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 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ezekiel 39-40:27

The Disposal of Gog

39 “As for you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say: This is what the Lord God says: Look, I am against you, Gog, chief prince of[a] Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, drive you on, and lead you up from the remotest parts of the north. I will bring you against the mountains of Israel. Then I will knock your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand. You, all your troops, and the peoples who are with you will fall on the mountains of Israel. I will give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and to the wild animals. You will fall on the open field, for I have spoken.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

“I will send fire against Magog and those who live securely on the coasts and islands. Then they will know that I am Yahweh. So I will make My holy name known among My people Israel and will no longer allow it to be profaned. Then the nations will know that I am Yahweh, the Holy One in Israel. Yes, it is coming, and it will happen.” This is the declaration of the Lord God. “This is the day I have spoken about.

“Then the inhabitants of Israel’s cities will go out, kindle fires, and burn the weapons—the bucklers and shields, the bows and arrows, the clubs and spears. For seven years they will use them to make fires. 10 They will not gather wood from the countryside or cut it down from the forests, for they will use the weapons to make fires. They will take the loot from those who looted them and plunder those who plundered them.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

11 “Now on that day I will give Gog a burial place there in Israel—the Valley of the Travelers[b] east of the Sea. It will block those who travel through, for Gog and all his hordes will be buried there. So it will be called the Valley of Hamon-gog.[c] 12 The house of Israel will spend seven months burying them in order to cleanse the land. 13 All the people of the land will bury them and their fame will spread on the day I display My glory.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

14 “They will appoint men on a full-time basis to pass through the land and bury the invaders[d] who remain on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. They will make their search at the end of the seven months. 15 When they pass through the land and one of them sees a human bone, he will set up a marker next to it until the buriers have buried it in the Valley of Hamon-gog. 16 There will even be a city named Hamonah[e] there. So they will cleanse the land.

17 “Son of man, this is what the Lord God says: Tell every kind of bird and all the wild animals: Assemble and come! Gather from all around to My sacrificial feast that I am slaughtering for you, a great feast on the mountains of Israel; you will eat flesh and drink blood. 18 You will eat the flesh of mighty men and drink the blood of the earth’s princes: rams, lambs, male goats, and all the fattened bulls of Bashan. 19 You will eat fat until you are satisfied and drink blood until you are drunk, at My sacrificial feast that I have prepared for you. 20 At My table you will eat your fill of horses and riders, of mighty men and all the warriors.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

Israel’s Restoration to God

21 “I will display My glory among the nations, and all the nations will see the judgment I have executed and the hand I have laid on them. 22 From that day forward the house of Israel will know that I am Yahweh their God. 23 And the nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile on account of their iniquity, because they dealt unfaithfully with Me. Therefore, I hid My face from them and handed them over to their enemies, so that they all fell by the sword. 24 I dealt with them according to their uncleanness and transgressions, and I hid My face from them.

25 “So this is what the Lord God says: Now I will restore the fortunes of Jacob and have compassion on the whole house of Israel, and I will be jealous for My holy name. 26 They will feel remorse for[f][g] their disgrace and all the unfaithfulness they committed against Me, when they live securely in their land with no one to frighten them. 27 When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the countries of their enemies, I will demonstrate My holiness through them in the sight of many nations. 28 They will know that I am Yahweh their God when I regather them to their own land after having exiled them among the nations. I will leave none of them behind.[h] 29 I will no longer hide My face from them, for I will pour out My Spirit on the house of Israel.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

The New Temple

40 In the twenty-fifth year of our exile, at the beginning of the year, on the tenth day of the month in the fourteenth year after Jerusalem had been captured, on that very day the Lord’s hand was on me, and He brought me there. In visions of God He took me to the land of Israel and set me down on a very high mountain. On its southern slope was a structure resembling a city. He brought me there, and I saw a man whose appearance was like bronze, with a linen cord and a measuring rod in his hand. He was standing by the gate. He spoke to me: “Son of man, look with your eyes, listen with your ears, and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for you have been brought here so that I might show it to you. Report everything you see to the house of Israel.”

The Wall and Outer Gates

Now there was a wall surrounding the outside of the temple. The measuring rod in the man’s hand was six units of 21 inches;[i] each unit was the standard length plus three inches.[j] He measured the thickness of the wall structure; it was about 10 feet,[k] and its height was the same.[l] Then he came to the gate that faced east and climbed its steps. He measured the threshold of the gate; it was 10 feet deep—the first threshold was 10 feet deep. Each recess was about 10 feet[m] long and 10 feet[n] deep, and there was a space of 8¾ feet[o] between the recesses. The inner threshold of the gate on the temple side next to the gate’s portico was about 10 feet.[p] Next he measured the portico of the gate; it[q] was 14 feet,[r] and its pilasters were 3½ feet.[s] The portico of the gate was on the temple side.

10 There were three recesses on each side of the east gate, each with the same measurements, and the pilasters on either side also had the same measurements. 11 Then he measured the width of the gate’s entrance; it was 17½ feet,[t] while the width[u] of the gateway was 22¾ feet.[v] 12 There was a barrier of 21 inches[w] in front of the recesses on both sides, and the recesses on each side were 10½ feet[x] square. 13 Then he measured the gateway from the roof of one recess to the roof of the opposite one; the distance was 43¾ feet.[y] The openings of the recesses faced each other. 14 Next, he measured the pilasters—105 feet.[z] The gate extended around to the pilaster of the court.[aa] 15 The distance from the front of the gate at the entrance to the front of the gate’s portico on the inside was 87½ feet.[ab] 16 The recesses and their pilasters had beveled windows all around the inside of the gateway. The porticoes also had windows all around on the inside. Each pilaster was decorated with palm trees.

