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Every Day in the Word 

Old Testament: Ecclesiastes 1–3

Ecclesiastes 1–3 (Listen)

All Is Vanity

The words of the Preacher,Or Convener, or Collector; Hebrew Qoheleth (so throughout Ecclesiastes)">1 the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

  VanityThe Hebrew term hebel, translated vanity or vain, refers concretely to a “mist,” “vapor,” or “mere breath,” and metaphorically to something that is fleeting or elusive (with different nuances depending on the context). It appears five times in this verse and in 29 other verses in Ecclesiastes">2 of vanities, says the Preacher,
    vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
  What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?
  A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.
  The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
    and hastensOr and returns panting">3 to the place where it rises.
  The wind blows to the south
    and goes around to the north;
  around and around goes the wind,
    and on its circuits the wind returns.
  All streams run to the sea,
    but the sea is not full;
  to the place where the streams flow,
    there they flow again.
  All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;
  the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
  What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
10   Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
  It has been already
    in the ages before us.
11   There is no remembrance of former things,Or former people">4
    nor will there be any remembrance
  of later thingsOr later people">5 yet to be
    among those who come after.

The Vanity of Wisdom

12 I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I applied my heartThe Hebrew term denotes the center of one’s inner life, including mind, will, and emotions">6 to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 14 I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanityThe Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (see note on 1:2)">7 and a striving after wind.Or a feeding on wind; compare Hosea 12:1 (also in Ecclesiastes 1:17; 2:11, 17, 26; 4:4, 6, 16; 6:9)">8

15   What is crooked cannot be made straight,
    and what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

18   For in much wisdom is much vexation,
    and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

The Vanity of Self-Indulgence

I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verses 11, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 26 (see note on 1:2)">9 I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines,The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain">10 the delight of the sons of man.

So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

The Vanity of Living Wisely

12 So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done. 13 Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. 14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! 17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.

The Vanity of Toil

18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? 23 For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.

24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoymentOr and make his soul see good">11 in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from himSome Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts apart from me">12 who can eat or who can have enjoyment? 26 For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

A Time for Everything

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

  a time to be born, and a time to die;
  a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
  a time to kill, and a time to heal;
  a time to break down, and a time to build up;
  a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
  a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
  a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
  a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
  a time to seek, and a time to lose;
  a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
  a time to tear, and a time to sew;
  a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
  a time to love, and a time to hate;
  a time for war, and a time for peace.

The God-Given Task

What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.Hebrew what has been pursued">13

From Dust to Dust

16 Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. 17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. 18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (see note on 1:2)">14 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? 22 So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?

Footnotes

[1] 1:1 Or Convener, or Collector; Hebrew Qoheleth (so throughout Ecclesiastes)
[2] 1:2 The Hebrew term hebel, translated vanity or vain, refers concretely to a “mist,” “vapor,” or “mere breath,” and metaphorically to something that is fleeting or elusive (with different nuances depending on the context). It appears five times in this verse and in 29 other verses in Ecclesiastes
[3] 1:5 Or and returns panting
[4] 1:11 Or former people
[5] 1:11 Or later people
[6] 1:13 The Hebrew term denotes the center of one’s inner life, including mind, will, and emotions
[7] 1:14 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (see note on 1:2)
[8] 1:14 Or a feeding on wind; compare Hosea 12:1 (also in Ecclesiastes 1:17; 2:11, 17, 26; 4:4, 6, 16; 6:9)
[9] 2:1 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verses 11, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 26 (see note on 1:2)
[10] 2:8 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[11] 2:24 Or and make his soul see good
[12] 2:25 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts apart from me
[13] 3:15 Hebrew what has been pursued
[14] 3:19 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (see note on 1:2)

(ESV)

New Testament: Philemon 1–3

Philemon 1–3 (Listen)

Greeting

Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,

To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 76

Psalm 76 (Listen)

Who Can Stand Before You?

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.

76   In Judah God is known;
    his name is great in Israel.
  His abode has been established in Salem,
    his dwelling place in Zion.
  There he broke the flashing arrows,
    the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah
  Glorious are you, more majestic
    than the mountains full of prey.
  The stouthearted were stripped of their spoil;
    they sank into sleep;
  all the men of war
    were unable to use their hands.
  At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
    both rider and horse lay stunned.
  But you, you are to be feared!
    Who can stand before you
    when once your anger is roused?
  From the heavens you uttered judgment;
    the earth feared and was still,
  when God arose to establish judgment,
    to save all the humble of the earth. Selah
10   Surely the wrath of man shall praise you;
    the remnantOr extremity">1 of wrath you will put on like a belt.
11   Make your vows to the LORD your God and perform them;
    let all around him bring gifts
    to him who is to be feared,
12   who cuts off the spirit of princes,
    who is to be feared by the kings of the earth.

Footnotes

[1] 76:10 Or extremity

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 24:5–6

Proverbs 24:5–6 (Listen)

  A wise man is full of strength,
    and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
  for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
    and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 29–31

Proverbs 29–31 (Listen)

29   He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
    will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
  When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
    but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
  He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
    but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
  By justice a king builds up the land,
    but he who exacts giftsOr who taxes heavily">1 tears it down.
  A man who flatters his neighbor
    spreads a net for his feet.
  An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
    but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
  A righteous man knows the rights of the poor;
    a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
  Scoffers set a city aflame,
    but the wise turn away wrath.
  If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
    the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
10   Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless
    and seek the life of the upright.Or but the upright seek his soul">2
11   A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
    but a wise man quietly holds it back.
12   If a ruler listens to falsehood,
    all his officials will be wicked.
13   The poor man and the oppressor meet together;
    the LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
14   If a king faithfully judges the poor,
    his throne will be established forever.
15   The rod and reproof give wisdom,
    but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
16   When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
    but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
17   Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
    he will give delight to your heart.
18   Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,Or the people are discouraged">3
    but blessed is he who keeps the law.
19   By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
    for though he understands, he will not respond.
20   Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
    There is more hope for a fool than for him.
21   Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
    will in the end find him his heir.The meaning of the Hebrew word rendered his heir is uncertain">4
22   A man of wrath stirs up strife,
    and one given to anger causes much transgression.
23   One’s pride will bring him low,
    but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
24   The partner of a thief hates his own life;
    he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
25   The fear of man lays a snare,
    but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.
26   Many seek the face of a ruler,
    but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.
27   An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
    but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.

The Words of Agur

30 The words of Agur son of Jakeh. The oracle.Or Jakeh, the man of Massa">5

  The man declares, I am weary, O God;
    I am weary, O God, and worn out.Revocalization; Hebrew The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal">6
  Surely I am too stupid to be a man.
    I have not the understanding of a man.
  I have not learned wisdom,
    nor have I knowledge of the Holy One.
  Who has ascended to heaven and come down?
    Who has gathered the wind in his fists?
  Who has wrapped up the waters in a garment?
    Who has established all the ends of the earth?
  What is his name, and what is his son’s name?
    Surely you know!
  Every word of God proves true;
    he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
  Do not add to his words,
    lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar.
  Two things I ask of you;
    deny them not to me before I die:
  Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
    give me neither poverty nor riches;
    feed me with the food that is needful for me,
  lest I be full and deny you
    and say, “Who is the LORD?”
  or lest I be poor and steal
    and profane the name of my God.
10   Do not slander a servant to his master,
    lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.
11   There are thoseHebrew There is a generation; also verses 12, 13, 14">7 who curse their fathers
    and do not bless their mothers.
12   There are those who are clean in their own eyes
    but are not washed of their filth.
13   There are those—how lofty are their eyes,
    how high their eyelids lift!
14   There are those whose teeth are swords,
    whose fangs are knives,
  to devour the poor from off the earth,
    the needy from among mankind.
15   The leech has two daughters:
    Give and Give.Or Give, give,” they cry">8
  Three things are never satisfied;
    four never say, “Enough”:
16   Sheol, the barren womb,
    the land never satisfied with water,
    and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
17   The eye that mocks a father
    and scorns to obey a mother
  will be picked out by the ravens of the valley
    and eaten by the vultures.
18   Three things are too wonderful for me;
    four I do not understand:
19   the way of an eagle in the sky,
    the way of a serpent on a rock,
  the way of a ship on the high seas,
    and the way of a man with a virgin.
20   This is the way of an adulteress:
    she eats and wipes her mouth
    and says, “I have done no wrong.”
21   Under three things the earth trembles;
    under four it cannot bear up:
22   a slave when he becomes king,
    and a fool when he is filled with food;
23   an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
    and a maidservant when she displaces her mistress.
24   Four things on earth are small,
    but they are exceedingly wise:
25   the ants are a people not strong,
    yet they provide their food in the summer;
26   the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
    yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27   the locusts have no king,
    yet all of them march in rank;
28   the lizard you can take in your hands,
    yet it is in kings’ palaces.
29   Three things are stately in their tread;
    four are stately in their stride:
30   the lion, which is mightiest among beasts
    and does not turn back before any;
31   the strutting rooster,Or the magpie, or the greyhound; Hebrew girt-of-loins">9 the he-goat,
    and a king whose army is with him.Or against whom there is no rising up">10
32   If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
    or if you have been devising evil,
    put your hand on your mouth.
33   For pressing milk produces curds,
    pressing the nose produces blood,
    and pressing anger produces strife.

The Words of King Lemuel

31 The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him:

  What are you doing, my son?Hebrew What, my son?">11 What are you doing, son of my womb?
    What are you doing, son of my vows?
  Do not give your strength to women,
    your ways to those who destroy kings.
  It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
    it is not for kings to drink wine,
    or for rulers to take strong drink,
  lest they drink and forget what has been decreed
    and pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
  Give strong drink to the one who is perishing,
    and wine to those in bitter distress;Hebrew those bitter in soul">12
  let them drink and forget their poverty
    and remember their misery no more.
  Open your mouth for the mute,
    for the rights of all who are destitute.Hebrew are sons of passing away">13
  Open your mouth, judge righteously,
    defend the rights of the poor and needy.

The Woman Who Fears the Lord

10   Verses 10–31 are an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet">14 An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11   The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12   She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13   She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14   She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15   She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16   She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17   She dresses herselfHebrew She girds her loins">15 with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18   She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19   She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20   She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21   She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.Or in double thickness">16
22   She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23   Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24   She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25   Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26   She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27   She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28   Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29   “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30   Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31   Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

Footnotes

[1] 29:4 Or who taxes heavily
[2] 29:10 Or but the upright seek his soul
[3] 29:18 Or the people are discouraged
[4] 29:21 The meaning of the Hebrew word rendered his heir is uncertain
[5] 30:1 Or Jakeh, the man of Massa
[6] 30:1 Revocalization; Hebrew The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal
[7] 30:11 Hebrew There is a generation; also verses 12, 13, 14
[8] 30:15 Or Give, give,” they cry
[9] 30:31 Or the magpie, or the greyhound; Hebrew girt-of-loins
[10] 30:31 Or against whom there is no rising up
[11] 31:2 Hebrew What, my son?
[12] 31:6 Hebrew those bitter in soul
[13] 31:8 Hebrew are sons of passing away
[14] 31:10 Verses 10–31 are an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet
[15] 31:17 Hebrew She girds her loins
[16] 31:21 Or in double thickness

(ESV)

New Testament: Titus 3:12–15

Titus 3:12–15 (Listen)

Final Instructions and Greetings

12 When I send Artemas or Tychicus to you, do your best to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. 13 Do your best to speed Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way; see that they lack nothing. 14 And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.

15 All who are with me send greetings to you. Greet those who love us in the faith.

Grace be with you all.

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 75

Psalm 75 (Listen)

God Will Judge with Equity

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.

75   We give thanks to you, O God;
    we give thanks, for your name is near.
  WeHebrew They">1 recount your wondrous deeds.
  “At the set time that I appoint
    I will judge with equity.
  When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants,
    it is I who keep steady its pillars. Selah
  I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’
    and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn;
  do not lift up your horn on high,
    or speak with haughty neck.’”
  For not from the east or from the west
    and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
  but it is God who executes judgment,
    putting down one and lifting up another.
  For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup
    with foaming wine, well mixed,
  and he pours out from it,
    and all the wicked of the earth
    shall drain it down to the dregs.
  But I will declare it forever;
    I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10   All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
    but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.

Footnotes

[1] 75:1 Hebrew They

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 24:3–4

Proverbs 24:3–4 (Listen)

  By wisdom a house is built,
    and by understanding it is established;
  by knowledge the rooms are filled
    with all precious and pleasant riches.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 27–28

Proverbs 27–28 (Listen)

27   Do not boast about tomorrow,
    for you do not know what a day may bring.
  Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
    a stranger, and not your own lips.
  A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
    but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.
  Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
    but who can stand before jealousy?
  Better is open rebuke
    than hidden love.
  Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
    profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
  One who is full loathes honey,
    but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
  Like a bird that strays from its nest
    is a man who strays from his home.
  Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
    and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.Or and so does the sweetness of a friend that comes from his earnest counsel">1
10   Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend,
    and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity.
  Better is a neighbor who is near
    than a brother who is far away.
11   Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
    that I may answer him who reproaches me.
12   The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
    but the simple go on and suffer for it.
13   Take a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
    and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.Hebrew a foreign woman; a slight emendation yields (compare Vulgate; see also 20:16) foreigners">2
14   Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
    rising early in the morning,
    will be counted as cursing.
15   A continual dripping on a rainy day
    and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
16   to restrain her is to restrain the wind
    or to graspHebrew to meet with">3 oil in one’s right hand.
17   Iron sharpens iron,
    and one man sharpens another.Hebrew sharpens the face of another">4
18   Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
    and he who guards his master will be honored.
19   As in water face reflects face,
    so the heart of man reflects the man.
20   Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
    and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
21   The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
    and a man is tested by his praise.
22   Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
    along with crushed grain,
    yet his folly will not depart from him.
23   Know well the condition of your flocks,
    and give attention to your herds,
24   for riches do not last forever;
    and does a crown endure to all generations?
25   When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
    and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
26   the lambs will provide your clothing,
    and the goats the price of a field.
27   There will be enough goats’ milk for your food,
    for the food of your household
    and maintenance for your girls.
28   The wicked flee when no one pursues,
    but the righteous are bold as a lion.
  When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,
    but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
    its stability will long continue.
  A poor man who oppresses the poor
    is a beating rain that leaves no food.
  Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
    but those who keep the law strive against them.
  Evil men do not understand justice,
    but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.
  Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
    than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
  The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
    but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
  Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profitThat is, profit that comes from charging interest to the poor">5
    gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
  If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
    even his prayer is an abomination.
10   Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
    will fall into his own pit,
    but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
11   A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
    but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
12   When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
    but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
13   Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
    but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
14   Blessed is the one who fears the LORDHebrew lacks the Lord">6 always,
    but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
15   Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
    is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16   A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
    but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
17   If one is burdened with the blood of another,
    he will be a fugitive until death;Hebrew until the pit">7
    let no one help him.
18   Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
    but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
19   Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
    but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
20   A faithful man will abound with blessings,
    but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
21   To show partiality is not good,
    but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.
22   A stingy manHebrew A man whose eye is evil">8 hastens after wealth
    and does not know that poverty will come upon him.
23   Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
    than he who flatters with his tongue.
24   Whoever robs his father or his mother
    and says, “That is no transgression,”
    is a companion to a man who destroys.
25   A greedy man stirs up strife,
    but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.
26   Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
    but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
27   Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
    but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
28   When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,
    but when they perish, the righteous increase.

Footnotes

[1] 27:9 Or and so does the sweetness of a friend that comes from his earnest counsel
[2] 27:13 Hebrew a foreign woman; a slight emendation yields (compare Vulgate; see also 20:16) foreigners
[3] 27:16 Hebrew to meet with
[4] 27:17 Hebrew sharpens the face of another
[5] 28:8 That is, profit that comes from charging interest to the poor
[6] 28:14 Hebrew lacks the Lord
[7] 28:17 Hebrew until the pit
[8] 28:22 Hebrew A man whose eye is evil

(ESV)

New Testament: Titus 3:8–11

Titus 3:8–11 (Listen)

The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people. But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 74

Psalm 74 (Listen)

Arise, O God, Defend Your Cause

A MaskilProbably a musical or liturgical term">1 of Asaph.

74   O God, why do you cast us off forever?
    Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
  Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old,
    which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage!
    Remember Mount Zion, where you have dwelt.
  Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
    the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary!
  Your foes have roared in the midst of your meeting place;
    they set up their own signs for signs.
  They were like those who swing axes
    in a forest of trees.The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain">2
  And all its carved wood
    they broke down with hatchets and hammers.
  They set your sanctuary on fire;
    they profaned the dwelling place of your name,
    bringing it down to the ground.
  They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
    they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
  We do not see our signs;
    there is no longer any prophet,
    and there is none among us who knows how long.
10   How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
    Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
11   Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
    Take it from the fold of your garmentHebrew from your bosom">3 and destroy them!
12   Yet God my King is from of old,
    working salvation in the midst of the earth.
13   You divided the sea by your might;
    you broke the heads of the sea monstersOr the great sea creatures">4 on the waters.
14   You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
    you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
15   You split open springs and brooks;
    you dried up ever-flowing streams.
16   Yours is the day, yours also the night;
    you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
17   You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
    you have made summer and winter.
18   Remember this, O LORD, how the enemy scoffs,
    and a foolish people reviles your name.
19   Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts;
    do not forget the life of your poor forever.
20   Have regard for the covenant,
    for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
21   Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame;
    let the poor and needy praise your name.
22   Arise, O God, defend your cause;
    remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!
23   Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
    the uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually!

Footnotes

[1] 74:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[2] 74:5 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
[3] 74:11 Hebrew from your bosom
[4] 74:13 Or the great sea creatures

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 24:1–2

Proverbs 24:1–2 (Listen)

24   Be not envious of evil men,
    nor desire to be with them,
  for their hearts devise violence,
    and their lips talk of trouble.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 25–26

Proverbs 25–26 (Listen)

More Proverbs of Solomon

25 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.

