Parasha for this week:
Parashah: Chag Matzot (Unleavened Bread):
D’varim (Deuteronomy) 15:19-16:17
B’midbar (Numbers) 28:19-25
Haftorah Chag Matzot:
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 10:32-12:6
B’rit Hadashah Chag Matzot:
Mattityahu (Matthew) 26-28
This Week’s Torah Reading
Chag Matzot Deuteronomy 15:19-16:17
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
19 “All the firstborn males in your herd of cattle and in your flock you are to set aside for Adonai your God; you are not to do any work with a firstborn from your herd or shear a firstborn sheep. 20 Each year you and your household are to eat it in the presence of Adonai your God in the place which Adonai will choose. 21 But if it has a defect, is lame or blind, or has some other kind of fault, you are not to sacrifice it to Adonai your God; 22 rather, eat it on your own property; the unclean and the clean alike may eat it, like the gazelle or the deer. 23 Just don’t eat its blood, but pour it out on the ground like water.
“Observe the month of Aviv, and keep Pesach to Adonai your God; for in the month of Aviv, Adonai your God brought you out of Egypt at night. 2 You are to sacrifice the Pesach offering from flock and herd to Adonai your God in the place where Adonai will choose to have his name live. 3 You are not to eat any hametz with it; for seven days you are to eat with it matzah, the bread of affliction; for you came out of the land of Egypt in haste. Thus you will remember the day you left the land of Egypt as long as you live. 4 No leaven is to be seen with you anywhere in your territory for seven days. None of the meat from your sacrifice on the first day in the evening is to remain all night until morning. 5 You may not sacrifice the Pesach offering in just any of the towns that Adonai your God is giving you; 6 but at the place where Adonai your God will choose to have his name live — there is where you are to sacrifice the Pesach offering, in the evening, when the sun sets, at the time of year that you came out of Egypt. 7 You are to roast it and eat it in the place Adonai your God will choose; in the morning you will return and go to your tents. 8 For six days you are to eat matzah; on the seventh day there is to be a festive assembly for Adonai your God; do not do any kind of work.
9 “You are to count seven weeks; you are to begin counting seven weeks from the time you first put your sickle to the standing grain. 10 You are to observe the festival of Shavu‘ot [weeks] for Adonai your God with a voluntary offering, which you are to give in accordance with the degree to which Adonai your God has prospered you. 11 You are to rejoice in the presence of Adonai your God — you, your sons and daughters, your male and female slaves, the L’vi’im living in your towns, and the foreigners, orphans and widows living among you — in the place where Adonai your God will choose to have his name live. 12 Remember that you were a slave in Egypt; then you will keep and obey these laws.
(Maftir) 13 “You are to keep the festival of Sukkot for seven days after you have gathered the produce of your threshing-floor and winepress. 14 Rejoice at your festival — you, your sons and daughters, your male and female slaves, the L’vi’im, and the foreigners, orphans and widows living among you. 15 Seven days you are to keep the festival for Adonai your God in the place Adonai your God will choose, because Adonai your God will bless you in all your crops and in all your work, so you are to be full of joy!
16 “Three times a year all your men are to appear in the presence of Adonai your God in the place which he will choose — at the festival of matzah, at the festival of Shavu‘ot and at the festival of Sukkot. They are not to show up before Adonai empty-handed, 17 but every man is to give what he can, in accordance with the blessing Adonai your God has given you.
B’midbar (Numbers) 28:19-25
19 but present an offering made by fire, a burnt offering, to Adonai, consisting of two young bulls, one ram, and seven male lambs in their first year (they are to be without defect for you) 20 with their grain offering, fine flour mixed with olive oil. Offer six quarts for a bull, four quarts for the ram, 21 and two quarts for each of the seven lambs; 22 also a male goat as a sin offering, to make atonement for you. 23 You are to offer these in addition to the morning burnt offering, which is the regular burnt offering. 24 In this fashion you are to offer daily, for seven days, the food of the offering made by fire, making a fragrant aroma for Adonai ; it is to be offered in addition to the regular burnt offering and its drink offering. 25 On the seventh day you are to have a holy convocation; do not do any kind of ordinary work.
This Week’s Haftorah Reading
32 This very day he will stop at Nov;
and he will shake his fist
at the mountain of the daughter of Tziyon,
at the hill of Yerushalayim.
33 See how Adonai Elohim–Tzva’ot
lops off the branches with terrible violence!
The ones standing highest are chopped down,
the lofty are laid low.
34 He will hack down the forest underbrush with an axe,
and the L’vanon in its splendor falls.
But a branch will emerge from the trunk of Yishai,
a shoot will grow from his roots.
2 The Spirit of Adonai will rest on him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and power,
the Spirit of knowledge and fearing Adonai —
3 he will be inspired by fearing Adonai.
He will not judge by what his eyes see
or decide by what his ears hear,
4 but he will judge the impoverished justly;
he will decide fairly for the humble of the land.
He will strike the land with a rod from his mouth
and slay the wicked with a breath from his lips.
5 Justice will be the belt around his waist,
faithfulness the sash around his hips.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb;
the leopard lie down with the kid;
calf, young lion and fattened lamb together,
with a little child to lead them.
7 Cow and bear will feed together,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 An infant will play on a cobra’s hole,
a toddler put his hand in a viper’s nest.
9 They will not hurt or destroy
anywhere on my holy mountain,
for the earth will be as full
of the knowledge of Adonai
as water covering the sea.
10 On that day the root of Yishai,
which stands as a banner for the peoples —
the Goyim will seek him out,
and the place where he rests will be glorious.
11 On that day Adonai will raise his hand
again, a second time,
to reclaim the remnant of his people who remain
from Ashur, Egypt, Patros,
Ethiopia, ‘Eilam, Shin‘ar,
Hamat and the islands in the sea.
12 He will hoist a banner for the Goyim,
assemble the dispersed of Isra’el,
and gather the scattered of Y’hudah
from the four corners of the earth.
13 Efrayim’s jealousy will cease —
those who harass Y’hudah will be cut off,
Efrayim will stop envying Y’hudah,
and Y’hudah will stop provoking Efrayim.
14 They will swoop down on the flank of the P’lishtim to the west.
Together they will pillage the people to the east —
they will put out their hand over Edom and Mo’av,
and the people of ‘Amon will obey them.
15 Adonai will dry up the gulf
of the Egyptian Sea.
He will shake his hand over the [Euphrates] River
to bring a scorching wind,
dividing it into seven streams
and enabling people to cross dryshod.
16 There will be a highway for the remnant of his people
who are still left from Ashur,
just as there was for Isra’el
when he came out from the land of Egypt.
On that day you will say:
“I thank you, Adonai,
because, although you were angry at me,
your anger is now turned away;
and you are comforting me.
2 “See! God is my salvation.
I am confident and unafraid;
for Yah Adonai is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation!”
3 Then you will joyfully draw water
from the springs of salvation.
4 On that day you will say,
“Give thanks to Adonai! Call on his name!
Make his deeds known among the peoples,
declare how exalted is his name.
5 Sing to Adonai, for he has triumphed —
this is being made known throughout the earth.
6 Shout and sing for joy,
you who live in Tziyon;
for the Holy One of Isra’el
is with you in his greatness!”
This Week’s B’rit Hadashah Reading
When Yeshua had finished speaking, he said to his talmidim, 2 “As you know, Pesach is two days away, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be nailed to the execution-stake.”
3 Then the head cohanim and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of Kayafa the cohen hagadol. 4 They made plans to arrest Yeshua surreptitiously and have him put to death; 5 but they said, “Not during the festival, or the people will riot.”
6 Yeshua was in Beit-Anyah, at the home of Shim‘on, the man who had had tzara’at. 7 A woman who had an alabaster jar filled with very expensive perfume approached Yeshua while he was eating and began pouring it on his head. 8 When the talmidim saw it, they became very angry. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This could have been sold for a lot of money and given to the poor.” 10 But Yeshua, aware of what was going on, said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing for me. 11 The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me. 12 She poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 Yes! I tell you that throughout the whole world, wherever this Good News is proclaimed, what she has done will be told in her memory.”
14 Then one of the Twelve, the one called Y’hudah from K’riot, went to the head cohanim 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I turn Yeshua over to you?” They counted out thirty silver coins and gave them to Y’hudah.[Zechariah 11:12] 16 From then on he looked for a good opportunity to betray him.
17 On the first day for matzah, the talmidim came to Yeshua and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare your Seder?” 18 “Go into the city, to so-and-so,” he replied, “and tell him that the Rabbi says, ‘My time is near, my talmidim and I are celebrating Pesach at your house.’” 19 The talmidim did as Yeshua directed and prepared the Seder.
