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23 The Lord spoke about Damascus.
“The people of Hamath and Arpad will be dismayed
because they have heard bad news.
Their courage will melt away because of worry.
Their hearts will not be able to rest.
24 The people of Damascus will lose heart and turn to flee.
Panic will grip them.
Pain and anguish will seize them
like a woman in labor.
25 How deserted will that once-famous city be,
that city that was once filled with joy!
26 For her young men will fall in her city squares.
All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”
says the Lord who rules over all.
27 “I will set fire to the walls of Damascus;
it will burn up the palaces of Ben Hadad.”
28 The Lord spoke about Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon conquered.
“Army of Babylon, go and attack Kedar.
Lay waste those who live in the eastern desert.
29 Their tents and their flocks will be taken away.
Their tent curtains, equipment, and camels will be carried off.
People will shout to them,
‘Terror is all around you!’”
30 The Lord says, “Flee quickly, you who live in Hazor.
Take up refuge in remote places.
For King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has laid out plans to attack you.
He has formed his strategy on how to defeat you.”
31 The Lord says, “Army of Babylon, go and attack
a nation that lives in peace and security.
They have no gates or walls to protect them.
They live all alone.
32 Their camels will be taken as plunder.
Their vast herds will be taken as spoil.
I will scatter to the four winds
those desert peoples who cut their hair short at the temples.
I will bring disaster against them
from every direction,” says the Lord.
33 “Hazor will become a permanent wasteland,
a place where only jackals live.
No one will live there.
No human being will settle in it.”
34 Early in the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah, the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about Elam.
35 The Lord who rules over all said,
“I will kill all the archers of Elam,
who are the chief source of her military might.
36 I will cause enemies to blow through Elam from every direction
like the winds blowing in from the four quarters of heaven.
I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds.
There will not be any nation where the refugees of Elam will not go.
37 I will make the people of Elam terrified of their enemies,
who are seeking to kill them.
I will vent my fierce anger
and bring disaster upon them,” says the Lord.
“I will send armies chasing after them
until I have completely destroyed them.
38 I will establish my sovereignty over Elam.
I will destroy their king and their leaders,” says the Lord.
39 “Yet in days to come
I will reverse Elam’s ill fortune.”
says the Lord.
50 The Lord spoke concerning Babylon and the land of Babylonia through the prophet Jeremiah.
2 “Announce the news among the nations! Proclaim it!
Signal for people to pay attention!
Declare the news! Do not hide it! Say:
‘Babylon will be captured.
Bel will be put to shame.
Marduk will be dismayed.
Babylon’s idols will be put to shame.
Her disgusting images will be dismayed.
3 For a nation from the north will attack Babylon.
It will lay her land waste.
People and animals will flee out of it.
No one will inhabit it.’
4 “When that time comes,” says the Lord,
“the people of Israel and Judah will return to the land together.
They will come back with tears of repentance
as they seek the Lord their God.
5 They will ask the way to Zion;
they will turn their faces toward it.
They will come and bind themselves to the Lord
in a lasting covenant that will never be forgotten.
6 “My people have been lost sheep.
Their shepherds have allowed them to go astray.
They have wandered around in the mountains.
They have roamed from one mountain and hill to another.
They have forgotten their resting place.
7 All who encountered them devoured them.
Their enemies who did this said, ‘We are not liable for punishment!
For those people have sinned against the Lord, their true pasture.
They have sinned against the Lord in whom their ancestors trusted.’
8 “People of Judah, get out of Babylon quickly!
Leave the land of Babylonia!
Be the first to depart!
Be like the male goats that lead the herd.
9 For I will rouse into action and bring against Babylon
a host of mighty nations from the land of the north.
They will set up their battle lines against her.
They will come from the north and capture her.
Their arrows will be like a skilled soldier
who does not return from the battle empty-handed.
10 Babylonia will be plundered.
Those who plunder it will take all they want,”
says the Lord.
11 “People of Babylonia, you plundered my people.
That made you happy and glad.
You frolic about like calves in a pasture.
Your joyous sounds are like the neighs of a stallion.
12 But Babylonia will be put to great shame.
The land where you were born will be disgraced.
Indeed, Babylonia will become the least important of all nations.
It will become a dry and barren desert.
13 After I vent my wrath on it Babylon will be uninhabited.
It will be totally desolate.
