Daniel 1

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the vessels of the house of God. And he brought them to the land of Shinar, to the house of his god, and placed the vessels in the treasury of his god. Then the king commanded Ashpenaz, his chief eunuch, to bring some of the people of Israel, both of the royal family and of the nobility, youths without blemish, of good appearance and skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding learning, and competent to stand in the king’s palace, and to teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans. The king assigned them a daily portion of the food that the king ate, and of the wine that he drank. They were to be educated for three years, and at the end of that time they were to stand before the king. Among these were Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah of the tribe of Judah. And the chief of the eunuchs gave them names: Daniel he called Belteshazzar, Hananiah he called Shadrach, Mishael he called Meshach, and Azariah he called Abednego.

But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself with the king’s food, or with the wine that he drank. Therefore he asked the chief of the eunuchs to allow him not to defile himself. And God gave Daniel favor and compassion in the sight of the chief of the eunuchs, and the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who assigned your food and your drink; for why should he see that you were in worse condition than the youths who are of your own age? So you would endanger my head with the king.” Then Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had assigned over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s food be observed by you, and deal with your servants according to what you see.” So he listened to them in this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.

Isaiah 52:13–53:12

  • Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
  • he shall be high and lifted up,
  • and shall be exalted.
  • As many were astonished at you—
  • his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
  • and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
  • so shall he sprinkle many nations;
  • kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
  • for that which has not been told them they see,
  • and that which they have not heard they understand.
  • Who has believed what he has heard from us?
  • And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
  • For he grew up before him like a young plant,
  • and like a root out of dry ground;
  • he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
  • and no beauty that we should desire him.
  • He was despised and rejected by men;
  • a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
  • and as one from whom men hide their faces
  • he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
  • Surely he has borne our griefs
  • and carried our sorrows;
  • yet we esteemed him stricken,
  • smitten by God, and afflicted.
  • But he was pierced for our transgressions;
  • he was crushed for our iniquities;
  • upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
  • and with his wounds we are healed.
  • All we like sheep have gone astray;
  • we have turned—every one—to his own way;
  • and the Lord has laid on him
  • the iniquity of us all.
  • He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
  • yet he opened not his mouth;
  • like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
  • and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
  • so he opened not his mouth.
  • By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
  • and as for his generation, who considered
  • that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
  • stricken for the transgression of my people?
  • And they made his grave with the wicked
  • and with a rich man in his death,
  • although he had done no violence,
  • and there was no deceit in his mouth.
  • Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
  • he has put him to grief;
  • when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
  • he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
  • the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
  • Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
  • by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
  • make many to be accounted righteous,
  • and he shall bear their iniquities.
  • Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
  • and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
  • because he poured out his soul to death
  • and was numbered with the transgressors;
  • yet he bore the sin of many,
  • and makes intercession for the transgressors.

2 Samuel 7:1-17

Now when the king lived in his house and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells in a tent.” And Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that is in your heart, for the Lord is with you.”

But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, “Go and tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord: Would you build me a house to dwell in? I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling. In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?”’ Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel. And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly, from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.’” In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

Exodus 6:2-9

God spoke to Moses and said to him, “I am the Lord. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by my name the Lord I did not make myself known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, the land in which they lived as sojourners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the people of Israel whom the Egyptians hold as slaves, and I have remembered my covenant. Say therefore to the people of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from slavery to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great acts of judgment. I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. I will give it to you for a possession. I am the Lord.’” Moses spoke thus to the people of Israel, but they did not listen to Moses, because of their broken spirit and harsh slavery.