NITSAVIM (YOU ARE STANDING)
10 your children, your wives, and the outsider within your camp (from your woodchopper to your water carrier). 11 Each of you is to cross over into the covenant of Adonai your God that He is cutting with you today, and into His oath.
12 “This is in order to confirm you today as His people. So He will be your God, just as He promised you and just as He swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. 13 Not with you alone am I cutting this covenant and this oath, 14 but with whomever is standing here with us today before Adonai our God and with whomever is not here with us today.
15 “Indeed you know how we dwelt in the land of Egypt and how we crossed through the nations that we passed through. 16 You saw their detestable things and their idols[a]—wood and stone, silver and gold—that were with them. 17 Beware in case there is among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from Adonai our God to go serve the gods of those nations. Beware in case there is among you a root producing poison and bitter fruit.[b]
18 “Now when someone hears the words of this oath and in his heart considers himself blessed, thinking, ‘Shalom will be mine, even though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart’—thus sweeping away the moist with the dry— [c] 19 Adonai will be unwilling to forgive him. For then the anger of Adonai and His jealousy will smoke against that person. So all the oath that is written in this scroll will settle on him, and Adonai will blot out his name from under the heavens. 20 Adonai will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for calamity, according to all the oaths of the covenant written in this scroll of the Torah.
21 “The following generation, your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a distant land will say, when they see the plagues of that land and the sicknesses Adonai afflicted on it: 22 ‘Sulfur and salt, the whole land burnt! It cannot be planted, it cannot sprout, no grass can grow up on it—like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which Adonai overturned in His anger and in His wrath!’
23 “All the nations will say, ‘Why has Adonai done this to this land? Why this great burning anger?’
24 “Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the covenant of Adonai, the God of their fathers, which He cut with them when He brought them out from the land of Egypt. 25 They went and served other gods and bowed down to them—gods they never knew, that He had not allotted to them. 26 So Adonai’s anger burned against that land, bringing on it every curse written in this scroll. 27 Adonai has uprooted them from their soil, in anger and wrath and great fury, and hurled them into another land, as is the case this day.’
28 “The secret things belong to Adonai our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever—in order to do all the words of this Torah.
30 “Now when all these things come upon you—the blessing and the curse that I have set before you—and you take them to heart in all the nations where Adonai your God has banished you, 2 and you return to Adonai your God and listen to His voice according to all that I am commanding you today—you and your children—with all your heart and with all your soul, 3 then Adonai your God will bring you back from captivity and have compassion on you, and He will return and gather you from all the peoples where Adonai your God has scattered you. 4 Even if your outcasts are at the ends of the heavens, from there Adonai your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you. 5 Adonai your God will bring you into the land that your fathers possessed, and you will possess it; and He will do you good and multiply you more than your fathers. 6 Also Adonai your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants—to love Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul, in order that you may live.
7 “Adonai your God will put all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you. 8 Then you—you will return and listen to the voice of Adonai and do all His mitzvot that I am commanding you today. 9 Adonai your God will make you prosper in all the work of your hand—in the fruit of your womb, and the offspring of your livestock, and the produce of your soil—for good. For Adonai will again rejoice over you for good, as He rejoiced over your fathers— 10 when you listen to the voice of Adonai your God, to keep His mitzvot and His statutes that are written in this scroll of the Torah, when you turn to Adonai your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
11 “For this mitzvah that I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it far off. 12 It is not in the heavens, that you should say, ‘Who will go up for us to the heavens and get it for us, and have us hear it so we may do it?’ 13 Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross over for us to the other side of the sea and get it for us, and have us hear it so we may do it?’ 14 No, the word is very near to you—in your mouth and in your heart, to do it.[d]
15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, and death and evil. 16 What I am commanding you today is to love Adonai your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His mitzvot, statutes and ordinances. Then you will live and multiply, and Adonai your God will bless you in the land you are going in to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you do not listen, but are drawn away and bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I tell you today that you will certainly perish! You will not prolong your days on the land, where you are about to cross over the Jordan to go in to possess.
19 “I call the heavens and the earth to witness about you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live, 20 by loving Adonai your God, listening to His voice, and clinging to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell on the land that Adonai swore to your fathers—to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob—to give them.
10 I will rejoice greatly in Adonai.
My soul will be joyful in my God.
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has wrapped me in a robe of righteousness—
like a bridegroom wearing a priestly turban,
like a bride adorning herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
and as a garden causes things sown to spring up,
so Adonai Elohim will cause justice and praise
to spring up before all the nations.
