An oracle concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
The LORD is a jealous and avenging God; the LORD takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The LORD takes vengeance on his foes and maintains his wrath against his enemies.
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power; the LORD will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.
He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Carmel wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade.
The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it.
Who can withstand his indignation? Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,
but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of [Nineveh]; he will pursue his foes into darkness.
Whatever they plot against the LORD he will bring to an end; trouble will not come a second time.
They will be entangled among thorns and drunk from their wine; they will be consumed like dry stubble.
From you, [O Nineveh,] has one come forth who plots evil against the LORD and counsels wickedness.
This is what the LORD says: "Although they have allies and are numerous, they will be cut off and pass away. Although I have afflicted you, [O Judah,] I will afflict you no more.
Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away."
The LORD has given a command concerning you, [Nineveh]: "You will have no descendants to bear your name. I will destroy the carved images and cast idols that are in the temple of your gods. I will prepare your grave, for you are vile."
Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news, who proclaims peace! Celebrate your festivals, O Judah, and fulfill your vows. No more will the wicked invade you; they will be completely destroyed.
An attacker advances against you, [Nineveh]. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength!
The LORD will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines.
The shields of his soldiers are red; the warriors are clad in scarlet. The metal on the chariots flashes on the day they are made ready; the spears of pine are brandished.
The chariots storm through the streets, rushing back and forth through the squares. They look like flaming torches; they dart about like lightning.
He summons his picked troops, yet they stumble on their way. They dash to the city wall; the protective shield is put in place.
The river gates are thrown open and the palace collapses.
It is decreed that [the city] be exiled and carried away. Its slave girls moan like doves and beat upon their breasts.
Nineveh is like a pool, and its water is draining away. "Stop! Stop!" they cry, but no one turns back.
Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold! The supply is endless, the wealth from all its treasures!
She is pillaged, plundered, stripped! Hearts melt, knees give way, bodies tremble, every face grows pale.
Where now is the lions' den, the place where they fed their young, where the lion and lioness went, and the cubs, with nothing to fear?
The lion killed enough for his cubs and strangled the prey for his mate, filling his lairs with the kill and his dens with the prey.
"I am against you," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will burn up your chariots in smoke, and the sword will devour your young lions. I will leave you no prey on the earth. The voices of your messengers will no longer be heard."
Woe to the city of blood, full of lies, full of plunder, never without victims!
The crack of whips, the clatter of wheels, galloping horses and jolting chariots!
Charging cavalry, flashing swords and glittering spears! Many casualties, piles of dead, bodies without number, people stumbling over the corpses--
all because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.
"I am against you," declares the LORD Almighty. "I will lift your skirts over your face. I will show the nations your nakedness and the kingdoms your shame.
I will pelt you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle.
All who see you will flee from you and say, 'Nineveh is in ruins-- who will mourn for her?' Where can I find anyone to comfort you?"
Are you better than Thebes, situated on the Nile, with water around her? The river was her defense, the waters her wall.
Cush and Egypt were her boundless strength; Put and Libya were among her allies.
Yet she was taken captive and went into exile. Her infants were dashed to pieces at the head of every street. Lots were cast for her nobles, and all her great men were put in chains.
You too will become drunk; you will go into hiding and seek refuge from the enemy.
All your fortresses are like fig trees with their first ripe fruit; when they are shaken, the figs fall into the mouth of the eater.
Look at your troops-- they are all women! The gates of your land are wide open to your enemies; fire has consumed their bars.
Draw water for the siege, strengthen your defenses! Work the clay, tread the mortar, repair the brickwork!
There the fire will devour you; the sword will cut you down and, like grasshoppers, consume you. Multiply like grasshoppers, multiply like locusts!
You have increased the number of your merchants till they are more than the stars of the sky, but like locusts they strip the land and then fly away.
Your guards are like locusts, your officials like swarms of locusts that settle in the walls on a cold day-- but when the sun appears they fly away, and no one knows where.
O king of Assyria, your shepherds slumber; your nobles lie down to rest. Your people are scattered on the mountains with no one to gather them.
Nothing can heal your wound; your injury is fatal. Everyone who hears the news about you claps his hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews.
Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades.
Here a great number of disabled people used to lie-- the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.
One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.
When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"
"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."
Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk."
At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath,
and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat."
But he replied, "The man who made me well said to me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.'"
So they asked him, "Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?"
The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.
Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."
The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him.
Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."
For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Jesus gave them this answer: "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.
For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.
For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.
Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,
that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.
"I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.
I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.
And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.
"Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice
and come out-- those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.
By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
"If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.
There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is valid.
"You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth.
Not that I accept human testimony; but I mention it that you may be saved.
John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light.
"I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.
And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.
You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
"I do not accept praise from men,
but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.
I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.
How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?
"But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set.
If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.
But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?"