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The bible stories

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Contents

第一部分 阅读篇

Lesson 1……………………………………………………………………….. 2

Lesson 2………………………………………………………………………...5

Lesson 3………………………………………………………………………9

Lesson 4……………………………………………………………………….13

Lesson 5……………………………………………………………………….18

Lesson 6………………………………………………………………………..22

Lesson 7………………………………………………………………………..27

Lesson 8………………………………………………………………………..31

Lesson 9………………………………………………………………………..36

Lesson 10………………………………………………………………………38

Lesson 11……………………………………………………………………….41

Lesson 12……………………………………………………………………….44

第二部分 欣赏篇

Lesson 1………………………………………………………………………48

Lesson 2……………………………………………………………………….50

Lesson 3……………………………………………………………………….52

Lesson 4……………………………………………………………………….55

Lesson 5……………………………………………………………………….56

Lesson 6………………………………………………………………………..59

Lesson 7………………………………………………………………………..60

Lesson 8………………………………………………………………………..61

Lesson 9……………………………………………………………………….63

Lesson 10……………………………………………………………………..65

Introduction

Over the centuries, the Bible has been passed down and read by generation after generation. Some believe it to be a fantastic historical treasure; others a book to live by; and others simply a fantastic story woven over time. There are those who believe it to be the "Word of God" given to us for comfort and guidance. They believe that God speaks to us through his "Word" and thereby gives us wisdom, knowledge, and guidance in our daily lives. Through it, we can learn many things, including how to accept God's gift to us, which is life eternal.

    No matter what you believe the Bible to be, it certainly has a wealth of information on history and human nature. Reading it can be both comforting and enlightening.

Each of these stories contains a retelling of the Bible story, questions to think about (great for introducing the story), a special lesson to remember, a Scripture memory verse, a prayer, where the story can be found in the Bible, and sometimes activities, crafts, and songs to go along with the story. More to come! Your helpful suggestions for resources are welcome!

                   
第一部分 阅读篇
Lesson 1. A Twinkle in the Dark
by Barbara Walkerton Haas

 
 
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
  
 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
Barbara lay on her back at the foot of her bed so she could soak in the awesome beauty of the star studded sky from her bedroom window. Not long ago, she and her family had moved from the pollution of New York City to the woods of northern Maine. It was hard to sleep, thinking she might miss seeing another shooting star. Just being able to SEE the stars - away from the bright lights of the city - filled her heart with wonder and amazement. 
"Where did all those stars COME from? Have they BEEN there ALL this time? How come I never could SEE them before? Has the moon ALWAYS been that bright?" Questions shot through her mind like shooting stars. She decided to stay up all night long, just so she could watch the summer sun come up over the horizon in the morning. Once there were no stars, no moon, no sun - not even an EARTH. There was not even a twinkle of light. All was dark - so dark you could almost FEEL it, except there was nothing to FEEL either.Because nothing was out there. All was empty space - SO empty that there was not one thing that could bump into another thing. So empty that not even one SOUND could be heard, not even a whisper. Because no one was out there...except GOD. And THAT'S when it all began - a long, LONG time ago. 
The Bible tells us, "In the beginning God created the heaven and 
the earth," and this is exactly how He did it. 
The first sound that was ever heard was when God opened his mouth 
on that first day and said, "LET THERE BE LIGHT." As soon as He spoke those words, there was a powerfully bright flash and all the darkness fled away into a corner. God saw how good it was. It must have made Him VERY happy...but not happy enough. Because then He decided to separate the light from the darkness, by calling the light "day" and the darkness "night." And so ended the first day. 
He must have known how difficult it would have been to rest if it were bright ALL the time, so he fixed it so it would be dark just PART of the time - at nighttime - so we could find it easier to sleep. But God wasn't finished yet.
The second day, God said, "Let there be a sky," and, oh, how BEAUTIFUL it was! There was day and there was night, and now there was a beautiful blue sky. And still God wasn't done. Do you know how come? Because everywhere you looked there was nothing but water. The day, and the night, and the sky, and the water were so BEAUTIFUL.But God wanted MORE.
So, on the third day, the Bible says God gathered the water together in one place. He said to the oceans, "You stay here." And you know what? They obeyed Him! And to the rivers, He said, "You belong over there." And they listened, too. And to the lakes, "You stay in this place." And they obeyed Him, too. Can you imagine what would happen if they DIDN'T obey him? Why there would be utter CHAOS! Things would be floating when we'd least expect them to and whenever we turned our back, we could be run over by a wave. I'm so glad they 
LISTENED to God, aren't you? 
And God named the dry land "earth" and the water he called "seas." So now there was day and there was night,and there was a beautiful blue sky, and there were oceans and rivers and lakes.
God saw how good the third day was. It must have made Him VERY happy...but not happy enough. Because then he made the grass and plants and fruit trees with seeds inside them that could grow MORE plants and fruit trees. Some plants and trees He made just to make everything look pretty. Others he made so we would have fruits and vegetables to eat. 
Most plants grew UP - like apples and pears and corn and broccoli. Other plants grew DOWN - like potatoes and turnips and carrots. And some plants grew SIDEWAYS - like cucumbers and watermelons and squash. And God was VERY pleased with all He did on that third day. So now there was day and there was night, and there was a beautiful blue sky, and there were oceans and rivers and lakes, and there were grass and plants and trees. But STILL He wasn't finished! here was yet more work to do! 
On the fourth day, God said, "Let there be lights in the sky to separate the day from the night, and for Winter, Spring Summer, and Fall, and for days and years." And you know what? That's exactly what happened! Just like God said. 
God made two really BIG lights. The larger one we call the "sun," He made to shine in the day and a smaller one we call the "moon," He made to shine at night. He also made the stars and put them exactly where He wanted them. God put all these beautiful lights in the sky to give light to the earth. The sun gives light to the earth during the day and the moon and stars give light to the earth during the night. 
And God saw that it was good.So now there was day and there was night, and there was a beautiful blue sky, and there were oceans and rivers and lakes, and there were grass and plants and trees, and there were the sun, moon and stars. 
Next time you see a star twinkle in the night, stop and think about this: God put a twinkle in the dark so we would remember how very important it is to obey Him just like the stars do. 
 
THINK! 
1.Who made the first sound that was ever heard?
2.What would happen if the water didn't obey God?
3.What would happen if the stars didn't obey God?
4.What happens if WE don't obey God? 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Do you know how the very first man was made? Listen, and you will learn.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
        Lesson 2. THE FIRST MAN
             by Barbara Walkerton Haas
            
 
 
 

 
 
In four days, God created so many things. Now there was day and there was night, and there was a beautiful blue sky, and there were oceans and rivers and lakes, and there were grass and plants and trees, and there were the sun, moon and stars. God saw that all Hehad made was good.
On the fifth day, God spoke again. This time He said, "Let birds of 
every kind come from the waters to fly above the earth."
And there WAS!
    The sky was FILLED with robins, and sparrows, and eagles, and blue jays, and ducks, and every kind of bird that could fly.
And God created great whales and filled the waters with every kind of fish and living creature. And God blessed them and told them to keep having more birds and more fish to FILL the sky and the seas.
This all happened on the FIFTH day of creation.
Now on the SIXTH day, God commanded the earth to bring forth every kind of cattle and animal imaginable. 
And the earth OBEYED!
    There were tigers, and giraffes, and zebras, and horses, and monkeys, and cows, and bears, and dogs, and cats, and squirrels.
There were animals of EVERY kind! 
And God saw that it was GOOD!
    Then God spoke again. This time He said, "Let us make man in our image and let man rule over the fish in the sea, and the birds in the air, and the animals on the land." And it HAPPENED - just like He said. He created the very first MAN.
And God blessed man and told him he could eat the herbs in the field and the fruit on the trees. He gave grass to the animals and he birds to eat.
God saw everything that he had made, and It was VERY GOOD!
    That was the end of the SIXTH day of creation. So God finished making the sky and the earth and every living creature to fill the sky, the seas, and the land. And God made man and commanded him to take charge of all the birds, and the fish, and the animals.
HOW did God make man? Oh, that's a WONDERFUL story! The Bible says
that God shaped many out of the dust on the ground. Then God BREATHED His own breath right into that first man's nose, and you know what? Right then, that first man came alive. And God named this very first man ADAM.
Then on the SEVENTH day, God ended His work and took a wonderful REST. And God blessed that seventh day and made it HOLY.
Afterwards, the Bible tells us God planted a beautiful garden and He placed the man He had made in this lovely garden and told him to take care of it and keep it looking nice.
And God made beautiful trees grow right up out of the ground, trees that were filled with good food to eat.
In the middle of this beautiful garden, God planted two very special trees. One He called the tree of life and the other He called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 
God told Adam He could eat the fruit on every tree in this garden,EXCEPT for the fruit on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "If you eat of this tree," God said, "you will surely DIE!"
Now THAT sounded like a very important command to obey, didn't it?
Do you think this Adam listened? Well, let's find out.
The Bible tells us that God brought every animal and every bird to
Adam to see what he would call them, and Adam named each bird and each animal.
God saw that the man was all alone and needed someone to help him.
So God made Adam fall into a very deep sleep, and, while he was sleeping, God took one of the ribs from his side, closed up his side, and used Adam's rib to make the very first WOMAN.
Adam named this very first woman EVE and she became the mother of
all living things.
 
One day, while Eve was walking in the garden, a snake spoke to the
woman and said, "Has God said you cannot eat the fruit of every tree in the garden?"
Eve answered the snake and said, "We may eat the fruit of the trees
in the garden, but God has said, we are not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden. We are not even allowed to even TOUCH it, or we will DIE."
You will not die!" the snake said. God knows that the day you eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, you will become wise as gods, knowing good and evil."
Then Eve looked at the tree and saw that the fruit on the tree was beautiful and good for food. She knew that if she would eat this fruit, it would make her WISE.
So she picked the fruit off the tree, took a taste and handed it to
her husband to eat. When Adam ate the fruit, too, they both saw for the first time that they were naked. They ran and picked fig leaves from a tree and used the leaves to make something to cover themselves and hide their nakedness.
Suddenly, they heard the voice of God walking in the garden, and Adam and Eve were frightened. So they hid themselves from the Presence of God, by crouching down among the trees in the garden.
And God called to Adam saying, "Adam, where are you?" Adam KNEW he was discovered so he answered, "I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked. So I hid myself."
God KNEW what they had done, but still He asked, "Who TOLD you that
you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree that I commanded you not to touch?"
And Adam answered, "The woman that you gave to be with me, gave me
the fruit to taste, and I ate it."
And God asked the woman, "What have you done?"
Eve answered, "The snake tricked me and I ate the fruit."
God turned to the snake and said, "Because you have done this, you
will crawl on your belly and eat the dust of the ground all the days of your life."
Then he turned to the woman and said, "You will have much sorrow and pain when you have children and your husband will rule over you."
And to Adam, God said, "Because you listened to the voice of your wife and ate of the tree which I forbid you to eat from, the ground will grow thorns and thistles to stick you, and you will eat of it in sorrow all the days of your life. You were taken from the dust of the ground, and you shall return to the dust of the ground."
 
Then God took animal skins and made special coats to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve. And He drove them out of the garden so they would not eat of the tree of life also.
And God placed angels with flaming swords at the tree of life to keep Adam and Eve from returning.
 
 
 
 
 
 
************ 
THINK! 
1.What did God make on the FIFTH day of creation?
2.On what day did God make MAN?
3.How did God make the very first man?
4.Who named all the animals?
5.How was the very first woman made?
 
 
 
 
 
REMEMBER
A VERSE TO LEARN
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and 
breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a
living soul" (Genesis 2:7). 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lesson 3. NO PLACE TO HIDE
            ____The Story of the First Murder
                         by Barbara Wilmerton Haas
 

 
 
 

 
 
          Andrew's mother had ENOUGH. It seemed like all her sons
     wanted to do was FIGHT. This time she had caught Andrew and his
     younger brother Brandon fighting over whose TURN it was to play
     with the new cassette recorder.
"I HAD IT FIRST!" Brandon screamed, as Andrew roughly tore
     it away from his younger brother.
"NO, YOU DIDN'T!" Brandon argued, as he kicked his brother
     in the ankle.
 Mother quickly snatched the new cassette player from the two
     of them. "That's e..NOUGH, you two!
 "I want you each to go to your room, and I don't want to see
     your faces until you're ready to say you're SORRY to each other."
 
                                   * * *
 
      Adam and Eve could no longer live in the Garden of Eden, for 
     God had driven them out after they had sinned. Now two angels stood with a flaming sword, keeping them from ever returning to the beautiful garden. How they wished they had
         NEVER EATEN the forbidden fruit!
Have you ever gotten so hungry that your tummy growled?
     Well, Adam and Eve became VERY hungry. They no longer had the
     wonderful fruit of the Garden of Eden to eat.
     Adam and Eve NEEDED something to eat, so Adam had to turn to
     the ground from which God had created him. He had to use his
     hands and anything he could find to begin his OWN garden and
     plant his OWN food. God helped Adam become a farmer.
          Have you ever gotten stuck by a thorn bush? OUCH!
     It HURTS, doesn't it? Adam and Eve knew what that felt
     like, too. Because they had disobeyed God, thorns and thistles
     now grew EVERYWHERE in Adam's garden.
 The sweat poured off Adam's face as he worked VERY hard to
     remove all these terrible weeds from his garden so the food would
     have room to grow.
It took a LONG TIME for the food to grow, so, in the
     meantime, Adam had to go for long walks in the field, under the
     HOT sun, searching for wild herbs so they could have something to
     eat.
 
