Weekly Scripture Reading
Vayera | וירא | “He Appeared”
Torah: Genesis 18:1-22:24
Prophets: Isaiah 6:1-13
Writings: Joshua 7:1-8:35
New Testament: Revelation 18:1-24 & John 4:1-26
The following translation is from The Scriptures | ISR98
Genesis 18:1 – 22:24
18|1 And יהוה appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamrĕ, while he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.
2 So he lifted his eyes and looked, and saw three men standing opposite him. And when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground,
3 and said, “יהוה, if I have now found favour in Your eyes, please do not pass Your servant by.
4 “Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.
5 “And let me bring a piece of bread and refresh your hearts, and then go on, for this is why you have come to your servant.” And they said, “Do as you have said.”
6 So Aḇraham ran into the tent to Sarah and said, “Hurry, make ready three measures of fine flour, knead it and make cakes.”
7 And Aḇraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hurried to prepare it.
8 And he took curds and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them, and he stood by them under the tree as they ate.
9 And they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” And he said, “See, in the tent.”
10 And He said, “I shall certainly return to you according to the time of life, and see, Sarah your wife is to have a son!” And Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.
11 Now Aḇraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age, and Sarah was past the way of women.
12 And Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my master being old too?”
13 And יהוה said to Aḇraham, “Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I truly have a child, since I am old?’
14 “Is any matter too hard for יהוה? At the appointed time I am going to return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah is to have a son.”
15 But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. And He said, “No, but you did laugh!”
16 And the men rose up from there and looked toward Seḏom, and Aḇraham went with them to send them away.
17 And יהוה said, “Shall I hide from Aḇraham what I am doing,
18 since Aḇraham is certainly going to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
19 “For I have known him, so that he commands his children and his household after him, to guard the way of יהוה, to do righteousness and right-ruling, so that יהוה brings to Aḇraham what He has spoken to him.”
20 And יהוה said, “Because the outcry against Seḏom and Amorah is great, and because their sin is very heavy,
21 “I am going down now to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me, and if not, I know.”
22 So the men turned away from there and went toward Seḏom, but יהוה still stood before Aḇraham.
23 And Aḇraham drew near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wrong?
24 “Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city, would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it?
25 “Far be it from You to act in this way, to slay the righteous with the wrong, so that the righteous should be as the wrong. Far be it from You! Does the Judge of all the earth not do right?”
26 And יהוה said, “If I find in Seḏom fifty righteous within the city, then I shall spare all the place for their sakes.”
27 And Aḇraham answered and said, “Look, please, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to יהוה,
28 “Suppose there are five less than the fifty righteous, would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?” And He said, “If I find there forty-five, I do not destroy it.”
29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there are found forty?” And He said, “I would not do it for the sake of forty.”
30 And he said, “Let not יהוה be displeased, and let me speak: Suppose there are found thirty?” And He said, “I would not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 And he said, “Look, please, I have taken it upon myself to speak to יהוה: Suppose there are found twenty?” And He said, “I would not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
32 And he said, “Let not יהוה be displeased, and let me speak only this time: Suppose there are found ten?” And He said, “I would not destroy it for the sake of ten.”
33 Then יהוה went away as soon as He had ended speaking to Aḇraham. And Aḇraham returned to his place.
19|1 And the two messengers came to Seḏom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Seḏom. And when Lot saw them, he rose up to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground,
2 and he said, “Look, please my masters, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet, and rise early and go your way.” And they said, “No, but let us spend the night in the open square.”
3 But he urged them strongly, and they turned in to him and came into his house. And he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
4 Before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Seḏom, both old and young, all the people from every part, surrounded the house.
5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, and let us ‘know’ them.”
6 So Lot went out to them through the doorway, and shut the door behind him,
7 and said, “Please, my brothers, do not do evil!
8 “Look, please, I have two daughters who have not known a man. Please, let me bring them out to you, and do to them as you wish, only do no deed to these men, because they have come under the shadow of my roof.”
9 But they said, “Stand back!” And they said, “This one came in to sojourn, and should he always judge? Now we are going to treat you worse than them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door.
10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door.
11 Then they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, and they wearied themselves to find the door.
12 And the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? A son-in-law, and your sons, and your daughters, and whomever you have in the city – bring them out of this place!
