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Genesis 13; Genesis 14; Genesis 15; Matthew 5:1-26

1 Abram went north out of Egypt to the southern part of Canaan with his wife and everything he owned, and Lot went with him. 2 Abram was a very rich man, with sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as silver and gold. 3 Then he left there and moved from place to place, going toward Bethel. He reached the place between Bethel and Ai where he had camped before 4 and had built an altar. There he worshiped the Lord. 5 Lot also had sheep, goats, and cattle, as well as his own family and servants. 6 And so there was not enough pasture land for the two of them to stay together, because they had too many animals. 7 So quarrels broke out between the men who took care of Abram's animals and those who took care of Lot's animals. (At that time the Canaanites and the Perizzites were still living in the land.) 8 Then Abram said to Lot, "We are relatives, and your men and my men shouldn't be quarreling. 9 So let's separate. Choose any part of the land you want. You go one way, and I'll go the other." 10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole Jordan Valley, all the way to Zoar, had plenty of water, like the Garden of the Lord or like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lord had destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose the whole Jordan Valley for himself and moved away toward the east. That is how the two men parted. 12 Abram stayed in the land of Canaan, and Lot settled among the cities in the valley and camped near Sodom, 13 whose people were wicked and sinned against the Lord. 14 After Lot had left, the Lord said to Abram, "From where you are, look carefully in all directions. 15 I am going to give you and your descendants all the land that you see, and it will be yours forever. 16 I am going to give you so many descendants that no one will be able to count them all; it would be as easy to count all the specks of dust on earth! 17 Now, go and look over the whole land, because I am going to give it all to you." 18 So Abram moved his camp and settled near the sacred trees of Mamre at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the Lord.
1 Four kings, Amraphel of Babylonia, Arioch of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer of Elam, and Tidal of Goiim, 2 went to war against five other kings: Bera of Sodom, Birsha of Gomorrah, Shinab of Admah, Shemeber of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (or Zoar). 3 These five kings had formed an alliance and joined forces in Siddim Valley, which is now the Dead Sea. 4 They had been under the control of Chedorlaomer for twelve years, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled against him. 5 In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer and his allies came with their armies and defeated the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, the Emim in the plain of Kiriathaim, 6 and the Horites in the mountains of Edom, pursuing them as far as Elparan on the edge of the desert. 7 Then they turned around and came back to Kadesh (then known as Enmishpat). They conquered all the land of the Amalekites and defeated the Amorites who lived in Hazazon Tamar. 8 Then the kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Bela drew up their armies for battle in Siddim Valley and fought 9 against the kings of Elam, Goiim, Babylonia, and Ellasar, five kings against four. 10 The valley was full of tar pits, and when the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah tried to run away from the battle, they fell into the pits; but the other three kings escaped to the mountains. 11 The four kings took everything in Sodom and Gomorrah, including the food, and went away. 12 Lot, Abram's nephew, was living in Sodom, so they took him and all his possessions. 13 But a man escaped and reported all this to Abram, the Hebrew, who was living near the sacred trees belonging to Mamre the Amorite. Mamre and his brothers Eshcol and Aner were Abram's allies. 14 When Abram heard that his nephew had been captured, he called together all the fighting men in his camp, 318 in all, and pursued the four kings all the way to Dan. 15 There he divided his men into groups, attacked the enemy by night, and defeated them. He chased them as far as Hobah, north of Damascus, 16 and got back all the loot that had been taken. He also brought back his nephew Lot and his possessions, together with the women and the other prisoners. 17 When Abram came back from his victory over Chedorlaomer and the other kings, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in Shaveh Valley (also called King's Valley). 18 And Melchizedek, who was king of Salem and also a priest of the Most High God, brought bread and wine to Abram, 19 blessed him, and said, "May the Most High God, who made heaven and earth, bless Abram! 20 May the Most High God, who gave you victory over your enemies, be praised!" And Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the loot he had recovered. 21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, "Keep the loot, but give me back all my people." 22 Abram answered, "I solemnly swear before the Lord, the Most High God, Maker of heaven and earth, 23 that I will not keep anything of yours, not even a thread or a sandal strap. Then you can never say, "I am the one who made Abram rich.' 24 I will take nothing for myself. I will accept only what my men have used. But let my allies, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre, take their share."