                                    * * *
         Adam loved his wife Eve, and Eve loved her husband Adam. One
     day, God blessed them with a baby boy. They named him "Cain."
     They knew Cain was a gift from the Lord.
  Cain began to grow up, and soon Adam and Eve had ANOTHER
     baby boy. They named Cain's baby brother "Abel."
 Cain spent much time working in the garden, helping day
     after day to fight the weeds so the plants could have room to 
     grow and they would have food to eat. He soon became a farmer 
     just like his daddy.  Abel loved to spend time playing with his father's sheep. He spent SO much time playing with the sheep that he soon became very good at taking care of them. Before long, Abel grew up to become a shepherd. He loved taking the sheep and baby lambs over
    the hills, looking for green grass and fresh water to drink.
 
          When the garden was ready, Cain picked the BEST of his
     plants and brought these gifts to the Lord. At the same time, his
     younger brother Abel picked the BEST of his lambs and brought HIS
     gift to the Lord.
 
                                    * * *
 
          The Lord was very happy with Abel's gift...but NOT Cain's.        "THAT'S NOT FAIR!" Cain shouted in anger. I have worked very
     hard, much harder than my brother Abel."
Cain stomped away in a RAGE and became VERY SAD. He could
     not understand why God did not accept his gift. It didn't make
     any sense to him at all. Cain felt completely rejected by God. He
     felt God no longer loved him.                                  "Why are you so angry?" God asked Cain. "Why is your face so
     sad?"
Cain must have been startled to hear God's voice, because,
     according to the Bible, Cain never answered God. I guess it
     really took him by surprise that God would come down and talk to
     him. He didn't know what to say.
"If you do well," God went on, "won't your gift be accepted,
     too? If you don't do well, there must be sin somewhere in your
     heart." God must have seen something in Cain's heart that did not
     please Him. God saw that Cain was JEALOUS of his brother Abel. He
     saw HATRED and ANGER in Cain's heart.
God warned Cain to watch out, because sin was waiting to
     destroy him.
 
                                    * * *
One day, Cain persuaded his younger brother Abel to go for a
     walk in the fields with him. He wanted to talk with him. Perhaps
     they walked together with the sheep following behind.
Soon they reached the fields and were FAR from Mom and
     Dad's. Only the sheep could hear the two brothers as they sat
     down to talk.
They talked for a little while, and then, withoutwarning, Cain stood up and began beating his brother
     Abel until he KILLED him. He must have tried to bury him under
     the ground so no one would find out what he had done.
All became quiet. "It's all over," Cain thought.
Then God's voice THUNDERED from the heavens             
"Where is Abel, your brother?"  This time, Cain answered back: "I don't know. Am I supposed  to keep track of him everywhere he goes?"
 And God said to Cain:
       "What have you done?" I can hear your brother's blood calling out to me from the ground."
This time, God didn't even WAIT for Cain to answer. I think
  Cain just hung his head in shame. He thought he could hide his
  sin but found out he COULDN'T.
 
       God told Cain that the ground which he had filled with his
  brother's blood would no longer grow plants for him to eat - even
       if he worked on it FOREVER. His days as a farmer were OVER. He
  would now have to live as a TRAMP...forever,
       wandering from place to place.
 
      "Your punishment is TOO HEAVY for me," Cain answered back.
      "You have driven me out from my farm and will hide Your face from
  me. Now I must travel the earth as a TRAMP. Why, people will want
  to KILL me, no matter where I go, when they find out what I have
  done."
 
       And the Lord said to Cain, "Whoever lays a hand on you will
   receive SEVEN times the punishment I have laid on you." Then God
   put a mark on Cain so no one would DARE kill him.
 
      So Cain went out, leaving the Presence of the Lord behind him.
 
          HOW VERY SAD!
 
                                    * * *
 
     THINK!
 
       1. Have you ever done something you KNEW was wrong and then
          tried to COVER IT UP?
       2. With whose gift was God pleased?
       3. Why do you think Cain killed Abel?
       4. What was Cain's punishment?
       5. How can you watch out for your brother or sister?
 
     REMEMBER
 
          You can't hide ANYTHING from God.
 
     A VERSE TO LEARN
 
         
 
 
 
 
 
Lesson 4  Abram Leaves Home!

 
 
 

 
 
                          (This Bible story lesson
                       was lovingly prepared for you
                  by a team of six Internet volunteers.)
 
                            
 
          Paul put his building blocks into the box and sighed. It had
     been a long day, filled with boxes and tape. Most of his room was
     already on the moving truck. All that was left was a sleeping bag
     and a small suitcase that held enough clothes for the move.
     Looking around his room brought back memories of all the years
     his things filled this room.
 
          "Moving all this stuff is NOT fun," he muttered as he pushed 
     the box down the hall.
 
          It was moving day, the day when all of Paul's family was
     busy packing. They were going to a new town, far away from all
     their friends and church. Paul's dad had a new job waiting for
     him, and they already had a new house, but it was going to be a
     while before it would seem like home. The job was at a church,
     and Paul's parents were sure this was what God wanted for their
     lives.
 
                                   * * *
 
          A very long time ago, God decided to have a very special
     talk with Abram, one of His chosen people. All heaven stood still
     and listened as God spoke these words to Abram:
 
          "I want you to leave your country, your family,
          and your father's house, and I want you to go
          into a land that I will show you."
 
     Now they didn't have big moving trucks back in those days. Besides, 
     God didn't even mention the NAME of the place! This would be a big 
     step of FAITH for Abram and his wife Sarai. God wanted them to leave
     EVERYTHING, and EVERYBODY that they knew, and start over in a NEW
     land.
 
          This was no small thing, for, you see, Abram was now 75
     years old. He didn't even KNOW where he was going, because the
     Lord didn't TELL him. God said He would show him where he wanted
     him to go, but only AFTER he obeyed.
 
          Once more, God spoke to Abram. This time He told him:
 
          "I will make you a GREAT NATION.
          I will BLESS you.
          I will make your NAME GREAT!
          You will be a BLESSING to others as well."
 
          What promises! But where was the great nation going to come
     from? It takes PEOPLE to have a nation, and it was just Abram and
     Sarai his wife. Abram and Sarai had no children, and time was
     running out - at least it SEEMED like it was.
 
          Abram must have thought to himself, "Why has God chosen ME
     from among all these people around me? WOW! What an honor! But
     wait! There is more!
 
          "I will BLESS those who BLESS you.
          I will CURSE him who CURSES you.
          All the FAMILIES of the earth will be blessed."
 
          The Bible doesn't say that Abram had any problems doing what
     God asked. He just listened...and then he OBEYED!
 
                                   * * *
 
          Abram and Sarai began to make preparations for their
     journey. Lot, Abram's nephew, would be traveling with them. Their
     servants would be going along as well. They had to decide what to
     take and what to leave behind. As Sarai was busily packing the
     household items, Abram and Lot were gathering the herd of cattle
     and flock of sheep from the fields.
 
               Since there were no vehicles at the time, Abram chose
               his strongest camel to carry their belongings. He
     packed very carefully, making sure the tent was right on top
     because they would need that to sleep in at night. They took one
     more look around to make sure they hadn't left anything
     important. Then it was time for them to begin their great
     adventure.
 
          They walked . . .and walked . . . and WALKED . . .
 
          ...always following the direction of the Lord. During the
     daytime, they would travel, and at night they would set up their
     tent and sleep.
 
     Abram and those with him came to the land called
     "Shechem." It was here that the Lord spoke to Abram
     again, saying, "Unto your future generations will I give this
     land." Abram built an altar to worship the Lord in that very
     place.
 
          After worshiping the Lord, Abram and his group continued on
     their journey. They were walking up a mountain between the towns
     of Bethel and Ai, when Abram decided to set up the tent and rest.
     He built another altar and prayed to the Lord. Then he continued
     to travel south with his family.
 
                                   * * *
 
          A great famine came upon the land where Abram and his family
     were staying, so they had to move to the land of Egypt in order
     to have enough food for everyone to stay alive. They had to pack
     up all their belongings, gather the herd of cattle and the flock
     of sheep, load up the camel . . .
 
          and walk . . .and walk . . .and WALK.
 
          FINALLY they arrived in the land of Egypt...but all did not
     go well. This is where Abram got into BIG trouble!
 
          You see, Sarai was a VERY beautiful woman. Abram was afraid
     that the men of Egypt would KILL him so one of them could have
     Sarai to be his own wife. He told Sarai, "If anyone asks you if
     you are my wife, tell them no, you are my sister." Of course,
     this was a LIE, but Sarai obeyed her husband.
 
          Sure enough, the men of Egypt saw that Sarai was indeed a 
     BEAUTIFUL woman. The princes of Pharaoh saw Sarai and brought her 
     before Pharaoh, and he took her into his household. He then gave 
     Abram many sheep, oxen, donkeys, men-servants, maidservants, and 
     camels for letting him have Sarai. Abram was given cattle, silver, 
     and gold, and this made him a VERY rich man.
 
          Now, the Lord did not like what Abram and Sarai had done, so
     He put a plague on Pharaoh and his household.
 
          "WHAT IS THIS THAT YOU HAVE DONE UNTO ME?" Pharaoh shouted
     at Abram.
 
          "Why did you not tell me that this woman was your WIFE? Why
     did you tell me she was your sister? I might have taken her to be
     my wife.
 
          TAKE YOUR WIFE AND GO!"
 
          Pharaoh told his men to show Abram and Sarai out. Abram,
     Sarai, Lot, and all the people traveling with them had to pack up
     all their belongings, gather the herds of cattle and the flocks
     of sheep, load up the camel, and leave Egypt.
 
                                   * * *
 
     THINK!
 
       1. When Abram left home, did he know where he was going?
       2. Name one way God said He would bless Abram.
       3. How old was Abram when he left his father's home?
       4. Why did Abram go to Egypt?
       5. What lie did Abram tell Pharaoh?
       6. Why did Abram lie?
       7. What happened because of Abram's lie?
       8. Did you ever have to move to a new place and not know what
          to expect?
 
     REMEMBER
 
          God will guide us in the way we should go.
 
     A VERSE TO LEARN
 
          "For we walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7).
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Lesson 5 THE ENEMY IS COMING!
This Bible story lesson was lovingly prepared for you
                  by a team of four Internet volunteers.)
 
 
          Riiiinnnnnnnnggggggg!!! The school bell somehow sounded
     louder than it ever was before.
 
          John quickly stuffed his notebook, papers, pencils and other
     belongings into his backpack. It had been his first day back to
     school, but he was eager to get home now so he could go out and
     play.
 
          As he went out the door and onto the sidewalk, he couldn't
     help but notice that same boy who had been bullying him at
     recess. "Oh, no! Maybe I should go back inside." But just as John
     turned around to go back inside, the heavy door slammed shut,
     locking him out.
 
          Too late! The bully saw him coming and was headed straight
     towards him, with three of his friends right behind.
 
          "Hey, John!" he yelled. "Wanna fight?"
 
          John tried to act as if he didn't hear him and started
     walking on down the sidewalk.
 
          "Too chicken, AREN'T you?" the bully scoffed.
 
          Just then, Mrs. Shade, the art teacher stepped outside with
     an armload of books.
 
          "You boys run on home," she scolded.
 
          John breathed a sign of relief, as he watched the bully back
     away with his three friends.
 
                                   * * *
 
          After his father died, leaving him everything he owned, Lot
     left home and followed Uncle Abram, his father's brother. Because
     they each owned too many things, they kept getting in each
     other's way. Before long, in order to keep peace between them,
     Abram and Lot had to move away from one another.
 
          Lot chose to move near Sodom, simply because the place
     LOOKED so BEAUTIFUL. Yet he KNEW Sodom was a very WICKED city. Of
     course, he didn't move right inside the city...at first. He just
     lived near the EDGE of it, not intending to stay very long.
     Little did he know what was about to happen to him, along with
     everyone ELSE who lived in that evil city.
 
          Let me tell you what happened.
 
          Living so near Sodom, Lot no doubt often went into the city
     to sell some of the many things he owned so he could buy food.
     Perhaps he even sold food he raised in his own garden.
 
                Well, each time he went to the market, he learned more
                and more about Sodom. He found out Sodom's king wasn't
     really the ruler, for Sodom had been taken over by a king whose
     name was Chedorlaomer (ked-or-lay-oh' m鹯).
 
          "Where is this other king?" Lot asked one day in the
     marketplace. "I've never seen him."
 
          "Oh," the merchant replied, "that's because he doesn't LIVE
     here. You see, he's king over four OTHER cities. He's ruled over
     us for 12 years now, and we're sick and TIRED of it. One day,
     we're going to show him who's BOSS!"
 
          So the people in all five cities banded together and made it
     known that Chedorlaomer was NO LONGER THEIR KING.
 
          Soon the news reached the king's ears. A messenger told the
     king what the people had done.
 
          "Well," said King Chedorlaomer, "if they think they can get
     by with THIS, they have another thing coming to them."
 
          "Send a messenger to my friends, Amraphel king of Shinar,
     Arioch king of Ellasar, and Tidal king of Goiim. We will show
     these people who's boss!"
 
          And so it was that, in the fourteenth year of his rule,
     Chedorlaomer and his friends gathered all their armies together
     and headed toward the Salt Sea, conquering village after village
     as they went.
 
                                   * * *
 
          The news soon reached Sodom that King Chedorlaomer, his
     friends, and ALL THEIR ARMIES were coming. It struck FEAR in the
     hearts of all the people.
 
          Lot and his family moaned in panic:
 
          "What will we do NOW?"
 
          They wondered why in the world they had chosen to live so
     close to Sodom in the first place.
 
          But it was TOO LATE! The enemy armies were ON THEIR WAY.
 
          It seemed the entire city of Sodom was in an uproar. People
     were DASHING back and forth in ALL directions. Mothers were busy
     buying all the food they could afford for their families, so they
     wouldn't have to worry about running out of food.
 
          Fathers were RACING to get their swords sharpened, and to
     buy more weapons and armor to defend themselves, and then RACING
     back home to say good-bye to their wives and children.
 
          Children were running through the streets crying, trying to
     find their moms and dads. Oh, there was so much FEAR and
     CONFUSION. It was just TERRIBLE!
 
