Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Moses spoke of a prophet who would be raised up from among his own brothers. He would be so powerful that His word would be final. Anyone who did not listen to Him would have to give an account to God.

All Israel watched and waited for the special prophet. The priests and Levites asked John the Baptist if he were "that prophet" (John 1:21 KJV). On the day of Pentecost, Peter quoted the verse from Deuteronomy 18 to show how the Lord Jesus Christ was the Prophet spoken of. As such, He was God's ultimate mouthpiece and final authority. After years of looking for the prophet, Moses finally saw Him face-to-face on the Mount of Transfiguration (Luke 9:30-31).

The nations of the world are looking for some sorcerer, diviner, teacher, or prophet who can tell them the mind of God. They need look no further! We have found "that Prophet" in Christ. Other prophets may prophesy, but if their words do not line up with the words of Jesus, they are false prophets. The true Prophet has come, and we must keep our eyes focused on Him alone.

Deuteronomy 18:1-20:20

Offerings for Priests and Levites

18 The LeviticalJer 33:18, 21 priests—indeed, the whole tribe of Levi—are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the food offeringsS Nu 18:8 presented to the Lord, for that is their inheritance.S Nu 18:20; 1Co 9:13They shall have no inheritance among their fellow Israelites; the Lord is their inheritance,Nu 18:20 as he promised them.Jos 13:14

This is the share due the priestsS Ex 29:27 from the people who sacrifice a bullS Lev 1:5 or a sheep: the shoulder, the internal organs and the meat from the head.Lev 7:28-34; Nu 18:12You are to give them the firstfruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep,Ex 22:29; Nu 18:12for the Lord your God has chosen themS Ex 28:1 and their descendants out of all your tribes to stand and ministerDt 10:8 in the Lord’s name always.S Ex 29:9

If a Levite moves from one of your towns anywhere in Israel where he is living, and comes in all earnestness to the place the Lord will choose,S Nu 35:2-3; S Dt 12:5he may minister in the namever 19; 1Ki 18:32; 22:16; Ps 118:26 of the Lord his God like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the presence of the Lord.He is to share equally in their benefits, even though he has received money from the sale of family possessions.Nu 18:24; 2Ch 31:4; Ne 12:44, 47; 13:12

Occult Practices

When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitateDt 9:5; 12:29-31 the detestable waysS Lev 18:3; 2Ki 21:2; 2Ch 28:3; 33:2; 34:33; Ezr 6:21; 9:11; Jer 44:4 of the nations there.10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire,S Lev 18:21 who practices divination1Sa 15:23 or sorcery,S Ex 7:11 interprets omens, engages in witchcraft,S Lev 19:3111 or casts spells,Isa 47:9 or who is a medium or spiritistS Ex 22:18; S 1Sa 28:13 or who consults the dead.12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.S Lev 18:2413 You must be blamelessS Ge 6:9; Ps 119:1 before the Lord your God.Mt 5:48

The Prophet

14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination.2Ki 21:6 But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so.15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites.S Mt 21:11; Lk 2:25-35; Jn 1:21; Ac 3:22*; 7:37* You must listen to him.16 For this is what you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly when you said, “Let us not hear the voice of the Lord our God nor see this great fire anymore, or we will die.”S Ex 20:19; Dt 5:23-27

17 The Lord said to me: “What they say is good.18 I will raise up for them a prophetS Ge 20:7 like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my wordsIsa 2:3; 26:8; 51:4; Mic 4:2 in his mouth.S Ex 4:12 He will tell them everything I command him.Jn 4:25-26; S 14:24; Ac 3:22*19 I myself will call to accountJos 22:23; Ac 3:23*; Heb 12:25 anyone who does not listenS Ex 23:21 to my words that the prophet speaks in my name.S ver 7; S Lev 19:12; 2Ki 2:2420 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods,S Ex 23:13 is to be put to death.”Dt 13:1-5; S 17:12

21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?”22 If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true,S Dt 13:2; 1Sa 3:20 that is a message the Lord has not spoken.1Ki 22:28; Jer 28:9 That prophet has spoken presumptuously,ver 20 so do not be alarmed.

