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Leviticus 24:1-25:46; Mark 10:13-31; Psalms 44:9-26; Proverbs 10:20-21 (Contemporary English Version)

Leviticus 24:1-25:46

Caring for the Lamps

24 The Lord told Moses to say to the community of Israel:

You must supply the purest olive oil for the lamps in the sacred tent, so they will keep burning. 3-4 Aaron will set up the gold lampstand in the holy place of the sacred tent. Then he will light the seven lamps that must be kept burning there in my presence, every night from now on. This law will never change.

The Sacred Bread

The Lord said:

Use your finest flour to bake twelve loaves of bread about four pounds each, then take them into the sacred tent and lay them on the gold table in two rows of six loaves. Alongside each row put some pure incense that will be sent up by fire in place of the bread as an offering to me. Aaron must lay fresh loaves on the table each Sabbath, and priests in all generations must continue this practice as part of Israel’s agreement with me. This bread will always belong to Aaron and his family; it is very holy because it was offered to me, and it must be eaten in a holy place.[a]

Punishment for Cursing the Lord

10-11 Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri from the tribe of Dan, had married an Egyptian, and they had a son. One day their son got into a fight with an Israelite man in camp and cursed the name of the Lord. So the young man was dragged off to Moses, 12 who had him guarded while everyone waited for the Lord to tell them what to do.

13 Finally, the Lord said to Moses:

14 This man has cursed me! Take him outside the camp and have the witnesses lay their hands on his head. Then command the whole community of Israel to stone him to death. 15-16 And warn the others that everyone else who curses me will die in the same way, whether they are Israelites by birth or foreigners living among you.

17 Death is also the penalty for murder, 18 but the killing of an animal that belongs to someone else requires only that the animal be replaced. 19 Personal injuries to others must be dealt with in keeping with the crime— 20 a broken bone for a broken bone, an eye for an eye, or a tooth for a tooth. 21 It’s possible to pay the owner for an animal that has been killed, but death is the penalty for murder. 22 I am the Lord your God, and I demand equal justice both for you Israelites and for those foreigners who live among you.

23 When Moses finished speaking, the people did what the Lord had told Moses, and they stoned to death the man who had cursed the Lord.

The Seventh Year

25 When Moses was on Mount Sinai, the Lord told him to say to the community of Israel:

After you enter the land that I am giving you, it must be allowed to rest one year out of every seven. You may raise grain and grapes for six years, but the seventh year you must let your fields and vineyards rest in honor of me, your Lord. This is to be a time of complete rest for your fields and vineyards, so don’t harvest anything they produce. 6-7 However, you and your slaves and your hired workers, as well as any domestic or wild animals, may eat whatever grows on its own.

The Year of Celebration

The Lord said to his people:

Once every forty-nine years on the tenth day of the seventh month,[b] which is also the Great Day of Forgiveness,[c] trumpets are to be blown everywhere in the land. 10 This fiftieth year[d] is sacred—it is a time of freedom and of celebration when everyone will receive back their original property, and slaves will return home to their families. 11 This is a year of complete celebration, so don’t plant any seed or harvest what your fields or vineyards produce. 12 In this time of sacred celebration you may eat only what grows on its own.

13 During this year, all property must go back to its original owner. 14-15 So when you buy or sell farmland, the price is to be determined by the number of crops it can produce before the next Year of Celebration. Don’t try to cheat. 16 If it is a long time before the next Year of Celebration, the price will be higher, because what is really being sold are the crops that the land can produce. 17 I am the Lord your God, so obey me and don’t cheat anyone.

18-19 If you obey my laws and teachings, you will live safely in the land and enjoy its abundant crops. 20 Don’t ever worry about what you will eat during the seventh year when you are forbidden to plant or harvest. 21 I will see to it that you harvest enough in the sixth year to last for three years. 22 In the eighth year you will live on what you harvested in the sixth year, but in the ninth year you will eat what you plant and harvest in the eighth year.

23 No land may be permanently bought or sold. It all belongs to me—it isn’t your land, and you only live there for a little while.

24 When property is being sold, the original owner must be given the first chance to buy it.

25 If any of you Israelites become so poor that you are forced to sell your property, your closest relative must buy it back, 26 if that relative has the money. Later, if you can afford to buy it, 27 you must pay enough to make up for what the present owner will lose on it before the next Year of Celebration, when the property would become yours again. 28 But if you don’t have the money to pay the present owner a fair price, you will have to wait until the Year of Celebration, when the property will once again become yours.

29 If you sell a house in a walled city, you have only one year in which to buy it back. 30 If you don’t buy it back before that year is up, it becomes the permanent property of the one who bought it, and it will not be returned to you in the Year of Celebration. 31 But a house out in a village may be bought back at any time just like a field. And it must be returned to its original owner in the Year of Celebration. 32 If any Levites own houses inside a walled city, they will always have the right to buy them back. 33 And any houses that they do not buy back will be returned to them in the Year of Celebration, because these homes are their permanent property among the people of Israel. 34 No pastureland owned by the Levi tribe can ever be sold; it is their permanent possession.

