10 November 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading from Ezekiel, we read of the extensive sin which will bring the Lord’s sword against Jerusalem. God instructs Ezekiel to sigh, cry and howl. Ezekiel represents the king of Babylon intent on vengeance against both Jews and Ammonites, for allying themselves with Egypt. He is described standing at the parting of the roads leading to the respective capitals of the Jews and Ammonites. He divines to ascertain which to attack first, and Jerusalem is picked. Destruction is also predicted for the Ammonites.
Today’s passage in Hebrews references Psalm 40:6-8; Jeremiah 31:33; and Jeremiah 31:34.
21 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and preach toward the sanctuaries, and prophesy against the land of Israel; 3 and tell the land of Israel, Yahweh says: Behold, I am against you, and will draw my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked. 4 Seeing then that I will cut off from you the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go out of its sheath against all flesh from the south to the north: 5 and all flesh shall know that I, Yahweh, have drawn my sword out of its sheath; it shall not return any more. 6 Sigh therefore, you son of man; with the breaking of your thighs and with bitterness you will sigh before their eyes. 7 It shall be, when they tell you, Why do you sigh? that you shall say, Because of the news, for it comes; and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it comes, and it shall be done, says the Lord Yahweh. 8 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 9 Son of man, prophesy, and say, Yahweh says: Say, A sword, a sword, it is sharpened, and also furbished; 10 it is sharpened that it may make a slaughter; it is furbished that it may be as lightning: shall we then make mirth? the rod of my son, it condemns every tree. 11 It is given to be furbished, that it may be handled: the sword, it is sharpened, yes, it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the killer. 12 Cry and wail, son of man; for it is on my people, it is on all the princes of Israel: they are delivered over to the sword with my people; strike therefore on your thigh. 13 For there is a trial; and what if even the rod that condemns shall be no more? says the Lord Yahweh. 14 You therefore, son of man, prophesy, and strike your hands together; and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the deadly wounded: it is the sword of the great one who is deadly wounded, which enters into their rooms. 15 I have set the threatening sword against all their gates, that their heart may melt, and their stumblings be multiplied: ah! it is made as lightning, it is pointed for slaughter. 16 Gather yourselves together, go to the right, set yourselves in array, go to the left, wherever your face is set. 17 I will also strike my hands together, and I will cause my wrath to rest: I, Yahweh, have spoken it. 18 Yahweh’s word came to me again, saying, 19 Also, you son of man, appoint two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come; they both shall come out of one land: and mark out a place, mark it out at the head of the way to the city. 20 You shall appoint a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and to Judah in Jerusalem the fortified. 21 For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he shook the arrows back and forth, he consulted the teraphim, he looked in the liver. 22 In his right hand was the lot for Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build forts. 23 It shall be to them as a false divination in their sight, who have sworn oaths to them; but he brings iniquity to memory, that they may be taken. 24 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your doings your sins appear; because you have come to memory, you shall be taken with the hand. 25 You, deadly wounded wicked one, the prince of Israel, whose day has come, in the time of the iniquity of the end, 26 thus says the Lord Yahweh: Remove the turban, and take off the crown; this will not be as it was; exalt that which is low, and abase that which is high. 27 I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: this also shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it. 28 You, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh concerning the children of Ammon, and concerning their reproach; and say, A sword, a sword is drawn, for the slaughter it is furbished, to cause it to devour, that it may be as lightning; 29 while they see for you false visions, while they divine lies to you, to lay you on the necks of the wicked who are deadly wounded, whose day has come in the time of the iniquity of the end. 30 Cause it to return into its sheath. In the place where you were created, in the land of your birth, will I judge you. 31 I will pour out my indignation on you; I will blow on you with the fire of my wrath; and I will deliver you into the hand of brutish men, skillful to destroy. 32 You shall be for fuel to the fire; your blood shall be in the middle of the land; you shall be remembered no more: for I, Yahweh, have spoken it.
