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Daily Bible Reading

December 16 - Bible-in-a-Year


Ezekiel 23

Chapter 23

Two Adulterous Sisters

1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 "Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother.(a) 3 They became prostitutes in Egypt,(b) engaging in prostitution(c) from their youth.(d) In that land their breasts were fondled and their virgin bosoms caressed.(e) 4 The older was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. They were mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.(f)

5 "Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was still mine; and she lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians(g)—warriors(h) 6 clothed in blue, governors and commanders, all of them handsome young men, and mounted horsemen. 7 She gave herself as a prostitute to all the elite of the Assyrians and defiled herself with all the idols of everyone she lusted after.(i) 8 She did not give up the prostitution she began in Egypt,(j) when during her youth men slept with her, caressed her virgin bosom and poured out their lust on her.(k)

9 "Therefore I delivered her into the hands(l) of her lovers,(m) the Assyrians, for whom she lusted.(n) 10 They stripped(o) her naked, took away her sons and daughters and killed her with the sword. She became a byword among women,(p) and punishment was inflicted(q) on her.(r)

11 "Her sister Oholibah saw this,(s) yet in her lust and prostitution she was more depraved than her sister.(t) 12 She too lusted after the Assyrians—governors and commanders, warriors in full dress, mounted horsemen, all handsome young men.(u) 13 I saw that she too defiled herself; both of them went the same way.(v)

14 "But she carried her prostitution still further. She saw men portrayed on a wall,(w) figures of Chaldeans[a] portrayed in red,(x) 15 with belts(y) around their waists and flowing turbans on their heads; all of them looked like Babylonian chariot officers, natives of Chaldea.[b] 16 As soon as she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers(z) to them in Chaldea.(aa) 17 Then the Babylonians(ab) came to her, to the bed of love, and in their lust they defiled her. After she had been defiled by them, she turned away from them in disgust.(ac) 18 When she carried on her prostitution openly and exposed her naked body,(ad) I turned away(ae) from her in disgust, just as I had turned away from her sister.(af) 19 Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she was a prostitute in Egypt. 20 There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. 21 So you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when in Egypt your bosom was caressed and your young breasts fondled.[c](ag)

22 "Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will stir up your lovers(ah) against you, those you turned away from in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side(ai) 23 the Babylonians(aj) and all the Chaldeans,(ak) the men of Pekod(al) and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, handsome young men, all of them governors and commanders, chariot officers and men of high rank, all mounted on horses.(am) 24 They will come against you with weapons,[d] chariots and wagons(an) and with a throng of people; they will take up positions against you on every side with large and small shields and with helmets. I will turn you over to them for punishment,(ao) and they will punish you according to their standards. 25 I will direct my jealous anger(ap) against you, and they will deal with you in fury. They will cut off your noses and your ears, and those of you who are left will fall by the sword. They will take away your sons and daughters,(aq) and those of you who are left will be consumed by fire.(ar) 26 They will also strip(as) you of your clothes and take your fine jewelry.(at) 27 So I will put a stop(au) to the lewdness and prostitution you began in Egypt. You will not look on these things with longing or remember Egypt anymore.

28 "For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to deliver you into the hands(av) of those you hate, to those you turned away from in disgust. 29 They will deal with you in hatred and take away everything you have worked for. They will leave you stark naked,(aw) and the shame of your prostitution will be exposed.(ax) Your lewdness(ay) and promiscuity(az) 30 have brought this on you, because you lusted after the nations and defiled yourself with their idols.(ba) 31 You have gone the way of your sister; so I will put her cup(bb) into your hand.(bc)

32 "This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

"You will drink your sister's cup,
     a cup large and deep;
it will bring scorn and derision,(bd)
     for it holds so much.(be)
33 You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow,
     the cup of ruin and desolation,
     the cup of your sister Samaria.(bf)
34 You will drink it(bg) and drain it dry
     and chew on its pieces—
     and you will tear your breasts.

