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Leviticus 20:1–22:33 (LEB)

Molech Worship and Spiritism

20 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “And to the Israelites you shall say, ‘If there is anyone from the Israelites or from the alien who is dwelling in Israel, who gives any of his offspring to Molech, he must surely be put to death; the people of the land must stone him with stones. And I myself will set my face against that man, and I will cut him off from the midst of his people, because he has given some of his offspring to Molech, so that he makes my sanctuary unclean and profanes my holy name. And if the people of the land ever shut their eyes from that man at his giving some of his offspring to Molech, not putting him to death, then I myself will set my face against that man and against his clan, and I will cut him off and all those from the midst of their people who prostitute after Molech. As for the person who turns to the mediums and the soothsayers to prostitute after them, I will set my face against that person, and I will cut him off from the midst of his people.

“ ‘And you shall consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy, because I am Yahweh your God. And you shall keep my statutes, and you shall do them; I am Yahweh who consecrates you.

Family and Sexual Offenses

“ ‘If there is anyone who curses his father or his mother, he shall surely be put to death; he has cursed his father and his mother—his blood is upon him.

10 “ ‘As for a man who commits adultery with a man’s wife, who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, both the man who commits adultery and the woman who commits adultery shall surely be put to death. 11 As for a man who lies with his father’s wife, he has exposed his father’s nakedness; both of them shall be put to death—their blood is on them. 12 As for a man who lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to death; they have committed a perversion—their blood is on them.

13 “ ‘As for the man who lies with a male as lying with a woman, they have committed a detestable thing; they shall surely be put to death—their blood is on them.

14 “ ‘As for a man who marries a woman and her mother, that is depravity; they shall burn him and them, so that it shall not become depravity in the midst of you all.

15 “ ‘As for a man who has sexual relations with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you must kill the animal. 16 As for a woman who approaches any animal to copulate with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall surely be put to death—their blood is on them.

17 “ ‘As for a man who takes his sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, and he sees her nakedness and she herself sees his nakedness, it is a disgrace, and they shall be cut off before the eyes of their people; he has exposed his sister’s nakedness—he must bear his guilt. 18 As for a man who lies with a menstruating woman, he exposes her nakedness—her source he exposes and she herself reveals her blood’s source—both of them shall be cut off from the midst of their people. 19 And you shall not expose the nakedness of your mother’s sister, and you shall not expose your father’s sister, because such a person has dishonored his close relative—they must bear their guilt. 20 As for a man who lies with his aunt, he has exposed his uncle’s nakedness—they shall bear their sin; they shall die childless. 21 As for a man who marries his brother’s wife, it is an abomination; he has exposed his brother’s nakedness—they shall be childless.

You Shall Be Holy

22 “ ‘And you shall keep all my statutes and all my regulations, and you shall do them, so that the land, to which I am bringing you to inhabit it, shall not vomit you out. 23 And you shall not follow the statutes of the nation that I am driving out from before you, because they did all these things, and I detested them. 24 So I said to you, “You yourselves shall take possession of their land, and I myself shall give it to you to possess it—a land flowing with milk and honey”; I am Yahweh your God, who has set you apart from the nations. 25 And you shall distinguish between the clean and the unclean animal and between the unclean and the clean bird; and you shall not defile yourselves with the animal or with the bird or with anything that moves along the ground that I have set apart for you as unclean. 26 And you shall be holy for me, because I, Yahweh, am holy, and I have singled you out from the nations to be mine.

27 “ ‘And a man or a woman, if a spirit of the dead or a spirit of divination is in them, they shall surely be put to death; they shall stone them with stones—their blood is on them.’ ”

Regulations Concerning Priests

21 Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Speak to the priests, Aaron’s sons, and say to them, ‘One must not make himself unclean for a dead person among his own people, except for his direct relative closest to him: his mother and his father, and his son and his daughter, and his brother, and for his sister, a virgin, who is closest to him, who has not had a husband—for her he may defile himself. He must not make himself unclean as a kinsman by marriage, defiling himself.

“ ‘And they shall not shave bald patches on their head, and they shall not shave off the corner of their beard, and they shall not make a cut in their body. They shall be holy to their God, and they shall not profane the name of their God, because they are bringing near the offerings made by fire to Yahweh—their God’s food—and they shall be holy.

