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,
z“Flee like a bird to your mountain,
2 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;
3 if cthe foundations are destroyed,
what can the righteous do?”1
4 dThe Lord is in his holy temple;
the Lord’s ethrone is in heaven;
his eyes see, his eyelids ftest the children of man.
5 The Lord gtests the righteous,
but hhis soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.
6 Let him rain coals on the wicked;
ifire and sulfur and a scorching wind shall be jthe portion of their cup.
7 For the Lord is righteous;
he kloves righteous deeds;
lthe upright shall behold his face.
God Rescues Lot
19 The qtwo angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth 2 and said, “My lords, rplease turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night sand wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, t“No; we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both young and old, all the people to the last man, surrounded the house. 5 uAnd they called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? vBring them out to us, that we wmay know them.” 6 Lot went out to the men at the entrance, shut the door after him, 7 and said, “I beg you, my brothers, do not act so wickedly. 8 xBehold, I have two daughters who have not known any man. Let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you please. Only do nothing to these men, for they have come under the shelter of my roof.” 9 But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This fellow ycame to sojourn, and zhe has become the judge! Now we will deal worse with you than with them.” Then they pressed hard against the man Lot, and drew near to break the door down. 10 But the men reached out their hands and brought Lot into the house with them and shut the door. 11 And they struck with ablindness the men who were at the entrance of the house, both small and great, so that they wore themselves out groping for the door.
12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or anyone you have in the city, bbring them out of the place. 13 For we are about to destroy this place, cbecause the outcry against its people has become great before the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.” 14 So Lot went out and said to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, d“Up! Get out of this place, for the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But he seemed to his sons-in-law to be jesting.
15 As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.” 16 But he lingered. So the men seized him and his wife and his two daughters by the hand, ethe Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 And as they brought them out, one said, “Escape for your life. fDo not look back or stop anywhere in the gvalley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” 18 And Lot said to them, “Oh, no, my lords. 19 Behold, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have shown me great kindness in saving my life. But I cannot escape to the hills, lest the disaster overtake me and I die. 20 Behold, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one. Let me escape there—is it not a little one?—and my life will be saved!” 21 He said to him, “Behold, I grant you this favor also, that I will not overthrow the city of which you have spoken. 22 Escape there quickly, for I can do nothing till you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the city was called hZoar.1
God Destroys Sodom
23 The sun had risen on the earth when Lot came to Zoar. 24 Then ithe Lord rained on Sodom and Gomorrah sulfur and fire from the Lord out of heaven. 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the valley, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground. 26 But Lot’s wife, behind him, looked back, and she became ja pillar of salt.
27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had kstood before the Lord. 28 And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.
29 So it was that, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, God lremembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot had lived.
Lot and His Daughters
30 Now Lot went up out of Zoar and mlived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 And the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose.
34 The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, “Behold, I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father.” 35 So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. 36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab.2 nHe is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi.3 oHe is the father of the Ammonites to this day.
Abraham and Abimelech
20 From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between pKadesh and Shur; and he qsojourned in rGerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, s“She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. 3 tBut God came to Abimelech uin a dream by night and said to him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.” 4 Now Abimelech had not approached her. So he said, v“Lord, will you kill an innocent people? 5 Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know that you have done this in the integrity of your heart, and it was I who kept you from sinning wagainst me. Therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 Now then, return the man’s wife, xfor he is a prophet, so that he will pray for you, and you shall live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall surely die, you yand all who are yours.”
8 So Abimelech rose early in the morning and called all his servants and told them all these things. And the men were very much afraid. 9 Then Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? And how have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and my kingdom a great sin? You have done to me things that ought not to be done.” 10 And Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you see, that you did this thing?” 11 Abraham said, “I did it because I thought, z‘There is no fear of God at all in this place, and athey will kill me because of my wife.’ 12 Besides, bshe is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife. 13 And when cGod caused me to wander from my father’s house, I said to her, ‘This is the kindness you must do me: at every place to which we come, dsay of me, “He is my brother.”’”
14 Then Abimelech etook sheep and oxen, and male servants and female servants, and gave them to Abraham, and returned Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “Behold, fmy land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.” 16 To Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given gyour brother a thousand pieces of silver. It is ha sign of your innocence in the eyes of all4 who are with you, and before everyone you are vindicated.” 17 Then iAbraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, and also healed his wife and female slaves so that they bore children. 18 For the Lord jhad closed all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 hIn those days iJohn the Baptist came preaching in jthe wilderness of Judea, 2 k“Repent, for lthe kingdom of heaven is at hand.”1 3 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
m“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
n‘Prepare2 the way of the Lord;
make his paths straight.’”
4 Now John wore oa garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was plocusts and qwild honey. 5 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, rconfessing their sins.
7 But when he saw many of sthe Pharisees and tSadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, u“You brood of vvipers! Who warned you to flee from wthe wrath to come? 8 Bear fruit xin keeping with repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, y‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from zthese stones to raise up children for Abraham. 10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. aEvery tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 b“I baptize you with water cfor repentance, but dhe who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you ewith the Holy Spirit and ffire. 12 His gwinnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and hgather his wheat into the barn, ibut the chaff he will burn with junquenchable fire.”
The Baptism of Jesus
13 kThen Jesus came lfrom Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14 mJohn would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, othe heavens were opened to him,3 and he psaw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, qa voice from heaven said, r“This is my beloved Son,4 with whom I am well pleased.”