Major river in Africa and the longest river in the world
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 119:89–176 Psalm 119:89–176 (Listen) Lamedh 89 Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.91 By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants.92 If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.94 I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts.95 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies.96 I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad. Mem 97 Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.98 Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me.99 I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.100 I understand more than the aged,1 for I keep your precepts.101 I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.102 I do not turn aside from your rules, for you have taught me.103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!104 Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Nun 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.106 I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules.107 I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word!108 Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your rules.109 I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law.110 The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts.111 Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart.112 I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.2 Samekh 113 I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.114 You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.115 Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God.116 Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope!117 Hold me up, that I may be safe and have regard for your statutes continually!118 You spurn all who go astray from your statutes, for their cunning is in vain.119 All the wicked of the earth you discard like dross, therefore I love your testimonies.120 My flesh trembles for fear of you, and I am afraid of your judgments. Ayin 121 I have done what is just and right; do not leave me to my oppressors.122 Give your servant a pledge of good; let not the insolent oppress me.123 My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.124 Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes.125 I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!126 It is time for the LORD to act, for your law has been broken.127 Therefore I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold.128 Therefore I consider all your precepts to be right; I hate every false way. Pe 129 Your testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.131 I open my mouth and pant, because I long for your commandments.132 Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your way with those who love your name.133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me.134 Redeem me from man's oppression, that I may keep your precepts.135 Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.136 My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law. Tsadhe 137 Righteous are you, O LORD, and right are your rules.138 You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness.139 My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words.140 Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it.141 I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.142 Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true.143 Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight.144 Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live. Qoph 145 With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes.146 I call to you; save me, that I may observe your testimonies.147 I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.148 My eyes are awake before the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promise.149 Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O LORD, according to your justice give me life.150 They draw near who persecute me with evil purpose; they are far from your law.151 But you are near, O LORD, and all your commandments are true.152 Long have I known from your testimonies that you have founded them forever. Resh 153 Look on my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law.154 Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes.156 Great is your mercy, O LORD; give me life according to your rules.157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, but I do not swerve from your testimonies.158 I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep your commands.159 Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love.160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever. Sin and Shin 161 Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words.162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.163 I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.164 Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.165 Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.166 I hope for your salvation, O LORD, and I do your commandments.167 My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly.168 I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you. Taw 169 Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word!170 Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word.171 My lips will pour forth praise, for you teach me your statutes.172 My tongue will sing of your word, for all your commandments are right.173 Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts.174 I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.175 Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me.176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments. Footnotes  119:100 Or the elders  119:112 Or statutes; the reward is eternal (ESV) Pentateuch and History: Job 2 Job 2 (Listen) Satan Attacks Job's Health 2 Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them to present himself before the LORD. 2 And the LORD said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 3 And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” 4 Then Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! All that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out your hand and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.” 6 And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.” 7 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8 And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes. 9 Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” 10 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?”1 In all this Job did not sin with his lips. Job's Three Friends 11 Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him. 12 And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. 13 And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great. Footnotes  2:10 Or disaster; also verse 11 (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Isaiah 23 Isaiah 23 (Listen) An Oracle Concerning Tyre and Sidon 23 The oracle concerning Tyre. Wail, O ships of Tarshish, for Tyre is laid waste, without house or harbor! From the land of Cyprus1 it is revealed to them.2 Be still, O inhabitants of the coast; the merchants of Sidon, who cross the sea, have filled you.3 And on many waters your revenue was the grain of Shihor, the harvest of the Nile; you were the merchant of the nations.4 Be ashamed, O Sidon, for the sea has spoken, the stronghold of the sea, saying: “I have neither labored nor given birth, I have neither reared young men nor brought up young women.”5 When the report comes to Egypt, they will be in anguish2 over the report about Tyre.6 Cross over to Tarshish; wail, O inhabitants of the coast!7 Is this your exultant city whose origin is from days of old, whose feet carried her to settle far away?8 Who has purposed this against Tyre, the bestower of crowns, whose merchants were princes, whose traders were the honored of the earth?9 The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to defile the pompous pride of all glory,3 to dishonor all the honored of the earth.10 Cross over your land like the Nile, O daughter of Tarshish; there is no restraint anymore.11 He has stretched out his hand over the sea; he has shaken the kingdoms; the LORD has given command concerning Canaan to destroy its strongholds.12 And he said: “You will no more exult, O oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon; arise, cross over to Cyprus, even there you will have no rest.” 13 Behold the land of the Chaldeans! This is the people that was not;4 Assyria destined it for wild beasts. They erected their siege towers, they stripped her palaces bare, they made her a ruin. 14 Wail, O ships of Tarshish, for your stronghold is laid waste. 15 In that day Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, like the days5 of one king. At the end of seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute: 16 “Take a harp; go about the city, O forgotten prostitute! Make sweet melody;
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 117 Psalm 117 (Listen) The Lord's Faithfulness Endures Forever 117 Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!2 For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD! (ESV) Pentateuch and History: 2 Kings 24:18–25:21 2 Kings 24:18–25:21 (Listen) Zedekiah Reigns in Judah 18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 And he did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20 For because of the anger of the LORD it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon. Fall and Captivity of Judah 25 And in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, on the tenth day of the month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came with all his army against Jerusalem and laid siege to it. And they built siegeworks all around it. 2 So the city was besieged till the eleventh year of King Zedekiah. 3 On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land. 4 Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, by the king's garden, and the Chaldeans were around the city. And they went in the direction of the Arabah. 5 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho, and all his army was scattered from him. 6 Then they captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, and they passed sentence on him. 7 They slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah and bound him in chains and took him to Babylon. 8 In the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month—that was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon—Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. 9 And he burned the house of the LORD and the king's house and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down. 10 And all the army of the Chaldeans, who were with the captain of the guard, broke down the walls around Jerusalem. 11 And the rest of the people who were left in the city and the deserters who had deserted to the king of Babylon, together with the rest of the multitude, Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried into exile. 12 But the captain of the guard left some of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and plowmen. 13 And the pillars of bronze that were in the house of the LORD, and the stands and the bronze sea that were in the house of the LORD, the Chaldeans broke in pieces and carried the bronze to Babylon. 14 And they took away the pots and the shovels and the snuffers and the dishes for incense and all the vessels of bronze used in the temple service, 15 the fire pans also and the bowls. What was of gold the captain of the guard took away as gold, and what was of silver, as silver. 16 As for the two pillars, the one sea, and the stands that Solomon had made for the house of the LORD, the bronze of all these vessels was beyond weight. 17 The height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits,1 and on it was a capital of bronze. The height of the capital was three cubits. A latticework and pomegranates, all of bronze, were all around the capital. And the second pillar had the same, with the latticework. 18 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah the second priest and the three keepers of the threshold; 19 and from the city he took an officer who had been in command of the men of war, and five men of the king's council who were found in the city; and the secretary of the commander of the army, who mustered the people of the land; and sixty men of the people of the land, who were found in the city. 20 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. 21 And the king of Babylon struck them down and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was taken into exile out of its land. Footnotes  25:17 A cubit was about 18 inches or 45 centimeters (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Isaiah 19–20 Isaiah 19–20 (Listen) An Oracle Concerning Egypt 19 An oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.2 And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, each against another and each against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom;3 and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound1 their counsel; and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the necromancers;4 and I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master, and a fierce king will rule over them, declares the Lord GOD of hosts. 5 And the waters of the sea will be dried up, and the river will be dry and parched,6 and its canals will become foul, and the branches of Egypt's Nile will diminish and dry up, reeds and rushes will rot away.7 There will be bare places by the Nile, on the brink of the Nile, and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched, will be driven away, and will be no more.8 The fishermen will mourn and lament, all who cast a hook in the Nile; and they will languish who spread nets on the water.9 The workers in combed flax will be in despair, and the weavers of white cotton.10 Those who are the pillars of the land will be crushed, and all who work for pay will be grieved. 11 The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish; the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel. How can you say to Pharaoh, “I am a son of the wise, a son of ancient kings”?12 Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you that they might know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt.13 The princes of Zoan have become fools, and the princes of Memphis are deluded; those who are the cornerstones of her tribes have made Egypt stagger.14 The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion, and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.15 And there will be nothing for Egypt that head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do. Egypt, Assyria, Israel Blessed 16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the LORD of hosts shakes over them. 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the LORD of hosts has purposed against them. 18 In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.2 19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. 20 It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the LORD because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 21 And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them. 22 And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them. 23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. 24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.” A Sign Against Egypt and Cush 20 In the year that the commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and captured it—2 at that time the LORD spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet,” and he did so, walking naked and barefoot. 3 Then the LORD said, “As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush,3 4 so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt. 5 Then they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast. 6 And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, ‘Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?'” Footnotes  19:3 Or I will swallow up  19:18 Dead Sea Scroll and some other manuscripts City of the Sun  20:3 Probably Nubia (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: John 17 John 17 (Listen) The High Priestly Prayer 17 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2 since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4 I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. 6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8 For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.1 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them2 in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself,3 that they also may be sanctified4 in truth. 20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. 24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” Footnotes  17:15 Or from evil  17:17 Greek Set them apart (for holy service to God)  17:19 Or I sanctify myself; or I set myself apart (for holy service to God)  17:19 Greek may be set apart (for holy service to God) (ESV)
First Draft Episode #333: Karen M. McManus Karen M. McManus is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of young adult thrillers, including the One of Us Is Lying series (now a Peacock TV show), Two Can Keep a Secret, The Cousins, joins to talk about her latest, You'll Be the Death of Me. The presenting sponsor for this episode is Sips By, a multi-brand, personalized monthly tea subscription box. Use offer code "draftsips” for 50% off your first Sips By box! Links to Topics Mentioned In This Episode: Stephen King, author of thrillers like It, The Shining, and Carrie (and, uh, lots more) Agatha Christie, author of And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, and Death on the Nile. Lois Duncan, author of I Know What You Did Last Summer, Killing Mr. Duncan, and Down a Dark Hall Mary Higgins Clark, author of Where Are the Children?, Two Little Girls in Blue, and You Belong to Me The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins Only Murders in the Building (TV show) Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss and the horror novel There's Someone Inside Your House (watch the Netflix film adaptation Oct. 6!) talks about her newest scary book, The Woods Are Always Watching. Hear her First Draft interview here!
Morning: Ezekiel 29–31 Ezekiel 29–31 (Listen) Prophecy Against Egypt 29 In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him and against all Egypt; 3 speak, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lies in the midst of his streams, that says, ‘My Nile is my own; I made it for myself.'4 I will put hooks in your jaws, and make the fish of your streams stick to your scales; and I will draw you up out of the midst of your streams, with all the fish of your streams that stick to your scales.5 And I will cast you out into the wilderness, you and all the fish of your streams; you shall fall on the open field, and not be brought together or gathered. To the beasts of the earth and to the birds of the heavens I give you as food. 6 Then all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD. “Because you1 have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel, 7 when they grasped you with the hand, you broke and tore all their shoulders; and when they leaned on you, you broke and made all their loins to shake.2 8 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will bring a sword upon you, and will cut off from you man and beast, 9 and the land of Egypt shall be a desolation and a waste. Then they will know that I am the LORD. “Because you3 said, ‘The Nile is mine, and I made it,' 10 therefore, behold, I am against you and against your streams, and I will make the land of Egypt an utter waste and desolation, from Migdol to Syene, as far as the border of Cush. 11 No foot of man shall pass through it, and no foot of beast shall pass through it; it shall be uninhabited forty years. 12 And I will make the land of Egypt a desolation in the midst of desolated countries, and her cities shall be a desolation forty years among cities that are laid waste. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them through the countries. 13 “For thus says the Lord GOD: At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the peoples among whom they were scattered, 14 and I will restore the fortunes of Egypt and bring them back to the land of Pathros, the land of their origin, and there they shall be a lowly kingdom. 15 It shall be the most lowly of the kingdoms, and never again exalt itself above the nations. And I will make them so small that they will never again rule over the nations. 16 And it shall never again be the reliance of the house of Israel, recalling their iniquity, when they turn to them for aid. Then they will know that I am the Lord GOD.” 17 In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: 18 “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre. Every head was made bald, and every shoulder was rubbed bare, yet neither he nor his army got anything from Tyre to pay for the labor that he had performed against her. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall carry off its wealth4 and despoil it and plunder it; and it shall be the wages for his army. 20 I have given him the land of Egypt as his payment for which he labored, because they worked for me, declares the Lord GOD. 21 “On that day I will cause a horn to spring up for the house of Israel, and I will open your lips among them. Then they will know that I am the LORD.” A Lament for Egypt 30 The word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD: “Wail, ‘Alas for the day!'3 For the day is near, the day of the LORD is near; it will be a day of clouds, a time of doom for5 the nations.4 A sword shall come upon Egypt, and anguish shall be in Cush, when the slain fall in Egypt, and her wealth6 is carried away, and her foundations are torn down. 5 Cush, and Put, and Lud, and all Arabia, and Libya,7 and the people of the land that is in league,8 shall fall with them by the sword. 6 “Thus says the LORD: Those who support Egypt shall fall, and her proud might shall come down; from Migdol to Syene they shall fall within her by the sword, declares the Lord GOD.7 And they shall be desolated in the midst of desolated countries, and their cities shall be in the midst of cities that are laid waste.8 Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have set fire to Egypt, and all her helpers are broken. 9 “On that day messengers shall go out from me in ships to terrify the unsuspecting people of Cush, and anguish shall come upon them on the day of Egypt's doom;9 for, behold, it comes! 10 “Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will put an end to the wealth of Egypt, by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.11 He and his people with him, the most ruthless of nations, shall be brought in to destroy the land, and they shall draw their swords against Egypt and fill the land with the slain.12 And I will dry up the Nile and will sell the land into the hand of evildoers; I will bring desolation upon the land and everything in it, by the hand of foreigners; I am the LORD; I have spoken. 13 “Thus says the Lord GOD: “I will destroy the idols and put an end to the images in Memphis; there shall no longer be a prince from the land of Egypt; so I will put fear in the land of Egypt.14 I will make Pathros a desolation and will set fire to Zoan and will execute judgments on Thebes.15 And I will pour out my wrath on Pelusium, the stronghold of Egypt, and cut off the multitude10 of Thebes.16 And I will set fire to Egypt; Pelusium shall be in great agony; Thebes shall be breached, and Memphis shall face enemies11 by day.17 The young men of On and of Pi-beseth shall fall by the sword, and the women12 shall go into captivity.18 At Tehaphnehes the day shall be dark, when I break there the yoke bars of Egypt, and her proud might shall come to an end in her; she shall be covered by a cloud, and her daughters shall go into captivity.19 Thus I will execute judgments on Egypt. Then they will know that I am the LORD.” Egypt Shall Fall to Babylon 20 In the eleventh year, in the first month, on the seventh day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: 21 “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and behold, it has not been bound up, to heal it by binding it with a bandage, so that it may become strong to wield the sword. 22 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt and will break his arms, both the strong arm and the one that was broken, and I will make the sword fall from his hand. 23 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them through the countries. 24 And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put my sword in his hand, but I will break the arms of Pharaoh, and he will groan before him like a man mortally wounded. 25 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh shall fall. Then they shall know that I am the LORD, when I put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he stretches it out against the land of Egypt. 26 And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries. Then they will know that I am the LORD.” Pharaoh to Be Slain 31 In the eleventh year, in the third month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: 2 “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his multitude: “Whom are you like in your greatness?3 Behold, Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon, with beautiful branches and forest shade, and of towering height, its top among the clouds.134 The waters nourished it; the deep made it grow tall, making its rivers flow around the place of its planting, sending forth its streams to all the trees of the field.5 So it towered high above all the trees of the field; its boughs grew large and its branches long from abundant water in its shoots.6 All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; under its branches all the beasts of the field gave birth to their young, and under its shadow lived all great nations.7 It was beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches; for its roots went down to abundant waters.8 The cedars in the garden of God could not rival it, nor the fir trees equal its boughs; neither were the plane trees like its branches; no tree in the garden of God was its equal in beauty.9 I made it beautiful in the mass of its branches, and all the trees of Eden envied it, that were in the garden of God. 10 “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Because it14 towered high and set its top among the clouds,15 and its heart was proud of its height, 11 I will give it into the hand of a mighty one of the nations. He shall surely deal with it as its wickedness deserves. I have cast it out. 12 Foreigners, the most ruthless of nations, have cut it down and left it. On the mountains and in all the valleys its branches have fallen, and its boughs have been broken in all the ravines of the land, and all the peoples of the earth have gone away from its shadow and left it. 13 On its fallen trunk dwell all the birds of the heavens, and on its branches are all the beasts of the field. 14 All this is in order that no trees by the waters may grow to towering height or set their tops among the clouds,16 and that no trees that drink water may reach up to them in height. For they are all given over to death, to the world below, among the children of man,17 with those who go down to the pit. 15 “Thus says the Lord GOD: On the day the cedar18 went down to Sheol I caused mourning; I closed the deep over it, and restrained its rivers, and many waters were stopped. I clothed Lebanon in gloom for it, and all the trees of the field fainted because of it. 16 I made the nations quake at the sound of its fall, when I cast it down to Sheol with those who go down to the pit. And all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all that drink water, were comforted in the world below. 17 They also went down to Sheol with it, to those who are slain by the sword; yes, those who were its arm, who lived under its shadow among the nations. 18 “Whom are you thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? You shall be brought down with the trees of Eden to the world below. You shall lie among the uncircumcised, with those who are slain by the sword. “This is Pharaoh and all his multitude, declares the Lord GOD.” Footnotes  29:6 Hebrew they  29:7 Syriac (compare Psalm 69:23); Hebrew to stand  29:9 Hebrew he  29:19 Or multitude  30:3 Hebrew lacks doom for  30:4 Or multitude; also verse 10  30:5 With Septuagint; Hebrew Cub  30:5 Hebrew and the sons of the land of the covenant  30:9 Hebrew the day of Egypt  30:15 Or wealth  30:16 Or distress  30:17 Or the cities; Hebrew they  31:3 Or its top went through the thick boughs  31:10 Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew you  31:10 Or its top through the thick boughs  31:14 Or their tops through the thick boughs  31:14 Or of Adam  31:15 Hebrew it (ESV) Evening: James 5 James 5 (Listen) Warning to the Rich 5 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2 Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3 Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. 4 Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5 You have lived on the earth in luxury and in self-indulgence. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6 You have condemned and murdered the righteous person. He does not resist you. Patience in Suffering 7 Be patient, therefore, brothers,1 until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. 12 But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation. The Prayer of Faith 13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.2 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. 19 My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, 20 let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. Footnotes  5:7 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 9, 10, 12, 19  5:16 Or The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power (ESV)
Co-hosts Nile and Britt welcome friend of the show, Marissa Marshall, to discuss her career in the Women's National Basketball Association, her move from Los Angeles to New York City and how she maintains a healthy, cross-country relationship. Marissa also shares how to adjust to a new city by making it feel like home, what it's like being the oldest sibling of five and how she manifested her way to her dream job.
