Daily reading for Thursday, November 28, 2013

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Daniel 5:1-31; 2 Peter 2:1-22; Psalms 119:113-128; Proverbs 28:19-20 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Daniel 5

Belshazzar’s Feast

King Belshazzar held a great feast for 1,000 of his nobles and drank wine in their presence. Under the influence of[a] the wine, Belshazzar gave orders to bring in the gold and silver vessels that his predecessor[b] Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, wives, and concubines could drink from them. So they brought in the gold[c] vessels that had been taken from the temple, the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, wives, and concubines drank from them. They drank the wine and praised their gods made of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone.

The Handwriting on the Wall

At that moment the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the king’s palace wall next to the lampstand. As the king watched the hand[d] that was writing, his face turned pale,[e] and his thoughts so terrified him that his hip joints shook and his knees knocked together. The king called out to bring in the mediums, Chaldeans, and astrologers. He said to these wise men of Babylon, “Whoever reads this inscription and gives me its interpretation will be clothed in purple, have a gold chain around his neck, and have the third highest position in the kingdom.” So all the king’s wise men came in, but none could read the inscription or make its interpretation known to him. Then King Belshazzar became even more terrified, his face turned pale,[f] and his nobles were bewildered.

10 Because of the outcry of the king and his nobles, the queen[g] came to the banquet hall. “May the king live forever,” she said. “Don’t let your thoughts terrify you or your face be pale.[h] 11 There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of the holy gods in him. In the days of your predecessor he was found to have insight, intelligence, and wisdom like the wisdom of the gods. Your predecessor, King Nebuchadnezzar, appointed him chief of the diviners, mediums, Chaldeans, and astrologers. Your own predecessor, the king, 12 did this because Daniel, the one the king named Belteshazzar, was found to have an extraordinary spirit, knowledge and perception, and the ability to interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve problems. Therefore, summon Daniel, and he will give the interpretation.”

Daniel before the King

13 Then Daniel was brought before the king. The king said to him, “Are you Daniel, one of the Judean exiles that my predecessor the king brought from Judah? 14 I’ve heard that you have the spirit of the gods in you, and that you have insight, intelligence, and extraordinary wisdom. 15 Now the wise men and mediums were brought before me to read this inscription and make its interpretation known to me, but they could not give its interpretation. 16 However, I have heard about you that you can give interpretations and solve problems. Therefore, if you can read this inscription and give me its interpretation, you will be clothed in purple, have a gold chain around your neck, and have the third highest position in the kingdom.”

17 Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts, and give your rewards to someone else; however, I will read the inscription for the king and make the interpretation known to him. 18 Your Majesty, the Most High God gave sovereignty, greatness, glory, and majesty to your predecessor Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Because of the greatness He gave him, all peoples, nations, and languages were terrified and fearful of him. He killed anyone he wanted and kept alive anyone he wanted; he exalted anyone he wanted and humbled anyone he wanted. 20 But when his heart was exalted and his spirit became arrogant, he was deposed from his royal throne and his glory was taken from him. 21 He was driven away from people, his mind was like an animal’s, he lived with the wild donkeys, he was fed grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with dew from the sky until he acknowledged that the Most High God is ruler over the kingdom of men and sets anyone He wants over it.

22 “But you his successor, Belshazzar, have not humbled your heart, even though you knew all this. 23 Instead, you have exalted yourself against the Lord of heaven. The vessels from His house were brought to you, and as you and your nobles, wives, and concubines drank wine from them, you praised the gods made of silver and gold, bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or understand. But you have not glorified the God who holds your life-breath in His hand and who controls the whole course of your life.[i] 24 Therefore, He sent the hand, and this writing was inscribed.

The Inscription’s Interpretation

25 “This is the writing that was inscribed:

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN.

26 This is the interpretation of the message:

MENE[j] means that God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end.
27 TEKEL[k] means that you have been weighed in the balance and found deficient.
28 PERES[l][m] means that your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

29 Then Belshazzar gave an order, and they clothed Daniel in purple, placed a gold chain around his neck, and issued a proclamation concerning him that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.

30 That very night Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans was killed, 31 [n]and Darius the Mede received the kingdom at the age of 62.

