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Bible Reading Plan
Daily Bible Reading
December 11 - Bible-in-a-Year
Two Eagles and a Vine
1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 "Son of man, set forth an allegory and tell it to the Israelites as a parable.(a) 3 Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: A great eagle(b) with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon.(c) Taking hold of the top of a cedar, 4 he broke off(d) its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted it in a city of traders.
5 "‘He took one of the seedlings of the land and put it in fertile soil. He planted it like a willow by abundant water,(e) 6 and it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine. Its branches(f) turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out leafy boughs.(g)
7 "‘But there was another great eagle with powerful wings and full plumage. The vine now sent out its roots toward him from the plot where it was planted and stretched out its branches to him for water.(h) 8 It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches,(i) bear fruit and become a splendid vine.'
9 "Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Will it thrive? Will it not be uprooted and stripped of its fruit so that it withers? All its new growth will wither. It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it up by the roots.(j) 10 It has been planted,(k) but will it thrive? Will it not wither completely when the east wind strikes it—wither away in the plot where it grew?(l)'"
11 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 12 "Say to this rebellious people, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?(m)' Say to them: ‘The king of Babylon went to Jerusalem and carried off her king and her nobles,(n) bringing them back with him to Babylon.(o) 13 Then he took a member of the royal family and made a treaty(p) with him, putting him under oath.(q) He also carried away the leading men(r) of the land, 14 so that the kingdom would be brought low,(s) unable to rise again, surviving only by keeping his treaty. 15 But the king rebelled(t) against him by sending his envoys to Egypt(u) to get horses and a large army.(v) Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Will he break the treaty and yet escape?(w)
16 "‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord , he shall die(x) in Babylon, in the land of the king who put him on the throne, whose oath he despised and whose treaty he broke.(y) 17 Pharaoh(z) with his mighty army and great horde will be of no help to him in war, when ramps(aa) are built and siege works erected to destroy many lives.(ab) 18 He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Because he had given his hand in pledge(ac) and yet did all these things, he shall not escape.
19 "‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, I will repay him for despising my oath and breaking my covenant.(ad) 20 I will spread my net(ae) for him, and he will be caught in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon and execute judgment(af) on him there because he was unfaithful(ag) to me. 21 All his choice troops will fall by the sword,(ah) and the survivors(ai) will be scattered to the winds.(aj) Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken.(ak)
22 "‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will take a shoot(al) from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain.(am) 23 On the mountain heights(an) of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit(ao) and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.(ap) 24 All the trees of the forest(aq) will know that I the Lord bring down(ar) the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish.(as)
"‘I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.(at)'"
Gods of Babylon
1 Bel(a) bows down, Nebo stoops low;
their idols(b) are borne by beasts of burden.[a]
The images that are carried(c) about are burdensome,
a burden for the weary.
2 They stoop and bow down together;
unable to rescue the burden,
they themselves go off into captivity.(d)
3 "Listen(e) to me, you descendants of Jacob,
all the remnant(f) of the people of Israel,
you whom I have upheld since your birth,(g)
and have carried(h) since you were born.(i)
4 Even to your old age and gray hairs(j)
I am he,(k) I am he who will sustain you.
I have made you and I will carry you;
I will sustain(l) you and I will rescue you.
5 "With whom will you compare me or count me equal?
To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?(m)
6 Some pour out gold from their bags
and weigh out silver on the scales;
they hire a goldsmith(n) to make it into a god,
and they bow down and worship it.(o)
7 They lift it to their shoulders and carry(p) it;
they set it up in its place, and there it stands.
From that spot it cannot move.(q)
Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer;(r)
it cannot save(s) them from their troubles.
8 "Remember(t) this, keep it in mind,
take it to heart, you rebels.(u)
9 Remember the former things,(v) those of long ago;(w)
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God, and there is none like me.(x)
10 I make known the end from the beginning,(y)
from ancient times,(z) what is still to come.(aa)
I say, ‘My purpose will stand,(ab)
and I will do all that I please.'
11 From the east I summon(ac) a bird of prey;(ad)
from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose.
What I have said, that I will bring about;
what I have planned,(ae) that I will do.(af)
12 Listen(ag) to me, you stubborn-hearted,(ah)
you who are now far from my righteousness.(ai)
13 I am bringing my righteousness(aj) near,
it is not far away;
and my salvation(ak) will not be delayed.
I will grant salvation to Zion,(al)
my splendor(am) to Israel.
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.(a) 2 "Honor your father and mother"—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 "so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."[a](b)
4 Fathers,[b] do not exasperate your children;(c) instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.(d)
5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect(e) and fear, and with sincerity of heart,(f) just as you would obey Christ.(g) 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ,(h) doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,(i) 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do,(j) whether they are slave or free.
9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours(k) is in heaven, and there is no favoritism(l) with him.
The Armor of God
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord(m) and in his mighty power.(n) 11 Put on the full armor of God,(o) so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,(p) but against the rulers, against the authorities,(q) against the powers(r) of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.(s) 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God,(t) so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,(u) with the breastplate of righteousness in place,(v) 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.(w) 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,(x) with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.(y) 17 Take the helmet of salvation(z) and the sword of the Spirit,(aa) which is the word of God.(ab)
18 And pray in the Spirit(ac) on all occasions(ad) with all kinds of prayers and requests.(ae) With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying(af) for all the Lord's people. 19 Pray also for me,(ag) that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly(ah) make known the mystery(ai) of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador(aj) in chains.(ak) Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
21 Tychicus,(al) the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are,(am) and that he may encourage you.(an)
23 Peace(ao) to the brothers and sisters,[c] and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.[d]
the Fifth Week after Epiphany