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30 October 2017 Bible Reading

Today’s Bible reading starts our journey through Hebrews. The strongly Jewish character of the letter to the Hebrews helps to narrow down its date of composition, most likely AD 64–69. Significantly, the book makes no reference to the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem in AD 70, and the author wrote as if the sacrificial system were still in existence. With its myriad references to Hebrew customs and the Old Testament, the book was likely sent to a Jewish Christian community, possibly in Rome.

Today’s passage in Hebrews references Psalm 2:7; 2 Samuel 7:14; 1 Chronicles 17:13; Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalm 104:4; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 102:25-27; and Psalm 110:1.

Lamentations 2:20-3:66
20 Look, Yahweh, and see to whom you have done thus!
Shall the women eat their fruit, the children that are dandled in the hands?
Shall the priest and the prophet be killed in the sanctuary of the Lord?
21 The youth and the old man lie on the ground in the streets;
My virgins and my young men are fallen by the sword:
You have killed them in the day of your anger; you have slaughtered, and not pitied.
22 You have called, as in the day of a solemn assembly, my terrors on every side;
There was no one that escaped or remained in the day of Yahweh’s anger:
Those that I have dandled and brought up has my enemy consumed.
3 I am the man that has seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
2 He has led me and caused me to walk in darkness, and not in light.
3 Surely against me he turns his hand again and again all the day.
4 My flesh and my skin has he made old; he has broken my bones.
5 He has built against me, and surrounded me with gall and travail.
6 He has made me to dwell in dark places, as those that have been long dead.
7 He has walled me about, that I can’t go out; he has made my chain heavy.
8 Yes, when I cry, and call for help, he shuts out my prayer.
9 He has walled up my ways with cut stone; he has made my paths crooked.
10 He is to me as a bear lying in wait, as a lion in secret places.
11 He has turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces; he has made me desolate.
12 He has bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.
13 He has caused the shafts of his quiver to enter into my kidneys.
14 I am become a derision to all my people, and their song all the day.
15 He has filled me with bitterness, he has sated me with wormwood.
16 He has also broken my teeth with gravel stones; he has covered me with ashes.
17 You have removed my soul far off from peace; I forgot prosperity.
18 I said, My strength is perished, and my expectation from Yahweh.
19 Remember my affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.
20 My soul still remembers them, and is bowed down within me.
21 This I recall to my mind; therefore have I hope.
22 It is because of Yahweh’s loving kindnesses that we are not consumed, because his compassion doesn’t fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 Yahweh is my portion, says my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25 Yahweh is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks him.
26 It is good that a man should hope and quietly wait for the salvation of Yahweh.
27 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
28 Let him sit alone and keep silence, because he has laid it on him.
29 Let him put his mouth in the dust, if so be there may be hope.
30 Let him give his cheek to him who strikes him; let him be filled full with reproach.
31 For the Lord will not cast off forever.
32 For though he cause grief, yet he will have compassion according to the multitude of his loving kindnesses.
33 For he does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.
34 To crush under foot all the prisoners of the earth,
35 To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the Most High,
36 To subvert a man in his cause, the Lord doesn’t approve.
37 Who is he who says, and it comes to pass, when the Lord doesn’t command it?
38 Doesn’t evil and good come out of the mouth of the Most High?
39 Why does a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
40 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to Yahweh.
41 Let us lift up our heart with our hands to God in the heavens.
42 We have transgressed and have rebelled; you have not pardoned.
43 You have covered with anger and pursued us; you have killed, you have not pitied.
44 You have covered yourself with a cloud, so that no prayer can pass through.
45 You have made us an off-scouring and refuse in the middle of the peoples.
46 All our enemies have opened their mouth wide against us.
47 Fear and the pit have come on us, devastation and destruction.
48 My eye runs down with streams of water, for the destruction of the daughter of my people.
49 My eye pours down, and doesn’t cease, without any intermission,
50 Until Yahweh look down, and see from heaven.
51 My eye affects my soul, because of all the daughters of my city.
52 They have chased me relentlessly like a bird, those who are my enemies without cause.
53 They have cut off my life in the dungeon, and have cast a stone on me.
54 Waters flowed over my head; I said, I am cut off.
55 I called on your name, Yahweh, out of the lowest dungeon.
56 You heard my voice; don’t hide your ear at my breathing, at my cry.
57 You came near in the day that I called on you; you said, Don’t be afraid.
58 Lord, you have pleaded the causes of my soul; you have redeemed my life.
59 Yahweh, you have seen my wrong. Judge my cause.
60 You have seen all their vengeance and all their devices against me.
61 You have heard their reproach, Yahweh, and all their devices against me,
62 The lips of those that rose up against me, and their device against me all the day.
63 You see their sitting down, and their rising up; I am their song.
64 You will render to them a recompense, Yahweh, according to the work of their hands.
65 You will give them hardness of heart, your curse to them.
66 You will pursue them in anger, and destroy them from under the heavens of Yahweh.