  It is the glory of God to conceal things,
    but the glory of kings is to search things out.
  As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
    so the heart of kings is unsearchable.
  Take away the dross from the silver,
    and the smith has material for a vessel;
  take away the wicked from the presence of the king,
    and his throne will be established in righteousness.
  Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence
    or stand in the place of the great,
  for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
    than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.
  What your eyes have seen
    do not hastily bring into court,Or presence of a noble, as your eyes have seen. 8Do not go hastily out to court">1
  forHebrew or else">2 what will you do in the end,
    when your neighbor puts you to shame?
  Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
    and do not reveal another’s secret,
10   lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
    and your ill repute have no end.
11   A word fitly spoken
    is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
12   Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
    is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
13   Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
    is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
    he refreshes the soul of his masters.
14   Like clouds and wind without rain
    is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
15   With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
    and a soft tongue will break a bone.
16   If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
    lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
17   Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor’s house,
    lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
18   A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
    is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
19   Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
    is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
20   Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
    is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
    and like vinegar on soda.
21   If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
    and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
22   for you will heap burning coals on his head,
    and the LORD will reward you.
23   The north wind brings forth rain,
    and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24   It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
    than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
25   Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
    so is good news from a far country.
26   Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
    is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
27   It is not good to eat much honey,
    nor is it glorious to seek one’s own glory.The meaning of the Hebrew line is uncertain">3
28   A man without self-control
    is like a city broken into and left without walls.
26   Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
    so honor is not fitting for a fool.
  Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
    a curse that is causeless does not alight.
  A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
    and a rod for the back of fools.
  Answer not a fool according to his folly,
    lest you be like him yourself.
  Answer a fool according to his folly,
    lest he be wise in his own eyes.
  Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
    cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
  Like a lame man’s legs, which hang useless,
    is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
  Like one who binds the stone in the sling
    is one who gives honor to a fool.
  Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
    is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
10   Like an archer who wounds everyone
    is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.Or hires a fool or passersby">4
11   Like a dog that returns to his vomit
    is a fool who repeats his folly.
12   Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?
    There is more hope for a fool than for him.
13   The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
    There is a lion in the streets!”
14   As a door turns on its hinges,
    so does a sluggard on his bed.
15   The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
    it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
16   The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
    than seven men who can answer sensibly.
17   Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
    is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
18   Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
19   is the man who deceives his neighbor
    and says, “I am only joking!”
20   For lack of wood the fire goes out,
    and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
21   As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
    so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
22   The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
    they go down into the inner parts of the body.
23   Like the glazeBy revocalization; Hebrew silver of dross">5 covering an earthen vessel
    are fervent lips with an evil heart.
24   Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
    and harbors deceit in his heart;
25   when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
    for there are seven abominations in his heart;
26   though his hatred be covered with deception,
    his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
27   Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
    and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
28   A lying tongue hates its victims,
    and a flattering mouth works ruin.

Footnotes

[1] 25:8 Or presence of a noble, as your eyes have seen. 8Do not go hastily out to court
[2] 25:8 Hebrew or else
[3] 25:27 The meaning of the Hebrew line is uncertain
[4] 26:10 Or hires a fool or passersby
[5] 26:23 By revocalization; Hebrew silver of dross

(ESV)

New Testament: Titus 3:1–8

Titus 3:1–8 (Listen)

Be Ready for Every Good Work

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 73

Psalm 73 (Listen)

Book Three

God Is My Strength and Portion Forever

A Psalm of Asaph.

73   Truly God is good to Israel,
    to those who are pure in heart.
  But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
    my steps had nearly slipped.
  For I was envious of the arrogant
    when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
  For they have no pangs until death;
    their bodies are fat and sleek.
  They are not in trouble as others are;
    they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
  Therefore pride is their necklace;
    violence covers them as a garment.
  Their eyes swell out through fatness;
    their hearts overflow with follies.
  They scoff and speak with malice;
    loftily they threaten oppression.
  They set their mouths against the heavens,
    and their tongue struts through the earth.
10   Therefore his people turn back to them,
    and find no fault in them.Probable reading; Hebrew the waters of a full cup are drained by them">1
11   And they say, “How can God know?
    Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12   Behold, these are the wicked;
    always at ease, they increase in riches.
13   All in vain have I kept my heart clean
    and washed my hands in innocence.
14   For all the day long I have been stricken
    and rebuked every morning.
15   If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
    I would have betrayed the generation of your children.
16   But when I thought how to understand this,
    it seemed to me a wearisome task,
17   until I went into the sanctuary of God;
    then I discerned their end.
18   Truly you set them in slippery places;
    you make them fall to ruin.
19   How they are destroyed in a moment,
    swept away utterly by terrors!
20   Like a dream when one awakes,
    O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
21   When my soul was embittered,
    when I was pricked in heart,
22   I was brutish and ignorant;
    I was like a beast toward you.
23   Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
    you hold my right hand.
24   You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25   Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26   My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strengthHebrew rock">2 of my heart and my portion forever.
27   For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
    you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28   But for me it is good to be near God;
    I have made the Lord GOD my refuge,
    that I may tell of all your works.

Footnotes

[1] 73:10 Probable reading; Hebrew the waters of a full cup are drained by them
[2] 73:26 Hebrew rock

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 23:29–35

Proverbs 23:29–35 (Listen)

29   Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaining?
  Who has wounds without cause?
    Who has redness of eyes?
30   Those who tarry long over wine;
    those who go to try mixed wine.
31   Do not look at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup
    and goes down smoothly.
32   In the end it bites like a serpent
    and stings like an adder.
33   Your eyes will see strange things,
    and your heart utter perverse things.
34   You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
    like one who lies on the top of a mast.Or of the rigging">1
35   “They struck me,” you will say,Hebrew lacks you will say">2 “but I was not hurt;
    they beat me, but I did not feel it.
  When shall I awake?
    I must have another drink.”

Footnotes

[1] 23:34 Or of the rigging
[2] 23:35 Hebrew lacks you will say

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 23–24

Proverbs 23–24 (Listen)

23   When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
    observe carefully whatOr who">1 is before you,
  and put a knife to your throat
    if you are given to appetite.
  Do not desire his delicacies,
    for they are deceptive food.
  Do not toil to acquire wealth;
    be discerning enough to desist.
  When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
    for suddenly it sprouts wings,
    flying like an eagle toward heaven.
  Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;Hebrew whose eye is evil">2
    do not desire his delicacies,
  for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.Or for as he calculates in his soul, so is he">3
    “Eat and drink!” he says to you,
    but his heart is not with you.
  You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,
    and waste your pleasant words.
  Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
    for he will despise the good sense of your words.
10   Do not move an ancient landmark
    or enter the fields of the fatherless,
11   for their Redeemer is strong;
    he will plead their cause against you.
12   Apply your heart to instruction
    and your ear to words of knowledge.
13   Do not withhold discipline from a child;
    if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14   If you strike him with the rod,
    you will save his soul from Sheol.
15   My son, if your heart is wise,
    my heart too will be glad.
16   My inmost beingHebrew My kidneys">4 will exult
    when your lips speak what is right.
17   Let not your heart envy sinners,
    but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.
18   Surely there is a future,
    and your hope will not be cut off.
19   Hear, my son, and be wise,
    and direct your heart in the way.
20   Be not among drunkardsHebrew those who drink too much wine">5
    or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
21   for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
    and slumber will clothe them with rags.
22   Listen to your father who gave you life,
    and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23   Buy truth, and do not sell it;
    buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
24   The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
    he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
25   Let your father and mother be glad;
    let her who bore you rejoice.
26   My son, give me your heart,
    and let your eyes observeOr delight in">6 my ways.
27   For a prostitute is a deep pit;
    an adulteressHebrew a foreign woman">7 is a narrow well.
28   She lies in wait like a robber
    and increases the traitors among mankind.
29   Who has woe? Who has sorrow?
    Who has strife? Who has complaining?
  Who has wounds without cause?
    Who has redness of eyes?
30   Those who tarry long over wine;
    those who go to try mixed wine.
31   Do not look at wine when it is red,
    when it sparkles in the cup
    and goes down smoothly.
32   In the end it bites like a serpent
    and stings like an adder.
33   Your eyes will see strange things,
    and your heart utter perverse things.
34   You will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea,
    like one who lies on the top of a mast.Or of the rigging">8
35   “They struck me,” you will say,Hebrew lacks you will say">9 “but I was not hurt;
    they beat me, but I did not feel it.
  When shall I awake?
    I must have another drink.”
24   Be not envious of evil men,
    nor desire to be with them,
  for their hearts devise violence,
    and their lips talk of trouble.
  By wisdom a house is built,
    and by understanding it is established;
  by knowledge the rooms are filled
    with all precious and pleasant riches.
  A wise man is full of strength,
    and a man of knowledge enhances his might,
  for by wise guidance you can wage your war,
    and in abundance of counselors there is victory.
  Wisdom is too high for a fool;
    in the gate he does not open his mouth.
  Whoever plans to do evil
    will be called a schemer.
  The devisingOr scheming">10 of folly is sin,
    and the scoffer is an abomination to mankind.
10   If you faint in the day of adversity,
    your strength is small.
11   Rescue those who are being taken away to death;
    hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
12   If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,”
    does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
  Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it,
    and will he not repay man according to his work?
13   My son, eat honey, for it is good,
    and the drippings of the honeycomb are sweet to your taste.
14   Know that wisdom is such to your soul;
    if you find it, there will be a future,
    and your hope will not be cut off.
15   Lie not in wait as a wicked man against the dwelling of the righteous;
    do no violence to his home;
16   for the righteous falls seven times and rises again,
    but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.
17   Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
    and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
18   lest the LORD see it and be displeased,
    and turn away his anger from him.
19   Fret not yourself because of evildoers,
    and be not envious of the wicked,
20   for the evil man has no future;
    the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
21   My son, fear the LORD and the king,
    and do not join with those who do otherwise,
22   for disaster will arise suddenly from them,
    and who knows the ruin that will come from them both?

More Sayings of the Wise

23 These also are sayings of the wise.

  Partiality in judging is not good.
24   Whoever says to the wicked, “You are in the right,”
    will be cursed by peoples, abhorred by nations,
25   but those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
    and a good blessing will come upon them.
26   Whoever gives an honest answer
    kisses the lips.
27   Prepare your work outside;
    get everything ready for yourself in the field,
    and after that build your house.
28   Be not a witness against your neighbor without cause,
    and do not deceive with your lips.
29   Do not say, “I will do to him as he has done to me;
    I will pay the man back for what he has done.”
30   I passed by the field of a sluggard,
    by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
31   and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
    the ground was covered with nettles,
    and its stone wall was broken down.
32   Then I saw and considered it;
    I looked and received instruction.
33   A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest,
34   and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
    and want like an armed man.

Footnotes

[1] 23:1 Or who
[2] 23:6 Hebrew whose eye is evil
[3] 23:7 Or for as he calculates in his soul, so is he
[4] 23:16 Hebrew My kidneys
[5] 23:20 Hebrew those who drink too much wine
[6] 23:26 Or delight in
[7] 23:27 Hebrew a foreign woman
[8] 23:34 Or of the rigging
[9] 23:35 Hebrew lacks you will say
[10] 24:9 Or scheming

(ESV)

New Testament: Titus 2

Titus 2 (Listen)

Teach Sound Doctrine

But as for you, teach what accords with soundOr healthy; also verses 2, 8">1 doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. BondservantsFor the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface">2 are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Footnotes

[1] 2:1 Or healthy; also verses 2, 8
[2] 2:9 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 72

Psalm 72 (Listen)

Give the King Your Justice

Of Solomon.

72   Give the king your justice, O God,
    and your righteousness to the royal son!
  May he judge your people with righteousness,
    and your poor with justice!
  Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people,
    and the hills, in righteousness!
  May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,
    give deliverance to the children of the needy,
    and crush the oppressor!
  May they fear youSeptuagint He shall endure">1 while the sun endures,
    and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!
  May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass,
    like showers that water the earth!
  In his days may the righteous flourish,
    and peace abound, till the moon be no more!
  May he have dominion from sea to sea,
    and from the RiverThat is, the Euphrates">2 to the ends of the earth!
  May desert tribes bow down before him,
    and his enemies lick the dust!
10   May the kings of Tarshish and of the coastlands
    render him tribute;
  may the kings of Sheba and Seba
    bring gifts!
11   May all kings fall down before him,
    all nations serve him!
12   For he delivers the needy when he calls,
    the poor and him who has no helper.
13   He has pity on the weak and the needy,
    and saves the lives of the needy.
14   From oppression and violence he redeems their life,
    and precious is their blood in his sight.
15   Long may he live;
    may gold of Sheba be given to him!
  May prayer be made for him continually,
    and blessings invoked for him all the day!
16   May there be abundance of grain in the land;
    on the tops of the mountains may it wave;
    may its fruit be like Lebanon;
  and may people blossom in the cities
    like the grass of the field!
17   May his name endure forever,
    his fame continue as long as the sun!
  May people be blessed in him,
    all nations call him blessed!
18   Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
    who alone does wondrous things.
19   Blessed be his glorious name forever;
    may the whole earth be filled with his glory!
      Amen and Amen!
20   The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended.

Footnotes

[1] 72:5 Septuagint He shall endure
[2] 72:8 That is, the Euphrates

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 23:26–28

Proverbs 23:26–28 (Listen)

26   My son, give me your heart,
    and let your eyes observeOr delight in">1 my ways.
27   For a prostitute is a deep pit;
    an adulteressHebrew a foreign woman">2 is a narrow well.
28   She lies in wait like a robber
    and increases the traitors among mankind.

Footnotes

[1] 23:26 Or delight in
[2] 23:27 Hebrew a foreign woman

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 21–22

Proverbs 21–22 (Listen)

21   The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD;
    he turns it wherever he will.
  Every way of a man is right in his own eyes,
    but the LORD weighs the heart.
  To do righteousness and justice
    is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
  Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
    the lampOr the plowing">1 of the wicked, are sin.
  The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,
    but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
  The getting of treasures by a lying tongue
    is a fleeting vapor and a snare of death.Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death">2
  The violence of the wicked will sweep them away,
    because they refuse to do what is just.
  The way of the guilty is crooked,
    but the conduct of the pure is upright.
  It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
    than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
10   The soul of the wicked desires evil;
    his neighbor finds no mercy in his eyes.
11   When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise;
    when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.
12   The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked;
    he throws the wicked down to ruin.
13   Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor
    will himself call out and not be answered.
14   A gift in secret averts anger,
    and a concealed bribe,Hebrew a bribe in the bosom">3 strong wrath.
15   When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous
    but terror to evildoers.
16   One who wanders from the way of good sense
    will rest in the assembly of the dead.
17   Whoever loves pleasure will be a poor man;
    he who loves wine and oil will not be rich.
18   The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
    and the traitor for the upright.
19   It is better to live in a desert land
    than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
20   Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling,
    but a foolish man devours it.
21   Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness
    will find life, righteousness, and honor.
22   A wise man scales the city of the mighty
    and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.
23   Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue
    keeps himself out of trouble.
24   “Scoffer” is the name of the arrogant, haughty man
    who acts with arrogant pride.
25   The desire of the sluggard kills him,
    for his hands refuse to labor.
26   All day long he craves and craves,
    but the righteous gives and does not hold back.
27   The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination;
    how much more when he brings it with evil intent.
28   A false witness will perish,
    but the word of a man who hears will endure.
29   A wicked man puts on a bold face,
    but the upright gives thought toOr establishes">4 his ways.
30   No wisdom, no understanding, no counsel
    can avail against the LORD.
31   The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
    but the victory belongs to the LORD.
22   A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
    and favor is better than silver or gold.
  The rich and the poor meet together;
    the LORD is the Maker of them all.
  The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
    but the simple go on and suffer for it.
  The reward for humility and fear of the LORD
    is riches and honor and life.Or The reward for humility is the fear of the Lord, riches and honor and life">5
  Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
    whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
  Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.
  The rich rules over the poor,
    and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
  Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
    and the rod of his fury will fail.
  Whoever has a bountifulHebrew good">6 eye will be blessed,
    for he shares his bread with the poor.
10   Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
    and quarreling and abuse will cease.
11   He who loves purity of heart,
    and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
12   The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge,
    but he overthrows the words of the traitor.
13   The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!
    I shall be killed in the streets!”
14   The mouth of forbiddenHebrew strange">7 women is a deep pit;
    he with whom the LORD is angry will fall into it.
15   Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
16   Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,
    or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

Words of the Wise

17   Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
    and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18   for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
    if all of them are ready on your lips.
19   That your trust may be in the LORD,
    I have made them known to you today, even to you.
20   Have I not written for you thirty sayings
    of counsel and knowledge,
21   to make you know what is right and true,
    that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
22   Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
    or crush the afflicted at the gate,
23   for the LORD will plead their cause
    and rob of life those who rob them.
24   Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
    nor go with a wrathful man,
25   lest you learn his ways
    and entangle yourself in a snare.
26   Be not one of those who give pledges,
    who put up security for debts.
27   If you have nothing with which to pay,
    why should your bed be taken from under you?
28   Do not move the ancient landmark
    that your fathers have set.
29   Do you see a man skillful in his work?
    He will stand before kings;
    he will not stand before obscure men.

Footnotes

[1] 21:4 Or the plowing
[2] 21:6 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Latin; most Hebrew manuscripts vapor for those who seek death
[3] 21:14 Hebrew a bribe in the bosom
[4] 21:29 Or establishes
[5] 22:4 Or The reward for humility is the fear of the Lord, riches and honor and life
[6] 22:9 Hebrew good
[7] 22:14 Hebrew strange

(ESV)

New Testament: Titus 1:5–16

Titus 1:5–16 (Listen)

Qualifications for Elders

This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife,Or a man of one woman">1 and his children are believersOr are faithful">2 and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. For an overseer,Or bishop; Greek episkopos">3 as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in soundOr healthy; also verse 13">4 doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

10 For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party.Or especially those of the circumcision">5 11 They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach. 12 One of the Cretans,Greek One of them">6 a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.”Probably from Epimenides of Crete">7 13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, 14 not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth. 15 To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Footnotes

[1] 1:6 Or a man of one woman
[2] 1:6 Or are faithful
[3] 1:7 Or bishop; Greek episkopos
[4] 1:9 Or healthy; also verse 13
[5] 1:10 Or especially those of the circumcision
[6] 1:12 Greek One of them
[7] 1:12 Probably from Epimenides of Crete

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 71

Psalm 71 (Listen)

Forsake Me Not When My Strength Is Spent

71   In you, O LORD, do I take refuge;
    let me never be put to shame!
  In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
    incline your ear to me, and save me!
  Be to me a rock of refuge,
    to which I may continually come;
  you have given the command to save me,
    for you are my rock and my fortress.
  Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
    from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
  For you, O Lord, are my hope,
    my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
  Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;
    you are he who took me from my mother’s womb.
  My praise is continually of you.
  I have been as a portent to many,
    but you are my strong refuge.
  My mouth is filled with your praise,
    and with your glory all the day.
  Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
    forsake me not when my strength is spent.
10   For my enemies speak concerning me;
    those who watch for my life consult together
11   and say, “God has forsaken him;
    pursue and seize him,
    for there is none to deliver him.”
12   O God, be not far from me;
    O my God, make haste to help me!
13   May my accusers be put to shame and consumed;
    with scorn and disgrace may they be covered
    who seek my hurt.
14   But I will hope continually
    and will praise you yet more and more.
15   My mouth will tell of your righteous acts,
    of your deeds of salvation all the day,
    for their number is past my knowledge.
16   With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come;
    I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
17   O God, from my youth you have taught me,
    and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
18   So even to old age and gray hairs,
    O God, do not forsake me,
  until I proclaim your might to another generation,
    your power to all those to come.
19   Your righteousness, O God,
    reaches the high heavens.
  You who have done great things,
    O God, who is like you?
20   You who have made me see many troubles and calamities
    will revive me again;
  from the depths of the earth
    you will bring me up again.
21   You will increase my greatness
    and comfort me again.
22   I will also praise you with the harp
    for your faithfulness, O my God;
  I will sing praises to you with the lyre,
    O Holy One of Israel.
23   My lips will shout for joy,
    when I sing praises to you;
    my soul also, which you have redeemed.
24   And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long,
  for they have been put to shame and disappointed
    who sought to do me hurt.

