Table of Contents

Old Testament

Genesis

Exodus

Leviticus

Numbers

Deuteronomy

Joshua

Judges

Ruth

1 Samuel

2 Samuel

1 Kings

2 Kings

1 Chronicles

2 Chronicles

Ezra

Nehemiah

Esther

Job

Psalms

Proverbs

Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

Isaiah

Jeremiah

Lamentations

Ezekiel

Daniel

Hosea

Joel

Amos

Obadiah

Jonah

Micah

Nahum

Habakkuk

Zephaniah

Haggai

Zechariah

New Testament

Matthew

Matthew

Mark

Luke

John

Acts

Romans

1 Corinthians

2 Corinthians

Galatians

Ephesians

Philippians

Colossians

1 Thessalonians

2 Thessalonians

1 Timothy

2 Timothy

Titus

Philemon

Hebrews

James

1 Peter

2 Peter

1 John

2 John

3 John

Jude

Draft built Wednesday, 01 June 2016

Open English Bible

NT, Psalms

and selected Old Testament books

This is release 2016.1 (June 1, 2016) of the Open English Bible.

This version uses US spelling (for example, “color”).

The book of

Ruth

[Ruth 1]

Naomi and Ruth

[1] In the time when the judges ruled, there was once a famine in the land. A man from Bethlehem in Judah took his wife and two sons to live in the territory of Moab. [2] His name was Elimelech and his wife’s was Naomi, and his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. After they had been living in Moab for some time, [3] Elimelech died, and Naomi was left with her two sons, [4] who married Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, [5] Mahlon and Chilion both died, and Naomi was left alone, without husband or sons.

[6] So she set out with her daughters-in-law to return from the land of Moab, for she had heard that the Lord had remembered his people and given them food. [7] As they were setting out together on the journey to Judah, [8] Naomi said to her daughters-in-law, “Go, return both of you to the home of your mother. May the Lord be kind to you as you have been kind to the dead and to me. [9] The Lord grant that each of you may find peace and happiness in the house of a new husband.”

Then she kissed them; but they began to weep aloud [10] and said to her, “No, we will return with you to your people.” [11] But Naomi said, “Go back, my daughters. Why should you go with me? Can I still bear sons who might become your husbands? [12] Go back, my daughters, go your own way, because I am too old to have a husband. Even if I should say, ‘I have hope,’ even if I should have a husband tonight and should bear sons, [13] would you wait for them until they were grown up? Would you remain single for them? No, my daughters! My heart grieves for you, for the Lord has sent me adversity.” [14] Then they again wept aloud, and Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye, but Ruth stayed with her.

[15] “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her own people and to her own gods. Go along with her!” [16] But Ruth answered, “Do not urge me to leave you or to go back. I will go where you go, and I will stay wherever you stay. Your people will be my people, and your God my God; [17] I will die where you die, and be buried there. May the Lord bring a curse upon me, if anything but death separate you and me.” [18] When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she ceased urging her to return.

[19] So they journeyed on until they came to Bethlehem. Their arrival stirred the whole town, and the women said, “Can this be Naomi?”

[20] “Do not call me Naomi,” she said to them, “call me Mara [Note: In Hebrew “Naomi” means “pleasant,” and “Mara” means “bitter.” ] , for the Almighty has given me a bitter lot. [21] I had plenty when I left, but the Lord has brought me back empty handed. Why should you call me Naomi, now that the Lord has afflicted me, and the Almighty has brought misfortune on me?” [22] So Naomi and Ruth, her Moabite daughter-in-law, returned from Moab. They reached Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

[Ruth 2]

In the Fields of Boaz

[1] Now Naomi was related through her husband to a very wealthy man of the family of Elimelech named Boaz. [2] Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me now go into the fields and gather leftover grain behind anyone who will allow me.”

“Go, my daughter.” she replied.

[3] So she went to glean in the field after the reapers. As it happened, she was in that part of the field which belonged to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. [4] When Boaz came from Bethlehem and said to the reapers, “The Lord be with you,” they answered him, “May the Lord bless you.”

[5] “Whose girl is this?” Boaz asked his servant who had charge of the reapers. [6] The servant who had charge of the reapers replied, “It is the Moabite girl who came back with Naomi from the territory of Moab. [7] She asked to be allowed to glean and gather sheaves after the reapers. So she came and has continued to work until now and she has not rested a moment in the field.”

[8] Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Listen, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field nor leave this place, but stay here with my girls. [9] Watch where the men are reaping and follow the gleaners. I have told the young men not to trouble you. When you are thirsty, go to the jars and drink of that which the young men have drawn.”

[10] Then she bowed low and said to him, “Why are you so kind to me, to take interest in me when I am just a foreigner?” [11] Boaz replied, “I have heard what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband, and how you left your father and mother and your native land to come to a people that you did not know before. [12] May the Lord repay you for what you have done, and may you be fully rewarded by the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.” [13] Then she said, “I trust I may please you, my lord, for you have comforted me and spoken kindly to your servant, although I am not really equal to one of your own servants.”

[14] At mealtime Boaz said to Ruth, “Come here and eat some of the food and dip your piece of bread in the vinegar.” So she sat beside the reapers, and he passed her some roasted grain. She ate until she was satisfied and had some left. [15] When she rose to glean, Boaz gave this order to his young men: “Let her glean even among the sheaves and do not disturb her. [16] Also pull out some for her from the bundles and leave for her to glean, and do not find fault with her.”

[17] So she gleaned in the field until evening, then beat out what she had gleaned. It was about a bushel of barley. [18] Then she took it up and went into the town and showed her mother-in-law what she had gleaned. She also brought out and gave her that which she had left from her meal after she had had enough.

[19] “Where did you glean today, and where did you work?” asked her mother-in-law. “A blessing on him who took notice of you!”

So she told her mother-in-law where she had worked. “The name of the man with whom I worked today,” she said, “is Boaz.”

[20] Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, “May the blessing of the Lord rest on this man who has not ceased to show his loving-kindness to the living and to the dead. The man,” she added, “is a near relation of ours.”

[21] “He told me,” Ruth said, “that I must keep near his young men until they have completed all his harvest.”

[22] Naomi said to Ruth, “It is best, my daughter, that you should go out with his girls because you might not be as safe in another field.” [23] So she gleaned with the girls of Boaz until the end of the barley and wheat harvest; but she lived with her mother-in-law.

[Ruth 3]

Night and morning

[1] One day, Naomi said to Ruth, “My daughter, should I not seek to secure a home for you where you will be happy and prosperous? [2] Is not Boaz, with whose girls you have been, a relative of ours? [3] Tonight he is going to winnow barley on the threshing-floor. So bathe and anoint yourself and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing-floor. But do not make yourself known to the man until he has finished eating and drinking. [4] Then when he lies down, mark the place where he lies. Go in, uncover his feet, lie down, and then he will tell you what to do.”

[5] “I will do as you say.” Ruth said to her.

[6] So she went down to the threshing-floor and did just as her mother-in-law told her. [7] When Boaz had finished eating and drinking and was in a happy mood, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of grain. Then Ruth came quietly and uncovered his feet and lay down. [8] At midnight the man was startled and turned over, and there was a woman lying at his feet! [9] “Who are you?” he said. “I am Ruth your servant.” she answered, “Spread your cloak over your servant, for you are a near relative.” [10] He said, “May you be blest by the Lord , my daughter. You have shown me greater favor now than at first, for you have not followed young men, whether poor or rich. [11] My daughter, have no fear. I will do for you all that you ask, for the whole town knows that you are a virtuous woman. [12] Now it is true that I am a near relative, but there is another man nearer than I. [13] Stay here tonight, and then in the morning, if he will perform for you the duty of a kinsman, well, let him do it. But if he will not perform for you the duty of a kinsman, then as surely as the Lord lives, I will do it for you. Lie down until morning.”

[14] So she lay at his feet until morning, but rose before anyone could recognize her, for Boaz said, “No one must know that a woman came to the threshing-floor.” [15] He also said, “Bring the cloak which you have on and hold it.” So she held it while he poured into it six measures of barley and laid it on her shoulders. Then he went into the city.

[16] When Ruth came to her mother-in-law, Naomi asked, “Is it you, my daughter?” Then Ruth told Naomi all that the man had done for her. [17] “He gave me these six measures of barley,” she said, “for he said I should not go to my mother-in-law empty-handed.”

[18] “Wait quietly, my daughter.” Naomi said, “Until you know how the affair will turn out, for the man will not rest unless he settles it all today.”

[Ruth 4]

[1] Then Boaz went up to the gate and sat down. Just then the near kinsman of whom Boaz had spoken came along. Boaz said, “Hello, So-and-so (calling him by name), come here and sit down.” So he stopped and sat down. [2] Boaz also took ten of the town elders and said, “Sit down here.” So they sat down.

[3] Then he said to the near relative, “Naomi, who has come back from the country of Moab, is offering for sale the piece of land which belonged to our relative Elimelech, [4] and I thought that I would lay the matter before you, suggesting that you buy it in the presence of these men who sit here and of the elders of my people. If you will buy it and so keep it in the possession of the family, do so; but if not; then tell me, so that I may know; for no one but you has the right to buy it, and I am next to you.” “I will buy it.” he said.

[5] Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the field from Naomi, you must also marry Ruth the Moabite, the widow of the dead, in order to preserve the name of the dead in connection with his inheritance.”

[6] “I cannot buy it for myself without spoiling my own inheritance,” the near relative said. “You take my right of buying it as a relative, because I cannot do so.”

[7] Now this used to be the custom in Israel: to make valid anything relating to a matter of redemption or exchange, a man drew off his sandal and gave it to the other man; and this was the way contracts were attested in Israel. [8] So when the near relative said to Boaz, “Buy it for yourself,” Boaz drew off the man’s sandal.

[9] Then Boaz said to the elders and to all the people, “You are witnesses at this time that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s from Naomi. [10] Moreover I have secured Ruth the Moabite, the wife of Mahlon, to be my wife, in order to perpetuate the name of the dead in connection with his inheritance, so that his name will not disappear from among his relatives and from the household where he lived. You are witnesses this day.”

[11] Then all the people who were at the gate and the elders said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your house like Rachel and Leah, who together built the house of Israel. May you do well in Ephrata, and become famous in Bethlehem. [12] From the children whom the Lord will give you by this young woman may your household become like the household of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

[13] So Boaz married Ruth, and she became his wife; and the Lord gave to her a son. [14] Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord who has not left you at this time without a near relative, and may his name be famous in Israel. [15] This child will restore your vigor and nourish you in your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is worth more to you than seven sons, has borne a son to Boaz!”

[16] So Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him as if he was her own. [17] The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son is born to Naomi!” They named him Obed. He became the father of Jesse, who was the father of David.

Genealogy

[18] This is the genealogy of Perez:

Perez was the father of Hezron,

[19] Hezron of Ram,

Ram of Amminadab,

[20] Amminidab of Nashon,

Nashon of Salmon,

[21] Salmon of Boaz,

Boaz of Obed,

[22] Obed of Jesse,

Jesse of David.

The Book of

Esther

[Esther 1]

The Follies of a Despot

[1] These events happened in the time of Ahasuerus, who ruled over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia [2] from his royal throne in the fortified palace of Susa.

[3] In the third year of his reign, the king gave a feast for all his officers and courtiers. The commanders of the military forces of Persia and Media, the nobles and provincial rulers were present [4] while for one hundred and eighty days he showed them the glorious riches of his kingdom and the costliness of his magnificent regalia.

[5] When these days were ended, the king held a banquet for all the people who were present in the royal palace at Susa, high and low alike. It was a seven days’ feast in the enclosed garden of the royal palace. [6] There were white and violet cotton curtains fastened to silver rings and pillars of marble with cords of fine purple wool and linen. The couches were of gold and silver placed upon a mosaic pavement of alabaster, white marble, mother-of-pearl, and dark stone. [7] Drink was brought in vessels of gold – which were all different – and the king’s wine was provided with royal liberality. [8] The drinking was unrestricted, for the king had directed all the officers of his household to let each man do as he pleased. [9] Queen Vashti also gave a feast for the women in the King Ahasuerus’ royal palace.

