Parashah 45 – Va’etchanan (I pleaded)
23 “Then I pleaded with Yehovah, 24 ‘Adonai Yehovah, you have begun to reveal your greatness to your servant, and your strong hand — for what other god is there in heaven or on earth that can do the works and mighty deeds that you do? 25 Please! Let me go across and see the good land on the other side of the Yarden, that wonderful hill-country and the L’vanon!’ 26 But Yehovah was angry with me on account of you, and he didn’t listen to me. Yehovah said to me, ‘Enough from you! Don’t say another word to me about this matter! 27 Climb up to the top of Pisgah and look out to the west, north, south and east. Look with your eyes — but you will not go across this Yarden. 28 However, commission Y’hoshua, encourage him and strengthen him; for he will lead this people across and enable them to inherit the land that you will see.’ 29 So we stayed in the valley across from Beit-P‘or.
4 “Now, Isra’el, listen to the laws and rulings I am teaching you, in order to follow them, so that you will live; then you will go in and take possession of the land that Yehovah, the God of your fathers, is giving you. 2 In order to obey the mitzvot of Yehovah your God which I am giving you, do not add to what I am saying, and do not subtract from it. 3 You saw with your own eyes what Yehovah did at Ba‘al-P‘or, that Yehovah destroyed from among you all the men who followed Ba‘al-P‘or; 4 but you who stuck with Yehovah your God are still alive today, every one of you. (ii) 5 Look, I have taught you laws and rulings, just as Yehovah my God ordered me, so that you can behave accordingly in the land where you are going in order to take possession of it. 6 Therefore, observe them; and follow them; for then all peoples will see you as having wisdom and understanding. When they hear of all these laws, they will say, ‘This great nation is surely a wise and understanding people.’ 7 For what great nation is there that has God as close to them as Yehovah our God is, whenever we call on him? 8 What great nation is there that has laws and rulings as just as this entire Torah which I am setting before you today? 9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves diligently as long as you live, so that you won’t forget what you saw with your own eyes, so that these things won’t vanish from your hearts. Rather, make them known to your children and grandchildren — 10 the day you stood before Yehovah your God at Horev, when Yehovah said to me, ‘Gather the people to me, and I will make them hear my very words, so that they will learn to hold me in awe as long as they live on earth, and so that they will teach their children.’ 11 You approached and stood at the foot of the mountain; and the mountain blazed with fire to the heart of heaven, with darkness, clouds and thick mist. 12 Then Yehovah spoke to you out of the fire! You heard the sound of words but saw no shape, there was only a voice. 13 He proclaimed his covenant to you, which he ordered you to obey, the Ten Words; and he wrote them on two stone tablets. 14 At that time Yehovah ordered me to teach you laws and rulings, so that you would live by them in the land you are entering in order to take possession of it.
15 “Therefore, watch out for yourselves! Since you did not see a shape of any kind on the day Yehovah spoke to you in Horev from the fire, 16 do not become corrupt and make yourselves a carved image having the shape of any figure — not a representation of a human being, male or female, 17 or a representation of any animal on earth, or a representation of any bird that flies in the air, 18 or a representation of anything that creeps along on the ground, or a representation of any fish in the water below the shoreline. 19 For the same reason, do not look up at the sky, at the sun, moon, stars and everything in the sky, and be drawn away to worship and serve them; Yehovah your God has allotted these to all the peoples under the entire sky. 20 No, you Yehovah has taken and brought out of the smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be a people of inheritance for him, as you are today.
