Matthew 5:1–12; Acts 6; Psalm 10; Genesis 25–26

The Sermon on the Mount

Seeing the crowds, ohe went up on the mountain, and when he psat down, his disciples came to him.

The Beatitudes

And qhe opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

rBlessed are sthe poor in spirit, for utheirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are vthose who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the wmeek, for they wshall inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and xthirst yfor righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are zthe merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Blessed are athe pure in heart, for bthey shall see God.

Blessed are cthe peacemakers, for dthey shall be called esons1 of God.

10 fBlessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for utheirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 gBlessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely hon my account. 12 iRejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for jso they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Seven Chosen to Serve

Now in these days kwhen the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists1 arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in lthe daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. mTherefore, brothers,2 pick out from among you seven men nof good repute, ofull of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But pwe will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, qa man full of faith and rof the Holy Spirit, and sPhilip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, ta proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and uthey prayed and vlaid their hands on them.

And wthe word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests xbecame obedient to ythe faith.

Stephen Is Seized

And Stephen, full of grace and zpower, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. 10 But athey could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. 11 Then bthey secretly instigated men who said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God. 12 And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, 13 and they cset up false dwitnesses who said, This man never ceases to speak words against ethis holy place and the law, 14 for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth fwill destroy this place and will gchange hthe customs that Moses delivered to us. 15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face iwas like the face of an angel.


Why Do You Hide Yourself?

10  Why, O Lord, do you stand kfar away?

Why ldo you hide yourself in mtimes of trouble?

In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;

let them nbe caught in the schemes that they have devised.

For the wicked oboasts of the desires of his soul,

and the one greedy for gain pcurses1 and qrenounces the Lord.

In the pride of his face2 the wicked does not qseek him;3

all his thoughts are, rThere is no God.

His ways prosper at all times;

your judgments are on high, sout of his sight;

as for all his foes, he tpuffs at them.

He usays in his heart, I shall not be moved;

throughout all generations I vshall not meet adversity.

wHis mouth is filled with cursing and xdeceit and yoppression;

zunder his tongue are amischief and biniquity.

He sits in ambush in the villages;

in chiding places he murders the innocent.

His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;

he lurks in ambush like da lion in his ethicket;

he flurks that he may seize the poor;

he seizes the poor when he draws him into his gnet.

10  The helpless are crushed, sink down,

and fall by his might.

11  He says in his heart, God has forgotten,

he has hhidden his face, he iwill never see it.

12  jArise, O Lord; O God, klift up your hand;

lforget not the afflicted.

13  Why does the wicked mrenounce God

and say in his heart, You will not ncall to account?

14  But you do see, for you onote mischief and vexation,

that you may take it into your hands;

to you the helpless pcommits himself;

you have been qthe helper of the fatherless.

15  rBreak the arm of the wicked and evildoer;

scall his wickedness to account till you find none.

16  tThe Lord is king forever and ever;

the unations perish from his land.

17  O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;

you will vstrengthen their heart; you will incline your ear

18  to wdo justice to the fatherless and xthe oppressed,

so that yman who is of the earth may strike terror no more.


Abraham’s Death and His Descendants

25 Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah. lShe bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan. The sons of Dedan were Asshurim, Letushim, and Leummim. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. mAbraham gave all he had to Isaac. But to the sons of his concubines Abraham gave gifts, and while he was still living he nsent them away from his son Isaac, eastward oto the east country.

These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, 175 years. Abraham pbreathed his last and qdied in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people. Isaac and Ishmael rhis sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, east of Mamre, 10 the field sthat Abraham purchased from the Hittites. tThere Abraham was buried, with Sarah his wife. 11 After the death of Abraham, God blessed Isaac his son. And Isaac settled at uBeer-lahai-roi.

12 These are the generations of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, vwhom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham. 13 wThese are the names of the sons of Ishmael, named in the order of their birth: xNebaioth, the firstborn of Ishmael; and xKedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, yTema, zJetur, zNaphish, and Kedemah. 16 These are the sons of Ishmael and these are their names, by their villages and by their encampments, atwelve princes according to their tribes. 17 (These are the years of the life of Ishmael: 137 years. He bbreathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people.) 18 cThey settled from Havilah to dShur, which is opposite Egypt in the direction of Assyria. He settled1 over against all his kinsmen.

