Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied.
Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."
Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.
On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.
He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."
Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together,
Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?" "Yes, my son?" Abraham replied. "The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"
Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.
But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!" "Here I am," he replied.
"Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."
Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.
So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."
The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time
and said, "I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son,
I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,
and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me."
Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set off together for Beersheba. And Abraham stayed in Beersheba.
Some time later Abraham was told, "Milcah is also a mother; she has borne sons to your brother Nahor:
Uz the firstborn, Buz his brother, Kemuel (the father of Aram),
Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph and Bethuel."
Bethuel became the father of Rebekah. Milcah bore these eight sons to Abraham's brother Nahor.
His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also had sons: Tebah, Gaham, Tahash and Maacah.
Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying:
2"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.3He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.4"Then he sent some more servants and said, 'Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.'5"But they paid no attention and went off--one to his field, another to his business.6The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.7The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.8"Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.9Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.'10So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.11"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.12'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless.13"Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'14"For many are invited, but few are chosen."
Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.
They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are.
Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?"
But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?19Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius,
and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?"21
"Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."22
When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.
That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.
"Teacher," they said, "Moses told us that if a man dies without having children, his brother must marry the widow and have children for him.
Now there were seven brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother.
The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the seventh.
Finally, the woman died.
Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the seven, since all of them were married to her?"
Jesus replied, "You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.30At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.31But about the resurrection of the dead--have you not read what God said to you,32'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' ? He is not the God of the dead but of the living."33
When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'38This is the first and greatest commandment.39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them,
42"What do you think about the Christ ? Whose son is he?" "The son of David," they replied.
He said to them, "How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him 'Lord'? For he says,44" 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." '45If then David calls him 'Lord,' how can he be his son?"46
No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:
2"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat.3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.4They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.#rl
5"Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;6they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;7they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them 'Rabbi.'8"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have only one Master and you are all brothers.9And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.10Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ.11The greatest among you will be your servant.12For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.13"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.15"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.16"Woe to you, blind guides! You say, 'If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.'17You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?18You also say, 'If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but if anyone swears by the gift on it, he is bound by his oath.'19You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?#rl
20Therefore, he who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.21And he who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.#rl
22And he who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it.23"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.24You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.25"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.27"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean.28In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.29"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous.30And you say, 'If we had lived in the days of our forefathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.'31So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.32Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!33"You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?34Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.35And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.36I tell you the truth, all this will come upon this generation.#rl
37"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.38Look, your house is left to you desolate.#rl
39For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' "
Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old.
She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her.
Then Abraham rose from beside his dead wife and spoke to the Hittites. He said,
"I am an alien and a stranger among you. Sell me some property for a burial site here so I can bury my dead.
The Hittites replied to Abraham,
"Sir, listen to us. You are a mighty prince among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb for burying your dead."
Then Abraham rose and bowed down before the people of the land, the Hittites.
He said to them, "If you are willing to let me bury my dead, then listen to me and intercede with Ephron son of Zohar on my behalf
so he will sell me the cave of Machpelah, which belongs to him and is at the end of his field. Ask him to sell it to me for the full price as a burial site among you."
Ephron the Hittite was sitting among his people and he replied to Abraham in the hearing of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of his city.
"No, my lord," he said. "Listen to me; I give you the field, and I give you the cave that is in it. I give it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead."
Again Abraham bowed down before the people of the land
and he said to Ephron in their hearing, "Listen to me, if you will. I will pay the price of the field. Accept it from me so I can bury my dead there."
Ephron answered Abraham
"Listen to me, my lord; the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver, but what is that between me and you? Bury your dead."
Abraham agreed to Ephron's terms and weighed out for him the price he had named in the hearing of the Hittites: four hundred shekels of silver, according to the weight current among the merchants.
So Ephron's field in Machpelah near Mamre--both the field and the cave in it, and all the trees within the borders of the field--was deeded
to Abraham as his property in the presence of all the Hittites who had come to the gate of the city.
Afterward Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre (which is at Hebron) in the land of Canaan.
So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site.
Abraham was now old and well advanced in years, and the LORD had blessed him in every way.
He said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, "Put your hand under my thigh.
I want you to swear by the LORD, the God of heaven and the God of earth, that you will not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living,
but will go to my country and my own relatives and get a wife for my son Isaac."
The servant asked him, "What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land? Shall I then take your son back to the country you came from?"
"Make sure that you do not take my son back there," Abraham said.
"The LORD, the God of heaven, who brought me out of my father's household and my native land and who spoke to me and promised me on oath, saying, 'To your offspring I will give this land'--he will send his angel before you so that you can get a wife for my son from there.
If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine. Only do not take my son back there."
So the servant put his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and swore an oath to him concerning this matter.
Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and left, taking with him all kinds of good things from his master. He set out for Aram Naharaim and made his way to the town of Nahor.
He had the camels kneel down near the well outside the town; it was toward evening, the time the women go out to draw water.
Then he prayed, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.
See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water.
May it be that when I say to a girl, 'Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,' and she says, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too'--let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master."
Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Abraham's brother Nahor.
