1 December 2017 Bible Reading
In today’s reading from Daniel 8, Daniel has a vision in the third year of Belshazzar’s reign: by the river Ulai, there is a ram, with two horns, one larger than the other. It pushes in all directions, and cannot be withstood. A male goat with a large horn between its eyes challenges and conquers the ram. The goat becomes great in power, but its horn is broken, and replaced by four others, the four successors to Alexander the Great. One horn, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, grows great towards the south, east and Glorious Land. The horn, Antiochus Epiphanes, takes away daily sacrifices, and casts down the place of God’s sanctuary. The transgression of desolation will last 2300 days, then the sanctuary will be cleansed. Further interpretation is given: the two horns of the ram are the kings of Media and Persia; the male goat is the Greek empire. The Antiochus horn will destroy many, and then be destroyed without human means. The vision refers to many days in the future. Daniel responds to the vision with fainting and sickness.
8 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, even to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first. 2 I saw in the vision; now it was so, that when I saw, I was in the citadel of Susa, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in the vision, and I was by the river Ulai. 3 Then I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. 4 I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; and no animals could stand before him, neither was there any who could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and magnified himself. 5 As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west over the surface of the whole earth, and didn’t touch the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 6 He came to the ram that had the two horns, which I saw standing before the river, and ran on him in the fury of his power. 7 I saw him come close to the ram, and he was moved with anger against him, and struck the ram, and broke his two horns; and there was no power in the ram to stand before him; but he cast him down to the ground, and trampled on him; and there was no one who could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8 The male goat magnified himself exceedingly: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and instead of it there came up four notable horns toward the four winds of the sky. 9 Out of one of them came out a little horn, which grew exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the glorious land. 10 It grew great, even to the army of the sky; and some of the army and of the stars it cast down to the ground, and trampled on them. 11 Yes, it magnified itself, even to the prince of the army; and it took away from him the continual burnt offering, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. 12 The army was given over to it together with the continual burnt offering through disobedience; and it cast down truth to the ground, and it did its pleasure and prospered. 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking; and another holy one said to that certain one who spoke, How long shall be the vision about the continual burnt offering, and the disobedience that makes desolate, to give both the sanctuary and the army to be trodden under foot? 14 He said to me, To two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. 15 When I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, I sought to understand it; and behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. 16 I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 17 So he came near where I stood; and when he came, I was frightened, and fell on my face: but he said to me, Understand, son of man; for the vision belongs to the time of the end. 18 Now as he was speaking with me, I fell into a deep sleep with my face toward the ground; but he touched me, and set me upright. 19 He said, Behold, I will make you know what shall be in the latter time of the indignation; for it belongs to the appointed time of the end. 20 The ram which you saw, that had the two horns, they are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 The rough male goat is the king of Greece: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 22 As for that which was broken, in the place where four stood up, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not with his power. 23 In the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have come to the full, a king of fierce face, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 24 His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper in what he does; and he shall destroy the mighty ones and the holy people. 25 Through his policy he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and he shall destroy many in their security. He shall also stand up against the prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. 26 The vision of the evenings and mornings which has been told is true: but seal up the vision; for it belongs to many days to come. 27 I, Daniel, fainted, and was sick certain days; then I rose up, and did the king’s business: and I wondered at the vision, but no one understood it.
1 John 2:1-17
2 My little children, I write these things to you so that you may not sin. If anyone sins, we have a Counselor with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. 2 And he is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. 3 This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments. 4 One who says, “I know him,” and doesn’t keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth isn’t in him. 5 But whoever keeps his word, God’s love has most certainly been perfected in him. This is how we know that we are in him: 6 he who says he remains in him ought himself also to walk just like he walked.
7 Brothers, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again, I write a new commandment to you, which is true in him and in you; because the darkness is passing away, and the true light already shines. 9 He who says he is in the light and hates his brother, is in the darkness even until now. 10 He who loves his brother remains in the light, and there is no occasion for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
12 I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake.
13 I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.
I write to you, little children, because you know the Father.
14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God remains in you, and you have overcome the evil one.
15 Don’t love the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love isn’t in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, isn’t the Father’s, but is the world’s. 17 The world is passing away with its lusts, but he who does God’s will remains forever.
A Song of Ascents.
120 In my distress, I cried to Yahweh.
He answered me.
2 Deliver my soul, Yahweh, from lying lips,
from a deceitful tongue.
3 What will be given to you, and what will be done more to you,
you deceitful tongue?
4 Sharp arrows of the mighty,
with coals of juniper.
5 Woe is me, that I live in Meshech,
that I dwell among the tents of Kedar!
6 My soul has had her dwelling too long
with him who hates peace.
7 I am for peace,
but when I speak, they are for war.
25 One who is greedy stirs up strife;
but one who trusts in Yahweh will prosper.
26 One who trusts in himself is a fool;
but one who walks in wisdom is kept safe.