March 26

Numbers 21

1And it came to the ears of the Canaanite, the king of Arad, living in the South, that Israel was coming by the way of Atharim, and he came out against them and took some of them prisoners.

2Then Israel made an oath to the Lord, and said, If you will give up this people into my hands, then I will send complete destruction on all their towns.

3And the Lord, in answer to the voice of Israel, gave the Canaanites up to them; and they put them and their towns completely to destruction: and that place was named Hormah.

4Then they went on from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, going round the land of Edom: and the spirit of the people was overcome with weariness on the way.

5And crying out against God and against Moses, they said, Why have you taken us out of Egypt to come to our death in the waste land? For there is no bread and no water, and this poor bread is disgusting to us.

6Then the Lord sent poison-snakes among the people; and their bites were a cause of death to numbers of the people of Israel.

7Then the people came to Moses and said, We have done wrong in crying out against the Lord and against you: make prayer to the Lord to take away the snakes from us. So Moses made prayer for the people.

8And the Lord said to Moses, Make an image of a snake and put it on a rod, and anyone who has been wounded by the snakes, looking on it will be made well.

9So Moses made a snake of brass and put it on a rod; and anyone who had a snakebite, after looking on the snake of brass, was made well.

10Then the children of Israel went on and put up their tents in Oboth.

11And journeying on again from Oboth, they put up their tents in Iye-abarim, in the waste land before Moab looking east.

12And moving on from there, they put up their tents in the valley of Zered.

13From there they went on and put up their tents on the other side of the Arnon, which is on the waste land at the edge of the land of the Amorites; for the Arnon is the line of division between Moab and the Amorites:

14As it says in the book of the Wars of the Lord, Vaheb in Suphah, and the valley of the Amon;

15The slope of the valleys going down to the tents of Ar and touching the edge of Moab.

16From there they went on to Beer, the water-spring of which the Lord said to Moses, Make the people come together and I will give them water.

17Then Israel gave voice to this song: Come up, O water-spring, let us make a song to it:

18The fountain made by the chiefs, made deep by the great ones of the people, with the law-givers’ rod, and with their sticks. Then from the waste land they went on to Mattanah:

19And from Mattanah to Nahaliel: and from Nahaliel to Bamoth:

20And from Bamoth to the valley in the open country of Moab, and to the top of Pisgah looking over Jeshimon.

21And Israel sent men to Sihon, king of the Amorites, saying,

22Let me go through your land: we will not go into field or vine-garden, or take the water of the springs; we will go by the highway till we have gone past the limits of your land.

23And Sihon would not let Israel go through his land; but got all his people together and went out against Israel into the waste land, as far as Jahaz, to make war on Israel.

24But Israel overcame him, and took all his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, as far as the country of the children of Ammon, for the country of the children of Ammon was strongly armed.

25And Israel took all their towns, living in Heshbon and all the towns and small places of the Amorites.

26For Heshbon was the town of Sihon, king of the Amorites, who had made war against an earlier king of Moab and taken from him all his land as far as the Arnon.

27So the makers of wise sayings say, Come to Heshbon, building up the town of Sihon and making it strong:

28For a fire has gone out of Heshbon, a flame from the town of Sihon: for the destruction of Ar in Moab, and the lords of the high places of the Arnon.

29Sorrow is yours, O Moab! Destruction is your fate, O people of Chemosh: his sons have gone in flight, and his daughters are prisoners, in the hands of Sihon, king of the Amorites.

30They are wounded with our arrows; destruction has come on Heshbon, even to Dibon; and we have made the land waste as far as Nophah, stretching out to Medeba.

31So Israel put up their tents in the land of the Amorites.

32And Moses sent men secretly to Jazer, and they took its towns, driving out the Amorites who were living there.

33Then turning they went up by the way of Bashan; and Og, king of Bashan, went out against them with all his people, to the fight at Edrei.

34And the Lord said to Moses, Have no fear of him: for I have given him up into your hands, with all his people and his land; do to him as you did to Sihon, king of the Amorites, at Heshbon.

