Ezekiel 30; Ezekiel 31; Ezekiel 32; 1 Peter 4

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Ezekiel 30

1 The LORD spoke his word to me. He said,
2 "Son of man, prophesy. Say, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: Cry for that day!
3 The day is near. The day of the LORD is near. It will be a gloomy day, a time of trouble for the nations.
4 There will be war in Egypt and anguish in Ethiopia. Many Egyptians will fall dead. People will take away Egypt's wealth, and its foundations will be torn down.
5 Sudan, Put, Lud, all the Arabs, the Libyans, and people from the promised land will die in battle.
6 "'This is what the LORD says: All Egypt's allies will die. Egypt's strength will disappear. People will die in war from Migdol to Syene, declares the Almighty LORD.
7 "'Egypt will become the most desolate country in the world, and Egypt's cities will lie in ruins. They will be ruined more than other cities.
8 Then they will know that I am the LORD, because I will set fire to Egypt and all her defenders will be killed.
9 On that day I will send messengers in ships to terrify those who live in safety in Sudan. The people of Sudan will be in anguish when Egypt is in trouble. That day is coming!
10 "'This is what the Almighty LORD says: I will use King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to bring an end to Egypt.
11 He and his troops, the most ruthless troops among the nations, will be brought to destroy the land. They will draw their swords to attack Egypt and fill the land with dead bodies.
12 I will dry up the Nile River and sell the land to wicked people. I will have foreigners destroy the land and everything in it. I, the LORD, have spoken.
13 "'This is what the Almighty LORD says: I will destroy the statues and put an end to the idols in Memphis. A prince will never rise again in Egypt. I will spread fear throughout Egypt.
14 I will destroy Pathros, set fire to Zoan, and bring punishment on Thebes.
15 I will pour out my fury on Sin, Egypt's fortress, and I will kill many people in Thebes.
16 I will set fire to Egypt. Sin will be in much pain. Thebes will be broken into pieces, and Memphis will be in trouble every day.
17 The young men from Heliopolis and Bubastis will die in battle, and people from these cities will go into exile.
18 At Tahpanhes the day will turn dark when I break Egypt's power. Egypt's strong army will be defeated. Clouds will cover Egypt, and people from its villages will go into exile.
19 Then they will know that I am the LORD, because I will bring punishment on Egypt.'"
20 On the seventh day of the first month in the eleventh year, the LORD spoke his word to me. He said,
21 "Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. His arm isn't bandaged, so it can't heal and be strong enough to hold a sword.
22 "This is what the Almighty LORD says: I'm against Pharaoh, king of Egypt. I will break both his arms, the healthy one and the broken one. I will make the sword fall from his hand.
23 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and force them into other countries.
24 I will make the arms of the king of Babylon strong. I will put my sword in his hand, but I will break Pharaoh's arms. Pharaoh will groan like a person who is dying.
25 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but Pharaoh's arms will fall. Then they will know that I am the LORD, because I will put my sword in the hand of the king of Babylon. He will strike Egypt with it.
26 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and force them into other countries. Then they will know that I am the LORD."

