The Death of Abraham 1Abraham married another wife, whose name was Keturah. 2She gave birth to Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 3Jokshan was the father of Sheba and Dedan. Dedan’s descendants were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites. 4Midian’s sons were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. These were all descendants of Abraham through Keturah. 5Abraham gave everything he owned to his son Isaac.6But before he died, he gave gifts to the sons of his concubines and sent them off to a land in the east, away from Isaac. 7Abraham lived for 175 years, 8and he died at a ripe old age, having lived a long and satisfying life. He breathed his last and joined his ancestors in death. 9His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, near Mamre, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite. 10This was the field Abraham had purchased from the Hittites and where he had buried his wife Sarah. 11After Abraham’s death, God blessed his son Isaac, who settled near Beer-lahai-roi in the Negev. Ishmael’s Descendants 12This is the account of the family of Ishmael, the son of Abraham through Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian servant. 13Here is a list, by their names and clans, of Ishmael’s descendants: The oldest was Nebaioth, followed by Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16These twelve sons of Ishmael became the founders of twelve tribes named after them, listed according to the places they settled and camped. 17Ishmael lived for 137 years. Then he breathed his last and joined his ancestors in death. 18Ishmael’s descendants occupied the region from Havilah to Shur, which is east of Egypt in the direction of Asshur. There they lived in open hostility toward all their relatives. The Births of Esau and Jacob 19This is the account of the family of Isaac, the son of Abraham. 20When Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram and the sister of Laban the Aramean. 21Isaac pleaded with the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The LORDanswered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins. 22But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask the LORD about it. “Why is this happening to me?” she asked. 23And the LORD told her, “The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.” 24And when the time came to give birth, Rebekah discovered that she did indeed have twins! 25The first one was very red at birth and covered with thick hair like a fur coat. So they named him Esau. 26Then the other twin was born with his hand grasping Esau’s heel. So they named him Jacob. Isaac was sixty years old when the twins were born. Esau Sells His Birthright 27As the boys grew up, Esau became a skillful hunter. He was an outdoorsman, but Jacob had a quiet temperament, preferring to stay at home. 28Isaac loved Esau because he enjoyed eating the wild game Esau brought home, but Rebekah loved Jacob. 29One day when Jacob was cooking some stew, Esau arrived home from the wilderness exhausted and hungry.30Esau said to Jacob, “I’m starved! Give me some of that red stew!” (This is how Esau got his other name, Edom, which means “red.”) 31“All right,” Jacob replied, “but trade me your rights as the firstborn son.” 32“Look, I’m dying of starvation!” said Esau. “What good is my birthright to me now?” 33But Jacob said, “First you must swear that your birthright is mine.” So Esau swore an oath, thereby selling all his rights as the firstborn to his brother, Jacob. 34Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew. Esau ate the meal, then got up and left. He showed contempt for his rights as the firstborn.
Isaac Deceives Abimelech 1A severe famine now struck the land, as had happened before in Abraham’s time. So Isaac moved to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lived. 2The LORD appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. 3Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father. 4I will cause your descendants to become as numerous as the stars of the sky, and I will give them all these lands. And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed. 5I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.” 6So Isaac stayed in Gerar. 7When the men who lived there asked Isaac about his wife, Rebekah, he said, “She is my sister.” He was afraid to say, “She is my wife.” He thought, “They will kill me to get her, because she is so beautiful.” 8But some time later, Abimelech, king of the Philistines, looked out his window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah. 9Immediately, Abimelech called for Isaac and exclaimed, “She is obviously your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” “Because I was afraid someone would kill me to get her from me,” Isaac replied. 10“How could you do this to us?” Abimelech exclaimed. “One of my people might easily have taken your wife and slept with her, and you would have made us guilty of great sin.” 11Then Abimelech issued a public proclamation: “Anyone who touches this man or his wife will be put to death!” Conflict over Water Rights 12When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the LORDblessed him. 13He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. 14He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. 15So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham. 16Finally, Abimelech ordered Isaac to leave the country. “Go somewhere else,” he said, “for you have become too powerful for us.” 17So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and settled down. 18He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them. 19Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. 20But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”). 21Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). 22Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the LORD has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.” 23From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, 24where theLORD appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.”25Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the LORD. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well. Isaac’s Covenant with Abimelech 26One day King Abimelech came from Gerar with his adviser, Ahuzzath, and also Phicol, his army commander.27“Why have you come here?” Isaac asked. “You obviously hate me, since you kicked me off your land.” 28They replied, “We can plainly see that the LORD is with you. So we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant. 29Swear that you will not harm us, just as we have never troubled you. We have always treated you well, and we sent you away from us in peace. And now look how the LORD has blessed you!” 30So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, and they ate and drank together. 31Early the next morning, they each took a solemn oath not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and they left him in peace. 32That very day Isaac’s servants came and told him about a new well they had dug. “We’ve found water!” they exclaimed. 33So Isaac named the well Shibah (which means “oath”). And to this day the town that grew up there is called Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”). 34At the age of forty, Esau married two Hittite wives: Judith, the daughter of Beeri, and Basemath, the daughter of Elon. 35But Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebekah.
For the choir director: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by an eight-stringed instrument. 1O LORD, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage. 2Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak. Heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony. I am sick at heart. How long, O LORD, until you restore me? 4Return, O LORD, and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love. 5For the dead do not remember you. Who can praise you from the grave? 6I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping, drenching it with my tears. 7My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies. 8Go away, all you who do evil, for the LORD has heard my weeping. 9The LORD has heard my plea; the LORD will answer my prayer. 10May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified. May they suddenly turn back in shame.
Jesus Sends Out His Disciples 1The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them ahead in pairs to all the towns and places he planned to visit. 2These were his instructions to them: “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields. 3Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. 4Don’t take any money with you, nor a traveler’s bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don’t stop to greet anyone on the road. 5“Whenever you enter someone’s home, first say, ‘May God’s peace be on this house.’ 6If those who live there are peaceful, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you. 7Don’t move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide. Don’t hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay. 8“If you enter a town and it welcomes you, eat whatever is set before you. 9Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’ 10But if a town refuses to welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’ 12I assure you, even wicked Sodom will be better off than such a town on judgment day. 13“What sorrow awaits you, Korazin and Bethsaida! For if the miracles I did in you had been done in wicked Tyre and Sidon, their people would have repented of their sins long ago, clothing themselves in burlap and throwing ashes on their heads to show their remorse. 14Yes, Tyre and Sidon will be better off on judgment day than you. 15And you people of Capernaum, will you be honored in heaven? No, you will go down to the place of the dead.” 16Then he said to the disciples, “Anyone who accepts your message is also accepting me. And anyone who rejects you is rejecting me. And anyone who rejects me is rejecting God, who sent me.” 17When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!” 18“Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! 19Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. 20But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” Jesus’ Prayer of Thanksgiving 21At that same time Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, and he said, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way. 22“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” 23Then when they were alone, he turned to the disciples and said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you have seen. 24I tell you, many prophets and kings longed to see what you see, but they didn’t see it. And they longed to hear what you hear, but they didn’t hear it.” The Most Important Commandment 25One day an expert in religious law stood up to test Jesus by asking him this question: “Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?” 26Jesus replied, “What does the law of Moses say? How do you read it?” 27The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28“Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” 29The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Parable of the Good Samaritan 30Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling from Jerusalem down to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. 31“By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. 32A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. 33“Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. 34Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.35The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins,telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ 36“Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. 37The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.” Jesus Visits Martha and Mary 38As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. 39Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught.40But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” 41But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! 42There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”