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First Reading: Jeremiah Chapter 51 and 52
1 Thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in Leb-kamai, a destroying wind.
2 And I will send unto Babylon strangers, that shall winnow her; and they shall empty her land: for in the day of trouble they shall be against her round about.
3 Against `him that' bendeth let the archer bend his bow, and against `him that' lifteth himself up in his coat of mail: and spare ye not her young men; destroy ye utterly all her host.
4 And they shall fall down slain in the land of the Chaldeans, and thrust through in her streets.
5 For Israel is not forsaken, nor Judah, of his God, of Jehovah of hosts; though their land is full of guilt against the Holy One of Israel.
6 Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and save every man his life; be not cut off in her iniquity: for it is the time of Jehovah's vengeance; he will render unto her a recompense.
7 Babylon hath been a golden cup in Jehovah's hand, that made all the earth drunken: the nations have drunk of her wine; therefore the nations are mad.
8 Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed: wail for her; take balm for her pain, if so be she may be healed.
9 We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed: forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country; for her judgment reacheth unto heaven, and is lifted up even to the skies.
10 Jehovah hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of Jehovah our God.
11 Make sharp the arrows; hold firm the shields: Jehovah hath stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes; because his purpose is against Babylon, to destroy it: for it is the vengeance of Jehovah, the vengeance of his temple.
12 Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set the watchmen, prepare the ambushes; for Jehovah hath both purposed and done that which he spake concerning the inhabitants of Babylon.
13 O thou that dwellest upon many waters, abundant in treasures, thine end is come, the measure of thy covetousness.
14 Jehovah of hosts hath sworn by himself, `saying', Surely I will fill thee with men, as with the canker-worm; and they shall lift up a shout against thee.
15 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding hath he stretched out the heavens:
16 when he uttereth his voice, there is a tumult of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings for the rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasuries.
17 Every man is become brutish `and is' without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his image; for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
18 They are vanity, a work of delusion: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.
19 The portion of Jacob is not like these; for he is the former of all things; and `Israel' is the tribe of his inheritance: Jehovah of hosts is his name.
20 Thou art my battle-axe and weapons of war: and with thee will I break in pieces the nations; and with thee will I destroy kingdoms;
21 and with thee will I break in pieces the horse and his rider;
22 and with thee will I break in pieces the chariot and him that rideth therein; and with thee will I break in pieces man and woman; and with thee will I break in pieces the old man and the youth; and with thee will I break in pieces the young man and the virgin;
23 and with thee will I break in pieces the shepherd and his flock; and with thee will I break in pieces the husbandman and his yoke `of oxen'; and with thee will I break in pieces governors and deputies.
24 And I will render unto Babylon and to all the inhabitants of Chaldea all their evil that they have done in Zion in your sight, saith Jehovah.
25 Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, saith Jehovah, which destroyest all the earth; and I will stretch out my hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain.
26 And they shall not take of thee a stone for a corner, nor a stone for foundations; but thou shalt be desolate for ever, saith Jehovah.
27 Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Minni, and Ashkenaz: appoint a marshal against her; cause the horses to come up as the rough canker-worm.
28 Prepare against her the nations, the kings of the Medes, the governors thereof, and all the deputies thereof, and all the land of their dominion.
29 And the land trembleth and is in pain; for the purposes of Jehovah against Babylon do stand, to make the land of Babylon a desolation, without inhabitant.
30 The mighty men of Babylon have forborne to fight, they remain in their strongholds; their might hath failed; they are become as women: her dwelling-places are set on fire; her bars are broken.
31 One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to met another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken on every quarter:
32 and the passages are seized, and the reeds they have burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.
33 For thus saith Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel: The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing-floor at the time when it is trodden; yet a little while, and the time of harvest shall come for her.
34 Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath, like a monster, swallowed me up, he hath filled his maw with my delicacies; he hath cast me out.
35 The violence done to me and to my flesh be upon Babylon, shall the inhabitant of Zion say; and, My blood be upon the inhabitants of Chaldea, shall Jerusalem say.
