19 November 2017 Bible Reading
Today’s reading from Ezekiel looks forward to a time when the Lord will have mercy on the whole house of Israel, and restore it to blessedness, no longer hiding His face from them.
In the fourteenth year after the destruction of Jerusalem, Ezekiel has a vision of a man with an appearance of brass, with a a line of flax in his hand and a measuring reed. A temple is described: the exact dimensions of the east, north and south gates are given. There is further description of the eight tables for the preparation of sacrifices, the chambers, and the porch. All measurements are given precisely in cubits.
Today’s passage in James references Genesis 15:16.
39 You, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus says the Lord Yahweh: Behold, I am against you, Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal: 2 and I will turn you around, and will lead you on, and will cause you to come up from the uttermost parts of the north; and I will bring you on the mountains of Israel; 3 and I will strike your bow out of your left hand, and will cause your arrows to fall out of your right hand. 4 You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you, and all your hordes, and the peoples who are with you: I will give you to the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the animals of the field to be devoured. 5 You shall fall on the open field; for I have spoken it, says the Lord Yahweh. 6 I will send a fire on Magog, and on those who dwell securely in the islands; and they shall know that I am Yahweh. 7 My holy name will I make known among my people Israel; neither will I allow my holy name to be profaned any more: and the nations shall know that I am Yahweh, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Behold, it comes, and it shall be done, says the Lord Yahweh; this is the day about which I have spoken. 9 Those who dwell in the cities of Israel shall go out, and shall make fires of the weapons and burn them, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the war clubs, and the spears, and they shall make fires of them seven years; 10 so that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall make fires of the weapons; and they shall plunder those who plundered them, and rob those who robbed them, says the Lord Yahweh. 11 It shall happen in that day, that I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the valley of those who pass through on the east of the sea; and it shall stop those who pass through: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude; and they shall call it The valley of Hamon Gog. 12 Seven months shall the house of Israel be burying them, that they may cleanse the land. 13 Yes, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown in the day that I shall be glorified, says the Lord Yahweh. 14 They shall set apart men of continual employment, who shall pass through the land, and, with those who pass through, those who bury those who remain on the surface of the land, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. 15 Those who pass through the land shall pass through; and when any sees a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, until the undertakers have buried it in the valley of Hamon Gog. 16 Hamonah shall also be the name of a city. Thus shall they cleanse the land. 17 You, son of man, thus says the Lord Yahweh: Speak to the birds of every sort, and to every animal of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood. 18 You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. 19 You shall eat fat until you be full, and drink blood until you are drunk, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. 20 You shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, says the Lord Yahweh. 21 I will set my glory among the nations; and all the nations shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid on them. 22 So the house of Israel shall know that I am Yahweh their God, from that day and forward. 23 The nations shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity; because they trespassed against me, and I hid my face from them: so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and they fell all of them by the sword. 24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions did I to them; and I hid my face from them. 25 Therefore thus says the Lord Yahweh: Now will I bring back the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I will be jealous for my holy name. 26 They shall bear their shame, and all their trespasses by which they have trespassed against me, when they shall dwell securely in their land, and no one shall make them afraid; 27 when I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations. 28 They shall know that I am Yahweh their God, in that I caused them to go into captivity among the nations, and have gathered them to their own land; and I will leave none of them any more there; 29 neither will I hide my face any more from them; for I have poured out my Spirit on the house of Israel, says the Lord Yahweh.
