Weekly Scripture Reading
Torah: Numbers 32-33
Prophets: Isaiah 59-60
Historical Writings: 1 Samuel 14
New Testament: Acts 26
Wisdom Writings: Job 31
Non-Canonical: 2 Baruk 16-21
The following translation is from The Scriptures | ISR98
32 | 1 And the children of Re’uḇĕn and the children of Gaḏ had much livestock, a large number. And they saw the land of Ya‛zĕr and the land of Gil‛aḏ and saw that the place was a place for livestock.
2 So the children of Gaḏ and the children of Re’uḇĕn came and spoke to Mosheh, and to El‛azar the priest, and to the leaders of the congregation, saying,
3 “Ataroth, and Diḇon, and Ya‛zĕr, and Nimrah, and Ḥeshbon, and El‛alĕh, and Seḇam, and Neḇo, and Be‛on,
4 the land which יהוה had smitten before the congregation of Yisra’ĕl, is a land for livestock, and your servants have livestock.”
5 And they said, “If we have found favour in your eyes, let this land be given to your servants as a possession, and do not let us pass over the Yardĕn.”
6 And Mosheh said to the children of Gaḏ and to the children of Re’uḇĕn, “Are your brothers to go into the battle while you yourselves sit here?
7 “Now why do you discourage the heart of the children of Yisra’ĕl from passing over into the land which יהוה has given them?
8 “Thus your fathers did when I sent them away from Qaḏĕsh Barnĕa to see the land.
9 “For when they went up to the wadi Eshkol and saw the land, they discouraged the heart of the children of Yisra’ĕl, so that they did not go into the land which יהוה had given them.
10 “Then the displeasure of יהוה burned on that day, and He swore an oath, saying,
11 ‘Not one of the men who came up from Mitsrayim, from twenty years old and above, is to see the land of which I swore to Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq, and Ya‛aqoḇ, because they did not follow Me completely,
12 except Kalĕḇ son of Yephunneh, the Qenizzite, and Yehoshua son of Nun, for they have followed יהוה completely.’
13 “So the displeasure of יהוה burned against Yisra’ĕl, and He made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the eyes of יהוה was destroyed.
14 “And see, you have risen in your father’s place, an increase of men, sinners, to add still more the burning displeasure of יהוה against Yisra’ĕl.
15 “For if you turn away from following Him, He shall once again leave them in the wilderness, and you shall destroy all these people.”
16 Then they came near to him and said, “Let us build sheep-enclosures here for our livestock, and cities for our little ones,
17 but let us ourselves be armed, hastening before the children of Yisra’ĕl until we have brought them to their place. And our little ones shall dwell in the walled cities because of the inhabitants of the land.
18 “We shall not return to our homes until every one of the children of Yisra’ĕl has received his inheritance.
19 “For we shall not inherit with them on the other side of the Yardĕn and beyond, because our inheritance has fallen to us on this eastern side of the Yardĕn.”
20 And Mosheh said to them, “If you make this promise: if you arm yourselves before יהוה for battle,
21 and all your armed ones pass over the Yardĕn before יהוה until He has driven out His enemies from before Him,
22 and the land has been subdued before יהוה, then afterward you shall return, and be guiltless before יהוה and before Yisra’ĕl. And this land shall be your possession before יהוה.
23 “But if you do not do so, then see, you shall sin against יהוה, and know: your sin is going to find you out.
24 “Build cities for your little ones and enclosures for your sheep, and do what you have promised.”
25 And the children of Gaḏ and the children of Re’uḇĕn spoke to Mosheh, saying, “Your servants are going to do as my master commands.
26 “Our little ones, our wives, our flocks, and all our livestock are going to be there in the cities of Gil‛aḏ,
27 but your servants are passing over, every armed one of the army, before יהוה, to battle, as my master says.”
28 And Mosheh gave command concerning them to El‛azar the priest, to Yehoshua son of Nun, and to the heads of the fathers of the tribes of the children of Yisra’ĕl.
29 And Mosheh said to them, “If the children of Gaḏ and the children of Re’uḇĕn pass over the Yardĕn with you, every man armed for battle before יהוה, and the land has been subdued before you, then you shall give them the land of Gil‛aḏ as a possession.
30 “But if they do not pass over armed with you, they shall have possessions among you in the land of Kena‛an.”
31 Then the children of Gaḏ and the children of Re’uḇĕn answered, saying, “As יהוה has said to your servants, so we do.
32 “We ourselves are passing over armed before יהוה into the land of Kena‛an, but the possession of our inheritance remains with us beyond the Yardĕn.”
