Bible Society of South Africa

Easter: Day of Pentecost

First reading

The Coming of the Holy Spirit

1When the day of Pentecost came, all the believers were gathered together in one place. 2Suddenly there was a noise from the sky which sounded like a strong wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. 4They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

5There were Jews living in Jerusalem, religious people who had come from every country in the world. 6When they heard this noise, a large crowd gathered. They were all excited, because each one of them heard the believers speaking in his or her own language. 7In amazement and wonder they exclaimed, “These people who are talking like this are Galileans! 8How is it, then, that all of us hear them speaking in our own native languages? 9We are from Parthia, Media, and Elam; from Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia; from Pontus and Asia, 10from Phrygia and Pamphylia, from Egypt and the regions of Libya near Cyrene. Some of us are from Rome, 11both Jews and Gentiles converted to Judaism, and some of us are from Crete and Arabia — yet all of us hear them speaking in our own languages about the great things that God has done!” 12Amazed and confused, they kept asking each other, “What does this mean?”

13But others made fun of the believers, saying, “These people are drunk!”

Peter's Message

14Then Peter stood up with the other eleven apostles and in a loud voice began to speak to the crowd: “Fellow-Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, listen to me and let me tell you what this means. 15These people are not drunk, as you suppose; it is only nine o'clock in the morning. 16Instead, this is what the prophet Joel spoke about:

17‘This is what I will do in the last days, God says:

I will pour out my Spirit on everyone.

Your sons and daughters will proclaim my message;

your young men will see visions,

and your old men will have dreams.

18Yes, even on my servants, both men and women,

I will pour out my Spirit in those days,

and they will proclaim my message.

19I will perform miracles in the sky above

and wonders on the earth below.

There will be blood, fire, and thick smoke;

20the sun will be darkened,

and the moon will turn red as blood,

before the great and glorious Day of the Lord comes.

21And then, whoever calls out to the Lord for help will be saved.’

Acts 2:1-21GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Tower of Babylon

1At first, the people of the whole world had only one language and used the same words. 2As they wandered about in the East, they came to a plain in Babylonia and settled there. 3They said to one another, “Come on! Let's make bricks and bake them hard.” So they had bricks to build with and tar to hold them together. 4They said, “Now let's build a city with a tower that reaches the sky, so that we can make a name for ourselves and not be scattered all over the earth.”

5Then the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which those men had built, 6and he said, “Now then, these are all one people and they speak one language; this is just the beginning of what they are going to do. Soon they will be able to do anything they want! 7Let us go down and mix up their language so that they will not understand one another.” 8So the LORD scattered them all over the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9The city was called Babylon, because there the LORD mixed up the language of all the people, and from there he scattered them all over the earth.

Genesis 11:1-9GNBOpen in Bible reader
Bible Society of South Africav.4.20.15
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