Matthew 5:21–32; Acts 7:39–60; Psalm 12; Genesis 29–30

Anger

21 yYou have heard that it was said to those of old, zYou shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable ato judgment. 22 But I say to you that beveryone who is angry with his brother1 will be liable ato judgment; whoever insults2 his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, You fool! will be liable to cthe hell3 of fire. 23 dSo if eyou are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 fCome to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. 26 Truly, I say to you, gyou will never get out until you have paid the last penny.4

Lust

27 hYou have heard that it was said, iYou shall not commit adultery. 28 But I say to you that jeveryone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 kIf your right eye lcauses you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into mhell. 30 kAnd if your right hand lcauses you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into mhell.

Divorce

31 hIt was also said, nWhoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce. 32 oBut I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and pwhoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.


39 Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and ein their hearts they turned to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, fMake for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. 41 And gthey made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and hwere rejoicing in ithe works of their hands. 42 But jGod turned away and kgave them over to worship lthe host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets:

mDid you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices,

nduring the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel?

43  You took up the tent of oMoloch

and the star of your god Rephan,

the images that you made to worship;

and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.

44 Our fathers had pthe tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses qdirected him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. 45 Our fathers in turn rbrought it in with Joshua when they sdispossessed the nations tthat God drove out before our fathers. So it was uuntil the days of David, 46 vwho found favor in the sight of God and wasked to find a dwelling place for xthe God of Jacob.1 47 But it was ySolomon who built a house for him. 48 zYet the Most High does not dwell ain houses made by hands, as the prophet says,

49  bHeaven is my throne,

cand the earth is my footstool.

What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,

or what is the place of my rest?

50  Did not my hand make all these things?

51 dYou stiff-necked people, euncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. fAs your fathers did, so do you. 52 gWhich of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of hthe Righteous One, iwhom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law jas delivered by angels and kdid not keep it.

The Stoning of Stephen

54 Now when they heard these things lthey were enraged, and they mground their teeth at him. 55 But he, nfull of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw othe glory of God, and Jesus standing pat the right hand of God. 56 And he said, Behold, I see qthe heavens opened, and rthe Son of Man standing pat the right hand of God. 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together2 at him. 58 Then sthey cast him out of the city and tstoned him. And uthe witnesses laid down their garments vat the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, whe called out, Lord Jesus, xreceive my spirit. 60 And yfalling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, zLord, do not hold this sin against them. And when he had said this, ahe fell asleep.


The Faithful Have Vanished

To the choirmaster: according to The Sheminith.1 A Psalm of David.

12  Save, O Lord, for mthe godly one is gone;

for the faithful have vanished from among the children of man.

Everyone nutters lies to his neighbor;

with oflattering lips and pa double heart they speak.

May the Lord cut off all oflattering lips,

the tongue that makes qgreat boasts,

those who say, With our tongue we will prevail,

our lips are with us; who is master over us?

Because rthe poor are plundered, because the needy groan,

sI will now arise, says the Lord;

I will place him in the tsafety for which he longs.

uThe words of the Lord are pure words,

like silver refined in a furnace on the ground,

purified seven times.

You, O Lord, will keep them;

you will guard us2 from this generation forever.

On every side the wicked prowl,

as vileness is exalted among the children of man.


Jacob Marries Leah and Rachel

29 Then Jacob went on his journey and came to kthe land of the people of the east. As he looked, he saw a well in the field, and behold, three flocks of sheep lying beside it, for out of that well the flocks were watered. The stone on the well’s mouth was large, and when all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds would roll the stone from the mouth of the well and water the sheep, and put the stone back in its place over the mouth of the well.

Jacob said to them, My brothers, where do you come from? They said, lWe are from Haran. He said to them, Do you know Laban the son of Nahor? They said, We know him. He said to them, Is it well with him? They said, It is well; and see, Rachel his daughter is coming with the sheep! He said, Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go, pasture them. But they said, We cannot until all the flocks are gathered together and the stone is rolled from the mouth of the well; then we water the sheep.

While he was still speaking with them, mRachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 Now as soon as Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, Jacob came near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and wept aloud. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was nher father’s kinsman, and that he was Rebekah’s son, oand she ran and told her father.

13 As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, ohe ran to meet him and embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob told Laban all these things, 14 and Laban said to him, pSurely you are my bone and my flesh! And he stayed with him a month.

