27 November 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading from Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar recounts a dream of a mighty tree, which a watcher from heaven orders to be chopped down, and its stump bound with a band of iron and bronze. It is to be made wet with dew, and be with grazing beasts. Daniel interprets: Nebuchadnezzar will be humbled, and eat grass like oxen. Daniel’s interpretation if fulfilled that very hour: Nebuchadnezzar is driven from men and eats grass. His hair grows like eagle’s feathers, and his nails like bird’s claws. Nebuchadnezzar is finally restored to power, and praises God.
Today’s New Testament reading begins 2 Peter. For other references to God’s glorification of Jesus Christ, see Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; and Luke 9:35.
4 Nebuchadnezzar the king, to all the peoples, nations, and languages, who dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you. 2 It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has worked toward me. 3 How great are his signs! and how mighty are his wonders! his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion is from generation to generation. 4 I, Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and flourishing in my palace. 5 I saw a dream which made me afraid; and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. 6 Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise men of Babylon before me, that they might make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7 Then came in the magicians, the enchanters, the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers; and I told the dream before them; but they did not make known to me its interpretation. 8 But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and I told the dream before him, saying, 9 Belteshazzar, master of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you, and no secret troubles you, tell me the visions of my dream that I have seen, and its interpretation. 10 Thus were the visions of my head on my bed: I saw, and behold, a tree in the middle of the earth; and its height was great. 11 The tree grew, and was strong, and its height reached to the sky, and its sight to the end of all the earth. 12 The leaves of it were beautiful, and its fruit much, and in it was food for all: the animals of the field had shadow under it, and the birds of the sky lived in its branches, and all flesh was fed from it. 13 I saw in the visions of my head on my bed, and behold, a watcher and a holy one came down from the sky. 14 He cried aloud, and said thus, Cut down the tree, and cut off its branches, shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruit: let the animals get away from under it, and the fowls from its branches. 15 Nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of the sky: and let his portion be with the animals in the grass of the earth: 16 let his heart be changed from man’s, and let an animal’s heart be given to him; and let seven times pass over him. 17 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will, and sets up over it the lowest of men. 18 This dream I, king Nebuchadnezzar, have seen; and you, Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation; but you are able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in you. 19 Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was stricken mute for a while, and his thoughts troubled him. The king answered, Belteshazzar, don’t let the dream, or the interpretation, trouble you. Belteshazzar answered, My lord, the dream be to those who hate you, and its interpretation to your adversaries. 20 The tree that you saw, which grew, and was strong, whose height reached to the sky, and its sight to all the earth; 21 whose leaves were beautiful, and its fruit much, and in it was food for all; under which the animals of the field lived, and on whose branches the birds of the sky had their habitation: 22 it is you, O king, that are grown and become strong; for your greatness is grown, and reaches to the sky, and your dominion to the end of the earth. 23 Whereas the king saw a watcher and a holy one coming down from the sky, and saying, Cut down the tree, and destroy it; nevertheless leave the stump of its roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field, and let it be wet with the dew of the sky: and let his portion be with the animals of the field, until seven times pass over him; 24 this is the interpretation, O king, and it is the decree of the Most High, which has come on my lord the king: 25 that you shall be driven from men, and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field, and you shall be made to eat grass as oxen, and shall be wet with the dew of the sky, and seven times shall pass over you; until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will. 26 Whereas they commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree; your kingdom shall be sure to you, after that you shall have known that the heavens do rule. 27 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you, and break off your sins by righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor; if there may be a lengthening of your tranquility. 28 All this came on the king Nebuchadnezzar. 29 At the end of twelve months he was walking in the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king spoke and said, Is not this great Babylon, which I have built for the royal dwelling place, by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty? 31 While the word was in the king’s mouth, a voice came from the sky, saying, “O king Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you. 32 You shall be driven from men; and your dwelling shall be with the animals of the field. You shall be made to eat grass as oxen. Seven times shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever he will.” 33 This was fulfilled the same hour on Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from men, and ate grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of the sky, until his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. 34 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored him who lives forever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation. 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; and he does according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and no one can stay his hand, or ask him, What are you doing? 36 At the same time my understanding returned to me; and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and brightness returned to me; and my counselors and my lords sought to me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent greatness was added to me. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven; for all his works are truth, and his ways justice; and those who walk in pride he is able to abase.
2 Peter 1
1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a like precious faith with us in the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace to you and peace be multiplied in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 seeing that his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and virtue; 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and exceedingly great promises; that through these you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world by lust. 5 Yes, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence; and in moral excellence, knowledge; 6 and in knowledge, self-control; and in self-control patience; and in patience godliness; 7 and in godliness brotherly affection; and in brotherly affection, love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful to the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be more diligent to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never stumble. 11 For thus you will be richly supplied with the entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
12 Therefore I will not be negligent to remind you of these things, though you know them, and are established in the present truth. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you; 14 knowing that the putting off of my tent comes swiftly, even as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 Yes, I will make every effort that you may always be able to remember these things even after my departure. 16 For we did not follow cunningly devised fables, when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 We heard this voice come out of heaven when we were with him on the holy mountain.
19 We have the more sure word of prophecy; and you do well that you heed it, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star arises in your hearts: 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation. 21 For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke, being moved by the Holy Spirit.
97 How I love your law!
It is my meditation all day.
98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
for your commandments are always with me.
99 I have more understanding than all my teachers,
for your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged,
because I have kept your precepts.
101 I have kept my feet from every evil way,
that I might observe your word.
102 I have not turned aside from your ordinances,
for you have taught me.
103 How sweet are your promises to my taste,
more than honey to my mouth!
104 Through your precepts, I get understanding;
therefore I hate every false way.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet,
and a light for my path.
106 I have sworn, and have confirmed it,
that I will obey your righteous ordinances.
107 I am afflicted very much.
Revive me, Yahweh, according to your word.
108 Accept, I beg you, the willing offerings of my mouth.
Yahweh, teach me your ordinances.
109 My soul is continually in my hand,
yet I won’t forget your law.
110 The wicked have laid a snare for me,
yet I haven’t gone astray from your precepts.
111 I have taken your testimonies as a heritage forever,
for they are the joy of my heart.
112 I have set my heart to perform your statutes forever,
even to the end.
17 A man who is tormented by life blood will be a fugitive until death;
no one will support him.
18 Whoever walks blamelessly is kept safe;
but one with perverse ways will fall suddenly.