Weekend Passage – April 25

Daniel 2

The King’s Forgotten Dream

Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. The king said to them, “I had a dream and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream.”

Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: “O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” The king replied to the Chaldeans, “The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap. But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and a reward and great honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation.” They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” The king replied, “I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen that the command from me is firm, that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation is changed; therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation.” 10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who could declare the matter for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any magician, conjurer or Chaldean. 11 Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh.”

12 Because of this the king became indignant and very furious and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them.

14 Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to Arioch, the captain of the king’s bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon; 15 he said to Arioch, the king’s commander, “For what reason is the decree from the king so urgent?” Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter. 16 So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, 18 so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

The Secret Is Revealed to Daniel

19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; 20 Daniel said,

“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
For wisdom and power belong to Him.
21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs;
He removes kings and establishes kings;
He gives wisdom to wise men
And knowledge to men of understanding.
22 “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And the light dwells with Him.
23 “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise,
For You have given me wisdom and power;
Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

24 Therefore, Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and spoke to him as follows: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon! Take me into the king’s presence, and I will declare the interpretation to the king.”

25 Then Arioch hurriedly brought Daniel into the king’s presence and spoke to him as follows: “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king!” 26 The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered before the king and said, “As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. 28 However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed. 29 As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future; and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place. 30 But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.

The King’s Dream

31 “You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. 32 The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

The Interpretation—Babylon the First Kingdom

36 “This was the dream; now we will tell its interpretation before the king. 37 You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; 38 and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold.

Medo-Persia and Greece

39 After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.

Rome

40 Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. 41 In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 42 As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 43 And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.

The Divine Kingdom

44 In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

Daniel Promoted

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense. 47 The king answered Daniel and said, “Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 And Daniel made request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel was at the king’s court.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

OT Reading – February 4

Ezra 7-8

Ezra 7

Ezra Journeys from Babylon to Jerusalem

7 Now after these things, in the reign of Artaxerxes king of Persia, there went up Ezra son of Seraiah, son of Azariah, son of Hilkiah, son of Shallum, son of Zadok, son of Ahitub,son of Amariah, son of Azariah, son of Meraioth, son of Zerahiah, son of Uzzi, son of Bukki, son of Abishua, son of Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the chief priest. This Ezra went up from Babylon, and he was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given; and the king granted him all he requested because the hand of the Lord his God was upon him. Some of the sons of Israel and some of the priests, the Levites, the singers, the gatekeepers and the temple servants went up to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.

He came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, which was in the seventh year of the king. For on the first of the first month he began to go up from Babylon; and on the first of the fifth month he came to Jerusalem, because the good hand of his God was upon him. 10 For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the Lord and to practice it, and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel.

King’s Decree on Behalf of Ezra

11 Now this is the copy of the decree which King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest, the scribe, learned in the words of the commandments of the Lord and His statutes to Israel:12 “Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, perfect peace. And now 13 I have issued a decree that any of the people of Israel and their priests and the Levites in my kingdom who are willing to go to Jerusalem, may go with you. 14 Forasmuch as you are sent by the king and his seven counselors to inquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God which is in your hand,15 and to bring the silver and gold, which the king and his counselors have freely offered to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, 16 with all the silver and gold which you find in the whole province of Babylon, along with the freewill offering of the people and of the priests, who offered willingly for the house of their God which is in Jerusalem; 17 with this money, therefore, you shall diligently buy bulls, rams and lambs, with their grain offerings and their drink offerings and offer them on the altar of the house of your God which is in Jerusalem. 18 Whatever seems good to you and to your brothers to do with the rest of the silver and gold, you may do according to the will of your God. 19 Also the utensils which are given to you for the service of the house of your God, deliver in full before the God of Jerusalem. 20 The rest of the needs for the house of your God, for which you may have occasion to provide, provide for it from the royal treasury.

21 “I, even I, King Artaxerxes, issue a decree to all the treasurers who are in the provinces beyond the River, that whatever Ezra the priest, the scribe of the law of the God of heaven, may require of you, it shall be done diligently, 22 even up to 100 talents of silver, 100 kors of wheat, 100 baths of wine, 100 baths of oil, and salt as needed. 23 Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done with zeal for the house of the God of heaven, so that there will not be wrath against the kingdom of the king and his sons. 24 We also inform you that it is not allowed to impose tax, tribute or toll on any of the priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, Nethinim or servants of this house of God.

25 “You, Ezra, according to the wisdom of your God which is in your hand, appoint magistrates and judges that they may judge all the people who are in the province beyond the River, even all those who know the laws of your God; and you may teach anyone who is ignorant of them26 Whoever will not observe the law of your God and the law of the king, let judgment be executed upon him strictly, whether for death or for banishment or for confiscation of goods or for imprisonment.”

The King’s Kindness

27 Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers, who has put such a thing as this in the king’s heart, to adorn the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, 28 and has extended lovingkindness to me before the king and his counselors and before all the king’s mighty princes. Thus I was strengthened according to the hand of the Lord my God upon me, and I gathered leading men from Israel to go up with me.

 

Ezra 8

People Who Went with Ezra

8 Now these are the heads of their fathers’ households and the genealogical enrollment of those who went up with me from Babylon in the reign of King Artaxerxes: of the sons of Phinehas, Gershom; of the sons of Ithamar, Daniel; of the sons of David, Hattush; of the sons of Shecaniah who was of the sons of Parosh, Zechariah and with him 150 males who were in the genealogical list; of the sons of Pahath-moab, Eliehoenai the son of Zerahiah and 200 males with him; of the sons of Zattu, Shecaniah, the son of Jahaziel and 300 males with him; and of the sons of Adin, Ebed the son of Jonathan and 50 males with him; and of the sons of Elam, Jeshaiah the son of Athaliah and 70 males with him; and of the sons of Shephatiah, Zebadiah the son of Michael and 80 males with him; of the sons of Joab, Obadiah the son of Jehiel and 218 males with him; 10 and of the sons of Bani, Shelomith, the son of Josiphiah and 160 males with him; 11 and of the sons of Bebai, Zechariah the son of Bebai and 28 males with him; 12 and of the sons of Azgad, Johanan the son of Hakkatan and 110 males with him; 13 and of the sons of Adonikam, the last ones, these being their names, Eliphelet, Jeuel and Shemaiah, and 60 males with them; 14 and of the sons of Bigvai, Uthai and Zabbud, and 70 males with them.

Ezra Sends for Levites

15 Now I assembled them at the river that runs to Ahava, where we camped for three days; and when I observed the people and the priests, I did not find any Levites there. 16 So I sent for Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam, leading men, and for Joiarib and Elnathan, teachers. 17 I sent them to Iddo the leading man at the place Casiphia; and I told them what to say to Iddo and his brothers,the temple servants at the place Casiphia, that is, to bring ministers to us for the house of our God. 18 According to the good hand of our God upon us they brought us a man of insight of the sons of Mahli, the son of Levi, the son of Israel, namely Sherebiah, and his sons and brothers, 18 men; 19 and Hashabiah and Jeshaiah of the sons of Merari, with his brothers and their sons, 20 men; 20 and 220 of the temple servants, whom David and the princes had given for the service of the Levites, all of them designated by name.

Protection of God Invoked

21 Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God to seek from Him a safe journey for us, our little ones, and all our possessions. 22 For I was ashamed to request from the king troops and horsemen to protect us from the enemy on the way, because we had said to the king, “The hand of our God is favorably disposed to all those who seek Him, but His power and His anger are against all those who forsake Him.” 23 So we fasted and sought our God concerning this matter, and He listened to our entreaty.

24 Then I set apart twelve of the leading priests, Sherebiah, Hashabiah, and with them ten of their brothers; 25 and I weighed out to them the silver, the gold and the utensils, the offering for the house of our God which the king and his counselors and his princes and all Israel present there had offered. 26 Thus I weighed into their hands 650 talents of silver, and silver utensils worth 100 talents, and 100 gold talents, 27 and 20 gold bowls worth 1,000 darics, and two utensils of fine shiny bronze, precious as gold. 28 Then I said to them, “You are holy to the Lord, and the utensils are holy; and the silver and the gold are a freewill offering to the Lord God of your fathers. 29 Watch and keep them until you weigh them before the leading priests, the Levites and the heads of the fathers’ households of Israel at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the Lord.” 30 So the priests and the Levites accepted the weighed out silver and gold and the utensils, to bring them to Jerusalem to the house of our God.

31 Then we journeyed from the river Ahava on the twelfth of the first month to go to Jerusalem; and the hand of our God was over us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and the ambushes by the way. 32 Thus we came to Jerusalem and remained there three days.

Treasure Placed in the Temple

33 On the fourth day the silver and the gold and the utensils were weighed out in the house of our God into the hand of Meremoth the son of Uriah the priest, and with him was Eleazar the son of Phinehas; and with them were the Levites, Jozabad the son of Jeshua and Noadiah the son of Binnui. 34 Everything was numbered and weighed, and all the weight was recorded at that time.

35 The exiles who had come from the captivity offered burnt offerings to the God of Israel: 12 bulls for all Israel, 96 rams, 77 lambs, 12 male goats for a sin offering, all as a burnt offering to the Lord. 36 Then they delivered the king’s edicts to the king’s satraps and to the governors in the provinces beyond the River, and they supported the people and the house of God.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

OT Reading – January 13

Daniel 1-2

Daniel 1

The Choice Young Men

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the vessels of the house of God; and he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and he brought the vessels into the treasury of his god.

Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, the chief of his officials, to bring in some of the sons of Israel, including some of the royal family and of the nobles, youths in whom was no defect, who were good-looking, showing intelligence in every branch of wisdom, endowed with understanding and discerning knowledge, and who had ability for serving in the king’s court; and he ordered him to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king appointed for them a daily ration from the king’s choice food and from the wine which he drank, and appointed that they should be educated three years, at the end of which they were to enter the king’s personal service. Now among them from the sons of Judah were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. Then the commander of the officials assigned new names to them; and to Daniel he assigned the name Belteshazzar, to Hananiah, Shadrach, to Mishael, Meshach and to Azariah, Abed-nego.

Daniel’s Resolve

But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself. Now God granted Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the commander of the officials, 10 and the commander of the officials said to Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has appointed your food and your drink; for why should he see your faces looking more haggard than the youths who are your own age? Then you would make me forfeit my head to the king.” 11 But Daniel said to the overseer whom the commander of the officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let us be given some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be observed in your presence and the appearance of the youths who are eating the king’s choice food; and deal with your servants according to what you see.”

