Two Eagles and a Vine
1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,†
2 “Son of man, pose a riddle, and speak a parable to the house of Israel.
3 You shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “A great eagle—with large wings, spreading them out very far, and full of talons, and with the design to enter Lebanon—took the choice branches of the cedar.
4 He nipped off its topmost tender twig, carried it to the land of Canaan, and set it in the fortified city.
5 Then he took some of the seed of the land, planted it in a fertile field by much water, and set it in a conspicuous place.
6 So it grew and became a weak vine, small in size as to its appearance. Its branches were on it and its roots under it. So it became a vine, put forth shoots, and extended into a vine that grows up trees.
7 “But there was another great eagle with large wings and many talons; and behold, this vine and her roots turned itself toward him, and stretched its branches toward him, that he might water it together with the soil where it was planted.
8 She thrives in a good field by much water, so as to produce shoots and bear fruit, that she may be a large vine.’ ”
9 “Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Will it prosper? Will not the roots of her tender stem and fruit be blighted, and all its shoots be withered? Yes, no mighty arm or many people will be needed to pluck it up by its roots.
10 Behold, it thrives, but will it prosper? Will it not utterly wither when the wind and burning heat touch it? It shall be dried up, its growth together with it soil.” ’ ”
11 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
12 “Son of man, say now to the house that provokes, ‘Do you not understand what these things mean?’ Tell them, ‘When the king of Babylon comes to Jerusalem, he will take its king and rulers, and take them with himself to Babylon.
13 He will also take one from the royal seed, and make a covenant with him, and place him under oath.
14 Then he will take away the leaders of the land that it may become a weak kingdom, so as never to lift itself up, that he may preserve his covenant and establish it.
15 But this one shall revolt from him and send his messengers to Egypt, so they might give him horses and many people. Will he prosper? Will he who acts as an adversary escape? Can he break the covenant and be delivered?
16 As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘he shall certainly die in the midst of Babylon, in the place where the king dwells who made him king, who dishonored My oath and broke My covenant.
17 But with a small army and few people, Pharaoh shall wage war against him by throwing up a mound and building engines of war, so as to carry away souls.
18 So he will not escape when he does all these things to him, because he dishonored the oath by breaking the covenant, although he gave his hand in trust.’
19 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “As I live, surely My covenant which he broke and My oath which he dishonored—I will recompense these things on his head.
20 I will spread My net over him, and he shall be caught in its enclosure.
21 His whole line of battle will fall by the sword, and those who remain I will scatter to every wind. Then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken.’ ”
22 “Therefore, thus says the Lord: ‘I shall take the choice branches of the cedar from its top and nip off their heart, and plant it on a high mountain.†
23 I shall hang it on a lofty mountain of Israel, yes, I will plant it; and it will bring forth shoots, produce fruit, and be a great cedar. Under it, every kind of wild animal will take rest, every kind of bird will rest in its shade, and its branches will be restored.
24 So all the trees of the field will know that I, the Lord, am He who humbles the high tree and exalts the humble tree, who dries up the green tree and makes the dry tree flourish. I, the Lord, have spoken and will do it.’ ”
33 Give me as law, O Lord, the way of Your ordinances, And I shall always search them.
34 Cause me to understand, and I shall search out Your law; And I shall keep it with my whole heart.
35 Guide me in the path of Your commandments, For I desire it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies And not to greediness.
37 Turn away my eyes that I may not see vanity; Give me life in Your way.
38 Establish Your teaching in Your servant In regard to Your fear.
39 Take away my blame, which I have suspected, For Your judgments are good.
40 Behold, I long for Your commandments; Give me life in Your righteousness.
41 And may Your mercy come upon me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your teaching.
42 And I shall answer those who insult me with a word, For I hope in Your words.
43 Do not take away the word of truth completely from my mouth, For I hope in Your judgments.
44 So I shall keep Your law always, Forever and unto ages of ages.
45 And I walk in a broad space, For I searched Your commandments.
46 I spoke of Your testimonies Before kings, and I was not ashamed.
47 And I meditate on Your commandments, Which I love exceedingly.
48 And I raise my hands to Your commandments, which I love, And I meditate on Your ordinances.
Proverbs of Solomon 25
27 It is better to dwell in a corner on a housetop Than in a house shared with an abusive woman.
28 As cold water is agreeable to a thirsty soul, So is good news from a far-off land.
29 As if someone would stop a spring and corrupt an outlet of water, So it is unseemly for a righteous man to fall before the ungodly.
30 It is not good to eat too much honey, But it is necessary to honor words held in honor.
31 As an unfortified city whose walls are broken down, So is a man who does something without counsel.†
1 Peter 1
1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,†
2 elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace be multiplied.†
Born to a Heavenly Hope
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,†
4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,†
5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.†
Tested for Genuine Faith
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials,†
7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,†
9 receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.
10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,†
11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
12 To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things which angels desire to look into.†
13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;†
14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance;
15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct,
16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” †
17 And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;†
18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers,†
19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you
21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Love Each Other
22 Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever,†
24 because “All flesh is as grass, And all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, And its flower falls away, †
25 But the word of the LORD endures forever.” Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.