Cities of Refuge19:1-14Ref — Nu 35:6-34; Dt 4:41-43; Jos 20:1-9

19 When the Lord your God has destroyed the nations whose land he is giving you, and when you have driven them out and settled in their towns and houses,Dt 6:10-11then set aside for yourselves three cities in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess.Determine the distances involved and divide into three parts the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, so that a person who kills someone may flee for refuge to one of these cities.

This is the rule concerning anyone who kills a person and flees there for safety—anyone who kills a neighbor unintentionally, without malice aforethought.For instance, a man may go into the forest with his neighbor to cut wood, and as he swings his ax to fell a tree, the head may fly off and hit his neighbor and kill him. That man may flee to one of these cities and save his life.Otherwise, the avenger of bloodS Nu 35:12 might pursue him in a rage, overtake him if the distance is too great, and kill him even though he is not deserving of death, since he did it to his neighbor without malice aforethought.This is why I command you to set aside for yourselves three cities.

If the Lord your God enlarges your territory,S Ex 34:24 as he promisedS Ge 15:8; S Dt 11:24 on oath to your ancestors, and gives you the whole land he promised them,because you carefully follow all these laws I command you today—to love the Lord your God and to walk always in obedience to himDt 6:5—then you are to set aside three more cities.10 Do this so that innocent bloodPr 6:17; Jer 7:6; 26:15 will not be shed in your land, which the Lord your God is giving you as your inheritance, and so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed.Dt 21:1-9

11 But if out of hate someone lies in wait, assaults and kills a neighbor,S Ex 21:12; 1Jn 3:15 and then flees to one of these cities,12 the killer shall be sent for by the town elders, be brought back from the city, and be handed over to the avenger of blood to die.13 Show no pity.Dt 7:2 You must purge from Israel the guilt of shedding innocent blood,Dt 21:9; 1Ki 2:31 so that it may go well with you.

14 Do not move your neighbor’s boundary stone set up by your predecessors in the inheritance you receive in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess.Dt 27:17; Job 24:2; Ps 16:6; Pr 15:25; 22:28; 23:10; Isa 1:23; Hos 5:10

Witnesses

15 One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed. A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.S Dt 17:6; S Mt 18:16*; 26:60; 2Co 13:1*

16 If a malicious witnessEx 23:1; Pr 6:19 takes the stand to accuse someone of a crime,17 the two people involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judgesS Ex 21:6 who are in office at the time.18 The judges must make a thorough investigation,S Ex 23:7 and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite,19 then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party.Pr 19:5, 9; 1Co 5:13* You must purge the evil from among you.20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid,S Dt 13:11 and never again will such an evil thing be done among you.21 Show no pity:ver 13 life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.S Ex 21:24; Mt 5:38*

Going to War

20 When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours,Ps 20:7; Isa 31:1 do not be afraidS Nu 14:9 of them,S Dt 3:22; S 1Sa 17:45 because the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be withIsa 41:10 you.When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army.He shall say: “Hear, Israel: Today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted1Sa 17:32; Job 23:16; Ps 22:14; Isa 7:4; 35:4; Jer 51:46 or afraid; do not panic or be terrified by them.For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you2Ch 20:14-22 to fightS Ex 14:14; 1Ch 5:22; Ne 4:20 for you against your enemies to give you victory.Jdg 12:3; 15:18; Ps 44:7; 144:10

The officers shall say to the army: “Has anyone built a new house and not yet begun to live inNe 12:27 it? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else may begin to live in it.Has anyone plantedJer 31:5; Eze 28:26; Mic 1:6 a vineyard and not begun to enjoy it?1Co 9:7 Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else enjoy it.Has anyone become pledged to a woman and not married her? Let him go home, or he may die in battle and someone else marry her.Dt 24:5; Pr 5:18Then the officers shall add, “Is anyone afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his fellow soldiers will not become disheartened too.”Jdg 7:3When the officers have finished speaking to the army, they shall appoint commanders over it.

