Friday, May 1, 2015

Ezekiel, Day 5 Readings

The Valley of Dry Bones and God's Presence Returns 

Today's first reading is a famous prophecy for the exiles in Babylon -- from among them (at least from among their descendants), God will restore Israel.  This restoration will be like the dead being raised to life.  Imagine skeletons of bones climbing out of graves and then having muscles and then skin placed on them.  In this way, God will recreate an entire nation of faithful people, led by a faithful king who follows the example of David.

Read Ezekiel 37:1-28  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second reading is a part of the long prophecy about the rebuilding of God's Temple in Jerusalem.  The dimensions and construction are described in detail, including the sacred "Holy of Holies" space where the Ark of the Covenant was kept in the original Temple.  This was the place where the presence of God departed in the famous vision with the wheel of Ezekiel 10-11 (which was the Day 2 reading).  Now, in the rebuilt Temple, is a vision promising the presence of God returning and filling this "Holy of Holies" again.  And the presence of God will make the entire mountain where the Temple is built holy -- the sacred place in the center of Jerusalem.

Read Ezekiel 43:1-12  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Ezekiel 40-48 today.