Numbers 30–32; Jeremiah 1–2:28; Judges 11:29–40; Matthew 5:33–37; Matthew 23

Men and Vows

30 Moses spoke to fthe heads of the tribes of the people of Israel, saying, This is what the Lord has commanded. gIf a man vows a vow to the Lord, or hswears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. iHe shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

Women and Vows

If a woman vows a vow to the Lord and binds herself by a pledge, while within her father’s house in her youth, and her father hears of her vow and of her pledge by which she has bound herself and says nothing to her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if her father opposes her on the day that he hears of it, no vow of hers, no pledge by which she has bound herself shall stand. And the Lord will forgive her, because her father opposed her.

If she marries a husband, while under her jvows or any thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she has bound herself, and her husband hears of it and says nothing to her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her pledges by which she has bound herself shall stand. But if, on the day that her husband comes to hear of it, he opposes her, then he makes void her jvow that was on her, and the thoughtless utterance of her lips by which she bound herself. kAnd the Lord will forgive her. (But any vow of a widow or of a divorced woman, anything by which she has bound herself, shall stand against her.) 10 And if she vowed in her husband’s house or bound herself by a pledge with an oath, 11 and her husband heard of it and said nothing to her and did not oppose her, then all her vows shall stand, and every pledge by which she bound herself shall stand. 12 But if her husband makes them null and void on the day that he hears them, then whatever proceeds out of her lips concerning her vows or concerning her pledge of herself shall not stand. Her husband has made them void, and lthe Lord will forgive her. 13 Any vow and any binding oath to afflict herself,1 her husband may establish,2 or her husband may make void. 14 But if her husband says nothing to her from day to day, then he establishes all her vows or all her pledges that are upon her. He has established them, because he said nothing to her on the day that he heard of them. 15 But if he makes them null and void after he has heard of them, then mhe shall bear her iniquity.

16 These are the statutes that the Lord commanded Moses about a man and his wife and about a father and his daughter while she is in her youth within her father’s house.

Vengeance on Midian

31 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, nAvenge the people of Israel on the Midianites. Afterward you shall obe gathered to your people. So Moses spoke to the people, saying, Arm men from among you for the war, that they may go against Midian to execute the Lord’s vengeance on Midian. You shall send a thousand from each of the tribes of Israel to the war. So there were provided, out of the thousands of Israel, a thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand parmed for war. And Moses sent them to the war, a thousand from each tribe, together with Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, with the vessels of the sanctuary and qthe trumpets for the alarm in his hand. They warred against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and rkilled every male. They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of their slain, sEvi, Rekem, tZur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. And they also killed uBalaam the son of Beor with the sword. And the people of Israel took captive the women of Midian and their little ones, and they took as plunder all their cattle, their flocks, and all their goods. 10 All their cities in the places where they lived, and all their vencampments, they burned with fire, 11 wand took all the spoil and all the plunder, both of man and of beast. 12 Then they brought the captives and the plunder and the spoil to Moses, and to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the people of Israel, at the camp on xthe plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho.

13 Moses and Eleazar the priest and all the chiefs of the congregation went to meet them outside the camp. 14 And Moses was angry with ythe officers of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, who had come from service in the war. 15 Moses said to them, Have you zlet all the women live? 16 Behold, athese, bon Balaam’s advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the Lord in the incident of cPeor, and so dthe plague came among the congregation of the Lord. 17 Now therefore, ekill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him. 18 But all the young girls who have not known man by lying with him fkeep alive for yourselves. 19 gEncamp outside the camp seven days. Whoever of you has killed any person and hwhoever has touched any slain, purify yourselves and your captives on the third day and on the seventh day. 20 You shall purify every garment, every article of skin, all work of goats’ hair, and every article of wood.

21 Then Eleazar the priest said to the men in the army who had gone to battle: This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded Moses: 22 only the gold, the silver, the bronze, the iron, the tin, and the lead, 23 everything that can stand the fire, you shall pass through the fire, and it shall be clean. Nevertheless, it shall also be purified iwith the water for impurity. And whatever cannot stand the fire, you shall pass through the water. 24 You must jwash your clothes on the seventh day, and you shall be clean. And afterward you may come into the camp.