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 23:22–25

Proverbs 23:22–25 (Listen)

22   Listen to your father who gave you life,
    and do not despise your mother when she is old.
23   Buy truth, and do not sell it;
    buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.
24   The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice;
    he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.
25   Let your father and mother be glad;
    let her who bore you rejoice.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 19–20

Proverbs 19–20 (Listen)

19   Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity
    than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool.
  DesireOr A soul">1 without knowledge is not good,
    and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.
  When a man’s folly brings his way to ruin,
    his heart rages against the LORD.
  Wealth brings many new friends,
    but a poor man is deserted by his friend.
  A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and he who breathes out lies will not escape.
  Many seek the favor of a generous man,Or of a noble">2
    and everyone is a friend to a man who gives gifts.
  All a poor man’s brothers hate him;
    how much more do his friends go far from him!
  He pursues them with words, but does not have them.The meaning of the Hebrew sentence is uncertain">3
  Whoever gets sense loves his own soul;
    he who keeps understanding will discover good.
  A false witness will not go unpunished,
    and he who breathes out lies will perish.
10   It is not fitting for a fool to live in luxury,
    much less for a slave to rule over princes.
11   Good sense makes one slow to anger,
    and it is his glory to overlook an offense.
12   A king’s wrath is like the growling of a lion,
    but his favor is like dew on the grass.
13   A foolish son is ruin to his father,
    and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.
14   House and wealth are inherited from fathers,
    but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
15   Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep,
    and an idle person will suffer hunger.
16   Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life;
    he who despises his ways will die.
17   Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD,
    and he will repay him for his deed.
18   Discipline your son, for there is hope;
    do not set your heart on putting him to death.
19   A man of great wrath will pay the penalty,
    for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.
20   Listen to advice and accept instruction,
    that you may gain wisdom in the future.
21   Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
    but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
22   What is desired in a man is steadfast love,
    and a poor man is better than a liar.
23   The fear of the LORD leads to life,
    and whoever has it rests satisfied;
    he will not be visited by harm.
24   The sluggard buries his hand in the dish
    and will not even bring it back to his mouth.
25   Strike a scoffer, and the simple will learn prudence;
    reprove a man of understanding, and he will gain knowledge.
26   He who does violence to his father and chases away his mother
    is a son who brings shame and reproach.
27   Cease to hear instruction, my son,
    and you will stray from the words of knowledge.
28   A worthless witness mocks at justice,
    and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
29   Condemnation is ready for scoffers,
    and beating for the backs of fools.
20   Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler,
    and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.Or will not become wise">4
  The terror of a king is like the growling of a lion;
    whoever provokes him to anger forfeits his life.
  It is an honor for a man to keep aloof from strife,
    but every fool will be quarreling.
  The sluggard does not plow in the autumn;
    he will seek at harvest and have nothing.
  The purpose in a man’s heart is like deep water,
    but a man of understanding will draw it out.
  Many a man proclaims his own steadfast love,
    but a faithful man who can find?
  The righteous who walks in his integrity—
    blessed are his children after him!
  A king who sits on the throne of judgment
    winnows all evil with his eyes.
  Who can say, “I have made my heart pure;
    I am clean from my sin”?
10   UnequalOr Two kinds of; also verse 23">5 weights and unequal measures
    are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
11   Even a child makes himself known by his acts,
    by whether his conduct is pure and upright.Or Even a child can dissemble in his actions, though his conduct seems pure and upright">6
12   The hearing ear and the seeing eye,
    the LORD has made them both.
13   Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty;
    open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
14   “Bad, bad,” says the buyer,
    but when he goes away, then he boasts.
15   There is gold and abundance of costly stones,
    but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel.
16   Take a man’s garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
    and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for foreigners.Or for an adulteress (compare 27:13)">7
17   Bread gained by deceit is sweet to a man,
    but afterward his mouth will be full of gravel.
18   Plans are established by counsel;
    by wise guidance wage war.
19   Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets;
    therefore do not associate with a simple babbler.Hebrew with one who is simple in his lips">8
20   If one curses his father or his mother,
    his lamp will be put out in utter darkness.
21   An inheritance gained hastily in the beginning
    will not be blessed in the end.
22   Do not say, “I will repay evil”;
    wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.
23   Unequal weights are an abomination to the LORD,
    and false scales are not good.
24   A man’s steps are from the LORD;
    how then can man understand his way?
25   It is a snare to say rashly, “It is holy,”
    and to reflect only after making vows.
26   A wise king winnows the wicked
    and drives the wheel over them.
27   The spiritHebrew breath">9 of man is the lamp of the LORD,
    searching all his innermost parts.
28   Steadfast love and faithfulness preserve the king,
    and by steadfast love his throne is upheld.
29   The glory of young men is their strength,
    but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
30   Blows that wound cleanse away evil;
    strokes make clean the innermost parts.

Footnotes

[1] 19:2 Or A soul
[2] 19:6 Or of a noble
[3] 19:7 The meaning of the Hebrew sentence is uncertain
[4] 20:1 Or will not become wise
[5] 20:10 Or Two kinds of; also verse 23
[6] 20:11 Or Even a child can dissemble in his actions, though his conduct seems pure and upright
[7] 20:16 Or for an adulteress (compare 27:13)
[8] 20:19 Hebrew with one who is simple in his lips
[9] 20:27 Hebrew breath

(ESV)

New Testament: Titus 1:1–4

Titus 1:1–4 (Listen)

Greeting

Paul, a servantFor the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface">1 of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake of the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth, which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages beganGreek before times eternal">2 and at the proper time manifested in his wordOr manifested his word">3 through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by the command of God our Savior;

To Titus, my true child in a common faith:

Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.

Footnotes

[1] 1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
[2] 1:2 Greek before times eternal
[3] 1:3 Or manifested his word

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 70

Psalm 70 (Listen)

O Lord, Do Not Delay

To the choirmaster. Of David, for the memorial offering.

70   Make haste, O God, to deliver me!
    O LORD, make haste to help me!
  Let them be put to shame and confusion
    who seek my life!
  Let them be turned back and brought to dishonor
    who delight in my hurt!
  Let them turn back because of their shame
    who say, “Aha, Aha!”
  May all who seek you
    rejoice and be glad in you!
  May those who love your salvation
    say evermore, “God is great!”
  But I am poor and needy;
    hasten to me, O God!
  You are my help and my deliverer;
    O LORD, do not delay!

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 23:19–21

Proverbs 23:19–21 (Listen)

19   Hear, my son, and be wise,
    and direct your heart in the way.
20   Be not among drunkardsHebrew those who drink too much wine">1
    or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
21   for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
    and slumber will clothe them with rags.

Footnotes

[1] 23:20 Hebrew those who drink too much wine

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 17–18

Proverbs 17–18 (Listen)

17   Better is a dry morsel with quiet
    than a house full of feastingHebrew sacrifices">1 with strife.
  A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully
    and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.
  The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
    and the LORD tests hearts.
  An evildoer listens to wicked lips,
    and a liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue.
  Whoever mocks the poor insults his Maker;
    he who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished.
  Grandchildren are the crown of the aged,
    and the glory of children is their fathers.
  Fine speech is not becoming to a fool;
    still less is false speech to a prince.
  A bribe is like a magicOr precious">2 stone in the eyes of the one who gives it;
    wherever he turns he prospers.
  Whoever covers an offense seeks love,
    but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.
10   A rebuke goes deeper into a man of understanding
    than a hundred blows into a fool.
11   An evil man seeks only rebellion,
    and a cruel messenger will be sent against him.
12   Let a man meet a she-bear robbed of her cubs
    rather than a fool in his folly.
13   If anyone returns evil for good,
    evil will not depart from his house.
14   The beginning of strife is like letting out water,
    so quit before the quarrel breaks out.
15   He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous
    are both alike an abomination to the LORD.
16   Why should a fool have money in his hand to buy wisdom
    when he has no sense?
17   A friend loves at all times,
    and a brother is born for adversity.
18   One who lacks sense gives a pledge
    and puts up security in the presence of his neighbor.
19   Whoever loves transgression loves strife;
    he who makes his door high seeks destruction.
20   A man of crooked heart does not discover good,
    and one with a dishonest tongue falls into calamity.
21   He who sires a fool gets himself sorrow,
    and the father of a fool has no joy.
22   A joyful heart is good medicine,
    but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
23   The wicked accepts a bribe in secretHebrew a bribe from the bosom">3
    to pervert the ways of justice.
24   The discerning sets his face toward wisdom,
    but the eyes of a fool are on the ends of the earth.
25   A foolish son is a grief to his father
    and bitterness to her who bore him.
26   To impose a fine on a righteous man is not good,
    nor to strike the noble for their uprightness.
27   Whoever restrains his words has knowledge,
    and he who has a cool spirit is a man of understanding.
28   Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise;
    when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.
18   Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire;
    he breaks out against all sound judgment.
  A fool takes no pleasure in understanding,
    but only in expressing his opinion.
  When wickedness comes, contempt comes also,
    and with dishonor comes disgrace.
  The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters;
    the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.
  It is not good to be partial toHebrew to lift the face of">4 the wicked
    or to deprive the righteous of justice.
  A fool’s lips walk into a fight,
    and his mouth invites a beating.
  A fool’s mouth is his ruin,
    and his lips are a snare to his soul.
  The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
    they go down into the inner parts of the body.
  Whoever is slack in his work
    is a brother to him who destroys.
10   The name of the LORD is a strong tower;
    the righteous man runs into it and is safe.
11   A rich man’s wealth is his strong city,
    and like a high wall in his imagination.
12   Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty,
    but humility comes before honor.
13   If one gives an answer before he hears,
    it is his folly and shame.
14   A man’s spirit will endure sickness,
    but a crushed spirit who can bear?
15   An intelligent heart acquires knowledge,
    and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.
16   A man’s gift makes room for him
    and brings him before the great.
17   The one who states his case first seems right,
    until the other comes and examines him.
18   The lot puts an end to quarrels
    and decides between powerful contenders.
19   A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city,
    and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.
20   From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied;
    he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.
21   Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
    and those who love it will eat its fruits.
22   He who finds a wife finds a good thing
    and obtains favor from the LORD.
23   The poor use entreaties,
    but the rich answer roughly.
24   A man of many companions may come to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

Footnotes

[1] 17:1 Hebrew sacrifices
[2] 17:8 Or precious
[3] 17:23 Hebrew a bribe from the bosom
[4] 18:5 Hebrew to lift the face of

(ESV)

New Testament: 2 Timothy 4:9–22

2 Timothy 4:9–22 (Listen)

Personal Instructions

Do your best to come to me soon. 10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia,Some manuscripts Gaul">1 Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Luke alone is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is very useful to me for ministry. 12 Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me great harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Beware of him yourself, for he strongly opposed our message. 16 At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, and I left Trophimus, who was ill, at Miletus. 21 Do your best to come before winter. Eubulus sends greetings to you, as do Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brothers.Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters">2

22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.The Greek for you is plural">3

Footnotes

[1] 4:10 Some manuscripts Gaul
[2] 4:21 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
[3] 4:22 The Greek for you is plural

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 69:19–36

Psalm 69:19–36 (Listen)

19   You know my reproach,
    and my shame and my dishonor;
    my foes are all known to you.
20   Reproaches have broken my heart,
    so that I am in despair.
  I looked for pity, but there was none,
    and for comforters, but I found none.
21   They gave me poison for food,
    and for my thirst they gave me sour wine to drink.
22   Let their own table before them become a snare;
    and when they are at peace, let it become a trap.Hebrew; a slight revocalization yields (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome) a snare, and retribution and a trap">1
23   Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see,
    and make their loins tremble continually.
24   Pour out your indignation upon them,
    and let your burning anger overtake them.
25   May their camp be a desolation;
    let no one dwell in their tents.
26   For they persecute him whom you have struck down,
    and they recount the pain of those you have wounded.
27   Add to them punishment upon punishment;
    may they have no acquittal from you.Hebrew may they not come into your righteousness">2
28   Let them be blotted out of the book of the living;
    let them not be enrolled among the righteous.
29   But I am afflicted and in pain;
    let your salvation, O God, set me on high!
30   I will praise the name of God with a song;
    I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
31   This will please the LORD more than an ox
    or a bull with horns and hoofs.
32   When the humble see it they will be glad;
    you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
33   For the LORD hears the needy
    and does not despise his own people who are prisoners.
34   Let heaven and earth praise him,
    the seas and everything that moves in them.
35   For God will save Zion
    and build up the cities of Judah,
  and people shall dwell there and possess it;
36     the offspring of his servants shall inherit it,
    and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

Footnotes

[1] 69:22 Hebrew; a slight revocalization yields (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Jerome) a snare, and retribution and a trap
[2] 69:27 Hebrew may they not come into your righteousness

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 23:17–18

Proverbs 23:17–18 (Listen)

17   Let not your heart envy sinners,
    but continue in the fear of the LORD all the day.
18   Surely there is a future,
    and your hope will not be cut off.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 15–16

Proverbs 15–16 (Listen)

15   A soft answer turns away wrath,
    but a harsh word stirs up anger.
  The tongue of the wise commends knowledge,
    but the mouths of fools pour out folly.
  The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
    keeping watch on the evil and the good.
  A gentleOr healing">1 tongue is a tree of life,
    but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.
  A fool despises his father’s instruction,
    but whoever heeds reproof is prudent.
  In the house of the righteous there is much treasure,
    but trouble befalls the income of the wicked.
  The lips of the wise spread knowledge;
    not so the hearts of fools.Or the hearts of fools are not steadfast">2
  The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
    but the prayer of the upright is acceptable to him.
  The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
    but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
10   There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;
    whoever hates reproof will die.
11   Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD;
    how much more the hearts of the children of man!
12   A scoffer does not like to be reproved;
    he will not go to the wise.
13   A glad heart makes a cheerful face,
    but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed.
14   The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge,
    but the mouths of fools feed on folly.
15   All the days of the afflicted are evil,
    but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.
16   Better is a little with the fear of the LORD
    than great treasure and trouble with it.
17   Better is a dinner of herbs where love is
    than a fattened ox and hatred with it.
18   A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
    but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.
19   The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns,
    but the path of the upright is a level highway.
20   A wise son makes a glad father,
    but a foolish man despises his mother.
21   Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense,
    but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.
22   Without counsel plans fail,
    but with many advisers they succeed.
23   To make an apt answer is a joy to a man,
    and a word in season, how good it is!
24   The path of life leads upward for the prudent,
    that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.
25   The LORD tears down the house of the proud
    but maintains the widow’s boundaries.
26   The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD,
    but gracious words are pure.
27   Whoever is greedy for unjust gain troubles his own household,
    but he who hates bribes will live.
28   The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
    but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
29   The LORD is far from the wicked,
    but he hears the prayer of the righteous.
30   The light of the eyes rejoices the heart,
    and good news refreshesHebrew makes fat">3 the bones.
31   The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
    will dwell among the wise.
32   Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
    but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
33   The fear of the LORD is instruction in wisdom,
    and humility comes before honor.
16   The plans of the heart belong to man,
    but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
  All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
    but the LORD weighs the spirit.Or spirits">4
  Commit your work to the LORD,
    and your plans will be established.
  The LORD has made everything for its purpose,
    even the wicked for the day of trouble.
  Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the LORD;
    be assured, he will not go unpunished.
  By steadfast love and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
    and by the fear of the LORD one turns away from evil.
  When a man’s ways please the LORD,
    he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
  Better is a little with righteousness
    than great revenues with injustice.
  The heart of man plans his way,
    but the LORD establishes his steps.
10   An oracle is on the lips of a king;
    his mouth does not sin in judgment.
11   A just balance and scales are the LORD’s;
    all the weights in the bag are his work.
12   It is an abomination to kings to do evil,
    for the throne is established by righteousness.
13   Righteous lips are the delight of a king,
    and he loves him who speaks what is right.
14   A king’s wrath is a messenger of death,
    and a wise man will appease it.
15   In the light of a king’s face there is life,
    and his favor is like the clouds that bring the spring rain.
16   How much better to get wisdom than gold!
    To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
17   The highway of the upright turns aside from evil;
    whoever guards his way preserves his life.
18   Pride goes before destruction,
    and a haughty spirit before a fall.
19   It is better to be of a lowly spirit with the poor
    than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20   Whoever gives thought to the wordOr to a matter">5 will discover good,
    and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.
21   The wise of heart is called discerning,
    and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
22   Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it,
    but the instruction of fools is folly.
23   The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
    and adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24   Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
    sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
25   There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.Hebrew ways of death">6
26   A worker’s appetite works for him;
    his mouth urges him on.
27   A worthless man plots evil,
    and his speechHebrew what is on his lips">7 is like a scorching fire.
28   A dishonest man spreads strife,
    and a whisperer separates close friends.
29   A man of violence entices his neighbor
    and leads him in a way that is not good.
30   Whoever winks his eyes plansHebrew to plan">8 dishonest things;
    he who purses his lips brings evil to pass.
31   Gray hair is a crown of glory;
    it is gained in a righteous life.
32   Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
    and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.
33   The lot is cast into the lap,
    but its every decision is from the LORD.

Footnotes

[1] 15:4 Or healing
[2] 15:7 Or the hearts of fools are not steadfast
[3] 15:30 Hebrew makes fat
[4] 16:2 Or spirits
[5] 16:20 Or to a matter
[6] 16:25 Hebrew ways of death
[7] 16:27 Hebrew what is on his lips
[8] 16:30 Hebrew to plan

(ESV)

New Testament: 2 Timothy 3:10–4:8

2 Timothy 3:10–4:8 (Listen)

All Scripture Is Breathed Out by God

10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whomThe Greek for whom is plural">1 you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of GodThat is, a messenger of God (the phrase echoes a common Old Testament expression)">2 may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Preach the Word

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure soundOr healthy">3 teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

Footnotes

[1] 3:14 The Greek for whom is plural
[2] 3:17 That is, a messenger of God (the phrase echoes a common Old Testament expression)
[3] 4:3 Or healthy

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 69:1–18

Psalm 69:1–18 (Listen)

Save Me, O God

To the choirmaster: according to Lilies. Of David.

