The Lord Will Judge Egypt
19 Here is a message about Egypt:
Look, the Lord rides on a swift-moving cloud
and approaches Egypt.
The idols of Egypt tremble before him;
the Egyptians lose their courage.
2 “I will provoke civil strife in Egypt,
brothers will fight with each other,
as will neighbors,
cities, and kingdoms.
3 The Egyptians will panic,
and I will confuse their strategy.
They will seek guidance from the idols and from the spirits of the dead,
from the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, and from the magicians.
4 I will hand Egypt over to a harsh master;
a powerful king will rule over them,”
says the sovereign master, the Lord who commands armies.
5 The water of the sea will be dried up,
and the river will dry up and be empty.
6 The canals will stink;
the streams of Egypt will trickle and then dry up;
the bulrushes and reeds will decay,
7 along with the plants by the mouth of the river.
All the cultivated land near the river
will turn to dust and be blown away.
8 The fishermen will mourn and lament,
all those who cast a fishhook into the river,
and those who spread out a net on the water’s surface will grieve.
9 Those who make clothes from combed flax will be embarrassed;
those who weave will turn pale.
10 Those who make cloth will be demoralized;
all the hired workers will be depressed.
11 The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools;
Pharaoh’s wise advisers give stupid advice.
How dare you say to Pharaoh,
“I am one of the sages,
one well-versed in the writings of the ancient kings?”
12 But where, oh where, are your wise men?
Let them tell you, let them find out
what the Lord who commands armies has planned for Egypt.
13 The officials of Zoan are fools,
the officials of Memphis are misled;
the rulers of her tribes lead Egypt astray.
14 The Lord has made them undiscerning;
they lead Egypt astray in all she does,
so that she is like a drunk sliding around in his own vomit.
15 Egypt will not be able to do a thing,
head or tail, shoots and stalk.
16 At that time the Egyptians will be like women. They will tremble and fear because the Lord who commands armies brandishes his fist against them. 17 The land of Judah will humiliate Egypt. Everyone who hears about Judah will be afraid because of what the Lord who commands armies is planning to do to them.
18 At that time five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord who commands armies. One will be called the City of the Sun. 19 At that time there will be an altar for the Lord in the middle of the land of Egypt, as well as a sacred pillar dedicated to the Lord at its border. 20 It will become a visual reminder in the land of Egypt of the Lord who commands armies. When they cry out to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a deliverer and defender who will rescue them. 21 The Lord will reveal himself to the Egyptians, and they will acknowledge the Lord’s authority at that time. They will present sacrifices and offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and fulfill them. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and then healing them. They will turn to the Lord and he will listen to their prayers and heal them.
23 At that time there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will visit Egypt, and the Egyptians will visit Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. 24 At that time Israel will be the third member of the group, along with Egypt and Assyria, and will be a recipient of blessing in the earth. 25 The Lord who commands armies will pronounce a blessing over the earth, saying, “Blessed be my people, Egypt, and the work of my hands, Assyria, and my special possession, Israel!”
20 The Lord revealed the following message during the year in which King Sargon of Assyria sent his commanding general to Ashdod, and he fought against it and captured it. 2 At that time the Lord announced through Isaiah son of Amoz: “Go, remove the sackcloth from your waist and take your sandals off your feet.” He did as instructed and walked around in undergarments and barefoot. 3 Later the Lord explained, “In the same way that my servant Isaiah has walked around in undergarments and barefoot for the past three years, as an object lesson and omen pertaining to Egypt and Cush, 4 so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, both young and old. They will be in undergarments and barefoot, with the buttocks exposed; the Egyptians will be publicly humiliated. 5 Those who put their hope in Cush and took pride in Egypt will be afraid and embarrassed. 6 At that time those who live on this coast will say, ‘Look what has happened to our source of hope to whom we fled for help, expecting to be rescued from the king of Assyria! How can we escape now?’”
The Lord Will Judge Babylon
21 Here is a message about the Desert by the Sea:
Like strong winds blowing in the south,
one invades from the desert,
from a land that is feared.
2 I have received a distressing message:
“The deceiver deceives,
the destroyer destroys.
Attack, you Elamites!
Lay siege, you Medes!
I will put an end to all the groaning!”
3 For this reason my stomach churns;
cramps overwhelm me
like the contractions of a woman in labor.
I am disturbed by what I hear,
horrified by what I see.
4 My heart palpitates,
I shake in fear;
the twilight I desired
has brought me terror.
5 Arrange the table,
lay out the carpet,
eat and drink!
Get up, you officers,
smear oil on the shields!
6 For this is what the sovereign master has told me:
“Go, post a guard!
He must report what he sees.
