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First Reading: Ezekiel Chapter 12 and 13 and 14
12:1 Judah's Captivity Portrayed
Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 2 "Son of man, you dwell
in the midst of a rebellious house, which has eyes to see but does not see,
and ears to hear but does not hear; for they are a rebellious house.
3 "Therefore, son of man, prepare your belongings for captivity, and go into captivity by day in their sight. You shall go from your place into captivity to another place in their sight. It may be that they will consider, though they are a rebellious house. 4 By day you shall bring out your belongings in their sight, as though going into captivity; and at evening you shall go in their sight, like those who go into captivity. 5 Dig through the wall in their sight, and carry your belongings out through it. 6 In their sight you shall bear them on your shoulders and carry them out at twilight; you shall cover your face, so that you cannot see the ground, for I have made you a sign to the house of Israel."
7 So I did as I was commanded. I brought out my belongings by day, as though going into captivity, and at evening I dug through the wall with my hand. I brought them out at twilight, and I bore them on my shoulder in their sight.
8 And in the morning the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 9 "Son of man, has not the house of Israel, the rebellious house, said to you,'What are you doing?' 10 Say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "This burden concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the house of Israel who are among them."' 11 Say,'I am a sign to you. As I have done, so shall it be done to them; they shall be carried away into captivity.' 12 And the prince who is among them shall bear his belongings on his shoulder at twilight and go out. They shall dig through the wall to carry them out through it. He shall cover his face, so that he cannot see the ground with his eyes. 13 I will also spread My net over him, and he shall be caught in My snare. I will bring him to Babylon, to the land of the Chaldeans; yet he shall not see it, though he shall die there. 14 I will scatter to every wind all who are around him to help him, and all his troops; and I will draw out the sword after them.
15 "Then they shall know that I am the LORD, when I scatter them among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries. 16 But I will spare a few of their men from the sword, from famine, and from pestilence, that they may declare all their abominations among the Gentiles wherever they go. Then they shall know that I am the LORD."
17 Judgment Not Postponed
Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 18 "Son of man, eat
your bread with quaking, and drink your water with trembling and anxiety. 19
And say to the people of the land, 'Thus says the Lord GOD to the inhabitants
of Jerusalem and to the land of Israel: "They shall eat their bread with
anxiety, and drink their water with dread, so that her land may be emptied of
all who are in it, because of the violence of all those who dwell in it. 20
Then the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall become
desolate; and you shall know that I am the LORD."'"
21 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 22 "Son of man, what is this proverb that you people have about the land of Israel, which says,'The days are prolonged, and every vision fails'? 23 Tell them therefore, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "I will lay this proverb to rest, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel." But say to them,"The days are at hand, and the fulfillment of every vision. 24 For no more shall there be any false vision or flattering divination within the house of Israel. 25 For I am the LORD. I speak, and the word which I speak will come to pass; it will no more be postponed; for in your days, O rebellious house, I will say the word and perform it," says the Lord GOD.'"
26 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 27 "Son of man, look, the house of Israel is saying, 'The vision that he sees is for many days from now, and he prophesies of times far off.' 28 Therefore say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "None of My words will be postponed any more, but the word which I speak will be done," says the Lord GOD.'"
13:1 Woe to Foolish Prophets
And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 "Son of man, prophesy against
the prophets of Israel who prophesy, and say to those who prophesy out of their
own heart, 'Hear the word of the LORD!'"
3 Thus says the Lord GOD: "Woe to the foolish prophets, who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 4 O Israel, your prophets are like foxes in the deserts. 5 You have not gone up into the gaps to build a wall for the house of Israel to stand in battle on the day of the LORD. 6 They have envisioned futility and false divination, saying, 'Thus says the LORD!' But the LORD has not sent them; yet they hope that the word may be confirmed. 7 Have you not seen a futile vision, and have you not spoken false divination? You say, 'The LORD says,' but I have not spoken."
