Leviticus 19-20 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Moral and Religious Laws
19 The Lord told Moses 2 to say to the community of Israel:
I am the Lord your God. I am holy, and you must be holy too! 3-4 Respect your father and your mother, honor the Sabbath, and don’t make idols or images. I am the Lord your God.
5 When you offer a sacrifice to ask my blessing,[a] be sure to follow my instructions. 6 You may eat the meat either on the day of the sacrifice or on the next day, but you must burn anything left until the third day. 7 If you eat any of it on the third day, the sacrifice will be disgusting to me, and I will reject it. 8 In fact, you will be punished for not respecting what I say is holy, and you will no longer belong to the community of Israel.
9 When you harvest your grain, always leave some of it standing along the edges of your fields and don’t pick up what falls on the ground. 10 Don’t strip your grapevines clean or gather the grapes that fall off the vines. Leave them for the poor and for those foreigners who live among you. I am the Lord your God.
11 Do not steal or tell lies or cheat others.
12 Do not misuse my name by making promises you don’t intend to keep. I am the Lord your God.
13 Do not steal anything or cheat anyone, and don’t fail to pay your workers at the end of each day.[b]
14 I am the Lord your God, and I command you not to make fun of the deaf or to cause a blind person to stumble.
15 Be fair, no matter who is on trial—don’t favor either the poor or the rich.
16 Don’t be a gossip, but never hesitate to speak up in court, especially if your testimony can save someone’s life.[c]
17 Don’t hold grudges. On the other hand, it’s wrong not to correct someone who needs correcting. 18 Stop being angry and don’t try to take revenge. I am the Lord, and I command you to love others as much as you love yourself.
19 Breed your livestock animals only with animals of the same kind, and don’t plant two kinds of seed in the same field or wear clothes made of different kinds of material.
20 If a man has sex with a slave woman who is promised in marriage to someone else, he must pay a fine, but they are not to be put to death. After all, she was still a slave at the time.[d] 21-22 The man must bring a ram to the entrance of the sacred tent and give it to a priest, who will then offer it as a sacrifice to me, so the man’s sins will be forgiven.
23 After you enter the land, you will plant fruit trees, but you are not to eat any of their fruit for the first three years. 24 In the fourth year the fruit must be set apart, as an expression of thanks 25 to me, the Lord God. Do this, and in the fifth year, those trees will produce an abundant harvest of fruit for you to eat.
26 Don’t eat the blood of any animal.
Don’t practice any kind of witchcraft.
27-28 I forbid you to shave any part of your head or beard or to cut and tattoo yourself as a way of worshiping the dead.
29 Don’t let your daughters serve as temple prostitutes—this would bring disgrace both to them and the land.
30 I command you to respect the Sabbath and the place where I am worshiped.
31 Don’t make yourselves disgusting to me by going to people who claim they can talk to the dead.
32 I command you to show respect for older people and to obey me with fear and trembling.
33 Don’t mistreat any foreigners who live in your land. 34 Instead, treat them as well as you treat citizens and love them as much as you love yourself. Remember, you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.
35-36 Use honest scales and don’t cheat when you weigh or measure anything.
I am the Lord your God. I rescued you from Egypt, 37 and I command you to obey my laws.
Penalties for Disobeying God’s Laws
20 The Lord told Moses 2 to say to the community of Israel:
Death by stoning is the penalty for any citizens or foreigners in the country who sacrifice their children to the god Molech. 3 They have disgraced both the place where I am worshiped and my holy name, and so I will turn against them and no longer let them belong to my people. 4 Some of you may let them get away with human sacrifice, 5 but not me. If any of you worship Molech, I will turn against you and your entire family, and I will no longer let you belong to my people.
6 I will be your enemy if you go to someone who claims to speak with the dead, and I will destroy you from among my people. 7 Dedicate yourselves to me and be holy because I am the Lord your God. 8 I have chosen you as my people, and I expect you to obey my laws.
9 If you curse your father or mother, you will be put to death, and it will be your own fault.
10 If any of you men have sex with another man’s wife, both you and the woman will be put to death.
11 Having sex with one of your father’s wives disgraces him. So both you and the woman will be put to death, just as you deserve. 12 It isn’t natural to have sex with your daughter-in-law, and both of you will be put to death, just as you deserve. 13 It’s disgusting for men to have sex with one another, and those who do will be put to death, just as they deserve. 14 It isn’t natural for a man to marry both a mother and her daughter, and so all three of them will be burned to death. 15-16 If any of you have sex with an animal, both you and the animal will be put to death, just as you deserve.
17 If you marry one of your sisters, you will be punished, and the two of you will be disgraced by being openly forced out of the community. 18 If you have sex with a woman during her monthly period, both you and the woman will be cut off from the people of Israel. 19 The sisters of your father and mother are your own relatives, and you will be punished for having sex with any of them. 20 If you have sex with your uncle’s wife, neither you nor she will ever have any children. 21 And if you marry your sister-in-law, neither of you will ever have any children.[e]
22 Obey my laws and teachings. Or else the land I am giving you will become sick of you and throw you out. 23 The nations I am chasing out did these disgusting things, and I hated them for it, so don’t follow their example. 24 I am the Lord your God, and I have promised you their land that is rich with milk and honey. I have chosen you to be different from other people. 25 That’s why you must make a difference between animals and birds that I have said are clean and unclean[f]—this will keep you from becoming disgusting to me. 26 I am the Lord, the holy God. You have been chosen to be my people, and so you must be holy too.
27 If you claim to receive messages from the dead, you will be put to death by stoning, just as you deserve.
Matthew 27:51-66 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
51 At once the curtain in the temple[a] was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, and rocks split apart. 52 Graves opened, and many of God’s people were raised to life. 53 Then after Jesus had risen to life, they came out of their graves and went into the holy city, where they were seen by many people.
54 The officer and the soldiers guarding Jesus felt the earthquake and saw everything else that happened. They were frightened and said, “This man really was God’s Son!”
55 Many women had come with Jesus from Galilee to be of help to him, and they were there, looking on at a distance. 56 Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of James and John[b] were some of these women.
Jesus Is Buried
57 That evening a rich disciple named Joseph from the town of Arimathea 58 went and asked for Jesus' body. Pilate gave orders for it to be given to Joseph, 59 who took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth. 60 Then Joseph put the body in his own tomb that had been cut into solid rock[c] and had never been used. He rolled a big stone against the entrance to the tomb and went away.
61 All this time Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting across from the tomb.
62 On the next day, which was a Sabbath, the chief priests and the Pharisees went together to Pilate. 63 They said, “Sir, we remember what that liar said while he was still alive. He claimed that in three days he would come back from death. 64 So please order the tomb to be carefully guarded for three days. If you don’t, his disciples may come and steal his body. They will tell the people that he has been raised to life, and this last lie will be worse than the first one.”[d]
65 Pilate said to them, “All right, take some of your soldiers and guard the tomb as well as you know how.” 66 So they sealed it tight and placed soldiers there to guard it.
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