Jeremiah 20; Jeremiah 21; 2 Timothy 4

1 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, who was the chief officer of the Temple, heard me proclaim these things, 2 he had me beaten and placed in chains near the upper Benjamin Gate in the Temple. 3 The next morning, after Pashhur had released me from the chains, I said to him, "The Lord did not name you Pashhur. The name he has given you is "Terror Everywhere.' 4 The Lord himself has said, "I am going to make you a terror to yourself and to your friends, and you will see them all killed by the swords of their enemies. I am going to put all the people of Judah under the power of the king of Babylonia; he will take some away as prisoners to his country and put others to death. 5 I will also let their enemies plunder all the wealth of this city and seize all its possessions and property, even the treasures of the kings of Judah, and carry everything off to Babylonia. 6 As for you, Pashhur, you and all your family will also be captured and taken off to Babylonia. There you will die and be buried, along with all your friends to whom you have told so many lies.' " 7 Lord, you have deceived me, and I was deceived. You are stronger than I am, and you have overpowered me. Everyone makes fun of me; they laugh at me all day long. 8 Whenever I speak, I have to cry out and shout, "Violence! Destruction!" Lord, I am ridiculed and scorned all the time because I proclaim your message. 9 But when I say, "I will forget the Lord and no longer speak in his name," then your message is like a fire burning deep within me. I try my best to hold it in, but can no longer keep it back. 10 I hear everybody whispering, "Terror is everywhere! So let's report him to the authorities!" Even my close friends wait for my downfall. "Perhaps he can be tricked," they say; "then we can catch him and get revenge." 11 But you, Lord, are on my side, strong and mighty, and those who persecute me will fail. They will be disgraced forever, because they cannot succeed. Their disgrace will never be forgotten. 12 But, Almighty Lord, you test people justly; you know what is in their hearts and minds. So let me see you take revenge on my enemies, for I have placed my cause in your hands. 13 Sing to the Lord! Praise the Lord! He rescues the oppressed from the power of evil people. 14 Curse the day I was born! Forget the day my mother gave me birth! 15 Curse the one who made my father glad by bringing him the news, "It's a boy! You have a son!" 16 May he be like those cities that the Lord destroyed without mercy. May he hear cries of pain in the morning and the battle alarm at noon, 17 for not killing me before I was born. Then my mother's womb would have been my grave. 18 Why was I born? Was it only to have trouble and sorrow, to end my life in disgrace?
1 King Zedekiah of Judah sent to me Pashhur son of Malchiah and the priest Zephaniah son of Maaseiah with this request: 2 "Please speak to the Lord for us, because King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia and his army are besieging the city. Maybe the Lord will perform one of his miracles for us and force Nebuchadnezzar to retreat." 3 Then the Lord spoke to me, and I told those who had been sent to me 4 to tell Zedekiah that the Lord, the God of Israel, had said, "Zedekiah, I am going to defeat your army that is fighting against the king of Babylonia and his army. I will pile up your soldiers' weapons in the center of the city. 5 I will fight against you with all my might, my anger, my wrath, and my fury. 6 I will kill everyone living in this city; people and animals alike will die of a terrible disease. 7 But as for you, your officials, and the people who survive the war, the famine, and the disease - I will let all of you be captured by King Nebuchadnezzar and by your enemies, who want to kill you. Nebuchadnezzar will put you to death. He will not spare any of you or show mercy or pity to any of you. I, the Lord, have spoken." 8 Then the Lord told me to say to the people, "Listen! I, the Lord, am giving you a choice between the way that leads to life and the way that leads to death. 9 Anyone who stays in the city will be killed in war or by starvation or disease. But those who go out and surrender to the Babylonians, who are now attacking the city, will not be killed; they will at least escape with their life. 10 I have made up my mind not to spare this city, but to destroy it. It will be given over to the king of Babylonia, and he will burn it to the ground. I, the Lord, have spoken." 11 The Lord told me to give this message to the royal house of Judah, the descendants of David: "Listen to what I, the Lord, am saying. See that justice is done every day. Protect the person who is being cheated from the one who is cheating him. If you don't, the evil you are doing will make my anger burn like a fire that cannot be put out. 13 You, Jerusalem, are sitting high above the valleys, like a rock rising above the plain. But I will fight against you. You say that no one can attack you or break through your defenses. 14 But I will punish you for what you have done. I will set your palace on fire, and the fire will burn down everything around it. I, the Lord, have spoken."
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and because he is coming to rule as King, I solemnly urge you 2 to preach the message, to insist upon proclaiming it (whether the time is right or not), to convince, reproach, and encourage, as you teach with all patience. 3 The time will come when people will not listen to sound doctrine, but will follow their own desires and will collect for themselves more and more teachers who will tell them what they are itching to hear. 4 They will turn away from listening to the truth and give their attention to legends. 5 But you must keep control of yourself in all circumstances; endure suffering, do the work of a preacher of the Good News, and perform your whole duty as a servant of God. 6 As for me, the hour has come for me to be sacrificed; the time is here for me to leave this life. 7 I have done my best in the race, I have run the full distance, and I have kept the faith. 8 And now there is waiting for me the victory prize of being put right with God, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on that Day - and not only to me, but to all those who wait with love for him to appear. 9 Do your best to come to me soon. 10 Demas fell in love with this present world and has deserted me, going off to Thessalonica. Crescens went to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he can help me in the work. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring my coat that I left in Troas with Carpus; bring the books too, and especially the ones made of parchment. 14 Alexander the metalworker did me great harm; the Lord will reward him according to what he has done. 15 Be on your guard against him yourself, because he was violently opposed to our message. 16 No one stood by me the first time I defended myself; all deserted me. May God not count it against them! 17 But the Lord stayed with me and gave me strength, so that I was able to proclaim the full message for all the Gentiles to hear; and I was rescued from being sentenced to death. 18 And the Lord will rescue me from all evil and take me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever! Amen. 19 I send greetings to Priscilla and Aquila and to the family of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus in Miletus, because he was sick. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, and Claudia send their greetings, and so do all the other Christians. 22 The Lord be with your spirit. God's grace be with you all.
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