14 So he listened to them in this matter and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days their appearance seemed better and they were fatter than all the youths who had been eating the king’s choice food. 16 So the overseer continued to withhold their choice food and the wine they were to drink, and kept giving them vegetables.

17 As for these four youths, God gave them knowledge and intelligence in every branch of literature and wisdom; Daniel even understood all kinds of visions and dreams.

18 Then at the end of the days which the king had specified for presenting them, the commander of the officials presented them before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 The king talked with them, and out of them all not one was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s personal service. 20 As for every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king consulted them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and conjurers who were in all his realm. 21 And Daniel continued until the first year of Cyrus the king.

 

Daniel 2

The King’s Forgotten Dream

2 Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him. Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers and the Chaldeans to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. The king said to them, “I had a dream and my spirit is anxious to understand the dream.”

Then the Chaldeans spoke to the king in Aramaic: “O king, live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” The king replied to the Chaldeans, “The command from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you will be torn limb from limb and your houses will be made a rubbish heap. But if you declare the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and a reward and great honor; therefore declare to me the dream and its interpretation.”They answered a second time and said, “Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will declare the interpretation.” The king replied, “I know for certain that you are bargaining for time, inasmuch as you have seen that the command from me is firm, that if you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one decree for you. For you have agreed together to speak lying and corrupt words before me until the situation is changed; therefore tell me the dream, that I may know that you can declare to me its interpretation.”10 The Chaldeans answered the king and said, “There is not a man on earth who could declare the matter for the king, inasmuch as no great king or ruler has ever asked anything like this of any magician, conjurer or Chaldean. 11 Moreover, the thing which the king demands is difficult, and there is no one else who could declare it to the king except gods, whose dwelling place is not with mortal flesh.”

12 Because of this the king became indignant and very furious and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 So the decree went forth that the wise men should be slain; and they looked for Daniel and his friends to kill them.

14 Then Daniel replied with discretion and discernment to Arioch, the captain of the king’s bodyguard, who had gone forth to slay the wise men of Babylon; 15 he said to Arioch, the king’s commander, “For what reason is the decree from the king so urgent?” Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter. 16 So Daniel went in and requested of the king that he would give him time, in order that he might declare the interpretation to the king.

17 Then Daniel went to his house and informed his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, about the matter, 18 so that they might request compassion from the God of heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his friends would not be destroyed with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.

The Secret Is Revealed to Daniel

19 Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven; 20 Daniel said,

“Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. 21 “It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding. 22 “It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, And the light dwells with Him. 23 “To You, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, For You have given me wisdom and power; Even now You have made known to me what we requested of You, For You have made known to us the king’s matter.”

24 Therefore, Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and spoke to him as follows: “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon! Take me into the king’s presence, and I will declare the interpretation to the king.”

25 Then Arioch hurriedly brought Daniel into the king’s presence and spoke to him as follows: “I have found a man among the exiles from Judah who can make the interpretation known to the king!” 26 The king said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream which I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered before the king and said, “As for the mystery about which the king has inquired, neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king. 28 However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed. 29 As for you, O king,while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future; and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place. 30 But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind.

The King’s Dream

31 “You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. 32 The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. 35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.

The Interpretation—Babylon the First Kingdom

36 “This was the dream; now we will tell its interpretation before the king. 37 You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; 38 and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold.

Medo-Persia and Greece

39 After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.

Rome

40 Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. 41 In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 42  As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 43 And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.

The Divine Kingdom

44 In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45 Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

Daniel Promoted

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell on his face and did homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present to him an offering and fragrant incense. 47 The king answered Daniel and said, “Surely your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then the king promoted Daniel and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 And Daniel made request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego over the administration of the province of Babylon, while Daniel was at the king’s court.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

November 11 – OT Reading

Jeremiah 51-52

Jeremiah 51

Babylon Judged for Sins against Israel

51 Thus says the Lord:

“Behold, I am going to arouse against Babylon And against the inhabitants of Leb-kamai The spirit of a destroyer. “I will dispatch foreigners to Babylon that they may winnow her And may devastate her land; For on every side they will be opposed to her In the day of her calamity. “Let not him who bends his bow bend it, Nor let him rise up in his scale-armor; So do not spare her young men; Devote all her army to destruction. “They will fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans, And pierced through in their streets.”

For neither Israel nor Judah has been forsaken By his God, the Lord of hosts, Although their land is full of guilt Before the Holy One of Israel. Flee from the midst of Babylon, And each of you save his life! Do not be destroyed in her punishment, For this is the Lord’s time of vengeance; He is going to render recompense to her. Babylon has been a golden cup in the hand of the Lord, Intoxicating all the earth. The nations have drunk of her wine; Therefore the nations are going mad. Suddenly Babylon has fallen and been broken; Wail over her! Bring balm for her pain; Perhaps she may be healed. We applied healing to Babylon, but she was not healed; Forsake her and let us each go to his own country, For her judgment has reached to heaven And towers up to the very skies. 10 The Lord has brought about our vindication; Come and let us recount in Zion The work of the Lord our God!

11 Sharpen the arrows, fill the quivers! The Lord has aroused the spirit of the kings of the Medes, Because His purpose is against Babylon to destroy it; For it is the vengeance of the Lord, vengeance for His temple. 12 Lift up a signal against the walls of Babylon; Post a strong guard, Station sentries, Place men in ambush! For the Lord has both purposed and performed What He spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon. 13 O you who dwell by many waters, Abundant in treasures, Your end has come, The measure of your end. 14 The Lord of hosts has sworn by Himself: “Surely I will fill you with a population like locusts, And they will cry out with shouts of victory over you.”

15 It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom, And by His understanding He stretched out the heavens. 16 When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain And brings forth the wind from His storehouses. 17 All mankind is stupid, devoid of knowledge; Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, For his molten images are deceitful, And there is no breath in them. 18 They are worthless, a work of mockery; In the time of their punishment they will perish. 19 The portion of Jacob is not like these; For the Maker of all is He, And of the tribe of His inheritance; The Lord of hosts is His name. 20 He says, “You are My war-club, My weapon of war; And with you I shatter nations, And with you I destroy kingdoms. 21 “With you I shatter the horse and his rider, And with you I shatter the chariot and its rider, 22 And with you I shatter man and woman, And with you I shatter old man and youth, And with you I shatter young man and virgin, 23 And with you I shatter the shepherd and his flock, And with you I shatter the farmer and his team, And with you I shatter governors and prefects.

24 “But I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea for all their evil that they have done in Zion before your eyes,” declares the Lord.

25 “Behold, I am against you, O destroying mountain, Who destroys the whole earth,” declares the Lord, “And I will stretch out My hand against you, And roll you down from the crags, And I will make you a burnt out mountain. 26 “They will not take from you even a stone for a corner Nor a stone for foundations, But you will be desolate forever,” declares the Lord.

27 Lift up a signal in the land, Blow a trumpet among the nations! Consecrate the nations against her, Summon against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni and Ashkenaz; Appoint a marshal against her, Bring up the horses like bristly locusts. 28 Consecrate the nations against her, The kings of the Medes, Their governors and all their prefects, And every land of their dominion. 29 So the land quakes and writhes, For the purposes of the Lord against Babylon stand, To make the land of Babylon A desolation without inhabitants. 30 The mighty men of Babylon have ceased fighting, They stay in the strongholds; Their strength is exhausted, They are becoming like women; Their dwelling places are set on fire, The bars of her gates are broken. 31 One courier runs to meet another, And one messenger to meet another, To tell the king of Babylon That his city has been captured from end to end; 32 The fords also have been seized, And they have burned the marshes with fire, And the men of war are terrified.

33 For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:

“The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing floor At the time it is stamped firm; Yet in a little while the time of harvest will come for her.”

34 “Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured me and crushed me, He has set me down like an empty vessel; He has swallowed me like a monster, He has filled his stomach with my delicacies; He has washed me away. 35 “May the violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon,” The inhabitant of Zion will say; And, “May my blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea,” Jerusalem will say.

36 Therefore thus says the Lord,

“Behold, I am going to plead your case And exact full vengeance for you; And I will dry up her sea And make her fountain dry. 37 “Babylon will become a heap of ruins, a haunt of jackals, An object of horror and hissing, without inhabitants. 38 “They will roar together like young lions, They will growl like lions’ cubs. 39 “When they become heated up, I will serve them their banquet And make them drunk, that they may become jubilant And may sleep a perpetual sleep And not wake up,” declares the Lord. 40 “I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, Like rams together with male goats.

41 “How Sheshak has been captured, And the praise of the whole earth been seized! How Babylon has become an object of horror among the nations! 42 “The sea has come up over Babylon; She has been engulfed with its tumultuous waves. 43 “Her cities have become an object of horror, A parched land and a desert, A land in which no man lives And through which no son of man passes. 44 “I will punish Bel in Babylon, And I will make what he has swallowed come out of his mouth; And the nations will no longer stream to him. Even the wall of Babylon has fallen down!

45 “Come forth from her midst, My people, And each of you save yourselves From the fierce anger of the Lord. 46 “Now so that your heart does not grow faint, And you are not afraid at the report that will be heard in the land— For the report will come one year, And after that another report in another year, And violence will be in the land With ruler against ruler— 47 Therefore behold, days are coming When I will punish the idols of Babylon; And her whole land will be put to shame And all her slain will fall in her midst. 48 “Then heaven and earth and all that is in them Will shout for joy over Babylon, For the destroyers will come to her from the north,” Declares the Lord.

49 Indeed Babylon is to fall for the slain of Israel, As also for Babylon the slain of all the earth have fallen. 50 You who have escaped the sword, Depart! Do not stay! Remember the Lord from afar, And let Jerusalem come to your mind. 51 We are ashamed because we have heard reproach; Disgrace has covered our faces, For aliens have entered The holy places of the Lord’s house.

52 “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I will punish her idols, And the mortally wounded will groan throughout her land. 53 “Though Babylon should ascend to the heavens, And though she should fortify her lofty stronghold, From Me destroyers will come to her,” declares the Lord.

54 The sound of an outcry from Babylon, And of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans! 55 For the Lord is going to destroy Babylon, And He will make her loud noise vanish from her. And their waves will roar like many waters; The tumult of their voices sounds forth. 56 For the destroyer is coming against her, against Babylon, And her mighty men will be captured, Their bows are shattered; For the Lord is a God of recompense, He will fully repay. 57 “I will make her princes and her wise men drunk, Her governors, her prefects and her mighty men, That they may sleep a perpetual sleep and not wake up,” Declares the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.

