Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

As the people of Israel stood next to Mount Sinai and received the commandments of God, the thunder, loud blast of the horn, lightning, and smoke all caused the people to say, "Don't let God speak directly to us. If he does, we will die!" (Exodus 20:19).

The voice of the Lord is an awesome power, similar to lightning piercing through your entire being. The sound and power of His voice reinforced the fear of God that the Israelites were to show in their dealings with one another. They were not to steal from, oppress, or be unjust to one another in any way. God said, "If you do and they cry out to me, then I will surely help them. My anger will blaze forth against you, and I will kill you with the sword" (Exodus 22:23-24). Anyone who can steal casually from others or from God has never heard the voice of the Lord.

Jesus told His disciples, "For as the lightning lights up the entire sky, so it will be when the Son of Man comes" (Matthew 24:27). Get ready for the greatest manifestation of the voice of the Lord: the return of Christ!

Exodus 21:22-23:13

22 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurelyOr she has a miscarriage but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demandsver 30 and the court allows.23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,Lev 24:19; Dt 19:2124 eye for eye, tooth for tooth,S ver 23; Mt 5:38* hand for hand, foot for foot,25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

26 “An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye.27 And an owner who knocks out the tooth of a male or female slave must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.

28 “If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death,ver 32; Ge 9:5 and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible.29 If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned upver 36 and it kills a man or woman, the bull is to be stoned and its owner also is to be put to death.30 However, if payment is demanded, the owner may redeem his life by the payment of whatever is demanded.ver 2231 This law also applies if the bull gores a son or daughter.32 If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekelsThat is, about 12 ounces or about 345 gramsGe 37:28; Zec 11:12-13; Mt 26:15; 27:3, 9 of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull is to be stoned to death.

33 “If anyone uncovers a pitLk 14:5 or digs one and fails to cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into it,34 the one who opened the pit must pay the owner for the loss and take the dead animal in exchange.

35 “If anyone’s bull injures someone else’s bull and it dies, the two parties are to sell the live one and divide both the money and the dead animal equally.36 However, if it was known that the bull had the habit of goring, yet the owner did not keep it penned up,ver 29 the owner must pay, animal for animal, and take the dead animal in exchange.

Protection of Property

22 In Hebrew texts 22:1 is numbered 21:37, and 22:2-31 is numbered 22:1-30.“Whoever steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it must pay backLev 6:1-7; 2Sa 12:6; Pr 6:31; S Lk 19:8 five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.

“If a thief is caught breaking inJob 24:16; Jer 2:34; Hos 7:1; Mt 6:19-20; 24:43 at night and is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed;Nu 35:27but if it happens after sunrise, the defender is guilty of bloodshed.

“Anyone who steals must certainly make restitution,ver 1 but if they have nothing, they must be soldS Ex 21:2; S Mt 18:25 to pay for their theft.If the stolen animal is found alive in their possession1Sa 12:5—whether ox or donkey or sheep—they must pay back double.S Ge 43:12

“If anyone grazes their livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in someone else’s field, the offender must make restitutionver 1 from the best of their own field or vineyard.

“If a fire breaks out and spreads into thornbushes so that it burns shocksJdg 15:5 of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution.ver 1

“If anyone gives a neighbor silver or goods for safekeepingver 10; Lev 6:2 and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house, the thief, if caught, must pay back double.S Ge 43:12But if the thief is not found, the owner of the house must appear before the judges,S Ex 21:6 and they mustOr before God, and he will determine whether the owner of the house has laid hands on the other person’s property.In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any other lost property about which somebody says, ‘This is mine,’ both parties are to bring their cases before the judges.Or before Godver 8; Dt 25:1 The one whom the judges declareOr whom God declares guilty must pay back double to the other.