20 When evening came, Yeshua reclined with the twelve talmidim; 21 and as they were eating, he said, “Yes, I tell you that one of you is going to betray me.” 22 They became terribly upset and began asking him, one after the other, “Lord, you don’t mean me, do you?” 23 He answered, “The one who dips his matzah in the dish with me is the one who will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will die just as the Tanakh says he will; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for him had he never been born!” 25 Y’hudah, the one who was betraying him, then asked, “Surely, Rabbi, you don’t mean me?” He answered, “The words are yours.”
26 While they were eating, Yeshua took a piece of matzah, made the b’rakhah, broke it, gave it to the talmidim and said, “Take! Eat! This is my body!” 27 Also he took a cup of wine, made the b’rakhah, and gave it to them, saying, “All of you, drink from it! 28 For this is my blood, which ratifies the New Covenant, my blood shed on behalf of many, so that they may have their sins forgiven. 29 I tell you, I will not drink this ‘fruit of the vine’ again until the day I drink new wine with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
30 After singing the Hallel, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 31 Yeshua then said to them, “Tonight you will all lose faith in me, as the Tanakh says, ‘I will strike the shepherd dead, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’[Zechariah 13:7] 32 But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you into the Galil.” 33 “I will never lose faith in you,” Kefa answered, “even if everyone else does.” 34 Yeshua said to him, “Yes! I tell you that tonight before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!” 35 “Even if I must die with you,” Kefa replied, “I will never disown you!” And all the talmidim said the same thing.
36 Then Yeshua went with his talmidim to a place called Gat-Sh’manim and said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took with him Kefa and Zavdai’s two sons. Grief and anguish came over him, 38 and he said to them, “My heart is so filled with sadness that I could die! Remain here and stay awake with me.” 39 Going on a little farther, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet — not what I want, but what you want!” 40 He returned to the talmidim and found them sleeping. He said to Kefa, “Were you so weak that you couldn’t stay awake with me for even an hour? 41 Stay awake, and pray that you will not be put to the test — the spirit indeed is eager, but human nature is weak.”
42 A second time he went off and prayed. “My Father, if this cup cannot pass away unless I drink it, let what you want be done.” 43 Again he returned and found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy.
44 Leaving them again, he went off and prayed a third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the talmidim and said, “For now, go on sleeping, take your rest. . . . Look! The time has come for the Son of Man to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up! Let’s go! Here comes my betrayer!”
47 While Yeshua was still speaking, Y’hudah (one of the Twelve!) came, and with him a large crowd carrying swords and clubs, from the head cohanim and elders of the people. 48 The betrayer had arranged to give them a signal: “The man I kiss is the one you want — grab him!” 49 He went straight up to Yeshua, said, “Shalom, Rabbi!” and kissed him. 50 Yeshua said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they moved forward, laid hold of Yeshua and arrested him.
51 At that, one of the men with Yeshua reached for his sword, drew it out and struck at the servant of the cohen hagadol, cutting off his ear. 52 Yeshua said to him, “Put your sword back where it belongs, for everyone who uses the sword will die by the sword. 53 Don’t you know that I can ask my Father, and he will instantly provide more than a dozen armies of angels to help me? 54 But if I did that, how could the passages in the Tanakh be fulfilled that say it has to happen this way?”
55 Then Yeshua addressed the crowd: “So you came out to take me with swords and clubs, the way you would the leader of a rebellion? Every day I sat in the Temple court, teaching; and you didn’t seize me then. 56 But all this has happened so that what the prophets wrote may be fulfilled.” Then the talmidim all deserted him and ran away.
57 Those who had seized Yeshua led him off to Kayafa the cohen hagadol, where the Torah-teachers and elders were assembled. 58 Kefa followed him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the cohen hagadol; then he went inside and sat down with the guards to see what the outcome would be.
59 The head cohanim and the whole Sanhedrin looked for some false evidence against Yeshua, so that they might put him to death. 60 But they didn’t find any, even though many liars came forward to give testimony. At last, however, two people came forward and said, 61 “This man said, ‘I can tear down God’s Temple and build it again in three days.’” 62 The cohen hagadol stood up and said, “Have you nothing to say to the accusation these men are making?” 63 Yeshua remained silent. The cohen hagadol said to him, “I put you under oath! By the living God, tell us if you are the Mashiach, the Son of God!” 64 Yeshua said to him, “The words are your own. But I tell you that one day you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of HaG’vurah and coming on the clouds of heaven.”[Daniel 7:13; Psalm 110:1] 65 At this, the cohen hagadol tore his robes. “Blasphemy!” he said. “Why do we still need witnesses? You heard him blaspheme! 66 What is your verdict?” “Guilty,” they answered. “He deserves death!” 67 Then they spit in his face and pounded him with their fists; and those who were beating him 68 said, “Now, you ‘Messiah,’ ‘prophesy’ to us: who hit you that time?”