58 Thus says the Lord of hosts,

“The broad wall of Babylon will be completely razed And her high gates will be set on fire; So the peoples will toil for nothing, And the nations become exhausted only for fire.”

59 The message which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the grandson of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. (Now Seraiah was quartermaster.) 60 So Jeremiah wrote in a single scroll all the calamity which would come upon Babylon, that is, all these words which have been written concerning Babylon. 61 Then Jeremiah said to Seraiah, “As soon as you come to Babylon, then see that you read all these words aloud, 62 and say, ‘You, O Lord, have promised concerning this place to cut it off, so that there will be nothing dwelling in it, whether man or beast, but it will be a perpetual desolation.’ 63 And as soon as you finish reading this scroll, you will tie a stone to it and throw it into the middle of the Euphrates, 64 and say, ‘Just so shall Babylon sink down and not rise again because of the calamity that I am going to bring upon her; and they will become exhausted.’” Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.

 

Jeremiah 52

The Fall of Jerusalem

52 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. He did evil in the sight of the Lord like all that Jehoiakim had done. For through the anger of the Lord this came about in Jerusalem and Judah until He cast them out from His presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. Now it came about in the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, camped against it and built a siege wall all around it. So the city was under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then the city was broken into, and all the men of war fled and went forth from the city at night by way of the gate between the two walls which was by the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. And they went by way of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah in the land of Hamath, and he passed sentence on him. 10 The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and he also slaughtered all the princes of Judah in Riblah. 11 Then he blinded the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him with bronze fetters and brought him to Babylon and put him in prison until the day of his death.

12 Now on the tenth day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard, who was in the service of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 13 He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every large house he burned with fire. 14 So all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down all the walls around Jerusalem. 15 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away into exile some of the poorest of the people, the rest of the people who were left in the city, the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon and the rest of the artisans. 16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen.

17 Now the bronze pillars which belonged to the house of the Lord and the stands and the bronze sea, which were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces and carried all their bronze to Babylon. 18 They also took away the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the basins, the pans and all the bronze vessels which were used in temple service. 19 The captain of the guard also took away the bowls, the firepans, the basins, the pots, the lampstands, the pans and the drink offering bowls, what was fine gold and what was fine silver. 20 The two pillars, the one sea, and the twelve bronze bulls that were under the sea, and the stands, which King Solomon had made for the house of the Lord—the bronze of all these vessels was beyond weight. 21 As for the pillars, the height of each pillar was eighteen cubits, and it was twelve cubits in circumference and four fingers in thickness, and hollow. 22 Now a capital of bronze was on it; and the height of each capital was five cubits, with network and pomegranates upon the capital all around, all of bronze. And the second pillar was like these, including pomegranates. 23 There were ninety-six exposed pomegranates; all the pomegranates numbered a hundred on the network all around.

24 Then the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest, with the three officers of the temple. 25 He also took from the city one official who was overseer of the men of war, and seven of the king’s advisers who were found in the city, and the scribe of the commander of the army who mustered the people of the land, and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the midst of the city. 26 Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 27 Then the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was led away into exile from its land.

28 These are the people whom Nebuchadnezzar carried away into exile: in the seventh year 3,023 Jews; 29 in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar 832 persons from Jerusalem; 30 in the twenty-third year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile 745 Jewish people; there were 4,600 persons in all.

31 Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-fifth of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the first year of his reign, showed favor to Jehoiachin king of Judah and brought him out of prison. 32 Then he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the thrones of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 33 So Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes, and had his meals in the king’s presence regularly all the days of his life. 34 For his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king of Babylon, a daily portion all the days of his life until the day of his death.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

November 10 – OT Reading

Jeremiah 49-50

Jeremiah 49

Prophecy against Ammon

49 Concerning the sons of Ammon. Thus says the Lord:

“Does Israel have no sons? Or has he no heirs? Why then has Malcam taken possession of Gad And his people settled in its cities? “Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “That I will cause a trumpet blast of war to be heard Against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon; And it will become a desolate heap, And her towns will be set on fire. Then Israel will take possession of his possessors,” Says the Lord. “Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai has been destroyed! Cry out, O daughters of Rabbah, Gird yourselves with sackcloth and lament, And rush back and forth inside the walls; For Malcam will go into exile Together with his priests and his princes. “How boastful you are about the valleys! Your valley is flowing away, O backsliding daughter Who trusts in her treasures, saying, ‘Who will come against me?’ “Behold, I am going to bring terror upon you,” Declares the Lord God of hosts, “From all directions around you; And each of you will be driven out headlong, With no one to gather the fugitives together. “But afterward I will restore The fortunes of the sons of Ammon,” Declares the Lord.

Prophecy against Edom

Concerning Edom. Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Is there no longer any wisdom in Teman? Has good counsel been lost to the prudent? Has their wisdom decayed? “Flee away, turn back, dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Dedan, For I will bring the disaster of Esau upon him At the time I punish him. “If grape gatherers came to you, Would they not leave gleanings? If thieves came by night, They would destroy only until they had enough. 10 “But I have stripped Esau bare, I have uncovered his hiding places So that he will not be able to conceal himself; His offspring has been destroyed along with his relatives And his neighbors, and he is no more. 11 “Leave your orphans behind, I will keep them alive; And let your widows trust in Me.”

12 For thus says the Lord, “Behold, those who were not sentenced to drink the cup will certainly drink it, and are you the one who will be completely acquitted? You will not be acquitted, but you will certainly drink it13 For I have sworn by Myself,” declares the Lord, “that Bozrah will become an object of horror, a reproach, a ruin and a curse; and all its cities will become perpetual ruins.”

14 I have heard a message from the Lord, And an envoy is sent among the nations, saying, “Gather yourselves together and come against her, And rise up for battle!” 15 “For behold, I have made you small among the nations, Despised among men. 16 “As for the terror of you, The arrogance of your heart has deceived you, O you who live in the clefts of the rock, Who occupy the height of the hill. Though you make your nest as high as an eagle’s, I will bring you down from there,” declares the Lord.

17 “Edom will become an object of horror; everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss at all its wounds. 18 Like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah with its neighbors,” says the Lord, “no one will live there, nor will a son of man reside in it. 19 Behold, one will come up like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan against a perennially watered pasture; for in an instant I will make him run away from it, and whoever is chosen I shall appoint over it. For who is like Me, and who will summon Me into court? And who then is the shepherd who can stand against Me?”

20 Therefore hear the plan of the Lord which He has planned against Edom, and His purposes which He has purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: surely they will drag them off, even the little ones of the flock; surely He will make their pasture desolate because of them. 21 The earth has quaked at the noise of their downfall. There is an outcry! The noise of it has been heard at the Red Sea.22 Behold, He will mount up and swoop like an eagle and spread out His wings against Bozrah; and the hearts of the mighty men of Edom in that day will be like the heart of a woman in labor.

Prophecy against Damascus

23 Concerning Damascus. “Hamath and Arpad are put to shame, For they have heard bad news; They are disheartened. There is anxiety by the sea, It cannot be calmed. 24 “Damascus has become helpless; She has turned away to flee, And panic has gripped her; Distress and pangs have taken hold of her Like a woman in childbirth. 25 “How the city of praise has not been deserted, The town of My joy! 26 “Therefore, her young men will fall in her streets, And all the men of war will be silenced in that day,” declares the Lord of hosts. 27 “I will set fire to the wall of Damascus, And it will devour the fortified towers of Ben-hadad.”

Prophecy against Kedar and Hazor

28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated. Thus says the Lord,

“Arise, go up to Kedar And devastate the men of the east. 29 “They will take away their tents and their flocks; They will carry off for themselves Their tent curtains, all their goods and their camels, And they will call out to one another, ‘Terror on every side!’ 30 “Run away, flee! Dwell in the depths, O inhabitants of Hazor,” declares the Lord; “For Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has formed a plan against you And devised a scheme against you. 31 “Arise, go up against a nation which is at ease, Which lives securely,” declares the Lord. “It has no gates or bars; They dwell alone. 32 “Their camels will become plunder, And their many cattle for booty, And I will scatter to all the winds those who cut the corners of their hair; And I will bring their disaster from every side,” declares the Lord. 33 “Hazor will become a haunt of jackals, A desolation forever; No one will live there, Nor will a son of man reside in it.”

Prophecy against Elam

34 That which came as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying:

35 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold, I am going to break the bow of Elam, The finest of their might. 36 ‘I will bring upon Elam the four winds From the four ends of heaven, And will scatter them to all these winds; And there will be no nation To which the outcasts of Elam will not go. 37 ‘So I will shatter Elam before their enemies And before those who seek their lives; And I will bring calamity upon them, Even My fierce anger,’ declares the Lord, ‘And I will send out the sword after them Until I have consumed them. 38 ‘Then I will set My throne in Elam And destroy out of it king and princes,’ Declares the Lord. 39 ‘But it will come about in the last days That I will restore the fortunes of Elam,’” Declares the Lord.

 

Jeremiah 50

Prophecy against Babylon

 

50 The word which the Lord spoke concerning Babylon, the land of the Chaldeans, through Jeremiah the prophet:

“Declare and proclaim among the nations. Proclaim it and lift up a standard. Do not conceal it but say, ‘Babylon has been captured, Bel has been put to shame, Marduk has been shattered; Her images have been put to shame, her idols have been shattered.’

For a nation has come up against her out of the north; it will make her land an object of horror, and there will be no inhabitant in it. Both man and beast have wandered off, they have gone away!

“In those days and at that time,” declares the Lord, “the sons of Israel will come, both they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go, and it will be the Lord their God they will seek. They will ask for the way to Zion, turning their faces in its direction; they will come that they may join themselves to the Lord in an everlasting covenant that will not be forgotten.

“My people have become lost sheep; Their shepherds have led them astray. They have made them turn aside on the mountains; They have gone along from mountain to hill And have forgotten their resting place. “All who came upon them have devoured them; And their adversaries have said, ‘We are not guilty, Inasmuch as they have sinned against the Lord who is the habitation of righteousness, Even the Lord, the hope of their fathers.’

