March 27

Numbers 22:1-40

1Then the children of Israel, journeying on, put up their tents in the lowlands of Moab, on the other side of Jordan at Jericho.

2Now Balak, the son of Zippor, saw what Israel had done to the Amorites.

3And in Moab there was great fear of the people, because their numbers were so great: and the feeling of Moab was bitter against the children of Israel.

4Then Moab said to the responsible men of Midian, It is clear that this great people will be the destruction of everything round us, making a meal of us as the ox does of the grass of the field. At that time Balak, the son of Zippor, was king of Moab.

5So he sent men to Balaam, son of Beor, at Pethor by the River in the land of the children of his people, saying to him, See, a people has come out of Egypt, covering all the face of the earth, and they have put up their tents opposite to me:

6Come now, in answer to my prayer, and put a curse on this people, for they are greater than I: and then I may be strong enough to overcome them and send them out of the land: for it is clear that good comes to him who has your blessing, but he on whom you put your curse is cursed.

7So the responsible men of Moab and Midian went away, taking in their hands rewards for the prophet; and they came to Balaam and said to him what Balak had given them orders to say.

8And he said to them, Take your rest here tonight, and I will give you an answer after hearing what the Lord says; so the chiefs of Moab kept there with Balaam that night.

9And God came to Balaam and said, Who are these men with you?

10And Balaam said to God, Balak, the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent them to me, saying,

11See, the people who have come out of Egypt are covering all the earth: now, put a curse on this people for me, so that I may be able to make war on them, driving them out of the land.

12And God said to Balaam, You are not to go with them, or put a curse on this people, for they have my blessing.

13In the morning Balaam got up and said to the chiefs of Balak, Go back to your land, for the Lord will not let me go with you.

14So the chiefs of Moab went back to Balak and said, Balaam will not come with us.

15So Balak sent more chiefs, greater in number and of higher position than the others.

16And they came to Balaam and said, Balak, son of Zippor, says, Let nothing keep you from coming to me:

17For I will give you a place of very great honour, and whatever you say to me I will do; so come, in answer to my prayer, and put a curse on this people.

18But Balaam, in answer; said to the servants of Balak, Even if Balak gave me his house full of silver and gold, it would not be possible for me to do anything more or less than the orders of the Lord my God.

19So take your rest here this night, till I have knowledge what more the Lord has to say to me.

20And that night God came to Balaam and said to him, If these men have come for you, go with them: but do only what I say to you.

21So in the morning Balaam got up and, making his ass ready, went with the chiefs of Moab.

22But God was moved to wrath because he went: and the angel of the Lord took up a position in the road to keep him from his purpose. Now he was seated on his ass, and his two servants were with him.

23And the ass saw the angel of the Lord waiting in the road with his sword in his hand; and turning from the road, the ass went into the field; and Balaam gave the ass blows, to get her back on to the road.

24Then the angel of the Lord took up his position in a narrow road through the vine-gardens, with a wall on this side and on that.

25And the ass saw the angel of the Lord, and went near the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against the wall; and he gave her more blows.

26Then the angel of the Lord went further, stopping in a narrow place where there was no room for turning to the right or to the left.

27And the ass saw the angel of the Lord and went down on the earth under Balaam; and full of wrath, Balaam gave her hard blows with his stick.

28Then the Lord gave the ass the power of talking, and opening her mouth she said to Balaam, What have I done to you that you have given me blows these three times?

29And Balaam said to the ass, You have made me seem foolish: if only I had a sword in my hand I would put you to death.

30And the ass said to Balaam, Am I not your ass upon which you have gone all your life till this day? and have I ever done this to you before? And he said, No.

31Then the Lord made Balaam’s eyes open, and he saw the angel of the Lord in the way with his sword in his hand: and he went down on his face to the earth.

32And the angel of the Lord said to him, Why have you given your ass blows these three times? See, I have come out against you to keep you back, because your purpose is not pleasing to me.

33And the ass saw me, turning to one side from me three times: if she had not gone to one side, I would certainly have put you to death and kept her safe.

