14 March 2017 Bible Reading
It took 20 months to go from Kadesh to the Jordan River across from Jericho. Israel was smitten with delays: Edom refused direct passage; Moab hired Balaam to curse Israel resulting in the Sin of Peor and ensuing plague; Sihon King of the Amorites refused direct passage and fought Israel; Og King of Bashan fought Israel; and in vengeance Israel destroyed the Midianites.
21 The Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the South, heard that Israel came by the way of Atharim. He fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. 2 Israel vowed a vow to Yahweh, and said, “If you will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.” 3 Yahweh listened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. The name of the place was called Hormah.
4 They traveled from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom The soul of the people was very discouraged because of the journey. 5 The people spoke against God, and against Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, and there is no water; and our soul loathes this light bread.”
6 Yahweh sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people. Many people of Israel died. 7 The people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against Yahweh, and against you. Pray to Yahweh, that he take away the serpents from us.” Moses prayed for the people.
8 Yahweh said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole. It shall happen, that everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9 Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it on the pole. If a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked at the serpent of brass, he lived.
10 The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in Oboth. 11 They traveled from Oboth, and encamped at Iyeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrise. 12 From there they traveled, and encamped in the valley of Zered. 13 From there they traveled, and encamped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness, that comes out of the border of the Amorites: for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Therefore it is said in the book of the Wars of Yahweh, “Vaheb in Suphah, the valleys of the Arnon, 15 the slope of the valleys that incline toward the dwelling of Ar, leans on the border of Moab.”
16 From there they traveled to Beer; that is the well of which Yahweh said to Moses, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.”
17 Then Israel sang this song:
“Spring up, well! Sing to it,
18 the well, which the princes dug,
which the nobles of the people dug,
with the scepter, and with their poles.”
From the wilderness they traveled to Mattanah; 19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; 20 and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks down on the desert. 21 Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, 22 “Let me pass through your land. We will not turn aside into field, or into vineyard. We will not drink of the water of the wells. We will go by the king’s highway, until we have passed your border.”
23 Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his border, but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness, and came to Jahaz. He fought against Israel. 24 Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, even to the children of Ammon; for the border of the children of Ammon was strong. 25 Israel took all these cities. Israel lived in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its towns. 26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even to the Arnon. 27 Therefore those who speak in proverbs say,
“Come to Heshbon.
Let the city of Sihon be built and established;
28 for a fire has gone out of Heshbon,
a flame from the city of Sihon.
It has devoured Ar of Moab,
The lords of the high places of the Arnon.
29 Woe to you, Moab!
You are undone, people of Chemosh!
He has given his sons as fugitives,
and his daughters into captivity,
to Sihon king of the Amorites.
30 We have shot at them.
Heshbon has perished even to Dibon.
We have laid waste even to Nophah,
Which reaches to Medeba.”
31 Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites. 32 Moses sent to spy out Jazer. They took its towns, and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33 They turned and went up by the way of Bashan. Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.
34 Yahweh said to Moses, “Don’t fear him, for I have delivered him into your hand, with all his people, and his land. You shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.”
35 So they struck him, with his sons and all his people, until there were no survivors; and they possessed his land.
22 The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. 2 Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 Moab was very afraid of the people, because they were many. Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. 4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this multitude will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.”
Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. 5 He sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, “Behold, there is a people who came out of Egypt. Behold, they cover the surface of the earth, and they are staying opposite me. 6 Please come now therefore curse me this people; for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall prevail, that we may strike them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”
7 The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand. They came to Balaam, and spoke to him the words of Balak.
8 He said to them, “Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as Yahweh shall speak to me.” The princes of Moab stayed with Balaam.
9 God came to Balaam, and said, “Who are these men with you?”
10 Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has said to me, 11 ‘Behold, the people that has come out of Egypt covers the surface of the earth. Now, come curse me them. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.’”
12 God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people; for they are blessed.”
13 Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your land; for Yahweh refuses to permit me to go with you.”
14 The princes of Moab rose up, and they went to Balak, and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”
15 Balak again sent princes, more, and more honorable than they. 16 They came to Balaam, and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor, ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me, 17 for I will promote you to very great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Please come therefore, and curse this people for me.’”
18 Balaam answered the servants of Balak, “If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can’t go beyond the word of Yahweh my God, to do less or more. 19 Now therefore, please wait also here this night, that I may know what Yahweh will speak to me more.”
20 God came to Balaam at night, and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak to you, that you shall do.”
26 Now in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man whose name was Joseph, of David’s house. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 Having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, you highly favored one! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women!”
29 But when she saw him, she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered what kind of salutation this might be. 30 The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Behold, you will conceive in your womb, and give birth to a son, and will call his name ‘Jesus.’ 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever. There will be no end to his Kingdom.”
34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, seeing I am a virgin?”
35 The angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore also the holy one who is born from you will be called the Son of God. 36 Behold, Elizabeth, your relative, also has conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. 37 For nothing spoken by God is impossible.”
38 Mary said, “Behold, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.”
The angel departed from her. 39 Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Judah, 40 and entered into the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 She called out with a loud voice, and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 Why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came into my ears, the baby leaped in my womb for joy! 45 Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of the things which have been spoken to her from the Lord!”
46 Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord.
47 My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked at the humble state of his servant.
For behold, from now on, all generations will call me blessed.
49 For he who is mighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name.
50 His mercy is for generations of generations on those who fear him.
51 He has shown strength with his arm.
He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He has put down princes from their thrones.
And has exalted the lowly.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things.
He has sent the rich away empty.
54 He has given help to Israel, his servant, that he might remember mercy,
55 As he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and his offspring forever.”
56 Mary stayed with her about three months, and then returned to her house.
For the Chief Musician. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” A poem by David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave.
57 Be merciful to me, God, be merciful to me,
for my soul takes refuge in you.
Yes, in the shadow of your wings, I will take refuge,
until disaster has passed.
2 I cry out to God Most High,
to God who accomplishes my requests for me.
3 He will send from heaven, and save me,
he rebukes the one who is pursuing me.
God will send out his loving kindness and his truth.
4 My soul is among lions.
I lie among those who are set on fire,
even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
and their tongue a sharp sword.
5 Be exalted, God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be above all the earth!
6 They have prepared a net for my steps.
My soul is bowed down.
They dig a pit before me.
They fall into the middle of it themselves.
7 My heart is steadfast, God, my heart is steadfast.
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises.
8 Wake up, my glory! Wake up, lute and harp!
I will wake up the dawn.
9 I will give thanks to you, Lord, among the peoples.
I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10 For your great loving kindness reaches to the heavens,
and your truth to the skies.
11 Be exalted, God, above the heavens.
Let your glory be over all the earth.
9 With his mouth the godless man destroys his neighbor,
but the righteous will be delivered through knowledge.
10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices.
When the wicked perish, there is shouting.
11 By the blessing of the upright, the city is exalted,
but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.