with the rest of his family from UR of the Chaldeans in ancient southern Babylonia (GEN 11:26-32). He and his family moved north along the trade routes of the ancient world and settled in the flourishing trade center of Haran, and there, at the age of 75, Abraham received a call from God to go to an unknown land that God would show him. Remember at this time in human history, there was no Bible so God spoke personally to those whom He chose. The Lord promised Abraham that He would make him and his descendants a great nation, according to GEN 12:1-3. However, like many promises from God to His people, because they are so fantastic, they seem unbelievable. The promise must have seemed unbelievable to Abraham because his wife Sarah (Sarai) was childless and he had no children. GEN 11:26 And Terah lived seventy years, and became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran. Terah was an Acadian unbeliever and in JOS 24:2, he was an idolater. His name Terah means delayed; he's well named for he delayed Abraham from getting to the place where the Lord wanted him. God had a plan for Abraham, but as long as Abraham stayed with his father he was delayed in fulfilling the will of God. Now, the king of Ur was a very well known worshipper of the moon God called Ur and Ur was the great center of moon-god worship and other forms of idolatry. The city of Ur built the famous ziggurats, a system of terraced platforms on which temples were erected. It was a very prosperous and high class city! Now Abraham was saved in this city under most unusual conditions. Ur of the Chaldees was a great and powerful empire; however it was destroyed after Abraham left. Abraham left Ur to go north and then south down to Canaan, and on his way to Canaan Abraham passed the Amorites who were on their way to destroy his home area. Now, if Ur had a lot of believers then Ur would have been spared, but the Lord was going to have Ur destroyed; therefore He told Abraham to get out of it. There were only three believers in Ur, Abraham, Sarah, and Lot; so the Lord took the pivot out, and then He destroyed one of the great empires of the ancient world, the third dynasty of Ur. Abraham's spiritual life was very limited in Ur, and he needed to get to a place where he could learn doctrine without being distracted. You may find out that your spiritual life is limited because the place where you are or the people you're with become a stumbling block to your spiritual growth. Sometimes, geographical change is necessary for spiritual growth. Abraham stayed with his father, and that was a mistake because his father led him down the path to reversionism. His father was a priest of the moon-god Ur, as well as one of the wealthiest men in this city. So Abraham is in a place that was prosperous and secure, and no one ever dreamed that the dynasty would ever come to an end; however, it was destroyed right after Abraham left. Why? Because the Lord Jesus Christ controls history, and since He knew what was going to happen to Ur, He got Abraham out. This is why we should always be sensitive to the leading and guidance of the Lord, and this can only be done by learning the mind of Christ through Bible doctrine. When Abraham left Ur, it was entering into the peak of its prosperity, and he appeared to be leaving a sure thing, a good thing, but it wasn't. But he left! HEB 11:8 tells us how he left, “By means of doctrine resident in the soul, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.” This verse brings out the importance of resident doctrine, positive volition, and being motivated by that doctrine. The change of geographical location was the basis for separating Abraham from his family and relatives. The principle is that when family or relatives hold you back then family has to go and relatives have to go. A lot of people cannot seem to handle the family relative problem, but Abraham did. Relationship with God must have priority over relationship with people. Your number one priority demands that you have a right relationship with God. Emphasis on people over God must be set aside; this includes emphasis upon yourself. The greatest issue is always doctrine vs. the details of life. Whether its family, friends, loved ones, success, pleasure, social life, sex, status symbols, materialism, or wealth. There's a very important principle brought out by the life of Abraham. The glory road which is saving grace, living grace, super-grace, dying grace, surpassing grace, was not open to Abraham in Ur of the Chaldea. It wasn't because of Chaldea, but rather because of his family and relatives; Abraham never hit super-grace until he was totally separated from all his relatives. He had to be separated from his father and his nephew Lot! Therefore, it was necessary for Abraham to have a permanent change of residence. Abraham's spiritual growth was the most important thing! Abraham was uprooted in time, so that he will be rooted forever in the eternal state. He left social life, family life, and friends. He was leaving a place where he was well known and apparently a place where he was even appreciated, and that is always very difficult! To leave some environment where you're appreciated, or in some cases, you think that you're appreciated, but your being appreciated is also keeping you from getting Bible doctrine, is vital. Note also that Abraham had positive volition, and doctrine was available to him in Ur of the Chaldea, up to a point. When it ceased to be available, God had to uproot Abraham and get him out of there. It ceased to be available when Abraham's family and relatives and friends and social life and perhaps even his celebrityship - when these things got in the way of his advance down the glory road. Wherever there is positive volition toward doctrine, God provides the spiritual food even if it means a change of residence. The circumstances in Ur of Chaldea limited Abraham from becoming a spiritual champion, invisible hero, and finally a visible one. When Abraham obeyed he did so from the motivation of doctrine in the soul. Doctrine in the soul motivates