Weekly Bible Reading

Torah Portion - Parshat Lech Lecha | Gen. 12:1-17:27

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Abram Obeys the Calling
1Then Adonai said to Abram, “Get going out from your land, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.
2My heart’s desire is to make you into a great nation, to bless you, to make your name great so that you may be a blessing.
3My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.
4So Abram went, just as Adonai had spoken to him. Also Lot went with him. (Now Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran.)
5Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions that they had acquired, and the people that they acquired in Haran, and they left to go to the land of Canaan, and they entered the land of Canaan.
6Abram passed through the land as far as the place of Shechem, as far as Moreh’s big tree. (The Canaanites were in the land then.)
7Then Adonai appeared to Abram, and said, “I will give this land to your seed.” So there he built an altar to Adonai, who had appeared to him.
8From there he moved to the mountain to the east of Beth-El and erected his tent (with Beth-El to the west and Ai to the east). There he built an altar to Adonai and called on the Name of Adonai.
9So Abram kept on journeying southward.
Abram and Sarai in Egypt
10Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to live as an outsider there, because the famine was severe in the land.
11Just as he was about to enter Egypt he said to Sarai his wife, “Look, please, I know that you are an attractive woman.
12So when the Egyptians see you they’ll say, ‘This is his wife.’ And they’ll kill me; but you, they’ll let live.
13Please say that you are my sister, so that I’ll be treated well for your sake, and my life will be spared because of you.”
14When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians did see that the woman was very beautiful.
15Indeed, Pharaoh’s officials saw her and they raved about her to Pharaoh. Then the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.
16But Abram was treated well for her sake, and he got sheep, cattle, male donkeys, male and female slaves, female donkeys and camels.
17But Adonai struck Pharaoh and his household with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.
18So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What’s this that you did to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she is your wife?
19Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now, here is your wife. Take—and go!”
20Then Pharaoh instructed men concerning him, and they expelled him, with his wife, and everything that belonged to him.

Chapter 13

1So Abram went up from Egypt—he and his wife and everything that belonged to him, and Lot with him—to the Negev.
2Now Abram was very rich in livestock, silver and gold.
3He proceeded by stages from the Negev as far as Beth-El—to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-El and Ai,
4to the place of the altar that he had made there at first, and there Abram called on the Name of Adonai.
Lot Separates From Abram
5Now Lot, who was going with Abram, also had sheep and cattle and tents,
6so that the land could not support them living together, because their possessions were many, and they were not able to stay together.
7So there was a quarrel between the shepherds of Abram’s livestock and the shepherds of Lot’s livestock. (Now the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land then.)
8So Abram said to Lot, “Please, let there be no strife between me and you, or between my shepherds and yours, since we are relatives.
9Isn’t the whole land before you? Please separate yourself from me. If to the left, then I’ll go to the right, and if to the right, then I’ll go to the left.”
10Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the whole area surrounding the Jordan was well watered in its entirety (before Adonai destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah)—like Adonai’s garden, like the land of Egypt—till you come to Zoar.
11So Lot chose for himself the whole area surrounding the Jordan. Lot journeyed to the east, and they separated from each other.
12Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the valley. And he moved his tent from place to place near Sodom.
13But the people of Sodom were evil—very great sinners against Adonai.
14After Lot separated himself from him, Adonai had said to Abram, “lift up your eyes, now, and look from the place where you are, to the north, south, east and west.
15For all the land that you are looking at, I will give to you and to your seed forever.
16I will make your seed like the dust of the earth so that if one could count the dust of the earth, then your seed could also be counted.
17Get up! Walk about the land through its length and width—for I will give it to you.”
18So Abram moved his tent from place to place, and came and dwelt by Mamre’s large trees, which are in Hebron, and there built an altar to Adonai.

Chapter 14

Abram Rescues Lot
1Now it came about in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim,
2that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (this is Zoar).
3All of these kings joined forces in the Valley of the Siddim (this is the Salt Sea).
4For 12 years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
5In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer came with the kings who were with him, and they defeated the Rephaim in Ashterot-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh-kiryataim,
6and the Horites in the hill country of Seir as far as El-Paran, which is beside the wilderness.
7Then they came again to En-mishpat (this is Kadesh), and they subdued all the territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who live in Hazazon-tamar.
8Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (this is Zoar) went out and lined themselves up for battle with them in the Valley of the Siddim,
9against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar: four kings against five.
10Now the Valley of the Siddim was full of tar pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, they fell into them, and those who remained fled to the hills.
11So they took all of Sodom and Gomorrah’s possessions and their food and left.
12They also took Lot, Abram’s nephew, and his possessions, and they left (as he was living in Sodom).
13Then a survivor came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was dwelling by the large trees belonging to Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eschol and the brother of Aner—they were Abram’s allies.
14When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he rallied his trained men, those born in his household, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.
15Then he divided his servants against them at night, and he defeated them and pursued them as far as Hovah, which is north of Damascus.
16He brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot and his possessions, as well as the women and the other people.
Melech-Tzedek , King of Salem
17Now after he returned from defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (this is the King’s Valley).
18Then Melechizedek , king of Salem, brought out bread and wine—he was a priest of El Elyon.
19He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by El Elyon, Creator of heaven and earth,
20and blessed be El Elyon, Who gave over your enemies Into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
21Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people—the possessions take for yourself.”
22But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I raise my hand in oath to Adonai, El Elyon, Creator of heaven and earth.
23Not a thread or even a sandal strap of all that is yours will I take, so you will not say, ‘I’ve made Abram rich!’
24I claim nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me—Aner, Eschol, and Mamre—let them take their share.”