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, Because you are my kinsman, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what shall your wages be? 16 Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were weak,1 but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. 18 Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, qI will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel. 19 Laban said, It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me. 20 So Jacob qserved seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

21 Then Jacob said to Laban, Give me my wife that I may go in to her, for my time is completed. 22 So Laban gathered together all the people of the place and rmade a feast. 23 But in the evening he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he went in to her. 24 (Laban gave2 shis female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 25 And in the morning, behold, it was Leah! And Jacob said to Laban, What is this you have done to me? Did I not serve with you for Rachel? Why then have you deceived me? 26 Laban said, It is not so done in our country, to give the younger before the firstborn. 27 tComplete the week of this one, and we will give you the other also in return for serving me another seven years. 28 Jacob did so, and completed her week. Then Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 29 (Laban gave uhis female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban vfor another seven years.

Jacob’s Children

31 When the Lord saw that Leah was whated, xhe opened her womb, but Rachel was barren. 32 And Leah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben,3 for she said, Because the Lord yhas looked upon my affliction; for now my husband will love me. 33 She conceived again and bore a son, and said, Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also. And she called his name Simeon.4 34 Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, Now this time my husband will be zattached to me, because I have borne him three sons. Therefore his name was called Levi.5 35 And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, This time I will praise the Lord. Therefore she called his name aJudah.6 Then she ceased bearing.

30 When Rachel saw that bshe bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister. She said to Jacob, Give me children, or I shall die! Jacob’s anger was kindled against Rachel, and he said, Am I in the place of God, cwho has withheld from you the fruit of the womb? Then she said, Here is my servant dBilhah; go in to her, so that she may give birth eon my behalf,7 that even I may have children8 through her. So she gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob went in to her. And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. Then Rachel said, God has fjudged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son. Therefore she called his name Dan.9 Rachel’s servant Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. Then Rachel said, With mighty wrestlings10 I have wrestled with my sister and have prevailed. So she called his name gNaphtali.11

When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her servant Zilpah and hgave her to Jacob as a wife. 10 Then Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11 And Leah said, iGood fortune has come! so she called his name iGad.12 12 Leah’s servant Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13 And Leah said, Happy am I! For women jhave called me happy. So she called his name Asher.13

14 In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found kmandrakes in the field and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes. 15 But she said to her, Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also? Rachel said, Then he may lie with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes. 16 When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, You must come in to me, for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes. So he lay with her that night. 17 And God listened to Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18 Leah said, God has given me my wages because I gave my servant to my husband. So she called his name Issachar.14

19 And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20 Then Leah said, God has endowed me with a good endowment; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons. So she called his name lZebulun.15 21 Afterward she bore a daughter and called her name Dinah.

22 Then God mremembered Rachel, and God listened to her and nopened her womb. 23 She conceived and bore a son and said, God has taken away omy reproach. 24 And she called his name Joseph,16 saying, pMay the Lord add to me another son!

Jacob’s Prosperity

25 As soon as Rachel had borne Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, Send me away, that I may go to my own home and country. 26 Give me my wives and my children qfor whom I have served you, that I may go, for you know the service that I have given you. 27 But Laban said to him, If I have found favor in your sight, I have learned by divination that17 the Lord has blessed me because of you. 28 rName your wages, and I will give it. 29 Jacob said to him, sYou yourself know how I have served you, and how your livestock has fared with me. 30 For you had little before I came, tand it has increased abundantly, and the Lord has blessed you wherever I turned. But now when shall I uprovide for my own household also? 31 He said, What shall I give you? Jacob said, You shall not give me anything. If you will do this for me, I will again pasture your flock and keep it: 32 let me pass through all your flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every black lamb, and the spotted and speckled among the goats, and vthey shall be my wages. 33 So my honesty will answer for me later, when you come to look into my wages with you. Every one that is not speckled and spotted among the goats and black among the lambs, if found with me, shall be counted stolen. 34 Laban said, Good! Let it be as you have said. 35 But that day Laban removed the male goats that were striped and spotted, and all the female goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white on it, and every lamb that was black, and put them in the charge of his sons. 36 And he set a distance of three days’ journey between himself and Jacob, and Jacob pastured the rest of Laban’s flock.

37 Then wJacob took fresh sticks of poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white streaks in them, exposing the white of the sticks. 38 He set the sticks that he had peeled in front of the flocks in the troughs, that is, the xwatering places, where the flocks came to drink. And since they bred when they came to drink, 39 the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted. 40 And Jacob separated the lambs and set the faces of the flocks toward the striped and all the black in the flock of Laban. He put his own droves apart and did not put them with Laban’s flock. 41 Whenever the stronger of the flock were breeding, Jacob would lay the sticks in the troughs before the eyes of the flock, that they might breed among the sticks, 42 but for the feebler of the flock he would not lay them there. So the feebler would be Laban’s, and the stronger Jacob’s. 43 Thus the man yincreased greatly and zhad large flocks, female servants and male servants, and camels and donkeys.