Wednesday in the Second Week of Lent
At the Sixth Hour.
The Lesson of the Prophecy of Isaias.
And the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and the holy God shall be sanctified in justice. And the lambs shall feed according to their order, and strangers shall eat the deserts turned into fruitfulness. Woe to you that draw iniquity with cords of vanity, and sin as the rope of a cart. That say: Let him make haste, and let his work come quickly, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel come, that we may know it. Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe to you that are wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own conceits. Woe to you that are mighty to drink wine, and stout men at drunkenness. That justify the wicked for gifts, and take away the justice of the just from him. Therefore as the tongue of the fire devoureth the stubble, and the heat of the flame consumeth it: so shall their root be as ashes, and their bud shall go up as dust: for they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and have blasphemed the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore is the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched out his hand upon them, and struck them: and the mountains were troubled, and their carcasses became as dung in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.
The Lesson of Genesis.
And Cain went out from the face of the Lord, and dwelt as a fugitive on the earth, at the east side of Eden. And Cain knew his wife, and she conceived, and brought forth Henoch: and he built a city, and called the name thereof by the name of his son Henoch. And Henoch begot Irad, and Irad begot Maviael, and Maviael begot Mathusael, and Mathusael begot Lamech: who took two wives: the name of the one was Ada, and the name of the other Sella. And Ada brought forth Jabel: who was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of herdsmen. And his brother’s name was Jubal; he was the father of them that play upon the harp and the organs. Sella also brought forth Tubalcain, who was a hammerer and artificer in every work of brass and iron. And the sister of Tubalcain was Noema. And Lamech said to his wives Ada and Sella: Hear my voice, ye wives of Lamech, hearken to my speech: for I have slain a man to the wounding of myself, and a stripling to my own bruising. Sevenfold vengeance shall be taken for Cain: but for Lamech seventy times sevenfold. Adam also knew his wife again: and she brought forth a son, and called his name Seth, saying: God hath given me another seed, for Abel whom Cain slew. But to Seth also was born a son, whom he called Enos; this man began to call upon the name of the Lord.
The Lesson of Proverbs.
Drink water out of thy own cistern, and the streams of thy own well: let thy fountains be conveyed abroad, and in the streets divide thy waters. Keep them to thyself alone, neither let strangers be partakers with thee. Let thy vein be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of thy youth: let her be thy dearest hind, and most agreeable fawn: let her breasts inebriate thee at all times; be thou delighted continually with her love. Why art thou seduced, my son, by a strange woman, and art cherished in the bosom of another? The Lord beholdeth the ways of man, and considereth all his steps. His own iniquities catch the wicked, and he is fast bound with the ropes of his own sins. He shall die, because he hath not received instruction, and in the multitude of his folly he shall be deceived. My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, thou hast engaged fast thy hand to a stranger. Thou art ensnared with the words of thy mouth, and caught with thy own words. Do therefore, my son, what I say, and deliver thyself.