Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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May 6 - Morning

"During Jehoiakim’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded the land, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. But then he turned against Nebuchadnezzar and rebelled. The Lord sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed by his servants the prophets. Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord’s command, in order to remove them from his presence."
- Second Kings 24:1-3

603-591 BC, Jehoiakim Rebels Against Nebuchadnezzar

In his foolish incompetence empowered by his narcissistic arrogance Jehoiakim disobeyed Jeremiah's wise and prooven advice by rebelling against Nebuchadnezzar in 601 after having become a vassal of Babylon in 605. Both Jeremiah and Daniel prophecied that the Lord had handed the kingdoms over to Nebuchadnezzar for discipline. The only way to survive was to obey the Lord's word and submit to Nebuchadnezzar...but, Jehoiakim thought he knew better!

Jehoiakim dies on December 7, 598 and because of the continual raids on the land of Judah from eastern people Jehoiakim has no royal funeral, not even a burial. Instead, his body is thrown over the Jerusalem wall like a dead donkey's carcass to be eaten by wild animals. This fulfills Jeremiah’s prophecy given to Jehoiakim during his first year as king in 608 BC and recorded in Jeremiah 22:18-19.

603 BC
  • Jeremiah chapters 13-20
  • Raiders invade Judah because of the famine.
    They come from Aram, Moab, Ammon, Chaldea.
    This is mentioned in Jeremiah 14 and 2 Kings 24:2,3.

602 BC
King Nebuchadnezzar’s younger brother, Nabu-suma-lisir, rebels in Babylon

601 BC
Egypt driven out of Syria & Israel

Babylon suffers heavy losses

Jehoiakim Rebels
  1. Egypt and Babylon meet on the plain of Gaza for Battle.
  2. Egypt is driven out of Asia but Babylon suffers heavy losses. Nebuchadnezzar returns to Babylon to rebuild his military.
  3. Judah’s king Jehoiakim decides it is a good time to rebel against Babylon. Jehoiakim has been paying tribute for three years. In this fourth year he withholds his tribute.
  4. Darius the Mede is born.

600 BC
Nebuchadnezzar stays in Babylon all year rebuilding his military.

599 BC
Jeremiah 13-20
  1. Judah continues to be invaded by raiders from the East.
  2. Cyrus the Persian is born.
  3. Nebuchadnezzar marches back into Syria to begin collecting delinquent tributes in December.

598 BC
Jehoiakim Dies

Jehoiachin becomes King
  1. Jehoiakim has not paid Judah’s tribute for three years.
  2. Nebuchadnezzar has finished in Syria and heads into Judah to collect tribute.
  3. December 7 Jehoiakim dies. Because of the continual raids from eastern people Jehoiakim has no burial. Instead his body is thrown over the Jerusalem wall. This fulfills Jeremiah’s prophecy to Jehoiakim in Jeremiah 22:18-19.
  4. Jehoiachin, son of Jehoiakim and Grandson of Josiah, becomes king at age 18.
  5. Jeremiah prophecies to Jehoiachin in Jer. 22:24-40

597 BC
Nebuchadnezzar arrives at Jerusalem

Zedekiah becomes King

Ezekiel Taken in Second Captivity

Jeremiah Writes to the Captives

Jeremiah 24

Jeremiah 29
  1. February, Nebuchadnezzar arrives at the walls of Jerusalem and begins to besiege the city in order to secure the last three years of tribute.
  2. March 10, Nebuchadnezzar seizes Jerusalem.
  3. Jehoiachin is removed as king and Josiah’s third son, Zedekiah, becomes Judah’s last king at the age of 21.
  4. Second Captivity: Nebuchadnezzar heads back to Babylon with 10,000 more captives in April. Included among the captives are:
  5. 19 year old king Jehoiachin 
  6. 25 year old craftsman who has been trained for the priesthood and will soon become a prophet, Ezekiel
  7. Ezekiel settles in the captive’s colony on the canal TelAbib. Here he will work with the other captives craftsman and artisans for the next five years. At the age of thirty (592 BC) God will appear to Ezekiel and call him to be a prophet.
  8. Jeremiah writes chapter 24.
  9. Jeremiah writes a letter, chapter 29, and sends it to the captives in Babylon.

596 BC
Tyre Siege Begins
  • Nebuchadnezzar fulfills Jeremiah 49:34 when he marches to Carchemish to drive out the Elamite raiders.  They are driven down the Tigris River.
  • Nebuchadnezzar begins a thirteen year siege on Tyre. He never finishes the siege. Alexander does take Tyre in 332 BC. These prophecies are recorded in Ezekiel 26:1-21.

