Bible 2015: 24 December Daily Bible Reading
Context and Comment:
John sees seven angels with seven plagues, symbolic of the last of the judgments. The seven bowls of wrath will be the last of the judgments.
Standing beside the sea of glass mixed with fire are those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, which are the 144,000 of chapter 14 singing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb, symbolic of a victory song.
6 Again I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, four chariots came out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. 2 In the first chariot were red horses; in the second chariot black horses; 3 in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot dappled horses, all of them powerful. 4 Then I asked the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”
5 The angel answered me, “These are the four winds of the sky, which go out from standing before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The one with the black horses goes out toward the north country; and the white went out after them; and the dappled went out toward the south country.” 7 The strong went out, and sought to go that they might walk back and forth through the earth: and he said, “Go around and through the earth!” So they walked back and forth through the earth.
8 Then he called to me, and spoke to me, saying, “Behold, those who go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.”
9 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 10 “Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah; and come the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, where they have come from Babylon. 11 Yes, take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest; 12 and speak to him, saying, ‘Yahweh of Armies says, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: and he shall grow up out of his place; and he shall build Yahweh’s temple; 13 even he shall build Yahweh’s temple; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on his throne; and he shall be a priest on his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. 14 The crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in Yahweh’s temple. 15 Those who are far off shall come and build in Yahweh’s temple; and you shall know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you. This will happen, if you will diligently obey Yahweh your God’s voice.”’”
7 In the fourth year of king Darius, Yahweh’s word came to Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Chislev. 2 The people of Bethel sent Sharezer and Regem Melech, and their men, to entreat Yahweh’s favor, 3 and to speak to the priests of the house of Yahweh of Armies, and to the prophets, saying, “Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?”
4 Then the word of Yahweh of Armies came to me, saying, 5 “Speak to all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and in the seventh month for these seventy years, did you at all fast to me, really to me? 6 When you eat, and when you drink, don’t you eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? 7 Aren’t these the words which Yahweh proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and its cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?’”
8 Yahweh’s word came to Zechariah, saying, 9 “Thus has Yahweh of Armies spoken, saying, ‘Execute true judgment, and show kindness and compassion every man to his brother. 10 Don’t oppress the widow, nor the fatherless, the foreigner, nor the poor; and let none of you devise evil against his brother in your heart.’ 11 But they refused to listen, and turned their backs, and stopped their ears, that they might not hear. 12 Yes, they made their hearts as hard as flint, lest they might hear the law, and the words which Yahweh of Armies had sent by his Spirit by the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from Yahweh of Armies. 13 It has come to pass that, as he called, and they refused to listen, so they will call, and I will not listen,” said Yahweh of Armies; 14 “but I will scatter them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they have not known. Thus the land was desolate after them, so that no man passed through nor returned: for they made the pleasant land desolate.”
15 I saw another great and marvelous sign in the sky: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them God’s wrath is finished. 2 I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who overcame the beast, his image, and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. 3 They sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God, the Almighty!
Righteous and true are your ways, you King of the nations.
4 Who wouldn’t fear you, Lord,
and glorify your name?
For you only are holy.
For all the nations will come and worship before you.
For your righteous acts have been revealed.”
5 After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. 6 The seven angels who had the seven plagues came out, clothed with pure, bright linen, and wearing golden sashes around their breasts.
7 One of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. 8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power. No one was able to enter into the temple, until the seven plagues of the seven angels would be finished.
143 Hear my prayer, Yahweh.
Listen to my petitions.
In your faithfulness and righteousness, relieve me.
2 Don’t enter into judgment with your servant,
for in your sight no man living is righteous.
3 For the enemy pursues my soul.
He has struck my life down to the ground.
He has made me live in dark places, as those who have been long dead.
4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me.
My heart within me is desolate.
5 I remember the days of old.
I meditate on all your doings.
I contemplate the work of your hands.
6 I spread out my hands to you.
My soul thirsts for you, like a parched land.
7 Hurry to answer me, Yahweh.
My spirit fails.
Don’t hide your face from me,
so that I don’t become like those who go down into the pit.
8 Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning,
for I trust in you.
Cause me to know the way in which I should walk,
for I lift up my soul to you.
9 Deliver me, Yahweh, from my enemies.
I flee to you to hide me.
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
Your Spirit is good.
Lead me in the land of uprightness.
11 Revive me, Yahweh, for your name’s sake.
In your righteousness, bring my soul out of trouble.
12 In your loving kindness, cut off my enemies,
and destroy all those who afflict my soul,
For I am your servant.
24 “There are four things which are little on the earth,
but they are exceedingly wise:
25 the ants are not a strong people,
yet they provide their food in the summer.
26 The conies are but a feeble folk,
yet make they their houses in the rocks.
27 The locusts have no king,
yet they advance in ranks.
28 You can catch a lizard with your hands,
yet it is in kings’ palaces.