With family: 1 Chronicles 15; James 2 1 Chronicles 15 (Listen) The Ark Brought to Jerusalem 15 David1 built houses for himself in the city of David. And he prepared a place for the ark of God and pitched a tent for it. 2 Then David said that no one but the Levites may carry the ark of God, for the LORD had chosen them to carry the ark of the LORD and to minister to him forever. 3 And David assembled all Israel at Jerusalem to bring up the ark of the LORD to its place, which he had prepared for it. 4 And David gathered together the sons of Aaron and the Levites: 5 of the sons of Kohath, Uriel the chief, with 120 of his brothers; 6 of the sons of Merari, Asaiah the chief, with 220 of his brothers; 7 of the sons of Gershom, Joel the chief, with 130 of his brothers; 8 of the sons of Elizaphan, Shemaiah the chief, with 200 of his brothers; 9 of the sons of Hebron, Eliel the chief, with 80 of his brothers; 10 of the sons of Uzziel, Amminadab the chief, with 112 of his brothers. 11 Then David summoned the priests Zadok and Abiathar, and the Levites Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab, 12 and said to them, “You are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites. Consecrate yourselves, you and your brothers, so that you may bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel, to the place that I have prepared for it. 13 Because you did not carry it the first time, the LORD our God broke out against us, because we did not seek him according to the rule.” 14 So the priests and the Levites consecrated themselves to bring up the ark of the LORD, the God of Israel. 15 And the Levites carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles, as Moses had commanded according to the word of the LORD. 16 David also commanded the chiefs of the Levites to appoint their brothers as the singers who should play loudly on musical instruments, on harps and lyres and cymbals, to raise sounds of joy. 17 So the Levites appointed Heman the son of Joel; and of his brothers Asaph the son of Berechiah; and of the sons of Merari, their brothers, Ethan the son of Kushaiah; 18 and with them their brothers of the second order, Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, and Mikneiah, and the gatekeepers Obed-edom and Jeiel. 19 The singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were to sound bronze cymbals; 20 Zechariah, Aziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah, and Benaiah were to play harps according to Alamoth; 21 but Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-edom, Jeiel, and Azaziah were to lead with lyres according to the Sheminith. 22 Chenaniah, leader of the Levites in music, should direct the music, for he understood it. 23 Berechiah and Elkanah were to be gatekeepers for the ark. 24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah, and Eliezer, the priests, should blow the trumpets before the ark of God. Obed-edom and Jehiah were to be gatekeepers for the ark. 25 So David and the elders of Israel and the commanders of thousands went to bring up the ark of the covenant of the LORD from the house of Obed-edom with rejoicing. 26 And because God helped the Levites who were carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD, they sacrificed seven bulls and seven rams. 27 David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, as also were all the Levites who were carrying the ark, and the singers and Chenaniah the leader of the music of the singers. And David wore a linen ephod. 28 So all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of the LORD with shouting, to the sound of the horn, trumpets, and cymbals, and made loud music on harps and lyres. 29 And as the ark of the covenant of the LORD came to the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David dancing and celebrating, and she despised him in her heart. Footnotes  15:1 Hebrew He (ESV) James 2 (Listen) The Sin of Partiality 2 My brothers,1 show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called? 8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11 For he who said, “Do not commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12 So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13 For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Faith Without Works Is Dead 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good2 is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. Footnotes  2:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 5, 14  2:16 Or benefit (ESV) In private: Amos 9; Luke 4 Amos 9 (Listen) The Destruction of Israel 9 I saw the Lord standing beside1 the altar, and he said: “Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake, and shatter them on the heads of all the people;2 and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword; not one of them shall flee away; not one of them shall escape. 2 “If they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; if they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down.3 If they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, from there I will search them out and take them; and if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.4 And if they go into captivity before their enemies, there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them; and I will fix my eyes upon them for evil and not for good.” 5 The Lord GOD of hosts, he who touches the earth and it melts, and all who dwell in it mourn, and all of it rises like the Nile, and sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;6 who builds his upper chambers in the heavens and founds his vault upon the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth— the LORD is his name. 7 “Are you not like the Cushites to me, O people of Israel?” declares the LORD. “Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor and the Syrians from Kir?8 Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground, except that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,” declares the LORD. 9 “For behold, I will command, and shake the house of Israel among all the nations as one shakes with a sieve, but no pebble shall fall to the earth.10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, who say, ‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.' The Restoration of Israel 11 “In that day I will raise up the booth of David that is fallen and repair its breaches, and raise up its ruins and rebuild it as in the days of old,12 that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations who are called by my name,”3 declares the LORD who does this. 13 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the plowman shall overtake the reaper and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed; the mountains shall drip sweet wine, and all the hills shall flow with it.14 I will restore the fortunes of my people Israel, and they shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink their wine, and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.15 I will plant them on their land, and they shall never again be uprooted out of the land that I have given them,” says the LORD your God. Footnotes  9:1 Or on  9:1 Hebrew all of them  9:12 Hebrew; Septuagint (compare Acts 15:17) that the remnant of mankind and all the nations who are called by my name may seek the Lord (ESV) Luke 4 (Listen) The Temptation of Jesus 4 And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2 for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. 3 The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” 4 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'” 5 And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, 6 and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. 7 If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” 8 And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.'” 9 And he took him to Jerusalem and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, 10 for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you,' 11 and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” 12 And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.'” 13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time. Jesus Begins His Ministry 14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. 15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all. Jesus Rejected at Nazareth 16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed,19 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor.” 20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph's son?” 23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘“Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.'” 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. 25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And there were many lepers1 in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away. Jesus Heals a Man with an Unclean Demon 31 And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ha!2 What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 37 And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region. Jesus Heals Many 38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them. 40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. Jesus Preaches in Synagogues 42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.3 Footnotes  4:27 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13  4:34 Or Leave us alone  4:44 Some manuscripts Galilee (ESV)
With family: 1 Chronicles 13–14; James 1 1 Chronicles 13–14 (Listen) The Ark Brought from Kiriath-Jearim 13 David consulted with the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with every leader. 2 And David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and from the LORD our God, let us send abroad to our brothers who remain in all the lands of Israel, as well as to the priests and Levites in the cities that have pasturelands, that they may be gathered to us. 3 Then let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it1 in the days of Saul.” 4 All the assembly agreed to do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people. Uzzah and the Ark 5 So David assembled all Israel from the Nile2 of Egypt to Lebo-hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim. 6 And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, that is, to Kiriath-jearim that belongs to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD who sits enthroned above the cherubim. 7 And they carried the ark of God on a new cart, from the house of Abinadab, and Uzzah and Ahio3 were driving the cart. 8 And David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, with song and lyres and harps and tambourines and cymbals and trumpets. 9 And when they came to the threshing floor of Chidon, Uzzah put out his hand to take hold of the ark, for the oxen stumbled. 10 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and he struck him down because he put out his hand to the ark, and he died there before God. 11 And David was angry because the LORD had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzza4 to this day. 12 And David was afraid of God that day, and he said, “How can I bring the ark of God home to me?” 13 So David did not take the ark home into the city of David, but took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 14 And the ark of God remained with the household of Obed-edom in his house three months. And the LORD blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that he had. David's Wives and Children 14 And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, also masons and carpenters to build a house for him. 2 And David knew that the LORD had established him as king over Israel, and that his kingdom was highly exalted for the sake of his people Israel. 3 And David took more wives in Jerusalem, and David fathered more sons and daughters. 4 These are the names of the children born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, 5 Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, 6 Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, 7 Elishama, Beeliada and Eliphelet. Philistines Defeated 8 When the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king over all Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. But David heard of it and went out against them. 9 Now the Philistines had come and made a raid in the Valley of Rephaim. 10 And David inquired of God, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will you give them into my hand?” And the LORD said to him, “Go up, and I will give them into your hand.” 11 And he went up to Baal-perazim, and David struck them down there. And David said, “God has broken through5 my enemies by my hand, like a bursting flood.” Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim. 12 And they left their gods there, and David gave command, and they were burned. 13 And the Philistines yet again made a raid in the valley. 14 And when David again inquired of God, God said to him, “You shall not go up after them; go around and come against them opposite the balsam trees. 15 And when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then go out to battle, for God has gone out before you to strike down the army of the Philistines.” 16 And David did as God commanded him, and they struck down the Philistine army from Gibeon to Gezer. 17 And the fame of David went out into all lands, and the LORD brought the fear of him upon all nations. Footnotes  13:3 Or him  13:5 Hebrew Shihor  13:7 Or and his brother  13:11 Perez-uzza means the breaking out against Uzzah  14:11 Baal-perazim means Lord of breaking through (ESV) James 1 (Listen) Greeting 1 James, a servant1 of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greetings. Testing of Your Faith 2 Count it all joy, my brothers,2 when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass3 he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits. 12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. 16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.4 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. Hearing and Doing the Word 19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. 26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless. 27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. Footnotes  1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface  1:2 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters; also verses 16, 19  1:10 Or a wild flower  1:17 Some manuscripts variation due to a shadow of turning (ESV) In private: Amos 8; Luke 3 Amos 8 (Listen) The Coming Day of Bitter Mourning 8 This is what the Lord GOD showed me: behold, a basket of summer fruit. 2 And he said, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A basket of summer fruit.” Then the LORD said to me, “The end1 has come upon my people Israel; I will never again pass by them.3 The songs of the temple2 shall become wailings3 in that day,” declares the Lord GOD. “So many dead bodies!” “They are thrown everywhere!” “Silence!” 4 Hear this, you who trample on the needy and bring the poor of the land to an end,5 saying, “When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the Sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel4 great and deal deceitfully with false balances,6 that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals and sell the chaff of the wheat?” 7 The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: “Surely I will never forget any of their deeds.8 Shall not the land tremble on this account, and everyone mourn who dwells in it, and all of it rise like the Nile, and be tossed about and sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?” 9 “And on that day,” declares the Lord GOD, “I will make the sun go down at noon and darken the earth in broad daylight.10 I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist and baldness on every head; I will make it like the mourning for an only son and the end of it like a bitter day. 11 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.12 They shall wander from sea to sea, and from north to east; they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the LORD, but they shall not find it. 13 “In that day the lovely virgins and the young men shall faint for thirst.14 Those who swear by the Guilt of Samaria, and say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,' and, ‘As the Way of Beersheba lives,' they shall fall, and never rise again.” Footnotes  8:2 The Hebrew words for end and summer fruit sound alike  8:3 Or palace  8:3 Or The singing women of the palace shall wail  8:5 An ephah was about 3/5 bushel or 22 liters; a shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams (ESV) Luke 3 (Listen) John the Baptist Prepares the Way 3 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,1 make his paths straight.5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways,6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'” 7 He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. 9 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10 And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” 11 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics2 is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.” 12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.” 15 As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ, 16 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18 So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people. 19 But Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by him for Herodias, his brother's wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, 20 added this to them all, that he locked up John in prison. 21 Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;3 with you I am well pleased.”4 The Genealogy of Jesus Christ 23 Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli, 24 the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, the son of Melchi, the son of Jannai, the son of Joseph, 25 the son of Mattathias, the son of Amos, the son of Nahum, the son of Esli, the son of Naggai, 26 the son of Maath, the son of Mattathias, the son of Semein, the son of Josech, the son of Joda, 27 the son of Joanan, the son of Rhesa, the son of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel,5 the son of Neri, 28 the son of Melchi, the son of Addi, the son of Cosam, the son of Elmadam, the son of Er, 29 the son of Joshua, the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi, 30 the son of Simeon, the son of Judah, the son of Joseph, the son of Jonam, the son of Eliakim, 31 the son of Melea, the son of Menna, the son of Mattatha, the son of Nathan, the son of David, 32 the son of Jesse, the son of Obed, the son of Boaz, the son of Sala, the son of Nahshon, 33 the son of Amminadab, the son of Admin, the son of Arni, the son of Hezron, the son of Perez, the son of Judah, 34 the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham, the son of Terah, the son of Nahor, 35 the son of Serug, the son of Reu, the son of Peleg, the son of Eber, the son of Shelah, 36 the son of Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, the son of Shem, the son of Noah, the son of Lamech, 37 the son of Methuselah, the son of Enoch, the son of Jared, the son of Mahalaleel, the son of Cainan, 38 the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God. Footnotes  3:4 Or crying, Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord  3:11 Greek chiton, a long garment worn under the cloak next to the skin  3:22 Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved  3:22 Some manuscripts beloved Son; today I have begotten you  3:27 Greek Salathiel (ESV)
Acts 6:8-7:60 SUPPORT - The Listener's Commentary is a CROWDFUNDED Bible teaching ministry. We believe everyone should have access to the wisdom of Jesus and the Bible so we've chosen to give the Listener's Commentary away as a free resource, and that's possible because of people's generous support. You can become a Ministry Partner by donating at: https://www.listenerscommentary.com/give TEXT Acts 6:8-7:60 And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. 9 But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. 10 But they were unable to cope with his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking. 11 Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” 12 And they stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away, and brought him before the Council. 13 They put forward false witnesses who said, “This man does not stop speaking against this holy place and the Law; 14 for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses handed down to us.” 15 And all who were sitting in the Council stared at him, and they saw his face, which was like the face of an angel. Now the high priest said, “Are these things so?” 2 And Stephen said, “Listen to me, brothers and fathers! The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, 3 and He said to him, ‘Go from your country and your relatives, and come to the land which I will show you.' 4 Then he left the land of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. And from there, after his father died, God had him move to this country in which you are now living. 5 But He gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot of ground, and yet, He promised that He would give it to him as a possession, and to his descendants after him, even though he had no child. 6 But God spoke to this effect, that his descendants would be strangers in a land that was not theirs, and they would enslave and mistreat them for four hundred years. 7 ‘And whatever nation to which they are enslaved I Myself will judge,' said God, ‘andafter that they will come out and serve Me in this place.' 8 And He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abrahamfathered Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day; and Isaac fathered Jacob, and Jacob, the twelve patriarchs. 9 “The patriarchs became jealous of Joseph and sold him into Egypt. Yet God was with him, 10 and rescued him from all his afflictions, and granted him favor and wisdom in the sight of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he made him governor over Egypt and his entire household. 11 “Now a famine came over all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction with it, and our fathers could find no food. 12 But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent our fathers therethe first time. 13 And on the second visit, Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph's family was revealed to Pharaoh. 14 Then Joseph sent word and invited his father Jacob and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five people in all.15 And Jacob went down to Egypt, and he and our fathers died there. 16 And they were brought back from there to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. 17 “But as the time of the promise which God had assured to Abraham was approaching, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt, 18 until another king arose over Egypt who did not know Joseph. 19 It was he who shrewdly took advantage of our nation and mistreated our fathers in order that they would abandon their infants in the Nile, so that they would not survive. 20 At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful to God. He was nurtured for three months in his father's home. 21 And after he had been put outside, Pharaoh's daughter took him away and nurtured him as her own son. 22 Moses was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and he was proficient in speaking and action. 23 But when he was approaching the age of forty, it entered his mind to visit his countrymen, the sons of Israel. 24 And when he saw one of them being treated unjustly, he defended and took vengeance for the oppressed man by fatally striking the Egyptian. 25 And he thought that his brothers understood that God was granting them deliverance through him; but they did not understand. 26 And on the following day he appeared to them as they were fighting each other, and he tried to reconcile them to peace, by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers, why are you injuring each other?' 27 But the one who was injuring his neighbor pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us? 28 You do not intend to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday, do you?' 29 At this remark, Moses fled and became a stranger in the land of Midian, where he fathered two sons. 30 “After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush.31 When Moses saw it, he was astonished at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, the voice of the Lord came: 32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob.' Moses shook with fear and did not dare to look closely.33 But the Lord said to him, ‘Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.34 I have certainly seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them; and now come, I will send you to Egypt.' 35 “This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?' is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. 36 This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years. 37 This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your countrymen.' 38 This is the one who was in the assembly in the wilderness together with the angel who spoke to him at length on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to you. 39 Our fathers were unwilling to be obedient to him; on the contrary they rejected him and turned back to Egypt in their hearts, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us a god who will go before us; for this Moses who led us out of the land of Egypt—we do not know what happened to him.' 41 At that time they made a calf and brought a sacrifice to the idol, and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. 42 But God turned away and gave them over to serve the heavenly lights; as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘You did not offer Me victims and sacrifices for forty years in the wilderness, did you, house of Israel? 43 You also took along the tabernacle of Moloch and the star of your god Rompha, the images which you made to worship. I also will deport you beyond Babylon.' 44 “Our fathers had the tabernacle of testimony in the wilderness, just as He who spoke to Moses directed him to make it according to the pattern which he had seen. 45 Our fathers in turn received it, and they also brought it in with Joshua upon dispossessing the nations that God drove out from our fathers, until the time of David.46 David found favor in God's sight, and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the house of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for Him. 48 However, the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says: 49 ‘Heaven is My throne, And the earth is the footstool of My feet; What kind of house will you build for Me?' says the Lord, ‘Or what place is there for My rest? 50 Was it not My hand that made all these things?' 51 “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. 52 Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, and you have now become betrayers and murderers of Him; 53 you who received the Law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.” 54 Now when they heard this, they were infuriated, and they begangnashing their teeth at him. 55 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they shouted with loud voices, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one mind. 58 When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep. 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Ezekiel 30-32 We are in the Prophetic Stream reading from the New Living Translation. 7streamsmethod.com | @serenatravis | Donate Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis Lord, Jesus, let us not be troubled about the giants in the land who are against you. Let us not be taken by their size, or might, or threats. You know what to do with them. I pray we would lift up our eyes to you and realize that our help comes from the Lord. Nothing can separate us from your love. Amen. We finished Ezekiel's prophecy that Jerusalem was in trouble; Ezekiel 1-24. Now we are well into the prophecy against Egypt. They too were going to fall due to their minds being set against Israel for basically their entire existence. Ezekiel gave six distinct visions against Egypt. We read the first one tast week. Today we read the second through the sixth. 30 - Ezekiel is speaking that Egypt is about to be swarmed upon by Babylon. As we read last week, they are finishing a 13-year campaign that decimated Tyre but yielded very little pay. They are victorious leaving Tyre and heading to Egypt, but they are unsatisfied and longing for a paystreak. So they will enter Egypt doubly eager to strip Egypt and will do so shortly. They will leave bodies of Egyptians everywhere. Neighboring towns will be flattened, nations who befriend or do commerce with Egypt will suffer also. "The Prince" will not be found. The idols will be smashed. Everything burnable will be burned. For hundreds of miles all up and down the Nile, there will be death and fires burning everything. All men will die and all the women will be taken away as slaves. The Egyptians will scatter. The Lord has spoken. The "broken arms of Pharaoh" is the army that will be conquered, and rendered useless. Pharaoh's defense will be gone. This occurred in the spring of 587 B.C. This event is told of in Ezekiel's second and third visions [Jerusalem had barely over a year before it too would be emptied out.] Jeremiah 37:5-9 is a contemporary story that is concurrent with these chapters., btw. 31 - In His fourth vision; God is speaking as Ezekiel is writing and Egypt is being compared to Assyria. The trees are tall, strong, green and lush. The water is plentiful. The place is fruitful and the people are powerful. Assyria was perceived as so powerful and Egypt had admired Assyria. Egypt thinks it is mighty like Assyria too. ... and Assyria fell like a crumbled building when Babylon rushed in. Guess what Egypt - you are going down too. Your pride and arrogance and lofty attitude is going to get cut down and swiftly so. Babylon is being unleashed on you. And you will die by the sword. 32 - It seems that the first 16 verses are a permanent funeral march for Egypt. It's a dirge of the gravest sort. Think of their history. Abraham was in Egypt some 1400-1500 years prior. The pyramids outside Cairo stand today as memories of this era; The Old Kingdom. Some the the Pyramids there predate Noah's flood! There's the Middle Kingdom 500+ miles up the Nile. They were overthrown by Hyksos as was spoken of in Exodus 1:8 after which there arose a new Pharaoh in a New Kingdom who did not know Joseph. This New Kingdom was 1550 - 712 B.C. This remnant of Egypt, however, that Babylon would overrun and leave as food for birds, would be the end of Egypt. They would never rise to world prominence again. What's left of them even today are stones and artifacts and a few gems that enamor the world. We'll grant them that, but it is a banished empire that is at its end. They have been arrogant against the God of Abraham and are therefore over with soon. The 15 final verses are that of Egypt being relegated to the realm of the dead. The coffins, the embalming rooms, the pyramids [of which all were tombs] were Egypt's obsession with the dead. And dead they would be. Remember Jesus saying to "let the dead bury the dead"? He is the God of the Living. Egypt's culture was all about the dead. It had to go.
From prison to palace: in one day! Today Pastor Michael is continuing to follow the story of Joseph and how Joseph has experienced long delays in his life and certainly, life not being what he originally thought it might be. He's gone from being sold into slavery to being in prison and today's story picks up with the prisoners Joseph has been assisting by interpreting their dreams. In these dream interpretations, one prisoner has a good outcome and one did not. The one that did, was supposed to help him by trying to obtain his freedom but he didn't. Joseph languished in prison for another two years! As it turns out, Pharaoh has a dream about himself standing by the Nile and he sees seven cows come up out of the river. These cows were fat and nice. Then seven more cows, not nearly as good looking, come out of the river and eat the other seven cows! Zombie cows? Needless to say, this dream disturbed Pharaoh. He then has another dream and sees a wheat plant sprout up, with seven stalks. Then, as with the cow dream, here comes seven more stalks off the same plant and they're ugly, unhealthy, diseased, blighted, scorched wheat. The bad wheat then eats up the good wheat. Give the man credit, he has some seriously weird dreams! He wakes up and consults his trusted staff and no one can tell him. But wait! His butler overhears this and then suddenly remembers his time in prison where Joseph interpreted the dreams. He tells him the story of Joseph's dream interpretations and how accurate they were. Pharaoh sends for Joseph and Joseph stands before him. Joseph proceeds to tell the Pharaoh that he doesn't interpret dreams. But he did clarify his statement, stating the he couldn't interpret dreams but God can. Pharaoh tells him the cow and the wheat dreams and the Lord gave Joseph the interpretation. Which was: the two dreams represent the same message. The seven good cows and wheat represent seven years of prosperous and good. The seven bad cows and seven bad grains of wheat represent seven years of famine and those seven years will make the seven good years seem long ago and forgotten. Pharaoh needs to appoint someone to plan for the seven bad years, by storing away grain and preparing for it. Needless to say, Pharaoh is impressed with Joseph. Pharaoh appoints Joseph to oversee this effort and gives him royal clothing and jewelry. To commemorate the promotion, Pharaoh gives Joseph a new name, Zaphenath-paneah (“Revealer of Mysteries”, how cool is that!), and a wife, Asenath. Things went just as Joseph predicted. They had seven great years and collected the grain and saved it up. Then when the famine hit, if they had not laid aside that stock, everyone would have starved. People came from all around to buy grain in Egypt. Egypt was saved and provided grain for others and Joseph became a great hero. From the prison to the palace, in one day! God has dreams for you and for me; but we have to grow into those dreams. It took Joseph thirteen years to see God's purpose for him realized. Every day God grows us in our faith and our character. Today's verses are found in Genesis 41: 1-57.
Hey there friends and weirdos! In this one, Nile introduces Kyle to what might be the absolute weirdest...thing discussed on the show so far. Is the Sam of All Colors, aka the Sandown Clown, a cryptid? An alien? A creepy man in a costume? Is he a Man in Black? We just don't know. What bizarre entity lurks in the town of Sandown, and will we ever have any answers to this mystery? Listen and theorize with the Weird Boys!
Teeming Cairo, straddling the Nile, is the capital of Egypt and one of the leading cities of the Muslim world. With 20 million people, greater Cairo pulses with energy. For European travel information, visit ricksteves.com.
Are You Self Made Or God Made? Don't Take God For Granted. Ezekiel 29:9 - 10 9Egypt will become a desolate wasteland. Then they will know that I am the Lord. “ ‘Because you said, “The Nile is mine; I made it,” 10therefore I am against you and against your streams, and I will make the land of Egypt a ruin and a desolate waste from Migdol to Aswan, as far as the border of Cush.
Old Testament: Jeremiah 45–47 Jeremiah 45–47 (Listen) Message to Baruch 45 The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he wrote these words in a book at the dictation of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: 2 “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: 3 You said, ‘Woe is me! For the LORD has added sorrow to my pain. I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.' 4 Thus shall you say to him, Thus says the LORD: Behold, what I have built I am breaking down, and what I have planted I am plucking up—that is, the whole land. 5 And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the LORD. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go.” Judgment on Egypt 46 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations. 2 About Egypt. Concerning the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates at Carchemish and which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: 3 “Prepare buckler and shield, and advance for battle!4 Harness the horses; mount, O horsemen! Take your stations with your helmets, polish your spears, put on your armor!5 Why have I seen it? They are dismayed and have turned backward. Their warriors are beaten down and have fled in haste; they look not back— terror on every side! declares the LORD. 6 “The swift cannot flee away, nor the warrior escape; in the north by the river Euphrates they have stumbled and fallen. 7 “Who is this, rising like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge?8 Egypt rises like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge. He said, ‘I will rise, I will cover the earth, I will destroy cities and their inhabitants.'9 Advance, O horses, and rage, O chariots! Let the warriors go out: men of Cush and Put who handle the shield, men of Lud, skilled in handling the bow.10 That day is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, to avenge himself on his foes. The sword shall devour and be sated and drink its fill of their blood. For the Lord GOD of hosts holds a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.11 Go up to Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt! In vain you have used many medicines; there is no healing for you.12 The nations have heard of your shame, and the earth is full of your cry; for warrior has stumbled against warrior; they have both fallen together.” 13 The word that the LORD spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to strike the land of Egypt: 14 “Declare in Egypt, and proclaim in Migdol; proclaim in Memphis and Tahpanhes; say, ‘Stand ready and be prepared, for the sword shall devour around you.'15 Why are your mighty ones face down? They do not stand1 because the LORD thrust them down.16 He made many stumble, and they fell, and they said one to another, ‘Arise, and let us go back to our own people and to the land of our birth, because of the sword of the oppressor.'17 Call the name of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, ‘Noisy one who lets the hour go by.' 18 “As I live, declares the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts, like Tabor among the mountains and like Carmel by the sea, shall one come.19 Prepare yourselves baggage for exile, O inhabitants of Egypt! For Memphis shall become a waste, a ruin, without inhabitant. 20 “A beautiful heifer is Egypt, but a biting fly from the north has come upon her.21 Even her hired soldiers in her midst are like fattened calves; yes, they have turned and fled together; they did not stand, for the day of their calamity has come upon them, the time of their punishment. 22 “She makes a sound like a serpent gliding away; for her enemies march in force and come against her with axes like those who fell trees.23 They shall cut down her forest, declares the LORD, though it is impenetrable, because they are more numerous than locusts; they are without number.24 The daughter of Egypt shall be put to shame; she shall be delivered into the hand of a people from the north.” 25 The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, said: “Behold, I am bringing punishment upon Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh and Egypt and her gods and her kings, upon Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26 I will deliver them into the hand of those who seek their life, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers. Afterward Egypt shall be inhabited as in the days of old, declares the LORD. 27 “But fear not, O Jacob my servant, nor be dismayed, O Israel, for behold, I will save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid.28 Fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD, for I am with you. I will make a full end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.” Judgment on the Philistines 47 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh struck down Gaza. 2 “Thus says the LORD: Behold, waters are rising out of the north, and shall become an overflowing torrent; they shall overflow the land and all that fills it, the city and those who dwell in it. Men shall cry out, and every inhabitant of the land shall wail.3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions, at the rushing of his chariots, at the rumbling of their wheels, the fathers look not back to their children, so feeble are their hands,4 because of the day that is coming to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper that remains. For the LORD is destroying the Philistines, the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.5 Baldness has come upon Gaza; Ashkelon has perished. O remnant of their valley, how long will you gash yourselves?6 Ah, sword of the LORD! How long till you are quiet? Put yourself into your scabbard; rest and be still!7 How can it2 be quiet when the LORD has given it a charge? Against Ashkelon and against the seashore he has appointed it.” Footnotes  46:15 Hebrew He does not stand  47:7 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew you (ESV) Psalm: Psalm 119:9–16 Psalm 119:9–16 (Listen) Beth 9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.12 Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes!13 With my lips I declare all the rules1 of your mouth.14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Footnotes  119:13 Or all the just decrees (ESV) New Testament: 1 Corinthians 15–16 1 Corinthians 15–16 (Listen) The Resurrection of Christ 15 Now I would remind you, brothers,1 of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. The Resurrection of the Dead 12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope2 in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God3 has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. 29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30 Why are we in danger every hour? 31 I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day! 32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”4 34 Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame. The Resurrection Body 35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. 42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”;5 the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall6 also bear the image of the man of heaven. Mystery and Victory 50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. The Collection for the Saints 16 Now concerning7 the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. 3 And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me. Plans for Travel 5 I will visit you after passing through Macedonia, for I intend to pass through Macedonia, 6 and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may help me on my journey, wherever I go. 7 For I do not want to see you now just in passing. I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8 But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9 for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. 10 When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord, as I am. 11 So let no one despise him. Help him on his way in peace, that he may return to me, for I am expecting him with the brothers. Final Instructions 12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but it was not at all his will8 to come now. He will come when he has opportunity. 13 Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love. 15 Now I urge you, brothers9—you know that the household10 of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints—16 be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer. 17 I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence, 18 for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people. Greetings 19 The churches of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, send you hearty greetings in the Lord. 20 All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss. 21 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. 22 If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!11 23 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24
Old Testament: Jeremiah 45–47 Jeremiah 45–47 (Listen) Message to Baruch 45 The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he wrote these words in a book at the dictation of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: 2 “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch: 3 You said, ‘Woe is me! For the LORD has added sorrow to my pain. I am weary with my groaning, and I find no rest.' 4 Thus shall you say to him, Thus says the LORD: Behold, what I have built I am breaking down, and what I have planted I am plucking up—that is, the whole land. 5 And do you seek great things for yourself? Seek them not, for behold, I am bringing disaster upon all flesh, declares the LORD. But I will give you your life as a prize of war in all places to which you may go.” Judgment on Egypt 46 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations. 2 About Egypt. Concerning the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates at Carchemish and which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: 3 “Prepare buckler and shield, and advance for battle!4 Harness the horses; mount, O horsemen! Take your stations with your helmets, polish your spears, put on your armor!5 Why have I seen it? They are dismayed and have turned backward. Their warriors are beaten down and have fled in haste; they look not back— terror on every side! declares the LORD. 6 “The swift cannot flee away, nor the warrior escape; in the north by the river Euphrates they have stumbled and fallen. 7 “Who is this, rising like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge?8 Egypt rises like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge. He said, ‘I will rise, I will cover the earth, I will destroy cities and their inhabitants.'9 Advance, O horses, and rage, O chariots! Let the warriors go out: men of Cush and Put who handle the shield, men of Lud, skilled in handling the bow.10 That day is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, to avenge himself on his foes. The sword shall devour and be sated and drink its fill of their blood. For the Lord GOD of hosts holds a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.11 Go up to Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt! In vain you have used many medicines; there is no healing for you.12 The nations have heard of your shame, and the earth is full of your cry; for warrior has stumbled against warrior; they have both fallen together.” 13 The word that the LORD spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to strike the land of Egypt: 14 “Declare in Egypt, and proclaim in Migdol; proclaim in Memphis and Tahpanhes; say, ‘Stand ready and be prepared, for the sword shall devour around you.'15 Why are your mighty ones face down? They do not stand1 because the LORD thrust them down.16 He made many stumble, and they fell, and they said one to another, ‘Arise, and let us go back to our own people and to the land of our birth, because of the sword of the oppressor.'17 Call the name of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, ‘Noisy one who lets the hour go by.' 18 “As I live, declares the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts, like Tabor among the mountains and like Carmel by the sea, shall one come.19 Prepare yourselves baggage for exile, O inhabitants of Egypt! For Memphis shall become a waste, a ruin, without inhabitant. 20 “A beautiful heifer is Egypt, but a biting fly from the north has come upon her.21 Even her hired soldiers in her midst are like fattened calves; yes, they have turned and fled together; they did not stand, for the day of their calamity has come upon them, the time of their punishment. 22 “She makes a sound like a serpent gliding away; for her enemies march in force and come against her with axes like those who fell trees.23 They shall cut down her forest, declares the LORD, though it is impenetrable, because they are more numerous than locusts; they are without number.24 The daughter of Egypt shall be put to shame; she shall be delivered into the hand of a people from the north.” 25 The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, said: “Behold, I am bringing punishment upon Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh and Egypt and her gods and her kings, upon Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26 I will deliver them into the hand of those who seek their life, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers. Afterward Egypt shall be inhabited as in the days of old, declares the LORD. 27 “But fear not, O Jacob my servant, nor be dismayed, O Israel, for behold, I will save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid.28 Fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD, for I am with you. I will make a full end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.” Judgment on the Philistines 47 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh struck down Gaza. 2 “Thus says the LORD: Behold, waters are rising out of the north, and shall become an overflowing torrent; they shall overflow the land and all that fills it, the city and those who dwell in it. Men shall cry out, and every inhabitant of the land shall wail.3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions, at the rushing of his chariots, at the rumbling of their wheels, the fathers look not back to their children, so feeble are their hands,4 because of the day that is coming to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper that remains. For the LORD is destroying the Philistines, the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.5 Baldness has come upon Gaza; Ashkelon has perished. O remnant of their valley, how long will you gash yourselves?6 Ah, sword of the LORD! How long till you are quiet? Put yourself into your scabbard; rest and be still!7 How can it2 be quiet when the LORD has given it a charge? Against Ashkelon and against the seashore he has appointed it.” Footnotes  46:15 Hebrew He does not stand  47:7 Septuagint, Vulgate; Hebrew you (ESV) New Testament: Revelation 2:12–29 Revelation 2:12–29 (Listen) To the Church in Pergamum 12 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: ‘The words of him who has the sharp two-edged sword. 13 “‘I know where you dwell, where Satan's throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith1 even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells. 14 But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. 15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.' To the Church in Thyatira 18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. 19 “‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. 20 But I have this against you, that you tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess and is teaching and seducing my servants to practice sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. 21 I gave her time to repent, but she refuses to repent of her sexual immorality. 22 Behold, I will throw her onto a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her I will throw into great tribulation, unless they repent of her works, 23 and I will strike her children dead. And all the churches will know that I am he who searches mind and heart, and I will give to each of you according to your works. 24 But to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who have not learned what some call the deep things of Satan, to you I say, I do not lay on you any other burden. 25 Only hold fast what you have until I come. 26 The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, 27 and he will rule2 them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. 28 And I will give him the morning star. 29 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.' Footnotes  2:13 Or your faith in me  2:27 Greek shepherd (ESV) Psalm: Psalm 119:9–16 Psalm 119:9–16 (Listen) Beth 9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.10 With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!11 I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.12 Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes!13 With my lips I declare all the rules1 of your mouth.14 In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.15 I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.16 I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Footnotes  119:13 Or all the just decrees (ESV) Proverb: Proverbs 27:13 Proverbs 27:13 (Listen) 13 Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger, and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.1 Footnotes  27:13 Hebrew a foreign woman; a slight emendation yields (compare Vulgate; see also 20:16) foreigners (ESV)
Curses and Controversies. From the moment they announced their discovery, Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon were faced with overwhelming attention. How they responded, and how they chose to approach the excavation, would have a major impact on public perception of the tomb. And, when events took a tragic turn, the media were happy to capitalise on the issue...Episode Chapters:Chapter 10: The Choices of Lord Carnarvon 00:05:10.Chapter 11: Journey to the Crossroads 00:25:30Chapter 12: Of Bricks and Lost Portraits 00:48:48Episode Links:The "curse" brick, with text from Book of the Dead, Chapter 151: http://www.griffith.ox.ac.uk/gri/carter/263.htmlMusic Opening: "She Gypped Egypt on the Nile," midi rendition by SheetMusicSinger.com. Used with permission (audio editing: added vinyl crackling sound effects).Music Interlude at 00:24:34: "Vintage Ragtime," purchased from Pond5.com.Music Interlude at 00:48:05: "Tomb Song," by Nora Keyes, public domain via Freemusicarchive.com.Outro music by Ancient Lyric http://www.bettinajoydeguzman.com/.Sound interludes by Luke Chaos https://twitter.com/Luke_Chaos.See other shows from the Agora Podcast Network. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Egypt was one of the world's first civilizations, with a history that reaches back 5000 years through the sands of time. It's where writing and two-dimensional drawing and paper began. The god Amun-Ra personified the sun shining down on the deserts — and Osiris, the god of death, inspired a belief in the afterlife that led to the construction of the pyramids. Life in Egypt clings to the green ribbon of the Nile River that snakes through the country with humans and animals along its length. It's home to hippos, the Nile crocodiles, and the asp — the poisonous snake that may or may not have sealed Cleopatra's doom. It's also a stopover for millions of birds migrating from Europe to Africa. Egypt has also been the crossroads for human invaders for centuries: Ottoman invaders, Napoleon Bonaparte, and the British. In the past few decades, there's been rising tension and violence between religious conservatives (see: the Muslim Brotherhood) and secular factions. But the Egyptian people you'll meet on the street? They're friendly, welcoming, and eager to show you the country they love. And with good reason. In addition to the massive shrines in the desert, there's a world-class museum with the largest collection of ancient artifacts in the world and mosques decorated with breathtaking mosaics. You can also sail on a romantic felucca (Egyptian sailboat) along the Nile, scuba in the Red Sea, navigate the sci-fi calcium formations in the White Desert, or simply enjoy a cup of tea while watching the hustle of daily life. In this episode, we explore Egypt's dynamic dynastic history, enjoy the antics of King Farouk, dish about 'The Mummy,' and lots more. Then we recommend five books we love that took us there on the page: a fantasy about the djinn, a coffee table book of Egyptian antiquities, a novel about sisters navigating the Arab Spring, and two fictional approaches to history that cast a spell on Mel. For more on the books we recommend, plus the other cool stuff we talk about, visit show notes at https://strongsenseofplace.com/podcasts/2021-11-08-egypt If you enjoy the show, please support us on Patreon and gain access to bonus content, special events, and more. https://strongsenseofplace.com/support As always, you can follow us at: Our web site at Strong Sense of Place Twitter Facebook
Joining Chris to talk about the up and downs of his career and life, is legendary producer, guitarist, song-writer, band leader, owner of a white Fender Strat called "The Hit Maker" and founder of Chic. In this fascinating episode, among many other things, Nile covers his remarkably unorthodox childhood which shaped his future endeavours, from school music lessons and films to a chance encounter with some hippies and how The Doors altered Nile's perception. This is a frank and fascinating conversation.
Dig our explorations of working lives? Please check out my Patreon and show your support.Hit that follow button and please share Studs with your people.Get in touch on Insta, Twitter, Facebook, or at StudsPod [at] gmail [dot] com.Our theme song is Nile's Blues by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 4.0 License. Special thanks to Liv Hunt for logo design and Rotem Fisher for audio mastering. Be kind and stay healthy. Thanks for listening to Studs. Love y'all.★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Ezekiel 27-29 We are in the Prophetic Stream reading from the Modern English Version. 7streamsmethod.com | @serenatravis | Donate Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis Lord, what an awful price people pay for mocking you, ignoring you, assuming your role is theirs. I pray we are the opposite of these wrong-minded people. May we worship and serve you humbly all our days. Amen. Ezekiel's visions of what is going to happen to Tyre continues: 27 - this chapter is the middle of the visions for Tyre. Here Ezekiel gives an elaborate list of the superlatives that are Tyre. The impressions of the picturesque city, the exquisite goods that ship through, the regal and ornate ships that move along the coasts and take wares to and from Tyre - it is all listed with aplomb; as we just read. But Tyre is about to come apart at the seams. Terror is going to sweep over this city, these people, this region. Tyre has mocked and jeered at Jerusalem's calamity --> and because of this attitude, they are headed for ruin. This is one of God's divine rules. Tyre is "on a timer" now. They will be removed from the map permanently. Visiting Tyre even today is a walk through an archaeological site. 28 - Tyre had a wealthy and confident king who was so self-assured and arrogant that he needs a stern word from God. Tyre's king is that appallingly arrogant. So God is sending a message. Collateral readings and other historical documents reveal that Tyre's king basically rolled his eyes over these prophesies. He thought he was "untouchable". God declared otherwise. Ezekiel also penned the lament for the king of Tyre. How do you like that? A death prophecy complete with funeral arrangements, heavens! And Sidon just to the north was going to see rough days in the near future. They were a headquarters of wretched man-made religion. (Jesus even called its residents "dogs" ca. 600 years later.) It was not a place known for its virtue and pleasantries. God was against them and He wanted them to know it. Disease will wrack this place and blood will flow in the streets. Nebuchadnezzar smashed into both these cities at basically the same time. And there would be a day when Israel, as a restored whole nation, would glory again -After the hostile neighbors are gone from the earth, of course. 29 - In the next four chapters; 29-32, there are six visions for Egypt. We'll read the first vision in chapter 29, part of the second one, and complete the six visions for Egypt next week. The first vision comes to Ezekiel in January 587 B.C. - 18 months before Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar. Egypt is envisioned as a giant crocodile in this chapter, just as Tyre is descriptive of an ornate ship in ch. 27. The "Crocodile", being one of the gods of Egypt, shall 'go down' just as Egypt is going to go down. The crocodiles and fish of the Nile will be banished to the wilderness (e.g. things are going to be where they shouldn't be; Egyptians included!). This Nile River, that YOU claim you made, will not be where you draw your life and food from. You irrigate with the Nile, and eat fish from the Nile. Guess what, the vultures that will be eating your fish in the wilderness will eat you after that. Yes, things will collapse in Egypt...soon! Nebuchadnezzar will hold you captive as the Babylonians will rush in to kill and/or capture whomever they will. And in 571 B.C. The Babylonians did storm Egypt. They had spent much of the 16 years in between sacking Jerusalem and marching to Egypt - 13 of it to be exact - laying siege to Tyre and coming up empty since the Tyrians incrementally left the region with their gems/wealth. Thus the Babylonians entered Egypt weary of not gathering booty and desperate to pillage. And pillage Egypt they did! The Babylonians scooped up Egypt's wealth and enslaved them for just over 40 years. And as Ezekiel decreed, this was God's plan - to strip Egypt.
Morning: Jeremiah 46–48 Jeremiah 46–48 (Listen) Judgment on Egypt 46 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations. 2 About Egypt. Concerning the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates at Carchemish and which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah: 3 “Prepare buckler and shield, and advance for battle!4 Harness the horses; mount, O horsemen! Take your stations with your helmets, polish your spears, put on your armor!5 Why have I seen it? They are dismayed and have turned backward. Their warriors are beaten down and have fled in haste; they look not back— terror on every side! declares the LORD. 6 “The swift cannot flee away, nor the warrior escape; in the north by the river Euphrates they have stumbled and fallen. 7 “Who is this, rising like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge?8 Egypt rises like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge. He said, ‘I will rise, I will cover the earth, I will destroy cities and their inhabitants.'9 Advance, O horses, and rage, O chariots! Let the warriors go out: men of Cush and Put who handle the shield, men of Lud, skilled in handling the bow.10 That day is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, to avenge himself on his foes. The sword shall devour and be sated and drink its fill of their blood. For the Lord GOD of hosts holds a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.11 Go up to Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter of Egypt! In vain you have used many medicines; there is no healing for you.12 The nations have heard of your shame, and the earth is full of your cry; for warrior has stumbled against warrior; they have both fallen together.” 13 The word that the LORD spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to strike the land of Egypt: 14 “Declare in Egypt, and proclaim in Migdol; proclaim in Memphis and Tahpanhes; say, ‘Stand ready and be prepared, for the sword shall devour around you.'15 Why are your mighty ones face down? They do not stand1 because the LORD thrust them down.16 He made many stumble, and they fell, and they said one to another, ‘Arise, and let us go back to our own people and to the land of our birth, because of the sword of the oppressor.'17 Call the name of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, ‘Noisy one who lets the hour go by.' 18 “As I live, declares the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts, like Tabor among the mountains and like Carmel by the sea, shall one come.19 Prepare yourselves baggage for exile, O inhabitants of Egypt! For Memphis shall become a waste, a ruin, without inhabitant. 20 “A beautiful heifer is Egypt, but a biting fly from the north has come upon her.21 Even her hired soldiers in her midst are like fattened calves; yes, they have turned and fled together; they did not stand, for the day of their calamity has come upon them, the time of their punishment. 22 “She makes a sound like a serpent gliding away; for her enemies march in force and come against her with axes like those who fell trees.23 They shall cut down her forest, declares the LORD, though it is impenetrable, because they are more numerous than locusts; they are without number.24 The daughter of Egypt shall be put to shame; she shall be delivered into the hand of a people from the north.” 25 The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, said: “Behold, I am bringing punishment upon Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh and Egypt and her gods and her kings, upon Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26 I will deliver them into the hand of those who seek their life, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers. Afterward Egypt shall be inhabited as in the days of old, declares the LORD. 27 “But fear not, O Jacob my servant, nor be dismayed, O Israel, for behold, I will save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and none shall make him afraid.28 Fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD, for I am with you. I will make a full end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.” Judgment on the Philistines 47 The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh struck down Gaza. 2 “Thus says the LORD: Behold, waters are rising out of the north, and shall become an overflowing torrent; they shall overflow the land and all that fills it, the city and those who dwell in it. Men shall cry out, and every inhabitant of the land shall wail.3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions, at the rushing of his chariots, at the rumbling of their wheels, the fathers look not back to their children, so feeble are their hands,4 because of the day that is coming to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper that remains. For the LORD is destroying the Philistines, the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.5 Baldness has come upon Gaza; Ashkelon has perished. O remnant of their valley, how long will you gash yourselves?6 Ah, sword of the LORD! How long till you are quiet? Put yourself into your scabbard; rest and be still!7 How can it2 be quiet when the LORD has given it a charge? Against Ashkelon and against the seashore he has appointed it.” Judgment on Moab 48 Concerning Moab. Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Woe to Nebo, for it is laid waste! Kiriathaim is put to shame, it is taken; the fortress is put to shame and broken down;2 the renown of Moab is no more. In Heshbon they planned disaster against her: ‘Come, let us cut her off from being a nation!' You also, O Madmen, shall be brought to silence; the sword shall pursue you. 3 “A voice! A cry from Horonaim, ‘Desolation and great destruction!'4 Moab is destroyed; her little ones have made a cry.5 For at the ascent of Luhith they go up weeping;3 for at the descent of Horonaim they have heard the distressed cry4 of destruction.6 Flee! Save yourselves! You will be like a juniper in the desert!7 For, because you trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be taken; and Chemosh shall go into exile with his priests and his officials.8 The destroyer shall come upon every city, and no city shall escape; the valley shall perish, and the plain shall be destroyed, as the LORD has spoken. 9 “Give wings to Moab, for she would fly away; her cities shall become a desolation, with no inhabitant in them. 10 “Cursed is he who does the work of the LORD with slackness, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed. 11 “Moab has been at ease from his youth and has settled on his dregs; he has not been emptied from vessel to vessel, nor has he gone into exile; so his taste remains in him, and his scent is not changed. 12 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I shall send to him pourers who will pour him, and empty his vessels and break his5 jars in pieces. 13 Then Moab shall be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed of Bethel, their confidence. 14 “How do you say, ‘We are heroes and mighty men of war'?15 The destroyer of Moab and his cities has come up, and the choicest of his young men have gone down to slaughter, declares the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.16 The calamity of Moab is near at hand, and his affliction hastens swiftly.17 Grieve for him, all you who are around him, and all who know his name; say, ‘How the mighty scepter is broken, the glorious staff.' 18 “Come down from your glory, and sit on the parched ground, O inhabitant of Dibon! For the destroyer of Moab has come up against you; he has destroyed your strongholds.19 Stand by the way and watch, O inhabitant of Aroer! Ask him who flees and her who escapes; say, ‘What has happened?'20 Moab is put to shame, for it is broken; wail and cry! Tell it beside the Arnon, that Moab is laid waste. 21 “Judgment has come upon the tableland, upon Holon, and Jahzah, and Mephaath, 22 and Dibon, and Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim, 23 and Kiriathaim, and Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon, 24 and Kerioth, and Bozrah, and all the cities of the land of Moab, far and near. 25 The horn of Moab is cut off, and his arm is broken, declares the LORD. 26 “Make him drunk, because he magnified himself against the LORD, so that Moab shall wallow in his vomit, and he too shall be held in derision. 27 Was not Israel a derision to you? Was he found among thieves, that whenever you spoke of him you wagged your head? 28 “Leave the cities, and dwell in the rock, O inhabitants of Moab! Be like the dove that nests in the sides of the mouth of a gorge.29 We have heard of the pride of Moab— he is very proud— of his loftiness, his pride, and his arrogance, and the haughtiness of his heart.30 I know his insolence, declares the LORD; his boasts are false, his deeds are false.31 Therefore I wail for Moab; I cry out for all Moab; for the men of Kir-hareseth I mourn.32 More than for Jazer I weep for you, O vine of Sibmah! Your branches passed over the sea, reached to the Sea of Jazer; on your summer fruits and your grapes the destroyer has fallen.33 Gladness and joy have been taken away from the fruitful land of Moab; I have made the wine cease from the winepresses; no one treads them with shouts of joy; the shouting is not the shout of joy. 34 “From the outcry at Heshbon even to Elealeh, as far as Jahaz they utter their voice, from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. For the waters of Nimrim also have become desolate. 35 And I will bring to an end in Moab, declares the LORD, him who offers sacrifice in the high place and makes offerings to his god. 36 Therefore my heart moans for Moab like a flute, and my heart moans like a flute for the men of Kir-hareseth. Therefore the riches they gained have perished. 37 “For every head is shaved and every beard cut off. On all the hands are gashes, and around the waist is sackcloth. 38 On all the housetops of Moab and in the squares there is nothing but lamentation, for I have broken Moab like a vessel for which no one cares, declares the LORD. 39 How it is broken! How they wail! How Moab has turned his back in shame! So Moab has become a derision and a horror to all that are around him.” 40 For thus says the LORD: “Behold, one shall fly swiftly like an eagle and spread his wings against Moab;41 the cities shall be taken and the strongholds seized. The heart of the warriors of Moab shall be in that day like the heart of a woman in her birth pains;42 Moab shall be destroyed and be no longer a people, because he magnified himself against the LORD.43 Terror, pit, and snare are before you, O inhabitant of Moab! declares the LORD.44 He who flees from the terror shall fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare. For I will bring these things upon Moab, the year of their punishment, declares the LORD. 45 “In the shadow of Heshbon fugitives stop without strength, for fire came out from Heshbon, flame from the house of Sihon; it has destroyed the forehead of Moab, the crown of the sons of tumult.46 Woe to you, O Moab! The people of Chemosh are undone, for your sons have been taken captive, and your daughters into captivity.47 Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in the latter days, declares the LORD.” Thus far is the judgment on Moab. Footnotes  46:15 Hebrew He does not stand
Psalms and Wisdom: Psalm 97 Psalm 97 (Listen) The Lord Reigns 97 The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.3 Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around.4 His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.7 All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods! 8 Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD.9 For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. 10 O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.11 Light is sown1 for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.12 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name! Footnotes  97:11 Most Hebrew manuscripts; one Hebrew manuscript, Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome Light dawns (ESV) Pentateuch and History: 2 Kings 6:1–23 2 Kings 6:1–23 (Listen) The Axe Head Recovered 6 Now the sons of the prophets said to Elisha, “See, the place where we dwell under your charge is too small for us. 2 Let us go to the Jordan and each of us get there a log, and let us make a place for us to dwell there.” And he answered, “Go.” 3 Then one of them said, “Be pleased to go with your servants.” And he answered, “I will go.” 4 So he went with them. And when they came to the Jordan, they cut down trees. 5 But as one was felling a log, his axe head fell into the water, and he cried out, “Alas, my master! It was borrowed.” 6 Then the man of God said, “Where did it fall?” When he showed him the place, he cut off a stick and threw it in there and made the iron float. 7 And he said, “Take it up.” So he reached out his hand and took it. Horses and Chariots of Fire 8 Once when the king of Syria was warring against Israel, he took counsel with his servants, saying, “At such and such a place shall be my camp.” 9 But the man of God sent word to the king of Israel, “Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Syrians are going down there.” 10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God told him. Thus he used to warn him, so that he saved himself there more than once or twice. 11 And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?” 12 And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” 13 And he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him.” It was told him, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” 14 So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city. 15 When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” 16 He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 18 And when the Syrians came down against him, Elisha prayed to the LORD and said, “Please strike this people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness in accordance with the prayer of Elisha. 19 And Elisha said to them, “This is not the way, and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will bring you to the man whom you seek.” And he led them to Samaria. 20 As soon as they entered Samaria, Elisha said, “O LORD, open the eyes of these men, that they may see.” So the LORD opened their eyes and they saw, and behold, they were in the midst of Samaria. 21 As soon as the king of Israel saw them, he said to Elisha, “My father, shall I strike them down? Shall I strike them down?” 22 He answered, “You shall not strike them down. Would you strike down those whom you have taken captive with your sword and with your bow? Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 23 So he prepared for them a great feast, and when they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away, and they went to their master. And the Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel. (ESV) Chronicles and Prophets: Zechariah 10 Zechariah 10 (Listen) The Restoration for Judah and Israel 10 Ask rain from the LORD in the season of the spring rain, from the LORD who makes the storm clouds, and he will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation in the field.2 For the household gods utter nonsense, and the diviners see lies; they tell false dreams and give empty consolation. Therefore the people wander like sheep; they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd. 3 “My anger is hot against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders;1 for the LORD of hosts cares for his flock, the house of Judah, and will make them like his majestic steed in battle.4 From him shall come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler—all of them together.5 They shall be like mighty men in battle, trampling the foe in the mud of the streets; they shall fight because the LORD is with them, and they shall put to shame the riders on horses. 6 “I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back because I have compassion on them, and they shall be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the LORD their God and I will answer them.7 Then Ephraim shall become like a mighty warrior, and their hearts shall be glad as with wine. Their children shall see it and be glad; their hearts shall rejoice in the LORD. 8 “I will whistle for them and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall be as many as they were before.9 Though I scattered them among the nations, yet in far countries they shall remember me, and with their children they shall live and return.10 I will bring them home from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria, and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon, till there is no room for them.11 He shall pass through the sea of troubles and strike down the waves of the sea, and all the depths of the Nile shall be dried up. The pride of Assyria shall be laid low, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.12 I will make them strong in the LORD, and they shall walk in his name,” declares the LORD. Footnotes  10:3 Hebrew the male goats (ESV) Gospels and Epistles: John 3:1–21 John 3:1–21 (Listen) You Must Be Born Again 3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus1 by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again2 he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.3 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You4 must be born again.' 8 The wind5 blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” 9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you6 do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.7 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.8 For God So Loved the World 16 “For God so loved the world,9 that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” Footnotes  3:2 Greek him  3:3 Or from above; the Greek is purposely ambiguous and can mean both again and from above; also verse 7  3:6 The same Greek word means both wind and spirit  3:7 The Greek for you is plural here  3:8 The same Greek word means both wind and spirit  3:11 The Greek for you is plural here; also four times in verse 12  3:13 Some manuscripts add who is in heaven  3:15 Some interpreters hold that the quotation ends at verse 15  3:16 Or For this is how God loved the world (ESV)
Fitbit was founded in 2007, originally as Healthy Metrics Research, Inc, by James Park and Eric Friedman. They had a goal to bring fitness trackers to market. They didn't invent the pedometer and in fact wanted to go far further. That prize goes to Abraham-Louis Perrelet of Switzerland in 1780 or possibly back to da Vinci. And there are stories of calculating the distance armies moved using various mechanisms that used automations based on steps or the spinning of wagon wheels. The era of wearables arguably began in 1953 when the transistor radio showed up and Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka started Sony. People started to get accustomed to carrying around technology. 1961 and Claude Shannon and Edward Thorp build a small computer to time when balls would land in roulette. Which they put in a shoe. Meanwhile sensors that could detect motion and the other chips to essentially create a small computer in a watch-sized package were coming down in price. Apple had already released the Nike+iPod Sports Kit the year before, with a little sensor that went in my running shoes. And Fitbit capitalized on an exploding market for tracking fitness. Apple effectively proved the concept was ready for higher end customers. But remember that while the iPod was incredibly popular at the time, what about everyone else? Park and Friedman raised $400,000 on the idea in a pre-seed round and built a prototype. No, it wasn't actually a wearable, it was a bunch of sensors in a wooden box. That enabled them to shop around for more investors to actually finish a marketable device. By 2008 they were ready to take the idea to TechCrunch 50 and Tim O'Reilly and other panelists from TechCrunch loved it. And they picked up a whopping 2,000 pre-release orders. Only problem is they weren't exactly ready to take that kind of volume. So they toured suppliers around Asia for months and worked overtime in hotel rooms fixing design and architecture issues. And in 2009 they were finally ready and took 25,000 orders, shipping about one fifth of them. That device was called the Fitbit Tracker and took on a goal of 10,000 steps that became a popular goal in Japan in the 1960s. It's a little money-clip sized device with just one button that shows the status towards that 10,000 step goal. And once synchronized we could not only see tons of information about how many calories we burned and other statistics but we could also see Those first orders were sold directly through the web site. The next batch would be much different, going through Best Buy. The margins selling directly were much better and so they needed to tune those production lines. They went to four stores, then ten times that, then 15 times that. They announced the Fitbit Ultra in 2011. Here we got a screen that showed a clock but also came with a stopwatch. That would evolve into the Fitbit One in 2012. Bluetooth now allowed us to sync with our phones. That original device would over time evolve to the Zip and then the Inspire Clip. They grew fast in those first few years and enjoyed a large swathe of the market initially, but any time one vendor proves a market others are quick to fast-follow. The Nike Fuelband came along in 2012. There were also dozens of cheap $15 knock-offs in stores like Fry's. But those didn't have nearly as awesome an experience. A simple experience was the Fitbit Flex, released in 2013. The Fitbit could now be worn on the wrist. It looked more like the original tracker but a little smaller so it could slide in and out of a wristband. It could vibrate so could wake us up and remind us to get up and move. And the Fitbit Force came out that year, which could scroll through information on the screen, like our current step count. But that got some bad press for the nickel used on the device so the Charge came out the next year, doing much of the same stuff. And here we see the price slowly going up from below a hundred dollars to $130 as new models with better accelerometers came along. In 2014 they released a mobile app for all the major mobile platforms that allowed us to track devices through Bluetooth and opened up a ton of options to show other people our information. Chuck Schumer was concerned about privacy but the options for fitness tracking were about to explode in the other direction, becoming even less private. That's the same year the LG G Watch came out, sporting a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip. The ocean was getting redder and devices were becoming more like miniature computers that happened to do tracking as well. After Android Wear was released in 2014, now called Wear OS, the ocean was bound to get much, much redder. And yet, they continued to grow and thrive. They did an IPO, or Initial Public Offering, in 2015 on the back of selling over 21 million devices. They were ready to reach a larger market. Devices were now in stores like Walmart and Target, and they had badges. It was an era of gamification and they were one of the best in the market at that. Walk enough steps to have circumnavigated the sun? There's a badge for that. Walk the distance of the Nile? There's a badge for that. Do a round trip to the moon and back? Yup, there's a badge for that as well. And we could add friends in the app. Now we could compete to see who got more steps on the day. And of course some people cheated. Once I was wearing a Fitbit on my wrist I got 60,000 steps one day as I painted the kitchen. So we sometimes didn't even mean to cheat. And an ecosystem had sprung up around Fitbit. Like Fitstar, a personal training coach, which got acquired by Fitbit and rebranded as Fitbit Coach. 2015 was also when the Apple Watch was released. The Apple Watch added many of the same features like badges and similar statistics. By then there were models of the Fitbit that could show who was calling our phone or display a text message we got. And that was certainly part of the Wear OS for of Android. But those other devices were more expensive and Fitbit was still able to own the less expensive part of the market and spend on R&D to still compete at the higher end. They were flush with cash by 2016 so while selling 22 million more devices, they bought Coin and Pebble that year, taking in technology developed through crowdfunding sources and helping mass market it. That's the same year we got the Fitbit Alta, effectively merging the Charge and Alta and we got HR models of some devices, which stands for Heart Rate. Yup, they could now track that too. They bought Vector Watch SRL in 2017, the same year they released the Ionic smartwatch, based somewhat on the technology acquired from Pebble. But the stock took a nosedive, and the market capitalization was cut in half. They added weather to the Ionic and merged that tech with that from the Blaze, released the year before. Here, we see technology changing quickly - Pebble was merged with Blaze but Wear OS from Google and Watch OS from Apple were forcing changes all the faster. The apps on other platforms were a clear gap as were the sensors baked into so many different integrated circuit packages. But Fitbit could still compete. In 2018 they released a cheaper version of the smartwatch called the Versa. They also released an API that allowed for a considerable amount of third party development, as well as Fitbit OS 3. They also bought Twine Health in 2018 Partnered with Adidas in 2018 for the ionic. Partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield to reduce insurance rates 2018 released the Charge 3 with oxygen saturation sensors and a 40% larger screen than the Charge 2. From there the products got even more difficult to keep track of, as they poked at every different corner of the market. The Inspire, Inspire HR, Versa 2, Versa Lite, Charge 4, Versa 3, Sense, Inspire 2, Luxe. I wasn't sure if they were going to figure out the killer device or not when Fitbit was acquired by Google in 2021. And that's where their story ends and the story of the ubiquitous ecosystem of Google begins. Maybe they continue with their own kernels or maybe they're moving all of their devices to WearOS. Maybe Google figures out how to pull together all of their home automation and personal tracking devices into one compelling offer. Now they get to compete with Amazon who now has the Halo to help attack the bottom of the market. Or maybe Google leaves the Fitbit team alone to do what they do. Fitbit has sold over 100 million devices and sports well over 25 million active users. The Apple Watch surpassed that number and blew right past it. WearOS lives in a much more distributed environment where companies like Asus, Samsung, and LG sell products but it appears to have a similar installation base. And it's a market still growing and likely looking for a leader, as it's easy to imagine a day when most people have a smart watch. But the world has certainly changed since Mark Weiser was the Chief Technologist at the famed Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, or Xerox Parc in 1988 when he coined the term "ubiquitous computing.” Technology hadn't entered every aspect of our lives at the time like it has now. The team at Fitbit didn't invent wearables. George Atwood invented them in 1783. That was mostly pulleys and mechanics. Per V. Brüel first commercialized the piezoelectric accelerometer in 1943. It certainly took a long time to get packaged into an integrated circuit and from there it took plenty of time to end up on my belt loop. But from there it took less than a few years to go on my wrist and then once there were apps for all the things true innovation came way faster. Because it turns out that once we open up a bunch of APIs, we have no idea the amazing things people use with what then go from devices to platforms. But none of that would have happened had Fitbit not helped prove the market was ready for Weiser's ubiquitous computing. And now we get to wrestle with the fallout while innovation is moving even faster. Because telemetry is the opposite of privacy. And if we forget to protect just one of those API endpoints, like not implementing rate throttling or messing up the permissions, or leaving a micro-service open to all the things, we can certainly end up telling the world all about things. Because the world is watching, whether we think we're important enough to watch or not.
