"For the Lord says, 'Only when the seventy years of Babylonian rule are over will I again take up consideration for you. Then I will fulfill my gracious promise to you and restore you to your homeland.
in the first year of his reign I, Daniel, came to understand from the sacred books that, according to the word of the LORD disclosed to the prophet Jeremiah, the years for the fulfilling of the desolation of Jerusalem were seventy in number.
This whole area will become a desolate wasteland. These nations will be subject to the king of Babylon for seventy years.' "'But when the seventy years are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and his nation for their sins. I will make the land of Babylon an everlasting ruin. I, the Lord, affirm it!
I will make myself available to you,' says the Lord. 'Then I will reverse your plight and will regather you from all the nations and all the places where I have exiled you,' says the Lord. 'I will bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.'
For King Zedekiah had confined Jeremiah there after he had reproved him for prophesying as he did. He had asked Jeremiah, "Why do you keep prophesying these things? Why do you keep saying that the Lord says, 'I will hand this city over to the king of Babylon? I will let him capture it. King Zedekiah of Judah will not escape from the Babylonians. He will certainly be handed over to the king of Babylon. He must answer personally to the king of Babylon and confront him face to face. Zedekiah will be carried off to Babylon and will remain there until I have fully dealt with him. I, the Lord, affirm it! Even if you continue to fight against the Babylonians, you cannot win.'"
So King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came against Jerusalem with his whole army and set up camp outside it. They built siege ramps all around it. He arrived on the tenth day of the tenth month in the ninth year of Zedekiah's reign. The city remained under siege until King Zedekiah's eleventh year. By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city was so severe the residents had no food. read more.
The enemy 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. (The Babylonians were all around the city.) Then they headed for the Jordan Valley. But the Babylonian army chased after the king. They caught up with him in the plains of Jericho, and his entire army deserted him. They captured the king and brought him up to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where he passed sentence on him. Zedekiah's sons were executed while Zedekiah was forced to watch. The king of Babylon then had Zedekiah's eyes put out, bound him in bronze chains, and carried him off to Babylon. On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard who served the king of Babylon, arrived in Jerusalem.
You will then eat your own offspring, the flesh of the sons and daughters the Lord your God has given you, because of the severity of the siege by which your enemies will constrict you.
You will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters.
Then the king asked her, "What's your problem?" She answered, "This woman said to me, 'Hand over your son; we'll eat him today and then eat my son tomorrow.' So we boiled my son and ate him. Then I said to her the next day, 'Hand over your son and we'll eat him.' But she hid her son!"
I will reduce the people of this city to desperate straits during the siege imposed on it by their enemies who are seeking to kill them. I will make them so desperate that they will eat the flesh of their own sons and daughters and the flesh of one another."'"
(Yod) The hands of tenderhearted women cooked their own children, who became their food, when my people were destroyed.
At that time the generals of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon marched to Jerusalem and besieged the city. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to the city while his generals were besieging it. King Jehoiachin of Judah, along with his mother, his servants, his officials, and his eunuchs surrendered to the king of Babylon. The king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took Jehoiachin prisoner. read more.
Nebuchadnezzar took from there all the riches in the treasuries of the Lord's temple and of the royal palace. He removed all the gold items which King Solomon of Israel had made for the Lord's temple, just as the Lord had warned. He deported all the residents of Jerusalem, including all the officials and all the soldiers (10,000 people in all). This included all the craftsmen and those who worked with metal. No one was left except for the poorest among the people of the land. He deported Jehoiachin from Jerusalem to Babylon, along with the king's mother and wives, his eunuchs, and the high-ranking officials of the land. The king of Babylon deported to Babylon all the soldiers (there were 7,000), as well as 1,000 craftsmen and metal workers. This included all the best warriors.
Look, a time is coming when everything in your palace and the things your ancestors have accumulated to this day will be carried away to Babylon; nothing will be left,' says the Lord. Some of your very own descendants whom you father will be taken away and will be made eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.'"
Nebuzaradan, the captain of the royal guard, deported the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to the king of Babylon, and the rest of the craftsmen. But he left behind some of the poor of the land and gave them fields and vineyards. The Babylonians broke the two bronze pillars in the Lord's temple, as well as the movable stands and the big bronze basin called the "The Sea." They took the bronze to Babylon. read more.
