Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Proverbs 10 Today's Daily Bread

The Proverbs of Solomon

1The proverbs of Solomon: A wise child F17 brings joy to a father; a foolish child brings grief to a mother.

2Ill-gotten gain has no lasting value, but right living can save your life.

3The LORD will not let the godly starve to death, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.

4Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.

5A wise youth works hard all summer; a youth who sleeps away the hour of opportunity brings shame.

6The godly are showered with blessings; evil people cover up their harmful intentions.

7We all have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away.

8The wise are glad to be instructed, but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.

9People with integrity have firm footing, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall.

10People who wink at wrong cause trouble, but a bold reproof promotes peace. F18

11The words of the godly lead to life; evil people cover up their harmful intentions.

12Hatred stirs up quarrels, but love covers all offenses.

13Wise words come from the lips of people with understanding, but fools will be punished with a rod.

14Wise people treasure knowledge, but the babbling of a fool invites trouble.

15The wealth of the rich is their fortress; the poverty of the poor is their calamity.

16The earnings of the godly enhance their lives, but evil people squander their money on sin.

17People who accept correction are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore it will lead others astray.

18To hide hatred is to be a liar; to slander is to be a fool.

19Don't talk too much, for it fosters sin. Be sensible and turn off the flow!

20The words of the godly are like sterling silver; the heart of a fool is worthless.

21The godly give good advice, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense.

22The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.

23Doing wrong is fun for a fool, while wise conduct is a pleasure to the wise.

24The fears of the wicked will all come true; so will the hopes of the godly.

25Disaster strikes like a cyclone, whirling the wicked away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.

26Lazy people are a pain to their employer. They are like smoke in the eyes or vinegar that sets the teeth on edge.

27Fear of the LORD lengthens one's life, but the years of the wicked are cut short.

28The hopes of the godly result in happiness, but the expectations of the wicked are all in vain.

29The LORD protects the upright but destroys the wicked.

30The godly will never be disturbed, but the wicked will be removed from the land.

31The godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off.

32The godly speak words that are helpful, but the wicked speak only what is corrupt.

F17: Hebrew son; also in 10:1b.
F18: As in Greek version; Hebrew reads but babbling fools fall flat on their faces.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hebrews 4 Today's Daily Bread

Promised Rest for God's People

1God's promise of entering his place of rest still stands, so we ought to tremble with fear that some of you might fail to get there. 2For this Good News—that God has prepared a place of rest—has been announced to us just as it was to them. But it did them no good because they didn't believe what God told them. F20 3For only we who believe can enter his place of rest. As for those who didn't believe, God said,

"In my anger I made a vow:
'They will never enter my place of rest,'" F21

even though his place of rest has been ready since he made the world. 4We know it is ready because the Scriptures mention the seventh day, saying, "On the seventh day God rested from all his work." F22 5But in the other passage God said, "They will never enter my place of rest." F23 6So God's rest is there for people to enter. But those who formerly heard the Good News failed to enter because they disobeyed God. 7So God set another time for entering his place of rest, and that time is today. God announced this through David a long time later in the words already quoted:

"Today you must listen to his voice.
Don't harden your hearts against him." F24

8This new place of rest was not the land of Canaan, where Joshua led them. If it had been, God would not have spoken later about another day of rest. 9So there is a special rest F25 still waiting for the people of God. 10For all who enter into God's rest will find rest from their labors, just as God rested after creating the world. 11Let us do our best to enter that place of rest. For anyone who disobeys God, as the people of Israel did, will fall.

12For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are. 13Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done.

Christ Is Our High Priest

14That is why we have a great High Priest who has gone to heaven, Jesus the Son of God. Let us cling to him and never stop trusting him. 15This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin. 16So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.

F20: Some manuscripts read they didn't share the faith of those who listened [to God].
F21: Ps 95:11.
F22: Gen 2:2.
F23: Ps 95:11.
F24: Ps 95:7-8.
F25: Or Sabbath rest.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Acts 13 Today's Daily Bread

Barnabas and Saul Are Sent Out

1Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called "the black man" F63 ), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas F64 ), and Saul. 2One day as these men were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Dedicate Barnabas and Saul for the special work I have for them." 3So after more fasting and prayer, the men laid their hands on them and sent them on their way.

Paul's First Missionary Journey

4Sent out by the Holy Spirit, Saul and Barnabas went down to the seaport of Seleucia and then sailed for the island of Cyprus. 5There, in the town of Salamis, they went to the Jewish synagogues and preached the word of God. (John Mark went with them as their assistant.)

6Afterward they preached from town to town across the entire island until finally they reached Paphos, where they met a Jewish sorcerer, a false prophet named Bar-Jesus. 7He had attached himself to the governor, Sergius Paulus, a man of considerable insight and understanding. The governor invited Barnabas and Saul to visit him, for he wanted to hear the word of God. 8But Elymas, the sorcerer (as his name means in Greek), interfered and urged the governor to pay no attention to what Saul and Barnabas said. He was trying to turn the governor away from the Christian faith.

9Then Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked the sorcerer in the eye and said, 10"You son of the Devil, full of every sort of trickery and villainy, enemy of all that is good, will you never stop perverting the true ways of the Lord? 11And now the Lord has laid his hand of punishment upon you, and you will be stricken awhile with blindness." Instantly mist and darkness fell upon him, and he began wandering around begging for someone to take his hand and lead him. 12When the governor saw what had happened, he believed and was astonished at what he learned about the Lord.

Paul Preaches in Antioch of Pisidia

13Now Paul and those with him left Paphos by ship for Pamphylia,* landing at the port town of Perga. There John Mark left them and returned to Jerusalem. 14But Barnabas and Paul traveled inland to Antioch of Pisidia. F65 On the Sabbath they went to the synagogue for the services. 15After the usual readings from the books of Moses and from the Prophets, those in charge of the service sent them this message: "Brothers, if you have any word of encouragement for us, come and give it!"

16So Paul stood, lifted his hand to quiet them, and started speaking. "People of Israel," he said, "and you devout Gentiles who fear the God of Israel, listen to me.

