Daily reading for Monday, November 18, 2013

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Ezekiel 37:1-38:23; James 1:19-2:17; Psalms 117:1-2; Proverbs 28:1 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Ezekiel 37-38

37 With the hand of Adonai upon me, Adonai carried me out by his Spirit and set me down in the middle of the valley, and it was full of bones. He had me pass by all around them — there were so many bones lying in the valley, and they were so dry! He asked me, “Human being, can these bones live?” I answered, “Adonai Elohim! Only you know that!” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones! Say to them, ‘Dry bones! Hear what Adonai has to say! To these bones Adonai Elohim says, “I will make breath enter you, and you will live. I will attach ligaments to you, make flesh grow on you, cover you with skin and put breath in you. You will live, and you will know that I am Adonai.”’”

So I prophesied as ordered; and while I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound; it was the bones coming together, each bone in its proper place. As I watched, ligaments grew on them, flesh appeared and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. Next he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath! Prophesy, human being! Say to the breath that Adonai Elohim says, ‘Come from the four winds, breath; and breathe on these slain, so that they can live.’”

10 So I prophesied as ordered, and the breath came into them, and they were alive! They stood up on their feet, a huge army! 11 Then he said to me, “Human being! These bones are the whole house of Isra’el; and they are saying, ‘Our bones have dried up, our hope is gone, and we are completely cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy; say to them that Adonai Elohim says, ‘My people! I will open your graves and make you get up out of your graves, and I will bring you into the land of Isra’el. 13 Then you will know that I am Adonai — when I have opened your graves and made you get up out of your graves, my people! 14 I will put my Spirit in you; and you will be alive. Then I will place you in your own land; and you will know that I, Adonai, have spoken, and that I have done it,’ says Adonai.”

15 The word of Adonai came to me: 16 “You, human being, take one stick and write on it, ‘For Y’hudah and those joined with him [among] the people of Isra’el.’ Next, take another stick and write on it, ‘For Yosef, the stick of Efrayim, and all the house of Isra’el who are joined with him.’ 17 Finally, bring them together into a single stick, so that they become one in your hand. 18 When your people ask you what all this means, 19 tell them that Adonai Elohim says this: ‘I will take the stick of Yosef, which is in the hand of Efrayim, together with the tribes of Isra’el who are joined with him, and put them together with the stick of Y’hudah and make them a single stick, so that they become one in my hand.’ 20 The sticks on which you write are to be in your hand as they watch. 21 Then say to them that Adonai Elohim says: ‘I will take the people of Isra’el from among the nations where they have gone and gather them from every side and bring them back to their own land. 22 I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Isra’el; and one king will be king for all of them. They will no longer be two nations, and they will never again be divided into two kingdoms.

23 “‘They will never again defile themselves with their idols, their detestable things, or any of their transgressions; but I will save them from all the places where they have been living and sinning; and I will cleanse them, so that they will be my people, and I will be their God. 24 My servant David will be king over them, and all of them will have one shepherd; they will live by my rulings and keep and observe my regulations. 25 They will live in the land I gave to Ya‘akov my servant, where your ancestors lived; they will live there — they, their children, and their grandchildren, forever; and David my servant will be their leader forever. 26 I will make a covenant of peace with them, an everlasting covenant. I will give to them, increase their numbers, and set my sanctuary among them forever. 27 My home will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 The nations will know that I am Adonai, who sets Isra’el apart as holy, when my sanctuary is with them forever.’”

38 The word of Adonai came to me: “Human being, turn your face toward Gog (of the land of Magog), chief prince of Meshekh and Tuval; and prophesy against him. Say that Adonai Elohim says, ‘I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshekh and Tuval. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with all your army, horses and horsemen, all completely equipped, a great horde with breastplates and shields, all wielding swords. Paras, Ethiopia and Put are with them, all with breastplates and helmets; Gomer with all its troops; the house of Togarmah in the far reaches of the north, with all its troops — many peoples are with you. Prepare yourself, get ready, you and all your crowd gathered around you; and take charge of them. After many days have passed, you will be mustered for service; in later years you will invade the land which has been brought back from the sword, gathered out of many peoples, the mountains of Isra’el. They had been lying in ruins for a long time, but now Isra’el has been extracted from the peoples and all of them are living there securely. You will come up like a storm, you will be like a cloud covering the land — you and all your troops, and many other peoples with you.’