          The men of Sodom called for the men of the other four cities
     to come and help. Together, they met King Chedorlaomer and his
     friends and their armies on the same battlefield where
     Chedorlaomer had defeated them 14 years earlier.
 
                                   * * *
 
     THINK!
 
       1. How close did Lot move to Sodom?
       2. Did he plan on staying in Sodom a long time?
       3. How long did King Chedorlaomer rule over Sodom?
       4. How many other cities did he rule over?
       5. What caused the entire city of Sodom to be in an uproar?
       6. When the people were afraid, what did they do?
       7. Did they turn to God for help?
       8. Who is bigger than any problem you have?
 
     REMEMBER
 
          God is bigger than any problem I have.
 
    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
Lesson 6. THE SACRIFICE

                             By Linda Edwards

 

               Julia took one last peek into her backpack. Towel

          . . . sandals . . . sunscreen . . . comb . . . snack .

          . . . Yep!   She was sure everything was in there. She

          placed the bag beside the door, then ran to help Mom

          pack the baby things. She had always loved little

          Jared from the first day he was born, but now that he

          could walk and was old enough to play with her, it was

          even more fun having a little brother.

 

          While Mom made sure they had enough diapers and all the

          important things, Julia rummaged through the toy box to

          find the shovels, buckets, and other beach toys.

          Finally, they piled everything into the car and were on

          their way.

 

               Jared jabbered and giggled as she made sand castles

          and he knocked them down. Julia held his hand tightly

          and they squealed with glee as they tried to outrun the

          ocean waves. When Jared became tired and started

          getting fussy, she took him to Mom, who always knew

          just what to do.

 

          After having a small snack, Jared fell asleep, so Julia

          walked along the water edge picking up seashells. She

          was careful to choose only the larger shells, and she

          knew she would have to keep them away from Jared,

          because he would put them in his mouth. Jared always

          tried to eat EVERYTHING!

 

               Julia liked being the big sister. She liked to

          help take care of Jared. She knew she would never, ever

          do anything on purpose to hurt him, because she loved

          him so very much.

 

                                  * * *

 

               Abraham and Sarah dearly loved their new baby boy.

          They cuddled him and fed him. They played with him and

          giggled when he wrapped his little hand around one of

          their fingers. They laughed when he smiled for the

          first time, and they were absolutely thrilled when he

          spoke his first word. Somehow, before they even knew

          what had happened, he was walking and talking and had

          grown to be a young man. Isaac was the joy of their

          lives.

 

               Abraham spent a lot of time with Isaac, teaching

          him to love and obey God. He told Isaac the story about

          how God had talked with him and told him to count the

          stars. He made sure that Isaac knew he was a special

          child that had been promised by God. As Isaac grew, he

          learned to worship God just as his father Abraham did.

 

               One day God spoke to Abraham: "A--bra-ham . . . ."

 

                    "I am here," Abraham replied.

 

                         "Take your son Isaac,

                         whom you love so much,

                         and go into the land of

                         Moriah, and offer him

                         there as a burnt

                         offering. I will tell you

                         which mountain when you

                         get there," God

                         commanded.

 

               Abraham loved Isaac more than anything else in the

          whole world and would never do anything to hurt his

          son, but he knew he had to obey the voice of God.

 

                                  * * *

 

               Early in the morning, Abraham got up and put a

          saddle on his donkey. He called for Isaac and two of

          his young servants. They all went together to chop wood

          for the sacrifice. Then they started on their journey

          toward the place God had told Abraham to go.

 

               For three days they traveled, eating food they had

          taken with them and sleeping on the ground. On the

          third day, Abraham looked into the distance and saw the

          place where God was leading him.

 

                    "You stay here with the donkey

                    while I take Isaac with me to go

                    worship God," Abraham said to his

                    servants.

 

               Abraham picked up the wood and gave it to Isaac to

          carry. Then he picked up his torch in one hand and his

          knife in the other, and they started toward the

          mountain together. While they were walking, Isaac began

          to wonder about some things. Finally, he just had to

          ask.

 

                    "Hey, Dad. I have the wood, and you

                    have the fire, but we didn’t bring

                    an animal. Don抰 we need a lamb for

                    the sacrifice?"

 

               Abraham, fully believing that God had everything

          under control, spoke quietly:

 

                    "Yes, Isaac. God will provide

                    himself a lamb for the burnt

                    offering."

 

                                  * * *

 

               When they finally arrived at the exact place God

          had told him of, Abraham started looking for large

          rocks to build the altar. Carefully he placed one rock

          on top of another until the job was done. After that,

          he placed the wood, which Isaac had carried, on top of

          the altar. Then, after looking around one last time, he

          had to do the very hardest thing he had ever done in

          his whole life.

 

          He gave Isaac one last, long hug, and, with tears in

          his eyes, he tied up his son and placed him on the

          altar. Of course, Isaac didn’t want to be sacrificed as

          a burnt offering, and Abraham, as a loving father,

          didn’t want to do it, but they both knew they had to

          obey God, so there was no struggle between them.

 

               Abraham picked up his knife. . . .

 

                    He raised it high in the air above

                    his head. . . .

 

                         Just as he was

                         getting ready to

                         kill his own son,

                         he heard the

                         voice of the

                         angel of the Lord

                         cry out from

                         heaven:

 

                              "ABRAHAM . . .

                              ABRAHAM!"

 

                    "I am here," Abraham replied.

 

                     KILL YOUR SON!

                     HURT HIM! Now I

                     know that you love ME

                     more than anything else,

                     even more than your own

                     son."

 

               Abraham looked up, and there -- right in front of

          him -- was a ram caught in the thick bushes. Abraham

          quickly untied Isaac, then caught the ram and put it on

          the altar. Abraham used his knife to kill the

          sacrifice, then used the torch to light the fire.

 

          There on the mountain, Abraham and Isaac worshipped the

          Lord together. They called the name of that place

          "Jehovah-jireh," which means, "God is my provider."

 

                       The angel of the Lord called from heaven

                  to Abraham a second time, saying:

 

                    "Because you have done this and

                    have not withheld even your son

                    from me, I will bless you, and you

                    will have many descendants, and all

                    the nations of the earth will be

                    blessed because of you."

 

               Abraham and Isaac walked down the mountain

          together, rejoicing that the Lord had provided the ram

          and made another great promise to them. They met the

          servants at the bottom of the mountain, and they all

          started on their three-day journey back home.

 

                                  * * *

 

     THINK!

 

          Where did God tell Abraham to take Isaac?

          How many people went on the journey?

          What did Isaac notice that was missing?

          Did God want Abraham to kill his son?

          What did God provide for the sacrifice?

 

     REMEMBER:

 

          Always obey God and believe in Him to provide your needs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson 7. God's Promise to Abram
 
                          (This Bible story lesson
                       was lovingly prepared for you
                  by a team of three Internet volunteers.)
 
 
          AHHH! What a relief! Things appeared to have settled down
     after the battles. Lot's family and the people of Sodom were back
     home, thanks to Uncle Abram, and the everyday routine of living
     had returned. That is--all except for Abram.
 
          Abram may have been just lying on his bed thinking about all
     that had just taken place. He may have been wondering if the
     kings would come after him because of what he had done to get
     back his nephew. He may have been thinking about how he was not
     yet a father. He so wanted to be a parent. Whatever he was
     thinking about--it brought fear into his heart.
 
          Abram loved the Lord very much and the Lord loved Abram. In
     fact, Abram was called "a friend of God." The Lord knew how
     fearful Abram was and wanted to comfort him. Abram saw the Lord
     in a vision and heard His voice saying, "FEAR NOT, Abram, I am
     your SHIELD, and your very great REWARD."
 
          Abram was glad that the Lord had come to visit him, and he
     understood that the SHIELD was a form of protection and that the
     Lord was saying He would always be there for Abram and would
     protect him from harm. But what did the Lord mean when He spoke
     of a REWARD? Abram already had everything he needed. He had great
     wealth and fame. The only thing Abram did not have was a son, and
     he was much too old to have children. In fact, Abram was already
     old enough to be a great-grandfather!
 
          "O Sovereign LORD, what can You give me? I have no children
     because You have chosen not to give me any, so who will become my
     heir? What good is all this wealth if there is no one to inherit
     it? Will my servant Eliezer of Damascus be my heir?"
 
          "NO," the LORD continued on." This man will not be your
     heir. You will have a son of your own."
 
          Then the LORD took Abram outside. " LOOK up at the heavens
     and COUNT the stars if you can. Your children and grandchildren
     will be as numerous as all the stars in the sky above."
 
             [Picture of Abram walking out under the stars]
 
          Abram was thrilled to hear this promise from God. He didn't
     understand just how it would happen, but he BELIEVED the words of
     the LORD and because of his belief in the LORD, his life was
     right with God. HOW WONDERFUL!
 
          The LORD continued to talk with Abram. He reminded Abram of
     a promise He had made earlier: "I am the LORD, who brought you
     out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take
     possession of it."
 
          "O Sovereign LORD, how can I know that I will gain
     possession of it?" Abram asked.
 
          "Bring me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old,
     along with a dove and a young pigeon," the LORD told Abram. Abram
     brought the animals. He cut all of them in half except for the
     birds and arranged the halves opposite each other. While he was
     doing all this, some birds of prey came down on the dead animals.
     Abram quickly drove them away.
 
          The sun was now setting and Abram fell into a deep sleep.
     While he was sleeping, a thick and dreadful darkness came over
     him. Then the LORD spoke to Abram again telling him that he would
     grow to be a very, very old man and that his descendants would
     inherit not only his wealth, but also all the land he had walked
     upon from the river in Egypt to the great Euphrates River.
 
          When the sun was totally down and it was completely dark, a
     smoking pot of fire and a burning lamp appeared, passing among
     the animals that Abram had brought for a sacrifice to the Lord.
     This was a sign that the Lord was pleased with Abram and would
     surely keep His promise!
 
                        [Picture of the stars]
 
          Unfortunately, Sarai wasn't with Abram when the great
     promise was made and the Lord showed Himself to Abram in such a
     miraculous way.
 
          Sarai squinted up at the bright sunshine streaming through
     the tent opening and sighed. She longed so badly to have a child,
     but she knew she it was impossible because she and Abram were so
     old. She knew God had promised Abram that he would have many
     children, and she wanted to believe God's promise, but she
     started to wonder if God meant that those children would be from
     her
 
          "If my servant, Hagar, had a child, I could raise that child
     as my own," Sarai pondered to herself aloud, her eyes following
     the paths of a flock of birds soaring away from the sun. The
     thought stuck with her, and soon she went to tell her husband of
     it. Abram, wanting more than anything to make Sarai happy, agreed
     to the suggestion and took Hagar as his second wife.
 
          Time passed slowly for Sarai while she was waiting for Hagar
     to have the child. There were times when Sarai felt jealous, but
     she calmed herself by remembering that Hagar's child would be
     hers to raise. After a while, Sarai began noticing how Hagar had
     started to look down on her.
 
          Everyone waited and waited. It
     seemed as if the child would never be
     born. But finally the joyful day arrived and Hagar's baby was
     born. He was such a precious little boy. They named him Ishmael.
     Both Abram and Sarai loved him dearly, but since Hagar was the
     real mother and the household servant, it was her job to take
     care of the child.
 
          Soon she began to act even more hateful towards Sarai, and
     Sarai grew angry with her. Finally Sarai told Abram about the way
     Hagar had been treating her. Abram was sad to see so much anger
     and turmoil in his home, but in an effort to comfort Sarai, he
     told her she could do whatever she wanted with Hagar.
 
          Sarai began treating Hagar unkindly and demanding more of
     her. Hagar in turn began to hate Sarai. One day the arguing
     between Sarai and Hagar became so great that Hagar decided to
     leave. She took Ishmael and ran away into the desert. She hid
     herself away in the wilderness for several days, and soon she and
     Ishmael had nothing more to eat or drink, and Ishmael, being the
     weaker, was dying.
 
          Of course, God knew where she was hiding, and He spoke to
     directly to her.
 
          "Hagar, Sarai's servant, where did you come from, and where
     will you be going?" God asked her. Hagar hugged her son close and
     answered, "I am running away from Sarai."
 
          "Go back home and submit to her," God said. "I will protect
     you and your son from harm. Your descendants will become a great
     nation and rise up to be so many, it will be impossible to count
     them. Ishmael will be a wild man, always fighting men, and men
     always fighting him. He will live near all his brothers."
 
          Then God caused a stream to spring up from the ground and
     Hagar and Ishmael drank from it and received their strength back.
     Hagar, knowing she had talked with God and had to obey, took
     Ishmael with her back to Abram and Sarai.
 
                         [Picture of the stars]
 
     THINK!
 
     How did the Lord talk with Abram?
     The Lord told Abram to look where and count what?
     What was promised to Abram?
     What was the name of Sarai's servant?
     What did the Lord promise Hagar?
 
     REMEMBER
 
     God ALWAYS keeps His promises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson 8. Surprise Company!
By Linda Edwards
 
         Justin was buzzing around the room with excitement. He had
     just had a little talk on his father lap and he couldn’t wait
     for the big day. Going fishing with his dad was one of his
     favorite things. But this time it was even more exciting.
 
         "We are going to go to the BIG lake, and we抮e going to stay
     all night in the tent," he told his friends with a high squally
     voice. "And we抮e even going to rent a boat!"
 
         Justin spent a lot of time daydreaming about the
     coming adventure. He just KNEW he was going to catch the biggest
     fish ever. He thought about what it would be like to sleep
     outside in the tent. He thought about the marshmallows they would
     roast over the fire. He thought about spending the WHOLE WEEKEND
     with his dad. Three weeks is certainly a l-o-n-g time to have to
     wait.
 
         After just a few days, Justin excitement was beginning to
     wear down. In fact, [pause] he was even beginning to wonder if he
     would ever get to GO on the big trip. Every day when his father
     came home from work, he would start questioning: "When are we
     going, Dad?" "How many more days will it be?" "Are you sure we
     are going to get to go?" And every day his father would gently
     reassure him.
 
