Haggai 1; Haggai 2; Revelation 17

1 During the second year that Darius was emperor of Persia, on the first day of the sixth month, the Lord spoke through the prophet Haggai. The message was for the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and for the High Priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak. 2 The Lord Almighty said to Haggai, "These people say that this is not the right time to rebuild the Temple." 3 The Lord then gave this message to the people through the prophet Haggai: 4 "My people, why should you be living in well-built houses while my Temple lies in ruins? 5 Don't you see what is happening to you? 6 You have planted much grain, but have harvested very little. You have food to eat, but not enough to make you full. You have wine to drink, but not enough to get drunk on! You have clothing, but not enough to keep you warm. And workers cannot earn enough to live on. 7 Can't you see why this has happened? 8 Now go up into the hills, get lumber, and rebuild the Temple; then I will be pleased and will be worshiped as I should be. 9 "You hoped for large harvests, but they turned out to be small. And when you brought the harvest home, I blew it away. Why did I do that? Because my Temple lies in ruins while every one of you is busy working on your own house. 10 That is why there is no rain and nothing can grow. 11 I have brought drought on the land - on its hills, grainfields, vineyards, and olive orchards - on every crop the ground produces, on people and animals, on everything you try to grow." 12 Then Zerubbabel and Joshua and all the people who had returned from the exile in Babylonia, did what the Lord their God told them to do. They were afraid and obeyed the prophet Haggai, the Lord's messenger. 13 Then Haggai gave the Lord's message to the people: "I will be with you - that is my promise." 14 The Lord inspired everyone to work on the Temple: Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah; Joshua, the High Priest, and all the people who had returned from the exile. They began working on the Temple of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month of the second year that Darius was emperor.
1 On the twenty-first day of the seventh month of that same year, the Lord spoke again through the prophet Haggai. 2 He told Haggai to speak to Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, to Joshua, the High Priest, and to the people, and to say to them, 3 "Is there anyone among you who can still remember how splendid the Temple used to be? How does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all. 4 But now don't be discouraged, any of you. Do the work, for I am with you. 5 When you came out of Egypt, I promised that I would always be with you. I am still with you, so do not be afraid. 6 "Before long I will shake heaven and earth, land and sea. 7 I will overthrow all the nations, and their treasures will be brought here, and the Temple will be filled with wealth. 8 All the silver and gold of the world is mine. 9 The new Temple will be more splendid than the old one, and there I will give my people prosperity and peace." The Lord Almighty has spoken. 10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month of the second year that Darius was emperor, the Lord Almighty spoke again to the prophet Haggai. 11 He said, "Ask the priests for a ruling on this question: 12 Suppose someone takes a piece of consecrated meat from a sacrifice and carries it in a fold of his robe. If he then lets his robe touch any bread, cooked food, wine, olive oil, or any kind of food at all, will it make that food consecrated also?" When the question was asked, the priests answered, "No." 13 Then Haggai asked, "Suppose someone is defiled because he has touched a dead body. If he then touches any of these foods, will that make them defiled too?" The priests answered, "Yes." 14 Then Haggai said, "The Lord says that the same thing applies to the people of this nation and to everything they produce; and so everything they offer on the altar is defiled." 15 The Lord says, "Can't you see what has happened to you? Before you started to rebuild the Temple, 16 you would go to a pile of grain expecting to find twenty bushels, but there would be only ten. You would go to draw fifty gallons of wine from a vat, but find only twenty. 17 I sent scorching winds and hail to ruin everything you tried to grow, but still you did not repent. 18 Today is the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, the day that the foundation of the Temple has been completed. See what is going to happen from now on. 19 Although there is no grain left, and the grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced, yet from now on I will bless you." 20 On that same day, the twenty-fourth of the month, the Lord gave Haggai a second message 21 for Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah: "I am about to shake heaven and earth 22 and overthrow kingdoms and end their power. I will overturn chariots and their drivers; the horses will die, and their riders will kill one another. 23 On that day I will take you, Zerubbabel my servant, and I will appoint you to rule in my name. You are the one I have chosen." The Lord Almighty has spoken.
1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came to me and said, "Come, and I will show you how the famous prostitute is to be punished, that great city that is built near many rivers. 2 The kings of the earth practiced sexual immorality with her, and the people of the world became drunk from drinking the wine of her immorality." 3 The Spirit took control of me, and the angel carried me to a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a red beast that had names insulting to God written all over it; the beast had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and covered with gold ornaments, precious stones, and pearls. In her hand she held a gold cup full of obscene and filthy things, the result of her immorality. 5 On her forehead was written a name that has a secret meaning: "Great Babylon, the mother of all prostitutes and perverts in the world." 6 And I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God's people and the blood of those who were killed because they had been loyal to Jesus. When I saw her, I was completely amazed. 7 "Why are you amazed?" the angel asked me. "I will tell you the secret meaning of the woman and of the beast that carries her, the beast with seven heads and ten horns. 8 That beast was once alive, but lives no longer; it is about to come up from the abyss and will go off to be destroyed. The people living on earth whose names have not been written before the creation of the world in the book of the living, will all be amazed as they look at the beast. It was once alive; now it no longer lives, but it will reappear. 9 "This calls for wisdom and understanding. The seven heads are seven hills, on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings: 10 five of them have fallen, one still rules, and the other one has not yet come; when he comes, he must rule only a little while. 11 And the beast that was once alive, but lives no longer, is itself an eighth king who is one of the seven and is going off to be destroyed. 12 "The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet begun to rule, but who will be given authority to rule as kings for one hour with the beast. 13 These ten all have the same purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. 14 They will fight against the Lamb; but the Lamb, together with his called, chosen, and faithful followers, will defeat them, because he is Lord of lords and King of kings." 15 The angel also said to me, "The waters you saw, on which the prostitute sits, are nations, peoples, races, and languages. 16 The ten horns you saw and the beast will hate the prostitute; they will take away everything she has and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and destroy her with fire. 17 For God has placed in their hearts the will to carry out his purpose by acting together and giving to the beast their power to rule until God's words come true. 18 "The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth."
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