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ESV: Every Day in the Word

The popular reading plan features a reading from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs each day. This plan divides the text into 365 sections, so you can read through the entire Bible in one unforgettable year?in as little as 15 minutes a day. In one year, you read the Old Testament, the New Testament, and Proverbs once, and the Psalms twice.

  • January 19: Genesis 34?35; Matthew 12; Psalm 18:25?50; Proverbs 6:20?35

    Old Testament: Genesis 34?35 Genesis 34?35

    Genesis 34?35

    The Defiling of Dinah

    34 Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to see the women of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her. And his soul was drawn to Dinah the daughter of Jacob. He loved the young woman and spoke tenderly to her. So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, ?Get me this girl for my wife.?

    Now Jacob heard that he had defiled his daughter Dinah. But his sons were with his livestock in the field, so Jacob held his peace until they came. And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him. The sons of Jacob had come in from the field as soon as they heard of it, and the men were indignant and very angry, because he had done an outrageous thing in Israel by lying with Jacob's daughter, for such a thing must not be done.

    But Hamor spoke with them, saying, ?The soul of my son Shechem longs for your1 daughter. Please give her to him to be his wife. Make marriages with us. Give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves. You shall dwell with us, and the land shall be open to you. Dwell and trade in it, and get property in it.? Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, ?Let me find favor in your eyes, and whatever you say to me I will give. Ask me for as great a bride-price2 and gift as you will, and I will give whatever you say to me. Only give me the young woman to be my wife.?

    The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah. They said to them, ?We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us. Only on this condition will we agree with you?that you will become as we are by every male among you being circumcised. Then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters to ourselves, and we will dwell with you and become one people. But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter, and we will be gone.?

    Their words pleased Hamor and Hamor's son Shechem. And the young man did not delay to do the thing, because he delighted in Jacob's daughter. Now he was the most honored of all his father's house. So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying, ?These men are at peace with us; let them dwell in the land and trade in it, for behold, the land is large enough for them. Let us take their daughters as wives, and let us give them our daughters. Only on this condition will the men agree to dwell with us to become one people?when every male among us is circumcised as they are circumcised. Will not their livestock, their property and all their beasts be ours? Only let us agree with them, and they will dwell with us.? And all who went out of the gate of his city listened to Hamor and his son Shechem, and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.

    On the third day, when they were sore, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brothers, took their swords and came against the city while it felt secure and killed all the males. They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword and took Dinah out of Shechem's house and went away. The sons of Jacob came upon the slain and plundered the city, because they had defiled their sister. They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field. All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and plundered.

    Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, ?You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. My numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.? But they said, ?Should he treat our sister like a prostitute??

    God Blesses and Renames Jacob

    35 God said to Jacob, ?Arise, go up to Bethel and dwell there. Make an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.? So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, ?Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.? So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem.

    And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob. And Jacob came to Luz (that is, Bethel), which is in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him, and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel,3 because there God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother. And Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died, and she was buried under an oak below Bethel. So he called its name Allon-bacuth.4

    God appeared5 to Jacob again, when he came from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. And God said to him, ?Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.? So he called his name Israel. And God said to him, ?I am God Almighty:6 be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body.7 The land that I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your offspring after you.? Then God went up from him in the place where he had spoken with him. And Jacob set up a pillar in the place where he had spoken with him, a pillar of stone. He poured out a drink offering on it and poured oil on it. So Jacob called the name of the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.

    The Deaths of Rachel and Isaac

    Then they journeyed from Bethel. When they were still some distance8 from Ephrath, Rachel went into labor, and she had hard labor. And when her labor was at its hardest, the midwife said to her, ?Do not fear, for you have another son.? And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni;9 but his father called him Benjamin.10 So Rachel died, and she was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem), and Jacob set up a pillar over her tomb. It is the pillar of Rachel's tomb, which is there to this day. Israel journeyed on and pitched his tent beyond the tower of Eder.

    While Israel lived in that land, Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine. And Israel heard of it.

    Now the sons of Jacob were twelve. The sons of Leah: Reuben (Jacob's firstborn), Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. The sons of Bilhah, Rachel's servant: Dan and Naphtali. The sons of Zilpah, Leah's servant: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan-aram.

    And Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, or Kiriath-arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had sojourned. Now the days of Isaac were 180 years. And Isaac breathed his last, and he died and was gathered to his people, old and full of days. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.


