Bible Society of South Africa

Paasfees: Die Paaswaak

Ou-Testamentiese lesings en Psalms

A Hymn of Thanksgiving

1Give thanks to the LORD, because he is good;

his love is eternal.

2Give thanks to the greatest of all gods;

his love is eternal.

3Give thanks to the mightiest of all lords;

his love is eternal.

4He alone performs great miracles;

his love is eternal.

5By his wisdom he made the heavens;

his love is eternal;

6he built the earth on the deep waters;

his love is eternal.

7He made the sun and the moon;

his love is eternal;

8the sun to rule over the day;

his love is eternal;

9the moon and the stars to rule over the night;

his love is eternal.

Psalms 136:1-9GNBOpen in Bible reader

23He did not forget us when we were defeated;

his love is eternal;

24he freed us from our enemies;

his love is eternal.

25He gives food to every living creature;

his love is eternal.

26Give thanks to the God of heaven;

his love is eternal.

Psalms 136:23-26GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Flood

1The LORD said to Noah, “Go into the boat with your whole family; I have found that you are the only one in all the world who does what is right. 2Take with you seven pairs of each kind of ritually clean animal, but only one pair of each kind of unclean animal. 3Take also seven pairs of each kind of bird. Do this so that every kind of animal and bird will be kept alive to reproduce again on the earth. 4Seven days from now I am going to send rain that will fall for forty days and nights, in order to destroy all the living beings that I have made.” 5And Noah did everything that the LORD commanded.

Genesis 7:1-5GNBOpen in Bible reader

11When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month all the outlets of the vast body of water beneath the earth burst open, all the floodgates of the sky were opened, 12and rain fell on the earth for forty days and nights. 13On that same day Noah and his wife went into the boat with their three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their wives. 14With them went every kind of animal, domestic and wild, large and small, and every kind of bird. 15A male and a female of each kind of living being went into the boat with Noah, 16as God had commanded. Then the LORD shut the door behind Noah.

17The flood continued for forty days, and the water became deep enough for the boat to float. 18The water became deeper, and the boat drifted on the surface.

Genesis 7:11-18GNBOpen in Bible reader

6After forty days Noah opened a window 7and sent out a raven. It did not come back, but kept flying around until the water was completely gone. 8Meanwhile, Noah sent out a dove to see if the water had gone down, 9but since the water still covered all the land, the dove did not find a place to alight. It flew back to the boat, and Noah reached out and took it in. 10He waited another seven days and sent out the dove again. 11It returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. So Noah knew that the water had gone down. 12Then he waited another seven days and sent out the dove once more; this time it did not come back.

13When Noah was 601 years old, on the first day of the first month, the water was gone. Noah removed the covering of the boat, looked round, and saw that the ground was getting dry. 14By the 27th day of the second month the earth was completely dry.

15God said to Noah, 16“Go out of the boat with your wife, your sons, and their wives. 17Take all the birds and animals out with you, so that they may reproduce and spread over all the earth.” 18So Noah went out of the boat with his wife, his sons, and their wives.

Genesis 8:6-18GNBOpen in Bible reader

8God said to Noah and his sons, 9“I am now making my covenant with you and with your descendants, 10and with all living beings — all birds and all animals — everything that came out of the boat with you. 11With these words I make my covenant with you: I promise that never again will all living beings be destroyed by a flood; never again will a flood destroy the earth. 12As a sign of this everlasting covenant which I am making with you and with all living beings, 13I am putting my bow in the clouds. It will be the sign of my covenant with the world.

Genesis 9:8-13GNBOpen in Bible reader

God is with Us

1God is our shelter and strength,

always ready to help in times of trouble.

2So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken

and mountains fall into the ocean depths;

3even if the seas roar and rage,

and the hills are shaken by the violence.

4There is a river that brings joy to the city of God,

to the sacred house of the Most High.

5God is in that city, and it will never be destroyed;

at early dawn he will come to its aid.

