Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Your spiritual inheritance is the most important thing you possess. The daughters of Zelophehad knew that and thus demanded their inheritance (Numbers 27:4). They refused to let any factor stand in their way of possessing what their father had left to them, and consequently, God honored their faith.

Your spiritual inheritance may be the transfer of someone else's anointing to you before that person's death. Moses transferred his anointing to Joshua by the laying on of hands (Numbers 27:23). Jesus received His inheritance when He went into the Jordan and was baptized by John (Luke 3:21-22). Elisha appropriated his inheritance when he saw Elijah go up in a whirlwind and drop his mantle from the chariot (2 Kings 2:11-13).

God has given you a mantle of inheritance-some ministry, some mission, some calling-that belongs to you alone. Will you be like Esau who despised his inheritance and birthright and sold it all for a little bowl of soup? Never forfeit or throw your heritage away as though it were worthless. Instead, seize it, claim it, and believe that God will use it to glorify His name.

Numbers 26:52-28:15

52 The Lord said to Moses,53 “The land is to be allotted to them as an inheritance based on the number of names.ver 55; Jos 11:23; 14:1; Eze 45:854 To a larger group give a larger inheritance, and to a smaller group a smaller one; each is to receive its inheritance according to the numberNu 33:54 of those listed.Nu 35:855 Be sure that the land is distributed by lot.S Lev 16:8 What each group inherits will be according to the names for its ancestral tribe.56 Each inheritance is to be distributed by lot among the larger and smaller groups.”

57 These were the LevitesS Ge 46:11 who were counted by their clans:

through Gershon, the Gershonite clan;

through Kohath, the Kohathite clan;

through Merari, the Merarite clan.

58 These also were Levite clans:

the Libnite clan,

the Hebronite clan,

the Mahlite clan,

the Mushite clan,

the Korahite clan.

(Kohath was the forefather of Amram;Ex 6:2059 the name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed,S Ex 2:1 a descendant of Levi, who was born to the LevitesOr Jochebed, a daughter of Levi, who was born to Levi in Egypt. To Amram she bore Aaron, MosesS Ex 6:20 and their sisterS Ex 2:4 Miriam.S Ex 15:2060 Aaron was the father of Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.Ex 6:2361 But Nadab and AbihuS Lev 10:1-2 died when they made an offering before the Lord with unauthorized fire.)Nu 3:4

62 All the male Levites a month old or more numbered 23,000.Nu 3:39 They were not countedNu 1:47 along with the other Israelites because they received no inheritanceS Nu 18:23 among them.S Nu 2:33

63 These are the ones countedS Nu 1:19 by Moses and Eleazar the priest when they counted the Israelites on the plains of MoabS ver 3 by the Jordan across from Jericho.Nu 22:164 Not one of them was among those countedS Nu 14:29 by Moses and AaronNu 1:44 the priest when they counted the Israelites in the Desert of Sinai.65 For the Lord had told those Israelites they would surely die in the wilderness,Nu 14:28; 1Co 10:5 and not one of them was left except CalebNu 13:6 son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.S Nu 11:28

Zelophehad’s Daughters27:1-11pp — Nu 36:1-12

27 The daughters of ZelophehadS Nu 26:33 son of Hepher,Jos 17:2, 3 the son of Gilead,S Nu 26:30 the son of Makir,S Ge 50:23; 1Ch 2:21 the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah. They came forwardand stood before Moses,S Nu 9:6 Eleazar the priest, the leadersNu 1:16; 31:13; 32:2; 36:1 and the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meetingEx 40:2, 17 and said,“Our father died in the wilderness.Nu 26:65 He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the Lord,Nu 16:2 but he died for his own sin and left no sons.Nu 26:33Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.”

So Moses brought their caseS Ge 25:22; S Ex 18:19 before the Lord,S Nu 9:8and the Lord said to him,“What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritanceJob 42:15 among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.ver 8; Jos 17:4

“Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter.If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers.10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers.11 If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to have the force of lawNu 35:29 for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”

Joshua to Succeed Moses

12 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go up this mountainNu 23:14 in the Abarim RangeNu 33:47; Jer 22:20 and see the landDt 3:23-27; 32:48-52 I have given the Israelites.S Lev 14:3413 After you have seen it, you too will be gathered to your people,Nu 20:12; 31:2; Dt 4:22; 31:14; 32:50; 1Ki 2:1 as your brother AaronNu 20:28 was,14 for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin,S Nu 20:1, 2-5 both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holyS Nu 20:12 before their eyes.” (These were the waters of MeribahS Ex 17:7 Kadesh, in the Desert of Zin.)

