Ezekiel 30; Ezekiel 31; Ezekiel 32; 1 Peter 4

1 The Lord spoke to me again. 2 "Mortal man," he said, "prophesy and announce what I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying. You are to shout these words: A day of terror is coming! 3 The day is near, the day when the Lord will act, A day of clouds and trouble for the nations. 4 There will be war in Egypt And great distress in Ethiopia. Many in Egypt will be killed; The country will be plundered And left in ruins. 5 "That war will also kill the soldiers hired from Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, Arabia, Kub, and even from among my own people." 6 The Lord says, "From Migdol in the north to Aswan in the south, all Egypt's defenders will be killed in battle. Egypt's proud army will be destroyed. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. 7 The land will be the most desolate in the world, and its cities will be left totally in ruins. 8 When I set fire to Egypt and all her defenders are killed, then they will know that I am the Lord. 9 "When that day comes and Egypt is destroyed, I will send messengers in ships to arouse the unsuspecting people of Ethiopia, and they will be terrified. That day is coming!" 10 The Sovereign Lord says, "I will use King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia to put an end to Egypt's wealth. 11 He and his ruthless army will come to devastate the land. They will attack Egypt with swords, and the land will be full of corpses. 12 I will dry up the Nile and put Egypt under the power of evil people. Foreigners will devastate the whole country. I, the Lord, have spoken." 13 The Sovereign Lord says, "I will destroy the idols and the false gods in Memphis. There will be no one to rule Egypt, and I will terrify all the people. 14 I will make southern Egypt desolate and set fire to the city of Zoan in the north. I will punish the capital city of Thebes. 15 I will let the city of Pelusium, Egypt's great fortress, feel my fury. I will destroy the wealth of Thebes. 16 I will set fire to Egypt, and Pelusium will be in agony. The walls of Thebes will be broken down, and the city will be flooded. 17 The young men of the cities of Heliopolis and Bubastis will die in the war, and the other people will be taken prisoner. 18 Darkness will fall on Tahpanhes when I break the power of Egypt and put an end to the strength they were so proud of. A cloud will cover Egypt, and the people of all her cities will be taken prisoner. 19 When I punish Egypt in this way, they will know that I am the Lord." 20 On the seventh day of the first month of the eleventh year of our exile, the Lord spoke to me. 21 "Mortal man," he said, "I have broken the arm of the king of Egypt. No one has bandaged it or put it in a sling so that it could heal and be strong enough to hold a sword again. 22 Now then, this is what I, the Sovereign Lord, say: I am the enemy of the king of Egypt. I am going to break both his arms - the good one and the one already broken - and the sword will fall from his hand. 23 I am going to scatter the Egyptians throughout the world. 24 Then I will make the arms of the king of Babylonia strong and put my sword in his hands. But I will break the arms of the king of Egypt, and he will groan and die in front of his enemy. 25 Yes, I will weaken him and strengthen the king of Babylonia. When I give him my sword and he points it toward Egypt, everyone will know that I am the Lord. 26 I will scatter the Egyptians throughout the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord."
1 On the first day of the third month of the eleventh year of our exile, the Lord spoke to me. 2 "Mortal man," he said, "say to the king of Egypt and all his people: How powerful you are! What can I compare you to? 3 You are like a cedar in Lebanon, With beautiful, shady branches, A tree so tall it reaches the clouds. 4 There was water to make it grow, And underground rivers to feed it. They watered the place where the tree was growing And sent streams to all the trees of the forest. 5 Because it was well-watered, It grew taller than other trees. Its branches grew thick and long. 6 Every kind of bird built nests in its branches; The wild animals bore their young in its shelter; The nations of the world rested in its shade. 7 How beautiful the tree was - So tall, with such long branches. Its roots reached down to the deep-flowing streams. 8 No cedar in God's garden could compare with it. No fir tree ever had such branches, And no plane tree such limbs. No tree in God's own garden was so beautiful. 9 I made it beautiful, with spreading branches. It was the envy of every tree in Eden, the garden of God. 10 "Now then, I, the Sovereign Lord, will tell you what is going to happen to that tree that grew until it reached the clouds. As it grew taller it grew proud; 11 so I have rejected it and will let a foreign ruler have it. He will give that tree what it deserves for its wickedness. 12 Ruthless foreigners will cut it down and leave it. Its branches and broken limbs will fall on every mountain and valley in the country. All the nations that have been living in its shade will go away. 13 The birds will come and perch on the fallen tree, and the wild animals will walk over its branches. 14 And so from now on, no tree, no matter how well-watered it is, will grow that tall again or push its top through the clouds and reach such a height. All of them are doomed to die like mortals, doomed to join those who go down to the world of the dead." 15 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: "On the day when the tree goes to the world of the dead, I will make the underground waters cover it as a sign of mourning. I will hold back the rivers and not let the many streams flow out. Because the tree has died, I will bring darkness over the Lebanon Mountains and make all the trees of the forest wither. 16 When I send it down to the world of the dead, the noise of its downfall will shake the nations. All the trees of Eden and all the choice, well-watered trees of Lebanon who have gone to the world below will be pleased at its downfall. 17 They will go with it to the world of the dead to join those that have already fallen. And all who live under its shadow will be scattered among the nations. 18 "The tree is the king of Egypt and all his people. Not even the trees in Eden were so tall and impressive. But now, like the trees of Eden, it will go down to the world of the dead and join the ungodly and those killed in battle. I have spoken," says the Sovereign Lord.