25 The Lord said to Moses, 26 Take the count of the plunder that was taken, both of man and of beast, you and Eleazar the priest and the heads of the fathers’ houses of the congregation, 27 and kdivide the plunder into two parts between the warriors who went out to battle and all the congregation. 28 And levy for the Lord a tribute from the men of war who went out to battle, lone out of five hundred, of the people and of the oxen and of the donkeys and of the flocks. 29 Take it from their half and give it to Eleazar the priest as a contribution to the Lord. 30 And from the people of Israel’s half you shall take mone drawn out of every fifty, of the people, of the oxen, of the donkeys, and of the flocks, of all the cattle, and give them to the Levites nwho keep guard over the tabernacle of the Lord. 31 And Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses.

32 Now the plunder remaining of the spoil that the army took was 675,000 sheep, 33 72,000 cattle, 34 61,000 donkeys, 35 and 32,000 persons in all, women who had not known man by lying with him. 36 And the half, the portion of those who had gone out in the army, numbered 337,500 sheep, 37 and othe Lord’s tribute of sheep was 675. 38 The cattle were 36,000, of which the Lord’s tribute was 72. 39 The donkeys were 30,500, of which the Lord’s tribute was 61. 40 The persons were 16,000, of which the Lord’s tribute was 32 persons. 41 And Moses gave the tribute, which was the contribution for the Lord, to Eleazar the priest, pas the Lord commanded Moses.

42 From the people of Israel’s half, which Moses separated from that of the men who had served in the army 43 now the congregation’s half was 337,500 sheep, 44 36,000 cattle, 45 and 30,500 donkeys, 46 and 16,000 persons 47 qfrom the people of Israel’s half Moses took one of every 50, both of persons and of beasts, and gave them to the Levites who kept guard over the tabernacle of the Lord, as the Lord commanded Moses.

48 Then rthe officers who were over the thousands of the army, the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, came near to Moses 49 and said to Moses, Your servants have counted the men of war who are under our command, and there is not a man missing from us. 50 And we have brought the Lord’s offering, what each man found, articles of gold, armlets and bracelets, signet rings, earrings, and beads, sto make atonement for ourselves before the Lord. 51 And Moses and Eleazar the priest received from them the gold, all crafted articles. 52 And all the gold of the contribution that they presented to the Lord, from the commanders of thousands and the commanders of hundreds, was 16,750 shekels.3 53 t(The men in the army had each taken plunder for himself.) 54 And Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, and brought it into the tent of meeting, uas a memorial for the people of Israel before the Lord.

Reuben and Gad Settle in Gilead

32 Now the people of Reuben and the people of Gad had a very great number of livestock. And they saw the land of vJazer and the land of Gilead, and behold, the place was a place for livestock. So the people of Gad and the people of Reuben came and said to Moses and to Eleazar the priest and to the chiefs of the congregation, wAtaroth, xDibon, Jazer, Nimrah, Heshbon, Elealeh, Sebam, yNebo, and Beon, the land zthat the Lord struck down before the congregation of Israel, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock. And they said, If we have found favor in your sight, let this land be given to your servants for a possession. Do not take us across the Jordan.

But Moses said to the people of Gad and to the people of Reuben, Shall your brothers go to the war while you sit here? Why will you discourage the heart of the people of Israel from going over into the land that the Lord has given them? Your fathers did this, awhen I sent them from Kadesh-barnea to see the land. For when they went up to the Valley of Eshcol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the people of Israel from going into the land that the Lord had given them. 10 bAnd the Lord’s anger was kindled on that day, and he swore, saying, 11 Surely none of the men who came up out of Egypt, cfrom twenty years old and upward, shall see the land that I swore to give dto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, because they have not wholly followed me, 12 none except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the eKenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for fthey have wholly followed the Lord. 13 And the Lord’s anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them gwander in the wilderness forty years, until hall the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord was gone. 14 And behold, you have risen in your fathers’ place, a brood of sinful men, to increase still more the fierce anger of the Lord against Israel! 15 For if you iturn away from following him, he will again abandon them in the wilderness, and you will destroy all this people.

