February 20

Exodus 22

1If a man takes without right another man’s ox or his sheep, and puts it to death or gets a price for it, he is to give five oxen for an ox, or four sheep for a sheep, in payment: the thief will have to make payment for what he has taken; if he has no money, he himself will have to be exchanged for money, so that payment may be made.

2If a thief is taken in the act of forcing his way into a house, and his death is caused by a blow, the owner of the house is not responsible for his blood.

3But if it is after dawn, he will be responsible.

4If he still has what he had taken, whatever it is, ox or ass or sheep, he is to give twice its value.

5If a man makes a fire in a field or a vine-garden, and lets the fire do damage to another man’s field, he is to give of the best produce of his field or his vine-garden to make up for it.

6If there is a fire and the flames get to the thorns at the edge of the field, causing destruction of the cut grain or of the living grain, or of the field, he who made the fire will have to make up for the damage.

7If a man puts money or goods in the care of his neighbour to keep for him, and it is taken from the man’s house, if they get the thief, he will have to make payment of twice the value.

8If they do not get the thief, let the master of the house come before the judges and take an oath that he has not put his hand on his neighbour’s goods.

9In any question about an ox or an ass or a sheep or clothing, or about the loss of any property which anyone says is his, let the two sides put their cause before God; and he who is judged to be in the wrong is to make payment to his neighbour of twice the value.

10If a man puts an ass or an ox or a sheep or any beast into the keeping of his neighbour, and it comes to death or is damaged or is taken away, without any person seeing it:

11If he takes his oath before the Lord that he has not put his hand to his neighbour’s goods, the owner is to take his word for it and he will not have to make payment for it.

12But if it is taken from him by a thief, he is to make up for the loss of it to its owner.

13But if it has been damaged by a beast, and he is able to make this clear, he will not have to make payment for what was damaged.

14If a man gets from his neighbour the use of one of his beasts, and it is damaged or put to death when the owner is not with it, he will certainly have to make payment for the loss.

15If the owner is with it, he will not have to make payment: if he gave money for the use of it, the loss is covered by the payment.

16If a man takes a virgin, who has not given her word to another man, and has connection with her, he will have to give a bride-price for her to be his wife.

17If her father will not give her to him on any account, he will have to give the regular payment for virgins.

18Any woman using unnatural powers or secret arts is to be put to death.

19Any man who has sex connection with a beast is to be put to death.

20Complete destruction will come on any man who makes offerings to any other god but the Lord.

21Do no wrong to a man from a strange country, and do not be hard on him; for you yourselves were living in a strange country, in the land of Egypt.

22Do no wrong to a widow, or to a child whose father is dead.

23If you are cruel to them in any way, and their cry comes up to me, I will certainly give ear;

24And in the heat of my wrath I will put you to death with the sword, so that your wives will be widows and your children without fathers.

25If you let any of the poor among my people have the use of your money, do not be a hard creditor to him, and do not take interest.

26If ever you take your neighbour’s clothing in exchange for the use of your money, let him have it back before the sun goes down:

27For it is the only thing he has for covering his skin; what is he to go to sleep in? and when his cry comes up to me, I will give ear, for my mercy is great.

28You may not say evil of the judges, or put a curse on the ruler of your people.

29Do not keep back your offerings from the wealth of your grain and your vines. The first of your sons you are to give to me.

30In the same way with your oxen and your sheep: for seven days let the young one be with its mother; on the eighth day give it to me.

31You are to be holy men to me: the flesh of no animal whose death has been caused by the beasts of the field may be used for your food; it is to be given to the dogs.

Exodus 23

1Do not let a false statement go further; do not make an agreement with evil-doers to be a false witness.

2Do not be moved to do wrong by the general opinion, or give the support of your words to a wrong decision:

3But, on the other hand, do not be turned from what is right in order to give support to a poor man’s cause.

4If you come across the ox or the ass of one who is no friend to you wandering from its way, you are to take it back to him.

5If you see the ass of one who has no love for you bent down to the earth under the weight which is put on it, you are to come to its help, even against your desire.

