Exodus 7:25-9:35; Matthew 19:13-30; Psalms 24:1-10; Proverbs 6:1-5 (New English Translation)
The Second Blow: Frogs
25 Seven full days passed after the Lord struck the Nile. 8 1 (7:26) Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Release my people in order that they may serve me! 2 But if you refuse to release them, then I am going to plague all your territory with frogs. 3 The Nile will swarm with frogs, and they will come up and go into your house, in your bedroom, and on your bed, and into the houses of your servants and your people, and into your ovens and your kneading troughs. 4 Frogs will come up against you, your people, and all your servants.”’”
5 The Lord spoke to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Extend your hand with your staff over the rivers, over the canals, and over the ponds, and bring the frogs up over the land of Egypt.’” 6 So Aaron extended his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs came up and covered the land of Egypt.
7 The magicians did the same with their secret arts and brought up frogs on the land of Egypt too.
8 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Pray to the Lord that he may take the frogs away from me and my people, and I will release the people that they may sacrifice to the Lord.” 9 Moses said to Pharaoh, “You may have the honor over me—when shall I pray for you, your servants, and your people, for the frogs to be removed from you and your houses, so that they will be left only in the Nile?” 10 He said, “Tomorrow.” And Moses said, “It will be as you say, so that you may know that there is no one like the Lord our God. 11 The frogs will depart from you, your houses, your servants, and your people; they will be left only in the Nile.”
12 Then Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh, and Moses cried to the Lord because of the frogs that he had brought on Pharaoh. 13 The Lord did as Moses asked—the frogs died out of the houses, the villages, and the fields. 14 The Egyptians piled them in countless heaps, and the land stank. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was relief, he hardened his heart and did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.
The Third Blow: Gnats
16 The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Extend your staff and strike the dust of the ground, and it will become gnats throughout all the land of Egypt.’” 17 They did so; Aaron extended his hand with his staff, he struck the dust of the ground, and it became gnats on people and on animals. All the dust of the ground became gnats throughout all the land of Egypt. 18 When the magicians attempted to bring forth gnats by their secret arts, they could not. So there were gnats on people and on animals. 19 The magicians said to Pharaoh, “It is the finger of God!” But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.
The Fourth Blow: Flies
20 The Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and position yourself before Pharaoh as he goes out to the water, and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Release my people that they may serve me! 21 If you do not release my people, then I am going to send swarms of flies on you and on your servants and on your people and in your houses. The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground they stand on. 22 But on that day I will mark off the land of Goshen, where my people are staying, so that no swarms of flies will be there, that you may know that I am the Lord in the midst of this land. 23 I will put a division between my people and your people. This sign will take place tomorrow.”’” 24 The Lord did so; a thick swarm of flies came into Pharaoh’s house and into the houses of his servants, and throughout the whole land of Egypt the land was ruined because of the swarms of flies.
25 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and said, “Go, sacrifice to your God within the land.” 26 But Moses said, “That would not be the right thing to do, for the sacrifices we make to the Lord our God would be an abomination to the Egyptians. If we make sacrifices that are an abomination to the Egyptians right before their eyes, will they not stone us? 27 We must go on a three-day journey into the desert and sacrifice to the Lord our God, just as he is telling us.”
28 Pharaoh said, “I will release you so that you may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the desert. Only you must not go very far. Do pray for me.”
29 Moses said, “I am going to go out from you and pray to the Lord, and the swarms of flies will go away from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people tomorrow. Only do not let Pharaoh deal falsely again by not releasing the people to sacrifice to the Lord.” 30 So Moses went out from Pharaoh and prayed to the Lord, 31 and the Lord did as Moses asked—he removed the swarms of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people. Not one remained! 32 But Pharaoh hardened his heart this time also and did not release the people.
The Fifth Blow: Disease
9 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews, “Release my people that they may serve me! 2 For if you refuse to release them and continue holding them, 3 then the hand of the Lord will surely bring a very terrible plague on your livestock in the field, on the horses, the donkeys, the camels, the herds, and the flocks. 4 But the Lord will distinguish between the livestock of Israel and the livestock of Egypt, and nothing will die of all that the Israelites have.”’”
5 The Lord set an appointed time, saying, “Tomorrow the Lord will do this in the land.” 6 And the Lord did this on the next day; all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but of the Israelites’ livestock not one died. 7 Pharaoh sent representatives to investigate, and indeed, not even one of the livestock of Israel had died. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, and he did not release the people.
The Sixth Blow: Boils
8 Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a furnace, and have Moses throw it into the air while Pharaoh is watching. 9 It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt and will cause boils to break out and fester on both people and animals in all the land of Egypt.” 10 So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh, Moses threw it into the air, and it caused festering boils to break out on both people and animals.