[10] On the seventh day, when the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zathar and Carkas, his seven eunuch attendants [11] to bring Queen Vashti before him with the royal diadem on her head, to show her beauty to the people and the officials, for she was very beautiful. [12] But Queen Vashti refused to come as the king commanded through the eunuchs. Then the king became very angry and his fury burned within him.

[13] The king turned to the wise men who knew the precedents, for it was his custom to confer with those wise in law. [14] Those next to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena and Memucan, seven officials of Persia and Media who had access to the king and were highest in the kingdom. [15] “Queen Vashit”, the king said, “has failed to obey my royal command – the command of King Ahasuerus conveyed through the eunuchs! What does the law say should be done to her?”

[16] Memucan replied before the king and the officials, “Queen Vashti has done wrong not only to the king but also to all the officials and to all the peoples in all of the king’s provinces. [17] The refusal of the queen will be reported to all the women with the result that it will make them despise their husbands. They will say, ‘King Ahasuerus commanded Queen Vashti to be brought in before him, but she did not come!’ [18] This very day the ladies of Persia and Media who have heard of the refusal of the queen will tell it to all the king’s officials, and there will be contempt and strife! [19] If it seems best to the king, let him send out a royal edict. Let it be written among the laws of Persia and Media, never to be repealed, that Vashti may never again come before King Ahasuerus. Let the king give her place as queen to another who is more worthy than she. [20] When the king’s decree which he makes is heard throughout his kingdom – great as it is – the wives of all classes will give honor to their husbands.”

[21] The proposal pleased the king and the officials, and the king did as Memucan advised. [22] He sent letters to all the provinces, to every province in its own system of writing and to every people in their language, that every man should be master in his own house!

[Esther 2]

Choosing a Queen

[1] Some time later, when the wrath of King Ahasuerus had subsided, he remembered what Vashti had done and what had been decreed against her. [2] Then the king’s servants who waited upon him said, “Let beautiful young virgins be sought for the king, [3] and let the king appoint commissioners to all the provinces of his kingdom to gather them all to Susa the royal residence. Let them be brought into the women’s quarters under the custody of Hegai, the king’s eunuch, who has charge of the women. Then give them what is needed to make them beautiful, [4] and let the girl who pleases the king be queen instead of Vashti.” The proposal pleased the king so he put it into action.

[5] In Susa the royal residence lived a Jew named Mordecai. He was son of Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish, a Benjamite. [6] (Kish had been carried away from Jerusalem with the exiles who were deported with Jeconiah king of Judah, whom Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon took captive.) [7] Mordecai had adopted Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle’s daughter, since she had neither father nor mother. The girl was shapely and beautiful; and after her father and mother died, Mordecai raised her as if she was his own daughter.

[8] When the king’s command and decree were known, many girls were gathered together to Susa the capital under the custody of Hegai. Esther was also taken into the king’s palace and placed under the custody of Hegai, who had charge of the women. [9] The girl pleased him and gained his favor, so that he quickly gave her the cosmetics she needed to enhance her beauty and her allowance of food and the seven maids selected from the king’s household. He also transferred her and her maids to the best place in the harem. [10] Esther had not revealed her people nor her family background because Mordecai had ordered her not to. [11] Every day Mordecai would to walk in front of the courtyard of the harem and ask after Esther’s health and what was happening to her.

[12] The girls were prepared for meeting King Ahasuerus for twelve months: six months being treated with oil of myrrh and six months with perfumes and cosmetics. After the twelve months, [13] each girl went in to the king. She was allowed to take with her whatever she wished from the women’s quarters, [14] and would enter the palace in the evening and return the next morning to another part of the harem under the care of the king’s eunuch Shaashgaz who was in charge of concubines. She would not go to the king again unless he desired her and summoned her by name. [15] When it was the turn of Esther (the girl adopted by Mordecai, daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go in to the king, she only took with her those things that Hegai, the king’s eunuch in charge of the women, had advised her to take. Esther was liked by all who saw her. [16] Esther was taken to King Ahasuerus in the royal palace in the tenth month, the month of Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. [17] And the king loved her more than all the other women, and she became his favorite and won his affection. He placed the royal diadem on her head and made her queen instead of Vashti. [18] Then the king gave a great feast to all his officials and courtiers in honor of Esther, and he remitted the taxes of the provinces and distributed gifts with royal liberality.

[19] All the time the virgins were assembled again, Mordecai was sitting as an offical at the king’s gate. [20] Esther had not revealed her people or family background because she still obeyed him as she had when he was bringing her up.

Hatred without Pity

[21] In those days while Mordecai was sitting in the king’s gate, two of the royal court attendants, Bigthan and Teresh, who guarded the entrance of the palace, became enraged and attempted to kill King Ahasuerus. [22] But Mordecai learned of the conspiracy and disclosed it to Queen Esther, and she told the king on Mordecai’s behalf. [23] When the affair was investigated and the facts discovered, the conspirators were both hanged on the gallows. The incident was recorded in the presence of the king in the daily record of events.

[Esther 3]

[1] After these events King Ahasuerus promoted Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him to a place above all the officials who were with him. [2] All the king’s courtiers who were in the king’s gate used to bow down before Haman, for so the king had commanded, but Mordecai did not bow down nor prostrate himself.

[3] Then the king’s courtiers, who were in the king’s gate, said to Mordecai, “Why do you disobey the king’s command?” [4] When they had spoken to him day after day without his listening to them, they informed Haman, to see whether Mordecai’s acts would be tolerated, for he had told them that he was a Jew. [5] When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow down nor prostrate himself before him, he was furious. [6] But it seemed to him beneath his dignity to lay hands on Mordecai alone, for they had told him who Mordecai’s people were. Instead Haman sought to destroy all the people of Mordecai, all the Jews throughout the kingdom of Ahasuerus.

[7] In the first month (the month of Nisan) in the twelfth year of the reign of King Ahasuerus, Haman had ‘pur’ (which means ‘lot’) cast before him to determine the best day and best month for his actions. The lot fell on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month – the month of Adar.

[8] So Haman said to King Ahasuerus, “There is a certain people scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom, whose laws differ from those of every other and who do not keep the king’s laws. Therefore it is not right for the king to tolerate them. [9] If it seems best to the king, let an order be given to destroy them, and I will pay ten thousand silver coins into the royal treasury.” [10] So the king took off his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. [11] “The money is yours,” the king said to Haman, “and the people also to do with them as you wish.” [12] And so, on the thirteenth day of the first month, the king’s secretaries were summoned and as Haman instructed an edict was issued to the king’s satraps and provincial governors and the rulers of each of the peoples in their own script and their own language. The edict was written in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed with his ring. [13] Dispatches were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces, saying: Destroy, kill, put an end to all the Jews, young and old, little children and women, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, and plunder their possessions. [14] A copy of the edict was to be published as a decree in every province – publicly displayed so that everyone might be ready for that day. [15] By command of the king the couriers raced off, and the edict was published in Susa itself.

Then the king and Haman sat down to drink, but the city of Susa was in turmoil.

[Esther 4]

A Queen’s Efforts to Save Her People

[1] When Mordecai learned all that had been done, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and strewed ashes on his head, and went out into the city and raised a loud and bitter cry of lamentation. [2] He went as far as the king’s gate, but no one could enter the gate clothed with sackcloth. [3] In every province, wherever the king’s command and decree went, there was great mourning, fasting, weeping, and wailing among the Jews. Many of them sat in sackcloth and ashes.

[4] When Esther’s maids and attendants told her about Mordecai’s behavior, she was greatly troubled. She sent garments for Mordecai to put on, so that he could take off his sack-cloth, but he would not accept them. [5] So Esther called Hathach, one of the king’s eunuchs whom he had appointed to attend her, and ordered him to go to Mordecai to learn what it all meant and the reason for it.

[6] So Hathach went out to Mordecai, to the city square in front of the king’s gate. [7] Mordecai told him all that had happened to him and the exact amount of money that Haman had promised to pay into the king’s treasury for the destruction of the Jews. [8] Also he gave him a copy of the decree to destroy them, that had been published in Susa, to show to Esther for her information. He also told her to go to the king and implore his mercy and to plead with him in behalf of her people.

[9] When Hathach came and told Esther what Mordecai had said, [10] she instructed Hathach to go and say to Mordecai, [11] “All the king’s courtiers and the people of the king’s provinces know that for every man or woman who goes to the king into the inner court without being called there is one penalty, death, unless the king holds out the golden sceptre signifying that they may live. It has been thirty days since I have been called to go in to the king.”

[12] When Mordecai was told what Esther had said, [13] he sent back this reply to Esther, “Don’t imagine that you alone of all the Jews will escape because you belong to the king’s household. [14] If you persist in remaining silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jews from another quarter, but you and your family will perish. Who knows? Maybe you have been raised to the throne for a time like this!”

[15] Then Esther sent this message to Mordecai: [16] “Go, gather all the Jews in Susa and fast for me. Don’t eat nor drink anything for three days and nights. My maids and I will fast as well. Then I will go in to the king, although it is contrary to the law, and if I die, I die.” [17] Mordecai did everything Esther had directed.

[Esther 5]

[1] On the third day, Esther put on her regalia and stood in the inner court of the royal palace opposite the king’s house. The king was sitting on his throne in the palace, opposite the entrance. [2] When he saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she won his favor, and he held out to her the golden sceptre that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the top of the sceptre. [3] Then the king said to her, “What is it, Queen Esther? Whatever your request is, it will be granted, even if it is the half of the kingdom.”

[4] “If it seems best to the king,” Esther said, “let the king and Haman come today to the banquet that I have prepared for him.” [5] Then the king ordered, “Bring Haman quickly, so that Esther’s wish may be gratified.”

So the king and Haman went to the banquet that Esther had prepared. [6] While they were drinking wine, the king said to Esther, “Whatever your petition is, it will be granted. Your request, it will be done – even if it takes half of my kingdom.” [7] Esther answered, [8] “If I have won the king’s favor and if it seems best to the king to grant my petition and to accede to my request, my petition and my request are that the king and Haman come to the banquet which I will prepare for them. Tomorrow I will answer the king’s question as he wishes.”

[9] Haman went out that day joyful and elated, but when he saw Mordecai in the king’s gate and noticed that he neither stood up nor moved for him, he was furiously angry with Mordecai. [10] Nevertheless Haman restrained himself and went home. He called together his friends and Zeresh his wife [11] and recounted to them the greatness of his wealth, how many children he had, and all the ways in which the king had honored him, and how he had promoted him above the officials and the royal courtiers. [12] “What is more,” Haman said, “Queen Esther brought no one in with the king to the banquet which she had prepared except me, and tomorrow also I am invited by her along with the king. [13] Yet all this does not satisfy me as long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate.”

[14] Then Zeresh his wife and all his friends said to him, “Let a gallows seventy-five feet high be erected, and in the morning speak to the king and let Mordecai be hanged on it. Then go merrily with the king to the banquet.” The advice pleased Haman, and so he had the gallows erected.

[Esther 6]

Downfall of a Conspirator

[1] On that night the king was unable to sleep, so he gave orders to bring the books that recorded memorable deeds, and they were read before the king. [2] It was found recorded how Mordecai had furnished information regarding Bigthan and Teresh, two of the king’s attendants who guarded the entrance of the palace, who had attempted to kill King Ahasuerus. [3] “What honor and dignity have been conferred on Mordecai for this?” the king asked. When the king’s pages who waited on him replied “Nothing has been done for him,” [4] the king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the king’s house to speak to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows that he had prepared for him. [5] So the king’s pages said to him, “Haman is standing there, in the court.” The king said, “Let him enter.” [6] So Haman entered, and the king said to him, “What should be done for the man whom the king wishes to honor?” Haman said to himself, “Whom besides me could the king wish to honor?” [7] So he said to the king, “For the man whom the king wishes to honor [8] let a royal garment be brought, which the king has worn, and the horse on which the king has ridden and on whose head a royal diadem has been placed. [9] Then let the garment and the horse be placed in charge of one of the king’s noble officials. Let him clothe the man whom the king wishes to honor and let him lead that man on the horse through the city square, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man whom the king wishes to honor.’”

