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First Reading: Ezekiel Chapter 12 and 13 and 14
12:1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, you are living among
a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but do not see and ears to hear but
do not hear, for they are a rebellious people.
3 "Therefore, son of man, pack your belongings for exile and in the daytime, as they watch, set out and go from where you are to another place. Perhaps they will understand, though they are a rebellious house. 4 During the daytime, while they watch, bring out your belongings packed for exile. Then in the evening, while they are watching, go out like those who go into exile. 5 While they watch, dig through the wall and take your belongings out through it. 6 Put them on your shoulder as they are watching and carry them out at dusk. Cover your face so that you cannot see the land, for I have made you a sign to the house of Israel."
7 So I did as I was commanded. During the day I brought out my things packed for exile. Then in the evening I dug through the wall with my hands. I took my belongings out at dusk, carrying them on my shoulders while they watched.
8 In the morning the word of the LORD came to me: 9 "Son of man, did not that rebellious house of Israel ask you, 'What are you doing?'
10 "Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: This oracle concerns the prince in Jerusalem and the whole house of Israel who are there.' 11 Say to them, 'I am a sign to you.'
"As I have done, so it will be done to them. They will go into exile as captives.
12 "The prince among them will put his things on his shoulder at dusk and leave, and a hole will be dug in the wall for him to go through. He will cover his face so that he cannot see the land. 13 I will spread my net for him, and he will be caught in my snare; I will bring him to Babylonia, the land of the Chaldeans, but he will not see it, and there he will die. 14 I will scatter to the winds all those around him-his staff and all his troops-and I will pursue them with drawn sword.
15 "They will know that I am the LORD, when I disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries. 16 But I will spare a few of them from the sword, famine and plague, so that in the nations where they go they may acknowledge all their detestable practices. Then they will know that I am the LORD."
17 The word of the LORD came to me: 18 "Son of man, tremble as you eat your food, and shudder in fear as you drink your water. 19 Say to the people of the land: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says about those living in Jerusalem and in the land of Israel: They will eat their food in anxiety and drink their water in despair, for their land will be stripped of everything in it because of the violence of all who live there. 20 The inhabited towns will be laid waste and the land will be desolate. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'"
21 The word of the LORD came to me: 22 "Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the land of Israel: 'The days go by and every vision comes to nothing'? 23 Say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am going to put an end to this proverb, and they will no longer quote it in Israel.' Say to them, 'The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled. 24 For there will be no more false visions or flattering divinations among the people of Israel. 25 But I the LORD will speak what I will, and it shall be fulfilled without delay. For in your days, you rebellious house, I will fulfill whatever I say, declares the Sovereign LORD.'"
26 The word of the LORD came to me: 27 "Son of man, the house of Israel is saying, 'The vision he sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.'
28 "Therefore say to them, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign LORD.'"
13:1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, prophesy against
the prophets of Israel who are now prophesying. Say to those who prophesy out
of their own imagination: 'Hear the word of the LORD! 3 This is what the Sovereign
LORD says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have
seen nothing! 4 Your prophets, O Israel, are like jackals among ruins. 5 You
have not gone up to the breaks in the wall to repair it for the house of Israel
so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the LORD. 6 Their visions
are false and their divinations a lie. They say, "The LORD declares,"
when the LORD has not sent them; yet they expect their words to be fulfilled.
7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say,
"The LORD declares," though I have not spoken?
8 "'Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because of your false words and lying visions, I am against you, declares the Sovereign LORD. 9 My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will not belong to the council of my people or be listed in the records of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign LORD.
10 "'Because they lead my people astray, saying, "Peace," when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash, 11 therefore tell those who cover it with whitewash that it is going to fall. Rain will come in torrents, and I will send hailstones hurtling down, and violent winds will burst forth. 12 When the wall collapses, will people not ask you, "Where is the whitewash you covered it with?"
