151The Lord says, “Proclaim to my people the prophetic messages that I will give you, 2and then have them written down, because they are true and will be fulfilled. 3Do not be afraid of those who plot against you or be disturbed by their unbelief. 4Every unbeliever will die because of his unbelief.”
5The Lord says, “I am going to bring terrible disasters on the whole world — war and famine, death and destruction — 6because wickedness has spread everywhere, and evil has reached its limit.”
7“Therefore,” the Lord says, 8“I will no longer remain silent about the wickedness of these godless people; I will no longer tolerate it. They have murdered innocent people, and the blood they have spilt cries out to me for revenge; the souls of the righteous are constantly pleading for vengeance. 9Let there be no doubt,” says the Lord, “I will hear the plea of all the innocent people who have been murdered and I will take vengeance for what has been done to them.
10“My people are being led to the slaughter like a flock of sheep. They will no longer have to live in Egypt; 11I will use all my strength and power to bring them out of that land. I will bring disasters on the Egyptians, as I did earlier, and I will destroy their country. 12The whole land will be in mourning; it will be shaken to its foundations when I, the Lord, strike it and pound on it. 13The farmers will mourn because their seed will fail to sprout, and their trees will be destroyed by blight, hail, and terrible storms.
14“The world and the people in it are doomed. 15The war that will bring their destruction is very near. Nations will arm themselves and fight against other nations. 16There will be great political turmoil, with one group trying to overpower another and gain control, while ignoring the legitimate government. 17There will no longer be free access to the cities, 18because the struggle for power will bring destruction, terror, and total confusion wherever people live. 19Driven by famine and terrible suffering, men will assault their neighbours and mercilessly plunder their possessions.”
20God says, “I am calling together all the kings of the earth to come from north, south, east, and west to turn back and restore what they have taken. 21I will pay them back with the same harsh treatment they have always given to my chosen people.” The Lord says, 22“I will use my power, and there will be no mercy for sinners; I will put to death all who have murdered innocent people. 23My anger has become so fierce that fire has blazed out to burn up the foundations of the earth and to burn up sinners like straw. 24Sinners who do not keep my commands are doomed,” says the Lord. 25“I will have no mercy on them! Out of my sight, you rebels! Do not defile my holy Temple.”
26God is aware of all those who sin against him, and he will hand them over to death and destruction. 27Terrible disasters have already come upon the world, and there is no escape. You have sinned against God, and he will not rescue you.
28Then in the east you will suddenly see a fearsome sight. 29Arab armies with many chariots will advance like dragons. As soon as they start out, the sound of their hissing will spread across the world and bring fear and trembling to everyone who hears it. 30The Carmonians will come out of the forest in a fierce rage like wild boars advancing in full strength to attack the dragons. With their tusks they will tear up a large part of Assyria, 31but the dragons will unite their forces, regain their former strength, and win the victory. They will turn and pursue the wild boars, 32who will be thrown into panic, beaten into silence, and forced to turn and run. 33The wild boars will be ambushed in Assyria, and one of them will be killed. This will bring fear and panic to their army and indecision to their kings.
34Then suddenly clouds — terrible, angry storm clouds — will cover the sky from one end to the other. 35They will collide head-on and release their violence upon the earth. The blood of war will be as deep as a horse's belly 36or a human thigh or a camel's knee. 37Everywhere on earth people will tremble in fear at the horrible sight. 38Then great storm clouds will move in from the north and the south, and others from the west. 39But the winds from the east will prevail and push back those angry storm clouds that were about to bring destruction.15.39 Verse 39 in Latin is unclear. 40-41Huge, powerful, angry storm clouds will arise and ruin the whole world and its people. A terrible storm of fire, hail, and flashing swords will come sweeping down on those who have power and authority.15.40–41 those who have power and authority; or every hill and mountain. Every river will overflow into the fields, and the floods 42will demolish cities, walls, mountains, hills, forests, and crops. 43-44This destruction will press on until it reaches Babylon and engulfs it in a raging storm of ruin. The dust and the smoke will form a great cloud reaching to the sky, and all the neighbouring cities will mourn for Babylon. 45Anyone who survives will become a slave to those who destroyed the city.
