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10 What sorrow awaits the unjust judges
    and those who issue unfair laws.
They deprive the poor of justice
    and deny the rights of the needy among my people.
They prey on widows
    and take advantage of orphans.
What will you do when I punish you,
    when I send disaster upon you from a distant land?
To whom will you turn for help?
    Where will your treasures be safe?
You will stumble along as prisoners
    or lie among the dead.
But even then the Lord’s anger will not be satisfied.
    His fist is still poised to strike.

Judgment against Assyria

“What sorrow awaits Assyria, the rod of my anger.
    I use it as a club to express my anger.
I am sending Assyria against a godless nation,
    against a people with whom I am angry.
Assyria will plunder them,
    trampling them like dirt beneath its feet.
But the king of Assyria will not understand that he is my tool;
    his mind does not work that way.
His plan is simply to destroy,
    to cut down nation after nation.
He will say,
    ‘Each of my princes will soon be a king.
We destroyed Calno just as we did Carchemish.
    Hamath fell before us as Arpad did.
    And we destroyed Samaria just as we did Damascus.
10 Yes, we have finished off many a kingdom
    whose gods were greater than those in Jerusalem and Samaria.
11 So we will defeat Jerusalem and her gods,
    just as we destroyed Samaria with hers.’”

12 After the Lord has used the king of Assyria to accomplish his purposes on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, he will turn against the king of Assyria and punish him—for he is proud and arrogant. 13 He boasts,

“By my own powerful arm I have done this.
    With my own shrewd wisdom I planned it.
I have broken down the defenses of nations
    and carried off their treasures.
    I have knocked down their kings like a bull.
14 I have robbed their nests of riches
    and gathered up kingdoms as a farmer gathers eggs.
No one can even flap a wing against me
    or utter a peep of protest.”

15 But can the ax boast greater power than the person who uses it?
    Is the saw greater than the person who saws?
Can a rod strike unless a hand moves it?
    Can a wooden cane walk by itself?
16 Therefore, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    will send a plague among Assyria’s proud troops,
    and a flaming fire will consume its glory.
17 The Lord, the Light of Israel, will be a fire;
    the Holy One will be a flame.
He will devour the thorns and briers with fire,
    burning up the enemy in a single night.
18 The Lord will consume Assyria’s glory
    like a fire consumes a forest in a fruitful land;
    it will waste away like sick people in a plague.
19 Of all that glorious forest, only a few trees will survive—
    so few that a child could count them!

Hope for the Lord’s People

20 In that day the remnant left in Israel,
    the survivors in the house of Jacob,
will no longer depend on allies
    who seek to destroy them.
But they will faithfully trust the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel.
21 A remnant will return;[a]
    yes, the remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God.
22 But though the people of Israel are as numerous
    as the sand of the seashore,
only a remnant of them will return.
    The Lord has rightly decided to destroy his people.
23 Yes, the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    has already decided to destroy the entire land.[b]

24 So this is what the Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, says: “O my people in Zion, do not be afraid of the Assyrians when they oppress you with rod and club as the Egyptians did long ago. 25 In a little while my anger against you will end, and then my anger will rise up to destroy them.” 26 The Lord of Heaven’s Armies will lash them with his whip, as he did when Gideon triumphed over the Midianites at the rock of Oreb, or when the Lord’s staff was raised to drown the Egyptian army in the sea.

27 In that day the Lord will end the bondage of his people.
    He will break the yoke of slavery
    and lift it from their shoulders.[c]

28 Look, the Assyrians are now at Aiath.
    They are passing through Migron
    and are storing their equipment at Micmash.
29 They are crossing the pass
    and are camping at Geba.
Fear strikes the town of Ramah.
    All the people of Gibeah, the hometown of Saul,
    are running for their lives.
30 Scream in terror,
    you people of Gallim!
Shout out a warning to Laishah.
    Oh, poor Anathoth!
31 There go the people of Madmenah, all fleeing.
    The citizens of Gebim are trying to hide.
32 The enemy stops at Nob for the rest of that day.
    He shakes his fist at beautiful Mount Zion, the mountain of Jerusalem.

33 But look! The Lord, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    will chop down the mighty tree of Assyria with great power!
He will cut down the proud.
    That lofty tree will be brought down.
34 He will cut down the forest trees with an ax.
    Lebanon will fall to the Mighty One.[d]

A Branch from David’s Line

11 Out of the stump of David’s family[e] will grow a shoot—
    yes, a new Branch bearing fruit from the old root.
And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
He will delight in obeying the Lord.
    He will not judge by appearance
    nor make a decision based on hearsay.
He will give justice to the poor
    and make fair decisions for the exploited.
The earth will shake at the force of his word,
    and one breath from his mouth will destroy the wicked.
He will wear righteousness like a belt
    and truth like an undergarment.

In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together;
    the leopard will lie down with the baby goat.
The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion,
    and a little child will lead them all.
The cow will graze near the bear.
    The cub and the calf will lie down together.
    The lion will eat hay like a cow.
The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra.
    Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm.
Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain,
    for as the waters fill the sea,
    so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.