21 “But Yehovah was angry with me on account of you and swore that I would not cross the Yarden and go into that good land, which Yehovah your God is giving you to inherit. 22 Rather, I must die in this land and not cross the Yarden; but you are to cross and take possession of that good land. 23 Watch out for yourselves, so that you won’t forget the covenant of Yehovah your God, which he made with you, and make yourself a carved image, a representation of anything forbidden to you by Yehovah your God. 24 For Yehovah your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
25 “When you have had children and grandchildren, lived a long time in the land, become corrupt and made a carved image, a representation of something, and thus done what is evil in the sight of Yehovah your God and provoked him; 26 I call on the sky and the earth to witness against you today that you will quickly disappear from the land that you are crossing the Yarden to possess. You will not prolong your days there but will be completely destroyed. 27 Yehovah will scatter you among the peoples; and among the nations to which Yehovah will lead you away, you will be left few in number. 28 There you will serve gods which are the product of human hands, made of wood and stone, which can’t see, hear, eat or smell. 29 However, from there you will seek Yehovah your God; and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and being. 30 In your distress, when all these things have come upon you, in the acharit-hayamim, you will return to Yehovah your God and listen to what he says; 31 for Yehovah your God is a merciful God. He will not fail you, destroy you, or forget the covenant with your ancestors which he swore to them.
32 “Indeed, inquire about the past, before you were born: since the day God created human beings on the earth, from one end of heaven to the other, has there ever been anything as wonderful as this? Has anyone heard anything like it? 33 Did any other people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of a fire, as you have heard, and stay alive? 34 Or has God ever tried to go and take for himself a nation from the very bowels of another nation, by means of ordeals, signs, wonders, war, a mighty hand, an outstretched arm and great terrors — like all that Yehovah your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes? 35 This was shown to you, so that you would know that Yehovah is God, and there is no other beside him. 36 From heaven he caused you to hear his voice, in order to instruct you; and on earth he caused you to see his great fire; and you heard his very words coming out from the fire. 37 Because he loved your ancestors, chose their descendants after them and brought you out of Egypt with his presence and great power, 38 in order to drive out ahead of you nations greater and stronger than you, so that he could bring you in and give you their land as an inheritance, as is the case today; 39 know today, and establish it in your heart, that Yehovah is God in heaven above and on earth below — there is no other. 40 Therefore, you are to keep his laws and mitzvot which I am giving you today, so that it will go well with you and with your children after you, and so that you will prolong your days in the land Yehovah your God is giving you forever.”
(A: iii) 41 Then Moshe separated three cities on the east side of the Yarden, toward the sunrise, 42 to which a killer might flee, that is, someone who kills by mistake a person whom he did not previously hate, and upon fleeing to one of these cities might live there. 43 The cities were Betzer in the desert, in the flatland, for the Re’uveni; Ramot in Gil‘ad for the Gadi; and Golan in Bashan for the M’nashi.
44 This is the Torah which Moshe placed before the people of Isra’el — 45 these are the instructions, laws and rulings which Moshe presented to the people of Isra’el after they had come out of Egypt — 46 beyond the Yarden River, in the valley across from Beit-P‘or, in the land of Sichon king of the Emori, who lived at Heshbon, whom Moshe and the people of Isra’el defeated when they came out of Egypt; 47 and they took possession of his land and the land of ‘Og king of Bashan, the two kings of the Emori, who were beyond the Yarden toward the sunrise; 48 from ‘Aro‘er on the edge of the Arnon Valley to Mount Si’on,” that is, Mount Hermon, 49 “with all the ‘Aravah beyond the Yarden eastward, all the way to the Dead Sea at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah.
5 (A: iv, S: iii) Then Moshe called to all Isra’el and said to them, “Listen, Isra’el, to the laws and rulings which I am announcing in your hearing today, so that you will learn them and take care to obey them. 2 Yehovah our God made a covenant with us at Horev. 3 Yehovah did not make this covenant with our fathers, but with us — with us, who are all of us here alive today. 4 Yehovah spoke with you face to face from the fire on the mountain. 5 At that time I stood between Yehovah and you in order to tell you what Yehovah was saying; because, on account of the fire, you were afraid and wouldn’t go up onto the mountain. He said,
א 6 “‘I am Yehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you lived as slaves.
ב 7 “‘You are to have no other gods before me. 8 You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline — 9 you are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, Yehovah your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents, also the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 10 but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my mitzvot.
ג 11 “‘You are not to misuse the name of Yehovah your God, because Yehovah will not leave unpunished someone who misuses his name.