40 In the twenty-fifth year of our captivity, in the beginning of the year, in the tenth day of the month, in the fourteenth year after that the city was struck, in the same day, Yahweh’s hand was on me, and he brought me there. 2 In the visions of God brought he me into the land of Israel, and set me down on a very high mountain, whereon was as it were the frame of a city on the south. 3 He brought me there; and, behold, there was a man, whose appearance was like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate. 4 The man said to me, Son of man, see with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart on all that I shall show you; for, to the intent that I may show them to you, you are brought here: declare all that you see to the house of Israel. 5 Behold, a wall on the outside of the house all around, and in the man’s hand a measuring reed six cubits long, of a cubit and a hand width each: so he measured the thickness of the building, one reed; and the height, one reed. 6 Then came he to the gate which looks toward the east, and went up its steps: and he measured the threshold of the gate, one reed wide; and the other threshold, one reed wide. 7 Every lodge was one reed long, and one reed wide; and between the lodges was five cubits; and the threshold of the gate by the porch of the gate toward the house was one reed. 8 He measured also the porch of the gate toward the house, one reed. 9 Then measured he the porch of the gate, eight cubits; and its posts, two cubits; and the porch of the gate was toward the house. 10 The lodges of the gate eastward were three on this side, and three on that side; they three were of one measure: and the posts had one measure on this side and on that side. 11 He measured the width of the opening of the gate, ten cubits; and the length of the gate, thirteen cubits; 12 and a border before the lodges, one cubit on this side, and a border, one cubit on that side; and the lodges, six cubits on this side, and six cubits on that side. 13 He measured the gate from the roof of the one lodge to the roof of the other, a width of twenty-five cubits; door against door. 14 He made also posts, sixty cubits; and the court reached to the posts, around the gate. 15 From the forefront of the gate at the entrance to the forefront of the inner porch of the gate were fifty cubits. 16 There were closed windows to the lodges, and to their posts within the gate all around, and likewise to the arches; and windows were around inward; and on each post were palm trees. 17 Then brought he me into the outer court; and behold, there were rooms and a pavement, made for the court all around: thirty rooms were on the pavement. 18 The pavement was by the side of the gates, answerable to the length of the gates, even the lower pavement. 19 Then he measured the width from the forefront of the lower gate to the forefront of the inner court outside, one hundred cubits, both on the east and on the north. 20 The gate of the outer court whose prospect is toward the north, he measured its length and its width. 21 The lodges of it were three on this side and three on that side; and its posts and its arches were after the measure of the first gate: its length was fifty cubits, and the width twenty-five cubits. 22 The windows of it, and its arches, and the palm trees of it, were after the measure of the gate whose prospect is toward the east; and they went up to it by seven steps; and its arches were before them. 23 There was a gate to the inner court facing the other gate, on the north and on the east; and he measured from gate to gate one hundred cubits. 24 He led me toward the south; and behold, a gate toward the south: and he measured its posts and its arches according to these measurements. 25 There were windows in it and in its arches all around, like those windows: the length was fifty cubits, and the width twenty-five cubits. 26 There were seven steps to go up to it, and its arches were before them; and it had palm trees, one on this side, and another on that side, on its posts. 27 There was a gate to the inner court toward the south: and he measured from gate to gate toward the south a hundred cubits.
18 Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.
19 You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But do you want to know, vain man, that faith apart from works is dead? 21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith. 25 In the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute also justified by works, in that she received the messengers, and sent them out another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead.
3 Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment. 2 For in many things we all stumble. If anyone doesn’t stumble in word, the same is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. 3 Indeed, we put bits into the horses’ mouths so that they may obey us, and we guide their whole body. 4 Behold, the ships also, though they are so big and are driven by fierce winds, are yet guided by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot desires. 5 So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest! 6 And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna. 7 For every kind of animal, bird, creeping thing, and sea creature, is tamed, and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But nobody can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the image of God. 10 Out of the same mouth comes blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring send out from the same opening fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, yield olives, or a vine figs? Thus no spring yields both salt water and fresh water.
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his good conduct that his deeds are done in gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and don’t lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition are, there is confusion and every evil deed. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
118 Give thanks to Yahweh, for he is good,
for his loving kindness endures forever.
2 Let Israel now say
that his loving kindness endures forever.
3 Let the house of Aaron now say
that his loving kindness endures forever.
4 Now let those who fear Yahweh say
that his loving kindness endures forever.
5 Out of my distress, I called on Yah.
Yah answered me with freedom.
6 Yahweh is on my side. I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?
7 Yahweh is on my side among those who help me.
Therefore I will look in triumph at those who hate me.
8 It is better to take refuge in Yahweh,
than to put confidence in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in Yahweh,
than to put confidence in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me,
but in Yahweh’s name, I cut them off.
11 They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me.
In Yahweh’s name I indeed cut them off.
12 They surrounded me like bees.
They are quenched like the burning thorns.
In Yahweh’s name I cut them off.
13 You pushed me back hard, to make me fall,
but Yahweh helped me.
14 Yah is my strength and song.
He has become my salvation.
15 The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tents of the righteous.
“The right hand of Yahweh does valiantly.
16 The right hand of Yahweh is exalted!
The right hand of Yahweh does valiantly!”
17 I will not die, but live,
and declare Yah’s works.
18 Yah has punished me severely,
but he has not given me over to death.
2 In rebellion, a land has many rulers,
but order is maintained by a man of understanding and knowledge.