Hear this word the LORD has spoken against you, O people of Israel--against the whole family I brought up out of Egypt:
"You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your sins."
Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?
Does a lion roar in the thicket when he has no prey? Does he growl in his den when he has caught nothing?
Does a bird fall into a trap on the ground where no snare has been set? Does a trap spring up from the earth when there is nothing to catch?
When a trumpet sounds in a city, do not the people tremble? When disaster comes to a city, has not the LORD caused it?
Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.
The lion has roared-- who will not fear? The Sovereign LORD has spoken-- who can but prophesy?
Proclaim to the fortresses of Ashdod and to the fortresses of Egypt: "Assemble yourselves on the mountains of Samaria; see the great unrest within her and the oppression among her people."
"They do not know how to do right," declares the LORD, "who hoard plunder and loot in their fortresses."
Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "An enemy will overrun the land; he will pull down your strongholds and plunder your fortresses."
This is what the LORD says: "As a shepherd saves from the lion's mouth only two leg bones or a piece of an ear, so will the Israelites be saved, those who sit in Samaria on the edge of their beds and in Damascus on their couches."
"Hear this and testify against the house of Jacob," declares the Lord, the LORD God Almighty.
"On the day I punish Israel for her sins, I will destroy the altars of Bethel; the horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground.
I will tear down the winter house along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed and the mansions will be demolished," declares the LORD.
Hear this word, you cows of Bashan on Mount Samaria, you women who oppress the poor and crush the needy and say to your husbands, "Bring us some drinks!"
The Sovereign LORD has sworn by his holiness: "The time will surely come when you will be taken away with hooks, the last of you with fishhooks.
You will each go straight out through breaks in the wall, and you will be cast out toward Harmon, " declares the LORD.
"Go to Bethel and sin; go to Gilgal and sin yet more. Bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three years.
Burn leavened bread as a thank offering and brag about your freewill offerings-- boast about them, you Israelites, for this is what you love to do," declares the Sovereign LORD.
"I gave you empty stomachs in every city and lack of bread in every town, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD.
"I also withheld rain from you when the harvest was still three months away. I sent rain on one town, but withheld it from another. One field had rain; another had none and dried up.
People staggered from town to town for water but did not get enough to drink, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD.
"Many times I struck your gardens and vineyards, I struck them with blight and mildew. Locusts devoured your fig and olive trees, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD.
"I sent plagues among you as I did to Egypt. I killed your young men with the sword, along with your captured horses. I filled your nostrils with the stench of your camps, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD.
"I overthrew some of you as I overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. You were like a burning stick snatched from the fire, yet you have not returned to me," declares the LORD.
"Therefore this is what I will do to you, Israel, and because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel."
He who forms the mountains, creates the wind, and reveals his thoughts to man, he who turns dawn to darkness, and treads the high places of the earth-- the LORD God Almighty is his name.
In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.
While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus.
When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.
They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus,
who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God.
But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith.
Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said,
"You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?
Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun." Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.
From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down.
After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, "Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak."
Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: "Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!
The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that country,
he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert,
he overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to his people as their inheritance.
All this took about 450 years. "After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet.
Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years.
After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'
"From this man's descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised.
Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel.
As John was completing his work, he said: 'Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.'
"Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.
The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath.
Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed.
When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb.
But God raised him from the dead,
and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.
"We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers
he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm: " 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father. '
The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words: " 'I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.'
So it is stated elsewhere: " 'You will not let your Holy One see decay.'
"For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed.
But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.
"Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.
Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.
Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:
" 'Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.' "
As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next Sabbath.
When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
On the next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and talked abusively against what Paul was saying.
Then Paul and Barnabas answered them boldly: "We had to speak the word of God to you first. Since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.
For this is what the Lord has commanded us: " 'I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.' "
When the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and honored the word of the Lord; and all who were appointed for eternal life believed.
The word of the Lord spread through the whole region.
But the Jews incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium.
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.