the believer to come to doctrine class in spite of whatever distractions are a test to you. So, there must be separation from those loved ones or friends residing in the cosmic system. However, a very important principle; it does not have to be physical separation. There are two categories of separation from people: First there is mental separation. In mental separation, there is one-way antagonism from those in the cosmic system toward you. Your volition protects you from becoming antagonistic toward them by your use of impersonal unconditional love. Mental separation emphasizes the integrity, honor, and doctrinal application of the believer residing inside the PPOG. Impersonal love is not influenced by those loved ones who are residing in the cosmic system, who are apostate and/or antagonistic to doctrine. Impersonal love functions on its own integrity and perpetuates its own priorities from the metabolization of doctrine. Impersonal love emphasizes personal love for God while setting aside the functions of personal love for friends or loved ones. Impersonal love does not compromise the believer's status inside the PPOG. Secondly, there's physical separation. There are some cases where switching from personal love to impersonal love will not work. For example, getting false information in the local church. You must leave physically as well as under the principle of impersonal love. When a woman is used as a punching bag by her husband, she should leave (ROM 12:17-19). The most basic reason is to avoid the compromise of doctrine resident in the soul. Physical separation means to avoid any personal contact with a person under any circumstances. This means severance of all relation with that person of any kind. Physical separation is sometimes needed to maintain one's priorities and to use one's volition to remain inside the PPOG (PRO 13:20; 2TI 3:5-6; 2TH 3:14). Separation from unbelievers inside the cosmic system is taught in 2CO 6:14-17. Every time you hook up with something or someone in the cosmic system, you are in partnership with the cosmic system. Separation is also important in social life (JER 15:16-17; 1PE 4:3-4). The believer is to separate from a superficial social life, a fun crowd. There comes a time when the believer grows spiritually, and his first function is to separate from the crowd that will lead him in the wrong direction. Abraham, in effect, had to choose between his father whom he loved dearly and the will of God, and at the beginning he loved his father more than the will of God. We all must decide in our lives whether we love the will of God and the word of God more than anything else in life. If you do, you take one course of action. You take in doctrine every day either through face to face teaching or by tapes, or any of the many methods available today. You learn from whoever is your right Pastor-teacher. Remember, every Pastor-teacher is assigned to a certain congregation (ACT 20:28). Every believer is assigned to a certain Pastor-teacher (1PE 5:3). That particular Pastor-teacher is to equip the believer to execute the Christian way of life (EPH 4:12). So, Abraham was told to separate from his father and his relatives and to leave Ur according to GEN 12:1. Sooner or later in your spiritual advance you're going to have to face the issue of family members or friends who are not positive or are aggressively negative. The ones that are closest to you are often the ones that hinder you from taking in the Word the most, and nothing is more important than the Word. Abraham was told to get away from his father and to get away from the geographical location of Ur in order to advance in the spiritual life. THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT. PART 2. Learning God's will for your life. 03/02/08 In relationship to our main verse in ROM 9:4, we have begun a study on the covenants, mainly the Abrahamic Covenant. We have been noting the question of the will. First, there's the viewpoint will of God. In other words, what does God want you to think? Obviously, He wants you to think Divine viewpoint (ISA 55:7-9; PRO 23:7). There is also 2CO 10:1 “Now I, Paul, myself urge you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ-I who am meek when face to face with you, but bold toward you when absent!” Paul had heard that they were gossiping about him, saying he had been cowardly when he was with them, but harsh and demanding when he was writing letters. Remember 1TI 5:17-20, Those pastor-teachers who have ruled well with the result that they keep ruling honorably, they must be considered worthy of double honor, most of all those who work hard to the point of exhaustion in the study of the word and the teaching of doctrine. For the Scripture says [DEU 25:4], ‘You shall not muzzle the bull while he is threshing, and [DEU 24:15] The laborer is worthy of his wages.' Do not receive an accusation against a pastor-teacher except on the basis of two or three witnesses. Those who continue in the sin of receiving or making accusations, reprimand in the presence of all, in order that the rest of the congregation also may have respect. So be careful what you say about God's man behind the pulpit; let the Lord deal with him. As for God's man behind the pulpit, remember such scriptures as: 2TI 4:14 “Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.” (See also ISA 54:17; 2CO 13:8). So the Corinthians were gossiping and trying to discredit the apostle Paul. In 2CO 10:2-6 Paul is saying, please don't force me to take a hard line when I'm present with you. Don't think that I'll hesitate a single minute to stand up to those who say I'm an unprincipled opportunist. The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair, but we don't live or fight our battles that way. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity. So, first, there's the viewpoint Will of God. Secondly, there's the operational Will of God. What does God want you to do? The operational Will of God involves everything that a Christian should do to the glory of God. Thirdly, there's the geographical Will of God. Where does God want me to be? This category has to do with location. However, the geographical Will of God is never considered apart from the operational Will of God. And the third is the geographical will of God which is where God wants you to be and that's solved by resident doctrine. Now, there are also classifications of the Will of God. There's the directive Will of God which is the same as the desire of God. These are direct commands. It was the directive Will of God that called Abraham out of Ur of Chaldea, and it was the directive will of God to which he responded. The permissive Will of God is permitted, but is not God's desire. For example when God permitted Abraham to lie twice about Sarah not being his wife. The overruling Will of God means Jesus Christ controls history. For example when God revealed to Pharaoh that he was touching Abraham's wife in GEN 12:17-20. The overruling Will of God also took place when God took Abraham's father from Abraham when he was in Haran. There are seven basic mechanics of the Will of God, or how you can receive Divine guidance: 1) Guidance through prayer (ACT 11:5). 2) Guidance through objective thinking of Bible doctrine (ACT 11:6). 3) Guidance through perception of doctrine (ACT 11:7-10). 4) Guidance through providential circumstances, the people we meet (ACT 11:11). 5) Guidance through fellowship and comparison of spiritual data (ACT 11:13-14). 6) Guidance through recalling of doctrine (ACT 11:16). 7) Guidance through disaster. In other words, you have to have a shock or a great disaster in order to realize what's really important. This happened with the death of Abraham's father. The principle is that Bible doctrine in the soul plus the free will in man equals Divine guidance, and the execution of the Will of God. Abraham was getting doctrine in Ur of the Chaldea, but because of his family and relatives, he never reached spiritual maturity until he was totally separated from them. This is why the Lord said to Abraham in GEN 12:1 “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, To the land which I will show you.” Abraham had to be separated from his father and his nephew Lot! Therefore, it was necessary for Abraham to have a change of residence because his spiritual growth was the most important thing. Abraham had to learn the principle of separation, but Abraham made a mistake and went to Haran which means the dried up place. As long as God's people do not separate from those weirdos who are in reversionism, they will be dried up spiritually as well. Abram's name is also interesting. The first part of his name Ab means father, and ram means high and windy places. Abram lived in a very flat place, Ur of the Chaldees was very flat and it was hard to find a place above sea level anywhere. However, Abram was called father of heights because his father, who was one of the chief priests in Ur, named his son after the only high place around. Going over 100 feet in the air was the famous temple, and the last 75 feet a famous tower, on top of the tower another famous temple: the Ziggurat of Ur, and Abram was named after this. So his name actually means father of the heights or father of the high places. Abram was obviously ear-marked for a life of religion and idolatry in Ur, but God had better things for Abram just like God has better things for you. In HEB 1:4 “We have become as much better than the angels, as we have inherited a more excellent name than they have.” (See also HEB 6:9; HEB 7:19; HEB 7:22; HEB 8:6). In our study of Abraham, there are five geographical locations that illustrate different principles concerning his life. The first is Ur which represents separation from glamour (Ur was the glamour city of Abram's time) and all the human advantages of life. 600 miles north up the Euphrates river we have Haran, the trade center between Syria and Egypt, and it represents the dried up spiritual life. It represents separation from the idolatrous place of Ur, but not enough separation. It represents going in the right direction, but making a wrong turn into the dried up spiritual life. The third area is Canaan which represents the place of blessing, the place of positive volition, and the place of spiritual advance and blessing. Then there is the Negev; Abraham will break camp and go south from Canaan into the Negev, which represents not rejection of doctrine, but neglect of doctrine. The key to the Negev is neglect. It represents neglect of doctrine, apathy, indifference, once interested, but now starting to get sloppy in the daily attendance to Bible class. Then, after he was in the Negev a while, he went on down to Egypt, and Egypt is the place of the rejection of doctrine. To neglect the Word is to reject the Word, but the neglect comes first. First comes the Negev and then comes Egypt, and both came after Canaan, the land of promise. For us it is a picture of individuals getting into doctrine, and then falling away! So don't miss the principle behind those five cities: - Ur represents separation from glamour. - Haran represents the dried spiritual life. - Canaan represents the place of blessing. - The Negev represents neglect of doctrine. - Egypt is the place of rejection of doctrine. GEN 11:28 And Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his birth, in Ur of the Chaldeans. Beginning in verse 29, we are getting ready to move out of Ur but before Abraham can be taken out of Ur, we have to have some weddings. GEN 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. Please notice that the subject is the man not the woman. This of course is an old custom that goes back to the nature of the male; he is to be the aggressive one, he is to do the wooing or the charming. No male should stand around waiting to be introduced when he finally thinks that he spots someone who is his right woman or someone who is attractive; you just don't stand around and wait, you get into action as quickly as possible. By the way a woman in response can be aggressive. She doesn't have to stand around and wait for the right man to be aggressive, he doesn't have to be the aggressor on every occasion. Before we study this verse, we have 18 principles concerning the selection of a mate or really 18 reasons why relationships fail: 1) The most obvious one: bad decisions in the selection of a mate (PRO 12:4). This is why believers should never make a decision for marriage until doctrine matures them. 2) The inability to handle personal problems before, during, and even after the marriage. If you can't deal with your own problems how will you deal with the problems of your mate? (1CO 7:28). 3) Another reason relationships fail is because of failure to learn and apply the problem-solving devices. This means that if you are unstable in the intake of doctrine that you bring that instability in any of your relationships in life. 4) Relationships fail because of taking bad advice from friends, ministers, mommy, daddy, etc. People with problems will usually listen to anyone. Remember PSA 1:1 “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!” In sharing your problems with others, when you tell your side of the story, the other person always looks like the rat. One of the signs of growing up is keeping your personal problems private and to yourself. 5) Relationships also fail because of disloyalty or unfaithfulness on the part of one or both mates. Faithfulness is extremely important in the selection of a mate (PRO 6:23-32). 6) Relationships fail because of no personal sense of responsibility on the part of one or both mates. Many are getting married today as children mentally. 7) Remember that relationships and marriage are not designed for perfect people, but for people with old sin natures who are far from perfect, so don't think there's a person for you who is perfect. It is true that God has designed someone who is perfect for you, but that does not mean that they will be perfect. 8) Therefore, the only thing wrong with marriage is not the Divine institution of marriage designed by God but the people involved in marriage. 9) No woman can be successful in any relationship unless she has learned to entertain herself. Ladies, if you can't stand to be alone and he has to be there, you'll never be successful in marriage. You did not marry an entertainer, but a provider. 10) No man can be a successful lover of a woman and at the same time be a lover of himself. Arrogant men do not make good lovers; this also includes the sexual realm. 11) No man can exercise his authority properly without honor, integrity, and virtue. If he has no honor, integrity or virtue, he will abuse his authority. COL 3:19 “Husbands, love your wives, and do not be embittered against them.” 12) No woman can respond to authority without humility, integrity, and virtue. COL 3:18 “Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” If she lacks these qualities she will be hypersensitive and react to authority instead of responding. 13) Beauty, health, and attractiveness are not necessarily permanent; the only permanent thing we have in this life is truth or doctrine. God is permanent, so relate your love life to God! Doctrine is permanent so relate your love life to doctrine! 14) Because the body is related to the soul only the right soul can satisfy the body of the woman or the man. The greatest sexual organ is the soul not any other part of the human anatomy. 15) Beauty is not the basis for recognition of the mate God has for you! Recognition signals are not related to the body but to the soul. 1CO 7:9 talks about the burning of the souls wanting to be with each other, not lust, when it says “But if they do not have self-control, let them marry; for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” This is soul compatibility; it has nothing to do with libido. It refers to when two souls have climaxed because the two people are soul compatible, even though they are not yet able to make love and enter into extreme intimacy. No sex can compare with the sex between right man and right woman. Therefore, it is better to marry than to burn in personal love for right man or right woman after you have made the soul identification. 16) Recognition signals are revealed in the soul, so how are you ever going to find the right one if you're touching the body and not the soul? Many people today begin their relationship with the touching of the body and not the soul, when in reality the soul must be touched first. In other words men, she has a soul, she thinks, she has a viewpoint and opinion. In the right man right woman relationship that will turn you on as well. There's PRO 18:22; PRO 19:14; GEN 2:22; ECC 9:9; 1CO 7:17, for those of you who doubt right man, right woman. 17) Identification is made in the soul, but there is also a physical attraction to you because God has designed it. For men, your right woman may not be attractive to someone else, but she will be attractive to you, and the same is true for women. 18) The right woman is never shocked by the good or bad points of her right man and vice versa. So much then for the introduction to a wedding in Gen 11. In GEN 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; The name Sarai is very meaningful; it means contentious, a fighter, domineering. We think of men many times like this, but here is a woman who was a fighter. Ten years younger than Abraham, Sarai (Sarah) was his half sister; they had the same father but different mothers according to GEN 20:12. She was contentious at times, a fighter, and even domineering. However, she was a ravishing and stunning woman because whenever she is described it takes two and sometimes three Hebrew words to describe her beauty. She had maximum beauty, the epitome of feminine magnificence after 65. Many probably would like to know how did she stay that way, and we'll actually take that up in view of the fact that she is famous as being a nag. Abram married a nagging woman, he was carried away by her great beauty, and she was one of the most beautiful women of the ancient world. Living at home under the authority of his father Terah, Abram apparently never had the full impact of her personality until after marriage. Many