OT Reading – January 28

Zechariah 8-11

Zechariah 8

The Coming Peace and Prosperity of Zion

8 Then the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.’ Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.’ Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?’ declares the Lord of hosts. Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.’

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Let your hands be strong, you who are listening in these days to these words from the mouth of the prophets, those who spoke in the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid, to the end that the temple might be built. 10 For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for animal; and for him who went out or came in there was no peace because of his enemies, and I set all men one against another. 11 But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 12 ‘For there will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things13 It will come about that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you that you may become a blessing. Do not fear; let your hands be strong.’

14 “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Just as I purposed to do harm to you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and I have not relented, 15 so I have again purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear! 16 These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. 17 Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the Lord.”

18 Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, 19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth months will become joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.’

20 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. 21 The inhabitants of one will go to another, saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I will also go.” 22 So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord.’ 23 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’”

 

Zechariah 9

Prophecies against Neighboring Nations

9 The burden of the word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrach, with Damascus as its resting place (for the eyes of men, especially of all the tribes of Israel, are toward the Lord),

And Hamath also, which borders on it; Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise. For Tyre built herself a fortress And piled up silver like dust, And gold like the mire of the streets. Behold, the Lord will dispossess her And cast her wealth into the sea; And she will be consumed with fire. Ashkelon will see it and be afraid. Gaza too will writhe in great pain; Also Ekron, for her expectation has been confounded. Moreover, the king will perish from Gaza, And Ashkelon will not be inhabited. And a mongrel race will dwell in Ashdod, And I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. And I will remove their blood from their mouth And their detestable things from between their teeth. Then they also will be a remnant for our God, And be like a clan in Judah, And Ekron like a Jebusite. But I will camp around My house because of an army, Because of him who passes by and returns; And no oppressor will pass over them anymore, For now I have seen with My eyes. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; And the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.

Deliverance of Judah and Ephraim

11 As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you, I have set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. 12 Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you. 13 For I will bend Judah as My bow, I will fill the bow with Ephraim. And I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece; And I will make you like a warrior’s sword. 14 Then the Lord will appear over them, And His arrow will go forth like lightning; And the Lord God will blow the trumpet, And will march in the storm winds of the south. 15 The Lord of hosts will defend them. And they will devour and trample on the sling stones; And they will drink and be boisterous as with wine; And they will be filled like a sacrificial basin, Drenched like the corners of the altar. 16 And the Lord their God will save them in that day As the flock of His people; For they are as the stones of a crown, Sparkling in His land. 17 For what comeliness and beauty will be theirs! Grain will make the young men flourish, and new wine the virgins.

 

Zechariah 10

God Will Bless Judah and Ephraim

10 Ask rain from the Lord at the time of the spring rain—

The Lord who makes the storm clouds; And He will give them showers of rain, vegetation in the field to each man. For the teraphim speak iniquity, And the diviners see lying visions And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep, They are afflicted, because there is no shepherd. “My anger is kindled against the shepherds, And I will punish the male goats; For the Lord of hosts has visited His flock, the house of Judah, And will make them like His majestic horse in battle. “From them will come the cornerstone, From them the tent peg, From them the bow of battle, From them every ruler, all of them together. “They will be as mighty men, Treading down the enemy in the mire of the streets in battle; And they will fight, for the Lord will be with them; And the riders on horses will be put to shame. “I will strengthen the house of Judah, And I will save the house of Joseph, And I will bring them back, Because I have had compassion on them; And they will be as though I had not rejected them, For I am the Lord their God and I will answer them. “Ephraim will be like a mighty man, And their heart will be glad as if from wine; Indeed, their children will see it and be glad, Their heart will rejoice in the Lord. “I will whistle for them to gather them together, For I have redeemed them; And they will be as numerous as they were before. “When I scatter them among the peoples, They will remember Me in far countries, And they with their children will live and come back. 10 “I will bring them back from the land of Egypt And gather them from Assyria; And I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon Until no room can be found for them. 11 “And they will pass through the sea of distress And He will strike the waves in the sea, So that all the depths of the Nile will dry up; And the pride of Assyria will be brought down And the scepter of Egypt will depart. 12 “And I will strengthen them in the Lord, And in His name they will walk,” declares the Lord.

