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Ezekiel 29The Message (MSG)

Never a World Power Again

29 1-6 In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day, God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, confront Pharaoh king of Egypt. Preach against him and all the Egyptians. Tell him, ‘God, the Master, says:

“‘Watch yourself, Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
    I’m dead set against you,
You lumbering old dragon,
    lolling and flaccid in the Nile,
Saying, “It’s my Nile.
    I made it. It’s mine.”
I’ll set hooks in your jaw;
    I’ll make the fish of the Nile stick to your scales.
I’ll pull you out of the Nile,
    with all the fish stuck to your scales.
Then I’ll drag you out into the desert,
    you and all the Nile fish sticking to your scales.
You’ll lie there in the open, rotting in the sun,
    meat to the wild animals and carrion birds.
Everybody living in Egypt
    will realize that I am God.

6-9 “‘Because you’ve been a flimsy reed crutch to Israel so that when they gripped you, you splintered and cut their hand, and when they leaned on you, you broke and sent them sprawling—Message of God, the Master—I’ll bring war against you, do away with people and animals alike, and turn the country into an empty desert so they’ll realize that I am God.

9-11 “‘Because you said, “It’s my Nile. I made it. It’s all mine,” therefore I am against you and your rivers. I’ll reduce Egypt to an empty, desolate wasteland all the way from Migdol in the north to Syene and the border of Ethiopia in the south. Not a human will be seen in it, nor will an animal move through it. It’ll be just empty desert, empty for forty years.

12 “‘I’ll make Egypt the most desolate of all desolations. For forty years I’ll make her cities the most wasted of all wasted cities. I’ll scatter Egyptians to the four winds, send them off every which way into exile.

13-16 “‘But,’ says God, the Master, ‘that’s not the end of it. After the forty years, I’ll gather up the Egyptians from all the places where they’ve been scattered. I’ll put things back together again for Egypt. I’ll bring her back to Pathros where she got her start long ago. There she’ll start over again from scratch. She’ll take her place at the bottom of the ladder and there she’ll stay, never to climb that ladder again, never to be a world power again. Never again will Israel be tempted to rely on Egypt. All she’ll be to Israel is a reminder of old sin. Then Egypt will realize that I am God, the Master.’”

17-18 In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, has worn out his army against Tyre. They’ve worked their fingers to the bone and have nothing to show for it.

19-20 “Therefore, God, the Master, says, ‘I’m giving Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He’ll haul away its wealth, pick the place clean. He’ll pay his army with Egyptian plunder. He’s been working for me all these years without pay. This is his pay: Egypt. Decree of God, the Master.

21 “‘And then I’ll stir up fresh hope in Israel—the dawn of deliverance!—and I’ll give you, Ezekiel, bold and confident words to speak. And they’ll realize that I am God.’”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Ezekiel 30The Message (MSG)

Egypt on Fire

30 1-5 God, the Master, spoke to me: “Son of man, preach. Give them the Message of God, the Master. Wail:

“‘Doomsday!’
    Time’s up!
    God’s big day of judgment is near.
Thick clouds are rolling in.
    It’s doomsday for the nations.
Death will rain down on Egypt.
    Terror will paralyze Ethiopia
When they see the Egyptians killed,
    their wealth hauled off,
    their foundations demolished,
And Ethiopia, Put, Lud, Arabia, Libya
    —all of Egypt’s old allies—
    killed right along with them.

6-8 “‘God says:

“‘Egypt’s allies will fall
    and her proud strength will collapse—
From Migdol in the north to Syene in the south,
    a great slaughter in Egypt!
    Decree of God, the Master.
Egypt, most desolate of the desolate,
    her cities wasted beyond wasting,
Will realize that I am God
    when I burn her down
    and her helpers are knocked flat.

“‘When that happens, I’ll send out messengers by ship to sound the alarm among the easygoing Ethiopians. They’ll be terrorized. Egypt’s doomed! Judgment’s coming!

