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Ezekiel 27-28

27 The word of the Eternal came to me with a lament for Tyre.

Eternal One: Son of man, sing a lament over Tyre. Sing of Tyre, gateway to the sea, merchant to many ports and many people. I, the Eternal Lord, say to you:

Tyre, you have claimed,
“I am perfect in beauty.”
Your territory extends to the heart of the seas;
your builders have perfected your beauty.
Like a great ship they have made you from the finest firs of Senir;
they took a cedar from Lebanon to make you a noble mast.
They brought oaks from Bashan and made your oars.
They planked your deck with pines from the coasts of Cyprus
and inlaid it with ivory!
Your sail was made of fine linen from Egypt, embroidered by hand;
your blue and purple awning was tinted with dyes imported from the coasts of Elishah.
Your oarsmen were strong men from Sidon and Arvad;
your crew was the most skilled and experienced men, O Tyre.
Expert craftsmen from Gebal were on board
to make any repairs needed.
All the ships of the sea and their sailors huddled around you
to trade for your goods.
10  Soldiers from Persia, Lydia, and Libya were your army.
Their shields and helmets hung from your ship and announced your splendor.
11  Men from Arvad and Helech patrolled your walls,
and men from Gammad manned your towers.
Their shields hung on all your walls and announced your splendor.
They have perfected your beauty.

12 Tarshish traded with you because of your great wealth and plentiful goods; they bartered silver, iron, tin, and lead for your wares. 13 Greece, Tubal, and Meshech did business with you as well. They bartered slaves and boatloads of bronze for your wares. 14 The men of Beth-togarmah bartered work horses, war horses, and mules for your goods. 15 The people of Rhodes traded with you too. You made the people of the coastland your own special market, and they paid you in ivory tusks and ebony. 16 Aram traded with you because your goods were plentiful. They bartered precious stones, purple cloth, embroidered work, exquisite linens, coral, and rubies for your wares. 17 Judah and the rest of Israel did business with you. They paid you fine wheat, fresh produce, sweet honey, fragrant oil, and exotic balm for your merchandise. 18 Damascus—the hub of caravan trading—traded with you because of your great wealth and plentiful goods as well. They brought wine from Helbon, wool from Zahar; 19 Greeks from Uzal bartered iron, cassia bark, and other herbs for your goods. 20 Deban traded in saddle blankets with you. 21 Arabia and all of the Kedar princes certainly traded with you. They traded lambs, rams, and goats. 22 The businessmen of Sheba and Raamah exchanged the finest spices, gems, and gold for your plentiful goods. 23-24 Haran, Canneh, Eden, and merchants from Sheba, Asshur, and Chilmad did business with you, exchanging exquisite clothing, indigo fabrics, embroidered cloth, carpets dyed of various colors, and tightly braided ropes. 25 Commerce was bustling as Tarshish’s ships transported your goods. In the heart of the sea your docks were full, Tyre, and your business brought you glory and success.

Tarshish was probably located in what is southern Spain today, so Tyre’s commercial reach extended to the other side of the Mediterranean.

26  Expert seafarers row you out into the high seas;
there, a squall from the east shatters you in the heart of the sea!
27  All is lost: your treasures and goods and products
along with all crew aboard—seafarers, pilots, carpenters, traders, and soldiers.
Everyone and everything will sink into the heart of the sea
when the ship is wrecked.
28  The coastal plains shudder
at the shrieks and cries of your pilots.
29  All oarsmen, seafarers, and pilots come down from their ships.
They stand on the shore and gaze out to your catastrophe.
30  They mourn over you with bitter cries that drown out your screams.
They throw dust on top of their heads and wallow in beds of ashes.
31  They shave all their hair and wear sackcloth around their waists.
They grieve and weep over you, deeply and bitterly.
32  And they shout their dirge over your demise:
“Who is like Tyre, sunken and silent in the heart of the sea?”
33  Your goods pleased many people when your sailors went to sea.
Your treasures and products made kings rich all over the world.
34  But now you are shipwrecked, devoured by the great waves.
Your products and all your crew have been swallowed by the sea.
35  All the inhabitants of the coasts
are shocked at what happened to you;
their kings grimace in fear as they look on.
36  And the traders of the nations jeer at you;
the end of your story is a horror,
for you are gone, never to return.