17"The God of this nation of Israel chose our ancestors and made them prosper in Egypt. Then he powerfully led them out of their slavery. 18He put up with them F66 through forty years of wandering around in the wilderness. 19Then he destroyed seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to Israel as an inheritance. 20All this took about 450 years. After that, judges ruled until the time of Samuel the prophet. 21Then the people begged for a king, and God gave them Saul son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, who reigned for forty years. 22But God removed him from the kingship and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, 'David son of Jesse is a man after my own heart, for he will do everything I want him to.' F67

23"And it is one of King David's descendants, Jesus, who is God's promised Savior of Israel! 24But before he came, John the Baptist preached the need for everyone in Israel to turn from sin and turn to God and be baptized. 25As John was finishing his ministry he asked, 'Do you think I am the Messiah? No! But he is coming soon—and I am not even worthy to be his slave. F68 '

26"Brothers—you sons of Abraham, and also all of you devout Gentiles who fear the God of Israel—this salvation is for us! 27The people in Jerusalem and their leaders fulfilled prophecy by condemning Jesus to death. They didn't recognize him or realize that he is the one the prophets had written about, though they hear the prophets' words read every Sabbath. 28They found no just cause to execute him, but they asked Pilate to have him killed anyway.

29"When they had fulfilled all the prophecies concerning his death, they took him down from the cross and placed him in a tomb. 30But God raised him from the dead! 31And he appeared over a period of many days to those who had gone with him from Galilee to Jerusalem—these are his witnesses to the people of Israel.

32"And now Barnabas and I are here to bring you this Good News. God's promise to our ancestors has come true in our own time, 33in that God raised Jesus. This is what the second psalm is talking about when it says concerning Jesus,

'You are my Son.
Today I have become your Father. F69 '

34For God had promised to raise him from the dead, never again to die. This is stated in the Scripture that says, 'I will give you the sacred blessings I promised to David.' F70 35Another psalm explains more fully, saying, 'You will not allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.' F71 36Now this is not a reference to David, for after David had served his generation according to the will of God, he died and was buried, and his body decayed. 37No, it was a reference to someone else—someone whom God raised and whose body did not decay.

38"Brothers, listen! In this man Jesus there is forgiveness for your sins. 39Everyone who believes in him is freed from all guilt and declared right with God—something the Jewish law could never do. 40Be careful! Don't let the prophets' words apply to you. For they said,

41 'Look, you mockers,
be amazed and die!
For I am doing something in your own day,
something you wouldn't believe
even if someone told you about it.' F72 "

42As Paul and Barnabas left the synagogue that day, the people asked them to return again and speak about these things the next week. 43Many Jews and godly converts to Judaism who worshiped at the synagogue followed Paul and Barnabas, and the two men urged them, "By God's grace, remain faithful."

Paul Turns to the Gentiles

44The following week almost the entire city turned out to hear them preach the word of the Lord. 45But when the Jewish leaders saw the crowds, they were jealous; so they slandered Paul and argued against whatever he said.

46Then Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and declared, "It was necessary that this Good News from God be given first to you Jews. But since you have rejected it and judged yourselves unworthy of eternal life—well, we will offer it to Gentiles. 47For this is as the Lord commanded us when he said,

'I have made you a light to the Gentiles,
to bring salvation to the farthest corners of the earth.' F73 "

48When the Gentiles heard this, they were very glad and thanked the Lord for his message; and all who were appointed to eternal life became believers. 49So the Lord's message spread throughout that region.

50Then the Jewish leaders stirred up both the influential religious women and the leaders of the city, and they incited a mob against Paul and Barnabas and ran them out of town. 51But they shook off the dust of their feet against them and went to the city of Iconium. 52And the believers F74 were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

F63: Greek who was called Niger.
F64: Greek Herod the tetrarch.
F65: Pamphylia and Pisidia were districts in the land now called Turkey.
F66: Other manuscripts read He cared for them; compare Deut 1:31.
F67: 1 Sam 13:14.
F68: Greek to untie his sandals.
F69: Or Today I reveal you as my Son. Ps 2:7.
F70: Isa 55:3.
F71: Ps 16:10.
F72: Hab 1:5.
F73: Isa 49:6.
F74: Greek the disciples.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

John 19 Today's Daily Bread

Jesus Sentenced to Death

1Then Pilate had Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip. 2The soldiers made a crown of long, sharp thorns and put it on his head, and they put a royal purple robe on him. 3"Hail! King of the Jews!" they mocked, and they hit him with their fists.

4Pilate went outside again and said to the people, "I am going to bring him out to you now, but understand clearly that I find him not guilty." 5Then Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said, "Here is the man!"

6When they saw him, the leading priests and Temple guards began shouting, "Crucify! Crucify!" "You crucify him," Pilate said. "I find him not guilty."

7The Jewish leaders replied, "By our laws he ought to die because he called himself the Son of God."

8When Pilate heard this, he was more frightened than ever. 9He took Jesus back into the headquarters again and asked him, "Where are you from?" But Jesus gave no answer. 10"You won't talk to me?" Pilate demanded. "Don't you realize that I have the power to release you or to crucify you?"

11Then Jesus said, "You would have no power over me at all unless it were given to you from above. So the one who brought me to you has the greater sin."

12Then Pilate tried to release him, but the Jewish leaders told him, "If you release this man, you are not a friend of Caesar. Anyone who declares himself a king is a rebel against Caesar."

13When they said this, Pilate brought Jesus out to them again. Then Pilate sat down on the judgment seat on the platform that is called the Stone Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). 14It was now about noon of the day of preparation for the Passover. And Pilate said to the people, F81 "Here is your king!"

15"Away with him," they yelled. "Away with him—crucify him!" "What? Crucify your king?" Pilate asked. "We have no king but Caesar," the leading priests shouted back.

16Then Pilate gave Jesus to them to be crucified.

The Crucifixion

So they took Jesus and led him away. 17Carrying the cross by himself, Jesus went to the place called Skull Hill (in Hebrew, Golgotha). 18There they crucified him. There were two others crucified with him, one on either side, with Jesus between them. 19And Pilate posted a sign over him that read, "Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." 20The place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and the sign was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, so that many people could read it.

21Then the leading priests said to Pilate, "Change it from 'The King of the Jews' to 'He said, I am King of the Jews.'"

22Pilate replied, "What I have written, I have written. It stays exactly as it is."

23When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes among the four of them. They also took his robe, but it was seamless, woven in one piece from the top. 24So they said, "Let's not tear it but throw dice F82 to see who gets it." This fulfilled the Scripture that says, "They divided my clothes among themselves and threw dice for my robe." F83 So that is what they did.

25Standing near the cross were Jesus' mother, and his mother's sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. 26When Jesus saw his mother standing there beside the disciple he loved, he said to her, "Woman, he is your son." 27And he said to this disciple, "She is your mother." And from then on this disciple took her into his home.

