Daily reading for Friday, November 22, 2013

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Ezekiel 44:1-45:12; 1 Peter 1:1-12; Psalms 119:17-32; Proverbs 28:8-10 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Ezekiel 44-45:12

The Prince’s Privilege

44 The man then brought me back toward the sanctuary’s outer gate that faced east, and it was closed. The Lord said to me: “This gate will remain closed. It will not be opened, and no one will enter through it, because the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered through it. Therefore it will remain closed. The prince himself will sit in the gateway to eat a meal before the Lord. He must enter by way of the portico of the gate and go out the same way.”

Then the man brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple. I looked, and the glory of the Lord filled His temple. And I fell facedown. The Lord said to me: “Son of man, pay attention; look with your eyes and listen with your ears to everything I tell you about all the statutes and laws of the Lord’s temple. Take careful note of the entrance of the temple along with all the exits of the sanctuary.

The Levites’ Duties and Privileges

“Say to the rebellious people, the house of Israel: This is what the Lord God says: I have had enough of all your detestable practices, house of Israel. When you brought in foreigners, uncircumcised in both heart and flesh, to occupy My sanctuary, you defiled My temple while you offered My food—the fat and the blood. You[a] broke My covenant by all your detestable practices. You have not kept charge of My holy things but have appointed others to keep charge of My sanctuary for you.

“This is what the Lord God says: No foreigner, uncircumcised in heart and flesh, may enter My sanctuary, not even a foreigner who is among the Israelites. 10 Surely the Levites who wandered away from Me when Israel went astray, and who strayed from Me after their idols, will bear the consequences of their sin. 11 Yet they will occupy My sanctuary, serving as guards at the temple gates and ministering at the temple. They will slaughter the burnt offerings and other sacrifices for the people and will stand before them to serve them. 12 Because they ministered to the house of Israel before their idols and became a sinful stumbling block to them, therefore I swore an oath[b] against them”—this is the declaration of the Lord God—“that they would bear the consequences of their sin. 13 They must not approach Me to serve Me as priests or come near any of My holy things or the most holy things. They will bear their disgrace and the consequences of the detestable acts they committed. 14 Yet I will make them responsible for the duties of the temple—for all its work and everything done in it.

The Priests’ Duties and Privileges

15 “But the Levitical priests descended from Zadok, who kept charge of My sanctuary when the Israelites went astray from Me, will approach Me to serve Me. They will stand before Me to offer Me fat and blood.” This is the declaration of the Lord God. 16 “They are the ones who may enter My sanctuary and draw near to My table to serve Me. They will keep My mandate. 17 When they enter the gates of the inner court they must wear linen garments; they must not have on them anything made of wool when they minister at the gates of the inner court and within it. 18 They must wear linen turbans on their heads and linen undergarments around their waists. They are not to put on anything that makes them sweat. 19 Before they go out to the outer court,[c] to the people, they must take off the clothes they have been ministering in, leave them in the holy chambers, and dress in other clothes so that they do not transmit holiness to the people through their clothes.

20 “They may not shave their heads or let their hair grow long, but must carefully trim their hair. 21 No priest may drink wine before he enters the inner court. 22 He is not to marry a widow or a divorced woman, but must marry a virgin from the offspring of the house of Israel, or a widow who is the widow of a priest. 23 They must teach My people the difference between the holy and the common, and explain to them the difference between the clean and the unclean.

24 “In a dispute, they will officiate as judges and decide the case according to My ordinances. They must observe My laws and statutes regarding all My appointed festivals, and keep My Sabbaths holy. 25 A priest may not come near a dead person so that he becomes defiled. However, he may defile himself for a father, a mother, a son, a daughter, a brother, or an unmarried sister. 26 After he is cleansed, he is to count off seven days for himself. 27 On the day he goes into the sanctuary, into the inner court to minister in the sanctuary, he must present his sin offering.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.

28 “This will be their inheritance: I am their inheritance. You are to give them no possession in Israel: I am their possession. 29 They will eat the grain offering, the sin offering, and the restitution offering. Everything in Israel that is permanently dedicated to the Lord will belong to them. 30 The best of all the firstfruits of every kind and contribution of every kind from all your gifts will belong to the priests. You are to give your first batch of dough to the priest so that a blessing may rest on your homes. 31 The priests may not eat any bird or animal that died naturally or was mauled by wild beasts.

The Sacred Portion of the Land

45 “When you divide the land by lot as an inheritance, you must set aside a donation to the Lord, a holy portion of the land, 8⅓ miles[d] long and 6⅔ miles[e] wide. This entire tract of land will be holy. In this area there will be a square section[f] for the sanctuary, 875 by 875 feet,[g] with 87½ feet[h] of open space all around it. From this holy portion,[i] you will measure off an area 8⅓ miles[j] long and 3⅓ miles[k] wide, in which the sanctuary, the most holy place, will stand.[l] It will be a holy area of the land to be used by the priests who minister in the sanctuary, who draw near to serve the Lord. It will be a place for their houses, as well as a holy area for the sanctuary. There will be another area 8⅓ miles[m] long and 3⅓ miles[n] wide for the Levites who minister in the temple; it will be their possession for towns to live in.[o]

“As the property of the city, you must set aside an area 1⅔ of a mile[p] wide and 8⅓ miles[q] long, adjacent to the holy donation of land. It will be for the whole house of Israel. And the prince will have the area on each side of the holy donation of land and the city’s property, adjacent to the holy donation and the city’s property, stretching to the west on the west side and to the east on the east side. Its length will correspond to one of the tribal portions from the western boundary to the eastern boundary. This will be his land as a possession in Israel. My princes will no longer oppress My people but give the rest of the land to the house of Israel according to their tribes.

