February 19 - Matthew 1, Exodus 20-21 and Proverbs 9
The Ancestors of Jesus
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Judah and his brothers (Judah's sons were Perez and Zerah, and their mother was Tamar), Hezron;
Ram, Amminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz (his mother was Rahab), Obed (his mother was Ruth), Jesse, and King David.
6b-11From David to the time of the exile in Babylonia, the ancestors of Jesus were:
David, Solomon (his mother had been Uriah's wife), Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram;
Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah, and Jehoiachin and his brothers.
12-16From the exile to the birth of Jesus, his ancestors were:
Jehoiachin, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim;
Eliud, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob, and Joseph, the husband of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who is called the Messiah.
17There were fourteen generations from Abraham to David. There were also fourteen from David to the exile in Babylonia and fourteen more to the birth of the Messiah.
The Birth of Jesus
20While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, "Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her. 21Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
22So the Lord's promise came true, just as the prophet had said, 23"A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel," which means "God is with us."
24After Joseph woke up, he and Mary were soon married, just as the Lord's angel had told him to do. 25But they did not sleep together before her baby was born. Then Joseph named him Jesus.
The Ten Commandments
2I am the LORD your God, the one who brought you out of Egypt where you were slaves.
3Do not worship any god except me.
4Do not make idols that look like anything in the sky or on earth or in the ocean under the earth. 5Don't bow down and worship idols. I am the LORD your God, and I demand all your love. If you reject me, I will punish your families for three or four generations. 6But if you love me and obey my laws, I will be kind to your families for thousands of generations.
7Do not misuse my name. I am the LORD your God, and I will punish anyone who misuses my name.
8Remember that the Sabbath Day belongs to me. 9You have six days when you can do your work, 10but the seventh day of each week belongs to me, your God. No one is to work on that day--not you, your children, your slaves, your animals, or the foreigners who live in your towns. 11In six days I made the sky, the earth, the oceans, and everything in them, but on the seventh day I rested. That's why I made the Sabbath a special day that belongs to me.
12Respect your father and your mother, and you will live a long time in the land I am giving you.
13Do not murder.
14Be faithful in marriage.
15Do not steal.
16Do not tell lies about others.
17Do not want anything that belongs to someone else. Don't want anyone's house, wife or husband, slaves, oxen, donkeys or anything else.
The People Are Afraid
20"Don't be afraid!" Moses replied. "God has come only to test you, so that by obeying him you won't sin." 21But when Moses went near the thick cloud where God was, the people stayed a long way off.
Idols and Altars22The LORD told Moses to say to the people of Israel:
With your own eyes, you saw me speak to you from heaven. 23So you must never make idols of silver or gold to worship in place of me.
24Build an altar out of earth, and offer on it your sacrifices of sheep, goats, and cattle. Wherever I choose to be worshiped, I will come down to bless you. 25If you ever build an altar for me out of stones, do not use any tools to chisel the stones, because that would make the altar unfit. 26And don't build an altar that requires steps; you might expose yourself when you climb up.
2If you buy a Hebrew slave, he must remain your slave for six years. But in the seventh year you must set him free, without cost to him. 3If he was single at the time you bought him, he alone must be set free. But if he was married at the time, both he and his wife must be given their freedom. 4If you give him a wife, and they have children, only the man himself must be set free; his wife and children remain the property of his owner.
5But suppose the slave loves his wife and children so much that he won't leave without them. 6Then he must stand beside either the door or the doorpost at the place of worship, while his owner punches a small hole through one of his ears with a sharp metal rod. This makes him a slave for life.
7A young woman who was sold by her father doesn't gain her freedom in the same way that a man does. 8If she doesn't please the man who bought her to be his wife, he must let her be bought back. He cannot sell her to foreigners; this would break the contract he made with her. 9If he selects her as a wife for his son, he must treat her as his own daughter.
10If the man later marries another woman, he must continue to provide food and clothing for the one he bought and to treat her as a wife. 11If he fails to do any of these things, she must be given her freedom without cost.
Murder and Other Violent CrimesThe LORD said:
12Death is the punishment for murder. 13But if you did not intend to kill someone, and I, the LORD, let it happen anyway, you may run for safety to a place that I have set aside. 14If you plan in advance to murder someone, there's no escape, not even by holding on to my altar. You will be dragged off and killed.
15Death is the punishment for attacking your father or mother.
16Death is the punishment for kidnapping. If you sell the person you kidnapped, or if you are caught with that person, the penalty is death.
17Death is the punishment for cursing your father or mother.
18Suppose two of you are arguing, and you hit the other with either a rock or your fist, without causing a fatal injury. If the victim has to stay in bed, 19and later has to use a stick when walking outside, you must pay for the loss of time and do what you can to help until the injury is completely healed. That's your only responsibility.
20Death is the punishment for beating to death any of your slaves. 21However, if the slave lives a few days after the beating, you are not to be punished. After all, you have already lost the services of that slave who was your property.
22Suppose a pregnant woman suffers a miscarriage as the result of an injury caused by someone who is fighting. If she isn't badly hurt, the one who injured her must pay whatever fine her husband demands and the judges approve. 23But if she is seriously injured, the payment will be life for life, 24eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25burn for burn, cut for cut, and bruise for bruise.
26If you hit one of your slaves and cause the loss of an eye, the slave must be set free. 27The same law applies if you knock out a slave's tooth--the slave goes free.
28A bull that kills someone with its horns must be killed and its meat destroyed, but the owner of the bull isn't responsible for the death.
29Suppose you own a bull that has been in the habit of attacking people, but you have refused to keep it fenced in. If that bull kills someone, both you and the bull must be put to death by stoning. 30However, you may save your own life by paying whatever fine is demanded. 31This same law applies if the bull gores someone's son or daughter. 32If the bull kills a slave, you must pay the slave owner thirty pieces of silver for the loss of the slave, and the bull must be killed by stoning.
33Suppose someone's ox or donkey is killed by falling into an open pit that you dug or left uncovered on your property. 34You must pay for the dead animal, and it becomes yours.
35If your bull kills someone else's, yours must be sold. Then the money from your bull and the meat from the dead bull must be divided equally between you and the other owner.
36If you refuse to fence in a bull that is known to attack others, you must pay for any animal it kills, but the dead animal will belong to you.
Wisdom Gives a FeastProverbs 9 Wisdom has built her house with its seven columns.
2She has prepared the meat and set out the wine.
Her feast is ready.
3She has sent her servant women
to announce her invitation from the highest hills:
4"Everyone who is ignorant or foolish is invited!
5All of you are welcome to my meat and wine.
6If you want to live, give up your foolishness
and let understanding guide your steps."
7Correct a worthless bragger,
and all you will get are insults and injuries.
8Any bragger you correct will only hate you.
But if you correct someone who has common sense,
you will be loved.
9If you have good sense,
instruction will help you to have even better sense.
And if you live right,
education will help you to know even more.
10Respect and obey the LORD!
This is the beginning of wisdom.
To have understanding, you must know the Holy God.
11I am Wisdom.
If you follow me, you will live a long time.
12Good sense is good for you,
but if you brag, you hurt yourself.
A Foolish Invitation
13Stupidity is reckless, senseless, and foolish.
14She sits in front of her house
and on the highest hills in the town.
15She shouts to everyone who passes by,
16"If you are stupid, come on inside!"
And to every fool she says,
17"Stolen water tastes best,
and the food you eat in secret tastes best of all."
18None who listen to Stupidity understand
that her guests are as good as dead.
This reading is from The
Holy Bible, Contemporary English Version, copyright © American
Bible Society, 1995.
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