Ezekiel 31-33; John 11
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The following text is from the English Standard Version.
In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me:
‘Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his multitude: ”Whom are you like in your greatness?
Behold, Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon, with beautiful branches and forest shade, and of towering height, its top among the clouds.
The waters nourished it; the deep made it grow tall, making its rivers flow around the place of its planting, sending forth its streams to all the trees of the field.
So it towered high above all the trees of the field; its boughs grew large and its branches long from abundant water in its shoots.
All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; under its branches all the beasts of the field gave birth to their young, and under its shadow lived all great nations.
It was beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches; for its roots went down to abundant waters.
The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it, nor the fir trees equal its boughs; neither were the plane trees like its branches; no tree in the garden of God was its equal in beauty.
I made it beautiful in the mass of its branches, and all the trees of Eden envied it, that were in the garden of God.
‘Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because it towered high and set its top among the clouds, and its heart was proud of its height,
I will give it into the hand of a mighty one of the nations. He shall surely deal with it as its wickedness deserves. I have cast it out.
Foreigners, the most ruthless of nations, have cut it down and left it. On the mountains and in all the valleys its branches have fallen, and its boughs have been broken in all the ravines of the land, and all the peoples of the earth have gone away from its shadow and left it.
On its fallen trunk dwell all the birds of the heavens, and on its branches are all the beasts of the field.
All this is in order that no trees by the waters may grow to towering height or set their tops among the clouds, and that no trees that drink water may reach up to them in height. For they are all given over to death, to the world below, among the children of man, with those who go down to the pit.
‘Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day the cedar went down to Sheol I caused mourning; I closed the deep over it, and restrained its rivers, and many waters were stopped. I clothed Lebanon in gloom for it, and all the trees of the field fainted because of it.
I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to Sheol with those who go down to the pit. And all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the world below.
They also went down to Sheol with it, to those who are slain by the sword; yes, those who were its arm, who lived under its shadow among the nations.
‘Whom are you thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? You shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the world below. You shall lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword.”This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, declares the Lord GOD.”
In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me:
‘Son of man, raise a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him: ”You consider yourself a lion of the nations, but you are like a dragon in the seas; you burst forth in your rivers, trouble the waters with your feet, and foul their rivers.
Thus says the Lord GOD: I will throw my net over you with a host of many peoples, and they will haul you up in my dragnet.
And I will cast you on the ground; on the open field I will fling you, and will cause all the birds of the heavens to settle on you, and I will gorge the beasts of the whole earth with you.
I will strew your flesh upon the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcass.
I will drench the land even to the mountains with your flowing blood, and the ravines will be full of you.
When I blot you out, I will cover the heavens and make their stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light.
All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over you, and put darkness on your land, declares the Lord GOD.
‘I will trouble the hearts of many peoples, when I bring your destruction among the nations, into the countries that you have not known.
I will make many peoples appalled at you, and the hair of their kings shall bristle with horror because of you, when I brandish my sword before them. They shall tremble every moment, every one for his own life, on the day of your downfall.
‘For thus says the Lord GOD: The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon you.
I will cause your multitude to fall by the swords of mighty ones, all of them most ruthless of nations. ”They shall bring to ruin the pride of Egypt, and all its multitude shall perish.
I will destroy all its beasts from beside many waters; and no foot of man shall trouble them anymore, nor shall the hoofs of beasts trouble them.
Then I will make their waters clear, and cause their rivers to run like oil, declares the Lord GOD.
When I make the land of Egypt desolate, and when the land is desolate of all that fills it, when I strike down all who dwell in it, then they will know that I am the LORD.
This is a lamentation that shall be chanted; the daughters of the nations shall chant it; over Egypt, and over all her multitude, shall they chant it, declares the Lord GOD.”
In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me:
‘Son of man, wail over the multitude of Egypt, and send them down, her and the daughters of majestic nations, to the world below, to those who have gone down to the pit:
Whom do you surpass in beauty? Go down and be laid to rest with the uncircumcised.’
They shall fall amid those who are slain by the sword. Egypt is delivered to the sword; drag her away, and all her multitudes.
The mighty chiefs shall speak of them, with their helpers, out of the midst of Sheol: ‘They have come down, they lie still, the uncircumcised, slain by the sword.’
‘Assyria is there, and all her company, its graves all around it, all of them slain, fallen by the sword,
whose graves are set in the uttermost parts of the pit; and her company is all around her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, who spread terror in the land of the living.
‘Elam is there, and all her multitude around her grave; all of them slain, fallen by the sword, who went down uncircumcised into the world below, who spread their terror in the land of the living; and they bear their shame with those who go down to the pit.
