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Jeremiah 23:21-25:38; 2 Thessalonians 2; Psalm 84; Proverbs 25:15 (Common English Bible)

Jeremiah 23:21-25:38

21 I didn’t send the prophets,
    yet they ran anyway.
I didn’t speak to them,
    yet they prophesied anyway.
22 If they had stood in my council,
    they would have proclaimed
    my words to my people;
        they would have turned them
        from their evil ways and deeds.
23 The Lord declares, Am I a God
    who is only nearby and not far off?
24 Can people hide themselves in secret places
    so I might not see them?
        Don’t I fill heaven and earth?

25 I have heard the prophets prophesying lies in my name. They claim, “I’ve had a dream; I’ve had a dream!” 26 How long will deceitful prophecies dominate the minds of the prophets? Those prophets are treacherous. 27 They scheme to make my people forget me by their dreams that people tell each other, just as their ancestors forgot me because of Baal. 28 Let the prophet who has a dream declare it, but let the one who has my word proclaim it faithfully.

What a difference between straw and wheat!
        declares the Lord.
29 Isn’t my word like fire
    and like a hammer that shatters rock?
        declares the Lord.
30 Therefore, I’m against the prophets
    who steal my words from each other,
        declares the Lord.
31 I’m against the prophets
    who carelessly deliver oracles,[a]
        declares the Lord.
32 I’m against the prophets who dream up lies
    and then proclaim them,
        declares the Lord.
With their reckless lies,
    they lead my people astray.
I didn’t send them;
    I didn’t commission them.
They are completely useless to these people,
        declares the Lord.

33 When these people or a prophet or a priest asks you, “What is the Lord’s message?”[b] say to them, “What message? I will cast you off, declares the Lord.” 34 I will punish anyone, including prophet or priest, who says, “This is the Lord’s message.” 35 This is what you should ask each other: “What has the Lord said?” “What has the Lord declared?” 36 But you are no longer to mention the Lord’s message, because everyone thinks they have received a message from the Lord. You destroy the very word of the living God, the Lord of heavenly forces, our God. 37 So this is what you should say to the prophet: “What has the Lord said to you?” “What has the Lord declared?” 38 But if you insist on saying, “This is the Lord’s message,” the Lord says to you: Because you have made this claim—this is the Lord’s message—when I told you not to proclaim the Lord’s message, 39 I will lift you up[c] and cast you out of my presence, together with the city that I gave to your ancestors. 40 I will make you an object of disgrace and enduring shame that no one will ever forget.

Good and bad figs

24 After Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar had deported Judah’s King Jeconiah, King Jehoiakim’s son, and the Judean officials, as well as the craftsmen and metalworkers from Jerusalem to Babylon, the Lord showed me two baskets of figs set in front of the Lord’s temple. One basket was filled with fresh and ripe figs; the other basket was filled with rotten figs—too rotten to eat. And the Lord asked me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

I replied: “Figs! Some good ones and others very bad—so bad that they can’t be eaten.”

Then the Lord said to me: The Lord, the God of Israel, proclaims: Just as with these good figs, I will treat kindly the Judean exiles that I have sent from this place to Babylon. I regard them as good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not pull them down; I will plant them and not dig them up. I will give them a heart to know me, for I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. And just like the rotten figs that are so bad that they can’t be eaten, the Lord says, I will do to Judah’s King Zedekiah and his officials, as well as the remaining few in Jerusalem and those who are living in Egypt. I will make them an object of horror and evil to all the kingdoms of the earth. Wherever I scatter them, they will be disgraced and insulted, mocked and cursed. 10 I will send the sword, famine, and disease against them until they vanish from the fertile land that I gave to their ancestors.