69   Save me, O God!
    For the waters have come up to my neck.Or waters threaten my life">1
  I sink in deep mire,
    where there is no foothold;
  I have come into deep waters,
    and the flood sweeps over me.
  I am weary with my crying out;
    my throat is parched.
  My eyes grow dim
    with waiting for my God.
  More in number than the hairs of my head
    are those who hate me without cause;
  mighty are those who would destroy me,
    those who attack me with lies.
  What I did not steal
    must I now restore?
  O God, you know my folly;
    the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
  Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me,
    O Lord GOD of hosts;
  let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me,
    O God of Israel.
  For it is for your sake that I have borne reproach,
    that dishonor has covered my face.
  I have become a stranger to my brothers,
    an alien to my mother’s sons.
  For zeal for your house has consumed me,
    and the reproaches of those who reproach you have fallen on me.
10   When I wept and humbledHebrew lacks and humbled">2 my soul with fasting,
    it became my reproach.
11   When I made sackcloth my clothing,
    I became a byword to them.
12   I am the talk of those who sit in the gate,
    and the drunkards make songs about me.
13   But as for me, my prayer is to you, O LORD.
    At an acceptable time, O God,
    in the abundance of your steadfast love answer me in your saving faithfulness.
14   Deliver me
    from sinking in the mire;
  let me be delivered from my enemies
    and from the deep waters.
15   Let not the flood sweep over me,
    or the deep swallow me up,
    or the pit close its mouth over me.
16   Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good;
    according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
17   Hide not your face from your servant,
    for I am in distress; make haste to answer me.
18   Draw near to my soul, redeem me;
    ransom me because of my enemies!

Footnotes

[1] 69:1 Or waters threaten my life
[2] 69:10 Hebrew lacks and humbled

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 23:15–16

Proverbs 23:15–16 (Listen)

15   My son, if your heart is wise,
    my heart too will be glad.
16   My inmost beingHebrew My kidneys">1 will exult
    when your lips speak what is right.

Footnotes

[1] 23:16 Hebrew My kidneys

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 13–14

Proverbs 13–14 (Listen)

13   A wise son hears his father’s instruction,
    but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
  From the fruit of his mouth a man eats what is good,
    but the desire of the treacherous is for violence.
  Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life;
    he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
  The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing,
    while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied.
  The righteous hates falsehood,
    but the wicked brings shameOr stench">1 and disgrace.
  Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless,
    but sin overthrows the wicked.
  One pretends to be rich,Or One makes himself rich">2 yet has nothing;
    another pretends to be poor,Or another makes himself poor">3 yet has great wealth.
  The ransom of a man’s life is his wealth,
    but a poor man hears no threat.
  The light of the righteous rejoices,
    but the lamp of the wicked will be put out.
10   By insolence comes nothing but strife,
    but with those who take advice is wisdom.
11   Wealth gained hastilyOr by fraud">4 will dwindle,
    but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
12   Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
    but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
13   Whoever despises the wordOr a word">5 brings destruction on himself,
    but he who reveres the commandmentOr a commandment">6 will be rewarded.
14   The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life,
    that one may turn away from the snares of death.
15   Good sense wins favor,
    but the way of the treacherous is their ruin.Probable reading (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate); Hebrew is rugged, or is an enduring rut">7
16   Every prudent man acts with knowledge,
    but a fool flaunts his folly.
17   A wicked messenger falls into trouble,
    but a faithful envoy brings healing.
18   Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction,
    but whoever heeds reproof is honored.
19   A desire fulfilled is sweet to the soul,
    but to turn away from evil is an abomination to fools.
20   Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
    but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
21   DisasterOr Evil">8 pursues sinners,
    but the righteous are rewarded with good.
22   A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
    but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
23   The fallow ground of the poor would yield much food,
    but it is swept away through injustice.
24   Whoever spares the rod hates his son,
    but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.Or who loves him disciplines him early">9
25   The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite,
    but the belly of the wicked suffers want.
14   The wisest of women builds her house,
    but folly with her own hands tears it down.
  Whoever walks in uprightness fears the LORD,
    but he who is devious in his ways despises him.
  By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back,Or In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride">10
    but the lips of the wise will preserve them.
  Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean,
    but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.
  A faithful witness does not lie,
    but a false witness breathes out lies.
  A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain,
    but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.
  Leave the presence of a fool,
    for there you do not meet words of knowledge.
  The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way,
    but the folly of fools is deceiving.
  Fools mock at the guilt offering,
    but the upright enjoy acceptance.Hebrew but among the upright is acceptance">11
10   The heart knows its own bitterness,
    and no stranger shares its joy.
11   The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
    but the tent of the upright will flourish.
12   There is a way that seems right to a man,
    but its end is the way to death.Hebrew ways of death">12
13   Even in laughter the heart may ache,
    and the end of joy may be grief.
14   The backslider in heart will be filled with the fruit of his ways,
    and a good man will be filled with the fruit of his ways.
15   The simple believes everything,
    but the prudent gives thought to his steps.
16   One who is wise is cautiousOr fears [the Lord]">13 and turns away from evil,
    but a fool is reckless and careless.
17   A man of quick temper acts foolishly,
    and a man of evil devices is hated.
18   The simple inherit folly,
    but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.
19   The evil bow down before the good,
    the wicked at the gates of the righteous.
20   The poor is disliked even by his neighbor,
    but the rich has many friends.
21   Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner,
    but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.
22   Do they not go astray who devise evil?
    Those who devise good meetOr show">14 steadfast love and faithfulness.
23   In all toil there is profit,
    but mere talk tends only to poverty.
24   The crown of the wise is their wealth,
    but the folly of fools brings folly.
25   A truthful witness saves lives,
    but one who breathes out lies is deceitful.
26   In the fear of the LORD one has strong confidence,
    and his children will have a refuge.
27   The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life,
    that one may turn away from the snares of death.
28   In a multitude of people is the glory of a king,
    but without people a prince is ruined.
29   Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding,
    but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.
30   A tranquilOr healing">15 heart gives life to the flesh,
    but envyOr jealousy">16 makes the bones rot.
31   Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker,
    but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
32   The wicked is overthrown through his evildoing,
    but the righteous finds refuge in his death.
33   Wisdom rests in the heart of a man of understanding,
    but it makes itself known even in the midst of fools.Or Wisdom rests quietly in the heart of a man of understanding, but makes itself known in the midst of fools">17
34   Righteousness exalts a nation,
    but sin is a reproach to any people.
35   A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor,
    but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.

Footnotes

[1] 13:5 Or stench
[2] 13:7 Or One makes himself rich
[3] 13:7 Or another makes himself poor
[4] 13:11 Or by fraud
[5] 13:13 Or a word
[6] 13:13 Or a commandment
[7] 13:15 Probable reading (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate); Hebrew is rugged, or is an enduring rut
[8] 13:21 Or Evil
[9] 13:24 Or who loves him disciplines him early
[10] 14:3 Or In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride
[11] 14:9 Hebrew but among the upright is acceptance
[12] 14:12 Hebrew ways of death
[13] 14:16 Or fears [the Lord]
[14] 14:22 Or show
[15] 14:30 Or healing
[16] 14:30 Or jealousy
[17] 14:33 Or Wisdom rests quietly in the heart of a man of understanding, but makes itself known in the midst of fools

(ESV)

New Testament: 2 Timothy 3:1–9

2 Timothy 3:1–9 (Listen)

Godlessness in the Last Days

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 68:19–35

Psalm 68:19–35 (Listen)

19   Blessed be the Lord,
    who daily bears us up;
    God is our salvation. Selah
20   Our God is a God of salvation,
    and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.
21   But God will strike the heads of his enemies,
    the hairy crown of him who walks in his guilty ways.
22   The Lord said,
    “I will bring them back from Bashan,
  I will bring them back from the depths of the sea,
23   that you may strike your feet in their blood,
    that the tongues of your dogs may have their portion from the foe.”
24   Your procession isOr has been">1 seen, O God,
    the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary—
25   the singers in front, the musicians last,
    between them virgins playing tambourines:
26   “Bless God in the great congregation,
    the LORD, O youThe Hebrew for you is plural here">2 who are of Israel’s fountain!”
27   There is Benjamin, the least of them, in the lead,
    the princes of Judah in their throng,
    the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.
28   Summon your power, O God,By revocalization (compare Septuagint); Hebrew Your God has summoned your power">3
    the power, O God, by which you have worked for us.
29   Because of your temple at Jerusalem
    kings shall bear gifts to you.
30   Rebuke the beasts that dwell among the reeds,
    the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples.
  Trample underfoot those who lust after tribute;
    scatter the peoples who delight in war.The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain">4
31   Nobles shall come from Egypt;
    Cush shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God.
32   O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;
    sing praises to the Lord, Selah
33   to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens;
    behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
34   Ascribe power to God,
    whose majesty is over Israel,
    and whose power is in the skies.
35   Awesome is God from hisSeptuagint; Hebrew your">5 sanctuary;
    the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people.
  Blessed be God!

Footnotes

[1] 68:24 Or has been
[2] 68:26 The Hebrew for you is plural here
[3] 68:28 By revocalization (compare Septuagint); Hebrew Your God has summoned your power
[4] 68:30 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain
[5] 68:35 Septuagint; Hebrew your

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 23:13–14

Proverbs 23:13–14 (Listen)

13   Do not withhold discipline from a child;
    if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.
14   If you strike him with the rod,
    you will save his soul from Sheol.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 11–12

Proverbs 11–12 (Listen)

11   A false balance is an abomination to the LORD,
    but a just weight is his delight.
  When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
    but with the humble is wisdom.
  The integrity of the upright guides them,
    but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
  Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
    but righteousness delivers from death.
  The righteousness of the blameless keeps his way straight,
    but the wicked falls by his own wickedness.
  The righteousness of the upright delivers them,
    but the treacherous are taken captive by their lust.
  When the wicked dies, his hope will perish,
    and the expectation of wealthOr of his strength, or of iniquity">1 perishes too.
  The righteous is delivered from trouble,
    and the wicked walks into it instead.
  With his mouth the godless man would destroy his neighbor,
    but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
10   When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices,
    and when the wicked perish there are shouts of gladness.
11   By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
    but by the mouth of the wicked it is overthrown.
12   Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense,
    but a man of understanding remains silent.
13   Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets,
    but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
14   Where there is no guidance, a people falls,
    but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
15   Whoever puts up security for a stranger will surely suffer harm,
    but he who hates striking hands in pledge is secure.
16   A gracious woman gets honor,
    and violent men get riches.
17   A man who is kind benefits himself,
    but a cruel man hurts himself.
18   The wicked earns deceptive wages,
    but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.
19   Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,
    but he who pursues evil will die.
20   Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the LORD,
    but those of blameless ways are his delight.
21   Be assured, an evil person will not go unpunished,
    but the offspring of the righteous will be delivered.
22   Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
    is a beautiful woman without discretion.
23   The desire of the righteous ends only in good,
    the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
24   One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
    another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
25   Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
    and one who waters will himself be watered.
26   The people curse him who holds back grain,
    but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it.
27   Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor,Or acceptance">2
    but evil comes to him who searches for it.
28   Whoever trusts in his riches will fall,
    but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
29   Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind,
    and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
30   The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
    and whoever captures souls is wise.
31   If the righteous is repaid on earth,
    how much more the wicked and the sinner!
12   Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
    but he who hates reproof is stupid.
  A good man obtains favor from the LORD,
    but a man of evil devices he condemns.
  No one is established by wickedness,
    but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
  An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
    but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
  The thoughts of the righteous are just;
    the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
  The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood,
    but the mouth of the upright delivers them.
  The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
    but the house of the righteous will stand.
  A man is commended according to his good sense,
    but one of twisted mind is despised.
  Better to be lowly and have a servant
    than to play the great man and lack bread.
10   Whoever is righteous has regard for the life of his beast,
    but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
11   Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
    but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense.
12   Whoever is wicked covets the spoil of evildoers,
    but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
13   An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips,Or In the transgression of the lips, there is an evil snare">3
    but the righteous escapes from trouble.
14   From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good,
    and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.
15   The way of a fool is right in his own eyes,
    but a wise man listens to advice.
16   The vexation of a fool is known at once,
    but the prudent ignores an insult.
17   Whoever speaksHebrew breathes out">4 the truth gives honest evidence,
    but a false witness utters deceit.
18   There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts,
    but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19   Truthful lips endure forever,
    but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
20   Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil,
    but those who plan peace have joy.
21   No ill befalls the righteous,
    but the wicked are filled with trouble.
22   Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD,
    but those who act faithfully are his delight.
23   A prudent man conceals knowledge,
    but the heart of fools proclaims folly.
24   The hand of the diligent will rule,
    while the slothful will be put to forced labor.
25   Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down,
    but a good word makes him glad.
26   One who is righteous is a guide to his neighbor,Or The righteous chooses his friends carefully">5
    but the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27   Whoever is slothful will not roast his game,
    but the diligent man will get precious wealth.Or but diligence is precious wealth">6
28   In the path of righteousness is life,
    and in its pathway there is no death.

Footnotes

[1] 11:7 Or of his strength, or of iniquity
[2] 11:27 Or acceptance
[3] 12:13 Or In the transgression of the lips, there is an evil snare
[4] 12:17 Hebrew breathes out
[5] 12:26 Or The righteous chooses his friends carefully
[6] 12:27 Or but diligence is precious wealth

(ESV)

New Testament: 2 Timothy 2

2 Timothy 2 (Listen)

A Good Soldier of Christ Jesus

You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men,The Greek word anthropoi can refer to both men and women, depending on the context">1 who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him. An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules. It is the hard-working farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops. Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound! 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 The saying is trustworthy, for:

  If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12   if we endure, we will also reign with him;
  if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13   if we are faithless, he remains faithful—

for he cannot deny himself.

A Worker Approved by God

14 Remind them of these things, and charge them before GodSome manuscripts the Lord">2 not to quarrel about words, which does no good, but only ruins the hearers. 15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,That is, one approved after being tested">3 a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent babble, for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness, 17 and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already happened. They are upsetting the faith of some. 19 But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”

20 Now in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. 21 Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable,Greek from these things">4 he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servantFor the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface">5 must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

Footnotes

[1] 2:2 The Greek word anthropoi can refer to both men and women, depending on the context
[2] 2:14 Some manuscripts the Lord
[3] 2:15 That is, one approved after being tested
[4] 2:21 Greek from these things
[5] 2:24 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 68:1–18

Psalm 68:1–18 (Listen)

God Shall Scatter His Enemies

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.

68   God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered;
    and those who hate him shall flee before him!
  As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away;
    as wax melts before fire,
    so the wicked shall perish before God!
  But the righteous shall be glad;
    they shall exult before God;
    they shall be jubilant with joy!
  Sing to God, sing praises to his name;
    lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;
  his name is the LORD;
    exult before him!
  Father of the fatherless and protector of widows
    is God in his holy habitation.
  God settles the solitary in a home;
    he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,
    but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
  O God, when you went out before your people,
    when you marched through the wilderness, Selah
  the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain,
    before God, the One of Sinai,
    before God,Or before God, even Sinai before God">1 the God of Israel.
  Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad;
    you restored your inheritance as it languished;
10   your flockOr your congregation">2 found a dwelling in it;
    in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.
11   The Lord gives the word;
    the women who announce the news are a great host:
12     “The kings of the armies—they flee, they flee!”
  The women at home divide the spoil—
13     though you men lie among the sheepfolds—
  the wings of a dove covered with silver,
    its pinions with shimmering gold.
14   When the Almighty scatters kings there,
    let snow fall on Zalmon.
15   O mountain of God, mountain of Bashan;
    O many-peakedOr hunch-backed; also verse 16">3 mountain, mountain of Bashan!
16   Why do you look with hatred, O many-peaked mountain,
    at the mount that God desired for his abode,
    yes, where the LORD will dwell forever?
17   The chariots of God are twice ten thousand,
    thousands upon thousands;
    the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.
18   You ascended on high,
    leading a host of captives in your train
    and receiving gifts among men,
  even among the rebellious, that the LORD God may dwell there.

Footnotes

[1] 68:8 Or before God, even Sinai before God
[2] 68:10 Or your congregation
[3] 68:15 Or hunch-backed; also verse 16

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 23:12

Proverbs 23:12 (Listen)

12   Apply your heart to instruction
    and your ear to words of knowledge.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 9–10

Proverbs 9–10 (Listen)

The Way of Wisdom

  Wisdom has built her house;
    she has hewn her seven pillars.
  She has slaughtered her beasts; she has mixed her wine;
    she has also set her table.
  She has sent out her young women to call
    from the highest places in the town,
  “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
    To him who lacks sense she says,
  “Come, eat of my bread
    and drink of the wine I have mixed.
  Leave your simple ways,Or Leave the company of the simple">1 and live,
    and walk in the way of insight.”
  Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
    and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
  Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
    reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
  Give instructionHebrew lacks instruction">2 to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
    teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.
10   The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom,
    and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
11   For by me your days will be multiplied,
    and years will be added to your life.
12   If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
    if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

The Way of Folly

13   The woman Folly is loud;
    she is seductiveOr full of simpleness">3 and knows nothing.
14   She sits at the door of her house;
    she takes a seat on the highest places of the town,
15   calling to those who pass by,
    who are going straight on their way,
16   “Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
    And to him who lacks sense she says,
17   “Stolen water is sweet,
    and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
18   But he does not know that the deadHebrew Rephaim">4 are there,
    that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

The Proverbs of Solomon

10 The proverbs of Solomon.

  A wise son makes a glad father,
    but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.
  Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
    but righteousness delivers from death.
  The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry,
    but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
  A slack hand causes poverty,
    but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
  He who gathers in summer is a prudent son,
    but he who sleeps in harvest is a son who brings shame.
  Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
    but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.Or but violence covers the mouth of the wicked; also verse 11">5
  The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
    but the name of the wicked will rot.
  The wise of heart will receive commandments,
    but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
  Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
    but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.
10   Whoever winks the eye causes trouble,
    and a babbling fool will come to ruin.
11   The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
    but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12   Hatred stirs up strife,
    but love covers all offenses.
13   On the lips of him who has understanding, wisdom is found,
    but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense.
14   The wise lay up knowledge,
    but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.
15   A rich man’s wealth is his strong city;
    the poverty of the poor is their ruin.
16   The wage of the righteous leads to life,
    the gain of the wicked to sin.
17   Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
    but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.
18   The one who conceals hatred has lying lips,
    and whoever utters slander is a fool.
19   When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
    but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.
20   The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
    the heart of the wicked is of little worth.
21   The lips of the righteous feed many,
    but fools die for lack of sense.
22   The blessing of the LORD makes rich,
    and he adds no sorrow with it.Or and toil adds nothing to it">6
23   Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool,
    but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding.
24   What the wicked dreads will come upon him,
    but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25   When the tempest passes, the wicked is no more,
    but the righteous is established forever.
26   Like vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes,
    so is the sluggard to those who send him.
27   The fear of the LORD prolongs life,
    but the years of the wicked will be short.
28   The hope of the righteous brings joy,
    but the expectation of the wicked will perish.
29   The way of the LORD is a stronghold to the blameless,
    but destruction to evildoers.
30   The righteous will never be removed,
    but the wicked will not dwell in the land.
31   The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
    but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
32   The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
    but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.

Footnotes

[1] 9:6 Or Leave the company of the simple
[2] 9:9 Hebrew lacks instruction
[3] 9:13 Or full of simpleness
[4] 9:18 Hebrew Rephaim
[5] 10:6 Or but violence covers the mouth of the wicked; also verse 11
[6] 10:22 Or and toil adds nothing to it

(ESV)

New Testament: 2 Timothy 1:8–18

2 Timothy 1:8–18 (Listen)

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us toOr with">1 a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began,Greek before times eternal">2 10 and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, 12 which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.Or what I have entrusted to him; Greek my deposit">3 13 Follow the pattern of the soundOr healthy">4 words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

15 You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. 16 May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, 17 but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me—18 may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus.

