A A A A A
Bible Book List
Prev Day Next Day

This plan was paused on

Unpause and Continue Reading Subscribe
Deuteronomy 18-20

Special Privileges for Priests and Levites

Moses said to Israel:

18 The people of the Levi tribe, including the priests, will not receive any land. Instead, they will receive part of the sacrifices that are offered to the Lord, because he has promised to provide for them in this way.

When you sacrifice a bull or sheep, the priests will be given the shoulder, the jaws, and the stomach.[a] In addition, they will receive the first part of your grain harvest and part of your first batches of wine and olive oil.[b] You must also give them the first wool that is cut from your sheep each year. Give these gifts to the priests, because the Lord has chosen them and their descendants out of all the tribes of Israel to be his special servants at the place of worship.

Any Levite can leave his hometown, and go to the place where the Lord chooses to be worshiped, and then be a special servant of the Lord[c] there, just like all the other Levites. Some Levites may have money from selling family possessions, and others may not. But all Levites serving at the place of worship will receive the same amount of food from the sacrifices and gifts brought by the people.

Don’t Do Disgusting Things

Moses said to Israel:

Soon you will go into the land that the Lord your God is giving you. The nations that live there do things that are disgusting to the Lord, and you must not follow their example. 10-11 Don’t sacrifice your son or daughter. And don’t try to use any kind of magic or witchcraft to tell fortunes[d] or to cast spells or to talk with spirits of the dead.

12 The Lord is disgusted with anyone who does these things, and that’s why he will help you destroy the nations that are in the land. 13 Never be guilty of doing any of these disgusting things!

A Prophet like Moses

Moses said to Israel:

14 You will go in and take the land from nations that practice magic and witchcraft. But the Lord your God won’t allow you to do those things. 15 Instead, he will choose one of your own people to be a prophet just like me, and you must do what that prophet says. 16 You were asking for a prophet the day you were gathered at Mount Sinai[e] and said to the Lord, “Please don’t let us hear your voice or see this terrible fire again—if we do, we will die!”

17 Then the Lord told me:

Moses, they have said the right thing. 18 So when I want to speak to them, I will choose one of them to be a prophet like you. I will give my message to that prophet, who will tell the people exactly what I have said. 19 Since the message comes from me, anyone who doesn’t obey the message will have to answer to me.

20 But if I haven’t spoken, and a prophet claims to have a message from me, you must kill that prophet, and you must also kill any prophet who claims to have a message from another god.

Moses said to Israel:

21 You may be asking yourselves, “How can we tell if a prophet’s message really comes from the Lord?” 22 You will know, because if the Lord says something will happen, it will happen. And if it doesn’t, you will know that the prophet was falsely claiming to speak for the Lord. Don’t be afraid of any prophet whose message doesn’t come from the Lord.

Safe Towns

Moses said to Israel:

19 Soon you will go into the land and attack the nations. The Lord your God will destroy them and give you their lands, towns, and homes. Then after you are settled, 2-4 you must choose three of your towns to be Safe Towns. Divide the land into three regions with one Safe Town near the middle of each, so that a Safe Town can be easily reached from anywhere in your land.

Then, if one of you accidentally kills someone, you can run to a Safe Town and find protection from being put to death. But you must not have been angry with the person you killed.

For example, suppose you and a friend go into the forest to cut wood. You are chopping down a tree with an ax, when the ax head slips off the handle, hits your friend, and kills him. You can run to one of the Safe Towns and save your life. You don’t deserve to die, since you did not mean to harm your friend. But he did get killed, and his relatives might be very angry. They might even choose one of the men from their family to track you down and kill you. If it is too far to one of the Safe Towns, the victim’s relative might be able to catch you and kill you. That’s why I said there must be three Safe Towns.

8-9 Israel, the Lord your God has promised that if you obey his laws and teachings I’m giving you, and if you always love him, then he will give you the land he promised your ancestors. When that happens, you must name three more Safe Towns in the new territory. 10 You will need them, so innocent people won’t be killed on your land while they are trying to reach a Safe Town that is too far away. You will be guilty of murder, if innocent people lose their lives because you didn’t name enough Safe Towns in the land the Lord your God will give you.

11 But what if you really do commit murder? Suppose one of you hates a neighbor. So you wait in a deserted place, kill the neighbor, and run to a Safe Town. 12 If that happens, the leaders of your town must send messengers to bring you back from the Safe Town. They will hand you over to one of the victim’s relatives, who will put you to death.

