Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
To Timothy my true son in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer
nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work--which is by faith.
The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.
They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.
We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,
for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers--and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine
that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.
Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight,
holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.
Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme.
Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the LORD.
Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster; he does not take back his words. He will rise up against the house of the wicked, against those who help evildoers.
But the Egyptians are men and not God; their horses are flesh and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out his hand, he who helps will stumble, he who is helped will fall; both will perish together.
This is what the LORD says to me: "As a lion growls, a great lion over his prey-- and though a whole band of shepherds is called together against him, he is not frightened by their shouts or disturbed by their clamor-- so the LORD Almighty will come down to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.
Like birds hovering overhead, the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem; he will shield it and deliver it, he will 'pass over' it and will rescue it."
Return to him you have so greatly revolted against, O Israelites.
For in that day every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold your sinful hands have made.
"Assyria will fall by a sword that is not of man; a sword, not of mortals, will devour them. They will flee before the sword and their young men will be put to forced labor.
Their stronghold will fall because of terror; at sight of the battle standard their commanders will panic," declares the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, whose furnace is in Jerusalem.
See, a king will reign in righteousness and rulers will rule with justice.
Each man will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a thirsty land.
Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed, and the ears of those who hear will listen.
The mind of the rash will know and understand, and the stammering tongue will be fluent and clear.
No longer will the fool be called noble nor the scoundrel be highly respected.
For the fool speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil: He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the LORD; the hungry he leaves empty and from the thirsty he withholds water.
The scoundrel's methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just.
But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.
You women who are so complacent, rise up and listen to me; you daughters who feel secure, hear what I have to say!
In little more than a year you who feel secure will tremble; the grape harvest will fail, and the harvest of fruit will not come.
Tremble, you complacent women; shudder, you daughters who feel secure! Strip off your clothes, put sackcloth around your waists.
Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vines
and for the land of my people, a land overgrown with thorns and briers-- yes, mourn for all houses of merriment and for this city of revelry.
The fortress will be abandoned, the noisy city deserted; citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever, the delight of donkeys, a pasture for flocks,
till the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the desert becomes a fertile field, and the fertile field seems like a forest.
Justice will dwell in the desert and righteousness live in the fertile field.
The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.
Though hail flattens the forest and the city is leveled completely,
how blessed you will be, sowing your seed by every stream, and letting your cattle and donkeys range free.
Woe to you, O destroyer, you who have not been destroyed! Woe to you, O traitor, you who have not been betrayed! When you stop destroying, you will be destroyed; when you stop betraying, you will be betrayed.
O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.
At the thunder of your voice, the peoples flee; when you rise up, the nations scatter.
Your plunder, O nations, is harvested as by young locusts; like a swarm of locusts men pounce on it.
The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high; he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure.
Look, their brave men cry aloud in the streets; the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
The highways are deserted, no travelers are on the roads. The treaty is broken, its witnesses are despised, no one is respected.
The land mourns and wastes away, Lebanon is ashamed and withers; Sharon is like the Arabah, and Bashan and Carmel drop their leaves.
"Now will I arise," says the LORD. "Now will I be exalted; now will I be lifted up.
You conceive chaff, you give birth to straw; your breath is a fire that consumes you.
The peoples will be burned as if to lime; like cut thornbushes they will be set ablaze."
You who are far away, hear what I have done; you who are near, acknowledge my power!
The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: "Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?"
He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil--
this is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him.
Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar.
In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror: "Where is that chief officer? Where is the one who took the revenue? Where is the officer in charge of the towers?"
You will see those arrogant people no more, those people of an obscure speech, with their strange, incomprehensible tongue.
Look upon Zion, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved; its stakes will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes broken.
There the LORD will be our Mighty One. It will be like a place of broad rivers and streams. No galley with oars will ride them, no mighty ship will sail them.
For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.
Your rigging hangs loose: The mast is not held secure, the sail is not spread. Then an abundance of spoils will be divided and even the lame will carry off plunder.
No one living in Zion will say, "I am ill"; and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven.
Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end.
Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfill your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts! Preserve my life in your righteousness.
May your unfailing love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise;
then I will answer the one who taunts me, for I trust in your word.
Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws.
I will always obey your law, for ever and ever.
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame,
for I delight in your commands because I love them.
I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.
Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.
My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.
The arrogant mock me without restraint, but I do not turn from your law.
I remember your ancient laws, O LORD, and I find comfort in them.
Indignation grips me because of the wicked, who have forsaken your law.
Your decrees are the theme of my song wherever I lodge.
In the night I remember your name, O LORD, and I will keep your law.
This has been my practice: I obey your precepts.
You are my portion, O LORD; I have promised to obey your words.
I have sought your face with all my heart; be gracious to me according to your promise.
I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.
I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands.
Though the wicked bind me with ropes, I will not forget your law.
At midnight I rise to give you thanks for your righteous laws.
I am a friend to all who fear you, to all who follow your precepts.
The earth is filled with your love, O LORD; teach me your decrees.