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Old Testament:  Jeremiah 48-49

Jeremiah 48

A Message about Moab
 1  This message was given concerning Moab. This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies, the God of Israel, says:

"What sorrow awaits the city of Nebo;
  it will soon lie in ruins.
The city of Kiriathaim will be humiliated and captured;
  the fortress will be humiliated and broken down.
 2  No one will ever brag about Moab again,
  for in Heshbon there is a plot to destroy her.
`Come,' they say, `we will cut her off from being a nation.'
  The town of Madmen, [2]  too, will be silenced;
  the sword will follow you there.
 3  Listen to the cries from Horonaim,
  cries of devastation and great destruction.
 4  All Moab is destroyed.
  Her little ones will cry out. [4] 
 5  Her refugees weep bitterly,
  climbing the slope to Luhith.
They cry out in terror,
  descending the slope to Horonaim.
 6  Flee for your lives!
  Hide [6]  in the wilderness!
 7  Because you have trusted in your wealth and skill,
  you will be taken captive.
Your god Chemosh, with his priests and officials,
  will be hauled off to distant lands!

 8  "All the towns will be destroyed,
  and no one will escape—
either on the plateaus or in the valleys,
  for the LORD has spoken.
 9  Oh, that Moab had wings
  so she could fly away, [9] 
for her towns will be left empty,
  with no one living in them.
 10  Cursed are those who refuse to do the LORD's work,
  who hold back their swords from shedding blood!

 11  "From his earliest history, Moab has lived in peace,
  never going into exile.
He is like wine that has been allowed to settle.
  He has not been poured from flask to flask,
  and he is now fragrant and smooth.
 12  But the time is coming soon," says the LORD,
  "when I will send men to pour him from his jar.
They will pour him out,
  then shatter the jar!
 13  At last Moab will be ashamed of his idol Chemosh,
  as the people of Israel were ashamed of their gold calf at Bethel. [13] 

 14  "You used to boast, `We are heroes,
  mighty men of war.'
 15  But now Moab and his towns will be destroyed.
  His most promising youth are doomed to slaughter,"
  says the King, whose name is the LORD of Heaven's Armies.
 16  "Destruction is coming fast for Moab;
  calamity threatens ominously.
 17  You friends of Moab,
  weep for him and cry!
See how the strong scepter is broken,
  how the beautiful staff is shattered!

 18  "Come down from your glory
  and sit in the dust, you people of Dibon,
for those who destroy Moab will shatter Dibon, too.
  They will tear down all your towers.
 19  You people of Aroer,
  stand beside the road and watch.
Shout to those who flee from Moab,
  `What has happened there?'

 20  "And the reply comes back,
`Moab lies in ruins, disgraced;
  weep and wail!
Tell it by the banks of the Arnon River:
  Moab has been destroyed!'
 21  Judgment has been poured out on the towns of the plateau—
  on Holon and Jahaz [21]  and Mephaath,
 22  on Dibon and Nebo and Beth-diblathaim,
 23    on Kiriathaim and Beth-gamul and Beth-meon,
 24  on Kerioth and Bozrah—
  all the towns of Moab, far and near.

 25  "The strength of Moab has ended.
  His arm has been broken," says the LORD.
 26  "Let him stagger and fall like a drunkard,
  for he has rebelled against the LORD.
Moab will wallow in his own vomit,
  ridiculed by all.
 27  Did you not ridicule the people of Israel?
  Were they caught in the company of thieves
  that you should despise them as you do?

 28  "You people of Moab,
  flee from your towns and live in the caves.
Hide like doves that nest
  in the clefts of the rocks.
 29  We have all heard of the pride of Moab,
  for his pride is very great.
We know of his lofty pride,
  his arrogance, and his haughty heart.
 30  I know about his insolence,"
  says the LORD,
"but his boasts are empty—
  as empty as his deeds.
 31  So now I wail for Moab;
  yes, I will mourn for Moab.
  My heart is broken for the men of Kir-hareseth. [31] 

 32  "You people of Sibmah, rich in vineyards,
  I will weep for you even more than I did for Jazer.
Your spreading vines once reached as far as the Dead Sea, [32] 
  but the destroyer has stripped you bare!
  He has harvested your grapes and summer fruits.
 33  Joy and gladness are gone from fruitful Moab.
  The presses yield no wine.
No one treads the grapes with shouts of joy.
  There is shouting, yes, but not of joy.

   34  "Instead, their awful cries of terror can be heard from Heshbon clear across to Elealeh and Jahaz; from Zoar all the way to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. Even the waters of Nimrim are dried up now.
   35  "I will put an end to Moab," says the LORD, "for the people offer sacrifices at the pagan shrines and burn incense to their false gods.  36  My heart moans like a flute for Moab and Kir-hareseth, for all their wealth has disappeared.  37  The people shave their heads and beards in mourning. They slash their hands and put on clothes made of burlap.  38  There is crying and sorrow in every Moabite home and on every street. For I have smashed Moab like an old, unwanted jar.  39  How it is shattered! Hear the wailing! See the shame of Moab! It has become an object of ridicule, an example of ruin to all its neighbors."
   40  This is what the LORD says:

"Look! The enemy swoops down like an eagle,
  spreading his wings over Moab.
 41  Its cities will fall,
  and its strongholds will be seized.
Even the mightiest warriors will be in anguish
  like a woman in labor.
 42  Moab will no longer be a nation,
  for it has boasted against the LORD.

