"Come down and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon; sit on the ground without a throne, O daughter of the Chalde'ans!
For you shall no more be called tender and delicate. Take the millstones and grind meal, put off your veil, strip off your robe, uncover your legs, pass through the rivers. Your nakedness shall be uncovered, and your shame shall be seen.
I will take vengeance, and I will spare no man."
"Our Redeemer -- the LORD of hosts is his name -- is the Holy One of Israel. Sit in silence, and go into darkness, O daughter of the Chalde'ans; for you shall no more be called the mistress of kingdoms. I was angry with my people, I profaned my heritage;
I gave them into your hand, you showed them no mercy;
on the aged you made your yoke exceedingly heavy. You said, "I shall be mistress for ever," so that you did not lay these things to heart or remember their end. Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart,
"I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow
or know the loss of children":
"These two things shall come to you in a moment, in one day; the loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and the great power of your enchantments. You felt secure in your wickedness, you said, "No one sees me"; your wisdom and your knowledge
led you astray, and you said in your heart, "I am, and there is no one besides me." But evil shall come upon you, for which you cannot atone; disaster shall fall upon you, which you will not be able to expiate; and ruin shall come on you suddenly, of which you know nothing."
"Stand fast in your enchantments and your many sorceries, with which you have labored from your youth; perhaps you may be able to succeed, perhaps you may inspire terror. You are wearied with your many counsels; let them stand forth and save you, those who divide the heavens, who gaze at the stars, who at the new moons predict what shall befall you. Behold, they are like stubble,
the fire consumes them; they cannot deliver themselves from the power of the flame. No coal for warming oneself is this,
no fire to sit before! Such to you are those with whom you have labored, who have trafficked with you from your youth; they wander about each in his own direction; there is no one to save you."
Note: Today's Gospel reading is John 5:2-18. Find a Bible translation at this address:
From the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1946, 1952, 1971 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by permission
All Bible readings from the New Revised Standard Version.
Reprinted with permission from HarperBibles.