Daily reading for Friday, November 8, 2013
Ezekiel 18:1-19:14; Hebrews 9:1-10; Psalms 106:32-48; Proverbs 27:10 (New English Translation)
18 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “What do you mean by quoting this proverb concerning the land of Israel,
“‘The fathers eat sour grapes
And the children’s teeth become numb?’
3 “As surely as I live, declares the sovereign Lord, you will not quote this proverb in Israel anymore! 4 Indeed! All lives are mine—the life of the father as well as the life of the son is mine. The one who sins will die.
5 “Suppose a man is righteous. He practices what is just and right, 6 does not eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains or pray to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, does not have sexual relations with a woman during her period, 7 does not oppress anyone, but gives the debtor back whatever was given in pledge, does not commit robbery, but gives his bread to the hungry and clothes the naked, 8 does not engage in usury or charge interest, but refrains from wrongdoing, promotes true justice between men, 9 and follows my statutes and observes my regulations by carrying them out. That man is righteous; he will certainly live, declares the sovereign Lord.
10 “Suppose such a man has a violent son who sheds blood and does any of these things mentioned previously 11 (though the father did not do any of them). He eats pagan sacrifices on the mountains, defiles his neighbor’s wife, 12 oppresses the poor and the needy, commits robbery, does not give back what was given in pledge, prays to idols, performs abominable acts, 13 engages in usury and charges interest. Will he live? He will not! Because he has done all these abominable deeds he will certainly die. He will bear the responsibility for his own death.
14 “But suppose he in turn has a son who notices all the sins his father commits, considers them, and does not follow his father’s example. 15 He does not eat pagan sacrifices on the mountains, does not pray to the idols of the house of Israel, does not defile his neighbor’s wife, 16 does not oppress anyone or keep what has been given in pledge, does not commit robbery, gives his food to the hungry, and clothes the naked, 17 refrains from wrongdoing, does not engage in usury or charge interest, carries out my regulations and follows my statutes. He will not die for his father’s iniquity; he will surely live. 18 As for his father, because he practices extortion, robs his brother, and does what is not good among his people, he will die for his iniquity.
19 “Yet you say, ‘Why should the son not suffer for his father’s iniquity?’ When the son does what is just and right, and observes all my statutes and carries them out, he will surely live. 20 The person who sins is the one who will die. A son will not suffer for his father’s iniquity, and a father will not suffer for his son’s iniquity; the righteous person will be judged according to his righteousness, and the wicked person according to his wickedness.
21 “But if the wicked person turns from all the sin he has committed and observes all my statutes and does what is just and right, he will surely live; he will not die. 22 None of the sins he has committed will be held against him; because of the righteousness he has done, he will live. 23 Do I actually delight in the death of the wicked, declares the sovereign Lord? Do I not prefer that he turn from his wicked conduct and live?
24 “But if a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and practices wrongdoing according to all the abominable practices the wicked carry out, will he live? All his righteous acts will not be remembered; because of the unfaithful acts he has done and the sin he has committed, he will die.
25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord’s conduct is unjust!’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my conduct unjust? Is it not your conduct that is unjust? 26 When a righteous person turns back from his righteousness and practices wrongdoing, he will die for it; because of the wrongdoing he has done, he will die. 27 When a wicked person turns from the wickedness he has committed and does what is just and right, he will preserve his life. 28 Because he considered and turned from all the sins he had done, he will surely live; he will not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The Lord’s conduct is unjust!’ Is my conduct unjust, O house of Israel? Is it not your conduct that is unjust?
30 “Therefore I will judge each person according to his conduct, O house of Israel, declares the sovereign Lord. Repent and turn from all your wickedness; then it will not be an obstacle leading to iniquity. 31 Throw away all your sins you have committed and fashion yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I take no delight in the death of anyone, declares the sovereign Lord. Repent and live!
Lament for the Princes of Israel
19 “And you, sing a lament for the princes of Israel, 2 and say:
“‘What a lioness was your mother among the lions!
She lay among young lions; she reared her cubs.
3 She reared one of her cubs; he became a young lion.
He learned to tear prey; he devoured people.
4 The nations heard about him; he was trapped in their pit.
They brought him with hooks to the land of Egypt.
5 “‘When she realized that she waited in vain, her hope was lost.
She took another of her cubs and made him a young lion.
6 He walked about among the lions; he became a young lion.
He learned to tear prey; he devoured people.
7 He broke down their strongholds and devastated their cities.
The land and everything in it was frightened at the sound of his roaring.
8 The nations—the surrounding regions—attacked him.
They threw their net over him; he was caught in their pit.
9 They put him in a collar with hooks;
they brought him to the king of Babylon;
they brought him to prison
so that his voice would not be heard
any longer on the mountains of Israel.
10 “‘Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard, planted by water.
It was fruitful and full of branches because it was well-watered.
11 Its boughs were strong, fit for rulers’ scepters; it reached up into the clouds.
It stood out because of its height and its many branches.
12 But it was plucked up in anger; it was thrown down to the ground.
The east wind dried up its fruit;
its strong branches broke off and withered—
a fire consumed them.
13 Now it is planted in the wilderness,
in a dry and thirsty land.
14 A fire has gone out from its branch; it has consumed its shoot and its fruit.
No strong branch was left in it, nor a scepter to rule.’
This is a lament song, and has become a lament song.”
The Arrangement and Ritual of the Earthly Sanctuary
9 Now the first covenant, in fact, had regulations for worship and its earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tent was prepared, the outer one, which contained the lampstand, the table, and the presentation of the loaves; this is called the holy place. 3 And after the second curtain there was a tent called the holy of holies. 4 It contained the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered entirely with gold. In this ark were the golden urn containing the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 And above the ark were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Now is not the time to speak of these things in detail. 6 So with these things prepared like this, the priests enter continually into the outer tent as they perform their duties. 7 But only the high priest enters once a year into the inner tent, and not without blood that he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit is making clear that the way into the holy place had not yet appeared as long as the old tabernacle was standing. 9 This was a symbol for the time then present, when gifts and sacrifices were offered that could not perfect the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They served only for matters of food and drink and various washings; they are external regulations imposed until the new order came.
32 They made him angry by the waters of Meribah,
and Moses suffered because of them,
33 for they aroused his temper,
and he spoke rashly.
34 They did not destroy the nations,
as the Lord had commanded them to do.
35 They mixed in with the nations
and learned their ways.
36 They worshiped their idols,
which became a snare to them.
37 They sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons.
38 They shed innocent blood—
the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan.
The land was polluted by bloodshed.
39 They were defiled by their deeds,
and unfaithful in their actions.
40 So the Lord was angry with his people
and despised the people who belong to him.
41 He handed them over to the nations,
and those who hated them ruled over them.
42 Their enemies oppressed them;
they were subject to their authority.
43 Many times he delivered them,
but they had a rebellious attitude,
and degraded themselves by their sin.
44 Yet he took notice of their distress,
when he heard their cry for help.
45 He remembered his covenant with them,
and relented because of his great loyal love.
46 He caused all their conquerors
to have pity on them.
47 Deliver us, O Lord, our God!
Gather us from among the nations!
Then we will give thanks to your holy name,
and boast about your praiseworthy deeds.
48 The Lord God of Israel deserves praise,
in the future and forevermore.
Let all the people say, “We agree! Praise the Lord!”
10 Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,
and do not enter your brother’s house in the day of your disaster;
a neighbor nearby is better than a brother far away.