24 March 2017 Bible Reading
We encircled Mount Seir many days…. Think about that: in this short phrase, Moses summarizes the nomadic life of the previous 38 years. In that time, they went north a second time to Kadesh. Refused passage through Edom and opposed by the Canaanites and Amalekites, they again had no choice but to cross the Arabah southwards to the Red Sea, turning left and crossing the long mountain chain east of Ezion-geber. They moved along the elevated plains, which are used today by Syrian pilgrims on their way to Mecca.
2 Then we turned, and took our journey into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea, as Yahweh spoke to me; and we encircled Mount Seir many days.
2 Yahweh spoke to me, saying, 3 “You have encircled this mountain long enough. Turn northward. 4 Command the people, saying, ‘You are to pass through the border of your brothers the children of Esau, who dwell in Seir; and they will be afraid of you. Therefore be careful. 5 Don’t contend with them; for I will not give you any of their land, no, not so much as for the sole of the foot to tread on; because I have given Mount Seir to Esau for a possession. 6 You shall purchase food from them for money, that you may eat. You shall also buy water from them for money, that you may drink.’”
7 For Yahweh your God has blessed you in all the work of your hand. He has known your walking through this great wilderness. These forty years, Yahweh your God has been with you. You have lacked nothing.
8 So we passed by from our brothers the children of Esau, who dwell in Seir, from the way of the Arabah from Elath and from Ezion Geber. We turned and passed by the way of the wilderness of Moab.
9 Yahweh said to me, “Don’t bother Moab, neither contend with them in battle; for I will not give you any of his land for a possession; because I have given Ar to the children of Lot for a possession.”
10 (The Emim lived therein before, a people great, and many, and tall, as the Anakim. 11 These also are considered to be Rephaim, as the Anakim; but the Moabites call them Emim. 12 The Horites also lived in Seir before, but the children of Esau succeeded them. They destroyed them from before them, and lived in their place; as Israel did to the land of his possession, which Yahweh gave to them.)
13 “Now rise up, and cross over the brook Zered.” We went over the brook Zered.
14 The days in which we came from Kadesh Barnea, until we had come over the brook Zered, were thirty-eight years; until all the generation of the men of war were consumed from the middle of the camp, as Yahweh swore to them. 15 Moreover Yahweh’s hand was against them, to destroy them from the middle of the camp, until they were consumed. 16 So, when all the men of war were consumed and dead from among the people, 17 Yahweh spoke to me, saying, 18 “You are to pass over Ar, the border of Moab, today. 19 When you come near the border of the children of Ammon, don’t bother them, nor contend with them; for I will not give you any of the land of the children of Ammon for a possession; because I have given it to the children of Lot for a possession.”
20 (That also is considered a land of Rephaim: Rephaim lived there before; but the Ammonites call them Zamzummim, 21 a great people, many, and tall, as the Anakim; but Yahweh destroyed them before them; and they succeeded them, and lived in their place; 22 as he did for the children of Esau, who dwell in Seir, when he destroyed the Horites from before them; and they succeeded them, and lived in their place even to this day: 23 and the Avvim, who lived in villages as far as Gaza, the Caphtorim, who came out of Caphtor, destroyed them, and lived in their place.)
24 “Rise up, take your journey, and pass over the valley of the Arnon: behold, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land; begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle. 25 Today I will begin to put the dread of you and the fear of you on the peoples who are under the whole sky, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble, and be in anguish because of you.”
26 I sent messengers out of the wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon with words of peace, saying, 27 “Let me pass through your land. I will go along by the highway, I will turn neither to the right hand nor to the left. 28 You shall sell me food for money, that I may eat; and give me water for money, that I may drink. Just let me pass through on my feet, 29 as the children of Esau who dwell in Seir, and the Moabites who dwell in Ar, did to me; until I pass over the Jordan into the land which Yahweh our God gives us.” 30 But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass by him; for Yahweh your God hardened his spirit, and made his heart obstinate, that he might deliver him into your hand, as it is today.
31 Yahweh said to me, “Behold, I have begun to deliver up Sihon and his land before you. Begin to possess, that you may inherit his land.” 32 Then Sihon came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Jahaz. 33 Yahweh our God delivered him up before us; and we struck him, his sons, and all his people. 34 We took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed every inhabited city, with the women and the little ones. We left no one remaining. 35 Only the livestock we took for plunder for ourselves, with the plunder of the cities which we had taken. 36 From Aroer, which is on the edge of the valley of the Arnon, and the city that is in the valley, even to Gilead, there was not a city too high for us. Yahweh our God delivered up all before us. 37 Only to the land of the children of Ammon you didn’t come near; all the banks of the river Jabbok, and the cities of the hill country, and wherever Yahweh our God forbade us.
3 Then we turned, and went up the way to Bashan. Og the king of Bashan came out against us, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei. 2 Yahweh said to me, “Don’t fear him; for I have delivered him, with all his people, and his land, into your hand. You shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.”
