6 November 2017 Bible Reading
Chaldeans were people who lived in southern Babylonia, the southern part of Iraq today.
Genesis 11:28 speaks of Abraham’s father Terah, who was from “Ur of the Chaldeans,” the specific tribe or people known as the Chaldeans. We know from verses such as Genesis 11:31 and Genesis 15:7 that God called Abraham, a Chaldean, out of Ur of the Chaldeans so that Abraham would follow God to the land that God had promised to him and his descendants.
The Chaldeans were an intelligent and sometimes aggressive, warlike people. In 731 BC Ukinzer, a Chaldean, became king of Babylon; however, his reign was short-lived. A few years later Merodach-Baladan, also a Chaldean, became king over Babylon. Then in 626 BC Nabopolassar, another Chaldean, began what would be an extended period of time during which Babylon was ruled by a Chaldean king. During this time the word Chaldean became synonymous for Babylon, and we see many verses in Scripture where the word Chaldean was used to refer to Babylonians in general (Isaiah 13:19; 47:1, 5; 48:14, 20). Successors to Nabopolassar were Nebuchadnezzar, Amel-Marduk, Nabonidus and then Belshazzar, “king of the Chaldeans” (Daniel 5:30).
At the height of the Babylonian Empire, the Chaldeans were an influential and highly educated group of people. Some historians believe that, after Persia conquered Babylon, the term Chaldean was used more often to refer to a social class of highly educated people than to a race of men. The Chaldeans influenced Nebuchadnezzar’s decision to throw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego into the fiery furnace (Daniel 3:8) and were well known as wise men and astrologers during the time of Jewish captivity in Babylon. (Daniel 1:4; 2:10; 4:7; 5:7, 11). At the time of Daniel, Babylon was the intellectual center of western Asia, and the Chaldeans were renowned for their study and knowledge of astrology and astronomy. They kept detailed astronomical records for over 360 years, which can help us understand how the wise men from the East would have been able to recognize and follow the star that would lead them to the King of the Jews (Matthew 2:2).
Today’s passage in Hebrews references Psalm 110:4.
12 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 13 Son of man, when a land sins against me by committing a trespass, and I stretch out my hand on it, and break the staff of its bread, and send famine on it, and cut off from it man and animal; 14 though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, says the Lord Yahweh. 15 If I cause evil animals to pass through the land, and they ravage it, and it is made desolate, so that no man may pass through because of the animals; 16 though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, they should deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only should be delivered, but the land should be desolate. 17 Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off from it man and animal; 18 though these three men were in it, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, they should deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only should be delivered themselves. 19 Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my wrath on it in blood, to cut off from it man and animal; 20 though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, they should deliver neither son nor daughter; they should but deliver their own souls by their righteousness. 21 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: How much more when I send my four severe judgments on Jerusalem, the sword, and the famine, and the evil animals, and the pestilence, to cut off from it man and animal! 22 Yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant that shall be carried out, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come out to you, and you shall see their way and their doings; and you shall be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought on Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought on it. 23 They shall comfort you, when you see their way and their doings; and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, says the Lord Yahweh.
15 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, what is the vine tree more than any tree, the vine-branch which is among the trees of the forest? 3 Will wood be taken of it to make anything? Will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel on it? 4 Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire has devoured both its ends, and the middle of it is burned: is it profitable for any work? 5 Behold, when it was whole, it was meet for no work: how much less, when the fire has devoured it, and it is burned, shall it yet be meet for any work! 6 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: As the vine tree among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so will I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 7 I will set my face against them; they shall go out from the fire, but the fire shall devour them; and you shall know that I am Yahweh, when I set my face against them. 8 I will make the land desolate, because they have committed a trespass, says the Lord Yahweh.
