Tagged: Evil

October 30

Psalms 119:33-64

HE

33 O Lord, let me see the way of your rules, and I will keep it to the end.

34Give me wisdom, so that I may keep your law; going after it with all my heart.

35Make me go in the way of your teachings; for they are my delight.

36Let my heart be turned to your unchanging word, and not to evil desire.

37Let my eyes be turned away from what is false; give me life in your ways.

38Give effect to your word to your servant, in whose heart is the fear of you.

39Take away the shame which is my fear; for your decisions are good.

40See how great is my desire for your orders: give me life in your righteousness.

VAU

41 Let your mercies come to me, O Lord, even your salvation, as you have said.

42So that I may have an answer for the man who would put me to shame; for I have faith in your word.

43Take not your true word quite out of my mouth; for I have put my hope in your decisions.

44So that I may keep your law for ever and ever;

45So that my way may be in a wide place: because my search has been for your orders.

46So that I may give knowledge of your unchanging word before kings, and not be put to shame.

47And so that I may take delight in your teachings, to which I have given my love.

48And so that my hands may be stretched out to you; and I will give thought to your rules.

ZAIN

49 Keep in mind your word to your servant, for on it has my hope been fixed.

50This is my comfort in my trouble; that your sayings have given me life.

51The men of pride have made great sport of me; but I have not been turned from your law.

52I have kept the memory of your decisions from times past, O Lord; and they have been my comfort.

53I am burning with wrath, because of the sinners who have given up your law.

54Your rules have been melodies to me, while I have been living in strange lands.

55I have given thought to your name in the night, O Lord, and have kept your law.

56This has been true of me, that I have kept your orders in my heart.

CHETH

57 The Lord is my heritage: I have said that I would be ruled by your words.

58I have given my mind to do your pleasure with all my heart; have mercy on me, as you have said.

59I gave thought to my steps, and my feet were turned into the way of your unchanging word.

60I was quick to do your orders, and let no time be wasted.

61The cords of evil-doers are round me; but I have kept in mind your law.

62In the middle of the night I will get up to give you praise, because of all your right decisions.

63I keep company with all your worshippers, and those who have your orders in their memory.

64The earth, O Lord, is full of your mercy: give me knowledge of your rules.

Isaiah 31

1Cursed are those who go down to Egypt for help, and who put their faith in horses; looking to war-carriages for salvation, because of their numbers; and to horsemen, because they are very strong; but they are not looking to the Holy One of Israel, or turning their hearts to the Lord;

2Though he is wise, and able to send evil, and his purpose will not be changed; but he will go against the house of the evil-doers, and against those to whom they are looking for help.

3For the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit: and when the Lord’s hand is stretched out, the helper and he who is helped will come down together.

4For the Lord has said to me, As a lion, or a young lion, makes an angry noise over his food, and if a band of herdsmen come out against him, he will not be in fear of their voices, or give up his food for their noise: so the Lord of armies will come down to make war against Mount Zion and its hill.

5Like birds with outstretched wings, so will the Lord of armies be a cover to Jerusalem; he will be a cover and salvation for it, going over it he will keep it from danger.

6Come back to him who has been so deeply sinned against by the children of Israel.

7For in that day they will all give up their images of silver and of gold, the sin which they made for themselves.

8Then the Assyrian will come down by the sword, but not of man; the sword, not of men, will be the cause of his destruction: and he will go in flight from the sword, and his young men will be put to forced work.

9And his rock will come to nothing because of fear, and his chiefs will go in flight from the flag, says the Lord, whose fire is in Zion, and his altar in Jerusalem.

Isaiah 32

1See, a king will be ruling in righteousness, and chiefs will give right decisions.

2And a man will be as a safe place from the wind, and a cover from the storm; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shade of a great rock in a waste land.

3And the eyes of those who see will not be shut, and those who have hearing will give ear to the word.

4The man of sudden impulses will become wise in heart, and he whose tongue is slow will get the power of talking clearly.

5The foolish man will no longer be named noble, and they will not say of the false man that he is a man of honour.

6For the foolish man will say foolish things, having evil thoughts in his heart, working what is unclean, and talking falsely about the Lord, to keep food from him who is in need of it, and water from him whose soul is desiring it.

7The designs of the false are evil, purposing the destruction of the poor man by false words, even when he is in the right.

8But the noble-hearted man has noble purposes, and by these he will be guided.

9Give ear to my voice, you women who are living in comfort; give attention to my words, you daughters who have no fear of danger.

10In not much more than a year, you, who are not looking for evil, will be troubled: for the produce of the vine-gardens will be cut off, and there will be no getting in of the grapes.

11Be shaking with fear, you women who are living in comfort; be troubled, you who have no fear of danger: take off your robes and put on clothing of grief.

12Have sorrow for the fields, the pleasing fields, the fertile vine;

13And for the land of my people, where thorns will come up; even for all the houses of joy in the glad town.

14For the fair houses will have no man living in them; the town which was full of noise will become a waste; the hill and the watchtower will be unpeopled for ever, a joy for the asses of the woods, a place of food for the flocks;

15Till the spirit comes on us from on high, and the waste land becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field is changed into a wood.

16Then in the waste land there will be an upright rule, and righteousness will have its place in the fertile field.

17And the work of righteousness will be peace; and the effect of an upright rule will be to take away fear for ever.

18And my people will be living in peace, in houses where there is no fear, and in quiet resting-places.

19But the tall trees will come down with a great fall, and the town will be low in a low place.

20Happy are you who are planting seed by all the waters, and sending out the ox and the ass.

Isaiah 33

1Ho! you who make waste those who did not make you waste; acting falsely to those who were not false to you. When you have come to an end of wasting, you will be made waste, and after your false acts, they will do the same to you.

2O Lord, have mercy on us; for we have been waiting for your help: be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of trouble.

3At the loud noise the peoples have gone in flight; at your coming up the nations have gone in all directions.

4And the goods taken in war will be got together like the massing of young locusts; men will be rushing on them like the rushing of locusts.

5The Lord is lifted up; his place is on high: he has made Zion full of righteousness and true religion.

6And she will have no more fear of change, being full of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge: the fear of the Lord is her wealth.

7See, the men of war are sorrowing outside the town: those who came looking for peace are weeping bitterly.