1 On the first day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of our exile, the Lord spoke to me. 2 "Mortal man," he said, "give a solemn warning to the king of Egypt. Give him this message from me: You act like a lion among the nations, but you are more like a crocodile splashing through a river. You muddy the water with your feet and pollute the rivers. 3 When many nations gather, I will catch you in my net and let them drag the net ashore. 4 I will throw you out on the ground and bring all the birds and animals of the world to feed on you. 5 I will cover mountains and valleys with your rotting corpse. 6 I will pour out your blood until it spreads over the mountains and fills the streams. 7 When I destroy you, I will cover the sky and blot out the stars. The sun will hide behind the clouds, and the moon will give no light. 8 I will put out all the lights of heaven and plunge your world into darkness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. 9 "Many nations will be troubled when I spread the news of your destruction through countries you never heard of. 10 What I do to you will shock many nations. When I swing my sword, kings will shudder with fright. On the day you fall, all of them will tremble in fear for their own lives." 11 The Sovereign Lord says to the king of Egypt, "You will face the sword of the king of Babylonia. 12 I will let soldiers from cruel nations draw their swords and kill all your people. All your people and everything else that you are proud of will be destroyed. 13 I will slaughter your cattle at every water hole. There will be no people or cattle to muddy the water any more. 14 I will let your waters settle and become clear and let your rivers run calm. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. 15 When I make Egypt a desolate wasteland and destroy all who live there, they will know that I am the Lord. 16 This solemn warning will become a funeral song. The women of the nations will sing it to mourn for Egypt and all its people. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken." 17 On the fifteenth day of the first month of the twelfth year of our exile, the Lord spoke to me. 18 "Mortal man," he said, "mourn for all the many people of Egypt. Send them down with the other powerful nations to the world of the dead. 19 Say to them: "Do you think you are more beautiful than anyone else? You will go down to the world of the dead and lie there among the ungodly. 20 "The people of Egypt will fall with those who are killed in battle. A sword is ready to kill them all. 21 The greatest heroes and those who fought on the Egyptian side welcome the Egyptians to the world of the dead. They shout: "The ungodly who were killed in battle have come down here, and here they lie!' 22 "Assyria is there, with the graves of her soldiers all around. They were all killed in battle, 23 and their graves are in the deepest parts of the world of the dead. All her soldiers fell in battle, and their graves surround her tomb. Yet once they terrified the land of the living. 24 "Elam is there, with the graves of her soldiers all around. They were all killed in battle, and they went down, uncircumcised, to the world of the dead. In life they spread terror, but now they lie dead and disgraced. 25 Elam lies down among those killed in battle, and the graves of her soldiers are all around her. They are all uncircumcised, all killed in battle. In life they spread terror, but now they lie dead and disgraced, sharing the fate of those killed in battle. 26 "Meshech and Tubal are there, with the graves of their soldiers all around. They are all uncircumcised, all killed in battle. Yet once they terrified the living. 27 They were not given honorable burial like the heroes of ancient times, who went fully armed to the world of the dead, their swords placed under their heads and their shields over their bodies. These heroes were once powerful enough to terrify the living. 28 "That is how the Egyptians will lie crushed among the uncircumcised who were killed in battle. 29 "Edom is there with her kings and rulers. They were powerful soldiers, but now they lie in the world of the dead with the uncircumcised who were killed in battle. 30 "All the princes of the north are there, and so are the Sidonians. Their power once spread terror, but now they go down in disgrace with those killed in battle and are laid to rest, uncircumcised. They share the disgrace of those who go down to the world of the dead. 31 "The sight of all these who were killed in battle will be a comfort to the king of Egypt and his army," says the Sovereign Lord. 32 "I caused the king of Egypt to terrorize the living, but he and all his army will be killed and laid to rest with all the uncircumcised who die in battle." The Sovereign Lord has spoken.
1 Since Christ suffered physically, you too must strengthen yourselves with the same way of thinking that he had; because whoever suffers physically is no longer involved with sin. 2 From now on, then, you must live the rest of your earthly lives controlled by God's will and not by human desires. 3 You have spent enough time in the past doing what the heathen like to do. Your lives were spent in indecency, lust, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and the disgusting worship of idols. 4 And now the heathen are surprised when you do not join them in the same wild and reckless living, and so they insult you. 5 But they will have to give an account of themselves to God, who is ready to judge the living and the dead. 6 That is why the Good News was preached also to the dead, to those who had been judged in their physical existence as everyone is judged; it was preached to them so that in their spiritual existence they may live as God lives. 7 The end of all things is near. You must be self-controlled and alert, to be able to pray. 8 Above everything, love one another earnestly, because love covers over many sins. 9 Open your homes to each other without complaining. 10 Each one, as a good manager of God's different gifts, must use for the good of others the special gift he has received from God. 11 Those who preach must preach God's messages; those who serve must serve with the strength that God gives them, so that in all things praise may be given to God through Jesus Christ, to whom belong glory and power forever and ever. Amen. 12 My dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful test you are suffering, as though something unusual were happening to you. 13 Rather be glad that you are sharing Christ's sufferings, so that you may be full of joy when his glory is revealed. 14 Happy are you if you are insulted because you are Christ's followers; this means that the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is resting on you. 15 If you suffer, it must not be because you are a murderer or a thief or a criminal or a meddler in other people's affairs. 16 However, if you suffer because you are a Christian, don't be ashamed of it, but thank God that you bear Christ's name. 17 The time has come for judgment to begin, and God's own people are the first to be judged. If it starts with us, how will it end with those who do not believe the Good News from God? 18 As the scripture says, "It is difficult for good people to be saved; what, then, will become of godless sinners?" 19 So then, those who suffer because it is God's will for them, should by their good actions trust themselves completely to their Creator, who always keeps his promise.
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