Chapter 15

Cutting a Covenant
1After these things the word of Adonai came to Abram in a vision saying, “Do not fear, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
2But Abram said, “My Lord Adonai, what will You give me, since I am living without children, and the heir of my household is Eliezer of Damascus?”
3Then Abram said, “Look! You have given me no seed, so a house-born servant is my heir.”
4Then behold, the word of Adonai came to him saying, “This one will not be your heir, but in fact, one who will come from your own body will be your heir.
5He took him outside and said, “Look up now, at the sky, and count the stars—if you are able to count them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your seed be.”
6Then he believed in Adonai and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
7Then He said to him, “I am Adonai who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans, in order to give you this land to inherit it.”
8So he said, “My Lord Adonai, how will I know that I will inherit it?”
9Then He said to him, “Bring Me a three year old young cow, a three year old she-goat, a three year old ram, a turtle-dove and a young bird.”
10So he brought all these to Him and cut them in half, and put each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds.
11Then birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, but Abram drove them away.
12When the sun was about to set and a deep sleep fell on Abram, behold, terror of great darkness was falling upon him!
13Then He said to Abram, “Know for certain that your seed will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and they will be enslaved and oppressed 400 years.
14But I am going to judge the nation that they will serve. Afterward they will go out with many possessions.
15But you, you will come to your fathers in peace. You will be buried at a good old age.
16Then in the fourth generation they will return here—for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.”
17When the sun set and it became dark, behold, there was a smoking oven and a fiery torch that passed between these pieces.
18On that day Adonai cut a covenant with Abram, saying, “I give this land to your seed, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River:
19the Kenite, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,
20the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Raphaites,
21the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.”

Chapter 16

Hagar and Ishmael
1Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not borne him children. But she had an Egyptian slave-girl—her name was Hagar.
2So Sarai said to Abram, “Look now, Adonai has prevented me from having children. Go, please, to my slave-girl. Perhaps I’ll get a son by her.” Abram listened to Sarai’s voice.
3So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took her slave-girl Hagar the Egyptian—after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan—and gave her to Abram her husband to be his wife.
4Then he went to Hagar and she became pregnant. When she saw that she was pregnant, in her eyes her mistress was belittled.
5So Sarai said to Abram, “The wrong done to me is because of you! I myself placed my slave-girl in your embrace. Now that she saw that she became pregnant, so in her eyes I am belittled. May Adonai judge between you and me!”
6Abram said to Sarai, “Look! Your slave-girl is in your hand. Do to her what is good in your eyes.” So Sarai afflicted her, and she fled from her presence.
7Then the angel of Adonai found her by the spring of water in the wilderness, next to the spring on the way to Shur.
8He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s slave-girl, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”
9The angel of Adonai said, “Return to your mistress and humble yourself under her hand.”
10Then the angel of Adonai said to her, “I will bountifully multiply your seed, and they will be too many to count.”
11Then the angel of Adonai said to her, Behold, you are pregnant and about to bear a son, and you shall name him Ishmael— for Adonai has heard your affliction.
12He will be a wild donkey of a man. His hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him, and away from all his brothers will he dwell.
13So she called Adonai who was speaking to her, “You are the God who sees me.” For she said, “Would I have gone here indeed looking for Him who looks after me?”
14That is why the well is named, the Well of the Living One Who Sees Me. (Behold, it is between Kadesh and Bered.)
15Then Hagar gave birth to a son for Abram, and Abram named his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.
16Abram was 86 years old when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael for Abram.

