Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Fear can oppress and mask wonderful talents. In his youth, Timothy was naturally timid and fearful. He thus tended to hide his gifts for fear of rejection. Paul exhorted him "to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you" (2 Timothy 1:6).

God gave you unique gifts and talents to use in His service, and "you must never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord" (2 Timothy 1:8). Fear causes those special gifts to lie smoldering inside you, smothered by intimidation and dying for lack of encouragement. When you begin to pray in the Holy Spirit, however, the latent gifts within you begin to burn brightly and become visible.

The Holy Spirit's power came upon Timothy through the laying on of hands, a method used throughout the Bible to impart blessing and release giftings. This was also the way Moses imparted the spirit of wisdom to Joshua (Deuteronomy 34:9).

David refused to let fear control and smother his life. Instead, he stated, "Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor fear the dangers of the day" (Psalm 91:5).

Rise up, stir up, and speak up. Release your gifts, and be not ashamed!

Jeremiah 39:1-41:18

39 In the ninth year of ZedekiahS 2Ch 36:11 king of Judah, in the tenth month, NebuchadnezzarS 2Ki 24:1; S Jer 28:14 king of Babylon marched against Jerusalem with his whole army and laid siegeS 2Ki 25:1; Jer 52:4; Eze 4:3; 24:2 to it.And on the ninth day of the fourthZec 8:19 month of Zedekiah’s eleventh year, the city wallS 2Ki 14:13 was broken through.Eze 33:21Then all the officialsver 13; Jer 21:4 of the king of Babylon came and took seats in the Middle Gate: Nergal-Sharezer of Samgar, Nebo-Sarsekim a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officials of the king of Babylon.When Zedekiah king of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled; they left the city at night by way of the king’s garden, through the gate between the two walls,S Isa 22:11 and headed toward the Arabah.Or the Jordan ValleyEze 12:12

But the BabylonianOr Chaldean army pursued them and overtook ZedekiahS Jer 24:8; S 32:4 in the plains of Jericho. They capturedS Jer 21:7 him and took him to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon at RiblahS Nu 34:11 in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced sentence on him.There at Riblah the king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes and also killed all the noblesS Isa 34:12 of Judah.Then he put out Zedekiah’s eyesS Nu 16:14; Eze 12:13 and bound him with bronze shackles to take him to Babylon.S Jer 2:35

The BabyloniansOr Chaldeans set fireS Jer 34:22 to the royal palace and the houses of the people and broke down the wallsS Ne 1:3; S Ps 80:12; S Isa 22:5; La 2:8 of Jerusalem.Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard carried into exile to Babylon the people who remained in the city, along with those who had gone over to him,Jer 21:9 and the rest of the people.Jer 40:1; La 1:510 But Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard left behind in the land of Judah some of the poor people, who owned nothing; and at that time he gave them vineyards and fields.

11 Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had given these orders about Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard:12 “Take him and look after him; don’t harmS Pr 16:7; Jer 15:20-21; 1Pe 3:13 him but do for him whatever he asks.”13 So Nebuzaradan the commander of the guard, Nebushazban a chief officer, Nergal-Sharezer a high official and all the other officersS ver 3 of the king of Babylon14 sent and had Jeremiah taken out of the courtyard of the guard.S Ne 3:25; Jer 37:21 They turned him over to GedaliahS 2Ki 25:22 son of Ahikam,S 2Ki 22:12 the son of Shaphan,S 2Ki 22:3 to take him back to his home. So he remained among his own people.Jer 40:5

15 While Jeremiah had been confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the Lord came to him:16 “Go and tell Ebed-MelekJer 38:7 the Cushite, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am about to fulfill my wordsPs 33:11; Isa 14:27; 40:8; Jer 44:28; La 2:17; S Mt 1:22 against this city—words concerning disaster,S Jos 23:15; Jer 21:10 not prosperity. At that time they will be fulfilled before your eyes.17 But I will rescuePs 34:22; 41:1-2 you on that day, declares the Lord; you will not be given into the hands of those you fear.18 I will saveS 1Sa 17:47; Ac 16:31 you; you will not fall by the swordS Job 5:20 but will escape with your life,S Jer 21:9; S 38:2 because you trustS Jer 17:7; Ro 10:11 in me, declares the Lord.’”