ד 12 “‘Observe the day of Shabbat, to set it apart as holy, as Yehovah your God ordered you to do. 13 You have six days to labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Yehovah your God. On it you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your ox, your donkey or any of your other livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property — so that your male and female servants can rest just as you do. 15 You are to remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and Yehovah your God brought you out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore Yehovah your God has ordered you to keep the day of Shabbat.
ה 16 “‘Honor your father and mother, as Yehovah your God ordered you to do, so that you will live long and have things go well with you in the land Yehovah your God is giving you.
ו 17 “‘Do not murder.
ז “‘Do not commit adultery.
ח “‘Do not steal.
ט “‘Do not give false evidence against your neighbor.
י 18 “‘Do not covet your neighbor’s wife; do not covet your neighbor’s house, his field, his male or female slave, his ox, his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.’
(A: v, S: iv) 19 “These words Yehovah spoke to your entire gathering at the mountain from fire, cloud and thick mist, in a loud voice; then it ceased. But he wrote them on two stone tablets, which he gave to me. 20 When you heard the voice coming out of the darkness, as the mountain blazed with fire, you came to me, all the heads of your tribes and your leaders, 21 and said, ‘Here, Yehovah our God has shown us his glory and his greatness! We have heard his voice coming from the fire, and we have seen today that God does speak with human beings, and they stay alive. 22 But why should we keep risking death? This great fire will consume us! If we hear the voice of Yehovah our God any more, we will die! 23 For who is there of all humanity that has heard the voice of the living God speaking from the fire, as we have, and stayed alive? 24 You, go near; and hear everything Yehovah our God says. Then you will tell us everything Yehovah our God says to you; and we will listen to it and do it.’
25 “Yehovah heard what you were saying when you spoke to me, and Yehovah said to me, ‘I have heard what this people has said when speaking to you, and everything they have said is good. 26 Oh, how I wish their hearts would stay like this always, that they would fear me and obey all my mitzvot; so that it would go well with them and their children forever. 27 Go, tell them to return to their tents. 28 But you, stand here by me; and I will tell you all the mitzvot, laws and rulings which you are to teach them, so that they can obey them in the land I am giving them as their possession.’
29 “Therefore you are to be careful to do as Yehovah your God has ordered you; you are not to deviate either to the right or the left. 30 You are to follow the entire way which Yehovah your God has ordered you; so that you will live, things will go well with you, and you will live long in the land you are about to possess.
6 “Now this is the mitzvah, the laws and rulings which Yehovah your God ordered me to teach you for you to obey in the land you are crossing over to possess, 2 so that you will fear Yehovah your God and observe all his regulations and mitzvot that I am giving you — you, your child and your grandchild — as long as you live, and so that you will have long life. 3 Therefore listen, Isra’el, and take care to obey, so that things will go well with you, and so that you will increase greatly, as Yehovah, the God of your ancestors, promised you by giving you a land flowing with milk and honey.
(A:vi, S: v) 4 “Sh’ma, Yisra’el! Yehovah Eloheinu, Yehovah echad [Hear, Isra’el! Yehovah our God, Yehovah is one]; 5 and you are to love Yehovah your God with all your heart, all your being and all your resources. 6 These words, which I am ordering you today, are to be on your heart; 7 and you are to teach them carefully to your children. You are to talk about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them on your hand as a sign, put them at the front of a headband around your forehead, 9 and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates.
(S: vi) 10 “When Yehovah your God has brought you into the land he swore to your ancestors Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya‘akov that he would give you — cities great and prosperous, which you didn’t build; 11 houses full of all sorts of good things, which you didn’t fill; water cisterns dug out, which you didn’t dig; vineyards and olive trees, which you didn’t plant — and you have eaten your fill; 12 then be careful not to forget Yehovah, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you lived as slaves. 13 You are to fear Yehovah your God, serve him and swear by his name. 14 You are not to follow other gods, chosen from the gods of the peoples around you; 15 because Yehovah, your God, who is here with you, is a jealous God. If you do, the anger of Yehovah your God will flare up against you and he will destroy you from the face of the earth. 16 Do not put Yehovah your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah [testing]. 17 Observe diligently the mitzvot of Yehovah your God, and his instructions and laws which he has given you. 18 You are to do what is right and good in the sight of Yehovah, so that things will go well with you, and you will enter and possess the good land Yehovah swore to your ancestors, 19 expelling all your enemies ahead of you, as Yehovah said.
