Matthew 6:16–24; Acts 9:1–19; Psalm 15; Genesis 34–35

Fasting

16 And twhen you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. uTruly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 17 But when you fast, vanoint your head and wash your face, 18 that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. wAnd your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Lay Up Treasures in Heaven

19 xDo not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where ymoth and rust1 destroy and where thieves zbreak in and steal, 20 xbut lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

22 aThe eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 abut if byour eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

24 cNo one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and dmoney.2


The Conversion of Saul

But Saul, bstill cbreathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to dthe high priest and asked him for letters eto the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to fthe Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. gNow as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting hme? And he said, Who are you, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus, hwhom you are persecuting. But irise and enter the city, and you will be told jwhat you are to do. kThe men who were traveling with him stood speechless, lhearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, mhe saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

10 Now there was a disciple at Damascus named nAnanias. The Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias. And he said, oHere I am, Lord. 11 And the Lord said to him, Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man pof Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, 12 and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and qlay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight. 13 But Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard from many about this man, rhow much evil he has done to syour tsaints at Jerusalem. 14 And here he has authority from uthe chief priests to bind all who vcall on your name. 15 But the Lord said to him, Go, for whe is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name xbefore the Gentiles and ykings and the children of Israel. 16 For zI will show him how much ahe must suffer bfor the sake of my name. 17 So cAnanias departed and entered the house. And dlaying his hands on him he said, Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and ebe filled with the Holy Spirit. 18 And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and fhe regained his sight. Then ghe rose and was baptized; 19 and htaking food, he was strengthened.

Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues

For isome days he was with the disciples at Damascus.


Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill?

A Psalm of David.

15  O Lord, uwho shall sojourn in your vtent?

Who shall dwell on your wholy hill?

He who xwalks blamelessly and ydoes what is right

and zspeaks truth in his heart;

who adoes not slander with his tongue

and does no evil to his neighbor,

nor btakes up a reproach against his friend;

cin whose eyes a vile person is despised,

but who honors those who fear the Lord;

who dswears to his own hurt and does not change;

who edoes not put out his money at interest

and fdoes not take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things shall never be gmoved.


The Defiling of Dinah

34 Now fDinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the women of the land. And when Shechem the son of gHamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her. And his soul was drawn to Dinah the daughter of Jacob. He loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. So Shechem hspoke to his father Hamor, saying, Get me this girl for my wife.

Now Jacob heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah. But his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob held his peace until they came. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. The sons of Jacob had come in from the field as soon as they heard of it, and the men were indignant and ivery angry, because he jhad done an outrageous thing in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, kfor such a thing must not be done.

But Hamor spoke with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longs for your1 daughter. Please give her to him to be his wife. Make marriages with us. Give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. 10 You shall dwell with us, and lthe land shall be open to you. Dwell and mtrade in it, and nget property in it. 11 Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, oLet me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you say to me I will give. 12 Ask me for as great a pbride-price2 and gift as you will, and I will give whatever you say to me. Only give me the young woman to be my wife.

13 The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah. 14 They said to them, We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for qthat would be a disgrace to us. 15 Only on this condition will we agree with youthat you will become as we are by every male among you being circumcised. 16 Then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to ourselves, and we will dwell with you and become one people. 17 But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter, and we will be gone.

18 Their words pleased Hamor and Hamor’s son Shechem. 19 And the young man did not delay to do the thing, because he delighted in Jacob’s daughter. Now rhe was the most honored of all his father’s house. 20 So Hamor and his son Shechem scame to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying, 21 These men are at peace with us; let them dwell in the land and ttrade in it, for behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters as wives, and let us give them our daughters. 22 Only on this condition will the men agree to dwell with us to become one peoplewhen every male among us is circumcised as they are circumcised. 23 Will not their livestock, their property and all their beasts be ours? Only let us agree with them, and they will dwell with us. 24 And all who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who uwent out of the gate of his city.

25 On the third day, when they were sore, two of the sons of Jacob, vSimeon and Levi, wDinah’s brothers, took their swords and came against the city while it felt secure and killed all the males. 26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house and went away. 27 The sons of Jacob came upon the slain and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. 28 They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. 29 All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and plundered.

30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, xYou have brought trouble on me yby making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, zthe Canaanites and the Perizzites. aMy numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household. 31 But they said, Should he treat our sister like a prostitute?

God Blesses and Renames Jacob

35 God said to Jacob, Arise, go up to bBethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you cwhen you fled from your brother Esau. So Jacob said to his dhousehold and to all who were with him, Put away ethe foreign gods that are among you and fpurify yourselves and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God gwho answers me in the day of my distress and hhas been with me wherever I have gone. So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under ithe terebinth tree that was near Shechem.

And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. And Jacob came to jLuz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him, and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel,3 because kthere God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother. And lDeborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died, and she was buried under an oak below Bethel. So he called its name Allon-bacuth.4

God appeared5 to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 10 And God said to him, Your name is Jacob; mno longer shall your name be called Jacob, but nIsrael shall be your name. So he called his name Israel. 11 And God said to him, oI am God Almighty:6 be pfruitful and multiply. qA nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body.7 12 rThe land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you. 13 Then God swent up from him in the place where he had spoken with him. 14 And Jacob tset up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. 15 So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him uBethel.

The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac

16 Then they journeyed from Bethel. When they were still some distance8 from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor. 17 And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, Do not fear, for vyou have another son. 18 And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni;9 wbut his father called him Benjamin.10 19 So xRachel died, and she was buried on the way to yEphrath (that is, Bethlehem), 20 and Jacob set up a pillar over her tomb. It is zthe pillar of Rachel’s tomb, which is there to this day. 21 Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.

22 While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and alay with Bilhah his father’s concubine. And Israel heard of it.

Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. 23 The sons of Leah: bReuben (Jacob’s firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant: Dan and Naphtali. 26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

27 And Jacob came to his father Isaac at cMamre, or dKiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. 28 Now the days of Isaac were 180 years. 29 And Isaac breathed his last, and he died eand was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And fhis sons Esau and Jacob buried him.