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Judgment on Damascus
23 Concerning (A)Damascus:
(B)“Hamath and (C)Arpad are confounded,
for they have heard bad news;
they melt in fear,
(D)they are troubled like the sea that cannot be quiet.
24 (E)Damascus has become feeble, (F)she turned to flee,
and panic seized her;
anguish and sorrows have taken hold of her,
as (G)of a woman in labor.
25 How is (H)the famous city not forsaken,
the city of my joy?
26 (I)Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares,
and all her soldiers shall be destroyed in that day,
declares the Lord of hosts.
27 And (J)I will kindle a fire in the wall of (K)Damascus,
and it shall devour the strongholds of (L)Ben-hadad.”
Judgment on Kedar and Hazor
28 Concerning (M)Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon struck down.
Thus says the Lord:
(N)“Rise up, advance against (O)Kedar!
Destroy (P)the people of the east!
29 (Q)Their tents and their flocks shall be taken,
their (R)curtains and all their goods;
their camels shall be led away from them,
and men shall cry to them: (S)‘Terror on every side!’
30 (T)Flee, wander far away, dwell in the depths,
O inhabitants of Hazor!
declares the Lord.
For Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon
has made a plan against you
and formed a purpose against you.
31 (U)“Rise up, advance against a nation (V)at ease,
(W)that dwells securely,
declares the Lord,
(X)that has no gates or bars,
that dwells alone.
32 (Y)Their camels shall become plunder,
their herds of livestock a spoil.
(Z)I will scatter to every wind
(AA)those who cut the corners of their hair,
and I will bring their calamity
from every side of them,
declares the Lord.
33 Hazor shall become (AB)a haunt of jackals,
an everlasting waste;
(AC)no man shall dwell there;
(AD)no man shall sojourn in her.”
Judgment on Elam
35 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Behold, I will break (AG)the bow of (AH)Elam, the mainstay of their might. 36 And I will bring upon (AI)Elam the four winds from the four quarters of heaven. And I will scatter them to all those winds, and there shall be no nation to which those driven out of (AJ)Elam shall not come. 37 I will (AK)terrify (AL)Elam before their enemies and before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, (AM)my fierce anger, declares the Lord. (AN)I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them, 38 and I will set my throne in (AO)Elam and destroy their king and officials, declares the Lord.
Judgment on Babylon
2 “Declare among the nations and proclaim,
set up a banner and proclaim,
conceal it not, and say:
(AT)‘Babylon is taken,
(AU)Bel is put to shame,
Merodach is dismayed.
(AV)Her images are put to shame,
her idols are dismayed.’
4 (AZ)“In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, (BA)the people of Israel and the people of Judah shall come together, (BB)weeping as they come, and they (BC)shall seek the Lord their God. 5 (BD)They shall ask the way to Zion, with faces turned toward it, (BE)saying, ‘Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in an (BF)everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.’
6 (BG)“My people have been lost sheep. (BH)Their shepherds have led them astray, turning them away on the mountains. From mountain to hill they have gone. They have forgotten their fold. 7 All who found them have devoured them, (BI)and their enemies have said, ‘We are not guilty, for (BJ)they have sinned against the Lord, (BK)their habitation of righteousness, the Lord, (BL)the hope of their fathers.’
8 (BM)“Flee from the midst of Babylon, (BN)and go out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as male goats before the flock. 9 For behold, I am stirring up and bringing against Babylon (BO)a gathering of great nations, from the north country. And they shall array themselves against her. From there she shall be taken. Their arrows are like a skilled warrior who does not return empty-handed. 10 (BP)Chaldea shall be plundered; all who plunder her shall be sated, declares the Lord.
11 (BQ)“Though you rejoice, though you exult,
O plunderers of my heritage,
though you frolic like a heifer in the pasture,
and neigh like stallions,
12 your mother shall be utterly shamed,
and she who bore you shall be disgraced.
Behold, she shall be the last of the nations,
(BR)a wilderness, a dry land, and a desert.
