Bible: Mark 7:1-15; 17-23
Breaking Human Traditions
7:1 Now 1 the Pharisees 2 and some of the experts in the law 3 who came from Jerusalem 4 gathered around him. 7:2 And they saw that some of Jesus’ disciples ate their bread with unclean hands, that is, unwashed. 7:3 (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they perform a ritual washing, 5 holding fast to the tradition of the elders. 7:4 And when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. They hold fast to many other traditions: the washing of cups, pots, kettles, and dining couches. 6 ) 7 7:5 The Pharisees and the experts in the law asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat 8 with unwashed hands?” 7:6 He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:
‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart 9 is far from me.
7:7 They worship me in vain,
teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.’ 10
7:8 Having no regard 11 for the command of God, you hold fast to human tradition.” 12 7:9 He also said to them, “You neatly reject the commandment of God in order to set up 13 your tradition. 7:10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ 14 and, ‘Whoever insults his father or mother must be put to death.’ 15 7:11 But you say that if anyone tells his father or mother, ‘Whatever help you would have received from me is corban’ 16 (that is, a gift for God), 7:12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother. 7:13 Thus you nullify 17 the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like this.”
7:14 Then 18 he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, everyone, and understand. 7:15 There is nothing outside of a person that can defile him by going into him. Rather, it is what comes out of a person that defiles him.”
The Sign of the Covenant
17:1 When Abram was 99 years old, 1 the
17:3 Abram bowed down with his face to the ground, 9 and God said to him, 10 17:4 “As for me, 11 this 12 is my covenant with you: You will be the father of a multitude of nations. 17:5 No longer will your name be 13 Abram. Instead, your name will be Abraham 14 because I will make you 15 the father of a multitude of nations. 17:6 I will make you 16 extremely 17 fruitful. I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you. 18 17:7 I will confirm 19 my covenant as a perpetual 20 covenant between me and you. It will extend to your descendants after you throughout their generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 21 17:8 I will give the whole land of Canaan – the land where you are now residing 22 – to you and your descendants after you as a permanent 23 possession. I will be their God.”
17:9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep 24 the covenantal requirement 25 I am imposing on you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 17:10 This is my requirement that you and your descendants after you must keep: 26 Every male among you must be circumcised. 27 17:11 You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskins. This will be a reminder 28 of the covenant between me and you. 17:12 Throughout your generations every male among you who is eight days old 29 must be circumcised, whether born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not one of your descendants. 17:13 They must indeed be circumcised, 30 whether born in your house or bought with money. The sign of my covenant 31 will be visible in your flesh as a permanent 32 reminder. 17:14 Any uncircumcised male 33 who has not been circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin will be cut off 34 from his people – he has failed to carry out my requirement.” 35
17:15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for your wife, you must no longer call her Sarai; 36 Sarah 37 will be her name. 17:16 I will bless her and will give you a son through her. I will bless her and she will become a mother of nations. 38 Kings of countries 39 will come from her!”
17:17 Then Abraham bowed down with his face to the ground and laughed 40 as he said to himself, 41 “Can 42 a son be born to a man who is a hundred years old? 43 Can Sarah 44 bear a child at the age of ninety?” 45 17:18 Abraham said to God, “O that 46 Ishmael might live before you!” 47
17:19 God said, “No, Sarah your wife is going to bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac. 48 I will confirm my covenant with him as a perpetual 49 covenant for his descendants after him. 17:20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you. 50 I will indeed bless him, make him fruitful, and give him a multitude of descendants. 51 He will become the father of twelve princes; 52 I will make him into a great nation. 17:21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.” 17:22 When he finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him. 53
17:23 Abraham took his son Ishmael and every male in his household (whether born in his house or bought with money) 54 and circumcised them 55 on that very same day, just as God had told him to do. 17:24 Now Abraham was 99 years old 56 when he was circumcised; 57 17:25 his son Ishmael was thirteen years old 58 when he was circumcised. 17:26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on the very same day. 17:27 All the men of his household, whether born in his household or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
Three Special Visitors
18:3 He said, “My lord, 70 if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant. 71 18:4 Let a little water be brought so that 72 you may all 73 wash your feet and rest under the tree. 18:5 And let me get 74 a bit of food 75 so that you may refresh yourselves 76 since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.” 77 “All right,” they replied, “you may do as you say.”
