Jeremiah 48; Jeremiah 49; Hebrews 7

1 This is what the Lord Almighty said about Moab: "Pity the people of Nebo - their town is destroyed! Kiriathaim is captured, its mighty fortress torn down, and its people put to shame; 2 the splendor of Moab is gone. The enemy have captured Heshbon and plot to destroy the nation of Moab. The town of Madmen will be silenced; armies will march against it. 3 The people of Horonaim cry out, "Violence! Destruction!' 4 "Moab has been destroyed; listen to the children crying. 5 Hear the sound of their sobs along the road up to Luhith, the cries of distress on the way down to Horonaim. 6 "Quick, run for your lives!' they say. "Run like a wild desert donkey!' 7 "Moab, you trusted in your strength and your wealth, but now even you will be conquered; your god Chemosh will go into exile, along with his princes and priests. 8 Not a town will escape the destruction; both valley and plain will be ruined. I, the Lord, have spoken. 9 Set up a tombstone for Moab; it will soon be destroyed. Its towns will be left in ruins, and no one will live there again." 10 (Curse those who do not do the Lord's work with all their heart! Curse those who do not slash and kill!) 11 The Lord said, "Moab has always lived secure and has never been taken into exile. Moab is like wine left to settle undisturbed and never poured from jar to jar. Its flavor has never been ruined, and it tastes as good as ever. 12 "So now, the time is coming when I will send people to pour Moab out like wine. They will empty its wine jars and break them in pieces. 13 Then the Moabites will be disillusioned with their god Chemosh, just as the Israelites were disillusioned with Bethel, a god in whom they trusted. 14 "Men of Moab, why do you claim to be heroes, brave soldiers tested in war? 15 Moab and its cities are destroyed; its finest young men have been slaughtered. I am the king, the Lord Almighty, and I have spoken. 16 Moab's doom approaches; its ruin is coming soon. 17 "Mourn for that nation, you that live nearby, all of you that know its fame. Say, "Its powerful rule has been broken; its glory and might are no more.' 18 You that live in Dibon, come down from your place of honor and sit on the ground in the dust; Moab's destroyer is here and has left its forts in ruins. 19 You that live in Aroer, stand by the road and wait; ask those who are running away, find out from them what has happened. 20 "Moab has fallen,' they will answer, "weep for it; it is disgraced. Announce along the Arnon River that Moab is destroyed!' 21 "Judgment has come on the cities of the plateau: on Holon, Jahzah, Mephaath, 22 Dibon, Nebo, Beth Diblathaim, 23 Kiriathaim, Bethgamul, Bethmeon, 24 Kerioth, and Bozrah. Judgment has come on all the cities of Moab, far and near. 25 Moab's might has been crushed; its power has been destroyed. I, the Lord, have spoken." 26 The Lord said, "Make Moab drunk, because it has rebelled against me. Moab will roll in its own vomit, and people will laugh. 27 Moab, remember how you made fun of the people of Israel? You treated them as though they had been caught with a gang of robbers. 28 "You people who live in Moab, leave your towns! Go and live on the cliffs! Be like the dove that makes its nest in the sides of a ravine. 29 Moab is very proud! I have heard how proud, arrogant, and conceited the people are, how much they think of themselves. 30 I, the Lord, know of their arrogance. Their boasts amount to nothing, and the things they do will not last. 31 And so I will weep for everyone in Moab and for the people of Kir Heres. 32 I will cry for the people of Sibmah, even more than for the people of Jazer. City of Sibmah, you are like a vine whose branches reach across the Dead Sea and go as far as Jazer. But now your summer fruits and your grapes have been destroyed. 33 Happiness and joy have been taken away from the fertile land of Moab. I have made the wine stop flowing from the wine presses; there is no one to make the wine and shout for joy. 34 "The people of Heshbon and Elealeh cry out, and their cry can be heard as far as Jahaz; it can be heard by the people in Zoar, and it is heard as far as Horonaim and Eglath Shelishiyah. Even Nimrim Brook has dried up. 35 I will stop the people of Moab from making burnt offerings at their places of worship and from offering sacrifices to their gods. I, the Lord, have spoken. 36 "So my heart mourns for Moab and for the people of Kir Heres, like someone playing a funeral song on a flute, because everything they owned is gone. 37 All of them have shaved their heads and cut off their beards. They have all made gashes on their hands, and everyone is wearing sackcloth. 38 On all the housetops of Moab and in all its public squares there is nothing but mourning, because I have broken Moab like a jar that no one wants. 39 Moab has been shattered! Cry out! Moab has been disgraced. It is in ruins, and all the surrounding nations make fun of it. I, the Lord, have spoken." 40 The Lord has promised that a nation will swoop down on Moab like an eagle with its outspread wings, 41 and the towns and fortresses will be captured. On that day Moab's soldiers will be as frightened as a woman in labor. 42 Moab will be destroyed and will no longer be a nation, because it rebelled against me. 43 Terror, pits, and traps are waiting for the people of Moab. The Lord has spoken. 44 Whoever tries to escape the terror will fall into the pits, and whoever climbs out of the pits will be caught in the traps, because the Lord has set the time for Moab's destruction. 45 Helpless refugees try to find protection in Heshbon, the city that King Sihon once ruled, but it is in flames. Fire has burned up the frontiers and the mountain heights of the war-loving people of Moab. 46 Pity the people of Moab! The people who worshiped Chemosh have been destroyed, and their sons and daughters have been taken away as prisoners. 47 But in days to come the Lord will make Moab prosperous again. All of this is what the Lord has said will happen to Moab.