         "Yes, Justin. I absolutely sure we are going to get to go
     on this weekend fishing trip. All the arrangements have been
     made. It will be a few more days, and you will need to try to
     have patience. I PROMISE that we will go."
 
         Justin laughed and gave his dad a hug. He knew that his
     father would keep his promise, but it was still hard to have to
     wait . . . and wait . . . and WAIT.
 
         FINALLY, the day arrived. They awoke very early in the
     morning and packed the car. Justin helped as much as he could. He
     certainly didn’t want his dad to forget the fishing poles!
 
          [Dad, son and dog in boat with a big fish on the line]
 
         They had a fantastic weekend fishing and camping together,
     and Justin had plenty of fun stories to tell his friends when he
     went back home. He was really anxious to tell them that HE had
     caught the biggest fish!
 
                                  * * *
 
         Thirteen years had passed since the birth of Ishmael. Things
     were not going very well in the household. Sarai was still
     unhappy because she did not have a child of very own. Hagar and
     Sarai just could not get along because there was so much jealousy
     and hatred between them. No matter how much he tried, Abram could
     not keep peace in the family.
 
         Of course, the Lord knew exactly what was happening, and one
     day - when Abram was ninety-nine years old - the Lord came down
     to have a talk with him. The conversation went something like
     this:
 
              "ABRAM . . . I am the Almighty God. If you will
          walk before Me and be righteous, I will make a promise
          to you. I will give you many descendants. . . ."
 
         Abram knew the voice of the Lord because he had heard it a
     number of times before. Without speaking, he fell with his face
     to the ground, in reverence to the Lord.
 
         While Abram was kneeling, God continued to speak:
 
              "My covenant promise is with you, and you will be
          the father of many nations. I am also going to change
          your name."
 
         "Change my name? I wonder what my new name will be," Abram
     thought to himself.
 
         The Lord continued speaking:
 
              "Your name will no longer be Abram. Your name will
          now be Abraham. I will make you the father of many
          nations and your descendants will live in the land of
          Canaan."
 
         WOW! What a wonderful experience! The Lord was encouraging
     Abram by repeating the promise he had made many years earlier. .
     . . but the Lord was not finished talking with Abraham yet.
 
              "As for your wife Sarai," the Lord said, "don抰
          call her Sarai anymore. Her new name will be Sarah. I
          will bless her and give her a son. She will be the
          mother of many nations."
 
         THIS was something new that Abraham had not heard before. He
     couldn抰 believe his ears! He started laughing out loud. It was
     nearly impossible to believe that Sarah would be having a child
     of her very own. Why, she was NINETY years old! She was old
     enough to be a great-great-grandmother!
 
         The Lord knew what Abraham was thinking. He repeated the
     promise:
 
              "Sarah, your wife, will have a son, and when he is
          born, you will name him Isaac. My covenant promise will
          be through Isaac."
 
         The Lord continued:
 
              "I know you love Ishmael very much, and I will
          bless him, and he will also become a great nation. But
          my covenant promise will be with Isaac, the child which
          will be born to Sarah at this time next year."
 
         Abraham was shocked and amazed by what the Lord had spoken to
     him and kept all these things in his heart.
 
                                  * * *
 
         Not long after the covenant promise was made between Abraham
     and the Lord, Abraham was sitting near the door of his tent,
     trying to rest and get some fresh air, because it was a very hot
     day.
 
         Abraham looked into the distance and saw three men coming
     toward him. He jumped up and ran to meet them and bowed to them.
 
                  [Abramham bowing before three visitors]
 
         "It is such a hot day. Please come to my tent and let me give
     you some cool water," Abraham said politely. "I will also get
     some food for you while you rest; then you can be on your way."
 
         The three men agreed.
 
         Abraham hurried into the tent to let Sarah know that they had
     visitors. "Quickly! Make three cakes for guests!" he said
     breathlessly.
 
         Then he went into the pasture and got a calf. He gave it to
     one of his servants. "Three strangers have come to visit. Prepare
     the calf so I can serve them food," he commanded.
 
         While they were enjoying their meal outside in the fresh air,
     they were also enjoying one another抯 company.
 
         "Where is Sarah, your wife?" one of them asked.
 
         "In the tent," Abraham replied.
 
         Then one of the guests said something surprising. "I will
     come back in a few months, and when I do, Sarah, your wife, will
     have a son."
 
         When Sarah heard THAT, she just couldn’t believe it!
 
         "I am NINETY years old," she
     thought, "and Abraham is
     NINETY-NINE years old. There is just no WAY I can have a child!"
     The idea was absolutely impossible, and she would have liked to
     burst into wild laughter, but she knew that would be rude, so she
     laughed quietly to herself.
 
         "Why did Sarah laugh and say she was too old? Is anything too
     hard for the Lord?" the man asked. "I will return and when I do,
     Sarah will have a son." He said again.
 
         Sarah became afraid. She didn’t think she had laughed out
     loud. She wondered how the man knew what she was thinking. "I
     didn’t laugh," Sarah spoke quietly.
 
         "Oh, yes you did," the man replied.
 
         Then the three visitors got up to leave and started walking
     down the road toward Sodom. Abraham walked along beside them,
     quietly wondering about the events of the day.
 
     ***********
 
     THINK!
 
     What was Abram's new name?
     What was Sarai's new name?
     What is a covenant?
     Why did Abraham laugh?
     Why did Sarah laugh?
     Is anything too (ard for God?
 
     REMEMBER
 
          Nothing is too difficult for God!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson 9. The Horrid Nightmare! 
by Steven WilsonText Version
 
          Nehu woke in a panic. She was sweating. Her heart was
     pounding and her bed sheet was tangled all around her legs. She
     had just had a most frightening nightmare. It was the one where
     she was being chased by a massive monster with bad breath and
     massive teeth. He was trying to bite her ankles. She sat up and
     hunted around for her favourite toy rabbit.
 
          Oh, drat! She'd pulled his head off in her sleep again. Poor
     old Knobble. What with these constant nightmares, he was always
     having his head pulled off.
 
          "Right! That's it!" said Nehu to Noble’s bashed head. "I'm
     going to wake my father. He's one of the king's wise men. He'll
     know why I'm having these horrid dreams." Nehu untangled herself
     from her sheets and crept out into the soft light of the dawn.
 
          As she approached, her father appeared from his chambers in
     a hurry, hugging massive charts and scrolls.
 
          "What's going on?" said Nehu, surprising her father.
 
          "Agar!" he yelled with fright and jumped about a foot in
     the air. His scrolls and chart went flying and crashed down right
     on his head. He wasn't very pleased.
 
          "King Nebuchadnezzar has had one of his dreams again," he
     said, "and he's threatening to feed us to the lions unless we
     tell him what the dream is about."
 
          "Oh dear!" gasped Nehu, concerned. "Why don't you simply
     make up an interpretation like you normally do, Father?"
 
          "We can't make it up," he grinned. "The King won't tell us
     what he dreamed. We've got to tell him."
 
          "But that's impossible!" said Nehu, amazed.
 
          "I know!" called back her father as he rushed off in the
     direction of the throne room. Nehu followed at a distance.
 
          Arriving at the throne room, Nehu slid inside, crouching in
     a corner hidden behind a large banana plant. In front of her
     stood two trembling gentlemen. One of them was her father.
 
          "If this man can't do it," he said to the other, "we're all
     for the chop."
 
          Nehu could clearly see whom her father was talking about,
     because standing before the king was a sturdy dark-haired man
     with a straight nose and strong chin.
 
          "Are you able to tell me what I saw in my dream and
     interpret it?" the king asked the man.
 
          "No wise man, enchanter, magician or diviner can explain to
     the king the mystery he has asked about..." said the man, and all
     the important looking men in the room gasped in terror. Nehu's
     father nearly fainted. He sat down against the banana plant.
 
          "That's it. We're all lion food," he muttered.
 
          "...But there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries,"
     continued the man. "He has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will
     happen in days to come." And with that the man started to tell
     the king exactly what he, the king, had dreamed. It was very
     impressive. He got every detail right.
 
          "Wow!" squealed Nehu as the man finished.
 
          Her father jumped up in surprise. "What are you doing,
     Nehu?" he said, hauling her from behind the plant.
 
          "I want to ask that man about my dream!" said Nehu.
          "Oh, Nehu," laughed her father. "You don't think the mighty
     God of this man is going to be interested in the dreams of a
     little child, do you?"
 
          "Yes, father!" said Nehu forcefully. "I do!"
 
     THINK!
          Do you think Nehu was right, would God be interested in her? Do you think God might be interested in you? What sort of things do you ask God to help you with?
     REMEMBER
          God loves all his creation!
Lesson 10. Overnight with the Lions
by Jennifer Edwards
 
Sally was a little girl who was always very sick. She had a sore throat almost all the time.  The doctor said if they removed her tonsils she would feel much better. She had never been to  a hospital and it made her really scared to even think about it.  To make matters worse, her  friends added to her fears by telling her how horrible hospitals and operations can be.  The  doctor assured her that she would be asleep during the whole procedure but she wondered  if she'd wake up too soon.  Sometimes she even worried about dying. 
Sally's mom saw her crying one day and asked her what was wrong. 
"I don't want to go to the hospital," she whispered through her hoarse throat. 
"It will be okay, sweetheart," her mother comforted." In fact, I had the same thing when I  was your age." She continued. 
"You did?" Sally questioned. 
"Sure did!" her mom replied. "The nurses were kind and even gave me Popsicles.  It wasn't so bad, and I've felt  a lot better since then ." 
Were you as scared as I am?" Sally asked. 
"Yes, until my mommy told me to trust in God." Mom replied. 
"What do you mean, 'trust in God' ?"  Sally questioned. 
"Well, my mommy helped me pray and ask God to help me not be so scared; and you know what?  He did!    When I trusted God to be with me in the hospital, He helped me not to worry about how  much it would hurt." 
"Wow! Can we try that?" Sally asked excitedly. 
"Sure can!" Mom replied. 
They prayed together, then Sally asked a few more questions. Finally she got ready for bed.  She slept very well that night. The next day, she said, "You know mommy, God helped me not to  worry so much." 
"Good! Doesn't it make you feel better when you trust God to help you, and to be with you?" Mom asked with a smile. 
"It sure does!" Sally replied. 
A few days later Sally had the operation, and everything went well.  The nurses were kind  and gave her Popsicles just like her mom had said.  Her friends came to visit her in the  hospital and brought get-well cards and stuffed animals so she wouldn't feel so lonely.   Before she knew it, she was packing up all those cards and gifts and leaving the hospital.   Sally understood that she didn't have to worry so much, because she remembered that God was  with her and she trusted Him. 
Long ago, the king of Babylon died and a new king, Darius, became ruler.   He let 120 princes  rule over the country; and appointed three men over them. Daniel was one of those men.   King Darius liked Daniel so much, that he wanted to make him the next ruler of Persia when  he died.  But . . . 
 
. . .  the other leaders didn't like that plan.  They were angry and jealous so they  plotted and schemed against Daniel. They watched him every day, all day long, hoping they  could see Daniel do something inappropriate so they could report him to the king. Day after  day, week after week, they tried to find fault with Daniel; however, they could find nothing  wrong with him. He obeyed all the laws of the land, and all of God's laws. He seemed to be  perfect in every way.  They finally gave up and said among themselves, "If we are going to  succeed in finding fault with Daniel, we must make a new law that defiles a law of his God. 
Since they had watched Daniel so carefully for such a long time, it didn't take much  thinking for them to come up with a "perfect" plan.  The wrote a brand new law that said  for the next 30 days, any person found praying to anyone or anything except King Darius  would be thrown into a den of HUNGRY lions.  Then they took their new law to the king for his  approval. 
King Darius had no idea that his favorite prince, Daniel, prayed to God three times every  single day and that the other princes were trying to lay a trap to get him into trouble.   When King Darius read the new law that was presented to him, he thought it was a pretty good  idea.  He also wanted to make his princes happy so that they would continue to do his wishes.   Without giving it any more thought, he immediately signed the new law and sealed it with his  special ring, meaning that the law could never be broken or changed. 
Of course, this put Daniel into quite a predicament.  As the head prince, obviously he was  expected to obey ALL the laws of the land.  On the other hand, he knew he could not displease  God.  Even though he knew of the new law, he went to his upstairs window looking toward  Jerusalem, and prayed to God just as he had done all of his life.  Three times a day, every  day, he went to that window and prayed to God. 
The princes, knowing Daniel's habits, had been keeping a close eye on him.  They noticed that  Daniel was still praying to God, and they went directly to King Darius.  "Look, Daniel does  not obey your law!" they exclaimed.   "He continues to pray to his God." 
When King Darius heard that news, he was quite upset because he favored Daniel. He didn't want  to harm Daniel and tried to find a way to help him, but he could not because the law was set  and could not be changed.  At sundown King Darius reluctantly gave the order to have Daniel  thrown into the lions' den. 
King Darius called down to Daniel: "May your God rescue you!" He was hoping against all hope  that Daniel's God WOULD rescue him.  Then several men rolled a large stone over the opening.   Using his signet ring and the signet rings of his highest officials, he sealed it, that no one  would open it. 
King Darius sadly returned to his palace. He went to bed without eating dinner or having any  sort of entertainment because he was worried about Daniel. He couldn't sleep all night. He  tossed and turned and worried.  He wondered if there was any possibility at all that Daniel  might have survived the night. 
Finally the long night was over and the stars began to disappear.  At the crack of dawn,  King Darius arose and hurried to the den of HUNGRY lions. He ordered his men to open it  and he called out, "Daniel! Has your God saved you?" 
Daniel answered back, "O King live forever!" "God has sent an angel to close the mouths of the  HUNGRY lions. They haven't hurt me. God has found favor with me because I am innocent in his  eyes. Neither have I done any wrong to you." 
King Darius was overjoyed to hear Daniel's voice and immediately ordered his men to pull  Daniel out of the den. He looked Daniel over carefully, amazed that the lions had not harmed  him in any way.  The king then commanded that those princes who had schemed against Daniel to  be thrown into the den of HUNGRY lions. 
King Darius was so thankful that Daniel was safe, that he wrote a proclamation to all the  people in his entire kingdom, that they should listen to God because He is the true Living  God, and they should not pray or bow down to any other god or person, including himself. 
 
