13Thus said the Lord to me, Go and buy yourself a linen loincloth, and put it on your loins, but do not dip it in water. 2So I bought a loincloth according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins. 3And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, saying, 4Take the loincloth that you bought and are wearing, and go now to the Euphrates,* and hide it there in a cleft of the rock. 5So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates,* as the Lord commanded me. 6And after many days the Lord said to me, Go now to the Euphrates,* and take from there the loincloth that I commanded you to hide there. 7Then I went to the Euphrates,* and dug, and I took the loincloth from the place where I had hidden it. But now the loincloth was ruined; it was good for nothing.
8 Then the word of the Lord came to me:
9Thus says the Lord: Just so I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.
10This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own will and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this loincloth, which is good for nothing.
11For as the loincloth clings to ones loins, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord, in order that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. But they would not listen.
12 You shall speak to them this word: Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Every wine-jar should be filled with wine. And they will say to you, Do you think we do not know that every wine-jar should be filled with wine?
13Then you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord: I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this landthe kings who sit on Davids throne, the priests, the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalemwith drunkenness.
14And I will dash them one against another, parents and children together, says the Lord. I will not pity or spare or have compassion when I destroy them.
15 Hear and give ear; do not be haughty,
for the Lord has spoken.
16 Give glory to the Lord your God
before he brings darkness,
and before your feet stumble
on the mountains at twilight;
while you look for light,
he turns it into gloom
and makes it deep darkness.
17 But if you will not listen,
my soul will weep in secret for your pride;
my eyes will weep bitterly and run down with tears,
because the Lords flock has been taken captive.
18 Say to the king and the queen mother:
Take a lowly seat,
for your beautiful crown
has come down from your head.*
19 The towns of the Negeb are shut up
with no one to open them;
all Judah is taken into exile,
wholly taken into exile.
20 Lift up your eyes and see
those who come from the north.
Where is the flock that was given you,
your beautiful flock?
21 What will you say when they set as head over you
those whom you have trained
to be your allies?
Will not pangs take hold of you,
like those of a woman in labour?
22 And if you say in your heart,
Why have these things come upon me?
it is for the greatness of your iniquity
that your skirts are lifted up,
and you are violated.
23 Can Ethiopians* change their skin
or leopards their spots?
Then also you can do good
who are accustomed to do evil.
24 I will scatter you* like chaff
driven by the wind from the desert.
25 This is your lot,
the portion I have measured out to you, says the Lord,
because you have forgotten me
and trusted in lies.
26 I myself will lift up your skirts over your face,
and your shame will be seen.
27 I have seen your abominations,
your adulteries and neighings, your shameless prostitutions
on the hills of the countryside.
Woe to you, O Jerusalem!
How long will it be
before you are made clean?
14The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:
2 Judah mourns
and her gates languish;
they lie in gloom on the ground,
and the cry of Jerusalem goes up.
3 Her nobles send their servants for water;
they come to the cisterns,
they find no water,
they return with their vessels empty.
They are ashamed and dismayed
and cover their heads,
4 because the ground is cracked.
Because there has been no rain on the land
the farmers are dismayed;
they cover their heads.
5 Even the doe in the field forsakes her newborn fawn
because there is no grass.
6 The wild asses stand on the bare heights,*
they pant for air like jackals;
their eyes fail
because there is no herbage.
7 Although our iniquities testify against us,
act, O Lord, for your names sake;
our apostasies indeed are many,
and we have sinned against you.
8 O hope of Israel,
its saviour in time of trouble,
why should you be like a stranger in the land,
like a traveller turning aside for the night?
9 Why should you be like someone confused,
like a mighty warrior who cannot give help?
Yet you, O Lord, are in the midst of us,
and we are called by your name;
do not forsake us!
10 Thus says the Lord concerning this people:
Truly they have loved to wander,
they have not restrained their feet;
therefore the Lord does not accept them,
now he will remember their iniquity
and punish their sins.
11 The Lord said to me: Do not pray for the welfare of this people. 12Although they fast, I do not hear their cry, and although they offer burnt-offering and grain-offering, I do not accept them; but by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence I consume them.
13 Then I said: Ah, Lord God! Here are the prophets saying to them, You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you true peace in this place.
14And the Lord said to me: The prophets are prophesying lies in my name; I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds.
15Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name though I did not send them, and who say, Sword and famine shall not come on this land: By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed.
16And the people to whom they prophesy shall be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword. There shall be no one to bury themthemselves, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their wickedness upon them.
17 You shall say to them this word:
Let my eyes run down with tears night and day,
and let them not cease,
for the virgin daughtermy peopleis struck down with a crushing blow,
with a very grievous wound.
18 If I go out into the field,
lookthose killed by the sword!
And if I enter the city,
lookthose sick with* famine!
For both prophet and priest ply their trade throughout the land,
and have no knowledge.
19 Have you completely rejected Judah?
Does your heart loathe Zion?
