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Первые апостолы

Свящ. Александр Мень

Спор о законе. «Апостол народов»

Сирия — Иудея — Малая Азия, 49 год

Начало спора

Радость, воцарившаяся в Антиохийской церкви, была, однако, вскоре омрачена. На одном из молитвенных собраний появились братья из Иудеи и привели всех в замешательство своими речами. Выступая как блюстители чистоты правоверия, они заявили крещенным из язычников: «Если вы не обрежетесь по обычаю Моисея, вы не можете спастись». Другими словами, каждый, кто хочет стать полноценным христианином, должен прежде войти в лоно иудейства.

Это не было голословным мнением или простым предрассудком: из Писания, казалось бы, ясно вытекало, что обряды ветхозаветной Церкви заповеданы свыше и притом — «на вечные времена» 1 «Восьми дней от рождения да будет обрезан у вас в роды ваши всякий младенец мужского пола, рожденный в доме и купленный за серебро у какого-нибудь иноплеменника, который не от твоего семени... и будет Завет Мой на теле вашем Заветом вечным» (Быт. 17:12-13); См. также: Исх. 12:14; 27:21; 28:43; Лев. 7:36; 16:34; Числ. 18:19.
. Ведь и Сам Господь Иисус выполнял их, уча, что каждая йота Закона имеет смысл, что приход Его не упраздняет Торы...

Возражать против таких веских аргументов было трудно. Но поколебать св. Павла они не могли. Миссионеру было ведомо нечто большее, чем буква Закона. Формальной правоте ортодоксов он смело противопоставил Откровение, внутренняя достоверность которого была для апостола бесспорной. Оно говорило, что единение с Богом во Христе уже не требует как обязательного условия старых знаков причастности к народу Божию, тем более — для неевреев. Древние уставы Господни отслужили свою службу; теперь Давший их творит все новое. Разумеется, Павел не имел в виду замену одной сложной системы обрядов — другой, вроде того, что возникло в Средневековье; Евангелие открывалось апостолу как вера, проникнутая духом любви и свободы, вера, которая нуждается лишь в немногих внешних символах. Закон Мессии не может повторять, копировать отживший Закон: в противном случае он стал бы излишним.

Павлу было необычайно важно, как отнесется к его словам Варнава, поскольку его друг принадлежал к числу самых уважаемых членов церкви-матери. И Иосиф, видимо, не без колебаний, поддержал его. Как левит он знал, что по традиции учитель-книжник имеет право истолковывать Писание достаточно свободно. А следовательно, и Савл, ученик Гамалиила, может дополнять Слово Божие тем, что открыто ему самому 2 В некоторых случаях слово раввина считалось не менее авторитетным, чем слово Библии. См.: А. Мень. На пороге Нового Завета, гл. XXXI.
. Однако прочие иерусалимцы продолжали настаивать на своем; дискуссия неизбежно превращалась в распрю. Верующие были растеряны и обескуражены: с одной стороны, слово Иерусалима имело в их глазах высокий авторитет, а с другой — успехи миссионеров в Галатии доказывали, что Бог благословил их начинания. Ни старейшины, ни новообращенные Антиохии не считали себя способными разобраться в сложном богословском споре. Естественно, возникла мысль отправить в Иудею посланцев церкви, чтобы там они получили окончательное разъяснение.

Всем, конечно, хотелось включить в делегацию Варнаву и Павла, но Тарсянин, видимо, не знал, стоит ли ему принимать участие в этом щекотливом деле. Впоследствии он сам подчеркивал, что дал согласие только «по откровению» 3 Гал. 2:2. Как уже отмечалось выше (гл. 5), мы исходим из того предположения, что свидетельство Павла в Гал. 2 относится к тем же событиям, которые описаны в Деян. 15.
. В качестве представителя от крещенных «эллинов» был взят некий Тит, ставший потом помощником апостола.

Отправившись на юг, они по дороге посетили общины в Финикии и Самарии, основанные эллинистами четырнадцать лет назад; повсюду их встречали с почетом.

Но что ждало посланцев в Иерусалиме? Едва ли они надеялись найти там такой же прием. А Павлу и Варнаве тем более нетрудно было догадаться, с каким отпором они столкнутся в столице Иудеи.

Иерусалимская церковь. Св. Иаков Праведный

За годы, истекшие с памятной Пятидесятницы, у общины Иерусалима сложились собственные прочные традиции. Две волны преследований не сломили ее; к тому же после смерти царя Агриппы I положение назарян намного улучшилось. Во главе фарисеев находился тогда либеральный учитель Иоханан бен Заккай. Он славился широкой терпимостью и считал, что даже язычники могут быть спасены своими добрыми делами. Иоханан сторонился экстремистов, призывавших к войне с Римом; своей главной задачей он считал укрепление веры и благочестия. Девизом его были слова: «Служи Всевышнему не из страха, а из любви» 4 Мишна. Сота, V, 5; Гемара. Бава Батра 10в, 17а.
. Влияние Иоханана отчасти объясняет, почему многие фарисеи сблизились с назарянами, а некоторые приняли крещение.

Этому также немало способствовал Иаков Брат Господень. С тех пор, как в начале сороковых годов Петр и другие апостолы покинули Иерусалим, престиж назаретской семьи возрос еще больше. Члены ее, особенно Иаков, были настоящими образцами древнего отеческого благочестия. Его считали чуть ли не тринадцатым апостолом, которому Христос открыл некие тайны наравне с Кифой и сыновьями Зеведеевыми. Брата Господня называли цадиком, праведным, и облиамом, что значит оплот народа. Уже при жизни он превратился в легендарную фигуру. Говорили, что этот почтенный старец — живое олицетворение Закона, ради которого созданы небо и земля. Он был «назиритом», посвященным Богу от рождения: не пил вина, не стриг волос, воздерживался от мяса. Когда Иаков проходил по улицам, его приветствовали, словно первосвященника; он якобы и одевался, как архиерей, в льняной эфод и имел право входить в Святое Святых. Последняя подробность легенды — явный вымысел, но сама по себе она интересна как показатель отношения к главе иерусалимских христиан 5 Сведения о св. Иакове приводит еврейский христианин Егизипп цитаты из книги которого сохранены у Евсевия (Церк. Ист., II, 1, 23); см. также: Климент. Строматы, VII; Епифаний. 70, 14.
.

Св. Иаков не разделял взглядов Стефана на храмовое служение, его постоянно видели в Доме Господнем, где он денно и нощно молился за народ. Такого человека фарисеи не могли упрекнуть ни в чем. Он поистине «превзошел их в праведности». Его строгое соблюдение Торы было в глазах ревнителей серьезным аргументом в пользу учения назарян.

Следуя примеру Иакова Праведного, евреи-христиане, сплотившиеся вокруг него, по-прежнему пунктуально выполняли все обряды, по-прежнему называли дома своих молитвенных собраний синагогами, по-прежнему хранили субботу и ограничивались лишь дозволенной Законом пищей. Как и в первые дни, они рассчитывали на скорое обращение всего народа, который из грешного Израиля должен будет превратиться в «Израиль Божий».

Огромным преимуществом церкви св. Иакова было то, что она хранила подлинные предания о евангельских событиях. В этой среде хорошо помнили причти и изречения Иисусовы; именно отсюда впоследствии выйдут в мир первые записи, которые составят основу Евангелий.

Дух Иерусалимской церкви запечатлелся и в послании, носящем имя св. Иакова. Правда, оно написано на хорошем греческом языке и поэтому вряд ли принадлежит непосредственно самому Брату Господню. Но в Иудее, как мы знаем, слова наставников запоминали наизусть. По-видимому, это послание, обращенное к евреям-христианам стран рассеяния, есть посмертная запись поучений Иакова Праведного 6 S. Agoridis. The origin of the Epistle of St. James. — The Greek Orthodox Theological Review, 1963, № 1, p. 73.
. Они очень близки к Нагорной проповеди и в то же время перекликаются с произведениями ветхозаветной мудрости. Некоторые места послания напоминают книги пророков:

Вы, богатые, плачьте и рыдайте о надвигающихся на вас бедствиях:
Богатство ваше сгнило, и одежды изъедены молью;
Золото и серебро ваше проржавели,
и ржавчина их будет свидетельствовать против вас,
и съест вашу плоть, как огонь...
Вот удержанная вами плата работников, собравших хлеб с полей ваших, вопиет,
и крики жнецов дошли до слуха Господа Саваофа
 7 Иак. 5, 1-4; ср. сходные изречения в апокалиптической Книге Еноха (94, 7 сл.).
.

Если богатство изображено в послании как великий соблазн для души человека, то бедность превозносится. Иерусалимские христиане сознавали себя преемниками древних нестяжателей.

Тем не менее приверженность к обрядовому благочестию невольно отдаляла церковь св. Иакова от духа Христовой свободы. Можно сказать, что, сохранив бесценное евангельское богатство, иерусалимляне куда меньше проникли в его сущность, чем апостол Павел. Они слишком дорожили культовой оболочкой веры, формой, в которой крылась опасность застоя.

Легко вообразить, как огорчило этих набожных людей известие из Антиохии. У них в сознании не укладывалось, что есть где-то целая община их собратьев по вере, которые пренебрегают Законом Божиим. Кроме христиан из фарисеев, больше всех, вероятно, негодовали те, что называли себя эбионитами, бедняками. В то время они еще не откололись от новозаветной Церкви и выражали в ней тенденцию крайнего законничества. Эбиониты хотели удержать порядки первоначальных дней общины: отказывались от частной собственности, жили на подаяние.

Ядро эбионитов образовалось, видимо, из обращенных в христианство ессеев, которые принесли с собой склонность к суровому аскетизму. По некоторым сообщениям, эбиониты, как и ессеи, отвергали храмовые жертвы. Но это диктовалось отнюдь не желанием сократить число священных церемоний, а просто Храм казался им оскверненным из-за грехов клира. Сами эбиониты ставили обряды высоко и к прежним — добавляли новые, в частности, ежедневные омовения 8 Согласно свт.  Епифанию (I, 30), секта иудео-христиан, отколовшаяся от Иерусалимской церкви после ее исхода из Иудеи, разделялась на две ветви. Одна удержала самоназвание назарян, а другая — эбионитов. Вторые в большей степени отошли от основ христианства, и поэтому их можно считать наследниками ультра-законнической партии Иерусалимской церкви. По-видимому, сборы в пользу «бедных» этой церкви имели в виду не просто нищих, а также эбионитов. Взгляды эбионитов во многом перекликаются с ессейскими, откуда и наше предположение, что они в основном были обращенными ессеями. См.: J. Danielou. The Dead Sea Scrolls and Primitive Christianity. Baltimore, 1958.
. Естественно, что антиохийцы, отказавшиеся от обрезания, были для ревнителей Закона вольнодумцами и вероотступниками.

Обо всем этом вероятно думал с тревогой Павел, когда за холмами показались стены Иерусалима.

«Апостольский собор»

Прибыв в город, посланцы решили сначала повидаться с наиболее влиятельными братьями, с теми, кого почитали «столпами» Церкви. К их счастью в Иерусалим как раз приехали Петр и Иоанн Зеведеев.

Итак, Павел второй раз встретился с Кифой, но теперь уже не как вчерашний враг и новичок, а как проповедник и пастырь, немало потрудившийся для дела Божия. В беседе также приняли участие апостол Иоанн и Иаков Праведный.