men have started with a terrible handicap by marrying someone who was totally attractive to him but whose soul turned out to be totally unattractive. However, Sarai was a woman whose beauty did not fade. She was a very petty woman and quite a nag; however we are going she made God's hall of fame as time goes on. She starts very poorly and ends very well. GEN 11:29-30, “And Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. And Sarai was barren; she had no child.” The barrenness of Sarai is mentioned because it constitutes a test to determine if the circumstances of life are more real than the attributes of God. God has told Abram in Ur that out of him would come many great nations, and yet the first thing he finds is that Sarai is barren. So God says to Abraham in effect, What's more important to you, what I say, My word, My character; or your circumstances? That's what God is saying to you right now. One of the things that Abraham had to overcome through doctrine was that God is more real than the apparent adverse circumstances. God must become more real than adverse circumstances or you will be miserable all of your life. Always remember that the persistence in learning doctrine causes the believer to seek Him who is invisible. HEB 11:6 And without doctrine resident in the soul it is impossible to please Him, for he who is occupied with the God must be convinced by resident doctrine that He is, and that He becomes a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. This is how the invisible becomes more real than the visible. If God is not more real to you than people, through perception of doctrine, you will never discover the true meaning of life. Doctrine has to be real to you; in fact, it has to be more real to you than anything else in life or as HEB 10:35 says “you will throw it away as trash.” When God becomes more real to you, and Christ becomes more real to you, and the power of the Holy Spirit becomes more real to you, all of this will be because Bible doctrine has become more real to you than anything else in life. The more doctrine we learn the more real become the unseen blessings designed for us from God the Father from eternity past. The more doctrine we learn, the more real becomes the Lord Jesus Christ...we are able to see Him Who is invisible. The more doctrine we learn, the more real becomes the plan of God and the perfect essence of God behind that plan. So in the first half of his life Abram must face a challenge. Is Bible doctrine more real to me than the circumstances of life, or are adverse circumstances more real than doctrine? It took Abraham about half of his life to work that out. Once he worked that out things worked out a lot better for his life. All of us have problems in life that take time to work out; they can't be worked out instantaneously. God is not the little fairy god-mother who touches you with the wand and tells you that everything is going to be alright. Work out your problems through the daily intake of doctrine. Don't look for solutions; look to the source of solutions, doctrine resident in your soul. The environment for all solutions to the problems of life is bound up in doctrine resident in your soul. THE ABRAHAMIC COVENANT. PART 3. God must remove from our reach the things that hinder our spiritual growth. 03/09/08 We are now ready to study the promises made to Abraham which has to do with the Abrahamic Covenant. GEN 11:29-32, Abram and Nahor took wives for themselves. The name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife was Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah and Iscah. Sarai was barren; she had no child. Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram's wife; and they went out together from Ur of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Haran, and settled there. The days of Terah were two hundred and five years; and Terah died in Haran. So Terah, Abraham's father is dead. This was a great adversity for Abram or Abraham, however, under the plan of grace, great adversities can become great blessings. Abraham is about to receive one the greatest blessings of his life, the Abrahamic Covenant. The death of Terah was a shock which brought about the recovery from reversionism for Abram, and removed Abram from Haran (the dried up place). The principle is that God must remove the things that hinder our spiritual growth. Often what seems to be a demotion in the eyes of the world is actually a promotion in the eyes of God. HEB 12:27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Many times the Lord will take people or things away from us so that we will learn the value of the eternal things which we possess. HEB 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; We have an unshakable kingdom! We should not only be thankful, but also overflowing with worship, and deep reverence before God, for God is not an indifferent bystander. HEB 12:29 for our God is a consuming fire. He's actively cleaning house, and He won't quit until it's all cleansed. ROM 8:29 tells us, “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the first-born among many brethren;” This message is designed for the soul and the human spirit to feed on Christ, not just on His teachings, He is the One to be truly worshipped. PHI 2:9 “Therefore also the God has highly exalted Him to the maximum, and bestowed on Him the name or rank which is above every name, and that every tongue should acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, resulting in the glory of God the Father.” When you think in this manner, then passages like PSA 45:11 become a reality; “Then the King will greatly desire your beauty; Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him.” Accept your thoughts of despair and of faith, your doubts and their solutions, your moments of madness and their passing away. Become a part of the solution not the problem. Remember that the only opportunity you have to glorify Him and live His plan for your life is in time. Like Job, be determined only to cling to God, even if He slays you, even if He challenges your