8The highways are waste, no man is journeying there: the agreement is broken, he has made sport of the towns, he has no thought for man.

9The earth is sorrowing and wasting away; Lebanon is put to shame and has become waste; Sharon is like the Arabah; and in Bashan and Carmel the leaves are falling.

10Now will I come forward, says the Lord; now will I be lifted up; now will my power be seen.

11Your designs will be without profit, and their effect will be nothing: you will be burned up by the fire of my breath.

12And the peoples will be like the burning of chalk: as thorns cut down, which are burned in the fire.

13Give ear, you who are far off, to what I have done: see my power, you who are near.

14The sinners in Zion are full of fear; the haters of God are shaking with wonder. Who among us may keep his place before the burning fire? who among us may see the eternal burnings?

15He whose ways are true, and whose words are upright; he who gives no thought to the profits of false acts, whose hands have not taken rewards, who will have no part in putting men to death, and whose eyes are shut against evil;

16He will have a place on high: he will be safely shut in by the high rocks: his bread will be given to him; his waters will be certain.

17Your eyes will see the king in his glory: they will be looking on a far-stretching land.

18Your heart will give thought to the cause of your fear: where is the scribe, where is he who made a record of the payments, where is he by whom the towers were numbered?

19Never again will you see the cruel people, a people whose tongue has no sense for you; whose language is strange to you.

20Let your eyes be resting on Zion, the town of our holy feasts: you will see Jerusalem, a quiet resting-place, a tent which will not be moved, whose tent-pins will never be pulled up, and whose cords will never be broken.

21But there the Lord will be with us in his glory, … wide rivers and streams; where no boat will go with blades, and no fair ship will be sailing.

22For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our law-giver, the Lord is our king; he will be our saviour.

23Your cords have become loose; they were not able to make strong the support of their sails, the sail was not stretched out: then the blind will take much property, the feeble-footed will make division of the goods of war.

24And the men of Zion will not say, I am ill: for its people will have forgiveness for their sin.

1 Timothy 1

1Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, by the order of God our Saviour and Christ Jesus our hope;

2To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy, peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3It was my desire, when I went on into Macedonia, that you might make a stop at Ephesus, to give orders to certain men not to put forward a different teaching,

4Or to give attention to stories and long lists of generations, from which come questionings and doubts, in place of God’s ordered way of life which is in faith;

5But the effect of the order is love coming from a clean heart, and a knowledge of what is right, and true faith:

6From which some have been turned away, giving themselves to foolish talking;

7Desiring to be teachers of the law, though they have no knowledge of what they say or of the statements which they make so certainly.

8We are conscious that the law is good, if a man makes a right use of it,

9With the knowledge that the law is made, not for the upright man, but for those who have no respect for law and order, for evil men and sinners, for the unholy and those who have no religion, for those who put their fathers or mothers to death, for takers of life,

10For those who go after loose women, for those with unnatural desires, for those who take men prisoners, who make false statements and false oaths, and those who do any other things against the right teaching,

11Which may be seen in the good news of the glory of the great God, which was given into my care.

12I give praise to him who gave me power, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he took me to be true, making me his servant,

13Though I had said violent words against God, and done cruel acts, causing great trouble: but I was given mercy, because I did it without knowledge, not having faith;

14And the grace of our Lord was very great, with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

15It is a true saying, in which all may put their faith, that Christ Jesus came into the world to give salvation to sinners, of whom I am the chief:

16But for this reason I was given mercy, so that in me, the chief of sinners, Jesus Christ might make clear all his mercy, as an example to those who in the future would have faith in him to eternal life.

17Now to the King eternal, ever-living, unseen, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. So be it.

18This order I give to you, Timothy my son, in harmony with the words of the prophets about you, so that by them you may be strong, fighting the good fight,

19Keeping faith, and being conscious of well-doing; for some, by not doing these things, have gone wrong in relation to the faith:

20Such are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have given up to Satan, so that they may say no more evil words against God.

October 27

Psalms 117

1Let all the nations give praise to the Lord: let all the people give him praise.

2For great is his mercy to us, and his faith is unchanging for ever. Praise be to the Lord.

Isaiah 25

1O Lord, you are my God; I will give praise to you, I will give honour to your name; for you have done great acts of power; your purposes in the past have been made true and certain in effect.

2For you have made a town a waste place: a strong town a mass of broken walls; the tower of the men of pride has come to an end; it will never be put up again.

3For this cause will the strong people give glory to you, the town of the cruel ones will be in fear of you.

4For you have been a strong place for the poor and the crushed in their trouble, a safe place from the storm, a shade from the heat, when the wrath of the cruel ones is like a winter storm.

5As heat by the shade of a cloud, the noise of the men of pride has been made quiet by you; as heat by the shade of a cloud, the song of the cruel ones has been stopped.

6And in this mountain will the Lord of armies make for all peoples a feast of good things, a feast of wines long stored, of good things sweet to the taste, of wines long kept and tested.

7And in this mountain he will put an end to the shade covering the face of all peoples, and the veil which is stretched over all nations.

8He has put an end to death for ever; and the Lord God will take away all weeping; and he will put an end to the shame of his people in all the earth: for the Lord has said it.

9And in that day it will be said, See, this is our God; we have been waiting for him, and he will be our saviour: this is the Lord in whom is our hope; we will be glad and have delight in his salvation.

10For in this mountain will the hand of the Lord come to rest, and Moab will be crushed down in his place, even as the dry stems of the grain are crushed under foot in the waste place.

11And if he puts out his hands, like a man stretching out his hands in swimming, the Lord will make low his pride, however expert his designs.

12And the strong tower of your walls has been broken by him, made low, and crushed even to the dust.

Isaiah 26

1In that day will this song be made in the land of Judah: We have a strong town; he will make salvation our walls and towers.

2Let the doors be open, so that the upright nation which keeps faith may come in.

3The man whose heart is unmoved you will keep in peace, because his hope is in you.

4Let your hope be in the Lord for ever: for the Lord Jah is an unchanging Rock.

5For he has made low those who are lifted up, all the people of the town of pride: he makes it low, crushing it down to the earth; he makes it low in the dust.

6It will be crushed under the feet of the poor and the steps of those who are in need.

7The way of the good man is straight; the road of the upright is made smooth by you.

8We have been waiting for you, O Lord; the desire of our soul is for the memory of your name.