Ezekiel 31

1 On the first day of the third month in the eleventh year, the LORD spoke his word to me. He said,
2 "Son of man, say to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and his many people, 'Was there ever anyone as great as you?
3 What about Assyria? It was a cedar in Lebanon with fine branches that shaded the forest. It was very tall. Its top was among the clouds.
4 Water made the tree grow, and underground springs made it tall. Rivers flowed around the place where the tree was planted. Streams ran beside all the other trees around it.
5 That is why it grew taller than all the other trees in the field. Its branches became large and long because of so much water.
6 All the birds made their nests in its branches. All the wild animals gave birth to their young under it. All the powerful nations lived in its shade.
7 So the tree was big and beautiful with its long branches. Its roots reached down to many sources of water.
8 The cedar trees in God's garden couldn't compare to it. The pine trees couldn't equal its branches. The plane trees couldn't measure up to its branches. All the trees in God's garden couldn't match its beauty.
9 I was the one who made it beautiful with its many branches. This tree was the envy of all the trees in Eden, in God's garden.
10 "'This is what the Almighty LORD says: The tree grew very tall, and its top reached the clouds. It became arrogant because it was so tall.
11 So I handed it over to a mighty ruler among the nations, and he surely dealt with it. I forced it out because of its wickedness.
12 Foreigners from the most ruthless nation cut it down and threw it away. Its branches fell on the mountains and in every valley. Its broken branches fell in every ravine in the land. All the nations in the world came out from under its shade and left.
13 All the birds perched on the fallen tree, and all the wild animals lived in its branches.
14 Then all the other trees growing by the water were kept from becoming arrogant because of their height, and their tops were no longer allowed to reach the clouds. So no tree, even if it is well-watered, will ever stand that tall. Every tree is going to die and go below the earth to join those who have died and gone down to the pit.
15 "'This is what the Almighty LORD says: When the tree went down to the grave, I made people mourn. I covered the underground springs and held back the rivers. The many water sources stopped flowing. I made Lebanon mourn for the tree, and all the trees in the field fainted as they grieved over it.
16 I made the nations tremble in fear at the sound of the tree's crash. I brought the tree down to the grave to join those who had gone down to the pit. Then all the trees in Eden, the choicest and best trees of Lebanon, and all the trees that were well-watered were comforted below the earth.
17 They had gone down with the tree in the grave to join others killed in battle. All who lived in its shadow were scattered among the nations.
18 "'This tree is you, Pharaoh, and all your many people. No tree in Eden has ever been as honorable and as great as you. But you will be brought down below the earth with the trees of Eden. You will lie among the godless people who were killed in battle, declares the Almighty LORD.'"

Ezekiel 32

1 On the first day of the twelfth month in the twelfth year, the LORD spoke his word to me. He said,
2 "Son of man, sing a funeral song for Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Tell him, 'You think you are like a lion among the nations. Instead, you are like a crocodile in the water. You splash around in the water. You stir up the water with your feet. You make the streams muddy.
3 "'This is what the Almighty LORD says: When many nations gather together, I will spread my net over you, and they will haul you up in a net.
4 I will throw you on the ground and toss you into an open field. I will make birds perch on you, and wild animals from all over the earth will feed on you.
5 I will scatter your flesh on the hills and fill the valleys with your rotting corpse.
6 I will drench the earth with your flowing blood all the way to the mountains. Ravines will be filled with your dead body.
7 "'When I put out your light, I will cover the sky and darken the stars. I will cover the sun with clouds, and the moon won't shine anymore.
8 I will darken all the lights shining in the sky above you. I will bring darkness over your land, declares the Almighty LORD.
9 "'I will make many people troubled when I spread the news of your destruction among the nations to countries that you haven't heard of.
10 Many people will be shocked by what I will do to you. Their kings will shudder when I swing my sword in their faces. When you die, all of them will tremble in fear for their own lives.
11 "'This is what the Almighty LORD says: The sword of the king of Babylon will attack you.
12 I will cut down your people with the swords of warriors. All of them will be the most ruthless warriors among the nations. They will shatter the pride of Egypt and destroy its many people.
13 I will also destroy all the animals beside its many water sources. The feet of humans and the hoofs of animals won't stir up the water anymore.
14 Then I will make its water clear and make its streams flow like oil, declares the Almighty LORD.
15 I will turn Egypt into a wasteland. I will take everything in the land, and I will kill all the people who live there. Then they will know that I am the LORD.'
16 "This is a funeral song. The people from the nations will sing this song. They will sing it as they mourn for Egypt and its many people," declares the Almighty LORD.
17 On the fifteenth day of the month in the twelfth year, the LORD spoke his word to me. He said,
18 "Son of man, cry for the many people of Egypt. Bring them down along with the other mighty nations. Send them down below the earth to be with those who have gone down to the pit.
19 "[Tell them,] 'Are you more beautiful than anyone else? Go down and join the godless people.'
20 "The Egyptians will lie among those who were killed in battle. A sword has been drawn. Drag Egypt and all its people away.
21 The mightiest warriors will say to Pharaoh from the grave, 'You and your defenders have come down, and you now lie with the godless people who were killed in battle.'
22 "Assyria is there with its whole army, and the graves of its soldiers are all around it. All of its soldiers are dead. They have been killed in battle.
23 Their graves are in the deepest parts of the pit. Assyria's army lies around its grave. All of its soldiers are dead. They have been killed in battle. They once terrified people in the land of the living.
24 "Elam is there with all its soldiers, and the graves of its soldiers are all around it. All of its soldiers are dead. They have been killed in battle. They went down below the earth as godless people. They once terrified people in the land of the living. Now they suffer disgrace with those who have gone down to the pit.
25 A bed has been made for Elam among the dead. The graves of its soldiers are all around it. The soldiers were godless people. They were killed in battle because they terrified others in the land of the living. Now they suffer disgrace with those who have gone down to the pit. They lie among the dead.
26 "Meshech and Tubal are there with all their soldiers, and the graves of their soldiers are all around them. Their soldiers were all godless people. They were killed in battle because they terrified others in the land of the living.
27 They don't lie with the godless warriors who died and went down to the grave with their weapons of war. Their swords were placed under their heads. Their shields were placed on their bones because they terrified others in the land of the living.
28 "You Egyptians will be crushed with the godless people, and you will lie with those who were killed in battle.
29 "Edom is there with its kings and its princes. They used to be powerful, but now they lie with those who were killed in battle. They lie there with the godless people and with those who have gone down to the pit.
30 "All the rulers from the north and all the people from Sidon are there. They, too, went down with the dead. They are disgraced because they terrified people with their power. They were godless people. Now they lie with those who were killed in battle. They suffer disgrace with those who went down to the pit.
31 "Pharaoh and his army will see these things and be comforted over all the soldiers who have been killed in battle, declares the Almighty LORD.
32 I terrified people in the land of the living. Pharaoh and all his soldiers will be laid among the godless people who were killed in battle," declares the Almighty LORD.

