'Punishment' in the Bible
Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.
When morning dawned, the angels urged Lot [to hurry], saying, “Get up! Take your wife and two daughters who are here [and go], or you will be swept away in the punishment of the city.”
I also was acting with hostility toward them and brought them into the land of their enemies—then if their uncircumcised (sin-filled) hearts are humbled and they accept the punishment for their wickedness,
But the land will be abandoned by them and will enjoy its Sabbaths while it lies desolate without them; and they will accept the punishment for their wickedness and make amends because they rejected My ordinances and their soul rejected My statutes.
Then one of the Israelites came and presented to his relatives a Midianite woman, in the sight of Moses and the whole congregation of the Israelites, while they were weeping [over God’s judgment] at the doorway of the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle).
Then Saul swore [an oath] to her by the Lord, saying, “As the Lord lives, no punishment shall come upon you for this.”
While Elisha was still talking with them, the messenger came down to him [followed by the king] and the king said, “This evil [situation] is from the Lord! Why should I wait for [help from] the Lord any longer?”
Then they said one to another, “We are not doing the right thing. This is a day of good news, yet we are keeping silent. If we wait until the morning light, some punishment [for not reporting this now] will come on us. So now come, let us go and tell the king’s household.”
“You say, ‘God stores away [the punishment of] man’s wickedness for his children.’Let God repay him so that he may know and experience it.
“Why does the Almighty not set seasons for judgment?Why do those who know Him not see His days [for punishment of the wicked]?
“For adultery is a heinous and lustful crime;Moreover, it would be a sin punishable by the judges.
This also would have been [a heinous] sin calling for judgment,For I would have denied God above.
He will execute judgment [in overwhelming punishment] among the nations;He will fill them with corpses,He will crush the chief men over a broad country.
My son, do not reject or take lightly the discipline of the Lord [learn from your mistakes and the testing that comes from His correction through discipline];Nor despise His rebuke,
He will not accept any ransom [offered to buy him off from demanding full punishment];Nor will he be satisfied though you offer him many gifts (bribes).
For their tragedy will rise suddenly,And who knows the punishment that both [the Lord and the king] will bring on the rebellious?
Woe (judgment is coming) to those who drag along wickedness with cords of falsehood,And sin as if with cart ropes [towing their own punishment];
So when the Lord has completed all His work [of judgment] on Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, He will say, “I will punish the fruit [the thoughts, the declarations, and the actions] of the arrogant heart of the king of Assyria and the haughtiness of his pride.”
For though your people, O Israel, may be as the sand of the sea,Only a remnant within them will return;The destruction is determined [it is decided and destined for completion], overflowing with justice (righteous punishment).
But the Lord of hosts revealed Himself in my ears,“This sin absolutely will not be forgiven youUntil you die,” says the Lord God of hosts.
Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live on it suffer the punishment of their guilt. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned [under the curse of God’s wrath], and few people are left.
And every blow of the rod of punishment,Which the Lord will lay on them,Will be to the music of Israel’s tambourines and lyres;And in battles, brandishing weapons, He will fight Assyria.
“Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,And call out to her, that her time of compulsory service in warfare is finished,That her wickedness has been taken away [since her punishment is sufficient],That she has received from the Lord’s handDouble [punishment] for all her sins.”
But this is a people despoiled and plundered;All of them are trapped in holes,Or are hidden away in prisons.They have become a prey with no one to rescue them,And a spoil, with no one to say, “Give them back!”
But [in fact] He has borne our griefs,And He has carried our sorrows and pains;Yet we [ignorantly] assumed that He was stricken,Struck down by God and degraded and humiliated [by Him].
“Were they ashamed because of the extremely disgusting and shamefully vile things they had done?They were not at all ashamed,And they did not know how to blush.Therefore, they shall fall among those who fall;At the time of their punishment they shall be overthrown,”Says the Lord.
They are worthless and devoid of promise, a work of delusion and mockery;In their time of [trial and] punishment they will perish [without hope].
and there will be no remnant [of the conspirators] left, for I will bring disaster and horror on the men of Anathoth in the year of their punishment.”
“You have abandoned (rejected) Me,” says the Lord.“You keep going backward.Therefore I shall stretch out My hand against you and destroy you;I am tired of delaying [your punishment]!
