Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 30th, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Reading Plan

Daily Bible Reading

October 17 - Old & New Testament


2 Chronicles 35

Chapter 35

Josiah Celebrates the Passover(a)

1 Josiah celebrated the Passover(b) to the Lord in Jerusalem, and the Passover lamb was slaughtered on the fourteenth day of the first month. 2 He appointed the priests to their duties and encouraged them in the service of the Lord 's temple. 3 He said to the Levites, who instructed(c) all Israel and who had been consecrated to the Lord : "Put the sacred ark in the temple that Solomon son of David king of Israel built. It is not to be carried about on your shoulders. Now serve the Lord your God and his people Israel. 4 Prepare yourselves by families in your divisions,(d) according to the instructions written by David king of Israel and by his son Solomon.

5 "Stand in the holy place with a group of Levites for each subdivision of the families of your fellow Israelites, the lay people. 6 Slaughter the Passover lambs, consecrate yourselves(e) and prepare the lambs for your fellow Israelites, doing what the Lord commanded through Moses."

7 Josiah provided for all the lay people who were there a total of thirty thousand lambs and goats for the Passover offerings,(f) and also three thousand cattle—all from the king's own possessions.(g)

8 His officials also contributed(h) voluntarily to the people and the priests and Levites. Hilkiah,(i) Zechariah and Jehiel, the officials in charge of God's temple, gave the priests twenty-six hundred Passover offerings and three hundred cattle. 9 Also Konaniah(j) along with Shemaiah and Nethanel, his brothers, and Hashabiah, Jeiel and Jozabad,(k) the leaders of the Levites, provided five thousand Passover offerings and five hundred head of cattle for the Levites.

10 The service was arranged and the priests stood in their places with the Levites in their divisions(l) as the king had ordered.(m) 11 The Passover lambs were slaughtered,(n) and the priests splashed against the altar the blood handed to them, while the Levites skinned the animals. 12 They set aside the burnt offerings to give them to the subdivisions of the families of the people to offer to the Lord , as it is written in the Book of Moses. They did the same with the cattle. 13 They roasted the Passover animals over the fire as prescribed,(o) and boiled the holy offerings in pots, caldrons and pans and served them quickly to all the people. 14 After this, they made preparations for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the descendants of Aaron, were sacrificing the burnt offerings and the fat portions(p) until nightfall. So the Levites made preparations for themselves and for the Aaronic priests.

15 The musicians,(q) the descendants of Asaph, were in the places prescribed by David, Asaph, Heman and Jeduthun the king's seer. The gatekeepers at each gate did not need to leave their posts, because their fellow Levites made the preparations for them.

16 So at that time the entire service of the Lord was carried out for the celebration of the Passover and the offering of burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord , as King Josiah had ordered. 17 The Israelites who were present celebrated the Passover at that time and observed the Festival of Unleavened Bread for seven days. 18 The Passover had not been observed like this in Israel since the days of the prophet Samuel; and none of the kings of Israel had ever celebrated such a Passover as did Josiah, with the priests, the Levites and all Judah and Israel who were there with the people of Jerusalem. 19 This Passover was celebrated in the eighteenth year of Josiah's reign.

The Death of Josiah(r)

20 After all this, when Josiah had set the temple in order, Necho king of Egypt went up to fight at Carchemish(s) on the Euphrates,(t) and Josiah marched out to meet him in battle. 21 But Necho sent messengers to him, saying, "What quarrel is there, king of Judah, between you and me? It is not you I am attacking at this time, but the house with which I am at war. God has told(u) me to hurry; so stop opposing God, who is with me, or he will destroy you."

22 Josiah, however, would not turn away from him, but disguised(v) himself to engage him in battle. He would not listen to what Necho had said at God's command but went to fight him on the plain of Megiddo.

23 Archers(w) shot King Josiah, and he told his officers, "Take me away; I am badly wounded." 24 So they took him out of his chariot, put him in his other chariot and brought him to Jerusalem, where he died. He was buried in the tombs of his ancestors, and all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him.

25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments.(x) These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments.(y)

26 The other events of Josiah's reign and his acts of devotion in accordance with what is written in the Law of the Lord 27 all the events, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah.

Habakkuk 1,2,3

1 The prophecy(a) that Habakkuk the prophet received.

Habakkuk's Complaint

2 How long,(b) Lord , must I call for help,
     but you do not listen?(c)
Or cry out to you, "Violence!"
     but you do not save?(d)
3 Why do you make me look at injustice?
     Why do you tolerate(e) wrongdoing?(f)
Destruction and violence(g) are before me;
     there is strife,(h) and conflict abounds.
4 Therefore the law(i) is paralyzed,
     and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
     so that justice(j) is perverted.(k)