594 BC
Zedekiah Plans a Revolt

False Prophets

Zedekiah Appears Before Nebuchadnezzar

Babylon Prophecy

Jeremiah 50-51

Jeremiah 27-28

Jeremiah 23
1. Zedekiah, along with Edom, Moab, Ammon, Trye, and Sidon, begins to plan a revolt against Babylon. (Jeremiah 27:3)
2. Nationalistic prophets are whipping up support for Zedekiah’s revolt by generalizing and mis-applying Scripture such as:
3. Isaiah 37:21-35
4. Psalm 2
5. Psalm 20         
6. Psalm 21
7. Psalm 72
8. August, Hananiah gives the false prophecy of Jeremiah 28.
9. October, Hananiah is dead as prophesied by Jeremiah in Jer. 28:16.
10. Nebuchadnezzar sends for Zedekiah to be brought to Babylon to interrogate him concerning the rumors he has heard of another Judean revolt.
11. Burach’s brother, Seraiah, accompanies King Zedekiah to Babylon. Seraiah is given a scroll from Jeremiah that contains prophecies of Babylon’s fall. Seraiah is to read it aloud in Babylon, tie it to a rock and throw it into the Euphrates. (Jer. 50, 51)

593 BC
Ezekiel Sees Vision

Ezekiel 1-7
  1. July 5, Ezekiel sees his first visions and is placed in the office of a prophet by God.
  2. Ezekiel is 30 years old living with the craftsmen south of Babylon on the Kebar River.
  3. Jeremiah is 55 years old living in Jerusalem.
  4. Daniel is 30 years old and serving in the palace in Babylon or traveling as an ambassador for Nebuchadnezzar. He has been in Babylon 12 years

592 BC
  1. Ezekiel 8, 9, 10 – The glory of God leaves the temple.
  2. Ezekiel 11 - Promised Restoration
  3. Ezekiel 12 – Ezekiel digs through the wall.
  4. Ezekiel 13 and 14 – False prophets are condemned.
  5. Ezekiel 15-19

Dam (Hb) – Blood (Eng) – the Hebrew word dam means blood and is used to refer to animal blood (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 3:17) or to taking a human life (Gen. 9:6; Deut. 17:8). Dam is used only 2x to refer to wine (Gen. 49:11 and Deut. 32:14 and very rarely to a color as in 2 Kings 3:22.
Do I act and make decisions in a state of incompetence or arrogance?
I will seek knowledge and instruction.
I will listen to advice and not let my own passions and desires destroy me.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


Changed to be like Christ


Manifestation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Urban growth

Herodian stones still remain of Phasael Tower, one of Herod's three towers built to protect the northwest corner of Jerusalem. (details)
Life span chart from the book of Genesis

Someone to Quote

“Knowledge of scripture is knowledge of Christ and ignorance of them is ignorance of him.” – Jerome

Something to Ponder

Reasons for rejecting the Truth, the Word of God and Jesus Christ:
1. Ignorance (Matt.22:29; Rom.1:18-23)
2. Pride (John 5:40-44)
3. Moral issues (John 3:19, 20)

Here’s a Fact

The name “Moses” was a common Egyptian name among royalty such as Ahmose and Thutmose. The name “-moses” is actually only half a name in Egyptian because it means, “born of…” For example, Thutmose means, “born of Thoth.” (Thoth was an Egyptian god.”) It could be possible that the name of a pagan god was dropped from Moses’ name. In Hebrew the word “moses” sounds like “to pull out” and “retrieve.”


"For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all his paths."
- Proverbs 5:21

Coach’s Corner

You can either make things happen or you can make a list of excuses. In the future you will either be talking about how you achieved or be explaining why you did not.

Jeremiah 22:18-19
New International Version (NIV)
18 Therefore this is what the Lord says about Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:
“They will not mourn for him:     ‘Alas, my brother! Alas, my sister!’ They will not mourn for him:     ‘Alas, my master! Alas, his splendor!’
He will have the burial of a donkey—     dragged away and thrown     outside the gates of Jerusalem.”
Jeremiah 13-20
New International Version (NIV)
A Linen Belt
13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water.” So I bought a belt, as the Lord directed, and put it around my waist.
Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: “Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Perath and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks.” So I went and hid it at Perath, as the Lord told me.
Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go now to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there.” So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless.
Then the word of the Lord came to me: “This is what the Lord says: ‘In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt—completely useless! 11 For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.’
12 “Say to them: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Every wineskin should be filled with wine.’ And if they say to you, ‘Don’t we know that every wineskin should be filled with wine?’ 13 then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to fill with drunkenness all who live in this land, including the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets and all those living in Jerusalem. 14 I will smash them one against the other, parents and children alike, declares the Lord. I will allow no pity or mercy or compassion to keep me from destroying them.’”
Threat of Captivity
Hear and pay attention,     do not be arrogant,     for the Lord has spoken.
Give glory to the Lord your God     before he brings the darkness, before your feet stumble     on the darkening hills. You hope for light,     but he will turn it to utter darkness     and change it to deep gloom.
If you do not listen,     I will weep in secret     because of your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly,     overflowing with tears,     because the Lord’s flock will be taken captive.
Say to the king and to the queen mother,     “Come down from your thrones, for your glorious crowns     will fall from your heads.”
The cities in the Negev will be shut up,     and there will be no one to open them. All Judah will be carried into exile,     carried completely away.
Look up and see     those who are coming from the north. Where is the flock that was entrusted to you,     the sheep of which you boasted?
What will you say when the Lord sets over you     those you cultivated as your special allies? Will not pain grip you     like that of a woman in labor?
And if you ask yourself,     “Why has this happened to me?”— it is because of your many sins     that your skirts have been torn off     and your body mistreated.
Can an Ethiopian change his skin     or a leopard its spots? Neither can you do good     who are accustomed to doing evil.
“I will scatter you like chaff     driven by the desert wind.
This is your lot,     the portion I have decreed for you,” declares the Lord, “because you have forgotten me     and trusted in false gods.
I will pull up your skirts over your face     that your shame may be seen—
your adulteries and lustful neighings,     your shameless prostitution! I have seen your detestable acts     on the hills and in the fields. Woe to you, Jerusalem!     How long will you be unclean?”
Drought, Famine, Sword
14 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:

