The Water of Cleansing

19 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron: “This is a requirement of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the Israelites to bring you a red heifer(A) without defect or blemish(B) and that has never been under a yoke.(C) Give it to Eleazar(D) the priest; it is to be taken outside the camp(E) and slaughtered in his presence. Then Eleazar the priest is to take some of its blood on his finger and sprinkle(F) it seven times toward the front of the tent of meeting. While he watches, the heifer is to be burned—its hide, flesh, blood and intestines.(G) The priest is to take some cedar wood, hyssop(H) and scarlet wool(I) and throw them onto the burning heifer. After that, the priest must wash his clothes and bathe himself with water.(J) He may then come into the camp, but he will be ceremonially unclean till evening. The man who burns it must also wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he too will be unclean till evening.

“A man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer(K) and put them in a ceremonially clean place(L) outside the camp. They are to be kept by the Israelite community for use in the water of cleansing;(M) it is for purification from sin.(N) 10 The man who gathers up(O) the ashes of the heifer must also wash his clothes, and he too will be unclean till evening.(P) This will be a lasting ordinance(Q) both for the Israelites and for the foreigners residing among them.(R)

11 “Whoever touches a human corpse(S) will be unclean for seven days.(T) 12 They must purify themselves with the water on the third day and on the seventh day;(U) then they will be clean. But if they do not purify themselves on the third and seventh days, they will not be clean.(V) 13 If they fail to purify themselves after touching a human corpse,(W) they defile the Lord’s tabernacle.(X) They must be cut off from Israel.(Y) Because the water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on them, they are unclean;(Z) their uncleanness remains on them.

14 “This is the law that applies when a person dies in a tent: Anyone who enters the tent and anyone who is in it will be unclean for seven days, 15 and every open container(AA) without a lid fastened on it will be unclean.

16 “Anyone out in the open who touches someone who has been killed with a sword or someone who has died a natural death,(AB) or anyone who touches a human bone(AC) or a grave,(AD) will be unclean for seven days.(AE)

17 “For the unclean person, put some ashes(AF) from the burned purification offering into a jar and pour fresh water(AG) over them. 18 Then a man who is ceremonially clean is to take some hyssop,(AH) dip it in the water and sprinkle(AI) the tent and all the furnishings and the people who were there. He must also sprinkle anyone who has touched a human bone or a grave(AJ) or anyone who has been killed or anyone who has died a natural death. 19 The man who is clean is to sprinkle(AK) those who are unclean on the third and seventh days, and on the seventh day he is to purify them.(AL) Those who are being cleansed must wash their clothes(AM) and bathe with water, and that evening they will be clean. 20 But if those who are unclean do not purify themselves, they must be cut off from the community, because they have defiled(AN) the sanctuary of the Lord.(AO) The water of cleansing has not been sprinkled on them, and they are unclean.(AP) 21 This is a lasting ordinance(AQ) for them.

“The man who sprinkles the water of cleansing must also wash his clothes, and anyone who touches the water of cleansing will be unclean till evening. 22 Anything that an unclean(AR) person touches becomes unclean, and anyone who touches it becomes unclean till evening.”

The Servant of the Lord

42 “Here is my servant,(A) whom I uphold,
    my chosen one(B) in whom I delight;(C)
I will put my Spirit(D) on him,
    and he will bring justice(E) to the nations.(F)
He will not shout or cry out,(G)
    or raise his voice in the streets.
A bruised reed(H) he will not break,(I)
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out.(J)
In faithfulness he will bring forth justice;(K)
    he will not falter or be discouraged
till he establishes justice(L) on earth.
    In his teaching(M) the islands(N) will put their hope.”(O)

This is what God the Lord says—
the Creator of the heavens,(P) who stretches them out,
    who spreads out the earth(Q) with all that springs from it,(R)
    who gives breath(S) to its people,
    and life to those who walk on it:
“I, the Lord, have called(T) you in righteousness;(U)
    I will take hold of your hand.(V)
I will keep(W) you and will make you
    to be a covenant(X) for the people
    and a light(Y) for the Gentiles,(Z)
to open eyes that are blind,(AA)
    to free(AB) captives from prison(AC)
    and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.(AD)

“I am the Lord;(AE) that is my name!(AF)
    I will not yield my glory to another(AG)
    or my praise to idols.(AH)
See, the former things(AI) have taken place,
    and new things I declare;
before they spring into being
    I announce(AJ) them to you.”

