The LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in Egypt:
"This month is to be the first month of the year for you.
Give these instructions to the whole community of Israel: On the tenth day of this month each man must choose either a lamb or a young goat for his household.
If his family is too small to eat a whole animal, he and his next-door neighbor may share an animal, in proportion to the number of people and the amount that each person can eat.
You may choose either a sheep or a goat, but it must be a one-year-old male without any defects.
Then, on the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, the whole community of Israel will kill the animals.
The people are to take some of the blood and put it on the doorposts and above the doors of the houses in which the animals are to be eaten.
That night the meat is to be roasted, and eaten with bitter herbs and with bread made without yeast.
Do not eat any of it raw or boiled, but eat it roasted whole, including the head, the legs, and the internal organs.
You must not leave any of it until morning; if any is left over, it must be burned.
You are to eat it quickly, for you are to be dressed for travel, with your sandals on your feet and your walking stick in your hand. It is the Passover Festival to honor me, the LORD.
"On that night I will go through the land of Egypt, killing every first-born male, both human and animal, and punishing all the gods of Egypt. I am the LORD.
The blood on the doorposts will be a sign to mark the houses in which you live. When I see the blood, I will pass over you and will not harm you when I punish the Egyptians.
You must celebrate this day as a religious festival to remind you of what I, the LORD, have done. Celebrate it for all time to come."
The LORD said, "For seven days you must not eat any bread made with yeast---eat only unleavened bread. On the first day you are to get rid of all the yeast in your houses, for if anyone during those seven days eats bread made with yeast, he shall no longer be considered one of my people.
On the first day and again on the seventh day you are to meet for worship. No work is to be done on those days, but you may prepare food.
Keep this festival, because it was on this day that I brought your tribes out of Egypt. For all time to come you must celebrate this day as a festival.
From the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month to the evening of the twenty-first day, you must not eat any bread made with yeast.
For seven days no yeast must be found in your houses, for if anyone, native-born or foreign, eats bread made with yeast, he shall no longer be considered one of my people."
Moses called for all the leaders of Israel and said to them, "Each of you is to choose a lamb or a young goat and kill it, so that your families can celebrate Passover.
Take a sprig of hyssop, dip it in the bowl containing the animal's blood, and wipe the blood on the doorposts and the beam above the door of your house. Not one of you is to leave the house until morning.
When the LORD goes through Egypt to kill the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the beams and the doorposts and will not let the Angel of Death enter your houses and kill you.
You and your children must obey these rules forever.
When you enter the land that the LORD has promised to give you, you must perform this ritual.
When your children ask you, 'What does this ritual mean?'
you will answer, 'It is the sacrifice of Passover to honor the LORD, because he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. He killed the Egyptians, but spared us.' " The Israelites knelt down and worshiped.
Then they went and did what the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron.
At midnight the LORD killed all the first-born sons in Egypt, from the king's son, who was heir to the throne, to the son of the prisoner in the dungeon; all the first-born of the animals were also killed.
That night, the king, his officials, and all the other Egyptians were awakened. There was loud crying throughout Egypt, because there was not one home in which there was not a dead son.
That same night the king sent for Moses and Aaron and said, "Get out, you and your Israelites! Leave my country; go and worship the LORD, as you asked.
Take your sheep, goats, and cattle, and leave. Also pray for a blessing on me."
The Egyptians urged the people to hurry and leave the country; they said, "We will all be dead if you don't leave."
So the people filled their baking pans with unleavened dough, wrapped them in clothing, and carried them on their shoulders.
The Israelites had done as Moses had said, and had asked the Egyptians for gold and silver jewelry and for clothes.
The LORD made the Egyptians respect the people and give them what they asked for. In this way the Israelites carried away the wealth of the Egyptians.
The Israelites set out on foot from Rameses for Sukkoth. There were about 600,000 men, not counting women and children.
A large number of other people and many sheep, goats, and cattle also went with them.
They baked unleavened bread from the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for they had been driven out of Egypt so suddenly that they did not have time to get their food ready or to prepare leavened dough.
The Israelites had lived in Egypt for 430 years.
On the day the 430 years ended, all the tribes of the LORD's people left Egypt.
It was a night when the LORD kept watch to bring them out of Egypt; this same night is dedicated to the LORD for all time to come as a night when the Israelites must keep watch.
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the Passover regulations: No foreigner shall eat the Passover meal,
but any slave that you have bought may eat it if you circumcise him first.
No temporary resident or hired worker may eat it.
The whole meal must be eaten in the house in which it was prepared; it must not be taken outside. And do not break any of the animal's bones.
The whole community of Israel must celebrate this festival,
but no uncircumcised man may eat it. If a foreigner has settled among you and wants to celebrate Passover to honor the LORD, you must first circumcise all the males of his household. He is then to be treated like a native-born Israelite and may join in the festival.
The same regulations apply to native-born Israelites and to foreigners who settle among you."
All the Israelites obeyed and did what the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron.
On that day the LORD brought the Israelite tribes out of Egypt.
The LORD said to Moses,
"Dedicate all the first-born males to me, for every first-born male Israelite and every first-born male animal belongs to me."
Moses said to the people, "Remember this day---the day on which you left Egypt, the place where you were slaves. This is the day the LORD brought you out by his great power. No leavened bread is to be eaten.
You are leaving Egypt on this day in the first month, the month of Abib.
The LORD solemnly promised your ancestors to give you the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. When he brings you into that rich and fertile land, you must celebrate this festival in the first month of every year.
For seven days you must eat unleavened bread and on the seventh day there is to be a festival to honor the LORD.
For seven days you must not eat any bread made with yeast; there must be no yeast or leavened bread anywhere in your land.
When the festival begins, explain to your sons that you do all this because of what the LORD did for you when you left Egypt.
This observance will be a reminder, like something tied on your hand or on your forehead; it will remind you to continue to recite and study the Law of the LORD, because the LORD brought you out of Egypt by his great power.
Celebrate this festival at the appointed time each year.
"The LORD will bring you into the land of the Canaanites, which he solemnly promised to you and your ancestors. When he gives it to you,
you must offer every first-born male to the LORD. Every first-born male of your animals belongs to the LORD,
but you must buy back from him every first-born male donkey by offering a lamb in its place. If you do not want to buy back the donkey, break its neck. You must buy back every first-born male child of yours.
In the future, when your son asks what this observance means, you will answer him, 'By using great power the LORD brought us out of Egypt, the place where we were slaves.
When the king of Egypt was stubborn and refused to let us go, the LORD killed every first-born male in the land of Egypt, both human and animal. That is why we sacrifice every first-born male animal to the LORD, but buy back our first-born sons.
This observance will be a reminder, like something tied on our hands or on our foreheads; it will remind us that the LORD brought us out of Egypt by his great power.' "
When the king of Egypt let the people go, God did not take them by the road that goes up the coast to Philistia, although it was the shortest way. God thought, "I do not want the people to change their minds and return to Egypt when they see that they are going to have to fight."
Instead, he led them in a roundabout way through the desert toward the Red Sea. The Israelites were armed for battle.
Moses took the body of Joseph with him, as Joseph had made the Israelites solemnly promise to do. Joseph had said, "When God rescues you, you must carry my body with you from this place."
The Israelites left Sukkoth and camped at Etham on the edge of the desert.
During the day the LORD went in front of them in a pillar of cloud to show them the way, and during the night he went in front of them in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel night and day.
The pillar of cloud was always in front of the people during the day, and the pillar of fire at night.
The king is glad, O LORD, because you gave him strength; he rejoices because you made him victorious.
You have given him his heart's desire; you have answered his request.
You came to him with great blessings and set a crown of gold on his head.
He asked for life, and you gave it, a long and lasting life.
His glory is great because of your help; you have given him fame and majesty.
Your blessings are with him forever, and your presence fills him with joy.
The king trusts in the LORD Almighty; and because of the LORD's constant love he will always be secure.
The king will capture all his enemies; he will capture everyone who hates him.
He will destroy them like a blazing fire when he appears. The LORD will devour them in his anger, and fire will consume them.
None of their descendants will survive; the king will kill them all.
They make their plans, and plot against him, but they will not succeed.
He will shoot his arrows at them and make them turn and run.
We praise you, LORD, for your great strength! We will sing and praise your power.
Dear Theophilus: In my first book I wrote about all the things that Jesus did and taught from the time he began his work
until the day he was taken up to heaven. Before he was taken up, he gave instructions by the power of the Holy Spirit to the men he had chosen as his apostles.
For forty days after his death he appeared to them many times in ways that proved beyond doubt that he was alive. They saw him, and he talked with them about the Kingdom of God.
And when they came together, he gave them this order: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my Father promised.
John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
When the apostles met together with Jesus, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time give the Kingdom back to Israel?"
Jesus said to them, "The times and occasions are set by my Father's own authority, and it is not for you to know when they will be.
But when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
After saying this, he was taken up to heaven as they watched him, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
They still had their eyes fixed on the sky as he went away, when two men dressed in white suddenly stood beside them
and said, "Galileans, why are you standing there looking up at the sky? This Jesus, who was taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way that you saw him go to heaven."
Then the apostles went back to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is about half a mile away from the city.
They entered the city and went up to the room where they were staying: Peter, John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Patriot, and Judas son of James.
They gathered frequently to pray as a group, together with the women and with Mary the mother of Jesus and with his brothers.
A few days later there was a meeting of the believers, about a hundred and twenty in all, and Peter stood up to speak.
"My friends," he said, "the scripture had to come true in which the Holy Spirit, speaking through David, made a prediction about Judas, who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.
Judas was a member of our group, for he had been chosen to have a part in our work."
(With the money that Judas got for his evil act he bought a field, where he fell to his death; he burst open and all his insides spilled out.
All the people living in Jerusalem heard about it, and so in their own language they call that field Akeldama, which means "Field of Blood.")
"For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'May his house become empty; may no one live in it.' It is also written, 'May someone else take his place of service.'
"So then, someone must join us as a witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. He must be one of the men who were in our group during the whole time that the Lord Jesus traveled about with us, beginning from the time John preached his message of baptism until the day Jesus was taken up from us to heaven."
So they proposed two men: Joseph, who was called Barsabbas (also known as Justus), and Matthias.
Then they prayed, "Lord, you know the thoughts of everyone, so show us which of these two you have chosen
to serve as an apostle in the place of Judas, who left to go to the place where he belongs."
Then they drew lots to choose between the two men, and the one chosen was Matthias, who was added to the group of eleven apostles.