Daily reading for Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Today's audio is from the HCSB. Switch to the HCSB to read along with the audio.
Ezekiel 40:28-41:26; James 4:1-17; Psalms 118:19-29; Proverbs 28:3-5 (New Living Translation)
Gateways to the Inner Courtyard
28 Then the man took me to the south gateway leading into the inner courtyard. He measured it, and it had the same measurements as the other gateways. 29 Its guard alcoves, dividing walls, and entry room were the same size as those in the others. It also had windows along its walls and in the entry room. And like the others, the gateway passage was 87 1⁄2 feet long and 43 3⁄4 feet wide. 30 (The entry rooms of the gateways leading into the inner courtyard were 14 feet[a] across and 43 3⁄4 feet wide.) 31 The entry room to the south gateway faced into the outer courtyard. It had palm tree decorations on its columns, and there were eight steps leading to its entrance.
32 Then he took me to the east gateway leading to the inner courtyard. He measured it, and it had the same measurements as the other gateways. 33 Its guard alcoves, dividing walls, and entry room were the same size as those of the others, and there were windows along the walls and in the entry room. The gateway passage measured 87 1⁄2 feet long and 43 3⁄4 feet wide. 34 Its entry room faced into the outer courtyard. It had palm tree decorations on its columns, and there were eight steps leading to its entrance.
35 Then he took me around to the north gateway leading to the inner courtyard. He measured it, and it had the same measurements as the other gateways. 36 The guard alcoves, dividing walls, and entry room of this gateway had the same measurements as in the others and the same window arrangements. The gateway passage measured 87 1⁄2 feet long and 43 3⁄4 feet wide. 37 Its entry room faced into the outer courtyard, and it had palm tree decorations on the columns. There were eight steps leading to its entrance.
Rooms for Preparing Sacrifices
38 A door led from the entry room of one of the inner gateways into a side room, where the meat for sacrifices was washed. 39 On each side of this entry room were two tables, where the sacrificial animals were slaughtered for the burnt offerings, sin offerings, and guilt offerings. 40 Outside the entry room, on each side of the stairs going up to the north entrance, were two more tables. 41 So there were eight tables in all—four inside and four outside—where the sacrifices were cut up and prepared. 42 There were also four tables of finished stone for preparation of the burnt offerings, each 31 1⁄2 inches square and 21 inches high.[b] On these tables were placed the butchering knives and other implements for slaughtering the sacrificial animals. 43 There were hooks, each 3 inches[c] long, fastened to the foyer walls. The sacrificial meat was laid on the tables.
Rooms for the Priests
44 Inside the inner courtyard were two rooms,[d] one beside the north gateway, facing south, and the other beside the south[e] gateway, facing north. 45 And the man said to me, “The room beside the north inner gate is for the priests who supervise the Temple maintenance. 46 The room beside the south inner gate is for the priests in charge of the altar—the descendants of Zadok—for they alone of all the Levites may approach the Lord to minister to him.”
The Inner Courtyard and Temple
47 Then the man measured the inner courtyard, and it was a square, 175 feet wide and 175 feet across. The altar stood in the courtyard in front of the Temple. 48 Then he brought me to the entry room of the Temple. He measured the walls on either side of the opening to the entry room, and they were 8 3⁄4 feet thick. The entrance itself was 24 1⁄2 feet wide, and the walls on each side of the entrance were an additional 5 1⁄4 feet long.[f] 49 The entry room was 35 feet[g] wide and 21 feet[h] deep. There were ten steps leading up to it, with a column on each side.
41 After that, the man brought me into the sanctuary of the Temple. He measured the walls on either side of its doorway, and they were 10 1⁄2 feet[i] thick. 2 The doorway was 17 1⁄2 feet[j] wide, and the walls on each side of it were 8 3⁄4 feet[k] long. The sanctuary itself was 70 feet long and 35 feet wide.[l]
3 Then he went beyond the sanctuary into the inner room. He measured the walls on either side of its entrance, and they were 3 1⁄2 feet[m] thick. The entrance was 10 1⁄2 feet wide, and the walls on each side of the entrance were 12 1⁄4 feet[n] long. 4 The inner room of the sanctuary was 35 feet[o] long and 35 feet wide. “This,” he told me, “is the Most Holy Place.”
5 Then he measured the wall of the Temple, and it was 10 1⁄2 feet thick. There was a row of rooms along the outside wall; each room was 7 feet[p] wide. 6 These side rooms were built in three levels, one above the other, with thirty rooms on each level. The supports for these side rooms rested on exterior ledges on the Temple wall; they did not extend into the wall. 7 Each level was wider than the one below it, corresponding to the narrowing of the Temple wall as it rose higher. A stairway led up from the bottom level through the middle level to the top level.
8 I saw that the Temple was built on a terrace, which provided a foundation for the side rooms. This terrace was 10 1⁄2 feet[q] high. 9 The outer wall of the Temple’s side rooms was 8 3⁄4 feet thick. This left an open area between these side rooms 10 and the row of rooms along the outer wall of the inner courtyard. This open area was 35 feet wide, and it went all the way around the Temple. 11 Two doors opened from the side rooms into the terrace yard, which was 8 3⁄4 feet wide. One door faced north and the other south.