 

Zechariah 11

The Doomed Flock

11 Open your doors, O Lebanon,

That a fire may feed on your cedars. Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen, Because the glorious trees have been destroyed; Wail, O oaks of Bashan, For the impenetrable forest has come down. There is a sound of the shepherds’ wail, For their glory is ruined; There is a sound of the young lions’ roar, For the pride of the Jordan is ruined.

Thus says the Lord my God, “Pasture the flock doomed to slaughter. Those who buy them slay them and go unpunished, and each of those who sell them says, ‘Blessed be the Lord, for I have become rich!’ And their own shepherds have no pity on them. For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of the land,” declares the Lord; “but behold, I will cause the men to fall, each into another’s power and into the power of his king; and they will strike the land, and I will not deliver them from their power.”

So I pastured the flock doomed to slaughter, hence the afflicted of the flock. And I took for myself two staffs: the one I called Favor and the other I called Union; so I pastured the flock. Then I annihilated the three shepherds in one month, for my soul was impatient with them, and their soul also was weary of me. Then I said, “I will not pasture you. What is to die, let it die, and what is to be annihilated, let it be annihilated; and let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.” 10 I took my staff Favor and cut it in pieces, to break my covenant which I had made with all the peoples. 11 So it was broken on that day, and thus the afflicted of the flock who were watching me realized that it was the word of the Lord.12 I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. 13 Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord. 14 Then I cut in pieces my second staff Union, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

15 The Lord said to me, “Take again for yourself the equipment of a foolish shepherd.16 For behold, I am going to raise up a shepherd in the land who will not care for the perishing, seek the scattered, heal the broken, or sustain the one standing, but will devour the flesh of the fat sheep and tear off their hoofs.

17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd Who leaves the flock! A sword will be on his arm And on his right eye! His arm will be totally withered And his right eye will be blind.”

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

September 29 – OT Reading

Hosea 8-14

Hosea 8

Israel Reaps the Whirlwind

Put the trumpet to your lips! Like an eagle the enemy comes against the house of the Lord, Because they have transgressed My covenant And rebelled against My law. They cry out to Me, “My God, we of Israel know You!” Israel has rejected the good; The enemy will pursue him. They have set up kings, but not by Me; They have appointed princes, but I did not know it. With their silver and gold they have made idols for themselves, That they might be cut off. He has rejected your calf, O Samaria, saying, “My anger burns against them!” How long will they be incapable of innocence? For from Israel is even this! A craftsman made it, so it is not God; Surely the calf of Samaria will be broken to pieces. For they sow the wind And they reap the whirlwind. The standing grain has no heads; It yields no grain. Should it yield, strangers would swallow it up.

Israel is swallowed up; They are now among the nations Like a vessel in which no one delights. For they have gone up to Assyria, Like a wild donkey all alone; Ephraim has hired lovers. 10 Even though they hire allies among the nations, Now I will gather them up; And they will begin to diminish Because of the burden of the king of princes.

11 Since Ephraim has multiplied altars for sin, They have become altars of sinning for him. 12 Though I wrote for him ten thousand precepts of My law, They are regarded as a strange thing. 13 As for My sacrificial gifts, They sacrifice the flesh and eat it, But the Lord has taken no delight in them. Now He will remember their iniquity, And punish them for their sins; They will return to Egypt. 14 For Israel has forgotten his Maker and built palaces; And Judah has multiplied fortified cities, But I will send a fire on its cities that it may consume its palatial dwellings.

 

Hosea 9

Ephraim Punished

9 Do not rejoice, O Israel, with exultation like the nations! For you have played the harlot, forsaking your God. You have loved harlots’ earnings on every threshing floor. Threshing floor and wine press will not feed them, And the new wine will fail them. They will not remain in the Lord’s land, But Ephraim will return to Egypt, And in Assyria they will eat unclean food. They will not pour out drink offerings of wine to the Lord, Their sacrifices will not please Him. Their bread will be like mourners’ bread; All who eat of it will be defiled, For their bread will be for themselves alone; It will not enter the house of the Lord. What will you do on the day of the appointed festival And on the day of the feast of the Lord? For behold, they will go because of destruction; Egypt will gather them up, Memphis will bury them. Weeds will take over their treasures of silver; Thorns will be in their tents.