13 “For we are going to destroy this place, because the cry against them has grown great before the face of יהוה, and יהוה has sent us to destroy it.”
14 And Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place, for יהוה is going to destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be as one joking.
15 And when morning dawned, the messengers urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Get up, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.”
16 And while he loitered, the men took hold of his hand, and his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, יהוה having compassion on him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.
17 And it came to be, when they had brought them outside, that he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be consumed.”
18 And Lot said to them, “Oh no, יהוה!
19 “Look, please, your servant has found favour in your eyes, and you have increased your kindness which you have shown me by saving my life, but I am unable to escape to the mountains, lest calamity overtake me and I die.
20 “Look, please, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is small. Please let me escape there – is it not a small matter – and let my life be saved?”
21 And He said to him, “Look, I have favoured you concerning this matter also, without overthrowing this city for which you have spoken.
22 “Hurry, escape there. For I am not able to do any deed until you arrive there.” So the name of the city was called Tso‛ar.
23 The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Tso‛ar.
24 And יהוה rained sulphur and fire on Seḏom and Amorah, from יהוה out of the heavens.
25 So He overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.
26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a post of salt.
27 And Aḇraham arose early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before יהוה,
28 and he looked toward Seḏom and Amorah, and toward all the land of the plain. And he looked and saw the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace.
29 Thus it came to be, when Elohim destroyed the cities of the plain, that Elohim remembered Aḇraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.
30 And Lot went up out of Tso‛ar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him, for he was afraid to dwell in Tso‛ar. And he and his two daughters dwelt in a cave.
31 And the first-born said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us, as is the way of all the earth.
32 “Come, let us make our father drink wine and lie with him, so that we preserve the seed of our father.”
33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the first-born went in and lay with her father, and he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she arose.
34 And it came to be on the next day that the first-born said to the younger, “See, I lay with my father last night. Let us make him drink wine tonight as well, and you go in and lie with him, so that we keep the seed of our father.”
35 So they made their father drink wine that night as well. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she arose.
36 Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father.
37 And the first-born bore a son and called his name Mo’aḇ, he is the father of the Mo’aḇites to this day.
38 And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi, he is the father of the children of Ammon to this day.
20|1 And Aḇraham set out from there to the land of the South, and dwelt between Qaḏĕsh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar.
2 And Aḇraham said concerning Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Aḇimeleḵ sovereign of Gerar sent and took Sarah.
3 But Elohim came to Aḇimeleḵ in a dream by night, and said to him, “See, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is a man’s wife.”
4 However, Aḇimeleḵ had not come near her, and he said, “יהוה, would You slay a righteous nation also?
5 “Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and in the innocence of my hands I have done this.”
6 And Elohim said to him in a dream, “Yea, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart, and so I kept you from sinning against Me. For this reason I did not let you touch her.
7 “And now, return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and let him pray for you and you live. But if you do not return her, know that you shall certainly die, you and all that are yours.”
8 So Aḇimeleḵ rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and spoke all these words in their hearing. And the men were greatly frightened.
9 And Aḇimeleḵ called Aḇraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? In what have I sinned against you, that you have brought on me and on my reign a great sin? You have done matters to me that should not be done.”
10 And Aḇimeleḵ said to Aḇraham, “What did you have in view, that you have done this matter?”
11 And Aḇraham said, “Only because I said to myself, the fear of Elohim is not in this place, and they shall kill me for the sake of my wife.
12 “And yet, she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.
13 “And it came to be, when Elohim caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is your kindness that you should do for me: in every place, wherever we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ”
14 Then Aḇimeleḵ took sheep, and cattle, and male and female servants, and gave them to Aḇraham. And he returned Sarah his wife to him.
15 And Aḇimeleḵ said, “See, my land is before you, dwell wherever it is good in your eyes.”
16 And to Sarah he said, “See, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver. See, it is to you a covering of eyes before all who are with you and before all others, and you are cleared before everyone.”
17 And Aḇraham prayed to Elohim, and Elohim healed Aḇimeleḵ, and his wife, and his female servants, so they bore children,
18 for יהוה had closed up all the wombs of the house of Aḇimeleḵ because of Sarah, Aḇraham’s wife.
21|1 And יהוה visited Sarah as He had said, and יהוה did for Sarah as He had spoken.
