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 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ezekiel 31-32

Downfall of Egypt and Assyria

31 In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes:

Who are you like in your greatness?
Think of Assyria, a cedar in Lebanon,
with beautiful branches and shady foliage
and of lofty height.
Its top was among the clouds.[a]
The waters caused it to grow;
the underground springs made it tall,
directing their rivers all around
the place where the tree was planted
and sending their channels
to all the trees of the field.
Therefore the cedar became greater in height
than all the trees of the field.
Its branches multiplied,
and its boughs grew long
as it spread them out
because of the plentiful water.
All the birds of the sky
nested in its branches,
and all the animals of the field
gave birth beneath its boughs;
all the great nations lived in its shade.
It was beautiful in its greatness,
in the length of its limbs,
for its roots extended to abundant water.
The cedars in God’s garden could not rival it;
the pine trees couldn’t compare with its branches,
nor could the plane trees match its boughs.
No tree in the garden of God
could compare with it in beauty.
I made it beautiful with its many limbs,
and all the trees of Eden,
which were in God’s garden, envied it.

10 “Therefore this is what the Lord God says: Since it[b] became great in height and set its top among the clouds,[c] and it[d] grew proud on account of its height, 11 I determined to hand it over to a ruler of nations; he would surely deal with it. I banished it because of its wickedness. 12 Foreigners, ruthless men from the nations, cut it down and left it lying. Its limbs fell on the mountains and in every valley; its boughs lay broken in all the earth’s ravines. All the peoples of the earth left its shade and abandoned it. 13 All the birds of the sky nested on its fallen trunk, and all the animals of the field were among its boughs. 14 This happened so that no trees planted beside water would become great in height and set their tops among the clouds,[e] and so that no other well-watered trees would reach them in height. For they have all been consigned to death, to the underworld, among the people who descend to the Pit.

15 “This is what the Lord God says: I caused grieving on the day the cedar went down to Sheol. I closed off the underground deep because of it:[f] I held back the rivers of the deep, and its abundant waters were restrained. I made Lebanon mourn on account of it, and all the trees of the field fainted because of it. 16 I made the nations quake at the sound of its downfall, when I threw it down to Sheol to be with those who descend to the Pit. Then all the trees of Eden, all the well-watered trees, the choice and best of Lebanon, were comforted in the underworld. 17 They too descended with it to Sheol, to those slain by the sword. As its allies[g][h] they had lived in its shade among the nations.

18 “Who then are you like in glory and greatness among Eden’s trees? You also will be brought down to the underworld to be with the trees of Eden. You will lie among the uncircumcised with those slain by the sword. This is Pharaoh and all his hordes”—the declaration of the Lord God.

A Lament for Pharaoh

32 In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, lament for Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him:

You compare yourself to a lion of the nations,
but[i] you are like a monster in the seas.
You thrash about in your rivers,
churn up the waters with your feet,
and muddy the[j] rivers.”

This is what the Lord God says:

I will spread My net over you
with an assembly of many peoples,
and they[k] will haul you up in My net.
I will abandon you on the land
and hurl you on the open field.
I will cause all the birds of the sky
to settle on you
and let the beasts of the entire earth
eat their fill of you.
I will put your flesh on the mountains
and fill the valleys with your carcass.
I will drench the land
with the flow of your blood,
even to the mountains;
the ravines will be filled with your gore.

When I snuff you out,
I will cover the heavens
and darken their stars.
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
and the moon will not give its light.
I will darken all the shining lights
in the heavens over you,
and will bring darkness on your land.
This is the declaration of the Lord God.

I will trouble the hearts of many peoples,
when I bring about your destruction
among the nations,
in countries you do not know.
10 I will cause many nations to be appalled at you,
and their kings will shudder with fear because of you
when I brandish My sword in front of them.
On the day of your downfall
each of them will tremble
every moment for his life.

11 For this is what the Lord God says:

The sword of Babylon’s king
will come against you!
12 I will make your hordes fall
by the swords of warriors,
all of them ruthless men from the nations.
They will ravage Egypt’s pride,
and all its hordes will be destroyed.
13 I will slaughter all its cattle
that are beside many waters.
No human foot will churn them again,
and no cattle hooves will disturb them.
14 Then I will let their waters settle
and will make their rivers flow like oil.
This is the declaration of the Lord God.
15 When I make the land of Egypt a desolation,
so that it is emptied of everything in it,
when I strike down all who live there,
then they will know that I am Yahweh.

16 “This is a lament that will be chanted; the women of the nations will chant it. They will chant it over Egypt and all its hordes.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

Egypt in Sheol

17 In the twelfth year,[l] on the fifteenth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: 18 “Son of man, wail over the hordes of Egypt and bring Egypt and the daughters of mighty nations down to the underworld,[m] to be with those who descend to the Pit:

19 Who do you surpass in loveliness?
Go down and be laid to rest with the uncircumcised!
20 They will fall among those slain by the sword.
A sword is appointed!
They drag her and all her hordes away.
21 Warrior leaders will speak
from the middle of Sheol
about him[n] and his allies:
They have come down;
the uncircumcised lie
slain by the sword.

22 Assyria is there with all her company;
her graves are all around her.
All of them are slain, fallen by the sword.
23 Her graves are set in the deepest regions of the Pit,
and her company is all around her burial place.
All of them are slain, fallen by the sword—
those who once spread terror
in the land of the living.

