Daily reading for Saturday, November 16, 2013

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Ezekiel 33:1-34:31; Hebrews 13:1-25; Psalms 115:1-18; Proverbs 27:21-22 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Ezekiel 33-34

33 The word of Adonai came to me: “Human being, speak to your people; say to them, ‘Suppose I bring the sword on a country, and the people of that country take one of their men and appoint him their watchman. Now if, upon seeing the sword coming against that country, he blows the shofar and warns the people; then, if the sword comes and takes away someone who heard the sound of the shofar but paid no attention to it, the responsibility for that person’s death will be his own — he heard the shofar but paid no attention, so the responsibility for his death is his own; whereas if he had paid attention, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the shofar, so that the people are not warned; and then the sword comes and takes any one of them, that one is indeed taken away in his guilt, but I will hold the watchman responsible for his death.’

“Likewise you, human being — I have appointed you as watchman for the house of Isra’el. Therefore, when you hear the word from my mouth, warn them for me. When I tell the wicked person, ‘Wicked person, you will certainly die’; and you fail to speak and warn the wicked person to leave his way; then that wicked person will die guilty; and I will hold you responsible for his death. On the other hand, if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he doesn’t turn from his way; then he will still die guilty, but you will have saved your own life.

10 “Therefore, you, human being, say to the house of Isra’el: ‘You say, “Our crimes and sins are weighing us down, we’re pining away because of them, how can we even stay alive?”’ 11 Say to them, ‘As I live,’ swears Adonai Elohim, ‘I take no pleasure in having the wicked person die, but in having the wicked person turn from his way and live. So repent! Turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, house of Isra’el?’

12 “Next, you, human being, say to your people: ‘The righteousness of the righteous person will not save him, once he starts committing crimes; and likewise, the wickedness of the wicked person will not cause him to fall, once he turns from his wickedness. No, the righteous person cannot live by virtue of [his former righteousness], once he starts sinning. 13 So if, after I tell the righteous person that he will surely live, he begins trusting in his own [former] righteousness and starts committing crimes; then none of his [former] righteous actions will be remembered; on the contrary, he will die for the evil deeds he has committed. 14 Likewise, if, after I tell the wicked person, “You must die,” he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right — 15 if the wicked person restores pledged property and returns what he stole, so that he lives by the laws that give life and does not commit evil deeds; then he will live, he will not die. 16 None of the sins he committed will be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he will surely live.’

17 “Now your people say, ‘Adonais way isn’t fair!’ But it is their way, theirs, that isn’t fair! 18 When the righteous person turns away from his righteousness and commits wickedness, he will die because of it. 19 And when the wicked person turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he will live because of it. 20 Yet you say, ‘Adonai’s way isn’t fair!’ House of Isra’el, I will judge each of you according to his ways.”

21 In the twelfth year of our exile, on the fifth day of the tenth month, a fugitive from Yerushalayim came to me with the news, “The city has been struck.” 22 Now the hand of Adonai had been on me that evening, before the fugitive arrived — he had opened my mouth prior to his coming to me in the morning, so my mouth was open, and I was no longer mute. 23 Then the word of Adonai came to me: 24 “Human being, those living in the desolate parts of the land of Isra’el are saying, ‘Avraham was only one, and he inherited the land. But we are many, so [how much more] is the land given to us to inherit!’ 25 Therefore, tell them that Adonai Elohim says, ‘You eat [flesh] with the blood, you raise your eyes to your idols, and you shed blood — and you still expect to possess the land? 26 You depend on your swords, you commit disgusting practices, and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife — and you still expect to possess the land?’ 27 Tell them that Adonai Elohim swears, ‘As I live, those living in the ruins will fall by the sword, those in the countryside I will give to the wild animals to eat, and those in the fortresses and caves will die of the plague. 28 Moreover, I will utterly desolate the land; it will cease taking pride in its power; and the mountains of Isra’el will be so desolate that no one will pass through.’ 29 Then they will know that I am Adonai, when I have made the land utterly desolate, because of all the disgusting practices they have committed.

