2 April 2017 Bible Reading
A key topic in Proverbs is wisdom. Today’s wisdom speaks of the importance of honest, straightforward work as part of the design of our lives.
21 If someone is found slain in the land which Yahweh your God gives you to possess, lying in the field, and it isn’t known who has struck him; 2 then your elders and your judges shall come out, and they shall measure to the cities which are around him who is slain. 3 It shall be that the elders of the city which is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer of the herd, which hasn’t been worked with, and which has not drawn in the yoke. 4 The elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which is neither plowed nor sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley. 5 The priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them Yahweh your God has chosen to minister to him, and to bless in Yahweh’s name; and according to their word shall every controversy and every assault be decided. 6 All the elders of that city, who are nearest to the slain man, shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley. 7 They shall answer and say, “Our hands have not shed this blood, neither have our eyes seen it. 8 Forgive, Yahweh, your people Israel, whom you have redeemed, and don’t allow innocent blood among your people Israel.” The blood shall be forgiven them. 9 So you shall put away the innocent blood from among you, when you shall do that which is right in Yahweh’s eyes.
10 When you go out to battle against your enemies, and Yahweh your God delivers them into your hands, and you carry them away captive, 11 and see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you have a desire to her, and desire to take her as your wife; 12 then you shall bring her home to your house. She shall shave her head and trim her nails. 13 She shall take the clothing of her captivity off of herself, and shall remain in your house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month. After that you shall go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. 14 It shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall let her go where she desires; but you shall not sell her at all for money. You shall not deal with her as a slave, because you have humbled her. 15 If a man has two wives, the one beloved, and the other hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son is hers who was hated; 16 then it shall be, in the day that he causes his sons to inherit that which he has, that he may not give the son of the beloved the rights of the firstborn before the son of the hated, who is the firstborn; 17 but he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the hated, by giving him a double portion of all that he has; for he is the beginning of his strength. The right of the firstborn is his. 18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and though they chasten him, will not listen to them; 19 then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, and to the gate of his place. 20 They shall tell the elders of his city, “This our son is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey our voice. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” 21 All the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones. So you shall remove the evil from among you. All Israel shall hear, and fear.
22 If a man has committed a sin worthy of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree; 23 his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him the same day; for he who is hanged is accursed of God; that you don’t defile your land which Yahweh your God gives you for an inheritance.
22 You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep go astray, and hide yourself from them. You shall surely bring them again to your brother. 2 If your brother isn’t near to you, or if you don’t know him, then you shall bring it home to your house, and it shall be with you until your brother comes looking for it, and you shall restore it to him. 3 So you shall do with his donkey. So you shall do with his garment. So you shall do with every lost thing of your brother’s, which he has lost, and you have found. You may not hide yourself. 4 You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fallen down by the way, and hide yourself from them. You shall surely help him to lift them up again. 5 A woman shall not wear men’s clothing, neither shall a man put on women’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh your God. 6 If you come across a bird’s nest on the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the hen sitting on the young, or on the eggs, you shall not take the hen with the young. 7 You shall surely let the hen go, but the young you may take for yourself; that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days. 8 When you build a new house, then you shall make a railing around your roof, so that you don’t bring blood on your house if anyone falls from there. 9 You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest all the fruit be defiled, the seed which you have sown, and the increase of the vineyard. 10 You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. 11 You shall not wear clothes of wool and linen woven together. 12 You shall make yourselves fringes on the four corners of your cloak with which you cover yourself.
13 If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, hates her, 14 accuses her of shameful things, and gives her a bad name, and says, “I took this woman, and when I came near to her, I didn’t find in her the tokens of virginity”; 15 then the young lady’s father and mother shall take and bring the tokens of the young lady’s virginity to the elders of the city in the gate. 16 The young lady’s father shall tell the elders, “I gave my daughter to this man as his wife, and he hates her. 17 Behold, he has accused her of shameful things, saying, ‘I didn’t find in your daughter the tokens of virginity;’ and yet these are the tokens of my daughter’s virginity.” They shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. 18 The elders of that city shall take the man and chastise him. 19 They shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver, and give them to the father of the young lady, because he has given a bad name to a virgin of Israel. She shall be his wife. He may not put her away all his days.