THINK! 
 
What made King Darius like Daniel so much? 
What made the other princes hate Daniel? 
What scheme did the princes devise to cause trouble for Daniel? 
Did Daniel change his godly habits in order to save his own life? 
How did God protect Daniel? 
What proclamation did King Darius make when he discovered Daniel was alive? 
 
REMEMBER! 
 
Always trust in God and don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe. 
 
 
 
Lesson 11. THE STORY OF EASTER
                             By Linda Edwards
 
          What an awfully sad day it had been for the friends of
     Jesus! They had stood watching sorrowfully, as Jesus hung on the
     cross dying. They didn't fully understand why it had to happen.
 
          They believed that Jesus was the Son of God, and they
     remembered how He had healed the sick and made blind people see.
     They remembered how He had fed thousands of people with just a
     few loaves of bread and fish. They even remembered how He had
     caused dead people to come back to life. He was such a good, kind
     man; why did He have to die?
 
          Just before the sun was beginning to sink into the west, 
     Joseph, one of Jesus' friends, noticed that Jesus was no longer 
     breathing. He hurriedly went to ask Pilate if he could have the 
     body of Jesus so he could bury Him. When Pilate agreed, Joseph 
     and Nicodemus (another friend) carefully wrapped Jesus' body in 
     clean cloths. Then they took Him to a tomb to bury Him.
 
          The next day, the Pharisees started thinking about Jesus.
     They were the people that had wanted to kill Jesus. They
     remembered how He had taught them, saying that He would rise
     again after three days. They were worried that it might be true!
     They also thought that Jesus' disciples would remember and might
     try to steal the body from the tomb just so they could say that
     Jesus rose again. They went to Pilate, suggesting that the tomb
     be closed up with a huge stone and that guards be placed all
     around the tomb.
 
          Just before daylight the next day, the most amazing thing 
     happened! There was a GREAT EARTHQUAKE! An ANGEL from the Lord 
     came down from heaven, moved the gigantic stone away from the door 
     of the tomb and sat on it. The guards began to shake with fear! 
     They fell down to the ground as if they were dead!
 
                             [spring flowers]
          Mary and some other women had decided to get up very early
     in the morning and go to visit the tomb where Jesus was placed.
     While walking down the road, they were discussing how they were
     going to get inside the tomb. They had brought along some spices
     and perfume that they wanted to place on Jesus' body. They knew
     the huge stone had been placed in the doorway and they had no
     idea how they were going to move it.
 
          What a SURPRISE they found when they reached the tomb! The
     stone had already been moved! And . . . there was an ANGEL
     sitting on the stone! The women were quite afraid, but the angel
     spoke gently to them:
 
       "Don't be afraid. I  know that you have come to see Jesus. He is not here; for he is risen just as he said. Come inside and see the
     place where he lay."
 
          The women went inside the tomb and found it empty, just as
     the angel had told them.
 
          The angel spoke to the women one more time:
 
               "Go quickly and tell the other disciples that
               Jesus has risen from the dead; and he is
               going into Galilee where you will see him."
 
                             [spring flowers]
          The women did just as the angel had told them. They ran
     quickly from the tomb, with fear and great joy, to tell the good
     news to the other disciples. But . . . when the women found Peter
     and their other friends and tried to tell them the good news, . .
     . no one believed them!
 
          When the women persisted, Peter decided that he needed to
     find out for himself.
 
          He ran all the way to the tomb.
 
      He went inside He saw the cloths that had been wrapped around
     Jesus, but the body was not there.
 He wondered if it could possibly be true. Did Jesus really
     raise from the dead? Was Jesus really alive?
 
                             [spring flowers]
          Two of Jesus' other friends were going on a journey to a
     village called Emmaus. As they walked and talked, they discussed
     all the things that had happened over the past few days. A man
     came along and joined the group. He walked along with them and
     wanted to join their discussion. Cleopas began telling the man
     about how Jesus was crucified on the cross. They talked about how
     the women found the empty tomb.
 
          As they continued their journey, they invited the man to
     come in with them and have dinner. When they sat down to eat
     their meal, the man picked up a loaf of bread and broke it in
     pieces. Then he prayed for the meal and gave the bread to the
     men. At that very moment they realized that the man was JESUS!
     They had been talking to Jesus the whole time and didn't even
     know it!
 
          Then . . . ANOTHER strange thing happened. As soon as they 
     realized who it really was that sat at the table with them . . . 
     Jesus disappeared! They talked about the wonderful time they had 
     talking with Jesus down the road, and they just couldn't help 
     talking about his strange disappearance. They got up from their 
     meal and returned to Jerusalem where they told all the other 
     disciples the good news that Jesus REALLY DID raise from the dead 
     and had talked with them.
 
          As they were talking, Jesus again appeared to them. They
     were afraid and thought they were seeing a ghost, but Jesus told
     them not to be afraid. He showed them His hands and feet where He
     had been nailed to the cross, so they would believe that it was
     really Him.
 
          When they saw the nail holes in His hands and feet, they
     finally believed that Jesus had risen from the dead, just like He
     said He would. They were soooo happy and joyful to have their
     friend with them again. They were soooo excited that they had to
     tell EVERYBODY the good news that JESUS IS ALIVE!
 
                             [Christ is risen]
 
     THINK!
          Why were Jesus' friends so sad?
          Why were guards placed around the tomb?
          What caused the huge stone to be moved?
          Who was the first to look inside the tomb?
          Why was Jesus' body not in the tomb?
          What did the angel say to Mary and the women with her?
 
     REMEMBER:
          Jesus Is Alive!
Lesson 12. A Boy, a Giant, and a Slingshot
by Rosemarie Ann Haas
Peter stood at the window with his face pressed against the cold 
glass, watching snowflakes drifting gently downward through the
brisk January air. "Everyone gets to go places but me," he 
mumbled through his squished lips. "Just because I'm the youngest, 
I NEVER get to do ANYthing special," he complained.
 
His three older brothers had taken off again on an outing with the
youth group, leaving Peter behind as usual.
A Boy, a Giant, and a Slingshot
 
David looked around at the scared faces surrounding him. Why was
everyone so SCARED of this big bully? God was on their side, so why 
were they afraid? Goliath was making them look STUPID! And no one 
was doing ANYTHING!
 
David had just come to see how his three older brothers were doing 
at the battle and was delivering food their father had sent. He 
thought he would get to see the soldiers fighting.
 
But there, on the other side of the valley, stood a great big 
giant. And, of course, no one wanted to fight him because he was 
just, well...just so BIG! So his brothers and the rest of the 
Israelite army were just standing there, looking very, very scared. 
David wasn't impressed. Something had to be done! 
 
He walked up to one of the men and asked, "Excuse me, but isn't 
anyone going to fight that man?"
 
The soldier looked down at him. "You mean Goliath?"
 
David nodded. "Yes, is someone going to fight him or not?"
 
"Are you kidding? He's too big!" the soldier replied. He'd crush 
our strongest men in a second! NO one's going to fight THAT giant."
 
David stared at him with a smile. "Then I'LL fight him!"
 
The man laughed, "Oh, you're just a boy! In fact, you should be 
going home now. Your brothers have their food, so go!"
 
David turned around and walked away, trying to ignore the laughter 
and sneers of the crowd.
 
So what if he WAS just a kid? God was on his side, too! But he did 
need to get home and it didn't seem like anyone was going to listen 
to him here.
 
Just as he was about to leave the camp, a man came running up 
behind him. "Excuse me. Are you David?" he asked.
 
"Yes, I am. Is there something wrong?" David asked him.
 
"Just come with me, please," the man responded, taking David's arm
gently. He took David to a large tent where inside sat King Saul 
on his royal throne.
 
David stepped forward and respectfully asked, "Sir, you wanted to 
see me?"
 
The king looked down at the small boy before him. "Uh, yes. Go 
fetch the man who said he wanted to fight Goliath."
 
David smiled proudly. "That's me!"
 
King Saul looked at him strangely, and David stopped smiling.
 
"Is there something wrong, King Saul?" he asked timidly.
 
"Yes! YOU cannot fight Goliath! You are nothing but a small boy. He
would crush you in an instant," King Saul bellowed.
 
"But God is on my side, right? He'll protect me. You don't have to 
worry, king. It'll be okay. I promise," David said. "Once, when I 
was watching my dad's sheep, a lion tried to eat one of the lambs. 
I killed it with my bare hands. Another time, a bear tried to eat 
some of my dad's sheep. I killed it, too."
 
"If you must go, you will need armor," he said as he motioned for a
guard to come over. "Go get me my royal armor," he told the guard.
 
When he came back, King Saul commanded the guard to put it on 
David. David stood, or tried to stand, under all the armor. It was 
heavy - VERY heavy.
 
"Um, King Saul?" David mumbled from underneath the suit of heavy 
armor.
 
"Yes?" he answered, trying to place the sword in David's hand. 
David dropped it.
 
"This stuff is TOO heavy. I can't wear all this. I'll be fine 
without it, King Saul."
 
When he didn't seem convinced, David said, "King Saul, God is on my
side. I'm not scared. Please let me go fight the giant." King Saul 
went back to his throne and sighed heavily.
 
"All right. You may go," he said. "But please be careful. The Lord
be with thee."
 
David smiled, and as he walked out of the tent said, "Thanks!"
 
He soon reached the valley where the giant was standing on the 
other side.
 
David turned and saw a small brook. He walked over to it and picked 
up five smooth stones. He placed one into his leather slingshot and 
stepped closer to where the giant was.
 
"What is this?" Goliath bellowed loudly. "The Israelites send me a 
BOY to fight? I will feed your skin to the birds!"
 
David shivered at the thought, then straightened his back and 
lifted his chin. "But God is on my side. You can't hurt me! And I'm 
NOT scared!"
 
Goliath laughed and David began to swing his slingshot in the air 
slowly at first, then faster and faster. Goliath saw what he was 
trying to do and began walking towards him.
 
Then SNAP!! David snapped the slingshot and the rock flew through 
the air, straight at Goliath's forehead, and WHAM!! David's eyes 
widened as the giant went cross-eyed for a moment, then fell
over! He was dead and Israel was saved!! David had won the battle 
for the Israelites!!
 
************ 
THINK! 
Does our size really matter to God?
Does He care if we're short or tall, fat or skinny?
Could God use YOU to do something special for Him?
Think of a time when you really needed God's help. 
 
 
BIBLE MEMORY VERSE 
"I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me" 
(Philippians 4:13). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

第二部分:欣赏篇

Lesson 1. The Creation of the World

Genesis


In the beginning of creation, when God made heaven and earth, the earth was without form and void, with darkness over the face of the abyss, and a mighty wind that swept over the surface of the waters. God said, Let there be light, and there was light; and God saw that the light was good, and he separated light from darkness. He called the light day, and the darkness night. So evening came, and morning came, the first day.

God said,
Let there be a vault between the waters, to separate water from water. So God made the vault, and separated the water under the vault from the water above it, and so it was; and God called the vault heaven. Evening came, and morning came, a second day.

God said,
Let the waters under heaven be gathered into one place, so that dry land may appear; and so it was. God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters he called seas; and God saw that it was good. Then God said, Let the earth produce fresh growth, let there be on the earth plants bearing seed, fruit-trees bearing fruit each with seed according to its kind. So it was; the earth yielded fresh growth, plants bearing seed according to their kind and trees bearing fruit each with seed according to its king; and God saw that it was good. Evening came, and morning came, a third day.

God said,
Let there be lights in the vault of heaven to separate day from night, and let them serve as signs both for festivals and for seasons and years. Let them also shine in the vault of heaven to give light on earth. So it was ; God made the two great lights, the greater to govern the day and the lesser to govern the night; and with them he made the stars. God put these lights in the vault of heaven to give light on earth, to govern day and night, and to separate light from darkness; and God saw that it was good. Evening came, and morning came, a fourth day.

God, said,
Let the waters teem with countless living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of heaven. god then created the great sea-monsters and all living creatures that move and swarm in the waters, according to their kind, and every kind of bird; and God saw that it was good. So he blessed them and said, Be fruitful and increase, fill the waters of the seas; and let the birds increase on land. Evening came, and morning came, a fifth day.

God said,
Let the earth bring forth living creatures, according to their kind:cattle, reptiles, and wild animals, all according to their kind. So it was; God made wild animals, cattle, and all reptiles, each according to its kind; and he saw that it was good. Then God said, Let us make man it our image and likeness to rule the fish in the sea , the birds of heaven, the cattle, all wild animals on earth, and all reptiles that crawl upon the earth. So God created man in his own image; in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and increase, fill the earth and subdue it, rule over the fish in the sea, the birds of heaven, and every living thing that moves upon the earth. god also said, I give you all plants that bear seed everywhere on earth, and every tree bearing fruit which yields seed:they shall be yours for food. All green plants I give for food to the wild animals, to all the birds of heaven, and to all reptiles on earth, every living creature. So it was; and God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. Evening came, and morning came, a sixth day.

Thus heaven and earth were completed with al their mighty throng. On the sixth day God completed all the work he had been doing, and on the seventh day he ceased from al his work. God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on that day he ceased from all the work he had set himself to do.

This is the story of the making of heaven and earth when they were created.

