Daily reading for Friday, November 8, 2013

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Ezekiel 18:1-19:14; Hebrews 9:1-10; Psalms 106:32-48; Proverbs 27:10 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Ezekiel 18-19

18 The word of Adonai came to me: “What does it mean, that you keep quoting this proverb in the land of Isra’el —

‘When parents eat sour grapes,
their children’s teeth are set on edge’?

“As I live,” says Adonai Elohim, “I swear that you will never again quote this proverb in Isra’el. Look, all lives belong to me — both the parent’s life and the child’s life are equally mine — so it is the person who sins, himself, who must die.

“Consider someone who is righteous, who does what is lawful and right. He doesn’t eat on the mountains or raise his eyes toward the idols of the house of Isra’el; he doesn’t defile his neighbor’s wife or touch a woman during her time of menstrual impurity; he doesn’t wrong anyone; he returns any pledged property a debtor has given as collateral for a loan; he takes nothing by robbery, but gives his food to the hungry and clothing to those who need it; he neither demands nor accepts interest on a loan; he refrains from what is evil; and he judges honestly between one person and another. In short, he lives according to my laws and observes my rulings, so as to act faithfully. Such a person is righteous, and he will certainly live,” says Adonai Elohim.

10 “Now suppose he is the father of a son who is a robber, a murderer, or who does any of these things to a brother — 11 whereas the father himself does none of them. He eats on the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife, 12 wrongs the poor and needy, takes by robbery, doesn’t restore pledged property, raises his eyes toward the idols, engages in disgusting practices, 13 demands and accepts interest. Should he live? He will not live, because he has engaged in all these disgusting practices — he must be put to death; his blood is on him.

14 “But now suppose he has a son who sees all the sins his father committed, thinks about them, and behaves differently. 15 He doesn’t eat on the mountains, raise his eyes to the idols of the house of Isra’el, defile his neighbor’s wife, 16 wrong others, keep pledged property or take by robbery, but gives his food to the hungry and clothing to those in need of it; 17 he refrains from oppressing the poor; and he neither demands nor accepts interest. He obeys my rulings and lives according to my laws. So he will not die for his father’s sins but will certainly live. 18 Yet his father, because he oppressed so cruelly, committed robbery against his brother and never did anything good among his people — he will die for his sins.

19 “You ask, ‘Why doesn’t the son bear his father’s guilt?’ When the son has done what is lawful and right, has kept all my laws and obeyed them, he will certainly live. 20 The person who sins is the one that will die — a son is not to bear his father’s guilt with him, nor is the father to bear his son’s guilt with him; but the righteousness of the righteous will be his own, and the wickedness of the wicked will be his own.

21 “However, if the wicked person repents of all the sins he committed, keeps my laws and does what is lawful and right; then he will certainly live, he will not die. 22 None of the transgressions he has committed will be remembered against him; for the righteousness that he has done, he will live. 23 Do I take any pleasure at all in having the wicked person die?” asks Adonai Elohim. “Wouldn’t I prefer that he turn from his ways and live?

24 “On the other hand, when the righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits wickedness by acting in accordance with all the disgusting practices that the wicked person does, will he live? None of the righteous deeds he has done will be remembered; for the trespasses and sins he has committed, he will die.

25 “So now you say, ‘Adonai’s way isn’t fair.’ Listen, house of Isra’el! Is it my way that is unfair? or your ways that are unfair? 26 When the righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits wickedness, he will die for it — for the wickedness he commits he will die. 27 And when the wicked person turns away from all the wickedness he has committed and does what is lawful and right, he will save his life. 28 Because he thinks it over and repents of all the transgressions he committed, he will certainly live, not die. 29 Yet the house of Isra’el says, ‘Adonai’s way isn’t fair.’ House of Isra’el, is it my ways that are unfair, or your ways that are unfair? 30 Therefore, house of Isra’el, I will judge each of you according to his ways,” says Adonai Elohim. “Repent, and turn yourselves away from all your transgressions, so that they will not be a stumblingblock that brings guilt upon you. 31 Throw far away from yourselves all your crimes that you committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a new spirit; for why should you die, house of Isra’el? 32 I take no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” says Adonai Elohim, “so turn yourselves around, and live!