10 When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace.S Dt 2:26; Lk 14:31-3211 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subjectver 15; 2Ki 6:22 to forced labor1Ki 9:21; 1Ch 22:2; Isa 31:8 and shall work for you.12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city.13 When the Lord your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it.Nu 31:714 As for the women, the children, the livestockJos 8:2; 22:8 and everything else in the city,S Nu 31:11 you may take these as plunderS Nu 31:53 for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the Lord your God gives you from your enemies.15 This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distanceS ver 11; Jos 9:9 from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

16 However, in the cities of the nations the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.Ex 23:31-33; Nu 21:2-3; S Dt 7:2; Jos 6:21; 10:1; 11:1417 Completely destroyThe Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them. them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you.18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods,S Ex 34:16 and you will sinS Ex 10:7 against the Lord your God.

19 When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them?Or down to use in the siege, for the fruit trees are for the benefit of people.20 However, you may cut down trees that you know are not fruit treesJer 6:6 and use them to build siege works until the city at war with you falls.

Gifts for the Priests and Levites

18 “Remember that the Levitical priests—that is, the whole of the tribe of Levi—will receive no allotment of land among the other tribes in Israel. Instead, the priests and Levites will eat from the special gifts given to the Lord, for that is their share.They will have no land of their own among the Israelites. The Lord himself is their special possession, just as he promised them.

“These are the parts the priests may claim as their share from the cattle, sheep, and goats that the people bring as offerings: the shoulder, the cheeks, and the stomach.You must also give to the priests the first share of the grain, the new wine, the olive oil, and the wool at shearing time.For the Lord your God chose the tribe of Levi out of all your tribes to minister in the Lord’s name forever.

“Suppose a Levite chooses to move from his town in Israel, wherever he is living, to the place the Lord chooses for worship.He may minister there in the name of the Lord his God, just like all his fellow Levites who are serving the Lord there.He may eat his share of the sacrifices and offerings, even if he also receives support from his family.

A Call to Holy Living

“When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, be very careful not to imitate the detestable customs of the nations living there.10 For example, never sacrifice your son or daughter as a burnt offering.Or never make your son or daughter pass through the fire. And do not let your people practice fortune-telling, or use sorcery, or interpret omens, or engage in witchcraft,11 or cast spells, or function as mediums or psychics, or call forth the spirits of the dead.12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord. It is because the other nations have done these detestable things that the Lord your God will drive them out ahead of you.13 But you must be blameless before the Lord your God.14 The nations you are about to displace consult sorcerers and fortune-tellers, but the Lord your God forbids you to do such things.”

True and False Prophets

15 Moses continued, “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.16 For this is what you yourselves requested of the Lord your God when you were assembled at Mount Sinai.Hebrew Horeb, another name for Sinai. You said, ‘Don’t let us hear the voice of the Lord our God anymore or see this blazing fire, for we will die.’

17 “Then the Lord said to me, ‘What they have said is right.18 I will raise up a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth, and he will tell the people everything I command him.19 I will personally deal with anyone who will not listen to the messages the prophet proclaims on my behalf.20 But any prophet who falsely claims to speak in my name or who speaks in the name of another god must die.’

21 “But you may wonder, ‘How will we know whether or not a prophecy is from the Lord?’22 If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared.

Cities of Refuge

19 “When the Lord your God destroys the nations whose land he is giving you, you will take over their land and settle in their towns and homes.Then you must set apart three cities of refuge in the land the Lord your God is giving you.Survey the territory,Or Keep the roads in good repair. and divide the land the Lord your God is giving you into three districts, with one of these cities in each district. Then anyone who has killed someone can flee to one of the cities of refuge for safety.