7 When he sees chariots,
teams of horses,
riders on donkeys,
riders on camels,
he must be alert,
8 Then the guard cries out:
“On the watchtower, O sovereign master,
I stand all day long;
at my post
I am stationed every night.
9 Look what’s coming!
a team of horses.”
When questioned, he replies,
“Babylon has fallen, fallen!
All the idols of her gods lie shattered on the ground!”
10 O my downtrodden people, crushed like stalks on the threshing floor,
what I have heard
from the Lord who commands armies,
the God of Israel,
I have reported to you.
Bad News for Seir
11 Here is a message about Dumah:
Someone calls to me from Seir,
“Watchman, what is left of the night?
Watchman, what is left of the night?”
12 The watchman replies,
“Morning is coming, but then night.
If you want to ask, ask;
come back again.”
The Lord Will Judge Arabia
13 Here is a message about Arabia:
In the thicket of Arabia you spend the night,
you Dedanite caravans.
14 Bring out some water for the thirsty.
You who live in the land of Tema,
bring some food for the fugitives.
15 For they flee from the swords—
from the drawn sword
and from the battle-ready bow
and from the severity of the battle.
16 For this is what the sovereign master has told me: “Within exactly one year all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end. 17 Just a handful of archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be left.” Indeed, the Lord God of Israel has spoken.
Confirmation from the Jerusalem Apostles
2 Then after fourteen years I went up to Jerusalem again with Barnabas, taking Titus along too. 2 I went there because of a revelation and presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did so only in a private meeting with the influential people, to make sure that I was not running—or had not run—in vain. 3 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, although he was a Greek. 4 Now this matter arose because of the false brothers with false pretenses who slipped in unnoticed to spy on our freedom that we have in Christ Jesus, to make us slaves. 5 But we did not surrender to them even for a moment, in order that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.
6 But from those who were influential (whatever they were makes no difference to me; God shows no favoritism between people)—those influential leaders added nothing to my message. 7 On the contrary, when they saw that I was entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised just as Peter was entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised 8 (for he who empowered Peter for his apostleship to the circumcised also empowered me for my apostleship to the Gentiles) 9 and when James, Cephas, and John, who had a reputation as pillars, recognized the grace that had been given to me, they gave to Barnabas and me the right hand of fellowship, agreeing that we would go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. 10 They requested only that we remember the poor, the very thing I also was eager to do.
Paul Rebukes Peter
11 But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he had clearly done wrong. 12 Until certain people came from James, he had been eating with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he stopped doing this and separated himself because he was afraid of those who were pro-circumcision. 13 And the rest of the Jews also joined with him in this hypocrisy, so that even Barnabas was led astray with them by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that they were not behaving consistently with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “If you, although you are a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you try to force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”
Jews and Gentiles Are Justified by Faith
15 We are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners, 16 yet we know that no one is justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.
For the music director; according to the al-tashcheth style; a prayer of David, written when Saul sent men to surround his house and murder him.
1 Deliver me from my enemies, my God!
Protect me from those who attack me!
2 Deliver me from evildoers!
Rescue me from violent men!
3 For look, they wait to ambush me;
powerful men stalk me,
but not because I have rebelled or sinned, O Lord.
4 Though I have done nothing wrong, they are anxious to attack.
Spring into action and help me! Take notice of me!
5 You, O Lord God, the invincible warrior, the God of Israel,
rouse yourself and punish all the nations!
Have no mercy on any treacherous evildoers! (Selah)
6 They return in the evening;
they growl like a dog
and prowl around outside the city.
7 Look, they hurl insults at me
and openly threaten to kill me,
for they say,
8 But you, O Lord, laugh in disgust at them;
you taunt all the nations.
9 You are my source of strength! I will wait for you!
For God is my refuge.
10 The God who loves me will help me;
God will enable me to triumph over my enemies.
11 Do not strike them dead suddenly,
because then my people might forget the lesson.
Use your power to make them homeless vagabonds and then bring them down,
O Lord who shields us!
12 They speak sinful words.
So let them be trapped by their own pride
and by the curses and lies they speak!
13 Angrily wipe them out! Wipe them out so they vanish!
Let them know that God rules
in Jacob and to the ends of the earth! (Selah)
14 They return in the evening;
they growl like a dog
and prowl around outside the city.
15 They wander around looking for something to eat;
they refuse to sleep until they are full.
16 As for me, I will sing about your strength;
I will praise your loyal love in the morning.
For you are my refuge
and my place of shelter when I face trouble.
17 You are my source of strength! I will sing praises to you!
For God is my refuge, the God who loves me.
13 Do not withhold discipline from a child;
even if you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
14 If you strike him with the rod,
you will deliver him from death.