10 Adonai Elohim says: ‘When that day comes, thoughts will well up in your mind, and you will devise a sinister scheme. 11 You will say, “I am going to invade this land of unwalled villages; I will take by surprise these people who are at peace, living securely, all in places without walls, bars or gates. 12 I will seize the spoil and take the plunder.” You will attack the former ruins that are now inhabited and come against the people gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and other wealth and are living in the central parts of the land. 13 Sh’va, D’dan and all the leading merchants of Tarshish will ask you, “Have you come to seize spoil? Have you assembled your hordes to loot; to carry off silver, gold, livestock and other wealth; to take much plunder?”’

14 “Therefore, human being, prophesy! Tell Gog that Adonai Elohim says this: ‘Won’t you be aware of it when my people Isra’el are living in security? 15 You will choose just that time to come from your place in the far reaches of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them on horseback, a huge horde, a mighty army; 16 and you will invade my people Isra’el like a cloud covering the land. This will be in the acharit-hayamim; and I will bring you against my land, so that the Goyim will know me when, before their eyes, I am set apart as holy through you, Gog.’

17 Adonai Elohim says: ‘I spoke of you long ago through my servants the prophets of Isra’el. Back then, they prophesied for many years that I would have you invade them. 18 When that day comes, when Gog invades the land of Isra’el,’ says Adonai Elohim, ‘my furious anger will boil up. 19 In my jealousy, in my heated fury I speak: when that day comes there will be a great earthquake in the land of Isra’el; 20 so that the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the wild beasts, all the reptiles creeping on the ground and every human being there in the land will tremble before me. Mountains will fall, cliffs crumble and every wall crash to the ground. 21 I will summon a sword against him throughout all my mountains,’ says Adonai Elohim; ‘every man will wield his sword against his brother. 22 I will judge him with plague and with blood. I will cause torrential rain to fall on him, his troops and the many peoples with him, along with huge hailstones, fire and sulfur. 23 I will show my greatness and holiness, making myself known in the sight of many nations; then they will know that I am Adonai.’

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

James 1:19-2:17

19 Therefore, my dear brothers, let every person be quick to listen but slow to speak, slow to get angry; 20 for a person’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness!

21 So rid yourselves of all vulgarity and obvious evil, and receive meekly the Word implanted in you that can save your lives. 22 Don’t deceive yourselves by only hearing what the Word says, but do it! 23 For whoever hears the Word but doesn’t do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror, 24 who looks at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But if a person looks closely into the perfect Torah, which gives freedom, and continues, becoming not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work it requires, then he will be blessed in what he does.

26 Anyone who thinks he is religiously observant but does not control his tongue is deceiving himself, and his observance counts for nothing. 27 The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world.

My brothers, practice the faith of our Lord Yeshua, the glorious Messiah, without showing favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your synagogue wearing gold rings and fancy clothes, and also a poor man comes in dressed in rags. If you show more respect to the man wearing the fancy clothes and say to him, “Have this good seat here,” while to the poor man you say, “You, stand over there,” or, “Sit down on the floor by my feet,” then aren’t you creating distinctions among yourselves, and haven’t you made yourselves into judges with evil motives?

Listen, my dear brothers, hasn’t God chosen the poor of the world to be rich in faith and to receive the Kingdom which he promised to those who love him? But you despise the poor! Aren’t the rich the ones who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who insult the good name of Him to whom you belong? If you truly attain the goal of Kingdom Torah, in conformity with the passage that says, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing well. But if you show favoritism, your actions constitute sin, since you are convicted under the Torah as transgressors.

10 For a person who keeps the whole Torah, yet stumbles at one point, has become guilty of breaking them all. 11 For the One who said, “Don’t commit adultery,”[b] also said, “Don’t murder.”[c] Now, if you don’t commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the Torah.

12 Keep speaking and acting like people who will be judged by a Torah which gives freedom. 13 For judgment will be without mercy toward one who doesn’t show mercy; but mercy wins out over judgment.

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but has no actions to prove it? Is such “faith” able to save him? 15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food, 16 and someone says to him, “Shalom! Keep warm and eat hearty!” without giving him what he needs, what good does it do? 17 Thus, faith by itself, unaccompanied by actions, is dead.

Footnotes:

  1. James 2:8 Leviticus 19:18
  2. James 2:11 Exodus 20:13(14); Deuteronomy 5:17(18)
  3. James 2:11 Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Psalm 117

117 Praise Adonai, all you nations!
Worship him, all you peoples!
For his grace has overcome us,
and Adonai’s truth continues forever.

Halleluyah!

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Proverbs 28:1

28 The wicked flee when no one pursues them;
    but the righteous, like lions, feel sure of themselves.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

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