[10] Then the king said to Haman, “Make haste and take the garment and the horse, as you have said, and do this to Mordecai the Jew, who sits in the king’s gate. Omit nothing of all you have said.” [11] So Haman took the garment and the horse and clothed Mordecai, and made him ride through the city square and proclaimed before him, “This is what is done for the man whom the king wishes to honor.”

[12] Mordecai returned to the king’s gate, but Haman hurried to his house, mourning, with his head covered. [13] Haman recounted to Zeresh his wife and to all his friends everything that had happened to him. Then his wise men and Zeresh his wife said to him, “If Mordecai before whom you have already been humiliated is of the Jewish people, you can do nothing against him but will surely fall before him.”

[14] While they were still talking with him, the king’s attendants came and quickly took Haman to the banquet that Esther had prepared.

[Esther 7]

[1] So the king and Haman went to drink with Queen Esther. [2] As they were drinking wine on that second day, the king again said to Esther, “Whatever your petition is, Queen Esther, it will be granted to you. Whatever you request it will be done, even if it takes half of the kingdom.” [3] Then Queen Esther answered, “Your Majesty, if I have won your favor, and if it seems best to Your Majesty, let my life be given me as my petition, and my people as my request, [4] for I and my people have been sold to be destroyed, killed, and completely annihilated! If we had been merely sold into slavery I would not have disturbed your peace, because such a fate would not have affected the interests of the king.”

[5] Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther, “Who is he and where is he whose heart has impelled him to do this?”

[6] “A foe, an enemy: this wicked Haman.” Esther answered. Haman shrank in terror before the king and the queen. [7] In his wrath the king rose from the place where he was drinking wine and went into the palace garden. Haman stayed to beg Queen Esther for his life, for he saw that the king was fully determined to bring calamity upon him. [8] As the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet hall, Haman had flung himself on Esther’s couch. The king cried, “Is he going to rape my queen while I am present in my own house?”

As the king spoke these words, the attendants covered Haman’s face [9] and Harbonah, one of those who waited on the king, said, “There are the gallows, seventy-five feet high, which Hainan erected for Mordecai, who spoke a good word in behalf of the king, standing in the house of Haman!” The king said “Hang him on them.” [10] So they hanged Haman on the gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. Then the wrath of the king was pacified.

[Esther 8]

Deliverance of the Jews

[1] At that time King Ahasuerus gave the property of Haman the Jews’ enemy to Queen Esther. Mordecai was made one of the king’s personal advisers, for Esther had disclosed his relationship to her. [2] The king also drew off his signet ring, which he had taken from Haman. He gave it to Mordecai, and Esther placed Mordecai in charge of Haman’s property.

[3] Then Esther sought another audience with the king and fell at his feet and with tears begged him to avert the evil planned by Haman the Agagite and to frustrate his designs against the Jews. [4] The king held out to her the golden sceptre, and she arose and stood before him. [5] “If it seems best to the king,” she said, “and if I have won his favor and he thinks it right, and if I please him, let written orders be given to revoke the dispatches devised by Haman son of Hammedatha the Agagite, which he wrote ordering the destruction of the Jews who are in all the king’s provinces. [6] For how can I bear to look upon the evil that will come to my people? How can I bear to see their destruction?” [7] Then King Ahasuerus said to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “See, I have given Esther the property of Haman, and they have hanged him on the gallows, because he laid hands upon the Jews. [8] Now you write on behalf of the Jews, as seems best to you, in the king’s name and seal it with the king’s signet ring. For a document that is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring cannot be revoked.”

[9] On the twenty-third day of the third month (that is the month of Sivan), the king’s secretaries were summoned and as Mordecai instructed an edict was issued to the Jews, to the satraps and provincial governors and the rulers of each of the one hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia in their own script and their own language, and to the Jews in their own script and language.

[10] Mordecai wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus. He sealed it with the king’s signet ring. Dispatches were sent by mounted couriers who rode the swift, noble steeds, bred of the royal studs. [11] In this way the king permitted the Jews who were in every city to gather together and make a stand for their life, to destroy, to kill, and annihilate all the armed forces of any people or province that might be hostile to them, including their children and women, and to take their goods as plunder [12] throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus on that thirteenth day of the twelfth month (which is called Adar). [13] A copy of the edict was to be published as a decree in every province – publicly displayed so that the Jews might be ready for that day and avenge themselves. [14] So the couriers who rode the swift, noble steeds went out, hastened and impelled by the king’s commands!

Meantime the decree had been given out in the royal palace at Susa; [15] and Mordecai had gone out from the presence of the king in royal garments of violet and white and with a great crown of gold and with a robe of fine linen and purple. The people of Susa shouted and were glad. [16] To the Jews there came light and gladness and joy and honor. [17] And in every province and city, wherever the king’s command and decree came, there was gladness and joy among the Jews and a holiday. Many of the peoples of the earth professed to be Jews, for fear of the Jews took possession of them.

[Esther 9]

[1] Now in the twelfth month (that is the month of Adar), on the thirteenth day, when the king’s command and his decree was about to put into execution, on the day that the enemies of the Jews hoped to gain the mastery over them, then the tables were turned so that the Jews had the mastery over those who hated them. [2] The Jews gathered together in the cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, to attack anyone who tried to harm them. No one could withstand them, for the fear of them had fallen on all the peoples. [3] All the princes of the provinces and the satraps and the governors and they who attended to the king’s business, helped the Jews, because the fear of Mordecai had fallen on them. [4] For Mordecai was great in the king’s palace, and as his power increased his fame spread throughout all the provinces. [5] The Jews put all their enemies to the sword and, with slaughter and destruction, they did what they wanted to those who hated them. [6] In Susa the capital the Jews killed five hundred people. [7] They killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, [8] Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, [9] Parmashta, Arisia, Aridai, and Vaizatha, [10] the ten sons of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Jews’ enemy; but they did not take any plunder.

[11] On that day the number of those who were slain in Susa was brought before the king, [12] and the king said to Queen Esther, “The Jews have slain five hundred people in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman. What then have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces! Now what is your petition? It will be granted to you. What is your request? It will be done.”

[13] “If it please the king,” Esther said, “let it be granted to the Jews who are in Susa to do tomorrow also according to this day’s decree. Let the bodies of Haman’s ten sons be hanged on the gallows.” [14] And the king commanded it to be done. A decree was given out in Susa and they hung the bodies of Haman’s ten sons on the gallows. [15] The Jews who were in Susa gathered themselves together again on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar. They killed three hundred people in Susa. But they did not take any plunder. [16] And the other Jews who were in the king’s provinces gathered themselves together and fought for their lives and overcame their enemies. They killed seventy-five thousand who hated them. But they did not take any plunder. [17] This was on the thirteenth day of Adar.

 

On the fourteenth day of the month Adar the Jews rested and made it a day of feasting and rejoicing. [18] (But the Jews in Susa gathered on both the thirteenth and fourteenth day – and rested on the fifteenth day of the same month and made it a day of feasting and rejoicing.)

[19] This is why the Jews who live in the country villages keep the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a day of rejoicing and feasting and a holiday, and a day in which they send gifts of food to each other.

The Establishment of Purim

[20] Mordecai had these things recorded. He sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of the King Ahasuerus, both near and far. [21] He told them to keep the fourteenth day of the month of Adar and also the fifteenth day every year, [22] as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, and the month which was turned from sorrow to gladness and from mourning into a feast day. They should make them days of feasting and gladness and of sending gifts of food to each other and of gifts to the poor.

[23] So what the Jews had begun to do they adopted as a custom, just as Mordecai had written to them. [24] For Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had plotted to destroy them. He had cast ‘Pur’, that is the lot, intending to consume them and to destroy them. [25] But when the matter came before the king, he gave written orders that his wicked plot, which he had planned against the Jews, should come upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows. [26] This is why these days are called Purim, after the word Pur. Therefore because of all the words of this letter, as well as all they had seen, and all they had experienced, [27] the Jews established and made it a custom for them, for their descendants, and for all who should join them, so that it might not be repealed, that they should continue to observe these two days as feasts each year, [28] and that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city. And these days of Purim should not pass away from among the Jews nor the remembrance of them disappear among their descendants.

[29] Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, gave Mordecai the Jew all authority in writing to confirm this second letter of Purim. [30] He sent letters to all the Jews, to the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the kingdom of Ahasuerus, wishing them peace and security, [31] to confirm these days of Purim in their proper times, to be observed as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had directed and as the Jews had proscribed for themselves and their descendants, in the matter of the fastings and their cry of lamentation. [32] And the commands of Esther confirmed these matters of Purim; and it was written in the records.

 

[Esther 10]

[1] King Ahasuerus imposed a tribute on the land and the coasts. [2] All the acts of his power and of his might, and the full account of the greatness of Mordecai to which the king advanced him, are they not recorded in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? [3] For Mordecai the Jew was next in rank to King Ahasuerus, and great among the Jews, and loved by them all. He sought the good of his people and promoted the welfare of their descendants.

The

Psalms

[Psalms 1]

Book One

Psalm 1 – The Way of Happiness

[1] Happy are those

who do not follow the counsel of the wicked,

not halting in ways frequented by sinners,

nor taking a seat in a gathering of scoffers.

[2] But the law of the Lord is their joy,

they study it day and night.

[3] They are like trees

planted by runlets of water,

yielding fruit in due season,

leaves never fading.

In all that they do, they prosper.

 

[4] Not so fare the wicked, not so;

like chaff are they, blown by the wind.

[5] So the wicked will not stand firm in the judgment,

nor sinners appear, when the righteous are gathered.

[6] For the way of the righteous is dear to the Lord ,

but the way of the wicked will end in ruin.

[Psalms 2]

Psalm 2 – The Lord’s Chosen King

[1] Why this turmoil of nations,

this futile plotting of peoples,

[2] with kings of the earth conspiring,

and rulers consulting together,

against the Lord and against his anointed,

[3] to snap their bonds

and fling their cords away?

 

[4] He whose throne is in heaven laughs,

the Lord mocks them.

[5] Then he speaks to them in his wrath,

and in his hot anger confounds them.

[6] “This my king is installed by me,

on Zion my holy mountain.”

 

[7] I will tell of the Lord ’s decree.

He said to me: “You are my son,

this day I became your father.

[8] Only ask, and I make you the heir of the nations,

and lord of the world to its utmost bounds.

[9] You will break them with sceptre of iron,

shatter them like pottery.”

 

[10] So now, you kings, be wise:

be warned, you rulers of earth.

[11] Serve the Lord in awe,

kiss his feet with trembling,

[12] lest, angry, he hurl you to ruin;

for soon will his fury blaze.

Happy all who take refuge in him.

[Psalms 3]

Psalm 3 – A Morning Prayer for Protection

A psalm of David, when he fled from his son Absalom.

[1] How many, Lord , are my foes!

Those who rise up against me are many.

[2] Many are those who say of me,

“There is no help for him in his God.” Selah

 

[3] But you, Lord , are shield about me,

my glory, who lifts up my head.

[4] When loudly I call to the Lord ,

from his holy hill he gives answer. Selah

 

[5] I laid down and slept:

now I wake, for the Lord sustains me.

[6] I fear not the myriads of people

who beset me on every side.

 

[7] Arise, Lord : save me, my God,

who strikes all my foes on the cheek,

and shatters the teeth of the wicked.