1 This is what the Lord said about Ammon: "Where are the men of Israel? Is there no one to defend their land? Why have they let the people who worship Molech take the territory of the tribe of Gad and settle there? 2 But the time is coming when I will make the people of the capital city of Rabbah hear the noise of battle, and it will be left in ruins and its villages burned to the ground. Then Israel will take its land back from those who took it from them. 3 People of Heshbon, cry out! Ai is destroyed! Women of Rabbah, go into mourning! Put on sackcloth and mourn. Run about in confusion. Your god Molech will be taken into exile, together with his priests and princes. 4 Why do you unfaithful people boast? Your strength is failing. Why do you trust in your power and say that no one would dare attack you? 5 I will bring terror on you from every side. You will all run away. Each one will run for his life, and there will be no one to bring your troops together again. 6 "But later on I will make Ammon prosperous again. I, the Lord, have spoken." 7 This is what the Lord Almighty said about Edom: "Have the people of Edom lost their good judgment? Can their advisers no longer tell them what to do? Has all their wisdom disappeared? 8 People of Dedan, turn and run! Hide! I am going to destroy Esau's descendants because the time has come for me to punish them. 9 When people pick grapes, they leave a few on the vines, and when robbers come at night, they take only what they want. 10 But I have stripped Esau's descendants completely and uncovered their hiding places, so that they can no longer hide. All the people of Edom are destroyed. Not one of them is left. 11 Leave your orphans with me, and I will take care of them. Your widows can depend on me. 12 "If even those who did not deserve to be punished had to drink from the cup of punishment, do you think that you will go unpunished? No, you must drink from the cup! 13 I myself have sworn that the city of Bozrah will become a horrifying sight and a desert; people will make fun of it and use its name as a curse. All the nearby villages will be in ruins forever. I, the Lord, have spoken." 14 I said, "Edom, I have received a message from the Lord. He has sent a messenger to tell the nations to assemble their armies and to get ready to attack you. 15 The Lord is going to make you weak, and no one will respect you. 16 Your pride has deceived you. No one fears you as much as you think they do. You live on the rocky cliffs, high on top of the mountain; but even though you live as high up as an eagle, the Lord will bring you down. The Lord has spoken." 17 The Lord said, "The destruction that will come on Edom will be so terrible that everyone who passes by will be shocked and terrified. 18 The same thing will happen to Edom that happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, when they and the nearby towns were destroyed. No one will ever live there again. I, the Lord, have spoken. 19 Like a lion coming out of the thick woods along the Jordan River up to the green pasture land, I will come and make the Edomites run away suddenly from their country. Then the leader I choose will rule the nation. Who can be compared to me? Who would dare challenge me? What ruler could oppose me? 20 So listen to the plan that I have made against the people of Edom, and to what I intend to do to the people of the city of Teman. Even their children will be dragged off, and everyone will be horrified. 21 When Edom falls, there will be such a noise that the entire earth will shake, and the cries of alarm will be heard as far away as the Gulf of Aqaba. 22 The enemy will attack Bozrah like an eagle swooping down with outspread wings. On that day Edom's soldiers will be as frightened as a woman in labor." 23 This is what the Lord said about Damascus: "The people in the cities of Hamath and Arpad are worried and troubled because they have heard bad news. Anxiety rolls over them like a sea, and they cannot rest. 24 The people of Damascus are weak and have fled in terror. They are in pain and misery like a woman in labor. 25 The famous city that used to be happy is completely deserted. 26 On that day her young men will be killed in the city streets, and all her soldiers destroyed. 27 I will set the walls of Damascus on fire and will burn down King Benhadad's palaces. I, the Lord Almighty, have spoken." 28 This is what the Lord said about the tribe of Kedar and the districts controlled by Hazor, which were conquered by King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia: "Attack the people of Kedar and destroy that tribe of eastern people! 29 Seize their tents and their flocks, their tent curtains and everything in their tents. Take their camels and tell the people, "Terror is all around you!' 30 "People of Hazor, I, the Lord, warn you to run far away and hide. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia has plotted against you, and this is what he says, 31 "Come on! We'll attack those people that feel safe and secure! Their city has no gates or locks and is completely unprotected.' 