3 So Yahweh our God delivered into our hand Og also, the king of Bashan, and all his people. We struck him until no one was left to him remaining. 4 We took all his cities at that time. There was not a city which we didn’t take from them; sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5 All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars; besides a great many towns without walls. 6 We utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying every inhabited city, with the women and the little ones. 7 But all the livestock, and the plunder of the cities, we took for plunder for ourselves. 8 We took the land at that time out of the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the valley of the Arnon to Mount Hermon. 9 (The Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir.) 10 We took all the cities of the plain, and all Gilead, and all Bashan, to Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11 (For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron. Isn’t it in Rabbah of the children of Ammon? Nine cubits was its length, and four cubits its width, after the cubit of a man.) 12 This land we took in possession at that time: from Aroer, which is by the valley of the Arnon, and half the hill country of Gilead, and its cities, gave I to the Reubenites and to the Gadites: 13 and the rest of Gilead, and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, gave I to the half-tribe of Manasseh; all the region of Argob, even all Bashan. (The same is called the land of Rephaim. 14 Jair the son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob, to the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and called them, even Bashan, after his own name, Havvoth Jair, to this day.) 15 I gave Gilead to Machir. 16 To the Reubenites and to the Gadites I gave from Gilead even to the valley of the Arnon, the middle of the valley, and its border, even to the river Jabbok, which is the border of the children of Ammon; 17 the Arabah also, and the Jordan and its border, from Chinnereth even to the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, under the slopes of Pisgah eastward.
18 I commanded you at that time, saying, “Yahweh your God has given you this land to possess it. You shall pass over armed before your brothers the children of Israel, all the men of valor. 19 But your wives, and your little ones, and your livestock, (I know that you have much livestock), shall live in your cities which I have given you, 20 until Yahweh gives rest to your brothers, as to you, and they also possess the land which Yahweh your God gives them beyond the Jordan. Then you shall each return to his own possession, which I have given you.”
21 I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, “Your eyes have seen all that Yahweh your God has done to these two kings. So shall Yahweh do to all the kingdoms where you go over. 22 You shall not fear them; for Yahweh your God himself fights for you.”
23 I begged Yahweh at that time, saying, 24 “Lord Yahweh, you have begun to show your servant your greatness, and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or in earth that can do works like yours, and mighty acts like yours? 25 Please let me go over and see the good land that is beyond the Jordan, that fine mountain, and Lebanon.”
26 But Yahweh was angry with me for your sakes, and didn’t listen to me. Yahweh said to me, “Let this satisfy you. Speak no more to me of this matter. 27 Go up to the top of Pisgah, and lift up your eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and see with your eyes; for you shall not go over this Jordan. 28 But commission Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him; for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which you shall see.” 29 So we stayed in the valley near Beth Peor.
12 In these days, he went out to the mountain to pray, and he continued all night in prayer to God. 13 When it was day, he called his disciples, and from them he chose twelve, whom he also named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he also named Peter; Andrew, his brother; James; John; Philip; Bartholomew; 15 Matthew; Thomas; James, the son of Alphaeus; Simon, who was called the Zealot; 16 Judas the son of James; and Judas Iscariot, who also became a traitor. 17 He came down with them, and stood on a level place, with a crowd of his disciples, and a great number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; 18 as well as those who were troubled by unclean spirits, and they were being healed. 19 All the multitude sought to touch him, for power came out of him and healed them all.
20 He lifted up his eyes to his disciples, and said,
“Blessed are you who are poor,
God’s Kingdom is yours.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
for you will be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
22 Blessed are you when men shall hate you, and when they shall exclude and mock you, and throw out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.
23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven, for their fathers did the same thing to the prophets.
24 “But woe to you who are rich!
For you have received your consolation.
25 Woe to you, you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
Woe to you who laugh now,
for you will mourn and weep.
26 Woe, when men speak well of you,
for their fathers did the same thing to the false prophets.
27 “But I tell you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. 29 To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer also the other; and from him who takes away your cloak, don’t withhold your coat also. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and don’t ask him who takes away your goods to give them back again.
31 “As you would like people to do to you, do exactly so to them. 32 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive back as much. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.
36 “Therefore be merciful,
even as your Father is also merciful.
37 Don’t judge,
and you won’t be judged.
and you won’t be condemned.
and you will be set free.
38 “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. For with the same measure you measure it will be measured back to you.”
For the Chief Musician. With stringed instruments. A Psalm. A song.
67 May God be merciful to us, bless us,
and cause his face to shine on us.
2 That your way may be known on earth,
and your salvation among all nations,
3 let the peoples praise you, God.
Let all the peoples praise you.
4 Oh let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you will judge the peoples with equity,
and govern the nations on earth.
5 Let the peoples praise you, God.
Let all the peoples praise you.
6 The earth has yielded its increase.
God, even our own God, will bless us.
7 God will bless us.
All the ends of the earth shall fear him.
27 He who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
but he who searches after evil, it shall come to him.