开天辟地

创世记


  太初,上帝始创天地时,大地混沌一片,是个无边无际的黑暗深渊,强风于水面刮掠。上帝说:“要有光!”立刻就有光。上帝见有光很好,就把光明与黑暗分开,称光明为昼,黑暗为夜。于是黑夜临,晨光现,是为第一天。

  上帝说:“要有一穹窿将水上下分隔!”于是他就造穹窿,将水分开,有水于穹窿之上,亦有水于穹窿之下。上帝称穹窿为天空。黑夜再临,晨光再现,是为第二天。

  上帝说:“天下之水要汇于一处,使干涸土地显露!”于是就出现土地。上帝称土地为陆,称汇集之水为海。上帝见如此很好。又说:“要大地生机蓬勃,地上要有能结实之树木,果子要各有其籽实!”于是大地生机蓬勃,出现无数瓜果树木,籽实累累。上帝见如此很好。黑夜又临,晨光再现,是为第三天。

  上帝说:“天穹中要有光体以区分昼夜,要使光体为节令与年月季候之标志,并使于天穹中发出光辉,照亮大地!”于是,上帝造两个巨大光体,较大之日司昼,较小之月掌夜,并造了星辰。上帝把日月星辰置于天穹之中以照亮大地,司昼夜、分明暗。上帝见如此很好。黑夜临,晨光现,是为第四天。

  上帝说:“水中要有万种游鱼,地上要有无数飞鸟”于是上帝创造出种类繁多的大小鱼类及飞鸟。上帝见如此很好。于是赐福与他们,说:“让海中游鱼,天上飞鸟滋生繁衍!”黑夜临,晨光现,是为第五天。

  上帝说:“地上要有爬虫走兽,大小牲畜,各从其类!”上帝就创造走兽,牲畜和爬行动物,各从其类。上帝见如此很。他说:“要按我形象造人以治理海中游鱼、空中飞鸟以及地上各种爬虫走兽。”于是,上帝按自己形象造出人类,造出男与女。上帝祝福他们说:“你们要生育繁衍,散布及开拓全世界,要做海中鱼、空中鸟与地上爬虫走兽之主宰!”上帝还说:“我要使地上到处生长瓜果,结满籽实,赐与你们为食。我要把青草绿树全赐飞禽走兽、游鱼爬虫、以及一切生物为食。”话语间一切均成现实。上帝见到所造之一切,他十分满意。黑夜临,晨光现,是为第六日。

  天地万物已造齐。到第六日,上帝造物工作全部完毕。第七天,他停止工作。上帝赐福于第七天,称之为圣日,因那天他要做的一切都已完成,无须工作了。

  这就是上帝开天辟地的故事。

Lesson 2. The Beginnings of History

Genesis


When the Lord God made earth and heaven,   there was neither shrub nor plant growing wild upon the earth,    because the Lord God had sent no rain on the earth; nor was there any man to till the ground. A flood used to rise out of the earth and water al the surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a manfrom the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. Thus the man became a living creature. Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden away to the east,   and there he put the man whom he had formed. the Lord God made trees spring from the ground,    al trees pleasant to look at and good for food; and in the middle of the garden he set the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

There was a river flowing from Eden to water the garden,   and when it left the garden it branched into four streams. The name of the first is Pishon,   that is the river which encircles all the land of Havilah,   where the gold is. The gold of that land is good; bdellium and cornelians are also to be found there. The name of the second river is Gihon; this is the one which encircles all the land of Cush. The name of the third is Tigris; this is the river which runs east of Asshur. The fourth river is the Euphrates.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and care for it . He told the man,  
You may eat from every tree in the garden,   but not from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for on the day that you eat from it ,   you will certainly die. then the Lord God said,   It is not good for the man to be alone. I will provide a partner for him. So God formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds of heaven. He brought them to the man to see what he would call them,   and whatever the man called each living creature,   that was its name. Thus the man gave names to all cattle,   to the birds of heaven,   and to every wild animal; but for the man himself no partner had yet been found. And so the Lord God put the man into a trance,   and while he slept,   he took one of his ribs and closed the flesh over the place. The Lord God then built up the rib,    which he had taken out of the man,   into a woman. He brought her to the man,   and the man said:

Now this,   at last - bone from my bones,   
flesh from my flesh!-
this shall be called woman,  
for from man was this taken.


That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife,   and the two become one flesh. Now they were both naked,   the man and his wife,   but they had no feeling of shame towards one another.

人世之始

创世记


 

尚帝造天地时,地上全无野生草丛树木,因为天主上帝没有降雨到大地,亦无人耕耘土地,只靠地上涌出水流灌溉土地表层。后来,天主上帝以泥土造一男人,朝他鼻孔吹一口生气,他才有了生命。然后天主上帝在东边之伊甸建造一座花园,他把他造的男人安置在伊甸园中。上帝使地面长出各种树木,这些树木不但秀美悦目,而且又有果实可供食用。在花园正中,他种下一株生命之树和一株能辨善恶的知识之树。

  伊甸园中流过一条河,河水可作灌溉之用。这河流出伊甸后分为四股。第一股名比逊河,它曲折流经哈腓拉全境,此地盛产高成色黄金,还有琥珀及红玛瑙。第二股名基训河,它环绕流经古实全境。第三股名希底结河,亦即流经亚述之东那条河。第四股名伯拉河。

  天主上帝把他造的男人带去伊甸园,让他在园中耕耘管理。他嘱咐这人说:“你可以随意采食园中任何树上之果实,惟独那能辨善恶之知识树果子你不能吃。你吃它之时,你就会死去!”天主上帝又说;“一人独居不好,我要为他找个伴。”于是上帝以泥土塑造出各种飞禽走兽,带它们到这人的面前,看他如何称呼它们。那人对每种动物的称呼就成了这种动物的名称。这样,人就给所有的牲畜、飞禽和走兽定了名,但是这男人自己仍然没有伴侣。于是,天主上帝使他昏睡,在他昏睡时,取他的一条肋骨,然后使伤口愈合。上帝以这人身上取出的肋骨造了一个女人,并领她到这人面前,这人说:“如今,终于有了这生灵,骨取自我骨,肉取自我肉,就称之为女人。”

  这就是为何男人要离开父母,与自妻子结合成为夫妇的缘故。此时,他们两人,男人和他的妻子都赤身露体,但他们彼此相对,并不难为情。


 

Lesson 3.  Man's First Sin

Genesis


The serpent was more crafty than any wild creature that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, Is it true that God has forbidden you to eat from any tree in the garden?The woman answered the serpent, We may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except for the tree n the middle of the garden; God has forbidden us either to eat or to touch the fruit of that; if we do, we shall die. The serpent said, Of course you will not die. God knows that as soon as you eat it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods knowing both good and evil. When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good to eat, and that it was pleasing to the eye and tempting to contemplate, she took some and ate it. She also gave her husband some and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they discovered that they were naked; so they stitched fig-leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze and hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him,
Where are you?He replied, I heard the sound as you were walking in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself. God answered, Who told you that you were naked?Have you eaten from the tree which I forbade you?The man said, The woman you gave me for a companion, she gave me fruit from the tree and I ate it . Then the Lord God said to the woman, What is this that you have done?The woman said, The serpent tricked me, and I ate. Then the Lord God said to the serpent:

Because you have done this you are accursed more than all cattle and all wild creatures. On your belly you shall crawl, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your brood and hers. They shall strike at your head, and you shall strike at their heel.

To the woman he said:

I will increase your labour and your goaning, and in labour you shall bear children. You shall be eager for your husband, and he shall be your master.

And to the man he said:

Because you have listened to your wife and have eaten from the tree which I forbade you, accursed shall be the ground on your account. With labour you shall win your food from it all the days of your life. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, none but wild plants for you to eat. You shall gain your bread by the sweat of your brow until you return to the ground; for from it you were taden. Dust you are, to dust you shall return.

the man called his wife Eve because she was the mother of all who live. The Lord God made tunics of skins for Adam and his wife and clothed them. He said, The man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; what if he now reaches out his hand and takes fruit from the tree of life also, eats it and lives for ever?so the Lord God drove him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he had been taken. He cast him out, and to the east of the garden of Eden he stationed the cherubim and a sword whirling and flashing to guard the way to the tree of life.

 

始祖犯戒

创世记


 

蛇比上帝造的其他生物都要狡猾。他对那女人说:上帝果真不许你们吃园子里任何一棵树上的果子吗?女人回答说:我们可以随便吃园中树上的果子,惟独不能吃园中央那棵树的。上帝不准我们吃,也不准我们碰它的果子。如果违戒,我们就会死去。蛇说:你们不一定会死。上帝知道你们一旦吃了那树的果子,就会眼睛明亮,同神一样能明辨善恶了。女人知道那树的果子原来可以吃,看上去果子又极悦目诱人,便摘了几个吃了。她又给她丈夫一些,他也吃了。吃完果子,他们两人的眼睛顿时明亮起来,这才看到他们自己却是一丝不挂的,于是他们把一些无花果树叶缝起来,系在腰间来遮羞。

  傍晚的微风轻送时,男人和他的妻子听见天主上帝在园中行走的声响,他们就在园中树丛里躲起来。但是天主上帝叫那男人,说:你在哪儿呢?那男人回答:我听见你在园中行走的声音,我怕自己赤身露体,就躲起来了。上帝问道:谁告诉你你是赤身露体了?你定是吃了我禁吃的树桌子了?男人说:你给我作伴侣的女人给我那树的果子,我吃了。天主上帝于是对那女人说:你为何如此?那女人说:蛇诱惑我,我就吃了禁果。于是,天主上帝对蛇说:你因为诱惑了她,就要比其他牲畜和野兽更倒霉。你要终生以肚皮爬行,啃泥过活。我要使你与那个女人结仇,而且世代为敌。女人都打蛇头,蛇则咬女人的脚跟。

  他又对女人说:我要增加你的劳累,使你备受怀孕生育之苦楚。你将依附你丈夫,而他则成为你的主宰。他对那男人说:由于你听你的妻子的话,偷吃了我禁吃的树上果实,土地也因你而受累,你要在它上面辛劳一辈子才能勉强糊口。地上因你而长出荆棘和蒺藜,除了野菜,你将没有其他食物。一直到你入土,你都得用汗水来换取饭食。你原来自泥土,你将回到泥中去。


  男人称他妻子为夏娃,因为她是人类之母。天主上帝用皮革给亚当和他的妻子做了两件长上衣,让他们披上。他说:那人已经和我们神一样,能辨善恶。如果他再伸手摘取生命树的果实,吃了它就会得永生,那如何是好?”因此,天主上帝把人赶出了伊甸园,去耕种那片造出他来的土地。上帝把人逐出了伊甸园后,在伊甸园的东边安置了有翅的天使和一把转动时火光闪闪的宝剑,来守住通往生命之树的路。


 

 

 

 

Lesson 4.Cain Killed His Brother

Genesis


The man lay with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, With the help of the Lord I have brought a man into being. Afterwards she had another child, his brother Abel. Abel was a shepherd and Cain a tiller of the soil. the day came when Cain brought some of the produce of the soil as a gift to the Lord;and Abel brought some of the first-born of his flock, the fat portions of them. The Lord received Abel and his gift with favour;but Cain and his gift he did not receive. Cain was very angry and his face fell. Then the Lord said to Cain, Why are you so angry and cast down?If you do well, you are accepted;if not, sin is a demon crouching at the door. It shall be eager for you, and you will be mastered by it.

Cain said to his brother Abel, Let us go into the open country. While they were there, Cain attacked his brother Abel and murdered him. Then the Lord said to Cain, Where is your brother AbelCain answered, I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?The Lord said, What have you done?Hark!your brother's blood that has been shed is crying out to me from the ground. Now you are accursed, and banished from the ground. Now you are accursed, and banished from the ground which has opened its mouth wide to receive your brother's blood, which you have shed. When you till the ground, it will no longer yield you its wealth. You shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on earth. Cain said to the Lord, My punishment is heavier than I can bear;thou hast driven me today from the ground, and I must hide myself from thy presence. I shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on earth, and any one who meets me can kill me. The Lord answered him, No: if anyone kills Cain, Cainshall be avenged sevenfold. Sothe Lord put a mark on Cain, in order that anyone meeting him should not kill him. Then Cain went out from the Lord's presence and settled in the land of Nod to the east of Eden.

隐杀弟

创世记

    那男人与妻子夏娃同寝。夏娃怀孕,生下该隐。她说:“天主助我,我生了一个男丁。”后来,她又生了一个孩子,就是该隐的弟弟亚伯。亚伯是个牧人,该隐则是个耕田人。到了向上帝供奉的日子,该隐拿了些土地的产品献给天主;亚伯则献出一些精选的乳羊。天主看中了亚伯和他的供品,而没看中该隐和他的礼物。该隐很生气。他的脸沉了下来。天主对该隐说:“你为什么这样生气,脸色也变了呢?如果你做得好,你就会被接受的。反之,罪恶就会象个魔鬼潜伏在你的门前。它在等待时机找你,你会被它控制的。”

  该隐对弟弟亚伯说:“我们到野外去吧。”当他们到了那里,该隐就动手把他弟弟杀死。后来,天主问该隐:“你的弟弟亚伯在哪里?”该隐回答说:“我不知道。我又不是看守着他的。”天主说:“你做了什么事?听着!你弟弟流出的血从地上向我哭诉。你受到控诉,你要被流放,逐离这块吞噬被你残杀的兄弟的鲜血的土地。你要耕种,那地也不会再长出佳禾。你会成为流浪汉,到处漂泊。”该隐对天主说:“我受不了这个惩罚。今天你把我从这里赶走,不让我再出现在你面前,我将成为一个流浪汉,到处漂泊,遇见我的人都可能杀死我。”天主回答他说:“不,如果有人杀死该隐,他就会遭到七倍的报应。”上帝给该隐做了个标记,这样遇见他的人就不会杀死他。该隐就离开了天主到伊甸园东边叫挪得的地方住下来。


 

Lesson 5.  Noah's Ark

Genesis


(1)

This is the story of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, the one blameless man of his time;he walked with God. He had three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth. Now God saw that the whole world was corrupt and frll of violence. In his sight the world had become corrupted, for all men had lived corrupt lives on earth. God said to Noah, The loathsomeness of all mankind has become plain to me, for through them the earth is full of violence. I intend to destroy them, and the earth with them. Make yourself an ark with ribs of cypress;cover it with reeds and coat it inside and out with pitch. I intend to bring the waters of the flood over the earth to destroy every human being under heaven that has the spirit of life;everything on earth shall perish. But with you I will make a covenant, and you shall go into the ark, you and your sons, your wife and your sons'wives with you. And you shall bring living creatrues of every kind into the ark to keep them alive with you. two of each kind, a male and a female;two of every kind of bird, beast, and reptile, shall come to you to be kept alive. See that you take and store every kind of food that can be eaten;this shall be food for you and for them. Exactly as God had commanded him, so Noah did.

