Exodus 21:22-23:13, NLT

22“Now suppose two men are fighting, and in the process they accidentally strike a pregnant woman so she gives birth prematurely.*21:22 Or so she has a miscarriage; Hebrew reads so her children come out. If no further injury results, the man who struck the woman must pay the amount of compensation the woman’s husband demands and the judges approve. 23But if there is further injury, the punishment must match the injury: a life for a life, 24an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, 25a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.

26“If a man hits his male or female slave in the eye and the eye is blinded, he must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye. 27And if a man knocks out the tooth of his male or female slave, he must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.

28“If an ox*21:28 Or bull, or cow; also in 21:29-36. gores a man or woman to death, the ox must be stoned, and its flesh may not be eaten. In such a case, however, the owner will not be held liable. 29But suppose the ox had a reputation for goring, and the owner had been informed but failed to keep it under control. If the ox then kills someone, it must be stoned, and the owner must also be put to death. 30However, the dead person’s relatives may accept payment to compensate for the loss of life. The owner of the ox may redeem his life by paying whatever is demanded.

31“The same regulation applies if the ox gores a boy or a girl. 32But if the ox gores a slave, either male or female, the animal’s owner must pay the slave’s owner thirty silver coins,*21:32 Hebrew 30 shekels of silver, about 12 ounces or 342 grams in weight. and the ox must be stoned.

33“Suppose someone digs or uncovers a pit and fails to cover it, and then an ox or a donkey falls into it. 34The owner of the pit must pay full compensation to the owner of the animal, but then he gets to keep the dead animal.

35“If someone’s ox injures a neighbor’s ox and the injured ox dies, then the two owners must sell the live ox and divide the price equally between them. They must also divide the dead animal. 36But if the ox had a reputation for goring, yet its owner failed to keep it under control, he must pay full compensation—a live ox for the dead one—but he may keep the dead ox.

Exodus 22

Protection of Property

1*22:1a Verse 22:1 is numbered 21:37 in Hebrew text.“If someone steals an ox*22:1b Or bull, or cow; also in 22:4, 9, 10. or sheep and then kills or sells it, the thief must pay back five oxen for each ox stolen, and four sheep for each sheep stolen.

2*22:2 Verses 22:2-31 are numbered 22:1-30 in Hebrew text.“If a thief is caught in the act of breaking into a house and is struck and killed in the process, the person who killed the thief is not guilty of murder. 3But if it happens in daylight, the one who killed the thief is guilty of murder.

“A thief who is caught must pay in full for everything he stole. If he cannot pay, he must be sold as a slave to pay for his theft. 4If someone steals an ox or a donkey or a sheep and it is found in the thief’s possession, then the thief must pay double the value of the stolen animal.

5“If an animal is grazing in a field or vineyard and the owner lets it stray into someone else’s field to graze, then the animal’s owner must pay compensation from the best of his own grain or grapes.

6“If you are burning thornbushes and the fire gets out of control and spreads into another person’s field, destroying the sheaves or the uncut grain or the whole crop, the one who started the fire must pay for the lost crop.

7“Suppose someone leaves money or goods with a neighbor for safekeeping, and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house. If the thief is caught, the compensation is double the value of what was stolen. 8But if the thief is not caught, the neighbor must appear before God,*22:8 Or before the judges. who will determine if he stole the property.

9“Suppose there is a dispute between two people who both claim to own a particular ox, donkey, sheep, article of clothing, or any lost property. Both parties must come before God, and the person whom God declares*22:9 Or before the judges, and the person whom the judges declare. guilty must pay double compensation to the other.

10“Now suppose someone leaves a donkey, ox, sheep, or any other animal with a neighbor for safekeeping, but it dies or is injured or is taken away, and no one sees what happened. 11The neighbor must then take an oath in the presence of the Lord. If the Lord confirms that the neighbor did not steal the property, the owner must accept the verdict, and no payment will be required. 12But if the animal was indeed stolen, the guilty person must pay compensation to the owner. 13If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, the remains of the carcass must be shown as evidence, and no compensation will be required.

14“If someone borrows an animal from a neighbor and it is injured or dies when the owner is absent, the person who borrowed it must pay full compensation. 15But if the owner was present, no compensation is required. And no compensation is required if the animal was rented, for this loss is covered by the rental fee.

Social Responsibility

16“If a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to anyone and has sex with her, he must pay the customary bride price and marry her. 17But if her father refuses to let him marry her, the man must still pay him an amount equal to the bride price of a virgin.

18“You must not allow a sorceress to live.

19“Anyone who has sexual relations with an animal must certainly be put to death.

20“Anyone who sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed.*22:20 The Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering.

21“You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Remember, you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

22“You must not exploit a widow or an orphan. 23If you exploit them in any way and they cry out to me, then I will certainly hear their cry. 24My anger will blaze against you, and I will kill you with the sword. Then your wives will be widows and your children fatherless.

25“If you lend money to any of my people who are in need, do not charge interest as a money lender would. 26If you take your neighbor’s cloak as security for a loan, you must return it before sunset. 27This coat may be the only blanket your neighbor has. How can a person sleep without it? If you do not return it and your neighbor cries out to me for help, then I will hear, for I am merciful.

28“You must not dishonor God or curse any of your rulers.

29“You must not hold anything back when you give me offerings from your crops and your wine.

“You must give me your firstborn sons.

30“You must also give me the firstborn of your cattle, sheep, and goats. But leave the newborn animal with its mother for seven days; then give it to me on the eighth day.

