the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Bible Reading Plan
Daily Bible Reading
March 29 - Bible-in-a-Year
27 Then Balak said to Balaam, "Come, let me take you to another place.(ax) Perhaps it will please God to let you curse them for me(ay) from there." 28 And Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor,(az) overlooking the wasteland.
29 Balaam said, "Build me seven altars here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me." 30 Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on each altar.(ba)
1 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel,(a) he did not resort to divination(b) as at other times, but turned his face toward the wilderness.(c) 2 When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came on him(d) 3 and he spoke his message:
"The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,(e)
4 the prophecy of one who hears the words of God,(f)
who sees a vision from the Almighty,[a](g)
who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:
5 "How beautiful are your tents,(h) Jacob,
your dwelling places, Israel!
6 "Like valleys they spread out,
like gardens beside a river,(i)
like aloes(j) planted by the Lord ,
like cedars beside the waters.(k)
7 Water will flow from their buckets;
their seed will have abundant water.
"Their king will be greater than Agag;(l)
their kingdom will be exalted.(m)
8 "God brought them out of Egypt;
they have the strength of a wild ox.
They devour hostile nations
and break their bones in pieces;(n)
with their arrows they pierce them.(o)
9 Like a lion they crouch and lie down,
like a lioness(p)—who dares to rouse them?
"May those who bless you be blessed(q)
and those who curse you be cursed!"(r)
10 Then Balak's anger burned(s) against Balaam. He struck his hands together(t) and said to him, "I summoned you to curse my enemies,(u) but you have blessed them(v) these three times.(w) 11 Now leave at once and go home!(x) I said I would reward you handsomely,(y) but the Lord has kept you from being rewarded."
12 Balaam answered Balak, "Did I not tell the messengers you sent me,(z) 13 ‘Even if Balak gave me all the silver and gold in his palace, I could not do anything of my own accord, good or bad, to go beyond the command of the Lord (aa)—and I must say only what the Lord says'?(ab) 14 Now I am going back to my people, but come, let me warn you of what this people will do to your people in days to come."(ac)
Balaam's Fourth Message
15 Then he spoke his message:
"The prophecy of Balaam son of Beor,
the prophecy of one whose eye sees clearly,
16 the prophecy of one who hears the words(ad) of God,
who has knowledge from the Most High,(ae)
who sees a vision from the Almighty,
who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened:
17 "I see him, but not now;
I behold him, but not near.(af)
A star will come out of Jacob;(ag)
a scepter will rise out of Israel.(ah)
He will crush the foreheads of Moab,(ai)
the skulls[b](aj) of[c] all the people of Sheth.[d]
18 Edom(ak) will be conquered;
Seir,(al) his enemy, will be conquered,(am)
but Israel(an) will grow strong.
19 A ruler will come out of Jacob(ao)
and destroy the survivors of the city."
Balaam's Fifth Message
20 Then Balaam saw Amalek(ap) and spoke his message:
"Amalek was first among the nations,
but their end will be utter destruction."(aq)
Balaam's Sixth Message
21 Then he saw the Kenites(ar) and spoke his message:
"Your dwelling place is secure,(as)
your nest is set in a rock;
22 yet you Kenites will be destroyed
when Ashur(at) takes you captive."
Balaam's Seventh Message
23 Then he spoke his message:
"Alas! Who can live when God does this?[e]
24 Ships will come from the shores of Cyprus;(au)
they will subdue Ashur(av) and Eber,(aw)
but they too will come to ruin.(ax)"
25 Then Balaam(ay) got up and returned home, and Balak went his own way.
Song of Solomon 5:2-6:3
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)
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)
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)
13 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!(m) You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.(n)  [b]
15 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert,(o) and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell(p) as you are.
16 "Woe to you, blind guides!(q) You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.'(r) 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred?(s) 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.' 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?(t) 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells(u) in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God's throne and by the one who sits on it.(v)
23 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth(w) of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness.(x) You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides!(y) You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
25 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish,(z) but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.(aa) 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
27 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs,(ab) which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.
29 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets(ac) and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.' 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets.(ad) 32 Go ahead, then, and complete(ae) what your ancestors started!(af)
33 "You snakes! You brood of vipers!(ag) How will you escape being condemned to hell?(ah) 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify;(ai) others you will flog in your synagogues(aj) and pursue from town to town.(ak) 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel(al) to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah,(am) whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.(an) 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.(ao)
37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you,(ap) how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,(aq) and you were not willing. 38 Look, your house is left to you desolate.(ar) 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'[c]"(as)
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