Daily reading for Friday, November 15, 2013

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Ezekiel 31:1-32:32; Hebrews 12:14-29; Psalms 113:1-114:8; Proverbs 27:18-20 (Common English Bible)

Ezekiel 31-32

Egypt is not Assyria

31 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the third month, the Lord’s word came to me: Human one, say to Pharaoh, Egypt’s king, and his troops:

With whom do you compare in your greatness?
Consider Assyria, a cedar of Lebanon:
    beautiful branches, dense shade, towering height;
    indeed, its top went up between the clouds.
Waters nourished it; the deep raised it up,
    because its streams flowed around the place where it was planted.
From there, water trickled down to all the other trees of the field.
    And so it became higher than all the trees of the field.
Its branches became abundant; its boughs grew long.
    Because of the plentiful water, it grew freely.
All the birds in the sky made nests in its branches;
    all the beasts of the field gave birth under its boughs,
        and in its shade, every great nation lived.
It became beautiful in its greatness and in its lush foliage,
    because it took root in plentiful water.
No cedar was its equal in God’s garden.
    The fir trees didn’t have anything like its branches,
        and the plane trees had nothing like its boughs.
None of the trees in God’s garden could compare to it in its beauty.
As for its beauty—I made it so, with its abundant foliage.
All the trees of Eden envied it,
    all that were in God’s garden.

10 So now the Lord God proclaims:

Consider the fate of those who tower high!
When it allowed its branches to reach up among the clouds,
    it became arrogant.
11 So I handed it over
to the most powerful nation,
    who continually acted treacherously against it.
I banished it!
12 Foreigners, the worst of the nations, cut it down
    and left it to lie among the hills.
All its branches fell among the valleys,
    and its boughs were broken off in the earth’s deep ravines.
All the earth’s peoples departed from its shade and abandoned it.
13 On its trunk roost all the birds in the sky,
    and on its boughs lie all the beasts of the field.

14 All this has happened so that no other well-watered tree would tower high or allow its branches to reach among the clouds. Nor would their leaders achieve the towering stature of such well-watered trees. Certainly, all of them are consigned to death, to the world below,[a] among human beings who go down to the pit.

15 The Lord God proclaims: On the day that it went down to the underworld,[b] I caused mourning. I blocked off the deep sea against it. I dried up its rivers and restrained the mighty waters. I made Lebanon go into mourning for it, and all the trees of the field languished on its account. 16 When it was felled, the nations quaked at the sound. When I cast it down into the underworld, with those who go down to the pit, all the trees of Eden were comforted in the world below, the choicest and the best of Lebanon, all the trees that depended on water. 17 His allies,[c] those among the nations who lived under his shade, these also went down with him to the underworld, to those who are slain by the sword.

18 Are you like any of these in glory or greatness among Eden’s trees? Then you too will go down with Eden’s trees to the world below. You will lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and his entire horde. This is what the Lord God says.

Egypt the crocodile

32 In the twelfth year, on the first day of the twelfth month, the Lord’s word came to me: Human one, sing a lament for Pharaoh, Egypt’s king. Say to him:

You consider yourself a young lion among the nations,
    but you are like the sea monster!
You thrash about in your rivers,
    you roil the waters with your feet,
    and you muddy your[d] rivers.

The Lord God proclaims:

In the company of many peoples
    I will spread my net over you,
        and I will haul you up in my dragnet.
I will cast you out on the earth
    and throw you on the open ground.
    I will cause all the birds in the sky to settle on you,
    and all the beasts of the earth to devour you.
Your flesh I will set upon the mountains,
    and I will fill the valleys with your gore.
With your blood I will soak your irrigated land,[e]
    and the streambeds will be filled with you.
When you are snuffed out, I will cover the sky,
    and I will darken the stars.
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
    and the moon won’t radiate its light.
As for the shining lights of the heavens,
    I will make them dark over you,
    and set darkness over your land.
This is what the Lord God says.

I will trouble the hearts of many peoples
    when I bring about your destruction
    with nations from lands you didn’t know.
10 I will make many peoples appalled because of you.
    Their kings will shudder violently on your account
    when I brandish my sword before them.
They will tremble for their lives again and again
    on the day of your downfall.

11 The Lord God proclaims: The sword of the king of Babylon is coming against you! 12 I will make your hordes fall by the swords of mighty men, the most terrifying of the nations, all of them. They will bring an end to Egypt’s pride, and all of its hordes will be destroyed. 13 I will remove all its livestock from beside the plentiful waters so that neither human foot nor livestock’s hoof will trouble it again. 14 At that time, I will allow the waters to run clear, and make its rivers flow like oil. This is what the Lord God says. 15 When I turn the land of Egypt into a wasteland and the land is deprived of all that fills it, and when I strike down those who live there, then they will know that I am the Lord. 16 This is a lament, and it will be sung as a lament. The daughters of the nations will lament for Egypt, and they will also lament for Egypt’s hordes. This is what the Lord God says.

17 In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth day of the first month,[f] the Lord’s word came to me: 18 Human one, mourn for Egypt’s hordes.

Send Egypt down
    with the mighty nations subject[g] to it,
    to the world below,[h]
    among those who go down to the pit.
19 Whom do you surpass in beauty?
    Go down and take your bed with the uncircumcised,
20     among those who fall slain by the sword.

A sword is appointed, and all his hordes will carry him off. 21 The mighty chieftains, those who once came to his aid, will speak to him from the middle of the underworld,[i] for the uncircumcised have gone down and have lain down, slain by the sword.

Vanished glory

22 Assyria is there, and all its assembly round about his grave,
    all of them slain, fallen by the sword,
23     who were assigned graves in the deepest region of the pit.
His assembly surrounded his grave,
    all of them slain, fallen by the sword,
        who caused terror in the land of the living.

