10:1 While Ezra was praying and confessing, weeping and throwing himself to the ground before the temple of God, a very large crowd of Israelites—men, women, and children alike—gathered around him. The people wept loudly. 2Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, from the descendants of Elam, addressed Ezra:
“We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign women from the local peoples. Nonetheless, there is still hope for Israel in this regard. 3Therefore let us enact a covenant with our God to send away all these women and their offspring, in keeping with your counsel, my lord, and that of those who respect the commandments of our God. And let it be done according to the law. 4Get up, for this matter concerns you. We are with you, so be strong and act decisively!”
5So Ezra got up and made the leading priests and Levites and all Israel take an oath to carry out this plan. And they all took a solemn oath. 6Then Ezra got up from in front of the temple of God and went to the room of Jehohanan son of Eliashib. While he stayed there, he did not eat food or drink water, for he was in mourning over the infidelity of the exiles.
7A proclamation was circulated throughout Judah and Jerusalem that all the exiles were to be assembled in Jerusalem. 8Everyone who did not come within three days would thereby forfeit all his property, in keeping with the counsel of the officials and the elders. Furthermore, he himself would be excluded from the assembly of the exiles.
9All the men of Judah and Benjamin were gathered in Jerusalem within the three days. (It was in the ninth month, on the twentieth day of that month.) All the people sat in the square at the temple of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the rains.
10Then Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have behaved in an unfaithful manner by taking foreign wives! This has contributed to the guilt of Israel. 11Now give praise to the Lord God of your fathers, and do his will. Separate yourselves from the local residents and from these foreign wives.”
12All the assembly replied in a loud voice: “We will do just as you have said! 13However, the people are numerous and it is the rainy season. We are unable to stand here outside. Furthermore, this business cannot be resolved in a day or two, for we have sinned greatly in this matter. 14Let our leaders take steps on behalf of all the assembly. Let all those in our towns who have married foreign women come at an appointed time, and with them the elders of each town and its judges, until the hot anger of our God is turned away from us in this matter.”
15Only Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah were against this, assisted by Meshullam and Shabbethai the Levite. 16So the exiles proceeded accordingly. Ezra the priest separated out by name men who were leaders in their family groups. They sat down to consider this matter on the first day of the tenth month, 17and on the first day of the first month they finished considering all the men who had married foreign wives.(NET Bible)
117:1 Praise the Lord, all you nations.
Applaud him, all you foreigners.
2For his loyal love towers over us,
and the Lord’s faithfulness endures.
Praise the Lord.(NET Bible)
1 Peter 2:13–25
2:13 Be subject to every human institution for the Lord’s sake, whether to a king as supreme 14or to governors as those he commissions to punish wrongdoers and praise those who do good. 15For God wants you to silence the ignorance of foolish people by doing good. 16Live as free people, not using your freedom as a pretext for evil, but as God’s slaves. 17Honor all people, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the king.
18Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are perverse. 19For this finds God’s favor, if because of conscience toward God someone endures hardships in suffering unjustly. 20For what credit is it if you sin and are mistreated and endure it? But if you do good and suffer and so endure, this finds favor with God. 21For to this you were called, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving an example for you to follow in his steps. 22He committed no sin nor was deceit found in his mouth. 23When he was maligned, he did not answer back; when he suffered, he threatened no retaliation, but committed himself to God who judges justly. 24He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we may cease from sinning and live for righteousness. By his wounds you were healed. 25For you were going astray like sheep but now you have turned back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.(NET Bible)
Regarding the statement in Gen. 24:22, that Eliezer had given Rebekah an earring and two bracelets, with a specification as to their weight, Luther makes this comment: “What is here told appears to reason to deal with carnal and worldly matters, and I myself wonder why Moses has so much to say concerning such trifling things and speaks so briefly concerning far more sublime matters. However, there is no doubt that the Holy Ghost wished that these things should be written for our instruction, for there is nothing small, nothing useless presented to us in Holy Scripture; but all things that were written, were written for our learning, Rom. 15:4. For God wishes to be recognized in all things, both small and great.” (54)
–Johann Michael Reu, Luther on the Scriptures
This daily Bible reading guide, Reading the Word of God, was conceived and prepared as a result of the ongoing discussions between representatives of three church bodies: Lutheran Church—Canada (LCC), The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) and the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The following individuals have represented their church bodies and approved this introduction and the reading guide: LCC: President Robert Bugbee; NALC: Bishop John Bradosky, Revs. Mark Chavez, James Nestingen, and David Wendel; LCMS: Revs. Albert Collver, Joel Lehenbauer, John Pless, and Larry Vogel.