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Day 46 Day 47Day 48

Leviticus chapter 26

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"'Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.
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"'Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the LORD.
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"'If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands,
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I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit.
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Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.
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"'I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country.
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You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you.
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Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.
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"'I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you.
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You will still be eating last year's harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new.
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I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you.
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I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.
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I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.
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"'But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands,
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and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant,
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then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it.
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I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.
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"'If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over.
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I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze.
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Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit.
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"'If you remain hostile toward me and refuse to listen to me, I will multiply your afflictions seven times over, as your sins deserve.
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I will send wild animals against you, and they will rob you of your children, destroy your cattle and make you so few in number that your roads will be deserted.
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"'If in spite of these things you do not accept my correction but continue to be hostile toward me,
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I myself will be hostile toward you and will afflict you for your sins seven times over.
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And I will bring the sword upon you to avenge the breaking of the covenant. When you withdraw into your cities, I will send a plague among you, and you will be given into enemy hands.
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When I cut off your supply of bread, ten women will be able to bake your bread in one oven, and they will dole out the bread by weight. You will eat, but you will not be satisfied.
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"'If in spite of this you still do not listen to me but continue to be hostile toward me,
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then in my anger I will be hostile toward you, and I myself will punish you for your sins seven times over.
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You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.
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I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you.
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I will turn your cities into ruins and lay waste your sanctuaries, and I will take no delight in the pleasing aroma of your offerings.
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I will lay waste the land, so that your enemies who live there will be appalled.
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I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins.
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Then the land will enjoy its sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths.
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All the time that it lies desolate, the land will have the rest it did not have during the sabbaths you lived in it.
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"'As for those of you who are left, I will make their hearts so fearful in the lands of their enemies that the sound of a windblown leaf will put them to flight. They will run as though fleeing from the sword, and they will fall, even though no one is pursuing them.
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They will stumble over one another as though fleeing from the sword, even though no one is pursuing them. So you will not be able to stand before your enemies.
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You will perish among the nations; the land of your enemies will devour you.
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Those of you who are left will waste away in the lands of their enemies because of their sins; also because of their fathers' sins they will waste away.
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"'But if they will confess their sins and the sins of their fathers-- their treachery against me and their hostility toward me,
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which made me hostile toward them so that I sent them into the land of their enemies-- then when their uncircumcised hearts are humbled and they pay for their sin,
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I will remember my covenant with Jacob and my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land.
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For the land will be deserted by them and will enjoy its sabbaths while it lies desolate without them. They will pay for their sins because they rejected my laws and abhorred my decrees.
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Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them or abhor them so as to destroy them completely, breaking my covenant with them. I am the LORD their God.
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But for their sake I will remember the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of Egypt in the sight of the nations to be their God. I am the LORD.'"
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These are the decrees, the laws and the regulations that the LORD established on Mount Sinai between himself and the Israelites through Moses.

Leviticus chapter 27

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The LORD said to Moses,
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"Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate persons to the LORD by giving equivalent values,
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set the value of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver, according to the sanctuary shekel;
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and if it is a female, set her value at thirty shekels.
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If it is a person between the ages of five and twenty, set the value of a male at twenty shekels and of a female at ten shekels.
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If it is a person between one month and five years, set the value of a male at five shekels of silver and that of a female at three shekels of silver.
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If it is a person sixty years old or more, set the value of a male at fifteen shekels and of a female at ten shekels.
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If anyone making the vow is too poor to pay the specified amount, he is to present the person to the priest, who will set the value for him according to what the man making the vow can afford.
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"'If what he vowed is an animal that is acceptable as an offering to the LORD, such an animal given to the LORD becomes holy.
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He must not exchange it or substitute a good one for a bad one, or a bad one for a good one; if he should substitute one animal for another, both it and the substitute become holy.
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If what he vowed is a ceremonially unclean animal-- one that is not acceptable as an offering to the LORD-- the animal must be presented to the priest,
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who will judge its quality as good or bad. Whatever value the priest then sets, that is what it will be.
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If the owner wishes to redeem the animal, he must add a fifth to its value.
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"'If a man dedicates his house as something holy to the LORD, the priest will judge its quality as good or bad. Whatever value the priest then sets, so it will remain.
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If the man who dedicates his house redeems it, he must add a fifth to its value, and the house will again become his.
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"'If a man dedicates to the LORD part of his family land, its value is to be set according to the amount of seed required for it-- fifty shekels of silver to a homer of barley seed.
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If he dedicates his field during the Year of Jubilee, the value that has been set remains.
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But if he dedicates his field after the Jubilee, the priest will determine the value according to the number of years that remain until the next Year of Jubilee, and its set value will be reduced.
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If the man who dedicates the field wishes to redeem it, he must add a fifth to its value, and the field will again become his.
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If, however, he does not redeem the field, or if he has sold it to someone else, it can never be redeemed.
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When the field is released in the Jubilee, it will become holy, like a field devoted to the LORD; it will become the property of the priests.
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"'If a man dedicates to the LORD a field he has bought, which is not part of his family land,
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the priest will determine its value up to the Year of Jubilee, and the man must pay its value on that day as something holy to the LORD.
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In the Year of Jubilee the field will revert to the person from whom he bought it, the one whose land it was.
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Every value is to be set according to the sanctuary shekel, twenty gerahs to the shekel.
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"'No one, however, may dedicate the firstborn of an animal, since the firstborn already belongs to the LORD; whether an ox or a sheep, it is the LORD's.
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If it is one of the unclean animals, he may buy it back at its set value, adding a fifth of the value to it. If he does not redeem it, it is to be sold at its set value.
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"'But nothing that a man owns and devotes to the LORD-- whether man or animal or family land-- may be sold or redeemed; everything so devoted is most holy to the LORD.
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"'No person devoted to destruction may be ransomed; he must be put to death.
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"'A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.
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If a man redeems any of his tithe, he must add a fifth of the value to it.
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The entire tithe of the herd and flock-- every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd's rod-- will be holy to the LORD.
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He must not pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If he does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.'"
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These are the commands the LORD gave Moses on Mount Sinai for the Israelites.

