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Deuteronomy 32-34The Message (MSG)

The Song

32 1-5 Listen, Heavens, I have something to tell you.
    Attention, Earth, I’ve got a mouth full of words.
    My teaching, let it fall like a gentle rain,
        my words arrive like morning dew,
    Like a sprinkling rain on new grass,
        like spring showers on the garden.
    For it’s God’s Name I’m preaching—
        respond to the greatness of our God!
    The Rock: His works are perfect,
        and the way he works is fair and just;
    A God you can depend upon, no exceptions,
        a straight-arrow God.
    His messed-up, mixed-up children, his non-children,
        throw mud at him but none of it sticks.

6-7 Don’t you realize it is God you are treating like this?
        This is crazy; don’t you have any sense of reverence?
    Isn’t this your father who created you,
        who made you and gave you a place on Earth?
    Read up on what happened before you were born;
        dig into the past, understand your roots.
    Ask your parents what it was like before you were born;
        ask the old-ones, they’ll tell you a thing or two.

8-9 When the High God gave the nations their stake,
        gave them their place on Earth,
    He put each of the peoples within boundaries
        under the care of divine guardians.
    But God himself took charge of his people,
        took Jacob on as his personal concern.

10-14 He found him out in the wilderness,
        in an empty, windswept wasteland.
    He threw his arms around him, lavished attention on him,
        guarding him as the apple of his eye.
    He was like an eagle hovering over its nest,
        overshadowing its young,
    Then spreading its wings, lifting them into the air,
        teaching them to fly.
    God alone led him;
        there was not a foreign god in sight.
    God lifted him onto the hilltops,
        so he could feast on the crops in the fields.
    He fed him honey from the rock,
        oil from granite crags,
    Curds of cattle and the milk of sheep,
        the choice cuts of lambs and goats,
    Fine Bashan rams, high-quality wheat,
        and the blood of grapes: you drank good wine!

15-18 Jeshurun put on weight and bucked;
        you got fat, became obese, a tub of lard.
    He abandoned the God who made him,
        he mocked the Rock of his salvation.
    They made him jealous with their foreign newfangled gods,
        and with obscenities they vexed him no end.
    They sacrificed to no-god demons,
        gods they knew nothing about,
    The latest in gods, fresh from the market,
        gods your ancestors would never call “gods.”
    You walked out on the Rock who gave you your life,
        forgot the birth-God who brought you into the world.

19-25 God saw it and turned on his heel,
        angered and hurt by his sons and daughters.
    He said, “From now on I’m looking the other way.
        Wait and see what happens to them.
    Oh, they’re a turned-around, upside-down generation!
        Who knows what they’ll do from one moment to the next?
    They’ve goaded me with their no-gods,
        infuriated me with their hot-air gods;
    I’m going to goad them with a no-people,
        with a hollow nation incense them.
    My anger started a fire,
        a wildfire burning deep down in Sheol,
    Then shooting up and devouring the Earth and its crops,
        setting all the mountains, from bottom to top, on fire.
    I’ll pile catastrophes on them,
        I’ll shoot my arrows at them:
    Starvation, blistering heat, killing disease;
        I’ll send snarling wild animals to attack from the forest
        and venomous creatures to strike from the dust.
    Killing in the streets,
        terror in the houses,
    Young men and virgins alike struck down,
        and yes, breast-feeding babies and gray-haired old men.”

26-27 I could have said, “I’ll hack them to pieces,
        wipe out all trace of them from the Earth,”
    Except that I feared the enemy would grab the chance
        to take credit for all of it,
    Crowing, “Look what we did!
        God had nothing to do with this.”

28-33 They are a nation of ninnies,
        they don’t know enough to come in out of the rain.
    If they had any sense at all, they’d know this;
        they would see what’s coming down the road.
    How could one soldier chase a thousand enemies off,
        or two men run off two thousand,
    Unless their Rock had sold them,
        unless God had given them away?
    For their rock is nothing compared to our Rock;
        even our enemies say that.
    They’re a vine that comes right out of Sodom,
        who they are is rooted in Gomorrah;
    Their grapes are poison grapes,
        their grape-clusters bitter.
    Their wine is rattlesnake venom,
        mixed with lethal cobra poison.

34-35 Don’t you realize that I have my shelves
        well stocked, locked behind iron doors?
    I’m in charge of vengeance and payback,
        just waiting for them to slip up;
    And the day of their doom is just around the corner,
        sudden and swift and sure.

