Woe to you, Ariel, Ariel, the city where David settled! Add year to year and let your cycle of festivals go on.
Yet I will besiege Ariel; she will mourn and lament, she will be to me like an altar hearth.
I will encamp against you all around; I will encircle you with towers and set up my siege works against you.
Brought low, you will speak from the ground; your speech will mumble out of the dust. Your voice will come ghostlike from the earth; out of the dust your speech will whisper.
But your many enemies will become like fine dust, the ruthless hordes like blown chaff. Suddenly, in an instant,
the LORD Almighty will come with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with windstorm and tempest and flames of a devouring fire.
Then the hordes of all the nations that fight against Ariel, that attack her and her fortress and besiege her, will be as it is with a dream, with a vision in the night--
as when a hungry man dreams that he is eating, but he awakens, and his hunger remains; as when a thirsty man dreams that he is drinking, but he awakens faint, with his thirst unquenched. So will it be with the hordes of all the nations that fight against Mount Zion.
Be stunned and amazed, blind yourselves and be sightless; be drunk, but not from wine, stagger, but not from beer.
The LORD has brought over you a deep sleep: He has sealed your eyes (the prophets); he has covered your heads (the seers).
For you this whole vision is nothing but words sealed in a scroll. And if you give the scroll to someone who can read, and say to him, "Read this, please," he will answer, "I can't; it is sealed."
Or if you give the scroll to someone who cannot read, and say, "Read this, please," he will answer, "I don't know how to read."
The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.
Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish."
Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the LORD, who do their work in darkness and think, "Who sees us? Who will know?"
You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, "He did not make me"? Can the pot say of the potter, "He knows nothing"?
In a very short time, will not Lebanon be turned into a fertile field and the fertile field seem like a forest?
In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.
Once more the humble will rejoice in the LORD; the needy will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
The ruthless will vanish, the mockers will disappear, and all who have an eye for evil will be cut down--
those who with a word make a man out to be guilty, who ensnare the defender in court and with false testimony deprive the innocent of justice.
Therefore this is what the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, says to the house of Jacob: "No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale.
When they see among them their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction."
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples,
saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here.3If anyone asks you, 'Why are you doing this?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.' "4
They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it,
some people standing there asked, "What are you doing, untying that colt?"
They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go.
When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it.
Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields.
Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna! " "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"
"Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!" "Hosanna in the highest!"
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry.
Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs.
Then he said to the tree, "May no one ever eat fruit from you again." And his disciples heard him say it.
On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves,
and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.
And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: " 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations' ? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.' "18
The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching.
When evening came, they went out of the city.
In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots.
Peter remembered and said to Jesus, "Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!"
22"Have faith in God," Jesus answered.
23"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. "
They arrived again in Jerusalem, and while Jesus was walking in the temple courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders came to him.
"By what authority are you doing these things?" they asked. "And who gave you authority to do this?"
Jesus replied, "I will ask you one question. Answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things.30John's baptism--was it from heaven, or from men? Tell me!"31
They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Then why didn't you believe him?'
But if we say, 'From men' . . ." (They feared the people, for everyone held that John really was a prophet.)
So they answered Jesus, "We don't know." Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."
He then began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a pit for the winepress and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and went away on a journey.2At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard.3But they seized him, beat him and sent him away empty-handed.4Then he sent another servant to them; they struck this man on the head and treated him shamefully.5He sent still another, and that one they killed. He sent many others; some of them they beat, others they killed.6"He had one left to send, a son, whom he loved. He sent him last of all, saying, 'They will respect my son.'7"But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.'8So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard.9"What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.10Haven't you read this scripture: " 'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;11the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes' ?"12
Then they looked for a way to arrest him because they knew he had spoken the parable against them. But they were afraid of the crowd; so they left him and went away.
Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words.
They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or shouldn't we?" But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. "Why are you trying to trap me?" he asked. "Bring me a denarius and let me look at it."16
They brought the coin, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied.
Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him.
Then the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.
"Teacher," they said, "Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and have children for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers. The first one married and died without leaving any children.
The second one married the widow, but he also died, leaving no child. It was the same with the third.
In fact, none of the seven left any children. Last of all, the woman died too.
At the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?"
Jesus replied, "Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?25When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.26Now about the dead rising--have you not read in the book of Moses, in the account of the bush, how God said to him, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'27He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!"
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."32
"Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him.
To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, "How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David?36David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: " 'The Lord said to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet." '37David himself calls him 'Lord.' How then can he be his son?" The large crowd listened to him with delight.
As he taught, Jesus said, "Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted in the marketplaces,39and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets.40They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely."
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything--all she had to live on."
"Woe to the obstinate children," declares the LORD, "to those who carry out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin;
who go down to Egypt without consulting me; who look for help to Pharaoh's protection, to Egypt's shade for refuge.
But Pharaoh's protection will be to your shame, Egypt's shade will bring you disgrace.
Though they have officials in Zoan and their envoys have arrived in Hanes,
everyone will be put to shame because of a people useless to them, who bring neither help nor advantage, but only shame and disgrace."
An oracle concerning the animals of the Negev: Through a land of hardship and distress, of lions and lionesses, of adders and darting snakes, the envoys carry their riches on donkeys' backs, their treasures on the humps of camels, to that unprofitable nation,
to Egypt, whose help is utterly useless. Therefore I call her Rahab the Do-Nothing.
Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness.
These are rebellious people, deceitful children, children unwilling to listen to the LORD's instruction.
They say to the seers, "See no more visions!" and to the prophets, "Give us no more visions of what is right! Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.
Leave this way, get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!"
Therefore, this is what the Holy One of Israel says: "Because you have rejected this message, relied on oppression and depended on deceit,
this sin will become for you like a high wall, cracked and bulging, that collapses suddenly, in an instant.
It will break in pieces like pottery, shattered so mercilessly that among its pieces not a fragment will be found for taking coals from a hearth or scooping water out of a cistern."
This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: "In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.
You said, 'No, we will flee on horses.' Therefore you will flee! You said, 'We will ride off on swift horses.' Therefore your pursuers will be swift!
A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill."
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, "Away with you!"
He will also send you rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will graze in broad meadows.
The oxen and donkeys that work the soil will eat fodder and mash, spread out with fork and shovel.
In the day of great slaughter, when the towers fall, streams of water will flow on every high mountain and every lofty hill.
The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.
See, the Name of the LORD comes from afar, with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke; his lips are full of wrath, and his tongue is a consuming fire.
His breath is like a rushing torrent, rising up to the neck. He shakes the nations in the sieve of destruction; he places in the jaws of the peoples a bit that leads them astray.
And you will sing as on the night you celebrate a holy festival; your hearts will rejoice as when people go up with flutes to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel.
The LORD will cause men to hear his majestic voice and will make them see his arm coming down with raging anger and consuming fire, with cloudburst, thunderstorm and hail.
The voice of the LORD will shatter Assyria; with his scepter he will strike them down.
Every stroke the LORD lays on them with his punishing rod will be to the music of tambourines and harps, as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm.
Topheth has long been prepared; it has been made ready for the king. Its fire pit has been made deep and wide, with an abundance of fire and wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of burning sulfur, sets it ablaze.