“Wander away from the midst of Babylon And go forth from the land of the Chaldeans; Be also like male goats at the head of the flock. “For behold, I am going to arouse and bring up against Babylon A horde of great nations from the land of the north, And they will draw up their battle lines against her; From there she will be taken captive. Their arrows will be like an expert warrior Who does not return empty-handed. 10 “Chaldea will become plunder; All who plunder her will have enough,” declares the Lord.

11 “Because you are glad, because you are jubilant, O you who pillage My heritage, Because you skip about like a threshing heifer And neigh like stallions, 12 Your mother will be greatly ashamed, She who gave you birth will be humiliated. Behold, she will be the least of the nations, A wilderness, a parched land and a desert. 13 “Because of the indignation of the Lord she will not be inhabited, But she will be completely desolate; Everyone who passes by Babylon will be horrified And will hiss because of all her wounds. 14 “Draw up your battle lines against Babylon on every side, All you who bend the bow; Shoot at her, do not be sparing with your arrows, For she has sinned against the Lord. 15 “Raise your battle cry against her on every side! She has given herself up, her pillars have fallen, Her walls have been torn down. For this is the vengeance of the Lord: Take vengeance on her; As she has done to others, so do to her. 16 “Cut off the sower from Babylon And the one who wields the sickle at the time of harvest; From before the sword of the oppressor They will each turn back to his own people And they will each flee to his own land.

17 “Israel is a scattered flock, the lions have driven them away. The first one who devoured him was the king of Assyria, and this last one who has broken his bones is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.18 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Behold, I am going to punish the king of Babylon and his land, just as I punished the king of Assyria. 19 And I will bring Israel back to his pasture and he will graze on Carmel and Bashan, and his desire will be satisfied in the hill country of Ephraim and Gilead. 20 In those days and at that time,’ declares the Lord, ‘search will be made for the iniquity of Israel, but there will be none; and for the sins of Judah, but they will not be found; for I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.’

21 “Against the land of Merathaim, go up against it, And against the inhabitants of Pekod. Slay and utterly destroy them,” declares the Lord, “And do according to all that I have commanded you. 22 “The noise of battle is in the land, And great destruction. 23 “How the hammer of the whole earth Has been cut off and broken! How Babylon has become An object of horror among the nations! 24 “I set a snare for you and you were also caught, O Babylon, While you yourself were not aware; You have been found and also seized Because you have engaged in conflict with the Lord.” 25 The Lord has opened His armory And has brought forth the weapons of His indignation, For it is a work of the Lord God of hosts In the land of the Chaldeans. 26 Come to her from the farthest border; Open up her barns, Pile her up like heaps And utterly destroy her, Let nothing be left to her. 27 Put all her young bulls to the sword; Let them go down to the slaughter! Woe be upon them, for their day has come, The time of their punishment.

28 There is a sound of fugitives and refugees from the land of Babylon, To declare in Zion the vengeance of the Lord our God, Vengeance for His temple.

29 “Summon many against Babylon, All those who bend the bow: Encamp against her on every side, Let there be no escape. Repay her according to her work; According to all that she has done, so do to her; For she has become arrogant against the Lord, Against the Holy One of Israel. 30 “Therefore her young men will fall in her streets, And all her men of war will be silenced in that day,” declares the Lord. 31 “Behold, I am against you, O arrogant one,” Declares the Lord God of hosts, “For your day has come, The time when I will punish you. 32 “The arrogant one will stumble and fall With no one to raise him up; And I will set fire to his cities And it will devour all his environs.”

33 Thus says the Lord of hosts, “The sons of Israel are oppressed, And the sons of Judah as well; And all who took them captive have held them fast, They have refused to let them go. 34 “Their Redeemer is strong, the Lord of hosts is His name; He will vigorously plead their case So that He may bring rest to the earth, But turmoil to the inhabitants of Babylon. 35 “A sword against the Chaldeans,” declares the Lord, “And against the inhabitants of Babylon And against her officials and her wise men! 36 “A sword against the oracle priests, and they will become fools! A sword against her mighty men, and they will be shattered! 37 “A sword against their horses and against their chariots And against all the foreigners who are in the midst of her, And they will become women! A sword against her treasures, and they will be plundered! 38 “A drought on her waters, and they will be dried up! For it is a land of idols, And they are mad over fearsome idols.

39 “Therefore the desert creatures will live there along with the jackals; The ostriches also will live in it, And it will never again be inhabited Or dwelt in from generation to generation. 40 “As when God overthrew Sodom And Gomorrah with its neighbors,” declares the Lord, “No man will live there, Nor will any son of man reside in it.

41 “Behold, a people is coming from the north, And a great nation and many kings Will be aroused from the remote parts of the earth. 42 “They seize their bow and javelin; They are cruel and have no mercy. Their voice roars like the sea; And they ride on horses, Marshalled like a man for the battle Against you, O daughter of Babylon. 43 “The king of Babylon has heard the report about them, And his hands hang limp; Distress has gripped him, Agony like a woman in childbirth.

44 “Behold, one will come up like a lion from the thicket of the Jordan to a perennially watered pasture; for in an instant I will make them run away from it, and whoever is chosen I will appoint over it. For who is like Me, and who will summon Me into court? And who then is the shepherd who can stand before Me?” 45 Therefore hear the plan of the Lord which He has planned against Babylon, and His purposes which He has purposed against the land of the Chaldeans: surely they will drag them off, even the little ones of the flock; surely He will make their pasture desolate because of them. 46 At the shout, “Babylon has been seized!” the earth is shaken, and an outcry is heard among the nations.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

November 5 – OT Reading

2 Kings 24-25,

Habakkuk

2 Kings 24

Babylon Controls Jehoiakim

24 In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant for three years; then he turned and rebelled against him. The Lord sent against him bands of Chaldeans, bands of Arameans, bands of Moabites, and bands of Ammonites. So He sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the Lord which He had spoken through His servants the prophets.Surely at the command of the Lord it came upon Judah, to remove them from His sight because of the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he had done, and also for the innocent blood which he shed, for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; and the Lord would not forgive. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim and all that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?

Jehoiachin Reigns

So Jehoiakim slept with his fathers, and Jehoiachin his son became king in his place. The king of Egypt did not come out of his land again, for the king of Babylon had taken all that belonged to the king of Egypt from the brook of Egypt to the river Euphrates.

Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father had done.

Deportation to Babylon

10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon went up to Jerusalem, and the city came under siege. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon came to the city, while his servants were besieging it. 12 Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he and his mother and his servants and his captains and his officials. So the king of Babylon took him captive in the eighth year of his reign. 13 He carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, just as the Lord had said. 14 Then he led away into exile all Jerusalem and all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and the smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land.

15 So he led Jehoiachin away into exile to Babylon; also the king’s mother and the king’s wives and his officials and the leading men of the land, he led away into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 All the men of valor, seven thousand, and the craftsmen and the smiths, one thousand, all strong and fit for war, and these the king of Babylon brought into exile to Babylon.

Zedekiah Made King

17 Then the king of Babylon made his uncle Mattaniah king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20 For through the anger of the Lord this came about in Jerusalem and Judah until He cast them out from His presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

 

2 Kings 25

Nebuchadnezzar Besieges Jerusalem

25 Now in the ninth year of his reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, camped against it and built a siege wall all around it. So the city was under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. Then the city was broken into, and all the men of war fled by night by way of the gate between the two walls beside the king’s garden, though the Chaldeans were all around the city. And they went by way of the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho and all his army was scattered from him. Then they captured the king and brought him to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and he passed sentence on him. They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, then put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him with bronze fetters and brought him to Babylon.

Jerusalem Burned and Plundered

Now on the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every great house he burned with fire. 10 So all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 Then the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon and the rest of the people, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away into exile. 12 But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen.

13 Now the bronze pillars which were in the house of the Lord, and the stands and the bronze sea which were in the house of the Lord, the Chaldeans broke in pieces and carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 They took away the pots, the shovels, the snuffers, the spoons, and all the bronze vessels which were used in temple service. 15 The captain of the guard also took away the firepans and the basins, what was fine gold and what was fine silver. 16 The two pillars, the one sea, and the stands which Solomon had made for the house of the Lord—the bronze of all these vessels was beyond weight. 17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits, and a bronze capital was on it; the height of the capital was three cubits, with a network and pomegranates on the capital all around, all of bronze. And the second pillar was like these with network.

18 Then the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest, with the three officers of the temple. 19 From the city he took one official who was overseer of the men of war, and five of the king’s advisers who were found in the city; and the scribe of the captain of the army who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land who were found in the city. 20 Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 Then the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was led away into exile from its land.

Gedaliah Made Governor

22 Now as for the people who were left in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, he appointed Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan over them. 23 When all the captains of the forces, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah governor, they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, namely, Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of the Maacathite, they and their men. 24 Gedaliah swore to them and their men and said to them, “Do not be afraid of the servants of the Chaldeans; live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will be well with you.”

25 But it came about in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the royal family, came with ten men and struck Gedaliah down so that he died along with the Jews and the Chaldeans who were with him at Mizpah. 26 Then all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the forces arose and went to Egypt; for they were afraid of the Chaldeans.

27 Now it came about in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he became king, released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison; 28 and he spoke kindly to him and set his throne above the throne of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes and had his meals in the king’s presence regularly all the days of his life; 30 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, a portion for each day, all the days of his life.

 

Habakkuk 1

Chaldeans Used to Punish Judah

1 The oracle which Habakkuk the prophet saw.

How long, O Lord, will I call for help, And You will not hear? I cry out to You, “Violence!” Yet You do not save. Why do You make me see iniquity, And cause me to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence are before me; Strife exists and contention arises. Therefore the law is ignored And justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; Therefore justice comes out perverted.

“Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days— You would not believe if you were told. “For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans, That fierce and impetuous people Who march throughout the earth To seize dwelling places which are not theirs. “They are dreaded and feared; Their justice and authority originate with themselves. “Their horses are swifter than leopards And keener than wolves in the evening. Their horsemen come galloping, Their horsemen come from afar; They fly like an eagle swooping down to devour. “All of them come for violence. Their horde of faces moves forward. They collect captives like sand. 10 “They mock at kings And rulers are a laughing matter to them. They laugh at every fortress And heap up rubble to capture it. 11 “Then they will sweep through like the wind and pass on. But they will be held guilty, They whose strength is their god.”