They also took the pots, shovels, trimming shears, pans, and all the bronze utensils used by the priests. The captain of the royal guard took the golden and silver censers and basins. The bronze of the items that King Solomon made for the Lord's temple -- including the two pillars, the big bronze basin called "The Sea," the twelve bronze bulls under "The Sea," and the movable stands -- was too heavy to be weighed. Each of the pillars was about twenty-seven feet high. The bronze top of one pillar was about four and a half feet high and had bronze latticework and pomegranate shaped ornaments all around it. The second pillar with its latticework was like it. The captain of the royal guard took Seraiah the chief priest and Zephaniah, the priest who was second in rank, and the three doorkeepers. From the city he took a eunuch who was in charge of the soldiers, five of the king's advisers who were discovered in the city, an official army secretary who drafted citizens for military service, and sixty citizens from the people of the land who were discovered in the city. Nebuzaradan, captain of the royal guard, took them and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah. The king of Babylon ordered them to be executed at Riblah in the territory of Hamath. So Judah was deported from its land.
The prophet then said to him, "This is what the Lord says, 'Because you released a man I had determined should die, you will pay with your life and your people will suffer instead of his people.'"
"Get up, go down and meet King Ahab of Israel who lives in Samaria. He is at the vineyard of Naboth; he has gone down there to take possession of it. Say to him, 'This is what the Lord says: "Haven't you committed murder and taken possession of the property of the deceased?"' Then say to him, 'This is what the Lord says: "In the spot where dogs licked up Naboth's blood they will also lick up your blood -- yes, yours!"'" When Elijah arrived, Ahab said to him, "So, you have found me, my enemy!" Elijah replied, "I have found you, because you are committed to doing evil in the sight of the Lord. read more.
The Lord says, 'Look, I am ready to bring disaster on you. I will destroy you and cut off every last male belonging to Ahab in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated. I will make your dynasty like those of Jeroboam son of Nebat and Baasha son of Ahijah because you angered me and made Israel sin.' The Lord says this about Jezebel, 'Dogs will devour Jezebel by the outer wall of Jezreel.' As for Ahab's family, dogs will eat the ones who die in the city, and the birds of the sky will eat the ones who die in the country."
Now the king of Syria had ordered his thirty-two chariot commanders, "Do not fight common soldiers or high-ranking officers; fight only the king of Israel." When the chariot commanders saw Jehoshaphat, they said, "He must be the king of Israel." So they turned and attacked him, but Jehoshaphat cried out. When the chariot commanders realized he was not the king of Israel, they turned away from him. read more.
Now an archer shot an arrow at random, and it struck the king of Israel between the plates of his armor. The king ordered his charioteer, "Turn around and take me from the battle line, because I'm wounded." While the battle raged throughout the day, the king stood propped up in his chariot opposite the Syrians. He died in the evening; the blood from the wound ran down into the bottom of the chariot. As the sun was setting, a cry went through the camp, "Each one should return to his city and to his homeland." So the king died and was taken to Samaria, where they buried him. They washed off the chariot at the pool of Samaria (this was where the prostitutes bathed); dogs licked his blood, just as the Lord had said would happen.
The Lord said to Jehu, "You have done well. You have accomplished my will and carried out my wishes with regard to Ahab's dynasty. Therefore four generations of your descendants will rule over Israel."
His assassination brought to fulfillment the Lord's word to Jehu, "Four generations of your descendants will rule over Israel." That is exactly what happened.
Dogs will devour Jezebel on the plot of ground in Jezreel; she will not be buried.'" Then he opened the door and ran away.
The Lord says this about Jezebel, 'Dogs will devour Jezebel by the outer wall of Jezreel.'
He said, "Throw her down!" So they threw her down, and when she hit the ground, her blood splattered against the wall and the horses, and Jehu drove his chariot over her. He went inside and had a meal. Then he said, "Dispose of this accursed woman's corpse. Bury her, for after all, she was a king's daughter." But when they went to bury her, they found nothing left but the skull, feet, and palms of the hands. read more.
When they went back and told him, he said, "The Lord's word through his servant, Elijah the Tishbite, has come to pass. He warned, 'In the plot of land at Jezreel, dogs will devour Jezebel's flesh. Jezebel's corpse will be like manure on the surface of the ground in the plot of land at Jezreel. People will not be able to even recognize her.'"
The Lord says, "A sound is heard in Ramah, a sound of crying in bitter grief. It is the sound of Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because her children are gone."
Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: "A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud wailing, Rachel weeping for her children, and she did not want to be comforted, because they were gone."
With the authority of the Lord he cried out against the altar, "O altar, altar! This is what the Lord says, 'Look, a son named Josiah will be born to the Davidic dynasty. He will sacrifice on you the priests of the high places who offer sacrifices on you. Human bones will be burned on you.'"
The king summoned all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. The king went up to the Lord's temple, accompanied by all the people of Judah, all the residents of Jerusalem, the priests, and the prophets. All the people were there, from the youngest to the oldest. He read aloud all the words of the scroll of the covenant that had been discovered in the Lord's temple. The king stood by the pillar and renewed the covenant before the Lord, agreeing to follow the Lord and to obey his commandments, laws, and rules with all his heart and being, by carrying out the terms of this covenant recorded on this scroll. All the people agreed to keep the covenant. read more.
