Matthew 5:13–20; Acts 7:1–38; Psalm 11; Genesis 27–28

Salt and Light

13 You are the salt of the earth, kbut if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

14 lYou are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 mNor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so nthat1 they may see your good works and ogive glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Christ Came to Fulfill the Law

17 pDo not think that I have come to abolish qthe Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but rto fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, suntil heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 tTherefore whoever relaxes uone of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least vin the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great vin the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds wthat of the scribes and Pharisees, you xwill never enter the kingdom of heaven.


Stephen’s Speech

And the high priest said, Are these things so? And Stephen said:

jBrothers and fathers, hear me. kThe God lof glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, mbefore he lived in Haran, and said to him, nGo out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you. mThen he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And oafter his father died, pGod removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised qto give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, rthough he had no child. And God spoke to this effectthat shis offspring would tbe sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them ufour hundred years. But vI will judge the nation that they serve, said God, and after that they shall come out wand worship me in this place. And xhe gave him the covenant of circumcision. And yso Abraham became the father of Isaac, and zcircumcised him on the eighth day, and aIsaac became the father of Jacob, and bJacob of the twelve patriarchs.

And the patriarchs, cjealous of Joseph, dsold him into Egypt; but eGod was with him 10 and rescued him out of all his afflictions and fgave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, gwho made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. 11 Now hthere came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. 12 iBut when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit. 13 And jon the second visit kJoseph made himself known to his brothers, and lJoseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. 14 And mJoseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, nseventy-five persons in all. 15 And oJacob went down into Egypt, and phe died, he qand our fathers, 16 and rthey were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that sAbraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem.

17 But tas the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, uthe people increased and multiplied in Egypt 18 until there arose over Egypt another king vwho did not know Joseph. 19 wHe dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, xso that they would not be kept alive. 20 yAt this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, 21 and zwhen he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. 22 And Moses awas instructed in ball the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was cmighty in his words and deeds.

23 When he was forty years old, it came into his heart dto visit his brothers, the children of Israel. 24 And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. 25 He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand. 26 eAnd on the following day he appeared to them as they were quarreling and tried to reconcile them, saying, Men, you are brothers. Why do you wrong each other? 27 But the man who was wronging his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, fWho made you a ruler and a judge over us? 28 Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday? 29 At this retort gMoses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, hwhere he became the father of two sons.

30 Now when forty years had passed, ian angel appeared to him jin the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. 31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and as he drew near to look, there came the voice of the Lord: 32 kI am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob. And Moses trembled and did not dare to look. 33 Then the Lord said to him, lTake off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. 34 mI have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and nhave heard their groaning, and oI have come down to deliver them. pAnd now come, I will send you to Egypt.

35 This Moses, whom they rejected, qsaying, Who made you a ruler and a judge?this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer rby the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 sThis man led them out, performing twonders and signs uin Egypt and vat the Red Sea and win the wilderness for xforty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, God will raise up for you ya prophet like me from your brothers. 38 This is the one zwho was in the congregation in the wilderness with athe angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. bHe received cliving doracles to give to us.


The Lord Is in His Holy Temple

To the choirmaster. Of David.

11  In the Lord I take refuge;

how can you say to my soul,

zFlee like a bird to your mountain,

for behold, the wicked abend the bow;

bthey have fitted their arrow to the string

to shoot in the dark at the upright in heart;

if cthe foundations are destroyed,

what can the righteous do?1

dThe Lord is in his holy temple;

the Lord’s ethrone is in heaven;

his eyes see, his eyelids ftest the children of man.

The Lord gtests the righteous,

but hhis soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

Let him rain coals on the wicked;

ifire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be jthe portion of their cup.

For the Lord is righteous;

he kloves righteous deeds;

lthe upright shall behold his face.


Isaac Blesses Jacob

27 When Isaac was old and zhis eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called Esau his older son and said to him, My son; and he answered, Here I am. He said, Behold, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. aNow then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me, and prepare for me delicious food, such as I love, and bring it to me so that I may eat, that my soul bmay bless you before I die.

Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game and bring it, Rebekah said to her son Jacob, I heard your father speak to your brother Esau, Bring me game and prepare for me delicious food, that I may eat it and bless you before the Lord before I die. Now therefore, my son, cobey my voice as I command you. Go to the flock and bring me two good young goats, so that I may prepare from them delicious food for your father, such as he loves. 10 And you shall bring it to your father to eat, dso that he may bless you before he dies. 11 But Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, emy brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man. 12 Perhaps my father fwill feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring ga curse upon myself and not a blessing. 13 His mother said to him, hLet your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, bring them to me.