20 But if this thing is true, that the tokens of virginity were not found in the young lady; 21 then they shall bring out the young lady to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done folly in Israel, to play the prostitute in her father’s house. So you shall remove the evil from among you. 22 If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both die, the man who lay with the woman and the woman. So you shall remove the evil from Israel. 23 If there is a young lady who is a virgin pledged to be married to a husband, and a man finds her in the city, and lies with her; 24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones; the lady, because she didn’t cry, being in the city; and the man, because he has humbled his neighbor’s wife. So you shall remove the evil from among you. 25 But if the man finds the lady who is pledged to be married in the field, and the man forces her, and lies with her; then only the man who lay with her shall die; 26 but to the lady you shall do nothing. There is in the lady no sin worthy of death; for as when a man rises against his neighbor, and kills him, even so is this matter; 27 for he found her in the field, the pledged to be married lady cried, and there was no one to save her. 28 If a man finds a lady who is a virgin, who is not pledged to be married, grabs her, and lies with her, and they are found; 29 then the man who lay with her shall give to the lady’s father fifty shekels of silver. She shall be his wife, because he has humbled her. He may not put her away all his days. 30 A man shall not take his father’s wife, and shall not uncover his father’s skirt.
51 It came to pass, when the days were near that he should be taken up, he intently set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52 and sent messengers before his face. They went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, so as to prepare for him. 53 They didn’t receive him, because he was traveling with his face set towards Jerusalem. 54 When his disciples, James and John, saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from the sky, and destroy them, just as Elijah did?”
55 But he turned and rebuked them, “You don’t know of what kind of spirit you are. 56 For the Son of Man didn’t come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”
They went to another village. 57 As they went on the way, a certain man said to him, “I want to follow you wherever you go, Lord.”
58 Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
59 He said to another, “Follow me!”
But he said, “Lord, allow me first to go and bury my father.”
60 But Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead, but you go and announce God’s Kingdom.”
61 Another also said, “I want to follow you, Lord, but first allow me to say good-bye to those who are at my house.”
62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for God’s Kingdom.”
10 Now after these things, the Lord also appointed seventy others, and sent them two by two ahead of him into every city and place, where he was about to come. 2 Then he said to them, “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest, that he may send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go your ways. Behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. 4 Carry no purse, nor wallet, nor sandals. Greet no one on the way. 5 Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house.’ 6 If a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in that same house, eating and drinking the things they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Don’t go from house to house. 8 Into whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat the things that are set before you. 9 Heal the sick who are therein, and tell them, ‘God’s Kingdom has come near to you.’ 10 But into whatever city you enter, and they don’t receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust from your city that clings to us, we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that God’s Kingdom has come near to you.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city.
A contemplation by Asaph.
74 God, why have you rejected us forever?
Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember your congregation, which you purchased of old,
which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your inheritance;
Mount Zion, in which you have lived.
3 Lift up your feet to the perpetual ruins,
all the evil that the enemy has done in the sanctuary.
4 Your adversaries have roared in the middle of your assembly.
They have set up their standards as signs.
5 They behaved like men wielding axes,
cutting through a thicket of trees.
6 Now they break all its carved work down with hatchet and hammers.
7 They have burned your sanctuary to the ground.
They have profaned the dwelling place of your Name.
8 They said in their heart, “We will crush them completely.”
They have burned up all the places in the land where God was worshiped.
9 We see no miraculous signs.
There is no longer any prophet,
neither is there among us anyone who knows how long.
10 How long, God, shall the adversary reproach?
Shall the enemy blaspheme your name forever?
11 Why do you draw back your hand, even your right hand?
Take it out of your pocket and consume them!
12 Yet God is my King of old,
working salvation throughout the earth.
13 You divided the sea by your strength.
You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters.
14 You broke the heads of Leviathan in pieces.
You gave him as food to people and desert creatures.
15 You opened up spring and stream.
You dried up mighty rivers.
16 The day is yours, the night is also yours.
You have prepared the light and the sun.
17 You have set all the boundaries of the earth.
You have made summer and winter.
18 Remember this, that the enemy has mocked you, Yahweh.
Foolish people have blasphemed your name.
19 Don’t deliver the soul of your dove to wild beasts.
Don’t forget the life of your poor forever.
20 Honor your covenant,
for haunts of violence fill the dark places of the earth.
21 Don’t let the oppressed return ashamed.
Let the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Arise, God! Plead your own cause.
Remember how the foolish man mocks you all day.
23 Don’t forget the voice of your adversaries.
The tumult of those who rise up against you ascends continually.
11 He who tills his land shall have plenty of bread,
but he who chases fantasies is void of understanding.