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Ezekiel 47-48

The Stream Flowing from the Temple

47 The man led me back to the entrance of the Temple. Water was coming out from under the entrance and flowing east, the direction the Temple faced. It was flowing down from under the south part of the Temple past the south side of the altar. The man then took me out of the Temple area by way of the north gate and led me around to the gate that faces east. A small stream of water was flowing out at the south side of the gate. With his measuring rod the man measured 560 yards downstream to the east and told me to wade through the stream there. The water came only to my ankles. Then he measured another 560 yards, and the water came up to my knees. Another 560 yards farther down, the water was up to my waist. He measured 560 yards more, and there the stream was so deep I could not wade through it. It was too deep to cross except by swimming. He said to me, “Mortal man, note all this carefully.”

Then the man took me back to the riverbank, and when I got there, I saw that there were very many trees on each bank. He said to me, “This water flows through the land to the east and down into the Jordan Valley and to the Dead Sea. When it flows into the Dead Sea, it replaces the salt water of that sea with fresh water. Wherever the stream flows, there will be all kinds of animals and fish. The stream will make the water of the Dead Sea fresh, and wherever it flows, it will bring life. 10 From the Springs of Engedi all the way to the Springs of Eneglaim, there will be fishermen on the shore of the sea, and they will spread out their nets there to dry. There will be as many different kinds of fish there as there are in the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the water in the marshes and ponds along the shore will not be made fresh. They will remain there as a source of salt. 12 On each bank of the stream all kinds of trees will grow to provide food. Their leaves will never wither, and they will never stop bearing fruit. They will have fresh fruit every month, because they are watered by the stream that flows from the Temple. The trees will provide food, and their leaves will be used for healing people.”

The Boundaries of the Land

13 The Sovereign Lord said, “These are the boundaries of the land that is to be divided among the twelve tribes, with the tribe of Joseph receiving two sections. 14 I solemnly promised your ancestors that I would give them possession of this land; now divide it equally among you.

15 “The northern boundary runs eastward from the Mediterranean Sea to the city of Hethlon, to Hamath Pass, to the city of Zedad, 16 to the cities of Berothah and Sibraim (they are located between the territory of the kingdom of Damascus and that of the kingdom of Hamath), and to the city of Ticon (located by the border of the district of Hauran). 17 So the northern boundary runs from the Mediterranean eastward to Enon City, with the border regions of Damascus and Hamath to the north of it.

18 “The eastern boundary runs south from a point between the territory of Damascus and that of Hauran, with the Jordan River forming the boundary between the land of Israel on the west and Gilead on the east, as far as Tamar on the Dead Sea.

19 “The southern boundary runs southwest from Tamar to the oasis of Kadesh Meribah and then northwest along the Egyptian border to the Mediterranean Sea.

20 “The western boundary is formed by the Mediterranean and runs north to a point west of Hamath Pass.

21 “Divide this land among your tribes; 22 it is to be your permanent possession. The foreigners who are living among you and who have had children born here are also to receive their share of the land when you divide it. They are to be treated like full Israelite citizens and are to draw lots for shares of the land along with the tribes of Israel. 23 All foreign residents will receive their share with the people of the tribe among whom they are living. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken.”

The Division of the Land among the Tribes

48 1-7 The northern boundary of the land runs eastward from the Mediterranean Sea to the city of Hethlon, to Hamath Pass, to Enon City, to the boundary between the kingdoms of Damascus and Hamath. Each tribe is to receive one section of land extending from the eastern boundary west to the Mediterranean Sea, in the following order from north to south:

Dan
Asher
Naphtali
Manasseh
Ephraim
Reuben
Judah

The Special Section in the Center of the Land

The next section of the land is to be set apart for special use. It is to be 10 miles wide from north to south, and the same length from east to west as the sections given to the tribes. The Temple will be located within this section.

In the center of this section, a special area 10 miles by 8 miles is to be dedicated to the Lord. 10 The priests are to have a portion of this holy area. From east to west their portion is to measure 10 miles, and from north to south, 4 miles. The Temple of the Lord is to be located in the middle of this area. 11 This holy area is to be for the priests who are descendants of Zadok. They served me faithfully and did not join the rest of the Israelites in doing wrong, as the other members of the tribe of Levi did. 12 So they are to have a special area next to the area belonging to the Levites, and it will be the holiest of all. 13 The Levites also are to have a special area, south of that of the priests. It too is to be 10 miles from east to west, by 4 miles from north to south. 14 The area dedicated to the Lord is the best part of all the land, and none of it may be sold or exchanged or transferred to anyone else. It is holy and belongs to the Lord.

15 The part of the special area that is left, 10 miles by 2 miles, is not holy, but is for the general use of the people. They may live there and use the land. The city is to be in the center of it, 16 and it will be a square, 2,520 yards on each side. 17 All around the city on each side there will be an open space 140 yards across. 18 The land that is left after the city has been built in the area immediately to the south of the holy area—4 miles by 2 miles on the east and 4 miles by 2 miles on the west—is to be used as farmland by the people who live in the city. 19 Anyone who lives in the city, no matter which tribe he comes from, may farm that land.