6Nations are terrified, kingdoms are shaken;

God thunders, and the earth dissolves.

7The LORD Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge.

8Come and see what the LORD has done.

See what amazing things he has done on earth.

9He stops wars all over the world;

he breaks bows, destroys spears,

and sets shields on fire.

10“Stop fighting,” he says, “and know that I am God,

supreme among the nations,

supreme over the world.”

11The LORD Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our refuge.

Psalms 46-46GNBOpen in Bible reader

God Commands Abraham to Offer Isaac

1Some time later God tested Abraham; he called to him, “Abraham!” And Abraham answered, “Yes, here I am!”

2“Take your son,” God said, “your only son, Isaac, whom you love so much, and go to the land of Moriah. There on a mountain that I will show you, offer him as a sacrifice to me.”

3Early the next morning Abraham cut some wood for the sacrifice, loaded his donkey, and took Isaac and two servants with him. They started out for the place that God had told him about. 4On the third day Abraham saw the place in the distance. 5Then he said to the servants, “Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there and worship, and then we will come back to you.”

6Abraham made Isaac carry the wood for the sacrifice, and he himself carried a knife and live coals for starting the fire. As they walked along together, 7Isaac said, “Father!”

He answered, “Yes, my son?”

Isaac asked, “I see that you have the coals and the wood, but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”

8Abraham answered, “God himself will provide one.” And the two of them walked on together.

9When they came to the place which God had told him about, Abraham built an altar and arranged the wood on it. He tied up his son and placed him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then he picked up the knife to kill him. 11But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, “Abraham, Abraham!”

He answered, “Yes, here I am.”

12“Don't hurt the boy or do anything to him,” he said. “Now I know that you honour and obey God, because you have not kept back your only son from him.”

13Abraham looked round and saw a ram caught in a bush by its horns. He went and got it and offered it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14Abraham named that place “The LORD Provides”. And even today people say, “On the LORD's mountain he provides.”

15The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time, 16“I make a vow by my own name — the LORD is speaking — that I will richly bless you. Because you did this and did not keep back your only son from me, 17I promise that I will give you as many descendants as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand along the seashore. Your descendants will conquer their enemies. 18All the nations will ask me to bless them as I have blessed your descendants — all because you obeyed my command.”

Genesis 22:1-18GNBOpen in Bible reader

A Prayer of Confidence

1Protect me, O God; I trust in you for safety.

2I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;

all the good things I have come from you.”

3How excellent are the LORD's faithful people!

My greatest pleasure is to be with them.

4Those who rush to other gods

bring many troubles on themselves.

I will not take part in their sacrifices;

I will not worship their gods.

5You, LORD, are all I have,

and you give me all I need;

my future is in your hands.

6How wonderful are your gifts to me;

how good they are!

7I praise the LORD, because he guides me,

and in the night my conscience warns me.

8I am always aware of the LORD's presence;

he is near, and nothing can shake me.

9And so I am thankful and glad,

and I feel completely secure,

10because you protect me from the power of death.

I have served you faithfully,

and you will not abandon me to the world of the dead.

11You will show me the path that leads to life;

your presence fills me with joy

and brings me pleasure for ever.

Psalms 16-16GNBOpen in Bible reader

10When the Israelites saw the king and his army marching against them, they were terrified and cried out to the LORD for help. 11They said to Moses, “Weren't there any graves in Egypt? Did you have to bring us out here in the desert to die? Look what you have done by bringing us out of Egypt! 12Didn't we tell you before we left that this would happen? We told you to leave us alone and let us go on being slaves of the Egyptians. It would be better to be slaves there than to die here in the desert.”

13Moses answered, “Don't be afraid! Stand your ground, and you will see what the LORD will do to save you today; you will never see these Egyptians again. 14The LORD will fight for you, and there is no need for you to do anything.”