10 “If anyone gives a donkey, an ox, a sheep or any other animal to their neighbor for safekeepingS ver 7 and it dies or is injured or is taken away while no one is looking,11 the issue between them will be settled by the taking of an oathLev 6:3; 1Ki 8:31; 2Ch 6:22; Heb 6:16 before the Lord that the neighbor did not lay hands on the other person’s property. The owner is to accept this, and no restitution is required.12 But if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, restitutionver 1 must be made to the owner.13 If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, the neighbor shall bring in the remains as evidence and shall not be required to pay for the torn animal.Ge 31:39

14 “If anyone borrows an animal from their neighbor and it is injured or dies while the owner is not present, they must make restitution.ver 115 But if the owner is with the animal, the borrower will not have to pay. If the animal was hired, the money paid for the hire covers the loss.Lev 19:13; Job 17:5

Social Responsibility

16 “If a man seduces a virginDt 22:28 who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price,S Ge 34:12 and she shall be his wife.17 If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins.

18 “Do not allow a sorceressS Ex 7:11; Lev 19:26, 31; 20:27; Dt 18:11; 1Sa 28:3; 2Ch 33:6; Isa 57:3 to live.

19 “Anyone who has sexual relations with an animalLev 18:23; 20:15; Dt 27:21 is to be put to death.

20 “Whoever sacrifices to any godS Ex 20:23; 34:15; Lev 17:7; Nu 25:2; Dt 32:17; Ps 106:37 other than the Lord must be destroyed.The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.Lev 27:29; Dt 13:5; 17:2-5; 18:20; 1Ki 18:40; 19:1; 2Ki 10:25; 23:20; 2Ch 15:13

21 “Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner,Ex 23:9; Lev 19:33; 24:22; Nu 15:14; Dt 1:16; 24:17; Eze 22:29 for you were foreignersDt 10:19; 27:19; Zec 7:10; Mal 3:5 in Egypt.

22 “Do not take advantage of the widow or the fatherless.ver 26; Dt 10:18; 24:6, 10, 12, 17; Job 22:6, 9; 24:3, 21; Ps 68:5; 146:9; Pr 23:10; Isa 1:17; Jer 7:5, 6; 21:12; 22:3; Eze 18:5-9, 12; Zec 7:9-10; Mal 3:5; Jas 1:2723 If you do and they cry outLk 18:7 to me, I will certainly hear their cry.Dt 10:18; 15:9; 24:15; Job 34:28; 35:9; Ps 10:14, 17; 12:5; 18:6; 34:15; Jas 5:424 My anger will be aroused, and I will kill you with the sword; your wives will become widows and your children fatherless.Ps 69:24; 109:9; La 5:3

25 “If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not treat it like a business deal; charge no interest.Lev 25:35-37; Dt 15:7-11; 23:20; Ne 5:7, 10; Ps 15:5; Eze 18:826 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as a pledge,S ver 22; Pr 20:16; Eze 33:15; Am 2:8 return it by sunset,27 because that cloak is the only covering your neighbor has. What else can they sleep in?Dt 24:13, 17; Job 22:6; 24:7; 29:11; 31:19-20; Eze 18:12, 16 When they cry out to me, I will hear, for I am compassionate.Ex 34:6; Dt 4:31; 2Ch 30:9; Ne 9:17; Ps 99:8; 103:8; 116:5; 145:8; Joel 2:13; Jnh 4:2

28 “Do not blaspheme GodOr Do not revile the judgesS Ex 20:7 or curse2Sa 16:5, 9; 19:21; 1Ki 21:10; 2Ki 2:23; Ps 102:8 the ruler of your people.Ecc 10:20; Ac 23:5*

29 “Do not hold back offeringsEx 23:15, 16, 19; 34:20, 26; Lev 19:24; 23:10; Nu 18:13; 28:26; Dt 18:4; 26:2, 10; 1Sa 6:3; Ne 10:35; Pr 3:9; Mal 3:10 from your granaries or your vats.The meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.