33 So Mosheh gave to the children of Gaḏ, to the children of Re’uḇĕn, and to half the tribe of Menashsheh, son of Yosĕph, the reign of Siḥon sovereign of the Amorites and the reign of Og̅ sovereign of Bashan, the land with its cities within the borders, the cities of the land round about.
34 And the children of Gaḏ built Diḇon and Ataroth and Aro‛ĕr,
35 and Atroth, Shophan and Ya‛zĕr and Yog̅behah,
36 and Bĕyth Nimrah and Bĕyth Haran, walled cities, and enclosures for sheep.
37 And the children of Re’uḇĕn built Ḥeshbon and El‛alĕh and Qiryathayim,
38 Neḇo and Ba‛al Me‛on – the names being changed – and Shiḇmah. And they gave other names to the cities which they built.
39 And the sons of Maḵir son of Menashsheh went to Gil‛aḏ and took it, and dispossessed the Amorites who were in it.
40 So Mosheh gave Gil‛aḏ to Maḵir, son of Menashsheh, and he dwelt in it.
41 And Ya’ir son of Menashsheh went and took its small towns, and called them Ḥawoth Ya’ir.
42 And Noḇaḥ went and took Qenath and its villages, and he called it Noḇaḥ, after his own name.
33 | 1 These are the departures of the children of Yisra’ĕl, who went out of the land of Mitsrayim by their divisions under the hand of Mosheh and Aharon.
2 And Mosheh wrote down the starting points of their departures at the command of יהוה, and these are their departures according to their starting points:
3 So they departed from Ra‛meses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month, on the morrow of the Passover the children of Yisra’ĕl went out with boldness before the eyes of all the Mitsrites,
4 and the Mitsrites were burying all their first-born, whom יהוה had smitten among them. Also on their mighty ones יהוה had executed judgments.
5 Then the children of Yisra’ĕl departed from Ra‛meses and camped at Sukkoth.
6 And they departed from Sukkoth and camped at Ětham, which is on the edge of the wilderness.
7 And they departed from Ětham and turned back to Pi Haḥiroth, which is east of Ba‛al Tsephon. And they camped near Mig̅dol.
8 And they departed from before Haḥiroth and passed over through the midst of the sea into the wilderness, went three days’ journey in the Wilderness of Ětham, and camped at Marah.
9 And they departed from Marah and came to Ělim. And at Ělim were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, so they camped there.
10 And they departed from Ělim and camped by the Sea of Reeds.
11 And they departed from the Sea of Reeds and camped in the Wilderness of Sin.
12 And they departed from the Wilderness of Sin and camped at Dophqah.
13 And they departed from Dophqah and camped at Alush.
14 And they departed from Alush and camped at Rephiḏim, and there was no water for the people to drink.
15 And they departed from Rephiḏim and camped in the Wilderness of Sinai.
16 And they departed from the Wilderness of Sinai and camped at Qiḇroth Hatta’awah.
17 And they departed from Qiḇroth Hatta’awah and camped at Ḥatsĕroth.
18 And they departed from Ḥatsĕroth and camped at Rithmah.
19 And they departed from Rithmah and camped at Rimmon Perets.
20 And they departed from Rimmon Perets and camped at Liḇnah.
21 And they departed from Liḇnah and camped at Rissah.
22 And they departed from Rissah and camped at Qehĕlathah.
23 And they departed from Qehĕlathah and camped at Mount Shapher.
24 And they departed from Mount Shapher and camped at Ḥaraḏah.
25 And they departed from Ḥaraḏah and camped at Maqhĕloth.
26 And they departed from Maqhĕloth and camped at Taḥath.
27 And they departed from Taḥath and camped at Teraḥ.
28 And they departed from Teraḥ and camped at Mithqah.
29 And they departed from Mithqah and camped at Ḥashmonah.
30 And they departed from Ḥashmonah and camped at Mosĕroth.
31 And they departed from Mosĕroth and camped at Benĕi Ya‛aqan.
32 And they departed from Benĕi Ya‛aqan and camped at Ḥor Haggiḏgaḏ.
33 And they departed from Ḥor Haggiḏgaḏ and camped at Yotḇathah.
34 And they departed from Yotḇathah and camped at Aḇronah.
35 And they departed from Aḇronah and camped at Etsyon Geḇer.
36 And they departed from Etsyon Geḇer and camped in the Wilderness of Tsin, which is Qaḏĕsh.
37 And they departed from Qaḏĕsh and camped at Mount Hor, on the boundary of the land of Eḏom.
38 Then Aharon the priest went up to Mount Hor at the command of יהוה, and died there in the fortieth year after the children of Yisra’ĕl had come out of the land of Mitsrayim, on the first day of the fifth month.