The Death of Jesus

28Jesus knew that everything was now finished, and to fulfill the Scriptures he said, "I am thirsty." F84 29A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. 30When Jesus had tasted it, he said, "It is finished!" Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

31The Jewish leaders didn't want the victims hanging there the next day, which was the Sabbath (and a very special Sabbath at that, because it was the Passover), so they asked Pilate to hasten their deaths by ordering that their legs be broken. Then their bodies could be taken down. 32So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the two men crucified with Jesus. 33But when they came to Jesus, they saw that he was dead already, so they didn't break his legs. 34One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and blood and water flowed out. 35This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account; it is presented so that you also can believe. 36These things happened in fulfillment of the Scriptures that say, "Not one of his bones will be broken," F85 37and "They will look on him whom they pierced." F86

The Burial of Jesus

38Afterward Joseph of Arimathea, who had been a secret disciple of Jesus (because he feared the Jewish leaders), asked Pilate for permission to take Jesus' body down. When Pilate gave him permission, he came and took the body away. 39Nicodemus, the man who had come to Jesus at night, also came, bringing about seventy-five pounds F87 of embalming ointment made from myrrh and aloes. 40Together they wrapped Jesus' body in a long linen cloth with the spices, as is the Jewish custom of burial. 41The place of crucifixion was near a garden, where there was a new tomb, never used before. 42And so, because it was the day of preparation before the Passover and since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.

F81: Greek Jewish people; also in 19:20.
F82: Greek cast lots.
F83: Ps 22:18.
F84: See Pss 22:15; 69:21.
F85: Exod 12:46; Num 9:12; Ps 34:20.
F86: Zech 12:10.
F87: Greek 100 litras [32.7 kilograms].

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

John 9 Today's Daily Bread

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

1As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. 2"Teacher," his disciples asked him, "why was this man born blind? Was it a result of his own sins or those of his parents?"

3"It was not because of his sins or his parents' sins," Jesus answered. "He was born blind so the power of God could be seen in him. 4All of us must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent me, because there is little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end. 5But while I am still here in the world, I am the light of the world."

6Then he spit on the ground, made mud with the saliva, and smoothed the mud over the blind man's eyes. 7He told him, "Go and wash in the pool of Siloam" (Siloam means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came back seeing!

8His neighbors and others who knew him as a blind beggar asked each other, "Is this the same man—that beggar?" 9Some said he was, and others said, "No, but he surely looks like him!" And the beggar kept saying, "I am the same man!"

10They asked, "Who healed you? What happened?"

11He told them, "The man they call Jesus made mud and smoothed it over my eyes and told me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash off the mud.' I went and washed, and now I can see!"

12"Where is he now?" they asked. "I don't know," he replied.

13Then they took the man to the Pharisees. 14Now as it happened, Jesus had healed the man on a Sabbath. 15The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So he told them, "He smoothed the mud over my eyes, and when it was washed away, I could see!"

16Some of the Pharisees said, "This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath." Others said, "But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?" So there was a deep division of opinion among them.

17Then the Pharisees once again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, "This man who opened your eyes—who do you say he is?" The man replied, "I think he must be a prophet."

18The Jewish leaders wouldn't believe he had been blind, so they called in his parents. 19They asked them, "Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he see?"

20His parents replied, "We know this is our son and that he was born blind, 21but we don't know how he can see or who healed him. He is old enough to speak for himself. Ask him." 22They said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. 23That's why they said, "He is old enough to speak for himself. Ask him."

24So for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, "Give glory to God by telling the truth, F43 because we know Jesus is a sinner."

25"I don't know whether he is a sinner," the man replied. "But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!"

26"But what did he do?" they asked. "How did he heal you?"

27"Look!" the man exclaimed. "I told you once. Didn't you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?"

28Then they cursed him and said, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29We know God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we don't know anything about him."

30"Why, that's very strange!" the man replied. "He healed my eyes, and yet you don't know anything about him! 31Well, God doesn't listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. 32Never since the world began has anyone been able to open the eyes of someone born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he couldn't do it."

34"You were born in sin!" they answered. "Are you trying to teach us?" And they threw him out of the synagogue.

Spiritual Blindness

35When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man F44 ?"

36The man answered, "Who is he, sir, because I would like to."

37"You have seen him," Jesus said, "and he is speaking to you!"

38"Yes, Lord," the man said, "I believe!" And he worshiped Jesus.

39Then Jesus told him, "I have come to judge the world. I have come to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind."

40The Pharisees who were standing there heard him and asked, "Are you saying we are blind?"

41"If you were blind, you wouldn't be guilty," Jesus replied. "But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.

F43: Or Give glory to God, not to Jesus; Greek reads Give glory to God.
F44: Some manuscripts read the Son of God.

Monday, June 22, 2009

John 5 Today's Daily Bread

Jesus Heals a Lame Man

1Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. 2Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, F24 with five covered porches. 3Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. F25 5One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him and knew how long he had been ill, he asked him, "Would you like to get well?"

7"I can't, sir," the sick man said, "for I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I am trying to get there, someone else always gets in ahead of me."

8Jesus told him, "Stand up, pick up your sleeping mat, and walk!"

9Instantly, the man was healed! He rolled up the mat and began walking! But this miracle happened on the Sabbath day. 10So the Jewish leaders objected. They said to the man who was cured, "You can't work on the Sabbath! It's illegal to carry that sleeping mat!"

11He replied, "The man who healed me said to me, 'Pick up your sleeping mat and walk.'"

12"Who said such a thing as that?" they demanded.

13The man didn't know, for Jesus had disappeared into the crowd. 14But afterward Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, "Now you are well; so stop sinning, or something even worse may happen to you." 15Then the man went to find the Jewish leaders and told them it was Jesus who had healed him.

Jesus Claims to Be the Son of God

16So the Jewish leaders began harassing Jesus for breaking the Sabbath rules. 17But Jesus replied, "My Father never stops working, so why should I?" 18So the Jewish leaders tried all the more to kill him. In addition to disobeying the Sabbath rules, he had spoken of God as his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.

19Jesus replied, "I assure you, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. 20For the Father loves the Son and tells him everything he is doing, and the Son will do far greater things than healing this man. You will be astonished at what he does. 21He will even raise from the dead anyone he wants to, just as the Father does. 22And the Father leaves all judgment to his Son, 23so that everyone will honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. But if you refuse to honor the Son, then you are certainly not honoring the Father who sent him.

24"I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.