The days of punishment have come, The days of retribution have come; Let Israel know this! The prophet is a fool, The inspired man is demented, Because of the grossness of your iniquity, And because your hostility is so great. Ephraim was a watchman with my God, a prophet; Yet the snare of a bird catcher is in all his ways, And there is only hostility in the house of his God. They have gone deep in depravity As in the days of Gibeah; He will remember their iniquity, He will punish their sins.

10 I found Israel like grapes in the wilderness; I saw your forefathers as the earliest fruit on the fig tree in its first season. But they came to Baal-peor and devoted themselves to shame, And they became as detestable as that which they loved. 11 As for Ephraim, their glory will fly away like a bird— No birth, no pregnancy and no conception! 12 Though they bring up their children, Yet I will bereave them until not a man is left. Yes, woe to them indeed when I depart from them! 13 Ephraim, as I have seen, Is planted in a pleasant meadow like Tyre; But Ephraim will bring out his children for slaughter. 14 Give them, O Lord—what will You give? Give them a miscarrying womb and dry breasts.

15 All their evil is at Gilgal; Indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels. 16 Ephraim is stricken, their root is dried up, They will bear no fruit. Even though they bear children, I will slay the precious ones of their womb. 17 My God will cast them away Because they have not listened to Him; And they will be wanderers among the nations.

 

Hosea 10

Retribution for Israel’s Sin

10 Israel is a luxuriant vine; He produces fruit for himself. The more his fruit, The more altars he made; The richer his land, The better he made the sacred pillars. Their heart is faithless; Now they must bear their guilt. The Lord will break down their altars And destroy their sacred pillars.

Surely now they will say, “We have no king, For we do not revere the Lord. As for the king, what can he do for us?” They speak mere words, With worthless oaths they make covenants; And judgment sprouts like poisonous weeds in the furrows of the field. The inhabitants of Samaria will fear For the calf of Beth-aven. Indeed, its people will mourn for it, And its idolatrous priests will cry out over it, Over its glory, since it has departed from it. The thing itself will be carried to Assyria As tribute to King Jareb; Ephraim will be seized with shame And Israel will be ashamed of its own counsel. Samaria will be cut off with her king Like a stick on the surface of the water. Also the high places of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed; Thorn and thistle will grow on their altars; Then they will say to the mountains, “Cover us!” And to the hills, “Fall on us!” From the days of Gibeah you have sinned, O Israel; There they stand! Will not the battle against the sons of iniquity overtake them in Gibeah? 10 When it is My desire, I will chastise them; And the peoples will be gathered against them When they are bound for their double guilt.

11 Ephraim is a trained heifer that loves to thresh, But I will come over her fair neck with a yoke; I will harness Ephraim, Judah will plow, Jacob will harrow for himself. 12 Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord Until He comes to rain righteousness on you. 13 You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, You have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your way, in your numerous warriors, 14 Therefore a tumult will arise among your people, And all your fortresses will be destroyed, As Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle, When mothers were dashed in pieces with their children. 15 Thus it will be done to you at Bethel because of your great wickedness. At dawn the king of Israel will be completely cut off.

 

Hosea 11

God Yearns over His People

11 When Israel was a youth I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son. The more they called them, The more they went from them; They kept sacrificing to the Baals And burning incense to idols. Yet it is I who taught Ephraim to walk, I took them in My arms; But they did not know that I healed them. I led them with cords of a man, with bonds of love, And I became to them as one who lifts the yoke from their jaws; And I bent down and fed them.

They will not return to the land of Egypt; But Assyria—he will be their king Because they refused to return to Me. The sword will whirl against their cities, And will demolish their gate bars And consume them because of their counsels. So My people are bent on turning from Me. Though they call them to the One on high, None at all exalts Him.

How can I give you up, O Ephraim? How can I surrender you, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart is turned over within Me, All My compassions are kindled. I will not execute My fierce anger; I will not destroy Ephraim again. For I am God and not man, the Holy One in your midst, And I will not come in wrath. 10 They will walk after the Lord, He will roar like a lion; Indeed He will roar And His sons will come trembling from the west. 11 They will come trembling like birds from Egypt And like doves from the land of Assyria; And I will settle them in their houses, declares the Lord.