13 Israel, for the good of the whole country, you must kill anyone who murders an innocent person. Never show mercy to a murderer!

Property Lines

Moses said to Israel:

14 In the land the Lord is giving you, there are already stones set up to mark the property lines between fields. So don’t move those stones.

Witnesses Must Tell the Truth

Moses said to Israel:

15 Before you are convicted of a crime, at least two witnesses must be able to testify that you did it.

16 If you accuse someone of a crime, but seem to be lying, 17-18 then both you and the accused must be taken to the court at the place where the Lord is worshiped. There the priests and judges will find out if you are lying or telling the truth.

If you are lying and the accused is innocent, 19-21 then you will be punished without mercy. You will receive the same punishment the accused would have received if found guilty, whether it means losing an eye, a tooth, a hand, a foot, or even your life.

Israel, the crime of telling lies in court must be punished. And when people hear what happens to witnesses that lie, everyone else who testifies in court will tell the truth.

Laws for Going to War

Moses said to Israel:

20 If you have to go to war, you may find yourselves facing an enemy army that is bigger than yours and that has horses and chariots. But don’t be afraid! The Lord your God rescued you from Egypt, and he will help you fight. Before you march into battle, a priest will go to the front of the army and say, “Soldiers of Israel, listen to me! Today when you go into battle, don’t be afraid of the enemy, and when you see them, don’t panic. The Lord your God will fight alongside you and help you win the battle.”

Then the tribal officials will say to the troops:

If any of you have built a new house, but haven’t yet moved in, you may go home. It isn’t right for you to die in battle and for somebody else to live in your new house.

If any of you have planted a vineyard but haven’t had your first grape harvest, you may go home. It isn’t right for you to die in battle and for somebody else to enjoy your grapes.

If any of you are engaged to be married, you may go back home and get married. It isn’t right for you to die in battle and for somebody else to marry the woman you are engaged to.

Finally, if any of you are afraid, you may go home. We don’t want you to discourage the other soldiers.

When the officials are finished giving these orders, they will appoint officers to be in command of the army.

10-15 Before you attack a town that is far from your land, offer peace to the people who live there. If they surrender and open their town gates, they will become your slaves. But if they reject your offer of peace and try to fight, surround their town and attack. Then, after the Lord helps you capture it, kill all the men. Take the women and children as slaves and keep the livestock and everything else of value.

16 Whenever you capture towns in the land the Lord your God is giving you, be sure to kill all the people and animals. 17 He has commanded you to completely wipe out the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 18 If you allow them to live, they will persuade you to worship their disgusting gods, and you will be unfaithful to the Lord.

19 When you are attacking a town, don’t chop down its fruit trees, not even if you have had the town surrounded for a long time. Fruit trees aren’t your enemies, and they produce food that you can eat, so don’t cut them down. 20 You may need wood to make ladders and towers to help you get over the walls and capture the town. But use only trees that you know are not fruit trees.

Footnotes:

  1. 18.3 stomach: Certain portions of the stomach were considered a delicacy.
  2. 18.4 grain. . . olive oil: An Israelite was supposed to offer the first part of the harvest as a gift to the Lord (see Leviticus 23.10,11).
  3. 18.7 a special servant of the Lord: Or “one of the Lord’s priests.”
  4. 18.10,11 tell fortunes: Fortunetellers thought they could learn secrets or learn about the future by watching the flight of birds or looking at the livers of animals or in many other ways.
  5. 18.16 Mount Sinai: See the note at 1.1-5.
Read More
Luke 9:28-50

The True Glory of Jesus

28 About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James with him and went up on a mountain to pray. 29 While he was praying, his face changed, and his clothes became shining white. 30 Suddenly Moses and Elijah were there speaking with him. 31 They appeared in heavenly glory and talked about all that Jesus' death[a] in Jerusalem would mean.

32 Peter and the other two disciples had been sound asleep. All at once they woke up and saw how glorious Jesus was. They also saw the two men who were with him.

33 Moses and Elijah were about to leave, when Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But Peter did not know what he was talking about.

34 While Peter was still speaking, a shadow from a cloud passed over them, and they were frightened as the cloud covered them. 35 From the cloud a voice spoke, “This is my chosen Son. Listen to what he says!”