36 Therefore thus saith Jehovah: Behold, I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee; and I will dry up her sea, and make her fountain dry.
37 And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling-place for jackals, an astonishment, and a hissing, without inhabitant.
38 They shall roar together like young lions; they shall growl as lions' whelps.
39 When they are heated, I will make their feast, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith Jehovah.
40 I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he-goats.
41 How is Sheshach taken! and the praise of the whole earth seized! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!
42 The sea is come up upon Babylon; she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.
43 Her cities are become a desolation, a dry land, and a desert, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby.
44 And I will execute judgment upon Bel in Babylon, and I will bring forth out of his mouth that which he hath swallowed up; and the nations shall not flow any more unto him: yea, the wall of Babylon shall fall.
45 My people, go ye out of the midst of her, and save yourselves every man from the fierce anger of Jehovah.
46 And let not your heart faint, neither fear ye for the tidings that shall be heard in the land; for tidings shall come one year, and after that in another year `shall come' tidings, and violence in the land, ruler against ruler.
47 Therefore, behold, the days come, that I will execute judgment upon the graven images of Babylon; and her whole land shall be confounded; and all her slain shall fall in the midst of her.
48 Then the heavens and the earth, and all that is therein, shall sing for joy over Babylon; for the destroyers shall come unto her from the north, saith Jehovah.
49 As Babylon hath caused the slain of Israel to fall, so at Babylon shall fall the slain of all the land.
50 Ye that have escaped the sword, go ye, stand not still; remember Jehovah from afar, and let Jerusalem come into your mind.
51 We are confounded, because we have heard reproach; confusion hath covered our faces: for strangers are come into the sanctuaries of Jehovah's house.
52 Wherefore, behold, the days come, saith Jehovah, that I will execute judgment upon her graven images; and through all her land the wounded shall groan.
53 Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall destroyers come unto her, saith Jehovah.
54 The sound of a cry from Babylon, and of great destruction from the land of the Chaldeans!
55 For Jehovah layeth Babylon waste, and destroyeth out of her the great voice; and their waves roar like many waters; the noise of their voice is uttered:
56 for the destroyer is come upon her, even upon Babylon, and her mighty men are taken, their bows are broken in pieces; for Jehovah is a God of recompenses, he will surely requite.
57 And I will make drunk her princes and her wise men, her governors and her deputies, and her mighty men; and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is Jehovah of hosts.
58 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly overthrown, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the peoples shall labor for vanity, and the nations for the fire; and they shall be weary.
59 The word which Jeremiah the prophet commanded Seraiah the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, when he went with Zedekiah the king of Judah to Babylon in the fourth year of his reign. Now Seraiah was chief chamberlain.
60 And Jeremiah wrote in a book all the evil that should come upon Babylon, even all these words that are written concerning Babylon.
61 And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, then see that thou read all these words,
62 and say, O Jehovah, thou hast spoken concerning this place, to cut it off, that none shall dwell therein, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever.
63 And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates:
64 and thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise again because of the evil that I will bring upon her; and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
1 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign; and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem: and his mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
2 And he did that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.
3 For through the anger of Jehovah did it come to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence. And Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
4 And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth month, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon came, he and all his army, against Jerusalem, and encamped against it; and they built forts against it round about.
5 So the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah.
6 In the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land.
7 Then a breach was made in the city, and all the men of war fled, and went forth out of the city by night by the way of the gate between the two walls, which was by the king's garden; (now the Chaldeans were against the city round about;) and they went toward the Arabah.
8 But the army of the Chaldeans pursued after the king, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and all his army was scattered from him.
9 Then they took the king, and carried him up unto the king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath; and he gave judgment upon him.
10 And the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes: he slew also all the princes of Judah in Riblah.
11 And he put out the eyes of Zedekiah; and the king of Babylon bound him in fetters, and carried him to Babylon, and put him in prison till the day of his death.
12 Now in the fifth month, in the tenth day of the month, which was the nineteenth year of king Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, came Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, who stood before the king of Babylon, into Jerusalem:
13 and he burned the house of Jehovah, and the king's house; and all the houses of Jerusalem, even every great house, burned he with fire.