9In the night the desire of my soul has been for you; early will my spirit be searching for you; for when your punishments come on the earth, the people of the world will get the knowledge of righteousness.

10Even if you are kind to the evil-doer, he will not go after righteousness; even in the land of the upright he will still go on in his wrongdoing, and will not see the glory of the Lord.

11Lord, your hand is lifted up, but they do not see: let them see … yes, your haters will be burned up in the fire.

12Lord, you will give us peace: for all our works are the outcome of your purpose.

13O Lord, our God, other lords than you have had rule over us; but in you only is our salvation, and no other name will we take on our lips.

14The dead will not come back to life: their spirits will not come back to earth; for this cause you have sent destruction on them, so that the memory of them is dead.

15You have made the nation great, O Lord, you have made it great; glory is yours: you have made wide the limits of the land.

16Lord, in trouble our eyes have been turned to you, we sent up a prayer when your punishment was on us.

17As a woman with child, whose time is near, is troubled, crying out in her pain; so have we been before you, O Lord.

18We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have given birth to wind; no salvation has come to the earth through us, and no children have come into the world.

19Your dead will come back; their dead bodies will come to life again. Those in the dust, awaking from their sleep, will send out a song; for your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the shades.

20Come, my people, into your secret places, and let your doors be shut: keep yourself safe for a short time, till his wrath is over.

21For the Lord is coming out of his place to send punishment on the people of the earth for their evil-doing: the earth will let the blood drained out on her be seen, and will keep her dead covered no longer.

2 Thessalonians 1

1Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

2Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3It is right for us to give praise to God at all times for you, brothers, because of the great increase of your faith, and the wealth of your love for one another;

4So that we ourselves take pride in you in the churches of God for your untroubled mind and your faith in all the troubles and sorrows which you are going through;

5Which is a clear sign of the decision which God in his righteousness has made; to give you a part in his kingdom, for which you have undergone this pain;

6For it is an act of righteousness on God’s part to give trouble as their reward to those who are troubling you,

7And to you who are troubled, rest with us, when the Lord Jesus comes from heaven with the angels of his power in flames of fire,

8To give punishment to those who have no knowledge of God, and to those who do not give ear to the good news of our Lord Jesus:

9Whose reward will be eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his strength,

10At his coming, when he will have glory in his saints, and will be a cause of wonder in all those who had faith (because our witness among you had effect) in that day.

11For this reason, you are ever in our prayers, that you may seem to our God such as may have a part in his purpose and that by his power he will make all his good purpose, and the work of faith, complete;

12So that glory may be given to the name of our Lord Jesus through you, and you may have glory in him, by the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

October 23

Psalms 113

1Let the Lord be praised. O you servants of the Lord, give praise to the name of the Lord.

2Let blessing be on the name of the Lord, from this time and for ever.

3From the coming up of the sun to its going down, the Lord’s name is to be praised.

4The Lord is high over all nations, and his glory is higher than the heavens.

5Who is like the Lord our God, who is seated on high,

6Looking down on the heavens, and on the earth?

7He takes the poor man out of the dust, lifting him up from his low position;

8To give him a place among the rulers, even with the rulers of his people.

9He gives the unfertile woman a family, making her a happy mother of children. Give praise to the Lord.

Isaiah 14

1For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will again make Israel his special people, and will put them in their land; and the man from a strange country will take his place among them and be joined to the family of Jacob.

2And the people will take them with them to their place: and the children of Israel will give them a heritage in the Lord’s land as men-servants and women-servants, making them prisoners whose prisoners they were; and they will be rulers over their masters.

3And it will be, in the day when the Lord gives you rest from your sorrow, and from your trouble, and from the hard yoke which they had put on you,

4That you will take up this bitter song against the king of Babylon, and say, How has the cruel overseer come to an end! He who was lifted up in pride is cut off;

5The stick of the evil-doers, the rod of the rulers, is broken by the Lord;

6He whose rod was on the peoples with an unending wrath, ruling the nations in passion, with an uncontrolled rule.

7All the earth is at rest and is quiet: they are bursting into song.

8Even the trees of the wood are glad over you, the trees of Lebanon, saying, From the time of your fall no wood-cutter has come up against us with an axe.

9The underworld is moved at your coming: the shades of the dead are awake before you, even the strong ones of the earth; all the kings of the world have got up from their seats.

10They all make answer and say to you, Have you become feeble like us? have you been made even as we are?

11Your pride has gone down into the underworld, and the noise of your instruments of music; the worms are under you, and your body is covered with them.

12How great is your fall from heaven, O shining one, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the earth, low among the dead bodies!

13For you said in your heart, I will go up to heaven, I will make my seat higher than the stars of God; I will take my place on the mountain of the meeting-place of the gods, in the inmost parts of the north.

14I will go higher than the clouds; I will be like the Most High.

15But you will come down to the underworld, even to its inmost parts.

16Those who see you will be looking on you with care, they will be in deep thought, saying, Is this the troubler of the earth, the shaker of kingdoms?

17Who made the world a waste, overturning its towns; who did not let his prisoners loose from the prison-house.

18All the kings of the earth are at rest in glory, every man in his house,

19But you, like a birth before its time, are stretched out with no resting-place in the earth; clothed with the bodies of the dead who have been put to the sword, who go down to the lowest parts of the underworld; a dead body, crushed under foot.

20As for your fathers, you will not be united with them in their resting-place, because you have been the cause of destruction to your land, and of death to your people; the seed of the evil-doer will have no place in the memory of man.

21Make ready a place of death for his children, because of the evil-doing of their father; so that they may not come up and take the earth for their heritage, covering the face of the world with waste places.

22For I will come up against them, says the Lord of armies, cutting off from Babylon name and offspring, son and son’s son, says the Lord.

23And I will make you a heritage for the hedgehog, and pools of water: and I will go through it with the brush of destruction, says the Lord of armies.

24The Lord has taken an oath, saying, My design will certainly come about, and my purpose will be effected:

25To let the Assyrian be broken in my land, and crushed under foot on my mountains: there will his yoke be taken away from them, and his rule over them come to an end.

26This is the purpose for all the earth: and this is the hand stretched out over all nations.

27For it is the purpose of the Lord of armies, and who will make it of no effect? when his hand is stretched out, by whom may it be turned back?