25"And I assure you that the time is coming, in fact it is here, when the dead will hear my voice—the voice of the Son of God. And those who listen will live. 26The Father has life in himself, and he has granted his Son to have life in himself. 27And he has given him authority to judge all mankind because he is the Son of Man. 28Don't be so surprised! Indeed, the time is coming when all the dead in their graves will hear the voice of God's Son, 29and they will rise again. Those who have done good will rise to eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to judgment. 30But I do nothing without consulting the Father. I judge as I am told. And my judgment is absolutely just, because it is according to the will of God who sent me; it is not merely my own.

Witnesses to Jesus

31"If I were to testify on my own behalf, my testimony would not be valid. 32But someone else is also testifying about me, and I can assure you that everything he says about me is true. 33In fact, you sent messengers to listen to John the Baptist, and he preached the truth. 34But the best testimony about me is not from a man, though I have reminded you about John's testimony so you might be saved. 35John shone brightly for a while, and you benefited and rejoiced. 36But I have a greater witness than John—my teachings and my miracles. They have been assigned to me by the Father, and they testify that the Father has sent me. 37And the Father himself has also testified about me. You have never heard his voice or seen him face to face, 38and you do not have his message in your hearts, because you do not believe me—the one he sent to you.

39"You search the Scriptures because you believe they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! 40Yet you refuse to come to me so that I can give you this eternal life.

41"Your approval or disapproval means nothing to me, 42because I know you don't have God's love within you. 43For I have come to you representing my Father, and you refuse to welcome me, even though you readily accept others who represent only themselves. 44No wonder you can't believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don't care about the honor that comes from God alone.

45"Yet it is not I who will accuse you of this before the Father. Moses will accuse you! Yes, Moses, on whom you set your hopes. 46But if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me because he wrote about me. 47And since you don't believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?"

F24: Some manuscripts read Beth-zatha; other manuscripts read Bethsaida.
F25: Some manuscripts add waiting for a certain movement of the water, 4for an angel of the Lord came from time to time and stirred up the water. And the first person to step down into it afterward was healed.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Luke 13 Today's Daily Bread

A Call to Repentance

1About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were sacrificing at the Temple in Jerusalem. 2"Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than other people from Galilee?" he asked. "Is that why they suffered? 3Not at all! And you will also perish unless you turn from your evil ways and turn to God. 4And what about the eighteen men who died when the Tower of Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? 5No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will also perish."

Illustration of the Barren Fig Tree

6Then Jesus used this illustration: "A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. 7Finally, he said to his gardener, 'I've waited three years, and there hasn't been a single fig! Cut it down. It's taking up space we can use for something else.'

8"The gardener answered, 'Give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I'll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. 9If we get figs next year, fine. If not, you can cut it down.'"

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

10One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, 11he saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, "Woman, you are healed of your sickness!" 13Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised and thanked God!

14But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. "There are six days of the week for working," he said to the crowd. "Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath."

15But the Lord replied, "You hypocrite! You work on the Sabbath day! Don't you untie your ox or your donkey from their stalls on the Sabbath and lead them out for water? 16Wasn't it necessary for me, even on the Sabbath day, to free this dear woman F62 from the bondage in which Satan has held her for eighteen years?" 17This shamed his enemies. And all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did.

Illustration of the Mustard Seed

18Then Jesus said, "What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? 19It is like a tiny mustard seed planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds come and find shelter among its branches."

Illustration of the Yeast

20He also asked, "What else is the Kingdom of God like? 21It is like yeast used by a woman making bread. Even though she used a large amount F63 of flour, the yeast permeated every part of the dough."

The Narrow Door

22Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem. 23Someone asked him, "Lord, will only a few be saved?" He replied, 24"The door to heaven is narrow. Work hard to get in, because many will try to enter, 25but when the head of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. Then you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Lord, open the door for us!' But he will reply, 'I do not know you.' 26You will say, 'But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' 27And he will reply, 'I tell you, I don't know you. Go away, all you who do evil.'

28"And there will be great weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets within the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out. 29Then people will come from all over the world to take their places in the Kingdom of God. 30And note this: Some who are despised now will be greatly honored then; and some who are greatly honored now will be despised then. F64 "

Jesus Grieves over Jerusalem

31A few minutes later some Pharisees said to him, "Get out of here if you want to live, because Herod Antipas wants to kill you!"

32Jesus replied, "Go tell that fox that I will keep on casting out demons and doing miracles of healing today and tomorrow; and the third day I will accomplish my purpose. 33Yes, today, tomorrow, and the next day I must proceed on my way. For it wouldn't do for a prophet of God to be killed except in Jerusalem!

34"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me. 35And now look, your house is left to you empty. And you will never see me again until you say, 'Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!' F65 "

F62: Greek this woman, a daughter of Abraham.
F63: Greek 3 measures.
F64: Greek Some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.
F65: Ps 118:26.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Luke 4 Today's Daily Bread

The Temptation of Jesus

1Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit to go out into the wilderness, 2where the Devil tempted him for forty days. He ate nothing all that time and was very hungry.

3Then the Devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, change this stone into a loaf of bread."

4But Jesus told him, "No! The Scriptures say, 'People need more than bread for their life.' F21 "

5Then the Devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6The Devil told him, "I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them—because they are mine to give to anyone I please. 7I will give it all to you if you will bow down and worship me."

8Jesus replied, "The Scriptures say,

'You must worship the Lord your God;
serve only him.' F22 "

9Then the Devil took him to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple, and said, "If you are the Son of God, jump off! 10For the Scriptures say,

'He orders his angels to protect and guard you.

11 And they will hold you with their hands
to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.' F23 "

12Jesus responded, "The Scriptures also say, 'Do not test the Lord your God.' F24 "

13When the Devil had finished tempting Jesus, he left him until the next opportunity came.

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

14Then Jesus returned to Galilee, filled with the Holy Spirit's power. Soon he became well known throughout the surrounding country. 15He taught in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

16When he came to the village of Nazareth, his boyhood home, he went as usual to the synagogue on the Sabbath and stood up to read the Scriptures. 17The scroll containing the messages of Isaiah the prophet was handed to him, and he unrolled the scroll to the place where it says:

18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has appointed me to preach Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim
that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the downtrodden will be freed from their oppressors,

19 and that the time of the Lord's favor has come. F25 "

20He rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down. Everyone in the synagogue stared at him intently. 21Then he said, "This Scripture has come true today before your very eyes!"

22All who were there spoke well of him and were amazed by the gracious words that fell from his lips. "How can this be?" they asked. "Isn't this Joseph's son?"