Footnotes:

  1. Daniel 5:2 Or When he tasted
  2. Daniel 5:2 Or father, or grandfather
  3. Daniel 5:3 Theod, Vg add and silver
  4. Daniel 5:5 Lit part of the hand
  5. Daniel 5:6 Lit writing, the king’s brightness changed
  6. Daniel 5:9 Lit his brightness changed on him
  7. Daniel 5:10 Perhaps the queen mother
  8. Daniel 5:10 Lit your brightness change
  9. Daniel 5:23 Lit and all your ways belong to Him
  10. Daniel 5:26 Or a mina
  11. Daniel 5:27 Or a shekel
  12. Daniel 5:28 Or half a shekel
  13. Daniel 5:28 In Aram, the word peres is the sg form of “parsin” in v. 25.
  14. Daniel 5:31 Dn 6:1 in Hb

2 Peter 2

The Judgment of False Teachers

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their unrestrained ways, and the way of truth will be blasphemed because of them. They will exploit you in their greed with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.

For if God didn’t spare the angels who sinned but threw them down into Tartarus[a] and delivered them to be kept in chains[b] of darkness until judgment; and if He didn’t spare the ancient world, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others,[c] when He brought a flood on the world of the ungodly; and if He reduced the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes and condemned them to ruin,[d] making them an example to those who were going to be ungodly;[e] and if He rescued righteous Lot, distressed by the unrestrained behavior of the immoral (for as he lived among them, that righteous man tormented himself day by day with the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 especially those who follow the polluting desires of the flesh and despise authority.

Bold, arrogant people! They do not tremble when they blaspheme the glorious ones; 11 however, angels, who are greater in might and power, do not bring a slanderous charge against them before the Lord.[f] 12 But these people, like irrational animals—creatures of instinct born to be caught and destroyed—speak blasphemies about things they don’t understand, and in their destruction they too will be destroyed, 13 suffering harm as the payment for unrighteousness. They consider it a pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, delighting in their deceptions[g] as they feast with you. 14 They have eyes full of adultery and are always looking for sin. They seduce unstable people and have hearts trained in greed. Children under a curse! 15 They have gone astray by abandoning the straight path and have followed the path of Balaam, the son of Bosor,[h] who loved the wages of unrighteousness 16 but received a rebuke for his transgression: A donkey that could not talk spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s irrationality.

17 These people are springs without water, mists driven by a whirlwind. The gloom of darkness has been reserved for them. 18 For by uttering boastful, empty words, they seduce, with fleshly desires and debauchery, people who have barely escaped[i] from those who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, since people are enslaved to whatever defeats them. 20 For if, having escaped the world’s impurity through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in these things and defeated, the last state is worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy command delivered to them. 22 It has happened to them according to the true proverb: A dog returns to its own vomit,[j] and, “a sow, after washing itself, wallows in the mud.”

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Peter 2:4 = Gk name for a place of divine punishment in the underworld.
  2. 2 Peter 2:4 Other mss read in pits
  3. 2 Peter 2:5 Lit righteousness, as the eighth
  4. 2 Peter 2:6 Other mss omit to ruin
  5. 2 Peter 2:6 Other mss read an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly
  6. 2 Peter 2:11 Other mss read them from the Lord
  7. 2 Peter 2:13 Other mss read delighting in the love feasts
  8. 2 Peter 2:15 Other mss read Beor
  9. 2 Peter 2:18 Or people who are barely escaping
  10. 2 Peter 2:22 Pr 26:11

Psalm 119:113-128

ס Samek

113 I hate those who are double-minded,
but I love Your instruction.
114 You are my shelter and my shield;
I put my hope in Your word.
115 Depart from me, you evil ones,
so that I may obey my God’s commands.
116 Sustain me as You promised, and I will live;
do not let me be ashamed of my hope.
117 Sustain me so that I can be safe
and always be concerned about Your statutes.
118 You reject all who stray from Your statutes,
for their deceit is a lie.
119 You remove all the wicked on earth
as if they were[a] dross;
therefore, I love Your decrees.
120 I tremble[b] in awe of You;
I fear Your judgments.

ע Ayin

121 I have done what is just and right;
do not leave me to my oppressors.
122 Guarantee Your servant’s well-being;
do not let the arrogant oppress me.
123 My eyes grow weary looking for Your salvation
and for Your righteous promise.
124 Deal with Your servant based on Your faithful love;
teach me Your statutes.
125 I am Your servant; give me understanding
so that I may know Your decrees.
126 It is time for the Lord to act,
for they have violated Your instruction.
127 Since I love Your commands
more than gold, even the purest gold,
128 I carefully follow[c] all Your precepts
and hate every false way.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 119:119 Some Hb mss, DSS, LXX, Aq, Sym, Jer read All the wicked of the earth You count as
  2. Psalm 119:120 Lit My flesh shudders
  3. Psalm 119:128 Lit I therefore follow carefully

Proverbs 28:19-20

19 The one who works his land
will have plenty of food,
but whoever chases fantasies
will have his fill of poverty.

20 A faithful man will have many blessings,
but one in a hurry to get rich
will not go unpunished.

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