Matthew 13:24–43; Acts 19:1–22; Psalm 31; Exodus 21–23

The Parable of the Weeds

24 He put another parable before them, saying, wThe kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds1 among the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servants2 of the master of the house came and said to him, Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds? 28 He said to them, An enemy has done this. So the servants said to him, Then do you want us to go and gather them? 29 But he said, xNo, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, yGather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.

The Mustard Seed and the Leaven

31 He put another parable before them, saying, zThe kingdom of heaven is like aa grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. 32 It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.

33 He told them another parable. bThe kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in cthree measures of flour, till it was dall leavened.

Prophecy and Parables

34 eAll these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable. 35 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet:3

fI will open my mouth in parables;

gI will utter what has been hidden hsince the foundation of the world.

The Parable of the Weeds Explained

36 Then he left the crowds and went into ithe house. And his disciples came to him, saying, jExplain to us the parable of the weeds of the field. 37 He answered, The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. 38 The field is the world, and the good seed is kthe sons of the kingdom. The weeds are lthe sons of the evil one, 39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. mThe harvest is nthe end of the age, and the reapers are angels. 40 Just as the weeds oare gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at nthe end of the age. 41 pThe Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all qcauses of sin and rall law-breakers, 42 sand throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place tthere will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then uthe righteous will shine like the sun vin the kingdom of their Father. wHe who has ears, let him hear.


Paul in Ephesus

19 And it happened that while tApollos was at Corinth, Paul passed uthrough the inland1 country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, vDid you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? And they said, No, wwe have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit. And he said, xInto what then were you baptized? They said, Into yJohn’s baptism. And Paul said, yJohn baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people zto believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus. On hearing this, athey were baptized in2 the name of the Lord Jesus. And bwhen Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and cthey began speaking in tongues and dprophesying. There were about twelve men in all.

And ehe entered the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, reasoning and persuading them fabout the kingdom of God. gBut when some became stubborn and hcontinued in unbelief, speaking evil of ithe Way before the congregation, he withdrew from them and took the disciples with him, reasoning daily in the hall of Tyrannus.3 10 This continued for jtwo years, so that kall the residents of Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks.

The Sons of Sceva

11 And lGod was doing extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, 12 lso that even handkerchiefs or aprons that had touched his skin were carried away to the sick, and their diseases left them and mthe evil spirits came out of them. 13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish nexorcists oundertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, pI adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims. 14 Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, qJesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you? 16 And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all4 of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 And this became known to all the residents of Ephesus, both Jews and Greeks. And fear fell upon them all, and rthe name of the Lord Jesus was extolled. 18 Also many of those who were now believers came, sconfessing and divulging their practices. 19 And a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all. And they counted the value of them and found it came to fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord tcontinued to increase and prevail mightily.

A Riot at Ephesus

21 Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit uto pass through vMacedonia and Achaia and wgo to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, xI must also see Rome. 22 And having sent into Macedonia two of yhis helpers, zTimothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia afor a while.


Into Your Hand I Commit My Spirit

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

31  oIn you, O Lord, do I ptake refuge;

qlet me never be put to shame;

in your rrighteousness deliver me!

Incline your ear to me;

rescue me speedily!

Be sa rock of trefuge for me,

a strong fortress to save me!

For you are my rock and my fortress;

and for your uname’s sake you lead me and guide me;

you vtake me out of wthe net they have hidden for me,

for you are my xrefuge.

yInto your hand I commit my spirit;

you have redeemed me, O Lord, zfaithful God.

I ahate1 those who pay bregard to worthless cidols,

but I trust in the Lord.

I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love,

because you have seen my affliction;

you have dknown the distress of my soul,

and you have not edelivered me into the hand of the enemy;

you have set my feet in fa broad place.

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am gin distress;

hmy eye is wasted from grief;

my soul and my body also.

10  For my life is spent with sorrow,

and my years with sighing;

my strength fails because of my iniquity,

and imy bones waste away.

11  Because of all my adversaries I have become ja reproach,

especially to my kneighbors,

and an object of dread to my acquaintances;

those who see me in the street lflee from me.

12  I have been mforgotten like one who is dead;

I have become like na broken vessel.

13  For I ohear the whispering of many

terror on every side!

pas they scheme together against me,

as they plot to take my life.

14  But I qtrust in you, O Lord;

I say, You are my God.

15  My rtimes are in your hand;

srescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!