31“You must be my holy people. Therefore, do not eat any animal that has been torn up and killed by wild animals. Throw it to the dogs.

Exodus 23

A Call for Justice

1“You must not pass along false rumors. You must not cooperate with evil people by lying on the witness stand.

2“You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice. 3And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.

4“If you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey that has strayed away, take it back to its owner. 5If you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has collapsed under its load, do not walk by. Instead, stop and help.

6“In a lawsuit, you must not deny justice to the poor.

7“Be sure never to charge anyone falsely with evil. Never sentence an innocent or blameless person to death, for I never declare a guilty person to be innocent.

8“Take no bribes, for a bribe makes you ignore something that you clearly see. A bribe makes even a righteous person twist the truth.

9“You must not oppress foreigners. You know what it’s like to be a foreigner, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt.

10“Plant and harvest your crops for six years, 11but let the land be renewed and lie uncultivated during the seventh year. Then let the poor among you harvest whatever grows on its own. Leave the rest for wild animals to eat. The same applies to your vineyards and olive groves.

12“You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but on the seventh day you must stop working. This gives your ox and your donkey a chance to rest. It also allows your slaves and the foreigners living among you to be refreshed.

13“Pay close attention to all my instructions. You must not call on the name of any other gods. Do not even speak their names.

Matthew 24:1-28, NLT

Matthew 24

Jesus Speaks about the Future

1As Jesus was leaving the Temple grounds, his disciples pointed out to him the various Temple buildings. 2But he responded, “Do you see all these buildings? I tell you the truth, they will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

3Later, Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and said, “Tell us, when will all this happen? What sign will signal your return and the end of the world?*24:3 Or the age?

4Jesus told them, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, 5for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah.’ They will deceive many. 6And you will hear of wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place, but the end won’t follow immediately. 7Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come.

9“Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers.*24:9 Greek on account of my name. 10And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. 11And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. 12Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold. 13But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations*24:14 Or all peoples. will hear it; and then the end will come.

15“The day is coming when you will see what Daniel the prophet spoke about—the sacrilegious object that causes desecration*24:15 Greek the abomination of desolation. See Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11. standing in the Holy Place.” (Reader, pay attention!) 16“Then those in Judea must flee to the hills. 17A person out on the deck of a roof must not go down into the house to pack. 18A person out in the field must not return even to get a coat. 19How terrible it will be for pregnant women and for nursing mothers in those days. 20And pray that your flight will not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21For there will be greater anguish than at any time since the world began. And it will never be so great again. 22In fact, unless that time of calamity is shortened, not a single person will survive. But it will be shortened for the sake of God’s chosen ones.

23“Then if anyone tells you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah,’ or ‘There he is,’ don’t believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones. 25See, I have warned you about this ahead of time.

26“So if someone tells you, ‘Look, the Messiah is out in the desert,’ don’t bother to go and look. Or, ‘Look, he is hiding here,’ don’t believe it! 27For as the lightning flashes in the east and shines to the west, so it will be when the Son of Man*24:27 “Son of Man” is a title Jesus used for himself. comes. 28Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near.*24:28 Greek Wherever the carcass is, the vultures gather.

Psalm 29:1-11, NLT

Psalm 29

A psalm of David.

1Honor the Lord, you heavenly beings*29:1 Hebrew you sons of God.;

honor the Lord for his glory and strength.

2Honor the Lord for the glory of his name.

Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

3The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea.

The God of glory thunders.

The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.

4The voice of the Lord is powerful;

the voice of the Lord is majestic.

5The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars;

the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.

6He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf;

he makes Mount Hermon*29:6 Hebrew Sirion, another name for Mount Hermon. leap like a young wild ox.

7The voice of the Lord strikes

with bolts of lightning.

8The voice of the Lord makes the barren wilderness quake;

the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9The voice of the Lord twists mighty oaks*29:9 Or causes the deer to writhe in labor.

and strips the forests bare.

In his Temple everyone shouts, “Glory!”

10The Lord rules over the floodwaters.

The Lord reigns as king forever.

11The Lord gives his people strength.

The Lord blesses them with peace.

Proverbs 7:6-23, NLT

6While I was at the window of my house,

looking through the curtain,

7I saw some naive young men,

and one in particular who lacked common sense.

8He was crossing the street near the house of an immoral woman,

strolling down the path by her house.

9It was at twilight, in the evening,

as deep darkness fell.

10The woman approached him,

seductively dressed and sly of heart.

11She was the brash, rebellious type,

never content to stay at home.

12She is often in the streets and markets,

soliciting at every corner.

13She threw her arms around him and kissed him,

and with a brazen look she said,

14“I’ve just made my peace offerings

and fulfilled my vows.

15You’re the one I was looking for!

I came out to find you, and here you are!

16My bed is spread with beautiful blankets,

with colored sheets of Egyptian linen.

17I’ve perfumed my bed

with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

18Come, let’s drink our fill of love until morning.

Let’s enjoy each other’s caresses,

19for my husband is not home.

He’s away on a long trip.

20He has taken a wallet full of money with him

and won’t return until later this month.*7:20 Hebrew until the moon is full.

21So she seduced him with her pretty speech

and enticed him with her flattery.

22He followed her at once,

like an ox going to the slaughter.

He was like a stag caught in a trap,*7:22 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads slaughter, as shackles are for the discipline of a fool.

23awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart.

He was like a bird flying into a snare,

little knowing it would cost him his life.