The king ordered Hilkiah the high priest, the high-ranking priests, and the guards to bring out of the Lord's temple all the items that were used in the worship of Baal, Asherah, and all the stars of the sky. The king burned them outside of Jerusalem in the terraces of Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel. He eliminated the pagan priests whom the kings of Judah had appointed to offer sacrifices on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the area right around Jerusalem. (They offered sacrifices to Baal, the sun god, the moon god, the constellations, and all the stars in the sky.) He removed the Asherah pole from the Lord's temple and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it. He smashed it to dust and then threw the dust in the public graveyard. He tore down the quarters of the male cultic prostitutes in the Lord's temple, where women were weaving shrines for Asherah. He brought all the priests from the cities of Judah and ruined the high places where the priests had offered sacrifices, from Geba to Beer Sheba. He tore down the high place of the goat idols situated at the entrance of the gate of Joshua, the city official, on the left side of the city gate. (Now the priests of the high places did not go up to the altar of the Lord in Jerusalem, but they did eat unleavened cakes among their fellow priests.) The king ruined Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom so that no one could pass his son or his daughter through the fire to Molech. He removed from the entrance to the Lord's temple the statues of horses that the kings of Judah had placed there in honor of the sun god. (They were kept near the room of Nathan Melech the eunuch, which was situated among the courtyards.) He burned up the chariots devoted to the sun god. The king tore down the altars the kings of Judah had set up on the roof of Ahaz's upper room, as well as the altars Manasseh had set up in the two courtyards of the Lord's temple. He crushed them up and threw the dust in the Kidron Valley. The king ruined the high places east of Jerusalem, south of the Mount of Destruction, that King Solomon of Israel had built for the detestable Sidonian goddess Astarte, the detestable Moabite god Chemosh, and the horrible Ammonite god Milcom. He smashed the sacred pillars to bits, cut down the Asherah pole, and filled those shrines with human bones. He also tore down the altar in Bethel at the high place made by Jeroboam son of Nebat, who encouraged Israel to sin. He burned all the combustible items at that high place and crushed them to dust; including the Asherah pole. When Josiah turned around, he saw the tombs there on the hill. So he ordered the bones from the tombs to be brought; he burned them on the altar and defiled it. This fulfilled the Lord's announcement made by the prophet while Jeroboam stood by the altar during a festival. King Josiah turned and saw the grave of the prophet who had foretold this. He asked, "What is this grave marker I see?" The men from the city replied, "It's the grave of the prophet who came from Judah and foretold these very things you have done to the altar of Bethel." The king said, "Leave it alone! No one must touch his bones." So they left his bones undisturbed, as well as the bones of the Israelite prophet buried beside him. Josiah also removed all the shrines on the high places in the cities of Samaria. The kings of Israel had made them and angered the Lord. He did to them what he had done to the high place in Bethel. He sacrificed all the priests of the high places on the altars located there, and burned human bones on them. Then he returned to Jerusalem.
He said to them, "Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. They worship me in vain, teaching as doctrine the commandments of men.'
So they began to leave, unable to agree among themselves, after Paul made one last statement: "The Holy Spirit spoke rightly to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah when he said, 'Go to this people and say, "You will keep on hearing, but will never understand, and you will keep on looking, but will never perceive. For the heart of this people has become dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have closed their eyes, so that they would not see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them."'
He brought against them the king of the Babylonians, who slaughtered their young men in their temple. He did not spare young men or women, or even the old and aging. God handed everyone over to him. He carried away to Babylon all the items in God's temple, whether large or small, as well as what was in the treasuries of the Lord's temple and in the treasuries of the king and his officials. They burned down the Lord's temple and tore down the wall of Jerusalem. They burned all its fortified buildings and destroyed all its valuable items. read more.
He deported to Babylon all who escaped the sword. They served him and his sons until the Persian kingdom rose to power. This took place to fulfill the Lord's message delivered through Jeremiah. The land experienced its sabbatical years; it remained desolate for seventy years, as prophesied.
"Brothers, the scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit foretold through David concerning Judas -- who became the guide for those who arrested Jesus --
"For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his house become deserted, and let there be no one to live in it,' and 'Let another take his position of responsibility.'
May their camp become desolate, their tents uninhabited!
During Ahab's reign, Hiel the Bethelite rebuilt Jericho. Abiram, his firstborn son, died when he laid the foundation; Segub, his youngest son, died when he erected its gates, just as the Lord had warned through Joshua son of Nun.
At that time Joshua made this solemn declaration: "The man who attempts to rebuild this city of Jericho will stand condemned before the Lord. He will lose his firstborn son when he lays its foundations and his youngest son when he erects its gates!"
So Judas threw the silver coins into the temple and left. Then he went out and hanged himself.