39 Now Aharon was one hundred and twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor.
40 And the sovereign of Araḏ, the Kena‛anite, who dwelt in the South in the land of Kena‛an, heard of the coming of the children of Yisra’ĕl.
41 So they departed from Mount Hor and camped at Tsalmonah.
42 And they departed from Tsalmonah and camped at Punon.
43 And they departed from Punon and camped at Oḇoth.
44 And they departed from Oḇoth and camped at Iyĕ Ha-Aḇarim, at the border of Mo’aḇ.
45 And they departed from Iyim and camped at Diḇon Gaḏ.
46 And they departed from Diḇon Gaḏ and camped at Almon Diḇlathayemah.
47 And they departed from Almon Diḇlathayemah and camped in the mountains of Aḇarim, before Neḇo.
48 And they departed from the mountains of Aḇarim and camped in the desert plains of Mo’aḇ by the Yardĕn of Yeriḥo.
49 And they camped by the Yardĕn, from Bĕyth Yeshimoth as far as the Aḇĕl Shittim in the desert plains of Mo’aḇ.
50 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh in the desert plains of Mo’aḇ by the Yardĕn of Yeriḥo, saying,
51 “Speak to the children of Yisra’ĕl, and say to them, ‘When you have passed over the Yardĕn into the land of Kena‛an,
52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and shall destroy all their engraved stones, and shall destroy all their moulded images, and lay waste all their high places,
53 and you shall possess the land and dwell in it, for I have given you the land to possess.
54 ‘And you shall divide the land by lot as an inheritance among your clans. To the larger you give a larger inheritance, and to the smaller you give a smaller inheritance. Wherever the lot falls to anyone, that is his. You inherit according to the tribes of your fathers.
55 ‘And if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall be that those whom you let remain shall be pricks in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they shall trouble you in the land where you dwell.
56 ‘And it shall be that I do to you as I thought to do to them.’ ”
59 | 1 Look, the hand of יהוה has not become too short to save, nor His ear too heavy to hear.
2 But your crookednesses have separated you from your Elohim. And your sins have hidden His face from you, from hearing.
3 For your hands have been defiled with blood, and your fingers with crookedness; your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters unrighteousness.
4 No one calls for righteousness, and no one pleads for truth. They trust in emptiness and speak worthlessness; they conceive trouble and bring forth wickedness.
5 They have hatched adders’ eggs and they weave the spider’s web. Whoever eats their eggs dies, and when one is broken an adder is hatched.
6 Their webs do not become garments, nor do they cover themselves with their works. Their works are works of wickedness, and a deed of violence is in their hands.
7 Their feet run to evil, and they hurry to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are thoughts of wickedness, wasting and ruin are in their highways.
8 The way of peace they have not known, and there is no right-ruling in their ways. They have made crooked paths for themselves, whoever treads in them shall not know peace.
9 Therefore right-ruling has been far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but there is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in thick darkness!
10 We feel for the wall like the blind, and we feel as without eyes. At noon we stumble as at twilight, in deserted places, like the dead.
11 All of us growl like bears, and moan sadly like doves. We look for right-ruling, but there is none; for deliverance, but it is far from us.
12 For our transgressions have increased before You, and our sins witnessed against us. For our transgressions are with us, and as for our crookednesses, we know them:
13 transgressing, and being untrue to יהוה, and turning away from our Elohim, speaking oppression and apostasy, conceiving and pondering words of falsehood from the heart.
14 And right-ruling is driven back, and righteousness stands far off. For truth has fallen in the street, and right is unable to enter.
15 And the truth is lacking, and whoever turns away from evil makes himself a prey. And יהוה saw, and it displeased Him that there was no right-ruling.
16 And He saw that there was no man, and was astonished that there was no intercessor. So His own arm saved for Him, and His righteousness upheld him.
17 And He put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of deliverance on His head. And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing, and wrapped Himself with ardour as a mantle.
18 According to their deeds, so He repays, wrath to His adversaries, recompense to His enemies. He repays recompense to the coastlands.
19 And they shall fear the Name of יהוה from the west, and His esteem from the rising of the sun, when He comes like a distressing stream which the Spirit of יהוה drives on.
20 “And the Redeemer shall come to Tsiyon, and to those turning from transgression in Ya‛aqoḇ,” declares יהוה.
21 “As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” said יהוה: “My Spirit that is upon you, and My Words that I have put in your mouth, shall not be withdrawn from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” said יהוה, “from this time and forever.”
60 | 1 “Arise, shine, for your light has come! And the esteem of יהוה has risen upon you.
2 “For look, darkness covers the earth, and thick darkness the peoples. But יהוה arises over you, and His esteem is seen upon you.
3 “And the gentiles shall come to your light, and sovereigns to the brightness of your rising.
4 “Lift up your eyes all around and see: all of them have gathered, they have come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are supported on the side.
5 “Then you shall see and be bright, and your heart shall throb and swell, for the wealth of the sea is turned to you, the riches of the gentiles come to you.
6 “A stream of camels cover your land, the dromedaries of Miḏyan and Ěphah; all those from Sheḇa come, bearing gold and incense, and proclaiming the praises of יהוה.
7 “All the flocks of Qĕḏar are gathered to you, the rams of Neḇayoth serve you; they come up for acceptance on My altar, and I embellish My esteemed House.
8 “Who are these who fly like a cloud, and like doves to their windows?
9 “Because the coastlands wait for Me, and the ships of Tarshish first, to bring your sons from afar, their silver and their gold with them, to the Name of יהוה your Elohim, and to the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl, because He has adorned you.
10 “And the sons of foreigners shall build your walls, and their sovereigns serve you. For in My wrath I have smitten you, but in My delight I shall have compassion on you.
11 “And your gates shall be open continually, they are not shut day or night, to bring to you the wealth of the gentiles, and their sovereigns in procession.
12 “For the nation and the reign that do not serve you shall perish, and those gentiles shall be utterly laid waste.
13 “The esteem of Leḇanon shall come to you, cypress, pine, and the box tree together, to embellish the place of My set-apart place. And I shall make the place of My feet esteemed.
14 “And the sons of those who afflicted you come bowing to you, and all those who despised you shall bow themselves at the soles of your feet. And they shall call you: City of יהוה, Tsiyon of the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl.
15 “Instead of you being forsaken and hated, so that no one passes through you, I shall make you an everlasting excellence, a joy of many generations.
16 “And you shall drink dry the milk of the gentiles, and shall milk the breast of sovereigns. And you shall know that I, יהוה, your Saviour and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya‛aqoḇ.
17 “Instead of bronze I bring gold, and instead of iron I bring silver, and bronze instead of wood, and iron instead of stones. And I shall make your officers peace, and your magistrates righteousness.
18 “Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor ruin within your borders. And you shall call your walls Deliverance, and your gates Praise.
19 “No longer is the sun your light by day, nor does the moon give light to you for brightness, but יהוה shall be to you an everlasting light, and your Elohim your comeliness.
20 “No longer does your sun go down, nor your moon withdraw itself, for יהוה shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.
21 “And your people, all of them righteous, shall inherit the earth forever – a branch of My planting, a work of My hands, to be adorned.
22 “The little shall become a thousand, and the small one a strong nation. I, יהוה, shall hasten it in its time.”
1 Samuel 14
14 | 1 And it came to be one day that Yonathan son of Sha’ul said to the young man who bore his armour, “Come, and let us go over to the outpost of the Philistines which is on the other side.” But he did not inform his father.
2 And Sha’ul remained at the outskirts of Giḇ‛ah under a pomegranate tree at Mig̅ron, and the people who were with him were about six hundred men.
3 And Aḥiyah son of Aḥituḇ, Iḵaḇoḏ’s brother, son of Pineḥas, son of Ěli, the priest of יהוה in Shiloh, was wearing a shoulder garment. And the people did not know that Yonathan had gone.
4 And between the passes, by which Yonathan sought to go over to the outpost of the Philistines, there was an edge of a rock on one side and an edge of a rock on the other side. And the name of one was Botsĕts, and the name of the other Seneh.
5 The one edge was on the north opposite Miḵmash, and the other on the south opposite Giḇ‛ah.
6 And Yehonathan said to the young man who bore his armour, “Come, and let us go over to the outpost of these uncircumcised. If so be, יהוה does work for us. For there is no hindrance for יהוה to save by many or by few.”
7 And his armour-bearer said to him, “Do all that is in your heart, incline yourself. See, I am with you, according to your heart.”
8 And Yehonathan said, “See, we are passing over to the men – and show ourselves to them.
9 “If they say this to us, ‘Wait until we come to you,’ then we shall stand still in our place and not go up to them.
10 “But if they say this, ‘Come up to us,’ then we shall go up. For יהוה has given them into our hand, and this is the sign to us.”