23Then he said, "Probably you will quote me that proverb, 'Physician, heal yourself'—meaning, 'Why don't you do miracles here in your hometown like those you did in Capernaum?' 24But the truth is, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.

25"Certainly there were many widows in Israel who needed help in Elijah's time, when there was no rain for three and a half years and hunger stalked the land. 26Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them. He was sent instead to a widow of Zarephath—a foreigner in the land of Sidon. 27Or think of the prophet Elisha, who healed Naaman, a Syrian, rather than the many lepers in Israel who needed help."

28When they heard this, the people in the synagogue were furious. 29Jumping up, they mobbed him and took him to the edge of the hill on which the city was built. They intended to push him over the cliff, 30but he slipped away through the crowd and left them.

Jesus Casts Out a Demon

31Then Jesus went to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and taught there in the synagogue every Sabbath day. 32There, too, the people were amazed at the things he said, because he spoke with authority.

33Once when he was in the synagogue, a man possessed by a demon began shouting at Jesus, 34"Go away! Why are you bothering us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One sent from God."

35Jesus cut him short. "Be silent!" he told the demon. "Come out of the man!" The demon threw the man to the floor as the crowd watched; then it left him without hurting him further.

36Amazed, the people exclaimed, "What authority and power this man's words possess! Even evil spirits obey him and flee at his command!" 37The story of what he had done spread like wildfire throughout the whole region.

Jesus Heals Many People

38After leaving the synagogue that day, Jesus went to Simon's home, where he found Simon's mother-in-law very sick with a high fever. "Please heal her," everyone begged. 39Standing at her bedside, he spoke to the fever, rebuking it, and immediately her temperature returned to normal. She got up at once and prepared a meal for them.

40As the sun went down that evening, people throughout the village brought sick family members to Jesus. No matter what their diseases were, the touch of his hand healed every one. 41Some were possessed by demons; and the demons came out at his command, shouting, "You are the Son of God." But because they knew he was the Messiah, he stopped them and told them to be silent.

Jesus Continues to Preach

42Early the next morning Jesus went out into the wilderness. The crowds searched everywhere for him, and when they finally found him, they begged him not to leave them. 43But he replied, "I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other places, too, because that is why I was sent." 44So he continued to travel around, preaching in synagogues throughout Judea. F26
F21: Deut 8:3.
F22: Deut 6:13.
F23: Ps 91:11-12.
F24: Deut 6:16.
F25: Or and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Isa 61:1-2.
F26: Some manuscripts read Galilee.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mark 3 Today's Daily Bread

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

1Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. 2Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus' enemies watched him closely. Would he heal the man's hand on the Sabbath? If he did, they planned to condemn him. 3Jesus said to the man, "Come and stand in front of everyone." 4Then he turned to his critics and asked, "Is it legal to do good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing harm? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?" But they wouldn't answer him. 5He looked around at them angrily, because he was deeply disturbed by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, "Reach out your hand." The man reached out his hand, and it became normal again! 6At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to discuss plans for killing Jesus.

Crowds Follow Jesus

7Jesus and his disciples went out to the lake, followed by a huge crowd from all over Galilee, Judea, 8Jerusalem, Idumea, from east of the Jordan River, and even from as far away as Tyre and Sidon. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide, and vast numbers of people came to see him for themselves.

9Jesus instructed his disciples to bring around a boat and to have it ready in case he was crowded off the beach. 10There had been many healings that day. As a result, many sick people were crowding around him, trying to touch him. 11And whenever those possessed by evil spirits caught sight of him, they would fall down in front of him shrieking, "You are the Son of God!" 12But Jesus strictly warned them not to say who he was.

Jesus Chooses the Twelve Apostles

13Afterward Jesus went up on a mountain and called the ones he wanted to go with him. And they came to him. 14Then he selected twelve of them to be his regular companions, calling them apostles. F11 He sent them out to preach, 15and he gave them authority to cast out demons. 16These are the names of the twelve he chose:

Simon (he renamed him Peter),

17 James and John (the sons of Zebedee, but Jesus nicknamed them "Sons of Thunder" F12 ),

18 Andrew,
James (son of Alphaeus),
Simon (the Zealot F13 ),

19 Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).

Jesus and the Prince of Demons

20When Jesus returned to the house where he was staying, the crowds began to gather again, and soon he and his disciples couldn't even find time to eat. 21When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him home with them. "He's out of his mind," they said.

22But the teachers of religious law who had arrived from Jerusalem said, "He's possessed by Satan, F14 the prince of demons. That's where he gets the power to cast out demons."

23Jesus called them over and said to them by way of illustration, "How can Satan cast out Satan? 24A kingdom at war with itself will collapse. 25A home divided against itself is doomed. 26And if Satan is fighting against himself, how can he stand? He would never survive. 27Let me illustrate this. You can't enter a strong man's house and rob him without first tying him up. Only then can his house be robbed! F15

28"I assure you that any sin can be forgiven, including blasphemy; 29but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven. It is an eternal sin." 30He told them this because they were saying he had an evil spirit.

The True Family of Jesus

31Jesus' mother and brothers arrived at the house where he was teaching. They stood outside and sent word for him to come out and talk with them. 32There was a crowd around Jesus, and someone said, "Your mother and your brothers and sisters F16 are outside, asking for you."

33Jesus replied, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" 34Then he looked at those around him and said, "These are my mother and brothers. 35Anyone who does God's will is my brother and sister and mother."

F11: Some manuscripts do not include calling them apostles.
F12: Greek whom he named Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder.
F13: Greek the Cananean.
F14: Greek Beelzeboul.
F15: Or One cannot rob Satan's kingdom without first tying him up. Only then can his demons be cast out.
F16: Some manuscripts do not include and sisters.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mark 2 Today's Daily Bread

Mark 2 Today's Daily Bread

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man
1Several days later Jesus returned to Capernaum, and the news of his arrival spread quickly through the town. 2Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there wasn't room for one more person, not even outside the door. And he preached the word to them. 3Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat. 4They couldn't get to Jesus through the crowd, so they dug through the clay roof above his head. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 5Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "My son, your sins are forgiven."

6But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there said to themselves, 7"What? This is blasphemy! Who but God can forgive sins!"

8Jesus knew what they were discussing among themselves, so he said to them, "Why do you think this is blasphemy? 9Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man, 'Your sins are forgiven' or 'Get up, pick up your mat, and walk'? 10I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins." Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, 11"Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed!"

12The man jumped up, took the mat, and pushed his way through the stunned onlookers. Then they all praised God. "We've never seen anything like this before!" they exclaimed.

