Ezekiel 37; Ezekiel 38; Ezekiel 39; 2 Peter 2

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Ezekiel 37

1 The power of the LORD came over me. The LORD brought me out by his Spirit and put me down in the middle of a valley. The valley was filled with bones.
2 He led me all around them. I saw that there were very many bones at the bottom of the valley, and they were very dry.
3 Then he asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I answered, "Only you know, Almighty LORD."
4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones. Tell them, 'Dry bones, listen to the word of the LORD.
5 This is what the Almighty LORD says to these bones: I will cause breath to enter you, and you will live.
6 I will put ligaments on you, place muscles on you, and cover you with skin. I will put breath in you, and you will live. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'"
7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. While I was prophesying, suddenly there was a rattling noise, and the bones came together, one bone [attaching itself] to another.
8 As I looked, I saw that ligaments were on them, muscles were on them, and skin covered them. Yet, there was no breath in them.
9 Then the LORD said to me, "Prophesy to the breath! Prophesy, son of man. Tell the breath, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: Come from the four winds, Breath, and breathe on these people who were killed so that they will live.'"
10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath entered them. Then they came to life and stood on their feet. There were enough of them to form a very large army.
11 The LORD also said to me, "Son of man, all the people of Israel are like these bones. The people say, 'Our bones are dry, and our hope has vanished. We are completely destroyed.'
12 So prophesy. Tell them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: My people, I will open your graves and take you out of them. I will bring you to Israel.
13 Then, my people, you will know that I am the LORD, because I will open your graves and bring you out of your graves.
14 I will put my Spirit in you, and you will live. I will place you in your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.'"
15 The LORD spoke his word to me again. He said,
16 "Son of man, take a stick and write on it: 'For Judah and for the Israelites who are associated with it.' Then take another stick and write on it, 'The stick of Ephraim, for Joseph and for all the people of Israel associated with it.'
17 Then join both sticks together so that they will be one in your hand. Your people will say to you,
18 'Tell us what you mean by this.'
19 Then say to them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: I will take Joseph's stick, which is in Ephraim's hand, and the tribes of Israel associated with it, and I will put them with Judah's stick. I will make them into one stick. They will be one in my hand.'
20 When you hold the sticks in your hand, let the people see them.
21 "Then tell them, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: I will take the Israelites out of the nations where they've gone. I will gather them from everywhere and bring them to their own land.
22 I will form them into one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel. One king will rule all of them. They will no longer be two nations or be divided into two kingdoms.
23 They will no longer dishonor themselves with their idols, with their detestable things, or with their rebellious acts. I will forgive them for all the times they turned away from me and sinned. I will cleanse them so that they will be my people, and I will be their God.
24 "'My servant David will be their king, and all of them will have one shepherd. They will live by my rules, and they will obey my laws.
25 They will live in the land that I gave my servant Jacob, the land where their ancestors lived. They, their children, and their grandchildren will live in it permanently. My servant David will always be their prince.
26 I will promise them peace. This promise will last forever. I will establish them, make them increase in number, and put my holy place among them permanently.
27 My dwelling place will be with them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
28 Then the nations will know that I, the LORD, have set Israel apart as holy, because my holy place will be among them permanently.'"

