Read the Bible in a Year

Each day, we'll post passages so that you can read the Bible in one year. This is part of The Colossians 13:16 Project, sponsored by Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia. You're invited to worship with us Sundays, at 11:00 a.m. or Saturdays, at 6:30 p.m. You may also want to consider joining one our adult Bible Studies: Thursdays at 12:00 noon and Sundays at 9:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. We also have a full range of programs for children. If you want more information about the church, check out the other blogs. And please feel free to leave any comments.

The Bible in a Year is a ministry of Cove Presbyterian Church. We need your support to keep posting. If you find it helpful, you can support this blog by your contributions. They may be sent to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, WV 26062. You can also use the PayPal link below:

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Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bible Readings for December 28, 2013

Today our passages are Zechariah 12:1–13:9; Revelation 19:1-21; Psalm 147:1-20; and Proverbs 31:1-7. The readings are the Contemporary English Version.

Zechariah 12-13:9 (Contemporary English Version)

Zechariah 12

Victory for Jerusalem
 1This is a message from the LORD about Israel:    I am the LORD! I stretched out the heavens; I put the earth on its foundations and gave breath to humans. 2I have decided that Jerusalem will become a bowl of wine that makes the neighboring nations drunk. And when Jerusalem is attacked, Judah will also be attacked. [a] 3But I will turn Jerusalem into a heavy stone that crushes anyone who tries to lift it. When all nations on earth surround Jerusalem, 4I will make every horse panic and every rider confused. But at the same time, I will watch over Judah. 5Then every clan in Judah will realize that I, the LORD All-Powerful, am their God, and that I am the source of their strength.
    6At that time I will let the clans of Judah be like a ball of fire in a wood pile or a fiery torch in a hay stack. Then Judah will send the surrounding nations up in smoke. And once again the city of Jerusalem will be filled with people.
    7But I will first give victory to Judah, so the kingdom of David and the city of Jerusalem in all of their glory won't be thought of more highly than Judah itself. 8I, the LORD God, will protect Jerusalem. Even the weakest person there will be as strong as David, and David's kingdom will rule as though my very own angel were its leader. 9I am determined to wipe out every nation that attacks Jerusalem.
Mourning for the One Pierced with a Spear
 10I, the LORD, will make the descendants of David and the people of Jerusalem feel deep sorrow and pray when they see the one they pierced with a spear. They will mourn and weep for him, as parents weep over the death of their only child or their first-born. 11On that day the people of Jerusalem will mourn as much as everyone did for Hadad Rimmon [b] on the flatlands near Megiddo. 12Everyone of each family in the land will mourn, and the men will mourn separately from the women. This includes those from the family of David, and the families of Nathan, 13Levi, Shimei, [c] 14and all other families as well.

Zechariah 13

Getting Rid of Idols and False Prophets
 1In the future there will be a fountain, where David's descendants and the people of Jerusalem can wash away their sin and guilt.     2The LORD All-Powerful says:
   When that time comes, I will get rid of every idol in the country, and they will be forgotten forever. I will also do away with their prophets and those evil spirits that control them. 3If any such prophets ever appear again, their own parents must warn them that they will die for telling lies in my name--the name of the LORD. If those prophets don't stop speaking, their parents must then kill them with a sword.
    4Those prophets will be ashamed of their so-called visions, and they won't deceive anyone by dressing like a true prophet. 5Instead, they will say, "I'm no prophet. I've been a farmer all my life." [d] 6And if any of them are asked why they are wounded, [e] they will answer, "It happened at the house of some friends."
A Wounded Shepherd and Scattered Sheep
 7The LORD All-Powerful said:    My sword, wake up! Attack
   my shepherd and friend.
   Strike down the shepherd!
   Scatter the little sheep,
   and I will destroy them.
    8Nowhere in the land
   will more than a third of them
   be left alive.
    9Then I will purify them
   and put them to the test,
   just as gold and silver
   are purified and tested.
   They will pray in my name,
   and I will answer them.
   I will say, "You are my people,"
   and they will reply,
   "You, LORD, are our God!"
  1. Zechariah 12:2 Judah. . . attacked: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. Zechariah 12:11 Hadad Rimmon: Not mentioned elsewhere in the Old Testament.
  3. Zechariah 12:13 Shimei: A descendant of Gershon son of Levi (see Numbers 3.18).
  4. Zechariah 13:5 I've. . . my life: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  5. Zechariah 13:6 wounded: Probably from slashing themselves in the worship of a false god (see 1 Kings 18.28).