22 Moreover Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 2 You, son of man, will you judge, will you judge the bloody city? then cause her to know all her abominations. 3 You shall say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: A city that sheds blood within herself, that her time may come, and that makes idols against herself to defile her! 4 You have become guilty in your blood that you have shed, and are defiled in your idols which you have made; and you have caused your days to draw near, and have come even to your years: therefore have I made you a reproach to the nations, and a mocking to all the countries. 5 Those who are near, and those who are far from you, shall mock you, you infamous one, full of tumult. 6 Behold, the princes of Israel, everyone according to his power, have been in you to shed blood. 7 In you have they set light by father and mother; among you they have dealt by oppression with the foreigner; in you they have wronged the fatherless and the widow. 8 You have despised my holy things, and have profaned my Sabbaths. 9 Slanderous men have been in you to shed blood; and in you they have eaten on the mountains: they have committed lewdness among you. 10 In you have they uncovered their fathers’ nakedness; in you have they humbled her who was unclean in her impurity. 11 One has committed abomination with his neighbor’s wife; and another has lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law; and another in you has humbled his sister, his father’s daughter. 12 In you have they taken bribes to shed blood; you have taken interest and increase, and you have greedily gained of your neighbors by oppression, and have forgotten me, says the Lord Yahweh. 13 Behold, therefore, I have struck my hand at your dishonest gain which you have made, and at your blood which has been within you. 14 Can your heart endure, or can your hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with you? I, Yahweh, have spoken it, and will do it. 15 I will scatter you among the nations, and disperse you through the countries; and I will consume your filthiness out of you. 16 You shall be profaned in yourself, in the sight of the nations; and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 17 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 18 Son of man, the house of Israel has become dross to me: all of them are brass and tin and iron and lead, in the middle of the furnace; they are the dross of silver. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because you have all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the middle of Jerusalem. 20 As they gather silver and brass and iron and lead and tin into the middle of the furnace, to blow the fire on it, to melt it; so will I gather you in my anger and in my wrath, and I will lay you there, and melt you. 21 Yes, I will gather you, and blow on you with the fire of my wrath, and you shall be melted in the middle of it. 22 As silver is melted in the middle of the furnace, so you will be melted in the middle of it; and you will know that I, Yahweh, have poured out my wrath on you. 23 Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 24 Son of man, tell her, You are a land that is not cleansed, nor rained on in the day of indignation. 25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets within it, like a roaring lion ravening the prey: they have devoured souls; they take treasure and precious things; they have made her widows many within it. 26 Her priests have done violence to my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean, and have hidden their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. 27 Her princes within it are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, that they may get dishonest gain. 28 Her prophets have plastered for them with whitewash, seeing false visions, and divining lies to them, saying, Thus says the Lord Yahweh, when Yahweh has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery; yes, they have troubled the poor and needy, and have oppressed the foreigner wrongfully. 30 I sought for a man among them, who should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Therefore have I poured out my indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I brought on their heads, says the Lord Yahweh.
10 For the law, having a shadow of the good to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Or else wouldn’t they have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having been once cleansed, would have had no more consciousness of sins? 3 But in those sacrifices there is a yearly reminder of sins. 4 For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. 5 Therefore when he comes into the world, he says,
“Sacrifice and offering you didn’t desire,
but you prepared a body for me.
6 You had no pleasure in whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin.
7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (in the scroll of the book it is written of me)
to do your will, O God.’”
8 Previously saying, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you didn’t desire, neither had pleasure in them” (those which are offered according to the law), 9 then he has said, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He takes away the first, that he may establish the second, 10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 Every priest indeed stands day by day serving and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins, 12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13 from that time waiting until his enemies are made the footstool of his feet. 14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying,
16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them:
‘After those days,’ says the Lord,
‘I will put my laws on their heart,
I will also write them on their mind;’”
then he says,
17 “I will remember their sins and their iniquities no more.”
108 My heart is steadfast, God.
I will sing and I will make music with my soul.
2 Wake up, harp and lyre!
I will wake up the dawn.
3 I will give thanks to you, Yahweh, among the nations.
I will sing praises to you among the peoples.
4 For your loving kindness is great above the heavens.
Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
5 Be exalted, God, above the heavens!
Let your glory be over all the earth.
6 That your beloved may be delivered,
save with your right hand, and answer us.
7 God has spoken from his sanctuary: “In triumph,
I will divide Shechem, and measure out the valley of Succoth.
8 Gilead is mine. Manasseh is mine.
Ephraim also is my helmet.
Judah is my scepter.
9 Moab is my wash pot.
I will toss my sandal on Edom.
I will shout over Philistia.”
10 Who will bring me into the fortified city?
Who has led me to Edom?
11 Haven’t you rejected us, God?
You don’t go out, God, with our armies.
12 Give us help against the enemy,
for the help of man is vain.
13 Through God, we will do valiantly.
For it is he who will tread down our enemies.
12 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge;
but the simple pass on, and suffer for it.