This article is part of a series of Bible passages, which together are mainly about how the Bible says the Jewish race developed and were given laws, how they settled in ancient Israel, and how it says God sometimes punished them for disobeying his commands, which led to them changing their ways.
This is Part 4 (of 4) in Section 10: "The suffering after the Babylonian conquest, and the prophecies of the return of the Jews to Jerusalem".
Some parts of the Old Testament and the Book of Revelation are very unpleasant. If you become offended by anything, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.
The purpose of the Old Testament seems to have been mainly to try to scare lawless societies into behaving decently, giving up the cruel ways the Bible says they were guilty of. Hence much of the gruesomeness, which is at least in part meant to warn people committing cruel and hurtful actions to change.
Jeremiah chapter 31 (TEV)
1 The Lord says, "The time is coming when I will be the God of all the tribes of Israel, and they will be my people.
2 ... "People of Israel, I have always loved you, so I continue to show you my constant love. 4 Once again I will rebuild you. Once again you will take up your tambourines and dance joyfully. 5 Once again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria, and those who plant them will eat what the vineyards produce.
8 "I will bring them from the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. The blind and the lame will come with them, pregnant women and those about to give birth. They will come back a great nation. 9 My people will return weeping, praying as I lead them back. I will guide them to streams of water, on a smooth road where they will not stumble. I am like a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my oldest son."
10 The Lord says, "Nations, listen to me and proclaim my words on the far-off shores. I scattered my people, but I will gather them and guard them as a shepherd guards his flock. 11 I have set Israel's people free and have saved them from a mighty nation. 12 They will come and sing for joy on Mount Zion and be delighted with my gifts- gifts of grain and wine and olive oil, gifts of sheep and cattle. They will be like a well-watered garden; they will have everything they need. 13 Then the young women will dance and be happy, and men, young and old, will rejoice. I will comfort them and turn their mourning into joy, their sorrow into gladness.
18 "I hear the people of Israel say in grief, "Lord, we were like an untamed animal, but you taught us to obey. Bring us back; we are ready to return to you, the Lord our God. 19 We turned away from you, but soon we wanted to return. After you had punished us, we hung our heads in grief. We were ashamed and disgraced because we sinned when we were young.'
20 "Israel, you are my dearest child, the one I love best. Whenever I mention your name, I think of you with love. My heart goes out to you; I will be merciful. 21 Set up signs and mark the road; find again the way by which you left. Come back, people of Israel, come home to the towns you left.
Isaiah chapter 14 (TEV)
24 The Lord Almighty has sworn an oath: "What I have planned will happen. What I have determined to do will be done. 25 I will destroy the Assyrians in my land of Israel and trample them on my mountains. I will free my people from the Assyrian yoke and from the burdens they have had to bear. 26 This is my plan for the world, and my arm is stretched out to punish the nations." 27 The Lord Almighty is determined to do this; he has stretched out his arm to punish, and no one can stop him.
Nahum chapter 1 (TEV)
1 This is a message about Nineveh, the account of a vision seen by Nahum, who was from Elkosh.
2 The Lord God tolerates no rivals; he punishes those who oppose him. In his anger he pays them back. 3 The Lord does not easily become angry, but he is powerful and never lets the guilty go unpunished.
Nahum chapter 1 (NIV)
3 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.
4 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.
5 The mountains quake before him
and the hills melt away.
The earth trembles at his presence,
the world and all who live in it.
6 Who can withstand his indignation?
Who can endure his fierce anger?
His wrath is poured out like fire;
the rocks are shattered before him.
7 The LORD is good,
a refuge in times of trouble.
He cares for those who trust in him,
8 but with an overwhelming flood
he will make an end of Nineveh ;
he will pursue his foes into darkness.
9 Whatever they plot against the LORD
he will bring to an end;
trouble will not come a second time.
10 They will be entangled among thorns
and drunk from their wine;
they will be consumed like dry stubble.
Nahum chapter 1 (NLT)
11 Who is this king of yours who dares to plot evil against the LORD?
12 This is what the LORD says:
"Even though the Assyrians have many allies, they will be destroyed and disappear. O my people, I have already punished you once, and I will not do it again. 13 Now I will break your chains and release you from Assyrian oppression."