8 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Because you have spoken nonsense and envisioned lies, therefore I am indeed against you," says the Lord GOD. 9 "My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
10 "Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying,'Peace!' when there is no peace and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered mortar 11 say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down. 12 Surely, when the wall has fallen, will it not be said to you, 'Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?'"
13 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it. 14 So I will break down the wall you have plastered with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that its foundation will be uncovered; it will fall, and you shall be consumed in the midst of it. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.
15 "Thus will I accomplish My wrath on the wall and on those who have plastered it with untempered mortar; and I will say to you, 'The wall is no more, nor those who plastered it, 16 that is, the prophets of Israel who prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and who see visions of peace for her when there is no peace,'" says the Lord GOD.
17 "Likewise, son of man, set your face against the daughters of your people, who prophesy out of their own heart; prophesy against them, 18 and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Woe to the women who sew magic charms on their sleeves and make veils for the heads of people of every height to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of My people, and keep yourselves alive? 19 And will you profane Me among My people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, killing people who should not die, and keeping people alive who should not live, by your lying to My people who listen to lies?"
20'Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against your magic charms by which you hunt souls there like birds. I will tear them from your arms, and let the souls go, the souls you hunt like birds. 21 I will also tear off your veils and deliver My people out of your hand, and they shall no longer be as prey in your hand. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.
22 "Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and you have strengthened the hands of the wicked, so that he does not turn from his wicked way to save his life. 23 Therefore you shall no longer envision futility nor practice divination; for I will deliver My people out of your hand, and you shall know that I am the LORD."'"
14:1 Idolatry Will Be Punished
Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. 2 And the word
of the LORD came to me, saying, 3 "Son of man, these men have set up their
idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble
into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?
4 "Therefore speak to them, and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, 5 that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols."'
6 "Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations. 7 For anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, then comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, I the LORD will answer him by Myself. 8 I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.
9 "And if the prophet is induced to speak anything, I the LORD have induced that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. 10 And they shall bear their iniquity; the punishment of the prophet shall be the same as the punishment of the one who inquired, 11 that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me, nor be profaned anymore with all their transgressions, but that they may be My people and I may be their God," says the Lord GOD.'"
12 Judgment on Persistent Unfaithfulness
The word of the LORD came again to me, saying: 13 "Son of man, when a
land sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My hand
against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off
man and beast from it. 14 Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were
in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness," says
the Lord GOD.
15 "If I cause wild beasts to pass through the land, and they empty it, and make it so desolate that no man may pass through because of the beasts, 16 even though these three men were in it, as I live," says the Lord GOD, "they would deliver neither sons nor daughters; only they would be delivered, and the land would be desolate.
17 "Or if I bring a sword on that land, and say, 'Sword, go through the land,' and I cut off man and beast from it, 18 even though these three men were in it, as I live," says the Lord GOD, "they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but only they themselves would be delivered.
19 "Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out My fury on it in blood, and cut off from it man and beast, 20 even though Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live," says the Lord GOD, "they would deliver neither son nor daughter; they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness."
21 For thus says the Lord GOD: "How much more it shall be when I send My four severe judgments on Jerusalem the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence to cut off man and beast from it? 22 Yet behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out, both sons and daughters; surely they will come out to you, and you will see their ways and their doings. Then you will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, all that I have brought upon it. 23 And they will comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings; and you shall know that I have done nothing without cause that I have done in it," says the Lord GOD.
139:1 God's Perfect Knowledge of Man
For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,And are acquainted with all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue,But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether. 5 You have hedged me behind and before,And laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;It is high, I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning,And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,And Your right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me,"Even the night shall be light about me; 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,But the night shines as the day;The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;You covered me in my mother's womb. 14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works,And that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You,When I was made in secret,And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.And in Your book they all were written,The days fashioned for me,When as yet there were none of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!How great is the sum of them! 18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;When I awake, I am still with You.
19 Oh, that You would slay the wicked, O God!Depart from me, therefore, you bloodthirsty men. 20 For they speak against You wickedly;Your enemies take Your name in vain. 21 Do I not hate them, O LORD, who hate You?And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred;I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked 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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