Exodus 31; Exodus 32; Exodus 33; Matthew 22:1-22

1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 "I have chosen Bezalel, the son of Uri and grandson of Hur, from the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with my power. I have given him understanding, skill, and ability for every kind of artistic work - 4 for planning skillful designs and working them in gold, silver, and bronze; 5 for cutting jewels to be set; for carving wood; and for every other kind of artistic work. 6 I have also selected Oholiab son of Ahisamach, from the tribe of Dan, to work with him. I have also given great ability to all the other skilled workers, so that they can make everything I have commanded to be made: 7 the Tent of my presence, the Covenant Box and its lid, all the furnishings of the Tent, 8 the table and its equipment, the lampstand of pure gold and all its equipment, the altar for burning incense, 9 the altar for burnt offerings and all its equipment, the washbasin and its base, 10 the magnificent priestly garments for Aaron and his sons to use when they serve as priests, 11 the anointing oil, and the sweet-smelling incense for the Holy Place. In making all these things, they are to do exactly as I have commanded you." 12 The Lord commanded Moses 13 to tell the people of Israel, "Keep the Sabbath, my day of rest, because it is a sign between you and me for all time to come, to show that I, the Lord, have made you my own people. 14 You must keep the day of rest, because it is sacred. Whoever does not keep it, but works on that day, is to be put to death. 15 You have six days in which to do your work, but the seventh day is a solemn day of rest dedicated to me. Whoever does any work on that day is to be put to death. 16 The people of Israel are to keep this day as a sign of the covenant. 17 It is a permanent sign between the people of Israel and me, because I, the Lord, made heaven and earth in six days, and on the seventh day I stopped working and rested." 18 When God had finished speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two stone tablets on which God himself had written the commandments.
1 When the people saw that Moses had not come down from the mountain but was staying there a long time, they gathered around Aaron and said to him, "We do not know what has happened to this man Moses, who led us out of Egypt; so make us a god to lead us." 2 Aaron said to them, "Take off the gold earrings which your wives, your sons, and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me." 3 So all the people took off their gold earrings and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took the earrings, melted them, poured the gold into a mold, and made a gold bull-calf. The people said, "Israel, this is our god, who led us out of Egypt!" 5 Then Aaron built an altar in front of the gold bull-calf and announced, "Tomorrow there will be a festival to honor the Lord." 6 Early the next morning they brought some animals to burn as sacrifices and others to eat as fellowship offerings. The people sat down to a feast, which turned into an orgy of drinking and sex. 7 The Lord said to Moses, "Hurry and go back down, because your people, whom you led out of Egypt, have sinned and rejected me. 8 They have already left the way that I commanded them to follow; they have made a bull-calf out of melted gold and have worshiped it and offered sacrifices to it. They are saying that this is their god, who led them out of Egypt. 9 I know how stubborn these people are. 10 Now, don't try to stop me. I am angry with them, and I am going to destroy them. Then I will make you and your descendants into a great nation." 11 But Moses pleaded with the Lord his God and said, "Lord, why should you be so angry with your people, whom you rescued from Egypt with great might and power? 12 Why should the Egyptians be able to say that you led your people out of Egypt, planning to kill them in the mountains and destroy them completely? Stop being angry; change your mind and do not bring this disaster on your people. 13 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Remember the solemn promise you made to them to give them as many descendants as there are stars in the sky and to give their descendants all that land you promised would be their possession forever." 14 So the Lord changed his mind and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened. 15 Moses went back down the mountain, carrying the two stone tablets with the commandments written on both sides. 16 God himself had made the tablets and had engraved the commandments on them. 17 Joshua heard the people shouting and said to Moses, "I hear the sound of battle in the camp." 18 Moses said, "That doesn't sound like a shout of victory or a cry of defeat; it's the sound of singing." 19 When Moses came close enough to the camp to see the bull-calf and to see the people dancing, he became furious. There at the foot of the mountain, he threw down the tablets he was carrying and broke them. 20 He took the bull-calf which they had made, melted it, ground it into fine powder, and mixed it with water. Then he made the people of Israel drink it. 21 He said to Aaron, "What did these people do to you, that you have made them commit such a terrible sin?" 22 Aaron answered, "Don't be angry with me; you know how determined these people are to do evil. 23 They said to me, "We don't know what has happened to this man Moses, who brought us out of Egypt; so make us a god to lead us.' 24 I asked them to bring me their gold ornaments, and those who had any took them off and gave them to me. I threw the ornaments into the fire and out came this bull-calf!" 25 Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get out of control and make fools of themselves in front of their enemies. 26 So he stood at the gate of the camp and shouted, "Everyone who is on the Lord's side come over here!" So all the Levites gathered around him, 27 and he said to them, "The Lord God of Israel commands every one of you to put on your sword and go through the camp from this gate to the other and kill your brothers, your friends, and your neighbors." 28 The Levites obeyed, and killed about three thousand men that day. 29 Moses said to the Levites, "Today you have consecrated yourselves as priests in the service of the Lord by killing your sons and brothers, so the Lord has given you his blessing." 30 The next day Moses said to the people, "You have committed a terrible sin. But now I will again go up the mountain to the Lord; perhaps I can obtain forgiveness for your sin." 31 Moses then returned to the Lord and said, "These people have committed a terrible sin. They have made a god out of gold and worshiped it. 32 Please forgive their sin; but if you won't, then remove my name from the book in which you have written the names of your people." 33 The Lord answered, "It is those who have sinned against me whose names I will remove from my book. 34 Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about. Remember that my angel will guide you, but the time is coming when I will punish these people for their sin." 35 So the Lord sent a disease on the people, because they had caused Aaron to make the gold bull-calf.