The Lord's Answer

5 "Look at the nations and watch—
     and be utterly amazed.(l)
For I am going to do something in your days
     that you would not believe,
     even if you were told.(m)
6 I am raising up the Babylonians,[a](n)
     that ruthless and impetuous people,
who sweep across the whole earth(o)
     to seize dwellings not their own.(p)
7 They are a feared and dreaded people;(q)
     they are a law to themselves
     and promote their own honor.
8 Their horses are swifter(r) than leopards,
     fiercer than wolves(s) at dusk.
Their cavalry gallops headlong;
     their horsemen come from afar.
They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;
9       they all come intent on violence.
Their hordes[b] advance like a desert wind
     and gather prisoners(t) like sand.
10 They mock kings
     and scoff at rulers.(u)
They laugh at all fortified cities;
     by building earthen ramps(v) they capture them.
11 Then they sweep past like the wind(w) and go on—
     guilty people, whose own strength is their god."(x)

Habakkuk's Second Complaint

12  Lord , are you not from everlasting?(y)
     My God, my Holy One,(z) you[c] will never die.(aa)
You, Lord , have appointed(ab) them to execute judgment;
     you, my Rock,(ac) have ordained them to punish.
13 Your eyes are too pure(ad) to look on evil;
     you cannot tolerate wrongdoing.(ae)
Why then do you tolerate(af) the treacherous?(ag)
     Why are you silent while the wicked
     swallow up those more righteous than themselves?(ah)
14 You have made people like the fish in the sea,
     like the sea creatures that have no ruler.
15 The wicked(ai) foe pulls all of them up with hooks,(aj)
     he catches them in his net,(ak)
he gathers them up in his dragnet;
     and so he rejoices and is glad.
16 Therefore he sacrifices to his net
     and burns incense(al) to his dragnet,
for by his net he lives in luxury
     and enjoys the choicest food.
17 Is he to keep on emptying his net,
     destroying nations without mercy?(am)

1 I will stand at my watch(a)
     and station myself on the ramparts;(b)
I will look to see what he will say(c) to me,
     and what answer I am to give to this complaint.[a](d)

The Lord's Answer

2 Then the Lord replied:

"Write(e) down the revelation
     and make it plain on tablets
     so that a herald[b] may run with it.
3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time;(f)
     it speaks of the end(g)
     and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait(h) for it;
     it[c] will certainly come
     and will not delay.(i)

4 "See, the enemy is puffed up;
     his desires are not upright—
     but the righteous person(j) will live by his faithfulness[d](k)
5 indeed, wine(l) betrays him;
     he is arrogant(m) and never at rest.
Because he is as greedy as the grave
     and like death is never satisfied,(n)
he gathers to himself all the nations
     and takes captive(o) all the peoples.

6 "Will not all of them taunt(p) him with ridicule and scorn, saying,

"‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods
     and makes himself wealthy by extortion!(q)
     How long must this go on?'
7 Will not your creditors suddenly arise?
     Will they not wake up and make you tremble?
     Then you will become their prey.(r)
8 Because you have plundered many nations,
     the peoples who are left will plunder you.(s)
For you have shed human blood;(t)
     you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.(u)

9 "Woe to him who builds(v) his house by unjust gain,(w)
     setting his nest(x) on high
     to escape the clutches of ruin!
10 You have plotted the ruin(y) of many peoples,
     shaming(z) your own house and forfeiting your life.
11 The stones(aa) of the wall will cry out,
     and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.

12 "Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed(ab)
     and establishes a town by injustice!
13 Has not the Lord Almighty determined
     that the people's labor is only fuel for the fire,(ac)
     that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?(ad)
14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory(ae) of the Lord
     as the waters cover the sea.(af)

15 "Woe to him who gives drink(ag) to his neighbors,
     pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk,
     so that he can gaze on their naked bodies!
16 You will be filled with shame(ah) instead of glory.(ai)
     Now it is your turn! Drink(aj) and let your nakedness be exposed[e]!(ak)
The cup(al) from the Lord 's right hand is coming around to you,
     and disgrace will cover your glory.
17 The violence(am) you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,
     and your destruction of animals will terrify you.(an)
For you have shed human blood;(ao)
     you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.

18 "Of what value(ap) is an idol(aq) carved by a craftsman?
     Or an image(ar) that teaches lies?
For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation;
     he makes idols that cannot speak.(as)
19 Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!'
     Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!'(at)
Can it give guidance?
     It is covered with gold and silver;(au)
     there is no breath in it."(av)

20 The Lord is in his holy temple;(aw)
     let all the earth be silent(ax) before him.

Habakkuk's Prayer

1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.[a](a)

2  Lord , I have heard(b) of your fame;
     I stand in awe(c) of your deeds, Lord .(d)
Repeat(e) them in our day,
     in our time make them known;
     in wrath remember mercy.(f)

3 God came from Teman,(g)
     the Holy One(h) from Mount Paran.[b](i)
His glory covered the heavens(j)
     and his praise filled the earth.(k)
4 His splendor was like the sunrise;(l)
     rays flashed from his hand,
     where his power(m) was hidden.
5 Plague(n) went before him;
     pestilence followed his steps.
6 He stood, and shook the earth;
     he looked, and made the nations tremble.
The ancient mountains crumbled(o)
     and the age-old hills(p) collapsed(q)
     but he marches on forever.(r)
7 I saw the tents of Cushan in distress,
     the dwellings of Midian(s) in anguish.(t)

8 Were you angry with the rivers,(u) Lord ?
     Was your wrath against the streams?
Did you rage against the sea(v)
     when you rode your horses
     and your chariots to victory?(w)
9 You uncovered your bow,
     you called for many arrows.(x)
You split the earth with rivers;
10       the mountains saw you and writhed.(y)
Torrents of water swept by;
     the deep roared(z)
     and lifted its waves(aa) on high.