“This is what the Lord God says: You have gone too far,[r] princes of Israel! Put away violence and oppression and do what is just and right. Put an end to your evictions of My people.” This is the declaration of the Lord God. 10 “You must have honest scales, an honest dry measure,[s] and an honest liquid measure.[t] 11 The dry measure[u] and the liquid measure[v] will be uniform, with the liquid measure containing 5½ gallons[w] and the dry measure holding half a bushel.[x] Their measurement will be a tenth of the standard larger capacity measure.[y] 12 The shekel will weigh 20 gerahs. Your mina will equal 60 shekels.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 44:7 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads They
  2. Ezekiel 44:12 Lit I lifted My hand
  3. Ezekiel 44:19 Some Hb mss, LXX, Syr, Vg; other Hb mss read court, to the outer court
  4. Ezekiel 45:1 Lit 25,000 [cubits]
  5. Ezekiel 45:1 LXX reads 20,000 [cubits]; MT reads 10,000 [cubits]
  6. Ezekiel 45:2 Lit square all around
  7. Ezekiel 45:2 Lit 500 by 500 [cubits]
  8. Ezekiel 45:2 Lit 50 cubits
  9. Ezekiel 45:3 Lit this measured [portion]
  10. Ezekiel 45:3 Lit 25,000 [cubits]
  11. Ezekiel 45:3 Lit 10,000 [cubits]
  12. Ezekiel 45:3 Lit be
  13. Ezekiel 45:5 Lit 25,000 [cubits]
  14. Ezekiel 45:5 Lit 10,000 [cubits]
  15. Ezekiel 45:5 LXX; MT, Syr, Tg, Vg read possession—20 chambers
  16. Ezekiel 45:6 Lit 5,000 [cubits]
  17. Ezekiel 45:6 Lit 25,000 [cubits]
  18. Ezekiel 45:9 Lit Enough of you
  19. Ezekiel 45:10 Lit an honest ephah
  20. Ezekiel 45:10 Lit and an honest bath
  21. Ezekiel 45:11 Lit the ephah
  22. Ezekiel 45:11 Lit the bath
  23. Ezekiel 45:11 Lit one-tenth of a homer
  24. Ezekiel 45:11 Lit one-tenth of a homer
  25. Ezekiel 45:11 Lit be [based] on the homer

1 Peter 1:1-12

Greeting

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ:

To the temporary residents dispersed[a] in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with the blood of Jesus Christ.

May grace and peace be multiplied to you.

A Living Hope

Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to His great mercy, He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, uncorrupted, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being protected by God’s power through faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this,[b] though now for a short time you have had to struggle in various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in[c] praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. You love Him, though you have not seen Him. And though not seeing Him now, you believe in Him and rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your[d] faith, the salvation of your souls.[e]

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that would come to you searched and carefully investigated. 11 They inquired into what time or what circumstances[f] the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating when He testified in advance to the messianic sufferings[g] and the glories that would follow.[h] 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you. These things have now been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Angels desire to look into these things.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Peter 1:1 Jewish people scattered throughout Gentile lands who spoke Gk and were influenced by Gk culture.
  2. 1 Peter 1:6 Or In this [fact] rejoice
  3. 1 Peter 1:7 Lit may be found for
  4. 1 Peter 1:9 Other mss read our, or they omit the possessive pronoun
  5. 1 Peter 1:9 Or your lives
  6. 1 Peter 1:11 Or inquired about the person or time
  7. 1 Peter 1:11 Or the sufferings of Christ
  8. 1 Peter 1:11 Lit the glories after that

Psalm 119:17-32

ג Gimel

17 Deal generously with Your servant
so that I might live;
then I will keep Your word.
18 Open my eyes so that I may contemplate
wonderful things from Your instruction.
19 I am a stranger on earth;
do not hide Your commands from me.
20 I am continually overcome
with longing for Your judgments.
21 You rebuke the proud,
the ones under a curse,
who wander from Your commands.
22 Take insult and contempt away from me,
for I have kept Your decrees.
23 Though princes sit together speaking against me,
Your servant will think about Your statutes;
24 Your decrees are my delight
and my counselors.

ד Dalet

25 My life is down in the dust;
give me life through Your word.
26 I told You about my life,
and You listened to me;
teach me Your statutes.
27 Help me understand
the meaning of Your precepts
so that I can meditate on Your wonders.
28 I am weary[a] from grief;
strengthen me through Your word.
29 Keep me from the way of deceit
and graciously give me Your instruction.
30 I have chosen the way of truth;
I have set Your ordinances before me.
31 I cling to Your decrees;
Lord, do not put me to shame.
32 I pursue the way of Your commands,
for You broaden my understanding.[b]

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 119:28 Or I weep
  2. Psalm 119:32 Lit You enlarge my heart

Proverbs 28:8-10

Whoever increases his wealth through excessive interest
collects it for one who is kind to the poor.

Anyone who turns his ear away from hearing the law—
even his prayer is detestable.

10 The one who leads the upright into an evil way
will fall into his own pit,
but the blameless will inherit what is good.

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