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 6 (of 10) in Section 8: "The predictions Old Testament prophets gave of total disaster at the hands of invaders as a punishment from God for their sins".
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.
If you would like to read Bible passages about God's Holy Spirit, visit What The Bible Says About The Life-Changing Power Of God's Holy Spirit.
Jeremiah chapter 10 (NIV)
1 Hear what the LORD says to you, O house of Israel. 2 This is what the LORD says:
"Do not learn the ways of the nations or be terrified by signs in the sky, though the nations are terrified by them. 3 For the customs of the peoples are worthless; they cut a tree out of the forest, and a craftsman shapes it with his chisel. 4 They adorn it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so it will not totter. 5 Like a scarecrow in a melon patch, their idols cannot speak; they must be carried because they cannot walk. Do not fear them; they can do no harm nor can they do any good."
6 No one is like you, O LORD ; you are great, and your name is mighty in power. 7 Who should not revere you, O King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise men of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you. 8 They are all senseless and foolish; they are taught by worthless wooden idols. 9 Hammered silver is brought from Tarshish and gold from Uphaz. What the craftsman and goldsmith have made is then dressed in blue and purple- all made by skilled workers. 10 But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath.
11 "Tell them this: 'These gods, who did not make the heavens and the earth, will perish from the earth and from under the heavens.' "12 But God made the earth by his power;
14 Everyone is senseless and without knowledge;
every goldsmith is shamed by his idols.
His images are a fraud;
they have no breath in them.
15 They are worthless, the objects of mockery;
when their judgment comes, they will perish.
16 He who is the Portion of Jacob is not like these,
for he is the Maker of all things,
including Israel, the tribe of his inheritance-
the LORD Almighty is his name.
Isaiah chapter 64 (NLT)
4 Since the world began, no ear has heard, and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him! 5 You welcome those who cheerfully do good, who follow godly ways.
But we are not godly. We are constant sinners, so your anger is heavy on us. How can people like us be saved?
6 We are all infected and impure with sin. When we proudly display our righteous deeds, we find they are but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall. And our sins, like the wind, sweep us away. 7 Yet no one calls on your name or pleads with you for mercy. Therefore, you have turned away from us and turned us over to our sins.
8 And yet, LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We are all formed by your hand. 9 Oh, don't be so angry with us, LORD. Please don't remember our sins forever. Look at us, we pray, and see that we are all your people. 10 Your holy cities are destroyed; even Jerusalem is a desolate wilderness. 11 The holy, beautiful Temple where our ancestors praised you has been burned down, and all the things of beauty are destroyed. 12 After all this, LORD, must you still refuse to help us? Will you continue to be silent and punish us?
Isaiah chapter 2 (GWT)
6 LORD, you have abandoned your people, the descendants of Jacob, because they are filled with Eastern influences. They are fortunetellers like the Philistines, and they make deals with foreigners.
7 Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures.
Their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots.
8 Their land is filled with idols, and they worship what their hands have shaped and what their fingers have molded.
9 People will be brought down. Everyone will be humbled.
Isaiah chapter 8 (TEV)
19 But people will tell you to ask for messages from fortunetellers and mediums, who chirp and mutter. They will say, "After all, people should ask for messages from the spirits and consult the dead on behalf of the living." 20 You are to answer them, "Listen to what the Lord is teaching you! Don't listen to mediums-what they tell you cannot keep trouble away."
21 The people will wander through the land, discouraged and hungry. In their hunger and their anger they will curse their king and their God. They may look up to the sky 22 or stare at the ground, but they will see nothing but trouble and darkness, terrifying darkness into which they are being driven.
Isaiah chapter 65 (NLT)
1 The LORD says, "People who never before inquired about me are now asking about me. I am being found by people who were not looking for me. To them I have said, 'I am here!'
2 "I opened my arms to my own people all day long, but they have rebelled. They follow their own evil paths and thoughts. 3 All day long they insult me to my face by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens. They burn incense on the rooftops of their homes. 4 At night they go out among the graves and secret places to worship evil spirits. ... 5 Yet they say to each other, 'Don't come too close or you will defile me! I am holier than you!' They are a stench in my nostrils, an acrid smell that never goes away.
6 "Look, my decree is written out in front of me: I will not stand silent; I will repay them in full!
8 "But I will not destroy them all," says the LORD. "For just as good grapes are found among a cluster of bad ones (and someone will say, 'Don't throw them all away - there are some good grapes there!'), so I will not destroy all Israel. For I still have true servants there. 9 I will preserve a remnant of the people of Israel and of Judah to possess my land. Those I choose will inherit it and serve me there. 10 For my people who have searched for me, the plain of Sharon will again be filled with flocks, and the valley of Achor will be a place to pasture herds.
