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Genesis 16

1 Abram’s wife Sarai had borne him no child, but she had an Egyptian slave-girl called Hagar.

2 So Sarai said to Abram, ‘Listen, now! Since Yahweh has kept me from having children, go to my slave-girl. Perhaps I shall get children through her.’ And Abram took Sarai’s advice.

3 Thus, after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan for ten years, Sarai took Hagar her Egyptian slave-girl and gave her to Abram as his wife.

4 He went to Hagar and she conceived. And once she knew she had conceived, her mistress counted for nothing in her eyes.

5 Then Sarai said to Abram, ‘This outrage done to me is your fault! It was I who put my slave-girl into your arms but, now she knows that she has conceived, I count for nothing in her eyes. Yahweh judge between me and you!’

6 ‘Very well,’ Abram said to Sarai, ‘your slave-girl is at your disposal. Treat her as you think fit.’ Sarai accordingly treated her so badly that she ran away from her.

7 The angel of Yahweh found her by a spring in the desert, the spring on the road to Shur.

8 He said, ‘Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?’ ‘I am running away from my mistress Sarai,’ she replied.

9 The angel of Yahweh said to her, ‘Go back to your mistress and submit to her.’

10 The angel of Yahweh further said to her, ‘I shall make your descendants too numerous to be counted.’

11 Then the angel of Yahweh said to her: Now, you have conceived and will bear a son, and you shall name him Ishmael, for Yahweh has heard your cries of distress.

12 A wild donkey of a man he will be, his hand against every man, and every man’s hand against him, living his life in defiance of all his kinsmen.

13 Hagar gave a name to Yahweh who had spoken to her, ‘You are El Roi,’ by which she meant, ‘Did I not go on seeing here, after him who sees me?’

14 This is why the well is called the well of Lahai Roi; it is between Kadesh and Bered.

15 Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram gave his son borne by Hagar the name Ishmael.

16 Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore him Ishmael.

Genesis 17

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old Yahweh appeared to him and said, ‘I am El Shaddai. Live in my presence, be perfect,

2 and I shall grant a covenant between myself and you, and make you very numerous.’

3 And Abram bowed to the ground. God spoke to him as follows,

4 ‘For my part, this is my covenant with you: you will become the father of many nations.

5 And you are no longer to be called Abram; your name is to be Abraham, for I am making you father of many nations.

6 I shall make you exceedingly fertile. I shall make you into nations, and your issue will be kings.

7 And I shall maintain my covenant between myself and you, and your descendants after you, generation after generation, as a covenant in perpetuity, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

8 And to you and to your descendants after you, I shall give the country where you are now immigrants, the entire land of Canaan, to own in perpetuity. And I shall be their God.’

9 God further said to Abraham, ‘You for your part must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation.

10 This is my covenant which you must keep between myself and you, and your descendants after you: every one of your males must be circumcised.

11 You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that will be the sign of the covenant between myself and you.

12 As soon as he is eight days old, every one of your males, generation after generation, must be circumcised, including slaves born within the household or bought from a foreigner not of your descent.

13 Whether born within the household or bought, they must be circumcised. My covenant must be marked in your flesh as a covenant in perpetuity.

14 The uncircumcised male, whose foreskin has not been circumcised — that person must be cut off from his people: he has broken my covenant.’

15 Furthermore God said to Abraham, ‘As regards your wife Sarai, you must not call her Sarai, but Sarah.

16 I shall bless her and moreover give you a son by her. I shall bless her and she will become nations: kings of peoples will issue from her.’

17 Abraham bowed to the ground, and he laughed, thinking to himself, ‘Is a child to be born to a man one hundred years old, and willSarah have a child at the age of ninety?’

18 Abraham said to God, ‘May Ishmael live in your presence! That will be enough!’

19 But God replied, ‘Yes, your wife Sarah will bear you a son whom you must name Isaac. And I shall maintain my covenant with him, a covenant in perpetuity, to be his God and the God of his descendants after him.

20 For Ishmael too I grant you your request. I hereby bless him and will make him fruitful and exceedingly numerous. He will be the father of twelve princes, and I shall make him into a great nation.

21 But my covenant I shall maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear you at this time next year.’

22 When he had finished speaking to Abraham, God went up from him.

23 Then Abraham took his son Ishmael, all the slaves born in his household or whom he had bought, in short all the males among the people of Abraham’s household, and circumcised their foreskins that same day, as God had said to him.

24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when his foreskin was circumcised.

25 Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when his foreskin was circumcised.

26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on the very same day,

27 and all the men of his household, those born in the household and those bought from foreigners, were circumcised with him.

Job 5

1 Make your appeal then. Will you find an answer? To which of the holy ones will you turn?

2 Resentment kills the senseless, and anger brings death to the fool.

3 I have seen the senseless taking root, when a curse fell suddenly on his house.

4 His children are deprived of prop and stay, ruined at the gate, and no one to defend them;

5 their harvest goes to feed the hungry, God snatches it from their mouths, and covetous people thirst for their possessions.

6 No, misery does not grow out of the soil, nor sorrow spring from the ground.

7 It is people who breed trouble for themselves as surely as eagles fly to the height.

8 If I were you, I should appeal to God and lay my case before him.

9 His works are great, past all reckoning, marvels beyond all counting.

10 He sends down rain to the earth, pours down water on the fields.

11 If his will is to raise up the downcast, or exalt the afflicted to the heights of prosperity,

12 he frustrates the plans of the artful so that they cannot succeed in their intrigues.

