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Leviticus 16:29-18:30; Mark 7:24-8:10; Psalms 41:1-13; Proverbs 10:15-16 (Contemporary English Version)

Leviticus 16:29-18:30

The Lord told Moses to say to the people:

29 On the tenth day of the seventh month[a] of each year, you must go without eating to show sorrow for your sins, and no one, including foreigners who live among you, is allowed to work. 30 This is the day on which the sacrifice for the forgiveness of your sins will be made in my presence, 31 and from now on, it must be celebrated each year. Go without eating and make this a day of complete rest just like the Sabbath. 32 The high priest must offer the sacrifices for cleansing from sin, while wearing the sacred linen clothes. 33 He will offer these sacrifices for the most holy place, the sacred tent, the bronze altar, all the priests, and for the whole community. 34 You must celebrate this day each year—it is the Great Day of Forgiveness[b] for all the sins of the people of Israel.

Moses did exactly as the Lord had commanded.

Where To Offer Sacrifices

17 The Lord told Moses to tell Aaron, his sons, and everyone else in Israel:

3-4 Whenever you kill any of your cattle, sheep, or goats as sacrifices to me, you must do it at the entrance to the sacred tent. If you don’t, you will be guilty of pouring out blood, and you will no longer belong to the community of Israel. And so, when you sacrifice an animal to ask my blessing,[c] it must not be done out in a field, but in front of the sacred tent. Then a priest can splatter its blood against the bronze altar and send its fat up in smoke with a smell that pleases me. Don’t ever turn from me again and offer sacrifices to goat-demons. This law will never change.

Remember! No one in Israel, including foreigners, is to offer a sacrifice anywhere except at the entrance to the sacred tent. If you do, you will no longer belong to my people.

Do Not Eat Blood

The Lord said:

10 I will turn against any of my people who eat blood. This also includes any foreigners living among you. 11 Life is in the blood, and I have given you the blood of animals to sacrifice in place of your own. 12 That’s also why I have forbidden you to eat blood. 13 Even if you should hunt and kill a bird or an animal, you must drain out the blood and cover it with soil.

14 The life of every living creature is in its blood. That’s why I have forbidden you to eat blood and why I have warned you that anyone who does will no longer belong to my people.

15 If you happen to find a dead animal and eat it, you must take a bath and wash your clothes, but you are still unclean until evening. 16 If you don’t take a bath, you will suffer for what you did wrong.

Forbidden Sex

18 The Lord told Moses to tell the people of Israel:

I am the Lord your God! So don’t follow the customs of Egypt where you used to live or those of Canaan where I am bringing you. I am the Lord your God, and you must obey my teachings. Obey them and you will live. I am the Lord.

Don’t have sex with any of your close relatives, especially your own mother. This would disgrace your father. And don’t disgrace him by having sex with any of his other wives. Don’t have sex with your sister or stepsister, whether you grew up together or not. 10 Don’t disgrace yourself by having sex with your granddaughter 11 or half sister 12-13 or a sister of your father or mother. 14 Don’t disgrace your uncle by having sex with his wife. 15 Don’t have sex with your daughter-in-law 16 or sister-in-law. 17 And don’t have sex with the daughter or granddaughter of any woman that you have earlier had sex with. You may be having sex with a relative, and that would make you unclean. 18 As long as your wife is alive, don’t cause trouble for her by taking one of her sisters as a second wife.

19 When a woman is having her monthly period, she is unclean, so don’t have sex with her.

20 Don’t have sex with another man’s wife—that would make you unclean.

21 Don’t sacrifice your children on the altar fires to the god Molech. I am the Lord your God, and that would disgrace me.

22 It is disgusting for a man to have sex with another man.

23 Anyone who has sex with an animal is unclean.

24 Don’t make yourselves unclean by any of these disgusting practices of those nations that I am forcing out of the land for you. They made themselves 25 and the land so unclean, that I punished the land because of their sins, and I made it vomit them up. 26-27 Now don’t do these sickening things that make the land filthy. Instead, obey my laws and teachings. 28 Then the land won’t become sick of you and vomit you up, just as it did them. 29-30 If any of you do these vulgar, disgusting things, you will be unclean and no longer belong to my people. I am the Lord your God, and I forbid you to follow their sickening way of life.