36-38 Yes, God will judge his people,
        but oh how compassionately he’ll do it.
    When he sees their weakened plight
        and there is no one left, slave or free,
    He’ll say, “So where are their gods,
        the rock in which they sought refuge,
    The gods who feasted on the fat of their sacrifices
        and drank the wine of their drink-offerings?
    Let them show their stuff and help you,
        let them give you a hand!

39-42 “Do you see it now? Do you see that I’m the one?
        Do you see that there’s no other god beside me?
    I bring death and I give life, I wound and I heal—
        there is no getting away from or around me!
    I raise my hand in solemn oath;
        I say, ‘I’m always around. By that very life I promise:
    When I sharpen my lightning sword
        and execute judgment,
    I take vengeance on my enemies
        and pay back those who hate me.
    I’ll make my arrows drunk with blood,
        my sword will gorge itself on flesh,
    Feasting on slain and captive alike,
        the proud and vain enemy corpses.’”

43 Celebrate, nations, join the praise of his people.
        He avenges the deaths of his servants,
    Pays back his enemies with vengeance,
        and cleanses his land for his people.

44-47 Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua son of Nun. When Moses had finished saying all these words to all Israel, he said, “Take to heart all these words to which I give witness today and urgently command your children to put them into practice, every single word of this Revelation. Yes. This is no small matter for you; it’s your life. In keeping this word you’ll have a good and long life in this land that you’re crossing the Jordan to possess.”

48-50 That same day God spoke to Moses: “Climb the Abarim Mountains to Mount Nebo in the land of Moab, overlooking Jericho, and view the land of Canaan that I’m giving the People of Israel to have and hold. Die on the mountain that you climb and join your people in the ground, just as your brother Aaron died on Mount Hor and joined his people.

51-52 “This is because you broke faith with me in the company of the People of Israel at the Waters of Meribah Kadesh in the Wilderness of Zin—you didn’t honor my Holy Presence in the company of the People of Israel. You’ll look at the land spread out before you but you won’t enter it, this land that I am giving to the People of Israel.”

The Blessing

33 1-5 Moses, man of God, blessed the People of Israel with this blessing before his death. He said,

God came down from Sinai,
    he dawned from Seir upon them;
He radiated light from Mount Paran,
    coming with ten thousand holy angels
And tongues of fire
    streaming from his right hand.
Oh, how you love the people,
    all his holy ones are palmed in your left hand.
They sit at your feet,
    honoring your teaching,
The Revelation commanded by Moses,
    as the assembly of Jacob’s inheritance.
Thus God became king in Jeshurun
    as the leaders and tribes of Israel gathered.

Reuben:

“Let Reuben live and not die,
    but just barely, in diminishing numbers.”

Judah:

“Listen, God, to the Voice of Judah,
    bring him to his people;
Strengthen his grip,
    be his helper against his foes.”

8-11 Levi:

“Let your Thummim and Urim
    belong to your loyal saint;
The one you tested at Massah,
    whom you fought with at the Waters of Meribah,
Who said of his father and mother,
    ‘I no longer recognize them.’
He turned his back on his brothers
    and neglected his children,
Because he was guarding your sayings
    and watching over your Covenant.
Let him teach your rules to Jacob
    and your Revelation to Israel,
Let him keep the incense rising to your nostrils
    and the Whole-Burnt-Offerings on your Altar.
God bless his commitment,
    stamp your seal of approval on what he does;
Disable the loins of those who defy him,
    make sure we’ve heard the last from those who hate him.”

12 Benjamin:

God’s beloved;
    God’s permanent residence.
Encircled by God all day long,
    within whom God is at home.”

13-17 Joseph:

“Blessed by God be his land:
    The best fresh dew from high heaven,
    and fountains springing from the depths;
The best radiance streaming from the sun
    and the best the moon has to offer;
Beauty pouring off the tops of the mountains
    and the best from the everlasting hills;
The best of Earth’s exuberant gifts,
    the smile of the Burning-Bush Dweller.
All this on the head of Joseph,
    on the brow of the consecrated one among his brothers.
In splendor he’s like a firstborn bull,
    his horns the horns of a wild ox;
He’ll gore the nations with those horns,
    push them all to the ends of the Earth.
Ephraim by the ten thousands will do this,
    Manasseh by the thousands will do this.”

18-19 Zebulun and Issachar:

“Celebrate, Zebulun, as you go out,
    and Issachar, as you stay home.
They’ll invite people to the Mountain
    and offer sacrifices of right worship,
For they will have hauled riches in from the sea
    and gleaned treasures from the beaches.”

