Daily reading for Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Exodus 21:22-23:13; Matthew 24:1-28; Psalms 29:1-11; Proverbs 7:6-23 (Common English Bible)
22 When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that she has a miscarriage but no other injury occurs, then the guilty party will be fined what the woman’s husband demands, as negotiated with the judges. 23 If there is further injury, then you will give a life for a life, 24 an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, 25 a burn for a burn, a bruise for a bruise, a wound for a wound.
26 When a slave owner hits and blinds the eye of a male or female slave, he should let the slave go free on account of the eye. 27 If he knocks out a tooth of a male or female slave, he should let the slave go free on account of the tooth.
Instructions about animals and property
28 When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox should be stoned to death, and the meat of the ox shouldn’t be eaten. But the owner of the ox shouldn’t be punished. 29 However, if the ox had gored people in the past and its owner had been warned but didn’t watch out for it, and the ox ends up killing a man or a woman, then the ox should be stoned to death, and its owner should also be put to death. 30 If the owner has to pay compensation instead, he must pay the agreed amount to save his life. 31 If the ox gores a boy or a girl, this same case law applies to the owner. 32 If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner will pay thirty silver shekels to the slave’s owner, and the ox will be stoned to death.
33 When someone leaves a pit open or digs a pit and doesn’t cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into the pit, 34 the owner of the pit must make good on the loss. He should pay money to the ox’s owner, but he may keep the dead animal.
35 When someone’s ox hurts someone else’s ox and it dies, then they should sell the live ox and divide its price. They should also divide the dead animal between them. 36 But if the ox was known for goring in the past and its owner hadn’t watched out for it, the owner must make good the loss, an ox for an ox, but may keep the dead animal.
22 [a] When someone steals an ox or a sheep and then slaughters or sells it, the thief must pay back five oxen for the one ox or four sheep for the one sheep.
2 [b] If the thief is caught breaking in and is beaten and dies, the one who killed him won’t be guilty of bloodshed. 3 However, if this happens in broad daylight, then the one who killed him is guilty of bloodshed. For his part, the thief must make good on what he stole. If he has nothing, he must be sold to pay for his theft. 4 If an animal (whether ox, donkey, or sheep) is found alive in the thief’s possession, he must pay back double.
5 When someone lets an animal loose to eat in another person’s field and causes the field or vineyard to be stripped of its crop, the owner must pay them back with the best from his own field or vineyard.
6 When someone starts a fire and it catches in thorns and then spreads to someone else’s stacked grain, standing grain, or a whole field, the one who started the fire must fully repay the loss.
7 When someone entrusts money or other items to another person to keep safe and they are stolen from the other person’s house and the thief is caught, the thief must pay back double. 8 If the thief isn’t caught, the owner of the house should be brought before God to determine whether or not the owner stole the other’s property.
9 When any dispute of ownership over an ox, donkey, sheep, piece of clothing, or any other loss arises in which someone claims, “This is mine,” the cases of both parties should come before God. The one whom God finds at fault must pay double to the other.
10 When someone gives a donkey, ox, sheep, or any other animal to another person to keep safe, and the animal dies or is injured or taken and no one saw what happened, 11 the person should swear a solemn pledge before the Lord in the presence of the owner that he didn’t touch the other’s property. The owner must accept that, and no payment needs to be made. 12 But if the animal was stolen, the person must make full payment to its owner. 13 If the animal was attacked and ripped apart and its torn body is brought as evidence, no payment needs to be made.
14 When someone borrows an animal from another and it is injured or dies while the owner isn’t present, full payment must be made. 15 If the owner was present, no payment needs to be made. If the animal was hired, only the fee for hiring the animal is due.
Instructions about social and religious matters
16 When a man seduces a young woman who isn’t engaged to be married yet and he sleeps with her, he must marry her and pay the bride-price for her. 17 But if her father absolutely refuses to let them marry, he must still pay the same amount as the bride-price for young women.
18 Don’t allow a female sorcerer to live.
19 Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal should be put to death.
20 Anyone who offers sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, should be destroyed.
21 Don’t mistreat or oppress an immigrant, because you were once immigrants in the land of Egypt. 22 Don’t treat any widow or orphan badly. 23 If you do treat them badly and they cry out to me, you can be sure that I’ll hear their cry. 24 I’ll be furious, and I’ll kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows, and your children will be orphans.
25 If you lend money to my people who are poor among you, don’t be a creditor and charge them interest. 26 If you take a piece of clothing from someone as a security deposit, you should return it before the sun goes down. 27 His clothing may well be his only blanket to cover himself. What else will that person have to sleep in? And if he cries out to me, I’ll listen, because I’m compassionate.
28 Don’t say a curse against God, and don’t curse your people’s chief.
29 Don’t delay offering the produce of your vineyards and winepresses. Give me your oldest son. 30 Do the same with your oxen and with your sheep. They should stay with their mother for seven days. On the eighth day, you should give them to me.
31 You are holy people to me. Don’t eat any meat killed by wild animals out in the field. Throw it to the dogs instead.
23 Don’t spread false rumors. Don’t plot with evil people to act as a lying witness. 2 Don’t take sides with important people to do wrong. When you act as a witness, don’t stretch the truth to favor important people. 3 But don’t privilege unimportant people in their lawsuits either.