Тарсянин рассказал им о чудесных явлениях благодати в Сирии и Галатийской провинции, о том, как они с Варнавой открыли дверь веры иноплеменникам, под конец же, употребив свое любимое спортивное выражение, спросил, не бежал ли он впустую?

Отчет его произвел сильное впечатление. Однако этой частной беседой, которую Павел считал решающей, ограничиться не удалось.

Поборники традиции не желали соглашаться с тем, что считали вредным новшеством. Кто хочет войти в Церковь Нового Завета, твердили они, обязан сначала принять знак Завета первого — Моисеева. Они, в частности, потребовали обрезания и от Тита.

Павел сопротивлялся всеми силами. В Послании к галатам апостол позднее писал, что они с Варнавой «не уступили и не подчинились ни на час» этим «вкравшимся лжебратьям», как он с горечью называл своих бывших сотоварищей по фарисейству. «Они проникли выследить нашу свободу, — писал он, — которую мы имеем во Христе Иисусе» 9 Гал. 2:5. Из этого места послания нельзя ясно понять — был ли Тит в конце концов обрезан. Есть основания думать, что ап. Павлу в данном случае пришлось сделать уступку. См.: Э. Ренан. Святой Павел. СПб., 1907, с. 87.
. Всегда готовый идти навстречу в том, что считал второстепенным, Павел в данном случае проявил непреклонность.

Чтобы дело не зашло в тупик, пришлось созвать общий совет старейшин Иерусалимской церкви во главе с тремя «столпами». Вероятно, число собравшихся было невелико, так что они могли разместиться в одном доме. Это совещание и вошло в историю под названием «Апостольского собора».

Начался он острой полемикой. Лука упоминает о ней вскользь, говоря лишь о «многих прениях», но мы уже знаем, какие доводы могли приводить оппоненты антиохийцев, и опровергнуть их было непросто: за ними стояла буква Библии и ссылка на Самого Христа. Правоверные, возможно, указывали и на пример месопотамского царя из Адиабены, мать которого недавно посетила Иерусалим: уверовав в единого Бога, он принял и обрезание, несмотря на то, что либеральные иудеи его отговаривали. Разве не будет этот человек служить живым укором для язычников, принявших христианство?..

Нас не должно удивлять, что первый серьезный кризис в Церкви возник в связи с обрядами. Людям легче отказаться от своих убеждений, чем от обычаев: это коренится в законах психологии. Хотя обычай есть то русло, по которому чаще всего текут реки духовной жизни, но проще сохранять ритуалы, чем верность духу. Так, например, русские старообрядцы предпочли идти на костры и в застенки, лишь бы удержать двуперстие и семь просфор. А в памяти Израиля, в том числе и его христиан, еще свежи были воспоминания о мучениках маккавейской эпохи, которые погибли за Закон.

На расстояние многих столетий порой кажется, что спор, разделивший Церковь, мог бы быть предотвращен, если бы Христос точно определил место Закона в Своем учении. Но вспомнив, что Он проповедовал исключительно среди иудеев, для которых вся Тора была аксиомой, мы поймем, почему Он не мог высказаться до конца. Сначала Господь говорил о том, что пришел «восполнить» Закон, затем определил новое отношение к мести и клятве, запретной пище и разводу и, наконец, указал на две главные заповеди в Торе. Все это уже содержало предпосылку для пересмотра Моисеева Закона.

Закон был дан Богом, и только Бог может изменять и тем более отменять его. Но в таком случае именно Мессия, Сын Небесного Отца, имеет эту власть («А Я говорю вам...»). Само же дело дальнейшего конкретного переосмысления Ветхого Завета в свете Нового Христос предоставил ученикам, которым обещал содействие Святого Духа.

На иерусалимском собрании 49 года со всей очевидностью и была явлена эта небесная помощь.

Произошло почти чудо, когда слово взял Симон бар-Иона, чья приверженность традиции ни у кого не вызывала сомнений 10 На это указывает бл. Феофилакт в своем Толковании на Деян. 15 (русск. пер. с. 111).
. Наверняка ожидали, что первый среди апостолов примет сторону ортодоксов, но вместо этого Петр высказался в пользу свободной практики антиохийцев. Он напомнил, как крестил в Кесарии необрезанных и Дух Божий почил на них в его, Петра, присутствии. Это доказывало, что воля Господня — принимать в Церковь даже тех, кто не соблюдает иудейских обрядов. Согласие с Кифой выразил и апостол Иоанн.

Вслед за ними Павел повторил — уже для всех собравшихся — свой рассказ.

Среди историков бытует мнение, что на этом собор и завершился. Полагают, что Лука присоединил к его описанию отчет о другой встрече старейшин в Иерусалиме 11 См.: F.F. Bruce. Op. cit. p. 311. Эта, весьма распространенная гипотеза основана на том, что при встрече с ап. Павлом 20 лет спустя Иаков Праведный говорит о послании так, словно Павлу оно неизвестно (Деян. 21:25). Но такое толкование слов Иакова не единственное. Он мог просто напомнить Павлу о том, что было в 49 году. См. обзор основных гипотез в кн.: F. Filson. A New Testament History. London, 1978, p. 218-219.
. Но эта гипотеза сомнительна, поскольку игнорирует одну важную практическую проблему, которая несомненно должна была быть поднята: если иноплеменников можно крестить, не требуя от них обрезания и подзаконной жизни, то как в этом случае они смогут общаться со своими собратьями-евреями? Ведь каноны, которые регламентировали каждый шаг иудея, были даны именно для того, чтобы обособить верных от окружающего мира. Например, употреблять мясо, не выпустив из него кровь, было для иудеев столь же нечестиво, как для христиан последующих поколений есть скоромное в Великую Пятницу.

В конце концов св. Иаков предложил компромиссный вариант: еврейские христиане останутся при отеческих устоях, а прочих ограничат минимальными правилами.

— Полагаю, — сказал, поднявшись, Иаков, — не затруднять обращающихся к Богу из язычников, но написать им, чтобы воздерживались от оскверненного идолами, от блуда, от удавленины и от крови.

Это был в сущности вполне традиционный выход из положения. Подобные упрощенные заповеди назывались Ноевыми, и издавна считалось, что, соблюдая их, уверовавший иноплеменник может быть спасен 12 Первая «Ноева» заповедь (Быт. 9:4) запрещает употребление крови в пищу (а поэтому и удавленины, т.е. мяса животного, в котором после гибели осталась кровь). В полном объеме так наз. Ноевы заповеди включали семь запретов: 1) идолослужения, 2) богохульства, 3) поношения законной власти в Общине, 4) убийства, 5) кровосмешения и блуда, 6) грабежа, 7) употребления в пищу крови. См.: Санхедрин 56в; G. Moor. Judaism in the First Centuries of Christian Era. 1927, v. I, p. 274. Св. Иаков ограничился только тремя, т.к. прочие вытекают из библейской этики в целом.
.

Таким образом, Брат Господень, а с ним весь собор положили начало первой национальной церкви, в данном случае — израильской. Этот шаг заключал в себе как большие перспективы, так и немалый риск. Плодотворным было то, что Церковь в принципе оказалась готовой учитывать религиозные и культурные особенности просвещаемых ею народов; но одновременно здесь крылась и угроза самозамыкания общин. Правда, пока существовала империя, эта опасность была невелика: в пределах державы все народы сплачивала единая греко-римская культура. Однако позднее угроза возросла. Большинство церковных расколов, порой принимавших обличие ересей, выражало центробежные тенденции поместных церквей.

Вероятно, апостолы предчувствовали такую возможность разделений и предложили узаконить обычай, который бы стал залогом церковного единства. «Узнав о благодати, данной мне, — вспоминал потом ап. Павел, — Иаков и Кифа и Иоанн, которые были почитаемы столпами, подали мне и Варнаве руку общения, чтобы нам идти к язычникам, а им — к обрезанным; только, чтобы мы помнили бедных: это именно я и постарался исполнить» 13 Гал. 2:9-10.
. Попечение о нуждах церкви-матери, особенно о ее членах, избравших добровольную нищету, стало тем актом, который закреплял связь между ней и новыми общинами.

Было составлено послание, которое Павлу и Варнаве поручили отвезти в Антиохию. Деяния приводят его полностью.

«Апостолы и пресвитеры братья — находящимся в Антиохии и Сирии и Киликии братьям из язычников — радоваться. Так как мы услышали, что некоторые из наших смутили вас своими словами и растревожили ваши души, говоря, что должно обрезываться и соблюдать закон, чего мы им не поручали, — угодно было нам с общего согласия, избрав мужей, послать вам (письмо) с возлюбленными нашими Варнавой и Павлом, людьми, предавшими души за имя Господа нашего Иисуса Христа. Итак мы послали Иуду и Силу, которые объявят вам то же самое на словах. Ибо угодно было Духу Святому и нам не возлагать на вас никакого лишнего бремени, кроме этого необходимого: воздерживаться от идоложертвенного, и крови, и удавленины, и блуда. Храня себя от этого, вы поступите хорошо. Будьте здоровы» 14 Деян. 15:23-29. Слова: «И не делайте другому, чего не хотите себе», вероятно, являются вставкой в текст, поскольку отсутствуют в древнейших рукописях Деян.
.

Иуда и Сила, носивший второе имя Сильван, были пророками Иерусалимской церкви. Их приезд в Антиохию должен был подтвердить соборное решение, а если нужно — разъяснить его.

Обязанности христиан-евреев в послании не уточнялись; они и без того был ясны, ибо, как сказал Иаков, «Моисей, читаемый в синагогах каждую субботу от древних поколений, имеет своих проповедников во всех городах» 15 «Это разделение сфер служения надо понимать в том смысле, что соблюдение Закона Моисеева, от которого были освобождены язычники, было признано обязательным для христиан из иудеев» (еп. Кассиан. Христос и первое христианское поколение, с. 165). Аналогичный вывод делают и другие исследователи Нового Завета; см.: прот. А. Горский. История Евангельская и Церкви Апостольской. М., 1902, с. 410; В. Михайловский. Св. апостол Павел. СПб., 1863, с. 27 сл.; F. Filson. Op. cit. p. 217 FF.
.

Остается при этом загадкой: почему св. Павел нигде прямо не ссылается на послание, которое он сам же должен был отвезти в Антиохию? Не расценил ли он его, как слишком большую уступку ортодоксам?

Чтобы найти ответ на этот вопрос, коснемся смысла самих запретов, перечисленных в послании.

Идоложертвенной называли ту пищу, которая была частью культовой трапезы в честь богов. Жертва издревле понималась как знак единения с высшими силами. Так понимали ее в Ветхом Завете, так понимал ее и апостол. «Смотрите на Израиля по плоти, — писал он христианам-эллинам, — те, которые едят от жертвенника, не общники ли они жертвенника? Что я имею в виду? То ли, что идоложертвенное есть ничто или что идол — ничто? Нет, но, что они приносимое ими в жертву приносят демонам, а не Богу. Но я не хочу, чтобы вы становились общниками демонов» 16 1 Кор. 10:18-20.
. Следовательно, св. Павел признавал законность первого требования собора; он потом лишь предостерегал от ненужной щепетильности христиан, которые даже на рынке старались узнать: не от языческого ли алтаря покупаемое мясо.