10-12 “‘God, the Master, says:

“‘I’ll put a stop to Egypt’s arrogance.
    I’ll use Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to do it.
He and his army, the most brutal of nations,
    shall be used to destroy the country.
They’ll brandish their swords
    and fill Egypt with corpses.
I’ll dry up the Nile
    and sell off the land to a bunch of crooks.
I’ll hire outsiders to come in
    and waste the country, strip it clean.
    I, God, have said so.

13-19 “‘And now this is what God, the Master, says:

“‘I’ll smash all the no-god idols;
    I’ll topple all those huge statues in Memphis.
The prince of Egypt will be gone for good,
    and in his place I’ll put fear—fear throughout Egypt!
I’ll demolish Pathros,
    burn Zoan to the ground, and punish Thebes,
Pour my wrath on Pelusium, Egypt’s fort,
    and knock Thebes off its proud pedestal.
I’ll set Egypt on fire:
    Pelusium will writhe in pain,
Thebes blown away,
    Memphis raped.
The young warriors of On and Pi-beseth
    will be killed and the cities exiled.
A dark day for Tahpanhes
    when I shatter Egypt,
When I break Egyptian power
    and put an end to her arrogant oppression!
She’ll disappear in a cloud of dust,
    her cities hauled off as exiles.
That’s how I’ll punish Egypt,
    and that’s how she’ll realize that I am God.’”

20 In the eleventh year, on the seventh day of the first month, God’s Message came to me:

21 “Son of man, I’ve broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And look! It hasn’t been set. No splint has been put on it so the bones can knit and heal, so he can use a sword again.

22-26 “Therefore, God, the Master, says, I am dead set against Pharaoh king of Egypt and will go ahead and break his other arm—both arms broken! There’s no way he’ll ever swing a sword again. I’ll scatter Egyptians all over the world. I’ll make the arms of the king of Babylon strong and put my sword in his hand, but I’ll break the arms of Pharaoh and he’ll groan like one who is mortally wounded. I’ll make the arms of the king of Babylon strong, but the arms of Pharaoh shall go limp. The Egyptians will realize that I am God when I place my sword in the hand of the king of Babylon. He’ll wield it against Egypt and I’ll scatter Egyptians all over the world. Then they’ll realize that I am God.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Ezekiel 31The Message (MSG)

The Funeral of the Big Tree

31 1-9 In the eleventh year, on the first day of the third month, God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt, that pompous old goat:

“‘Who do you, astride the world,
    think you really are?
Look! Assyria was a Big Tree, huge as a Lebanon cedar,
    beautiful limbs offering cool shade,
Skyscraper high,
    piercing the clouds.
The waters gave it drink,
    the primordial deep lifted it high,
Gushing out rivers around
    the place where it was planted,
And then branching out in streams
    to all the trees in the forest.
It was immense,
    dwarfing all the trees in the forest—
Thick boughs, long limbs,
    roots delving deep into earth’s waters.
All the birds of the air
    nested in its boughs.
All the wild animals
    gave birth under its branches.
All the mighty nations
    lived in its shade.
It was stunning in its majesty—
    the reach of its branches!
    the depth of its water-seeking roots!
Not a cedar in God’s garden came close to it.
    No pine tree was anything like it.
Mighty oaks looked like bushes
    growing alongside it.
Not a tree in God’s garden
    was in the same class of beauty.
I made it beautiful,
    a work of art in limbs and leaves,
The envy of every tree in Eden,
    every last tree in God’s garden.’”

10-13 Therefore, God, the Master, says, “‘Because it skyscrapered upward, piercing the clouds, swaggering and proud of its stature, I turned it over to a world-famous leader to call its evil to account. I’d had enough. Outsiders, unbelievably brutal, felled it across the mountain ranges. Its branches were strewn through all the valleys, its leafy boughs clogging all the streams and rivers. Because its shade was gone, everybody walked off. No longer a tree—just a log. On that dead log birds perch. Wild animals burrow under it.

14 “‘That marks the end of the “big tree” nations. No more trees nourished from the great deep, no more cloud-piercing trees, no more earthborn trees taking over. They’re all slated for death—back to earth, right along with men and women, for whom it’s “dust to dust.”

