24 November 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading, we come to the conclusion of Ezekiel. The vision concludes with the holy waters issuing out of the temple, starting as a shallow stream, then getting deeper and fuller until it is over a man’s head. The river travels east until it reaches a sea which will teem with fish. Only the marshy ground will still be salty. Fruitful banks will grow on the banks of the river. A description of the division of the land shared between Jews and proselytes. A description of the several portions of the land belonging to each tribe, together with the portion allotted to the sanctuary, city, suburb, and prince. The measurement of the gates of the new city – three facing north, three south, three east and three west, each named after a tribe. The city will be named ‘The Lord is there’.
Today’s passage in 1 Peter references Isaiah 53:9.
47 He brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward; (for the forefront of the house was toward the east;) and the waters came down from under, from the right side of the house, on the south of the altar. 2 Then he brought me out by the way of the gate northward, and led me round by the way outside to the outer gate, by the way of the gate that looks toward the east; and behold, there ran out waters on the right side. 3 When the man went out eastward with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he caused me to pass through the waters, waters that were to the ankles. 4 Again he measured one thousand, and caused me to pass through the waters, waters that were to the knees. Again he measured one thousand, and caused me to pass through waters that were to the waist. 5 Afterward he measured one thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass through; for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed through. 6 He said to me, Son of man, have you seen? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the bank of the river. 7 Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. 8 Then he said to me, These waters flow out toward the eastern region, and will go down into the Arabah; and they will go toward the sea; and flow into the sea which will be made to flow out; and the waters will be healed. 9 It shall happen, that every living creature which swarms, in every place where the rivers come, shall live; and there shall be a very great multitude of fish; for these waters have come there, and the waters of the sea shall be healed, and everything shall live wherever the river comes. 10 It shall happen, that fishermen shall stand by it: from En Gedi even to En Eglaim shall be a place for the spreading of nets; their fish shall be after their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. 11 But the miry places of it, and its marshes, shall not be healed; they shall be given up to salt. 12 By the river on its bank, on this side and on that side, shall grow every tree for food, whose leaf shall not wither, neither shall its fruit fail: it shall produce new fruit every month, because its waters issue out of the sanctuary; and its fruit shall be for food, and its leaf for healing. 13 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: This shall be the border, by which you shall divide the land for inheritance according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions. 14 You shall inherit it, one as well as another; for I swore to give it to your fathers: and this land shall fall to you for inheritance. 15 This shall be the border of the land: On the north side, from the great sea, by the way of Hethlon, to the entrance of Zedad; 16 Hamath, Berothah, Sibraim, which is between the border of Damascus and the border of Hamath; Hazer Hatticon, which is by the border of Hauran. 17 The border from the sea, shall be Hazar Enon at the border of Damascus; and on the north northward is the border of Hamath. This is the north side. 18 The east side, between Hauran and Damascus and Gilead, and the land of Israel, shall be the Jordan; from the north border to the east sea you shall measure. This is the east side. 19 The south side southward shall be from Tamar as far as the waters of Meriboth Kadesh, to the brook, to the great sea. This is the south side southward. 20 The west side shall be the great sea, from the south border as far as over against the entrance of Hamath. This is the west side. 21 So you shall divide this land to you according to the tribes of Israel. 22 It shall happen, that you shall divide it by lot for an inheritance to you and to the aliens who live among you, who shall father children among you; and they shall be to you as the native-born among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel. 23 It shall happen, that in what tribe the stranger lives, there you shall give him his inheritance, says the Lord Yahweh.
48 Now these are the names of the tribes: From the north end, beside the way of Hethlon to the entrance of Hamath, Hazar Enan at the border of Damascus, northward beside Hamath, (and they shall have their sides east and west), Dan, one portion. 2 By the border of Dan, from the east side to the west side, Asher, one portion. 3 By the border of Asher, from the east side even to the west side, Naphtali, one portion. 4 By the border of Naphtali, from the east side to the west side, Manasseh, one portion. 5 By the border of Manasseh, from the east side to the west side, Ephraim, one portion. 6 By the border of Ephraim, from the east side even to the west side, Reuben, one portion. 7 By the border of Reuben, from the east side to the west side, Judah, one portion. 8 By the border of Judah, from the east side to the west side, shall be the offering which you shall offer, twenty-five thousand reeds in width, and in length as one of the portions, from the east side to the west side: and the sanctuary shall be in the middle of it. 9 The offering that you shall offer to Yahweh shall be twenty-five thousand reeds in length, and ten thousand in width. 10 For these, even for the priests, shall be the holy offering: toward the north twenty-five thousand in length, and toward the west ten thousand in width, and toward the east ten thousand in width, and toward the south twenty-five thousand in length: and the sanctuary of Yahweh shall be in the middle of it. 11 It shall be for the priests who are sanctified of the sons of Zadok, who have kept my instruction, who didn’t go astray when the children of Israel went astray, as the Levites went astray. 12 It shall be to them an offering from the offering of the land, a thing most holy, by the border of the Levites. 13 Answerable to the border of the priests, the Levites shall have twenty-five thousand in length, and ten thousand in width: all the length shall be twenty-five thousand, and the width ten thousand. 14 They shall sell none of it, nor exchange it, nor shall the first fruits of the land be alienated; for it is holy to Yahweh. 