14 And this is what the LORD says concerning the Assyrians in Nineveh: "You will have no more children to carry on your name. I will destroy all the idols in the temples of your gods. I am preparing a grave for you because you are despicable and don't deserve to live!"
15 Look! A messenger is coming over the mountains with good news! He is bringing a message of peace. Celebrate your festivals, O people of Judah, and fulfill all your vows, for your enemies from Nineveh will never invade your land again. They have been completely destroyed!
Nahum chapter 2 (NLT)
1 Nineveh, you are already surrounded by enemy armies! Sound the alarm! Man the ramparts! Muster your defenses, and keep a sharp watch for the enemy attack to begin! 2 For the land of Israel lies empty and broken after your attacks, but the LORD will restore its honor and power again. 3 Shields flash red in the sunlight! The attack begins! See their scarlet uniforms! Watch as their glittering chariots move into position, with a forest of spears waving above them. 4 The chariots race recklessly along the streets and through the squares, swift as lightning, flickering like torches. 5 The king shouts to his officers; they stumble in their haste, rushing to the walls to set up their defenses. 6 But too late! The river gates are open! The enemy has entered! The palace is about to collapse!
Nahum chapter 2 (TEV)
7 The queen is taken captive; her servants moan like doves and beat their breasts in sorrow. 8 Like water from a broken dam the people rush from Nineveh! "Stop! Stop!" the cry rings out- but no one turns back. 9 Plunder the silver! Plunder the gold! The city is full of treasure!
10 Nineveh is destroyed, deserted, desolate! Hearts melt with fear; knees tremble, strength is gone; faces grow pale.
Nahum chapter 2 (NLT)
11 Where now is that great Nineveh, lion of the nations, full of fight and boldness, where the old and feeble and the young and tender lived with nothing to fear? 12 O Nineveh, you were once a mighty lion! You crushed your enemies to feed your cubs and your mate. You filled your city and your homes with captives and plunder.
13 "I am your enemy!" says the LORD Almighty. "Your chariots will soon go up in smoke. The finest of your youth will be killed in battle. Never again will you bring back plunder from conquered nations. Never again will the voices of your proud messengers be heard."
Nahum chapter 3 (NLT)
1 How terrible it will be for Nineveh, the city of murder and lies! She is crammed with wealth to be plundered. 2 Listen! Hear the crack of the whips as the chariots rush forward against her. Wheels rumble, horses' hooves pound, and chariots clatter as they bump wildly through the streets. 3 See the flashing swords and glittering spears in the upraised arms of the cavalry! The dead are lying in the streets - dead bodies, heaps of bodies, everywhere. People stumble over them, scramble to their feet, and fall again. 4 All this because Nineveh, the beautiful and faithless city, mistress of deadly charms, enticed the nations with her beauty. She taught them all to worship her false gods, enchanting people everywhere.
5 "No wonder I am your enemy!" declares the LORD Almighty. ... 6 I will cover you with filth and show the world how vile you really are. 7 All who see you will shrink back in horror and say, 'Nineveh lies in utter ruin.' Yet no one anywhere will regret your destruction."
Jeremiah chapter 12 (TEV)
14 The Lord says, "I have something to say about Israel's neighbors who have ruined the land I gave to my people Israel. I will take those wicked people away from their countries like an uprooted plant, and I will rescue Judah from them. 15 But after I have taken them away, I will have mercy on them; I will bring each nation back to its own land and to its own country. 16 If with all their hearts they will accept the religion of my people and will swear, "As the Lord lives'-as they once taught my people to swear by Baal-then they will also be a part of my people and will prosper. 17 But if any nation will not obey, then I will completely uproot it and destroy it. I, the Lord, have spoken."
1 This is the prophecy of Obadiah-what the Sovereign Lord said about the nation of Edom.
The Lord has sent his messenger to the nations, and we have heard his message: "Get ready! Let us go to war against Edom!"
