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First Reading: Proverbs Chapter 29 and 30
1 He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck Shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
2 When the righteous are increased, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man beareth rule, the people sigh.
3 Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father; But he that keepeth company with harlots wasteth `his' substance.
4 The king by justice establisheth the land; But he that exacteth gifts overthroweth it.
5 A man that flattereth his neighbor Spreadeth a net for his steps.
6 In the transgression of an evil man there is a snare; But the righteous doth sing and rejoice.
7 The righteous taketh knowledge of the cause of the poor; The wicked hath not understanding to know `it'.
8 Scoffers set a city in a flame; But wise men turn away wrath.
9 If a wise man hath a controversy with a foolish man, Whether he be angry or laugh, there will be no rest.
10 The bloodthirsty hate him that is perfect; And as for the upright, they seek his life.
11 A fool uttereth all his anger; But a wise man keepeth it back and stilleth it.
12 If a ruler hearkeneth to falsehood, All his servants are wicked.
13 The poor man and the oppressor meet together; Jehovah lighteneth the eyes of them both.
14 The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, His throne shall be established for ever.
15 The rod and reproof give wisdom; But a child left to himself causeth shame to his mother.
16 When the wicked are increased, transgression increaseth; But the righteous shall look upon their fall.
17 Correct thy son, and he will give thee rest; Yea, he will give delight unto thy soul.
18 Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint; But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
19 A servant will not be corrected by words; For though he understand, he will not give heed.
20 Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? There is more hope of a fool than of him.
21 He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child Shall have him become a son at the last.
22 An angry man stirreth up strife, And a wrathful man aboundeth in transgression.
23 A man's pride shall bring him low; But he that is of a lowly spirit shall obtain honor.
24 Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul; He heareth the adjuration and uttereth nothing.
25 The fear of man bringeth a snare; But whoso putteth his trust in Jehovah shall be safe.
26 Many seek the ruler's favor; But a man's judgment `cometh' from Jehovah.
27 An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous; And he that is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.
1 The words of Agur the son of Jakeh; The oracle. The man saith unto Ithiel, unto Ithiel and Ucal:
2 Surely I am more brutish than any man, And have not the understanding of a man;
3 And I have not learned wisdom, Neither have I the knowledge of the Holy One.
4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in his garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou knowest?
5 Every word of God is tried: He is a shield unto them that take refuge in him.
6 Add thou not unto his words, Lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
7 Two things have I asked of thee; Deny me `them' not before I die:
8 Remove far from me falsehood and lies; Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me with the food that is needful for me:
9 Lest I be full, and deny `thee', and say, Who is Jehovah? Or lest I be poor, and steal, And use profanely the name of my God.
10 Slander not a servant unto his master, Lest he curse thee, and thou be held guilty.
11 There is a generation that curse their father, And bless not their mother.
12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, And `yet' are not washed from their filthiness.
13 There is a generation, oh how lofty are their eyes! And their eyelids are lifted up.
14 There is a generation whose teeth are `as' swords, and their jaw teeth `as' knives, To devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
15 The horseleach hath two daughters, `crying', Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, `Yea', four that say not, Enough:
16 Sheol; and the barren womb; The earth that is not satisfied with water; And the fire that saith not, Enough.
17 The eye that mocketh at his father, And despiseth to obey his mother, The ravens of the valley shall pick it out, And the young eagles shall eat it.
18 There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Yea, four which I know not:
19 The way of an eagle in the air; The way of a serpent upon a rock; The way of a ship in the midst of the sea; And the way of a man with a maiden.
20 So is the way of an adulterous woman; She eateth, and wipeth her mouth, And saith, I have done no wickedness.
21 For three things the earth doth tremble, And for four, `which' it cannot bear:
22 For a servant when he is king; And a fool when he is filled with food;
23 For an odious woman when she is married; And a handmaid that is heir to her mistress.
24 There are four things which are little upon the earth, But they are exceeding wise:
25 The ants are a people not strong, Yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 The conies are but a feeble folk, Yet make they their houses in the rocks;
27 The locusts have no king, Yet go they forth all of them by bands;
28 The lizard taketh hold with her hands, Yet is she in kings' palaces.
29 There are three things which are stately in their march, Yea, four which are stately in going:
30 The lion, which is mightiest among beasts, And turneth not away for any;
31 The greyhound; the he-goat also; And the king against whom there is no rising up.
32 If thou hast done foolishly in lifting up thyself, Or if thou hast thought evil, `Lay' thy hand upon thy mouth.
33 For the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, And the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood; So the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.
Second Reading: Luke Chapter 2
1 Now it came to pass in those days, there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be enrolled.
2 This was the first enrolment made when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 And all went to enrol themselves, every one to his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David;
5 to enrol himself with Mary, who was betrothed to him, being great with child.
6 And it came to pass, while they were there, the days were fulfilled that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son; and she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock.
9 And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people:
11 for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this `is' the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased.
15 And it came to pass, when the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing that is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found both Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger.
17 And when they saw it, they made known concerning the saying which was spoken to them about this child.
18 And all that heard it wondered at the things which were spoken unto them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken unto them.
21 And when eight days were fulfilled for circumcising him, his name was called JESUS, which was so called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were fulfilled, they brought him up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord
23 (as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord),
24 and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
26 And it had been revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, that they might do concerning him after the custom of the law,
28 then he received him into his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Now lettest thou thy servant depart, Lord, According to thy word, in peace;
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples;
32 A light for revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And his father and his mother were marvelling at the things which were spoken concerning him;
34 and Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this `child' is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel; and for a sign which is spoken against;
35 yea and a sword shall pierce through thine own soul; that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (she was of a great age, having lived with a husband seven years from her virginity,
37 and she had been a widow even unto fourscore and four years), who departed not from the temple, worshipping with fastings and supplications night and day.
38 And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks unto God, and spake of him to all them that were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
39 And when they had accomplished all things that were according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
40 And the child grew, and waxed strong, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.
41 And his parents went every year to Jerusalem at the feast of the passover.
42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up after the custom of the feast;
43 and when they had fulfilled the days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and his parents knew it not;
44 but supposing him to be in the company, they went a day's journey; and they sought for him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance:
45 and when they found him not, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking for him.
46 And it came to pass, after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both hearing them, and asking them questions:
47 and all that heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers.
48 And when they saw him, they were astonished; and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? knew ye not that I must be in my Father's house?
50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and he was subject unto them: and his mother kept all `these' sayings in her heart.
52 And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 1 of 3
Luke is the third gospel. It is the most complete look at the life of Jesus. Luke uses eyewitnesses as sources for his writings. He stresses Jesus' humanity and compassion as well as the power of the Holy Spirit and of prayer. The main them is: Jesus Christ as the perfect man. It was written particulary for Greeks who delighted in wisdom, beauty and system. Luke, therefore, tells the story of Jesus, unfolding his development in a systematic manner, setting the facts in chronological order in a manner not attempted by the other writers. Luke was an artist with the pen, drawing the portrait of Jesus as the perfect man. He followed up by writing the book of Acts.
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