20 “Some day your child will ask you, ‘What is the meaning of the instructions, laws and rulings which Yehovah our God has laid down for you?’ 21 Then you will tell your child, ‘We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and Yehovah brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand. 22 Yehovah worked great and terrible signs and wonders against Egypt, Pharaoh and all his household, before our very eyes. 23 He brought us out from there in order to bring us to the land he had sworn to our ancestors that he would give us. 24 Yehovah ordered us to observe all these laws, to fear Yehovah our God, always for our own good, so that he might keep us alive, as we are today. 25 It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to obey all these mitzvot before Yehovah our God, just as he ordered us to do.’”
7 (vii) “Yehovah your God is going to bring you into the land you will enter in order to take possession of it, and he will expel many nations ahead of you — the Hitti, Girgashi, Emori, Kena‘ani, P’rizi, Hivi and Y’vusi, seven nations bigger and stronger than you. 2 When he does this, when Yehovah your God hands them over ahead of you, and you defeat them, you are to destroy them completely! Do not make any covenant with them. Show them no mercy. 3 Don’t intermarry with them — don’t give your daughter to his son, and don’t take his daughter for your son. 4 For he will turn your children away from following me in order to serve other gods. If this happens, the anger of Yehovah will flare up against you, and he will quickly destroy you. 5 No, treat them this way: break down their altars, smash their standing-stones to pieces, cut down their sacred poles and burn up their carved images completely. 6 For you are a people set apart as holy for Yehovah your God. Yehovah your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his own unique treasure. 7 Yehovah didn’t set his heart on you or choose you because you numbered more than any other people — on the contrary, you were the fewest of all peoples. 8 Rather, it was because Yehovah loved you, and because he wanted to keep the oath which he had sworn to your ancestors, that Yehovah brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from a life of slavery under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. (Maftir) 9 From this you can know that Yehovah your God is indeed God, the faithful God, who keeps his covenant and extends grace to those who love him and observe his mitzvot, to a thousand generations. 10 But he repays those who hate him to their face and destroys them. He will not be slow to deal with someone who hates him; he will repay him to his face. 11 Therefore, you are to keep the mitzvot, laws and rulings which I am giving you today, and obey them.
40 “Comfort and keep comforting my people,” says your God.
2 “Tell Yerushalayim to take heart; proclaim to her
that she has completed her time of service,
that her guilt has been paid off,
that she has received at the hand of Yehovah
double for all her sins.”
3 A voice cries out:
“Clear a road through the desert for Yehovah!
Level a highway in the ‘Aravah for our God!
4 Let every valley be filled in,
every mountain and hill lowered,
the bumpy places made level
and the crags become a plain.
5 Then the glory of Yehovah will be revealed;
all humankind together will see it,
for the mouth of Yehovah has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Proclaim!”
And I answer, “What should I proclaim?”
“All humanity is merely grass,
all its kindness like wildflowers:
7 the grass dries up, the flower fades,
when a wind from Yehovah blows on it.
Surely the people are grass!
8 The grass dries up, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever.”
9 You who bring good news to Tziyon,
get yourself up on a high mountain;
you who bring good news to Yerushalayim,
cry out at the top of your voice!
Don’t be afraid to shout out loud!
Say to the cities of Y’hudah,
“Here is your God!
10 Here comes Adonai Yehovah with power,
and his arm will rule for him.
Look! His reward is with him,
and his recompense is before him.
11 He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,
gathering his lambs with his arm,
carrying them against his chest,
gently leading the mother sheep.”
