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Bible 2016: 25 February Daily Bible Reading

Context and Comment:
As part of the atonement or cleansing process, the Israelites were commanded to deny themselves. One specific way they were to set themselves apart was by resting from all work. It is difficult to appreciate how much planning and commitment this denial of self would take.

Leviticus 16:29-18:30
29 “It shall be a statute to you forever: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and shall do no kind of work, the native-born, or the stranger who lives as a foreigner among you: 30 for on this day shall atonement be made for you, to cleanse you; from all your sins you shall be clean before Yahweh. 31 It is a Sabbath of solemn rest to you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever. 32 The priest, who is anointed and who is consecrated to be priest in his father’s place, shall make the atonement, and shall put on the linen garments, even the holy garments. 33 Then he shall make atonement for the Holy Sanctuary; and he shall make atonement for the Tent of Meeting and for the altar; and he shall make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly.
34 “This shall be an everlasting statute for you, to make atonement for the children of Israel once in the year because of all their sins.”
It was done as Yahweh commanded Moses.
17 Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to Aaron, and to his sons, and to all the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘This is the thing which Yahweh has commanded, 3 Whatever man there is of the house of Israel, who kills a bull, or lamb, or goat, in the camp, or who kills it outside the camp, 4 and hasn’t brought it to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to offer it as an offering to Yahweh before Yahweh’s tabernacle: blood shall be imputed to that man. He has shed blood; and that man shall be cut off from among his people. 5 This is to the end that the children of Israel may bring their sacrifices, which they sacrifice in the open field, that they may bring them to Yahweh, to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to the priest, and sacrifice them for sacrifices of peace offerings to Yahweh. 6 The priest shall sprinkle the blood on the altar of Yahweh at the door of the Tent of Meeting, and burn the fat for a pleasant aroma to Yahweh. 7 They shall no more sacrifice their sacrifices to the goat idols, after which they play the prostitute. This shall be a statute forever to them throughout their generations.’
8 “You shall say to them, ‘Any man there is of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice, 9 and doesn’t bring it to the door of the Tent of Meeting, to sacrifice it to Yahweh; that man shall be cut off from his people.
10 “‘Any man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who eats any kind of blood, I will set my face against that soul who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people. 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life. 12 Therefore I have said to the children of Israel, “No person among you may eat blood, nor may any stranger who lives as a foreigner among you eat blood.”
13 “‘Whatever man there is of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who live as foreigners among them, who takes in hunting any animal or bird that may be eaten; he shall pour out its blood, and cover it with dust. 14 For as to the life of all flesh, its blood is with its life: therefore I said to the children of Israel, “You shall not eat the blood of any kind of flesh; for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.”
15 “‘Every person that eats what dies of itself, or that which is torn by animals, whether he is native-born or a foreigner, he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening: then he shall be clean. 16 But if he doesn’t wash them, or bathe his flesh, then he shall bear his iniquity.’”
18 Yahweh said to Moses, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them, ‘I am Yahweh your God. 3 You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived: and you shall not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. You shall not follow their statutes. 4 You shall do my ordinances, and you shall keep my statutes, and walk in them: I am Yahweh your God. 5 You shall therefore keep my statutes and my ordinances; which if a man does, he shall live in them. I am Yahweh.
6 “‘None of you shall approach anyone who are his close relatives, to uncover their nakedness: I am Yahweh.
7 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father, nor the nakedness of your mother: she is your mother. You shall not uncover her nakedness.
8 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife. It is your father’s nakedness.
9 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your sister, the daughter of your father, or the daughter of your mother, whether born at home, or born abroad.
10 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your son’s daughter, or of your daughter’s daughter, even their nakedness: for theirs is your own nakedness.
11 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s wife’s daughter, conceived by your father, since she is your sister.
12 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s sister: she is your father’s near kinswoman.
13 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your mother’s sister: for she is your mother’s near kinswoman.
14 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your father’s brother, you shall not approach his wife. She is your aunt.
15 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your daughter-in-law: she is your son’s wife. You shall not uncover her nakedness.
16 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of your brother’s wife. It is your brother’s nakedness.
17 “‘You shall not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter. You shall not take her son’s daughter, or her daughter’s daughter, to uncover her nakedness; they are near kinswomen: it is wickedness.
18 “‘You shall not take a wife to her sister, to be a rival, to uncover her nakedness, while her sister is yet alive.
19 “‘You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness, as long as she is impure by her uncleanness.
20 “‘You shall not lie carnally with your neighbor’s wife, and defile yourself with her.
21 “‘You shall not give any of your children to sacrifice to Molech. You shall not profane the name of your God. I am Yahweh.
22 “‘You shall not lie with a man, as with a woman. That is detestable.
23 “‘You shall not lie with any animal to defile yourself with it. No woman may give herself to an animal, to lie down with it: it is a perversion.
24 “‘Don’t defile yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations which I am casting out before you were defiled. 25 The land was defiled: therefore I punished its iniquity, and the land vomited out her inhabitants. 26 You therefore shall keep my statutes and my ordinances, and shall not do any of these abominations; neither the native-born, nor the stranger who lives as a foreigner among you; 27 (for the men of the land that were before you had done all these abominations, and the land became defiled); 28 that the land not vomit you out also, when you defile it, as it vomited out the nation that was before you.
29 “‘For whoever shall do any of these abominations, even the souls that do them shall be cut off from among their people. 30 Therefore you shall keep my requirements, that you do not practice any of these abominable customs, which were practiced before you, and that you do not defile yourselves with them. I am Yahweh your God.’”