“ ‘They shall not marry a woman who is a prostitute and defiled, nor shall they marry a woman divorced from her husband, because each priest is holy for his God. And you shall consecrate him, because he is bringing near your God’s food; he shall be holy to you, since I, Yahweh, who consecrates you, am holy.

“ ‘As for the daughter of any priest, if she is defiled by prostituting, she is disgracing her father—she shall be burned in the fire.

10 “ ‘As for the priest who is higher than his brothers, on whose head the oil of anointment is poured and he was ordained to wear the garments, he shall not dishevel his head, and he shall not tear his garments. 11 And he shall not go near any dead person, nor shall he make himself unclean for his father or for his mother. 12 And he shall not go out from the sanctuary, and he shall not profane his God’s sanctuary, because the dedication of his God’s oil of anointment is on him; I am Yahweh.

13 “ ‘And he himself must take a wife in her virginity. 14 A widow or a divorced woman or a defiled woman, a prostitute—these he must not take; he shall take only a virgin from his people as wife. 15 And he shall not profane his offspring among his people, because I am Yahweh, who consecrates him.’ ”

16 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 17 “Speak to Aaron, saying, ‘A man from your offspring throughout their generations, in whom is a physical defect, shall not come near to present your God’s food. 18 Indeed, any man in whom is a physical defect shall not come near: a blind man or lame or disfigured or deformed, 19 or a man in whom is a broken foot or a broken hand, 20 or a hunchback or a dwarf, or a spot in his eye or a skin disorder or a skin eruption or a crushed testicle. 21 Any man from Aaron the priest’s offspring in whom is a physical defect shall not come near to present offerings made by fire to Yahweh; a physical defect is in him; he shall not come near to present his God’s food. 22 He may eat his God’s food, from the most holy things and from the holy things. 23 But he must not enter the curtain, and he must not come near to the altar, because a physical defect is in him, and he must not profane my sanctuary, because I am Yahweh, who consecrates them.’ ”

24 Thus Moses spoke to Aaron and to his sons and to all the Israelites.

Priests and Their Food

22 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, “Tell Aaron and his sons that they must deal respectfully with the Israelites votive offerings, and they must not profane my holy name, which they are consecrating to me; I am Yahweh.

“Say to them, ‘Throughout your generations, any man from any of your offspring who comes near the votive offerings that the Israelites consecrate to Yahweh with his uncleanness on him, that person shall be cut off from before me; I am Yahweh.

“ ‘Anyone from Aaron’s offspring, if he is afflicted with a skin disease or a fluid discharge, shall not eat in the sanctuary until he is clean; and the one who touches any unclean person or a man from whom an emission of semen goes out, or a man who touches any swarmer that is unclean for him or who touches a person who is unclean for him due to whatever his uncleanness, a person who touches such a thing shall be unclean until the evening, and he shall not eat from the votive offerings, except when he washes his body with water and the sun sets, and he shall be clean; then afterward he may eat from the votive offerings, because it is his food. He shall not eat a naturally dead body or a mangled carcass, so that he becomes unclean by it; I am Yahweh.

“ ‘And they shall keep my obligation, and they shall not incur guilt because of it, so that they die through it, because they have profaned it; I am Yahweh who consecrates them.

10 “ ‘No stranger shall eat the votive offering; nor shall a temporary resident with a priest or a hired worker eat the votive offering. 11 But a priest, if with his money he buys a person as his possession, that one may eat it, and the descendants of his house themselves may eat his food. 12 And a priest’s daughter, when she marries a layman, she herself may not eat the votive offering. 13 But a priest’s daughter, when she becomes a widow or divorced or there is no offspring for her, and she returns to her father’s house as in her childhood, she may eat from her father’s food, but no layman may eat it. 14 And if a man eats the votive offering unintentionally, then he shall add to it a fifth of it, and he shall give the votive offering to the priest. 15 And they shall not profane the Israelites votive offerings that they present to Yahweh, 16 and so cause them, by their eating their votive offerings, to bear guilt requiring a guilt offering, because I am Yahweh, who consecrates them.’ ”

