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Bible Reading Plan
Daily Bible Reading
December 13 - Bible-in-a-Year
A Lament Over Israel's Princes
1 "Take up a lament(a) concerning the princes(b) of Israel 2 and say:
"‘What a lioness(c) was your mother
among the lions!
She lay down among them
and reared her cubs.(d)
3 She brought up one of her cubs,
and he became a strong lion.
He learned to tear the prey
and he became a man-eater.
4 The nations heard about him,
and he was trapped in their pit.
They led him with hooks(e)
to the land of Egypt.(f)
5 "‘When she saw her hope unfulfilled,
her expectation gone,
she took another of her cubs(g)
and made him a strong lion.(h)
6 He prowled among the lions,
for he was now a strong lion.
He learned to tear the prey
and he became a man-eater.(i)
7 He broke down[a] their strongholds
and devastated(j) their towns.
The land and all who were in it
were terrified by his roaring.
8 Then the nations(k) came against him,
those from regions round about.
They spread their net(l) for him,
and he was trapped in their pit.(m)
9 With hooks(n) they pulled him into a cage
and brought him to the king of Babylon.(o)
They put him in prison,
so his roar(p) was heard no longer
on the mountains of Israel.(q)
10 "‘Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard[b](r)
planted by the water;(s)
it was fruitful and full of branches
because of abundant water.(t)
11 Its branches were strong,
fit for a ruler's scepter.
It towered high
above the thick foliage,
conspicuous for its height
and for its many branches.(u)
12 But it was uprooted(v) in fury
and thrown to the ground.
The east wind(w) made it shrivel,
it was stripped of its fruit;
its strong branches withered
and fire consumed them.(x)
13 Now it is planted in the desert,(y)
in a dry and thirsty land.(z)
14 Fire spread from one of its main[c] branches
and consumed(aa) its fruit.
No strong branch is left on it
fit for a ruler's scepter.'(ab)
"This is a lament(ac) and is to be used as a lament."
1 "Listen to this, you descendants of Jacob,
you who are called by the name of Israel(a)
and come from the line of Judah,(b)
you who take oaths(c) in the name of the Lord (d)
and invoke(e) the God of Israel—
but not in truth(f) or righteousness—
2 you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city(g)
and claim to rely(h) on the God of Israel—
the Lord Almighty is his name:(i)
3 I foretold the former things(j) long ago,
my mouth announced(k) them and I made them known;
then suddenly(l) I acted, and they came to pass.
4 For I knew how stubborn(m) you were;
your neck muscles(n) were iron,
your forehead(o) was bronze.
5 Therefore I told you these things long ago;
before they happened I announced(p) them to you
so that you could not say,
‘My images brought them about;(q)
my wooden image and metal god ordained them.'
6 You have heard these things; look at them all.
Will you not admit them?
"From now on I will tell you of new things,(r)
of hidden things unknown to you.
7 They are created(s) now, and not long ago;(t)
you have not heard of them before today.
So you cannot say,
‘Yes, I knew(u) of them.'
8 You have neither heard nor understood;(v)
from of old your ears(w) have not been open.
Well do I know how treacherous(x) you are;
you were called a rebel(y) from birth.
9 For my own name's sake(z) I delay my wrath;(aa)
for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you,
so as not to destroy you completely.(ab)
10 See, I have refined(ac) you, though not as silver;
I have tested(ad) you in the furnace(ae) of affliction.
11 For my own sake,(af) for my own sake, I do this.
How can I let myself be defamed?(ag)
I will not yield my glory to another.(ah)
12 "Listen(ai) to me, Jacob,
Israel, whom I have called:(aj)
I am he;(ak)
I am the first and I am the last.(al)
13 My own hand laid the foundations of the earth,(am)
and my right hand spread out the heavens;(an)
when I summon them,
they all stand up together.(ao)
14 "Come together,(ap) all of you, and listen:
Which of the idols has foretold(aq) these things?
The Lord 's chosen ally(ar)
will carry out his purpose(as) against Babylon;(at)
his arm will be against the Babylonians.[a]
15 I, even I, have spoken;
yes, I have called(au) him.
I will bring him,
and he will succeed(av) in his mission.
16 "Come near(aw) me and listen(ax) to this:
"From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret;(ay)
at the time it happens, I am there."
And now the Sovereign
(az) has sent(ba) me,
endowed with his Spirit.(bb)
17 This is what the
your Redeemer,(bc) the Holy One(bd) of Israel:
"I am the Lord your God,
who teaches(be) you what is best for you,
who directs(bf) you in the way(bg) you should go.
18 If only you had paid attention(bh) to my commands,
your peace(bi) would have been like a river,(bj)
your well-being(bk) like the waves of the sea.
19 Your descendants(bl) would have been like the sand,(bm)
your children like its numberless grains;(bn)
their name would never be blotted out(bo)
nor destroyed from before me."
20 Leave Babylon,
flee(bp) from the Babylonians!
Announce this with shouts of joy(bq)
and proclaim it.
Send it out to the ends of the earth;(br)
say, "The Lord has redeemed(bs) his servant Jacob."
21 They did not thirst(bt) when he led them through the deserts;
he made water flow(bu) for them from the rock;
he split the rock
and water gushed out.(bv)
22 "There is no peace,"(bw) says the Lord , "for the wicked."(bx)
12 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters,[b] that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. 13 As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard[c] and to everyone else that I am in chains(v) for Christ. 14 And because of my chains,(w) most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.(x)
15 It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16 The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.(y) 17 The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition,(z) not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.(aa) 18 But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers(ab) and God's provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ(ac) what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[d](ad) 20 I eagerly expect(ae) and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage(af) so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body,(ag) whether by life or by death.(ah) 21 For to me, to live is Christ(ai) and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart(aj) and be with Christ,(ak) which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. 25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26 so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Life Worthy of the Gospel
27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy(al) of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm(am) in the one Spirit,[e] striving together(an) as one for the faith of the gospel 28 without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved—and that by God. 29 For it has been granted to you(ao) on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer(ap) for him, 30 since you are going through the same struggle(aq) you saw(ar) I had, and now hear(as) that I still have.
the Third Sunday after Epiphany