2 So Sarah conceived and bore Aḇraham a son in his old age, at the appointed time of which Elohim had spoken to him.
3 And Aḇraham called the name of his son who was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Yitsḥaq.
4 And Aḇraham circumcised his son Yitsḥaq when he was eight days old, as Elohim had commanded him.
5 And Aḇraham was one hundred years old when his son Yitsḥaq was born to him.
6 And Sarah said, “Elohim has made me laugh, and everyone who hears of it laughs with me.”
7 And she said, “Who would have said to Aḇraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”
8 And the child grew and was weaned, and Aḇraham made a great feast on the day that Yitsḥaq was weaned.
9 And Sarah saw the son of Hag̅ar the Mitsrite, whom she had borne to Aḇraham, mocking.
10 So she said to Aḇraham, “Drive out this female servant and her son, for the son of this female servant shall not inherit with my son, with Yitsḥaq.”
11 And the matter was very evil in the eyes of Aḇraham because of his son.
12 But Elohim said to Aḇraham, “Let it not be evil in your eyes because of the boy and because of your female servant. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice, for in Yitsḥaq your seed is called.
13 “And of the son of the female servant I also make a nation, because he is your seed.”
14 And Aḇraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and a skin of water, which he gave to Hag̅ar, putting it on her shoulder, also the boy, and sent her away. And she left and wandered in the Wilderness of Be’ĕrsheḇa.
15 And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs.
16 And she went and sat down about a bowshot away, for she said, “Let me not see the death of the boy.” And she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept.
17 And Elohim heard the voice of the boy, and the messenger of Elohim called to Hag̅ar from the heavens, and said to her, “What is the matter with you, Hag̅ar? Do not fear, for Elohim has heard the voice of the boy where he is.
18 “Arise, lift up the boy and hold him with your hand, for I make a great nation of him.”
19 And Elohim opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the boy a drink.
20 And Elohim was with the boy, and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer.
21 And he dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Mitsrayim.
22 And it came to be at that time that Aḇimeleḵ and Piḵol, the commander of his army, spoke to Aḇraham, saying, “Elohim is with you in all that you do.
23 “And now, swear to me by Elohim, not to be untrue to me, to my offspring, or to my descendants. Do to me according to the kindness that I have done to you and to the land in which you have dwelt.”
24 And Aḇraham said, “I swear.”
25 And Aḇraham reproved Aḇimeleḵ because of a well of water which Aḇimeleḵ’s servants had seized.
26 And Aḇimeleḵ said, “I do not know who has done this deed. Neither did you inform me, nor did I hear until today.”
27 So Aḇraham took sheep and cattle and gave them to Aḇimeleḵ, and the two of them made a covenant.
28 And Aḇraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.
29 And Aḇimeleḵ asked Aḇraham, “What are these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves?”
30 And he said, “Take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, to be my witness that I have dug this well.”
31 So he called that place Be’ĕrsheḇa, because the two of them swore an oath there.
32 Thus they made a covenant at Be’ĕrsheḇa. And Aḇimeleḵ rose with Piḵol, the commander of his army, and they returned to the land of the Philistines.
33 And he planted a tamarisk tree in Be’ĕrsheḇa, and there called on the Name of יהוה, the Everlasting Ěl.
34 And Aḇraham sojourned in the land of the Philistines many days.
22|1 And it came to be after these events that Elohim tried Aḇraham, and said to him, “Aḇraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
2 And He said, “Take your son, now, your only son Yitsḥaq, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriyah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains which I command you.”
3 And Aḇraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Yitsḥaq his son. And he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place which Elohim had commanded him.
4 And on the third day Aḇraham lifted his eyes and saw the place from a distance.
5 So Aḇraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey while the boy and I go over there and worship, and come back to you.”
6 And Aḇraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Yitsḥaq his son. And he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.
7 And Yitsḥaq spoke to Aḇraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “See, the fire and the wood! But where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”
8 And Aḇraham said, “My son, Elohim does provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” And the two of them went together.