6Let no wrong decisions be given in the poor man’s cause.

7Keep yourselves far from any false business; never let the upright or him who has done no wrong be put to death: for I will make the evil-doer responsible for his sin.

8Take no rewards in a cause: for rewards make blind those who have eyes to see, and make the decisions of the upright false.

9Do not be hard on the man from a strange country who is living among you; for you have had experience of the feelings of one who is far from the land of his birth, because you yourselves were living in Egypt, in a strange land.

10For six years put seed into your fields and get in the increase;

11But in the seventh year let the land have a rest and be unplanted; so that the poor may have food from it: and let the beasts of the field take the rest. Do the same with your vine-gardens and your olive-trees.

12For six days do your work, and on the seventh day keep the Sabbath; so that your ox and your ass may have rest, together with the son of your servant and the man from a strange land living among you.

13Take note of all these things which I have said to you, and let not the names of other gods come into your minds or from your lips.

14Three times in the year you are to keep a feast to me.

15You are to keep the feast of unleavened bread; for seven days let your bread be without leaven, as I gave you orders, at the regular time in the month Abib (for in it you came out of Egypt); and let no one come before me without an offering:

16And the feast of the grain-cutting, the first-fruits of your planted fields: and the feast at the start of the year, when you have got in all the fruit from your fields.

17Three times in the year let all your males come before the Lord God.

18Do not give the blood of my offering with leavened bread; and do not let the fat of my feast be kept all night till the morning.

19The best of the first-fruits of your land are to be taken into the house of the Lord your God. The young goat is not to be cooked in its mother’s milk.

20See, I am sending an angel before you, to keep you on your way and to be your guide into the place which I have made ready for you.

21Give attention to him and give ear to his voice; do not go against him; for your wrongdoing will not be overlooked by him, because my name is in him.

22But if you truly give ear to his voice, and do whatever I say, then I will be against those who are against you, fighting those who are fighting you.

23And my angel will go before you, guiding you into the land of the Amorite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Canaanite and the Hivite and the Jebusite, and they will be cut off by my hand.

24Do not go down on your faces and give worship to their gods, or do as they do; but overcome them completely, and let their pillars be broken down.

25And give worship to the Lord your God, who will send his blessing on your bread and on your water; and I will take all disease away from among you.

26All your animals will give birth without loss, not one will be without young in all your land; I will give you a full measure of life.

27I will send my fear before you, putting to flight all the people to whom you come; all those who are against you will go in flight, turning their backs before you.

28I will send hornets before you, driving out the Hivite and the Canaanite and the Hittite before your face.

29I will not send them all out in one year, for fear that their land may become waste, and the beasts of the field be increased overmuch against you.

30Little by little I will send them away before you, till your numbers are increased and you take up your heritage in the land.

31I will let the limits of your land be from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the waste land to the river Euphrates: for I will give the people of those lands into your power; and you will send them out before you.

32Make no agreement with them or with their gods.

33Let them not go on living in your land, or they will make you do evil against me: for if you give worship to their gods, it will certainly be a cause of sin to you.

Proverbs 10

1A wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

2Wealth which comes from sin is of no profit, but righteousness gives salvation from death.

3The Lord will not let the upright be in need of food, but he puts far from him the desire of the evil-doers.

4He who is slow in his work becomes poor, but the hand of the ready worker gets in wealth.

5He who in summer gets together his store is a son who does wisely; but he who takes his rest when the grain is being cut is a son causing shame.

6Blessings are on the head of the upright, but the face of sinners will be covered with sorrow.

7The memory of the upright is a blessing, but the name of the evil-doer will be turned to dust.

8The wise-hearted man will let himself be ruled, but the man whose talk is foolish will have a fall.

9He whose ways are upright will go safely, but he whose ways are twisted will be made low.

10He who makes signs with his eyes is a cause of trouble, but he who makes a man see his errors is a cause of peace.

11The mouth of the upright man is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the evil-doer is a bitter cup.

12Hate is a cause of violent acts, but all errors are covered up by love.

