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Saturday, September 30th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Daily Bible Reading

June 24 - Old & New Testament


Song of Solomon 6,7,8


1 Where has your beloved(a) gone,
     most beautiful of women?(b)
Which way did your beloved turn,
     that we may look for him with you?


2 My beloved has gone(c) down to his garden,(d)
     to the beds of spices,(e)
to browse in the gardens
     and to gather lilies.
3 I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine;(f)
     he browses among the lilies.(g)


4 You are as beautiful as Tirzah,(h) my darling,
     as lovely as Jerusalem,(i)
     as majestic as troops with banners.(j)
5 Turn your eyes from me;
     they overwhelm me.
Your hair is like a flock of goats
     descending from Gilead.(k)
6 Your teeth are like a flock of sheep
     coming up from the washing.
Each has its twin,
     not one of them is missing.(l)
7 Your temples behind your veil(m)
     are like the halves of a pomegranate.(n)
8 Sixty queens(o) there may be,
     and eighty concubines,(p)
     and virgins beyond number;
9 but my dove,(q) my perfect one,(r) is unique,
     the only daughter of her mother,
     the favorite of the one who bore her.(s)
The young women saw her and called her blessed;
     the queens and concubines praised her.


10 Who is this that appears like the dawn,
     fair as the moon, bright as the sun,
     majestic as the stars in procession?


11 I went down to the grove of nut trees
     to look at the new growth in the valley,
to see if the vines had budded
     or the pomegranates were in bloom.(t)
12 Before I realized it,
     my desire set me among the royal chariots of my people.[a]


13 Come back, come back, O Shulammite;
     come back, come back, that we may gaze on you!


Why would you gaze on the Shulammite
     as on the dance(u) of Mahanaim?[b]

1 [a]How beautiful your sandaled feet,
     O prince's(a) daughter!
Your graceful legs are like jewels,
     the work of an artist's hands.
2 Your navel is a rounded goblet
     that never lacks blended wine.
Your waist is a mound of wheat
     encircled by lilies.
3 Your breasts(b) are like two fawns,
     like twin fawns of a gazelle.
4 Your neck is like an ivory tower.(c)
Your eyes are the pools of Heshbon(d)
     by the gate of Bath Rabbim.
Your nose is like the tower of Lebanon(e)
     looking toward Damascus.
5 Your head crowns you like Mount Carmel.(f)
     Your hair is like royal tapestry;
     the king is held captive by its tresses.
6 How beautiful(g) you are and how pleasing,
     my love, with your delights!(h)
7 Your stature is like that of the palm,
     and your breasts(i) like clusters of fruit.
8 I said, "I will climb the palm tree;
     I will take hold of its fruit."
May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine,
     the fragrance of your breath like apples,(j)
9       and your mouth like the best wine.


May the wine go straight to my beloved,(k)
     flowing gently over lips and teeth.[b]
10 I belong to my beloved,
     and his desire(l) is for me.(m)
11 Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside,
     let us spend the night in the villages.[c]
12 Let us go early to the vineyards(n)
     to see if the vines have budded,(o)
if their blossoms(p) have opened,
     and if the pomegranates(q) are in bloom(r)
     there I will give you my love.
13 The mandrakes(s) send out their fragrance,
     and at our door is every delicacy,
both new and old,
     that I have stored up for you, my beloved.(t)

1 If only you were to me like a brother,
     who was nursed at my mother's breasts!
Then, if I found you outside,
     I would kiss you,
     and no one would despise me.
2 I would lead you
     and bring you to my mother's house(a)
     she who has taught me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
     the nectar of my pomegranates.
3 His left arm is under my head
     and his right arm embraces me.(b)
4 Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you:
     Do not arouse or awaken love
     until it so desires.(c)


5 Who is this coming up from the wilderness(d)
     leaning on her beloved?


Under the apple tree I roused you;
     there your mother conceived(e) you,
     there she who was in labor gave you birth.
6 Place me like a seal over your heart,
     like a seal on your arm;
for love(f) is as strong as death,
     its jealousy[a](g) unyielding as the grave.
It burns like blazing fire,
     like a mighty flame.[b]
7 Many waters cannot quench love;
     rivers cannot sweep it away.
If one were to give
     all the wealth of one's house for love,
     it[c] would be utterly scorned.(h)


8 We have a little sister,
     and her breasts are not yet grown.
What shall we do for our sister
     on the day she is spoken for?
9 If she is a wall,
     we will build towers of silver on her.
If she is a door,
     we will enclose her with panels of cedar.


10 I am a wall,
     and my breasts are like towers.
Thus I have become in his eyes
     like one bringing contentment.
11 Solomon had a vineyard(i) in Baal Hamon;
     he let out his vineyard to tenants.
Each was to bring for its fruit
     a thousand shekels[d](j) of silver.
12 But my own vineyard(k) is mine to give;
     the thousand shekels are for you, Solomon,
     and two hundred[e] are for those who tend its fruit.


13 You who dwell in the gardens
     with friends in attendance,
     let me hear your voice!


14 Come away, my beloved,
     and be like a gazelle(l)
or like a young stag(m)
     on the spice-laden mountains.(n)

Acts 7:22-43

Chapter 7

22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians(ae) and was powerful in speech and action.

23 "When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his own people, the Israelites. 24 He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. 25 Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not. 26 The next day Moses came upon two Israelites who were fighting. He tried to reconcile them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers; why do you want to hurt each other?'

27 "But the man who was mistreating the other pushed Moses aside and said, ‘Who made you ruler and judge over us?(af) 28 Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?'[e] 29 When Moses heard this, he fled to Midian, where he settled as a foreigner and had two sons.(ag)

30 "After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to Moses in the flames of a burning bush in the desert near Mount Sinai. 31 When he saw this, he was amazed at the sight. As he went over to get a closer look, he heard the Lord say:(ah) 32 ‘I am the God of your fathers,(ai) the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.'[f] Moses trembled with fear and did not dare to look.(aj)

33 "Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.(ak) 34 I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt. I have heard their groaning and have come down to set them free. Now come, I will send you back to Egypt.'[g](al)

35 "This is the same Moses they had rejected with the words, ‘Who made you ruler and judge?'(am) He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 He led them out of Egypt(an) and performed wonders and signs(ao) in Egypt, at the Red Sea(ap) and for forty years in the wilderness.(aq)

37 "This is the Moses who told the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your own people.'[h](ar) 38 He was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel(as) who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our ancestors;(at) and he received living words(au) to pass on to us.(av)

39 "But our ancestors refused to obey him. Instead, they rejected him and in their hearts turned back to Egypt.(aw) 40 They told Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who led us out of Egypt—we don't know what has happened to him!'[i](ax) 41 That was the time they made an idol in the form of a calf. They brought sacrifices to it and reveled in what their own hands had made.(ay) 42 But God turned away from them(az) and gave them over to the worship of the sun, moon and stars.(ba) This agrees with what is written in the book of the prophets:

"‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
     forty years in the wilderness, people of Israel?
43 You have taken up the tabernacle of Molek
     and the star of your god Rephan,
     the idols you made to worship.
Therefore I will send you into exile'[j](bb) beyond Babylon.

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