Exodus 23; Exodus 24; Matthew 20:1-16

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Exodus 23

1 [The LORD continued,] "Never spread false rumors. Don't join forces with wicked people by giving false testimony.
2 Never follow a crowd in doing wrong. When you testify in court, don't side with the majority to pervert justice.
3 Never give special favors to poor people in court.
4 "Whenever you come across your enemy's ox or donkey wandering loose, be sure to take it back to him.
5 Whenever you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has collapsed under its load, don't leave it there. Be sure to help him with his animal.
6 "Never deny justice to poor people in court.
7 Avoid telling lies. Don't kill innocent or honest people, because I will never declare guilty people innocent.
8 Never take a bribe, because bribes blind those who can see and deny justice to those who are in the right.
9 "Never oppress foreigners. You know what it's like to be foreigners because you were foreigners living in Egypt.
10 "For six years you may plant crops in your fields and harvest them,
11 but in the seventh year you must leave the land unplowed and unused. In that way the poor among your people will have food to eat, and wild animals may eat what the poor people leave. You must do the same with your vineyards and olive groves.
12 "For six days you will do your work, but on the seventh day you must not work. Then your ox and donkey can rest. The slaves born in your household and foreigners will also be refreshed.
13 "Be careful [to do] everything I told you. "Never mention the names of other gods or let them be heard on your lips.
14 "Three times a year you must celebrate a pilgrimage festival in my honor.
15 "Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread: For seven days you must eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Abib, because that was when you left Egypt. No one may come into my presence without an offering.
16 "Celebrate the Festival of the Harvest with the first produce harvested from whatever you plant in your fields. "Celebrate the Festival of the Final Harvest at the end of the year when you harvest your crops from the fields.
17 "These are the three times each year that all your men must come into the presence of the Master, the LORD.
18 "Never offer the blood of a sacrifice to me at the same time you offer anything containing yeast. The fat sacrificed at my festivals should never be left over in the morning.
19 "You must bring the best of the first produce harvested from your soil to the house of the LORD your God. "Never cook a young goat in its mother's milk.
20 "I'm going to send a Messenger in front of you to protect you on your trip and bring you to the place I have prepared.
21 Pay attention to him, and listen to him. Don't defy him, because he will not forgive your disobedience. He is acting on my authority.
22 But if you will listen to him and do everything I say, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an opponent to your opponents.
23 "My Messenger will go ahead of you and will bring you to [the land of] the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites. I will wipe them out.
24 Never worship or serve their gods or follow their practices. Instead, you must destroy their gods and crush their sacred stones.
25 You must serve the LORD your God, and he will bless your food and water. I will take away all sickness from among you.
26 No woman in your land will miscarry or be unable to have children. I will let you live a normal life span.
27 "I will send my terror ahead of you and throw any nation you meet into a panic. I will make all your enemies flee from you.
28 I will spread panic ahead of you to force the Hivites, Canaanites, and Hittites out of your way.
29 I will not force them out of your way in one year. Otherwise, the land would be deserted, and wild animals would take over.
30 Little by little I will force them out of your way until you have increased enough in number to take possession of the land.
31 "I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and from the Sinai Desert to the Euphrates River. I will put the people living in the land under your control, and you will force them out of your way.
32 Never make a treaty with them and their gods.
33 Never let them live in your land, or they will make you sin against me and trap you into serving their gods."

Exodus 24

1 The LORD said to Moses, "You and Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 of Israel's leaders come up the mountain to me and worship at a distance.
2 Moses may come near the LORD, but the others may not. The people must not come along with Moses."
3 Moses went and told the people all the LORD's words and legal decisions. Then all the people answered with one voice, "We will do everything the LORD has told us to do."
4 So Moses wrote down all the LORD's words. Early the next morning he built an altar at the foot of the mountain and [set up] 12 sacred stones for the 12 tribes of Israel.
5 Then he sent young Israelite men, and they sacrificed bulls as burnt offerings and fellowship offerings to the LORD.
6 Moses took half of the blood and put it into bowls, and he threw the other half against the altar.
7 Then he took the Book of the LORD's Promise and read it while the people listened. They said, "We will obey and do everything the LORD has said."
8 Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people and said, "Here is the blood which seals the promise that the LORD has made to you based on everything you have just heard."
9 Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and 70 of Israel's leaders.
10 They saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made out of sapphire as clear and blue as the sky itself.
11 God didn't harm these leaders of the Israelites. So they saw God, and then they ate and drank.
12 The LORD said to Moses, "Come up to me on the mountain. Stay there, and I will give you the stone tablets with the teachings and the commandments I have written for the people's instruction."
13 Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up on the mountain of God.
14 He said to the leaders, "Wait here for us until we come back to you. Aaron and Hur are here with you. Take all your disagreements to them."
15 So Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered it.
16 The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered it, and on the seventh day the LORD called to Moses from inside the cloud.
17 To the Israelites, the glory of the LORD looked like a raging fire on top of the mountain.
18 Moses entered the cloud as he went up the mountain. He stayed on the mountain 40 days and 40 nights.

Matthew 20:1-16

1 "The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard.
2 After agreeing to pay the workers the usual day's wages, he sent them to work in his vineyard.
3 About 9 a.m. he saw others standing in the marketplace without work.
4 He said to them, 'Work in my vineyard, and I'll give you whatever is right.' So they went.
5 "He went out again about noon and 3 p.m. and did the same thing.
6 About 5 p.m. he went out and found some others standing around. He said to them, 'Why are you standing here all day long without work?'
7 "'No one has hired us,' they answered him. "He said to them, 'Work in my vineyard.'
8 "When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told the supervisor, 'Call the workers, and give them their wages. Start with the last, and end with the first.'
9 "Those who started working about 5 p.m. came, and each received a day's wages.
10 When those who had been hired first came, they expected to receive more. But each of them received a day's wages.
11 Although they took it, they began to protest to the owner.
12 They said, 'These last workers have worked only one hour. Yet, you've treated us all the same, even though we worked hard all day under a blazing sun.'
13 "The owner said to one of them, 'Friend, I'm not treating you unfairly. Didn't you agree with me on a day's wages?
14 Take your money and go! I want to give this last worker as much as I gave you.
15 Can't I do what I want with my own money? Or do you resent my generosity towards others?'
16 "In this way the last will be first, and the first will be last."