“Therefore their way will be to them like slippery pathsIn the dark; they will be pushed and fall into them;For I will bring disaster on them,In the year of their punishment,” says the Lord.
Therefore behold (hear this), I am against the [counterfeit] prophets,” says the Lord, “[I am descending on them with punishment, these prophets] who steal My words from one another [imitating the words of the true prophets].
All nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson until the [appointed] time [of punishment] for his own land comes; then many nations and great kings shall make him their servant.
“Also her mercenaries in her armyAre like fattened calves,For they too have turned back and have fled together;They did not stand [their ground],Because the day of their disaster has come upon them,The time of their punishment.
The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, says, “Behold, I am going to punish Amon [chief god of the sacred city] of Thebes [the capital of Upper Egypt], and Pharaoh, and Egypt along with her gods and her kings—even Pharaoh and those who put their trust in him [as a shield against Babylon].
“The one who flees from the terrorWill fall into the pit,And the one who gets up out of the pitWill be taken and caught in the trap;For I shall bring upon it, even upon Moab,The year of their punishment,” says the Lord.
“Go against [Babylon] the land of Merathaim (Double Rebellion),Go up against it and against the people of Pekod (Punishment).Kill and utterly destroy them,” says the Lord,“And do everything that I have commanded you.”
Kill all her young bulls [her strength—her young men];Let them go down to the slaughter!Woe (judgment is coming) to the Chaldeans, for their day has come,The time of their punishment.
Flee out of Babylon,Let every one of you save his life!Do not be destroyed in her punishment,For this is the time of the Lord’s vengeance;He is going to pay her what she has earned.
They are worthless (empty, false, futile), a work of delusion and worthy of derision;In the time of their inspection and punishment they will perish.
“Therefore behold (listen carefully), the days are comingWhen I will judge and punish the idols of Babylon;Her whole land will be perplexed and shamed,And all her slain will fall in her midst.
“People have heard that I groan,That I have no comforter [in You].All my enemies have heard of my desperation;They are delighted [O Lord] that You have done it.Oh, that You would bring the day [of judgment] which You have proclaimedSo that they will become like me.
Why should any living mortal, or any man,Complain [of punishment] in view of his sins?
For the [punishment of the] wickedness of the daughter of my people [Jerusalem]Is greater than the [punishment for the] sin of Sodom,Which was overthrown in a moment,And no hands were turned toward her [to offer help].
The punishment of your sin has been completed, O Daughter of Zion;The Lord will no longer send you into exile.But He will punish your sin, O Daughter of Edom;He will expose your sins.
because bread and water will be scarce; and they will look at one another in dismay and waste away [in punishment] for their wickedness.
Then they will know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord; I have not said in vain that I would bring this disaster [as punishment] on them.”’
For My eye will have no pity on you, nor will I spare you, but I will repay you for your evil ways, while your abominations are among you; and you will know (recognize, understand) [without any doubt] that I am the Lord.’
Now I will soon pour out My wrath on you and spend My anger against you, and I will judge you in accordance with your ways and will repay you [with punishment] for all your outrageous acts.
For the seller will not regain and return to what he sold, even were they yet alive; for the vision [of punishment] regarding all the multitude [of people] will not be turned back, nor will any one of them sustain his life because of his sin.
Even when their survivors escape, they will be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them moaning, each over his [punishment for] sin.
But I will leave a few [survivors] who will escape the sword, the famine, and the virulent disease, that they may confess all their repulsive (idolatrous) acts among the nations where they go, and may know [without any doubt] that I am the Lord.”
They [both] will bear the punishment of their wickedness; the sin of the [counterfeit] prophet will be the same as the sin of the [hypocritical] inquirer,
Also bear your disgrace [as punishment], having made judgment favorable for your sisters, for [you virtually absolved them] because of your sins in which you behaved more repulsively than they; they are more in the right than you. Yes, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, for you made your [pagan] sisters seem righteous.
I will spread My net over him, and he will be caught in My snare; and I will bring him to Babylon and will enter into judgment with him there for his treason which he has committed against Me.
And you, O dishonored and wicked one [Zedekiah], the prince of Israel, whose day has come, whose time of final punishment is here,’
while they (Ammonite prophets) see false visions [of peace] for you, while they divine lies [of escape] for you—to place you [of Ammon] on the headless bodies of the wicked who are slain, whose day has come, whose time of the final punishment is here.
