Daily reading for Wednesday, November 20, 2013

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Ezekiel 40:28-41:26; James 4:1-17; Psalms 118:19-29; Proverbs 28:3-5 (GOD’S WORD Translation)

Ezekiel 40:28-41:26

The Inner Courtyard

28 Then the man brought me to the inner courtyard through the south gateway. He measured the south gateway. It was the same size as the others. 29 Its guardrooms, recessed walls, and entrance hall were the same size as the other gateways. The guardrooms and the entrance hall had windows all around. The gateway was 87½ feet long and 44 feet wide. 30 There were entrance halls all around the inner courtyard. They were all 44 feet long and 9 feet wide. 31 The entrance halls faced the outer courtyard. Pictures of palm trees were carved on the recessed walls, and eight steps led up to each gateway.

32 Then the man brought me to the east side of the inner courtyard. He measured the gateway. It was the same size as the others. 33 Its guardrooms, recessed walls, and entrance halls were the same size as those of the other gateways. Its guardrooms and entrance hall had windows all around. The gateway was 87½ feet long and 44 feet wide. 34 Its entrance hall faced the outer courtyard. Pictures of palm trees were carved on the recessed walls, and eight steps led up to the gateway.

35 Then the man brought me to the north gateway. He measured it. It was the same size as the others. 36 Its guardrooms, recessed walls, and entrance hall had windows all around. The gateway was 87½ feet long and 44 feet wide. 37 Its recessed walls faced the outer courtyard. Pictures of palm trees were carved on the recessed walls, and eight steps led up to the gateway.

Special Rooms

38 There was a room with a door that opened toward the entrance hall of the gateway. This is the room where the priests washed the animals for the burnt offerings. 39 In the entrance hall of the gateway there were two tables on each side of the room. On these tables the animals were slaughtered for burnt offerings, offerings for sin, and guilt offerings. 40 On each side of the entrance to the north gateway there were two tables, and on the other side of the entrance hall of the gateway there were two tables. 41 So there were four tables on each side of the gateway, eight tables in all, on which they slaughtered animals. 42 There were four tables made of cut stone for burnt offerings. They were 3 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 21 inches high. On these tables the priests laid the utensils that were used to slaughter animals for burnt offerings and sacrifices. 43 Double-pronged hooks, three inches long, were attached to the wall all around the room, and the tables were for the meat of the animals. 44 Outside the gateways to the inner courtyard were the rooms for the singers in the inner courtyards. One room was at the side of the north gateway. It faced south. The other room was at the side of the south gateway. It faced north. 45 The man said to me, “This room that faces south is for the priests who serve in the temple. 46 The room that faces north is for the priests who serve at the altar. These priests are Zadok’s descendants. They are the only Levites who are able to come near the Lord and serve him.” 47 The man measured the courtyard. It was a perfect square—175 feet long and 175 feet wide. And the altar was in front of the temple.

48 Then the man brought me to the entrance hall of the temple and measured its recessed walls. They were 9 feet on each side. The gateway was 24½ feet wide, and the walls on each side were 5 feet wide. 49 The entrance hall was 35 feet long and 21 feet wide. Steps led up to it. Pillars stood by the recessed walls, one on each side of the entrance hall.

The Holy Place in the Temple

41 Then the man brought me into the holy place in the temple and measured the recessed walls. They were 10½ feet wide on each side. The entrance was 17½ feet wide, and on each side of the entrance the walls were 9 feet wide. Then he measured the length of the holy place. It was 70 feet long and 35 feet wide.

Then the man went inside and measured the passageway. It was 3½ feet thick. The entrance was 10½ feet high and 12 feet wide. Then he measured the room at the end of the holy place. It was 35 feet long and 35 feet wide. The man said to me, “This is the most holy place.”

Next, the man measured the temple wall. It was 10½ feet wide. The width of each side room around the temple was 7 feet. The rooms were arranged on three different stories. There were 30 rooms on each story. These rooms had supports all the way around the temple wall, but these supports were not fastened to the temple wall. The side rooms grew wider all the way around as they went up, story after story. The surrounding structure went from story to story all around the temple. The structure grew wider as it went higher. A stairway went from the first story through the second story to the third story.

I also saw a raised base all around the temple. This base was the foundation for the side rooms. It measured the full length of the measuring rod, 10½ feet. The outer wall of the side rooms was 9 feet thick. There was an open area between the side rooms connected to the temple 10 and the priests’ rooms. It was 35 feet wide and went all around the temple. 11 The doors in the side rooms were entrances into the open area. There was one door to the north and another to the south. The base of the open area was 9 feet wide all the way around.