You, Asia, are to be pitied. You are doomed! You have enjoyed the splendour and glory of Babylon. You have imitated her and dressed up your daughters to look like prostitutes to please and gratify your lovers, who have always lusted for you. 48Because you have imitated that vile prostitute in everything she has done or planned, God has this to say: 49“I will send disasters upon you. I will make you a widow and send poverty, famine, war, and epidemics to destroy your homes and bring ruin and death. 50The power of which you boast will wither like a flower when the burning heat is sent upon you. 51You will be a wretched, weak woman so bruised, beaten, and wounded that you will no longer attract your wealthy lovers. 52I would not punish you so severely,” says the Lord, 53“if you had not murdered my chosen people. But you took great delight in striking them, and when you were drunk, you boasted about killing them.
54“Paint your face! 55You will be paid for your work as a prostitute; you will get what you have earned. 56I will pay you back,” says the Lord, “for what you have done to my chosen people. I will bring disaster on you. 57You will be put to death, and your children will starve. Your cities will be torn down, and the people out in the country will be killed. 58Those in the mountains will starve; their hunger and thirst will drive them to eat their own flesh and drink their own blood. 59You will be more miserable than anyone has ever been, but there will be still more punishment to come. 60The army that destroyed Babylon will march back through your country and devastate your peaceful city; they will destroy your beautiful country and leave most of it in ruins. 61Your country will be destroyed like straw in a fire. 62They will burn up all your forests and orchards. All over your land, your cities and mountains will be covered with ruins. 63Your splendour will vanish; your children will be carried off as prisoners; your possessions will be plundered.”
161Babylonia, Asia, Egypt, and Syria, you are doomed! 2Put on mourning, your sackcloth and goat's hair. Cry and wail for your children because the time for your destruction is near. 3I am sending war on you, and no one can stop it. 4I am sending fire on you, and no one can put it out. 5I am sending disasters on you, and no one can stop them from coming. 6Can anyone stop a hungry lion in the forest or put out a fire that is burning in straw 7or turn back an arrow shot by a strong archer? 8When the Lord God sends disaster, no one can hold it back. 9No one can put out the blazing anger of the Lord. 10When he sends lightning, no one can keep from trembling; and when it thunders, everyone is afraid. 11When the Lord makes his threats, no one can keep from falling to the ground in his presence. 12The foundations of the earth tremble. There is violent churning in the deepest part of the sea. Even the creatures in the sea are in turmoil when the Lord makes his glorious power felt. 13He is like a mighty archer whose strong right arm bends the bow. His arrows are sharp and never miss their mark once they are shot out towards any part of the earth. 14He has already sent out his disasters towards the earth, and they will not miss their target. 15The fire has been lit, and it cannot be put out until it burns up the foundations of the earth. 16The disasters are on their way towards the earth, and like an arrow shot by a strong archer, they cannot be turned back.
17I am doomed! I am doomed! Who will rescue me in those days? 18Troubles will come, and many people will groan. Famine will come, and many will die. Wars will come, and the world powers will tremble. Disasters will come, and everyone will be terrified. What will people do when these disasters come? 19Famine, epidemics, troubles, and suffering are sent to punish and correct people. 20But in spite of all this, they will not turn away from their sins; they soon forget their punishment. 21The time is coming when food will be so cheap that people will think a time of peace and plenty has arrived. But then disasters will spring up everywhere — wars, famine, and great confusion. 22Many people on earth will starve to death, and those who escape starvation will be killed in war. 23Their corpses will be thrown out like dung, and there will be no one left to comfort the living. The earth will be deserted and its cities demolished. 24There will be no one left to plough the land or sow it. 25Trees will bear their fruit, but there will be no one left to pick it. 26Grapes will ripen, but there will be no one left to make wine. There will be desolation everywhere, 27and a person will long to see the face of another human being or even to hear another person's voice. 28Only ten will be left out of a whole city, and in the countryside, only two, who have hidden in the forest or in caves. 29When an olive grove is harvested, three or four olives may be left on each tree. 30When grapes in a vineyard are picked, a few bunches may be left even by those who look carefully. 31That is how it will be in those days. Three or four will be missed by the soldiers who search through the houses to kill everyone. 32The land will be left empty; the fields will be overgrown with briars; the roads and paths will be covered with weeds and thorns because there will be no sheep to graze along them. 33Young women will be in mourning because there is no one to marry them; wives will be in mourning because they have lost their husbands; girls will be in mourning because there is no one to help them. 34All the young men will be killed in the war, and all the married men will die in the famine.
