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48 This is what the Lord Almighty said about Moab:
“Pity the people of Nebo—
their town is destroyed!
Kiriathaim is captured,
its mighty fortress torn down,
and its people put to shame;
2 the splendor of Moab is gone.
The enemy have captured Heshbon
and plot to destroy the nation of Moab.
The town of Madmen will be silenced;
armies will march against it.
3 The people of Horonaim cry out,
4 “Moab has been destroyed;
listen to the children crying.
5 Hear the sound of their sobs
along the road up to Luhith,
the cries of distress
on the way down to Horonaim.
6 ‘Quick, run for your lives!’ they say.
‘Run like a wild desert donkey!’
7 “Moab, you trusted in your strength and your wealth,
but now even you will be conquered;
your god Chemosh will go into exile,
along with his princes and priests.
8 Not a town will escape the destruction;
both valley and plain will be ruined.
I, the Lord, have spoken.
9 Set up a tombstone for Moab;
it will soon be destroyed.
Its towns will be left in ruins,
and no one will live there again.”
(10 Curse those who do not do the Lord's work with all their heart! Curse those who do not slash and kill!)
11 The Lord said, “Moab has always lived secure and has never been taken into exile. Moab is like wine left to settle undisturbed and never poured from jar to jar. Its flavor has never been ruined, and it tastes as good as ever.
12 “So now, the time is coming when I will send people to pour Moab out like wine. They will empty its wine jars and break them in pieces. 13 Then the Moabites will be disillusioned with their god Chemosh, just as the Israelites were disillusioned with Bethel, a god in whom they trusted.
14 “Men of Moab, why do you claim to be heroes,
brave soldiers tested in war?
15 Moab and its cities are destroyed;
its finest young men have been slaughtered.
I am the king, the Lord Almighty,
and I have spoken.
16 Moab's doom approaches;
its ruin is coming soon.
17 “Mourn for that nation, you that live nearby,
all of you that know its fame.
Say, ‘Its powerful rule has been broken;
its glory and might are no more.’
18 You that live in Dibon,
come down from your place of honor
and sit on the ground in the dust;
Moab's destroyer is here
and has left its forts in ruins.
19 You that live in Aroer,
stand by the road and wait;
ask those who are running away,
find out from them what has happened.
20 ‘Moab has fallen,’ they will answer,
‘weep for it; it is disgraced.
Announce along the Arnon River
that Moab is destroyed!’
21 “Judgment has come on the cities of the plateau: on Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath, 22 Dibon, Nebo, Beth Diblathaim, 23 Kiriathaim, Bethgamul, Bethmeon, 24 Kerioth, and Bozrah. Judgment has come on all the cities of Moab, far and near. 25 Moab's might has been crushed; its power has been destroyed. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
26 The Lord said, “Make Moab drunk, because it has rebelled against me. Moab will roll in its own vomit, and people will laugh. 27 Moab, remember how you made fun of the people of Israel? You treated them as though they had been caught with a gang of robbers.
28 “You people who live in Moab, leave your towns! Go and live on the cliffs! Be like the dove that makes its nest in the sides of a ravine. 29 Moab is very proud! I have heard how proud, arrogant, and conceited the people are, how much they think of themselves. 30 I, the Lord, know of their arrogance. Their boasts amount to nothing, and the things they do will not last. 31 And so I will weep for everyone in Moab and for the people of Kir Heres. 32 I will cry for the people of Sibmah, even more than for the people of Jazer. City of Sibmah, you are like a vine whose branches reach across the Dead Sea and go as far as Jazer. But now your summer fruits and your grapes have been destroyed. 33 Happiness and joy have been taken away from the fertile land of Moab. I have made the wine stop flowing from the wine presses; there is no one to make the wine and shout for joy.
34 “The people of Heshbon and Elealeh cry out,[a] and their cry can be heard as far as Jahaz; it can be heard by the people in Zoar, and it is heard as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah. Even Nimrim Brook has dried up. 35 I will stop the people of Moab from making burnt offerings at their places of worship and from offering sacrifices to their gods. I, the Lord, have spoken.