[8] Victory belongs to the Lord :

let your blessing descend on your people. Selah

[Psalms 4]

Psalm 4 – An Evening Prayer

For the leader, with stringed instruments. A psalm of David.

[1] Answer my cry,

God, my defender.

Often from straits you have brought me

to spacious places.

So now show me your favor

and hear my prayer.

 

[2] How long, you proud people,

will my honor be stained

by the slanders you love,

and the lies that you follow? Selah

[3] See! The Lord has shown me

his wonderful kindness:

the Lord hears,

when I call to him.

 

[4] Sin not in your anger:

but speak in your heart

on your bed, and be still. Selah

[5] Offer true sacrifice,

trust in the Lord .

 

[6] Many are longing

for fortune to smile.

Lift upon us

the light of your face.

[7] You have put in my heart, Lord ,

a deeper joy

than was theirs who had corn

and wine in abundance.

 

[8] So in peace I will

lie down and sleep;

for you, Lord , keep me

safe.

[Psalms 5]

Psalm 5 – A Prayer for Guidance

For the leader: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by the flute.

[1] Hear my words, Lord :

give heed to my whisper.

[2] Attend to my loud cry for help,

my king and my God.

[3] When I pray to you, Lord , in the morning,

hear my voice.

I make ready for you in the morning,

and look for a sign.

 

[4] For you are no God who takes pleasure in wickedness:

no one of evil can be your guest.

[5] No braggarts can stand in your presence,

you hate all workers of wrong.

[6] You destroy all speakers of lies,

people of blood and deceit you abhor.

[7] But I, through your kindness abundant,

may enter your house,

and towards the shrine of your temple

may reverently bow.

 

[8] Lead me, Lord , in your righteousness

because of my enemies.

Make your way level before me.

[9] For their mouth is a stranger to truth,

their heart is a pit of destruction.

Their throat is a wide open grave,

their tongue the smooth tongue of the hypocrite.

 

[10] Condemn them, God;

let their schemes bring them down to the ground.

For their numberless crimes thrust them down

for playing the rebel against you.

[11] But let all who take refuge in you

ring out their gladness forever.

Protect those who love your name,

so they may exult in you.

[12] For you give your blessing, Lord , to the godly,

and the shield of your favor protects them.

[Psalms 6]

Psalm 6 – A Cry for Help in Time of Trouble

For the leader; with instrumental music on the sheminith. A psalm of David.

[1] Rebuke me not, Lord , in your anger,

punish me not in your wrath.

[2] Lord , be gracious to me

in my weakness.

Heal me Lord ,

for racked is my body;

[3] all of me utterly racked.

Why do you wait so long, Lord ?

 

[4] Turn, Lord , rescue me;

save me, because of your love.

[5] For in death none can call you to mind;

in Sheol who can praise you?

 

[6] I am so weary of sighing.

All the night I make my bed swim,

and wet my couch with my tears.

[7] My eyes swollen with grief;

from weeping caused by my foes.

 

[8] Begone, workers of wrong,

for the Lord has heard my loud weeping,

[9] the Lord has heard my entreaty,

the Lord accepts my prayer.

[10] My foes will be stricken with terror,

brought to shame and dismay in a moment.

[Psalms 7]

Psalm 7 – A Prayer to the God of Justice

A Shiggaion of David, which he sang to the

Lord about Cush, the Benjamite.

[1] Lord my God, I take refuge in you.

Deliver me, save me from all who pursue me;

[2] or like lions they will tear me to pieces,

and rend me, past hope of rescue.

 

[3] Lord , my God, if my life has been such

if my hands have been stained with guilt,

[4] if friends I paid back with evil,

if I plundered my foes without cause,

[5] may the enemy chase and find me,

trample my life to the ground,

my honor leave in the dirt! Selah

 

[6] Arise, Lord , in anger,

against my foes rise in fury.

Awake for my help:

let justice be done.

[7] Gather the nations about you,

and sit on your lofty throne,

[8] as the Lord , the judge of the peoples.

Judge me, Lord , in my innocence

and according to my integrity.

 

[9] Put an end to the wrong of the wicked,

protect the righteous.

Searcher of hearts and minds,

righteous God.

[10] God is my shield:

he saves the upright in heart.

 

[11] God is a just judge,

constant in righteous anger.

[12] He will sharpen his sword without fail,

his bow is bent and ready,

[13] his deadly weapons are ready,

his arrows he makes of flame.

 

[14] The enemy who conceives evil;

pregnant with mischief,

giving birth to lies,

[15] a pit they have made and dug;

but into the hole that they made they will fall.

[16] On their own heads their mischief comes back;

on their own skulls their violence comes down.

[17] I will give thanks to the Lord for his justice,

and sing to the name of the Lord Most High.

[Psalms 8]

Psalm 8 – God’s Glory in Nature

For the leader: A psalm of David, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.

[1] Lord our God!

How glorious in all the earth is your name!

Your praise reaches as high as the heavens,

[2] from the mouths of children and infants.

 

You have built a fortress

against your enemies,

to silence the foe and the rebel.

 

[3] When I look at your heavens,

the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

which you have set there,

[4] what are mortals,

that you think of them,

humans,

that you visit them?

 

[5] Yet you made them little less than divine,

crowned them with glory and majesty,

[6] made them lord of the works of your hands,

put all things under their feet –

[7] sheep and oxen,

all of them;

and the wild beasts also:

[8] birds of the air,

and fish of the sea,

and all that crosses the paths of the ocean.

 

[9] Lord our God!

How glorious in all the earth is your name!

[Psalms 9]

Psalm 9 – A Song of Praise the Lord’s Justice

For the leader; ’almuth labben. A psalm of David.

[1] With all my heart I will praise the Lord ,

all your wonders I will rehearse.

[2] I will rejoice and exult in you,

singing praise to your name, Most High;

[3] because backward my foes were turned,

they stumbled and perished before you.

 

[4] My right and my claim you have upheld,

you did sit on the throne as a fair judge,

[5] rebuking the nations, destroying the wicked,

and blotting their name out forever and ever.

[6] The foe is vanished, ruined forever,

their cities destroyed, their memory perished.

 

[7] See! The Lord is seated forever

on the throne he established for judgment,

[8] ruling the world with justice,

and judging the nations with equity.

 

[9] So the Lord proves a haven to the oppressed,

a haven in times of trouble.

[10] Well may they trust you who know your name,

for those who seek you, you never abandon.

 

[11] Sing praise to the Lord , whose home is in Zion,

declare his deeds among the nations.

[12] As avenger of blood, he keeps them in mind,

he does not forget the cry of the wretched.

 

[13] Show me favor, Lord ,

see how my foes afflict me,

lift me up from the gates of death;

[14] so I may, in your help exulting,

tell forth your praise at the gates of Zion.

 

[15] The nations are sunk in the pit which they made,

in the net that they hid, their own foot is entangled.

[16] The Lord is revealed in the judgment he wrought,

the wicked are snared in their own handiwork. Selah

 

[17] Let the wicked depart to Sheol,

all the nations that live forgetful of God.

[18] For the needy will not be always forgotten,

nor the hope of the helpless be lost forever.

 

[19] Arise, Lord ; don’t let them triumph:

before your face let the nations be judged.

[20] Strike them with fear, Lord :

show the nations how frail they are. Selah

[Psalms 10]

Psalm 10 – A Prayer for Help

[1] Why do you stand, Lord , so far away,

hiding yourself in times of trouble?

[2] The wicked, in their pride, are pursuing the helpless:

let them be caught in the schemes they have plotted.

 

[3] For the wicked boasts of their wanton greed;

the robber despises the Lord , and curses him,

[4] in wicked pride, thinks:

God doesn’t care,

God doesn’t call to account.

 

[5] Never a season that they do not prosper;

your judgments are far above out of their sight:

they scoff at their foes.

 

[6] Each says in their heart,

“I will never be shaken;

I will live for all time

untouched by misfortune.”

[7] Their mouths are full of deceit and oppression:

under their tongues lurks mischief and wrong.

 

[8] Lying in secret in some village ambush,

and stealthily watching, they murder the innocent.

[9] Like a lion that lurks in a secret lair

they lurk intending to catch the defenceless;

to seize them, to drag them away in their net.

 

[10] Their victims are crushed,

sink down to the ground.

Under their claws

the hapless fall.

[11] The wicked say in their hearts

that God has forgotten,

has hidden his face,

will see nothing.

 

[12] Arise, Lord , lift up your hand,

do not forget the cry of the wretched.

[13] Why do the wicked treat God with contempt,

and say in their hearts, “God doesn’t care”?

 

[14] You have seen the trouble and sorrow;

you mark it all, and will take it in hand.

The hapless can count on you,

helper of orphans.

 

[15] Break the arm of the wicked and evil:

search out their sin, till no more be found.

[16] The Lord is king forever and ever:

the nations will vanish from his land.

 

[17] Lord , you have heard the desire of the humble,

inclining your ear, strengthening their hearts,

[18] rights you have won for the crushed and the orphan,

so no one on earth may strike terror again.

[Psalms 11]

Psalm 11 – Trust in the Lord

For the leader. Of David.

[1] In the Lord I take refuge.

How can you tell me

to flee like a bird to the mountains?

 

[2] “See! The wicked are bending the bow,

their arrow is set on the string,

to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart.

[3] In this tearing down of foundations

what good can a good person do?”

 

[4] The Lord in his holy temple,

the Lord in heaven, enthroned.

His eyes watch the world,

they see everyone.

[5] The Lord examines the righteous and wicked,

and the lover of violence he hates.

[6] On the wicked he rains coals of fire and brimstone,

and their drink will be scorching wind.

[7] For the Lord is just, and justice he loves;

so the upright will see his face.

[Psalms 12]

Psalm 12 – A Prayer for the Faithful in a False World

For the leader; on the sheminith. A psalm of David.

[1] Help, Lord , for the good are all gone,

faithful people have vanished.

[2] One lies to another, speaking empty lies,

with flattering lips and false hearts they speak.

 

[3] May the Lord cut off all the flattering lips,

and the tongue that utters arrogance,

[4] they declare, “Our tongue is our strength,

our allies our lips: who is lord over us?”

 

[5] “The poor are despoiled, and the needy are sighing;

so now I will act,” the Lord declares

“And place them in the safety they long for.”

 

[6] The words of the Lord are words that are pure,

silver smelted, seven times refined.

[7] You will keep us, Lord ,

and guard us from this generation forever,

[8] in a world where the wicked prowl,

and worthless people exalted.

[Psalms 13]

Psalm 13 – A Prayer for Help in Trouble

For the leader. A psalm of David.

[1] How long, Lord , will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

[2] How long must I nurse grief inside me,

and in my heart a daily sorrow?

How long are my foes to exult over me?

 

[3] Look at me, answer me, Lord my God.

Fill my eyes with your light,

lest I sleep in death,

[4] lest my enemies claim to have triumphed,

lest my foes rejoice at my downfall.

 

[5] But I trust in your kindness:

my heart will rejoice in your help.

[6] I will sing to the Lord who was good to me.

[Psalms 14]

Psalm 14 – The Folly of Denying God

For the leader. Of David.

[1] Fools say in their heart,

“There is no God.”

Vile, hateful their life is;

not one does good.

 

[2] From heaven the Lord looks out

on humans, to see

if any are wise,

and care for God.

 

[3] But all have turned bad,

the taint is on all;

not one does good,

no, not one.

 

[4] Have they learned their lesson,

those workers of evil?

Who ate up my people,

eating, devouring,

never calling to the Lord .

 

[5] Sore afraid will they be;

for God is among

those who are righteous,

[6] you may mock the plans of the poor,

but the Lord is their refuge.

 

[7] If only help from Zion

would come for Israel!

When the Lord brings his people

a change of fortune,

how glad will be Jacob,

and Israel how joyful!

