Genesis 15 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
The Abrahamic Covenant
15 After these events, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
Do not be afraid, Abram.
your reward will be very great.
2 But Abram said, “Lord God, what can you give me, since I am childless and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” [a] 3 Abram continued, “Look, you have given me no offspring, so a slave born in[b] my house will be my heir.”
4 Now the word of the Lord came to him: “This one will not be your heir; instead, one who comes from your own body[c] will be your heir.” 5 He took him outside and said, “Look at the sky and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” Then he said to him, “Your offspring will be that numerous.”
6 Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.
7 He also said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.”
8 But he said, “Lord God, how can I know that I will possess it?”
9 He said to him, “Bring me a three-year-old cow, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.”
10 So he brought all these to him, cut them in half, and laid the pieces opposite each other, but he did not cut the birds in half. 11 Birds of prey came down on the carcasses, but Abram drove them away. 12 As the sun was setting, a deep sleep came over Abram, and suddenly great terror and darkness descended on him.
13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know this for certain: Your offspring will be resident aliens for four hundred years in a land that does not belong to them and will be enslaved and oppressed.[d] 14 However, I will judge the nation they serve, and afterward they will go out with many possessions. 15 But you will go to your fathers in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation they will return here, for the iniquity of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.”[e]
17 When the sun had set and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch appeared and passed between the divided animals. 18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “I give this land to your offspring, from the Brook of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River: 19 the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hethites, Perizzites, Rephaim, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.”
Matthew 14 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
John the Baptist Beheaded
14 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the report about Jesus. 2 “This is John the Baptist,” he told his servants. “He has been raised from the dead, and that’s why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
3 For Herod had arrested John, chained[a] him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, 4 since John had been telling him, “It’s not lawful for you to have her.” 5 Though Herod wanted to kill John, he feared the crowd since they regarded John as a prophet.
6 When Herod’s birthday celebration came, Herodias’s daughter danced before them[b] and pleased Herod. 7 So he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. 8 Prompted by her mother, she answered, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.” 9 Although the king regretted it, he commanded that it be granted because of his oaths and his guests. 10 So he sent orders and had John beheaded in the prison. 11 His head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who carried it to her mother. 12 Then his disciples came, removed the corpse,[c] buried it, and went and reported to Jesus.
Feeding of the Five Thousand
13 When Jesus heard about it, he withdrew from there by boat to a remote place to be alone. When the crowds heard this, they followed him on foot from the towns. 14 When he went ashore,[d] he saw a large crowd, had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
15 When evening came, the disciples approached him and said, “This place is deserted, and it is already late.[e] Send the crowds away so that they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 “They don’t need to go away,” Jesus told them. “You give them something to eat.”
17 “But we only have five loaves and two fish here,” they said to him.
18 “Bring them here to me,” he said. 19 Then he commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 20 Everyone ate and was satisfied. They picked up twelve baskets full of leftover pieces. 21 Now those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Walking on the Water
22 Immediately he[f] made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 After dismissing the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Well into the night, he was there alone. 24 Meanwhile, the boat was already some distance[g] from land,[h] battered by the waves, because the wind was against them. 25 Jesus came toward them walking on the sea very early in the morning.[i] 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said, and they cried out in fear.
27 Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter answered him, “command me to come to you on the water.”
29 He said, “Come.”
And climbing out of the boat, Peter started walking on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the strength of the wind,[j] he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand, caught hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 Then those in the boat worshiped him and said, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
34 When they had crossed over, they came to shore at Gennesaret. 35 When the men of that place recognized him, they alerted the whole vicinity and brought to him all who were sick. 36 They begged him that they might only touch the end of his robe, and as many as touched it were healed.
Nehemiah 4 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
Progress in Spite of Opposition
4 When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became furious. He mocked the Jews 2 before his colleagues and the powerful men[a] of Samaria, and said, “What are these pathetic Jews doing? Can they restore it by themselves? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they ever finish it? Can they bring these burnt stones back to life from the mounds of rubble?” 3 Then Tobiah the Ammonite, who was beside him, said, “Indeed, even if a fox climbed up what they are building, he would break down their stone wall!”
