Select: First Reading Second Reading Bible Background

First Reading: Jeremiah Chapter 42 and 43

Jeremiah 42

42:1 Then all the army officers, including Johanan son of Kareah and Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest approached 2 Jeremiah the prophet and said to him, "Please hear our petition and pray to the LORD your God for this entire remnant. For as you now see, though we were once many, now only a few are left. 3 Pray that the LORD your God will tell us where we should go and what we should do."
4 "I have heard you," replied Jeremiah the prophet. "I will certainly pray to the LORD your God as you have requested; I will tell you everything the LORD says and will keep nothing back from you."
5 Then they said to Jeremiah, "May the LORD be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the LORD your God sends you to tell us. 6 Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the LORD our God, to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the LORD our God."
7 Ten days later the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah. 8 So he called together Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him and all the people from the least to the greatest. 9 He said to them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition, says: 10'If you stay in this land, I will build you up and not tear you down; I will plant you and not uproot you, for I am grieved over the disaster I have inflicted on you. 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you now fear. Do not be afraid of him, declares the LORD, for I am with you and will save you and deliver you from his hands. 12 I will show you compassion so that he will have compassion on you and restore you to your land.'
13 "However, if you say, 'We will not stay in this land,' and so disobey the LORD your God, 14 and if you say, 'No, we will go and live in Egypt, where we will not see war or hear the trumpet or be hungry for bread,' 15 then hear the word of the LORD, O remnant of Judah. This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'If you are determined to go to Egypt and you do go to settle there, 16 then the sword you fear will overtake you there, and the famine you dread will follow you into Egypt, and there you will die. 17 Indeed, all who are determined to go to Egypt to settle there will die by the sword, famine and plague; not one of them will survive or escape the disaster I will bring on them.' 18 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: 'As my anger and wrath have been poured out on those who lived in Jerusalem, so will my wrath be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You will be an object of cursing and horror, of condemnation and reproach; you will never see this place again.'
19 "O remnant of Judah, the LORD has told you, 'Do not go to Egypt.' Be sure of this: I warn you today 20 that you made a fatal mistake when you sent me to the LORD your God and said, 'Pray to the LORD our God for us; tell us everything he says and we will do it.' 21 I have told you today, but you still have not obeyed the LORD your God in all he sent me to tell you. 22 So now, be sure of this: You will die by the sword, famine and plague in the place where you want to go to settle."

Jeremiah 43

43:1 When Jeremiah finished telling the people all the words of the LORD their God — everything the LORD had sent him to tell them — 2 Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, "You are lying! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, 'You must not go to Egypt to settle there.' 3 But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians, so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon."
4 So Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers and all the people disobeyed the LORD's command to stay in the land of Judah. 5 Instead, Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led away all the remnant of Judah who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered. 6 They also led away all the men, women and children and the king's daughters whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah. 7 So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the LORD and went as far as Tahpanhes.
8 In Tahpanhes the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: 9 "While the Jews are watching, take some large stones with you and bury them in clay in the brick pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh's palace in Tahpanhes. 10 Then say to them, 'This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will set his throne over these stones I have buried here; he will spread his royal canopy above them. 11 He will come and attack Egypt, bringing death to those destined for death, captivity to those destined for captivity, and the sword to those destined for the sword. 12 He will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt; he will burn their temples and take their gods captive. As a shepherd wraps his garment around him, so will he wrap Egypt around himself and depart from there unscathed. 13 There in the temple of the sun in Egypt he will demolish the sacred pillars and will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.'"

Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 122 and 123

Psalms 122

122:1 A song of ascents. Of David.

I rejoiced with those who said to me,"Let us go to the house of the LORD." 2 Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem.
3 Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together. 4 That is where the tribes go up,the tribes of the LORD,to praise the name of the LORD according to the statute given to Israel. 5 There the thrones for judgment stand,the thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:"May those who love you be secure. 7 May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels." 8 For the sake of my brothers and friends,I will say, "Peace be within you." 9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,I will seek your prosperity.

Psalms 123

123:1 A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to you,to you whose throne is in heaven. 2 As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress,so our eyes look to the LORD our God,till he shows us his mercy.
3 Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us,for we have endured much contempt. 4 We have endured much ridicule from the proud,much contempt from the arrogant.

Bible Background



Part 2 of 4


According to the law of Moses, the high priest once a year on the Day of Atonement would take the blood of the offered sacrifice into the temple for the atonement of the sins of himself and the people.

As part of the ceremony on this holy day, the high priest entered the sanctuary area with a young bull for a sin offering for himself and a ram for a burnt offering. From the Israelite community he was to take a male goat for a sin offering for the people. He was to wash himself with water and put on special garments. Before he entered the temple he sacrificed the animals on the altar. He would enter the temple with the blood of the bull and of the goat. He would pass the table with the consecrated bread that was changed daily, the lampstand, and the altar of incense in the Holy Place. He would then pass through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.

In the Most Holy Place was the Ark of the Covenant with the Mercy Seat and the overshadowing Cherubim. The High Priest sprinkled the blood of the bull in atonement for his own sins and the blood of the goat in atonement for the sins of the people.

Did any of those Israelites of Old Testament times who learned of this ceremony or the High Priests who actually participate ever understand the lessons God was teaching? When Jesus the Messiah came the people were looking for someone to save them from oppression but it seems only he understood the necessity for salvation from sins. Paul in Hebrews 9 & 10 very clearly shows us that Jesus entered as High Priest into the Most Holy Place with his own blood in order to make atonement for us, once for all.

"Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD. It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne....'" Zechariah 6: 12-13


Select: First Reading Second Reading Bible Background