16 Then they came near to him and said, jWe will build sheepfolds here for our livestock, and cities for our little ones, 17 but kwe will take up arms, ready to go before the people of Israel, until we have brought them to their place. And our little ones shall live in the fortified cities because of the inhabitants of the land. 18 lWe will not return to our homes until each of the people of Israel has gained his inheritance. 19 For we will not inherit with them on the other side of the Jordan and beyond, mbecause our inheritance has come to us on this side of the Jordan to the east. 20 So nMoses said to them, If you will do this, if you will take up arms to go before the Lord for the war, 21 and every armed man of you will pass over the Jordan before the Lord, until he has odriven out his enemies from before him 22 and the land is subdued before the Lord; then after that you shall return and be free of obligation to the Lord and to Israel, and pthis land shall be your possession before the Lord. 23 But if you will not do so, behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and qbe sure your sin will find you out. 24 rBuild cities for your little ones and folds for your sheep, and do what you have promised. 25 And the people of Gad and the people of Reuben said to Moses, Your servants will do as my lord commands. 26 sOur little ones, our wives, our livestock, and all our cattle shall remain there in the cities of Gilead, 27 tbut your servants will pass over, every man who is uarmed for war, before the Lord to battle, as my lord orders.

28 So vMoses gave command concerning them to Eleazar the priest and to wJoshua the son of Nun and to the heads of the fathers’ houses of the tribes of the people of Israel. 29 And Moses said to them, If the people of Gad and the people of Reuben, every man who is armed to battle before the Lord, will pass with you over the Jordan and the land shall be subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gilead for a possession. 30 However, if they will not pass over with you armed, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Canaan. 31 And the people of Gad and the people of Reuben answered, What the Lord has said to your servants, we will do. 32 We will pass over armed before the Lord into the land of Canaan, and the possession of our inheritance shall remain with us beyond the Jordan.

33 And xMoses gave to them, to the people of Gad and to the people of Reuben and to the half-tribe of Manasseh the son of Joseph, the kingdom of Sihon king of the Amorites and the kingdom of Og king of Bashan, the land and its cities with their territories, the cities of the land throughout the country. 34 And the people of Gad built yDibon, zAtaroth, aAroer, 35 Atroth-shophan, bJazer, Jogbehah, 36 cBeth-nimrah and Beth-haran, dfortified cities, and folds for sheep. 37 And the people of Reuben built eHeshbon, yElealeh, Kiriathaim, 38 fNebo, and gBaal-meon (htheir names were changed), and cSibmah. And they gave other names to the cities that they built. 39 And the sons of iMachir the son of Manasseh went to Gilead and captured it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it. 40 And Moses jgave Gilead to Machir the son of Manasseh, and he settled in it. 41 And kJair the son of Manasseh went and captured their villages, and called them Havvoth-jair.4 42 And Nobah went and captured Kenath and its villages, and called it Nobah, after his own name.


Jeremiah Illustration

Jeremiah

The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one aof the priests who were in bAnathoth in the land of Benjamin, to whom the word of the Lord came in the days of cJosiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in dthe thirteenth year of his reign. It came also in the days of eJehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and funtil the end of the eleventh year of gZedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, huntil the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month.

The Call of Jeremiah

Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

iBefore I formed you in the womb I knew you,

and before you were born jI consecrated you;

I appointed you a prophet kto the nations.

Then I said, Ah, Lord God! Behold, lI do not know how to speak, mfor I am only a youth. But the Lord said to me,

Do not say, I am only a youth;

for to all to whom I send you, you shall go,

and nwhatever I command you, you shall speak.

oDo not be afraid of them,

pfor I am with you to deliver you,

declares the Lord.

qThen the Lord put out his hand and rtouched my mouth. And the Lord said to me,

Behold, I have put smy words in your mouth.

10  See, I have set you this day kover nations and over kingdoms,

tto pluck up and to break down,

to destroy and to overthrow,

to build and to plant.

