Jeremiah 39:1-41:18, NLT

Jeremiah 39

The Fall of Jerusalem

1In January*39:1a Hebrew In the tenth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. A number of events in Jeremiah can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Babylonian records and related accurately to our modern calendar. This event occurred on January 15, 588 b.c.; see 52:4a and the note there. of the ninth year of King Zedekiah’s reign, King Nebuchadnezzar*39:1b Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar; also in 39:5, 11. of Babylon came with his entire army to besiege Jerusalem. 2Two and a half years later, on July 18*39:2 Hebrew On the ninth day of the fourth month. This day was July 18, 586 b.c.; also see note on 39:1a. in the eleventh year of Zedekiah’s reign, a section of the city wall was broken down. 3All the officers of the Babylonian army came in and sat in triumph at the Middle Gate: Nergal-sharezer of Samgar, and Nebo-sarsekim,*39:3 Or Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsekim. a chief officer, and Nergal-sharezer, the king’s adviser, and all the other officers of the king of Babylon.

4When King Zedekiah of Judah and all the soldiers saw that the Babylonians had broken into the city, they fled. They waited for nightfall and then slipped through the gate between the two walls behind the king’s garden and headed toward the Jordan Valley.*39:4 Hebrew the Arabah.

5But the Babylonian*39:5 Or Chaldean; similarly in 39:8. troops chased them and overtook Zedekiah on the plains of Jericho. They captured him and took him to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who was at Riblah in the land of Hamath. There the king of Babylon pronounced judgment upon Zedekiah. 6The king of Babylon made Zedekiah watch as he slaughtered his sons at Riblah. The king of Babylon also slaughtered all the nobles of Judah. 7Then he gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in bronze chains to lead him away to Babylon.

8Meanwhile, the Babylonians burned Jerusalem, including the royal palace and the houses of the people, and they tore down the walls of the city. 9Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, took as exiles to Babylon the rest of the people who remained in the city, those who had defected to him, and everyone else who remained. 10But Nebuzaradan allowed some of the poorest people to stay behind in the land of Judah, and he assigned them to care for the vineyards and fields.

Jeremiah Remains in Judah

11King Nebuchadnezzar had told Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, to find Jeremiah. 12“See that he isn’t hurt,” he said. “Look after him well, and give him anything he wants.” 13So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard; Nebushazban, a chief officer; Nergal-sharezer, the king’s adviser; and the other officers of Babylon’s king 14sent messengers to bring Jeremiah out of the prison. They put him under the care of Gedaliah son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, who took him back to his home. So Jeremiah stayed in Judah among his own people.

15The Lord had given the following message to Jeremiah while he was still in prison: 16“Say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian,*39:16 Hebrew the Cushite. ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I will do to this city everything I have threatened. I will send disaster, not prosperity. You will see its destruction, 17but I will rescue you from those you fear so much. 18Because you trusted me, I will give you your life as a reward. I will rescue you and keep you safe. I, the Lord, have spoken!’”

Jeremiah 40

1The Lord gave a message to Jeremiah after Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, had released him at Ramah. He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the other captives of Jerusalem and Judah who were being sent to exile in Babylon.

2The captain of the guard called for Jeremiah and said, “The Lord your God has brought this disaster on this land, 3just as he said he would. For these people have sinned against the Lord and disobeyed him. That is why it happened. 4But I am going to take off your chains and let you go. If you want to come with me to Babylon, you are welcome. I will see that you are well cared for. But if you don’t want to come, you may stay here. The whole land is before you—go wherever you like. 5If you decide to stay, then return to Gedaliah son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan. He has been appointed governor of Judah by the king of Babylon. Stay there with the people he rules. But it’s up to you; go wherever you like.”

Then Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, gave Jeremiah some food and money and let him go. 6So Jeremiah returned to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah, and he lived in Judah with the few who were still left in the land.