Why have you struck us down
so that there is no healing for us?
We look for peace, but find no good;
for a time of healing, but there is terror instead.
20 We acknowledge our wickedness, O Lord,
the iniquity of our ancestors,
for we have sinned against you.
21 Do not spurn us, for your names sake;
do not dishonour your glorious throne;
remember and do not break your covenant with us.
22 Can any idols of the nations bring rain?
Or can the heavens give showers?
Is it not you, O Lord our God?
We set our hope on you,
for it is you who do all this.
15Then the Lord said to me: Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn towards this people. Send them out of my sight, and let them go!
2And when they say to you, Where shall we go? you shall say to them: Thus says the Lord:
Those destined for pestilence, to pestilence,
and those destined for the sword, to the sword;
those destined for famine, to famine,
and those destined for captivity, to captivity.
3And I will appoint over them four kinds of destroyers, says the Lord: the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, and the birds of the air and the wild animals of the earth to devour and destroy. 4I will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what King Manasseh son of Hezekiah of Judah did in Jerusalem.
5 Who will have pity on you, O Jerusalem,
or who will bemoan you?
Who will turn aside
to ask about your welfare?
6 You have rejected me, says the Lord,
you are going backwards;
so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you
I am weary of relenting.
7 I have winnowed them with a winnowing-fork
in the gates of the land;
I have bereaved them, I have destroyed my people;
they did not turn from their ways.
8 Their widows became more numerous
than the sand of the seas;
I have brought against the mothers of youths
a destroyer at noonday;
I have made anguish and terror
fall upon her suddenly.
9 She who bore seven has languished;
she has swooned away;
her sun went down while it was yet day;
she has been shamed and disgraced.
And the rest of them I will give to the sword
before their enemies,
says the Lord.
10 Woe is me, my mother, that you ever bore me, a man of strife and contention to the whole land! I have not lent, nor have I borrowed, yet all of them curse me. 11The Lord said: Surely I have intervened in your life* for good, surely I have imposed enemies on you in a time of trouble and in a time of distress.* 12Can iron and bronze break iron from the north?
13 Your wealth and your treasures I will give as plunder, without price, for all your sins, throughout all your territory.
14I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you do not know, for in my anger a fire is kindled that shall burn for ever.
15 O Lord, you know;
remember me and visit me,
and bring down retribution for me on my persecutors.
In your forbearance do not take me away;
know that on your account I suffer insult.
16 Your words were found, and I ate them,
and your words became to me a joy
and the delight of my heart;
for I am called by your name,
O Lord, God of hosts.
17 I did not sit in the company of merrymakers,
nor did I rejoice;
under the weight of your hand I sat alone,
for you had filled me with indignation.
18 Why is my pain unceasing,
my wound incurable,
refusing to be healed?
Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook,
like waters that fail.
19 Therefore, thus says the Lord:
If you turn back, I will take you back,
and you shall stand before me.
If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless,
you shall serve as my mouth.
It is they who will turn to you,
not you who will turn to them.
20 And I will make you to this people
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you,
but they shall not prevail over you,
for I am with you
to save you and deliver you,
says the Lord.
21 I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
and redeem you from the grasp of the ruthless.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
and blameless when you pass judgement.
5 Indeed, I was born guilty,
a sinner when my mother conceived me.
6 You desire truth in the inward being;*
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right* spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain in me a willing* spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you have no delight in sacrifice;
if I were to give a burnt-offering, you would not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God* is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19 then you will delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt-offerings and whole burnt-offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.
7This King Melchizedek of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him; 2and to him Abraham apportioned one-tenth of everything. His name, in the first place, means king of righteousness; next he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. 3Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest for ever.
4 See how great he is! Even* Abraham the patriarch gave him a tenth of the spoils. 5And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to collect tithes* from the people, that is, from their kindred,* though these also are descended from Abraham. 6But this man, who does not belong to their ancestry, collected tithes* from Abraham and blessed him who had received the promises. 7It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. 8In the one case, tithes are received by those who are mortal; in the other, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. 9One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.
11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the levitical priesthoodfor the people received the law under this priesthoodwhat further need would there have been to speak of another priest arising according to the order of Melchizedek, rather than one according to the order of Aaron? 12For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13Now the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
15 It is even more obvious when another priest arises, resembling Melchizedek,
16one who has become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life.
17For it is attested of him,
You are a priest for ever,
according to the order of Melchizedek.
18There is, on the one hand, the abrogation of an earlier commandment because it was weak and ineffectual 19(for the law made nothing perfect); there is, on the other hand, the introduction of a better hope, through which we approach God.
20 This was confirmed with an oath; for others who became priests took their office without an oath,
21but this one became a priest with an oath, because of the one who said to him,
The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
You are a priest for ever
22accordingly Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.
23 Furthermore, the former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; 24but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues for ever. 25Consequently he is able for all time to save* those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.
27Unlike the other* high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself.
28For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever.
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