Bible Reading Plan
Daily Bible Reading
December 6 - Old & New Testament
Rebuilding the Altar
1 When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns,(a) the people assembled(b) together as one in Jerusalem. 2 Then Joshua(c) son of Jozadak(d) and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel(e) and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses(f) the man of God. 3 Despite their fear(g) of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord , both the morning and evening sacrifices.(h) 4 Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Festival of Tabernacles(i) with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day. 5 After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings, the New Moon(j) sacrifices and the sacrifices for all the appointed sacred festivals of the Lord ,(k) as well as those brought as freewill offerings to the Lord . 6 On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord , though the foundation of the Lord 's temple had not yet been laid.
Rebuilding the Temple
7 Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters,(l) and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs(m) by sea from Lebanon(n) to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus(o) king of Persia.
8 In the second month(p) of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel(q) son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak and the rest of the people (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work. They appointed Levites twenty(r) years old and older to supervise the building of the house of the Lord . 9 Joshua(s) and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviah[a]) and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers—all Levites—joined together in supervising those working on the house of God.
10 When the builders laid(t) the foundation of the temple of the Lord , the priests in their vestments and with trumpets,(u) and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise(v) the Lord , as prescribed by David(w) king of Israel.(x) 11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord :
"He is good;
his love toward Israel endures forever."(y)
And all the people gave a great shout(z) of praise to the Lord , because the foundation(aa) of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple,(ab) wept(ac) aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy(ad) from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
Opposition to the Rebuilding
1 When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building(a) a temple for the Lord , the God of Israel, 2 they came to Zerubbabel and to the heads of the families and said, "Let us help you build because, like you, we seek your God and have been sacrificing to him since the time of Esarhaddon(b) king of Assyria, who brought us here."(c)
3 But Zerubbabel, Joshua and the rest of the heads of the families of Israel answered, "You have no part with us in building a temple to our God. We alone will build it for the Lord , the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, commanded us."(d)
4 Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building.[a](e) 5 They bribed officials to work against them and frustrate their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Later Opposition Under Xerxes and Artaxerxes
6 At the beginning of the reign of Xerxes,[b](f) they lodged an accusation against the people of Judah and Jerusalem.(g)
7 And in the days of Artaxerxes(h) king of Persia, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his associates wrote a letter to Artaxerxes. The letter was written in Aramaic script and in the Aramaic(i) language.[c][d]
8 Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows:
9 Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary, together with the rest of their associates(j)—the judges, officials and administrators over the people from Persia, Uruk(k) and Babylon, the Elamites of Susa,(l) 10 and the other people whom the great and honorable Ashurbanipal(m) deported and settled in the city of Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates.(n)
11 (This is a copy of the letter they sent him.)
To King Artaxerxes,
From your servants in Trans-Euphrates:
12 The king should know that the people who came up to us from you have gone to Jerusalem and are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are restoring the walls and repairing the foundations.(o)
13 Furthermore, the king should know that if this city is built and its walls are restored, no more taxes, tribute or duty(p) will be paid, and eventually the royal revenues will suffer.[e] 14 Now since we are under obligation to the palace and it is not proper for us to see the king dishonored, we are sending this message to inform the king, 15 so that a search may be made in the archives(q) of your predecessors. In these records you will find that this city is a rebellious city, troublesome to kings and provinces, a place with a long history of sedition. That is why this city was destroyed.(r) 16 We inform the king that if this city is built and its walls are restored, you will be left with nothing in Trans-Euphrates.
17 The king sent this reply:
To Rehum the commanding officer, Shimshai the secretary and the rest of their associates living in Samaria and elsewhere in Trans-Euphrates:(s)
18 The letter you sent us has been read and translated in my presence. 19 I issued an order and a search was made, and it was found that this city has a long history of revolt(t) against kings and has been a place of rebellion and sedition. 20 Jerusalem has had powerful kings ruling over the whole of Trans-Euphrates,(u) and taxes, tribute and duty were paid to them. 21 Now issue an order to these men to stop work, so that this city will not be rebuilt until I so order. 22 Be careful not to neglect this matter. Why let this threat grow, to the detriment of the royal interests?(v)
23 As soon as the copy of the letter of King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum and Shimshai the secretary and their associates,(w) they went immediately to the Jews in Jerusalem and compelled them by force to stop.
24 Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius(x) king of Persia.
Faith in the Incarnate Son of God
1 Everyone who believes(a) that Jesus is the Christ(b) is born of God,(c) and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well.(d) 2 This is how we know(e) that we love the children of God:(f) by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.(g) And his commands are not burdensome,(h) 4 for everyone born of God(i) overcomes(j) the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.(k)
6 This is the one who came by water and blood(l)—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.(m) 7 For there are three(n) that testify: 8 the[a] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony,(o) but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God,(p) which he has given about his Son. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony.(q) Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar,(r) because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life,(s) and this life is in his Son.(t) 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.(u)
13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God(v) so that you may know that you have eternal life.(w) 14 This is the confidence(x) we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.(y) 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know(z) that we have what we asked of him.(aa)
16 If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life.(ab) I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death.(ac) I am not saying that you should pray about that.(ad) 17 All wrongdoing is sin,(ae) and there is sin that does not lead to death.(af)
18 We know that anyone born of God(ag) does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one(ah) cannot harm them.(ai) 19 We know that we are children of God,(aj) and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.(ak) 20 We know also that the Son of God has come(al) and has given us understanding,(am) so that we may know him who is true.(an) And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.(ao)
21 Dear children,(ap) keep yourselves from idols.(aq)
the First Week of Advent