Certainly we must die, and are like water spilled on the ground that cannot be gathered up again. But God does not take away life; instead he devises ways for the banished to be restored. 1
Then Absalom happened to come across David’s men. Now as Absalom was riding on his 1 mule, it 2 went under the branches of a large oak tree. His head got caught in the oak and he was suspended in midair, 3 while the mule he had been riding kept going.
“Note well, you still have to contend with Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, 1 who tried to call down upon me a horrible judgment when I went to Mahanaim. 2 He came down and met me at the Jordan, and I solemnly promised 3 him by the Lord, ‘I will not strike you down 4 with the sword.’
His servants approached and said to him, “O master, 1 if the prophet had told you to do some difficult task, 2 you would have been willing to do it. 3 It seems you should be happy that he simply said, “Wash and you will be healed.” 4
until I come and take you to a land just like your own – a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Then you will live and not die. Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, “The Lord will rescue us.”
The enemy broke through the city walls, 1 and all the soldiers tried to escape. They left the city during the night. 2 They went through the gate between the two walls that is near the king’s garden. 3 (The Babylonians were all around the city.) Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. 4
the Ammonite officials said to Hanun, “Do you really think David is trying to honor your father by sending these messengers to express his sympathy? 1 No, his servants have come to you so they can get information and spy out the land!” 2
and in the presence of his colleagues 1 and the army of Samaria 2 he said, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they be left to themselves? 3 Will they again offer sacrifice? Will they finish this in a day? Can they bring these burnt stones to life again from piles of dust?”
O Lord, my God, you have accomplished many things; you have done amazing things and carried out your purposes for us. 1 No one can thwart you! 2 I want to declare them and talk about them, but they are too numerous to recount! 3
All nations gather together, the peoples assemble. Who among them announced this? Who predicted earlier events for us? 1 Let them produce their witnesses to testify they were right; let them listen and affirm, ‘It is true.’
I am as full of anger as you are, Lord, 1 I am tired of trying to hold it in.” The Lord answered, 2 “Vent it, then, 3 on the children who play in the street and on the young men who are gathered together. Husbands and wives are to be included, 4 as well as the old and those who are advanced in years.
Then the Lord said to me, “Those prophets are prophesying lies while claiming my authority! 1 I did not send them. I did not commission them. 2 I did not speak to them. They are prophesying to these people false visions, worthless predictions, 3 and the delusions of their own mind.
They broke through the city walls, and all the soldiers tried to escape. They left the city during the night. They went through the gate between the two walls that is near the king’s garden. 1 (The Babylonians had the city surrounded.) Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. 2
“‘Therefore, this is what the sovereign Lord says: Take note 1 that I am against your wristbands with which you entrap people’s lives 2 like birds. I will tear them from your arms and will release the people’s lives, which you hunt like birds.
“Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you have brought up 1 your own guilt by uncovering your transgressions and revealing your sins through all your actions, for this reason you will be taken by force. 2
Her priests abuse my law and have desecrated my holy things. They do not distinguish between the holy and the profane, 1 or recognize any distinction between the unclean and the clean. They ignore 2 my Sabbaths and I am profaned in their midst.
“Son of man, say to the prince 1 of Tyre, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says: “‘Your heart is proud 2 and you said, “I am a god; 3 I sit in the seat of gods, in the heart of the seas” – yet you are a man and not a god, though you think you are godlike. 4
“As I was contemplating the horns, another horn – a small one – came up between them, and three of the former horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it. 1 This horn had eyes resembling human eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant 2 things.
He prayed to the Lord and said, “Oh, Lord, this is just what I thought 1 would happen 2 when I was in my own country. 3 This is what I tried to prevent 4 by attempting to escape to Tarshish! 5 – because I knew 6 that you are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger 7 and abounding 8 in mercy, and one who relents concerning threatened judgment. 9