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Jeremiah 19-21

The Clay Jar

19 This is what the Lord says: “Go, buy a potter’s clay jar. Take[a] some of the elders of the people and some of the leading priests and go out to the Valley of Hinnom near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. Proclaim there the words I speak to you. Say: Hear the word of the Lord, kings of Judah and residents of Jerusalem. This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on this place that everyone who hears about it will shudder[b] because they have abandoned Me and made this a foreign place. They have burned incense in it to other gods that they, their fathers, and the kings of Judah have never known. They have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. They have built high places to Baal on which to burn their children in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, something I have never commanded or mentioned; I never entertained the thought.[c]

“Therefore, take note! The days are coming”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“when this place will no longer be called Topheth and the Valley of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter. I will spoil the plans of Judah and Jerusalem in this place. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, by the hand of those who want to take their life. I will provide their corpses as food for the birds of the sky and for the wild animals of the land. I will make this city desolate, an object of scorn. Everyone who passes by it will be horrified and scoff because of all its wounds. I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and their daughters, and they will eat each other’s flesh in the siege and distress that their enemies, those who want to take their life, inflict on them.

10 “Then you are to shatter the jar in the presence of the people traveling with you, 11 and you are to proclaim to them: This is what the Lord of Hosts says: I will shatter these people and this city, like one shatters a potter’s jar that can never again be mended. They will bury the dead in Topheth because there is no other place for burials. 12 I will do so to this place”—this is the declaration of the Lord—“and to its residents, making this city like Topheth. 13 The houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah will become impure like that place Topheth—all the houses on whose rooftops they have burned incense to the whole heavenly host and poured out drink offerings to other gods.”

14 Jeremiah came back from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, stood in the courtyard of the Lord’s temple, and proclaimed to all the people, 15 “This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘I am about to bring on this city—and on all its dependent villages—all the disaster that I spoke against it, for they have become obstinate, not obeying My words.’”

Jeremiah Beaten by Pashhur

20 Pashhur the priest, the son of Immer and chief official in the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things. So Pashhur had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put him in the stocks at the Upper Benjamin Gate in the Lord’s temple. The next day, when Pashhur released Jeremiah from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord does not call you Pashhur, but Magor-missabib,[d] for this is what the Lord says, ‘I am about to make you a terror to both yourself and those you love. They will fall by the sword of their enemies before your very eyes. I will hand Judah over to the king of Babylon, and he will deport them to Babylon and put them to the sword. I will give away all the wealth of this city, all its products and valuables. Indeed, I will hand all the treasures of the kings of Judah over to their enemies. They will plunder them, seize them, and carry them off to Babylon. As for you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house, you will go into captivity. You will go to Babylon. There you will die, and there you will be buried, you and all your friends that you prophesied falsely to.’”

Jeremiah Compelled to Preach

You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived.
You seized me and prevailed.
I am a laughingstock all the time;
everyone ridicules me.
For whenever I speak, I cry out,
I proclaim, “Violence and destruction!”
because the word of the Lord has become for me
constant disgrace and derision.
If I say, “I won’t mention Him
or speak any longer in His name,”
His message becomes a fire burning in my heart,
shut up in my bones.
I become tired of holding it in,
and I cannot prevail.
10 For I have heard the gossip of many people,
“Terror is on every side![e]
Report him; let’s report him!”
Everyone I trusted[f] watches for my fall.
“Perhaps he will be deceived
so that we might prevail against him
and take our vengeance on him.”
11 But the Lord is with me like a violent warrior.
Therefore, my persecutors will stumble and not prevail.
Since they have not succeeded, they will be utterly shamed,
an everlasting humiliation that will never be forgotten.
12 Lord of Hosts, testing the righteous
and seeing the heart[g] and mind,
let me see Your vengeance on them,
for I have presented my case to You.
13 Sing to the Lord!
Praise the Lord,
for He rescues the life of the needy
from the hand of evil people.

Jeremiah’s Lament

14 May the day I was born
be cursed.
May the day my mother bore me
never be blessed.
15 May the man be cursed
who brought the news to my father, saying,
“A male child is born to you,”
bringing him great joy.
16 Let that man be like the cities
the Lord demolished without compassion.
Let him hear an outcry in the morning
and a war cry at noontime
17 because he didn’t kill me in the womb
so that my mother might have been my grave,
her womb eternally pregnant.
18 Why did I come out of the womb
to see only struggle and sorrow,
to end my life in shame?

