1I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me!2I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.3But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.4For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the Spirit you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough.5I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.”6I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.7Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge?8I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you.9And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.10As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine.11Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!12And I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from under those who want an opportunity to be considered equal with us in the things they boast about.13For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ.14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.15It is not surprising, then, if his servants also masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
16I repeat: Let no one take me for a fool. But if you do, then tolerate me just as you would a fool, so that I may do a little boasting.17In this self-confident boasting I am not talking as the Lord would, but as a fool.18Since many are boasting in the way the world does, I too will boast.19You gladly put up with fools since you are so wise!20In fact, you even put up with anyone who enslaves you or exploits you or takes advantage of you or puts on airs or slaps you in the face.21To my shame I admit that we were too weak for that! Whatever anyone else dares to boast about—I am speaking as a fool—I also dare to boast about.22Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they Abraham’s descendants? So am I.23Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again.24Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one.25Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea,26I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers.27I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked.28Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.29Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn?30If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.31The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is to be praised forever, knows that I am not lying.32In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest me.33But I was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands.
1So in the ninth year of Zedekiah’s reign, on the tenth day of the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army. He encamped outside the city and built siege works all around it.2The city was kept under siege until the eleventh year of King Zedekiah.3By the ninth day of the fourth month the famine in the city had become so severe that there was no food for the people to eat.4Then the city wall was broken through, and the whole army fled at night through the gate between the two walls near the king’s garden, though the Babylonians were surrounding the city. They fled toward the Arabah,5but the Babylonian army pursued the king and overtook him in the plains of Jericho. All his soldiers were separated from him and scattered,6and he was captured. He was taken to the king of Babylon at Riblah, where sentence was pronounced on him.7They killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes. Then they put out his eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon.8On the seventh day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard, an official of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem.9He set fire to the temple of the LORD, the royal palace and all the houses of Jerusalem. Every important building he burned down.10The whole Babylonian army under the commander of the imperial guard broke down the walls around Jerusalem.11Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard carried into exile the people who remained in the city, along with the rest of the populace and those who had deserted to the king of Babylon.12But the commander left behind some of the poorest people of the land to work the vineyards and fields.13The Babylonians broke up the bronze pillars, the movable stands and the bronze Sea that were at the temple of the LORD and they carried the bronze to Babylon.14They also took away the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service.15The commander of the imperial guard took away the censers and sprinkling bowls—all that were made of pure gold or silver.16The bronze from the two pillars, the Sea and the movable stands, which Solomon had made for the temple of the LORD, was more than could be weighed.17Each pillar was eighteen cubits high. The bronze capital on top of one pillar was three cubits high and was decorated with a network and pomegranates of bronze all around. The other pillar, with its network, was similar.18The commander of the guard took as prisoners Seraiah the chief priest, Zephaniah the priest next in rank and the three doorkeepers.19Of those still in the city, he took the officer in charge of the fighting men, and five royal advisers. He also took the secretary who was chief officer in charge of conscripting the people of the land and sixty of the conscripts who were found in the city.20Nebuzaradan the commander took them all and brought them to the king of Babylon at Riblah.21There at Riblah, in the land of Hamath, the king had them executed. So Judah went into captivity, away from her land.22Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, to be over the people he had left behind in Judah.23When all the army officers and their men heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah as governor, they came to Gedaliah at Mizpah—Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan son of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, Jaazaniah the son of the Maakathite, and their men.24Gedaliah took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid of the Babylonian officials,” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.”25In the seventh month, however, Ishmael son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was of royal blood, came with ten men and assassinated Gedaliah and also the men of Judah and the Babylonians who were with him at Mizpah.26At this, all the people from the least to the greatest, together with the army officers, fled to Egypt for fear of the Babylonians.
27In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, he released Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison. He did this on the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth month.28He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honor higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon.29So Jehoiachin put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the king’s table.30Day by day the king gave Jehoiachin a regular allowance as long as he lived.
2Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.3For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.4“See, the enemy is puffed up; his desires are not upright— but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness —5indeed, wine betrays him; he is arrogant and never at rest. Because he is as greedy as the grave and like death is never satisfied, he gathers to himself all the nations and takes captive all the peoples.6“Will not all of them taunt him with ridicule and scorn, saying, “ ‘Woe to him who piles up stolen goods and makes himself wealthy by extortion! How long must this go on?’7Will not your creditors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their prey.8Because you have plundered many nations, the peoples who are left will plunder you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.9“Woe to him who builds his house by unjust gain, setting his nest on high to escape the clutches of ruin!10You have plotted the ruin of many peoples, shaming your own house and forfeiting your life.11The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.12“Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed and establishes a town by injustice!13Has not the LORD Almighty determined that the people’s labor is only fuel for the fire, that the nations exhaust themselves for nothing?14For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORDas the waters cover the sea.15“Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbors, pouring it from the wineskin till they are drunk, so that he can gaze on their naked bodies!16You will be filled with shame instead of glory. Now it is your turn! Drink and let your nakedness be exposed ! The cup from the LORD’s right hand is coming around to you, and disgrace will cover your glory.17The violence you have done to Lebanon will overwhelm you, and your destruction of animals will terrify you. For you have shed human blood; you have destroyed lands and cities and everyone in them.18“Of what value is an idol carved by a craftsman? Or an image that teaches lies? For the one who makes it trusts in his own creation; he makes idols that cannot speak.19Woe to him who says to wood, ‘Come to life!’ Or to lifeless stone, ‘Wake up!’ Can it give guidance? It is covered with gold and silver; there is no breath in it.”20The LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him.