Daily reading for Saturday, November 2, 2013

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Ezekiel 3:16-6:14; Hebrews 4:1-16; Psalms 104:24-35; Proverbs 26:27 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Ezekiel 3:16-6:14

16 After seven days the word of Adonai came to me: 17 “Human being, I have appointed you to be a watchman for the house of Isra’el. When you hear a word from my mouth, you are to warn them for me. 18 If I say to a wicked person, ‘You will certainly die’; and you fail to warn him, to speak and warn the wicked person to leave his wicked way and save his life; then that wicked person will die guilty; and I will hold you responsible for his death. 19 On the other hand, if you warn the wicked person, and he doesn’t turn from his wickedness or his wicked way, then he will still die guilty; but you will have saved your own life. 20 Similarly, when a righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits wickedness, I will place a stumblingblock before him — he will die; because you failed to warn him, he will die in his sin; his righteous acts which he did will not be remembered; and I will hold you responsible for his death. 21 But if you warn the righteous person that a righteous person should not sin, and he doesn’t sin; then he will certainly live, because he took the warning; and you too will have saved your life.”

22 The hand of Adonai came on me there, and he said to me, “Get up, go out to the valley, and I will speak with you there.” 23 So I got up and went out to the valley. The glory of Adonai was there, like the glory I had seen by the K’var River; and I fell on my face. 24 A spirit entered me and put me on my feet. Then he spoke with me and said to me, “Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 Human being, you are going to be bound with ropes, unable to go out among the people. 26 I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, so that you will be mute, unable to reprove them; for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth; and you will say to them, ‘This is what Adonai Elohim says.’ Whoever is inclined to listen will listen, and whoever is inclined to refuse will refuse, because they are a rebellious house.

“As for you, human being, take a clay slab, lay it down in front of you, and draw on it the city of Yerushalayim. Show it under siege — build towers against it, raise earthworks against it, set up camps against it, and surround it with battering rams. Then take an iron griddle and put it in place as a wall of iron between yourself and the city, and fix your gaze on it — the city is under siege, and you are the one besieging it. This will be a sign for the house of Isra’el.

“Next, you are to lie on your left side, and have it bear the guilt of the house of Isra’el — for as many days as you lie on your side, you will bear their guilt. For I am assigning you one day for each year of their guilt; thus you are to bear the guilt of the house of Isra’el for 390 days. Then, when you have finished that, you are to lie on your right side and bear the guilt of the house of Y’hudah for forty days, each day corresponding to a year; this is what I am assigning you. You are to fix your gaze on the siege of Yerushalayim, and, with your arm bared, prophesy against it. I am tying you down with ropes, and you are not to turn from one side to the other until you have completed the days of your siege.

“Take wheat, barley, beans, lentils, millet and buckwheat; put them together in one bowl; and make bread from it. For as long as you lie on your side, 390 days, this is what you are to eat. 10 Each day the food you eat must weigh only three-quarters of a pound; you may eat it from time to time [during the day]. 11 You are also to drink a limited amount of water, two-thirds of a quart; you may drink it from time to time [during the day]. 12 [The bread] you eat is to be baked like barley cakes; you are to bake it before their eyes, using human dung as fuel.” 13 Adonai said, “This is how the people of Isra’el will eat their food — unclean — in the nations where I am driving them.” 14 I objected: “No, Adonai Elohim! I have never defiled myself — from my youth until now I have never eaten anything that died by itself or was killed by wild animals; no such disgusting food has ever entered my mouth.” 15 He answered, “All right, I will give you cow dung to use instead of human dung, and you can prepare your bread on it.”

16 He then said to me, “Human being, I am going to cut off the supply of bread in Yerushalayim, so that they will anxiously weigh out bread to eat, and, horrified, ration water to drink. 17 Finally, due to lack of bread and water, they will stare at each other in shock, wasting away because of their guilt.”

“Now you, human being, take a sharp sword; and use it like a barber’s razor to shave your head and beard. Then weigh the hair on a balance-scale, and divide it up. A third of it you are to burn in the city when the days of the siege are over. Take another third, and hit it with your sword all around the city. Scatter the last third to the wind, and I will pursue them with drawn sword. Also take a few hairs and tie them up in the folds of your garment. Again, of these take some; throw them in the fire, and burn them up; from there a fire will come out against the entire house of Isra’el.

“Here is what Adonai Elohim, says:

‘This is Yerushalayim!
I have placed her in the middle of the nations;
countries can be found all around her.
But she has rebelled against my rulings
and committed wickedness more than the nations,
against my laws more than the countries around her;
because they have rejected my rulings
and not lived according to my laws.’

“Therefore here is what Adonai Elohim, says: ‘Because you have outdone the nations around you by not living according to my laws or following my rulings or even following the rules of the nations around you,’ therefore here is what Adonai Elohim, says: ‘I too am against you, yes, I; and I will execute judgments among you while all the nations look on. Moreover, because of all your disgusting practices, I will do things to you that I have never done before; and I will never do such things again. 10 Parents among you will eat their children, and children will eat their parents! I will execute judgments among you and scatter to all the winds those of you who remain. 11 For, as I live,’ says Adonai Elohim, ‘because you defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things and disgusting practices, therefore I swear that I will cut you off — my eye will not spare, I will have no pity. 12 A third of you will die from plague or be consumed by famine inside [Yerushalayim]; a third will fall by the sword all around [Yerushalayim]; and a third I will scatter to all the winds and pursue with the sword.’ 13 In this way my anger will spend itself, my fury against them will die down, and I will be satisfied. Then, when I have spent my fury on them, they will know that I, Adonai, have spoken out of my zeal. 14 ‘I will make you a ruin and an object of reproach among the nations around you, in the sight of all passing by. 15 When I execute judgments and furious punishments among you in anger and fury, [Yerushalayim] will be an object of reproach, derision and horror, and a lesson to warn the nations around you. I, Adonai, have announced it. 16 I will send upon them the deadly, destructive arrows of famine, which I will send to destroy you. I will make the famine worse for you by cutting off your food supply. 17 Yes, I will send famine and savage beasts upon you to leave you without children; plague and bloodshed will sweep through you; and I will bring the sword upon you. I, Adonai, have spoken it.’”

