Fire in the Woods
1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
2 “Son of man, set your face against Teman, and look against Darom, and prophesy against the forest which leads to Nageb.
3 You will say to the forest of Nageb, ‘Hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord and Master: “Behold, I will kindle a fire in you, and it shall devour every green wood and every dry wood in you. The blazing flame shall not be quenched, and every face from north to south shall be burned up by it.
4 All flesh shall know that I, the Lord, kindled it, and it shall not be quenched.” ’ ”
5 Then I said, “By no means, O Lord and Master. They say to me, ‘This is a parable, is it not?’ ”
The Sword of the Lord
6 So the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
7 “Therefore, son of man, prophesy and set your face against Jerusalem, and look against the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel.
8 You shall say to the land of Israel, ‘Behold, I am against you, and I will draw My sword out of its sheath and destroy both the unrighteous man and the lawless man from among you.†
9 Because I will destroy both the unrighteous man and the lawless man from among you, thus My sword shall go out of its sheath against all flesh from north to south,
10 and all flesh will know that I, the Lord, have drawn My sword out of its sheath; and it shall not return anymore.’
11 As for you, son of man, groan with a breaking heart, and sigh with bitterness before their eyes.
12 It will be, if they say to you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ that you shall say, ‘Because of the news, for it is coming. Every heart will be oppressed, all hands will be feeble, all flesh and every spirit will faint, and every thigh will be stained with urine. Behold, it is coming and will be,’ says the Lord and Master.”
13 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
14 “Son of man, prophesy and you will say, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Say, ‘O sword, sword, be sharpened and furious,
15 that you may slay victims. Be sharpened, that you may be glistening and ready for destruction. Despise and reject every tree.’
16 So he made it ready for his hand to hold. The sword is sharpened and ready to put in the hand of the slayer.’ ”
17 “Cry out and wail, son of man, for this sword is come among My people; this sword is come among all the leaders of Israel. They shall be as strangers because of the sword that is come among My people; therefore, clap your hands,
18 because it is justified; and what if even the tribe is rejected? It shall not be,” says the Lord and Master.
19 “So you, son of man, prophesy, and clap your hands, and take a second sword. The third is the sword of the slain, the great sword of the slain. It will amaze them,
20 that the heart may be oppressed, and the weak multiplied at every gate of theirs. They are handed over for slaughter by the sword, a sword well suited for slaughter, a sword well suited for glistening.
21 Pass through and strike from the right and from the left, wherever your face may set itself.
22 I also will clap My hands together and let go My anger. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
The Sword of the King of Babylon
23 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying:†
24 “So you, son of man, order two roads for yourself, for the sword of the king of Babylon to enter. The two roads will go forth from one region. There shall be a force at the top of the way leading to the city.
25 You shall order for a sword to enter against Rabbath of the children of Ammon, against Judah and against Jerusalem in its midst.
26 For the king of Babylon will stand at the ancient road, at the fork of the two roads, to practice divination by casting a stick, consulting the graven images, and inspecting the liver for soothsaying.
27 The divination against Jerusalem has come to pass—to set up barricades, to open the mouth with shouting, to lift up the voice with great shouting, to set battering rams against the gates, and to build engines of war.
28 He will be to them as one who practices divination before them, and he will bring their wrongdoings to remembrance.
29 “Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘Because you caused your wrongdoings to be remembered in the revelation of your ungodliness, that your sins should be seen in all your ungodliness and ways of living—because you caused remembrance of them—you shall be taken captive.
30 Now you, O godless and lawless leader of Israel, whose day has come, whose end of wrongdoing has come at the proper time,
31 thus says the Lord: “You removed the turban and put on the crown; another will not follow. You humbled what was high and exalted what was low.
32 I will reckon it as wrongdoing, wrongdoing! Another shall not follow it until He comes whose right it is, and I will deliver it to Him.’ ”
A Sword for Ammon
33 “As for you, son of man, prophesy, and you shall say, ‘Thus says the Lord to the sons of Ammon and to their shame,’ and you shall say, ‘O sword, sword, drawn for slaughter and for an end; arise, that you may glisten.
34 While you are seeing a worthless vision, and while you are prophesying falsehood, and while you are handing over the necks of wounded and lawless men whose day has come, whose end of wrongdoing has come at the proper time,
35 turn back, and do not lodge in this place in which you were born, for I will judge you in your own land.
36 I will pour out My wrath upon you; I will breathe upon you with the fire of My wrath, and deliver you into the hands of barbarians, skilled in working destruction.
37 You will be fuel for the fire; your blood will be in the midst of your land. There will be no remembrance of you; for I the Lord have spoken.’ ”
97 How I love Your law, O Lord; It is my meditation the whole day long.
98 You make me wiser than my enemies with Your commandment, For it is mine forever.
99 I understand more than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the elders, For I search Your commandments.
101 I withheld my feet from every evil way, That I might keep Your words.
102 I did not turn away from Your judgments, For You taught me Your law.
103 How sweet to my taste are Your teachings, More than honey and the honeycomb in my mouth.
104 I gained understanding because of Your commandments; Therefore, I hate every unrighteous way.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my paths.
106 I swore and confirmed That I would keep the judgments of Your righteousness.
107 I was humbled exceedingly; O Lord, give me life according to Your word.
108 Be well-pleased with the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, And teach me Your judgments.
109 My soul is always in Your hands, And I have not forgotten Your law.
110 Sinners set snares for me, But I did not wander from Your commandments.
111 I inherited Your testimonies forever, For these are the exceeding joy of my heart.
112 I inclined my heart to do Your ordinances Forever for a reward.
Proverbs of Solomon 26
The Slothful Man
14 A slothful man who is sent on his way says, “There is a lion in the way.”†
15 As a door turns upon its hinge, So does a slothful man upon his bed.
16 When a slothful man hides his hand in his bosom, He shall be unable to bring it to his mouth.
17 A slothful man appears wiser to himself Than he who satisfactorily brings back a message.
1 Peter 5
Suffering as the Church
1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:†
2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;†
4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.” †
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.†
9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Farewell and Greeting
12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.
13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.†
14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.†