Thoughts and Reflection
Today we read that Jeremiah is put in the stocks. He is hurt by this and reaches out to the Lord saying “you have deceived me.” Jeremiah is surrounded by false prophets who have no problem with lying. They falsely proclaim that God will deliver his people from Babylon. Jeremiah again reiterates that the Lord will allow Jerusalem to fall.
We start the book of Daniel today. It contains familiar stories and also recounts revelations. Daniel and Jeremiah are contemporaries. Daniel and three companions are trained for three years in the king’s house. They refuse to eat from the king’s table but instead eat only food permissible according to the Law. Faithfulness to God can still happen even in the midst of exile. We see how people of God should live when they aren’t on their own land.
We also read about Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. He wants it interpreted, but requires the interpreter to share not only the meaning but the dream itself. When Daniel is called on by the king to interpret his dream, he asks Hannah, Aariah, and Mishael to pray with him. When he correctly recounts and interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, he gives all credit to the Lord.
The dream is of a statue made of different materials representing Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and the kingdom God establishes — the church.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
4 For Yahweh says this, “I am going to hand you over to terror, you and all your friends; they will fall by the sword of their enemies, your own eyes will see it. The whole of Judah, too, I shall hand over to the king of Babylon; he will carry them off captive to Babylon and put them to the sword.
5 And all the wealth of this city, all its stores, all its valuables, all the treasures of the kings of Judah, I shall hand over to their enemies who will plunder them, round them up and carry them off to Babylon.
6 As for you, Pashhur, and your whole household, you will go into captivity; you will go to Babylon; there you will die, and there be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.” ‘
8 For whenever I speak, I have to howl and proclaim, ‘Violence and ruin!’ For me, Yahweh’s word has been the cause of insult and derision all day long.
9 I would say to myself, ‘I will not think about him, I will not speak in his name any more,’ but then there seemed to be a fire burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones. The effort to restrain it wearied me, I could not do it.
10 I heard so many disparaging me, ‘Terror on every side! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!’ All those who were on good terms with me watched for my downfall, ‘Perhaps he will be seduced into error. Then we shall get the better of him and take our revenge!’
12 Yahweh Sabaoth, you who test the upright, observer of motives and thoughts, I shall see your vengeance on them, for I have revealed my cause to you.
15 A curse on the man who brought my father the news, ‘A son, a boy has been born to you!’ making him overjoyed.
4 “Yahweh, God of Israel, says this: I shall bring back the weapons of war which you are now carrying, and with which you are fighting the king of Babylon and the Chaldaeans now besieging you; from outside the walls, I shall stack them in the centre of this city.
6 I shall strike down the inhabitants of this city, human and animal; they will die of a great plague.
7 Then, Yahweh declares, I shall deliver Zedekiah king of Judah, his officials, the people and those of this city who have escaped the plague, the sword, or the famine, into the clutches of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, into the clutches of their enemies and into the clutches of those determined to kill them; mercilessly, relentlessly, pitilessley, he will put them to the sword.”
8 ‘And you must say to this people, “Yahweh says this: Look, I offer you a choice between the way of life and the way of death.
12 House of David! Yahweh says this: Each morning give fair judgement, rescue anyone who has been wronged from the hands of his oppressor, or else my wrath will leap out like a fire, it will burn and no one will be able to quench it, because of the wickedness of your actions.
13 My quarrel is with you, resident of the valley, Rock-in-the-Plain, Yahweh declares, with you that say, ‘Who would dare attack us and enter our lairs?’
1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched on Jerusalem and besieged it.
2 The Lord let Jehoiakim king of Judah fall into his power, as well as some of the vessels belonging to the Temple of God. These he took away to Shinar, putting the vessels into the treasury of his own gods.
4 they had to be without any physical defect, of good appearance, versed in every branch of wisdom, well-informed, discerning, suitable for service at the royal court. Ashpenaz was to teach them to speak and write the language of the Chaldaeans.
5 The king assigned them a daily allowance of food and wine from the royal table. They were to receive an education lasting for three years, after which they would enter the royal service.