“You must give me the firstborn of your sons.S Ex 13:2; Nu 8:16-17; Lk 2:2330 Do the same with your cattle and your sheep.Ex 34:19; Dt 15:19 Let them stay with their mothers for seven days, but give them to me on the eighth day.Ge 17:12; Lev 12:3; 22:27

31 “You are to be my holy people.Ex 19:6; Lev 19:2; 22:31; Ezr 9:2 So do not eat the meat of an animal torn by wild beasts;Lev 7:24; 17:15; 22:8; Dt 14:21; Eze 4:14; 44:31 throw it to the dogs.

Laws of Justice and Mercy

23 “Do not spread false reports.S Ge 39:17; Mt 19:18; Lk 3:14 Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness.S Ex 20:16; Dt 5:20; 19:16-21; Ps 27:12; 35:11; Pr 19:5; Ac 6:11

“Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justicever 3, 6, 9; Lev 19:15, 33; Dt 1:17; 16:19; 24:17; 27:19; 1Sa 8:3 by siding with the crowd,Job 31:34and do not show favoritismDt 1:17 to a poor person in a lawsuit.

“If you come across your enemy’sRo 12:20 ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it.Lev 6:3; 19:11; Dt 22:1-3If you see the donkeyDt 22:4 of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it.

“Do not deny justiceS ver 2; Dt 23:16; Pr 22:22 to your poor people in their lawsuits.Have nothing to do with a false chargeS Ex 20:16; S Eph 4:25 and do not put an innocentMt 27:4 or honest person to death,S Ge 18:23 for I will not acquit the guilty.Ex 34:7; Dt 19:18; 25:1

“Do not accept a bribe,S Ex 18:21; Lev 19:15; Dt 10:17; 27:25; Job 15:34; 36:18; Ps 26:10; Pr 6:35; 15:27; 17:8; Isa 1:23; 5:23; Mic 3:11; 7:3 for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.

“Do not oppress a foreigner;S ver 2; S Ex 22:21; Lev 19:33-34; Eze 22:7 you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.

Sabbath Laws

10 “For six years you are to sow your fields and harvest the crops,11 but during the seventh year let the land lie unplowed and unused.Lev 25:1-7; Ne 10:31 Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what is left. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.

12 “Six days do your work,S Ex 20:9; Lk 13:14 but on the seventh day do not work, so that your ox and your donkey may rest, and so that the slave born in your household and the foreigner living among you may be refreshed.Ge 2:2-3

13 “Be carefulDt 4:9, 23; 1Ti 4:16 to do everything I have said to you. Do not invoke the names of other gods;ver 32; Dt 12:3; Jos 23:7; Ps 16:4; Zec 13:2 do not let them be heard on your lips.Dt 18:20; Jos 23:7; Ps 16:4; Hos 2:17

22 “Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely.Or so she has a miscarriage; Hebrew reads so her children come out. If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman’s husband demands and the judges approve.23 But if there is further injury, the punishment must match the injury: a life for a life,24 an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot,25 a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.

26 “If a man hits his male or female slave in the eye and the eye is blinded, he must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye.27 And if a man knocks out the tooth of his male or female slave, he must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.

28 “If an oxOr bull, or cow; also in 21:29-36. gores a man or woman to death, the ox must be stoned, and its flesh may not be eaten. In such a case, however, the owner will not be held liable.29 But suppose the ox had a reputation for goring, and the owner had been informed but failed to keep it under control. If the ox then kills someone, it must be stoned, and the owner must also be put to death.30 However, the dead person’s relatives may accept payment to compensate for the loss of life. The owner of the ox may redeem his life by paying whatever is demanded.

31 “The same regulation applies if the ox gores a boy or a girl.32 But if the ox gores a slave, either male or female, the animal’s owner must pay the slave’s owner thirty silver coins,Hebrew 30 shekels of silver, about 12 ounces or 342 grams in weight. and the ox must be stoned.

33 “Suppose someone digs or uncovers a pit and fails to cover it, and then an ox or a donkey falls into it.34 The owner of the pit must pay full compensation to the owner of the animal, but then he gets to keep the dead animal.