13 He traps the crafty in the snare of their own trickery, throws the plans of the cunning into disarray.

14 In daylight they come up against darkness, and grope their way as if noon were night.

15 He rescues the bankrupt from their jaws, and the needy from the grasp of the mighty.

16 Hope springs afresh for the weak, and wickedness must shut its mouth.

17 Blessed are those whom God corrects! Do not then scorn the lesson of Shaddai!

18 For he who wounds is he who soothes the sore, and the hand that hurts is the hand that heals.

19 Six times he will deliver you from sorrow, and the seventh time, evil will not touch you.

20 In time of famine, he will save you from death, and in wartime from the stroke of the sword.

21 You will be safe from the lash of the tongue, unafraid at the approach of the despoiler.

22 You will laugh at drought and frost, and have no fear of the beasts of the earth.

23 You will have a pact with the stones of the field, and live in amity with wild beasts.

24 You will know that your tent is secure, and your sheepfold unharmed when you inspect it.

25 You will see your descendants multiply, your offspring grow like the grass in the fields.

26 At a ripe age you will go to the grave, like a wheatsheaf stacked in due season.

27 All this we have observed and it is so! Heed it, you will be the wiser for it!

Job 6

1 Job spoke next. He said:

2 If only my misery could be weighed, and all my ills be put together on the scales!

3 But they outweigh the sands of the seas: what wonder then if my words are wild?

4 The arrows of Shaddai stick fast in me, my spirit absorbs their poison, God’s terrors stand paraded against me.

5 Does a wild donkey bray when it has grass, or an ox low when its fodder is within reach?

6 Is not food insipid, eaten without salt, is there any taste in egg-white?

7 But the very things my appetite revolts at are now my diet in sickness.

8 Will no one hear my prayer, will not God himself grant my hope?

9 May it please God to crush me, to give his hand free play and do away with me!

10 This thought, at least, would give me comfort (a thrill of joy in unrelenting pain), that I never rebelled against the Holy One’s decrees.

11 But have I the strength to go on waiting? And why be patient, when doomed to such an end?

12 Is mine the strength of stone, is my flesh made of bronze?

13 Can I support myself on nothing? Has not all help deserted me?

14 Refuse faithful love to your neighbour and you forsake the fear of Shaddai.

15 Like the torrent, my brothers have proved deceptive, as fleeting torrents they flow:

16 the ice makes their waters turgid when, above them, the snow melts,

17 but, come the burning summer, they run dry, they vanish in the heat of the sun.

18 Caravans leave the trail to find them, go deep into wastelands, and are lost.

19 The caravans of Tema look to them, and on them Sheba’s convoys build their hopes.

20 Their trust brings only embarrassment, they reach them only to be thwarted.

21 And this is how you now treat me, terrified at the sight of me, you take fright.

22 Have I said to you, ‘Give me something, make some present for me at your own cost,

23 snatch me from the grasp of an oppressor, ransom me from the grip of a violent man’?

24 Put me right, and I shall say no more; show me where I have been at fault.

25 Fair comment can be borne without resentment, but what are your strictures aimed at?

26 Do you think mere words deserve censure, desperate speech that the wind blows away?

27 Soon you will be haggling over the price of an orphan, and selling your friend at bargain price!

28 Come, I beg you, look at me: man to man, I shall not lie.

29 Relent then, no harm is done; relent then, since I am upright.

30 Is evil to be found on my lips? Can I not recognise misfortune when I taste it?

Proverbs Chapter 1 [20-33]

20 Wisdom calls aloud in the streets, she raises her voice in the public squares;

21 she calls out at the street corners, she delivers her message at the city gates.

22 ‘You simple people, how much longer will you cling to your simple ways? How much longer will mockers revel in their mocking and fools go on hating knowledge?

23 Pay attention to my warning. To you I will pour out my heart and tell you what I have to say.

24 Since I have called and you have refused me, since I have beckoned and no one has taken notice,

25 since you have ignored all my advice and rejected all my warnings,

26 I, for my part, shall laugh at your distress, I shall jeer when terror befalls you,

27 when terror befalls you, like a storm, when your distress arrives, like a whirlwind, when ordeal and anguish bear down on you.

28 Then they will call me, but I shall not answer, they will look eagerly for me and will not find me.

29 They have hated knowledge, they have not chosen the fear of Yahweh,

30 they have taken no notice of my advice, they have spurned all my warnings:

31 so they will have to eat the fruits of their own ways of life, and choke themselves with their own scheming.

32 For the errors of the simple lead to their death, the complacency of fools works their own ruin;

33 but whoever listens to me may live secure, will have quiet, fearing no mischance.’

Thoughts and Reflection

There are several significant events being discussed here. Abram and Sarai have now changed their names to Abraham and Sarah (I didn’t know the root of Sarah was Sarai) to signify their acceptance of the covenant. In another sign of the covenant with God, all males under Abraham had to be circumcised. Why Circumcision? I don’t know other to say that this act places us under his dominion.

In the book of Job, we see that sometimes the people who love us the most understand us the least. Sometimes that all we need is for those friends just to be present. That analogy can be used with God. Perhaps we don’t need to look at God for answers, but rather look to him for comfort during our confusion and pain.

About this Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

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