16  tMake your face shine on your servant;

save me in your steadfast love!

17  O Lord, ulet me not be put to shame,

for I call upon you;

let the wicked be put to shame;

let them go vsilently to Sheol.

18  Let the lying lips be mute,

which wspeak xinsolently against the righteous

in pride and contempt.

19  Oh, how abundant is your goodness,

which you have stored up for those who fear you

and worked for those who take refuge in you,

yin the sight of the children of mankind!

20  In zthe cover of your presence you hide them

from the plots of men;

you astore them in your shelter

from the strife of tongues.

21  Blessed be the Lord,

for he has wondrously bshown his steadfast love to me

when I was in ca besieged city.

22  I had said in my dalarm,2

I am ecut off from fyour sight.

But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy

when I cried to you for help.

23  Love the Lord, all you his gsaints!

The Lord preserves the faithful

but abundantly hrepays the one who acts in pride.

24  iBe strong, and let your heart take courage,

all you who wait for the Lord!


Laws About Slaves

21 Now these are the hrules that you shall set before them. iWhen you buy a Hebrew slave,1 he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out alone. But jif the slave plainly says, I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free, then his master shall bring him to kGod, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost. And his master shall bore his ear through with an awl, and he shall be his slave forever.

When a man lsells his daughter as a slave, she shall not go out as the male slaves do. If she does not please her master, who has designated her2 for himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, since he has broken faith with her. If he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her as with a daughter. 10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or mher marital rights. 11 And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go out for nothing, without payment of money.

12 nWhoever strikes a man so that he dies shall be put to death. 13 oBut if he did not lie in wait for him, but God let him fall into his hand, then pI will appoint for you a place to which he may flee. 14 But if a man willfully attacks another to kill him by cunning, qyou shall take him from my altar, that he may die.

15 Whoever strikes his father or his mother shall be put to death.

16 rWhoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found sin possession of him, shall be put to death.

17 tWhoever curses3 his father or his mother shall be put to death.

18 When men quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or with his fist and the man does not die but takes to his bed, 19 then if the man rises again and walks outdoors with his staff, he who struck him shall be clear; only he shall pay for the loss of his time, and shall have him thoroughly healed.

20 When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the uslave is his money.

22 When men strive together and hit a pregnant woman, so that her children come out, but there is no harm, the one who hit her shall surely be fined, as the woman’s husband shall impose on him, and vhe shall pay as the wjudges determine. 23 But if there is harm,4 then you shall pay xlife for life, 24 yeye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, 25 burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

26 When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye. 27 If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.

28 When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the zox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. 29 But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. 30 If aa ransom is imposed on him, then vhe shall give for the redemption of his life whatever is imposed on him. 31 If it gores a man’s son or daughter, he shall be dealt with according to this same rule. 32 If the ox gores a slave, male or female, the owner shall give to their master bthirty shekels5 of silver, and zthe ox shall be stoned.

Laws About Restitution

33 When a man opens a pit, or when a man digs a pit and does not cover it, and an ox or a donkey falls into it, 34 the owner of the pit shall make restoration. He shall give money to its owner, and the dead beast shall be his.

35 When one man’s ox butts another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live ox and share its price, and the dead beast also they shall share. 36 Or if it is known that the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has not kept it in, he shall repay ox for ox, and the dead beast shall be his.

6

22 If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall repay five oxen for an ox, and cfour sheep for a sheep. 7 If a thief is found dbreaking in and is struck so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him, but if the sun has risen on him, there shall be bloodguilt for him. He8 shall surely pay. If he has nothing, then ehe shall be sold for his theft. If the stolen beast fis found alive in his possession, whether it is an ox or a donkey or a sheep, ghe shall pay double.

If a man causes a field or vineyard to be grazed over, or lets his beast loose and it feeds in another man’s field, he shall make restitution from the best in his own field and in his own vineyard.

If fire breaks out and catches in thorns so that the stacked grain or the standing grain or the field is consumed, he who started the fire shall make full restitution.

If a man gives to his neighbor money or goods to keep safe, and it is stolen from the man’s house, then, if the thief is found, ghe shall pay double. If the thief is not found, the owner of the house shall come near to God to show whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. For every breach of trust, whether it is for an ox, for a donkey, for a sheep, for a cloak, or for any kind of lost thing, of which one says, This is it, the case of both parties shall come before God. The one whom God condemns shall pay double to his neighbor.