17 Then he brought me into the outer court, and there were chambers and a paved surface laid out all around the court. Thirty chambers faced the pavement, 18 which flanked the gates and corresponded to the length of the gates; this was the lower pavement. 19 Then he measured the distance from the front of the lower gate to the exterior front of the inner court; it was 175 feet.[ac] This was the east; next the north is described.

20 He measured the gate of the outer court facing north, both its length and width. 21 Its three recesses on each side, its pilasters, and its portico had the same measurements as the first gate: 87½ feet[ad] long and 43¾ feet[ae] wide. 22 Its windows, portico, and palm trees had the same measurements as those of the gate that faced east. Seven steps led up to the gate, and its portico was ahead of them. 23 The inner court had a gate facing the north gate, like the one on the east. He measured the distance from gate to gate; it was 175 feet.[af]

24 He brought me to the south side, and there was also a gate on the south. He measured its pilasters and portico; they had the same measurements as the others. 25 Both the gate and its portico had windows all around, like the other windows. It was 87½ feet[ag] long and 43¾ feet[ah] wide. 26 Its stairway had seven steps, and its portico was ahead of them. It had palm trees on its pilasters, one on each side. 27 The inner court had a gate on the south. He measured from gate to gate on the south; it was 175 feet.[ai]

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 39:1 Or Gog, prince of Rosh,
  2. Ezekiel 39:11 Hb obscure
  3. Ezekiel 39:11 = Hordes of Gog
  4. Ezekiel 39:14 Or basis, some to pass through the land, and with them some to bury those
  5. Ezekiel 39:16 In Hb, Hamonah is related to the word “horde.”
  6. Ezekiel 39:26 Some emend to will forget
  7. Ezekiel 39:26 Lit will bear
  8. Ezekiel 39:28 Lit behind there any longer
  9. Ezekiel 40:5 = a long cubit
  10. Ezekiel 40:5 Lit six cubits by the cubit and a handbreadth
  11. Ezekiel 40:5 Lit was one rod
  12. Ezekiel 40:5 Lit was one rod
  13. Ezekiel 40:7 Lit was one rod
  14. Ezekiel 40:7 Lit and one rod
  15. Ezekiel 40:7 Lit five cubits
  16. Ezekiel 40:7 Lit was one rod
  17. Ezekiel 40:9 Some Hb mss, Syr, Vg; other Hb mss read gate facing the temple side; it was one rod. Then he measured the portico of the gate; it
  18. Ezekiel 40:9 Lit eight cubits
  19. Ezekiel 40:9 Lit two cubits
  20. Ezekiel 40:11 Lit 10 cubits
  21. Ezekiel 40:11 Lit length
  22. Ezekiel 40:11 Lit 13 cubits
  23. Ezekiel 40:12 Lit one cubit
  24. Ezekiel 40:12 Lit six cubits
  25. Ezekiel 40:13 Lit 25 cubits
  26. Ezekiel 40:14 Lit 60 cubits
  27. Ezekiel 40:14 Hb obscure
  28. Ezekiel 40:15 Lit 50 cubits
  29. Ezekiel 40:19 Lit 100 cubits
  30. Ezekiel 40:21 Lit 50 cubits
  31. Ezekiel 40:21 Lit 25 cubits
  32. Ezekiel 40:23 Lit 100 cubits
  33. Ezekiel 40:25 Lit 50 cubits
  34. Ezekiel 40:25 Lit 25 cubits
  35. Ezekiel 40:27 Lit 100 cubits

James 2:18-3:18

18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.”[a] Show me your faith without works, and I will show you faith from my works.[b] 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder.

20 Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is useless? 21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected. 23 So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness,[c] and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by a different route? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

Controlling the Tongue

Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment, for we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says,[d] he is a mature man who is also able to control his whole body.[e]

Now when we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we also guide the whole animal.[f] And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites. And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.

Every sea creature, reptile, bird, or animal is tamed and has been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. We praise our[g] Lord and Father with it, and we curse men who are made in God’s likeness with it. 10 Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way. 11 Does a spring pour out sweet and bitter water from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a saltwater spring yield fresh water.

The Wisdom from Above

13 Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and deny the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace.

Footnotes:

  1. James 2:18 The quotation may end here or after v. 18b or v. 19.
  2. James 2:18 Other mss read Show me your faith from your works, and from my works I will show you my faith.
  3. James 2:23 Gn 15:6
  4. James 3:2 Lit in word
  5. James 3:2 Lit to bridle the whole body
  6. James 3:3 Lit whole body
  7. James 3:9 Or praise the

Psalm 118:1-18

Psalm 118

Thanksgiving for Victory

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
His faithful love endures forever.
Let Israel say,
“His faithful love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His faithful love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
“His faithful love endures forever.”

I called to the Lord in distress;
the Lord answered me
and put me in a spacious place.[a]
The Lord is for me; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
The Lord is my helper,
Therefore, I will look in triumph on those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in nobles.

10 All the nations surrounded me;
in the name of Yahweh I destroyed them.
11 They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me;
in the name of Yahweh I destroyed them.
12 They surrounded me like bees;
they were extinguished like a fire among thorns;
in the name of Yahweh I destroyed them.
13 You[b] pushed me[c] hard to make me fall,
but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation.

15 There are shouts of joy and victory
in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand performs valiantly!
16 The Lord’s right hand is raised.
The Lord’s right hand performs valiantly!”
17 I will not die, but I will live
and proclaim what the Lord has done.
18 The Lord disciplined me severely
but did not give me over to death.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 118:5 Or answered me with freedom
  2. Psalm 118:13 Perhaps the enemy
  3. Psalm 118:13 LXX, Syr, Jer read I was pushed

Proverbs 28:2

When a land is in rebellion, it has many rulers,
but with a discerning and knowledgeable person, it endures.

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