Song of Praise to the Lord

10 Sing(AK) to the Lord a new song,(AL)
    his praise(AM) from the ends of the earth,(AN)
you who go down to the sea, and all that is in it,(AO)
    you islands,(AP) and all who live in them.
11 Let the wilderness(AQ) and its towns raise their voices;
    let the settlements where Kedar(AR) lives rejoice.
Let the people of Sela(AS) sing for joy;
    let them shout from the mountaintops.(AT)
12 Let them give glory(AU) to the Lord
    and proclaim his praise(AV) in the islands.(AW)
13 The Lord will march out like a champion,(AX)
    like a warrior(AY) he will stir up his zeal;(AZ)
with a shout(BA) he will raise the battle cry
    and will triumph over his enemies.(BB)

14 “For a long time I have kept silent,(BC)
    I have been quiet and held myself back.(BD)
But now, like a woman in childbirth,
    I cry out, I gasp and pant.(BE)
15 I will lay waste(BF) the mountains(BG) and hills
    and dry up all their vegetation;
I will turn rivers into islands
    and dry up(BH) the pools.
16 I will lead(BI) the blind(BJ) by ways they have not known,
    along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light(BK) before them
    and make the rough places smooth.(BL)
These are the things I will do;
    I will not forsake(BM) them.
17 But those who trust in idols,
    who say to images, ‘You are our gods,’(BN)
    will be turned back in utter shame.(BO)

Israel Blind and Deaf

18 “Hear, you deaf;(BP)
    look, you blind, and see!
19 Who is blind(BQ) but my servant,(BR)
    and deaf like the messenger(BS) I send?
Who is blind like the one in covenant(BT) with me,
    blind like the servant of the Lord?
20 You have seen many things, but you pay no attention;
    your ears are open, but you do not listen.”(BU)
21 It pleased the Lord
    for the sake(BV) of his righteousness
    to make his law(BW) great and glorious.
22 But this is a people plundered(BX) and looted,
    all of them trapped in pits(BY)
    or hidden away in prisons.(BZ)
They have become plunder,
    with no one to rescue them;(CA)
they have been made loot,
    with no one to say, “Send them back.”

23 Which of you will listen to this
    or pay close attention(CB) in time to come?
24 Who handed Jacob over to become loot,
    and Israel to the plunderers?(CC)
Was it not the Lord,(CD)
    against whom we have sinned?
For they would not follow(CE) his ways;
    they did not obey his law.(CF)
25 So he poured out on them his burning anger,(CG)
    the violence of war.
It enveloped them in flames,(CH) yet they did not understand;(CI)
    it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart.(CJ)

In Thessalonica

17 When Paul and his companions had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica,(A) where there was a Jewish synagogue. As was his custom, Paul went into the synagogue,(B) and on three Sabbath(C) days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures,(D) explaining and proving that the Messiah had to suffer(E) and rise from the dead.(F) “This Jesus I am proclaiming to you is the Messiah,”(G) he said. Some of the Jews were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas,(H) as did a large number of God-fearing Greeks and quite a few prominent women.

But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city.(I) They rushed to Jason’s(J) house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd.[a] But when they did not find them, they dragged(K) Jason and some other believers(L) before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world(M) have now come here,(N) and Jason has welcomed them into his house. They are all defying Caesar’s decrees, saying that there is another king, one called Jesus.”(O) When they heard this, the crowd and the city officials were thrown into turmoil. Then they made Jason(P) and the others post bond and let them go.

In Berea

10 As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas(Q) away to Berea.(R) On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue.(S) 11 Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica,(T) for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures(U) every day to see if what Paul said was true.(V) 12 As a result, many of them believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.(W)

13 But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea,(X) some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. 14 The believers(Y) immediately sent Paul to the coast, but Silas(Z) and Timothy(AA) stayed at Berea. 15 Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens(AB) and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.(AC)

In Athens

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue(AD) with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news(AE) about Jesus and the resurrection.(AF) 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus,(AG) where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching(AH) is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians(AI) and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus(AJ) and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.(AK) 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship(AL)—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

24 “The God who made the world and everything in it(AM) is the Lord of heaven and earth(AN) and does not live in temples built by human hands.(AO) 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.(AP) 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.(AQ) 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.(AR) 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’[b](AS) As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’[c]

29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.(AT) 30 In the past God overlooked(AU) such ignorance,(AV) but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.(AW) 31 For he has set a day when he will judge(AX) the world with justice(AY) by the man he has appointed.(AZ) He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”(BA)

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead,(BB) some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus,(BC) also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

Footnotes

  1. Acts 17:5 Or the assembly of the people
  2. Acts 17:28 From the Cretan philosopher Epimenides
  3. Acts 17:28 From the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus