Scripture Readings

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Composite 6 - Exodus 12, 13; Numbers 8; Leviticus 12 (Vespers, 1st reading)

The Lord spoke to Moses in that very day on which He led the children of Israel out from the land of Egypt saying: “Sanctify to Me all the first-born, the first-produced opening the womb among the children of Israel.” And Moses went and gathered all the people and said: “Remember this day, in which you came out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, for with a strong hand the Lord led you out from thence; and you shall keep His law. And it shall come to pass when the Lord your God shall bring you into the land of the Canaanites, as He swore to your fathers: you shall set apart all the first-born, whatever opens the womb, the males for the Lord.
And it shall come to pass that if you son asks you, saying, “What is this?” you shall say to him: “By the strength of hand the Lord led you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. For when Pharoah hardened his heart, so as not to let us go, the Lord slew all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both the first-born of man and the first-born of cattle. Therefore, I bring a sacrifice to the Lord: every male that opens the womb; but all the first-born of my sons I will redeem.”
And it shall be a sign, set firmly before your eyes. For thus says the Lord God Almighty: “The first-born of your sons you shall give to Me. And it shall be that a woman who bears a male child, on the eighth day shall circumcise the flesh of his foreskin. Then for thirty-three days she shall not enter the sanctuary of God until the days of purification are fulfilled.
“And after this she shall bring to the Lord an unblemished lamb one year old, as a whole-burnt offering, and a young pigeon or a turtledove, to the doors of the tent of witness, to the priest. Or, instead of these she shall bring before the Lord two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and the priest shall pray for her.
“For these are given to Me as a recompense from all the sons of Israel, and I have taken them and consecrated them for Myself, instead of the first-born of the Egyptians, in the day in which I slew all the first-born in the land of Egypt, of both man and cattle.” Thus saith God Most High, the Holy One of Israel.