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First Reading: Isaiah Chapter 23 and 24
23:1 Proclamation Against Tyre
The burden against Tyre.
Wail, you ships of Tarshish!For it is laid waste,So that there is no house, no harbor;From the land of Cyprus it is revealed to them.
2 Be still, you inhabitants of the coastland,You merchants of Sidon,Whom those who cross the sea have filled. 3 And on great waters the grain of Shihor,The harvest of the River, is her revenue;And she is a marketplace for the nations.
4 Be ashamed, O Sidon;For the sea has spoken,The strength of the sea, saying,"I do not labor, nor bring forth children;Neither do I rear young men,Nor bring up virgins." 5 When the report reaches Egypt,They also will be in agony at the report of Tyre.
6 Cross over to Tarshish;Wail, you inhabitants of the coastland! 7 Is this your joyous city,Whose antiquity is from ancient days,Whose feet carried her far off to dwell? 8 Who has taken this counsel against Tyre, the crowning city,Whose merchants are princes,Whose traders are the honorable of the earth? 9 The LORD of hosts has purposed it,To bring to dishonor the pride of all glory,To bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth.
10 Overflow through your land like the River, O daughter of Tarshish;There is no more strength. 11 He stretched out His hand over the sea,He shook the kingdoms;The LORD has given a commandment against CanaanTo destroy its strongholds. 12 And He said, "You will rejoice no more,O you oppressed virgin daughter of Sidon.Arise, cross over to Cyprus;There also you will have no rest."
13 Behold, the land of the Chaldeans,This people which was not;Assyria founded it for wild beasts of the desert.They set up its towers,They raised up its palaces,And brought it to ruin.
14 Wail, you ships of Tarshish!For your strength is laid waste.
15 Now it shall come to pass in that day that Tyre will be forgotten seventy years, according to the days of one king. At the end of seventy years it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the harlot:
16 "Take a harp, go about the city,You forgotten harlot;Make sweet melody, sing many songs,That you may be remembered."
17 And it shall be, at the end of seventy years, that the LORD will deal with Tyre. She will return to her hire, and commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world on the face of the earth. 18 Her gain and her pay will be set apart for the LORD; it will not be treasured nor laid up, for her gain will be for those who dwell before the LORD, to eat sufficiently, and for fine clothing.
24:1 Impending Judgment on the Earth
Behold, the LORD makes the earth empty and makes it waste,Distorts its surface
And scatters abroad its inhabitants. 2 And it shall be:As with the people, so
with the priest;As with the servant, so with his master;As with the maid, so
with her mistress;As with the buyer, so with the seller;As with the lender,
so with the borrower;As with the creditor, so with the debtor. 3 The land shall
be entirely emptied and utterly plundered,For the LORD has spoken this word.
4 The earth mourns and fades away,The world languishes and fades away;The haughty people of the earth languish. 5 The earth is also defiled under its inhabitants,Because they have transgressed the laws,Changed the ordinance,Broken the everlasting covenant. 6 Therefore the curse has devoured the earth,And those who dwell in it are desolate.Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned,And few men are left.
7 The new wine fails, the vine languishes,All the merry-hearted sigh. 8 The mirth of the tambourine ceases,The noise of the jubilant ends,The joy of the harp ceases. 9 They shall not drink wine with a song;Strong drink is bitter to those who drink it. 10 The city of confusion is broken down;Every house is shut up, so that none may go in. 11 There is a cry for wine in the streets,All joy is darkened,The mirth of the land is gone. 12 In the city desolation is left,And the gate is stricken with destruction. 13 When it shall be thus in the midst of the land among the people,It shall be like the shaking of an olive tree,Like the gleaning of grapes when the vintage is done.
14 They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing;For the majesty of the LORDThey shall cry aloud from the sea. 15 Therefore glorify the LORD in the dawning light,The name of the LORD God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea. 16 From the ends of the earth we have heard songs:"Glory to the righteous!"But I said, "I am ruined, ruined!Woe to me!The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously,Indeed, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously."
17 Fear and the pit and the snare Are upon you, O inhabitant of the earth. 18 And it shall be That he who flees from the noise of the fear Shall fall into the pit,And he who comes up from the midst of the pit Shall be caught in the snare;For the windows from on high are open,And the foundations of the earth are shaken.
19 The earth is violently broken,The earth is split open,The earth is shaken exceedingly. 20 The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard,And shall totter like a hut;Its transgression shall be heavy upon it,And it will fall, and not rise again.
21 It shall come to pass in that day That the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones,And on the earth the kings of the earth. 22 They will be gathered together,As prisoners are gathered in the pit,And will be shut up in the prison;After many days they will be punished. 23 Then the moon will be disgraced And the sun ashamed;For the LORD of hosts will reign On Mount Zion and in JerusalemAnd before His elders, gloriously.
79:1 A Dirge and a Prayer for Israel, Destroyed by Enemies
A Psalm of Asaph.
O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance;Your holy temple they have defiled;They have laid Jerusalem in heaps. 2 The dead bodies of Your servants They have given as food for the birds of the heavens,The flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth. 3 Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem,And there was no one to bury them. 4 We have become a reproach to our neighbors,A scorn and derision to those who are around us.
5 How long, LORD?Will You be angry forever?Will Your jealousy burn like fire? 6 Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You,And on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name. 7 For they have devoured Jacob,And laid waste his dwelling place.
8 Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us!Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us,For we have been brought very low. 9 Help us, O God of our salvation,For the glory of Your name;And deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins,For Your name's sake! 10 Why should the nations say,"Where is their God?"Let there be known among the nations in our sight The avenging of the blood of Your servants which has been shed.
11 Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You;According to the greatness of Your power Preserve those who are appointed to die; 12 And return to our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom Their reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord.
13 So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture,Will give You thanks forever;We will show forth Your praise to all generations.
THE ROLE OF PROPHECY
Part 3 of 6
Understanding prophecy is not always easy. There are some principles that should be applied:
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