The Daily Audio Bible Reading for Thursday November 7, 2019 (NIV)

Ezekiel 16:42-17:24

42 Only then will I calm down and stop being angry and jealous. 43 You made me furious by doing all these disgusting things and by forgetting how I took care of you when you were young. Then you made things worse by acting like a prostitute. You must be punished! I, the Lord God, have spoken.

Jerusalem’s Two Sisters

The Lord said:

44 People will use this saying about you, Jerusalem: “If the mother is bad, so is her daughter.” 45 You are just like your mother, who hated her husband and her own children. You are also like your sisters, who hated their husbands and children. Your father was an Amorite, and your mother was a Hittite.[a] 46 Your older sister was Samaria, that city to your north with her nearby villages. Your younger sister was Sodom, that city to your south with her nearby villages. 47 You followed their way of life and their wicked customs, and soon you were more disgusting than they were.

48 As surely as I am the living Lord God, the people of Sodom and its nearby villages were never as sinful as you. 49 They were arrogant and spoiled; they had everything they needed and still refused to help the poor and needy. 50 They thought they were better than everyone else, and they did things I hate. And so I destroyed them.

51 You people of Jerusalem have sinned twice as much as the people of Samaria. In fact, your evil ways have made both Sodom and Samaria look innocent. 52 So their punishment will seem light compared to yours. You will be disgraced and put to shame because of your disgusting sins.

Jerusalem Will Be Ashamed

The Lord said to Jerusalem:

53 Someday I will bless Sodom and Samaria and their nearby villages. I will also bless you, Jerusalem. 54 Then you will be ashamed of how you’ve acted, and Sodom and Samaria will be relieved that they weren’t as sinful as you. 55 When that day comes, you and Sodom and Samaria will once again be well-off, and all nearby villages will be restored.

56 Jerusalem, you were so arrogant that you sneered at Sodom. 57 But now everyone has learned how wicked you really are. The countries of Syria and Philistia, as well as your other neighbors, hate you and make insulting remarks. 58 You must pay for all the vulgar and disgusting things you have done. I, the Lord, have spoken.

The Lord Makes a Promise to Jerusalem

The Lord said:

59 Jerusalem, you deserve to be punished, because you broke your promises and ignored our agreement. 60 But I remember the agreement I made with you when you were young,[b] and so I will make you a promise that will last forever. 61 When you think about how you acted, you will be ashamed, especially when I return your sisters[c] to you as daughters, even though this was not part of our agreement.[d] 62 I will keep this solemn promise, and you will know that I am the Lord. 63 I will forgive you, but you will think about your sins and be too ashamed to say a word. I, the Lord God, have spoken.

A Story about Two Eagles and a Vine

17 The Lord said:

Ezekiel, son of man, tell the people of Israel the following story, so they will understand what I am saying to them:

A large eagle with strong wings and beautiful feathers once flew to Lebanon. It broke the top branch off a cedar tree, then carried it to a nation of merchants and left it in one of their cities. The eagle also took seed from Israel and planted it in a fertile field with plenty of water, like a willow tree beside a stream.[e] The seed sprouted and grew into a grapevine that spread over the ground. It had lots of leaves and strong, deep roots, and its branches grew upward toward the eagle.

There was another eagle with strong wings and thick feathers. The roots and branches of the grapevine soon turned toward this eagle, hoping it would bring water for the soil. But the vine was already growing in fertile soil, where there was plenty of water to produce healthy leaves and large grapes.

Now tell me, Ezekiel, do you think this grapevine will live? Or will the first eagle pull it up by its roots and pluck off the grapes and let its new leaves die? The eagle could easily kill it without the help of a large and powerful army. 10 The grapevine is strong and healthy, but as soon as the scorching desert wind blows, it will quickly wither.

The Lord Explains the Story

11 The Lord said:

12 Ezekiel, ask the rebellious people of Israel if they know what this story means.

Tell them that the king of Babylonia came to Jerusalem, then he captured the king of Judah[f] and his officials, and took them back to Babylon as prisoners. 13 He chose someone from the family of Judah’s king[g] and signed a treaty with him, then made him swear to be loyal. He also led away other important citizens, 14 so that the rest of the people of Judah would obey only him and never gain control of their own country again.

15 But this new king of Judah later rebelled against Babylonia and sent officials to Egypt to get horses and troops. Will this king be successful in breaking the treaty with Babylonia? Or will he be punished for what he’s done?

16 As surely as I am the living Lord God, I swear that the king of Judah will die in Babylon, because he broke the treaty with the king of Babylonia, who appointed him king. 17 Even the king of Egypt and his powerful army will be useless to Judah when the Babylonians attack and build dirt ramps to invade the cities of Judah and kill its people. 18 The king of Judah broke his own promises and ignored the treaty with Babylonia. And so he will be punished!

19 He made a promise in my name and swore to honor the treaty. And now that he has broken that promise, my name is disgraced. He must pay for what he’s done. 20 I will spread out a net to trap him. Then I will drag him to Babylon and see that he is punished for his unfaithfulness to me. 21 His best troops[h] will be killed in battle, and the survivors will be scattered in every direction. I, the Lord, have spoken.

