Isaiah 4-6; Matt 23
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
And seven women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying, ”We will eat our own bread and wear our own clothes, only let us be called by your name; take away our reproach.”
In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel.
And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem,
when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning.
Then the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy.
There will be a booth for shade by day from the heat, and for a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.
Let me sing for my beloved my love song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.
He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; and he looked for it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.
And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard.
What more was there to do for my vineyard, that I have not done in it? When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?
And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and briers and thorns shall grow up; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah are his pleasant planting; and he looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed; for righteousness, but behold, an outcry!
Woe to those who join house to house, who add field to field, until there is no more room, and you are made to dwell alone in the midst of the land.
The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing: ”Surely many houses shall be desolate, large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.
For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one bath, and a homer of seed shall yield but an ephah.”
Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them!
They have lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts, but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD, or see the work of his hands.
Therefore my people go into exile for lack of knowledge; their honored men go hungry, and their multitude is parched with thirst.
Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite and opened its mouth beyond measure, and the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude will go down, her revelers and he who exults in her.
Man is humbled, and each one is brought low, and the eyes of the haughty are brought low.
But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice, and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.
Then shall the lambs graze as in their pasture, and nomads shall eat among the ruins of the rich.
Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood, who draw sin as with cart ropes,
who say: ”Let him be quick, let him speed his work that we may see it; let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near, and let it come, that we may know it!”
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine, and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
who acquit the guilty for a bribe, and deprive the innocent of his right!
Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble, and as dry grass sinks down in the flame, so their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom go up like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them, and the mountains quaked; and their corpses were as refuse in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.
He will raise a signal for nations afar off, and whistle for them from the ends of the earth; and behold, quickly, speedily they come!
None is weary, none stumbles, none slumbers or sleeps, not a waistband is loose, not a sandal strap broken;
their arrows are sharp, all their bows bent, their horses’ hoofs seem like flint, and their wheels like the whirlwind.
Their roaring is like a lion, like young lions they roar; they growl and seize their prey; they carry it off, and none can rescue.
They will growl over it on that day, like the growling of the sea. And if one looks to the land, behold, darkness and distress; and the light is darkened by its clouds.
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.
And one called to another and said: ”Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke.
And I said: ”Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar.
And he touched my mouth and said: ”Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ”Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, ”Here am I! Send me.”
And he said, ”Go, and say to this people: ”’Keep on hearing, but do not understand; keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and blind their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.”
Then I said, ”How long, O Lord?” And he said: ”Until cities lie waste without inhabitant, and houses without people, and the land is a desolate waste,
and the LORD removes people far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
And though a tenth remain in it, it will be burned again, like a terebinth or an oak, whose stump remains when it is felled.” The holy seed is its stump.
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,
‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat,
so practice and observe whatever they tell you–but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.
They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long,
and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues
and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others.
But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.
And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven.
Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ.
The greatest among you shall be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
‘But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
‘Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’
You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred?
And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’
You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred?
So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it.
And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it.
And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness.
So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous,
saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’
Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers.
You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?
Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town,
so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar.
Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.
‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!
See, your house is left to you desolate.
For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”’
The reading plan I’ve chosen is from Bible Class Material and it’s a 5 day plan, with weekend days to catch up or get ahead or just take a break!