2 November 2017 Bible Reading
Ezekiel lived among the Jewish exiles in Babylon at a settlement along the river Chebar called Tel-abib (Ezekiel 3:15), less than one hundred miles south of Babylon. The invading Babylonians brought about ten thousand Jews to the village in 597 BC, including Ezekiel and the last king of Judah, Jehoiachin (2 Kings 24:8–14).
Ezekiel’s prophecy began a mere five years into his time at Tel-abib (Ezekiel 1:2), and he continued to prophesy among the people for at least twenty-two years (29:17). Because he spoke to a people whom God had exiled due to their continued rebellion against Him, a majority of Ezekiel’s message communicates judgment for sins committed (1:1–32:32). However, like all the prophets, he also provided his people, now without a land of their own, some hope for the future (33:1–48:35).
Today’s passage in Hebrews references Psalm 95:11; Genesis 2:2; Psalm 95:11; and Psalm 95:7-8.
16 At the end of seven days, Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 17 Son of man, I have made you a watchman to the house of Israel: therefore hear the word from my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18 When I tell the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at your hand. 19 Yet if you warn the wicked, and he doesn’t turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. 20 Again, when a righteous man does turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because you have not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteous deeds which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man, that the righteous not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live, because he took warning; and you have delivered your soul. 22 Yahweh’s hand was there on me; and he said to me, Arise, go out into the plain, and I will there talk with you. 23 Then I arose, and went out into the plain: and behold, Yahweh’s glory stood there, as the glory which I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell on my face. 24 Then the Spirit entered into me, and set me on my feet; and he spoke with me, and said to me, Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 But you, son of man, behold, they shall lay bands on you, and shall bind you with them, and you shall not go out among them: 26 and I will make your tongue stick to the roof of your mouth, that you shall be mute, and shall not be to them a reprover; for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: He who hears, let him hear; and he who forbears, let him forbear: for they are a rebellious house.
4 You also, son of man, take a tile, and lay it before yourself, and portray on it a city, even Jerusalem: 2 and lay siege against it, and build forts against it, and cast up a mound against it; set camps also against it, and plant battering rams against it all around. 3 Take for yourself an iron pan, and set it for a wall of iron between you and the city: and set your face toward it, and it shall be besieged, and you shall lay siege against it. This shall be a sign to the house of Israel. 4 Moreover lie on your left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel on it; according to the number of the days that you shall lie on it, you shall bear their iniquity. 5 For I have appointed the years of their iniquity to be to you a number of days, even three hundred ninety days: so you shall bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. 6 Again, when you have accomplished these, you shall lie on your right side, and shall bear the iniquity of the house of Judah: forty days, each day for a year, have I appointed it to you. 7 You shall set your face toward the siege of Jerusalem, with your arm uncovered; and you shall prophesy against it. 8 Behold, I lay bands on you, and you shall not turn you from one side to the other, until you have accomplished the days of your siege. 9 Take for yourself also wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils, and millet, and spelt, and put them in one vessel, and make bread of it; according to the number of the days that you shall lie on your side, even three hundred ninety days, you shall eat of it. 10 Your food which you shall eat shall be by weight, twenty shekels a day: from time to time you shall eat it. 11 You shall drink water by measure, the sixth part of a hin: from time to time you shall drink. 12 You shall eat it as barley cakes, and you shall bake it in their sight with dung that comes out of man. 13 Yahweh said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their bread unclean, among the nations where I will drive them. 14 Then I said, Ah Lord Yahweh! behold, my soul has not been polluted; for from my youth up even until now have I not eaten of that which dies of itself, or is torn of animals; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth. 15 Then he said to me, Behold, I have given you cow’s dung for man’s dung, and you shall prepare your bread on it. 16 Moreover he said to me, Son of man, behold, I will break the staff of bread in Jerusalem: and they shall eat bread by weight, and with fearfulness; and they shall drink water by measure, and in dismay: 17 that they may want bread and water, and be dismayed one with another, and pine away in their iniquity.
