1Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.2“Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—3“so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.6Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart.7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people,8because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.9And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.19Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel,20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
21Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing.22I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you.23Peace to the brothers and sisters, and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.24Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
1The word of the LORD came to me:2“Son of man, set forth an allegory and tell it to the Israelites as a parable.3Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: A great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon. Taking hold of the top of a cedar,4he broke off its topmost shoot and carried it away to a land of merchants, where he planted it in a city of traders.5“ ‘He took one of the seedlings of the land and put it in fertile soil. He planted it like a willow by abundant water,6and it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine. Its branches turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out leafy boughs.7“ ‘But there was another great eagle with powerful wings and full plumage. The vine now sent out its roots toward him from the plot where it was planted and stretched out its branches to him for water.8It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches, bear fruit and become a splendid vine.’9“Say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Will it thrive? Will it not be uprooted and stripped of its fruit so that it withers? All its new growth will wither. It will not take a strong arm or many people to pull it up by the roots.10It has been planted, but will it thrive? Will it not wither completely when the east wind strikes it—wither away in the plot where it grew?’ ”11Then the word of the LORD came to me:12“Say to this rebellious people, ‘Do you not know what these things mean?’ Say to them: ‘The king of Babylon went to Jerusalem and carried off her king and her nobles, bringing them back with him to Babylon.13Then he took a member of the royal family and made a treaty with him, putting him under oath. He also carried away the leading men of the land,14so that the kingdom would be brought low, unable to rise again, surviving only by keeping his treaty.15But the king rebelled against him by sending his envoys to Egypt to get horses and a large army. Will he succeed? Will he who does such things escape? Will he break the treaty and yet escape?16“ ‘As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, he shall die in Babylon, in the land of the king who put him on the throne, whose oath he despised and whose treaty he broke.17Pharaoh with his mighty army and great horde will be of no help to him in war, when ramps are built and siege works erected to destroy many lives.18He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. Because he had given his hand in pledge and yet did all these things, he shall not escape.19“ ‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: As surely as I live, I will repay him for despising my oath and breaking my covenant.20I will spread my net for him, and he will be caught in my snare. I will bring him to Babylon and execute judgment on him there because he was unfaithful to me.21All his choice troops will fall by the sword, and the survivors will be scattered to the winds. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken.22“ ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I myself will take a shoot from the very top of a cedar and plant it; I will break off a tender sprig from its topmost shoots and plant it on a high and lofty mountain.23On the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it; it will produce branches and bear fruit and become a splendid cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it; they will find shelter in the shade of its branches.24All the trees of the forest will know that I the LORD bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish. “ ‘I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it.’ ”
1Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden.The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary.2They stoop and bow down together; unable to rescue the burden, they themselves go off into captivity.3“Listen to me, you descendants of Jacob, all the remnant of the people of Israel, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born.4Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.5“With whom will you compare me or count me equal? To whom will you liken me that we may be compared?6Some pour out gold from their bags and weigh out silver on the scales; they hire a goldsmith to make it into a god, and they bow down and worship it.7They lift it to their shoulders and carry it; they set it up in its place, and there it stands. From that spot it cannot move. Even though someone cries out to it, it cannot answer; it cannot save them from their troubles.8“Remember this, keep it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels.9Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me.10I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’11From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.12Listen to me, you stubborn-hearted, you who are now far from my righteousness.13I am bringing my righteousness near, it is not far away; and my salvation will not be delayed. I will grant salvation to Zion, my splendor to Israel.