February 21, 2023 Read Together

February 21, 2023 Read Together

February 21, 2023


Leviticus 12-14

Purification of Women after Childbirth

12 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the Israelites, saying:

“If a woman conceives and bears a male child, she shall be unclean seven days; as at the time of her menstruation, she shall be unclean. On the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. Her time of blood purification shall be thirty-three days; she shall not touch any holy thing or come into the sanctuary until the days of her purification are completed. If she bears a female child, she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her menstruation; her time of blood purification shall be sixty-six days.

“When the days of her purification are completed, whether for a son or for a daughter, she shall bring to the priest at the entrance of the tent of meeting a lamb in its first year for a burnt offering and a pigeon or a turtledove for a purification offering. He shall offer it before the Lord and make atonement on her behalf; then she shall be clean from her flow of blood. This is the law for her who bears a child, male or female. If she cannot afford a sheep, she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a purification offering, and the priest shall make atonement on her behalf, and she shall be clean.”

Skin Disease, Varieties and Symptoms

13 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:

“When a person has on the skin of his body a swelling or an eruption or a spot and it turns into a defiling disease on the skin of his body, he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests. The priest shall examine the disease on the skin of his body, and if the hair in the diseased area has turned white and the disease appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is a defiling disease; after the priest has examined him he shall pronounce him unclean. But if the spot is white in the skin of his body and appears no deeper than the skin and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest shall confine the diseased person for seven days. The priest shall examine him on the seventh day, and if he sees that the disease is checked and the disease has not spread in the skin, then the priest shall confine him seven days more. The priest shall examine him again on the seventh day, and if the disease has abated and the disease has not spread in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean; it is only an eruption, and he shall wash his clothes and be clean. But if the eruption spreads in the skin after he has shown himself to the priest for his cleansing, he shall appear again before the priest. The priest shall make an examination, and if the eruption has spread in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is defiling.

“When a person contracts a defiling skin disease, he shall be brought to the priest. 10 The priest shall make an examination, and if there is a white swelling in the skin that has turned the hair white and there is a patch of raw flesh in the swelling, 11 it is a chronic defiling disease in the skin of his body. The priest shall pronounce him unclean; he shall not confine him, for he is unclean. 12 But if the defiling disease breaks out in the skin so that it covers all the skin of the diseased person from head to foot, so far as the priest can see, 13 then the priest shall make an examination, and if the defiling disease has covered all his body, he shall pronounce him clean of the disease; since it has all turned white, he is clean. 14 But if raw flesh ever appears on him, he shall be unclean; 15 the priest shall examine the raw flesh and pronounce him unclean. Raw flesh is unclean; it is defiling. 16 But if the raw flesh again turns white, he shall come to the priest; 17 the priest shall examine him, and if the disease has turned white, the priest shall pronounce the diseased person clean. He is clean.

18 “When there is on the skin of one’s body a boil that has healed, 19 and in the place of the boil there appears a white swelling or a reddish-white spot, it shall be shown to the priest. 20 The priest shall make an examination, and if it appears deeper than the skin and its hair has turned white, the priest shall pronounce him unclean; this is a defiling disease, broken out in the boil. 21 But if the priest examines it and the hair on it is not white nor is it deeper than the skin but has abated, the priest shall confine him seven days. 22 If it spreads in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is diseased. 23 But if the spot remains in one place and does not spread, it is the scar of the boil; the priest shall pronounce him clean.

24 “Or when the body has a burn on the skin and the patch of the burn becomes a spot, reddish-white or white, 25 the priest shall examine it. If the hair in the spot has turned white and appears deeper than the skin, it is defiling; it has broken out in the burn, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean. This is a defiling disease. 26 But if the priest examines it and the hair in the spot is not white and it is no deeper than the skin but has abated, the priest shall confine him seven days. 27 The priest shall examine him the seventh day; if it is spreading in the skin, the priest shall pronounce him unclean. This is a defiling disease. 28 But if the spot remains in one place and does not spread in the skin but has abated, it is a swelling from the burn, and the priest shall pronounce him clean, for it is the scar of the burn.

29 “When a man or a woman has a disease on the head or in the beard, 30 the priest shall examine the disease. If it appears deeper than the skin and the hair in it is yellow and thin, the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is an itch, a defiling disease of the head or the beard. 31 If the priest examines the itching disease, and it appears no deeper than the skin and there is no black hair in it, the priest shall confine the person with the itching disease for seven days. 32 On the seventh day the priest shall examine the itch; if the itch has not spread and there is no yellow hair in it and the itch appears to be no deeper than the skin, 33 he shall shave, but the itch he shall not shave. The priest shall confine the person with the itch for seven days more. 34 On the seventh day the priest shall examine the itch; if the itch has not spread in the skin and it appears to be no deeper than the skin, the priest shall pronounce him clean. He shall wash his clothes and be clean. 35 But if the itch spreads in the skin after he was pronounced clean, 36 the priest shall examine him. If the itch has spread in the skin, the priest need not seek for the yellow hair; he is unclean. 37 But if in his eyes the itch is checked and black hair has grown in it, the itch is healed; he is clean, and the priest shall pronounce him clean.

