Matthew 15:1–20; Acts 21:1–26; Psalm 35; Exodus 32–33

Traditions and Commandments

15 eThen Pharisees and fscribes came to Jesus ffrom Jerusalem and said, gWhy do your disciples break hthe tradition of the elders? jFor they do not wash their hands when they eat. He answered them, And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? For God commanded, kHonor your father and your mother, and, lWhoever reviles father or mother must surely die. But you say, If anyone tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is given to God,1 he need not honor his father. So for the sake of your tradition you have mmade void the word2 of God. nYou hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:

oThis people honors me with their lips,

but their heart is far from me;

in vain do they worship me,

teaching as pdoctrines the commandments of men.

What Defiles a Person

10 And he called the people to him and said to them, qHear and understand: 11 rit is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person. 12 Then the disciples came and said to him, Do you know that the Pharisees were soffended when they heard this saying? 13 He answered, tEvery plant that my heavenly Father has not planted uwill be rooted up. 14 Let them alone; vthey are blind guides.3 And wif the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. 15 But Peter said to him, xExplain the parable to us. 16 And he said, yAre you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that zwhatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled?4 18 But awhat comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come bevil thoughts, cmurder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, dslander. 20 eThese are what defile a person. But fto eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.


Paul Goes to Jerusalem

21 And when swe had parted from them and set sail, we tcame by a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara.1 And having found a ship crossing to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail. When we had come in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left we sailed to Syria and landed at Tyre, for there the ship was to unload its cargo. And having sought out the disciples, we stayed there for seven days. And uthrough the Spirit they were telling Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, vaccompanied us until we were outside the city. And wkneeling down on the beach, we prayed and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home.

When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and we greeted xthe brothers2 and stayed with them for one day. On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of yPhilip zthe evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters, awho prophesied. 10 While we were staying for many days, a prophet named bAgabus came down from Judea. 11 And coming to us, he ctook Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands and said, dThus says the Holy Spirit, eThis is how the Jews3 at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and fdeliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. 12 When we heard this, we and the people there gurged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13 Then Paul answered, gWhat are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For hI am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem ifor the name of the Lord Jesus. 14 And since he would not be persuaded, jwe ceased and said, kLet the will of the Lord be done.

15 After these days we got ready and went up to Jerusalem. 16 And some of the disciples from Caesarea went with us, bringing us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we should lodge.

Paul Visits James

17 When we had come to Jerusalem, lthe brothers received us gladly. 18 On the following day Paul went in with us to mJames, and all nthe elders were present. 19 After greeting them, ohe related one by one pthe things that God had done among the Gentiles through his qministry. 20 And when they heard it, they rglorified God. And they said to him, You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed. They are all szealous for the law, 21 and they have been told about you that you teach all tthe Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, utelling them vnot to circumcise their children or wwalk according to xour customs. 22 What then is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come. 23 Do therefore what we tell you. We have four men ywho are under a vow; 24 take these men and zpurify yourself along with them and pay their expenses, yso that they may shave their heads. Thus all will know that there is nothing in what they have been told about you, but that you yourself also live in observance of the law. 25 But as for the Gentiles who have believed, awe have sent a letter with our judgment that they should abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled,4 and from sexual immorality. 26 Then Paul took the men, and the next day zhe purified himself along with them and bwent into the temple, giving notice when the days of purification would be fulfilled and cthe offering presented for each one of them.


Great Is the Lord

Of David.

35  Contend, O Lord, with those who ycontend with me;

zfight against those who fight against me!

Take hold of ashield and buckler

and rise for my help!

Draw the spear and javelin1

against my pursuers!

Say to my soul,

I am your salvation!

bLet them be cput to shame and dishonor

who seek after my life!

Let them be dturned back and disappointed

who devise evil against me!

Let them be like echaff before the wind,

with the angel of the Lord driving them away!

Let their way be dark and fslippery,

with the angel of the Lord pursuing them!

For gwithout cause hthey hid their net for me;

without cause they dug ia pit for my life.2

Let jdestruction come upon him kwhen he does not know it!

And let the net that he hid ensnare him;

let him fall into itto his destruction!

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord,

lexulting in his salvation.

10  All my mbones shall say,

O Lord, nwho is like you,

delivering the poor

from him who is too strong for him,

the poor and needy from him who robs him?

11  oMalicious3 witnesses rise up;

they ask me of things that I do not know.

12  pThey repay me evil for good;

my soul is bereft.4

13  But I, qwhen they were sick

I rwore sackcloth;

I safflicted myself with fasting;

I prayed twith head bowed5 on my chest.

14  I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother;

as one who laments his mother,

I ubowed down in mourning.

15  But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered;

they gathered together against me;

vwretches whom I did not know

tore at me without ceasing;

16  like profane mockers at a feast,6

they wgnash at me with their teeth.

17  How long, O Lord, will you xlook on?

Rescue me from their destruction,

ymy precious life from the lions!

