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First Reading: Ezekiel Chapter 21 and 22
1 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
2 Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop `thy word' toward the sanctuaries, and prophesy against the land of Israel;
3 and say to the land of Israel, Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth my sword out of its sheath, and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.
4 Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall my sword go forth out of its sheath against all flesh from the south to the north:
5 and all flesh shall know that I, Jehovah, have drawn forth my sword out of its sheath; it shall not return any more.
6 Sigh therefore, thou son of man; with the breaking of thy loins and with bitterness shalt thou sigh before their eyes.
7 And it shall be, when they say unto thee, Wherefore sighest thou? that thou shalt say, Because of the tidings, for it cometh; and every heart shall melt, and all hands shall be feeble, and every spirit shall faint, and all knees shall be weak as water: behold, it cometh, and it shall be done, saith the Lord Jehovah.
8 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
9 Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith Jehovah: Say, A sword, a sword, it is sharpened, and also furbished;
10 it is sharpened that it may make a slaughter; it is furbished that it may be as lightning: shall we then make mirth? the rod of my son, it contemneth every tree.
11 And it is given to be furbished, that it may be handled: the sword, it is sharpened, yea, it is furbished, to give it into the hand of the slayer.
12 Cry and wail, son of man; for it is upon my people, it is upon all the princes of Israel: they are delivered over to the sword with my people; smite therefore upon thy thigh.
13 For there is a trial; and what if even the rod that contemneth shall be no more? saith the Lord Jehovah.
14 Thou therefore, son of man, prophesy, and smite thy hands together; and let the sword be doubled the third time, the sword of the deadly wounded: it is the sword of the great one that is deadly wounded, which entereth into their chambers.
15 I have set the threatening sword against all their gates, that their heart may melt, and their stumblings be multiplied: ah! it is made as lightning, it is pointed for slaughter.
16 Gather thee together, go to the right, set thyself in array, go to the left, whithersoever thy face is set.
17 I will also smite my hands together, and I will cause my wrath to rest: I, Jehovah, have spoken it.
18 The word of Jehovah came unto me again, saying,
19 Also, thou son of man, appoint thee two ways, that the sword of the king of Babylon may come; they twain shall come forth out of one land: and mark out a place, mark it out at the head of the way to the city.
20 Thou shalt appoint a way for the sword to come to Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and to Judah in Jerusalem the fortified.
21 For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he shook the arrows to and fro, he consulted the teraphim, he looked in the liver.
22 In his right hand was the divination `for' Jerusalem, to set battering rams, to open the mouth in the slaughter, to lift up the voice with shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, to cast up mounds, to build forts.
23 And it shall be unto them as a false divination in their sight, who have sworn oaths unto them; but he bringeth iniquity to remembrance, that they may be taken.
24 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because ye have made your iniquity to be remembered, in that your transgressions are uncovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear; because that ye are come to remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand.
25 And thou, O deadly wounded wicked one, the prince of Israel, whose day is come, in the time of the iniquity of the end,
26 thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Remove the mitre, and take off the crown; this `shall be' no more the same; exalt that which is low, and abase that which is high.
27 I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: this also shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it `him'.
28 And thou, son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah concerning the children of Ammon, and concerning their reproach; and say thou, A sword, a sword is drawn, for the slaughter it is furbished, to cause it to devour, that it may be as lightning;
29 while they see for thee false visions, while they divine lies unto thee, to lay thee upon the necks of the wicked that are deadly wounded, whose day is come in the time of the iniquity of the end.
30 Cause it to return into its sheath. In the place where thou wast created, in the land of thy birth, will I judge thee.
31 And I will pour out mine indignation upon thee; I will blow upon thee with the fire of my wrath; and I will deliver thee into the hand of brutish men, skilful to destroy.
32 Thou shalt be for fuel to the fire; thy blood shall be in the midst of the land; thou shalt be no more remembered: for I, Jehovah, have spoken it.
1 Moreover the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
2 And thou, son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? then cause her to know all her abominations.
3 And thou shalt say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah: A city that sheddeth blood in the midst of her, that her time may come, and that maketh idols against herself to defile her!
4 Thou art become guilty in thy blood that thou hast shed, and art defiled in thine idols which thou hast made; and thou hast caused thy days to draw near, and art come even unto thy years: therefore have I made thee a reproach unto the nations, and a mocking to all the countries.
5 Those that are near, and those that are far from thee, shall mock thee, thou infamous one `and' full of tumult.
6 Behold, the princes of Israel, every one according to his power, have been in thee to shed blood.
7 In thee have they set light by father and mother; in the midst of thee have they dealt by oppression with the sojourner; in thee have they wronged the fatherless and the widow.
