1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
2 Speak to Aaron, and you shall say to him: When you place the seven lamps, let the lampstand be set up on the south side. Therefore, give this instruction: that the lamps should look out from the region opposite the north, toward the table of the bread of the presence; they shall give light opposite that area, toward the area that the lampstand faces.
3 And Aaron did so, and he placed the lamps on the lampstand, just as the Lord had instructed Moses.
4 Now this was the workmanship of the lampstand: it was of ductile gold, both the main shaft and all that originated from both sides of the branches. According to the example that the Lord revealed to Moses, so did he make the lampstand.
5 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
6 Take the Levites from the midst of the sons of Israel, and you shall purify them
7 according to this ritual: Let them be sprinkled with the water of illumination, and let them shave off all the hairs of their body. And when they have washed their garments and have been cleansed,
8 they shall take an ox from the herd, with its libation of fine wheat flour sprinkled with oil; then you shall receive another ox from the herd for sin.
9 And you shall bring forward the Levites before the tabernacle of the covenant, calling together all the multitude of the sons of Israel.
10 And when the Levites are before the Lord, the sons of Israel shall place their hands upon them.
11 And Aaron shall offer the Levites as a gift in the sight of the Lord, from the sons of Israel, so that they may serve in his ministry.
12 Likewise, the Levites shall place their hands upon the heads of the oxen; you shall make use of one of these for sin, and the other as a holocaust to the Lord, so that you may intercede for them.
13 And you shall set the Levites in the sight of Aaron and his sons, and you shall consecrate those being offered to the Lord,
14 and you shall separate them from the midst of the sons of Israel, so that they may be for me.
15 And after this, they shall enter the tabernacle of the covenant, in order to serve me. And so shall you purify and consecrate them as an oblation to the Lord. For they were given to me as a gift from the sons of Israel.
16 I have accepted them in place of the firstborn which open every womb in Israel.
17 For all the firstborn of the sons of Israel, as much from men as from beasts, are mine. From the day when I struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I have sanctified them to myself.
18 And I have taken the Levites in place of all the firstborn of the sons of Israel.
19 And I have delivered them as a gift to Aaron and his sons, from the midst of the people, in order to serve me, for Israel, in the tabernacle of the covenant, and in order to pray for them, lest there be a scourge among the people, if they were to dare to approach to my Sanctuary.”
20 And Moses and Aaron, and all the multitude of the sons of Israel, accomplished all that the Lord had commanded Moses concerning the Levites.
21 And they were purified, and they washed their garments. And Aaron lifted them up in the sight of the Lord, and he prayed for them,
22 so that, having been purified, they might enter to their duties in the tabernacle of the covenant before Aaron and his sons. Just as the Lord had instructed Moses about the Levites, so was it done.
23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:
24 This is the law of the Levites: From twenty-five years and above, they shall enter to minister in the tabernacle of the covenant.
25 And when they will have completed the fiftieth year of age, they shall cease to serve.
26 And they shall be the ministers of their brothers in the tabernacle of the covenant, in order to care for the things that have been commended to them, but not to perform the works themselves. So shall you assign the Levites in their duties.”
1 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the words of the drought.
2 Judea has mourned. And its gates have fallen and become hard to discern on the ground. And the outcry of Jerusalem has ascended.
3 The greater ones have sent their lesser ones to the water. They went to draw water; they did not find water; they carried their vessels back empty. They were confounded and afflicted, and so they covered their heads.
4 Because of the devastation of the earth, because rain did not fall upon the earth, the farmers were confounded; they covered their heads.
5 For even the doe has given birth in the field, and then left it behind. For there was no grass.
6 And the wild donkeys stood upon the rocks; like dragons, they drew in the wind, but their eyes failed. For there was no grass.”
7 O Lord, if our iniquities have responded against us, let it be for the sake of your name. For our rebellions are many; we have sinned against you.
8 O Hope of Israel, its Savior in time of tribulation, why would you be like a sojourner in the land, and like a traveler turning aside for lodging?
9 Why would you be like a wandering man, like a strong man who is unable to save? But you, O Lord, are with us, and your name is invoked over us, so do not abandon us!”
10 Thus says the Lord to this people, who have loved to move their feet, and who have not rested, but who have not pleased the Lord: “Now he will remember their iniquities, and now he will visit against their sins.”