And so, to escape the waters of the flood, Noah went into the ark with his sons, his wife, and his sons'wives. And into the ark with Noah went one pair, male and female, of all beasts, clean and unclean, of birds and of everything that crawls on the ground, two by two, as God had commanded. Towards the edn of seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth. In the year when Noah was six hundred years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, on that very day, all the springs of the great abyss broke through, the win-dows of the sky were opened, and rain fell on the earth for fortydays and forty nights
The flood continued upon the earth for forty days, and the waters swelled and lifted up the ark so that it rose high above the ground. More and more the waters increased over the earth until they covered all the high mountains everywhere under heaven. The waters increased and the mountains were covered to a depth of fifteen cubits. Everything died that had the breath of life in its nostrils, everything on dry land. God wiped out every living thing that existed on earth, man and beast, reptile and bird;they were all wiped out over the whole earth, and only Noah and his company in the ark survived.

(2)

After forty days Noah opened the trap-door that he had made in the ark , and released a raven to see whether the water had subsided, but the bird continued flying to and fro until the water on the earth had dried up. Noah waited for seven days, and then he released a dove from the ark to see whether the water on the earth had subsided fruther. But the dove found no place where she could settle, and so she came back to him in the ark, because there was water over the whole surface of the earth. He waited another seven days and again released the dove from the ark. She came back to him towards evening with a newly plucked olive leaf in her beak. Then Noah knew for certain that the water on the earth had subsided still further. He waited yet another seven days and released the dove, but she never came back. And so it came about that, on the first day of the first month of his six hundred and first year, the water had dried up on the earth, and Noah removed the hatch and looked out of the ark. The surface of the ground was dry.

By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the whole earth was dry. And God said to Noah,
Come out of the ark, you and your wife, yoursons and their wives. Bring out every living creature that is with you, live things of every kind, bird and beast and every reptile that moves on the ground, and let them swarm over the earth and be fruitful and increase there. So Noah came out with his sons, his wife, and his sons'wives. Every wild animal, all cattle, every bird, and every reptile that moves on the ground, came out of the ark by families. Then Noah built an altar to the Lord. He took ritually clean beastsand birds of every kind, and offered whole-offerings on the altar. When the Lord smelt the soothing odour, he said within himself, Never again will I curse the ground because of man, however evil his inclinations may be from his youth upwards. I will never again kell every living creature, as I have just done.  

挪亚方舟

创世记


 

下面是挪亚的故事。挪亚是一个正直的人,在当时是一个完人。他追随上帝行事。他有三个儿子:闪、含、和雅弗。上帝看见整个世界腐朽了,到处都是暴力。他认为世界充斥着罪恶,因为所有世上的人都过着邪恶的生活。上帝对挪亚说:“人类的可憎我再清楚不过了,他们使这世界充满了仇杀。我有意要毁灭他们,也毁灭掉同他们一起的这个世界。你要为自己造一艘方舟,用丝柏木做船架,覆盖上芦苇,再在里外两面涂上树脂。我要使洪水泛滥全世界,消灭天下所有活着的人,地上万物也要消灭光。但我要与你立约。你到时就带着你的妻子、儿子、儿媳们一起进入方舟。你还要把各种飞禽、走兽、爬虫,每样两只,雌雄各一带上,和你一道登舟,在船上喂养好。此外还要带上各种吃的东西,储存在船上,作为你们和动物的食粮。”挪亚遵照上帝的话,一一办到了。

  这样,为了躲避洪水,挪亚和他的妻、子及儿媳们都上了方舟。和他一起上船的还有那些动物:洁净的和不洁净的牲畜,每种都是雌雄一对;所有的鸟类和地上的爬虫,也是一对一对的,按上帝的吩咐那样都上了船。第七天结束的时候,洪水降临到大地。那年挪亚是六百岁,二月十七日那天,大深渊的所有泉源一齐喷发起来,天穹洞开,大雨倾盆,不停地下了四十个昼夜。……洪水泛滥了四十天,大水涨起来把方舟托起,高高地升离地面之上。落在地面的水越来越多,淹没了天下所有的高山。水一直涨到浸没高山十五腕尺之深。一切有气息的生物,所有生活在陆地上的东西,全都没有了。上帝清除了世上的生物,人也好,兽也好,爬虫也好,飞鸟也好,全部从地面上消灭干净,惟独挪亚和在方舟上的他一起的妻子儿媳、鸟兽爬虫活了下来。

(二)


  四十天后,挪亚打开了他方舟上的天窗,放出一只乌鸦去看看水退了没有,但乌鸦飞来飞去,到地面上的水都快干涸也没回来。挪亚等了七天,再从舟上放出一只鸽子去看看地上的水是否再退了些。但因为地面全部都是水,鸽子没落脚的地方,就飞回挪亚的方舟那里。挪亚又等了七天,再次从舟上放出那鸽子去。傍晚时分,鸽子回来了,嘴里衔着一片刚啄下的橄榄叶。挪亚就知道地面上的水退得差不多了。但他又多等了七天,然后放那鸽子出去。这回它再也没有回来了。这样,在挪亚六百零一岁那年的正月初一,地上的水终于退了,挪亚打开舱口盖,从方舟上向外探望,地面已经完全干了。

  二月二十七日,大地全都干了。上帝对挪亚说:“你和你的妻子,你儿子儿媳们都从方舟上出来吧。把你带上方舟去的各种地上生物,鸟兽爬虫都放出来吧,让它们滋生繁衍,遍布全世界吧。”挪亚就同他的妻子、儿子儿媳们从方舟上走出来。各种地上生物:野兽、牲畜、鸟类和爬虫都是雌雄配对的,也都下了船。接着,挪亚为天主修了一座祭坛。他选了各种各样洁净的鸟兽作为供品,放在祭坛上奉献给天主。天主闻到了供品的香味,心里想道:“我再也不会因人类而使大地遭到灾祸了。不论人从小就有多少邪念,我都不会象这次那样杀死一切生灵了。”


Lesson 6. The Tower of Babel

Genesis


Once upon a time all the world spoke a single language and used the same words. As men journeyed in the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. They said to one another, Come, let us make bricks and bake them hard; they used bricks for stone and bitumen for mortar. Come,they said, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and make a name for ourselves; or we shall be dispersed all over the earth.Then the Lord came down to see the city and tower which mortal men had built, and he said, Here they are, one people with a single language, and now they have started to do this; henceforward nothing they have a mind to do will be beyond their reach. Come, let us go down there and confuse their speech, so that they will not understand what they say to one another.So the Lord dispersed them from there all over the earth, and they left off building the city. That is why it is called Babel, because the Lord there made a babble of the language of all the world;from that place the Lord scattered men all over the face of the earth.

 

 巴别城塔

创世记



  从前,世界是上说的是同一种语言,用的是同一种文字。当人们向东迁徙来到了示拿地方的一片平原上,就停了下来定居。他们大家商议说:“来罢,我们来烧制一些砖块。”他们用砖当石头,沥青作灰泥。“来吧,”他们说:“我们给自己建造一座城市和造一座顶端入云的高塔以留名后世。不然,我们就会流散各地,无所依归了。”不久,天主下来察看世人修建的这座城池和高塔,他说:“他们在这儿是一个使用同一语言的种族。如今他们开始建造城阁,从此他们只要下了决心,就什么事都难不倒他们了。来,我们到他们那儿去,弄乱他们的语言。这样,他们就彼此不能沟通了。”于是,天主把他们分散到世界各地,他们修城筑塔的工程也就半途而废了。这就是为什么这座城叫做巴别,因为天主在那里使世上的语言变成了彼此听不懂的声音。上帝从那里把地上的人都分散到世界的各个角落。

Lesson 7.Finding Shelter in Egypt

Genesis


The Lord said to Abram, Leave your own country, your kinsmen, and your father's house, and go to a country that a I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, I will bless you and make your name so great that it shall be used in blessings:

Those that bless you I will bless,those that curse you, I will execrate.All the families on earth will pray to be blessed as you are blessed.
And so Abram set out as the Lord had bidden him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the property they had collected, and all the dependants they had acquired in Harran, and they started on their journey to Canaan.

There came a famine in the land, so severe that Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while. When he was approaching Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai,
I know very well that you are a beautiful woman, and that when the Egyptians see you, they will say, She is his wife; then they will kill me but let you live. Tell them that you are my sister, so that all may go well with me because of you and my life may be spared on your account.When Abram arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians saw that she was indeed very beautiful. Pharaoh's courtiers saw her and praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into Pharaoh's household. He treated Abram well because of her, and Abram came to possess sheep and cattle and asses, male and female slaves, she-asses, and camels. But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his household with grave diseases on account of Abram's wife Sarai. Pharaoh summoned Abram and said to him, Why have you treated me like this? why did you say that she was your sister, so that I took her as a wife? Here she is : take her and be gone.Then Pharaoh gave his men orders, and they sent Abram away with his wife and all that he had .

寄居埃及

创世记


  (挪亚有一个后代叫他拉,他有三个儿子:亚伯兰、拿鹤和哈兰。亚伯兰娶妻叫撒莱。撒莱没有生育。后来他拉带亚伯兰、撒莱等去迦南,途中在哈兰的地方暂住。他拉就是在哈兰去世的)。

  天主对亚伯兰说:“离开你的家乡,你的亲人和你父亲的家,到一个我指引你去的地方。我要使你建邦立国;我要赐福于你,使你名声显赫。这样你的名字就成了祝福之词:我将祝福那些祝福你的人,我也将诅咒那些诅咒你的人。世上家家都将祈求会得到对你那样的祝福。”

  这样亚伯兰就按上帝的意旨动身。亚伯兰离开哈兰时是七十五岁。他带着妻子撒莱,侄子罗得及他们在哈兰积蓄的全部财产和侍从人等,动身去迦南。

  后来,迦南发生饥荒,灾情十分严重,亚伯兰不得不去埃及暂住。当他们快到埃及时,他对妻子撒莱说:“我深知你是个美丽的女人,埃及人见到你就会说:‘这是那人的妻子,’他们就会杀死我而留下你。你要告诉他们你是我的妹妹,这样我就平安了。看你份上他们会饶我一命的。”亚伯兰到达了埃及,埃及人看到撒莱的确十分美丽。法老的臣子看见她,就把她举荐给法老,于是她就被带去收进法老的内宫中。法老为了她对亚伯兰就很好。亚伯兰得到赏赐许多羊、牛、驴和男女奴仆,还有母驴和骆驼。但是因为亚伯兰妻子撒莱缘故,天主降疫灾于法老一家。法老叫亚伯兰来对他说:“你为什么瞒着我?为什么不告诉我她是你的妻子?为什么说她是你的妹妹,使我收她为妻?喏,你把她带走吧。”法老命令他的下人把亚伯兰连同他的妻子及他所有的财物一起赶走。

 

 

Lesson 8. Hagar Bore Ishmael

Genesis


Abram's wife Sarai had borne him no children. Now she had an Egyptian slave-girl whose name was Hagar, and she said to Abram, You see that the Lord has not allowed me to bear a child. Take my slave-girl; perhaps I shall found a family through her.Abram agreed to what his wife said; so Sarai, Abram's wife, brought her slave-girl, Hagar the Egyptian, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife. When this happened Abram had been in Canaan for ten years .He lay with with Hagar and she conceived;and when she knew that she was with child,she despised her mistress.Sarai said to Abram,'I have been wronged and you must answer for it .It was I who that she is with child,she has despised me .May the Lord see justice done between you and me .'Abram replied to Sarai.'Your slave -girl is in your hands ;deal with her as you will.;So Sarai ill -treated her and she ran away .

The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness on the way to Shur,and he said ,'Hagar ,Sarai's slave-girl,where have you come from and where are you going ?'She answered,'I am running away from Sarai my mistress.' The angel of the Lord said to her ,'Go back to your mistress and submit to her ill-treatment .'The angel also said,'I will make your descendants too many to be counted.'And the angel of the Lord said to her :

'You are with child and will bear a son .

You shall name him Ishmael,because the Lord has heard of your ill-treatment .

He shall be a man like the wild ass,

his hand against every man

and every man's hand against him ;and he shall live at
odds with all his kinsmen.'

Hagar bore Abram was eighty-six year old when Hagar bore Ishmael.

