March 18

Numbers 5

1And the Lord said to Moses,

2Give orders to the children of Israel to put outside the tent-circle every leper, and anyone who has any sort of flow from his body, and anyone who is unclean from the touch of the dead;

3Male or female they are to be put outside the tent-circle, so that they may not make unclean my resting-place among them.

4So the children of Israel did as the Lord had said to Moses, and put them outside the tent-circle.

5And the Lord said to Moses,

6Say to the children of Israel, If a man or a woman does any of the sins of men, going against the word of the Lord, and is in the wrong;

7Let them say openly what they have done; and make payment for the wrong done, with the addition of a fifth part, and give it to him to whom the wrong was done.

8But if the man has no relation to whom the payment may be made, then the payment for sin made to the Lord will be the priest’s, in addition to the sheep offered to take away his sin.

9And every offering lifted up of all the holy things which the children of Israel give to the priest, will be his.

10And every man’s holy things will be his: whatever a man gives to the priest will be his.

11And the Lord said to Moses,

12Say to the children of Israel, If any man’s wife does wrong, sinning against him

13By taking as her lover another man, and keeps it secret so that her husband has no knowledge of it, and there is no witness against her, and she is not taken in the act;

14If the spirit of doubt comes into her husband’s heart, and he has doubts of his wife, with good cause; or if he has doubts of her without cause:

15Then let him take her to the priest, offering for her the tenth part of an ephah of barley meal, without oil or perfume; for it is a meal offering of a bitter spirit, a meal offering keeping wrongdoing in mind.

16And the priest will make her come near and put her before the Lord;

17And the priest will take holy water in a pot and put in it dust from the floor of the House;

18And he will make the woman come before the Lord with her hair loose, and will put the meal offering, the offering of a bitter spirit, in her hands; and the priest will take in his hand the bitter water causing the curse;

19And he will make her take an oath, and say to her, If no man has been your lover and you have not been with another in place of your husband, you are free from this bitter water causing the curse;

20But if you have been with another in place of your husband and have made yourself unclean with a lover:

21Then the priest will put the oath of the curse on the woman, and say to her, May the Lord make you a curse and an oath among your people, sending on you wasting of the legs and disease of the stomach;

22And this water of the curse will go into your body, causing disease of your stomach and wasting of your legs: and the woman will say, So be it.

23And the priest will put these curses in a book, washing out the writing with the bitter water;

24And he will give to the woman the bitter water for drink; and the bitter water causing the curse will go into her.

25And the priest will take from her hand the meal offering of doubt, waving it before the Lord, and will take it to the altar;

26And he will take some of it in his hand, burning it on the altar as a sign, and then he will give the woman the bitter water.

27And it will be that if the woman has become unclean, sinning against her husband, when she has taken the bitter water it will go into her body, causing disease of the stomach and wasting of the legs, and she will be a curse among her people.

28But if she is clean she will be free and will have offspring.

29This is the law for testing a wife who goes with another in place of her husband and becomes unclean;

30Or for a husband who, in a bitter spirit, has doubts in his heart about his wife; let him take her to the priest, who will put in force this law.

31Then the man will be free from all wrong, and the woman’s sin will be on her.

Numbers 6

1And the Lord said to Moses,

2Say to the children of Israel, If a man or a woman takes an oath to keep himself separate and give himself to the Lord;

3He is to keep himself from wine and strong drink, and take no mixed wine or strong drink or any drink made from grapes, or any grapes, green or dry.

4All the time he is separate he may take nothing made from the grape-vine, from its seeds to its skin.

5All the time he is under his oath let no blade come near his head; till the days while he is separate are ended he is holy and his hair may not be cut.

6All the time he is separate he may not come near any dead body.

7He may not make himself unclean for his father or his mother, his sister or his brother, if death comes to them; because he is under an oath to keep himself separate for God.

8All the time he is separate he is holy to the Lord.

9If death comes suddenly to a man at his side, so that he becomes unclean, let his hair be cut off on the day when he is made clean, on the seventh day.

10And on the eighth day let him take to the priest, at the door of the Tent of meeting, two doves or two young pigeons;

11And the priest will give one for a sin-offering and the other for a burned offering to take away the sin which came on him on account of the dead, and he will make his head holy that same day.

12And he will give to the Lord his days of being separate, offering a he-lamb of the first year as an offering for error: but the earlier days will be a loss, because he became unclean.

13And this is the law for him who is separate, when the necessary days are ended: he is to come to the door of the Tent of meeting,

14And make his offering to the Lord; one he-lamb of the first year, without a mark, for a burned offering, and one female lamb of the first year, without a mark, for a sin-offering, and one male sheep, without a mark, for peace-offerings,

15And a basket of unleavened bread, cakes of the best meal mixed with oil, and thin unleavened cakes covered with oil, with their meal offering and drink offerings.

16And the priest will take them before the Lord, and make his sin-offering and his burned offering;

17Giving the sheep of the peace-offerings, with the basket of unleavened bread; and at the same time, the priest will make his meal offering and his drink offering.

