1Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads.2And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.3And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth.4These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.5No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless.
6Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people.7He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”8A second angel followed and said, “ ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great,’ which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”9A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand,10they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.11And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.”12This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.13Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
14I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.15Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”16So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.17Another angel came out of the temple in heaven, and he too had a sharp sickle.18Still another angel, who had charge of the fire, came from the altar and called in a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, “Take your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of grapes from the earth’s vine, because its grapes are ripe.”19The angel swung his sickle on the earth, gathered its grapes and threw them into the great winepress of God’s wrath.20They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the press, rising as high as the horses’ bridles for a distance of 1,600 stadia.
1On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance.2When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter.3Then the king asked, “What is it, Queen Esther? What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you.”4“If it pleases the king,” replied Esther, “let the king, together with Haman, come today to a banquet I have prepared for him.”5“Bring Haman at once,” the king said, “so that we may do what Esther asks.” So the king and Haman went to the banquet Esther had prepared.6As they were drinking wine, the king again asked Esther, “Now what is your petition? It will be given you. And what is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be granted.”7Esther replied, “My petition and my request is this:8If the king regards me with favor and if it pleases the king to grant my petition and fulfill my request, let the king and Haman come tomorrow to the banquet I will prepare for them. Then I will answer the king’s question.”
9Haman went out that day happy and in high spirits. But when he saw Mordecai at the king’s gate and observed that he neither rose nor showed fear in his presence, he was filled with rage against Mordecai.10Nevertheless, Haman restrained himself and went home. Calling together his friends and Zeresh, his wife,11Haman boasted to them about his vast wealth, his many sons, and all the ways the king had honored him and how he had elevated him above the other nobles and officials.12“And that’s not all,” Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow.13But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.”14His wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a pole set up, reaching to a height of fifty cubits, and ask the king in the morning to have Mordecai impaled on it. Then go with the king to the banquet and enjoy yourself.” This suggestion delighted Haman, and he had the pole set up.
1That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him.2It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.3“What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked. “Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered.4The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him.5His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.” “Bring him in,” the king ordered.6When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?” Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?”7So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor,8have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head.9Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’ ”10“Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”11So Haman got the robe and the horse. He robed Mordecai, and led him on horseback through the city streets, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!”12Afterward Mordecai returned to the king’s gate. But Haman rushed home, with his head covered in grief,13and told Zeresh his wife and all his friends everything that had happened to him. His advisers and his wife Zeresh said to him, “Since Mordecai, before whom your downfall has started, is of Jewish origin, you cannot stand against him—you will surely come to ruin!”
24Then they despised the pleasant land; they did not believe his promise.25They grumbled in their tents and did not obey the LORD.26So he swore to them with uplifted hand that he would make them fall in the wilderness,27make their descendants fall among the nations and scatter them throughout the lands.28They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods;29they aroused the LORD’s anger by their wicked deeds, and a plague broke out among them.30But Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was checked.31This was credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come.32By the waters of Meribah they angered the LORD, and trouble came to Moses because of them;33for they rebelled against the Spirit of God, and rash words came from Moses’ lips.34They did not destroy the peoples as the LORD had commanded them,35but they mingled with the nations and adopted their customs.36They worshiped their idols, which became a snare to them.37They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to false gods.38They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood.39They defiled themselves by what they did; by their deeds they prostituted themselves.40Therefore the LORD was angry with his people and abhorred his inheritance.41He gave them into the hands of the nations, and their foes ruled over them.42Their enemies oppressed them and subjected them to their power.43Many times he delivered them, but they were bent on rebellion and they wasted away in their sin.44Yet he took note of their distress when he heard their cry;45for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented.46He caused all who held them captive to show them mercy.47Save us, LORD our God, and gather us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.48Praise be to the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD.