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Craftsmen: Bezalel and Oholiab
31Â Then theÂ LordÂ said to Moses,Â 2Â â€œLook, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.3Â I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts.Â 4Â He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze.Â 5Â He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft!
6Â â€œAnd I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make:
7Â the Tabernacle;
The craftsmen must make everything as I have commanded you.â€
Instructions for the Sabbath
12Â TheÂ LordÂ then gave these instructions to Moses:Â 13Â â€œTell the people of Israel: â€˜Be careful to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you from generation to generation. It is given so you may know that I am theÂ Lord, who makes you holy.Â 14Â You must keep the Sabbath day, for it is a holy day for you. Anyone who desecrates it must be put to death; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community.Â 15Â You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to theÂ Lord. Anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.Â 16Â The people of Israel must keep the Sabbath day by observing it from generation to generation. This is a covenant obligation for all time.Â 17Â It is a permanent sign of my covenant with the people of Israel. For in six days theÂ LordÂ made heaven and earth, but on the seventh day he stopped working and was refreshed.â€™â€
18Â When theÂ LordÂ finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant,Â written by the finger of God.
The Gold Calf
32Â When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. â€œCome on,â€ they said, â€œmake us some gods who can lead us. We donâ€™t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.â€
2Â So Aaron said, â€œTake the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.â€
3Â All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron.Â 4Â Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, â€œO Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!â€
5Â Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, â€œTomorrow will be a festival to theÂ Lord!â€
6Â The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.
7Â TheÂ LordÂ told Moses, â€œQuick! Go down the mountain! Your people whom you brought from the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves.Â 8Â How quickly they have turned away from the way I commanded them to live! They have melted down gold and made a calf, and they have bowed down and sacrificed to it. They are saying, â€˜These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.â€™â€
9Â Then theÂ LordÂ said, â€œI have seen how stubborn and rebellious these people are.Â 10Â Now leave me alone so my fierce anger can blaze against them, and I will destroy them. Then I will make you, Moses, into a great nation.â€
11Â But Moses tried to pacify theÂ LordÂ his God. â€œOÂ Lord!â€ he said. â€œWhy are you so angry with your own people whom you brought from the land of Egypt with such great power and such a strong hand?Â 12Â Why let the Egyptians say, â€˜Their God rescued them with the evil intention of slaughtering them in the mountains and wiping them from the face of the earthâ€™? Turn away from your fierce anger. Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against your people!13Â Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.Â You bound yourself with an oath to them, saying, â€˜I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven. And I will give them all of this land that I have promised to your descendants, and they will possess it forever.â€™â€
14Â So theÂ LordÂ changed his mind about the terrible disaster he had threatened to bring on his people.
15Â Then Moses turned and went down the mountain. He held in his hands the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant.Â They were inscribed on both sides, front and back.Â 16Â These tablets were Godâ€™s work; the words on them were written by God himself.
17Â When Joshua heard the boisterous noise of the people shouting below them, he exclaimed to Moses, â€œIt sounds like war in the camp!â€
18Â But Moses replied, â€œNo, itâ€™s not a shout of victory nor the wailing of defeat. I hear the sound of a celebration.â€
19Â When they came near the camp, Moses saw the calf and the dancing, and he burned with anger. He threw the stone tablets to the ground, smashing them at the foot of the mountain.Â 20Â He took the calf they had made and burned it. Then he ground it into powder, threw it into the water, and forced the people to drink it.
21Â Finally, he turned to Aaron and demanded, â€œWhat did these people do to you to make you bring such terrible sin upon them?â€
22Â â€œDonâ€™t get so upset, my lord,â€ Aaron replied. â€œYou yourself know how evil these people are.Â 23Â They said to me, â€˜Make us gods who will lead us. We donâ€™t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.â€™24Â So I told them, â€˜Whoever has gold jewelry, take it off.â€™ When they brought it to me, I simply threw it into the fireâ€”and out came this calf!â€
25Â Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies.Â 26Â So he stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, â€œAll of you who are on theÂ Lordâ€™s side, come here and join me.â€ And all the Levites gathered around him.
27Â Moses told them, â€œThis is what theÂ Lord, the God of Israel, says: Each of you, take your swords and go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other. Kill everyoneâ€”even your brothers, friends, and neighbors.â€Â 28Â The Levites obeyed Mosesâ€™ command, and about 3,000 people died that day.
29Â Then Moses told the Levites, â€œToday you have ordained yourselvesÂ for the service of theÂ Lord, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Today you have earned a blessing.â€
Moses Intercedes for Israel
30Â The next day Moses said to the people, â€œYou have committed a terrible sin, but I will go back up to theÂ LordÂ on the mountain. Perhaps I will be able to obtain forgivenessÂ for your sin.â€
31Â So Moses returned to theÂ LordÂ and said, â€œOh, what a terrible sin these people have committed. They have made gods of gold for themselves.Â 32Â But now, if you will only forgive their sinâ€”but if not, erase my name from the record you have written!â€
33Â But theÂ LordÂ replied to Moses, â€œNo, I will erase the name of everyone who has sinned against me.Â 34Â Now go, lead the people to the place I told you about. Look! My angel will lead the way before you. And when I come to call the people to account, I will certainly hold them responsible for their sins.â€
35Â Then theÂ LordÂ sent a great plague upon the people because they had worshiped the calf Aaron had made.
33Â TheÂ LordÂ said to Moses, â€œGet going, you and the people you brought up from the land of Egypt. Go up to the land I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I told them, â€˜I will give this land to your descendants.â€™Â 2Â And I will send an angel before you to drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites.Â 3Â Go up to this land that flows with milk and honey. But I will not travel among you, for you are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I did, I would surely destroy you along the way.â€
4Â When the people heard these stern words, they went into mourning and stopped wearing their jewelry and fine clothes.5Â For theÂ LordÂ had told Moses to tell them, â€œYou are a stubborn and rebellious people. If I were to travel with you for even a moment, I would destroy you. Remove your jewelry and fine clothes while I decide what to do with you.â€Â 6Â So from the time they left Mount Sinai,Â the Israelites wore no more jewelry or fine clothes.
7Â It was Mosesâ€™ practice to take the Tent of MeetingÂ and set it up some distance from the camp. Everyone who wanted to make a request of theÂ LordÂ would go to the Tent of Meeting outside the camp.
8Â Whenever Moses went out to the Tent of Meeting, all the people would get up and stand in the entrances of their own tents. They would all watch Moses until he disappeared inside.Â 9Â As he went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and hover at its entrance while theÂ LordÂ spoke with Moses.Â 10Â When the people saw the cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, they would stand and bow down in front of their own tents.Â 11Â Inside the Tent of Meeting, theÂ LordÂ would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Afterward Moses would return to the camp, but the young man who assisted him, Joshua son of Nun, would remain behind in the Tent of Meeting.
Moses Sees theÂ Lordâ€™s Glory
12Â One day Moses said to theÂ Lord, â€œYou have been telling me, â€˜Take these people up to the Promised Land.â€™ But you havenâ€™t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, â€˜I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.â€™Â 13Â If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.â€
14Â TheÂ LordÂ replied, â€œI will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you restâ€”everything will be fine for you.â€
15Â Then Moses said, â€œIf you donâ€™t personally go with us, donâ€™t make us leave this place.Â 16Â How will anyone know that you look favorably on meâ€”on me and on your peopleâ€”if you donâ€™t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.â€
17Â TheÂ LordÂ replied to Moses, â€œI will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.â€
18Â Moses responded, â€œThen show me your glorious presence.â€
19Â TheÂ LordÂ replied, â€œI will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh,Â before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.Â 20Â But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.â€Â 21Â TheÂ LordÂ continued, â€œLook, stand near me on this rock.Â 22Â As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.Â 23Â Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.â€
Parable of the Great Feast
22Â Jesus also told them other parables. He said,Â 2Â â€œThe Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a king who prepared a great wedding feast for his son.Â 3Â When the banquet was ready, he sent his servants to notify those who were invited. But they all refused to come!
4Â â€œSo he sent other servants to tell them, â€˜The feast has been prepared. The bulls and fattened cattle have been killed, and everything is ready. Come to the banquet!â€™Â 5Â But the guests he had invited ignored them and went their own way, one to his farm, another to his business.Â 6Â Others seized his messengers and insulted them and killed them.
7Â â€œThe king was furious, and he sent out his army to destroy the murderers and burn their town.Â 8Â And he said to his servants, â€˜The wedding feast is ready, and the guests I invited arenâ€™t worthy of the honor.Â 9Â Now go out to the street corners and invite everyone you see.â€™Â 10Â So the servants brought in everyone they could find, good and bad alike, and the banquet hall was filled with guests.
11Â â€œBut when the king came in to meet the guests, he noticed a man who wasnâ€™t wearing the proper clothes for a wedding.12Â â€˜Friend,â€™ he asked, â€˜how is it that you are here without wedding clothes?â€™ But the man had no reply.Â 13Â Then the king said to his aides, â€˜Bind his hands and feet and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.â€™
14Â â€œFor many are called, but few are chosen.â€
Taxes for Caesar
15Â Then the Pharisees met together to plot how to trap Jesus into saying something for which he could be arrested.Â 16Â They sent some of their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to meet with him. â€œTeacher,â€ they said, â€œwe know how honest you are. You teach the way of God truthfully. You are impartial and donâ€™t play favorites.Â 17Â Now tell us what you think about this: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?â€
18Â But Jesus knew their evil motives.Â â€œYou hypocrites!â€Â he said.Â â€œWhy are you trying to trap me?Â 19Â Here, show me the coin used for the tax.â€Â When they handed him a Roman coin,Â 20Â he asked,Â â€œWhose picture and title are stamped on it?â€
21Â â€œCaesarâ€™s,â€ they replied.
â€œWell, then,â€Â he said,Â â€œgive to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.â€
22Â His reply amazed them, and they went away.