36 “So my heart mourns for Moab and for the people of Kir Heres, like someone playing a funeral song on a flute, because everything they owned is gone. 37 All of them have shaved their heads and cut off their beards. They have all made gashes on their hands, and everyone is wearing sackcloth. 38 On all the housetops of Moab and in all its public squares there is nothing but mourning, because I have broken Moab like a jar that no one wants. 39 Moab has been shattered! Cry out! Moab has been disgraced. It is in ruins, and all the surrounding nations make fun of it. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
40 The Lord has promised that a nation will swoop down on Moab like an eagle with its outspread wings, 41 and the towns and fortresses will be captured. On that day Moab's soldiers will be as frightened as a woman in labor. 42 Moab will be destroyed and will no longer be a nation, because it rebelled against me. 43 Terror, pits, and traps are waiting for the people of Moab. The Lord has spoken. 44 Whoever tries to escape the terror will fall into the pits, and whoever climbs out of the pits will be caught in the traps, because the Lord has set the time for Moab's destruction. 45 Helpless refugees try to find protection in Heshbon, the city that King Sihon once ruled, but it is in flames.[b] Fire has burned up the frontiers and the mountain heights of the war-loving people of Moab. 46 Pity the people of Moab! The people who worshiped Chemosh have been destroyed, and their sons and daughters have been taken away as prisoners.
47 But in days to come the Lord will make Moab prosperous again. All of this is what the Lord has said will happen to Moab.
49 This is what the Lord said about Ammon: “Where are the men of Israel? Is there no one to defend their land? Why have they let the people who worship Molech take the territory of the tribe of Gad and settle there? 2 But the time is coming when I will make the people of the capital city of Rabbah hear the noise of battle, and it will be left in ruins and its villages burned to the ground. Then Israel will take its land back from those who took it from them. 3 People of Heshbon, cry out! Ai is destroyed! Women of Rabbah, go into mourning! Put on sackcloth and mourn. Run about in confusion. Your god Molech will be taken into exile, together with his priests and princes. 4 Why do you unfaithful people boast? Your strength is failing. Why do you trust in your power and say that no one would dare attack you? 5 I will bring terror on you from every side. You will all run away. Each one will run for his life, and there will be no one to bring your troops together again.
6 “But later on I will make Ammon prosperous again. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
7 This is what the Lord Almighty said about Edom: “Have the people of Edom lost their good judgment? Can their advisers no longer tell them what to do? Has all their wisdom disappeared? 8 People of Dedan, turn and run! Hide! I am going to destroy Esau's descendants because the time has come for me to punish them. 9 When people pick grapes, they leave a few on the vines, and when robbers come at night, they take only what they want. 10 But I[c] have stripped Esau's descendants completely and uncovered their hiding places, so that they can no longer hide. All the people of Edom are destroyed. Not one of them is left. 11 Leave your orphans with me, and I will take care of them. Your widows can depend on me.
12 “If even those who did not deserve to be punished had to drink from the cup of punishment, do you think that you will go unpunished? No, you must drink from the cup! 13 I myself have sworn that the city of Bozrah will become a horrifying sight and a desert; people will make fun of it and use its name as a curse. All the nearby villages will be in ruins forever. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
14 I said, “Edom, I have received a message from the Lord. He has sent a messenger to tell the nations to assemble their armies and to get ready to attack you. 15 The Lord is going to make you weak, and no one will respect you. 16 Your pride has deceived you. No one fears you as much as you think they do. You live on the rocky cliffs, high on top of the mountain; but even though you live as high up as an eagle, the Lord will bring you down. The Lord has spoken.”
17 The Lord said, “The destruction that will come on Edom will be so terrible that everyone who passes by will be shocked and terrified. 18 The same thing will happen to Edom that happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, when they and the nearby towns were destroyed. No one will ever live there again. I, the Lord, have spoken. 19 Like a lion coming out of the thick woods along the Jordan River up to the green pasture land, I will come and make the Edomites run away suddenly from their country. Then the leader I choose will rule the nation. Who can be compared to me? Who would dare challenge me? What ruler could oppose me? 20 So listen to the plan that I have made against the people of Edom, and to what I intend to do to the people of the city of Teman. Even their children will be dragged off, and everyone will be horrified. 21 When Edom falls, there will be such a noise that the entire earth will shake, and the cries of alarm will be heard as far away as the Gulf of Aqaba. 22 The enemy will attack Bozrah like an eagle swooping down with outspread wings. On that day Edom's soldiers will be as frightened as a woman in labor.”
4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and because he is coming to rule as King, I solemnly urge you 2 to preach the message, to insist upon proclaiming it (whether the time is right or not), to convince, reproach, and encourage, as you teach with all patience. 3 The time will come when people will not listen to sound doctrine, but will follow their own desires and will collect for themselves more and more teachers who will tell them what they are itching to hear. 4 They will turn away from listening to the truth and give their attention to legends. 5 But you must keep control of yourself in all circumstances; endure suffering, do the work of a preacher of the Good News, and perform your whole duty as a servant of God.
6 As for me, the hour has come for me to be sacrificed; the time is here for me to leave this life. 7 I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith.[a] 8 And now there is waiting for me the victory prize of being put right with God, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day—and not only to me, but to all those who wait with love for him to appear.
9 Do your best to come to me soon. 10 Demas fell in love with this present world and has deserted me, going off to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he can help me in the work. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring my coat that I left in Troas with Carpus; bring the books too, and especially the ones made of parchment.
14 Alexander the metalworker did me great harm; the Lord will reward him according to what he has done. 15 Be on your guard against him yourself, because he was violently opposed to our message.
16 No one stood by me the first time I defended myself; all deserted me. May God not count it against them! 17 But the Lord stayed with me and gave me strength, so that I was able to proclaim the full message for all the Gentiles to hear; and I was rescued from being sentenced to death. 18 And the Lord will rescue me from all evil and take me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever! Amen.
19 I send greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and to the family of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus in Miletus, because he was sick. 21 Do your best to come before winter.
Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia send their greetings, and so do all the other Christians.
22 The Lord be with your spirit.
God's grace be with you all.
95 Come, let us praise the Lord!
Let us sing for joy to God, who protects us!
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and sing joyful songs of praise.
3 For the Lord is a mighty God,
a mighty king over all the gods.
4 He rules over the whole earth,
from the deepest caves to the highest hills.
5 He rules over the sea, which he made;
the land also, which he himself formed.
6 Come, let us bow down and worship him;
let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
7 He is our God;
we are the people he cares for,
the flock for which he provides.
Listen today to what he says:
8 “Don't be stubborn, as your ancestors were at Meribah,
as they were that day in the desert at Massah.
9 There they put me to the test and tried me,
although they had seen what I did for them.
10 For forty years I was disgusted with those people.
I said, ‘How disloyal they are!
They refuse to obey my commands.’
11 I was angry and made a solemn promise:
‘You will never enter the land
where I would have given you rest.’”
96 Sing a new song to the Lord!
Sing to the Lord, all the world!
2 Sing to the Lord, and praise him!
Proclaim every day the good news that he has saved us.
3 Proclaim his glory to the nations,
his mighty deeds to all peoples.
4 The Lord is great and is to be highly praised;
he is to be honored more than all the gods.
5 The gods of all other nations are only idols,
but the Lord created the heavens.
6 Glory and majesty surround him;
power and beauty fill his Temple.
7 Praise the Lord, all people on earth;
praise his glory and might.
8 Praise the Lord's glorious name;
bring an offering and come into his Temple.
9 Bow down before the Holy One when he appears;[a]
tremble before him, all the earth!
10 Say to all the nations, “The Lord is king!
The earth is set firmly in place and cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with justice.”
11 Be glad, earth and sky!
Roar, sea, and every creature in you;
12 be glad, fields, and everything in you!
The trees in the woods will shout for joy
13 when the Lord comes to rule the earth.
He will rule the peoples of the world
with justice and fairness.
9 A fool quoting a wise saying reminds you of a drunk trying to pick a thorn out of his hand.
10 An employer who hires any fool that comes along is only hurting everybody concerned.[a]
11 A fool doing some stupid thing a second time is like a dog going back to its vomit.
12 The most stupid fool is better off than those who think they are wise when they are not.