faith (JOB 13:15). If you lose your faith, then remain faithlessly His. Paul said in 2TI 3:1 “But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.” As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, self-promoting, slanderers, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. The Bible says stay clear of these people. Peter said in 1PE 4:12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;” When life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Be glad that you have the opportunity to taste a little bit of what the Lord Jesus Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner (1PE 4:14-17). Remember, people are watching how you handle sacrificing your life, death or eternity. MAT 5:16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Be generous with your lives. Open up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, the generous Father in heaven. The point is that we all need to go through situations when we are alone with God and get down into solitary confinement with Him. MAT 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” He brings gifts into our lives, things like affection for others, exuberance about life, and serenity. Life has its share of trials and adversities, but as JOH 16:33 says, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” So, we now go back and review the Divine command given to Abram when he was in Ur of the Chaldees, and this is the Abrahamic covenant. GEN 12:1-3, Now the Lord had said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, And I will bless you, And make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, And the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Abram not only needs to be separated from certain people, but he also must be in the environment of freedom for spiritual growth to occur. That's why the doctrine of privacy is so important,, we are to let others grow at their own pace not ours. So in GEN 12:1 the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will show you;” This is the breaking up of a family, always remember that God has the right to make up and break up families. God broke up Abram's family, but a new family will be made from which will come a great race and a great nation, the Jewish race or the nation of Israel. After salvation the believer has two obligations to God: The first of these obligations is a negative, responsibility to separate from the distractions to the intake of Bible doctrine. This is the only way you will ever remain faithful to doctrine and acquire spiritual growth. The second of these obligations is positive, the responsibility of executing God's will under the principle of Divine guidance. This always calls for maximum doctrine resident in the soul. In GEN 12:1 the term “to the land” which in the Hebrew phrase el-ha'arets means literally the land of God. There is only one land and simply leaving Ur is not getting into the land. That's the story of a lot of believers, they leavethe world and the bad habits that they have developed, but they never go forward to the promise land, the land of doctrine and glorification of God. Not only is Abraham going to see the land, but he is going to enjoy the land. So the whole verse says GEN 12:1 Now the Lord had said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father's house, To the land which I will cause you to see and to enjoy;” Notice something very interesting about the Divine command. The specifics are all on the part of certain things you have to do, the negatives. For example, Get out of Ur, get away from your family, and your father. Then there are the positives, “go to the land which the Lord will show you.” While the land is specified as to direction, there is certainly no detail here that encourages obedience. Abram is not given all of the Divine promises that he will receive if he goes to the promise land, he is just giving the direction to go in, as God does to us at times. There are many commands in the Bible that we are told to obey without God telling us what type of blessings we will receive if we fulfill them. This requires faith in the character and nature of God. Therefore you have to have faith that if you do what God wants you to do, that you will get blessed. However, that is not to be your motivation, your motivation should be PHI 1:21 “For me, living is Christ, likewise dying is profit.” Or PHI 3:7-8, “But whatever quality of things were gains to me, those things[gains] I have concluded as an expert as loss for the sake of Christ. Not only this but more than this, I conclude as an expert all things [Paul's pre-salvation human achievement] to be loss because of the surpassing greatness of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have forfeited all things, also, I keep on concluding as an expert them to be piles of dung in order that I may win for Christ.” When someone in authority over you gives you an order, you don't have to know the whys all the time, just do it. Until Abram becomes a good recruit, where he will go ahead and obey an order without questioning it, he's not any good to God. You have to learn to obey God and do it whether you feel like it or not. Once you do, you continue your spiritual growth. For Abram, not much is said about the land he is to go to, but to receive the land, Abraham will have to fulfill: HEB 11:8 By means of doctrine resident in the soul, Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. This is the way in which faith is tested. What God does not make clear to us through personal revelation of His word to us, He intends for us to operate in by means of faith, trusting in the object of faith, God Almighty. So, details are not given on the land yet, that will come later. In the spiritual realm there must be a relationship between your personal motivation and your spiritual life, the Bible calls this doing it as unto the Lord (PRO 16:2). So to believe the promises of God before you see the results of those promises is the greatest demonstration of growing up spiritually. So, what is the Abrahamic Covenant? First of all, let's describe the word