О запрете на кровь и удавленину апостол не писал, но этот обычай был очень древним; кровь означала жизнь, а жизнь принадлежит только Богу. В общинах Павла правило не употреблять кровь, вероятно, соблюдалось. Во всяком случае оно удерживалось в церквах вплоть до III века 17 См.: Тертуллиан. Апология, IX. Евсевий. Церк. Ист., V, 1.
. Его отмирание было связано с тем, что древневосточный взгляд на кровь как носитель жизни постепенно исчез.

И наконец, блудом в соборном послании очевидно называется не просто нарушение седьмой заповеди, но и всевозможные грехи плоти, включая кровосмешение, столь распространенное в античном мире. Против такой нравственной строгости апостол не мог возражать. Он сам был непримирим к распущенности и нарушению чистоты.

Итак, Ноевы заповеди были для Павла вполне приемлемыми. Что же в установке собора могло его смущать? Очевидно сам принцип национальных церквей. Кроме того, апостол уже тогда едва ли разделял взгляд Иакова Праведного на обрезание и Закон. Он смотрел на ритуальные традиции как на отжившие — даже для евреев. В крайнем случае он мог допускать их, но и то лишь как дань национальному прошлому, не более 18 См., наприм., Деян. 16, 3; 18:18; 21:23-26.
.

В иерусалимской встрече лично для самого Павла важнее всего оказалось то, что «столпы» открыто и перед всеми признали его право благовествовать народам. «Подать руку общения» — означало в древности заключить договор; тем самым статус Тарсянина и Варнавы был утвержден и одобрен, роли распределены. Иаков оставался главой иерусалимских христиан, Кифа и сын Зеведеев продолжали свою проповедь среди иудеев, а Павел с Варнавой направлялись обращать язычников.

«Апостол народов»

В Сирию посланцы вернулись с чувством глубокого облегчения. То, что ортодоксы вынуждены были отступить, было настоящей большой победой. Она стала поворотным пунктом в истории молодого христианства: Господь указывал ему новые пути, о которых иные не подозревали, а иные их даже страшились.

Пророки еврейской общины Иуда Варсава и Сильван подкрепили своим авторитетом изложенное в послании и напомнили о помощи бедным. Они молились и проповедовали среди антиохийцев, а затем отбыли на родину. Можно было надеяться, что все споры утихнут.

Вскоре Сильван вторично посетил Антиохию: по-видимому, он почувствовал большое расположение к Павлу 19 В западной версии Деян. сказано, что Сила остался в Антиохии (см. синодальный перевод 15:34). Однако восточная версия — более древняя — подразумевает, что Сила уехал в Иерусалим. Его вторичное появление в Антиохии следует, вероятно, связывать с визитом ап. Петра и Марка, который их сопровождал.
. Пророк пришел вместе с апостолом Петром, начинавшим новый обход иудейских общин. Братская атмосфера Антиохийской церкви покорила Кифу. Рыбак вошел в ее жизнь со свойственной ему открытостью, а когда верные собирались для трапезы и Вечери Господней, он садился с ними за стол, не спрашивая, кто еврей, а кто грек. Однако неожиданно мир снова был нарушен.

Ортодоксы в Иерусалиме настояли на том, чтобы Иаков послал нескольких людей проверить, насколько строго проводится принцип двух церквей. Каково же было их смущение, когда они увидели, что сам Петр ест «нечистую» пищу вместе со всеми, забыв о долге правоверного иудея. Их косые взгляды и ропот в свою очередь смутили апостола. Опасаясь дальнейшего соблазна, он вообще перестал приходить на общие трапезы. Такую же тактику избрал и Варнава.

Павел был возмущен: нельзя допустить, чтобы обветшалые перегородки разделяли тех, кто един во Христе. За Его Трапезой все различия должны быть забыты! Тарсянин и не пытался совместить это убеждение с установками собор, ведь он надеялся, что Господь скоро вновь явится в мир и все недоумения отпадут сами собой. Но он боялся, что до тех пор поступок ап. Петра и Варнавы сведет на нет то ценное, что было достигнуто в Иерусалиме: крещеные эллины могут подумать, что Кифа и Иосиф молчаливо признали необходимость для них канонов Торы...

«Когда я увидел, — вспоминает св. Павел, — что они не прямо поступают по истине Евангелия, я сказал Кифе в присутствии всех:

— Если ты, будучи иудеем, живешь не как иудей, а как иноплеменник, зачем же ты заставляешь иудействовать иноплеменников?»

Он намекал, что до прибытия людей от Иакова Петр вел себя иначе. Неизвестно, как отозвался на эти слова Кифа: оказавшийся между двух огней. Скорее всего, в душе он был согласен с Тарсянином, но промолчал, не желая задевать братьев из Иерусалима.

Горячность Павла не помогла разрядить обстановку и сгладить возникшую неловкость. Стало очевидно, что собор оставил многие вопросы открытыми. Павла все это тяготило; его неудержимо потянуло туда, где он смог бы начать все заново, не оглядываясь на старозаветных церковников.

Он предложил Варнаве вторично посетить общины, основанные ими в южной Галатии. Иосиф, также огорченный происшедшим, рад был покинуть Антиохию.

Начали собираться в дорогу. Иосиф выразил желание снова взять с собой Иоанна Марка, который вместе с Петром и Сильваном недавно пришел в Антиохию. Павел наотрез отказался: он помнил, как молодой левит бросил их в самом начале путешествия. Он считал, что на Марка больше нельзя полагаться. Но теперь Варнава предпочел Павлу брата и заявил, что в таком случае они с Марком отплывают на Кипр. Едва ли им руководила простая обида — видимо, Иосиф, миролюбивый по натуре, боялся, что, оставшись с Павлом, он обречен участвовать в распрях и попадать в трудные положения.

Так разошлись дороги двух замечательных людей. С тех пор Варнава исчезает из нашего поля зрения. Он продолжал трудиться для Евангелия; с годами ссора была забыта, и апостол с большой теплотой отзывался об Иосифе и Марке. Но ход событий уже нельзя было изменить. Тарсянин становился главной фигурой в языческой миссии.

От случившегося пострадали оба. Впрочем, Павла в какой-то мере утешило то, что отправиться с ним выразил готовность Сильван. Это была неожиданная удача. Как пророк Иерусалимской церкви он мог рассеять подозрения ортодоксов, а кроме того, Сильван, подобно Павлу, имел римское гражданство, а это было немалым преимуществом в чужих странах.

Апостол Петр остался в Антиохии. Он пробыл там некоторое время, а потом решил последовать примеру Павла. В сопровождении жены и Иоанна Зеведеева он посетил ряд иудео-христианских общин за пределами Сирии и позднее, вероятно, побывал даже в Греции. На Кипре он отыскал Марка, который стал служить апостолу в качестве переводчика: греческий язык Петр знал плохо 20 1 Кор. 1, 12; 9:5; Евсевий. Церк. Ист., III, 1, 39.
.

Несмотря на колебания в Антиохии, Бар-Иона не изменил взглядам, высказанным им на соборе. Христианам-законникам так и не удалось склонить его на свою сторону. А сблизившись незадолго до смерти с Силой, апостол проникся идеями Тарсянина. Это видно хотя бы из Посланий, написанных от имени св. Петра 21 См. 1 Петр. 5:12, где св. Петр говорит: «Через Силуана, верного, как думаю, брата, я пишу вам...» Обращает на себя внимание родство идей 1 Петр. и посланий ап. Павла.
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Судьба же прочих из числа Двенадцати покрыта тайной. Лука ничего не знает о том, где они жили после 42 года. Поздние легенды утверждают, что Андрей, брат Петра, проповедовал в Малой Азии и в Причерноморье, Фома — в Парфянских странах и Индии, а Фаддей и Матфей — в Сирии. Сам факт этих апостольских путешествий не вызывает сомнений, но рассказы о них заимствованы из гностических книг, достоверность которых весьма спорна 22 Наиболее ранние из этих апокрифических Деяний написаны в конце II века. См. их переводы в ANT, p. 300 ff. Историк Церкви Голубинский считал, что легенда о пребывании ап. Андрея на берегах Борисфена (Днепра) есть только символ апостольского происхождения христианства на Руси (Е. Голубинский. История Русской Церкви. М., 1891. Т. 1, с. 1). Однако в том, что апостол побывал в этих местах, где уже находились греческие поселения, нет ничего невероятного.
.

Трудно объяснить, как получилось, что эти люди, бывшие живыми свидетелями земной жизни Спасителя, словно растворились в массе верующих и о них почти ничего не известно. Однако в такой участи есть особое величие: она — пример исполнения слов Христовых: «Если зерно пшеничное, упав на землю, не умрет, оно останется одно, и если умрет, принесет много плода».

Для Павла же начинался период самостоятельных миссий. Последующие годы принесут ему много радости и горя. Порой ему будет казаться, что против него вооружился весь мир. Иудеи проклянут его как отступника от Закона, еврейские христиане будут смотреть на Тарсянина как на вольнодумца, язычники — станут преследовать как возмутителя спокойствия. И даже после смерти апостола народов споры вокруг него не утихнут. «Так неповторимо ярок весь образ этого человека, что «Павлов вопрос» останется навсегда одним их центральных вопросов христианской истории, источником вдохновения для всех, «камнем преткновения и соблазна» для многих» 23 А. Шмеман. Исторический путь Православия. Нью-Йорк, 1954.
. Эти слова православного богослова можно поставить эпиграфом ко всей жизни св. Павла.

«Камень преткновения»

Какую бы доблесть ни проявляли пророки, патриархи, праведники, апостолы, мученики, — все это в совокупности имел Павел... Подлинно, как птица, летал он по вселенной и, как бестелесный, презирал труды и опасности.

Свт. Иоанн Златоуст

Истинное христианство, которое будет жить вечно, вышло из Евангелия, а не из Посланий Павла. Писания Павла были опасностью, подводным камнем, причиной многих изъянов христианского богословия.

Эрнест Ренан, историк

В сущности, был только один Христианин, и Он умер на кресте... При помощи Павла жрец еще раз захотел добиться власти, — ему нужны были только понятия, ученики, символы, которые гипнотизируют массы, образуют стада.

Фридрих Ницше, философ

Павел действовал так, чтобы порвать всякую связь между иудаизмом и христианством... Павел смотрел на христианство как на прямую противоположность иудаизму.

Генрих Грец, еврейский историк

Павел был тот, кто понял Учителя и продолжил начатое Им дело.

Адольф Гарнак, протестантский историк

Только через св. Павла Евангелие Христово сохранилось в апостольском веке и сделалось потом стихией, претворяющей историю.

Николай Глубоковский, православный богослов

Если вообще существовала «великая личность», призвавшая к жизни новую религию, то это был не псевдоисторический Иисус, а Павел.

Артур Древс, философ

Не Иисус, который был арийцем, а еврей Павел — создатель христианства. Восхваляя миролюбие и дух равенства, Павел лишил Римскую империю ее иерархического, военного мировоззрения, которое являлось ее стержнем, что и привело ее к падению.

Адольф Гитлер

Павел завладел наследием Иисуса, втиснул его в рамки догматического христианства.

