22 Thus says the Lord: “Go down to the house of the king of Judah and speak there this word, 2 and say, w‘Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, who sits on the throne of David, you, and your servants, and your people who enter these gates. 3 Thus says the Lord: xDo justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And ydo no wrong or violence zto the resident alien, xthe fatherless, and the widow, nor ashed innocent blood in this place. 4 For if you will indeed obey this word, bthen there shall enter the gates of this house kings who sit on the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their servants and their people. 5 But if you will not obey these words, I cswear by myself, declares the Lord, that dthis house shall become a desolation. 6 For thus says the Lord concerning the house of the king of Judah:
“‘You are like Gilead to me,
like the summit of eLebanon,
yet surely I will make you a desert,
7 gI will prepare destroyers against you,
each with his weapons,
hand they shall cut down your choicest cedars
and cast them into the fire.
8 “‘And many nations will pass by this city, and every man will say to his neighbor, i“Why has the Lord dealt thus with this great city?” 9 jAnd they will answer, “Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God and worshiped other gods and served them.”’”
10 kWeep not for him who is dead,
nor grieve for him,
lbut weep bitterly for him who goes away,
for he shall return no more
to see his native land.
Message to the Sons of Josiah
11 For thus says the Lord concerning Shallum the son of Josiah, king of Judah, who reigned instead of Josiah his father, and mwho went away from this place: “He shall return here no more, 12 but min the place where they have carried him captive, there shall he die, and he shall never see this land again.”
and his upper rooms by injustice,
pwho makes his neighbor serve him for nothing
and does not give him his wages,
14 who says, ‘I will build myself a great house
with spacious upper rooms,’
who cuts out windows for it,
paneling it with cedar
and qpainting it with vermilion.
15 Do you think you are a king
because you compete in cedar?
Did not your father eat and drink
and rdo justice and righteousness?
sThen it was well with him.
16 tHe judged the cause of the poor and needy;
sthen it was well.
Is not this uto know me?
declares the Lord.
17 But you have eyes and heart
only for your dishonest gain,
vfor shedding innocent blood,
and for practicing oppression and violence.”
18 Therefore thus says the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah:
w“They shall not lament for him, saying,
x‘Ah, my brother!’ or ‘Ah, sister!’
They shall not lament for him, saying,
y‘Ah, lord!’ or ‘Ah, his majesty!’
19 With the burial of a donkey zhe shall be buried,
dragged and dumped beyond the gates of Jerusalem.”
20 “Go up to Lebanon, and cry out,
and lift up your voice in Bashan;
cry out from aAbarim,
for all byour lovers are destroyed.
21 I spoke to you in your prosperity,
but you said, ‘I will not listen.’
that you have not obeyed my voice.
22 eThe wind shall shepherd all your shepherds,
and byour lovers shall go into captivity;
fthen you will be ashamed and confounded
because of all your evil.
23 O inhabitant of gLebanon,
nested among the cedars,
how you will be pitied when pangs come upon you,
hpain as of a woman in labor!”
24 i“As I live, declares the Lord, though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, were jthe signet ring on my right hand, yet I would tear you off 25 and kgive you linto the hand of those who seek your life, into the hand of those of whom you are afraid, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of the Chaldeans. 26 mI will hurl you and nthe mother who bore you into another country, where you were not born, and there you shall die. 27 But to the land to which they will long to return, there they shall not return.”
28 Is this man oConiah a despised, broken pot,
a pvessel no one cares for?
Why are he and his children hurled and cast
into a qland that they do not know?
29 rO land, land, land,
hear the word of the Lord!
30 Thus says the Lord:
“Write this man down as schildless,
a man who shall not succeed in his days,
tfor none of his offspring shall succeed
tin sitting on the throne of David
and ruling again in Judah.”
The Righteous Branch
23 u“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning uthe shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. vBehold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. 3 wThen I will gather the remnant of my flock xout of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, yand they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 zI will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.
5 a“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous bBranch, and che shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and dIsrael will edwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: f‘The Lord is our righteousness.’
7 g“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when they shall no longer say, ‘As the Lord lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ 8 but ‘As the Lord lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he2 had driven them.’ Then they shall dwell in their own land.”