A summary of Jeremiah’s message

25 Jeremiah received the Lord’s word concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Judah’s King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son. This was the first year of Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar. The prophet Jeremiah addressed all the people of Judah and all those living in Jerusalem. From the thirteenth year of Judah’s King Josiah, Amon’s son, to this very day—twenty-three years—the Lord’s word has come to me. I have delivered it to you repeatedly, although you wouldn’t listen. In fact, the Lord has tirelessly sent you all his servants, the prophets, but you wouldn’t listen or pay attention. They said, “Each one of you, turn from your evil ways and deeds and live in the fertile land that the Lord gave you and your ancestors for all time. Don’t follow or worship other gods and don’t anger me by what you make with your hands. Then I won’t bring disaster upon you.” But you wouldn’t listen to me, making me angry by what you do and bringing disaster upon yourselves, declares the Lord.

Therefore, this is what the Lord of heavenly forces says: Because you haven’t listened to my words, I am going to muster all the tribes of the north and my servant King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, declares the Lord, and I will bring them against this country and its residents as well as against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy them and will make them an object of horror, shock, and ruins for all time. 10 I will silence the sounds of joy and laughter and the voices of the bride and the bridegroom. Yes, I will silence the millstones and snuff out the lamplight. 11 This whole country will be reduced to a wasteland, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years. 12 When the seventy years are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation for their wrongdoing, declares the Lord. I will reduce the land of the Babylonians to a wasteland for all time. 13 I will unleash upon that land everything I decreed, all that is written in this scroll, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations. 14 Yes, many great nations and powerful kings will enslave them, and I will pay them back in full for what they have done and made with their hands.

15 This is what the Lord, God of Israel, said to me: Take this seething cup of wine from my hand and make all the nations gulp it down where I’m sending you. 16 They will drink and stagger about half-crazed because of the sword that I am sending against them.

17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand, and I made all the nations drink from it where the Lord had sent me: 18 Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials. This was to make them a wasteland, an object of horror, shock, and cursing, as it is today; 19 Pharaoh, Egypt’s king, his attendants and officials, and all his people, 20 including the foreigners[d] living there; all the kings of the land of Uz; all the kings of the land of the Philistines—Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and what’s left of Ashdod; 21 Edom, Moab, and the Ammonites; 22 all the kings of Tyre and Sidon, and the kings of the coastlands across the sea; 23 Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all those who cut the hair of their foreheads;[e] 24 all the kings of Arabia and the nomadic tribes,[f] 25 all the kings of Zimri,[g] Elam, and Media; 26 all the kings of the north, those nearby and those faraway, one after another, all the empires on the earth will drink from this cup.[h] And after them the king of Sheshach[i] will drink from it.

27 Then say to them: The Lord of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: Drink this seething cup of wine and get drunk. Vomit and collapse and don’t get up again because of the sword that I’m thrusting into you. 28 If they refuse to take the cup in your hand and drink from it, tell them: This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says: You must drink! 29 Look! I’m bringing disaster upon the city that bears my name; how then will you escape unpunished? You will not! I’m summoning the sword against everyone on earth, declares the Lord of heavenly forces.

30 Now prophesy all these things and say to them:
The Lord roars on high;
    from his holy place he thunders.
He roars fiercely against his flock,
    like the shouting of those who tread on grapes,
        against everyone on earth.
31 The uproar is heard far and wide,
    because the Lord is bringing a lawsuit against the nations.
        He’s entering into judgment with all people,
            sentencing the guilty to death,
                declares the Lord.
32 The Lord of heavenly forces proclaims:
Look! Disaster travels from nation to nation.
    A terrible storm comes from the far ends of the earth.

33 At that time, those struck down by the Lord will fill the earth. And no one will mourn for them or prepare their bodies for burial. They will become like refuse lying on the ground.

34 Wail, you shepherds, cry out.
    Roll in the dust, you masters of the flock!
The day of your slaughter has arrived.
    You will fall and shatter like a fragile vase.
35 The shepherds have no place to hide;
    the masters of the flock can’t escape.
36 Hear the cry of the shepherds
    and the sobbing of the masters of the flock,
        because the Lord is ravaging their pasture.
37 There’s an eerie silence in the peaceful meadows,
    because of the Lord’s fierce anger.
38 The lion is on the prowl,
    and the land is reduced to nothing,
        because of the fierce sword,[j]
        because of his fierce anger.