Герберт Уэллс, писатель

У Павла — полное согласие с учение Иисуса. Эллинизация христианства началась не  Павла, а после него.

Альберт Швейцер, философ

Павел остается не греком, его мысли и чувства коренятся в иудействе, Ветхом Завете.

Эрнст Добшютц, протестантский историк

Новый Завет в своей большей части состоит из двух биографий: Христа в Евангелиях, а затем одного из Его апостолов, пришедшего последним, — св. Павла. Это удивительный, имеющий огромное значение, факт.

«Идти к язычникам...»

Обдумывая новые, более широкие планы, св. Павел избрал теперь пеший маршрут, который вел из Антиохии в Галатию через горные перевалы. Покинув столицу Сирии, они с Сильваном прошли вдоль побережья, посетили родину апостола, а оттуда двинулись в горы. Хороший римский тракт позволил им благополучно миновать угрюмые ущелья Киликии. После спуска в долину они свернули на запад и добрались до Ликаонии. Там Павла ждала радость: церкви его не зачахли. В Листре он нашел молодого, полного сил помощника. Тимофей, сын Евники, которого он обратил еще в первый свой приход, вырос и стал за это время любимцем всей общины. Услышав о нем так много хороших отзывов, апостол захотел взять его с собой. Он крестил Тимофея и, вероятно, по совету Сильвана, согласился, чтобы тот прошел через обряд обрезания. Это было сделано в соответствии с Законом, который определял национальность человека по матери. Пойдя на такой шаг, Павел хотел продемонстрировать свою верность собору и защититься от нареканий.

При крещении Тимофея Сильван предрек ему славное будущее. И действительно, мало было людей, столь дорогих сердцу Павла. Не имея собственных детей, апостол считал юношу «любимым сыном в вере» и признавался, что «его помощь и забота были неоценимы» 24 См.: Деян. 16:1-3; 1 Кор. 4:17; 1 Тим. 1:2, 13.
.

Из южной Галатии путешественники намеревались идти дальше на запад. Там в столице проконсульской Асии великом городе Эфесе как бы сходились торговые и культурные магистрали восточного Средиземноморья. Лучшего опорного пункта для проповеди Евангелия было не найти. Но, как пишет св. Лука, Дух Божий «не допустил» их туда. Быть может, Сильвану как пророку был голос, остановивший их. После этого план изменили и пошли на север к берегам Черного моря. Нигде не задерживаясь, миновали Фригию и внутреннюю Галатию, чтобы скорее достичь области Вифинии. Однако идти туда снова «не позволил им Дух Иисусов». Казалось, таинственная рука направляет миссионеров на иную дорогу. Послушные этому велению, они двинулись на северо-запад.

Когда биографы говорят, что апостол Павел был немощным, хилым человеком, они забывают, каких невероятных усилий требовал от него труд благовестника. Пересекая страны, они с Силой и Тимофеем покрыли за сравнительно короткий срок такое же расстояние, какое отделяет Москву от Кавказа. За скупыми строками Деяний надо суметь увидеть бесконечные пыльные магистрали среди холмов и плоскогорий, на которых они порой изнывали от зноя, а ночами дрожали от холода где-нибудь под деревом, если не успевали отыскать придорожную гостиницу.

Но с каждым шагом томительного пути Павел убеждался, что его ведет нездешняя сила, что Дух Христов как бы соединился с его духом. «Все могу в Укрепляющем меня», — говорил он. Это переживание нельзя было сравнить с тем, что дает чтение уставов Торы. Воистину там Бог был грозным Отцом, повелевающим и взыскательным, а теперь через Своего Сына Он изливает силу, спасение и любовь. Точно Сам Воскресший живет и действует в Своих посланниках.

Мысль о слиянии с Высшим язычнику казалась бы вполне естественной: ведь сокровенные силы одушевляют все вокруг. Во все времена мистики были уверены, что могут раствориться в Едином. Но Павлу, выросшему на Библии, сама эта идея должна была представляться кощунственной. Конечно, он знал, что Слава Вседержителя пронизывает природу; но она только «ореол» Божий; Сам же Господь «обитает во свете неприступном», Он — «огонь поядающий». Слиться с Ним не в силах ни одно тварное существо. Претендовать на такое слияние может лишь слепая гордыня.

Только через Мессию, Который одновременно принадлежит миру горнему и дольнему, Сущий открывает путь к Себе.

Когда св. Павел думал об этой тайне приобщения к Небу через Христа, в душе его звучали слова гимна, то ли слышанные им на собрании верных, то ли сложившиеся сами собой — слова о Спасителе, Который,

Будучи в образе Божием,
Не счел для Себя хищением
Быть равным Богу,
Но уничижил Себя,
Приняв образ служителя,
Быв в подобии человеческом
И по виду став как человек.
Он смирил Себя, быв послушным до смерти,
и смерти крестной.
Потому и Бог превознес Его и даровал Ему имя,
Которое выше всякого имени,
Чтобы во имя Иисуса
Преклонилось всякое колено Небесных, земных и преисподних,
и всякий язык исповедал,
Что Иисус Христос — Господь, во славу Бога Отца
 25 Флп. 2:6-9. По мнению большинства экзегетов гимн этот является частью первохристианской литургии (см.: JEC, II, p. 250). Однако не исключено, что он был сложен самим ап. Павлом, поэтическое дарование которого бесспорно.
.

Мессия пребывает в Боге, а люди могут пребывать в Мессии, ибо Он соединяет в Своем Духе всех любящих Его. Еще Писание учило, что Сын Человеческий есть средоточие «народа святых» 26 В Книге Даниила (7:13-14, 27) Мессия, Сын Человеческий, отождествляется с «народом святых Всевышнего», т.е. Церковью. См.: Л. Буйе. О Библии и Евангелии. Брюссель, 1965, с. 154 сл. . Не потому ли Иисус Назарянин именовал Себя Дверью, Он — истинные врата жизни в Боге...

Но как войти в нее? Все молитвы и мысли св. Павла, все его беседы со спутниками были направлены на это. Он первый постиг тайну единения с Распятым и Воскресшим. Он не видел Его на земле Галилейской и в святом городе, но разве сейчас он не ощущает Его присутствия, разве не укрепляется Его Духом, разве не продолжает Мессия в нем, Павле, и других учениках Свое дело? Разве не являет Он Себя в сердце каждого, кто любит Его, как открылся тогда Савлу-гонителю? Все существо апостола наполнялось восторгом и благодарностью, которые позволяли ему забывать о трудном пути...

Но вот наконец после изнуряющей жары, среди сосен у горы Иды потянуло благодатной свежестью; в небе показались чайки. Впереди на высоком холму высится укрепленный римский городок Троада. Под его стенами и улицами спит вечным сном знаменитая Троя Гомера.

Какой человек, впервые увидя это место, не вспомнил бы о жестоких битвах, воспетых в Илиаде? Здесь у «ворот Азии» Александр начал свое покорение Востока. Он восстановил Трою в память Ахилла и принес жертву на его могиле. Македонец вдохновлялся его подвигами и всюду возил с собой Гомеровы поэмы. Но сегодня с Востока идут новые, мирные на этот раз, завоеватели: они владеют другим сокровищем, которым страстно желают поделиться с Западом.

Выйдя на прибрежный песок к искрящимся лазурным водам Эгейского моря, трое путников видят вдали очертания островов. Это мост между Азией и Европой. Не настало ли время воспользоваться им? Не для того ли привел их Господь сюда, на Илионское побережье?..

Миссионеры остаются в Троаде ненадолго. Павлу снится сон, яркий, как реальность — с ним заговаривает человек в македонской одежде и настойчиво просит: «Переправься к нам в Македонию и помоги нам». Значит, конец колебаниям. Именно эта страна ждет их за широкими морскими просторами.

На протяжении веков власть имущие часто унижали веру, распространяя ее насильственно: их в первую очередь заботило единомыслие среди подданных. Христианизация многих стран сопровождалась актами принуждения. Ничего подобного мы не находим у истоков Церкви. Ее апостолы были свободными миссионерами, искавшими свободного отклика на свою проповедь. Но мало того, сегодня слово «миссионер» связано с представлением о человеке, который несет веру отсталым народам, опираясь на специальный опыт и помощь разветвленных миссий; положение же св. Павла и его друзей было иным.

Сам апостол и Сильван принадлежали к подвластному народу, на который греко-римский мир смотрел свысока. Их ждала встреча не в дикарями, которых можно поразить дарами культуры, а с нациями, создавшими самые совершенные образцы науки и искусства, философии и общественных порядков, какие дотоле знало человечество.

Невозможно окинуть единым взглядом этот многообразный и мощный orbis Romanus («римский мир»), внушавший страх и уважение своими легионами, постройками, техникой, располагавший армией чиновников, финансистов, полицейских, — словом, всеми средствами управления и подавления. Его цивилизация, несмотря на кризисы, находилась в зените. Незадолго до рождения ап. Павла умерли Вергилий, Гораций и Овидий; когда он был юношей, все образованные люди зачитывались Титом Ливием. Только что в Рим возвратился из ссылки и был обласкан при дворе философ Сенека, глава латинской стоической школы. Его учение, проникнутое гуманностью, космополитизмом и своеобразной мистикой, вскоре приобретет шумный успех.

Язвительный «Сатирикон» Петрония, шедевр грубоватого римского юмора, поэма Лукиана «Фарсалия», направленная против гражданских войн, научные труды Плиния Старшего, Колумелы, Квинтиллиана, — таковы лишь некоторые вехи культурной хроники во дни апостола Павла.

Политика, интриги дипломатов и придворных, цирковые зрелища, состязания по искусству, погоня за наживой, — вот что заполняло интересы людей, которых собирались обращать миссионеры. Знал этот мир и множество религий, доктрин и сект. Тайные обряды мистерий и новые братства объединяли тысячи обитателей империи.

Но Павел, родившийся в одном из крупнейших языческих центров, чувствовал великую духовную жажду, которая скрывалась за парадным фасадом Рима. Правда, у него было мало общего с западным образом мышления; он оставался человеком Востока, человеком Библии. Что мог он противопоставить царству Кесаря? На что мог рассчитывать? С точки зрения здравого смысла его предприятие казалось безумным. Однако апостол и не желал опираться ни на какую силу, кроме веры и помощи Божией. Он был уверен, что призыв македонянина исходит как бы из тайной души народа, и был готов возвестить язычникам о подлинном спасении, о Христе распятом, Который простирает руки ко всем людям земли.

Лето 49 года было уже на исходе, когда путешественники нашли корабль, отплывавший на Балканы. Теперь их уже четверо: в Троаде они встретились с греческим врачом Лукой, который взялся проводить их до Македонии. Христианин, крещенный еще прежде, вероятно, в Антиохии, он не раз бывал здесь по делам своей профессии: в древности странствия были обязательны для всех ученых мужей.

Лука оказался для Павла счастливым приобретением. Он был нужен не только как медик (вспомним, что апостола мучили приступы болезни) и не просто как проводник; в его лице Тарсянин нашел надежного помощника и друга.

Врач обладал легким характером и добрым сердцем, что делало его незаменимым в качестве спутника. Быть может, он не во всем понимал Павла, — это была участь большинства знавших его, — но зато он искренне к нему привязался. Его любовь к апостолу чувствуется в каждой строке Деяний, посвященных Павлу. Благодаря труду Луки наши сведения о миссии становятся более точными: Лука описывает ее уже как очевидец и участник.

