Moses Blesses the People
1 This is the blessing that Moses, the man of God, gave to the people of Israel before his death:
2 “The Lord came from Mount Sinai
and dawned upon us from Mount Seir;
he shone forth from Mount Paran
and came from Meribah-kadesh
with flaming fire at his right hand.
3 Indeed, he loves his people;
all his holy ones are in his hands.
They follow in his steps
and accept his teaching.
4 Moses gave us the Lord’s instruction,
the special possession of the people of Israel.
5 The Lord became king in Israel—
when the leaders of the people assembled,
when the tribes of Israel gathered as one.”
6 Moses said this about the tribe of Reuben:
“Let the tribe of Reuben live and not die out,
though they are few in number.”
7 Moses said this about the tribe of Judah:
“O Lord, hear the cry of Judah
and bring them together as a people.
Give them strength to defend their cause;
help them against their enemies!”
8 Moses said this about the tribe of Levi:
“O Lord, you have given your Thummim and Urim—the sacred lots—
to your faithful servants the Levites.
You put them to the test at Massah
and struggled with them at the waters of Meribah.
9 The Levites obeyed your word
and guarded your covenant.
They were more loyal to you
than to their own parents.
They ignored their relatives
and did not acknowledge their own children.
10 They teach your regulations to Jacob;
they give your instructions to Israel.
They present incense before you
and offer whole burnt offerings on the altar.
11 Bless the ministry of the Levites, O Lord,
and accept all the work of their hands.
Hit their enemies where it hurts the most;
strike down their foes so they never rise again.”
12 Moses said this about the tribe of Benjamin:
“The people of Benjamin are loved by the Lord
and live in safety beside him.
He surrounds them continuously
and preserves them from every harm.”
13 Moses said this about the tribes of Joseph:
“May their land be blessed by the Lord
with the precious gift of dew from the heavens
and water from beneath the earth;
14 with the rich fruit that grows in the sun,
and the rich harvest produced each month;
15 with the finest crops of the ancient mountains,
and the abundance from the everlasting hills;
16 with the best gifts of the earth and its bounty,
and the favor of the one who appeared in the burning bush.
May these blessings rest on Joseph’s head,
crowning the brow of the prince among his brothers.
17 Joseph has the majesty of a young bull;
he has the horns of a wild ox.
He will gore distant nations,
even to the ends of the earth.
This is my blessing for the multitudes of Ephraim
and the thousands of Manasseh.”
18 Moses said this about the tribes of Zebulun and Issachar:
“May the people of Zebulun prosper in their travels.
May the people of Issachar prosper at home in their tents.
19 They summon the people to the mountain
to offer proper sacrifices there.
They benefit from the riches of the sea
and the hidden treasures in the sand.”
20 Moses said this about the tribe of Gad:
“Blessed is the one who enlarges Gad’s territory!
Gad is poised there like a lion
to tear off an arm or a head.
21 The people of Gad took the best land for themselves;
a leader’s share was assigned to them.
When the leaders of the people were assembled,
they carried out the Lord’s justice
and obeyed his regulations for Israel.”
22 Moses said this about the tribe of Dan:
“Dan is a lion’s cub,
leaping out from Bashan.”
23 Moses said this about the tribe of Naphtali:
“O Naphtali, you are rich in favor
and full of the Lord’s blessings;
may you possess the west and the south.”
24 Moses said this about the tribe of Asher:
“May Asher be blessed above other sons;
may he be esteemed by his brothers;
may he bathe his feet in olive oil.
25 May the bolts of your gates be of iron and bronze;
may you be secure all your days.”
26 “There is no one like the God of Israel.
He rides across the heavens to help you,
across the skies in majestic splendor.
27 The eternal God is your refuge,
and his everlasting arms are under you.
He drives out the enemy before you;
he cries out, ‘Destroy them!’
28 So Israel will live in safety,
prosperous Jacob in security,
in a land of grain and new wine,
while the heavens drop down dew.
29 How blessed you are, O Israel!
Who else is like you, a people saved by the Lord?
He is your protecting shield
and your triumphant sword!
Your enemies will cringe before you,
and you will stomp on their backs!”
A Call to Repentance
1 About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were offering sacrifices at the Temple. 2 “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than all the other people from Galilee?” Jesus asked. “Is that why they suffered? 3 Not at all! And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God. 4 And what about the eighteen people who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem?5 No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will perish, too.”
Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
6 Then Jesus told this story: “A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed.7 Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s just taking up space in the garden.’
8 “The gardener answered, ‘Sir, give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. 9 If we get figs next year, fine. If not, then you can cut it down.’”
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
10 One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, 11 he saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!” 13 Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God!
14 But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. “There are six days of the week for working,” he said to the crowd. “Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath.”
15 But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water? 16 This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?”
17 This shamed his enemies, but all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did.
Parable of the Mustard Seed
18 Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? 19 It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches.”
Parable of the Yeast
20 He also asked, “What else is the Kingdom of God like? 21 It is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”
65 Then the Lord rose up as though waking from sleep,
like a warrior aroused from a drunken stupor.
66 He routed his enemies
and sent them to eternal shame.
67 But he rejected Joseph’s descendants;
he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim.
68 He chose instead the tribe of Judah,
and Mount Zion, which he loved.
69 There he built his sanctuary as high as the heavens,
as solid and enduring as the earth.
70 He chose his servant David,
calling him from the sheep pens.
71 He took David from tending the ewes and lambs
and made him the shepherd of Jacob’s descendants—
God’s own people, Israel.
72 He cared for them with a true heart
and led them with skillful hands.
25 Worry weighs a person down;
an encouraging word cheers a person up.