7:1 Now after these things had happened, during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, Ezra came up from Babylon. Ezra was the son of Seraiah, who was the son of Azariah, who was the son of Hilkiah, 2who was the son of Shallum, who was the son of Zadok, who was the son of Ahitub, 3who was the son of Amariah, who was the son of Azariah, who was the son of Meraioth, 4who was the son of Zerahiah, who was the son of Uzzi, who was the son of Bukki, 5who was the son of Abishua, who was the son of Phinehas, who was the son of Eleazar, who was the son of Aaron the chief priest. 6This Ezra is the one who came up from Babylon. He was a scribe who was skilled in the law of Moses which the Lord God of Israel had given. The king supplied him with everything he requested, for the hand of the Lord his God was on him. 7In the seventh year of King Artaxerxes, Ezra brought up to Jerusalem some of the Israelites and some of the priests, the Levites, the attendants, the gatekeepers, and the temple servants. 8He entered Jerusalem in the fifth month of the seventh year of the king. 9On the first day of the first month he had determined to make the ascent from Babylon, and on the first day of the fifth month he arrived at Jerusalem, for the good hand of his God was on him. 10Now Ezra had dedicated himself to the study of the law of the Lord, to its observance, and to teaching its statutes and judgments in Israel.(NET Bible)
112:1 Praise the Lord!
How blessed is the one who obeys the Lord,
who takes great delight in keeping his commands.
2His descendants will be powerful on the earth;
the godly will be blessed.
3His house contains wealth and riches;
his integrity endures.
4In the darkness a light shines for the godly,
for each one who is merciful, compassionate, and just.
5It goes well for the one who generously lends money
and conducts his business honestly.
6For he will never be shaken;
others will always remember one who is just.
7He does not fear bad news.
He is confident; he trusts in the Lord.
8His resolve is firm; he will not succumb to fear
before he looks in triumph on his enemies.
9He generously gives to the needy;
his integrity endures.
He will be vindicated and honored.
10When the wicked see this, they will worry;
they will grind their teeth in frustration and melt away.
The desire of the wicked will perish.(NET Bible)
4:1 Where do the conflicts and where do the quarrels among you come from? Is it not from this, from your passions that battle inside you? 2You desire and you do not have; you murder and envy and you cannot obtain; you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask; 3you ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly, so you can spend it on your passions.
4Adulterers, do you not know that friendship with the world means hostility toward God? So whoever decides to be the world’s friend makes himself God’s enemy. 5Or do you think the scripture means nothing when it says, “The spirit that God caused to live within us has an envious yearning”? 6But he gives greater grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.” 7So submit to God. But resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and make your hearts pure, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn, and weep. Turn your laughter into mourning and your joy into despair. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
11Do not speak against one another, brothers and sisters. He who speaks against a fellow believer or judges a fellow believer speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but its judge. 12But there is only one who is lawgiver and judge—the one who is able to save and destroy. On the other hand, who are you to judge your neighbor?
13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into this or that town and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.” (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.