Daily reading for Sunday, November 17, 2013

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Ezekiel 35:1-36:38; James 1:1-18; Psalms 116:1-19; Proverbs 27:23-27 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Ezekiel 35-36

35 The word of Adonai came to me: “Human being, turn your face against Mount Se‘ir; prophesy against it, and say that Adonai Elohim says, ‘I am against you, Mount Se‘ir. I will stretch out my hand against you and make you utterly desolate. I will make your cities ruins and make you an utter waste, and you will know that I am Adonai. Because of your long-standing hatred, you put the people of Isra’el to the sword at their time of calamity, at the time of final iniquity. Therefore, as I live,’ Adonai Elohim swears, ‘I will prepare you for blood. Blood will pursue you. You intensely hate your own blood [relatives]; therefore blood will pursue you. Yes, I will make Mount Se‘ir utterly desolate, cutting off from it anyone passing through or returning. I will fill his mountains with his slain; in your hills and valleys and in all your ravines will fall those slain by the sword. I will turn you into perpetual ruins; your cities will not return; and you will know that I am Adonai.

10 “‘Because you say, “These two nations, these two countries, will be mine; we will take possession of them,” even though Adonai is there; 11 therefore, as I live,’ swears Adonai Elohim, ‘I will deal with you as your anger and envy arising from your hatred deserve; and I will make myself known among them when I judge you. 12 You will know that I, Adonai, have heard all your blasphemous talk against the mountains of Isra’el, such as, “They are desolated, they are given to us to devour.” 13 Moreover, you have boasted against me with your mouths, speaking more and more against me — I have heard it.’ 14 Here is what Adonai Elohim says: ‘To the joy of all the land, I will desolate you. 15 Since you rejoiced over possessing the house of Isra’el, because it was desolate, that is what I will do to you — you will be desolate, Mount Se‘ir and all Edom, all of it. Then they will know that I am Adonai.’

36 “Now you, human being, prophesy to the mountains of Isra’el. Say: ‘Mountains of Isra’el, hear the message from Adonai. Adonai Elohim says: “The enemy is boasting over you, ‘Ha! Even the ancient high places are ours now!’ ” ’ Therefore prophesy, and say that Adonai Elohim says, ‘Because they desolated you and swallowed you up from every side, so that the other nations could take possession of you; and now people are gossiping about you and slandering you; therefore, mountains of Isra’el, hear the message of Adonai Elohim this is what Adonai Elohim says to the mountains and hills, the streams and valleys, the desolate wastes and the abandoned cities, now preyed on and derided by the other surrounding nations — therefore this is what Adonai Elohim says: “In the heat of my jealousy I speak against the other nations and all of Edom, since, rejoicing with all their heart, they have arrogated my land to themselves as a possession and, with utter contempt, seized it as prey.”’

“Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Isra’el, and say to the mountains, the hills, the streams and the valleys that Adonai Elohim says this: ‘I speak in my jealousy and fury, because you have endured being shamed by the nations. Therefore thus says Adonai Elohim: “I have raised my hand and sworn that the nations surrounding you will bear their shame. But you, mountains of Isra’el, you will sprout your branches and bear your fruit for my people Isra’el, who will soon return. I am here for you, and I will turn toward you; then you will be tilled and sown; 10 and I will multiply your population, all the house of Isra’el, all of it. The cities will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11 I will multiply both the human and animal populations, they will increase and be productive; and I will cause you to be inhabited as you were before — indeed, I will do you more good than before; and you will know that I am Adonai. 12 I will cause people to walk on you, my people Isra’el; they will possess you, and you will be their inheritance; never again will you make them childless.” 13 Adonai Elohim says, “Because they say to you, ‘Land, you devour people and make your nations childless,’ 14 therefore you will no longer devour people, and you will not make your nations childless any more,” says Adonai Elohim. 15 “I will not permit the nations to shame you, or the peoples to reproach you any longer; and you will no more cause your nations to stumble,” says Adonai Elohim.’”

16 The word of Adonai came to me: 17 “Human being, when the house of Isra’el lived in their own land, they defiled it by their manner of life and their actions; their way before me was like the uncleanness of niddah. 18 Therefore I poured out my fury on them, because of the blood they had shed in the land and because they defiled it with their idols. 19 I scattered them among the nations and dispersed them throughout the countries; I judged them in keeping with their manner of life and actions. 20 When they came to the nations they were going to, they profaned my holy name; so that people said of them, ‘These are Adonai’s people, who have been exiled from his land.’ 21 But I am concerned about my holy name, which the house of Isra’el is profaning among the nations where they have gone.

22 “Therefore tell the house of Isra’el that Adonai Elohim says this: ‘I am not going to do this for your sake, house of Isra’el, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have been profaning among the nations where you went. 23 I will set apart my great name to be regarded as holy, since it has been profaned in the nations — you profaned it among them. The nations will know that I am Adonai,’ says Adonai Elohim, ‘when, before their eyes, I am set apart through you to be regarded as holy.