11 And both of them disclosed themselves to the outpost of the Philistines, and the Philistines said, “See, the Heḇrews are coming out of the holes where they have hidden.”
12 And the men of the outpost called to Yonathan and his armour-bearer, and said, “Come up to us, and let us teach you a lesson.” Then Yonathan said to his armour-bearer, “Come up after me, for יהוה has given them into the hand of Yisra’ĕl.”
13 And Yonathan climbed up on his hands and knees with his armour-bearer after him. And they fell before Yonathan, and his armour-bearer was putting them to death behind him.
14 And that first slaughter which Yonathan and his armour-bearer made was about twenty men, in about half an acre of land.
15 And there was trembling in the camp, in the field, and among all the people. The outpost and the raiders also trembled, and the ground shook. And it became a trembling of Elohim.
16 And the watchmen of Sha’ul in Giḇ‛ah of Binyamin looked and saw the crowd melting away, and they went here and there.
17 And Sha’ul said to the people who were with him, “Please inspect and see who has gone from us.” So they inspected and saw that Yonathan and his armour-bearer were missing.
18 And Sha’ul said to Aḥiyah, “Bring the ark of Elohim here.” For the ark of Elohim was with the children of Yisra’ĕl on that day.
19 And it came to be, while Sha’ul talked to the priest, that the noise which was in the camp of the Philistines went on, and became great, so Sha’ul said to the priest, “Withdraw your hand.”
20 And Sha’ul was called, and all the people who were with him, and they went to the battle. And see, every man’s sword was against his neighbour – a very great confusion.
21 And the Heḇrews who were with the Philistines before that time, who went up with them into the camp, turned round, they too, to be with Yisra’ĕl, who were with Sha’ul and Yonathan.
22 And all the men of Yisra’ĕl who had hidden in the mountains of Ephrayim, heard that the Philistines fled, and they also pursued them in the battle.
23 Thus יהוה saved Yisra’ĕl that day, and the battle passed over to Bĕyth Awen.
24 And the men of Yisra’ĕl were distressed that day, for Sha’ul had placed the people under oath, saying, “Cursed be the man who eats food until evening, and I have taken revenge on my enemies.” Therefore none of the people tasted food.
25 And all they of the land came into the woods, and there was honey on the ground.
26 And the people came into the woods and saw the honey, dripping. But no one put his hand to his mouth, for the people feared the oath.
27 But Yonathan had not heard that his father had taken an oath of the people, and he stretched out the end of the rod that was in his hand and dipped it in a honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth. And his eyes lit up.
28 Then one of the people said, “Your father strictly took an oath of the people, saying, ‘Cursed be the man who eats food today.’ ” And the people were weary.
29 And Yonathan said, “My father has troubled the land. Now see how my eyes lit up when I tasted a little of this honey.
30 “How much better if the people had well eaten today of the spoil of their enemies which they found! For then, would not the slaughter among the Philistines have been greater?”
31 And they smote the Philistines that day from Miḵmash to Ayalon. So the people were very weary,
32 and the people pounced on the spoil, and took sheep, and cattle, and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground. And the people ate with the blood.
33 And they told Sha’ul, saying, “Look, the people are sinning against יהוה by eating with the blood!” And he said, “You have acted treacherously. Roll a large stone to me today.”
34 And Sha’ul said, “Scatter among the people, and say to them, ‘Each one bring his ox near to me, and each one his sheep, and you shall slaughter them here, and eat. And do not sin against יהוה by eating with the blood.’ ” So every one of the people brought his ox with him that night, and slaughtered it there.
35 And Sha’ul built an altar to יהוה. It was the first altar he built to יהוה.
36 And Sha’ul said, “Let us go down after the Philistines by night, and plunder them until the morning light, and not leave a man of them.” And they said, “Do whatever seems good to you.” But the priest said, “Let us draw near to Elohim here.”
37 And Sha’ul asked of Elohim, “Should I go down after the Philistines? Do You give them into the hand of Yisra’ĕl?” But He did not answer him that day.
38 And Sha’ul said, “Come over here, all you chiefs of the people, and know and see what this sin was today.
39 “For as יהוה lives, who saves Yisra’ĕl, though it be in Yonathan my son, he shall certainly die.” But not one among all the people answered him.
40 And he said to all Yisra’ĕl, “You be on one side, and my son Yonathan and I be on the other side.” And the people said to Sha’ul, “Do what seems good to you.”
41 Then Sha’ul said to יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, “Give a perfect lot.” And Sha’ul and Yonathan were taken, but the people escaped.