12 Are You not from everlasting, O Lord, my God, my Holy One? We will not die. You, O Lord, have appointed them to judge; And You, O Rock, have established them to correct. 13 Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, And You can not look on wickedness with favor. Why do You look with favor On those who deal treacherously? Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up Those more righteous than they? 14 Why have You made men like the fish of the sea, Like creeping things without a ruler over them? 15 The Chaldeans bring all of them up with a hook, Drag them away with their net, And gather them together in their fishing net. Therefore they rejoice and are glad. 16 Therefore they offer a sacrifice to their net And burn incense to their fishing net; Because through these things their catch is large, And their food is plentiful. 17 Will they therefore empty their net And continually slay nations without sparing?

 

Habakkuk 2

God Answers the Prophet

2 I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart; And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me, And how I may reply when I am reproved. Then the Lord answered me and said, “Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.

“Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith. “Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man, So that he does not stay at home. He enlarges his appetite like Sheol, And he is like death, never satisfied. He also gathers to himself all nations And collects to himself all peoples.

“Will not all of these take up a taunt-song against him, Even mockery and insinuations against him And say, ‘Woe to him who increases what is not his— For how long— And makes himself rich with loans?’ “Will not your creditors rise up suddenly, And those who collect from you awaken? Indeed, you will become plunder for them. “Because you have looted many nations, All the remainder of the peoples will loot you— Because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, To the town and all its inhabitants.

“Woe to him who gets evil gain for his house To put his nest on high, To be delivered from the hand of calamity! 10 “You have devised a shameful thing for your house By cutting off many peoples; So you are sinning against yourself. 11 “Surely the stone will cry out from the wall, And the rafter will answer it from the framework.

12 “Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed And founds a town with violence! 13 “Is it not indeed from the Lord of hosts That peoples toil for fire, And nations grow weary for nothing? 14 “For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, As the waters cover the sea.

15 “Woe to you who make your neighbors drink, Who mix in your venom even to make them drunk So as to look on their nakedness! 16 “You will be filled with disgrace rather than honor. Now you yourself drink and expose your own nakedness. The cup in the Lord’s right hand will come around to you, And utter disgrace will come upon your glory. 17 “For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, And the devastation of its beasts by which you terrified them, Because of human bloodshed and violence done to the land, To the town and all its inhabitants.

18 “What profit is the idol when its maker has carved it, Or an image, a teacher of falsehood? For its maker trusts in his own handiwork When he fashions speechless idols. 19 “Woe to him who says to a piece of wood, ‘Awake!’ To a mute stone, ‘Arise!’ And that is your teacher? Behold, it is overlaid with gold and silver, And there is no breath at all inside it. 20 “But the Lord is in His holy temple. Let all the earth be silent before Him.”

 

Habakkuk 3

God’s Deliverance of His People

3 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.

Lord, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years, In the midst of the years make it known; In wrath remember mercy.

God comes from Teman, And the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah. His splendor covers the heavens, And the earth is full of His praise. His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding of His power. Before Him goes pestilence, And plague comes after Him. He stood and surveyed the earth; He looked and startled the nations. Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered, The ancient hills collapsed. His ways are everlasting. I saw the tents of Cushan under distress, The tent curtains of the land of Midian were trembling.

Did the Lord rage against the rivers, Or was Your anger against the rivers, Or was Your wrath against the sea, That You rode on Your horses, On Your chariots of salvation? Your bow was made bare, The rods of chastisement were sworn. Selah. You cleaved the earth with rivers. 10 The mountains saw You and quaked; The downpour of waters swept by. The deep uttered forth its voice, It lifted high its hands. 11 Sun and moon stood in their places; They went away at the light of Your arrows, At the radiance of Your gleaming spear. 12 In indignation You marched through the earth; In anger You trampled the nations. 13 You went forth for the salvation of Your people, For the salvation of Your anointed. You struck the head of the house of the evil To lay him open from thigh to neck. Selah. 14 You pierced with his own spears The head of his throngs. They stormed in to scatter us; Their exultation was like those Who devour the oppressed in secret. 15 You trampled on the sea with Your horses, On the surge of many waters.

16 I heard and my inward parts trembled, At the sound my lips quivered. Decay enters my bones, And in my place I tremble. Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress, For the people to arise who will invade us. 17 Though the fig tree should not blossom And there be no fruit on the vines, Though the yield of the olive should fail And the fields produce no food, Though the flock should be cut off from the fold And there be no cattle in the stalls, 18 Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. 19 The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places.

For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

October 28 – OT Reading

Jeremiah 23-25

Jeremiah 23

The Coming Messiah: the Righteous Branch

23 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the Lord. “Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. “In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell securely; And this is His name by which He will be called, ‘The Lord our righteousness.’

“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when they will no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives, who brought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil.”

False Prophets Denounced

As for the prophets: My heart is broken within me, All my bones tremble; I have become like a drunken man, Even like a man overcome with wine, Because of the Lord And because of His holy words. 10 For the land is full of adulterers; For the land mourns because of the curse. The pastures of the wilderness have dried up. Their course also is evil And their might is not right. 11 “For both prophet and priest are polluted; Even in My house I have found their wickedness,” declares the Lord. 12 “Therefore their way will be like slippery paths to them, They will be driven away into the gloom and fall down in it; For I will bring calamity upon them, The year of their punishment,” declares the Lord.

13 “Moreover, among the prophets of Samaria I saw an offensive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray. 14 “Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of adultery and walking in falsehood; And they strengthen the hands of evildoers, So that no one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom, And her inhabitants like Gomorrah.

15 “Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets,

‘Behold, I am going to feed them wormwood And make them drink poisonous water, For from the prophets of Jerusalem Pollution has gone forth into all the land.’”

16 Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility; They speak a vision of their own imagination, Not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 “They keep saying to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, “You will have peace”’; And as for everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his own heart, They say, ‘Calamity will not come upon you.’ 18 “But who has stood in the council of the Lord, That he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and listened? 19 “Behold, the storm of the Lord has gone forth in wrath, Even a whirling tempest; It will swirl down on the head of the wicked. 20 “The anger of the Lord will not turn back Until He has performed and carried out the purposes of His heart; In the last days you will clearly understand it. 21 “I did not send these prophets, But they ran. I did not speak to them, But they prophesied. 22 “But if they had stood in My council, Then they would have announced My words to My people, And would have turned them back from their evil way And from the evil of their deeds.

23 “Am I a God who is near,” declares the Lord, “And not a God far off? 24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.

25 “I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’ 26 How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, 27 who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name because of Baal? 28 The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?” declares the Lord. 29 “Is not My word like fire?” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer which shatters a rock? 30 Therefore behold,I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who steal My words from each other. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the Lord, “who use their tongues and declare, ‘The Lord declares.’32 Behold, I am against those who have prophesied false dreams,” declares the Lord, “and related them and led My people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit,” declares the Lord.

33 “Now when this people or the prophet or a priest asks you saying, ‘What is the oracle of the Lord?’ then you shall say to them, ‘What oracle?’ The Lord declares, ‘I will abandon you.’ 34 Then as for the prophet or the priest or the people who say, ‘The oracle of the Lord,’ I will bring punishment upon that man and his household. 35 Thus will each of you say to his neighbor and to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 For you will no longer remember the oracle of the Lord, because every man’s own word will become the oracle, and you have perverted the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you will say to that prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ and, ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 For if you say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’ surely thus says the Lord, ‘Because you said this word, “The oracle of the Lord!” I have also sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The oracle of the Lord!’”’ 39 Therefore behold, I will surely forget you and cast you away from My presence, along with the city which I gave you and your fathers. 40 I will put an everlasting reproach on you and an everlasting humiliation which will not be forgotten.”

 

Jeremiah 24

Baskets of Figs and the Returnees

24 After Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and the officials of Judah with the craftsmen and smiths from Jerusalem and had brought them to Babylon, the Lord showed me: behold, two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord! One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, and the other basket had very bad figs which could not be eaten due to rottenness. Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?” And I said, “Figs, the good figs, very good; and the bad figs, very bad, which cannot be eaten due to rottenness.”

Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the captives of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans. For I will set My eyes on them for good, and I will bring them again to this land; and I will build them up and not overthrow them, and I will plant them and not pluck them up. I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.

‘But like the bad figs which cannot be eaten due to rottenness—indeed, thus says the Lord—so I will abandon Zedekiah king of Judah and his officials, and the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land and the ones who dwell in the land of Egypt. I will make them a terror and an evil for all the kingdoms of the earth, as a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse in all places where I will scatter them. 10 I will send the sword, the famine and the pestilence upon them until they are destroyed from the land which I gave to them and their forefathers.’”

 

Jeremiah 25

Prophecy of the Captivity

25 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, “From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the land which the Lord has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever; and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’ Yet you have not listened to Me,” declares the Lord, “in order that you might provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm.

“Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Because you have not obeyed My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these nations round about; and I will utterly destroy them and make them a horror and a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. 10 Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. 11 This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

Babylon Will Be Judged

12 ‘Then it will be when seventy years are completed I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation,’ declares the Lord, ‘for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans; and I will make it an everlasting desolation. 13 I will bring upon that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book which Jeremiah has prophesied against all the nations. 14 (For many nations and great kings will make slaves of them, even them; and I will recompense them according to their deeds and according to the work of their hands.)’”

15 For thus the Lord, the God of Israel, says to me, “Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it. 16 They will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them.”

17 Then I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom the Lord sent me drink it: 18 Jerusalem and the cities of Judah and its kings and its princes, to make them a ruin, a horror, a hissing and a curse, as it is this day; 19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his princes and all his people; 20 and all the foreign people, all the kings of the land of Uz, all the kings of the land of thePhilistines (even Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron and the remnant of Ashdod); 21 Edom, Moab and the sons ofAmmon; 22 and all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon and the kings of the coastlands which are beyond the sea; 23 and Dedan, Tema, Buz and all who cut the corners of their hair24 and all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign people who dwell in the desert; 25 and all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam and all the kings of Media; 26 and all the kings of the north, near and far, one with another; and all the kingdoms of the earth which are upon the face of the ground, and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.

27 “You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Drink, be drunk, vomit, fall and rise no more because of the sword which I will send among you.”’ 28 And it will be, if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “You shall surely drink! 29 For behold, I am beginning to work calamity in this city which is called by My name, and shall you be completely free from punishment? You will not be free from punishment; for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth,” declares the Lord of hosts.’

30 “Therefore you shall prophesy against them all these words, and you shall say to them,

‘The Lord will roar from on high And utter His voice from His holy habitation; He will roar mightily against His fold. He will shout like those who tread the grapes, Against all the inhabitants of the earth. 31 ‘A clamor has come to the end of the earth, Because the Lord has a controversy with the nations. He is entering into judgment with all flesh; As for the wicked, He has given them to the sword,’ declares the Lord.”