The word of Adonai came to me: “Human being, face toward the mountains of Isra’el, and prophesy against them: ‘Mountains of Isra’el, hear the word of Adonai Elohim: here is what Adonai Elohim says about the mountains, hills, ravines and valleys: “I myself will bring a sword against you and destroy your high places. Your altars will be wrecked and your pillars for sun-worship broken, and I will throw down your slain ones in front of your idols. I will lay the corpses of the people of Isra’el in front of their idols and scatter your bones all around your altars. Everywhere you live, the cities will be destroyed and the high places wrecked; so that your altars can be destroyed and wrecked, your idols broken and abolished, your pillars for sun-worship cut down and the things you have made wiped out. The slain will fall among you; then you will know that I am Adonai.

“‘“Nevertheless, I will leave a remnant, some who will escape the sword among the nations, when you have been scattered throughout the countries. Those of you who escape will remember me among the nations where they have been exiled. How broken I have been over their whoring hearts that left me, and over their eyes that went whoring after their idols! They are going to loathe themselves for all the evils they committed in their disgusting practices. 10 Then they will know that I am Adonai; it isn’t for nothing that I said I would bring this calamity upon them.”’

11 “Here is what Adonai Elohim says: ‘Strike with your hand, and stamp with your foot, and bemoan all the terrible disgusting practices of the house of Isra’el. For they will fall by sword, famine and plague. 12 Those far away will die from the plague, those nearby will fall by the sword, and whoever stays and is besieged will die from famine. This is how I will spend my fury on them. 13 You will know that I am Adonai when their slain men are lying among their idols around their altars on every high hill, on every mountaintop, under every green tree, under every thick pistachio tree, wherever they offered sweet-smelling sacrifices to appease their idols. 14 I will stretch out my hand over them and make the land wherever they live into a desolate waste worse than the Divlah Desert. Then they will know that I am Adonai.’”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Hebrews 4

Therefore, let us be terrified of the possibility that, even though the promise of entering his rest remains, any one of you might be judged to have fallen short of it; for Good News has also been proclaimed to us, just as it was to them. But the message they heard didn’t do them any good, because those who heard it did not combine it with trust. For it is we who have trusted who enter the rest.

It is just as he said,

“And in my anger, I swore
that they would not enter my rest.”[a]

He swore this even though his works have been in existence since the founding of the universe. For there is a place where it is said, concerning the seventh day,

“And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”[b]

And once more, our present text says,

“They will not enter my rest.”[c]

Therefore, since it still remains for some to enter it, and those who received the Good News earlier did not enter, he again fixes a certain day, “Today,” saying through David, so long afterwards, in the text already given,

“Today, if you hear God’s voice, don’t harden your hearts.”[d]

For if Y’hoshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later of another “day.”

So there remains a Shabbat-keeping for God’s people. 10 For the one who has entered God’s rest has also rested from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Therefore, let us do our best to enter that rest; so that no one will fall short because of the same kind of disobedience.

12 See, the Word of God is alive! It is at work and is sharper than any double-edged sword — it cuts right through to where soul meets spirit and joints meet marrow, and it is quick to judge the inner reflections and attitudes of the heart. 13 Before God, nothing created is hidden, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.

14 Therefore, since we have a great cohen gadol who has passed through to the highest heaven, Yeshua, the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we acknowledge as true. 15 For we do not have a cohen gadol unable to empathize with our weaknesses; since in every respect he was tempted just as we are, the only difference being that he did not sin. 16 Therefore, let us confidently approach the throne from which God gives grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 4:3 Psalm 95:11
  2. Hebrews 4:4 Genesis 2:2
  3. Hebrews 4:5 Psalm 95:11
  4. Hebrews 4:7 Psalm 95:7–8
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Psalm 104:24-35

24 What variety there is in your works, Adonai!
How many [of them there are]!
In wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creations.

25 Look at the sea, so great, so wide!
It teems with countless creatures,
living beings, both large and small.
26 The ships are there, sailing to and fro;
Livyatan, which you formed to play there.

27 All of them look to you
to give them their food when they need it.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it;
when you open your hand, they are well satisfied.
29 If you hide your face, they vanish;
if you hold back their breath, they perish
and return to their dust.
30 If you send out your breath, they are created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
31 May the glory of Adonai last forever!
May Adonai rejoice in his works!
32 When he looks at the earth, it trembles;
when he touches the mountains, they pour out smoke.
33 I will sing to Adonai as long as I live,
sing praise to my God all my life.
34 May my musings be pleasing to him;
I will rejoice in Adonai.
35 May sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more!
Bless Adonai, my soul!

Halleluyah!

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 26:27

27 Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
    and a stone will come back on the one who starts it rolling.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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