“If someone kills another person unintentionally, without previous hostility, the slayer may flee to any of these cities to live in safety.For example, suppose someone goes into the forest with a neighbor to cut wood. And suppose one of them swings an ax to chop down a tree, and the ax head flies off the handle, killing the other person. In such cases, the slayer may flee to one of the cities of refuge to live in safety.

“If the distance to the nearest city of refuge is too far, an enraged avenger might be able to chase down and kill the person who caused the death. Then the slayer would die unfairly, since he had never shown hostility toward the person who died.That is why I am commanding you to set aside three cities of refuge.

“And if the Lord your God enlarges your territory, as he swore to your ancestors, and gives you all the land he promised them,you must designate three additional cities of refuge. (He will give you this land if you are careful to obey all the commands I have given you—if you always love the Lord your God and walk in his ways.)10 That way you will prevent the death of innocent people in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession. You will not be held responsible for the death of innocent people.

11 “But suppose someone is hostile toward a neighbor and deliberately ambushes and murders him and then flees to one of the cities of refuge.12 In that case, the elders of the murderer’s hometown must send agents to the city of refuge to bring him back and hand him over to the dead person’s avenger to be put to death.13 Do not feel sorry for that murderer! Purge from Israel the guilt of murdering innocent people; then all will go well with you.

Concern for Justice

14 “When you arrive in the land the Lord your God is giving you as your special possession, you must never steal anyone’s land by moving the boundary markers your ancestors set up to mark their property.

15 “You must not convict anyone of a crime on the testimony of only one witness. The facts of the case must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.

16 “If a malicious witness comes forward and accuses someone of a crime,17 then both the accuser and accused must appear before the Lord by coming to the priests and judges in office at that time.18 The judges must investigate the case thoroughly. If the accuser has brought false charges against his fellow Israelite,19 you must impose on the accuser the sentence he intended for the other person. In this way, you will purge such evil from among you.20 Then the rest of the people will hear about it and be afraid to do such an evil thing.21 You must show no pity for the guilty! Your rule should be life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Regulations concerning War

20 “When you go out to fight your enemies and you face horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid. The Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you!When you prepare for battle, the priest must come forward to speak to the troops.He will say to them, ‘Listen to me, all you men of Israel! Do not be afraid as you go out to fight your enemies today! Do not lose heart or panic or tremble before them.For the Lord your God is going with you! He will fight for you against your enemies, and he will give you victory!’

“Then the officers of the army must address the troops and say, ‘Has anyone here just built a new house but not yet dedicated it? If so, you may go home! You might be killed in the battle, and someone else would dedicate your house.Has anyone here just planted a vineyard but not yet eaten any of its fruit? If so, you may go home! You might die in battle, and someone else would eat the first fruit.Has anyone here just become engaged to a woman but not yet married her? Well, you may go home and get married! You might die in the battle, and someone else would marry her.’

“Then the officers will also say, ‘Is anyone here afraid or worried? If you are, you may go home before you frighten anyone else.’When the officers have finished speaking to their troops, they will appoint the unit commanders.

10 “As you approach a town to attack it, you must first offer its people terms for peace.11 If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor.12 But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town.13 When the Lord your God hands the town over to you, use your swords to kill every man in the town.14 But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder. You may enjoy the plunder from your enemies that the Lord your God has given you.

15 “But these instructions apply only to distant towns, not to the towns of the nations in the land you will enter.16 In those towns that the Lord your God is giving you as a special possession, destroy every living thing.17 You must completely destroyThe 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. the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites, just as the Lord your God has commanded you.18 This will prevent the people of the land from teaching you to imitate their detestable customs in the worship of their gods, which would cause you to sin deeply against the Lord your God.

19 “When you are attacking a town and the war drags on, you must not cut down the trees with your axes. You may eat the fruit, but do not cut down the trees. Are the trees your enemies, that you should attack them?20 You may only cut down trees that you know are not valuable for food. Use them to make the equipment you need to attack the enemy town until it falls.

18 The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and his inheritance.

Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the Lord is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them.

And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw.

The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him.

For the Lord thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons for ever.