24 Elam is there
with all her hordes around her grave.
All of them are slain, fallen by the sword—
those who went down to the underworld[o] uncircumcised,
who once spread their terror
in the land of the living.
They bear their disgrace
with those who descend to the Pit.
25 Among the slain
they prepare a resting place for Elam
with all her hordes.
Her graves are all around her.
All of them are uncircumcised,
slain by the sword,
although their terror was once spread
in the land of the living.
They bear their disgrace
with those who descend to the Pit.
They are placed among the slain.

26 Meshech and Tubal[p] are there,
with all their hordes.
Their graves are all around them.
All of them are uncircumcised, slain by the sword,
although their terror was once spread
in the land of the living.
27 They do not lie down
with the fallen warriors of the uncircumcised,[q]
who went down to Sheol
with their weapons of war,
whose swords were placed under their heads.[r]
The punishment for their sins
rested on their bones,
although the terror of these warriors
was once in the land of the living.
28 But you will be shattered
and will lie down among the uncircumcised,
with those slain by the sword.

29 Edom is there, her kings and all her princes,
who, despite their strength, have been placed
among those slain by the sword.
They lie down with the uncircumcised,
with those who descend to the Pit.
30 All the leaders of the north
and all the Sidonians are there.
They went down in shame with the slain,
despite the terror their strength inspired.
They lie down uncircumcised
with those slain by the sword.
They bear their disgrace
with those who descend to the Pit.

31 Pharaoh will see them
and be comforted over all his hordes—
Pharaoh and all his army,
slain by the sword.
This is the declaration of the Lord God.

32 For I will spread My[s] terror
in the land of the living,
so Pharaoh and all his hordes
will be laid to rest among the uncircumcised,
with those slain by the sword.”
This is the declaration of the Lord God.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 31:3 Or thick foliage
  2. Ezekiel 31:10 Syr, Vg; MT, LXX read you
  3. Ezekiel 31:10 Or thick foliage
  4. Ezekiel 31:10 Lit its heart
  5. Ezekiel 31:14 Or thick foliage
  6. Ezekiel 31:15 Or I covered it with the underground deep
  7. Ezekiel 31:17 LXX, Syr read offspring
  8. Ezekiel 31:17 Lit arm
  9. Ezekiel 32:2 Or Lion of the nations, you are destroyed;
  10. Ezekiel 32:2 Lit their
  11. Ezekiel 32:3 LXX, Vg read I
  12. Ezekiel 32:17 LXX reads year, in the first month,
  13. Ezekiel 32:18 Lit the lower parts of the earth
  14. Ezekiel 32:21 Either Pharaoh or Egypt
  15. Ezekiel 32:24 Lit the lower parts of the earth
  16. Ezekiel 32:26 Lit Meshech-tubal
  17. Ezekiel 32:27 LXX reads of antiquity
  18. Ezekiel 32:27 Or Do they not . . . heads?
  19. Ezekiel 32:32 Alt Hb tradition, LXX, Syr read his

Hebrews 12:14-29

Warning against Rejecting God’s Grace

14 Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness—without it no one will see the Lord. 15 Make sure that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many. 16 And make sure that there isn’t any immoral or irreverent person like Esau, who sold his birthright in exchange for one meal. 17 For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected because he didn’t find any opportunity for repentance, though he sought it with tears.

18 For you have not come to what could be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, gloom, and storm, 19 to the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of words. (Those who heard it begged that not another word be spoken to them, 20 for they could not bear what was commanded: And if even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned![a] 21 The appearance was so terrifying that Moses said, I am terrified and trembling.[b]) 22 Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (the heavenly Jerusalem), to myriads of angels in festive gathering, 23 to the assembly of the firstborn whose names have been written[c] in heaven, to God who is the Judge of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect, 24 to Jesus (mediator of a new covenant), and to the sprinkled blood, which says better things than the blood of Abel.

25 Make sure that you do not reject the One who speaks. For if they did not escape when they rejected Him who warned them on earth, even less will we if we turn away from Him who warns us from heaven. 26 His voice shook the earth at that time, but now He has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven.[d] 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what is not shaken might remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace.[e] By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 12:20 Ex 19:12
  2. Hebrews 12:21 Dt 9:19
  3. Hebrews 12:23 Or registered
  4. Hebrews 12:26 Hg 2:6
  5. Hebrews 12:28 Or let us give thanks, or let us have grace

Psalm 113-114

Psalm 113

Praise to the Merciful God

Hallelujah!
Give praise, servants of Yahweh;
praise the name of Yahweh.
Let the name of Yahweh be praised
both now and forever.
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
let the name of Yahweh be praised.

Yahweh is exalted above all the nations,
His glory above the heavens.
Who is like Yahweh our God—
the One enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the garbage pile
in order to seat them with nobles—
with the nobles of His people.
He gives the childless woman a household,
making her the joyful mother of children.
Hallelujah!

Psalm 114

God’s Deliverance of Israel

When Israel came out of Egypt—
the house of Jacob from a people
who spoke a foreign language
Judah became His sanctuary,
Israel, His dominion.

The sea looked and fled;
the Jordan turned back.
The mountains skipped like rams,
the hills, like lambs.
Why was it, sea, that you fled?
Jordan, that you turned back?
Mountains, that you skipped like rams?
Hills, like lambs?

Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord,
at the presence of the God of Jacob,
who turned the rock into a pool of water,
the flint into a spring of water.

Proverbs 27:18-20

18 Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and whoever looks after his master will be honored.

19 As water reflects the face,
so the heart reflects the person.

20 Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and people’s eyes are never satisfied.

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