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Ezra 2

2:1 These are the people of the province who were going up, from the captives of the exile whom King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had forced into exile in Babylon. They returned to Jerusalem and Judah, each to his own city. 2They came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.

The number of Israelites was as follows:

3the descendants of Parosh: 2,172;

4the descendants of Shephatiah: 372;

5the descendants of Arah: 775;

6the descendants of Pahath Moab (from the line of Jeshua and Joab): 2,812;

7the descendants of Elam: 1,254;

8the descendants of Zattu: 945;

9the descendants of Zaccai: 760;

10the descendants of Bani: 642;

11the descendants of Bebai: 623;

12the descendants of Azgad: 1,222;

13the descendants of Adonikam: 666;

14the descendants of Bigvai: 2,056;

15the descendants of Adin: 454;

16the descendants of Ater (through Hezekiah): 98;

17the descendants of Bezai: 323;

18the descendants of Jorah: 112;

19the descendants of Hashum: 223;

20the descendants of Gibbar: 95.

21The men of Bethlehem: 123;

22the men of Netophah: 56;

23the men of Anathoth: 128;

24the men of the family of Azmaveth: 42;

25the men of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah and Beeroth: 743;

26the men of Ramah and Geba: 621;

27the men of Micmash: 122;

28the men of Bethel and Ai: 223;

29the descendants of Nebo: 52;

30the descendants of Magbish: 156;

31the descendants of the other Elam: 1,254;

32the descendants of Harim: 320;

33the men of Lod, Hadid, and Ono: 725;

34the men of Jericho: 345;

35the descendants of Senaah: 3,630.

36The priests: the descendants of Jedaiah (through the family of Jeshua): 973;

37the descendants of Immer: 1,052;

38the descendants of Pashhur: 1,247;

39the descendants of Harim: 1,017.

40The Levites: the descendants of Jeshua and Kadmiel (through the line of Hodaviah): 74.

41The singers: the descendants of Asaph: 128.

42The gatekeepers: the descendants of Shallum, the descendants of Ater, the descendants of Talmon, the descendants of Akkub, the descendants of Hatita, and the descendants of Shobai: 139.

43The temple servants: the descendants of Ziha, the descendants of Hasupha, the descendants of Tabbaoth, 44the descendants of Keros, the descendants of Siaha, the descendants of Padon, 45the descendants of Lebanah, the descendants of Hagabah, the descendants of Akkub, 46the descendants of Hagab, the descendants of Shalmai, the descendants of Hanan, 47the descendants of Giddel, the descendants of Gahar, the descendants of Reaiah, 48the descendants of Rezin, the descendants of Nekoda, the descendants of Gazzam, 49the descendants of Uzzah, the descendants of Paseah, the descendants of Besai, 50the descendants of Asnah, the descendants of Meunim, the descendants of Nephussim, 51the descendants of Bakbuk, the descendants of Hakupha, the descendants of Harhur, 52the descendants of Bazluth, the descendants of Mehida, the descendants of Harsha, 53the descendants of Barkos, the descendants of Sisera, the descendants of Temah, 54the descendants of Neziah, and the descendants of Hatipha.

55The descendants of the servants of Solomon: the descendants of Sotai, the descendants of Hassophereth, the descendants of Peruda, 56the descendants of Jaala, the descendants of Darkon, the descendants of Giddel, 57the descendants of Shephatiah, the descendants of Hattil, the descendants of Pokereth Hazzebaim, and the descendants of Ami.

58All the temple servants and the descendants of the servants of Solomon: 392.

59These are the ones that came up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon, and Immer (although they were unable to certify their family connection or their ancestry, as to whether they really were from Israel):

60the descendants of Delaiah, the descendants of Tobiah, and the descendants of Nekoda: 652.

61And from among the priests: the descendants of Hobaiah, the descendants of Hakkoz, and the descendants of Barzillai (who had taken a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by that name). 62They searched for their records in the genealogical materials, but did not find them. They were therefore excluded from the priesthood. 63The governor instructed them not to eat any of the sacred food until there was a priest who could consult the Urim and Thummim.

64The entire group numbered 42,360, 65not counting their male and female servants, who numbered 7,337. They also had 200 male and female singers 66and 736 horses, 245 mules, 67435 camels, and 6,720 donkeys. 68When they came to the Lord’s temple in Jerusalem, some of the family leadersoffered voluntary offerings for the temple of God in order to rebuild it on its site. 69As they were able, they gave to the treasury for this work 61,000 drachmas of gold, 5,000 minas of silver, and 100 priestly robes.

70The priests, the Levites, some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the temple servants lived in their towns, and all the rest of Israel lived in their towns.

(NET Bible)

Ps. 107:23–43

107:23 Some traveled on the sea in ships

and carried cargo over the vast waters.

24They witnessed the acts of the Lord,

his amazing feats on the deep water.

25He gave the order for a windstorm,

and it stirred up the waves of the sea.

26They reached up to the sky,

then dropped into the depths.

The sailors’ strength left them because the danger was so great.

27They swayed and staggered like drunks,

and all their skill proved ineffective.

28They cried out to the Lord in their distress;

he delivered them from their troubles.

29He calmed the storm,

and the waves grew silent.

30The sailors rejoiced because the waves grew quiet,

and he led them to the harbor they desired.

31Let them give thanks to the Lord for his loyal love

and for the amazing things he has done for people.

32Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people.

Let them praise him in the place where the leaders preside.

33He turned streams into a desert,

springs of water into arid land,

34and a fruitful land into a barren place,

because of the sin of its inhabitants.

35As for his people, he turned a desert into a pool of water

and a dry land into springs of water.

36He allowed the hungry to settle there,

and they established a city in which to live.

37They cultivated fields

and planted vineyards,

which yielded a harvest of fruit.

38He blessed them so that they became very numerous.

He would not allow their cattle to decrease in number.

39As for their enemies, they decreased in number and were beaten down,

because of painful distress and suffering.

40He would pour contempt upon princes,

and he made them wander in a wasteland with no road.

41Yet he protected the needy from oppression

and cared for his families like a flock of sheep.

42When the godly see this, they rejoice,

and every sinner shuts his mouth.

43Whoever is wise, let him take note of these things.

Let them consider the Lord’s acts of loyal love.

(NET Bible)

Heb. 13:17–24

13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls and will give an account for their work. Let them do this with joy and not with complaints, for this would be no advantage for you. 18Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to conduct ourselves rightly in every respect. 19I especially ask you to pray that I may be restored to you very soon.

20Now may the God of peace who by the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus, 21equip you with every good thing to do his will, working in us what is pleasing before him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

22Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, bear with my message of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you briefly. 23You should know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he comes soon, he will be with me when I see you. 24Greetings to all your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy send you greetings. (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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