35Now listen to my message, you people who serve the Lord. 36It is the Lord's message, so receive it and believe what he says. 37The disasters are approaching rapidly, and they will not be delayed. 38A woman in the ninth month of pregnancy may suffer labour pains for several hours, but when the time comes for the baby to be born, there is no longer any delay. 39In the same way, the disasters that are coming on the earth will not be delayed, and the world will groan when it is caught in its labour pains.
40Listen to my message, my people, and get ready for the battle. When the disasters come, you must live as people whose home is not in this world. 41-42Merchants must not expect to make a profit from what they sell; they must be ready to run for their lives. Their customers must be expected to lose whatever they buy. Whoever builds a house should not plan to live in it. 43Farmers should not expect to harvest their crops or pick their grapes. 44Those who marry must not expect to have children, and those who don't marry must live as if they had been widowed. 45Everything that is done will be useless. 46Foreigners will harvest the crops, seize the wealth, tear down the houses, and carry off the children as slaves. Anyone who has children will be bringing them up to be slaves or to die of starvation. 47Anyone who makes money will do so only to see it violently taken away. The more possessions people gather, the more they spend on their cities and houses, the more attention they give to their personal appearance, 48the more angry the Lord will become with them because of their sin. This is what the Lord says. 49Just as a respectable woman despises a prostitute, 50so righteousness despises sinfulness, no matter how attractive it may look. Righteousness will expose every sin in the world and condemn it face to face when her Defender comes. 51So do not imitate sinfulness or what it does, 52for in a very short time sinfulness will be swept out of the world and righteousness will rule among us.
53Sinners must not deny their sins. Those who say that they have not sinned against God and his majesty are only bringing fiery shame upon themselves. 54The Lord certainly knows everything that people do; he knows their plans and innermost thoughts. 55When the Lord said, “Let the world be created,” it was done! When he said, “Let the sky be created,” that was done too. 56He set the stars in place by his command, and he knows how many of them there are. 57He knows what is in the deepest part of the sea and the treasures that are there. He has measured the sea and everything that is in it. 58By his word he confined the sea to its place and put the land on top of the water. 59The Lord stretched out the sky and fixed it firmly over the water like a dome. 60He put springs of water in the desert and lakes in the high mountains, so that water could flow down in the rivers and water the land. 61The Lord created human beings and gave each one of them a heart. He gave them life, breath, and understanding, 62which is the Spirit of God the Almighty, who created everything and who knows all secrets and sees into all hidden places. 63My people, the Lord knows everything you plan and the secret thoughts of your heart. Sinners who try to hide their sins are doomed. 64The Lord will carefully examine everything you have done and bring you to judgement. 65On that day you will be thrown into utter confusion; all your sins will be publicly exposed and the wicked things you have done will witness against you. 66What will you do then? How will you hide your sins from God and his angels? 67God is your judge, so fear him! Abandon your sins, put away the evil you have done, and never sin again. Then God will save you from all these disasters.
68A vast mob of people is ready now to descend on you and devour you like flames. They will drag some of you off and force you to eat pagan sacrifices. 69If you give in to them, they will ridicule you, mock you, and humiliate you. 70In many places near the cities16.70 In… cities; Latin unclear. there will be violent persecution against those who fear the Lord. 71The attackers will act like wild men; they will plunder and destroy without pity all those who still fear the Lord. 72They will turn them out of their homes and take away all their possessions. 73
This will be the time of testing for my chosen people, and they will prove to be as pure as refined gold.
74But listen to what the Lord says: “My chosen people, the time of terrible suffering is near, but I will rescue you. 75Don't be afraid or have any doubts; I am your God and I will lead you. 76If you keep my laws and my commands,” says the Lord, “you must not let your sins weigh you down or control you. 77Those who are chained by their sins, overwhelmed by the evil they have done, are doomed. They will be like a field overgrown with brushwood, with the path across it so choked with thorns that no one can get through. 78It is abandoned and doomed to be destroyed by fire.”