Jeremiah Freed

40 The word came to Jeremiah from the Lord after Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had released him at Ramah.S Jos 18:25; 1Sa 8:4; Mt 2:18 He had found Jeremiah bound in chains among all the captivesS Dt 21:10; S 2Ki 24:1; S 2Ch 36:10; Na 3:10 from Jerusalem and Judah who were being carried into exile to Babylon.When the commanderRo 13:4 of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The Lord your God decreedS Isa 10:22 this disasterS 2Ch 34:24; S Ps 18:18; S Pr 8:36; Gal 6:7-8 for this place.S Jos 23:15And now the Lord has brought it about; he has done just as he said he would. All this happened because you people sinnedS Pr 13:21; Ro 6:23; Jas 1:15 against the Lord and did not obeyS Lev 26:33; Dt 28:45-52; 29:24-28; 31:17-18; S 1Ki 9:9; Jer 22:8-9; Da 9:14; Ac 7:39; Ro 2:5-9 him.But today I am freeingPs 105:18-20; S Jer 37:14 you from the chainsLa 3:7 on your wrists. Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come. Look, the whole country lies before you; go wherever you please.”S Ge 13:9However, before Jeremiah turned to go,Or Jeremiah answered Nebuzaradan added, “Go back to GedaliahS 2Ki 25:22 son of Ahikam,2Ki 22:12-14 the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon has appointedNe 5:14; Jer 41:2 over the townsJer 44:2; Zec 1:12 of Judah, and live with him among the people, or go anywhere else you please.”Jer 39:14

Then the commander gave him provisions and a presentS Ge 32:20; S 1Sa 9:7 and let him go.So Jeremiah went to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpahver 10; Jdg 20:1; 1Sa 7:5-17 and stayed with him among the people who were left behind in the land.

Gedaliah Assassinated40:7-9; 41:1-3pp — 2Ki 25:22-26

When all the army officers and their men who were still in the open country heard that the king of Babylon had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam as governorS Ge 41:41; S Ne 5:14 over the land and had put him in charge of the men, women and children who were the poorestS 2Ki 24:14; S Ac 24:17; Jas 2:5 in the land and who had not been carried into exile to Babylon,they came to Gedaliah at Mizpahver 13—Ishmaelver 14; Jer 41:1, 2 son of Nethaniah, Johananver 15; Jer 41:11 and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, Seraiah son of Tanhumeth, the sons of Ephai the Netophathite,S 2Sa 23:28 and JaazaniahHebrew Jezaniah, a variant of Jaazaniah the son of the Maakathite,S Dt 3:14 and their men.Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, took an oath to reassure them and their men. “Do not be afraid to serveJer 5:19; 27:11; Ro 13:1-2; Eph 6:5-8 the Babylonians,Or Chaldeans; also in verse 10Eze 23:23” he said. “Settle down in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.S Jer 38:20; La 1:110 I myself will stay at MizpahS ver 6 to represent you before the Babylonians who come to us, but you are to harvest the wine,S Ge 27:28; S Ex 23:16 summer fruit and olive oil, and put them in your storage jars,Ex 7:19; 2Co 4:7 and live in the towns you have taken over.”Dt 1:39

11 When all the Jews in Moab,S Nu 21:11; 25:1 Ammon, EdomS Ge 25:30 and all the other countriesJer 12:14 heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant in Judah and had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, as governor over them,12 they all came back to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah at Mizpah, from all the countries where they had been scattered.Jer 43:5 And they harvested an abundance of wine and summer fruit.

13 JohananJer 42:1 son of Kareah and all the army officers still in the open country came to Gedaliah at Mizpahver 814 and said to him, “Don’t you know that Baalis king of the AmmonitesS Ge 19:38; 2Sa 10:1-19; Jer 25:21; 41:10; 49:1 has sent IshmaelS ver 8 son of Nethaniah to take your life?” But Gedaliah son of Ahikam did not believe them.

15 Then JohananS ver 8 son of Kareah said privately to Gedaliah in Mizpah, “Let me go and killS Dt 5:17; Mt 5:21-22 Ishmael son of Nethaniah, and no one will know it. Why should he take your life and cause all the Jews who are gathered around you to be scatteredS Ge 11:4; S Lev 26:33; Mt 26:31; Jn 11:52; Jas 1:1 and the remnantS 2Ki 21:14; S Isa 1:9; Ro 11:5 of Judah to perish?”

