Readings for Lazarus Saturday of Great Lent

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Genesis 49:1-28 ; Isaiah 40:9-31 ; Zephaniah 3:14-20 ; Zechariah 9:9-15 [Arabic]

Genesis 49:1-28
And Jacob called his sons and said, "Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:
        "Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob,
        And listen to Israel your father.
        "Reuben, you are my firstborn,
        My might and the beginning of my strength,
        The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.
        Unstable as water, you shall not excel,
        Because you went up to your father's bed;
        Then you defiled it--
        He went up to my couch.
        "Simeon and Levi are brothers;
        Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place.
        Let not my soul enter their council;
        Let not my honor be united to their assembly;
        For in their anger they slew a man,
        And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox.
        Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
        And their wrath, for it is cruel!
        I will divide them in Jacob
        And scatter them in Israel.
        "Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise;
        Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
        Your father's children shall bow down before you.
        Judah is a lion's whelp;
        From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
        He bows down, he lies down as a lion;
        And as a lion, who shall rouse him?
        The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
        Nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
        Until Shiloh comes;
        And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
        Binding his donkey to the vine,
        And his donkey's colt to the choice vine,
        He washed his garments in wine,
        And his clothes in the blood of grapes.
        His eyes are darker than wine,
        And his teeth whiter than milk.
        "Zebulun shall dwell by the haven of the sea;
        He shall become a haven for ships,
        And his border shall adjoin Sidon.
        "Issachar is a strong donkey,
        Lying down between two burdens;
        He saw that rest was good,
        And that the land was pleasant;
        He bowed his shoulder to bear a burden,
        And became a band of slaves.
        "Dan shall judge his people
        As one of the tribes of Israel.
        Dan shall be a serpent by the way,
        A viper by the path,
        That bites the horse's heels
        So that its rider shall fall backward.
        I have waited for your salvation, O LORD!
        "Gad, a troop shall tramp upon him,
        But he shall triumph at last.
        "Bread from Asher shall be rich,
        And he shall yield royal dainties.
        "Naphtali is a deer let loose;
        He uses beautiful words.
        "Joseph is a fruitful bough,
        A fruitful bough by a well;
        His branches run over the wall.
        The archers have bitterly grieved him,
        Shot at him and hated him.
        But his bow remained in strength,
        And the arms of his hands were made strong
        By the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob
        From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel,
        By the God of your father who will help you,
        And by the Almighty who will bless you
        With blessings of heaven above,
        Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
        Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
        The blessings of your father
        Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors,
        Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
        They shall be on the head of Joseph,
        And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.
        "Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
        In the morning he shall devour the prey,
        And at night he shall divide the spoil."

All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them. And he blessed them; he blessed each one according to his own blessing.

Isaiah 40:9-31

O Zion,
        You who bring good tidings,
        Get up into the high mountain;
        O Jerusalem,
        You who bring good tidings,
        Lift up your voice with strength,
        Lift it up, be not afraid;
        Say to the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!"
        Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand,
        And His arm shall rule for Him;
        Behold, His reward is with Him,
        And His work before Him.
        He will feed His flock like a shepherd;
        He will gather the lambs with His arm,
        And carry them in His bosom,
        And gently lead those who are with young.
        Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand,
        Measured heaven with a span
        And calculated the dust of the earth in a measure?
        Weighed the mountains in scales
        And the hills in a balance?
        Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD,
        Or as His counselor has taught Him?
        With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him,
        And taught Him in the path of justice?
        Who taught Him knowledge,
        And showed Him the way of understanding?
        Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket,
        And are counted as the small dust on the scales;
        Look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.
        And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn,
        Nor its beasts sufficient for a burnt offering.
        All nations before Him are as nothing,
        And they are counted by Him less than nothing and worthless.
        To whom then will you liken God?
        Or what likeness will you compare to Him?
        The workman molds an image,
        The goldsmith overspreads it with gold,
        And the silversmith casts silver chains.
        Whoever is too impoverished for such a contribution
        Chooses a tree that will not rot;
        He seeks for himself a skillful workman
        To prepare a carved image that will not totter.
        Have you not known?
        Have you not heard?
        Has it not been told you from the beginning?
        Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
        It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
        And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers,
        Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
        And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.
        He brings the princes to nothing;
        He makes the judges of the earth useless.
        Scarcely shall they be planted,
        Scarcely shall they be sown,
        Scarcely shall their stock take root in the earth,
        When He will also blow on them,
        And they will wither,
        And the whirlwind will take them away like stubble.
        "To whom then will you liken Me,
        Or to whom shall I be equal?" says the Holy One.
        Lift up your eyes on high,
        And see who has created these things,
        Who brings out their host by number;
        He calls them all by name,
        By the greatness of His might
        And the strength of His power;
        Not one is missing.
        Why do you say, O Jacob,
        And speak, O Israel:
        "My way is hidden from the LORD,
        And my just claim is passed over by my God"?
        Have you not known?
        Have you not heard?
        The everlasting God, the LORD,
        The Creator of the ends of the earth,
        Neither faints nor is weary.
        His understanding is unsearchable.
        He gives power to the weak,
        And to those who have no might He increases strength.
        Even the youths shall faint and be weary,
        And the young men shall utterly fall,
        But those who wait on the LORD
        Shall renew their strength;
        They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
        They shall run and not be weary,
        They shall walk and not faint.

