Promised Blessings - Extracted from Deuteronomy chapter 28:

 

1 'But if you faithfully obey the voice of Yahweh your God, by keeping and observing all his commandments, which I am laying down for you today, Yahweh your God will raise you higher than every other nation in the world,

 

2 and all these blessings will befall and overtake you, for having obeyed the voice of Yahweh your God.

 

3 'You will be blessed in the town and blessed in the countryside;

 

4 blessed, the offspring of your body, the yield of your soil, the yield of your livestock, the young of your cattle and the increase of your flocks;

 

5 blessed, your basket and your kneading trough.

 

6 You will be blessed in coming home, and blessed in going out.

 

7 The enemies who attack you, Yahweh will defeat before your eyes; they will advance on you from one direction and flee from you in seven.

 

8 Yahweh will command blessedness to be with you, on your barns and on all your undertakings, and he will bless you in the country given you by Yahweh your God.

 

9 'From you Yahweh will make a people consecrated to himself, as he has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of Yahweh your God and follow his ways.

 

10 The peoples of the world, seeing that you bear Yahweh's name, will all be afraid of you.

 

11 Yahweh will make you abound in possessions: in the offspring of your body, in the yield of your cattle and in the yield of your soil, in the country which he swore to your ancestors that he would give you.

 

12 For you Yahweh will open his treasury of rain, the heavens, to give your country its rain at the right time, and to bless all your labours. You will make many nations your subjects, yet you will be subject to none.

 

13 Yahweh will put you at the head, not at the tail; you will always be on top and never underneath, if you listen to the commandments of Yahweh your God, which I am laying down for you today, and then keep them and put them into practice,

 

14 not deviating to right or to left from any of the words which I am laying down for you today,

 

 

 

 

The Holy War against the Amalekites who oppressed the people of Israel

Extracted from 1 Samuel Chapter 15:

 

1 Samuel said to Saul, 'I am the man whom Yahweh sent to anoint you as king of his people Israel, so now listen to the words of Yahweh.

 

2 This is what Yahweh Sabaoth says, "I intend to punish what Amalek did to Israel - laying a trap for him on the way as he was coming up from Egypt.

 

3 Now, go and crush Amalek; put him under the curse of destruction with all that he possesses. Do not spare him, but kill man and woman, babe and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey." '

 

4 Saul summoned the people and reviewed them at Telaim: two hundred thousand foot soldiers (and ten thousand men of Judah).

 

5 Saul advanced on the town of Amalek and lay in ambush in the river bed.

 

6 Saul said to the Kenites, 'Go away, leave your homes among the Amalekites, in case I destroy you with them - you acted with faithful love towards all the Israelites when they were coming up from Egypt.' So the Kenites moved away from the Amalekites.

 

7 Saul then crushed the Amalekites, beginning at Havilah in the direction of Shur, which is to the east of Egypt.

 

8 He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive and, executing the curse of destruction, put all the people to the sword.

 

9 But Saul and the army spared Agag with the best of the sheep and cattle, the fatlings and lambs and all that was good. They did not want to consign these to the curse of destruction; they consigned only what was poor and worthless.

 

Saul is rejected by Yahweh - Extracted from 1 Samuel Chapter 15:

 

10 The word of Yahweh came to Samuel,

 

11 'I regret having made Saul king, since he has broken his allegiance to me and not carried out my orders.' Samuel was appalled and cried to Yahweh all night long.

 

12 In the morning, Samuel set off to find Saul. Samuel was told, 'Saul has been to Carmel, to raise himself a monument there, but now has turned about, moved on and gone down to Gilgal.'

 

13 When Samuel reached Saul, Saul said, 'May you be blessed by Yahweh! I have carried out Yahweh's orders.'

 

14 Samuel replied, 'Then what is this bleating of sheep in my ears and the lowing of cattle that I hear?'

 

15 Saul said, 'They have been brought from Amalek, the people having spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice them to Yahweh, your God; the rest we have consigned to the curse of destruction.'