28 The word of the Eternal came to me with a message about the prince of Tyre.

Tyre’s troubles start not long after Judah is destroyed in 586 b.c. Nebuchadnezzar marches there and begins a siege that lasts for almost 13 years. The part of the city on the mainland is captured by Nebuchadnezzar, but the princes of Tyre continue to rule from their island palace for another two centuries. In 332 b.c. Alexander the Great will use the rubble of the mainland city to construct a bridge to the island. Soon the island of Tyre will be in ruins, as it will remain forever.

Eternal One: Son of man, go to the prince of Tyre, and give him this message. This is what I, Eternal Lord, have to say:

Your heart is swollen with pride—
a pride that says, “I am a god.
I sit on a divine throne in the heart of the sea.”
But I assure you, prince, you are nothing more
than a mortal man—a man of mortal destiny.
Even though you have the self-confidence of a god,
you are made entirely of flesh and blood.
But obviously you must be wiser than Daniel, that ancient judge in Ugarit.
Clearly, you understand every mystery.
You used your wisdom and discernment to amass a great fortune,
to fill your treasuries with gold and silver.
Your knack for trade has built your wealth,
but your success and riches have made your heart swell with pride.

Because of Tyre’s location off the coast, she receives daily supplies and survives a long war; therefore, her ruler, Ethbaal III, has every human reason to be confident. Such confidence and wickedness is bred into him: Ethbaal’s ancestor, Ethbaal I, was a priest of their goddess Astarte and seized the throne for himself. He was a powerful prince, making political connections and spreading the worship of his goddess all over the region. Ethbaal I’s daughter, Jezebel, was famous for entrenching pagan worship in Israel, so Tyre is indirectly the root of Israel’s wickedness.

Here is what the Eternal Lord has to say:

Eternal One: Because you imagine yourself as wise as a god,
I am going to recruit outsiders—merciless nations—to take you down.
They will draw their swords and cut you down to size,
attacking the beautiful things your wisdom procured and destroying your splendor.
They will force you down to the pit,
and you will die the death
of those struck down in the heart of the sea.
At that moment, will you protest to your executioners, “But I’m a god!”?
To those who strike you down you are no god.
To them, you are nothing more than a mortal man.
10  You will die the death of all who are uncircumcised,
at the hand of outsiders.

Like the Israelites, the people of Tyre practice circumcision.

So said the Eternal Lord.

11 The word of the Eternal continued giving me His message.

Eternal One: 12 Son of man, sing a lament for the prince of Tyre. Tell him this is what I, the Eternal Lord, have to say:

You were a paradigm of perfection, human life at its best.
You had everything a leader needs: immense wisdom and perfect beauty.
13  You lived in Eden, God’s garden.
You were clothed in magnificent splendor, covered in jewels:
Sardius, topaz, diamond, beryl, onyx, jasper,
lapis lazuli, turquoise, and emerald.
All the mountings were made of gold,
prepared for you on the day you were created.
14  I anointed you the guardian of the garden and stationed you at your post to protect it.
You were on the divine mountain, the holy mount of God.
There you walked among the fiery stones.
15  You were entirely pure from the day you were created,
until wickedness crept in and was found in you!
16  Too much buying and selling—a greedy obsession!
You became motivated to violence and did wicked things.
Polluted and disgraced, I drove you off the mountain of God!
I expelled you, O guardian protector, from the fiery stones.
17  Your heart swelled with pride because of your beauty and talents.
Your hunger for fame, your thirst for glory corrupted your wisdom.
This is why I drove you to the ground
and made an example out of you before a company of kings.
18  You desecrated your sanctuaries
by pursuing sin after sin and cheating in business.
I set a flame inside of you, and it devoured you completely.
I reduced you to a pile of ashes on the ground,
a sight for all to see.

Ezekiel prophesies that the prince of Tyre will die violently without the benefit of a proper burial and find no peace in the afterlife.

19  All the nations who know you are appalled at what has happened to you.
The end of your story is a horror:
you are gone, never to return.