“Judah mourns,     her cities languish; they wail for the land,     and a cry goes up from Jerusalem.

The nobles send their servants for water;     they go to the cisterns     but find no water. They return with their jars unfilled;     dismayed and despairing,     they cover their heads.

The ground is cracked     because there is no rain in the land; the farmers are dismayed     and cover their heads.

Even the doe in the field     deserts her newborn fawn     because there is no grass.

Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights     and pant like jackals; their eyes fail     for lack of food.”

Although our sins testify against us,     do something, Lord, for the sake of your name. For we have often rebelled;     we have sinned against you.

You who are the hope of Israel,     its Savior in times of distress, why are you like a stranger in the land,     like a traveler who stays only a night?

Why are you like a man taken by surprise,     like a warrior powerless to save? You are among us, Lord,     and we bear your name;     do not forsake us!
10 This is what the Lord says about this people:
“They greatly love to wander;     they do not restrain their feet. So the Lord does not accept them;     he will now remember their wickedness     and punish them for their sins.”
11 Then the Lord said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of this people. 12 Although they fast, I will not listen to their cry; though they offer burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Instead, I will destroy them with the sword, famine and plague.”
13 But I said, “Alas, Sovereign Lord! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’”
14 Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. 15 Therefore this is what the Lord says about the prophets who are prophesying in my name: I did not send them, yet they are saying, ‘No sword or famine will touch this land.’ Those same prophets will perish by sword and famine. 16 And the people they are prophesying to will be thrown out into the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and sword. There will be no one to bury them, their wives, their sons and their daughters. I will pour out on them the calamity they deserve.
17 “Speak this word to them:
“‘Let my eyes overflow with tears     night and day without ceasing; for the Virgin Daughter, my people,     has suffered a grievous wound,     a crushing blow.
If I go into the country,     I see those slain by the sword; if I go into the city,     I see the ravages of famine. Both prophet and priest     have gone to a land they know not.’”
Have you rejected Judah completely?     Do you despise Zion? Why have you afflicted us     so that we cannot be healed? We hoped for peace     but no good has come, for a time of healing     but there is only terror.
We acknowledge our wickedness, Lord,     and the guilt of our ancestors;     we have indeed sinned against you.
For the sake of your name do not despise us;     do not dishonor your glorious throne. Remember your covenant with us     and do not break it.
Do any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?     Do the skies themselves send down showers? No, it is you, Lord our God.     Therefore our hope is in you,     for you are the one who does all this.
15 Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go! And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘Those destined for death, to death; those for the sword, to the sword; those for starvation, to starvation; those for captivity, to captivity.’
“I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” declares the Lord, “the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds and the wild animals to devour and destroy. I will make them abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth because of what Manasseh son of Hezekiah king of Judah did in Jerusalem.

“Who will have pity on you, Jerusalem?     Who will mourn for you?     Who will stop to ask how you are?

You have rejected me,” declares the Lord.     “You keep on backsliding. So I will reach out and destroy you;     I am tired of holding back.

I will winnow them with a winnowing fork     at the city gates of the land. I will bring bereavement and destruction on my people,     for they have not changed their ways.

I will make their widows more numerous     than the sand of the sea. At midday I will bring a destroyer     against the mothers of their young men; suddenly I will bring down on them     anguish and terror.

