Leviticus 14; Psalm 104; 2 Samuel 24; Jeremiah 38; Acts 15

Laws for Cleansing Lepers

14 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, This shall be the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing. sHe shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall go tout of the camp, and the priest shall look. Then, if the case of leprous disease is healed in the leprous person, the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two live1 clean birds and ucedarwood and vscarlet yarn and whyssop. And the priest shall command them to kill one of the birds in an earthenware vessel over fresh2 water. He shall take the live bird with the cedarwood and the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, and dip them and the live bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. And he shall xsprinkle it yseven times on him who is to be cleansed of the leprous disease. Then he shall pronounce him clean and shall zlet the living bird go ainto the open field. And he who is to be cleansed bshall wash his clothes and shave off all his hair and bathe himself in water, and he shall be clean. And after that he may come into the camp, but clive outside his tent seven days. And don the seventh day he shall shave off all his hair from his head, his beard, and his eyebrows. He shall shave off all his hair, and then he bshall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and he shall be clean.

10 And on the eighth day he eshall take two male lambs without blemish, and one ewe lamb a year old without blemish, and a fgrain offering of three tenths of an ephah3 of fine flour mixed with oil, and one log4 of oil. 11 And the priest who cleanses him shall set the man who is to be cleansed and these things before the Lord, at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 12 And the priest shall take one of the male lambs and goffer it for a guilt offering, along with the log of oil, and hwave them for a wave offering before the Lord. 13 And he shall kill the lamb iin the place where they kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the place of the sanctuary. For jthe guilt offering, like the sin offering, belongs to the priest; kit is most holy. 14 The priest shall take some of the blood of the guilt offering, and the priest shall put it lon the lobe of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 15 Then the priest shall take some of the log of oil and pour it into the palm of his own left hand 16 and dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand and sprinkle some oil with his finger seven times before the Lord. 17 And some of the oil that remains in his hand the priest shall put on the lobe of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot, on top of the blood of the guilt offering. 18 And the rest of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall put on the head of him who is to be cleansed. mThen the priest shall make atonement for him before the Lord. 19 The priest shall offer the sin offering, to make atonement for him who is to be cleansed from his uncleanness. And afterward he shall kill the burnt offering. 20 And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the fgrain offering on the altar. mThus the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean.

21 But nif he is poor and cannot afford so much, then he shall take one male lamb for a guilt offering hto be waved, to make atonement for him, and a tenth of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil for a grain offering, and a log of oil; 22 oalso two turtledoves or two pigeons, whichever he can afford. The one shall be a sin offering and the other a burnt offering. 23 pAnd on the eighth day he shall bring them for his cleansing to the priest, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, before the Lord. 24 qAnd the priest shall take the lamb of the guilt offering and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them for a wave offering before the Lord. 25 And he shall kill the lamb of the guilt offering. rAnd the priest shall take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed, and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot. 26 And the priest shall pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand, 27 and shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the Lord. 28 And the priest shall put some of the oil that is in his hand on the lobe of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot, in the place where the blood of the guilt offering was put. 29 And the rest of the oil that is in the priest's hand he shall put on the head of him who is to be cleansed, to make atonement for him before the Lord. 30 And he shall offer, of the sturtledoves or pigeons, whichever he can afford, 31 one5 for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, along with a grain offering. mAnd the priest shall make atonement before the Lord for him who is being cleansed. 32 This is the law for him in whom is a case of leprous disease, who cannot afford tthe offerings for his cleansing.

Laws for Cleansing Houses

33 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 34 When you come into the land of Canaan, which I give you ufor a possession, and I put a case of leprous disease in a house in the land of your possession, 35 then he who owns the house shall come and tell the priest, There seems to me to be some case of vdisease in my house. 36 Then the priest shall command that they empty the house before the priest goes to examine the disease, lest all that is in the house be declared unclean. And afterward the priest shall go in to see the house. 37 And he shall examine the disease. And if the disease is in the walls of the house with greenish or reddish spots, and if it appears to be deeper than the surface, 38 then the priest shall go out of the house to the door of the house and shut up the house seven days. 39 And the priest shall come again on the seventh day, and look. If the disease has spread in the walls of the house, 40 then the priest shall command that they take out the stones in which is the disease and throw them into an unclean place outside the city. 41 And he shall have the inside of the house scraped all around, and the plaster that they scrape off they shall pour out in an unclean place outside the city. 42 Then they shall take other stones and put them in the place of those stones, and he shall take other plaster and plaster the house.