Watchmen for Jerusalem
62 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest,
until her righteousness shines out brightly,
and her salvation as a blazing torch.
2 Nations will see your righteousness,
and all kings your glory.
You will be called by a new name,
which Adonai’s mouth will bestow.
3 You will also be a crown of beauty in the hand of Adonai,
and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 No longer will you be termed “Forsaken”,
no longer your land termed “Desolate”.
Instead you will be called, “My Delight is in Her”
and your land, “Married”.
For Adonai delights in you,
and your land will be married.
5 For as a young man marries a virgin,
so your sons will marry you.
As a bridegroom rejoices over a bride,
so your God will rejoice over you.
6 On your walls, Jerusalem, I have set watchmen.
All day and all night, they will never hold their peace.
“You who remind Adonai,
take no rest for yourselves,
7 And give Him no rest until He establishes
and makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.
8 Adonai has sworn by His right hand
and by His strong arm:
“Surely I will never again give your grain
as food for your enemies,
nor will foreigners drink your new wine,
for which you have labored.
9 But those who have garnered it will eat it
and praise Adonai,
and those who have gathered it
will drink it in the courts of My Sanctuary.”
10 Go through, go through the gates.
Clear the way for the people!
Build up, build up the highway!
Remove the stones.
Lift up a banner over the peoples.
11 Behold, Adonai has proclaimed
to the end of the earth:
Say to the Daughter of Zion,
“Behold, your salvation comes!
See, His reward is with Him,
and His recompense before Him.”[a]
12 Then they will call them The Holy People,
The Redeemed of Adonai,
and you will be called, Sought Out,
A City Not Forsaken.
Winepress of Vengeance
63 “Who is this coming from Edom,
in crimsoned garments from Bozrah?
This One splendid in His apparel,
pressing forward in His great might?”
“It is I who speak in righteousness,
mighty to save.”
2 “Why is Your apparel so red,
and Your garments like one who treads in a wine press?”[b]
3 “I have trodden the winepress alone—
from the peoples, no man was with Me.
I trod them in My anger,
and trampled them in My wrath.
Their lifeblood spattered My garments,
so I stained all My robes.
4 For a day of vengeance was in My heart,
and My year of redemption has come.
5 I looked, but there was no one to help.
I was amazed, but no one was assisting.
So My own arm won victory for Me,
and My wrath upheld Me.
6 So I trod down the peoples in My anger,
and made them drunk in My wrath,
and I poured out their lifeblood[c] on the earth.”
Remembering His Chesed
7 I will remember the lovingkindnesses of Adonai, the praises of Adonai, according to all that Adonai has granted us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has granted them according to His compassion, and according to the abundance of His lovingkindnesses.
8 For He said, “Surely they are My people,
children who will not deal falsely.”
So He became their Savior.
9 In all their affliction He was afflicted.
So the angel of His presence saved them.
In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them,
then He lifted them and carried them
all the days of old.
Abiding in the Vine
15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He trims so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I will abide in you. The branch cannot itself produce fruit, unless it abides on the vine. Likewise, you cannot produce fruit unless you abide in Me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me, you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away like a branch and is dried up. Such branches are picked up and thrown into the fire and burned.
7 “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you. 8 In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be My disciples.”
9 “Just as the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you. Abide in My love! 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and your joy may be full.
Synagogue Responses Vary
17 After passing through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a Jewish synagogue. 2 As was his custom, Paul went to the Jewish people; and for three Shabbatot, he debated the Scriptures with them. 3 He opened them and gave evidence that Messiah had to suffer and rise from the dead, saying, “This Yeshua, whom I declare to you, is the Messiah.” 4 Some of them were convinced and became attached to Paul and Silas, as were a large number of the God-fearing Greeks and no small number of the leading women.
5 But some of the Jewish people became jealous. Taking some wicked fellows of the marketplace and gathering a crowd, they stirred the city into an uproar. They attacked Jason’s house, trying to bring Paul and Silas out to the mob. 6 When they did not find them, they instead began dragging Jason and some of the brethren before the city officials, shouting, “These men who have upset the world have come here too, 7 and Jason has welcomed them! They are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king, Yeshua.” 8 Hearing these things, the crowd and the city officials were confused. 9 But after receiving bail from Jason and the rest, they released them.