    [1] 34:8 The Hebrew for your is plural here
    [2] 34:12 Or engagement present
    [3] 35:7 El-bethel means God of Bethel
    [4] 35:8 Allon-bacuth means oak of weeping
    [5] 35:9 Or had appeared
    [6] 35:11 Hebrew El Shaddai
    [7] 35:11 Hebrew from your loins
    [8] 35:16 Or about two hours' distance
    [9] 35:18 Ben-oni could mean son of my sorrow, or son of my strength
    [10] 35:18 Benjamin means son of the right hand


    New Testament: Matthew 12 Matthew 12

    Matthew 12

    Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

    12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, ?Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.? He said to them, ?Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ?I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,? you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.?

    A Man with a Withered Hand

    He went on from there and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, ?Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath???so that they might accuse him. He said to them, ?Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.? Then he said to the man, ?Stretch out your hand.? And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

    God's Chosen Servant

    Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:

      ?Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
        my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.
      I will put my Spirit upon him,
        and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
      He will not quarrel or cry aloud,
        nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
      a bruised reed he will not break,
        and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
      until he brings justice to victory;
        and in his name the Gentiles will hope.?

    Blasphemy Against the Holy Spirit

    Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, ?Can this be the Son of David?? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ?It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.? Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, ?Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

    A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit

    ?Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.?

    The Sign of Jonah

    Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, ?Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.? But he answered them, ?An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

    Return of an Unclean Spirit

    ?When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, ?I will return to my house from which I came.? And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.?

    Jesus' Mother and Brothers

    While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers1 stood outside, asking to speak to him.2 But he replied to the man who told him, ?Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?? And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, ?Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.?


    [1] 12:46 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 48, 49
    [2] 12:46 Some manuscripts insert verse 47: Someone told him, ?Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, asking to speak to you?


    Psalm: Psalm 18:25?50 Psalm 18:25?50

    Psalm 18:25?50

      With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
        with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
      with the purified you show yourself pure;
        and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
      For you save a humble people,
        but the haughty eyes you bring down.
      For it is you who light my lamp;
        the LORD my God lightens my darkness.
      For by you I can run against a troop,
        and by my God I can leap over a wall.
      This God?his way is perfect;1
        the word of the LORD proves true;
        he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
      For who is God, but the LORD?
        And who is a rock, except our God??
      the God who equipped me with strength
        and made my way blameless.
      He made my feet like the feet of a deer
        and set me secure on the heights.
      He trains my hands for war,
        so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
      You have given me the shield of your salvation,
        and your right hand supported me,
        and your gentleness made me great.
      You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
        and my feet did not slip.
      I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
        and did not turn back till they were consumed.
      I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
        they fell under my feet.
      For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
        you made those who rise against me sink under me.
      You made my enemies turn their backs to me,2
        and those who hated me I destroyed.
      They cried for help, but there was none to save;
        they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them.
      I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
        I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
      You delivered me from strife with the people;
        you made me the head of the nations;
        people whom I had not known served me.
      As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
        foreigners came cringing to me.
      Foreigners lost heart
        and came trembling out of their fortresses.
      The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock,
        and exalted be the God of my salvation?
      the God who gave me vengeance
        and subdued peoples under me,
      who rescued me from my enemies;
        yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
        you delivered me from the man of violence.
      For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations,
        and sing to your name.
      Great salvation he brings to his king,
        and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
        to David and his offspring forever.


    [1] 18:30 Or blameless
    [2] 18:40 Or You gave me my enemies' necks


    Proverb: Proverbs 6:20?35 Proverbs 6:20?35

    Proverbs 6:20?35

    Warnings Against Adultery

      My son, keep your father's commandment,
        and forsake not your mother's teaching.
      Bind them on your heart always;
        tie them around your neck.
      When you walk, they1 will lead you;
        when you lie down, they will watch over you;
        and when you awake, they will talk with you.
      For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
        and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
      to preserve you from the evil woman,2
        from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.3
      Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
        and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
      for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,4
        but a married woman5 hunts down a precious life.
      Can a man carry fire next to his chest
        and his clothes not be burned?
      Or can one walk on hot coals
        and his feet not be scorched?
      So is he who goes in to his neighbor's wife;
        none who touches her will go unpunished.
      People do not despise a thief if he steals
        to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
      but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
        he will give all the goods of his house.
      He who commits adultery lacks sense;
        he who does it destroys himself.
      He will get wounds and dishonor,
        and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
      For jealousy makes a man furious,
        and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
      He will accept no compensation;
        he will refuse though you multiply gifts.


