19An oracle concerning Egypt.
See, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud
and comes to Egypt;
the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
2 I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,
and they will fight, one against the other,
neighbour against neighbour,
city against city, kingdom against kingdom;
3 the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,
and I will confound their plans;
they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead
and the ghosts and the familiar spirits;
4 I will deliver the Egyptians
into the hand of a hard master;
a fierce king will rule over them,
says the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts.
5 The waters of the Nile will be dried up,
and the river will be parched and dry;
6 its canals will become foul,
and the branches of Egypts Nile will diminish and dry up;
reeds and rushes will rot away.
7 There will be bare places by the Nile,
on the brink of the Nile;
and all that is sown by the Nile will dry up,
be driven away, and be no more.
8 Those who fish will mourn;
all who cast hooks in the Nile will lament,
and those who spread nets on the water will languish.
9 The workers in flax will be in despair,
and the carders and those at the loom will grow pale.
10 Its weavers will be dismayed,
and all who work for wages will be grieved.
11 The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;
the wise counsellors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.
How can you say to Pharaoh,
I am one of the sages,
a descendant of ancient kings?
12 Where now are your sages?
Let them tell you and make known
what the Lord of hosts has planned against Egypt.
13 The princes of Zoan have become fools,
and the princes of Memphis are deluded;
those who are the cornerstones of its tribes
have led Egypt astray.
14 The Lord has poured into them*
a spirit of confusion;
and they have made Egypt stagger in all its doings
as a drunkard staggers around in vomit.
15 Neither head nor tail, palm branch nor reed,
will be able to do anything for Egypt.
16 On that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the Lord of hosts raises against them. 17And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the plan that the Lord of hosts is planning against them.
18 On that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts. One of these will be called the City of the Sun.
19 On that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the centre of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. 20It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; when they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a saviour, and will defend and deliver them. 21The Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians; and the Egyptians will know the Lord on that day, and will worship with sacrifice and burnt-offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. 22The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing; they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their supplications and heal them.
23 On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.
24 On that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth,
25whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage.
20In the year that the commander-in-chief, who was sent by King Sargon of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and took it
2at that time the Lord had spoken to Isaiah son of Amoz, saying, Go, and loose the sackcloth from your loins and take your sandals off your feet, and he had done so, walking naked and barefoot.
3Then the Lord said, Just as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Ethiopia,*
4so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as captives and the Ethiopians* as exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.
5And they shall be dismayed and confounded because of Ethiopia* their hope and of Egypt their boast.
6On that day the inhabitants of this coastland will say, See, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?
21The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.
As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,
it comes from the desert,
from a terrible land.
2 A stern vision is told to me;
the betrayer betrays,
and the destroyer destroys.
Go up, O Elam,
lay siege, O Media;
all the sighing she has caused
I bring to an end.
3 Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;
pangs have seized me,
like the pangs of a woman in labour;
I am bowed down so that I cannot hear,
I am dismayed so that I cannot see.
4 My mind reels, horror has appalled me;
the twilight I longed for
has been turned for me into trembling.
5 They prepare the table,
they spread the rugs,
they eat, they drink.
Rise up, commanders,
oil the shield!
6 For thus the Lord said to me:
Go, post a lookout,
let him announce what he sees.
7 When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
riders on donkeys, riders on camels,
let him listen diligently,
8 Then the watcher* called out:
Upon a watch-tower I stand, O Lord,
continually by day,
and at my post I am stationed
throughout the night.
9 Look, there they come, riders,
horsemen in pairs!
Then he responded,
Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
and all the images of her gods
lie shattered on the ground.
10 O my threshed and winnowed one,
what I have heard from the Lord of hosts,
the God of Israel, I announce to you.
11 The oracle concerning Dumah.
One is calling to me from Seir,
Sentinel, what of the night?
Sentinel, what of the night?
12 The sentinel says:
Morning comes, and also the night.
If you will inquire, inquire;
come back again.
13 The oracle concerning the desert plain.
In the scrub of the desert plain you will lodge,
O caravans of Dedanites.
14 Bring water to the thirsty,
meet the fugitive with bread,
O inhabitants of the land of Tema.
15 For they have fled from the swords,
from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow,
and from the stress of battle.
16 For thus the Lord said to me: Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end;
17and the remaining bows of Kedars warriors will be few; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.
1 Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2 Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
my strength was dried up* as by the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
6 Therefore let all who are faithful
offer prayer to you;
at a time of distress,* the rush of mighty waters
shall not reach them.
7 You are a hiding-place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with glad cries of deliverance.
8 I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9 Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle,
else it will not stay near you.
10 Many are the torments of the wicked,
but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous,
and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Saviour and of Christ Jesus our hope,
2 To Timothy, my loyal child in the faith:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I urge you, as I did when I was on my way to Macedonia, to remain in Ephesus so that you may instruct certain people not to teach any different doctrine, 4and not to occupy themselves with myths and endless genealogies that promote speculations rather than the divine training* that is known by faith. 5But the aim of such instruction is love that comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith. 6Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, 7desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make assertions.
8 Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it legitimately. 9This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, 10fornicators, sodomites, slave-traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching 11that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
12 I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, 13even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinnersof whom I am the foremost. 16But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. 17To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.* Amen.
18 I am giving you these instructions, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies made earlier about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight,
19having faith and a good conscience. By rejecting conscience, certain persons have suffered shipwreck in the faith;
20among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have turned over to Satan, so that they may learn not to blaspheme.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011