The Coming Day of Bitter Mourning
I will never again pass by them.
declares the Lord God.
g“So many dead bodies!”
“They are thrown everywhere!”
4 Hear this, iyou who trample on the needy
and bring the poor of the land to an end,
5 saying, “When will jthe new moon be over,
that we may sell grain?
And kthe Sabbath,
that we may offer wheat for sale,
and deal deceitfully with false balances,
6 that we may buy the poor for msilver
and the needy for a pair of sandals
and sell the chaff of the wheat?”
7 The Lord has sworn by nthe pride of Jacob:
“Surely oI will never forget any of their deeds.
8 pShall not the land tremble on this account,
and everyone mourn who dwells in it,
qand all of it rise like the Nile,
and be tossed about rand sink again, like the Nile of Egypt?”
9 “And on that day,” declares the Lord God,
s“I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 tI will turn your feasts into mourning
and all your songs into lamentation;
uI will bring sackcloth on every waist
uand baldness on every head;
vI will make it like the mourning for an only son
and the end of it like a bitter day.
11 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord God,
“when wI will send a famine on the land—
not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water,
xbut of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 xThey shall wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they shall run to and fro, to seek the word of the Lord,
ybut they shall not find it.
13 z“In that day the lovely virgins and the young men
shall afaint for thirst.
14 Those who swear by bthe Guilt of Samaria,
and say, ‘As your god lives, O Dan,’
they shall fall, and never rise again.”
The Destruction of Israel
9 I saw the Lord standing beside5 the altar, and he said:
and those who are left of them I will kill with the sword;
hnot one of them shall flee away;
not one of them shall escape.
2 i“If they dig into Sheol,
from there shall my hand take them;
iif they climb up to heaven,
from there I will bring them down.
3 If they hide themselves on jthe top of Carmel,
from there I will search them out and take them;
kand if they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea,
there I will command the serpent, and it shall bite them.
4 lAnd if they go into captivity before their enemies,
there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them;
mand I will fix my eyes upon them
for evil and not for good.”
5 The Lord God of hosts,
he who touches the earth and nit melts,
and all who dwell in it mourn,
oand all of it rises like the Nile,
oand sinks again, like the Nile of Egypt;
6 pwho builds his upper chambers in the heavens
and founds his vault upon the earth;
qwho calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out upon the surface of the earth—
rthe Lord is his name.
7 “Are you not like sthe Cushites to me,
O people of Israel?” declares the Lord.
t“Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt,
8 Behold, xthe eyes of the Lord God are upon the sinful kingdom,
and I will destroy it from the surface of the ground,
yexcept that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,”
declares the Lord.
9 “For behold, I will command,
zand shake the house of Israel among all the nations
as one shakes with a sieve,
but no pebble shall fall to the earth.
10 All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword,
who say, a‘Disaster shall not overtake or meet us.’
The Restoration of Israel
11 “In that day bI will raise up
the booth of David that is fallen
and repair its breaches,
and raise up its ruins
and rebuild it as in the days of old,
12 cthat they may possess the remnant of Edom
declares the Lord who does this.
13 “Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord,
e“when the plowman shall overtake the reaper
and the treader of grapes him who sows the seed;
fthe mountains shall drip sweet wine,
and all the hills shall flow with it.
14 gI will restore the fortunes of my people Israel,
and hthey shall rebuild the ruined cities and inhabit them;
ithey shall plant vineyards and drink their wine,
and they shall make gardens and eat their fruit.
15 jI will plant them on their land,
kand they shall never again be uprooted
out of the land lthat I have given them,”
says the Lord your God.
The Jerusalem Council
15 yBut some men came down from Judea and were teaching zthe brothers, “Unless you are acircumcised baccording to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” 2 And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and cdebate with them, Paul and Barnabas and dsome of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to ethe apostles and the elders about this question. 3 So, fbeing sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, gdescribing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and hbrought great joy to all ithe brothers.1 4 jWhen they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and kthe apostles and the elders, and gthey declared all that God had done with them. 5 But some believers who belonged to lthe party of the Pharisees rose up and said, m“It is necessary nto circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”
6 oThe kapostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. 7 And after there had been much pdebate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, qthat by my mouth the Gentiles should hear rthe word of sthe gospel and believe. 8 And God, twho knows the heart, ubore witness to them, vby giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, 9 and whe made no distinction between us and them, xhaving cleansed their hearts yby faith. 10 Now, therefore, why zare you putting God to the test aby placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples bthat neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we cbelieve that we will be dsaved through ethe grace of the Lord Jesus, wjust as they will.”
12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul fas they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, gJames replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 hSimeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them ia people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,
16 j“‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
and I will restore it,
and all the Gentiles lwho are called by my name,
says the Lord, who makes these things 18 mknown from of old.’
19 Therefore nmy judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who oturn to God, 20 but should write to them pto abstain from qthe things polluted by idols, and from rsexual immorality, and from swhat has been strangled, and from sblood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, tfor he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”
The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers
22 Then it seemed good to uthe apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called vBarsabbas, and wSilas, leading men among xthe brothers, 23 with the following letter: x“The brothers, both uthe apostles and the elders, to the brothers3 who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, ygreetings. 24 Since we have heard that zsome persons have gone out from us and atroubled you4 with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come bto one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our cbeloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 dmen who have erisked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent fJudas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good gto the Holy Spirit and hto us ito lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: 29 jthat you abstain from kwhat has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”
30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves lprophets, encouraged and mstrengthened nthe brothers with many words. 33 And after they had spent some time, they were sent off oin peace by nthe brothers to those who had sent them.5 35 But pPaul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
Paul and Barnabas Separate
36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit nthe brothers qin every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them rJohn called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one swho had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose ta sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. uBarnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, vhaving been commended by wthe brothers to xthe grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, ystrengthening the churches.