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8 August 2017 Bible Reading

Ezra was active from 480–440 b.C. He was a Jewish scribe and a priest. He returned from the Babylonian exile and reintroduced the Torah in Jerusalem (Ezra 7–10 and Neh 8). The Book of Ezra describes how he led a group of Judean exiles living in Babylon to their home city of Jerusalem (Ezra 8.2-14) where he is said to have enforced observance of the Torah. He also is credited with exhorting the community about intermarriage of different faiths because the Jewish men were actively marrying pagan women.

Ezra 7-8:20
7 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra the son of Seraiah, the son of Azariah, the son of Hilkiah, 2 the son of Shallum, the son of Zadok, the son of Ahitub, 3 the son of Amariah, the son of Azariah, the son of Meraioth, 4 the son of Zerahiah, the son of Uzzi, the son of Bukki, 5 the son of Abishua, the son of Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the chief priest; 6 this Ezra went up from Babylon: and he was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which Yahweh, the God of Israel, had given; and the king granted him all his request, according to Yahweh’s hand his God on him. 7 There went up some of the children of Israel, and of the priests, and the Levites, and the singers, and the porters, and the Nethinim, to Jerusalem, in the seventh year of Artaxerxes the king. 8 He came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. 9 For on the first day of the first month began he to go up from Babylon; and on the first day of the fifth month came he to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God on him. 10 For Ezra had set his heart to seek Yahweh’s law, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and ordinances. 11 Now this is the copy of the letter that the king Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, even the scribe of the words of Yahweh’s commandments, and of his statutes to Israel: 12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect and so forth. 13 I make a decree, that all those of the people of Israel, and their priests and the Levites, in my realm, who are minded of their own free will to go to Jerusalem, go with you. 14 Because you are sent of the king and his seven counselors, to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem, according to the law of your God which is in your hand, 15 and to carry the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose habitation is in Jerusalem, 16 and all the silver and gold that you shall find in all the province of Babylon, with the freewill offering of the people, and of the priests, offering willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem; 17 therefore you shall with all diligence buy with this money bulls, rams, lambs, with their meal offerings and their drink offerings, and shall offer them on the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. 18 Whatever shall seem good to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and the gold, do that after the will of your God. 19 The vessels that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver before the God of Jerusalem. 20 Whatever more shall be needful for the house of your God, which you shall have occasion to bestow, bestow it out of the king’s treasure house. 21 I, even I Artaxerxes the king, do make a decree to all the treasurers who are beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, shall require of you, it be done with all diligence, 22 to one hundred talents of silver, and to one hundred cors of wheat, and to one hundred baths of wine, and to one hundred baths of oil, and salt without prescribing how much. 23 Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done exactly for the house of the God of heaven; for why should there be wrath against the realm of the king and his sons? 24 Also we inform you, that touching any of the priests and Levites, the singers, porters, Nethinim, or servants of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll, on them. 25 You, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God who is in your hand, appoint magistrates and judges, who may judge all the people who are beyond the River, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach him who doesn’t know them. 26 Whoever will not do the law of your God, and the law of the king, let judgment be executed on him with all diligence, whether it is to death, or to banishment, or to confiscation of goods, or to imprisonment. 27 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to beautify Yahweh’s house which is in Jerusalem; 28 and has extended loving kindness to me before the king, and his counselors, and before all the king’s mighty princes. I was strengthened according to Yahweh my God’s hand on me, and I gathered together out of Israel chief men to go up with me.
8 Now these are the heads of their fathers’ households, and this is the genealogy of those who went up with me from Babylon, in the reign of Artaxerxes the king: 2 Of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom. Of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel. Of the sons of David, Hattush. 3 Of the sons of Shecaniah, of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah; and with him were listed by genealogy of the males one hundred fifty. 4 Of the sons of Pahathmoab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah; and with him two hundred males. 5 Of the sons of Shecaniah, the son of Jahaziel; and with him three hundred males. 6 Of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan; and with him fifty males. 7 Of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah; and with him seventy males. 8 Of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael; and with him eighty males. 9 Of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel; and with him two hundred and eighteen males. 10 Of the sons of Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah; and with him one hundred sixty males. 11 Of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah the son of Bebai; and with him twenty-eight males. 12 Of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan; and with him one hundred ten males. 13 Of the sons of Adonikam, who were the last; and these are their names: Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah; and with them sixty males. 14 Of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zabbud; and with them seventy males. 15 I gathered them together to the river that runs to Ahava; and there we encamped three days: and I viewed the people, and the priests, and found there none of the sons of Levi. 16 Then sent I for Eliezer, for Ariel, for Shemaiah, and for Elnathan, and for Jarib, and for Elnathan, and for Nathan, and for Zechariah, and for Meshullam, chief men; also for Joiarib, and for Elnathan, who were teachers. 17 I sent them out to Iddo the chief at the place Casiphia; and I told them what they should tell Iddo, and his brothers the Nethinim, at the place Casiphia, that they should bring to us ministers for the house of our God. 18 According to the good hand of our God on us they brought us a man of discretion, of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel; and Sherebiah, with his sons and his brothers, eighteen; 19 and Hashabiah, and with him Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, his brothers and their sons, twenty; 20 and of the Nethinim, whom David and the princes had given for the service of the Levites, two hundred and twenty Nethinim: all of them were mentioned by name.

