One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched.
There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy.
Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?"4
But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away.
Then he asked them, "If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?"6
And they had nothing to say.
When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable:
8"When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.9If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."12
Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."
Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'18"But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'19"Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.'20"Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'21"The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'22" 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'23"Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.24I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.' "
Abraham took another wife, whose name was Keturah.
She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.
Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan; the descendants of Dedan were the Asshurites, the Letushites and the Leummites.
The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah. All these were descendants of Keturah.
Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac.
But while he was still living, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them away from his son Isaac to the land of the east.
Altogether, Abraham lived a hundred and seventy-five years.
Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and full of years; and he was gathered to his people.
His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite,
the field Abraham had bought from the Hittites. There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah.
After Abraham's death, God blessed his son Isaac, who then lived near Beer Lahai Roi.
This is the account of Abraham's son Ishmael, whom Sarah's maidservant, Hagar the Egyptian, bore to Abraham.
These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, listed in the order of their birth: Nebaioth the firstborn of Ishmael, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,
Mishma, Dumah, Massa,
Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedemah.
These were the sons of Ishmael, and these are the names of the twelve tribal rulers according to their settlements and camps.
Altogether, Ishmael lived a hundred and thirty-seven years. He breathed his last and died, and he was gathered to his people.
His descendants settled in the area from Havilah to Shur, near the border of Egypt, as you go toward Asshur. And they lived in hostility toward all their brothers.
This is the account of Abraham's son Isaac. Abraham became the father of Isaac,
and Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.
Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.
The babies jostled each other within her, and she said, "Why is this happening to me?" So she went to inquire of the LORD.
The LORD said to her, "Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger."
When the time came for her to give birth, there were twin boys in her womb.
The first to come out was red, and his whole body was like a hairy garment; so they named him Esau.
After this, his brother came out, with his hand grasping Esau's heel; so he was named Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them.
The boys grew up, and Esau became a skillful hunter, a man of the open country, while Jacob was a quiet man, staying among the tents.
Isaac, who had a taste for wild game, loved Esau, but Rebekah loved Jacob.
Once when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau came in from the open country, famished.
He said to Jacob, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew! I'm famished!" (That is why he was also called Edom. )
Jacob replied, "First sell me your birthright."
"Look, I am about to die," Esau said. "What good is the birthright to me?"
But Jacob said, "Swear to me first." So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob.
Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.
I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked, and the foundations of the mountains shook; they trembled because he was angry.
Smoke rose from his nostrils; consuming fire came from his mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.
He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under his feet.
He mounted the cherubim and flew; he soared on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him-- the dark rain clouds of the sky.
Out of the brightness of his presence clouds advanced, with hailstones and bolts of lightning.
The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded.
He shot his arrows and scattered [the enemies], great bolts of lightning and routed them.
The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of breath from your nostrils.
He reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.
He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me.
The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not done evil by turning from my God.
All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees.
I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin.
The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
To the faithful you show yourself faithful, to the blameless you show yourself blameless,
to the pure you show yourself pure, but to the crooked you show yourself shrewd.
You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.
He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me; you stoop down to make me great.
You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.
I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet.
You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet.
You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes.
They cried for help, but there was no one to save them-- to the LORD, but he did not answer.
I beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind; I poured them out like mud in the streets.
You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; you have made me the head of nations; people I did not know are subject to me.
As soon as they hear me, they obey me; foreigners cringe before me.
They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds.
The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!
He is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me,
who saves me from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from violent men you rescued me.
Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD; I will sing praises to your name.
He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing kindness to his anointed, to David and his descendants forever.