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Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Jesus is the Cornerstone. A cornerstone is a large, immovable stone that sets the direction for an entire building. Trying to test and move Jesus by questions and tricks was impossible-a point the Pharisees amply proved. He is unchangeable Truth, the Rock of integrity and honesty. If you try to move Him or persuade Him to change His standard, you will be crushed (v. 18) as that Stone falls on you. You can't go around Him, under Him, or over Him.

Proverbs 13:15 says, "A person with good sense is respected; a treacherous person walks a rocky road." Being treacherous means you're trying to push God's truth out of your life! Why not build on the truth rather than trying to budge it? Don't alter it, try to move it, or break it. Fall upon that Stone and let Him break your will to pieces. Then allow the Holy Spirit to build your life upon the foundation of eternal truth.

Align the walls of your life to match the direction of the Cornerstone. A life built upon His truth will last for all eternity. He will never change. Isn't it time you did?

Joshua 21:1-22:20

Towns for the Levites21:4-39pp — 1Ch 6:54-80

21 Now the family heads of the Levites approached Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the heads of the other tribal families of IsraelJos 14:1at ShilohS Jos 18:1 in Canaan and said to them, “The Lord commanded through Moses that you give us townsS Lev 25:32 to live in, with pasturelands for our livestock.”S Nu 35:2-3; S Jos 14:4So, as the Lord had commanded, the Israelites gave the Levites the following towns and pasturelands out of their own inheritance:

The first lot came out for the Kohathites,Nu 3:17 according to their clans. The Levites who were descendants of Aaron the priest were allotted thirteen towns from the tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin.ver 19The rest of Kohath’s descendants were allotted ten towns from the clans of the tribes of Ephraim, Dan and half of Manasseh.ver 26

The descendants of GershonNu 3:17 were allotted thirteen towns from the clans of the tribes of Issachar,S Ge 30:18 Asher,S Jos 17:7 Naphtali and the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.

The descendants of Merari,S Ex 6:16 according to their clans, received twelvever 40 towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Zebulun.S Jos 19:10

So the Israelites allotted to the Levites these towns and their pasturelands, as the Lord had commanded through Moses.

From the tribes of Judah and Simeon they allotted the following towns by name10 (these towns were assigned to the descendants of Aaron who were from the Kohathite clans of the Levites, because the first lot fell to them):

11 They gave them Kiriath ArbaS Ge 23:2 (that is, HebronS Jos 10:36), with its surrounding pastureland, in the hill country of Judah. (Arba was the forefather of Anak.)12 But the fields and villages around the city they had given to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.S Jos 15:13

13 So to the descendants of Aaron the priest they gave Hebron (a city of refugeNu 35:6 for one accused of murder), Libnah,S Nu 33:2014 Jattir,S Jos 15:48 Eshtemoa,S Jos 15:5015 Holon,S Jos 15:51 Debir,S Jos 10:316 Ain,S Nu 34:11 JuttahJos 15:55 and Beth Shemesh,S Jos 15:10 together with their pasturelands—nine towns from these two tribes.

17 And from the tribe of Benjamin they gave them Gibeon,S Jos 9:3 Geba,S Jos 18:24; S Ne 11:3118 Anathoth2Sa 23:27; 1Ki 2:26; Ezr 2:23; Ne 7:27; 11:32; Isa 10:30; Jer 1:1; 11:21; 32:7 and Almon, together with their pasturelands—four towns.

19 The total number of towns2Ch 31:15 for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, came to thirteen, together with their pasturelands.ver 4

20 The rest of the Kohathite clans of the Levites were allotted towns from the tribe of Ephraim:

21 In the hill country of Ephraim they were given ShechemS Jos 17:7 (a city of refuge for one accused of murder) and Gezer,S Jos 10:3322 Kibzaim and Beth Horon,S Jos 10:10 together with their pasturelands—four towns.1Sa 1:1

23 Also from the tribe of Dan they received Eltekeh, Gibbethon,S Jos 19:4424 AijalonS Jos 10:12 and Gath Rimmon,S Jos 19:45 together with their pasturelands—four towns.

