15 June 2017 Bible Reading
Many of the foods declared by God to be unclean for the Israelites were scavengers, eaters of carrion. Was it God’s desire for it “to be well” with his followers, or was it His desire for them to be set apart from the rest of the world?
1 Kings 14-15:24
14 At that time Abijah the son of Jeroboam became sick. 2 Jeroboam said to his wife, “Please get up and disguise yourself, so that you won’t be recognized as Jeroboam’s wife. Go to Shiloh. Behold, Ahijah the prophet is there, who said that that I would be king over this people. 3 Take with you ten loaves of bread, some cakes, and a jar of honey, and go to him. He will tell you what will become of the child.”
4 Jeroboam’s wife did so, and arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to Ahijah’s house. Now Ahijah could not see; for his eyes were set by reason of his age. 5 Yahweh said to Ahijah, “Behold, Jeroboam’s wife is coming to inquire of you concerning her son; for he is sick. Tell her such and such; for it will be, when she comes in, that she will pretend to be another woman.”
6 So when Ahijah heard the sound of her feet as she came in at the door, he said, “Come in, Jeroboam’s wife! Why do you pretend to be another? For I am sent to you with heavy news. 7 Go, tell Jeroboam, ‘Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: “Because I exalted you from among the people, and made you prince over my people Israel, 8 and tore the kingdom away from David’s house, and gave it you; and yet you have not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in my eyes, 9 but have done evil above all who were before you, and have gone and made for yourself other gods, molten images, to provoke me to anger, and have cast me behind your back; 10 therefore, behold, I will bring evil on the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam everyone who urinates on a wall, he who is shut up and he who is left at large in Israel, and will utterly sweep away the house of Jeroboam, as a man sweeps away dung, until it is all gone. 11 The dogs will eat he who belongs to Jeroboam who dies in the city; and the birds of the sky will eat he who dies in the field: for Yahweh has spoken it.”’ 12 Arise therefore, and go to your house. When your feet enter into the city, the child will die. 13 All Israel will mourn for him and bury him; for he only of Jeroboam will come to the grave, because in him there is found some good thing toward Yahweh, the God of Israel, in the house of Jeroboam. 14 Moreover Yahweh will raise up a king for himself over Israel, who will cut off the house of Jeroboam. This is the day! What? Even now. 15 For Yahweh will strike Israel, as a reed is shaken in the water; and he will root up Israel out of this good land which he gave to their fathers, and will scatter them beyond the River, because they have made their Asherah poles, provoking Yahweh to anger. 16 He will give Israel up because of the sins of Jeroboam, which he has sinned, and with which he has made Israel to sin.”
17 Jeroboam’s wife arose and departed, and came to Tirzah. As she came to the threshold of the house, the child died. 18 All Israel buried him and mourned for him, according to Yahweh’s word, which he spoke by his servant Ahijah the prophet. 19 The rest of the acts of Jeroboam, how he fought, and how he reigned, behold, they are written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel. 20 The days which Jeroboam reigned were twenty two years, then he slept with his fathers, and Nadab his son reigned in his place.
21 Rehoboam the son of Solomon reigned in Judah. Rehoboam was forty-one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned seventeen years in Jerusalem, the city which Yahweh had chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, to put his name there. His mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. 22 Judah did that which was evil in Yahweh’s sight, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins which they committed, above all that their fathers had done. 23 For they also built for themselves high places, sacred pillars, and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every green tree. 24 There were also sodomites in the land. They did according to all the abominations of the nations which Yahweh drove out before the children of Israel. 25 In the fifth year of king Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, 26 and he took away the treasures of Yahweh’s house, and the treasures of the king’s house. He even took away all of it, including all the gold shields which Solomon had made. 27 King Rehoboam made shields of brass in their place, and committed them to the hands of the captains of the guard, who kept the door of the king’s house. 28 It was so, that as often as the king went into Yahweh’s house, the guard bore them, and brought them back into the guard room.
29 Now the rest of the acts of Rehoboam, and all that he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? 30 There was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam continually. 31 Rehoboam slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in David’s city. His mother’s name was Naamah the Ammonitess. Abijam his son reigned in his place.
