Daily reading for Tuesday, November 19, 2013

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Ezekiel 39:1-40:27; James 2:18-3:18; Psalms 118:1-18; Proverbs 28:2 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Ezekiel 39-40:27

39 “So you, human being, prophesy against Gog; say that Adonai Elohim says: ‘I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshekh and Tuval. I will turn you around, lead you on and bring you from the far reaches of the north against the mountains of Isra’el. But then I will knock your bow out of your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand. You will fall on the mountains of Isra’el, you, your troops and all the peoples with you; I will give you to be eaten up by all kinds of birds of prey and by wild animals. You will fall in the open field, for I have spoken,’ says Adonai Elohim.

“‘I will also send fire against Magog and against those living securely in the coastlands; then they will know that I am Adonai. I will make my holy name known among my people Isra’el; I will not allow my holy name to be profaned any longer. Then the Goyim will know that I am Adonai, the Holy One in Isra’el. Yes, this is coming, and it will be done,’ says Adonai Elohim; ‘this is the day about which I have spoken.

“‘Those living in Isra’el’s cities will go out and set fire to the weapons, to use as fuel — the shields, breastplates, bows, arrows, clubs and spears; they will use them for fire seven years; 10 so that they will not need to gather wood from the fields or cut down any from the forests; because they will use the weapons for fire. Thus they will plunder those who plundered them and rob those who robbed them,’ says Adonai Elohim.

11 “‘When that day comes, I will give Gog a place there in Isra’el for graves, the Travelers’ Valley, east of the sea; and it will block the travelers’ passage. There they will bury Gog and all his horde, and they will rename it the Valley of Hamon-Gog [horde of Gog]. 12 It will take the house of Isra’el seven months to bury them, in order to cleanse the land. 13 Yes, all the people of the land will be burying them; they will become famous for it. It will be a day for me to be glorified,’ says Adonai Elohim. 14 ‘They will then pick men for the continual duty of going through the land and burying with the travelers the corpses still lying out on the ground, in order to cleanse it; they will begin their search after the seven months. 15 As they go through the land, if anyone sees a human bone, he will put a marker next to it until the gravediggers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon-Gog. 16 Moreover, “Hamonah” [its horde] will be the name of a city. Thus will they cleanse the land.’

17 “As for you, human, Adonai Elohim says that you are to speak to all kinds of birds and to every wild animal as follows: ‘Assemble yourselves and come, gather yourselves from all around for the sacrifice I am preparing for you, a great sacrifice on the mountains of Isra’el, where you can eat flesh and drink blood! 18 You will eat the flesh of heroes and drink the blood of the earth’s princes — rams, lambs, goats and bulls, fattened in Bashan, all of them. 19 You will eat fat till you are gorged and drink blood till you are drunk at the sacrifice I have prepared for you. 20 At my table you will be satiated with horses, horsemen, heroes and every kind of warrior,’ says Adonai Elohim.

21 “‘Thus will I display my glory among the nations, so that all the nations will see my judgment when I execute it and my hand when I lay it on them. 22 From that day on, the house of Isra’el will know that I am Adonai their God; 23 while the Goyim will know that the house of Isra’el went into exile because of their guilt, because they broke faith with me; so that I hid my face from them and handed them over to their adversaries; and they fell by the sword, all of them. 24 Yes, I treated them as their uncleanness and crimes deserved; and I hid my face from them.’

25 “Therefore Adonai Elohim says this: ‘Now I will restore the fortunes of Ya‘akov and have compassion on the entire house of Isra’el, and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26 They will bear their shame and all their [guilt from] breaking faith with me, once they are living securely in their land, with no one to make them afraid. 27 This will be after I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, thereby being consecrated through them in the sight of many nations. 28 Then they will know that I am Adonai their God, since it was I who caused them to go into exile among the nations, and it was I who regathered them to their own land. I will leave none of them there any more, 29 and I will no longer hide my face from them, for I have poured out my Spirit on the house of Isra’el,’ says Adonai Elohim.”