15The LORD said to Moses, “Why are you crying out for help? Tell the people to move forward. 16Lift up your stick and hold it out over the sea. The water will divide, and the Israelites will be able to walk through the sea on dry ground. 17I will make the Egyptians so stubborn that they will go in after them, and I will gain honour by my victory over the king, his army, his chariots, and his drivers. 18When I defeat them, the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.”

19The angel of God, who had been in front of the army of Israel, moved and went to the rear. The pillar of cloud also moved until it was 20between the Egyptians and the Israelites. The cloud made it dark for the Egyptians, but gave light to the people of Israel, and so the armies could not come near each other all night.

21Moses held out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind. It blew all night and turned the sea into dry land. The water was divided, 22and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides. 23The Egyptians pursued them and went after them into the sea with all their horses, chariots, and drivers. 24Just before dawn the LORD looked down from the pillar of fire and cloud at the Egyptian army and threw them into a panic. 25He made the wheels of their chariots get stuck, so that they moved with great difficulty. The Egyptians said, “The LORD is fighting for the Israelites against us. Let's get out of here!”

26The LORD said to Moses, “Hold out your hand over the sea, and the water will come back over the Egyptians and their chariots and drivers.” 27So Moses held out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the water returned to its normal level. The Egyptians tried to escape from the water, but the LORD threw them into the sea. 28The water returned and covered the chariots, the drivers, and all the Egyptian army that had followed the Israelites into the sea; not one of them was left. 29But the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground, with walls of water on both sides.

30On that day the LORD saved the people of Israel from the Egyptians, and the Israelites saw them lying dead on the seashore. 31When the Israelites saw the great power with which the LORD had defeated the Egyptians, they stood in awe of the LORD; and they had faith in the LORD and in his servant Moses.

Exodus 14:10-31GNBOpen in Bible reader

20The prophet Miriam, Aaron's sister, took her tambourine, and all the women followed her, playing tambourines and dancing. 21Miriam sang for them:

“Sing to the LORD, because he has won a glorious victory;

he has thrown the horses and their riders into the sea.”

Exodus 15:20-21GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Song of Moses

1Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD:

“I will sing to the LORD, because he has won a glorious victory;

he has thrown the horses and their riders into the sea.

2The LORD is my strong defender;

he is the one who has saved me.

He is my God, and I will praise him,

my father's God, and I will sing about his greatness.

3The LORD is a warrior;

the LORD is his name.

4“He threw Egypt's army and its chariots into the sea;

the best of its officers were drowned in the Red Sea.

5The deep sea covered them;

they sank to the bottom like a stone.

6“Your right hand, LORD, is awesome in power;

it breaks the enemy in pieces.

7In majestic triumph you overthrow your foes;

your anger blazes out and burns them up like straw.

8You blew on the sea and the water piled up high;

it stood up straight like a wall;

the deepest part of the sea became solid.

9The enemy said, ‘I will pursue them and catch them;

I will divide their wealth and take all I want;

I will draw my sword and take all they have.’

10But one breath from you, LORD, and the Egyptians were drowned;

they sank like lead in the terrible water.

11LORD, who among the gods is like you?

Who is like you, wonderful in holiness?

Who can work miracles and mighty acts like yours?

12You stretched out your right hand,

and the earth swallowed our enemies.

13Faithful to your promise, you led the people you had rescued;

by your strength you guided them to your sacred land.

Exodus 15:1-13GNBOpen in Bible reader

17You bring them in and plant them on your mountain,

the place that you, LORD, have chosen for your home,

the Temple that you yourself have built.

18You, LORD, will be king for ever and ever.”

Exodus 15:17-18GNBOpen in Bible reader

God's Offer of Mercy

1The LORD says,

“Come, everyone who is thirsty —

here is water!

Come, you that have no money —

buy corn and eat!

Come! Buy wine and milk —

it will cost you nothing!

2Why spend money on what does not satisfy?

Why spend your wages and still be hungry?