12 Who has counted the handfuls of water in the sea,
measured off the sky with a ruler,
gauged how much dust there is on the earth,
weighed the mountains on scales, or the hills in a balance?
13 Who has measured the Spirit of Yehovah?
Who has been his counselor, instructing him?
14 Whom did he consult, to gain understanding?
Who taught him how to judge,
taught him what he needed to know,
showed him how to discern?
15 The nations are like a drop in a bucket,
they count like a grain of dust on the scales.
The islands weigh as little as specks of dust.
16 The L’vanon would not suffice for fuel
or its animals be enough for burnt offerings.
17 Before him all the nations are like nothing.
He regards them as less than nothing.
18 With whom, then, will you compare God?
By what standard will you evaluate him?
19 An image made by a craftsman,
which a goldsmith overlays with gold,
for which he then casts silver chains?
20 A man too poor to afford an offering
chooses a piece of wood that won’t rot,
then seeks out a skilled artisan
to prepare an image that won’t fall over.
21 Don’t you know? Don’t you hear?
Haven’t you been told from the start?
Don’t you understand how the earth is set up?
22 He who sits above the circle of the earth —
for whom its inhabitants appear like grasshoppers —
stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
spreads them out like a tent to live in.
23 He reduces princes to nothing,
the rulers of the earth to emptiness.
24 Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely their stem taken root in the ground,
when he blows on them, they dry up,
and the whirlwind carries them off like straw.
25 “With whom, then, will you compare me?
With whom am I equal?” asks the Holy One.
26 Turn your eyes to the heavens!
See who created these?
He brings out the army of them in sequence,
summoning each by name.
Through his great might and his massive strength,
not one of them is missing.
4 Then the Spirit led Yeshua up into the wilderness to be tempted by the Adversary. 2 After Yeshua had fasted forty days and nights, he was hungry. 3 The Tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, order these stones to become bread.” 4 But he answered, “The Tanakh says,
‘Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of Yehovah’”
5 Then the Adversary took him to the holy city and set him on the highest point of the Temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “jump! For the Tanakh says,
‘He will order his angels to be responsible for you. . . .
They will support you with their hands,
so that you will not hurt your feet on the stones.’”
7 Yeshua replied to him, “But it also says, ‘Do not put Yehovah your God to the test.’”
8 Once more, the Adversary took him up to the summit of a very high mountain, showed him all the kingdoms of the world in all their glory, 9 and said to him, “All this I will give you if you will bow down and worship me.” 10 “Away with you, Satan!” Yeshua told him, “For the Tanakh says,
‘Worship Yehovah your God, and serve only him.’”
11 Then the Adversary let him alone, and angels came and took care of him.
33 When the crowds heard how he taught, they were astounded; 34 but when the P’rushim learned that he had silenced the Tz’dukim, they got together, 35 and one of them who was a Torah expert asked a sh’eilah to trap him: 36 “Rabbi, which of the mitzvot in the Torah is the most important?” 37 He told him, “‘You are to love Yehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’ 38 This is the greatest and most important mitzvah. 39 And a second is similar to it, ‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All of the Torah and the Prophets are dependent on these two mitzvot.”
31 In this you testify against yourselves that you are worthy descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead then, finish what your fathers started!
33 “You snakes! Sons of snakes! How can you escape being condemned to Gei-Hinnom? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and Torah-teachers — some of them you will kill, indeed, you will have them executed on stakes as criminals; some you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so, on you will fall the guilt for all the innocent blood that has ever been shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Hevel to the blood of Z’kharyah Ben-Berekhyah, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar. 36 Yes! I tell you that all this will fall on this generation!
37 “Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused! 38 Look! God is abandoning your house to you, leaving it desolate. 39 For I tell you, from now on, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of Yehovah.’”
