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 1 (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'd like to read passages that are mainly from the New Testament about godly attitudes to money and about selfishness with riches, visit Honesty And The Love Of Money or Laziness, And Selfishness With Wealth.
Isaiah chapter 1 (TEV)
1 This book contains the messages about Judah and Jerusalem which God revealed to Isaiah son of Amoz during the time when Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah were kings of Judah.
Isaiah chapter 57 (NLT)
1 The righteous pass away; the godly often die before their time. And no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. 2 For the godly who die will rest in peace.
3 "But you - come here, you witches' children, you offspring of adulterers and prostitutes!
Isaiah chapter 57 (TEV)
4 Who are you making fun of? Who are you liars jeering at?
5 You worship the fertility gods by having sex under those sacred trees of yours.
You offer your children as sacrifices in the rocky caves near stream beds.
6 You take smooth stones from there and worship them as gods.
You pour out wine as offerings to them and bring them grain offerings.
Do you think I am pleased with all this?
7 You go to the high mountains to offer sacrifices and have sex.
8 You set up your obscene idols just inside your front doors. You forsake me; ...
9 You put on your perfumes and ointments and go to worship the god Molech.
To find gods to worship, you send messengers far and wide, even to the world of the dead.
Isaiah chapter 6 (NLT)
1 In the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. 2 Hovering around him were mighty seraphim, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with the remaining two they flew. 3 In a great chorus they sang, "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty! The whole earth is filled with his glory!" 4 The glorious singing shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire sanctuary was filled with smoke.
5 Then I said, "My destruction is sealed, for I am a sinful man and a member of a sinful race. Yet I have seen the King, the LORD Almighty!"
6 Then one of the seraphim flew over to the altar, and he picked up a burning coal with a pair of tongs. 7 He touched my lips with it and said, "See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven."
8 Then I heard the Lord asking, "Whom should I send as a messenger to my people? Who will go for us?"
And I said, "Lord, I'll go! Send me."
Isaiah chapter 22 (NLT)
1 This message came to me concerning Jerusalem:
What is happening? Why is everyone running to the rooftops? 2 The whole city is in a terrible uproar. What do I see in this reveling city? Bodies are lying everywhere, killed by famine and disease. 3 All your leaders flee. They surrender without resistance. The people try to slip away, but they are captured, too.
4 Leave me alone to weep; do not try to comfort me. Let me cry for my people as I watch them being destroyed.
5 Oh, what a day of crushing trouble! What a day of confusion and terror the Lord, the LORD Almighty, has brought upon the Valley of Vision! The walls of Jerusalem have been broken, and cries of death echo from the mountainsides. 6 Elamites are the archers; Arameans drive the chariots. The men of Kir hold up the shields. 7 They fill your beautiful valleys and crowd against your gates.
8 Judah's defenses have been stripped away. You run to the armory for your weapons. 9 You inspect the walls of Jerusalem to see what needs to be repaired. You store up water in the lower pool. 10 You check the houses and tear some down to get stone to fix the walls. 11 Between the city walls, you build a reservoir for water from the old pool. But all your feverish plans are to no avail because you never ask God for help. He is the one who planned this long ago.
12 The Lord, the LORD Almighty, called you to weep and mourn. He told you to shave your heads in sorrow for your sins and to wear clothes of sackcloth to show your remorse. 13 But instead, you dance and play; you slaughter sacrificial animals, feast on meat, and drink wine. "Let's eat, drink, and be merry," you say. "For tomorrow we die." 14 The LORD Almighty has revealed to me that this sin will never be forgiven you until the day you die. That is the judgment of the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
Amos chapter 2 (TEV)
4 The Lord says, "The people of Judah have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They have despised my teachings and have not kept my commands. They have been led astray by the same false gods that their ancestors served. 5 So I will send fire upon Judah and burn down the fortresses of Jerusalem."
6 The Lord says, "The people of Israel have sinned again and again, and for this I will certainly punish them. They sell into slavery honest people who cannot pay their debts, the poor who cannot repay even the price of a pair of sandals.
