1:1 In the third year of the reign of King Jehoiakim of Judah, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon advanced against Jerusalem and laid it under siege. 2Now the Lord delivered King Jehoiakim of Judah into his power, along with some of the vessels of the temple of God. He brought them to the land of Babylonia to the temple of his god and put the vessels in the treasury of his god.
3The king commanded Ashpenaz, who was in charge of his court officials, to choose some of the Israelites who were of royal and noble descent— 4young men in whom there was no physical defect and who were handsome, well versed in all kinds of wisdom, well educated and having keen insight, and who were capable of entering the king’s royal service—and to teach them the literature and language of the Babylonians. 5So the king assigned them a daily ration from his royal delicacies and from the wine he himself drank. They were to be trained for the next three years. At the end of that time they were to enter the king’s service. 6As it turned out, among these young men were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. 7But the overseer of the court officials renamed them. He gave Daniel the name Belteshazzar, Hananiah he named Shadrach, Mishael he named Meshach, and Azariah he named Abednego.
8But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the royal delicacies or the royal wine. He therefore asked the overseer of the court officials for permission not to defile himself. 9Then God made the overseer of the court officials sympathetic to Daniel. 10But he responded to Daniel, “I fear my master the king. He is the one who has decided your food and drink. What would happen if he saw that you looked malnourished in comparison to the other young men your age? If that happened, you would endanger my life with the king!” 11Daniel then spoke to the warden whom the overseer of the court officials had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah: 12“Please test your servants for 10 days by providing us with some vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who are eating the royal delicacies; deal with us in light of what you see.” 14So the warden agreed to their proposal and tested them for 10 days.
15At the end of the 10 days their appearance was better and their bodies were healthier than all the young men who had been eating the royal delicacies. 16So the warden removed the delicacies and the wine from their diet and gave them a diet of vegetables instead. 17Now as for these four young men, God endowed them with knowledge and skill in all sorts of literature and wisdom—and Daniel had insight into all kinds of visions and dreams.
18When the time appointed by the king arrived, the overseer of the court officials brought them into Nebuchadnezzar’s presence. 19When the king spoke with them, he did not find among the entire group anyone like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, or Azariah. So they entered the king’s service. 20In every matter of wisdom and insight the king asked them about, he found them to be 10 times better than any of the magicians and astrologers that were in his entire empire. 21Now Daniel lived on until the first year of Cyrus the king.
2:1 In the second year of his reign Nebuchadnezzar had many dreams. His mind was disturbed, and he suffered from insomnia. 2The king issued an order to summon the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and wise men in order to explain his dreams to him. So they came and awaited the king’s instructions.
3The king told them, “I have had a dream, and I am anxious to understand the dream.” 4The wise men replied to the king: [What follows is in Aramaic] “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will disclose its interpretation.” 5The king replied to the wise men, “My decision is firm. If you do not inform me of both the dream and its interpretation, you will be dismembered and your homes reduced to rubble! 6But if you can disclose the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts, a reward, and considerable honor. So disclose to me the dream and its interpretation.” 7They again replied, “Let the king inform us of the dream; then we will disclose its interpretation.” 8The king replied, “I know for sure that you are attempting to gain time, because you see that my decision is firm. 9If you don’t inform me of the dream, there is only one thing that is going to happen to you. For you have agreed among yourselves to report to me something false and deceitful until such time as things might change. So tell me the dream, and I will have confidence that you can disclose its interpretation.”
10The wise men replied to the king, “There is no man on earth who is able to disclose the king’s secret, for no king, regardless of his position and power, has ever requested such a thing from any magician, astrologer, or wise man. 11What the king is asking is too difficult, and no one exists who can disclose it to the king, except for the gods—but they don’t live among mortals!”
12Because of this the king got furiously angry and gave orders to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13So a decree went out, and the wise men were about to be executed. They also sought Daniel and his friends so that they could be executed.
14Then Daniel spoke with prudent counsel to Arioch, who was in charge of the king’s executioners and who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon. 15He inquired of Arioch the king’s deputy, “Why is the decree from the king so urgent?” Then Arioch informed Daniel about the matter. 16So Daniel went in and requested the king to grant him time, that he might disclose the interpretation to the king. (NET Bible)
119:1 א (Alef)
How blessed are those whose actions are blameless,
who obey the law of the Lord.
2How blessed are those who observe his rules
and seek him with all their heart,
3who, moreover, do no wrong,
but follow in his footsteps.
4You demand that your precepts
be carefully kept.
5If only I were predisposed
to keep your statutes.
6Then I would not be ashamed,
if I were focused on all your commands.
7I will give you sincere thanks
when I learn your just regulations.
8I will keep your statutes.
Do not completely abandon me.(NET Bible)
1 Peter 3:8–22
3:8 Finally, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, affectionate, compassionate, and humble. 9Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but instead bless others because you were called to inherit a blessing. 10For
the one who wants to love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from uttering deceit.
11And he must turn away from evil and do good;
he must seek peace and pursue it.
12For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the Lord’s face is against those who do evil.
13For who is going to harm you if you are devoted to what is good? 14But in fact, if you happen to suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. But do not be terrified of them or be shaken. 15But set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts and always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess. 16Yet do it with courtesy and respect, keeping a good conscience, so that those who slander your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame when they accuse you. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if God wills it, than for doing evil.
18 Because Christ also suffered once for sins,
the just for the unjust,
to bring you to God,
by being put to death in the flesh
but by being made alive in the spirit.
19In it he went and preached to the spirits in prison,
20after they were disobedient long ago when God patiently waited in the days of Noah as an ark was being constructed. In the ark a few, that is eight souls, were delivered through water. 21And this prefigured baptism, which now saves you—not the washing off of physical dirt but the pledge of a good conscience to God—through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who went into heaven and is at the right hand of God with angels and authorities and powers subject to him.(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.