25 From half the tribe of Manasseh they received TaanachS Jos 12:21 and Gath Rimmon, together with their pasturelands—two towns.

26 All these ten towns and their pasturelands were given to the rest of the Kohathite clans.ver 5

27 The Levite clans of the Gershonites were given:

from the half-tribe of Manasseh,

Golan in BashanS Jos 12:5 (a city of refuge for one accused of murderNu 35:6) and Be Eshterah, together with their pasturelands—two towns;

28 from the tribe of Issachar,S Ge 30:18

Kishion,Jos 19:20 Daberath,S Jos 19:1229 JarmuthS Jos 10:3 and En Gannim,S Jos 15:34 together with their pasturelands—four towns;

30 from the tribe of Asher,S Jos 17:7

Mishal,Jos 19:26 Abdon,S Jos 19:2831 Helkath and Rehob,S Jos 19:28 together with their pasturelands—four towns;

32 from the tribe of Naphtali,

KedeshS Jos 12:22 in Galilee (a city of refuge for one accused of murderNu 35:6), Hammoth Dor and Kartan, together with their pasturelands—three towns.

33 The total number of towns of the Gershonitever 6 clans came to thirteen, together with their pasturelands.

34 The Merarite clans (the rest of the Levites) were given:

from the tribe of Zebulun,S Jos 19:10

Jokneam,S Jos 12:22 Kartah,35 Dimnah and Nahalal,Jos 19:15 together with their pasturelands—four towns;

36 from the tribe of Reuben,

Bezer,S Jos 20:8 Jahaz,S Nu 21:23; Dt 2:32; Jdg 11:2037 Kedemoth and Mephaath,S Jos 13:18 together with their pasturelands—four towns;

38 from the tribe of Gad,

RamothS Dt 4:43 in GileadS Jos 12:2 (a city of refuge for one accused of murder), Mahanaim,S Ge 32:239 Heshbon and Jazer,S Jos 13:25 together with their pasturelands—four towns in all.

40 The total number of towns allotted to the Merarite clans, who were the rest of the Levites, came to twelve.ver 7

41 The towns of the Levites in the territory held by the Israelites were forty-eight in all, together with their pasturelands.Nu 35:742 Each of these towns had pasturelands surrounding it; this was true for all these towns.

43 So the Lord gave Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors,Dt 34:4 and they took possessionDt 11:31 of it and settled there.S Dt 17:1444 The Lord gave them restS Ex 33:14 on every side, just as he had sworn to their ancestors. Not one of their enemiesS Dt 6:19 withstood them; the Lord gave all their enemiesS Ex 23:31 into their hands.Dt 21:1045 Not one of all the Lord’s good promisesJos 23:14; Ne 9:8 to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.

Eastern Tribes Return Home

22 Then Joshua summoned the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manassehand said to them, “You have done all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded,S Nu 32:25 and you have obeyed me in everything I commanded.For a long time now—to this very day—you have not deserted your fellow Israelites but have carried out the mission the Lord your God gave you.Now that the Lord your God has given them restS Ex 33:14 as he promised, return to your homesNu 32:22; Dt 3:20 in the land that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan.Nu 32:18; S Jos 1:13-15But be very careful to keep the commandmentIsa 43:22; Mal 3:14 and the law that Moses the servant of the Lord gave you: to love the LordJos 23:11 your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands,S Dt 5:29 to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.S Dt 6:5

Then Joshua blessedS Ge 24:60; S Ex 39:43 them and sent them away, and they went to their homes.(To the half-tribe of Manasseh Moses had given land in Bashan,S Nu 32:19; S Jos 12:5 and to the other half of the tribe Joshua gave land on the west sideJos 17:2 of the Jordan along with their fellow Israelites.) When Joshua sent them home, he blessed them,S Jos 14:13; Lk 24:50saying, “Return to your homes with your great wealth—with large herds of livestock,S Dt 20:14 with silver, gold, bronze and iron,S Nu 31:22 and a great quantity of clothing—and divideS Nu 31:27 the plunderS Ge 49:27; 1Sa 30:16; 2Sa 1:1; Isa 9:3 from your enemies with your fellow Israelites.”