18  I will thank you in zthe great congregation;

in the mighty throng I will praise you.

19  aLet not those rejoice over me

who are bwrongfully my foes,

and let not those cwink the eye

who dhate me ewithout cause.

20  For they do not speak peace,

but against those who are quiet in the land

they devise words of deceit.

21  They fopen wide their mouths against me;

they say, gAha, Aha!

Our eyes have seen it!

22  hYou have seen, O Lord; ibe not silent!

O Lord, jbe not far from me!

23  Awake and krouse yourself for lmy vindication,

for my cause, my God and my Lord!

24  mVindicate me, O Lord, my God,

according to your righteousness,

and nlet them not rejoice over me!

25  Let them not say in their hearts,

oAha, our heart’s desire!

Let them not say, pWe have swallowed him up.

26  Let them be qput to shame and disappointed altogether

who rejoice at my calamity!

Let them be rclothed with shame and dishonor

who smagnify themselves against me!

27  Let those who delight in my righteousness

shout for joy and be glad

tand say evermore,

uGreat is the Lord,

who vdelights in the welfare of his servant!

28  Then my wtongue shall tell of your righteousness

and of your praise all the day long.


The Golden Calf

32 When the people saw that Moses vdelayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, wUp, make us gods who shall xgo before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. So Aaron said to them, Take off the yrings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me. So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. zAnd he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden1 calf. And they said, aThese are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt! When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron bmade a proclamation and said, Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord. And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And cthe people sat down to eat and drink and rose up dto play.

And the Lord said to Moses, eGo down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have fcorrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that gI commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt! And the Lord said to Moses, I have seen this people, and behold, hit is a stiff-necked people. 10 Now therefore ilet me alone, that jmy wrath may burn hot against them and kI may consume them, in order that lI may make a great nation of you.

11 But mMoses implored the Lord his God and said, O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 nWhy should the Egyptians say, With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from your burning anger and orelent from this disaster against your people. 13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you pswore by your own self, and said to them, qI will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever. 14 And the Lord rrelented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people.

15 Then sMoses turned and went down from the mountain with the ttwo tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides; on the front and on the back they were written. 16 uThe tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. 17 When vJoshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. 18 But he said, It is not the sound of wshouting for victory, or the sound of the cry of defeat, but the sound of singing that I hear. 19 And as soon as he came near the camp and xsaw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it.

21 And Moses said to Aaron, yWhat did this people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them? 22 And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. zYou know the people, that they are set on evil. 23 For athey said to me, Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. 24 So bI said to them, Let any who have gold take it off. So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.

25 And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, cto the derision of their enemies), 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me. And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. 27 And he said to them, Thus says the Lord God of Israel, Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you dkill his brother and his companion and his neighbor. 28 And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell. 29 And Moses said, Today you have been eordained for the service of the Lord, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that he might bestow a blessing upon you this day.

30 The next day Moses said to the people, fYou have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the Lord; gperhaps I can make atonement for your sin. 31 So Moses returned to the Lord and said, Alas, fthis people has sinned a great sin. They have hmade for themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, if iyou will forgive their sinbut if not, please jblot me out of kyour book that you have written. 33 But the Lord said to Moses, lWhoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book. 34 mBut now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; nbehold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.

35 Then the Lord sent a plague on the people, because they made the calf, the one that Aaron made.

The Command to Leave Sinai

33 The Lord said to Moses, Depart; go up from here, you oand the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, To pyour offspring I will give it. I will send an qangel before you, rand I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. sGo up to a land flowing with milk and honey; tbut I will not go up among you, ulest I consume you on the way, for you are a vstiff-necked people.

When the people heard this disastrous word, they wmourned, and xno one put on his ornaments. For the Lord had said to Moses, Say to the people of Israel, You are a vstiff-necked people; if for a single moment I should go up among you, I would yconsume you. So now xtake off your ornaments, that I may know what to do with you. Therefore the people of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments, from Mount Horeb onward.

The Tent of Meeting

Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and zhe called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who asought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and beach would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. When Moses entered the tent, the cpillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the Lord2 would speak with Moses. 10 And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. 11 Thus dthe Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his eassistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.

Moses’ Intercession

12 Moses said to the Lord, See, fyou say to me, Bring up this people, but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, gI know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight. 13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please hshow me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is iyour people. 14 And he said, jMy presence will go with you, and kI will give you rest. 15 And he said to him, lIf your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. 16 For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? mIs it not in your going with us, nso that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?

17 And the Lord said to Moses, This very thing that you have spoken I will do, ofor you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name. 18 Moses said, Please pshow me your glory. 19 And he said, qI will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name The Lord. And rI will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. 20 But, he said, you cannot see my face, for sman shall not see me and live. 21 And the Lord said, Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, 22 and while my glory passes by I will put you in a tcleft of the rock, and I will ucover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall vnot be seen.