    [1] 6:22 Hebrew it; three times in this verse
    [2] 6:24 Revocalization (compare Septuagint) yields from the wife of a neighbor
    [3] 6:24 Hebrew the foreign woman
    [4] 6:26 Or (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate) for a prostitute leaves a man with nothing but a loaf of bread
    [5] 6:26 Hebrew a man's wife


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  • January 18: Genesis 32?33; Matthew 11; Psalm 18:1?24; Proverbs 6:1?19

    Old Testament: Genesis 32?33 Genesis 32?33

    Genesis 32?33

    Jacob Fears Esau

    32 Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. And when Jacob saw them he said, ?This is God's camp!? So he called the name of that place Mahanaim.1

    And Jacob sent2 messengers before him to Esau his brother in the land of Seir, the country of Edom, instructing them, ?Thus you shall say to my lord Esau: Thus says your servant Jacob, ?I have sojourned with Laban and stayed until now. I have oxen, donkeys, flocks, male servants, and female servants. I have sent to tell my lord, in order that I may find favor in your sight.??

    And the messengers returned to Jacob, saying, ?We came to your brother Esau, and he is coming to meet you, and there are four hundred men with him.? Then Jacob was greatly afraid and distressed. He divided the people who were with him, and the flocks and herds and camels, into two camps, thinking, ?If Esau comes to the one camp and attacks it, then the camp that is left will escape.?

    And Jacob said, ?O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac, O LORD who said to me, ?Return to your country and to your kindred, that I may do you good,? I am not worthy of the least of all the deeds of steadfast love and all the faithfulness that you have shown to your servant, for with only my staff I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two camps. Please deliver me from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him, that he may come and attack me, the mothers with the children. But you said, ?I will surely do you good, and make your offspring as the sand of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude.??

    So he stayed there that night, and from what he had with him he took a present for his brother Esau, two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, thirty milking camels and their calves, forty cows and ten bulls, twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. These he handed over to his servants, every drove by itself, and said to his servants, ?Pass on ahead of me and put a space between drove and drove.? He instructed the first, ?When Esau my brother meets you and asks you, ?To whom do you belong? Where are you going? And whose are these ahead of you?? then you shall say, ?They belong to your servant Jacob. They are a present sent to my lord Esau. And moreover, he is behind us.?? He likewise instructed the second and the third and all who followed the droves, ?You shall say the same thing to Esau when you find him, and you shall say, ?Moreover, your servant Jacob is behind us.?? For he thought, ?I may appease him3 with the present that goes ahead of me, and afterward I shall see his face. Perhaps he will accept me.?4 So the present passed on ahead of him, and he himself stayed that night in the camp.

    Jacob Wrestles with God

    The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children,5 and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, ?Let me go, for the day has broken.? But Jacob said, ?I will not let you go unless you bless me.? And he said to him, ?What is your name?? And he said, ?Jacob.? Then he said, ?Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel,6 for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.? Then Jacob asked him, ?Please tell me your name.? But he said, ?Why is it that you ask my name?? And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel,7 saying, ?For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.? The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob's hip on the sinew of the thigh.

    Jacob Meets Esau

    33 And Jacob lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, Esau was coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two female servants. And he put the servants with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. He himself went on before them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near to his brother.

    But Esau ran to meet him and embraced him and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, ?Who are these with you?? Jacob said, ?The children whom God has graciously given your servant.? Then the servants drew near, they and their children, and bowed down. Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down. And last Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. Esau said, ?What do you mean by all this company8 that I met?? Jacob answered, ?To find favor in the sight of my lord.? But Esau said, ?I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.? Jacob said, ?No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. Please accept my blessing that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough.? Thus he urged him, and he took it.

    Then Esau said, ?Let us journey on our way, and I will go ahead of9 you.? But Jacob said to him, ?My lord knows that the children are frail, and that the nursing flocks and herds are a care to me. If they are driven hard for one day, all the flocks will die. Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, at the pace of the livestock that are ahead of me and at the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.?