11 "But because the rest of you have forsaken the LORD and his Temple and worship the gods of Fate and Destiny, 12 I will 'destine' you to the sword. All of you will bow before the executioner, for when I called, you did not answer. When I spoke, you did not listen. You deliberately sinned - before my very eyes - and chose to do what you know I despise."
Isaiah chapter 30 (TEV)
1 The Lord has spoken:
"Those who rule Judah are doomed because they rebel against me. They follow plans that I did not make, and sign treaties against my will, piling one sin on another. 2 They go to Egypt for help without asking for my advice. They want Egypt to protect them, so they put their trust in Egypt's king. 3 But the king will be powerless to help them, and Egypt's protection will end in disaster. 4 Although their ambassadors have already arrived at the Egyptian cities of Zoan and Hanes, 5 the people of Judah will regret that they ever trusted that unreliable nation, a nation that fails them when they expect help."
6 This is God's message about the animals of the southern desert: "The ambassadors travel through dangerous country, where lions live and where there are poisonous snakes. They load their donkeys and camels with expensive gifts for a nation that cannot give them any help. 7 The help that Egypt gives is useless. So I have nicknamed Egypt, "The Harmless Dragon.' "
8 God told me to write down in a book what the people are like, so that there would be a permanent record of how evil they are. 9 They are always rebelling against God, always lying, always refusing to listen to the Lord's teachings. 10 They tell the prophets to keep quiet. They say, "Don't talk to us about what's right. Tell us what we want to hear. Let us keep our illusions. 11 Get out of our way and stop blocking our path. We don't want to hear about your holy God of Israel."
12 But this is what the holy God of Israel says:
"You ignore what I tell you and rely on violence and deceit. 13 You are guilty. You are like a high wall with a crack running down it; suddenly you will collapse. 14 You will be shattered like a clay pot, so badly broken that there is no piece big enough to pick up hot coals with or to dip water from a cistern." 15 The Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says to the people, "Come back and quietly trust in me. Then you will be strong and secure." But you refuse to do it. 16 Instead, you plan to escape from your enemies by riding fast horses. And you are right-escape is what you will have to do! You think your horses are fast enough, but those who pursue you will be faster! 17 A thousand of you will run away when you see one enemy soldier, and five soldiers will be enough to make you all run away. Nothing will be left of your army except a lonely flagpole on the top of a hill.
18 And yet the Lord is waiting to be merciful to you. He is ready to take pity on you because he always does what is right. Happy are those who put their trust in the Lord.
Isaiah chapter 31 (TEV)
1 Those who go to Egypt for help are doomed! They are relying on Egypt's vast military strength-horses, chariots, and soldiers. But they do not rely on the Lord, the holy God of Israel, or ask him for help. 2 He knows what he is doing! He sends disaster. He carries out his threats to punish evil people and those who protect them. 3 The Egyptians are not gods-they are only human. Their horses are not supernatural. When the Lord acts, the strong nation will crumble, and the weak nation it helped will fall. Both of them will be destroyed.
Jeremiah chapter 1 (TEV)
4 The Lord said to me, ...
14 ... "Destruction will boil over from the north on all who live in this land, 15 because I am calling all the nations in the north to come. Their kings will set up their thrones at the gates of Jerusalem and around its walls and also around the other cities of Judah. 16 I will punish my people because they have sinned; they have abandoned me, have offered sacrifices to other gods, and have made idols and worshiped them.
Jeremiah chapter 7 (NLT)
1 The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, 2 "Go to the entrance of the LORD's Temple, and give this message to the people: 'O Judah, listen to this message from the LORD! Listen to it, all of you who worship here! 3 The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says:
"Even now, if you quit your evil ways, I will let you stay in your own land. 4 But do not be fooled by those who repeatedly promise your safety because the Temple of the LORD is here. 5 I will be merciful only if you stop your wicked thoughts and deeds and are fair to others; 6 and if you stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; and if you stop your murdering; and if you stop worshiping idols as you now do to your own harm. 7 Then I will let you stay in this land that I gave to your ancestors to keep forever.
8 "'Do you think that because the Temple is here you will never suffer? Don't fool yourselves! 9 Do you really think you can steal, murder, commit adultery, lie, and worship Baal and all those other new gods of yours, 10 and then come here and stand before me in my Temple and chant, "We are safe!" - only to go right back to all those evils again? 11 Do you think this Temple, which honors my name, is a den of thieves? I see all the evil going on there, says the LORD.