«Книга эта, — справедливо замечает Эрнест Ренан, — в которой вылился первый порыв христианского сознания, — книга радости, пылкой и ясной веры. После гомеровских поэм мы не знаем произведения, проникнутого такой свежестью ощущений. В ней дышит утренний ветерок, она вся пропитана весело бодрящим запахом моря». Но мы уже знаем, что странствия апостола не были легкой прогулкой, и корабль, на который они взошли, не походил на современные комфортабельные суда. Пассажиры теснились на крошечной палубе среди тюков, канатов, огромных глиняных кувшинов, в которых перевозили зерно, оливковое масло, вино. В открытом море такие парусники были не очень надежны, поэтому капитаны предпочитали каботажное плавание, боясь терять берег из виду.

Впрочем, путь предстоял недолгий.

Примечания
Отрывки к тексту:
Gen 17
Exo 12
Exo 27
Exo 28
Lev 7
Lev 16
Num 18
Gal 2
Act 15
Act 21
Gen 9
Act 15
Act 16
Act 18
Act 21
Co1 1
Co1 9
Co1 4
Pe1 5
Co1 10
Ti1 1
Php 2
Dan 7
1
Now when Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; Walk before Me, and be blameless.
2
“I will establish My covenant between Me and you, And I will multiply you exceedingly.”
3
Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying,
4
“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, And you will be the father of a multitude of nations.
5
“No longer shall your name be called Abram, But your name shall be Abraham; For I have made you the father of a multitude of nations.
6
I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings will come forth from you.
7
I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.
8
I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”
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God said further to Abraham, “Now as for you, you shall keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you throughout their generations.
10
This is My covenant, which you shall keep, between Me and you and your descendants after you: every male among you shall be circumcised.
11
And you shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin, and it shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.
12
And every male among you who is eight days old shall be circumcised throughout your generations, a servant who is born in the house or who is bought with money from any foreigner, who is not of your descendants.
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A servant who is born in your house or who is bought with your money shall surely be circumcised; thus shall My covenant be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.
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But an uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”
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Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name.
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I will bless her, and indeed I will give you a son by her. Then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”
17
Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Will a child be born to a man one hundred years old? And will Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
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And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!”
19
But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
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As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation.
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But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.”
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When He finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.
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Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all the servants who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the very same day, as God had said to him.
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Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
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And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.
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In the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son.
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All the men of his household, who were born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.
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Now the LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt,
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“This month shall be the beginning of months for you; it is to be the first month of the year to you.
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Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying, ‘On the tenth of this month they are each one to take a lamb for themselves, according to their fathers’ households, a lamb for each household.
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Now if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his neighbor nearest to his house are to take one according to the number of persons in them; according to what each man should eat, you are to divide the lamb.
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Your lamb shall be an unblemished male a year old; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats.
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You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month, then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel is to kill it at twilight.
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Moreover, they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses in which they eat it.
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They shall eat the flesh that same night, roasted with fire, and they shall eat it with unleavened bread and bitter herbs.
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Do not eat any of it raw or boiled at all with water, but rather roasted with fire, both its head and its legs along with its entrails.
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And you shall not leave any of it over until morning, but whatever is left of it until morning, you shall burn with fire.
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Now you shall eat it in this manner: with your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it in haste—it is the LORD’S Passover.
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For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments—I am the LORD.
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The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
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‘Now this day will be a memorial to you, and you shall celebrate it as a feast to the LORD; throughout your generations you are to celebrate it as a permanent ordinance.
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Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, but on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses; for whoever eats anything leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.
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On the first day you shall have a holy assembly, and another holy assembly on the seventh day; no work at all shall be done on them, except what must be eaten by every person, that alone may be prepared by you.
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You shall also observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a permanent ordinance.
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In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread, until the twenty-first day of the month at evening.
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Seven days there shall be no leaven found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened, that person shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is an alien or a native of the land.
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You shall not eat anything leavened; in all your dwellings you shall eat unleavened bread.’”
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Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and take for yourselves lambs according to your families, and slay the Passover lamb.
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You shall take a bunch of hyssop and dip it in the blood which is in the basin, and apply some of the blood that is in the basin to the lintel and the two doorposts; and none of you shall go outside the door of his house until morning.
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For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when He sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to come in to your houses to smite you.
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And you shall observe this event as an ordinance for you and your children forever.
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When you enter the land which the LORD will give you, as He has promised, you shall observe this rite.
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And when your children say to you, ‘What does this rite mean to you?’
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you shall say, ‘It is a Passover sacrifice to the LORD who passed over the houses of the sons of Israel in Egypt when He smote the Egyptians, but spared our homes.’” And the people bowed low and worshiped.
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Then the sons of Israel went and did so; just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron, so they did.
29
Now it came about at midnight that the LORD struck all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the captive who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of cattle.
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Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his servants and all the Egyptians, and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was no home where there was not someone dead.
31
Then he called for Moses and Aaron at night and said, “Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the sons of Israel; and go, worship the LORD, as you have said.
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Take both your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and go, and bless me also.”
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The Egyptians urged the people, to send them out of the land in haste, for they said, “We will all be dead.”
34
So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls bound up in the clothes on their shoulders.
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Now the sons of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, for they had requested from the Egyptians articles of silver and articles of gold, and clothing;
36
and the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have their request. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.
37
Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children.
38
A mixed multitude also went up with them, along with flocks and herds, a very large number of livestock.
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They baked the dough which they had brought out of Egypt into cakes of unleavened bread. For it had not become leavened, since they were driven out of Egypt and could not delay, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.
40
Now the time that the sons of Israel lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years.
41
And at the end of four hundred and thirty years, to the very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt.
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It is a night to be observed for the LORD for having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for the LORD, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations.
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The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat of it;
44
but every man’s slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat of it.
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A sojourner or a hired servant shall not eat of it.
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It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it.
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All the congregation of Israel are to celebrate this.
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But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it.
49
The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.”
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Then all the sons of Israel did so; they did just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron.
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And on that same day the LORD brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.
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“And you shall make the altar of acacia wood, five cubits long and five cubits wide; the altar shall be square, and its height shall be three cubits.
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You shall make its horns on its four corners; its horns shall be of one piece with it, and you shall overlay it with bronze.
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You shall make its pails for removing its ashes, and its shovels and its basins and its forks and its firepans; you shall make all its utensils of bronze.
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You shall make for it a grating of network of bronze, and on the net you shall make four bronze rings at its four corners.
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You shall put it beneath, under the ledge of the altar, so that the net will reach halfway up the altar.
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You shall make poles for the altar, poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with bronze.
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Its poles shall be inserted into the rings, so that the poles shall be on the two sides of the altar when it is carried.
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You shall make it hollow with planks; as it was shown to you in the mountain, so they shall make it.
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“You shall make the court of the tabernacle. On the south side there shall be hangings for the court of fine twisted linen one hundred cubits long for one side;
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and its pillars shall be twenty, with their twenty sockets of bronze; the hooks of the pillars and their bands shall be of silver.
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Likewise for the north side in length there shall be hangings one hundred cubits long, and its twenty pillars with their twenty sockets of bronze; the hooks of the pillars and their bands shall be of silver.
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For the width of the court on the west side shall be hangings of fifty cubits with their ten pillars and their ten sockets.
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The width of the court on the east side shall be fifty cubits.
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The hangings for the one side of the gate shall be fifteen cubits with their three pillars and their three sockets.
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And for the other side shall be hangings of fifteen cubits with their three pillars and their three sockets.
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For the gate of the court there shall be a screen of twenty cubits, of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen, the work of a weaver, with their four pillars and their four sockets.
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All the pillars around the court shall be furnished with silver bands with their hooks of silver and their sockets of bronze.
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The length of the court shall be one hundred cubits, and the width fifty throughout, and the height five cubits of fine twisted linen, and their sockets of bronze.
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All the utensils of the tabernacle used in all its service, and all its pegs, and all the pegs of the court, shall be of bronze.
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“You shall charge the sons of Israel, that they bring you clear oil of beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually.
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In the tent of meeting, outside the veil which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall keep it in order from evening to morning before the LORD; it shall be a perpetual statute throughout their generations for the sons of Israel.
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“Then bring near to yourself Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the sons of Israel, to minister as priest to Me—Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.
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You shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.
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You shall speak to all the skillful persons whom I have endowed with the spirit of wisdom, that they make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister as priest to Me.
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These are the garments which they shall make: a breastpiece and an ephod and a robe and a tunic of checkered work, a turban and a sash, and they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister as priest to Me.
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They shall take the gold and the blue and the purple and the scarlet material and the fine linen.
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“They shall also make the ephod of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen, the work of the skillful workman.
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It shall have two shoulder pieces joined to its two ends, that it may be joined.
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The skillfully woven band, which is on it, shall be like its workmanship, of the same material: of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen.
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You shall take two onyx stones and engrave on them the names of the sons of Israel,
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six of their names on the one stone and the names of the remaining six on the other stone, according to their birth.
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As a jeweler engraves a signet, you shall engrave the two stones according to the names of the sons of Israel; you shall set them in filigree settings of gold.
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You shall put the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, as stones of memorial for the sons of Israel, and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD on his two shoulders for a memorial.
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You shall make filigree settings of gold,
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and two chains of pure gold; you shall make them of twisted cordage work, and you shall put the corded chains on the filigree settings.
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“You shall make a breastpiece of judgment, the work of a skillful workman; like the work of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, of blue and purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen you shall make it.
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It shall be square and folded double, a span in length and a span in width.
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You shall mount on it four rows of stones; the first row shall be a row of ruby, topaz and emerald;
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and the second row a turquoise, a sapphire and a diamond;
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and the third row a jacinth, an agate and an amethyst;
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and the fourth row a beryl and an onyx and a jasper; they shall be set in gold filigree.
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The stones shall be according to the names of the sons of Israel: twelve, according to their names; they shall be like the engravings of a seal, each according to his name for the twelve tribes.
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You shall make on the breastpiece chains of twisted cordage work in pure gold.
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You shall make on the breastpiece two rings of gold, and shall put the two rings on the two ends of the breastpiece.
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You shall put the two cords of gold on the two rings at the ends of the breastpiece.
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You shall put the other two ends of the two cords on the two filigree settings, and put them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, at the front of it.
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You shall make two rings of gold and shall place them on the two ends of the breastpiece, on the edge of it, which is toward the inner side of the ephod.
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You shall make two rings of gold and put them on the bottom of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod, on the front of it close to the place where it is joined, above the skillfully woven band of the ephod.
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They shall bind the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a blue cord, so that it will be on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastpiece will not come loose from the ephod.
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Aaron shall carry the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment over his heart when he enters the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.
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You shall put in the breastpiece of judgment the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be over Aaron’s heart when he goes in before the LORD; and Aaron shall carry the judgment of the sons of Israel over his heart before the LORD continually.
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“You shall make the robe of the ephod all of blue.
32
There shall be an opening at its top in the middle of it; around its opening there shall be a binding of woven work, like the opening of a coat of mail, so that it will not be torn.