Mark 7:24-8:10
24 From there he arose, and went away into the borders of Tyre and Sidon. He entered into a house, and didn’t want anyone to know it, but he couldn’t escape notice. 25 For a woman, whose little daughter had an unclean spirit, having heard of him, came and fell down at his feet. 26 Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by race. She begged him that he would cast the demon out of her daughter. 27 But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not appropriate to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
28 But she answered him, “Yes, Lord. Yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
29 He said to her, “For this saying, go your way. The demon has gone out of your daughter.”
30 She went away to her house, and found the child having been laid on the bed, with the demon gone out.
31 Again he departed from the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and came to the sea of Galilee, through the middle of the region of Decapolis. 32 They brought to him one who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech. They begged him to lay his hand on him. 33 He took him aside from the multitude, privately, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat, and touched his tongue. 34 Looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, “Ephphatha!” that is, “Be opened!” 35 Immediately his ears were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was released, and he spoke clearly. 36 He commanded them that they should tell no one, but the more he commanded them, so much the more widely they proclaimed it. 37 They were astonished beyond measure, saying, “He has done all things well. He makes even the deaf hear, and the mute speak!”
8 In those days, when there was a very great multitude, and they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to himself, and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have stayed with me now three days, and have nothing to eat. 3 If I send them away fasting to their home, they will faint on the way, for some of them have come a long way.”
4 His disciples answered him, “From where could one satisfy these people with bread here in a deserted place?”
5 He asked them, “How many loaves do you have?”
They said, “Seven.”
6 He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves. Having given thanks, he broke them, and gave them to his disciples to serve, and they served the multitude. 7 They had a few small fish. Having blessed them, he said to serve these also. 8 They ate, and were filled. They took up seven baskets of broken pieces that were left over. 9 Those who had eaten were about four thousand. Then he sent them away.
10 Immediately he entered into the boat with his disciples, and came into the region of Dalmanutha.

Psalm 41:1-13
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David.
41 Blessed is he who considers the poor.
Yahweh will deliver him in the day of evil.
2 Yahweh will preserve him, and keep him alive.
He shall be blessed on the earth,
and he will not surrender him to the will of his enemies.
3 Yahweh will sustain him on his sickbed,
and restore him from his bed of illness.
4 I said, “Yahweh, have mercy on me!
Heal me, for I have sinned against you.”
5 My enemies speak evil against me:
“When will he die, and his name perish?”
6 If he comes to see me, he speaks falsehood.
His heart gathers iniquity to itself.
When he goes abroad, he tells it.
7 All who hate me whisper together against me.
They imagine the worst for me.
8 “An evil disease”, they say, “has afflicted him.
Now that he lies he shall rise up no more.”
9 Yes, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted,
who ate bread with me,
has lifted up his heel against me.
10 But you, Yahweh, have mercy on me, and raise me up,
that I may repay them.
11 By this I know that you delight in me,
because my enemy doesn’t triumph over me.
12 As for me, you uphold me in my integrity,
and set me in your presence forever.
13 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel,
from everlasting and to everlasting!
Amen and amen.

Proverbs 10:15-16
15 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city.
The destruction of the poor is their poverty.
16 The labor of the righteous leads to life.
The increase of the wicked leads to sin.

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