covenant. A covenant is an agreement between two parties. There are two types of covenants: conditional and unconditional. A conditional (bilateral) covenant is an agreement that is binding on both parties for its fulfillment. Both parties agree to fulfill certain conditions. If either party fails to meet their responsibilities, the covenant is broken and neither party has to fulfill the expectations of the covenant. An unconditional (unilateral) covenant is an agreement between two parties, but only one party has to do something. The Abrahamic Covenant is an unconditional or unilateral covenant. God made promises to Abraham that required nothing of Abraham. GEN 15:18-21 describes a part of the Abrahamic Covenant, specifically dealing with the dimensions of the land God promised to Abraham and his descendants. On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadmonite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.” The actual Abrahamic Covenant is found in Genesis 12:1-3. The ceremony recorded in Genesis 15 indicates the unconditional nature of the covenant, to understand this unilateral covenants, you need to understand the unconditional promises. GEN 15:1-7, After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.” And Abram said, “O Lord God, what wilt Thou give me, since I am childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “Since Thou hast given no offspring to me, one born in my house is my heir.” Then behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir; but one who shall come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.” And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness. And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.” Here we see three pictures, all of which serves to illustrate the point that the One who made the covenant or the promises has the ability to keep them. The first one is the stars. You see, God has solved greater problems than Abraham's. There are millions and millions of stars in space all moving at unbelievable rates of speed. They do not collide, but hold their orbit. God has established a traffic pattern in the universe, this requires knowledge, and God has omniscience. It also requires power and God has the omnipotence to accomplish it. Immutability is also required, God cannot change, if He weakens, the universe collides! COL 1:16-17, “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” No matter how you look at it, if God has the power to hold the universe together, God has the power to handle any problem you or Abraham, or anyone ever had, or ever will have. So, not only has Abraham been promised an heir from his own loins but also he is told that even as the stars are innumerable, so will his seed be. Then there is the promise of salvation (verse 6). This points back to a decision that Abraham had already made, he believed in the Lord, in fact Abraham had been saved for over twenty-five years, he had salvation. God is simply saying to Abraham “you trusted Me and at the time you believed, and I credited to your account My righteousness. I provided everything. I did the most for you at the point of salvation, providing eternal life and justification. You did not earn or deserve it, just as with the stars, I do the work.” This passage also brings out faithfulness (verse 7). GEN 15:7 And He said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.” In other words, “I been faithful to you in the past Abram, and I will continue to be faithful to you in the future.” Has God been faithful to you in the past? As a part of God's faithfulness, He always provides the doctrine or the opportunity to get the doctrine necessary to pass each test before it comes. Bible doctrine is your way of escape from each test, and that doctrine is provided by the faithfulness of God. God will never give you something for which you do not have the capacity, be it blessing or testing. God is faithful to the Royal Family of God, this is why HEB 10:23 says “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;” You have the most fantastic escrow blessings on deposit for you protected by the faithfulness of God. The more doctrine you have in your soul, the more you see God's perfect character, and the more you advance to spiritual maturity. This results in the things around you which was formerly distracting to your spiritual growth becoming less and less important. All of these illustrations point to One Person, and that Person is not only God, but also God the Son. God the Son is the One who went to the Cross, and God the Son is the One who provides for us in time. Understand¬ing these illustrations and hearing the promises and the unconditional or unilateral covenants, there is no excuse for Abram, or any other believer, to worry about anything. Another cure for Abram's doubts and fears is the doctrine of the word of God, suggested in verses 8-11. Many believers are often filled with doubts, fears and anxieties because they are ignorant of certain parts of doctrine. Abram expresses ignorance of doctrine in verse 8, And he said, “O Lord God, how may I know that I shall possess it?” He entertained anxieties about the possibility of inheriting the land which God had promised him. Abram saw the land occupied by the Amorites, as well as many giants. Not only that, Chedorlaomer and his forces had been moving back and forth throughout the land, threatening to envelop it. Abram wondered how he could ever hope to inherit this land. Although it was humanly hopeless, it was not hopeless to God. Remember the words of our Lord in MAT 17:20 “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain [a huge obstacle in your life], ‘Move from here to there,' and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you.” Abram will learn a little bit later, the truth behind GEN 18:14 “Is anything too difficult for the Lord?” Abram was simply ignorant of or had rejected certain doctrines that would have given him assurance. The Lord said in effect, the biggest problem we have to deal with is the sin of worry and fear (ROM 14:23). The first thing Abram needs to do