Revelation 19:1-21 (Contemporary English Version)

Revelation 19

 1After this, I heard what sounded like a lot of voices in heaven, and they were shouting,    "Praise the Lord!
   To our God belongs
   the glorious power to save,
    2because his judgments
   are honest and fair.
   That filthy prostitute
   ruined the earth
   with shameful deeds.
   But God has judged her
   and made her pay
   the price
   for murdering
   his servants."
    3Then the crowd shouted,
   "Praise the Lord!
   Smoke will never stop rising
   from her burning body."
    4After this, the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures all knelt before the throne of God and worshiped him. They said, "Amen! Praise the Lord!"
The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
 5From the throne a voice said,    "If you worship
   and fear our God,
   give praise to him,
   no matter who you are."
    6Then I heard what seemed to be a large crowd that sounded like a roaring flood and loud thunder all mixed together. They were saying,
   "Praise the Lord!
   Our Lord God All-Powerful
   now rules as king.
    7So we will be glad and happy
   and give him praise.
   The wedding day of the Lamb
   is here,
   and his bride is ready.
    8She will be given
   a wedding dress
   made of pure
   and shining linen.
   This linen stands for
   the good things
   God's people have done."
    9Then the angel told me, "Put this in writing. God will bless everyone who is invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb." The angel also said, "These things that God has said are true."
    10I knelt at the feet of the angel and began to worship him. But the angel said, "Don't do that! I am a servant, just like you and everyone else who tells about Jesus. Don't worship anyone but God. Everyone who tells about Jesus does it by the power of the Spirit."
The Rider on the White Horse
 11I looked and saw that heaven was open, and a white horse was there. Its rider was called Faithful and True, and he is always fair when he judges or goes to war. 12He had eyes like flames of fire, and he was wearing a lot of crowns. His name was written on him, but he was the only one who knew what the name meant.     13The rider wore a robe that was covered with [a] blood, and he was known as "The Word of God." 14He was followed by armies from heaven that rode on horses and were dressed in pure white linen. 15From his mouth a sharp sword went out to attack the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod and will show the fierce anger of God All-Powerful by trampling the grapes in the pit where wine is made. 16On the part of the robe that covered his thigh was written, "KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." 17I then saw an angel standing on the sun, and he shouted to all the birds flying in the sky, "Come and join in God's great feast! 18You can eat the flesh of kings, rulers, leaders, horses, riders, free people, slaves, important people, and everyone else."
    19I also saw the beast and all kings of the earth come together. They fought against the rider on the white horse and against his army. 20But the beast was captured and so was the false prophet. This is the same prophet who had worked miracles for the beast, so that he could fool everyone who had the mark of the beast and worshiped the idol. The beast and the false prophet were thrown alive into a lake of burning sulfur. 21But the rest of their army was killed by the sword that came from the mouth of the rider on the horse. Then birds stuffed themselves on the dead bodies.
  1. Revelation 19:13 covered with: Some manuscripts have "sprinkled with."

Psalm 147:1-20 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 147

Sing and Praise the LORD
 1Shout praises to the LORD!    Our God is kind,
   and it is right and good
   to sing praises to him.
    2The LORD rebuilds Jerusalem
   and brings the people of Israel
   back home again.
    3He renews our hopes
   and heals our bodies.
    4He decided how many stars
   there would be in the sky
   and gave each one a name.
    5Our LORD is great and powerful!
   He understands everything.
    6The LORD helps the poor,
   but he smears the wicked
   in the dirt.
    7Celebrate and sing!
   Play your harps
   for the LORD our God.
    8He fills the sky with clouds
   and sends rain to the earth,
   so that the hills
   will be green with grass.
    9He provides food for cattle
   and for the young ravens,
   when they cry out.
    10The LORD doesn't care about
   the strength of horses
   or powerful armies.
    11The LORD is pleased only
   with those who worship him
   and trust his love.
    12Everyone in Jerusalem,
   come and praise
   the LORD your God!
    13He makes your city gates strong
   and blesses your people
   by giving them children.
    14God lets you live in peace,
   and he gives you
   the very best wheat.
    15As soon as God speaks,
   the earth obeys.
    16He covers the ground with snow
   like a blanket of wool,
   and he scatters frost
   like ashes on the ground.
    17God sends down hailstones
   like chips of rocks.
   Who can stand the cold?
    18At his command the ice melts,
   the wind blows,
   and streams begin to flow.
    19God gave his laws and teachings
   to the descendants of Jacob,
   the nation of Israel.
    20But he has not given his laws
   to any other nation.
   Shout praises to the LORD!