40 In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month — this was the fourteenth year after the city [of Yerushalayim] was struck — it was on that very day that the hand of Adonai was on me, and he took me there. In visions God brought me into the land of Isra’el and put me down on a very high mountain; on it, toward the south, it seemed that a city was being built. That is where he took me, and there in front of me was a man whose appearance was like bronze. He had a flax cord and a measuring rod in his hand, and he stood in the gateway. The man said to me, “Human being, look with your eyes, hear with your ears, and pay attention to all the things I am showing you; because the reason you were brought here is so that I could show them to you. Tell everything you see to the house of Isra’el.”

There was a wall surrounding the house. The man had in his hand a measuring rod six cubits long [ten-and-a-half feet], each cubit [twenty-one inches] being a normal cubit [eighteen inches] plus a handbreadth [three inches]. He measured the wall’s width at ten-and-a-half feet and its height ten-and-a-half feet. He went to the east gate, climbed its steps and measured one of the gate’s doorposts at ten-and-a-half feet wide and the other one the same. There were guardrooms, each ten-and-a-half feet square; the distance between the guardrooms was eight-and-three-quarters feet. The threshold of the gate adjoining the gate’s entranceway facing the house measured ten-and-a-half feet. He measured the gate’s entranceway facing the house at ten-and-a-half feet. Then he measured the gate’s entranceway itself, fourteen feet, and its supports, three-and-a-half feet; the gate’s entranceway was on the side facing the house. 10 There were three guardrooms on each side of the east gate, all the same size; and on each side the supports [between the guardrooms] were also all the same size. 11 He measured the width of the opening to the gateway at seventeen-and-a-half feet and the width of the passage through the gateway at twenty-two-and-three-quarters feet. 12 There was a partition in front of the guardrooms [on one side] twenty-one inches [wide] and a partition on the other side twenty-one inches [wide], with the guardrooms themselves being ten-and-a-half feet square. 13 He measured [inside] the gate from the back wall of one guardroom to the back wall of the other a distance of forty-three-and-three-quarters feet, the openings [to the guardrooms] being opposite each other. 14 He made the posts 105 feet, likewise the posts of the other gates around the courtyard. 15 The distance along the passage from the outer opening of the gateway to the far side of the entranceway at the inner end of the gateway was eighty-seven-and-a-half feet. 16 There were narrow windows to the guardrooms and to their supports facing inward all along the gate; also the vestibules had windows all around facing inward. On each side support were [carvings of] palm trees.

17 Then he brought me into the outer courtyard. There I saw rooms and paved mosaic flooring made for the courtyard all around its perimeter, and thirty rooms facing the flooring. 18 The flooring was alongside the gates and corresponded to the length of the gates [from outside to inside], this lower flooring. 19 He measured at 175 feet the distance from inside this lower gate that faced east to the outside of the inner courtyard, and he did the same for the gate that faced north.

20 Next he measured the length and width of the outer courtyard gate that faced north. 21 It had three guardrooms on each side, and its supports and vestibule were the same size as those at the first gate; its length was eighty-seven-and-a-half feet and its width forty-three-and-three-quarters feet. 22 Its windows, vestibule and palm trees were the same size as those at the east gate. Seven steps led up to it [from the outside], while its vestibule was toward the inside.

23 There were gates to the inner courtyard across from the gates to the north and east; he measured 175 feet from each outer gate to its corresponding inner gate.

24 He led me toward the south, and there I saw a gate that faced south. He measured its supports and vestibule; they were the same size as the others. 25 There were windows in it and all around its vestibule like the other windows; the length was eighty-seven-and-a-half feet and the width forty-three-and-three-quarters feet. 26 Seven steps led up to it [from the outside], while its vestibule was toward the inside. It had palm trees, one on each side, on its supports. 27 The inner courtyard had a gate on the south; he measured from gate to gate toward the south 175 feet.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

James 2:18-3:18

18 But someone will say that you have faith and I have actions. Show me this faith of yours without the actions, and I will show you my faith by my actions! 19 You believe that “God is one”?[a] Good for you! The demons believe it too — the thought makes them shudder with fear!