4 When you happen to come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey that has wandered off, you should bring it back to them.
5 When you see a donkey that belongs to someone who hates you and it’s lying down under its load and you are inclined not to help set it free, you must help set it free.
6 Don’t undermine the justice that your poor deserve in their lawsuits. 7 Stay away from making a false charge. Don’t put an innocent person who is in the right to death, because I will not consider innocent those who do such evil. 8 Don’t take a bribe, because a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.
9 Don’t oppress an immigrant. You know what it’s like to be an immigrant, because you were immigrants in the land of Egypt.
Sabbaths and festivals
10 For six years you should plant crops on your land and gather in its produce. 11 But in the seventh year you should leave it alone and undisturbed so that the poor among your people may eat. What they leave behind, the wild animals may eat. You should do the same with your vineyard and your olive trees.
12 Do your work in six days. But on the seventh day you should rest so that your ox and donkey may rest, and even the child of your female slave and the immigrant may be refreshed.
13 Be careful to obey everything that I have said to you. Don’t call on the names of other gods. Don’t even mention them.
The temple’s fate
24 Now Jesus left the temple and was going away. His disciples came to point out to him the temple buildings. 2 He responded, “Do you see all these things? I assure that no stone will be left on another. Everything will be demolished.”
Beginning of troubles
3 Now while Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will these things happen? What will be the sign of your coming and the end of the age?”
4 Jesus replied, “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I’m the Christ.’ They will deceive many people. 6 You will hear about wars and reports of wars. Don’t be alarmed. These things must happen, but this isn’t the end yet. 7 Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in all sorts of places. 8 But all these things are just the beginning of the sufferings associated with the end. 9 They will arrest you, abuse you, and they will kill you. All nations will hate you on account of my name. 10 At that time many will fall away. They will betray each other and hate each other. 11 Many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because disobedience will expand, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. 14 This gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a testimony to all the nations. Then the end will come.
The great suffering
15 “When you see the disgusting and destructive thing that Daniel talked about standing in the holy place (the reader should understand this), 16 then those in Judea must escape to the mountains. 17 Those on the roof shouldn’t come down to grab things from their houses. 18 Those in the field shouldn’t come back to grab their clothes. 19 How terrible it will be at that time for women who are pregnant and for women who are nursing their children. 20 Pray that it doesn’t happen in winter or on the Sabbath day. 21 There will be great suffering such as the world has never before seen and will never again see. 22 If that time weren’t shortened, nobody would be rescued. But for the sake of the ones whom God chose, that time will be cut short.
23 “Then if somebody says to you, ‘Look, here’s the Christ,’ or ‘He’s over here,’ don’t believe it. 24 False christs and false prophets will appear, and they will offer great signs and wonders in order to deceive, if possible, even those whom God has chosen. 25 Look, I’ve told you ahead of time. 26 So if they say to you, ‘Look, he’s in the desert,’ don’t go out. And if they say, ‘Look, he’s in the rooms deep inside the house,’ don’t believe it. 27 Just as the lightning flashes from the east to the west, so it will be with the coming of the Human One.[a] 28 The vultures gather wherever there’s a dead body.
- Matthew 24:27 Or Son of Man
A psalm of David.
29 You, divine beings! Give to the Lord—
give to the Lord glory and power!
2 Give to the Lord the glory due his name!
Bow down to the Lord in holy splendor!
3 The Lord’s voice is over the waters;
the glorious God thunders;
the Lord is over the mighty waters.
4 The Lord’s voice is strong;
the Lord’s voice is majestic.
5 The Lord’s voice breaks cedar trees—
yes, the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon jump around like a young bull,
makes Sirion jump around like a young wild ox.
7 The Lord’s voice unleashes fiery flames;
8 the Lord’s voice shakes the wilderness—
yes, the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The Lord’s voice convulses the oaks,
strips the forests bare,
but in his temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the floodwaters;
the Lord sits enthroned—king forever!
11 Let the Lord give strength to his people!
Let the Lord bless his people with peace!
6 When from the window of my house,
from behind the screen, I gazed down,
7 I looked among the naive young men
and noticed among the youth, one who had no sense.
8 He was crossing the street at her corner
and walked down the path to her house
9 in the early evening,
at the onset of night and darkness.
10 All of a sudden a woman approaches him,
dressed like a prostitute and with a cunning mind.
11 She is noisy and defiant;
her feet don’t stay long in her own house.
12 She has one foot in the street, one foot in the public square.
She lies in wait at every corner.
13 She grabs him and kisses him.
Her face is brazen as she speaks to him:
14 “I’ve made a sacrifice of well-being;
today I fulfilled my solemn promises.
15 So I’ve come out to meet you,
seeking you, and I have found you.
16 I’ve spread my bed with luxurious covers,
with colored linens from Egypt.
17 I’ve sprinkled my bed with myrrh,
aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let’s drink deep of love until morning;
let’s savor our lovemaking.
19 For my husband isn’t home;
he’s gone far away.
20 He took a pouch of money with him;
he won’t come home till full moon.”
21 She seduces him with all her talk.
She entices him with her flattery.
22 He goes headlong after her,
like an ox to the slaughter,
like a deer leaping into a trap,[a]
23 until an arrow pierces his liver,
like a bird hurrying to the snare,
not aware that it will cost him his life.
- Proverbs 7:22 Heb uncertain