Jeremiah 51-52Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Babylon Will Be Destroyed
51 I, the Lord, am sending
5 Everyone in Israel and Judah
6 Get out of Babylon!
7 Babylon was my golden cup,
I, the Lord, told the foreigners[d]
9 The foreigners answered,
10 The people of Israel said,
The Lord Wants Babylon Destroyed
11 I, the Lord,
13 People of Babylon, you live
A Hymn of Praise
15 God used his wisdom and power
17 People who make idols
The Lord said:
20 Babylonia, you were my hammer;
24 But now, my people will watch,
25 You destroyed the nations
The Nations Will Attack Babylon
The Lord said:
27 Signal the nations
29 The earth twists and turns
30 The Babylonian soldiers
33 I am the Lord All-Powerful,
Babylonia Will Pay!
34 The people of Jerusalem say,
The Lord Will Take Revenge on Babylon
36 My people, I am on your side,
The Lord Offers Hope to His People
45 Get out of Babylon, my people,
50 My people, you escaped death
51 You feel ashamed and disgraced,
Babylon Will Be Destroyed
The Lord said:
54 Listen to the cries for help
56 An enemy will attack
Jeremiah Gives Seraiah a Scroll
60 Before they left, I wrote on a scroll[u] all the terrible things that would happen to Babylon. 61 I gave the scroll to Seraiah and said:
When you get to Babylon, read this scroll aloud, 62 then pray, “Our Lord, you promised to destroy this place and make it into a desert where no people or animals will ever live.”
63 When you finish praying, tie the scroll to a rock and throw it in the Euphrates River. Then say, 64 “This is how Babylon will sink when the Lord destroys it. Everyone in the city will die, and it won’t have the strength to rise again.”
The End of Jeremiah’s Writing
Jeremiah’s writing ends here.
Jerusalem Is Captured
52 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he was appointed king of Judah,[v] and he ruled from Jerusalem for eleven years.[w] His mother Hamutal was the daughter of Jeremiah from the town of Libnah.[x] 2 Zedekiah disobeyed the Lord, just as Jehoiakim had done, 3 and it was Zedekiah who finally rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar.[y]
The people of Judah and Jerusalem had made the Lord so angry that he finally turned his back on them. That’s why horrible things were happening.
4 In Zedekiah’s ninth year as king, on the tenth day of the tenth month,[z] King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia led his entire army to attack Jerusalem. The troops set up camp outside the city and built ramps up to the city walls.
5-6 After a year and a half,[aa] all the food in Jerusalem was gone. Then on the ninth day of the fourth month,[ab] 7 the Babylonian troops broke through the city wall. That same night, Zedekiah and his soldiers tried to escape through the gate near the royal garden, even though they knew the enemy had the city surrounded. They headed toward the Jordan River valley, 8 but the Babylonian troops caught up with them near Jericho. The Babylonians arrested Zedekiah, but his soldiers scattered in every direction. 9 Zedekiah was taken to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where Nebuchadnezzar put him on trial and found him guilty. 10 Zedekiah’s sons and the officials of Judah were killed while he watched, 11 then his eyes were poked out. He was put in chains, then dragged off to Babylon and kept in prison until he died.
12 Jerusalem was captured during Nebuchadnezzar’s nineteenth year as king of Babylonia.
About a month later,[ac] Nebuchadnezzar’s officer in charge of the guards arrived in Jerusalem. His name was Nebuzaradan, 13 and he burned down the Lord’s temple, the king’s palace, and every important building in the city, as well as all the houses. 14 Then he ordered the Babylonian soldiers to break down the walls around Jerusalem. 15 He led away the people left in the city, including everyone who had become loyal to Nebuchadnezzar, the rest of the skilled workers,[ad] and even some of the poor people of Judah. 16 Only the very poorest were left behind to work the vineyards and the fields.
17-20 Nebuzaradan ordered his soldiers to go to the temple and take everything made of gold or silver, including bowls, fire pans, sprinkling bowls, pans, lampstands, dishes for incense, and the cups for wine offerings. The Babylonian soldiers took all the bronze things used for worship at the temple, including the pans for hot ashes, and the shovels, lamp snuffers, sprinkling bowls, and dishes for incense. The soldiers also took everything else made of bronze, including the two columns that stood in front of the temple, the large bowl called the Sea, the twelve bulls that held it up, and the movable stands.[ae] The soldiers broke these things into pieces so they could take them to Babylonia. There was so much bronze that it could not be weighed. 21 For example, the columns were about twenty-seven feet high and eighteen feet around. They were hollow, but the bronze was about three inches thick. 22 Each column had a bronze cap over seven feet high that was decorated with bronze designs. Some of these designs were like chains and others were like pomegranates.[af] 23 There were ninety-six pomegranates evenly spaced[ag] around each column, and a total of one hundred pomegranates were located above the chains.
