Daily reading for Sunday, November 24, 2013
Today's audio is from the GW. Switch to the GW to read along with the audio.
Ezekiel 47:1-48:35; 1 Peter 2:11-3:7; Psalms 119:49-64; Proverbs 28:12-13 (New Living Translation)
The River of Healing
47 In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side. 2 The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the water flowing out through the south side of the east gateway.
3 Measuring as he went, he took me along the stream for 1,750 feet[a] and then led me across. The water was up to my ankles. 4 He measured off another 1,750 feet and led me across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist. 5 Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to walk across. It was deep enough to swim in, but too deep to walk through.
6 He asked me, “Have you been watching, son of man?” Then he led me back along the riverbank. 7 When I returned, I was surprised by the sight of many trees growing on both sides of the river. 8 Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea.[b] The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure. 9 There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shores of the Dead Sea. All the way from En-gedi to En-eglaim, the shores will be covered with nets drying in the sun. Fish of every kind will fill the Dead Sea, just as they fill the Mediterranean.[c] 11 But the marshes and swamps will not be purified; they will still be salty. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.”
Boundaries for the Land
13 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Divide the land in this way for the twelve tribes of Israel: The descendants of Joseph will be given two shares of land.[d] 14 Otherwise each tribe will receive an equal share. I took a solemn oath and swore that I would give this land to your ancestors, and it will now come to you as your possession.
15 “These are the boundaries of the land: The northern border will run from the Mediterranean toward Hethlon, then on through Lebo-hamath to Zedad; 16 then it will run to Berothah and Sibraim, which are on the border between Damascus and Hamath, and finally to Hazer-hatticon, on the border of Hauran. 17 So the northern border will run from the Mediterranean to Hazar-enan, on the border between Hamath to the north and Damascus to the south.
18 “The eastern border starts at a point between Hauran and Damascus and runs south along the Jordan River between Israel and Gilead, past the Dead Sea[e] and as far south as Tamar.[f] This will be the eastern border.
19 “The southern border will go west from Tamar to the waters of Meribah at Kadesh[g] and then follow the course of the Brook of Egypt to the Mediterranean. This will be the southern border.
20 “On the west side, the Mediterranean itself will be your border from the southern border to the point where the northern border begins, opposite Lebo-hamath.
21 “Divide the land within these boundaries among the tribes of Israel. 22 Distribute the land as an allotment for yourselves and for the foreigners who have joined you and are raising their families among you. They will be like native-born Israelites to you and will receive an allotment among the tribes. 23 These foreigners are to be given land within the territory of the tribe with whom they now live. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!
Division of the Land
48 “Here is the list of the tribes of Israel and the territory each is to receive. The territory of Dan is in the extreme north. Its boundary line follows the Hethlon road to Lebo-hamath and then runs on to Hazar-enan on the border of Damascus, with Hamath to the north. Dan’s territory extends all the way across the land of Israel from east to west.
2 “Asher’s territory lies south of Dan’s and also extends from east to west. 3 Naphtali’s land lies south of Asher’s, also extending from east to west. 4 Then comes Manasseh south of Naphtali, and its territory also extends from east to west. 5 South of Manasseh is Ephraim, 6 and then Reuben, 7 and then Judah, all of whose boundaries extend from east to west.
8 “South of Judah is the land set aside for a special purpose. It will be 8 1⁄3 miles[h] wide and will extend as far east and west as the tribal territories, with the Temple at the center.
9 “The area set aside for the Lord’s Temple will be 8 1⁄3 miles long and 6 2⁄3 miles wide.[i] 10 For the priests there will be a strip of land measuring 8 1⁄3 miles long by 3 1⁄3 miles wide,[j] with the Lord’s Temple at the center. 11 This area is set aside for the ordained priests, the descendants of Zadok who served me faithfully and did not go astray with the people of Israel and the rest of the Levites. 12 It will be their special portion when the land is distributed, the most sacred land of all. Next to the priests’ territory will lie the land where the other Levites will live.
13 “The land allotted to the Levites will be the same size and shape as that belonging to the priests—8 1⁄3 miles long and 3 1⁄3 miles wide. Together these portions of land will measure 8 1⁄3 miles long by 6 2⁄3 miles wide.[k] 14 None of this special land may ever be sold or traded or used by others, for it belongs to the Lord; it is set apart as holy.
15 “An additional strip of land 8 1⁄3 miles long by 1 2⁄3 miles wide,[l] south of the sacred Temple area, will be allotted for public use—homes, pasturelands, and common lands, with a city at the center. 16 The city will measure 1 1⁄2 miles[m] on each side—north, south, east, and west. 17 Open lands will surround the city for 150 yards[n] in every direction. 18 Outside the city there will be a farming area that stretches 3 1⁄3 miles to the east and 3 1⁄3 miles to the west[o] along the border of the sacred area. This farmland will produce food for the people working in the city. 19 Those who come from the various tribes to work in the city may farm it. 20 This entire area—including the sacred lands and the city—is a square that measures 8 1⁄3 miles[p] on each side.
21 “The areas that remain, to the east and to the west of the sacred lands and the city, will belong to the prince. Each of these areas will be 8 1⁄3 miles wide, extending in opposite directions to the eastern and western borders of Israel, with the sacred lands and the sanctuary of the Temple in the center. 22 So the prince’s land will include everything between the territories allotted to Judah and Benjamin, except for the areas set aside for the sacred lands and the city.
