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Isaiah 28, 29, 30

Judgement on Corrupt Rulers, Priests, and Prophets

28Ah, the proud garland of the drunkards of Ephraim,
   and the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
   which is on the head of those bloated with rich food, of those overcome with wine!
2 See, the Lord has one who is mighty and strong;
   like a storm of hail, a destroying tempest,
like a storm of mighty, overflowing waters;
   with his hand he will hurl them down to the earth.
3 Trampled under foot will be
   the proud garland of the drunkards of Ephraim.
4 And the fading flower of its glorious beauty,
   which is on the head of those bloated with rich food,
will be like a first-ripe fig before the summer;
   whoever sees it, eats it up
   as soon as it comes to hand.


5 On that day the Lord of hosts will be a garland of glory,
   and a diadem of beauty, to the remnant of his people;
6 and a spirit of justice to the one who sits in judgement,
   and strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate.


7 These also reel with wine
   and stagger with strong drink;
the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink,
   they are confused with wine,
   they stagger with strong drink;
they err in vision,
   they stumble in giving judgement.
8 All tables are covered with filthy vomit;
   no place is clean.


9 ‘Whom will he teach knowledge,
   and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from milk,
   those taken from the breast?
10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
   line upon line, line upon line,
   here a little, there a little.’*


11 Truly, with stammering lip
   and with alien tongue
he will speak to this people,
12   to whom he has said,
‘This is rest;
   give rest to the weary;
and this is repose’;
   yet they would not hear.
13 Therefore the word of the Lord will be to them,
   ‘Precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
   line upon line, line upon line,
   here a little, there a little’;*
in order that they may go, and fall backwards,
   and be broken, and snared, and taken.


14 Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers
   who rule this people in Jerusalem.
15 Because you have said, ‘We have made a covenant with death,
   and with Sheol we have an agreement;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
   it will not come to us;
for we have made lies our refuge,
   and in falsehood we have taken shelter’;
16 therefore thus says the Lord God,
See, I am laying in Zion a foundation stone,
   a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation:
   ‘One who trusts will not panic.’
17 And I will make justice the line,
   and righteousness the plummet;
hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
   and waters will overwhelm the shelter.
18 Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
   and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
when the overwhelming scourge passes through
   you will be beaten down by it.
19 As often as it passes through, it will take you;
   for morning by morning it will pass through,
   by day and by night;
and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
20 For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on it,
   and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in it.
21 For the Lord will rise up as on Mount Perazim,
   he will rage as in the valley of Gibeon
to do his deed—strange is his deed!—
   and to work his work—alien is his work!
22 Now therefore do not scoff,
   or your bonds will be made stronger;
for I have heard a decree of destruction
   from the Lord God of hosts upon the whole land.


23 Listen, and hear my voice;
   Pay attention, and hear my speech.
24 Do those who plough for sowing plough continually?
   Do they continually open and harrow their ground?
25 When they have levelled its surface,
   do they not scatter dill, sow cummin,
and plant wheat in rows
   and barley in its proper place,
   and spelt as the border?
26 For they are well instructed;
   their God teaches them.


27 Dill is not threshed with a threshing-sledge,
   nor is a cartwheel rolled over cummin;
but dill is beaten out with a stick,
   and cummin with a rod.
28 Grain is crushed for bread,
   but one does not thresh it for ever;
one drives the cartwheel and horses over it,
   but does not pulverize it.
29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts;
   he is wonderful in counsel,
   and excellent in wisdom.

The Siege of Jerusalem

29Ah, Ariel, Ariel,
   the city where David encamped!
Add year to year;
   let the festivals run their round.
2 Yet I will distress Ariel,
   and there shall be moaning and lamentation,
   and Jerusalem* shall be to me like an Ariel.*
3 And like David* I will encamp against you;
   I will besiege you with towers
   and raise siege-works against you.
4 Then deep from the earth you shall speak,
   from low in the dust your words shall come;
your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost,
   and your speech shall whisper out of the dust.


5 But the multitude of your foes* shall be like fine dust,
   and the multitude of tyrants like flying chaff.
And in an instant, suddenly,
6   you will be visited by the Lord of hosts
with thunder and earthquake and great noise,
   with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
7 And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
   all that fight against her and her stronghold, and who distress her,
   shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.
8 Just as when a hungry person dreams of eating
   and wakes up still hungry,
or a thirsty person dreams of drinking
   and wakes up faint, still thirsty,
so shall the multitude of all the nations be
   that fight against Mount Zion.