22 Someday, I, the Lord,
will cut a tender twig
from the top of a cedar tree,
then plant it on the peak
of Israel’s tallest mountain,
where it will grow
strong branches
and produce large fruit.
23 All kinds of birds will find
shelter under the tree,
and they will rest in the shade
of its branches.
24 Every tree in the forest
will know that I, the Lord,
can bring down tall trees
and help short ones grow.
I dry up green trees
and make dry ones green.
I, the Lord, have spoken,
and I will keep my word.


  1. 16.45 Amorite. . . Hittite: See the note at 16.3.
  2. 16.60 the agreement. . . when you were young: See verse 8.
  3. 16.61 sisters: Sodom and Samaria (see verses 44-52).
  4. 16.61 even though this was not part of our agreement: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. 17.5 like a willow tree beside a stream: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  6. 17.12 king of Judah: Probably King Jehoiachin (see 2 Kings 24.10-12,15,16).
  7. 17.13 someone from the family of Judah’s king: Probably King Zedekiah (see 2 Kings 24.17).
  8. 17.21 best troops: Two ancient translations; Hebrew “troops that ran away.”

Hebrews 8

A Better Promise

What I mean is that we have a high priest who sits at the right side[a] of God’s great throne in heaven. He also serves as the priest in the most holy place[b] inside the real tent there in heaven. This tent of worship was set up by the Lord, not by humans.

Since all priests must offer gifts and sacrifices, Christ also needed to have something to offer. If he were here on earth, he would not be a priest at all, because here the Law appoints other priests to offer sacrifices. But the tent where they serve is just a copy and a shadow of the real one in heaven. Before Moses made the tent, he was told, “Be sure to make it exactly like the pattern you were shown on the mountain!” Now Christ has been appointed to serve as a priest in a much better way, and he has given us much assurance of a better agreement.

If the first agreement with God had been all right, there would not have been any need for another one. But the Lord found fault with it and said,

“I tell you the time will come,
when I will make
a new agreement
with the people of Israel
and the people of Judah.
It won’t be like the agreement
that I made
with their ancestors,
when I took them by the hand
and led them out of Egypt.
They broke their agreement
with me,
and I stopped caring
about them!

10 “But now I tell the people
of Israel
this is my new agreement:
‘The time will come
when I, the Lord,
will write my laws
on their minds and hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be
my people.
11 Not one of them
will have to teach another
to know me, their Lord.'

“All of them will know me,
no matter who they are.
12 I will treat them with kindness,
even though they are wicked.
I will forget their sins.”

13 When the Lord talks about a new agreement, he means that the first one is out of date. And anything that is old and useless will soon disappear.


  1. 8.1 right side: See the note at 1.3.
  2. 8.2 most holy place: See the note at 6.19.

Psalm 106:13-31

13 But they soon forgot
what you had done
and rejected your advice.
14 They became greedy for food
and tested you there
in the desert.
15 So you gave them
what they wanted,
but later you destroyed them
with a horrible disease.

16 Everyone in camp was jealous
of Moses
and of Aaron,
your chosen priest.
17 Dathan and Abiram rebelled,
and the earth opened up
and swallowed them.
18 Then fire broke out
and destroyed all
of their followers.

19 At Horeb your people
made and worshiped
the statue
20 of a bull, instead of you,
their glorious God.
21 You worked powerful miracles
to save them from Egypt,
but they forgot about you
22 and the fearsome things
you did at the Red Sea.[a]
23 You were angry and started
to destroy them,
but Moses, your chosen leader,
begged you not to do it.

24 They would not trust
you, Lord,
and they did not like
the promised land.
25 They would not obey you,
and they grumbled
in their tents.
26 So you threatened them
by saying,
“I’ll kill you
out here in the desert!
27 I’ll scatter your children
everywhere in the world.”

28 Your people became followers
of a god named Baal Peor,
and they ate sacrifices
offered to the dead.[b]
29 They did such terrible things
that you punished them
with a deadly disease.
30 But Phinehas[c] helped them,
and the sickness stopped.
31 Now he will always
be highly honored.


  1. 106.7,9,22 Red Sea: Hebrew yam suph “Sea of Reeds,” one of the marshes or fresh water lakes near the eastern part of the Nile Delta. This identification is based on Exodus 13.17—14.9, which lists the towns on the route of the Israelites before crossing the sea. In the Greek translation of the Scriptures made about 200 (B).(C)., the “Sea of Reeds” was named “Red Sea.”
  2. 106.28 the dead: Or “lifeless idols.”
  3. 106.30 Phinehas: The grandson of Aaron, who put two people to death and kept the Lord from being angry with the rest of his people (see Numbers 25.1-13).

Proverbs 27:7-9

If you have had enough to eat,
honey doesn’t taste good,
but if you are really hungry,
you will eat anything.

When you are far from home,
you feel like a bird
without a nest.
The sweet smell of incense
can make you feel good,
but true friendship
is better still.[a]


  1. 27.9 still: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 9.