10 If a man gives to his neighbor a donkey or an ox or a sheep or any beast to keep safe, and it dies or is injured or is driven away, without anyone seeing it, 11 han oath by the Lord shall be between them both to see whether or not he has put his hand to his neighbor’s property. The owner shall accept the oath, and he shall not make restitution. 12 But if iit is stolen from him, he shall make restitution to its owner. 13 If it is torn by beasts, let him bring it as evidence. He shall not make restitution for what has been torn.

14 If a man borrows anything of his neighbor, and it is injured or dies, the owner not being with it, he shall make full restitution. 15 If the owner was with it, he shall not make restitution; if it was hired, it came for its hiring fee.9

Laws About Social Justice

16 jIf a man seduces a virgin10 who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price11 for her and make her his wife. 17 If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, jhe shall pay money equal to the kbride-price for virgins.

18 lYou shall not permit a sorceress to live.

19 mWhoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.

20 nWhoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction.12

21 oYou shall not wrong a sojourner or oppress him, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. 22 pYou shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child. 23 If you do mistreat them, and they qcry out to me, I will surely rhear their cry, 24 and my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and syour wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.

25 tIf you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him. 26 uIf ever you take your neighbor’s cloak in pledge, you shall return it to him before the sun goes down, 27 for that is his only covering, and it is his cloak for his body; in what else shall he sleep? And if he qcries to me, I will hear, for I am vcompassionate.

28 wYou shall not revile God, nor wcurse a ruler of your people.

29 You shall not delay to offer from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. xThe firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. 30 yYou shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: zseven days it shall be with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me.

31 aYou shall be consecrated to me. Therefore byou shall not eat any flesh that is torn by beasts in the field; cyou shall throw it to the dogs.

23 dYou shall not spread a false report. You shall not join hands with a wicked man to be a emalicious witness. You shall not fall in with the many to do evil, nor shall you bear witness in a lawsuit, siding with the many, so as to pervert justice, fnor shall you be partial to a poor man in his lawsuit.

gIf you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.

hYou shall not pervert the justice due to your poor in his lawsuit. dKeep far from a false charge, and ido not kill the innocent and righteous, for jI will not acquit the wicked. kAnd you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the clear-sighted and subverts the cause of those who are in the right.

lYou shall not oppress a sojourner. You know the heart of a sojourner, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

Laws About the Sabbath and Festivals

10 mFor six years you shall sow your land and gather in its yield, 11 but the seventh year you shall let it rest and lie fallow, that the poor of your people may eat; and what they leave the beasts of the field may eat. You shall do likewise with your vineyard, and with your olive orchard.

12 nSix days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your servant woman, and the alien, may be refreshed.

13 oPay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips.

14 pThree times in the year you shall keep a feast to me. 15 qYou shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As I commanded you, you shall eat unleavened bread for seven days at the appointed time in the month of rAbib, for in it you came out of Egypt. sNone shall appear before me empty-handed. 16 You shall keep tthe Feast of Harvest, of the firstfruits of your labor, of what you sow in the field. You shall keep the uFeast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in from the field the fruit of your labor. 17 pThree times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God.

18 vYou shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with anything leavened, or let the fat of my feast remain until the morning.

19 The best of the wfirstfruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God.

xYou shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

Conquest of Canaan Promised

20 yBehold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared. 21 Pay careful attention to him and obey his voice; zdo not rebel against him, afor he will not pardon your transgression, for my name is in him.

22 But if you carefully obey his voice and do all that I say, then bI will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries.

23 yWhen my angel goes before you and brings you cto the Amorites and the Hittites and the Perizzites and the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, and I blot them out, 24 you shall dnot bow down to their gods nor serve them, enor do as they do, but fyou shall utterly overthrow them and break their gpillars in pieces. 25 You hshall serve the Lord your God, and ihe13 will bless your bread and your water, and jI will take sickness away from among you. 26 kNone shall miscarry or be barren in your land; I will fulfill the lnumber of your days. 27 I will send mmy terror before you and will throw into nconfusion all the people against whom you shall come, and I will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. 28 And oI will send hornets14 before you, which shall drive out the Hivites, the Canaanites, and the Hittites from before you. 29 pI will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land. 31 qAnd I will set your border from the Red Sea to the Sea of the Philistines, and from the wilderness to the Euphrates,15 for rI will give the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. 32 sYou shall make no covenant with them and their gods. 33 They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me; for if you serve their gods, tit will surely be a snare to you.