Daily reading for Thursday, November 21, 2013

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Ezekiel 42:1-43:27; James 5:1-20; Psalms 119:1-16; Proverbs 28:6-7 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Ezekiel 42-43

42 Then he led me into the outer courtyard — the route went north — and brought me to the [block of] rooms opposite the separated yard and opposite the building to the north. The length of the front was 175 feet on the north side, where the door was; the width was eighty-seven-and-a-half feet. It was located between the inner courtyard, which was thirty-five feet wide, and the flooring of the outer courtyard. It had galleries, one above the other, on three floors. In front of the [block of] rooms was a walkway seventeen-and-a-half feet wide and a path twenty-one inches [wide]; their doors faced north.

The upper rooms were shorter, because the galleries took up some of their space, more than from the [rooms on the] lower and middle [floors] of the building. For the rooms were on three floors, and they didn’t have columns like those in the courtyards; therefore space was taken away from the [rooms on the] lower and middle [floors], in comparison with the ground. The length of the wall outside, next to the rooms, toward the outer courtyard in front of the rooms, was eighty-seven-and-a-half feet. For the length of the rooms toward the outer courtyard was eighty-seven-and-a-half feet, whereas [the length of] the side facing the sanctuary was 175 feet. Under these rooms was the entrance to the east side, leading in from the outer courtyard.

10 In the width of the courtyard wall on the east, facing the separated yard and facing the building, there were rooms, 11 with a passageway in front of them, similar to the rooms on the north. They were the same length and width and had similarly made exits and entrances.

12 By the entrances of the rooms on the south there was an entrance at the end of the passage, the passageway right in front of the wall, toward the eastern entrances.

13 Then he said to me, “The north and south [blocks of] rooms in front of the separated yard are the holy rooms where the cohanim who approach Adonai will eat the especially holy things. This is where they will put the especially holy things — the grain offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings; for the place is holy. 14 When the cohanim come, they will not go out of the [Especially] Holy Place into the outer courtyard; rather, they will leave [in these rooms] the clothes they use when ministering, because they are holy. They will put on other clothes and only then approach the areas permitted to the people.”

15 After he had finished measuring the inner house, he brought me out by way of the gate facing east and measured the whole area. 16 He measured the east side with the measuring rod; it was 875 feet by the measuring rod. 17 He measured the north side; it was 875 feet by the measuring rod. 18 He measured the south side; it was 875 feet by the measuring rod. 19 He turned to the west side and measured 875 feet with the measuring rod. 20 He measured its four sides; it had a wall around it; and it was 875 [feet] long and 875 [feet] wide. Thus a division was made between what was holy and what was common.

43 After this, he brought me to the gate facing east. There I saw the glory of the God of Isra’el approaching from the east. His voice was like the sound of rushing water, and the earth shone with his glory. The vision seemed like the vision I had seen when I came to destroy the city; also the visions were like the vision I had seen by the K’var River; and I fell on my face. Adonai’s glory entered the house through the gate facing east.

Next, a spirit took me up and brought me into the inner courtyard, and I saw Adonai’s glory fill the house. I heard someone speaking to me from the house, and a man was standing by me. He said, “Human being, this is the place for my throne, the place for the soles of my feet, where I will live among the people of Isra’el forever. The house of Isra’el, both they and their kings, will never again defile my holy name by their prostitution, by [burying] the corpses of their kings [on] their high places, or by placing their threshold next to my threshold and their door-frames next to my door-frames, with only a common wall between me and them. Yes, they defiled my holy name by the disgusting practices they committed; which is why I destroyed them in my anger. So now, they should put their prostitution at a distance and the corpses of their kings far away from me; then I will live among them forever.

10 “You, human being, describe this house to the house of Isra’el, so that they will be ashamed of their crimes. And let them measure accurately. 11 If they become ashamed of all they have done, show them the elevation and plan of the house, its exits and entrances, all its details and decorations, and all its specifications, its design and its Torah. Sketch it for them to see, so that they can observe the entire design with its specifications, and carry them out. 12 This is Torah for the house: the whole surrounding area on the mountaintop will be especially holy. This is Torah for the house.”

13 These are the measurements of the altar in cubits (a cubit here is defined as a normal cubit [eighteen inches] plus a handbreadth [three inches]): the base, one cubit [twenty-one inches] deep and one cubit wide; with the molding surrounding it at its rim about a hand-span [nine inches] in width. The height of the altar is thus: 14 from the base on the ground to the lower ledge, three-and-a-half feet, with the width twenty-one inches; from the lower ledge to the upper ledge, seven feet, with the width again twenty-one inches. 15 The hearth measures seven feet [high], with four horns on top of the hearth. 16 The hearth is a square twenty-one feet on each of its four sides. 17 The ledge measures a square twenty-four-and-a-half feet on each of its four sides; the molding around it ten-and-a-half inches [across]; and its base twenty-one inches [larger than the rest, all the way] around. Its steps face east.

