4:17 The king sent the following response:
“To Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their colleagues who live in Samaria and other parts of Trans-Euphrates: Greetings! 18The letter you sent to us has been translated and read in my presence. 19So I gave orders, and it was determined that this city from long ago has been engaging in insurrection against kings. It has continually engaged in rebellion and revolt. 20Powerful kings have been over Jerusalem who ruled throughout the entire Trans-Euphrates and who were the beneficiaries of tribute, custom, and toll. 21Now give orders that these men cease their work and that this city not be rebuilt until such time as I so instruct. 22Exercise appropriate caution so that there is no negligence in this matter. Why should danger increase to the point that the king sustains damage?”
23Then, as soon as the copy of the letter from King Artaxerxes was read in the presence of Rehum, Shimshai the scribe, and their colleagues, they proceeded promptly to the Jews in Jerusalem and stopped them with threat of armed force.
24So the work on the temple of God in Jerusalem came to a halt. It remained halted until the second year of the reign of King Darius of Persia.
5:1 Then the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo prophesied concerning the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. 2Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak began to rebuild the temple of God in Jerusalem. The prophets of God were with them, supporting them.
3At that time Tattenai governor of Trans-Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, and their colleagues came to them and asked, “Who gave you authority to rebuild this temple and to complete this structure?” 4They also asked them, “What are the names of the men who are building this edifice?” 5But God was watching over the elders of Judah, and they were not stopped until a report could be dispatched to Darius and a letter could be sent back concerning this.(NET Bible)
109:21 O Sovereign Lord,
intervene on my behalf for the sake of your reputation.
Because your loyal love is good, deliver me.
22For I am oppressed and needy,
and my heart beats violently within me.
23I am fading away like a shadow at the end of the day;
I am shaken off like a locust.
24I am so starved my knees shake;
I have turned into skin and bones.
25I am disdained by them.
When they see me, they shake their heads.
26Help me, O Lord my God.
Because you are faithful to me, deliver me.
27Then they will realize this is your work
and that you, Lord, have accomplished it.
28They curse, but you will bless.
When they attack, they will be humiliated,
but your servant will rejoice.
29My accusers will be covered with shame
and draped in humiliation as if it were a robe.
30I will thank the Lord profusely.
In the middle of a crowd I will praise him,
31because he stands at the right hand of the needy
to deliver him from those who threaten his life.(NET Bible)
2:1 My brothers and sisters, do not show prejudice if you possess faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. 2For if someone comes into your assembly wearing a gold ring and fine clothing, and a poor person enters in filthy clothes, 3do you pay attention to the one who is finely dressed and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and to the poor person, “You stand over there,” or “Sit on the floor”? 4If so, have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil motives? 5Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! Did not God choose the poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor! Are not the rich oppressing you and dragging you into the courts? 7Do they not blaspheme the good name of the one you belong to? 8But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9But if you show prejudice, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as violators. 10For the one who obeys the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” Now if you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a violator of the law. 12Speak and act as those who will be judged by a law that gives freedom. 13For judgment is merciless for the one who has shown no mercy. But mercy triumphs over judgment.(NET Bible)
That Luther was not ready to admit that there were errors even in the numerical statements of the Bible we see in his exposition of Genesis 11:27, 28: “ is passage is among the most obscure statements of the Old Testament that has caused us many questions, which a diligent reader will encounter here and there in the older and more recent writers.— There is added another fault, that vain spirits hold it very praiseworthy if they can pass unrestricted judgments concerning the difficult and dark statements of Scripture and then can obstinately maintain their opinions. is is a disease of our nature against which an exegete of Holy Scripture should carefully guard himself.” Then he discusses the question as to what, in his opinion, makes these passages so difficult: “The second question is still more difficult, though neither Lyra nor the other teachers have paid attention to it. That in connection with Abraham sixty years are lost for us. For the reckoning the text brings with itself is easy. Terah was seventy years when he begot Abraham, now Abraham, when he was seventy five years old, left Haran, where Terah had died. If you add these together you will have 145 years. But when the account reckons together the years of Terah, it shows clearly that when he died he had lived 205 years. The question is, therefore, as to how we can account for these years. It would be unfitting to follow the example of audacious people who, when they arrive at such difficulties, immediately dare to correct books written by others. For my part I do not know how I should correctly solve the questions though I have carefully reckoned together the years of the world. So with a humble and proper confession of ignorance (for it is the Holy Ghost who alone knows and understands all things) I conclude that God, because of a certain plan of His own, caused seventy years to be lost out of Abraham’s life so that no one would venture from the exact computation of the years of the world to presume to predict something certain concerning the end of the world.” This hypothesis (because Luther does not express his opinion) may appear even absurd to us moderns, but it will not seem so absurd if we recall that at that time it was customary to place the age of the world at six thousand years, but Luther risks this hypothetical reckoning rather than to admit an error in the Biblical figure. He does not even consider the possibility of such an error. (52)
–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.