Proverbs 31:1-7 (Contemporary English Version)

Proverbs 31

What King Lemuel's Mother Taught Him
 1These are the sayings    that King Lemuel of Massa
   was taught by his mother.
    2My son Lemuel, you were born
   in answer to my prayers,
   so listen carefully.
    3Don't waste your life
   chasing after women!
   This has ruined many kings.
    4Kings and leaders
   should not get drunk
   or even want to drink.
    5Drinking makes you forget
   your responsibilities,
   and you mistreat the poor.
    6Beer and wine are only
   for the dying
   or for those
   who have lost all hope.
    7Let them drink
   and forget
   how poor and miserable
   they feel.

Verse of the Day

“If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

American pianist, composer, author, comedian, and actor, Oscar Levant wrote, “What the world needs is more geniuses with humility; there are so few of us left.”

Friday, December 27, 2013

Bible Readings for December 27, 2013

Today our passages are Zechariah 10:1–11:17; Revelation 18:1-24; Psalm 146:1-10; and Proverbs 30:33. The readings are the Contemporary English Version.

Zechariah 10-11:17 (Contemporary English Version)

Zechariah 10

A Bright Future for Judah and Israel
 1I, the LORD, am the one    who sends storm clouds
   and showers of rain
   to make fields produce.
   So when the crops need rain,
   you should pray to me.
    2You can't believe idols
   and fortunetellers,
   or depend on the hope
   you receive from witchcraft
   and interpreters of dreams.
   But you have tried all of these,
   and now you are like sheep
   without a shepherd.
    3I, the LORD All-Powerful,
   am fiercely angry
   with you leaders,
   and I will punish you.
   I care for my people,
   the nation of Judah,
   and I will change
   this flock of sheep
   into charging war horses.
    4From this flock will come leaders
   who will be strong
   like cornerstones and tent pegs
   and weapons of war.
    5They will join in the fighting,
   and together they will trample
   their enemies like mud.
   They will fight,
   because I, the LORD,
   will be on their side.
   And they will crush
   the enemy cavalry.
    6I will strengthen
   the kingdoms of Judah
   and Israel. [a] And I will show mercy
   because I am the LORD,
   their God.
   I will answer their prayers
   and bring them home.
   Then it will seem as though
   I had never rejected them.
    7Israel [b] will be like a tribe of warriors
   celebrating with wine.
   When their children see this,
   they will also be happy
   because of me, the LORD.
    8I will give a signal
   for them to come together
   because I have rescued them.
   And there will be as many
   as ever before.
    9Although I scattered my people
   in distant countries,
   they won't forget me.
   Once their children are raised, [c] they will return--
    10I will bring them home
   from Egypt and Assyria,
   then let them settle
   as far as Gilead and Lebanon,
   until the land overflows
   with them.
    11My people will go through
   an ocean of troubles,
   but I will overcome the waves
   and dry up the deepest part
   of the Nile.
   Assyria's great pride
   will be put down,
   and the power of Egypt
   will disappear.
    12I'll strengthen my people
   because of who I am,
   and they will follow me.
   I, the LORD, have spoken!