15 The five thousand that are left in the width, in front of the twenty-five thousand, shall be for common use, for the city, for dwelling and for suburbs; and the city shall be in the middle of it. 16 These shall be its measurements: the north side four thousand and five hundred, and the south side four thousand and five hundred, and on the east side four thousand and five hundred, and the west side four thousand and five hundred. 17 The city shall have suburbs: toward the north two hundred fifty, and toward the south two hundred fifty, and toward the east two hundred fifty, and toward the west two hundred fifty. 18 The remainder in the length, answerable to the holy offering, shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward; and it shall be answerable to the holy offering; and its increase shall be for food to those who labor in the city. 19 Those who labor in the city, out of all the tribes of Israel, shall cultivate it. 20 All the offering shall be a square of twenty-five thousand by twenty-five thousand: you shall offer it as a holy offering, with the possession of the city. 21 The remainder shall be for the prince, on the one side and on the other of the holy offering and of the possession of the city; in front of the twenty-five thousand of the offering toward the east border, and westward in front of the twenty-five thousand toward the west border, answerable to the portions, it shall be for the prince: and the holy offering and the sanctuary of the house shall be in the middle of it. 22 Moreover from the possession of the Levites, and from the possession of the city, being in the middle of that which is the prince’s, between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin, it shall be for the prince. 23 As for the rest of the tribes: from the east side to the west side, Benjamin, one portion. 24 By the border of Benjamin, from the east side to the west side, Simeon, one portion. 25 By the border of Simeon, from the east side to the west side, Issachar, one portion. 26 By the border of Issachar, from the east side to the west side, Zebulun, one portion. 27 By the border of Zebulun, from the east side to the west side, Gad, one portion. 28 By the border of Gad, at the south side southward, the border shall be even from Tamar to the waters of Meribath Kadesh, to the brook, to the great sea. 29 This is the land which you shall divide by lot to the tribes of Israel for inheritance, and these are their several portions, says the Lord Yahweh. 30 These are the exits of the city: On the north side four thousand and five hundred reeds by measure; 31 and the gates of the city shall be after the names of the tribes of Israel, three gates northward: the gate of Reuben, one; the gate of Judah, one; the gate of Levi, one. 32 At the east side four thousand and five hundred reeds, and three gates: even the gate of Joseph, one; the gate of Benjamin, one; the gate of Dan, one. 33 At the south side four thousand and five hundred reeds by measure, and three gates: the gate of Simeon, one; the gate of Issachar, one; the gate of Zebulun, one. 34 At the west side four thousand and five hundred reeds, with their three gates: the gate of Gad, one; the gate of Asher, one; the gate of Naphtali, one. 35 It shall be eighteen thousand reeds around: and the name of the city from that day shall be, Yahweh is there.
1 Peter 2:11-3:7
11 Beloved, I beg you as foreigners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 having good behavior among the nations, so in that of which they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they see, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Therefore subject yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether to the king, as supreme; 14 or to governors, as sent by him for vengeance on evildoers and for praise to those who do well. 15 For this is the will of God, that by well-doing you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 as free, and not using your freedom for a cloak of wickedness, but as bondservants of God.
17 Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. 18 Servants, be in subjection to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the wicked. 19 For it is commendable if someone endures pain, suffering unjustly, because of conscience toward God. 20 For what glory is it if, when you sin, you patiently endure beating? But if, when you do well, you patiently endure suffering, this is commendable with God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving you an example, that you should follow his steps, 22 who did not sin, “neither was deceit found in his mouth.”[23 Who, when he was cursed, didn’t curse back. When he suffered, didn’t threaten, but committed himself to him who judges righteously; 24 who his own self bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live to righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep; but now have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer[c] of your souls.
3 In the same way, wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; so that, even if any don’t obey the Word, they may be won by the behavior of their wives without a word; 2 seeing your pure behavior in fear. 3 Let your beauty be not just the outward adorning of braiding the hair, and of wearing jewels of gold, or of putting on fine clothing; 4 but in the hidden person of the heart, in the incorruptible adornment of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women before, who hoped in God also adorned themselves, being in subjection to their own husbands: 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose children you now are, if you do well, and are not put in fear by any terror.
7 You husbands, in the same way, live with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor to the woman, as to the weaker vessel, as being also joint heirs of the grace of life; that your prayers may not be hindered.
49 Remember your word to your servant,
because you gave me hope.
50 This is my comfort in my affliction,
for your word has revived me.
51 The arrogant mock me excessively,
but I don’t swerve from your law.
52 I remember your ordinances of old, Yahweh,
and have comforted myself.
53 Indignation has taken hold on me,
because of the wicked who forsake your law.
54 Your statutes have been my songs,
in the house where I live.
55 I have remembered your name, Yahweh, in the night,
and I obey your law.
56 This is my way,
that I keep your precepts.
57 Yahweh is my portion.
I promised to obey your words.
58 I sought your favor with my whole heart.
Be merciful to me according to your word.
59 I considered my ways,
and turned my steps to your statutes.
60 I will hurry, and not delay,
to obey your commandments.
61 The ropes of the wicked bind me,
but I won’t forget your law.
62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks to you,
because of your righteous ordinances.
63 I am a friend of all those who fear you,
of those who observe your precepts.
64 The earth is full of your loving kindness, Yahweh.
Teach me your statutes.
12 When the righteous triumph, there is great glory;
but when the wicked rise, men hide themselves.
13 He who conceals his sins doesn’t prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.