|Rosh Hashanah — רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה
Beginning of the Year
|Matthew 24:29-36; Luke 1:39-55
Birth of Isaac
21 Then Adonai visited Sarah just as He had said, and Adonai did for Sarah just as He had spoken. 2 So Sarah became pregnant and gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age, at the appointed time that God had told him. 3 Abraham named his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore for him—Isaac. 4 Then Abraham circumcised Isaac, his eight-day-old son, just as God had commanded him. 5 Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac his son was born to him.
6 So Sarah said, “God has made laughter for me! Everyone who hears will laugh with me.” 7 She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham, ‘Sarah has nursed children’? For I have given birth to a son in his old age!”
Ishmael Banished, Yet Delivered
8 The child grew and was weaned—Abraham made a big feast on the day Isaac was weaned. 9 But Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian whom she had born to Abraham—making fun. 10 So she said to Abraham, “Drive out this female slave and her son, for the son of this female slave will not be an heir with my son—with Isaac.”
11 Now the matter was very displeasing in Abraham’s eyes on account of his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be displeased about the boy and your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, listen to her voice. For through Isaac shall your seed be called. 13 Yet I will also make the son of the slave woman into a nation, because he is your seed.”
14 So Abraham got up early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her shoulder, and the child, and sent her away. She went and wandered about in the wilderness of Beer-sheba.
15 When the water from the skin was finished, she abandoned the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat herself down opposite, about a bowshot away, for she had said, “I can’t bear to see the child dying!” So she sat down opposite and lifted up her voice and wept.
17 Then God heard the boy’s voice and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven, and He said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Do not be afraid, because God has heard the boy’s voice where he is. 18 Get up! Lift the boy up, and hold on to him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.”
19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water, and she went and filled the water skin, and gave the boy a drink.
20 God was with the boy and he grew. He dwelled in the wilderness and became an archer. 21 He dwelled in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.
Covenant of Abimelech and Abraham
22 Now it came about at that same time that Abimelech—with Phicol the commander of his army—said to Abraham, “God is with you in all that you do. 23 So now, make a pledge to me here, by God, that you will not violate your word with me or with my descendants or with my offspring. As I have shown loyalty to you, show the same to me, and to the land in which you have lived as an outsider.”
24 Abraham said, “I make a pledge.” 25 Now Abraham had rebuked Abimelech because of the well of water that Abimelech’s servants had seized. 26 So Abimelech said, “I don’t know who did this thing. Nor did you tell me, nor did I hear about it until today.”
27 Then Abraham took a flock of sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a covenant. 28 Abraham set seven young ewe-lambs apart from the flock of sheep by themselves. 29 Abimelech said to Abraham, “What do these seven ewe-lambs that you’ve set by themselves mean?”
30 He said, “You are to accept the seven ewe-lambs from my hand, so that they may be a witness for me that I dug this well.” 31 That is why that place is named Beer-sheba, because there both of them made a pledge, 32 and they made a covenant in Beer-sheba. Then Abimelech got up, with Phicol the commander of his army, and they returned to the land of the Philistines.
33 Then he planted a tamarisk tree in Beer-sheba and called there on the Name of Adonai, the Everlasting God. 34 He lived as an outsider in the land of the Philistines for many days.
Saving the Remnant
31 Thus says Adonai:
“The people surviving the sword
found grace in the wilderness—
where I gave Israel rest.”[a]
2 “From afar Adonai appeared to me.”
“Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love.
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
3 Again I will build you,
so you will be rebuilt, virgin Israel!
Again you will take up your tambourines as ornaments,
and go out to dances of merrymakers.
4 Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria—
planters will plant and use them.
5 For there will be a day when watchmen will call out
in the hill country of Ephraim,
‘Arise, let us go up to Zion,
to Adonai our God.’”
6 For thus says Adonai:
“Sing aloud with joy for Jacob!
Shout with the chief of the nations!
Proclaim, give praise, and say:
‘Adonai, save your people,
the remnant of Israel!’[b]
7 Behold, I will bring them from the north country,
and I will gather them from the ends of the earth—
among them the blind and the lame,
the pregnant together with she who is in labor with child.
A great throng will return here.
8 With weeping and supplications they will come.
I will bring them,
leading them to walk by streams of water
on a straight path where they will not stumble.
For I am Israel’s father,
and Ephraim is My firstborn.”
9 Hear the word of Adonai, O nations,
and declare it in the distant islands,
and say: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather
and watch over him, as a shepherd does his flock.’
10 For Adonai has ransomed Jacob.
He redeemed him from the hand of one stronger than he.
11 They will come and sing on Zion’s height,
radiant over the bounty of Adonai—
over the grain, the wine, the oil,
and the young of the flock.
Their life will be like a watered garden,
and they will never languish again.
12 Then will the virgin rejoice in the dance,
both young men and old men together.
For I will turn their mourning into joy,
and I will comfort them, and make them rejoice out of their sorrow.
13 I will fill the soul of the kohanim with fatness
and My people will be satisfied with My goodness.”
It is a declaration of Adonai.
Grief Turned to Joy
14 Thus says Adonai:
“A voice is heard in Ramah
—lamentation and bitter weeping—
Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.”[c]
15 Thus says Adonai:
“Restrain your voice from weeping
and your eyes from tears.
For your work will be rewarded”
—it is declaration of Adonai—
“when they will return from the land of the enemy.
16 So there is hope for your future”
—it is declaration of Adonai—
“when your children will return to their own territory.
17 I indeed heard Ephraim grieving:
‘You have disciplined me—
I was disciplined like an untrained calf.
Restore me, and I will return,
for you are Adonai my God.
18 For after I returned, I repented,
and after that I was instructed,
I struck my thigh—
I was ashamed and also humiliated,
for I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
19 Is Ephraim a precious son to Me?
Is he a delightful child?
For as often as I spoke against him,
I still certainly remember him.
Therefore My heart yearns for him.
I will surely have compassion on him.”
It is a declaration of Adonai.
29 “But immediately after the trouble of those days,
‘the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light
and the stars will fall from heaven
and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’[a]
30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the land will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’[b] with power and great glory. 31 He will send out His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”[c]
Watching for Messiah’s Return
32 “Now learn the parable from the fig tree. When its branch becomes tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So also, when you see all these things, know that it is near, at the door. 34 Amen, I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things happen. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. [d] 36 But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son,[e] except the Father alone.
Elizabeth Greets Miriam with Joy
39 Now in those days, Miriam got up and quickly traveled into the hill country, to a town in Judah. 40 She entered Zechariah’s home and happily greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Miriam’s greeting, the unborn child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was completely filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh. 42 She then cried out with a great shout, saying, “You are blessed among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. 43 Who am I, that the mother of my Master should come to me? 44 For even when I just heard the sound of your greeting in my ear, the unborn child leaped with joy in my womb. 45 Blessed is she who trusted that there would be a fulfillment of those things spoken to her by Adonai.”
46 Then Miriam said,
“My soul magnifies Adonai,[a]
47 and my spirit greatly rejoices in God, my Savior.
48 For He has looked with care upon the humble state of His maidservant.
For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 For the Mighty One has done a great thing for me,
and holy is His name.
50 And His mercy is from generation to generation
to the ones who fear Him.
51 He has displayed power with His arm
He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
52 He has brought down rulers from thrones
and exalted humble ones.
53 He has filled the hungry with good things
and sent away the rich empty-handed.
54 He has helped His servant Israel,[b]
remembering His mercy,
55 just as He spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his seed forever.”