Footnotes

[1] 1:9 Or with
[2] 1:9 Greek before times eternal
[3] 1:12 Or what I have entrusted to him; Greek my deposit
[4] 1:13 Or healthy

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 67

Psalm 67 (Listen)

Make Your Face Shine upon Us

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm. A Song.

67   May God be gracious to us and bless us
    and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
  that your way may be known on earth,
    your saving power among all nations.
  Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!
  Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
    for you judge the peoples with equity
    and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
  Let the peoples praise you, O God;
    let all the peoples praise you!
  The earth has yielded its increase;
    God, our God, shall bless us.
  God shall bless us;
    let all the ends of the earth fear him!

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 23:9–11

Proverbs 23:9–11 (Listen)

  Do not speak in the hearing of a fool,
    for he will despise the good sense of your words.
10   Do not move an ancient landmark
    or enter the fields of the fatherless,
11   for their Redeemer is strong;
    he will plead their cause against you.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 7–8

Proverbs 7–8 (Listen)

Warning Against the Adulteress

  My son, keep my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you;
  keep my commandments and live;
    keep my teaching as the apple of your eye;
  bind them on your fingers;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
  Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,”
    and call insight your intimate friend,
  to keep you from the forbiddenHebrew strange">1 woman,
    from the adulteressHebrew the foreign woman">2 with her smooth words.
  For at the window of my house
    I have looked out through my lattice,
  and I have seen among the simple,
    I have perceived among the youths,
    a young man lacking sense,
  passing along the street near her corner,
    taking the road to her house
  in the twilight, in the evening,
    at the time of night and darkness.
10   And behold, the woman meets him,
    dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart.Hebrew guarded in heart">3
11   She is loud and wayward;
    her feet do not stay at home;
12   now in the street, now in the market,
    and at every corner she lies in wait.
13   She seizes him and kisses him,
    and with bold face she says to him,
14   “I had to offer sacrifices,Hebrew peace offerings">4
    and today I have paid my vows;
15   so now I have come out to meet you,
    to seek you eagerly, and I have found you.
16   I have spread my couch with coverings,
    colored linens from Egyptian linen;
17   I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
    aloes, and cinnamon.
18   Come, let us take our fill of love till morning;
    let us delight ourselves with love.
19   For my husband is not at home;
    he has gone on a long journey;
20   he took a bag of money with him;
    at full moon he will come home.”
21   With much seductive speech she persuades him;
    with her smooth talk she compels him.
22   All at once he follows her,
    as an ox goes to the slaughter,
  or as a stag is caught fastProbable reading (compare Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac); Hebrew as a chain to discipline a fool">5
23     till an arrow pierces its liver;
  as a bird rushes into a snare;
    he does not know that it will cost him his life.
24   And now, O sons, listen to me,
    and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25   Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
    do not stray into her paths,
26   for many a victim has she laid low,
    and all her slain are a mighty throng.
27   Her house is the way to Sheol,
    going down to the chambers of death.

The Blessings of Wisdom

  Does not wisdom call?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?
  On the heights beside the way,
    at the crossroads she takes her stand;
  beside the gates in front of the town,
    at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
  “To you, O men, I call,
    and my cry is to the children of man.
  O simple ones, learn prudence;
    O fools, learn sense.
  Hear, for I will speak noble things,
    and from my lips will come what is right,
  for my mouth will utter truth;
    wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
  All the words of my mouth are righteous;
    there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
  They are all straight to him who understands,
    and right to those who find knowledge.
10   Take my instruction instead of silver,
    and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11   for wisdom is better than jewels,
    and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12   “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
    and I find knowledge and discretion.
13   The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil.
  Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
    and perverted speech I hate.
14   I have counsel and sound wisdom;
    I have insight; I have strength.
15   By me kings reign,
    and rulers decree what is just;
16   by me princes rule,
    and nobles, all who govern justly.Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint govern the earth">6
17   I love those who love me,
    and those who seek me diligently find me.
18   Riches and honor are with me,
    enduring wealth and righteousness.
19   My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
    and my yield than choice silver.
20   I walk in the way of righteousness,
    in the paths of justice,
21   granting an inheritance to those who love me,
    and filling their treasuries.
22   “The LORD possessedOr fathered; Septuagint created">7 me at the beginning of his work,Hebrew way">8
    the first of his acts of old.
23   Ages ago I was set up,
    at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24   When there were no depths I was brought forth,
    when there were no springs abounding with water.
25   Before the mountains had been shaped,
    before the hills, I was brought forth,
26   before he had made the earth with its fields,
    or the first of the dust of the world.
27   When he established the heavens, I was there;
    when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28   when he made firm the skies above,
    when he establishedThe meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain">9 the fountains of the deep,
29   when he assigned to the sea its limit,
    so that the waters might not transgress his command,
  when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30     then I was beside him, like a master workman,
  and I was daily hisOr daily filled with">10 delight,
    rejoicing before him always,
31   rejoicing in his inhabited world
    and delighting in the children of man.
32   “And now, O sons, listen to me:
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
33   Hear instruction and be wise,
    and do not neglect it.
34   Blessed is the one who listens to me,
    watching daily at my gates,
    waiting beside my doors.
35   For whoever finds me finds life
    and obtains favor from the LORD,
36   but he who fails to find me injures himself;
    all who hate me love death.”

Footnotes

[1] 7:5 Hebrew strange
[2] 7:5 Hebrew the foreign woman
[3] 7:10 Hebrew guarded in heart
[4] 7:14 Hebrew peace offerings
[5] 7:22 Probable reading (compare Septuagint, Vulgate, Syriac); Hebrew as a chain to discipline a fool
[6] 8:16 Most Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint govern the earth
[7] 8:22 Or fathered; Septuagint created
[8] 8:22 Hebrew way
[9] 8:28 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
[10] 8:30 Or daily filled with

(ESV)

New Testament: 2 Timothy 1:1–7

2 Timothy 1:1–7 (Listen)

Greeting

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus,

To Timothy, my beloved child:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Guard the Deposit Entrusted to You

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 66

Psalm 66 (Listen)

How Awesome Are Your Deeds

To the choirmaster. A Song. A Psalm.

66   Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
    sing the glory of his name;
    give to him glorious praise!
  Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
    So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
  All the earth worships you
    and sings praises to you;
    they sing praises to your name.” Selah
  Come and see what God has done:
    he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
  He turned the sea into dry land;
    they passed through the river on foot.
  There did we rejoice in him,
    who rules by his might forever,
  whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
    let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah
  Bless our God, O peoples;
    let the sound of his praise be heard,
  who has kept our soul among the living
    and has not let our feet slip.
10   For you, O God, have tested us;
    you have tried us as silver is tried.
11   You brought us into the net;
    you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
12   you let men ride over our heads;
    we went through fire and through water;
  yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
13   I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
    I will perform my vows to you,
14   that which my lips uttered
    and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
15   I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals,
    with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
  I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah
16   Come and hear, all you who fear God,
    and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
17   I cried to him with my mouth,
    and high praise was onHebrew under">1 my tongue.Or and he was exalted with my tongue">2
18   If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
    the Lord would not have listened.
19   But truly God has listened;
    he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
20   Blessed be God,
    because he has not rejected my prayer
    or removed his steadfast love from me!

Footnotes

[1] 66:17 Hebrew under
[2] 66:17 Or and he was exalted with my tongue

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 23:6–8

Proverbs 23:6–8 (Listen)

  Do not eat the bread of a man who is stingy;Hebrew whose eye is evil">1
    do not desire his delicacies,
  for he is like one who is inwardly calculating.Or for as he calculates in his soul, so is he">2
    “Eat and drink!” he says to you,
    but his heart is not with you.
  You will vomit up the morsels that you have eaten,
    and waste your pleasant words.

Footnotes

[1] 23:6 Hebrew whose eye is evil
[2] 23:7 Or for as he calculates in his soul, so is he

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 5–6

Proverbs 5–6 (Listen)

Warning Against Adultery

  My son, be attentive to my wisdom;
    incline your ear to my understanding,
  that you may keep discretion,
    and your lips may guard knowledge.
  For the lips of a forbiddenHebrew strange; also verse 20">1 woman drip honey,
    and her speechHebrew palate">2 is smoother than oil,
  but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
    sharp as a two-edged sword.
  Her feet go down to death;
    her steps follow the path toHebrew lay hold of">3 Sheol;
  she does not ponder the path of life;
    her ways wander, and she does not know it.
  And now, O sons, listen to me,
    and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
  Keep your way far from her,
    and do not go near the door of her house,
  lest you give your honor to others
    and your years to the merciless,
10   lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
    and your labors go to the house of a foreigner,
11   and at the end of your life you groan,
    when your flesh and body are consumed,
12   and you say, “How I hated discipline,
    and my heart despised reproof!
13   I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
    or incline my ear to my instructors.
14   I am at the brink of utter ruin
    in the assembled congregation.”
15   Drink water from your own cistern,
    flowing water from your own well.
16   Should your springs be scattered abroad,
    streams of water in the streets?
17   Let them be for yourself alone,
    and not for strangers with you.
18   Let your fountain be blessed,
    and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19     a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
  Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
    be intoxicatedHebrew be led astray; also verse 20">4 always in her love.
20   Why should you be intoxicated, my son, with a forbidden woman
    and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?Hebrew a foreign woman">5
21   For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD,
    and he pondersOr makes level">6 all his paths.
22   The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
    and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23   He dies for lack of discipline,
    and because of his great folly he is led astray.

Practical Warnings

  My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
    have given your pledge for a stranger,
  if you are snared in the words of your mouth,
    caught in the words of your mouth,
  then do this, my son, and save yourself,
    for you have come into the hand of your neighbor:
    go, hasten,Or humble yourself">7 and plead urgently with your neighbor.
  Give your eyes no sleep
    and your eyelids no slumber;
  save yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,Hebrew lacks of the hunter">8
    like a bird from the hand of the fowler.
  Go to the ant, O sluggard;
    consider her ways, and be wise.
  Without having any chief,
    officer, or ruler,
  she prepares her bread in summer
    and gathers her food in harvest.
  How long will you lie there, O sluggard?
    When will you arise from your sleep?
10   A little sleep, a little slumber,
    a little folding of the hands to rest,
11   and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
    and want like an armed man.
12   A worthless person, a wicked man,
    goes about with crooked speech,
13   winks with his eyes, signalsHebrew scrapes">9 with his feet,
    points with his finger,
14   with perverted heart devises evil,
    continually sowing discord;
15   therefore calamity will come upon him suddenly;
    in a moment he will be broken beyond healing.
16   There are six things that the LORD hates,
    seven that are an abomination to him:
17   haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
    and hands that shed innocent blood,
18   a heart that devises wicked plans,
    feet that make haste to run to evil,
19   a false witness who breathes out lies,
    and one who sows discord among brothers.

Warnings Against Adultery

20   My son, keep your father’s commandment,
    and forsake not your mother’s teaching.
21   Bind them on your heart always;
    tie them around your neck.
22   When you walk, theyHebrew it; three times in this verse">10 will lead you;
    when you lie down, they will watch over you;
    and when you awake, they will talk with you.
23   For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
    and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24   to preserve you from the evil woman,Revocalization (compare Septuagint) yields from the wife of a neighbor">11
    from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.Hebrew the foreign woman">12
25   Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
    and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26   for the price of a prostitute is only a loaf of bread,Or (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate) for a prostitute leaves a man with nothing but a loaf of bread">13
    but a married womanHebrew a man’s wife">14 hunts down a precious life.
27   Can a man carry fire next to his chest
    and his clothes not be burned?
28   Or can one walk on hot coals
    and his feet not be scorched?
29   So is he who goes in to his neighbor’s wife;
    none who touches her will go unpunished.
30   People do not despise a thief if he steals
    to satisfy his appetite when he is hungry,
31   but if he is caught, he will pay sevenfold;
    he will give all the goods of his house.
32   He who commits adultery lacks sense;
    he who does it destroys himself.
33   He will get wounds and dishonor,
    and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34   For jealousy makes a man furious,
    and he will not spare when he takes revenge.
35   He will accept no compensation;
    he will refuse though you multiply gifts.

Footnotes

[1] 5:3 Hebrew strange; also verse 20
[2] 5:3 Hebrew palate
[3] 5:5 Hebrew lay hold of
[4] 5:19 Hebrew be led astray; also verse 20
[5] 5:20 Hebrew a foreign woman
[6] 5:21 Or makes level
[7] 6:3 Or humble yourself
[8] 6:5 Hebrew lacks of the hunter
[9] 6:13 Hebrew scrapes
[10] 6:22 Hebrew it; three times in this verse
[11] 6:24 Revocalization (compare Septuagint) yields from the wife of a neighbor
[12] 6:24 Hebrew the foreign woman
[13] 6:26 Or (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate) for a prostitute leaves a man with nothing but a loaf of bread
[14] 6:26 Hebrew a man’s wife

(ESV)

New Testament: 1 Timothy 6:3–21

1 Timothy 6:3–21 (Listen)

If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the soundOr healthy">1 words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, andGreek for; some manuscripts insert [it is] certain [that]">2 we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Fight the Good Fight of Faith

11 But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony beforeOr in the time of">3 Pontius Pilate made the good confession, 14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 which he will display at the proper time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

17 As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18 They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

20 O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the irreverent babble and contradictions of what is falsely called “knowledge,” 21 for by professing it some have swerved from the faith.

Grace be with you.The Greek for you is plural">4

Footnotes

[1] 6:3 Or healthy
[2] 6:7 Greek for; some manuscripts insert [it is] certain [that]
[3] 6:13 Or in the time of
[4] 6:21 The Greek for you is plural

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 65

Psalm 65 (Listen)

O God of Our Salvation

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.

65   Praise is due to you,Or Praise waits for you in silence">1 O God, in Zion,
    and to you shall vows be performed.
  O you who hear prayer,
    to you shall all flesh come.
  When iniquities prevail against me,
    you atone for our transgressions.
  Blessed is the one you choose and bring near,
    to dwell in your courts!
  We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
    the holiness of your temple!
  By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
    O God of our salvation,
  the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas;
  the one who by his strength established the mountains,
    being girded with might;
  who stills the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    the tumult of the peoples,
  so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
  You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.
  You visit the earth and water it;Or and make it overflow">2
    you greatly enrich it;
  the river of God is full of water;
    you provide their grain,
    for so you have prepared it.
10   You water its furrows abundantly,
    settling its ridges,
  softening it with showers,
    and blessing its growth.
11   You crown the year with your bounty;
    your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
12   The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
    the hills gird themselves with joy,
13   the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
    the valleys deck themselves with grain,
    they shout and sing together for joy.

Footnotes

[1] 65:1 Or Praise waits for you in silence
[2] 65:9 Or and make it overflow

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 23:4–5

Proverbs 23:4–5 (Listen)

  Do not toil to acquire wealth;
    be discerning enough to desist.
  When your eyes light on it, it is gone,
    for suddenly it sprouts wings,
    flying like an eagle toward heaven.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 3–4

Proverbs 3–4 (Listen)

Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart

  My son, do not forget my teaching,
    but let your heart keep my commandments,
  for length of days and years of life
    and peace they will add to you.
  Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
    bind them around your neck;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
  So you will find favor and good successOr repute">1
    in the sight of God and man.
  Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
  In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.
  Be not wise in your own eyes;
    fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
  It will be healing to your fleshHebrew navel">2
    and refreshmentOr medicine">3 to your bones.
  Honor the LORD with your wealth
    and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10   then your barns will be filled with plenty,
    and your vats will be bursting with wine.
11   My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline
    or be weary of his reproof,
12   for the LORD reproves him whom he loves,
    as a father the son in whom he delights.

Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom

13   Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
    and the one who gets understanding,
14   for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
    and her profit better than gold.
15   She is more precious than jewels,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16   Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
17   Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.
18   She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
    those who hold her fast are called blessed.
19   The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;
    by understanding he established the heavens;
20   by his knowledge the deeps broke open,
    and the clouds drop down the dew.
21   My son, do not lose sight of these—
    keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22   and they will be life for your soul
    and adornment for your neck.
23   Then you will walk on your way securely,
    and your foot will not stumble.
24   If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
    when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25   Do not be afraid of sudden terror
    or of the ruinHebrew storm">4 of the wicked, when it comes,
26   for the LORD will be your confidence
    and will keep your foot from being caught.
27   Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,Hebrew Do not withhold good from its owners">5
    when it is in your power to do it.
28   Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
    tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
29   Do not plan evil against your neighbor,
    who dwells trustingly beside you.
30   Do not contend with a man for no reason,
    when he has done you no harm.
31   Do not envy a man of violence
    and do not choose any of his ways,
32   for the devious person is an abomination to the LORD,
    but the upright are in his confidence.
33   The LORD’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
    but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
34   Toward the scorners he is scornful,
    but to the humble he gives favor.Or grace">6
35   The wise will inherit honor,
    but fools getThe meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain">7 disgrace.

A Father’s Wise Instruction

  Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
    and be attentive, that you may gainHebrew know">8 insight,
  for I give you good precepts;
    do not forsake my teaching.
  When I was a son with my father,
    tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
  he taught me and said to me,
  “Let your heart hold fast my words;
    keep my commandments, and live.
  Get wisdom; get insight;
    do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
  Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
    love her, and she will guard you.
  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
    and whatever you get, get insight.
  Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
    she will honor you if you embrace her.
  She will place on your head a graceful garland;
    she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
10   Hear, my son, and accept my words,
    that the years of your life may be many.
11   I have taught you the way of wisdom;
    I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
12   When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
    and if you run, you will not stumble.
13   Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
    guard her, for she is your life.
14   Do not enter the path of the wicked,
    and do not walk in the way of the evil.
15   Avoid it; do not go on it;
    turn away from it and pass on.
16   For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
    they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
17   For they eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.
18   But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
    which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
19   The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know over what they stumble.
20   My son, be attentive to my words;
    incline your ear to my sayings.
21   Let them not escape from your sight;
    keep them within your heart.
22   For they are life to those who find them,
    and healing to all theirHebrew his">9 flesh.
23   Keep your heart with all vigilance,
    for from it flow the springs of life.
24   Put away from you crooked speech,
    and put devious talk far from you.
25   Let your eyes look directly forward,
    and your gaze be straight before you.
26   PonderOr Make level">10 the path of your feet;
    then all your ways will be sure.
27   Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
    turn your foot away from evil.

Footnotes

[1] 3:4 Or repute
[2] 3:8 Hebrew navel
[3] 3:8 Or medicine
[4] 3:25 Hebrew storm
[5] 3:27 Hebrew Do not withhold good from its owners
[6] 3:34 Or grace
[7] 3:35 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[8] 4:1 Hebrew know
[9] 4:22 Hebrew his
[10] 4:26 Or Make level

(ESV)

New Testament: 1 Timothy 5–6:2

1 Timothy 5–6:2 (Listen)

Instructions for the Church

Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives. Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband,Or a woman of one man">1 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 For some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those who are truly widows.