11 The magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians. 12 But the Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he did not listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted to Moses.
The Seventh Blow: Hail
13 The Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning, stand before Pharaoh, and tell him, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of the Hebrews: “Release my people so that they may serve me! 14 For this time I will send all my plagues on your very self and on your servants and your people, so that you may know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15 For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with plague, and you would have been destroyed from the earth. 16 But for this purpose I have caused you to stand: to show you my strength, and so that my name may be declared in all the earth. 17 You are still exalting yourself against my people by not releasing them. 18 I am going to cause very severe hail to rain down about this time tomorrow, such hail as has never occurred in Egypt from the day it was founded until now. 19 So now, send instructions to gather your livestock and all your possessions in the fields to a safe place. Every person or animal caught in the field and not brought into the house—the hail will come down on them, and they will die!”’”
20 Those of Pharaoh’s servants who feared the word of the Lord hurried to bring their servants and livestock into the houses, 21 but those who did not take the word of the Lord seriously left their servants and their cattle in the field.
22 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Extend your hand toward the sky that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, on people and on animals, and on everything that grows in the field in the land of Egypt.” 23 When Moses extended his staff toward the sky, the Lord sent thunder and hail, and fire fell to the earth; so the Lord caused hail to rain down on the land of Egypt. 24 Hail fell and fire mingled with the hail; the hail was so severe that there had not been any like it in all the land of Egypt since it had become a nation. 25 The hail struck everything in the open fields, both people and animals, throughout all the land of Egypt. The hail struck everything that grows in the field, and it broke all the trees of the field to pieces. 26 Only in the land of Goshen, where the Israelites lived, was there no hail.
27 So Pharaoh sent and summoned Moses and Aaron and said to them, “I have sinned this time! The Lord is righteous, and I and my people are guilty. 28 Pray to the Lord, for the mighty thunderings and hail are too much! I will release you and you will stay no longer.”
29 Moses said to him, “When I leave the city I will spread my hands to the Lord, the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth belongs to the Lord. 30 But as for you and your servants, I know that you do not yet fear the Lord God.”
31 (Now the flax and the barley were struck by the hail, for the barley had ripened and the flax was in bud. 32 But the wheat and the spelt were not struck, for they are later crops.)
33 So Moses left Pharaoh, went out of the city, and spread out his hands to the Lord, and the thunder and the hail ceased, and the rain stopped pouring on the earth. 34 When Pharaoh saw that the rain and hail and thunder ceased, he sinned again: both he and his servants hardened their hearts. 35 So Pharaoh’s heart remained hard, and he did not release the Israelites, as the Lord had predicted through Moses.
Jesus and Little Children
13 Then little children were brought to him for him to lay his hands on them and pray. But the disciples scolded those who brought them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 And he placed his hands on them and went on his way.
The Rich Young Man
16 Now someone came up to him and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to gain eternal life?” 17 He said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” he asked. Jesus replied, “Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “I have wholeheartedly obeyed all these laws. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he was very rich.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven! 24 Again I say, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter into the kingdom of God.” 25 The disciples were greatly astonished when they heard this and said, “Then who can be saved?” 26 Jesus looked at them and replied, “This is impossible for mere humans, but for God all things are possible.” 27 Then Peter said to him, “Look, we have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth: In the age when all things are renewed, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And whoever has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord owns the earth and all it contains,
the world and all who live in it.
2 For he set its foundation upon the seas,
and established it upon the ocean currents.
3 Who is allowed to ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may go up to his holy dwelling place?
4 The one whose deeds are blameless
and whose motives are pure,
who does not lie,
or make promises with no intention of keeping them.
5 Such godly people are rewarded by the Lord,
and vindicated by the God who delivers them.
6 Such purity characterizes the people who seek his favor,
Jacob’s descendants, who pray to him. (Selah)
7 Look up, you gates!
Rise up, you eternal doors!
Then the majestic king will enter!
8 Who is this majestic king?
The Lord who is strong and mighty!
The Lord who is mighty in battle!
9 Look up, you gates!
Rise up, you eternal doors!
Then the majestic king will enter!
10 Who is this majestic king?
The Lord who commands armies!
He is the majestic king! (Selah)
Admonitions and Warnings against Dangerous and Destructive Acts
6 My child, if you have made a pledge for your neighbor,
and have become a guarantor for a stranger,
2 if you have been ensnared by the words you have uttered,
and have been caught by the words you have spoken,
3 then, my child, do this in order to deliver yourself,
because you have fallen into your neighbor’s power:
go, humble yourself,
and appeal firmly to your neighbor.
4 Permit no sleep to your eyes
or slumber to your eyelids.
5 Deliver yourself like a gazelle from a snare,
and like a bird from the trap of the fowler.