So the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the Israelites at ShilohJos 18:1 in Canaan to return to Gilead,S Nu 32:26 their own land, which they had acquired in accordance with the command of the Lord through Moses.

10 When they came to GelilothJos 18:17 near the Jordan in the land of Canaan, the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh built an imposing altarver 19, 26-27; Isa 19:19; 56:7 there by the Jordan.11 And when the Israelites heard that they had built the altar on the border of Canaan at Geliloth near the Jordan on the Israelite side,12 the whole assembly of Israel gathered at ShilohJos 18:1 to go to war against them.

13 So the Israelites sent PhinehasS Nu 25:7 son of Eleazar,Nu 3:32; Jos 24:33 the priest, to the land of Gilead—to Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh.14 With him they sent ten of the chief men, one from each of the tribes of Israel, each the head of a family division among the Israelite clans.ver 32; S Nu 1:4

15 When they went to Gilead—to Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh—they said to them:16 “The whole assembly of the Lord says: ‘How could you break faithS Dt 7:3; 1Sa 13:13; 15:11 with the God of Israel like this? How could you turn away from the Lord and build yourselves an altar in rebellionDt 12:13-14 against him now?17 Was not the sin of PeorS Nu 23:28; 25:1-9 enough for us? Up to this very day we have not cleansed ourselves from that sin, even though a plague fell on the community of the Lord!18 And are you now turning away from the Lord?

“‘If you rebel against the Lord today, tomorrow he will be angry with the whole communityS Lev 10:6 of Israel.19 If the land you possess is defiled, come over to the Lord’s land, where the Lord’s tabernacleS Ex 26:1 stands, and share the land with us. But do not rebel against the Lord or against us by building an altarS ver 10 for yourselves, other than the altar of the Lord our God.20 When Achan son of Zerah was unfaithful in regard to the devoted things,The Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.Jos 7:1 did not wrathPs 7:11 come on the whole communityLev 10:6 of Israel? He was not the only one who died for his sin.’”Jos 7:5

The Towns Given to the Levites

21 Then the leaders of the tribe of Levi came to consult with Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders of the other tribes of Israel.They came to them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan and said, “The Lord commanded Moses to give us towns to live in and pasturelands for our livestock.”So by the command of the Lord the people of Israel gave the Levites the following towns and pasturelands out of their own grants of land.

The descendants of Aaron, who were members of the Kohathite clan within the tribe of Levi, were allotted thirteen towns that were originally assigned to the tribes of Judah, Simeon, and Benjamin.The other families of the Kohathite clan were allotted ten towns from the tribes of Ephraim, Dan, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.

The clan of Gershon was allotted thirteen towns from the tribes of Issachar, Asher, Naphtali, and the half-tribe of Manasseh in Bashan.

The clan of Merari was allotted twelve towns from the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and Zebulun.

So the Israelites obeyed the Lord’s command to Moses and assigned these towns and pasturelands to the Levites by casting sacred lots.

The Israelites gave the following towns from the tribes of Judah and Simeon10 to the descendants of Aaron, who were members of the Kohathite clan within the tribe of Levi, since the sacred lot fell to them first:11 Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), in the hill country of Judah, along with its surrounding pasturelands. (Arba was an ancestor of Anak.)12 But the open fields beyond the town and the surrounding villages were given to Caleb son of Jephunneh as his possession.

