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Exodus 23:14-25:40; Matthew 24:29-51; Psalms 30:1-12; Proverbs 7:24-27 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Exodus 23:14-25:40

Laws for Three Festivals

14 “Three times a year you must celebrate a pilgrimage festival in my honor.

15 “Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread: For seven days you must eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Abib, because that was when you left Egypt. No one may come into my presence without an offering.

16 “Celebrate the Festival of the Harvest with the first produce harvested from whatever you plant in your fields.

“Celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the year when you harvest your crops from the fields.

17 “These are the three times each year that all your men must come into the presence of the Master, the Lord.

18 “Never offer the blood of a sacrifice to me at the same time you offer anything containing yeast. The fat sacrificed at my festivals should never be left over in the morning.

19 “You must bring the best of the first produce harvested from your soil to the house of the Lord your God.

“Never cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.

Laws about God’s Messenger, Who Will Bring Israel to the Promised Land

20 “I’m going to send a Messenger in front of you to protect you on your trip and bring you to the place I have prepared. 21 Pay attention to him, and listen to him. Don’t defy him, because he will not forgive your disobedience. He is acting on my authority. 22 But if you will listen to him and do everything I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an opponent to your opponents.

23 “My Messenger will go ahead of you and will bring you to the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites. I will wipe them out. 24 Never worship or serve their gods or follow their practices. Instead, you must destroy their gods and crush their sacred stones. 25 You must serve the Lord your God, and he will bless your food and water. I will take away all sickness from among you. 26 No woman in your land will miscarry or be unable to have children. I will let you live a normal life span.

27 “I will send my terror ahead of you and throw any nation you meet into a panic. I will make all your enemies flee from you. 28 I will spread panic ahead of you to force the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites out of your way. 29 I will not force them out of your way in one year. Otherwise, the land would be deserted, and wild animals would take over. 30 Little by little I will force them out of your way until you have increased enough in number to take possession of the land.

31 “I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Sinai Desert to the Euphrates River. I will put the people living in the land under your control, and you will force them out of your way. 32 Never make a treaty with them and their gods. 33 Never let them live in your land, or they will make you sin against me and trap you into serving their gods.”

The Promise Sealed with Blood

24 The Lord said to Moses, “You and Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 of Israel’s leaders come up the mountain to me and worship at a distance. Moses may come near the Lord, but the others may not. The people must not come along with Moses.”

Moses went and told the people all the Lord’s words and legal decisions. Then all the people answered with one voice, “We will do everything the Lord has told us to do.” So Moses wrote down all the Lord’s words.

Early the next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain and set up 12 sacred stones for the 12 tribes of Israel. Then he sent young Israelite men, and they sacrificed bulls as burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it into bowls, and he threw the other half against the altar. Then he took the Book of the Lord’s Promise[a] and read it while the people listened. They said, “We will obey and do everything the Lord has said.”

Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people and said, “Here is the blood which seals the promise that the Lord has made to you based on everything you have just heard.”

Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 of Israel’s leaders. 10 They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made out of sapphire as clear and blue as the sky itself. 11 God didn’t harm these leaders of the Israelites. So they saw God, and then they ate and drank.

Moses Goes up the Mountain to Receive God’s Words Written on Stone

12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the teachings and the commandments I have written for the people’s instruction.”

13 Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up on the mountain of God. 14 He said to the leaders, “Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are here with you. Take all your disagreements to them.”

15 So Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered it. 16 The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered it, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from inside the cloud. 17 To the Israelites, the glory of the Lord looked like a raging fire on top of the mountain. 18 Moses entered the cloud as he went up the mountain. He stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights.

Gifts for Use in the Tent of Meeting

25 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to choose something to give me as a special contribution. You must accept whatever contribution each person freely gives. This is the kind of contribution you will accept from them: gold, silver, and bronze, violet, purple, and bright red yarn, fine linen, goats’ hair, rams’ skins dyed red, fine leather,[b] acacia wood, olive oil for the lamps, spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet-smelling incense, onyx stones, and other precious stones to be set in the chief priest’s ephod[c] and his breastplate.

“Then have them make a holy place for me, and I will live among them. Make the tent and all its furnishings exactly like the plans I am showing you.

The Ark

10 “Make an ark of acacia wood 45 inches long, 27 inches wide, and 27 inches high. 11 Cover it with pure gold inside and out, and put a gold molding around it. 12 Cast four gold rings for it, and fasten them to its four feet, two rings on each side. 13 Make poles of acacia wood, and cover them with gold. 14 Put the poles through the rings on the sides of the ark in order to carry it. 15 The poles must stay in the rings of the ark. Never remove them. 16 Then you will put into the ark the words of my promise which I will give you.

17 “Make a throne of mercy to cover the ark out of pure gold 45 inches long and 27 inches wide. 18 Make two angels[d] out of hammered gold for the two ends of the throne of mercy, 19 one on each end. Form the angels and the throne of mercy out of one piece of gold. 20 The angels should have their wings spread above the throne of mercy, overshadowing it. They should face each other, looking at the throne of mercy. 21 After you put into the ark the words of my promise which I will give you, place the throne of mercy on top. 22 I will be above the throne of mercy between the angels whenever I meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites.

