Obadiah 1; Jonah 1; Jonah 2; Jonah 3; Jonah 4

1 This is the prophecy of Obadiah - what the Sovereign Lord said about the nation of Edom. The Lord has sent his messenger to the nations, and we have heard his message: "Get ready! Let us go to war against Edom!" 2 The Lord says to Edom, "I will make you weak; everyone will despise you. 3 Your pride has deceived you. Your capital is a fortress of solid rock; your home is high in the mountains, and so you say to yourself, "Who can ever pull me down?' 4 Even though you make your home as high as an eagle's nest, so that it seems to be among the stars, yet I will pull you down. 5 "When thieves come at night, they take only what they want. When people gather grapes, they always leave a few. But your enemies have wiped you out completely. 6 Descendants of Esau, your treasures have been looted. 7 Your allies have deceived you; they have driven you from your country. People who were at peace with you have now conquered you. Those friends who ate with you have laid a trap for you; they say of you, "Where is all that cleverness he had?' 8 "On the day I punish Edom, I will destroy their clever men and wipe out all their wisdom. 9 The fighting men of Teman will be terrified, and every soldier in Edom will be killed. 10 "Because you robbed and killed your relatives, the descendants of Jacob, you will be destroyed and dishonored forever. 11 You stood aside on that day when enemies broke down their gates. You were as bad as those strangers who carried off Jerusalem's wealth and divided it among themselves. 12 You should not have gloated over the misfortune of your relatives in Judah. You should not have been glad on the day of their ruin. You should not have laughed at them in their distress. 13 You should not have entered the city of my people to gloat over their suffering and to seize their riches on the day of their disaster. 14 You should not have stood at the crossroads to catch those trying to escape. You should not have handed them over to the enemy on the day of their distress. 15 "The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all nations. Edom, what you have done will be done to you. You will get back what you have given. 16 My people have drunk a bitter cup of punishment on my sacred hill. But all the surrounding nations will drink a still more bitter cup of punishment; they will drink it all and vanish away. 17 "But on Mount Zion some will escape, and it will be a sacred place. The people of Jacob will possess the land that is theirs by right. 18 The people of Jacob and of Joseph will be like fire; they will destroy the people of Esau as fire burns stubble. No descendant of Esau will survive. I, the Lord, have spoken. 19 "People from southern Judah will occupy Edom; those from the western foothills will capture Philistia. Israelites will possess the territory of Ephraim and Samaria; the people of Benjamin will take Gilead. 20 The army of exiles from northern Israel will return and conquer Phoenicia as far north as Zarephath. The exiles from Jerusalem who are in Sardis will capture the towns of southern Judah. 21 The victorious men of Jerusalem will attack Edom and rule over it. And the Lord himself will be king."
1 One day the Lord spoke to Jonah son of Amittai. 2 He said, "Go to Nineveh, that great city, and speak out against it; I am aware of how wicked its people are." 3 Jonah, however, set out in the opposite direction in order to get away from the Lord. He went to Joppa, where he found a ship about to go to Spain. He paid his fare and went aboard with the crew to sail to Spain, where he would be away from the Lord. 4 But the Lord sent a strong wind on the sea, and the storm was so violent that the ship was in danger of breaking up. 5 The sailors were terrified and cried out for help, each one to his own god. Then, in order to lessen the danger, they threw the cargo overboard. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone below and was lying in the ship's hold, sound asleep. 6 The captain found him there and said to him, "What are you doing asleep? Get up and pray to your god for help. Maybe he will feel sorry for us and spare our lives." 7 The sailors said to each other, "Let's draw lots and find out who is to blame for getting us into this danger." They did so, and Jonah's name was drawn. 8 So they said to him, "Now, then, tell us! Who is to blame for this? What are you doing here? What country do you come from? What is your nationality?" 9 "I am a Hebrew," Jonah answered. "I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made land and sea." 10 Jonah went on to tell them that he was running away from the Lord. The sailors were terrified, and said to him, "That was an awful thing to do!" 11 The storm was getting worse all the time, so the sailors asked him, "What should we do to you to stop the storm?" 12 Jonah answered, "Throw me into the sea, and it will calm down. I know it is my fault that you are caught in this violent storm." 13 Instead, the sailors tried to get the ship to shore, rowing with all their might. But the storm was becoming worse and worse, and they got nowhere. 14 So they cried out to the Lord, "O Lord, we pray, don't punish us with death for taking this man's life! You, O Lord, are responsible for all this; it is your doing." 15 Then they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea, and it calmed down at once. 16 This made the sailors so afraid of the Lord that they offered a sacrifice and promised to serve him. 17 At the Lord's command a large fish swallowed Jonah, and he was inside the fish for three days and three nights.