I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord .(bh)

35 "Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Since you have forgotten(bi) me and turned your back on me,(bj) you must bear(bk) the consequences of your lewdness and prostitution."

36 The Lord said to me: "Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then confront(bl) them with their detestable practices,(bm) 37 for they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands. They committed adultery with their idols; they even sacrificed their children, whom they bore to me, as food for them.(bn) 38 They have also done this to me: At that same time they defiled my sanctuary(bo) and desecrated my Sabbaths.(bp) 39 On the very day they sacrificed their children to their idols, they entered my sanctuary and desecrated(bq) it. That is what they did in my house.(br)

40 "They even sent messengers for men who came from far away,(bs) and when they arrived you bathed yourself for them, applied eye makeup(bt) and put on your jewelry.(bu) 41 You sat on an elegant couch,(bv) with a table(bw) spread before it on which you had placed the incense(bx) and olive oil that belonged to me.(by)

42 "The noise of a carefree(bz) crowd was around her; drunkards(ca) were brought from the desert along with men from the rabble, and they put bracelets(cb) on the wrists of the woman and her sister and beautiful crowns on their heads.(cc) 43 Then I said about the one worn out by adultery, ‘Now let them use her as a prostitute,(cd) for that is all she is.' 44 And they slept with her. As men sleep with a prostitute, so they slept with those lewd women, Oholah and Oholibah. 45 But righteous judges will sentence them to the punishment of women who commit adultery and shed blood,(ce) because they are adulterous and blood is on their hands.(cf)

46 "This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Bring a mob(cg) against them and give them over to terror and plunder.(ch) 47 The mob will stone them and cut them down with their swords; they will kill their sons and daughters(ci) and burn(cj) down their houses.(ck)

48 "So I will put an end(cl) to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not imitate you.(cm) 49 You will suffer the penalty for your lewdness and bear the consequences of your sins of idolatry.(cn) Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord .(co)"

Isaiah 51

Chapter 51

Everlasting Salvation for Zion

1 "Listen(a) to me, you who pursue righteousness(b)
     and who seek(c) the Lord :
Look to the rock(d) from which you were cut
     and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
2 look to Abraham,(e) your father,
     and to Sarah, who gave you birth.
When I called him he was only one man,
     and I blessed him and made him many.(f)
3 The Lord will surely comfort(g) Zion(h)
     and will look with compassion on all her ruins;(i)
he will make her deserts like Eden,(j)
     her wastelands(k) like the garden of the Lord .
Joy and gladness(l) will be found in her,
     thanksgiving(m) and the sound of singing.

4 "Listen to me, my people;(n)
     hear me,(o) my nation:
Instruction(p) will go out from me;
     my justice(q) will become a light to the nations.(r)
5 My righteousness draws near speedily,
     my salvation(s) is on the way,(t)
     and my arm(u) will bring justice to the nations.
The islands(v) will look to me
     and wait in hope(w) for my arm.
6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens,
     look at the earth beneath;
the heavens will vanish like smoke,(x)
     the earth will wear out like a garment(y)
     and its inhabitants die like flies.
But my salvation(z) will last forever,(aa)
     my righteousness will never fail.(ab)

7 "Hear me, you who know what is right,(ac)
     you people who have taken my instruction to heart:(ad)
Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals
     or be terrified by their insults.(ae)
8 For the moth will eat them up like a garment;(af)
     the worm(ag) will devour them like wool.
But my righteousness will last forever,(ah)
     my salvation through all generations."