Hebrews 1
1 God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds. 3 His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purified us of our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; 4 having become so much better than the angels, as he has inherited a more excellent name than they have. 5 For to which of the angels did he say at any time,
“You are my Son.
Today have I become your father?”
and again,
“I will be to him a Father,
and he will be to me a Son?”
6 When he again brings in the firstborn into the world he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him.” 7 Of the angels he says,
“Who makes his angels winds,
and his servants a flame of fire.”
8 But of the Son he says,
“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever.
The scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your Kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.”
10 And,
“You, Lord, in the beginning, laid the foundation of the earth.
The heavens are the works of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you continue.
They all will grow old like a garment does.
12 You will roll them up like a mantle,
and they will be changed;
but you are the same.
Your years will not fail.”
13 But which of the angels has he told at any time,
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet?”]
14 Aren’t they all serving spirits, sent out to do service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

Psalm 102
A Prayer of the afflicted, when he is overwhelmed and pours out his complaint before Yahweh.
102 Hear my prayer, Yahweh!
Let my cry come to you.
2 Don’t hide your face from me in the day of my distress.
Turn your ear to me.
Answer me quickly in the day when I call.
3 For my days consume away like smoke.
My bones are burned as a torch.
4 My heart is blighted like grass, and withered,
for I forget to eat my bread.
5 By reason of the voice of my groaning,
my bones stick to my skin.
6 I am like a pelican of the wilderness.
I have become as an owl of the waste places.
7 I watch, and have become like a sparrow that is alone on the housetop.
8 My enemies reproach me all day.
Those who are mad at me use my name as a curse.
9 For I have eaten ashes like bread,
and mixed my drink with tears,
10 Because of your indignation and your wrath,
for you have taken me up, and thrown me away.
11 My days are like a long shadow.
I have withered like grass.
12 But you, Yahweh, will remain forever;
your renown endures to all generations.
13 You will arise and have mercy on Zion;
for it is time to have pity on her.
Yes, the set time has come.
14 For your servants take pleasure in her stones,
and have pity on her dust.
15 So the nations will fear Yahweh’s name;
all the kings of the earth your glory.
16 For Yahweh has built up Zion.
He has appeared in his glory.
17 He has responded to the prayer of the destitute,
and has not despised their prayer.
18 This will be written for the generation to come.
A people which will be created will praise Yah.
19 For he has looked down from the height of his sanctuary.
From heaven, Yahweh saw the earth;
20 to hear the groans of the prisoner;
to free those who are condemned to death;
21 that men may declare Yahweh’s name in Zion,
and his praise in Jerusalem;
22 when the peoples are gathered together,
the kingdoms, to serve Yahweh.
23 He weakened my strength along the course.
He shortened my days.
24 I said, “My God, don’t take me away in the middle of my days.
Your years are throughout all generations.
25 Of old, you laid the foundation of the earth.
The heavens are the work of your hands.
26 They will perish, but you will endure.
Yes, all of them will wear out like a garment.
You will change them like a cloak, and they will be changed.
27 But you are the same.
Your years will have no end.
28 The children of your servants will continue.
Their offspring will be established before you.”

Proverbs 26:21-22
21 As coals are to hot embers,
and wood to fire,
so is a contentious man to kindling strife.
22 The words of a whisperer are as dainty morsels,
they go down into the innermost parts.

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