16 Again Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations; 3 and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh to Jerusalem: Your birth and your birth is of the land of the Canaanite; the Amorite was your father, and your mother was a Hittite. 4 As for your birth, in the day you were born your navel was not cut, neither were you washed in water to cleanse you; you weren’t salted at all, nor swaddled at all. 5 No eye pitied you, to do any of these things to you, to have compassion on you; but you were cast out in the open field, for that your person was abhorred, in the day that you were born. 6 When I passed by you, and saw you wallowing in your blood, I said to you, Though you are in your blood, live; yes, I said to you, Though you are in your blood, live. 7 I caused you to multiply as that which grows in the field, and you increased and grew great, and you attained to excellent ornament; your breasts were fashioned, and your hair was grown; yet you were naked and bare. 8 Now when I passed by you, and looked at you, behold, your time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness: yes, I swore to you, and entered into a covenant with you, says the Lord Yahweh, and you became mine. 9 Then washed I you with water; yes, I thoroughly washed away your blood from you, and I anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you also with embroidered work, and shod you with sealskin, and I dressed you about with fine linen, and covered you with silk. 11 I decked you with ornaments, and I put bracelets on your hands, and a chain on your neck. 12 I put a ring on your nose, and earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. 13 Thus you were decked with gold and silver; and your clothing was of fine linen, and silk, and embroidered work; you ate fine flour, and honey, and oil; and you were exceeding beautiful, and you prospered to royal estate. 14 Your renown went out among the nations for your beauty; for it was perfect, through my majesty which I had put on you, says the Lord Yahweh. 15 But you trusted in your beauty, and played the prostitute because of your renown, and poured out your prostitution on everyone who passed by; his it was. 16 You took of your garments, and made for yourselves high places decked with various colors, and played the prostitute on them. This shall not come, neither shall it be. 17 You also took your beautiful jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given you, and made for yourself images of men, and played the prostitute with them; 18 and you took your embroidered garments, and covered them, and set my oil and my incense before them. 19 My bread also which I gave you, fine flour, and oil, and honey, with which I fed you, you even set it before them for a pleasant aroma; and so it was, says the Lord Yahweh. 20 Moreover you have taken your sons and your daughters, whom you have borne to me, and you have sacrificed these to them to be devoured. Was your prostitution a small matter, 21 that you have slain my children, and delivered them up, in causing them to pass through the fire to them? 22 In all your abominations and your prostitution you have not remembered the days of your youth, when you were naked and bare, and were wallowing in your blood. 23 It has happened after all your wickedness, (woe, woe to you! says the Lord Yahweh), 24 that you have built for yourselves a vaulted place, and have made yourselves a lofty place in every street. 25 You have built your lofty place at the head of every way, and have made your beauty an abomination, and have opened your feet to everyone who passed by, and multiplied your prostitution. 26 You have also committed sexual immorality with the Egyptians, your neighbors, great of flesh; and have multiplied your prostitution, to provoke me to anger. 27 See therefore, I have stretched out my hand over you, and have diminished your portion, and delivered you to the will of those who hate you, the daughters of the Philistines, who are ashamed of your lewd way. 28 You have played the prostitute also with the Assyrians, because you were insatiable; yes, you have played the prostitute with them, and yet you weren’t satisfied. 29 You have moreover multiplied your prostitution to the land of merchants, to Chaldea; and yet you weren’t satisfied with this. 30 How weak is your heart, says the Lord Yahweh, since you do all these things, the work of an impudent prostitute; 31 in that you build your vaulted place at the head of every way, and make your lofty place in every street, and have not been as a prostitute, in that you scorn pay. 32 A wife who commits adultery! who takes strangers instead of her husband! 33 They give gifts to all prostitutes; but you give your gifts to all your lovers, and bribe them, that they may come to you on every side for your prostitution. 34 You are different from other women in your prostitution, in that no one follows you to play the prostitute; and whereas you give hire, and no hire is given to you, therefore you are different. 35 Therefore, prostitute, hear Yahweh’s word: 36 Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Because your filthiness was poured out, and your nakedness uncovered through your prostitution with your lovers; and because of all the idols of your abominations, and for the blood of your children, that you gave to them; 37 therefore see, I will gather all your lovers, with whom you have taken pleasure, and all those who you have loved, with all those who you have hated; I will even gather them against you on every side, and will uncover your nakedness to them, that they may see all your nakedness. 38 I will judge you, as women who break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will bring on you the blood of wrath and jealousy. 39 I will also give you into their hand, and they shall throw down your vaulted place, and break down your lofty places; and they shall strip you of your clothes, and take your beautiful jewels; and they shall leave you naked and bare. 40 They shall also bring up a company against you, and they shall stone you with stones, and thrust you through with their swords. 41 They shall burn your houses with fire, and execute judgments on you in the sight of many women; and I will cause you to cease from playing the prostitute, and you shall also give no hire any more. 42 So will I cause my wrath toward you to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from you, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry.
18 For there is an annulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20 Inasmuch as he was not made priest without the taking of an oath 21 (for they indeed have been made priests without an oath), but he with an oath by him that says of him,
“The Lord swore and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.’”
22 By so much, Jesus has become the collateral of a better covenant. 23 Many, indeed, have been made priests, because they are hindered from continuing by death. 24 But he, because he lives forever, has his priesthood unchangeable. 25 Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them.
26 For such a high priest was fitting for us: holy, guiltless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 who doesn’t need, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices daily, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. For he did this once for all, when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men as high priests who have weakness, but the word of the oath which came after the law appoints a Son forever who has been perfected.
106 Praise Yahweh!
Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good,
for his loving kindness endures forever.
2 Who can utter the mighty acts of Yahweh,
or fully declare all his praise?
3 Blessed are those who keep justice.
Blessed is one who does what is right at all times.
4 Remember me, Yahweh, with the favor that you show to your people.
Visit me with your salvation,
5 that I may see the prosperity of your chosen,
that I may rejoice in the gladness of your nation,
that I may glory with your inheritance.
6 We have sinned with our fathers.
We have committed iniquity.
We have done wickedly.
7 Our fathers didn’t understand your wonders in Egypt.
They didn’t remember the multitude of your loving kindnesses,
but were rebellious at the sea, even at the Red Sea.
8 Nevertheless he saved them for his name’s sake,
that he might make his mighty power known.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it was dried up;
so he led them through the depths, as through a desert.
10 He saved them from the hand of him who hated them,
and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.
11 The waters covered their adversaries.
There was not one of them left.
12 Then they believed his words.
They sang his praise.
4 Wrath is cruel,
and anger is overwhelming;
but who is able to stand before jealousy?
5 Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.
6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
although the kisses of an enemy are profuse.