Daily reading for Thursday, November 21, 2013

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Ezekiel 42:1-43:27; James 5:1-20; Psalms 119:1-16; Proverbs 28:6-7 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ezekiel 42-43

The Priests’ Chambers

42 Then the man led me out by way of the north gate into the outer court. He brought me to the group of chambers opposite the temple yard and opposite the building to the north. Along the length of the chambers, which was 175 feet,[a] there was an entrance on the north; the width was 87½ feet.[b] Opposite the 35 foot space[c] belonging to the inner court and opposite the paved surface belonging to the outer court, the structure rose gallery by gallery in three tiers. In front of the chambers was a walkway toward the inside, 17½ feet[d] wide and 175 feet[e] long,[f] and their entrances were on the north. The upper chambers were narrower because the galleries took away more space from them than from the lower and middle stories of the building. For they were arranged in three stories and had no pillars like the pillars of the courts; therefore the upper chambers were set back from the ground more than the lower and middle stories. A wall on the outside ran in front of the chambers, parallel to them, toward the outer court; it was 87½ feet[g] long. For the chambers on the outer court were 87½ feet long, while those facing the great hall were 175 feet[h] long. At the base of these chambers there was an entryway on the east side as one enters them from the outer court.

10 In the thickness of the wall of the court toward the south,[i] there were chambers facing the temple yard and the western building, 11 with a passageway in front of them, just like the chambers that faced north. Their length and width, as well as all their exits, measurements, and entrances, were identical. 12 The entrance at the beginning of the passageway, the way in front of the corresponding[j] wall as one enters on the east side, was similar to the entrances of the chambers that were on the south side.

13 Then the man said to me, “The northern and southern chambers that face the temple yard are the holy chambers where the priests who approach the Lord will eat the most holy offerings. There they will deposit the most holy offerings—the grain offerings, sin offerings, and restitution offerings—for the place is holy. 14 Once the priests have entered, they must not go out from the holy area to the outer court until they have removed the clothes they minister in, for these are holy. They are to put on other clothes before they approach the public area.”

Outside Dimensions of the Temple Complex

15 When he finished measuring inside the temple complex, he led me out by way of the gate that faced east and measured all around the complex.

16 He measured the east side with a measuring rod;
it was 875 feet[k] by the measuring rod.[l]
17 He[m] measured the north side;
it was 875 feet[n] by the measuring rod.[o]
18 He[p] measured the south side;
it was 875 feet[q] by the measuring rod.[r]
19 Then he turned to the west side
and measured 875 feet[s] by the measuring rod.[t]

20 He measured the temple complex on all four sides. It had a wall all around it, 875 feet long and 875 feet wide, to separate the holy from the common.

Return of the Lord’s Glory

43 He led me to the gate, the one that faces east, and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice sounded like the roar of mighty waters, and the earth shone with His glory. The vision I saw was like the one I had seen when He[u] came to destroy the city, and like the ones I had seen by the Chebar Canal. I fell facedown. The glory of the Lord entered the temple by way of the gate that faced east. Then the Spirit lifted me up and brought me to the inner court, and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.

While the man was standing beside me, I heard someone speaking to me from the temple. He said to me: “Son of man, this is the place of My throne and the place for the soles of My feet, where I will dwell among the Israelites forever. The house of Israel and their kings will no longer defile My holy name by their religious prostitution and by the corpses[v] of their kings at their high places.[w] Whenever they placed their threshold next to My threshold and their doorposts beside My doorposts, with only a wall between Me and them, they were defiling My holy name by the detestable acts they committed. So I destroyed them in My anger. Now let them remove their prostitution and the corpses[x] of their kings far from Me, and I will dwell among them forever.

