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Matthew 22:1-22; Numbers 21; Song of Songs 1; Song of Songs 2:1-7

Matthew 22:1-22

The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

1 Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables: 2 "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent out his slaves to summon those invited to the banquet, but they didn't want to come. 4 Again, he sent out other slaves, and said, 'Tell those who are invited: Look, I've prepared my dinner; my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet. ' 5 "But they paid no attention and went away, one to his own farm, another to his business. 6 And the others seized his slaves, treated them outrageously and killed them. 7 The king was enraged, so he sent out his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned down their city. 8 "Then he told his slaves, 'The banquet is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 9 Therefore, go to where the roads exit the city and invite everyone you find to the banquet.' 10 So those slaves went out on the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding banquet was filled with guests. 11 But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. 12 So he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless. 13 "Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' 14 "For many are invited, but few are chosen."

God and Caesar

15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to trap Him by what He said. 16 They sent their disciples to Him, with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know that You are truthful and teach truthfully the way of God. You defer to no one, for You don't show partiality. 17 Tell us, therefore, what You think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" 18 But perceiving their malice, Jesus said, "Why are you testing Me, hypocrites? 19 Show Me the coin used for the tax." So they brought Him a denarius. 20 "Whose image and inscription is this?" He asked them. 21 "Caesar's," they said to Him. Then He said to them, "Therefore, give back to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left Him and went away.

Numbers 21

Canaanite King Defeated

1 When the Canaanite king of Arad, who lived in the Negev, heard that Israel was coming on the Atharim road, he fought against Israel and captured some prisoners. 2 Then Israel made a vow to the Lord, "If You will deliver this people into our hands, we will completely destroy their cities." 3 The Lord listened to Israel's request, the Canaanites were defeated, and Israel completely destroyed them and their cities. So they named the place Hormah.

The Bronze Serpent

4 Then they set out from Mount Hor by way of the Red Sea to bypass the land of Edom, but the people became impatient because of the journey. 5 The people spoke against God and Moses: "Why have you led us up from Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread or water, and we detest this wretched food!" 6 Then the Lord sent poisonous snakes among the people, and they bit them so that many Israelites died. 7 The people then came to Moses and said, "We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede with the Lord so that He will take the snakes away from us." And Moses interceded for the people. 8 Then the Lord said to Moses, "Make a snake [image] and mount it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will recover." 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and mounted it on a pole. Whenever someone was bitten, and he looked at the bronze snake, he recovered.

Journey around Moab

10 The Israelites set out and camped at Oboth. 11 They set out from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim in the wilderness that borders Moab on the east. 12 From there they went and camped at Zered Valley. 13 They set out from there and camped on the other side of the Arnon [River], in the wilderness that extends from the Amorite border, because the Arnon was the Moabite border between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Therefore it is stated in the Book of the Lord's Wars: Waheb in Suphah and the ravines of the Arnon, 15 even the slopes of the ravines that extend to the site of Ar and lie along the border of Moab. 16 From there [they went] to Beer, the well the Lord told Moses about, "Gather the people so I may give them water." 17 Then Israel sang this song: Spring up, well-sing to it! 18 The princes dug the well; The nobles of the people hollowed it out with a scepter and with their staffs. [They went] from the wilderness to Mattanah, 19 from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 from Bamoth to the valley in the territory of Moab near the Pisgah highlands that overlook the wasteland.

Amorite Kings Defeated

21 Israel sent messengers to say to Sihon king of the Amorites: 22 "Let us travel through your land. We won't go into the fields or vineyards. We won't drink [any] well water. We will travel the King's Highway until we have traveled through your territory." 23 But Sihon would not let Israel travel through his territory. Instead, he gathered his whole army and went out to confront Israel in the wilderness. When he came to Jahaz, he fought against Israel. 24 Israel struck him with the sword and took possession of his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, [but only up] to the Ammonite border, because it was fortified. 25 Israel took all the cities and lived in all these Amorite cities, including Heshbon and all its villages. 26 Heshbon was the city of Sihon king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab and had taken control of all his land as far as the Arnon. 27 Therefore the poets say: Come to Heshbon, let it be rebuilt; let the city of Sihon be restored. 28 For fire came out of Heshbon, a flame from the city of Sihon. It consumed Ar of Moab, the lords of Arnon's heights. 29 Woe to you, Moab! You have been destroyed, people of Chemosh! He gave up his sons as refugees, and his daughters into captivity to Sihon the Amorite king. 30 We threw them down; Heshbon has been destroyed as far as Dibon. We caused desolation as far as Nophah, which reaches as far as Medeba. 31 So Israel lived in the Amorites' land. 32 After Moses sent spies to Jazer, Israel captured its villages and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33 Then they turned and went up the road to Bashan, and Og king of Bashan came out against them with his whole army to do battle at Edrei. 34 But the Lord said to Moses, "Do not fear him, for I have handed him over to you along with his whole army and his land. Do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon." 35 So they struck him, his sons, and his whole army until no one was left, and they took possession of his land.

Song of Songs 1

1 Solomon's Finest Song

Woman

2 Oh, that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is more delightful than wine. 3 The fragrance of your perfume is intoxicating; your name is perfume poured out. No wonder young women adore you. 4 Take me with you-let us hurry. Oh, that the king would bring me to his chambers. We will rejoice and be glad for you; we will praise your love more than wine. It is only right that they adore you.

Young Women of Jerusalem

Woman

5 Daughters of Jerusalem, I am dark like the tents of Kedar, yet lovely like the curtains of Solomon. 6 Do not stare at me because I am dark, for the sun has gazed on me. My mother's sons were angry with me; they made me a keeper of the vineyards. I have not kept my own vineyard. 7 Tell me, you, the one I love: Where do you pasture your sheep? Where do you let them rest at noon? Why should I be like one who veils herself beside the flocks of your companions?

Man

8 If you do not know, most beautiful of women, follow the tracks of the flock, and pasture your young goats near the shepherds' tents. 9 I compare you, my darling, to a mare among Pharaoh's chariots. 10 Your cheeks are beautiful with jewelry, your neck with its necklace. 11 We will make gold jewelry for you, accented with silver.

Woman

12 While the king is on his couch, my perfume releases its fragrance. 13 My love is a sachet of myrrh to me, spending the night between my breasts. 14 My love is a cluster of henna blossoms to me, in the vineyards of En-gedi.

Man

15 How beautiful you are, my darling. How very beautiful! Your eyes are doves.

Woman

16 How handsome you are, my love. How delightful! Our bed is lush with foliage; 17 the beams of our house are cedars, and our rafters are cypresses.

Song of Songs 2:1-7

1 I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.

Man

2 Like a lily among thorns, so is my darling among the young women.

Woman

3 Like an apricot tree among the trees of the forest, so is my love among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. 4 He brought me to the banquet hall, and he looked on me with love. 5 Sustain me with raisins; refresh me with apricots, for I am lovesick. 6 His left hand is under my head, and his right hand embraces me. 7 Young women of Jerusalem, I charge you, by the gazelles and the wild does of the field: do not stir up or awaken love until the appropriate time.
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