35So they overcame him and his sons and his people, driving them all out: and they took his land for their heritage.

Song of Solomon 1

1The song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.

2Let him give me the kisses of his mouth: for his love is better than wine.

3Sweet is the smell of your perfumes; your name is as perfume running out; so the young girls give you their love.

4Take me to you, and we will go after you: the king has taken me into his house. We will be glad and full of joy in you, we will give more thought to your love than to wine: rightly are they your lovers.

5I am dark, but fair of form, O daughters of Jerusalem, as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

6Let not your eyes be turned on me, because I am dark, because I was looked on by the sun; my mother’s children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vine-gardens; but my vine-garden I have not kept.

7Say, O love of my soul, where you give food to your flock, and where you make them take their rest in the heat of the day; why have I to be as one wandering by the flocks of your friends?

8If you have not knowledge, O most beautiful among women, go on your way in the footsteps of the flock, and give your young goats food by the tents of the keepers.

9I have made a comparison of you, O my love, to a horse in Pharaoh’s carriages.

10Your face is a delight with rings of hair, your neck with chains of jewels.

11We will make you chains of gold with ornaments of silver.

12While the king is seated at his table, my spices send out their perfume.

13As a bag of myrrh is my well-loved one to me, when he is at rest all night between my breasts.

14My love is to me as a branch of the cypress-tree in the vine-gardens of En-gedi.

15See, you are fair, my love, you are fair; you have the eyes of a dove.

16See, you are fair, my loved one, and a pleasure; our bed is green.

17Cedar-trees are the pillars of our house; and our boards are made of fir-trees.

Song of Solomon 2:1-7

1I am a rose of Sharon, a flower of the valleys.

2As the lily-flower among the thorns of the waste, so is my love among the daughters.

3As the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my loved one among the sons. I took my rest under his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

4He took me to the house of wine, and his flag over me was love.

5Make me strong with wine-cakes, let me be comforted with apples; I am overcome with love.

6His left hand is under my head, and his right hand is round about me.

7I say to you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes of the field, do not let love be moved till it is ready.

Matthew 22:1-22

1And Jesus, talking to them again in stories, said:

2The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king, who made a feast when his son was married,

3And sent out his servants to get in the guests to the feast: and they would not come.

4Again he sent out other servants, with orders to say to the guests, See, I have made ready my feast: my oxen and my fat beasts have been put to death, and all things are ready: come to the feast.

5But they gave no attention, and went about their business, one to his farm, another to his trade:

6And the rest put violent hands on his servants, and did evil to them, and put them to death.

7But the king was angry; and he sent his armies, and those who had put his servants to death he gave to destruction, burning down their town with fire.

8Then he said to his servants, The feast is ready but the guests were not good enough.

9Go then to the cross-roads, and get all those whom you see to come to the bride-feast.

10And those servants went out into the streets, and got together all those whom they came across, bad and good: and the feast was full of guests.

11But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man who had not on a guest’s robe;

12And he says to him, Friend, how came you in here not having a guest’s robe? And he had nothing to say.

13Then the king said to the servants, Put cords round his hands and feet and put him out into the dark; there will be weeping and cries of sorrow.

14For out of all to whom the good news has come, only a small number will get salvation.

15Then the Pharisees went and had a meeting to see how they might make use of his words to take him.

16And they sent to him their disciples, with the Herodians, saying, Master, we see that you are true, and that you are teaching the true way of God, and have no fear of anyone, because you have no respect for a man’s position.

17Give us, then, your opinion of this: Is it right to give tax to Caesar, or not?

18But Jesus saw their trick and said, Oh false ones, why are you attempting to put me in the wrong?

19Let me see the tax money. And they gave him a penny.

20And he said to them, Whose is this image and name on it?

21They say to him, Caesar’s. Then he said to them, Give to Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and to God the things which are God’s.

22And hearing it, they were full of wonder, and went away from him.

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