13In the lips of him who has knowledge wisdom is seen; but a rod is ready for the back of him who is without sense.

14Knowledge is stored up by the wise, but the mouth of the foolish man is a destruction which is near.

15The property of the man of wealth is his strong town: the poor man’s need is his destruction.

16The work of the upright gives life: the increase of the evil-doer is a cause of sin.

17He who takes note of teaching is a way of life, but he who gives up training is a cause of error.

18Hate is covered up by the lips of the upright man, but he who lets out evil about another is foolish.

19Where there is much talk there will be no end to sin, but he who keeps his mouth shut does wisely.

20The tongue of the upright man is like tested silver: the heart of the evil-doer is of little value.

21The lips of the upright man give food to men, but the foolish come to death for need of sense.

22The blessing of the Lord gives wealth: hard work makes it no greater.

23It is sport to the foolish man to do evil, but the man of good sense takes delight in wisdom.

24The thing feared by the evil-doer will come to him, but the upright man will get his desire.

25When the storm-wind is past, the sinner is seen no longer, but the upright man is safe for ever.

26Like acid drink to the teeth and as smoke to the eyes, so is the hater of work to those who send him.

27The fear of the Lord gives long life, but the years of the evil-doer will be cut short.

28The hope of the upright man will give joy, but the waiting of the evil-doer will have its end in sorrow.

29The way of the Lord is a strong tower for the upright man, but destruction to the workers of evil.

30The upright man will never be moved, but evil-doers will not have a safe resting-place in the land.

31The mouth of the upright man is budding with wisdom, but the twisted tongue will be cut off.

32The lips of the upright man have knowledge of what is pleasing, but twisted are the mouths of evil-doers.

Matthew 2

1Now when the birth of Jesus took place in Beth-lehem of Judaea, in the days of Herod the king, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2Saying, Where is the King of the Jews whose birth has now taken place? We have seen his star in the east and have come to give him worship.

3And when it came to the ears of Herod the king, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4And he got together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, questioning them as to where the birth-place of the Christ would be.

5And they said to him, In Beth-lehem of Judaea; for so it is said in the writings of the prophet,

6You Beth-lehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the chiefs of Judah: out of you will come a ruler, who will be the keeper of my people Israel.

7Then Herod sent for the wise men privately, and put questions to them about what time the star had been seen.

8And he sent them to Beth-lehem and said, Go and make certain where the young child is; and when you have seen him, let me have news of it, so that I may come and give him worship.

9And after hearing the king, they went on their way; and the star which they saw in the east went before them, till it came to rest over the place where the young child was.

10And when they saw the star they were full of joy.

11And they came into the house, and saw the young child with Mary, his mother; and falling down on their faces they gave him worship; and from their store they gave him offerings of gold, perfume, and spices.

12And it was made clear to them by God in a dream that they were not to go back to Herod; so they went into their country by another way.

13And when they had gone, an angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream, saying, Get up and take the young child and his mother, and go into Egypt, and do not go from there till I give you word; for Herod will be searching for the young child to put him to death.

14So he took the young child and his mother by night, and went into Egypt;

15And was there till the death of Herod; so that the word of the Lord through the prophet might come true, Out of Egypt have I sent for my son.

16Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, was very angry; and he sent out, and put to death all the male children in Beth-lehem and in all the parts round about it, from two years old and under, acting on the knowledge which he had got with care from the wise men.

17Then the word of Jeremiah the prophet came true,

18In Ramah there was a sound of weeping and great sorrow, Rachel weeping for her children, and she would not be comforted for their loss.

19But when Herod was dead, an angel of the Lord came in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

20Saying, Get up and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: because they who were attempting to take the young child’s life are dead.

21And he got up, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

22But when it came to his ears that Archelaus was ruling over Judaea in the place of his father Herod, he was in fear of going there; and God having given him news of the danger in a dream, he went out of the way into the country parts of Galilee.

23And he came and was living in a town named Nazareth: so that the word of the prophets might come true, He will be named a Nazarene.

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