The girl was very beautiful, a virgin; no man had ever lain with her. She went down to the spring, filled her jar and came up again.
The servant hurried to meet her and said, "Please give me a little water from your jar."
"Drink, my lord," she said, and quickly lowered the jar to her hands and gave him a drink.
After she had given him a drink, she said, "I'll draw water for your camels too, until they have finished drinking."
So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough, ran back to the well to draw more water, and drew enough for all his camels.
Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the LORD had made his journey successful.
When the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.
Then he asked, "Whose daughter are you? Please tell me, is there room in your father's house for us to spend the night?"
She answered him, "I am the daughter of Bethuel, the son that Milcah bore to Nahor."
And she added, "We have plenty of straw and fodder, as well as room for you to spend the night."
Then the man bowed down and worshiped the LORD,
saying, "Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his kindness and faithfulness to my master. As for me, the LORD has led me on the journey to the house of my master's relatives."
The girl ran and told her mother's household about these things.
Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban, and he hurried out to the man at the spring.
As soon as he had seen the nose ring, and the bracelets on his sister's arms, and had heard Rebekah tell what the man said to her, he went out to the man and found him standing by the camels near the spring.
"Come, you who are blessed by the LORD," he said. "Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels."
So the man went to the house, and the camels were unloaded. Straw and fodder were brought for the camels, and water for him and his men to wash their feet.
Then food was set before him, but he said, "I will not eat until I have told you what I have to say." "Then tell us," [Laban] said.
So he said, "I am Abraham's servant.
The LORD has blessed my master abundantly, and he has become wealthy. He has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, menservants and maidservants, and camels and donkeys.
My master's wife Sarah has borne him a son in her old age, and he has given him everything he owns.
And my master made me swear an oath, and said, 'You must not get a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live,
but go to my father's family and to my own clan, and get a wife for my son.'
"Then I asked my master, 'What if the woman will not come back with me?'
"He replied, 'The LORD, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success, so that you can get a wife for my son from my own clan and from my father's family.
Then, when you go to my clan, you will be released from my oath even if they refuse to give her to you--you will be released from my oath.'
"When I came to the spring today, I said, 'O LORD, God of my master Abraham, if you will, please grant success to the journey on which I have come.
See, I am standing beside this spring; if a maiden comes out to draw water and I say to her, "Please let me drink a little water from your jar,"
and if she says to me, "Drink, and I'll draw water for your camels too," let her be the one the LORD has chosen for my master's son.'
"Before I finished praying in my heart, Rebekah came out, with her jar on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water, and I said to her, 'Please give me a drink.'
"She quickly lowered her jar from her shoulder and said, 'Drink, and I'll water your camels too.' So I drank, and she watered the camels also.
"I asked her, 'Whose daughter are you?' "She said, 'The daughter of Bethuel son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to him.' "Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms,
and I bowed down and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master's brother for his son.
Now if you will show kindness and faithfulness to my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so I may know which way to turn."
Laban and Bethuel answered, "This is from the LORD; we can say nothing to you one way or the other.
Here is Rebekah; take her and go, and let her become the wife of your master's son, as the LORD has directed."
When Abraham's servant heard what they said, he bowed down to the ground before the LORD.
Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah; he also gave costly gifts to her brother and to her mother.
Then he and the men who were with him ate and drank and spent the night there. When they got up the next morning, he said, "Send me on my way to my master."
But her brother and her mother replied, "Let the girl remain with us ten days or so; then you may go."
But he said to them, "Do not detain me, now that the LORD has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master."
Then they said, "Let's call the girl and ask her about it."
So they called Rebekah and asked her, "Will you go with this man?" "I will go," she said.
So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, along with her nurse and Abraham's servant and his men.
And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, "Our sister, may you increase to thousands upon thousands; may your offspring possess the gates of their enemies."
Then Rebekah and her maids got ready and mounted their camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.
Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev.
He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.
Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel
and asked the servant, "Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?" "He is my master," the servant answered. So she took her veil and covered herself.
Then the servant told Isaac all he had done.
Isaac brought her into the tent of his mother Sarah, and he married Rebekah. So she became his wife, and he loved her; and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings.
2"Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."3
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. "Tell us," they said, "when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you.5For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ, ' and will deceive many.6You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.7Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.8All these are the beginning of birth pains.9"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.12Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,13but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.15"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel--let the reader understand--16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.17Let no one on the roof of his house go down to take anything out of the house.18Let no one in the field go back to get his cloak.19How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers!20Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath.21For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now--and never to be equaled again.22If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.23At that time if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ!' or, 'There he is!' do not believe it.24For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect--if that were possible.25See, I have told you ahead of time.26"So if anyone tells you, 'There he is, out in the desert,' do not go out; or, 'Here he is, in the inner rooms,' do not believe it.27For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.28Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.29"Immediately after the distress of those days " 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'30"At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.32"Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.33Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door.34I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.35Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
36"No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.37As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.38For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark;39and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.40Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left.41Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.42"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.45"Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time?46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns.47I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,'49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards.50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.