24 Next, Nebuzaradan arrested Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah his assistant, and three temple officials. 25 Then he arrested one of the army commanders, seven of King Zedekiah’s personal advisors, and the officer in charge of gathering the troops for battle. He also found sixty more soldiers who were still in Jerusalem. 26-27 Nebuzaradan led them to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where Nebuchadnezzar had them killed.
The people of Judah no longer lived in their own country.
People of Judah Taken Prisoner
28-30 Here is a list of the number of the people of Judah that Nebuchadnezzar[ah] took to Babylonia as prisoners:
In his seventh year as king, he took 3,023 people.
So, Nebuchadnezzar took a total of 4,600 people from Judah to Babylonia.
Jehoiachin Is Set Free
31 Jehoiachin was a prisoner in Babylon for thirty-seven years. Then Evil Merodach[ai] became king of Babylonia, and in the first year of his rule, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month,[aj] he let Jehoiachin out of prison. 32 Evil Merodach was kind to Jehoiachin and honored him more than any of the other kings held prisoner there. 33 Jehoiachin was allowed to wear regular clothes instead of a prison uniform, and he even ate at the king’s table every day. 34 As long as Jehoiachin lived, he was paid a daily allowance to buy whatever he needed.
Hebrews 9Contemporary English Version (CEV)
The Tent in Heaven
9 The first promise that was made included rules for worship and a tent for worship here on earth. 2 The first part of the tent was called the holy place, and a lampstand, a table, and the sacred loaves of bread were kept there.
3 Behind the curtain was the most holy place. 4 The gold altar that was used for burning incense was in this holy place. The gold-covered sacred chest was also there, and inside it were three things. First, there was a gold jar filled with manna.[a] Then there was Aaron’s walking stick that sprouted.[b] Finally, there were the flat stones with the Ten Commandments written on them. 5 On top of the chest were the glorious creatures with wings[c] opened out above the place of mercy.[d]
Now isn’t the time to go into detail about these things. 6 But this is how everything was when the priests went each day into the first part of the tent to do their duties. 7 However, only the high priest could go into the second part of the tent, and he went in only once a year. Each time he carried blood to offer for his sins and for any sins that the people had committed without meaning to.
8 All of this is the Holy Spirit’s way of saying that no one could enter the most holy place while the tent was still the place of worship. 9 This also has a meaning for today. It shows that we cannot make our consciences clear by offering gifts and sacrifices. 10 These rules are merely about such things as eating and drinking and ceremonies for washing ourselves. And rules about physical things will last only until the time comes to change them for something better.
11 Christ came as the high priest of the good things that are now here.[e] He also went into a much better tent that wasn’t made by humans and that doesn’t belong to this world. 12 Then Christ went once for all into the most holy place and freed us from sin forever. He did this by offering his own blood instead of the blood of goats and bulls.
13 According to the Law of Moses, those people who become unclean are not fit to worship God. Yet they will be considered clean, if they are sprinkled with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a sacrificed calf. 14 But Christ was sinless, and he offered himself as an eternal and spiritual sacrifice to God. That’s why his blood is much more powerful and makes our[f] consciences clear. Now we can serve the living God and no longer do things that lead to death.
15 Christ died to rescue those who had sinned and broken the old agreement. Now he brings his chosen ones a new agreement with its guarantee of God’s eternal blessings! 16 In fact, making an agreement of this kind is like writing a will. This is because the one who makes the will must die before it is of any use. 17 In other words, a will doesn’t go into effect as long as the one who made it is still alive.
18 Blood was also used[g] to put the first agreement into effect. 19 Moses told the people all that the Law said they must do. Then he used red wool and a hyssop plant to sprinkle the people and the book of the Law with the blood of bulls and goats[h] and with water. 20 He told the people, “With this blood God makes his agreement with you.” 21 Moses also sprinkled blood on the tent and on everything else that was used in worship. 22 The Law says that almost everything must be sprinkled with blood, and no sins can be forgiven unless blood is offered.
Christ’s Great Sacrifice
23 These things are only copies of what is in heaven, and so they had to be made holy by these ceremonies. But the real things in heaven must be made holy by something better. 24 This is why Christ did not go into a tent that had been made by humans and was only a copy of the real one. Instead, he went into heaven and is now there with God to help us.
25 Christ did not have to offer himself many times. He wasn’t like a high priest who goes into the most holy place each year to offer the blood of an animal. 26 If he had offered himself every year, he would have suffered many times since the creation of the world. But instead, near the end of time he offered himself once and for all, so that he could be a sacrifice that does away with sin.
27 We die only once, and then we are judged. 28 So Christ died only once to take away the sins of many people. But when he comes again, it will not be to take away sin. He will come to save everyone who is waiting for him.
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