9 And they came to the place which Elohim had commanded him, and Aḇraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order. And he bound Yitsḥaq his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
10 And Aḇraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son,
11 but the Messenger of יהוה called to him from the heavens and said, “Aḇraham, Aḇraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
12 And He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy, nor touch him. For now I know that you fear Elohim, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”
13 And Aḇraham lifted his eyes and looked and saw behind him a ram caught in a bush by its horns, and Aḇraham went and took the ram and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son.
14 And Aḇraham called the name of the place, ‘יהוה Yireh,’ as it is said to this day, “On the mountain יהוה provides.”
15 And the Messenger of יהוה called to Aḇraham a second time from the heavens,
16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares יהוה, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son,
17 that I shall certainly bless you, and I shall certainly increase your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore, and let your seed possess the gate of their enemies.
18 “And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”
19 Then Aḇraham returned to his young men, and they rose up and went together to Be’ĕrsheḇa. And Aḇraham dwelt at Be’ĕrsheḇa.
20 And it came to be after these events that it was reported to Aḇraham, saying, “See, Milkah too has borne children to your brother Naḥor:
21 “Uts his first-born, and Buz his brother, and Qemu’ĕl the father of Aram,
22 and Keseḏ, and Ḥazo, and Pildash, and Yiḏlaph, and Bethu’ĕl.”
23 And Bethu’ĕl brought forth Riḇqah. These eight Milkah bore to Naḥor, Aḇraham’s brother.
24 And his concubine, whose name was Re’uwmah, also bore Teḇaḥ, and Gaḥam, and Taḥash, and Ma‛aḵah.
6|1 In the year that Sovereign Uzziyahu died, I saw יהוה sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the Hĕḵal.
2 Above it stood seraphim. Each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
3 And one cried to another and said, “Set-apart, set-apart, set-apart is יהוה of hosts; all the earth is filled with His esteem!”
4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 And I said, “Woe to me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips – for my eyes have seen the Sovereign, יהוה of hosts.”
6 And one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar.
7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your crookedness is taken away, and your sin is covered.”
8 And I heard the voice of יהוה, saying, “Whom do I send, and who would go for Us?” And I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
9 And He said, “Go, and you shall say to this people, ‘Hearing, you hear, but do not understand; and seeing, you see, but do not know.’
10 “Make the heart of this people fat, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and shall turn and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “יהוה, until when?” And He answered, “Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, and the houses are without a man, and the land is laid waste, a ruin,
12 and יהוה has removed men far away, and the forsaken places be many in the midst of the land.
13 “But still, there is a tenth part in it, and it shall again be for a burning, like a terebinth tree and like an oak, whose stump remains when it is cut down. The set-apart seed is its stump!”
7|1 But the children of Yisra’ĕl committed a trespass regarding that which is under the ban, for Aḵan son of Karmi, son of Zaḇdi, son of Zeraḥ, of the tribe of Yehuḏah, took of that which is under the ban. And the displeasure of יהוה burned against the children of Yisra’ĕl.
2 Now Yehoshua sent men from Yeriḥo to Ai, which is beside Bĕyth Awen, on the east side of Bĕyth Ěl, and spoke to them, saying, “Go up and spy out the land.” And the men went up and spied out Ai.
3 And they returned to Yehoshua and said to him, “Let not all the people go up, but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai. Do not make all the people toil up there, for the people of Ai are few.”
4 And about three thousand men went up there from the people, but they fled before the men of Ai.
5 And the men of Ai smote about thirty-six men, for they pursued them from before the gate as far as Sheḇarim, and smote them on the descent. So the hearts of the people melted and became like water.
6 And Yehoshua tore his garments, and fell to the earth on his face before the ark of יהוה until evening, both he and the elders of Yisra’ĕl, and they put dust on their heads.
7 And Yehoshua said, “Oh Master יהוה, why have You brought this people over the Yardĕn at all, to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? If only we had been content to stay beyond the Yardĕn!
8 “O יהוה, what do I say when Yisra’ĕl turns its back before its enemies,
9 and the Kena‛anites and all the inhabitants of the land hear, and shall surround us, and cut off our name from the earth. What then do You do for Your great Name?”
10 And יהוה said to Yehoshua, “Rise up! Why are you lying on your face?
11 “Yisra’ĕl has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them. And they have even taken some of that which is under the ban, and have both stolen and deceived, and also put it among their own goods.