Jesus Calls Levi (Matthew)

13Then Jesus went out to the lakeshore again and taught the crowds that gathered around him. 14As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at his tax-collection booth. "Come, be my disciple," Jesus said to him. So Levi got up and followed him.

15That night Levi invited Jesus and his disciples to be his dinner guests, along with his fellow tax collectors and many other notorious sinners. (There were many people of this kind among the crowds that followed Jesus.) 16But when some of the teachers of religious law who were Pharisees F9 saw him eating with people like that, they said to his disciples, "Why does he eat with such scum F10 ?"

17When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough."

A Discussion about Fasting

18John's disciples and the Pharisees sometimes fasted. One day some people came to Jesus and asked, "Why do John's disciples and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples don't fast?"

19Jesus replied, "Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. They can't fast while they are with the groom. 20But someday he will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 21And who would patch an old garment with unshrunk cloth? For the new patch shrinks and pulls away from the old cloth, leaving an even bigger hole than before. 22And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. The wine would burst the wineskins, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine needs new wineskins."

A Discussion about the Sabbath

23One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples began breaking off heads of wheat. 24But the Pharisees said to Jesus, "They shouldn't be doing that! It's against the law to work by harvesting grain on the Sabbath."

25But Jesus replied, "Haven't you ever read in the Scriptures what King David did when he and his companions were hungry? 26He went into the house of God (during the days when Abiathar was high priest), ate the special bread reserved for the priests alone, and then gave some to his companions. That was breaking the law, too." 27Then he said to them, "The Sabbath was made to benefit people, and not people to benefit the Sabbath. 28And I, the Son of Man, am master even of the Sabbath!"

F9: Greek the scribes of the Pharisees.
F10: Greek with tax collectors and sinners.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Isaiah 58 Today's Daily Bread

True and False Worship

1"Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Tell my people Israel F119 of their sins! 2Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to hear my laws. You would almost think this was a righteous nation that would never abandon its God. They love to make a show of coming to me and asking me to take action on their behalf. 3'We have fasted before you!' they say. 'Why aren't you impressed? We have done much penance, and you don't even notice it!' "I will tell you why! It's because you are living for yourselves even while you are fasting. You keep right on oppressing your workers. 4What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. 5You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like a blade of grass in the wind. You dress in sackcloth and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the LORD?

6"No, the kind of fasting I want calls you to free those who are wrongly imprisoned and to stop oppressing those who work for you. Treat them fairly and give them what they earn. 7I want you to share your food with the hungry and to welcome poor wanderers into your homes. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help.

8"If you do these things, your salvation will come like the dawn. Yes, your healing will come quickly. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. 9Then when you call, the LORD will answer. 'Yes, I am here,' he will quickly reply. "Stop oppressing the helpless and stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors! 10Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as day. 11The LORD will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. 12Your children will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as the people who rebuild their walls and cities.

13"Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don't pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the LORD's holy day. Honor the LORD in everything you do, and don't follow your own desires or talk idly. If you do this, 14the LORD will be your delight. I will give you great honor and give you your full share of the inheritance I promised to Jacob, your ancestor. I, the LORD, have spoken!"

F119: Hebrew Jacob.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Exodus 31 Today's Daily Bread

1The LORD also said to Moses, 2"Look, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, intelligence, and skill in all kinds of crafts. 4He is able to create beautiful objects from gold, silver, and bronze. 5He is skilled in cutting and setting gemstones and in carving wood. Yes, he is a master at every craft!

6"And I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the naturally talented craftsmen so they can make all the things I have instructed you to make: 7the Tabernacle itself; the Ark of the Covenant; F65 the Ark's cover—the place of atonement; all the furnishings of the Tabernacle; 8the table and all its utensils; the gold lampstand with all its accessories; the incense altar; 9the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils; the washbasin and its pedestal; 10the beautifully stitched, holy garments for Aaron the priest, and the garments for his sons to wear as they minister as priests; 11the anointing oil; and the special incense for the Holy Place. They must follow exactly all the instructions I have given you."

Instructions for the Sabbath

12The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: 13"Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. 14Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. 15Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death. 16The people of Israel must keep the Sabbath day forever. 17It is a permanent sign of my covenant with them. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, but he rested on the seventh day and was refreshed."

18Then as the LORD finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, F66 written by the finger of God.

F65: Hebrew the Tent of Meeting; the Ark of the Testimony.
F66: Hebrew the Testimony.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Exodus 20 Today's Daily Bread

The Ten Commandments

1Then God instructed the people as follows:

2"I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from slavery in Egypt.

3"Do not worship any other gods besides me.

4"Do not make idols of any kind, whether in the shape of birds or animals or fish. 5You must never worship or bow down to them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not share your affection with any other god! I do not leave unpunished the sins of those who hate me, but I punish the children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations. 6But I lavish my love on those who love me and obey my commands, even for a thousand generations.

7"Do not misuse the name of the LORD your God. The LORD will not let you go unpunished if you misuse his name.

8"Remember to observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9Six days a week are set apart for your daily duties and regular work, 10but the seventh day is a day of rest dedicated to the LORD your God. On that day no one in your household may do any kind of work. This includes you, your sons and daughters, your male and female servants, your livestock, and any foreigners living among you. 11For in six days the LORD made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and everything in them; then he rested on the seventh day. That is why the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart as holy.

12"Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God will give you.

13"Do not murder.

14"Do not commit adultery.

15"Do not steal.

16"Do not testify falsely against your neighbor.

17"Do not covet your neighbor's house. Do not covet your neighbor's wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else your neighbor owns."

18When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the horn, and when they saw the lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.

19And they said to Moses, "You tell us what God says, and we will listen. But don't let God speak directly to us. If he does, we will die!"

20"Don't be afraid," Moses said, "for God has come in this way to show you his awesome power. From now on, let your fear of him keep you from sinning!"

21As the people stood in the distance, Moses entered into the deep darkness where God was.

Proper Use of Altars

22And the LORD said to Moses, "Say this to the people of Israel: You are witnesses that I have spoken to you from heaven. 23Remember, you must not make or worship idols of silver or gold.

24"The altars you make for me must be simple altars of earth. Offer on such altars your sacrifices to me—your burnt offerings and peace offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Build altars in the places where I remind you who I am, and I will come and bless you there. 25If you build altars from stone, use only uncut stones. Do not chip or shape the stones with a tool, for that would make them unfit for holy use. 26And you may not approach my altar by steps. If you do, someone might look up under the skirts of your clothing and see your nakedness.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Exodus 16 Today's Daily Bread

Manna and Quail from Heaven

1Then they left Elim and journeyed into the Sin F18 Desert, between Elim and Mount Sinai. They arrived there a month after leaving Egypt. F19 2There, too, the whole community of Israel spoke bitterly against Moses and Aaron.

