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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 5 and 6
1 Let me sing for my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved had a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
2 and he digged it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also hewed out a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
5 And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
6 and I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned nor hoed; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
7 For the vineyard of Jehovah of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for justice, but, behold, oppression; for righteousness, but, behold, a cry.
8 Woe unto them that join house to house, that lay field to field, till there be no room, and ye be made to dwell alone in the midst of the land!
9 In mine ears `saith' Jehovah of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant.
10 For ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and a homer of seed shall yield `but' an ephah.
11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that tarry late into the night, till wine inflame them!
12 And the harp and the lute, the tabret and the pipe, and wine, are `in' their feasts; but they regard not the work of Jehovah, neither have they considered the operation of his hands.
13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity for lack of knowledge; and their honorable men are famished, and their multitude are parched with thirst.
14 Therefore Sheol hath enlarged its desire, and opened its mouth without measure; and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth among them, descend `into it'.
15 And the mean man is bowed down, and the great man is humbled, and the eyes of the lofty are humbled:
16 but Jehovah of hosts is exalted in justice, and God the Holy One is sanctified in righteousness.
17 Then shall the lambs feed as in their pasture, and the waste places of the fat ones shall wanderers eat.
18 Woe unto them that draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, and sin as it were with a cart rope;
19 that say, Let him make speed, let him hasten his work, that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
22 Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink;
23 that justify the wicked for a bribe, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!
24 Therefore as the tongue of fire devoureth the stubble, and as the dry grass sinketh down in the flame, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust; because they have rejected the law of Jehovah of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
25 Therefore is the anger of Jehovah kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them; and the mountains tremble, and their dead bodies are as refuse in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
26 And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss for them from the end of the earth; and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly.
27 None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken:
28 whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent; their horses' hoofs shall be accounted as flint, and their wheels as a whirlwind:
29 their roaring shall be like a lioness, they shall roar like young lions; yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and carry it away safe, and there shall be none to deliver.
30 And they shall roar against them in that day like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold, darkness `and' distress; and the light is darkened in the clouds thereof.
1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple.
2 Above him stood the seraphim: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is Jehovah of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
4 And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, Jehovah of hosts.
6 Then flew one of the seraphim unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar:
7 and he touched my mouth with it, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin forgiven.
8 And I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, Here am I; send me.
9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
10 Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they sea with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and turn again, and be healed.
11 Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until cities be waste without inhabitant, and houses without man, and the land become utterly waste,
12 and Jehovah have removed men far away, and the forsaken places be many in the midst of the land.
13 And if there be yet a tenth in it, it also shall in turn be eaten up: as a terebinth, and as an oak, whose stock remaineth, when they are felled; so the holy seed is the stock thereof.
Second Reading: Ephesians Chapter 1
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints that are at Ephesus, and the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Blessed `be' the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly `places' in Christ:
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blemish before him in love:
5 having foreordained us unto adoption as sons through Jesus Christ unto himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved:
7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,
8 which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
9 making known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him
10 unto a dispensation of the fulness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth; in him, `I say,'
11 in whom also we were made a heritage, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his will;
12 to the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ:
13 in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation,-- in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 which is an earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of `God's' own possession, unto the praise of his glory.
15 For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and the love which `ye show' toward all the saints,
16 cease not to give thanks for you, making mention `of you' in my prayers;
17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him;
18 having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 and what the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to that working of the strength of his might
20 which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and made him to sit at his right hand in the heavenly `places',
21 far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 and he put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church,
23 which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 3 of 4
Isaiah is one of the most quoted Old Testaments books by New Testament writers. Many verses in Isaiah concern the coming Messiah:
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