This will be my third visit to you. "Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses."
I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others,
since you are demanding proof that Christ is speaking through me. He is not weak in dealing with you, but is powerful among you.
For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God's power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God's power we will live with him to serve you.
Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you--unless, of course, you fail the test?
And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.
Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.
For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.
We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection.
This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority--the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
All the saints send their greetings.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
These were the sons of David born to him in Hebron: The firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel; the second, Daniel the son of Abigail of Carmel;
the third, Absalom the son of Maacah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith;
the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah.
These six were born to David in Hebron, where he reigned seven years and six months. David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years,
and these were the children born to him there: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were by Bathsheba daughter of Ammiel.
There were also Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet,
Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia,
Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet--nine in all.
All these were the sons of David, besides his sons by his concubines. And Tamar was their sister.
Solomon's son was Rehoboam, Abijah his son, Asa his son, Jehoshaphat his son,
Jehoram his son, Ahaziah his son, Joash his son,
Amaziah his son, Azariah his son, Jotham his son,
Ahaz his son, Hezekiah his son, Manasseh his son,
Amon his son, Josiah his son.
The sons of Josiah: Johanan the firstborn, Jehoiakim the second son, Zedekiah the third, Shallum the fourth.
The successors of Jehoiakim: Jehoiachin his son, and Zedekiah.
The descendants of Jehoiachin the captive: Shealtiel his son,
Malkiram, Pedaiah, Shenazzar, Jekamiah, Hoshama and Nedabiah.
The sons of Pedaiah: Zerubbabel and Shimei. The sons of Zerubbabel: Meshullam and Hananiah. Shelomith was their sister.
There were also five others: Hashubah, Ohel, Berekiah, Hasadiah and Jushab-Hesed.
The descendants of Hananiah: Pelatiah and Jeshaiah, and the sons of Rephaiah, of Arnan, of Obadiah and of Shecaniah.
The descendants of Shecaniah: Shemaiah and his sons: Hattush, Igal, Bariah, Neariah and Shaphat--six in all.
The sons of Neariah: Elioenai, Hizkiah and Azrikam--three in all.
The sons of Elioenai: Hodaviah, Eliashib, Pelaiah, Akkub, Johanan, Delaiah and Anani--seven in all.
The descendants of Judah: Perez, Hezron, Carmi, Hur and Shobal.
Reaiah son of Shobal was the father of Jahath, and Jahath the father of Ahumai and Lahad. These were the clans of the Zorathites.
These were the sons of Etam: Jezreel, Ishma and Idbash. Their sister was named Hazzelelponi.
Penuel was the father of Gedor, and Ezer the father of Hushah. These were the descendants of Hur, the firstborn of Ephrathah and father of Bethlehem.
Ashhur the father of Tekoa had two wives, Helah and Naarah.
Naarah bore him Ahuzzam, Hepher, Temeni and Haahashtari. These were the descendants of Naarah.
The sons of Helah: Zereth, Zohar, Ethnan,
and Koz, who was the father of Anub and Hazzobebah and of the clans of Aharhel son of Harum.
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain."
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.
Kelub, Shuhah's brother, was the father of Mehir, who was the father of Eshton.
Eshton was the father of Beth Rapha, Paseah and Tehinnah the father of Ir Nahash. These were the men of Recah.
The sons of Kenaz: Othniel and Seraiah. The sons of Othniel: Hathath and Meonothai.
Meonothai was the father of Ophrah. Seraiah was the father of Joab, the father of Ge Harashim. It was called this because its people were craftsmen.
The sons of Caleb son of Jephunneh: Iru, Elah and Naam. The son of Elah: Kenaz.
The sons of Jehallelel: Ziph, Ziphah, Tiria and Asarel.
The sons of Ezrah: Jether, Mered, Epher and Jalon. One of Mered's wives gave birth to Miriam, Shammai and Ishbah the father of Eshtemoa.
(His Judean wife gave birth to Jered the father of Gedor, Heber the father of Soco, and Jekuthiel the father of Zanoah.) These were the children of Pharaoh's daughter Bithiah, whom Mered had married.
