God’s Love for Lawless Jerusalem
1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
2 “Son of man, testify emphatically to Jerusalem concerning her lawlessness.
3 You shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord to Jerusalem: “Your root and birth are from the land of Canaan. Your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite.
4 As for your birth, on the day you were born they did not bind your breasts, nor were you washed in water. Neither were you salted with salt, nor wrapped in swaddling cloths.†
5 Nor did My eye pity you to do any one of these things for you, to suffer anything for you; but you were cast out into the open field because of the perversity of your soul on the day you were born.
6 “As I passed by, I saw you defiled in your blood. So I said to you, ‘Let there be life out of your blood, and multiply.’
7 I made you as a field in full bloom, and you multiplied, became great, and entered into great cities. Your breasts were firm and your hair grew, but you were naked and behaved improperly.
8 As I passed by and saw you, behold, it was your time, a time for lodging people. So I spread My wings over you, covered your shame, and swore an oath to you. I entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord.
9 “Then I washed you in water, washed away your blood, and anointed you with oil.
10 I clothed you in embroidered garments with purple underneath. I dressed you with fine linen and covered you with a veil of fine silk.
11 I adorned you with jewelry and put bracelets on your wrists and a necklace around your neck.
12 I put a ring in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a crown of boasting on your head.
13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, oil, and honey. You became very beautiful.
14 Your name went out among the nations for your beauty, because it was perfected with elegance and beauty which I put upon you,” says the Lord.
Playing the Prostitute
15 “But you put your trust in your beauty, played the prostitute because of your name, and poured out your fornication on everyone passing by.
16 You took cloth from your garments, made idols of needlework for yourself, and committed fornication with them. But you should never have entered into such a thing, nor should this have taken place.
17 You also took the fine jewelry of My gold and silver that I gave you and made male images for yourself, and committed fornication with them.
18 You took your embroidered garments and clothed them. Then you set before them My oil and incense,
19 and took My bread which I gave you—the pastry of fine flour, oil, and honey I fed you—and set it before them as a fragrant offering; and so it was,” says the Lord.
20 “You also took your sons and daughters whom you bore, and sacrificed these to them to be destroyed, and committed fornication as if that were a small matter.
21 Besides your fornication, you slaughtered your children and offered them as a sacrifice to ward off evil from yourselves.
22 Thus you no longer remember the days of your youth, when you were naked and behaved improperly, and lived defiled in your blood.
23 “So it came to pass, after all your evils,” says the Lord,
24 “that you also built for yourself a house of fornication, and made a public place for yourself in every street;
25 and at the beginning of every road, you built your brothel and ravaged your beauty. You spread your legs to everyone who passed by, and multiplied your acts of prostitution.
26 You committed fornication with the children of Egypt, your fleshly neighbor, and committed fornication in many ways, to provoke Me to anger.
27 So when I stretch out My hand against you, then I will abolish your customs and will deliver you over to souls who hate you, even to the daughters of foreign lands, who will turn you aside from your way wherein you were ungodly.
28 You also committed fornication with the daughters of Assyria, and even then you were not satisfied; indeed you committed fornication with them and were not satisfied.
29 You multiplied your covenants with the Chaldeans, and not even with these were you satisfied.
30 Why should I make a covenant with your daughter,” says the Lord, “when you do all these things, the deeds of a prostitute? So you committed threefold fornication.
An Adulterous Wife
31 “With your daughters, you built a house of prostitution at the beginning of every road, set up your high place in every street, and became as a prostitute gathering wages.
32 An adulterous wife is like you, who prefers a whore’s wages to her own husband.
33 She even gives wages to those who commit fornication with her; and you give wages to all your lovers, and load them with wages, so they should come to you from all around for your prostitution.
34 So there happened in you a perverseness in your prostitution beyond that of other women, and they committed fornication with you when you gave them wages; and no wages were received by you; thus perverseness happened in you.
35 “Now then, prostitute, hear the word of the Lord!
36 Thus says the Lord: ‘Because you poured out your money, and your shamefulness was uncovered in your prostitution with your lovers, and because of your many inventions of lawlessness, and the blood of your children you gave to them;
37 therefore, behold, I will gather against you all your lovers with whom you consorted, and all those you loved, and all those you hated. I will gather them against you from all around and will uncover your evil deeds before them, so they may see all your shame.
38 Thus I will be avenged on you with the vengeance of an adulteress, and bring upon you the blood of fury and jealousy.
39 I shall deliver you into their hands, and they will demolish your house of prostitution and destroy your high place. They will strip you of your clothes, take your proud jewelry, and leave you naked and in disgrace.
40 They also shall bring up a multitude against you to stone you with stones, and to strike you down with their swords.
41 They will burn down your houses and execute punishments on you in the sight of many women. Then I shall turn you back from prostitution, and you will no longer give wages.
42 So I shall discharge My anger against you, then My jealousy will depart from you. I shall be at rest and no longer concerned for you.