Zechariah 11

Trouble for Israel's Enemies
 1Lebanon, open your gates!    Let the fire come in
   to destroy your cedar trees.
    2Cry, you cyprus trees!
   The glorious cedars have fallen
   and are rotting.
   Cry, you oak trees of Bashan!
   The dense forest
   has been chopped down.
    3Listen! Shepherds are crying.
   Their glorious pastures
   have been ruined.
   Listen! Lions are roaring.
   The forests of the Jordan Valley
   are no more to be found.
Worthless Shepherds
 4The LORD my God said to me:    Tend those sheep doomed for slaughter! 5The people who buy and butcher them go unpunished, while everyone who sells them says, "Praise the LORD! I'm rich." Not even their shepherds have pity on them.
    6Tend those sheep because I, the LORD, will no longer have pity on the people of this earth. I'll turn neighbor against neighbor and make them slaves of a king. They will bring disaster on the earth, and I'll do nothing to rescue any of them.
    7So I became a shepherd of those sheep doomed to be slaughtered by the sheep dealers. [d] And I gave names to the two sticks I used for tending the sheep: One of them was named "Mercy" and the other "Unity." 8In less than a month, I became impatient with three shepherds who didn't like me, and I got rid of them. 9Then I said, "I refuse to be your shepherd. Let the sheep that are going to die, go on and die, and those that are going to be destroyed, go on and be destroyed. Then let the others eat one another alive." 10On that same day, I broke the stick named "Mercy" to show that the LORD had canceled his agreement with all people. 11The sheep dealers who saw me knew right away that this was a message from the LORD. 12-13I told them, "Pay me my wages, if you think you should; otherwise, forget it." So they handed me my wages, a measly thirty pieces of silver.
   Then the LORD said, "Throw the money into the treasury." [e] So I threw the money into the treasury at the LORD's temple. 14Then I broke the stick named "Unity" and canceled the ties between Judah and Israel. 15Next, the LORD said to me, "Act like a shepherd again--this time a worthless shepherd. 16Once more I am going to let a worthless nobody rule the land--one who won't care for the strays or search for the young or heal the sick or feed the healthy. He will just dine on the fattest sheep, leaving nothing but a few bones."
    17You worthless shepherd,
   deserting the sheep!
   I hope a sword
   will cripple your arm
   and blind your right eye.
  1. Zechariah 10:6 Israel: The Hebrew text has "family of Joseph," the ancestor of Ephraim and Manasseh, the leading tribes of the northern kingdom (Israel).
  2. Zechariah 10:7 Israel: Hebrew "Ephraim" (see the note at 9.10).
  3. Zechariah 10:9 Once. . . raised: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  4. Zechariah 11:7 by the sheep dealers: One ancient translation; Hebrew "especially the weak ones."
  5. Zechariah 11:12 Throw. . . treasury: Hebrew "Throw the money to the potter."

Revelation 18:1-24 (Contemporary English Version)