This retelling comes from Genesis 37, 39-45, and it appears in Blood Covenant Origins: Biblical Retellings. Introduction: Joseph is one of my favorite biblical characters; he's such a great example of faith. It took thirteen years for his reversal of fortune to finally occur, and another nine years after that for the complete fulfillment of God's promise to him. Yet if he ever wavered in his faith that God would fulfill what He showed him in his two dreams, we have no record of it. This is even more incredible when you consider that Joseph had no written scriptures to cling to like we do. He wouldn't have even had an oral tradition of previous faith heroes similar to himself. While Abraham his grandfather had to wait 25 years for the promised child, the circumstances had little in common with Joseph's own circumstances. He couldn't read about the 13-17 years between King David's anointing and when he finally became king, for instance. Moses had not yet written Deuteronomy, telling him all the blessings he could expect if he remained faithful to the Lord. All Joseph had to go on were two cryptic dreams… but it was enough. It's fitting that the first dream showed his brothers' sheaves of grain bowing down to his, considering it was the famine and grain distribution that propelled him to second in command of Egypt in the end. The one charge leveled against Joseph by some is that he started out arrogant: after all, what was he thinking, telling his brothers (whom he knew already envied him, due to his father's blatant favoritism) that God had told him he would rule over them? Maybe this was arrogance, or at best, a decided lack of wisdom. He was only seventeen at the time, after all. Also, with the exception of the death of his mother when Benjamin was born, Joseph had presumably lived a charmed life: the coat of many colors that Jacob had given him was the attire of a great landowner, even though Joseph was the second youngest of twelve brothers. (Pretty foolish of Jacob, too.) It's no wonder this galled them. Even so, their response to him shows how evil his brothers were, at that point. Had they not sold Joseph into slavery, they very well might have killed him—that was what they meant to do at first, after all. Despite this, despite slavery and then imprisonment, God said Joseph was prosperous and successful (Genesis 39:2-3, 23). Even though Joseph himself was not paid for any of his work, the blessing of the Lord was upon him, and therefore his master got blessed because of him. This is an interesting concept, that the overflow of God's blessing upon us (Deuteronomy 28:2) can affect those around us who just happen to be in the way—including our bosses in this case, or our families as well (1 Corinthians 7:14). Joseph also happened to be very handsome (Genesis 39:6)—ordinarily a blessing, but under the circumstances it was a curse, as he drew the eye of Potiphar's wife. If she was this aggressive, probably this wasn't the first time she had cheated on Potiphar. I suspect that the other servants, and maybe even Potiphar himself could compare what they knew of her and what they knew of Joseph and deduce the truth. But if Potiphar did not choose to believe Joseph, what could the other servants do? And wouldn't it have disrupted Potiphar's life more to have believed Joseph? He surely couldn't have kept Joseph in his house with his wife; he had to get rid of one of them. So in my retelling, I assumed that Potiphar's pride forced him to believe his wife, even though deep down he knew the truth. I would imagine that if he had truly believed his wife's accusation, he would have had Joseph killed, rather than merely thrown into prison. So Joseph started out with two dreams of greatness, which led directly to his being sold into slavery for a decade (deduced from his age at the time he was sold, the number of years he was in prison, and his age when he was finally promoted). At the end of the decade, Joseph refused to commit adultery and sin against God (very interesting that he phrased it that way, Genesis 39:9)—yet for his integrity, he got thrown into prison. Most people would be bitter at this point, but“until the time that His word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested [Joseph]” (Psalm 105:19). Joseph was holding fast to the word that the Lord had given him through those dreams, even when it looked like every circumstance in his life was heading in the wrong direction. He did not yet know Galatians 6:9, but he seemed to understand the principle: “let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Joseph continued to exhibit diligence and faithfulness in prison, and he must have even kept up a contagious good attitude—we can intuit this because when the butler and baker each had dreams, Joseph said to them, “Why do you look so sad today?” (Genesis 40:7). You'd think they would look sad because they were in prison without cause! But apparently their distress was unusual. Under Joseph's rule, the prison had become a cheerful place. Moreover, Joseph was not merely sulking about his own misfortune; he knew and cared about the other prisoners. Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” Fictionalized Retelling: I whistled, absently twirling the cord of the colorful tunic Father had given me as I made my way back out to the fields where my brothers tended the sheep. I couldn't stop smiling, couldn't think about anything except the dream I had had last night. In it, the sun, moon, and eleven stars had bowed down to me! I pictured this over and over, relishing the thrill of it, knowing that these celestial bodies represented my entire family. I was already my father's favorite, but the Lord confirmed it—I was to be the greatest of them all! Moreover, it was the second dream of its kind; in the first, a few days ago, eleven sheaves of wheat bowed down to my sheaf. I knew upon waking what it meant: all of my brothers would bow down to me one day. I told them so the next morning. It went over went about as well as I'd expected. They already envied me, and my little brother Benjamin: we were our father's favorite, the only two sons of our mother Rachel, the woman Father had truly loved. He was duped into marrying Rachel's sister Leah, and then in a competition to see who could bear Father more sons, both sisters had given their maids to bear children when it seemed that Mother was barren. I was the first child to open her womb, and so I was much favored even from birth. Father didn't even try to hide it—in fact, he'd given me as a gift the multicolored tunic I now wore, of the same style as the owners of the great estates. This galled my brothers; it was a preference that should have belonged to Reuben as the eldest, and only after our father's death. Yet here I was dressed as the heir, the second youngest of twelve, while our father yet lived. I might have felt guilty for my father's obvious preference for me, but quite frankly, I could hardly blame him. My brothers were self-centered, lazy, and cruel. God clearly preferred me over them, also! Had I doubted it at all after the first dream, the second one clinched it. Would I somehow become a king? Maybe a neighboring nation would offer their princess's hand to me in marriage… that was possible, as I was the favored son of a great man, and I was also exceptionally good looking. I didn't say so out loud, nor did anyone say it to me… but I saw the way all the young women gazed after me with longing and admiration. I knew. But, it couldn't be marriage to a princess, I mused, because then I would only be a consort, and not the king. Unless it was of a nation with different customs, in which a king could ascend to the throne by marriage… “Oh look, here comes the dreamer!” sneered Simeon as I approached. He and Levi mock-bowed to me. “So! You're going to rule us? You're going to boss us around?” Simeon taunted. I shrugged. “I was just telling you what the Lord told me.” “Oh, sure,” cried Levi, “and I had a dream I'm going to have a harem like Pharaoh, every concubine more beautiful than the last. I know it's true, because I dreamt it!” I bristled, knowing he was trying to get a rise out of me, but unable to keep myself from responding. “I know it's true, and irrevocable, because I had another dream last night just like it! This time, the sun, moon, and the eleven stars bowed down to me!” Levi's expression froze for a beat. In that half a second, I knew he believed me. Simeon recovered first. “Oooh, bow down, guys!” cried Simeon, waving his hands in the air, “bow down to our perfect baby brother, the future ruler of the entire universe!” Every time one of my brothers caught sight of me for the rest of the day, he made me an elaborate bow. They continued mocking me before my father and stepmothers that evening once we came in from the fields, compelling my father to ask what they meant by it. When he did, Issachar taunted, “Ask your little prince here! He's got it in his head that he's going to be greater than all of us put together!” Father turned to me with a frown. “Joseph? What are they talking about?” Feeling slightly abashed, I repeated my dreams, and my father, predictably, rebuked me. “What's with all this dreaming? Am I and your mother and your brothers all supposed to bow down to you?” “I don't know,” I muttered, “you're the one who taught me that the Lord speaks in dreams, remember?” “Give him a pretty tunic, and suddenly he thinks he's God Almighty!” cried Zebulun. But I saw my father's thoughtful expression: he believed me, too. He had taught me that the Lord often spoke in dreams. He himself had a dream of a ladder from heaven to earth, with angels ascending and descending upon it—echoing the first dream God had given to our ancestor Abraham, in which He had cut a covenant with him. In another dream, the Lord had told my father to go home to Canaan. Father had also told me of how God had appeared to my grandfather Laban in a dream when he had fled from him, telling Laban to be careful what he said when he next encountered Father. Father knew of the power of dreams to both instruct and to prophesy. He knew my dreams must have significance, particularly since I had dreamt two that were very similar. But how could I, the second youngest son of twelve, come to rule over the other eleven? I had the same question myself—that was why I'd shared the vision. I realized, after today's taunting, that doing so had been foolish. I should have known better, considering my brothers' animosity and my father's obvious preference for me. Yet, why would God give me a dream of my future without interpretation, if He did not mean for me to share it? The next day, my brothers went out from the Valley of Hebron to tend to the flocks out in Shechem. I did not volunteer to go with them, as I preferred to keep my distance from them after the encounter the day before. But my father sent me to them later that day, asking me to send word on how they and the flocks fared. I cringed inwardly, dreading the ongoing heckling, but that was hardly a reason to disobey my father. So I went. I did not find them in Shechem, however. I had to ask directions from another shepherd I came across. “I saw your ten brothers several hours ago,” he told me. “They've left here, but I overheard them say, ‘Let's go to Dothan.'” I tracked them down in Dothan late that afternoon. I saw the flocks first, neglected as usual. I could tell that my brothers had seen me, though they were huddled strangely in the middle of the field, as if having an intense conversation. When I was close enough, I perceived that their council had ended, and they stopped talking, spreading out in a half circle as I approached. Their postures gave me pause: they looked alert, like predators. My steps faltered. “Our father sent me to you to see how you and our flocks fared—” I began. But no sooner had I begun to speak, Judah and Dan started toward me, followed by the other eight. “What are you—ahhhh!” I tried to fight them off as they lunged for me, but at seventeen years old to their late twenties, thirties, and forties, I could not have fought off even one of them, let alone all ten. The blows came at me from all sides. The next thing I knew, I was lying on the ground curled in upon myself, trying in vain to protect my face, which was a swollen, bloody mess. I felt them rip my colorful tunic from me. Then three of them picked me up, carried me a short distance, and cast me down into a dry cistern. I landed with a sickening crunch, and let out a fresh cry of pain. It took me some time to test my feet, and the boundaries of the cistern. I could hear my brothers' voices filtering down from up above me, so they were still there—but they were too far away to make out what they said. I began to cry out, “Help!” When there was no response, I tried again, “Someone let me out! Let down a rope!” I knew they heard me, as they stopped talking—but none of them bothered to help. I could just make out some sort of commotion up above—new voices had joined those of my brothers, interrupting the flow of their conversation, as well as the rumble of wheels and the characteristic jingle of merchandise. I strained to hear what they were saying, but could not. All of a sudden, Zebulun's face appeared up above, backlit by the sun so that I could not make out his expression. He tossed down a rope and said cheerfully, “Grab on, Joseph!” I asked no questions; I grabbed on, as he and Issachar hauled me up, squinting in the brightness when I cleared the top of the cistern. Then I discerned the Midianite traders, their camels laden with spices to sell, and saw the merchants hand silver to my brother Zebulun with a handshake. My eyes widened as I began to understand what was happening. Naphtali and Dan shoved me toward them, and I cried out as the traders caught me and pinned my wrists behind me, binding them and then my feet as they tossed me sideways atop one of their camels. “No, please!” I begged, “please! Help me!” My pleading gaze happened to fall upon Simeon, who sneered, “Let's see what comes of your grandiose dreams now, eh, little brother?” It was the last words any of my brothers spoke to me. After that, the caravan moved on. It was first an uncomfortable, then a painful journey. My position on the camel caused my abdominal muscles to spasm, and blood to pool in my head and feet as I bounced. Before long I had a splitting headache, which was no doubt worsened by my fear, despair, and previous injuries. None of the traders took any notice of me; to them I was only merchandise. The only exception to this was when they stopped to relieve themselves—they unceremoniously unslung me from the camel and made me lift my tunic right there beside it, so that they did not have to unbind me. Days passed—I lost count how many. I was constantly hungry and thirsty. The traders did feed me on bread, water, and strips of dried meat when they stopped, though never enough. I overheard one of them comment, “Don't want him to waste away before he gets to market, or he won't fetch a good price.” It was from this that I understood my fate for certain, though I had suspected before. I was to be sold as a slave. Once we were deep into the desert and there was nowhere I could have gone even if I had escaped, one of the traders unbound my feet so that I could ride astride my camel, rather than tossed over him between his humps like so much cargo. It was amazing what an improvement this made: my headache and abdominal cramps relieved, and at last I had some mental space to think about something besides my physical pain. Lord, I prayed. Then my mind went blank. I was so overwhelmed with my circumstances that I didn't know where to start. I wondered what my brothers would tell my father to explain my disappearance. All I knew for sure was that they would not tell him the truth. They would tell him I'd been killed—they must. How else could they explain my long-term disappearance? I had a vision of my father weeping for me as he had wept for my mother. I saw my little nine-year old brother Benjamin, my only full-blooded brother, weeping beside him. The vision made my chest ache with sorrow and longing. I closed my eyes and shoved it away as tears stung my lashes. I took a deep breath. I'm here now, I told myself, and at least at the moment, there is nothing I can do about it. After another few miles, as the sweat rolled down the sides of my face, I tried praying again. Help me, was all I managed. I had no specifics. I didn't know what else to pray. Presently I overheard some of the traders telling one another that they had made good time: only fifteen days, they said, when the glittering mirage of Egypt appeared on the dusty horizon. At first the sight of it filled me with dread, and terrible visions of oppression, whippings, and chains—but I shut these thoughts down, recognizing the futility of experiencing imaginary hardships before the real ones materialized. Within hours, we were in the heart of the bustling city. I was overwhelmed by the sights, sounds, and smells—never had I seen so many people and animals and buildings all in one place. There was a profusion of both wealth and waste intermingled in a confusing array. The traders allowed me to dismount on my own, but then led me with a vice grip on one arm to a raised platform. I blinked, taken aback, when I saw the lineup of naked men upon it. I had only seconds to process this when the trader who had steered me toward it released my arm and in the same motion produced a knife in one hand, gripping my tunic with the other. Before I knew what he was doing, he had sliced half of it away. I started to resist when another trader pinned me so that the first could finish the job. Seconds later, horror and hot shame rolled over me as the traders shoved me up on the platform with the other woebegone men, my hands now bound behind me so that I could not so much as cover my genitals with my fists. Lord, I cried out in my mind, but again, I could not think how to finish the prayer. I squeezed my eyes shut, trying to pretend I was somewhere—anywhere—else. Trying to tune out the jeers and the haggling of the buyers. It had never occurred to me in the long journey to Egypt that the slave trade required nudity, but now suddenly it seemed obvious: buyers wanted to inspect their purchase, to see what they were getting. When the haggling began over me, even though I did not speak their language, I gathered that the bidding was fierce. I heard the note of finality in their voices that I had heard in previous sales when the price was agreed upon, and opened my eyes to behold my new master as he stepped forward. He was a tall, swarthy man—as most of them were—imposing and probably at least twice my age, if not more. I had no experience with Egyptians, but his dress suggested a uniform. I wondered if he was an officer of some kind. The man beckoned me to join him, and I meekly obeyed. Nothing like public nudity to induce humility. He produced a small knife and sliced through the bonds that held my wrists behind me. I rubbed the raw places where the ropes had bitten into my flesh, not even bothering now to use my hands to hide myself. What difference did it make? Everyone who had wanted to had already gotten a good look. Though he could not speak to me, the man produced a simple blue tunic and a length of silken cord to secure it. My eyebrows raised as I saw it: both the dye and the material suggested wealth. I put it on at once, grateful for the renewed dignity. The man gave me a nod, and put a hand on his own chest. “Potiphar,” he pronounced, very slowly. “Potiphar,” I echoed, understanding that my new master was telling me his name. I placed a hand on my own chest and said, “Joseph.” “Joseph,” he echoed, and gave another perfunctory nod, beckoning me to follow. I gaped as I beheld my new home for the first time. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined such opulence as these marble floors, sculpted columns, and dyed silken curtains. I wondered what Pharaoh's palace must be like, if this Potiphar was only one of his officers. Potiphar introduced me to the rest of his household via charade, but I was already starting to pick up a few Egyptian words here and there. I was one of dozens of servants, male and female, their skin ranging from dark to pale and with all sorts of distinctive features of races I had never before beheld. As I made my halting introductions to the staff, an attractive woman in her late twenties approached Potiphar and languidly draped her arm through his. She drew my eye because I felt her gaze upon me, roving over my body in a way that made me feel like I was still naked. She wore fine blue silks, and her arms were spangled with bracelets. From this and from her familiarity with Potiphar, I gathered that she must be either his wife or his mistress. I looked away abruptly. The overseer of the household, an aging man who introduced himself as Babu, took me under his wing. With him, I learned to do all of the various chores, both in the estate and in the fields. Babu was also very patient with me as I learned Egyptian words, and within the next few weeks, I at least knew enough to communicate the essentials with a combination of halting Egyptian and hand gestures. I quickly grew wary of spending too much time indoors, though, as Edrice, whom I learned was in fact Potiphar's wife, always seemed to be wherever I was. She lurked in hallways and lingered in boudoirs, sometimes pretending to be occupied but always with her eyes upon me. At first this was all she did, and I ignored her when I could not avoid her. But as time passed and my Egyptian became more proficient, she began to engage me in smalltalk, which I could not avoid without rudeness. She'd comment on the weather, ask unnecessary questions about the progress of whatever task I was engaged in at the time, or sometimes ask me personal questions about how I had come to be in their household as a slave. I answered as briefly as possible, asked no questions in return, and excused myself. Years passed. In time I grieved the loss of my freedom, my family, and my identity, and I determined that I would do the work the Lord placed before me with all my heart. Babu and then Potiphar took notice of this. Babu, I learned, was beginning to suffer from poor health, and had been hoping to find a replacement for his position. He had recommended me to Potiphar for the job, so that he could take on less responsibility. Suddenly I found myself managing scores of servants on what I later learned was one of the largest estates in Egypt—and actually, I loved it. Even in my father's household, I'd never had either respect or responsibility. Here, I was trusted, and I rose to the challenge. Babu praised my management, telling Potiphar in my hearing that never had his fields or his wealth grown so quickly, never had his affairs run so efficiently, as they did under my care. The only blight upon my surprising happiness was Edrice. She grew increasingly bold over time, when I did not return her attentions to her satisfaction. When she started to inquire about my history with women, and whether I was still a virgin, I began to avoid her outright. At last I hinted about her behavior to Babu, who gave me a knowing glance, and said, “Edrice is a beautiful bird in a gilded cage. She longs for freedom, and will seek it where she can.” I blinked, understanding that he meant to tell me, without telling me, that she had been unfaithful to Potiphar in the past. “Does he know?” I asked at last. Babu hesitated, and then gave a very subtle nod. “Everyone knows.” “What do I do?” I whispered at last. Babu sighed. “I don't see that you can do any more than you have. Avoid her when you can. But do your best not to spurn her outright. Her pride is… easily wounded.” Babu's warning rang in my mind for days, particularly because I had sensed Edrice's growing irritation with me. I needed to appease her. So when I felt her eyes upon me across the room, rather than pretending I did not notice, I looked up and smiled. She blinked, and her scowl softened in response, replaced by a flirtatious gleam in her eye. I panicked and looked away abruptly. I'd meant to appease, not encourage her—but how was I to know the difference? I'd never done this before… She crossed the room to me, and before I knew what was happening, she was beside me, stroking my forearm with her trailing fingers. I was suddenly very aware that we were alone—I had no idea where the nearest servants were. Potiphar was away on Pharaoh's business. “Joseph,” she murmured, as if savoring my name, tracing my bicep with her fingers. “You are… so very handsome.” My heart hammered in my chest, though with fear or with arousal, or a strange combination of both, I could not tell. My throat felt too thick to reply. I just froze. Edrice gave a soft laugh. “I'm making you blush! Oh, I just love virgins…” Her hand trailed from my arm down my torso. I grabbed her wrist before it could descend any further, and found my tongue. “Look, my master doesn't give a second thought to anything that goes on here—he's put me in charge of everything he owns. He treats me as an equal. The only thing he hasn't turned over to me is you. You're his wife!” She puffed out her lower lip. “I know you find me attractive.” This was dangerous territory. There was no safe answer to that question. “That has nothing to do with it,” I insisted. “How could I violate his trust and sin against God?” “God?” she scoffed. “Your God allowed you to be sold as a slave. You owe Him nothing. And Potiphar has never paid you a day's wages in the almost ten years you've been with us. Don't you think it's time you got a little… reward?” The hand I had not seized by the wrist also went exploring before I took hold of it too. “I cannot do this! It is wrong!” I hissed. I let go of both of her wrists at once, and fled the room. Either fortunately or unfortunately, I could not tell which, Edrice did not take this as rejection, but as enticement. I could tell by her increasing brazenness that she thought I burned for her and could barely restrain myself. At times, I wondered if this was actually true—after all, I could not stop thinking about her, even though thinking of her was a kind of torture. I successfully avoided being alone with her for the next week or so, but I knew I could not do so forever. At last, one day after Potiphar again went away on Pharaoh's business, I was inside managing the orders for the kitchen after the morning meal. I stopped what I was doing, and frowned when I realized that the whole house was eerily silent—more so than I had ever heard before. Usually there were some servants chattering or clanging about at least in the distance. It was as if all of them had suddenly gone on holiday. A wave of foreboding passed over me, and then I sensed that I was not alone. I turned around and saw Edrice standing there in the most provocative gown I had ever seen. She rested one arm on the doorframe to give me the best possible view, her gaze inviting me to come and take her. “You know you want to,” she purred. “I promise I won't resist.” “Edrice—” my voice came out hoarse, and I couldn't seem to tear my eyes away from her nearly exposed bosom, no matter how hard I tried. She grinned and sauntered forward, swinging her hips. I could not move. The next thing I knew, she stood before me, tugged on the cord of my tunic, and began undressing me. “Sleep with me, Joseph,” she whispered. I had one choice in that moment: stay and obey her, or run. So I ran. She had a firm grip by then on my tunic, and I nearly tripped and fell on my face, as it was half off already. Instead I wrestled myself free of it, leaving my tunic in her grip, and alas—fled naked. Some of the other servants who were outside at the time saw me. I saw the fleeting looks of confusion and shock. Then Edrice began to scream. There was a commotion after that. Several of the men went running into the house, and those near enough to me cast glances of alarm in my direction. I hid myself among the shrubbery, not sure what else to do, feeling like I might throw up. I didn't know exactly what Edrice was playing at, but I suspected I knew well enough. A few minutes passed. Babu found me and handed me one of his own tunics without a word. I saw the look in his eyes, of mingled worry and sympathy, and it alarmed me. “You should have just done as she wanted,” he murmured under his breath. “How could I do such a thing against Potiphar, and against the Lord?” I protested as I put on the tunic. Babu sighed, and shook his head. It was a long moment before he answered. “Joseph.” The way he said my name, with such regret, made my heart sink into my stomach. He bit his lip and then said, his voice barely above a whisper, “You spurned her. It's exactly what I told you never to do. All the servants know who and what she is, and I daresay Potiphar does too, but I don't think it will matter. She is accusing you of attempted rape.” Waves of horror washed over me. That was even worse than a consensual affair. How was it that by doing the right thing, I'd managed to make my situation even worse? “But… if everyone knows her ways…” I began weakly. Babu shook his head. “She is the lady of the house,” he murmured. “Any servant who dares to contradict her story will be subject to her wrath himself. The only one who might be able to challenge her is Potiphar, and while I suspect he knows, if he admits that she is guilty in this, it makes him a cuckold—not just this once, but the many times he has turned a blind eye in the past as well.” My breath came in short, ragged gasps. “What do I do?” Babu ran a hand through his graying hair. “I will… try… to convince Potiphar to merely sell you, rather than punish you.” I sank to my knees. Babu stood watching me. At last I murmured, “Shall I be killed?” “I do not think so,” Babu said with surprising conviction. “You would be if Potiphar believed her story, but he is not an evil man. He will want you out of his sight and out of his household, but he knows you are not capable of such a thing, even if he does not admit it to himself.” He patted my shoulder. “Stay in my chambers and do not show your face until Potiphar returns. I will attend to your needs myself, and discuss how we might best plead your case to him when he does.” The rest of that day was one of the longest of my life, with the possible exception of those first several weeks' ride to Egypt. Fortunately I did not have to wait longer, as Potiphar arrived back home unexpectedly that evening. I heard him in the vestibule, and I heard Edrice's renewed histrionic wails. I cowered in Babu's small chambers, catching words here and there—mostly my name in Edrice's high-pitched shriek, and Potiphar's angry growls. I closed my eyes, and tried to steel myself for what came next. Heavy footsteps pounded down the hall toward me, and the door flew open. I opened my eyes and beheld Potiphar's face. It was nearly purple with rage. He held my tunic in his hand like it was evidence against me. “What,” he seethed, “is the meaning of this?” In a split second, even though I knew it would likely make my own situation worse, I decided to try the truth. If I were married to an unfaithful woman, I would want to know. I stood up straight and said, “Your wife has been attempting to seduce me for years, Master, and earnestly for the last several months. You know this to be true. She has invented her current story because I spurned her and fled, and she kept hold of my tunic as I did so. I could not sin against the Lord and against you.” If possible, Potiphar's color turned an even deeper shade of purple. “How—dare you!” He threw my tunic down and took two steps toward me, hands balled into fists. I clasped my own hands behind my back as hard as I could, determined not to protect myself, should he strike a blow. But I looked him directly in the eye, knowing that doing so would communicate my truthfulness better than anything else I could do. It worked, at least on some level. Potiphar nearly snorted, he breathed so heavily, his face etched in a