All who pass by will be filled with horror and will hiss out their scorn
because of all the disasters that have happened to it.
14 “Take up your battle positions all around Babylon,
all you soldiers who are armed with bows.
Shoot all your arrows at her! Do not hold any back!
For she has sinned against the Lord.
15 Shout the battle cry from all around the city.
She will throw up her hands in surrender.
Her towers will fall.
Her walls will be torn down.
Because I, the Lord, am wreaking revenge,
take out your vengeance on her!
Do to her as she has done!
16 Kill all the farmers who sow the seed in the land of Babylon.
Kill all those who wield the sickle at harvest time.
Let all the foreigners return to their own people.
Let them hurry back to their own lands
to escape destruction by that enemy army.
17 “The people of Israel are like scattered sheep
which lions have chased away.
First the king of Assyria devoured them.
Now last of all King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has gnawed their bones.
18 So I, the Lord God of Israel who rules over all, say:
‘I will punish the king of Babylon and his land
just as I punished the king of Assyria.
19 But I will restore the flock of Israel to their own pasture.
They will graze on Mount Carmel and the land of Bashan.
They will eat until they are full
on the hills of Ephraim and the land of Gilead.
20 When that time comes,
no guilt will be found in Israel.
No sin will be found in Judah.
For I will forgive those of them I have allowed to survive.
I, the Lord, affirm it!’”
21 The Lord says,
“Attack the land of Merathaim
and the people who live in Pekod!
Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them!
Do just as I have commanded you!
22 The noise of battle can be heard in the land of Babylonia.
There is the sound of great destruction.
23 Babylon hammered the whole world to pieces.
But see how that ‘hammer’ has been broken and shattered!
See what an object of horror
Babylon has become among the nations!
24 I set a trap for you, Babylon;
you were caught before you knew it.
You fought against me.
So you were found and captured.
25 I have opened up the place where my weapons are stored.
I have brought out the weapons for carrying out my wrath.
For I, the Lord God who rules over all,
have work to carry out in the land of Babylonia.
26 Come from far away and attack Babylonia!
Open up the places where she stores her grain!
Pile her up in ruins! Destroy her completely!
Do not leave anyone alive!
27 Kill all her soldiers!
Let them be slaughtered!
They are doomed, for their day of reckoning has come,
the time for them to be punished.”
28 Listen! Fugitives and refugees are coming from the land of Babylon.
They are coming to Zion to declare there
how the Lord our God is getting revenge,
getting revenge for what they have done to his temple.
29 “Call for archers to come against Babylon!
Summon against her all who draw the bow!
Set up camp all around the city!
Do not allow anyone to escape!
Pay her back for what she has done.
Do to her what she has done to others.
For she has proudly defied me,
the Holy One of Israel.
30 So her young men will fall in her city squares.
All her soldiers will be destroyed at that time,”
says the Lord.
31 “Listen! I am opposed to you, you proud city,”
says the Lord God who rules over all.
“Indeed, your day of reckoning has come,
the time when I will punish you.
32 You will stumble and fall, you proud city;
no one will help you get up.
I will set fire to your towns;
it will burn up everything that surrounds you.”
33 The Lord who rules over all says,
“The people of Israel are oppressed.
So too are the people of Judah.
All those who took them captive are holding them prisoners.
They refuse to set them free.
34 But the one who will rescue them is strong.
He is known as the Lord who rules over all.
He will strongly champion their cause.
As a result he will bring peace and rest to the earth,
but trouble and turmoil to the people who inhabit Babylonia.
35 “Destructive forces will come against the Babylonians,” says the Lord.
“They will come against the people who inhabit Babylonia,
against her leaders and her men of wisdom.
36 Destructive forces will come against her false prophets;
they will be shown to be fools!
Destructive forces will come against her soldiers;
they will be filled with terror!
37 Destructive forces will come against her horses and her chariots.
Destructive forces will come against all the foreign troops within her;
they will be as frightened as women!
Destructive forces will come against her treasures;
they will be taken away as plunder!
38 A drought will come upon her land;
her rivers and canals will be dried up.
All of this will happen because her land is filled with idols.
Her people act like madmen because of those idols they fear.
39 Therefore desert creatures and jackals will live there.
Ostriches will dwell in it too.
But no people will ever live there again.
No one will dwell there for all time to come.
40 I will destroy Babylonia just like I did
Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighboring towns.
No one will live there.