32 "Take their camels and all their livestock! I will scatter in every direction those people who cut their hair short, and I will bring disaster on them from every side. 33 Hazor will be made a desert forever, a place where only jackals live. No one will ever live there again. I, the Lord, have spoken." 34 Soon after Zedekiah became king of Judah, the Lord Almighty spoke to me about the country of Elam. 35 He said, "I will kill all the archers who have made Elam so powerful. 36 I will make winds blow against Elam from all directions, and I will scatter her people everywhere, until there is no country where her refugees have not gone. 37 I will make the people of Elam afraid of their enemies, who want to kill them. In my great anger I will destroy the people of Elam and send armies against them until I have wiped them out. 38 I will destroy their kings and leaders, and set up my throne there. 39 But later on I will make the people of Elam prosperous again. I, the Lord, have spoken."
1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and a priest of the Most High God. As Abraham was coming back from the battle in which he defeated the four kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him one tenth of all he had taken. (The first meaning of Melchizedek's name is "King of Righteousness"; and because he was king of Salem, his name also means "King of Peace.") 3 There is no record of Melchizedek's father or mother or of any of his ancestors; no record of his birth or of his death. He is like the Son of God; he remains a priest forever. 4 You see, then, how great he was. Abraham, our famous ancestor, gave him one tenth of all he got in the battle. 5 And those descendants of Levi who are priests are commanded by the Law to collect one tenth from the people of Israel, that is, from their own people, even though they are also descendants of Abraham. 6 Melchizedek was not descended from Levi, but he collected one tenth from Abraham and blessed him, the man who received God's promises. 7 There is no doubt that the one who blesses is greater than the one who is blessed. 8 In the case of the priests the tenth is collected by men who die; but as for Melchizedek the tenth was collected by one who lives, as the scripture says. 9 And, so to speak, when Abraham paid the tenth, Levi (whose descendants collect the tenth) also paid it. 10 For Levi had not yet been born, but was, so to speak, in the body of his ancestor Abraham when Melchizedek met him. 11 It was on the basis of the levitical priesthood that the Law was given to the people of Israel. Now, if the work of the levitical priests had been perfect, there would have been no need for a different kind of priest to appear, one who is in the priestly order of Melchizedek, not of Aaron. 12 For when the priesthood is changed, there also has to be a change in the law. 13 And our Lord, of whom these things are said, belonged to a different tribe, and no member of his tribe ever served as a priest. 14 It is well known that he was born a member of the tribe of Judah; and Moses did not mention this tribe when he spoke of priests. 15 The matter becomes even plainer; a different priest has appeared, who is like Melchizedek. 16 He was made a priest, not by human rules and regulations, but through the power of a life which has no end. 17 For the scripture says, "You will be a priest forever, in the priestly order of Melchizedek." 18 The old rule, then, is set aside, because it was weak and useless. 19 For the Law of Moses could not make anything perfect. And now a better hope has been provided through which we come near to God. 20 In addition, there is also God's vow. There was no such vow when the others were made priests. 21 But Jesus became a priest by means of a vow when God said to him, "The Lord has made a solemn promise and will not take it back: "You will be a priest forever.' " 22 This difference, then, also makes Jesus the guarantee of a better covenant. 23 There is another difference: there were many of those other priests, because they died and could not continue their work. 24 But Jesus lives on forever, and his work as priest does not pass on to someone else. 25 And so he is able, now and always, to save those who come to God through him, because he lives forever to plead with God for them. 26 Jesus, then, is the High Priest that meets our needs. He is holy; he has no fault or sin in him; he has been set apart from sinners and raised above the heavens. 27 He is not like other high priests; he does not need to offer sacrifices every day for his own sins first and then for the sins of the people. He offered one sacrifice, once and for all, when he offered himself. 28 The Law of Moses appoints men who are imperfect to be high priests; but God's promise made with the vow, which came later than the Law, appoints the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
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