15 Moses said to the Lord,16 “May the Lord, the God who gives breath to all living things,S Nu 16:22; S Job 21:20 appoint someone over this community17 to go out and come in before them, one who will lead them out and bring them in, so the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”1Ki 22:17; 2Ch 18:16; Eze 34:5; Zec 10:2; S Mt 9:36

18 So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership,Or the SpiritS Ge 41:38; Nu 11:25-29 and lay your hand on him.ver 23; Dt 34:9; Ac 6:619 Have him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire assembly and commission himver 23; Dt 3:28; 31:14, 23 in their presence.Dt 31:720 Give him some of your authority so the whole Israelite community will obey him.Jos 1:16, 1721 He is to stand before Eleazar the priest, who will obtain decisions for him by inquiringS Ge 25:22; Jos 9:14; Ps 106:13; Isa 8:19; Hag 1:13; Mal 2:7; 3:1 of the UrimS Ex 28:30 before the Lord. At his command he and the entire community of the Israelites will go out, and at his command they will come in.”

22 Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the whole assembly.23 Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him,S ver 19 as the Lord instructed through Moses.

Daily Offerings

28 The Lord said to Moses,“Give this command to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Make sure that you present to me at the appointed timeLev 23:1-44 my foodS Lev 3:11 offerings, as an aroma pleasing to me.’Lev 1:9Say to them: ‘This is the food offering you are to present to the Lord: two lambs a year old without defect,S Ex 12:5 as a regular burnt offering each day.Ex 29:38; Am 4:4Offer one lamb in the morning and the other at twilight,S Ex 29:39together with a grain offeringNu 29:6 of a tenth of an ephahThat is, probably about 3 1/2 pounds or about 1.6 kilograms; also in verses 13, 21 and 29 of the finest flourLev 6:20 mixed with a quarter of a hinThat is, about 1 quart or about 1 liter; also in verses 7 and 14 of oilS Lev 2:1 from pressed olives.This is the regular burnt offeringLev 1:3 instituted at Mount SinaiEx 19:3 as a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord.S Lev 1:9The accompanying drink offeringNu 6:15 is to be a quarter of a hin of fermented drinkS Lev 10:9; S 23:13 with each lamb. Pour out the drink offering to the Lord at the sanctuary.S Lev 3:7; Nu 3:28Offer the second lamb at twilight,S Ex 29:39 along with the same kind of grain offering and drink offering that you offer in the morning.S Lev 3:7 This is a food offering, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.ver 2; Lev 1:9

Sabbath Offerings

“‘On the SabbathS Ex 20:10; Mt 12:5 day, make an offering of two lambs a year old without defect,ver 3 together with its drink offering and a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephahThat is, probably about 7 pounds or about 3.2 kilograms; also in verses 12, 20 and 28S Lev 23:13 of the finest flour mixed with olive oil.ver 510 This is the burnt offering for every Sabbath,S Lev 23:38 in addition to the regular burnt offeringver 3 and its drink offering.

Monthly Offerings

11 “‘On the first of every month,S Nu 10:10 present to the Lord a burnt offering of two young bulls,S Nu 7:15 one ramS Lev 5:15 and seven male lambs a year old, all without defect.Lev 1:312 With each bull there is to be a grain offeringS Nu 15:6; S 29:3 of three-tenths of an ephahThat is, probably about 11 pounds or about 5 kilograms; also in verses 20 and 28Nu 15:9 of the finest flour mixed with oil; with the ram, a grain offering of two-tenthsver 20 of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with oil;13 and with each lamb, a grain offeringS Lev 6:14 of a tenthver 21 of an ephah of the finest flour mixed with oil. This is for a burnt offering,S Nu 15:3 a pleasing aroma, a food offering presented to the Lord.Lev 1:914 With each bull there is to be a drink offeringS Nu 15:7 of half a hinThat is, about 2 quarts or about 1.9 liters of wine; with the ram, a third of a hinThat is, about 1 1/3 quarts or about 1.3 liters; and with each lamb, a quarter of a hin. This is the monthly burnt offering to be made at each new moonver 11; 2Ch 2:4; Ezr 3:5 during the year.15 Besides the regular burnt offeringver 3, 23, 24 with its drink offering, one male goatver 30 is to be presented to the Lord as a sin offering.Or purification offering; also in verse 22Lev 4:3; Nu 29:16, 19

