The Agora
Daily Bible Reading Exhortations

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July 21

Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.

Reading 1 - 2Sa 6:17

"They brought the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it [in Jerusalem], and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the LORD" (2Sa 6:17).

A number of David's psalms stem from this incident:

"LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart" (Psa 15:1,2).

"Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false" (Psa 24:3,4).

"Your procession has come into view, O God, the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary. In front are the singers, after them the musicians; with them are the maidens playing tambourines. Praise God in the great congregation; praise the LORD in the assembly of Israel" (Psa 68:24-26).

"O LORD, remember David and all the hardships he endured... I will allow no sleep to my eyes, no slumber to my eyelids, till I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob... Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool -- arise, O LORD, and come to your resting place, you and the ark of your might" (Psa 132:1,4,5,7,8).

Reading 2 - Jer 11

"Jeremiah's message continues its indictment against a generation of faithless Israelites. The ecclesia was facing its last days, and entered into a conspiracy against the divine covenant in Jer 11.

As a representative of the small, faithful remnant within the nation,

Thus the chapter is a sad commentary on the way in which flesh reacts to the divine mercy, and reminds us that rejection of the warnings of the Word will bring a sad destiny" (GE Mansfield).

Reading 3 - Mat 22:11

"But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes" (Mat 22:11).

The word "see" is the Greek "theoreo" -- suggesting a formal inspection by the king: something like being "presented" at court!

"Anciently, kings and princes were accustomed to make presents of changes of raiment to their friends and favourites, to refuse to receive which was an expression of highest contempt (2Ki 10:22; Est 6:8; 8:15). It was, of course, expected that such garments would be worn when they came into the presence of the benefactor. The garments worn on festival occasions were chiefly long white robes; and it was the custom of the person who made the feast to prepare such robes to be worn by the guests. This renders the conduct of this man more inexcusable. He came in his common ordinary dress, as he was taken from the highway; and though he had not a garment of his own suitable for the occasion, yet one would have been provided for him, if he had applied for it. His not doing it was expressive of the highest disrespect for the king" (Albert Barnes).

The respected rabbinical scholar Edersheim cites, as background to this parable, two commonly-known rabbinical parables (from which Jesus may have borrowed, or at least used as his "jumping-off" place):

And so the Bride makes herself ready for the wedding, and she is given "fine linen, bright and clean" -- which represents "the righteous acts of the saints". In the Mat 22 parable, all the guests are in the same role as the "Bride" in Rev 19: they are the multitudinous bride -- and the garments they have been "given" are twofold:

So it would seem that, in the special wedding garments, there may be two aspects involved: first, a garment which is provided by the host, or bridegroom, or king; and secondly, the need for each invited guest to keep his or her own special garment washed and clean and ready to wear.

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