9 November 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading, the elders of Israel come to ask Ezekiel’s counsel. God orders Ezekiel to remind them of their rebellion and idolatry, in Egypt, in the wilderness and in Canaan. However. They will be restored, after being purged. Jerusalem is represented as a forest doomed to be destroyed by fire.
Today’s passage in Hebrews references Exodus 24:8.
20 In the seventh year, in the fifth month, the tenth day of the month, some of the elders of Israel came to inquire of Yahweh, and sat before me. 2 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 3 Son of man, speak to the elders of Israel, and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Is it to inquire of me that you have come? As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I will not be inquired of by you. 4 Will you judge them, son of man, will you judge them? Cause them to know the abominations of their fathers; 5 and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the day when I chose Israel, and swore to the offspring of the house of Jacob, and made myself known to them in the land of Egypt, when I swore to them, saying, I am Yahweh your God; 6 in that day I swore to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands. 7 I said to them, Cast away every man the abominations of his eyes, and don’t defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God. 8 But they rebelled against me, and would not listen to me; they each didn’t throw away the abominations of their eyes, neither did they forsake the idols of Egypt. Then I said I would pour out my wrath on them, to accomplish my anger against them in the middle of the land of Egypt. 9 But I worked for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, among which they were, in whose sight I made myself known to them, in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. 10 So I caused them to go out of the land of Egypt, and brought them into the wilderness. 11 I gave them my statutes, and showed them my ordinances, which if a man does, he shall live in them. 12 Moreover also I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am Yahweh who sanctifies them. 13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they didn’t walk in my statutes, and they rejected my ordinances, which if a man keep, he shall live in them; and my Sabbaths they greatly profaned. Then I said I would pour out my wrath on them in the wilderness, to consume them. 14 But I worked for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them out. 15 Moreover also I swore to them in the wilderness, that I would not bring them into the land which I had given them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands; 16 because they rejected my ordinances, and didn’t walk in my statutes, and profaned my Sabbaths: for their heart went after their idols. 17 Nevertheless my eye spared them, and I didn’t destroy them, neither did I make a full end of them in the wilderness. 18 I said to their children in the wilderness, Don’t walk in the statutes of your fathers, neither observe their ordinances, nor defile yourselves with their idols. 19 I am Yahweh your God: walk in my statutes, and keep my ordinances, and do them; 20 and make my Sabbaths holy; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that you may know that I am Yahweh your God. 21 But the children rebelled against me; they didn’t walk in my statutes, neither kept my ordinances to do them, which if a man do, he shall live in them; they profaned my Sabbaths. Then I said I would pour out my wrath on them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness. 22 Nevertheless I withdrew my hand, and worked for my name’s sake, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I brought them out. 23 Moreover I swore to them in the wilderness, that I would scatter them among the nations, and disperse them through the countries; 24 because they had not executed my ordinances, but had rejected my statutes, and had profaned my Sabbaths, and their eyes were after their fathers’ idols. 25 Moreover also I gave them statutes that were not good, and ordinances in which they should not live; 26 and I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused all that opens the womb to pass through the fire, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am Yahweh. 27 Therefore, son of man, speak to the house of Israel, and tell them, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In this moreover have your fathers blasphemed me, in that they have committed a trespass against me. 28 For when I had brought them into the land, which I swore to give to them, then they saw every high hill, and every thick tree, and they offered there their sacrifices, and there they presented the provocation of their offering; there also they made their pleasant aroma, and they poured out there their drink offerings. 29 Then I said to them, What does the high place where you go mean? So its name is called Bamah to this day. 30 Therefore tell the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Do you pollute yourselves in the way of your fathers? and do you play the prostitute after their abominations? 31 and when you offer your gifts, when you make your sons to pass through the fire, do you pollute yourselves with all your idols to this day? and shall I be inquired of by you, house of Israel? As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I will not be inquired of by you; 32 and that which comes into your mind shall not be at all, in that you say, We will be as the nations, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone. 33 As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, surely with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, will I be king over you: 34 and I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries in which you are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out; 35 and I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there will I enter into judgment with you face to face. 36 Like as I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I enter into judgment with you, says the Lord Yahweh. 37 I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38 and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and those who disobey against me; I will bring them out of the land where they live, but they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 39 As for you, house of Israel, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Go, serve everyone his idols, and hereafter also, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts, and with your idols. 40 For in my holy mountain, in the mountain of the height of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh, there shall all the house of Israel, all of them, serve me in the land: there will I accept them, and there will I require your offerings, and the first fruits of your offerings, with all your holy things. 41 As a pleasant aroma will I accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries in which you have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you in the sight of the nations. 42 You shall know that I am Yahweh, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country which I swore to give to your fathers. 43 There you shall remember your ways, and all your doings, in which you have polluted yourselves; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that you have committed. 44 You shall know that I am Yahweh, when I have dealt with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, you house of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh. 45 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 46 Son of man, set your face toward the south, and preach toward the south, and prophesy against the forest of the field in the South; 47 and tell the forest of the South, Hear Yahweh’s word: Thus says the Lord Yahweh, Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green tree in you, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burnt thereby. 48 All flesh shall see that I, Yahweh, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched. 49 Then I said, Ah Lord Yahweh! they say of me, Isn’t he a speaker of parables?