[Psalms 15]

Psalm 15 – Standing Firm

A psalm of David.

[1] Lord , who can be guest in your tent?

Who may live on your holy mountain?

 

[2] The person whose walk is blameless,

whose conduct is right,

whose words are true and sincere;

[3] on whose tongue there sits no slander,

who will not harm a friend,

[4] nor cruelly insult a neighbor,

who regards with contempt those rejected by God;

but honors those who obey the Lord ,

who keeps an oath, whatever the cost,

[5] whose money is lent without interest,

and never takes a bribe to hurt the innocent.

 

The person who does these things will always stand firm.

[Psalms 16]

Psalm 16 – The Joy of Fellowship with God

A michtam of David.

[1] Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

[2] I said to the Lord , “You are my Lord ,

my happiness rests in you alone.

[3] Those who are holy in the land,

they, they alone, are the noble ones;

all my delight is in them.”

 

[4] Those who choose other gods

find endless sorrow.

In their offerings of blood I will have no part

nor take their name on my lips.

[5] The Lord is my share and my portion,

my fate is in your strong hands.

 

[6] The boundary lines of my life

mark out delightful country,

my heritage pleases me well.

[7] I praise the Lord for his counsel,

which so stirs my heart in the night.

[8] I keep the Lord always in mind:

with him at my hand, I can never be moved.

 

[9] So my heart is glad, there is joy inside me;

and in safety of body I live.

[10] For you will not give me up to Sheol

nor let any who love you see the pit.

[11] You will show me the path that leads to life,

to that fulness of joy which is in your presence,

and the pleasures dispensed by your hand evermore.

[Psalms 17]

Psalm 17 – A Prayer for Deliverance

A prayer of David.

[1] Listen, O Lord , to my innocence;

attend to my piercing cry.

Give heed to my prayer

out of lips unfeigned.

[2] Let my vindication come from you,

your eyes see the truth.

 

[3] When you test my heart when you visit at night,

and assay me like silver – you can find no evil.

I am determined that my mouth should not lie.

[4] I gave earnest heed to the words of your lips.

[5] My steps have held fast to the paths of your precepts

and in your tracks have my feet never stumbled.

 

[6] So I call you, O God, with assurance of answer;

bend down your ear to me, hear what I say.

[7] Show your marvelous love, you who save from enemies

those who take refuge at your right hand.

 

[8] Keep me as the apple of the eye,

hide me in the shelter of your wings.

[9] From wicked people who do me violence,

from deadly foes who crowd around me.

 

[10] They have closed their hearts to pity,

the words of their mouths are haughty.

[11] Now they dog us at every step,

keenly watching, to hurl us to the ground,

[12] like a lion, longing to tear,

like a young lion, lurking in secret.

 

[13] Arise, Lord , face them and fell them.

By your sword set me free from the wicked,

[14] by your hand, O Lord , from those –

whose portion of life is but of this world.

But let your treasured ones have food in plenty

may their children be full and their children satisfied.

 

[15] In my innocence I will see your face,

awake I am filled with a vision of you.

[Psalms 18]

Psalm 18 – A King’s Song of Gratitude

For the leader. Of David, the servant of the

Lord , who recited the words of this song to the Lord after the Lord had saved him from the power of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. He said:

[1] I love you, O Lord , my strength.

[2] The Lord is my rock, my fortress, deliverer,

my God, my rock, where I take refuge,

my shield, my defender, my tower.

[3] Worthy of praise is the Lord whom I call on,

he rescues me from all my foes.

 

[4] The waves of death broke about me,

fearful floods of chaos.

[5] Sheol threw cords around me,

snares of death came to meet me.

[6] In distress I cried to the Lord ,

and shouted for help to my God;

in his temple he heard my voice,

into his ears came my cry.

 

[7] Then the earth shook and quaked,

mountains trembled to their foundations,

and quaked because of his wrath.

[8] Smoke went up from his nostrils,

devouring fire from his mouth,

coals were kindled by it.

 

[9] Then he bent the sky and came down,

thick darkness was under his feet.

[10] He rode on a cherub and flew,

darting on wings of wind,

[11] with his screen of darkness about him,

in thick dark clouds of water.

 

[12] At the radiance before him there passed

hailstones and coals of fire.

[13] The Lord thundered from heaven,

the Most High uttered his voice.

[14] He shot his arrows and scattered them,

flashed lightnings, and routed them.

[15] The channels of the sea were revealed,

the world was laid bare to its base,

at your rebuke, O Lord ,

at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

 

[16] He stretched from on high, he seized me,

drew me up from the mighty waters,

[17] and saved me from those who hated me –

fierce foes, too mighty for me.

[18] In my day of distress they assailed me,

but the Lord proved my support.

[19] To a spacious place he brought me,

and, for love of me, he saved me.

 

[20] The Lord repays my innocence,

he rewards my cleanness of hands.

[21] For I kept the ways of the Lord ,

nor have wickedly strayed from my God.

[22] His commandments were all before me,

his statutes I put not away.

[23] And I was blameless before him,

guarding myself from sin.

[24] So the Lord repaid my innocence,

my cleanness of hands in his sight.

 

[25] With the loyal you are loyal,

and with the blameless blameless.

[26] With the pure you show yourself pure,

but shrewd with the devious.

[27] For the lowly people you save,

but haughty eyes you abase.

[28] You are my lamp, Lord ,

my God who enlightens my darkness.

[29] With you I can storm a rampart,

with my God I can leap a wall.

[30] As for God, his way is perfect;

the word of the Lord is pure.

He is shield to all who take refuge in him.

 

[31] For who is God but the Lord ?

And who is a rock but our God?

[32] The God who arms me with strength,

who cleared and smoothed my way.

[33] He made my feet like hinds’ feet,

and set me up on the heights.

[34] He taught my hands how to fight,

and my arms how to bend a bronze bow.

 

[35] The shield of your help you gave me,

your right hand supports me,

you stoop down to make me great.

[36] In your strength I took giant strides,

and my feet never slipped.

[37] So I chased the foe till I caught them,

and turned not, till I made an end of them.

[38] I smashed them, they could not rise,

they fell beneath my feet.

 

[39] You did arm me with strength for war,

you did bow my assailants beneath me.

[40] You made my foes turn their back to me,

and those who did hate me I finished.

[41] They cried for help, but none saved them;

to the Lord , but he answered them not.

[42] I beat them like dust of the market-place,

stamped them like mud of the streets.

 

[43] From the strife of the peoples you saved me,

you made me head of the nations,

peoples I knew not did serve me.

[44] On the instant they hear, they obey me,

foreigners come to me cringing.

[45] Foreigners lose courage,

and come out of their strongholds trembling.

 

[46] The Lord is alive! Blest be my rock!

Exalted be God, my protector!

[47] The God who gave me revenge,

and brought down nations beneath me,

[48] who saved me from angry foes,

and set me above my assailants,

safe from the violent.

 

[49] For this I will praise you among the nations,

making music, O Lord , to your name:

[50] for great triumphs he grants to his king,

and faithful love he shows his anointed,

to David and his seed evermore.

[Psalms 19]

Psalm 19 – The Glory of God in the Heavens

For the leader. A psalm of David.

[1] The heavens declare God’s glory,

the sky tells what his hands have done.

[2] Day tells it to day,

night reveals it to night,

[3] without speaking, without words;

without the sound of voices.

[4] But through all the world their voice carries

their words to the ends of the earth.

 

He has pitched a tent for the sun in the sky,

[5] it comes out like a bridegroom from his bridal chamber,

it joyfully runs its course like a hero.

[6] From one end of the heavens it rises,

and around it runs to the other,

and nothing hides from its heat.

In Praise of the Law

[7] The law of the Lord is perfect,

renewing life.

The decrees of the Lord are trusty,

making the simple wise.

 

[8] The behests of the Lord are right,

rejoicing the heart.

The command of the Lord is pure,

giving light to the eyes.

 

[9] The fear of the Lord is clean,

it endures forever.

The Lord ’s judgments are true

and right altogether.

 

[10] More precious are they than gold –

than fine gold in plenty,

and sweeter they are than honey,

that drops from the comb.

 

[11] By them is your servant warned;

who keeps them has rich reward.

[12] Who can know their flaws?

Absolve me from those I know not.

 

[13] Keep your servant from wilful sins –

from falling under their sway:

then blameless and clear will I be

from great offense.

 

[14] May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart

be pleasing to you, Lord ,

my rock and redeemer.

[Psalms 20]

Psalm 20 – A Prayer for Victory

For the leader. A psalm of David.

[1] The Lord answer you in the day of distress,

the name of the Jacob’s God protect you,

[2] sending you help from the temple,

out of Zion supporting you.

 

[3] All your meal-offerings may he remember,

your burnt-offerings look on with favor. Selah

[4] May he grant you your heart’s desire,

and bring all your plans to pass.

[5] We will shout then for joy at your victory,

and rejoice in the name of our God.

May the Lord grant your every request.

 

[6] Now I am sure that the Lord

will help his anointed.

From his temple in heaven he will answer

by his mighty triumphant right hand.

[7] Some in chariots are strong, some in horses;

but our strength is the Lord our God.

[8] They will totter and fall,

while we rise and stand firm.

 

[9] Give victory, Lord , to the king,

and answer us when we call.

[Psalms 21]

Psalm 21 – A Prayer after a Victory

For the leader. A psalm of David.

[1] The king rejoices, Lord , in your might,

how he exults because of your help!

[2] You have granted to him his heart’s desire,

you have not withheld his lips’ request. Selah

 

[3] You came to meet him with rich blessings,

you set on his head a golden crown.

[4] He asked you for life, you gave it –

many long days, forever and ever.

 

[5] Great is his glory because of your help,

honor and majesty you lay upon him.

[6] For you make him most blessed forever,

you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

 

[7] For the king puts always his trust in the Lord ;

the Most High, in his love, will preserve him unshaken.

[8] Your hand will reach all your foes,

your right hand, all who hate you.

[9] You will make them like a furnace of fire,

when you appear, Lord .

The Lord will swallow them up in his wrath.

The fire will devour them.

[10] You will sweep their offspring from the earth,

their children from humanity.

[11] When they scheme against you

and hatch evil plots – they will fail.

[12] For you aim your bow at their faces,

make them turn in flight.

 

[13] Be exalted, Lord , in your strength,

to your might we shall sing and make music.

[Psalms 22]

Psalm 22 – The Sufferer’s Triumph

For the leader; set to ‘Deer of the Dawn’. A psalm of David.

[1] My God, my God, why have you left me,

my rescue so far from the words of my roaring?

[2] I cry in the day, you do not answer,

I cry in the night but find no rest.

 

[3] You are the Holy One,

throned on the praises of Israel.

[4] In you our ancestors trusted,

they trusted and you delivered them.

[5] They cried to you, and found safety,

in you did they trust and were not put to shame.

 

[6] But I am a worm, not a person;

insulted by others, despised by the people.

[7] All who see me mock me,

with mouths wide open and wagging heads:

[8] “He relies on the Lord ; let him save him.

Let him rescue the one he holds dear!”

 

[9] But you drew me from the womb,

laid me safely on my mother’s breasts.

[10] On your care was I cast from my very birth,

you are my God from my mother’s womb.

[11] Be not far from me, for trouble is nigh,

and there is none to help.

 

[12] I am circled by many bulls,

beset by the mighty of Bashan,

[13] who face me with gaping jaws,

like ravening roaring lions.

[14] Poured out am I like water,

and all my bones are loosened.

My heart is become like wax,

melted within me.

 

[15] My palate is dry as a sherd,

my tongue sticks to my jaws;

in the dust of death you lay me.

[16] For dogs are round about me,

a band of knaves encircles me,

gnawing my hands and my feet.

[17] I can count my bones, every one.

As for them, they feast their eyes on me.

[18] They divide my garments among them,

and over my raiment cast lots.