2 The Lord says to Edom, "I will make you weak; everyone will despise you. 3 Your pride has deceived you. Your capital is a fortress of solid rock; your home is high in the mountains, and so you say to yourself, "Who can ever pull me down?'
4 Even though you make your home as high as an eagle's nest, so that it seems to be among the stars, yet I will pull you down.
5 "When thieves come at night, they take only what they want. When people gather grapes, they always leave a few. But your enemies have wiped you out completely.
6 Descendants of Esau, your treasures have been looted. 7 Your allies have deceived you; they have driven you from your country. People who were at peace with you have now conquered you. Those friends who ate with you have laid a trap for you; they say of you, "Where is all that cleverness he had?'
8 "On the day I punish Edom, I will destroy their clever men and wipe out all their wisdom. 9 The fighting men of Teman will be terrified, and every soldier in Edom will be killed.
10 "Because you robbed and killed your relatives, the descendants of Jacob, you will be destroyed and dishonored forever. 11 You stood aside on that day when enemies broke down their gates. You were as bad as those strangers who carried off Jerusalem's wealth and divided it among themselves. 12 You should not have gloated over the misfortune of your relatives in Judah. You should not have been glad on the day of their ruin. You should not have laughed at them in their distress. 13 You should not have entered the city of my people to gloat over their suffering and to seize their riches on the day of their disaster. 14 You should not have stood at the crossroads to catch those trying to escape. You should not have handed them over to the enemy on the day of their distress.
15 "The day is near when I, the Lord, will judge all nations. Edom, what you have done will be done to you. You will get back what you have given. 16 My people have drunk a bitter cup of punishment on my sacred hill. But all the surrounding nations will drink a still more bitter cup of punishment; they will drink it all and vanish away.
Malachi chapter 1 (NIV)
4 Esau's descendants in Edom may say, "We have been shattered, but we will rebuild the ruins."
4 Edom may say, "Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins."
But this is what the LORD Almighty says: "They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the LORD . 5 You will see it with your own eyes and say, 'Great is the LORD -even beyond the borders of Israel!'
Jeremiah chapter 49 (NIV)
28 Concerning Kedar and the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon attacked:
This is what the LORD says:
"Arise, and attack Kedar
and destroy the people of the East.
29 Their tents and their flocks will be taken;
their shelters will be carried off
with all their goods and camels.
Men will shout to them,
'Terror on every side!'
30 "Flee quickly away!
Stay in deep caves, you who live in Hazor,"
declares the LORD .
"Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has plotted against you;
he has devised a plan against you.
31 "Arise and attack a nation at ease,
which lives in confidence,"
declares the LORD ,
"a nation that has neither gates nor bars;
its people live alone.
32 Their camels will become plunder,
and their large herds will be booty.
I will scatter to the winds those who are in distant places
and will bring disaster on them from every side,"
declares the LORD .
33 "Hazor will become a haunt of jackals,
a desolate place forever.
No one will live there;
no man will dwell in it."
Isaiah chapter 21 (TEV)
13 This is a message about Arabia.
People of Dedan, you whose caravans camp in the barren country of Arabia, 14 give water to the thirsty people who come to you. You people of the land of Tema, give food to the refugees. 15 People are fleeing to escape from swords that are ready to kill them, from bows that are ready to shoot, from all the dangers of war.
16 Then the Lord said to me, "In exactly one year the greatness of the tribes of Kedar will be at an end. 17 The archers are the bravest warriors of Kedar, but few of them will be left. I, the Lord God of Israel, have spoken."
Isaiah chapter 63 (NLT)
4 The time has come for me to avenge my people, to ransom them from their oppressors. 5 I looked, but no one came to help my people. I was amazed and appalled at what I saw. So I executed vengeance alone; unaided, I passed down judgment. 6 I crushed the nations in my anger and made them stagger and fall to the ground."
Isaiah chapter 13 (TEV)
1 This is a message about Babylon, which Isaiah son of Amoz received from God.
3 The Lord has called out his proud and confident soldiers to fight a holy war and punish those he is angry with. 4 Listen to the noise on the mountains-the sound of a great crowd of people, the sound of nations and kingdoms gathering. The Lord of Armies is preparing his troops for battle. 5 They are coming from far-off countries at the ends of the earth. In his anger the Lord is coming to devastate the whole country.