    So Esau said, ?Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.? But he said, ?What need is there? Let me find favor in the sight of my lord.? So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. But Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built himself a house and made booths for his livestock. Therefore the name of the place is called Succoth.10

    And Jacob came safely11 to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan, on his way from Paddan-aram, and he camped before the city. And from the sons of Hamor, Shechem's father, he bought for a hundred pieces of money12 the piece of land on which he had pitched his tent. There he erected an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.13


    [1] 32:2 Mahanaim means two camps
    [2] 32:3 Or had sent
    [3] 32:20 Hebrew appease his face
    [4] 32:20 Hebrew he will lift my face
    [5] 32:22 Or sons
    [6] 32:28 Israel means He strives with God, or God strives
    [7] 32:30 Peniel means the face of God
    [8] 33:8 Hebrew camp
    [9] 33:12 Or along with
    [10] 33:17 Succoth means booths
    [11] 33:18 Or peacefully
    [12] 33:19 Hebrew a hundred qesitah; a unit of money of unknown value
    [13] 33:20 El-Elohe-Israel means God, the God of Israel


    New Testament: Matthew 11 Matthew 11

    Matthew 11

    Messengers from John the Baptist

    11 When Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in their cities.

    Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, ?Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?? And Jesus answered them, ?Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers1 are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.?

    As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: ?What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man2 dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. What then did you go out to see? A prophet?3 Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written,

      ??Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
        who will prepare your way before you.?

    Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence,4 and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear,5 let him hear.

    ?But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their playmates,

      ??We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
        we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.?

    For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ?He has a demon.? The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ?Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!? Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.?6

    Woe to Unrepentant Cities

    Then he began to denounce the cities where most of his mighty works had been done, because they did not repent. ?Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I tell you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.?

    Come to Me, and I Will Give You Rest

    At that time Jesus declared, ?I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.7 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.?


    [1] 11:5 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
    [2] 11:8 Or Why then did you go out? To see a man . . .
    [3] 11:9 Some manuscripts Why then did you go out? To see a prophet?
    [4] 11:12 Or has been coming violently
    [5] 11:15 Some manuscripts omit to hear
    [6] 11:19 Some manuscripts children (compare Luke 7:35)
    [7] 11:26 Or for so it pleased you well


    Psalm: Psalm 18:1?24 Psalm 18:1?24

    Psalm 18:1?24

    The Lord Is My Rock and My Fortress

    To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:

    18   I love you, O LORD, my strength.
      The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
        my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
        my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
      I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
        and I am saved from my enemies.
      The cords of death encompassed me;
        the torrents of destruction assailed me;1
      the cords of Sheol entangled me;
        the snares of death confronted me.
      In my distress I called upon the LORD;
        to my God I cried for help.
      From his temple he heard my voice,
        and my cry to him reached his ears.
      Then the earth reeled and rocked;
        the foundations also of the mountains trembled
        and quaked, because he was angry.
      Smoke went up from his nostrils,2
        and devouring fire from his mouth;
        glowing coals flamed forth from him.
      He bowed the heavens and came down;
        thick darkness was under his feet.
      He rode on a cherub and flew;
        he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
      He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
        thick clouds dark with water.
      Out of the brightness before him
        hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
      The LORD also thundered in the heavens,
        and the Most High uttered his voice,
        hailstones and coals of fire.
      And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
        he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
      Then the channels of the sea were seen,
        and the foundations of the world were laid bare
      at your rebuke, O LORD,
        at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
      He sent from on high, he took me;
        he drew me out of many waters.
      He rescued me from my strong enemy
        and from those who hated me,
        for they were too mighty for me.
      They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
        but the LORD was my support.
      He brought me out into a broad place;
        he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
      The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness;
        according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
      For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
        and have not wickedly departed from my God.
      For all his rules3 were before me,
        and his statutes I did not put away from me.
      I was blameless before him,
        and I kept myself from my guilt.
      So the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
        according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.


    [1] 18:4 Or terrified me
    [2] 18:8 Or in his wrath
    [3] 18:22 Or just decrees


    Proverb: Proverbs 6:1?19 Proverbs 6:1?19

    Proverbs 6:1?19

    Practical Warnings

      My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
        have given your pledge for a stranger,
      if you are snared in the words of your mouth,
        caught in the words of your mouth,
      then do this, my son, and save yourself,
        for you have come into the hand of your neighbor:
        go, hasten,1 and plead urgently with your neighbor.
      Give your eyes no sleep
        and your eyelids no slumber;
      save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,2
        like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
      Go to the ant, O sluggard;
        consider her ways, and be wise.
      Without having any chief,
        officer, or ruler,
      she prepares her bread in summer
        and gathers her food in harvest.
      How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
        When will you arise from your sleep?
      A little sleep, a little slumber,
        a little folding of the hands to rest,
      and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
        and want like an armed man.
      A worthless person, a wicked man,
        goes about with crooked speech,
      winks with his eyes, signals3 with his feet,
        points with his finger,
      with perverted heart devises evil,
        continually sowing discord;
      therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;
        in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.
      There are six things that the LORD hates,
        seven that are an abomination to him:
      haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
        and hands that shed innocent blood,
      a heart that devises wicked plans,
        feet that make haste to run to evil,
      a false witness who breathes out lies,
        and one who sows discord among brothers.


    [1] 6:3 Or humble yourself
    [2] 6:5 Hebrew lacks of the hunter
    [3] 6:13 Hebrew scrapes


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  • January 17: Genesis 31; Matthew 10:24?42; Psalm 17; Proverbs 5

    Old Testament: Genesis 31 Genesis 31

    Genesis 31

    Jacob Flees from Laban

    31 Now Jacob heard that the sons of Laban were saying, ?Jacob has taken all that was our father's, and from what was our father's he has gained all this wealth.? And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before. Then the LORD said to Jacob, ?Return to the land of your fathers and to your kindred, and I will be with you.?

    So Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah into the field where his flock was and said to them, ?I see that your father does not regard me with favor as he did before. But the God of my father has been with me. You know that I have served your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me and changed my wages ten times. But God did not permit him to harm me. If he said, ?The spotted shall be your wages,? then all the flock bore spotted; and if he said, ?The striped shall be your wages,? then all the flock bore striped. Thus God has taken away the livestock of your father and given them to me. In the breeding season of the flock I lifted up my eyes and saw in a dream that the goats that mated with the flock were striped, spotted, and mottled. Then the angel of God said to me in the dream, ?Jacob,? and I said, ?Here I am!? And he said, ?Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you. I am the God of Bethel, where you anointed a pillar and made a vow to me. Now arise, go out from this land and return to the land of your kindred.?? Then Rachel and Leah answered and said to him, ?Is there any portion or inheritance left to us in our father's house? Are we not regarded by him as foreigners? For he has sold us, and he has indeed devoured our money. All the wealth that God has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children. Now then, whatever God has said to you, do.?

    So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels. He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac. Laban had gone to shear his sheep, and Rachel stole her father's household gods. And Jacob tricked1 Laban the Aramean, by not telling him that he intended to flee. He fled with all that he had and arose and crossed the Euphrates,2 and set his face toward the hill country of Gilead.

    When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled, he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead. But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him, ?Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.?

    And Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen pitched tents in the hill country of Gilead. And Laban said to Jacob, ?What have you done, that you have tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword? Why did you flee secretly and trick me, and did not tell me, so that I might have sent you away with mirth and songs, with tambourine and lyre? And why did you not permit me to kiss my sons and my daughters farewell? Now you have done foolishly. It is in my power to do you harm. But the God of your3 father spoke to me last night, saying, ?Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad.? And now you have gone away because you longed greatly for your father's house, but why did you steal my gods?? Jacob answered and said to Laban, ?Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. Anyone with whom you find your gods shall not live. In the presence of our kinsmen point out what I have that is yours, and take it.? Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.

    So Laban went into Jacob's tent and into Leah's tent and into the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find them. And he went out of Leah's tent and entered Rachel's. Now Rachel had taken the household gods and put them in the camel's saddle and sat on them. Laban felt all about the tent, but did not find them. And she said to her father, ?Let not my lord be angry that I cannot rise before you, for the way of women is upon me.? So he searched but did not find the household gods.

    Then Jacob became angry and berated Laban. Jacob said to Laban, ?What is my offense? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? For you have felt through all my goods; what have you found of all your household goods? Set it here before my kinsmen and your kinsmen, that they may decide between us two. These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks. What was torn by wild beasts I did not bring to you. I bore the loss of it myself. From my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes. These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.?

    Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, ?The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do this day for these my daughters or for their children whom they have borne? Come now, let us make a covenant, you and I. And let it be a witness between you and me.? So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. And Jacob said to his kinsmen, ?Gather stones.? And they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha,4 but Jacob called it Galeed.5 Laban said, ?This heap is a witness between you and me today.? Therefore he named it Galeed, and Mizpah,6 for he said, ?The LORD watch between you and me, when we are out of one another's sight. If you oppress my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one is with us, see, God is witness between you and me.?

