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“Yet You Have Not Returned to Me”4:1 Hear this word, you cows of Bashan who are on the mountain of Samaria, Who oppress the poor, who crush the needy, Who say to your husbands, “Bring now, that we may drink!”
2 The Lord GOD has sworn by His holiness, “Behold, the days are coming upon you When they will take you away with meat hooks, And the last of you with fish hooks.
3 “You will go out through breaches in the walls, Each one straight before her, And you will be cast to Harmon,” declares the LORD.
4 “Enter Bethel and transgress; In Gilgal multiply transgression! Bring your sacrifices every morning, Your tithes every three days.
5 “Offer a thank offering also from that which is leavened, And proclaim freewill offerings, make them known. For so you love to do, you sons of Israel,” Declares the Lord GOD.
6 “But I gave you also cleanness of teeth in all your cities And lack of bread in all your places, Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD.
7 “Furthermore, I withheld the rain from you While there were still three months until harvest. Then I would send rain on one city And on another city I would not send rain; One part would be rained on, While the part not rained on would dry up.
8 “So two or three cities would stagger to another city to drink water, But would not be satisfied; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD.
9 “I smote you with scorching wind and mildew; And the caterpillar was devouring Your many gardens and vineyards, fig trees and olive trees; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD.
10 “I sent a plague among you after the manner of Egypt; I slew your young men by the sword along with your captured horses, And I made the stench of your camp rise up in your nostrils; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD.
11 “I overthrew you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, And you were like a firebrand snatched from a blaze; Yet you have not returned to Me,” declares the LORD.
12 “Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; Because I will do this to you, Prepare to meet your God, O Israel.”
13 For behold, He who forms mountains and creates the wind And declares to man what are His thoughts, He who makes dawn into darkness And treads on the high places of the earth, The LORD God of hosts is His name.
“Seek Me that You May Live”5:1 Hear this word which I take up for you as a dirge, O house of Israel:
2 She has fallen, she will not rise again-- The virgin Israel. She lies neglected on her land; There is none to raise her up.
3 For thus says the Lord GOD, “The city which goes forth a thousand strong Will have a hundred left, And the one which goes forth a hundred strong Will have ten left to the house of Israel.”
4 For thus says the LORD to the house of Israel, “Seek Me that you may live.
5 “But do not resort to Bethel And do not come to Gilgal, Nor cross over to Beersheba; For Gilgal will certainly go into captivity And Bethel will come to trouble.
6 “Seek the LORD that you may live, Or He will break forth like a fire, O house of Joseph, And it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel,
7 For those who turn justice into wormwood And cast righteousness down to the earth.”
8 He who made the Pleiades and Orion And changes deep darkness into morning, Who also darkens day into night, Who calls for the waters of the sea And pours them out on the surface of the earth, The LORD is His name.
9 It is He who flashes forth with destruction upon the strong, So that destruction comes upon the fortress.
10 They hate him who reproves in the gate, And they abhor him who speaks with integrity.
11 Therefore because you impose heavy rent on the poor And exact a tribute of grain from them, Though you have built houses of well-hewn stone, Yet you will not live in them; You have planted pleasant vineyards, yet you will not drink their wine.
12 For I know your transgressions are many and your sins are great, You who distress the righteous and accept bribes And turn aside the poor in the gate.
13 Therefore at such a time the prudent person keeps silent, for it is an evil time.
14 Seek good and not evil, that you may live; And thus may the LORD God of hosts be with you, Just as you have said!
15 Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.
16 Therefore thus says the LORD God of hosts, the Lord, “There is wailing in all the plazas, And in all the streets they say, ‘Alas! Alas!’ They also call the farmer to mourning And professional mourners to lamentation.
17 “And in all the vineyards there is wailing, Because I will pass through the midst of you,” says the LORD.
18 Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD, For what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you? It will be darkness and not light;
19 As when a man flees from a lion And a bear meets him, Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall And a snake bites him.
20 Will not the day of the LORD be darkness instead of light, Even gloom with no brightness in it?
21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies.
22 “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings.
23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.
24 “But let justice roll down like waters And righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
25 “Did you present Me with sacrifices and grain offerings in the wilderness for forty years, O house of Israel?