69 Kefa was sitting outside in the courtyard when a servant girl came up to him. “You too were with Yeshua from the Galil,” she said. 70 But he denied it in front of everyone — “I don’t know what you’re talking about!” 71 He went out onto the porch, and another girl saw him and said to the people there, “This man was with Yeshua of Natzeret.” 72 Again he denied it, swearing, “I don’t know the man!” 73 After a little while, the bystanders approached Kefa and said, “You must be one of them — your accent gives you away.” 74 This time he began to invoke a curse on himself as he swore, “I do not know the man!” — and immediately a rooster crowed. 75 Kefa remembered what Yeshua had said, “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times”; and he went outside and cried bitterly.
Early in the morning, all the head cohanim and elders met to plan how to bring about Yeshua’s death. 2 Then they put him in chains, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
3 When Y’hudah, who had betrayed him, saw that Yeshua had been condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the head cohanim and elders, 4 saying, “I sinned in betraying an innocent man to death.” “What is that to us?” they answered. “That’s your problem.” 5 Hurling the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, he left; then he went off and hanged himself.
6 The head cohanim took the silver coins and said, “It is prohibited to put this into the Temple treasury, because it is blood money.” 7 So they decided to use it to buy the potter’s field as a cemetery for foreigners. 8 This is how it came to be called the Field of Blood, a name it still bears. 9 Then what Yirmeyahu the prophet spoke was fulfilled, “And they took the thirty silver coins, which was the price the people of Isra’el had agreed to pay for him, 10 and used them to buy the potter’s field, just as the Lord directed me.”[Zechariah 11:12–13, where Hebrew yotzer means “treasury”; here it means “potter” (see v. 7).]
11 Meanwhile, Yeshua was brought before the governor, and the governor put this question to him: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Yeshua answered, “The words are yours.” 12 But when he was accused by the head cohanim and elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate said to him, “Don’t you hear all these charges they are making against you?” 14 But to the governor’s great amazement, he did not say a single word in reply to the accusations.
15 It was the governor’s custom during a festival to set free one prisoner, whomever the crowd asked for. 16 There was at that time a notorious prisoner being held, named Yeshua Bar-Abba. 17 So when a crowd had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to set free for you? Bar-Abba? or Yeshua, called ‘the Messiah’?” 18 For he understood that it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. 19 While he was sitting in court, his wife sent him a message, “Leave that innocent man alone. Today in a dream I suffered terribly because of him.” 20 But the head cohanim persuaded the crowd to ask for Bar-Abba’s release and to have Yeshua executed on the stake. 21 “Which of the two do you want me to set free for you?” asked the governor. “Bar-Abba!” they answered. 22 Pilate said to them, “Then what should I do with Yeshua, called ‘the Messiah’?” They all said, “Put him to death on the stake! Put him to death on the stake!” 23 When he asked, “Why? What crime has he committed?” they shouted all the louder, “Put him to death on the stake!” 24 When Pilate saw that he was accomplishing nothing, but rather that a riot was starting, he took water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “My hands are clean of this man’s blood; it’s your responsibility.” 25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released to them Bar-Abba; but Yeshua, after having him whipped, he handed over to be executed on a stake.
27 The governor’s soldiers took Yeshua into the headquarters building, and the whole battalion gathered around him. 28 They stripped off his clothes and put on him a scarlet robe, 29 wove thorn-branches into a crown and put it on his head, and put a stick in his right hand. Then they kneeled down in front of him and made fun of him: “Hail to the King of the Jews!” 30 They spit on him and used the stick to beat him about the head. 31 When they had finished ridiculing him, they took off the robe, put his own clothes back on him and led him away to be nailed to the execution-stake.
