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Leviticus 20:22-22:16

22 “If you carefully obey all my laws and my rules, the land I am bringing you to live in will not vomit you out. 23 Never follow the practices of the people I am forcing out of your way. I cannot stand them because they did all these things. 24 I have told you that you will take their land. I will give it to you as your own. It is a land flowing with milk and honey. I am the Lord your God who separated you from other people. 25 Separate clean and unclean[a] animals and birds. Never become disgusting by eating any animal or bird or anything that crawls on the ground. I have separated you from every unclean thing. 26 Be my holy people because I, the Lord, am holy. I have separated you from other people to be my very own.

27 “Every man or woman who is a medium or a psychic must be put to death. They must be stoned to death because they deserve to die.”

Holiness for All the Priests

21 The Lord spoke to Moses, “Tell the priests, Aaron’s sons: None of you should become unclean by touching one of your relatives who has died. However, you are allowed to become unclean when one of your nearest relatives dies. These relatives include your mother, father, son, daughter, or brother, and especially an unmarried virgin sister who is still close to you. As the head of your people, you should never become unclean. That would make you unholy.

“You should never mourn by shaving bald spots on your heads, shaving the edges of your beards, or slashing your bodies.

“Be God’s holy men, and don’t dishonor the name of your God. Be holy because you bring sacrifices by fire to the Lord. It is the food of your God. You should never marry prostitutes, those who have lost their virginity, or divorced women because a priest is God’s holy man. Be holy because you offer the food of your God. Be holy because I, the Lord, am holy. I set you apart as holy. When a priest’s daughter dishonors herself by becoming a prostitute, she dishonors her father. She must be burned.

Holiness for the Chief Priest

10 “The priest who is anointed with oil and wears the chief priest’s clothes is chief over his brothers. He must never mourn by leaving his hair uncombed or by tearing his clothes. 11 He must never go near any dead bodies or become unclean, even for his father or mother. 12 He must not leave the holy tent of his God. If he does, he will be dishonoring it, because he is dedicated with the anointing oil of his God. I am the Lord.

13 “The anointed priest must marry a virgin. 14 He must never marry a widow, a divorced woman, a woman who has lost her virginity, or a prostitute. He may only marry a virgin from his own people. 15 He must not dishonor his children among his people because I, the Lord, set him apart as holy.”

16 The Lord spoke to Moses, 17 “Tell Aaron: If any of your descendants (now or in future generations) has a physical defect, he must never bring food to offer to God. 18 Indeed, no one who has a physical defect may ever come near the altar. That means anyone who is blind or lame, who has a disfigured face, a deformity, 19 or a crippled hand or foot, 20 who is a hunchback or dwarf, who has defective sight, skin diseases, or crushed testicles. 21 If a descendant of the priest Aaron has a physical defect, he must never bring sacrifices by fire to the Lord. He has a defect. He must never bring food to offer to God. 22 He may eat the food of his God—what is holy and what is very holy. 23 However, he must never come up to the canopy or to the altar, since he has a physical defect. He must never dishonor the holy places because I, the Lord, set them apart as holy.”

24 So Moses spoke to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.

Eating the Priests’ Share of the Sacrifice

22 The Lord spoke to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons that they must respect the holy offerings which the Israelites set apart for me. In this way they will not dishonor my holy name. I am the Lord.

“Tell them: In future generations if any of your descendants, while unclean, comes near the holy offerings the Israelites set apart for the Lord, that person must be excluded from my presence. I am the Lord.

“No descendant of Aaron who has a skin disease or a discharge may eat any of the holy offerings until he is clean. Any person who has an emission of semen or touches a dead body, an unclean swarming creature or an unclean person will be unclean until evening. He must not eat any of the holy offerings unless he has washed himself. When the sun has set, he will be clean. Then he may eat the holy offerings because they are his food. He must never eat the meat of an animal that dies naturally or is killed by wild animals. It will make him unclean. I am the Lord. The priests must do what I order, or their sin will bring them death because they dishonored a holy offering. I am the Lord, who sets them apart as holy.