28In the year of the death of King Ahaz this word came to the prophet:

29Be not glad, O Philistia, all of you, because the rod which was on you is broken: for out of the snake’s root will come a poison-snake, and its fruit will be a winged poison-snake.

30And the poorest of the land will have food, and those in need will be given a safe resting-place: but your seed will come to an end for need of food, and the rest of you will be put to the sword.

31Send out a cry, O door! Make sounds of sorrow, O town! All your land has come to nothing, O Philistia; for there comes a smoke out of the north, and everyone keeps his place in the line.

32What answer, then, will my people give to the representatives of the nation? That the Lord is the builder of Zion, and she will be a safe place for the poor of his people.

Isaiah 15

1The word about Moab. For in a night Ar of Moab has become waste, and is seen no longer; for in a night Kir of Moab has become waste, and is seen no longer.

2The daughter of Dibon has gone up to the high places, weeping: Moab is sounding her cry of sorrow over Nebo, and over Medeba: everywhere the hair of the head and of the face is cut off.

3In their streets they are covering themselves with haircloth: on the tops of their houses, and in their public places, there is crying and bitter weeping.

4Heshbon is crying out, and Elealeh; their voice is sounding even to Jahaz: for this cause the heart of Moab is shaking; his soul is shaking with fear.

5My heart is crying out for Moab; her people go in flight to Zoar, and to Eglath-shelishiyah: for they go up with weeping by the slope of Luhith; on the way to Horonaim they send up a cry of destruction.

6The waters of Nimrim will become dry: for the grass is burned up, the young grass is coming to an end, every green thing is dead.

7For this cause they will take away their wealth, and the stores they have got together, over the stream of the water-plants.

8For the cry has gone round the limits of Moab; as far as to Eglaim and Beer-elim.

9For the waters of Dimon are full of blood: and I’m sending even more on Moab, a lion on those of Moab who go in flight, and on the rest of the land.

Isaiah 16

1And they will send … to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.

2For the daughters of Moab will be like wandering birds, like a place from which the young birds have gone in flight, at the ways across the Arnon.

3Give wise directions, make a decision; let your shade be as night in full day: keep safe those who are in flight; do not give up the wandering ones.

4Let those who have been forced out of Moab have a resting-place with you; be a cover to them from him who is making waste their land: till the cruel ones are cut off, and wasting has come to an end, and those who take pleasure in crushing the poor are gone from the land.

5Then a king’s seat will be based on mercy, and one will be seated on it in the tent of David for ever; judging uprightly, and quick to do righteousness.

6We have had word of the pride of Moab, how great it is; how he is lifted up in pride and passion: his high words about himself are false.

7For this cause everyone in Moab will give cries of grief for Moab: crushed to the earth, they will be weeping for the men of Kir-hareseth.

8For the fields of Heshbon are waste, the vine of Sibmah is dead; the lords of nations were overcome by the produce of her vines; her vine-plants went as far as Jazer, and came even to the waste land; her branches were stretched out to the sea.

9For this cause my sorrow for the vine of Sibmah will be like the weeping for Jazer: my eyes are dropping water on you, O Heshbon and Elealeh! For they are sounding the war-cry over your summer fruits and the getting in of your grain;

10And all joy is gone; no longer are they glad for the fertile field; and in the vine-gardens there are no songs or sounds of joy: the crushing of grapes has come to an end, and its glad cry has been stopped.

11For this cause the cords of my heart are sounding for Moab, and I am full of sorrow for Kir-heres.

12And when Moab goes up to the high place, and makes prayer in the house of his god, it will have no effect.

13This is the word which the Lord said about Moab in the past.

14But now the Lord has said, In three years, the years of a servant working for payment, the glory of Moab, all that great people, will be turned to shame, and the rest of Moab will be very small and without honour.

1 Thessalonians 2:1-16

1For you yourselves, brothers, are conscious that our coming among you was not without effect:

2But after we had first undergone much pain and been cruelly attacked as you saw, at Philippi, by the help of God we gave you the good news without fear, though everything was against us.

3For our witness does not come from error or from an unclean heart or from deceit:

4But even as the good news was given to us by the approval of God, so we give it out; not as pleasing men, but God by whom our hearts are tested.

5For it is common knowledge among you that we never made use of smooth-sounding false words, and God is witness that at no time were we secretly desiring profit for ourselves,

6Or looking for glory from men, from you or from others, when we might have made ourselves a care to you as Apostles of Christ.

7But we were gentle among you, like a woman caring for her little ones:

8Even so, being full of loving desire for you, we took delight in giving you not only God’s good news, but even our lives, because you were dear to us.

9For you have the memory, my brothers, of our trouble and care; how, working night and day, so that we might not be a trouble to any of you, we gave you the good news of God.

10You are witnesses, with God, how holy and upright and free from all evil was our way of life among you who have faith;

11Even as you saw how, like a father with his children, we were teaching and comforting you all, and giving witness,

12So that your lives might be pleasing to God, who has given you a part in his kingdom and his glory.

13And for this cause we still give praise to God, that, when the word came to your ears through us, you took it, not as the word of man, but, as it truly is, the word of God, which has living power in you who have faith.

14For you, my brothers, took as your examples the churches of God which are in Judaea in Christ Jesus; because you underwent the same things from your countrymen as they did from the Jews;

15Who put to death the Lord Jesus and the prophets, violently driving us out; who are unpleasing to God and against all men;

16Who, to make the measure of their sins complete, kept us from giving the word of salvation to the Gentiles: but the wrath of God is about to come on them in the fullest degree.

March 11

Leviticus 19

1And the Lord said to Moses,

2Say to all the people of Israel, You are to be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.

3Let every man give honour to his mother and to his father and keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God.

4Do not go after false gods, and do not make metal images of gods for yourselves: I am the Lord your God.

5And when you give a peace offering to the Lord, do it in the way which is pleasing to the Lord.

6Let it be used for food on the same day on which it is offered, or on the day after; and whatever is over on the third day is to be burned with fire.

7If any of it is used for food on the third day, it is a disgusting thing and will not be pleasing to the Lord.

8And as for anyone who takes it for food, his sin will be on him, for he has put shame on the holy thing of the Lord: he will be cut off from his people.

9And when you get in the grain from your land, do not let all the grain be cut from the edges of the field, or take up what has been dropped on the earth after the getting in of the grain.

