23:1 The Lord’s message came to me: 2“Son of man, there were two women who were daughters of the same mother. 3They engaged in prostitution in Egypt; in their youth they engaged in prostitution. Their breasts were squeezed there; lovers fondled their virgin nipples there. 4Oholah was the name of the older and Oholibah the name of her younger sister. They became mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.
5“Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was mine. She lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians—warriors 6clothed in blue, governors and officials, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses. 7She bestowed her sexual favors on them; all of them were the choicest young men of Assyria. She defiled herself with all whom she desired—with all their idols. 8She did not abandon the prostitution she had practiced in Egypt, for in her youth men went to bed with her, fondled her virgin breasts, and ravished her. 9Therefore I handed her over to her lovers, the Assyrians for whom she lusted. 10They exposed her nakedness, seized her sons and daughters, and killed her with the sword. She became notorious among women, and they executed judgments against her.
11“Her sister Oholibah watched this, but she became more corrupt in her lust than her sister had been, and her acts of prostitution were more numerous than those of her sister. 12She lusted after the Assyrians—governors and officials, warriors in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men. 13I saw that she was defiled; both of them followed the same path. 14But she increased her prostitution. She saw men carved on the wall, images of the Chaldeans carved in bright red, 15wearing belts on their waists and flowing turbans on their heads, all of them looking like officers, the image of Babylonians whose native land is Chaldea. 16When she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. 17The Babylonians crawled into bed with her. They defiled her with their lust; after she was defiled by them, she became disgusted with them. 18When she lustfully exposed her nakedness, I was disgusted with her, just as I had been disgusted with her sister. 19Yet she increased her prostitution, remembering the days of her youth when she engaged in prostitution in the land of Egypt. 20She lusted after her lovers there, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of stallions. 21This is how you assessed the obscene conduct of your youth, when the Egyptians fondled your nipples and squeezed your young breasts.
22“Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look here, I am about to stir up against you the lovers with whom you were disgusted; I will bring them against you from every side: 23the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod, Shoa, and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, all of them governors and officials, officers and nobles, all of them riding on horses. 24They will attack you with weapons, chariots, wagons, and with a huge army; they will array themselves against you on every side with large shields, small shields, and helmets. I will assign them the task of judgment; they will punish you according to their laws. 25I will direct my jealous anger against you, and they will deal with you in rage. They will cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors will die by the sword. They will seize your sons and daughters, and your survivors will be consumed by fire. 26They will strip your clothes off you and take away your beautiful jewelry. 27So I will put an end to your obscene conduct and your prostitution that you have practiced in the land of Egypt. You will not seek their help or remember Egypt anymore.
28“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Look here, I am about to deliver you over to those whom you hate, to those with whom you were disgusted. 29They will treat you with hatred, take away all you have labored for, and leave you naked and bare. Your nakedness will be exposed, just as when you engaged in prostitution and obscene conduct. 30I will do these things to you because you engaged in prostitution with the nations, polluting yourself with their idols. 31You have followed the ways of your sister, so I will place her cup of judgment in your hand. 32This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘You will drink your sister’s deep and wide cup; you will be scorned and derided, for it holds a great deal. 33You will be overcome by drunkenness and sorrow. The cup of your sister Samaria is a cup of horror and desolation. 34You will drain it dry, gnaw its pieces, and tear out your breasts, for I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.’
35“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you have forgotten me and completely disregarded me, you must bear now the punishment for your obscene conduct and prostitution.”
36The Lord said to me: “Son of man, are you willing to pronounce judgment on Oholah and Oholibah? Then declare to them their abominable deeds! 37For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. They have committed adultery with their idols; and their sons, whom they bore to me, they have passed through the fire as food to their idols. 38Moreover, they have done this to me: In the very same day they desecrated my sanctuary and profaned my Sabbaths. 39On the same day they slaughtered their sons for their idols, they came to my sanctuary to desecrate it. This is what they have done in the middle of my house.
