19 October 2017 Bible Reading
Chaldea was a small Semitic nation that emerged between the late 10th and early 9th century BC, surviving until the mid 6th century BC, after which it disappeared as the Chaldean tribes were absorbed into the native population of Babylonia. It was located in the marshy land of the far southeastern corner of Mesopotamia, and briefly came to rule Babylon. The short-lived 11th dynasty of the Kings of Babylon (6th century BC) is conventionally known to historians as the Chaldean Dynasty, although the last rulers, Nabonidus and his son Belshazzar, were known to be from Assyria.
33 1 Moreover Yahweh’s word came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the guard, saying, 2 Yahweh who does it, Yahweh who forms it to establish it; Yahweh is his name, says: 3 Call to me, and I will answer you, and will show you great things, and difficult, which you don’t know. 4 For Yahweh, the God of Israel, says concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are broken down to make a defense against the mounds and against the sword; 5 while men come to fight with the Chaldeans, and to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have killed in my anger and in my wrath, and for all whose wickedness I have hidden my face from this city: 6 Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them; and I will reveal to them abundance of peace and truth. 7 I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. 8 I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, by which they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, by which they have sinned against me, and by which they have transgressed against me. 9 This city shall be to me for a name of joy, for a praise and for a glory, before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do to them, and shall fear and tremble for all the good and for all the peace that I procure to it. 10 Yahweh says: Yet again there shall be heard in this place, about which you say, It is waste, without man and without animal, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without animal, 11 the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, Give thanks to Yahweh of Armies, for Yahweh is good, for his loving kindness endures forever; who bring thanksgiving into Yahweh’s house. For I will cause the captivity of the land to return as at the first, says Yahweh. 12 Yahweh of Armies says: Yet again shall there be in this place, which is waste, without man and without animal, and in all its cities, a habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. 13 In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the lowland, and in the cities of the South, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks again pass under the hands of him who numbers them, says Yahweh. 14 Behold, the days come, says Yahweh, that I will perform that good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and concerning the house of Judah. 15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause a Branch of righteousness to grow up to David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name by which she shall be called: Yahweh our righteousness. 17 For Yahweh says: David shall never want a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; 18 neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to burn meal offerings, and to do sacrifice continually. 19 Yahweh’s word came to Jeremiah, saying, 20 Yahweh says: If you can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, so that there shall not be day and night in their season; 21 then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. 22 As the army of the sky can’t be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured; so I will multiply the offspring of David my servant, and the Levites who minister to me. 23 Yahweh’s word came to Jeremiah, saying, 24 Don’t consider what this people has spoken, saying, The two families which Yahweh chose, he has cast them off? thus do they despise my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. 25 Yahweh says: If my covenant of day and night fails, if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; 26 then I will also cast away the offspring of Jacob, and of David my servant, so that I will not take of his offspring to be rulers over the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and will have mercy on them.
