January 13, 2023
Isaac and Abimelech
26 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the former famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar, to King Abimelech of the Philistines. 2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; settle in the land that I shall show you. 3 Reside in this land as an alien, and I will be with you and will bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will fulfill the oath that I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and will give to your offspring all these lands, and all the nations of the earth shall gain blessing for themselves through your offspring, 5 because Abraham obeyed my voice and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”
6 So Isaac settled in Gerar. 7 When the men of the place asked him about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say “my wife,” thinking, “or else the men of the place might kill me for the sake of Rebekah, because she is attractive in appearance.” 8 When Isaac had been there a long time, King Abimelech of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw him fondling his wife Rebekah. 9 So Abimelech called for Isaac and said, “So she is your wife! Why, then, did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac said to him, “Because I thought I might die because of her.” 10 Abimelech said, “What is this you have done to us? One of the people might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt upon us.” 11 So Abimelech warned all the people, saying, “Whoever touches this man or his wife shall be put to death.”
12 Isaac sowed seed in that land and in the same year reaped a hundredfold. The Lord blessed him, 13 and the man became rich; he prospered more and more until he became very wealthy. 14 He had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. 15 (Now the Philistines had stopped up and filled with earth all the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham.) 16 And Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us; you have become too powerful for us.”
17 So Isaac departed from there and camped in the Wadi Gerar and settled there. 18 Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death of Abraham, and he gave them the names that his father had given them. 19 But when Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found there a well of spring water, 20 the herders of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s herders, saying, “The water is ours.” So he called the well Esek, because they contended with him. 21 Then they dug another well, and they quarreled over that one also, so he called it Sitnah. 22 He moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it, so he called it Rehoboth, saying, “Now the Lord has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”
23 From there he went up to Beer-sheba. 24 And that very night the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you and make your offspring numerous for my servant Abraham’s sake.” 25 So he built an altar there, called on the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there. And there Isaac’s servants dug a well.
26 Then Abimelech went to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his adviser and Phicol the commander of his army. 27 Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, seeing that you hate me and have sent me away from you?” 28 They said, “We see plainly that the Lord has been with you, so we say, let there be an oath between you and us, and let us make a covenant with you 29 so that you will do us no harm, just as we have not touched you and have done to you nothing but good and have sent you away in peace. You are now the blessed of the Lord.” 30 So he made them a feast, and they ate and drank. 31 In the morning they rose early and exchanged oaths, and Isaac set them on their way, and they departed from him in peace. 32 That same day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well that they had dug and said to him, “We have found water!” 33 He called it Shibah; therefore the name of the city is Beer-sheba to this day.
Esau’s Hittite Wives
34 When Esau was forty years old, he married Judith daughter of Beeri the Hittite and Basemath daughter of Elon the Hittite, 35 and they made life bitter for Isaac and Rebekah.
Isaac Blesses Jacob
27 When Isaac was old and his eyes were dim so that he could not see, he called his elder son Esau and said to him, “My son,” and he answered, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “See, I am old; I do not know the day of my death. 3 Now then, take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field, and hunt game for me. 4 Then prepare for me savory food, such as I like, and bring it to me to eat, so that I may bless you before I die.”
5 Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to his son Esau. So when Esau went to the field to hunt for game for his father, 6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “I heard your father say to your brother Esau, 7 ‘Bring me game, and prepare for me savory food to eat, that I may bless you before the Lord before I die.’ 8 Now therefore, my son, obey my word as I command you. 9 Go to the flock, and get me two choice kids, so that I may prepare from them savory food for your father, such as he likes, 10 and you shall take it to your father to eat, so that he may bless you before he dies.” 11 But Jacob said to his mother Rebekah, “Look, my brother Esau is a hairy man, and I am a man of smooth skin. 12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be mocking him and bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.” 13 His mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my word, and go, get them for me.” 14 So he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared savory food, such as his father loved. 15 Then Rebekah took the best garments of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob, 16 and she put the skins of the kids on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she handed the savory food and the bread that she had prepared to her son Jacob.
18 So he went in to his father and said, “My father,” and he said, “Here I am; who are you, my son?” 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, so that you may bless me.” 20 But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the Lord your God granted me success.” 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come near, that I may feel you, my son, to know whether you are really my son Esau or not.” 22 So Jacob went up to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau.” 23 He did not recognize him because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau’s hands, so he blessed him. 24 He said, “Are you really my son Esau?” He answered, “I am.” 25 Then he said, “Bring it to me, that I may eat of my son’s game and bless you.” So he brought it to him, and he ate, and he brought him wine, and he drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come near and kiss me, my son.” 27 So he came near and kissed him, and he smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him and said,
“Ah, the smell of my son
is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed.
28 May God give you of the dew of heaven
and of the fatness of the earth
and plenty of grain and wine.
29 Let peoples serve you
and nations bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers,
and may your mother’s sons bow down to you.
Cursed be everyone who curses you,
and blessed be everyone who blesses you!”
Esau’s Lost Blessing
30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of his father Isaac, his brother Esau came in from his hunting. 31 He also prepared savory food and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, “Let my father sit up and eat of his son’s game, so that you may bless me.” 32 His father Isaac said to him, “Who are you?” He answered, “I am your firstborn son, Esau.” 33 Then Isaac trembled violently and said, “Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all before you came, and I have blessed him?—yes, and blessed he shall be!” 34 When Esau heard his father’s words, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry and said to his father, “Bless me, me also, father!” 35 But he said, “Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.” 36 Esau said, “Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and look, now he has taken away my blessing.” Then he said, “Have you not reserved a blessing for me?” 37 Isaac answered Esau, “I have already made him your lord, and I have given him all his brothers as servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Have you only one blessing, father? Bless me, me also, father!” And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
39 Then his father Isaac answered him:
“See, away from the fatness of the earth shall your home be
and away from the dew of heaven on high.
40 By your sword you shall live,
and you shall serve your brother,
but when you break loose,
you shall break his yoke from your neck.”
Jacob Escapes Esau’s Fury
41 Now Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father had blessed him, and Esau said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are approaching; then I will kill my brother Jacob.” 42 But the words of her elder son Esau were told to Rebekah, so she sent and called her younger son Jacob and said to him, “Your brother Esau is consoling himself by planning to kill you. 43 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice; flee at once to my brother Laban in Haran, 44 and stay with him a while, until your brother’s fury turns away— 45 until your brother’s anger against you turns away, and he forgets what you have done to him; then I will send and bring you back from there. Why should I lose both of you in one day?”
46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am weary of my life because of the Hittite women. If Jacob marries one of the Hittite women such as these, one of the women of the land, what good will my life be to me?”
Teaching about Divorce
10 He left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him, and, as was his custom, he again taught them.
2 Some, testing him, asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her.” 5 But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
10 Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Jesus Blesses Little Children
13 People were bringing children to him in order that he might touch them, and the disciples spoke sternly to them. 14 But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not stop them, for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 15 Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
The Rich Man
17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. You shall not defraud. Honor your father and mother.’ ” 20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
23 Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”
28 Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the good news 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
A Third Time Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection
32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the gentiles; 34 they will mock him and spit upon him and flog him and kill him, and after three days he will rise again.”
The Request of James and John
35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” 36 And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” 37 And they said to him, “Appoint us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” 38 But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” 39 They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized you will be baptized, 40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to appoint, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”
41 When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. 42 So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. 43 But it is not so among you; instead, whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. 45 For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.”
The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus
46 They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” 50 So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51 Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” 52 Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
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