Monday: Reflection on the Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of the NET Bible, provides context for the lessons about marriage, and has background on Satan and Job.

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Torah: Deuteronomy 22:13-30

Suppose a man marries a woman, but after going in to her, he dislikes her and makes up charges against her, slandering her by saying, “I married this woman; but when I lay with her, I did not find evidence of her virginity.” The father of the young woman and her mother shall then submit the evidence of the young woman's virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. The father of the young woman shall say to the elders: “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man but he dislikes her; now he has made up charges against her, saying, ‘I did not find evidence of your daughter's virginity.’ But here is the evidence of my daughter's virginity.” Then they shall spread out the cloth before the elders of the town. The elders of that town shall take the man and punish him; they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver (which they shall give to the young woman's father) because he has slandered a virgin of Israel. She shall remain his wife; he shall not be permitted to divorce her as long as he lives.

If, however, this charge is true, that evidence of the young woman's virginity was not found, then they shall bring the young woman out to the entrance of her father's house and the men of her town shall stone her to death, because she committed a disgraceful act in Israel by prostituting herself in her father's house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

If a man is caught lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman as well as the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.¹

If there is a young woman, a virgin already engaged to be married, and a man meets her in the town and lies with her, you shall bring both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death, the young woman because she did not cry for help in the town and the man because he violated his neighbor's wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.¹

But if the man meets the engaged woman in the open country, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. You shall do nothing to the young woman; the young woman has not committed an offense punishable by death, because this case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor. Since he found her in the open country, the engaged woman may have cried for help, but there was no one to rescue her.

If a man meets a virgin who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her, and they are caught in the act, the man who lay with her shall give fifty shekels of silver to the young woman's father, and she shall become his wife. Because he violated her he shall not be permitted to divorce her as long as he lives.

A man shall not marry his father's wife, thereby violating his father's rights.

¹In 1 Corinthians 5:13, Paul urges the Corinthians to remove an evil person from among them. He urges them not to associate with people who claim to be Christian but don't act as Christians. The passage is 1 Corinthians 5:9-13.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Job 8

Then Bildad the Shuhite answered:
 “How long will you say these things,
 and the words of your mouth be a great wind?
Does God pervert justice?
 Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
If your children sinned against him,
 he delivered them into the power of their transgression.
If you will seek God and make supplication to the Almighty,
 if you are pure and upright,
 surely then he will rouse himself for you
 and restore to you your rightful place.
Though your beginning was small,
 your latter days will be very great.

“For inquire now of bygone generations,
 and consider what their ancestors have found;
for we are but of yesterday, and we know nothing,
 for our days on earth are but a shadow.
Will they not teach you and tell you
 and utter words out of their understanding?

“Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
 Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
While yet in flower and not cut down,
 they wither before any other plant.
Such are the paths of all who forget God;
 the hope of the godless shall perish.
Their confidence is gossamer,
 a spider's house their trust.
If one leans against its house, it will not stand;
 if one lays hold of it, it will not endure.
The wicked thrive before the sun,
 and their shoots spread over the garden.
Their roots twine around the stoneheap;
 they live among the rocks.
If they are destroyed from their place,
 then it will deny them, saying,
‘I have never seen you.’
See, these are their happy ways,
 and out of the earth still others will spring.

“See, God will not reject a blameless person,
 nor take the hand of evildoers.
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter,
 and your lips with shouts of joy.
Those who hate you will be clothed with shame,
 and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

Complementary Psalm 112

Praise the Lord!
 Happy are those who fear the Lord,
 who greatly delight in his commandments.
Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
 the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
 and their righteousness endures forever.
They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
 they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
 who conduct their affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
 they will be remembered forever.
They are not afraid of evil tidings;
 their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.
Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
 in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
 their righteousness endures forever;¹
 their horn is exalted in honor.
The wicked see it and are angry;
 they gnash their teeth and melt away;
 the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

¹Paul uses this phrase in 2 Corinthians 9:9, urging the Corinthians to give to the collection for the Jerusalem poor. The entire passage is 2 Corinthians 9:1-15.

Semi-continuous Psalm 55:1-15

Give ear to my prayer, O God;
 do not hide yourself from my supplication.
Attend to me, and answer me;
 I am troubled in my complaint.
I am distraught by the noise of the enemy,
 because of the clamor of the wicked.
For they bring trouble upon me,
 and in anger they cherish enmity against me.

My heart is in anguish within me,
 the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me,
 and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove!
 I would fly away and be at rest;
truly, I would flee far away;
 I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
I would hurry to find a shelter for myself
 from the raging wind and tempest.”

Confuse, O Lord, confound their speech;
 for I see violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go around it
 on its walls,
and iniquity and trouble are within it;
 ruin is in its midst;
oppression and fraud
 do not depart from its marketplace.

It is not enemies who taunt me—
 I could bear that;
it is not adversaries who deal insolently with me—
 I could hide from them.
But it is you, my equal,
 my companion, my familiar friend,
with whom I kept pleasant company;
 we walked in the house of God with the throng.
Let death come upon them;
 let them go down alive to Sheol;
 for evil is in their homes and in their hearts.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 7:1-9

Betrothal

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is well for a man not to touch a woman.” But because of cases of sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except perhaps by agreement for a set time, to devote yourselves to prayer, and then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. This I say by way of concession, not of command. I wish that all were as I myself am. But each has a particular gift from God, one having one kind and another a different kind.

To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain unmarried as I am. But if they are not practicing self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to be aflame with passion.

Year B Ordinary 27 Monday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Footnotes in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) from the Complete Jewish Bible (Updated) (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

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Image credit: Betrothal from the Jewish Encyclopedia (1901-1906), via nl.wikipedia.org. This is a public domain image.

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