52 Then the Lord said to Moses,53 “Divide the land among the tribes, and distribute the grants of land in proportion to the tribes’ populations, as indicated by the number of names on the list.54 Give the larger tribes more land and the smaller tribes less land, each group receiving a grant in proportion to the size of its population.55 But you must assign the land by lot, and give land to each ancestral tribe according to the number of names on the list.56 Each grant of land must be assigned by lot among the larger and smaller tribal groups.”

The Tribe of Levi

57 This is the record of the Levites who were counted according to their clans:

The Gershonite clan, named after their ancestor Gershon.

The Kohathite clan, named after their ancestor Kohath.

The Merarite clan, named after their ancestor Merari.

58 The Libnites, the Hebronites, the Mahlites, the Mushites, and the Korahites were all subclans of the Levites.

Now Kohath was the ancestor of Amram,59 and Amram’s wife was named Jochebed. She also was a descendant of Levi, born among the Levites in the land of Egypt. Amram and Jochebed became the parents of Aaron, Moses, and their sister, Miriam.60 To Aaron were born Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.61 But Nadab and Abihu died when they burned before the Lord the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded.

62 The men from the Levite clans who were one month old or older numbered 23,000. But the Levites were not included in the registration of the rest of the people of Israel because they were not given an allotment of land when it was divided among the Israelites.

63 So these are the results of the registration of the people of Israel as conducted by Moses and Eleazar the priest on the plains of Moab beside the Jordan River, across from Jericho.64 Not one person on this list had been among those listed in the previous registration taken by Moses and Aaron in the wilderness of Sinai.65 For the Lord had said of them, “They will all die in the wilderness.” Not one of them survived except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.

The Daughters of Zelophehad

27 One day a petition was presented by the daughters of Zelophehad—Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. Their father, Zelophehad, was a descendant of Hepher son of Gilead, son of Makir, son of Manasseh, son of Joseph.These women stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the tribal leaders, and the entire community at the entrance of the Tabernacle.Hebrew the Tent of Meeting.“Our father died in the wilderness,” they said. “He was not among Korah’s followers, who rebelled against the Lord; he died because of his own sin. But he had no sons.Why should the name of our father disappear from his clan just because he had no sons? Give us property along with the rest of our relatives.”

So Moses brought their case before the Lord.And the Lord replied to Moses,“The claim of the daughters of Zelophehad is legitimate. You must give them a grant of land along with their father’s relatives. Assign them the property that would have been given to their father.

“And give the following instructions to the people of Israel: If a man dies and has no son, then give his inheritance to his daughters.And if he has no daughter either, transfer his inheritance to his brothers.10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers.11 But if his father has no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan. This is a legal requirement for the people of Israel, just as the Lord commanded Moses.”

Joshua Chosen to Lead Israel

12 One day the Lord said to Moses, “Climb one of the mountains east of the river,Or the mountains of Abarim. and look out over the land I have given the people of Israel.13 After you have seen it, you will die like your brother, Aaron,14 for you both rebelled against my instructions in the wilderness of Zin. When the people of Israel rebelled, you failed to demonstrate my holiness to them at the waters.” (These are the waters of Meribah at KadeshHebrew waters of Meribath-kadesh. in the wilderness of Zin.)

15 Then Moses said to the Lord,16 “O Lord, you are the God who gives breath to all creatures. Please appoint a new man as leader for the community.17 Give them someone who will guide them wherever they go and will lead them into battle, so the community of the Lord will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”

18 The Lord replied, “Take Joshua son of Nun, who has the Spirit in him, and lay your hands on him.19 Present him to Eleazar the priest before the whole community, and publicly commission him to lead the people.20 Transfer some of your authority to him so the whole community of Israel will obey him.21 When direction from the Lord is needed, Joshua will stand before Eleazar the priest, who will use the Urim—one of the sacred lots cast before the Lord—to determine his will. This is how Joshua and the rest of the community of Israel will determine everything they should do.”

