Daily reading for Thursday, November 28, 2013

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Daniel 5:1-31; 2 Peter 2:1-22; Psalms 119:113-128; Proverbs 28:19-20 (Complete Jewish Bible)

Daniel 5

Belshatzar the king gave a great banquet for a thousand of his lords, and in the presence of the thousand he was drinking wine. While tasting the wine, Belshatzar ordered that the gold and silver vessels which his father N’vukhadnetzar had removed from the temple in Yerushalayim be brought; so that the king, his lords, his wives and his concubines could drink from them. So they brought the gold vessels which had been removed from the sanctuary of the house of God in Yerushalayim; and the king, his lords, his wives and his concubines drank from them. They drank their wine and praised their gods made of gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone.

Suddenly, the fingers of a human hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the palace wall by the lampstand. When the king saw the palm of the hand that was writing, the king’s face took on a different look. As frightening thoughts rose up within him, his hip joints gave way and his knees started knocking together. The king cried out to bring in the exorcists, astrologers and diviners. The king said to the sages of Bavel, “Whoever can read this inscription and tell me what it means will be dressed in royal purple, wear a gold chain around his neck and be one of the three men ruling the kingdom.” But although all the king’s sages came in, none could read the inscription or tell the king what it meant. Then King Belshatzar became terrified; his face turned pale, and his lords were thrown into confusion.

10 At this point the queen mother, because of what the king and his lords were saying, entered the banquet hall. The queen mother said, “May the king live forever! Don’t be scared by your thoughts or let your face be so pale. 11 There is a man in your kingdom in whom is the spirit of the holy gods. In the days of your father, he was found to have light, discernment and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods. King N’vukhadnetzar your father — the king, your father — made him chief of the magicians, exorcists, astrologers and diviners; 12 because he was found to have an extraordinary spirit, knowledge, discernment, and the ability to interpret dreams, unlock mysteries and solve knotty problems. He is called Dani’el, but the king gave him the name Belt’shatzar. Now have Dani’el summoned, and he will tell you what this means.”

13 Dani’el was brought into the king’s presence. The king said to Dani’el, “Are you Dani’el, one of the exiles from Y’hudah whom the king my father brought out of Y’hudah? 14 I’ve heard about you that the spirit of the gods is in you, and that you have been found to have light, discernment and extraordinary wisdom. 15 Now the sages, the exorcists, were brought in to me so that they could read this inscription and tell me what it means, but they couldn’t interpret it for me. 16 However, I’ve heard that you can give interpretations and solve knotty problems. Now if you can read the inscription and tell me what it means, you will be dressed in royal purple, wear a gold chain around your neck and be one of the three men ruling the kingdom.”

17 Dani’el answered the king, “Keep your gifts, and give your rewards to someone else. However, I will read the inscription to the king and tell him what it means. 18 Your majesty, the Most High God gave N’vukhadnetzar your father the kingdom, as well as greatness, glory and majesty. 19 Because of the greatness he gave him, all the peoples, nations and languages trembled with fear before him. Anyone he wanted to, he put to death; anyone he wanted to, he kept alive; anyone he wanted to, he advanced; and anyone he wanted to, he humbled. 20 But when he grew proud and his spirit became hard, he began treating people arrogantly, so he was deposed from his royal throne, and his glory was taken away from him. 21 He was driven from human society, his heart was made like that of an animal, he lived with the wild donkeys, he was fed with grass like an ox, and his body was drenched with dew from the sky; until he learned that the Most High God rules in the human kingdom and sets up over it whomever he pleases. 22 But, Belshatzar, you, his son, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this. 23 Instead, you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven by having them bring you the vessels from his house; and you and your lords, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them; then you offered praise to your gods of silver, gold, bronze, iron, wood and stone, which can’t see, hear or know anything. Meanwhile, God, who holds your very breath in his hands, and to whom belongs everything you do, you have not glorified. 24 This is why he sent the hand to write this inscription; 25 and the inscription says, ‘M’ne! M’ne! T’kel ufarsin.’ [a] 26 This is what it means: ‘M’ne!’ — God has counted up your kingdom and brought it to an end. 27 T’kel’ — you are weighed on the balance-scale and come up short. 28 P’res’ — your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

29 Then Belshatzar gave the order; and they clothed Dani’el in royal purple, put a gold chain around his neck and proclaimed of him that he was to be one of the three men ruling the kingdom.

