Daily reading for Tuesday, November 5, 2013

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Ezekiel 12:1-14:11; Hebrews 7:1-17; Psalms 105:37-45; Proverbs 27:3 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ezekiel 12-14:11

Ezekiel Dramatizes the Exile

12 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious house. They have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious house.

“Son of man, get your bags ready for exile and go into exile in their sight during the day. You will go into exile from your place to another place while they watch; perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious house. During the day, bring out your bags like an exile’s bags while they look on. Then in the evening go out in their sight like those going into exile. As they watch, dig through the wall and take the bags out through it. And while they look on, lift the bags to your shoulder and take them out in the dark; cover your face so that you cannot see the land. For I have made you a sign to the house of Israel.”

So I did just as I was commanded. In the daytime I brought out my bags like an exile’s bags. In the evening I dug through the wall by hand; I took them out in the dark, carrying them on my shoulder in their sight.

Then the word of the Lord came to me in the morning: “Son of man, hasn’t the house of Israel, that rebellious house, asked you, ‘What are you doing?’ 10 Say to them: This is what the Lord God says: This oracle is about the prince[a] in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are living there.[b] 11 You are to say, ‘I am a sign for you. Just as I have done, so it will be done to them; they will go into exile, into captivity.’ 12 The prince who is among them will lift his bags to his shoulder in the dark and go out. They[c] will dig through the wall to bring him out through it. He will cover his face so he cannot see the land with his eyes. 13 But I will spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, yet he will not see it, and he will die there. 14 I will also scatter all the attendants who surround him and all his troops to every direction of the wind, and I will draw a sword to chase after them. 15 They will know that I am Yahweh when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them among the countries. 16 But I will spare a few of them from the sword, famine, and plague so they can tell about all their detestable practices among the nations where they go. Then they will know that I am Yahweh.”

Ezekiel Dramatizes Israel’s Anxiety

17 The word of the Lord came to me: 18 “Son of man, eat your bread with trembling and drink your water with shaking and anxiety. 19 Then say to the people of the land: This is what the Lord God says about the residents of Jerusalem in the land of Israel: They will eat their bread with anxiety and drink their water in dread, for their[d][e] land will be stripped of everything in it because of the violence of all who live there. 20 The inhabited cities will be destroyed, and the land will become a desolation. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.”

A Deceptive Proverb Stopped

21 Again the word of the Lord came to me: 22 “Son of man, what is this proverb you people have about the land of Israel, which goes:

The days keep passing by,
and every vision fails?

23 Therefore say to them: This is what the Lord God says: I will put a stop to this proverb, and they will not use it again in Israel. But say to them: The days draw near, as well as the fulfillment of every vision. 24 For there will no longer be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25 But I, Yahweh, will speak whatever message I will speak, and it will be done. It will no longer be delayed. For in your days, rebellious house, I will speak a message and bring it to pass.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

26 The word of the Lord came to me: 27 “Son of man, notice that the house of Israel is saying, ‘The vision that he sees concerns many years from now; he prophesies about distant times.’ 28 Therefore say to them: This is what the Lord God says: None of My words will be delayed any longer. The message I speak will be fulfilled.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

Israel’s False Prophets Condemned

13 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel who are prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord God says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing. Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins. You did not go up to the gaps or restore the wall around the house of Israel so that it might stand in battle on the day of the Lord. They see false visions and speak lying divinations. They claim, ‘This is the Lord’s declaration,’ when the Lord did not send them, yet they wait for the fulfillment of their message. Didn’t you see a false vision and speak a lying divination when you proclaimed, ‘This is the Lord’s declaration,’ even though I had not spoken?

“Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: I am against you because you have spoken falsely and had lying visions.” This is the declaration of the Lord God. “My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and speak lying divinations. They will not be present in the fellowship of My people or be recorded in the register of the house of Israel, and they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord Yahweh.

10 “Since they have led My people astray saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, for when someone builds a wall they plaster it with whitewash, 11 therefore, tell those who plaster it that it will fall. Torrential rain will come, and I will send hailstones plunging[f] down, and a windstorm will be released. 12 Now when the wall has fallen, will you not be asked, ‘Where is the coat of whitewash that you put on it?’

13 “So this is what the Lord God says: I will release a windstorm in My wrath. Torrential rain will come in My anger, and hailstones will fall in destructive fury. 14 I will tear down the wall you plastered with whitewash and knock it to the ground so that its foundation is exposed. The city will fall, and you will be destroyed within it. Then you will know that I am Yahweh. 15 After I exhaust My wrath against the wall and against those who plaster it with whitewash, I will say to you: The wall is no more and neither are those who plastered it— 16 those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw a vision of peace for her when there was no peace.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

17 “Now, son of man, turn[g] toward the women of your people who prophesy out of their own imagination. Prophesy against them 18 and say: This is what the Lord God says: Woe to the women who sew magic bands on the wrist of every hand and who make veils for the heads of people of every height in order to ensnare lives. Will you ensnare the lives of My people but preserve your own? 19 You profane Me in front of My people for handfuls of barley and scraps of bread; you kill those who should not die and spare those who should not live, when you lie to My people, who listen to lies.