14 So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared delicious food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the ibest garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. 16 And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 And she put the delicious food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

18 So he went in to his father and said, My father. And he said, Here I am. Who are you, my son? 19 Jacob said to his father, I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me. 20 But Isaac said to his son, How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son? He answered, Because the Lord your God granted me success. 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, Please come near, that I jmay feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not. 22 So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, who felt him and said, The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau. 23 And he did not recognize him, because khis hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands. lSo he blessed him. 24 He said, Are you really my son Esau? He answered, I am. 25 Then he said, Bring it near to me, mthat I may eat of my son’s game and bless you. So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank.

26 Then his father Isaac said to him, Come near and kiss me, my son. 27 So he came near and kissed him. And Isaac smelled the smell of his garments land blessed him and said,

See, nthe smell of my son

is as the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed!

28  May God give you of othe dew of heaven

and of the fatness of the earth

and pplenty of grain and wine.

29  Let peoples serve you,

and nations qbow down to you.

rBe lord over your brothers,

and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.

sCursed be everyone who curses you,

and blessed be everyone who blesses you!

30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, Esau his brother came in from his hunting. 31 He also prepared delicious food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, Let my father arise and eat of his son’s game, that you may bless me. 32 His father Isaac said to him, Who are you? He answered, I am your son, your firstborn, Esau. 33 Then Isaac trembled very violently and said, Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him? Yes, and he shall be blessed. 34 As soon as Esau heard the words of his father, the cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, Bless me, even me also, O my father! 35 But he said, Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing. 36 Esau said, uIs he not rightly named Jacob?1 For he has cheated me these two times. vHe took away my birthright, and behold, now he has taken away my blessing. Then he said, Have you not reserved a blessing for me? 37 Isaac answered and said to Esau, Behold, wI have made him lord over you, and all his brothers I have given to him for servants, and xwith grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son? 38 Esau said to his father, Have you but one blessing, my father? Bless me, even me also, O my father. And tEsau lifted up his voice and wept.

39 Then Isaac his father answered and said to him:

Behold, yaway from2 the fatness of the earth shall your dwelling be,

and away from3 the dew of heaven on high.

40  By your sword you shall live,

and you zshall serve your brother;

but when you grow restless

ayou shall break his yoke from your neck.

41 Now Esau bhated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, cThe days of mourning for my father are approaching; dthen I will kill my brother Jacob. 42 But the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah. So she sent and called Jacob her younger son and said to him, Behold, your brother Esau comforts himself about you by planning to kill you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice. Arise, flee to Laban my brother in Haran 44 and stay with him a while, until your brother’s fury turns away 45 until your brother’s anger turns away from you, and he forgets what you have done to him. Then I will send and bring you from there. Why should I be bereft of you both in one day?

46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, eI loathe my life because of the Hittite women.4 fIf Jacob marries one of the Hittite women like these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?

Jacob Sent to Laban

28 Then Isaac called Jacob gand blessed him and directed him, fYou must not take a wife from the Canaanite women. hArise, go to Paddan-aram to the house of iBethuel your mother’s father, and take as your wife from there one of the daughters of Laban your mother’s brother. jGod Almighty5 bless you and make you fruitful and multiply you, that you may become a company of peoples. May he give kthe blessing of Abraham to you and to your offspring with you, that you may take possession of lthe land of your sojournings that God gave to Abraham! Thus Isaac sent Jacob away. And he went to Paddan-aram, to Laban, the son of Bethuel the Aramean, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.

Esau Marries an Ishmaelite

Now Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Paddan-aram to take a wife from there, and that as he blessed him he directed him, You must not take a wife from the Canaanite women, and that Jacob had obeyed his father and his mother and gone to Paddan-aram. So when Esau saw mthat the Canaanite women did not please Isaac his father, Esau went to Ishmael and took as his wife, besides the wives he had, nMahalath the daughter of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, the sister of oNebaioth.

Jacob’s Dream

10 Jacob left pBeersheba and went toward qHaran. 11 And he came to a certain place and stayed there that night, because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. 12 And he rdreamed, and behold, there was a ladder6 set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven. And behold, sthe angels of God were ascending and descending on it! 13 And behold, tthe Lord stood above it7 and said, uI am the Lord, the God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac. vThe land on which you lie I will give to you and to your offspring. 14 Your offspring shall be like wthe dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south, and in you and xyour offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15 Behold, yI am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and zwill bring you back to this land. For I will anot leave you until I have done what I have promised you. 16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, Surely the Lord is bin this place, and I did not know it. 17 And he was afraid and said, How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.

18 So early in the morning Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up cfor a pillar dand poured oil on the top of it. 19 He called the name of that place eBethel,8 but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20 Then Jacob fmade a vow, saying, If God will be with me and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat and clothing to wear, 21 gso that I come again to my father’s house in peace, hthen the Lord shall be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, ishall be God’s house. And jof all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you.