The prince of Tyre’s biography echoes the creation story. Adam, too, is described as a perfect and honored creation of God, given guardianship of the earth and full access to God. Expelled from paradise, wickedness becomes entrenched and spreads until God is forced to execute His judgment.

20 The word of the Eternal came to me with a message against Sidon.

Eternal One: 21-22 Son of man, face Sidon and preach to her. This is what I, the Eternal Lord, have to say:

Look, Sidon! I am against you;
My glory will be revealed when I prevail over you.
They will know that I am the Eternal One
when I have punished her
and revealed My holy self to her.
23  I will rain down disease upon her—an epidemic of death!
Her streets will become rivers of blood!
The wounded will fall within her walls,
and the battle will rage on every side!
Then they will know that I am the Eternal One.

24 As for the people of Israel, they will no longer have to deal with the spiteful, thorny neighbors who mocked their destruction. Then they will know that I am the Eternal Lord.

25 Here is what the Eternal Lord has to say:

Eternal One: When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will reveal My holiness through them with all the nations watching. They will live in their own land—the land I gave to My servant, Jacob. 26 They will live safely there, building houses and planting vineyards. They will live safely there when I punish all of their neighbors who mocked them and treated them shamefully. Then they will know that I am the Eternal their God.

The Voice (VOICE)The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Hebrews 11:17-31

17 By faith Abraham, when he endured God’s testing, offered his beloved son Isaac as a sacrifice. The one who had received God’s promise was willing to offer his only son; 18 God had told him, “It is through Isaac that your descendants will bear your name,” 19 and he concluded that God was capable of raising him from the dead, which, figuratively, is indeed what happened.

20 By faith Isaac spoke blessings upon his sons, Jacob and Esau, concerning things yet to come.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed the sons of his son Joseph, bowing in worship as he leaned upon his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, at his life’s end, predicted that the children of Israel would make an exodus from Egypt; and he gave instructions that his bones be buried in the land they would someday reach.

23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born because they saw that he was handsome; and they did not fear Pharaoh’s directive that all male Hebrew children were to be slain.

24 By faith Moses, when he was grown, refused to be identified solely as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter 25 and chose instead to share the sufferings of the people of God, not just living in sin and ease for a time. 26 He considered the abuse that he and the people of God had suffered in anticipation of the Anointed One more valuable than all the riches of Egypt because he looked ahead to the coming reward.

27 By faith Moses left Egypt, unafraid of Pharaoh’s wrath and moving forward as though he could see the invisible God. 28 Through faith, he instituted the Passover and the sprinkling of blood on the doorposts among the Hebrews so that the destroyer of the firstborn would pass over their homes without harming them. 29 By faith the people crossed through the Red Sea as if they were walking on dry land, although the pursuing Egyptian soldiers were drowned when they tried to follow.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho toppled after the people had circled them for seven days. 31 By faith the prostitute Rahab welcomed the Hebrew spies into her home so that she did not perish with the unbelievers.

The Voice (VOICE)The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Psalm 111

Psalm 111

Praise the Eternal.
I will thank Him with all my heart
in the presence of the right-standing and with the assembly.
The works of the Eternal are many and wondrous!
They are examined by all who delight in them.
His work is marked with beauty and majesty;
His justice has no end.
His wonders are reminders that
the Eternal is gracious and compassionate to all.
He provides food to those who revere Him.
He will always remember His covenant.
He has shown the mighty strength of His works to His people
by giving the land of foreign nations to them.
All His accomplishments are truth and justice;
all His instructions are certain.
His precepts will continue year in and year out,
performed by His people with honesty and truth.
He has redeemed His people,
guaranteeing His covenant forever.
His name is holy and awe-inspiring.
10 Reverence for the Eternal is the first step toward wisdom.
All those who worship Him have a good understanding.
His praise will echo through eternity!

The Voice (VOICE)The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

Proverbs 27:15-16

15 A constant dripping on a rainy day
and a wife’s bickering are very much alike:
16 Anyone who tries to control her might as well try to control the wind
or pick up oil in his right hand.

The Voice (VOICE)The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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