1By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you—I, Paul, who am “timid” when face to face with you, but “bold” toward you when away!2I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world.3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.6And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.7You are judging by appearances. If anyone is confident that they belong to Christ, they should consider again that we belong to Christ just as much as they do.8So even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it.9I do not want to seem to be trying to frighten you with my letters.10For some say, “His letters are weighty and forceful, but in person he is unimpressive and his speaking amounts to nothing.”11Such people should realize that what we are in our letters when we are absent, we will be in our actions when we are present.12We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise.13We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the sphere of service God himself has assigned to us, a sphere that also includes you.14We are not going too far in our boasting, as would be the case if we had not come to you, for we did get as far as you with the gospel of Christ.15Neither do we go beyond our limits by boasting of work done by others. Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand,16so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. For we do not want to boast about work already done in someone else’s territory.17But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”18For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.
36Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother’s name was Zebidah daughter of Pedaiah; she was from Rumah.37And he did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as his predecessors had done.
1During Jehoiakim’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded the land, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. But then he turned against Nebuchadnezzar and rebelled.2The LORD sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the LORD proclaimed by his servants the prophets.3Surely these things happened to Judah according to the LORD’s command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done,4including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the LORD was not willing to forgive.5As for the other events of Jehoiakim’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah?6Jehoiakim rested with his ancestors. And Jehoiachin his son succeeded him as king.7The king of Egypt did not march out from his own country again, because the king of Babylon had taken all his territory, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River.
8Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan; she was from Jerusalem.9He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father had done.10At that time the officers of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon advanced on Jerusalem and laid siege to it,11and Nebuchadnezzar himself came up to the city while his officers were besieging it.12Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his attendants, his nobles and his officials all surrendered to him. In the eighth year of the reign of the king of Babylon, he took Jehoiachin prisoner.13As the LORD had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the LORD and from the royal palace, and cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the LORD.14He carried all Jerusalem into exile: all the officers and fighting men, and all the skilled workers and artisans—a total of ten thousand. Only the poorest people of the land were left.15Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. He also took from Jerusalem to Babylon the king’s mother, his wives, his officials and the prominent people of the land.16The king of Babylon also deported to Babylon the entire force of seven thousand fighting men, strong and fit for war, and a thousand skilled workers and artisans.17He made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place and changed his name to Zedekiah.
18Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah.19He did evil in the eyes of the LORD, just as Jehoiakim had done.20It was because of the LORD’s anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence. Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
2How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?3Why do you make me look at injustice? Why do you tolerate wrongdoing? Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds.4Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails. The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted.
5“Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.6I am raising up the Babylonians,that ruthless and impetuous people, who sweep across the whole earth to seize dwellings not their own.7They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor.8Their horses are swifter than leopards, fiercer than wolves at dusk. Their cavalry gallops headlong; their horsemen come from afar. They fly like an eagle swooping to devour;9they all come intent on violence. Their hordes advance like a desert wind and gather prisoners like sand.10They mock kings and scoff at rulers. They laugh at all fortified cities; by building earthen ramps they capture them.11Then they sweep past like the wind and go on— guilty people, whose own strength is their god.”
12LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, you will never die. You, LORD, have appointed them to execute judgment; you, my Rock, have ordained them to punish.13Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?14You have made people like the fish in the sea, like the sea creatures that have no ruler.15The wicked foe pulls all of them up with hooks, he catches them in his net, he gathers them up in his dragnet; and so he rejoices and is glad.16Therefore he sacrifices to his net and burns incense to his dragnet, for by his net he lives in luxury and enjoys the choicest food.17Is he to keep on emptying his net, destroying nations without mercy?