"Go down, sit in the dust, Virgin Daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, Daughter of the Babylonians. No more will you be called tender or delicate.
Take millstones and grind flour; take off your veil. Lift up your skirts, bare your legs, and wade through the streams.
Your nakedness will be exposed and your shame uncovered. I will take vengeance; I will spare no one."
Our Redeemer--the LORD Almighty is his name-- is the Holy One of Israel.
"Sit in silence, go into darkness, Daughter of the Babylonians; no more will you be called queen of kingdoms.
I was angry with my people and desecrated my inheritance; I gave them into your hand, and you showed them no mercy. Even on the aged you laid a very heavy yoke.
You said, 'I will continue forever-- the eternal queen!' But you did not consider these things or reflect on what might happen.
"Now then, listen, you wanton creature, lounging in your security and saying to yourself, 'I am, and there is none besides me. I will never be a widow or suffer the loss of children.'
Both of these will overtake you in a moment, on a single day: loss of children and widowhood. They will come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and all your potent spells.
You have trusted in your wickedness and have said, 'No one sees me.' Your wisdom and knowledge mislead you when you say to yourself, 'I am, and there is none besides me.'
Disaster will come upon you, and you will not know how to conjure it away. A calamity will fall upon you that you cannot ward off with a ransom; a catastrophe you cannot foresee will suddenly come upon you.
"Keep on, then, with your magic spells and with your many sorceries, which you have labored at since childhood. Perhaps you will succeed, perhaps you will cause terror.
All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.
Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. Here are no coals to warm anyone; here is no fire to sit by.
That is all they can do for you-- these you have labored with and trafficked with since childhood. Each of them goes on in his error; there is not one that can save you.
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way?3I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.4Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them--do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem?5I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."6
Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any.7So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'8" 'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it.9If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' "
On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues,
and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.
When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity."13
Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath."
The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?16Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?"17
When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
Then Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to?19It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches."20
Again he asked, "What shall I compare the kingdom of God to?21It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."
Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?" He said to them,
24"Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.25Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' "But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'26"Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.'27"But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!'28"There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselves thrown out.29People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God.30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last."
At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, "Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you."
He replied, "Go tell that fox, 'I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.'33In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day--for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!34"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!35Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' "
One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched.
There in front of him was a man suffering from dropsy.
Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?"4
But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away.
Then he asked them, "If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?"6
And they had nothing to say.
When he noticed how the guests picked the places of honor at the table, he told them this parable:
8"When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited.9If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, 'Give this man your seat.' Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place.10But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, 'Friend, move up to a better place.' Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests.11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."12
Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid.13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."
When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, "Blessed is the man who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God."
Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests.17At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'18"But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'19"Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.'20"Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.'21"The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.'22" 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.'23"Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full.24I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.' "
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:
26"If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple.27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.28"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?29For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him,30saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'31"Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?32If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.33In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.34"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
"Listen to this, O house of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and come from the line of Judah, you who take oaths in the name of the LORD and invoke the God of Israel-- but not in truth or righteousness--
you who call yourselves citizens of the holy city and rely on the God of Israel-- the LORD Almighty is his name:
I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
For I knew how stubborn you were; the sinews of your neck were iron, your forehead was bronze.
Therefore I told you these things long ago; before they happened I announced them to you so that you could not say, 'My idols did them; my wooden image and metal god ordained them.'
You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you not admit them? "From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you.
They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today. So you cannot say, 'Yes, I knew of them.'
You have neither heard nor understood; from of old your ear has not been open. Well do I know how treacherous you are; you were called a rebel from birth.
For my own name's sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off.
See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another.
"Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last.
My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.
"Come together, all of you, and listen: Which of [the idols] has foretold these things? The LORD's chosen ally will carry out his purpose against Babylon; his arm will be against the Babylonians.
I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him, and he will succeed in his mission.
"Come near me and listen to this: "From the first announcement I have not spoken in secret; at the time it happens, I am there." And now the Sovereign LORD has sent me, with his Spirit.
This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.
Your descendants would have been like the sand, your children like its numberless grains; their name would never be cut off nor destroyed from before me."
Leave Babylon, flee from the Babylonians! Announce this with shouts of joy and proclaim it. Send it out to the ends of the earth; say, "The LORD has redeemed his servant Jacob."
They did not thirst when he led them through the deserts; he made water flow for them from the rock; he split the rock and water gushed out.
"There is no peace," says the LORD, "for the wicked."