11 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, uJeremiah, what do you see? And I said, I see an almond1 branch. 12 Then the Lord said to me, You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.

13 The word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, What do you see? And I said, I see va boiling pot, facing away wfrom the north. 14 Then the Lord said to me, wOut of the north disaster2 shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For behold, xI am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the Lord, yand they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And zI will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil ain forsaking me. bThey have made offerings to other gods and cworshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, ddress yourself for work;3 arise, and esay to them everything that I command you. fDo not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 And I, behold, I make you this day ga fortified city, han iron pillar, and ibronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 iThey will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for jI am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.

Israel Forsakes the Lord

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord,

I remember the devotion of kyour youth,

your love las a bride,

mhow you followed me in the wilderness,

nin a land not sown.

oIsrael was holy to the Lord,

pthe firstfruits of his harvest.

qAll who ate of it incurred guilt;

disaster came upon them,

declares the Lord.

Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. Thus says the Lord:

rWhat wrong did your fathers find in me

that they went far from me,

sand went after tworthlessness, and became worthless?

They did not say, uWhere is the Lord

who brought us up from the land of Egypt,

who led us vin the wilderness,

in a land of deserts and pits,

in a land of drought and deep darkness,

in a land that none passes through,

where no man dwells?

wAnd I brought you into a plentiful land

to enjoy its fruits and its good things.

But when you came in, xyou defiled my land

and made my heritage an abomination.

The priests did not say, Where is the Lord?

yThose who handle the law did not know me;

zthe shepherds4 transgressed against me;

athe prophets prophesied by Baal

and went after bthings that do not profit.

Therefore cI still contend with you,

declares the Lord,

and dwith your children’s children I will contend.

10  For cross to the coasts of eCyprus and see,

or send to fKedar and examine with care;

see if there has been such a thing.

11  gHas a nation changed its gods,

heven though they are no gods?

But my people ihave changed their glory

for bthat which does not profit.

12  Be appalled, jO heavens, at this;

be shocked, be utterly desolate,

declares the Lord,

13  for my people have committed two evils:

kthey have forsaken lme,

the fountain of mliving waters,

and hewed out cisterns for themselves,

broken cisterns that can hold no water.

14  nIs Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant?

Why then has he become a prey?

15  oThe lions have roared against him;

they have roared loudly.

They have made his land a waste;

his cities are in ruins, pwithout inhabitant.

16  Moreover, the men of qMemphis and rTahpanhes

shave shaved5 the crown of your head.

17  tHave you not brought this upon yourself

by forsaking the Lord your God,

when uhe led you in the way?

18  vAnd now what do you gain by going to Egypt

to drink the waters of wthe Nile?

xOr what do you gain by going to Assyria

to drink the waters of ythe Euphrates?6

19  zYour evil will chastise you,

and ayour apostasy will reprove you.

Know and see that it is evil and bbitter

for cyou to forsake the Lord your God;

the fear of me is not in you,

declares the Lord God of hosts.

20  For long ago I dbroke your yoke

and burst your bonds;

but you said, eI will not serve.

Yes, fon every high hill

and under every green tree

you bowed down glike a whore.

21  hYet I planted you a choice vine,

wholly of pure seed.

iHow then have you turned degenerate

and become a wild vine?

22  Though you wash yourself with lye

and use much soap,

jthe stain of your guilt is still before me,

declares the Lord God.

23  kHow can you say, I am not unclean,

I have not gone after the Baals?

Look at your way lin the valley;

know what you have done

a restless young camel running here and there,

24  ma wild donkey used to the wilderness,

in her heat sniffing the wind!

Who can restrain her lust?

None who seek her need weary themselves;

in her month they will find her.

25  Keep nyour feet from going unshod

and oyour throat from thirst.

But you said, It is hopeless,

pfor I have loved foreigners,

and after them I will go.

26  As a thief is shamed when caught,

so the house of Israel shall be shamed:

qthey, their kings, their officials,

their priests, and their prophets,

27  who say to a tree, You are my father,

and to a stone, You gave me birth.

For they have turned their back to me,

and not their face.