12 “And the sons of Yisra’ĕl shall not be able to stand before their enemies. They are going to turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed. I am not with you any more, unless you destroy that which is under the ban from your midst.
13 “Rise up, set the people apart, and you shall say, ‘Set yourselves apart for tomorrow, because thus said יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, “That which is under the ban is in your midst, O Yisra’ĕl. You are not able to stand before your enemies until you put away that which is under the ban out of your midst.”
14 ‘And you shall be brought near in the morning, according to your tribes. And it shall be, the tribe which יהוה takes comes according to clans. And the clan which יהוה takes comes by households. And the household which יהוה takes comes by men.
15 ‘And it shall be that he who is taken with that which is under the ban is burned with fire, he and all that he has, because he has transgressed the covenant of יהוה, and because he has committed wickedness in Yisra’ĕl.’ ”
16 So Yehoshua arose early in the morning and brought Yisra’ĕl by their tribes, and the tribe of Yehuḏah was taken,
17 and he brought the clan of Yehuḏah, and he took the clan of the Zarḥites. And he brought the clan of the Zarḥites by men, and Zaḇdi was taken.
18 And he brought his household by men, and Aḵan son of Karmi, son of Zaḇdi, son of Zeraḥ, of the tribe of Yehuḏah, was taken.
19 Then Yehoshua said to Aḵan, “My son, now give esteem to יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, and make confession to Him. And please declare to me what you have done, do not hide it from me.”
20 So Aḵan answered Yehoshua and said, “Truly, I have sinned against יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, and this is what I did:
21 “When I saw among the spoil a lovely garment from Shin‛ar, and two hundred sheqels of silver, and a wedge of gold weighing fifty sheqels, I coveted them and took them. And see, they are hidden in the ground in the midst of my tent, with the silver under it.”
22 And Yehoshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent. And see, it was hidden in his tent, with the silver under it.
23 And they took them from the midst of the tent, brought them to Yehoshua and to all the children of Yisra’ĕl, and laid them out before יהוה.
24 Then Yehoshua, and all Yisra’ĕl with him, took Aḵan son of Zeraḥ, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his donkeys, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had, and they brought them to the Valley of Aḵor.
25 And Yehoshua said, “Why have you troubled us? יהוה does trouble you today!” Then all Yisra’ĕl stoned him with stones. And they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones.
26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones, which remains to this day. Then יהוה turned from the fierceness of His displeasure. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Aḵor to this day.
8|1 And יהוה said to Yehoshua, “Do not be afraid, nor be discouraged. Take all the soldiers with you, and arise, go up to Ai. See, I have given into your hand the sovereign of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land.
2 “So you shall do to Ai and its sovereign as you did to Yeriḥo and its sovereign. Only its spoil and its livestock you take as plunder for yourselves. Set for yourselves an ambush for the city, behind it.”
3 And Yehoshua and all the soldiers rose up, to go up to Ai. And Yehoshua chose thirty thousand mighty brave men and sent them away by night,
4 and commanded them, saying, “See, you are going to lie in ambush against the city, behind the city. Do not go very far from the city, but all of you shall be prepared,
5 while I and all the people who are with me approach the city. And it shall be, when they come out against us, as formerly, that we shall flee before them,
6 and they shall come out after us till we have drawn them from the city, as though saying, ‘They are fleeing before us as formerly.’ And we shall flee before them,
7 then you shall rise from the ambush and seize the city. And יהוה your Elohim shall give it into your hand.
8 “And it shall be, when you capture the city, that you burn the city with fire. Do according to the word of יהוה. See, I have commanded you.”
9 And Yehoshua sent them out. And they went to lie in ambush, and stayed between Bĕyth Ěl and Ai, on the west side of Ai. But Yehoshua stayed that night in the midst of the people.
10 And Yehoshua rose up early in the morning and inspected the people, and went up, he and the elders of Yisra’ĕl, before the people to Ai.
11 And all the soldiers who were with him went up and drew near, and came before the city and camped on the north side of Ai, with the valley between them and Ai.
12 And he took about five thousand men and set them in ambush between Bĕyth Ěl and Ai, on the west side of the city.
13 So they stationed the people, all the army that was on the north of the city, and its rear guard on the west of the city, and Yehoshua went that night into the midst of the valley.