You have become guilty by the blood which you have shed, and you are defiled by the idols which you have made. Thus you have caused your day [of judgment and punishment] to approach and have arrived at [the completion of] your years; therefore, I have made you an object of scorn to the [pagan] nations and a thing to be mocked by all countries.
They will come against you with weapons, chariots, and wagons, and with a company of people (infantry) who will array themselves against you on every side with large shield and small, and helmet; and I will commit the judgment and the punishment to them, and they will judge and punish you in accordance with their [pagan] customs.
And they, righteous men, will judge and condemn them with the judgment (punishment) of adulteresses and with the judgment of women who shed blood, because they are adulteresses and blood is on their hands.
“I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bandage the crippled, and strengthen the weak and the sick; but I will destroy the fat and the strong [who have become hard-hearted and perverse]. I will feed them with judgment and punishment.
Because you [descendants of Esau] have had an everlasting hatred [for Jacob (Israel)] and you handed over the sons of Israel to the power of the sword at the time of their tragedy, at the time of their final punishment [the Babylonian conquest],
“And I will bring [and manifest] My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment and justice [in the punishment] which I have executed and My hand which I have laid on them.
But the Levites who went far away from Me when Israel went astray, who went astray from Me after their idols, they shall bear the punishment for their sin and guilt.
Because the priests ministered to them before their idols and became a stumbling block of sin to the house of Israel, therefore I have lifted up My hand and have sworn [an oath] against them,” says the Lord God, “that they shall bear the punishment for their sin and guilt.
And they shall not come near to Me to serve as priests to Me, nor come near to any of My holy things, to the things that are most holy; but they shall bear their shame and their disgrace and [the consequences of] their repulsive acts which they have committed.
And the Lord said to him, “Name him Jezreel; for yet in a little while I will avenge the blood [that was shed in the Valley] of Jezreel and inflict the punishment for it on the house of Jehu, and I will put an end to the kingdom of the house of Israel.
“And I will punish her for the [feast] days of the Baals,When she used to offer sacrifices and burn incense to themAnd adorn herself with her earrings and nose rings and her jewelry,And follow her lovers, so that she forgot Me,” says the Lord.
Ephraim will become a desolation in the day of rebuke;Among the tribes of Israel I declare what is certain.
The days of punishment have come;The days of retribution are at hand;Let Israel know this!The prophet is [considered] a fool;The man [of God] who is inspired is [treated as if] demented,Because of the abundance of your wickedness and guilt,And because your deep antagonism [toward God and the prophets] is so great.
Their heart is divided (faithless);Now they must bear their guilt and punishment.The Lord will break down [the horns of] their altars;He will destroy their idolatrous pillars.
How the animals groan!The herds of cattle are bewildered and wander aimlesslyBecause they have no pasture;Even the flocks of sheep suffer.
Thus says the Lord,“For three transgressions of Damascus and for four (multiplied delinquencies)I shall not reverse its punishment or revoke My word concerning it,Because they have threshed Gilead [east of the Jordan River] with sharp iron sledges [having spikes that crushed and shredded].
Thus says the Lord,“For three transgressions of Gaza [in Philistia] and for four (multiplied delinquencies)I will not reverse its punishment or revoke My word concerning it,Because [as slave traders] they took captive the entire [Jewish] population [of defenseless Judean border villages, of which none was spared]And deported them to Edom [for the slave trade].
Thus says the Lord,“For three transgressions of Tyre and for four (multiplied delinquencies)I will not reverse its punishment or revoke My word concerning it,Because they [as middlemen] deported an entire [Jewish] population to EdomAnd did not [seriously] remember their covenant of brotherhood.
Thus says the Lord,“For three transgressions of Edom [the descendants of Esau] and for four (multiplied delinquencies)I will not reverse its punishment or revoke My word concerning it,Because he pursued his brother Jacob (Israel) with the sword,Corrupting and stifling his compassions and casting off all mercy;His destructive anger raged continually,And he maintained [and nurtured] his wrath forever.
Thus says the Lord,“For three transgressions of the children of Ammon and for four (multiplied delinquencies)I will not reverse its punishment or revoke My word concerning it,Because the Ammonites have ripped open the pregnant women of Gilead,That they might enlarge their border.
