Occurring Scripture for the
Hour of Matins
A reading from the book of Genesis
In the beginning God created heaven,
and earth. And the earth was void and empty, and darkness
was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the
waters. And God said: "May light be made." And light was made.
And God saw the light that it was good; and He divided the light from
the darkness. And He called the light Day, and the darkness
Night; and there was evening and morning one day. And God said: "Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide the
waters from the waters." And God made a firmament, and divided the
waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the
firmament, and it was so. And God called the firmament, Heaven;
and the evening and morning were the second day.
Genesis 1: 9-19
God also said: "Let the waters that are
under the heaven, be gathered together into one place: and let the dry
land appear." And it was so done. And God called the dry land,
Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, he called Seas. And God
saw that it was good. And he said: "Let the earth bring forth the
green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit
after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth." And it was
so done. And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as
yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that bears fruit having
seed each one according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And
the evening and the morning were the third day. And God said: "Let there
be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the
night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and
years: To shine in the firmament of heaven, and to give light upon
the earth." And it was so done. And God made two great lights: a greater
light to rule the day; and a lesser light to rule the night: and the
stars. And he set them in the firmament of heaven to shine
upon the earth. And to rule the day and the night, and to divide
the light and the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And the
evening and morning were the fourth day.
God also said: "Let the waters bring
forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over
the earth under the firmament of heaven." And God created the great
whales, and every living and moving creature, which the waters brought
forth, according to their kinds, and every winged fowl according to its
kind. And God saw that it was good. And He blessed them, saying: "Increase and multiply, and fill the waters of the sea: and let the birds
be multiplied upon the earth." And the evening and morning were the
fifth day. And God said: "Let the earth bring forth the living
creature in its kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the
earth, according to their kinds." And it was so done. And God made the
beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and cattle, and every
thing that creeps on the earth after its kind. And God saw that it was
good. And he said: "Let us make man to our image and likeness: and
let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the
air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature
that moves upon the earth."
From the Enchiridion of Saint
Book III: Chapters xxv, xxvi,
The Lord threatened man with the
punishment of death, in case he sinned. Thus did He gift him with free
will, while He yet kept His lordship over him, and helped him with the
dread of destruction. And so He put him in that happy garden, under the
very shadow of the tree of life, in that good place from whence, had he
kept his righteousness, he might have passed to a better. But the first
man sinned, and was banished from Eden, and infected all his descendants
with the disease of sin, poisoning their very root, and bringing upon
all that sentence of death and damnation, which he had earned for
himself. So that all that descend by fleshly generation from Adam, and
from the guilty woman, who was the cause of his sin and the partaker of
his punishment, derive from them original sin; whereby they are drawn
through a way of divers sins and sorrows, towards that final ruin which
they shall share with the rebel angels who are at once their corrupters,
their lords, and their comrades.
So by one man sin entered into the
world, and death by sin, (and so death passed upon all men,) in whom all
have sinned. By the world the Apostle signified in this place all
mankind. Thus then had the matter stood. The damned mass of humanity
lay in misery, or rather wallowed in it, and fell from bad to worse,
till it joined the company of the sinning angels, and both together
suffered the deserved punishment of their vile treason.
So the wrath of God appertains to
whatever sin man, through the blind and untamed sting of his flesh,
willingly commits, and whatever punishment, declared and open, he
unwillingly suffers. There is, indeed, no pause in that goodness of the
Creator whereby He gave even to the traitor angels life and strength,
(which if He gave not, they would be annihilated,) and whereby He forms
the seed of men, though they come of a corrupt and condemned stock,
quickens them, strengthens and fits their limbs for the changing seasons
of their life, extends their knowledge in divers places, and gives
them where upon to live. It hath been His will rather to draw good out of
evil, than to suffer that there should be no evil.
The continuation of the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
At that time Jesus said to his
disciples: The kingdom of heaven is like an householder, who went out
early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. And
having agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his
vineyard. And going out about the third hour, he saw others
standing in the market place idle. And he said to them: Go
you also into my vineyard, and I will give you what shall be just.
And they went their way. And again he went out about the sixth and the
ninth hour, and did in like manner. But about the eleventh hour he
went out and found others standing, and he said to them: "Why stand you
here all the day idle?" They said to him: Because no man hath
hired us." He said to them: "Go you also into my vineyard." And
when evening was come, the lord of the vineyard said to his steward:
"Call the laborers and pay them their hire, beginning from the last even
to the first." When therefore they were come, that came about the
eleventh hour, they received every man a denarius. But when the
first also came, they thought that they should receive more: and they
also received every man a denarius. And receiving it they murmured
against the master of the house, saying: "These last have worked
but one hour, and thou hast made them equal to us, that have borne the
burden of the day and the heats." But he answering said to one of
them: "Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst thou not agree with me for a
denarius? Take what is thine, and go thy way: I will also give to
this last even as to thee. Or, is it not lawful for me to do what
I will? or are you envious because I am generous?" So shall the
last be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.
A homily of Pope Saint Gregory the Great.
XIX on the Gospels.
We hear that the kingdom of heaven is
like a man who is an householder, who went out early in the morning, to
hire laborers in his vineyard. Who indeed is more justly to be likened
to a householder than our Maker, Who is the Head of the household of
faith, bearing rule over them whom He has made, and being Master of His
chosen ones in the world, as a Master over those who are
in His house? He it is That has the Church for a vineyard, a vineyard
that ceases not to bring forth branches of the True Vine, from righteous
Abel to the last of the elect that shall be born in the world.
This householder, then, for the
cultivation of his vineyard, goes out early in the morning, and at the
third hour, and the sixth hour, and the ninth hour, and the eleventh
hour, to hire laborers for his vineyard. Thus the Lord, from the
beginning to the end of the world, ceases not to gather together
preachers for the instruction of His faithful people. The early morning
of the world was from Adam until Noe; the third hour from Noe until
Abraham; the sixth hour from Abraham until Moses; the ninth hour from
Moses until the coming of the Lord; the eleventh hour from the coming of
the Lord until the end of the world. At this eleventh hour are sent
forth as preachers the Holy Apostles, who have received full wages,
albeit they have come in late.
Nor the cultivation of His vineyard,
(that is, the instruction of His people,) the Lord has never ceased to
send into it laborers. First, by the Fathers, then, by the Prophets and
Teachers of the Law, and lastly, by the Apostles He has dressed and
tended the lives of His people, as the owner of a vineyard dresses and
tends it by means of workmen. Whoever in whatever degree joined to a
right faith the teaching of righteousness, was so far one of God's
laborers in God's vineyard. By the laborers at early morning, and at the
third hour, the sixth hour, and the ninth hour, may be understood God's
ancient people, the Hebrews, who strove to worship Him with a right
faith in company with His chosen ones from the very beginning of the
world, and thus continually labored in His vineyard. And now, at the
eleventh hour, it is said unto the Gentiles also "Why stand ye here all
the day idle?"
O Lord, we beseech Thee favorably to
hear the prayers of Thy people; that we, who are justly punished for our
offenses, may be mercifully delivered by Thy goodness, for the glory of
Thine Holy Name. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.
A reading from the book of Genesis
And God created man to His own image:
to the image of God He created him: male and female He created them.
And God blessed them, saying: "Increase and multiply, and fill the earth,
and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the
air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth." And
God said: "Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the
earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to
be your meat: And to all the beasts of the
earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the
earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon." And
it was so done. And God saw all the things that
He had made, and they were very good. And the evening and morning were
the sixth day.
So the heavens and the earth were
finished, and all the furniture of them. And on
the seventh day God ended His work which He had made: and He rested on
the seventh day from all His work which He had done. And He blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it:
because in it He had rested from all His work which God created and
made. These are the generations of the heaven and
the earth, when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the
heaven and the earth: And every plant of the
field before it spring up in the earth, and every herb of the ground
before it grew: for the Lord God had not rained upon the earth; and
there was not a man to till the earth. But a
spring rose out the earth, watering all the surface of the earth.
