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Ezek. 48

48:1 “These are the names of the tribes: From the northern end beside the road of Hethlon to Lebo Hamath, as far as Hazar Enan (which is on the border of Damascus, toward the north beside Hamath), extending from the east side to the west, Dan will have one portion. 2Next to the border of Dan, from the east side to the west side, Asher will have one portion. 3Next to the border of Asher from the east side to the west side, Naphtali will have one portion. 4Next to the border of Naphtali from the east side to the west side, Manasseh will have one portion. 5Next to the border of Manasseh from the east side to the west side, Ephraim will have one portion. 6Next to the border of Ephraim from the east side to the west side, Reuben will have one portion. 7Next to the border of Reuben from the east side to the west side, Judah will have one portion.

8“Next to the border of Judah from the east side to the west side will be the allotment you must set apart. It is to be 8¼ miles wide and the same length as one of the tribal portions, from the east side to the west side; the sanctuary will be in the middle of it. 9The allotment you set apart to the Lord will be 8¼ miles in length and 3⅓ miles in width. 10These will be the allotments for the holy portion: for the priests, toward the north 8¼ miles in length, toward the west 3⅓ miles in width, toward the east 3⅓ miles in width, and toward the south 8¼ miles in length; the sanctuary of the Lord will be in the middle. 11This will be for the priests who are set apart from the descendants of Zadok who kept my charge and did not go astray when the people of Israel strayed off, as the Levites did. 12It will be their portion from the allotment of the land, a Most Holy Place, next to the border of the Levites.

13“Alongside the border of the priests, the Levites will have an allotment 8¼ miles in length and 3⅓ miles in width. The whole length will be 8¼ miles and the width 3⅓ miles. 14They must not sell or exchange any of it; they must not transfer this choice portion of land, for it is set apart to the Lord.

15“The remainder, 1⅔ miles in width and 8¼ miles in length, will be for common use by the city, for houses and for open space. The city will be in the middle of it; 16these will be its measurements: The north side will be 1½ miles, the south side 1½ miles, the east side 1½ miles, and the west side 1½ miles. 17The city will have open spaces: On the north there will be 437½ feet, on the south 437½ feet, on the east 437½ feet, and on the west 437½ feet. 18The remainder of the length alongside the holy allotment will be 3⅓ miles to the east and 3⅓ miles toward the west, and it will be beside the holy allotment. Its produce will be for food for the workers of the city. 19The workers of the city from all the tribes of Israel will cultivate it. 20The whole allotment will be 8¼ miles square; you must set apart the holy allotment with the possession of the city.

21“The rest, on both sides of the holy allotment and the property of the city, will belong to the prince. Extending from the 8¼ miles of the holy allotment to the east border and westward from the 8¼ miles to the west border, alongside the portions, it will belong to the prince. The holy allotment and the sanctuary of the temple will be in the middle of it. 22The property of the Levites and of the city will be in the middle of that which belongs to the prince. The portion between the border of Judah and the border of Benjamin will be for the prince.

23“As for the rest of the tribes: From the east side to the west side, Benjamin will have one portion. 24Next to the border of Benjamin, from the east side to the west side, Simeon will have one portion. 25Next to the border of Simeon, from the east side to the west side, Issachar will have one portion. 26Next to the border of Issachar, from the east side to the west side, Zebulun will have one portion. 27Next to the border of Zebulun, from the east side to the west side, Gad will have one portion. 28Next to the border of Gad, at the south side, the border will run from Tamar to the waters of Meribah Kadesh, to the Stream of Egypt, and on to the Great Sea. 29This is the land that you will allot to the tribes of Israel, and these are their portions, declares the Sovereign Lord.