Listen to me and do what I say,

and you will enjoy the best food of all.

3“Listen now, my people, and come to me;

come to me, and you will have life!

I will make a lasting covenant with you

and give you the blessings I promised to David.

4I made him a leader and commander of nations,

and through him I showed them my power.

5Now you will summon foreign nations;

at one time they did not know you,

but now they will come running to join you!

I, the LORD your God, the holy God of Israel,

will make all this happen;

I will give you honour and glory.”

6Turn to the LORD and pray to him,

now that he is near.

7Let the wicked leave their way of life

and change their way of thinking.

Let them turn to the LORD, our God;

he is merciful and quick to forgive.

8“My thoughts,” says the LORD, “are not like yours,

and my ways are different from yours.

9As high as the heavens are above the earth,

so high are my ways and thoughts above yours.

10“My word is like the snow and the rain

that come down from the sky to water the earth.

They make the crops grow

and provide seed for sowing and food to eat.

11So also will be the word that I speak —

it will not fail to do what I plan for it;

it will do everything I send it to do.

Isaiah 55:1-11GNBOpen in Bible reader

2God is my saviour;

I will trust him and not be afraid.

The LORD gives me power and strength;

he is my saviour.

3As fresh water brings joy to the thirsty,

so God's people rejoice when he saves them.”

4A day is coming when people will sing,

“Give thanks to the LORD! Call for him to help you!

Tell all the nations what he has done!

Tell them how great he is!

5Sing to the LORD because of the great things he has done.

Let the whole world hear the news.

6Let everyone who lives in Zion shout and sing!

Israel's holy God is great,

and he lives among his people.”

Isaiah 12:2-6GNBOpen in Bible reader

In Praise of Wisdom

9Listen, Israel, to the commands that promise life; pay attention, and you will become wise. 10Why is it, Israel, that you find yourself in an enemy land? Why have you grown old in a foreign country? You are ritually unclean, like the dead; 11you are already counted among the dead. But why? 12It is because you have left the source of Wisdom! 13If you had walked in God's ways, you would have lived in peace for ever. 14Learn where understanding, strength, and insight are to be found. Then you will know where to find a long and full life, light to guide you, and peace.

15No one has ever found where Wisdom lives or has entered her treasure house,

Baruch 3:9-15GNBOpen in Bible reader

In Praise of Wisdom

1Listen! Wisdom is calling out.

Reason is making herself heard.

2On the hilltops near the road

and at the crossroads she stands.

3At the entrance to the city,

beside the gates, she calls:

4“I appeal to all of you;

I call to everyone on earth.

5Are you immature? Learn to be mature.

Are you foolish? Learn to have sense.

6Listen to my excellent words;

all I tell you is right.

7What I say is the truth;

lies are hateful to me.

8Everything I say is true;

nothing is false or misleading.

Proverbs 8:1-8GNBOpen in Bible reader

19What you get from me is better than the finest gold,

better than the purest silver.

20I walk the way of righteousness;

I follow the paths of justice,

21giving wealth to those who love me,

filling their houses with treasures.

Proverbs 8:19-21GNBOpen in Bible reader

4“Come in, ignorant people!” And to the foolish she says, 5“Come, eat my food and drink the wine that I have mixed. 6Leave the company of ignorant people, and live. Follow the way of knowledge.”

Proverbs 9:4-6GNBOpen in Bible reader

God's Glory in Creation

1How clearly the sky reveals God's glory!

How plainly it shows what he has done!

2Each day announces it to the following day;

each night repeats it to the next.

3No speech or words are used,

no sound is heard;

4yet their message goes out to all the world

and is heard to the ends of the earth.

God made a home in the sky for the sun;

5it comes out in the morning like a happy bridegroom,

like an athlete eager to run a race.

6It starts at one end of the sky

and goes across to the other.

Nothing can hide from its heat.

The Law of the LORD

7The law of the LORD is perfect;

it gives new strength.

