Through the Bible – Day 42

Bible text(s)

Penalties for disobeying God's laws

1The LORD told Moses 2to say to the community of Israel:

Death by stoning is the penalty for any citizens or foreigners in the country who sacrifice their children to the god Molech. 3They have disgraced both the place where I am worshipped and my holy name, and so I will turn against them and no longer let them belong to my people. 4Some of you may let them get away with human sacrifice, 5but not me. If any of you worship Molech, I will turn against you and your entire family, and I will no longer let you belong to my people.

6I will be your enemy if you go to someone who claims to speak with the dead, and I will destroy you from among my people. 7Dedicate yourselves to me and be holy because I am the LORD your God. 8I have chosen you as my people, and I expect you to obey my laws.

9If you curse your father or mother, you will be put to death, and it will be your own fault.

10If any of you men have sex with another man's wife, both you and the woman will be put to death.

11Having sex with one of your father's wives disgraces him. So both you and the woman will be put to death, just as you deserve. 12It isn't natural to have sex with your daughter-in-law, and both of you will be put to death, just as you deserve. 13It's disgusting for men to have sex with one another, and those who do will be put to death, just as they deserve. 14It isn't natural for a man to marry both a mother and her daughter, and so all three of them will be burnt to death. 15-16If any of you have sex with an animal, both you and the animal will be put to death, just as you deserve.

17If you marry one of your sisters, you will be punished, and the two of you will be disgraced by being openly forced out of the community. 18If you have sex with a woman during her monthly period, both you and the woman will be cut off from the people of Israel. 19The sisters of your father and mother are your own relatives, and you will be punished for having sex with any of them. 20If you have sex with your uncle's wife, neither you nor she will ever have any children. 21And if you marry your sister-in-law, neither of you will ever have any children.

22Obey my laws and teachings. Or else the land I am giving you will become sick of you and throw you out. 23The nations I am chasing out did these disgusting things, and I hated them for it, so don't follow their example. 24I am the LORD your God, and I have promised you their land that is rich with milk and honey. I have chosen you to be different from other people. 25That's why you must make a difference between animals and birds that I have said are clean and unclean—this will keep you from becoming disgusting to me. 26I am the LORD, the holy God. You have been chosen to be my people, and so you must be holy too.

27If you claim to receive messages from the dead, you will be put to death by stoning, just as you deserve.

Rules for priests to follow

1The LORD gave Moses these instructions for Aaron's sons, the priests:

Touching a dead body will make you unclean. So don't go near a dead relative, 2except your mother, father, son, daughter, brother, 3or an unmarried sister, who has no husband to take care of her. 4Don't make yourself unclean by attending the funeral of someone related to you by marriage. 5Don't shave any part of your head or trim your beard or cut yourself to show that you are mourning. 6I am the LORD your God, and I have chosen you alone to offer sacrifices of food to me on the altar. That's why you must keep yourselves holy. 7Don't marry a divorced woman or a woman who has served as a temple prostitute. You are holy, 8because I am holy. And so, you must be treated with proper respect, since you offer food sacrifices to me, the God of holiness.

9If any of you priests has a daughter who disgraces you by serving as a temple prostitute, she must be burnt to death.

10If you are the high priest, you must not leave your hair uncombed or tear your clothes in order to mourn for the dead. 11Don't make yourself unclean by going near a dead body, not even that of your own father or mother. 12If you leave the sacred place to attend a funeral, both you and the sacred place become unclean, because you are the high priest.

13If you are the high priest, you must marry only a virgin 14from your own tribe. Don't marry a divorced woman or any other woman who has already had sex, including a temple prostitute. 15In this way, your descendants will be qualified to serve me. Remember—I am the LORD, and I have chosen you.

16The LORD told Moses 17-18to say to Aaron:

No descendant of yours can ever serve as my priest if he is blind or lame, if his face is disfigured, if one leg is shorter than the other, 19if either a foot or a hand is crippled, 20if he is a hunchback or a dwarf, if an eye or his skin is diseased, or if his testicles have been damaged. 21These men may not serve as my priests and burn sacrifices to me. 22They may eat the food offerings presented to me, 23but they may not enter the sacred place or serve me at the altar. Remember—I am the LORD, the one who makes a priest holy.

24Moses told all this to Aaron, his sons, and the people of Israel.

The offerings are holy

1The LORD told Moses 2to say to Aaron and his sons:

I am the LORD God, and I demand that you honour my holy name by showing proper respect for the offerings brought to me by the people of Israel. 3If any of you are unclean when you accept an offering for me, I will no longer let you serve as a priest. 4None of you may take part in the sacred meals while you have a skin disease or an infected penis, or after you have been near a dead body or have had a flow of semen, 5or if you have touched an unclean creature of any sort, including an unclean person. 6-7Once you are unclean, you must take a bath, but you still cannot eat any of the sacred food until evening. 8I command you not to eat anything that is killed by a wild animal or dies a natural death. This would make you unclean. 9Obey me, or you will die on duty for disgracing the place of worship. Remember—I am the LORD, the one who makes a priest holy.

