Day 281 October 8
21 I, King Artaxerxes, decree to all of the treasurers in the province Beyond the River: Whatever Ezra the priest and scribe of the Instruction from the God of heaven requires of you, it must be provided precisely, 22 even up to one hundred kikkars of silver, one hundred kors of wheat, one hundred baths of wine, one hundred baths of oil, and unlimited salt. 23 Whatever the God of heaven commands will be done carefully for the house of the God of heaven, or wrath will come upon the realm of the king and his heirs. 24 You must also know that it is illegal for you to charge tribute, custom, or dues on any of the priests and Levites, the singers, the doorkeepers, the temple servants, or other servants of this house of God.
25 And you, Ezra, based on the divine wisdom that you have, appoint supervisors and judges to adjudicate among all the people in the province Beyond the River who know the laws of your God. You will also teach those who do not know them. 26 Let judgment be strictly carried out upon anyone who does not obey the Instruction from your God and the law of your king, including death, banishment, confiscation of property, or imprisonment.
27 Bless the Lord, the God of our ancestors, who has moved the king to glorify the Lord’s house in Jerusalem, 28 and who has demonstrated his graciousness for me before the king and his counselors and all the king’s mighty officers. I took courage because the Lord my God’s power was with me. I gathered leaders from Israel to go up with me.
Comment: it is a beautiful story to read: a “foreign” king giving power to the simple. “You will also teach those who do not know. . .” This is our calling too.
31 “On that day someone who is on the roof of a house must not go down into the house to get any belongings; in the same way anyone who is out in the field must not go back to the house. 32 Remember Lot’s wife! 33 Those who try to save their own life will lose it; those who lose their life will save it. 34 On that night, I tell you, there will be two people sleeping in the same bed: one will be taken away, the other will be left behind. 35 Two women will be grinding meal together: one will be taken away, the other will be left behind.” 36
37 The disciples asked him, “Where, Lord?” Jesus answered, “Wherever there is a dead body, the vultures will gather.”
Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3 He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
The Son Is Superior to Angels
5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
“You are my Son;
today I have begotten you”?
“I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son”?
6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
“Let all God’s angels worship him.”
7 Of the angels he says,
“He makes his angels winds,
and his servants flames of fire.”
Comments: sometimes I think the New Testament should have started with the letter to the Hebrews. I appreciate the direct ties with the Old Testament and the high Christology with Jesus as the reflection of God’s glory.
Prayer: Sun of Righteousness, shine in our hearts this day that others may know you more. Amen.