32 Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, evil is going forth From nation to nation, And a great storm is being stirred up From the remotest parts of the earth.

33 “Those slain by the Lord on that day will be from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be lamented, gathered or buried; they will be like dung on the face of the ground.

34 “Wail, you shepherds, and cry; And wallow in ashes, you masters of the flock; For the days of your slaughter and your dispersions have come, And you will fall like a choice vessel. 35 “Flight will perish from the shepherds, And escape from the masters of the flock. 36 Hear the sound of the cry of the shepherds, And the wailing of the masters of the flock! For the Lord is destroying their pasture, 37 “And the peaceful folds are made silent Because of the fierce anger of the Lord. 38 “He has left His hiding place like the lion; For their land has become a horror Because of the fierceness of the oppressing sword And because of His fierce anger.”

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

October 15 – OT Reading

2 Kings 20-21

2 Chronicles 32-33

2 Kings 20

Hezekiah’s Illness and Recovery

20 In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.’” Then he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I beseech You, how I have walked before You in truth and with a whole heart and have done what is good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had gone out of the middle court, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Return and say to Hezekiah the leader of My people, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of your father David, “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; behold, I will heal you. On the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for My own sake and for My servant David’s sake.”’” Then Isaiah said, “Take a cake of figs.” And they took and laid it on the boil, and he recovered.

Now Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me, and that I shall go up to the house of the Lord the third day?” Isaiah said, “This shall be the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do the thing that He has spoken: shall the shadow go forward ten steps or go back ten steps?” 10 So Hezekiah answered, “It is easy for the shadow to decline ten steps; no, but let the shadow turn backward ten steps.” 11 Isaiah the prophet cried to the Lord, and He brought the shadow on the stairway back ten steps by which it had gone down on the stairway of Ahaz.

Hezekiah Shows Babylon His Treasures

12 At that time Berodach-baladan a son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick. 13 Hezekiah listened to them, and showed them all his treasure house, the silver and the gold and the spices and the precious oil and the house of his armor and all that was found in his treasuries. There was nothing in his house nor in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them. 14 Then Isaiah the prophet came to King Hezekiah and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where have they come to you?” And Hezekiah said, “They have come from a far country, from Babylon.” 15 He said, “What have they seen in your house?” So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasuries that I have not shown them.”

16 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord. 17 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and all that your fathers have laid up in store to this day will be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘Some of your sons who shall issue from you, whom you will beget, will be taken away; and they will become officials in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” 19 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord which you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “Is it not so, if there will be peace and truth in my days?”

20 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 21 So Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and Manasseh his son became king in his place.

 

2 Kings 21

Manasseh Succeeds Hezekiah

21 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Hephzibah. He did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had destroyed; and he erected altars for Baal and made an Asherah, as Ahab king of Israel had done, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. He built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem I will put My name.” For he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. He made his son pass through the fire, practiced witchcraft and used divination, and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord provoking Him to anger. Then he set the carved image of Asherah that he had made, in the house of which the Lord said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever. And I will not make the feet of Israel wander anymore from the land which I gave their fathers, if only they will observe to do according to all that I have commanded them, and according to all the law that My servant Moses commanded them.” But they did not listen, and Manasseh seduced them to do evil more than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the sons of Israel.

The King’s Idolatries Rebuked

10 Now the Lord spoke through His servants the prophets, saying, 11 “Because Manasseh king of Judah has done these abominations, having done wickedly more than all the Amorites did who were before him, and has also made Judah sin with his idols; 12 therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am bringing such calamity on Jerusalem and Judah, that whoever hears of it, both his ears will tingle. 13 I will stretch over Jerusalem the line of Samaria and the plummet of the house of Ahab, and I will wipe Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 I will abandon the remnant of My inheritance and deliver them into the hand of their enemies, and they will become as plunder and spoil to all their enemies; 15 because they have done evil in My sight, and have been provoking Me to anger since the day their fathers came from Egypt, even to this day.’”

16 Moreover, Manasseh shed very much innocent blood until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another; besides his sin with which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the Lord. 17 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh and all that he did and his sin which he committed, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 18 And Manasseh slept with his fathers and was buried in the garden of his own house, in the garden of Uzza, and Amon his son became king in his place.

Amon Succeeds Manasseh

19 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem; and his mother’s name was Meshullemeth the daughter of Haruz of Jotbah. 20 He did evil in the sight of the Lord, as Manasseh his father had done. 21 For he walked in all the way that his father had walked, and served the idols that his father had served and worshiped them. 22 So he forsook the Lord, the God of his fathers, and did not walk in the way of the Lord. 23 The servants of Amon conspired against him and killed the king in his own house. 24 Then the people of the land killed all those who had conspired against King Amon, and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place. 25 Now the rest of the acts of Amon which he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah? 26 He was buried in his grave in the garden of Uzza, and Josiah his son became king in his place.

 

2 Chronicles 32

Sennacherib Invades Judah

32 After these acts of faithfulness Sennacherib king of Assyria came and invaded Judah and besieged the fortified cities, and thought to break into them for himself. Now when Hezekiah saw that Sennacherib had come and that he intended to make war on Jerusalem, he decided with his officers and his warriors to cut off the supply of water from the springs which were outside the city, and they helped him. So many people assembled and stopped up all the springs and the stream which flowed through the region, saying, “Why should the kings of Assyria come and find abundant water?” And he took courage and rebuilt all the wall that had been broken down and erected towers on it, and built another outside wall and strengthened the Millo in the city of David, and made weapons and shields in great number. He appointed military officers over the people and gathered them to him in the square at the city gate, and spoke encouragingly to them, saying, “Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him. With him is only an arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people relied on the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

Sennacherib Undermines Hezekiah

After this Sennacherib king of Assyria sent his servants to Jerusalem while he was besieging Lachish with all his forces with him, against Hezekiah king of Judah and against all Judah who were at Jerusalem, saying, 10 “Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, ‘On what are you trusting that you are remaining in Jerusalem under siege? 11 Is not Hezekiah misleading you to give yourselves over to die by hunger and by thirst, saying, “The Lord our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria”? 12 Has not the same Hezekiah taken away His high places and His altars, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, “You shall worship before one altar, and on it you shall burn incense”? 13 Do you not know what I and my fathers have done to all the peoples of the lands? Were the gods of the nations of the lands able at all to deliver their land from my hand? 14 Who was there among all the gods of those nations which my fathers utterly destroyed who could deliver his people out of my hand, that your God should be able to deliver you from my hand? 15 Now therefore, do not let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you like this, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom was able to deliver his people from my hand or from the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God deliver you from my hand?’”

16 His servants spoke further against the Lord God and against His servant Hezekiah. 17 He also wrote letters to insult the Lord God of Israel, and to speak against Him, saying, “As the gods of the nations of the lands have not delivered their people from my hand, so the God of Hezekiah will not deliver His people from my hand.” 18 They called this out with a loud voice in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them, so that they might take the city. 19 They spoke of the God of Jerusalem as of the gods of the peoples of the earth, the work of men’s hands.

Hezekiah’s Prayer Is Answered

20 But King Hezekiah and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed about this and cried out to heaven. 21 And the Lord sent an angel who destroyed every mighty warrior, commander and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria. So he returned in shame to his own land. And when he had entered the temple of his god, some of his own children killed him there with the sword. 22 So the Lord saved Hezekiah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem from the hand of Sennacherib the king of Assyria and from the hand of all others, and guided them on every side. 23 And many were bringing gifts to the Lord at Jerusalem and choice presents to Hezekiah king of Judah, so that he was exalted in the sight of all nations thereafter.

24 In those days Hezekiah became mortally ill; and he prayed to the Lord, and the Lord spoke to him and gave him a sign. 25 But Hezekiah gave no return for the benefit he received, because his heart was proud; therefore wrath came on him and on Judah and Jerusalem. 26 However, Hezekiah humbled the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the Lord did not come on them in the days of Hezekiah.

27 Now Hezekiah had immense riches and honor; and he made for himself treasuries for silver, gold, precious stones, spices, shields and all kinds of valuable articles, 28 storehouses also for the produce of grain, wine and oil, pens for all kinds of cattle and sheepfolds for the flocks. 29 He made cities for himself and acquired flocks and herds in abundance, for God had given him very great wealth. 30 It was Hezekiah who stopped the upper outlet of the waters of Gihon and directed them to the west side of the city of David. And Hezekiah prospered in all that he did. 31 Even in the matter of the envoys of the rulers of Babylon, who sent to him to inquire of the wonder that had happened in the land, God left him alone only to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.

32 Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and his deeds of devotion, behold, they are written in the vision of Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 33 So Hezekiah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the upper section of the tombs of the sons of David; and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem honored him at his death. And his son Manasseh became king in his place.

 

2 Chronicles 33

Manasseh Succeeds Hezekiah in Judah

33 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the Lord according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord dispossessed before the sons of Israel. For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; he also erected altars for the Baals and made Asherim, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. He built altars in the house of the Lord of which the Lord had said, “My name shall be in Jerusalem forever.” For he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. He made his sons pass through the fire in the valley of Ben-hinnom; and he practiced witchcraft, used divination, practiced sorcery and dealt with mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger. Then he put the carved image of the idol which he had made in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen from all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever; and I will not again remove the foot of Israel from the land which I have appointed for your fathers, if only they will observe to do all that I have commanded them according to all the law, the statutes and the ordinances given through Moses.” Thus Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the sons of Israel.

Manasseh’s Idolatry Rebuked

10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they paid no attention. 11 Therefore the Lord brought the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria against them, and they captured Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze chains and took him to Babylon. 12 When he was in distress, he entreated the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. 13 When he prayed to Him, He was moved by his entreaty and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem to his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.

14 Now after this he built the outer wall of the city of David on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entrance of the Fish Gate; and he encircled the Ophel with it and made it very high. Then he put army commanders in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15 He also removed the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, as well as all the altars which he had built on the mountain of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem, and he threw them outside the city. 16 He set up the altar of the Lord and sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it; and he ordered Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless the people still sacrificed in the high places, although only to the Lord their God.

18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh even his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the Lord God of Israel, behold, they are among the records of the kings of Israel. 19 His prayer also and how God was entreated by him, and all his sin, his unfaithfulness, and the sites on which he built high places and erected the Asherim and the carved images, before he humbled himself, behold, they are written in the records of the Hozai. 20 So Manasseh slept with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house. And Amon his son became king in his place.

