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Hosea 6–10

6:1   “Come, let us return to the LORD;
    for he has torn us, that he may heal us;
    he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
  After two days he will revive us;
    on the third day he will raise us up,
    that we may live before him.
  Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD;
    his going out is sure as the dawn;
  he will come to us as the showers,
    as the spring rains that water the earth.”
  What shall I do with you, O Ephraim?
    What shall I do with you, O Judah?
  Your love is like a morning cloud,
    like the dew that goes early away.
  Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets;
    I have slain them by the words of my mouth,
    and my judgment goes forth as the light.
  For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice,
    the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.
  But like Adam they transgressed the covenant;
    there they dealt faithlessly with me.
  Gilead is a city of evildoers,
    tracked with blood.
  As robbers lie in wait for a man,
    so the priests band together;
  they murder on the way to Shechem;
    they commit villainy.
10   In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing;
    Ephraim’s whoredom is there; Israel is defiled.
11   For you also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed.
  When I restore the fortunes of my people,
7:1   when I would heal Israel,
    the iniquity of Ephraim is revealed,
    and the evil deeds of Samaria,
  for they deal falsely;
    the thief breaks in,
    and the bandits raid outside.
  But they do not consider
    that I remember all their evil.
  Now their deeds surround them;
    they are before my face.
  By their evil they make the king glad,
    and the princes by their treachery.
  They are all adulterers;
    they are like a heated oven
  whose baker ceases to stir the fire,
    from the kneading of the dough
    until it is leavened.
  On the day of our king, the princes
    became sick with the heat of wine;
    he stretched out his hand with mockers.
  For with hearts like an oven they approach their intrigue;
    all night their anger smolders;
    in the morning it blazes like a flaming fire.
  All of them are hot as an oven,
    and they devour their rulers.
  All their kings have fallen,
    and none of them calls upon me.
  Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples;
    Ephraim is a cake not turned.
  Strangers devour his strength,
    and he knows it not;
  gray hairs are sprinkled upon him,
    and he knows it not.
10   The pride of Israel testifies to his face;
    yet they do not return to the LORD their God,
    nor seek him, for all this.
11   Ephraim is like a dove,
    silly and without sense,
    calling to Egypt, going to Assyria.
12   As they go, I will spread over them my net;
    I will bring them down like birds of the heavens;
    I will discipline them according to the report made to their congregation.
13   Woe to them, for they have strayed from me!
    Destruction to them, for they have rebelled against me!
  I would redeem them,
    but they speak lies against me.
14   They do not cry to me from the heart,
    but they wail upon their beds;
  for grain and wine they gash themselves;
    they rebel against me.
15   Although I trained and strengthened their arms,
    yet they devise evil against me.
16   They return, but not upward;
    they are like a treacherous bow;
  their princes shall fall by the sword
    because of the insolence of their tongue.
  This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.

8:1   Set the trumpet to your lips!
    One like a vulture is over the house of the LORD,
  because they have transgressed my covenant
    and rebelled against my law.
  To me they cry,
    “My God, we—Israel—know you.”
  Israel has spurned the good;
    the enemy shall pursue him.
  They made kings, but not through me.
    They set up princes, but I knew it not.
  With their silver and gold they made idols
    for their own destruction.
  I have spurned your calf, O Samaria.
    My anger burns against them.
  How long will they be incapable of innocence?
  For it is from Israel;
  a craftsman made it;
    it is not God.
  The calf of Samaria
    shall be broken to pieces.
  For they sow the wind,
    and they shall reap the whirlwind.
  The standing grain has no heads;
    it shall yield no flour;
  if it were to yield,
    strangers would devour it.
  Israel is swallowed up;
    already they are among the nations
    as a useless vessel.
  For they have gone up to Assyria,
    a wild donkey wandering alone;
    Ephraim has hired lovers.
10   Though they hire allies among the nations,
    I will soon gather them up.
  And the king and princes shall soon writhe
    because of the tribute.
11   Because Ephraim has multiplied altars for sinning,
    they have become to him altars for sinning.
12   Were I to write for him my laws by the ten thousands,
    they would be regarded as a strange thing.
13   As for my sacrificial offerings,
    they sacrifice meat and eat it,
    but the LORD does not accept them.
  Now he will remember their iniquity
    and punish their sins;
    they shall return to Egypt.
14   For Israel has forgotten his Maker
    and built palaces,
  and Judah has multiplied fortified cities;
    so I will send a fire upon his cities,
    and it shall devour her strongholds.