Acceptable Offerings

17 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to Aaron and to his sons and to all the Israelites, and say to them, ‘Anyone from the house of Israel or from the alien in Israel who presents his offering for any of their vows or for any of their freewill offerings that they present to Yahweh as a burnt offering, 19 it must be without defect to be acceptable for you: a male among the cattle, among the sheep, or among the goats. 20 You shall not present any animal in which is a physical defect, because it shall not be acceptable for you. 21 And if anyone brings a sacrifice of fellowship offerings for Yahweh to fulfill a vow or as a freewill offering from the cattle or from the flock, it must be without defect to be acceptable; there must not be any physical defect in it. 22 The blind or the injured or the maimed or the seeping or one with a skin disorder or one with a skin eruption—these you shall not present to Yahweh, nor shall you give from them an offering made by fire on the altar for Yahweh. 23 As for an ox or sheep that is deformed or that is stunted, you may present it as a freewill offering, but for a vow it will not be accepted. 24 And you shall not present anything for Yahweh with bruised or shattered or torn or cut-off testicles, and you shall not sacrifice such in your land. 25 And you shall not present your God’s food from any of these by the hand of a foreigner, because their deformity is in them; a physical defect is in them; they shall not be accepted for you.’ ”

26 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying, 27 “When an ox or a sheep or a goat is born, then it shall be under its mother for seven days, and from the eighth day and beyond it is acceptable as an offering made by fire for Yahweh. 28 And you shall not slaughter an ox or a sheep and its young on the same day. 29 And when you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to Yahweh, you must sacrifice it to be acceptable for you. 30 It must be eaten on that day; you must not leave over anything from it until morning; I am Yahweh.

31 “Thus you shall keep my commands, and you shall do them; I am Yahweh.

32 “And you shall not profane my holy name, so that I may be consecrated in the midst of the Israelites; I am Yahweh, who consecrates you, 33 the one who brought you out from the land of Egypt to be as God for you; I am Yahweh.”


John 9:35–41 (LEB)

Jesus as the Son of Man

35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and finding him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered and said, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen him, and he is the one who is speaking with you.” 38 And he said, “I believe, Lord!” and he worshiped him. 39 And Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind!” 40 Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard these things and said to him, “We are not also blind, are we?”​ 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.


Song of Solomon 8:1–5 (LEB)

The Maiden’s Fanciful Wish

8 How I wish that you were my little brother,

who nursed upon my mother’s breasts!

If I met you outside, I would kiss you,

and no one would despise me!

I would surely bring you to the house of my mother,

who would surely teach me;

I would give you spiced wine to drink,

the sweet wine of my pomegranates.

Double Refrain: Embrace and Adjuration

His left hand is under my head,

and his right hand embraces me.

I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem,

do not arouse or awaken love until it pleases!

Up from the Wilderness and under the Apple Tree

Who is this coming up from the wilderness,

leaning upon her beloved?

Under the apple tree I awakened you;

there your mother conceived you;

there she who was in labor gave birth to you.


February 26: Patiently Waiting (Rebecca Van Noord)

February 26

Delayed gratification is a foreign concept to our natural instincts. Our culture doesn’t encourage patience or contentment; we would prefer to have our desires met the moment they arise.

The woman in Song of Solomon tells us that she is delighted in her beloved. She praises his attributes and tells of the wonders of their love. But throughout the poem, at seemingly random moments, she also warns the daughters of Jerusalem about love: “I adjure you … do not arouse or awaken love until it pleases!” (Song 8:4).

This is not the first time she has “adjured” them to wait and have patience: the same refrain is found elsewhere in the poem, and it acts like an oath (Song 2:7; 3:5). Although the elevated poetry glories in love, delight, and fulfillment, it also warns about immediate gratification. The woman urges us not to force love. It is something that must be anticipated and protected, not enjoyed before it’s time.

It doesn’t feel natural to wait and anticipate, but in many ways, staying faithful and being hopeful characterizes our faith. Waiting doesn’t mean we’re not bold or risk-takers. It means we’re faithful to God—we’re waiting for things to happen in His time. We know God has something planned for us that is beyond our expectations.

How are you patiently waiting and anticipating?


Rebecca Van Noord is editor-in-chief of Bible Study Magazine. She has developed content for several Bible reference products, including Lexham Bible Dictionary and Faithlife Study Bible.


Connect the Testaments: A Daily Devotional

Author: John D. Barry & Rebecca Van Noord

Publisher: Lexham Press

Publication Date: 2012

This 365-day devotional walks you through the Bible in a year, following a custom reading plan that delves into the stories of the Bible from five unique perspectives.