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The Sin and Treachery of Judah 8:1 “At that time,” declares the LORD, “they will bring out the bones of the kings of Judah and the bones of its princes, and the bones of the priests and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem from their graves.
2 They will spread them out to the sun, the moon and to all the host of heaven, which they have loved and which they have served, and which they have gone after and which they have sought, and which they have worshiped. They will not be gathered or buried; they will be as dung on the face of the ground.
3 And death will be chosen rather than life by all the remnant that remains of this evil family, that remains in all the places to which I have driven them,” declares the LORD of hosts.
4 “You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD, “Do men fall and not get up again? Does one turn away and not repent?
5 “Why then has this people, Jerusalem, Turned away in continual apostasy? They hold fast to deceit, They refuse to return.
6 “I have listened and heard, They have spoken what is not right; No man repented of his wickedness, Saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turned to his course, Like a horse charging into the battle.
7 “Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the LORD.
8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes Has made it into a lie.
9 “The wise men are put to shame, They are dismayed and caught; Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, And what kind of wisdom do they have?
10 “Therefore I will give their wives to others, Their fields to new owners; Because from the least even to the greatest Everyone is greedy for gain; From the prophet even to the priest Everyone practices deceit.
11 “They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.
12 “Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done? They certainly were not ashamed, And they did not know how to blush; Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time of their punishment they shall be brought down,” Says the LORD.
13 “I will surely snatch them away,” declares the LORD; “There will be no grapes on the vine And no figs on the fig tree, And the leaf will wither; And what I have given them will pass away.”’”
14 Why are we sitting still? Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the fortified cities And let us perish there, Because the LORD our God has doomed us And given us poisoned water to drink, For we have sinned against the LORD.
15 We waited for peace, but no good came; For a time of healing, but behold, terror!
16 From Dan is heard the snorting of his horses; At the sound of the neighing of his stallions The whole land quakes; For they come and devour the land and its fullness, The city and its inhabitants.
17 “For behold, I am sending serpents against you, Adders, for which there is no charm, And they will bite you,” declares the LORD.
18 My sorrow is beyond healing, My heart is faint within me!
19 Behold, listen! The cry of the daughter of my people from a distant land: “Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not within her?” “Why have they provoked Me with their graven images, with foreign idols?”
20 “Harvest is past, summer is ended, And we are not saved.”
21 For the brokenness of the daughter of my people I am broken; I mourn, dismay has taken hold of me.
22 Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?
A Lament over Zion9:1 Oh that my head were waters And my eyes a fountain of tears, That I might weep day and night For the slain of the daughter of my people!
2 Oh that I had in the desert A wayfarers’ lodging place; That I might leave my people And go from them! For all of them are adulterers, An assembly of treacherous men.
3 “They bend their tongue like their bow; Lies and not truth prevail in the land; For they proceed from evil to evil, And they do not know Me,” declares the LORD.
4 “Let everyone be on guard against his neighbor, And do not trust any brother; Because every brother deals craftily, And every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
5 “Everyone deceives his neighbor And does not speak the truth, They have taught their tongue to speak lies; They weary themselves committing iniquity.
6 “Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit; Through deceit they refuse to know Me,” declares the LORD.
7 Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, I will refine them and assay them; For what else can I do, because of the daughter of My people?
8 “Their tongue is a deadly arrow; It speaks deceit; With his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor, But inwardly he sets an ambush for him.
9 “Shall I not punish them for these things?” declares the LORD. “On a nation such as this Shall I not avenge Myself?
10 “For the mountains I will take up a weeping and wailing, And for the pastures of the wilderness a dirge, Because they are laid waste so that no one passes through, And the lowing of the cattle is not heard; Both the birds of the sky and the beasts have fled; they are gone.
11 “I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, A haunt of jackals; And I will make the cities of Judah a desolation, without inhabitant.”
12 Who is the wise man that may understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the LORD has spoken, that he may declare it? Why is the land ruined, laid waste like a desert, so that no one passes through?
13 The LORD said, “Because they have forsaken My law which I set before them, and have not obeyed My voice nor walked according to it,
14 but have walked after the stubbornness of their heart and after the Baals, as their fathers taught them,”
15 therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink.
16 I will scatter them among the nations, whom neither they nor their fathers have known; and I will send the sword after them until I have annihilated them.”
17 Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider and call for the mourning women, that they may come; And send for the wailing women, that they may come!
18 “Let them make haste and take up a wailing for us, That our eyes may shed tears And our eyelids flow with water.
19 “For a voice of wailing is heard from Zion, ‘How are we ruined! We are put to great shame, For we have left the land, Because they have cast down our dwellings.’”