Amon Becomes King in Judah

21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22 He did evil in the sight of the Lord as Manasseh his father had done, and Amon sacrificed to all the carved images which his father Manasseh had made, and he served them. 23 Moreover, he did not humble himself before the Lord as his father Manasseh had done, but Amon multiplied guilt. 24 Finally his servants conspired against him and put him to death in his own house. 25 But the people of the land killed all the conspirators against King Amon, and the people of the land made Josiah his son king in his place.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

October 7 – OT Reading

Isaiah 44-48

Isaiah 44

The Blessings of Israel

44 “But now listen, O Jacob, My servant, And Israel, whom I have chosen: Thus says the Lord who made you And formed you from the womb, who will help you, ‘Do not fear, O Jacob My servant; And you Jeshurun whom I have chosen. ‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants; And they will spring up among the grass Like poplars by streams of water.’ “This one will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’; And that one will call on the name of Jacob; And another will write on his hand, ‘Belonging to the Lord,’ And will name Israel’s name with honor.

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:

‘I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me. ‘Who is like Me? Let him proclaim and declare it; Yes, let him recount it to Me in order, From the time that I established the ancient nation. And let them declare to them the things that are coming And the events that are going to take place. ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’”

The Folly of Idolatry

Those who fashion a graven image are all of them futile, and their precious things are of no profit; even their own witnesses fail to see or know, so that they will be put to shame. 10 Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? 11 Behold, all his companions will be put to shame, for the craftsmen themselves are mere men. Let them all assemble themselves, let them stand up, let them tremble, let them together be put to shame.

12 The man shapes iron into a cutting tool and does his work over the coals, fashioning it with hammers and working it with his strong arm. He also gets hungry and his strength fails; he drinks no water and becomes weary. 13 Another shapes wood, he extends a measuring line; he outlines it with red chalk. He works it with planes and outlines it with a compass, and makes it like the form of a man, like the beauty of man, so that it may sit in a house. 14 Surely he cuts cedars for himself, and takes a cypress or an oak and raises it for himself among the trees of the forest. He plants a fir, and the rain makes it grow. 15 Then it becomes something for a man to burn, so he takes one of them and warms himself; he also makes a fire to bake bread. He also makes a god and worships it; he makes it a graven image and falls down before it. 16 Half of it he burns in the fire; over this half he eats meat as he roasts a roast and is satisfied. He also warms himself and says, “Aha! I am warm, I have seen the fire.” 17 But the rest of it he makes into a god, his graven image. He falls down before it and worships; he also prays to it and says, “Deliver me, for you are my god.”

18 They do not know, nor do they understand, for He has smeared over their eyes so that they cannot see and their hearts so that they cannot comprehend. 19 No one recalls, nor is there knowledge or understanding to say, “I have burned half of it in the fire and also have baked bread over its coals. I roast meat and eat it. Then I make the rest of it into an abomination, I fall down before a block of wood!” 20 He feeds on ashes; a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, “Is there not a lie in my right hand?”

God Forgives and Redeems

21 “Remember these things, O Jacob, And Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant, O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me. 22 “I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud And your sins like a heavy mist. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” 23 Shout for joy, O heavens, for the Lord has done it! Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth; Break forth into a shout of joy, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it; For the Lord has redeemed Jacob And in Israel He shows forth His glory.

24 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, and the one who formed you from the womb,

“I, the Lord, am the maker of all things, Stretching out the heavens by Myself And spreading out the earth all alone, 25 Causing the omens of boasters to fail, Making fools out of diviners, Causing wise men to draw back And turning their knowledge into foolishness, 26 Confirming the word of His servant And performing the purpose of His messengers. It is I who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited!’ And of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built.’ And I will raise up her ruins again. 27 It is I who says to the depth of the sea, ‘Be dried up!’ And I will make your rivers dry. 28 It is I who says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd! And he will perform all My desire.’ And he declares of Jerusalem, ‘She will be built,’ And of the temple, ‘Your foundation will be laid.’”

 

Isaiah 45

God Uses Cyrus

45 Thus says the Lord to Cyrus His anointed, Whom I have taken by the right hand, To subdue nations before him And to loose the loins of kings; To open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: “I will go before you and make the rough places smooth; I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars. “I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden wealth of secret places, So that you may know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name. “For the sake of Jacob My servant, And Israel My chosen one, I have also called you by your name; I have given you a title of honor Though you have not known Me. “I am the Lord, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the Lord, and there is no other, The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the Lord who does all these.

God’s Supreme Power

“Drip down, O heavens, from above, And let the clouds pour down righteousness; Let the earth open up and salvation bear fruit, And righteousness spring up with it. I, the Lord, have created it.

“Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker— An earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’ Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’? 10 “Woe to him who says to a father, ‘What are you begetting?’ Or to a woman, ‘To what are you giving birth?’”

11 Thus says the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker:

“Ask Me about the things to come concerning My sons, And you shall commit to Me the work of My hands. 12 “It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it. I stretched out the heavens with My hands And I ordained all their host. 13 “I have aroused him in righteousness And I will make all his ways smooth; He will build My city and will let My exiles go free, Without any payment or reward,” says the Lord of hosts.

14 Thus says the Lord,

“The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush And the Sabeans, men of stature, Will come over to you and will be yours; They will walk behind you, they will come over in chains And will bow down to you; They will make supplication to you: ‘Surely, God is with you, and there is none else, No other God.’” 15 Truly, You are a God who hides Himself, O God of Israel, Savior! 16 They will be put to shame and even humiliated, all of them; The manufacturers of idols will go away together in humiliation. 17 Israel has been saved by the Lord With an everlasting salvation; You will not be put to shame or humiliated To all eternity.

18 For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited),

“I am the Lord, and there is none else. 19 “I have not spoken in secret, In some dark land; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in a waste place’; I, the Lord, speak righteousness, Declaring things that are upright.

20 “Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations; They have no knowledge, Who carry about their wooden idol And pray to a god who cannot save. 21 “Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. 22 “Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. 23 “I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. 24 “They will say of Me, ‘Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength.’ Men will come to Him, And all who were angry at Him will be put to shame. 25 “In the Lord all the offspring of Israel Will be justified and will glory.”

 

Isaiah 46

Babylon’s Idols and the True God

46 Bel has bowed down, Nebo stoops over; Their images are consigned to the beasts and the cattle. The things that you carry are burdensome, A load for the weary beast. They stooped over, they have bowed down together; They could not rescue the burden, But have themselves gone into captivity.

“Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, You who have been borne by Me from birth And have been carried from the womb; Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you.

“To whom would you liken Me And make Me equal and compare Me, That we would be alike? “Those who lavish gold from the purse And weigh silver on the scale Hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god; They bow down, indeed they worship it. “They lift it upon the shoulder and carry it; They set it in its place and it stands there. It does not move from its place. Though one may cry to it, it cannot answer; It cannot deliver him from his distress.

“Remember this, and be assured; Recall it to mind, you transgressors. “Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’; 11 Calling a bird of prey from the east, The man of My purpose from a far country. Truly I have spoken; truly I will bring it to pass. I have planned it, surely I will do it.

12 “Listen to Me, you stubborn-minded, Who are far from righteousness. 13 “I bring near My righteousness, it is not far off; And My salvation will not delay. And I will grant salvation in Zion, And My glory for Israel.

 

Isaiah 47

Lament for Babylon

47 “Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; Sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans! For you shall no longer be called tender and delicate. “Take the millstones and grind meal. Remove your veil, strip off the skirt, Uncover the leg, cross the rivers. “Your nakedness will be uncovered, Your shame also will be exposed; I will take vengeance and will not spare a man.” Our Redeemer, the Lord of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel. “Sit silently, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans, For you will no longer be called The queen of kingdoms. “I was angry with My people, I profaned My heritage And gave them into your hand. You did not show mercy to them, On the aged you made your yoke very heavy. “Yet you said, ‘I will be a queen forever.’ These things you did not consider Nor remember the outcome of them.

“Now, then, hear this, you sensual one, Who dwells securely, Who says in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me. I will not sit as a widow, Nor know loss of children.’ “But these two things will come on you suddenly in one day: Loss of children and widowhood. They will come on you in full measure In spite of your many sorceries, In spite of the great power of your spells. 10 “You felt secure in your wickedness and said, ‘No one sees me,’ Your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you; For you have said in your heart, ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’ 11 “But evil will come on you Which you will not know how to charm away; And disaster will fall on you For which you cannot atone; And destruction about which you do not know Will come on you suddenly.

12 “Stand fast now in your spells And in your many sorceries With which you have labored from your youth; Perhaps you will be able to profit, Perhaps you may cause trembling. 13 “You are wearied with your many counsels; Let now the astrologers, Those who prophesy by the stars, Those who predict by the new moons, Stand up and save you from what will come upon you. 14 “Behold, they have become like stubble, Fire burns them; They cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame; There will be no coal to warm by Nor a fire to sit before! 15 “So have those become to you with whom you have labored, Who have trafficked with you from your youth; Each has wandered in his own way; There is none to save you.

 

Isaiah 48

Israel’s Obstinacy

48 “Hear this, O house of Jacob, who are named Israel And who came forth from the loins of Judah, Who swear by the name of the Lord And invoke the God of Israel, But not in truth nor in righteousness. “For they call themselves after the holy city And lean on the God of Israel; The Lord of hosts is His name. “I declared the former things long ago And they went forth from My mouth, and I proclaimed them. Suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. “Because I know that you are obstinate, And your neck is an iron sinew And your forehead bronze, Therefore I declared them to you long ago, Before they took place I proclaimed them to you, So that you would not say, ‘My idol has done them, And my graven image and my molten image have commanded them.’ “You have heard; look at all this. And you, will you not declare it? I proclaim to you new things from this time, Even hidden things which you have not known. “They are created now and not long ago; And before today you have not heard them, So that you will not say, ‘Behold, I knew them.’ “You have not heard, you have not known. Even from long ago your ear has not been open, Because I knew that you would deal very treacherously; And you have been called a rebel from birth. “For the sake of My name I delay My wrath, And for My praise I restrain it for you, In order not to cut you off. 10 “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. 11 “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.