Amos chapter 2 (NLT)
7 They trample helpless people in the dust and deny justice to those who are oppressed. Both father and son sleep with the same woman, corrupting my holy name. 8 At their religious festivals, they lounge around in clothing stolen from their debtors. In the house of their god, they present offerings of wine purchased with stolen money.
Amos chapter 9 (TEV)
9 "I will give the command and shake the people of Israel like grain in a sieve. I will shake them among the nations to remove all who are worthless. 10 The sinners among my people will be killed in war-all those who say, "God will not let any harm come near us.' "
Amos chapter 3 (NLT)
4 Does a lion ever roar in a thicket without first finding a victim? Does a young lion growl in its den without first catching its prey? 6 When disaster comes to a city, isn't it because the LORD planned it?
7 "But always, first of all, I warn you through my servants the prophets. I, the Sovereign LORD, have now done this." 8 The lion has roared - tremble in fear! The Sovereign LORD has spoken - I dare not refuse to proclaim his message!
9 Announce this to the leaders of Philistia and Egypt: "Take your seats now on the hills around Samaria, and witness the scandalous spectacle of all Israel's crimes."
10 "My people have forgotten what it means to do right," says the LORD. "Their fortresses are filled with wealth taken by theft and violence. 11 Therefore," says the Sovereign LORD, "an enemy is coming! He will surround them and shatter their defenses. Then he will plunder all their fortresses."
12 This is what the LORD says: "A shepherd who tries to rescue a sheep from a lion's mouth will recover only ... two legs and a piece of ear. So it will be when the Israelites in Samaria are rescued with only a broken chair and a tattered pillow. 13 Now listen to this, and announce it throughout all Israel, "says the Lord, the LORD God Almighty. 14 "On the very day I punish Israel for its sins, I will destroy the pagan altars at Bethel. The horns of the altar will be cut off and fall to the ground. 15 And I will destroy the beautiful homes of the wealthy - their winter mansions and their summer houses, too - all their palaces filled with ivory. I, the LORD, have spoken!"
Hosea chapter 12 (TEV)
1 Everything that the people of Israel do from morning to night is useless and destructive. Treachery and acts of violence increase among them.
7 The Lord says, "The people of Israel are as dishonest as the Canaanites; they love to cheat their customers with false scales. 8 "We are rich,' they say. "We've made a fortune. And no one can accuse us of getting rich dishonestly.'
9 But I, the Lord your God who led you out of Egypt, I will make you live in tents again, as you did when I came to you in the desert. 10 "I spoke to the prophets and gave them many visions, and through the prophets I gave my people warnings. 11 Yet idols are worshiped in Gilead, and those who worship them will die.
Hosea chapter 13 (TEV)
1 In the past, when the tribe of Ephraim spoke, the other tribes of Israel were afraid; they looked up to Ephraim. But the people sinned by worshiping Baal, and for this they will die. 2 They still keep on sinning by making metal images to worship-idols of silver, designed by human minds, made by human hands. And then they say, "Offer sacrifices to them!" How can anyone kiss those idols-idols in the shape of bulls! 3 And so these people will disappear like morning mist, like the dew that vanishes early in the day. They will be like chaff which the wind blows from the threshing place, like smoke from a chimney.
4 The Lord says, "I am the Lord your God, who led you out of Egypt. You have no God but me. I alone am your savior.
5 I took care of you in a dry, desert land. 6 But when you entered the good land, you became full and satisfied, and then you grew proud and forgot me. 7 So I will attack you like a lion. Like a leopard I will lie in wait along your path.
12 "Israel's sin and guilt are on record, and the records are safely stored away. 13 Israel has a chance to live, but is too foolish to take it-like a child about to be born, who refuses to come out of the womb. 14 I will not save this people from the world of the dead or rescue them from the power of death. Bring on your plagues, death! Bring on your destruction, world of the dead! I will no longer have pity for this people. 15 Even though Israel flourishes like weeds, I will send a hot east wind from the desert, and it will dry up their springs and wells. It will take away everything of value. 16 Samaria must be punished for rebelling against me. Her people will die in war; babies will be dashed to the ground, and pregnant women will be ripped open."