15 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Abijam began to reign over Judah. 2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 3 He walked in all the sins of his father, which he had done before him; and his heart was not perfect with Yahweh his God, as the heart of David his father. 4 Nevertheless for David’s sake, Yahweh his God gave him a lamp in Jerusalem, to set up his son after him, and to establish Jerusalem; 5 because David did that which was right in Yahweh’s eyes, and didn’t turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 6 Now there was war between Rehoboam and Jeroboam all the days of his life. 7 The rest of the acts of Abijam, and all that he did, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? There was war between Abijam and Jeroboam. 8 Abijam slept with his fathers, and they buried him in David’s city; and Asa his son reigned in his place.
9 In the twentieth year of Jeroboam king of Israel, Asa began to reign over Judah. 10 He reigned forty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom. 11 Asa did that which was right in Yahweh’s eyes, as David his father did. 12 He put away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the idols that his fathers had made. 13 He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen, because she had made an abominable image for an Asherah. Asa cut down her image and burnt it at the brook Kidron. 14 But the high places were not taken away. Nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect with Yahweh all his days. 15 He brought into Yahweh’s house the things that his father had dedicated, and the things that he himself had dedicated: silver, gold, and utensils. 16 There was war between Asa and Baasha king of Israel all their days. 17 Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah, and built Ramah, that he might not allow anyone to go out or come in to Asa king of Judah. 18 Then Asa took all the silver and the gold that was left in the treasures of Yahweh’s house, and the treasures of the king’s house, and delivered it into the hand of his servants. Then King Asa sent them to Ben Hadad, the son of Tabrimmon, the son of Hezion, king of Syria, who lived at Damascus, saying, 19 “There is a treaty between me and you, between my father and your father. Behold, I have sent to you a present of silver and gold. Go, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, that he may depart from me.”
20 Ben Hadad listened to king Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel, and struck Ijon, and Dan, and Abel Beth Maacah, and all Chinneroth, with all the land of Naphtali. 21 When Baasha heard of it, he stopped building Ramah, and lived in Tirzah. 22 Then king Asa made a proclamation to all Judah. No one was exempted. They carried away the stones of Ramah, and its timber, with which Baasha had built; and king Asa used it to build Geba of Benjamin, and Mizpah. 23 Now the rest of all the acts of Asa, and all his might, and all that he did, and the cities which he built, aren’t they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? But in the time of his old age he was diseased in his feet. 24 Asa slept with his fathers, and was buried with his fathers in his father David’s city; and Jehoshaphat his son reigned in his place.
10 Now there was a certain man in Caesarea, Cornelius by name, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, 2 a devout man, and one who feared God with all his house, who gave gifts for the needy generously to the people, and always prayed to God. 3 At about the ninth hour of the day, he clearly saw in a vision an angel of God coming to him, and saying to him, “Cornelius!”
4 He, fastening his eyes on him, and being frightened, said, “What is it, Lord?”
He said to him, “Your prayers and your gifts to the needy have gone up for a memorial before God. 5 Now send men to Joppa, and get Simon, who is also called Peter. 6 He lodges with a tanner named Simon, whose house is by the seaside.
7 When the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier of those who waited on him continually. 8 Having explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa. 9 Now on the next day as they were on their journey, and got close to the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray at about noon. 10 He became hungry and desired to eat, but while they were preparing, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and a certain container descending to him, like a great sheet let down by four corners on the earth, 12 in which were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild animals, reptiles, and birds of the sky. 13 A voice came to him, “Rise, Peter, kill and eat!”
14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.”
15 A voice came to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed, you must not call unclean.” 16 This was done three times, and immediately the vessel was received up into heaven. 17 Now while Peter was very perplexed in himself what the vision which he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood before the gate, 18 and called and asked whether Simon, who was also called Peter, was lodging there. 19 While Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three [c] men seek you. 20 But arise, get down, and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.”
21 Peter went down to the men, and said, “Behold, I am he whom you seek. Why have you come?”
22 They said, “Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous man and one who fears God, and well spoken of by all the nation of the Jews, was directed by a holy angel to invite you to his house, and to listen to what you say.” 23 So he called them in and provided a place to stay. On the next day Peter arose and went out with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him.
A Song of Ascents. By David.
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.
7 Arrogant speech isn’t fitting for a fool,
much less do lying lips fit a prince.
8 A bribe is a precious stone in the eyes of him who gives it;
wherever he turns, he prospers.