The mother of seven will grow faint     and breathe her last. Her sun will set while it is still day;     she will be disgraced and humiliated. I will put the survivors to the sword     before their enemies,” declares the Lord.
Alas, my mother, that you gave me birth,     a man with whom the whole land strives and contends! I have neither lent nor borrowed,     yet everyone curses me.
11 The Lord said,
“Surely I will deliver you for a good purpose;     surely I will make your enemies plead with you     in times of disaster and times of distress.
“Can a man break iron—     iron from the north—or bronze?
“Your wealth and your treasures     I will give as plunder, without charge, because of all your sins     throughout your country.
I will enslave you to your enemies     in a land you do not know, for my anger will kindle a fire     that will burn against you.”
Lord, you understand;     remember me and care for me.     Avenge me on my persecutors. You are long-suffering—do not take me away;     think of how I suffer reproach for your sake.
When your words came, I ate them;     they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name,     Lord God Almighty.
I never sat in the company of revelers,     never made merry with them; I sat alone because your hand was on me     and you had filled me with indignation.
Why is my pain unending     and my wound grievous and incurable? You are to me like a deceptive brook,     like a spring that fails.
19 Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“If you repent, I will restore you     that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,     you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you,     but you must not turn to them.
I will make you a wall to this people,     a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you     but will not overcome you, for I am with you     to rescue and save you,” declares the Lord.
“I will save you from the hands of the wicked     and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”
Day of Disaster
16 Then the word of the Lord came to me: “You must not marry and have sons or daughters in this place.” For this is what the Lord says about the sons and daughters born in this land and about the women who are their mothers and the men who are their fathers: “They will die of deadly diseases. They will not be mourned or buried but will be like dung lying on the ground. They will perish by sword and famine, and their dead bodies will become food for the birds and the wild animals.”
For this is what the Lord says: “Do not enter a house where there is a funeral meal; do not go to mourn or show sympathy, because I have withdrawn my blessing, my love and my pity from this people,” declares the Lord. “Both high and low will die in this land. They will not be buried or mourned, and no one will cut themselves or shave their head for the dead. No one will offer food to comfort those who mourn for the dead—not even for a father or a mother—nor will anyone give them a drink to console them.
“And do not enter a house where there is feasting and sit down to eat and drink. For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Before your eyes and in your days I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroom in this place.
10 “When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us? What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the Lord our God?’ 11 then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law. 12 But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying me. 13 So I will throw you out of this land into a land neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’
14 “However, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 15 but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.
16 “But now I will send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks. 17 My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes. 18 I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land with the lifeless forms of their vile images and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols.”
Lord, my strength and my fortress,     my refuge in time of distress, to you the nations will come     from the ends of the earth and say, “Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods,     worthless idols that did them no good.
Do people make their own gods?     Yes, but they are not gods!”
“Therefore I will teach them—     this time I will teach them     my power and might. Then they will know     that my name is the Lord.
“Judah’s sin is engraved with an iron tool,     inscribed with a flint point, on the tablets of their hearts     and on the horns of their altars.

Even their children remember     their altars and Asherah poles beside the spreading trees     and on the high hills.

My mountain in the land     and your wealth and all your treasures I will give away as plunder,     together with your high places,     because of sin throughout your country.

Through your own fault you will lose     the inheritance I gave you. I will enslave you to your enemies     in a land you do not know, for you have kindled my anger,     and it will burn forever.”
This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,     who draws strength from mere flesh     and whose heart turns away from the Lord.