12 Ephraim surrounds Me with lies And the house of Israel with deceit; Judah is also unruly against God, Even against the Holy One who is faithful.

 

Hosea 12

Ephraim Reminded

12 Ephraim feeds on wind, And pursues the east wind continually; He multiplies lies and violence. Moreover, he makes a covenant with Assyria, And oil is carried to Egypt. The Lord also has a dispute with Judah, And will punish Jacob according to his ways; He will repay him according to his deeds. In the womb he took his brother by the heel, And in his maturity he contended with God. Yes, he wrestled with the angel and prevailed; He wept and sought His favor. He found Him at Bethel And there He spoke with us, Even the Lord, the God of hosts, The Lord is His name. Therefore, return to your God, Observe kindness and justice, And wait for your God continually. A merchant, in whose hands are false balances, He loves to oppress. And Ephraim said, “Surely I have become rich, I have found wealth for myself; In all my labors they will find in me No iniquity, which would be sin.” But I have been the Lord your God since the land of Egypt; I will make you live in tents again, As in the days of the appointed festival. 10 I have also spoken to the prophets, And I gave numerous visions, And through the prophets I gave parables. 11 Is there iniquity in Gilead? Surely they are worthless. In Gilgal they sacrifice bulls, Yes, their altars are like the stone heaps Beside the furrows of the field.

12 Now Jacob fled to the land of Aram, And Israel worked for a wife, And for a wife he kept sheep. 13 But by a prophet the Lord brought Israel from Egypt, And by a prophet he was kept. 14 Ephraim has provoked to bitter anger; So his Lord will leave his bloodguilt on him And bring back his reproach to him.

 

Hosea 13

Ephraim’s Idolatry

13 When Ephraim spoke, there was trembling. He exalted himself in Israel, But through Baal he did wrong and died. And now they sin more and more, And make for themselves molten images, Idols skillfully made from their silver, All of them the work of craftsmen. They say of them, “Let the men who sacrifice kiss the calves!” Therefore they will be like the morning cloud And like dew which soon disappears, Like chaff which is blown away from the threshing floor And like smoke from a chimney.

Yet I have been the Lord your God Since the land of Egypt; And you were not to know any god except Me, For there is no savior besides Me. I cared for you in the wilderness, In the land of drought. As they had their pasture, they became satisfied, And being satisfied, their heart became proud; Therefore they forgot Me. So I will be like a lion to them; Like a leopard I will lie in wait by the wayside. I will encounter them like a bear robbed of her cubs, And I will tear open their chests; There I will also devour them like a lioness, As a wild beast would tear them.

It is your destruction, O Israel, That you are against Me, against your help. 10 Where now is your king That he may save you in all your cities, And your judges of whom you requested, “Give me a king and princes”? 11 I gave you a king in My anger And took him away in My wrath.

12 The iniquity of Ephraim is bound up; His sin is stored up. 13 The pains of childbirth come upon him; He is not a wise son, For it is not the time that he should delay at the opening of the womb. 14 Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from death? O Death, where are your thorns? O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion will be hidden from My sight.

15 Though he flourishes among the reeds, An east wind will come, The wind of the Lord coming up from the wilderness; And his fountain will become dry And his spring will be dried up; It will plunder his treasury of every precious article. 16 Samaria will be held guilty, For she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword, Their little ones will be dashed in pieces, And their pregnant women will be ripped open.

 

Hosea 14

Israel’s Future Blessing

14 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, For you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity And receive us graciously, That we may present the fruit of our lips. “Assyria will not save us, We will not ride on horses; Nor will we say again, ‘Our god,’ To the work of our hands; For in You the orphan finds mercy.”

I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely, For My anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; He will blossom like the lily, And he will take root like the cedars of Lebanon. His shoots will sprout, And his beauty will be like the olive tree And his fragrance like the cedars of Lebanon. Those who live in his shadow Will again raise grain, And they will blossom like the vine. His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.

O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols? It is I who answer and look after you. I am like a luxuriant cypress; From Me comes your fruit.

Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; Whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, And the righteous will walk in them, But transgressors will stumble in them.

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