10And do not take all the grapes from your vine-garden, or the fruit dropped on the earth; let the poor man, and the man from another country, have these: I am the Lord your God.

11Do not take anyone’s property or be false in act or word to another.

12And do not take an oath in my name falsely, putting shame on the name of your God: I am the Lord.

13Do not be cruel to your neighbour or take what is his; do not keep back a servant’s payment from him all night till the morning.

14Do not put a curse on those who have no hearing, or put a cause of falling in the way of the blind, but keep the fear of your God before you: I am the Lord.

15Do no wrong in your judging: do not give thought to the position of the poor, or honour to the position of the great; but be a judge to your neighbour in righteousness.

16Do not go about saying untrue things among your people, or take away the life of your neighbour by false witness: I am the Lord.

17Let there be no hate in your heart for your brother; but you may make a protest to your neighbour, so that he may be stopped from doing evil.

18Do not make attempts to get equal with one who has done you wrong, or keep hard feelings against the children of your people, but have love for your neighbour as for yourself: I am the Lord.

19Keep my laws. Do not let your cattle have offspring by those of a different sort; do not put mixed seed into your field; do not put on a robe made of two sorts of cloth.

20If any man has sex relations with a servant-woman who has given her word to be married to a man, and has not been made free for a price or in any other way, the thing will be looked into; but they will not be put to death because she was not a free woman.

21Let him take his offering for wrongdoing to the Lord, to the door of the Tent of meeting; let him give a male sheep as an offering for wrongdoing.

22And the priest will take away his sin before the Lord with the sheep which is offered for his wrongdoing, and he will have forgiveness for the sin which he has done.

23And when you have come into the land, and have put in all sorts of fruit-trees, their fruit will be as if they had not had circumcision, and for three years their fruit may not be used for food.

24And in the fourth year all the fruit will be holy as a praise-offering to the Lord.

25But in the fifth year you may take the fruit and the increase of it for your food: I am the Lord your God.

26Nothing may be used for food with its blood in it; you may not make use of strange arts, or go in search of signs and wonders.

27The ends of the hair round your face and on your chin may not be cut off.

28You may not make cuts in your flesh in respect for the dead, or have marks printed on your bodies: I am the Lord.

29Do not make your daughter common by letting her become a loose woman, for fear that the land may become full of shame.

30Keep my Sabbaths and have respect for my holy place: I am the Lord.

31Do not go after those who make use of spirits, or wonder-workers; do not go in their ways or become unclean through them: I am the Lord your God.

32Get up from your seats before the white-haired, and give honour to the old, and let the fear of your God be before you: I am the Lord.

33And if a man from another country is living in your land with you, do not make life hard for him;

34Let him be to you as one of your countrymen and have love for him as for yourself; for you were living in a strange land, in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

35Do not make false decisions in questions of yard-sticks and weights and measures.

36Have true scales, true weights and measures for all things: I am the Lord your God, who took you out of the land of Egypt;

37You are to keep all my rules and my decisions and do them: I am the Lord.

Proverbs 29

1A man hating sharp words and making his heart hard, will suddenly be broken and will not be made well again.

2When the upright have power, the people are glad; when an evil man is ruler, grief comes on the people.

3A man who is a lover of wisdom is a joy to his father: but he who goes in the company of loose women is a waster of wealth.

4A king, by right rule, makes the land safe; but one full of desires makes it a waste.

5A man who says smooth things to his neighbour is stretching out a net for his steps.

6In the steps of an evil man there is a net for him, but the upright man gets away quickly and is glad.

7The upright man gives attention to the cause of the poor: the evil-doer gives no thought to it.

8Men of pride are the cause of violent acts in a town, but by wise men wrath is turned away.

9If a wise man goes to law with a foolish man, he may be angry or laughing, but there will be no rest.

10Men of blood are haters of the good man, and evil-doers go after his soul.

11A foolish man lets out all his wrath, but a wise man keeps it back quietly.

12If a ruler gives attention to false words, all his servants are evil-doers.

13The poor man and his creditor come face to face: the Lord gives light to their eyes equally.

14The king who is a true judge in the cause of the poor, will be safe for ever on the seat of his power.

15The rod and sharp words give wisdom: but a child who is not guided is a cause of shame to his mother.

16When evil men are in power, wrongdoing is increased; but the upright will have pleasure when they see their downfall.

17Give your son training, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your soul.

18Where there is no vision, the people are uncontrolled; but he who keeps the law will be happy.

19A servant will not be trained by words; for though the sense of the words is clear to him, he will not give attention.

20Have you seen a man who is quick with his tongue? There is more hope for a foolish man than for him.

21If a servant is gently cared for from his early years, he will become a cause of sorrow in the end.

22An angry man is the cause of fighting, and a man given to wrath does much wrong.

23A man’s pride will be the cause of his fall, but he who has a gentle spirit will get honour.

24A man who takes part with a thief has hate for his soul; he is put under oath, but says nothing.

25The fear of man is a cause of danger: but whoever puts his faith in the Lord will have a safe place on high.

26The approval of a ruler is desired by great numbers: but the decision in a man’s cause comes from the Lord.

27An evil man is disgusting to the upright, and he who is upright is disgusting to evil-doers.

Matthew 13:24-58

24And he gave them another story, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a man who put good seed in his field:

25But while men were sleeping, one who had hate for him came and put evil seeds among the grain, and went away.

26But when the green stem came up and gave fruit, the evil plants were seen at the same time.

27And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, Sir, did you not put good seed in your field? how then has it evil plants?

28And he said, Someone has done this in hate. And the servants say to him, Is it your pleasure that we go and take them up?

29But he says, No, for fear that by chance while you take up the evil plants, you may be rooting up the grain with them.

30Let them come up together till the getting in of the grain; and then I will say to the workers, Take up first the evil plants, and put them together for burning: but put the grain into my store-house.

31He put another story before them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and put in his field:

32Which is smaller than all seeds; but when it has come up it is greater than the plants, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of heaven come and make their resting-places in its branches.

33Another story he gave to them: The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took, and put in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.

34All these things Jesus said to the people in the form of stories; and without a story he said nothing to them:

35That it might come true which was said by the prophet, Opening my mouth, I will give out stories; I will give knowledge of things kept secret from before all time.

36Then he went away from the people, and went into the house; and his disciples came to him, saying, Make clear to us the story of the evil plants in the field.