1 After this, Abram had a vision and heard the Lord say to him, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I will shield you from danger and give you a great reward." 2 But Abram answered, "Sovereign Lord, what good will your reward do me, since I have no children? My only heir is Eliezer of Damascus. 3 You have given me no children, and one of my slaves will inherit my property." 4 Then he heard the Lord speaking to him again: "This slave Eliezer will not inherit your property; your own son will be your heir." 5 The Lord took him outside and said, "Look at the sky and try to count the stars; you will have as many descendants as that." 6 Abram put his trust in the Lord, and because of this the Lord was pleased with him and accepted him. 7 Then the Lord said to him, "I am the Lord, who led you out of Ur in Babylonia, to give you this land as your own." 8 But Abram asked, "Sovereign Lord, how can I know that it will be mine?" 9 He answered, "Bring me a cow, a goat, and a ram, each of them three years old, and a dove and a pigeon." 10 Abram brought the animals to God, cut them in half, and placed the halves opposite each other in two rows; but he did not cut up the birds. 11 Vultures came down on the bodies, but Abram drove them off. 12 When the sun was going down, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and fear and terror came over him. 13 The Lord said to him, "Your descendants will be strangers in a foreign land; they will be slaves there and will be treated cruelly for four hundred years. 14 But I will punish the nation that enslaves them, and when they leave that foreign land, they will take great wealth with them. 15 You yourself will live to a ripe old age, die in peace, and be buried. 16 It will be four generations before your descendants come back here, because I will not drive out the Amorites until they become so wicked that they must be punished." 17 When the sun had set and it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch suddenly appeared and passed between the pieces of the animals. 18 Then and there the Lord made a covenant with Abram. He said, "I promise to give your descendants all this land from the border of Egypt to the Euphrates River, 19 including the lands of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites, 20 the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Rephaim, 21 the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites."
1 Jesus saw the crowds and went up a hill, where he sat down. His disciples gathered around him, 2 and he began to teach them: 3 "Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them! 4 "Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them! 5 "Happy are those who are humble; they will receive what God has promised! 6 "Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires; God will satisfy them fully! 7 "Happy are those who are merciful to others; God will be merciful to them! 8 "Happy are the pure in heart; they will see God! 9 "Happy are those who work for peace; God will call them his children! 10 "Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them! 11 "Happy are you when people insult you and persecute you and tell all kinds of evil lies against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy and glad, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven. This is how the prophets who lived before you were persecuted. 13 "You are like salt for the whole human race. But if salt loses its saltiness, there is no way to make it salty again. It has become worthless, so it is thrown out and people trample on it. 14 "You are like light for the whole world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. 15 No one lights a lamp and puts it under a bowl; instead it is put on the lampstand, where it gives light for everyone in the house. 16 In the same way your light must shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven. 17 "Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. I have not come to do away with them, but to make their teachings come true. 18 Remember that as long as heaven and earth last, not the least point nor the smallest detail of the Law will be done away with - not until the end of all things. 19 So then, whoever disobeys even the least important of the commandments and teaches others to do the same, will be least in the Kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys the Law and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the Kingdom of heaven. 20 I tell you, then, that you will be able to enter the Kingdom of heaven only if you are more faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what God requires. 21 "You have heard that people were told in the past, "Do not commit murder; anyone who does will be brought to trial.' 22 But now I tell you: if you are angry with your brother you will be brought to trial, if you call your brother "You good-for-nothing!' you will be brought before the Council, and if you call your brother a worthless fool you will be in danger of going to the fire of hell. 23 So if you are about to offer your gift to God at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift to God. 25 "If someone brings a lawsuit against you and takes you to court, settle the dispute while there is time, before you get to court. Once you are there, you will be turned over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, and you will be put in jail. 26 There you will stay, I tell you, until you pay the last penny of your fine.
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