Jeremiah 24-26 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Jeremiah Has a Vision of Two Baskets of Figs
24 The Lord spoke to me in a vision after King Nebuchadnezzar[a] of Babylonia had come to Judah and taken King Jehoiachin,[b] his officials, and all the skilled workers back to Babylonia. In this vision I saw two baskets of figs in front of the Lord’s temple. 2 One basket was full of very good figs that ripened early, and the other was full of rotten figs that were not fit to eat.
3 “Jeremiah,” the Lord asked, “what do you see?”
“Figs,” I said. “Some are very good, but the others are too rotten to eat.”
4 Then the Lord told me to say:
5 People of Judah, the good figs stand for those of you I sent away as exiles to Babylonia, 6 where I am watching over them. Then someday I will bring them back to this land. I will plant them, instead of uprooting them, and I will build them up, rather than tearing them down. 7 I will give them a desire to know me and to be my people. They will want me to be their God, and they will turn back to me with all their heart.
8 The rotten figs stand for King Zedekiah[c] of Judah, his officials, and all the others who were not taken away to Babylonia, whether they stayed here in Judah or went to live in Egypt. 9 I will punish them with a terrible disaster, and everyone on earth will tremble when they hear about it. I will force the people of Judah to go to foreign countries, where they will be cursed and insulted. 10 War and hunger and disease will strike them, until they finally disappear from the land that I gave them and their ancestors.
Seventy Years of Exile
25 1-2 In the fourth year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah,[d] which was the first year that Nebuchadnezzar[e] was king of Babylonia, the Lord told me to speak to the people of Judah and Jerusalem. So I told them:
3 For twenty-three years now, ever since the thirteenth year that Josiah[f] was king, I have been telling you what the Lord has told me. But you have not listened.
4 The Lord has sent prophets to you time after time, but you refused to listen. 5 They told you that the Lord had said:
Change your ways! If you stop doing evil, I will let you stay forever in this land that I gave your ancestors. 6 I don’t want to harm you. So don’t make me angry by worshiping idols and other gods.
7 But you refused to listen to my prophets. So I, the Lord, say that you have made me angry by worshiping idols, and you are the ones who were hurt by what you did. 8 You refused to listen to me, 9 and now I will let you be attacked by nations from the north, and especially by my servant, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia. You and other nearby nations will be destroyed and left in ruins forever. Everyone who sees what has happened will be shocked, but they will still make fun of you. 10 I will put an end to your parties and wedding celebrations; no one will grind grain or be here to light the lamps at night. 11 This country will be as empty as a desert, because I will make all of you the slaves of the king of Babylonia for seventy years.
12 When that time is up, I will punish the king of Babylonia and his people for everything they have done wrong, and I will turn that country into a wasteland forever. 13 My servant Jeremiah has told you what I said I will do to Babylonia and to the other nations, and he wrote it all down in this book. I will do everything I threatened. 14 I will pay back the Babylonians for every wrong they have done. Great kings from many other nations will conquer the Babylonians and force them to be slaves.
The Cup Full of God’s Anger
15 The Lord God of Israel showed me a vision in which he said, “Jeremiah, here is a cup filled with the wine of my anger. Take it and make every nation drink some. 16 They will vomit and act crazy, because of the war this cup of anger will bring to them.”
17 I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, and I went to the kings of the nations and made each of them drink some. 18 I started with Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, and the king and his officials were removed from power in disgrace. Everyone still makes insulting jokes about them and uses their names as curse words. 19 The second place I went was Egypt, where everyone had to drink from the cup, including the king and his officials, the other government workers, the rest of the Egyptians, 20 and all the foreigners who lived in the country.
Next I went to the king of Uz, and then to the four kings of Philistia, who ruled from Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and what was left of Ashdod.[g] 21 Then I went to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, 22 and to the kings of Tyre, Sidon, and their colonies across the sea. 23-24 After this, I went to the kings of Dedan, Tema, Buz, the tribes of the Arabian Desert,[h] 25 Zimri, Elam, Media, 26 and the countries in the north, both near and far.
I went to all the countries on earth, one after another, and finally to Babylonia.[i]
27 The Lord had said to tell each king, “The Lord All-Powerful, the God of Israel, commands you to drink from this cup that is full of the wine of his anger. It will make you so drunk that you will vomit. And when the Lord sends war against the nations, you will be completely defeated.”
28 The Lord told me that if any of them refused to drink from the cup, I must tell them that he had said, “I, the Lord All-Powerful, command you to drink. 29 Starting with my own city of Jerusalem, everyone on earth will suffer from war. So there is no way I will let you escape unharmed.”
30 The Lord told me to say:
From my sacred temple
Disaster Is Coming
32 The Lord All-Powerful says:
You can see disaster spreading
33 When it strikes, I will kill so many people that their bodies will cover the ground like manure. No one will be left to bury them or to mourn.