18:6 So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Take 78 three measures 79 of fine flour, knead it, and make bread.” 80 18:7 Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant, 81 who quickly prepared it. 82 18:8 Abraham 83 then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food 84 before them. They ate while 85 he was standing near them under a tree.
18:9 Then they asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “There, 86 in the tent.” 18:10 One of them 87 said, “I will surely return 88 to you when the season comes round again, 89 and your wife Sarah will have a son!” 90 (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him. 91 18:11 Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years; 92 Sarah had long since passed menopause.) 93 18:12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, 94 “After I am worn out will I have pleasure, 95 especially when my husband is old too?” 96
Abraham Pleads for Sodom
18:16 When the men got up to leave, 102 they looked out over 103 Sodom. (Now 104 Abraham was walking with them to see them on their way.) 105 18:17 Then the
18:20 So the
18:22 The two men turned 120 and headed 121 toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the
18:26 So the
18:27 Then Abraham asked, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord 126 (although I am but dust and ashes), 127 18:28 what if there are five less than the fifty godly people? Will you destroy 128 the whole city because five are lacking?” 129 He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”
18:31 Abraham 135 said, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”
18:32 Finally Abraham 136 said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”
The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
19:2 He said, “Here, my lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house. Stay the night 142 and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.” 143 “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.” 144
19:3 But he urged 145 them persistently, so they turned aside with him and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them, including bread baked without yeast, and they ate. 19:4 Before they could lie down to sleep, 146 all the men – both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom – surrounded the house. 147 19:5 They shouted to Lot, 148 “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex 149 with them!”
19:6 Lot went outside to them, shutting the door behind him. 19:7 He said, “No, my brothers! Don’t act so wickedly! 150 19:8 Look, I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with 151 a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please. 152 Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection 153 of my roof.” 154
19:9 “Out of our way!” 155 they cried, and “This man came to live here as a foreigner, 156 and now he dares to judge us! 157 We’ll do more harm 158 to you than to them!” They kept 159 pressing in on Lot until they were close enough 160 to break down the door.
19:10 So the men inside 161 reached out 162 and pulled Lot back into the house 163 as they shut the door. 19:11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, from the youngest to the oldest, 164 with blindness. The men outside 165 wore themselves out trying to find the door. 19:12 Then the two visitors 166 said to Lot, “Who else do you have here? 167 Do you have 168 any sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or other relatives in the city? 169 Get them out of this 170 place 19:13 because we are about to destroy 171 it. The outcry against this place 172 is so great before the
19:14 Then Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were going to marry his daughters. 174 He said, “Quick, get out of this place because the
19:15 At dawn 177 the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, 178 or else you will be destroyed when the city is judged!” 179 19:16 When Lot 180 hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters because the
19:18 But Lot said to them, “No, please, Lord! 187 19:19 Your 188 servant has found favor with you, 189 and you have shown me great 190 kindness 191 by sparing 192 my life. But I am not able to escape to the mountains because 193 this disaster will overtake 194 me and I’ll die. 195 19:20 Look, this town 196 over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one. 197 Let me go there. 198 It’s just a little place, isn’t it? 199 Then I’ll survive.” 200
19:21 “Very well,” he replied, 201 “I will grant this request too 202 and will not overthrow 203 the town you mentioned. 19:22 Run there quickly, 204 for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.) 205
19:23 The sun had just risen 206 over the land as Lot reached Zoar. 207 19:24 Then the
19:27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went 215 to the place where he had stood before the
19:29 So when God destroyed 219 the cities of the region, 220 God honored 221 Abraham’s request. He removed Lot 222 from the midst of the destruction when he destroyed 223 the cities Lot had lived in.
