1 The royal line of David is like a tree that has been cut down; but just as new branches sprout from a stump, so a new king will arise from among David's descendants. 2 The spirit of the Lord will give him wisdom and the knowledge and skill to rule his people. He will know the Lord's will and honor him, 3 and find pleasure in obeying him. He will not judge by appearance or hearsay; 4 he will judge the poor fairly and defend the rights of the helpless. At his command the people will be punished, and evil persons will die. 5 He will rule his people with justice and integrity. 6 Wolves and sheep will live together in peace, and leopards will lie down with young goats. Calves and lion cubs will feed together, and little children will take care of them. 7 Cows and bears will eat together, and their calves and cubs will lie down in peace. Lions will eat straw as cattle do. 8 Even a baby will not be harmed if it plays near a poisonous snake. 9 On Zion, God's sacred hill, there will be nothing harmful or evil. The land will be as full of knowledge of the Lord as the seas are full of water. 10 A day is coming when the new king from the royal line of David will be a symbol to the nations. They will gather in his royal city and give him honor. 11 When that day comes, the Lord will once again use his power and bring back home those of his people who are left in Assyria and Egypt, in the lands of Pathros, Ethiopia, Elam, Babylonia, and Hamath, and in the coastlands and on the islands of the sea. 12 The Lord will raise a signal flag to show the nations that he is gathering together again the scattered people of Israel and Judah and bringing them back from the four corners of the earth. 13 The kingdom of Israel will not be jealous of Judah any more, and Judah will not be the enemy of Israel. 14 Together they will attack the Philistines on the west and plunder the people who live to the east. They will conquer the people of Edom and Moab, and the people of Ammon will obey them. 15 The Lord will dry up the Gulf of Suez, and he will bring a hot wind to dry up the Euphrates, leaving only seven tiny streams, so that anyone can walk across. 16 There will be a highway out of Assyria for those of his people Israel who have survived there, just as there was for their ancestors when they left Egypt.
1 A day is coming when people will sing, "I praise you, Lord! You were angry with me, but now you comfort me and are angry no longer. 2 God is my savior; I will trust him and not be afraid. The Lord gives me power and strength; he is my savior. 3 As fresh water brings joy to the thirsty, so God's people rejoice when he saves them." 4 A day is coming when people will sing, "Give thanks to the Lord! Call for him to help you! Tell all the nations what he has done! Tell them how great he is! 5 Sing to the Lord because of the great things he has done. Let the whole world hear the news. 6 Let everyone who lives in Zion shout and sing! Israel's holy God is great, and he lives among his people."
1 This is a message about Babylon, which Isaiah son of Amoz received from God. 2 On the top of a barren hill raise the battle flag! Shout to the soldiers and raise your arm as the signal for them to attack the gates of the proud city. 3 The Lord has called out his proud and confident soldiers to fight a holy war and punish those he is angry with. 4 Listen to the noise on the mountains - the sound of a great crowd of people, the sound of nations and kingdoms gathering. The Lord of Armies is preparing his troops for battle. 5 They are coming from far-off countries at the ends of the earth. In his anger the Lord is coming to devastate the whole country. 6 Howl in pain! The day of the Lord is near, the day when the Almighty brings destruction. 7 Everyone's hands will hang limp, and everyone's courage will fail. 8 They will all be terrified and overcome with pain, like the pain of a woman in labor. They will look at each other in fear, and their faces will burn with shame. 9 The day of the Lord is coming - that cruel day of his fierce anger and fury. The earth will be made a wilderness, and every sinner will be destroyed. 10 Every star and every constellation will stop shining, the sun will be dark when it rises, and the moon will give no light. 11 The Lord says, "I will bring disaster on the earth and punish all wicked people for their sins. I will humble everyone who is proud and punish everyone who is arrogant and cruel. 12 Those who survive will be scarcer than gold. 13 I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place on that day when I, the Lord Almighty, show my anger. 14 "The foreigners living in Babylon will run away to their homelands, scattering like deer escaping from hunters, like sheep without a shepherd. 15 Anyone who is caught will be stabbed to death. 16 While they look on helplessly, their babies will be battered to death, their houses will be looted, and their wives will be raped." 17 The Lord says, "I am stirring up the Medes to attack Babylon. They care nothing for silver and are not tempted by gold. 18 With their bows and arrows they will kill the young men. They will show no mercy to babies and take no pity on children. 19 Babylonia is the most beautiful kingdom of all; it is the pride of its people. But I, the Lord, will overthrow Babylon as I did Sodom and Gomorrah! 20 No one will ever live there again. No wandering Arab will ever pitch a tent there, and no shepherd will ever pasture a flock there. 21 It will be a place where desert animals live and where owls build their nests. Ostriches will live there, and wild goats will prance through the ruins. 22 The towers and palaces will echo with the cries of hyenas and jackals. Babylon's time has come! Her days are almost over."
1 I urge you, then - I who am a prisoner because I serve the Lord: live a life that measures up to the standard God set when he called you. 2 Be always humble, gentle, and patient. Show your love by being tolerant with one another. 3 Do your best to preserve the unity which the Spirit gives by means of the peace that binds you together. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as there is one hope to which God has called you. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 there is one God and Father of all people, who is Lord of all, works through all, and is in all. 7 Each one of us has received a special gift in proportion to what Christ has given. 8 As the scripture says, "When he went up to the very heights, he took many captives with him; he gave gifts to people." 9 Now, what does "he went up" mean? It means that first he came down to the lowest depths of the earth. 10 So the one who came down is the same one who went up, above and beyond the heavens, to fill the whole universe with his presence. 11 It was he who "gave gifts to people"; he appointed some to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, others to be pastors and teachers. 12 He did this to prepare all God's people for the work of Christian service, in order to build up the body of Christ. 13 And so we shall all come together to that oneness in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God; we shall become mature people, reaching to the very height of Christ's full stature. 14 Then we shall no longer be children, carried by the waves and blown about by every shifting wind of the teaching of deceitful people, who lead others into error by the tricks they invent. 15 Instead, by speaking the truth in a spirit of love, we must grow up in every way to Christ, who is the head. 16 Under his control all the different parts of the body fit together, and the whole body is held together by every joint with which it is provided. So when each separate part works as it should, the whole body grows and builds itself up through love. 17 In the Lord's name, then, I warn you: do not continue to live like the heathen, whose thoughts are worthless 18 and whose minds are in the dark. They have no part in the life that God gives, for they are completely ignorant and stubborn. 19 They have lost all feeling of shame; they give themselves over to vice and do all sorts of indecent things without restraint. 20 That was not what you learned about Christ! 21 You certainly heard about him, and as his followers you were taught the truth that is in Jesus. 22 So get rid of your old self, which made you live as you used to - the old self that was being destroyed by its deceitful desires. 23 Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, 24 and you must put on the new self, which is created in God's likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy. 25 No more lying, then! Each of you must tell the truth to the other believer, because we are all members together in the body of Christ. 26 If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. 27 Don't give the Devil a chance. 28 If you used to rob, you must stop robbing and start working, in order to earn an honest living for yourself and to be able to help the poor. 29 Do not use harmful words, but only helpful words, the kind that build up and provide what is needed, so that what you say will do good to those who hear you. 30 And do not make God's Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God's mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the Day will come when God will set you free. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort. 32 Instead, be kind and tender-hearted to one another, and forgive one another, as God has forgiven you through Christ.