Isaiah chapter 32 (NLT)
9 Listen, you women who lie around in lazy ease. Listen to me, and I will tell you of your reward. 10 In a short time - in just a little more than a year - you careless ones will suddenly begin to care. For your fruit crop will fail, and the harvest will never take place. 11 Tremble, you women of ease; throw off your unconcern. Strip off your pretty clothes, and wear sackcloth in your grief. 12 Beat your breasts in sorrow for your bountiful farms that will soon be gone, and for those fruitful vines of other years. 13 For your land will be overgrown with thorns and briers. Your joyful homes and happy cities will be gone.
Isaiah chapter 3 (TEV)
12 Moneylenders oppress my people, and their creditors cheat them.
My people, your leaders are misleading you, so that you do not know which way to turn. 13 The Lord is ready to state his case; he is ready to judge his people. 14 The Lord is bringing the elders and leaders of his people to judgment. He makes this accusation: "You have plundered vineyards, and your houses are full of what you have taken from the poor. 15 You have no right to crush my people and take advantage of the poor. I, the Sovereign Lord Almighty, have spoken."
16 The Lord said, "Look how proud the women of Jerusalem are! They walk along with their noses in the air. They are always flirting. They take dainty little steps, and the bracelets on their ankles jingle. 17 But I will punish them-I will shave their heads and leave them bald." 18 A day is coming when the Lord will take away from the women of Jerusalem everything they are so proud of-the ornaments they wear on their ankles, on their heads, on their necks, 19 and on their wrists. He will take away their veils 20 and their hats; the magic charms they wear on their arms and at their waists; 21 the rings they wear on their fingers and in their noses; 22 all their fine robes, gowns, cloaks, and purses; 23 their revealing garments, their linen handkerchiefs, and the scarves and long veils they wear on their heads. 24 Instead of using perfumes, they will stink; instead of fine belts, they will wear coarse ropes; instead of having beautiful hair, they will be bald; instead of fine clothes, they will be dressed in rags; their beauty will be turned to shame! 25 The men of the city, yes, even the strongest men, will be killed in war.
Amos chapter 4 (TEV)
1 Listen to this, you women of Samaria, who grow fat like the well-fed cows of Bashan, who mistreat the weak, oppress the poor, and demand that your husbands keep you supplied with liquor! 2 As the Sovereign Lord is holy, he has promised, "The days will come when they will drag you away with hooks; every one of you will be like a fish on a hook. 3 You will be dragged to the nearest break in the wall and thrown out."
4 The Sovereign Lord says, "People of Israel, go to the holy place in Bethel and sin, if you must! Go to Gilgal and sin with all your might! Go ahead and bring animals to be sacrificed morning after morning, and bring your tithes every third day. 5 Go on and offer your bread in thanksgiving to God, and brag about the extra offerings you bring! This is the kind of thing you love to do.
Amos chapter 4 (TEV)
6 "I was the one who brought famine to all your cities, yet you did not come back to me. 7 I kept it from raining when your crops needed it most. I sent rain on one city, but not on another. Rain fell on one field, but another field dried up. 8 Weak with thirst, the people of several cities went to a city where they hoped to find water, but there was not enough to drink. Still you did not come back to me.
9 "I sent a scorching wind to dry up your crops. The locusts ate up all your gardens and vineyards, your fig trees and olive trees. Still you did not come back to me.
10 "I sent a plague on you like the one I sent on Egypt. I killed your young men in battle and took your horses away. I filled your nostrils with the stink of dead bodies in your camps. Still you did not come back to me.
11 "I destroyed some of you as I destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Those of you who survived were like a burning stick saved from a fire. Still you did not come back to me," says the Lord.
12 "So then, people of Israel, I am going to punish you. And because I am going to do this, get ready to face my judgment!"
13 God is the one who made the mountains and created the winds. He makes his thoughts known to people; he changes day into night. He walks on the heights of the earth. This is his name: the Lord God Almighty!
