12 This is the message with which the Eternal burdened His prophet concerning Israel—the Eternal One, who began existence by stretching out the sky and founding the earth and forming the spirit deep in man.
Eternal One: 2 Watch what I’m about to do! I’m going to make Jerusalem like a cup of strong alcohol to confuse all her neighboring peoples. When they lay siege to Jerusalem, Judah will also be in the fight.[a] 3 On that day, when the enemies begin the attack, I will make Jerusalem a solid stone which cannot be moved; any who try to lift her will only be weighed down and seriously hurt themselves. All the nations on earth will come together to oppose her. 4 And on that day I promise I, the Eternal One, will confound every horse and drive every rider to madness. I will keep a watchful eye on the people of Judah even as I blind every war horse from every enemy nation. 5 Every clan of Judah will see what I am doing and believe, “The people of Jerusalem cannot be beaten because the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies and their True God, leads them.”[b] 6 On that day, I will make the clans of Judah unstoppable against their enemies, a blazing pot igniting a pile of tinder, a flaming torch consuming dry bundles of wheat. They will devour all the surrounding peoples, those to the right and those to the left, but Jerusalem will remain safe and secure, bustling with citizens. 7 The Eternal will ensure that victory comes first to the tents of Judah, so that the respect due the family of David and the citizens of Jerusalem will not outstrip the respect owed to Judah as a whole. So Jerusalem need not boast, but neither should it fear. 8 When that day comes, the Eternal will protect her citizens as a shield does. He will make the weak who stumble become like David, brave in battle; the royal line of David will be like God, like the Special Messenger of the Eternal One who goes before them in travels and in battle.
9 On that day, rest assured, I will set out to destroy all the nations who attack Jerusalem. 10 And I pledge that I will pour out a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy on the family of David and the citizens of Jerusalem. As a result, they will look upon Me whom they pierced,[c] they will grieve over Him as one grieves for an only child, and they will moan and weep for Him as one weeps for a firstborn son. 11 On that day, the grieving in Jerusalem will be as great as the pagans’ grieving ritual honoring Hadadrimmon on the plain of Megiddo each year. 12-14 The land itself will seem to mourn as family after family begins to grieve privately: the family of David and their wives, the family of Nathan’s descendants and their wives, the family of Levi and their wives, the family of Shimei and their wives, and all the families that are left and their wives. They will all mourn, a profound and private grief.
13 A day is coming when a special spring will continually flow to purify the royal house of David and the citizens of Jerusalem from sin and sexual and religious impurities.
2 The Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, promises to remove all idolatry from the land.
Eternal One: On that day, I will certainly blot out the names of the detestable idols and false gods from the land. They will never again be remembered or worshiped in this place. What’s more, I will cut off from the land the disreputable prophets and the impure spirits they work for. 3 If prophets speak again, even their fathers and mothers who brought them into the world will condemn them, saying, “You don’t deserve to live, for you speak lies and do so in the name of the Eternal.” And if they still try to prophesy, their parents will pierce their bodies to silence their lying voices. 4 On that day, the prophets will be clothed with the shame their visions will bring them. They will not be clothed with the hairy mantle, the attire of some of My prophets, to deceive the people into believing they speak for Me. 5 And each of them will have to admit, “I am no prophet, no servant of God. I am a farmer, bound to the land. I work the soil because a man sold me into slavery when I was young.” 6 And if anyone happens to say, “How did you get these ritual wounds on your chest and back?” then the answer will come back—another deception—“Oh, I received these at my friend’s house.”
7 This is a message of the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.
Eternal One: Sword, begin to stir; be ready to strike My shepherd,
to strike the man at My side.
Strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will scatter.[d]
I’ll turn My hand against the little ones.
8 It will spread across the land:
two of three will be cut down and perish,
And one of three will be left to survive.
9 And I will put this one-third through the fire—
refine them all as silver is refined, test them all as gold is tested.
They will invoke My name,
trust in My promises, and I will answer them.
I will announce, “These are My people”;
and they will confess, “The Eternal is our God.”
19 The scene changed. After this, I heard the great sound of a multitude echoing in heaven.
Multitude: Praise the Lord!
Salvation and glory and power truly belong to our God,
2 for true and just are His judgments.
He has judged the great whore
who polluted the entire earth with her sexual immorality,
And He has vindicated the blood of His servants, which she shed.
3 Again praise spilled from heaven.
Multitude: Praise the Lord!
The smoke rises up from her ruins forever and ever.
4 And the twenty-four elders and four living creatures fell on their faces and worshiped God who reigns on the throne.
Four Living Creatures and 24 Elders: Amen, Praise the Lord!
5 A Voice from the Throne: Give praise to our God,
all of you, God’s servants,
All who reverence Him,
small and great.
6 And I heard what seemed to be an immense crowd speaking with one voice—it was like the sound of a roaring waterfall, like the sound of clashing thunder.
Multitude (in unison): Praise the Lord!
For the Lord our God,
the All Powerful, reigns supreme.