36 After the voice had spoken, Peter, John, and James saw only Jesus. For some time they kept quiet and did not say anything about what they had seen.

Jesus Heals a Boy

37 The next day Jesus and his three disciples came down from the mountain and were met by a large crowd. 38 Just then someone in the crowd shouted, “Teacher, please do something for my son! He is my only child! 39 A demon often attacks him and makes him scream. It shakes him until he foams at the mouth, and it won’t leave him until it has completely worn the boy out. 40 I begged your disciples to force out the demon, but they couldn’t do it.”

41 Jesus said to them, “You people are stubborn and don’t have any faith! How much longer must I be with you? Why do I have to put up with you?”

Then Jesus said to the man, “Bring your son to me.” 42 While the boy was being brought, the demon attacked him and made him shake all over. Jesus ordered the demon to stop. Then he healed the boy and gave him back to his father. 43 Everyone was amazed at God’s great power.

Jesus Again Speaks about His Death

While everyone was still amazed at what Jesus was doing, he said to his disciples, 44 “Pay close attention to what I am telling you! The Son of Man will be handed over to his enemies.” 45 But the disciples did not know what he meant. The meaning was hidden from them. They could not understand it, and they were afraid to ask.

Who Is the Greatest?

46 Jesus' disciples were arguing about which one of them was the greatest. 47 Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he had a child stand there beside him. 48 Then he said to his disciples, “When you welcome even a child because of me, you welcome me. And when you welcome me, you welcome the one who sent me. Whichever one of you is the most humble is the greatest.”

For or against Jesus

49 John said, “Master, we saw a man using your name to force demons out of people. But we told him to stop, because he isn’t one of us.”

50 “Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “Anyone who isn’t against you is for you.”

Footnotes:

  1. 9.31 Jesus' death: In Greek this is “his departure,” which probably includes his rising to life and his return to heaven.
Read More
Psalm 73

BOOK III

(Psalms 73-89)

(A psalm by Asaph.)

God Is Good

73 God is truly good to Israel,[a]
    especially to everyone
    with a pure heart.
But I almost stumbled and fell,
    because it made me jealous
to see proud and evil people
    and to watch them prosper.
They never have to suffer,[b]
    they stay healthy,
    and they don’t have troubles
    like everyone else.

Their pride is like a necklace,
and they commit sin
    more often
    than they dress themselves.
Their eyes poke out with fat,
    and their minds are flooded
    with foolish thoughts.
They sneer and say cruel things,
    and because of their pride,
    they make violent threats.
They dare to speak against God
    and to order others around.

10 God will bring his people back,
    and they will drink the water
    he so freely gives.[c]

11 Only evil people would say,
    “God Most High cannot
    know everything!”
12 Yet all goes well for them,
    and they live in peace.
13 What good did it do me
to keep my thoughts pure
    and refuse to do wrong?
14 I am sick all day,
and I am punished
    each morning.
15 If I had said evil things,
    I would not have been loyal
    to your people.

16 It was hard for me
    to understand all this!
17 Then I went to your temple,
    and there I understood
    what will happen
    to my enemies.
18 You will make them stumble,
    never to get up again.
19 They will be terrified,
    suddenly swept away
    and no longer there.
20 They will disappear, Lord,
    despised like a bad dream
    the morning after.

21 Once I was bitter
    and brokenhearted.
22 I was stupid and ignorant,
    and I treated you
    as a wild animal would.
23 But I never really left you,
    and you hold my right hand.
24 Your advice has been my guide,
    and later you will welcome me
    in glory.[d]
25 In heaven I have only you,
    and on this earth
    you are all I want.
26 My body and mind may fail,
    but you are my strength
    and my choice forever.

27 Powerful Lord God,
all who stay far from you
    will be lost,
    and you will destroy those
    who are unfaithful.
28 It is good for me
    to be near you.
I choose you as my protector,
    and I will tell about
    your wonderful deeds.

Footnotes:

  1. 73.1 to Israel: Or “to those who do right.”
  2. 73.4 They. . . suffer: Or “They die a painless death.”
  3. 73.10 gives: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 10.
  4. 73.24 in glory: Or “with honor.”
Read More
Proverbs 12:10

10 Good people are kind
to their animals,
    but a mean person is cruel.

Read More
Subscribe
Mark as complete
Mark as incomplete
Unpause and Continue Reading