30 “Now you, human being, your people are gathering and talking about you by the walls and in the doorways of houses. They’re saying to each other, each one telling his brother, ‘Come, let’s go and hear the latest word coming from Adonai.’ 31 So then they come to you, as people do, sit in front of you as my people, and hear your words; but they don’t act on them. For with their mouths they flatter you, but their hearts are set on their own self-interest; 32 so for them you are like a love-song sung by someone with a nice voice who can play an instrument well — they hear your words, but they don’t act on them. 33 So when all this comes true, then, at last, they will realize that a prophet has been there with them.”

34 The word of Adonai came to me: “Human being, prophesy against the shepherds of Isra’el. Prophesy! Tell them, the shepherds, that Adonai Elohim says this: ‘Woe to the shepherds of Isra’el who feed themselves! Shouldn’t the shepherds feed the sheep? You eat the choice meat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, and you slaughter the best of the herd; but you don’t feed the sheep! You don’t strengthen the weak, heal the sick, bandage the broken, bring back the outcasts or seek the lost; on the contrary, you tyrannize them with crushing force. So they were scattered, without a shepherd, and became food for every wild animal — they were scattered. My sheep wandered around aimlessly on every mountain and hill; yes, my sheep were scattered all over the land, with no one to search for them or look after them.

“‘Therefore, shepherds, hear the word of Adonai: “As I live,” Adonai Elohim swears, “because my sheep have become prey, my sheep have become food for every wild animal, since there was no shepherd, since my shepherds didn’t look for my sheep, and instead my shepherds fed themselves but not my sheep,” therefore, shepherds, hear the word of Adonai! 10 Adonai Elohim says, “I am against the shepherds. I demand that they hand my sheep back to me. I will not allow them to feed the sheep, and they won’t feed themselves either. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths; they will be food for them no longer.”

11 “‘For here is what Adonai Elohim says: “I am taking over! I will search for my sheep and look after them, myself. 12 Just as a shepherd looks after his flock when he finds himself among his scattered sheep, so I will look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered when it was cloudy and dark. 13 I will bring them back from those peoples, gather them from those countries and return them to their own land. Then I will let them feed on the mountains of Isra’el, by the streams and in all the livable places of the land. 14 I will have them feed in good pastures; their grazing ground will be on the high mountains of Isra’el. They will rest in good grazing grounds and feed in rich pastures on Isra’el’s mountains. 15 Yes, I will pasture my sheep; and I will let them rest” says Adonai Elohim. 16 “I will seek the lost, bring back the outcasts, bandage the broken, and strengthen the sick. But the fat and the strong I will destroy — I will feed them with judgment.”

17 “‘As for you, my flock,’ Adonai Elohim says this: ‘I will judge between sheep and other sheep, between rams and billy-goats. 18 Wasn’t it enough for you to feed on the best pasture and drink from the clearest water? Did you have to trample the rest of the pasture and foul the remaining water with your feet? 19 So now my sheep eat what you have trampled with your feet and drink water fouled by your feet.’ 20 Therefore here is what Adonai Elohim says to them: ‘I will judge between the fat sheep and the thin sheep. 21 Because you push them with your flanks and shoulders and butt all the weak ones with your horns, till you scatter them in every direction; 22 therefore I will save my flock; they will no longer be prey; and I will judge between sheep and other sheep.

23 “‘I will raise up one shepherd to be in charge of them, and he will let them feed — my servant David. He will pasture them and be their shepherd. 24 I, Adonai, will be their God; and my servant David will be prince among them. I, Adonai, have spoken. 25 I will make a covenant of peace with them; I will rid the land of wild animals; and they will live securely in the desert and sleep in the forests. 26 I will make them and the places around my hill a blessing, and I will cause the rain to fall when it should — there will be showers of blessing. 27 The trees in the field will bear their fruit and the soil its produce, and they will be secure in their land. Then they will know that I am Adonai, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the power of those who turned them into slaves. 28 No longer will they be prey for the Goyim, nor will the wild animals devour them; but they will live securely, with no one to make them afraid. 29 I will make the productivity of their crops famous, and they will no longer be consumed by hunger in the land or bear the shame of the Goyim any more. 30 They will know that I, Adonai their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Isra’el, are my people,’ says Adonai Elohim. 31 ‘You, my sheep, the sheep in my pasture, are human beings; and I am your God,’ says Adonai Elohim.”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Hebrews 13

13 Let brotherly friendship continue; but don’t forget to be friendly to outsiders; for in so doing, some people, without knowing it, have entertained angels. Remember those in prison and being mistreated, as if you were in prison with them and undergoing their torture yourselves.