8 Thou hast despised my holy things, and hast profaned my sabbaths.
9 Slanderous men have been in thee to shed blood; and in thee they have eaten upon the mountains: in the midst of thee they have committed lewdness.
10 In thee have they uncovered their fathers' nakedness; in thee have they humbled her that was unclean in her impurity.
11 And one hath committed abomination with his neighbor's wife; and another hath lewdly defiled his daughter-in-law; and another in thee hath humbled his sister, his father's daughter.
12 In thee have they taken bribes to shed blood; thou hast taken interest and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbors by oppression, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord Jehovah.
13 Behold, therefore, I have smitten my hand at thy dishonest gain which thou hast made, and at thy blood which hath been in the midst of thee.
14 Can thy heart endure, or can thy hands be strong, in the days that I shall deal with thee? I, Jehovah, have spoken it, and will do it.
15 And I will scatter thee among the nations, and disperse thee through the countries; and I will consume thy filthiness out of thee.
16 And thou shalt be profaned in thyself, in the sight of the nations; and thou shalt know that I am Jehovah.
17 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
18 Son of man, the house of Israel is become dross unto me: all of them are brass and tin and iron and lead, in the midst of the furnace; they are the dross of silver.
19 Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Because ye are all become dross, therefore, behold, I will gather you into the midst of Jerusalem.
20 As they gather silver and brass and iron and lead and tin into the midst of the furnace, to blow the fire upon it, to melt it; so will I gather you in mine anger and in my wrath, and I will lay you there, and melt you.
21 Yea, I will gather you, and blow upon you with the fire of my wrath, and ye shall be melted in the midst thereof.
22 As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall ye be melted in the midst thereof; and ye shall know that I, Jehovah, have poured out my wrath upon you.
23 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying,
24 Son of man, say unto her, Thou art a land that is not cleansed, nor rained upon in the day of indignation.
25 There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey: they have devoured souls; they take treasure and precious things; they have made her widows many in the midst thereof.
26 Her priests have done violence to my law, and have profaned my holy things: they have made no distinction between the holy and the common, neither have they caused men to discern between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.
27 Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, `and' to destroy souls, that they may get dishonest gain.
28 And her prophets have daubed for them with untempered `mortar', seeing false visions, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, when Jehovah hath not spoken.
29 The people of the land have used oppression, and exercised robbery; yea, they have vexed the poor and needy, and have oppressed the sojourner wrongfully.
30 And I sought for a man among them, that should build up the wall, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found none.
31 Therefore have I poured out mine indignation upon them; I have consumed them with the fire of my wrath: their own way have I brought upon their heads, saith the Lord Jehovah.
Second Reading: Revelation Chapter 4
1 After these things I saw, and behold, a door opened in heaven, and the first voice that I heard, `a voice' as of a trumpet speaking with me, one saying, Come up hither, and I will show thee the things which must come to pass hereafter.
2 Straightway I was in the Spirit: and behold, there was a throne set in heaven, and one sitting upon the throne;
3 and he that sat `was' to look upon like a jasper stone and a sardius: and `there was' a rainbow round about the throne, like an emerald to look upon.
4 And round about the throne `were' four and twenty thrones: and upon the thrones `I saw' four and twenty elders sitting, arrayed in white garments; and on their heads crowns of gold.
5 And out of the throne proceed lightnings and voices and thunders. And `there was' seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;
6 and before the throne, as it were a sea of glass like a crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, four living creatures full of eyes before and behind.
7 And the first creature `was' like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third creature had a face as of a man, and the fourth creature `was' like a flying eagle.
8 and the four living creatures, having each one of them six wings, are full of eyes round about and within: and they have no rest day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, `is' the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.
9 And when the living creatures shall give glory and honor and thanks to him that sitteth on the throne, to him that liveth for ever and ever,
10 the four and twenty elders shall fall down before him that sitteth on the throne, and shall worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and shall cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 Worthy art thou, our Lord and our God, to receive the glory and the honor and the power: for thou didst create all things, and because of thy will they were, and were created.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 3 of 4
The next sections continue in the symbolic style with various judgments of God's wrath on the earth. It describes various plagues which remind the reader of the plagues against Egypt in the book of Exodus. These plagues are against the enemies of God and specifically "Babylon". These sections cover chapters 8 through 19:5:
1. The seven trumpets - Ch 8-11
2. The woman and the dragon - Ch 12
3. The two beasts - Ch 13
4. The lamb and the harvest of the earth - Ch 14
5. The seven bowls - Ch 15-16
6. The fall of Babylon - Ch 17-19:5
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