 43  "Terror and traps and snares will be your lot,
  O Moab," says the LORD.
 44  "Those who flee in terror will fall into a trap,
  and those who escape the trap will step into a snare.
I will see to it that you do not get away,
  for the time of your judgment has come,"
  says the LORD.
 45  "The people flee as far as Heshbon
  but are unable to go on.
For a fire comes from Heshbon,
  King Sihon's ancient home,
to devour the entire land
  with all its rebellious people.

 46  "O Moab, they weep for you!
  The people of the god Chemosh are destroyed!
Your sons and your daughters
  have been taken away as captives.
 47  But I will restore the fortunes of Moab
  in days to come.
  I, the LORD, have spoken!"

  This is the end of Jeremiah's prophecy concerning Moab.

Jeremiah 49

A Message about Ammon
 1  This message was given concerning the Ammonites. This is what the LORD says:

"Are there no descendants of Israel
  to inherit the land of Gad?
Why are you, who worship Molech, [1] 
  living in its towns?
 2  In the days to come," says the LORD,
  "I will sound the battle cry against your city of Rabbah.
It will become a desolate heap of ruins,
  and the neighboring towns will be burned.
Then Israel will take back the land
  you took from her," says the LORD.

 3  "Cry out, O Heshbon,
  for the town of Ai is destroyed.
Weep, O people of Rabbah!
  Put on your clothes of mourning.
Weep and wail, hiding in the hedges,
  for your god Molech, with his priests and officials,
  will be hauled off to distant lands.
 4  You are proud of your fertile valleys,
  but they will soon be ruined.
You trusted in your wealth,
  you rebellious daughter,
  and thought no one could ever harm you.
 5  But look! I will bring terror upon you,"
  says the Lord, the LORD of Heaven's Armies.
"Your neighbors will chase you from your land,
  and no one will help your exiles as they flee.
 6  But I will restore the fortunes of the Ammonites
  in days to come.
  I, the LORD, have spoken."

Messages about Edom
 7  This message was given concerning Edom. This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says:

"Is there no wisdom in Teman?
  Is no one left to give wise counsel?
 8  Turn and flee!
  Hide in deep caves, you people of Dedan!
For when I bring disaster on Edom, [8] 
  I will punish you, too!
 9  Those who harvest grapes
  always leave a few for the poor.
If thieves came at night,
  they would not take everything.
 10  But I will strip bare the land of Edom,
  and there will be no place left to hide.
Its children, its brothers, and its neighbors
  will all be destroyed,
  and Edom itself will be no more.
 11  But I will protect the orphans who remain among you. Your widows, too, can depend on me for help.    12  And this is what the LORD says: "If the innocent must suffer, how much more must you! You will not go unpunished! You must drink this cup of judgment!  13  For I have sworn by my own name," says the LORD, "that Bozrah will become an object of horror and a heap of ruins; it will be mocked and cursed. All its towns and villages will be desolate forever."

 14  I have heard a message from the LORD
  that an ambassador was sent to the nations to say,
"Form a coalition against Edom,
  and prepare for battle!"

 15  The LORD says to Edom,
"I will cut you down to size among the nations.
  You will be despised by all.
 16  You have been deceived
  by the fear you inspire in others
  and by your own pride.
You live in a rock fortress
  and control the mountain heights.
But even if you make your nest among the peaks with the eagles,
  I will bring you crashing down,"
  says the LORD.

 17  "Edom will be an object of horror.
  All who pass by will be appalled
  and will gasp at the destruction they see there.
 18  It will be like the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah
  and their neighboring towns," says the LORD.
"No one will live there;
  no one will inhabit it.
 19  I will come like a lion from the thickets of the Jordan,
  leaping on the sheep in the pasture.
I will chase Edom from its land,
  and I will appoint the leader of my choice.
For who is like me, and who can challenge me?
  What ruler can oppose my will?"

 20  Listen to the LORD's plans against Edom
  and the people of Teman.
Even the little children will be dragged off like sheep,
  and their homes will be destroyed.
 21  The earth will shake with the noise of Edom's fall,
  and its cry of despair will be heard all the way to the Red Sea. [21] 
 22  Look! The enemy swoops down like an eagle,
  spreading his wings over Bozrah.
Even the mightiest warriors will be in anguish
  like a woman in labor.

A Message about Damascus
 23  This message was given concerning Damascus. This is what the LORD says:

"The towns of Hamath and Arpad are struck with fear,
  for they have heard the news of their destruction.
Their hearts are troubled
  like a wild sea in a raging storm.
 24  Damascus has become feeble,
  and all her people turn to flee.
Fear, anguish, and pain have gripped her
  as they grip a woman in labor.
 25  That famous city, a city of joy,
  will be forsaken!
 26  Her young men will fall in the streets and die.
  Her soldiers will all be killed,"
  says the LORD of Heaven's Armies.
 27  "And I will set fire to the walls of Damascus
  that will burn up the palaces of Ben-hadad."