That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;     they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,     in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,     whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water     that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes;     its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought     and never fails to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things     and beyond cure.     Who can understand it?
“I the Lord search the heart     and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct,     according to what their deeds deserve.”
Like a partridge that hatches eggs it did not lay     are those who gain riches by unjust means. When their lives are half gone, their riches will desert them,     and in the end they will prove to be fools.
A glorious throne, exalted from the beginning,     is the place of our sanctuary.
Lord, you are the hope of Israel;     all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust     because they have forsaken the Lord,     the spring of living water.
Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;     save me and I will be saved,     for you are the one I praise.
They keep saying to me,     “Where is the word of the Lord?     Let it now be fulfilled!”
I have not run away from being your shepherd;     you know I have not desired the day of despair.     What passes my lips is open before you.
Do not be a terror to me;     you are my refuge in the day of disaster.
Let my persecutors be put to shame,     but keep me from shame; let them be terrified,     but keep me from terror. Bring on them the day of disaster;     destroy them with double destruction.
Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy
19 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and stand at the Gate of the People, through which the kings of Judah go in and out; stand also at all the other gates of Jerusalem. 20 Say to them, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah and all people of Judah and everyone living in Jerusalem who come through these gates. 21 This is what the Lord says: Be careful not to carry a load on the Sabbath day or bring it through the gates of Jerusalem. 22 Do not bring a load out of your houses or do any work on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy, as I commanded your ancestors. 23 Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff-necked and would not listen or respond to discipline. 24 But if you are careful to obey me, declares the Lord, and bring no load through the gates of this city on the Sabbath, but keep the Sabbath day holy by not doing any work on it, 25 then kings who sit on David’s throne will come through the gates of this city with their officials. They and their officials will come riding in chariots and on horses, accompanied by the men of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, and this city will be inhabited forever. 26 People will come from the towns of Judah and the villages around Jerusalem, from the territory of Benjamin and the western foothills, from the hill country and the Negev, bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and incense, and bringing thank offerings to the house of the Lord. 27 But if you do not obey me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying any load as you come through the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I will kindle an unquenchable fire in the gates of Jerusalem that will consume her fortresses.’”
At the Potter’s House
18 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel. If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.
11 “Now therefore say to the people of Judah and those living in Jerusalem, ‘This is what the Lord says: Look! I am preparing a disaster for you and devising a plan against you. So turn from your evil ways, each one of you, and reform your ways and your actions.’ 12 But they will reply, ‘It’s no use. We will continue with our own plans; we will all follow the stubbornness of our evil hearts.’”
13 Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“Inquire among the nations:     Who has ever heard anything like this? A most horrible thing has been done     by Virgin Israel.
Does the snow of Lebanon     ever vanish from its rocky slopes? Do its cool waters from distant sources     ever stop flowing?
Yet my people have forgotten me;     they burn incense to worthless idols, which made them stumble in their ways,     in the ancient paths. They made them walk in byways,     on roads not built up.
Their land will be an object of horror     and of lasting scorn; all who pass by will be appalled     and will shake their heads.
Like a wind from the east,     I will scatter them before their enemies; I will show them my back and not my face     in the day of their disaster.”
18 They said, “Come, let’s make plans against Jeremiah; for the teaching of the law by the priest will not cease, nor will counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophets. So come, let’s attack him with our tongues and pay no attention to anything he says.”
Listen to me, Lord;     hear what my accusers are saying!
Should good be repaid with evil?     Yet they have dug a pit for me. Remember that I stood before you     and spoke in their behalf     to turn your wrath away from them.
So give their children over to famine;     hand them over to the power of the sword. Let their wives be made childless and widows;     let their men be put to death,     their young men slain by the sword in battle.
Let a cry be heard from their houses     when you suddenly bring invaders against them, for they have dug a pit to capture me     and have hidden snares for my feet.
But you, Lord, know     all their plots to kill me. Do not forgive their crimes     or blot out their sins from your sight. Let them be overthrown before you;     deal with them in the time of your anger.
19 This is what the Lord says: “Go and buy a clay jar from a potter. Take along some of the elders of the people and of the priests and go out to the Valley of Ben Hinnom, near the entrance of the Potsherd Gate. There proclaim the words I tell you, and say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah and people of Jerusalem. This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Listen! I am going to bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. For they have forsaken me and made this a place of foreign gods; they have burned incense in it to gods that neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah ever knew, and they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. They have built the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as offerings to Baal—something I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind. So beware, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when people will no longer call this place Topheth or the Valley of Ben Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.
“‘In this place I will ruin the plans of Judah and Jerusalem. I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, at the hands of those who want to kill them, and I will give their carcasses as food to the birds and the wild animals. I will devastate this city and make it an object of horror and scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds. I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh because their enemies will press the siege so hard against them to destroy them.’
10 “Then break the jar while those who go with you are watching, 11 and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I will smash this nation and this city just as this potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired. They will bury the dead in Topheth until there is no more room. 12 This is what I will do to this place and to those who live here, declares the Lord. I will make this city like Topheth. 13 The houses in Jerusalem and those of the kings of Judah will be defiled like this place, Topheth—all the houses where they burned incense on the roofs to all the starry hosts and poured out drink offerings to other gods.’”
14 Jeremiah then returned from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, and stood in the court of the Lord’s temple and said to all the people, 15 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘Listen! I am going to bring on this city and all the villages around it every disaster I pronounced against them, because they were stiff-necked and would not listen to my words.’”
Jeremiah and Pashhur
20 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the official in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the Lord’s temple. The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord’s name for you is not Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side. For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will give all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will carry them away to Babylon or put them to the sword. I will deliver all the wealth of this city into the hands of their enemies—all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it away as plunder and carry it off to Babylon. And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.’”
Jeremiah’s Complaint

You deceived me, Lord, and I was deceived;     you overpowered me and prevailed. I am ridiculed all day long;     everyone mocks me.

Whenever I speak, I cry out     proclaiming violence and destruction. So the word of the Lord has brought me     insult and reproach all day long.