10 As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. Upon arrival, they made their way to the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, because they received the message with goodwill, searching the Scriptures each day to see whether these things were true. 12 Therefore many of them believed, as well as quite a few prominent Greek women and men.
13 But when the Jewish people of Thessalonica learned that the word of God had been proclaimed by Paul in Berea, they came there too, agitating and inciting the people. 14 Then the brothers immediately sent Paul away to the sea, but Silas and Timothy remained there. 15 Those escorting Paul brought him as far as Athens. After receiving an order for Silas and Timothy to come to him as soon as possible, they left.
An Unknown God in Athens
16 Now while Paul was waiting for them in Athens, his spirit was aroused within him when he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he was debating in the synagogue with the Jewish people and the God-fearers, as well as in the marketplace every day with all who happened to be there. 18 Also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What’s this babbler trying to say?” while others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign deities”—because he was proclaiming the Good News of Yeshua and the resurrection. 19 So they took Paul to the Aereopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are talking about? 20 For you are bringing some strange things to our ears, so we want to know what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and foreigners visiting there used to pass their time doing nothing but telling or hearing something new.
22 So Paul stood in the middle of the Aereopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I see that in all ways you are very religious. 23 For while I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: ‘To an Unknown God.’ Therefore what you worship without knowing, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth,[a] does not live in temples made by hands. [b] 25 Nor is He served by human hands, as if He needed anything,[c] since He Himself gives to everyone life and breath and all things. [d] 26 From one He made every nation of men to live on the face of the earth, having set appointed times and the boundaries of their territory. [e] 27 They were to search for Him, and perhaps grope around for Him and find Him. Yet He is not far from each one of us, [f] 28 for ‘In Him we live and move and have our being.’
As some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His offspring.’ [g] 29 Since we are His offspring, we ought not to suppose the Deity is like gold or silver or stone, an engraved image of human art and imagination. [h] 30 Although God overlooked the periods of ignorance, now He commands everyone everywhere to repent. 31 For He has set a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness, through a Man whom He has appointed.[i] He has brought forth evidence of this to all men, by raising Him from the dead.” 32 Now when they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some began scoffing. But others said, “We will hear from you again about this.” 33 So Paul left from their midst. 34 But some men joined with him and believed—among them Dionysius (a member of the council of the Aereopagus), a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Many Respond in Corinth
18 After these things, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth. 2 There he found a Jewish man named Aquila—a native of Pontus having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all Jewish people to leave Rome. Paul went to see them; 3 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and began working, for by trade they were tent-makers. 4 And he was debating every Shabbat in the synagogue, trying to persuade both Jewish and Greek people.
5 Now when Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul became occupied with the message, urgently testifying to the Jewish people that Yeshua is the Messiah. 6 But when they resisted and reviled him, he shook out his garments[j] and said, “Your blood be upon your own heads—I am clean![k] From now on, I will go to the Gentiles.”
7 After leaving there, Paul went into the house of a man named Titius Justus, a God-fearer whose house was next door to the synagogue. 8 Crispus, the synagogue leader, put his faith in the Lord, along with his whole household. And many of the Corinthians, upon hearing, were believing and being immersed.
9 Now the Lord said to Paul through a vision in the night, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent! 10 For I am with you and no one shall attack you to harm you—many people in this city are for Me.” 11 So he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
12 But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jewish leaders made a united attack against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat, 13 saying, “This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the Torah.”
14 But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jewish people, “If it were a matter of wrongdoing or a vicious crime, there would be a reason to put up with you, O Jews. 15 But since it is issues about words, names, and your own law, see to it yourselves. I do not wish to be a judge of these.” 16 And he drove them from the judgment seat. 17 Then they all grabbed Sosthenes, the synagogue leader, and began beating him in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio paid no attention to these things.
Sailing East to Revisit Communities
18 Paul, having stayed many more days, said farewell to the brothers and set sail to Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. At Cenchrea Paul had his hair cut off, for he was keeping a vow. 19 When they arrived at Ephesus, Paul left Priscilla and Aquila there. But he himself went into the synagogue and debated with the Jewish people. 20 When they asked him to stay longer, he declined, 21 instead taking leave of them while saying, “God willing, I’ll return to you again.”
He set sail from Ephesus. 22 After landing at Caesarea, he went up and greeted Messiah’s community; then he went down to Antioch. 23 After spending some time there, he departed and went one place after another throughout the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
Discipling New Leaders
24 Now a Jewish man named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, well versed in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. With a fervent spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the facts about Yeshua—while only being acquainted with the immersion of John. 26 This man began speaking out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the way of God more accurately.