snarl. But he did not strike me. Behind him, three of the male servants who had grown quite fond of me in the last few years, and I of them, appeared in the hallway. “Throw him in prison,” Potiphar pronounced my sentence, and turned to stalk out. “I want him out of here tonight.” The three servants shuffled awkwardly, before moving forward to fulfill Potiphar's orders. One apologized as he began to bind my wrists. I shook my head. “That is not necessary,” I told him, and forced a smile. “You know I will not resist you.” The young man gave me a tiny nod, and the four of us marched out of the room with one abreast, two at my sides. I tried not to look around at the great manor I was leaving forever. This was the second time my home had been ripped from me; I did not think I could bear it if I looked and considered this. Edrice appeared at the entrance to the estate with one arm positioned brazenly on a marble pillar, a vicious half smile on her full red lips. She still wore the scandalous gown, which surprised me at first—wasn't that gown evidence of my version of the story? But then I realized, it doesn't matter. She knows Potiphar will refuse to believe her unfaithful, regardless of the evidence. She still wore the gown on purpose. It was evidence of her power over me. “Oh, how the mighty have fallen,” she taunted in a low trill as I passed by her. “Oh, how quickly your lust turns to hatred,” I returned, looking her straight in the eye. “The Lord sees what you have done, and will repay you for it.” My words hit the mark. Her gloating smile vanished, and she began to shriek after me, “How dare you, you filthy Hebrew slave! You should be hung on the gallows! I see to it that you're hung on the gallows—!” The door closed behind us, cutting off her threats. I took a deep breath of the night air, and one of the other servants murmured, “Empty threats. She's already exerted the extent of her power against you.” Another agreed, his voice still low, “We've seen her watching you for months, and watched you avoid her, too. We know you're not guilty. So does Potiphar, even if he won't admit it.” Tears pricked my eyes at this, and a lump rose in my throat. “Thank you.” We walked in silence the rest of the way. When we arrived at the prison and the other servants identified me as the prisoner to the keeper, he glanced at my unbound hands in surprise. “And… he comes willingly?” “I would not struggle against my brothers,” I said. “They are merely following orders. Besides, where could I go?” The keeper of the prison looked even more surprised at this, and looked to them for an explanation. They told my story for me, and I bowed my head. “You will never find a more capable worker or better manager, sir,” one of the servants finished, placing a hand on my shoulder. “Judge for yourself, but we are all very sorry to lose him.” The keeper of the prison let out a breath through pursed lips. At last he pronounced, “Well, this is certainly the strangest way I've ever been introduced to a new prisoner.” He took me by the arm and began to lead me inside, but the servants stopped him to hug me goodbye with some tears before they went their way. The keeper shook his head. “Curiouser and curiouser,” he murmured as he watched our farewell. Then he said, “Well, normally I'd take you to a barred cell, but with three witnesses such as those in your favor… you might just be a gift from the gods. I tell you, I've been quite overwhelmed lately with the number of prisoners, particularly managing resources from Pharaoh and directing labor. I could use the help of a skilled household manager.” I inclined my head. “Happy to be of service in any way I can.” “Splendid!” The keeper, who introduced himself as Shakir, took me to a small room with a cot and a desk near the cells where the prisoners were kept. It did have a small window though. “This will be your room, then. I'm sure it isn't much compared to your chambers in Potiphar's house, but at least it is neither a cell, nor the gallows, eh?” I managed a smile. “I am very grateful for your kindness. I will work hard for you and will not take it for granted.” Shakir blinked at me again and shook his head. “Poor kid,” he murmured at last, more to himself than to me. “Those good looks of yours are a curse.” With that, he left me alone and closed the door behind me. In the silence that followed, I approached the window, leaning on the sill and looking up to the stars. I reminded myself how many years my ancestor Abraham had believed the Lord for a son, looking at those very same stars. His descendants were not yet so numerous, but certainly my father had been fertile. My chest ached as I thought of my brothers, particularly of my little brother Benjamin. He had been nine when my half-brothers had sold me into slavery. He would be nineteen now. I wondered what he looked like. I wondered if he remembered me. I wondered if— No, I stopped myself. I had been about to wonder if my dreams would ever come to pass. They certainly looked impossible, as I went from my father's favorite son, to slave, and now to prisoner. But the Lord had given me two dreams for a reason: that told me that the future it foretold was not conditional. It would happen. It was not up to me to determine how, or when. I must continue to cling to that; I must continue to believe that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, or my heart would faint. Especially tonight, of all nights. Many years ago, I'd had to release my anger and bitterness toward my half brothers, or it would already have eaten me alive. Tonight, the image of Edrice's scandalous dress and haughty smirk floated back to me, and I gnashed my teeth. She belonged here, not me… but I knew the memory came because the Lord wanted me to release her to Him too. He was a God of justice—I knew this, despite how things looked, because of the covenant He had made with my father Abraham. He'd said to him, “Your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.” The gate was the place of power and influence, was it not? I had had power and influence over Potiphar's house, relatively speaking. I now already seemed to have the favor of the keeper of the prison. Was that all God's promise had meant for me? Was this the extent of the blessing I could expect upon my life? No, I told myself emphatically, closing my eyes and deliberately conjuring again the memories of the dreams, now rather faded and possibly distorted with time. I saw again my brothers' sheaves of wheat bowing down to mine, and then the sun, moon and stars bowing to me. The Lord gave me those dreams in advance because He knew I would need them, in addition to what I knew of the covenant to His people in general, to sustain me through this dark period of my life. It would not last forever. It must not. Somehow, somehow—I would be reunited with my brothers and my family again. The Lord would place me in a position of power and influence. How prison was a stepping stone to anything, I certainly did not know. But He was God, and I was not. “I trust You,” I murmured aloud to the Lord. “I forgive my brothers, I forgive Edrice, and I leave their punishment to You. I trust You to bring Your word to pass in my life. Somehow.” I heard nothing back. I wished God would speak to me, the way He had to some of my ancestors, and even to my father Jacob. But I felt the comfort of those stars winking down at me from above, and I knew He saw me and He cared. I was not forgotten. Over the next days and weeks, I got to know the prisoners as well as Shakir, and learned the business of prison—for business it was. We had finances and shipments from Pharaoh for the upkeep of both prison and prisoners, schedules to manage and enforce, and some of the prisoners also engaged in labor as part of their service. I could see why Shakir had been overwhelmed before. But I applied the management skills I had gained in Potiphar's household to management of the prison, and within the first month, I gained not only Shakir's trust but his admiration and gratitude as well. He often referred to me as a “gift from the gods,” though he'd always look a bit abashed after he said it, conscious that he was profiting from my misfortune. When he apologized for the third time after a declaration like this, I finally smiled at him and said, “It is all right. The Lord is with me, and He will repay me for what was stolen.” Shakir blinked, and seemed to want to say something. He opened his mouth and then closed it again. He walked away with a puzzled look on his face. In time, the prisoners and Shakir came to be a sort of makeshift family to me, just as Babu at the other servants had been. I was surprised to wake up one day and realize that I was happy again. Despite all, I found great satisfaction in doing my work well, and in the relationships I had formed with those around me. I genuinely cared about my fellow prisoners. I came to know their stories, and wept for those whose stories were even more tragic than mine. Of course there were a few actual criminals among them, but in short order I won over even them. I rejoiced with those whose sentences were completed or commuted when they returned to freedom, even though I was still imprisoned indefinitely, with no apparent hope of escape. They were perplexed how I could maintain such hope in such a place—so I taught them about the Lord, about the covenant He had made with my fathers. “That's all very well for you,” one of them grumbled at first, “but your god has never spoken to me or my fathers. What hope do I have?” “It's not about what He's said or hasn't said,” I insisted. “Yes, He made a covenant with my fathers to prosper and bless them, but how could I be assured that that blessing would extend to every one of their descendants, including me? Yes, I had two dreams that suggested I would be blessed”—I had told the prisoners the secret of my dreams, in due time—“but those were very obscure, after all. If I wished to doubt their meaning, particularly after all that has happened to me, I certainly could. What assures me is the character of Him who made those promises to my father Abraham. It isn't about what He has done, but about who He is. He told Abraham that through him, every nation of the world would be blessed, not just Abraham's direct descendants. That includes you, too! He is both good and mighty, as well as trustworthy. So yes, I have hope, and always shall have. You can have that same hope, if you want it.” A few months after I had arrived, the prison received two new rather illustrious prisoners from the Pharaoh's own household: his butler and his baker. I felt sorry for them, as they seemed exceedingly upset to have found themselves in such a predicament. We all understood; every one of us, even the guilty ones, went through a period of first denial, then anger, then grief, and ultimately a depressed sort of acceptance when we arrived here. It was even worse for the two of them, as the butler had no idea why he was there at all. The baker's cooking had apparently displeased the capricious Pharaoh one too many times. “I don't know what I said,” the butler moaned to me, his head in his hands. “I don't know what I did…” I clucked my tongue sympathetically as the baker sat beside him, patting his arm. “One never knows,” he murmured, “Pharaoh is like a child.” “Shh!” hissed the butler, horrified. “You must not say things like that?” The baker gave a short laugh. “Why not? What else is he going to do to me?” He gestured at the bars of their cell; they were currently in the same one, as I had allowed them to comfort one another as they could. “He could kill us, of course!” the butler hissed back, “the walls have ears, I'm sure!” “You are as safe as I can make you here,” I assured them. “We're all family here, right guys?” I called to the other prisoners. Shouts, claps, and grunts from the other nearby prisoners responded to this, and I flashed a brief grin at the newcomers. “We're here if you need us. Take your time.” It was a few weeks before the butler and baker worked their way through the various stages of acceptance of their new predicament. I marveled as I watched their fellow prisoners commiserate with them in the process, feeling how I'd imagine a proud father might feel as he watches one child comfort another in his distress. One day after both the baker and butler had adjusted to life in prison, and had grown cheerful for the most part, I noticed an abrupt change. Both of them seemed sad and troubled again, and did not perform their work as efficiently as usual. I frowned. “What is wrong?” I asked them. “Why do you both seem so sad today?” The butler said for both of them, “We each have had a dream, and there is no interpreter of it.” The vision of my own dreams to which I had clung for the past many years flashed across my mind as I said, “Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell them to me, please.” The two men exchanged a look, and then the butler ventured, “Behold, in my dream a vine was before me, and in the vine were three branches; it was as though it budded, its blossoms shot forth, and its clusters brought forth ripe grapes. Then Pharaoh's cup was in my hand; and I took the grapes and pressed them into Pharaoh's cup, and placed the cup in Pharaoh's hand.” My heart swelled as he spoke. I understood the dream's meaning, and I also knew, I knew this was to be my salvation as well! “Here's the meaning. The three branches are three days. Within three days, Pharaoh will get you out of here and put you back to your old work—you'll be giving Pharaoh his cup just as you used to do when you were his cupbearer. Only remember me when things are going well with you again—tell Pharaoh about me and get me out of this place. I was kidnapped from the land of the Hebrews. And since I've been here, I've done nothing to deserve being put in the dungeon.” The baker's eyes lit up too, and he declared, “Three days—that will be Pharaoh's birthday! That is often when he commutes sentences…” He turned to me and said eagerly, “Tell me what my dream means too! It went like this: I saw three wicker baskets on my head; the top basket had assorted pastries from the bakery and birds were picking at them from the basket on my head.” I blinked at the baker, and felt my heart sink to my stomach. He saw my expression and his own faltered too. I knew this interpretation at once, also, but wished I did not have to tell him. “This is the interpretation: The three baskets are three days; within three days Pharaoh will hang you from a tree, and the birds will pick your bones clean.” All the color faded from his cheeks, and his mouth fell open. The three of us sat in silence, not even looking at each other. At last I placed a hand on the baker's shoulder, who shrugged it off and hid his face. The butler and I exchanged a sympathetic look. “Well,” the butler said to me in a low tone, “at least we know that you do not hesitate to prophesy good or evil. In three days' time, we shall see.” I nodded, knowing full well what we should see. I reminded the baker, more soberly now, “Do not forget me.” “I won't,” he promised. Three days later it happened just as the Lord had shown me through the dreams. Pharaoh held a feast in honor of his own birthday, and summoned the butler and the baker from the prison in the middle of it. Shakir, who had been at the feast, arrived with guards to escort them. We all watched them go in dead silence. Everyone was nervous for them. Before they all vanished, I took Shakir by the arm, and asked, “Please return after the feast tonight, no matter how late it is, and tell us all what became of them.” Shakir gave me a strange look. “I thought you already knew.” “I do,” I confirmed. “But for the sake of the rest of the prisoners.” He gave me a small nod, and left, last behind the guards. Around the third watch of the night, Shakir returned again, looking haggard. Most of the prisoners dozed, but lightly. We all roused when we saw his lantern and heard his footsteps. I sat up first. “Well?” Shakir sighed. “It was as Joseph predicted,” he confirmed. “The butler was restored to the right hand of Pharaoh. The baker…” he shook his head and bowed it. There was a moment of silence. A few of the prisoners swore. One quietly sobbed. We had all grown quite fond of the two men. Despite my sorrow for the murder of the baker, I could not entirely forget that I now had an ally at the right hand of Pharaoh. I had reminded him several times not to forget me. Surely he wouldn't! Every day I anticipated a retinue of soldiers to come and release me as well. When they did not come after a week, I grew confused. When they did not come after two weeks, I sank into depression, for the first time since those weeks riding across the desert to Egypt. Even when I'd been thrown into prison, I'd maintained my faith, and bounced back quickly. But now, when I was alone at night, I cried out to God. “It's been eleven years!” I told Him in a hissing whisper, like He didn't know. “Eleven years!” I panted with rage, until I finally needed an outlet of some kind and pounded my fists against my wall. “Am I ever getting out of here? Did You forget about me? Do you care at all?” I knew the answers to all of these things by the quiet reproach in my mind as soon as I'd said them. At once, my rage melted away and I crumpled, giving way to tears for the first time in years. I buried my face in my hands and wept, feeling small and vulnerable, like the child I had once been in my mother's lap. She had died giving birth to my brother Benjamin, when I was only eight years old. I conjured her in my mind now, picturing her caresses on my back as I remembered them until I had no more tears left within me. They were followed by first a dull numbness, and then, inexplicably, a sense of peace. I fell asleep to the vision of the sun, moon, and stars bowing down to me once again, a reassurance that despite the apparent setbacks, the Lord had promised. He would fulfill His word. Over the next few days, I acknowledged to myself that it was the hope of an immediate fulfillment that had set me up for such disappointment; before, when I had placed no timeline on my deliverance, I had been able to thrive regardless of my circumstances. Now that it was clear that the butler had forgotten me, I let go of my expectations and became my old cheerful self again, caring for my inmates and managing them well. The Lord would deliver me when and how He might, but I'd just as soon not know until it happened. I never wanted to go through that again. Two more years passed before that moment finally came, and it was as abrupt as I could have wished for. I was in my office, calculating income versus expenses for the prison, when the palace guards arrived. “We are looking for the Hebrew called Joseph,” announced the guard. I frowned. “I am he.” The guard bowed to me—a prisoner. “You have been summoned to the Throne Room by His Majesty, Pharaoh.” My mind went blank. My mouth reacted first. “May I… be permitted to make myself presentable first?” I gestured at the filthy rags of an inmate I wore, and my long, unkempt beard and hair. “You may. Come.” A few of the prisoners whose cells were close enough to hear some of the commotion pressed their faces to their bars curiously. Shakir, who had heard the entire interaction, watched me with wide-eyed fear. I knew he was remembering what had happened to the baker. But that made sense—Pharaoh had known and been offended by him. He should have no knowledge of my existence. Unless… my heart beat faster as the guard led me to the river to bathe, and provided me with a razor, a servant, and a change of clothes. I bathed as quickly as I could, my nervousness only growing as I did so. I did not let my mind imagine, in case this was not what it appeared to be. When I emerged from the water, dried myself and put on the new garments, the servant combed and used the razor to trim my hair and beard before shaving my face clean. When he had finished, he gestured back to the water, inviting me to look at my new self. Tentatively, I did so, though I dreaded the change I might find—the last time I had beheld my own reflection was when I still served in Potiphar's home, three years ago. I feared that my ordeal in the prison might have aged me ten years or more. I blinked at the man who peered down at me, and swallowed hard, raising my hands to my own chin gingerly. I had not been clean shaven since I was a boy; the face I saw therefore looked significantly younger than the one I remembered. I might have been a teenager again, though I had turned thirty this year. The guard, who had waited for my transformation, now stepped forward and beckoned me. “Pharaoh is not a patient man. Come,” he said, and I followed. The whole thing felt incredibly surreal, as I crossed the threshold of the enormous vestibule of the palace. Potiphar's house had been a shack by comparison. The marble pillars held up a ceiling so high it might have been the sky. Colorful mosaics lined the floors, and intricate paintings of great exploits decorated the walls. The opulence astounded me; I could not stop staring, even though I kept pace with the guard. In the throne room were four men dressed in Egyptian finery. Three were gray haired and weathered. The fourth stood at a window with his arms clasped behind him, his forearms adorned with thick gold bracelets. He alone of the four wore a geometric headdress, his tunic bedecked with purples and golds, complete with a gold sash. He turned as we entered, and I saw Pharaoh's face for the first time. He had the swarthy, coppery skin of all of the Egyptians, his black beard close-cropped. I saw that he was not much older than I was. He might have even been younger. “Joseph the Hebrew prisoner, Your Majesty,” bowed the guard, and backed away, leaving Pharaoh and me to face one another alone. The other three—advisors? servants?—stood at a respectful distance, but close enough to hear. Pharaoh regarded me with an expression I could not read. I knew nothing of the etiquette; should I speak first or wait for him to address me? Should I bow? Surely I should bow. I had just made up my mind to do this and started, when Pharaoh abruptly began. “I dreamed a dream,” he announced. “Nobody can interpret it. But I've heard that just by hearing a dream you can interpret it.” This is it, I realized in dazed wonder. This is really it. I found my tongue. “Not I, but God. God will set Pharaoh's mind at ease.” Pharaoh searched my face. Something about my answer gave him pause. Then he went on, “In my dream I was standing on the bank of the Nile. Seven cows, shimmering with health, came up out of the river and grazed on the marsh grass. On their heels seven more cows, all skin and bones, came up. I've never seen uglier cows anywhere in Egypt. Then the seven skinny, ugly cows ate up the first seven healthy cows. But you couldn't tell by looking—after eating them up they were just as skinny and ugly as before. Then I woke up. “In my second dream I saw seven ears of grain, full-bodied and lush, growing out of a single stalk, and right behind them, seven other ears, shriveled, thin, and dried out by the east wind. And the thin ears swallowed up the full ears. I've told all this to the magicians but they cannot tell me what the dreams mean.” My mind whirred with images and understanding as Pharaoh spoke, as clearly as if there had been no parable at all. The second dream overlay the first in my mind, making me even more certain that my interpretation of the first had been correct. Thank you, Lord, I prayed silently. To Pharaoh, I said, “Pharaoh's two dreams both mean the same thing. God is telling Pharaoh what he is going to do. The seven healthy cows are seven years and the seven healthy ears of grain are seven years—they're the same dream. The seven sick and ugly cows that followed them up are seven years and the seven scrawny ears of grain dried out by the east wind are the same—seven years of famine. “The meaning is what I said earlier: God is letting Pharaoh in on what he is going to do. Seven years of plenty are on their way throughout Egypt. But on their heels will come seven years of famine, leaving no trace of the Egyptian plenty. As the country is emptied by famine, there won't be even a scrap left of the previous plenty—the famine will be total. The fact that Pharaoh dreamed the same dream twice emphasizes God's determination to do this and do it soon. “So, Pharaoh needs to look for a wise and experienced man and put him in charge of the country. Then Pharaoh needs to appoint managers throughout the country of Egypt to organize it during the years of plenty. Their job will be to collect all the food produced in the good years ahead and stockpile the grain under Pharaoh's authority, storing it in the towns for food. This grain will be held back to be used later during the seven years of famine that are coming on Egypt. This way the country won't be devastated by the famine.” I had watched the transformation in Pharaoh's face as I spoke. His hard features softened, his eyes widened, and I could see that the Lord had confirmed my words to him. He withdrew to consult with his advisors in low tones that I could not hear—yet I could hardly suppress the smile that stretched across my lips. Pharaoh returned to me, his advisors right behind him this time. “You shall be the one in charge of all you propose. No one is as qualified as you in experience and wisdom. From now on, you're in charge of my affairs; all my people will report to you. Only as king will I be over you. I'm putting you in charge of the entire country of Egypt.” I stared at him, my mind blank. I had expected that he would believe me; that he would favor me; even that I would never return to prison. But… what had he just said? His next actions confirmed it: he took a signet ring off of his own hand, took my own hand, and placed it upon my finger. Behind me, servants I had not seen enter the room draped my shoulders with a fine linen garment, and my neck with a gold chain. As they did all this, Pharaoh went on, “I am Pharaoh, but no one in Egypt will make a single move without your approval. We must do something about your Hebrew name, though. Henceforth, you shall be known as Zaphenath-Paneah.” I bit my lip to keep the surge of tears at bay—the new name meant in Egyptian, God Speaks and He Lives. I met Pharaoh's eyes, and to my utter amazement, I found him smiling at me fondly, like we were almost peers. More than that—like we were kin. This man just met me! How— I am restoring all that was stolen from you, the Lord whispered to my heart. Sevenfold. I found myself ushered along with Pharaoh's servants like a tide sweeping out to sea. The day played out like a dream: they helped me into Pharaoh's second chariot, and rode me around Egypt, introducing me to the people of the land by shouting before me, “Bow the knee! Bow the knee to Zaphenath-Paneah, second in command of all of Egypt!” I expected to wake the next morning back in prison. It took me several confused moments to remember what had happened when I saw the luxurious bed with linen curtains, and the window with a view of all of Egypt, through which the early morning sunlight streamed in. I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, and sat up to see servants bustling about in a corner of the enormous room, laying out my breakfast. One of them looked up and said, “Ah, my lord is awake.” He brought the food over to my bed, and then beckoned to someone outside the room. One of the advisors I had seen with Pharaoh in my encounter with him yesterday approached and bowed, introducing himself as Lateef. “My lord Zaphenath-Paneah,” he began. “We have much to discuss. Would you prefer to eat in silence and seek me after, or—” “No, no, Lateef, please.” I gestured to a chair by the window. Lateef accepted it and seated himself as I ate. He then proceeded to tell me all of the plans Pharaoh had discussed with them on my behalf while I was riding around the city in Pharaoh's second chariot: where I was to live, who I was to marry (marry? I thought in amazement), and how I was to begin to implement the recommendations I had made to Pharaoh regarding the collection of grain. He rattled off the names of master builders they had already recruited to build both my home—to be constructed on land adjacent to the palace—and the massive storage facilities they would need to store up dried grain. Lateef was here to ask my preferences on the architecture and building materials for my home. Would I like essentially a miniature palace? Would I like a pool indoors and open to the sky, for bathing and recreation? Would I like my bedroom to face east or west? Did I prefer mosaics or simpler flooring and walls? All the questions made my head spin. I had been merely a servant in Potiphar's house, and now my own home would be many times as grand as his. I weakly indicated that I trusted the master architects' tastes and would be extremely gratified by whatever they chose. Lateef gave a short nod to this. Then he announced, “Pharaoh also hopes that my lord will be pleased to take Asenath to wife: she is the daughter of Poti-Pherah, priest of On.” I had heard about the Egyptian god On, of course; he was one of many Egyptian gods. I had a brief flash of concern that my wife would worship another god, but then I realized, what alternative did I have? The same would be true of any woman in Egypt. At least they were polytheists, and therefore would not object to my worship of the one true God. And, given the new name Pharaoh had bestowed upon me of God Speaks and He Lives, the same appeared to be true of Egyptians in general. “I would be most honored,” I told Lateef. He beamed. “Splendid. We shall arrange the wedding to coincide with the completion of your house, so that you may have a home for your bride.” Pharaoh recruited so many workers to construct my home and storage facility that both were completed within a few months. During that time, I met and courted Asenath, and was dazzled by her. Pharaoh had clearly selected her for me not only because of her pedigree, but also for her own merits. Beautiful, accomplished, and demure, she was one of the most highly sought women in the land. I was pleased to find that she was also very intelligent when I gave her the opportunity to engage with me on matters of state, and at least did not object to my worship of the Lord. I would hope for more than mere acquiescence to Him in time. I otherwise spent my days touring the land of Egypt, observing the abundance of the land, collecting and drying, pickling, salting, smoking, or fermenting one fifth of the produce of the land. Until my granaries were completed, I stored what I could, where I could, but I had designated store houses before long. One day on these tours, I caught sight of my old master, Potiphar. He saw me too. After a moment's hesitation, he bowed, his expression like stone. I approached him alone, motioning for some of my servants who usually moved with me to remain behind. I did not know what I would say until we stood face to face. “Zapthnath-Paaneah,” Potiphar growled my new name pointedly. “Tell me, does Pharaoh know your true identity, Joseph the adulterous Hebrew slave-turned-prisoner?” I searched Potiphar's face. “I believe you know, deep down, that I never betrayed you, and never would have done. As I told you at the time, it was your wife who attempted to seduce me, and left me no choice but to run. She accused me because I jilted her.” I watched as Potiphar's face turned red with suppressed rage, and he balled his fists at his sides. But as I was now second in command over Egypt, he would not dare assault me. “Your
The co-hosts kick off this episode with a discussion on the impact Facebook and Instagram have had on social discourse and young people's mental health. The duo share how negativity can feed into our lives from social media to consistent complaining from a friend, and how they try to tackle uncomfortable conversations surrounding it. Nile and Britt also open up on what helps them get into a 'cup half full' mindset.
