22 October 2017 Bible Reading
Nebuchadnezzar II lived c. 634 – 562 b.C. He reigned c. 605 – 562 b.C. as a Chaldean king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. He is known to us as the patron of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. He led the siege and destruction of the Temple that we read about in today’s selection from Jeremiah. He is featured prominently in the Book of Daniel and mentioned in several other books of the Bible.
39 When Jerusalem was taken, (in the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and besieged it; 2 in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city), 3 all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, Nergal Sharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergal Sharezer, Rabmag, with all the rest of the princes of the king of Babylon. 4 When Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them, then they fled, and went out of the city by night, by the way of the king’s garden, through the gate between the two walls; and he went out toward the Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he gave judgment on him. 6 Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon killed all the nobles of Judah. 7 Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him in fetters, to carry him to Babylon. 8 The Chaldeans burned the king’s house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. 9 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the residue of the people who remained in the city, the deserters also who fell away to him, and the residue of the people who remained. 10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, who had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time. 11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon commanded Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard concerning Jeremiah, saying, 12 Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do to him even as he shall tell you. 13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushazban, Rabsaris, and Nergal Sharezer, Rabmag, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon; 14 they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the guard, and committed him to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home: so he lived among the people. 15 Now Yahweh’s word came to Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the guard, saying, 16 Go, and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Behold, I will bring my words on this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished before you in that day. 17 But I will deliver you in that day, says Yahweh; and you shall not be given into the hand of the men of whom you are afraid. 18 For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword, but your life shall be for a prey to you; because you have put your trust in me, says Yahweh.
40 The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all the captives of Jerusalem and Judah, who were carried away captive to Babylon. 2 The captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said to him, Yahweh your God pronounced this evil on this place; 3 and Yahweh has brought it, and done according as he spoke: because you have sinned against Yahweh, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing has come on you. 4 Now, behold, I release you today from the chains which are on your hand. If it seems good to you to come with me into Babylon, come, and I will take care of you; but if it seems bad to you to come with me into Babylon, don’t: behold, all the land is before you; where it seems good and right to you to go, there go. 5 Now while he had not yet gone back, Go back then, he said, to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people; or go wherever it seems right to you to go. So the captain of the guard gave him food and a present, and let him go. 6 Then went Jeremiah to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah, and lived with him among the people who were left in the land. 7 Now when all the captains of the forces who were in the fields, even they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed to him men, and women, and children, and of the poorest of the land, of those who were not carried away captive to Babylon; 8 then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men. 9 Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan swore to them and to their men, saying, Don’t be afraid to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you. 10 As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to stand before the Chaldeans who shall come to us: but you, gather wine and summer fruits and oil, and put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that you have taken. 11 Likewise when all the Jews who were in Moab, and among the children of Ammon, and in Edom, and who were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan; 12 then all the Jews returned out of all places where they were driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, to Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits very much. 13 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, 14 and said to him, Do you know that Baalis the king of the children of Ammon has sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to take your life? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam didn’t believe them. 15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spoke to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Please let me go, and I will kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it: why should he take your life, that all the Jews who are gathered to you should be scattered, and the remnant of Judah perish? 16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said to Johanan the son of Kareah, You shall not do this thing; for you speak falsely of Ishmael.
41 Now in the seventh month, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal offspring and one of the chief officers of the king, and ten men with him, came to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and there they ate bread together in Mizpah. 2 Then arose Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men who were with him, and struck Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan with the sword, and killed him, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land. 3 Ishmael also killed all the Jews who were with him, with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans who were found there, the men of war. 4 The second day after he had killed Gedaliah, and no man knew it, 5 men came from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even eighty men, having their beards shaved and their clothes torn, and having cut themselves, with meal offerings and frankincense in their hand, to bring them to Yahweh’s house. 6 Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping all along as he went: and as he met them, he said to them, “Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.” 7 It was so, when they came into the middle of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah killed them, and cast them into the middle of the pit, he, and the men who were with him. 8 But ten men were found among those who said to Ishmael, Don’t kill us; for we have stores hidden in the field, of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey. So he stopped, and didn’t kill them among their brothers. 9 Now the pit in which Ishmael cast all the dead bodies of the men whom he had killed, by the side of Gedaliah (the same was who which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel), Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with those who were killed. 10 Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people who were in Mizpah, even the king’s daughters, and all the people who remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam; Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the children of Ammon. 11 But when Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done, 12 then they took all the men, and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon. 13 Now when all the people who were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, then they were glad. 14 So all the people who Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah turned about and came back, and went to Johanan the son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the children of Ammon. 16 Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces who were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after that he had killed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought back from Gibeon: 17 and they departed, and lived in Geruth Chimham, which is by Bethlehem, to go to enter into Egypt, 18 because of the Chaldeans; for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had killed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor over the land.
2 Timothy 1
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, according to the promise of the life which is in Christ Jesus, 2 to Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve as my forefathers did, with a pure conscience. How unceasing is my memory of you in my petitions, night and day 4 longing to see you, remembering your tears, that I may be filled with joy; 5 having been reminded of the sincere faith that is in you; which lived first in your grandmother Lois, and your mother Eunice, and, I am persuaded, in you also.
6 For this cause, I remind you that you should stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God didn’t give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. 8 Therefore don’t be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner; but endure hardship for the Good News according to the power of God, 9 who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before times eternal, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the Good News. 11 For this, I was appointed as a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For this cause I also suffer these things.
Yet I am not ashamed, for I know him whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that he is able to guard that which I have committed to him against that day.
13 Hold the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, guard through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
15 This you know, that all who are in Asia turned away from me; of whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain, 17 but when he was in Rome, he sought me diligently, and found me 18 (the Lord grant to him to find the Lord’s mercy in that day); and in how many things he served at Ephesus, you know very well.
A Prayer by Moses, the man of God.
90 Lord, you have been our dwelling place for all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born,
before you had formed the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
3 You turn man to destruction, saying,
“Return, you children of men.”
4 For a thousand years in your sight are just like yesterday when it is past,
like a watch in the night.
5 You sweep them away as they sleep.
In the morning they sprout like new grass.
6 In the morning it sprouts and springs up.
By evening, it is withered and dry.
7 For we are consumed in your anger.
We are troubled in your wrath.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 For all our days have passed away in your wrath.
We bring our years to an end as a sigh.
10 The days of our years are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty years;
yet their pride is but labor and sorrow,
for it passes quickly, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of your anger,
your wrath according to the fear that is due to you?
12 So teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
13 Relent, Yahweh!
Have compassion on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen evil.
16 Let your work appear to your servants;
your glory to their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us;
establish the work of our hands for us;
yes, establish the work of our hands.
91 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of Yahweh, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler,
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers.
Under his wings you will take refuge.
His faithfulness is your shield and rampart.
5 You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
nor of the arrow that flies by day;
6 nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
nor of the destruction that wastes at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
and ten thousand at your right hand;
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only look with your eyes,
and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 Because you have made Yahweh your refuge,
and the Most High your dwelling place,
10 no evil shall happen to you,
neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.
11 For he will put his angels in charge of you,
to guard you in all your ways.
12 They will bear you up in their hands,
so that you won’t dash your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and cobra.
You will trample the young lion and the serpent underfoot.
14 “Because he has set his love on me, therefore I will deliver him.
I will set him on high, because he has known my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him.
I will be with him in trouble.
I will deliver him, and honor him.
16 I will satisfy him with long life,
and show him my salvation.”
26 Like snow in summer, and as rain in harvest,
so honor is not fitting for a fool.
2 Like a fluttering sparrow,
like a darting swallow,
so the undeserved curse doesn’t come to rest.