Zephaniah 3:14-20

Sing, O daughter of Zion!
        Shout, O Israel!
        Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
        O daughter of Jerusalem!
        The LORD has taken away your judgments,
        He has cast out your enemy.
        The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
        You shall see disaster no more.
        In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
        "Do not fear;
        Zion, let not your hands be weak.
        The LORD your God in your midst,
        The Mighty One, will save;
        He will rejoice over you with gladness,
        He will quiet you with His love,
        He will rejoice over you with singing."
        "I will gather those who sorrow over the appointed assembly,
        Who are among you,
        To whom its reproach is a burden.
        Behold, at that time
        I will deal with all who afflict you;
        I will save the lame,
        And gather those who were driven out;
        I will appoint them for praise and fame
        In every land where they were put to shame.
        At that time I will bring you back,
        Even at the time I gather you;
        For I will give you fame and praise
        Among all the peoples of the earth,
        When I return your captives before your eyes,"
        Says the LORD.

Zechariah 9:9-15

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
        Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
        Behold, your King is coming to you;
        He is just and having salvation,
        Lowly and riding on a donkey,
        A colt, the foal of a donkey.
        I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
        And the horse from Jerusalem;
        The battle bow shall be cut off.
        He shall speak peace to the nations;
        His dominion shall be "from sea to sea,
        And from the River to the ends of the earth.'

"As for you also,
        Because of the blood of your covenant,
        I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
        Return to the stronghold,
        You prisoners of hope.
        Even today I declare
        That I will restore double to you.
        For I have bent Judah, My bow,
        Fitted the bow with Ephraim,
        And raised up your sons, O Zion,
        Against your sons, O Greece,
        And made you like the sword of a mighty man."
        Then the LORD will be seen over them,
        And His arrow will go forth like lightning.
        The Lord GOD will blow the trumpet,
        And go with whirlwinds from the south.
        The LORD of hosts will defend them.       


Psalm 88:2-4 [Arabic]

Let my prayer come before You;
Incline Your ear to my cry.
For my soul is full of troubles,
And my life draws near to the grave.
I am counted with those who go down to the pit.


Luke 18:35-43 [Arabic]



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Pauline Epistle

1Corinthians 2:1-8 [Arabic]

And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.


Catholic Epistle

1Peter 1:25-end ; 1Peter 2:1-6 [Arabic]

But the word of the LORD endures forever."

Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.

Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,
        "Behold, I lay in Zion
        A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,
        And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame."



Acts 27:38-end ; Acts 28:1-10 [Arabic]

So when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and threw out the wheat into the sea. When it was day, they did not recognize the land; but they observed a bay with a beach, onto which they planned to run the ship if possible. And they let go the anchors and left them in the sea, meanwhile loosing the rudder ropes; and they hoisted the mainsail to the wind and made for shore. But striking a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the prow stuck fast and remained immovable, but the stern was being broken up by the violence of the waves.

And the soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose, and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land. Now when they had escaped, they then found out that the island was called Malta. And the natives showed us unusual kindness; for they kindled a fire and made us all welcome, because of the rain that was falling and because of the cold. But when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks and laid them on the fire, a viper came out because of the heat, and fastened on his hand. So when the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they said to one another, "No doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he has escaped the sea, yet justice does not allow to live." But he shook off the creature into the fire and suffered no harm. However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.

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.



The Departure of St. Kyrellos (Cyril), Bishop of Jerusalem.
The Departure of St. Michael, Bishop of Naqadah.



Psalm 129:8 ; Psalm 129:2 [Arabic]

"The blessing of the LORD be upon you;
We bless you in the name of the LORD!"
"Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth;
Yet they have not prevailed against me."



John 11:1-45 [Arabic]

Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick."

When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again."

The disciples said to Him, "Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?"

Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up."

Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well." However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.

Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him."

Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."

So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

Now Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Now Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."

Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, "The Teacher has come and is calling for you." As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there."

Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died."

Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, "Where have you laid him?"

They said to Him, "Lord, come and see."

Jesus wept. Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!"

And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?"

Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone."

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days."

Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me." Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."

Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him.

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