11 And the Lord said to me: “Do not choose to pray for this people for good.
12 When they will fast, I will not heed their petitions. And if they offer holocausts and victims, I will not accept them. For I will consume them by the sword, and by famine, and by pestilence.”
13 And I said: “Alas, alas, alas, O Lord God! The prophets are saying to them: ‘You will not see the sword, and there will be no famine among you. Instead, he will give you true peace in this place.’ “
14 And the Lord said to me: “The prophets prophesy falsely in my name. I did not send them, and I did not instruct them, and I have not spoken to them. They prophesy to you a lying vision, and a divination, and a fraud, and a seduction from their own heart.
15 For this reason, thus says the Lord about the prophets who prophesy in my name, whom I have not sent, who say: ‘Sword and famine will not be in this land.’ By sword and famine those prophets will be consumed.
16 And the people, to whom they prophesy, will be cast into the streets of Jerusalem, due to famine and the sword, and there will be no one who may bury them, they and their wives, their sons and daughters, and I will pour out their own evil upon them.
17 And you shall speak this word to them: Let my eyes shed tears throughout the night and day, and let them not cease. For the virgin daughter of my people has been crushed by a great affliction, by a very grievous wound.”
18 If I go out into the fields: behold, those slain by the sword. And if I enter into the city: behold, those weakened by famine. Likewise, the prophet, too, and the priest, have gone into a land that they did not know.
19 Could you have utterly cast out Judah? Or has your soul abhorred Zion? Then why have you struck us, so much so that there is no health for us? We have waited for peace, but there is nothing good, and for the time of healing, and behold, trouble.
20 O Lord, we acknowledge our impieties, the iniquities of our fathers, that we have sinned against you.
21 For the sake of your name, do not give us over into disgrace. And do not dishonor in us the throne of your glory. Remember, do not make void, your covenant with us.
22 Could any of the graven images of the Gentiles send rain? Or are the heavens able to give showers? Have we not hoped in you, the Lord our God? For you have made all these things.”
29 But the just shall inherit the land, and shall dwell therein for evermore.
30 The mouth of the just shall meditate wisdom: and his tongue shall speak judgment.
31 The law of his God is in his heart, and his steps shall not be supplanted.
32 The wicked watcheth the just man, and seeketh to put him to death,
33 But the Lord will not leave in his hands; nor condemn him when he shall be judged.
34 Expect the Lord and keep his way: and he will exalt thee to inherit the land: when the sinners shall perish thou shalt see.
35 I have seen the wicked highly exalted, and lifted up like the cedars of Libanus.
18 And Zechariah said to the Angel: “How may I know this? For I am elderly, and my wife is advanced in years.”
19 And in response, the Angel said to him: “I am Gabriel, who stands before God, and I have been sent to speak to you, and to proclaim these things to you.
20 And behold, you will be silent and unable to speak, until the day on which these things shall be, because you have not believed my words, which will be fulfilled in their time.”
21 And the people were waiting for Zechariah. And they wondered why he was being delayed in the temple.
22 Then, when he came out, he was unable to speak to them. And they realized that he had seen a vision in the temple. And he was making signs to them, but he remained mute.
23 And it happened that, after the days of his office were completed, he went away to his house.
24 Then, after those days, his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she hid herself for five months, saying:
25 For the Lord did this for me, at the time when he decided to take away my reproach among men.
26 Then, in the sixth month, the Angel Gabriel was sent by God, to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the name of the virgin was Mary.
28 And upon entering, the Angel said to her: “Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women.”
29 And when she had heard this, she was disturbed by his words, and she considered what kind of greeting this might be.
30 And the Angel said to her: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found grace with God.
31 Behold, you shall conceive in your womb, and you shall bear a son, and you shall call his name: JESUS.
32 He will be great, and he will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. And he will reign in the house of Jacob for eternity.
33 And his kingdom shall have no end.”
34 Then Mary said to the Angel, “How shall this be done, since I do not know man?”
35 And in response, the Angel said to her: “The Holy Spirit will pass over you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. And because of this also, the Holy One who will be born of you shall be called the Son of God.
36 And behold, your cousin Elizabeth has herself also conceived a son, in her old age. And this is the sixth month for her who is called barren.
37 For no word will be impossible with God.”
38 Then Mary said: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” And the Angel departed from her.
39 And in those days, Mary, rising up, traveled quickly into the hill country, to a city of Judah.