12 At the far end of the open area, on the west side of the temple, was a building 122½ feet wide. The wall of the building was 9 feet thick all the way around, and it was 157½ feet long.

13 Then the man measured the temple. It was 175 feet long. This included the open area with the building and its walls. All together it was 175 feet long. 14 The eastern side of the temple, including the open area, was also 175 feet wide. 15 He also measured the length of the building facing the courtyard on the west side along with its corridors on both sides. It was 175 feet long.

The holy place and the most holy place were paneled. 16 The doorposts, the small windows, and the corridors of all three stories were paneled. The walls, from the floor up to the windows, were paneled. 17 In the space above the door to the most holy place and on the walls all around it, 18 there were pictures of angels[a] and palm trees. Palm trees were positioned between each of the angels, and each angel had two faces: 19 the face of a man, which was turned toward a palm tree on one side, and the face of a lion, which was turned toward a palm tree on the other side. These pictures were carved all around the temple. 20 Pictures of angels and palm trees were carved on the walls from the floor to the space above the door.

21 The doorframes in the holy place were square. In front of the most holy place was something similar. 22 There was a wooden altar, 5 feet high and 3½ feet wide. Its corners, its base, and its sides were made of wood. Then the man told me, “This is the table that is in the presence of the Lord.”

23 The holy place and the most holy place had two doors. 24 Each of the doors were double doors that swung open. 25 Pictures of angels and palm trees were carved on the doors of the holy place as on the walls. There was a wooden roof hanging over the outer entrance hall. 26 There were small windows and palm trees on both sides of the entrance hall, on the side rooms of the temple, and on the roofs.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 41:18 Or “cherubim.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

James 4

Stop Fighting with Each Other

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Aren’t they caused by the selfish desires that fight to control you? You want what you don’t have, so you commit murder. You’re determined to have things, but you can’t get what you want. You quarrel and fight. You don’t have the things you want, because you don’t pray for them. When you pray for things, you don’t get them because you want them for the wrong reason—for your own pleasure.

You unfaithful people! Don’t you know that love for this evil world is hatred toward God? Whoever wants to be a friend of this world is an enemy of God. Do you think this passage means nothing? It says, “The Spirit that lives in us wants us to be his own.”

But God shows us even more kindness.[a] Scripture says,

“God opposes arrogant people,
    but he is kind to humble people.”

So place yourselves under God’s authority. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you. Come close to God, and he will come close to you. Clean up your lives, you sinners, and clear your minds, you doubters. Be miserable, mourn, and cry. Turn your laughter into mourning and your joy into gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the Lord’s presence. Then he will give you a high position.

Stop Slandering Each Other

11 Brothers and sisters, stop slandering each other. Those who slander and judge other believers slander and judge God’s laws. If you judge God’s teachings, you are no longer following them. Instead, you are judging them. 12 There is only one who creates laws and judges on the basis of them. He is able to save or destroy you. So who are you to judge your neighbor?

Don’t Brag about Your Plans for the Future

13 Pay attention to this! You’re saying, “Today or tomorrow we will go into some city, stay there a year, conduct business, and make money.” 14 You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears. 15 Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and carry out our plans.” 16 However, you brag because you’re arrogant. All such bragging is evil.

17 Whoever knows what is right but doesn’t do it is sinning.

Footnotes:

  1. James 4:6 Or “grace.”
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Psalm 118:19-29

19 Open the gates of righteousness for me.
    I will go through them and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord
    through which righteous people will enter.

21 I give thanks to you,
    because you have answered me.
        You are my savior.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
23 The Lord is responsible for this,
    and it is amazing for us to see.
24 This is the day the Lord has made.
    Let’s rejoice and be glad today!
25 We beg you, O Lord, save us!
    We beg you, O Lord, give us success!
26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
    We bless you from the Lord’s house.
27 The Lord is God, and he has given us light.
    March in a festival procession
        with branches to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I give thanks to you.
    My God, I honor you highly.

29 Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,
    because his mercy endures forever.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

Proverbs 28:3-5

A poor person who oppresses poorer people
    is like a driving rain that leaves no food.
Those who abandon God’s teachings praise wicked people,
    but those who follow God’s teachings oppose wicked people.
Evil people do not understand justice,
    but those who seek the Lord understand everything.

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

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