Bible 2016: 2 January Daily Bible Reading
Context and Comments:
How long did Adam and Eve live in the Garden before being cast out? The Bible doesn’t explicitly tell us. From the genealogies of Cain, Abel and Seth we can infer that it may have been about 50 years that they lived in the Garden.
Violence in the Middle East is not a new thing. We see in the reading from Matthew, below, even in the days of Christ, innocents were slaughtered at the whim of evil people.
3 Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which Yahweh God had made. He said to the woman, “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden?’”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees of the garden, 3 but not the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, ‘You shall not eat of it. You shall not touch it, lest you die.’”
4 The serpent said to the woman, “You won’t surely die, 5 for God knows that in the day you eat it, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took some of its fruit, and ate; and she gave some to her husband with her, and he ate it, too. 7 Their eyes were opened, and they both knew that they were naked. They sewed fig leaves together, and made coverings for themselves. 8 They heard Yahweh God’s voice walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Yahweh God among the trees of the garden.
9 Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 The man said, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
11 God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Yahweh God said to the woman, “What have you done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 Yahweh God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
you are cursed above all livestock,
and above every animal of the field.
You shall go on your belly
and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.
15 I will put hostility between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring.
He will bruise your head,
and you will bruise his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth.
In pain you will bear children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
17 To Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to your wife’s voice,
and ate from the tree,
about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it,’
the ground is cursed for your sake.
You will eat from it with much labor all the days of your life.
18 It will yield thorns and thistles to you;
and you will eat the herb of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken.
For you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
20 The man called his wife Eve because she would be the mother of all the living. 21 Yahweh God made coats of animal skins for Adam and for his wife, and clothed them.
22 Yahweh God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand, and also take of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever…” 23 Therefore Yahweh God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
4 The man knew Eve his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Cain, and said, “I have gotten a man with Yahweh’s help.” 2 Again she gave birth, to Cain’s brother Abel. Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 As time passed, Cain brought an offering to Yahweh from the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel also brought some of the firstborn of his flock and of its fat. Yahweh respected Abel and his offering, 5 but he didn’t respect Cain and his offering. Cain was very angry, and the expression on his face fell. 6 Yahweh said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why has the expression of your face fallen? 7 If you do well, won’t it be lifted up? If you don’t do well, sin crouches at the door. Its desire is for you, but you are to rule over it.” 8 Cain said to Abel, his brother, “Let’s go into the field.” While they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, and killed him.
9 Yahweh said to Cain, “Where is Abel, your brother?”
He said, “I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
10 Yahweh said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed because of the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 From now on, when you till the ground, it won’t yield its strength to you. You will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth.”
13 Cain said to Yahweh, “My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, you have driven me out today from the surface of the ground. I will be hidden from your face, and I will be a fugitive and a wanderer in the earth. Whoever finds me will kill me.”
15 Yahweh said to him, “Therefore whoever slays Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” Yahweh appointed a sign for Cain, so that anyone finding him would not strike him.
16 Cain left Yahweh’s presence, and lived in the land of Nod, east of Eden. 17 Cain knew his wife. She conceived, and gave birth to Enoch. He built a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch. 18 To Enoch was born Irad. Irad became the father of Mehujael. Mehujael became the father of Methushael. Methushael became the father of Lamech. 19 Lamech took two wives: the name of the first one was Adah, and the name of the second one was Zillah. 20 Adah gave birth to Jabal, who was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. 21 His brother’s name was Jubal, who was the father of all who handle the harp and pipe. 22 Zillah also gave birth to Tubal Cain, the forger of every cutting instrument of brass and iron. Tubal Cain’s sister was Naamah. 23 Lamech said to his wives,
“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice.
You wives of Lamech, listen to my speech,
for I have slain a man for wounding me,
a young man for bruising me.
24 If Cain will be avenged seven times,
truly Lamech seventy-seven times.”
25 Adam knew his wife again. She gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, saying, “for God has given me another child instead of Abel, for Cain killed him.” 26 A son was also born to Seth, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on Yahweh’s name.
13 Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.”
14 He arose and took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”
16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked by the wise men, was exceedingly angry, and sent out, and killed all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding countryside, from two years old and under, according to the exact time which he had learned from the wise men. 17 Then that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying,
18 “A voice was heard in Ramah,
lamentation, weeping and great mourning,
Rachel weeping for her children;
she wouldn’t be comforted,
because they are no more.”
19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, 20 “Arise and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, for those who sought the young child’s life are dead.”
21 He arose and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel. 22 But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea in the place of his father, Herod, he was afraid to go there. Being warned in a dream, he withdrew into the region of Galilee, 23 and came and lived in a city called Nazareth; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”
3 In those days, John the Baptizer came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 2 “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” 3 For this is he who was spoken of by Isaiah the prophet, saying,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness,
make ready the way of the Lord.
Make his paths straight.”
4 Now John himself wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then people from Jerusalem, all of Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him. 6 They were baptized by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins.
2 Why do the nations rage,
and the peoples plot a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take a stand,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against Yahweh, and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let’s break their bonds apart,
and cast their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens will laugh.
The Lord will have them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his anger,
and terrify them in his wrath:
6 “Yet I have set my King on my holy hill of Zion.”
7 I will tell of the decree.
Yahweh said to me, “You are my son.
Today I have become your father.
8 Ask of me, and I will give the nations for your inheritance,
the uttermost parts of the earth for your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron.
You shall dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
10 Now therefore be wise, you kings.
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
11 Serve Yahweh with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Give sincere homage to the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish on the way,
for his wrath will soon be kindled.
Blessed are all those who take refuge in him.
7 The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge;
but the foolish despise wisdom and instruction.
8 My son, listen to your father’s instruction,
and don’t forsake your mother’s teaching:
9 for they will be a garland to grace your head,
and chains around your neck.