34 The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and all his army, and all the kingdoms of the earth that were under his dominion, and all the peoples, were fighting against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of it, saying: 2 Yahweh, the God of Israel, says, Go, and speak to Zedekiah king of Judah, and tell him, Yahweh says, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire: 3 and you shall not escape out of his hand, but shall surely be taken, and delivered into his hand; and your eyes shall see the eyes of the king of Babylon, and he shall speak with you mouth to mouth, and you shall go to Babylon. 4 Yet hear Yahweh’s word, O Zedekiah king of Judah: Yahweh says concerning you, You shall not die by the sword; 5 you shall die in peace; and with the burnings of your fathers, the former kings who were before you, so shall they make a burning for you; and they shall lament you, saying, Ah Lord! for I have spoken the word, says Yahweh. 6 Then Jeremiah the prophet spoke all these words to Zedekiah king of Judah in Jerusalem, 7 when the king of Babylon’s army was fighting against Jerusalem, and against all the cities of Judah that were left, against Lachish and against Azekah; for these alone remained of the cities of Judah as fortified cities. 8 The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, after that the king Zedekiah had made a covenant with all the people who were at Jerusalem, to proclaim liberty to them; 9 that every man should let his male servant, and every man his female servant, who is a Hebrew or a Hebrewess, go free; that no one should make bondservants of them, of a Jew his brother. 10 All the princes and all the people obeyed, who had entered into the covenant, that everyone should let his male servant, and everyone his female servant, go free, that no one should make bondservants of them any more; they obeyed, and let them go: 11 but afterwards they turned, and caused the servants and the handmaids, whom they had let go free, to return, and brought them into subjection for servants and for handmaids. 12 Therefore Yahweh’s word came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, 13 Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: I made a covenant with your fathers in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage, saying, 14 At the end of seven years you shall let go every man his brother who is a Hebrew, who has been sold to you, and has served you six years, you shall let him go free from you: but your fathers didn’t listen to me, neither inclined their ear. 15 You had now turned, and had done that which is right in my eyes, in proclaiming liberty every man to his neighbor; and you had made a covenant before me in the house which is called by my name: 16 but you turned and profaned my name, and caused every man his servant, and every man his handmaid, whom you had let go free at their pleasure, to return; and you brought them into subjection, to be to you for servants and for handmaids. 17 Therefore Yahweh says: you have not listened to me, to proclaim liberty, every man to his brother, and every man to his neighbor: behold, I proclaim to you a liberty, says Yahweh, to the sword, to the pestilence, and to the famine; and I will make you to be tossed back and forth among all the kingdoms of the earth. 18 I will give the men who have transgressed my covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between its parts; 19 the princes of Judah, and the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, and the priests, and all the people of the land, who passed between the parts of the calf; 20 I will even give them into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life; and their dead bodies shall be for food to the birds of the sky, and to the animals of the earth. 21 Zedekiah king of Judah and his princes will I give into the hand of their enemies, and into the hand of those who seek their life, and into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, who have gone away from you. 22 Behold, I will command, says Yahweh, and cause them to return to this city; and they shall fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire: and I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.
1 Timothy 4
4 But the Spirit says expressly that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 through the hypocrisy of men who speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron; 3 forbidding marriage and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving. 5 For it is sanctified through the word of God and prayer. 6 If you instruct the brothers of these things, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished in the words of the faith, and of the good doctrine which you have followed. 7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables. Exercise yourself toward godliness. 8 For bodily exercise has some value, but godliness has value in all things, having the promise of the life which is now, and of that which is to come. 9 This saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance. 10 For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we have set our trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. 11 Command and teach these things.
12 Let no man despise your youth; but be an example to those who believe, in word, in your way of life, in love, in spirit, in faith, and in purity. 13 Until I come, pay attention to reading, to exhortation, and to teaching. 14 Don’t neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the elders. 15 Be diligent in these things. Give yourself wholly to them, that your progress may be revealed to all. 16 Pay attention to yourself, and to your teaching. Continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.
A contemplation by Ethan, the Ezrahite.
89 I will sing of the loving kindness of Yahweh forever.
With my mouth, I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.
2 I indeed declare, “Love stands firm forever.
You established the heavens.
Your faithfulness is in them.”
3 “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David, my servant,
4 ‘I will establish your offspring forever,
and build up your throne to all generations.’”
5 The heavens will praise your wonders, Yahweh;
your faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy ones.
6 For who in the skies can be compared to Yahweh?
Who among the sons of the heavenly beings is like Yahweh,
7 a very awesome God in the council of the holy ones,
to be feared above all those who are around him?
8 Yahweh, God of Armies, who is a mighty one, like you?
Yah, your faithfulness is around you.
9 You rule the pride of the sea.
When its waves rise up, you calm them.
10 You have broken Rahab in pieces, like one of the slain.
You have scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.
11 The heavens are yours.
The earth also is yours;
the world and its fullness.
You have founded them.
12 The north and the south, you have created them.
Tabor and Hermon rejoice in your name.
13 You have a mighty arm.
Your hand is strong, and your right hand is exalted.
23 The north wind produces rain:
so a backbiting tongue brings an angry face.
24 It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop,
than to share a house with a contentious woman.