Deliverance Promised

12 “Listen to Me, O Jacob, even Israel whom I called; I am He, I am the first, I am also the last. 13 “Surely My hand founded the earth, And My right hand spread out the heavens; When I call to them, they stand together. 14 “Assemble, all of you, and listen! Who among them has declared these things? The Lord loves him; he will carry out His good pleasure on Babylon, And His arm will be against the Chaldeans. 15 “I, even I, have spoken; indeed I have called him, I have brought him, and He will make his ways successful. 16 “Come near to Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there. And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.”

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,

“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go. 18 “If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea. 19 “Your descendants would have been like the sand, And your offspring like its grains; Their name would never be cut off or destroyed from My presence.”

20 Go forth from Babylon! Flee from the Chaldeans! Declare with the sound of joyful shouting, proclaim this, Send it out to the end of the earth; Say, “The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob.” 21 They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts. He made the water flow out of the rock for them; He split the rock and the water gushed forth. 22 “There is no peace for the wicked,” says the Lord.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)

October 6 – OT Reading

Isaiah 40-43

Isaiah 40

The Greatness of God

40 “Comfort, O comfort My people,” says your God. “Speak kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she has received of the Lord’s hand Double for all her sins.”

A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. “Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” A voice says, “Call out.” Then he answered, “What shall I call out?” All flesh is grass, and all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades, When the breath of the Lord blows upon it; Surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.

Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; Lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, “Here is your God!” 10 Behold, the Lord God will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him. 11 Like a shepherd He will tend His flock, In His arm He will gather the lambs And carry them in His bosom; He will gently lead the nursing ewes.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, And marked off the heavens by the span, And calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, And weighed the mountains in a balance And the hills in a pair of scales? 13 Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or as His counselor has informed Him? 14 With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge And informed Him of the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, And are regarded as a speck of dust on the scales; Behold, He lifts up the islands like fine dust. 16 Even Lebanon is not enough to burn, Nor its beasts enough for a burnt offering. 17 All the nations are as nothing before Him, They are regarded by Him as less than nothing and meaningless.

18 To whom then will you liken God? Or what likeness will you compare with Him? 19 As for the idol, a craftsman casts it, A goldsmith plates it with gold, And a silversmith fashions chains of silver. 20 He who is too impoverished for such an offering Selects a tree that does not rot; He seeks out for himself a skillful craftsman To prepare an idol that will not totter.

21 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been declared to you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? 22 It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, Who stretches out the heavens like a curtain And spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. 23 He it is who reduces rulers to nothing, Who makes the judges of the earth meaningless. 24 Scarcely have they been planted, Scarcely have they been sown, Scarcely has their stock taken root in the earth, But He merely blows on them, and they wither, And the storm carries them away like stubble. 25 “To whom then will you liken Me That I would be his equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes on high And see who has created these stars, The One who leads forth their host by number, He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing.

27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and assert, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, And the justice due me escapes the notice of my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. 29 He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. 30 Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, 31 Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

 

Isaiah 41

Israel Encouraged

41 “Coastlands, listen to Me in silence, And let the peoples gain new strength; Let them come forward, then let them speak; Let us come together for judgment. “Who has aroused one from the east Whom He calls in righteousness to His feet? He delivers up nations before him And subdues kings. He makes them like dust with his sword, As the wind-driven chaff with his bow. “He pursues them, passing on in safety, By a way he had not been traversing with his feet. “Who has performed and accomplished it, Calling forth the generations from the beginning? ‘I, the Lord, am the first, and with the last. I am He.’”

The coastlands have seen and are afraid; The ends of the earth tremble; They have drawn near and have come. Each one helps his neighbor And says to his brother, “Be strong!” So the craftsman encourages the smelter, And he who smooths metal with the hammer encourages him who beats the anvil, Saying of the soldering, “It is good”; And he fastens it with nails, So that it will not totter. “But you, Israel, My servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, Descendant of Abraham My friend, You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, And called from its remotest parts And said to you, ‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you. 10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 11 “Behold, all those who are angered at you will be shamed and dishonored; Those who contend with you will be as nothing and will perish. 12 “You will seek those who quarrel with you, but will not find them, Those who war with you will be as nothing and non-existent. 13 “For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’ 14 “Do not fear, you worm Jacob, you men of Israel; I will help you,” declares the Lord, “and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel. 15 “Behold, I have made you a new, sharp threshing sledge with double edges; You will thresh the mountains and pulverize them, And will make the hills like chaff. 16 “You will winnow them, and the wind will carry them away, And the storm will scatter them; But you will rejoice in the Lord, You will glory in the Holy One of Israel.

17 “The afflicted and needy are seeking water, but there is none, And their tongue is parched with thirst; I, the Lord, will answer them Myself, As the God of Israel I will not forsake them. 18 “I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water. 19 “I will put the cedar in the wilderness, The acacia and the myrtle and the olive tree; I will place the juniper in the desert Together with the box tree and the cypress, 20 That they may see and recognize, And consider and gain insight as well, That the hand of the Lord has done this, And the Holy One of Israel has created it.

21 “Present your case,” the Lord says. “Bring forward your strong arguments,” The King of Jacob says. 22 Let them bring forth and declare to us what is going to take place; As for the former events, declare what they were, That we may consider them and know their outcome. Or announce to us what is coming; 23 Declare the things that are going to come afterward, That we may know that you are gods; Indeed, do good or evil, that we may anxiously look about us and fear together. 24 Behold, you are of no account, And your work amounts to nothing; He who chooses you is an abomination.

25 “I have aroused one from the north, and he has come; From the rising of the sun he will call on My name; And he will come upon rulers as upon mortar, Even as the potter treads clay.” 26 Who has declared this from the beginning, that we might know? Or from former times, that we may say, “He is right!”? Surely there was no one who declared, Surely there was no one who proclaimed, Surely there was no one who heard your words. 27 “Formerly I said to Zion, ‘Behold, here they are.’ And to Jerusalem, ‘I will give a messenger of good news.’ 28 “But when I look, there is no one, And there is no counselor among them Who, if I ask, can give an answer. 29 “Behold, all of them are false; Their works are worthless, Their molten images are wind and emptiness.

 

Isaiah 42

God’s Promise concerning His Servant

42 “Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. “He will not cry out or raise His voice, Nor make His voice heard in the street. “A bruised reed He will not break And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. “He will not be disheartened or crushed Until He has established justice in the earth; And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.”

Thus says God the Lord,

Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it, “I am the Lord, I have called You in righteousness, I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You, And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people, As a light to the nations, To open blind eyes, To bring out prisoners from the dungeon And those who dwell in darkness from the prison. “I am the Lord, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images. “Behold, the former things have come to pass, Now I declare new things; Before they spring forth I proclaim them to you.”

10 Sing to the Lord a new song, Sing His praise from the end of the earth! You who go down to the sea, and all that is in it. You islands, and those who dwell on them. 11 Let the wilderness and its cities lift up their voices, The settlements where Kedar inhabits. Let the inhabitants of Sela sing aloud, Let them shout for joy from the tops of the mountains. 12 Let them give glory to the Lord And declare His praise in the coastlands. 13 The Lord will go forth like a warrior, He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry. He will prevail against His enemies.

The Blindness of the People

14 “I have kept silent for a long time, I have kept still and restrained Myself. Now like a woman in labor I will groan, I will both gasp and pant. 15 “I will lay waste the mountains and hills And wither all their vegetation; I will make the rivers into coastlands And dry up the ponds. 16 “I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, In paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them And rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, And I will not leave them undone.” 17 They will be turned back and be utterly put to shame, Who trust in idols, Who say to molten images, “You are our gods.”

18 Hear, you deaf! And look, you blind, that you may see. 19 Who is blind but My servant, Or so deaf as My messenger whom I send? Who is so blind as he that is at peace with Me, Or so blind as the servant of the Lord? 20 You have seen many things, but you do not observe them; Your ears are open, but none hears. 21 The Lord was pleased for His righteousness’ sake To make the law great and glorious. 22 But this is a people plundered and despoiled; All of them are trapped in caves, Or are hidden away in prisons; They have become a prey with none to deliver them, And a spoil, with none to say, “Give them back!”

23 Who among you will give ear to this? Who will give heed and listen hereafter? 24 Who gave Jacob up for spoil, and Israel to plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned, And in whose ways they were not willing to walk, And whose law they did not obey? 25 So He poured out on him the heat of His anger And the fierceness of battle; And it set him aflame all around, Yet he did not recognize it; And it burned him, but he paid no attention.

 

Isaiah 43

Israel Redeemed

43 But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you. “For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I have given Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in your place. “Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life. “Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, And gather you from the west. “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from afar And My daughters from the ends of the earth, Everyone who is called by My name, And whom I have created for My glory, Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”

Israel Is God’s Witness

Bring out the people who are blind, even though they have eyes, And the deaf, even though they have ears. All the nations have gathered together So that the peoples may be assembled. Who among them can declare this And proclaim to us the former things? Let them present their witnesses that they may be justified, Or let them hear and say, “It is true.” 10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And My servant whom I have chosen, So that you may know and believe Me And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, And there will be none after Me. 11 “I, even I, am the Lord, And there is no savior besides Me. 12 “It is I who have declared and saved and proclaimed, And there was no strange god among you; So you are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “And I am God. 13 “Even from eternity I am He, And there is none who can deliver out of My hand; I act and who can reverse it?”

Babylon to Be Destroyed

14 Thus says the Lord your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel,

“For your sake I have sent to Babylon, And will bring them all down as fugitives, Even the Chaldeans, into the ships in which they rejoice. 15 “I am the Lord, your Holy One, The Creator of Israel, your King.”

16 Thus says the Lord,

Who makes a way through the sea And a path through the mighty waters, 17 Who brings forth the chariot and the horse, The army and the mighty man (They will lie down together and not rise again; They have been quenched and extinguished like a wick): 18 “Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. 19 “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert. 20 “The beasts of the field will glorify Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My chosen people. 21 “The people whom I formed for Myself Will declare My praise.

The Shortcomings of Israel

22 “Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob; But you have become weary of Me, O Israel. 23 “You have not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offerings, Nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, Nor wearied you with incense. 24 “You have bought Me not sweet cane with money, Nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices; Rather you have burdened Me with your sins, You have wearied Me with your iniquities.

25 “I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins. 26 “Put Me in remembrance, let us argue our case together; State your cause, that you may be proved right. 27 “Your first forefather sinned, And your spokesmen have transgressed against Me. 28 “So I will pollute the princes of the sanctuary, And I will consign Jacob to the ban and Israel to revilement.

 

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB © The Lockman Foundation (www.lockman.org)