The commands of the LORD are trustworthy,

giving wisdom to those who lack it.

8The laws of the LORD are right,

and those who obey them are happy.

The commands of the LORD are just

and give understanding to the mind.

9Reverence for the LORD is good;

it will continue for ever.

The judgements of the LORD are just;

they are always fair.

10They are more desirable than the finest gold;

they are sweeter than the purest honey.

11They give knowledge to me, your servant;

I am rewarded for obeying them.

12No one can see his own errors;

deliver me, LORD, from hidden faults!

13Keep me safe, also, from wilful sins;

don't let them rule over me.

Then I shall be perfect

and free from the evil of sin.

14May my words and my thoughts be acceptable to you,

O LORD, my refuge and my redeemer!

Psalms 19-19GNBOpen in Bible reader

24I will take you from every nation and country and bring you back to your own land. 25I will sprinkle clean water on you and make you clean from all your idols and everything else that has defiled you. 26I will give you a new heart and a new mind. I will take away your stubborn heart of stone and give you an obedient heart. 27I will put my spirit in you and I will see to it that you follow my laws and keep all the commands I have given you. 28Then you will live in the land I gave your ancestors. You will be my people, and I will be your God.

Ezekiel 36:24-28GNBOpen in Bible reader

Book Two

Psalms 42—72

The Prayer of Someone in Exile

1As a deer longs for a stream of cool water,

so I long for you, O God.

2I thirst for you, the living God;

when can I go and worship in your presence?

3Day and night I cry,

and tears are my only food;

all the time my enemies ask me,

“Where is your God?”

4My heart breaks when I remember the past,

when I went with the crowds to the house of God

and led them as they walked along,

a happy crowd, singing and shouting praise to God.

5Why am I so sad?

Why am I so troubled?

I will put my hope in God,

and once again I will praise him,

my saviour and my God.

6-7Here in exile my heart is breaking,

and so I turn my thoughts to him.

He has sent waves of sorrow over my soul;

chaos roars at me like a flood,

like waterfalls thundering down to the Jordan

from Mount Hermon and Mount Mizar.

8May the LORD show his constant love during the day,

so that I may have a song at night,

a prayer to the God of my life.

9To God, my defender, I say,

“Why have you forgotten me?

Why must I go on suffering

from the cruelty of my enemies?”

10I am crushed by their insults,

as they keep on asking me,

“Where is your God?”

11Why am I so sad?

Why am I so troubled?

I will put my hope in God,

and once again I will praise him,

my saviour and my God.

Psalms 42-42GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Prayer of Someone in Exile

(Continuation of Ps 42)

1O God, declare me innocent,

and defend my cause against the ungodly;

deliver me from lying and evil people!

2You are my protector;

why have you abandoned me?

Why must I go on suffering

from the cruelty of my enemies?

3Send your light and your truth;

may they lead me

and bring me back to Zion, your sacred hill,

and to your Temple, where you live.

4Then I will go to your altar, O God;

you are the source of my happiness.

I will play my harp and sing praise to you,

O God, my God.

5Why am I so sad?

Why am I so troubled?

I will put my hope in God,

and once again I will praise him,

my saviour and my God.

Psalms 43-43GNBOpen in Bible reader

The Valley of Dry Bones

1I felt the powerful presence of the LORD, and his Spirit took me and set me down in a valley where the ground was covered with bones. 2He led me all round the valley, and I could see that there were very many bones and that they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Mortal man, can these bones come back to life?”

I replied, “Sovereign LORD, only you can answer that!”

4He said, “Prophesy to the bones. Tell these dry bones to listen to the word of the LORD. 5Tell them that I, the Sovereign LORD, am saying to them: I am going to put breath into you and bring you back to life. 6I will give you sinews and muscles, and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you and bring you back to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.”

7So I prophesied as I had been told. While I was speaking, I heard a rattling noise, and the bones began to join together. 8While I watched, the bones were covered with sinews and muscles, and then with skin. But there was no breath in the bodies.

