Thoughts and Reflection
Today we read that God will bring his people back from exile to the land of Israel but each person will be responsible for their own conduct. God further promises to make a new covenant with Israel and it will be unlike the other covenants of Moses.
In Daniel today we see Daniel and the priests in the lion’s den. Daniel’s conduct is a model for how Israel how they should live in exile. Even if it costs them everything, they must remain faithful to the one true God. Daniel reminds us that we do not have to be afraid in exile and Jeremiah tells us that there will be a day we don’t have to be afraid again.
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!
7 For Yahweh says this: Shout with joy for Jacob! Hail the chief of nations! Proclaim! Praise! Shout, ‘Yahweh has saved his people, the remnant of Israel!’
8 Watch, I shall bring them back from the land of the north and gather them in from the far ends of the earth. With them, the blind and the lame, women with child, women in labour, all together: a mighty throng will return here!
9 In tears they will return, in prayer I shall lead them. I shall guide them to streams of water, by a smooth path where they will not stumble. For I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born son.
10 Listen, nations, to the word of Yahweh. On the farthest coasts and islands proclaim it, say, ‘He who scattered Israel is gathering him, will guard him as a shepherd guarding his flock.’
11 For Yahweh has ransomed Jacob, rescued him from a hand stronger than his own.
12 They will come, shouting for joy on the heights of Zion, thronging towards Yahweh’s lavish gifts, for wheat, new wine and oil, sheep and cattle; they will be like a well-watered garden, they will sorrow no more.
13 The young girl will then take pleasure in the dance, and young men and old alike; I shall change their mourning into gladness, comfort them, give them joy after their troubles;
15 Yahweh says this: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly: it is Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted for her children, because they are no more.
18 I have indeed heard Ephraim’s grieving, ‘You flogged me, I took a flogging, like a young, untrained bull. Bring me back, let me come back, for you are Yahweh my God!
20 Is Ephraim, then, so dear a son to me, a child so favoured, that whenever I mention him I remember him lovingly still? That is why I yearn for him, why I must take pity on him, Yahweh declares.
21 Set up your signposts, raise yourself landmarks, fix your mind on the road, the way by which you went. Come home, Virgin of Israel, come home to these towns of yours.
23 Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, says this, ‘In the country of Judah and in its towns, they will use these words once more, when I bring their captives home: “Yahweh bless you, home of saving justice, holy mountain!”
24 ‘And in this country, Judah and all its towns, the ploughmen and those who wander with their flocks, will live together,
25 for I shall give the weary all they need and satisfy all those whose strength has gone.’
27 ‘Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall sow the House of Israel and the House of Judah with the seed both of people and of cattle.
28 And as I once watched over them to uproot, to knock down, to overthrow, destroy and bring disaster, so now I shall watch over them to build and to plant, Yahweh declares.
29 ‘In those days people will no longer say: “The fathers have eaten unripe grapes; the children’s teeth are set on edge.”
31 ‘Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah),
32 but not like the covenant I made with their ancestors the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, even though I was their Master, Yahweh declares.
33 No, this is the covenant I shall make with the House of Israel when those days have come, Yahweh declares. Within them I shall plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I shall be their God and they will be my people.
34 There will be no further need for everyone to teach neighbour or brother, saying, “Learn to know Yahweh!” No, they will all know me, from the least to the greatest, Yahweh declares, since I shall forgive their guilt and never more call their sin to mind.’
35 Yahweh who provides the sun to shine by day, who regulates moon and stars to shine by night, who stirs the sea, making its waves roar, he whose name is Yahweh Sabaoth, says this,
36 ‘Were this established order ever to pass away before me, Yahweh declares, then the race of Israel would also cease being a nation for ever before me!’
37 Yahweh says this, ‘Were the heavens above ever to be measured, the foundations of the earth below ever to be fathomed, then I too would reject the whole race of Israel for all that they have done, Yahweh declares.’
39 Then once again the measuring line will stretch straight to the Hill of Gareb, turning then to Goah.
40 And the whole valley, with its corpses and ashes, and all the ground beside the ravine of the Kidron as far as the corner of the Horse Gate, eastwards, will be consecrated to Yahweh. It will never be destroyed or demolished again.
1 When King Astyages joined his ancestors, Cyrus of Persia succeeded him.
5 ‘Why do you not worship Bel?’ the king asked Daniel. ‘I do not worship idols made by human hand,’ Daniel replied, ‘I worship the living God who made heaven and earth and who is lord over all living creatures.’
11 The priests of Bel said to him, ‘We shall now go out, and you, Your Majesty, will lay out the meal and mix the wine and set it out. Then, lock the door and seal it with your personal seal. If, when you return in the morning, you do not find that everything has been eaten by Bel,let us be put to death; otherwise let Daniel, that slanderer!’
14 Daniel made his servants bring ashes and spread them all over the temple floor, with no other witness than the king. They then left the building, shut the door and, sealing it with the king’s seal, went away.
16 The king was up very early next morning, and Daniel with him.
19 But Daniel laughed; and, restraining the king from going in any further, he said, ‘Look at the floor and take note whose footmarks these are!’
21 and angrily ordered the priests to be arrested, with their wives and children. They then showed him the secret door through which they used to come and take what was on the table.
22 The king had them put to death and handed Bel over to Daniel who destroyed both the idol and its temple.
27 Whereupon, Daniel took some pitch, some fat and some hair and boiled them up together, rolled the mixture into balls and fed them to the dragon; the dragon swallowed them and burst. Daniel said, ‘Now look at the sort of thing you worship!’
28 The Babylonians were furious when they heard about this and rose against the king. ‘The king has turned Jew,’ they said, ‘he has allowed Bel to be overthrown, and the dragon to be killed, and he has put the priests to death.’
29 So they went to the king and said, ‘Hand Daniel over to us or else we shall kill you and your family.’
30 They pressed him so hard that the king found himself forced to hand Daniel over to them.
31 They threw Daniel into the lion pit, and there he stayed for six days.
38 And Daniel said, ‘You have kept me in mind, O God; you have not deserted those who love you.’
42 He then had Daniel released from the pit and the plotters of Daniel’s ruin thrown in instead, where they were instantly eaten before his eyes.
21 The wise of heart is acclaimed as intelligent, sweetness of speech increases knowledge.
22 Shrewdness is a fountain of life for its possessor, the folly of fools is their own punishment.