Matthew 13:1-23; Leviticus 17:1-16; Leviticus 18:1-30; Proverbs 28:1-28 (New International Version)

The Parable of the Sower

13:1-15pp -- Mk 4:1-12; Lk 8:4-10 13:16,17pp -- Lk 10:23,24 13:18-23pp -- Mk 4:13-20; Lk 8:11-15

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear." 10 The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?" 11 He replied, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables: "Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: " 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.' 16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For I tell you the truth, many prophets and righteous men longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it. 18 "Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. 22 The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. 23 But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown."

Eating Blood Forbidden

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Speak to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites and say to them: 'This is what the LORD has commanded: 3 Any Israelite who sacrifices an ox, a lamb or a goat in the camp or outside of it 4 instead of bringing it to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting to present it as an offering to the LORD in front of the tabernacle of the LORD--that man shall be considered guilty of bloodshed; he has shed blood and must be cut off from his people. 5 This is so the Israelites will bring to the LORD the sacrifices they are now making in the open fields. They must bring them to the priest, that is, to the LORD, at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and sacrifice them as fellowship offerings. 6 The priest is to sprinkle the blood against the altar of the LORD at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and burn the fat as an aroma pleasing to the LORD. 7 They must no longer offer any of their sacrifices to the goat idols to whom they prostitute themselves. This is to be a lasting ordinance for them and for the generations to come.' 8 "Say to them: 'Any Israelite or any alien living among them who offers a burnt offering or sacrifice 9 and does not bring it to the entrance to the Tent of Meeting to sacrifice it to the LORD--that man must be cut off from his people. 10 " 'Any Israelite or any alien living among them who eats any blood--I will set my face against that person who eats blood and will cut him off from his people. 11 For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life. 12 Therefore I say to the Israelites, "None of you may eat blood, nor may an alien living among you eat blood." 13 " 'Any Israelite or any alien living among you who hunts any animal or bird that may be eaten must drain out the blood and cover it with earth, 14 because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, "You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood; anyone who eats it must be cut off." 15 " 'Anyone, whether native-born or alien, who eats anything found dead or torn by wild animals must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be ceremonially unclean till evening; then he will be clean. 16 But if he does not wash his clothes and bathe himself, he will be held responsible.' "

Unlawful Sexual Relations

1 The LORD said to Moses, 2 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'I am the LORD your God. 3 You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. 4 You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God. 5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am the LORD. 6 " 'No one is to approach any close relative to have sexual relations. I am the LORD. 7 " 'Do not dishonor your father by having sexual relations with your mother. She is your mother; do not have relations with her. 8 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your father's wife; that would dishonor your father. 9 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your sister, either your father's daughter or your mother's daughter, whether she was born in the same home or elsewhere. 10 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your son's daughter or your daughter's daughter; that would dishonor you. 11 " 'Do not have sexual relations with the daughter of your father's wife, born to your father; she is your sister. 12 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your father's sister; she is your father's close relative. 13 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your mother's sister, because she is your mother's close relative. 14 " 'Do not dishonor your father's brother by approaching his wife to have sexual relations; she is your aunt. 15 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your daughter-in-law. She is your son's wife; do not have relations with her. 16 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your brother's wife; that would dishonor your brother. 17 " 'Do not have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter. Do not have sexual relations with either her son's daughter or her daughter's daughter; they are her close relatives. That is wickedness. 18 " 'Do not take your wife's sister as a rival wife and have sexual relations with her while your wife is living. 19 " 'Do not approach a woman to have sexual relations during the uncleanness of her monthly period. 20 " 'Do not have sexual relations with your neighbor's wife and defile yourself with her. 21 " 'Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD. 22 " 'Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable. 23 " 'Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion. 24 " 'Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled. 25 Even the land was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants. 26 But you must keep my decrees and my laws. The native-born and the aliens living among you must not do any of these detestable things, 27 for all these things were done by the people who lived in the land before you, and the land became defiled. 28 And if you defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 " 'Everyone who does any of these detestable things--such persons must be cut off from their people. 30 Keep my requirements and do not follow any of the detestable customs that were practiced before you came and do not defile yourselves with them. I am the LORD your God.' " 1 The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion. 2 When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers, but a man of understanding and knowledge maintains order. 3 A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops. 4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law resist them. 5 Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully. 6 Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a rich man whose ways are perverse. 7 He who keeps the law is a discerning son, but a companion of gluttons disgraces his father. 8 He who increases his wealth by exorbitant interest amasses it for another, who will be kind to the poor. 9 If anyone turns a deaf ear to the law, even his prayers are detestable. 10 He who leads the upright along an evil path will fall into his own trap, but the blameless will receive a good inheritance. 11 A rich man may be wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has discernment sees through him. 12 When the righteous triumph, there is great elation; but when the wicked rise to power, men go into hiding. 13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. 14 Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD, but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble. 15 Like a roaring lion or a charging bear is a wicked man ruling over a helpless people. 16 A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life. 17 A man tormented by the guilt of murder will be a fugitive till death; let no one support him. 18 He whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall. 19 He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will have his fill of poverty. 20 A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished. 21 To show partiality is not good-- yet a man will do wrong for a piece of bread. 22 A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him. 23 He who rebukes a man will in the end gain more favor than he who has a flattering tongue. 24 He who robs his father or mother and says, "It's not wrong"-- he is partner to him who destroys. 25 A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper. 26 He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe. 27 He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses. 28 When the wicked rise to power, people go into hiding; but when the wicked perish, the righteous thrive.
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