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Holiness in Personal Conduct

19 The Lord also said to Moses, “Give the following instructions to the entire community of Israel. You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy.

“Each of you must show great respect for your mother and father, and you must always observe my Sabbath days of rest. I am the Lord your God.

“Do not put your trust in idols or make metal images of gods for yourselves. I am the Lord your God.

“When you sacrifice a peace offering to the Lord, offer it properly so you[a] will be accepted by God. The sacrifice must be eaten on the same day you offer it or on the next day. Whatever is left over until the third day must be completely burned up. If any of the sacrifice is eaten on the third day, it will be contaminated, and I will not accept it. Anyone who eats it on the third day will be punished for defiling what is holy to the Lord and will be cut off from the community.

“When you harvest the crops of your land, do not harvest the grain along the edges of your fields, and do not pick up what the harvesters drop. 10 It is the same with your grape crop—do not strip every last bunch of grapes from the vines, and do not pick up the grapes that fall to the ground. Leave them for the poor and the foreigners living among you. I am the Lord your God.

11 “Do not steal.

“Do not deceive or cheat one another.

12 “Do not bring shame on the name of your God by using it to swear falsely. I am the Lord.

13 “Do not defraud or rob your neighbor.

“Do not make your hired workers wait until the next day to receive their pay.

14 “Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord.

15 “Do not twist justice in legal matters by favoring the poor or being partial to the rich and powerful. Always judge people fairly.

16 “Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people.[b]

“Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the Lord.

17 “Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives.[c] Confront people directly so you will not be held guilty for their sin.

18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.

19 “You must obey all my decrees.

“Do not mate two different kinds of animals. Do not plant your field with two different kinds of seed. Do not wear clothing woven from two different kinds of thread.

20 “If a man has sex with a slave girl whose freedom has never been purchased but who is committed to become another man’s wife, he must pay full compensation to her master. But since she is not a free woman, neither the man nor the woman will be put to death. 21 The man, however, must bring a ram as a guilt offering and present it to the Lord at the entrance of the Tabernacle.[d] 22 The priest will then purify him[e] before the Lord with the ram of the guilt offering, and the man’s sin will be forgiven.

23 “When you enter the land and plant fruit trees, leave the fruit unharvested for the first three years and consider it forbidden.[f] Do not eat it. 24 In the fourth year the entire crop must be consecrated to the Lord as a celebration of praise. 25 Finally, in the fifth year you may eat the fruit. If you follow this pattern, your harvest will increase. I am the Lord your God.

26 “Do not eat meat that has not been drained of its blood.

“Do not practice fortune-telling or witchcraft.

27 “Do not trim off the hair on your temples or trim your beards.

28 “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.

29 “Do not defile your daughter by making her a prostitute, or the land will be filled with prostitution and wickedness.

30 “Keep my Sabbath days of rest, and show reverence toward my sanctuary. I am the Lord.

31 “Do not defile yourselves by turning to mediums or to those who consult the spirits of the dead. I am the Lord your God.

32 “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord.

33 “Do not take advantage of foreigners who live among you in your land. 34 Treat them like native-born Israelites, and love them as you love yourself. Remember that you were once foreigners living in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

35 “Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight, or volume. 36 Your scales and weights must be accurate. Your containers for measuring dry materials or liquids must be accurate.[g] I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

37 “You must be careful to keep all of my decrees and regulations by putting them into practice. I am the Lord.”

Punishments for Disobedience

20 The Lord said to Moses, “Give the people of Israel these instructions, which apply both to native Israelites and to the foreigners living in Israel.

“If any of them offer their children as a sacrifice to Molech, they must be put to death. The people of the community must stone them to death. I myself will turn against them and cut them off from the community, because they have defiled my sanctuary and brought shame on my holy name by offering their children to Molech. And if the people of the community ignore those who offer their children to Molech and refuse to execute them, I myself will turn against them and their families and will cut them off from the community. This will happen to all who commit spiritual prostitution by worshiping Molech.

“I will also turn against those who commit spiritual prostitution by putting their trust in mediums or in those who consult the spirits of the dead. I will cut them off from the community. So set yourselves apart to be holy, for I am the Lord your God. Keep all my decrees by putting them into practice, for I am the Lord who makes you holy.

“Anyone who dishonors[h] father or mother must be put to death. Such a person is guilty of a capital offense.

10 “If a man commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man and the woman who have committed adultery must be put to death.

11 “If a man violates his father by having sex with one of his father’s wives, both the man and the woman must be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.

12 “If a man has sex with his daughter-in-law, both must be put to death. They have committed a perverse act and are guilty of a capital offense.

13 “If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.

14 “If a man marries both a woman and her mother, he has committed a wicked act. The man and both women must be burned to death to wipe out such wickedness from among you.