But rin the time of their trouble they say,

Arise and save us!

28  But swhere are your gods

that you made for yourself?

Let them arise, tif they can save you,

in your time of trouble;

for uas many as your cities

are your gods, O Judah.


Jephthah’s Tragic Vow

29 fThen the Spirit of the Lord was upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh and passed on to Mizpah of Gilead, and from Mizpah of Gilead he passed on to the Ammonites. 30 And Jephthah gmade a vow to the Lord and said, If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, 31 then whatever1 comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites hshall be the Lord’s, and iI will offer it2 up for a burnt offering. 32 So Jephthah crossed over to the Ammonites to fight against them, and the Lord gave them into his hand. 33 And he struck them from Aroer to the neighborhood of jMinnith, twenty cities, and as far as Abel-keramim, with a great blow. So the Ammonites were subdued before the people of Israel.

34 Then Jephthah came to his home at kMizpah. And behold, his daughter came out to meet him lwith tambourines and with dances. She was his only child; besides her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 And as soon as he saw her, he tore his clothes and said, Alas, my daughter! You have brought me very low, and you have become the cause of great trouble to me. For I have opened my mouth to the Lord, mand I cannot take back my vow. 36 And she said to him, My father, you have opened your mouth to the Lord; do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, now that the Lord has avenged you on your enemies, on the Ammonites. 37 So she said to her father, Let this thing be done for me: leave me alone two months, that I may go up and down on the mountains and weep for my virginity, I and my companions. 38 So he said, Go. Then he sent her away for two months, and she departed, she and her companions, and wept for her virginity on the mountains. 39 And at the end of two months, she returned to her father, nwho did with her according to his vow that he had made. She had never known a man, and it became a custom in Israel 40 that the daughters of Israel went year by year to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in the year.


Oaths

33 Again hyou have heard that it was said to those of old, qYou shall not swear falsely, but rshall perform to the Lord what you have sworn. 34 But I say to you, sDo not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for tit is the throne of God, 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is uthe city of the great King. 36 And do not take an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 Let what you say be simply Yes or No; vanything more than this comes from evil.1


Seven Woes to the Scribes and Pharisees

23 Then Jesus tsaid to the crowds and to his disciples, uThe scribes and the Pharisees vsit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, wbut not the works they do. xFor they preach, but do not practice. yThey tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear,1 and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. tThey do all their deeds zto be seen by others. For they make atheir phylacteries broad and btheir fringes long, and they clove the place of honor at feasts and dthe best seats in the synagogues and dgreetings in ethe marketplaces and being called frabbi2 by others. gBut you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are hall brothers.3 iAnd call no man your father on earth, for jyou have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, kthe Christ. 11 lThe greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 mWhoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

13 But woe nto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you oshut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you pneither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.4 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single qproselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a rchild of shell5 as yourselves.

16 Woe to tyou, ublind guides, who say, vIf anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath. 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or wthe temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by xthe gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath. 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or ythe altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by zhim who dwells in it. 22 And whoever swears by aheaven swears by bthe throne of God and by chim who sits upon it.

23 dWoe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For eyou tithe mint and dill and fcumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: gjustice and mercy and faithfulness. hThese you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing ia camel!

25 jWoe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For kyou clean the outside of lthe cup and the plate, but inside they are full of mgreed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of lthe cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.

27 nWoe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like owhitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and pall uncleanness. 28 So you also qoutwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of rhypocrisy and lawlessness.

29 sWoe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets. 31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are tsons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 uFill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, vyou brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to whell? 34 xTherefore yI send you zprophets and wise men and ascribes, bsome of whom you will kill and crucify, and bsome you will cflog in your synagogues and dpersecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all ethe righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous fAbel to the blood of gZechariah the son of Barachiah,6 whom you murdered between hthe sanctuary and ithe altar. 36 Truly, I say to you, jall these things will come upon this generation.

Lament over Jerusalem

37 kO Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that lkills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have mgathered nyour children together oas a hen gathers her brood punder her wings, and qyou were not willing! 38 See, ryour house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, sBlessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.