42 And Sha’ul said, “Cast lots between my son Yonathan and me.” And Yonathan was taken.
43 Sha’ul then said to Yonathan, “Explain to me what you have done.” And Yonathan explained to him, and said, “I only tasted a little honey with the end of the rod that was in my hand. See, let me die!”
44 And Sha’ul answered, “Elohim do so and more also, for you shall certainly die, Yonathan.”
45 But the people said to Sha’ul, “Should Yonathan die, who has wrought this great deliverance in Yisra’ĕl? Far be it! As יהוה lives, let not one hair of his head fall to the ground, for he has wrought with Elohim this day.” Thus the people delivered Yonathan, and he did not die.
46 And Sha’ul returned from pursuing the Philistines, and the Philistines went to their own place.
47 And Sha’ul took the reign over Yisra’ĕl, and fought against all his enemies round about, against Mo’aḇ, and against the children of Ammon, and against Eḏom, and against the sovereigns of Tsoḇah, and against the Philistines. And wherever he turned, he inflicted punishment.
48 And he gathered an army and smote the Amalĕqites, and delivered Yisra’ĕl from the hands of those who plundered them.
49 And the sons of Sha’ul were Yonathan and Yishwi and Malkishua. And the names of his two daughters were these: the name of the first-born Mĕraḇ, and the name of the younger Miḵal.
50 And the name of Sha’ul’s wife was Aḥino‛am the daughter of Aḥima‛ats. And the name of the commander of his army was Aḇnĕr son of Nĕr, uncle of Sha’ul.’
51 And Qish was the father of Sha’ul, and Nĕr the father of Aḇnĕr was the son of Aḇi’ĕl.
52 And there was fierce fighting against the Philistines all the days of Sha’ul. And when Sha’ul saw any mighty man or any brave man, he took him for himself.
26 | 1 And Agrippa said to Sha’ul, “You are allowed to speak for yourself.” Then Sha’ul stretched out his hand and made his defence:
2 “I think myself blessed, Sovereign Agrippa, because today I shall make my defence before you concerning all of which I am accused by the Yehuḏim,
3 you being most of all an expert, knowing of all practices and questions which have to do with the Yehuḏim. So, please hear me patiently.
4 “Truly, then, all the Yehuḏim know my way of life from youth, which I led from the beginning among my own nation at Yerushalayim,
5 since they have known me from the first, if they wish to witness, that I lived as a Pharisee according to the strictest sect of our observance.
6 “And now I stand and am judged for the expectation of the promise made by Elohim to our fathers,
7 to which our twelve tribes, earnestly serving Elohim night and day, expect to attain. Concerning this expectation, O Sovereign Agrippa, I am accused by the Yehuḏim.
8 “Why is it considered ‘unbelievable’ among you if Elohim raises the dead?
9 “Therefore, indeed, I thought within myself that I ought to do much against the Name of יהושע of Natsareth,
10 which also I did in Yerushalayim, and I shut up many of the set-apart ones in prison, having received authority from the chief priests. And when they were put to death, I gave my vote against them.
11 “And punishing them often in all the congregations, I compelled them to blaspheme. And being exceedingly enraged against them, I persecuted them even to foreign cities.
12 “While thus engaged, as I was journeying to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13 at midday along the highway, O sovereign, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me.
14 “And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me, and saying in the Heḇrew language, ‘Sha’ul, Sha’ul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the prods.’
15 “And I said, ‘Who are You, Master?’ And He said, ‘I am יהושע, whom you persecute.
16 ‘But rise up, and stand on your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you a servant and a witness both of what you saw and of those which I shall reveal to you,
17 delivering you from the people, and the gentiles, to whom I now send you,
18 to open their eyes, to turn them from darkness to light,a and the authority of Satan to Elohim, in order for them to receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are set-apart by belief in Me.’
19 “Therefore, Sovereign Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision,
20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Yerushalayim, and in all the country of Yehuḏah, and to the gentiles, that they should repent, and turn to Elohim, and do works worthy of repentance.a
21 “That is why the Yehuḏim seized me in the Set-apart Place and tried to kill me.
22 “Therefore, having obtained help from Elohim, to this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great, saying nil else than what the prophets and Mosheh said would come –
23 that the Messiah would suffer, would be the first to rise from the dead, He would proclaim light to the people and to the gentiles.”
24 And while saying this in his defence, Festus said with a loud voice, “Sha’ul, you are mad! Much learning is turning you to madness!”
25 But Sha’ul said, “I am not mad, most excellent Festus, but I speak words of truth and sense.
26 “For the sovereign, before whom I also speak boldly, knows these matters. For I am persuaded that none of these are hidden from him, for this has not been done in a corner.
