Zephaniah 1; Zephaniah 2; Zephaniah 3; Haggai 1; Haggai 2

1 This is the word that the LORD spoke to Zephaniah, who was the son of Cushi, the grandson of Gedaliah, and the great-grandson of Amariah, son of Hezekiah. The LORD spoke his word in the days of Judah's King Josiah, son of Amon. 2 "I will gather everything on the face of the earth and put an end to it," declares the LORD. 3 "I will put an end to humans and animals. I will put an end to the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and the sins that make people fall, together with the sinners. I will remove all people from the face of the earth," declares the LORD. 4 "I will use my power against Judah and against those who live in Jerusalem. I will remove the faithful few of Baal from this place and the names of the pagan priests along with my priests. 5 I will remove those who worship all the stars in the sky on their rooftops and those who worship by swearing loyalty to the LORD while also swearing loyalty to the god Milcom. 6 I will remove those who have turned away from following the LORD and those who no longer seek the LORD or ask him for help." 7 Be silent in the presence of the Almighty LORD, because the day of the LORD is near. The LORD has prepared a sacrifice. He has invited his special guests. 8 "On the day of the LORD's sacrifice I will punish the officials, the king's sons, and all who dress in foreign clothing. 9 On that day I will punish all who jump over the doorway and all who fill their master's house with violence and deception. 10 On that day a loud cry will come from Fish Gate, a howling from the Second Part of the city, and a loud crashing sound from the hills," declares the LORD. 11 "Howl, inhabitants of the Mortar, because all the merchants will be destroyed and all who handle money will be killed. 12 "At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are satisfied with their hardened lifestyle, who think that the LORD won't do anything--good or bad. 13 Their wealth will be looted. Their homes will be demolished. They will build houses, but they won't live in them. They will plant vineyards, but they won't drink their wine." 14 The frightening day of the LORD is near. It is near and coming very quickly. Listen! Warriors will cry out bitterly on the day of the LORD. 15 That day will be a day of overflowing fury, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and overcast skies, 16 a day of rams' horns and battle cries against the fortified cities and against the high corner towers. 17 "I will bring such distress on humans that they will walk like they are blind, because they have sinned against the LORD." Their blood will be poured out like dust and their intestines like manure. 18 Their silver and their gold will not be able to rescue them on the day of the LORD's overflowing fury. The whole earth will be consumed by his fiery anger, because he will put an end, a frightening end, to those who live on earth.
1 Gather yourselves together! Yes, gather together, you shameless nation, 2 before the decree is carried out [and] the day passes like windblown husks, before the LORD's burning anger comes to you, before the day of the LORD's anger comes to you. 3 Search for the LORD, all you humble people in the land who carry out his justice. Search for what is right. Search for humility. Maybe you will find shelter on the day of the LORD's anger. 4 Gaza will be deserted, and Ashkelon will be destroyed. Ashdod will be driven out at noon, and Ekron will be torn out by the roots. 5 How horrible it will be for those who live on the seacoast, for the nation from Crete. The word of the LORD is against you, Canaan, the land of the Philistines: "I will destroy you so that no one will be living there." 6 The seacoast will become pastureland with meadows for shepherds and fenced-off places for sheep. 7 The coast will belong to the faithful few from the nation of Judah. There they will graze their sheep. In the evening they will lie down in the houses of Ashkelon. The LORD their God will take care of them and will restore their fortunes. 8 "I have heard the insults from Moab and the mockery from Ammon. They insulted my people and bragged about their territory. 9 Therefore, I solemnly swear, as I live," declares the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, "Moab will become like Sodom, and Ammon will become like Gomorrah: a place of weeds, salt pits, and ruins forever. The faithful few of my people will loot them, and those who are left in my nation will take possession of them." 10 This is what they will get for their sinful pride, because they insulted the people who belong to the LORD of Armies and made themselves greater than them. 11 The LORD will terrify them, because he will make all the gods of the earth waste away. So every person from every coast and nation will bow to him. 12 "Even you, the people from Sudan, you will also die by my sword." 13 The LORD will use his power against the north and destroy Assyria. He will turn Nineveh into a deserted ruin, a dried up wasteland like the desert. 14 Flocks will lie down in it along with animals of every kind. Even pelicans and herons will nest on top of its columns. Listen! A bird will sing in a window. The doorway will be in ruins, because the LORD will expose the cedar beams. 15 Is this the arrogant city? Is this the city that used to live securely, the city that used to think to itself, "I'm the only one, and no one else exists but me"? What a wasteland it is now, a resting place for wild animals! All who pass by it will hiss and make an obscene gesture.