28 One of the Torah-teachers came up and heard them engaged in this discussion. Seeing that Yeshua answered them well, he asked him, “Which is the most important mitzvah of them all?” 29 Yeshua answered, “The most important is,
‘Sh’ma Yisra’el, Yehovah Eloheinu, Yehovah echad [Hear, O Isra’el, Yehovah our God, Yehovah is one], 30 and you are to love Yehovah your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding and with all your strength.’
31 The second is this:
‘You are to love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no other mitzvah greater than these.” 32 The Torah-teacher said to him, “Well said, Rabbi; you speak the truth when you say that he is one, and that there is no other besides him; 33 and that loving him with all one’s heart, understanding and strength, and loving one’s neighbor as oneself, mean more than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 When Yeshua saw that he responded sensibly, he said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared put to him another sh’eilah.
4 Then Yeshua, filled with the Ruach HaKodesh, returned from the Yarden and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days of testing by the Adversary. During that time he ate nothing, and afterwards he was hungry. 3 The Adversary said to him, “If you are the Son of God, order this stone to become bread.” 4 Yeshua answered him, “The Tanakh says, ‘Man does not live on bread alone.’”
5 The Adversary took him up, showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world, 6 and said to him, “I will give you all this power and glory. It has been handed over to me, and I can give it to whomever I choose. 7 So if you will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 Yeshua answered him, “The Tanakh says, ‘Worship Yehovah your God and serve him only.’”
9 Then he took him to Yerushalayim, set him on the highest point of the Temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, jump from here! 10 For the Tanakh says,
‘He will order his angels
to be responsible for you and to protect you.
11 They will support you with their hands,
so that you will not hurt your feet on the stones.’”
12 Yeshua answered him, “It also says, ‘Do not put Yehovah your God to the test.’” 13 When the Adversary had ended all his testings, he let him alone until an opportune time.
25 An expert in Torah stood up to try and trap him by asking, “Rabbi, what should I do to obtain eternal life?” 26 But Yeshua said to him, “What is written in the Torah? How do you read it?” 27 He answered, “You are to love Yehovah your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your understanding; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 “That’s the right answer,” Yeshua said. “Do this, and you will have life.”
29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Yeshua, “And who is my ‘neighbor’?” 30 Taking up the question, Yeshua said: “A man was going down from Yerushalayim to Yericho when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him naked and beat him up, then went off, leaving him half dead. 31 By coincidence, a cohen was going down on that road; but when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levi who reached the place and saw him also passed by on the other side.
33 “But a man from Shomron who was traveling came upon him; and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. 34 So he went up to him, put oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them. Then he set him on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day, he took out two days’ wages, gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Look after him; and if you spend more than this, I’ll pay you back when I return.’ 36 Of these three, which one seems to you to have become the ‘neighbor’ of the man who fell among robbers?” 37 He answered, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Yeshua said to him, “You go and do as he did.”
13 Having set sail from Paphos, Sha’ul and his companions arrived at Perga in Pamphylia. There Yochanan left them and returned to Yerushalayim, 14 but the others went on from Perga to Pisidian Antioch, and on Shabbat they went into the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Torah and from the Prophets, the synagogue leaders sent them a message, “Brothers, if any of you has a word of exhortation for the people, speak!” 16 So Sha’ul stood, motioned with his hand, and said:
“Men of Isra’el and God-fearers, listen! 17 The God of this people Isra’el chose our fathers. He made the people great during the time when they were living as aliens in Egypt and with a stretched-out arm he led them out of that land. 18 For some forty years he took care of them in the desert, 19 and after he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Kena‘an he gave their land to his people as an inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years. After that, he gave them judges, down to the prophet Sh’mu’el. 21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Sha’ul Ben-Kish, a man from the tribe of Binyamin. After forty years, 22 God removed him and raised up David as king for them, making his approval known with these words, ‘I found David Ben-Yishai to be a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want.’
23 “In keeping with his promise, God has brought to Isra’el from this man’s descendants a deliverer, Yeshua. 24 Now before the coming of Yeshua, Yochanan proclaimed to all the people of Isra’el an immersion in connection with turning to God from sin. 25 But as Yochanan was ending his work, he said, ‘Who do you suppose I am? Well — I’m not! But after me is coming someone, the sandals of whose feet I am unworthy to untie.’