Revelation 18

The Fall of Babylon
 1I saw another angel come from heaven. This one had great power, and the earth was bright because of his glory. 2The angel shouted,    "Fallen! Powerful Babylon
   has fallen
   and is now the home
   of demons.
   It is the den
   of every filthy spirit
   and of all unclean birds,
   and every dirty
   and hated animal.
    3Babylon's evil and immoral wine
   has made all nations drunk.
   Every king on earth
   has slept with her,
   and every merchant on earth
   is rich
   because of
   her evil desires."
    4Then I heard another voice
   from heaven shout,
   "My people, you must escape
   from Babylon.
   Don't take part in her sins
   and share her punishment.
    5Her sins are piled
   as high as heaven.
   God has remembered the evil
   she has done.
    6Treat her as she
   has treated others.
   Make her pay double
   for what she has done.
   Make her drink twice as much
   of what she mixed
   for others.
    7That woman honored herself
   with a life of luxury.
   Reward her now
   with suffering and pain.
   "Deep in her heart
   Babylon said,
   `I am the queen!
   Never will I be a widow
   or know what it means
   to be sad.'
    8And so, in a single day
   she will suffer the pain
   of sorrow, hunger, and death.
   Fire will destroy
   her dead body,
   because her judge
   is the powerful Lord God."
    9Every king on earth who slept with her and shared in her luxury will mourn. They will weep, when they see the smoke from that fire. 10Her sufferings will frighten them, and they will stand at a distance and say,
   "Pity that great
   and powerful city!
   Pity Babylon!
   In a single hour
   her judgment has come."
    11Every merchant on earth will mourn, because there is no one to buy their goods. 12There won't be anyone to buy their gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, sweet-smelling wood, fancy carvings of ivory and wood, as well as things made of bronze, iron, or marble. 13No one will buy their cinnamon, spices, incense, myrrh, frankincense, [a] wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, chariots, slaves, and other humans. 14Babylon, the things
   your heart desired
   have all escaped
   from you.
   Every luxury
   and all your glory
   will be lost forever.
   You will never
   get them back.
    15The merchants had become rich because of her. But when they saw her sufferings, they were terrified. They stood at a distance, crying and mourning. 16Then they shouted,
   "Pity the great city
   of Babylon!
   She dressed in fine linen
   and wore purple
   and scarlet cloth.
   She had jewelry
   made of gold
   and precious stones
   and pearls.
    17Yet in a single hour
   her riches disappeared."
   Every ship captain and passenger and sailor stood at a distance, together with everyone who does business by traveling on the sea. 18When they saw the smoke from her fire, they shouted, "This was the greatest city ever!"
    19They cried loudly, and in their sorrow they threw dust on their heads, as they said,
   "Pity the great city
   of Babylon!
   Everyone who sailed the seas
   became rich
   from her treasures.
   But in a single hour
   the city was destroyed.
    20The heavens should be happy
   with God's people
   and apostles and prophets.
   God has punished her
   for them."
    21A powerful angel then picked up a huge stone and threw it into the sea. The angel said,
   "This is how the great city
   of Babylon
   will be thrown down,
   never to rise again.
    22The music of harps and singers
   and of flutes and trumpets
   will no longer be heard.
   No workers will ever
   set up shop in that city,
   and the sound
   of grinding grain
   will be silenced forever.
    23Lamps will no longer shine
   anywhere in Babylon,
   and couples will never again
   say wedding vows there.
   Her merchants ruled
   the earth,
   and by her witchcraft
   she fooled all nations.
    24On the streets of Babylon
   is found the blood
   of God's people
   and of his prophets,
   and everyone else."
  1. Revelation 18:13 myrrh, frankincense: Myrrh was a valuable sweet-smelling powder often used in perfume. Frankincense was a valuable powder that was burned to make a sweet smell.

Psalm 146:1-10 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 146

Shout Praises to the LORD
 1Shout praises to the LORD!    With all that I am,
   I will shout his praises.
    2I will sing
   and praise
   the LORD God
   for as long as I live.
    3You can't depend on anyone,
   not even a great leader.
    4Once they die and are buried,
   that will be the end
   of all their plans.
    5The LORD God of Jacob blesses
   who trusts him
   and depends on him.
    6God made heaven and earth;
   he created the sea
   and everything else.
   God always keeps his word.
    7He gives justice to the poor
   and food to the hungry.
   The LORD sets prisoners free
    8and heals blind eyes.
   He gives a helping hand
   to everyone who falls.
   The LORD loves good people
    9and looks after strangers.
   He defends the rights
   of orphans and widows,
   but destroys the wicked.
    10The LORD God of Zion
   will rule forever!
   Shout praises to the LORD!

Proverbs 30:33 (Contemporary English Version)

33If you churn milk
   you get butter;
   if you pound on your nose,
   you get blood--
   and if you stay angry,
   you get in trouble.

Verse of the Day

“[(By David.)][The LORD's Wonderful Love]With all my heart I praise the LORD, and with all that I am I praise his holy name! With all my heart I praise the LORD! I will never forget how kind he has been.” - Psalm 103:1-2
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Annie Besant in 1897.JPG
Thought for the Day

British socialist, theosophist, women's rights activist, writer and orator and supporter of Irish and Indian self-rule, Annie Besant wrote, “Better remain silent, better not even think, if you are not prepared to act.”

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bible Readings for December 26, 2013

Today our passages are Zechariah 9:1-17; Revelation 17:1-18; Psalm 145:1-21; and Proverbs 30:32. The readings are the Contemporary English Version.