 

[19] But you, O Lord , be not far,

O my strength, hasten to help me.

[20] Deliver my life from the sword

my life from the power of the dogs.

[21] Save me from the jaws of the lion,

from the horns of the wild oxen help me.

 

[22] I will tell of your fame to my kindred,

and in the assembly will praise you.

[23] Praise the Lord , you who fear him.

All Jacob’s seed, give him glory.

All Israel’s seed, stand in awe of him.

 

[24] For he has not despised nor abhorred

the sorrow of the sorrowful.

He hid not his face from me,

but he listened to my cry for help.

 

[25] Of you is my praise in the great congregation;

my vows I will pay before those who fear him.

[26] The afflicted will eat to their heart’s desire,

and those who seek after the Lord will praise him.

Lift up your hearts forever.

[27] All will call it to mind, to the ends of the earth,

and turn to the Lord ;

and all tribes of the nations will bow down before you.

[28] For the kingdom belongs to the Lord :

he is the Lord of the nations.

[29] To him will bow down all who sleep in the earth,

and before him bend all who go down to the dust,

and those who could not preserve their lives.

[30] My descendants will tell of the Lord

to the next generation;

[31] they will declare his righteousness

to people yet to be born:

He has done it.

[Psalms 23]

Psalm 23 – The Good Shepherd

A psalm of David.

[1] The Lord is my shepherd: I am never in need.

[2] He lays me down in green pastures.

He gently leads me to waters of rest,

[3] he refreshes my life.

He guides me along paths that are straight,

true to his name.

 

[4] And when my way lies through a valley of gloom,

I fear no evil, for you are with me.

Your rod and your staff comfort me.

 

[5] You spread a table for me

in face of my foes;

with oil you anoint my head,

and my cup runs over.

[6] Surely goodness and love will pursue me –

all the days of my life.

In the house of the Lord I will live

through the length of the days.

[Psalms 24]

Psalm 24 – The True Worshipper

Of David. A psalm.

[1] The earth is the Lord ’s and all that it holds,

the world and those who live in it.

[2] For he founded it on the seas,

and on the floods he sustains it.

 

[3] Who may ascend the hill of the Lord ?

Who may stand in his holy place?

[4] The clean of hands, the pure of heart,

who sets not their heart upon sinful things,

nor swears with intent to deceive:

[5] they win from the Lord a blessing:

God is their champion and savior.

[6] Such must be those who resort to him,

and seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

The Lords’s Triumphal Entry into the Sanctuary

[7] Lift high your heads, you gates –

Higher, you ancient doors;

welcome the glorious king.

[8] “Who is the glorious king?”

“The Lord strong and heroic,

the Lord heroic in battle.”

 

[9] Lift high your heads, you gates –

Higher, you ancient doors;

welcome the glorious king.

[10] “Who is the glorious king?”

“The Lord , the God of hosts,

he is the glorious king.” Selah

[Psalms 25]

Psalm 25 – A Prayer for Forgiveness and Protection

A psalm of David.

[1] To you, O Lord , I lift up my heart:

all the day I wait for you.

[2] In you I trust, put me not to shame;

let not my foes exult over me.

[3] None will be shamed who wait for you,

but shame will fall upon wanton traitors.

[4] Make me, O Lord , to know your ways:

teach me your paths.

[5] In your faithfulness guide me and teach me,

for you are my God and my savior.

[6] Remember your pity, O Lord , and your kindness,

for they have been ever of old.

[7] Do not remember the sins of my youth;

remember me in kindness,

because of your goodness, Lord .

[8] Good is the Lord and upright,

so he teaches sinners the way.

[9] The humble he guides in the right,

he teaches the humble his way.

[10] All his ways are loving and loyal

to those who observe his charges and covenant.

[11] Be true to your name Lord ,

forgive my many sins.

[12] Who then is the person who fears the Lord ?

He will teach them the way to choose.

[13] They will live in prosperity,

their children will inherit the land.

[14] The Lord gives guidance to those who fear him,

and with his covenant he makes them acquainted.

[15] My eyes are ever toward the Lord ,

for out of the net he brings my foot.

[16] Turn to me with your favor,

for I am lonely and crushed

[17] In my heart are strain and storm;

bring me out of my distresses.

[18] Look on my misery and trouble,

and pardon all my sins,

[19] look on my foes oh, so many!

And their cruel hatred towards me.

[20] Deliver me, keep me, and shame not

one who takes refuge in you.

[21] May integrity and innocence preserve me,

for I wait for you, O Lord .

 

[22] Redeem Israel, O God,

from all its distresses.

[Psalms 26]

Psalm 26 – Prayer of a Devout Worshipper

A psalm of David.

[1] Defend me, O Lord , for my walk has been blameless;

in the Lord have I trusted unswervingly:

[2] Examine me, Lord , and test me;

test my heart and my mind.

[3] For your love is before my eyes,

and your faithfulness governs my way.

 

[4] I never sat down with the worthless,

nor companied with dissemblers.

[5] I hate the assembly of knaves,

I would never sit down with the wicked;

[6] but, with hands washed in innocence,

I would march round your altar, O Lord ,

[7] singing loud songs of thanks,

and telling of all your wonders.

[8] O Lord , I love your house,

the place where your glory lives.

 

[9] Do not gather me up with sinners;

slay me not with people of blood,

[10] whose hands are stained with villainy,

and whose right hand is filled with bribes.

[11] But my walk is blameless!

O redeem me, be gracious to me.

[12] My foot stands on even ground,

in the choirs I will bless the Lord .

[Psalms 27]

Psalm 27 – If God is for Me

A psalm of David.

[1] The Lord is my light and my savior;

whom then should I fear?

The Lord protects my life;

whom then should I dread?

 

[2] When the wicked drew near to assail me

and eat up my flesh,

it was those who distressed and opposed me

who stumbled and fell.

 

[3] Though against me a host should encamp,

yet my heart would be fearless:

though battle should rise up against me,

still would I be trustful.

 

[4] One thing have I asked of the Lord ,

and that do I long for –

To live in the house of the Lord

all the days of my life,

to gaze on the grace of the Lord

and inquire in his temple.

 

[5] For he will hide me in his shelter

in the day of misfortune.

In his sheltering tent he hides me:

he lifts me up on a rock.

 

[6] And now that my head he has lifted

above my encircling foes,

I will march round the altar and sacrifice,

shouting with joy, in his tent,

making music and song to the Lord .

The Serenity of Faith

[7] Hear, O Lord , my loud cry,

and graciously answer me.

[8] My heart has said to you,

“Your face, O Lord , I seek.”

 

[9] Hide not your face from me,

reject not your servant in anger:

for you have been my help.

Abandon me not, nor forsake me,

O God of my help:

[10] for father and mother have left me;

but the Lord will take me up.

 

[11] Teach me your way, O Lord :

lead me in an even path,

because of my enemies.

[12] Give me not up, O Lord ,

unto the rage of my foes;

for against me have risen false witnesses,

breathing out cruelty.

 

[13] Firm is the faith I cherish,

that I, in the land of the living,

will yet see the goodness of God.

[14] Let your heart be courageous and strong,

and wait on the Lord .

[Psalms 28]

Psalm 28 – An Answered Prayer for Help

Of David.

[1] Unto you, O Lord , do I cry;

my rock, be not deaf to me:

lest, through holding your peace, I become

like those who go down to the pit.

[2] Hear my loud entreaty,

as I cry for help to you,

lifting my hands, O Lord ,

towards your holy chancel.

 

[3] Take me not off with the wicked,

nor with the workers of wrong,

whose speech to their neighbors is friendly,

while evil is in their heart.

[4] Give them as they have done,

as their wicked deeds deserve.

As their hands have wrought, so give to them:

requite to them their deserts.

[5] They are blind to all that the Lord does,

to all that his hands have wrought;

and so he will tear them down,

to build them up no more.

 

[6] Blest be the Lord , who has heard

my voice as I plead for mercy.

[7] The Lord is my strength and my shield;

my heart trusts in him.

I was helped: so my heart is exultant,

and in my song I will praise him.

 

[8] The Lord is the strength of his people,

the fortress who saves his anointed.

[9] O save your people,

and bless your inheritance.

Be their shepherd

and carry them forever.

[Psalms 29]

Psalm 29 – The Lord’s Glory in the Storm

A psalm of David.

[1] Ascribe to the Lord , you heavenly beings,

ascribe to the Lord glory and power

[2] Ascribe to the Lord the glory he manifests:

bow to the Lord in holy array.

 

[3] The Lord ’s voice peals on the waters.

The God of glory has thundered.

He peals o’er the mighty waters.

[4] The Lord ’s voice sounds with strength,

the Lord ’s voice sounds with majesty.

 

[5] The Lord ’s voice breaks the cedars,

he breaks the cedars of Lebanon,

[6] making Lebanon dance like a calf,

Sirion like a young wild ox.

 

[7] The Lord ’s voice hews out flames of fire.

[8] The Lord ’s voice rends the desert,

he rends the desert of Kadesh.

 

[9] The Lord ’s voice whirls the oaks,

and strips the forests bare;

and all in his temple say “Glory.”

 

[10] The Lord was king at the flood,

the Lord sits throned forever.

[11] The Lord gives strength to his people,

he blesses his people with peace.

[Psalms 30]

Psalm 30 – A Song of Thanksgiving for Deliverance

A psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the Temple.

[1] I will extol you, O Lord ,

because you have lifted me up,

and not suffered my foes to rejoice over me.

 

[2] I cried to you for help,

O Lord my God, and you healed me.

[3] You have brought me up, Lord , from Sheol,

from my way to the pit back to life you have called me.

 

[4] Sing praise to the Lord , faithful people;

give thanks to his holy name.

[5] For his anger lasts only a moment,

his favor endures for a lifetime.

Weeping may lodge for the night,

but the morning brings shouts of joy.

 

[6] When all went well, I imagined

that never should I be shaken.

[7] For by your favor, O Lord ,

you had set me on mountains strong:

but you hide your face,

and I was confounded.

 

[8] Then to you, Lord , I cried,

to the Lord I begged for mercy,

[9] “What profit is there in my blood,

if I go down to the pit?

Can you be praised by dust?

Can it tell of your faithfulness?

[10] Hear, Lord , and show me your favor,

Lord be a helper to me.”

 

[11] You have turned my mourning to dancing;

my sackcloth you have unloosed,

and clothed me with joy:

[12] that unceasingly I should sing your praise,

and give thanks to you, Lord my God, forever.

[Psalms 31]

Psalm 31 – A Prayer for Deliverance from Troubles

For the leader. A psalm of David.

[1] In you, O Lord , I take refuge;

let me never be put to shame.

Rescue me in your faithfulness;

[2] incline to me your ear.

Deliver me speedily.

Be to me a rock of defence,

a fortified house, to save me.

[3] For my rock and my fortress are you;

lead me and guide me so your name will be honored.

[4] Draw me out of the net they have hid for me,

for you yourself are my refuge.

[5] Into your hand I commend my spirit:

you ransom me, Lord , faithful God.

[6] I hate those devoted to worthless idols;

I trust in the Lord .

[7] I will rejoice and be glad in your love,

because you have looked on my misery,

and cared for me in my distress.

[8] You have not given me into the enemy’s hand,

you have set my feet in a spacious place.

 

[9] Be gracious to me, Lord , for I am distressed;

my eye is wasted away with sorrow.

[10] For my life is consumed with grief,

and my years with sighing.

My strength is broken with misery,

my bones waste away.

[11] The scorn of all my foes,

the butt of my neighbors am I,

a terror to my acquaintance.

At the sight of me in the street

people turn quickly away.

[12] I am clean forgotten like the dead,

am become like a ruined vessel.

[13] I hear the whispers of many –

terror on every side –

scheming together against me,

plotting to take my life.

 

[14] But my trust is in you, Lord .