Jeremiah chapter 7 (TEV)
12 Go to Shiloh, the first place where I chose to be worshiped, and see what I did to it because of the sins of my people Israel. 13 You have committed all these sins, and even though I spoke to you over and over again, you refused to listen. You would not answer when I called you. 14 And so, what I did to Shiloh I will do to this Temple of mine, in which you trust. Here in this place that I gave to your ancestors and you, I will do the same thing that I did to Shiloh. 15 I will drive you out of my sight as I drove out your relatives, the people of Israel. I, the Lord, have spoken."
16 The Lord said, "Jeremiah, do not pray for these people. Do not cry or pray on their behalf; do not plead with me, for I will not listen to you. 17 Don't you see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather firewood, the men build fires, and the women mix dough to bake cakes for the goddess they call the Queen of Heaven. They also pour out offerings of wine to other gods, in order to hurt me. 19 But am I really the one they are hurting? No, they are hurting themselves and bringing shame on themselves. 20 And so I, the Sovereign Lord, will pour out my fierce anger on this Temple. I will pour it out on people and animals alike, and even on the trees and the crops. My anger will be like a fire that no one can put out.
21 "My people, some sacrifices you burn completely on the altar, and some you are permitted to eat. But what I, the Lord, say is that you might as well eat them all.
Jeremiah chapter 7 (GWT)
21 "This is what the LORD of Armies, the God of Israel, says: …
22 When I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, I did not tell them anything about burnt offerings and sacrifices. 23 But I did tell them this, 'Obey me, and I will be your God, and you will be my people. Live the way I told you to live so that things will go well for you.' 24 But they didn't obey me or pay attention to me. They followed their own plans and their stubborn, evil ways. They went backward and not forward. 25 From the time that your ancestors left Egypt until now, I have sent all my servants the prophets to you again and again. 26 But you didn't obey me or pay attention to me. You became impossible to deal with, and you were worse than your ancestors.
27 "Jeremiah, you will say all these things to them, but they will not obey you. You will call to them, but they will not respond to you. 28 You will say to them, 'This is the nation that did not obey the LORD their God. They did not accept discipline. Truth has disappeared and vanished from their lips.'
29 "Cut off your hair and throw it away. Sing a song of mourning on the bare hills, because in his anger the LORD has rejected and abandoned the people of this generation.
30 The people of Judah have done what I consider evil," declares the LORD. "They set up their detestable idols in the house that is called by my name. They have made it unclean. 31 They have built worship sites at Topheth in the valley of Ben Hinnom in order to burn their sons and daughters as sacrifices. I did not ask for this. It never entered my mind. 32 "That is why the days are coming," declares the LORD, "when that place will no longer be known as Topheth or the valley of Ben Hinnom. Instead, it will be known as Slaughter Valley. They will bury [people] at Topheth because no other place will be left. 33 The dead bodies of these people will become food for birds and animals, and no one will be there to frighten them away. 34 In the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, I will banish the sounds of joy and happiness and the sounds of brides and grooms, because the land will be a wasteland."
Isaiah chapter 5 (TEV)
26 The Lord gives a signal to call for a distant nation. He whistles for them to come from the ends of the earth. And here they come, swiftly, quickly! 27 None of them grow tired; none of them stumble. They never doze or sleep. Not a belt is loose; not a sandal strap is broken. 28 Their arrows are sharp, and their bows are ready to shoot. Their horses' hoofs are as hard as flint, and their chariot wheels turn like a whirlwind. 29 The soldiers roar like lions that have killed an animal and are carrying it off where no one can take it away from them.
30 When that day comes, they will roar over Israel as loudly as the sea. Look at this country! Darkness and distress! The light is swallowed by darkness.
Ezekiel chapter 24 (NLT)
15 Then this message came to me from the LORD: 16 "Son of man, I am going to take away your dearest treasure. Suddenly she will die. Yet you must not show any sorrow. Do not weep; let there be no tears. 17 You may sigh but only quietly. Let there be no wailing at her grave. Do not uncover your head or take off your sandals. Do not perform the rituals of mourning or accept any food brought to you by consoling friends."
18 So I proclaimed this to the people the next morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did everything I had been told to do. 19 Then the people asked, "What does all this mean? What are you trying to tell us?" 20 So I said to them, "A message came to me from the LORD, 21 and I was told to give this message to the people of Israel. This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
I will desecrate my Temple, the source of your security and pride. Your sons and daughters in Judea will be slaughtered by the sword. 22 Then you will do as Ezekiel has done. You will not mourn in public or console yourselves by eating the food brought to you by sympathetic friends. 23 ... You will not mourn or weep, but you will waste away because of your sins. You will mourn privately for all the evil you have done. 24 Ezekiel is an example for you to follow; you will do as he has done. And when that time comes, you will know that I am the LORD."