20-21 Gad:

“Blessed is he who makes Gad large.
    Gad roams like a lion,
    tears off an arm, rips open a skull.
He took one look and grabbed the best place for himself,
    the portion just made for someone in charge.
He took his place at the head,
    carried out God’s right ways
    and his rules for life in Israel.”

22 Dan:

“Dan is a lion’s cub
    leaping out of Bashan.”

23 Naphtali:

“Naphtali brims with blessings,
    spills over with God’s blessings
As he takes possession
    of the sea and southland.”

24-25 Asher:

“Asher, best blessed of the sons!
    May he be the favorite of his brothers,
    his feet massaged in oil.
Safe behind iron-clad doors and gates,
    your strength like iron as long as you live.”

26-28 There is none like God, Jeshurun,
    riding to your rescue through the skies,
    his dignity haloed by clouds.
The ancient God is home
    on a foundation of everlasting arms.
He drove out the enemy before you
    and commanded, “Destroy!”
Israel lived securely,
    the fountain of Jacob undisturbed
In grain and wine country
    and, oh yes, his heavens drip dew.

29 Lucky Israel! Who has it as good as you?
    A people saved by God!
The Shield who defends you,
    the Sword who brings triumph.
Your enemies will come crawling on their bellies
    and you’ll march on their backs.

The Death of Moses

34 1-3 Moses climbed from the Plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, the peak of Pisgah facing Jericho. God showed him all the land from Gilead to Dan, all Naphtali, Ephraim, and Manasseh; all Judah reaching to the Mediterranean Sea; the Negev and the plains which encircle Jericho, City of Palms, as far south as Zoar.

Then and there God said to him, “This is the land I promised to your ancestors, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with the words ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I’ve let you see it with your own eyes. There it is. But you’re not going to go in.”

5-6 Moses died there in the land of Moab, Moses the servant of God, just as God said. God buried him in the valley in the land of Moab opposite Beth Peor. No one knows his burial site to this very day.

7-8 Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eyesight was sharp; he still walked with a spring in his step. The People of Israel wept for Moses in the Plains of Moab thirty days. Then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.

Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. The People of Israel listened obediently to him and did the same as when God had commanded Moses.

10-12 No prophet has risen since in Israel like Moses, whom God knew face-to-face. Never since has there been anything like the signs and miracle-wonders that God sent him to do in Egypt, to Pharaoh, to all his servants, and to all his land—nothing to compare with that all-powerful hand of his and all the great and terrible things Moses did as every eye in Israel watched.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Mark 15:26-47The Message (MSG)

25-30 They nailed him up at nine o’clock in the morning. The charge against him—the king of the jews—was printed on a poster. Along with him, they crucified two criminals, one to his right, the other to his left. People passing along the road jeered, shaking their heads in mock lament: “You bragged that you could tear down the Temple and then rebuild it in three days—so show us your stuff! Save yourself! If you’re really God’s Son, come down from that cross!”

31-32 The high priests, along with the religion scholars, were right there mixing it up with the rest of them, having a great time poking fun at him: “He saved others—but he can’t save himself! Messiah, is he? King of Israel? Then let him climb down from that cross. We’ll all become believers then!” Even the men crucified alongside him joined in the mockery.

33-34 At noon the sky became extremely dark. The darkness lasted three hours. At three o’clock, Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

35-36 Some of the bystanders who heard him said, “Listen, he’s calling for Elijah.” Someone ran off, soaked a sponge in sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.”

37-39 But Jesus, with a loud cry, gave his last breath. At that moment the Temple curtain ripped right down the middle. When the Roman captain standing guard in front of him saw that he had quit breathing, he said, “This has to be the Son of God!”

Taken to a Tomb

40-41 There were women watching from a distance, among them Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of the younger James and Joses, and Salome. When Jesus was in Galilee, these women followed and served him, and had come up with him to Jerusalem.

42-45 Late in the afternoon, since it was the Day of Preparation (that is, Sabbath eve), Joseph of Arimathea, a highly respected member of the Jewish Council, came. He was one who lived expectantly, on the lookout for the kingdom of God. Working up his courage, he went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate questioned whether he could be dead that soon and called for the captain to verify that he was really dead. Assured by the captain, he gave Joseph the corpse.

46-47 Having already purchased a linen shroud, Joseph took him down, wrapped him in the shroud, placed him in a tomb that had been cut into the rock, and rolled a large stone across the opening. Mary Magdalene and Mary, mother of Joses, watched the burial.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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