Zedekiah’s Request Denied

21 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord when King Zedekiah sent Pashhur son of Malchijah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah to Jeremiah, asking, “Ask the Lord on our behalf, since Nebuchadnezzar[h] king of Babylon is making war against us. Perhaps the Lord will perform for us something like all His past wonderful works so that Nebuchadnezzar will withdraw from us.”

But Jeremiah answered, “This is what you are to say to Zedekiah: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will repel the weapons of war in your hands, those you are using to fight the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans[i] who are besieging you outside the wall, and I will bring them into the center of this city. I will fight against you with an outstretched hand and a mighty arm, with anger, rage, and great wrath. I will strike the residents of this city, both man and beast. They will die in a great plague. Afterward’”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“‘King Zedekiah of Judah, his officers, and the people—those in this city who survive the plague, the sword, and the famine—I will hand over to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, to their enemies, yes, to those who want to take their lives. He will put them to the sword; he won’t spare them or show pity or compassion.’

A Warning for the People

“But you must say to this people, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look, I am presenting to you the way of life and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine, and plague, but whoever goes out and surrenders to the Chaldeans who are besieging you will live and will retain his life like the spoils of war. 10 For I have turned[j] against this city to bring disaster and not good’”—this is the Lord’s declaration. “‘It will be handed over to the king of Babylon, who will burn it down.’

11 “And to the house of the king of Judah say this: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 12 House of David, this is what the Lord says:

Administer justice every morning,
and rescue the victim of robbery
from the hand of his oppressor,
or My anger will flare up like fire
and burn unquenchably
because of their evil deeds.
13 Beware! I am against you,
you who sit above the valley,
you atop the rocky plateau—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
you who say, “Who can come down against us?
Who can enter our hiding places?”
14 I will punish you according to what you have done
this is the Lord’s declaration.
I will kindle a fire in its forest
that will consume everything around it.’”

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 19:1 Syr, Tg; MT omits Take
  2. Jeremiah 19:3 Lit shudder their ears; 1Sm 3:11; 2Kg 21:12
  3. Jeremiah 19:5 Lit mentioned, and it did not arise on My heart
  4. Jeremiah 20:3 = Terror Is on Every Side; Jr 6:25; 20:10; 46:5
  5. Jeremiah 20:10 Hb Magor-missabib; Jr 20:3
  6. Jeremiah 20:10 Lit Every man of my peace
  7. Jeremiah 20:12 Lit kidneys
  8. Jeremiah 21:2 Lit Nebuchadrezzar
  9. Jeremiah 21:4 = Babylonians
  10. Jeremiah 21:10 Lit set My face
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1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

Exhortations and Blessings

12 Now we ask you, brothers, to give recognition to those who labor among you and lead you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to regard them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 And we exhort you, brothers: warn those who are irresponsible,[a] comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all.

16 Rejoice always!
17 Pray constantly.
18 Give thanks in everything,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Don’t stifle the Spirit.
20 Don’t despise prophecies,
21 but test all things.
Hold on to what is good.
22 Stay away from every kind of evil.

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely. And may your spirit, soul, and body be kept sound and blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it. 25 Brothers, pray for us also. 26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss. 27 I charge you by the Lord that this letter be read to all the brothers. 28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 Or who are disorderly, or who are undisciplined
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Psalm 82

Psalm 82

A Plea for Righteous Judgment

A psalm of Asaph.

God has taken His place in the divine assembly;
He judges among the gods:[a]
“How long will you judge unjustly
and show partiality to the wicked?Selah
Provide justice for the needy and the fatherless;
uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
Rescue the poor and needy;
save them from the power of the wicked.”

They do not know or understand;
they wander in darkness.
All the foundations of the earth are shaken.

I said, “You are gods;
you are all sons of the Most High.
However, you will die like men
and fall like any other ruler.”

Rise up, God, judge the earth,
for all the nations belong to You.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 82:1 Or the heavenly beings, or the earthly rulers; lit elohim
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Proverbs 25:9-10

Make your case with your opponent[a]
without revealing another’s secret;
10 otherwise, the one who hears will disgrace you,
and you’ll never live it down.[b]

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 25:9 Or neighbor
  2. Proverbs 25:10 Lit and your evil report will not turn back
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