13 (BS)Because of the wrath of the Lord she shall not be inhabited
but shall be an utter desolation;
(BT)everyone who passes by Babylon shall be appalled,
(BU)and hiss because of all her wounds.
14 (BV)Set yourselves in array against Babylon all around,
(BW)all you who bend the bow;
shoot at her, spare no arrows,
(BX)for she has sinned against the Lord.
15 (BY)Raise a shout against her all around;
she has surrendered;
her bulwarks have fallen;
(BZ)her walls are thrown down.
For (CA)this is the vengeance of the Lord:
take vengeance on her;
(CB)do to her as she has done.
16 Cut off from Babylon the sower,
and the one who handles the sickle in time of harvest;
(CC)because of the sword of the oppressor,
(CD)every one shall turn to his own people,
and every one shall flee to his own land.
17 (CE)“Israel is a hunted sheep (CF)driven away by lions. (CG)First the king of Assyria (CH)devoured him, and now at last (CI)Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (CJ)has gnawed his bones. 18 Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, (CK)I am bringing punishment on the king of Babylon and his land, (CL)as I punished the king of Assyria. 19 (CM)I will restore Israel to his pasture, and (CN)he shall feed on (CO)Carmel and in (CP)Bashan, and his desire shall be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and in (CQ)Gilead. 20 In those days and in that time, declares the Lord, (CR)iniquity shall be sought in Israel, and there shall be none, and sin in Judah, and none shall be found, for (CS)I will pardon those whom I leave as a remnant.
21 “Go up against the land of Merathaim,[a]
and against the inhabitants of Pekod.[b]
Kill, (CT)and devote them to destruction,[c]
declares the Lord,
and do all that I have commanded you.
22 (CU)The noise of battle is in the land,
and great destruction!
23 (CV)How the hammer of the whole earth
is cut down and broken!
(CW)How Babylon (CX)has become
a horror among the nations!
24 (CY)I set a snare for you and you were taken, O Babylon,
and (CZ)you did not know it;
you were found and caught,
because you opposed the Lord.
25 The Lord has opened his armory
and brought out (DA)the weapons of his wrath,
for the Lord God of hosts has a work to do
in the land of the Chaldeans.
26 Come against her from every quarter;
open her granaries;
(DB)pile her up like heaps of grain, and devote her to destruction;
let nothing be left of her.
27 Kill all (DC)her bulls;
let them go down to the slaughter.
Woe to them, for their day has come,
(DD)the time of their punishment.
29 (DH)“Summon archers against Babylon, all those who bend the bow. (DI)Encamp around her; let no one escape. (DJ)Repay her according to her deeds; do to her according to all that she has done. For she has (DK)proudly defied the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. 30 (DL)Therefore her young men shall fall in her squares, and all her soldiers shall be destroyed on that day, declares the Lord.
31 “Behold, I am against you, O (DM)proud one,
declares the Lord God of hosts,
(DN)for your day has come,
the time when I will punish you.
32 (DO)The proud one shall stumble and fall,
with none to raise him up,
(DP)and I will kindle a fire in his cities,
and it will devour all that is around him.
33 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: (DQ)The people of Israel are oppressed, and the people of Judah with them. All who took them captive have held them fast; (DR)they refuse to let them go. 34 (DS)Their Redeemer is strong; (DT)the Lord of hosts is his name. (DU)He will surely plead their cause, that he may give rest to the earth, but unrest to the inhabitants of Babylon.
35 “A sword against the Chaldeans, declares the Lord,
and against the inhabitants of Babylon,
and against (DV)her officials and her (DW)wise men!
36 A sword against the diviners,
that they may become fools!
A sword against her (DX)warriors,
that they may be destroyed!
37 A sword against her horses and against her chariots,
and against all (DY)the foreign troops in her midst,
that (DZ)they may become women!
(EA)A sword against all her treasures,
that they may be plundered!
38 (EB)A drought against her waters,
that they may be dried up!
(EC)For it is a land of images,
and they are mad over idols.