43 If the disease breaks out again in the house, after he has taken out the stones and scraped the house and plastered it, 44 then the priest shall go and look. And if the disease has spread in the house, it is a wpersistent leprous disease in the house; it is unclean. 45 And he shall break down the house, its stones and timber and all the plaster of the house, and he shall carry them out of the city to an unclean place. 46 Moreover, whoever enters the house while it is shut up shall be unclean until the evening, 47 and whoever sleeps in the house xshall wash his clothes, and whoever eats in the house shall wash his clothes.

48 But if the priest comes and looks, and if the disease has not spread in the house after the house was plastered, then the priest shall pronounce the house clean, for the disease is healed. 49 And for the ycleansing of the house he shall take ztwo small birds, with cedarwood and scarlet yarn and hyssop, 50 and shall kill one of the birds in an earthenware vessel over fresh water 51 and shall take the cedarwood and the hyssop and the scarlet yarn, along with the live bird, and dip them in the blood of the bird that was killed and in the fresh water and sprinkle the house seven times. 52 Thus he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird and with the fresh water and with the live bird and with the cedarwood and hyssop and scarlet yarn. 53 And he shall let the live bird go out of the city ainto the open country. So he shall bmake atonement for the house, and it shall be clean.

54 This is the law for any case of leprous disease: for can itch, 55 for dleprous disease in a garment or in ea house, 56 and ffor a swelling or an eruption or a spot, 57 to gshow when it is unclean and when it is clean. This is the law for leprous disease.


O Lord My God, You Are Very Great

104  lBless the Lord, O my soul!

O Lord my God, you are mvery great!

nYou are clothed with splendor and majesty,

covering yourself with light as with a garment,

ostretching out the heavens plike a tent.

He qlays the beams of his rchambers on the waters;

he makes sthe clouds his chariot;

he rides on tthe wings of the wind;

he umakes his messengers winds,

his vministers wa flaming fire.

He xset the earth on its foundations,

so that it should never be moved.

You ycovered it with the deep as with a garment;

the waters stood above the mountains.

At zyour rebuke they fled;

at athe sound of your thunder they btook to flight.

The mountains rose, the valleys sank down

to the place that you cappointed for them.

You set da boundary that they may not pass,

so that they emight not again cover the earth.

10  You make springs gush forth in the valleys;

they flow between the hills;

11  they fgive drink to every beast of the field;

the wild donkeys quench their thirst.

12  Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;

they sing among the branches.

13  gFrom your lofty abode you hwater the mountains;

the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

14  You cause ithe grass to grow for the livestock

and jplants for man to cultivate,

that he may bring forth kfood from the earth

15  and lwine to gladden the heart of man,

moil to make his face shine

and bread to nstrengthen man's heart.

16  The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,

othe cedars of Lebanon pthat he planted.

17  In them the birds build their nests;

the stork has her home in the fir trees.

18  The high mountains are for qthe wild goats;

the rocks are a refuge for rthe rock badgers.

19  He made the moon to mark the sseasons;1

the sun knows its time for setting.

20  tYou make darkness, and it is night,

when all the beasts of the forest creep about.

21  uThe young lions roar for their prey,

seeking their food from God.

22  When the sun rises, they steal away

and lie down in their vdens.

23  wMan goes out to his work

and to his labor until the evening.

24  O Lord, how manifold are your works!

In xwisdom have you made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.

25  Here is the sea, great and wide,

ywhich teems with creatures innumerable,

living things both small and great.

26  There go the ships,

and zLeviathan, which you formed to aplay in it.2

27  These ball look to you,

to cgive them their food in due season.

28  When you give it to them, they gather it up;

when you dopen your hand, they are filled with good things.

29  When you ehide your face, they are fdismayed;

when you gtake away their breath, they die

and hreturn to their dust.

30  When you isend forth your Spirit,3 they are created,

and you jrenew the face of the ground.

31  May the glory of the Lord kendure forever;

may the Lord lrejoice in his works,

32  who looks on the earth and it mtrembles,

who ntouches the mountains and they smoke!

33  I will sing to the Lord oas long as I live;

I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

34  May my pmeditation be pleasing to him,

for I rejoice in the Lord.

35  Let qsinners be consumed from the earth,

and let the wicked be no more!

rBless the Lord, O my soul!

sPraise the Lord!