Gedaliah Governs in Judah

7The leaders of the Judean military groups in the countryside heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam as governor over the poor people who were left behind in Judah—the men, women, and children who hadn’t been exiled to Babylon. 8So they went to see Gedaliah at Mizpah. These included: Ishmael son of Nethaniah, Johanan and Jonathan sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, Jezaniah son of the Maacathite, and all their men.

9Gedaliah vowed to them that the Babylonians*40:9 Or Chaldeans; also in 40:10. meant them no harm. “Don’t be afraid to serve them. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and all will go well for you,” he promised. 10“As for me, I will stay at Mizpah to represent you before the Babylonians who come to meet with us. Settle in the towns you have taken, and live off the land. Harvest the grapes and summer fruits and olives, and store them away.”

11When the Judeans in Moab, Ammon, Edom, and the other nearby countries heard that the king of Babylon had left a few people in Judah and that Gedaliah was the governor, 12they began to return to Judah from the places to which they had fled. They stopped at Mizpah to meet with Gedaliah and then went into the Judean countryside to gather a great harvest of grapes and other crops.

A Plot against Gedaliah

13Soon after this, Johanan son of Kareah and the other military leaders came to Gedaliah at Mizpah. 14They said to him, “Did you know that Baalis, king of Ammon, has sent Ishmael son of Nethaniah to assassinate you?” But Gedaliah refused to believe them.

15Later Johanan had a private conference with Gedaliah and volunteered to kill Ishmael secretly. “Why should we let him come and murder you?” Johanan asked. “What will happen then to the Judeans who have returned? Why should the few of us who are still left be scattered and lost?”

16But Gedaliah said to Johanan, “I forbid you to do any such thing, for you are lying about Ishmael.”

Jeremiah 41

The Murder of Gedaliah

1But in midautumn of that year,*41:1 Hebrew in the seventh month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This month occurred within the months of October and November 586 b.c.; also see note on 39:1a. Ishmael son of Nethaniah and grandson of Elishama, who was a member of the royal family and had been one of the king’s high officials, went to Mizpah with ten men to meet Gedaliah. While they were eating together, 2Ishmael and his ten men suddenly jumped up, drew their swords, and killed Gedaliah, whom the king of Babylon had appointed governor. 3Ishmael also killed all the Judeans and the Babylonian*41:3 Or Chaldean. soldiers who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah.

4The next day, before anyone had heard about Gedaliah’s murder, 5eighty men arrived from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria to worship at the Temple of the Lord. They had shaved off their beards, torn their clothes, and cut themselves, and had brought along grain offerings and frankincense. 6Ishmael left Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he went. When he reached them, he said, “Oh, come and see what has happened to Gedaliah!”

7But as soon as they were all inside the town, Ishmael and his men killed all but ten of them and threw their bodies into a cistern. 8The other ten had talked Ishmael into letting them go by promising to bring him their stores of wheat, barley, olive oil, and honey that they had hidden away. 9The cistern where Ishmael dumped the bodies of the men he murdered was the large one*41:9 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads murdered because of Gedaliah was one. dug by King Asa when he fortified Mizpah to protect himself against King Baasha of Israel. Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled it with corpses.

10Then Ishmael made captives of the king’s daughters and the other people who had been left under Gedaliah’s care in Mizpah by Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard. Taking them with him, he started back toward the land of Ammon.

11But when Johanan son of Kareah and the other military leaders heard about Ishmael’s crimes, 12they took all their men and set out to stop him. They caught up with him at the large pool near Gibeon. 13The people Ishmael had captured shouted for joy when they saw Johanan and the other military leaders. 14And all the captives from Mizpah escaped and began to help Johanan. 15Meanwhile, Ishmael and eight of his men escaped from Johanan into the land of Ammon.