3"Oh, that we were back in Egypt," they moaned. "It would have been better if the LORD had killed us there! At least there we had plenty to eat. But now you have brought us into this desert to starve us to death."

4Then the LORD said to Moses, "Look, I'm going to rain down food from heaven for you. The people can go out each day and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether they will follow my instructions. 5Tell them to pick up twice as much as usual on the sixth day of each week."

6Then Moses and Aaron called a meeting of all the people of Israel and told them, "In the evening you will realize that it was the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt. 7In the morning you will see the glorious presence of the LORD. He has heard your complaints, which are against the LORD and not against us. 8The LORD will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread in the morning, for he has heard all your complaints against him. Yes, your complaints are against the LORD, not against us."

9Then Moses said to Aaron, "Say this to the entire community of Israel: 'Come into the LORD's presence, and hear his reply to your complaints.'" 10And as Aaron spoke to the people, they looked out toward the desert. Within the guiding cloud, they could see the awesome glory of the LORD.

11And the LORD said to Moses, 12"I have heard the people's complaints. Now tell them, 'In the evening you will have meat to eat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God.'"

13That evening vast numbers of quail arrived and covered the camp. The next morning the desert all around the camp was wet with dew. 14When the dew disappeared later in the morning, thin flakes, white like frost, covered the ground. 15The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. "What is it?" they asked. And Moses told them, "It is the food the LORD has given you. 16The LORD says that each household should gather as much as it needs. Pick up two quarts F20 for each person."

17So the people of Israel went out and gathered this food—some getting more, and some getting less. 18By gathering two quarts for each person, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed.

19Then Moses told them, "Do not keep any of it overnight." 20But, of course, some of them didn't listen and kept some of it until morning. By then it was full of maggots and had a terrible smell. And Moses was very angry with them.

21The people gathered the food morning by morning, each family according to its need. And as the sun became hot, the food they had not picked up melted and disappeared. 22On the sixth day, there was twice as much as usual on the ground—four quarts F21 for each person instead of two. The leaders of the people came and asked Moses why this had happened. 23He replied, "The LORD has appointed tomorrow as a day of rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. On this day we will rest from our normal daily tasks. So bake or boil as much as you want today, and set aside what is left for tomorrow."

24The next morning the leftover food was wholesome and good, without maggots or odor. 25Moses said, "This is your food for today, for today is a Sabbath to the LORD. There will be no food on the ground today. 26Gather the food for six days, but the seventh day is a Sabbath. There will be no food on the ground for you on that day."

27Some of the people went out anyway to gather food, even though it was the Sabbath day. But there was none to be found. 28"How long will these people refuse to obey my commands and instructions?" the LORD asked Moses. 29"Do they not realize that I have given them the seventh day, the Sabbath, as a day of rest? That is why I give you twice as much food on the sixth day, so there will be enough for two days. On the Sabbath day you must stay in your places. Do not pick up food from the ground on that day." 30So the people rested on the seventh day.

31In time, the food became known as manna. F22 It was white like coriander seed, and it tasted like honey cakes.

32Then Moses gave them this command from the LORD: "Take two quarts of manna and keep it forever as a treasured memorial of the LORD's provision. By doing this, later generations will be able to see the bread that the LORD provided in the wilderness when he brought you out of Egypt."

33Moses said to Aaron, "Get a container and put two quarts of manna into it. Then store it in a sacred place F23 as a reminder for all future generations." 34Aaron did this, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. He eventually placed it for safekeeping in the Ark of the Covenant. F24 35So the people of Israel ate manna for forty years until they arrived in the land of Canaan, where there were crops to eat.

36(The container used to measure the manna was an omer, which held about two quarts.) F25

F18: Not to be confused with the English word sin.
F19: Hebrew on the fifteenth day of the second month. The Exodus had occurred on the fourteenth day of the first month (see 12:6).
F20: Hebrew 1 omer [2 liters]; also in 16:18, 32, 33.
F21: Hebrew 2 omers [4 liters].
F22: Manna means "What is it?" See 16:15.
F23: Hebrew before the LORD.
F24: Hebrew in front of the Testimony.
F25: Hebrew An omer is one tenth of an ephah.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Amos 8 Today's Daily Bread

A Vision of Ripe Fruit

1Then the Sovereign LORD showed me another vision. In it I saw a basket filled with ripe fruit. 2"What do you see, Amos?" he asked. I replied, "A basket full of ripe fruit." Then the LORD said, "This fruit represents my people of Israel—ripe for punishment! I will not delay their punishment again. 3In that day the riotous sounds of singing in the Temple will turn to wailing. Dead bodies will be scattered everywhere. They will be carried out of the city in silence. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!"

4Listen to this, you who rob the poor and trample the needy! 5You can't wait for the Sabbath day to be over and the religious festivals to end so you can get back to cheating the helpless. You measure out your grain in false measures and weigh it out on dishonest scales. 6And you mix the wheat you sell with chaff swept from the floor! Then you enslave poor people for a debt of one piece of silver or a pair of sandals.

7Now the LORD has sworn this oath by his own name, the Pride of Israel F19 : "I will never forget the wicked things you have done! 8The earth will tremble for your deeds, and everyone will mourn. The land will rise up like the Nile River at floodtime, toss about, and sink again. 9At that time," says the Sovereign LORD, "I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth while it is still day. 10I will turn your celebrations into times of mourning, and your songs of joy will be turned to weeping. You will wear funeral clothes and shave your heads as signs of sorrow, as if your only son had died. How very bitter that day will be!

11"The time is surely coming," says the Sovereign LORD, "when I will send a famine on the land—not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the LORD. 12People will stagger everywhere from sea to sea, searching for the word of the LORD, running here and going there, but they will not find it. 13Beautiful girls and fine young men will grow faint and weary, thirsting for the LORD's word. 14And those who worship and swear by the idols of Samaria, Dan, and Beersheba will fall down, never to rise again."
F19: Hebrew the pride of Jacob.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Genesis 8 Today's Daily Bread

The Flood Recedes

1But God remembered Noah and all the animals in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the waters, and the floods began to disappear. 2The underground water sources ceased their gushing, and the torrential rains stopped. 3So the flood gradually began to recede. After 150 days, 4exactly five months from the time the flood began, F29 the boat came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5Two and a half months later, F30 as the waters continued to go down, other mountain peaks began to appear.