David's Census

24 zaAgain the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, bGo, number Israel and Judah. So the king said to Joab, the commander of the army,1 who was with him, Go through all the tribes of Israel, cfrom Dan to Beersheba, and number the people, that I may know the number of the people. But Joab said to the king, dMay the Lord your God add to the people a hundred times as many as they are, while the eyes of my lord the king still see it, but why does my lord the king delight in this thing? But the king's word prevailed against Joab and the commanders of the army. So Joab and the commanders of the army went out from the presence of the king to number the people of Israel. They crossed the Jordan and began from eAroer,2 and from the city that is in the middle of the fvalley, toward Gad and on to gJazer. Then they came to Gilead, and to Kadesh in the land of the Hittites;3 and they came to Dan, and from Dan4 they went around to hSidon, and came to the fortress of Tyre and to all the cities of the iHivites and iCanaanites; and they went out to the Negeb of Judah at Beersheba. So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave the sum of the numbering of the people to the king: in Israel there were 800,000 valiant men jwho drew the sword, and the men of Judah were 500,000.

The Lord's Judgment of David's Sin

10 But kDavid's heart struck him after he had numbered the people. And David said to the Lord, lI have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of your servant, for I have done mvery foolishly. 11 And when David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to nthe prophet Gad, David's oseer, saying, 12 Go and say to David, Thus says the Lord, Three things I offer5 you. Choose one of them, that I may do it to you. 13 So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, Shall pthree6 years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days' pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to him who sent me. 14 Then David said to Gad, I am in great distress. Let us fall into the hand of the Lord, qfor his mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.

15 rSo the Lord sent a pestilence on Israel from the morning until the appointed time. And there died of the people from sDan to Beersheba 70,000 men. 16 And when tthe angel stretched out his hand toward Jerusalem uto destroy it, vthe Lord relented from the calamity and said to the angel uwho was working destruction among the people, It is enough; now stay your hand. And tthe angel of the Lord was by the threshing floor of wAraunah the Jebusite. 17 Then David spoke to the Lord when he saw the angel who was striking the people, and said, Behold, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Please let your hand be against me and against my father's house.

David Builds an Altar

18 And Gad came that day to David and said to him, Go up, raise an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of xAraunah the Jebusite. 19 So David went up at Gad's word, as the Lord commanded. 20 And when Araunah looked down, he saw the king and his servants coming on toward him. And Araunah went out and paid homage to the king with his face to the ground. 21 And Araunah said, Why has my lord the king come to his servant? David said, To buy the threshing floor from you, in order to build an altar to the Lord, that the plague ymay be averted from the people. 22 Then Araunah said to David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seems good to him. Here are the oxen for the burnt offering and the zthreshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. 23 All this, O king, Araunah gives to the king. And Araunah said to the king, May the Lord your God aaccept you. 24 But the king said to Araunah, No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels7 of silver. 25 And David built there an altar to the Lord and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. bSo the Lord responded to the plea for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.


Jeremiah Cast into the Cistern

38 Now Shephatiah the son of Mattan, Gedaliah the son of Pashhur, eJucal the son of Shelemiah, and fPashhur the son of Malchiah heard the words that Jeremiah was saying to all the people: Thus says the Lord: gHe who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, gbut he who goes out to the Chaldeans shall live. He shall have his life as a prize of war, and live. Thus says the Lord: hThis city shall surely be given into the hand of the army of the king of Babylon and be taken. Then the officials said to the king, iLet this man be put to death, jfor he is weakening the hands of the soldiers who are left in this city, and the hands of all the people, by speaking such words to them. For this man is not seeking kthe welfare of this people, but their harm. King Zedekiah said, Behold, he is in your hands, lfor the king can do nothing against you. So they took Jeremiah mand cast him into the cistern of Malchiah, the king's son, which was in nthe court of the guard, letting Jeremiah down oby ropes. pAnd there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and qJeremiah sank in the mud.

Jeremiah Rescued from the Cistern

When rEbed-melech sthe Ethiopian, ta eunuch who was in the king's house, heard that they had put Jeremiah into the cisternthe king was sitting uin the Benjamin Gate rEbed-melech went from the king's house and said to the king, My lord the king, these men have done evil in all that they did to Jeremiah the prophet by casting him into the cistern, and he will die there of vhunger, wfor there is no bread left in the city. 10 Then the king commanded rEbed-melech the Ethiopian, Take thirty men with you from here, and lift Jeremiah the prophet out of the cistern before he dies. 11 So rEbed-melech took the men with him and went to the house of the king, to a wardrobe in the storehouse, and took from there old rags and worn-out clothes, which he let down to Jeremiah in the cistern xby ropes. 12 Then rEbed-melech the Ethiopian said to Jeremiah, Put the rags and clothes between your armpits and xthe ropes. Jeremiah did so. 13 Then they drew Jeremiah up with xropes and lifted him out of the cistern. And Jeremiah remained in the ncourt of the guard.