9 Concerning the prophets:
hMy heart is broken within me;
iall my bones shake;
I am like a drunken man,
like a man overcome by wine,
because of the Lord
and because of his holy words.
10 jFor the land is full of adulterers;
and mthe pastures of the wilderness are dried up.
nTheir course is evil,
and their might is not right.
11 o“Both prophet and priest are ungodly;
even pin my house I have found their evil,
declares the Lord.
12 qTherefore their way shall be to them
like slippery paths rin the darkness,
into which they shall be driven and fall,
for I will bring disaster upon them
sin the year of their punishment,
declares the Lord.
13 In the prophets of tSamaria
uI saw an unsavory thing:
vthey prophesied by Baal
wand led my people Israel astray.
14 But in the prophets of Jerusalem
I have seen a horrible thing:
xthey commit adultery and walk in lies;
ythey strengthen the hands of evildoers,
so that no one turns from his evil;
zall of them have become like Sodom to me,
zand its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”
15 Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets:
a“Behold, I will feed them with bitter food
for from the prophets of Jerusalem
ungodliness has gone out into all the land.”
16 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, cfilling you with vain hopes. dThey speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. 17 They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, e‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who fstubbornly follows his own heart, they say, g‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”
18 For hwho among them has stood in the council of the Lord
to see and to hear his word,
or who has paid attention to his word and listened?
19 iBehold, the storm of the Lord!
Wrath has gone forth,
ja whirling tempest;
it will burst upon the head of the wicked.
20 kThe anger of the Lord will not turn back
until he has executed and kaccomplished
the intents of his heart.
lIn the latter days you will understand it clearly.
21 m“I did not send the prophets,
yet they ran;
I did not speak to them,
yet they prophesied.
22 nBut if they had stood in my council,
then they would have proclaimed my words to my people,
oand they would have turned them from their evil way,
and pfrom the evil of their deeds.
23 q“Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? 24 qCan a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the Lord. rDo I not fill heaven and earth? declares the Lord. 25 I have heard what the prophets have said swho prophesy lies in my name, saying, t‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ 26 How long shall there be lies in the heart of uthe prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, 27 who think to make my people forget my name tby their dreams that they tell one another, even as their vfathers forgot my name for Baal? 28 wLet the prophet who has a dream xtell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. yWhat has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord. 29 yIs not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and zlike a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? 30 aTherefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. 31 Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the Lord.’ 32 Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and blead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when cI did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord.
33 d“When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the Lord?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,3 and fI will cast you off, declares the Lord.’ 34 And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ dI will punish that man and his household. 35 Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, ‘What has the Lord answered?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 36 But ‘the burden of the Lord’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man’s own word, and gyou pervert the words of hthe living God, the Lord of hosts, our God. 37 Thus you shall say to the prophet, ‘What has the Lord answered you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’ 38 But if you say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’ thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have said these words, “The burden of the Lord,” when I sent to you, saying, “You shall not say, ‘The burden of the Lord,’” 39 therefore, behold, I will surely lift you up4 and fcast you away from my presence, you and the city that I gave to you and your fathers. 40 iAnd I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and iperpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.’”
1 Paul, a servant1 of God and aan apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and btheir knowledge of the truth, cwhich accords with godliness, 2 din hope of eternal life, which God, ewho never lies, fpromised gbefore the ages began2 3 and hat the proper time manifested in his word3 ithrough the preaching jwith which I have been entrusted kby the command of God our Savior;
nGrace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Qualifications for Elders
5 oThis is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and pappoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 qif anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife,4 and his children are believers5 and not open to the charge of rdebauchery or insubordination. 7 For an overseer,6 sas God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not tbe arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent uor greedy for gain, 8 but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, vand disciplined. 9 He must whold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in xsound7 doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
10 For there are many who are insubordinate, yempty talkers and deceivers, especially those of zthe circumcision party.8 11 They must be silenced, since athey are upsetting whole families by teaching bfor shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 cOne of the Cretans,9 a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”10 13 This testimony is true. Therefore drebuke them esharply, that they fmay be sound in the faith, 14 gnot devoting themselves to Jewish myths and hthe commands of people iwho turn away from the truth. 15 jTo the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and kunbelieving, nothing is pure; but both ltheir minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 mThey profess to know God, but they ndeny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, ounfit for any good work.