12 A large building stood on the west, facing the Temple courtyard. It was 122 1⁄2 feet wide and 157 1⁄2 feet long, and its walls were 8 3⁄4 feet[r] thick. 13 Then the man measured the Temple, and it was 175 feet[s] long. The courtyard around the building, including its walls, was an additional 175 feet in length. 14 The inner courtyard to the east of the Temple was also 175 feet wide. 15 The building to the west, including its two walls, was also 175 feet wide.
The sanctuary, the inner room, and the entry room of the Temple 16 were all paneled with wood, as were the frames of the recessed windows. The inner walls of the Temple were paneled with wood above and below the windows. 17 The space above the door leading into the inner room, and its walls inside and out, were also paneled. 18 All the walls were decorated with carvings of cherubim, each with two faces, and there was a carving of a palm tree between each of the cherubim. 19 One face—that of a man—looked toward the palm tree on one side. The other face—that of a young lion—looked toward the palm tree on the other side. The figures were carved all along the inside of the Temple, 20 from the floor to the top of the walls, including the outer wall of the sanctuary.
21 There were square columns at the entrance to the sanctuary, and the ones at the entrance of the Most Holy Place were similar. 22 There was an altar made of wood, 5 1⁄4 feet high and 3 1⁄2 feet across.[t] Its corners, base, and sides were all made of wood. “This,” the man told me, “is the table that stands in the Lord’s presence.”
23 Both the sanctuary and the Most Holy Place had double doorways, 24 each with two swinging doors. 25 The doors leading into the sanctuary were decorated with carved cherubim and palm trees, just as on the walls. And there was a wooden roof at the front of the entry room to the Temple. 26 On both sides of the entry room were recessed windows decorated with carved palm trees. The side rooms along the outside wall also had roofs.
- 40:30 As in 40:9, which reads 8 cubits [14 feet or 4.2 meters]; here the Hebrew reads 5 cubits [8 3⁄4 feet or 2.7 meters]. Some Hebrew manuscripts and the Greek version lack this entire verse.
- 40:42 Hebrew 1 1⁄2 cubits [80 centimeters] long and 1 1⁄2 cubits wide and 1 cubit [53 centimeters] high.
- 40:43 Hebrew a handbreadth [8 centimeters].
- 40:44a As in Greek version; Hebrew reads rooms for singers.
- 40:44b As in Greek version; Hebrew reads east.
- 40:48 As in Greek version, which reads The entrance was 14 cubits [7.4 meters] wide, and the walls of the entrance were 3 cubits [1.6 meters] on each side; Hebrew lacks 14 cubits wide, and the walls of the entrance were.
- 40:49a Hebrew 20 cubits [10.6 meters].
- 40:49b As in Greek version, which reads 12 cubits [21 feet or 6.4 meters]; Hebrew reads 11 cubits [19 1⁄4 feet or 5.8 meters].
- 41:1 Hebrew 6 cubits [3.2 meters]; also in 41:3, 5.
- 41:2a Hebrew 10 cubits [5.3 meters].
- 41:2b Hebrew 5 cubits [2.7 meters]; also in 41:9, 11.
- 41:2c Hebrew 40 cubits [21.2 meters] long and 20 cubits [10.6 meters] wide.
- 41:3a Hebrew 2 cubits [1.1 meters].
- 41:3b Hebrew 7 cubits [3.7 meters].
- 41:4 Hebrew 20 cubits [10.6 meters]; also in 41:4b, 10.
- 41:5 Hebrew 4 cubits [2.1 meters].
- 41:8 Hebrew 1 rod, 6 cubits [3.2 meters].
- 41:12 Hebrew 70 cubits [37.1 meters] wide and 90 cubits [47.7 meters] long, and its walls were 5 cubits [2.7 meters] thick.
- 41:13 Hebrew 100 cubits [53 meters]; also in 41:13b, 14, 15.
- 41:22 Hebrew 3 cubits [1.6 meters] high and 2 cubits [1.1 meters] across.
Drawing Close to God
4 What is causing the quarrels and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you? 2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.
4 You adulterers![a] Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. 5 What do you think the Scriptures mean when they say that the spirit God has placed within us is filled with envy?[b] 6 But he gives us even more grace to stand against such evil desires. As the Scriptures say,
“God opposes the proud
but favors the humble.”[c]
7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. 9 Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.
Warning against Judging Others
11 Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters.[d] If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you. 12 God alone, who gave the law, is the Judge. He alone has the power to save or to destroy. So what right do you have to judge your neighbor?
Warning about Self-Confidence
13 Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” 14 How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. 15 What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” 16 Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.
17 Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.
19 Open for me the gates where the righteous enter,
and I will go in and thank the Lord.
20 These gates lead to the presence of the Lord,
and the godly enter there.
21 I thank you for answering my prayer
and giving me victory!
22 The stone that the builders rejected
has now become the cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing,
and it is wonderful to see.
24 This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Please, Lord, please save us.
Please, Lord, please give us success.
26 Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God, shining upon us.
Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will praise you!
You are my God, and I will exalt you!
29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
3 A poor person who oppresses the poor
is like a pounding rain that destroys the crops.
4 To reject the law is to praise the wicked;
to obey the law is to fight them.
5 Evil people don’t understand justice,
but those who follow the Lord understand completely.