26 You also carried along Sikkuth your king and Kiyyun, your images, the star of your gods which you made for yourselves.
27 Therefore, I will make you go into exile beyond Damascus,” says the LORD, whose name is the God of hosts.
“Those at Ease in Zion”6:1 Woe to those who are at ease in Zion And to those who feel secure in the mountain of Samaria, The distinguished men of the foremost of nations, To whom the house of Israel comes.
2 Go over to Calneh and look, And go from there to Hamath the great, Then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are they better than these kingdoms, Or is their territory greater than yours?
3 Do you put off the day of calamity, And would you bring near the seat of violence?
4 Those who recline on beds of ivory And sprawl on their couches, And eat lambs from the flock And calves from the midst of the stall,
5 Who improvise to the sound of the harp, And like David have composed songs for themselves,
6 Who drink wine from sacrificial bowls While they anoint themselves with the finest of oils, Yet they have not grieved over the ruin of Joseph.
7 Therefore, they will now go into exile at the head of the exiles, And the sprawlers’ banqueting will pass away.
8 The Lord GOD has sworn by Himself, the LORD God of hosts has declared: “I loathe the arrogance of Jacob, And detest his citadels; Therefore I will deliver up the city and all it contains.”
9 And it will be, if ten men are left in one house, they will die.
10 Then one’s uncle, or his undertaker, will lift him up to carry out his bones from the house, and he will say to the one who is in the innermost part of the house, “Is anyone else with you?” And that one will say, “No one.” Then he will answer, “Keep quiet. For the name of the LORD is not to be mentioned.”
11 For behold, the LORD is going to command that the great house be smashed to pieces and the small house to fragments.
12 Do horses run on rocks? Or does one plow them with oxen? Yet you have turned justice into poison And the fruit of righteousness into wormwood,
13 You who rejoice in Lodebar, And say, “Have we not by our own strength taken Karnaim for ourselves?”
14 “For behold, I am going to raise up a nation against you, O house of Israel,” declares the LORD God of hosts, “And they will afflict you from the entrance of Hamath To the brook of the Arabah.”
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Prayer for the Destruction of the Treacherous.
For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A Maskil of David.55:1 Give ear to my prayer, O God; And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
2 Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted,
3 Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the pressure of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me And in anger they bear a grudge against me.
4 My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
5 Fear and trembling come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me.
6 I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
7 “Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah.
8 “I would hasten to my place of refuge From the stormy wind and tempest.”
9 Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, For I have seen violence and strife in the city.
10 Day and night they go around her upon her walls, And iniquity and mischief are in her midst.
11 Destruction is in her midst; Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets.
12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him.
13 But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend;
14 We who had sweet fellowship together Walked in the house of God in the throng.
15 Let death come deceitfully upon them; Let them go down alive to Sheol, For evil is in their dwelling, in their midst.
16 As for me, I shall call upon God, And the LORD will save me.
17 Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice.
18 He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, For they are many who strive with me.
19 God will hear and answer them-- Even the one who sits enthroned from of old-- Selah. With whom there is no change, And who do not fear God.
20 He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has violated his covenant.
21 His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords.
22 Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
23 But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction; Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You.
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John the Baptist Beheaded 14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard the news about Jesus,
2 and said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.”
3 For when Herod had John arrested, he bound him and put him in prison because of Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip.
4 For John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.”
5 Although Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded John as a prophet.
6 But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod,
7 so much that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked.
8 Having been prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.”
9 Although he was grieved, the king commanded it to be given because of his oaths, and because of his dinner guests.
10 He sent and had John beheaded in the prison.
11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.
12 His disciples came and took away the body and buried it; and they went and reported to Jesus.
Five Thousand Fed 13 Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.
14 When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.
15 When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16 But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!”
17 They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”
18 And He said, “Bring them here to Me.”
19 Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds,
20 and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets.
21 There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.
Jesus Walks on the Water 22 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away.
23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.
24 But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary.
25 And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea.
26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
28 Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.
33 And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!”
34 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret.
35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent word into all that surrounding district and brought to Him all who were sick;
36 and they implored Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were cured.
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