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Jeremiah 22; Jeremiah 23; Titus 1

1 This is what the Lord says: "Go down to the palace of the king of Judah and announce this word there. 2 You are to say: Hear the word of the Lord, king of Judah, you who sit on the throne of David-you, your officers, and your people who enter these gates. 3 This is what the Lord says: Administer justice and righteousness. Rescue the victim of robbery from the hand of his oppressor. Don't exploit or brutalize the alien, the fatherless, or the widow. Don't shed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you conscientiously carry out this word, then kings sitting on David's throne will enter through the gates of this palace riding on chariots and horses-they, their officers, and their people. 5 But if you do not obey these words, then I swear by Myself"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"that this house will become a ruin." 6 For this is what the Lord says concerning the house of the king of Judah: You are like Gilead to Me, [or] the summit of Lebanon, but I will certainly turn you into a wilderness, uninhabited cities. 7 I will appoint destroyers against you, each with his weapons. They will cut down the choicest of your cedars and throw them into the fire. 8 "Many nations will pass by this city and ask one another: Why did the Lord do such a thing to this great city? 9 They will answer: Because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord their God and worshiped and served other gods." 10 Do not weep for the dead; do not mourn for him. Weep bitterly for the one who has gone away, for he will never return again and see his native land. 11 For this is what the Lord says concerning Shallum son of Josiah, king of Judah, who succeeded Josiah his father as king: "He has left this place-he will never return here again, 12 but he will die in the place where they deported him, never seeing this land again." 13 Woe for the one who builds his palace through unrighteousness, his upper rooms through injustice, who makes his fellow man serve without pay and will not give him his wages, 14 who says: I will build myself a massive palace, with spacious upper rooms. He will cut windows in it, and it will be paneled with cedar and painted with vermilion. 15 Are you a king because you excel in cedar? Your own father, did he not eat and drink? He administered justice and righteousness, then it went well with him. 16 He took up the case of the poor and needy, then it went well. Is this not what it means to know Me? [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. 17 But you have eyes and heart for nothing except your own unjust gain, shedding innocent blood and committing extortion and oppression. 18 Therefore, this is what the Lord says concerning Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah: They will not mourn for him, [saying,] Woe, my brother! or Woe, [my] sister! They will not mourn for him, saying, Woe, lord! Woe, his majesty! 19 He will be buried [like] a donkey, dragged off and thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem. 20 Go up to Lebanon and cry out; raise your voice in Bashan; cry out from Abarim, for all your lovers have been crushed. 21 I spoke to you when you were secure. You said: I will not listen. This has been your way since youth; indeed, you have never listened to Me. 22 The wind will take charge of all your shepherds, and your lovers will go into captivity. Then you will be ashamed and humiliated because of all your evil. 23 You residents of Lebanon, nestled among the cedars, how you will groan when labor pains come on you, agony like a woman in labor. 24 "As I live," says the Lord, "though you, Coniah son of Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, were a signet ring on My right hand, I would tear you from it. 25 In fact, I will hand you over to those you dread, who want to take your life, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and the Chaldeans. 26 I will hurl you and the mother who gave birth to you into another land, where neither of you were born, and there you will both die. 27 They will never return to the land they long to return to." 28 Is this man Coniah a despised, shattered pot, a jar no one wants? Why are he and his descendants hurled out and cast into a land they have not known? 29 Earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the Lord! 30 This is what the Lord says: Record this man as childless, a man who will not be successful in his lifetime. None of his descendants will succeed in sitting on the throne of David or ruling again in Judah.
