“Call for archers 1 to come against Babylon! Summon against her all who draw the bow! Set up camp all around the city! Do not allow anyone to escape! Pay her back for what she has done. Do to her what she has done to others. For she has proudly defied me, 2 the Holy One of Israel. 3
Then say to the people of the land, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says about the inhabitants of Jerusalem and of the land of Israel: They will eat their bread with anxiety and drink their water in fright, for their land will be stripped bare of all it contains because of the violence of all who live in it.
Then 1 one who appeared to be a human being 2 was touching my lips. I opened my mouth and started to speak, saying to the one who was standing before me, “Sir, 3 due to the vision, anxiety has gripped me and I have no strength.
The Lord said to me, “Go, show love to 1 your wife 2 again, even though she loves 3 another man 4 and continually commits adultery. 5 Likewise, the Lord loves 6 the Israelites 7 although they turn to other gods and love to offer raisin cakes to idols.” 8
The time of judgment 1 is about to arrive! 2 The time of retribution 3 is imminent! 4 Let Israel know! 5 The prophet is considered a fool 6 – the inspired man 7 is viewed as a madman 8 – because of the multitude of your sins and your intense 9 animosity.
When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the wilderness. I viewed your ancestors 1 like an early fig on a fig tree in its first season. Then they came to Baal-Peor and they dedicated themselves to shame – they became as detestable as what they loved.
Let the priests, those who serve the Lord, weep from the vestibule all the way back to the altar. 1 Let them say, “Have pity, O Lord, on your people; please do not turn over your inheritance to be mocked, to become a proverb 2 among the nations. Why should it be said 3 among the peoples, “Where is their God?”
When he had contemplated this, an 1 angel of the Lord 2 appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
For there are some eunuchs who were that way from birth, 1 and some who were made eunuchs 2 by others, 3 and some who became eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who is able to accept this should accept it.”
Again he sent other slaves, saying, ‘Tell those who have been invited, “Look! The feast I have prepared for you is ready. 1 My oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.”’
So give orders to secure the tomb until the third day. Otherwise his disciples may come and steal his body 1 and say to the people, ‘He has been raised from the dead,’ and the last deception will be worse than the first.”
So 1 the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the master of the household was furious 2 and said to his slave, ‘Go out quickly 3 to the streets and alleys of the city, 4 and bring in the poor, 5 the crippled, 6 the blind, and the lame.’
After three days 1 Paul 2 called the local Jewish leaders 3 together. When they had assembled, he said to them, “Brothers, 4 although I had done 5 nothing against our people or the customs of our ancestors, 6 from Jerusalem 7 I was handed over as a prisoner to the Romans. 8
Finally, brothers and sisters, 1 whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, 1 we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us,
Such trials show the proven character of your faith, 1 which is much more valuable than gold – gold that is tested by fire, even though it is passing away 2 – and will bring praise 3 and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 4
Therefore, if I come, 1 I will call attention to the deeds he is doing 2 – the bringing of unjustified charges against us with evil words! And not being content with that, he not only refuses to welcome the brothers himself, but hinders the people who want to do so and throws them out of the church!
Once again there will be sounds 1 of joy and gladness and the glad celebrations of brides and grooms. 2 Once again people will bring their thank offerings to the temple of the Lord and will say, “Give thanks to the Lord who rules over all. For the Lord is good and his unfailing love lasts forever.” 3 For I, the Lord, affirm 4 that I will restore the land to what it was 5 in days of old.’ 6