Ezekiel 37; Ezekiel 38; Ezekiel 39; 2 Peter 2

1 I felt the powerful presence of the Lord, and his spirit took me and set me down in a valley where the ground was covered with bones. 2 He led me all around the valley, and I could see that there were very many bones and that they were very dry. 3 He said to me, "Mortal man, can these bones come back to life?" I replied, "Sovereign Lord, only you can answer that!" 4 He said, "Prophesy to the bones. Tell these dry bones to listen to the word of the Lord. 5 Tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying to them: I am going to put breath into you and bring you back to life. 6 I will give you sinews and muscles, and cover you with skin. I will put breath into you and bring you back to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord." 7 So I prophesied as I had been told. While I was speaking, I heard a rattling noise, and the bones began to join together. 8 While I watched, the bones were covered with sinews and muscles, and then with skin. But there was no breath in the bodies. 9 God said to me, "Mortal man, prophesy to the wind. Tell the wind that the Sovereign Lord commands it to come from every direction, to breathe into these dead bodies, and to bring them back to life." 10 So I prophesied as I had been told. Breath entered the bodies, and they came to life and stood up. There were enough of them to form an army. 11 God said to me, "Mortal man, the people of Israel are like these bones. They say that they are dried up, without any hope and with no future. 12 So prophesy to my people Israel and tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to open their graves. I am going to take them out and bring them back to the land of Israel. 13 When I open the graves where my people are buried and bring them out, they will know that I am the Lord. 14 I will put my breath in them, bring them back to life, and let them live in their own land. Then they will know that I am the Lord. I have promised that I would do this - and I will. I, the Lord, have spoken." 15 The Lord spoke to me again. 16 "Mortal man," he said, "take a wooden stick and write on it the words, "The kingdom of Judah.' Then take another stick and write on it the words, "The kingdom of Israel.' 17 Then hold the two sticks end to end in your hand so that they look like one stick. 18 When your people ask you to tell them what this means, 19 tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to take the stick representing Israel and put it with the one that represents Judah. Out of the two I will make one stick and hold it in my hand. 20 "Hold in your hand the two sticks and let the people see them. 21 Then tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to take all my people out of the nations where they have gone, gather them together, and bring them back to their own land. 22 I will unite them into one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. They will have one king to rule over them, and they will no longer be divided into two nations or split into two kingdoms. 23 They will not defile themselves with disgusting idols any more or corrupt themselves with sin. I will free them from all the ways in which they sin and betray me. I will purify them; they will be my people, and I will be their God. 24 A king like my servant David will be their king. They will all be united under one ruler and will obey my laws faithfully. 25 They will live on the land I gave to my servant Jacob, the land where their ancestors lived. They will live there forever, and so will their children and all their descendants. A king like my servant David will rule them forever. 26 I will make a covenant with them that guarantees their security forever. I will establish them and increase their population, and will see to it that my Temple stands forever in their land. 27 I will live there with them; I will be their God, and they will be my people. 28 When I place my Temple there to be among them forever, then the nations will know that I, the Lord, have chosen Israel to be my own people."