13 The following towns with their pasturelands were given to the descendants of Aaron the priest: Hebron (a city of refuge for those who accidentally killed someone), Libnah,14 Jattir, Eshtemoa,15 Holon, Debir,16 Ain, Juttah, and Beth-shemesh—nine towns from these two tribes.

17 From the tribe of Benjamin the priests were given the following towns with their pasturelands: Gibeon, Geba,18 Anathoth, and Almon—four towns.19 So in all, thirteen towns with their pasturelands were given to the priests, the descendants of Aaron.

20 The rest of the Kohathite clan from the tribe of Levi was allotted the following towns and pasturelands from the tribe of Ephraim:21 Shechem in the hill country of Ephraim (a city of refuge for those who accidentally killed someone), Gezer,22 Kibzaim, and Beth-horon—four towns.

23 The following towns and pasturelands were allotted to the priests from the tribe of Dan: Eltekeh, Gibbethon,24 Aijalon, and Gath-rimmon—four towns.

25 The half-tribe of Manasseh allotted the following towns with their pasturelands to the priests: Taanach and Gath-rimmon—two towns.26 So in all, ten towns with their pasturelands were given to the rest of the Kohathite clan.

27 The descendants of Gershon, another clan within the tribe of Levi, received the following towns with their pasturelands from the half-tribe of Manasseh: Golan in Bashan (a city of refuge for those who accidentally killed someone) and Be-eshterah—two towns.

28 From the tribe of Issachar they received the following towns with their pasturelands: Kishion, Daberath,29 Jarmuth, and En-gannim—four towns.

30 From the tribe of Asher they received the following towns with their pasturelands: Mishal, Abdon,31 Helkath, and Rehob—four towns.

32 From the tribe of Naphtali they received the following towns with their pasturelands: Kedesh in Galilee (a city of refuge for those who accidentally killed someone), Hammoth-dor, and Kartan—three towns.33 So in all, thirteen towns with their pasturelands were allotted to the clan of Gershon.

34 The rest of the Levites—the Merari clan—were given the following towns with their pasturelands from the tribe of Zebulun: Jokneam, Kartah,35 Dimnah, and Nahalal—four towns.

36 From the tribe of Reuben they received the following towns with their pasturelands: Bezer, Jahaz,Hebrew Jahzah, a variant spelling of Jahaz.37 Kedemoth, and Mephaath—four towns.

38 From the tribe of Gad they received the following towns with their pasturelands: Ramoth in Gilead (a city of refuge for those who accidentally killed someone), Mahanaim,39 Heshbon, and Jazer—four towns.40 So in all, twelve towns were allotted to the clan of Merari.

41 The total number of towns and pasturelands within Israelite territory given to the Levites came to forty-eight.42 Every one of these towns had pasturelands surrounding it.

43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there.44 And the Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had solemnly promised their ancestors. None of their enemies could stand against them, for the Lord helped them conquer all their enemies.45 Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.

The Eastern Tribes Return Home

22 Then Joshua called together the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.He told them, “You have done as Moses, the servant of the Lord, commanded you, and you have obeyed every order I have given you.During all this time you have not deserted the other tribes. You have been careful to obey the commands of the Lord your God right up to the present day.And now the Lord your God has given the other tribes rest, as he promised them. So go back home to the land that Moses, the servant of the Lord, gave you as your possession on the east side of the Jordan River.But be very careful to obey all the commands and the instructions that Moses gave to you. Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.”So Joshua blessed them and sent them away, and they went home.

Moses had given the land of Bashan, east of the Jordan River, to the half-tribe of Manasseh. (The other half of the tribe was given land west of the Jordan.) As Joshua sent them away and blessed them,he said to them, “Go back to your homes with the great wealth you have taken from your enemies—the vast herds of livestock, the silver, gold, bronze, and iron, and the large supply of clothing. Share the plunder with your relatives.”

So the men of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh left the rest of Israel at Shiloh in the land of Canaan. They started the journey back to their own land of Gilead, the territory that belonged to them according to the Lord’s command through Moses.

The Eastern Tribes Build an Altar

10 But while they were still in Canaan, and when they came to a place called GelilothOr to the circle of stones; similarly in 22:11. near the Jordan River, the men of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh stopped to build a large and imposing altar.

11 The rest of Israel heard that the people of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had built an altar at Geliloth at the edge of the land of Canaan, on the west side of the Jordan River.12 So the whole community of Israel gathered at Shiloh and prepared to go to war against them.13 First, however, they sent a delegation led by Phinehas son of Eleazar, the priest, to talk with the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh.14 In this delegation were ten leaders of Israel, one from each of the ten tribes, and each the head of his family within the clans of Israel.

15 When they arrived in the land of Gilead, they said to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh,16 “The whole community of the Lord demands to know why you are betraying the God of Israel. How could you turn away from the Lord and build an altar for yourselves in rebellion against him?17 Was our sin at Peor not enough? To this day we are not fully cleansed of it, even after the plague that struck the entire community of the Lord.18 And yet today you are turning away from following the Lord. If you rebel against the Lord today, he will be angry with all of us tomorrow.

19 “If you need the altar because the land you possess is defiled, then join us in the Lord’s land, where the Tabernacle of the Lord is situated, and share our land with us. But do not rebel against the Lord or against us by building an altar other than the one true altar of the Lord our God.20 Didn’t divine anger fall on the entire community of Israel when Achan, a member of the clan of Zerah, sinned by stealing the things set apart for the LordThe 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.? He was not the only one who died because of his sin.”

21 Then came near the heads of the fathers of the Levites unto Eleazar the priest, and unto Joshua the son of Nun, and unto the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Israel;

And they spake unto them at Shiloh in the land of Canaan, saying, The Lord commanded by the hand of Moses to give us cities to dwell in, with the suburbs thereof for our cattle.

And the children of Israel gave unto the Levites out of their inheritance, at the commandment of the Lord, these cities and their suburbs.

And the lot came out for the families of the Kohathites: and the children of Aaron the priest, which were of the Levites, had by lot out of the tribe of Judah, and out of the tribe of Simeon, and out of the tribe of Benjamin, thirteen cities.

And the rest of the children of Kohath had by lot out of the families of the tribe of Ephraim, and out of the tribe of Dan, and out of the half tribe of Manasseh, ten cities.

And the children of Gershon had by lot out of the families of the tribe of Issachar, and out of the tribe of Asher, and out of the tribe of Naphtali, and out of the half tribe of Manasseh in Bashan, thirteen cities.

The children of Merari by their families had out of the tribe of Reuben, and out of the tribe of Gad, and out of the tribe of Zebulun, twelve cities.

And the children of Israel gave by lot unto the Levites these cities with their suburbs, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.

And they gave out of the tribe of the children of Judah, and out of the tribe of the children of Simeon, these cities which are here mentioned by name.

10 Which the children of Aaron, being of the families of the Kohathites, who were of the children of Levi, had: for theirs was the first lot.

11 And they gave them the city of Arba the father of Anak, which city is Hebron, in the hill country of Judah, with the suburbs thereof round about it.

12 But the fields of the city, and the villages thereof, gave they to Caleb the son of Jephunneh for his possession.

13 Thus they gave to the children of Aaron the priest Hebron with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Libnah with her suburbs,

14 And Jattir with her suburbs, and Eshtemoa with her suburbs,

15 And Holon with her suburbs, and Debir with her suburbs,

16 And Ain with her suburbs, and Juttah with her suburbs, and Bethshemesh with her suburbs; nine cities out of those two tribes.

17 And out of the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with her suburbs, Geba with her suburbs,

18 Anathoth with her suburbs, and Almon with her suburbs; four cities.

19 All the cities of the children of Aaron, the priests, were thirteen cities with their suburbs.

20 And the families of the children of Kohath, the Levites which remained of the children of Kohath, even they had the cities of their lot out of the tribe of Ephraim.

