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22 April 2017 Bible Reading

As foretold by Jesus in today’s reading from Luke, the Roman army, led by the future emperor Titus, destroyed the Second Temple in 70 a.D. The destruction of the First and Second Temples is remembered by Jews, each year, with fast of Tisha B’av. With the destruction of the Temple and the conquering of the Jews, God formally ended, forever, the Jewish religion and the Jews as His chosen people. The entire Mosaic system was superseded by Christianity.

Joshua 24:1-33
24 Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel to Shechem, and called for the elders of Israel, for their heads, for their judges, and for their officers; and they presented themselves before God. 2 Joshua said to all the people, “Yahweh says, the God of Israel, ‘Your fathers lived of old time beyond the River, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor: and they served other gods. 3 I took your father Abraham from beyond the River, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his offspring, and gave him Isaac. 4 I gave to Isaac Jacob and Esau: and I gave to Esau Mount Seir, to possess it. Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.
5 “‘I sent Moses and Aaron, and I plagued Egypt, according to that which I did among them: and afterward I brought you out. 6 I brought your fathers out of Egypt: and you came to the sea. The Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and with horsemen to the Red Sea. 7 When they cried out to Yahweh, he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea on them, and covered them; and your eyes saw what I did in Egypt. You lived in the wilderness many days.
8 “‘I brought you into the land of the Amorites, that lived beyond the Jordan. They fought with you, and I gave them into your hand. You possessed their land, and I destroyed them from before you. 9 Then Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, arose and fought against Israel. He sent and called Balaam the son of Beor to curse you, 10 but I would not listen to Balaam; therefore he blessed you still. So I delivered you out of his hand.
11 “‘You went over the Jordan, and came to Jericho. The men of Jericho fought against you, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Girgashite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite; and I delivered them into your hand. 12 I sent the hornet before you, which drove them out from before you, even the two kings of the Amorites; not with your sword, nor with your bow. 13 I gave you a land whereon you had not labored, and cities which you didn’t build, and you live in them. You eat of vineyards and olive groves which you didn’t plant.’
14 “Now therefore fear Yahweh, and serve him in sincerity and in truth. Put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River, in Egypt; and serve Yahweh. 15 If it seems evil to you to serve Yahweh, choose today whom you will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve Yahweh.”
16 The people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake Yahweh, to serve other gods; 17 for it is Yahweh our God who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way in which we went, and among all the peoples through the middle of whom we passed. 18 Yahweh drove out from before us all the peoples, even the Amorites who lived in the land. Therefore we also will serve Yahweh; for he is our God.”
19 Joshua said to the people, “You can’t serve Yahweh, for he is a holy God. He is a jealous God. He will not forgive your disobedience nor your sins. 20 If you forsake Yahweh, and serve foreign gods, then he will turn and do you evil, and consume you, after he has done you good.”
21 The people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve Yahweh.” 22 Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen Yahweh yourselves, to serve him.”
They said, “We are witnesses.”
23 “Now therefore put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to Yahweh, the God of Israel.”
24 The people said to Joshua, “We will serve Yahweh our God, and we will listen to his voice.”
25 So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 26 Joshua wrote these words in the book of the law of God; and he took a great stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of Yahweh. 27 Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness against us, for it has heard all Yahweh’s words which he spoke to us. It shall be therefore a witness against you, lest you deny your God.” 28 So Joshua sent the people away, each to his own inheritance.
29 After these things, Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Yahweh, died, being one hundred ten years old. 30 They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathserah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash. 31 Israel served Yahweh all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, and had known all the work of Yahweh, that he had worked for Israel. 32 They buried the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of silver. They became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. 33 Eleazar the son of Aaron died. They buried him in the hill of Phinehas his son, which was given him in the hill country of Ephraim.

Luke 21:1-28
21 He looked up, and saw the rich people who were putting their gifts into the treasury. 2 He saw a certain poor widow casting in two small brass coins. 3 He said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow put in more than all of them, 4 for all these put in gifts for God from their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had to live on.”
5 As some were talking about the temple and how it was decorated with beautiful stones and gifts, he said, 6 “As for these things which you see, the days will come, in which there will not be left here one stone on another that will not be thrown down.”
7 They asked him, “Teacher, so when will these things be? What is the sign that these things are about to happen?”
8 He said, “Watch out that you don’t get led astray, for many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is at hand.’ Therefore don’t follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and disturbances, don’t be terrified, for these things must happen first, but the end won’t come immediately.”
10 Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines, and plagues in various places. There will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you up to synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for my name’s sake. 13 It will turn out as a testimony for you. 14 Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to withstand or to contradict. 16 You will be handed over even by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. They will cause some of you to be put to death. 17 You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake. 18 And not a hair of your head will perish.
19 “By your endurance you will win your lives.
20 “But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is at hand. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let those who are in the middle of her depart. Let those who are in the country not enter therein. 22 For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who nurse infants in those days! For there will be great distress in the land, and wrath to this people. 24 They will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. 25 There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves; 26 men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.”

Psalm 89:38-52
38 But you have rejected and spurned.
You have been angry with your anointed.
39 You have renounced the covenant of your servant.
You have defiled his crown in the dust.
40 You have broken down all his hedges.
You have brought his strongholds to ruin.
41 All who pass by the way rob him.
He has become a reproach to his neighbors.
42 You have exalted the right hand of his adversaries.
You have made all of his enemies rejoice.
43 Yes, you turn back the edge of his sword,
and haven’t supported him in battle.
44 You have ended his splendor,
and thrown his throne down to the ground.
45 You have shortened the days of his youth.
You have covered him with shame.
Selah.
46 How long, Yahweh?
Will you hide yourself forever?
Will your wrath burn like fire?
47 Remember how short my time is!
For what vanity have you created all the children of men!
48 What man is he who shall live and not see death,
who shall deliver his soul from the power of Sheol?
Selah.
49 Lord, where are your former loving kindnesses,
which you swore to David in your faithfulness?
50 Remember, Lord, the reproach of your servants,
how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the mighty peoples,
51 With which your enemies have mocked, Yahweh,
with which they have mocked the footsteps of your anointed one.
52 Blessed be Yahweh forever more.
Amen, and Amen.

Proverbs 13:20-23
20 One who walks with wise men grows wise,
but a companion of fools suffers harm.
21 Misfortune pursues sinners,
but prosperity rewards the righteous.
22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
but the wealth of the sinner is stored for the righteous.
23 An abundance of food is in poor people’s fields,
but injustice sweeps it away.

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