6 Howl in pain! The day of the Lord is near, the day when the Almighty brings destruction. 7 Everyone's hands will hang limp, and everyone's courage will fail. 8 They will all be terrified and overcome with pain, like the pain of a woman in labor.
14 "The foreigners living in Babylon will run away to their homelands, scattering like deer escaping from hunters, like sheep without a shepherd. 15 Anyone who is caught will be stabbed to death. 16 While they look on helplessly, their babies will be battered to death, their houses will be looted, and their wives will be raped." 17 The Lord says, "I am stirring up the Medes to attack Babylon. They care nothing for silver and are not tempted by gold. 18 With their bows and arrows they will kill the young men. They will show no mercy to babies and take no pity on children.
19 Babylonia is the most beautiful kingdom of all; it is the pride of its people. But I, the Lord, will overthrow Babylon as I did Sodom and Gomorrah! 20 No one will ever live there again. No wandering Arab will ever pitch a tent there, and no shepherd will ever pasture a flock there. 21 It will be a place where desert animals live and where owls build their nests. Ostriches will live there, and wild goats will prance through the ruins. 22 The towers and palaces will echo with the cries of hyenas and jackals. Babylon's time has come! Her days are almost over."
Jeremiah chapter 33 (CEV)
1-2 I was still being held prisoner in the courtyard of the palace guards when the LORD told me:
I am the LORD, and I created the whole world. 3 Ask me, and I will tell you things that you don't know and can't find out. 4-5 Many of the houses in Jerusalem and some of the buildings at the royal palace have been torn down to be used in repairing the walls to keep out the Babylonian attackers. Now there are empty spaces where the buildings once stood. But I am furious, and these spaces will be filled with the bodies of the people I kill. The people of Jerusalem will cry out to me for help, but they are evil, and I will ignore their prayers.
6 Then someday, I will heal this place and my people as well, and let them enjoy unending peace. 7 I will give this land to Israel and Judah once again, and I will make them as strong as they were before. 8 They sinned and rebelled against me, but I will forgive them and take away their guilt. 9 When that happens, all nations on earth will see the good things I have done for Jerusalem, and how I have given it complete peace. The nations will celebrate and praise and honor me, but they will also tremble with fear.
10 Jeremiah, you say that this land is a desert without people or animals, and for now, you are right. The towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem are deserted, and people and animals are nowhere to be seen. But someday you will hear 11 happy voices and the sounds of parties and wedding celebrations. And when people come to my temple to offer sacrifices to thank me, you will hear them say:
"We praise you, LORD All-Powerful!
You are good to us, and your love never fails."
The land will once again be productive. 12-13 Now it is empty, without people or animals. But when that time comes, shepherds will take care of their flocks in pastures near every town in the hill country, in the foothills to the west, in the Southern Desert, in the land of the Benjamin tribe, and around Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. I, the LORD, have spoken.
Joel chapter 2 (CEV)
23 People of Zion,
celebrate in honor
of the LORD your God!
He is generous and has sent
the autumn and spring rains
in the proper seasons.
24 Grain will cover
your threshing places;
jars will overflow
with wine and olive oil.
25 … The LORD said:
28 Later, I will give my Spirit
Your sons and daughters
Your old men
will have dreams,
and your young men
will see visions.
29 In those days I will even give
my Spirit to my servants,
both men and women.
30 I will work wonders
in the sky above
and on the earth below.
There will be blood and fire
and clouds of smoke.
31 The sun will turn dark,
and the moon
will be as red as blood
before that great
and terrible day
when I appear.
32 Then the LORD will save everyone who faithfully worships him. He has promised there will be survivors on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and among them will
be his chosen ones.