11 But Christ having come as a high priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, 12 nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the Holy Place, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled, sanctify to the cleanness of the flesh: 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without defect to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, since a death has occurred for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, that those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where a last will and testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him who made it. 17 For a will is in force where there has been death, for it is never in force while he who made it lives. 18 Therefore even the first covenant has not been dedicated without blood. 19 For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”
21 Moreover he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry in the same way with the blood. 22 According to the law, nearly everything is cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission. 23 It was necessary therefore that the copies of the things in the heavens should be cleansed with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ hasn’t entered into holy places made with hands, which are representations of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; 25 nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the holy place year by year with blood not his own, 26 or else he must have suffered often since the foundation of the world. But now once at the end of the ages, he has been revealed to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, without sin, to those who are eagerly waiting for him for salvation.
107 Give thanks to Yahweh,
for he is good,
for his loving kindness endures forever.
2 Let the redeemed by Yahweh say so,
whom he has redeemed from the hand of the adversary,
3 And gathered out of the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
4 They wandered in the wilderness in a desert way.
They found no city to live in.
5 Hungry and thirsty,
their soul fainted in them.
6 Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble,
and he delivered them out of their distresses,
7 he led them also by a straight way,
that they might go to a city to live in.
8 Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness,
for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!
9 For he satisfies the longing soul.
He fills the hungry soul with good.
10 Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death,
being bound in affliction and iron,
11 because they rebelled against the words of God]
and condemned the counsel of the Most High.
12 Therefore he brought down their heart with labor.
They fell down, and there was no one to help.
13 Then they cried to Yahweh in their trouble,
and he saved them out of their distresses.
14 He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death,
and broke away their chains.
15 Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness,
for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!
16 For he has broken the gates of brass,
and cut through bars of iron.
17 Fools are afflicted because of their disobedience,
and because of their iniquities.
18 Their soul abhors all kinds of food.
They draw near to the gates of death.
19 Then they cry to Yahweh in their trouble,
he saves them out of their distresses.
20 He sends his word, and heals them,
and delivers them from their graves.
21 Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness,
for his wonderful deeds to the children of men!
22 Let them offer the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and declare his deeds with singing.
23 Those who go down to the sea in ships,
who do business in great waters;
24 These see Yahweh’s deeds,
and his wonders in the deep.
25 For he commands, and raises the stormy wind,
which lifts up its waves.
26 They mount up to the sky; they go down again to the depths.
Their soul melts away because of trouble.
27 They reel back and forth, and stagger like a drunken man,
and are at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cry to Yahweh in their trouble,
and he brings them out of their distress.
29 He makes the storm a calm,
so that its waves are still.
30 Then they are glad because it is calm,
so he brings them to their desired haven.
31 Let them praise Yahweh for his loving kindness,
for his wonderful deeds for the children of men!
32 Let them exalt him also in the assembly of the people,
and praise him in the seat of the elders.
33 He turns rivers into a desert,
water springs into a thirsty ground,
34 and a fruitful land into a salt waste,
for the wickedness of those who dwell in it.
35 He turns a desert into a pool of water,
and a dry land into water springs.
36 There he makes the hungry live,
that they may prepare a city to live in,
37 sow fields, plant vineyards,
and reap the fruits of increase.
38 He blesses them also, so that they are multiplied greatly.
He doesn’t allow their livestock to decrease.
39 Again, they are diminished and bowed down
through oppression, trouble, and sorrow.
40 He pours contempt on princes,
and causes them to wander in a trackless waste.
41 Yet he lifts the needy out of their affliction,
and increases their families like a flock.
42 The upright will see it, and be glad.
All the wicked will shut their mouths.
43 Whoever is wise will pay attention to these things.
They will consider the loving kindnesses of Yahweh.
Don’t boast about tomorrow;
for you don’t know what a day may bring.