35 “If someone’s ox injures a neighbor’s ox and the injured ox dies, then the two owners must sell the live ox and divide the price equally between them. They must also divide the dead animal.36 But if the ox had a reputation for goring, yet its owner failed to keep it under control, he must pay full compensation—a live ox for the dead one—but he may keep the dead ox.

Protection of Property

22 Verse 22:1 is numbered 21:37 in Hebrew text.“If someone steals an oxOr bull, or cow; also in 22:4, 9, 10. or sheep and then kills or sells it, the thief must pay back five oxen for each ox stolen, and four sheep for each sheep stolen.

Verses 22:2-31 are numbered 22:1-30 in Hebrew text.“If a thief is caught in the act of breaking into a house and is struck and killed in the process, the person who killed the thief is not guilty of murder.But if it happens in daylight, the one who killed the thief is guilty of murder.

“A thief who is caught must pay in full for everything he stole. If he cannot pay, he must be sold as a slave to pay for his theft.If someone steals an ox or a donkey or a sheep and it is found in the thief’s possession, then the thief must pay double the value of the stolen animal.

“If an animal is grazing in a field or vineyard and the owner lets it stray into someone else’s field to graze, then the animal’s owner must pay compensation from the best of his own grain or grapes.

“If you are burning thornbushes and the fire gets out of control and spreads into another person’s field, destroying the sheaves or the uncut grain or the whole crop, the one who started the fire must pay for the lost crop.

“Suppose someone leaves money or goods with a neighbor for safekeeping, and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house. If the thief is caught, the compensation is double the value of what was stolen.But if the thief is not caught, the neighbor must appear before God,Or before the judges. who will determine if he stole the property.

“Suppose there is a dispute between two people who both claim to own a particular ox, donkey, sheep, article of clothing, or any lost property. Both parties must come before God, and the person whom God declaresOr before the judges, and the person whom the judges declare. guilty must pay double compensation to the other.

10 “Now suppose someone leaves a donkey, ox, sheep, or any other animal with a neighbor for safekeeping, but it dies or is injured or is taken away, and no one sees what happened.11 The neighbor must then take an oath in the presence of the Lord. If the Lord confirms that the neighbor did not steal the property, the owner must accept the verdict, and no payment will be required.12 But if the animal was indeed stolen, the guilty person must pay compensation to the owner.13 If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, the remains of the carcass must be shown as evidence, and no compensation will be required.

14 “If someone borrows an animal from a neighbor and it is injured or dies when the owner is absent, the person who borrowed it must pay full compensation.15 But if the owner was present, no compensation is required. And no compensation is required if the animal was rented, for this loss is covered by the rental fee.

Social Responsibility

16 “If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to anyone and has sex with her, he must pay the customary bride price and marry her.17 But if her father refuses to let him marry her, the man must still pay him an amount equal to the bride price of a virgin.

18 “You must not allow a sorceress to live.

19 “Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal must certainly be put to death.

20 “Anyone who sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed.The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.

21 “You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

22 “You must not exploit a widow or an orphan.23 If you exploit them in any way and they cry out to me, then I will certainly hear their cry.24 My anger will blaze against you, and I will kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.

25 “If you lend money to any of my people who are in need, do not charge interest as a money lender would.26 If you take your neighbor’s cloak as security for a loan, you must return it before sunset.27 This coat may be the only blanket your neighbor has. How can a person sleep without it? If you do not return it and your neighbor cries out to me for help, then I will hear, for I am merciful.

28 “You must not dishonor God or curse any of your rulers.

29 “You must not hold anything back when you give me offerings from your crops and your wine.

“You must give me your firstborn sons.

30 “You must also give me the firstborn of your cattle, sheep, and goats. But leave the newborn animal with its mother for seven days; then give it to me on the eighth day.

31 “You must be my holy people. Therefore, do not eat any animal that has been torn up and killed by wild animals. Throw it to the dogs.