17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.” 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. 22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.

Let all who are under a yoke as bondservantsFor the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface">2 regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.

False Teachers and True Contentment

Teach and urge these things.

Footnotes

[1] 5:9 Or a woman of one man
[2] 6:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 64

Psalm 64 (Listen)

Hide Me from the Wicked

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

64   Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
    preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
  Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
    from the throng of evildoers,
  who whet their tongues like swords,
    who aim bitter words like arrows,
  shooting from ambush at the blameless,
    shooting at him suddenly and without fear.
  They hold fast to their evil purpose;
    they talk of laying snares secretly,
  thinking, “Who can see them?”
    They search out injustice,
  saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search.”
    For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep.
  But God shoots his arrow at them;
    they are wounded suddenly.
  They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them;
    all who see them will wag their heads.
  Then all mankind fears;
    they tell what God has brought about
    and ponder what he has done.
10   Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD
    and take refuge in him!
  Let all the upright in heart exult!

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 23:1–3

Proverbs 23:1–3 (Listen)

23   When you sit down to eat with a ruler,
    observe carefully whatOr who">1 is before you,
  and put a knife to your throat
    if you are given to appetite.
  Do not desire his delicacies,
    for they are deceptive food.

Footnotes

[1] 23:1 Or who

(ESV)

Old Testament: Proverbs 1–2

Proverbs 1–2 (Listen)

The Beginning of Knowledge

The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

  To know wisdom and instruction,
    to understand words of insight,
  to receive instruction in wise dealing,
    in righteousness, justice, and equity;
  to give prudence to the simple,
    knowledge and discretion to the youth—
  Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
    and the one who understands obtain guidance,
  to understand a proverb and a saying,
    the words of the wise and their riddles.
  The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
    fools despise wisdom and instruction.

The Enticement of Sinners

  Hear, my son, your father’s instruction,
    and forsake not your mother’s teaching,
  for they are a graceful garland for your head
    and pendants for your neck.
10   My son, if sinners entice you,
    do not consent.
11   If they say, “Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
    let us ambush the innocent without reason;
12   like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
    and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
13   we shall find all precious goods,
    we shall fill our houses with plunder;
14   throw in your lot among us;
    we will all have one purse”—
15   my son, do not walk in the way with them;
    hold back your foot from their paths,
16   for their feet run to evil,
    and they make haste to shed blood.
17   For in vain is a net spread
    in the sight of any bird,
18   but these men lie in wait for their own blood;
    they set an ambush for their own lives.
19   Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
    it takes away the life of its possessors.

The Call of Wisdom

20   Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
    in the markets she raises her voice;
21   at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
    at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
22   “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
  How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
    and fools hate knowledge?
23   If you turn at my reproof,Or Will you turn away at my reproof?">1
  behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
    I will make my words known to you.
24   Because I have called and you refused to listen,
    have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
25   because you have ignored all my counsel
    and would have none of my reproof,
26   I also will laugh at your calamity;
    I will mock when terror strikes you,
27   when terror strikes you like a storm
    and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
    when distress and anguish come upon you.
28   Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
    they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
29   Because they hated knowledge
    and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
30   would have none of my counsel
    and despised all my reproof,
31   therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
    and have their fill of their own devices.
32   For the simple are killed by their turning away,
    and the complacency of fools destroys them;
33   but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
    and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.”

The Value of Wisdom

  My son, if you receive my words
    and treasure up my commandments with you,
  making your ear attentive to wisdom
    and inclining your heart to understanding;
  yes, if you call out for insight
    and raise your voice for understanding,
  if you seek it like silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasures,
  then you will understand the fear of the LORD
    and find the knowledge of God.
  For the LORD gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
  he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
    he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
  guarding the paths of justice
    and watching over the way of his saints.
  Then you will understand righteousness and justice
    and equity, every good path;
10   for wisdom will come into your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
11   discretion will watch over you,
    understanding will guard you,
12   delivering you from the way of evil,
    from men of perverted speech,
13   who forsake the paths of uprightness
    to walk in the ways of darkness,
14   who rejoice in doing evil
    and delight in the perverseness of evil,
15   men whose paths are crooked,
    and who are devious in their ways.
16   So you will be delivered from the forbiddenHebrew strange">2 woman,
    from the adulteressHebrew foreign woman">3 with her smooth words,
17   who forsakes the companion of her youth
    and forgets the covenant of her God;
18   for her house sinks down to death,
    and her paths to the departed;Hebrew to the Rephaim">4
19   none who go to her come back,
    nor do they regain the paths of life.
20   So you will walk in the way of the good
    and keep to the paths of the righteous.
21   For the upright will inhabit the land,
    and those with integrity will remain in it,
22   but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
    and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

Footnotes

[1] 1:23 Or Will you turn away at my reproof?
[2] 2:16 Hebrew strange
[3] 2:16 Hebrew foreign woman
[4] 2:18 Hebrew to the Rephaim

(ESV)

New Testament: 1 Timothy 4

1 Timothy 4 (Listen)

Some Will Depart from the Faith

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

A Good Servant of Christ Jesus

If you put these things before the brothers,Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters">1 you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive,Some manuscripts and suffer reproach">2 because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

11 Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them,Greek be in them">3 so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Footnotes

[1] 4:6 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
[2] 4:10 Some manuscripts and suffer reproach
[3] 4:15 Greek be in them

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 63

Psalm 63 (Listen)

My Soul Thirsts for You

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

63   O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
    my soul thirsts for you;
  my flesh faints for you,
    as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
  So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
    beholding your power and glory.
  Because your steadfast love is better than life,
    my lips will praise you.
  So I will bless you as long as I live;
    in your name I will lift up my hands.
  My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
    and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
  when I remember you upon my bed,
    and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
  for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
  My soul clings to you;
    your right hand upholds me.
  But those who seek to destroy my life
    shall go down into the depths of the earth;
10   they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
    they shall be a portion for jackals.
11   But the king shall rejoice in God;
    all who swear by him shall exult,
    for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 22:29

Proverbs 22:29 (Listen)

29   Do you see a man skillful in his work?
    He will stand before kings;
    he will not stand before obscure men.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Job 41–42

Job 41–42 (Listen)

41   Ch 40:25 in Hebrew">1 “Can you draw out LeviathanA large sea animal, exact identity unknown">2 with a fishhook
    or press down his tongue with a cord?
  Can you put a rope in his nose
    or pierce his jaw with a hook?
  Will he make many pleas to you?
    Will he speak to you soft words?
  Will he make a covenant with you
    to take him for your servant forever?
  Will you play with him as with a bird,
    or will you put him on a leash for your girls?
  Will traders bargain over him?
    Will they divide him up among the merchants?
  Can you fill his skin with harpoons
    or his head with fishing spears?
  Lay your hands on him;
    remember the battle—you will not do it again!
  Ch 41:1 in Hebrew">3 Behold, the hope of a man is false;
    he is laid low even at the sight of him.
10   No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up.
    Who then is he who can stand before me?
11   Who has first given to me, that I should repay him?
    Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
12   “I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,
    or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame.
13   Who can strip off his outer garment?
    Who would come near him with a bridle?
14   Who can open the doors of his face?
    Around his teeth is terror.
15   His back is made ofOr His pride is in his">4 rows of shields,
    shut up closely as with a seal.
16   One is so near to another
    that no air can come between them.
17   They are joined one to another;
    they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
18   His sneezings flash forth light,
    and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
19   Out of his mouth go flaming torches;
    sparks of fire leap forth.
20   Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke,
    as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21   His breath kindles coals,
    and a flame comes forth from his mouth.
22   In his neck abides strength,
    and terror dances before him.
23   The folds of his flesh stick together,
    firmly cast on him and immovable.
24   His heart is hard as a stone,
    hard as the lower millstone.
25   When he raises himself up, the mightyOr gods">5 are afraid;
    at the crashing they are beside themselves.
26   Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail,
    nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
27   He counts iron as straw,
    and bronze as rotten wood.
28   The arrow cannot make him flee;
    for him, sling stones are turned to stubble.
29   Clubs are counted as stubble;
    he laughs at the rattle of javelins.
30   His underparts are like sharp potsherds;
    he spreads himself like a threshing sledge on the mire.
31   He makes the deep boil like a pot;
    he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
32   Behind him he leaves a shining wake;
    one would think the deep to be white-haired.
33   On earth there is not his like,
    a creature without fear.
34   He sees everything that is high;
    he is king over all the sons of pride.”

Job’s Confession and Repentance

42 Then Job answered the LORD and said:

  “I know that you can do all things,
    and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
  ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
  Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
    things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
  ‘Hear, and I will speak;
    I will question you, and you make it known to me.’
  I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
    but now my eye sees you;
  therefore I despise myself,
    and repentOr and am comforted">6 in dust and ashes.”

The Lord Rebukes Job’s Friends

After the LORD had spoken these words to Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the LORD had told them, and the LORD accepted Job’s prayer.

The Lord Restores Job’s Fortunes

10 And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11 Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evilOr disaster">7 that the LORD had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of moneyHebrew a qesitah; a unit of money of unknown value">8 and a ring of gold.

12 And the LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14 And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. 15 And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job’s daughters. And their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. 16 And after this Job lived 140 years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, four generations. 17 And Job died, an old man, and full of days.

Footnotes

[1] 41:1 Ch 40:25 in Hebrew
[2] 41:1 A large sea animal, exact identity unknown
[3] 41:9 Ch 41:1 in Hebrew
[4] 41:15 Or His pride is in his
[5] 41:25 Or gods
[6] 42:6 Or and am comforted
[7] 42:11 Or disaster
[8] 42:11 Hebrew a qesitah; a unit of money of unknown value

(ESV)

New Testament: 1 Timothy 3

1 Timothy 3 (Listen)

Qualifications for Overseers

The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseerOr bishop; Greek episkopos; a similar term occurs in verse 1">1 must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,Or a man of one woman; also verse 12">2 sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Qualifications for Deacons

Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued,Or devious in speech">3 not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewiseOr Wives likewise, or Women likewise">4 must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

The Mystery of Godliness

14 I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:

  HeGreek Who; some manuscripts God; others Which">5 was manifested in the flesh,
    vindicatedOr justified">6 by the Spirit,Or vindicated in spirit">7
      seen by angels,
  proclaimed among the nations,
    believed on in the world,
      taken up in glory.

Footnotes

[1] 3:2 Or bishop; Greek episkopos; a similar term occurs in verse 1
[2] 3:2 Or a man of one woman; also verse 12
[3] 3:8 Or devious in speech
[4] 3:11 Or Wives likewise, or Women likewise
[5] 3:16 Greek Who; some manuscripts God; others Which
[6] 3:16 Or justified
[7] 3:16 Or vindicated in spirit

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 62

Psalm 62 (Listen)

My Soul Waits for God Alone

To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

62   For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
  He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
  How long will all of you attack a man
    to batter him,
    like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
  They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
    They take pleasure in falsehood.
  They bless with their mouths,
    but inwardly they curse. Selah
  For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
    for my hope is from him.
  He only is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
  On God rests my salvation and my glory;
    my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
  Trust in him at all times, O people;
    pour out your heart before him;
    God is a refuge for us. Selah
  Those of low estate are but a breath;
    those of high estate are a delusion;
  in the balances they go up;
    they are together lighter than a breath.
10   Put no trust in extortion;
    set no vain hopes on robbery;
    if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
11   Once God has spoken;
    twice have I heard this:
  that power belongs to God,
12     and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
  For you will render to a man
    according to his work.

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 22:28

Proverbs 22:28 (Listen)

28   Do not move the ancient landmark
    that your fathers have set.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Job 39–40

Job 39–40 (Listen)

39   “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
    Do you observe the calving of the does?
  Can you number the months that they fulfill,
    and do you know the time when they give birth,
  when they crouch, bring forth their offspring,
    and are delivered of their young?
  Their young ones become strong; they grow up in the open;
    they go out and do not return to them.
  “Who has let the wild donkey go free?
    Who has loosed the bonds of the swift donkey,
  to whom I have given the arid plain for his home
    and the salt land for his dwelling place?
  He scorns the tumult of the city;
    he hears not the shouts of the driver.
  He ranges the mountains as his pasture,
    and he searches after every green thing.
  “Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
    Will he spend the night at your manger?
10   Can you bind him in the furrow with ropes,
    or will he harrow the valleys after you?
11   Will you depend on him because his strength is great,
    and will you leave to him your labor?
12   Do you have faith in him that he will return your grain
    and gather it to your threshing floor?
13   “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly,
    but are they the pinions and plumage of love?The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain">1
14   For she leaves her eggs to the earth
    and lets them be warmed on the ground,
15   forgetting that a foot may crush them
    and that the wild beast may trample them.
16   She deals cruelly with her young, as if they were not hers;
    though her labor be in vain, yet she has no fear,
17   because God has made her forget wisdom
    and given her no share in understanding.
18   When she rouses herself to flee,The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain">2
    she laughs at the horse and his rider.
19   “Do you give the horse his might?
    Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
20   Do you make him leap like the locust?
    His majestic snorting is terrifying.
21   He pawsHebrew They paw">3 in the valley and exults in his strength;
    he goes out to meet the weapons.
22   He laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
    he does not turn back from the sword.
23   Upon him rattle the quiver,
    the flashing spear, and the javelin.
24   With fierceness and rage he swallows the ground;
    he cannot stand still at the sound of the trumpet.
25   When the trumpet sounds, he says ‘Aha!’
    He smells the battle from afar,
    the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
26   “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars
    and spreads his wings toward the south?
27   Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
    and makes his nest on high?
28   On the rock he dwells and makes his home,
    on the rocky crag and stronghold.
29   From there he spies out the prey;
    his eyes behold it from far away.
30   His young ones suck up blood,
    and where the slain are, there is he.”

40 And the LORD said to Job:

  “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
    He who argues with God, let him answer it.”

Job Promises Silence

Then Job answered the LORD and said:

  “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
    I lay my hand on my mouth.
  I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
    twice, but I will proceed no further.”

The Lord Challenges Job

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

  “Dress for actionHebrew Gird up your loins">4 like a man;
    I will question you, and you make it known to me.
  Will you even put me in the wrong?
    Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?
  Have you an arm like God,
    and can you thunder with a voice like his?
10   “Adorn yourself with majesty and dignity;
    clothe yourself with glory and splendor.
11   Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
    and look on everyone who is proud and abase him.
12   Look on everyone who is proud and bring him low
    and tread down the wicked where they stand.
13   Hide them all in the dust together;
    bind their faces in the world below.Hebrew in the hidden place">5
14   Then will I also acknowledge to you
    that your own right hand can save you.
15   “Behold, Behemoth,A large animal, exact identity unknown">6
    which I made as I made you;
    he eats grass like an ox.
16   Behold, his strength in his loins,
    and his power in the muscles of his belly.
17   He makes his tail stiff like a cedar;
    the sinews of his thighs are knit together.
18   His bones are tubes of bronze,
    his limbs like bars of iron.
19   “He is the first of the worksHebrew ways">7 of God;
    let him who made him bring near his sword!
20   For the mountains yield food for him
    where all the wild beasts play.
21   Under the lotus plants he lies,
    in the shelter of the reeds and in the marsh.
22   For his shade the lotus trees cover him;
    the willows of the brook surround him.
23   Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened;
    he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth.
24   Can one take him by his eyes,Or in his sight">8
    or pierce his nose with a snare?

Footnotes

[1] 39:13 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
[2] 39:18 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
[3] 39:21 Hebrew They paw
[4] 40:7 Hebrew Gird up your loins
[5] 40:13 Hebrew in the hidden place
[6] 40:15 A large animal, exact identity unknown
[7] 40:19 Hebrew ways
[8] 40:24 Or in his sight

(ESV)

New Testament: 1 Timothy 2

1 Timothy 2 (Listen)

Pray for All People

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the manmen and man render the same Greek word that is translated people in verses 1 and 4">1 Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.

I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

Footnotes

[1] 2:5 men and man render the same Greek word that is translated people in verses 1 and 4

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 61

Psalm 61 (Listen)

Lead Me to the Rock

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. Of David.

61   Hear my cry, O God,
    listen to my prayer;
  from the end of the earth I call to you
    when my heart is faint.
  Lead me to the rock
    that is higher than I,
  for you have been my refuge,
    a strong tower against the enemy.
  Let me dwell in your tent forever!
    Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah
  For you, O God, have heard my vows;
    you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
  Prolong the life of the king;
    may his years endure to all generations!
  May he be enthroned forever before God;
    appoint steadfast love and faithfulness to watch over him!
  So will I ever sing praises to your name,
    as I perform my vows day after day.

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 22:26–27

Proverbs 22:26–27 (Listen)

26   Be not one of those who give pledges,
    who put up security for debts.
27   If you have nothing with which to pay,
    why should your bed be taken from under you?