10Only you priests and your families may eat the food offerings; these are too sacred for any of your servants. 11However, any slave that you own, including those born into your household, may eat this food. 12If your daughter marries someone who isn't a priest, she can no longer have any of this food. 13But if she returns to your home, either widowed or divorced, and has no children, she may join in the meal. Only members of a priestly family can eat this food, 14and anyone else who accidentally does so, must pay for the food plus a fine of twenty per cent.

15I warn you not to treat lightly the offerings that are brought by the people of Israel. 16Don't let them become guilty of eating this sacred food. Remember—I am the LORD, the one who makes these offerings holy.

Acceptable sacrifices

17The LORD told Moses 18to tell Aaron and his sons and everyone else the rules for offering sacrifices. He said:

The animals that are to be completely burnt on the altar 19-20must have nothing wrong with them, or else I won't accept them. Bulls or rams or goats are the animals to be used for these sacrifices.

21When you offer a sacrifice to ask my blessing, there must be nothing wrong with the animal. This is true, whether the sacrifice is part of a promise or something you do voluntarily. 22Don't offer an animal that is blind or injured or that has an infection or a skin disease. 23If one of your cattle or lambs has a leg that is longer or shorter than the others, you may offer it voluntarily, but not as part of a promise. 24As long as you live in this land, don't offer an animal with injured testicles. 25And don't bring me animals you bought from a foreigner. I won't accept them, because they are no better than one that has something wrong with it.

26The LORD told Moses to say:

27Newborn cattle, sheep, or goats must remain with their mothers for seven days, but on the eighth day, you may send them up in smoke to me, and I will accept the offering. 28Don't sacrifice a newborn animal and its mother on the same day.

29When you offer a sacrifice to give thanks to me, you must do it in a way that is acceptable. 30Eat all the meat that same day and don't save any for the next day. I am the LORD your God!

31Obey my laws and teachings—I am the LORD. 32-33I demand respect from the people of Israel, so don't disgrace my holy name. Remember—I am the one who chose you to be priests and rescued all of you from Egypt, so that I would be your LORD.

Leviticus 20:1-22:33CEVOpen in Bible reader

A story about ten girls

Jesus said:

1The kingdom of heaven is like what happened one night when ten girls took their oil lamps and went to a wedding to meet the groom. 2Five of the girls were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps, but no extra oil. 4The ones who were wise took along extra oil for their lamps.

5The groom was late arriving, and the girls became drowsy and fell asleep. 6Then in the middle of the night someone shouted, “Here's the groom! Come to meet him!”

7When the girls got up and started getting their lamps ready, 8the foolish ones said to the others, “Let us have some of your oil! Our lamps are going out.”

9The girls who were wise answered, “There's not enough oil for all of us! Go and buy some for yourselves.”

10While the foolish girls were on their way to get some oil, the groom arrived. The girls who were ready went into the wedding, and the doors were closed. 11Later the other girls returned and shouted, “Sir, sir! Open the door for us!”

12But the groom replied, “I don't even know you!”

13So, my disciples, always be ready! You don't know the day or the time when all this will happen.

Jesus continued:

14The kingdom is also like what happened when a man went away and put his three servants in charge of all he owned. 15The man knew what each servant could do. So he handed five thousand coins to the first servant, two thousand to the second, and one thousand to the third. Then he left the country.

16As soon as the man had gone, the servant with the five thousand coins used them to earn five thousand more. 17The servant who had two thousand coins did the same with his money and earned two thousand more. 18But the servant with one thousand coins dug a hole and hid his master's money in the ground.

19Some time later the master of those servants returned. He called them in and asked what they had done with his money. 20The servant who had been given five thousand coins brought them in with the five thousand that he had earned. He said, “Sir, you gave me five thousand coins, and I have earned five thousand more.”

21“Wonderful!” his master replied. “You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness!”

22Next, the servant who had been given two thousand coins came in and said, “Sir, you gave me two thousand coins, and I have earned two thousand more.”

23“Wonderful!” his master replied. “You are a good and faithful servant. I left you in charge of only a little, but now I will put you in charge of much more. Come and share in my happiness!”

24The servant who had been given one thousand coins then came in and said, “Sir, I know that you are hard to get along with. You harvest what you don't plant and gather crops where you haven't scattered seed. 25I was frightened and went out and hid your money in the ground. Here is every single coin!”

26The master of the servant told him, “You are lazy and good-for-nothing! You know that I harvest what I don't plant and gather crops where I haven't scattered seed. 27You could have at least put my money in the bank, so that I could have earned interest on it.”

28Then the master said, “Now your money will be taken away and given to the servant with ten thousand coins! 29Everyone who has something will be given more, and they will have more than enough. But everything will be taken from those who don't have anything. 30You are a worthless servant, and you will be thrown out into the dark where people will cry and grit their teeth in pain.”

Matthew 25:1-30CEVOpen in Bible reader
Canadian Bible Societyv.4.21.9
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