13 "'Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: In my wrath I will unleash a violent wind, and in my anger hailstones and torrents of rain will fall with destructive fury. 14 I will tear down the wall you have covered with whitewash and will level it to the ground so that its foundation will be laid bare. When it falls, you will be destroyed in it; and you will know that I am the LORD. 15 So I will spend my wrath against the wall and against those who covered it with whitewash. I will say to you, "The wall is gone and so are those who whitewashed it, 16 those prophets of Israel who prophesied to Jerusalem and saw visions of peace for her when there was no peace, declares the Sovereign LORD." '
17 "Now, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people who prophesy out of their own imagination. Prophesy against them 18 and say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Woe to the women who sew magic charms on all their wrists and make veils of various lengths for their heads in order to ensnare people. Will you ensnare the lives of my people but preserve your own? 19 You have profaned me among my people for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread. By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live.
20 "'Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds. 21 I will tear off your veils and save my people from your hands, and they will no longer fall prey to your power. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 22 Because you disheartened the righteous with your lies, when I had brought them no grief, and because you encouraged the wicked not to turn from their evil ways and so save their lives, 23 therefore you will no longer see false visions or practice divination. I will save my people from your hands. And then you will know that I am the LORD.'"
14:1 Some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat down in front of me. 2
Then the word of the LORD came to me: 3 "Son of man, these men have set
up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces.
Should I let them inquire of me at all? 4 Therefore speak to them and tell them,
'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When any Israelite sets up idols in his
heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet,
I the LORD will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry. 5 I will
do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted
me for their idols.'
6 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!
7 "'When any Israelite or any alien living in Israel separates himself from me and sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet to inquire of me, I the LORD will answer him myself. 8 I will set my face against that man and make him an example and a byword. I will cut him off from my people. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
9 "'And if the prophet is enticed to utter a prophecy, I the LORD have enticed that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel. 10 They will bear their guilt-the prophet will be as guilty as the one who consults him. 11 Then the people of Israel will no longer stray from me, nor will they defile themselves anymore with all their sins. They will be my people, and I will be their God, declares the Sovereign LORD.'"
12 The word of the LORD came to me: 13 "Son of man, if a country sins against me by being unfaithful and I stretch out my hand against it to cut off its food supply and send famine upon it and kill its men and their animals, 14 even if these three men-Noah, Daniel and Job-were in it, they could save only themselves by their righteousness, declares the Sovereign LORD.
15 "Or if I send wild beasts through that country and they leave it childless and it becomes desolate so that no one can pass through it because of the beasts, 16 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved, but the land would be desolate.
17 "Or if I bring a sword against that country and say, 'Let the sword pass throughout the land,' and I kill its men and their animals, 18 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if these three men were in it, they could not save their own sons or daughters. They alone would be saved.
19 "Or if I send a plague into that land and pour out my wrath upon it through bloodshed, killing its men and their animals, 20 as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, even if Noah, Daniel and Job were in it, they could save neither son nor daughter. They would save only themselves by their righteousness.
21 "For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: How much worse will it be when I send against Jerusalem my four dreadful judgments-sword and famine and wild beasts and plague-to kill its men and their animals! 22 Yet there will be some survivors-sons and daughters who will be brought out of it. They will come to you, and when you see their conduct and their actions, you will be consoled regarding the disaster I have brought upon Jerusalem-every disaster I have brought upon it. 23 You will be consoled when you see their conduct and their actions, for you will know that I have done nothing in it without cause, declares the Sovereign LORD."
139:1 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when
I rise;you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my
lying down;you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in behind and before;you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me,your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;the night will shine like the day,for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful,I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them,they would outnumber the grains of sand.When I awake,I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! 20 They speak of you with evil intent;your adversaries misuse your name. 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,and abhor those who rise up against you? 22 I have nothing but hatred for them;I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me,and lead me in the way everlasting.
BOOKS OF THE BIBLE
Part 3 of 4
The next section of Ezekiel is found in chapters 33 through 39:
PROPHECIES OF THE RESTITUTION OF ISRAEL:
1. The prophet: His function in preparation for the new age - Ch 33
2. The royal house: The selfish shepherds of Israel and the Good Shepherd - Ch 34
3. The land: Israel to be restored and made fruitful - Ch 35-36
4. The people: Resurrection of the dry bones of Israel; reunion of Judah and Israel - Ch 37
5. Peace: The LORD defends Israel against Gog's invasion - Ch 38-39
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