Readings for Wednesday of the third week of Great Lent

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Exodus 4:19-end ; Exodus 6:1-13 ; Joal 2:21-26 ; Isaiah 9:9-end ; Isaiah 10:1-4 ; Job 12:1-end ; Job 13:1-end ; Job 14:1-22 [Arabic]

Exodus 4:19-end ; Exodus 6:1-13

Now the LORD said to Moses in Midian, "Go, return to Egypt; for all the men who sought your life are dead." Then Moses took his wife and his sons and set them on a donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God in his hand.

And the LORD said to Moses, "When you go back to Egypt, see that you do all those wonders before Pharaoh which I have put in your hand. But I will harden his heart, so that he will not let the people go. Then you shall say to Pharaoh, "Thus says the LORD: "Israel is My son, My firstborn. So I say to you, let My son go that he may serve Me. But if you refuse to let him go, indeed I will kill your son, your firstborn.""'

And it came to pass on the way, at the encampment, that the LORD met him and sought to kill him. Then Zipporah took a sharp stone and cut off the foreskin of her son and cast it at Moses' feet, and said, "Surely you are a husband of blood to me!" So He let him go. Then she said, "You are a husband of blood!"--because of the circumcision.

And the LORD said to Aaron, "Go into the wilderness to meet Moses." So he went and met him on the mountain of God, and kissed him. So Moses told Aaron all the words of the LORD who had sent him, and all the signs which He had commanded him. Then Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel. And Aaron spoke all the words which the LORD had spoken to Moses. Then he did the signs in the sight of the people. So the people believed; and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel and that He had looked on their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshiped.

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land."

And God spoke to Moses and said to him: "I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name LORD I was not known to them. I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, in which they were strangers. And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel whom the Egyptians keep in bondage, and I have remembered My covenant. Therefore say to the children of Israel: "I am the LORD; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will rescue you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you as My people, and I will be your God. Then you shall know that I am the LORD your God who brings you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. And I will bring you into the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and I will give it to you as a heritage: I am the LORD."' So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage.

And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Go in, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the children of Israel go out of his land."

And Moses spoke before the LORD, saying, "The children of Israel have not heeded me. How then shall Pharaoh heed me, for I am of uncircumcised lips?"

Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, and gave them a command for the children of Israel and for Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

Joal 2:21-26
Be not afraid, O land;
be glad and rejoice.
Surely the LORD has done great things.
Be not afraid, O wild animals,
for the open pastures are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
Be glad, O people of Zion,
rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given you
the autumn rains in righteousness.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten-
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm-
my great army that I sent among you.
You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.

Isaiah 9:9-end ; Isaiah 10:1-4

All the people will know--
        Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria--
        Who say in pride and arrogance of heart:
        "The bricks have fallen down,
        But we will rebuild with hewn stones;
        The sycamores are cut down,
        But we will replace them with cedars."
        Therefore the LORD shall set up
        The adversaries of Rezin against him,
        And spur his enemies on,
        The Syrians before and the Philistines behind;
        And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth.
        For all this His anger is not turned away,
        But His hand is stretched out still.
        For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them,
        Nor do they seek the LORD of hosts.
        Therefore the LORD will cut off head and tail from Israel,
        Palm branch and bulrush in one day.
        The elder and honorable, he is the head;
        The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.
        For the leaders of this people cause them to err,
        And those who are led by them are destroyed.
        Therefore the Lord will have no joy in their young men,
        Nor have mercy on their fatherless and widows;
        For everyone is a hypocrite and an evildoer,
        And every mouth speaks folly.
        For all this His anger is not turned away,
        But His hand is stretched out still.
        For wickedness burns as the fire;
        It shall devour the briers and thorns,
        And kindle in the thickets of the forest;
        They shall mount up like rising smoke.
        Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts
        The land is burned up,
        And the people shall be as fuel for the fire;
        No man shall spare his brother.
        And he shall snatch on the right hand
        And be hungry;
        He shall devour on the left hand
        And not be satisfied;
        Every man shall eat the flesh of his own arm.
        Manasseh shall devour Ephraim, and Ephraim Manasseh;
        Together they shall be against Judah.
        For all this His anger is not turned away,
        But His hand is stretched out still.

"Woe to those who decree unrighteous decrees,
        Who write misfortune,
        Which they have prescribed
        To rob the needy of justice,
        And to take what is right from the poor of My people,
        That widows may be their prey,
        And that they may rob the fatherless.
        What will you do in the day of punishment,
        And in the desolation which will come from afar?
        To whom will you flee for help?
        And where will you leave your glory?
        Without Me they shall bow down among the prisoners,
        And they shall fall among the slain."
        For all this His anger is not turned away,
        But His hand is stretched out still.