27 “Sovereign Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you do believe.”
28 And Agrippa said to Sha’ul, “With a little you might persuade me to become a Messianite!”
29 And Sha’ul said, “Much or little, I pray to Elohim that not only you, but also all who hear me today, might become such as I also am, except for these chains.”
30 And having said this, the sovereign stood up, as well as the governor and Bernike and those sitting with them,
31 and having withdrawn, they spoke to each other, saying, “This man is doing none at all deserving death or chains.”
32 And Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been released if he had not appealed to Caesar.”
31 | 1 “I have made a covenant with my eyes. How then could I gaze at a maiden?
2 For what is the portion of Eloah from above, and the inheritance of the Almighty from on high?
3 Is it not calamity to the perverse, and strangeness to the workers of wickedness?
4 Does He not see my ways, and number all my steps?
5 If I have walked with falsehood, or if my foot has hurried to deceit,
6 let Him weigh me in a right scale, and let Eloah know my integrity.
7 If my step does turn from the way, or my heart has gone after my eyes, or if any spot has clung to my hands,
8 let me sow, and another eat; and let my harvest be rooted out.
9 If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbour’s door,
10 let my wife grind for another, and let others bow down over her.
11 For that would be a wicked scheme, and a punishable crookedness.
12 For that would be a fire that burns to destruction, and take root among all my increase.
13 If I have refused the plea of my male servant or my female servant when they complained against me,
14 then what should I do when Ěl rises up? And when He punishes, what should I answer Him?
15 Did not He who made me in the womb make him? And did not One fashion us in the womb?
16 If I have withheld the poor from pleasure, or caused the widow’s eyes to fail,
17 or eaten my piece of bread by myself, and the fatherless did not eat of it –
18 but from my youth he grew up with me as with a father, and from my mother’s womb I guided her –
19 if I have seen anyone perish for lack of garments, or a poor one without covering;
20 if his loins have not blessed me, and he warmed himself with the fleece of my sheep;
21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless, when I saw I had help in the gate;
22 let my arm fall from my shoulder, and my arm be broken from the bone.
23 For I am in dread of destruction from Ěl, and from His excellence I could not escape.
24 If I have put my trust in gold, or called fine gold my refuge;
25 if I have rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because my hand had gained much;
26 if I have looked at the sun when it shines, or the moon moving in brightness,
27 so that my heart has been secretly enticed, and my mouth has kissed my hand –
28 that too is a punishable crookedness, for I would have denied Ěl above.
29 If I have rejoiced when he who hated me was ruined, or lifted myself up when evil found him –
30 also I have not allowed my mouth to sin by asking for a curse on his life –
31 if the men of my tent did not say, ‘Who is there that has not been satisfied with his meat?’
32The stranger did not have to spend the night in the street, for I have opened my doors to the way.
33 If I have covered my transgressions like Aḏam, by hiding my crookedness in my bosom,
34 then let me fear the great crowd, and dread the scorn of clans, then I would be silent, and go out of the door!
35 Who would give me a hearing? See, my signature, let the Almighty answer me, and let my accuser write a bill!
36 Would I not take it up on my shoulder, bind it on me for a crown?
37I would declare to Him the number of my steps – I would approach Him like a prince.
38 If my land cries out against me, or its furrows weep together;
39 if I have eaten its fruit without payment, or caused its owners to die;
40 let thistles grow instead of wheat, and useless weed instead of barley.” The words of Iyoḇ are ended.
2 Baruk 16-21
16 | 1 AND I answered and said: O YAHUAH, my ADONAI, lo! the years of this time are few and evil, and who is able in his little time to acquire that which is measureless?
17 | 1 AND YAHUAH answered and said unto me: With EL SHADDAI account is not taken of much time nor of a few years.
2 For what did it profit A’dam that he lived nine hundred and thirty years, and transgressed that which he was commanded?
3 Therefore, the multitude of time that he lived did not profit him, but brought death and cut off the years of those who were born from him.
4 Or wherein did Mosheh suffer loss in that he lived only one hundred and twenty years, and, inasmuch as he was subject to him who formed him, brought the Torah to the seed of Ya`aqov, and lighted a lamp for the nation of Yashar’el?
18 | 1 AND I answered and said: He that lighted has taken from the light, and there are but few that have imitated him.
2 But those many whom he has lighted have taken from the darkness of A’dam and have not rejoiced in the light of the lamp.