Ezekiel chapter 32 (NLT)
17 ... another message came to me from the LORD: 18 "Son of man, weep for the hordes of Egypt and for the other mighty nations. For I will send them down to the world below in company with those who descend to the pit. 19 Say to them, 'O Egypt, are you lovelier than the other nations? No! So go down to the pit and lie there among the outcasts.' 20 The Egyptians will fall with the many who have died by the sword, for the sword is drawn against them. Egypt will be dragged away to its judgment. 21 Down in the grave mighty leaders will mockingly welcome Egypt and its allies, saying, 'They have come down; they lie among the outcasts, all victims of the sword.'
22 "Assyria lies there surrounded by the graves of all its people, those who were slaughtered by the sword. 23 Their graves are in the depths of the pit, and they are surrounded by their allies. These mighty men who once struck terror in the hearts of people everywhere are now dead at the hands of their enemies.
24 "Elam lies there buried with its hordes who descended as outcasts to the world below. They terrorized the nations while they lived, but now they lie in the pit and share the humiliation of those who have gone to the world of the dead. 25 They have a resting place among the slaughtered, surrounded by the graves of all their people. Yes, they terrorized the nations while they lived, but now they lie in shame in the pit, all of them outcasts, slaughtered by the sword.
26 "Meshech and Tubal are there, surrounded by the graves of all their hordes. They once struck terror into the hearts of all people. But now they are outcasts, all victims of the sword. ... They brought terror to everyone while they were still alive.
28 "You too, Egypt, will lie crushed and broken among the outcasts, all victims of the sword.
29 "Edom is there with its kings and princes. Mighty as they were, they also lie among those killed by the sword, with the outcasts who have gone down to the pit.
30 "All the princes of the north and the Sidonians are there, all victims of the sword. Once a terror, they now lie there in shame. They lie there as outcasts with all the other dead who have descended to the pit.
31 "When Pharaoh arrives, he will be relieved to find that he is not alone in having his entire army killed, says the Sovereign LORD. 32 For I have caused my terror to fall upon all the living. And Pharaoh and his hordes will lie there among the outcasts who have died by the sword. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!"
Ezekiel chapter 37 (TEV)
15 The Lord spoke to me again.
16 "Mortal man," he said, "take a wooden stick and write on it the words, "The kingdom of Judah.' Then take another stick and write on it the words, "The kingdom of Israel.' 17 Then hold the two sticks end to end in your hand so that they look like one stick. 18 When your people ask you to tell them what this means, 19 tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to take the stick representing Israel and put it with the one that represents Judah. Out of the two I will make one stick and hold it in my hand.
20 "Hold in your hand the two sticks and let the people see them. 21 Then tell them that I, the Sovereign Lord, am going to take all my people out of the nations where they have gone, gather them together, and bring them back to their own land. 22 I will unite them into one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel.
This is the last file in this section. The next section is entitled "The book of Revelation - prophecies of coming disaster", and the first file in it is entitled "The First Chapters Of Revelation - The Last Book In The Bible".
The main Bible pages on this site:
|Bible Part 1: Bible Quotations, The Holy Spirit, People And Their Stories|
|Bible Part 2: The Lives and Suffering of the Ancient Israelites|
|Bible Part 3: The Bible, Articles About Alleged Inaccuracies in it, And Stories of People who Became Christians.|
|If you have found parts of the Old Testament or the Book of Revelation offensive, please read An Attempt to Explain Gruesome Bible Passages.|
The selections of Bible quotations have been put together by Diana Holbourn.
Throughout this series, wherever the initials TEV appear, they stand for Today's English Version (The Good News Bible).Other initials:
Don't be afraid to question the truth of what a religious authority figure tells you, or even the Bible or other holy books themselves, or certain people's interpretation of them. Nothing to do with religion or the supernatural is so well established in fact it shouldn't be questioned. To find out why caution is a good idea, visit:
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There are a lot of pages on this website with quotations from the Old Testament on them. Many of these are unfortunately rather gruesome, since the main theme of the Old Testament is warnings and stories about how it says societies were punished for mass lawless and hurtful behaviour, even to the extent of having war brought on them by God, that seem to have been designed to scare societies where crime and violence were rampant into behaving more ethically. In case there is any misunderstanding, it should be understood that this website does not endorse war as anything other than a last resort. The position of the website owner can be gleaned from the articles:
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