22 So Moses did as the Lord commanded. He presented Joshua to Eleazar the priest and the whole community.23 Moses laid his hands on him and commissioned him to lead the people, just as the Lord had commanded through Moses.

The Daily Offerings

28 The Lord said to Moses,“Give these instructions to the people of Israel: The offerings you present as special gifts are a pleasing aroma to me; they are my food. See to it that they are brought at the appointed times and offered according to my instructions.

“Say to the people: This is the special gift you must present to the Lord as your daily burnt offering. You must offer two one-year-old male lambs with no defects.Sacrifice one lamb in the morning and the other in the evening.With each lamb you must offer a grain offering of two quartsHebrew 1⁄10 of an ephah [2.2 liters]; also in 28:13, 21, 29. of choice flour mixed with one quartHebrew 1⁄4 of a hin [1 liter]; also in 28:7. of pure oil of pressed olives.This is the regular burnt offering instituted at Mount Sinai as a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.Along with it you must present the proper liquid offering of one quart of alcoholic drink with each lamb, poured out in the Holy Place as an offering to the Lord.Offer the second lamb in the evening with the same grain offering and liquid offering. It, too, is a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

The Sabbath Offerings

“On the Sabbath day, sacrifice two one-year-old male lambs with no defects. They must be accompanied by a grain offering of four quartsHebrew 2⁄10 of an ephah [4.4 liters]; also in 28:12, 20, 28. of choice flour moistened with olive oil, and a liquid offering.10 This is the burnt offering to be presented each Sabbath day, in addition to the regular burnt offering and its accompanying liquid offering.

The Monthly Offerings

11 “On the first day of each month, present an extra burnt offering to the Lord of two young bulls, one ram, and seven one-year-old male lambs, all with no defects.12 These must be accompanied by grain offerings of choice flour moistened with olive oil—six quartsHebrew 3⁄10 of an ephah [6.6 liters]; also in 28:20, 28. with each bull, four quarts with the ram,13 and two quarts with each lamb. This burnt offering will be a special gift, a pleasing aroma to the Lord.14 You must also present a liquid offering with each sacrifice: two quartsHebrew 1⁄2 of a hin [2 liters]. of wine for each bull, a third of a gallonHebrew 1⁄3 of a hin [1.3 liters]. for the ram, and one quartHebrew 1⁄4 of a hin [1 liter]. for each lamb. Present this monthly burnt offering on the first day of each month throughout the year.

15 “On the first day of each month, you must also offer one male goat for a sin offering to the Lord. This is in addition to the regular burnt offering and its accompanying liquid offering.

52 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

53 Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names.

54 To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him.

55 Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit.

56 According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few.

57 And these are they that were numbered of the Levites after their families: of Gershon, the family of the Gershonites: of Kohath, the family of the Kohathites: of Merari, the family of the Merarites.

58 These are the families of the Levites: the family of the Libnites, the family of the Hebronites, the family of the Mahlites, the family of the Mushites, the family of the Korathites. And Kohath begat Amram.

59 And the name of Amram's wife was Jochebed, the daughter of Levi, whom her mother bare to Levi in Egypt: and she bare unto Amram Aaron and Moses, and Miriam their sister.

60 And unto Aaron was born Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.

61 And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the Lord.

62 And those that were numbered of them were twenty and three thousand, all males from a month old and upward: for they were not numbered among the children of Israel, because there was no inheritance given them among the children of Israel.

63 These are they that were numbered by Moses and Eleazar the priest, who numbered the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

64 But among these there was not a man of them whom Moses and Aaron the priest numbered, when they numbered the children of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai.

65 For the Lord had said of them, They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun.

27 Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph: and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah.

And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,

Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons.

Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.

And Moses brought their cause before the Lord.

And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.

And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a man die, and have no son, then ye shall cause his inheritance to pass unto his daughter.

And if he have no daughter, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his brethren.

10 And if he have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his father's brethren.

11 And if his father have no brethren, then ye shall give his inheritance unto his kinsman that is next to him of his family, and he shall possess it: and it shall be unto the children of Israel a statute of judgment, as the Lord commanded Moses.

