Read the Bible | November 20th
Oholah and Oholibah
 The word of the LORD came to me:  “Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother.  They played the whore in Egypt; they played the whore in their youth; there their breasts were pressed and their virgin bosoms handled.  Oholah was the name of the elder and Oholibah the name of her sister. They became mine, and they bore sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.
 “Oholah played the whore while she was mine, and she lusted after her lovers the Assyrians, warriors  clothed in purple, governors and commanders, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on horses.  She bestowed her whoring upon them, the choicest men of Assyria all of them, and she defiled herself with all the idols of everyone after whom she lusted.  She did not give up her whoring that she had begun in Egypt; for in her youth men had lain with her and handled her virgin bosom and poured out their whoring lust upon her.  Therefore I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, into the hands of the Assyrians, after whom she lusted.  These uncovered her nakedness; they seized her sons and her daughters; and as for her, they killed her with the sword; and she became a byword among women, when judgment had been executed on her.
 “Her sister Oholibah saw this, and she became more corrupt than her sister in her lust and in her whoring, which was worse than that of her sister.  She lusted after the Assyrians, governors and commanders, warriors clothed in full armor, horsemen riding on horses, all of them desirable young men.  And I saw that she was defiled; they both took the same way.  But she carried her whoring further. She saw men portrayed on the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed in vermilion,  wearing belts on their waists, with flowing turbans on their heads, all of them having the appearance of officers, a likeness of Babylonians whose native land was Chaldea.  When she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea.  And the Babylonians came to her into the bed of love, and they defiled her with their whoring lust. And after she was defiled by them, she turned from them in disgust.  When she carried on her whoring so openly and flaunted her nakedness, I turned in disgust from her, as I had turned in disgust from her sister.  Yet she increased her whoring, remembering the days of her youth, when she played the whore in the land of Egypt  and lusted after her lovers there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose issue was like that of horses.  Thus you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when the Egyptians handled your bosom and pressed your young breasts.”
 Therefore, O Oholibah, thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I will stir up against you your lovers from whom you turned in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side:  the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, desirable young men, governors and commanders all of them, officers and men of renown, all of them riding on horses.  And they shall come against you from the north with chariots and wagons and a host of peoples. They shall set themselves against you on every side with buckler, shield, and helmet; and I will commit the judgment to them, and they shall judge you according to their judgments.  And I will direct my jealousy against you, that they may deal with you in fury. They shall cut off your nose and your ears, and your survivors shall fall by the sword. They shall seize your sons and your daughters, and your survivors shall be devoured by fire.  They shall also strip you of your clothes and take away your beautiful jewels.  Thus I will put an end to your lewdness and your whoring begun in the land of Egypt, so that you shall not lift up your eyes to them or remember Egypt anymore.
 “For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will deliver you into the hands of those whom you hate, into the hands of those from whom you turned in disgust,  and they shall deal with you in hatred and take away all the fruit of your labor and leave you naked and bare, and the nakedness of your whoring shall be uncovered. Your lewdness and your whoring  have brought this upon you, because you played the whore with the nations and defiled yourself with their idols.  You have gone the way of your sister; therefore I will give her cup into your hand.  Thus says the Lord GOD:
“You shall drink your sister’s cup
that is deep and large;
you shall be laughed at and held in derision,
for it contains much;
 you will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow.
A cup of horror and desolation,
the cup of your sister Samaria;
 you shall drink it and drain it out,
and gnaw its shards,
and tear your breasts;
for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD.  Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have forgotten me and cast me behind your back, you yourself must bear the consequences of your lewdness and whoring.”
 The LORD said to me: “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Declare to them their abominations.  For they have committed adultery, and blood is on their hands. With their idols they have committed adultery, and they have even offered up to them for food the children whom they had borne to me.  Moreover, this they have done to me: they have defiled my sanctuary on the same day and profaned my Sabbaths.  For when they had slaughtered their children in sacrifice to their idols, on the same day they came into my sanctuary to profane it. And behold, this is what they did in my house.  They even sent for men to come from afar, to whom a messenger was sent; and behold, they came. For them you bathed yourself, painted your eyes, and adorned yourself with ornaments.  You sat on a stately couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed my incense and my oil.  The sound of a carefree multitude was with her; and with men of the common sort, drunkards were brought from the wilderness; and they put bracelets on the hands of the women, and beautiful crowns on their heads.
 “Then I said of her who was worn out by adultery, ‘Now they will continue to use her for a whore, even her!’  For they have gone in to her, as men go in to a prostitute. Thus they went in to Oholah and to Oholibah, lewd women!  But righteous men shall pass judgment on them with the sentence of adulteresses, and with the sentence of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses, and blood is on their hands.”
 For thus says the Lord GOD: “Bring up a vast host against them, and make them an object of terror and a plunder.  And the host shall stone them and cut them down with their swords. They shall kill their sons and their daughters, and burn up their houses.  Thus will I put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not commit lewdness as you have done.  And they shall return your lewdness upon you, and you shall bear the penalty for your sinful idolatry, and you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.” (ESV)
The Siege of Jerusalem
 In the ninth year, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me:  “Son of man, write down the name of this day, this very day. The king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day.  And utter a parable to the rebellious house and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD:
“Set on the pot, set it on;
pour in water also;
 put in it the pieces of meat,
all the good pieces, the thigh and the shoulder;
fill it with choice bones.