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You shall make on its hem pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet material, all around on its hem, and bells of gold between them all around:
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a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around on the hem of the robe.
35
It shall be on Aaron when he ministers; and its tinkling shall be heard when he enters and leaves the holy place before the LORD, so that he will not die.
36
“You shall also make a plate of pure gold and shall engrave on it, like the engravings of a seal, ‘Holy to the LORD.’
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You shall fasten it on a blue cord, and it shall be on the turban; it shall be at the front of the turban.
38
It shall be on Aaron’s forehead, and Aaron shall take away the iniquity of the holy things which the sons of Israel consecrate, with regard to all their holy gifts; and it shall always be on his forehead, that they may be accepted before the LORD.
39
“You shall weave the tunic of checkered work of fine linen, and shall make a turban of fine linen, and you shall make a sash, the work of a weaver.
40
“For Aaron’s sons you shall make tunics; you shall also make sashes for them, and you shall make caps for them, for glory and for beauty.
41
You shall put them on Aaron your brother and on his sons with him; and you shall anoint them and ordain them and consecrate them, that they may serve Me as priests.
42
You shall make for them linen breeches to cover their bare flesh; they shall reach from the loins even to the thighs.
43
They shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they enter the tent of meeting, or when they approach the altar to minister in the holy place, so that they do not incur guilt and die. It shall be a statute forever to him and to his descendants after him.
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‘Now this is the law of the guilt offering; it is most holy.
2
In the place where they slay the burnt offering they are to slay the guilt offering, and he shall sprinkle its blood around on the altar.
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Then he shall offer from it all its fat: the fat tail and the fat that covers the entrails,
4
and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe on the liver he shall remove with the kidneys.
5
The priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as an offering by fire to the LORD; it is a guilt offering.
6
Every male among the priests may eat of it. It shall be eaten in a holy place; it is most holy.
7
The guilt offering is like the sin offering, there is one law for them; the priest who makes atonement with it shall have it.
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Also the priest who presents any man’s burnt offering, that priest shall have for himself the skin of the burnt offering which he has presented.
9
Likewise, every grain offering that is baked in the oven and everything prepared in a pan or on a griddle shall belong to the priest who presents it.
10
Every grain offering, mixed with oil or dry, shall belong to all the sons of Aaron, to all alike.
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‘Now this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings which shall be presented to the LORD.
12
If he offers it by way of thanksgiving, then along with the sacrifice of thanksgiving he shall offer unleavened cakes mixed with oil, and unleavened wafers spread with oil, and cakes of well stirred fine flour mixed with oil.
13
With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving, he shall present his offering with cakes of leavened bread.
14
Of this he shall present one of every offering as a contribution to the LORD; it shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offerings.
15
‘Now as for the flesh of the sacrifice of his thanksgiving peace offerings, it shall be eaten on the day of his offering; he shall not leave any of it over until morning.
16
But if the sacrifice of his offering is a votive or a freewill offering, it shall be eaten on the day that he offers his sacrifice, and on the next day what is left of it may be eaten;
17
but what is left over from the flesh of the sacrifice on the third day shall be burned with fire.
18
So if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings should ever be eaten on the third day, he who offers it will not be accepted, and it will not be reckoned to his benefit. It shall be an offensive thing, and the person who eats of it will bear his own iniquity.
19
‘Also the flesh that touches anything unclean shall not be eaten; it shall be burned with fire. As for other flesh, anyone who is clean may eat such flesh.
20
But the person who eats the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the LORD, in his uncleanness, that person shall be cut off from his people.
21
When anyone touches anything unclean, whether human uncleanness, or an unclean animal, or any unclean detestable thing, and eats of the flesh of the sacrifice of peace offerings which belong to the LORD, that person shall be cut off from his people.’”
22
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
23
“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall not eat any fat from an ox, a sheep or a goat.
24
Also the fat of an animal which dies and the fat of an animal torn by beasts may be put to any other use, but you must certainly not eat it.
25
For whoever eats the fat of the animal from which an offering by fire is offered to the LORD, even the person who eats shall be cut off from his people.
26
You are not to eat any blood, either of bird or animal, in any of your dwellings.
27
Any person who eats any blood, even that person shall be cut off from his people.’”
28
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
29
“Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘He who offers the sacrifice of his peace offerings to the LORD shall bring his offering to the LORD from the sacrifice of his peace offerings.
30
His own hands are to bring offerings by fire to the LORD. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be presented as a wave offering before the LORD.
31
The priest shall offer up the fat in smoke on the altar, but the breast shall belong to Aaron and his sons.
32
You shall give the right thigh to the priest as a contribution from the sacrifices of your peace offerings.
33
The one among the sons of Aaron who offers the blood of the peace offerings and the fat, the right thigh shall be his as his portion.
34
For I have taken the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution from the sons of Israel from the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons as their due forever from the sons of Israel.
35
‘This is that which is consecrated to Aaron and that which is consecrated to his sons from the offerings by fire to the LORD, in that day when he presented them to serve as priests to the LORD.
36
These the LORD had commanded to be given them from the sons of Israel in the day that He anointed them. It is their due forever throughout their generations.’”
37
This is the law of the burnt offering, the grain offering and the sin offering and the guilt offering and the ordination offering and the sacrifice of peace offerings,
38
which the LORD commanded Moses at Mount Sinai in the day that He commanded the sons of Israel to present their offerings to the LORD in the wilderness of Sinai.
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1
Now the LORD spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron, when they had approached the presence of the LORD and died.
2
The LORD said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he shall not enter at any time into the holy place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, or he will die; for I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.
3
Aaron shall enter the holy place with this: with a bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering.
4
He shall put on the holy linen tunic, and the linen undergarments shall be next to his body, and he shall be girded with the linen sash and attired with the linen turban (these are holy garments). Then he shall bathe his body in water and put them on.
5
He shall take from the congregation of the sons of Israel two male goats for a sin offering and one ram for a burnt offering.
6
Then Aaron shall offer the bull for the sin offering which is for himself, that he may make atonement for himself and for his household.
7
He shall take the two goats and present them before the LORD at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
8
Aaron shall cast lots for the two goats, one lot for the LORD and the other lot for the scapegoat.
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Then Aaron shall offer the goat on which the lot for the LORD fell, and make it a sin offering.
10
But the goat on which the lot for the scapegoat fell shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make atonement upon it, to send it into the wilderness as the scapegoat.
11
“Then Aaron shall offer the bull of the sin offering which is for himself and make atonement for himself and for his household, and he shall slaughter the bull of the sin offering which is for himself.
12
He shall take a firepan full of coals of fire from upon the altar before the LORD and two handfuls of finely ground sweet incense, and bring it inside the veil.
13
He shall put the incense on the fire before the LORD, that the cloud of incense may cover the mercy seat that is on the ark of the testimony, otherwise he will die.
14
Moreover, he shall take some of the blood of the bull and sprinkle it with his finger on the mercy seat on the east side; also in front of the mercy seat he shall sprinkle some of the blood with his finger seven times.
15
“Then he shall slaughter the goat of the sin offering which is for the people, and bring its blood inside the veil and do with its blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and in front of the mercy seat.
16
He shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the impurities of the sons of Israel and because of their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and thus he shall do for the tent of meeting which abides with them in the midst of their impurities.
17
When he goes in to make atonement in the holy place, no one shall be in the tent of meeting until he comes out, that he may make atonement for himself and for his household and for all the assembly of Israel.
18
Then he shall go out to the altar that is before the LORD and make atonement for it, and shall take some of the blood of the bull and of the blood of the goat and put it on the horns of the altar on all sides.
19
With his finger he shall sprinkle some of the blood on it seven times and cleanse it, and from the impurities of the sons of Israel consecrate it.
20
“When he finishes atoning for the holy place and the tent of meeting and the altar, he shall offer the live goat.
21
Then Aaron shall lay both of his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the sons of Israel and all their transgressions in regard to all their sins; and he shall lay them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who stands in readiness.
22
The goat shall bear on itself all their iniquities to a solitary land; and he shall release the goat in the wilderness.
23
“Then Aaron shall come into the tent of meeting and take off the linen garments which he put on when he went into the holy place, and shall leave them there.
24
He shall bathe his body with water in a holy place and put on his clothes, and come forth and offer his burnt offering and the burnt offering of the people and make atonement for himself and for the people.
25
Then he shall offer up in smoke the fat of the sin offering on the altar.
26
The one who released the goat as the scapegoat shall wash his clothes and bathe his body with water; then afterward he shall come into the camp.
27
But the bull of the sin offering and the goat of the sin offering, whose blood was brought in to make atonement in the holy place, shall be taken outside the camp, and they shall burn their hides, their flesh, and their refuse in the fire.
28
Then the one who burns them shall wash his clothes and bathe his body with water, then afterward he shall come into the camp.
29
“This shall be a permanent statute for you: in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall humble your souls and not do any work, whether the native, or the alien who sojourns among you;
30
for it is on this day that atonement shall be made for you to cleanse you; you will be clean from all your sins before the LORD.
31
It is to be a sabbath of solemn rest for you, that you may humble your souls; it is a permanent statute.
32
So the priest who is anointed and ordained to serve as priest in his father’s place shall make atonement: he shall thus put on the linen garments, the holy garments,
33
and make atonement for the holy sanctuary, and he shall make atonement for the tent of meeting and for the altar. He shall also make atonement for the priests and for all the people of the assembly.
34
Now you shall have this as a permanent statute, to make atonement for the sons of Israel for all their sins once every year.” And just as the LORD had commanded Moses, so he did.
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1
So the LORD said to Aaron, “You and your sons and your father’s household with you shall bear the guilt in connection with the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear the guilt in connection with your priesthood.
2
But bring with you also your brothers, the tribe of Levi, the tribe of your father, that they may be joined with you and serve you, while you and your sons with you are before the tent of the testimony.
3
And they shall thus attend to your obligation and the obligation of all the tent, but they shall not come near to the furnishings of the sanctuary and the altar, or both they and you will die.
4
They shall be joined with you and attend to the obligations of the tent of meeting, for all the service of the tent; but an outsider may not come near you.
5
So you shall attend to the obligations of the sanctuary and the obligations of the altar, so that there will no longer be wrath on the sons of Israel.
6
Behold, I Myself have taken your fellow Levites from among the sons of Israel; they are a gift to you, dedicated to the LORD, to perform the service for the tent of meeting.
7
But you and your sons with you shall attend to your priesthood for everything concerning the altar and inside the veil, and you are to perform service. I am giving you the priesthood as a bestowed service, but the outsider who comes near shall be put to death.”
8
Then the LORD spoke to Aaron, “Now behold, I Myself have given you charge of My offerings, even all the holy gifts of the sons of Israel I have given them to you as a portion and to your sons as a perpetual allotment.
9
This shall be yours from the most holy gifts reserved from the fire; every offering of theirs, even every grain offering and every sin offering and every guilt offering, which they shall render to Me, shall be most holy for you and for your sons.
10
As the most holy gifts you shall eat it; every male shall eat it. It shall be holy to you.
11
This also is yours, the offering of their gift, even all the wave offerings of the sons of Israel; I have given them to you and to your sons and daughters with you as a perpetual allotment. Everyone of your household who is clean may eat it.
12
All the best of the fresh oil and all the best of the fresh wine and of the grain, the first fruits of those which they give to the LORD, I give them to you.
13
The first ripe fruits of all that is in their land, which they bring to the LORD, shall be yours; everyone of your household who is clean may eat it.
14
Every devoted thing in Israel shall be yours.
15
Every first issue of the womb of all flesh, whether man or animal, which they offer to the LORD, shall be yours; nevertheless the firstborn of man you shall surely redeem, and the firstborn of unclean animals you shall redeem.
16
As to their redemption price, from a month old you shall redeem them, by your valuation, five shekels in silver, according to the shekel of the sanctuary, which is twenty gerahs.
17
But the firstborn of an ox or the firstborn of a sheep or the firstborn of a goat, you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar and shall offer up their fat in smoke as an offering by fire, for a soothing aroma to the LORD.
18
Their meat shall be yours; it shall be yours like the breast of a wave offering and like the right thigh.
19
All the offerings of the holy gifts, which the sons of Israel offer to the LORD, I have given to you and your sons and your daughters with you, as a perpetual allotment. It is an everlasting covenant of salt before the LORD to you and your descendants with you.”
20
Then the LORD said to Aaron, “You shall have no inheritance in their land nor own any portion among them; I am your portion and your inheritance among the sons of Israel.
21
“To the sons of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they perform, the service of the tent of meeting.
22
The sons of Israel shall not come near the tent of meeting again, or they will bear sin and die.
23
Only the Levites shall perform the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity; it shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations, and among the sons of Israel they shall have no inheritance.
24
For the tithe of the sons of Israel, which they offer as an offering to the LORD, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance; therefore I have said concerning them, ‘They shall have no inheritance among the sons of Israel.’”
25
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
26
“Moreover, you shall speak to the Levites and say to them, ‘When you take from the sons of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the LORD, a tithe of the tithe.
27
Your offering shall be reckoned to you as the grain from the threshing floor or the full produce from the wine vat.
28
So you shall also present an offering to the LORD from your tithes, which you receive from the sons of Israel; and from it you shall give the LORD’S offering to Aaron the priest.
29
Out of all your gifts you shall present every offering due to the LORD, from all the best of them, the sacred part from them.’
30
You shall say to them, ‘When you have offered from it the best of it, then the rest shall be reckoned to the Levites as the product of the threshing floor, and as the product of the wine vat.
31
You may eat it anywhere, you and your households, for it is your compensation in return for your service in the tent of meeting.
32
You will bear no sin by reason of it when you have offered the best of it. But you shall not profane the sacred gifts of the sons of Israel, or you will die.’”
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1
Then after an interval of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along also.
2
It was because of a revelation that I went up; and I submitted to them the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but I did so in private to those who were of reputation, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.
3
But not even Titus, who was with me, though he was a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised.
4
But it was because of the false brethren secretly brought in, who had sneaked in to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, in order to bring us into bondage.
5
But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.
6
But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.
7
But on the contrary, seeing that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been to the circumcised
8
(for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles),
9
and recognizing the grace that had been given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, so that we might go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised.
10
They only asked us to remember the poor—the very thing I also was eager to do.
11
But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned.
12
For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision.
13
The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.
14
But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in the presence of all, “If you, being a Jew, live like the Gentiles and not like the Jews, how is it that you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?
15
“We are Jews by nature and not sinners from among the Gentiles;
16
nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.
17
But if, while seeking to be justified in Christ, we ourselves have also been found sinners, is Christ then a minister of sin? May it never be!
18
For if I rebuild what I have once destroyed, I prove myself to be a transgressor.
19
For through the Law I died to the Law, so that I might live to God.
20
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
21
I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
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1
Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
2
And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.
3
Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren.
4
When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them.
5
But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.”
6
The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter.
7
After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.
8
And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us;
9
and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.
10
Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?
11
But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”
12
All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.
13
After they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, “Brethren, listen to me.
14
Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name.
15
With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written,
16
‘AFTER THESE THINGS I will return, AND I WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN, AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL RESTORE IT,
17
SO THAT THE REST OF MANKIND MAY SEEK THE LORD, AND ALL THE GENTILES WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME,’
18
SAYS THE LORD, WHO MAKES THESE THINGS KNOWN FROM LONG AGO.
19
Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles,
20
but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.
21
For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
22
Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas—Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren,
23
and they sent this letter by them, “The apostles and the brethren who are elders, to the brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia who are from the Gentiles, greetings.
24
“Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words, unsettling your souls,
25
it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26
men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27
“Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will also report the same things by word of mouth.
28
“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials:
29
that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”
30
So when they were sent away, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter.
31
When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.
32
Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message.
33
After they had spent time there, they were sent away from the brethren in peace to those who had sent them out.
34
[But it seemed good to Silas to remain there.]
35
But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching with many others also, the word of the Lord.
36
After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.”
37
Barnabas wanted to take John, called Mark, along with them also.
38
But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.
39
And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.
40
But Paul chose Silas and left, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord.
41
And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
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1
When we had parted from them and had set sail, we ran a straight course to Cos and the next day to Rhodes and from there to Patara;
2
and having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail.
3
When we came in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we kept sailing to Syria and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload its cargo.
4
After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem.
5
When our days there were ended, we left and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another.
6
Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home again.
7
When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and after greeting the brethren, we stayed with them for a day.
8
On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him.
9
Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses.
10
As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
11
And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”
12
When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem.
13
Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
14
And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!”
15
After these days we got ready and started on our way up to Jerusalem.
16
Some of the disciples from Caesarea also came with us, taking us to Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple of long standing with whom we were to lodge.
17
After we arrived in Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
18
And the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.
19
After he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20
And when they heard it they began glorifying God; and they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law;
21
and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.
22
What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come.
23
Therefore do this that we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow;
24
take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.
25
But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.”
26
Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them.
27
When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from Asia, upon seeing him in the temple, began to stir up all the crowd and laid hands on him,
28
crying out, “Men of Israel, come to our aid! This is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.”
29
For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
30
Then all the city was provoked, and the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut.
31
While they were seeking to kill him, a report came up to the commander of the Roman cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion.
32
At once he took along some soldiers and centurions and ran down to them; and when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33
Then the commander came up and took hold of him, and ordered him to be bound with two chains; and he began asking who he was and what he had done.
34
But among the crowd some were shouting one thing and some another, and when he could not find out the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks.
35
When he got to the stairs, he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob;
36
for the multitude of the people kept following them, shouting, “Away with him!”
37
As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the commander, “May I say something to you?” And he *said, “Do you know Greek?
38
Then you are not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out into the wilderness?”
39
But Paul said, “I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city; and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.”
40
When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, motioned to the people with his hand; and when there was a great hush, he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, saying,
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1
And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
2
The fear of you and the terror of you will be on every beast of the earth and on every bird of the sky; with everything that creeps on the ground, and all the fish of the sea, into your hand they are given.
3
Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you; I give all to you, as I gave the green plant.
4
Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.
5
Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man.
6
“Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed, For in the image of God He made man.
7
“As for you, be fruitful and multiply; Populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.”
8
Then God spoke to Noah and to his sons with him, saying,
9
“Now behold, I Myself do establish My covenant with you, and with your descendants after you;
10
and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you; of all that comes out of the ark, even every beast of the earth.
11
I establish My covenant with you; and all flesh shall never again be cut off by the water of the flood, neither shall there again be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12
God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I am making between Me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all successive generations;
13
I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.
14
It shall come about, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow will be seen in the cloud,
15
and I will remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and never again shall the water become a flood to destroy all flesh.
16
When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”
17
And God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant which I have established between Me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
18
Now the sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem and Ham and Japheth; and Ham was the father of Canaan.
19
These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
20
Then Noah began farming and planted a vineyard.
21
He drank of the wine and became drunk, and uncovered himself inside his tent.
22
Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside.
23
But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders and walked backward and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were turned away, so that they did not see their father’s nakedness.
24
When Noah awoke from his wine, he knew what his youngest son had done to him.
25
So he said, “Cursed be Canaan; A servant of servants He shall be to his brothers.”
26
He also said, “Blessed be the LORD, The God of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.
27
“May God enlarge Japheth, And let him dwell in the tents of Shem; And let Canaan be his servant.”
28
Noah lived three hundred and fifty years after the flood.
29
So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years, and he died.
Скрыть
1
Some men came down from Judea and began teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
2
And when Paul and Barnabas had great dissension and debate with them, the brethren determined that Paul and Barnabas and some others of them should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and elders concerning this issue.
3
Therefore, being sent on their way by the church, they were passing through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and were bringing great joy to all the brethren.
4
When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them.
5
But some of the sect of the Pharisees who had believed stood up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to direct them to observe the Law of Moses.”
6
The apostles and the elders came together to look into this matter.
7
After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the word of the gospel and believe.
8
And God, who knows the heart, testified to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us;
9
and He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.
10
Now therefore why do you put God to the test by placing upon the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?
11
But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, in the same way as they also are.”
12
All the people kept silent, and they were listening to Barnabas and Paul as they were relating what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles.
13
After they had stopped speaking, James answered, saying, “Brethren, listen to me.
14
Simeon has related how God first concerned Himself about taking from among the Gentiles a people for His name.
15
With this the words of the Prophets agree, just as it is written,
16
‘AFTER THESE THINGS I will return, AND I WILL REBUILD THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID WHICH HAS FALLEN, AND I WILL REBUILD ITS RUINS, AND I WILL RESTORE IT,
17
SO THAT THE REST OF MANKIND MAY SEEK THE LORD, AND ALL THE GENTILES WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME,’
18
SAYS THE LORD, WHO MAKES THESE THINGS KNOWN FROM LONG AGO.
19
Therefore it is my judgment that we do not trouble those who are turning to God from among the Gentiles,
20
but that we write to them that they abstain from things contaminated by idols and from fornication and from what is strangled and from blood.
21
For Moses from ancient generations has in every city those who preach him, since he is read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
22
Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas—Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren,
23
and they sent this letter by them, “The apostles and the brethren who are elders, to the brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia who are from the Gentiles, greetings.
24
“Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words, unsettling your souls,
25
it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
26
men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27
“Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will also report the same things by word of mouth.
28
“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials:
29
that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”
30
So when they were sent away, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter.
31
When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.
32
Judas and Silas, also being prophets themselves, encouraged and strengthened the brethren with a lengthy message.
33
After they had spent time there, they were sent away from the brethren in peace to those who had sent them out.
34
[But it seemed good to Silas to remain there.]
35
But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and preaching with many others also, the word of the Lord.
36
After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brethren in every city in which we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.”
37
Barnabas wanted to take John, called Mark, along with them also.
38
But Paul kept insisting that they should not take him along who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work.
39
And there occurred such a sharp disagreement that they separated from one another, and Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus.
40
But Paul chose Silas and left, being committed by the brethren to the grace of the Lord.
41
And he was traveling through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
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1
Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek,
2
and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium.
3
Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
4
Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe.
5
So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.
6
They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia;
7
and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;
8
and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.
9
A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
10
When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
11
So putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis;
12
and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days.
13
And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled.
14
A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.
15
And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
16
It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling.
17
Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.”
18
She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment.
19
But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities,
20
and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews,
21
and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”
22
The crowd rose up together against them, and the chief magistrates tore their robes off them and proceeded to order them to be beaten with rods.
23
When they had struck them with many blows, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to guard them securely;
24
and he, having received such a command, threw them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25
But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;
26
and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.
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When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
28
But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!”
29
And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas,
30
and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31
They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
32
And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.
33
And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.
34
And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.
35
Now when day came, the chief magistrates sent their policemen, saying, “Release those men.”
36
And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The chief magistrates have sent to release you. Therefore come out now and go in peace.”
37
But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us in public without trial, men who are Romans, and have thrown us into prison; and now are they sending us away secretly? No indeed! But let them come themselves and bring us out.”
38
The policemen reported these words to the chief magistrates. They were afraid when they heard that they were Romans,
39
and they came and appealed to them, and when they had brought them out, they kept begging them to leave the city.
40
They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.
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After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth.
2
And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them,
3
and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers.
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And he was reasoning in the synagogue every Sabbath and trying to persuade Jews and Greeks.
5
But when Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia, Paul began devoting himself completely to the word, solemnly testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ.
6
But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
7
Then he left there and went to the house of a man named Titius Justus, a worshiper of God, whose house was next to the synagogue.
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Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his household, and many of the Corinthians when they heard were believing and being baptized.
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And the Lord said to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid any longer, but go on speaking and do not be silent;
10
for I am with you, and no man will attack you in order to harm you, for I have many people in this city.”
11
And he settled there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
12
But while Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat,
13
saying, “This man persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.”
14
But when Paul was about to open his mouth, Gallio said to the Jews, “If it were a matter of wrong or of vicious crime, O Jews, it would be reasonable for me to put up with you;
15
but if there are questions about words and names and your own law, look after it yourselves; I am unwilling to be a judge of these matters.”
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And he drove them away from the judgment seat.
17
And they all took hold of Sosthenes, the leader of the synagogue, and began beating him in front of the judgment seat. But Gallio was not concerned about any of these things.
18
Paul, having remained many days longer, took leave of the brethren and put out to sea for Syria, and with him were Priscilla and Aquila. In Cenchrea he had his hair cut, for he was keeping a vow.
19
They came to Ephesus, and he left them there. Now he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jews.
20
When they asked him to stay for a longer time, he did not consent,
21
but taking leave of them and saying, “I will return to you again if God wills,” he set sail from Ephesus.
22
When he had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and went down to Antioch.
23
And having spent some time there, he left and passed successively through the Galatian region and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.
24
Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures.
25
This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John;
26
and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
27
And when he wanted to go across to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him and wrote to the disciples to welcome him; and when he had arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace,
28
for he powerfully refuted the Jews in public, demonstrating by the Scriptures that Jesus was the Christ.
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When we had parted from them and had set sail, we ran a straight course to Cos and the next day to Rhodes and from there to Patara;
2
and having found a ship crossing over to Phoenicia, we went aboard and set sail.
3
When we came in sight of Cyprus, leaving it on the left, we kept sailing to Syria and landed at Tyre; for there the ship was to unload its cargo.
4
After looking up the disciples, we stayed there seven days; and they kept telling Paul through the Spirit not to set foot in Jerusalem.
5
When our days there were ended, we left and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to one another.
6
Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home again.
7
When we had finished the voyage from Tyre, we arrived at Ptolemais, and after greeting the brethren, we stayed with them for a day.
8
On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him.
9
Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses.
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As we were staying there for some days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea.
11
And coming to us, he took Paul’s belt and bound his own feet and hands, and said, “This is what the Holy Spirit says: ‘In this way the Jews at Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”
12
When we had heard this, we as well as the local residents began begging him not to go up to Jerusalem.
13
Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but even to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
14
And since he would not be persuaded, we fell silent, remarking, “The will of the Lord be done!”
15
After these days we got ready and started on our way up to Jerusalem.
16
Some of the disciples from Caesarea also came with us, taking us to Mnason of Cyprus, a disciple of long standing with whom we were to lodge.
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After we arrived in Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly.
18
And the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.
19
After he had greeted them, he began to relate one by one the things which God had done among the Gentiles through his ministry.
20
And when they heard it they began glorifying God; and they said to him, “You see, brother, how many thousands there are among the Jews of those who have believed, and they are all zealous for the Law;
21
and they have been told about you, that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, telling them not to circumcise their children nor to walk according to the customs.
22
What, then, is to be done? They will certainly hear that you have come.
23
Therefore do this that we tell you. We have four men who are under a vow;
24
take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law.
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But concerning the Gentiles who have believed, we wrote, having decided that they should abstain from meat sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from fornication.”
26
Then Paul took the men, and the next day, purifying himself along with them, went into the temple giving notice of the completion of the days of purification, until the sacrifice was offered for each one of them.
27
When the seven days were almost over, the Jews from Asia, upon seeing him in the temple, began to stir up all the crowd and laid hands on him,
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crying out, “Men of Israel, come to our aid! This is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people and the Law and this place; and besides he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place.”
29
For they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him, and they supposed that Paul had brought him into the temple.
30
