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First Reading: Deuteronomy Chapter 33 and 34
1 And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.
2 And he said, Jehovah came from Sinai, And rose from Seir unto them; He shined forth from mount Paran, And he came from the ten thousands of holy ones: At his right hand was a fiery law for them.
3 Yea, he loveth the people; All his saints are in thy hand: And they sat down at thy feet; `Every one' shall receive of thy words.
4 Moses commanded us a law, An inheritance for the assembly of Jacob.
5 And he was king in Jeshurun, When the heads of the people were gathered, All the tribes of Israel together.
6 Let Reuben live, and not die; Nor let his men be few.
7 And this is `the blessing' of Judah: and he said, Hear, Jehovah, the voice of Judah, And bring him in unto his people. With his hands he contended for himself; And thou shalt be a help against his adversaries.
8 And of Levi he said, Thy Thummim and thy Urim are with thy godly one, Whom thou didst prove at Massah, With whom thou didst strive at the waters of Meribah;
9 Who said of his father, and of his mother, I have not seen him; Neither did he acknowledge his brethren, Nor knew he his own children: For they have observed thy word, And keep thy covenant.
10 They shall teach Jacob thine ordinances, And Israel thy law: They shall put incense before thee, And whole burnt-offering upon thine altar.
11 Bless, Jehovah, his substance, And accept the work of his hands: Smite through the loins of them that rise up against him, And of them that hate him, that they rise not again.
12 Of Benjamin he said, The beloved of Jehovah shall dwell in safety by him; He covereth him all the day long, And he dwelleth between his shoulders.
13 And of Joseph he said, Blessed of Jehovah be his land, For the precious things of heaven, for the dew, And for the deep that coucheth beneath,
14 And for the precious things of the fruits of the sun, And for the precious things of the growth of the moons,
15 And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, And for the precious things of the everlasting hills,
16 And for the precious things of the earth and the fulness thereof, And the good will of him that dwelt in the bush. Let `the blessing' come upon the head of Joseph, And upon the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
17 The firstling of his herd, majesty is his; And his horns are the horns of the wild-ox: With them he shall push the peoples all of them, `even' the ends of the earth: And they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, And they are the thousands of Manasseh.
18 And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in thy going out; And, Issachar, in thy tents.
19 They shall call the peoples unto the mountain; There shall they offer sacrifices of righteousness: For they shall suck the abundance of the seas, And the hidden treasures of the sand.
20 And of Gad he said, Blessed be he that enlargeth Gad: He dwelleth as a lioness, And teareth the arm, yea, the crown of the head.
21 And he provided the first part for himself, For there was the lawgiver's portion reserved; And he came `with' the heads of the people; He executed the righteousness of Jehovah, And his ordinances with Israel.
22 And of Dan he said, Dan is a lion's whelp, That leapeth forth from Bashan.
23 And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favor, And full with the blessing of Jehovah, Possess thou the west and the south.
24 And of Asher he said, Blessed be Asher with children; Let him be acceptable unto his brethren, And let him dip his foot in oil.
25 Thy bars shall be iron and brass; And as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
26 There is none like unto God, O Jeshurun, Who rideth upon the heavens for thy help, And in his excellency on the skies.
27 The eternal God is `thy' dwelling-place, And underneath are the everlasting arms. And he thrust out the enemy from before thee, And said, Destroy.
28 And Israel dwelleth in safety, The fountain of Jacob alone, In a land of grain and new wine; Yea, his heavens drop down dew.
29 Happy art thou, O Israel: Who is like unto thee, a people saved by Jehovah, The shield of thy help, And the sword of thy excellency! And thine enemies shall submit themselves unto thee; And thou shalt tread upon their high places.
1 And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And Jehovah showed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan,
2 and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the hinder sea,
3 and the South, and the Plain of the valley of Jericho the city of palm-trees, unto Zoar.
4 And Jehovah said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.
5 So Moses the servant of Jehovah died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of Jehovah.
6 And he buried him in the valley in the land of Moab over against Beth-peor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.