18Then let his long hair, the sign of his oath, be cut off at the door of the Tent of meeting, and let him put it on the fire on which the peace-offerings are burning.

19And the priest will take the cooked leg of the sheep and one unleavened cake and one thin cake out of the basket, and put them on the hands of the separate one after his hair has been cut,

20Waving them for a wave offering before the Lord; this is holy for the priest, together with the waved breast and the leg which is lifted up; after that, the man may take wine.

21This is the law for him who takes an oath to keep himself separate, and for his offering to the Lord on that account, in addition to what he may be able to get; this is the law of his oath, which he will have to keep.

22And the Lord said to Moses,

23Say to Aaron and his sons, These are the words of blessing which are to be used by you in blessing the children of Israel; say to them,

24May the Lord send his blessing on you and keep you:

25May the light of the Lord’s face be shining on you in grace:

26May the Lord’s approval be resting on you and may he give you peace.

27So they will put my name on the children of Israel, and I will give them my blessing.

Ecclesiastes 5

1Put your feet down with care when you go to the house of God, for it is better to give ear than to make the burned offerings of the foolish, whose knowledge is only of doing evil.

2Be not unwise with your mouth, and let not your heart be quick to say anything before God, because God is in heaven and you are on the earth–so let not the number of your words be great.

3As a dream comes from much business, so the voice of a foolish man comes with words in great number.

4When you take an oath before God, put it quickly into effect, because he has no pleasure in the foolish; keep the oath you have taken.

5It is better not to take an oath than to take an oath and not keep it.

6Let not your mouth make your flesh do evil. And say not before the angel, It was an error. So that God may not be angry with your words and put an end to the work of your hands.

7Because much talk comes from dreams and things of no purpose. But let the fear of God be in you.

8If you see the poor under a cruel yoke, and law and right being violently overturned in a country, be not surprised, because one authority is keeping watch on another and there are higher than they.

9It is good generally for a country where the land is worked to have a king.

10He who has a love for silver never has enough silver, or he who has love for wealth, enough profit. This again is to no purpose.

11When goods are increased, the number of those who take of them is increased; and what profit has the owner but to see them?

12The sleep of a working man is sweet, if he has little food or much; but to him who is full, sleep will not come.

13There is a great evil which I have seen under the sun–wealth kept by the owner to be his downfall.

14And I saw the destruction of his wealth by an evil chance; and when he became the father of a son he had nothing in his hand.

15As he came from his mother at birth, so does he go again; he gets from his work no reward which he may take away in his hand.

16And this again is a great evil, that in all points as he came so will he go; and what profit has he in working for the wind?

17All his days are in the dark, and he has much sorrow, pain, disease, and trouble.

18This is what I have seen: it is good and fair for a man to take meat and drink and to have joy in all his work under the sun, all the days of his life which God has given him; that is his reward.

19Every man to whom God has given money and wealth and the power to have pleasure in it and to do his part and have joy in his work: this is given by God.

20He will not give much thought to the days of his life; because God lets him be taken up with the joy of his heart.

Matthew 18:1-20

1In that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying, Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

2And he took a little child, and put him in the middle of them,

3And said, Truly, I say to you, If you do not have a change of heart and become like little children, you will not go into the kingdom of heaven.

4Whoever, then, will make himself as low as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5And whoever gives honour to one such little child in my name, gives honour to me:

6But whoever is a cause of trouble to one of these little ones who have faith in me, it would be better for him to have a great stone fixed to his neck, and to come to his end in the deep sea.

7A curse is on the earth because of trouble! for it is necessary for trouble to come; but unhappy is that man through whom the trouble comes.

8And if your hand or your foot is a cause of trouble, let it be cut off and put it away from you: it is better for you to go into life with the loss of a hand or a foot than, having two hands or two feet, to go into the eternal fire.

9And if your eye is a cause of trouble to you, take it out, and put it away from you: it is better for you to go into life with one eye than, having two eyes, to go into the hell of fire.

10Let it not seem to you that one of these little ones is of no value; for I say to you that in heaven their angels see at all times the face of my Father in heaven.

12What would you say now? if a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone wandering away, will he not let the ninety-nine be, and go to the mountains in search of the wandering one?

13And if he comes across it, truly I say to you, he has more joy over it than over the ninety-nine which have not gone out of the way.

14Even so it is not the pleasure of your Father in heaven for one of these little ones to come to destruction.

15And if your brother does wrong to you, go, make clear to him his error between you and him in private: if he gives ear to you, you have got your brother back again.

16But if he will not give ear to you, take with you one or two more, that by the lips of two or three witnesses every word may be made certain.

17And if he will not give ear to them, let it come to the hearing of the church: and if he will not give ear to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-farmer.

18Truly I say to you, Whatever things are fixed by you on earth will be fixed in heaven: and whatever you make free on earth will be made free in heaven.

19Again, I say to you, that if two of you are in agreement on earth about anything for which they will make a request, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

20For where two or three are come together in my name, there am I among them.

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