38 “When a man or a woman has spots on the skin of the body, white spots, 39 the priest shall make an examination, and if the spots on the skin of the body are of a dull white, it is a rash that has broken out on the skin; he is clean.

40 “If anyone loses the hair from his head, he is bald, but he is clean. 41 If he loses the hair from his forehead and temples, he has baldness of the forehead, but he is clean. 42 But if there is on the bald head or the bald forehead a reddish-white diseased spot, it is a defiling disease breaking out on his bald head or his bald forehead. 43 The priest shall examine him; if the diseased swelling is reddish-white on his bald head or on his bald forehead, which resembles a defiling disease in the skin of the body, 44 he is defiled; he is unclean. The priest shall pronounce him unclean; the disease is on his head.

45 “The person who has the defiling disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head be disheveled, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ 46 He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease; he is unclean. He shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.

47 “Concerning clothing: when a defiling disease appears in it, in woolen or linen cloth, 48 in warp or woof of linen or wool or in a skin or in anything made of skin, 49 if the disease shows greenish or reddish in the garment, whether in warp or woof or in skin or in anything made of skin, it is a defiling disease and shall be shown to the priest. 50 The priest shall examine the disease and put the diseased article aside for seven days. 51 He shall examine the disease on the seventh day. If the disease has spread in the cloth, in warp or woof, or in the skin, whatever be the use of the skin, this is a spreading defiling disease; it is unclean. 52 He shall burn the clothing, whether diseased in warp or woof, woolen or linen, or anything of skin, for it is a spreading defiling disease; it shall be burned in fire.

53 “If the priest makes an examination and the disease has not spread in the clothing, in warp or woof, or in anything of skin, 54 the priest shall command that the diseased article be washed, and he shall put it aside seven days more. 55 The priest shall examine the diseased article after it has been washed. If the diseased spot has not changed color, though the disease has not spread, it is unclean; you shall burn it in fire, whether the worn spot is on the inside or on the outside.

56 “If the priest makes an examination, and the disease has abated after it is washed, he shall tear the spot out of the cloth, in warp or woof, or out of skin. 57 If it appears again in the garment, in warp or woof, or in anything of skin, it is spreading; you shall burn with fire that in which the disease appears. 58 But the cloth, warp or woof, or anything of skin from which the disease disappears when you have washed it shall then be washed a second time, and it shall be clean.

59 “This is the rule for a defiling disease in a cloth of wool or linen, either in warp or woof, or in anything of skin, to decide whether it is clean or unclean.”

Purification of the Diseased

14 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “This shall be the rule for the person with a defiling skin disease at the time of his cleansing:

“He shall be brought to the priest; the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall make an examination. If the disease is healed in the defiled person, the priest shall command that two living clean birds and cedarwood and crimson yarn and hyssop be brought for the one who is to be cleansed. The priest shall command that one of the birds be slaughtered over fresh water in a clay vessel. He shall take the living bird with the cedarwood and the crimson yarn and the hyssop and dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was slaughtered over the fresh water. He shall sprinkle it seven times upon the one who is to be cleansed of the defiling disease; then he shall pronounce him clean, and he shall let the living bird go into the open field. The one who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes and shave off all his hair and bathe himself in water, and he shall be clean. After that he shall come into the camp but shall live outside his tent seven days. On the seventh day he shall shave all his hair: of head, beard, eyebrows; he shall shave all his hair. Then he shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and he shall be clean.

10 “On the eighth day he shall take two male lambs without blemish and one ewe lamb in its first year without blemish and a grain offering of three-tenths of an ephah of choice flour mixed with oil and one log of oil. 11 The priest who cleanses shall set the person to be cleansed, along with these things, before the Lord, at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 12 The priest shall take one of the lambs and offer it as a guilt offering, along with the log of oil, and raise them as an elevation offering before the Lord. 13 He shall slaughter the lamb in the place where the purification offering and the burnt offering are slaughtered in the holy place, for the guilt offering, like the purification offering, belongs to the priest; it is most holy. 14 The priest shall take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed and on the thumb of the right hand and on the big toe of the right foot. 15 The priest shall take some of the log of oil and pour it into the palm of his own left hand 16 and dip his right finger in the oil that is in his left hand and sprinkle some oil with his finger seven times before the Lord. 17 Some of the oil that remains in his hand the priest shall put on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed and on the thumb of the right hand and on the big toe of the right foot, on top of the blood of the guilt offering. 18 The rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed. Then the priest shall make atonement on his behalf before the Lord: 19 the priest shall offer the purification offering, to make atonement for the one to be cleansed from his uncleanness. Afterward he shall slaughter the burnt offering, 20 and the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the grain offering on the altar. Thus the priest shall make atonement on his behalf, and he shall be clean.