24 Elam is there, her entire horde round about her grave,
    all of them slain, fallen by the sword,
    who went down uncircumcised to the world below,[j]
    who caused terror in the land of the living.
    They bore their shame like those who go down to the pit.
25 Among the slain they made a bed for her,
    with all her hordes round about her grave,
    all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword,
    for they caused terror in the land of the living.
    They bore their shame like those who go down to the pit;
    in the midst of the slain she[k] was placed.

26 Meshech and Tubal are there, and all their hordes around their graves,
    all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword,
    for they caused terror in the land of the living.

27 They don’t lie with the mighty men fallen among the uncircumcised. When they went down to the underworld[l] with their weapons of war, they put their swords under their heads and their shields[m] over their bones. The terror of the mighty men is in the land of the living.

28 But you, you will be broken among the uncircumcised, and you will lie with those who are slain by the sword.

29 Edom is there, its kings and all its princes,
    who, though strong, were put with those slain by the sword.
        They lie with the uncircumcised,
        like those who go down to the pit.

30 All the princes of the north are there,
    and all the Sidonians who went down with the slain;
        in spite of the terror of their strength, they were disgraced.
    They lie uncircumcised with those slain by the sword.
They bore their shame like those who go down to the pit.

31 When Pharaoh sees them,
    he will be sorry for all his hordes who are slain by the sword—
        Pharaoh and all his army.
This is what the Lord God says,
32 Though it was I who put his terror in the land of the living,
    he will be laid out among the uncircumcised,
    with those slain by the sword, Pharaoh and all his horde.
This is what the Lord God says.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 31:14 Or the land of the lowest places
  2. Ezekiel 31:15 Heb Sheol
  3. Ezekiel 31:17 Or his arms
  4. Ezekiel 32:2 LXX; MT their
  5. Ezekiel 32:6 MT adds to the mountains.
  6. Ezekiel 32:17 LXX; MT lacks the first month.
  7. Ezekiel 32:18 Or daughter nations
  8. Ezekiel 32:18 Or the land of the lowest places
  9. Ezekiel 32:21 Heb Sheol
  10. Ezekiel 32:24 Or the land of the lowest places
  11. Ezekiel 32:25 Or he
  12. Ezekiel 32:27 Heb Sheol
  13. Ezekiel 32:27 Or sin
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Hebrews 12:14-29

14 Pursue the goal of peace along with everyone—and holiness as well, because no one will see the Lord without it. 15 Make sure that no one misses out on God’s grace. Make sure that no root of bitterness grows up that might cause trouble and pollute many people. 16 Make sure that no one becomes sexually immoral or ungodly like Esau. He sold his inheritance as the oldest son for one meal. 17 You know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected because he couldn’t find a way to change his heart and life, though he looked for it with tears.

Priestly service in heavenly Jerusalem

18 You haven’t drawn near to something that can be touched: a burning fire, darkness, shadow, a whirlwind, 19 a blast of a trumpet, and a sound of words that made the ones who heard it beg that there wouldn’t be one more word. 20 They couldn’t stand the command, If even a wild animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.[a] 21 The sight was so frightening that Moses said, “I’m terrified and shaking!”

22 But you have drawn near to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem, to countless angels in a festival gathering, 23 to the assembly of God’s firstborn children who are registered in heaven, to God the judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous who have been made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks better than Abel’s blood.

25 See to it that you don’t resist the one who is speaking. If the people didn’t escape when they refused to listen to the one who warned them on earth, how will we escape if we reject the one who is warning from heaven? 26 His voice shook the earth then, but now he has made a promise: Still once more I will shake not only the earth but heaven also.[b] 27 The words “still once more” reveal the removal of what is shaken—the things that are part of this creation—so that what isn’t shaken will remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that can’t be shaken, let’s continue to express our gratitude.[c] With this gratitude, let’s serve[d] in a way that is pleasing to God with respect and awe, 29 because our God really is a consuming fire.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 12:20 Exod 19:12-13
  2. Hebrews 12:26 Exod 19:18
  3. Hebrews 12:28 Or hold on to grace
  4. Hebrews 12:28 Or offer priestly service
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Psalm 113-114

Psalm 113

113 Praise the Lord!
    You who serve the Lord—praise!
    Praise the Lord’s name!
Let the Lord’s name be blessed
    from now until forever from now!
From sunrise to sunset,
    let the Lord’s name be praised!
The Lord is high over all the nations;
    God’s glory is higher than the skies!

Who could possibly compare to the Lord our God?
    God rules from on high;
    he has to come down to even see heaven and earth!
God lifts up the poor from the dirt
    and raises up the needy from the garbage pile
        to seat them with leaders—
        with the leaders of his own people!
    God nests the once barren woman at home—
        now a joyful mother with children!

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 114

114 When Israel came out of Egypt—
    when the house of Jacob came out
    from a people who spoke a different language—
    Judah was God’s sanctuary;
    Israel was God’s territory.

The sea saw it happen and ran away;
    the Jordan River retreated!
The mountains leaped away like rams;
    the hills leaped away like lambs!
Sea, why did you run away?
    Jordan, why did you retreat?
    Mountains, why did you leap away like rams?
    Hills, why did you leap away like lambs?

Earth: Tremble before the Lord!
    Tremble before the God of Jacob,
        the one who turned that rock into a pool of water,
        that flint stone into a spring of water!

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Proverbs 27:18-20

18 Those who tend a fig tree will eat its fruit,
    and those who look after their master will be honored.
19 As water reflects the face,
    so the heart reflects one person to another.
20 The grave[a] and the underworld[b] are never satisfied;
    and people’s eyes are never satisfied.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 27:20 Heb Sheol
  2. Proverbs 27:20 Heb Abaddon
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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