1 "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!" [This is] the Lord's declaration. 2 "Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says about the shepherds who shepherd My people: You have scattered My flock, banished them, and have not attended to them. I will attend to you because of your evil acts"-the Lord's declaration. 3 "I will gather the remnant of My flock from all the lands where I have banished them, and I will return them to their grazing land. They will become fruitful and numerous. 4 I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them. They will no longer be afraid or dismayed, nor will any be missing." [This is] the Lord's declaration. 5 "The days are coming"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"when I will raise up a righteous Branch of David. He will reign wisely as king and administer justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. This is what He will be named: The Lord Is Our Righteousness. 7 The days are coming"-the Lord's declaration-"when it will no longer be said: As the Lord lives who brought the Israelites from the land of Egypt, 8 but: As the Lord lives, who brought and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the land of the north and from all the other countries where I had banished them. They will dwell once more in their own land." 9 Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me, and all my bones tremble. I have become like a drunkard, like a man overcome by wine, because of the Lord, because of His holy words. 10 For the land is full of adulterers; the land mourns because of the curse, and the grazing lands in the wilderness have dried up. Their way of life has become evil, and their power is not rightly used 11 because both prophet and priest are ungodly, even in My house I have found their evil. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. 12 Therefore, their way will be to them like slippery paths in the gloom. They will be driven away and fall down there, for I will bring disaster on them, the year of their punishment. [This is] the Lord's declaration. 13 Among the prophets of Samaria I saw something disgusting: They prophesied by Baal and led My people Israel astray. 14 Among the prophets of Jerusalem also I saw a horrible thing: They commit adultery and walk in lies. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, and none turns his back on evil. They are all like Sodom to Me; Jerusalem's residents are like Gomorrah. 15 Therefore, this is what the Lord of Hosts says concerning the prophets: I am about to feed them wormwood and give them poisoned water to drink, for from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land. 16 This is what the Lord of Hosts says: "Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They are making you worthless. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the Lord's mouth. 17 They keep on saying to those who despise Me: The Lord has said: You will have peace. To everyone who walks in the stubbornness of his heart they have said, No harm will come to you." 18 For who has stood in the council of the Lord to see and hear His word? Who has paid attention to His word and obeyed? 19 Look, a storm from the Lord! Wrath has gone forth, a whirling storm. It will whirl about the head of the wicked. 20 The Lord's anger will not turn back until He has completely fulfilled the purposes of His heart. In time to come you will understand it clearly. 21 I did not send these prophets, yet they ran [with a message]. I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. 22 If they had really stood in My council, they would have enabled My people to hear My words and would have turned them back from their evil ways and their evil deeds. 23 "Am I a God who is only near"-[this is] the Lord's declaration-"and not a God who is far away? 24 Can a man hide himself in secret places where I cannot see him?"-the Lord's declaration. "Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?"-the Lord's declaration. 25 "I have heard what the prophets who prophesy a lie in My name have said: I had a dream! I had a dream! 26 How long will this continue in the minds of the prophets prophesying lies, prophets of the deceit of their own minds? 27 Through their dreams that they tell one another, they make plans to cause My people to forget My name as their fathers forgot My name through Baal worship. 28 The prophet who has [only] a dream should recount the dream, but the one who has My word should speak My word truthfully, for what is straw [compared] to grain?"-the Lord's declaration. 29 "Is not My word like fire"-the Lord's declaration-"and like a sledgehammer that pulverizes rock? 30 Therefore, take note! I am against the prophets"-the Lord's declaration-"who steal My words from each other. 31 I am against the prophets"-the Lord's declaration-"who use their own tongues to deliver an oracle. 32 I am against those who prophesy false dreams"-the Lord's declaration-"telling them and leading My people astray with their falsehoods and their boasting. It was not I who sent or commanded them, and they are of no benefit at all to these people"-[this is] the Lord's declaration. 33 "Now when these people or a prophet or a priest asks you: What is the burden of the Lord? you will respond to them: What is the burden? I will throw you away"-[this is] the Lord's declaration. 34 "As for the prophet, priest, or people who say: The burden of the Lord, I will punish that man and his household. 35 This is what each man is to say to his friend and to his brother: What has the Lord answered? or What has the Lord spoken? 36 But no longer refer to the burden of the Lord, for each man's word becomes his burden and you pervert the words of the living God, the Lord of Hosts, our God 37 You must say to the prophet: What has the Lord answered you? and What has the Lord spoken? 38 But if you say: The burden of the Lord, then this is what the Lord says: Because you have said, The burden of the Lord, and I specifically told you not to say, The burden of the Lord 39 I will surely forget you and throw away from My presence both you and the city that I gave you and your fathers. 40 I will bring on you everlasting shame and humiliation that will never be forgotten."
1 Paul, a slave of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ for the faith of God's elect and the knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness, 2 in the hope of eternal life that God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 and has in His own time revealed His message in the proclamation that I was entrusted with by the command of God our Savior: 4 To Titus, my true child in our common faith. Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. 5 The reason I left you in Crete was to set right what was left undone and, as I directed you, to appoint elders in every town: 6 someone who is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of wildness or rebellion. 7 For an overseer, as God's manager, must be blameless, not arrogant, not quick tempered, not addicted to wine, not a bully, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it. 10 For there are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those from Judaism. 11 It is necessary to silence them; they overthrow whole households by teaching for dishonest gain what they should not. 12 One of their very own prophets said, Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.). 13 This testimony is true. So, rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith 14 and may not pay attention to Jewish myths and the commandments of men who reject the truth. 15 To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.
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