A Call for Justice

23 “You must not pass along false rumors. You must not cooperate with evil people by lying on the witness stand.

“You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice.And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.

“If you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey that has strayed away, take it back to its owner.If you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has collapsed under its load, do not walk by. Instead, stop and help.

“In a lawsuit, you must not deny justice to the poor.

“Be sure never to charge anyone falsely with evil. Never sentence an innocent or blameless person to death, for I never declare a guilty person to be innocent.

“Take no bribes, for a bribe makes you ignore something that you clearly see. A bribe makes even a righteous person twist the truth.

“You must not oppress foreigners. You know what it’s like to be a foreigner, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

10 “Plant and harvest your crops for six years,11 but let the land be renewed and lie uncultivated during the seventh year. Then let the poor among you harvest whatever grows on its own. Leave the rest for wild animals to eat. The same applies to your vineyards and olive groves.

12 “You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working. This gives your ox and your donkey a chance to rest. It also allows your slaves and the foreigners living among you to be refreshed.

13 “Pay close attention to all my instructions. You must not call on the name of any other gods. Do not even speak their names.

22 If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

23 And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,

24 Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

25 Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

26 And if a man smite the eye of his servant, or the eye of his maid, that it perish; he shall let him go free for his eye's sake.

27 And if he smite out his manservant's tooth, or his maidservant's tooth; he shall let him go free for his tooth's sake.

28 If an ox gore a man or a woman, that they die: then the ox shall be surely stoned, and his flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be quit.

29 But if the ox were wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and he hath not kept him in, but that he hath killed a man or a woman; the ox shall be stoned, and his owner also shall be put to death.

30 If there be laid on him a sum of money, then he shall give for the ransom of his life whatsoever is laid upon him.

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

32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

33 And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein;

34 The owner of the pit shall make it good, and give money unto the owner of them; and the dead beast shall be his.

35 And if one man's ox hurt another's, that he die; then they shall sell the live ox, and divide the money of it; and the dead ox also they shall divide.

36 Or if it be known that the ox hath used to push in time past, and his owner hath not kept him in; he shall surely pay ox for ox; and the dead shall be his own.

22 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

If a thief be found breaking up, and be smitten that he die, there shall no blood be shed for him.

If the sun be risen upon him, there shall be blood shed for him; for he should make full restitution; if he have nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.

If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.

If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man's field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.

If fire break out, and catch in thorns, so that the stacks of corn, or the standing corn, or the field, be consumed therewith; he that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution.

If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.

If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour's goods.

For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.

10 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it:

11 Then shall an oath of the Lord be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.

12 And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.

13 If it be torn in pieces, then let him bring it for witness, and he shall not make good that which was torn.

14 And if a man borrow ought of his neighbour, and it be hurt, or die, the owner thereof being not with it, he shall surely make it good.

15 But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire.

16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.

17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.

18 Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

19 Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.

20 He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.

21 Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

22 Ye shall not afflict any widow, or fatherless child.

23 If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry;

24 And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

25 If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.

26 If thou at all take thy neighbour's raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by that the sun goeth down:

27 For that is his covering only, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.

28 Thou shalt not revile the gods, nor curse the ruler of thy people.

29 Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me.

30 Likewise shalt thou do with thine oxen, and with thy sheep: seven days it shall be with his dam; on the eighth day thou shalt give it me.

31 And ye shall be holy men unto me: neither shall ye eat any flesh that is torn of beasts in the field; ye shall cast it to the dogs.

23 Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment:

Neither shalt thou countenance a poor man in his cause.

If thou meet thine enemy's ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.

If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him.

Thou shalt not wrest the judgment of thy poor in his cause.

Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.

And thou shalt take no gift: for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous.

Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

10 And six years thou shalt sow thy land, and shalt gather in the fruits thereof:

11 But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard.

12 Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed.