16 But Gedaliah son of Ahikam said to JohananJer 43:2 son of Kareah, “Don’t do such a thing! What you are saying about Ishmael is not true.”

41 In the seventh month IshmaelS Jer 40:8 son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, who was of royal blood and had been one of the king’s officers, came with ten men to Gedaliah son of Ahikam at Mizpah. While they were eating together there,IshmaelPs 41:9; 109:5 son of Nethaniah and the ten men who were with him got up and struck down Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, with the sword,S Jos 11:10; Jer 40:15; Heb 11:37 killing the one whom the king of Babylon had appointedS Jer 40:5 as governor over the land.2Sa 3:27; 20:9-10; S Jer 40:8Ishmael also killed all the men of Judah who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah, as well as the BabylonianOr Chaldean soldiers who were there.

The day after Gedaliah’s assassination, before anyone knew about it,eighty men who had shaved off their beards,S Lev 19:27; Jer 47:5; 48:37 torn their clothesS Ge 37:29; S Lev 10:6; S Mk 14:63 and cutS Lev 19:28 themselves came from Shechem,Ge 12:6; 33:18; Jdg 9:1-57; 1Ki 12:1 ShilohS Jos 18:1 and Samaria,1Ki 16:24 bringing grain offerings and incenseS Nu 16:40; S Lk 1:9 with them to the house of the Lord.1Ki 3:2; 6:38; 2Ki 25:9Ishmael son of Nethaniah went out from Mizpah to meet them, weeping2Sa 3:16 as he went. When he met them, he said, “Come to Gedaliah son of Ahikam.”Ps 5:9; Hos 7:11; Rev 20:10When they went into the city, Ishmael son of Nethaniah and the men who were with him slaughtered them and threw them into a cistern.S Ge 37:24; 2Ki 10:14But ten of them said to Ishmael, “Don’t kill us! We have wheat and barley, olive oil and honey, hidden in a field.”Isa 45:3 So he let them alone and did not kill them with the others.Now the cistern where he threw all the bodies of the men he had killed along with Gedaliah was the one King AsaS 1Ki 15:22; S 2Ch 16:6 had made as part of his defenseS Jdg 6:2 against BaashaS 2Ch 16:1 king of Israel. Ishmael son of Nethaniah filled it with the dead.

10 Ishmael made captives of all the rest of the peopleJer 40:7, 12 who were in Mizpah—the king’s daughtersJer 38:23 along with all the others who were left there, over whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had appointed Gedaliah son of Ahikam. Ishmael son of Nethaniah took them captive and set out to cross over to the Ammonites.S Jer 40:14

11 When JohananS Jer 40:8 son of Kareah and all the army officers who were with him heard about all the crimes Ishmael son of Nethaniah had committed,12 they took all their men and went to fightS Ex 14:14; Jn 18:36 Ishmael son of Nethaniah. They caught up with him near the great poolS Jos 9:3; Jn 9:7 in Gibeon.13 When all the peoplever 10 Ishmael had with him saw Johanan son of Kareah and the army officers who were with him, they were glad.14 All the people Ishmael had taken captive at MizpahJer 40:6 turned and went over to Johanan son of Kareah.15 But Ishmael son of Nethaniah and eight of his men escapedJob 21:30; S Pr 28:17 from Johanan and fled to the Ammonites.

Flight to Egypt

16 Then Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officersJer 42:1; 43:2 who were with him led away all the people of Mizpah who had survived,Isa 1:9; Jer 43:4; Eze 7:16; 14:22; Zep 2:9 whom Johanan had recovered from Ishmael son of Nethaniah after Ishmael had assassinated Gedaliah son of Ahikam—the soldiers, women, children and court officials he had recovered from Gibeon.17 And they went on, stopping at Geruth Kimham2Sa 19:37 near BethlehemGe 35:19; Mic 5:2 on their way to EgyptJer 42:1418 to escape the Babylonians.Or Chaldeans They were afraidS Nu 14:9; Isa 51:12; Jer 42:16; Lk 12:4-5 of them because Ishmael son of Nethaniah had killed GedaliahS 2Ki 25:22 son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon had appointed as governor over the land.

The Fall of Jerusalem

39 In JanuaryHebrew 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 NebuchadnezzarHebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar; also in 39:5, 11. of Babylon came with his entire army to besiege Jerusalem.Two and a half years later, on July 18Hebrew 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.All the officers of the Babylonian army came in and sat in triumph at the Middle Gate: Nergal-sharezer of Samgar, and Nebo-sarsekim,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.