Ezekiel chapter 5 (CEV)
5 I am the LORD God, and I have made Jerusalem the most important place in the world, and all other nations admire it. 6 But the people of Jerusalem rebelled and refuse to obey me. They ignored my laws and have become even more sinful than the nations around them. 7 So tell the people of Jerusalem: I am the LORD God! You have refused to obey my laws and teachings, and instead you have obeyed the laws of the surrounding nations. You have become more rebellious than any of them! 8 Now all those nations will watch as I turn against you and punish you 9 for your sins. Your punishment will be more horrible than anything I've ever done or will ever do again. 10 Parents will be so desperate for food that they will eat their own children, and children will eat their parents. Those who survive this horror will be scattered in every direction. 11 Your disgusting sins have made my temple unfit as a place to worship me. So I swear by my own life that I will turn my back on you and show you no pity. 12 A third of you will die here in Jerusalem from disease or starvation. Another third will be killed in war. And I will scatter the last third of you in every direction, then track you down and kill you. 13 You will feel my fierce anger until I have finished taking revenge. Then you will know that I, the LORD, was furious because of your disobedience. 14 Every passerby will laugh at your destruction. Foreign nations 15 will insult you and make fun of you, but they will also be shocked and terrified at what I did in my anger. 16 I will destroy your crops until you starve to death, and disasters will strike you like arrows. 17 Starvation and wild animals will kill your children. I'll punish you with horrible diseases, and your enemies will strike you down with their swords. I, the LORD, have spoken.
Isaiah chapter 33 (TEV)
14 The sinful people of Zion are trembling with fright. They say, "God's judgment is like a fire that burns forever. Can any of us survive a fire like that?"
15 You can survive if you say and do what is right. Don't use your power to cheat the poor and don't accept bribes. Don't join with those who plan to commit murder or to do other evil things. 16 Then you will be safe; you will be as secure as if in a strong fortress. You will have food to eat and water to drink. 17 Once again you will see a king ruling in splendor over a land that stretches in all directions. 18 Your old fears of foreign tax collectors and spies will be only a memory. 19 You will no longer see any arrogant foreigners who speak a language that you can't understand.
Jeremiah chapter 3 (TEV)
14 "Unfaithful people, come back; you belong to me. I will take one of you from each town and two from each clan, and I will bring you back to Mount Zion. 15 I will give you rulers who obey me, and they will rule you with wisdom and understanding.
Hosea chapter 11 (NLT)
8 "Oh, how can I give you up, Israel? How can I let you go? How can I destroy you like Admah and Zeboiim? My heart is torn within me, and my compassion overflows. 9 No, I will not punish you as much as my burning anger tells me to. I will not completely destroy Israel, for I am God and not a mere mortal. I am the Holy One living among you, and I will not come to destroy.
10 "For someday the people will follow the LORD. 11 ... And I will bring them home again," says the LORD.
Amos chapter 5 (GWT)
1 Listen to this message, this funeral song that I sing about you, nation of Israel:
2 The people of Israel have fallen,
never to rise again.
They lie abandoned in their own land.
There is no one to help them.
3 This is what the Almighty LORD says: The city that sends 1,000 troops off to war will have [only] 100 left. The one that sends 100 troops off to war will have [only] 10 left for the nation of Israel.
4 This is what the LORD says to the nation of Israel: Search for me and live! 5 But don't search [for me] at Bethel. Don't go to Gilgal. Don't travel to Beersheba. Gilgal will certainly go into exile. Bethel will come to nothing. 6 Search for the LORD and live! If you don't, he will spread like a fire through the house of Joseph and burn it down. Bethel will have no one to put it out.
7 You, Israel, turn justice into poison and throw righteousness on the ground.
8 God made the [constellations] Pleiades and Orion. He turns deep darkness into dawn. He turns day into night. He calls for water from the sea to pour it over the face of the earth. His name is the LORD. 9 He destroys strongholds and ruins fortresses.
10 Israel, you hate anyone who speaks out against injustice. You are disgusted by anyone who speaks the truth. 11 You trample on the poor and take their wheat from them for taxes. That is why you build houses from hand-cut stones, but you will not live in them. You plant beautiful vineyards, but you will not drink their wine. 12 I know that your crimes are numerous and your sins are many. You oppress the righteous by taking bribes. You deny the needy access to the courts. 13 That is why a wise person remains silent at such times, because those times are so evil.