And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into
his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul. And the Lord
God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning: wherein He
placed man whom he had formed. And the Lord God brought forth of the
ground all manner of trees, fair to behold, and pleasant to eat of: the
tree of life also in the midst of paradise: and the tree of knowledge of
good and evil. And a river went out the place of pleasure to water
paradise, which from thence is divided into four heads.
A reading from the book of Genesis
And the Lord God took man, and put him into the
paradise for pleasure, to dress it, and keep it. And he commanded him,
saying: Of every tree of paradise you shall eat: But of the tree of
knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat. for in what ever day you shall eat of it,
you shall die the death. And the Lord God said:
It is not good for man to be alone: let us make him a help like unto
And the Lord God
having formed out of the ground all the beasts of the earth, and all the
fowls of the air, brought them to Adam to see what he would call them:
for whatsoever Adam called any living creature the same is its name.
And Adam called all the beasts by their names, and all the fowls of the
air, and all the cattle of the field: but for Adam there was not found a
helper like himself.
Then the Lord God cast a deep sleep
upon Adam: and when he was fast asleep, he took one of his ribs, and
filled up flesh for it. And the Lord God built the rib which he
took from Adam into a woman: and brought her to Adam. And Adam
said: "This now is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be
called woman, because she was taken out of man." Wherefore a man shall
leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be
two in one flesh.
A reading from the book of Genesis
Now the serpent was more subtle than
any of the beasts of the earth which the Lord God made. And he said to the
woman: "Why has God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree of
paradise?" And the woman answered him, saying: "Of the fruit of the
trees that are in paradise we do eat: But of the fruit of the
tree which is in the midst of paradise, God hath commanded us that we should
not eat; and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die."
And the serpent said to the woman: "No, you shall not die the death.
For God knows that in what ever day you shall eat thereof, your eyes
shall be opened: and you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil."
And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat, and fair to the eyes, and
delightful to behold: and she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and
gave to her husband who did eat. And the eyes of them both were
When they perceived themselves to be
naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons. And
when they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in paradise at the
afternoon air, Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord
God, amidst the trees of paradise. And the Lord God called Adam,
and said to him: "Where are you?" And he said: "I heard Thy voice
in paradise; and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself."
And He said to him: "And who told you that you were naked, but that
you have eaten of the tree whereof I commanded you that you should not
eat?" And Adam said: "The woman, whom Thou gave me to be my
companion, gave me of the tree, and I did eat." And the Lord God
said to the woman: "Why have you done this?" And she answered: "The serpent
deceived me, and I did eat."
And the Lord God said to the serpent:
"Because you have done this thing, you are cursed among all cattle, and the
beasts of the earth: upon your breast shall you go, and earth shall you eat
all the days of your life. I will put enmities between you and
the woman, and your seed and her seed: she shall crush your head, and you
shall lie in wait for her heel." To the woman also he said: "I
will multiply your sorrows, and your conceptions: in sorrow will you bring
forth children, and you shall be under your husband's power, and he shall
have dominion over you. And to Adam he said: "Because you
hearkened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree, whereof I
commanded you that you should not eat, cursed is the earth in your work;
with labor and toil shall you eat thereof all the days of your life.
Thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to you; and you shall eat the herbs of
the earth. In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the earth, out of which
you were taken: for dust you are,
and into dust you shall return." And Adam called the name of his
wife Eve: because she was the mother of all the living.
A reading from the book of Genesis
And Adam knew Eve his wife: who conceived and
brought forth Cain, saying: "I have gotten a man through God." And again
she brought forth his brother Abel. And Abel was a shepherd, and Cain a
husbandman. And it came to pass after many days, that Cain
offered, of the fruits of the earth, gifts to the Lord. Abel
also offered of the firstlings of his flock, and of their fat: and the Lord
had respect to Abel, and to his offerings. But to Cain and his
offerings He had no respect: and Cain was exceedingly angry, and his
countenance fell. And the Lord said to him: "Why are you angry?
and why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, shall you
not receive? but if ill, shall not sin be present at the door? but the lust
of it shall be under you, and you shall have dominion over it."
