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Acts 4:23-37; Deuteronomy 21; Deuteronomy 22; Job 14

Acts 4:23-37

Prayer for Boldness

23 After they were released, they went to their own fellowship and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices to God unanimously and said, "Master, You are the One who made the heaven, the earth, and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You said through the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of our father David Your servant: Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot futile things? 26 The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers assembled together against the Lord and against His Messiah. 27 "For, in fact, in this city both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, assembled together against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your slaves may speak Your message with complete boldness, 30 while You stretch out Your hand for healing, signs, and wonders to be performed through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus." 31 When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God's message with boldness.

Believers Sharing

32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was on all of them. 34 For there was not a needy person among them, because all those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, 35 and laid them at the apostles' feet. This was then distributed to each person as anyone had a need. 36 Joseph, a Levite and a Cypriot by birth, whom the apostles named Barnabas, which is translated Son of Encouragement, 37 sold a field he owned, brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

Deuteronomy 21

Unsolved Murders

1 "If a murder victim is found lying in a field in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess, and it is not known who killed him, 2 your elders and judges must come out and measure [the distance] from the victim to the nearby cities. 3 The elders of the city nearest to the victim are to get a cow that has not been yoked or used for work. 4 The elders of that city will bring the cow down to a continually flowing stream, to a place not tilled or sown, and they will break the cow's neck there by the stream. 5 Then the priests, the sons of Levi, will come forward, for the Lord your God has chosen them to serve Him and pronounce blessings in the Lord's name, and they are to give a ruling in every dispute and [case of] assault. 6 All the elders of the city nearest to the victim will wash their hands by the stream over the heifer whose neck has been broken. 7 They will declare, 'Our hands did not shed this blood; our eyes did not see [it]. 8 Lord, forgive Your people Israel You redeemed, and do not hold the shedding of innocent blood against them.' Then they will be absolved of responsibility for bloodshed. 9 You must purge from yourselves the guilt of shedding innocent blood, for you will be doing what is right in the Lord's sight.

Fair Treatment of Captured Women

10 "When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God hands them over to you and you take some of them prisoner, and 11 if you see a beautiful woman among the captives, desire her, and want to take her as your wife, 12 you are to bring her into your house. She must shave her head, trim her nails, 13 remove the clothes she was wearing when she was taken prisoner, live in your house, and mourn for her father and mother a full month. After that, you may have sexual relations with her and be her husband, and she will be your wife. 14 Then if you are not satisfied with her, you are to let her go where she wants, but you must not sell her for money or treat her as merchandise, because you have humiliated her.

The Right of the Firstborn

15 "If a man has two wives, one loved and the other unloved, and both the loved and the unloved bear him sons, and if the unloved wife has the firstborn son, 16 when that man gives what he has to his sons as an inheritance, he is not to show favoritism to the son of the loved [wife] as his firstborn over the firstborn of the unloved wife. 17 He must acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved wife, by giving him a double portion of everything that belongs to him, for he is the firstfruits of his virility; he has the rights of the firstborn.

A Rebellious Son

18 "If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father or mother and doesn't listen to them even after they discipline him, 19 his father and mother must take hold of him and bring him to the elders of his city, to the gate of his hometown. 20 They will say to the elders of his city, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he doesn't obey us. He's a glutton and a drunkard.' 21 Then all the men of his city will stone him to death. You must purge the evil from you, and all Israel will hear and be afraid.

Display of Executed People

22 "If anyone is found guilty of an offense deserving the death penalty and is executed, and you hang his body on a tree, 23 you are not to leave his corpse on the tree overnight but are to bury him that day, for anyone hung [on a tree] is under God's curse. You must not defile the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.

Deuteronomy 22

Caring for Your Brother's Property

1 "If you see your brother's ox or sheep straying, you must not ignore it; make sure you return it to your brother. 2 If your brother does not live near you or you don't know him, you are to bring the animal to your home to remain with you until your brother comes looking for it; then you can return it to him. 3 Do the same for his donkey, his garment, or anything your brother has lost and you have found. You must not ignore [it]. 4 If you see your brother's donkey or ox fallen down on the road, you must not ignore it; you must help him lift it up.

