Occurring Scripture for the
Hour of Matins
Here begins the Book of the Prophet Micheas
The word of the Lord that came to
Micheas the Morasthite, in the days of Joathan, Achaz, and Ezechias, kings
of Juda: which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem. "Hear, all ye
people: and let the earth give ear, and all that is in it: and let the Lord
God be a witness to you, the Lord from His holy temple. For behold the
Lord will come forth out of his place: and he will come down, and will tread
upon the high places of the earth."
"And the mountains shall be melted
under Him: and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as
waters that run down a steep place. For the wickedness of Jacob is all
this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the wickedness of
Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Juda? are they not
Jerusalem? And I will make Samaria as a heap of stones in the field
when a vineyard is planted: and I will bring down the stones into the
valley, and will lay her foundations bare."
"And all her graven things shall be cut
in pieces, and all her wages shall be burnt with fire, and I will bring to
destruction all her idols: for they were gathered together of the hire of a
harlot, and unto the hire of a harlot they shall return. Therefore
will I lament and howl: I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing
like the dragons, and a mourning like the ostriches. Because her wound is
desperate, because it has come even to Juda, it has touched the gate of My
people even to Jerusalem."
From the Sermon of Saint Basil the Great
On Psalm Thirty-three
Whenever the desire to sin comes over
you, I wish that you would think of the awful and overwhelming judgment-seat
of Christ. There the Judge shall sit upon a throne high and lifted up.
Every creature shall stand before Him, quaking because of the glory of His
presence. There are we to be led up, one by one, to give account for
those things which we have done in life. Presently there will be
found, by the sides of those who have in life wrought much evil, dreadful
and hideous angels with faces of fire, and burning breath, appointed
thereto, and showing their evil will, in appearance like the night, in their
despair and hatred of mankind.
Think again of the bottomless pit, the
impenetrable darkness, the burning fire that gives no light, the poisonous
mass of worms, preying upon the flesh, ever feeding, and never filled,
causing by their gnawing unbearable agony, lastly, the greatest punishment
of all, shame and confusion for ever. Have a dread of these things, and let
that dread correct you, and be as a curb to your mind to hold it in from the
hankering after sin.
This fear of the Lord the Prophet has
promised to teach. But he has not promised to teach it to all, but only to
such as will hear him not to such as have fallen far away, but to such as
run to him, hungry for salvation, not to such as have no part in the
promises, but to such as by baptism are born children of adoption, set at
peace and oneness with the Word. "Come, ye children," says he, that is
to say, "Draw near to me by good works, all ye who by the new birth have
become the worthy children of light, hearken to me, all ye who have the ears
of your heart opened, I will teach you the fear of the Lord, even the fear
of that Being of Whom we have just been speaking.
Here begins the Book of the Prophet Nahum
The burden of Ninive. The book of the
vision of Nahum the Elcesite. The Lord is a jealous God, and an
avenger: the Lord is an avenger, and angry: the Lord takes vengeance on His
adversaries, and He is angry with his enemies. The Lord is patient,
yet great in power, and will not cleanse and acquit the guilty. The Lord's
ways are in a tempest, and a whirlwind, and clouds are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes the sea, and dries it up: and brings all the rivers to be a
Basan languishes and
Carmel: and the flower of Lebanon fades away. The mountains tremble at
Him, and the hills are made desolate: and the earth quakes at His presence,
and the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before the
face of His indignation? and who shall resist in the fierceness of His
anger? His indignation is poured out like fire: and the rocks are melted by
The Lord is good and gives strength in
the day of trouble: and knows those who hope in Him. But with a flood
that passes by, He will make an utter end of the place thereof: and darkness
shall pursue His enemies. What do you devise against the Lord? He will
make an utter end: the enemy shall not rise a second time. For as
thorns embrace one another: so while they are feasting and drinking
together, they shall be consumed as stubble that is fully dry.
Here begins the Book of the Prophet Habacuc
The burden that Habacuc the prophet
saw. How long, O Lord, shall I cry, and Thou will not hear? shall I
cry out to Thee suffering violence, and Thou wilt not save me? Why
have Thou shown me iniquity and grievance, to see plunder and injustice
before me? and there is a judgment, but opposition is more powerful.
Therefore the law is torn in pieces, and judgment comes not to the end:
because the wicked prevail against the just, therefore wrong judgment goes
Behold ye among the nations, and see:
wonder, and be astonished: for a work is done in your days, which no man
will believe when it is told. For behold, I will raise up the
Chaldeans, a bitter and swift nation, marching upon the breadth of the
earth, to possess the dwelling places that are not their own. They are
dreadful, and terrible: from themselves shall their judgment, and their
Their horses are lighter than leopards,
and swifter than evening wolves; and their horsemen shall be spread abroad:
for their horsemen shall come from afar, they shall fly as an eagle that
makes haste to eat. They shall all come to the prey, their face is
like a burning wind: and they shall gather together captives as the sand.
And their prince shall triumph over kings, and princes shall be his
laughingstock: and he shall laugh at every strong hold, and shall cast up a
mount, and shall take it.
Here begins the Book of the Prophet Sophonias
The word of the Lord that came to
Sophonias the son of Chusi, the son of Godolias, the son of Amarias, the son
of Ezechias, in the days of Josias the son of Amon king of Juda.