12 And the Lord said unto Moses, Get thee up into this mount Abarim, and see the land which I have given unto the children of Israel.

13 And when thou hast seen it, thou also shalt be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother was gathered.

14 For ye rebelled against my commandment in the desert of Zin, in the strife of the congregation, to sanctify me at the water before their eyes: that is the water of Meribah in Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin.

15 And Moses spake unto the Lord, saying,

16 Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation,

17 Which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd.

18 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him;

19 And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight.

20 And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.

21 And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of Urim before the Lord: at his word shall they go out, and at his word they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.

22 And Moses did as the Lord commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:

23 And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.

28 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,

Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season.

And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the Lord; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.

The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even;

And a tenth part of an ephah of flour for a meat offering, mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil.

It is a continual burnt offering, which was ordained in mount Sinai for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord.

And the drink offering thereof shall be the fourth part of an hin for the one lamb: in the holy place shalt thou cause the strong wine to be poured unto the Lord for a drink offering.

And the other lamb shalt thou offer at even: as the meat offering of the morning, and as the drink offering thereof, thou shalt offer it, a sacrifice made by fire, of a sweet savour unto the Lord.

And on the sabbath day two lambs of the first year without spot, and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, and the drink offering thereof:

10 This is the burnt offering of every sabbath, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.

11 And in the beginnings of your months ye shall offer a burnt offering unto the Lord; two young bullocks, and one ram, seven lambs of the first year without spot;

12 And three tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one bullock; and two tenth deals of flour for a meat offering, mingled with oil, for one ram;

13 And a several tenth deal of flour mingled with oil for a meat offering unto one lamb; for a burnt offering of a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord.

14 And their drink offerings shall be half an hin of wine unto a bullock, and the third part of an hin unto a ram, and a fourth part of an hin unto a lamb: this is the burnt offering of every month throughout the months of the year.

15 And one kid of the goats for a sin offering unto the Lord shall be offered, beside the continual burnt offering, and his drink offering.

Luke 3:1-22

John the Baptist Prepares the Way3:2-10pp — Mt 3:1-10; Mk 1:3-53:16, 17pp — Mt 3:11, 12; Mk 1:7, 8

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius PilateS Mt 27:2 was governor of Judea, HerodS Mt 14:1 tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene—during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,S Mt 26:3 the word of God came to JohnS Mt 3:1 son of ZechariahLk 1:13 in the wilderness.He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.ver 16; S Mk 1:4As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,

‘Prepare the way for the Lord,

make straight paths for him.

Every valley shall be filled in,

every mountain and hill made low.

The crooked roads shall become straight,

the rough ways smooth.

And all people will see God’s salvation.’”Isaiah 40:3-5Ps 98:2; Isa 40:3-5; 42:16; 52:10; Lk 2:30

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers!Mt 12:34; 23:33 Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?S Ro 1:18Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’Isa 51:2; Lk 19:9; Jn 8:33, 39; Ac 13:26; Ro 4:1, 11, 12, 16, 17; 9:7, 8; Gal 3:7 For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”S Mt 3:10

10 “What should we do then?”ver 12, 14; Ac 2:37; 16:30 the crowd asked.

11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”Isa 58:7; Eze 18:7

12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized.Lk 7:29 “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,”Lk 19:8 he told them.

14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falselyEx 23:1; Lev 19:11—be content with your pay.”

15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if JohnS Mt 3:1 might possibly be the Messiah.Jn 1:19, 20; Ac 13:2516 John answered them all, “I baptize you withOr in water.ver 3; S Mk 1:4 But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you withOr in the Holy Spirit and fire.Jn 1:26, 33; Ac 1:5; 2:3; 11:16; 19:417 His winnowing forkIsa 30:24 is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”Mt 13:30; S 25:4118 And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them.