 

16 Samuel then said to Saul, 'Stop! Let me tell you what Yahweh said to me last night.' He said, 'Go on.'

 

17 Samuel said, 'Small as you may be in your own eyes, are you not the leader of the tribes of Israel? Yahweh has anointed you as king of Israel.

 

18 When Yahweh sent you on a mission he said to you, "Go and put those sinners, the Amalekites, under the curse of destruction and make war on them until they are exterminated."

 

19 Why then did you not obey Yahweh's voice? Why did you fall on the booty and do what is wrong in Yahweh's eyes?'

 

20 Saul replied to Samuel, 'But I did obey Yahweh's voice. I went on the mission which Yahweh gave me; I brought back Agag king of the Amalekites; I put Amalek under the curse of destruction;

 

21 and from the booty the people have taken the best sheep and cattle of what was under the curse of destruction only to sacrifice them to Yahweh your God in Gilgal.'

 

22 To which, Samuel said: Is Yahweh pleased by burnt offerings and sacrifices or by obedience to Yahweh's voice? Truly, obedience is better than sacrifice, submissiveness than the fat of rams.

 

23 Rebellion is a sin of sorcery, presumption a crime of idolatry! 'Since you have rejected Yahweh's word, he has rejected you as king.'

Fatherly Advice - extracted from the Book of Tobit, Chapter 4:

 

3 He (Tobit) summoned his son Tobias and told him, 'When I die, give me an honourable burial. Honour your mother, and never abandon her all the days of your life. Do all that she wants, and give her no reason for sorrow.

 

4 Remember, my child, all the risks she ran for your sake when you were in her womb. And when she dies, bury her at my side in the same grave.

 

5 'My child, be faithful to the Lord all your days. Never entertain the will to sin or to transgress his laws. Do good works all the days of your life, never follow ways that are not upright;

 

6 for if you act in truthfulness, you will be successful in all your actions, as everyone is who practises what is upright.

 

7 'Set aside part of your goods for almsgiving. Never turn your face from the poor and God will never turn his from you.

 

8 Measure your alms by what you have; if you have much, give more; if you have little, do not be afraid to give less in alms.

 

9 So doing, you will lay up for yourself a great treasure for the day of necessity.

 

10 For almsgiving delivers from death and saves people from passing down to darkness.

 

11 Almsgiving is a most effective offering for all those who do it in the presence of the Most High.

 

12 'My child, avoid all loose conduct. Choose a wife of your father's stock. Do not take a foreign wife outside your father's tribe, because we are the children of the prophets. Remember Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, our ancestors from the beginning. All of them took wives from their own kindred, and they were blessed in their children, and their race will inherit the earth.

 

13 You, too, my child, must love your own brothers; never presume to despise your brothers, the sons and daughters of your people; choose your wife from among them. For pride brings ruin and much worry; idleness causes need and poverty, for the mother of famine is idleness.

 

14 'Do not keep back until next day the wages of those who work for you; pay them at once. If you serve God you will be rewarded. Be careful, my child, in all you do, well-disciplined in all your behaviour.

 

15 Do to no one what you would not want done to you. Do not drink wine to the point of drunkenness; do not let excess be your travelling companion.

 

16 'Give your bread to those who are hungry, and your clothes to those who lack clothing. Of whatever you own in plenty, devote a proportion to almsgiving; and when you give alms, do it ungrudgingly.

 

17 Be generous with bread and wine on the graves of upright people, but not for the sinner.

 

18 'Ask advice of every wise person; never scorn any profitable advice.

 

19 Bless the Lord God in everything; beg him to guide your ways and bring your paths and purposes to their end. For wisdom is not the property of every nation; their desire for what is good is conferred by the Lord. At his will he lifts up or he casts down to the depths of the dwelling of the dead. So now, my child, remember these precepts and never let them fade from your heart.

 

21 Do not be afraid, my child, if we have grown poor. You have great wealth if you fear God, if you shun every kind of sin and if you do what is pleasing to the Lord your God.'

 

 

 

 

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