13 And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.

Matthew 24:1-28

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times24:1-51pp — Mk 13:1-37; Lk 21:5-36

24 Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings.“Do you see all these things?” he asked. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another;Lk 19:44 every one will be thrown down.”

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives,S Mt 21:1 the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your comingS Lk 17:30 and of the end of the age?”Mt 13:39; 28:20

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.S Mk 13:5For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.ver 11, 23, 24; 1Jn 2:18You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.Isa 19:2 There will be faminesAc 11:28 and earthquakes in various places.All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecutedMt 10:17 and put to death,Jn 16:2 and you will be hated by all nations because of me.S Jn 15:2110 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,11 and many false prophetsS Mt 7:15 will appear and deceive many people.S Mk 13:512 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,13 but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.S Mt 10:2214 And this gospel of the kingdomS Mt 4:23 will be preached in the whole worldLk 2:1; 4:5; Ac 11:28; 17:6; S Ro 10:18 as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

15 “So when you see standing in the holy placeS Ac 6:13 ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’Daniel 9:27; 11:31; 12:11Da 9:27; 11:31; 12:11 spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.17 Let no one on the housetop1Sa 9:25; Mt 10:27; Lk 12:3; Ac 10:9 go down to take anything out of the house.18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak.19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!Lk 23:2920 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again.Eze 5:9; Da 12:1; Joel 2:2

22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the electver 24, 31 those days will be shortened.23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it.Lk 17:23; 21:824 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wondersEx 7:11, 22; 2Th 2:9-11; Rev 13:13; 16:14; 19:20 to deceive, if possible, even the elect.25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.27 For as lightningLk 17:24 that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the comingS Lk 17:30 of the Son of Man.S Mt 8:2028 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.Lk 17:37

Jesus Speaks about the Future

24 As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings.But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?Or the age?

Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you,for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many.And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately.Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world.But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.Greek on account of my name.10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved.14 And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nationsOr all peoples. will hear it; and then the end will come.

15 “The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecrationGreek the abomination of desolation. See Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!)16 “Then those in Judea must flee to the hills.17 A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack.18 A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat.19 How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days.20 And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath.21 For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again.22 In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.

23 “Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it.24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.25 See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.

26 “So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it!27 For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man“Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself. comes.28 Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.Greek Wherever the carcass is, the vultures gather.

24 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.

And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.

23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

25 Behold, I have told you before.

26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Psalm 29:1-11

Psalm 29

A psalm of David.

Ascribe to the Lord,ver 2; 1Ch 16:28 you heavenly beings,S 2Sa 1:19; Ps 103:20; Isa 10:13

ascribe to the Lord gloryPs 8:1 and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

worship the Lord in the splendor of hisOr Lord with the splendor of holiness.S 1Ch 16:29; Ps 96:7-9

The voiceJob 37:5 of the Lord is over the waters;

the God of gloryS Ps 24:7; Ac 7:2 thunders,S 1Sa 2:10; Ps 18:13; 46:6; 68:33; 77:17; Jer 10:13; 25:30; Joel 2:11; Am 1:2

the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.S Ex 15:10

The voice of the Lord is powerful;Ps 68:33

the voice of the Lord is majestic.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;

the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.S Jdg 9:15

He makes Lebanon leapPs 114:4 like a calf,

SirionThat is, Mount HermonDt 3:9 like a young wild ox.S Nu 23:22; Job 39:9; Ps 92:10

The voice of the Lord strikes

with flashes of lightning.Eze 1:14; Rev 8:5

The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;

the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.Nu 13:26; S 20:1

The voice of the Lord twists the oaksOr Lord makes the deer give birthIsa 2:13; Eze 27:6; Am 2:9

and strips the forests bare.

And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”Ps 26:8

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;Ge 6:17

the Lord is enthroned as King forever.S Ex 15:18

11 The Lord gives strength to his people;S Ps 18:1; 28:8; 68:35

the Lord blesses his people with peace.S Lev 26:6; S Nu 6:26

Psalm 29

A psalm of David.