30 That very night Belshatzar, the king of the Kasdim, was killed.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 5:25 M’ne — a maneh was a coin; Aramaic mena means “to count.” T’kel is Aramaic for shekel, a unit of weight; Aramaic tekilta means “you are weighed.” P’res (an Aramaic noun, plural parsin), is half a maneh; p’ris means “cut up, divided”; Paras is Persia. (The “f” in ufarsin is the Aramaic letter peh, sometimes pronounced “p” and sometimes, “f.”)
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

2 Peter 2

But among the people there were also false prophets, just as there will be false teachers among you. Under false pretenses they will introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and thus bring on themselves swift destruction. Many will follow their debaucheries; and because of them, the true Way will be maligned. In their greed they will exploit you with fabricated stories.

Their punishment, decreed long ago, is not idle; their destruction is not asleep! For God did not spare the angels who sinned; on the contrary, he put them in gloomy dungeons lower than Sh’ol to be held for judgment. And he did not spare the ancient world; on the contrary, he preserved Noach, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, and brought the Flood upon a world of ungodly people. And he condemned the cities of S’dom and ‘Amora, reducing them to ashes and ruin, as a warning to those in the future who would live ungodly lives; but he rescued Lot, a righteous man who was distressed by the debauchery of those unprincipled people; for the wicked deeds which that righteous man saw and heard, as he lived among them, tormented his righteous heart day after day. So the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and how to hold the wicked until the Day of Judgment while continuing to punish them, 10 especially those who follow their old natures in lust for filth and who despise authority.

Presumptuous and self-willed, these false teachers do not tremble at insulting angelic beings; 11 whereas angels, though stronger and more powerful, do not bring before the Lord an insulting charge against them. 12 But these people, acting without thinking, like animals without reason, born to be captured and destroyed, insult things about which they have no knowledge. When they are destroyed, their destruction will be total — 13 they will be paid back harm as wages for the harm they are doing.

Their idea of pleasure is carousing in broad daylight; they are spots and defects reveling in their deceptions as they share meals with you — 14 for they have eyes always on the lookout for a woman who will commit adultery, eyes that never stop sinning; and they have a heart that has exercised itself in greed; so that they seduce unstable people. What a cursed brood!

15 These people have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Bil‘am Ben-B‘or, who loved the wages of doing harm 16 but was rebuked for his sin — a dumb beast of burden spoke out with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s insanity! 17 Waterless springs they are, mists driven by a gust of wind; for them has been reserved the blackest darkness. 18 Mouthing grandiosities of nothingness, they play on the desires of the old nature, in order to seduce with debaucheries people who have just begun to escape from those whose way of life is wrong.

19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption; for a person is slave to whatever has defeated him. 20 Indeed, if they have once escaped the pollutions of the world through knowing our Lord and Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah, and then have again become entangled and defeated by them, their latter condition has become worse than their former. 21 It would have been better for them not to have known the Way of righteousness than, fully knowing, to turn from the holy command delivered to them. 22 What has happened to them accords with the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit.”[a] Yes, “The pig washed itself, only to wallow in the mud!”

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Peter 2:22 Proverbs 26:11
Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Psalm 119:113-128

ס (Samekh)

113 I hate doubleminded people,
but I love your Torah.
114 You are my hiding-place and shield;
I put my hope in your word.
115 Leave me alone, you evildoers,
so that I can keep my God’s mitzvot.
116 Uphold me, as you promised; and I will live;
don’t disappoint me in my hope.
117 Support me; and I will be saved,
always putting my attention on your laws.
118 You reject all who stray from your laws,
for what they deceive themselves with is false.
119 You discard the wicked of the earth like slag;
this is why I love your instruction.
120 My body trembles for fear of you;
your rulings make me afraid.

ע (‘Ayin)

121 I have done what is just and right;
don’t abandon me to my oppressors.
122 Guarantee your servant’s well-being;
don’t let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes fail from watching for your salvation
and for [the fulfillment of] your righteous promise.
124 Deal with your servant in accordance with your grace,
and teach me your laws.
125 I am your servant; give me understanding,
so that I can know your instruction.
126 The time has come for Adonai to act,
because they are breaking your Torah.
127 Therefore I love your mitzvot
more than gold, more than fine gold.
128 Thus I direct my steps by [your] precepts;
every false way I hate.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

Proverbs 28:19-20

19 He who farms his land will have plenty of food,
    but he who follows futilities will have plenty of poverty.
20 A trustworthy person will receive many blessings,
    but one rushing to get rich will not go unpunished.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

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

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