20 Now hear the word of the LORD, O you women, And let your ear receive the word of His mouth; Teach your daughters wailing, And everyone her neighbor a dirge.
21 For death has come up through our windows; It has entered our palaces To cut off the children from the streets, The young men from the town squares.
22 Speak, “Thus says the LORD, ‘The corpses of men will fall like dung on the open field, And like the sheaf after the reaper, But no one will gather them.’”
23 Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;
24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.
25 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the LORD, “that I will punish all who are circumcised and yet uncircumcised--
26 Egypt and Judah, and Edom and the sons of Ammon, and Moab and all those inhabiting the desert who clip the hair on their temples; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised of heart.”
A Satire on Idolatry 10:1 Hear the word which the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel.
2 Thus says the LORD, “Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them;
3 For the customs of the peoples are delusion; Because it is wood cut from the forest, The work of the hands of a craftsman with a cutting tool.
4 “They decorate it with silver and with gold; They fasten it with nails and with hammers So that it will not totter.
5 “Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, And they cannot speak; They must be carried, Because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, For they can do no harm, Nor can they do any good.”
6 There is none like You, O LORD; You are great, and great is Your name in might.
7 Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? Indeed it is Your due! For among all the wise men of the nations And in all their kingdoms, There is none like You.
8 But they are altogether stupid and foolish In their discipline of delusion--their idol is wood!
9 Beaten silver is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of a craftsman and of the hands of a goldsmith; Violet and purple are their clothing; They are all the work of skilled men.
10 But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, And the nations cannot endure His indignation.
11 Thus you shall say to them, “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”
12 It is He who made the earth by His power, Who established the world by His wisdom; And by His understanding He has stretched out the heavens.
13 When He utters His voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, And He causes the clouds to ascend from the end of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, And brings out the wind from His storehouses.
14 Every man is stupid, devoid of knowledge; Every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols; For his molten images are deceitful, And there is no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, a work of mockery; In the time of their punishment they will perish.
16 The portion of Jacob is not like these; For the Maker of all is He, And Israel is the tribe of His inheritance; The LORD of hosts is His name.
17 Pick up your bundle from the ground, You who dwell under siege!
18 For thus says the LORD, “Behold, I am slinging out the inhabitants of the land At this time, And will cause them distress, That they may be found.”
19 Woe is me, because of my injury! My wound is incurable. But I said, “Truly this is a sickness, And I must bear it.”
20 My tent is destroyed, And all my ropes are broken; My sons have gone from me and are no more. There is no one to stretch out my tent again Or to set up my curtains.
21 For the shepherds have become stupid And have not sought the LORD; Therefore they have not prospered, And all their flock is scattered.
22 The sound of a report! Behold, it comes-- A great commotion out of the land of the north-- To make the cities of Judah A desolation, a haunt of jackals.
23 I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.
24 Correct me, O LORD, but with justice; Not with Your anger, or You will bring me to nothing.
25 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You And on the families that do not call Your name; For they have devoured Jacob; They have devoured him and consumed him And have laid waste his habitation.
2 CORINTHIANS 11
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Paul Defends His Apostleship 11:1 I wish that you would bear with me in a little foolishness; but indeed you are bearing with me.
2 For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, so that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.
3 But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
4 For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully.
5 For I consider myself not in the least inferior to the most eminent apostles.
6 But even if I am unskilled in speech, yet I am not so in knowledge; in fact, in every way we have made this evident to you in all things.
7 Or did I commit a sin in humbling myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you without charge?
8 I robbed other churches by taking wages from them to serve you;
9 and when I was present with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone; for when the brethren came from Macedonia they fully supplied my need, and in everything I kept myself from being a burden to you, and will continue to do so.
10 As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia.
11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
12 But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting.
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.
14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.
15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.
16 Again I say, let no one think me foolish; but if you do, receive me even as foolish, so that I also may boast a little.
17 What I am saying, I am not saying as the Lord would, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of boasting.
18 Since many boast according to the flesh, I will boast also.
19 For you, being so wise, tolerate the foolish gladly.
20 For you tolerate it if anyone enslaves you, anyone devours you, anyone takes advantage of you, anyone exalts himself, anyone hits you in the face.
21 To my shame I must say that we have been weak by comparison.
But in whatever respect anyone else is bold--I speak in foolishness--I am just as bold myself.
22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I.
23 Are they servants of Christ?--I speak as if insane--I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death.
24 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes.
25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep.
26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren;
27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.
28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.
29 Who is weak without my being weak? Who is led into sin without my intense concern?
30 If I have to boast, I will boast of what pertains to my weakness.
31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, He who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
32 In Damascus the ethnarch under Aretas the king was guarding the city of the Damascenes in order to seize me,
33 and I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and so escaped his hands.
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