And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which the Lord shall choose;

Then he shall minister in the name of the Lord his God, as all his brethren the Levites do, which stand there before the Lord.

They shall have like portions to eat, beside that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony.

When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch.

11 Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.

12 For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.

13 Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God.

14 For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the Lord thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.

15 The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him ye shall hearken;

16 According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.

17 And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken.

18 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.

19 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?

22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

19 When the Lord thy God hath cut off the nations, whose land the Lord thy God giveth thee, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their cities, and in their houses;

Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee to possess it.

Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither.

And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;

As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:

Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.

Wherefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt separate three cities for thee.

And if the Lord thy God enlarge thy coast, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, and give thee all the land which he promised to give unto thy fathers;

If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the Lord thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three:

10 That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.

11 But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities:

12 Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.

13 Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.

14 Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the Lord thy God giveth thee to possess it.

15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;

17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;

18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;

19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.

20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.

21 And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

20 When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people,

And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them;

For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it.

And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it.

And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.

And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren's heart faint as well as his heart.

And it shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking unto the people that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people.

10 When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then proclaim peace unto it.

11 And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and open unto thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee.

12 And if it will make no peace with thee, but will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it:

13 And when the Lord thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:

14 But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the Lord thy God hath given thee.

15 Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities which are very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations.

16 But of the cities of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth:

17 But thou shalt utterly destroy them; namely, the Hittites, and the Amorites, the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites; as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee:

18 That they teach you not to do after all their abominations, which they have done unto their gods; so should ye sin against the Lord your God.

19 When thou shalt besiege a city a long time, in making war against it to take it, thou shalt not destroy the trees thereof by forcing an axe against them: for thou mayest eat of them, and thou shalt not cut them down (for the tree of the field is man's life) to employ them in the siege:

20 Only the trees which thou knowest that they be not trees for meat, thou shalt destroy and cut them down; and thou shalt build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it be subdued.

Luke 9:28-50

The Transfiguration9:28-36pp — Mt 17:1-8; Mk 9:2-8

28 About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and JamesS Mt 4:21 with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.S Lk 3:2129 As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.30 Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus.31 They spoke about his departure,Greek exodos2Pe 1:15 which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.32 Peter and his companions were very sleepy,Mt 26:43 but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him.33 As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master,S Lk 5:5 it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)

34 While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and covered them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud.35 A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen;Isa 42:1 listen to him.”S Mt 3:1736 When the voice had spoken, they found that Jesus was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves and did not tell anyone at that time what they had seen.Mt 17:9

Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy9:37-42, 43-45pp — Mt 17:14-18, 22, 23; Mk 9:14-27, 30-32

37 The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.38 A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child.39 A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him.40 I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”

41 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,”Dt 32:5 Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”

42 Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the impure spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father.43 And they were all amazed at the greatness of God.

Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time

While everyone was marveling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples,44 “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.”S ver 2245 But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it,S Mk 9:32 and they were afraid to ask him about it.

46 An argument started among the disciples as to which of them would be the greatest.Lk 22:2447 Jesus, knowing their thoughts,S Mt 9:4 took a little child and had him stand beside him.48 Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.S Mt 10:40 For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”S Mk 9:35

49 “Master,”S Lk 5:5 said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”

50 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”Mt 12:30; Lk 11:23

The Transfiguration

28 About eight days later Jesus took Peter, John, and James up on a mountain to pray.29 And as he was praying, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white.30 Suddenly, two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared and began talking with Jesus.31 They were glorious to see. And they were speaking about his exodus from this world, which was about to be fulfilled in Jerusalem.

32 Peter and the others had fallen asleep. When they woke up, they saw Jesus’ glory and the two men standing with him.33 As Moses and Elijah were starting to leave, Peter, not even knowing what he was saying, blurted out, “Master, it’s wonderful for us to be here! Let’s make three shelters as memorialsGreek three tabernacles.—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”34 But even as he was saying this, a cloud overshadowed them, and terror gripped them as the cloud covered them.