The Table

23 “Make a table of acacia wood 36 inches long, 18 inches wide, and 27 inches high. 24 Cover it with pure gold, and put a gold molding around it. 25 Make a rim three inches wide around it, and put a gold molding around the rim. 26 Make four gold rings for it, and fasten them to the four corners, where the four legs are. 27 The rings are to be close to the rim. They are to hold the poles for carrying the table. 28 Make the poles out of acacia wood, cover them with gold, and use them to carry the table. 29 Make plates and dishes for the table out of pure gold, as well as pitchers and bowls to be used for pouring wine offerings. 30 Put the bread of the presence on this table so that it will be in front of me all the time.

The Lamp Stand

31 “Make a lamp stand out of pure gold. The lamp stand, its base, and its shaft, as well as the flower cups, buds, and petals must be hammered out of one piece of gold. 32 Six branches are to come out of the sides, three branches on one side and three on the other. 33 Each of the six branches coming out of the lamp stand is to have three flower cups shaped like almond blossoms, with buds and petals. 34 The lamp stand itself is to have four flower cups shaped like almond blossoms, with buds and petals. 35 There should be a bud under each of the three pairs of branches coming out of the lamp stand. 36 The buds and branches should also be hammered out of the same piece of pure gold as the lamp stand.

37 “Make seven lamps, and set them on the lamp stand so that they light up the area in front of it. 38 The tongs and incense burners must be made of pure gold. 39 Use 75 pounds of pure gold to make the lamp stand and all the utensils. 40 Be sure to make them according to the plans you were shown on the mountain.”

Footnotes:

  1. Exodus 24:7 Or “Covenant.”
  2. Exodus 25:5 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
  3. Exodus 25:7 Ephod is a technical term for a part of the priest’s clothes. Its exact usage and shape are unknown.
  4. Exodus 25:18 Or “cherubim.”
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Matthew 24:29-51

29 “Immediately after the misery of those days, the sun will turn dark, the moon will not give light, the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the universe will be shaken.

30 “Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky. All the people on earth will cry in agony when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds in the sky with power and great glory. 31 He will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and from every direction under the sky, they will gather those whom God has chosen.

32 “Learn from the story of the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and it sprouts leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 In the same way, when you see all these things, you know that he is near, at the door.

34 “I can guarantee this truth: This generation will not disappear until all these things take place. 35 The earth and the heavens will disappear, but my words will never disappear.

No One Knows When the Son of Man Will Return

36 “No one knows when that day or hour will come. Even the angels in heaven and the Son don’t know. Only the Father knows.

37 “When the Son of Man comes again, it will be exactly like the days of Noah. 38 In the days before the flood, people were eating, drinking, and getting married until the day that Noah went into the ship. 39 They were not aware of what was happening until the flood came and swept all of them away. That is how it will be when the Son of Man comes again.

40 “At that time two men will be working in the field. One will be taken, and the other one will be left. 41 Two women will be working at a mill. One will be taken, and the other one will be left.

42 “Therefore, be alert, because you don’t know on what day your Lord will return. 43 You realize that if a homeowner had known at what time of the night a thief was coming, he would have stayed awake. He would not have let the thief break into his house. 44 Therefore, you, too, must be ready because the Son of Man will return when you least expect him.

45 “Who, then, is the faithful and wise servant? The master will put that person in charge of giving the other servants their food at the right time. 46 That servant will be blessed if his master finds him doing this job when he comes. 47 I can guarantee this truth: He will put that servant in charge of all his property. 48 On the other hand, that servant, if he is wicked, may think that it will be a long time before his master comes. 49 The servant may begin to beat the other servants and eat and drink with the drunks. 50 His master will return unexpectedly. 51 Then his master will severely punish him and assign him a place with the hypocrites. People will cry and be in extreme pain there.

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Psalm 30

Psalm 30

A psalm by David sung at the dedication of the temple.

I will honor you highly, O Lord,
    because you have pulled me out of the pit
        and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord my God,
    I cried out to you for help,
        and you healed me.
O Lord, you brought me up from the grave.
    You called me back to life
        from among those who had gone into the pit.
Make music to praise the Lord, you faithful people who belong to him.
Remember his holiness by giving thanks.
His anger lasts only a moment.
His favor lasts a lifetime.
    Weeping may last for the night,
        but there is a song of joy in the morning.

When all was well with me, I said,
    “I will never be shaken.”
O Lord, by your favor you have made my mountain stand firm.
When you hid your face, I was terrified.
I will cry out to you, O Lord.
I will plead to the Lord for mercy:
    “How will you profit if my blood is shed,
        if I go into the pit?
    Will the dust of my body give thanks to you?
    Will it tell about your truth?”
10 Hear, O Lord, and have pity on me!
O Lord, be my helper!
11 You have changed my sobbing into dancing.
You have removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy
12     so that my soul[a] may praise you with music and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Psalm 31

For the choir director; a psalm by David.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 30:12 Or “glory.”
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Proverbs 7:24-27

24 Now, sons,
    listen to me.
    Pay attention to the words from my mouth.
25         Do not let your heart be turned to her ways.
        Do not wander onto her paths,
26             because she has brought down many victims,
                and she has killed all too many.
27             Her home is the way to hell
                and leads to the darkest vaults of death.

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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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