26 “Brothers! — sons of Avraham and those among you who are ‘God-fearers’! It is to us that the message of this deliverance has been sent! 27 For the people living in Yerushalayim and their leaders did not recognize who Yeshua was or understand the message of the Prophets read every Shabbat, so they fulfilled that message by condemning him. 28 They could not find any legitimate ground for a death sentence; nevertheless they asked Pilate to have him executed; 29 and when they had carried out all the things written about him, he was taken down from the stake and placed in a tomb.
30 “But God raised him from the dead! 31 He appeared for many days to those who had come up with him from the Galil to Yerushalayim; and they are now his witnesses to the people.
32 “As for us, we are bringing you the Good News that what God promised to the fathers, 33 he has fulfilled for us the children in raising up Yeshua, as indeed it is written in the second Psalm,
‘You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.’
34 And as for his raising him up from the dead, to return to decay no more, he said,
‘I will give the holy and trustworthy things of David to you.’
35 This is explained elsewhere:
‘You will not let your Holy One see decay.’
36 For David did indeed serve God’s purposes in his own generation; but after that, he died, was buried with his fathers and did see decay. 37 However, the one God raised up did not see decay.
38 “Therefore, brothers, let it be known to you that through this man is proclaimed forgiveness of sins! 39 That is, God clears everyone who puts his trust in this man, even in regard to all the things concerning which you could not be cleared by the Torah of Moshe.
40 “Watch out, then, so that this word found in the Prophets may not happen to you:
41 ‘You mockers! Look, and marvel, and die!
For in your own time, I am doing a work
that you simply will not believe,
even if someone explains it to you!’ ”
42 As they left, the people invited Sha’ul and Bar-Nabba to tell them more about these matters the following Shabbat. 43 When the synagogue meeting broke up, many of the born Jews and devout proselytes followed Sha’ul and Bar-Nabba, who spoke with them and urged them to keep holding fast to the love and kindness of God.
27 So what room is left for boasting? None at all! What kind of Torah excludes it? One that has to do with legalistic observance of rules? No, rather, a Torah that has to do with trusting. 28 Therefore, we hold the view that a person comes to be considered righteous by God on the ground of trusting, which has nothing to do with legalistic observance of Torah commands.
29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, he is indeed the God of the Gentiles; 30 because, as you will admit, God is one. Therefore, he will consider righteous the circumcised on the ground of trusting and the uncircumcised through that same trusting. 31 Does it follow that we abolish Torah by this trusting? Heaven forbid! On the contrary, we confirm Torah.
1 Timothy 2:4-6
4 He wants all humanity to be delivered and come to full knowledge of the truth. 5 For God is one; and there is but one Mediator between God and humanity, Yeshua the Messiah, himself human, 6 who gave himself as a ransom on behalf of all, thus providing testimony to God’s purpose at just the right time.
14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but has no actions to prove it? Is such “faith” able to save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food, 16 and someone says to him, “Shalom! Keep warm and eat hearty!” without giving him what he needs, what good does it do? 17 Thus, faith by itself, unaccompanied by actions, is dead.
18 But someone will say that you have faith and I have actions. Show me this faith of yours without the actions, and I will show you my faith by my actions! 19 You believe that “God is one”? Good for you! The demons believe it too — the thought makes them shudder with fear!
20 But, foolish fellow, do you want to be shown that such “faith” apart from actions is barren? 21 Wasn’t Avraham avinu declared righteous because of actions when he offered up his son Yitz’chak on the altar? 22 You see that his faith worked with his actions; by the actions the faith was made complete; 23 and the passage of the Tanakh was fulfilled which says, “Avraham had faith in God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness.” He was even called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is declared righteous because of actions and not because of faith alone.
25 Likewise, wasn’t Rachav the prostitute also declared righteous because of actions when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another route? 26 Indeed, just as the body without a spirit is dead, so too faith without actions is dead.