They have made her a bed among the slain with all her multitude, her graves all around it, all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword; for terror of them was spread in the land of the living, and they bear their shame with those who go down to the pit; they are placed among the slain.
‘Meshech-Tubal is there, and all her multitude, her graves all around it, all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword; for they spread their terror in the land of the living.
And they do not lie with the mighty, the fallen from among the uncircumcised, who went down to Sheol with their weapons of war, whose swords were laid under their heads, and whose iniquities are upon their bones; for the terror of the mighty men was in the land of the living.
But as for you, you shall be broken and lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword.
‘Edom is there, her kings and all her princes, who for all their might are laid with those who are killed by the sword; they lie with the uncircumcised, with those who go down to the pit.
‘The princes of the north are there, all of them, and all the Sidonians, who have gone down in shame with the slain, for all the terror that they caused by their might; they lie uncircumcised with those who are slain by the sword, and bear their shame with those who go down to the pit.
‘When Pharaoh sees them, he will be comforted for all his multitude, Pharaoh and all his army, slain by the sword, declares the Lord GOD.
For I spread terror in the land of the living; and he shall be laid to rest among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword, Pharaoh and all his multitude, declares the Lord GOD.”
The word of the LORD came to me:
‘Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman,
and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people,
then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head.
He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life.
But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.
‘So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me.
If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.
‘And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: ‘Surely our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we rot away because of them. How then can we live?’
Say to them, As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?
‘And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses, and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness, and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins.
Though I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, yet if he trusts in his righteousness and does injustice, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered, but in his injustice that he has done he shall die.
Again, though I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ yet if he turns from his sin and does what is just and right,
if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks in the statutes of life, not doing injustice, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
None of the sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him. He has done what is just and right; he shall surely live.
‘Yet your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just,’ when it is their own way that is not just.
When the righteous turns from his righteousness and does injustice, he shall die for it.
And when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is just and right, he shall live by them.
Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.”
In the twelfth year of our exile, in the tenth month, on the fifth day of the month, a fugitive from Jerusalem came to me and said, ”The city has been struck down.”
Now the hand of the LORD had been upon me the evening before the fugitive came; and he had opened my mouth by the time the man came to me in the morning, so my mouth was opened, and I was no longer mute.
The word of the LORD came to me:
‘Son of man, the inhabitants of these waste places in the land of Israel keep saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he got possession of the land; but we are many; the land is surely given us to possess.’
Therefore say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: You eat flesh with the blood and lift up your eyes to your idols and shed blood; shall you then possess the land?
You rely on the sword, you commit abominations, and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife; shall you then possess the land?
Say this to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: As I live, surely those who are in the waste places shall fall by the sword, and whoever is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured, and those who are in strongholds and in caves shall die by pestilence.
And I will make the land a desolation and a waste, and her proud might shall come to an end, and the mountains of Israel shall be so desolate that none will pass through.
Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have made the land a desolation and a waste because of all their abominations that they have committed.
‘As for you, son of man, your people who talk together about you by the walls and at the doors of the houses, say to one another, each to his brother, ‘Come, and hear what the word is that comes from the LORD.’
And they come to you as people come, and they sit before you as my people, and they hear what you say but they will not do it; for with lustful talk in their mouths they act; their heart is set on their gain.
And behold, you are to them like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument, for they hear what you say, but they will not do it.
When this comes–and come it will!–then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”
Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill.
So the sisters sent to him, saying, ”Lord, he whom you love is ill.”
But when Jesus heard it he said, ”This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.
Then after this he said to the disciples, ”Let us go to Judea again.”
The disciples said to him, ”Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?”
Jesus answered, ”Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.
But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”
After saying these things, he said to them, ”Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.”
The disciples said to him, ”Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.
Then Jesus told them plainly, ”Lazarus has died,
and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ”Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.
Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off,
and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.
So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house.
Martha said to Jesus, ”Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”
Jesus said to her, ”Your brother will rise again.”
Martha said to him, ”I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
Jesus said to her, ”I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
She said to him, ”Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, ”The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”
And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.
Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.
When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.
Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, ”Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.
And he said, ”Where have you laid him?” They said to him, ”Lord, come and see.”
So the Jews said, ”See how he loved him!”
But some of them said, ”Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?”
Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.
Jesus said, ”Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ”Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.”
Jesus said to her, ”Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ”Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”
When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, ”Lazarus, come out.”
The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ”Unbind him, and let him go.”
Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him,
but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.
So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, ”What are we to do? For this man performs many signs.
If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.”
But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ”You know nothing at all.
Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.”
He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,
and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.
So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.
Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephraim, and there he stayed with the disciples.
Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves.
They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, ”What do you think? That he will not come to the feast at all?”
Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him.
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!