Deuteronomy 16; Deuteronomy 17; Deuteronomy 18; Mark 13:1-20

1 "Honor the Lord your God by celebrating Passover in the month of Abib; it was on a night in that month that he rescued you from Egypt. 2 Go to the one place of worship and slaughter there one of your sheep or cattle for the Passover meal to honor the Lord your God. 3 When you eat this meal, do not eat bread prepared with yeast. For seven days you are to eat bread prepared without yeast, as you did when you had to leave Egypt in such a hurry. Eat this bread - it will be called the bread of suffering - so that as long as you live you will remember the day you came out of Egypt, that place of suffering. 4 For seven days no one in your land is to have any yeast in the house; and the meat of the animal killed on the evening of the first day must be eaten that same night. 5 "Slaughter the Passover animals at the one place of worship - and nowhere else in the land that the Lord your God will give you. Do it at sunset, the time of day when you left Egypt. 7 Boil the meat and eat it at the one place of worship; and the next morning return home. 8 For the next six days you are to eat bread prepared without yeast, and on the seventh day assemble to worship the Lord your God, and do no work on that day. 9 "Count seven weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the grain, 10 and then celebrate the Harvest Festival, to honor the Lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. 11 Be joyful in the Lord's presence, together with your children, your servants, and the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows who live in your towns. Do this at the one place of worship. 12 Be sure that you obey these commands; do not forget that you were slaves in Egypt. 13 "After you have threshed all your grain and pressed all your grapes, celebrate the Festival of Shelters for seven days. 14 Enjoy it with your children, your servants, and the Levites, foreigners, orphans, and widows who live in your towns. 15 Honor the Lord your God by celebrating this festival for seven days at the one place of worship. Be joyful, because the Lord has blessed your harvest and your work. 16 "All the men of your nation are to come to worship the Lord three times a year at the one place of worship: at Passover, Harvest Festival, and the Festival of Shelters. Each man is to bring a gift 17 as he is able, in proportion to the blessings that the Lord your God has given him. 18 "Appoint judges and other officials in every town that the Lord your God gives you. These men are to judge the people impartially. 19 They are not to be unjust or show partiality in their judgments; and they are not to accept bribes, for gifts blind the eyes even of wise and honest men, and cause them to give wrong decisions. 20 Always be fair and just, so that you will occupy the land that the Lord your God is giving you and so that you will continue to live there. 21 "When you make an altar for the Lord your God, do not put beside it a wooden symbol of the goddess Asherah. 22 And do not set up any stone pillar for idol worship; the Lord hates them.
1 "Do not sacrifice to the Lord your God cattle or sheep that have any defects; the Lord hates this. 2 "Suppose you hear that in one of your towns some men or women have sinned against the Lord and broken his covenant 3 by worshiping and serving other gods or the sun or the moon or the stars, contrary to the Lord's command. 4 If you hear such a report, then investigate it thoroughly. If it is true that this evil thing has happened in Israel, 5 then take them outside the town and stone them to death. 6 However, they may be put to death only if two or more witnesses testify against them; they are not to be put to death if there is only one witness. 7 The witnesses are to throw the first stones, and then the rest of the people are to stone them; in this way you will get rid of this evil. 8 "It may be that some cases will be too difficult for the local judges to decide, such as certain cases of property rights or of bodily injury or those cases that involve a distinction between murder and manslaughter. When this happens, go to the one place of worship chosen by the Lord your God, 9 and present your case to the levitical priests and to the judge who is in office at that time, and let them decide the case. 10 They will give their decision, and you are to do exactly as they tell you. 11 Accept their verdict and follow their instructions in every detail. 12 Anyone who dares to disobey either the judge or the priest on duty is to be put to death; in this way you will remove this evil from Israel. 13 Then everyone will hear of it and be afraid, and no one else will dare to act in such a way. 14 "After you have taken possession of the land that the Lord your God is going to give you and have settled there, then you will decide you need a king like all the nations around you. 15 Be sure that the man you choose to be king is the one whom the Lord has chosen. He must be one of your own people; do not make a foreigner your king. 16 The king is not to have a large number of horses for his army, and he is not to send people to Egypt to buy horses, because the Lord has said that his people are never to return there. 17 The king is not to have many wives, because this would make him turn away from the Lord; and he is not to make himself rich with silver and gold. 18 When he becomes king, he is to have a copy of the book of God's laws and teachings made from the original copy kept by the levitical priests. 19 He is to keep this book near him and read from it all his life, so that he will learn to honor the Lord and to obey faithfully everything that is commanded in it. 20 This will keep him from thinking that he is better than other Israelites and from disobeying the Lord's commands in any way. Then he will reign for many years, and his descendants will rule Israel for many generations.