15-17 “‘The Message of God, the Master: On the day of the funeral of the Big Tree, I threw the great deep into mourning. I stopped the flow of its rivers, held back great seas, and wrapped the Lebanon mountains in black. All the trees of the forest fainted and fell. I made the whole world quake when it crashed, and threw it into the underworld to take its place with all else that gets buried. All the trees of Eden and the finest and best trees of Lebanon, well-watered, were relieved—they had descended to the underworld with it—along with everyone who had lived in its shade and all who had been killed.

18 “‘Which of the trees of Eden came anywhere close to you in splendor and size? But you’re slated to be cut down to take your place in the underworld with the trees of Eden, to be a dead log stacked with all the other dead logs, among the other uncircumcised who are dead and buried.

“‘This means Pharaoh, the pompous old goat.

“‘Decree of God, the Master.’”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Ezekiel 32The Message (MSG)

A Cloud Across the Sun

32 1-2 In the twelfth year, on the first day of the twelfth month, God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, sing a funeral lament over Pharaoh king of Egypt. Tell him:

“‘You think you’re a young lion
    prowling through the nations.
You’re more like a dragon in the ocean,
    snorting and thrashing about.

3-10 “‘God, the Master, says:

“‘I’m going to throw my net over you
    —many nations will get in on this operation—
    and haul you out with my dragnet.
I’ll dump you on the ground
    out in an open field
And bring in all the crows and vultures
    for a sumptuous carrion lunch.
I’ll invite wild animals from all over the world
    to gorge on your guts.
I’ll scatter hunks of your meat in the mountains
    and strew your bones in the valleys.
The country, right up to the mountains,
    will be drenched with your blood,
    your blood filling every ditch and channel.
When I blot you out,
    I’ll pull the curtain on the skies
    and shut out the stars.
I’ll throw a cloud across the sun
    and turn off the moonlight.
I’ll turn out every light in the sky above you
    and put your land in the dark.
        Decree of God, the Master.
I’ll shake up everyone worldwide
    when I take you off captive to strange and far-off countries.
I’ll shock people with you.
    Kings will take one look and shudder.
I’ll shake my sword
    and they’ll shake in their boots.
On the day you crash, they’ll tremble,
    thinking, “That could be me!”

To Lay Your Pride Low

11-15 “‘God, the Master, says:

“‘The sword of the king of Babylon
    is coming against you.
I’ll use the swords of champions
    to lay your pride low,
Use the most brutal of nations
    to knock Egypt off her high horse,
    to puncture that hot-air pomposity.
I’ll destroy all their livestock
    that graze along the river.
Neither human foot nor animal hoof
    will muddy those waters anymore.
I’ll clear their springs and streams,
    make their rivers flow clean and smooth.
        Decree of God, the Master.
When I turn Egypt back to the wild
    and strip her clean of all her abundant produce,
When I strike dead all who live there,
    then they’ll realize that I am God.’

16 “This is a funeral song. Chant it.
    Daughters of the nations, chant it.
Chant it over Egypt for the death of its pomp.”
    Decree of God, the Master.

17-19 In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth day of the first month, God’s Message came to me:

“Son of man, lament over Egypt’s pompous ways.
    Send her on her way.
Dispatch Egypt
    and her proud daughter nations
To the underworld,
    down to the country of the dead and buried.
Say, ‘You think you’re so high and mighty?
    Down! Take your place with the heathen in that unhallowed grave!’

20-21 “She’ll be dumped in with those killed in battle. The sword is bared. Drag her off in all her proud pomp! All the big men and their helpers down among the dead and buried will greet them: ‘Welcome to the grave of the heathen! Join the ranks of the victims of war!’

22-23 “Assyria is there and its congregation, the whole nation a cemetery. Their graves are in the deepest part of the underworld, a congregation of graves, all killed in battle, these people who terrorized the land of the living.