Ezekiel 38

1 The LORD spoke his word to me. He said,
2 "Son of man, turn to Gog from the land of Magog. He is the chief prince of [the nations of] Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him.
3 Tell him, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: I am against you, Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.
4 I will turn you around and put hooks in your jaws. I will lead you out with all your military forces, with horses and riders. Your soldiers will be fully armed. They will carry large and small shields and be able to use swords.
5 Persia, Sudan, and Put will be with you. They, too, will have shields and helmets.
6 Gomer will come with all its troops and with the nation of Togarmah from the far north. There will be many armies with you.
7 "'Be prepared! Be prepared, you and all the soldiers assembled around you. You will be their leader.
8 After a long time you will be called to service. In the years to come, you will attack a land that has been rebuilt after a war. Its people have been gathered from many nations and brought to the mountains of Israel, mountains that have been ruined for a long time. These people were brought there from the nations, and all of them live there safely.
9 You will attack like a storm and cover the land like a cloud. Your troops and the many armies will be with you.
10 "'This is what the Almighty LORD says: At that time ideas will enter your head, and you will make wicked plans.
11 You will say, "I'll attack a land with unwalled villages. I will attack peaceful people who live safely. All of them live without walls, locks, or gates.
12 I will come to rob them and loot them. I will use my power against the ruins that people are living in again. I will use it against the people who were gathered from the nations. These people have cattle and property, and they live in the world."
13 "'Sheba, Dedan, the merchants from Tarshish, and all their villages will ask you, "Did you come to rob these people of their possessions? Did you assemble all these soldiers to carry away large amounts of silver and gold and to take cattle and property?"'
14 "So prophesy, son of man. Tell Gog, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: At that time my people Israel will live safely, and you will know it.
15 You will come from your place in the far north and many armies will be with you. All of you will ride on horses. You will be a large crowd and a mighty army.
16 You will attack my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In the days to come, I will let you attack my land so that nations will know me. I will use you for my holy purpose as they watch.
17 "'This is what the Almighty LORD says: You are the one I spoke about long ago through my servants the prophets of Israel. They prophesied in those days that I would bring you to attack them.
18 On the day that Gog attacks the land of Israel, I will be filled with burning anger, declares the Almighty LORD.
19 In my fiery anger I tell you this. On that day there will be a large earthquake in the land of Israel.
20 Fish, birds, wild animals, everything that crawls on the ground, and every person on earth will tremble in my presence. The mountains will be torn down, the cliffs will crumble, and every wall will fall to the ground.
21 I will declare war against Gog on all my mountains, declares the Almighty LORD. Each person will use his sword against his relative.
22 I will punish Gog with plagues and death. I will send rainstorms, large hailstones, fire, and burning sulfur on his troops and on the many armies with him.
23 I will show my greatness and my holiness. I will reveal myself to many nations. Then they will know that I am the LORD.'"

Ezekiel 39

1 [The LORD said,] "Son of man, prophesy against Gog. Tell it, 'This is what the Almighty LORD says: I am against you, Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal.
2 I will turn you around and lead you. I will bring you from the far north and have you attack the mountains of Israel.
3 Then I will knock the bow out of your left hand and make you drop the arrows in your right hand.
4 You will die on the mountains of Israel with your troops and the armies that are with you. I will let you become food for every bird of prey and for every wild animal.
5 You will die in the open field because I said so, declares the Almighty LORD.
6 I will send fire on Magog and on those who live safely on the coasts. Then they will know that I am the LORD.
7 I will make my holy name known among my people Israel, and I will never let them dishonor my holy name again. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
8 "'It's coming! It will happen! declares the Almighty LORD. This is the day I have spoken about.
9 Those living in the cities of Israel will go out. They will set fire to weapons and burn them. They will burn small and large shields, bows and arrows, and war clubs and spears. They will burn them for seven years.
10 They will not need to get wood from the field or cut down trees in the woods. They will make fires with the weapons. They will loot those who looted them, and they will grab things back from those who grabbed their things, declares the Almighty LORD.
11 "'When that day comes, I will give Gog a burial place in Israel. It will be in Travelers Valley, east of the Dead Sea. It will block those who travel [through the valley]. Gog and his whole army will be buried there. So it will be called the valley of Gog's troops.
12 The people of Israel will be burying them there for seven months to make the land clean.
13 All the common people will be burying them. The people of Israel will be honored on the day of my victory, declares the Almighty LORD.
14 "'People will be chosen to go through the land and make it clean. With the help of others they will bury the dead soldiers that are still on the ground. At the end of seven months they will begin their search.
15 Whenever they go through the land and see a human bone, they will set up a marker beside it until the grave diggers have buried that bone in the valley of Gog's troops.
16 (A city named Hamonah will also be there.) In this way they will cleanse the land.'
17 "Son of man, this is what the Almighty LORD says: Tell every kind of bird and every wild animal, 'Assemble, and come together from all around for the sacrifice that I'm preparing for you. It will be a huge feast on the mountains of Israel. You can eat meat and drink blood there.
18 You can eat the meat of warriors and drink the blood of the princes of the earth. All of them will be killed like rams, lambs, goats, bulls and all the best animals of Bashan.
19 You can eat the best meat until you are full and drink blood until you are drunk at the sacrifice that I am preparing for you.
20 At my table you will be filled with horses and riders, warriors, and soldiers of every kind, declares the Almighty LORD.'
21 "I will show my greatness among the nations. All the nations will see how I will turn my power against them to punish them.
22 From that day on, the people of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God.
23 Then the nations will know that the people of Israel went into captivity because they did wrong and rebelled against me. So I hid my face from them and handed them over to their enemies. They were killed in battle.
24 I paid them back for their uncleanness and their sins, and I hid my face from them.
25 "So this is what the Almighty LORD says: Now I will bring back Jacob's captives and have compassion for the whole nation of Israel. I will stand up for my holy name.
26 When they live safely in a land where no one will frighten them, they will forget their shame and all the unfaithful things they have done against me.
27 I will bring them back from the other nations and gather them from the countries of their enemies. Many nations will see that I am holy.
28 Then my people will know that I am the LORD their God. I sent them into captivity among the nations, and I brought them back again to their land. I left none of them behind.
29 I will no longer hide my face from them, because I will pour out my Spirit on the nation of Israel, declares the Almighty LORD."

