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First Reading: Jeremiah Chapter 42 and 43

Jeremiah 42

42:1 The Flight to Egypt Forbidden

Now all the captains of the forces, Johanan the son of Kareah, Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people, from the least to the greatest, came near 2 and said to Jeremiah the prophet,"Please, let our petition be acceptable to you, and pray for us to the LORD your God, for all this remnant (since we are left but a few of many, as you can see), 3 that the LORD your God may show us the way in which we should walk and the thing we should do."
4 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, "I have heard. Indeed, I will pray to the LORD your God according to your words, and it shall be, that whatever the LORD answers you, I will declare it to you. I will keep nothing back from you."
5 So they said to Jeremiah,"Let the LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not do according to everything which the LORD your God sends us by you. 6 Whether it is pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God to whom we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the LORD our God."
7 And it happened after ten days that the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah. 8 Then he called Johanan the son of Kareah, all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, 9 and said to them, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition before Him: 10'If you will still remain in this land, then I will build you and not pull you down, and I will plant you and not pluck you up. For I relent concerning the disaster that I have brought upon you. 11 Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; do not be afraid of him,' says the LORD,'for I am with you, to save you and deliver you from his hand. 12 And I will show you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and cause you to return to your own land.'
13 "But if you say, 'We will not dwell in this land,' disobeying the voice of the LORD your God, 14 saying, 'No, but we will go to the land of Egypt where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor be hungry for bread, and there we will dwell' — 15 Then hear now the word of the LORD, O remnant of Judah! Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'If you wholly set your faces to enter Egypt, and go to dwell there, 16 then it shall be that the sword which you feared shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt; the famine of which you were afraid shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there you shall die. 17 So shall it be with all the men who set their faces to go to Egypt to dwell there. They shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. And none of them shall remain or escape from the disaster that I will bring upon them.'
18 "For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'As My anger and My fury have been poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so will My fury be poured out on you when you enter Egypt. And you shall be an oath, an astonishment, a curse, and a reproach; and you shall see this place no more.'
19 "The LORD has said concerning you, O remnant of Judah,'Do not go to Egypt!' Know certainly that I have admonished you this day. 20 For you were hypocrites in your hearts when you sent me to the LORD your God, saying, 'Pray for us to the LORD our God, and according to all that the LORD your God says, so declare to us and we will do it.' 21 And I have this day declared it to you, but you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God, or anything which He has sent you by me. 22 Now therefore, know certainly that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you desire to go to dwell."

Jeremiah 43

43:1 Jeremiah Taken to Egypt

Now it happened, when Jeremiah had stopped speaking to all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, all these words, 2 that Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men spoke, saying to Jeremiah, "You speak falsely! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, 'Do not go to Egypt to dwell there.' 3 But Baruch the son of Neriah has set you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may put us to death or carry us away captive to Babylon." 4 So Johanan the son of Kareah, all the captains of the forces, and all the people would not obey the voice of the LORD, to remain in the land of Judah. 5 But Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces took all the remnant of Judah who had returned to dwell in the land of Judah, from all nations where they had been driven — 6 men, women, children, the king's daughters, and every person whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch the son of Neriah. 7 So they went to the land of Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of the LORD. And they went as far as Tahpanhes.
8 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, 9 "Take large stones in your hand, and hide them in the sight of the men of Judah, in the clay in the brick courtyard which is at the entrance to Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes; 10 and say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Behold, I will send and bring Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will set his throne above these stones that I have hidden. And he will spread his royal pavilion over them. 11 When he comes, he shall strike the land of Egypt and deliver to death those appointed for death, and to captivity those appointed for captivity, and to the sword those appointed for the sword. 12 I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt, and he shall burn them and carry them away captive. And he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd puts on his garment, and he shall go out from there in peace. 13 He shall also break the sacred pillars of Beth Shemesh that are in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians he shall burn with fire."'"

Second Reading: Psalms Chapter 122 and 123

Psalms 122

122:1 The Joy of Going to the House of the LORD

A Song of Ascents. Of David.
I was glad when they said to me,"Let us go into the house of the LORD." 2 Our feet have been standing Within your gates, O Jerusalem!
3 Jerusalem is built As a city that is compact together, 4 Where the tribes go up,The tribes of the LORD,To the Testimony of Israel,To give thanks to the name of the LORD. 5 For thrones are set there for judgment,The thrones of the house of David.
6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:"May they prosper who love you. 7 Peace be within your walls,Prosperity within your palaces." 8 For the sake of my brethren and companions,I will now say, "Peace be within you." 9 Because of the house of the LORD our GodI will seek your good.

Psalms 123

123:1 Prayer for Relief from Contempt

A Song of Ascents.
Unto You I lift up my eyes,O You who dwell in the heavens. 2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,As the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,So our eyes look to the LORD our God,Until He has mercy on us.
3 Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us!For we are exceedingly filled with contempt. 4 Our soul is exceedingly filled With the scorn of those who are at ease,With the contempt of the proud.

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


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