“You are my God,” I say;

[15] my times are in your hand, save me

from the hand of the foes who pursue me.

[16] Make your face to shine on your servant,

save me in your love.

[17] Put me not, O Lord , to shame,

for I have called upon you.

Let the wicked be put to shame

silent in Sheol.

[18] Strike the false lips dumb,

that speak proudly against the righteous

with haughtiness and contempt.

 

[19] How great is the goodness

you have treasured for those who fear you,

and wrought for those who take refuge in you,

in plain sight of all!

[20] In your sheltering wings you hide them

from plottings of people,

you keep them safe in a bower

from the chiding of tongues.

 

[21] Blest be the Lord

for the wonderful love he has shown me

in time of distress.

[22] For I had said in panic,

“I am driven clean out of your sight.”

But you heard my plea,

when I cried to you for help.

 

[23] Love the Lord , all you faithful;

the Lord protects the loyal,

but repays the haughty in full.

[24] Let your hearts be courageous and strong,

all you who wait on the Lord .

[Psalms 32]

Psalm 32 – A Prayer of Confession and Joy

Of David. A maskil.

[1] Happy those whose transgression is pardoned,

whose sin is covered.

[2] Happy are those, free from falseness of spirit,

to whom the Lord reckons no debt of guilt.

 

[3] When I held my peace, my bones wore away

with my endless groaning;

[4] for day and night did your hand

lie heavy upon me.

The sap of my life was dried up

as with fierce summer-heat. Selah

 

[5] I began to acknowledge my sin,

not concealing my guilt;

and the moment I vowed to confess

to the Lord my transgression,

then you yourself did pardon

the guilt of my sin. Selah

 

[6] For this cause let all who are faithful

pray to you in the time of distress;

then, when the great waters rush,

they will not reach to him.

[7] For you are my shelter,

you protect me from trouble,

and surround me with deliverance. Selah

 

[8] “With my eye steadfastly upon you,

I will instruct and teach you

The way you should go.

[9] Do not be like the horse or the mule,

that have no understanding,

but need bridle and halter to curb them,

else they will not come near to you.”

 

[10] The godless have many sorrows,

but those who trust in the Lord

will be compassed about by his kindness.

[11] Be glad in the Lord , and rejoice, you righteous;

and ring out your joy, all you upright in heart.

[Psalms 33]

Psalm 33 – A Hymn of Thanksgiving

[1] Shout for joy in the Lord , you righteous:

praise for the upright is seemly.

[2] Give thanks to the Lord on the lyre,

play to him on a ten-stringed harp.

[3] Sing to him a new song,

play skilfully and shout merrily.

[4] For the Lord is straight in his promise;

and all that he does is in faithfulness.

[5] Justice and right he loves;

the earth is full of his kindness.

 

[6] By his word the heavens were made,

all their host by the breath of his mouth.

[7] He gathers the sea in a bottle,

the ocean he puts into store-houses.

[8] Let the whole world honor the Lord ,

let all who live on earth be in awe.

[9] For at his word it came into being,

at his command it stood forth.

 

[10] The Lord frustrates the designs of the nations,

what the peoples have purposed, he brings to nought,

[11] but the Lord ’s own design will stand forever,

and what his heart has purposed, through all generations.

[12] Happy the nation whose God is the Lord ,

the people he chose for himself as his own.

 

[13] The Lord looks down from heaven,

he sees all of humanity;

[14] from where he rules he gazes

on all who inhabit the earth.

[15] He fashions the hearts of them all,

and gives heed to all that they do.

 

[16] It is not by great armies that kings are victorious,

it is not by great strength that a warrior saves himself;

[17] false hope is the war-horse to usher in victory,

for all its great might it can provide no escape.

 

[18] See! The eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,

on those who hope in his kindness;

[19] to deliver their life from death,

and to keep them alive in famine.

 

[20] We wait for the Lord :

he is our help and our shield.

[21] For in him our heart is glad,

we trust in his holy name.

 

[22] Let your kindness, O Lord , be upon us,

as is our hope in you.

[Psalms 34]

Psalm 34 – The Lord is Mindful of His Own

Of David, when he feigned madness in the presence of Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left.

[1] I will bless the Lord at all times,

in my mouth will his praise be forever.

[2] In the Lord will my heart make her boast,

the humble will hear and be glad.

[3] O magnify the Lord with me

and let us extol his name together.

[4] I sought the Lord , and, in answer,

he saved me from all my terrors.

[5] Look to him and you will be radiant,

with faces unashamed.

[6] Here is one who was crushed,

but cried and was heard by the Lord ,

and brought safe out of every trouble.

[7] The Lord ’s angel encamps

about those who fear him, and rescues them.

[8] O taste and see that the Lord is good,

happy those who take refuge in him.

[9] Fear the Lord , all his people,

for they who fear him lack nothing.

[10] Even young lions may be poor and hungry,

but those who seek the Lord

will not lack any good thing.

 

[11] Come, children, listen to me.

I will teach you the fear of the Lord .

[12] Which of you is desirous of life,

loves many and happy days?

[13] Then guard your tongue from evil,

and your lips from speaking deceit.

[14] Depart from evil, and do good;

seek peace, and pursue it.

[15] The eyes of the Lord are towards the righteous,

his ears are towards their cry for help.

[16] The Lord sets his face against those who do evil,

to root their memory out of the earth.

[17] When righteous cry, they are heard by the Lord ,

and he saves them from all their distresses.

[18] The Lord is near to the broken-hearted,

he helps those whose spirit is crushed.

[19] Many misfortunes befall the righteous,

but the Lord delivers them out of them all.

[20] He guards all their bones,

none are broken.

[21] Misfortune will slay the ungodly;

those who hate the righteous are doomed.

[22] The Lord ransoms the life of his servants,

and none will be doomed who takes refuge in him.

[Psalms 35]

Psalm 35 – A Prayer for Deliverance from Malicious Foes

Of David.

[1] Contend, Lord , with those who contend with me,

do battle with those who do battle with me.

[2] Grasp shield and buckler,

and rise up as my help.

[3] Draw spear and battle-axe,

confront those who pursue me.

Assure me that you will help me.

[4] Dishonor and shame be on those

who are seeking my life!

Defeat and confusion on those

who are planning my hurt!

[5] As chaff before wind may they be,

with the Lord ’s angel pursuing them.

[6] Slippery and dark be their way,

with his angel thrusting them on.

[7] For they wantonly hid their net for me,

and dug a pit to destroy me.

 

[8] Upon them may ruin come unawares;

may the net which they hid catch themselves,

and into the pit may they fall.

[9] Then I will exult in the Lord ,

and be joyful because of his help;

[10] and all my being will say,

“Who, O Lord , is like you,

who save the helpless from those too strong for them,

the poor and the helpless from those who despoil them?”

 

[11] Violent witnesses rise,

and ask of me things that I know not.

[12] Evil for good they requite me,

leaving me inwardly comfortless.

 

[13] But when they were sick, I put on sackcloth,

and chastened myself with fasting.

I prayed with head bowed low,

[14] as if for my friend or my brother.

I went about bowed and in mourning,

as one who laments his mother.

 

[15] When I stumbled, they gleefully gathered,

strangers gathered around me,

and tore at me without ceasing,

[16] impiously mocking and mocking,

bearing their teeth at me.

 

[17] How long, Lord , will you look on?

Rescue me from their roaring,

my precious life from the lions.

[18] I will then give you thanks in the great congregation,

and praise you before many people.

[19] Suffer not those to rejoice over me

who are falsely my foes,

suffer not those who without cause abhor me

to wink with the eye.

 

[20] For it is not peace that they speak

of those who are quiet in the land;

but treacherous charges they plot.

[21] With wide open mouths they shout,

“Hurrah! Hurrah!

With our own eyes we saw it.”

 

[22] But you have seen, too, O Lord ,

keep not silence, O Lord ,

be not far from me.

[23] Bestir you, awake, for my right

my God, my Lord , for my cause.

 

[24] You are just, Lord : win for me justice,

let them not rejoice over me,

[25] inwardly saying, “Hurrah!

The desire of our hearts at last!

Now we have swallowed him up.”

[26] Shame and confusion together

on those who rejoice at my hurt!

Clothed with shame and dishonor

be those who are haughty to me!

 

[27] Let such as delight in my cause

ring out their gladness,

and say evermore,

“Great is the Lord whose delight

is the well-being of his servant.”

[28] Then my tongue will tell of your justice,

and all the day long of your praise.

[Psalms 36]

Psalm 36 – The Triumphant Power of God’s Love

For the leader. Of the servant of the

Lord , of David.

[1] Sin whispers within the heart of the wicked,

who have no dread of God before their eyes.

[2] It flatters them in their eyes

that their sin will not be found out.

 

[3] First, their speech becomes wicked and false,

they give up acting wisely and well.

[4] Then they plot deliberate wrong,

take their stand on the wicked way,

without the least shrinking from evil.

 

[5] Your love, O Lord , touches the heavens,

your faithfulness reaches the clouds.

[6] Your justice is like the great mountains,

your judgments are like the broad sea.

Lord , you save people and animals.

[7] How precious your love, O God!

All may seek shelter in the shadow of your wings.

[8] They feast on the fat of your house,

they drink of your brook of delights.

[9] For with you is the fountain of life,

in the light that is yours we see light.

 

[10] O continue your grace to the faithful,

your love to the upright in heart.

[11] Let no arrogant foot tread upon me,

no wicked hand drive me to exile.

 

[12] There the workers of wrong lie prostrate,

thrust down to rise up no more.

[Psalms 37]

Psalm 37 – Trust in the Lord and Do Good

Of David.

[1] Be not kindled to wrath at the wicked,

nor envious of those who work wrong;

[2] for, like grass, they will speedily wither,

and fade like the green of young grass.

 

[3] Trust in the Lord , and do good;

remain in the land, and deal faithfully:

[4] then the Lord will be your delight,

he will grant you your heart’s petitions.

 

[5] Commit your way to the Lord ;

trust in him, and he will act,

[6] making clear as the light your right,

and your just cause clear as the noon-day.

 

[7] In silence and patience wait on the Lord .

Be not kindled to anger at those who prosper.

At those who execute evil devices.

 

[8] Desist from anger, abandon wrath:

be not kindled to anger it leads but to evil:

[9] for evildoers will be cut off,

but the land will be theirs, who wait on the Lord .

 

[10] Yet but a little, and the wicked vanish:

look at their place: they are there no more.

[11] But the humble will have the land,

and the rapture of peace in abundance.

 

[12] The wicked plots against the righteous,

snarls like a wild animal;

[13] the Lord laughs,

for he sees that his day is coming.

 

[14] The wicked have drawn the sword, and bent the bow,

to fell the poor, to slay those who walk uprightly;

[15] but their sword will pierce their own heart,

and their bows will be broken in pieces.

 

[16] Better is the righteous person’s little

than the wealth of many wicked.

[17] For the arms of the wicked will be broken,

but the Lord upholds the righteous.

 

[18] The Lord watches over the days of the blameless,

their heritage will continue forever.

[19] They will not be shamed in the evil time,

in the days of famine they will be satisfied.

 

[20] Because the wicked will perish:

but the foes of the Lord , like a brand in the oven,

will vanish, like smoke they will vanish.

 

[21] The wicked must borrow and cannot pay back,

but the righteous is lavish and gives.

[22] For those blest by the Lord inherit the land,

while those whom he curses will be cut off.

 

[23] The Lord supports the steps

of those with whom he is pleased.

[24] Though they fall, they will not be cast headlong,

for the Lord holds their hands.

 

[25] Never, from youth to age,

have I seen the righteous forsaken,

or their children begging bread.

[26] They are ever lavishly lending,

and their children are fountains of blessing.

 

[27] Turn away from evil and do good

and you will live in the land forever.

[28] For the Lord loves justice,

he does not forsake his friends.

