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Isaiah 46, 47, 48

46Bel bows down, Nebo stoops,
   their idols are on beasts and cattle;
these things you carry are loaded
   as burdens on weary animals.
2 They stoop, they bow down together;
   they cannot save the burden,
   but themselves go into captivity.


3 Listen to me, O house of Jacob,
   all the remnant of the house of Israel,
who have been borne by me from your birth,
   carried from the womb;
4 even to your old age I am he,
   even when you turn grey I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
   I will carry and will save.


5 To whom will you liken me and make me equal,
   and compare me, as though we were alike?
6 Those who lavish gold from the purse,
   and weigh out silver in the scales—
they hire a goldsmith, who makes it into a god;
   then they fall down and worship!
7 They lift it to their shoulders, they carry it,
   they set it in its place, and it stands there;
   it cannot move from its place.
If one cries out to it, it does not answer
   or save anyone from trouble.


8 Remember this and consider,*
   recall it to mind, you transgressors,
9   remember the former things of old;
for I am God, and there is no other;
   I am God, and there is no one like me,
10 declaring the end from the beginning
   and from ancient times things not yet done,
saying, ‘My purpose shall stand,
   and I will fulfil my intention’,
11 calling a bird of prey from the east,
   the man for my purpose from a far country.
I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass;
   I have planned, and I will do it.


12 Listen to me, you stubborn of heart,
   you who are far from deliverance:
13 I bring near my deliverance, it is not far off,
   and my salvation will not tarry;
I will put salvation in Zion,
   for Israel my glory.

The Humiliation of Babylon

47Come down and sit in the dust,
   virgin daughter Babylon!
Sit on the ground without a throne,
   daughter Chaldea!
For you shall no more be called
   tender and delicate.
2 Take the millstones and grind meal,
   remove your veil,
strip off your robe, uncover your legs,
   pass through the rivers.
3 Your nakedness shall be uncovered,
   and your shame shall be seen.
I will take vengeance,
   and I will spare no one.
4 Our Redeemer—the Lord of hosts is his name—
   is the Holy One of Israel.


5 Sit in silence, and go into darkness,
   daughter Chaldea!
For you shall no more be called
   the mistress of kingdoms.
6 I was angry with my people,
   I profaned my heritage;
I gave them into your hand,
   you showed them no mercy;
on the aged you made your yoke
   exceedingly heavy.
7 You said, ‘I shall be mistress for ever’,
   so that you did not lay these things to heart
   or remember their end.


8 Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures,
   who sit securely,
who say in your heart,
   ‘I am, and there is no one besides me;
I shall not sit as a widow
   or know the loss of children’—
9 both these things shall come upon you
   in a moment, in one day:
the loss of children and widowhood
   shall come upon you in full measure,
in spite of your many sorceries
   and the great power of your enchantments.


10 You felt secure in your wickedness;
   you said, ‘No one sees me.’
Your wisdom and your knowledge
   led you astray,
and you said in your heart,
   ‘I am, and there is no one besides me.’
11 But evil shall come upon you,
   which you cannot charm away;
disaster shall fall upon you,
   which you will not be able to ward off;
and ruin shall come on you suddenly,
   of which you know nothing.


12 Stand fast in your enchantments
   and your many sorceries,
   with which you have laboured from your youth;
perhaps you may be able to succeed,
   perhaps you may inspire terror.
13 You are wearied with your many consultations;
   let those who study* the heavens
stand up and save you,
   those who gaze at the stars
and at each new moon predict
   what* shall befall you.


14 See, they are like stubble,
   the fire consumes them;
they cannot deliver themselves
   from the power of the flame.
No coal for warming oneself is this,
   no fire to sit before!
15 Such to you are those with whom you have laboured,
   who have trafficked with you from your youth;
they all wander about in their own paths;
   there is no one to save you.

God the Creator and Redeemer

48Hear this, O house of Jacob,
   who are called by the name of Israel,
   and who came forth from the loins* of Judah;
who swear by the name of the Lord,
   and invoke the God of Israel,
   but not in truth or right.
2 For they call themselves after the holy city,
   and lean on the God of Israel;
   the Lord of hosts is his name.