1 Corinthians 4:1-21
4 So let a man think of us as Christ’s servants, and stewards of God’s mysteries. 2 Here, moreover, it is required of stewards, that they be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you, or by man’s judgment. Yes, I don’t judge my own self. 4 For I know nothing against myself. Yet I am not justified by this, but he who judges me is the Lord. 5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each man will get his praise from God.
6 Now these things, brothers, I have in a figure transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to think beyond the things which are written, that none of you be puffed up against one another. 7 For who makes you different? And what do you have that you didn’t receive? But if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it? 8 You are already filled. You have already become rich. You have come to reign without us. Yes, and I wish that you did reign, that we also might reign with you. 9 For, I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last of all, like men sentenced to death. For we are made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You have honor, but we have dishonor. 11 Even to this present hour we hunger, thirst, are naked, are beaten, and have no certain dwelling place. 12 We toil, working with our own hands. When people curse us, we bless. Being persecuted, we endure. 13 Being defamed, we entreat. We are made as the filth of the world, the dirt wiped off by all, even until now. 14 I don’t write these things to shame you, but to admonish you as my beloved children. 15 For though you have ten thousand tutors in Christ, yet not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus, I became your father through the Good News. 16 I beg you therefore, be imitators of me. 17 Because of this I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, even as I teach everywhere in every assembly. 18 Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord is willing. And I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. 20 For God’s Kingdom is not in word, but in power. 21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

Psalm 30:1-12
A Psalm. A Song for the Dedication of the Temple. By David.
30 I will extol you, Yahweh, for you have raised me up,
and have not made my foes to rejoice over me.
2 Yahweh my God, I cried to you,
and you have healed me.
3 Yahweh, you have brought up my soul from Sheol.
You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
4 Sing praise to Yahweh, you saints of his.
Give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment.
His favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may stay for the night,
but joy comes in the morning.
6 As for me, I said in my prosperity,
“I shall never be moved.”
7 You, Yahweh, when you favored me, made my mountain stand strong;
but when you hid your face, I was troubled.
8 I cried to you, Yahweh.
To Yahweh I made supplication:
9 “What profit is there in my destruction, if I go down to the pit?
Shall the dust praise you?
Shall it declare your truth?
10 Hear, Yahweh, and have mercy on me.
Yahweh, be my helper.”
11 You have turned my mourning into dancing for me.
You have removed my sackcloth, and clothed me with gladness,
12 To the end that my heart may sing praise to you, and not be silent.
Yahweh my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

Proverbs 20:28-30
28 Love and faithfulness keep the king safe.
His throne is sustained by love.
29 The glory of young men is their strength.
The splendor of old men is their gray hair.
30 Wounding blows cleanse away evil,
and beatings purge the innermost parts.

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