24 For I will take you from among the nations,
gather you from all the countries,
and return you to your own soil.
25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you,
and you will be clean;
I will cleanse you from all your uncleanness
and from all your idols.
26 I will give you a new heart
and put a new spirit inside you;
I will take the stony heart out of your flesh
and give you a heart of flesh.
27 I will put my Spirit inside you
and cause you to live by my laws,
respect my rulings and obey them.
28 You will live in the land I gave to your ancestors.
You will be my people,
and I will be your God.
29 I will save you from all your uncleanliness.
I will summon the grain and increase it,
and not send famine against you.
30 I will multiply the yield of fruit from the trees
and increase production in the fields,
so that you never again suffer the reproach
of famine among the nations.
31 Then you will remember your evil ways
and your actions that were not good;
as you look at yourselves, you will loathe yourselves
for your guilt and disgusting practices.
32 Understand,’ says Adonai Elohim,
‘that I am not doing this for your sake.
Instead, be ashamed and dismayed for your ways,
house of Isra’el.’

33 Adonai Elohim says, ‘When the day comes for me to cleanse you from all your guilt, I will cause the cities to be inhabited and the ruins to be rebuilt. 34 The land that was desolate will be tilled, whereas formerly it lay desolate for all passing by to see. 35 Then they will say, “The land that used to be desolate has become like Gan-‘Eden, and the cities formerly ruined, abandoned and wasted have been fortified and are inhabited!” 36 Then the nations around you that remain will know that I, Adonai, have rebuilt the ruins and replanted what was abandoned. I, Adonai, have spoken; and I will do it.’

37 Adonai Elohim says, ‘In addition, I will let the house of Isra’el pray to me to do this for them: to increase their numbers like sheep — 38 like flocks of sheep for sacrifices, like the flocks of sheep in Yerushalayim at its designated times, in this degree will the ruined cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am Adonai.’”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

James 1:1-18

From: Ya‘akov, a slave of God and of the Lord Yeshua the Messiah

To: The Twelve Tribes in the Diaspora:

Shalom!

Regard it all as joy, my brothers, when you face various kinds of temptations; for you know that the testing of your trust produces perseverance. But let perseverance do its complete work; so that you may be complete and whole, lacking in nothing. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all generously and without reproach; and it will be given to him. But let him ask in trust, doubting nothing; for the doubter is like a wave in the sea being tossed and driven by the wind. Indeed that person should not think that he will receive anything from the Lord, because he is double-minded, unstable in all his ways.

Let the brother in humble circumstances boast about his high position. 10 But let the rich brother boast about his being humbled; since, like a wildflower, he will pass away. 11 For just as the sun rises with the sharav and dries up the plant, so that its flower falls off and its beauty is destroyed, so too the rich person going about his business will wither away.

12 How blessed is the man who perseveres through temptation! For after he has passed the test, he will receive as his crown the Life which God has promised to those who love him. 13 No one being tempted should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, and God himself tempts no one. 14 Rather, each person is being tempted whenever he is being dragged off and enticed by the bait of his own desire. 15 Then, having conceived, the desire gives birth to sin; and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death. 16 Don’t delude yourselves, my dear brothers.

17 Every good act of giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father who made the heavenly lights; with him there is neither variation nor darkness caused by turning. 18 Having made his decision, he gave birth to us through a Word that can be relied upon, in order that we should be a kind of firstfruits of all that he created.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Psalm 116

116 I love that Adonai heard
my voice when I prayed;
because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death were all around me,
Sh’ol’s constrictions held me fast;
I was finding only distress and anguish.
But I called on the name of Adonai:
“Please, Adonai! Save me!”

Adonai is merciful and righteous;
yes, our God is compassionate.
Adonai preserves the thoughtless;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
My soul, return to your rest!
For Adonai has been generous toward you.
Yes, you have rescued me from death,
my eyes from tears and my feet from falling.
I will go on walking in the presence of Adonai
in the lands of the living.
10 I will keep on trusting even when I say,
“I am utterly miserable,”
11 even when, in my panic, I declare,
“Everything human is deceptive.”

12 How can I repay Adonai
for all his generous dealings with me?
13 I will raise the cup of salvation
and call on the name of Adonai.
14 I will pay my vows to Adonai
in the presence of all his people.

15 From Adonai’s point of view,
the death of those faithful to him is costly.
16 Oh, Adonai! I am your slave;
I am your slave, the son of your slave-girl;
you have removed my fetters.
17 I will offer a sacrifice of thanks to you
    and will call on the name of Adonai.
18 I will pay my vows to Adonai
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courtyards of Adonai’s house,
there in your very heart, Yerushalayim.

Halleluyah!

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Proverbs 27:23-27

23 Take care to know the condition of your flocks,
    and pay attention to your herds.
24 For wealth doesn’t last forever,
    neither does a crown through all generations.
25 When the hay has been mown, and the new grass appears,
    and the mountain greens have been gathered;
26 the lambs will provide your clothing,
    the goats will sell for enough to buy a field,
27 and there will be enough goat’s milk
    to [buy] food for you and your household
    and maintenance for your servant-girls.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

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