 Take the choicest one of the flock;
pile the logs under it;
boil it well;
seethe also its bones in it.
 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the bloody city, to the pot whose corrosion is in it, and whose corrosion has not gone out of it! Take out of it piece after piece, without making any choice.  For the blood she has shed is in her midst; she put it on the bare rock; she did not pour it out on the ground to cover it with dust.  To rouse my wrath, to take vengeance, I have set on the bare rock the blood she has shed, that it may not be covered.  Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Woe to the bloody city! I also will make the pile great.  Heap on the logs, kindle the fire, boil the meat well, mix in the spices, and let the bones be burned up.  Then set it empty upon the coals, that it may become hot, and its copper may burn, that its uncleanness may be melted in it, its corrosion consumed.  She has wearied herself with toil; its abundant corrosion does not go out of it. Into the fire with its corrosion!  On account of your unclean lewdness, because I would have cleansed you and you were not cleansed from your uncleanness, you shall not be cleansed anymore till I have satisfied my fury upon you.  I am the LORD. I have spoken; it shall come to pass; I will do it. I will not go back; I will not spare; I will not relent; according to your ways and your deeds you will be judged, declares the Lord GOD.”
Ezekiel’s Wife Dies
 The word of the LORD came to me:  “Son of man, behold, I am about to take the delight of your eyes away from you at a stroke; yet you shall not mourn or weep, nor shall your tears run down.  Sigh, but not aloud; make no mourning for the dead. Bind on your turban, and put your shoes on your feet; do not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men.”  So I spoke to the people in the morning, and at evening my wife died. And on the next morning I did as I was commanded.
 And the people said to me, “Will you not tell us what these things mean for us, that you are acting thus?”  Then I said to them, “The word of the LORD came to me:  ‘Say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the pride of your power, the delight of your eyes, and the yearning of your soul, and your sons and your daughters whom you left behind shall fall by the sword.  And you shall do as I have done; you shall not cover your lips, nor eat the bread of men.  Your turbans shall be on your heads and your shoes on your feet; you shall not mourn or weep, but you shall rot away in your iniquities and groan to one another.  Thus shall Ezekiel be to you a sign; according to all that he has done you shall do. When this comes, then you will know that I am the Lord GOD.’
 “As for you, son of man, surely on the day when I take from them their stronghold, their joy and glory, the delight of their eyes and their soul’s desire, and also their sons and daughters,  on that day a fugitive will come to you to report to you the news.  On that day your mouth will be opened to the fugitive, and you shall speak and be no longer mute. So you will be a sign to them, and they will know that I am the LORD.” (ESV)
Prophecy Against Ammon
 The word of the LORD came to me:  “Son of man, set your face toward the Ammonites and prophesy against them.  Say to the Ammonites, Hear the word of the Lord GOD: Thus says the Lord GOD, Because you said, ‘Aha!’ over my sanctuary when it was profaned, and over the land of Israel when it was made desolate, and over the house of Judah when they went into exile,  therefore behold, I am handing you over to the people of the East for a possession, and they shall set their encampments among you and make their dwellings in your midst. They shall eat your fruit, and they shall drink your milk.  I will make Rabbah a pasture for camels and Ammon a fold for flocks. Then you will know that I am the LORD.  For thus says the Lord GOD: Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet and rejoiced with all the malice within your soul against the land of Israel,  therefore, behold, I have stretched out my hand against you, and will hand you over as plunder to the nations. And I will cut you off from the peoples and will make you perish out of the countries; I will destroy you. Then you will know that I am the LORD.
Prophecy Against Moab and Seir
 “Thus says the Lord GOD: Because Moab and Seir said, ‘Behold, the house of Judah is like all the other nations,’  therefore I will lay open the flank of Moab from the cities, from its cities on its frontier, the glory of the country, Beth-jeshimoth, Baal-meon, and Kiriathaim.  I will give it along with the Ammonites to the people of the East as a possession, that the Ammonites may be remembered no more among the nations,  and I will execute judgments upon Moab. Then they will know that I am the LORD.
Prophecy Against Edom
 “Thus says the Lord GOD: Because Edom acted revengefully against the house of Judah and has grievously offended in taking vengeance on them,  therefore thus says the Lord GOD, I will stretch out my hand against Edom and cut off from it man and beast. And I will make it desolate; from Teman even to Dedan they shall fall by the sword.  And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my wrath, and they shall know my vengeance, declares the Lord GOD.
Prophecy Against Philistia
 “Thus says the Lord GOD: Because the Philistines acted revengefully and took vengeance with malice of soul to destroy in never-ending enmity,  therefore thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I will stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites and destroy the rest of the seacoast.  I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I lay my vengeance upon them.” (ESV)
Warning Against Worldliness
 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?  You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.  You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?  But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.  There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
Boasting About Tomorrow
 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”  As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.  So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. (ESV)