But if I say, “I will not mention his word     or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire,     a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in;     indeed, I cannot.
I hear many whispering,     “Terror on every side!     Denounce him! Let’s denounce him!” All my friends     are waiting for me to slip, saying, “Perhaps he will be deceived;     then we will prevail over him     and take our revenge on him.”
But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior;     so my persecutors will stumble and not prevail. They will fail and be thoroughly disgraced;     their dishonor will never be forgotten.
Lord Almighty, you who examine the righteous     and probe the heart and mind, let me see your vengeance on them,     for to you I have committed my cause.
Sing to the Lord!     Give praise to the Lord! He rescues the life of the needy     from the hands of the wicked.
Cursed be the day I was born!     May the day my mother bore me not be blessed!
Cursed be the man who brought my father the news,     who made him very glad, saying,     “A child is born to you—a son!”
May that man be like the towns     the Lord overthrew without pity. May he hear wailing in the morning,     a battle cry at noon.
For he did not kill me in the womb,     with my mother as my grave,     her womb enlarged forever.
Why did I ever come out of the womb     to see trouble and sorrow     and to end my days in shame?
Judges 9
New International Version (NIV)
Abimelek son of Jerub-Baal went to his mother’s brothers in Shechem and said to them and to all his mother’s clan, “Ask all the citizens of Shechem, ‘Which is better for you: to have all seventy of Jerub-Baal’s sons rule over you, or just one man?’ Remember, I am your flesh and blood.”
When the brothers repeated all this to the citizens of Shechem, they were inclined to follow Abimelek, for they said, “He is related to us.” They gave him seventy shekels of silver from the temple of Baal-Berith, and Abimelek used it to hire reckless scoundrels, who became his followers. He went to his father’s home in Ophrah and on one stone murdered his seventy brothers, the sons of Jerub-Baal. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerub-Baal, escaped by hiding. Then all the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo gathered beside the great tree at the pillar in Shechem to crown Abimelek king.
When Jotham was told about this, he climbed up on the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted to them, “Listen to me, citizens of Shechem, so that God may listen to you. One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king.’
“But the olive tree answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both gods and humans are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’
10 “Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’
11 “But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’
12 “Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’
13 “But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both gods and humans, to hold sway over the trees?’
14 “Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘Come and be our king.’
15 “The thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’
16 “Have you acted honorably and in good faith by making Abimelek king? Have you been fair to Jerub-Baal and his family? Have you treated him as he deserves? 17 Remember that my father fought for you and risked his life to rescue you from the hand of Midian. 18 But today you have revolted against my father’s family. You have murdered his seventy sons on a single stone and have made Abimelek, the son of his female slave, king over the citizens of Shechem because he is related to you. 19 So have you acted honorably and in good faith toward Jerub-Baal and his family today? If you have, may Abimelek be your joy, and may you be his, too! 20 But if you have not, let fire come out from Abimelek and consume you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and let fire come out from you, the citizens of Shechem and Beth Millo, and consume Abimelek!”
21 Then Jotham fled, escaping to Beer, and he lived there because he was afraid of his brother Abimelek.
22 After Abimelek had governed Israel three years, 23 God stirred up animosity between Abimelek and the citizens of Shechem so that they acted treacherously against Abimelek. 24 God did this in order that the crime against Jerub-Baal’s seventy sons, the shedding of their blood, might be avenged on their brother Abimelek and on the citizens of Shechem, who had helped him murder his brothers. 25 In opposition to him these citizens of Shechem set men on the hilltops to ambush and rob everyone who passed by, and this was reported to Abimelek.
26 Now Gaal son of Ebed moved with his clan into Shechem, and its citizens put their confidence in him. 27 After they had gone out into the fields and gathered the grapes and trodden them, they held a festival in the temple of their god. While they were eating and drinking, they cursed Abimelek. 28 Then Gaal son of Ebed said, “Who is Abimelek, and why should we Shechemites be subject to him? Isn’t he Jerub-Baal’s son, and isn’t Zebul his deputy? Serve the family of Hamor, Shechem’s father! Why should we serve Abimelek? 29 If only this people were under my command! Then I would get rid of him. I would say to Abimelek, ‘Call out your whole army!’”
30 When Zebul the governor of the city heard what Gaal son of Ebed said, he was very angry. 31 Under cover he sent messengers to Abimelek, saying, “Gaal son of Ebed and his clan have come to Shechem and are stirring up the city against you. 32 Now then, during the night you and your men should come and lie in wait in the fields. 33 In the morning at sunrise, advance against the city. When Gaal and his men come out against you, seize the opportunity to attack them.”
34 So Abimelek and all his troops set out by night and took up concealed positions near Shechem in four companies. 35 Now Gaal son of Ebed had gone out and was standing at the entrance of the city gate just as Abimelek and his troops came out from their hiding place.
36 When Gaal saw them, he said to Zebul, “Look, people are coming down from the tops of the mountains!”
Zebul replied, “You mistake the shadows of the mountains for men.”
37 But Gaal spoke up again: “Look, people are coming down from the central hill, and a company is coming from the direction of the diviners’ tree.”
38 Then Zebul said to him, “Where is your big talk now, you who said, ‘Who is Abimelek that we should be subject to him?’ Aren’t these the men you ridiculed? Go out and fight them!”
39 So Gaal led out the citizens of Shechem and fought Abimelek. 40 Abimelek chased him all the way to the entrance of the gate, and many were killed as they fled. 41 Then Abimelek stayed in Arumah, and Zebul drove Gaal and his clan out of Shechem.
42 The next day the people of Shechem went out to the fields, and this was reported to Abimelek. 43 So he took his men, divided them into three companies and set an ambush in the fields. When he saw the people coming out of the city, he rose to attack them. 44 Abimelek and the companies with him rushed forward to a position at the entrance of the city gate. Then two companies attacked those in the fields and struck them down. 45 All that day Abimelek pressed his attack against the city until he had captured it and killed its people. Then he destroyed the city and scattered salt over it.