40“They even sent for men from far away; when the messenger arrived, those men set out. For them you bathed, painted your eyes, and decorated yourself with jewelry. 41You sat on a magnificent couch, with a table arranged in front of it where you placed my incense and my olive oil. 42The sound of a carefree crowd accompanied her, including all kinds of men; even Sabeans were brought from the desert. The sisters put bracelets on their wrists and beautiful crowns on their heads. 43Then I said about the one worn out by adultery, ‘Now they will commit immoral acts with her.’ 44They slept with her the way someone sleeps with a prostitute. In this way they slept with Oholah and Oholibah, promiscuous women. 45But upright men will punish them appropriately for their adultery and bloodshed, because they are adulteresses and blood is on their hands.
46“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Bring up an army against them and subject them to terror and plunder. 47That army will pelt them with stones and slash them with their swords; they will kill their sons and daughters and burn their houses. 48I will put an end to the obscene conduct in the land; all the women will learn a lesson from this and not engage in obscene conduct. 49They will repay you for your obscene conduct, and you will be punished for idol worship. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”(NET Bible)
84:1 For the music director, according to the gittith style; written by the Korahites, a psalm.
How lovely is the place where you live,
O Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
2I desperately want to be
in the courts of the Lord’s temple.
My heart and my entire being shout for joy
to the living God.
3Even the birds find a home there,
and the swallow builds a nest
where she can protect her young
near your altars, O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
my King and my God.
4How blessed are those who live in your temple
and praise you continually. (Selah)
5How blessed are those who find their strength in you
and long to travel the roads that lead to your temple.
6As they pass through the Baca Valley,
he provides a spring for them.
The rain even covers it with pools of water.
7They are sustained as they travel along;
each one appears before God in Zion.
8O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies,
hear my prayer.
Listen, O God of Jacob. (Selah)
9O God, take notice of our shield.
Show concern for your chosen king.
10Certainly spending just one day in your temple courts is better
than spending a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather stand at the entrance to the temple of my God
than live in the tents of the wicked.
11For the Lord God is our sovereign protector.
The Lord bestows favor and honor;
he withholds no good thing from those who have integrity.
12O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
how blessed are those who trust in you.(NET Bible)
1:1 From Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon, our dear friend and colaborer, 2to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church that meets in your house. 3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
4I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5because I hear of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. 6I pray that the faith you share with us may deepen your understanding of every blessing that belongs to you in Christ. 7I have had great joy and encouragement because of your love, for the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother.
8So, although I have quite a lot of confidence in Christ and could command you to do what is proper, 9I would rather appeal to you on the basis of love—I, Paul, an old man and even now a prisoner for the sake of Christ Jesus— 10I am appealing to you concerning my child, whose spiritual father I have become during my imprisonment, that is, Onesimus, 11who was formerly useless to you, but is now useful to you and me. 12I have sent him (who is my very heart) back to you. 13I wanted to keep him with me so that he could serve me in your place during my imprisonment for the sake of the gospel. 14However, without your consent I did not want to do anything so that your good deed would not be out of compulsion, but from your own willingness. 15For perhaps it was for this reason that he was separated from you for a little while so that you would have him back eternally, 16no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, as a dear brother. He is especially so to me, and even more so to you now, both humanly speaking and in the Lord. 17Therefore if you regard me as a partner, accept him as you would me. 18Now if he has defrauded you of anything or owes you anything, charge what he owes to me. 19I, Paul, have written this letter with my own hand: I will repay it. I could also mention that you owe me your very self. 20Yes, brother, let me have some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ. 21Since I was confident that you would obey, I wrote to you because I knew that you would do even more than what I am asking you to do. 22At the same time also, prepare a place for me to stay, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given back to you.
23Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you. 24Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my colaborers, greet you too. 25May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.(NET Bible)
Here we might add what Luther said in 1528 in his Vom Abendmahl Christi, Bekenntnis … “So we must say that Matthew and Mark have placed after the New Supper what took place after the old Supper and is to be located there. For they were not greatly concerned about the order but were satisfied if they wrote history and truth. Luke, however, who wrote after them, states that the reason for his writing was that many others had written such accounts without regard to the order of events, and that he, therefore, had resolved to write them in proper order.” (47–48)
–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.