(ESV)

Old Testament: Job 37–38

Job 37–38 (Listen)

Elihu Proclaims God’s Majesty

37   “At this also my heart trembles
    and leaps out of its place.
  Keep listening to the thunder of his voice
    and the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
  Under the whole heaven he lets it go,
    and his lightning to the corners of the earth.
  After it his voice roars;
    he thunders with his majestic voice,
    and he does not restrain the lightningsHebrew them">1 when his voice is heard.
  God thunders wondrously with his voice;
    he does great things that we cannot comprehend.
  For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
    likewise to the downpour, his mighty downpour.
  He seals up the hand of every man,
    that all men whom he made may know it.
  Then the beasts go into their lairs,
    and remain in their dens.
  From its chamber comes the whirlwind,
    and cold from the scattering winds.
10   By the breath of God ice is given,
    and the broad waters are frozen fast.
11   He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
    the clouds scatter his lightning.
12   They turn around and around by his guidance,
    to accomplish all that he commands them
    on the face of the habitable world.
13   Whether for correction or for his land
    or for love, he causes it to happen.
14   “Hear this, O Job;
    stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
15   Do you know how God lays his command upon them
    and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
16   Do you know the balancingsOr hoverings">2 of the clouds,
    the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge,
17   you whose garments are hot
    when the earth is still because of the south wind?
18   Can you, like him, spread out the skies,
    hard as a cast metal mirror?
19   Teach us what we shall say to him;
    we cannot draw up our case because of darkness.
20   Shall it be told him that I would speak?
    Did a man ever wish that he would be swallowed up?
21   “And now no one looks on the light
    when it is bright in the skies,
    when the wind has passed and cleared them.
22   Out of the north comes golden splendor;
    God is clothed with awesome majesty.
23   The Almighty—we cannot find him;
    he is great in power;
    justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate.
24   Therefore men fear him;
    he does not regard any who are wise in their own conceit.”Hebrew in heart">3

The Lord Answers Job

38 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

  “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
  Dress for actionHebrew Gird up your loins">4 like a man;
    I will question you, and you make it known to me.
  “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
    Tell me, if you have understanding.
  Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
    Or who stretched the line upon it?
  On what were its bases sunk,
    or who laid its cornerstone,
  when the morning stars sang together
    and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
  “Or who shut in the sea with doors
    when it burst out from the womb,
  when I made clouds its garment
    and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10   and prescribed limits for it
    and set bars and doors,
11   and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
    and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
12   “Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
    and caused the dawn to know its place,
13   that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,
    and the wicked be shaken out of it?
14   It is changed like clay under the seal,
    and its features stand out like a garment.
15   From the wicked their light is withheld,
    and their uplifted arm is broken.
16   “Have you entered into the springs of the sea,
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17   Have the gates of death been revealed to you,
    or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?
18   Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?
    Declare, if you know all this.
19   “Where is the way to the dwelling of light,
    and where is the place of darkness,
20   that you may take it to its territory
    and that you may discern the paths to its home?
21   You know, for you were born then,
    and the number of your days is great!
22   “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,
    or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,
23   which I have reserved for the time of trouble,
    for the day of battle and war?
24   What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,
    or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
25   “Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain
    and a way for the thunderbolt,
26   to bring rain on a land where no man is,
    on the desert in which there is no man,
27   to satisfy the waste and desolate land,
    and to make the ground sprout with grass?
28   “Has the rain a father,
    or who has begotten the drops of dew?
29   From whose womb did the ice come forth,
    and who has given birth to the frost of heaven?
30   The waters become hard like stone,
    and the face of the deep is frozen.
31   “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades
    or loose the cords of Orion?
32   Can you lead forth the MazzarothProbably the name of a constellation">5 in their season,
    or can you guide the Bear with its children?
33   Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?
    Can you establish their rule on the earth?
34   “Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,
    that a flood of waters may cover you?
35   Can you send forth lightnings, that they may go
    and say to you, ‘Here we are’?
36   Who has put wisdom in the inward partsOr in the ibis">6
    or given understanding to the mind?Or rooster">7
37   Who can number the clouds by wisdom?
    Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
38   when the dust runs into a mass
    and the clods stick fast together?
39   “Can you hunt the prey for the lion,
    or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40   when they crouch in their dens
    or lie in wait in their thicket?
41   Who provides for the raven its prey,
    when its young ones cry to God for help,
    and wander about for lack of food?

Footnotes

[1] 37:4 Hebrew them
[2] 37:16 Or hoverings
[3] 37:24 Hebrew in heart
[4] 38:3 Hebrew Gird up your loins
[5] 38:32 Probably the name of a constellation
[6] 38:36 Or in the ibis
[7] 38:36 Or rooster

(ESV)

New Testament: 1 Timothy 1

1 Timothy 1 (Listen)

Greeting

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

To Timothy, my true child in the faith:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Warning Against False Teachers

As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardshipOr good order">1 from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers,That is, those who take someone captive in order to sell him into slavery">2 liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to soundOr healthy">3 doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

Christ Jesus Came to Save Sinners

12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever.Greek to the ages of ages">4 Amen.

18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Footnotes

[1] 1:4 Or good order
[2] 1:10 That is, those who take someone captive in order to sell him into slavery
[3] 1:10 Or healthy
[4] 1:17 Greek to the ages of ages

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 60

Psalm 60 (Listen)

He Will Tread Down Our Foes

To the choirmaster: according to Shushan Eduth. A MiktamProbably musical or liturgical terms">1 of David; for instruction; when he strove with Aram-naharaim and with Aram-zobah, and when Joab on his return struck down twelve thousand of Edom in the Valley of Salt.

60   O God, you have rejected us, broken our defenses;
    you have been angry; oh, restore us.
  You have made the land to quake; you have torn it open;
    repair its breaches, for it totters.
  You have made your people see hard things;
    you have given us wine to drink that made us stagger.
  You have set up a banner for those who fear you,
    that they may flee to it from the bow.Or that it may be displayed because of truth">2 Selah
  That your beloved ones may be delivered,
    give salvation by your right hand and answer us!
  God has spoken in his holiness:Or sanctuary">3
    “With exultation I will divide up Shechem
    and portion out the Vale of Succoth.
  Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine;
    Ephraim is my helmet;
    Judah is my scepter.
  Moab is my washbasin;
    upon Edom I cast my shoe;
    over Philistia I shout in triumph.”Revocalization (compare Psalm 108:10); Masoretic Text over me, O Philistia, shout in triumph">4
  Who will bring me to the fortified city?
    Who will lead me to Edom?
10   Have you not rejected us, O God?
    You do not go forth, O God, with our armies.
11   Oh, grant us help against the foe,
    for vain is the salvation of man!
12   With God we shall do valiantly;
    it is he who will tread down our foes.

Footnotes

[1] 60:1 Probably musical or liturgical terms
[2] 60:4 Or that it may be displayed because of truth
[3] 60:6 Or sanctuary
[4] 60:8 Revocalization (compare Psalm 108:10); Masoretic Text over me, O Philistia, shout in triumph

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 22:24–25

Proverbs 22:24–25 (Listen)

24   Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
    nor go with a wrathful man,
25   lest you learn his ways
    and entangle yourself in a snare.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Job 35–36

Job 35–36 (Listen)

Elihu Condemns Job

35 And Elihu answered and said:

  “Do you think this to be just?
    Do you say, ‘It is my right before God,’
  that you ask, ‘What advantage have I?
    How am I better off than if I had sinned?’
  I will answer you
    and your friends with you.
  Look at the heavens, and see;
    and behold the clouds, which are higher than you.
  If you have sinned, what do you accomplish against him?
    And if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to him?
  If you are righteous, what do you give to him?
    Or what does he receive from your hand?
  Your wickedness concerns a man like yourself,
    and your righteousness a son of man.
  “Because of the multitude of oppressions people cry out;
    they call for help because of the arm of the mighty.Or the many">1
10   But none says, ‘Where is God my Maker,
    who gives songs in the night,
11   who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth
    and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens?’
12   There they cry out, but he does not answer,
    because of the pride of evil men.
13   Surely God does not hear an empty cry,
    nor does the Almighty regard it.
14   How much less when you say that you do not see him,
    that the case is before him, and you are waiting for him!
15   And now, because his anger does not punish,
    and he does not take much note of transgression,Theodotion, Symmachus (compare Vulgate); the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain">2
16   Job opens his mouth in empty talk;
    he multiplies words without knowledge.”

Elihu Extols God’s Greatness

36 And Elihu continued, and said:

  “Bear with me a little, and I will show you,
    for I have yet something to say on God’s behalf.
  I will get my knowledge from afar
    and ascribe righteousness to my Maker.
  For truly my words are not false;
    one who is perfect in knowledge is with you.
  “Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any;
    he is mighty in strength of understanding.
  He does not keep the wicked alive,
    but gives the afflicted their right.
  He does not withdraw his eyes from the righteous,
    but with kings on the throne
    he sets them forever, and they are exalted.
  And if they are bound in chains
    and caught in the cords of affliction,
  then he declares to them their work
    and their transgressions, that they are behaving arrogantly.
10   He opens their ears to instruction
    and commands that they return from iniquity.
11   If they listen and serve him,
    they complete their days in prosperity,
    and their years in pleasantness.
12   But if they do not listen, they perish by the sword
    and die without knowledge.
13   “The godless in heart cherish anger;
    they do not cry for help when he binds them.
14   They die in youth,
    and their life ends among the cult prostitutes.
15   He delivers the afflicted by their affliction
    and opens their ear by adversity.
16   He also allured you out of distress
    into a broad place where there was no cramping,
    and what was set on your table was full of fatness.
17   “But you are full of the judgment on the wicked;
    judgment and justice seize you.
18   Beware lest wrath entice you into scoffing,
    and let not the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.
19   Will your cry for help avail to keep you from distress,
    or all the force of your strength?
20   Do not long for the night,
    when peoples vanish in their place.
21   Take care; do not turn to iniquity,
    for this you have chosen rather than affliction.
22   Behold, God is exalted in his power;
    who is a teacher like him?
23   Who has prescribed for him his way,
    or who can say, ‘You have done wrong’?
24   “Remember to extol his work,
    of which men have sung.
25   All mankind has looked on it;
    man beholds it from afar.
26   Behold, God is great, and we know him not;
    the number of his years is unsearchable.
27   For he draws up the drops of water;
    they distill his mist in rain,
28   which the skies pour down
    and drop on mankind abundantly.
29   Can anyone understand the spreading of the clouds,
    the thunderings of his pavilion?
30   Behold, he scatters his lightning about him
    and covers the roots of the sea.
31   For by these he judges peoples;
    he gives food in abundance.
32   He covers his hands with the lightning
    and commands it to strike the mark.
33   Its crashing declares his presence;Hebrew declares concerning him">3
    the cattle also declare that he rises.

Footnotes

[1] 35:9 Or the many
[2] 35:15 Theodotion, Symmachus (compare Vulgate); the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
[3] 36:33 Hebrew declares concerning him

(ESV)

New Testament: 2 Thessalonians 3:6–18

2 Thessalonians 3:6–18 (Listen)

Warning Against Idleness

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to imitate us, because we were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with toil and labor we worked night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you. It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate. 10 For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat. 11 For we hear that some among you walk in idleness, not busy at work, but busybodies. 12 Now such persons we command and encourage in the Lord Jesus Christ to do their work quietly and to earn their own living.Greek to eat their own bread">1

13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 If anyone does not obey what we say in this letter, take note of that person, and have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.

Benediction

16 Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.

17 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. This is the sign of genuineness in every letter of mine; it is the way I write. 18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Footnotes

[1] 3:12 Greek to eat their own bread

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 59

Psalm 59 (Listen)

Deliver Me from My Enemies

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A MiktamProbably a musical or liturgical term">1 of David, when Saul sent men to watch his house in order to kill him.

59   Deliver me from my enemies, O my God;
    protect me from those who rise up against me;
  deliver me from those who work evil,
    and save me from bloodthirsty men.
  For behold, they lie in wait for my life;
    fierce men stir up strife against me.
  For no transgression or sin of mine, O LORD,
    for no fault of mine, they run and make ready.
  Awake, come to meet me, and see!
    You, LORD God of hosts, are God of Israel.
  Rouse yourself to punish all the nations;
    spare none of those who treacherously plot evil. Selah
  Each evening they come back,
    howling like dogs
    and prowling about the city.
  There they are, bellowing with their mouths
    with swords in their lips—
    for “Who,” they think,Hebrew lacks they think">2 “will hear us?”
  But you, O LORD, laugh at them;
    you hold all the nations in derision.
  O my Strength, I will watch for you,
    for you, O God, are my fortress.
10   My God in his steadfast loveOr The God who shows me steadfast love">3 will meet me;
    God will let me look in triumph on my enemies.
11   Kill them not, lest my people forget;
    make them totterOr wander">4 by your power and bring them down,
    O Lord, our shield!
12   For the sin of their mouths, the words of their lips,
    let them be trapped in their pride.
  For the cursing and lies that they utter,
13     consume them in wrath;
    consume them till they are no more,
  that they may know that God rules over Jacob
    to the ends of the earth. Selah
14   Each evening they come back,
    howling like dogs
    and prowling about the city.
15   They wander about for food
    and growl if they do not get their fill.
16   But I will sing of your strength;
    I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning.
  For you have been to me a fortress
    and a refuge in the day of my distress.
17   O my Strength, I will sing praises to you,
    for you, O God, are my fortress,
    the God who shows me steadfast love.

Footnotes

[1] 59:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[2] 59:7 Hebrew lacks they think
[3] 59:10 Or The God who shows me steadfast love
[4] 59:11 Or wander

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 22:22–23

Proverbs 22:22–23 (Listen)

22   Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
    or crush the afflicted at the gate,
23   for the LORD will plead their cause
    and rob of life those who rob them.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Job 33–34

Job 33–34 (Listen)

Elihu Rebukes Job

33   “But now, hear my speech, O Job,
    and listen to all my words.
  Behold, I open my mouth;
    the tongue in my mouth speaks.
  My words declare the uprightness of my heart,
    and what my lips know they speak sincerely.
  The Spirit of God has made me,
    and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
  Answer me, if you can;
    set your words in order before me; take your stand.
  Behold, I am toward God as you are;
    I too was pinched off from a piece of clay.
  Behold, no fear of me need terrify you;
    my pressure will not be heavy upon you.
  “Surely you have spoken in my ears,
    and I have heard the sound of your words.
  You say, ‘I am pure, without transgression;
    I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.
10   Behold, he finds occasions against me,
    he counts me as his enemy,
11   he puts my feet in the stocks
    and watches all my paths.’
12   “Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you,
    for God is greater than man.
13   Why do you contend against him,
    saying, ‘He will answer none of man’sHebrew his">1 words’?Or He will not answer for any of his own words">2
14   For God speaks in one way,
    and in two, though man does not perceive it.
15   In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on men,
    while they slumber on their beds,
16   then he opens the ears of men
    and terrifiesOr seals">3 them with warnings,
17   that he may turn man aside from his deed
    and conceal pride from a man;
18   he keeps back his soul from the pit,
    his life from perishing by the sword.
19   “Man is also rebuked with pain on his bed
    and with continual strife in his bones,
20   so that his life loathes bread,
    and his appetite the choicest food.
21   His flesh is so wasted away that it cannot be seen,
    and his bones that were not seen stick out.
22   His soul draws near the pit,
    and his life to those who bring death.
23   If there be for him an angel,
    a mediator, one of the thousand,
    to declare to man what is right for him,
24   and he is merciful to him, and says,
    ‘Deliver him from going down into the pit;
    I have found a ransom;
25   let his flesh become fresh with youth;
    let him return to the days of his youthful vigor’;
26   then manHebrew he">4 prays to God, and he accepts him;
    he sees his face with a shout of joy,
  and he restores to man his righteousness.
27     He sings before men and says:
  ‘I sinned and perverted what was right,
    and it was not repaid to me.
28   He has redeemed my soul from going down into the pit,
    and my life shall look upon the light.’
29   “Behold, God does all these things,
    twice, three times, with a man,
30   to bring back his soul from the pit,
    that he may be lighted with the light of life.
31   Pay attention, O Job, listen to me;
    be silent, and I will speak.
32   If you have any words, answer me;
    speak, for I desire to justify you.
33   If not, listen to me;
    be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

Elihu Asserts God’s Justice

34 Then Elihu answered and said:

  “Hear my words, you wise men,
    and give ear to me, you who know;
  for the ear tests words
    as the palate tastes food.
  Let us choose what is right;
    let us know among ourselves what is good.
  For Job has said, ‘I am in the right,
    and God has taken away my right;
  in spite of my right I am counted a liar;
    my wound is incurable, though I am without transgression.’
  What man is like Job,
    who drinks up scoffing like water,
  who travels in company with evildoers
    and walks with wicked men?
  For he has said, ‘It profits a man nothing
    that he should take delight in God.’
10   “Therefore, hear me, you men of understanding:
    far be it from God that he should do wickedness,
    and from the Almighty that he should do wrong.
11   For according to the work of a man he will repay him,
    and according to his ways he will make it befall him.
12   Of a truth, God will not do wickedly,
    and the Almighty will not pervert justice.
13   Who gave him charge over the earth,
    and who laid on himHebrew lacks on him">5 the whole world?
14   If he should set his heart to it
    and gather to himself his spirit and his breath,
15   all flesh would perish together,
    and man would return to dust.
16   “If you have understanding, hear this;
    listen to what I say.
17   Shall one who hates justice govern?
    Will you condemn him who is righteous and mighty,
18   who says to a king, ‘Worthless one,’
    and to nobles, ‘Wicked man,’
19   who shows no partiality to princes,
    nor regards the rich more than the poor,
    for they are all the work of his hands?
20   In a moment they die;
    at midnight the people are shaken and pass away,
    and the mighty are taken away by no human hand.
21   “For his eyes are on the ways of a man,
    and he sees all his steps.
22   There is no gloom or deep darkness
    where evildoers may hide themselves.
23   For GodHebrew he">6 has no need to consider a man further,
    that he should go before God in judgment.
24   He shatters the mighty without investigation
    and sets others in their place.
25   Thus, knowing their works,
    he overturns them in the night, and they are crushed.
26   He strikes them for their wickedness
    in a place for all to see,
27   because they turned aside from following him
    and had no regard for any of his ways,
28   so that they caused the cry of the poor to come to him,
    and he heard the cry of the afflicted—
29   When he is quiet, who can condemn?
    When he hides his face, who can behold him,
    whether it be a nation or a man?—
30   that a godless man should not reign,
    that he should not ensnare the people.
31   “For has anyone said to God,
    ‘I have borne punishment; I will not offend any more;
32   teach me what I do not see;
    if I have done iniquity, I will do it no more’?
33   Will he then make repayment to suit you,
    because you reject it?
  For you must choose, and not I;
    therefore declare what you know.The meaning of the Hebrew in verses 29–33 is uncertain">7
34   Men of understanding will say to me,
    and the wise man who hears me will say:
35   ‘Job speaks without knowledge;
    his words are without insight.’
36   Would that Job were tried to the end,
    because he answers like wicked men.
37   For he adds rebellion to his sin;
    he claps his hands among us
    and multiplies his words against God.”

Footnotes

[1] 33:13 Hebrew his
[2] 33:13 Or He will not answer for any of his own words
[3] 33:16 Or seals
[4] 33:26 Hebrew he
[5] 34:13 Hebrew lacks on him
[6] 34:23 Hebrew he
[7] 34:33 The meaning of the Hebrew in verses 29–33 is uncertain

(ESV)

New Testament: 2 Thessalonians 2:13–3:5

2 Thessalonians 2:13–3:5 (Listen)

Stand Firm

13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruitsSome manuscripts chose you from the beginning">1 to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. 14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Pray for Us

Finally, brothers,Or brothers and sisters; also verses 6, 13">2 pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored,Or glorified">3 as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith. But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.Or evil">4 And we have confidence in the Lord about you, that you are doing and will do the things that we command. May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ.

Footnotes

[1] 2:13 Some manuscripts chose you from the beginning
[2] 3:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 6, 13
[3] 3:1 Or glorified
[4] 3:3 Or evil

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 58

Psalm 58 (Listen)

God Who Judges the Earth

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A MiktamProbably a musical or liturgical term">1 of David.

58   Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?Or you mighty lords (by revocalization; Hebrew in silence)">2
    Do you judge the children of man uprightly?
  No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
    your hands deal out violence on earth.
  The wicked are estranged from the womb;
    they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
  They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
    like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
  so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
    or of the cunning enchanter.
  O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
    tear out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD!
  Let them vanish like water that runs away;
    when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.
  Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime,
    like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
  Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
    whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain">3
10   The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
    he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11   Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
    surely there is a God who judges on earth.”

Footnotes

[1] 58:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[2] 58:1 Or you mighty lords (by revocalization; Hebrew in silence)
[3] 58:9 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 22:17–21

Proverbs 22:17–21 (Listen)

Words of the Wise

17   Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
    and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18   for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
    if all of them are ready on your lips.
19   That your trust may be in the LORD,
    I have made them known to you today, even to you.
20   Have I not written for you thirty sayings
    of counsel and knowledge,
21   to make you know what is right and true,
    that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?

(ESV)

Old Testament: Job 31–32

Job 31–32 (Listen)

Job’s Final Appeal

31   “I have made a covenant with my eyes;
    how then could I gaze at a virgin?
  What would be my portion from God above
    and my heritage from the Almighty on high?
  Is not calamity for the unrighteous,
    and disaster for the workers of iniquity?
  Does not he see my ways
    and number all my steps?
  “If I have walked with falsehood
    and my foot has hastened to deceit;
  (Let me be weighed in a just balance,
    and let God know my integrity!)
  if my step has turned aside from the way
    and my heart has gone after my eyes,
    and if any spot has stuck to my hands,
  then let me sow, and another eat,
    and let what grows for meOr let my descendants">1 be rooted out.
  “If my heart has been enticed toward a woman,
    and I have lain in wait at my neighbor’s door,
10   then let my wife grind for another,
    and let others bow down on her.
11   For that would be a heinous crime;
    that would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges;
12   for that would be a fire that consumes as far as Abaddon,
    and it would burn to the root all my increase.
13   “If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant,
    when they brought a complaint against me,
14   what then shall I do when God rises up?
    When he makes inquiry, what shall I answer him?
15   Did not he who made me in the womb make him?
    And did not one fashion us in the womb?
16   “If I have withheld anything that the poor desired,
    or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail,
17   or have eaten my morsel alone,
    and the fatherless has not eaten of it
18   (for from my youth the fatherlessHebrew he">2 grew up with me as with a father,
    and from my mother’s womb I guided the widowHebrew her">3),
19   if I have seen anyone perish for lack of clothing,
    or the needy without covering,
20   if his body has not blessed me,Hebrew if his loins have not blessed me">4
    and if he was not warmed with the fleece of my sheep,
21   if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
    because I saw my help in the gate,
22   then let my shoulder blade fall from my shoulder,
    and let my arm be broken from its socket.
23   For I was in terror of calamity from God,
    and I could not have faced his majesty.
24   “If I have made gold my trust
    or called fine gold my confidence,
25   if I have rejoiced because my wealth was abundant
    or because my hand had found much,
26   if I have looked at the sunHebrew the light">5 when it shone,
    or the moon moving in splendor,
27   and my heart has been secretly enticed,
    and my mouth has kissed my hand,
28   this also would be an iniquity to be punished by the judges,
    for I would have been false to God above.
29   “If I have rejoiced at the ruin of him who hated me,
    or exulted when evil overtook him
30   (I have not let my mouth sin
    by asking for his life with a curse),
31   if the men of my tent have not said,
    ‘Who is there that has not been filled with his meat?’
32   (the sojourner has not lodged in the street;
    I have opened my doors to the traveler),
33   if I have concealed my transgressions as others doOr as Adam did">6
    by hiding my iniquity in my heart,
34   because I stood in great fear of the multitude,
    and the contempt of families terrified me,
    so that I kept silence, and did not go out of doors—
35   Oh, that I had one to hear me!
    (Here is my signature! Let the Almighty answer me!)
    Oh, that I had the indictment written by my adversary!
36   Surely I would carry it on my shoulder;
    I would bind it on me as a crown;
37   I would give him an account of all my steps;
    like a prince I would approach him.
38   “If my land has cried out against me
    and its furrows have wept together,
39   if I have eaten its yield without payment
    and made its owners breathe their last,
40   let thorns grow instead of wheat,
    and foul weeds instead of barley.”

The words of Job are ended.

Elihu Rebukes Job’s Three Friends

32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Then Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job because he justified himself rather than God. He burned with anger also at Job’s three friends because they had found no answer, although they had declared Job to be in the wrong. Now Elihu had waited to speak to Job because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.

And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said:

  “I am young in years,
    and you are aged;
  therefore I was timid and afraid
    to declare my opinion to you.
  I said, ‘Let days speak,
    and many years teach wisdom.’
  But it is the spirit in man,
    the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand.
  It is not the oldHebrew many [in years]">7 who are wise,
    nor the aged who understand what is right.
10   Therefore I say, ‘Listen to me;
    let me also declare my opinion.’
11   “Behold, I waited for your words,
    I listened for your wise sayings,
    while you searched out what to say.
12   I gave you my attention,
    and, behold, there was none among you who refuted Job
    or who answered his words.
13   Beware lest you say, ‘We have found wisdom;
    God may vanquish him, not a man.’
14   He has not directed his words against me,
    and I will not answer him with your speeches.
15   “They are dismayed; they answer no more;
    they have not a word to say.
16   And shall I wait, because they do not speak,
    because they stand there, and answer no more?
17   I also will answer with my share;
    I also will declare my opinion.
18   For I am full of words;
    the spirit within me constrains me.
19   Behold, my belly is like wine that has no vent;
    like new wineskins ready to burst.
20   I must speak, that I may find relief;
    I must open my lips and answer.
21   I will not show partiality to any man
    or use flattery toward any person.
22   For I do not know how to flatter,
    else my Maker would soon take me away.

Footnotes

[1] 31:8 Or let my descendants
[2] 31:18 Hebrew he
[3] 31:18 Hebrew her
[4] 31:20 Hebrew if his loins have not blessed me
[5] 31:26 Hebrew the light
[6] 31:33 Or as Adam did
[7] 32:9 Hebrew many [in years]

(ESV)

New Testament: 2 Thessalonians 2:1–12

2 Thessalonians 2:1–12 (Listen)

The Man of Lawlessness

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,Or brothers and sisters; also verses 13, 15">1 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessnessSome manuscripts sin">2 is revealed, the son of destruction,Greek the son of perdition (a Hebrew idiom)">3 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Footnotes

[1] 2:1 Or brothers and sisters; also verses 13, 15
[2] 2:3 Some manuscripts sin
[3] 2:3 Greek the son of perdition (a Hebrew idiom)

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 57

Psalm 57 (Listen)

Let Your Glory Be over All the Earth

To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A MiktamProbably a musical or liturgical term">1 of David, when he fled from Saul, in the cave.

57   Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me,
    for in you my soul takes refuge;
  in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge,
    till the storms of destruction pass by.
  I cry out to God Most High,
    to God who fulfills his purpose for me.
  He will send from heaven and save me;
    he will put to shame him who tramples on me. Selah
  God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!
  My soul is in the midst of lions;
    I lie down amid fiery beasts—
  the children of man, whose teeth are spears and arrows,
    whose tongues are sharp swords.
  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
    Let your glory be over all the earth!
  They set a net for my steps;
    my soul was bowed down.
  They dug a pit in my way,
    but they have fallen into it themselves. Selah
  My heart is steadfast, O God,
    my heart is steadfast!
  I will sing and make melody!
    Awake, my glory!Or my whole being">2
  Awake, O harp and lyre!
    I will awake the dawn!
  I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples;
    I will sing praises to you among the nations.
10   For your steadfast love is great to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
11   Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!
    Let your glory be over all the earth!

Footnotes

[1] 57:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[2] 57:8 Or my whole being

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 22:16

Proverbs 22:16 (Listen)

16   Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,
    or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Job 29–30

Job 29–30 (Listen)

Job’s Summary Defense

29 And Job again took up his discourse, and said:

  “Oh, that I were as in the months of old,
    as in the days when God watched over me,
  when his lamp shone upon my head,
    and by his light I walked through darkness,
  as I was in my prime,Hebrew my autumn days">1
    when the friendship of God was upon my tent,
  when the Almighty was yet with me,
    when my children were all around me,
  when my steps were washed with butter,
    and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
  When I went out to the gate of the city,
    when I prepared my seat in the square,
  the young men saw me and withdrew,
    and the aged rose and stood;
  the princes refrained from talking
    and laid their hand on their mouth;
10   the voice of the nobles was hushed,
    and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth.
11   When the ear heard, it called me blessed,
    and when the eye saw, it approved,
12   because I delivered the poor who cried for help,
    and the fatherless who had none to help him.
13   The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me,
    and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
14   I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
    my justice was like a robe and a turban.
15   I was eyes to the blind
    and feet to the lame.
16   I was a father to the needy,
    and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.
17   I broke the fangs of the unrighteous
    and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
18   Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest,
    and I shall multiply my days as the sand,
19   my roots spread out to the waters,
    with the dew all night on my branches,
20   my glory fresh with me,
    and my bow ever new in my hand.’
21   “Men listened to me and waited
    and kept silence for my counsel.
22   After I spoke they did not speak again,
    and my word dropped upon them.
23   They waited for me as for the rain,
    and they opened their mouths as for the spring rain.
24   I smiled on them when they had no confidence,
    and the light of my face they did not cast down.
25   I chose their way and sat as chief,
    and I lived like a king among his troops,
    like one who comforts mourners.
30   “But now they laugh at me,
    men who are younger than I,
  whose fathers I would have disdained
    to set with the dogs of my flock.
  What could I gain from the strength of their hands,
    men whose vigor is gone?
  Through want and hard hunger
    they gnaw the dry ground by night in waste and desolation;
  they pick saltwort and the leaves of bushes,
    and the roots of the broom tree for their food.Or warmth">2
  They are driven out from human company;
    they shout after them as after a thief.
  In the gullies of the torrents they must dwell,
    in holes of the earth and of the rocks.
  Among the bushes they bray;
    under the nettles they huddle together.
  A senseless, a nameless brood,
    they have been whipped out of the land.
  “And now I have become their song;
    I am a byword to them.
10   They abhor me; they keep aloof from me;
    they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me.
11   Because God has loosed my cord and humbled me,
    they have cast off restraintHebrew the bridle">3 in my presence.
12   On my right hand the rabble rise;
    they push away my feet;
    they cast up against me their ways of destruction.
13   They break up my path;
    they promote my calamity;
    they need no one to help them.
14   As through a wide breach they come;
    amid the crash they roll on.
15   Terrors are turned upon me;
    my honor is pursued as by the wind,
    and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.
16   “And now my soul is poured out within me;
    days of affliction have taken hold of me.
17   The night racks my bones,
    and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.
18   With great force my garment is disfigured;
    it binds me about like the collar of my tunic.
19   GodHebrew He">4 has cast me into the mire,
    and I have become like dust and ashes.
20   I cry to you for help and you do not answer me;
    I stand, and you only look at me.
21   You have turned cruel to me;
    with the might of your hand you persecute me.
22   You lift me up on the wind; you make me ride on it,
    and you toss me about in the roar of the storm.
23   For I know that you will bring me to death
    and to the house appointed for all living.
24   “Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand,
    and in his disaster cry for help?The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain">5
25   Did not I weep for him whose day was hard?
    Was not my soul grieved for the needy?
26   But when I hoped for good, evil came,
    and when I waited for light, darkness came.
27   My inward parts are in turmoil and never still;
    days of affliction come to meet me.
28   I go about darkened, but not by the sun;
    I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29   I am a brother of jackals
    and a companion of ostriches.
30   My skin turns black and falls from me,
    and my bones burn with heat.
31   My lyre is turned to mourning,
    and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.

Footnotes

[1] 29:4 Hebrew my autumn days
[2] 30:4 Or warmth
[3] 30:11 Hebrew the bridle
[4] 30:19 Hebrew He
[5] 30:24 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain

(ESV)

New Testament: 2 Thessalonians 1

2 Thessalonians 1 (Listen)

Greeting

Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,

To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanksgiving

We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers,Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters">1 as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast about you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions that you are enduring.

The Judgment at Christ’s Coming

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering—since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away fromOr destruction that comes from">2 the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 11 To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, 12 so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Footnotes

[1] 1:3 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
[2] 1:9 Or destruction that comes from

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 56

Psalm 56 (Listen)

In God I Trust

To the choirmaster: according to The Dove on Far-off Terebinths. A MiktamProbably a musical or liturgical term">1 of David, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.

56   Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;
    all day long an attacker oppresses me;
  my enemies trample on me all day long,
    for many attack me proudly.
  When I am afraid,
    I put my trust in you.
  In God, whose word I praise,
    in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
    What can flesh do to me?
  All day long they injure my cause;Or they twist my words">2
    all their thoughts are against me for evil.
  They stir up strife, they lurk;
    they watch my steps,
    as they have waited for my life.
  For their crime will they escape?
    In wrath cast down the peoples, O God!
  You have kept count of my tossings;Or wanderings">3
    put my tears in your bottle.
    Are they not in your book?
  Then my enemies will turn back
    in the day when I call.
    This I know, thatOr because">4 God is for me.
10   In God, whose word I praise,
    in the LORD, whose word I praise,
11   in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
    What can man do to me?
12   I must perform my vows to you, O God;
    I will render thank offerings to you.
13   For you have delivered my soul from death,
    yes, my feet from falling,
  that I may walk before God
    in the light of life.

Footnotes

[1] 56:1 Probably a musical or liturgical term
[2] 56:5 Or they twist my words
[3] 56:8 Or wanderings
[4] 56:9 Or because

(ESV)

Proverb: Proverbs 22:15

Proverbs 22:15 (Listen)

15   Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
    but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

(ESV)

Old Testament: Job 27–28

Job 27–28 (Listen)

Job Continues: I Will Maintain My Integrity

27 And Job again took up his discourse, and said:

  “As God lives, who has taken away my right,
    and the Almighty, who has made my soul bitter,
  as long as my breath is in me,
    and the spirit of God is in my nostrils,
  my lips will not speak falsehood,
    and my tongue will not utter deceit.
  Far be it from me to say that you are right;
    till I die I will not put away my integrity from me.
  I hold fast my righteousness and will not let it go;
    my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.
  “Let my enemy be as the wicked,
    and let him who rises up against me be as the unrighteous.
  For what is the hope of the godless when God cuts him off,
    when God takes away his life?
  Will God hear his cry
    when distress comes upon him?
10   Will he take delight in the Almighty?
    Will he call upon God at all times?
11   I will teach you concerning the hand of God;
    what is with the Almighty I will not conceal.
12   Behold, all of you have seen it yourselves;
    why then have you become altogether vain?
13   “This is the portion of a wicked man with God,
    and the heritage that oppressors receive from the Almighty:
14   If his children are multiplied, it is for the sword,
    and his descendants have not enough bread.
15   Those who survive him the pestilence buries,
    and his widows do not weep.
16   Though he heap up silver like dust,
    and pile up clothing like clay,
17   he may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it,
    and the innocent will divide the silver.
18   He builds his house like a moth’s,
    like a booth that a watchman makes.
19   He goes to bed rich, but will do so no more;
    he opens his eyes, and his wealth is gone.
20   Terrors overtake him like a flood;
    in the night a whirlwind carries him off.
21   The east wind lifts him up and he is gone;
    it sweeps him out of his place.
22   ItOr He (that is, God); also verse 23">1 hurls at him without pity;
    he flees from itsOr his; also verse 23">2 power in headlong flight.
23   It claps its hands at him
    and hisses at him from its place.

Job Continues: Where Is Wisdom?

28   “Surely there is a mine for silver,
    and a place for gold that they refine.
  Iron is taken out of the earth,
    and copper is smelted from the ore.
  Man puts an end to darkness
    and searches out to the farthest limit
    the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
  He opens shafts in a valley away from where anyone lives;
    they are forgotten by travelers;
    they hang in the air, far away from mankind; they swing to and fro.
  As for the earth, out of it comes bread,
    but underneath it is turned up as by fire.
  Its stones are the place of sapphires,Or lapis lazuli; also verse 16">3
    and it has dust of gold.
  “That path no bird of prey knows,
    and the falcon’s eye has not seen it.
  The proud beasts have not trodden it;
    the lion has not passed over it.
  “Man puts his hand to the flinty rock
    and overturns mountains by the roots.
10   He cuts out channels in the rocks,
    and his eye sees every precious thing.
11   He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle,
    and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light.
12   “But where shall wisdom be found?
    And where is the place of understanding?
13   Man does not know its worth,
    and it is not found in the land of the living.
14   The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
    and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
15   It cannot be bought for gold,
    and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
16   It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
    in precious onyx or sapphire.
17   Gold and glass cannot equal it,
    nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
18   No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
    the price of wisdom is above pearls.
19   The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
    nor can it be valued in pure gold.
20   “From where, then, does wisdom come?
    And where is the place of understanding?
21   It is hidden from the eyes of all living
    and concealed from the birds of the air.
22   Abaddon and Death say,
    ‘We have heard a rumor of it with our ears.’
23   “God understands the way to it,
    and he knows its place.
24   For he looks to the ends of the earth
    and sees everything under the heavens.
25   When he gave to the wind its weight
    and apportioned the waters by measure,
26   when he made a decree for the rain
    and a way for the lightning of the thunder,
27   then he saw it and declared it;
    he established it, and searched it out.
28   And he said to man,
  ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
    and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

Footnotes

[1] 27:22 Or He (that is, God); also verse 23
[2] 27:22 Or his; also verse 23
[3] 28:6 Or lapis lazuli; also verse 16

(ESV)

New Testament: 1 Thessalonians 5:23–28

1 Thessalonians 5:23–28 (Listen)

23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

25 Brothers, pray for us.

26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

27 I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.

28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

(ESV)

Psalm: Psalm 55

Psalm 55 (Listen)

Cast Your Burden on the Lord

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A MaskilProbably a musical or liturgical term">1 of David.

55   Give ear to my prayer, O God,
    and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
  Attend to me, and answer me;
    I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
  because of the noise of the enemy,
    because of the oppression of the wicked.
  For they drop trouble upon me,
    and in anger they bear a grudge against me.
  My heart is in anguish within me;
    the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
  Fear and trembling come upon me,
    and horror overwhelms me.
  And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest;
  yes, I would wander far away;
    I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah
  I would hurry to find a shelter
    from the raging wind and tempest.”
  Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues;
    for I see violence and strife in the city.
10   Day and night they go around it
    on its walls,
  and iniquity and trouble are within it;
11     ruin is in its midst;
  oppression and fraud
    do not depart from its marketplace.
12   For it is not an enemy who taunts me—
    then I could bear it;
  it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—
    then I could hide from him.
13   But it is you, a man, my equal,
    my companion, my familiar friend.
14   We used to take sweet counsel together;
    within God’s house we walked in the throng.
15   Let death steal over them;
    let them go down to Sheol alive;
    for evil is in their dwelling place and in their heart.
16   But I call to God,
    and the LORD will save me.
17   Evening and morning and at noon
    I utter my complaint and moan,
    and he hears my voice.
18   He redeems my soul in safety
    from the battle that I wage,
    for many are arrayed against me.
19   God will give ear and humble them,
    he who is enthroned from of old, Selah
  because they do not change
    and do not fear God.
20   My companionHebrew He">2 stretched out his hand against his friends;
    he violated his covenant.
21   His speech was smooth as butter,
    yet war was in his heart;
  his words were softer than oil,
    yet they were drawn swords.
22   Cast your burden on the LORD,
    and he will sustain you;
  he will never permit
    the righteous to be moved