32 As they were leaving, they met a man from Cyrene named Shim‘on; and they forced him to carry Yeshua’s execution-stake. 33 When they arrived at a place called Gulgolta (which means “place of a skull”), 34 they gave him wine mixed with bitter gall to drink; but after tasting it, he would not drink it. 35 After they had nailed him to the stake, they divided his clothes among them by throwing dice. 36 Then they sat down to keep watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written notice stating the charge against him,
THIS IS YESHUA
THE KING OF THE JEWS
38 Then two robbers were placed on execution-stakes with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 People passing by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads[Psalm 22:8(7)] 40 and saying, “So you can destroy the Temple, can you, and rebuild it in three days? Save yourself, if you are the Son of God, and come down from the stake!” 41 Likewise, the head cohanim jeered at him, along with the Torah-teachers and elders, 42 “He saved others, but he can’t save himself!” “So he’s King of Isra’el, is he? Let him come down now from the stake! Then we’ll believe him!” 43 “He trusted God? So, let him rescue him if he wants him![Psalm 22:9(8)] After all, he did say, ‘I’m the Son of God’!” 44 Even the robbers nailed up with him insulted him in the same way.
45 From noon until three o’clock in the afternoon, all the Land was covered with darkness. 46 At about three, Yeshua uttered a loud cry, “Eli! Eli! L’mah sh’vaktani? (My God! My God! Why have you deserted me?)”[Psalm 22:2(1)] 47 On hearing this, some of the bystanders said, “He’s calling for Eliyahu.” 48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, soaked it in vinegar, put it on a stick and gave it to him to drink.[Psalm 69:22(21)] 49 The rest said, “Wait! Let’s see if Eliyahu comes and rescues him.” 50 But Yeshua, again crying out in a loud voice, yielded up his spirit.
51 At that moment the parokhet in the Temple was ripped in two from top to bottom; and there was an earthquake, with rocks splitting apart. 52 Also the graves were opened, and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life; 53 and after Yeshua rose, they came out of the graves and went into the holy city, where many people saw them. 54 When the Roman officer and those with him who were keeping watch over Yeshua saw the earthquake and what was happening, they were awestruck and said, “He really was a son of God.”
55 There were many women there, looking on from a distance; they had followed Yeshua from the Galil, helping him. 56 Among them were Miryam from Magdala, Miryam the mother of Ya‘akov and Yosef, and the mother of Zavdai’s sons.
57 Towards evening, there came a wealthy man from Ramatayim named Yosef, who was himself a talmid of Yeshua. 58 He approached Pilate and asked for Yeshua’s body, and Pilate ordered it to be given to him. 59 Yosef took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen sheet, 60 and laid it in his own tomb, which he had recently had cut out of the rock. After rolling a large stone in front of the entrance to the tomb, he went away. 61 Miryam of Magdala and the other Miryam stayed there, sitting opposite the grave.
62 Next day, after the preparation, the head cohanim and the P’rushim went together to Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember that that deceiver said while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will be raised.’ 64 Therefore, order that the grave be made secure till the third day; otherwise the talmidim may come, steal him away and say to the people, ‘He was raised from the dead’; and the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You may have your guard. Go and make the grave as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the grave secure by sealing the stone and putting the guard on watch.
After Shabbat, as the next day was dawning, Miryam of Magdala and the other Miryam went to see the grave. 2 Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, for an angel of Adonai came down from heaven, rolled away the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were as white as snow. 4 The guards were so terrified at him that they trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know you are looking for Yeshua, who was executed on the stake. 6 He is not here, because he has been raised — just as he said! Come and look at the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell the talmidim, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and now he is going to the Galil ahead of you. You will see him there.’ Now I have told you.”
8 So they left the tomb quickly, frightened yet filled with joy; and they ran to give the news to his talmidim. 9 Suddenly Yeshua met them and said, “Shalom!” They came up and took hold of his feet as they fell down in front of him. 10 Then Yeshua said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go and tell my brothers to go to the Galil, and they will see me there.”
11 As they were going, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the head cohanim everything that had happened. 12 Then they met with the elders; and after discussing the matter, they gave the soldiers a sizeable sum of money 13 and said to them, “Tell people, ‘His talmidim came during the night and stole his body while we were sleeping.’ 14 If the governor hears of it, we will put things right with him and keep you from getting in trouble.” 15 The soldiers took the money and did as they were told, and this story has been spread about by Judeans till this very day.
16 So the eleven talmidim went to the hill in the Galil where Yeshua had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they prostrated themselves before him; but some hesitated. 18 Yeshua came and talked with them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age.”