Paul, an apostle--sent not from men nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead--
and all the brothers with me, To the churches in Galatia:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father,
to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--
which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned!
As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up.
I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.
For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.
I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased
to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man,
nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.
Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days.
I saw none of the other apostles--only James, the Lord's brother.
I assure you before God that what I am writing you is no lie.
Later I went to Syria and Cilicia.
I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.
They only heard the report: "The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy."
And they praised God because of me.
This is the word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the Philistines before Pharaoh attacked Gaza:
This is what the LORD says: "See how the waters are rising in the north; they will become an overflowing torrent. They will overflow the land and everything in it, the towns and those who live in them. The people will cry out; all who dwell in the land will wail
at the sound of the hoofs of galloping steeds, at the noise of enemy chariots and the rumble of their wheels. Fathers will not turn to help their children; their hands will hang limp.
For the day has come to destroy all the Philistines and to cut off all survivors who could help Tyre and Sidon. The LORD is about to destroy the Philistines, the remnant from the coasts of Caphtor.
Gaza will shave her head in mourning; Ashkelon will be silenced. O remnant on the plain, how long will you cut yourselves?
" 'Ah, sword of the LORD,' [ you cry,] 'how long till you rest? Return to your scabbard; cease and be still.'
But how can it rest when the LORD has commanded it, when he has ordered it to attack Ashkelon and the coast?"
Concerning Moab: This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Woe to Nebo, for it will be ruined. Kiriathaim will be disgraced and captured; the stronghold will be disgraced and shattered.
Moab will be praised no more; in Heshbon men will plot her downfall: 'Come, let us put an end to that nation.' You too, O Madmen, will be silenced; the sword will pursue you.
Listen to the cries from Horonaim, cries of great havoc and destruction.
Moab will be broken; her little ones will cry out.
They go up the way to Luhith, weeping bitterly as they go; on the road down to Horonaim anguished cries over the destruction are heard.
Flee! Run for your lives; become like a bush in the desert.
Since you trust in your deeds and riches, you too will be taken captive, and Chemosh will go into exile, together with his priests and officials.
The destroyer will come against every town, and not a town will escape. The valley will be ruined and the plateau destroyed, because the LORD has spoken.
Put salt on Moab, for she will be laid waste; her towns will become desolate, with no one to live in them.
"A curse on him who is lax in doing the LORD's work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed!
"Moab has been at rest from youth, like wine left on its dregs, not poured from one jar to another-- she has not gone into exile. So she tastes as she did, and her aroma is unchanged.
But days are coming," declares the LORD, "when I will send men who pour from jars, and they will pour her out; they will empty her jars and smash her jugs.
Then Moab will be ashamed of Chemosh, as the house of Israel was ashamed when they trusted in Bethel.
"How can you say, 'We are warriors, men valiant in battle'?
Moab will be destroyed and her towns invaded; her finest young men will go down in the slaughter," declares the King, whose name is the LORD Almighty.
"The fall of Moab is at hand; her calamity will come quickly.
Mourn for her, all who live around her, all who know her fame; say, 'How broken is the mighty scepter, how broken the glorious staff !'
"Come down from your glory and sit on the parched ground, O inhabitants of the Daughter of Dibon, for he who destroys Moab will come up against you and ruin your fortified cities.
Stand by the road and watch, you who live in Aroer. Ask the man fleeing and the woman escaping, ask them, 'What has happened?'
Moab is disgraced, for she is shattered. Wail and cry out! Announce by the Arnon that Moab is destroyed.
Judgment has come to the plateau-- to Holon, Jahzah and Mephaath,
to Dibon, Nebo and Beth Diblathaim,
to Kiriathaim, Beth Gamul and Beth Meon,
to Kerioth and Bozrah-- to all the towns of Moab, far and near.
Moab's horn is cut off; her arm is broken," declares the LORD.
"Make her drunk, for she has defied the LORD. Let Moab wallow in her vomit; let her be an object of ridicule.
Was not Israel the object of your ridicule? Was she caught among thieves, that you shake your head in scorn whenever you speak of her?
Abandon your towns and dwell among the rocks, you who live in Moab. Be like a dove that makes its nest at the mouth of a cave.
"We have heard of Moab's pride-- her overweening pride and conceit, her pride and arrogance and the haughtiness of her heart.
I know her insolence but it is futile," declares the LORD, "and her boasts accomplish nothing.
Therefore I wail over Moab, for all Moab I cry out, I moan for the men of Kir Hareseth.
I weep for you, as Jazer weeps, O vines of Sibmah. Your branches spread as far as the sea; they reached as far as the sea of Jazer. The destroyer has fallen on your ripened fruit and grapes.
Joy and gladness are gone from the orchards and fields of Moab. I have stopped the flow of wine from the presses; no one treads them with shouts of joy. Although there are shouts, they are not shouts of joy.
"The sound of their cry rises from Heshbon to Elealeh and Jahaz, from Zoar as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah, for even the waters of Nimrim are dried up.
In Moab I will put an end to those who make offerings on the high places and burn incense to their gods," declares the LORD.
"So my heart laments for Moab like a flute; it laments like a flute for the men of Kir Hareseth. The wealth they acquired is gone.
Every head is shaved and every beard cut off; every hand is slashed and every waist is covered with sackcloth.
On all the roofs in Moab and in the public squares there is nothing but mourning, for I have broken Moab like a jar that no one wants," declares the LORD.
"How shattered she is! How they wail! How Moab turns her back in shame! Moab has become an object of ridicule, an object of horror to all those around her."
This is what the LORD says: "Look! An eagle is swooping down, spreading its wings over Moab.
Kerioth will be captured and the strongholds taken. In that day the hearts of Moab's warriors will be like the heart of a woman in labor.
Moab will be destroyed as a nation because she defied the LORD.
Terror and pit and snare await you, O people of Moab," declares the LORD.
"Whoever flees from the terror will fall into a pit, whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare; for I will bring upon Moab the year of her punishment," declares the LORD.
"In the shadow of Heshbon the fugitives stand helpless, for a fire has gone out from Heshbon, a blaze from the midst of Sihon; it burns the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of the noisy boasters.
Woe to you, O Moab! The people of Chemosh are destroyed; your sons are taken into exile and your daughters into captivity.
"Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come," declares the LORD. Here ends the judgment on Moab.
I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.
When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me.
Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
I cry to you, O LORD; I say, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."
Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me.