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First Reading: Ezekiel Chapter 25 and 26
25:1 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Son of man, set your face against
the Ammonites and prophesy against them. 3 Say to them, 'Hear the word of the
Sovereign LORD. This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because you said "Aha!"
over my sanctuary when it was desecrated and over the land of Israel when it
was laid waste and over the people of Judah when they went into exile, 4 therefore
I am going to give you to the people of the East as a possession. They will
set up their camps and pitch their tents among you; they will eat your fruit
and drink your milk. 5 I will turn Rabbah into a pasture for camels and Ammon
into a resting place for sheep. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 6 For
this is what the Sovereign LORD says: Because you have clapped your hands and
stamped your feet, rejoicing with all the malice of your heart against the land
of Israel, 7 therefore I will stretch out my hand against you and give you as
plunder to the nations. I will cut you off from the nations and exterminate
you from the countries. I will destroy you, and you will know that I am the
8 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'Because Moab and Seir said, "Look, the house of Judah has become like all the other nations," 9 therefore I will expose the flank of Moab, beginning at its frontier towns-Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon and Kiriathaim-the glory of that land. 10 I will give Moab along with the Ammonites to the people of the East as a possession, so that the Ammonites will not be remembered among the nations; 11 and I will inflict punishment on Moab. Then they will know that I am the LORD.'"
12 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'Because Edom took revenge on the house of Judah and became very guilty by doing so, 13 therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will stretch out my hand against Edom and kill its men and their animals. I will lay it waste, and from Teman to Dedan they will fall by the sword. 14 I will take vengeance on Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they will deal with Edom in accordance with my anger and my wrath; they will know my vengeance, declares the Sovereign LORD.'"
15 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: 'Because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah, 16 therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am about to stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Kerethites and destroy those remaining along the coast. 17 I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I take vengeance on them.'"
26:1 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD
came to me: 2 "Son of man, because Tyre has said of Jerusalem, 'Aha! The
gate to the nations is broken, and its doors have swung open to me; now that
she lies in ruins I will prosper,' 3 therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD
says: I am against you, O Tyre, and I will bring many nations against you, like
the sea casting up its waves. 4 They will destroy the walls of Tyre and pull
down her towers; I will scrape away her rubble and make her a bare rock. 5 Out
in the sea she will become a place to spread fishnets, for I have spoken, declares
the Sovereign LORD. She will become plunder for the nations, 6 and her settlements
on the mainland will be ravaged by the sword. Then they will know that I am
7 "For this is what the Sovereign LORD says: From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army. 8 He will ravage your settlements on the mainland with the sword; he will set up siege works against you, build a ramp up to your walls and raise his shields against you. 9 He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons. 10 His horses will be so many that they will cover you with dust. Your walls will tremble at the noise of the war horses, wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city whose walls have been broken through. 11 The hoofs of his horses will trample all your streets; he will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground. 12 They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. 13 I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. 14 I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the LORD have spoken, declares the Sovereign LORD.
15 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says to Tyre: Will not the coastlands tremble at the sound of your fall, when the wounded groan and the slaughter takes place in you? 16 Then all the princes of the coast will step down from their thrones and lay aside their robes and take off their embroidered garments. Clothed with terror, they will sit on the ground, trembling every moment, appalled at you. 17 Then they will take up a lament concerning you and say to you:
"'How you are destroyed, O city of renown, peopled by men of the sea! You were a power on the seas, you and your citizens; you put your terror on all who lived there. 18 Now the coastlands tremble on the day of your fall; the islands in the sea are terrified at your collapse.'
19 "This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When I make you a desolate city, like cities no longer inhabited, and when I bring the ocean depths over you and its vast waters cover you, 20 then I will bring you down with those who go down to the pit, to the people of long ago. I will make you dwell in the earth below, as in ancient ruins, with those who go down to the pit, and you will not return or take your place in the land of the living. 21 I will bring you to a horrible end and you will be no more. You will be sought, but you will never again be found, declares the Sovereign LORD."
140:1 For the director of music. A psalm of David.
Rescue me, O LORD, from evil men;protect me from men of violence, 2 who devise
evil plans in their hearts and stir up war every day. 3 They make their tongues
as sharp as a serpent's;the poison of vipers is on their lips.Selah
4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked;protect me from men of violence who plan to trip my feet. 5 Proud men have hidden a snare for me;they have spread out the cords of their net and have set traps for me along my path.Selah
6 O LORD, I say to you, "You are my God."Hear, O LORD, my cry for mercy. 7 O Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer,who shields my head in the day of battle 8 do not grant the wicked their desires, O LORD;do not let their plans succeed,or they will become proud. Selah
9 Let the heads of those who surround me be covered with the trouble their lips have caused. 10 Let burning coals fall upon them;may they be thrown into the fire,into miry pits, never to rise. 11 Let slanderers not be established in the land;may disaster hunt down men of violence.
12 I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. 13 Surely the righteous will praise your name and the upright will live before you.
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We are not given a great deal of detail of the life of Ezekiel. We do know that he was an exile taken from his homeland by the Babylonians. He was called by God to be a watchman for the house of Israel--it was his responsibility to warn even though God did not expect the rebellious people to hear. It was around this time that II Chronicles 36:15-16 tells us that "The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked God's messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy."
Ezekiel was truly an unusal person in his time. While others rebelled against God, he obeyed even when God showed him horrifying events and required odd and sometimes painful things of him such as eating a scroll and lying on his side for 390 days.
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