20 But, foolish fellow, do you want to be shown that such “faith” apart from actions is barren? 21 Wasn’t Avraham avinu declared righteous because of actions when he offered up his son Yitz’chak on the altar? 22 You see that his faith worked with his actions; by the actions the faith was made complete; 23 and the passage of the Tanakh was fulfilled which says, “Avraham had faith in God, and it was credited to his account as righteousness.”[b] He was even called God’s friend.[c] 24 You see that a person is declared righteous because of actions and not because of faith alone.

25 Likewise, wasn’t Rachav the prostitute also declared righteous because of actions when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another route? 26 Indeed, just as the body without a spirit is dead, so too faith without actions is dead.

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, since you know that we will be judged more severely. For we all stumble in many ways; if someone does not stumble in what he says, he is a mature man who can bridle his whole body. If we put a bit into a horse’s mouth to make it obey us, we control its whole body as well. And think of a ship — although it is huge and is driven by strong winds, yet the pilot can steer it wherever he wants with just a small rudder. So too the tongue is a tiny part of the body, yet it boasts great things. See how a little fire sets a whole forest ablaze! Yes, the tongue is a fire, a world of wickedness. The tongue is so placed in our body that it defiles every part of it, setting ablaze the whole of our life; and it is set on fire by Gei-Hinnom itself. For people have tamed and continue to tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures; but the tongue no one can tame — it is an unstable and evil thing, full of death-dealing poison! With it we bless Adonai, the Father; and with it we curse people, who were made in the image of God.[d] 10 Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing! Brothers, it isn’t right for things to be this way. 11 A spring doesn’t send both fresh and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12 Can a fig tree yield olives, my brothers? or a grapevine, figs? Neither does salt water produce fresh.

13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him demonstrate it by his good way of life, by actions done in the humility that grows out of wisdom. 14 But if you harbor in your hearts bitter jealousy and selfish ambition, don’t boast and attack the truth with lies! 15 This wisdom is not the kind that comes down from above; on the contrary, it is worldly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where there are jealousy and selfish ambition, there will be disharmony and every foul practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is, first of all, pure, then peaceful, kind, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 And peacemakers who sow seed in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

Footnotes:

  1. James 2:19 Deuteronomy 6:4
  2. James 2:23 Genesis 15:6
  3. James 2:23 Isaiah 41:8; 2 Chronicles 20:7
  4. James 3:9 Genesis 1:26–27
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Psalm 118:1-18

118 Give thanks to Adonai; for he is good,
for his grace continues forever.
Now let Isra’el say,
“His grace continues forever.”
Now let the house of Aharon say,
“His grace continues forever.”
Now let those who fear Adonai say,
“His grace continues forever.”

From my being hemmed in I called on Yah;
he answered and gave me more room.
With Adonai on my side, I fear nothing —
what can human beings do to me?
With Adonai on my side as my help,
I will look with triumph at those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in Adonai
than to trust in human beings;
better to take refuge in Adonai
than to put one’s trust in princes.

10 The nations all surrounded me;
in the name of Adonai I cut them down.
11 They surrounded me on every side
in the name of Adonai I cut them down.
12 They surrounded me like bees
but were extinguished [as quickly] as a fire in thorns;
in the name of Adonai I cut them down.

13 You pushed me hard to make me fall,
but Adonai helped me.
14 Yah is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.

15 The sound of rejoicing and victory
is heard in the tents of the righteous:
Adonai’s right hand struck powerfully!
16 Adonai’s right hand is raised in triumph!
Adonai’s right hand struck powerfully!”

17 I will not die; no, I will live
and proclaim the great deeds of Yah!
18 Yah disciplined me severely,
but did not hand me over to death.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Proverbs 28:2

A land which transgresses [is punished by] having many rulers;
    but with a man of understanding and knowledge, stability is prolonged.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

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