"Brothers, the scripture had to be fulfilled that the Holy Spirit foretold through David concerning Judas -- who became the guide for those who arrested Jesus -- for he was counted as one of us and received a share in this ministry." (Now this man Judas acquired a field with the reward of his unjust deed, and falling headfirst he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. read more.
This became known to all who lived in Jerusalem, so that in their own language they called that field Hakeldama, that is, "Field of Blood.") "For it is written in the book of Psalms, 'Let his house become deserted, and let there be no one to live in it,' and 'Let another take his position of responsibility.'
and he cried out to the prophet from Judah, "This is what the Lord says, 'You have rebelled against the Lord and have not obeyed the command the Lord your God gave you. You went back and ate and drank in this place, even though he said to you, "Do not eat or drink there." Therefore your corpse will not be buried in your ancestral tomb.'"
As the prophet from Judah was traveling, a lion attacked him on the road and killed him. His corpse was lying on the road, and the donkey and the lion just stood there beside it. Some men came by and saw the corpse lying in the road with the lion standing beside it. They went and reported what they had seen in the city where the old prophet lived. When the old prophet who had invited him to his house heard the news, he said, "It is the prophet who rebelled against the Lord. The Lord delivered him over to the lion and it ripped him up and killed him, just as the Lord warned him." read more.
He told his sons, "Saddle my donkey," and they did so. He went and found the corpse lying in the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside it; the lion had neither eaten the corpse nor attacked the donkey. The old prophet picked up the corpse of the prophet, put it on the donkey, and brought it back. The old prophet then entered the city to mourn him and to bury him. He put the corpse into his own tomb, and they mourned over him, saying, "Ah, my brother!"
"What I am saying does not refer to all of you. I know the ones I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture, 'The one who eats my bread has turned against me.'
When he had said these things, Jesus went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley. There was an orchard there, and he and his disciples went into it. (Now Judas, the one who betrayed him, knew the place too, because Jesus had met there many times with his disciples.) So Judas obtained a squad of soldiers and some officers of the chief priests and Pharisees. They came to the orchard with lanterns and torches and weapons. read more.
Then Jesus, because he knew everything that was going to happen to him, came and asked them, "Who are you looking for?" They replied, "Jesus the Nazarene." He told them, "I am he." (Now Judas, the one who betrayed him, was standing there with them.) So when Jesus said to them, "I am he," they retreated and fell to the ground. Then Jesus asked them again, "Who are you looking for?" And they said, "Jesus the Nazarene." Jesus replied, "I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, let these men go." He said this to fulfill the word he had spoken, "I have not lost a single one of those whom you gave me."
Isaiah son of Amoz sent this message to Hezekiah: "This is what the Lord God of Israel says: 'I have heard your prayer concerning King Sennacherib of Assyria. This is what the Lord says about him: "The virgin daughter Zion despises you, she makes fun of you; Daughter Jerusalem shakes her head after you. Whom have you taunted and hurled insults at? At whom have you shouted, and looked so arrogantly? At the Holy One of Israel! read more.
Through your messengers you taunted the sovereign master, 'With my many chariots I climbed up the high mountains, the slopes of Lebanon. I cut down its tall cedars, and its best evergreens. I invaded its most remote regions, its thickest woods. I dug wells and drank water in foreign lands. With the soles of my feet I dried up all the rivers of Egypt.' Certainly you must have heard! Long ago I worked it out, In ancient times I planned it; and now I am bringing it to pass. The plan is this: Fortified cities will crash into heaps of ruins. Their residents are powerless, they are terrified and ashamed. They are as short-lived as plants in the field, or green vegetation. They are as short-lived as grass on the rooftops when it is scorched by the east wind. I know where you live, and everything you do. Because you rage against me, and the uproar you create has reached my ears; I will put my hook in your nose, and my bridle between your lips, and I will lead you back the way you came." This will be your confirmation that I have spoken the truth: This year you will eat what grows wild, and next year what grows on its own from that. But in the third year you will plant seed and harvest crops; you will plant vines and consume their produce. Those who remain in Judah will take root in the ground and bear fruit. For a remnant will leave Jerusalem; survivors will come out of Mount Zion. The intense devotion of the sovereign Lord to his people will accomplish this. So this is what the Lord says about the king of Assyria: "He will not enter this city, nor will he shoot an arrow here. He will not attack it with his shield-carrying warriors, nor will he build siege works against it. He will go back the way he came. He will not enter this city," says the Lord. I will shield this city and rescue it for the sake of my reputation and because of my promise to David my servant.'" That very night the Lord's messenger went out and killed 185,000 men in the Assyrian camp. When they got up early the next morning, there were all the corpses. So King Sennacherib of Assyria broke camp and went on his way. He went home and stayed in Nineveh. One day, as he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisroch, his sons Adrammelech and Sharezer struck him down with the sword. They escaped to the land of Ararat; his son Esarhaddon replaced him as king.