21 For they gave them Shechem with her suburbs in mount Ephraim, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Gezer with her suburbs,

22 And Kibzaim with her suburbs, and Bethhoron with her suburbs; four cities.

23 And out of the tribe of Dan, Eltekeh with her suburbs, Gibbethon with her suburbs,

24 Aijalon with her suburbs, Gathrimmon with her suburbs; four cities.

25 And out of the half tribe of Manasseh, Tanach with her suburbs, and Gathrimmon with her suburbs; two cities.

26 All the cities were ten with their suburbs for the families of the children of Kohath that remained.

27 And unto the children of Gershon, of the families of the Levites, out of the other half tribe of Manasseh they gave Golan in Bashan with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Beeshterah with her suburbs; two cities.

28 And out of the tribe of Issachar, Kishon with her suburbs, Dabareh with her suburbs,

29 Jarmuth with her suburbs, Engannim with her suburbs; four cities.

30 And out of the tribe of Asher, Mishal with her suburbs, Abdon with her suburbs,

31 Helkath with her suburbs, and Rehob with her suburbs; four cities.

32 And out of the tribe of Naphtali, Kedesh in Galilee with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Hammothdor with her suburbs, and Kartan with her suburbs; three cities.

33 All the cities of the Gershonites according to their families were thirteen cities with their suburbs.

34 And unto the families of the children of Merari, the rest of the Levites, out of the tribe of Zebulun, Jokneam with her suburbs, and Kartah with her suburbs,

35 Dimnah with her suburbs, Nahalal with her suburbs; four cities.

36 And out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer with her suburbs, and Jahazah with her suburbs,

37 Kedemoth with her suburbs, and Mephaath with her suburbs; four cities.

38 And out of the tribe of Gad, Ramoth in Gilead with her suburbs, to be a city of refuge for the slayer; and Mahanaim with her suburbs,

39 Heshbon with her suburbs, Jazer with her suburbs; four cities in all.

40 So all the cities for the children of Merari by their families, which were remaining of the families of the Levites, were by their lot twelve cities.

41 All the cities of the Levites within the possession of the children of Israel were forty and eight cities with their suburbs.

42 These cities were every one with their suburbs round about them: thus were all these cities.

43 And the Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein.

44 And the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand.

45 There failed not ought of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.

22 Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

And said unto them, Ye have kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you:

Ye have not left your brethren these many days unto this day, but have kept the charge of the commandment of the Lord your God.

And now the Lord your God hath given rest unto your brethren, as he promised them: therefore now return ye, and get you unto your tents, and unto the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side Jordan.

But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.

So Joshua blessed them, and sent them away: and they went unto their tents.

Now to the one half of the tribe of Manasseh Moses had given possession in Bashan: but unto the other half thereof gave Joshua among their brethren on this side Jordan westward. And when Joshua sent them away also unto their tents, then he blessed them,

And he spake unto them, saying, Return with much riches unto your tents, and with very much cattle, with silver, and with gold, and with brass, and with iron, and with very much raiment: divide the spoil of your enemies with your brethren.

And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go unto the country of Gilead, to the land of their possession, whereof they were possessed, according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.

10 And when they came unto the borders of Jordan, that are in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by Jordan, a great altar to see to.

11 And the children of Israel heard say, Behold, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh have built an altar over against the land of Canaan, in the borders of Jordan, at the passage of the children of Israel.

12 And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered themselves together at Shiloh, to go up to war against them.

13 And the children of Israel sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest,

14 And with him ten princes, of each chief house a prince throughout all the tribes of Israel; and each one was an head of the house of their fathers among the thousands of Israel.

15 And they came unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead, and they spake with them, saying,

16 Thus saith the whole congregation of the Lord, What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the Lord, in that ye have builded you an altar, that ye might rebel this day against the Lord?