20 And so the total area in the center of the section which was set apart will be a square measuring 10 miles on each side, and it will include the area occupied by the city.

21-22 To the east and to the west of this area which contains the Temple, the priests’ land, the Levites’ land, and the city, the remaining land belongs to the ruling prince. It reaches east to the eastern boundary and west to the Mediterranean Sea, and is bounded on the north by the section belonging to Judah and on the south by the one belonging to Benjamin.

Land for the Other Tribes

23-27 South of this special section, each of the remaining tribes is to receive one section of land running from the eastern boundary west to the Mediterranean Sea, in the following order from north to south:

Benjamin
Simeon
Issachar
Zebulun
Gad

28 On the south side of the portion given to the tribe of Gad, the boundary runs southwest from Tamar to the oasis of Kadesh, and then northwest along the Egyptian border to the Mediterranean Sea.

29 The Sovereign Lord said, “That is the way the land is to be divided into sections for the tribes of Israel to possess.”

The Gates of Jerusalem

30-34 There are twelve entrances to the city of Jerusalem. Each of the four walls measures 2,520 yards and has three gates in it, each named for one of the tribes. The gates in the north wall are named for Reuben, Judah, and Levi; those in the east wall, for Joseph, Benjamin, and Dan; those in the south wall, for Simeon, Issachar, and Zebulun; and those in the west wall are named for Gad, Asher, and Naphtali. 35 The total length of the wall on all four sides of the city is 10,080 yards. The name of the city from now on will be “The-Lord-Is-Here!”

1 Peter 2:11-3:7

Slaves of God

11 I appeal to you, my friends, as strangers and refugees in this world! Do not give in to bodily passions, which are always at war against the soul. 12 Your conduct among the heathen should be so good that when they accuse you of being evildoers, they will have to recognize your good deeds and so praise God on the Day of his coming.

13 For the sake of the Lord submit yourselves to every human authority: to the Emperor, who is the supreme authority, 14 and to the governors, who have been appointed by him to punish the evildoers and to praise those who do good. 15 For God wants you to silence the ignorant talk of foolish people by the good things you do. 16 Live as free people; do not, however, use your freedom to cover up any evil, but live as God’s slaves. 17 Respect everyone, love other believers, honor God, and respect the Emperor.

The Example of Christ’s Suffering

18 You servants must submit yourselves to your masters and show them complete respect, not only to those who are kind and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 God will bless you for this, if you endure the pain of undeserved suffering because you are conscious of his will. 20 For what credit is there if you endure the beatings you deserve for having done wrong? But if you endure suffering even when you have done right, God will bless you for it. 21 It was to this that God called you, for Christ himself suffered for you and left you an example, so that you would follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, and no one ever heard a lie come from his lips. 23 When he was insulted, he did not answer back with an insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but placed his hopes in God, the righteous Judge. 24 Christ himself carried our sins in his body to the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness. It is by his wounds that you have been healed. 25 You were like sheep that had lost their way, but now you have been brought back to follow the Shepherd and Keeper of your souls.

Wives and Husbands

In the same way you wives must submit yourselves to your husbands, so that if any of them do not believe God’s word, your conduct will win them over to believe. It will not be necessary for you to say a word, because they will see how pure and reverent your conduct is. You should not use outward aids to make yourselves beautiful, such as the way you fix your hair, or the jewelry you put on, or the dresses you wear. Instead, your beauty should consist of your true inner self, the ageless beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of the greatest value in God’s sight. For the devout women of the past who placed their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful by submitting themselves to their husbands. Sarah was like that; she obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are now her daughters if you do good and are not afraid of anything.

In the same way you husbands must live with your wives with the proper understanding that they are more delicate than you. Treat them with respect, because they also will receive, together with you, God’s gift of life. Do this so that nothing will interfere with your prayers.

Psalm 119:49-64

Confidence in the Law of the Lord

49 Remember your promise to me, your servant;
it has given me hope.
50 Even in my suffering I was comforted
because your promise gave me life.
51 The proud are always scornful of me,
but I have not departed from your law.
52 I remember your judgments of long ago,
and they bring me comfort, O Lord.
53 When I see the wicked breaking your law,
I am filled with anger.
54 During my brief earthly life
I compose songs about your commands.
55 In the night I remember you, Lord,
and I think about your law.
56 I find my happiness
in obeying your commands.

Devotion to the Law of the Lord

57 You are all I want, O Lord;
I promise to obey your laws.
58 I ask you with all my heart
to have mercy on me, as you have promised!
59 I have considered my conduct,
and I promise to follow your instructions.
60 Without delay I hurry
to obey your commands.
61 The wicked have laid a trap for me,
but I do not forget your law.
62 In the middle of the night I wake up
to praise you for your righteous judgments.
63 I am a friend of all who serve you,
of all who obey your laws.
64 Lord, the earth is full of your constant love;
teach me your commandments.

Proverbs 28:12-13

12 When good people come to power, everybody celebrates, but when bad people rule, people stay in hiding.

13 You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins. Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you.

 

 

Bible Gateway

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