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Deuteronomy 16-17

The Passover-Unleavened Bread Festival

16 Observe the month Abib and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in that month he brought you out of Egypt by night. You must sacrifice the Passover animal (from the flock or the herd) to the Lord your God in the place where he chooses to locate his name. You must not eat any yeast with it; for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast, symbolic of affliction, for you came out of Egypt hurriedly. You must do this so you will remember for the rest of your life the day you came out of the land of Egypt. There must not be a scrap of yeast within your land for seven days, nor can any of the meat you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain until the next morning. You may not sacrifice the Passover in just any of your villages that the Lord your God is giving you, but you must sacrifice it in the evening in the place where he chooses to locate his name, at sunset, the time of day you came out of Egypt. You must cook and eat it in the place the Lord your God chooses; you may return the next morning to your tents. You must eat bread made without yeast for six days. The seventh day you are to hold an assembly for the Lord your God; you must not do any work on that day.

The Festival of Weeks

You must count seven weeks; you must begin to count them from the time you begin to harvest the standing grain. 10 Then you are to celebrate the Festival of Weeks before the Lord your God with the voluntary offering that you will bring, in proportion to how he has blessed you. 11 You shall rejoice before him—you, your son, your daughter, your male and female slaves, the Levites in your villages, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows among you—in the place where the Lord chooses to locate his name. 12 Furthermore, remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and so be careful to observe these statutes.

The Festival of Temporary Shelters

13 You must celebrate the Festival of Temporary Shelters for seven days, at the time of the grain and grape harvest. 14 You are to rejoice in your festival, you, your son, your daughter, your male and female slaves, the Levites, the resident foreigners, the orphans, and the widows who are in your villages. 15 You are to celebrate the festival seven days before the Lord your God in the place he chooses, for he will bless you in all your productivity and in whatever you do; so you will indeed rejoice! 16 Three times a year all your males must appear before the Lord your God in the place he chooses for the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Temporary Shelters; and they must not appear before him empty-handed. 17 Every one of you must give as you are able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.

Provision for Justice

18 You must appoint judges and civil servants for each tribe in all your villages that the Lord your God is giving you, and they must judge the people fairly. 19 You must not pervert justice or show favor. Do not take a bribe, for bribes blind the eyes of the wise and distort the words of the righteous. 20 You must pursue justice alone so that you may live and inherit the land the Lord your God is giving you.

Examples of Legal Cases

21 You must not plant any kind of tree as a sacred Asherah pole near the altar of the Lord your God which you build for yourself. 22 You must not erect a sacred pillar, a thing the Lord your God detests. 17 You must not sacrifice to him a bull or sheep that has a blemish or any other defect, because that is considered offensive to the Lord your God. Suppose a man or woman is discovered among you—in one of your villages that the Lord your God is giving you—who sins before the Lord your God and breaks his covenant by serving other gods and worshiping them—the sun, moon, or any other heavenly bodies which I have not permitted you to worship. When it is reported to you and you hear about it, you must investigate carefully. If it is indeed true that such a disgraceful thing is being done in Israel, you must bring to your city gates that man or woman who has done this wicked thing—that very man or woman—and you must stone that person to death. At the testimony of two or three witnesses they must be executed. They cannot be put to death on the testimony of only one witness. The witnesses must be first to begin the execution, and then all the people are to join in afterward. In this way you will purge evil from among you.

Appeal to a Higher Court

If a matter is too difficult for you to judge—bloodshed, legal claim, or assault—matters of controversy in your villages—you must leave there and go up to the place the Lord your God chooses. You will go to the Levitical priests and the judge in office in those days and seek a solution; they will render a verdict. 10 You must then do as they have determined at that place the Lord chooses. Be careful to do just as you are taught. 11 You must do what you are instructed, and the verdict they pronounce to you, without fail. Do not deviate right or left from what they tell you. 12 The person who pays no attention to the priest currently serving the Lord your God there, or to the verdict—that person must die, so that you may purge evil from Israel. 13 Then all the people will hear and be afraid, and not be so presumptuous again.