Chapter 17

Covenant of Circumcision
1When Abram was 99 years old, Adonai appeared to Abram, and He said to him, “I am El Shaddai. Continually walk before Me and you will be blameless.
2My heart’s desire is to make My covenant between Me and you, and then I will multiply you exceedingly much.”
3Abram fell on his face, and God spoke with him, saying,
4“For My part, because My covenant is with you, you will be the father of a multitude of nations.
5No longer will your name be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, because I make you the father of a multitude of nations.
6Yes, I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings will come forth from you.
7Yes, I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your seed after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, in order to be your God and your seed’s God after you.
8I will give to you and to your seed after you the land where you are an outsider —the whole land of Canaan—as an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
9God also said to Abraham, “As for you, My covenant you must keep, you and your seed after you throughout their generations.
10This is My covenant that you must keep between Me and you and your seed after you: all your males must be circumcised.
11You must be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and this will become a sign of the covenant between Me and you.
12Also your eight-day-olds must be circumcised, every male, throughout your generations, including a house-born slave or a slave bought with money from any foreigner who is not of your seed.
13Your house-born slave and your purchased slave must surely be circumcised. So My covenant will be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
14But the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin—that person will be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
15God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her by the name Sarai. Rather, Sarah is her name.
16And I will bless her, and moreover, I will give you a son from her. I will bless her and she will give rise to nations. Kings of the peoples will come from her.”
17Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said to his heart, “Will a son be born to a 100-year-old man? Or will Sarah—who is 90 years old—give birth?”
18So Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live before you!”
19But God said, “On the contrary, Sarah your wife will bear you a son and you must name him Isaac. So I will confirm My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his seed after him.
20As for Ishmael, I have heard you. See, I have blessed him and I will make him fruitful, and I will multiply him very very much. He will father twelve princes and I will make him a great nation.
21But My covenant will I establish with Isaac whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.”
22When He finished speaking with him, God went up from Abraham.
23Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all of his house-born slaves and all his purchased slaves—every male among the men of Abraham’s house—and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskin on this very same day, just as God had spoken with him.
24Abraham was 99 years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin,
25and his son Ishmael was 13 years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
26On this very same day Abraham and Ishmael his son were circumcised.
27Also all the men of his house, house-born slaves and slaves purchased from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

HafTorah (Prophets) Portion - Isa. 40:27-41:16

27Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from Adonai, and the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”?
28Have you not known? Have you not heard? Adonai is the eternal God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
29He gives strength to the weary, and to one without vigor He adds might.
30Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall,
31but they who wait for Adonai will renew their strength. They will soar up with wings as eagles. They will run, and not grow weary. They will walk, and not be faint.

Chapter 41

Coming Conqueror
1“Be silent before Me, O islands! Let peoples renew their strength. Let them draw near, then let them speak. Let us come together for judgment.
2Who has stirred up one from the east? He calls justice to His feet. He gives nations over to him and subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, as driven stubble with his bow.
3He pursues them, passing on safely, by a path his feet had not traveled.
4Who has performed and done it? Calling forth the generations from the beginning, I, Adonai, am the first and the last, I am He!”
5The coastlands have seen and fear. The ends of the earth tremble. They draw near and come.
6Each one helps his neighbor and says to his brother, “Be strong!”
7The craftsman encourages the smith, who smooths with the hammer, who strikes with the anvil, saying of the soldering, “It’s good!” as he fastens it with nails so that it will not totter.
My Servant, My Friend
8“But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, descendant of Abraham, My friend—
9I took hold of you from the ends of the earth, and called from its uttermost parts, and said to you, ‘You are My servant— I have chosen you, not rejected you.
10Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Surely I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
11Behold, all who were angry at you will be ashamed and disgraced. Those who quarrel with you will be as nothing and perish.
12Though you will look for those who contended with you, you will not find them. Those who warred against you will be as nothing at all.
13For I am Adonai your God who upholds your right hand, who says to you, “Fear not, I will help you.”
14Fear not, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel! I will help you.” It is a declaration of Adonai, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
15“Look, I will make you a threshing sledge, new, with sharp, double-edged spikes. You will thresh the mountains and grind them up, and will make the hills like chaff.
16You will winnow them, and a wind will carry them away, a storm-wind will scatter them. But you will rejoice in Adonai. You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.

New Covenant - Rom. 4:1-25

Abraham Set Right by Faith
1What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, has found?
2For if Abraham was set right by works, he has something to boast about—but not before God.
3For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
4Now to the one who works, the pay is not credited as a gift, but as what is due.
5But to the one who does not work, but trusts in Him who justifies the ungodly, his trust is credited as righteousness—
6just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven and whose sins are covered.
8Blessed is the man whose sin Adonai will never count against him.”
9Is this blessing then only on the circumcised, or also on the uncircumcised? For we say, “trust was credited to Abraham as righteousness.”
10In what state then was it credited? While circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised!
11And he received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness of the trust he had while he was uncircumcised, so he might be the father of all who are trusting while uncircumcised—that righteousness might be credited to them as well.
12Also he is the father of the circumcised, to those not only circumcised but also walking in the footsteps of the trust of our father Abraham before his circumcision.
Trusting in the Promise
13For the promise to Abraham or to his seed—to become heir of the world—was not through law, but through the righteousness based on trust.
14For if those who are of the Torah are heirs, trust has become empty and the promise is made ineffective.
15For the Torah brings about wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there a violation.
16For this reason it depends on trust, so that the promise according to grace might be guaranteed to all the offspring—not only to those of the Torah but also to those of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all
17(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”). He is our father in the sight of God in whom he trusted, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence that which does not exist.
18In hope beyond hope, he trusted that he would become the father of many nations according to what was spoken—“So shall your descendants be.”
19And without becoming weak in faith, he considered his own body—as good as dead, since he was already a hundred years old—and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
20Yet he did not waver in unbelief concerning the promise of God. Rather, he was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.
21He was fully convinced that what God has promised, He also is able to do.
22That is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”
23Now not only for his sake was it written that it was credited to him,
24but for our sake as well. It is credited to us as those who trust in Him who raised Yeshua our Lord from the dead.
25He was handed over for our transgressions and raised up for the sake of setting us right.