Help for the Poor

The Lord said:

35 If any of your people become poor and unable to support themselves, you must help them, just as you are supposed to help foreigners who live among you. 36-37 Don’t take advantage of them by charging any kind of interest or selling them food for profit. Instead, honor me by letting them stay where they now live. 38 Remember—I am the Lord your God! I rescued you from Egypt and gave you the land of Canaan, so that I would be your God.

39 Suppose some of your people become so poor that they have to sell themselves and become your slaves. 40 Then you must treat them as servants, rather than as slaves. And in the Year of Celebration they are to be set free, 41 so they and their children may return home to their families and property. 42 I brought them out of Egypt to be my servants, not to be sold as slaves. 43 So obey me, and don’t be cruel to the poor.

44 If you want slaves, buy them from other nations 45 or from the foreigners who live in your own country, and make them your property. 46 You can own them, and even leave them to your children when you die, but do not make slaves of your own people or be cruel to them.

Footnotes:

  1. 24.9 holy place: The courtyard of the sacred tent (see 6.16,17).
  2. 25.9 seventh month: See the note at 16.29.
  3. 25.9 Great Day of Forgiveness: See the note at 16.34.
  4. 25.10 fiftieth year: The year following seven periods of seven years.
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Mark 10:13-31

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13 Some people brought their children to Jesus so that he could bless them by placing his hands on them. But his disciples told the people to stop bothering him.

14 When Jesus saw this, he became angry and said, “Let the children come to me! Don’t try to stop them. People who are like these little children belong to the kingdom of God.[a] 15 I promise you that you cannot get into God’s kingdom, unless you accept it the way a child does.” 16 Then Jesus took the children in his arms and blessed them by placing his hands on them.

A Rich Man

17 As Jesus was walking down a road, a man ran up to him. He knelt down, and asked, “Good teacher, what can I do to have eternal life?”

18 Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good. 19 You know the commandments. ‘Do not murder. Be faithful in marriage. Do not steal. Do not tell lies about others. Do not cheat. Respect your father and mother.’”

20 The man answered, “Teacher, I have obeyed all these commandments since I was a young man.”

21 Jesus looked closely at the man. He liked him and said, “There’s one thing you still need to do. Go sell everything you own. Give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven. Then come with me.”

22 When the man heard Jesus say this, he went away gloomy and sad because he was very rich.

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “It’s hard for rich people to get into God’s kingdom!” 24 The disciples were shocked to hear this. So Jesus told them again, “It’s terribly hard[b] to get into God’s kingdom! 25 In fact, it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into God’s kingdom.”

26 Jesus' disciples were even more amazed. They asked each other, “How can anyone ever be saved?”

27 Jesus looked at them and said, “There are some things that people cannot do, but God can do anything.”

28 Peter replied, “Remember, we left everything to be your followers!”

29 Jesus told him:

You can be sure that anyone who gives up home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or land for me and for the good news 30 will be rewarded. In this world they will be given a hundred times as many houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and pieces of land, though they will also be mistreated. And in the world to come, they will have eternal life. 31 But many who are now first will be last, and many who are now last will be first.

Footnotes:

  1. 10.14 People who are like these little children belong to the kingdom of God: Or “The kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these little children.”
  2. 10.24 hard: Some manuscripts add “for people who trust in their wealth.” Others add “for the rich.”
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Psalm 44:9-26

But now you have rejected us;
    you don’t lead us into battle,
    and we look foolish.
10 You made us retreat,
    and our enemies have taken
    everything we own.
11 You let us be slaughtered
    like sheep,
    and you scattered us
    among the nations.
12 You sold your people
for little or nothing,
    and you earned no profit.

13 You made us look foolish
    to our neighbors,
    and people who live nearby
    insult us and sneer.
14 Foreigners joke about us
    and shake their heads.
15     I am embarrassed every day,
    and I blush with shame.
16 But others mock and sneer,
    as they watch my enemies
    take revenge on me.

17 All of this has happened to us,
    though we didn’t forget you
    or break our agreement.
18 We always kept you in mind
    and followed your teaching.
19 But you crushed us,
    and you covered us
    with deepest darkness
    where wild animals live.

20 We did not forget you
    or lift our hands in prayer
    to foreign gods.
21 You would have known it
    because you discover
    every secret thought.
22 We face death all day for you.
    We are like sheep on their way
    to be slaughtered.

23 Wake up! Do something, Lord!
    Why are you sleeping?
    Don’t desert us forever.
24 Why do you keep looking away?
    Don’t forget our sufferings
    and all of our troubles.
25 We are flat on the ground,
    holding on to the dust.
26 Do something! Help us!
Show how kind you are
    and come to our rescue.

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Proverbs 10:20-21

20 The words of a good person
    are like pure silver,
    but the thoughts
of an evil person
    are almost worthless.
21 Many are helped
    by useful instruction,
    but fools are killed
    by their own stupidity.

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