17 Is the iniquity of Peor too little for us, from which we are not cleansed until this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the Lord,

18 But that ye must turn away this day from following the Lord? and it will be, seeing ye rebel to day against the Lord, that to morrow he will be wroth with the whole congregation of Israel.

19 Notwithstanding, if the land of your possession be unclean, then pass ye over unto the land of the possession of the Lord, wherein the Lord's tabernacle dwelleth, and take possession among us: but rebel not against the Lord, nor rebel against us, in building you an altar beside the altar of the Lord our God.

20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity.

Luke 20:1-26

The Authority of Jesus Questioned20:1-8pp — Mt 21:23-27; Mk 11:27-33

20 One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courtsS Mt 26:55 and proclaiming the good news,Lk 8:1 the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him.“Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?”Jn 2:18; Ac 4:7; 7:27

He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me:John’s baptismS Mk 1:4—was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the peopleLk 7:29 will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.”S Mt 11:9

So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.”

Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

The Parable of the Tenants20:9-19pp — Mt 21:33-46; Mk 12:1-12

He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard,Isa 5:1-7 rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time.Mt 25:1410 At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed.11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed.12 He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out.

13 “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love;S Mt 3:17 perhaps they will respect him.’

14 “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

“What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them?16 He will come and kill those tenantsLk 19:27 and give the vineyard to others.”

When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!”

17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written:

“‘The stone the builders rejected

has become the cornerstone’Psalm 118:22?Ps 118:22; S Ac 4:11

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”Isa 8:14, 15

19 The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest himLk 19:47 immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.S Mk 11:18

Paying Taxes to Caesar20:20-26pp — Mt 22:15-22; Mk 12:13-17

20 Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said,S Mt 12:10 so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor.Mt 27:221 So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.Jn 3:222 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them,24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

25 He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s,Lk 23:2; Ro 13:7 and to God what is God’s.”

26 They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.

The Authority of Jesus Challenged

20 One day as Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Good News in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him.They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?”

“Let me ask you a question first,” he replied.“Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?”

They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John.But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.”So they finally replied that they didn’t know.

And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”

Parable of the Evil Farmers

Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years.10 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed.11 So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed.12 A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away.

13 “‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’

14 “But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’15 So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him.

“What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to them?” Jesus asked.16 “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.”

“How terrible that such a thing should ever happen,” his listeners protested.

17 Jesus looked at them and said, “Then what does this Scripture mean?

‘The stone that the builders rejected

has now become the cornerstone.’Ps 118:22.

18 Everyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.”

19 The teachers of religious law and the leading priests wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the people’s reaction.

Taxes for Caesar

20 Watching for their opportunity, the leaders sent spies pretending to be honest men. They tried to get Jesus to say something that could be reported to the Roman governor so he would arrest Jesus.21 “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully.22 Now tell us—is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

23 He saw through their trickery and said,24 “Show me a Roman coin.Greek a denarius. Whose picture and title are stamped on it?”

“Caesar’s,” they replied.

25 “Well then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”

26 So they failed to trap him by what he said in front of the people. Instead, they were amazed by his answer, and they became silent.

20 And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders,

And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?

And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me:

The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?

And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not?

But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.

And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time.

10 And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty.

11 And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty.

12 And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out.

13 Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him.

14 But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours.

15 So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them?

16 He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

17 And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner?

18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

19 And the chief priests and the scribes the same hour sought to lay hands on him; and they feared the people: for they perceived that he had spoken this parable against them.

20 And they watched him, and sent forth spies, which should feign themselves just men, that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor.

21 And they asked him, saying, Master, we know that thou sayest and teachest rightly, neither acceptest thou the person of any, but teachest the way of God truly:

22 Is it lawful for us to give tribute unto Caesar, or no?

23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?

24 Shew me a penny. Whose image and superscription hath it? They answered and said, Caesar's.

25 And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar's, and unto God the things which be God's.

26 And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.

Psalm 89:1-13

Psalm 89In Hebrew texts 89:1-52 is numbered 89:2-53.