9:1   Rejoice not, O Israel!
    Exult not like the peoples;
  for you have played the whore, forsaking your God.
    You have loved a prostitute’s wages
    on all threshing floors.
  Threshing floor and wine vat shall not feed them,
    and the new wine shall fail them.
  They shall not remain in the land of the LORD,
    but Ephraim shall return to Egypt,
    and they shall eat unclean food in Assyria.
  They shall not pour drink offerings of wine to the LORD,
    and their sacrifices shall not please him.
  It shall be like mourners’ bread to them;
    all who eat of it shall be defiled;
  for their bread shall be for their hunger only;
    it shall not come to the house of the LORD.
  What will you do on the day of the appointed festival,
    and on the day of the feast of the LORD?
  For behold, they are going away from destruction;
    but Egypt shall gather them;
    Memphis shall bury them.
  Nettles shall possess their precious things of silver;
    thorns shall be in their tents.
  The days of punishment have come;
    the days of recompense have come;
    Israel shall know it.
  The prophet is a fool;
    the man of the spirit is mad,
  because of your great iniquity
    and great hatred.
  The prophet is the watchman of Ephraim with my God;
  yet a fowler’s snare is on all his ways,
    and hatred in the house of his God.
  They have deeply corrupted themselves
    as in the days of Gibeah:
  he will remember their iniquity;
    he will punish their sins.
10   Like grapes in the wilderness,
    I found Israel.
  Like the first fruit on the fig tree
    in its first season,
    I saw your fathers.
  But they came to Baal-peor
    and consecrated themselves to the thing of shame,
    and became detestable like the thing they loved.
11   Ephraim’s glory shall fly away like a bird—
    no birth, no pregnancy, no conception!
12   Even if they bring up children,
    I will bereave them till none is left.
  Woe to them
    when I depart from them!
13   Ephraim, as I have seen, was like a young palm planted in a meadow;
    but Ephraim must lead his children out to slaughter.
14   Give them, O LORD—
    what will you give?
  Give them a miscarrying womb
    and dry breasts.
15   Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal;
    there I began to hate them.
  Because of the wickedness of their deeds
    I will drive them out of my house.
  I will love them no more;
    all their princes are rebels.
16   Ephraim is stricken;
    their root is dried up;
    they shall bear no fruit.
  Even though they give birth,
    I will put their beloved children to death.
17   My God will reject them
    because they have not listened to him;
    they shall be wanderers among the nations.
10:1   Israel is a luxuriant vine
    that yields its fruit.
  The more his fruit increased,
    the more altars he built;
  as his country improved,
    he improved his pillars.
  Their heart is false;
    now they must bear their guilt.
  The LORD will break down their altars
    and destroy their pillars.
  For now they will say:
    “We have no king,
  for we do not fear the LORD;
    and a king—what could he do for us?”
  They utter mere words;
    with empty oaths they make covenants;
  so judgment springs up like poisonous weeds
    in the furrows of the field.
  The inhabitants of Samaria tremble
    for the calf of Beth-aven.
  Its people mourn for it, and so do its idolatrous priests—
    those who rejoiced over it and over its glory—
    for it has departed from them.
  The thing itself shall be carried to Assyria
    as tribute to the great king.
  Ephraim shall be put to shame,
    and Israel shall be ashamed of his idol.
  Samaria’s king shall perish
    like a twig on the face of the waters.
  The high places of Aven, the sin of Israel,
    shall be destroyed.
  Thorn and thistle shall grow up
    on their altars,
  and they shall say to the mountains, “Cover us,”
    and to the hills, “Fall on us.”
  From the days of Gibeah, you have sinned, O Israel;
    there they have continued.
    Shall not the war against the unjust overtake them in Gibeah?
10   When I please, I will discipline them,
    and nations shall be gathered against them
    when they are bound up for their double iniquity.
11   Ephraim was a trained calf
    that loved to thresh,
    and I spared her fair neck;
  but I will put Ephraim to the yoke;
    Judah must plow;
    Jacob must harrow for himself.
12   Sow for yourselves righteousness;
    reap steadfast love;
    break up your fallow ground,
  for it is the time to seek the LORD,
    that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.
13   You have plowed iniquity;
    you have reaped injustice;
    you have eaten the fruit of lies.
  Because you have trusted in your own way
    and in the multitude of your warriors,
14   therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people,
    and all your fortresses shall be destroyed,
  as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle;
    mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.
15   Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel,
    because of your great evil.
  At dawn the king of Israel
    shall be utterly cut off.

Luke 2:21–33

21 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22 And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) 24 and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law, 28 he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

29   “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
    according to your word;
30   for my eyes have seen your salvation
31     that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
32   a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
    and for glory to your people Israel.”

33 And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.

Psalm 17

A Prayer of David.

17:1   Hear a just cause, O LORD; attend to my cry!
    Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!
  From your presence let my vindication come!
    Let your eyes behold the right!
  You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night,
    you have tested me, and you will find nothing;
    I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.
  With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips
    I have avoided the ways of the violent.
  My steps have held fast to your paths;
    my feet have not slipped.
  I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God;
    incline your ear to me; hear my words.
  Wondrously show your steadfast love,
    O Savior of those who seek refuge
    from their adversaries at your right hand.
  Keep me as the apple of your eye;
    hide me in the shadow of your wings,
  from the wicked who do me violence,
    my deadly enemies who surround me.
10   They close their hearts to pity;
    with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
11   They have now surrounded our steps;
    they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
12   He is like a lion eager to tear,
    as a young lion lurking in ambush.
13   Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue him!
    Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
14   from men by your hand, O LORD,
    from men of the world whose portion is in this life.
  You fill their womb with treasure;
    they are satisfied with children,
    and they leave their abundance to their infants.
15   As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
    when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

Proverbs 14:13–16

13   Even in laughter the heart may ache,
    and the end of joy may be grief.
14   The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways,
    and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
15   The simple believes everything,
    but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
16   One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil,
    but a fool is reckless and careless.


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