46 On hearing this, the citizens in the tower of Shechem went into the stronghold of the temple of El-Berith. 47 When Abimelek heard that they had assembled there, 48 he and all his men went up Mount Zalmon. He took an ax and cut off some branches, which he lifted to his shoulders. He ordered the men with him, “Quick! Do what you have seen me do!” 49 So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelek. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire with the people still inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died.
50 Next Abimelek went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it. 51 Inside the city, however, was a strong tower, to which all the men and women—all the people of the city—had fled. They had locked themselves in and climbed up on the tower roof. 52 Abimelek went to the tower and attacked it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, 53 a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.
54 Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me, so that they can’t say, ‘A woman killed him.’” So his servant ran him through, and he died. 55 When the Israelites saw that Abimelek was dead, they went home.
56 Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelek had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. 57 God also made the people of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.
1 Kings 11
New International Version (NIV)
Solomon’s Wives
11 King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh’s daughter—Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after their gods.” Nevertheless, Solomon held fast to them in love. He had seven hundred wives of royal birth and three hundred concubines, and his wives led him astray. As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God, as the heart of David his father had been. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.
On a hill east of Jerusalem, Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the detestable god of Moab, and for Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. He did the same for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and offered sacrifices to their gods.
The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. 11 So the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates. 12 Nevertheless, for the sake of David your father, I will not do it during your lifetime. I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 Yet I will not tear the whole kingdom from him, but will give him one tribe for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”
Solomon’s Adversaries
14 Then the Lord raised up against Solomon an adversary, Hadad the Edomite, from the royal line of Edom. 15 Earlier when David was fighting with Edom, Joab the commander of the army, who had gone up to bury the dead, had struck down all the men in Edom. 16 Joab and all the Israelites stayed there for six months, until they had destroyed all the men in Edom. 17 But Hadad, still only a boy, fled to Egypt with some Edomite officials who had served his father. 18 They set out from Midian and went to Paran. Then taking people from Paran with them, they went to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave Hadad a house and land and provided him with food.
19 Pharaoh was so pleased with Hadad that he gave him a sister of his own wife, Queen Tahpenes, in marriage. 20 The sister of Tahpenes bore him a son named Genubath, whom Tahpenes brought up in the royal palace. There Genubath lived with Pharaoh’s own children.
21 While he was in Egypt, Hadad heard that David rested with his ancestors and that Joab the commander of the army was also dead. Then Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Let me go, that I may return to my own country.”
22 “What have you lacked here that you want to go back to your own country?” Pharaoh asked.
“Nothing,” Hadad replied, “but do let me go!”
23 And God raised up against Solomon another adversary, Rezon son of Eliada, who had fled from his master, Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 When David destroyed Zobah’s army, Rezon gathered a band of men around him and became their leader; they went to Damascus, where they settled and took control. 25 Rezon was Israel’s adversary as long as Solomon lived, adding to the trouble caused by Hadad. So Rezon ruled in Aram and was hostile toward Israel.
Jeroboam Rebels Against Solomon
26 Also, Jeroboam son of Nebat rebelled against the king. He was one of Solomon’s officials, an Ephraimite from Zeredah, and his mother was a widow named Zeruah.
27 Here is the account of how he rebelled against the king: Solomon had built the terraces and had filled in the gap in the wall of the city of David his father. 28 Now Jeroboam was a man of standing, and when Solomon saw how well the young man did his work, he put him in charge of the whole labor force of the tribes of Joseph.
29 About that time Jeroboam was going out of Jerusalem, and Ahijah the prophet of Shiloh met him on the way, wearing a new cloak. The two of them were alone out in the country, 30 and Ahijah took hold of the new cloak he was wearing and tore it into twelve pieces. 31 Then he said to Jeroboam, “Take ten pieces for yourself, for this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘See, I am going to tear the kingdom out of Solomon’s hand and give you ten tribes. 32 But for the sake of my servant David and the city of Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, he will have one tribe. 33 I will do this because they have forsaken me and worshiped Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, Chemosh the god of the Moabites, and Molek the god of the Ammonites, and have not walked in obedience to me, nor done what is right in my eyes, nor kept my decrees and laws as David, Solomon’s father, did.
34 “‘But I will not take the whole kingdom out of Solomon’s hand; I have made him ruler all the days of his life for the sake of David my servant, whom I chose and who obeyed my commands and decrees. 35 I will take the kingdom from his son’s hands and give you ten tribes. 36 I will give one tribe to his son so that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to put my Name. 37 However, as for you, I will take you, and you will rule over all that your heart desires; you will be king over Israel. 38 If you do whatever I command you and walk in obedience to me and do what is right in my eyes by obeying my decrees and commands, as David my servant did, I will be with you. I will build you a dynasty as enduring as the one I built for David and will give Israel to you. 39 I will humble David’s descendants because of this, but not forever.’”
40 Solomon tried to kill Jeroboam, but Jeroboam fled to Egypt, to Shishak the king, and stayed there until Solomon’s death.
Solomon’s Death
41 As for the other events of Solomon’s reign—all he did and the wisdom he displayed—are they not written in the book of the annals of Solomon? 42 Solomon reigned in Jerusalem over all Israel forty years. 43 Then he rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of David his father. And Rehoboam his son succeeded him as king.
Psalm 89
A maskil of Ethan the Ezrahite.