10 “As for you, son of man, describe the temple to the house of Israel, so that they may be ashamed of their iniquities. Let them measure its pattern, 11 and they will be ashamed of all that they have done. Reveal[y] the design of the temple to them—its layout with its exits and entrances—its complete design along with all its statutes, design specifications, and laws. Write it down in their sight so that they may observe its complete design and all its statutes and may carry them out. 12 This is the law of the temple: all its surrounding territory on top of the mountain will be especially holy. Yes, this is the law of the temple.

The Altar

13 “These are the measurements of the altar in units of length (each unit being the standard length plus three inches):[z] the gutter is 21 inches[aa] deep and 21 inches wide, with a rim of nine inches[ab] around its edge. This is the base[ac] of the altar. 14 The distance from the gutter on the ground to the lower ledge is 3½ feet,[ad] and the width of the ledge is 21 inches.[ae] There are seven feet[af] from the small ledge to the large ledge, whose width is also 21 inches. 15 The altar hearth[ag] is seven feet[ah] high, and four horns project upward from the hearth. 16 The hearth is square, 21 feet[ai] long by 21 feet wide. 17 The ledge is 24½ feet[aj] long by 24½ feet wide, with four equal sides. The rim all around it is 10½ inches,[ak] and its gutter is 21 inches[al] all around it. The altar’s steps face east.”

18 Then He said to me: “Son of man, this is what the Lord God says: These are the statutes for the altar on the day it is constructed, so that burnt offerings may be sacrificed on it and blood may be sprinkled on it: 19 You are to give a bull from the herd as a sin offering to the Levitical priests who are from the offspring of Zadok, who approach Me in order to serve Me.” This is the declaration of the Lord God. 20 “You must take some of its blood and apply it to the four horns of the altar, the four corners of the ledge, and all around the rim. In this way you will purify the altar and make atonement for it. 21 Then you must take away the bull for the sin offering, and it must be burned outside the sanctuary in the place appointed for the temple.

22 “On the second day you are to present an unblemished male goat as a sin offering. They will purify the altar just as they did with the bull. 23 When you have finished the purification, you are to present a young, unblemished bull and an unblemished ram from the flock. 24 You must present them before the Lord; the priests will throw salt on them and sacrifice them as a burnt offering to the Lord. 25 You will offer a goat for a sin offering each day for seven days. A young bull and a ram from the flock, both unblemished, must also be offered. 26 For seven days the priests are to make atonement for the altar and cleanse it. In this way they will consecrate it[am] 27 and complete the days of purification. Then on the eighth day and afterward, the priests will offer your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings on the altar, and I will accept you.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 42:2 Lit 100 cubits
  2. Ezekiel 42:2 Lit 50 cubits
  3. Ezekiel 42:3 Lit 20 [cubits]
  4. Ezekiel 42:4 Lit 10 cubits
  5. Ezekiel 42:4 Lit 100 cubits
  6. Ezekiel 42:4 LXX, Syr; MT reads wide, a way of one cubit
  7. Ezekiel 42:7 Lit 50 cubits
  8. Ezekiel 42:8 Lit 100 cubits
  9. Ezekiel 42:10 LXX; MT reads east
  10. Ezekiel 42:12 Or protective; Hb obscure
  11. Ezekiel 42:16 Lit 500 in rods
  12. Ezekiel 42:16 Lit rod all around
  13. Ezekiel 42:17 LXX reads Then he turned to the north and
  14. Ezekiel 42:17 Lit 500 in rods
  15. Ezekiel 42:17 Lit rod all around
  16. Ezekiel 42:18 LXX reads Then he turned to the south and
  17. Ezekiel 42:18 Lit 500 in rods
  18. Ezekiel 42:18 Lit rod all around
  19. Ezekiel 42:19 Lit 500 in rods
  20. Ezekiel 42:19 Lit rod all around
  21. Ezekiel 43:3 Some Hb mss, Theod, Vg; other Hb mss, LXX, Syr read I
  22. Ezekiel 43:7 Or monuments
  23. Ezekiel 43:7 Some Hb mss, Theod, Tg read their death
  24. Ezekiel 43:9 Or monuments
  25. Ezekiel 43:11 LXX, Vg; MT reads pattern. 11 And if they are ashamed . . . done, reveal
  26. Ezekiel 43:13 Lit in cubits (a cubit being a cubit plus a handbreadth)
  27. Ezekiel 43:13 Lit one cubit
  28. Ezekiel 43:13 Lit one span
  29. Ezekiel 43:13 LXX reads height
  30. Ezekiel 43:14 Lit two cubits
  31. Ezekiel 43:14 Lit one cubit
  32. Ezekiel 43:14 Lit four cubits
  33. Ezekiel 43:15 Hb obscure
  34. Ezekiel 43:15 Lit four cubits
  35. Ezekiel 43:16 Lit 12 cubits
  36. Ezekiel 43:17 Lit 14 cubits
  37. Ezekiel 43:17 Lit one-half cubit
  38. Ezekiel 43:17 Lit one cubit
  39. Ezekiel 43:26 Lit will fill its hands