Isaiah said to them, "Tell your master this: 'This is what the Lord says: "Don't be afraid because of the things you have heard -- these insults the king of Assyria's servants have hurled against me. Look, I will take control of his mind; he will receive a report and return to his own land. I will cut him down with a sword in his own land."'"
"I raised you up from the dust and made you ruler over my people Israel. Yet you followed in Jeroboam's footsteps and encouraged my people Israel to sin; their sins have made me angry. So I am ready to burn up Baasha and his family, and make your family like the family of Jeroboam son of Nebat.
His servant Zimri, a commander of half of his chariot force, conspired against him. While Elah was drinking heavily at the house of Arza, who supervised the palace in Tirzah, Zimri came in and struck him dead. (This happened in the twenty-seventh year of Asa's reign over Judah.) Zimri replaced Elah as king. When he became king and occupied the throne, he killed Baasha's entire family. He did not spare any male belonging to him; he killed his relatives and his friends. read more.
Zimri destroyed Baasha's entire family, just as the Lord had predicted to Baasha through Jehu the prophet. This happened because of all the sins which Baasha and his son Elah committed and which they made Israel commit. They angered the Lord God of Israel with their worthless idols.
"Men, I can see the voyage is going to end in disaster and great loss not only of the cargo and the ship, but also of our lives."
The next day, because we were violently battered by the storm, they began throwing the cargo overboard, and on the third day they threw the ship's gear overboard with their own hands. When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and a violent storm continued to batter us, we finally abandoned all hope of being saved. read more.
Since many of them had no desire to eat, Paul stood up among them and said, "Men, you should have listened to me and not put out to sea from Crete, thus avoiding this damage and loss. And now I advise you to keep up your courage, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only the ship will be lost. For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve came to me and said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul! You must stand before Caesar, and God has graciously granted you the safety of all who are sailing with you.' Therefore keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will be just as I have been told. But we must run aground on some island." When the fourteenth night had come, while we were being driven across the Adriatic Sea, about midnight the sailors suspected they were approaching some land. They took soundings and found the water was twenty fathoms deep; when they had sailed a little farther they took soundings again and found it was fifteen fathoms deep. Because they were afraid that we would run aground on the rocky coast, they threw out four anchors from the stern and wished for day to appear. Then when the sailors tried to escape from the ship and were lowering the ship's boat into the sea, pretending that they were going to put out anchors from the bow, Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, "Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved." Then the soldiers cut the ropes of the ship's boat and let it drift away. As day was about to dawn, Paul urged them all to take some food, saying, "Today is the fourteenth day you have been in suspense and have gone without food; you have eaten nothing. Therefore I urge you to take some food, for this is important for your survival. For not one of you will lose a hair from his head." After he said this, Paul took bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all, broke it, and began to eat. So all of them were encouraged and took food themselves. (We were in all two hundred seventy-six persons on the ship.) When they had eaten enough to be satisfied, they lightened the ship by throwing the wheat into the sea. When day came, they did not recognize the land, but they noticed a bay with a beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. So they slipped the anchors and left them in the sea, at the same time loosening the linkage that bound the steering oars together. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and steered toward the beach. But they encountered a patch of crosscurrents and ran the ship aground; the bow stuck fast and could not be moved, but the stern was being broken up by the force of the waves. Now the soldiers' plan was to kill the prisoners so that none of them would escape by swimming away. But the centurion, wanting to save Paul's life, prevented them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land, and the rest were to follow, some on planks and some on pieces of the ship. And in this way all were brought safely to land.
He said, "Go and tell these people: 'Listen continually, but don't understand! Look continually, but don't perceive!'
The sovereign master says, "These people say they are loyal to me; they say wonderful things about me, but they are not really loyal to me. Their worship consists of nothing but man-made ritual.
An officer who was the king's right-hand man responded to the prophet, "Look, even if the Lord made it rain by opening holes in the sky, could this happen so soon?" Elisha said, "Look, you will see it happen with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of the food!"
But the officer replied to the prophet, "Look, even if the Lord made it rain by opening holes in the sky, could this happen so soon?" Elisha said, "Look, you will see it happen with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of the food!" This is exactly what happened to him. The people trampled him to death in the city gate.
Now the Lord had spoken to Jeremiah while he was still confined in the courtyard of the guardhouse, "Go and tell Ebed-Melech the Ethiopian, 'The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says, "I will carry out against this city what I promised. It will mean disaster and not good fortune for it. When that disaster happens, you will be there to see it. But I will rescue you when it happens. I, the Lord, affirm it! You will not be handed over to those whom you fear. read more.
I will certainly save you. You will not fall victim to violence. You will escape with your life because you trust in me. I, the Lord, affirm it!"'"
