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Jeremiah 22, 23, 24

Exhortation to Repent

22Thus says the Lord: Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, 2and say: Hear the word of the Lord, O King of Judah sitting on the throne of David—you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. 3Thus says the Lord: Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place. 4For if you will indeed obey this word, then through the gates of this house shall enter kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their servants, and their people. 5But if you will not heed these words, I swear by myself, says the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation. 6For thus says the Lord concerning the house of the king of Judah:
You are like Gilead to me,
   like the summit of Lebanon;
but I swear that I will make you a desert,
   an uninhabited city.*
7 I will prepare destroyers against you,
   all with their weapons;
they shall cut down your choicest cedars
   and cast them into the fire.

8 And many nations will pass by this city, and all of them will say one to another, ‘Why has the Lord dealt in this way with that great city?’ 9And they will answer, ‘Because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods and served them.’


10 Do not weep for him who is dead,
   nor bemoan him;
weep rather for him who goes away,
   for he shall return no more
   to see his native land.

Message to the Sons of Josiah

11 For thus says the Lord concerning Shallum son of King Josiah of Judah, who succeeded his father Josiah, and who went away from this place: He shall return here no more, 12but in the place where they have carried him captive he shall die, and he shall never see this land again.


13 Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness,
   and his upper rooms by injustice;
who makes his neighbours work for nothing,
   and does not give them their wages;
14 who says, ‘I will build myself a spacious house
   with large upper rooms’,
and who cuts out windows for it,
   panelling it with cedar,
   and painting it with vermilion.
15 Are you a king
   because you compete in cedar?
Did not your father eat and drink
   and do justice and righteousness?
   Then it was well with him.
16 He judged the cause of the poor and needy;
   then it was well.
Is not this to know me?
   says the Lord.
17 But your eyes and heart
   are only on your dishonest gain,
for shedding innocent blood,
   and for practising oppression and violence.

18 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah:
They shall not lament for him, saying,
   ‘Alas, my brother!’ or ‘Alas, sister!’
They shall not lament for him, saying,
   ‘Alas, lord!’ or ‘Alas, his majesty!’
19 With the burial of a donkey he shall be buried—
   dragged off and thrown out beyond the gates of Jerusalem.


20 Go up to Lebanon, and cry out,
   and lift up your voice in Bashan;
cry out from Abarim,
   for all your lovers are crushed.
21 I spoke to you in your prosperity,
   but you said, ‘I will not listen.’
This has been your way from your youth,
   for you have not obeyed my voice.
22 The wind shall shepherd all your shepherds,
   and your lovers shall go into captivity;
then you will be ashamed and dismayed
   because of all your wickedness.
23 O inhabitant of Lebanon,
   nested among the cedars,
how you will groan* when pangs come upon you,
   pain as of a woman in labour!

Judgement on Coniah (Jehoiachin)

24 As I live, says the Lord, even if King Coniah son of Jehoiakim of Judah were the signet ring on my right hand, even from there I would tear you off 25and give you into the hands of those who seek your life, into the hands of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hands of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and into the hands of the Chaldeans. 26I will hurl you and the mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die. 27But they shall not return to the land to which they long to return.
28 Is this man Coniah a despised broken pot,
   a vessel no one wants?
Why are he and his offspring hurled out
   and cast away in a land that they do not know?
29 O land, land, land,
   hear the word of the Lord!
30 Thus says the Lord:
Record this man as childless,
   a man who shall not succeed in his days;
for none of his offspring shall succeed
   in sitting on the throne of David,
   and ruling again in Judah.

Restoration after Exile

23Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord. 2Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. 3Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the Lord.

The Righteous Branch of David

5 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

7 Therefore, the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the Lord lives who brought the people of Israel up out of the land of Egypt’, 8but ‘As the Lord lives who brought out and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the land of the north and out of all the lands where he* had driven them.’ Then they shall live in their own land.

False Prophets of Hope Denounced

9 Concerning the prophets:
My heart is crushed within me,
   all my bones shake;
I have become like a drunkard,
   like one overcome by wine,
because of the Lord
   and because of his holy words.
10 For the land is full of adulterers;
   because of the curse the land mourns,
   and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up.
Their course has been evil,
   and their might is not right.
11 Both prophet and priest are ungodly;
   even in my house I have found their wickedness,

says the Lord.
12 Therefore their way shall be to them
   like slippery paths in the darkness,
   into which they shall be driven and fall;
for I will bring disaster upon them
   in the year of their punishment,

says the Lord.
13 In the prophets of Samaria
   I saw a disgusting thing:
they prophesied by Baal
   and led my people Israel astray.
14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem
   I have seen a more shocking thing:
they commit adultery and walk in lies;
   they strengthen the hands of evildoers,
   so that no one turns from wickedness;
all of them have become like Sodom to me,
   and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.
15 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:
‘I am going to make them eat wormwood,
   and give them poisoned water to drink;
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
   ungodliness has spread throughout the land.’