35 Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, my Chosen One.Some manuscripts read This is my dearly loved Son. Listen to him.”36 When the voice finished, Jesus was there alone. They didn’t tell anyone at that time what they had seen.

Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Boy

37 The next day, after they had come down the mountain, a large crowd met Jesus.38 A man in the crowd called out to him, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, my only child.39 An evil spirit keeps seizing him, making him scream. It throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It batters him and hardly ever leaves him alone.40 I begged your disciples to cast out the spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

41 Jesus said, “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you and put up with you?” Then he said to the man, “Bring your son here.”

42 As the boy came forward, the demon knocked him to the ground and threw him into a violent convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evilGreek unclean. spirit and healed the boy. Then he gave him back to his father.43 Awe gripped the people as they saw this majestic display of God’s power.

Jesus Again Predicts His Death

While everyone was marveling at everything he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples,44 “Listen to me and remember what I say. The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies.”45 But they didn’t know what he meant. Its significance was hidden from them, so they couldn’t understand it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.

The Greatest in the Kingdom

46 Then his disciples began arguing about which of them was the greatest.47 But Jesus knew their thoughts, so he brought a little child to his side.48 Then he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalfGreek in my name. welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.”

Using the Name of Jesus

49 John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group.”

50 But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.”

28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

29 And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering.

30 And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias:

31 Who appeared in glory, and spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.

32 But Peter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men that stood with him.

33 And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.

34 While he thus spake, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud.

35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him.

36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen.

37 And it came to pass, that on the next day, when they were come down from the hill, much people met him.

38 And, behold, a man of the company cried out, saying, Master, I beseech thee, look upon my son: for he is mine only child.

39 And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out; and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him hardly departeth from him.

40 And I besought thy disciples to cast him out; and they could not.

41 And Jesus answering said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.

42 And as he was yet a coming, the devil threw him down, and tare him. And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father.

43 And they were all amazed at the mighty power of God. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples,

44 Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men.

45 But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.

46 Then there arose a reasoning among them, which of them should be greatest.

47 And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart, took a child, and set him by him,

48 And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great.

49 And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us.

50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.

Psalm 73:1-28

BOOK III

Psalms 73–89

Psalm 73

A psalm of Asaph.

Surely God is good to Israel,

to those who are pure in heart.S Ps 24:4; Mt 5:8

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped;S Dt 32:35

I had nearly lost my foothold.Ps 69:2; Eph 4:27

For I enviedPr 3:31; 23:17; 24:1-2 the arrogant

when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.S Job 9:24; S 21:7; Jer 12:1; Mal 3:15

They have no struggles;

their bodies are healthy and strong.With a different word division of the Hebrew; Masoretic Text struggles at their death; / their bodies are healthy

They are freever 12; Eze 23:42 from common human burdens;

they are not plagued by human ills.

Therefore prideS Lev 26:19 is their necklace;S Ge 41:42; SS 4:9; Eze 16:11

they clothe themselves with violence.S Ge 6:11; S Pr 4:17

From their callous heartsS Ps 17:10 comes iniquitySyriac (see also Septuagint); Hebrew Their eyes bulge with fat;

their evil imaginations have no limits.

They scoff, and speak with malice;Ps 41:5; Eze 25:15; Col 3:8

with arrogancePs 17:10 they threaten oppression.S Ps 10:7; S 12:5

Their mouths lay claim to heaven,

and their tongues take possession of the earth.

10 Therefore their people turn to them

and drink up waters in abundance.The meaning of the Hebrew for this verse is uncertain.

11 They say, “How would God know?

Does the Most High know anything?”

12 This is what the wicked are like—

always free of care,S ver 5 they go on amassing wealth.S Ps 49:6

13 Surely in vainS Job 9:29-31; S 21:15 I have kept my heart pure

and have washed my hands in innocence.S Ge 44:16

14 All day long I have been afflicted,ver 5

and every morning brings new punishments.

15 If I had spoken out like that,

I would have betrayed your children.