5 You, son of man, take a sharp sword; You shall take it as a barber’s razor to you, and shall cause it to pass on your head and on your beard: then take balances to weigh, and divide the hair. 2 A third part you shall burn in the fire in the middle of the city, when the days of the siege are fulfilled; and you shall take a third part, and strike with the sword around it; and a third part you shall scatter to the wind, and I will draw out a sword after them. 3 You shall take of it a few in number, and bind them in your skirts. 4 Of these again you shall take, and cast them into the middle of the fire, and burn them in the fire; from it shall a fire come out into all the house of Israel. 5 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: This is Jerusalem; I have set her in the middle of the nations, and countries are around her. 6 She has rebelled against my ordinances in doing wickedness more than the nations, and against my statutes more than the countries that are around her; for they have rejected my ordinances, and as for my statutes, they have not walked in them. 7 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you are turbulent more than the nations that are around you, and have not walked in my statutes, neither have kept my ordinances, neither have done after the ordinances of the nations that are around you; 8 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I, even I, am against you; and I will execute judgments among you in the sight of the nations. 9 I will do in you that which I have not done, and which I will not do any more the like, because of all your abominations. 10 Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in within you, and the sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments on you; and the whole remnant of you will I scatter to all the winds. 11 Therefore as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely, because you have defiled my sanctuary with all your detestable things, and with all your abominations, therefore will I also diminish you; neither shall my eye spare, and I also will have no pity. 12 A third part of you shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed within you; and a third part shall fall by the sword around you; and a third part I will scatter to all the winds, and will draw out a sword after them. 13 Thus shall my anger be accomplished, and I will cause my wrath toward them to rest, and I shall be comforted; and they shall know that I, Yahweh, have spoken in my zeal, when I have accomplished my wrath on them. 14 Moreover I will make you a desolation and a reproach among the nations that are around you, in the sight of all that pass by. 15 So it shall be a reproach and a taunt, an instruction and an astonishment, to the nations that are around you, when I shall execute judgments on you in anger and in wrath, and in wrathful rebukes; (I, Yahweh, have spoken it;) 16 when I shall send on them the evil arrows of famine, that are for destruction, which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine on you, and will break your staff of bread; 17 and I will send on you famine and evil animals, and they shall bereave you; and pestilence and blood shall pass through you; and I will bring the sword on you: I, Yahweh, have spoken it.
6 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, set your face toward the mountains of Israel, and prophesy to them, 3 and say, You mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord Yahweh: Thus says the Lord Yahweh to the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys: Behold, I, even I, will bring a sword on you, and I will destroy your high places. 4 Your altars shall become desolate, and your incense altars shall be broken; and I will cast down your slain men before your idols. 5 I will lay the dead bodies of the children of Israel before their idols; and I will scatter your bones around your altars. 6 In all your dwelling places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that your altars may be laid waste and made desolate, and your idols may be broken and cease, and your incense altars may be cut down, and your works may be abolished. 7 The slain shall fall among you, and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 8 Yet will I leave a remnant, in that you shall have some that escape the sword among the nations, when you shall be scattered through the countries. 9 Those of you that escape shall remember me among the nations where they shall be carried captive, how that I have been broken with their lewd heart, which has departed from me, and with their eyes, which play the prostitute after their idols: and they shall loathe themselves in their own sight for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations. 10 They shall know that I am Yahweh: I have not said in vain that I would do this evil to them. 11 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Strike with your hand, and stamp with your foot, and say, Alas! because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel; for they shall fall by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. 12 He who is far off shall die of the pestilence; and he who is near shall fall by the sword; and he who remains and is besieged shall die by the famine: thus will I accomplish my wrath on them. 13 You shall know that I am Yahweh, when their slain men shall be among their idols around their altars, on every high hill, on all the tops of the mountains, and under every green tree, and under every thick oak, the places where they offered pleasant aroma to all their idols. 14 I will stretch out my hand on them, and make the land desolate and waste, from the wilderness toward Diblah, throughout all their habitations: and they shall know that I am Yahweh.
4 Let us fear therefore, lest perhaps anyone of you should seem to have come short of a promise of entering into his rest. 2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, even as they also did, but the word they heard didn’t profit them, because it wasn’t mixed with faith by those who heard. 3 For we who have believed do enter into that rest, even as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest”; although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has said this somewhere about the seventh day, “God rested on the seventh day from all his works”; 5 and in this place again, “They will not enter into my rest.”
6 Seeing therefore it remains that some should enter therein, and they to whom the good news was before preached failed to enter in because of disobedience, 7 he again defines a certain day, today, saying through David so long a time afterward (just as has been said),
“Today if you will hear his voice,
don’t harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterward of another day. 9 There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered into his rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from his. 11 Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
13 There is no creature that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account. 14 Having then a great high priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold tightly to our confession. 15 For we don’t have a high priest who can’t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need.
24 Yahweh, how many are your works!
In wisdom have you made them all.
The earth is full of your riches.
25 There is the sea, great and wide,
in which are innumerable living things,
both small and large animals.
26 There the ships go,
and leviathan, whom you formed to play there.
27 These all wait for you,
that you may give them their food in due season.
28 You give to them; they gather.
You open your hand; they are satisfied with good.
29 You hide your face: they are troubled;
you take away their breath: they die, and return to the dust.
30 You send out your Spirit and they are created.
You renew the face of the ground.
31 Let Yahweh’s glory endure forever.
Let Yahweh rejoice in his works.
32 He looks at the earth, and it trembles.
He touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to Yahweh as long as I live.
I will sing praise to my God while I have any being.
34 Let your meditation be sweet to him.
I will rejoice in Yahweh.
35 Let sinners be consumed out of the earth.
Let the wicked be no more.
Bless Yahweh, my soul.
27 Whoever digs a pit shall fall into it.
Whoever rolls a stone, it will come back on him.