Zechariah 9:1-17 (Contemporary English Version)

Zechariah 9

Israel's Enemies Will Be Punished
 1This is a message    from the LORD:
   His eyes are on everyone,
   especially the tribes
   of Israel. [a] So he pronounces judgment
   against the cities
   of Hadrach and Damascus. [b] 2Judgment will also fall
   on the nearby city
   of Hamath,
   as well as on Tyre and Sidon, [c] whose people are clever.
    3Tyre has built a fortress
   and piled up silver and gold,
   as though they were dust
   or mud from the streets.
    4Now the Lord will punish Tyre
   with poverty;
   he will sink its ships
   and send it up in flames.
    5Both Ashkelon and Gaza
   will tremble with fear;
   Ekron will lose all hope.
   Gaza's king will be killed,
   and Ashkelon emptied
   of its people.
    6A mob of half-breeds
   will settle in Ashdod, [d] and the Lord himself
   will rob Philistia of pride.
    7No longer will the Philistines
   eat meat with blood in it
   or any unclean food. [e] They will become part
   of the people of our God
   from the tribe of Judah.
   And God will accept
   the people of Ekron,
   as he did the Jebusites. [f] 8God says, "I will stand guard
   to protect my temple
   from those
   who come to attack.
   I know what's happening,
   and no one will mistreat
   my people ever again."
The LORD Tells about the Coming King
 9Everyone in Jerusalem,    celebrate and shout!
   Your king has won a victory,
   and he is coming to you.
   He is humble
   and rides on a donkey;
   he comes on the colt
   of a donkey.
    10I, the LORD, will take away
   war chariots and horses
   from Israel [g] and Jerusalem. Bows that were made for battle
   will be broken.
   I will bring peace to nations,
   and your king will rule
   from sea to sea.
   His kingdom will reach
   from the Euphrates River
   across the earth.
The LORD Promises To Rescue Captives
 11When I made a sacred agreement    with you, my people,
   we sealed it with blood. [h] Now some of you are captives
   in waterless pits,
   but I will come to your rescue
    12and offer you hope.
   Return to your fortress,
   because today I will reward you
   with twice what you had.
    13I will use Judah as my bow
   and Israel [i] as my arrow. I will take the people of Zion
   as my sword
   and attack the Greeks.
The LORD Will Protect His People
 14Like a cloud, the LORD God    will appear over his people,
   and his arrows will flash
   like lightning.
   God will sound his trumpet
   and attack in a whirlwind
   from the south.
    15The LORD All-Powerful
   will protect his people,
   and they will trample down
   the sharpshooters
   and their slingshots.
   They will drink and get rowdy;
   they will be as full as a bowl
   at the time of sacrifice.
    16The LORD God will save them
   on that day,
   because they are his people,
   and they will shine on his land
   like jewels in a crown.
    17How lovely they will be.
   Young people will grow there
   like grain in a field
   or grapes in a vineyard.
  1. Zechariah 9:1 His. . . Israel: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. Zechariah 9:1 Hadrach and Damascus: Hadrach was north of both Damascus (the main city of Syria) and Hamath (verse 2).
  3. Zechariah 9:2 Tyre and Sidon: Phoenician cities.
  4. Zechariah 9:6 Ashkelon and Gaza. . . Ekron. . . Ashdod: Philistine cities.
  5. Zechariah 9:7 eat. . . food: The Philistines will become part of Judah and no longer eat meat with blood in it (see Genesis 9.4) or any other forbidden foods (see Leviticus 11.1-23; Deuteronomy 14.3-21).
  6. Zechariah 9:7 Jebusites: The original people of Canaan, who lived in Jerusalem before it was captured by David (see 2 Samuel 5.6-10) and were later accepted as part of Israel.
  7. Zechariah 9:10 Israel: The Hebrew text has "Ephraim," the leading tribe of the northern kingdom of Israel, which sometimes stands for the whole kingdom.
  8. Zechariah 9:11 agreement. . . blood: The agreement at Mount Sinai (see Exodus 24.7,8).
  9. Zechariah 9:13 Israel: Hebrew "Ephraim" (see the note at 9.10).

Revelation 17:1-18 (Contemporary English Version)