1 From deep inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God: 2 "In my distress, O Lord, I called to you, and you answered me. From deep in the world of the dead I cried for help, and you heard me. 3 You threw me down into the depths, to the very bottom of the sea, where the waters were all around me, and all your mighty waves rolled over me. 4 I thought I had been banished from your presence and would never see your holy Temple again. 5 The water came over me and choked me; the sea covered me completely, and seaweed wrapped around my head. 6 I went down to the very roots of the mountains, into the land whose gates lock shut forever. But you, O Lord my God, brought me back from the depths alive. 7 When I felt my life slipping away, then, O Lord, I prayed to you, and in your holy Temple you heard me. 8 Those who worship worthless idols have abandoned their loyalty to you. 9 But I will sing praises to you; I will offer you a sacrifice and do what I have promised. Salvation comes from the Lord!" 10 Then the Lord ordered the fish to spit Jonah up on the beach, and it did.
1 Once again the Lord spoke to Jonah. 2 He said, "Go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to the people the message I have given you." 3 So Jonah obeyed the Lord and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to walk through it. 4 Jonah started through the city, and after walking a whole day, he proclaimed, "In forty days Nineveh will be destroyed!" 5 The people of Nineveh believed God's message. So they decided that everyone should fast, and all the people, from the greatest to the least, put on sackcloth to show that they had repented. 6 When the king of Nineveh heard about it, he got up from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth, and sat down in ashes. 7 He sent out a proclamation to the people of Nineveh: "This is an order from the king and his officials: No one is to eat anything; all persons, cattle, and sheep are forbidden to eat or drink. 8 All persons and animals must wear sackcloth. Everyone must pray earnestly to God and must give up their wicked behavior and their evil actions. 9 Perhaps God will change his mind; perhaps he will stop being angry, and we will not die!" 10 God saw what they did; he saw that they had given up their wicked behavior. So he changed his mind and did not punish them as he had said he would.
1 Jonah was very unhappy about this and became angry. 2 So he prayed, "Lord, didn't I say before I left home that this is just what you would do? That's why I did my best to run away to Spain! I knew that you are a loving and merciful God, always patient, always kind, and always ready to change your mind and not punish. 3 Now then, Lord, let me die. I am better off dead than alive." 4 The Lord answered, "What right do you have to be angry?" 5 Jonah went out east of the city and sat down. He made a shelter for himself and sat in its shade, waiting to see what would happen to Nineveh. 6 Then the Lord God made a plant grow up over Jonah to give him some shade, so that he would be more comfortable. Jonah was extremely pleased with the plant. 7 But at dawn the next day, at God's command, a worm attacked the plant, and it died. 8 After the sun had risen, God sent a hot east wind, and Jonah was about to faint from the heat of the sun beating down on his head. So he wished he were dead. "I am better off dead than alive," he said. 9 But God said to him, "What right do you have to be angry about the plant?" Jonah replied, "I have every right to be angry - angry enough to die!" 10 The Lord said to him, "This plant grew up in one night and disappeared the next; you didn't do anything for it and you didn't make it grow - yet you feel sorry for it! 11 How much more, then, should I have pity on Nineveh, that great city. After all, it has more than 120,000 innocent children in it, as well as many animals!"
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