1 Peter 4

1 Since Christ has suffered physically, take the same attitude that he had. (A person who has suffered physically no longer sins.)
2 That way you won't be guided by sinful human desires as you live the rest of your lives on earth. Instead, you will be guided by what God wants you to do.
3 You spent enough time in the past doing what unbelievers like to do. You were promiscuous, had sinful desires, got drunk, went to wild parties, and took part in the forbidden worship of false gods.
4 Unbelievers insult you now because they are surprised that you no longer join them in the same excesses of wild living.
5 They will give an account to the one who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
6 After all, the Good News was told to people like that, although they are now dead. It was told to them so that they could be judged like humans in their earthly lives and live like God in their spiritual lives.
7 The end of everything is near. Therefore, practice self-control, and keep your minds clear so that you can pray.
8 Above all, love each other warmly, because love covers many sins.
9 Welcome each other as guests without complaining.
10 Each of you as a good manager must use the gift that God has given you to serve others.
11 Whoever speaks must speak God's words. Whoever serves must serve with the strength God supplies so that in every way God receives glory through Jesus Christ. Glory and power belong to Jesus Christ forever and ever! Amen.
12 Dear friends, don't be surprised by the fiery troubles that are coming in order to test you. Don't feel as though something strange is happening to you,
13 but be happy as you share Christ's sufferings. Then you will also be full of joy when he appears again in his glory.
14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed because the Spirit of glory--the Spirit of God--is resting on you.
15 If you suffer, you shouldn't suffer for being a murderer, thief, criminal, or troublemaker.
16 If you suffer for being a Christian, don't feel ashamed, but praise God for being called that name.
17 The time has come for the judgment to begin, and it will begin with God's family. If it starts with us, what will be the end for those who refuse to obey the Good News of God?
18 If it's hard for the person who has God's approval to be saved, what will happen to the godless sinner?
19 Those who suffer because that is God's will for them must entrust themselves to a faithful creator and continue to do what is good.