19:30 Lot went up from Zoar with his two daughters and settled in the mountains because he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 19:31 Later the older daughter said 224 to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man anywhere nearby 225 to have sexual relations with us, 226 according to the way of all the world. 19:32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine 227 so we can have sexual relations 228 with him and preserve 229 our family line through our father.” 230
19:33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine, 231 and the older daughter 232 came and had sexual relations with her father. 233 But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 234 19:34 So in the morning the older daughter 235 said to the younger, “Since I had sexual relations with my father last night, let’s make him drunk again tonight. 236 Then you go and have sexual relations with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 237 19:35 So they made their father drunk 238 that night as well, and the younger one came and had sexual relations with him. 239 But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 240
19:36 In this way both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 19:37 The older daughter 241 gave birth to a son and named him Moab. 242 He is the ancestor of the Moabites of today. 19:38 The younger daughter also gave birth to a son and named him Ben-Ammi. 243 He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.
Abraham and Abimelech
20:1 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev 244 region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident 245 in Gerar, 20:2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her.
20:4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord, 249 would you really slaughter an innocent nation? 250 20:5 Did Abraham 251 not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, 252 ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience 253 and with innocent hands!”
20:6 Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience. 254 That is why I have kept you 255 from sinning against me and why 256 I did not allow you to touch her. 20:7 But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed 257 he is a prophet 258 and he will pray for you; thus you will live. 259 But if you don’t give her back, 260 know that you will surely die 261 along with all who belong to you.”
20:8 Early in the morning 262 Abimelech summoned 263 all his servants. When he told them about all these things, 264 they 265 were terrified. 20:9 Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom? 266 You have done things to me that should not be done!” 267 20:10 Then Abimelech asked 268 Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?” 269
20:11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought, 270 ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of 271 my wife.’ 20:12 What’s more, 272 she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife. 20:13 When God made me wander 273 from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me: 274 Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’”
20:14 So Abimelech gave 275 sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 20:15 Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.” 276
20:17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children. 20:18 For the
The Birth of Isaac
21:6 Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. 291 Everyone who hears about this 292 will laugh 293 with me.” 21:7 She went on to say, 294 “Who would 295 have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have given birth to a son for him in his old age!”
21:8 The child grew and was weaned. Abraham prepared 296 a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 297 21:9 But Sarah noticed 298 the son of Hagar the Egyptian – the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham – mocking. 299 21:10 So she said to Abraham, “Banish 300 that slave woman and her son, for the son of that slave woman will not be an heir along with my son Isaac!”
21:11 Sarah’s demand displeased Abraham greatly because Ishmael was his son. 301 21:12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be upset 302 about the boy or your slave wife. Do 303 all that Sarah is telling 304 you because through Isaac your descendants will be counted. 305 21:13 But I will also make the son of the slave wife into a great nation, for he is your descendant too.”
21:14 Early in the morning Abraham took 306 some food 307 and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He put them on her shoulders, gave her the child, 308 and sent her away. So she went wandering 309 aimlessly through the wilderness 310 of Beer Sheba. 21:15 When the water in the skin was gone, she shoved 311 the child under one of the shrubs. 21:16 Then she went and sat down by herself across from him at quite a distance, about a bowshot 312 away; for she thought, 313 “I refuse to watch the child die.” 314 So she sat across from him and wept uncontrollably. 315
21:17 But God heard the boy’s voice. 316 The angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What is the matter, 317 Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard 318 the boy’s voice right where he is crying. 21:18 Get up! Help the boy up and hold him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 21:19 Then God enabled Hagar to see a well of water. 319 She went over and filled the skin with water, and then gave the boy a drink.
21:22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you 322 in all that you do. 21:23 Now swear to me right here in God’s name 323 that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants. 324 Show me, and the land 325 where you are staying, 326 the same loyalty 327 that I have shown you.” 328
21:24 Abraham said, “I swear to do this.” 329 21:25 But Abraham lodged a complaint 330 against Abimelech concerning a well 331 that Abimelech’s servants had seized. 332 21:26 “I do not know who has done this thing,” Abimelech replied. “Moreover, 333 you did not tell me. I did not hear about it until today.”