The sons of Hodiah's wife, the sister of Naham: the father of Keilah the Garmite, and Eshtemoa the Maacathite.
The sons of Shimon: Amnon, Rinnah, Ben-Hanan and Tilon. The descendants of Ishi: Zoheth and Ben-Zoheth.
The sons of Shelah son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, Laadah the father of Mareshah and the clans of the linen workers at Beth Ashbea,
Jokim, the men of Cozeba, and Joash and Saraph, who ruled in Moab and Jashubi Lehem. (These records are from ancient times.)
They were the potters who lived at Netaim and Gederah; they stayed there and worked for the king.
The descendants of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Jarib, Zerah and Shaul;
Shallum was Shaul's son, Mibsam his son and Mishma his son.
The descendants of Mishma: Hammuel his son, Zaccur his son and Shimei his son.
Shimei had sixteen sons and six daughters, but his brothers did not have many children; so their entire clan did not become as numerous as the people of Judah.
They lived in Beersheba, Moladah, Hazar Shual,
Bilhah, Ezem, Tolad,
Bethuel, Hormah, Ziklag,
Beth Marcaboth, Hazar Susim, Beth Biri and Shaaraim. These were their towns until the reign of David.
Their surrounding villages were Etam, Ain, Rimmon, Token and Ashan--five towns--
and all the villages around these towns as far as Baalath. These were their settlements. And they kept a genealogical record.
Meshobab, Jamlech, Joshah son of Amaziah,
Joel, Jehu son of Joshibiah, the son of Seraiah, the son of Asiel,
also Elioenai, Jaakobah, Jeshohaiah, Asaiah, Adiel, Jesimiel, Benaiah,
and Ziza son of Shiphi, the son of Allon, the son of Jedaiah, the son of Shimri, the son of Shemaiah.
The men listed above by name were leaders of their clans. Their families increased greatly,
and they went to the outskirts of Gedor to the east of the valley in search of pasture for their flocks.
They found rich, good pasture, and the land was spacious, peaceful and quiet. Some Hamites had lived there formerly.
The men whose names were listed came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. They attacked the Hamites in their dwellings and also the Meunites who were there and completely destroyed them, as is evident to this day. Then they settled in their place, because there was pasture for their flocks.
And five hundred of these Simeonites, led by Pelatiah, Neariah, Rephaiah and Uzziel, the sons of Ishi, invaded the hill country of Seir.
They killed the remaining Amalekites who had escaped, and they have lived there to this day.
"I will sweep away everything from the face of the earth," declares the LORD.
"I will sweep away both men and animals; I will sweep away the birds of the air and the fish of the sea. The wicked will have only heaps of rubble when I cut off man from the face of the earth," declares the LORD.
"I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all who live in Jerusalem. I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal, the names of the pagan and the idolatrous priests--
those who bow down on the roofs to worship the starry host, those who bow down and swear by the LORD and who also swear by Molech,
those who turn back from following the LORD and neither seek the LORD nor inquire of him.
Be silent before the Sovereign LORD, for the day of the LORD is near. The LORD has prepared a sacrifice; he has consecrated those he has invited.
On the day of the LORD's sacrifice I will punish the princes and the king's sons and all those clad in foreign clothes.
On that day I will punish all who avoid stepping on the threshold, who fill the temple of their gods with violence and deceit.
"On that day," declares the LORD, "a cry will go up from the Fish Gate, wailing from the New Quarter, and a loud crash from the hills.
Wail, you who live in the market district; all your merchants will be wiped out, all who trade with silver will be ruined.
At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left on its dregs, who think, 'The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad.'
Their wealth will be plundered, their houses demolished. They will build houses but not live in them; they will plant vineyards but not drink the wine.
"The great day of the LORD is near-- near and coming quickly. Listen! The cry on the day of the LORD will be bitter, the shouting of the warrior there.
That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness,
a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers.
I will bring distress on the people and they will walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like filth.
Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the LORD's wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in the earth."