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Bible 2016: 14 December Daily Bible Reading

Context and Comment:

The scroll has seven seals, symbolic of being perfectly and completely sealed. As each seal is broken, an event happens on the earth — this is a good illustration of the fact that Revelation is communicating using symbols to describe spiritual things and events which have consequences for the temporal world.

The scroll has writing on both sides, symbolic of a complete message. Note that in the vision at Ezekiel 2:9-10, Ezekiel is given a scroll that has writing on both sides.

The scroll in Daniel 12 appears to be the same scroll pictured here. Daniel was told that the words of the book were sealed until the time of the end. There was a man clothed in linen above the waters of the stream. The man raised his right hand and left hand toward Heaven and made an oath that it would be a time, times, and half a time when “all these things would be finished.” The image is repeated in Revelation 10:5-7, except the angel gives an oath that there will no longer be a delay when all these things would be fulfilled. The information in Revelation 10 comes after the seventh seal is opened on the scroll. The seventh seal reveals seven trumpets that are about to sound. The angel in Revelation 10:7 says that when the seventh trumpet from the seventh seal sounds, all of these things are accomplished concerning the mystery of God. The mystery of God, that is, the things previously sealed by God, would now be revealed and fulfilled.

The Lamb is symbolic of Jesus. The Lamb has seven horns, symbolic of perfection. The horn is symbolic of power and strength, like an animal that has horns on its head shows power (Daniel 7:7,20). Jesus is the Lamb that was slain, but he is seen with perfect power and strength.

Jonah 1-4
1 Now Yahweh’s word came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach against it, for their wickedness has come up before me.”
3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from the presence of Yahweh. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid its fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of Yahweh. 4 But Yahweh sent out a great wind on the sea, and there was a mighty storm on the sea, so that the ship was likely to break up. 5 Then the mariners were afraid, and every man cried to his god. They threw the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten the ship. But Jonah had gone down into the innermost parts of the ship, and he was laying down, and was fast asleep. 6 So the ship master came to him, and said to him, “What do you mean, sleeper? Arise, call on your God! Maybe your God will notice us, so that we won’t perish.”
7 They all said to each other, “Come, let us cast lots, that we may know who is responsible for this evil that is on us.” So they cast lots, and the lot fell on Jonah. 8 Then they asked him, “Tell us, please, for whose cause this evil is on us. What is your occupation? Where do you come from? What is your country? Of what people are you?”
9 He said to them, “I am a Hebrew, and I fear Yahweh, the God of heaven, who has made the sea and the dry land.”
10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said to him, “What is this that you have done?” For the men knew that he was fleeing from the presence of Yahweh, because he had told them. 11 Then they said to him, “What shall we do to you, that the sea may be calm to us?” For the sea grew more and more stormy. 12 He said to them, “Take me up, and throw me into the sea. Then the sea will be calm for you; for I know that because of me this great storm is on you.”
13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to get them back to the land; but they could not, for the sea grew more and more stormy against them. 14 Therefore they cried to Yahweh, and said, “We beg you, Yahweh, we beg you, don’t let us die for this man’s life, and don’t lay on us innocent blood; for you, Yahweh, have done as it pleased you.” 15 So they took up Jonah, and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased its raging. 16 Then the men feared Yahweh exceedingly; and they offered a sacrifice to Yahweh, and made vows.
17 Yahweh prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
2 Then Jonah prayed to Yahweh, his God, out of the fish’s belly. 2 He said,
“I called because of my affliction to Yahweh.
He answered me.
Out of the belly of Sheol I cried.
You heard my voice.
3 For you threw me into the depths,
in the heart of the seas.
The flood was all around me.
All your waves and your billows passed over me.
4 I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight;
yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’
5 The waters surrounded me,
even to the soul.
The deep was around me.
The weeds were wrapped around my head.
6 I went down to the bottoms of the mountains.
The earth barred me in forever:
yet have you brought up my life from the pit, Yahweh my God.
7 “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered Yahweh.
My prayer came in to you, into your holy temple.
8 Those who regard lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
9 But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving.
I will pay that which I have vowed.
Salvation belongs to Yahweh.”
10 Yahweh spoke to the fish, and it vomited out Jonah on the dry land.
3 Yahweh’s word came to Jonah the second time, saying, 2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I give you.”
3 So Jonah arose, and went to Nineveh, according to Yahweh’s word. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey across. 4 Jonah began to enter into the city a day’s journey, and he cried out, and said, “In forty days, Nineveh will be overthrown!”
5 The people of Nineveh believed God; and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from their greatest even to their least. 6 The news reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and took off his royal robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 He made a proclamation and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, “Let neither man nor animal, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, nor drink water; 8 but let them be covered with sackcloth, both man and animal, and let them cry mightily to God. Yes, let them turn everyone from his evil way, and from the violence that is in his hands. 9 Who knows whether God will not turn and relent, and turn away from his fierce anger, so that we might not perish?”
10 God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way. God relented of the disaster which he said he would do to them, and he didn’t do it.
4 But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. 2 He prayed to Yahweh, and said, “Please, Yahweh, wasn’t this what I said when I was still in my own country? Therefore I hurried to flee to Tarshish, for I knew that you are a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and you relent of doing harm. 3 Therefore now, Yahweh, take, I beg you, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.”
4 Yahweh said, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
5 Then Jonah went out of the city, and sat on the east side of the city, and there made himself a booth, and sat under it in the shade, until he might see what would become of the city. 6 Yahweh God prepared a vine, and made it to come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to deliver him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the vine. 7 But God prepared a worm at dawn the next day, and it chewed on the vine, so that it withered. 8 When the sun arose, God prepared a sultry east wind; and the sun beat on Jonah’s head, so that he fainted, and requested for himself that he might die, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.”
9 God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the vine?”
He said, “I am right to be angry, even to death.”
10 Yahweh said, “You have been concerned for the vine, for which you have not labored, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night. 11 Shouldn’t I be concerned for Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred twenty thousand persons who can’t discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much livestock?”

Revelation 5
5 I saw, in the right hand of him who sat on the throne, a book written inside and outside, sealed shut with seven seals. 2 I saw a mighty angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book, and to break its seals?” 3 No one in heaven above, or on the earth, or under the earth, was able to open the book, or to look in it. 4 And I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open the book, or to look in it. 5 One of the elders said to me, “Don’t weep. Behold, the Lion who is of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome; he who opens the book and its seven seals.” 6 I saw in the middle of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the middle of the elders, a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. 7 Then he came, and he took it out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne. 8 Now when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 They sang a new song, saying,
“You are worthy to take the book,
and to open its seals:
for you were killed,
and bought us for God with your blood,
out of every tribe, language, people, and nation,
10 and made us kings and priests to our God,
and we will reign on earth.”
11 I saw, and I heard something like a voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousands of ten thousands, and thousands of thousands; 12 saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who has been killed to receive the power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and blessing!”
13 I heard every created thing which is in heaven, on the earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb be the blessing, the honor, the glory, and the dominion, forever and ever! Amen!”
14 The four living creatures said, “Amen!” The elders fell down and worshiped.

Psalm 133
133 See how good and how pleasant it is
for brothers to live together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil on the head,
that ran down on the beard,
even Aaron’s beard;
that came down on the edge of his robes;
3 like the dew of Hermon,
that comes down on the hills of Zion:
for there Yahweh gives the blessing,
even life forever more.

Proverbs 29:26-27
26 Many seek the ruler’s favor,
but a man’s justice comes from Yahweh.
27 A dishonest man detests the righteous,
and the upright in their ways detest the wicked.

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