25 Then the LORD said to me, "Son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold - their joy and glory, their heart's desire, their dearest treasure - I will also take away their sons and daughters. 26 And on that day a refugee from Jerusalem will come to you in Babylon and tell you what has happened.
Jeremiah chapter 10 (NLT)
17 "Pack your bag and prepare to leave; the siege is about to begin," 18 says the LORD. "For suddenly, I will fling you from this land and pour great troubles upon you. At last you will feel my anger."
19 My wound is desperate, and my grief is great. My sickness is incurable, but I must bear it. 20 My home is gone, and no one is left to help me rebuild it. My children have been taken away, and I will never see them again.
21 The shepherds of my people have lost their senses. They no longer follow the LORD or ask what he wants of them. Therefore, they fail completely, and their flocks are scattered. 22 Listen! Hear the terrifying roar of great armies as they roll down from the north. The towns of Judah will be destroyed and will become a haunt for jackals.
23 I know, LORD, that a person's life is not his own. No one is able to plan his own course. 24 So correct me, LORD, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die. 25 Pour out your wrath on the nations that refuse to recognize you - on nations that do not call upon your name. For they have utterly devoured your people Israel, making the land a desolate wilderness.
Ezekiel chapter 18 (CEV)
1 The LORD said:
2 Ezekiel, I hear the people of Israel using the old saying, "Sour grapes eaten by parents leave a sour taste in the mouths of their children." 3 Now tell them that I am the LORD God, and as surely as I live, that saying will no longer be used in Israel. 4 The lives of all people belong to me--parents as well as children. Only those who sin will be put to death.
5 Suppose there is a truly good man who always does what is fair and right. 6
He refuses to eat meat sacrificed to foreign gods at local shrines or to worship Israel's idols.
He doesn't have sex with someone else's wife or with a woman having her monthly period.
7 He never cheats or robs anyone and always returns anything taken as security for a loan;
he gives food and clothes to the poor 8 and doesn't charge interest when lending money.
He refuses to do anything evil; he is fair to everyone 9 and faithfully obeys my laws and teachings.
This man is good, and I promise he will live.
10 But suppose this good man has an evil son who is violent and commits sins 11 his father never did. He eats meat at local shrines, has sex with someone else's wife, 12 cheats the poor, and robs people. He keeps what is given to him as security for a loan. He worships idols, does disgusting things, 13 and charges high interest when lending money. An evil man like that will certainly not live. He is the one who has done these horrible sins, so it's his own fault that he will be put to death.
14 But suppose this evil man has a son who sees his father do these things and refuses to act like him. 15 He doesn't eat meat at local shrines or worship Israel's idols, and he doesn't have sex with someone else's wife. 16 He never cheats or robs anyone and doesn't even demand security for a loan. He gives food and clothes to the poor 17 and refuses to do anything evil or to charge interest. And he obeys all my laws and teachings. Such a man will live. His own father sinned, but this good man will not be put to death for the sins of his father. 18 It is his father who will die for cheating and robbing and doing evil.
19 You may wonder why a son isn't punished for the sins of his father. It is because the son does what is right and obeys my laws. 20 Only those who sin will be put to death. Children won't suffer for the sins of their parents, and parents won't suffer for the sins of their children. Good people will be rewarded for what they do, and evil people will be punished for what they do.
21 Suppose wicked people stop sinning and start obeying my laws and doing right. They won't be put to death. 22 All their sins will be forgiven, and they will live because they did right. 23 I, the LORD God, don't like to see wicked people die. I enjoy seeing them turn from their sins and live. 24 But when good people start sinning and doing disgusting things, will they live? No! All their good deeds will be forgotten, and they will be put to death because of their sins. 25 You people of Israel accuse me of being unfair! But listen--I'm not unfair; you are! 26 If good people start doing evil, they must be put to death, because they have sinned. 27 And if wicked people start doing right, they will save themselves from punishment. 28 They will think about what they've done and stop sinning, and so they won't be put to death. 29 But you still say that I am unfair. You are the ones who have done wrong and are unfair! 30 I will judge each of you for what you've done. So stop sinning, or else you will certainly be punished. 31 Give up your evil ways and start thinking pure thoughts. And be faithful to me! Do you really want to be put to death for your sins? 32 I, the LORD God, don't want to see that happen to anyone. So stop sinning and live!
The next file in this section (Part 7), is entitled: "Condemnation Of Sins Including Abandonment Of God, Deceit, Betrayal And Backbiting; And The Warning Predictions Come Near To Being Fulfilled".
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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