11 Sun and moon stood still(ab) in the heavens
     at the glint of your flying arrows,(ac)
     at the lightning(ad) of your flashing spear.
12 In wrath you strode through the earth
     and in anger you threshed(ae) the nations.
13 You came out(af) to deliver(ag) your people,
     to save your anointed(ah) one.
You crushed(ai) the leader of the land of wickedness,
     you stripped him from head to foot.
14 With his own spear you pierced his head
     when his warriors stormed out to scatter us,(aj)
gloating as though about to devour
     the wretched(ak) who were in hiding.
15 You trampled the sea(al) with your horses,
     churning the great waters.(am)

16 I heard and my heart pounded,
     my lips quivered at the sound;
decay crept into my bones,
     and my legs trembled.(an)
Yet I will wait patiently(ao) for the day of calamity
     to come on the nation invading us.
17 Though the fig tree does not bud
     and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
     and the fields produce no food,(ap)
though there are no sheep in the pen
     and no cattle in the stalls,(aq)
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord ,(ar)
     I will be joyful in God my Savior.(as)

19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;(at)
     he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
     he enables me to tread on the heights.(au)

For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.

Acts 25

Chapter 25

Paul's Trial Before Festus

1 Three days after arriving in the province, Festus(a) went up from Caesarea(b) to Jerusalem, 2 where the chief priests and the Jewish leaders appeared before him and presented the charges against Paul.(c) 3 They requested Festus, as a favor to them, to have Paul transferred to Jerusalem, for they were preparing an ambush to kill him along the way.(d) 4 Festus answered, "Paul is being held(e) at Caesarea,(f) and I myself am going there soon. 5 Let some of your leaders come with me, and if the man has done anything wrong, they can press charges against him there."

6 After spending eight or ten days with them, Festus went down to Caesarea. The next day he convened the court(g) and ordered that Paul be brought before him.(h) 7 When Paul came in, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him. They brought many serious charges against him,(i) but they could not prove them.(j)

8 Then Paul made his defense: "I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple(k) or against Caesar."

9 Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor,(l) said to Paul, "Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?"(m)

10 Paul answered: "I am now standing before Caesar's court, where I ought to be tried. I have not done any wrong to the Jews,(n) as you yourself know very well. 11 If, however, I am guilty of doing anything deserving death, I do not refuse to die. But if the charges brought against me by these Jews are not true, no one has the right to hand me over to them. I appeal to Caesar!"(o)

12 After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: "You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!"

Festus Consults King Agrippa

13 A few days later King Agrippa and Bernice arrived at Caesarea(p) to pay their respects to Festus. 14 Since they were spending many days there, Festus discussed Paul's case with the king. He said: "There is a man here whom Felix left as a prisoner.(q) 15 When I went to Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews brought charges against him(r) and asked that he be condemned.

16 "I told them that it is not the Roman custom to hand over anyone before they have faced their accusers and have had an opportunity to defend themselves against the charges.(s) 17 When they came here with me, I did not delay the case, but convened the court the next day and ordered the man to be brought in.(t) 18 When his accusers got up to speak, they did not charge him with any of the crimes I had expected. 19 Instead, they had some points of dispute(u) with him about their own religion(v) and about a dead man named Jesus who Paul claimed was alive. 20 I was at a loss how to investigate such matters; so I asked if he would be willing to go to Jerusalem and stand trial there on these charges.(w) 21 But when Paul made his appeal to be held over for the Emperor's decision, I ordered him held until I could send him to Caesar."(x)

22 Then Agrippa said to Festus, "I would like to hear this man myself."

He replied, "Tomorrow you will hear him."(y)

Paul Before Agrippa(z)

23 The next day Agrippa and Bernice(aa) came with great pomp and entered the audience room with the high-ranking military officers and the prominent men of the city. At the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24 Festus said: "King Agrippa, and all who are present with us, you see this man! The whole Jewish community(ab) has petitioned me about him in Jerusalem and here in Caesarea, shouting that he ought not to live any longer.(ac) 25 I found he had done nothing deserving of death,(ad) but because he made his appeal to the Emperor(ae) I decided to send him to Rome. 26 But I have nothing definite to write to His Majesty about him. Therefore I have brought him before all of you, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that as a result of this investigation I may have something to write. 27 For I think it is unreasonable to send a prisoner on to Rome without specifying the charges against him."

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