Twenty-eighth Day of Easter (Zadeeg),
II Peter 3:10-18
 Now he was casting out a demon that was dumb; when the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke, and the people marveled.
 But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Be-el’zebul, the prince of demons”;
 while others, to test him, sought from him a sign from heaven.
 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.
 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Be-el’zebul.
 And if I cast out demons by Be-el’zebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace;
 but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil.
 He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.
 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest; and finding none he says, `I will return to my house from which I came.’
 And when he comes he finds it swept and put in order.
 Then he goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”
 As he said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!”
 But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
 For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nin’eveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation.
 The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
 The men of Nin’eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
 And they went through the region of Phry’gia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.
 And when they had come opposite My’sia, they attempted to go into Bithyn’ia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them;
 so, passing by My’sia, they went down to Tro’as.
 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedo’nia was standing beseeching him and saying, “Come over to Macedo’nia and help us.”
 And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedo’nia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
 Setting sail therefore from Tro’as, we made a direct voyage to Sam’othrace, and the following day to Ne-ap’olis,
 and from there to Philip’pi, which is the leading city of the district of Macedo’nia, and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days;
 and on the sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together.
 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyati’ra, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul.
 And when she was baptized, with her household, she besought us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by soothsaying.
 She followed Paul and us, crying, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”
 And this she did for many days. But Paul was annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
 But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the rulers;
 and when they had brought them to the magistrates they said, “These men are Jews and they are disturbing our city.
 They advocate customs which it is not lawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”
 The crowd joined in attacking them; and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods.
 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely.
 Having received this charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,
 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and every one’s fetters were unfastened.
 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”
 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas,
 and brought them out and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?”
 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all that were in his house.
 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their wounds, and he was baptized at once, with all his family.
 Then he brought them up into his house, and set food before them; and he rejoiced with all his household that he had believed in God.
 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.”
 And the jailer reported the words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go; now therefore come out and go in peace.”
 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now cast us out secretly? No! let them come themselves and take us out.”
 The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens;
 so they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city.
 So they went out of the prison, and visited Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they exhorted them and departed.
II Peter 3:10-18
 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up.
 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire!
 But according to his promise we wait for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
 Therefore, beloved, since you wait for these, be zealous to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.
 And count the forbearance of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,
 speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.
 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability.
 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
 After this Jesus went about in Galilee; he would not go about in Judea, because the Jews sought to kill him.
 Now the Jews’ feast of Tabernacles was at hand.
 So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples may see the works you are doing.
 For no man works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.”
 For even his brothers did not believe in him.
 Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here.
 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify of it that its works are evil.
 Go to the feast yourselves; I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.”
 So saying, he remained in Galilee.
 But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.
 The Jews were looking for him at the feast, and saying, “Where is he?”
 And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said, “He is a good man,” others said, “No, he is leading the people astray.”
 Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly of him.
 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.”
 He answered, “He who sows the good seed is the Son of man;
 the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one,
 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels.
 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.
 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers,
 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.
 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind;
 when it was full, men drew it ashore and sat down and sorted the good into vessels but threw away the bad.
 So it will be at the close of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous,
 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
 “Have you understood all this?” They said to him, “Yes.”
 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
 King Herod heard of it; for Jesus’ name had become known. Some said, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him.”
 But others said, “It is Eli’jah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.”
 But when Herod heard of it he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”
 For Herod had sent and seized John, and bound him in prison for the sake of Hero’di-as, his brother Philip’s wife; because he had married her.
 For John said to Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.”
 And Hero’di-as had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not,
 for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and kept him safe. When he heard him, he was much perplexed; and yet he heard him gladly.
 But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and the leading men of Galilee.
 For when Hero’di-as’ daughter came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will grant it.”
 And he vowed to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.”
 And she went out, and said to her mother, “What shall I ask?” And she said, “The head of John the baptizer.”
 And she came in immediately with haste to the king, and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.”
 And the king was exceedingly sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he did not want to break his word to her.
 And immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard and gave orders to bring his head. He went and beheaded him in the prison,
 and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother.
 When his disciples heard of it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyright © National Council of Churches of Christ in America