Jeremiah Warns Zedekiah Again

14 King Zedekiah sent for Jeremiah the prophet and received him at the third entrance of the temple of the Lord. The king said to Jeremiah, I will ask you a question; hide nothing from me. 15 Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, If I tell you, will you not surely put me to death? And if I give you counsel, you will not listen to me. 16 Then King Zedekiah swore ysecretly to Jeremiah, zAs the Lord lives, awho made our souls, I will not put you to death or deliver you into the hand of bthese men who seek your life.

17 Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: cIf you will surrender to dthe officials of the king of Babylon, ethen your life shall be spared, and this city shall not be burned with fire, and you and your house shall live. 18 But if you do not surrender to dthe officials of the king of Babylon, fthen this city shall be given into the hand of the Chaldeans, fand they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape from their hand. 19 King Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Judeans gwho have deserted to the Chaldeans, lest I be handed over to them and they deal cruelly with me. 20 Jeremiah said, You shall not be given to them. Obey now the voice of the Lord in what I say to you, hand it shall be well with you, and your life shall be spared. 21 But if you refuse to csurrender, this is the vision which the Lord has shown to me: 22 Behold, all the women left in the house of the king of Judah were being led out to the officials of the king of Babylon and were saying,

iYour trusted friends have deceived you

and prevailed against you;

now that your feet are sunk in the mud,

they turn away from you.

23 All your wives and jyour sons shall be led out to the Chaldeans, and you yourself shall not escape from their hand, but shall be seized by the king of Babylon, and this city shall be burned with fire.

24 Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, Let no one know of these words, and you shall not die. 25 If kthe officials hear that I have spoken with you and come to you and say to you, Tell us what you said to the king and what the king said to you; hide nothing from us and we will not put you to death, 26 then you shall say to them, lI made a humble plea to the king that he would not send me back to the house of Jonathan to die there. 27 Then all the officials came to Jeremiah and asked him, and he answered them as the king had instructed him. So they stopped speaking with him, for the conversation had not been overheard. 28 And Jeremiah remained min the court of the guard until the day that Jerusalem was taken.


The Jerusalem Council

15 yBut some men came down from Judea and were teaching zthe brothers, Unless you are acircumcised baccording to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved. And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and cdebate with them, Paul and Barnabas and dsome of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to ethe apostles and the elders about this question. So, fbeing sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, gdescribing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and hbrought great joy to all ithe brothers.1 jWhen they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and kthe apostles and the elders, and gthey declared all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to lthe party of the Pharisees rose up and said, mIt is necessary nto circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.

oThe kapostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much pdebate, Peter stood up and said to them, Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, qthat by my mouth the Gentiles should hear rthe word of sthe gospel and believe. And God, twho knows the heart, ubore witness to them, vby giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and whe made no distinction between us and them, xhaving cleansed their hearts yby faith. 10 Now, therefore, why zare you putting God to the test aby placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples bthat neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we cbelieve that we will be dsaved through ethe grace of the Lord Jesus, wjust as they will.

12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul fas they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, gJames replied, Brothers, listen to me. 14 hSimeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them ia people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

16  jAfter this I will return,

and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;

I will rebuild its ruins,

and I will restore it,

17  that the remnant2 of mankind kmay seek the Lord,

and all the Gentiles lwho are called by my name,

says the Lord, who makes these things 18 mknown from of old.

19 Therefore nmy judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who oturn to God, 20 but should write to them pto abstain from qthe things polluted by idols, and from rsexual immorality, and from swhat has been strangled, and from sblood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, tfor he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.

The Council's Letter to Gentile Believers

22 Then it seemed good to uthe apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called vBarsabbas, and wSilas, leading men among xthe brothers, 23 with the following letter: xThe brothers, both uthe apostles and the elders, to the brothers3 who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, ygreetings. 24 Since we have heard that zsome persons have gone out from us and atroubled you4 with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come bto one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our cbeloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 dmen who have erisked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent fJudas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good gto the Holy Spirit and hto us ito lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: 29 jthat you abstain from kwhat has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.

30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves lprophets, encouraged and mstrengthened nthe brothers with many words. 33 And after they had spent some time, they were sent off oin peace by nthe brothers to those who had sent them.5 35 But pPaul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Paul and Barnabas Separate

36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, Let us return and visit nthe brothers qin every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are. 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them rJohn called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one swho had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose ta sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. uBarnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, vhaving been commended by wthe brothers to xthe grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, ystrengthening the churches.