In our fourth episode in the book of Exodus, we chat about Ex. 7-10—the highest amount of chapters we've ever covered in a single Radically Normal episode! Today's conversation: The significance of “the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord” A different, helpful view of miracles in Exodus & the Gospels Creation & de-creation themes in Exodus & Revelation Patterns amongst the plagues God's people set apart from Egypt The tables are turned: the Nile is now a problem for the Egyptians Connections between the Egyptians gods & the plagues Pharaoh's false repentance—& how we're the same with sin What does it mean that God hardened Pharaoh's heart? (also see episode #35 for a deep dive on God's sovereignty & predestination!) The importance of 9:14-16—what is the ultimate purpose of the plagues? The past helps God's people walk in the present The breadth of the plagues Connections between the 9th plague & the Crucifixion Join us this season for a journey through Exodus (every Monday) and some incredible interview guests (every other Thursday). Helpful Resources on Exodus: Exodus commentary by Douglas Stuart (intermediate/advanced) Exodus For You commentary by Tim Chester (devotional/introductory) Exodus commentary by Peter Enns (intermediate) The God Who Makes Himself Known: The Missionary Heart of the Book of Exodus (W. Ross Blackburn) — see episode #70 for our interview w/ Dr. Blackburn! Radically Normal YouTube // IG: @radicallynormalpod // Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This Author Used Her Diabolical Powers For Good! Welcome to November 1, 2021 on the National Day Calendar. Today we celebrate trade secrets and the stories they inspire. Agatha Christie is the queen of the Whodunit. Of the nearly 80 murder mysteries she wrote, about half of them involve death by poisoning. Christie had an extensive knowledge of drugs and poisons because of her time spent working in a hospital pharmacy during World War I. She watched carefully as pharmacists and nurses administered medicine to patients, and she learned what dosages were safe, along with what could kill someone. Luckily for the world, Agatha used her knowledge for good and wrote some of the most successful novels of all time. In fact, she's only been outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare's works. On National Author's Day, celebrate from favorite storytellers by cracking open a good page turner. Cinnamon warms everything from Fall drinks to French toast. But long ago the spice was a rare commodity that cost nearly 50 months wages for a mere pound. The Egyptians used cinnamon to embalm their mummies, and burned it like incense in their tombs. The origins of cinnamon were kept a secret due to a spice trade monopoly. Europeans were told that the bark came from the banks of the Nile river, and had to be collected in fishing nets. But perhaps the strangest of all stories claimed that giant cinnamon birds harvested the bark to line their nests, built on high cliffs. Today it's no secret that most cinnamon comes from Indonesia. On National Cinnamon Day, enjoy something delicious and be glad it didn't come from a giant bird's nest. I'm Anna Devere and I'm Marlo Anderson. Thanks for joining us as we Celebrate Every Day.
Hey there friends and weirdos! Welcome to our Halloween special, in which Nile tells Kyle all about the storied history of werewolves. Why is humanity so fixated on the idea of transforming into a ferocious wolfman? Why did we leave behind belts and lotions as a means of werewolf transformation? Will Kyle ever stop being weird and horny about werewolves? No, never! Happy Halloween, ya freaks!
Welcome to November 1, 2021 on the National Day Calendar. Today we celebrate trade secrets and the stories they inspire. Agatha Christie is the queen of the Whodunit. Of the nearly 80 murder mysteries she wrote, about half of them involve death by poisoning. Christie had an extensive knowledge of drugs and poisons because of her time spent working in a hospital pharmacy during World War I. She watched carefully as pharmacists and nurses administered medicine to patients, and she learned what dosages were safe, along with what could kill someone. Luckily for the world, Agatha used her knowledge for good and wrote some of the most successful novels of all time. In fact, she's only been outsold by the Bible and Shakespeare's works. On National Author's Day, celebrate from favorite storytellers by cracking open a good page turner. Cinnamon warms everything from Fall drinks to French toast. But long ago the spice was a rare commodity that cost nearly 50 months wages for a mere pound. The Egyptians used cinnamon to embalm their mummies, and burned it like incense in their tombs. The origins of cinnamon were kept a secret due to a spice trade monopoly. Europeans were told that the bark came from the banks of the Nile river, and had to be collected in fishing nets. But perhaps the strangest of all stories claimed that giant cinnamon birds harvested the bark to line their nests, built on high cliffs. Today it's no secret that most cinnamon comes from Indonesia. On National Cinnamon Day, enjoy something delicious and be glad it didn't come from a giant bird's nest. I'm Anna Devere and I'm Marlo Anderson. Thanks for joining us as we Celebrate Every Day. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sunday, 31 October 2021 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Acts 2:10 Luke continues the list of those who were present and heard the disciples speaking in their own dialects. As with the previous verse, we will cite the work of Albert Barnes. His descriptions are detailed and provide all that is necessary to know where the people were from. This verse begins with, “Phrygia, and Pamphylia.” Of these, Albert Barnes says, “These were also two provinces of Asia Minor. Phrygia was surrounded by Galatia, Cappadocia, and Pisidia. Pamphylia was on the Mediterranean, and was bounded north by Pisidia. The language of all these places was doubtless the Greek, more or less pure.” Today, these areas are included in the nation of Turkey. Next, Luke notes “Egypt.” Barnes states, “This was that extensive country, well known, on the south of the Mediterranean, watered by the Nile. It extends 600 miles from north to south, and from 100 to 120 miles east and west. The language used there was the Coptic tongue. At present the Arabic is spoken. Vast numbers of Jews dwelt in Egypt, and many from that country would be present at the great feasts at Jerusalem. In this country the first translation of the Old Testament was made, which is now called the Septuagint.” After Egypt, it says, “and the parts of Libya.” Of this, Barnes notes, “In the parts of Libya - Libya is a general name for Africa. It properly denoted the region which was near to Egypt; but the Greeks gave the name to all Africa.” That area is said to be “adjoining Cyrene.” It is, as Barnes details, “...a region about 500 miles west of Alexandria in Egypt. It was also called Pentapolis, because there were in it five celebrated cities. This country now belongs to Tripoli. Great numbers of Jews resided here. A Jew of this place, Simon by name, was compelled to bear our Saviour's cross after him to the place of crucifixion, Matthew 27:32; Luke 23:26. Some of the Cyrenians are mentioned among the earliest Christians, Acts 11:20; Acts 13:1. The language which they spoke is not certainly known.” Also noted at this time are “visitors from Rome.” The word translated as “visitors” is found only here and in Acts 17:21, epidémeó. It signifies a sojourner. Of these Jews from Rome, Barnes notes, they “...were doubtless Jews who had taken up their residence in Italy, and had come to Jerusalem to attend the great feasts. The language which they spoke was the Latin. Great numbers of Jews were at that time dwelling at Rome. Josephus says that there were eight synagogues there. The Jews are often mentioned by the Roman writers. There was a Jewish colony across the Tiber from Rome. When Judea was conquered, about 60 years before Christ, vast numbers of Jews were taken captive and carried to Rome. But they had much difficulty in managing them as slaves. They pertinaciously adhered to their religion, observed the Sabbath, and refused to join in the idolatrous rites of the Romans. Hence, they were freed, and lived by themselves across the Tiber.” Of these from Rome, Luke carefully notes they were “both Jews and proselytes.” The Jews are those who were born as Jews, even if outside of the land of Israel. They retained their cultural identity, and they continue to do this today, regardless as to where they are born and live. The proselytes are Gentiles who are converted to Judaism and who had come, along with the native Jews, to observe this pilgrim feast in Jerusalem. The term “both Jews and proselytes” is probably a descriptor that applies to all of the people groups mentioned in both verses, not just to those in Rome. The point then is that there are native Jews from all of these locations as well as converts. This would make what is happening all the more notable. It isn't just that some Jews from these places had heard the disciples who would then go back and say, “This miraculous event occurred while we were in Jerusalem.” Rather, it would be something that both native Jews and converts could both attest to. In their return to their own countries, the events would then be spoken of throughout much of the Roman empire. Life application: The disciples of Jesus spoke in many different dialects, demonstrating that the Spirit is able to express God's words in an understandable way to all people. Though the languages are different, the idea of communicating knowledge is still possible. Though it should not be expected that we will suddenly be infused with another language when we want to tell someone about Jesus, we still have the ability to learn other languages, or use translators, to convey the gospel. Jesus gave us the commission – “‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20 As this has been directed by the Lord, let us make use of every opportunity that arises to share this word. In today's world, the gospel has been printed in innumerable languages. If you go to a Thai or Greek restaurant frequently, be sure to print off something in their language and pass this good news onto them. There are also CDs and DVDs with the message on them, even gospel-oriented movies about Jesus can be obtained in many languages for a dollar or two. Be inventive, but be sure to get this word out. Lord God, help us to be responsible with our time, and to share the message of the gospel to any and all who come our way. May we not fail in sharing this wonderful news with those around us. Give us both the opportunity and the desire to do so. Yes Lord, be with us as we do as we are directed in Your word to do. Amen.
Tap in to this episode with the Bench Mob as we discuss week 8 matchups in the NFL, why the Cowboys have been successful this year so far, what we've seen from NBA so far in the early season, how nobody should hit the panic button for either Lakers or Nets, and more. --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/antonio-burnett-ii/support
Outsourcing podcast Get the full show notes for this outsourcing podcast here: outsourceaccelerator.com/360 The Nile Derek Gallimore talks with David Prichard, country manager of The Nile Group. An established company for over 15 years, The Nile is one of Australia and New Zealand's leading e-commerce enterprises. David has also been a guest in previous episodes of the Outsource Accelerator podcast. Several objections about the ethics of outsourcing have been around for decades. In this episode, David and Derek will discuss and confront these objections by explaining the purpose of outsourcing in an objectivist's view. References: Nile Group Linkedin: David Prichard Outsource Accelerator Start Outsourcing Outsource Accelerator can help you transform your business with outsourcing. Get in touch now, or use one of the resources below. Business Process Outsourcing Get a Free Quote - Connect with 3 verified outsourcing experts & see how outsourcing can transform your business Book a Discovery Call - See how Outsource Accelerator can help you enhance your company's innovation and growth with outsourcing The Top 40 BPOs - We have compiled this review of the most notable 40 Business Process Outsourcing companies in the Philippines Outsourcing Calculator - This tool provides you with invaluable insight into the potential savings outsourcing can do for your business Outsourcing Salary Guide - Access the comprehensive guide to payroll salary compensation, benefits, and allowances in the Philippines Outsourcing Accelerator Podcast - Subscribe and listen to the world's leading outsourcing podcast, hosted by Derek Gallimore Payoneer - The leading global B2B payment solution for the outsourcing industry About Outsource Accelerator Outsource Accelerator is the world's leading outsourcing marketplace and advisory. We offer the full spectrum of services, from light advisory and vendor brokerage, though to full implementation and fully-managed solutions. We service companies of all sectors, and all sizes, spanning all departmental verticals. Outsource Accelerator's unique approach to outsourcing enables our clients to build the best teams, access most flexible solutions, and generate the best results possible. Our unrivaled sector knowledge and market reach means that you get the best terms and results possible, at the best ALL-IN market-leading price - guaranteed.
Steven A. Cook, Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies and director of the International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars at CFR, leads a conversation on geopolitics in the Middle East. FASKIANOS: Welcome to today's session of the CFR Fall 2021 Academic Webinar Series. I'm Irina Faskianos, vice president of the National Program and Outreach at CFR. Today's discussion is on the record and the video and transcript will be available on our website, CFR.org/Academic, if you want to share it with your colleagues or classmates. As always, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy. Today's topic is geopolitics in the Middle East. Our speaker was supposed to be Sanam Vakil, but she had a family emergency. So we're delighted to have our very own Steven Cook here to discuss this important topic. Dr. Cook is the Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies, and director of the International Affairs Fellowship for Tenured International Relations Scholars at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of several books, including False Dawn; The Struggle for Egypt, which won the 2012 Gold Medal from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; and Ruling But Not Governing. And he's working on yet another book entitled The End of Ambition: America's Past, Present, and Future in the Middle East. So keep an eye out for that in the next year or so. He's a columnist at Foreign Policy magazine and contributor and commentator on a bunch of other outlets. Prior to coming to CFR, Dr. Cook was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Soref research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. So, Dr. Cook, thank you for being with us. I thought you could just—I'm going to give you a soft question here, to talk about the geopolitical relations among state and nonstate actors in the Middle East. And you can take that in whatever direction you would like. COOK: Well, thanks so much, Irina. It's a great pleasure to be with you. Good afternoon to everybody who's out there who's on an afternoon time zone, good morning to those who may still be in the evening, and good evening to those who may be somewhere where it's the evening. It's very nice to be with you. As Irina mentioned, and as I'm sure it's plenty evident, I am not Sanam Vakil, but I'm happy to step in for her and offer my thoughts on the geopolitics of the Middle East. It's a small topic. That question that Irina asked was something that I certainly could handle effectively in fifteen to twenty minutes. But before I get into the details of what's going on in the region, I thought I would offer some just general comments about the United States in the Middle East. Because, as it turns out, I had the opportunity last night to join a very small group of analysts with a very senior U.S. government official to talk precisely about the United States in the Middle East. And it was a very, very interesting conversation, because despite the fact that there has been numerous news reporting and analytic pieces about how the United States is deemphasizing the Middle East, this official made it very, very clear that that was practically impossible at this time. And this was, I think, a reasonable position to take. There has been a lot recently, in the last recent years, about withdrawing from the region, from retrenchment from the region, reducing from the region, realignment from the region. All those things actually mean different things. But analysts have essentially used them to mean that the United States should deprioritize the Middle East. And it seems to me that the problem in the Middle East has not necessarily been the fact that we are there and that we have goals there. It's that the goals in the region and the resources Washington uses to achieve those goals need to be realigned to address things that are actually important to the United States. In one sense that sound eminently reasonable. We have goals, we have resources to meet those goals, and we should devote them to—and if we can't, we should reassess what our goals are or go out and find new resources. That sounds eminently reasonable. But that's not the way Washington has worked over the course of the last few decades when it comes to the Middle East. In many ways, the United States has been overly ambitious. And it has led to a number of significant failures in the region. In an era when everything and anything is a vital interest, then nothing really is. And this seems to be the source of our trouble. For example, when we get into trying to fix the politics of other countries, we're headed down the wrong road. And I don't think that there's been enough real debate in Washington or, quite frankly, in the country about what's important in the Middle East, and why we're there, and what we're trying to achieve in the Middle East. In part, this new book that I'm writing called the End of Ambition, which, as Irina pointed out, will be out hopefully in either late 2022 or early 2023, tries to answer some of these questions. There is a way for the United States to be constructive in the Middle East, but what we've done over the course of the last twenty years has made that task much, much harder. And it leads us, in part, to this kind of geostrategic picture or puzzle that I'm about to lay out for you. So let me get into some of the details. And I'm obviously not going to take you from Morocco all the way to Iran, although I could if I had much, much more time because there's a lot going on in a lot of places. But not all of those places are of critical importance to the United States. So I'll start and I'll pick and choose from that very, very large piece of geography. First point: There have been some efforts to deescalate in a region that was in the middle of or on the verge of multiple conflicts. There has been a dialogue between the Saudis and the Iranians, under the auspices of the Iraqis, of all people. According to the Saudis this hasn't yielded very much, but they are continuing the conversation. One of the ways to assess the success or failure of a meeting is the fact that there's going to be another meeting. And there are going to be other meetings between senior Iranian and Saudi officials. I think that that's good. Egyptians and Turks are talking. Some of you who don't follow these issues as closely may not remember that Turkey and Egypt came close to trading blows over Libya last summer. And they pulled back as a result of concerted diplomacy on the part of the European Union, as well as the Egyptian ability to actually surge a lot of force to its western border. Those two countries are also talking, in part under the auspices of the Iraqis. Emiratis and Iranians are talking. That channel opened up in 2019 after the Iranians attacked a very significant—two very significant oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia, sort of scaring the Emiratis, especially since the Trump administration did not respond in ways that the Emiratis or the Saudis had been expecting. The Qataris and the Egyptians have repaired their relations. The Arab world, for better or for worse, is moving to reintegrate Syria into is ranks. Not long after King Abdullah of Jordan was in the United States, he and Bashar al-Assad shared a phone call to talk about the opening of the border between Jordan and Syria and to talk about, among other things, tourism to the two countries. The hope is that this de-escalation, or hope for de-escalation coming from this dialogue, will have a salutary effect on conflicts in Yemen, in Syria, in Libya, and Iraq. Thus far, it hasn't in Yemen, in particular. It hasn't in Syria. But in Libya and Iraq, there have been some improvements to the situation. All of this remains quite fragile. These talks can be—can break off at any time under any circumstances. Broader-scale violence can return to Libya at any time. And the Iraqi government still doesn't control its own territory. Its sovereignty is compromised, not just by Iran but also by Turkey. But the fact that a region that was wound so tight and that seemed poised to even deepen existing conflicts and new ones to break out, for all of these different parties to be talking—some at the behest of the United States, some entirely of their own volition—is, I think, a relatively positive sign. You can't find anyone who's more—let's put it this way, who's darker about developments in the Middle East than me. And I see some positive signs coming from this dialogue. Iran, the second big issue on the agenda. Just a few hours ago, the Iranians indicated that they're ready to return to the negotiating table in Vienna. This is sort of a typical Iranian negotiating tactic, to push issues to the brink and then to pull back and demonstrate some pragmatism so that people will thank for them for their pragmatism. This agreement to go back to the negotiating table keeps them on decent terms with the Europeans. It builds on goodwill that they have developed as a result of their talks with Saudi Arabia. And it puts Israel somewhat on the defensive, or at least in an awkward position with the Biden administration, which has very much wanted to return to the negotiating table in Vienna. What comes out of these negotiations is extremely hard to predict. This is a new government in Iran. It is certainly a harder line than its predecessor. Some analysts believe that precisely because it is a hardline government it can do the negotiation. But we'll just have to see. All the while this has been going on, the Iranians have been proceeding with their nuclear development, and Israel is continuing its shadow campaign against the Iranians in Syria, sometimes in Iraq, in Iran itself. Although, there's no definitive proof, yesterday Iranian gas stations, of all things, were taken offline. There's some suspicion that this was the Israelis showing the Iranians just how far and deep they are into Iranian computer systems. It remains unclear how the Iranians will retaliate. Previously they have directed their efforts to Israeli-linked shipping in and around the Gulf of Oman. Its conventional responses up until this point have been largely ineffective. The Israelis have been carrying on a fairly sophisticated air campaign against the Iranians in Syria, and the Iranians have not been able to mount any kind of effective response. Of course, this is all against the backdrop of the fact that the Iranians do have the ability to hold much of the Israeli population hostage via Hezbollah and its thousands of rockets and missiles. So you can see how this is quite worrying, and an ongoing concern for everybody in the region, as the Israelis and Iranians take part in this confrontation. Let me just continue along the line of the Israelis for a moment and talk about the Arab-Israeli conflict, something that has not been high on the agenda of the Biden administration, it hasn't been high on the agenda of many countries in the region. But since the signing of the Abraham Accords in September 2020, there have been some significant developments. The normalization as a result of the Abraham Accords continues apace. Recently in the Emirates there was a meeting of ministers from Israel, the UAE, Morocco, Bahrain, and Sudan. This is the first kind of face-to-face meeting of government officials from all of these countries. Now, certainly the Israelis and the Emiratis have been meeting quite regularly, and the Israelis and the Bahrainis have been meeting quite regularly. But these were broader meetings of Cabinet officials from all of the Abraham Accords countries coming together in the United Arab Emirates for talks. Rather extraordinary. Something that thirteen months—in August 2020 was unimaginable, and today is something that doesn't really make—it doesn't really make the headlines. The Saudis are actually supportive of the normalization process, but they're not yet willing to take that step. And they're not willing to take that step because of the Palestinian issue. And it remains a sticking point. On that issue, there was a lot of discussion after the formation of a new Israeli government last June under the leadership, first, of Naftali Bennett, who will then hand the prime ministership over to his partner, Yair Lapid, who are from different parties. That this was an Israeli government that could do some good when it comes to the Palestinian arena, that it was pragmatic, that it would do things that would improve the lives of Palestinians, whether in Gaza or the West Bank, and seek greater cooperation with both the United States and the Palestinian authority toward that end. And that may in fact turn out to be the case. This government has taken a number of steps in that direction, including family reunification, so that if a Palestinian on the West Bank who is married to a Palestinian citizen of Israel, the Palestinian in the West Bank can live with the family in Israel. And a number of other things. But it should also be clear to everybody that despite a kind of change in tone from the Israeli prime ministry, there's not that much of a change in terms of policy. In fact, in many ways Prime Minister Bennett is to the right of his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu. And Yair Lapid, who comes from a centrist party, is really only centrist in terms of Israeli politics. He is—in any other circumstances would be a kind of right of center politician. And I'll just point out that in recent days the Israeli government has declared six Palestinian NGOs—long-time NGOs—terrorist organizations, approved three thousand new housing units in the West Bank, and worked very, very hard to prevent the United States from opening a consulate in East Jerusalem to serve the Palestinians. That consulate had been there for many, many, many years. And it was closed under the Trump administration when the U.S. Embassy was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The Biden administration would like to reopen that consulate. And the Israeli government is adamantly opposed. In the end, undoubtably Arab governments are coming to terms with Israel, even beyond the Abraham Accords countries. Egypt's flag carrier, Egyptair, announced flights to Tel Aviv. This is the first time since 1979. You could—you could fly between Cairo and Tel Aviv, something that I've done many, many times. If you were in Egypt, you'd have to go and find an office that would sell you a ticket to something called Air Sinai, that did not have regular flights. Only had flights vaguely whenever, sometimes. It was an Egyptair plane, stripped of its livery, staffed by Egyptair pilots and staff, stripped of anything that said Egyptair. Now, suddenly Egyptair is flying direct flights to Tel Aviv. And El-Al, Israel's national airline, and possibly one other, will be flying directly to Cairo. And there is—and that there is talk of economic cooperation. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in Sharm al-Sheikh not long ago. That was the first meeting of Israeli leaders—first public meeting of Israeli leaders and Egyptian leaders in ten years. So there does seem to be an openness on the part of Arab governments to Israel. As far as populations in these countries, they don't yet seem to be ready for normalization, although there has been some traffic between Israel and the UAE, with Emiratis coming to see Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and so on and so forth. But there are very, very few Emiratis. And there are a lot of Egyptians. So as positive as that all is, this is—this has not been a kind of broad acceptance among the population in the Arab world for Israel's legitimate existence. And the kind of issue du jour, great-power competition. This is on everybody's lips in Washington, D.C.—great-power competition, great-power competition. And certainly, the Middle East is likely to be an arena of great-power competition. It has always been an arena of great-power competition. For the first time in more than two decades, the United States has competitors in the region. And let me start with Russia, because there's been so much discussion of China, but Russia is the one that has been actively engaged militarily in the region in a number of places. Vladimir Putin has parlayed his rescue of Hafez al-Assad into influence in the region, in an arc that stretches from NATO ally Turkey, all the way down through the Levant and through Damascus, then even stretching to Jerusalem where Israeli governments and the Russian government have cooperated and coordinated in Syria, into Cairo, and then into at least the eastern portion of Libya, where the Russians have supported a Qaddafist general named Khalifa Haftar, who used to be an employee of the CIA, in his bid for power in Libya. And he has done so by providing weaponry to Haftar, as well as mercenaries to fight and support him. That episode may very well be over, although there's every reason to believe that Haftar is trying to rearm himself and carry on the conflict should the process—should the political process in Libya break down. Russia has sold more weapons to Egypt in the last few years than at any other time since the early 1970s. They have a defense agreement with Saudi Arabia. It's not clear what that actually means, but that defense agreement was signed not that long after the United States' rather chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, which clearly unnerved governments in the Middle East. So Russia is active, it's influential, its militarily engaged, and it is seeking to advance its interests throughout the region. I'll point out that its presence in North Africa is not necessarily so much about North Africa, but it's also about Europe. Its bid in Libya is important because its ally controls the eastern portion of Libya, where most of Libya's light, sweet crude oil is located. And that is the largest—the most significant reserves of oil in all of Africa. So it's important as an energy play for the Russians to control parts of North Africa, and right on Russia's—right on Europe's front doorstep. China. China's the largest investor and single largest trading partner with most of the region. And it's not just energy related. We know how dependent China is on oil from the Gulf, but it's made big investments in Algeria, in Egypt, the UAE, and in Iran. The agreement with Iran, a twenty-five-year agreement, coming at a time when the Iranians were under significant pressure from the United States, was regarded by many in Washington as an effort on the part of the Chinese to undercut the United States, and undercut U.S. policy in the region. I think it was, in part, that. I think it was also in part the fact that China is dependent in part on Iranian oil and did not want the regime there to collapse, posing a potential energy crisis for China and the rest of the world. It seems clear to me, at least, that the Chinese do not want to supplant the United States in the region. I don't think they look at the region in that way. And if they did, they probably learned the lesson of the United States of the last twenty-five years, which has gotten itself wrapped around the axle on a variety of issues that were unnecessary and sapped the power of the United States. So they don't want to get more deeply involved in the region. They don't want to take sides in conflicts. They don't want to take sides in the Arab-Israeli conflict. They don't take sides in the conflict between the United States and Iran, or the competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran. They want to benefit from the region, whether through investment or through extraction, and the security umbrella that the United States provides in the region. I'm not necessarily so sure that that security umbrella needs to be so expensive and so extensive for the United States to achieve its goals. But nevertheless, and for the time being at least, we will be providing that security umbrella in the region, from which the Chinese will benefit. I think, just to close on this issue of great-power competition. And because of time, I'm leaving out another big player, or emerging player in the region, which is India. I'm happy to talk about that in Q&A. But my last point is that, going back to the United States, countries in the region and leaders in the region are predisposed towards the United States. The problem is, is that they are very well-aware of the political polarization in this country. They're very well-aware of the political dysfunction in this country. They're very well-aware of the incompetence that came with the invasion of Iraq, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, or any number of disasters that have unfolded here in the United States. And it doesn't look, from where they sit in Abu Dhabi, in Cairo, in Riyadh, and in other places, that the United States has staying power, the will to lead, and the interest in remaining in the Middle East. And thus, they have turned to alternatives. Those alternatives are not the same as the United States, but they do provide something. I mean, particularly when it comes to the Chinese it is investment, it's economic advantages, without the kind of trouble that comes with the United States. Trouble from the perspective of leaders, so that they don't have to worry about human rights when they deal with the Chinese, because the Chinese aren't interested in human rights. But nevertheless, they remain disclosed toward the United States and want to work with the United States. They just don't know whether we're going to be there over the long term, given what is going on in the United States. I'll stop there. And I look forward to your questions and comments. Thank you. FASKIANOS: Steven, that was fantastic. Thank you very much. We're going to now to all of you for your questions. So the first raised hand comes from Jonas Truneh. And I don't think I pronounced that correctly, so you can correct me. Q: Yeah, no, that's right. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, Dr. Cook, for your talk. I'm from UCL, University College London, in London. COOK: So it is—(off mic). Q: Indeed, it is. Yeah. That's right. COOK: Great. Q: So you touched on it there somewhat particularly with great-power competition, but so my question is related to the current energy logic in the Middle East. The Obama administration perhaps thought that the shale revolution allowed a de-prioritization, if I'm allowed to use that word, of the Middle East. And that was partly related to the pivot to Asia. So essentially does the U.S. still regard itself as the primary guarantor of energy security in the Persian Gulf? And if so, would the greatest beneficiary, as I think you indicated, would that not be China? And is that a case of perverse incentives? Is there much the U.S. can do about it? COOK: Well, it depends on who you ask, right? And it's a great question. I think that the—one of the things that—one of the ways in which the Obama administration sought to deprioritize and leave the region was through the shale revolution. I mean, the one piece of advice that he did take from one of his opponents in 2002—2008, which was to drill, baby, drill. And the United States did. I would not say that this is something that is specific to the Obama administration. If you go back to speeches of presidents way back—but I won't even go that far back. I'll go to George W. Bush in 2005 State of the Union addressed, talked all about energy independence from the Middle East. This may not actually be in much less the foreseeable future, but in really—in a longer-term perspective, it may be harder to do. But it is politically appealing. The reason why I say it depends on who you ask, I think that there are officials in the United States who say: Nothing has changed. Nothing has changed. But when the Iranians attacked those two oil processing facilities in Saudi Arabia, that temporarily took off 50 percent of supply off the markets—good thing the Saudis have a lot stored away—the United States didn't really respond. The president of the United States said: I'm waiting for a call from Riyadh. That forty years of stated American policy was, like, it did not exist. The Carter doctrine and the Reagan corollary to the Carter doctrine suddenly didn't exist. And the entirety of the American foreign policy community shrugged their shoulders and said: We're not going to war on behalf of MBS. I don't think we would have been going to war on behalf of MBS. We would have been ensuring the free flow of energy supplies out of the region, which is something that we have been committed to doing since President Carter articulated the Carter doctrine, and then President Reagan added his corollary to it. I think that there are a number of quite perverse incentives associated with this. And I think that you're right. The question is whether the competition from China outweighs our—I'm talking about “our”—the United States' compelling interest in a healthy global economy. And to the extent that our partners in Asia, whether it's India, South Korea, Japan, and our important trading partner in China, are dependent upon energy resources from the Gulf, and we don't trust anybody to ensure the free flow of energy resources from the Gulf, it's going to be on us to do it. So we are kind of hammered between that desire to have a healthy global economy as being—and being very wary of the Chinese. And the Chinese, I think, are abundantly aware of it, and have sought to take advantage of it. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I'm going to take the next question, which got an up-vote, from Charles Ammon, who is at Pennsylvania State University. And I think this goes to what you were building on with the great-power competition: What interests does India have in the Middle East? And how is it increasing its involvement in the region? COOK: So India is—imports 60 percent of its oil from the region. Fully 20 percent of it from Saudi Arabia, another 20 percent of it from Iran, and then the other 20 percent from other sources. So that's one thing. That's one reason why India is interested in the Middle East. Second, there are millions and millions of Indians who work in the Middle East. The Gulf region is a region that basically could not run without South Asian expatriate labor, most of which comes from India—on everything. Third, India has made considerable headway with countries like the United Arab Emirates, as well as Saudi Arabia, in counterextremism cooperation. This has come at the expense of Pakistan, but as relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and relations between Pakistan and the UAE soured in recent years, the Indians have been able to take advantage of that. And Indian leaders have hammered away at the common interest that India and leaders in the region have in terms of countering violent extremism. And then finally, India and Israel have quite an extraordinary relationship, both in the tech field as well as in the defense area. Israel is a supplier to India. And the two of them are part of a kind of global network of high-tech powerhouse that have either, you know, a wealth of startups or very significant investment from the major tech players in the world. Israel—Microsoft just announced a huge expansion in Israel. And Israeli engineers and Indian engineers collaborate on a variety of projects for these big tech companies. So there's a kind of multifaceted Indian interest in the region, and the region's interest in India. What India lacks that the Chinese have is a lot more capacity. They don't have the kind of wherewithal to bring investment and trade in the region in the other direction. But nevertheless, it's a much more important player than it was in the past. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I'm going to take the next question from Curran Flynn, who has a raised hand. Q: How do you envision the future of Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia politics for the next thirty years? Ethiopia controls the Nile dam projects. And could this dispute lead to a war? And what is the progress with the U.S. in mediating the talks between the three countries? COOK: Thank you. FASKIANOS: And that is coming from the King Fahd University in Saudi Arabia. COOK: Fabulous. So that's more than the evening. It's actually nighttime there. I think that the question of the great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is really an important one, and it's something that has not gotten as much attention as it should. And for those of you who are not familiar, in short the Ethiopians have been building a massive dam on the Blue Nile, which is a tributary to the Nile. And that if—when competed, threatens the water supply to Egypt, a country of 110 million people that doesn't get a lot of rainfall. Ethiopia, of course, wants to dam the Nile in order to produce hydroelectric power for its own development, something that Egypt did when it dammed the Nile River to build the Aswan High Dam, and crated Lake Nasser behind it. The Egyptians are very, very concerned. This is an existential issue for them. And there have been on and off negotiations, but the negotiations aren't really about the issues. They're talks about talks about talks. And they haven't gotten—they haven't gotten very far. Now, the Egyptians have been supported by the Sudanese government, after the Sudanese government had been somewhat aligned with the Ethiopian government. The Trump administration put itself squarely behind the Egyptian government, but Ethiopia's also an important partner of the United States in the Horn of Africa. The Egyptians have gone about signing defense cooperation agreements with a variety of countries around Ethiopia's borders. And of course, Ethiopia is engaged in essentially what's a civil war. This is a very, very difficult and complicated situation. Thus far, there doesn't seem to be an easy solution the problem. Now, here's the rub, if you talk to engineers, if you talk to people who study water, if you talk to people who know about dams and the flow of water, the resolution to the problem is actually not that hard to get to. The problem is that the politics and nationalism have been engaged on both sides of the issue, making it much, much more difficult to negotiate an equitable solution to the problem. The Egyptians have said in the past that they don't really have an intention of using force, despite the fact of this being an existential issue. But there's been somewhat of a shift in their language on the issue. Which recently they've said if red lines were crossed, they may be forced to intervene. Intervene how? What are those red lines? They haven't been willing to define them, which should make everybody nervous. The good news is that Biden administration has appointed an envoy to deal with issues in the Horn of Africa, who has been working very hard to try to resolve the conflict. I think the problem here however is that Ethiopia, now distracted by a conflict in the Tigray region, nationalism is running high there, has been—I don't want to use the word impervious—but not as interested in finding a negotiated solution to the problem than it might have otherwise been in the past. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I'm going to take the next question from Bob Pauly, who's a professor of international development at the University of Southern Mississippi. It got three up-votes. What would you identify as the most significant likely short and longer-term effects of Turkey's present domestic economic and political challenges on President Erdogan's strategy and policy approaches to the Middle East, and why? COOK: Oh, well, that is a very, very long answer to a very, very interesting question. Let's see what happens in 2023. President Erdogan is facing reelection. His goal all along has been to reelected on the one hundredth anniversary of the republic, and to demonstrate how much he has transformed Turkey in the image of the Justice and Development Party, and moved it away from the institutions of the republic. Erdogan may not make it to 2023. I don't want to pedal in conspiracy theories or anything like that, but he doesn't look well. There are large numbers of videos that have surfaced of him having difficulties, including one famous one from this past summer when he was offering a Ramadan greeting on Turkish television to supporters of the Justice and Development Party, and he seemed to fade out and slur his words. This is coupled with reports trickling out of Ankara about the lengths to which the inner circle has gone to shield real health concerns about Erdogan from the public. It's hard to really diagnose someone from more than six thousand miles away, but I think it's a scenario that policymakers in Washington need to think seriously about. What happens if Erdogan is incapacitated or dies before 2023? That's one piece. The second piece is, well, what if he makes it and he's reelected? And I think in any reasonable observer sitting around at the end of 2021 looking forward to 2023 would say two things: One, you really can't predict Turkish politics this far out, but if Turkish elections were held today and they were free and fair, the Justice and Development Party would get below 30 percent. Still more than everybody else. And Erdogan would have a real fight on his hands to get reelected, which he probably would be. His approaches to his domestic challenges and his approaches to the region are really based on what his current political calculations are at any given moment. So his needlessly aggressive posture in the Eastern Mediterranean was a function of the fact that he needed to shore up his nationalist base. Now that he finds himself quite isolated in the world, the Turks have made overtures to Israel, to the UAE, to Saudi Arabia. They're virtually chasing the Egyptians around the Eastern Mediterranean to repair their relationship. Because without repairing these relationships the kind of investment that is necessary to try to help revive the Turkish economy—which has been on the skids for a number of years—is going to be—is going to be more difficult. There's also another piece of this, which is the Middle East is a rather lucrative arms market. And during the AKP era, the Turks have had a significant amount of success further developing their defense industrial base, to the point that now their drones are coveted. Now one of the reasons for a Saudi-Turkish rapprochement is that the United States will not sell Saudi Arabia the drones it wants, for fear that they will use them in Yemen. And the Saudis are looking for drones elsewhere. That's either China or Turkey. And Turkey's seem to work really, really well, based on experience in Syria, Libya, and Nagorno-Karabakh. So what—Turkish foreign policy towards the region has become really dependent upon what Erdogan's particularly political needs are. There's no strategic approach to the region. There is a vision of Turkey as a leader of the region, of a great power in its own right, as a leader of the Muslim world, as a Mediterranean power as well. But that's nothing new. Turkish Islamists have been talking about these things for quite some time. I think it's important that there's been some de-escalation. I don't think that all of these countries now love each other, but they see the wisdom of pulling back from—pulling back from the brink. I don't see Turkey's position changing dramatically in terms of its kind of reintegration into the broader region before 2023, at the least. FASKIANOS: Great. Let's go next to, raised hand, to Caleb Sanner. And you need to unmute yourself. Q: Hello, my name is Caleb. I'm from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. So, Dr. Cook, you had mentioned in passing how China has been involved economically in North Africa. And my question would be, how is the U.S. taking that? And what are we doing, in a sense, to kind of counter that? I know it's not a military advancement in terms of that, but I've seen what it has been doing to their economies—North Africa's economies. And, yeah, what's the U.S. stance on that? COOK: Well, I think the United States is somewhat detached from this question of North Africa. North Africa's long been a—with the exception of Egypt, of course. And Egypt, you know, is not really North Africa. Egypt is something in and of itself. That China is investing heavily in Egypt. And the Egyptian position is: Please don't ask us to choose between you and the Chinese, because we're not going to make that choice. We think investment from all of these places is good for—is good for Egypt. And the other places where China is investing, and that's mostly in Algeria, the United States really doesn't have close ties to Algeria. There was a tightening of the relationship after the attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, recognizing that the Algerians—extremist groups in Algerian that had been waging war against the state there over the course of the 1990s were part and parcel of this new phenomenon of global jihad. And so there has been a security relationship there. There has been some kind of big infrastructure kind of investment in that country, with big companies that build big things, like GE and others, involved in Algeria. But the United States isn't helping to develop ports or industrial parks or critical infrastructure like bridges and airports in the same way that the Chinese have been doing throughout the region. And in Algeria, as well as in Egypt, the Chinese are building a fairly significant industrial center in the Suez Canal zone, of all places. And the United States simply doesn't have an answer to it, other than to tell our traditional partners in the region, don't do it. But unless we show up with something to offer them, I'm afraid that Chinese investment is going to be too attractive for countries that are in need of this kind of investment. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I'm going to go next to a written question from Kenneth Mayers, who is at St. Francis College in Brooklyn. In your opinion, what would a strategic vision based on a far-sighted understanding of both resources and U.S. goals—with regard to peace and security, prosperity and development, and institutions and norms and values such as human rights—look like in the Middle East and North Africa? COOK: Well, it's a great question. And I'm tempted to say you're going to have to read the last third of my new book in order to get the—in order to get the answer. I think but let me start with something mentioned about norms and values. I think that one of the things that has plagued American foreign policy over the course of not just the last twenty years, but in the post-World War II era all the way up through the present day, you see it very, very clearly with President Biden, is that trying to incorporate American values and norms into our approach to the region has been extraordinarily difficult. And what we have a history of doing is the thing that is strategically tenable, but morally suspect. So what I would say is, I mean, just look at what's happened recently. The president of the United States studiously avoided placing a telephone call to the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The Egyptians, as many know, have a terrible record on human rights, particularly since President Sisi came to power. Arrests of tens of thousands of people in the country, the torture of many, many people, the killings of people. And the president during his campaign said that he was going to give no blank checks to dictators, including to Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. And then what happened in May? What happened in May was that fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas and others in the Gaza Strip, a brutal eleven-day conflict. And Egypt stepped up and provided a way out of the conflict through its good offices. And that prompted the United States to—the president of the United States—to have two phone calls in those eleven days with the Egyptian leader. And now the United States is talking about Egypt as a constructive partner that's helping to stabilize the region. Sure, the administration suspended $130 million of Egypt's annual—$130 million Egypt's annual allotment of $1.3 billion. But that is not a lot. Egypt got most of—most of its military aid. As I said, strategically tenable, morally suspect. I'm not quite sure how we get out of that. But what I do know, and I'll give you a little bit of a preview of the last third of the book—but I really do want you to buy it when it's done—is that the traditional interests of the United States in the Middle East are changing. And I go through a kind of quasi, long, somewhat tortured—but very, very interesting—discussion of the origins of our interests, and how they are changing, and how we can tell they are changing. And that is to say that the free flow of energy resources may not be as important to the United States in the next twenty-five years as it was over the course of the previous fifty or sixty years. That helping to ensure Israeli security, which has been axiomatic for the United States, eh, I'd say since the 1960s, really, may not be as important as Israel develops its diplomatic relations with its neighbors, that has a GDP per capita that's on par with the U.K., and France, and other partners in Europe, a country that clearly can take care of itself, that is a driver of technology and innovation around the globe. And that may no longer require America's military dominance in the region. So what is that we want to be doing? How can we be constructive? And I think the answers are in things that we hadn't really thought of too systematically in the past. What are the things that we're willing to invest in an defend going forward? Things like climate change, things like migration, things like pandemic disease. These are things that we've talked about, but that we've never been willing to invest in the kind of the resources. Now there are parts of the Middle East that during the summer months are in-habitable. That's going to produce waves of people looking for places to live that are inhabitable. What do we do about that? Does that destabilize the Indian subcontinent? Does it destabilize Europe? Does it destabilize North Africa? These are all questions that we haven't yet answered. But to the extent that we want to invest in, defend and sacrifice for things like climate, and we want to address the issue—related issue of migration, and we want to deal with the issue of disease and other of these kind of functional global issues in the Middle East is better not just for us and Middle Easterners, but also in terms of our strategic—our great-power competition in the region. These are not things that the Chinese and the Russians are terribly interested in, despite the fact that the Chinese may tell you they are. FASKIANOS: Thank you. I'm going to go next to Ahmuan Williams, with a raised hand, at the University of Oklahoma. COOK: Oklahoma. Q: Hi. And thank you for being here. You kind of talked about the stabilization of northern Africa and the Middle East. And just a few days ago the Sudanese government—and they still haven't helped capture the parliamentarian there—have recycled back into a military—somewhat of military rule. And it's been since 2005 since the end of their last civil war, which claimed millions of innocent civilians through starvation and strife and, you know, the lack of being able to get humanitarian aid. There was also a huge refugee crisis there, a lot of people who evacuated Sudan. How's that going to impact the Middle East and the American take to Middle East and northern Africa policy, especially now that the Security Council is now considering this and is trying to determine what we should do? COOK: It's a great question. And I think that, first, let's be clear. There was a coup d'état in Sudan. The military overthrew a transitional government on the eve of having to hand over the government to civilians. And they didn't like it. There's been tension that's been brewing in Sudan for some time. Actually, an American envoy, our envoy to East Africa and Africa more generally, a guy named Jeff Feltman, was in Khartoum, trying to kind of calm the tension, to get the two sides together, and working to avert a coup. And the day after he left, the military moved. That's not—that doesn't reflect the fact that the United States gave a blessing for the military to overthrow this government. I think what it does, though, and it's something that I think we all need to keep in mind, it demonstrates the limits of American power in a variety of places around the world. That we don't have all the power in the world to prevent things from happening when people, like the leaders of the Sudanese military, believe that they have existential issues that are at stake. Now, what's worry about destabilization in Sudan is, as you point out, there was a civil war there, there was the creation of a new country there, potential for—if things got really out of hand—refugee flows into Egypt, from Egypt across the Sanai Peninsula into Israel. One of the things people are unaware of is the large number of Sudanese or Eritreans and other Africans who have sought refuge in Israel, which has created significant economic and social strains in that country. So it's a big deal. Thus far, it seems we don't—that the U.S. government doesn't know exactly what's happening there. There are protesters in the streets demanding democracy. It's very unclear what the military is going to do. And it's very unclear what our regional allies and how they view what's happening. What Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, what Saudi Arabia, what Israel—which Sudan is an Abraham Accords country now—what they are doing. How they view the coup as positive or negative will likely impact how effective the United States can be in trying to manage this situation. But I suspect that we're just going to have to accommodate ourselves to whatever outcome the Sudanese people and the Sudanese military come to, because I don't think we have a lot of—we don't have a lot of tools there to make everybody behave. FASKIANOS: OK. So I'm going to take the next question from Elena Murphy, who is a junior at Syracuse University's Maxwell School. And she's a diplomatic intern at the Kurdistan Regional Government's Representation in the United States. COOK: That's cool. FASKIANOS: That's very cool. So as a follow up, how much do you believe neo-Ottomanism and attempting regional hegemony has affected Erdogan's domestic and foreign policy, especially in consideration of Turkey's shift towards the MENA in their foreign policy, after a period of withdrawals and no problems with neighbors policy? COOK: Great. Can I see that? Because that's a long question. FASKIANOS: Yeah, it's a long question. It's got an up-vote. Third one down. COOK: Third one down. Elena, as a follow up, how much do you believe neo-Ottomanism—I'm sorry, I'm going to have to read it again. How much do you believe neo-Ottomanism and attempting regional has affected Erdogan's both domestic and foreign policy, especially in consideration of Turkey's shift towards the MENA in their foreign policy, after a period of withdrawals and no problems with neighbors? OK. Great. So let us set aside the term “neo-Ottomanism” for now. Because neo-Ottomanism actually—it does mean something, but people have often used the term neo-Ottomanism to describe policies of the Turkish government under President Erdogan that they don't like. And so let's just talk about the way in which the Turkish government under President Erdogan views the region and views what Turkey's rightful place should be. And I think the Ottomanism piece is important, because the kind of intellectual framework which the Justice and Development Party, which is Erdogan's party, views the world, sees Turkey as—first of all, it sees the Turkish Republic as a not-so-legitimate heir to the Ottoman Empire. That from their perspective, the natural order of things would have been the continuation of the empire in some form or another. And as a result, they believe that Turkey's natural place is a place of leadership in the region for a long time. Even before the Justice and Development Party was founded in 2001, Turkey's earlier generation of Islamists used to savage the Turkish leadership for its desire to be part of the West, by saying that this was kind of unnatural, that they were just merely aping the West, and the West was never actually going to accept Turkey. Which is probably true. But I think that the Justice and Development Party, after a period of wanting to become closer to the West, has turned its attention towards the Middle East, North Africa, and the Muslim world more generally. And in that, it sees itself, the Turks see themselves as the natural leaders in the region. They believe they have a cultural affinity to the region as a result of the legacies of the Ottoman Empire, and they very much can play this role of leader. They see themselves as one of the kind of few real countries in the region, along with Egypt and Iran and Saudi Arabia. And the rest are sort of ephemeral. Needless to say, big countries in the Arab world—like Egypt, like Saudi Arabia—don't welcome the idea of Turkey as a leader of the region. They recognize Turkey as a very big and important country, but not a leader of the region. And this is part of that friction that Turkey has experienced with its neighbors, after an earlier iteration of Turkish foreign policy, in which—one of the earliest iterations of Turkish foreign policy under the Justice and Development Party which was called no problems with neighbors. In which Turkey, regardless of the character of the regimes, wanted to have good relations with its neighbors. It could trade with those neighbors. And make everybody—in the process, Turkey could be a driver of economic development in the region, and everybody can be basically wealthy and happy. And it didn't really work out that way, for a variety of reasons that we don't have enough time for. Let's leave it at the fact that Turkey under Erdogan—and a view that is shared by many—that Turkey should be a leader of the region. And I suspect that if Erdogan were to die, if he were unable to stand for election, if the opposition were to win, that there would still be elements of this desire to be a regional leader in a new Turkish foreign policy. FASKIANOS: Steven, thank you very much. This was really terrific. We appreciate your stepping in at the eleventh hour, taking time away from your book. For all of you— COOK: I'm still not Sanam. FASKIANOS: (Laughs.) I know, but you were an awesome replacement. So you can follow Steven Cook on Twitter at @stevenacook. As I said at the beginning too, he is a columnist for Foreign Policy magazine. So you can read his work there, as well as, of course, on CFR.org, all of the commentary, analysis, op-eds, congressional testimony are there for free. So I hope you will follow him and look after his next book. Our next Academic Webinar will be on Wednesday November 3, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time on the future of U.S.-Mexico relations. In the meantime, I encourage you to follow us, @CFR_Academic, visit CFR.org, ForeignAffairs.com, and ThinkGlobalHealth.org for new research and analysis on global issues. And stay well, stay safe, and thank you, again. COOK: Bye, everyone. FASKIANOS: Bye. (END)
Rev. Stephen Preus, pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ottumwa, IA, joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Ezekiel 29:1-21. The seventh and longest of Ezekiel's oracles against the Gentiles is directed against Egypt. Pharaoh proudly considered himself the dragon who owned the Nile, but the LORD proves him to be little more than a helpless crocodile easily dragged out of the river by fishermen. Egypt also receives condemnation for their worthless help of Israel; Egypt regularly proved to be useless as an idol. Even though one day Egypt will be restored, they will never be a mighty empire again; Nebuchadnezzar's destruction of Egypt brought about this downfall. Yet the LORD makes His promise cause a horn to spring up for the house of Israel, pointing forward to the word and work of the Savior. “The Faithful Watchman” is a mini-series on Sharper Iron that goes through the book of Ezekiel. Just when Ezekiel should have begun his service as priest in the temple in Jerusalem, the LORD called him to be a prophet in exile in Babylon. Through fantastic visions and attention-grabbing action prophecies, the prophet Ezekiel is a faithful watchman who proclaims the word of the LORD to bring people to repentance over their sins and to faith in the coming Savior, Jesus Christ, the glory of the LORD made flesh.