Footnotes:

  1. 16.29 seventh month: Tishri (also called Ethanim), the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-September to mid-October.
  2. 16.34 Great Day of Forgiveness: Traditionally known as the Day of Atonement.
  3. 17.5; 19.5 sacrifice. . . to ask my blessing: See the note at 3.1.
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Mark 7:24-8:10

A Woman’s Faith

24 Jesus left and went to the region near the city of Tyre, where he stayed in someone’s home. He did not want people to know he was there, but they found out anyway. 25 A woman whose daughter had an evil spirit in her heard where Jesus was. And right away she came and knelt down at his feet. 26 The woman was Greek and had been born in the part of Syria known as Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to force the demon out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said, “The children must first be fed! It isn’t right to take away their food and feed it to dogs.”[a]

28 The woman replied, “Lord, even dogs eat the crumbs that children drop from the table.”

29 Jesus answered, “That’s true! You may go now. The demon has left your daughter.” 30 When the woman got back home, she found her child lying on the bed. The demon had gone.

Jesus Heals a Man Who Was Deaf and Could Hardly Talk

31 Jesus left the region around Tyre and went by way of Sidon toward Lake Galilee. He went through the land near the ten cities known as Decapolis.[b] 32 Some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk. They begged Jesus just to touch him.

33 After Jesus had taken him aside from the crowd, he stuck his fingers in the man’s ears. Then he spit and put it on the man’s tongue. 34 Jesus looked up toward heaven, and with a groan he said, “Effatha!”[c] which means “Open up!” 35 At once the man could hear, and he had no more trouble talking clearly.

36 Jesus told the people not to say anything about what he had done. But the more he told them, the more they talked about it. 37 They were completely amazed and said, “Everything he does is good! He even heals people who cannot hear or talk.”

Jesus Feeds Four Thousand

One day another large crowd gathered around Jesus. They had not brought along anything to eat. So Jesus called his disciples together and said, “I feel sorry for these people. They have been with me for three days, and they don’t have anything to eat. Some of them live a long way from here. If I send them away hungry, they might faint on their way home.”

The disciples said, “This place is like a desert. Where can we find enough food to feed such a crowd?”

Jesus asked them how much food they had. They replied, “Seven small loaves of bread.”[d]

After Jesus told the crowd to sit down, he took the seven loaves and blessed them. He then broke the loaves and handed them to his disciples, who passed them out to the crowd. They also had a few little fish, and after Jesus had blessed these, he told the disciples to pass them around.

8-9 The crowd of about four thousand people ate all they wanted, and the leftovers filled seven large baskets.

As soon as Jesus had sent the people away, 10 he got into the boat with the disciples and crossed to the territory near Dalmanutha.[e]

Footnotes:

  1. 7.27 feed it to dogs: The Jewish people often referred to Gentiles as dogs.
  2. 7.31 the ten cities known as Decapolis: See the note at 5.20.
  3. 7.34 Effatha: This word is in Aramaic, a language spoken in Palestine during the time of Jesus.
  4. 8.5 small loaves of bread: See the note at 6.38.
  5. 8.10 Dalmanutha: The place is unknown.
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Psalm 41

(A psalm by David for the music leader.)

A Prayer in Time of Sickness

41 You, Lord God, bless everyone
    who cares for the poor,
    and you rescue those people
    in times of trouble.
You protect them
    and keep them alive.
You make them happy here
    in this land,
    and you don’t hand them over
    to their enemies.
You always heal them
and restore their strength
    when they are sick.
I prayed, “Have pity, Lord!
Heal me,
    though I have sinned
    against you.”

My vicious enemies ask me,
    “When will you die
    and be forgotten?”
When visitors come,
all they ever bring
    are worthless words,
    and when they leave,
    they spread gossip.

My enemies whisper about me.
    They think the worst,
    and they say,
“You have some fatal disease!
    You’ll never get well.”
My most trusted friend
has turned against me,
    though he ate at my table.

10 Have pity, Lord! Heal me,
    so I can pay them back.
11 Then my enemies
    won’t defeat me,
    and I will know
    that you really care.
12 You have helped me
    because I am innocent,
    and you will always
    be close to my side.

13 You, the Lord God of Israel,
will be praised forever!
    Amen and amen.

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Proverbs 10:15-16

15 Great wealth can be a fortress,
    but poverty
    is no protection at all.
16 If you live right,
    the reward is a good life;
    if you are evil,
    all you have is sin.

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