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Sunday, October 1st, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Daily Bible Reading

June 23 - Old & New Testament


Song of Solomon 4,5


1 How beautiful you are, my darling!
     Oh, how beautiful!
     Your eyes behind your veil(a) are doves.(b)
Your hair is like a flock of goats
     descending from the hills of Gilead.(c)
2 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep just shorn,
     coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin;
     not one of them is alone.(d)
3 Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon;
     your mouth(e) is lovely.(f)
Your temples behind your veil
     are like the halves of a pomegranate.(g)
4 Your neck is like the tower(h) of David,
     built with courses of stone[a];
on it hang a thousand shields,(i)
     all of them shields of warriors.
5 Your breasts(j) are like two fawns,
     like twin fawns of a gazelle(k)
     that browse among the lilies.(l)
6 Until the day breaks
     and the shadows flee,(m)
I will go to the mountain of myrrh(n)
     and to the hill of incense.
7 You are altogether beautiful,(o) my darling;
     there is no flaw(p) in you.

8 Come with me from Lebanon, my bride,(q)
     come with me from Lebanon.
Descend from the crest of Amana,
     from the top of Senir,(r) the summit of Hermon,(s)
from the lions' dens
     and the mountain haunts of leopards.
9 You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride;(t)
     you have stolen my heart
with one glance of your eyes,
     with one jewel of your necklace.(u)
10 How delightful(v) is your love(w), my sister, my bride!
     How much more pleasing is your love than wine,(x)
and the fragrance of your perfume(y)
     more than any spice!
11 Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride;
     milk and honey are under your tongue.(z)
The fragrance of your garments
     is like the fragrance of Lebanon.(aa)
12 You are a garden(ab) locked up, my sister, my bride;(ac)
     you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.(ad)
13 Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates(ae)
     with choice fruits,
     with henna(af) and nard,
14       nard and saffron,
     calamus and cinnamon,(ag)
     with every kind of incense tree,
     with myrrh(ah) and aloes(ai)
     and all the finest spices.(aj)
15 You are[b] a garden(ak) fountain,(al)
     a well of flowing water
     streaming down from Lebanon.


16 Awake, north wind,
     and come, south wind!
Blow on my garden,(am)
     that its fragrance(an) may spread everywhere.
Let my beloved(ao) come into his garden
     and taste its choice fruits.(ap)


1 I have come into my garden,(a) my sister, my bride;(b)
     I have gathered my myrrh with my spice.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
     I have drunk my wine and my milk.(c)


Eat, friends, and drink;
     drink your fill of love.


2 I slept but my heart was awake.
     Listen! My beloved is knocking:
"Open to me, my sister, my darling,
     my dove,(d) my flawless(e) one.(f)
My head is drenched with dew,
     my hair with the dampness of the night."
3 I have taken off my robe—
     must I put it on again?
I have washed my feet—
     must I soil them again?
4 My beloved thrust his hand through the latch-opening;
     my heart began to pound for him.
5 I arose to open for my beloved,
     and my hands dripped with myrrh,(g)
my fingers with flowing myrrh,
     on the handles of the bolt.
6 I opened for my beloved,(h)
     but my beloved had left; he was gone.(i)
     My heart sank at his departure.[a]
I looked(j) for him but did not find him.
     I called him but he did not answer.
7 The watchmen found me
     as they made their rounds in the city.(k)
They beat me, they bruised me;
     they took away my cloak,
     those watchmen of the walls!
8 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you(l)
     if you find my beloved,(m)
what will you tell him?
     Tell him I am faint with love.(n)


9 How is your beloved better than others,
     most beautiful of women?(o)
How is your beloved better than others,
     that you so charge us?


10 My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
     outstanding among ten thousand.(p)
11 His head is purest gold;
     his hair is wavy
     and black as a raven.
12 His eyes are like doves(q)
     by the water streams,
washed in milk,(r)
     mounted like jewels.
13 His cheeks(s) are like beds of spice(t)
     yielding perfume.
His lips are like lilies(u)
     dripping with myrrh.(v)
14 His arms are rods of gold
     set with topaz.
His body is like polished ivory
     decorated with lapis lazuli.(w)
15 His legs are pillars of marble
     set on bases of pure gold.
His appearance is like Lebanon,(x)
     choice as its cedars.
16 His mouth(y) is sweetness itself;
     he is altogether lovely.
This is my beloved,(z) this is my friend,
     daughters of Jerusalem.(aa)

Acts 7:1-21

Chapter 7

Stephen's Speech to the Sanhedrin

1 Then the high priest asked Stephen, "Are these charges true?"

2 To this he replied: "Brothers and fathers,(a) listen to me! The God of glory(b) appeared to our father Abraham while he was still in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Harran.(c) 3 ‘Leave your country and your people,' God said, ‘and go to the land I will show you.'[a](d)

4 "So he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Harran. After the death of his father, God sent him to this land where you are now living.(e) 5 He gave him no inheritance here,(f) not even enough ground to set his foot on. But God promised him that he and his descendants after him would possess the land,(g) even though at that time Abraham had no child. 6 God spoke to him in this way: ‘For four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated.(h) 7 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves,' God said, ‘and afterward they will come out of that country and worship me in this place.'[b](i) 8 Then he gave Abraham the covenant of circumcision.(j) And Abraham became the father of Isaac and circumcised him eight days after his birth.(k) Later Isaac became the father of Jacob,(l) and Jacob became the father of the twelve patriarchs.(m)

9 "Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph,(n) they sold him as a slave into Egypt.(o) But God was with him(p) 10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt. So Pharaoh made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.(q)

11 "Then a famine struck all Egypt and Canaan, bringing great suffering, and our ancestors could not find food.(r) 12 When Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our forefathers on their first visit.(s) 13 On their second visit, Joseph told his brothers who he was,(t) and Pharaoh learned about Joseph's family.(u) 14 After this, Joseph sent for his father Jacob and his whole family,(v) seventy-five in all.(w) 15 Then Jacob went down to Egypt, where he and our ancestors died.(x) 16 Their bodies were brought back to Shechem and placed in the tomb that Abraham had bought from the sons of Hamor at Shechem for a certain sum of money.(y)

17 "As the time drew near for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham, the number of our people in Egypt had greatly increased.(z) 18 Then ‘a new king, to whom Joseph meant nothing, came to power in Egypt.'[c](aa) 19 He dealt treacherously with our people and oppressed our ancestors by forcing them to throw out their newborn babies so that they would die.(ab)

20 "At that time Moses was born, and he was no ordinary child.[d] For three months he was cared for by his family.(ac) 21 When he was placed outside, Pharaoh's daughter took him and brought him up as her own son.(ad)

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