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Jeremiah 39:1-41:18; 2 Timothy 1:1-18; Psalms 90:1-91:16; Proverbs 26:1-2 (New English Translation)

Jeremiah 39-41

39 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siege to it. The siege began in the tenth month of the ninth year that Zedekiah ruled over Judah. It lasted until the ninth day of the fourth month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year. On that day they broke through the city walls. Then Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim, who was a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer, who was a high official, and all the other officers of the king of Babylon came and set up quarters in the Middle Gate. When King Zedekiah of Judah and all his soldiers saw them, they tried to escape. They departed from the city during the night. They took a path through the king’s garden and passed out through the gate between the two walls. Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. But the Babylonian army chased after them. They caught up with Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho and captured him. They took him to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon at Riblah in the territory of Hamath and Nebuchadnezzar passed sentence on him there. There at Riblah the king of Babylon had Zedekiah’s sons put to death while Zedekiah was forced to watch. The king of Babylon also had all the nobles of Judah put to death. Then he had Zedekiah’s eyes put out and had him bound in chains to be led off to Babylon. The Babylonians burned down the royal palace, the temple of the Lord, and the people’s homes, and they tore down the wall of Jerusalem. Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, took captive the rest of the people who were left in the city. He carried them off to Babylon along with the people who had deserted to him. 10 But he left behind in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing. He gave them fields and vineyards at that time.

11 Now King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had issued orders concerning Jeremiah. He had passed them on through Nebuzaradan, the captain of his royal guard, 12 “Find Jeremiah and look out for him. Do not do anything to harm him, but do with him whatever he tells you.” 13 So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, Nebushazban, who was a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer, who was a high official, and all the other officers of the king of Babylon 14 sent and had Jeremiah brought from the courtyard of the guardhouse. They turned him over to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and the grandson of Shaphan, to take him home with him. But Jeremiah stayed among the people.

Ebed Melech Is Promised Deliverance because of His Faith

15 Now the Lord had spoken to Jeremiah while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse, 16 “Go and tell Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, ‘The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, “I will carry out against this city what I promised. It will mean disaster and not good fortune for it. When that disaster happens, you will be there to see it. 17 But I will rescue you when it happens. I, the Lord, affirm it! You will not be handed over to those whom you fear. 18 I will certainly save you. You will not fall victim to violence. You will escape with your life because you trust in me. I, the Lord, affirm it!”’”

Jeremiah Is Set Free A Second Time

40 The Lord spoke to Jeremiah after Nebuzaradan the captain of the royal guard had set him free at Ramah. He had taken him there in chains along with all the people from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried off to exile to Babylon. The captain of the royal guard took Jeremiah aside and said to him, “The Lord your God threatened this place with this disaster. Now he has brought it about. The Lord has done just as he threatened to do. This disaster has happened because you people sinned against the Lord and did not obey him. But now, Jeremiah, today I will set you free from the chains on your wrists. If you would like to come to Babylon with me, come along and I will take care of you. But if you prefer not to come to Babylon with me, you are not required to do so. You are free to go anywhere in the land you want to go. Go wherever you choose.” Before Jeremiah could turn to leave, the captain of the guard added, “Go back to Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon appointed to govern the towns of Judah. Go back and live with him among the people. Or go wherever else you choose.” Then the captain of the guard gave Jeremiah some food and a present and let him go. So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah and lived there with him. He stayed there to live among the people who had been left in the land of Judah.

A Small Judean Province is Established at Mizpah

Now some of the officers of the Judean army and their troops had been hiding in the countryside. They heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam to govern the country. They also heard that he had been put in charge over the men, women, and children from the poorer classes of the land who had not been carried off into exile in Babylon. So all these officers and their troops came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. The officers who came were Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah son of the Maacathite. Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, took an oath so as to give them and their troops some assurance of safety. “Do not be afraid to submit to the Babylonians. Settle down in the land and submit to the king of Babylon. Then things will go well for you. 10 I for my part will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians whenever they come to us. You for your part go ahead and harvest the wine, the dates, the figs, and the olive oil, and store them in jars. Go ahead and settle down in the towns that you have taken over.” 11 Moreover, all the Judeans who were in Moab, Ammon, Edom, and all the other countries heard what had happened. They heard that the king of Babylon had allowed some people to stay in Judah and that he had appointed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, to govern them. 12 So all these Judeans returned to the land of Judah from the places where they had been scattered. They came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. Thus they harvested a large amount of wine and dates and figs.

Ishmael Murders Gedaliah and Carries Off the Judeans at Mizpah as Captives

13 Johanan and all the officers of the troops that had been hiding in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. 14 They said to him, “Are you at all aware that King Baalis of Ammon has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to kill you?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam would not believe them. 15 Then Johanan son of Kareah spoke privately to Gedaliah there at Mizpah, “Let me go and kill Ishmael the son of Nethaniah before anyone knows about it. Otherwise he will kill you and all the Judeans who have rallied around you will be scattered. Then what remains of Judah will disappear.” 16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to Johanan son of Kareah, “Do not do that because what you are saying about Ishmael is not true.”

41 But in the seventh month Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama who was a member of the royal family and had been one of Zedekiah’s chief officers, came with ten of his men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah. While they were eating a meal together with him there at Mizpah, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him stood up, pulled out their swords, and killed Gedaliah, the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. Thus Ishmael killed the man that the king of Babylon had appointed to govern the country. Ishmael also killed all the Judeans who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah and the Babylonian soldiers who happened to be there.

