Deuteronomy 18–20

Provision for Priests and Levites

18 “The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the LORD’s food offeringsOr the offerings by fire to the Lord‘>1 as theirHebrew his‘>2 inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them. And this shall be the priests’ due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. The firstfruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. For the LORD your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the name of the LORD, him and his sons for all time.

“And if a Levite comes from any of your towns out of all Israel, where he lives—and he may come when he desiresOr lives—if he comes enthusiastically‘>3—to the place that the LORD will choose, and ministers in the name of the LORD his God, like all his fellow Levites who stand to minister there before the LORD, then he may have equal portions to eat, besides what he receives from the sale of his patrimony.The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain’>4

Abominable Practices

“When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering,Hebrew makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire‘>5 anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.

A New Prophet like Moses

“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—just as you desired of the LORD your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ And the LORD said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, orOr and‘>6 who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken?’—when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

Laws Concerning Cities of Refuge

19 “When the LORD your God cuts off the nations whose land the LORD your God is giving you, and you dispossess them and dwell in their cities and in their houses, you shall set apart three cities for yourselves in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess. You shall measure the distancesHebrew road‘>7 and divide into three parts the area of the land that the LORD your God gives you as a possession, so that any manslayer can flee to them.

“This is the provision for the manslayer, who by fleeing there may save his life. If anyone kills his neighbor unintentionally without having hated him in the past—as when someone goes into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and his hand swings the axe to cut down a tree, and the head slips from the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies—he may flee to one of these cities and live, lest the avenger of blood in hot anger pursue the manslayer and overtake him, because the way is long, and strike him fatally, though the man did not deserve to die, since he had not hated his neighbor in the past. Therefore I command you, You shall set apart three cities. And if the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he has sworn to your fathers, and gives you all the land that he promised to give to your fathers—provided you are careful to keep all this commandment, which I command you today, by loving the LORD your God and by walking ever in his ways—then you shall add three other cities to these three, lest innocent blood be shed in your land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance, and so the guilt of bloodshed be upon you.

“But if anyone hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and attacks him and strikes him fatally so that he dies, and he flees into one of these cities, then the elders of his city shall send and take him from there, and hand him over to the avenger of blood, so that he may die. Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall purge the guilt of innocent bloodOr the blood of the innocent‘>8 from Israel, so that it may be well with you.

Property Boundaries

“You shall not move your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set, in the inheritance that you will hold in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.

Laws Concerning Witnesses

“A single witness shall not suffice against a person for any crime or for any wrong in connection with any offense that he has committed. Only on the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses shall a charge be established. If a malicious witness arises to accuse a person of wrongdoing, then both parties to the dispute shall appear before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who are in office in those days. The judges shall inquire diligently, and if the witness is a false witness and has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him as he had meant to do to his brother. So you shall purge the evilOr evil person‘>9 from your midst. And the rest shall hear and fear, and shall never again commit any such evil among you. Your eye shall not pity. It shall be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Laws Concerning Warfare

20 “When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the LORD your God is he who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’ Then the officers shall speak to the people, saying, ‘Is there any man who has built a new house and has not dedicated it? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man dedicate it. And is there any man who has planted a vineyard and has not enjoyed its fruit? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man enjoy its fruit. And is there any man who has betrothed a wife and has not taken her? Let him go back to his house, lest he die in the battle and another man take her.’ And the officers shall speak further to the people, and say, ‘Is there any man who is fearful and fainthearted? Let him go back to his house, lest he make the heart of his fellows melt like his own.’ And when the officers have finished speaking to the people, then commanders shall be appointed at the head of the people.

“When you draw near to a city to fight against it, offer terms of peace to it. And if it responds to you peaceably and it opens to you, then all the people who are found in it shall do forced labor for you and shall serve you. But if it makes no peace with you, but makes war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when the LORD your God gives it into your hand, you shall put all its males to the sword, but the women and the little ones, the livestock, and everything else in the city, all its spoil, you shall take as plunder for yourselves. And you shall enjoy the spoil of your enemies, which the LORD your God has given you. Thus you shall do to all the cities that are very far from you, which are not cities of the nations here. But in the cities of these peoples that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall devote them to complete destruction,That is, set apart (devote) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction)’>10 the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the LORD your God has commanded, that they may not teach you to do according to all their abominable practices that they have done for their gods, and so you sin against the LORD your God.

“When you besiege a city for a long time, making war against it in order to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an axe against them. You may eat from them, but you shall not cut them down. Are the trees in the field human, that they should be besieged by you? Only the trees that you know are not trees for food you may destroy and cut down, that you may build siegeworks against the city that makes war with you, until it falls.

John 1:1–18

The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,Or was not any thing made. That which has been made was life in him‘>1 and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own,Greek to his own things; that is, to his own domain, or to his own people’>2 and his own peoplePeople is implied in Greek’>3 did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only SonOr only One, or unique One‘>4 from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.Or grace in place of grace‘>5For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God,Or the only One, who is God; some manuscripts the only Son‘>6 who is at the Father’s side,Greek in the bosom of the Father‘>7 he has made him known.

Psalm 89:30–52

  If his children forsake my law
    and do not walk according to my rules,Or my just decrees‘>1
  if they violate my statutes
    and do not keep my commandments,
  then I will punish their transgression with the rod
    and their iniquity with stripes,
  but I will not remove from him my steadfast love
    or be false to my faithfulness.
  I will not violate my covenant
    or alter the word that went forth from my lips.
  Once for all I have sworn by my holiness;
    I will not lie to David.
  His offspring shall endure forever,
    his throne as long as the sun before me.
  Like the moon it shall be established forever,
    a faithful witness in the skies.” Selah

  But now you have cast off and rejected;
    you are full of wrath against your anointed.
  You have renounced the covenant with your servant;
    you have defiled his crown in the dust.
  You have breached all his walls;
    you have laid his strongholds in ruins.
  All who pass by plunder him;
    he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
  You have exalted the right hand of his foes;
    you have made all his enemies rejoice.
  You have also turned back the edge of his sword,
    and you have not made him stand in battle.
  You have made his splendor to cease
    and cast his throne to the ground.
  You have cut short the days of his youth;
    you have covered him with shame. Selah

  How long, O LORD? Will you hide yourself forever?
    How long will your wrath burn like fire?
  Remember how short my time is!
    For what vanity you have created all the children of man!
  What man can live and never see death?
    Who can deliver his soul from the power of Sheol? Selah

  Lord, where is your steadfast love of old,
    which by your faithfulness you swore to David?
  Remember, O Lord, how your servants are mocked,
    and how I bear in my heart the insultsHebrew lacks the insults‘>2 of all the many nations,
  with which your enemies mock, O LORD,
    with which they mock the footsteps of your anointed.

  Blessed be the LORD forever!
      Amen and Amen.

Proverbs 13:17–19

  A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
    but a faithful envoy brings healing.
  Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction,
    but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
  A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
    but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.

 

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