Deuteronomy 16–18

1 Observe the month of Aviv and keep the Passover to the Lord your God, for in the month of Aviv the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night. 2 Therefore, you must sacrifice the Passover to the Lord your God, from the flock or the herd, in the place where the Lord shall choose to place His name. 3 You must not eat leavened bread with it. For seven days you must eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, for you came out of the land of Egypt in a hurry, so that you may remember all the days of your life the day when you came out of the land of Egypt. 4 There must not be any leavened bread seen with you within all your borders for seven days, nor may any of the meat which you sacrificed in the evening on the first day remain overnight until morning.

5 You may not sacrifice the Passover within any of your gates that the Lord your God has given you. 6 But at the place where the Lord your God chooses to place His name, there you shall sacrifice the Passover in the evening at sunset, at the time that you came out of Egypt. 7 You shall roast and eat it in the place where the Lord your God will choose, and you must return in the morning, and go to your tents. 8 For six days you must eat unleavened bread, and on the seventh day there shall be a solemn assembly to the Lord your God. You must do no work on that day.

9 You must count seven weeks for yourself. Begin counting the seven weeks from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain. 10 You must keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with a tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you must give to the Lord your God, in proportion to how much the Lord your God has blessed you. 11 You shall rejoice before the Lord your God—you, your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, the Levite who is within your gates, the foreigner, the orphan, and the widow who are among you—in the place where the Lord your God has chosen to place His name. 12 You must remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you must be careful to observe these statutes.

13 You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days after you have gathered in your threshing floor and your winepress, 14 and you shall rejoice in your feast, you, your son, your daughter, your male servant, your female servant, the Levite, the foreigner, the orphan, and the widow who are within your gates. 15 You are to celebrate the festival for seven days to the Lord your God in the place where the Lord will choose, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce, and in all the works of your hands. Therefore, you will indeed rejoice.

16 Three times a year all your males must appear before the Lord your God in the place where He will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles, and they must not appear before the Lord empty. 17 Every man must give as he is able, in proportion to the blessing of the Lord your God, which He has given you.

18 You must appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, throughout your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. 19 You must not pervert judgment nor show partiality. You must not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. 20 You must follow that which is altogether just, so that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

21 You must not plant for yourself an Asherah of any trees near the altar of the Lord your God, which you make for yourself. 22 You shall not set up for yourself any image, which the Lord your God hates.

Chapter 17

1 You must not sacrifice to the Lord your God any bull or sheep that has a blemish or any defect, for that is detestable to the Lord your God.

2 If there be found among you, within any of your gates which the Lord your God gives you, man or woman, who has acted wickedly in the sight of the Lord your God, by transgressing His covenant, 3 and has gone and served other gods and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded, 4 and if it is told to you, and you have heard of it, and investigated diligently, and it is true, and the matter is certain that such a detestable thing has happened in Israel, 5 then you must bring forth that man or that woman who has committed that wicked thing to your gates, that very man or woman, and stone them with stones until they die. 6 On the testimony of two or three witnesses he that is to die must be put to death, but on the testimony of one witness he cannot be put to death. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hands of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from among you.

8 If there arises a matter too difficult for you in judgment, between one kind of bloodshed and another, between one kind of lawsuit and another, and between one kind of assault and another, matters of controversy within your gates, then you must arise and go up to the place where the Lord your God shall choose. 9 You must go to the Levitical priests or to the judge in office those days, and inquire, and they will show you the verdict of judgment. 10 You shall do according to the verdict which they declare to you from the place where the Lord will choose to show you, and you must be careful to do all that they instruct you to do. 11 You must do according to the terms of the law which they instruct you and according to the verdict which they tell you. You must not deviate from the sentence which they show you, to the right or to the left. 12 The man who acts presumptuously and does not listen to the priest who stands to minister before the Lord your God, or to the judge—that man must die, and you must purge the evil from Israel. 13 Then all the people will hear, and fear, and not act presumptuously again.

14 When you have come into the land which the Lord your God gives you and possess it and dwell there and then say, “I will set a king over me just like all the nations that are around me,” 15 you must set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. You must select a king over you who is from among your brothers. You may not select a foreigner over you who is not your countryman. 16 What is more, he shall not accumulate horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order that he accumulate horses, for as the Lord has said to you, “You must not go back that way ever again.” 17 He shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away; nor shall he acquire for himself excess silver and gold.

18 It must be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write a copy of this law for himself on a scroll before the priests, the Levites. 19 It must be with him, and he must read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, and carefully observe all the words of this law and these statutes, and do them, 20 that his heart will not be lifted up above his brothers and so that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or to the left, to the end, so that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Chapter 18

1 The Levitical priests and all the tribe of Levi will not have any portion or inheritance with Israel. They must eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire and His portion. 2 They will have no inheritance among their brothers. The Lord is their inheritance, just as He has said to them.

3 This shall be the priest’s due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be an ox or sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder, the two cheeks, and the stomach. 4 You must give him the first fruit of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the first of the fleece of your sheep also. 5 For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons forever.

6 If a Levite comes from any of your gates out of all Israel, where he lives, and comes with all the desire of his mind to the place where the Lord shall choose, 7 then he shall minister in the name of the Lord his God, as all his brothers the Levites do, who stand there before the Lord. 8 They must have the same portions to eat, besides any profits he may receive from the sale of his father’s inheritance.

9 When you enter into the land which the Lord your God gives you, you must not learn to practice the abominations of those nations. 10 There must not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination, or uses witchcraft, or an interpreter of omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts spells, or a spiritualist, or an occultist, or a necromancer. 12 For all that do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God will drive them out from before you. 13 You must be blameless before the Lord your God.

14 For these nations, which you shall possess, listened to soothsayers and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so. 15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet from the midst of you, of your brothers, like me. You must listen to him. 16 This is according to all that you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, “Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, so that I do not die.”

17 The Lord said to me, “They have done well in what they have said. 18 I will raise up a prophet from among their brothers, like you, and will put My words in his mouth, and he will speak to them all that I command him. 19 It will be that whoever will not listen to My words which he will speak in My name, I will require it of him. 20 But the prophet, who presumes to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who shall speak in the name of other gods—that prophet shall die.”

21 And you may say in your heart, “How can we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?” 22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not occur or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You shall not be afraid of him.

Mark 13:1–20

1 As He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what great stones and what great buildings are here.”

2 Jesus answered him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down.”

3 As He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?”

5 Jesus answered them, “Take heed lest anyone deceive you. 6 Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be troubled. For such things must happen, but the end is still to come. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginning of sorrows.

9 “But take heed. For they will hand you over to councils, and in the synagogues you will be beaten. You will be brought before rulers and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them. 10 And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. 11 But when they arrest you and hand you over, take no thought beforehand, or premeditate what you should speak. But speak whatever is given you in that time, for it is not you who speaks, but the Holy Spirit.

12 “Now a brother will betray his brother to death, and the father the son; children will rise up against their parents, and will cause them to be put to death. 13 You will be hated by all men for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

14 “When you see the ‘abomination of desolation’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing where it should not be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let him who is on the housetop not go down or enter the house to take anything out of his house. 16 Let him who is in the field not turn back to take his garment. 17 But woe to women who are pregnant and to those who nurse in those days! 18 Pray that your escape may not be in winter. 19 For in those days there will be distress as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created to this time, nor ever shall be.

20 “Except the Lord shortened the days, no flesh would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days.”