1 How horrible it will be for that rebellious and corrupt place, the city of violence. 2 It obeys no one. It does not accept correction. It does not trust the LORD. It does not draw close to its God. 3 Its officials are [like] roaring lions. Its judges are [like] wolves in the evening. They leave nothing to gnaw on for the morning. 4 Its prophets are reckless and unfaithful. Its priests contaminate what is holy. They violate the teachings. 5 The righteous LORD is in that city. He does no wrong. He brings his judgment to light every morning. He does not fail. But those who are perverted are shameless. 6 "I will cut off the nations. Their towers will be destroyed. I will demolish their streets. No one will walk through them. Their cities will be completely destroyed. Not a single person will be left. No one will be living there. 7 I said [to my people], 'You will fear me. You will accept correction!' Then their homeland would not be wiped out even though I have punished them. Still, they continued to be corrupt in everything they did." 8 The LORD declares, "Just wait! One day I will stand up as a witness. I have decided to gather nations, to bring kingdoms together, and to pour my rage, my burning anger, on them. The whole land will be consumed by my fiery fury. 9 "Then I will give all people pure lips to worship the LORD and to serve him with one purpose. 10 From beyond the rivers of Sudan my worshipers, my scattered people, will bring my offering. 11 On that day you will no longer be ashamed of all your rebellious acts against me. Then I will remove your arrogance and never again will you act proud on my holy mountain. 12 So with you I will leave a faithful few, a humble and poor people. They will seek refuge in the name of the LORD. 13 The faithful few in Israel will not do wrong, tell lies, or use their tongues to deceive others. They will graze their sheep and lie down, and there will be no one to terrify them." 14 Sing happily, people of Zion! Shout loudly, Israel! Celebrate and rejoice with all your heart, people of Jerusalem. 15 The LORD has reversed the judgments against you. He has forced out your enemies. The king of Israel, the LORD, is with you. You will never fear disaster again. 16 On that day Jerusalem will be told, "Do not be afraid, Zion! Do not lose courage!" 17 The LORD your God is with you. He is a hero who saves you. He happily rejoices over you, renews you with his love, and celebrates over you with shouts of joy. 18 "I will gather those among you who are troubled because of the festivals. They bear a burden of disgrace. 19 At that time I will deal with all who have overpowered you. I will rescue those who are lame. I will gather those who have been scattered. I will make them praised and famous in all the world, though they had been ashamed. 20 At that time I will bring you [home]. Yes, at that time I will gather you together. I will make you famous and praised among all the people of the earth when I restore your fortunes right before your eyes," says the LORD.
1 On the first day of the sixth month in Darius' second year as king, the LORD spoke his word through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel and was governor of Judah) and to the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak). He said, 2 "This is what the LORD of Armies says: These people say it's not the right time to rebuild the house of the LORD." 3 Then the LORD spoke his word through the prophet Haggai. He said, 4 "Is it time for you to live in your paneled houses while this house lies in ruins? 5 Now, this is what the LORD of Armies says: Carefully consider your ways! 6 You planted a lot, but you harvested little. You eat, but you're never full. You drink, but you're still thirsty. You wear clothing, but you never have enough to keep you warm. You spend money as fast as you earn it. 7 This is what the LORD of Armies says: Carefully consider your ways! 8 "Go to the mountains, get lumber, and build the house. I will be pleased with it, and I will be honored," declares the LORD. 9 "You expected a lot, but you received a little. When you bring something home, I blow it away. Why?" declares the LORD of Armies. "It's because my house lies in ruins while each of you is busy working on your own house. 10 It is because of you that the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 I called for a drought on the land, the hills, and on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil, and whatever the ground produces, on humans and animals, and on all your hard work." 12 Then Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel), the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak), and the faithful few who returned from Babylon obeyed the LORD their God. They also obeyed the words of the prophet Haggai because the LORD their God had sent him and because the people feared the LORD. 13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD who had received the LORD's message, said to the people, "I am with you, declares the LORD." 14 The LORD inspired them [to rebuild his house]. So Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel and was governor of Judah), the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak), and the faithful few who returned from Babylon began working on the house of the LORD of Armies, their God. 15 They began on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in Darius' second year as king.
1 On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the LORD spoke his word through the prophet Haggai. He said, 2 "Now, speak to Zerubbabel (who is the son of Shealtiel and is governor of Judah), the chief priest Joshua (who is the son of Jehozadak), and the faithful few who returned from Babylon. 3 Ask them, 'Is there anyone among the faithful few who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Doesn't it seem like nothing to you?' 4 "But now, Zerubbabel, be strong," declares the LORD. "Chief Priest Joshua (son of Jehozadak), be strong. Everyone in the land, be strong," declares the LORD. "Work, because I am with you," declares the LORD of Armies. 5 "This is the promise I made to you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains with you. Don't be afraid. 6 "This is what the LORD of Armies says: Once again, in a little while, I am going to shake the sky and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all the nations, and the one whom all the nations desire will come. Then I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of Armies. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of Armies. 9 This new house will be more glorious than the former, declares the LORD of Armies. And in this place I will give [them] peace, declares the LORD of Armies." 10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month in Darius' second year as king, the LORD spoke his word to the prophet Haggai. He said, 11 "This is what the LORD of Armies says: Ask the priests for a decision. 12 Suppose a person carries meat set aside for a holy purpose and he folds it up in his clothes. If his clothes touch bread, boiled food, wine, oil, or any kind of food, does that make the food holy?" The priests answered, "No." 13 Haggai asked, "Suppose a person becomes unclean by touching a corpse. If he touches any of these things, does that make them unclean?" The priests answered, "That makes them unclean." 14 Then Haggai answered, "In the same way, I have decided that these people are unclean, and so is this nation, declares the LORD. So is everything they do. Whatever offering they bring is unclean. 15 "And from now on, carefully consider this. Consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the temple of the LORD. 16 When anyone came to a pile of grain [to get] 20 measures, there would be only 10. And when anyone came to a wine vat to draw out 50 measures, there would be only 20 in it. 17 I infested all your work with blight and mildew and struck it with hail. But you didn't come back to me, declares the LORD. 18 Carefully consider from now on, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day when the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. Carefully consider: 19 Is there any seed left in the barn? The vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree still haven't produced. But from now on I will bless you." 20 The LORD spoke his word to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month. He said, 21 "Say to Zerubbabel (governor of Judah), 'I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of nations. I will overthrow chariots and their riders, and the horses will fall along with their riders. They will kill one another with swords. 23 On that day, declares the LORD of Armies, I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel (son of Shealtiel), declares the LORD. I will make you like a signet ring, because I have chosen you, declares the LORD of Armies.'"
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