23 “These are the territories allotted to the rest of the tribes. Benjamin’s territory lies just south of the prince’s lands, and it extends across the entire land of Israel from east to west. 24 South of Benjamin’s territory lies that of Simeon, also extending across the land from east to west. 25 Next is the territory of Issachar with the same eastern and western boundaries.
26 “Then comes the territory of Zebulun, which also extends across the land from east to west. 27 The territory of Gad is just south of Zebulun with the same borders to the east and west. 28 The southern border of Gad runs from Tamar to the waters of Meribah at Kadesh[q] and then follows the Brook of Egypt to the Mediterranean.[r]
29 “These are the allotments that will be set aside for each tribe’s exclusive possession. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!
The Gates of the City
30 “These will be the exits to the city: On the north wall, which is 1 1⁄2 miles long, 31 there will be three gates, each one named after a tribe of Israel. The first will be named for Reuben, the second for Judah, and the third for Levi. 32 On the east wall, also 1 1⁄2 miles long, the gates will be named for Joseph, Benjamin, and Dan. 33 The south wall, also 1 1⁄2 miles long, will have gates named for Simeon, Issachar, and Zebulun. 34 And on the west wall, also 1 1⁄2 miles long, the gates will be named for Gad, Asher, and Naphtali.
- 47:3 Hebrew 1,000 cubits [530 meters]; also in 47:4, 5.
- 47:8 Hebrew the sea.
- 47:10 Hebrew the great sea; also in 47:15, 17, 19, 20.
- 47:13 It was important to retain twelve portions of land. Since Levi had no portion, the descendants of Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, received land as two tribes.
- 47:18a Hebrew the eastern sea.
- 47:18b As in Greek version; Hebrew reads you will measure.
- 47:19 Hebrew waters of Meribath-kadesh.
- 48:8 Hebrew 25,000 cubits [13.3 kilometers].
- 48:9 As in one Greek manuscript and the Greek reading in 45:1: 25,000 cubits [13.3 kilometers] long and 20,000 cubits [10.6 kilometers] wide; Hebrew reads 25,000 cubits long and 10,000 cubits [3 1⁄3 miles or 5.3 kilometers] wide. Similarly in 48:13b. Compare 45:1-5; 48:10-13.
- 48:10 Hebrew 25,000 cubits [13.3 kilometers] long by 10,000 cubits [5.3 kilometers] wide; also in 48:13a.
- 48:13 See note on 48:9.
- 48:15 Hebrew 25,000 cubits [13.3 kilometers] long by 5,000 cubits [2.65 kilometers] wide.
- 48:16 Hebrew 4,500 cubits [2.4 kilometers]; also in 48:30, 32, 33, 34.
- 48:17 Hebrew 250 cubits [133 meters].
- 48:18 Hebrew 10,000 cubits [5.3 kilometers] to the east and 10,000 cubits to the west.
- 48:20 Hebrew 25,000 cubits [13.3 kilometers]; also in 48:21.
- 48:28a Hebrew waters of Meribath-kadesh.
- 48:28b Hebrew the great sea.
- 48:35a Hebrew 18,000 cubits [9.6 kilometers].
- 48:35b Hebrew Yahweh Shammah.
1 Peter 2:11-3:7
11 Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. 12 Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.[a]
Respecting People in Authority
13 For the Lord’s sake, respect all human authority—whether the king as head of state, 14 or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.
15 It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you. 16 For you are free, yet you are God’s slaves, so don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do evil. 17 Respect everyone, and love your Christian brothers and sisters.[b] Fear God, and respect the king.
18 You who are slaves must accept the authority of your masters with all respect.[c] Do what they tell you—not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are cruel. 19 For God is pleased with you when you do what you know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment. 20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered[d] for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.
22 He never sinned,
nor ever deceived anyone.[e]
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
24 He personally carried our sins
in his body on the cross
so that we can be dead to sin
and live for what is right.
By his wounds
you are healed.
25 Once you were like sheep
who wandered away.
But now you have turned to your Shepherd,
the Guardian of your souls.
3 In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. Then, even if some refuse to obey the Good News, your godly lives will speak to them without any words. They will be won over 2 by observing your pure and reverent lives.
3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. 4 You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. 5 This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands. 6 For instance, Sarah obeyed her husband, Abraham, and called him her master. You are her daughters when you do what is right without fear of what your husbands might do.
7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.
49 Remember your promise to me;
it is my only hope.
50 Your promise revives me;
it comforts me in all my troubles.
51 The proud hold me in utter contempt,
but I do not turn away from your instructions.
52 I meditate on your age-old regulations;
O Lord, they comfort me.
53 I become furious with the wicked,
because they reject your instructions.
54 Your decrees have been the theme of my songs
wherever I have lived.
55 I reflect at night on who you are, O Lord;
therefore, I obey your instructions.
56 This is how I spend my life:
obeying your commandments.
57 Lord, you are mine!
I promise to obey your words!
58 With all my heart I want your blessings.
Be merciful as you promised.
59 I pondered the direction of my life,
and I turned to follow your laws.
60 I will hurry, without delay,
to obey your commands.
61 Evil people try to drag me into sin,
but I am firmly anchored to your instructions.
62 I rise at midnight to thank you
for your just regulations.
63 I am a friend to anyone who fears you—
anyone who obeys your commandments.
64 O Lord, your unfailing love fills the earth;
teach me your decrees.
12 When the godly succeed, everyone is glad.
When the wicked take charge, people go into hiding.
13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper,
but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.