10 “Laypeople must never eat any holy offering, even if they are visiting a priest or are working for him. 11 But if a priest buys a slave, the slave and anyone born in his household may eat the priest’s food. 12 However, if a priest’s daughter marries a layman, she must never eat the food taken from the holy contributions. 13 If a priest’s daughter is widowed or divorced, doesn’t have any children, and comes back to live in her father’s home, she may eat her father’s food. But a layperson must never eat it.

14 “Those who eat a holy offering by mistake must give another holy offering to the priest and add one-fifth more to it. 15 Priests must not dishonor the holy offerings that the Israelites contribute to the Lord. 16 They must make those people pay the penalty for their guilt because they have eaten the priests’ holy offerings. I am the Lord, who sets them apart as holy.”

Footnotes:

  1. Leviticus 20:25 “Clean” refers to anything that is presentable to God. “Unclean” refers to anything that is not presentable to God.
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Mark 9:1-29

He said to them, “I can guarantee this truth: Some people who are standing here will not die until they see God’s kingdom arrive with power.”

Moses and Elijah Appear with Jesus

After six days Jesus took only Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone.

Jesus’ appearance changed in front of them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah and Moses appeared to them and were talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good that we’re here. Let’s put up three tents—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (Peter didn’t know how to respond. He and the others were terrified.)

Then a cloud overshadowed them. A voice came out of the cloud and said, “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!”

Suddenly, as they looked around, they saw no one with them but Jesus.

On their way down the mountain, Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what they had seen. They were to wait until the Son of Man had come back to life. 10 They kept in mind what he said but argued among themselves what he meant by “come back to life.” 11 So they asked him, “Don’t the experts in Moses’ Teachings say that Elijah must come first?”

12 Jesus said to them, “Elijah is coming first and will put everything in order again. But in what sense was it written that the Son of Man must suffer a lot and be treated shamefully? 13 Indeed, I can guarantee that Elijah has come. Yet, people treated him as they pleased, as Scripture says about him.”

Jesus Cures a Demon-Possessed Boy

14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them. Some experts in Moses’ Teachings were arguing with them. 15 All the people were very surprised to see Jesus and ran to welcome him.

16 Jesus asked the experts in Moses’ Teachings, “What are you arguing about with them?”

17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son. He is possessed by a spirit that won’t let him talk. 18 Whenever the spirit brings on a seizure, it throws him to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes exhausted. I asked your disciples to force the spirit out, but they didn’t have the power to do it.”

19 Jesus said to them, “You unbelieving generation! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring him to me!”

20 They brought the boy to him. As soon as the spirit saw Jesus, it threw the boy into convulsions. He fell on the ground, rolled around, and foamed at the mouth.

21 Jesus asked his father, “How long has he been like this?”

The father replied, “He has been this way since he was a child. 22 The demon has often thrown him into fire or into water to destroy him. If it’s possible for you, put yourself in our place, and help us!”

23 Jesus said to him, “As far as possibilities go, everything is possible for the person who believes.”

24 The child’s father cried out at once, “I believe! Help my lack of faith.”

25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he gave an order to the evil spirit. He said, “You spirit that won’t let him talk, I command you to come out of him and never enter him again.”

26 The evil spirit screamed, shook the child violently, and came out. The boy looked as if he were dead, and everyone said, “He’s dead!”

27 Jesus took his hand and helped him to stand up.

28 When Jesus went into a house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we force the spirit out of the boy?”

29 He told them, “This kind of spirit can be forced out only by prayer.”[a]

Footnotes:

  1. Mark 9:29 Some manuscripts and translations add “and fasting.”
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Psalm 43

Psalm 43

Judge me, O God,
    and plead my case against an ungodly nation.
Rescue me from deceitful and unjust people.
    You are my fortress, O God!
        Why have you rejected me?
        Why must I walk around in mourning
            while the enemy oppresses me?
Send your light and your truth.
    Let them guide me.
    Let them bring me to your holy mountain
        and to your dwelling place.
    Then let me go to the altar of God, to God my highest joy,
        and I will give thanks to you on the lyre, O God, my God.

        Why are you discouraged, my soul?
        Why are you so restless?
            Put your hope in God,
                because I will still praise him.
                    He is my savior and my God.

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Proverbs 10:18

18 Whoever conceals hatred has lying lips.
Whoever spreads slander is a fool.

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GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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