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First Reading: Numbers Chapter 23 and 24
1 And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams.
2 And Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bullock and a ram.
3 And Balaam said unto Balak, Stand by thy burnt-offering, and I will go: peradventure Jehovah will come to meet me; and whatsoever he showeth me I will tell thee. And he went to a bare height.
4 And God met Balaam: and he said unto him, I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered up a bullock and a ram on every altar.
5 And Jehovah put a word in Balaam's mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus thou shalt speak.
6 And he returned unto him, and, lo, he was standing by his burnt-offering, he, and all the princes of Moab.
7 And he took up his parable, and said, From Aram hath Balak brought me, The king of Moab from the mountains of the East: Come, curse me Jacob, And come, defy Israel.
8 How shall I curse, whom God hath not cursed? And how shall I defy, whom Jehovah hath not defied?
9 For from the top of the rocks I see him, And from the hills I behold him: lo, it is a people that dwelleth alone, And shall not be reckoned among the nations.
10 Who can count the dust of Jacob, Or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, And let my last end be like his!
11 And Balak said unto Balaam, What hast thou done unto me? I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast blessed them altogether.
12 And he answered and said, Must I not take heed to speak that which Jehovah putteth in my mouth?
13 And Balak said unto him, Come, I pray thee, with me unto another place, from whence thou mayest see them; thou shalt see but the utmost part of them, and shalt not see them all: and curse me them from thence.
14 And he took him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered up a bullock and a ram on every altar.
15 And he said unto Balak, Stand here by thy burnt-offering, while I meet `Jehovah' yonder.
16 And Jehovah met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, Return unto Balak, and thus shalt thou speak.
17 And he came to him, and, lo, he was standing by his burnt-offering, and the princes of Moab with him. And Balak said unto him, What hath Jehovah spoken?
18 And he took up his parable, and said, Rise up, Balak, and hear; Hearken unto me, thou son of Zippor:
19 God is not a man, that he should lie, Neither the son of man, that he should repent: Hath he said, and will he not do it? Or hath he spoken, and will he not make it good?
20 Behold, I have received `commandment' to bless: And he hath blessed, and I cannot reverse it.
21 He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob; Neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel: Jehovah his God is with him, And the shout of a king is among them.
22 God bringeth them forth out of Egypt; He hath as it were the strength of the wild-ox.
23 Surely there is no enchantment with Jacob; Neither is there any divination with Israel: Now shalt it be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought!
24 Behold, the people riseth up as a lioness, And as a lion doth he lift himself up: He shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, And drink the blood of the slain.
25 And Balak said unto Balaam, Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.
26 But Balaam answered and said unto Balak, Told not I thee, saying, All that Jehovah speaketh, that I must do?
27 And Balak said unto Balaam, Come now, I will take thee unto another place; peradventure it will please God that thou mayest curse me them from thence.
28 And Balak took Balaam unto the top of Peor, that looketh down upon the desert.
29 And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams.
30 And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered up a bullock and a ram on every altar.
1 And when Balaam saw that it pleased Jehovah to bless Israel, he went not, as at the other times, to meet with enchantments, but he set his face toward the wilderness.
2 And Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him.
3 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor saith, And the man whose eye was closed saith;
4 He saith, who heareth the words of God, Who seeth the vision of the Almighty, Falling down, and having his eyes open:
5 How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, Thy tabernacles, O Israel!
6 As valleys are they spread forth, As gardens by the river-side, As lign-aloes which Jehovah hath planted, As cedar-trees beside the waters.
7 Water shall flow from his buckets, And his seed shall be in many waters, And his king shall be higher than Agag, And his kingdom shall be exalted.
8 God bringeth him forth out of Egypt; He hath as it were the strength of the wild-ox: He shall eat up the nations his adversaries, And shall break their bones in pieces, And smite `them' through with his arrows.
9 He couched, he lay down as a lion, And as a lioness; who shall rouse him up? Blessed be every one that blesseth thee, And cursed be every one that curseth thee.
10 And Balak's anger was kindled against Balaam, and he smote his hands together; and Balak said unto Balaam, I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times.
11 Therefore now flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honor; but, lo, Jehovah hath kept thee back from honor.
12 And Balaam said unto Balak, Spake I not also to thy messengers that thou sentest unto me, saying,
13 If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of Jehovah, to do either good or bad of mine own mind; what Jehovah speaketh, that will I speak?
14 And now, behold, I go unto my people: come, `and' I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.
15 And he took up his parable, and said, Balaam the son of Beor saith, And the man whose eye was closed saith;
16 He saith, who heareth the words of God, And knoweth the knowledge of the Most High, Who seeth the vision of the Almighty, Falling down, and having his eyes open:
17 I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh: There shall come forth a star out of Jacob, And a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, And shall smite through the corners of Moab, And break down all the sons of tumult.
18 And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession, `who were' his enemies; While Israel doeth valiantly.
19 And out of Jacob shall one have dominion, And shall destroy the remnant from the city.
20 And he looked on Amalek, and took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; But his latter end shall come to destruction.
21 And he looked on the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said, Strong is thy dwelling-place, And thy nest is set in the rock.
22 Nevertheless Kain shall be wasted, Until Asshur shall carry thee away captive.
23 And he took up his parable, and said, Alas, who shall live when God doeth this?
24 But ships `shall come' from the coast of Kittim, And they shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber; And he also shall come to destruction.
25 And Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place; and Balak also went his way.
Second Reading: Romans Chapter 10
1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my supplication to God is for them, that they may be saved.
2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.
3 For being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God.
4 For Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness to every one that believeth.
5 For Moses writeth that the man that doeth the righteousness which is of the law shall live thereby.
6 But the righteousness which is of faith saith thus, Say not in thy heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down:)
7 or, Who shall descend into the abyss? (That is, to bring Christ up from the dead.)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach:
9 because if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus `as' Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved:
10 for with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be put to shame.
12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek: for the same `Lord' is Lord of all, and is rich unto all that call upon him:
13 for, Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 and how shall they preach, except they be sent? even as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!
16 But they did not all hearken to the glad tidings. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
17 So belief `cometh' of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
18 But I say, Did they not hear? Yea, verily, Their sound went out into all the earth, And their words unto the ends of the world.
19 But I say, Did Israel not know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy with that which is no nation, With a nation void of understanding will I anger you.
20 And Isaiah is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I became manifest unto them that asked not of me.
21 But as to Israel he saith, All the day long did I spread out my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.
WHO ARE THE JEWS?
Part 6 of 6
Part of the prophecies (and promises) given in the Old Testament concern a change of heart for Israel:
In the New Testament we learn that by becoming "in Christ" people other than Jews can become inheritors of the promises of God through faith. Romans 9-11 speaks of the future of "spiritual Israel" and "natural Israel" and concludes in Romans 11:25-27:
"I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: 'The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.'"
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