21:27 Abraham took some sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. The two of them made a treaty. 334 21:28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs apart from the flock by themselves. 21:29 Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these 335 seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 21:30 He replied, “You must take these seven ewe lambs from my hand as legal proof 336 that I dug this well.” 337 21:31 That is why he named that place 338 Beer Sheba, 339 because the two of them swore 340 an oath there.
21:32 So they made a treaty 341 at Beer Sheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, returned 342 to the land of the Philistines. 343 21:33 Abraham 344 planted a tamarisk tree 345 in Beer Sheba. There he worshiped the
The Sacrifice of Isaac
22:1 Some time after these things God tested 348 Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham 349 replied. 22:2 God 350 said, “Take your son – your only son, whom you love, Isaac 351 – and go to the land of Moriah! 352 Offer him up there as a burnt offering 353 on one of the mountains which I will indicate to 354 you.”
22:3 Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. 355 He took two of his young servants with him, along with his son Isaac. When he had cut the wood for the burnt offering, he started out 356 for the place God had spoken to him about.
22:4 On the third day Abraham caught sight of 357 the place in the distance. 22:5 So he 358 said to his servants, “You two stay 359 here with the donkey while 360 the boy and I go up there. We will worship 361 and then return to you.” 362
22:6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac. Then he took the fire and the knife in his hand, 363 and the two of them walked on together. 22:7 Isaac said to his father Abraham, 364 “My father?” “What is it, 365 my son?” he replied. “Here is the fire and the wood,” Isaac said, 366 “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 22:8 “God will provide 367 for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together.
22:9 When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there 368 and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up 369 his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 22:10 Then Abraham reached out his hand, took the knife, and prepared to slaughter 370 his son. 22:11 But the
22:13 Abraham looked up 376 and saw 377 behind him 378 a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. So he 379 went over and got the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place “The
22:20 After these things Abraham was told, “Milcah 394 also has borne children to your brother Nahor – 22:21 Uz the firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 395 22:22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 22:23 (Now 396 Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) These were the eight sons Milcah bore to Abraham’s brother Nahor. 22:24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore him children – Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.
The Death of Sarah
23:3 Then Abraham got up from mourning his dead wife 400 and said to the sons of Heth, 401 23:4 “I am a temporary settler 402 among you. Grant 403 me ownership 404 of a burial site among you so that I may 405 bury my dead.” 406
23:5 The sons of Heth answered Abraham, 407 23:6 “Listen, sir, 408 you are a mighty prince 409 among us! You may bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb to prevent you 410 from burying your dead.”
23:7 Abraham got up and bowed down to the local people, 411 the sons of Heth. 23:8 Then he said to them, “If you agree 412 that I may bury my dead, 413 then hear me out. 414 Ask 415 Ephron the son of Zohar 23:9 if he will sell 416 me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him; it is at the end of his field. Let him sell it to me publicly 417 for the full price, 418 so that I may own it as a burial site.”
23:10 (Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth.) Ephron the Hethite 419 replied to Abraham in the hearing 420 of the sons of Heth – before all who entered the gate 421 of his city – 23:11 “No, my lord! Hear me out. I sell 422 you both the field and the cave that is in it. 423 In the presence of my people 424 I sell it to you. Bury your dead.”
23:12 Abraham bowed before the local people 23:13 and said to Ephron in their hearing, “Hear me, if you will. I pay 425 to you the price 426 of the field. Take it from me so that I may 427 bury my dead there.”
23:16 So Abraham agreed to Ephron’s price 430 and weighed 431 out for him 432 the price 433 that Ephron had quoted 434 in the hearing of the sons of Heth – 400 pieces of silver, according to the standard measurement at the time. 435
23:17 So Abraham secured 436 Ephron’s field in Machpelah, next to Mamre, including the field, the cave that was in it, and all the trees that were in the field and all around its border, 23:18 as his property in the presence of the sons of Heth before all who entered the gate of Ephron’s city. 437
23:19 After this Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah next to Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 23:20 So Abraham secured the field and the cave that was in it as a burial site 438 from the sons of Heth.