37And he made answer and said, He who puts the good seed in the earth is the Son of man;

38And the field is the world; and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom; and the evil seeds are the sons of the Evil One;

39And he who put them in the earth is Satan; and the getting in of the grain is the end of the world; and those who get it in are the angels.

40As then the evil plants are got together and burned with fire, so will it be in the end of the world.

41The Son of man will send out his angels, and they will take out of his kingdom everything which is a cause of error, and all those who do wrong,

42And will put them into the fire; there will be weeping and cries of sorrow.

43Then will the upright be shining as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him give ear.

44The kingdom of heaven is like a secret store of wealth in a field, which a man came across and put back again; and in his joy he goes and gives all he has, to get that field.

45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a trader searching for beautiful jewels.

46And having come across one jewel of great price, he went and gave all he had in exchange for it.

47Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net, which was put into the sea and took in every sort of fish:

48When it was full, they took it up on the sands; and seated there they put the good into vessels, but the bad they put away.

49So will it be in the end of the world: the angels will come and take out the bad from the good,

50And will put them into the fire: there will be weeping and cries of sorrow.

51Are all these things now clear to you? They say to him, Yes.

52And he said to them, For this reason every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house, who gives out from his store things new and old.

53And when Jesus had come to the end of these stories he went away from there.

54And coming into his country, he gave them teaching in their Synagogue, so that they were greatly surprised and said, Where did this man get this wisdom and these works of power?

55Is not this the woodworker’s son? is not his mother named Mary? and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?

56And his sisters, are they not all with us? from where, then, has he all these things?

57And they were bitter against him. But Jesus said to them, A prophet is nowhere without honour but in his country and among his family.

58And the works of power which he did there were small in number because they had no faith.

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.

January 11

Genesis 18

1Now the Lord came to him by the holy tree of Mamre, when he was seated in the doorway of his tent in the middle of the day;

2And lifting up his eyes, he saw three men before him; and seeing them, he went quickly to them from the door of the tent, and went down on his face to the earth;

3And said, My Lord, if now I have grace in your eyes, do not go away from your servant:

4Let me get water for washing your feet, and take your rest under the tree:

5And let me get a bit of bread to keep up your strength, and after that you may go on your way: for this is why you have come to your servant. And they said, Let it be so.

6Then Abraham went quickly into the tent, and said to Sarah, Get three measures of meal straight away and make cakes.

7And running to the herd, he took a young ox, soft and fat, and gave it to the servant and he quickly made it ready;

8And he took butter and milk and the young ox which he had made ready and put it before them, waiting by them under the tree while they took food.

9And they said to him, Where is Sarah your wife? And he said, She is in the tent.

10And he said, I will certainly come back to you in the spring, and Sarah your wife will have a son. And his words came to the ears of Sarah who was at the back of the tent-door.

11Now Abraham and Sarah were very old, and Sarah was past the time for giving birth.

12And Sarah, laughing to herself, said, Now that I am used up am I still to have pleasure, my husband himself being old?

13And the Lord said, Why was Sarah laughing and saying, Is it possible for me, being old, to give birth to a child?

14Is there any wonder which the Lord is not able to do? At the time I said, in the spring, I will come back to you, and Sarah will have a child.

15Then Sarah said, I was not laughing; for she was full of fear. And he said, No, but you were laughing.

16And the men went on from there in the direction of Sodom; and Abraham went with them on their way.

17And the Lord said, Am I to keep back from Abraham the knowledge of what I do;

18Seeing that Abraham will certainly become a great and strong nation, and his name will be used by all the nations of the earth as a blessing?

19For I have made him mine so that he may give orders to his children and those of his line after him, to keep the ways of the Lord, to do what is good and right: so that the Lord may do to Abraham as he has said.

20And the Lord said, Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is very great, and their sin is very evil,

21I will go down now, and see if their acts are as bad as they seem from the outcry which has come to me; and if they are not, I will see.

22And the men, turning from that place, went on to Sodom: but Abraham was still waiting before the Lord.

23And Abraham came near, and said, Will you let destruction come on the upright with the sinners?

24If by chance there are fifty upright men in the town, will you give the place to destruction and not have mercy on it because of the fifty upright men?

25Let such a thing be far from you, to put the upright to death with the sinner: will not the judge of all the earth do right?

26And the Lord said, If there are fifty upright men in the town, I will have mercy on it because of them.

27And Abraham answering said, Truly, I who am only dust, have undertaken to put my thoughts before the Lord:

28If by chance there are five less than fifty upright men, will you give up all the town to destruction because of these five? And he said, I will not give it to destruction if there are forty-five.

29And again he said to him, By chance there may be forty there. And he said, I will not do it if there are forty.

30And he said, Let not the Lord be angry with me if I say, What if there are thirty there? And he said, I will not do it if there are thirty.

31And he said, See now, I have undertaken to put my thoughts before the Lord: what if there are twenty there? And he said, I will have mercy because of the twenty.

32And he said, O let not the Lord be angry and I will say only one word more: by chance there may be ten there. And he said, I will have mercy because of the ten.

33And the Lord went on his way when his talk with Abraham was ended, and Abraham went back to his place.

Psalms 11

For the chief music-maker. Of David.

1 In the Lord put I my faith; how will you say to my soul, Go in flight like a bird to the mountain?

2See, the bows of the evil-doers are bent, they make ready their arrows on the cord, so that they may send them secretly against the upright in heart.

3If the bases are broken down, what is the upright man to do?

4The Lord is in his holy Temple, the Lord’s seat is in heaven; his eyes are watching and testing the children of men.

5The Lord puts the upright and the sinner to the test, but he has hate in his soul for the lover of violent acts.

6On the evil-doer he will send down fire and flames, and a burning wind; with these will their cup be full.

7For the Lord is upright; he is a lover of righteousness: the upright will see his face.

Luke 10:21-42

21In that same hour he was full of joy in the Holy Spirit and said, I give praise to you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have kept these things secret from the wise and the men of learning, and have made them clear to little children: for so, O Father, it was pleasing in your eyes.

22All things have been given to me by my Father: and no one has knowledge of the Son, but only the Father: and of the Father, but only the Son, and he to whom the Son will make it clear.