Thus says the Lord,“For three transgressions of Moab and for four (multiplied delinquencies)I will not reverse its punishment or revoke My word concerning it,Because he burned the bones of the king of Edom [Esau’s descendant] into lime [and used it to plaster a Moabite house].
Thus says the Lord,“For three transgressions of Judah and for four (multiplied delinquencies)I will not reverse its punishment or revoke My word concerning it,Because they have rejected the law of the Lord [the sum of God’s instruction to His people]And have not kept His commandments;But their lies [and their idols], after which their fathers walked,Caused them to go astray.
Thus says the Lord,“For three transgressions of Israel and for four (multiplied delinquencies)I will not reverse its punishment or revoke My word concerning it,Because they sell the righteous and innocent for silverAnd the needy for the price of a pair of sandals.
If a trumpet is blown in a city [warning of danger] will not the people tremble?If a disaster or misfortune occurs in a city has not the Lord caused it?
“On that day when I punish Israel’s transgressions,I shall also punish the altars of Bethel [with their golden calves];And the horns of the altar shall be cut offAnd fall to the ground.
Do you put off the day of punishment,Yet cause the seat of violence to come near?
Then one’s uncle, or his undertaker, shall come to bring the [disease-infected] body out of the house, [to cremate it], and he will say to another in the farthest part of the house, “Is there anyone else with you?” And that one will say, “No one.” Then he will respond, “Hush! Keep quiet! For the name of the Lord is not to be mentioned [even casually, for fear that we might invoke even more punishment].”
Thus the Lord God showed me, and behold, the Lord God called for punishment with fire, and it devoured the great deep [underground sources of water] and began to consume the land.
“Because just as you [Edom] drank on My holy mountain [desecrating it in the revelry of the destroyers],So shall all the nations drink continually [one by one, of My wrath];Yes, they shall drink and swallow [the full measure of punishment]And become as though they had never existed.
The best of them is [injurious] like a briar;The most upright is [prickly] like a thorn hedge.The day of your watchmen [that is, the time predicted by the prophets]And your punishment comes;Now shall be their confusion.
“I said, ‘Most certainly you will [reverently] fear Me;Accept correction.’So Jerusalem’s dwelling will not be cut offIn accordance with all that I have appointed concerning her [punishment],But they were eager [even rising early] to make all their deeds corrupt.
This will be the [consequent] punishment [for the sin] of Egypt, and the [consequent] punishment [for the sin] of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths (Tabernacles).
“You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not murder,’ and ‘Whoever murders shall be guilty before the court.’
But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice against him shall be guilty before the court; and whoever speaks [contemptuously and insultingly] to his brother, ‘Raca (You empty-headed idiot)!’ shall be guilty before the supreme court (Sanhedrin); and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of the fiery hell.
Then these [unbelieving people] will go away into eternal (unending) punishment, but those who are righteous and in right standing with God [will go, by His remarkable grace] into eternal (unending) life.”
These [men] who confiscate and devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense [to appear devout] offer long prayers. These [men] will receive the greater [sentence of] condemnation.”
Woe to those women who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For great trouble and anguish will be on the land, and wrath and retribution on this people [Israel].
I told them that it was not the custom of the Romans to hand over any man [for punishment] before the accused meets his accusers face to face and has the opportunity to defend himself against the charges.
whom God displayed publicly [before the eyes of the world] as a [life-giving] sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation (propitiation) by His blood [to be received] through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness [which demands punishment for sin], because in His forbearance [His deliberate restraint] He passed over the sins previously committed [before Jesus’ crucifixion].
For he is God’s servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, [you should] be afraid; for he does not carry the [executioner’s] sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an avenger who brings punishment on the wrongdoer.
Therefore one must be subject [to civil authorities], not only to escape the punishment [that comes with wrongdoing], but also as a matter of principle [knowing what is right before God].
But when we [fall short and] are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined [by undergoing His correction] so that we will not be condemned [to eternal punishment] along with the world.
For such a one this punishment by the majority is sufficient,
For [you can look back and] see what an earnestness and authentic concern this godly sorrow has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves [against charges that you tolerate sin], what indignation [at sin], what fear [of offending God], what longing [for righteousness and justice], what passion [to do what is right], what readiness to punish [those who sin and those who tolerate sin]! At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in the matter.
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