Bible 2015: 4 February Daily Bible Reading
Context and Comment:
Our Exodus selection introduces the Ten Commandments and laws regarding sacrifices. Our Matthew selection finds Jesus condemning the Pharisees for their practices which make a mockery of all of God’s laws.
16 On the third day, when it was morning, there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud on the mountain, and the sound of an exceedingly loud trumpet; and all the people who were in the camp trembled. 17 Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God; and they stood at the lower part of the mountain. 18 All of Mount Sinai smoked, because Yahweh descended on it in fire; and its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mountain quaked greatly. 19 When the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice. 20 Yahweh came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. Yahweh called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.
21 Yahweh said to Moses, “Go down, warn the people, lest they break through to Yahweh to gaze, and many of them perish. 22 Let the priests also, who come near to Yahweh, sanctify themselves, lest Yahweh break out on them.”
23 Moses said to Yahweh, “The people can’t come up to Mount Sinai, for you warned us, saying, ‘Set bounds around the mountain, and sanctify it.’”
24 Yahweh said to him, “Go down! You shall bring Aaron up with you, but don’t let the priests and the people break through to come up to Yahweh, lest he break out against them.”
25 So Moses went down to the people, and told them.
20 God spoke all these words, saying, 2 “I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 You shall labor six days, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates; 11 for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
18 All the people perceived the thunderings, the lightnings, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled, and stayed at a distance. 19 They said to Moses, “Speak with us yourself, and we will listen; but don’t let God speak with us, lest we die.”
20 Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid, for God has come to test you, and that his fear may be before you, that you won’t sin.” 21 The people stayed at a distance, and Moses came near to the thick darkness where God was.
22 Yahweh said to Moses, “This is what you shall tell the children of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. 23 You shall most certainly not make alongside of me gods of silver, or gods of gold for yourselves. 24 You shall make an altar of earth for me, and shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I record my name I will come to you and I will bless you. 25 If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of cut stones; for if you lift up your tool on it, you have polluted it. 26 You shall not go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed to it.’
21 “Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them.
2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years and in the seventh he shall go out free without paying anything. 3 If he comes in by himself, he shall go out by himself. If he is married, then his wife shall go out with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself. 5 But if the servant shall plainly say, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I will not go out free;’ 6 then his master shall bring him to God, and shall bring him to the door or to the doorpost, and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall serve him for ever.
7 “If a man sells his daughter to be a female servant, she shall not go out as the male servants do. 8 If she doesn’t please her master, who has married her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has dealt deceitfully with her. 9 If he marries her to his son, he shall deal with her as a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marital rights. 11 If he doesn’t do these three things for her, she may go free without paying any money.
12 “One who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death, 13 but not if it is unintentional, but God allows it to happen: then I will appoint you a place where he shall flee. 14 If a man schemes and comes presumptuously on his neighbor to kill him, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die.
15 “Anyone who attacks his father or his mother shall be surely put to death.
16 “Anyone who kidnaps someone and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.
17 “Anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.
18 “If men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone, or with his fist, and he doesn’t die, but is confined to bed; 19 if he rises again and walks around with his staff, then he who struck him shall be cleared: only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall provide for his healing until he is thoroughly healed.
20 “If a man strikes his servant or his maid with a rod, and he dies under his hand, he shall surely be punished. 21 Notwithstanding, if he gets up after a day or two, he shall not be punished, for he is his property.
13 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and as a pretense you make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
14 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you shut up the Kingdom of Heaven against men; for you don’t enter in yourselves, neither do you allow those who are entering in to enter. 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel around by sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much of a son of Gehenna as yourselves.
16 “Woe to you, you blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obligated?’ 19 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 20 He therefore who swears by the altar, swears by it, and by everything on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it, and by him who was living in it. 22 He who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God, and by him who sits on it.
23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel!
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and unrighteousness. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the platter, that its outside may become clean also.
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitened tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. 28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and decorate the tombs of the righteous, 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we wouldn’t have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Therefore you testify to yourselves that you are children of those who killed the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you offspring of vipers, how will you escape the judgment of Gehenna ? 34 Therefore behold, I send to you prophets, wise men, and scribes. Some of them you will kill and crucify; and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city; 35 that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom you killed between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Most certainly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.
37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often I would have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not! 38 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me from now on, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
28 To you, Yahweh, I call.
My rock, don’t be deaf to me;
lest, if you are silent to me,
I would become like those who go down into the pit.
2 Hear the voice of my petitions, when I cry to you,
when I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.
3 Don’t draw me away with the wicked,
with the workers of iniquity who speak peace with their neighbors,
but mischief is in their hearts.
4 Give them according to their work, and according to the wickedness of their doings.
Give them according to the operation of their hands.
Bring back on them what they deserve.
5 Because they don’t respect the works of Yahweh,
nor the operation of his hands,
he will break them down and not build them up.
6 Blessed be Yahweh,
because he has heard the voice of my petitions.
7 Yahweh is my strength and my shield.
My heart has trusted in him, and I am helped.
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices.
With my song I will thank him.
8 Yahweh is their strength.
He is a stronghold of salvation to his anointed.
9 Save your people,
and bless your inheritance.
Be their shepherd also,
and bear them up forever.
7 My son, keep my words.
Lay up my commandments within you.
2 Keep my commandments and live!
Guard my teaching as the apple of your eye.
3 Bind them on your fingers.
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Tell wisdom, “You are my sister.”
Call understanding your relative,
5 that they may keep you from the strange woman,
from the foreigner who flatters with her words.