A maskilTitle: Probably a literary or musical term of Ethan the Ezrahite.

I will singPs 59:16 of the Lord’s great love forever;

with my mouth I will make your faithfulness knownS Ps 36:5; 40:10

through all generations.

I will declare that your love stands firm forever,

that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.S Ps 36:5

You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,

I have sworn to David my servant,

‘I will establish your line forever

and make your throne firm through all generations.’”The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 37, 45 and 48.2Sa 7:12-16; 1Ki 8:16; Ps 132:11-12; Isa 9:7; Eze 37:24-25; S Mt 1:1; S Lk 1:33

The heavensS Ps 19:1 praise your wonders, Lord,

your faithfulness too, in the assemblyS Ps 1:5 of the holy ones.

For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?

Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?S Ge 1:26; S Ex 9:14; S Ps 18:31; 113:5

In the councilPs 111:1 of the holy onesS Job 5:1 God is greatly feared;

he is more awesome than all who surround him.Ps 47:2

Who is like you,S Ps 71:19 Lord God Almighty?Isa 6:3

You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

You rule over the surging sea;

when its waves mount up, you still them.S Ps 65:7

10 You crushed RahabS Job 9:13 like one of the slain;

with your strong arm you scatteredS Ps 59:11; S 68:1; 92:9 your enemies.

11 The heavens are yours,S Dt 10:14; Ps 115:16 and yours also the earth;1Ch 29:11; S Ps 24:1

you founded the world and all that is in it.S Ge 1:1

12 You created the north and the south;

TaborS Jos 19:22 and HermonS Dt 3:8; S 4:48 sing for joyPs 98:8 at your name.

13 Your arm is endowed with power;

your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.S Jos 4:24

Psalm 89

A psalmHebrew maskil. This may be a literary or musical term. of Ethan the Ezrahite.

I will sing of the Lord’s unfailing love forever!

Young and old will hear of your faithfulness.

Your unfailing love will last forever.

Your faithfulness is as enduring as the heavens.

The Lord said, “I have made a covenant with David, my chosen servant.

I have sworn this oath to him:

‘I will establish your descendants as kings forever;

they will sit on your throne from now until eternity.’” Interlude

All heaven will praise your great wonders, Lord;

myriads of angels will praise you for your faithfulness.

For who in all of heaven can compare with the Lord?

What mightiest angel is anything like the Lord?

The highest angelic powers stand in awe of God.

He is far more awesome than all who surround his throne.

O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies!

Where is there anyone as mighty as you, O Lord?

You are entirely faithful.

You rule the oceans.

You subdue their storm-tossed waves.

10 You crushed the great sea monster.Hebrew Rahab, the name of a mythical sea monster that represents chaos in ancient literature.

You scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

11 The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours;

everything in the world is yours—you created it all.

12 You created north and south.

Mount Tabor and Mount Hermon praise your name.

13 Powerful is your arm!

Strong is your hand!

Your right hand is lifted high in glorious strength.

89 I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.

For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.

I have made a covenant with my chosen, I have sworn unto David my servant,

Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations. Selah.

And the heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints.

For who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?

God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.

O Lord God of hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?

Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.

10 Thou hast broken Rahab in pieces, as one that is slain; thou hast scattered thine enemies with thy strong arm.

11 The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them.

12 The north and the south thou hast created them: Tabor and Hermon shall rejoice in thy name.

13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.

Proverbs 13:15-16

15 Good judgment wins favor,

but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.Septuagint and Syriac; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.

16 All who are prudent act withOr prudent protect themselves through knowledge,

but fools exposeEcc 10:3 their folly.Est 5:11; S Ps 38:5

15 A person with good sense is respected;

a treacherous person is headed for destruction.As in Greek version; Hebrew reads the way of the treacherous is lasting.

16 Wise people think before they act;

fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness.

15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

16 Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.

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