19 “Moreover, raise a lament for the leaders of Isra’el; say:

‘What a mother you had —
a lioness among lions!
She lay down among young lions
and reared her cubs.
One of her cubs she singled out:
he became a young lion,
he learned to seize his prey,
he became a man-eater.
The nations sounded an alarm against him;
and he was caught in their pit.
With hooks they dragged him off
to the land of Egypt.
When she saw that she had been thwarted,
that her hope was lost,
she took another of her cubs
and made a young lion of him.
He prowled among the lions,
grew to be a young lion,
learned to seize his prey
and became a man-eater.
He raped their widows
and destroyed their cities;
the land and all in it were appalled
at the sound of his roaring.
The nations set a snare for him
from the provinces all around,
they spread their net over him,
and he was caught in their pit.
With hooks they put him in a cage
and brought him to the king of Bavel
to imprison him in a fortress,
so that his roar would be heard no more
on the mountains of Isra’el.

10 “‘Your mother was like a strong grapevine
planted by the water.
It was fruitful and luxuriant
because of the abundant water.
11 It had strong branches
to be used as scepters by rulers;
besides having thick foliage,
it grew taller and taller,
until its height was noticed,
with its mass of branches.
12 But it was torn up in fury
and flung on the ground.
An east wind withered her fruit,
her strong branches were broken off;
they dried up; and fire consumed the vine.
13 It has been transplanted to the desert,
to a dry, thirsty land.
14 Fire has gone out from its own branches,
burning up its fruit,
so that now it has no strong branch
to be a ruler’s scepter.’”

This lamentation became very well known.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Hebrews 9:1-10

Now the first covenant had both regulations for worship and a Holy Place here on earth. A tent was set up, the outer one, which was called the Holy Place; in it were the menorah, the table and the Bread of the Presence. Behind the second parokhet was a tent called the Holiest Place, which had the golden altar for burning incense and the Ark of the Covenant, entirely covered with gold. In the Ark were the gold jar containing the man, Aharon’s rod that sprouted and the stone Tablets of the Covenant; and above it were the k’ruvim representing the Sh’khinah, casting their shadow on the lid of the Ark — but now is not the time to discuss these things in detail.

With things so arranged, the cohanim go into the outer tent all the time to discharge their duties; but only the cohen hagadol enters the inner one; and he goes in only once a year, and he must always bring blood, which he offers both for himself and for the sins committed in ignorance by the people. By this arrangement, the Ruach HaKodesh showed that so long as the first Tent had standing, the way into the Holiest Place was still closed. This symbolizes the present age and indicates that the conscience of the person performing the service cannot be brought to the goal by the gifts and sacrifices he offers. 10 For they involve only food and drink and various ceremonial washings — regulations concerning the outward life, imposed until the time for God to reshape the whole structure.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Psalm 106:32-48

32 They angered him at the M’rivah Spring,
and Moshe suffered on their account;
33 for when they embittered his spirit,
[Moshe] spoke up without thinking.

34 They failed to destroy the peoples,
as Adonai had ordered them to do,
35 but mingled with the nations
and learned to follow their ways.
36 They went on to serve their idols,
which became a snare for them.
37 They even sacrificed their sons
and their daughters to demons.
38 Yes, they shed innocent blood,
the blood of their own sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to Kena‘an’s false gods,
polluting the land with blood.
39 Thus they were defiled by their deeds;
they prostituted themselves by their actions,

40 For this Adonai’s fury blazed up against his people,
and he detested his heritage.
41 He handed them over to the power of the nations,
and those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them
and kept them in subjection to their power.
43 Many times [God] rescued them,
but they kept making plans to rebel.
Thus they were brought low
by their own wrongdoing.

44 Still he took pity on their distress
whenever he heard their cry.
45 For their sakes he kept in mind his covenant
and in his limitless grace relented,
46 causing them to be treated with compassion
by all who had taken them captive.

47 Save us, Adonai our God!
Gather us from among the nations,
so that we can thank your holy name
and glory in praising you.

48 Blessed be Adonai, the God of Isra’el,
from eternity past to eternity future.
Now let all the people say,
Amen! Halleluyah!”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Proverbs 27:10

10 Don’t abandon a friend
    who is also a friend of your father.

Don’t enter your brother’s house on the day of your calamity —
    better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

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