Revelation 17

The Prostitute and the Beast
 1One of the seven angels who had emptied the bowls came over and said to me, "Come on! I will show you how God will punish that shameless prostitute who sits on many oceans. 2Every king on earth has slept with her, and her shameless ways are like wine that has made everyone on earth drunk."     3With the help of the Spirit, the angel took me into the desert, where I saw a woman sitting on a red beast. The beast was covered with names that were an insult to God, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet robes, and she wore jewelry made of gold, precious stones, and pearls. In her hand she held a gold cup filled with the filthy and nasty things she had done. 5On her forehead a mysterious name was written: I AM THE GREAT CITY OF BABYLON, THE MOTHER OF EVERY IMMORAL AND FILTHY THING ON EARTH.
    6I could tell that the woman was drunk on the blood of God's people who had given their lives for Jesus. This surprising sight amazed me, 7and the angel said:
   Why are you so amazed? I will explain the mystery about this woman and about the beast she is sitting on, with its seven heads and ten horns. 8The beast you saw is one that used to be and no longer is. It will come back from the deep pit, but only to be destroyed. Everyone on earth whose names were not written in the book of life [a] before the time of creation will be amazed. They will see this beast that used to be and no longer is, but will be once more. 9Anyone with wisdom can figure this out. The seven heads that the woman is sitting on stand for seven hills. These heads are also seven kings. 10Five of the kings are dead. One is ruling now, and the other one has not yet come. But when he does, he will rule for only a little while.
    11You also saw a beast that used to be and no longer is. That beast is one of the seven kings who will return as the eighth king, but only to be destroyed.
    12The ten horns that you saw are ten more kings, who have not yet come into power, and they will rule with the beast for only a short time. 13They all think alike and will give their power and authority to the beast. 14These kings will go to war against the Lamb. But he will defeat them, because he is Lord over all lords and King over all kings. His followers are chosen and special and faithful.
    15The oceans that you saw the prostitute sitting on are crowds of people from all races and languages. 16The ten horns and the beast will start hating the shameless woman. They will strip off her clothes and leave her naked. Then they will eat her flesh and throw the rest of her body into a fire. 17God is the one who made these kings all think alike and decide to give their power to the beast. And they will do this until what God has said comes true.
    18The woman you saw is the great city that rules over all kings on earth.
  1. Revelation 17:8 book of life: See the note at 3.5.

Psalm 145:1-21 (Contemporary English Version)

Psalm 145

(By David for praise.)
The LORD Is Kind and Merciful
 1I will praise you,    my God and King,
   and always honor your name.
    2I will praise you each day
   and always honor your name.
    3You are wonderful, LORD,
   and you deserve all praise,
   because you are much greater
   than anyone can understand.
    4Each generation will announce
   to the next
   your wonderful
   and powerful deeds.
    5I will keep thinking about
   your marvelous glory
   and your mighty miracles. [a] 6Everyone will talk about
   your fearsome deeds,
   and I will tell all nations
   how great you are.
    7They will celebrate and sing
   about your matchless mercy
   and your power to save.
    8You are merciful, LORD!
   You are kind and patient
   and always loving.
    9You are good to everyone,
   and you take care
   of all your creation.
    10All creation will thank you,
   and your loyal people
   will praise you.
    11They will tell about
   your marvelous kingdom
   and your power.
    12Then everyone will know about
   the mighty things you do
   and your glorious kingdom.
    13Your kingdom will never end,
   and you will rule forever.
   Our LORD, you keep your word
   and do everything you say. [b] 14When someone stumbles or falls,
   you give a helping hand.
    15Everyone depends on you,
   and when the time is right,
   you provide them with food.
    16By your own hand
   you satisfy
   the desires of all who live.
    17Our LORD, everything you do
   is kind and thoughtful,
    18and you are near to everyone
   whose prayers are sincere.
    19You satisfy the desires
   of all your worshipers,
   and you come to save them
   when they ask for help.
    20You take care of everyone
   who loves you,
   but you destroy the wicked.
    21I will praise you, LORD,
   and everyone will respect
   your holy name forever.
  1. Psalm 145:5 and. . . miracles: One Hebrew manuscript and two ancient translations have " as others tell about your mighty miracles."
  2. Psalm 145:13 Our. . . say: These words are found in one Hebrew manuscript and two ancient translations.

Proverbs 30:32 (Contemporary English Version)

32If you are foolishly bragging
   or planning something evil,
   then stop it now!

Verse of the Day

“Simeon took the baby Jesus in his arms and praised God, "Lord, I am your servant, and now I can die in peace, because you have kept your promise to me. With my own eyes I have seen what you have done to save your people, and foreign nations will also see this. Your mighty power is a light for all nations, and it will bring honor to your people Israel.” - Luke 2:28-32
Today's passage is from the Contemporary English Version.

Thought for the Day

Argentinian poet, Antonio Porchia wrote, “One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.”