The Leaders of Judah Will Be Punished
34 The Lord’s people are his flock,
Jeremiah’s Message in the Temple
26 Soon after Jehoiakim[m] became king of Judah, the Lord said:
2 Jeremiah, I have a message for everyone who comes from the towns of Judah to worship in my temple. Go to the temple courtyard and speak every word that I tell you. 3 Maybe the people will listen this time. And if they stop doing wrong, I will change my mind and not punish them for their sins. 4 Tell them that I have said:
You have refused to listen to me and to obey my laws and teachings. 5 Again and again I have sent my servants the prophets to preach to you, but you ignored them as well. Now I am warning you that if you don’t start obeying me right away, 6 I will destroy this temple, just as I destroyed the town of Shiloh.[n] Then everyone on earth will use the name “Jerusalem” as a curse word.
Jeremiah on Trial
7 The prophets, the priests, and everyone else in the temple heard what I said, 8-9 and as soon as I finished, they all crowded around me and started shouting, “Why did you preach that the Lord will destroy this temple, just as he destroyed Shiloh? Why did you say that Jerusalem will be empty and lie in ruins? You ought to be put to death for saying such things in the Lord’s name!” Then they had me arrested.
10 The royal officers heard what had happened, and they came from the palace to the new gate of the temple to be the judges at my trial.[o] 11 While they listened, the priests and the prophets said to the crowd, “All of you have heard Jeremiah prophesy that Jerusalem will be destroyed. He deserves the death penalty.”
12-13 Then I told the judges and everyone else:
The Lord himself sent me to tell you about the terrible things he will do to you, to Jerusalem, and to the temple. But if you change your ways and start obeying the Lord, he will change his mind.
14 You must decide what to do with me. Just do whatever you think is right. 15 But if you put me to death, you and everyone else in Jerusalem will be guilty of murdering an innocent man, because everything I preached came from the Lord.
16 The judges and the other people told the priests and prophets, “Since Jeremiah only told us what the Lord our God had said, we don’t think he deserves to die.”
17 Then some of the leaders from other towns stepped forward. They told the crowd that 18 years ago when Hezekiah[p] was king of Judah, a prophet named Micah from the town of Moresheth had said:
“I, the Lord All-Powerful, say
19 Then the leaders continued:
No one put Micah to death for saying that. Instead, King Hezekiah prayed to the Lord with fear and trembling and asked him to have mercy. Then the Lord decided not to destroy Jerusalem, even though he had already said he would.
People of Judah, if Jeremiah is killed, we will bring a terrible disaster on ourselves.
20-24 After these leaders finished speaking, an important man named Ahikam son of Shaphan spoke up for me as well. And so, I wasn’t handed over to the crowd to be killed.
Uriah the Prophet
While Jehoiakim[r] was still king of Judah, a man named Uriah son of Shemaiah left his hometown of Kiriath-Jearim and came to Jerusalem. Uriah was one of the Lord’s prophets, and he was saying the same things about Judah and Jerusalem that I had been saying. And when Jehoiakim and his officials and military officers heard what Uriah said, they tried to arrest him, but he escaped to Egypt. So Jehoiakim sent Elnathan son of Achbor and some other men after Uriah, and they brought him back. Then Jehoiakim had Uriah killed and his body dumped in a common burial pit.
Titus 2 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Instructions for Different Groups of People
2 Titus, you must teach only what is correct. 2 Tell the older men to have self-control and to be serious and sensible. Their faith, love, and patience must never fail.
3 Tell the older women to behave as those who love the Lord should. They must not gossip about others or be slaves of wine. They must teach what is proper, 4 so the younger women will be loving wives and mothers. 5 Each of the younger women must be sensible and kind, as well as a good homemaker, who puts her own husband first. Then no one can say insulting things about God’s message.
6 Tell the young men to have self-control in everything.
7 Always set a good example for others. Be sincere and serious when you teach. 8 Use clean language that no one can criticize. Do this, and your enemies will be too ashamed to say anything against you.
9 Tell slaves always to please their owners by obeying them in everything. Slaves must not talk back to their owners 10 or steal from them. They must be completely honest and trustworthy. Then everyone will show great respect for what is taught about God our Savior.
God’s Kindness and the New Life
11 God has shown us how kind he is by coming to save all people. 12 He taught us to give up our wicked ways and our worldly desires and to live decent and honest lives in this world. 13 We are filled with hope, as we wait for the glorious return of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.[a] 14 He gave himself to rescue us from everything that is evil and to make our hearts pure. He wanted us to be his own people and to be eager to do right.
15 Teach these things, as you use your full authority to encourage and correct people. Make sure you earn everyone’s respect.
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