14 And all the army of the Chaldeans, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down all the walls of Jerusalem round about.
15 Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the poorest of the people, and the residue of the people that were left in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to the king of Babylon, and the residue of the multitude.
16 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poorest of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen.
17 And the pillars of brass that were in the house of Jehovah, and the bases and the brazen sea that were in the house of Jehovah, did the Chaldeans break in pieces, and carried all the brass of them to Babylon.
18 The pots also, and the shovels, and the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and all the vessels of brass wherewith they ministered, took they away.
19 And the cups, and the firepans, and the basins, and the pots, and the candlesticks, and the spoons, and the bowls-that which was of gold, in gold, and that which was of silver, in silver,- the captain of the guard took away.
20 The two pillars, the one sea, and the twelve brazen bulls that were under the bases, which king Solomon had made for the house of Jehovah-the brass of all these vessels was without weight.
21 And as for the pillars, the height of the one pillar was eighteen cubits; and a line of twelve cubits did compass it; and the thickness thereof was four fingers: it was hollow.
22 And a capital of brass was upon it; and the height of the one capital was five cubits, with network and pomegranates upon the capital round about, all of brass: and the second pillar also had like unto these, and pomegranates.
23 And there were ninety and six pomegranates on the sides; all the pomegranates were a hundred upon the network round about.
24 And the captain of the guard took Seraiah the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the threshold:
25 and out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war; and seven men of them that saw the king's face, that were found in the city; and the scribe of the captain of the host, who mustered the people of the land; and threescore men of the people of the land, that were found in the midst of the city.
26 And Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard took them, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah.
27 And the king of Babylon smote them, and put them to death at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away captive out of his land.
28 This is the people whom Nebuchadrezzar carried away captive: in the seventh year three thousand Jews and three and twenty;
29 in the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar he carried away captive from Jerusalem eight hundred thirty and two persons;
30 in the three and twentieth year of Nebuchadrezzar Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven hundred forty and five persons: all the persons were four thousand and six hundred.
31 And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, in the five and twentieth day of the month, that Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the `first' year of his reign, lifted up the head of Jehoiachin king of Judah, and brought him forth out of prison;
32 and he spake kindly to him, and set his throne above the throne of the kings that were with him in Babylon,
33 and changed his prison garments. And `Jehoiachin' did eat bread before him continually all the days of his life:
34 and for his allowance, there was a continual allowance given him by the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.
Second Reading: 2 Peter Chapter 3
2 Peter 3
1 This is now, beloved, the second epistle that I write unto you; and in both of them I stir up your sincere mind by putting you in remembrance;
2 that ye should remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandments of the Lord and Saviour through your apostles:
3 knowing this first, that in the last days mockers shall come with mockery, walking after their own lusts,
4 and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for, from the day that the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they willfully forget, that there were heavens from of old, and an earth compacted out of water and amidst water, by the word of God;
6 by which means the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 but the heavens that now are, and the earth, by the same word have been stored up for fire, being reserved against the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8 But forget not this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness; but is longsuffering to you-ward, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in `all' holy living and godliness,
12 looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 But, according to his promise, we look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for these things, give diligence that ye may be found in peace, without spot and blameless in his sight.
15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given to him, wrote unto you;
16 as also in all `his' epistles, speaking in them of these things; wherein are some things hard to be understood, which the ignorant and unstedfast wrest, as `they do' also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
17 Ye therefore, beloved, knowing `these things' beforehand, beware lest, being carried away with the error of the wicked, ye fall from your own stedfastness.
18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him `be' the glory both now and for ever. Amen.
Exhort - Beseech, comfort, entreat. " Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus." I Thessalonians 4:1 (NKJ)
Church - "called out ones," assembly, gathering of people. "Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes, To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ--their Lord and ours: " I Corinthians 1:1-2 (NIV)
Worship - service or rite showing reverence, intense love or admiration. "Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." Psalm 29:2 (NKJ)
Hallelujah - Hebrew word meaning praise (hallelu) the LORD (Yah). The same as Alleluia. "After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,..." Revelation 19:1(NIV)
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