Honor the Lord, you heavenly beingsHebrew you sons of God.;

honor the Lord for his glory and strength.

Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.

Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea.

The God of glory thunders.

The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.

The voice of the Lord is powerful;

the voice of the Lord is majestic.

The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars;

the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf;

he makes Mount HermonHebrew Sirion, another name for Mount Hermon. leap like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord strikes

with bolts of lightning.

The voice of the Lord makes the barren wilderness quake;

the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaksOr causes the deer to writhe in labor.

and strips the forests bare.

In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”

10 The Lord rules over the floodwaters.

The Lord reigns as king forever.

11 The Lord gives his people strength.

The Lord blesses them with peace.

29 Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength.

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters.

The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars; yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.

He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire.

The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness; the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

10 The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever.

11 The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.

Proverbs 7:6-23

At the window of my house

I looked down through the lattice.

I saw among the simple,

I noticed among the young men,

a youth who had no sense.S Pr 1:22; S 6:32

He was going down the street near her corner,

walking along in the direction of her house

at twilight,Job 24:15 as the day was fading,

as the dark of night set in.

10 Then out came a woman to meet him,

dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent.

11 (She is unrulyPr 9:13 and defiant,

her feet never stay at home;

12 now in the street, now in the squares,

at every corner she lurks.)Pr 8:1-36; 23:26-28

13 She took hold of himS Ge 39:12 and kissed him

and with a brazen face she said:S Pr 1:20

14 “Today I fulfilled my vows,

and I have food from my fellowship offeringS Lev 7:11-18 at home.

15 So I came out to meet you;

I looked for you and have found you!

16 I have covered my bed

with colored linens from Egypt.

17 I have perfumed my bedS Est 1:6; Isa 57:7; Eze 23:41; Am 6:4

with myrrh,S Ge 37:25 aloes and cinnamon.

18 Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning;

let’s enjoy ourselves with love!S Ge 39:7

19 My husband is not at home;

he has gone on a long journey.

20 He took his purse filled with money

and will not be home till full moon.”

21 With persuasive words she led him astray;

she seduced him with her smooth talk.S ver 5

22 All at once he followed her

like an ox going to the slaughter,

like a deerSyriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew fool stepping into a nooseThe meaning of the Hebrew for this line is uncertain.S Job 18:10

23 till an arrow piercesS Job 15:22; S 16:13 his liver,

like a bird darting into a snare,

little knowing it will cost him his life.S Pr 6:26; Ecc 7:26

While I was at the window of my house,

looking through the curtain,

I saw some naive young men,

and one in particular who lacked common sense.

He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman,

strolling down the path by her house.

It was at twilight, in the evening,

as deep darkness fell.

10 The woman approached him,

seductively dressed and sly of heart.

11 She was the brash, rebellious type,

never content to stay at home.

12 She is often in the streets and markets,

soliciting at every corner.

13 She threw her arms around him and kissed him,

and with a brazen look she said,

14 “I’ve just made my peace offerings

and fulfilled my vows.

15 You’re the one I was looking for!

I came out to find you, and here you are!

16 My bed is spread with beautiful blankets,

with colored sheets of Egyptian linen.

17 I’ve perfumed my bed

with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

18 Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning.

Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses,

19 for my husband is not home.

He’s away on a long trip.

20 He has taken a wallet full of money with him

and won’t return until later this month.Hebrew until the moon is full.

21 So she seduced him with her pretty speech

and enticed him with her flattery.

22 He followed her at once,

like an ox going to the slaughter.

He was like a stag caught in a trap,As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads slaughter, as shackles are for the discipline of a fool.

23 awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart.

He was like a bird flying into a snare,

little knowing it would cost him his life.

For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:

10 And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

11 (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

12 Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)

13 So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

14 I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.

15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

16 I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

19 For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

20 He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

21 With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

22 He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

23 Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

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