In our Old Testament readings this week we have seen Israel leave Egypt at Passover time and travelling to Mount Horeb in Sinai. During their years in Egypt the Jews had forgotten about the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Moses had much work to do during the period of the plagues upon the Egyptians to show his people that the gods of Egypt were false and that Yahweh was the one true God.
1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai.2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount.3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself.5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him.8 And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.12 And thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves, that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it: whosoever toucheth the mount shall be surely put to death:13 There shall not an hand touch it, but he shall surely be stoned, or shot through; whether it be beast or man, it shall not live: when the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount.14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.21 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go down, charge the people, lest they break through unto the LORD to gaze, and many of them perish.22 And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, sanctify themselves, lest the LORD break forth upon them.23 And Moses said unto the LORD, The people cannot come up to mount Sinai: for thou chargedst us, saying, Set bounds about the mount, and sanctify it.24 And the LORD said unto him, Away, get thee down, and thou shalt come up, thou, and Aaron with thee: but let not the priests and the people break through to come up unto the LORD, lest he break forth upon them.25 So Moses went down unto the people, and spake unto them.
1 And God spake all these words, saying,2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.13 Thou shalt not kill.14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.15 Thou shalt not steal.16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.18 And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.19 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.20 And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not.21 And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was.22 And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.23 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.24 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.25 And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.26 Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.
1 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped.3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm.5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish.8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily.9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency.14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning.15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children.16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me;17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end.18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction.19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins.22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand.24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee.28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.
1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.4 But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.14 And king Herod heard of him; (for his name was spread abroad:) and he said, That John the Baptist was risen from the dead, and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.15 Others said, That it is Elias. And others said, That it is a prophet, or as one of the prophets.16 But when Herod heard thereof, he said, It is John, whom I beheaded: he is risen from the dead.17 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her.18 For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife.19 Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not:20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;22 And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.23 And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.25 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.26 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.27 And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,28 And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.29 And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught.31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately.33 And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot thither out of all cities, and outwent them, and came together unto him.34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.35 And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed:36 Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread: for they have nothing to eat.37 He answered and said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they say unto him, Shall we go and buy two hundred pennyworth of bread, and give them to eat?38 He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes.39 And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass.40 And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties.41 And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes, he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and brake the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all.42 And they did all eat, and were filled.43 And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fishes.44 And they that did eat of the loaves were about five thousand men.45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them.49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.52 For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.53 And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore.54 And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,55 And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.56 And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.