16 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you; they are deluding you. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17They keep saying to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to all who stubbornly follow their own stubborn hearts, they say, ‘No calamity shall come upon you.’


18 For who has stood in the council of the Lord
   so as to see and to hear his word?
   Who has given heed to his word so as to proclaim it?
19 Look, the storm of the Lord!
   Wrath has gone forth,
a whirling tempest;
   it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back
   until he has executed and accomplished
   the intents of his mind.
In the latter days you will understand it clearly.


21 I did not send the prophets,
   yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
   yet they prophesied.
22 But if they had stood in my council,
   then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
and they would have turned them from their evil way,
   and from the evil of their doings.

23 Am I a God near by, says the Lord, and not a God far off? 24Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? says the Lord. Do I not fill heaven and earth? says the Lord. 25I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26How long? Will the hearts of the prophets ever turn back—those who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart? 27They plan to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, just as their ancestors forgot my name for Baal. 28Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let the one who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord. 29Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? 30See, therefore, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words from one another. 31See, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who use their own tongues and say, ‘Says the Lord.’ 32See, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, says the Lord, and who tell them, and who lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or appoint them; so they do not profit this people at all, says the Lord.

33 When this people, or a prophet, or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,* and I will cast you off, says the Lord.’ 34And as for the prophet, priest, or the people who say, ‘The burden of the Lord’, I will punish them and their households. 35Thus shall you say to one another, among yourselves, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36But ‘the burden of the Lord’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is everyone’s own word, and so you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37Thus you shall ask the prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38But if you say, ‘the burden of the Lord’, thus says the Lord: Because you have said these words, ‘the burden of the Lord’, when I sent to you, saying, You shall not say, ‘the burden of the Lord’, 39therefore, I will surely lift you up* and cast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your ancestors. 40And I will bring upon you everlasting disgrace and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

The Good and the Bad Figs

24The Lord showed me two baskets of figs placed before the temple of the Lord. This was after King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon had taken into exile from Jerusalem King Jeconiah son of Jehoiakim of Judah, together with the officials of Judah, the artisans, and the smiths, and had brought them to Babylon. 2One basket had very good figs, like first-ripe figs, but the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten. 3And the Lord said to me, ‘What do you see, Jeremiah?’ I said, ‘Figs, the good figs very good, and the bad figs very bad, so bad that they cannot be eaten.’

4 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 5Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Like these good figs, so I will regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I have sent away from this place to the land of the Chaldeans. 6I will set my eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up, and not tear them down; I will plant them, and not pluck them up. 7I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.

8 But thus says the Lord: Like the bad figs that are so bad they cannot be eaten, so will I treat King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, the remnant of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who live in the land of Egypt. 9I will make them a horror, an evil thing, to all the kingdoms of the earth—a disgrace, a byword, a taunt, and a curse in all the places where I shall drive them. 10And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they are utterly destroyed from the land that I gave to them and their ancestors.

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Psalm 54

Prayer for Vindication

To the leader: with stringed instruments. A Maskil of David, when the Ziphites went and told Saul, ‘David is in hiding among us.’
1 Save me, O God, by your name,
   and vindicate me by your might.
2 Hear my prayer, O God;
   give ear to the words of my mouth.


3 For the insolent have risen against me,
   the ruthless seek my life;
   they do not set God before them.
          Selah


4 But surely, God is my helper;
   the Lord is the upholder of* my life.
5 He will repay my enemies for their evil.
   In your faithfulness, put an end to them.


6 With a freewill-offering I will sacrifice to you;
   I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.
7 For he has delivered me from every trouble,
   and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies.

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Hebrews 10

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All

10Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these realities, it* can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who approach. 2Otherwise, would they not have ceased being offered, since the worshippers, cleansed once for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sin? 3But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year. 4For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5Consequently, when Christ* came into the world, he said,
‘Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
   but a body you have prepared for me;
6 in burnt-offerings and sin-offerings
   you have taken no pleasure.
7 Then I said, “See, God, I have come to do your will, O God”
   (in the scroll of the book* it is written of me).’
8When he said above, ‘You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sin-offerings’ (these are offered according to the law), 9then he added, ‘See, I have come to do your will.’ He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10And it is by God’s will* that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11 And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. 12But when Christ* had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, ‘he sat down at the right hand of God’, 13and since then has been waiting ‘until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.’ 14For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying,
16 ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them
   after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
   and I will write them on their minds’,
17he also adds,
‘I will remember* their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’
18Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

A Call to Persevere

19 Therefore, my friends,* since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

26 For if we wilfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a fearful prospect of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy ‘on the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ 29How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? 30For we know the one who said, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay.’ And again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33sometimes being publicly exposed to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting. 35Do not, therefore, abandon that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. 36For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. 37For yet
‘in a very little while,
   the one who is coming will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one will live by faith.
   My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.’
39But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those who have faith and so are saved.

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10 February 2011

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