December 17th, 2018

Daniel the Prophet and the Three Young Men

First Reading: Is. 33:1-24

A Prayer in Deep Distress

 1 Woe to you who plunder, though you have not been plundered;
      And you who deal treacherously, though they have not dealt treacherously with you!
      When you cease plundering,
      You will be plundered;
      When you make an end of dealing treacherously,
      They will deal treacherously with you.
       2 O LORD, be gracious to us;
      We have waited for You.
      Be their[a] arm every morning,
      Our salvation also in the time of trouble.
       3 At the noise of the tumult the people shall flee;
      When You lift Yourself up, the nations shall be scattered;
       4 And Your plunder shall be gathered
      Like the gathering of the caterpillar;
      As the running to and fro of locusts,
      He shall run upon them.
       5 The LORD is exalted, for He dwells on high;
      He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.
       6 Wisdom and knowledge will be the stability of your times,
      And the strength of salvation;
      The fear of the LORD is His treasure.
       7 Surely their valiant ones shall cry outside,
      The ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.
       8 The highways lie waste,
      The traveling man ceases.
      He has broken the covenant,
      He has despised the cities,[b]
      He regards no man.
       9 The earth mourns and languishes,
      Lebanon is shamed and shriveled;
      Sharon is like a wilderness,
      And Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.

Impending Judgment on Zion

    10 “ Now I will rise,” says the LORD;
      “ Now I will be exalted,
      Now I will lift Myself up.
       11 You shall conceive chaff,
      You shall bring forth stubble;
      Your breath, as fire, shall devour you.
       12 And the people shall be like the burnings of lime;
      Likethorns cut up they shall be burned in the fire.
       13 Hear, you who are afar off, what I have done;
      And you who are near, acknowledge My might.”
       14 The sinners in Zion are afraid;
      Fearfulness has seized the hypocrites:
      “ Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?
      Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”
       15 He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
      He who despises the gain of oppressions,
      Who gestures with his hands, refusing bribes,
      Who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed,
      And shuts his eyes from seeing evil:
       16 He will dwell on high;
      His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks;
      Bread will be given him,
      His water will be sure.

The Land of the Majestic King

    17 Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;
      They will see the land that is very far off.
       18 Your heart will meditate on terror:
      “ Where is the scribe?
      Where is he who weighs?
      Where is he who counts the towers?”
       19 You will not see a fierce people,
      A people of obscure speech, beyond perception,
      Of a stammering tongue that you cannot understand.
       20 Look upon Zion, the city of our appointed feasts;
      Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet home,
      A tabernacle that will not be taken down;
      Not one of its stakes will ever be removed,
      Nor will any of its cords be broken.
       21 But there the majestic LORD will be for us
      A place of broad rivers and streams,
      In which no galley with oars will sail,
      Nor majestic ships pass by
       22 (For the LORD is our Judge,
      The LORD is our Lawgiver,
      The LORD is our King;
      He will save us);
       23 Your tackle is loosed,
      They could not strengthen their mast,
      They could not spread the sail.
      Then the prey of great plunder is divided;
      The lame take the prey.
       24 And the inhabitant will not say, “I am sick”;
      The people who dwell in it will be forgiven their iniquity.

Footnotes:Isaiah 33:2 Septuagint omits their; Syriac, Targum, and Vulgate read our. Isaiah 33:8 Following Masoretic Text and Vulgate; Dead Sea Scrolls read witnesses; Septuagint omits cities; Targum reads They have been removed from their cities.

Second Reading: Rev. 5:1-14

The Lamb Takes the Scroll

 1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. 2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” 3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it. 4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read[a] the scroll, or to look at it. 5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose[b] its seven seals.” 6 And I looked, and behold,[c] in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth. 7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

Worthy Is the Lamb

    8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 9 And they sang a new song, saying:
      “ You are worthy to take the scroll,
      And to open its seals;
      For You were slain,
      And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
      Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
       10 And have made us[d] kings[e] and priests to our God;
      And we[f] shall reign on the earth.” 11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice:
      “ Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
      To receive power and riches and wisdom,
      And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” 13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
      “ Blessing and honor and glory and power
      Be to Him who sits on the throne,
      And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”[g] 14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four[h] elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.[i]

Footnotes:Revelation 5:4 NU-Text and M-Text omit and read. Revelation 5:5 NU-Text and M-Text omit to loose. Revelation 5:6 NU-Text and M-Text read I saw in the midst . . . a Lamb standing. Revelation 5:10 NU-Text and M-Text read them. Revelation 5:10 NU-Text reads a kingdom. Revelation 5:10 NU-Text and M-Text read they. Revelation 5:13 M-Text adds Amen. Revelation 5:14 NU-Text and M-Text omit twenty-four. Revelation 5:14 NU-Text and M-Text omit Him who lives forever and ever.


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