reading for the day 04/04/2023 ; previous day - next day ; back to index ;
1. At the end of every seven years there is to be a general forgiveness of debt.
2. This is how it is to be done: every creditor is to give up his right to whatever he has let his neighbour have; he is not to make his neighbour, his countryman, give it back; because a general forgiveness has been ordered by the Lord.
3. A man of another nation may be forced to make payment of his debt, but if your brother has anything of yours, let it go;
4. But there will be no poor among you; for the Lord will certainly give you his blessing in the land which the Lord your God is giving you for your heritage;
5. If only you give ear to the voice of the Lord your God, and take care to keep all these orders which I give you today.
6. For the Lord your God will give you his blessing as he has said: you will let other nations have the use of your money, but you will not make use of theirs; you will be rulers over a number of nations, but they will not be your rulers.
7. If in any of your towns in the land which the Lord your God is giving you, there is a poor man, one of your countrymen, do not let your heart be hard or your hand shut to him;
8. But let your hand be open to give him the use of whatever he is in need of.
9. And see that there is no evil thought in your heart, moving you to say to yourself, The seventh year, the year of forgiveness is near; and so looking coldly on your poor countryman you give him nothing; and he will make an outcry to the Lord against you, and it will be judged as sin in you.
10. But it is right for you to give to him, without grief of heart: for because of this, the blessing of the Lord your God will be on all your work and on everything to which you put your hand.
11. For there will never be a time when there are no poor in the land; and so I give orders to you, Let your hand be open to your countrymen, to those who are poor and in need in your land.
12. If one of your countrymen, a Hebrew man or woman, becomes your servant for a price and does work for you six years, in the seventh year let him go free.
13. And when you make him free, do not let him go away with nothing in his hands:
14. But give him freely from your flock and from your grain and your wine: in the measure of the wealth which the Lord your God has given you, you are to give to him.
15. And keep in mind that you yourself were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God made you free: so I give you this order today.
16. But if he says to you, I have no desire to go away from you; because you and your family are dear to him and he is happy with you;
17. Then take a sharp-pointed instrument, driving it through his ear into the door, and he will be your servant for ever. And you may do the same for your servant-girl.
18. Let it not seem hard to you that you have to send him away free; for he has been working for you for six years, which is twice the regular time for a servant: and the blessing of the Lord your God will be on you in everything you do.
19. All the first males to come to birth in your herd and your flock are to be holy to the Lord your God: the first birth of your ox is not to be used for work, the wool of your first lamb is not to be cut.
20. But year by year you and all your house are to take a meal of it before the Lord, in the place of his selection.
21. But if it has any mark on it, if it is blind or has damaged legs, or if there is anything wrong with it, it may not be offered to the Lord your God.
22. It may be used for food in your houses: the unclean and the clean may take of it, as of the gazelle and the roe.
23. Only do not take its blood for food, but let it be drained out on the earth like water.
1. Take note of the month of Abib and keep the Passover to the Lord your God: for in the month of Abib the Lord your God took you out of Egypt by night.
2. The Passover offering, from your flock or your herd, is to be given to the Lord your God in the place marked out by him as the resting-place of his name.
3. Take no leavened bread with it; for seven days let your food be unleavened bread, that is, the bread of sorrow; for you came out of the land of Egypt quickly: so the memory of that day, when you came out of the land of Egypt, will be with you all your life.
4. For seven days let no leaven be used through all your land; and nothing of the flesh which is put to death in the evening of the first day is to be kept through the night till morning.
5. The Passover offering is not to be put to death in any of the towns which the Lord your God gives you:
6. But in the place marked out by the Lord your God as the resting-place of his name, there you are to put the Passover to death in the evening, at sundown, at that time of the year when you came out of Egypt.
7. It is to be cooked and taken as food in the place marked out by the Lord: and in the morning you are to go back to your tents.
8. For six days let your food be unleavened bread; and on the seventh day there is to be a holy meeting to the Lord your God; no work is to be done.
9. Let seven weeks be numbered from the first day when the grain is cut.
10. Then keep the feast of weeks to the Lord your God, with an offering freely given to him from the wealth he has given you:
11. Then you are to be glad before the Lord your God, you and your son and your daughter, your man-servant and your woman-servant, and the Levite who is with you, and the man from a strange country, and the child without a father, and the widow, who are living among you, in the place marked out by the Lord your God as a resting-place for his name.
12. And you will keep in mind that you were a servant in the land of Egypt: and you will take care to keep all these laws.
13. You are to keep the feast of tents for seven days after you have got in all your grain and made your wine:
14. You are to keep the feast with joy, you and your son and your daughter, your man-servant and your woman-servant, and the Levite, and the man from a strange country, and the child without a father, and the widow, who are living among you.
15. Keep the feast to the Lord your God for seven days, in the place marked out by the Lord: because the blessing of the Lord your God will be on all the produce of your land and all the work of your hands, and you will have nothing but joy.
16. Three times in the year let all your males come before the Lord your God in the place named by him; at the feast of unleavened bread, the feast of weeks, and the feast of tents: and they are not to come before the Lord with nothing in their hands;
17. Every man is to give as he is able, in the measure of the blessing which the Lord your God has given you.
18. You are to make judges and overseers in all your towns which the Lord your God gives you, for every tribe: and they are to be upright men, judging the people in righteousness.
19. You are not to be moved in your judging by a man's position, you are not to take rewards; for rewards make the eyes of the wise man blind, and the decisions of the upright false.
20. Let righteousness be your guide, so that you may have life, and take for your heritage the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
21. Let no holy tree of any sort be planted by the altar of the Lord your God which you will make.
22. You are not to put up stone pillars, for they are hated by the Lord your God.
1. <A Song. A Psalm. Of the sons of Korah. To the chief music-maker; put to Mahalath Leannoth. Maschil. Of Heman the Ezrahite.> O Lord, God of my salvation, I have been crying to you for help by day and by night:
2. Let my prayer come before you; give ear to my cry:
3. For my soul is full of evils, and my life has come near to the underworld.
4. I am numbered among those who go down into the earth; I have become like a man for whom there is no help:
5. My soul is among the dead, like those in the underworld, to whom you give no more thought; for they are cut off from your care.
6. You have put me in the lowest deep, even in dark places.
7. The weight of your wrath is crushing me, all your waves have overcome me. (Selah.)
8. You have sent my friends far away from me; you have made me a disgusting thing in their eyes: I am shut up, and not able to come out.
9. My eyes are wasting away because of my trouble: Lord, my cry has gone up to you every day, my hands are stretched out to you.
10. Will you do works of wonder for the dead? will the shades come back to give you praise? (Selah.)
11. Will the story of your mercy be given in the house of the dead? will news of your faith come to the place of destruction?
12. May there be knowledge of your wonders in the dark? or of your righteousness where memory is dead?
13. But to you did I send up my cry, O Lord; in the morning my prayer came before you.
14. Lord, why have you sent away my soul? why is your face covered from me?
15. I have been troubled and in fear of death from the time when I was young; your wrath is hard on me, and I have no strength.
16. The heat of your wrath has gone over me; I am broken by your cruel punishments.
17. They are round me all the day like water; they have made a circle about me.
18. You have sent my friends and lovers far from me; I am gone from the memory of those who are dear to me.