Job 12:1-end ; Job 13:1-end ; Job 14:1-22
Then Job answered and said:
        "No doubt you are the people,
        And wisdom will die with you!
        But I have understanding as well as you;
        I am not inferior to you.
        Indeed, who does not know such things as these?
        "I am one mocked by his friends,
        Who called on God, and He answered him,
        The just and blameless who is ridiculed.
        A lamp is despised in the thought of one who is at ease;
        It is made ready for those whose feet slip.
        The tents of robbers prosper,
        And those who provoke God are secure--
        In what God provides by His hand.
        "But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
        And the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
        Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you;
        And the fish of the sea will explain to you.
        Who among all these does not know
        That the hand of the LORD has done this,
        In whose hand is the life of every living thing,
        And the breath of all mankind?
        Does not the ear test words
        And the mouth taste its food?
        Wisdom is with aged men,
        And with length of days, understanding.
        "With Him are wisdom and strength,
        He has counsel and understanding.
        If He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt;
        If He imprisons a man, there can be no release.
        If He withholds the waters, they dry up;
        If He sends them out, they overwhelm the earth.
        With Him are strength and prudence.
        The deceived and the deceiver are His.
        He leads counselors away plundered,
        And makes fools of the judges.
        He loosens the bonds of kings,
        And binds their waist with a belt.
        He leads princes away plundered,
        And overthrows the mighty.
        He deprives the trusted ones of speech,
        And takes away the discernment of the elders.
        He pours contempt on princes,
        And disarms the mighty.
        He uncovers deep things out of darkness,
        And brings the shadow of death to light.
        He makes nations great, and destroys them;
        He enlarges nations, and guides them.
        He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth,
        And makes them wander in a pathless wilderness.
        They grope in the dark without light,
        And He makes them stagger like a drunken man.
"Behold, my eye has seen all this,
My ear has heard and understood it.
What you know, I also know;
I am not inferior to you.
But I would speak to the Almighty,
And I desire to reason with God.
But you forgers of lies,
You are all worthless physicians.
Oh, that you would be silent,
And it would be your wisdom!
Now hear my reasoning,
And heed the pleadings of my lips.
Will you speak wickedly for God,
And talk deceitfully for Him?
Will you show partiality for Him?
Will you contend for God?
Will it be well when He searches you out?
Or can you mock Him as one mocks a man?
He will surely rebuke you
If you secretly show partiality.
Will not His excellence make you afraid,
And the dread of Him fall upon you?
Your platitudes are proverbs of ashes,
Your defenses are defenses of clay.
"Hold your peace with me, and let me speak,
Then let come on me what may!
Why do I take my flesh in my teeth,
And put my life in my hands?
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.
Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him.
He also shall be my salvation,
For a hypocrite could not come before Him.
Listen carefully to my speech,
And to my declaration with your ears.
See now, I have prepared my case,
I know that I shall be vindicated.
Who is he who will contend with me?
If now I hold my tongue, I perish.
"Only two things do not do to me,
Then I will not hide myself from You:
Withdraw Your hand far from me,
And let not the dread of You make me afraid.
Then call, and I will answer;
Or let me speak, then You respond to me.
How many are my iniquities and sins?
Make me know my transgression and my sin.
Why do You hide Your face,
And regard me as Your enemy?
Will You frighten a leaf driven to and fro?
And will You pursue dry stubble?
For You write bitter things against me,
And make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
You put my feet in the stocks,
And watch closely all my paths.
You set a limit for the soles of my feet.
"Man decays like a rotten thing,
Like a garment that is moth-eaten.

"Man who is born of woman
        Is of few days and full of trouble.
        He comes forth like a flower and fades away;
        He flees like a shadow and does not continue.
        And do You open Your eyes on such a one,
        And bring me to judgment with Yourself?
        Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean?
        No one!
        Since his days are determined,
        The number of his months is with You;
        You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.
        Look away from him that he may rest,
        Till like a hired man he finishes his day.
        "For there is hope for a tree,
        If it is cut down, that it will sprout again,
        And that its tender shoots will not cease.
        Though its root may grow old in the earth,
        And its stump may die in the ground,
        Yet at the scent of water it will bud
        And bring forth branches like a plant.
        But man dies and is laid away;
        Indeed he breathes his last
        And where is he?
        As water disappears from the sea,
        And a river becomes parched and dries up,
        So man lies down and does not rise.
        Till the heavens are no more,
        They will not awake
        Nor be roused from their sleep.
        "Oh, that You would hide me in the grave,
        That You would conceal me until Your wrath is past,
        That You would appoint me a set time, and remember me!
        If a man dies, shall he live again?
        All the days of my hard service I will wait,
        Till my change comes.
        You shall call, and I will answer You;
        You shall desire the work of Your hands.
        For now You number my steps,
        But do not watch over my sin.
        My transgression is sealed up in a bag,
        And You cover my iniquity.
        "But as a mountain falls and crumbles away,
        And as a rock is moved from its place;
        As water wears away stones,
        And as torrents wash away the soil of the earth;
        So You destroy the hope of man.
        You prevail forever against him, and he passes on;
        You change his countenance and send him away.
        His sons come to honor, and he does not know it;
        They are brought low, and he does not perceive it.
        But his flesh will be in pain over it,
        And his soul will mourn over it."


Psalm 26:4 [Arabic]

One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.


Luke 13:18-22 [Arabic]

Then He said, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches."

And again He said, "To what shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened."

And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.


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Pauline Epistle

2Thessalonians 2:9-17 [Arabic]

The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.


Catholic Epistle

2Peter 2:9-15 [Arabic]

Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;



Acts 28:7-11 [Arabic]

In that region there was an estate of the leading citizen of the island, whose name was Publius, who received us and entertained us courteously for three days. And it happened that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and dysentery. Paul went in to him and prayed, and he laid his hands on him and healed him. So when this was done, the rest of those on the island who had diseases also came and were healed. They also honored us in many ways; and when we departed, they provided such things as were necessary.

After three months we sailed in an Alexandrian ship whose figurehead was the Twin Brothers, which had wintered at the island.



The Martyrdom Of St. Basil (Basilaos) The Bishop.



Psalm 27:7-8 [Arabic]

Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, "Seek My face,"
My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."



Luke 4:1-13 [Arabic]

Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.

And the devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread."

But Jesus answered him, saying, "It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."'

Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours."

And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, "You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve."'

Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. For it is written:
        "He shall give His angels charge over you,
        To keep you,'

        "In their hands they shall bear you up,
        Lest you dash your foot against a stone."'

And Jesus answered and said to him, "It has been said, "You shall not tempt the LORD your God."'

Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

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