2 Peter 2

1 False prophets were among God's people [in the past], as false teachers will be among you. They will secretly bring in their own destructive teachings. They will deny the Lord, who has bought them, and they will bring themselves swift destruction.
2 Many people will follow them in their sexual freedom and will cause others to dishonor the way of truth.
3 In their greed they will use good-sounding arguments to exploit you. The verdict against them from long ago is still in force, and their destruction is not asleep.
4 God didn't spare angels who sinned. He threw them into hell, where he has secured them with chains of darkness and is holding them for judgment.
5 God didn't spare the ancient world either. He brought the flood on the world of ungodly people, but he protected Noah and seven other people. Noah was his messenger who told people about the kind of life that has God's approval.
6 God condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them by burning them to ashes. He made those cities an example to ungodly people of what is going to happen to them.
7 Yet, God rescued Lot, a man who had his approval. Lot was distressed by the lifestyle of people who had no principles and lived in sexual freedom.
8 Although he was a man who had God's approval, he lived among the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Each day was like torture to him as he saw and heard the immoral things that people did.
9 Since the Lord did all this, he knows how to rescue godly people when they are tested. He also knows how to hold immoral people for punishment on the day of judgment.
10 This is especially true of those who follow their corrupt nature along the path of impure desires and who despise the Lord's authority. These false teachers are bold and arrogant. They aren't afraid to insult the [Lord's] glory.
11 Angels, who have more strength and power than these teachers, don't bring an insulting judgment against them from the Lord.
12 These false teachers insult what they don't understand. They are like animals, which are creatures of instinct that are born to be caught and killed. So they will be destroyed like animals
13 and lose what their wrongdoing earned them. These false teachers are stains and blemishes. They take pleasure in holding wild parties in broad daylight. They especially enjoy deceiving you while they eat with you.
14 They're always looking for an adulterous woman. They can't stop looking for sin as they seduce people who aren't sure of what they believe. Their minds are focused on their greed. They are cursed.
15 These false teachers have left the straight path and wandered off to follow the path of Balaam, son of Beor. Balaam loved what his wrongdoing earned him.
16 But he was convicted for his evil. A donkey, which normally can't talk, spoke with a human voice and wouldn't allow the prophet to continue his insanity.
17 These false teachers are dried-up springs. They are a mist blown around by a storm. Gloomy darkness has been kept for them.
18 They arrogantly use nonsense to seduce people by appealing to their sexual desires, especially to sexual freedom. They seduce people who have just escaped from those who live in error.
19 They promise these people freedom, but they themselves are slaves to corruption. A person is a slave to whatever he gives in to.
20 People can know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and escape the world's filth. But if they get involved in this filth again and give in to it, they are worse off than they were before.
21 It would have been better for them never to have known the way of life that God approves of than to know it and turn their backs on the holy life God told them to live.
22 These proverbs have come true for them: "A dog goes back to its vomit," and "A sow that has been washed goes back to roll around in the mud."