10 In that day the heir to David’s throne[f]
    will be a banner of salvation to all the world.
The nations will rally to him,
    and the land where he lives will be a glorious place.[g]
11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time
    to bring back the remnant of his people—
those who remain in Assyria and northern Egypt;
    in southern Egypt, Ethiopia,[h] and Elam;
    in Babylonia,[i] Hamath, and all the distant coastlands.
12 He will raise a flag among the nations
    and assemble the exiles of Israel.
He will gather the scattered people of Judah
    from the ends of the earth.

13 Then at last the jealousy between Israel[j] and Judah will end.
    They will not be rivals anymore.
14 They will join forces to swoop down on Philistia to the west.
    Together they will attack and plunder the nations to the east.
They will occupy the lands of Edom and Moab,
    and Ammon will obey them.
15 The Lord will make a dry path through the gulf of the Red Sea.[k]
    He will wave his hand over the Euphrates River,[l]
sending a mighty wind to divide it into seven streams
    so it can easily be crossed on foot.
16 He will make a highway for the remnant of his people,
    the remnant coming from Assyria,
just as he did for Israel long ago
    when they returned from Egypt.

Footnotes

  1. 10:21 Hebrew Shear-jashub; see 7:3; 8:18.
  2. 10:22-23 Greek version reads only a remnant of them will be saved. / For he will carry out his sentence quickly and with finality and righteousness; / for God will carry out his sentence upon all the world with finality. Compare Rom 9:27-28.
  3. 10:27 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads The yoke will be broken, / for you have grown so fat.
  4. 10:34 Or with an ax / as even the mighty trees of Lebanon fall.
  5. 11:1 Hebrew the stump of the line of Jesse. Jesse was King David’s father.
  6. 11:10a Hebrew the root of Jesse.
  7. 11:10b Greek version reads In that day the heir to David’s throne [literally the root of Jesse] will come, / and he will rule over the Gentiles. / They will place their hopes on him. Compare Rom 15:12.
  8. 11:11a Hebrew in Pathros, Cush.
  9. 11:11b Hebrew in Shinar.
  10. 11:13 Hebrew Ephraim, referring to the northern kingdom of Israel.
  11. 11:15a Hebrew will destroy the tongue of the sea of Egypt.
  12. 11:15b Hebrew the river.

Paul’s Concern for the Corinthians

11 You have made me act like a fool. You ought to be writing commendations for me, for I am not at all inferior to these “super apostles,” even though I am nothing at all. 12 When I was with you, I certainly gave you proof that I am an apostle. For I patiently did many signs and wonders and miracles among you. 13 The only thing I failed to do, which I do in the other churches, was to become a financial burden to you. Please forgive me for this wrong!

14 Now I am coming to you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don’t want what you have—I want you. After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children. 15 I will gladly spend myself and all I have for you, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me.

16 Some of you admit I was not a burden to you. But others still think I was sneaky and took advantage of you by trickery. 17 But how? Did any of the men I sent to you take advantage of you? 18 When I urged Titus to visit you and sent our other brother with him, did Titus take advantage of you? No! For we have the same spirit and walk in each other’s steps, doing things the same way.

19 Perhaps you think we’re saying these things just to defend ourselves. No, we tell you this as Christ’s servants, and with God as our witness. Everything we do, dear friends, is to strengthen you. 20 For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior. 21 Yes, I am afraid that when I come again, God will humble me in your presence. And I will be grieved because many of you have not given up your old sins. You have not repented of your impurity, sexual immorality, and eagerness for lustful pleasure.

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Psalm 56

For the choir director: A psalm[a] of David, regarding the time the Philistines seized him in Gath. To be sung to the tune “Dove on Distant Oaks.”

O God, have mercy on me,
    for people are hounding me.
    My foes attack me all day long.
I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
    and many are boldly attacking me.
But when I am afraid,
    I will put my trust in you.
I praise God for what he has promised.
    I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
    What can mere mortals do to me?

They are always twisting what I say;
    they spend their days plotting to harm me.
They come together to spy on me—
    watching my every step, eager to kill me.
Don’t let them get away with their wickedness;
    in your anger, O God, bring them down.

You keep track of all my sorrows.[b]
    You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
    You have recorded each one in your book.

My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
    This I know: God is on my side!
10 I praise God for what he has promised;
    yes, I praise the Lord for what he has promised.
11 I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
    What can mere mortals do to me?

12 I will fulfill my vows to you, O God,
    and will offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help.
13 For you have rescued me from death;
    you have kept my feet from slipping.
So now I can walk in your presence, O God,
    in your life-giving light.

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Footnotes

  1. 56:Title Hebrew miktam. This may be a literary or musical term.
  2. 56:8 Or my wanderings.

Don’t eat with people who are stingy;
    don’t desire their delicacies.
They are always thinking about how much it costs.[a]
    “Eat and drink,” they say, but they don’t mean it.
You will throw up what little you’ve eaten,
    and your compliments will be wasted.

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Footnotes

  1. 23:7 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.