14 And it came to be, when the sovereign of Ai saw it, that the men of the city hastened and rose up early and went out against Yisra’ĕl to battle, he and all his people, at an appointed place before the desert plain. But he did not know that there was an ambush against him behind the city.
15 And Yehoshua and all Yisra’ĕl let themselves be beaten before them, and fled by the way of the wilderness.
16 And all the people who were in Ai were called together to pursue them. And they pursued Yehoshua and were drawn away from the city.
17 So there was not a man left in Ai or Bĕyth Ěl who did not go out after Yisra’ĕl, and they left the city open and pursued Yisra’ĕl.
18 And יהוה said to Yehoshua, “Stretch out the spear that is in your hand toward Ai, for I give it into your hand.” And Yehoshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city,
19 and the ambush rose up quickly from their place, and they ran at the stretching out of his hand, and entered the city and took it, and hastened to burn the city with fire.
20 And the men of Ai looked behind them and saw the smoke of the city rising to the heavens. And there was no power in them to flee this way or that way, for the people who had fled to the wilderness turned back on the pursuers.
21 For when Yehoshua and all Yisra’ĕl saw that the ambush had captured the city and that the smoke of the city went up, they turned back and smote the men of Ai.
22 The others also came out of the city against them, so they were in the midst of Yisra’ĕl, some on this side and some on that side. And they smote them until none were left, and none had escaped.
23 But the sovereign of Ai they caught alive, and brought him to Yehoshua.
24 And it came to be, when Yisra’ĕl ended slaying all the inhabitants of Ai in the field, in the wilderness where they pursued them, and when they all had fallen by the edge of the sword until they were consumed, that all the Yisra’ĕlites returned to Ai and smote it with the edge of the sword.
25 And it came to be that all who fell that day, both men and women, were twelve thousand – all men of Ai.
26 And Yehoshua did not draw back his hand, with which he stretched out the spear, until he had put all the inhabitants of Ai under the ban.
27 Only the livestock and the spoil of that city Yisra’ĕl took as booty for themselves, according to the word of יהוה which He had commanded Yehoshua.
28 And Yehoshua burned Ai and made it a heap forever, a ruin to this day.
29 And he hanged the sovereign of Ai on a tree until evening. And at sunset Yehoshua commanded that they should take his corpse down from the tree, and throw it at the entrance of the gate of the city, and raise over it a great heap of stones, to this day.
30 And Yehoshua built an altar to יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl in Mount Ěyḇal,
31 as Mosheh the servant of יהוה had commanded the children of Yisra’ĕl, as it is written in the Book of the Torah of Mosheh, “an altar of unhewn stones over which no man has wielded iron.” And they offered on it burnt offerings to יהוה, and slaughtered peace offerings.
32 And there, in the presence of the children of Yisra’ĕl, he wrote on the stones a copy of the Torah of Mosheh, which he had written.
33 And all Yisra’ĕl – the sojourner as well as the native – with their elders and officers and judges, stood on either side of the ark before the priests, the Lĕwites, who bore the ark of the covenant of יהוה. Half of them were in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ěyḇal, as Mosheh the servant of יהוה had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Yisra’ĕl.
34 And afterward he read all the words of the Torah, the blessings and the cursings, according to all that is written in the Book of the Torah.
35 There was not a word of all that Mosheh had commanded which Yehoshua did not read before all the assembly of Yisra’ĕl, with the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who accompanied them.
18|1 And after this I saw another messenger coming down from the heaven, having great authority, and the earth was lightened from his esteem.
2 And he cried with a mighty voice, saying, “Baḇel the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt for every unclean spirit, and a haunt for every unclean and hated bird,
3 because all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her whoring, and the sovereigns of the earth have committed whoring with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the power of her riotous living.”
4 And I heard another voice from the heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.a
5 “Because her sins have piled up to reach the heaven, and Elohim has remembered her unrighteousnesses.
6 “Render to her as she indeed did render, and repay her double according to her works. In the cup which she has mixed, mix for her double.
7 “As much as she esteemed herself and lived riotously, so much torture and grief give to her, because in her heart she says, ‘I sit as sovereigness, and I am not a widow, and I do not see mourning at all.’
8 “Because of this her plagues shall come in one day: death and mourning and scarcity of food. And she shall be burned up with fire, because יהוה Elohim who judges her is mighty.