34And Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, I have done wrong, for I did not see that you were in the way against me: but now, if it is evil in your eyes, I will go back again.

35And the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, Go with the men; but say only what I give you to say. Then Balaam went on with the chiefs of Balak.

36Now Balak, hearing that Balaam had come, went to the chief town of Moab, on the edge of the Arnon, in the farthest part of the land, for the purpose of meeting him.

37And Balak said to Balaam, Did I not send to you, requesting you with all my heart to come to me? why did you not come? am I not able to give you a place of honour?

38Then Balaam said to Balak, Now I have come to you; but have I power to say anything? Only what God puts into my mouth may I say.

39And Balaam went with Balak to Kiriath-huzoth.

40And Balak made offerings of oxen and sheep, and sent to Balaam and the chiefs who were with him.

Song of Solomon 2:8-17

8The voice of my loved one! See, he comes dancing on the mountains, stepping quickly on the hills.

9My loved one is like a roe; see, he is on the other side of our wall, he is looking in at the windows, letting himself be seen through the spaces.

10My loved one said to me, Get up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

11For, see, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

12The flowers are come on the earth; the time of cutting the vines is come, and the voice of the dove is sounding in our land;

13The fig-tree puts out her green fruit and the vines with their young fruit give a good smell. Get up from your bed, my beautiful one, and come away.

14O my dove, you are in the holes of the mountain sides, in the cracks of the high hills; let me see your face, let your voice come to my ears; for sweet is your voice, and your face is fair.

15Take for us the foxes, the little foxes, which do damage to the vines; our vines have young grapes.

16My loved one is mine, and I am his: he takes his food among the flowers.

17Till the evening comes, and the sky slowly becomes dark, come, my loved one, and be like a roe on the mountains of Bether.

Song of Solomon 3:1-5

1By night on my bed I was looking for him who is the love of my soul: I was looking for him, but I did not see him.

2I will get up now and go about the town, in the streets and in the wide ways I will go after him who is the love of my soul: I went after him, but I did not see him.

3The watchmen who go about the town came by me; to them I said, Have you seen him who is my heart’s desire?

4I was but a little way from them, when I came face to face with him who is the love of my soul. I took him by the hands, and did not let him go, till I had taken him into my mother’s house, and into the room of her who gave me birth.

5I say to you, O daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes of the field, let not love be moved till it is ready.

Matthew 22:23-46

23On the same day there came to him the Sadducees, who say that there is no coming back from the dead: and they put a question to him, saying,

24Master, Moses said, If a man, at the time of his death, has no children, let his brother take his wife, and get a family for his brother;

25Now there were among us seven brothers; and the first was married and at his death, having no seed, gave his wife to his brother;

26In the same way the second and the third, up to the seventh.

27And last of all the woman came to her end.

28When they come back from the dead, then, whose wife will she be of the seven? because they all had her.

29But Jesus said to them in answer, You are in error, not having knowledge of the Writings, or of the power of God.

30For when they come back from the dead there are no husbands and wives, but they are as the angels in heaven.

31But about the dead coming back to life, have you no knowledge of what was said to you by God in the Writings:

32I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead but of the living.

33And the people hearing it were surprised at his teaching.

34But the Pharisees, hearing how the mouths of the Sadducees had been stopped, came together;

35And one of them, a teacher of the law, put a question to him, testing him, and saying,

36Master, which is the chief rule in the law?

37And he said to him, Have love for the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

38This is the first and greatest rule.

39And a second like it is this, Have love for your neighbour as for yourself.

40On these two rules all the law and the prophets are based.

41Now while the Pharisees were together, Jesus put a question to them, saying,

42What is your opinion of the Christ? whose son is he? They say to him, The Son of David.

43He says to them, How then does David in the Spirit give him the name of Lord, saying,

44The Lord said to my Lord, Be seated at my right hand, till I put under your feet all those who are against you?

45If David then gives him the name of Lord, how is he his son?

46And no one was able to give him an answer, and so great was their fear of him, that from that day no one put any more questions to him.

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