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God’s Controversy with Israel4:1 Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel, For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no faithfulness or kindness Or knowledge of God in the land.
2 There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed.
3 Therefore the land mourns, And everyone who lives in it languishes Along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, And also the fish of the sea disappear.
4 Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof; For your people are like those who contend with the priest.
5 So you will stumble by day, And the prophet also will stumble with you by night; And I will destroy your mother.
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
7 The more they multiplied, the more they sinned against Me; I will change their glory into shame.
8 They feed on the sin of My people And direct their desire toward their iniquity.
9 And it will be, like people, like priest; So I will punish them for their ways And repay them for their deeds.
10 They will eat, but not have enough; They will play the harlot, but not increase, Because they have stopped giving heed to the LORD.
11 Harlotry, wine and new wine take away the understanding.
12 My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their God.
13 They offer sacrifices on the tops of the mountains And burn incense on the hills, Under oak, poplar and terebinth, Because their shade is pleasant. Therefore your daughters play the harlot And your brides commit adultery.
14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot Or your brides when they commit adultery, For the men themselves go apart with harlots And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes; So the people without understanding are ruined.
15 Though you, Israel, play the harlot, Do not let Judah become guilty; Also do not go to Gilgal, Or go up to Beth-aven And take the oath: “As the LORD lives!”
16 Since Israel is stubborn Like a stubborn heifer, Can the LORD now pasture them Like a lamb in a large field?
17 Ephraim is joined to idols; Let him alone.
18 Their liquor gone, They play the harlot continually; Their rulers dearly love shame.
19 The wind wraps them in its wings, And they will be ashamed because of their sacrifices.
The People’s Apostasy Rebuked5:1 Hear this, O priests! Give heed, O house of Israel! Listen, O house of the king! For the judgment applies to you, For you have been a snare at Mizpah And a net spread out on Tabor.
2 The revolters have gone deep in depravity, But I will chastise all of them.
3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hidden from Me; For now, O Ephraim, you have played the harlot, Israel has defiled itself.
4 Their deeds will not allow them To return to their God. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, And they do not know the LORD.
5 Moreover, the pride of Israel testifies against him, And Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also has stumbled with them.
6 They will go with their flocks and herds To seek the LORD, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn from them.
7 They have dealt treacherously against the LORD, For they have borne illegitimate children. Now the new moon will devour them with their land.
8 Blow the horn in Gibeah, The trumpet in Ramah. Sound an alarm at Beth-aven: “Behind you, Benjamin!”
9 Ephraim will become a desolation in the day of rebuke; Among the tribes of Israel I declare what is sure.
10 The princes of Judah have become like those who move a boundary; On them I will pour out My wrath like water.
11 Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, Because he was determined to follow man’s command.
12 Therefore I am like a moth to Ephraim And like rottenness to the house of Judah.
13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, And Judah his wound, Then Ephraim went to Assyria And sent to King Jareb. But he is unable to heal you, Or to cure you of your wound.
14 For I will be like a lion to Ephraim And like a young lion to the house of Judah. I, even I, will tear to pieces and go away, I will carry away, and there will be none to deliver.
15 I will go away and return to My place Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.
The Response to God’s Rebuke6:1 “Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
2 “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day, That we may live before Him.
3 “So let us know, let us press on to know the LORD. His going forth is as certain as the dawn; And He will come to us like the rain, Like the spring rain watering the earth.”
4 What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? For your loyalty is like a morning cloud And like the dew which goes away early.
5 Therefore I have hewn them in pieces by the prophets; I have slain them by the words of My mouth; And the judgments on you are like the light that goes forth.
6 For I delight in loyalty rather than sacrifice, And in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
7 But like Adam they have transgressed the covenant; There they have dealt treacherously against Me.
8 Gilead is a city of wrongdoers, Tracked with bloody footprints.
9 And as raiders wait for a man, So a band of priests murder on the way to Shechem; Surely they have committed crime.
10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing; Ephraim’s harlotry is there, Israel has defiled itself.
11 Also, O Judah, there is a harvest appointed for you, When I restore the fortunes of My people.
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Prayer for the Punishment of the Wicked.
For the choir director; set to
Al-tashheth. A Mikhtam of David.58:1 Do you indeed speak righteousness, O gods? Do you judge uprightly, O sons of men?
2 No, in heart you work unrighteousness; On earth you weigh out the violence of your hands.
3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; These who speak lies go astray from birth.
4 They have venom like the venom of a serpent; Like a deaf cobra that stops up its ear,
5 So that it does not hear the voice of charmers, Or a skillful caster of spells.
6 O God, shatter their teeth in their mouth; Break out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD.
7 Let them flow away like water that runs off; When he aims his arrows, let them be as headless shafts.
8 Let them be as a snail which melts away as it goes along, Like the miscarriages of a woman which never see the sun.
9 Before your pots can feel the fire of thorns He will sweep them away with a whirlwind, the green and the burning alike.
10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance; He will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 And men will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous; Surely there is a God who judges on earth!”
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The Transfiguration 17:1 Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves.
2 And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light.
3 And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him.
4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”
6 When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified.
7 And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.”
8 And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone.
9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, “Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.”
10 And His disciples asked Him, “Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?”
11 And He answered and said, “Elijah is coming and will restore all things;
12 but I say to you that Elijah already came, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they wished. So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.”
13 Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist.
The Demoniac 14 When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, falling on his knees before Him and saying,
15 “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is a lunatic and is very ill; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
16 I brought him to Your disciples, and they could not cure him.”
17 And Jesus answered and said, “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”
18 And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured at once.
19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?”
20 And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
21 [But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”]
22 And while they were gathering together in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men;
23 and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” And they were deeply grieved.
The Tribute Money 24 When they came to Capernaum, those who collected the two-drachma tax came to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the two-drachma tax?”
25 He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth collect customs or poll-tax, from their sons or from strangers?”
26 When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt.
27 However, so that we do not offend them, go to the sea and throw in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for you and Me.”
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