Marriage is honorable in every respect; and, in particular, sex within marriage is pure. But God will indeed punish fornicators and adulterers.

Keep your lives free from the love of money; and be satisfied with what you have; for God himself has said, “I will never fail you or abandon you.”[a] Therefore, we say with confidence,

Adonai is my helper; I will not be afraid —
what can a human being do to me?”[b]

Remember your leaders, those who spoke God’s message to you. Reflect on the results of their way of life, and imitate their trust — Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Do not be carried away by various strange teachings; for what is good is for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods. People who have made these the focus of their lives have not benefited thereby.

10 We have an altar from which those who serve in the Tent are not permitted to eat. 11 For the cohen hagadol brings the blood of animals into the Holiest Place as a sin offering, but their bodies are burned outside the camp.[c] 12 So too Yeshua suffered death outside the gate, in order to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Therefore, let us go out to him who is outside the camp and share his disgrace. 14 For we have no permanent city here; on the contrary, we seek the one to come. 15 Through him, therefore, let us offer God a sacrifice of praise continually.[d] For this is the natural product of lips that acknowledge his name.

16 But don’t forget doing good and sharing with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your lives, as people who will have to render an account. So make it a task of joy for them, not one of groaning; for that is of no advantage to you.

18 Keep praying for us, for we are certain that we have a clear conscience and want to conduct ourselves properly in everything we do. 19 And all the more I beg you to do this, so that I may be restored to you that much sooner.

20 The God of shalom brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Yeshua, by the blood of an eternal covenant. 21 May that God equip you with every good thing you need to do his will; and may he do in us whatever pleases him, through Yeshua the Messiah. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

22 Now I urge you, brothers, to bear with my message of exhortation; for I have written you only briefly.

23 Know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he comes soon enough, I will bring him with me when I come to see you.

24 Greet all your leaders and all God’s people. The people from Italy send greetings to you.

25 Grace be with you all.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 13:5 Deuteronomy 31:6
  2. Hebrews 13:6 Psalm 118:6
  3. Hebrews 13:11 Leviticus 16:27
  4. Hebrews 13:15 Leviticus 7:12; 22:29; Psalms 50:14, 23; 107:22; 116:17; 2 Chronicles 29:31
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Psalm 115

115 Not to us, Adonai, not to us,
but to your name give glory,
because of your grace and truth.

Why should the nations ask,
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.
Their idols are mere silver and gold,
made by human hands.
They have mouths, but they can’t speak;
they have eyes, but they can’t see;
they have ears, but they can’t hear;
they have noses, but they can’t smell;
they have hands, but they can’t feel;
they have feet, but they can’t walk;
with their throats they can’t make a sound.
The people who make them will become like them,
along with everyone who trusts in them.

Isra’el, trust in Adonai!
He is their help and shield.
10 House of Aharon, trust in Adonai!
He is their help and shield.
11 You who fear Adonai, trust in Adonai!
He is their help and shield.
12 Adonai has kept us in mind,
and he will bless.
He will bless the house of Isra’el;
he will bless the house of Aharon;
13 he will bless those who fear Adonai,
great and small alike.

14 May Adonai increase your numbers,
both yours and those of your children.
15 May you be blessed by Adonai,
the maker of heaven and earth.
16 Heaven belongs to Adonai,
but the earth he has given to humankind.

17 The dead can’t praise Adonai,
not those who sink down into silence.
18 But we will bless Adonai
from now on and forever.

Halleluyah!

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Proverbs 27:21-22

21 The crucible [tests] silver, and the furnace [tests] gold,
    but a person [is tested] by [his reaction to] praise.

22 You can crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle,
along with the grain being crushed;
    yet his foolishness will not leave him.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

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