27 When Apollos wanted to cross over to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him. Upon arrival, he greatly helped those who by grace had believed. 28 For he powerfully refuted the Jewish people in public, demonstrating through the Scriptures that the Messiah was Yeshua.
19 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul traveled through the upper region and came to Ephesus. He found some disciples 2 and said to them, “Did you receive the Ruach ha-Kodesh when you believed?”
They replied to him, “No, we’ve never even heard that there is a Ruach ha-Kodesh.
3 He said, “Into what were you immersed?”
They said, “Into John’s immersion.”
4 Paul said, “John immersed with an immersion of repentance, telling the people that they should believe in the One coming after him—that is, in Yeshua.”
5 When they heard this, they were immersed in the name of the Lord Yeshua. 6 And when Paul laid hands upon them, the Ruach ha-Kodesh came upon them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. 7 In all, there were about twelve men.
God’s Power Displayed in Ephesus
8 Paul went into the synagogue and for three months spoke boldly, debating and persuading them about the kingdom of God. 9 But when they were hardening and refusing to believe, speaking evil of the Way before the whole group, he withdrew from them, taking the disciples with him, debating daily in the hall of Tyrannus. 10 This continued for two years, so that all the residents of Asia[l] heard the word of the Lord—Jewish as well as Greek people.
11 God was doing extraordinary miracles by Paul’s hands, 12 so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that touched his skin were brought to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.
13 But some traveling Jewish exorcists also tried to invoke the name of the Lord Yeshua, saying, “I charge you by the Yeshua whom Paul preaches.” 14 Seven sons of a Jewish ruling kohen named Sceva were doing this. 15 But the evil spirit answered them, “I know Yeshua and I know about Paul, but who are you?”
16 Then the man with the evil spirit sprang at them, subduing and overpowering all of them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. 17 This became known to all who lived in Ephesus, both Jewish and Greek people. Fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Yeshua was being magnified.
18 Many also of those who had believed came confessing and recounting their practices. 19 And many of those who practiced magic arts brought their books together in a heap, burning them before everyone. They totaled the value of the books and found it to be about fifty thousand pieces of silver. 20 So the word of the Lord was growing in power and prevailing.
Idol-Makers Start a Riot
21 Now after these things were accomplished, Paul resolved in the Ruach to go to Jerusalem after passing through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.” 22 So after sending two who were assisting him, Timothy and Erastus, he himself stayed in Asia for a while.
23 Around that time, there arose no small uproar concerning the Way. 24 For a man named Demetrius—a silversmith, a maker of silver shrines of Artemis—was providing no small amount of business to the craftsmen. 25 He gathered these together, along with those of related occupations, and he said, “Men, you know that our wealth is from this business. 26 You see and hear that not only in Ephesus but also throughout all Asia, Paul has persuaded and perverted a considerable crowd, saying that handmade gods are not gods at all. [m] 27 Not only is there a danger that this trade of ours might come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis might be considered as nothing. She whom all Asia and the world worships might even be thrown down from her majesty.”
28 When they heard, they were filled with fury and began shouting, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!” 29 The city was filled with confusion. They rushed into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and Aristarchus, Macedonians who were travel companions of Paul. 30 Paul was wishing to enter among the crowd, but the disciples would not let him. 31 Some of the chiefs of Asia,[n] being his friends, sent to him and begged him not to surrender himself in the theater.
32 Now some cried out one thing, some another, for the assembly was in confusion. Most did not know why they had come together. 33 Some of the crowd solicited Alexander, whom the Jewish people put forward. Alexander motioned with his hand. He wished to offer a defense to the crowd. 34 But recognizing that he was Jewish, for about two hours they all with one voice cried out, “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”
35 After the town clerk quieted the crowd, he said, “Men of Ephesus, what man is there who doesn’t know that the city of the Ephesians is temple keeper of the great Artemis and of her image fallen from heaven? 36 Since these things are undeniable, you must be calm and do nothing reckless. 37 For you have brought these men here who are neither sacrilegious nor revilers of our goddess. 38 If Demetrius and the craftsmen with him have a complaint against anyone, the courts are open and there are proconsuls. Let them accuse them. 39 But if you seek anything further, it will be settled in the lawful assembly. 40 For we are in danger of being charged with rioting today, there being no reason which we are able to give to justify this mob.” Upon saying this, he dismissed the assembly.