No human being will settle in it,”
says the Lord.
41 “Look! An army is about to come from the north.
A mighty nation and many kings are stirring into action
in faraway parts of the earth.
42 Its soldiers are armed with bows and spears.
They are cruel and show no mercy.
They sound like the roaring sea
as they ride forth on their horses.
Lined up in formation like men going into battle,
they are coming against you, fair Babylon!
43 The king of Babylon will become paralyzed with fear
when he hears news of their coming.
Anguish will grip him,
agony like that of a woman giving birth to a baby.
44 “A lion coming up from the thick undergrowth along the Jordan
scatters the sheep in the pastureland around it.
So too I will chase the Babylonians off of their land.
Then I will appoint over it whomever I choose.
For there is no one like me.
There is no one who can call me to account.
There is no ruler that can stand up against me.
45 So listen to what I, the Lord, have planned against Babylon,
what I intend to do to the people who inhabit the land of Babylonia.
Their little ones will be dragged off.
I will completely destroy their land because of what they have done.
46 The people of the earth will quake when they hear Babylon has been captured.
Her cries of anguish will be heard by the other nations.”
1 From Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s chosen ones and the knowledge of the truth that is in keeping with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before time began. 3 But now in his own time he has made his message evident through the preaching I was entrusted with according to the command of God our Savior. 4 To Titus, my genuine son in a common faith. Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior!
5 The reason I left you in Crete was to set in order the remaining matters and to appoint elders in every town, as I directed you. 6 An elder must be blameless, the husband of one wife, with faithful children who cannot be charged with dissipation or rebellion. 7 For the overseer must be blameless as one entrusted with God’s work, not arrogant, not prone to anger, not a drunkard, not violent, not greedy for gain. 8 Instead he must be hospitable, devoted to what is good, sensible, upright, devout, and self-controlled. 9 He must hold firmly to the faithful message as it has been taught, so that he will be able to give exhortation in such healthy teaching and correct those who speak against it.
10 For there are many rebellious people, idle talkers, and deceivers, especially those with Jewish connections, 11 who must be silenced because they mislead whole families by teaching for dishonest gain what ought not to be taught. 12 A certain one of them, in fact, one of their own prophets, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” 13 Such testimony is true. For this reason rebuke them sharply that they may be healthy in the faith 14 and not pay attention to Jewish myths and commands of people who reject the truth. 15 All is pure to those who are pure. But to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 16 They profess to know God but with their deeds they deny him, since they are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good deed.
1 The Lord reigns!
Let the earth be happy!
Let the many coastlands rejoice!
2 Dark clouds surround him;
equity and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him;
on every side it burns up his enemies.
4 His lightning bolts light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of the whole earth.
6 The sky declares his justice,
and all the nations see his splendor.
7 All who worship idols are ashamed,
those who boast about worthless idols.
All the gods bow down before him.
8 Zion hears and rejoices,
the towns of Judah are happy,
because of your judgments, O Lord.
9 For you, O Lord, are the sovereign king over the whole earth;
you are elevated high above all gods.
10 You who love the Lord, hate evil!
He protects the lives of his faithful followers;
he delivers them from the power of the wicked.
11 The godly bask in the light;
the morally upright experience joy.
12 You godly ones, rejoice in the Lord!
Give thanks to his holy name.
1 Sing to the Lord a new song,
for he performs amazing deeds!
His right hand and his mighty arm
2 The Lord demonstrates his power to deliver;
in the sight of the nations he reveals his justice.
3 He remains loyal and faithful to the family of Israel.
All the ends of the earth see our God deliver us.
4 Shout out praises to the Lord, all the earth!
Break out in a joyful shout and sing!
5 Sing to the Lord accompanied by a harp,
accompanied by a harp and the sound of music!
6 With trumpets and the blaring of the ram’s horn,
shout out praises before the king, the Lord!
7 Let the sea and everything in it shout,
along with the world and those who live in it!
8 Let the rivers clap their hands!
Let the mountains sing in unison
9 before the Lord!
For he comes to judge the earth!
He judges the world fairly,
and the nations in a just manner.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
A lion in the streets!”
14 Like a door that turns on its hinges,
so a sluggard turns on his bed.
15 The sluggard plunges his hand in the dish;
he is too lazy to bring it back to his mouth.
16 The sluggard is wiser in his own estimation
than seven people who respond with good sense.