9 Awake, awake,(ai) arm(aj) of the Lord ,
     clothe yourself with strength!(ak)
Awake, as in days gone by,
     as in generations of old.(al)
Was it not you who cut Rahab(am) to pieces,
     who pierced that monster(an) through?
10 Was it not you who dried up the sea,(ao)
     the waters of the great deep,(ap)
who made a road in the depths of the sea(aq)
     so that the redeemed(ar) might cross over?
11 Those the Lord has rescued(as) will return.
     They will enter Zion with singing;(at)
     everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy(au) will overtake them,
     and sorrow and sighing will flee away.(av)

12 "I, even I, am he who comforts(aw) you.
     Who are you that you fear(ax) mere mortals,(ay)
     human beings who are but grass,(az)
13 that you forget(ba) the Lord your Maker,(bb)
     who stretches out the heavens(bc)
     and who lays the foundations of the earth,
that you live in constant terror(bd) every day
     because of the wrath of the oppressor,
     who is bent on destruction?
For where is the wrath of the oppressor?(be)
14       The cowering prisoners will soon be set free;(bf)
they will not die in their dungeon,
     nor will they lack bread.(bg)
15 For I am the Lord your God,
     who stirs up the sea(bh) so that its waves roar(bi)
     the Lord Almighty(bj) is his name.
16 I have put my words in your mouth(bk)
     and covered you with the shadow of my hand(bl)
I who set the heavens in place,
     who laid the foundations of the earth,(bm)
     and who say to Zion, ‘You are my people.(bn)'"

The Cup of the Lord's Wrath

17 Awake, awake!(bo)
     Rise up, Jerusalem,
you who have drunk from the hand of the Lord
     the cup(bp) of his wrath,(bq)
you who have drained to its dregs(br)
     the goblet that makes people stagger.(bs)
18 Among all the children(bt) she bore
     there was none to guide her;(bu)
among all the children she reared
     there was none to take her by the hand.(bv)
19 These double calamities(bw) have come upon you—
     who can comfort you?(bx)
ruin and destruction,(by) famine(bz) and sword(ca)
     who can[a] console you?
20 Your children have fainted;
     they lie at every street corner,(cb)
     like antelope caught in a net.(cc)
They are filled with the wrath(cd) of the Lord ,
     with the rebuke(ce) of your God.

21 Therefore hear this, you afflicted(cf) one,
     made drunk,(cg) but not with wine.
22 This is what your Sovereign Lord says,
     your God, who defends(ch) his people:
"See, I have taken out of your hand
     the cup(ci) that made you stagger;
from that cup, the goblet of my wrath,
     you will never drink again.
23 I will put it into the hands of your tormentors,(cj)
     who said to you,
     ‘Fall prostrate(ck) that we may walk(cl) on you.'
And you made your back like the ground,
     like a street to be walked on."(cm)

Philippians 3

Chapter 3

No Confidence in the Flesh

1 Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again,(a) and it is a safeguard for you. 2 Watch out for those dogs,(b) those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. 3 For it is we who are the circumcision,(c) we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus,(d) and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4 though I myself have reasons for such confidence.(e)

If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised(f) on the eighth day, of the people of Israel,(g) of the tribe of Benjamin,(h) a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;(i) 6 as for zeal,(j) persecuting the church;(k) as for righteousness based on the law,(l) faultless.

7 But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss(m) for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing(n) Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ(o) 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law,(p) but that which is through faith in[a] Christ—the righteousness(q) that comes from God on the basis of faith.(r) 10 I want to know(s) Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings,(t) becoming like him in his death,(u) 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection(v) from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal,(w) but I press on to take hold(x) of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.(y) 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind(z) and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on(aa) toward the goal to win the prize(ab) for which God has called(ac) me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Following Paul's Example

15 All of us, then, who are mature(ad) should take such a view of things.(ae) And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.(af) 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

17 Join together in following my example,(ag) brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.(ah) 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears,(ai) many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.(aj) 19 Their destiny(ak) is destruction, their god is their stomach,(al) and their glory is in their shame.(am) Their mind is set on earthly things.(an) 20 But our citizenship(ao) is in heaven.(ap) And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,(aq) 21 who, by the power(ar) that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies(as) so that they will be like his glorious body.(at)

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