6After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat 7and released a raven that flew back and forth until the earth was dry. 8Then he sent out a dove to see if it could find dry ground. 9But the dove found no place to land because the water was still too high. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside. 10Seven days later, Noah released the dove again. 11This time, toward evening, the bird returned to him with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Noah now knew that the water was almost gone. 12A week later, he released the dove again, and this time it did not come back.

13Finally, when Noah was 601 years old, ten and a half months after the flood began, F31 Noah lifted back the cover to look. The water was drying up. 14Two more months went by, F32 and at last the earth was dry! 15Then God said to Noah, 16"Leave the boat, all of you. 17Release all the animals and birds so they can breed and reproduce in great numbers." 18So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat. 19And all the various kinds of animals and birds came out, pair by pair.

20Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and sacrificed on it the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. 21And the LORD was pleased with the sacrifice and said to himself, "I will never again curse the earth, destroying all living things, even though people's thoughts and actions are bent toward evil from childhood. 22As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night."
F29: Hebrew on the seventeenth day of the seventh month; see 7:11.
F30: Hebrew On the first day of the tenth month; see 7:11 and note on 8:4.
F31: Hebrew on the first day of the first month; see 7:11.
F32: Hebrew The twenty-seventh day of the second month arrived; see note on 8:13.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Proverbs 30 Today's Daily Bread

The Sayings of Agur

1The message of Agur son of Jakeh. An oracle. F44 I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. F45 2I am too ignorant to be human, and I lack common sense. 3I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.

4Who but God goes up to heaven and comes back down? Who holds the wind in his fists? Who wraps up the oceans in his cloak? Who has created the whole wide world? What is his name—and his son's name? Tell me if you know!

5Every word of God proves true. He defends all who come to him for protection. 6Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you, and you will be found a liar. 7O God, I beg two favors from you before I die. 8First, help me never to tell a lie. Second, give me neither poverty nor riches! Give me just enough to satisfy my needs. 9For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, "Who is the LORD?" And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God's holy name.

10Never slander a person to his employer. If you do, the person will curse you, and you will pay for it.

11Some people curse their father and do not thank their mother. 12They feel pure, but they are filthy and unwashed. 13They are proud beyond description and disdainful. 14They devour the poor with teeth as sharp as swords or knives. They destroy the needy from the face of the earth.

15The leech has two suckers that cry out, "More, more!" F46 There are three other things—no, four!—that are never satisfied:

16 the grave,
the barren womb,
the thirsty desert,
the blazing fire.

17The eye that mocks a father and despises a mother will be plucked out by ravens of the valley and eaten by vultures.

18There are three things that amaze me—no, four things I do not understand:

19 how an eagle glides through the sky,
how a snake slithers on a rock,
how a ship navigates the ocean,
how a man loves a woman.

20Equally amazing is how an adulterous woman can satisfy her sexual appetite, shrug her shoulders, and then say, "What's wrong with that?"

21There are three things that make the earth tremble—no, four it cannot endure:

22 a slave who becomes a king,
an overbearing fool who prospers,

23 a bitter woman who finally gets a husband,
a servant girl who supplants her mistress.

24There are four things on earth that are small but unusually wise:

25 Ants—they aren't strong,
but they store up food for the winter.

26 Rock badgers F47 —they aren't powerful,
but they make their homes among the rocky cliffs.

27 Locusts—they have no king,
but they march like an army in ranks.

28 Lizards—they are easy to catch,
but they are found even in kings' palaces.

29There are three stately monarchs on the earth—no, four:

30 the lion, king of animals, who won't turn aside for anything,

31 the strutting rooster,
the male goat,
a king as he leads his army.

32If you have been a fool by being proud or plotting evil, don't brag about it—cover your mouth with your hand in shame.

33As the beating of cream yields butter, and a blow to the nose causes bleeding, so anger causes quarrels.
F44: Or son of Jakeh from Massa.
F45: The Hebrew can also be translated The man declares this to Ithiel, to Ithiel and to Ucal.
F46: Hebrew two daughters who cry out, "Give, give!"
F47: Or coneys, or hyraxes.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Proverbs 10 Today's Daily Bread

1 The proverbs of Solomon:
A wise son brings joy to his father,
but a foolish son grief to his mother.

2 Ill-gotten treasures are of no value,
but righteousness delivers from death.

3 The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry
but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.

4 Lazy hands make a man poor,
but diligent hands bring wealth.

5 He who gathers crops in summer is a wise son,
but he who sleeps during harvest is a disgraceful son.

6 Blessings crown the head of the righteous,
but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked. [a]

7 The memory of the righteous will be a blessing,
but the name of the wicked will rot.

8 The wise in heart accept commands,
but a chattering fool comes to ruin.

9 The man of integrity walks securely,
but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.

10 He who winks maliciously causes grief,
and a chattering fool comes to ruin.

11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but violence overwhelms the mouth of the wicked.

12 Hatred stirs up dissension,
but love covers over all wrongs.

13 Wisdom is found on the lips of the discerning,
but a rod is for the back of him who lacks judgment.

14 Wise men store up knowledge,
but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.

15 The wealth of the rich is their fortified city,
but poverty is the ruin of the poor.

16 The wages of the righteous bring them life,
but the income of the wicked brings them punishment.

17 He who heeds discipline shows the way to life,
but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.

18 He who conceals his hatred has lying lips,
and whoever spreads slander is a fool.

19 When words are many, sin is not absent,
but he who holds his tongue is wise.

20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver,
but the heart of the wicked is of little value.

21 The lips of the righteous nourish many,
but fools die for lack of judgment.

22 The blessing of the LORD brings wealth,
and he adds no trouble to it.

23 A fool finds pleasure in evil conduct,
but a man of understanding delights in wisdom.

24 What the wicked dreads will overtake him;
what the righteous desire will be granted.

25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone,
but the righteous stand firm forever.

26 As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
so is a sluggard to those who send him.

27 The fear of the LORD adds length to life,
but the years of the wicked are cut short.

28 The prospect of the righteous is joy,
but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing.

29 The way of the LORD is a refuge for the righteous,
but it is the ruin of those who do evil.

30 The righteous will never be uprooted,
but the wicked will not remain in the land.

31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
but a perverse tongue will be cut out.

32 The lips of the righteous know what is fitting,
but the mouth of the wicked only what is perverse.


1. Proverbs 10:6 Or but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence ; also in verse 1