When 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.Hebrew the Arabah.

But the BabylonianOr 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.The king of Babylon made Zedekiah watch as he slaughtered his sons at Riblah. The king of Babylon also slaughtered all the nobles of Judah.Then he gouged out Zedekiah’s eyes and bound him in bronze chains to lead him away to Babylon.

Meanwhile, the Babylonians burned Jerusalem, including the royal palace and the houses of the people, and they tore down the walls of the city.Then 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.10 But 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

11 King 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.”13 So Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard; Nebushazban, a chief officer; Nergal-sharezer, the king’s adviser; and the other officers of Babylon’s king14 sent 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.

15 The Lord had given the following message to Jeremiah while he was still in prison:16 “Say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian,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,17 but I will rescue you from those you fear so much.18 Because 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!’”

40 The 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.

The captain of the guard called for Jeremiah and said, “The Lord your God has brought this disaster on this land,just as he said he would. For these people have sinned against the Lord and disobeyed him. That is why it happened.But 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.If 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.So 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

The 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.So 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.

Gedaliah vowed to them that the BabyloniansOr 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.”

11 When 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,12 they 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

13 Soon after this, Johanan son of Kareah and the other military leaders came to Gedaliah at Mizpah.14 They 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.

15 Later 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?”

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

The Murder of Gedaliah

41 But in midautumn of that year,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,Ishmael and his ten men suddenly jumped up, drew their swords, and killed Gedaliah, whom the king of Babylon had appointed governor.Ishmael also killed all the Judeans and the BabylonianOr Chaldean. soldiers who were with Gedaliah at Mizpah.

The next day, before anyone had heard about Gedaliah’s murder,eighty 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.Ishmael left Mizpah to meet them, weeping as he went. When he reached them, he said, “Oh, come and see what has happened to Gedaliah!”

But 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.The 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.The cistern where Ishmael dumped the bodies of the men he murdered was the large oneAs 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.

10 Then 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.

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

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

39 In the ninth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the tenth month, came Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and all his army against Jerusalem, and they besieged it.

And in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, the ninth day of the month, the city was broken up.

And all the princes of the king of Babylon came in, and sat in the middle gate, even Nergalsharezer, Samgarnebo, Sarsechim, Rabsaris, Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, with all the residue of the princes of the king of Babylon.

And it came to pass, that when Zedekiah the king of Judah saw them, and all the men of war, then they fled, and went forth out of the city by night, by the way of the king's garden, by the gate betwixt the two walls: and he went out the way of the plain.

But the Chaldeans' army pursued after them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho: and when they had taken him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he gave judgment upon him.

Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah.

Moreover he put out Zedekiah's eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon.

And the Chaldeans burned the king's house, and the houses of the people, with fire, and brake down the walls of Jerusalem.

Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive into Babylon the remnant of the people that remained in the city, and those that fell away, that fell to him, with the rest of the people that remained.

10 But Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left of the poor of the people, which had nothing, in the land of Judah, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.

11 Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying,

12 Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee.

13 So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard sent, and Nebushasban, Rabsaris, and Nergalsharezer, Rabmag, and all the king of Babylon's princes;

14 Even they sent, and took Jeremiah out of the court of the prison, and committed him unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, that he should carry him home: so he dwelt among the people.

15 Now the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying,

16 Go and speak to Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished in that day before thee.

17 But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the Lord: and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid.

18 For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the Lord.

40 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, which were carried away captive unto Babylon.

And the captain of the guard took Jeremiah, and said unto him, The Lord thy God hath pronounced this evil upon this place.

Now the Lord hath brought it, and done according as he hath said: because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed his voice, therefore this thing is come upon you.

And now, behold, I loose thee this day from the chains which were upon thine hand. If it seem good unto thee to come with me into Babylon, come; and I will look well unto thee: but if it seem ill unto thee to come with me into Babylon, forbear: behold, all the land is before thee: whither it seemeth good and convenient for thee to go, thither go.

Now while he was not yet gone back, he said, Go back also to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, whom the king of Babylon hath made governor over the cities of Judah, and dwell with him among the people: or go wheresoever it seemeth convenient unto thee to go. So the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward, and let him go.