21 “But if he is poor and cannot afford so much, he shall take one male lamb for a guilt offering to be elevated, to make atonement on his behalf, and one-tenth of an ephah of choice flour mixed with oil for a grain offering and a log of oil, 22 also two turtledoves or two pigeons, such as he can afford, one for a purification offering and the other for a burnt offering. 23 On the eighth day he shall bring them for his cleansing to the priest, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, before the Lord, 24 and the priest shall take the lamb of the guilt offering and the log of oil, and the priest shall raise them as an elevation offering before the Lord. 25 The priest shall slaughter the lamb of the guilt offering and shall take some of the blood of the guilt offering and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed and on the thumb of the right hand and on the big toe of the right foot. 26 The priest shall pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand 27 and shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the Lord. 28 The priest shall put some of the oil that is in his hand on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed and on the thumb of the right hand and the big toe of the right foot, where the blood of the guilt offering was placed. 29 The rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make atonement on his behalf before the Lord. 30 And he shall offer, of the turtledoves or pigeons, such as he can afford, 31 one for a purification offering and the other for a burnt offering, along with a grain offering, and the priest shall make atonement before the Lord on behalf of the one being cleansed. 32 This is the rule for the one who has a defiling disease who cannot afford the offerings for his cleansing.”

33 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:

34 “When you come into the land of Canaan, which I give you for a possession, and I put a defiling disease in a house in the land of your possession, 35 the owner of the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, ‘There seems to me to be some sort of disease in my house.’ 36 The priest shall command that they empty the house before the priest goes to examine the disease, or all that is in the house will become unclean, and afterward the priest shall go in to inspect the house. 37 He shall examine the disease; if the disease is in the walls of the house with greenish or reddish spots, and if it appears to be deeper than the surface, 38 the priest shall go outside to the door of the house and shut up the house seven days. 39 The priest shall come again on the seventh day and make an inspection; if the disease has spread in the walls of the house, 40 the priest shall command that the stones in which the disease appears be taken out and thrown into an unclean place outside the city. 41 He shall have the inside of the house scraped thoroughly, and the plaster that is scraped off shall be dumped in an unclean place outside the city. 42 They shall take other stones and put them in the place of those stones and take other plaster and plaster the house.

43 “If the disease breaks out again in the house, after he has taken out the stones and scraped the house and plastered it, 44 the priest shall go and make inspection; if the disease has spread in the house, it is a spreading defiling disease in the house; it is unclean. 45 He shall have the house torn down, its stones and timber and all the plaster of the house, and taken outside the city to an unclean place. 46 All who enter the house while it is shut up shall be unclean until the evening, 47 and all who sleep in the house shall wash their clothes, and all who eat in the house shall wash their clothes.

48 “If the priest comes and makes an inspection and the disease has not spread in the house after the house was plastered, the priest shall pronounce the house clean; the disease is healed. 49 For the cleansing of the house he shall take two birds, with cedarwood and crimson yarn and hyssop, 50 and shall slaughter one of the birds over fresh water in a clay vessel 51 and shall take the cedarwood and the hyssop and the crimson yarn, along with the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slaughtered bird and the fresh water and sprinkle the house seven times. 52 Thus he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the fresh water, and with the living bird, and with the cedarwood and hyssop and crimson yarn, 53 and he shall let the living bird go out of the city into the open field; so he shall make atonement for the house, and it shall be clean.

54 “This is the rule for any defiling disease: for an itch, 55 for defiling diseases in clothing and houses, 56 and for a swelling or an eruption or a spot, 57 to determine when it is unclean and when it is clean. This is the rule for defiling diseases.”


Psalm 111

Praise for God’s Wonderful Works

Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
    in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
    studied by all who delight in them.
Full of honor and majesty is his work,
    and his righteousness endures forever.
He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds;
    the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
    he is ever mindful of his covenant.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
    in giving them the heritage of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
    all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are established forever and ever,
    to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
    he has commanded his covenant forever.
    Holy and awesome is his name.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all those who practice it have a good understanding.
    His praise endures forever.


Hebrews 5

5 Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness, and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not presume to take this honor but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest but was appointed by the one who said to him,

“You are my Son;
    today I have begotten you”;

as he says also in another place,

“You are a priest forever,
    according to the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered, and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10 having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Warning against Falling Away

11 About this we have much to say that is hard to explain, since you have become sluggish in hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.


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