Preserving Natural Distinctions

5 "A woman is not to wear male clothing, and a man is not to put on a woman's garment, for everyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord your God. 6 "If you come across a bird's nest with chicks or eggs, either in a tree or on the ground along the road, and the mother is sitting on the chicks or eggs, you must not take the mother along with the young. 7 You may take the young for yourself, but be sure to let the mother go free, so that you may prosper and live long. 8 If you build a new house, make a railing around your roof, so that you don't bring bloodguilt on your house if someone falls from it. 9 Do not plant your vineyard with two types of seed; otherwise, the entire harvest, both the crop you plant and the produce of the vineyard, will be defiled. 10 Do not plow with an ox and a donkey together. 11 Do not wear clothes made of both wool and linen. 12 Make tassels on the four corners of the outer garment you wear.

Violations of Proper Sexual Conduct

13 "If a man marries a woman, has sexual relations with her, and comes to hate her, 14 and accuses [her] of shameful conduct, and gives her a bad name, saying, 'I married this woman and was intimate with her, but I didn't find [any] evidence of her virginity,' 15 the young woman's father and mother will take the evidence of her virginity and bring [it] to the city elders at the gate. 16 The young woman's father will say to the elders, 'I gave my daughter to this man as a wife, but he hates her. 17 He has accused her of shameful conduct, saying: 'I didn't find [any] evidence of your daughter's virginity, but here is the evidence of my daughter's virginity.' They will spread out the cloth before the city elders. 18 Then the elders of that city will take the man and punish him. 19 They will also fine him 100 silver [shekels] and give [them] to the young woman's father, because that man gave an Israelite virgin a bad name. She will remain his wife; he cannot divorce her as long as he lives. 20 But if this accusation is true and no evidence of the young woman's virginity is found, 21 they will bring the woman to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city will stone her to death. For she has committed an outrage in Israel by being promiscuous in her father's house. You must purge the evil from you. 22 "If a man is discovered having sexual relations with [another] man's wife, both the man who had sex with the woman and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel. 23 If there is a young woman who is a virgin engaged to a man, and [another] man encounters her in the city and has sex with her, 24 you must take the two of them out to the gate of that city and stone them to death-the young woman because she did not cry out in the city and the man because he has violated his neighbor's fiancée. You must purge the evil from you. 25 But if the man encounters the engaged woman in the open country, and he seizes and rapes her, only the man who raped her must die. 26 Do nothing to the young woman, because she is not guilty of an offense deserving death. This case is just like one in which a man attacks his neighbor and murders him. 27 When he found her in the field, the engaged woman cried out, but there was no one to rescue her. 28 If a man encounters a young woman, a virgin who is not engaged, takes hold of her and rapes her, and they are discovered, 29 the man who raped her must give the young woman's father 50 silver [shekels], and she must become his wife because he violated her. He cannot divorce her as long as he lives. 30 "A man is not to marry his father's wife; he must not violate his father's marriage bed.

Job 14

1 Man born of woman is short of days and full of trouble. 2 He blossoms like a flower, then withers; he flees like a shadow and does not last. 3 Do You really take notice of one like this? Will You bring me into judgment against You? 4 Who can produce something pure from what is impure? No one! 5 Since man's days are determined and the number of his months depends on You, and [since] You have set limits he cannot pass, 6 look away from him and let him rest so that he can enjoy his day like a hired hand. 7 There is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its shoots will not die. 8 If its roots grow old in the ground and its stump starts to die in the soil, 9 the smell of water makes it thrive and produce twigs like a sapling. 10 But a man dies and fades away; he breathes his last-where is he? 11 As water disappears from the sea and a wadi becomes parched and dry, 12 so man lies down never to rise again. They will not wake up until the heavens are no more; they will not stir from their sleep. 13 If only You would hide me in Sheol and conceal me until Your anger passes, that You would appoint a time for me and then remember me. 14 When a man dies, will he come back to life? [If so,] I would wait all the days of my struggle until my relief comes. 15 You would call, and I would answer You. You would long for the work of Your hands. 16 For then You would count my steps but would not take note of my sin. 17 My rebellion would be sealed up in a bag, and You would cover over my iniquity. 18 But as a mountain collapses and crumbles and a rock is dislodged from its place, 19 as water wears away stones and torrents wash away the soil from the land, so You destroy a man's hope. 20 You completely overpower him, and he passes on; You change his appearance and send him away. 21 If his sons receive honor, he does not know it; if they become insignificant, he is unaware of it. 22 He feels only the pain of his own body and mourns only for himself.
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