3 The former things I declared long ago,
   they went out from my mouth and I made them known;
   then suddenly I did them and they came to pass.
4 Because I know that you are obstinate,
   and your neck is an iron sinew
   and your forehead brass,
5 I declared them to you from long ago,
   before they came to pass I announced them to you,
so that you would not say, ‘My idol did them,
   my carved image and my cast image commanded them.’


6 You have heard; now see all this;
   and will you not declare it?
From this time forward I make you hear new things,
   hidden things that you have not known.
7 They are created now, not long ago;
   before today you have never heard of them,
   so that you could not say, ‘I already knew them.’
8 You have never heard, you have never known,
   from of old your ear has not been opened.
For I knew that you would deal very treacherously,
   and that from birth you were called a rebel.


9 For my name’s sake I defer my anger,
   for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you,
   so that I may not cut you off.
10 See, I have refined you, but not like* silver;
   I have tested you in the furnace of adversity.
11 For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
   for why should my name* be profaned?
   My glory I will not give to another.


12 Listen to me, O Jacob,
   and Israel, whom I called:
I am He; I am the first,
   and I am the last.
13 My hand laid the foundation of the earth,
   and my right hand spread out the heavens;
when I summon them,
   they stand at attention.


14 Assemble, all of you, and hear!
   Who among them has declared these things?
The Lord loves him;
   he shall perform his purpose on Babylon,
   and his arm shall be against the Chaldeans.
15 I, even I, have spoken and called him,
   I have brought him, and he will prosper in his way.
16 Draw near to me, hear this!
   From the beginning I have not spoken in secret,
   from the time it came to be I have been there.
And now the Lord God has sent me and his spirit.


17 Thus says the Lord,
   your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
I am the Lord your God,
   who teaches you for your own good,
   who leads you in the way you should go.
18 O that you had paid attention to my commandments!
   Then your prosperity would have been like a river,
   and your success like the waves of the sea;
19 your offspring would have been like the sand,
   and your descendants like its grains;
their name would never be cut off
   or destroyed from before me.


20 Go out from Babylon, flee from Chaldea,
   declare this with a shout of joy, proclaim it,
send it forth to the end of the earth;
   say, ‘The Lord has redeemed his servant Jacob!’
21 They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts;
   he made water flow for them from the rock;
   he split open the rock and the water gushed out.


22 ‘There is no peace’, says the Lord, ‘for the wicked.’

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Psalm 40

Thanksgiving for Deliverance and Prayer for Help

To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
   he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the desolate pit,*
   out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
   making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
   a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
   and put their trust in the Lord.


4 Happy are those who make
   the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
   to those who go astray after false gods.
5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
   your wondrous deeds and your thoughts towards us;
   none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
   they would be more than can be counted.


6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
   but you have given me an open ear.*
Burnt-offering and sin-offering
   you have not required.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am;
   in the scroll of the book it is written of me.*
8 I delight to do your will, O my God;
   your law is within my heart.’


9 I have told the glad news of deliverance
   in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
   as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
   I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
   from the great congregation.


11 Do not, O Lord, withhold
   your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
   keep me safe for ever.
12 For evils have encompassed me
   without number;
my iniquities have overtaken me,
   until I cannot see;
they are more than the hairs of my head,
   and my heart fails me.


13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
   O Lord, make haste to help me.
14 Let all those be put to shame and confusion
   who seek to snatch away my life;
let those be turned back and brought to dishonour
   who desire my hurt.
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
   who say to me, ‘Aha, Aha!’


16 But may all who seek you
   rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who love your salvation
   say continually, ‘Great is the Lord!’
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
   but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
   do not delay, O my God.

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II Timothy 4

4In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: 2proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favourable or unfavourable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. 5As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.

6 As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

Personal Instructions

9 Do your best to come to me soon, 10for Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia,* Titus to Dalmatia. 11Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful in my ministry. 12I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will pay him back for his deeds. 15You also must beware of him, for he strongly opposed our message.

16 At my first defence no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings and Benediction

19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20Erastus remained in Corinth; Trophimus I left ill in Miletus. 21Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.*

22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.*

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10 February 2011

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