"Gathering, I will gather together all things from off the face of the
land," says the Lord: "I will gather man, and beast, I will gather the
birds of the air, and the fishes of the sea: and the ungodly shall meet with
ruin: and I will destroy men from off the face of the land," says the Lord.
"And I will stretch out my hand upon
Juda, and upon all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and I will destroy the
remnant of Baal ["god" of the Canaanites], and the names of the wardens of
the temples with the priests: And those who worship the host of heaven
upon the tops of houses, and them that adore, and swear by the Lord, and
swear by Melchom [The idol of the Ammonites]. And them that turn away from
following after the Lord, and that have not sought the Lord, nor searched
"Be silent before the face of the Lord
God: for the day of the Lord is near, for the Lord has prepared a victim, he
has sanctified his guests. And it shall come to pass in the day of the
victim of the Lord, that I will visit upon the princes, and upon the king's
sons, and upon all such as are clothed with strange apparel. And I
will visit in that day upon every one that enters arrogantly over the
threshold: them that fill the house of the Lord their God with iniquity and
Here begins the Book of the Prophet Aggeus
In the second year of Darius the king,
in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came
by the hand of Aggeus the prophet, to Zorobabel the son of Salathiel,
governor of Juda, and to Jesus the son of Josedec the high priest, saying:
"Thus says the Lord of hosts," saying: "This people says: 'The time is not
yet come for building the house of the Lord.'"
And the word of the Lord came by the
hand of Aggeus the prophet, saying: "Is it time for you to dwell in
ceiled houses, and this House to lie desolate? And now thus says the
Lord of hosts: Set your hearts to consider your ways. You have sowed
much, and brought in little: you have eaten, but have not had enough: you
have drunk, but have not been filled with drink: you have clothed
yourselves, but have not been warmed: and he that has earned wages, put them
into a bag with holes.
Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Set Your
hearts upon your ways: Go up to the mountain, bring timber, and build
the house: and it shall be acceptable to Me, and I shall be glorified, says
the Lord. "You have looked for more, and behold it became less, and
you brought it home, and I blew it away: why?" says the Lord of hosts,
"because my house is desolate, and you make haste every man to his own
house. Therefore the heavens over you were stayed from giving dew, and
the earth was hindered from yielding her fruits: And I called for a
drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon
the wine, and upon the oil, and upon all that the ground brings forth, and
upon men, and upon beasts, and upon all the labor of the hands.
Here begins the Book of the Prophet Zacharias
In the eighth month, in the second year
of king Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zacharias the son of Barachias,
the son of Addo, the prophet, saying: "The Lord has been exceedingly
angry with your fathers. And you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord
of hosts: Turn ye to Me, says the Lord of hosts: and I will turn to you,
says the Lord of hosts."
"Be not as your fathers, to whom the
former prophets have cried, saying: 'Thus says the Lord of hosts: Turn ye
from your evil ways, and from your wicked thoughts: but they did not give
ear, neither did they hearken to me, says the Lord.  Your fathers, where
are they? and the prophets, shall they live always?'"
"But yet my words, and my ordinances,
which I gave in charge to my servants the prophets, did they not take hold
of your fathers, and they returned, and said: As the Lord of hosts thought
to do to us according to our ways, and according to our devices, so he has
done to us.
Here begins the Book of the Prophet Malachias
The burden of the word of the Lord to
Israel by the hand of Malachias. "I have loved you," said the Lord:
"and you have said: 'Wherein have you loved us?' Was not Esau brother
to Jacob," said the Lord, "and I have loved Jacob, But have hated Esau?
and I have made his mountains a wilderness, and given his inheritance to the
dragons of the desert." But if Edom shall say: "We are destroyed, but we
will return and build up what hath been destroyed": thus saith the Lord of
hosts: "They shall build up, and I will throw down: and they shall be called
the borders of wickedness, and the people with whom the Lord is angry for
And your eyes shall see, and you shall say:
"The Lord be magnified upon the border of Israel. The son honors the father,
and the servant his master: if then I be a father, where is my honour? and
if I be a master, where is my fear?" says the Lord of hosts. "To you, O
priests, that despise My name, and have said: 'Wherein have we despised Thy
name?' You offer polluted bread upon My altar, and you say: 'Wherein have we
polluted Thee?' In that you say: The table of the Lord is contemptible."
"If you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not
evil? and if you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? offer it to
your prince, if he will be pleased with it, or if he will regard your face," says
the Lord of hosts. "And now beseech ye the face of God, that He may
have mercy on you, (for by your hand has this been done,) if by any means
he will receive your faces," says the Lord of hosts. "Who is there among
you, that will shut the doors, and will kindle the fire on My altar gratis?
I have no pleasure in you," says the Lord of hosts: "and I will not receive
a gift of your hand. For from the rising of the sun even to the going
down, My name is great among the Gentiles, and in every place there is
sacrifice, and there is offered to My name a clean oblation: for My name is
great among the Gentiles," says the Lord of hosts.
In an Office of three lessons, ii
and iii above are concatenated and the third is taken from the proper of
or the Saturday Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.