23And, turning to the disciples, he said privately, Happy are the eyes which see the things you see:

24For I say to you that numbers of prophets and kings have had a desire to see the things which you see, and have not seen them, and to have knowledge of the things which have come to your ears, and they had it not.

25And a certain teacher of the law got up and put him to the test, saying, Master, what have I to do so that I may have eternal life?

26And he said to him, What does the law say, in your reading of it?

27And he, answering, said, Have love for the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and for your neighbour as for yourself.

28And he said, You have given the right answer: do this and you will have life.

29But he, desiring to put himself in the right, said to Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

30And Jesus, answering him, said, A certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he got into the hands of thieves, who took his clothing and gave him cruel blows, and when they went away, he was half dead.

31And by chance a certain priest was going down that way: and when he saw him, he went by on the other side.

32And in the same way, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, went by on the other side.

33But a certain man of Samaria, journeying that way, came where he was, and when he saw him, he was moved with pity for him,

34And came to him and put clean linen round his wounds, with oil and wine; and he put him on his beast and took him to a house and took care of him.

35And the day after he took two pennies and gave them to the owner of the house and said, Take care of him; and if this money is not enough, when I come again I will give you whatever more is needed.

36Which of these three men, in your opinion, was neighbour to the man who came into the hands of thieves?

37And he said, The one who had mercy on him. And Jesus said, Go and do the same.

38Now, while they were on their way, he came to a certain town; and a woman named Martha took him into her house.

39And she had a sister, by name Mary, who took her seat at the Lord’s feet and gave attention to his words.

40But Martha had her hands full of the work of the house, and she came to him and said, Lord, is it nothing to you that my sister has let me do all the work? Say to her that she is to give me some help.

41But the Lord, answering, said to her, Martha, Martha, you are full of care and troubled about such a number of things:

42Little is needed, or even one thing only: for Mary has taken that good part, which will not be taken away from her.

December 24

Isaiah 59

1Truly, the Lord’s hand has not become short, so that he is unable to give salvation; and his ear is not shut from hearing:

2But your sins have come between you and your God, and by your evil doings his face has been veiled from you, so that he will give you no answer.

3For your hands are unclean with blood, and your fingers with sin; your lips have said false things, and your tongue gives out deceit.

4No one puts forward an upright cause, or gives a true decision: their hope is in deceit, and their words are false; they are with child with sin, and give birth to evil.

5They give birth to snake’s eggs, and make spider’s threads: whoever takes their eggs for food comes to his death, and the egg which is crushed becomes a poison-snake.

6Their twisted threads will not make clothing, and their works will give them nothing for covering themselves: their works are works of sin, and violent acts are in their hands.

7Their feet go quickly to evil, and they take delight in the death of the upright; their thoughts are thoughts of sin; wasting and destruction are in their ways.

8They have no knowledge of the way of peace, and there is no sense of what is right in their behaviour: they have made for themselves ways which are not straight; whoever goes in them has no knowledge of peace.

9For this cause our right is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us: we are looking for light, but there is only the dark; for the shining of the sun, but our way is in the night.

10We go on our way, like blind men feeling for the wall, even like those who have no eyes: we are running against things in daylight as if it was evening; our place is in the dark like dead men.

11We make noises of grief, like bears, and sad sounds like doves: we are looking for our right, but it is not there; for salvation, but it is far from us.

12For our evil doings are increased before you, and our sins give witness against us: for our evil doings are with us, and we have knowledge of our sins:

13We have gone against the Lord, and been false to him, turning away from our God, our words have been uncontrolled, and in our hearts are thoughts of deceit.

14And the right is turned back, and righteousness is far away: for good faith is not to be seen in the public places, and upright behaviour may not come into the town.

15Yes, faith is gone; and he whose heart is turned from evil comes into the power of the cruel: and the Lord saw it, and he was angry that there was no one to take up their cause.

16And he saw that there was no man, and was surprised that there was no one to take up their cause: so his arm gave salvation, and he made righteousness his support.

17Yes, he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and salvation as a head-dress; and he put on punishment as clothing, and wrath as a robe.

18He will give them the right reward of their doings, wrath to his attackers, punishment to his haters, and even on the sea-lands he will send punishment.

19So they will see the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the east: for he will come like a rushing stream, forced on by a wind of the Lord.

20And as a saviour he will come to Zion, turning away sin from Jacob, says the Lord.

21And as for me, this is my agreement with them, says the Lord: my spirit which is on you, and my words which I have put in your mouth, will not go away from your mouth, or from the mouth of your seed, or from the mouth of your seed’s seed, says the Lord, from now and for ever.

Ezekiel 35

1Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

2Son of man, let your face be turned to Mount Seir, and be a prophet against it,

3And say to it, This is what the Lord has said: See, I am against you, O Mount Seir, and my hand will be stretched out against you, and I will make you a waste and a cause for wonder.

4I will make your towns unpeopled and you will be a waste; and you will be certain that I am the Lord.

5Because yours has been a hate without end, and you have given up the children of Israel to the power of the sword in the time of their trouble, in the time of the punishment of the end:

6For this cause, by my life, says the Lord, because you have been sinning through blood, blood will come after you.

7And I will make Mount Seir a cause for wonder and a waste, cutting off from it all comings and goings.

8I will make his mountains full of those who have been put to death; in your valleys and in all your water-streams men will be falling by the sword.

9I will make you waste for ever, and your towns will be unpeopled: and you will be certain that I am the Lord.

10Because you have said, The two nations and the two countries are to be mine, and we will take them for our heritage; though the Lord was there:

11For this cause, by my life, says the Lord, I will do to you as you have done in your wrath and in your envy, which you have made clear in your hate for them; and I will make clear to you who I am when you are judged by me.

12And you will see that I the Lord have had knowledge of all the bitter things which you have said against the mountains of Israel, saying, They have been made waste, they are given to us to take for our heritage.

13And you have made yourselves great against me with your mouths, increasing your words against me; and it has come to my ears.

