17 November 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading from Ezekiel, Mount Seir of Idumea represents Edom. It will be filled with the bodies of slain men, because of the blasphemies spoken against Israel. The mountains of Judah, occupied by the Idumeans, will be rid of their alien occupants and their idolatries. The idolatries and other sins of the Jews are the cause of their dispersion and captivity. The Israelites will be restored after the Babylonian captivity.
Our reading in the New Testament begins our study of James.
35 Moreover Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 2 Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir, and prophesy against it, 3 and tell it, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you, and I will make you a desolation and an astonishment. 4 I will lay your cities waste, and you shall be desolate; and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 5 Because you have had a perpetual hostility, and have given over the children of Israel to the power of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time of the iniquity of the end; 6 therefore, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I will prepare you for blood, and blood shall pursue you: since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you. 7 Thus will I make Mount Seir an astonishment and a desolation; and I will cut off from it him who passes through and him who returns. 8 I will fill its mountains with its slain: in your hills and in your valleys and in all your watercourses shall they fall who are slain with the sword. 9 I will make you a perpetual desolation, and your cities shall not be inhabited; and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 10 Because you have said, These two nations and these two countries shall be mine, and we will possess it; whereas Yahweh was there: 11 therefore, as I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I will do according to your anger, and according to your envy which you have shown out of your hatred against them; and I will make myself known among them, when I shall judge you. 12 You shall know that I, Yahweh, have heard all your insults which you have spoken against the mountains of Israel, saying, They are laid desolate, they have been given us to devour. 13 You have magnified yourselves against me with your mouth, and have multiplied your words against me: I have heard it. 14 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: When the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate. 15 As you rejoiced over the inheritance of the house of Israel, because it was desolate, so will I do to you: you shall be desolate, Mount Seir, and all Edom, even all of it; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.
36 You, son of man, prophesy to the mountains of Israel, and say, You mountains of Israel, hear Yahweh’s word. 2 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because the enemy has said against you, Aha! and, The ancient high places are ours in possession; 3 therefore prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because, even because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that you might be a possession to the residue of the nations, and you are taken up in the lips of talkers, and the evil report of the people; 4 therefore, 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, to the desolate wastes and to the cities that are forsaken, which are become a prey and derision to the residue of the nations that are all around; 5 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the nations, and against all Edom, that have appointed my land to themselves for a possession with the joy of all their heart, with despite of soul, to cast it out for a prey. 6 Therefore prophesy concerning the land of Israel, and tell the mountains and to the hills, to the watercourses and to the valleys, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I have spoken in my jealousy and in my wrath, because you have borne the shame of the nations: 7 therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: I have sworn, Surely the nations that are around you, they shall bear their shame. 8 But you, mountains of Israel, you shall shoot out your branches, and yield your fruit to my people Israel; for they are at hand to come. 9 For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn into you, and you shall be tilled and sown; 10 and I will multiply men on you, all the house of Israel, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built; 11 and I will multiply on you man and animal; and they shall increase and be fruitful; and I will cause you to be inhabited after your former estate, and you will do better than at your beginnings: and you shall know that I am Yahweh. 12 Yes, I will cause men to walk on you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess you, and you shall be their inheritance, and you shall no more henceforth bereave them of children. 13 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Because they say to you, You are a devourer of men, and have been a bereaver of your nation; 14 therefore you shall devour men no more, neither bereave your nation any more, says the Lord Yahweh; 15 neither will I let you hear any more the shame of the nations, neither shall you bear the reproach of the peoples any more, neither shall you cause your nation to stumble any more, says the Lord Yahweh. 16 Moreover Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, 17 Son of man, when the house of Israel lived in their own land, they defiled it by their way and by their doings: their way before me was as the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity. 18 Therefore I poured out my wrath on them for the blood which they had poured out on the land, and because they had defiled it with their idols; 19 and I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. 20 When they came to the nations, where they went, they profaned my holy name; in that men said of them, These are the people of Yahweh, and are gone out of his land. 21 But I had respect for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations, where they went. 22 Therefore tell the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I don’t do this for your sake, house of Israel, but for my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations, where you went. 23 I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned among them; and the nations shall know that I am Yahweh, says the Lord Yahweh, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 26 I will also give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my ordinances, and do them. 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. 29 I will save you from all your uncleanness: and I will call for the grain, and will multiply it, and lay no famine on you. 30 I will multiply the fruit of the tree, and the increase of the field, that you may receive no more the reproach of famine among the nations. 31 Then you shall remember your evil ways, and your doings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations. 32 Nor for your sake do I this, says the Lord Yahweh, be it known to you: be ashamed and confounded for your ways, house of Israel. 33 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: In the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be built. 34 The land that was desolate shall be tilled, whereas it was a desolation in the sight of all who passed by. 35 They shall say, This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are fortified and inhabited. 36 Then the nations that are left around you shall know that I, Yahweh, have built the ruined places, and planted that which was desolate: I, Yahweh, have spoken it, and I will do it. 37 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: For this, moreover, will I be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do it for them: I will increase them with men like a flock. 38 As the flock for sacrifice, as the flock of Jerusalem in her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men; and they shall know that I am Yahweh.
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are in the Dispersion: Greetings. 2 Count it all joy, my brothers,[a] when you fall into various temptations, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 Let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach; and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven by the wind and tossed. 7 For let that man not think that he will receive anything from the Lord. 8 He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
9 But let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his high position; 10 and the rich, in that he is made humble, because like the flower in the grass, he will pass away. 11 For the sun arises with the scorching wind, and withers the grass, and the flower in it falls, and the beauty of its appearance perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in his pursuits.
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation, for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord promised to those who love him.
13 Let no man say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God can’t be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. 15 Then the lust, when it has conceived, bears sin; and the sin, when it is full grown, produces death. 16 Don’t be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow. 18 Of his own will he gave birth to us by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
116 I love Yahweh, because he listens to my voice,
and my cries for mercy.
2 Because he has turned his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death surrounded me,
the pains of Sheol got a hold of me.
I found trouble and sorrow. 5 Yahweh is Gracious and righteous.
4 Then I called on Yahweh’s name:
“Yahweh, I beg you, deliver my soul.”
Yes, our God is merciful.
6 Yahweh preserves the simple.
I was brought low, and he saved me.
7 Return to your rest, my soul,
for Yahweh has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
and my feet from falling.
9 I will walk before Yahweh in the land of the living.
10 I believed, therefore I said,
“I was greatly afflicted.”
11 I said in my haste,
“All men are liars.”
12 What will I give to Yahweh for all his benefits toward me?
13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call on Yahweh’s name.
14 I will pay my vows to Yahweh,
yes, in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in Yahweh’s sight is the death of his saints.
16 Yahweh, truly I am your servant.
I am your servant, the son of your servant.
You have freed me from my chains.
17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and will call on Yahweh’s name.
18 I will pay my vows to Yahweh,
yes, in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of Yahweh’s house,
in the middle of you, Jerusalem.
23 Know well the state of your flocks,
and pay attention to your herds:
24 for riches are not forever,
nor does even the crown endure to all generations.
25 The hay is removed, and the new growth appears,
the grasses of the hills are gathered in.
26 The lambs are for your clothing,
and the goats are the price of a field.
27 There will be plenty of goats’ milk for your food,
for your family’s food,
and for the nourishment of your servant girls.