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First Reading: Genesis Chapter 11 and 12
11:1 The Tower of Babel
Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass,
as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar,
and they dwelt there. 3 Then they said to one another, "Come, let us make
bricks and bake them thoroughly." They had brick for stone, and they had
asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city,
and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest
we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth."
5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the LORD said, "Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
10 Shem's Descendants
(1 Chron 1:17-27; Luke 3:34-36)
This is the genealogy of Shem: Shem was one hundred years old, and begot Arphaxad two years after the flood. 11 After he begot Arphaxad, Shem lived five hundred years, and begot sons and daughters.
12 Arphaxad lived thirty-five years, and begot Salah. 13 After he begot Salah, Arphaxad lived four hundred and three years, and begot sons and daughters.
14 Salah lived thirty years, and begot Eber. 15 After he begot Eber, Salah lived four hundred and three years, and begot sons and daughters.
16 Eber lived thirty-four years, and begot Peleg. 17 After he begot Peleg, Eber lived four hundred and thirty years, and begot sons and daughters.
18 Peleg lived thirty years, and begot Reu. 19 After he begot Reu, Peleg lived two hundred and nine years, and begot sons and daughters.
20 Reu lived thirty-two years, and begot Serug. 21 After he begot Serug, Reu lived two hundred and seven years, and begot sons and daughters.
22 Serug lived thirty years, and begot Nahor. 23 After he begot Nahor, Serug lived two hundred years, and begot sons and daughters.
24 Nahor lived twenty-nine years, and begot Terah. 25 After he begot Terah, Nahor lived one hundred and nineteen years, and begot sons and daughters.
26 Now Terah lived seventy years, and begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran.
27 Terah's Descendants
This is the genealogy of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran
begot Lot. 28 And Haran died before his father Terah in his native land, in
Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram's
wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran
the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. 30 But Sarai was barren; she had
31 And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram's wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. 32 So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.
12:1 Promises to Abram
Now the LORD had said to Abram:
"Get out of your country,From your family And from your father's house,To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation;I will bless you And make your name great;And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you,And I will curse him who curses you;And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."
4 So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5 Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother's son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan. 6 Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.
7 Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said,"To your descendants I will give this land." And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. 8 And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD. 9 So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.
10 Abram in Egypt
Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there,
for the famine was severe in the land. 11 And it came to pass, when he was close
to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, "Indeed I know that
you are a woman of beautiful countenance. 12 Therefore it will happen, when
the Egyptians see you, that they will say, 'This is his wife'; and they will
kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Please say you are my sister, that it
may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you."
14 So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. 15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh's house. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels.
17 But the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram's wife. 18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said,"What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, 'She is my sister'? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way." 20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.
6:1 Do Good to Please God
"Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be
seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore,
when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites
do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men.
Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable
deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your
charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself
reward you openly.
5 The Model Prayer
"And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6 But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7 And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8 "Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9 In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come.Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts,As we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation,But deliver us from the evil one.For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
14 "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16 Fasting to Be Seen Only by God
"Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance.
For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly,
I say to you, they have their reward. 17 But you, when you fast, anoint your
head and wash your face, 18 so that you do not appear to men to be fasting,
but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret
will reward you openly.
19 Lay Up Treasures in Heaven
"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
22 The Lamp of the Body
"The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
24 You Cannot Serve God and Riches
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love
the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot
serve God and mammon.
25 Do Not Worry
"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
28 "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 3 of 4
Genesis chapter 2 gives a description of the location of the Garden of Eden as the area of the head waters for 4 rivers: Pishon, Gihon, Tigris, and Euphrates. From this description it is believed that the Garden of Eden was located in the area we now know as the Middle East. Abram lived in Ur of the Chaldeans and by God's command left there and traveled the "Fertile Crescent" until he came to the lands along the eastern shore of what we know as the Mediterranean Sea. The book of Genesis ends with the offspring of Abram traveling down to Egypt. This area that follows the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers down to the eastern shore of the Mediterranean and then down to Egypt is the geographical background of the Old Testament.
Genesis does not give dates for the events recorded. By following the geneologies given and working backwards from known events and dates, many scholars believe that the creation in Genesis 1 and 2 occurred about 4000 years before the time of Jesus. From the creation until the end of the book of Genesis is believed to be a time period of about 2200 years which brings us to about 1800 years before the birth of Jesus.
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