4 Listen, our God, for we are despised. Make their insults return on their own heads and let them be taken as plunder to a land of captivity. 5 Do not cover their guilt or let their sin be erased from your sight, because they have angered[b] the builders.
6 So we rebuilt the wall until the entire wall was joined together up to half its height, for the people had the will to keep working.
7 When Sanballat, Tobiah, and the Arabs, Ammonites, and Ashdodites heard that the repair to the walls of Jerusalem was progressing and that the gaps were being closed, they became furious. 8 They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and throw it into confusion. 9 So we prayed to our God and stationed a guard because of them day and night.
10 In Judah, it was said:[c]
The strength of the laborer fails,
11 And our enemies said, “They won’t realize it[d] until we’re among them and can kill them and stop the work.” 12 When the Jews who lived nearby arrived, they said to us time and again,[e] “Everywhere you turn, they attack[f] us.” 13 So I stationed people behind the lowest sections of the wall, at the vulnerable areas. I stationed them by families with their swords, spears, and bows. 14 After I made an inspection, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the great and awe-inspiring Lord, and fight for your countrymen, your sons and daughters, your wives and homes.”
Sword and Trowel
15 When our enemies heard that we knew their scheme and that God had frustrated it, every one of us returned to his own work on the wall. 16 From that day on, half of my men did the work while the other half held spears, shields, bows, and armor. The officers supported all the people of Judah, 17 who were rebuilding the wall. The laborers who carried the loads worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other. 18 Each of the builders had his sword strapped around his waist while he was building, and the trumpeter was beside me. 19 Then I said to the nobles, the officials, and the rest of the people: “The work is enormous and spread out, and we are separated far from one another along the wall. 20 Wherever you hear the trumpet sound, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us!” 21 So we continued the work, while half of the men were holding spears from daybreak until the stars came out. 22 At that time, I also said to the people, “Let everyone and his servant spend the night inside Jerusalem, so that they can stand guard by night and work by day.” 23 And I, my brothers, my servants, and the men of the guard with me never took off our clothes. Each carried his weapon, even when washing.[g]
Acts 14 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
Growth and Persecution in Iconium
14 In Iconium they entered the Jewish synagogue, as usual, and spoke in such a way that a great number of both Jews and Greeks believed. 2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3 So they stayed there a long time and spoke boldly for the Lord, who testified to the message of his grace by enabling them to do signs and wonders. 4 But the people of the city were divided, some siding with the Jews and others with the apostles. 5 When an attempt was made by both the Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat and stone them, 6 they found out about it and fled to the Lycaonian towns of Lystra and Derbe and to the surrounding countryside. 7 There they continued preaching the gospel.
Mistaken for Gods in Lystra
8 In Lystra a man was sitting who was without strength in his feet, had never walked, and had been lame from birth. 9 He listened as Paul spoke. After looking directly at him and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10 Paul said in a loud voice, “Stand up on your feet!” And he jumped up and began to walk around.
11 When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the town, brought bulls and wreaths to the gates because he intended, with the crowds, to offer sacrifice.
14 The apostles Barnabas and Paul tore their robes when they heard this and rushed into the crowd, shouting: 15 “People! Why are you doing these things? We are people also, just like you, and we are proclaiming good news to you, that you turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and everything in them.[a] 16 In past generations he allowed all the nations to go their own way, 17 although he did not leave himself without a witness, since he did what is good by giving you rain from heaven and fruitful seasons and filling you with food and your[b] hearts with joy.” 18 Even though they said these things, they barely stopped the crowds from sacrificing to them.
19 Some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and when they won over the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, thinking he was dead. 20 After the disciples gathered around him, he got up and went into the town. The next day he left with Barnabas for Derbe.
21 After they had preached the gospel in that town and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, to Iconium, and to Antioch, 22 strengthening the[c] disciples by encouraging them to continue in the faith and by telling them, “It is necessary to go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” 23 When they had appointed elders for them in every church and prayed with fasting, they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
24 They passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 After they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed back to Antioch where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. 27 After they arrived and gathered the church together, they reported everything God had done with them and that he had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles. 28 And they spent a considerable time with the disciples.