24-25 “Elam is there in all her pride, a cemetery—all killed in battle, dumped in her heathen grave with the dead and buried, these people who terrorized the land of the living. They carry their shame with them, along with the others in the grave. They turned Elam into a resort for the pompous dead, landscaped with heathen graves, slaughtered in battle. They once terrorized the land of the living. Now they carry their shame down with the others in deep earth. They’re in the section set aside for the slain in battle.

26-27 “Meshech-tubal is there in all her pride, a cemetery in uncircumcised ground, dumped in with those slaughtered in battle—just deserts for terrorizing the land of the living. Now they carry their shame down with the others in deep earth. They’re in the section set aside for the slain. They’re segregated from the heroes, the old-time giants who entered the grave in full battle dress, their swords placed under their heads and their shields covering their bones, those heroes who spread terror through the land of the living.

28 “And you, Egypt, will be dumped in a heathen grave, along with all the rest, in the section set aside for the slain.

29 “Edom is there, with her kings and princes. In spite of her vaunted greatness, she is dumped in a heathen grave with the others headed for the grave.

30 “The princes of the north are there, the whole lot of them, and all the Sidonians who carry their shame to their graves—all that terror they spread with their brute power!—dumped in unhallowed ground with those killed in battle, carrying their shame with the others headed for deep earth.

31 “Pharaoh will see them all and, pompous old goat that he is, take comfort in the company he’ll keep—Pharaoh and his slaughtered army. Decree of God, the Master.

32 “I used him to spread terror in the land of the living and now I’m dumping him in heathen ground with those killed by the sword—Pharaoh and all his pomp. Decree of God, the Master.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Revelation 11The Message (MSG)

The Two Witnesses

11 1-2 I was given a stick for a measuring rod and told, “Get up and measure God’s Temple and Altar and everyone worshiping in it. Exclude the outside court; don’t measure it. It’s been handed over to non-Jewish outsiders. They’ll desecrate the Holy City for forty-two months.

3-6 “Meanwhile, I’ll provide my two Witnesses. Dressed in sackcloth, they’ll prophesy for 1,260 days. These are the two Olive Trees, the two Lampstands, standing at attention before God on earth. If anyone tries to hurt them, a blast of fire from their mouths will incinerate them—burn them to a crisp just like that. They’ll have power to seal the sky so that it doesn’t rain for the time of their prophesying, power to turn rivers and springs to blood, power to hit earth with any and every disaster as often as they want.

7-10 “When they’ve completed their witness, the Beast from the Abyss will emerge and fight them, conquer and kill them, leaving their corpses exposed on the street of the Great City spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, the same City where their Master was crucified. For three and a half days they’ll be there—exposed, prevented from getting a decent burial, stared at by the curious from all over the world. Those people will cheer at the spectacle, shouting ‘Good riddance!’ and calling for a celebration, for these two prophets pricked the conscience of all the people on earth, made it impossible for them to enjoy their sins.

11 “Then, after three and a half days, the Living Spirit of God will enter them—they’re on their feet!—and all those gloating spectators will be scared to death.”

12-13 I heard a strong voice out of Heaven calling, “Come up here!” and up they went to Heaven, wrapped in a cloud, their enemies watching it all. At that moment there was a gigantic earthquake—a tenth of the city fell to ruin, seven thousand perished in the earthquake, the rest frightened to the core of their being, frightened into giving honor to the God-of-Heaven.

14 The second doom is past, the third doom coming right on its heels.

The Last Trumpet Sounds

15-18 The seventh Angel trumpeted. A crescendo of voices in Heaven sang out,

The kingdom of the world is now
    the Kingdom of our God and his Messiah!
He will rule forever and ever!

The Twenty-four Elders seated before God on their thrones fell to their knees, worshiped, and sang,

We thank you, O God, Sovereign-Strong,
    Who Is and Who Was.
You took your great power
    and took over—reigned!
The angry nations now
    get a taste of your anger.
The time has come to judge the dead,
    to reward your servants, all prophets and saints,
Reward small and great who fear your Name,
    and destroy the destroyers of earth.

19 The doors of God’s Temple in Heaven flew open, and the Ark of his Covenant was clearly seen surrounded by flashes of lightning, loud shouts, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a fierce hailstorm.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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