9 “And the sovereigns of the earth who committed whoring and lived riotously with her shall weep and mourn over her, when they see the smoke of her burning,
10 standing at a distance for fear of her torture, saying, ‘Woe! Woe, the great city Baḇel, the mighty city, because your judgment has come in one hour!’
11 “And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their merchandise any more –
12 merchandise of gold and silver, and precious stone and pearls, and fine linen and purple, and silk and scarlet, and all citron wood, and every object of ivory, and every object of most precious wood and bronze and iron and marble,
13 and cinnamon and incense, and fragrant oil and frankincense, and wine and oil, and fine flour and wheat, and cattle and sheep, and horses and carriages, and bodies and lives of men.
14 “And the fruit that your being longed for has gone from you. And all your riches and splendor are lost to you, and you shall find them no more, not at all.
15 “The merchants of these, those who became rich by her, shall stand at a distance for fear of her torture, weeping and mourning,
16 and saying, ‘Woe! Woe, the great city that was dressed in fine linen and purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!
17 ‘For in one hour such great riches was laid waste.’ And every shipmaster, and every passenger, and sailors, and as many as work the sea for their living, stood at a distance,
18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’
19 “And they threw dust on their heads and cried out, weeping and mourning, and saying, ‘Woe! Woe, the great city, in which all who had ships on the sea became rich by her wealth! For in one hour she was laid waste.’
20 “Rejoice over her, O heaven, and you set-apart emissaries and prophets, for Elohim has completely avenged you on her!”
21 And one mighty messenger picked up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into the sea, saying, “With such a rush the great city Baḇel shall be thrown down, and shall not be found any more at all.
22 “And the sound of harpists, and musicians, and flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you any more at all. And no craftsman of any trade shall be found in you any more at all. And the sound of a millstone shall not be heard in you any more at all.
23 “And the light of a lamp shall not shine in you any more at all. And the voice of bridegroom and bride shall not be heard in you any more at all. For your merchants were the great ones of the earth, for by your drug sorcery all the nations were led astray.
24 “And in her was found the blood of prophets and set-apart ones, and of all who were slain on the earth.”
4|1 So when the Master knew that the Pharisees had heard that יהושע made and immersed more taught ones than Yoḥanan –
2 although יהושע Himself did not immerse, but His taught ones –
3 He left Yehuḏah and went away again to Galil.
4 And He had to pass through Shomeron.
5 So He came to a city of Shomeron, called Sheḵem, near the piece of land Ya‛aqoḇ gave to his son Yosĕph.
6 And Ya‛aqoḇ’s fountain was there. So יהושע, being wearied from the journey, was sitting thus at the fountain. It was about the sixth hour.
7 A woman of Shomeron came to draw water. יהושע said to her, “Give Me to drink.”
8 For His taught ones had gone off into the city to buy food.
9 The woman of Shomeron therefore said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Yehuḏite, ask a drink from me, a woman of Shomeron?” For Yehuḏim do not associate with Shomeronites.
10 יהושע answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of Elohim, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me to drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”a
11 The woman said to Him, “Master, You have no vessel, and the well is deep. From where, then, do You have living water?
12 “Are You greater than our father Ya‛aqoḇ, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?”
13 יהושע answered and said to her, “Everyone drinking of this water shall thirst again,
14 but whoever drinks of the water I give him shall certainly never thirst. And the water that I give him shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
15 The woman said to Him, “Master, give me this water, so that I do not thirst, nor come here to draw.”
16 יהושע said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”
17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” יהושע said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’
18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.”
19 The woman said to Him, “Master, I see that You are a prophet.
20 “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you people say that in Yerushalayim is the place where one needs to worship.”
21 יהושע said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither on this mountain, nor in Yerushalayim, worship the Father.
22 “You worship what you do not know. We worship what we know, because the deliverance is of the Yehuḏim.a
23 “But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father also does seek such to worship Him.
24 “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.”
25 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming, the One who is called Anointed. When that One comes, He shall announce to us all.”
26 יהושע said to her, “I who am speaking to you am He.”
Thank you for joining us as we read through the WORD of GOD! From My House to yours, may your Sabbath be full of the rest found in Him.