1 The Lord spoke to me. 2 "Mortal man," he said, "denounce Gog, chief ruler of the nations of Meshech and Tubal in the land of Magog. Denounce him 3 and tell him that I, the Sovereign Lord, am his enemy. 4 I will turn him around, put hooks in his jaws, and drag him and all his troops away. His army, with its horses and uniformed riders, is enormous, and every soldier carries a shield and is armed with a sword. 5 Troops from Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya are with him, and all have shields and helmets. 6 All the fighting men of the lands of Gomer and Beth Togarmah in the north are with him, and so are men from many other nations. 7 Tell him to get ready and have all his troops ready at his command. 8 After many years I will order him to invade a country where the people were brought back together from many nations and have lived without fear of war. He will invade the mountains of Israel, which were desolate and deserted so long, but where all the people now live in safety. 9 He and his army and the many nations with him will attack like a storm and cover the land like a cloud." 10 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to Gog: "When that time comes, you will start thinking up an evil plan. 11 You will decide to invade a helpless country where the people live in peace and security in unwalled towns that have no defenses. 12 You will plunder and loot the people who live in cities that were once in ruins. They have been gathered from the nations, and now they have livestock and property and live at the crossroads of the world. 13 The people of Sheba and Dedan and the merchants from the towns of Spain will ask you, "Have you assembled your army and attacked in order to loot and plunder? Do you intend to get silver and gold, livestock and property, and march off with all those spoils?' " 14 So the Sovereign Lord sent me to tell Gog what he was saying to him: "Now while my people Israel live in security, you will set out 15 to come from your place in the far north, leading a large, powerful army of soldiers from many nations, all of them on horseback. 16 You will attack my people Israel like a storm moving across the land. When the time comes, I will send you to invade my land in order to show the nations who I am, to show my holiness by what I do through you. 17 You are the one I was talking about long ago, when I announced through my servants, the prophets of Israel, that in days to come I would bring someone to attack Israel." The Sovereign Lord has spoken. 18 The Sovereign Lord says, "On the day when Gog invades Israel, I will become furious. 19 I declare in the heat of my anger that on that day there will be a severe earthquake in the land of Israel. 20 Every fish and bird, every animal large and small, and every human being on the face of the earth will tremble for fear of me. Mountains will fall, cliffs will crumble, and every wall will collapse. 21 I will terrify Gog with all sorts of calamities. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. His men will turn their swords against one another. 22 I will punish him with disease and bloodshed. Torrents of rain and hail, together with fire and sulfur, will pour down on him and his army and on the many nations that are on his side. 23 In this way I will show all the nations that I am great and that I am holy. They will know then that I am the Lord."
1 The Sovereign Lord said, "Mortal man, denounce Gog, the chief ruler of the nations of Meshech and Tubal, and tell him that I am his enemy. 2 I will turn him in a new direction and lead him out of the far north until he comes to the mountains of Israel. 3 Then I will knock his bow out of his left hand and his arrows out of his right hand. 4 Gog and his army and his allies will fall dead on the mountains of Israel, and I will let their bodies be food for all the birds and wild animals. 5 They will fall dead in the open field. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. 6 I will start a fire in the land of Magog and along all the seacoasts where people live undisturbed, and everyone will know that I am the Lord. 7 I will make sure that my people Israel know my holy name, and I will not let my name be disgraced any more. Then the nations will know that I, the Lord, am the holy God of Israel." 8 The Sovereign Lord said, "The day I spoke about is certain to come. 9 The people who live in the cities of Israel will go out and collect the abandoned weapons for firewood. They will build fires with the shields, bows, arrows, spears, and clubs, and have enough to last for seven years. 10 They will not have to gather firewood in the fields or cut down trees in the forest, because they will have the abandoned weapons to burn. They will loot and plunder those who looted and plundered them." The Sovereign Lord has spoken. 11 The Lord said, "When all this happens, I will give Gog a burial ground there in Israel, in Travelers' Valley, east of the Dead Sea. Gog and all his army will be buried there, and the valley will be called "The Valley of Gog's Army.' 12 It will take the Israelites seven months to bury all the corpses and make the land clean again. 13 Everyone in the land will help bury them, and they will be honored for this on the day of my victory. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken. 14 After the seven months are over, men will be chosen to travel through the land in order to find and bury those bodies remaining on the ground, so that they can make the land clean. 15 As they go up and down the country, every time they find a human bone, they will put a marker beside it so that the gravediggers can come and bury it in the Valley of Gog's Army. 16 (There will be a town nearby named after the army.) And so the land will be made clean again." 