is to get back in fellowship with God under the enabling power of God the Holy Spirit. Therefore in GEN 15:9, The Lord said to him, “Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” This was not new or strange to Abram, because he knew how to chart the stars. Remember that before the scriptural record there was the Stellar record, the record or the witness of the stars. Abram knew about the witness of the stars. So, the first thing Abram needed to do was to rebound and confess his fear mentioned in verse 1, he also needed to confess his doubt in verse 2, his arrogance in blaming God in verse 3, and his lack of faith in God in verse 8. Then next, the Lord said “Bring Me a three year old heifer, and a three year old female goat, and a three year old ram, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” The she-goat and the ram both spoke of the work of Christ in salvation. Specifically, the she-goat was the reconciliation offering, while the ram depicted propitiation. The turtle dove and the young pigeon spoke of the Person of Christ and His heavenly origin, the turtle dove portraying His deity and the pigeon His resurrected humanity. Neither bird was divided, because deity cannot be divided or killed. Furthermore, the Lord Jesus Christ is never subject to death again, having risen, and therefore, there will be no dividing or killing of the young pigeon. Now, what was the Lord saying to Abram by bringing these doctrines of Christ before him? Through the heifer, or the rebound offering, He was saying, “Abram, you need have no worries with regard to your sins because by confessing them you are forgiven and your sins are blotted out.” The dumbest thing in the world is to try and cover our sins and conceal them. If you have an ounce of character, integrity or virtue, it bothers you. You're only lying to yourself. Therefore, there is no place for a guilt complex or for anxiety about past failures. If you are going to have any discipline in the future it will be over future sins. But be sure you offer the heifer, for it is absolutely necessary to rebound before you can get rid of your fears, worries, doubts and lack of faith in God. You see, up to now Abram was still worried. God had given him a promise and is about to give him a covenant, but he was still worried. He will keep on worrying, no matter if he has a thousand promises, because he has not used rebound. He has not confessed his sin of worry, and he is therefore out of fel¬lowship. You cannot claim the promises of God and appropriate them when you're out of fellowship. You must first confess your sin of fear, worry, doubts and lack of faith in God. Thus, Abraham offered the heifer, which is the rebound offering, because it was necessary to get back in fellowship before he could even claim the promises of God. So first of all Abraham had to confess his sins. Now, in GEN 15:10 we read, Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, and laid each half opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds. Abram first divided the heifer, then the she-goat. The point is, if Jesus Christ provided reconciliation (the heifer or the rebound offering, the removal of the barrier between God and man), can He not meet our problems in time? He can, therefore, stop worrying. Then he divided the ram, the ram was the propitiation offering. The point is that if God the Son, hanging on the Cross, satisfied God the Father, and all of the Father's claims against us, can He not handle our problems in time? He can - therefore, stop worrying! The turtle dove spoke of the deity of Christ. Jesus Christ is God - deity. He is always faithful (immutable), He always keeps His Word (veracity), He keeps on loving us and He is eternal in nature. Can a Person like that solve my problems? He can, therefore, stop worrying. The young pigeon represented the resurrected humanity of Christ, which is seated at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. If the humanity of Christ is thus engaged on our behalf, He can certainly meet our needs in time. Therefore, stop worrying. As soon as Abraham divided, or cut the heifer in half, we know he had rebounded. When he walked between the pieces of the heifer, he was saying in effect, “I have confessed my sins.” When he killed the other animals, it was analogous to being under the blood of Christ trusting in Him as his Lord and Savior. Doctrine is vitally important in our lives, as believers, and when we are worried, it is because we are not using doctrine. Grace Bible Church & Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries Copyright © 2022 by Pastor Robert R. McLaughlin Gbible.org Lesson Resources: 2112 099 The Beginning of the Abrahamic Covenant 02 21 08 Rom 9:4; Gen 11:26 12:3; Heb 11:8 2112 100 Abraham chooses God over family and friends. 02 24 08 Rom 12:17 19; 2Th 3:6 14; 1Pe 4:3 5; Mat 7:6. 2112 101 How to know God's will for your life. 02 27 08 Isa 55:7 9; 2Co 10:1 6; Act 11:1 16. 2112 102 Abraham teaches us that in the selection of a mate, you need to understand why relationships fail. 02 28 08 Gen 11:28 29; Pro 12:4 5; 6:23 32; Eph 5:25 28; Col 3:18 19. 2112 103 There never is any divine revelation in the dried up spiritual life. 02 29 08 Gen 11:30 32: Act 7:2 4 Gen 12:1 2112 104 Your scale of values changes radically when you are up against eternity and death. 03 02 08 Gen 11:27 32; Gen 12:1; 1Co 10:19 20; Luk 16:22 29. 2112 105 God must remove from our reach the things that hinder our spiritual growth. 03 05 08 Heb 12:27 29; 1Pe 4:12 17; Gen 12:1 3. 2112 106 The Abrahamic Covenant or the Unconditional, Unilateral Covenant of God. 03 06 08 Gen 12:1 3; Mar 10:28 30; Col 3:17, 23; Gen 15:1 21 2112 107 The Abrahamic Covenant There is no place for a guilt complex or for anxiety about past failures. 03 07 08 Gen 12:2 3; Gen 15:1 10; Rom 4:16 21; Luk 12:27 32. 2112 108 The Abrahamic Covenant The ceremony in Gen 15 indicates the unconditional nature of the covenant. 03 09 08 Gen 15:1 21; Mat 13:4, 19, 32. 2112 109 The mystery and true message behind the Abrahamic Covenant. 03 12 08 Gen 15:1 21; Mat 13:4, 19, 32.