The Wartburg Project

Daily Lectionary

November 21, 2023

These daily readings from the EHV follow the one-year daily lectionary provided in Christian Worship: Hymnal, the Lutheran Service Book, and the Treasury of Daily Prayer. In this lectionary, two readings of 15-25 verses each are provided for each day. Under this plan, nearly all of the New Testament and approximately one-third of the Old Testament are read each year. These readings fit well within the daily offices of Matins, Vespers, or Compline as daily family devotions.

Daniel 2:1-23

Nebuchadnezzar Challenges the Wise Men to Explain His Dream
21In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. His spirit was troubled, but he fell back to sleep again.
2The king gave orders to summon the magicians, the spell casters, the sorcerers, and the astrologers[] to relate the king's dream to him. So they came and stood before the king. 3The king said to them, “I had a dream, and my spirit was troubled because I did not understand the dream.”
4The astrologers said to the king in Aramaic,[] “Your Majesty,[] may you live forever! Tell the dream to your servants, and we will explain its meaning.”
5The king answered the astrologers, “My decision is final. If you do not tell me the dream and what it means, your body shall be cut to pieces, and your houses will be made into a pile of rubble. 6However, if you explain the dream and its meaning, you will receive gifts, a reward, and great honor from me. So, explain to me the dream and its meaning!”
7They responded a second time and said, “Let the king tell the dream to his servants, and we will explain its meaning.”
8The king answered, “Now I know for sure that you are buying time because you see that my decision is final. 9If you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one decree for you. You have conspired to give me a lying and cheating response until the situation changes. So, tell me the dream, and I will know that you are also able to explain its meaning to me.”
10The astrologers responded to the king, “There is no person on earth who is able to reveal what the king wants. No great and powerful king has ever asked for a thing like this from any magician, spell caster, or astrologer. 11The thing that the king is asking is difficult. There is no one who can reveal it to the king except the gods, who do not dwell with mortal flesh.”
12Because of this the king became very angry. He was enraged and gave orders to put the wise men of Babylon to death. 13The decree was issued that all the wise men were to be executed. So executioners looked for Daniel and his companions to execute them.
God Reveals Nebuchadnezzar's Dream to Daniel
14Then Daniel responded with good judgment and tact to Ariok, the chief of the king's executioners, who had gone out to execute the wise men of Babylon. 15He said to Ariok, the king's officer, “Why is the decree from the king so harsh?” So Ariok explained the situation to Daniel. 16Daniel then entered the court and asked the king to give him time so that he could reveal the interpretation to the king.
17Next, Daniel went to his house and explained the situation to Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael, his companions. 18They were to seek mercy from the God of Heaven concerning this mystery, so that Daniel and his companions would not be put to death with the rest of the wise men of Babylon.
19Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a vision at night, and Daniel blessed the God of Heaven.[] 20Daniel said,
May the name of God be blessed forever and ever,
because wisdom and power are his.
21He changes times and eras.
He removes kings,
and he brings kings to power.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have good judgment.
22He reveals deep things and hidden things.
He knows what is in the dark,
and the light dwells with him.
23To you, God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, because you have given me wisdom and power. Now you have made known to me what we requested from you, because you have made known to us the thing the king asked about.

Revelation 18:1-24

Babylon Has Fallen
181After these things I saw another angel coming down out of heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was given light by his glory. 2He called out with a loud voice, saying:
Fallen, fallen, is Babylon the Great.
She has become a dwelling place for demons,
and a prison for every unclean spirit,
and a prison for every unclean bird,[]
and a prison for every unclean and hated beast.
3For all the nations have drunk from[] the wine of her adulterous desire,
and the kings of the earth committed adultery with her,
and the merchants of the earth became rich from the abundance of her luxury.
4And I heard another voice from heaven say:
Come out of her, my people,
so that you will not share in her sins,
and so that you will not receive any of her plagues,
5because her sins have reached heaven,
and God has remembered her crimes.
6Pay her back even as she has paid.
Pay her back double for what she has done.
In the cup that she mixed, mix her a double portion.
7As much glory and luxury as she gave herself,
give that much torture and grief to her,
because in her heart she says:
I sit as a queen,
I am not a widow, and
I will never mourn.
8For this reason her plagues will come on a single day:
death, mourning, and famine,
and she will be burned in fire,
because the Lord God, who judges her, is powerful.
The Kings Mourn Babylon's Destruction
9The kings of the earth who committed adultery and lived in luxury with her will weep and mourn for her when they see the smoke from her burning. 10They will stand far away because of terror at her torment and say:
Woe, woe, the great city,
Babylon, the strong city!
because your judgment came in a single hour.
11The merchants of the earth also weep and mourn over her, because no one buys their cargo anymore, 12a cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet fabric, every kind of aromatic wood and ivory article, and every article made of precious wood, brass, iron, and marble, 13also cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, high quality flour, grain, cattle, sheep, horses, and carriages, as well as bodies and souls of people.
14The fruit your soul desired has left you. All your costly and splendid things have passed away from you. No one will ever find them again.
15The merchants who sold those things and were made rich by Babylon will stand far away out of terror at her torment. They are going to weep and mourn, 16saying:
Woe, woe to the great city that was clothed in fine linen and purple and scarlet,
adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls,
17because such great wealth was made a wasteland in a single hour.
Every ship captain and all the ocean travelers and the sailors and those who make their living on the sea stood far away 18and cried out when they saw the smoke rise from her burning. They said, “Who is like the great city?” 19They threw dust on their heads and cried out as they wept and mourned, saying:
Woe, woe to the great city
by whom all who have ships on the sea were made rich from her treasures,
because she was made a wasteland in a single hour.
20Rejoice over her, heaven,
also you saints, apostles, and prophets,
because God has judged her for the judgment you received from her.
21A mighty angel picked up a stone like a large millstone and, as he threw it into the sea, he said:
This is the way Babylon, the great city,
will be overthrown with violence and
will never again be found.
22The sound of harpists and musicians, flutists and trumpeters,
will never be heard in you again.
No craftsman of any trade
will ever be found in you again.
The sound of a millstone
will never be heard in you again.
23The light of a lamp
will never shine in you again.
The voice of bridegroom and bride
will never be heard in you again,
because your merchants were the great ones of the earth,
because your witchcraft led all the nations astray,
24and the blood of prophets and saints was found in this city,[]
along with the blood of all those who were slain on the earth.