Then all the city was provoked, and the people rushed together, and taking hold of Paul they dragged him out of the temple, and immediately the doors were shut.
31
While they were seeking to kill him, a report came up to the commander of the Roman cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion.
32
At once he took along some soldiers and centurions and ran down to them; and when they saw the commander and the soldiers, they stopped beating Paul.
33
Then the commander came up and took hold of him, and ordered him to be bound with two chains; and he began asking who he was and what he had done.
34
But among the crowd some were shouting one thing and some another, and when he could not find out the facts because of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks.
35
When he got to the stairs, he was carried by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob;
36
for the multitude of the people kept following them, shouting, “Away with him!”
37
As Paul was about to be brought into the barracks, he said to the commander, “May I say something to you?” And he *said, “Do you know Greek?
38
Then you are not the Egyptian who some time ago stirred up a revolt and led the four thousand men of the Assassins out into the wilderness?”
39
But Paul said, “I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city; and I beg you, allow me to speak to the people.”
40
When he had given him permission, Paul, standing on the stairs, motioned to the people with his hand; and when there was a great hush, he spoke to them in the Hebrew dialect, saying,
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Paul, called as an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother,
2
To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
3
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
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I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,
5
that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge,
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even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you,
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so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
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who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment.
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For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren, by Chloe’s people, that there are quarrels among you.
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Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.”
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Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
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I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
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so that no one would say you were baptized in my name.
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Now I did baptize also the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I do not know whether I baptized any other.
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For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.
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For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
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For it is written, “I WILL DESTROY THE WISDOM OF THE WISE, AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.”
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Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
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For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
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For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom;
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but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness,
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but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
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Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
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For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble;
27
but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong,
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and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are,
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so that no man may boast before God.
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But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,
31
so that, just as it is written, “LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.”
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Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?
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If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
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My defense to those who examine me is this:
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Do we not have a right to eat and drink?
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Do we not have a right to take along a believing wife, even as the rest of the apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?
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Or do only Barnabas and I not have a right to refrain from working?
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Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock?
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I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things?
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For it is written in the Law of Moses, “YOU SHALL NOT MUZZLE THE OX WHILE HE IS THRESHING.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He?
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Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.
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If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?
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If others share the right over you, do we not more? Nevertheless, we did not use this right, but we endure all things so that we will cause no hindrance to the gospel of Christ.
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Do you not know that those who perform sacred services eat the food of the temple, and those who attend regularly to the altar have their share from the altar?
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So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel.
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But I have used none of these things. And I am not writing these things so that it will be done so in my case; for it would be better for me to die than have any man make my boast an empty one.
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For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.
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For if I do this voluntarily, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have a stewardship entrusted to me.
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What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
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For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.
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To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law;
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to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law.
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To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.
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I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
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Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.
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Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
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Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air;
27
but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
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Let a man regard us in this manner, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.
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In this case, moreover, it is required of stewards that one be found trustworthy.
3
But to me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself.
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For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord.
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Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts; and then each man’s praise will come to him from God.
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Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, so that in us you may learn not to exceed what is written, so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other.
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For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?
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You are already filled, you have already become rich, you have become kings without us; and indeed, I wish that you had become kings so that we also might reign with you.
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For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.
10
We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.
11
To this present hour we are both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless;
12
and we toil, working with our own hands; when we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure;
13
when we are slandered, we try to conciliate; we have become as the scum of the world, the dregs of all things, even until now.
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I do not write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children.
15
For if you were to have countless tutors in Christ, yet you would not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel.
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Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.
17
For this reason I have sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, and he will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, just as I teach everywhere in every church.
18
Now some have become arrogant, as though I were not coming to you.
19
But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I shall find out, not the words of those who are arrogant but their power.
20
For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power.
21
What do you desire? Shall I come to you with a rod, or with love and a spirit of gentleness?
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Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,
2
shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
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nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.
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And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
5
You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.
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Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
7
casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.
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Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
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But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.
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After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
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To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.
12
Through Silvanus, our faithful brother (for so I regard him), I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!
13
She who is in Babylon, chosen together with you, sends you greetings, and so does my son, Mark.
14
Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace be to you all who are in Christ.
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For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea;
2
and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3
and all ate the same spiritual food;
4
and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ.
5
Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.
6
Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.
7
Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “THE PEOPLE SAT DOWN TO EAT AND DRINK, AND STOOD UP TO PLAY.”
8
Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day.
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Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents.
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Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
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Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
12
Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
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No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
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Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.
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I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say.
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Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ?
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Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.
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Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar?
19
What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything?
20
No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons.
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You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.
22
Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?
23
All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.
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Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.
25
Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake;
26
FOR THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S, AND ALL IT CONTAINS.
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If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake.
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But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake;
29
I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience?
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If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks?
31
Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
32
Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God;
33
just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit but the profit of the many, so that they may be saved.
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Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope,
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To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3
As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines,
4
nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.
5
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
6
For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,
7
wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
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But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully,
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realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers
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and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching,
11
according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.
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I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,
13
even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;
14
and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.
15
It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.
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Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life.
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Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
18
This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight,
19
keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.
20
Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.
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Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion,
2
make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
3
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;
4
do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
5
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6
who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7
but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
9
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
10
so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11
and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
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So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
13
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
14
Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
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so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
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holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
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But even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all.
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You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.
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But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition.
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For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare.
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For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.
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But you know of his proven worth, that he served with me in the furtherance of the gospel like a child serving his father.
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Therefore I hope to send him immediately, as soon as I see how things go with me;
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and I trust in the Lord that I myself also will be coming shortly.
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But I thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger and minister to my need;
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because he was longing for you all and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick.
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For indeed he was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, so that I would not have sorrow upon sorrow.
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Therefore I have sent him all the more eagerly so that when you see him again you may rejoice and I may be less concerned about you.
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Receive him then in the Lord with all joy, and hold men like him in high regard;
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because he came close to death for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was deficient in your service to me.
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1
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it.
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Daniel said, “I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.
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And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.
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The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it.
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And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat!’
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After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.
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After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
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While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.
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“I kept looking Until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire.
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“A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, And the books were opened.
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Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.
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As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.
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“I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.
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“And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.
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“As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me.
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I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:
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‘These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth.
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But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’
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“Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet,
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and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates.
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I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them
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until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.
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“Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.
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As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.
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He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.
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But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.
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Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’
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“At this point the revelation ended. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts were greatly alarming me and my face grew pale, but I kept the matter to myself.”
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