30“These are the exits of the city: On the north side, 1½ miles by measure, 31the gates of the city will be named for the tribes of Israel. There will be three gates to the north: one gate for Reuben, one gate for Judah, and one gate for Levi. 32On the east side, 1½ miles in length, there will be three gates: one gate for Joseph, one gate for Benjamin, and one gate for Dan. 33On the south side, 1½ miles by measure, there will be three gates: one gate for Simeon, one gate for Issachar, and one gate for Zebulun. 34On the west side, 1½ miles in length, there will be three gates: one gate for Gad, one gate for Asher, and one gate for Naphtali. 35The circumference of the city will be 6 miles. The name of the city from that day forward will be: ‘The Lord Is There.’”

(NET Bible)

Ps. 106:24–48

106:24 They rejected the fruitful land;

they did not believe his promise.

25They grumbled in their tents;

they did not obey the Lord.

26So he made a solemn vow

that he would make them die in the wilderness,

27make their descendants die among the nations,

and scatter them among foreign lands.

28They worshiped Baal of Peor

and ate sacrifices offered to the dead.

29They made the Lord angry by their actions,

and a plague broke out among them.

30Phinehas took a stand and intervened,

and the plague subsided.

31This was credited to Phinehas as a righteous act

for all generations to come.

32They made him angry by the waters of Meribah,

and Moses suffered because of them,

33for they aroused his temper,

and he spoke rashly.

34They did not destroy the nations,

as the Lord had commanded them to do.

35They mixed in with the nations

and learned their ways.

36They worshiped their idols,

which became a snare to them.

37They sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons.

38They shed innocent blood—

the blood of their sons and daughters,

whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan.

The land was polluted by bloodshed.

39They were defiled by their deeds

and unfaithful in their actions.

40So the Lord was angry with his people

and despised the people who belonged to him.

41He handed them over to the nations,

and those who hated them ruled over them.

42Their enemies oppressed them;

they were subject to their authority.

43Many times he delivered them,

but they had a rebellious attitude

and degraded themselves by their sin.

44Yet he took notice of their distress,

when he heard their cry for help.

45He remembered his covenant with them

and relented because of his great loyal love.

46He caused all their conquerors

to have pity on them.

47Deliver us, O Lord, our God.

Gather us from among the nations.

Then we will give thanks to your holy name,

and boast about your praiseworthy deeds.

48The Lord God of Israel deserves praise,

in the future and forevermore.

Let all the people say, “We agree! Praise the Lord!”

(NET Bible)

Heb. 12:18–29

12:18 For you have not come to something that can be touched, to a burning fire and darkness and gloom and a whirlwind 19and the blast of a trumpet and a voice uttering words such that those who heard begged to hear no more. 20For they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” 21In fact, the scene was so terrifying that Moses said, “I shudder with fear.” 22But you have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the assembly 23and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect, 24and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks of something better than Abel’s does.

25Take care not to refuse the one who is speaking! For if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less shall we, if we reject the one who warns from heaven? 26Then his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “I will once more shake not only the earth but heaven too.” 27Now this phrase “once more” indicates the removal of what is shaken, that is, of created things, so that what is unshaken may remain. 28So since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us give thanks, and through this let us offer worship pleasing to God in devotion and awe. 29For our God is indeed a devouring fire.

(NET Bible)

[Luther] had previously expressed himself in a similar fashion in his sermons on Genesis of the year 1527. In these he said: “I have often said that anyone who wishes to study Holy Scripture shall see to it that he sticks to the simple meaning of the words, as far as possible, and does not depart from them unless he be compelled to do so by some article of the faith that would demand another meaning than the literal one. For we must be sure that there is no plainer speech on earth than that which God has spoken. Therefore, when Moses writes that God in six days created heaven and earth and all that therein is, let it so remain that there were six days, and you dare not find an explanation that six days were one day. Give the Holy Ghost the honor of being wiser that yourself, for you should so deal with Scripture that you believe that God Himself is speaking. Since it is God who is speaking, it is not fitting frivolously to twist His words to mean what you want them to mean, unless necessity should compel a departure from their literal meaning, namely when faith does not permit the literal meaning.” (51)

–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.

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