18 He said to me, “Human being, Adonai Elohim says, ‘These are the regulations for the altar when the time comes to construct it, offer burnt offerings on it and splash the blood against it: 19 you are to give to the cohanim, who are L’vi’im descended from Tzadok and who approach to serve me,’ says Adonai Elohim, ‘a young bull as a sin offering. 20 You are to take its blood and put it on the four horns of the altar, on the four corners of the ledge and on the molding all the way around; this is how you will purify it and make atonement for it. 21 You are also to take the bull which is the sin offering and have it burned up at the designated place [on the grounds] of the house, outside the sanctuary. 22 On the second day you are to offer a male goat without defect as a sin offering, and they are to purify the altar as they purified it with the bull. 23 When you have finished purifying it, you are to offer a young bull without defect and a ram from the flock without defect. 24 You are to present them before Adonai, and the cohanim will throw salt on them and offer them as a burnt offering to Adonai. 25 Every day, for seven days, you are to prepare a goat as a sin offering; they are also to prepare a young bull and a ram from the flock without defect. 26 For seven days, they are to make atonement for the altar and cleanse it; in this way they are to consecrate it. 27 When these days are over, then, on the eighth day and afterwards, the cohanim will present your burnt offerings on the altar and your peace offerings; and I will accept you,’ says Adonai Elohim.”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

James 5

Next, a word for the rich: weep and wail over the hardships coming upon you! Your riches have rotted, and your clothes have become moth-eaten; your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat up your flesh like fire! This is the acharit-hayamim, and you have been storing up wealth! Listen! The wages you have fraudulently withheld from the workers who mowed your fields are calling out against you, and the outcries of those who harvested have reached the ears of Adonai-Tzva’ot. You have led a life of luxury and self-indulgence here on earth — in a time of slaughter, you have gone on eating to your heart’s content. You have condemned, you have murdered the innocent; they have not withstood you.

So, brothers, be patient until the Lord returns. See how the farmer waits for the precious “fruit of the earth” — he is patient over it until it receives the fall and spring rains.[a] You too, be patient; keep up your courage; for the Lord’s return is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers, so that you won’t come under condemnation — look! the Judge is standing at the door! 10 As an example of suffering mistreatment and being patient, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of Adonai. 11 Look, we regard those who persevered as blessed. You have heard of the perseverance of Iyov, and you know what the purpose of Adonai was, that Adonai is very compassionate and merciful.[b]

12 Above all, brothers, stop swearing oaths — not “By heaven,” not “By the earth,” and not by any other formula; rather, let your “Yes” be simply “Yes” and your “No” simply “No,” so that you won’t fall under condemnation.

13 Is someone among you in trouble? He should pray. Is someone feeling good? He should sing songs of praise.

14 Is someone among you ill? He should call for the elders of the congregation. They will pray for him and rub olive oil on him in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer offered with trust will heal the one who is ill — the Lord will restore his health; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, openly acknowledge your sins to one another, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. 17 Eliyahu was only a human being like us; yet he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and no rain fell on the Land for three years and six months. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the Land produced its crops.

19 My brothers, if one of you wanders from the truth, and someone causes him to return, 20 you should know that whoever turns a sinner from his wandering path will save him from death and cover many sins.[c]

Footnotes:

  1. James 5:7 Deuteronomy 11:14; Jeremiah 5:24; Joel 2:23
  2. James 5:11 Exodus 34:6; Psalms 103:8; 111:4
  3. James 5:20 Proverbs 10:12
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Psalm 119:1-16

א (Alef)

119 How happy are those whose way of life is blameless,
who live by the Torah of Adonai!
How happy are those who observe his instruction,
who seek him wholeheartedly!
They do nothing wrong
but live by his ways.
You laid down your precepts
for us to observe with care.
May my ways be steady
in observing your laws.
Then I will not be put to shame,
since I will have fixed my sight on all your mitzvot.
I thank you with a sincere heart
as I learn your righteous rulings.
I will observe your laws;
don’t completely abandon me!

ב (Bet)

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
don’t let me stray from your mitzvot.
11 I treasure your word in my heart,
so that I won’t sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, Adonai!
Teach me your laws.
13 I proclaim with my mouth
all the rulings you have spoken.
14 I rejoice in the way of your instruction
more than in any kind of wealth.
15 I will meditate on your precepts
and keep my eyes on your ways.
16 I will find my delight in your regulations.
I will not forget your word.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Proverbs 28:6-7

Better to be poor and live an honest life
    than be crooked in one’s ways, though rich.

A wise son observes Torah,
    but a friend of those lacking restraint shames his father.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

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