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Bible Reading Plan
Daily Bible Reading
December 8 - Old & New Testament
A Call to Return to the Lord
1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius,(a) the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah(b) son of Berekiah,(c) the son of Iddo:(d)
2 "The Lord was very angry(e) with your ancestors. 3 Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return(f) to me,' declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,'(g) says the Lord Almighty. 4 Do not be like your ancestors,(h) to whom the earlier prophets(i) proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil ways(j) and your evil practices.' But they would not listen or pay attention to me,(k) declares the Lord .(l) 5 Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever? 6 But did not my words(m) and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?(n)
"Then they repented and said, ‘The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve,(o) just as he determined to do.'"(p)
The Man Among the Myrtle Trees
7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.(q)
8 During the night I had a vision, and there before me was a man mounted on a red(r) horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.(s)
9 I asked, "What are these, my lord?"
The angel(t) who was talking with me answered, "I will show you what they are."(u)
10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, "They are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth."(v)
11 And they reported to the angel of the Lord (w) who was standing among the myrtle trees, "We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace."(x)
12 Then the angel of the Lord said, " Lord Almighty, how long(y) will you withhold mercy(z) from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah,(aa) which you have been angry with these seventy(ab) years?" 13 So the Lord spoke(ac) kind and comforting words(ad) to the angel who talked with me.(ae)
14 Then the angel who was speaking to me said, "Proclaim this word: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous(af) for Jerusalem and Zion, 15 and I am very angry with the nations that feel secure.(ag) I was only a little angry,(ah) but they went too far with the punishment.'(ai)
16 "Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will return(aj) to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line(ak) will be stretched out over Jerusalem,' declares the Lord Almighty.(al)
17 "Proclaim further: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort(am) Zion and choose(an) Jerusalem.'"(ao)
Four Horns and Four Craftsmen
18 Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns. 19 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, "What are these?"
He answered me, "These are the horns(ap) that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem."
20 Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen. 21 I asked, "What are these coming to do?"
He answered, "These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise their head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns(aq) against the land of Judah to scatter its people."[a](ar)
A Man With a Measuring Line
1 [a]Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 I asked, "Where are you going?"
He answered me, "To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is."(a)
3 While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him 4 and said to him: "Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls(b) because of the great number(c) of people and animals in it.(d) 5 And I myself will be a wall(e) of fire(f) around it,' declares the Lord , ‘and I will be its glory(g) within.'(h)
6 "Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north," declares the Lord , "for I have scattered(i) you to the four winds of heaven,"(j) declares the Lord .(k)
7 "Come, Zion! Escape,(l) you who live in Daughter Babylon!"(m) 8 For this is what the Lord Almighty says: "After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you—for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye(n)— 9 I will surely raise my hand against them so that their slaves will plunder them.[b](o) Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me.(p)
10 "Shout(q) and be glad, Daughter Zion.(r) For I am coming,(s) and I will live among you,"(t) declares the Lord .(u) 11 "Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people.(v) I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.(w) 12 The Lord will inherit(x) Judah(y) as his portion in the holy land and will again choose(z) Jerusalem. 13 Be still(aa) before the Lord , all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.(ab)"
Clean Garments for the High Priest
1 Then he showed me Joshua(a) the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord , and Satan[a](b) standing at his right side to accuse him. 2 The Lord said to Satan, "The Lord rebuke you,(c) Satan! The Lord , who has chosen(d) Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick(e) snatched from the fire?"(f)
3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes."
Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sin,(g) and I will put fine garments(h) on you."
5 Then I said, "Put a clean turban(i) on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.
6 The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: 7 "This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements,(j) then you will govern my house(k) and have charge(l) of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.(m)
8 "‘Listen, High Priest(n) Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic(o) of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.(p) 9 See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua!(q) There are seven eyes[b](r) on that one stone,(s) and I will engrave an inscription on it,' says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin(t) of this land in a single day.
10 "‘In that day each of you will invite your neighbor to sit(u) under your vine and fig tree,(v)' declares the Lord Almighty."
The Gold Lampstand and the Two Olive Trees
1 Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke(a) me up, like someone awakened from sleep.(b) 2 He asked me, "What do you see?"(c)
I answered, "I see a solid gold lampstand(d) with a bowl at the top and seven lamps(e) on it, with seven channels to the lamps. 3 Also there are two olive trees(f) by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left."
4 I asked the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?"
5 He answered, "Do you not know what these are?"
"No, my lord," I replied.(g)
6 So he said to me, "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:(h) ‘Not(i) by might nor by power,(j) but by my Spirit,'(k) says the Lord Almighty.
7 "What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground.(l) Then he will bring out the capstone(m) to shouts(n) of ‘God bless it! God bless it!'"
8 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation(o) of this temple; his hands will also complete it.(p) Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me(q) to you.
10 "Who dares despise the day(r) of small things,(s) since the seven eyes(t) of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone[a] in the hand of Zerubbabel?"(u)
11 Then I asked the angel, "What are these two olive trees(v) on the right and the left of the lampstand?"
12 Again I asked him, "What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?"
13 He replied, "Do you not know what these are?"
"No, my lord," I said.
14 So he said, "These are the two who are anointed(w) to[b] serve the Lord of all the earth."
1 The elder,(a)
To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth.
2 Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. 3 It gave me great joy when some believers(b) came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it.(c) 4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children(d) are walking in the truth.(e)
5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters,[a](f) even though they are strangers to you.(g) 6 They have told the church about your love. Please send them on their way(h) in a manner that honors(i) God. 7 It was for the sake of the Name(j) that they went out, receiving no help from the pagans.(k) 8 We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.
9 I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. 10 So when I come,(l) I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers.(m) He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.(n)
11 Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good.(o) Anyone who does what is good is from God.(p) Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God.(q) 12 Demetrius is well spoken of by everyone(r)—and even by the truth itself. We also speak well of him, and you know that our testimony is true.(s)
13 I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. 14 I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face.(t)
Peace to you.(u) The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name.(v)
the Fifth Week after Epiphany