1 The Lord said to Moses, "Leave this place, you and the people you brought out of Egypt, and go to the land that I promised to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and to their descendants. 2 I will send an angel to guide you, and I will drive out the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 3 You are going to a rich and fertile land. But I will not go with you myself, because you are a stubborn people, and I might destroy you on the way." 4 When the people heard this, they began to mourn and did not wear jewelry any more. 5 For the Lord had commanded Moses to tell them, "You are a stubborn people. If I were to go with you even for a moment, I would completely destroy you. Now take off your jewelry, and I will decide what to do with you." 6 So after they left Mount Sinai, the people of Israel no longer wore jewelry. 7 Whenever the people of Israel set up camp, Moses would take the sacred Tent and put it up some distance outside the camp. It was called the Tent of the Lord's presence, and anyone who wanted to consult the Lord would go out to it. 8 Whenever Moses went out there, the people would stand at the door of their tents and watch Moses until he entered it. 9 After Moses had gone in, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the door of the Tent, and the Lord would speak to Moses from the cloud. 10 As soon as the people saw the pillar of cloud at the door of the Tent, they would bow down. 11 The Lord would speak with Moses face-to-face, just as someone speaks with a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp. But the young man who was his helper, Joshua son of Nun, stayed in the Tent. 12 Moses said to the Lord, "It is true that you have told me to lead these people to that land, but you did not tell me whom you would send with me. You have said that you know me well and are pleased with me. 13 Now if you are, tell me your plans, so that I may serve you and continue to please you. Remember also that you have chosen this nation to be your own." 14 The Lord said, "I will go with you, and I will give you victory." 15 Moses replied, "If you do not go with us, don't make us leave this place. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with your people and with me if you do not go with us? Your presence with us will distinguish us from any other people on earth." 17 The Lord said to Moses, "I will do just as you have asked, because I know you very well and I am pleased with you." 18 Then Moses requested, "Please, let me see the dazzling light of your presence." 19 The Lord answered, "I will make all my splendor pass before you and in your presence I will pronounce my sacred name. I am the Lord, and I show compassion and pity on those I choose. 20 I will not let you see my face, because no one can see me and stay alive, 21 but here is a place beside me where you can stand on a rock. 22 When the dazzling light of my presence passes by, I will put you in an opening in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take my hand away, and you will see my back but not my face."
1 Jesus again used parables in talking to the people. 2 "The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who prepared a wedding feast for his son. 3 He sent his servants to tell the invited guests to come to the feast, but they did not want to come. 4 So he sent other servants with this message for the guests: "My feast is ready now; my steers and prize calves have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding feast!' 5 But the invited guests paid no attention and went about their business: one went to his farm, another to his store, 6 while others grabbed the servants, beat them, and killed them. 7 The king was very angry; so he sent his soldiers, who killed those murderers and burned down their city. 8 Then he called his servants and said to them, "My wedding feast is ready, but the people I invited did not deserve it. 9 Now go to the main streets and invite to the feast as many people as you find.' 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, good and bad alike; and the wedding hall was filled with people. 11 "The king went in to look at the guests and saw a man who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 "Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' the king asked him. But the man said nothing. 13 Then the king told the servants, "Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him outside in the dark. There he will cry and gnash his teeth.' " 14 And Jesus concluded, "Many are invited, but few are chosen." 15 The Pharisees went off and made a plan to trap Jesus with questions. 16 Then they sent to him some of their disciples and some members of Herod's party. "Teacher," they said, "we know that you tell the truth. You teach the truth about God's will for people, without worrying about what others think, because you pay no attention to anyone's status. 17 Tell us, then, what do you think? Is it against our Law to pay taxes to the Roman Emperor, or not?" 18 Jesus, however, was aware of their evil plan, and so he said, "You hypocrites! Why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin for paying the tax!" They brought him the coin, 20 and he asked them, "Whose face and name are these?" 21 "The Emperor's," they answered. So Jesus said to them, "Well, then, pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and pay to God what belongs to God." 22 When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.
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