7 The chief eunuch gave them other names, calling Daniel Belteshazzar, Hananiah Shadrach, Mishael Meshach, and Azariah Abed-Nego.
9 God allowed Daniel to receive faithful love and sympathy from the chief eunuch.
10 But the eunuch warned Daniel, ‘I am afraid of my lord the king: he has assigned you food and drink, and if he sees you looking thinner in the face than the other boys of your age, my head will be in danger with the king because of you.’
11 To the guard assigned to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah by the chief eunuch, Daniel then said,
14 The man agreed to do what they asked and put them on ten days’ trial.
18 When the time stipulated by the king for the boys to be presented to him came round, the chief eunuch presented them to Nebuchadnezzar.
19 The king conversed with them, and among all the boys found none to equal Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. So they became members of the king’s court,
20 and on whatever point of wisdom or understanding he might question them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and soothsayers in his entire kingdom. Daniel remained there until the first year of King Cyrus.
1 In the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had a series of dreams; he was perturbed by this and sleep deserted him.
3 The king said to them, ‘I have had a dream, and my mind is troubled by a wish to understand it.’
7 A second time they said, ‘Let the king tell his dream to his servants, and we shall reveal its meaning.’
9 If you do not interpret my dream for me, there will be but one sentence passed on you all; you have agreed among yourselves to make me misleading and tortuous speeches while the time goes by. So tell me what my dream was, and then I shall know whether you can interpret it.’
10 The Chaldaeans answered the king, ‘Nobody in the world could explain the king’s problem; what is more, no other king, governor or chief would think of putting such a question to any magician, soothsayer or Chaldaean.
14 Then, with shrewd and cautious words, Daniel approached Arioch, the king’s chief executioner, when he was on his way to kill the Babylonian sages.
16 and Daniel went off to ask the king for a stay of execution to give him the opportunity of revealing his interpretation to the king.
24 So Daniel went to see Arioch, whom the king had made responsible for putting the Babylonian sages to death. Going in, he said, ‘Do not put the Babylonian sages to death. Take me into the king’s presence and I will reveal the meaning to the king.’
26 The king said to Daniel (who had been given the name Belteshazzar), ‘Can you tell me what I dreamt and what it means?’
28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries and who has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what is to take place in the final days. These, then, are the dream and the visions that passed through your head as you lay in bed:
30 This mystery has been revealed to me, not that I am wiser than anyone else, but for this sole purpose: that the king should learn what it means, and that you should understand your inmost thoughts.
35 Then, iron and clay, bronze, silver and gold, all broke into pieces as fine as chaff on the threshing-floor in summer. The wind blew them away, leaving not a trace behind. And the stone that had struck the statue grew into a great mountain, filling the whole world.
41 The feet you saw, part earthenware, part iron, are a kingdom which will be split in two, but which will retain something of the strengthof iron, just as you saw the iron and the clay of the earthenware mixed together.
42 The feet were part iron, part potter’s clay: the kingdom will be partly strong and partly brittle.
43 And just as you saw the iron and the clay of the earthenware mixed together, so the two will be mixed together in human seed; but they will not hold together any more than iron will blend with clay.
44 In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not pass into the hands of another race: it will shatter and absorb all the previous kingdoms and itself last for ever-
45 just as you saw a stone, untouched by hand, break away from the mountain and reduce iron, bronze, earthenware, silver and gold to powder. The Great God has shown the king what is to take place. The dream is true, the interpretation exact.’
46 At this, King Nebuchadnezzar fell prostrate before Daniel; he gave orders for Daniel to be offered an oblation and a fragrant sacrifice.
48 The king then conferred high rank on Daniel and gave him many handsome presents. He also made him governor of the whole province of Babylon and head of all the sages of Babylon.
49 At Daniel’s request, the king entrusted the affairs of the province of Babylon to Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego; Daniel himself remained in attendance on the king.
25 Yahweh pulls down the house of the proud, but he keeps the widow’s boundaries intact.