16 When I tried to understandEcc 8:17 all this,

it troubled me deeply

17 till I entered the sanctuaryEx 15:17; Ps 15:1 of God;

then I understood their final destiny.S Job 8:13; Php 3:19

18 Surely you place them on slippery ground;S Dt 32:35; Ps 35:6

you cast them down to ruin.S Ps 17:13

19 How suddenlyDt 28:20; Pr 24:22; Isa 47:11 are they destroyed,

completely swept awayS Ge 19:15 by terrors!

20 They are like a dreamS Job 20:8 when one awakes;Ps 78:65; Isa 29:8

when you arise, Lord,

you will despise them as fantasies.Pr 12:11; 28:19

21 When my heart was grieved

and my spirit embittered,

22 I was senselessPs 49:10; 92:6; 94:8 and ignorant;

I was a brute beastPs 49:12, 20; Ecc 3:18; 9:12 before you.

23 Yet I am always with you;

you hold me by my right hand.S Ge 48:13

24 You guideS Ps 48:14 me with your counsel,S 1Ki 22:5

and afterward you will take me into glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?Ps 16:2

And earth has nothing I desire besides you.Php 3:8

26 My flesh and my heartPs 84:2 may fail,S Ps 31:10; 40:12

but God is the strengthPs 18:1 of my heart

and my portionS Dt 32:9 forever.

27 Those who are far from you will perish;S Ps 34:21

you destroy all who are unfaithfulS Lev 6:2; Jer 5:11; Hos 4:12; 9:1 to you.

28 But as for me, it is good to be near God.Zep 3:2; Heb 10:22; Jas 4:8

I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;Ps 9:9

I will tell of all your deeds.Ps 26:7; 40:5

Book three (Psalms 73–89)

Psalm 73

A psalm of Asaph.

Truly God is good to Israel,

to those whose hearts are pure.

But as for me, I almost lost my footing.

My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone.

For I envied the proud

when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness.

They seem to live such painless lives;

their bodies are so healthy and strong.

They don’t have troubles like other people;

they’re not plagued with problems like everyone else.

They wear pride like a jeweled necklace

and clothe themselves with cruelty.

These fat cats have everything

their hearts could ever wish for!

They scoff and speak only evil;

in their pride they seek to crush others.

They boast against the very heavens,

and their words strut throughout the earth.

10 And so the people are dismayed and confused,

drinking in all their words.

11 “What does God know?” they ask.

“Does the Most High even know what’s happening?”

12 Look at these wicked people—

enjoying a life of ease while their riches multiply.

13 Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?

Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?

14 I get nothing but trouble all day long;

every morning brings me pain.

15 If I had really spoken this way to others,

I would have been a traitor to your people.

16 So I tried to understand why the wicked prosper.

But what a difficult task it is!

17 Then I went into your sanctuary, O God,

and I finally understood the destiny of the wicked.

18 Truly, you put them on a slippery path

and send them sliding over the cliff to destruction.

19 In an instant they are destroyed,

completely swept away by terrors.

20 When you arise, O Lord,

you will laugh at their silly ideas

as a person laughs at dreams in the morning.

21 Then I realized that my heart was bitter,

and I was all torn up inside.

22 I was so foolish and ignorant—

I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you.

23 Yet I still belong to you;

you hold my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel,

leading me to a glorious destiny.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?

I desire you more than anything on earth.

26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,

but God remains the strength of my heart;

he is mine forever.

27 Those who desert him will perish,

for you destroy those who abandon you.

28 But as for me, how good it is to be near God!

I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,

and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do.

73 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.

For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.

They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.

Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.

Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.

They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.

They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.

11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?

12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.

13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.

14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.

15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.

16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;

17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.

18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.

19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.

20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.

21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.

22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.

24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.

28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

Proverbs 12:10

10 The righteous care for the needs of their animals,S Nu 22:29

but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.

10 The godly care for their animals,

but the wicked are always cruel.

10 A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

Mar 31 Apr 2
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