19 | 1 AND he answered and said unto me: Wherefore at that time he appointed for them a covenant and said: Behold I have placed before you life and death, and he called heaven and earth to witness against them.
2 For he knew that his time was but short, but that heaven and earth endure always.
3 But after his death they sinned and transgressed, though they knew that they had the Torah reproving them, and the light in which nothing could err, also the spheres which testify, and me.
4 Now regarding everything that is, it is I that judge, but do not take counsel in your soul regarding these things, nor afflict yourself because of those which have been.
5 For now it is the consummation of time that should be considered, whether of business, or of prosperity, or of shame, and not the beginning thereof.
6 Because if a man be prospered in his beginnings and shamefully intreated in his old age, he forgets all the prosperity that he had.
7 And again, if a man is shamefully intreated in his beginnings, and at his end is prospered, he remembers not again his evil intreatment. And again hearken: though each one were prospered all that time. All the time from the day on which death was decreed against those who transgress, and in his end was destroyed, in vain would have been everything.
20 | 1 THEREFORE, behold! the days come; and the times shall hasten more than the former; and the seasons shall speed on more than those that are past; and the years shall pass more quickly than the present years.
2 Therefore have I now taken away Tsiyon, that I may the more speedily visit the world in its season.
3 Now therefore hold fast in your heart everything that I command you, and seal it in the recesses of your mind.
4 And then I will show you the judgment of my might, and my ways which are unsearchable.
5 Go therefore and sanctify yourself seven days, and eat no bread, nor drink water, nor speak to anyone.
6 And afterwards come to that place and I will reveal myself to you, and speak true things with you, and I will give you commandment regarding the method of the times; for they are coming and tarry not.
21 | 1 AND I went thence and sat in the valley of Qidron in a cave of the earth, and I sanctified my soul there, and I ate no bread, yet I was not hungry, and I drank no water, yet I thirsted not, and I was there till the seventh day, as he had commanded me.
2 And afterwards I came to that place where he had spoken with me.
3 And it came to pass at sunset that my soul took much thought, and I began to speak in the presence of EL ELOHIYM, and said:
4 O you that have made the earth, hear me that have fixed the expanse by your Word, and have made firm the height of the heaven by the RUACH, that have called from the beginning of the world that which did not yet exist, and they obey you.
5 You that have commanded the air by your nod, and have seen those things which are to be as those things which you are doing.
6 You that rule with great thought the hosts that stand before you: also the countless holy beings, which you did make from the beginning, of flame and fire which stand round about your throne, you rule with indignation.
7 To you only does this belong that you should do forth with whatsoever you wish.
8 Who cause the drops of rain to rain by number upon the earth, and alone know the consummation of the times before they come; have respect unto my prayer.
9 For you alone are able to sustain all who are, and those who have passed away, and those who are to be, those who sin, and those who are righteous as living and being past finding out.
10 For you alone do live immortal and past finding out, and know the number of mankind.
11 And if in time many have sinned, yet others not a few have been righteous.
12 You know where you preserve the end of those who have sinned, or the consummation of those who have been righteous.
13 For if there were this life only, which belongs to all men, nothing could be more bitter than this.
14 For of what profit is strength that turns to sickness, or fulness of food that turns to famine, or beauty that turns to ugliness.
15 For the nature of man is always changeable.
16 For what we were formerly now we no longer are, and what we now are we shall not afterwards remain.
17 For if a consummation had not been prepared for all, in vain would have been their beginning.
18 But regarding everything that comes from you, do inform me, and regarding everything about which I ask you, do enlighten me.
19 How long will that which is corruptible remain, and how long will the time of mortals be prospered, and until what time will those who transgress in the world be polluted with much wickedness?
20 Command therefore in mercy and accomplish all that you said you would bring, that your might may be made known to those who think that your longsuffering is weakness.
21 And show to those who know not, that everything that has befallen us and our city until now has been according to the longsuffering of your power. Because on account of your name, you have called us a beloved people.
22 Bring to an end therefore henceforth mortality.
23 And reprove accordingly the angel of death, and let your glory appear, and let the might of your beauty be known, and let She’ol be sealed so that from henceforth it may not receive the dead, and let the treasuries of souls restore those which are enclosed in them.
24 For there have been many years like those that are desolate from the days of Avraham and Yitschaq and Ya`aqov, and of all those who are like them, who sleep in the earth, on whose account you did say that you had created the world.
25 And now quickly show your glory, and do not defer what has been promised by you.
26 And when I had completed the words of this prayer, I was greatly weakened.
Thank you for joining us as we read through the entire WORD of GOD! As for me and My House, we will serve the LORD.