20 “Therefore, this is what the Lord God says: I am against your magic bands that you ensnare people with like birds, and I will tear them from your arms. I will free the people you have ensnared like birds. 21 I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people from your hands, so that they will no longer be prey in your hands. Then you will know that I am Yahweh. 22 Because you have disheartened the righteous person with lies, even though I have not caused him grief, and because you have encouraged the wicked person not to turn from his evil way to save his life, 23 therefore you will no longer see false visions or practice divination. I will deliver My people from your hands. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.”

Idolatrous Elders Punished

14 Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and have put sinful stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I be consulted by them at all?

“Therefore, speak to them and tell them: This is what the Lord God says: When anyone from the house of Israel sets up idols in his heart, puts a sinful stumbling block before his face, and then comes to the prophet, I, Yahweh, will answer him appropriately.[h] I will answer him according to his many idols, so that I may take hold of the house of Israel by their hearts. They are all estranged from Me because of their idols.

“Therefore, say to the house of Israel: This is what the Lord God says: Repent and turn away from your idols; turn your faces away from all your detestable things. For when anyone from the house of Israel or from the foreigners who reside in Israel separates himself from Me, setting up idols in his heart and putting a sinful stumbling block before his face, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me,[i] I, Yahweh, will answer him Myself. I will turn against that one and make him a sign and a proverb; I will cut him off from among My people. Then you will know that I am Yahweh.

“But if the prophet is deceived and speaks a message, it was I, Yahweh, who deceived that prophet. I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. 10 They will bear their punishment—the punishment of the one who inquires will be the same as that of the prophet— 11 in order that the house of Israel may no longer stray from following Me and no longer defile themselves with all their transgressions. Then they will be My people and I will be their God.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 12:10 = King Zedekiah
  2. Ezekiel 12:10 Lit are among them
  3. Ezekiel 12:12 LXX, Syr read He
  4. Ezekiel 12:19 Lit its
  5. Ezekiel 12:19 = Jerusalem’s
  6. Ezekiel 13:11 One Hb ms, LXX, Vg; other Hb mss read and you, hailstones, will plunge
  7. Ezekiel 13:17 Lit set your face
  8. Ezekiel 14:4 Alt Hb tradition reads him who comes
  9. Ezekiel 14:7 Lit Me for himself

Hebrews 7:1-17

The Greatness of Melchizedek

For this Melchizedek—

King of Salem, priest of the Most High God,
who met Abraham and blessed him
as he returned from defeating the kings,
and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything;
first, his name means king of righteousness,
then also, king of Salem,
meaning king of peace;
without father, mother, or genealogy,
having neither beginning of days nor end of life,
but resembling the Son of God

remains a priest forever.

Now consider how great this man was—even Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the plunder to him! The sons of Levi who receive the priestly office have a command according to the law to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their brothers—though they have also descended from Abraham.[a] But one without this[b] lineage collected tenths from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises. Without a doubt,[c] the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case, men who will die receive tenths, but in the other case, Scripture testifies that he lives. And in a sense Levi himself, who receives tenths, has paid tenths through Abraham, 10 for he was still within his ancestor[d] when Melchizedek met him.

A Superior Priesthood

11 If then, perfection came through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there for another priest to appear, said to be in the order of Melchizedek and not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must be a change of law as well. 13 For the One these things are spoken about belonged to a different tribe. No one from it has served at the altar. 14 Now it is evident that our Lord came from Judah, and Moses said nothing about that tribe concerning priests.

15 And this becomes clearer if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 who did not become a priest based on a legal command concerning physical[e] descent but based on the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it has been testified:

You are a priest forever
in the order of Melchizedek.[f]

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 7:5 Lit have come out of Abraham’s loins
  2. Hebrews 7:6 Lit their
  3. Hebrews 7:7 Or Beyond any dispute
  4. Hebrews 7:10 Lit still in his father’s loins
  5. Hebrews 7:16 Or fleshly
  6. Hebrews 7:17 Ps 110:4

Psalm 105:37-45

37 Then He brought Israel out with silver and gold,
and no one among His tribes stumbled.
38 Egypt was glad when they left,
for the dread of Israel[a] had fallen on them.
39 He spread a cloud as a covering
and gave a fire to light up the night.
40 They asked, and He brought quail
and satisfied them with bread from heaven.
41 He opened a rock, and water gushed out;
it flowed like a stream in the desert.
42 For He remembered His holy promise
to Abraham His servant.
43 He brought His people out with rejoicing,
His chosen ones with shouts of joy.
44 He gave them the lands of the nations,
and they inherited
what other peoples had worked for.

45 All this happened
so that they might keep His statutes
and obey His instructions.
Hallelujah!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 105:38 Lit them

Proverbs 27:3

A stone is heavy and sand, a burden,
but aggravation from a fool outweighs them both.

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