15 “If a man has sex with an animal, he must be put to death, and the animal must be killed.

16 “If a woman presents herself to a male animal to have intercourse with it, she and the animal must both be put to death. You must kill both, for they are guilty of a capital offense.

17 “If a man marries his sister, the daughter of either his father or his mother, and they have sexual relations, it is a shameful disgrace. They must be publicly cut off from the community. Since the man has violated his sister, he will be punished for his sin.

18 “If a man has sexual relations with a woman during her menstrual period, both of them must be cut off from the community, for together they have exposed the source of her blood flow.

19 “Do not have sexual relations with your aunt, whether your mother’s sister or your father’s sister. This would dishonor a close relative. Both parties are guilty and will be punished for their sin.

20 “If a man has sex with his uncle’s wife, he has violated his uncle. Both the man and woman will be punished for their sin, and they will die childless.

21 “If a man marries his brother’s wife, it is an act of impurity. He has violated his brother, and the guilty couple will remain childless.

Footnotes

  1. 19:5 Or it.
  2. 19:16 Hebrew Do not act as a merchant toward your own people.
  3. 19:17 Hebrew for your brother.
  4. 19:21 Hebrew Tent of Meeting.
  5. 19:22 Or make atonement for him.
  6. 19:23 Hebrew consider it uncircumcised.
  7. 19:36 Hebrew Use an honest ephah [a dry measure] and an honest hin [a liquid measure].
  8. 20:9 Greek version reads Anyone who speaks disrespectfully of. Compare Matt 15:4; Mark 7:10.

Pharisees Demand a Miraculous Sign

11 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had arrived, they came and started to argue with him. Testing him, they demanded that he show them a miraculous sign from heaven to prove his authority.

12 When he heard this, he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why do these people keep demanding a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, I will not give this generation any such sign.” 13 So he got back into the boat and left them, and he crossed to the other side of the lake.

Yeast of the Pharisees and Herod

14 But the disciples had forgotten to bring any food. They had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat. 15 As they were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, “Watch out! Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod.”

16 At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. 17 Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “Why are you arguing about having no bread? Don’t you know or understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in? 18 ‘You have eyes—can’t you see? You have ears—can’t you hear?’[a] Don’t you remember anything at all? 19 When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?”

“Twelve,” they said.

20 “And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”

“Seven,” they said.

21 “Don’t you understand yet?” he asked them.

Jesus Heals a Blind Man

22 When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and they begged him to touch the man and heal him. 23 Jesus took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then, spitting on the man’s eyes, he laid his hands on him and asked, “Can you see anything now?”

24 The man looked around. “Yes,” he said, “I see people, but I can’t see them very clearly. They look like trees walking around.”

25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again, and his eyes were opened. His sight was completely restored, and he could see everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him away, saying, “Don’t go back into the village on your way home.”

Peter’s Declaration about Jesus

27 Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”

28 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other prophets.”

29 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”

Peter replied, “You are the Messiah.[b]

30 But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.

Jesus Predicts His Death

31 Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man[c] must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but three days later he would rise from the dead. 32 As he talked about this openly with his disciples, Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things.[d]

33 Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. 35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. 36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?[e] 37 Is anything worth more than your soul? 38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

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Footnotes

  1. 8:18 Jer 5:21.
  2. 8:29 Or the Christ. Messiah (a Hebrew term) and Christ (a Greek term) both mean “anointed one.”
  3. 8:31 “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself.
  4. 8:32 Or began to correct him.
  5. 8:36 Or your self? also in 8:37.

Book two (Psalms 42–72)

Psalm 42

For the choir director: A psalm[a] of the descendants of Korah.

As the deer longs for streams of water,
    so I long for you, O God.
I thirst for God, the living God.
    When can I go and stand before him?
Day and night I have only tears for food,
    while my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

My heart is breaking
    as I remember how it used to be:
I walked among the crowds of worshipers,
    leading a great procession to the house of God,
singing for joy and giving thanks
    amid the sound of a great celebration!

Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

Now I am deeply discouraged,
    but I will remember you—
even from distant Mount Hermon, the source of the Jordan,
    from the land of Mount Mizar.
I hear the tumult of the raging seas
    as your waves and surging tides sweep over me.
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me,
    and through each night I sing his songs,
    praying to God who gives me life.

“O God my rock,” I cry,
    “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I wander around in grief,
    oppressed by my enemies?”
10 Their taunts break my bones.
    They scoff, “Where is this God of yours?”

11 Why am I discouraged?
    Why is my heart so sad?
I will put my hope in God!
    I will praise him again—
    my Savior and my God!

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Footnotes

  1. 42:Title Hebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term.

17 People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life,
    but those who ignore correction will go astray.

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