19 But when John rebuked Herodver 1; S Mt 14:1 the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done,20 Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.S Mt 14:3, 4

The Baptism and Genealogy of Jesus3:21, 22pp — Mt 3:13-17; Mk 1:9-113:23-38pp — Mt 1:1-17

21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying,Mt 14:23; Mk 1:35; 6:46; Lk 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28; 11:1 heaven was opened22 and the Holy Spirit descended on himIsa 42:1; Jn 1:32, 33; Ac 10:38 in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son,S Mt 3:17 whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”S Mt 3:17

John the Baptist Prepares the Way

It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was rulerGreek Herod was tetrarch. Herod Antipas was a son of King Herod. over Galilee; his brother Philip was rulerGreek tetrarch; also in 3:1c. over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene.Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness.Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.Isaiah had spoken of John when he said,

“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,

‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!

Clear the road for him!

The valleys will be filled,

and the mountains and hills made level.

The curves will be straightened,

and the rough places made smooth.

And then all people will see

the salvation sent from God.’”Isa 40:3-5 (Greek version).

When the crowds came to John for baptism, he said, “You brood of snakes! Who warned you to flee the coming wrath?Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”

10 The crowds asked, “What should we do?”

11 John replied, “If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.”

12 Even corrupt tax collectors came to be baptized and asked, “Teacher, what should we do?”

13 He replied, “Collect no more taxes than the government requires.”

14 “What should we do?” asked some soldiers.

John replied, “Don’t extort money or make false accusations. And be content with your pay.”

15 Everyone was expecting the Messiah to come soon, and they were eager to know whether John might be the Messiah.16 John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you withOr in. water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.Or in the Holy Spirit and in fire.17 He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.”18 John used many such warnings as he announced the Good News to the people.

19 John also publicly criticized Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee,Greek Herod the tetrarch. for marrying Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for many other wrongs he had done.20 So Herod put John in prison, adding this sin to his many others.

The Baptism of Jesus

21 One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened,22 and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.Some manuscripts read my Son, and today I have become your Father.

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?

11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?

13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;

16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

18 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.

19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,

20 Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.

21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Psalm 61:1-8

Psalm 61In Hebrew texts 61:1-8 is numbered 61:2-9.

For the director of music. With stringed instruments. Of David.

Hear my cry, O God;Ps 64:1

listen to my prayer.Ps 4:1; 86:6

From the ends of the earth I call to you,

I call as my heart grows faint;S Ps 6:2

lead me to the rockPs 18:2; 31:2; 94:22 that is higher than I.

For you have been my refuge,Ps 9:9; S 46:1; 62:7

a strong tower against the foe.Ps 59:9; Pr 18:10

I long to dwellS Ps 15:1 in your tent forever

and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.S Dt 32:11; S Mt 23:37

For you, God, have heard my vows;S Nu 30:2; Ps 56:12

you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.S Ex 6:3; S Dt 33:9; Ne 1:11; Ps 102:15; Isa 59:19; Mt 6:9

Increase the days of the king’s life,1Ki 3:14

his years for many generations.S Ps 21:4

May he be enthroned in God’s presence forever;S Ps 41:12; Lk 22:69; Eph 1:20; Col 3:1

appoint your love and faithfulness to protect him.Ps 40:11

Then I will ever sing in praise of your nameS Ex 15:1; Ps 7:17; 30:4

and fulfill my vows day after day.S Nu 30:2; S Dt 23:21

Psalm 61

For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by stringed instruments.

O God, listen to my cry!

Hear my prayer!

From the ends of the earth,

I cry to you for help

when my heart is overwhelmed.

Lead me to the towering rock of safety,

for you are my safe refuge,

a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

Let me live forever in your sanctuary,

safe beneath the shelter of your wings! Interlude

For you have heard my vows, O God.

You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name.

Add many years to the life of the king!

May his years span the generations!

May he reign under God’s protection forever.

May your unfailing love and faithfulness watch over him.

Then I will sing praises to your name forever

as I fulfill my vows each day.

61 Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.

From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

For thou, O God, hast heard my vows: thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.

Thou wilt prolong the king's life: and his years as many generations.

He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve him.

So will I sing praise unto thy name for ever, that I may daily perform my vows.

Proverbs 11:16-17

16 A kindhearted woman gains honor,Pr 31:31

but ruthless men gain only wealth.

17 Those who are kind benefit themselves,

but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.

16 A gracious woman gains respect,

but ruthless men gain only wealth.

17 Your kindness will reward you,

but your cruelty will destroy you.

16 A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

17 The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

Mar 17 Mar 19
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