14 Search for good instead of evil so that you may live. Then the LORD God of Armies will be with you, as you have said. 15 Hate evil and love good. Then you will be able to have justice in your courts. Maybe the LORD God of Armies will have pity on the faithful few of Joseph.
16 This is what the LORD, the Almighty God of Armies, says: There will be loud crying in every city square, and people will say in every street, "Oh, no!" They will call on farmers to mourn and on professional mourners to cry loudly. 17 There will be loud crying in every vineyard, because I will pass through your land [with death]. The LORD has said this.
Isaiah chapter 5 (NIV)
7 The ... LORD Almighty ... looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.
Amos chapter 8 (TEV)
4 Listen to this, you that trample on the needy and try to destroy the poor of the country. 5 You say to yourselves, "We can hardly wait for the holy days to be over so that we can sell our grain. When will the Sabbath end, so that we can start selling again? Then we can overcharge, use false measures, and fix the scales to cheat our customers. 6 We can sell worthless wheat at a high price. We'll find someone poor who can't pay his debts, not even the price of a pair of sandals, and we'll buy him as a slave."
7 The Lord, the God of Israel, has sworn, "I will never forget their evil deeds.
Amos chapter 6 (TEV)
1 How terrible it will be for you that have such an easy life in Zion and for you that feel safe in Samaria-you great leaders of this great nation Israel, you to whom the people go for help! but what you do only brings that day closer. 4 How terrible it will be for you that stretch out on your luxurious couches, feasting on veal and lamb! 5 You like to compose songs, as David did, and play them on harps. 6 You drink wine by the bowlful and use the finest perfumes, but you do not mourn over the ruin of Israel. 7 So you will be the first to go into exile. Your feasts and banquets will come to an end.
8 The Sovereign Lord Almighty has given this solemn warning: "I hate the pride of the people of Israel; I despise their luxurious mansions. I will give their capital city and everything in it to the enemy." 9 If there are ten men left in a family, they will die.
11 When the Lord gives the command, houses large and small will be smashed to pieces.
Isaiah chapter 3 (NLT)
9 The very look on their faces gives them away and displays their guilt. They sin openly like the people of Sodom. They are not one bit ashamed. How terrible it will be for them! They have brought about their own destruction. 10 But all will be well for those who are godly. Tell them, "You will receive a wonderful reward!" 11 But say to the wicked, "Your destruction is sure. You, too, will get what you deserve. Your well-earned punishment is on the way."
Isaiah chapter 5 (TEV)
11 You are doomed! You get up early in the morning to start drinking, and you spend long evenings getting drunk. 12 At your feasts you have harps and tambourines and flutes-and wine. But you don't understand what the Lord is doing, 13 and so you will be carried away as prisoners. Your leaders will starve to death, and the common people will die of thirst. 14 The world of the dead is hungry for them, and it opens its mouth wide. It gulps down the nobles of Jerusalem along with the noisy crowd of common people. 15 Everyone will be disgraced, and all who are proud will be humbled. 16 But the Lord Almighty shows his greatness by doing what is right, and he reveals his holiness by judging his people. 17 In the ruins of the cities lambs will eat grass and young goats will find pasture.
18 You are doomed! You are unable to break free from your sins. 19 You say, "Let the Lord hurry up and do what he says he will, so that we can see it. Let Israel's holy God carry out his plans; let's see what he has in mind." 20 You are doomed! You call evil good and call good evil. ... 21 You are doomed! You think you are wise, so very clever.
22 You are doomed! Heroes of the wine bottle! Brave and fearless when it comes to mixing drinks! 23 But for just a bribe you let the guilty go free, and you keep the innocent from getting justice. 24 So now, just as straw and dry grass shrivel and burn in the fire, your roots will rot and your blossoms will dry up and blow away, because you have rejected what the Lord Almighty, Israel's holy God, has taught us.
25 The Lord is angry with his people and has stretched out his hand to punish them. The mountains will shake, and the bodies of those who die will be left in the streets like rubbish. Yet even then the Lord's anger will not be ended, but his hand will still be stretched out to punish.
The next file in this section (Part 2), is entitled: "Condemnation Of Sins Including Idolatry, Murder, Violence, Sexual Immorality And Sexual Abuse; And Predictions Of Disaster".
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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