Exodus 20-21

Exodus 20

The Ten Commandments

1 And God spoke all these words, saying,

2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

4 “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above or that is in the earth beneath or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them, nor serve them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me 6 and showing mercy and kindness to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

7 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 You shall labor six days and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it, you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor any foreigner who is within your gates; 11 for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

Moses Comforts the People

18 All the people witnessed the thunder, the lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking. When the people saw it, they trembled and stayed at a distance. 19 They said to Moses, “Speak with us yourself, and we will listen, but do not let God speak with us, lest we die.”

20 Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come in order to test you, that his fear may be before you, that you will not sin.” 21 The people stood at a distance, and Moses came near to the thick darkness where God was.

Idolatry Forbidden

22 The Lord said to Moses, “This is what you shall tell the Israelites: ‘You yourselves have seen that from heaven I have talked with you. 23 You shall most certainly not make idols of silver or gold against me.

The Altar of Sacrifice

24 You shall make an altar of earth for me, and shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your cattle. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you, and I will bless you.

25 If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of cut stones, for if you use your tool on it, you have defiled it. 26 You shall not go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed.'”

Exodus 21

Laws for Servants

1 “Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them:

2 “If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve you six years, and in the seventh he shall go free without paying anything. 3 If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself. If he is married, then his wife shall go with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go by himself. 5 But if the servant shall plainly say, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children, I will not go free,’ 6 then his master shall bring him to the judges and shall bring him to the door or to the doorpost, and his master shall pierce his ear with an awl, and he shall serve him forever.

7 “If a man sells his daughter to be a female servant, she shall not go as the male servants do. 8 If she does not please her master, who has chosen her for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has acted treacherously with her. 9 If he marries her to his son, he shall deal with her as a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marital rights. 11 If he does not do these three things for her, she may go free without paying any money.

Personal Injury Laws

12 “One who strikes a man so that he dies shall surely be put to death, 13 however, if it is unintentional, but God allows it to happen, then I will appoint you a place where he shall flee.

14 If a man schemes and comes presumptuously on his neighbor to kill him, you shall take him from my altar, that he may die.

15 “Anyone who attacks his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

16 “Anyone who kidnaps someone and sells him, or if he is found in his possession, he shall surely be put to death.

17 “Anyone who curses his father or his mother shall surely be put to death.

18 “If men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist, and he does not die but is confined to bed; 19 if he rises again and walks around with his staff, then he who struck him shall be cleared; only he shall pay for the loss of his time and shall provide for his healing until he is thoroughly healed.

20 “If a man strikes his servant or his maid with a rod, and he dies under his hand, the man shall surely be punished. 21 Notwithstanding, if his servant gets up after a day or two, he shall not be punished, for the servant is his property.

22 “If men fight and hurt a pregnant woman so that she gives birth prematurely, and yet no harm follows, he shall surely be fined as much as the woman’s husband demands and the judges allow. 23 But if any harm follows, then you must take life for life, 24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, and bruise for bruise.

26 “If a man strikes his servant’s eye, or his maid’s eye, and destroys it, he shall let him go free for his eye’s sake. 27 If he strikes out his male servant’s tooth, or his female servant’s tooth, he shall let the servant go free for the sake of his tooth..

28 “If a bull gores a man or a woman to death, the bull shall surely be stoned, and its meat shall not be eaten, but the owner of the bull shall not be held responsible. 29 But if the bull had a habit of goring in the past, and this has been testified to its owner, and he has not kept it confined, but it has killed a man or a woman, the bull shall be stoned, and its owner shall also be put to death. 30 If a ransom is imposed on him, then he shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed.

31 Whether it has gored a son or has gored a daughter, according to this judgment it shall be done to him.

32 If the bull gores a male servant or a female servant, 30 pieces of silver shall be given to their master, and the ox shall be stoned.

Laws about Restitution

33 “If a man opens a pit, or if a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and a bull or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make it good. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead animal shall be his.

35 “If one man’s bull injures another’s so that it dies, then they shall sell the live bull and divide its price, and they shall also divide the dead animal. 36 Or if it is known that the bull was in the habit of goring in the past and its owner has not kept it confined, he shall surely pay bull for bull, and the dead animal shall be his own.

Matthew 23:13-39

Woes to Scribes and Pharisees

13 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you devour the homes of widows, and as a pretense you make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.

14 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you close off the Kingdom of Heaven from men. You neither enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you travel around by sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

16 “Woe to you, you blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 18 ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing, but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obligated?’ 19 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gift, or the altar which sanctifies the gift? 20 He therefore who swears by the altar, swears by it, and by everything on it. 21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it, and by him who has been living in it. 22 He who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by him who sits on it.

23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faith. But you ought to have done these and not to have left the other undone. 24 You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the platter, that its outside may be clean also.

27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like white washed tombs, which appear beautiful outwardly, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones and of all uncleanness. 28 In the same way, outwardly, you appear righteous to men, but within, you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and decorate the tombs of the righteous 30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Therefore you testify to yourselves that you are children of those who killed the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ sins. 33 You serpents, you offspring of vipers, how will you escape the damnation of hell?

34 Therefore I am sending prophets, wise men, and scribes to you. Some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city; 35 that on you will be the blood of the righteous, shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zachariah son of Barachiah, whom you killed between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Most certainly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.

Lament over Jerusalem

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I would have gathered your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 Your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ”

Psalm 28

The Lord is My Strength

By David.

1 To you, Lord, I call.
My rock, do not be deaf to me,
lest, if you are silent to me,
I would become like those who go down into the pit.
2 Hear the voice of my petitions, when I cry to you,
when I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.

3 Do not draw me away with the wicked,
with the workers of iniquity who speak peace with their neighbors,
but mischief is in their hearts.
4 Give them according to their work,
and according to the wickedness of their actions.
Give them according to the operation of their hands.
Bring back on them what they deserve.
5 Because they do not respect the works of the Lord,
nor the operation of his hands,
he will break them down and not build them up.

6 Blessed be the Lord,
because he has heard the cry of my petitions.
7 The Lord is my strength and my shield.
My heart has trusted in him, and I am helped.
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices.
With my song I will thank him.
8 The Lord is their strength.
He is a stronghold of salvation to his anointed.
9 Save your people,
and bless your inheritance.
Be their shepherd also,
and bear them up forever.

Proverbs 7:1-5

1 My son, keep my words.
Lay up my commandments within you.
2 Keep my commandments and live!
Guard my teaching as the apple of your eye.
3 Bind them on your fingers.
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Tell wisdom, “You are my sister.”
Call understanding your close relative,
5 that they may keep you from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress who flatters with her words.

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