I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;     with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known     through all generations.

I will declare that your love stands firm forever,     that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,     I have sworn to David my servant,

‘I will establish your line forever     and make your throne firm through all generations.’”

The heavens praise your wonders, Lord,     your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.

For who in the skies above can compare with the Lord?     Who is like the Lord among the heavenly beings?

In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;     he is more awesome than all who surround him.

Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?     You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

You rule over the surging sea;     when its waves mount up, you still them.
You crushed Rahab like one of the slain;     with your strong arm you scattered your enemies.
The heavens are yours, and yours also the earth;     you founded the world and all that is in it.
You created the north and the south;     Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at your name.
Your arm is endowed with power;     your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;     love and faithfulness go before you.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,     who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
They rejoice in your name all day long;     they celebrate your righteousness.
For you are their glory and strength,     and by your favor you exalt our horn.
Indeed, our shield belongs to the Lord,     our king to the Holy One of Israel.
Once you spoke in a vision,     to your faithful people you said: “I have bestowed strength on a warrior;     I have raised up a young man from among the people.
I have found David my servant;     with my sacred oil I have anointed him.
My hand will sustain him;     surely my arm will strengthen him.
The enemy will not get the better of him;     the wicked will not oppress him.
I will crush his foes before him     and strike down his adversaries.
My faithful love will be with him,     and through my name his horn will be exalted.
I will set his hand over the sea,     his right hand over the rivers.
He will call out to me, ‘You are my Father,     my God, the Rock my Savior.’
And I will appoint him to be my firstborn,     the most exalted of the kings of the earth.
I will maintain my love to him forever,     and my covenant with him will never fail.
I will establish his line forever,     his throne as long as the heavens endure.
“If his sons forsake my law     and do not follow my statutes,
if they violate my decrees     and fail to keep my commands,
I will punish their sin with the rod,     their iniquity with flogging;
but I will not take my love from him,     nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.
I will not violate my covenant     or alter what my lips have uttered.
Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—     and I will not lie to David—
that his line will continue forever     and his throne endure before me like the sun;
it will be established forever like the moon,     the faithful witness in the sky.”
But you have rejected, you have spurned,     you have been very angry with your anointed one.
You have renounced the covenant with your servant     and have defiled his crown in the dust.
You have broken through all his walls     and reduced his strongholds to ruins.
All who pass by have plundered him;     he has become the scorn of his neighbors.
You have exalted the right hand of his foes;     you have made all his enemies rejoice.
Indeed, you have turned back the edge of his sword     and have not supported him in battle.
You have put an end to his splendor     and cast his throne to the ground.
You have cut short the days of his youth;     you have covered him with a mantle of shame.
How long, Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?     How long will your wrath burn like fire?
Remember how fleeting is my life.     For what futility you have created all humanity!
Who can live and not see death,     or who can escape the power of the grave?
Lord, where is your former great love,     which in your faithfulness you swore to David?
Remember, Lord, how your servant has been mocked,     how I bear in my heart the taunts of all the nations,
the taunts with which your enemies, Lord, have mocked,     with which they have mocked every step of your anointed one.
Praise be to the Lord forever! Amen and Amen.
Psalm 96

Sing to the Lord a new song;     sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, praise his name;     proclaim his salvation day after day.

Declare his glory among the nations,     his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;     he is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the nations are idols,     but the Lord made the heavens.

Splendor and majesty are before him;     strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,     ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;     bring an offering and come into his courts.

Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;     tremble before him, all the earth.
Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”     The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;     he will judge the peoples with equity.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;     let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;     let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,     he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness     and the peoples in his faithfulness.
Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

    Worship the Lord with gladness;     come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God.     It is he who made us, and we are his;     we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving     and his courts with praise;     give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;     his faithfulness continues through all generations.

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