43 Because you did not remember the day of your youth, but grieved Me with all these things, therefore behold, I recompensed your deeds on your own head,’ says the Lord. For thus you committed ungodliness beyond all your other lawlessness.
44 “These are all the things they spoke against you in a parable, saying, ‘Like mother, like daughter!’†
45 You are your mother’s daughter, rejecting her husband and children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who reject their husbands and children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite.
46 Your elder sister who dwells with her daughters to the north of you is Samaria, and your younger sister who dwells to the south of you is Sodom and her daughters.
47 You not only walked in their ways and acted according to their lawlessness; but, as if that were too little, you excelled more than they in all your ways.
48 “As I live,” says the Lord, “surely your sister Sodom and her daughters have carried on in the manner you and your daughters have done.
49 Surely this was the lawless action of your sister Sodom, namely, arrogance. For in fullness of bread and abundance of wine, she and her daughter lived in self-indulgence. This belonged to her and her daughters, but they did not give a helping hand to the poor and needy.
50 So they were haughty and committed acts of lawlessness before Me; therefore, I removed them as I saw fit.
51 But Samaria did not commit half your sins, for you multiplied your lawlessness beyond them, and declared your sisters righteous by all the lawless deeds you committed.
52 Therefore, bear your punishment, for you corrupted your sisters by your sins, sins more lawless than their own. You made them appear more righteous than yourself. Yes, be disgraced, and bear your dishonor in which you declared your sisters righteous.
53 “I will turn away from their faithlessness, the faithlessness of Sodom and her daughters, and I will turn away from the faithlessness of Samaria and her daughters. I will also turn away from your faithlessness in the midst of them,
54 so you may bear your punishment and be dishonored by all you did to provoke My anger.
55 But your sister Sodom and her daughters shall be restored as they were from the beginning, and Samaria and her daughters shall be restored as they were from the beginning. Even you and your daughters shall be restored as you were from the beginning.
56 Surely your sister Sodom was not mentioned by your mouth in the days of your arrogance, before your evils were uncovered.
57 Even now you are a disgrace to the daughters of Syria and all those around her, and to the daughters of the foreigners around you on every side.
58 By your deeds of ungodliness and lawlessness, you received these things,” says the Lord.
The Covenant Remembered
59 “For thus says the Lord: ‘I will deal with you as you have done, as you dishonored these things so as to break my covenant.†
60 Nevertheless I shall remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and raise up an everlasting covenant for you.
61 Then you will remember your way and be utterly dishonored when you receive your older and younger sisters. I shall give them to you for strengthening, but not because of your covenant.
62 But I shall raise up My covenant with you. Then you will know that I am the Lord,
63 that you may remember and be ashamed, and may never open your mouth again because of your dishonor, when I am reconciled to you for all you did,’ says the Lord.”
17 Reward Your servant; I shall live, and keep Your words.
18 Unveil my eyes, And I shall understand the wonders in Your law.
19 I am a sojourner on the earth; Do not hide Your commandments from me.
20 My soul longed to desire Your judgments in every season.
21 You rebuke the arrogant; Those who turn aside from Your commandments are accursed.
22 Take away reproach and contempt from me, For I searched Your testimonies.
23 For rulers sat and spoke against me, But Your servant meditated on Your ordinances.
24 For Your testimonies are my meditation, And Your ordinances are my counsels.
25 My soul cleaves to the earth; Give me life according to Your word.
26 I made known my ways and You heard me; Teach me Your ordinances.
27 Cause me to understand the way of Your ordinances, And I shall meditate on Your wonders.
28 My soul fainted because of its listlessness; Establish me in Your words.
29 Remove the way of unrighteousness from me, And with Your law have mercy on me.
30 I chose the way of truth; I have not forgotten Your judgments.
31 I cleave to Your testimonies; O Lord, do not disappoint me.
32 I ran on the path of Your commandments, When You enlarged my heart.
Proverbs of Solomon 25
22 As vinegar is bad for a festering wound, So calamity befalling the body grieves the heart.
23 As a moth in a garment and a worm in wood, So the grief of a man damages the heart.
24 If your enemy is hungry, feed him, And if he is thirsty, give him drink.†
25 For by doing this, you shall heap coals of fire on his head, And the Lord will reward you with good things.
26 The north wind stirs up clouds, And a shameless face provokes the tongue.
Warning to Rich Oppressors
1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming upon you! †
2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.
3 Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have heaped up treasure in the last days.
4 Indeed the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth.
5 You have lived on the earth in pleasure and luxury; you have fattened your hearts as in a day of slaughter.
6 You have condemned, you have murdered the just; he does not resist you.
Encouragement to the Oppressed
7 Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.†
8 You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.
9 Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door!
10 My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience.
11 Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.†
The Work of Faith: Healing
13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms.†
14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.
15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.†
17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back,†
20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.