On the day after Gedaliah had been murdered, before anyone even knew about it, eighty men arrived from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria. They had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes, and cut themselves to show they were mourning. They were carrying grain offerings and incense to present at the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. Ishmael son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them. He was pretending to cry as he walked along. When he met them, he said to them, “Come with me to meet Gedaliah son of Ahikam.” But as soon as they were inside the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the men who were with him slaughtered them and threw their bodies in a cistern. But there were ten men among them who said to Ishmael, “Do not kill us. For we will give you the stores of wheat, barley, olive oil, and honey we have hidden in a field.” So he spared their lives and did not kill them along with the rest. Now the cistern where Ishmael threw all the dead bodies of those he had killed was a large one that King Asa had constructed as part of his defenses against King Baasha of Israel. Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled it with dead bodies. 10 Then Ishmael took captive all the people who were still left alive in Mizpah. This included the royal princesses and all the rest of the people in Mizpah that Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, had put under the authority of Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took all these people captive and set out to cross over to the Ammonites.

Johanan Rescues the People Ishmael Had Carried Off

11 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him heard about all the atrocities that Ishmael son of Nethaniah had committed. 12 So they took all their troops and went to fight against Ishmael son of Nethaniah. They caught up with him near the large pool at Gibeon. 13 When all the people that Ishmael had taken captive saw Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers with him, they were glad. 14 All those people that Ishmael had taken captive from Mizpah turned and went over to Johanan son of Kareah. 15 But Ishmael son of Nethaniah managed to escape from Johanan along with eight of his men, and he went on over to Ammon.

16 Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him led off all the people who had been left alive at Mizpah. They had rescued them from Ishmael son of Nethaniah after he killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam. They led off the men, women, children, soldiers, and court officials whom they had brought away from Gibeon. 17 They set out to go to Egypt to get away from the Babylonians, but stopped at Geruth Kimham near Bethlehem. 18 They were afraid of what the Babylonians might do because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had killed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed to govern the country.

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2 Timothy 1


From Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to further the promise of life in Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my dear child. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord!

Thanksgiving and Charge to Timothy

I am thankful to God, whom I have served with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, when I remember you in my prayers as I do constantly night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. I recall your sincere faith that was alive first in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice, and I am sure is in you.

Because of this I remind you to rekindle God’s gift that you possess through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me, a prisoner for his sake, but by God’s power accept your share of suffering for the gospel. He is the one who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not based on our works but on his own purpose and grace, granted to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but now made visible through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus. He has broken the power of death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel! 11 For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher. 12 Because of this, in fact, I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, because I know the one in whom my faith is set and I am convinced that he is able to protect what has been entrusted to me until that day. 13 Hold to the standard of sound words that you heard from me and do so with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Protect that good thing entrusted to you, through the Holy Spirit who lives within us.

15 You know that everyone in the province of Asia deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the family of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my imprisonment. 17 But when he arrived in Rome, he eagerly searched for me and found me. 18 May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day! And you know very well all the ways he served me in Ephesus.

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Psalm 90-91

Book 4 (Psalms 90-106)

Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses, the man of God.

O Lord, you have been our protector through all generations!
Even before the mountains came into existence,
or you brought the world into being,
you were the eternal God.
You make mankind return to the dust,
and say, “Return, O people!”
Yes, in your eyes a thousand years
are like yesterday that quickly passes,
or like one of the divisions of the nighttime.
You bring their lives to an end and they “fall asleep.”
In the morning they are like the grass that sprouts up;
in the morning it glistens and sprouts up;
at evening time it withers and dries up.
Yes, we are consumed by your anger;
we are terrified by your wrath.
You are aware of our sins;
you even know about our hidden sins.
Yes, throughout all our days we experience your raging fury;
the years of our lives pass quickly, like a sigh.
10 The days of our lives add up to seventy years,
or eighty, if one is especially strong.
But even one’s best years are marred by trouble and oppression.
Yes, they pass quickly and we fly away.
11 Who can really fathom the intensity of your anger?
Your raging fury causes people to fear you.
12 So teach us to consider our mortality,
so that we might live wisely.
13 Turn back toward us, O Lord!
How long must this suffering last?
Have pity on your servants!
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your loyal love!
Then we will shout for joy and be happy all our days!
15 Make us happy in proportion to the days you have afflicted us,
in proportion to the years we have experienced trouble!
16 May your servants see your work!
May their sons see your majesty!
17 May our sovereign God extend his favor to us!
Make our endeavors successful!
Yes, make them successful!

Psalm 91

As for you, the one who lives in the shelter of the sovereign One,
and resides in the protective shadow of the mighty king—
I say this about the Lord, my shelter and my stronghold,
my God in whom I trust—
he will certainly rescue you from the snare of the hunter
and from the destructive plague.
He will shelter you with his wings;
you will find safety under his wings.
His faithfulness is like a shield or a protective wall.
You need not fear the terrors of the night,
the arrow that flies by day,
the plague that comes in the darkness,
or the disease that comes at noon.
Though a thousand may fall beside you,
and a multitude on your right side,
it will not reach you.
Certainly you will see it with your very own eyes—
you will see the wicked paid back.
For you have taken refuge in the Lord,
my shelter, the sovereign One.
10 No harm will overtake you;
no illness will come near your home.
11 For he will order his angels
to protect you in all you do.
12 They will lift you up in their hands,
so you will not slip and fall on a stone.
13 You will subdue a lion and a snake;
you will trample underfoot a young lion and a serpent.
14 The Lord says,
“Because he is devoted to me, I will deliver him;
I will protect him because he is loyal to me.
15 When he calls out to me, I will answer him.
I will be with him when he is in trouble;
I will rescue him and bring him honor.
16 I will satisfy him with long life,
and will let him see my salvation.

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Proverbs 26:1-2

26 Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
so honor is not fitting for a fool.
Like a fluttering bird or like a flying swallow,
so a curse without cause does not come to rest.

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New English Translation (NET)

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