9 Stupefy yourselves and be in a stupor,
   blind yourselves and be blind!
Be drunk, but not from wine;
   stagger, but not from strong drink!
10 For the Lord has poured out upon you
   a spirit of deep sleep;
he has closed your eyes, you prophets,
   and covered your heads, you seers.

11 The vision of all this has become for you like the words of a sealed document. If it is given to those who can read, with the command, ‘Read this’, they say, ‘We cannot, for it is sealed.’ 12And if it is given to those who cannot read, saying, ‘Read this’, they say, ‘We cannot read.’


13 The Lord said:
Because these people draw near with their mouths
   and honour me with their lips,
   while their hearts are far from me,
and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote;
14 so I will again do
   amazing things with this people,
   shocking and amazing.
The wisdom of their wise shall perish,
   and the discernment of the discerning shall be hidden.


15 Ha! You who hide a plan too deep for the Lord,
   whose deeds are in the dark,
   and who say, ‘Who sees us? Who knows us?’
16 You turn things upside down!
   Shall the potter be regarded as the clay?
Shall the thing made say of its maker,
   ‘He did not make me’;
or the thing formed say of the one who formed it,
   ‘He has no understanding’?

Hope for the Future


17 Shall not Lebanon in a very little while
   become a fruitful field,
   and the fruitful field be regarded as a forest?
18 On that day the deaf shall hear
   the words of a scroll,
and out of their gloom and darkness
   the eyes of the blind shall see.
19 The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the Lord,
   and the neediest people shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
20 For the tyrant shall be no more,
   and the scoffer shall cease to be;
   all those alert to do evil shall be cut off—
21 those who cause a person to lose a lawsuit,
   who set a trap for the arbiter in the gate,
   and without grounds deny justice to the one in the right.

22 Therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:
No longer shall Jacob be ashamed,
   no longer shall his face grow pale.
23 For when he sees his children,
   the work of my hands, in his midst,
   they will sanctify my name;
they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob,
   and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
24 And those who err in spirit will come to understanding,
   and those who grumble will accept instruction.

The Futility of Reliance on Egypt

30Oh, rebellious children, says the Lord,
who carry out a plan, but not mine;
who make an alliance, but against my will,
   adding sin to sin;
2 who set out to go down to Egypt
   without asking for my counsel,
to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh,
   and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt;
3 Therefore the protection of Pharaoh shall become your shame,
   and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt your humiliation.
4 For though his officials are at Zoan
   and his envoys reach Hanes,
5 everyone comes to shame
   through a people that cannot profit them,
that brings neither help nor profit,
   but shame and disgrace.

6 An oracle concerning the animals of the Negeb.
Through a land of trouble and distress,
   of lioness and roaring* lion,
   of viper and flying serpent,
they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys,
   and their treasures on the humps of camels,
   to a people that cannot profit them.
7 For Egypt’s help is worthless and empty,
   therefore I have called her,
   ‘Rahab who sits still.’*

A Rebellious People


8 Go now, write it before them on a tablet,
   and inscribe it in a book,
so that it may be for the time to come
   as a witness for ever.
9 For they are a rebellious people,
   faithless children,
children who will not hear
   the instruction of the Lord;
10 who say to the seers, ‘Do not see’;
   and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us what is right;
speak to us smooth things,
   prophesy illusions,
11 leave the way, turn aside from the path,
   let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.’
12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:
Because you reject this word,
   and put your trust in oppression and deceit,
   and rely on them;
13 therefore this iniquity shall become for you
   like a break in a high wall, bulging out, and about to collapse,
   whose crash comes suddenly, in an instant;
14 its breaking is like that of a potter’s vessel
   that is smashed so ruthlessly
that among its fragments not a sherd is found
   for taking fire from the hearth,
   or dipping water out of the cistern.


15 For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
In returning and rest you shall be saved;
   in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.
But you refused 16and said,
‘No! We will flee upon horses’—
   therefore you shall flee!
and, ‘We will ride upon swift steeds’—
   therefore your pursuers shall be swift!
17 A thousand shall flee at the threat of one,
   at the threat of five you shall flee,
until you are left
   like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,
   like a signal on a hill.

God’s Promise to Zion


18 Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you;
   therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
   blessed are all those who wait for him.

19 Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. 20Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’ 22Then you will defile your silver-covered idols and your gold-plated images. You will scatter them like filthy rags; you will say to them, ‘Away with you!’