9God said to me, “Mortal man, prophesy to the wind. Tell the wind that the Sovereign LORD commands it to come from every direction, to breathe into these dead bodies, and to bring them back to life.”

10So I prophesied as I had been told. Breath entered the bodies, and they came to life and stood up. There were enough of them to form an army.

11God said to me, “Mortal man, the people of Israel are like these bones. They say that they are dried up, without any hope and with no future. 12So prophesy to my people Israel and tell them that I, the Sovereign LORD, am going to open their graves. I am going to take them out and bring them back to the land of Israel. 13When I open the graves where my people are buried and bring them out, they will know that I am the LORD. 14I will put my breath in them, bring them back to life, and let them live in their own land. Then they will know that I am the LORD. I have promised that I would do this — and I will. I, the LORD, have spoken.”

Ezekiel 37:1-14GNBOpen in Bible reader

A Prayer for Help

1LORD, hear my prayer!

In your righteousness listen to my plea;

answer me in your faithfulness!

2Don't put me, your servant, on trial;

no one is innocent in your sight.

3My enemies have hunted me down

and completely defeated me.

They have put me in a dark prison,

and I am like those who died long ago.

4So I am ready to give up;

I am in deep despair.

5I remember the days gone by;

I think about all that you have done,

I bring to mind all your deeds.

6I lift up my hands to you in prayer;

like dry ground my soul is thirsty for you.

7Answer me now, LORD!

I have lost all hope.

Don't hide yourself from me,

or I will be among those who go down to the world of the dead.

8Remind me each morning of your constant love,

for I put my trust in you.

My prayers go up to you;

show me the way I should go.

9I go to you for protection, LORD;

rescue me from my enemies.

10You are my God;

teach me to do your will.

Be good to me, and guide me on a safe path.

11Rescue me, LORD, as you have promised;

in your goodness save me from my troubles!

12Because of your love for me, kill my enemies

and destroy all my oppressors,

for I am your servant.

Psalms 143-143GNBOpen in Bible reader

A Song of Joy

14Sing and shout for joy, people of Israel!

Rejoice with all your heart, Jerusalem!

15The LORD has ended your punishment;

he has removed all your enemies.

The LORD, the king of Israel, is with you;

there is no reason now to be afraid.

16The time is coming when they will say to Jerusalem,

“Do not be afraid, city of Zion!

Do not let your hands hang limp!

17The LORD your God is with you;

his power gives you victory.

The LORD will take delight in you,

and in his love he will give you new life.

He will sing and be joyful over you,

18as joyful as people at a festival.”

The LORD says,

“I have ended the threat of doom

and taken away your disgrace.

19The time is coming!

I will punish your oppressors;

I will rescue all the lame

and bring the exiles home.

I will turn their shame to honour,

and all the world will praise them.

20The time is coming!

I will bring your scattered people home;

I will make you famous throughout the world

and make you prosperous once again.”

The LORD has spoken.

Zephaniah 3:14-20GNBOpen in Bible reader

God the Ruler of the World

1Sing a new song to the LORD;

he has done wonderful things!

By his own power and holy strength

he has won the victory.

2The LORD announced his victory;

he made his saving power known to the nations.

3He kept his promise to the people of Israel

with loyalty and constant love for them.

All people everywhere have seen the victory of our God.

4Sing for joy to the LORD, all the earth;

praise him with songs and shouts of joy!

5Sing praises to the LORD!

Play music on the harps!

6Blow trumpets and horns,

and shout for joy to the LORD, our king.

7Roar, sea, and every creature in you;

sing, earth, and all who live on you!

8Clap your hands, you rivers;

you hills, sing together with joy before the LORD,

9because he comes to rule the earth.

He will rule the peoples of the world

with justice and fairness.

Psalms 98-98GNBOpen in Bible reader
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