17 The Sovereign Lord said to me, "Mortal man, call all the birds and animals to come from all around to eat the sacrifice I am preparing for them. It will be a huge feast on the mountains of Israel, where they can eat meat and drink blood. 18 They are to eat the bodies of soldiers and drink the blood of the rulers of the earth, all of whom will be killed like rams or lambs or goats or fat bulls. 19 When I kill these people like sacrifices, the birds and animals are to eat all the fat they can hold and to drink blood until they are drunk. 20 At my table they will eat all they can hold of horses and their riders and of soldiers and fighting men. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken." 21 The Lord said, "I will let the nations see my glory and show them how I use my power to carry out my just decisions. 22 The Israelites will know from then on that I am the Lord their God. 23 And the nations will know that the Israelites went into exile because of the sins which they committed against me. I turned away from them and let their enemies defeat them and kill them in battle. 24 I gave them what they deserved for their uncleanness and their wickedness, and I turned away from them." 25 The Sovereign Lord said, "But now I will be merciful to Jacob's descendants, the people of Israel, and make them prosperous again. I will protect my holy name. 26 When they are once more living in safety in their own land, with no one to threaten them, they will be able to forget how they were disgraced for having betrayed me. 27 In order to show to the many nations that I am holy, I will bring my people back from all the countries where their enemies live. 28 Then my people will know that I am the Lord their God. They will know this, because I sent them into captivity and now gather them and bring them back into their own land, not leaving even one of them behind. 29 I will pour out my spirit on the people of Israel and never again turn away from them. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken."
1 False prophets appeared in the past among the people, and in the same way false teachers will appear among you. They will bring in destructive, untrue doctrines, and will deny the Master who redeemed them, and so they will bring upon themselves sudden destruction. 2 Even so, many will follow their immoral ways; and because of what they do, others will speak evil of the Way of truth. 3 In their greed these false teachers will make a profit out of telling you made-up stories. For a long time now their Judge has been ready, and their Destroyer has been wide awake! 4 God did not spare the angels who sinned, but threw them into hell, where they are kept chained in darkness, waiting for the Day of Judgment. 5 God did not spare the ancient world, but brought the flood on the world of godless people; the only ones he saved were Noah, who preached righteousness, and seven other people. 6 God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, destroying them with fire, and made them an example of what will happen to the godless. 7 He rescued Lot, a good man, who was distressed by the immoral conduct of lawless people. 8 That good man lived among them, and day after day he suffered agony as he saw and heard their evil actions. 9 And so the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials and how to keep the wicked under punishment for the Day of Judgment, 10 especially those who follow their filthy bodily lusts and despise God's authority. These false teachers are bold and arrogant, and show no respect for the glorious beings above; instead, they insult them. 11 Even the angels, who are so much stronger and mightier than these false teachers, do not accuse them with insults in the presence of the Lord. 12 But these people act by instinct, like wild animals born to be captured and killed; they attack with insults anything they do not understand. They will be destroyed like wild animals, 13 and they will be paid with suffering for the suffering they have caused. Pleasure for them is to do anything in broad daylight that will satisfy their bodily appetites; they are a shame and a disgrace as they join you in your meals, all the while enjoying their deceitful ways! 14 They want to look for nothing but the chance to commit adultery; their appetite for sin is never satisfied. They lead weak people into a trap. Their hearts are trained to be greedy. They are under God's curse! 15 They have left the straight path and have lost their way; they have followed the path taken by Balaam son of Beor, who loved the money he would get for doing wrong 16 and was rebuked for his sin. His donkey spoke with a human voice and stopped the prophet's insane action. 17 These people are like dried-up springs, like clouds blown along by a storm; God has reserved a place for them in the deepest darkness. 18 They make proud and stupid statements, and use immoral bodily lusts to trap those who are just beginning to escape from among people who live in error. 19 They promise them freedom while they themselves are slaves of destructive habits - for we are slaves of anything that has conquered us. 20 If people have escaped from the corrupting forces of the world through their knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are again caught and conquered by them, such people are in worse condition at the end than they were at the beginning. 21 It would have been much better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than to know it and then turn away from the sacred command that was given them. 22 What happened to them shows that the proverbs are true: "A dog goes back to what it has vomited" and "A pig that has been washed goes back to roll in the mud."
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