Acts chapter 23

1
Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, "My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day."
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At this the high priest Ananias ordered those standing near Paul to strike him on the mouth.
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Then Paul said to him, "God will strike you, you whitewashed wall! You sit there to judge me according to the law, yet you yourself violate the law by commanding that I be struck!"
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Those who were standing near Paul said, "You dare to insult God's high priest?"
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Paul replied, "Brothers, I did not realize that he was the high priest; for it is written: 'Do not speak evil about the ruler of your people.'"
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Then Paul, knowing that some of them were Sadducees and the others Pharisees, called out in the Sanhedrin, "My brothers, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee. I stand on trial because of my hope in the resurrection of the dead."
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When he said this, a dispute broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees, and the assembly was divided.
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(The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, and that there are neither angels nor spirits, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.)
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There was a great uproar, and some of the teachers of the law who were Pharisees stood up and argued vigorously. "We find nothing wrong with this man," they said. "What if a spirit or an angel has spoken to him?"
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The dispute became so violent that the commander was afraid Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He ordered the troops to go down and take him away from them by force and bring him into the barracks.
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The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, "Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome."
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The next morning the Jews formed a conspiracy and bound themselves with an oath not to eat or drink until they had killed Paul.
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More than forty men were involved in this plot.
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They went to the chief priests and elders and said, "We have taken a solemn oath not to eat anything until we have killed Paul.
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Now then, you and the Sanhedrin petition the commander to bring him before you on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about his case. We are ready to kill him before he gets here."
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But when the son of Paul's sister heard of this plot, he went into the barracks and told Paul.
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Then Paul called one of the centurions and said, "Take this young man to the commander; he has something to tell him."
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So he took him to the commander. The centurion said, "Paul, the prisoner, sent for me and asked me to bring this young man to you because he has something to tell you."
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The commander took the young man by the hand, drew him aside and asked, "What is it you want to tell me?"
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He said: "The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul before the Sanhedrin tomorrow on the pretext of wanting more accurate information about him.
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Don't give in to them, because more than forty of them are waiting in ambush for him. They have taken an oath not to eat or drink until they have killed him. They are ready now, waiting for your consent to their request."
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The commander dismissed the young man and cautioned him, "Don't tell anyone that you have reported this to me."
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Then he called two of his centurions and ordered them, "Get ready a detachment of two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go to Caesarea at nine tonight.
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Provide mounts for Paul so that he may be taken safely to Governor Felix."
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He wrote a letter as follows:
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Claudius Lysias, To His Excellency, Governor Felix: Greetings.
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This man was seized by the Jews and they were about to kill him, but I came with my troops and rescued him, for I had learned that he is a Roman citizen.
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I wanted to know why they were accusing him, so I brought him to their Sanhedrin.
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I found that the accusation had to do with questions about their law, but there was no charge against him that deserved death or imprisonment.
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When I was informed of a plot to be carried out against the man, I sent him to you at once. I also ordered his accusers to present to you their case against him.
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So the soldiers, carrying out their orders, took Paul with them during the night and brought him as far as Antipatris.
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The next day they let the cavalry go on with him, while they returned to the barracks.
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When the cavalry arrived in Caesarea, they delivered the letter to the governor and handed Paul over to him.
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The governor read the letter and asked what province he was from. Learning that he was from Cilicia,
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he said, "I will hear your case when your accusers get here." Then he ordered that Paul be kept under guard in Herod's palace.
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