Footnotes:

  1. Jeremiah 23:31 Heb uncertain
  2. Jeremiah 23:33 Or burden
  3. Jeremiah 23:39 LXX, Syr, Vulg; MT forget you
  4. Jeremiah 25:20 Heb uncertain
  5. Jeremiah 25:23 Heb uncertain
  6. Jeremiah 25:24 Heb uncertain
  7. Jeremiah 25:25 Heb uncertain
  8. Jeremiah 25:26 Heb lacks will drink from this cup.
  9. Jeremiah 25:26 Sheshak is a name for Babylon.
  10. Jeremiah 25:38 LXX, Heb manuscripts; Heb uncertain
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2 Thessalonians 2

Day of the Lord

Brothers and sisters, we have a request for you concerning our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming and when we are gathered together to be with him. We don’t want you to be easily confused in your mind or upset if you hear that the day of the Lord is already here, whether you hear it through some spirit, a message, or a letter supposedly from us. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. That day won’t come unless the rebellion comes first and the person who is lawless is revealed, who is headed for destruction. He is the opponent of every so-called god or object of worship and promotes himself over them. So he sits in God’s temple, displaying himself to show that he is God. You remember that I used to tell you these things while I was with you, don’t you? Now you know what holds him back so that he can be revealed when his time comes. The hidden plan to live without any law is at work now, but it will be secret only until the one who is holding it back is out of the way. Then the person who is lawless will be revealed. The Lord Jesus will destroy him with the breath from his mouth. When the Lord comes, his appearance will put an end to him. When the person who is lawless comes, it will happen through Satan’s effort, with all kinds of fake power, signs, and wonders. 10 It will happen with every sort of wicked deception of those who are heading toward destruction because they have refused to love the truth that would allow them to be saved. 11 This is why God will send them an influence that will mislead them so that they will believe the lie. 12 The result will be that everyone will be judged who is not convinced by the truth but is happy with injustice.

Prayer of thanks and encouragement

13 But we always must thank God for you, brothers and sisters who are loved by God. This is because he chose you from the beginning to be the first crop of the harvest. This brought salvation, through your dedication to God by the Spirit and through your belief in the truth. 14 God called all of you through our good news so you could possess the honor of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold on to the traditions we taught you, whether we taught you in person or through our letter. 16 Our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father loved us and through grace gave us eternal comfort and a good hope. 17 May he encourage your hearts and give you strength in every good thing you do or say.

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Psalm 84

Psalm 84

For the music leader. According to the Gittith. Of the Korahites. A psalm.

84 How lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord of heavenly forces!
My very being[a] longs, even yearns,
    for the Lord’s courtyards.
My heart and my body
    will rejoice out loud to the living God!

Yes, the sparrow too has found a home there;
    the swallow has found herself a nest
    where she can lay her young beside your altars,
    Lord of heavenly forces, my king, my God!
Those who live in your house are truly happy;
    they praise you constantly. Selah

Those who put their strength in you are truly happy;
    pilgrimage is in their hearts.
As they pass through the Baca Valley,[b]
    they make it a spring of water.
    Yes, the early rain covers it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength,
    until they see the supreme God in Zion.[c]
Lord God of heavenly forces,
    hear my prayer;
    listen closely, Jacob’s God! Selah
Look at our shield, God;
    pay close attention to the face of your anointed one!

10 Better is a single day in your courtyards
    than a thousand days anywhere else!
I would prefer to stand outside the entrance of my God’s house
    than live comfortably in the tents of the wicked!
11 The Lord is a sun and shield;
    God is favor and glory.
The Lord gives—doesn’t withhold!—good things
    to those who walk with integrity.
12 Lord of heavenly forces,
    those who trust in you are truly happy!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 84:2 Or soul
  2. Psalm 84:6 LXX; Vulg Valley of Tears
  3. Psalm 84:7 Correction; MT the God of gods will be seen in Zion
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Proverbs 25:15

15 A commander can be persuaded with patience,
    and a tender tongue can break a bone.

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Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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