39 (ED)“Therefore wild beasts shall dwell with hyenas in Babylon,[d] and ostriches shall dwell in her. She shall never again have people, nor be inhabited for all generations. 40 (EE)As when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah and their neighboring cities, declares the Lord, (EF)so no man shall dwell there, and no son of man shall sojourn in her.
41 (EG)“Behold, a people comes from the north;
a mighty nation and many kings
are stirring from the farthest parts of the earth.
42 They lay hold of bow and spear;
they are cruel and have no mercy.
The sound of them is like the roaring of the sea;
they ride on horses,
arrayed as a man for battle
against you, O daughter of Babylon!
43 “The king of Babylon heard the report of them,
and his hands fell helpless;
anguish seized him,
pain as of a woman in labor.
44 (EH)“Behold, like a lion coming up from the thicket of the Jordan against a perennial pasture, I will suddenly make them run away from her, and I will appoint over her whomever I choose. For who is like me? Who will summon me? What shepherd (EI)can stand before me? 45 Therefore hear (EJ)the plan that the Lord has made against Babylon, (EK)and the purposes that he has formed against the land of the Chaldeans: (EL)Surely the little ones of their flock shall be dragged away; surely their fold shall be appalled at their fate. 46 (EM)At the sound of the capture of Babylon the earth shall tremble, and her cry shall be heard among the nations.”
1 Paul, a servant[a] of God and (A)an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God's elect and (B)their knowledge of the truth, (C)which accords with godliness, 2 (D)in hope of eternal life, which God, (E)who never lies, (F)promised (G)before the ages began[b] 3 and (H)at the proper time manifested in his word[c] (I)through the preaching (J)with which I have been entrusted (K)by the command of God our Savior;
(N)Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Qualifications for Elders
5 (O)This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and (P)appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 (Q)if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife,[d] and his children are believers[e] and not open to the charge of (R)debauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer,[f] (S)as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not (T)be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent (U)or greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, (V)and disciplined. 9 He must (W)hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in (X)sound[g] doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
10 For there are many who are insubordinate, (Y)empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of (Z)the circumcision party.[h] 11 They must be silenced, since (AA)they are upsetting whole families by teaching (AB)for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 (AC)One of the Cretans,[i] a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”[j] 13 This testimony is true. Therefore (AD)rebuke them (AE)sharply, that they (AF)may be sound in the faith, 14 (AG)not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and (AH)the commands of people (AI)who turn away from the truth. 15 (AJ)To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and (AK)unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both (AL)their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 (AM)They profess to know God, but they (AN)deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, (AO)unfit for any good work.
The Lord Reigns
97 (A)The Lord reigns, (B)let the earth rejoice;
let the many (C)coastlands be glad!
2 (D)Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
(E)righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 (F)Fire goes before him
and burns up his adversaries all around.
4 His (G)lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and (H)trembles.
5 The mountains (I)melt like (J)wax before the Lord,
before (K)the Lord of all the earth.
6 (L)The heavens proclaim his righteousness,
and all (M)the peoples see his glory.
7 All worshipers of images are (N)put to shame,
who make their boast in (O)worthless idols;
(P)worship him, all you gods!
10 O you who love the Lord, (T)hate evil!
He (U)preserves the lives of his (V)saints;
he (W)delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
11 (X)Light (Y)is sown[a] for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
12 (Z)Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
and (AA)give thanks to his holy name!
Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord
98 Oh sing to the Lord (AB)a new song,
for he has done (AC)marvelous things!
His (AD)right hand and his holy arm
have worked salvation for him.
2 The Lord has (AE)made known his salvation;
he has (AF)revealed his righteousness in (AG)the sight of the nations.
3 He has (AH)remembered his (AI)steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All (AJ)the ends of the earth have seen
(AK)the salvation of our God.
4 (AL)Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
(AM)break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the (AN)sound of melody!
6 With (AO)trumpets and the sound of (AP)the horn
(AQ)make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!
13 (A)The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
There is a lion in the streets!”
14 As a door turns on its hinges,
so does a sluggard on his bed.
15 (B)The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is (C)wiser in his own eyes
(D)than seven men who can answer sensibly.