Luna is an international belly dance star who performed in Egypt's top hotels and Nile cruises from 2009 to 2018. She has an exceptionally exciting style of dance, and has been featured on Egyptian television. Luna has also appeared in the music videos of some of Egypt's most popular singers, and was a featured dancer in several movies. Luna is in high demand to teach belly dance workshops around the world. She has taught all over the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Egypt, England, Poland, Japan, China, and Vietnam. She is also a regular teacher at Raqia Hassan's Ahlan wa Sahlan Festival, which takes place every summer in the Mena House Hotel.In addition to her dancing, Luna holds a Master's degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Harvard University. She studied radical Islamist movements in the Arab world. She is fluent in Egyptian Arabic, Spanish, and English, and holds a B.A. in journalism and political science.In this episode you will learn about:- Life after Cairo- Applying for a ‘regular' job after 10 years of dance career- Dealing with stigmas and stereotypes about the belly dance profession- Performing to a diverse Arabic audience- Learning by observingShow Notes to this episode:Find Luna of Cairo on Instagram, FB, and Youtube. Her blog "Kisses from Kairo".Previous episode with Luna:Ep 17. Luna of Cairo: Is Belly Dance Life in Cairo Always a "Fairy Tale"?Follow Iana on Instagram, FB, and Youtube . Check out her teaching platform: the Iana Dance Club. New YouTube show “Artist Date” is available HERE.Podcast: www.ianadance.com/podcast
For centuries, white historians' have attempted to erase and whitewash Black history. Despite their best efforts, it can't be erased. Today, we're talking with Debora Heard to help us reclaim and recover the history many have attempted to falsify. A Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago, she's dedicated much time to provide African-descended people with access, opportunity, and training in fields of ancient Nile valley and Northeast African studies. Knowing your history makes you stronger -- we just have to recover it first. BHY is produced by PushBlack, the nation's largest non-profit Black media company - hit us up at BlackHistoryYear.com and share this with your people! PushBlack exists because we saw we had to take this into our own hands. You make PushBlack happen with your contributions at https://BlackHistoryYear.com. Most people do 5 or 10 bucks a month, but everything makes a difference. Thanks for supporting the work. The Black History Year production team includes: Tareq Alani, Patrick Sanders, Leslie Taylor-Grover, William Anderson, Jareyah Bradley, Brooke Brown, Shiavon Chapman, Tabitha Jacobs, Abeni Jones, Briona Lamback, Courtney Morgan, Zain Murdock, Akua Tay, Tasha Taylor, and Darren Wallace. Producing the podcast we have Cydney Smith, who performs our narrative pieces, and Sasha Kai Parker, who also edits the show. Black History Year's executive producer is Julian Walker. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Gimel 17 Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. 18 Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. 19 I am only a foreigner in the land. Don't hide your commands from me! 20 I am always overwhelmed with a desire for your regulations. 21 You rebuke the arrogant; those who wander from your commands are cursed. 22 Don't let them scorn and insult me, for I have obeyed your laws. 23 Even princes sit and speak against me, but I will meditate on your decrees. 24 Your laws please me; they give me wise advice. Read full chapter Exodus 4:1-17 New Living Translation Signs of the Lord's Power 4 But Moses protested again, “What if they won't believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you'?” 2 Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd's staff,” Moses replied. 3 “Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back. 4 Then the Lord told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd's staff in his hand. 5 “Perform this sign,” the Lord told him. “Then they will believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—really has appeared to you.” 6 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now put your hand inside your cloak.” So Moses put his hand inside his cloak, and when he took it out again, his hand was white as snow with a severe skin disease.[a] 7 “Now put your hand back into your cloak,” the Lord said. So Moses put his hand back in, and when he took it out again, it was as healthy as the rest of his body. 8 The Lord said to Moses, “If they do not believe you and are not convinced by the first miraculous sign, they will be convinced by the second sign. 9 And if they don't believe you or listen to you even after these two signs, then take some water from the Nile River and pour it out on the dry ground. When you do, the water from the Nile will turn to blood on the ground.” 10 But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I'm not very good with words. I never have been, and I'm not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” 11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person's mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” 13 But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.” 14 Then the Lord became angry with Moses. “All right,” he said. “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you. 15 Talk to him, and put the words in his mouth. I will be with both of you as you speak, and I will instruct you both in what to do. 16 Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. 17 And take your shepherd's staff with you, and use it to perform the miraculous signs I have shown you.” Read full chapter Footnotes 4:6 Or with leprosy. The Hebrew word used here can describe various skin diseases. 1 Peter 2:1-10 New Living Translation 2 So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness. Living Stones for God's House 4 You are coming to Christ, who is the living cornerstone of God's temple. He was rejected by people, but he was chosen by God for great honor. 5 And you are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What's more, you are his holy priests.[a] Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God. 6 As the Scriptures say, “I am placing a cornerstone in Jerusalem,[b] chosen for great honor, and anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”[c] 7 Yes, you who trust him recognize the honor God has given him.[d] But for those who reject him, “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.”[e] 8 And, “He is the stone that makes people stumble, the rock that makes them fall.”[f] They stumble because they do not obey God's word, and so they meet the fate that was planned for them. 9 But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests,[g] a holy nation, God's very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. 10 “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God's people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God's mercy.”[h]
Want more Shanti? How could you not? Dive into her concise but challenging philosophy videos on her YouTube Channel. In this YouTube video, Shanti discusses her recent contribution to Philosophy for Girls. She also maintains an active vegan food blog over here...or follow her foodie goodness on Insta. Not enough Shanti? I gotcha. She and her partner make music as Evanti. Check them out on Soundcloud. Shanti recommends Sarah Ahmed's Feminist Killjoy. We both recommend Adichie's Feminist Manifesto in 15 Suggestions. Dig our explorations of working lives? Please check out my Patreon and show your support.Hit that follow button and please share Studs with your people.Get in touch on Insta, Twitter, Facebook, or at StudsPod [at] gmail [dot] com.Our theme song is Nile's Blues by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). Licensed under Creative Commons by Attribution 4.0 License. Special thanks to Liv Hunt for logo design and Rotem Fisher for audio mastering. Be kind and stay healthy. Thanks for listening to Studs. Love y'all.★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Photo: CBS Eye on the World with John Batchelor CBS Audio Network @Batchelorshow The Mesopotamian City of Noah's flood wiped out by an earthquake. Charles Pellegrino, author. Return to Sodom and Gomorrah, by Charles R. Pellegrino Paperback – December 1, 1995 . https://www.amazon.com/Return-Sodom-Gomorrah-Charles-Pellegrino/dp/0380726335) A brilliant author, scientist, and adventurer who has been called "the real Indiana Jones," Dr. Charles Pellegrino takes us on a remarkable journey from the Nile to the Tigris-Euphrates rivers—crossing time, legend, and ancient lands to explore the unsolved mysteries of the Old Testament. Return to Sodom and Gomorrah is an epic saga of discovery that interweaves science, history, and suspense—the first book ever to bring archaeologists, scientists and theologians together to examine the same evidence. In this enthralling, revelatory adventure, Pellegrino introduces us to dedicated pioneers like Benjamin Mazar, Leonard Woolley, and T. E. Lawrence, who retraced the steps of Moses to demystify the Exodus and the Flood. In the process, he enables us to view ancient relics in an extraordinary new light—as both fascinating windows on the past and vivid signposts to the future. .
No guest this week as we once again dip into the mail bag. We welcome your questions - send them to us at email@example.com, or you can find me at @RWM21 on Twitter or https://www.facebook.com/GamblingWithAnEdge. Show Notes [00:00] Introduction [00:33] Did Bob ever take advantage of online casino promotions? [01:28] W2Gs for craps players [03:44] General rules for all variations in video poker [05:32] Card counting for comps [10:12] Should slot hustling be avoided where hole-carding [11:30] Magic of the Nile slot advantage player tracking [13:21] $5DDB with double progressive amounts [16:52] Should a new AP chase progressives? [19:54] Seven Stars Insider newsletter [21:34] Prax [23:23] Card counting as a refusal and AP sports betting [25:03] Signing up for new credit cards when purchasing a home [27:08] Baccarat, roulette, and baccarat bonuses [32:05] How do the odds change playing two hands versus one hand [35:24] Valuing a blackjack hot seat promotion [39:20] South Point Casino October Promotions - $500k+ Monster Money casino-wide progressives, Prime Time Mondays for people 55 and older [40:45] http://BlackjackApprenticeship.com - card counting training website and community with many betting, tracking, and analytical tools [41:25] http://VideoPoker.com/gwae - Gold Membership offers correction on most games, free Pro Membership trial for GWAE listeners [42:35] How did Bob get backed off playing video poker at MGM properties? [44:52] Basic strategy for multi-deck and doubling on A7 [48:18] How can a dealer handle impolite players? [50:12] Putting tape over unused camera on computer [52:17] Loss rebates for roulette [53:16] Blackjack dealer yells "skills check" [54:31] Card pulling [57:34] Recommended: books by Donald Westlake, Margins of Error podcast Sponsored Links: http://SouthPointCasino.com http://BlackjackApprenticeship.com http://VideoPoker.com/gwae Books Referenced: Comp City by Max Rubin https://amzn.to/3jjfvCw Software Referenced: http://Qfit.com Recommended: Donald Westlake books https://amzn.to/3C7k0I4 Margins of Error podcast http://Cnn.com/audio/podcasts/margins-of-error Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices
Old Testament: Jeremiah 2–3 Jeremiah 2–3 (Listen) Israel Forsakes the Lord 2 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.3 Israel was holy to the LORD, the firstfruits of his harvest. All who ate of it incurred guilt; disaster came upon them, declares the LORD.” 4 Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. 5 Thus says the LORD: “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?6 They did not say, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that none passes through, where no man dwells?'7 And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.8 The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?' Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds1 transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit. 9 “Therefore I still contend with you, declares the LORD, and with your children's children I will contend.10 For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see, or send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has been such a thing.11 Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD,13 for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. 14 “Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become a prey?15 The lions have roared against him; they have roared loudly. They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant.16 Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes have shaved2 the crown of your head.17 Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the LORD your God, when he led you in the way?18 And now what do you gain by going to Egypt to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates?319 Your evil will chastise you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the LORD your God; the fear of me is not in you, declares the Lord GOD of hosts. 20 “For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, ‘I will not serve.' Yes, on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down like a whore.21 Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?22 Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord GOD.23 How can you say, ‘I am not unclean, I have not gone after the Baals'? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done— a restless young camel running here and there,24 a wild donkey used to the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust? None who seek her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her.25 Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, ‘It is hopeless, for I have loved foreigners, and after them I will go.' 26 “As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed: they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets,27 who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,' and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.' For they have turned their back to me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble they say, ‘Arise and save us!'28 But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah. 29 “Why do you contend with me? You have all transgressed against me, declares the LORD.30 In vain have I struck your children; they took no correction; your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion.31 And you, O generation, behold the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘We are free, we will come no more to you'?32 Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number. 33 “How well you direct your course to seek love! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways.34 Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the guiltless poor; you did not find them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things35 you say, ‘I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.' Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, ‘I have not sinned.'36 How much you go about, changing your way! You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria.37 From it too you will come away with your hands on your head, for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper by them. 3 “If4 a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? declares the LORD.2 Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see! Where have you not been ravished? By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers like an Arab in the wilderness. You have polluted the land with your vile whoredom.3 Therefore the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have the forehead of a whore; you refuse to be ashamed.4 Have you not just now called to me, ‘My father, you are the friend of my youth—5 will he be angry forever, will he be indignant to the end?' Behold, you have spoken, but you have done all the evil that you could.” Faithless Israel Called to Repentance 6 The LORD said to me in the days of King Josiah: “Have you seen what she did, that faithless one, Israel, how she went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and there played the whore? 7 And I thought, ‘After she has done all this she will return to me,' but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. 8 She saw that for all the adulteries of that faithless one, Israel, I had sent her away with a decree of divorce. Yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but she too went and played the whore. 9 Because she took her whoredom lightly, she polluted the land, committing adultery with stone and tree. 10 Yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to me with her whole heart, but in pretense, declares the LORD.” 11 And the LORD said to me, “Faithless Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. 12 Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, “‘Return, faithless Israel, declares the LORD. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the LORD; I will not be angry forever.13 Only acknowledge your guilt, that you rebelled against the LORD your God and scattered your favors among foreigners under every green tree, and that you have not obeyed my voice, declares the LORD.14 Return, O faithless children, declares the LORD; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. 15 “‘And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. 16 And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the LORD, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the LORD.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again. 17 At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the LORD, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the LORD in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers for a heritage. 19 “‘I said, How I would set you among my sons, and give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beautiful of all nations. And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn from following me.20 Surely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband, so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel, declares the LORD.'” 21 A voice on the bare heights is heard, the weeping and pleading of Israel's sons because they have perverted their way; they have forgotten the LORD their God.22 “Return, O faithless sons; I will heal your faithlessness.” “Behold, we come to you, for you are the LORD our God.23 Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies5 on the mountains. Truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel. 24 “But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. 25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us. For we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.” Footnotes  2:8 Or rulers  2:16 Hebrew grazed  2:18 Hebrew the River  3:1 Septuagint, Syriac; Hebrew Saying, “If  3:23 Hebrew commotion (ESV) Psalm: Psalm 104 Psalm 104 (Listen) O Lord My God, You Are Very Great 104 Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty,2 covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind;4 he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. 5 He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved.6 You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains.7 At your rebuke they fled; at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed for them.9 You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth. 10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills;11 they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work. 14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth15 and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart. 16 The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.17 In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees.18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.
Agatha Christie had a very productive WW2. This is the start of Queens of Crime at War, a six part series looking at what the best writers from the golden age of detective fiction did once that period came to an end with the start of the Second World War. This episode also marks the start of the Shedunnit Pledge Drive! I'm aiming to add 100 new members to the Shedunnit Book Club by the end of 2021, with the aim of producing more mini series like this one. If you'd like to be part of that and feel able to offer some support, please visit shedunnitshow.com/pledgedrive. Thanks to my guests: — J.C. Bernthal is an Agatha Christie scholar and the author of Queering Agatha Christie. His website is jcbernthal.com and he is on Twitter as @jcbernthal — Martin Edwards is a crime writer and the author of, among many other books, The Golden Age of Murder. Find out more about all his work at martinedwardsbooks.com or via his Twitter as @medwardsbooks There are no spoilers in this episode. Books referenced: — The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards — Agatha Christie Goes To War edited by Rebecca Mills and J.C. Bernthal — And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie — Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie — Murder Must Appetise by Harry Keating — The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie — The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie — Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie — One, Two Buckle, My Shoe by Agatha Christie — An Autobiography by Agatha Christie — Sad Cypress by Agatha Christie — Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie — N or M? by Agatha Christie — The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie — The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie — Partners in Crime by Agatha Christie — Bletchley Park: The Codebreakers of Station X by Michael Smith — The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie — Curtain by Agatha Christie — Sleeping Murder by Agatha Christie — The Labours of Hercules by Agatha Christie — Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie — A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie — The Hollow by Agatha Christie — Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie Thanks to today's sponsor: — Girlfriend Collective. Get $25 off your $100+ purchase of sustainable, ethically made activewear at girlfriend.com/shedunnit. — Milk Bar. Get $10 off any order of $50 or more when you go to milkbarstore.com/shedunnit. To be the first to know about future developments with the podcast, sign up for the newsletter at shedunnitshow.com/newsletter. Find a full transcript of this episode at shedunnitshow.com/agathachristiewritesalonetranscript. The podcast is on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as @ShedunnitShow, and you can find it in all major podcast apps. Make sure you're subscribed so you don't miss the next episode. Click here to do that now in your app of choice. The original music for this series, "The Case Of The Black Stormcloud", was created by Martin Zaltz Austwick. Find out more about his work at martinzaltzaustwick.wordpress.com. Links to Blackwell's are affiliate links, meaning that the podcast receives a small commission when you purchase a book there (the price remains the same for you). Blackwell's is a UK independent bookselling chain that ships internationally at no extra charge.
Morning: Jeremiah 1–2 Jeremiah 1–2 (Listen) 1 The words of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, one of the priests who were in Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, 2 to whom the word of the LORD came in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3 It came also in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, and until the end of the eleventh year of Zedekiah, the son of Josiah, king of Judah, until the captivity of Jerusalem in the fifth month. The Call of Jeremiah 4 Now the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 6 Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” 7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth'; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.” 9 Then the LORD put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the LORD said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.10 See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” 11 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see an almond1 branch.” 12 Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” 13 The word of the LORD came to me a second time, saying, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see a boiling pot, facing away from the north.” 14 Then the LORD said to me, “Out of the north disaster2 shall be let loose upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For behold, I am calling all the tribes of the kingdoms of the north, declares the LORD, and they shall come, and every one shall set his throne at the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem, against all its walls all around and against all the cities of Judah. 16 And I will declare my judgments against them, for all their evil in forsaking me. They have made offerings to other gods and worshiped the works of their own hands. 17 But you, dress yourself for work;3 arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. 18 And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the LORD, to deliver you.” Israel Forsakes the Lord 2 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown.3 Israel was holy to the LORD, the firstfruits of his harvest. All who ate of it incurred guilt; disaster came upon them, declares the LORD.” 4 Hear the word of the LORD, O house of Jacob, and all the clans of the house of Israel. 5 Thus says the LORD: “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?6 They did not say, ‘Where is the LORD who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that none passes through, where no man dwells?'7 And I brought you into a plentiful land to enjoy its fruits and its good things. But when you came in, you defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination.8 The priests did not say, ‘Where is the LORD?' Those who handle the law did not know me; the shepherds4 transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal and went after things that do not profit. 9 “Therefore I still contend with you, declares the LORD, and with your children's children I will contend.10 For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see, or send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has been such a thing.11 Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which does not profit.12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this; be shocked, be utterly desolate, declares the LORD,13 for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. 14 “Is Israel a slave? Is he a homeborn servant? Why then has he become a prey?15 The lions have roared against him; they have roared loudly. They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant.16 Moreover, the men of Memphis and Tahpanhes have shaved5 the crown of your head.17 Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the LORD your God, when he led you in the way?18 And now what do you gain by going to Egypt to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates?619 Your evil will chastise you, and your apostasy will reprove you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the LORD your God; the fear of me is not in you, declares the Lord GOD of hosts. 20 “For long ago I broke your yoke and burst your bonds; but you said, ‘I will not serve.' Yes, on every high hill and under every green tree you bowed down like a whore.21 Yet I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?22 Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me, declares the Lord GOD.23 How can you say, ‘I am not unclean, I have not gone after the Baals'? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done— a restless young camel running here and there,24 a wild donkey used to the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust? None who seek her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her.25 Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst. But you said, ‘It is hopeless, for I have loved foreigners, and after them I will go.' 26 “As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed: they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets,27 who say to a tree, ‘You are my father,' and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.' For they have turned their back to me, and not their face. But in the time of their trouble they say, ‘Arise and save us!'28 But where are your gods that you made for yourself? Let them arise, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for as many as your cities are your gods, O Judah. 29 “Why do you contend with me? You have all transgressed against me, declares the LORD.30 In vain have I struck your children; they took no correction; your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion.31 And you, O generation, behold the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness? Why then do my people say, ‘We are free, we will come no more to you'?32 Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number. 33 “How well you direct your course to seek love! So that even to wicked women you have taught your ways.34 Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the guiltless poor; you did not find them breaking in. Yet in spite of all these things35 you say, ‘I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.' Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, ‘I have not sinned.'36 How much you go about, changing your way! You shall be put to shame by Egypt as you were put to shame by Assyria.37 From it too you will come away with your hands on your head, for the LORD has rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper by them. Footnotes  1:11 Almond sounds like the Hebrew for watching (compare verse 12)  1:14 The Hebrew word can mean evil, harm, or disaster, depending on the context; so throughout Jeremiah  1:17 Hebrew gird up your loins  2:8 Or rulers  2:16 Hebrew grazed  2:18 Hebrew the River (ESV) Evening: 2 Thessalonians 2 2 Thessalonians 2 (Listen) The Man of Lawlessness 2 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,1 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness2 is revealed, the son of destruction,3 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Stand Firm 13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits4 to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. Footnotes  2:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 13, 15  2:3 Some manuscripts sin  2:3 Greek the son of perdition (a Hebrew idiom)  2:13 Some manuscripts chose you from the beginning (ESV)
Nile and Britt discuss finstas, the Instagram phenomenom of creating a raw, unfiltered and private Instagram for close friends. The cohosts share their personal experiences with finsta, why they have one and how it can impact relationships and friendships.
EPISODE #638 ALTERNATIVE EGYPTOLOGY Richard talks with a rogue Egyptologist regarding his extensive research on the mysteries of the Giza Pyramids, and ancient Egypt. We should look outside the box of conventional Egyptology when studying monuments such as the Great Pyramid-- rather than seeing it as a tomb, what if this site is in fact some sort of invitation for the human race to start looking into a direction which scientists and Egyptologists in particular, have felt very uncomfortable to look at? Guest: Robert Bauval was born in Egypt in 1948. In 1989 he published a study which proposed that the layout of the three Giza Pyramids and their relative position to the Nile was intended to mirror the layout of the three stars in Orion's belt and their relative position to the Milky Way. This thesis, now known as the 'Orion Correlation Theory', became the subject of his first book, The Orion Mystery. BOOKS: The Egypt Code Secret Chamber Revisited The Message of the Sphinx Breaking the Mirror of Heaven SUPPORT OUR SPONSORS!!! C60EVO -The Secret is out about this powerful anti-oxidant. The Purest C60 available is ESS60. Buy Direct from the Source. Buy Now and Save 10% – Use Coupon Code: EVRS at Checkout! Strange Planet Shop - If you're a fan of the radio show and the podcast, why not show it off? Greats T-shirts, sweatshirts, mugs, and more. It's a Strange Planet - Dress For It! BECOME A PREMIUM SUBSCRIBER FOR LESS THAN $2 PER MONTH If you're a fan of this podcast, I hope you'll consider becoming a Premium Subscriber. For just $1.99 per month, subscribers to my Conspiracy Unlimited Plus gain access to two exclusive, commercial-free episodes per month. They also gain access to my back catalog of episodes. The most recent 30 episodes of Conspiracy Unlimited will remain available for free. Stream all episodes and Premium content on your mobile device by getting the FREE Conspiracy Unlimited APP for both IOS and Android devices... Available at the App Store and Google Play. To become a subscriber CLICK HERE or go to www.conspiracyunlimitedpodcast.com and click on Get Access to Premium Episodes
Photo: An early Christian depiction showing Noah giving the gesture of orant as the dove returns CBS Eye on the World with John Batchelor CBS Audio Network @Batchelorshow The Mesopotamian City of Noah's flood wiped out by an earthquake. Charles Pellegrino, author. Return to Sodom and Gomorrah Paperback – December 1, 1995 by Charles R. Pellegrino (Author https://www.amazon.com/Return-Sodom-Gomorrah-Charles-Pellegrino/dp/0380726335) A brilliant author, scientist, and adventurer who has been called "the real Indiana Jones," Dr. Charles Pellegrino takes us on a remarkable journey from the Nile to the Tigris-Euphrates rivers—crossing time, legend, and ancient lands to explore the unsolved mysteries of the Old Testament. Return to Sodom and Gomorrah is an epic saga of discovery that interweaves science, history, and suspense—the first book ever to bring archaeologists, scientists and theologians together to examine the same evidence. In this enthralling, revelatory adventure, Pellegrino introduces us to dedicated pioneers like Benjamin Mazar, Leonard Woolley, and T. E. Lawrence, who retraced the steps of Moses to demystify the Exodus and the Flood. In the process, he enables us to view ancient relics in an extraordinary new light—as both fascinating windows on the past and vivid signposts to the future. .
Photo: In the same region, but many centuries later: Artist's impression of Assyrian palaces from The Monuments of Nineveh by Sir Austen Henry Layard, 1853 CBS Eye on the World with John Batchelor CBS Audio Network @Batchelorshow The Mesopotamian city of Noah's flood wiped out by an earthquake. Charles Pellegrino, author. Return to Sodom and Gomorrah ; Paperback – December 1, 1995 by Charles R. Pellegrino https://www.amazon.com/Return-Sodom-Gomorrah-Charles-Pellegrino/dp/0380726335) A brilliant author, scientist, and adventurer who has been called "the real Indiana Jones," Dr. Charles Pellegrino takes us on a remarkable journey from the Nile to the Tigris-Euphrates rivers—crossing time, legend, and ancient lands to explore the unsolved mysteries of the Old Testament. Return to Sodom and Gomorrah is an epic saga of discovery that interweaves science, history, and suspense—the first book ever to bring archaeologists, scientists and theologians together to examine the same evidence. In this enthralling, revelatory adventure, Pellegrino introduces us to dedicated pioneers like Benjamin Mazar, Leonard Woolley, and T. E. Lawrence, who retraced the steps of Moses to demystify the Exodus and the Flood. In the process, he enables us to view ancient relics in an extraordinary new light—as both fascinating windows on the past and vivid signposts to the future. .