One of the members of the prophetic guild, speaking with divine authority, ordered his companion, "Wound me!" But the man refused to wound him. So the prophet said to him, "Because you have disobeyed the Lord, as soon as you leave me a lion will kill you." When he left him, a lion attacked and killed him.
Now a prophet visited King Ahab of Israel and said, "This is what the Lord says, 'Do you see this huge army? Look, I am going to hand it over to you this very day. Then you will know that I am the Lord.'" Ahab asked, "By whom will this be accomplished?" He answered, "This is what the Lord says, 'By the servants of the district governors.'" Ahab asked, "Who will launch the attack?" He answered, "You will." So Ahab assembled the 232 servants of the district governors. After that he assembled all the Israelite army, numbering 7,000. read more.
They marched out at noon, while Ben Hadad and the thirty-two kings allied with him were drinking heavily in their quarters. The servants of the district governors led the march. When Ben Hadad sent messengers, they reported back to him, "Men are marching out of Samaria." He ordered, "Whether they come in peace or to do battle, take them alive." They marched out of the city with the servants of the district governors in the lead and the army behind them. Each one struck down an enemy soldier; the Syrians fled and Israel chased them. King Ben Hadad of Syria escaped on horseback with some horsemen. Then the king of Israel marched out and struck down the horses and chariots; he thoroughly defeated Syria. The prophet visited the king of Israel and instructed him, "Go, fortify your defenses. Determine what you must do, for in the spring the king of Syria will attack you." Now the advisers of the king of Syria said to him: "Their God is a god of the mountains. That's why they overpowered us. But if we fight them in the plains, we will certainly overpower them. So do this: Dismiss the kings from their command, and replace them with military commanders. Muster an army like the one you lost, with the same number of horses and chariots. Then we will fight them in the plains; we will certainly overpower them." He approved their plan and did as they advised. In the spring Ben Hadad mustered the Syrian army and marched to Aphek to fight Israel. When the Israelites had mustered and had received their supplies, they marched out to face them in battle. When the Israelites deployed opposite them, they were like two small flocks of goats, but the Syrians filled the land. The prophet visited the king of Israel and said, "This is what the Lord says: 'Because the Syrians said, "The Lord is a god of the mountains and not a god of the valleys," I will hand over to you this entire huge army. Then you will know that I am the Lord.'" The armies were deployed opposite each other for seven days. On the seventh day the battle began, and the Israelites killed 100,000 Syrian foot soldiers in one day. The remaining 27,000 ran to Aphek and went into the city, but the wall fell on them. Now Ben Hadad ran into the city and hid in an inner room.
Then Elisha told the king of Israel, "Aim the bow." He did so, and Elisha placed his hands on the king's hands. Elisha said, "Open the east window," and he did so. Elisha said, "Shoot!" and he did so. Elisha said, "This arrow symbolizes the victory the Lord will give you over Syria. You will annihilate Syria in Aphek!" Then Elisha said, "Take the arrows," and he did so. He told the king of Israel, "Strike the ground!" He struck the ground three times and stopped. read more.
The prophet got angry at him and said, "If you had struck the ground five or six times, you would have annihilated Syria! But now, you will defeat Syria only three times." Elisha died and was buried. Moabite raiding parties invaded the land at the beginning of the year. One day some men were burying a man when they spotted a raiding party. So they threw the dead man into Elisha's tomb. When the body touched Elisha's bones, the dead man came to life and stood on his feet. Now King Hazael of Syria oppressed Israel throughout Jehoahaz's reign. But the Lord had mercy on them and felt pity for them. He extended his favor to them because of the promise he had made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He has been unwilling to destroy them or remove them from his presence to this very day. When King Hazael of Syria died, his son Ben Hadad replaced him as king. Jehoahaz's son Jehoash took back from Ben Hadad son of Hazael the cities that he had taken from his father Jehoahaz in war. Joash defeated him three times and recovered the Israelite cities.
He restored the border of Israel from Lebo Hamath in the north to the sea of the Arabah in the south, in accordance with the word of the Lord God of Israel announced through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher. The Lord saw Israel's intense suffering; everyone was weak and incapacitated and Israel had no deliverer. The Lord had not decreed that he would blot out Israel's memory from under heaven, so he delivered them through Jeroboam son of Joash. read more.
The rest of the events of Jeroboam's reign, including all his accomplishments, his military success in restoring Israelite control over Damascus and Hamath, are recorded in the scroll called the Annals of the Kings of Israel.
Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
When this sound occurred, a crowd gathered and was in confusion, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. Completely baffled, they said, "Aren't all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that each one of us hears them in our own native language? read more.
Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and the province of Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs -- we hear them speaking in our own languages about the great deeds God has done!" All were astounded and greatly confused, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" But others jeered at the speakers, saying, "They are drunk on new wine!" But Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice, and addressed them: "You men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, know this and listen carefully to what I say. In spite of what you think, these men are not drunk, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel: And in the last days it will be,' God says, 'that I will pour out my Spirit on all people, and your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. And I will perform wonders in the sky above and miraculous signs on the earth below, blood and fire and clouds of smoke. The sun will be changed to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. And then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'
After all of this I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your elderly will have revelatory dreams; your young men will see prophetic visions. Even on male and female servants I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
But the Lord had told Ahijah, "Look, Jeroboam's wife is coming to find out from you what will happen to her son, for he is sick. Tell her so-and-so. When she comes, she will be in a disguise." When Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps as she came through the door, he said, "Come on in, wife of Jeroboam! Why are you pretending to be someone else? I have been commissioned to give you bad news. Go, tell Jeroboam, 'This is what the Lord God of Israel says: "I raised you up from among the people and made you ruler over my people Israel. read more.
I tore the kingdom away from the Davidic dynasty and gave it to you. But you are not like my servant David, who kept my commandments and followed me wholeheartedly by doing only what I approve. You have sinned more than all who came before you. You went and angered me by making other gods, formed out of metal; you have completely disregarded me. So I am ready to bring disaster on the dynasty of Jeroboam. I will cut off every last male belonging to Jeroboam in Israel, including even the weak and incapacitated. I will burn up the dynasty of Jeroboam, just as one burns manure until it is completely consumed. Dogs will eat the members of your family who die in the city, and the birds of the sky will eat the ones who die in the country."' Indeed, the Lord has announced it! "As for you, get up and go home. When you set foot in the city, the boy will die. All Israel will mourn him and bury him. He is the only one in Jeroboam's family who will receive a decent burial, for he is the only one in whom the Lord God of Israel found anything good. The Lord will raise up a king over Israel who will cut off Jeroboam's dynasty. It is ready to happen! The Lord will attack Israel, making it like a reed that sways in the water. He will remove Israel from this good land he gave to their ancestors and scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, because they angered the Lord by making Asherah poles. He will hand Israel over to their enemies because of the sins which Jeroboam committed and which he made Israel commit." So Jeroboam's wife got up and went back to Tirzah. As she crossed the threshold of the house, the boy died.
Look, I am about to empower the Babylonians, that ruthless and greedy nation. They sweep across the surface of the earth, seizing dwelling places that do not belong to them. They are frightening and terrifying; they decide for themselves what is right. Their horses are faster than leopards and more alert than wolves in the desert. Their horses gallop, their horses come a great distance; like a vulture they swoop down quickly to devour their prey. read more.
All of them intend to do violence; every face is determined. They take prisoners as easily as one scoops up sand. They mock kings and laugh at rulers. They laugh at every fortified city; they build siege ramps and capture them. They sweep by like the wind and pass on. But the one who considers himself a god will be held guilty."
Some members of the prophetic guild in Bethel came out to Elisha and said, "Do you know that today the Lord is going to take your master from you?" He answered, "Yes, I know. Be quiet." Elijah said to him, "Elisha, stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho." But he replied, "As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they went to Jericho. Some members of the prophetic guild in Jericho approached Elisha and said, "Do you know that today the Lord is going to take your master from you?" He answered, "Yes, I know. Be quiet." read more.
Elijah said to him, "Stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan." But he replied, "As certainly as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you." So they traveled on together. The fifty members of the prophetic guild went and stood opposite them at a distance, while Elijah and Elisha stood by the Jordan. Elijah took his cloak, folded it up, and hit the water with it. The water divided, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground. When they had crossed over, Elijah said to Elisha, "What can I do for you, before I am taken away from you?" Elisha answered, "May I receive a double portion of the prophetic spirit that energizes you." Elijah replied, "That's a difficult request! If you see me taken from you, may it be so, but if you don't, it will not happen." As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a fiery chariot pulled by fiery horses appeared. They went between Elijah and Elisha, and Elijah went up to heaven in a windstorm.
Elisha replied, "Hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Lord says, 'About this time tomorrow a seah of finely milled flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.'" An officer who was the king's right-hand man responded to the prophet, "Look, even if the Lord made it rain by opening holes in the sky, could this happen so soon?" Elisha said, "Look, you will see it happen with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of the food!" Now four men with a skin disease were sitting at the entrance of the city gate. They said to one another, "Why are we just sitting here waiting to die? read more.