1 "The priestly tribe of Levi is not to receive any share of land in Israel; instead, they are to live on the offerings and other sacrifices given to the Lord. 2 They are to own no land, as the other tribes do; their share is the privilege of being the Lord's priests, as the Lord has promised. 3 "Whenever cattle or sheep are sacrificed, the priests are to be given the shoulder, the jaw, and the stomach. 4 They are to receive the first share of the grain, wine, olive oil, and wool. 5 The Lord chose from all your tribes the tribe of Levi to serve him as priests forever. 6 "Any Levite who wants to may come from any town in Israel to the one place of worship 7 and may serve there as a priest of the Lord his God, like the other Levites who are serving there. 8 He is to receive the same amount of food as the other priests, and he may keep whatever his family sends him. 9 "When you come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, don't follow the disgusting practices of the nations that are there. 10 Don't sacrifice your children in the fires on your altars; and don't let your people practice divination or look for omens or use spells 11 or charms, and don't let them consult the spirits of the dead. 12 The Lord your God hates people who do these disgusting things, and that is why he is driving those nations out of the land as you advance. 13 Be completely faithful to the Lord." 14 Then Moses said, "In the land you are about to occupy, people follow the advice of those who practice divination and look for omens, but the Lord your God does not allow you to do this. 15 Instead, he will send you a prophet like me from among your own people, and you are to obey him. 16 "On the day that you were gathered at Mount Sinai, you begged not to hear the Lord speak again or to see his fiery presence any more, because you were afraid you would die. 17 So the Lord said to me, "They have made a wise request. 18 I will send them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will tell him what to say, and he will tell the people everything I command. 19 He will speak in my name, and I will punish anyone who refuses to obey him. 20 But if any prophet dares to speak a message in my name when I did not command him to do so, he must die for it, and so must any prophet who speaks in the name of other gods.' 21 "You may wonder how you can tell when a prophet's message does not come from the Lord. 22 If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord and what he says does not come true, then it is not the Lord's message. That prophet has spoken on his own authority, and you are not to fear him.
1 As Jesus was leaving the Temple, one of his disciples said, "Look, Teacher! What wonderful stones and buildings!" 2 Jesus answered, "You see these great buildings? Not a single stone here will be left in its place; every one of them will be thrown down." 3 Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, across from the Temple, when Peter, James, John, and Andrew came to him in private. 4 "Tell us when this will be," they said, "and tell us what will happen to show that the time has come for all these things to take place." 5 Jesus said to them, "Watch out, and don't let anyone fool you. 6 Many men, claiming to speak for me, will come and say, "I am he!' and they will fool many people. 7 And don't be troubled when you hear the noise of battles close by and news of battles far away. Such things must happen, but they do not mean that the end has come. 8 Countries will fight each other; kingdoms will attack one another. There will be earthquakes everywhere, and there will be famines. These things are like the first pains of childbirth. 9 "You yourselves must watch out. You will be arrested and taken to court. You will be beaten in the synagogues; you will stand before rulers and kings for my sake to tell them the Good News. 10 But before the end comes, the gospel must be preached to all peoples. 11 And when you are arrested and taken to court, do not worry ahead of time about what you are going to say; when the time comes, say whatever is then given to you. For the words you speak will not be yours; they will come from the Holy Spirit. 12 Men will hand over their own brothers to be put to death, and fathers will do the same to their children. Children will turn against their parents and have them put to death. 13 Everyone will hate you because of me. But whoever holds out to the end will be saved. 14 "You will see "The Awful Horror' standing in the place where he should not be." (Note to the reader: understand what this means!) "Then those who are in Judea must run away to the hills. 15 Someone who is on the roof of a house must not lose time by going down into the house to get anything to take along. 16 Someone who is in the field must not go back to the house for a cloak. 17 How terrible it will be in those days for women who are pregnant and for mothers with little babies! 18 Pray to God that these things will not happen in the winter! 19 For the trouble of those days will be far worse than any the world has ever known from the very beginning when God created the world until the present time. Nor will there ever be anything like it again. 20 But the Lord has reduced the number of those days; if he had not, nobody would survive. For the sake of his chosen people, however, he has reduced those days.
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