Provision for Kingship

14 When you come to the land the Lord your God is giving you and take it over and live in it and then say, “I will select a king like all the nations surrounding me,” 15 you must select without fail a king whom the Lord your God chooses. From among your fellow citizens you must appoint a king—you may not designate a foreigner who is not one of your fellow Israelites. 16 Moreover, he must not accumulate horses for himself or allow the people to return to Egypt to do so, for the Lord has said you must never again return that way. 17 Furthermore, he must not marry many wives lest his affections turn aside, and he must not accumulate much silver and gold. 18 When he sits on his royal throne he must make a copy of this law on a scroll given to him by the Levitical priests. 19 It must be with him constantly and he must read it as long as he lives, so that he may learn to revere the Lord his God and observe all the words of this law and these statutes and carry them out. 20 Then he will not exalt himself above his fellow citizens or turn from the commandments to the right or left, and he and his descendants will enjoy many years ruling over his kingdom in Israel.

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Luke 9:7-27

Herod’s Confusion about Jesus

Now Herod the tetrarch heard about everything that was happening, and he was thoroughly perplexed, because some people were saying that John had been raised from the dead, while others were saying that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had risen. Herod said, “I had John beheaded, but who is this about whom I hear such things?” So Herod wanted to learn about Jesus.

The Feeding of the Five Thousand

10 When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then he took them with him and they withdrew privately to a town called Bethsaida. 11 But when the crowds found out, they followed him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and cured those who needed healing. 12 Now the day began to draw to a close, so the twelve came and said to Jesus, “Send the crowd away, so they can go into the surrounding villages and countryside and find lodging and food, because we are in an isolated place.” 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 (Now about five thousand men were there.) Then he said to his disciples, “Have them sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 So they did as Jesus directed, and the people all sat down.

16 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven he gave thanks and broke them. He gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 They all ate and were satisfied, and what was left over was picked up—twelve baskets of broken pieces.

Peter’s Confession

18 Once when Jesus was praying by himself, and his disciples were nearby, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” 19 They answered, “John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others that one of the prophets of long ago has risen.” 20 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 21 But he forcefully commanded them not to tell this to anyone, 22 saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and experts in the law, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”

A Call to Discipleship

23 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27 But I tell you most certainly, there are some standing here who will not experience death before they see the kingdom of God.”

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Psalm 72

Psalm 72

For Solomon.

O God, grant the king the ability to make just decisions!
Grant the king’s son the ability to make fair decisions!
Then he will judge your people fairly,
and your oppressed ones equitably.
The mountains will bring news of peace to the people,
and the hills will announce justice.
He will defend the oppressed among the people;
he will deliver the children of the poor
and crush the oppressor.
People will fear you as long as the sun and moon remain in the sky,
for generation after generation.
He will descend like rain on the mown grass,
like showers that drench the earth.
During his days the godly will flourish;
peace will prevail as long as the moon remains in the sky.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth!
Before him the coastlands will bow down,
and his enemies will lick the dust.
10 The kings of Tarshish and the coastlands will offer gifts;
the kings of Sheba and Seba will bring tribute.
11 All kings will bow down to him;
all nations will serve him.
12 For he will rescue the needy when they cry out for help,
and the oppressed who have no defender.
13 He will take pity on the poor and needy;
the lives of the needy he will save.
14 From harm and violence he will defend them;
he will value their lives.
15 May he live! May they offer him gold from Sheba!
May they continually pray for him!
May they pronounce blessings on him all day long!
16 May there be an abundance of grain in the earth;
on the tops of the mountains may it sway!
May its fruit trees flourish like the forests of Lebanon!
May its crops be as abundant as the grass of the earth!
17 May his fame endure!
May his dynasty last as long as the sun remains in the sky!
May they use his name when they formulate their blessings!
May all nations consider him to be favored by God!
18 The Lord God, the God of Israel, deserves praise!
He alone accomplishes amazing things!
19 His glorious name deserves praise forevermore!
May his majestic splendor fill the whole earth!
We agree! We agree!
20 This collection of the prayers of David son of Jesse ends here.

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Proverbs 12:8-9

A person is praised in accordance with his wisdom,
but the one who has a twisted mind is despised.
Better is a person of humble standing who nevertheless has a servant,
than one who pretends to be somebody important yet has no food.

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New English Translation (NET)

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