纳妾生子

创世记


  亚伯兰的妻子撒莱没有生育。她有一个埃及女奴,名叫夏甲。撒莱对亚伯兰说:“你看,天主没让我生育。收了我的女奴吧,也许我可以利用她养儿育女呢。”亚伯兰同意妻子的话,于是他妻子撒莱就把她的埃及女奴夏甲带来给丈夫亚伯兰做妾。这是亚伯兰在迦南已住了十年的事。他与夏甲同房,夏甲就怀了孕。夏甲得知自己怀孕后,就瞧不起女主人了。撒莱对亚伯兰说:“我受了欺侮,你得出来说话。是我把这女奴送入你的怀抱,但自从她知道自己在有了身孕,她就瞧不起我了。但愿天主在你我之间主持公道。”亚伯兰回答撒莱道:“你的女奴由你支配,你可以随意处置她。”这样,撒莱就虐待起夏甲来,夏甲就逃跑了。

  天主的使臣发现夏甲在去书珥路上的荒野里一个水泉旁,就说:“撒莱的女奴夏甲,你从哪里逃出来的?要到哪里去?”她回答道:“我从女主人撒莱那里逃出来的。”天主的使臣对她说:“回到的女主人那里去,忍受她的虐待吧。”又说:“我会使你有百子千孙:你已有了身孕,将会生一个儿子。你要给他起个名字叫以实玛利,因为天主听说你受到虐待。你这儿子会成为象野驴子那样的人,他反对所有的人,而所有的人也会反对他。他会与他所有的兄弟不和。”

  后来夏甲生了一个儿子,亚伯兰给她生的这孩子了名为以实玛利。夏甲生以实玛利时,亚伯兰是八十六岁。

Lesson 9. Abram' s Covenant with God

Genesis


When Abram was ninety-nine years old,   the Lord appeared to him and said,  ' I am God Almighty.  Live always in my presence and be perfect , so that I may set my covenant between myself and you and multiply your descendants. ' Abram threw himself down on his face , and God spoke with him and said , ' I make this covenant , and I make it with you :you shall be the father of a host of nations . Your name shall no longer be Abram, your name shall be Abraham, for I make you father of a host of nations . I will make you exceedingly fruitful;I will make nations out of you , and kings shall spring from you I will fulfil my covenant between myself and you and your descendants after you , generation after generation, an ever lasting covenant, to be your God, yours and your descendants' after you . As an everlasting possession I will give you and your descendants after you the land in which you now are aliens , all the land of Canaan, and I will be God to your descendants. '

God said to Abraham , ' For your part, you must keep my covenant , you and your descendants after you , generation by generation. This is how you shall keep my convenant between myself and you and your descendants after you; circumcise myself and you and your descendants after you ;circumcise yourselves, every male among you . Every male among you in every generation shall be circumcised on the eighth day , both those born in your house and any foreigner, not of your blood but bought with your money , thus shall my covenant be marked in your flesh as an everlasting covenant . Every uncircumcised  male shall be cut off from the kin of his father . He broken my covenant . '

God said to Abraham , ' As for Sarai your wife ;you shall call her not Sarai, but Sarah . I will bless her and give you a son by her . I will bless her and she shall be the mother of nations ;the himself down on his face;he laughed and said to himself ' Can a son be born to a man who is a hundred years old ?                        Can Sarah bear a son when she is ninety ?                        ' He said to God , ' If only Ishmael might live under thy `special care !' But God replied, ' No. Your wife Sarah shall bear you a son , and you shall call him Isaac. With him I will fulfil my covenant , an everlasting covenant with his descendants after him . I have blessed him and will make him fruitful . I will multiply his descendants; he shall be father of twelve princes . and I will raise a great nation from him . But my covenant I will fulfil with Isaac , whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year . ' When he had finished talking with Abraham , God ascended and left him .

Then Abraham took Ishmael his son , everyone who had been born in his household and everyone bought with money , every male in his household , and he circumcised them that very same day in the flesh of their foreskins as God had told him to do . Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he circumcised the flesh of his foreskin. Ishmael was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin .

更名立约

创世记


  亚伯兰九十九岁时,天主在他面前出现说:“我是全能的上帝。你要永远在我面前生活并做个完美的人,这样我就可以和你立约,使你的后代繁衍兴旺。”亚伯兰当即俯伏地上,上帝对他说:“我是同你订立此约:你会成为万邦之祖,你不要
再叫亚伯兰了,要改名为亚伯拉罕,因为我要使你成为万邦之祖,使你多子多孙,要从你这里衍生出许多国家,你的后代中会出现许多君王。我要执行我和你订立之约,此约对你和你的后人,世世代代都永远有效。我是你和你的后代的上帝。我要把你们居此不久的这片土地,即全部迦南的土地赐给你和你的后代,作为永久的财产。我是你子孙后代的上帝。”

  上帝对亚伯拉罕说:“在你那方面,你必须守约。你和你的后代,世世代代也都如此。你和你的后裔履行我同你们所立之约的方法就是:你家族中的每个男人都必须行割礼。你家族中每一代的每一个男丁都必须在出生后的第八天进行割礼,包括生在你家的和那些虽然不属于你们血统,而是你用钱买来的外姓人。这样我立的约就在你们肉体上留下印记,成为永久之约。任何没有受割礼的男子都被取消与家族的关系,因为他违背了我立的约”

  上帝对亚伯拉罕说:“对你的妻子撒莱,你不要叫她撒莱了,改叫做撒拉。我要赐福给她,让她为你生一个儿子。我要赐福给她,让她成为万邦之母,许多民族的君王将出自她的后代。”亚伯拉罕俯伏地上,他笑着自说道:“一个一百岁的人还能生子吗?撒拉已经九十岁了,她还能生孩子吗?”他对上帝说:“只要以实玛利能在你的特殊关怀下生活已经很好了!”但上帝答道:“不,你的妻子撒拉会给你生一个儿子,你要叫他以撒。我将同他及他的后代履行永存的立约。我已听见你为以实玛利的祈祷。‘我已经祝福了他,使他多子多孙,使他的后代繁衍兴旺。他会成为十二个王子之父,我要使他身后形成一个大邦。但是撒拉明年此时将生下以撒,我是要同以撒履行立约的。”说完这话以后,上帝离开了亚伯拉罕升天而去。当天亚伯拉罕带了儿子以实玛利和每一个生在他家的人,每一个用银子买来的人,总之,他家里所有的男人,按照上帝的吩咐举行了割礼。割包皮时,亚伯拉罕是九十九岁,以实玛利十三岁。

 

Lesson 10. The Destruction of Sodom

Genesis


(1)

The Lord appeared to Abraham by the terebinths of Mamre. As Abraham was sitting at the opening of his tent in the heat of the day , he looked up and saw three men standing in front of him. He ran from the opening of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground . 'Sirs,' he said, ' if I have deserved your favor, do mot pass by my humble self without a visit. Let me send for some water so that you may wash your feet and rest under a tree ;and let me fetch a little food so that you may refresh yourselves. Afterwards you may wash your feet and rest under a tree ;and let me fetch a little food so that you may refresh yourselves.Afterwards you may continue the journey which has brought you my way .'They said,'Do by all means as you say .'So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, 'Take three measures of flour quickly ,knead it and make some cakes. 'then Abraham ran to the cattle ,chose a fine tender calf and gave it to a servant ,who hurriedly  prepared it. He took curds and milk and the calf he had prepared,set it before then ,and waited on then himself under the tree while they ate .They asked him where Sarah his wife was ,and he said, 'There,in the tent.'The stranger said ,'About this time next year I will be sure to come back to you, and Sarah your wife shall have a son .'Now Sarah was listening at the opening of the tent;and he was close beside it .Both Abraham and Sarah had grown very old ,and Saah was past the age of child-bearing.So Sarah laughed to herself and said ,'I an past bearing children now that I am out of my time ,and my husband is old .'The Lord said to Abraham ,'Why did Sarah laugh.Is anything impossible for the Lord?In due season I will come back to you ,about this time next year,and Sarah shall have a son .'

The men set out and looked down towards Sodom ,and Abraham went with then to start them on their way ....So the Lord said,'There is a great outcry over Sodom and Gomorrah ;their sin is very grave .I must go down and see whether their deeds warrant the outcry which has reached me .I an resolved to know the truth.'When the men turned and went towards Sodom ,Abraham remained standing before the Lord .Abraham drew near him and said ,'Wilt thou really sweep away good and bad together ?Suppose there are fifty good men in the city ;wilt thou really sweep it away ,and not pardon the place because of the fifty good men ?Far be if from three to do this -to kill good and bad together;for then the good would suffer with the bad .Far be if from thee.Shall not the judge of all the earth do what is just ?'The Lord said ,'If I find in the city of Sodom fifty good men ,I will pardon the whole place for their sake'...Abraham said,'I pray thee not to be angry ,O Lord,if I speak just once more:suppose ten can be found there?'He said,'For the sake of the ten I will not destroy it .'

(2)
The two angels came to Sodom in the evening ,and LOT WAS SITTING IN THE GATEWAY OF THE CITY .When he saw them he said, 'I pray you, sirs, turn aside to my humble home ,spend the night there and wash your feet ;you can rise early and continue your journey .''No ,'they answered,'we will spend the night in the street. 'But Lot was so insistent that they did turn aside and enter his house .He prepared a meal for them, baking unleavened cakes ,and they ate them. Before they lay down to sleep ,the men of Sodom, both young and old surrounded the house -everyone without exception. 'Bring them out ,'they shouted,'so that we can have intercourse with them .'

Lot went out into the doorway to them ,closed the door behind him and said ,'No ,my friends ,do mot be so wicked.Look,I have two daughters,both virgins;let me bring them mot touch these men ,because they have come under the shelter of my roof.'They said,'Out of our way !This man has come and settled here as an alien ,and does he now take it They crowded in on the man Lot and pressed close to smash in ,and closed the door .Then they struck the men in the door way with blindness,both small and great ,so that they could not find the door.

The two men said to Lot ,'Have you anyone else here,sons-in-law,sons,or daughters,or any who belong to you in the city ?Get them out of this place,,because we are going to destroy it .

As soon as it was dawn ,the angels urged Lot to go .When he lingered,they took him by the hand,with his wife and his daughters,and ,because the Lord had spared him ,led him on until he was outside the city .When they had brought them out ,they said,'Flee for your lives;do not look back and do not stop anywhere in the Plain.Flee to the hills or you will be swept away .'And then the Lord rained down fire and brimstone from the skies on Sodom and Gomorrah.He over-threw those and everything growing in the ground .But Lot's wife,behind him ,looked back,and she turned into a pillar of salt .

灭所多玛

创世记


(一)

  天主在幔利的笃薅香树旁显现在亚伯拉罕面前。当时天气正炎热,亚伯拉罕坐在帐篷门口,看见有三个人站在他前面。他就从帐篷门口跑过去接他们,他深鞠一躬说:“先生们,如蒙不弃,就请到敝舍小坐。我会叫人去弄些水来,这样你们就可以洗脚,在树下歇息歇息。我去取些食物来,你们吃了可以恢复精神。过后你们再继续你们的选种。”他们说:“那就只好从命了。”亚伯拉罕就直快回帐篷去对撒拉说:“快量三碗面粉去做些饼。”然后,亚伯拉罕又跑到牛那里,选了一头好牛犊交给仆人,让他很快把牛犊宰了烧好。亚伯拉罕拿着乳酪、牛奶,烧好的小牛肉,放在客人面前,并在树下侍候他们饮食。他们问他的妻子撒拉在那里,他说:“在帐篷里边。”陌生人说:“明年这个时候,我一定会再到你这里来,那时你的妻子撒拉会生一个儿子。”撒拉这时正在帐篷门口听着,而陌生人就坐在离门不远的地方。亚伯拉罕和撒拉都很老了,撒拉也过了生育年龄,因此好暗笑说:“我已经不会生育的了,已不是当年了。我的丈夫也老了。”天主对亚伯拉罕说:“撒拉这什么要笑?对天主来说难道还有不可能的事吗?到那时节我一定会回来的,明年这时分,撒拉一定会生个儿子的。”

  这几个人动身走了,朝所多玛城而去。亚伯拉罕送他们上路......天主说:“所多玛和蛾摩拉地方罪孽深重,怨声已传达我耳中。我必须到那里去看看他们的所作所为是否一如传到我为里的那样糟糕。我决定要去了解真象。”当他们转身走向所多玛时,亚伯拉罕仍但丫在天主面前。他靠近天主说:你真的打算把善和恶习都一起消恶意掉吗?假如城里有五十个好人,你当真会把全城消灭掉,不考虑有五十个好人而赦免它吗?这决不是你的行事方式,你不会反好坏一起消灭掉的,因为那样好人就会因坏人而爱累。你决不会这样的。难道主宰世界的你能够不主持公道吗?”天主说:“如果我发现所多玛城里有五十个好人,我一定会为了他赦免全城的。”......亚伯拉罕说:“请不要生气,天主啊,我还要说一下:要是在那里只是有十个好人呢?”上帝说:“这了这十个人我也不会毁恶灭那城市。”

(二)

  两位天使晚上到了所多玛。罗得正坐在城门口。他看见他们说:“我请示你们各位先生到敝舍去过夜吧,洗脚歇息,明日早起再继续赶路。”他们回答说:“不用了,我们就在街上过夜就可以了。”但罗得坚持要请他们,他们就到他家中去了。罗得为他们准备饮食烤硬面饼给他们吃。在他们正要睡觉时,所多玛的人们,年轻和年老的全都来了,他们围着他的房子。“把他们交出来,”他们喊道,“我们要让他们尝尝我们的厉害。,”罗得走到门外,先把门带上,说:“不,朋友们,别这么不讲理。听着,我有两个女儿,都是处女。我把她们领出来交给你们。你们可以对她们任意处置,但不要碰这两个来人,因为他们是我家的客人。”这群人说:“滚开!你这人来这里定居,只不过是个外人。现在居然指责我们?我们对你会比那两人更不客气。”他们一拥而上,向罗得冲来,要把门砸破,这时屋里的两人马上出来反罗得拉进门里,关上门。然后,他们使门外的人不论老少眼睛全都变瞎,看不到门在哪里。

  这两人对罗得说:“你这里还有其他亲人吗?有女婿、儿子、女儿、或者任何家人吗?把他们事走,离开这个地方,因为的们要毁灭这座城市。这城市恶名昭著,天主派我们来毁来它。”

  天一亮,天使们就催罗得赶快离开。当他舍不得离开时,他们就拉着他的手,把他同妻女一起领到城外,因为天主赦免了他。到了城外,他们说:“逃命吧,不要回头看,也不要在这平原上停留。逃上山去吧,不然你会被消灭的。”然后,天主反火和硫磺象雨一般洒落在所多玛和蛾摩拉那里。他把这两座城市夷为平地,摧毁了整个平原。那里的每一个生灵和地上长的作物都无一幸免。罗得的妻子走在最后,好回头望了望,就立刻化成一根盐柱。

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