7 Now is the time for joy and happiness.
He deserves all the glory we can give Him.
For the wedding feast has begun; the marriage of the Lamb to His bride has commenced,
and His bride has prepared herself for this glorious day.
The church that suffered and remained pure is now prepared for a time of glorious celebration. As Israel has been the bride of God, now the church—the bride of the Anointed One—will be intimately united with the Lamb. God and His people are about to become one. The marriage feast has been arranged at great expense, and the festivities are about to begin. But before the wedding, some things need to be put in order.
8 She had been given the finest linens to wear,
linens bright and pure,
woven from the righteous deeds of the saints.
Guide: 9 Write this down: “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb.” What I am telling you are the true words of God.
10 At that, I fell down at his feet to worship him, but he refused my praise.
Guide: Stop it. Don’t you see? I am a servant like you and your brothers and sisters, all who hold fast to the testimony of Jesus. Address your worship to God, not to me! For the testimony about Jesus is essentially the prophetic spirit.
11 I looked up and saw that heaven had opened. Suddenly, a white horse appeared. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and with righteousness He exercises judgment and wages war. 12 His eyes burn like a flaming fire, and on His head are many crowns. His name was written before the creation of the world, and no one knew it except He Himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name He was known by is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, outfitted in fine linen, white and pure, were following behind Him on white steeds. 15 From His mouth darts a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. He will rule over them with a scepter made of iron. He will trample the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God, the All Powerful. 16 And there on His robe and on His thigh was written His name: King of kings and Lord of lords.
17 Then I looked up and saw a messenger standing in the sun; and with a loud voice, he called to all the birds that fly through midheaven.
Heavenly Messenger: Come. Gather for the great feast God is preparing for you 18 where you will feast on the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of the rich and powerful, the flesh of horses and their riders—all flesh—both free and slave, both small and great.
19 I looked down, and I saw the beast I had seen earlier and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered together to wage war against the One riding the white horse and His heavenly army. 20 The beast was soon captured along with the false prophet, the earth-beast I had seen earlier who performed signs to deceive those who had agreed to receive the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its detestable image. Both of them were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21 And all who remained met death at the blade of the sword that proceeded from the mouth of the One riding on the white horse. All the birds feasted fully on their flesh.
1 Praise the Eternal!
It is good to sing praises to our God,
for praise is beautiful and pleasant.
2 The Eternal, Architect of earth, is building Jerusalem,
finding the lost, gathering Israel’s outcasts.
3 He binds their wounds,
heals the sorrows of their hearts.
4 He counts all the stars within His hands,
carefully fixing their number
and giving them names.
5 Our Lord is great. Nothing is impossible with His overwhelming power.
He is loving, compassionate, and wise beyond all measure.
6 The Eternal will lift up the lowly
but throw down the wicked to the earth.
Psalm 147 is a postexilic hymn of praise to God as Creator and Sustainer. It celebrates the rebuilding of the walls and gates that protect Jerusalem. God secures the city, grants peace to the border towns, and controls the elements.
7 Open your mouths with thanks!
Sing praises to the Eternal!
Strum the harp in unending praise to our God
8 Who blankets the heavens with clouds,
sends rain to water the thirsty earth,
and pulls up each blade of grass upon the mountainside.
9 He opens His hands to feed all the animals
and scatters seed to nestlings when they cry.
10 He takes no pleasure in the raw strength of horses;
He finds no joy in the speed of the sprinter.
11 But the Eternal does take pleasure in those who worship Him,
those who invest hope in His unfailing love.
12 O Jerusalem, praise the Eternal!
O Zion, praise your God!
13 For His divine power reinforces your city gates,
blesses your children in the womb.
14 He establishes peace within your borders,
fills your markets with hearty golden wheat.
15 His command ripples across the earth;
His word runs out on swift feet.
16 He blankets the earth in wooly snow,
scattering frost like ashes over the land.
17 He throws down hail like stones falling from a mountain.
Can any withstand His wintry blast?
18 But He dispatches His word, and the thaw begins;
at His command, the spring winds blow, gently stirring the waters back to life.
19 He brings Jacob in on His plan, declaring His word—
His statutes and His teachings to Israel.
20 He has not treated any other nation in such a way;
they live unaware of His commands.
Praise the Eternal!
31 These are the words of King Lemuel. An oracle of wisdom handed down to him by his mother:
2 Mother: What shall I say to you, my son? What wisdom can I impart, child of my womb?
What insight can I share, son of my vows?
3 Do not waste your strength on women
or invest yourself in women who would destroy even kings.
4 Take care, my son, O Lemuel.
Kings should not drink too much wine
or rulers should not crave strong drink;
5 For if they do, they will become drunk and forget the decree they just made
and alter the course of justice for all the poor and afflicted.
6 Rather, give liquor to one who is dying,
and offer wine to those struggling with life’s harsh realities.
7 Let such a one drink and forget what he is missing;
then perhaps he won’t remember his sorrows anymore.