A Message about Kedar and Hazor
 28  This message was given concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which were attacked by King Nebuchadnezzar [28]  of Babylon. This is what the LORD says:

"Advance against Kedar!
  Destroy the warriors from the East!
 29  Their flocks and tents will be captured,
  and their household goods and camels will be taken away.
Everywhere shouts of panic will be heard:
  `We are terrorized at every turn!'
 30  Run for your lives," says the LORD.
  "Hide yourselves in deep caves, you people of Hazor,
for King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has plotted against you
  and is preparing to destroy you.

 31  "Go up and attack that complacent nation,"
  says the LORD.
"Its people live alone in the desert
  without walls or gates.
 32  Their camels and other livestock will all be yours.
  I will scatter to the winds these people
  who live in remote places. [32] 
I will bring calamity upon them
  from every direction," says the LORD.
 33  "Hazor will be inhabited by jackals,
  and it will be desolate forever.
No one will live there;
  no one will inhabit it."

A Message about Elam
 34  This message concerning Elam came to the prophet Jeremiah from the LORD at the beginning of the reign of King Zedekiah of Judah.  35  This is what the LORD of Heaven's Armies says:

"I will destroy the archers of Elam—
  the best of their forces.
 36  I will bring enemies from all directions,
  and I will scatter the people of Elam to the four winds.
  They will be exiled to countries around the world.
 37  I myself will go with Elam's enemies to shatter it.
  In my fierce anger, I will bring great disaster
  upon the people of Elam," says the LORD.
"Their enemies will chase them with the sword
  until I have destroyed them completely.
 38  I will set my throne in Elam," says the LORD,
  "and I will destroy its king and officials.
 39  But I will restore the fortunes of Elam
  in days to come.
  I, the LORD, have spoken!"
<<  48:2 Madmen sounds like the Hebrew word for "silence"; it should not be confused with the English word madmen.
<<  48:4 Greek version reads Her cries are heard as far away as Zoar.
<<  48:6 Or Hide like a wild donkey; or Hide like a juniper shrub; or Be like [the town of] Aroer. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
<<  48:9 Or Put salt on Moab, / for she will be laid waste.
<<  48:13 Hebrew ashamed when they trusted in Bethel.
<<  48:21 Hebrew Jahzah, a variant spelling of Jahaz.
<<  48:31 Hebrew Kir-heres, a variant spelling of Kir-hareseth; also in 48:36.
<<  48:32 Hebrew the sea of Jazer.
<<  49:1 Hebrew Malcam, a variant spelling of Molech; also in 49:3.
<<  49:8 Hebrew Esau; also in 49:10.
<<  49:21 Hebrew sea of reeds.
<<  49:28 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar; also in 49:30.
<<  49:32 Or who clip the corners of their hair.

New Testament:  Hebrews 7

Hebrews 7

Melchizedek Is Greater Than Abraham
 1  This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him.  2  Then Abraham took a tenth of all he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek. The name Melchizedek means "king of justice," and king of Salem means "king of peace."  3  There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God.
   4  Consider then how great this Melchizedek was. Even Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, recognized this by giving him a tenth of what he had taken in battle.  5  Now the law of Moses required that the priests, who are descendants of Levi, must collect a tithe from the rest of the people of Israel, [5]  who are also descendants of Abraham.  6  But Melchizedek, who was not a descendant of Levi, collected a tenth from Abraham. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God.  7  And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed.    8  The priests who collect tithes are men who die, so Melchizedek is greater than they are, because we are told that he lives on.  9  In addition, we might even say that these Levites—the ones who collect the tithe—paid a tithe to Melchizedek when their ancestor Abraham paid a tithe to him.  10  For although Levi wasn't born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham's body when Melchizedek collected the tithe from him.
   11  So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron? [11] 
   12  And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it.  13  For the priest we are talking about belongs to a different tribe, whose members have never served at the altar as priests.  14  What I mean is, our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses never mentioned priests coming from that tribe.

Jesus Is like Melchizedek
 15  This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared.  16  Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.  17  And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied,

"You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek." [17] 

 18  Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless.  19  For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
   20  This new system was established with a solemn oath. Aaron's descendants became priests without such an oath,  21  but there was an oath regarding Jesus. For God said to him,

"The LORD has taken an oath and will not break his vow:
  `You are a priest forever.'" [21] 

 22  Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God.
   23  There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office.  24  But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever.  25  Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.    26  He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven. [26]   27  Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people's sins.  28  The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever.
<<  7:5 Greek from their brothers.
<<  7:11 Greek the order of Aaron?
<<  7:17 Ps 110:4.
<<  7:21 Ps 110:4.
<<  7:25 Or is able to save completely.
<<  7:26 Or has been exalted higher than the heavens.

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