If we go into the city, we'll die of starvation, and if we stay here we'll die! So come on, let's defect to the Syrian camp! If they spare us, we'll live; if they kill us -- well, we were going to die anyway." So they started toward the Syrian camp at dusk. When they reached the edge of the Syrian camp, there was no one there. The Lord had caused the Syrian camp to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a large army. Then they said to one another, "Look, the king of Israel has paid the kings of the Hittites and Egypt to attack us!" So they got up and fled at dusk, leaving behind their tents, horses, and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives. When the men with a skin disease reached the edge of the camp, they entered a tent and had a meal. They also took some silver, gold, and clothes and went and hid it all. Then they went back and entered another tent. They looted it and went and hid what they had taken. Then they said to one another, "It's not right what we're doing! This is a day to celebrate, but we haven't told anyone. If we wait until dawn, we'll be punished. So come on, let's go and inform the royal palace." So they went and called out to the gatekeepers of the city. They told them, "We entered the Syrian camp and there was no one there. We didn't even hear a man's voice. But the horses and donkeys are still tied up, and the tents remain up." The gatekeepers relayed the news to the royal palace. The king got up in the night and said to his advisers, "I will tell you what the Syrians have done to us. They know we are starving, so they left the camp and hid in the field, thinking, 'When they come out of the city, we will capture them alive and enter the city.'" One of his advisers replied, "Pick some men and have them take five of the horses that are left in the city. (Even if they are killed, their fate will be no different than that of all the Israelite people -- we're all going to die!) Let's send them out so we can know for sure what's going on." So they picked two horsemen and the king sent them out to track the Syrian army. He ordered them, "Go and find out what's going on." So they tracked them as far as the Jordan. The road was filled with clothes and equipment that the Syrians had discarded in their haste. The scouts went back and told the king. Then the people went out and looted the Syrian camp. A seah of finely milled flour sold for a shekel, and two seahs of barley for a shekel, just as the Lord had said they would. Now the king had placed the officer who was his right-hand man at the city gate. When the people rushed out, they trampled him to death in the gate. This fulfilled the prophet's word which he had spoken when the king tried to arrest him. The prophet told the king, "Two seahs of barley will sell for a shekel, and a seah of finely milled flour for a shekel; this will happen about this time tomorrow in the gate of Samaria."
Therefore it says, "When he ascended on high he captured captives; he gave gifts to men."
He, the very one who descended, is also the one who ascended above all the heavens, in order to fill all things.
But the Lord's angelic messenger told Elijah the Tishbite, "Get up, go to meet the messengers from the king of Samaria. Say this to them: 'You must think there is no God in Israel! That explains why you are on your way to seek an oracle from Baal Zebub the god of Ekron. Therefore this is what the Lord says, "You will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die!"'" So Elijah went on his way. When the messengers returned to the king, he asked them, "Why have you returned?" read more.
They replied, "A man came up to meet us. He told us, "Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, 'This is what the Lord says: "You must think there is no God in Israel! That explains why you are sending for an oracle from Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron. Therefore you will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die."'" The king asked them, "Describe the appearance of this man who came up to meet you and told you these things." They replied, "He was a hairy man and had a leather belt tied around his waist." The king said, "He is Elijah the Tishbite." The king sent a captain and his fifty soldiers to retrieve Elijah. The captain went up to him, while he was sitting on the top of a hill. He told him, "Prophet, the king says, 'Come down!'" Elijah replied to the captain, "If I am indeed a prophet, may fire come down from the sky and consume you and your fifty soldiers!" Fire then came down from the sky and consumed him and his fifty soldiers. The king sent another captain and his fifty soldiers to retrieve Elijah. He went up and told him, "Prophet, this is what the king says, 'Come down at once!'" Elijah replied to them, "If I am indeed a prophet, may fire come down from the sky and consume you and your fifty soldiers!" Fire from God came down from the sky and consumed him and his fifty soldiers. The king sent a third captain and his fifty soldiers. This third captain went up and fell on his knees before Elijah. He begged for mercy, "Prophet, please have respect for my life and for the lives of these fifty servants of yours. Indeed, fire came down from the sky and consumed the two captains who came before me, along with their men. So now, please have respect for my life." The Lord's angelic messenger said to Elijah, "Go down with him. Don't be afraid of him." So he got up and went down with him to the king. Elijah said to the king, "This is what the Lord says, 'You sent messengers to seek an oracle from Baal Zebub, the god of Ekron. You must think there is no God in Israel from whom you can seek an oracle! Therefore you will not leave the bed you lie on, for you will certainly die.'" He died just as the Lord had prophesied through Elijah. In the second year of the reign of King Jehoram son of Jehoshaphat over Judah, Ahaziah's brother Jehoram replaced him as king of Israel, because he had no son.
For this is what the Lord God of Israel says, 'The jar of flour will not be empty and the jug of oil will not run out until the day the Lord makes it rain on the surface of the ground.'"
You ascend on high, you have taken many captives. You receive tribute from men, including even sinful rebels. Indeed the Lord God lives there!
Even my close friend whom I trusted, he who shared meals with me, has turned against me.
For he is the one about whom Isaiah the prophet had spoken: "The voice of one shouting in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight.'"