Bible Verses on Family Worship

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Gen. 4:3-4

“And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering…”

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Gen. 7:1

“And the Lord said unto Noah, ‘Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.'”

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Gen. 8:18-20

“And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.  And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”

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Gen. 12:1,3,5

“Now the Lord had said unto Abram, ‘Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee…  And I will bless them that bless thee…  and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed…  So Abram departed…  and Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth…”

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Gen. 17:23

“And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.”

[Circumcision was a sign and seal of the Covenant, and hence an act of worship that Abraham’s whole house was included in.  Children are hereby set apart as holy unto God (see 1 Cor. 7:14) for his worship in families (see Gen. 18:19).]

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Gen. 18:19

“For I know him [Abraham], that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”

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Ex. 10:3,9

“Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews…  ‘let my people go, that they may serve me’…  And Moses said, ‘We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the Lord.'”

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Ex. 12:3

“Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house:”

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Ex. 12:26-27

“And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, ‘What mean ye by this service?’  That ye shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the Lord’s passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses.'”

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Ex. 13:14

“And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage:”

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Ex. 29:38-39

“Now this is that which thou shalt offer upon the altar; two lambs of the first year day by day continually.  The one lamb thou shalt offer in the morning; and the other lamb thou shalt offer at even:”

[These daily morning and evening sacrifices were to be representative of the worship going on throughout the dwellings of Israel.  See Num. 3:12 and Ps. 87:2 and Ps. 118:15 below.]

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Num. 3:12

“And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine;”

[God took Israel as representatives of the firstborn of each family of Israel to offer worship to Him in the Tabernacle, the new centralized place of public worship.  The firstborn of each family had been the spiritual head and priest of the family during the days of the patriarchs.  The Levites, in offering worship in the tabernacle and later the temple, morning and evening (see Ex. 29:38-39), were representing what was to be going on throughout Israel in each home: family worship.]

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Deut. 6:6-7

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:  And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

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Josh 24:15

“As for me and my house, we will serve [in Hebrew: ‘worship’] the LORD.”

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Judges 18:1,3-4, 20

“In those days there was no king in Israel…  they knew the voice of the young man the Levite…  and said unto him, ‘Who brought thee hither? and what makest thou in this place?…’  And he said unto them, ‘Thus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath hired me, and I am his priest…  And the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people.”

[This story, which continues into Judges 19, is from when everyone was doing what was right in their own eyes in Israel.  The priest had been acting as a family chaplain to the household of one, Micah.  The false family worship discovered therein, and further propagated, became a contributing cause to the downslide of Israel into civil war in the rest of the book of Judges.]

 

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1 Sam. 1:1-5

“Now there was a certain man… his name was Elkanah… And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh…  And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah:”

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1 Sam. 20:6

“If thy father at all miss me, then say, ‘David earnestly asked leave of me that he might run to Bethlehem his city: for there is a yearly sacrifice there for all the family.'”

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2 Sam. 6:20

“Then David returned to bless his household.”

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Esther 4:15-16

“Then Esther bade them return Mordecai this answer, Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”

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Job 1:5

“And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them [his sons and daughters], and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.”

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Ps. 87:2

“The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.”

[Psalm 87 teaches that God loves public worship (held in Zion/Jerusalem) even more than that worship in all the houses of Jacob.  The reason is because there all of God’s people are gathered together.  It assumes though, that worship is going on in all the houses of God’s people as families.]

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Ps. 78.2-7

“I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us.  We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.  For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: That they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments:”

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Ps. 87:2

“The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.”

[The gates of the city was where public assemblies were held, and the Temple in Jerusalem had numerous gates itself into the city and into its own precincts.  The Lord loves especially the public worship that takes place within those gates, and here, even more than the private worship that Israelites would have in their dwellings throughout Israel.  See the English puritan, David Clarkson on this verse in his works.]

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Ps. 118:14-15

“The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.  The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.”

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Prov. 4:1-4

“Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.  For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.  For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.  He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.”

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Jer. 10:25

“Pour out thy fury upon the heathen that know thee not, and upon the families that call not on thy name: for they have eaten up Jacob, and devoured him, and consumed him, and have made his habitation desolate.”

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Jer. 31:1

“At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.”

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Zech. 12:10,12

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn…  And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;”

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Mk. 4:34

“But without a parable spake he not unto them [crowds]: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.”

[On the interpretation of this verse as a certain social worship, and even a form, in some sense, of family worship, see the English puritan, George Hamond at large on pp. 80-101 of his discourse on family worship.  Hamond treats of other passages in the Gospels as well.]

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Lk. 9:18; 11:1 & Mt. 26:30

“And it came to pass, as He was alone praying, his disciples were with Him: and He asked them, saying, ‘Whom say the people that I am?…'”

“And it came to pass, that, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, one of his disciples said unto Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray…”

“And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.”

[On these verses, see George Hamond, pp. 88-90 of his discourse on family worship.]

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Acts 2:39

“For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

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Acts 10:1-2

“There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius…  a devout man [ευσεβης], and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway.”

[The Greek word means a God-worshipper and has some relation to “all his house”, especially as to “fear” God is often in Scripture equivelent to worshipping God (compare Ex. 34:14 with 2 Kings 17:37, and Ps. 66:4 with Ps. 67:7).]

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Acts 10:24,31,33

“And Cornelius waited for them, and he had called together his kinsmen and near friends…  and said, Cornelius…  ‘Now therefore are we all here present before God, to hear all things that are commanded thee of God.'”

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Acts 11:14

“Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved.”

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Acts 16:15

“And when she was baptized, and her household.”

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Acts 16:31-32

“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.  And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.”

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Acts 18:8

“And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house;”

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Rom. 16:3-5a

“Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.  Likewise greet the church that is in their house.”

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1 Cor. 7:14

“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.”

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1 Cor. 16:19

“Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house.”

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Eph. 5:25-26

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word…”

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Col. 4:15

“Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.”

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Philemon 1:2

“And to our beloved Apphia, and Archippus our fellowsoldier, and to the church in thy house.”

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2 Tim. 3:15

“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

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1 Peter 3:7

“Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.”

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3 John 1:4

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

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Related Pages

The Family

Family Worship

Worship

Personal Godliness