23 He will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. On that day your cattle will graze in broad pastures; 24and the oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat silage, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25On every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water—on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26Moreover, the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, on the day when the Lord binds up the injuries of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

Judgement on Assyria


27 See, the name of the Lord comes from far away,
   burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;*
his lips are full of indignation,
   and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
28 his breath is like an overflowing stream
   that reaches up to the neck—
to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,
   and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads them astray.

29 You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel. 30And the Lord will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and tempest and hailstones. 31The Assyrian will be terror-stricken at the voice of the Lord, when he strikes with his rod. 32And every stroke of the staff of punishment that the Lord lays upon him will be to the sound of timbrels and lyres; battling with brandished arm he will fight with him. 33For his burning-place* has long been prepared; truly it is made ready for the king,* its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of sulphur, kindles it.

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Psalm 35

Prayer for Deliverance from Enemies

Of David.
1 Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
   fight against those who fight against me!
2 Take hold of shield and buckler,
   and rise up to help me!
3 Draw the spear and javelin
   against my pursuers;
say to my soul,
   ‘I am your salvation.’


4 Let them be put to shame and dishonour
   who seek after my life.
Let them be turned back and confounded
   who devise evil against me.
5 Let them be like chaff before the wind,
   with the angel of the Lord driving them on.
6 Let their way be dark and slippery,
   with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.


7 For without cause they hid their net* for me;
   without cause they dug a pit* for my life.
8 Let ruin come on them unawares.
And let the net that they hid ensnare them;
   let them fall in it—to their ruin.


9 Then my soul shall rejoice in the Lord,
   exulting in his deliverance.
10 All my bones shall say,
   ‘O Lord, who is like you?
You deliver the weak
   from those too strong for them,
   the weak and needy from those who despoil them.’


11 Malicious witnesses rise up;
   they ask me about things I do not know.
12 They repay me evil for good;
   my soul is forlorn.
13 But as for me, when they were sick,
   I wore sackcloth;
   I afflicted myself with fasting.
I prayed with head bowed* on my bosom,
14   as though I grieved for a friend or a brother;
I went about as one who laments for a mother,
   bowed down and in mourning.


15 But at my stumbling they gathered in glee,
   they gathered together against me;
ruffians whom I did not know
   tore at me without ceasing;
16 they impiously mocked more and more,*
   gnashing at me with their teeth.


17 How long, O Lord, will you look on?
   Rescue me from their ravages,
   my life from the lions!
18 Then I will thank you in the great congregation;
   in the mighty throng I will praise you.


19 Do not let my treacherous enemies rejoice over me,
   or those who hate me without cause wink the eye.
20 For they do not speak peace,
   but they conceive deceitful words
   against those who are quiet in the land.
21 They open wide their mouths against me;
   they say, ‘Aha, Aha,
   our eyes have seen it.’


22 You have seen, O Lord; do not be silent!
   O Lord, do not be far from me!
23 Wake up! Bestir yourself for my defence,
   for my cause, my God and my Lord!
24 Vindicate me, O Lord, my God,
   according to your righteousness,
   and do not let them rejoice over me.
25 Do not let them say to themselves,
   ‘Aha, we have our heart’s desire.’
Do not let them say, ‘We have swallowed you* up.’


26 Let all those who rejoice at my calamity
   be put to shame and confusion;
let those who exalt themselves against me
   be clothed with shame and dishonour.


27 Let those who desire my vindication
   shout for joy and be glad,
   and say evermore,
‘Great is the Lord,
   who delights in the welfare of his servant.’
28 Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
   and of your praise all day long.

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I Timothy 4

False Asceticism

4Now the Spirit expressly says that in later* times some will renounce the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared with a hot iron. 3They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, provided it is received with thanksgiving; 5for it is sanctified by God’s word and by prayer.

A Good Minister of Jesus Christ

6 If you put these instructions before the brothers and sisters,* you will be a good servant* of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching that you have followed. 7Have nothing to do with profane myths and old wives’ tales. Train yourself in godliness, 8for, while physical training is of some value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. 10For to this end we toil and struggle,* because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, especially of those who believe.

11 These are the things you must insist on and teach. 12Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13Until I arrive, give attention to the public reading of scripture,* to exhorting, to teaching. 14Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you through prophecy with the laying on of hands by the council of elders.* 15Put these things into practice, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress. 16Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.

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10 February 2011

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.7 10 February 2011.