Then went Jeremiah unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and dwelt with him among the people that were left in the land.

Now when all the captains of the forces which were in the fields, even they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam governor in the land, and had committed unto him men, and women, and children, and of the poor of the land, of them that were not carried away captive to Babylon;

Then they came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanan and Jonathan the sons of Kareah, and Seraiah the son of Tanhumeth, and the sons of Ephai the Netophathite, and Jezaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men.

And Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan sware unto them and to their men, saying, Fear not to serve the Chaldeans: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon, and it shall be well with you.

10 As for me, behold, I will dwell at Mizpah, to serve the Chaldeans, which will come unto us: but ye, gather ye wine, and summer fruits, and oil, and put them in your vessels, and dwell in your cities that ye have taken.

11 Likewise when all the Jews that were in Moab, and among the Ammonites, and in Edom, and that were in all the countries, heard that the king of Babylon had left a remnant of Judah, and that he had set over them Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan;

12 Even all the Jews returned out of all places whither they were driven, and came to the land of Judah, to Gedaliah, unto Mizpah, and gathered wine and summer fruits very much.

13 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah,

14 And said unto him, Dost thou certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to slay thee? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed them not.

15 Then Johanan the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it: wherefore should he slay thee, that all the Jews which are gathered unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish?

16 But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing: for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.

41 Now it came to pass in the seventh month, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, and the princes of the king, even ten men with him, came unto Gedaliah the son of Ahikam to Mizpah; and there they did eat bread together in Mizpah.

Then arose Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and the ten men that were with him, and smote Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan with the sword, and slew him, whom the king of Babylon had made governor over the land.

Ishmael also slew all the Jews that were with him, even with Gedaliah, at Mizpah, and the Chaldeans that were found there, and the men of war.

And it came to pass the second day after he had slain Gedaliah, and no man knew it,

That there came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from Samaria, even fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in their hand, to bring them to the house of the Lord.

And Ishmael the son of Nethaniah went forth from Mizpah to meet them, weeping all along as he went: and it came to pass, as he met them, he said unto them, Come to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam.

And it was so, when they came into the midst of the city, that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah slew them, and cast them into the midst of the pit, he, and the men that were with him.

But ten men were found among them that said unto Ishmael, Slay us not: for we have treasures in the field, of wheat, and of barley, and of oil, and of honey. So he forbare, and slew them not among their brethren.

Now the pit wherein Ishmael had cast all the dead bodies of the men, whom he had slain because of Gedaliah, was it which Asa the king had made for fear of Baasha king of Israel: and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah filled it with them that were slain.

10 Then Ishmael carried away captive all the residue of the people that were in Mizpah, even the king's daughters, and all the people that remained in Mizpah, whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had committed to Gedaliah the son of Ahikam: and Ishmael the son of Nethaniah carried them away captive, and departed to go over to the Ammonites.

11 But when Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, heard of all the evil that Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had done,

12 Then they took all the men, and went to fight with Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and found him by the great waters that are in Gibeon.

13 Now it came to pass, that when all the people which were with Ishmael saw Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, then they were glad.

14 So all the people that Ishmael had carried away captive from Mizpah cast about and returned, and went unto Johanan the son of Kareah.

15 But Ishmael the son of Nethaniah escaped from Johanan with eight men, and went to the Ammonites.

16 Then took Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were with him, all the remnant of the people whom he had recovered from Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, from Mizpah, after that he had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, even mighty men of war, and the women, and the children, and the eunuchs, whom he had brought again from Gibeon:

17 And they departed, and dwelt in the habitation of Chimham, which is by Bethlehem, to go to enter into Egypt,

18 Because of the Chaldeans: for they were afraid of them, because Ishmael the son of Nethaniah had slain Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, whom the king of Babylon made governor in the land.