14This is what the Lord has said: Because you were glad over my land when it was a waste, so will I do to you:

15You will become a waste, O Mount Seir, and all Edom, even all of it: and you will be certain that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 36

1And you, son of man, be a prophet about the mountains of Israel, and say, You mountains of Israel, give ear to the word of the Lord:

2This is what the Lord has said: Because your hater has said against you, Aha! and, The old waste places are our heritage, we have taken them:

3For this cause be a prophet, and say, This is what the Lord has said: Because, even because they have been glad over you and put you to shame on every side, because you have become a heritage for the rest of the nations, and you are taken up on the lips of talkers and in the evil talk of the people:

4For this reason, you mountains of Israel, give ear to the word of the Lord; this is what the Lord has said to the mountains and to the hills, to the streams and to the valleys, to the unpeopled wastes and to the towns where no one is living, from which the goods have been taken and which have been put to shame by the rest of the nations who are round about:

5For this cause the Lord has said: Truly, in the heat of my bitter feeling I have said things against the rest of the nations and against all Edom, who have taken my land as a heritage for themselves with the joy of all their heart, and with bitter envy of soul have made attacks on it:

6For this cause be a prophet about the land of Israel, and say to the mountains and to the hills, to the streams and to the valleys, This is what the Lord has said: Truly, in my bitter feeling and in my wrath I have said these things, because you have undergone the shame of the nations:

7For this cause the Lord has said, See, I have taken an oath that the nations which are round about you are themselves to undergo the shame which they have put on you.

8But you, O mountains of Israel, will put out your branches and give your fruit to my people Israel; for they are ready to come.

9For truly I am for you, and I will be turned to you, and you will be ploughed and planted:

10And I will let your numbers be increased, all the children of Israel, even all of them: and the towns will be peopled and the waste places will have buildings;

11Man and beast will be increased in you, and they will have offspring and be fertile: I will make you thickly peopled as you were before, and will do more for you than at the first: and you will be certain that I am the Lord.

12Yes, I will have you walked on by the feet of men, even my people Israel; they will have you for a heritage and you will be theirs, and never again will you take their children from them.

13This is what the Lord has said: Because they say to you, You, O land, are the destruction of men, causing loss of children to your nation;

14For this reason you will no longer take the lives of men and will never again be the cause of loss of children to your nation, says the Lord.

15And I will not let the shaming of the nations come to your ears, and no longer will you be looked down on by the peoples, says the Lord.

16Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

17Son of man, when the children of Israel were living in their land, they made it unclean by their way and their acts: their way before me was as when a woman is unclean at the time when she is kept separate.

18So I let loose my wrath on them because of those whom they had violently put to death in the land, and because they had made it unclean with their images:

19And I sent them in flight among the nations and wandering through the countries: I was their judge, rewarding them for their way and their acts.

20And when they came among the nations, wherever they went, they made my holy name unclean, when it was said of them, These are the people of the Lord who have gone out from his land.

21But I had pity for my holy name which the children of Israel had made unclean wherever they went.

22For this cause say to the children of Israel, This is what the Lord has said: I am doing this, not because of you, O children of Israel, but because of my holy name, which you have made unclean among the nations wherever you went.

23And I will make holy my great name which has been made unclean among the nations, which you have made unclean among them; and it will be clear to the nations that I am the Lord, says the Lord, when I make myself holy in you before their eyes.

24For I will take you out from among the nations, and get you together from all the countries, and take you into your land.

25And I will put clean water on you so that you may be clean: from all your unclean ways and from all your images I will make you clean.

26And I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you: I will take away the heart of stone from your flesh, and give you a heart of flesh.

27And I will put my spirit in you, causing you to be guided by my rules, and you will keep my orders and do them.

28So that you may go on living in the land which I gave to your fathers; and you will be to me a people, and I will be to you a God.

29And I will make you free from all your unclean ways: and at my voice the grain will come up and be increased, and I will not let you be short of food.

30And I will make the tree give more fruit and the field fuller produce, and no longer will you be shamed among the nations for need of food.

31And at the memory of your evil ways and your wrongdoings, you will have bitter hate for yourselves because of your evil-doings and your disgusting ways, O children of Israel.

32Not because of you am I doing it, says the Lord; let it be clear to you, and be shamed and made low because of your ways, O children of Israel.

33This is what the Lord has said: In the day when I make you clean from all your evil-doings I will let the towns be peopled and there will be building on the waste places.

34And the land which was waste will be farmed, in place of being a waste in the eyes of everyone who went by.

35And they will say, This land which was waste has become like the garden of Eden; and the towns which were unpeopled and wasted and pulled down are walled and peopled.

36Then the rest of the nations round about you will be certain that I the Lord am the builder of the places which were pulled down and the planter of that which was waste: I the Lord have said it, and I will do it.

37This is what the Lord has said: The children of Israel will again make prayer to me for this, that I may do it for them; I will make them increased with men like a flock.

38Like sheep for the offerings, like the sheep of Jerusalem at her fixed feasts, so the unpeopled towns will be made full of men: and they will be certain that I am the Lord.

Luke 1:57-80

57Now it was time for Elisabeth to give birth, and she had a son.

58And it came to the ears of her neighbours and relations that the Lord had been very good to her, and they took part in her joy.

59And on the eighth day they came to see to the circumcision of the child, and they would have given him the name of Zacharias, his father’s name;

60But his mother made answer and said, No, his name is John.

61And they said, Not one of your relations has that name.

62And they made signs to his father, to say what name was to be given to him.

63And he sent for writing materials and put down: His name is John; and they were all surprised.

64And straight away his mouth was open and his tongue was free and he gave praise to God.

65And fear came on all those who were living round about them: and there was much talk about all these things in all the hill-country of Judaea.

66And all who had word of them kept them in their minds and said, What will this child be? For the hand of the Lord was with him.

67And his father, Zacharias, was full of the Holy Spirit, and with the voice of a prophet said these words:

68Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, for he has come to his people and made them free,

69Lifting up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,

70(As he said, by the mouth of his holy prophets, from the earliest times,)

71Salvation from those who are against us, and from the hands of those who have hate for us;

72To do acts of mercy to our fathers and to keep in mind his holy word,

73The oath which he made to Abraham, our father,

74That we, being made free from the fear of those who are against us, might give him worship,

75In righteousness and holy living before him all our days.

76And you, child, will be named the prophet of the Most High: you will go before the face of the Lord, to make ready his ways;

77To give knowledge of salvation to his people, through the forgiveness of sins,

78Because of the loving mercies of our God, by which the dawn from heaven has come to us,

79To give light to those in dark places, and in the shade of death, so that our feet may be guided into the way of peace.

80And the child became tall, and strong in spirit; and he was living in the waste land till the day when he came before the eyes of Israel.