The Birth of Esau and Jacob

19 These are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: eAbraham fathered Isaac, 20 and Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah, fthe daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of gPaddan-aram, hthe sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife. 21 And Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was barren. And ithe Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. 22 The children struggled together within her, and she said, If it is thus, why is this happening to me?2 So she went jto inquire of the Lord. 23 And the Lord said to her,

kTwo nations are in your womb,

and two peoples from within you3 shall be divided;

lthe one shall be stronger than the other,

mthe older shall serve the younger.

24 When her days to give birth were completed, behold, there were twins in her womb. 25 The first came out red, nall his body like a hairy cloak, so they called his name Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out with ohis hand holding Esau’s heel, so phis name was called Jacob.4 Isaac was sixty years old when she bore them.

27 When the boys grew up, Esau was qa skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, rdwelling in tents. 28 Isaac loved Esau because she ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.

Esau Sells His Birthright

29 Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. 30 And Esau said to Jacob, Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted! (Therefore his name was called Edom.5) 31 Jacob said, Sell me your birthright now. 32 Esau said, I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me? 33 Jacob said, Swear to me now. So he swore to him and tsold his birthright to Jacob. 34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.

God’s Promise to Isaac

26 Now there was a famine in the land, besides uthe former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar to vAbimelech king of the wPhilistines. And the Lord appeared to him and said, Do not go down to Egypt; dwell xin the land of which I shall tell you. ySojourn in this land, and zI will be with you and will bless you, for ato you and to your offspring I will give all these lands, and I will establish bthe oath that I swore to Abraham your father. cI will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands. And din your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because eAbraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

Isaac and Abimelech

So Isaac settled in Gerar. When the men of the place asked him about his wife, fhe said, She is my sister, for ghe feared to say, My wife, thinking, lest the men of the place should kill me because of Rebekah, because hshe was attractive in appearance. When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac laughing with6 Rebekah his wife. So Abimelech called Isaac and said, Behold, she is your wife. How then could you say, She is my sister? Isaac said to him, Because I thought, Lest I die because of her. 10 Abimelech said, What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and iyou would have brought guilt upon us. 11 So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, Whoever touches this man or his wife shall surely be put to death.

12 And Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. The Lord jblessed him, 13 and the man became rich, and gained more and more until he became very wealthy. 14 He had possessions of flocks and herds and many servants, so that the Philistines kenvied him. 15 (Now the Philistines had stopped and filled with earth all the wells lthat his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father.) 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, Go away from us, for you are much mightier than we.

17 So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. 18 And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And mhe gave them the names that his father had given them. 19 But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar nquarreled with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, The water is ours. So he called the name of the well Esek,7 because they contended with him. 21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that also, so he called its name Sitnah.8 22 And he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth,9 saying, For now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.

23 From there he went up to Beersheba. 24 And the Lord appeared to him the same night and said, oI am the God of Abraham your father. pFear not, for qI am with you and will bless you and multiply your offspring for my servant Abraham’s sake. 25 So he rbuilt an altar there and called upon the name of the Lord and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.

26 When Abimelech went to him from Gerar with Ahuzzath his adviser and sPhicol the commander of his army, 27 Isaac said to them, Why have you come to me, seeing that you hate me and thave sent me away from you? 28 They said, We see plainly that the Lord has been with you. So we said, let there be a sworn pact between us, between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you, 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace. uYou are now the blessed of the Lord. 30 So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 In the morning they rose early and vexchanged oaths. And Isaac sent them on their way, and they departed from him in peace. 32 That same day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well that they had dug and said to him, We have found water. 33 He called it Shibah;10 therefore the name of the city is wBeersheba to this day.

34 When Esau was forty years old, he took xJudith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite to be his wife, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite, 35 and ythey made life bitter11 for Isaac and Rebekah.