    Then Laban said to Jacob, ?See this heap and the pillar, which I have set between you and me. This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass over this heap to you, and you will not pass over this heap and this pillar to me, to do harm. The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.? So Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac, and Jacob offered a sacrifice in the hill country and called his kinsmen to eat bread. They ate bread and spent the night in the hill country.

    Early in the morning Laban arose and kissed his grandchildren and his daughters and blessed them. Then Laban departed and returned home.


    [1] 31:20 Hebrew stole the heart of; also verses 26, 27
    [2] 31:21 Hebrew the River
    [3] 31:29 The Hebrew for your is plural here
    [4] 31:47 Aramaic the heap of witness
    [5] 31:47 Hebrew the heap of witness
    [6] 31:49 Mizpah means watchpost


    New Testament: Matthew 10:24?42 Matthew 10:24?42

    Matthew 10:24?42

    ?A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant1 above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign2 those of his household.

    Have No Fear

    ?So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.3 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?4 And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

    Not Peace, but a Sword

    ?Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.


    ?Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet's reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person's reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.?


    [1] 10:24 Or bondservant; also verse 25
    [2] 10:25 Greek lacks will they malign
    [3] 10:28 Greek Gehenna
    [4] 10:29 Greek assarion, Roman copper coin (Latin quadrans) worth about 1/16 of a denarius (which was a day's wage for a laborer)


    Psalm: Psalm 17 Psalm 17

    Psalm 17

    In the Shadow of Your Wings

    A Prayer of David.

    17   Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry!
        Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
      From your presence let my vindication come!
        Let your eyes behold the right!
      You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night,
        you have tested me, and you will find nothing;
        I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
      With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
        I have avoided the ways of the violent.
      My steps have held fast to your paths;
        my feet have not slipped.
      I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
        incline your ear to me; hear my words.
      Wondrously show1 your steadfast love,
        O Savior of those who seek refuge
        from their adversaries at your right hand.
      Keep me as the apple of your eye;
        hide me in the shadow of your wings,
      from the wicked who do me violence,
        my deadly enemies who surround me.
      They close their hearts to pity;
        with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
      They have now surrounded our steps;
        they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
      He is like a lion eager to tear,
        as a young lion lurking in ambush.
      Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue him!
        Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
      from men by your hand, O LORD,
        from men of the world whose portion is in this life.2
      You fill their womb with treasure;3
        they are satisfied with children,
        and they leave their abundance to their infants.
      As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
        when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.


    [1] 17:7 Or Distinguish me by
    [2] 17:14 Or from men whose portion in life is of the world
    [3] 17:14 Or As for your treasured ones, you fill their womb


    Proverb: Proverbs 5 Proverbs 5

    Proverbs 5

    Warning Against Adultery

      My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
        incline your ear to my understanding,
      that you may keep discretion,
        and your lips may guard knowledge.
      For the lips of a forbidden1 woman drip honey,
        and her speech2 is smoother than oil,
      but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
        sharp as a two-edged sword.
      Her feet go down to death;
        her steps follow the path to3 Sheol;
      she does not ponder the path of life;
        her ways wander, and she does not know it.
      And now, O sons, listen to me,
        and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
      Keep your way far from her,
        and do not go near the door of her house,
      lest you give your honor to others
        and your years to the merciless,
      lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
        and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
      and at the end of your life you groan,
        when your flesh and body are consumed,
      and you say, ?How I hated discipline,
        and my heart despised reproof!
      I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
        or incline my ear to my instructors.
      I am at the brink of utter ruin
        in the assembled congregation.?
      Drink water from your own cistern,
        flowing water from your own well.
      Should your springs be scattered abroad,
        streams of water in the streets?
      Let them be for yourself alone,
        and not for strangers with you.
      Let your fountain be blessed,
        and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
        a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
      Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
        be intoxicated4 always in her love.
      Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
        and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?5
      For a man's ways are before the eyes of the LORD,
        and he ponders6 all his paths.
      The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
        and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
      He dies for lack of discipline,
        and because of his great folly he is led astray.


    [1] 5:3 Hebrew strange; also verse 20
    [2] 5:3 Hebrew palate
    [3] 5:5 Hebrew lay hold of
    [4] 5:19 Hebrew be led astray; also verse 20
    [5] 5:20 Hebrew a foreign woman
    [6] 5:21 Or makes level


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