2 Timothy 1:1-18

Paul, an apostleS 1Co 1:1 of Christ Jesus by the will of God,S 2Co 1:1 in keeping with the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus,Eph 3:6; Tit 1:2; 1Ti 6:19

To Timothy,S Ac 16:1 my dear son:S 1Ti 1:2

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.S Ro 1:7

Thanksgiving

I thank God,S Ro 1:8 whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience,S Ac 23:1 as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.S Ro 1:10Recalling your tears,Ac 20:37 I long to see you,2Ti 4:9 so that I may be filled with joy.I am reminded of your sincere faith,1Ti 1:5 which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother EuniceAc 16:1; 2Ti 3:15 and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

Appeal for Loyalty to Paul and the Gospel

For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.S Ac 6:6; 1Ti 4:14For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid,Jer 42:11; Ro 8:15; 1Co 16:10, 11; 1Ti 4:12; Heb 2:15 but gives us power,Isa 11:2 love and self-discipline.So do not be ashamedver 12, 16; Mk 8:38 of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner.S Eph 3:1 Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel,2Ti 2:3, 9; 4:5 by the power of God.He has savedS Ro 11:14 us and calledS Ro 8:28 us to a holy life—not because of anything we have doneS Eph 2:9 but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,10 but it has now been revealedEph 1:9 through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus,S 1Ti 6:14 who has destroyed death1Co 15:26, 54 and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.11 And of this gospelver 8 I was appointedS Ac 9:15 a herald and an apostle and a teacher.1Ti 2:712 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame,ver 8, 16; Mk 8:38 because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guardver 14; 1Ti 6:20 what I have entrusted to him until that day.ver 18; S 1Co 1:8; 2Ti 4:8

13 What you heard from me,2Ti 2:2 keepS Tit 1:9 as the patternRo 6:17 of sound teaching,S 1Ti 1:10 with faith and love in Christ Jesus.S 1Th 1:3; 1Ti 1:1414 Guardver 12 the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.S Ro 8:9

Examples of Disloyalty and Loyalty

15 You know that everyone in the province of AsiaS Ac 2:9 has deserted me,2Ti 4:10, 11, 16 including Phygelus and Hermogenes.

16 May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus,2Ti 4:19 because he often refreshed me and was not ashamedver 8, 12; Mk 8:38 of my chains.S Ac 21:3317 On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me.18 May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day!S ver 12 You know very well in how many ways he helped meHeb 6:10 in Ephesus.S Ac 18:19

Greetings from Paul

This 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.

I 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

Timothy, 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.I 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.

I 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.This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you.For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.

So 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.For 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.10 And 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.11 And God chose me to be a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of this Good News.

12 That 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 himOr what has been entrusted to me. until the day of his return.

13 Hold 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.14 Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.

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

16 May 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.17 When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me.18 May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ’s return. And you know very well how helpful he was in Ephesus.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;

When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:

17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.

18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.

Psalm 90:1-91:16

BOOK IV

Psalms 90–106

Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses the man of God.

Lord, you have been our dwelling placeS Dt 33:27; Eph 2:22; Rev 21:3

throughout all generations.

Before the mountains were bornS Job 15:7

or you brought forth the whole world,

from everlasting to everlastingIsa 9:6; 57:15 you are God.S Ge 21:33; S Job 10:5; Ps 102:24-27; Pr 8:23-26

You turn people back to dust,

saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”S Ge 2:7; S Job 7:21; 34:15; 1Co 15:47

A thousand years in your sight

are like a day that has just gone by,

or like a watch in the night.S Job 10:5; 2Pe 3:8

Yet you sweep people awayS Ge 19:15 in the sleep of death—

they are like the new grass of the morning:

In the morning it springs up new,

but by evening it is dry and withered.Isa 40:6-8; Mt 6:30; Jas 1:10

We are consumed by your anger

and terrified by your indignation.

You have set our iniquities before you,

our secret sinsS Ps 19:12; 2Co 4:2; Eph 5:12 in the light of your presence.S Heb 4:13

All our days pass away under your wrath;

we finish our years with a moan.Ps 78:33

10 Our days may come to seventy years,Isa 23:15, 17; Jer 25:11

or eighty,2Sa 19:35 if our strength endures;

yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,S Job 5:7

for they quickly pass, and we fly away.S Job 20:8; S 34:15

11 If only we knew the power of your anger!

Your wrathPs 7:11 is as great as the fear that is your due.Ps 76:7

12 Teach us to number our days,Ps 39:4; 139:16; Pr 16:9; 20:24

that we may gain a heart of wisdom.Dt 32:29

13 Relent, Lord! How longPs 6:3 will it be?

Have compassion on your servants.S Dt 32:36

14 SatisfyPs 103:5; 107:9; 145:16, 19 us in the morning with your unfailing love,S Ps 77:8; 143:8

that we may sing for joyS Ps 5:11 and be glad all our days.Ps 31:7

15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,

for as many years as we have seen trouble.

