Deuteronomy 16–18; Acts 4:23–37

Passover

16 Observe the imonth of Abib and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for jin the month of Abib the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. And you shall offer the Passover sacrifice to the Lord your God, from the flock or kthe herd, lat the place that the Lord will choose, to make his name dwell there. You shall eat no leavened bread with it. mSeven days you shall eat it with unleavened bread, the bread of afflictionfor you came out of the land of Egypt nin hastethat all the days of your life you may remember the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. oNo leaven shall be seen with you in all your territory for seven days, pnor shall any of the flesh that you sacrifice on the evening of the first day remain all night until morning. You may not offer the Passover sacrifice within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, but at the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell in it, there you shall offer the Passover sacrifice, in the evening at sunset, at the time you came out of Egypt. And you shall cook it and eat it at the place that the Lord your God will choose. And in the morning you shall turn and go to your tents. For qsix days you shall eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be ra solemn assembly to the Lord your God. You shall do no work on it.

The Feast of Weeks

sYou shall count seven weeks. Begin to count the seven weeks from the time the sickle is first put to the standing grain. 10 Then you shall keep tthe Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with uthe tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give vas the Lord your God blesses you. 11 And wyou shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your towns, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, at the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there. 12 xYou shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt; and you shall be careful to observe these statutes.

The Feast of Booths

13 yYou shall keep the Feast of Booths seven days, when you have gathered in the produce from your threshing floor and your winepress. 14 zYou shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns. 15 For aseven days you shall keep the feast to the Lord your God at the place that the Lord will choose, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful.

16 bThree times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. cThey shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man dshall give as he is able, vaccording to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.

Justice

18 You shall appoint ejudges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 fYou shall not pervert justice. gYou shall not show partiality, hand you shall not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and subverts the cause of the righteous. 20 Justice, and only justice, you shall follow, that you may live and inherit the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Forbidden Forms of Worship

21 You shall not plant any tree as ian Asherah beside the altar of the Lord your God that you shall make. 22 And you shall not set up a pillar, which the Lord your God hates.

17 jYou shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep in which is a blemish, any defect whatever, for that is an abomination to the Lord your God.

kIf there is found among you, within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, lin transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or mthe sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, nwhich I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire odiligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you pshall stone that man or woman to death with stones. qOn the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses the one who is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. rThe hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So syou shall purge1 the evil2 from your midst.

Legal Decisions by Priests and Judges

If any case arises requiring decision between one kind of homicide and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another, any case within your towns that is too difficult for you, then you shall arise and go up to tthe place that the Lord your God will choose. uAnd you shall come to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall consult them, and vthey shall declare to you the decision. 10 Then you shall do according to what they declare to you from that place that the Lord will choose. And you shall be careful to do according to all that they direct you. 11 According to the instructions that they give you, and according to the decision which they pronounce to you, you shall do. You shall not turn aside from the verdict that they declare to you, either to the right hand or to the left. 12 The man who wacts presumptuously by not obeying the priest xwho stands to minister there before the Lord your God, or the judge, that man shall die. So syou shall purge the evil from Israel. 13 And all the people yshall hear and fear and not act presumptuously again.

Laws Concerning Israel's Kings

14 When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, zI will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me, 15 you may indeed set a king over you awhom the Lord your God will choose. One bfrom among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 Only he must not acquire many chorses for himself or cause the people dto return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, eYou shall never return that way again. 17 And he fshall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, gnor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.

18 And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, hhe shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, iapproved by3 the Levitical priests. 19 And jit shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, kthat he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he lmay not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, mso that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.

Provision for Priests and Levites

18 The Levitical priests, all the tribe of Levi, nshall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They oshall eat the Lord's food offerings4 as their5 inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them. And this shall be the priests' due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice, whether an ox or a sheep: pthey shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. qThe firstfruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give him. For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes rto stand and minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons for all time.

And if a Levite comes from any of your towns out of all Israel, swhere he livesand he may come when he desires6tto the place that the Lord will choose, and ministers in the name of the Lord his God, ulike all his fellow Levites who stand to minister there before the Lord, then he may have equal vportions to eat, besides what he receives from the sale of his patrimony.7

Abominable Practices

When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, wyou shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone xwho burns his son or his daughter as an offering,8 anyone who ypractices divination or ztells fortunes or interprets omens, or aa sorcerer 11 or a charmer or ba medium or a necromancer or cone who inquires of the dead, 12 dfor whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And ebecause of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. 13 You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, 14 for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do this.

A New Prophet like Moses

15 fThe Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothersit is to him you shall listen 16 just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb gon the day of the assembly, when you said, hLet me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die. 17 And the Lord said to me, iThey are right in what they have spoken. 18 fI will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. jAnd I will put my words in his mouth, and khe shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 lAnd whoever will mnot listen to my words that he shall speak in my name, I myself will require it of him. 20 nBut the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or9 who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die. 21 And if you say in your heart, How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken? 22 owhen a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; nthe prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.


The Believers Pray for Boldness

23 When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 And when they heard it, they lifted their voices ptogether to God and said, Sovereign Lord, qwho made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, 25 who through the mouth of our father David, your servant,1 said by the Holy Spirit,

rWhy did the Gentiles rage,

and the peoples plot in vain?

26  The kings of the earth set themselves,

and sthe rulers were gathered together,

against the Lord and against his tAnointed2

27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your uholy servant Jesus, vwhom you anointed, both wHerod and xPontius Pilate, along ywith the Gentiles and zthe peoples of Israel, 28 ato do whatever your hand and byour plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, clook upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all dboldness, 30 while eyou stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed fthrough the name of your gholy servant Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, hthe place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and ithey were all filled with the Holy Spirit and jcontinued to speak the word of God with boldness.

They Had Everything in Common

32 Now the full number of those who believed were of kone heart and lsoul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but mthey had everything in common. 33 And with great npower the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and ogreat grace was upon them all. 34 pThere was not a needy person among them, for qas many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and rlaid it at the apostles' feet, and sit was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means tson of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and ulaid it at the apostles' feet.