7 November 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s reading in Ezekiel includes the riddle of the great eagle. In this, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon is compared to a great eagle, the king of birds, swift, strong, rapacious. Lebanon represents Jerusalem, the chief city of the country where this great, fruitful and pleasant hill was. It foretells how the king of Judah, Jehoiachin, and the people would be carried away into captivity.
43 Because you have not remembered the days of your youth, but have raged against me in all these things; therefore, behold, I also will bring your way on your head, says the Lord Yahweh: and you shall not commit this lewdness with all your abominations. 44 Behold, everyone who uses proverbs shall use this proverb against you, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter. 45 You are the daughter of your mother, who loathes her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children: your mother was a Hittite, and your father an Amorite. 46 Your elder sister is Samaria, who dwells at your left hand, she and her daughters; and your younger sister, who dwells at your right hand, is Sodom and her daughters. 47 Yet you have not walked in their ways, nor done after their abominations; but, soon you were more corrupt than they in all your ways. 48 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, Sodom your sister has not done, she nor her daughters, as you have done, you and your daughters. 49 Behold, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: pride, fullness of bread, and prosperous ease was in her and in her daughters; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away when I saw it. 51 Neither has Samaria committed half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all your abominations which you have done. 52 You also, bear you your own shame, in that you have given judgment for your sisters; through your sins that you have committed more abominable than they, they are more righteous that you: yes, be also confounded, and bear your shame, in that you have justified your sisters. 53 I will turn again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, and the captivity of your captives among them; 54 that you may bear your own shame, and may be ashamed because of all that you have done, in that you are a comfort to them. 55 Your sisters, Sodom and her daughters, shall return to their former estate; and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate; and you and your daughters shall return to your former estate. 56 For your sister Sodom was not mentioned by your mouth in the day of your pride, 57 before your wickedness was uncovered, as at the time of the reproach of the daughters of Syria, and of all who are around her, the daughters of the Philistines, who do despite to you all around. 58 You have borne your lewdness and your abominations, says Yahweh. 59 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will also deal with you as you have done, who have despised the oath in breaking the covenant. 60 Nevertheless I will remember my covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish to you an everlasting covenant. 61 Then you shall remember your ways, and be ashamed, when you shall receive your sisters, your elder sisters and your younger; and I will give them to you for daughters, but not by your covenant. 62 I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall know that I am Yahweh; 63 that you may remember, and be confounded, and never open your mouth any more, because of your shame, when I have forgiven you all that you have done, says the Lord Yahweh.
17 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, tell a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel; 3 and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: A great eagle with great wings and long feathers, full of feathers, which had various colors, came to Lebanon, and took the top of the cedar: 4 he cropped off the topmost of the young twigs of it, and carried it to a land of traffic; he set it in a city of merchants. 5 He took also of the seed of the land, and planted it in a fruitful soil; he placed it beside many waters; he set it as a willow tree. 6 It grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches turned toward him, and its roots were under him: so it became a vine, and produced branches, and shot out sprigs. 7 There was also another great eagle with great wings and many feathers: and behold, this vine bent its roots toward him, and shot out its branches toward him, from the beds of its plantation, that he might water it. 8 It was planted in a good soil by many waters, that it might produce branches, and that it might bear fruit, that it might be a goodly vine. 9 Say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Shall it prosper? shall he not pull up its roots, and cut off its fruit, that it may wither; that all its fresh springing leaves may wither? and not by a strong arm or many people can it be raised from its roots. 10 Yes, behold, being planted, shall it prosper? shall it not utterly wither, when the east wind touches it? it shall wither in the beds where it grew. 11 Moreover Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 12 Say now to the rebellious house, Don’t you know what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, and took its king, and its princes, and brought them to him to Babylon: 13 and he took of the royal offspring,[a] and made a covenant with him; he also brought him under an oath, and took away the mighty of the land; 14 that the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping his covenant it might stand. 15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and many people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape who does such things? shall he break the covenant, and yet escape? 16 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely in the place where the king dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he broke, even with him in the middle of Babylon he shall die. 17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company help him in the war, when they cast up mounds and build forts, to cut off many persons. 18 For he has despised the oath by breaking the covenant; and behold, he had given his hand, and yet has done all these things; he shall not escape. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: As I live, surely my oath that he has despised, and my covenant that he has broken, I will even bring it on his own head. 20 I will spread my net on him, and he shall be taken in my snare, and I will bring him to Babylon, and will enter into judgment with him there for his trespass that he has trespassed against me. 21 All his fugitives in all his bands shall fall by the sword, and those who remain shall be scattered toward every wind: and you shall know that I, Yahweh, have spoken it. 22 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will also take of the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I will plant it on a high and lofty mountain: 23 in the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it; and it shall produce boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all birds of every wing; in the shade of its branches shall they dwell. 24 All the trees of the field shall know that I, Yahweh, have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish; I, Yahweh, have spoken and have done it.
8 Now in the things which we are saying, the main point is this. We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a servant of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. 4 For if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, seeing there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law; 5 who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, even as Moses was warned by God when he was about to make the tabernacle, for he said, “See, you shall make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain.” 6 But now he has obtained a more excellent ministry, by so much as he is also the mediator of a better covenant, which on better promises has been given as law. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, he said,
“Behold, the days come”, says the Lord,
“that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9 not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers,
in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;
for they didn’t continue in my covenant,
and I disregarded them,” says the Lord.
10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel.
After those days,” says the Lord;
“I will put my laws into their mind,
I will also write them on their heart.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
11 They will not teach every man his fellow citizen,
and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for all will know me,
from their least to their greatest.
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness.
I will remember their sins and lawless deeds no more.”
13 In that he says, “A new covenant”, he has made the first old. But that which is becoming old and grows aged is near to vanishing away.
13 They soon forgot his works.
They didn’t wait for his counsel,
14 but gave in to craving in the desert,
and tested God in the wasteland.
15 He gave them their request,
but sent leanness into their soul.
16 They envied Moses also in the camp,
and Aaron, Yahweh’s saint.
17 The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,
and covered the company of Abiram.
18 A fire was kindled in their company.
The flame burned up the wicked.
19 They made a calf in Horeb,
and worshiped a molten image.
20 Thus they exchanged their glory
for an image of a bull that eats grass.
21 They forgot God, their Savior,
who had done great things in Egypt,
22 Wondrous works in the land of Ham,
and awesome things by the Red Sea.
23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them,
had Moses, his chosen, not stood before him in the breach,
to turn away his wrath, so that he wouldn’t destroy them.
24 Yes, they despised the pleasant land.
They didn’t believe his word,
25 but murmured in their tents,
and didn’t listen to Yahweh’s voice.
26 Therefore he swore to them
that he would overthrow them in the wilderness,
27 that he would overthrow their offspring among the nations,
and scatter them in the lands.
28 They joined themselves also to Baal Peor,
and ate the sacrifices of the dead.
29 Thus they provoked him to anger with their deeds.
The plague broke in on them.
30 Then Phinehas stood up, and executed judgment,
so the plague was stopped.
31 That was credited to him for righteousness,
for all generations to come.
7 A full soul loathes a honeycomb;
but to a hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet.
8 As a bird that wanders from her nest,
so is a man who wanders from his home.
9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart;
so does earnest counsel from a man’s friend.