16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,

your splendor to their children.Ps 44:1; Hab 3:2

17 May the favorOr beauty of the Lord our God rest on us;

establish the work of our hands for us—

yes, establish the work of our hands.Isa 26:12

Psalm 91

Whoever dwells in the shelterS Ex 33:22 of the Most High

will rest in the shadowPs 63:7; Isa 49:2; La 4:20 of the Almighty.Hebrew Shaddai

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refugever 9; S 2Sa 22:3; Ps 9:9 and my fortress,S 2Sa 22:2

my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you

from the fowler’s snarePs 124:7; Pr 6:5

and from the deadly pestilence.1Ki 8:37

He will cover you with his feathers,

and under his wings you will find refuge;S Ru 2:12; Ps 17:8

his faithfulness will be your shieldS Dt 32:10; Ps 35:2; Isa 27:3; 31:5; Zec 12:8 and rampart.

You will not fearS Job 5:21 the terror of night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,

nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,

but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes

and see the punishment of the wicked.Ps 37:34; S 58:10

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”

and you make the Most High your dwelling,

10 no harmPr 12:21 will overtake you,

no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angelsS Ge 32:1; Heb 1:14 concerning you

to guard you in all your ways;Ps 34:7

12 they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.Mt 4:6*; Lk 4:10-11*

13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;

you will trample the great lion and the serpent.Da 6:22; Lk 10:19

14 “Because heThat is, probably the king loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;

I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;

I will be with him in trouble,

I will deliver him and honor him.S 1Sa 2:30; Jn 12:26

16 With long lifeDt 6:2; S Ps 21:4 I will satisfy him

and show him my salvation.S Ps 50:23

Book four (Psalms 90–106)

Psalm 90

A prayer of Moses, the man of God.

Lord, through all the generations

you have been our home!

Before the mountains were born,

before you gave birth to the earth and the world,

from beginning to end, you are God.

You turn people back to dust, saying,

“Return to dust, you mortals!”

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

as brief as a few night hours.

You sweep people away like dreams that disappear.

They are like grass that springs up in the morning.

In the morning it blooms and flourishes,

but by evening it is dry and withered.

We wither beneath your anger;

we are overwhelmed by your fury.

You spread out our sins before you—

our secret sins—and you see them all.

We live our lives beneath your wrath,

ending our years with a groan.

10 Seventy 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.

11 Who can comprehend the power of your anger?

Your wrath is as awesome as the fear you deserve.

12 Teach us to realize the brevity of life,

so that we may grow in wisdom.

13 O Lord, come back to us!

How long will you delay?

Take pity on your servants!

14 Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love,

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

15 Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery!

Replace the evil years with good.

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

let our children see your glory.

17 And may the Lord our God show us his approval

and make our efforts successful.

Yes, make our efforts successful!

Psalm 91

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High

will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

This I declare about the Lord:

He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;

he is my God, and I trust him.

For he will rescue you from every trap

and protect you from deadly disease.

He will cover you with his feathers.

He will shelter you with his wings.

His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,

nor the arrow that flies in the day.

Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,

nor the disaster that strikes at midday.

Though a thousand fall at your side,

though ten thousand are dying around you,

these evils will not touch you.

Just open your eyes,

and see how the wicked are punished.

If you make the Lord your refuge,

if you make the Most High your shelter,

10 no evil will conquer you;

no plague will come near your home.

11 For he will order his angels

to protect you wherever you go.

12 They will hold you up with their hands

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

13 You will trample upon lions and cobras;

you will crush fierce lions and serpents under your feet!

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

I will protect those who trust in my name.

15 When they call on me, I will answer;

I will be with them in trouble.

I will rescue and honor them.

16 I will reward them with a long life

and give them my salvation.”

90 Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

For a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.

Thou carriest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep: in the morning they are like grass which groweth up.

In the morning it flourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth.

For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

11 Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to thy fear, so is thy wrath.

12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

13 Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent thee concerning thy servants.

14 O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

15 Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.

16 Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.

17 And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

Proverbs 26:1-2

26 Like snow in summer or rainS 1Sa 12:17 in harvest,

honor is not fitting for a fool.ver 8; Pr 19:10

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,

an undeserved curse does not come to rest.S Dt 23:5

26 Honor is no more associated with fools

than snow with summer or rain with harvest.

Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow,

an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim.

26 As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

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