And Cain said to Abel his brother: "Let
us go forth abroad." And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against
his brother Abel, and slew him. And the Lord said to Cain: "Where
is your brother Abel?" And he answered, "I know not: am I my brother's keeper?"
And He said to him: "What have you done? the voice of your brother's blood
cries to me from the earth. Now, therefore, cursed shall you be
upon the earth, which has opened her mouth and received the blood of your
brother at your hand. When you shall till it, it shall not yield
its fruit: a fugitive and vagabond shall you be upon the earth."
And Cain said to the Lord: "My iniquity
is greater than that I may deserve pardon. Behold Thou does cast
me out this day from the face of the earth, and I shall be hidden from Thy
face, and I shall be a vagabond and a fugitive on the earth: everyone,
therefore, that finds me, shall kill me." And the Lord said to
him: "No, it shall not be so: but whosoever shall kill Cain, shall be
punished sevenfold." And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, that whosoever found
him should not kill him. And Cain went out from the face of the
Lord, and dwelt as a fugitive on the earth, at the east side of Eden.
A reading from the book of Genesis
And Cain knew his wife,
and she conceived, and brought forth Henoch: and he built a city, and called
the name thereof by the name of his son Henoch. And Henoch begot
Irad, and Irad begot Maviael, and Maviael begot Mathusael, and Mathusael
begot Lamech: Who took two wives: the name of the one was Ada, and the
name of the other was Sella. And Ada brought forth Jabel: who
was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of herdsmen. And
his brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of them that play upon the
harp and the organs. Sella also brought forth Tubalcain, who was a
hammerer and artificer in every work of brass and iron. And the sister of
Tubalcain was Noema.
And Lamech said to his wives Ada and
Sella: "Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, hearken to my speech: for I have
slain a man to the wounding of myself, and a stripling to my own bruising.
Sevenfold vengeance shall be taken for Cain: but for Lamech seventy times
sevenfold." Adam also knew his wife again: and she brought forth
a son, and called his name Seth, saying: "God hath given me another seed, for
Abel whom Cain slew." But to Seth also was born a son, whom he called Enos; this man began to call upon the name of the Lord.
This is the book of the
generation of Adam. In the day that God created man, he made him to the
likeness of God. He created them male and female; and blessed
them: and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.
And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son to his own image
and likeness, and called his name Seth. And the days of Adam, after he
begot Seth, were eight hundred years: and he begot sons and daughters.
And all the time that Adam lived came to nine hundred and thirty years, and
A reading from the book of Genesis
And Malaleel lived sixty-five years,
and begot Jared. And Malaleel lived after he begot Jared, eight
hundred and thirty years, and begot sons and daughters. And all
the days of Malaleel were eight hundred and ninety-five years, and he died.
And Jared lived a hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Henoch.
And Jared lived after he begot Henoch, eight hundred years, and begot sons
and daughters. And all the days of Jared were nine hundred and
sixty-two years, and he died. And Henoch lived sixty-five years, and
And Henoch walked with God: and lived after he begot
Mathusala, three hundred years, and begot sons and daughters.
And all the days of Henoch were three hundred and sixty-five years.
And he walked with God, and was seen no more: because God took him.
And Mathusala lived a hundred and eighty-seven years, and begot Lamech.
And Mathusala lived after he begot Lamech, seven hundred and eighty-two
years, and begot sons and daughters. And all the days of
Mathusala were nine hundred and sixty-nine years, and he died.
And Lamech lived a hundred and eighty-two
years, and begot a son. And he called his name Noe, saying: "This same
shall comfort us from the works and labors of our hands on the earth which
the Lord has cursed." And Lamech lived after he begot Noe, five
hundred and ninety-five years, and he begot sons and daughters.
And all the days of Lamech came to seven hundred and seventy-seven years,
and he died.