For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
“You must keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days 1 you must eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you; do this 2 at the appointed time of the month Abib, for in the month Abib you came out of Egypt.
“This is to be a perpetual statute for you. 1 In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you must humble yourselves 2 and do no work of any kind, 3 both the native citizen and the foreigner who resides 4 in your midst,
“Tell the Israelites, ‘In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you must have a complete rest, a memorial announced by loud horn blasts, 1 a holy assembly.
Now look! This king walks before you. As for me, I am old and gray, though my sons are here with you. I have walked before you from the time of my youth till the present day.
Now a man from Baal Shalisha brought some food for the prophet 1 – twenty loaves of bread made from the firstfruits of the barley harvest, as well as fresh ears of grain. 2 Elisha 3 said, “Set it before the people so they may eat.”
On the first day of the first month they began consecrating; by the eighth day of the month they reached the porch of the Lord’s temple. 1 For eight more days they consecrated the Lord’s temple. On the sixteenth day of the first month they were finished.
Then in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought to me, 1 I took the wine and gave it to the king. Previously 2 I had not been depressed 3 in the king’s presence. 4
The fig tree has budded, the vines have blossomed and give off their fragrance. Arise, come away my darling; my beautiful one, come away with me!”
The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools; 1 Pharaoh’s wise advisers give stupid advice. How dare you say to Pharaoh, “I am one of the sages, one well-versed in the writings of the ancient kings?” 2
For just as the ground produces its crops and a garden yields its produce, so the sovereign Lord will cause deliverance 1 to grow, and give his people reason to praise him in the sight of all the nations. 2
“Go and declare in the hearing of the people of Jerusalem: 1 ‘This is what the Lord says: “I have fond memories of you, 2 how devoted you were to me in your early years. 3 I remember how you loved me like a new bride; you followed me through the wilderness, through a land that had never been planted.
In the seventh month, on the fifteenth day of the month, at the feast, 1 he will make the same provisions for the sin offering, burnt offering, and grain offering, and for the olive oil, for the seven days.