7 And Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.
8 And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days: so the days of weeping in the mourning for Moses were ended.
9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as Jehovah commanded Moses.
10 And there hath not arisen a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom Jehovah knew face to face,
11 in all the signs and the wonders, which Jehovah sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land,
12 and in all the mighty hand, and in all the great terror, which Moses wrought in the sight of all Israel.
Second Reading: Mark Chapter 12
1 And he began to speak unto them in parables. A man planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it, and digged a pit for the winepress, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into another country.
2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruits of the vineyard.
3 And they took him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.
4 And again he sent unto them another servant; and him they wounded in the head, and handled shamefully.
5 And he sent another; and him they killed: and many others; beating some, and killing some.
6 He had yet one, a beloved son: he sent him last unto them, saying, They will reverence my son.
7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.
8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him forth out of the vineyard.
9 What therefore will the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.
10 Have ye not read even this scripture: The stone which the builders rejected, The same was made the head of the corner;
11 This was from the Lord, And it is marvellous in our eyes?
12 And they sought to lay hold on him; and they feared the multitude; for they perceived that he spake the parable against them: and they left him, and went away.
13 And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, that they might catch him in talk.
14 And when they were come, they say unto him, Teacher, we know that thou art true, and carest not for any one; for thou regardest not the person of men, but of a truth teachest the way of God: Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why make ye trial of me? bring me a denarius, that I may see it.
16 And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar's.
17 And Jesus said unto them, Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's. And they marvelled greatly at him.
18 And there come unto him Sadducees, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,
19 Teacher, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave a wife behind him, and leave no child, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
20 There were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed;
21 and the second took her, and died, leaving no seed behind him; and the third likewise:
22 and the seven left no seed. Last of all the woman also died.
23 In the resurrection whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.
24 Jesus said unto them, Is it not for this cause that ye err, that ye know not the scriptures, nor the power of God?
25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as angels in heaven.
26 But as touching the dead, that they are raised; have ye not read in the book of Moses, in `the place concerning' the Bush, how God spake unto him, saying, I `am' the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living: ye do greatly err.
28 And one of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together, and knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, What commandment is the first of all?
29 Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one:
30 and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.
31 The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
32 And the scribe said unto him, Of a truth, Teacher, thou hast well said that he is one; and there is none other but he:
33 and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is much more than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices.
34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.
35 And Jesus answered and said, as he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that the Christ is the son of David?
36 David himself said in the Holy Spirit, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Till I make thine enemies the footstool of thy feet.
37 David himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he his son? And the common people heard him gladly.
38 And in his teaching he said, Beware of the scribes, who desire to walk in long robes, and `to have' salutations in the marketplaces,
39 and chief seats in the synagogues, and chief places at feasts:
40 they that devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers; these shall receive greater condemnation.
41 And he sat down over against the treasury, and beheld how the multitude cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
42 And there came a poor widow, and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing.
43 And he called unto him his disciples, and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, This poor widow cast in more than all they that are casting into the treasury:
44 for they all did cast in of their superfluity; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, `even' all her living.
LIFE AND DEATH IN THE BIBLE
Part 1 of 3
The Bible is a life and death book. It has a serious message and starts in the very first chapters to address that message. In Genesis chapter 1 the story of creation is told. All living things are created by God's Spirit. In chapter 2 verse 7 the creation of man is described: "The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being." (NIV) The dust by itself is just dust. It takes the breath of life from God to make it a living being.
Some of the older translations like the King James Version translate "living being" as "living soul." The original Hebrew word for this is "nephesh." It is translated as soul in the King James Version in many places but in other places is translated as "beast", "life", "man", and "creature." It does not refer to an "immortal soul." In fact the same word is translated in Exekiel 18:4 : "the soul that sinneth, it shall die." (KJV). People do not automatically have immortality. In fact, we're told that only God has immortality (I Timothy 6:16) and that life eternal is a gift from God (Romans 6:23).
"This is what God the LORD says--he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:" Isaiah 42:5 (NIV)
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