16Then Johanan son of Kareah and the other military leaders took all the people they had rescued in Gibeon—the soldiers, women, children, and court officials*41:16 Or eunuchs. whom Ishmael had captured after he killed Gedaliah. 17They took them all to the village of Geruth-kimham near Bethlehem, where they prepared to leave for Egypt. 18They were afraid of what the Babylonians*41:18 Or Chaldeans. would do when they heard that Ishmael had killed Gedaliah, the governor appointed by the Babylonian king.

2 Timothy 1:1-18, NLT

2 Timothy 1

Greetings from Paul

1This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I have been sent out to tell others about the life he has promised through faith in Christ Jesus.

2I am writing to Timothy, my dear son.

May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord give you grace, mercy, and peace.

Encouragement to Be Faithful

3Timothy, I thank God for you—the God I serve with a clear conscience, just as my ancestors did. Night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4I long to see you again, for I remember your tears as we parted. And I will be filled with joy when we are together again.

5I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother Lois and your mother, Eunice. And I know that same faith continues strong in you. 6This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you. 7For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

8So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, either, even though I’m in prison for him. With the strength God gives you, be ready to suffer with me for the sake of the Good News. 9For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 10And now he has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News. 11And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.

12That is why I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him*1:12 Or what has been entrusted to me. until the day of his return.

13Hold on to the pattern of wholesome teaching you learned from me—a pattern shaped by the faith and love that you have in Christ Jesus. 14Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.

15As you know, everyone from the province of Asia has deserted me—even Phygelus and Hermogenes.

16May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains. 17When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. 18May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ’s return. And you know very well how helpful he was in Ephesus.

Psalms 90:1-91:16, NLT

Book Four (Psalms 90–106)

Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses, the man of God.

1Lord, through all the generations

you have been our home!

2Before the mountains were born,

before you gave birth to the earth and the world,

from beginning to end, you are God.

3You turn people back to dust, saying,

“Return to dust, you mortals!”

4For you, a thousand years are as a passing day,

as brief as a few night hours.

5You sweep people away like dreams that disappear.

They are like grass that springs up in the morning.

6In the morning it blooms and flourishes,

but by evening it is dry and withered.

7We wither beneath your anger;

we are overwhelmed by your fury.

8You spread out our sins before you—

our secret sins—and you see them all.

9We live our lives beneath your wrath,

ending our years with a groan.

10Seventy years are given to us!

Some even live to eighty.

But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble;

soon they disappear, and we fly away.

11Who can comprehend the power of your anger?

Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve.

12Teach us to realize the brevity of life,

so that we may grow in wisdom.

13Lord, come back to us!

How long will you delay?

Take pity on your servants!

14Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,

so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.

15Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!

Replace the evil years with good.

16Let us, your servants, see you work again;

let our children see your glory.

17And may the Lord our God show us his approval

and make our efforts successful.

Yes, make our efforts successful!

Psalm 91

1Those who live in the shelter of the Most High

will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2This I declare about the Lord:

He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;

he is my God, and I trust him.

3For he will rescue you from every trap

and protect you from deadly disease.

4He will cover you with his feathers.

He will shelter you with his wings.

His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

5Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,

nor the arrow that flies in the day.

6Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,

nor the disaster that strikes at midday.

7Though a thousand fall at your side,

though ten thousand are dying around you,

these evils will not touch you.

8Just open your eyes,

and see how the wicked are punished.

9If you make the Lord your refuge,

if you make the Most High your shelter,

10no evil will conquer you;

no plague will come near your home.

11For he will order his angels

to protect you wherever you go.

12They will hold you up with their hands

so you won’t even hurt your foot on a stone.

13You will trample upon lions and cobras;

you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

14The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.

I will protect those who trust in my name.

15When they call on me, I will answer;

I will be with them in trouble.

I will rescue and honor them.

16I will reward them with a long life

and give them my salvation.”

Proverbs 26:1-2, NLT

Proverbs 26

1Honor is no more associated with fools

than snow with summer or rain with harvest.

2Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,

an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.