James 5

Warning to the Rich

Come now, you rich people! Weep and wail over the miseries that are coming on you. Your wealth is ruined and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your silver and gold are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You stored up treasure in the last days! Look! The pay that you withheld from the workers who reaped your fields cries out, and the outcry of the harvesters has reached the ears of the Lord of Hosts.[a] You have lived luxuriously on the land and have indulged yourselves. You have fattened your hearts for[b] the day of slaughter. You have condemned—you have murdered—the righteous man; he does not resist you.

Waiting for the Lord

Therefore, brothers, be patient until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, because the Lord’s coming is near.

Brothers, do not complain about one another, so that you will not be judged. Look, the judge stands at the door!

10 Brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name as an example of suffering and patience. 11 See, we count as blessed those who have endured.[c] You have heard of Job’s endurance and have seen the outcome from the Lord. The Lord is very compassionate and merciful.

Truthful Speech

12 Now above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. Your “yes” must be “yes,” and your “no” must be “no,” so that you won’t fall under judgment.[d]

Effective Prayer

13 Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will restore him to health; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The urgent request of a righteous person is very powerful in its effect. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours; yet he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the land. 18 Then he prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the land produced its fruit.

19 My brothers, if any among you strays from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his life from death and cover a multitude of sins.

Footnotes:

  1. James 5:4 Gk Sabaoth; this word is a transliteration of the Hb word for Hosts, or Armies.
  2. James 5:5 Or hearts in
  3. James 5:11 Or have persevered
  4. James 5:12 Other mss read fall into hypocrisy

Psalm 119:1-16

Psalm 119

Delight in God’s Word

א Alef

How[a] happy are those whose way is blameless,
who live according to the Lord’s instruction!
Happy are those who keep His decrees
and seek Him with all their heart.
They do nothing wrong;
they follow His ways.
You have commanded that Your precepts
be diligently kept.
If only my ways were committed
to keeping Your statutes!
Then I would not be ashamed
when I think about all Your commands.
I will praise You with a sincere heart
when I learn Your righteous judgments.
I will keep Your statutes;
never abandon me.

ב Bet

How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping Your[b] word.
10 I have sought You with all my heart;
don’t let me wander from Your commands.
11 I have treasured Your word in my heart
so that I may not sin against You.
12 Lord, may You be praised;
teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I proclaim
all the judgments from Your mouth.
14 I rejoice in the way revealed by Your decrees
as much as in all riches.
15 I will meditate on Your precepts
and think about Your ways.
16 I will delight in Your statutes;
I will not forget Your word.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 119:1 The stanzas of this poem form an acrostic.
  2. Psalm 119:9 Or keeping it according to Your

Proverbs 28:6-7

Better a poor man who lives with integrity
than a rich man who distorts right and wrong.[a]

A discerning son keeps the law,
but a companion of gluttons humiliates his father.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 28:6 Lit who twists two ways
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