First Reading: Deut. 19:1-20
Three Cities of Refuge 1
“When the LORD your God has cut off the nations whose land the LORD your God is giving you, and you dispossess them and dwell in their cities and in their houses, 2
you shall separate three cities for yourself in the midst of your land which the LORD your God is giving you to possess. 3
You shall prepare roads for yourself, and divide into three parts the territory of your land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, that any manslayer may flee there. 4
“And this is
the case of the manslayer who flees there, that he may live: Whoever kills his neighbor unintentionally, not having hated him in time past— 5
as when a man
goes to the woods with his neighbor to cut timber, and his hand swings a stroke with the ax to cut down the tree, and the head slips from the handle and strikes his neighbor so that he dies—he shall flee to one of these cities and live; 6
lest the avenger of blood, while his anger is hot, pursue the manslayer and overtake him, because the way is long, and kill him, though he was
not deserving of death, since he had not hated the victim in time past. 7
Therefore I command you, saying, ‘You shall separate three cities for yourself.’ 8
“Now if the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as He swore to your fathers, and gives you the land which He promised to give to your fathers, 9
and if you keep all these commandments and do them, which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and to walk always in His ways, then you shall add three more cities for yourself besides these three, 10
lest innocent blood be shed in the midst of your land which the LORD your God is giving you as
an inheritance, and thus
guilt of bloodshed be upon you. 11
“But if anyone hates his neighbor, lies in wait for him, rises against him and strikes him mortally, so that he dies, and he flees to one of these cities, 12
then the elders of his city shall send and bring him from there, and deliver him over to the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die. 13
Your eye shall not pity him, but you shall put away the guilt of
innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with you.
Property Boundaries 14
“You shall not remove your neighbor’s landmark, which the men of old have set, in your inheritance which you will inherit in the land that the LORD your God is giving you to possess.
The Law Concerning Witnesses 15
“One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established. 16
If a false witness rises against any man to testify against him of wrongdoing, 17
then both men in the controversy shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges who serve in those days. 18
And the judges shall make careful inquiry, and indeed, if
the witness is
a false witness, who has testified falsely against his brother, 19
then you shall do to him as he thought to have done to his brother; so you shall put away the evil from among you. 20
And those who remain shall hear and fear, and hereafter they shall not again commit such evil among you.
Second Reading: Matt. 15:1-20
Defilement Comes from Within
1 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” 3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’;[a] and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’[b] 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’[c] Thus you have made the commandment[d] of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: Footnotes:
8 ‘ These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And[e]honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”[f] 10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” 12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?” 13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.” 15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.” 16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
Matthew 15:4 Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16
Matthew 15:4 Exodus 21:17
Matthew 15:6 NU-Text omits or mother.
Matthew 15:6 NU-Text reads word.
Matthew 15:8 NU-Text omits draw near to Me with their mouth, And.
Matthew 15:9 Isaiah 29:13