 

The unrighteous will be destroyed forever,

and the seed of the wicked will be cut off.

[29] But the land will belong to the righteous,

they will live upon it forever,

 

[30] The mouth of the righteous murmurs wisdom,

and words of justice are on their tongues.

[31] The law of their God is in their heart,

their steps are never unsteady.

 

[32] The wicked watches the righteous,

and seeks to put them to death.

[33] But the Lord leaves them not in their hand:

at their trial they will not be held guilty.

 

[34] Wait on the Lord , and observe his way:

he will lift you to honor the land will be yours,

you will feast your eyes on the doom of the wicked.

 

[35] I have seen the wicked exultant,

lifting themselves like a cedar of Lebanon.

[36] But the moment I passed, they vanished!

I sought for them, but they could not be found.

 

[37] Preserve your honor and practise uprightness,

for such a person fares well in the end.

[38] But transgressors will perish together.

Cut off are the wicked forever.

 

[39] The righteous are saved by the Lord ,

who in time of distress is their refuge:

[40] the Lord helps and rescue them,

from the wicked he rescues and saves them,

because they take refuge in him.

[Psalms 38]

Psalm 38 – A Confession and Prayer for Deliverance

A Psalm of David. A lament.

[1] Reprove me not, Lord , in your anger,

and chasten me not in your wrath;

[2] for your arrows have sunk into me,

and your hand lies heavy upon me.

 

[3] In my flesh is no soundness

because of your anger,

no health in my bones,

because of my sin.

[4] For that my guilt

is gone over my head:

it weighs like a burden

too heavy for me.

 

[5] My wounds stink and fester,

for my foolishness I am tormented.

[6] Bent and bowed am I utterly,

all the day going in mourning.

 

[7] My loins are filled with burning,

and in my flesh is no soundness.

[8] I am utterly crushed and numb;

I cry louder than lion roars.

 

[9] Lord , you know all that I long for,

my groans are not hidden from you.

[10] My heart is throbbing,

my strength has failed me.

The light of my eyes –

even it is gone from me.

 

[11] My dear ones and friends keep aloof,

and my neighbors stand afar off.

[12] They who aim at my life lay their snares,

they who seek my hurt speak of ruin,

nursing treachery all the day long.

 

[13] But I turn a deaf ear and hear not;

like the dumb I open not my mouth.

[14] I am like one without hearing,

with no arguments in my mouth.

 

[15] For my hope, O Lord , is in you.

You will answer, O Lord my God,

[16] when I utter the hope that those

who made scorn of my tottering feet

may not rejoice over me.

 

[17] For I am ready to fall,

my pain forsakes me never.

[18] I acknowledge my guilt,

I am anxious because of my sin:

 

[19] My wanton assailants are strong,

those who wrongfully hate me are many,

[20] who render me evil for good,

and oppose me, because I make good my goal.

 

[21] Do not forsake me, O Lord ;

my God, be not far from me.

[22] Hasten to help me,

O Lord my savior.

[Psalms 39]

Psalm 39 – The Pathos of Life

For the leader; for Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

[1] I vowed to watch my words,

and sin not with my tongue,

but to put on my mouth a muzzle,

while the wicked were in my presence.

[2] I was silent and dumb,

speechless:

but my pain was stirred up.

[3] My heart grew hot within me;

as I mused, the fire was kindled,

till at last the words came to my tongue.

 

[4] “Teach me, O Lord , my end,

and the sum of my days what it is.

Let me know how transient I am.

[5] See! My days you have made but a span,

and my life is as nothing before you.

It is but as a breath that everyone stands: Selah

[6] it is but in mere semblance we walk to and fro,

and all our noise is for nothing.

We heap up, and know not who will gather.”

 

[7] And now, what wait I for, Lord ?

My hope is in you.

[8] From all my transgressions deliver me;

make me not the scorn of the fool.

[9] I am dumb, never opening my mouth,

for this is your own doing.

[10] Remove your stroke from off me:

by the might of your hand I am spent.

[11] When you rebuke someone to punish their sins,

you consume, like a moth, what they treasures.

Everyone is only a breath. Selah

 

[12] Hear my prayer, O Lord ;

attend to my cry for help.

Hold not your peace at my tears.

For I am but a guest of yours,

a stranger visiting, like all my ancestors.

[13] Look away from me, let me smile again,

before I die and am gone.

[Psalms 40]

Psalm 40 – Thanksgiving and Petition

For the leader. A psalm of David.

[1] For the Lord I waited and waited,

till, inclining to me,

he heard my cry.

[2] From the horrible pit he drew me,

up out of the miry clay;

he set my feet on a rock,

and my steps he made firm.

[3] He put a new song in my mouth,

of praise to our God.

Many see it, and, filled with awe,

put their trust in the Lord .

 

[4] Happy the person who has put

in the Lord their trust,

not looking to false gods

or turning to idols.

[5] With us you have wrought in rich measure,

O Lord our God,

your marvels and purposes for us –

none may compare with you –

were I to declare or to tell them,

past counting are they.

 

[6] In offerings bloody or bloodless

you have no delight,

but with open ears you have made me.

Burnt-offering and offering for sin

are not what you ask.

[7] Then said I, “Here I am,

as the roll of the book has enjoined.

[8] My delight, O God, is to do your will,

and your law is within my heart.”

[9] Well, O Lord , you know

that, with lips unrestrained,

your righteousness I told

in the great congregation,

[10] not hiding it in my heart.

I have told of your steadfast help,

from the great congregation I hid not

your love and your faithfulness.

[11] So do not restrain, Lord ,

your pity from us.

Your love and your faithfulness – ever

may they be our shield.

 

[12] For evils that cannot be numbered

have compassed me round.

My transgressions have followed me up –

I can bear it no more.

They are more than the hairs of my head,

and my heart has forsaken me.

[13] O Lord , be pleased to deliver me,

haste to my help, O Lord .

[14] May those who are seeking my life

be ashamed and confounded together;

may those who delight in my hurt

be defeated and brought to dishonor.

[15] May those who hurrah over me

be dumbfounded because of their shame.

[16] But may all who seek after you

rejoice and be glad in you.

May all those eager for your aid,

say, “Great is the Lord ” evermore.

[17] I am weak and needy,

yet the Lord cares for me.

You are my help and deliverer;

don’t delay, my God.

[Psalms 41]

Psalm 41 – A Prayer for Healing and Vindication

For the leader; for Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

[1] Happy are those who consider the weak;

in the day of misfortune the Lord will deliver them.

[2] He will keep them safe, happy, and long in the land,

and not give them up to the rage of their foes.

[3] The Lord will sustain them on bed of languishing;

tending their sickness, as long as they lie.

 

[4] For this cause I say, “ Lord , show me your favor;

heal me, because I have sinned against you.”

[5] My enemies speak of me nothing but evil,

“When will he die, and his name pass away?”

[6] When one comes to see me, their words ring hollow;

their heart keeps gathering mischief the while;

and when they go out, they give it speech.

[7] In secret they whisper together against me,

all those who hate me plot evil against me.

[8] “Some fatal disease has fastened upon him;

and now that he lies, he will rise up no more.”

[9] My most trusted friend, on whom I relied,

who ate of my bread, has turned against me.

 

[10] But do you, Lord , graciously raise me up,

that I may pay them their due reward.

[11] By this will I know you delight in me:

if my foes may not shout over me in triumph.

[12] For my innocence you uphold me,

and set me forever before your face.

 

 

 

[13] Blessed be the Lord , the God of Israel,

from everlasting to everlasting,

Amen and Amen.

[Psalms 42]

Book Two

Psalm 42 – Yearning for God

For the leader. A maskil of the Korahites.

[1] Like the hart which longs

for brooks of water,

I long

for you, God.

 

[2] I thirst for God,

for my living God.

When shall I enter in,

and see the face of God?

[3] My tears have been my food

by day and by night;

for they say to me all the day long,

“Where is your God?”

 

[4] My heart floods with sorrow,

as I call to mind:

how I used to pass on with the throng,

at their head, to the house of God,

with glad shouts and giving of thanks,

in the throng who kept festival.

 

[5] Why am I downcast?

Why this moaning within me?

Hope in God;

for yet will I praise him,

my help, my God.

 

[6] I am sunk in my misery;

I will therefore call you to mind

from the land of Jordan and Hermon,

the mountain Mizar.

[7] Flood is calling to flood

at the noise of your cataracts;

all your waves and your breakers

have passed over me.

 

[8] In the day I cry to the Lord

to summon his kindness;

and the song that I sing in the night

is a prayer to the living God.

[9] I say to God my rock,

“Why have you forgotten me?

Why must I walk so sadly,

so hard pressed by the foe?”

[10] It pierces me to the heart

to hear the enemy’s taunts,

as all the day long they say to me,

“Where is your God?”

 

[11] Why am I downcast?

Why this moaning within me?

Hope in God;

for yet will I praise him,

my help, my God.

[Psalms 43]

Psalm 43 – Plea for Help

[1] Right me, defend my cause

against a pitiless people.

From the crafty and crooked,

O God, deliver me.

[2] For you are God my protector:

why have you cast me off?

Why must I walk so sadly,

so hard pressed by the foe?

[3] Send forth your light and your truth,

let them be my guides:

to your holy hill let them bring me,

to the place where you live.

[4] Then will I go to God’s altar,

to God my rejoicing;

and with joy on the lyre I will praise you,

O God, my God.

 

[5] Why am I downcast?

Why this moaning within me?

Hope in God;

for yet will I praise him,

my help, my God.

[Psalms 44]

Psalm 44 – A Lament in Defeat

For the leader. Of the Korahites. A maskil.

[1] O God, we have heard with our ears,

all our ancestors have told us

of the work that you wrought in their day,

your wonders in days of old,

[2] uprooting and crushing the nations,

then planting and settling them.

For it wasn’t their own sword that won them the land,

[3] it was not their own arm that brought them the victory.

Yours was the hand and the arm,

yours was the face that shone on them with favor.

[4] It was you, my king and my God,

that ordained the victories of Jacob.

 

[5] Through you we can thrust back our foes,

and by your name tread down our assailants:

[6] for not in my bow do I trust,

nor can my sword win me the victory.

[7] Our victory comes from you,

and confusion to those who hate us.

[8] In God we boast all the day long,

and your name will we praise forever. Selah

 

[9] Yet you have spurned and disgraced us,

in not going forth with our armies,

[10] and in making us flee from the foe,

so that those who hated us plundered us.

[11] You have let us be eaten like sheep,

you have scattered us over the world,

[12] sold your people for a pittance,

and getting no gain from their price.

[13] You have made us the butt of our neighbors,

the derision and scorn of all round us.

[14] O’er the world you have made us a byword,

the nations at us shake their heads.

[15] My disgrace is forever before me,

my face is covered with shame,

[16] at the words of blasphemer and scoffer,

at the sight of the foe and the vengeful.

 

[17] All this has come upon us,

yet we have not forgotten you

nor falsely dealt with your covenant.

[18] Our heart has not turned back,

nor our steps declined from your way,

[19] that you thus should have crushed us down,

and covered us over with gloom,

in the place where the jackals roam.

[20] Had we forgotten the name of our God,

or stretched out our hands to a god that was strange,

[21] would God not have searched this out?

For he knows the heart and its secrets.

[22] But in your cause it is we are killed all the day,

and counted as sheep for the slaughter.

 

[23] Rouse yourself, why do you sleep Lord?

Awake, cast us not off forever.

[24] Why do you hide your face,

forgetting our stress and our misery?

[25] For we have sunk down to the dust,

our bodies cling to the ground.

[26] Arise, come to our help:

for your love’s sake, ransom us.

[Psalms 45]

Psalm 45 – Song for the Marriage of a King

For the leader; on shoshannim. Of the Korahites. A maskil. A love song.

[1] My heart is astir with beautiful words:

I will sing a song, concerning the king,

with tongue like the pen of a ready writer.

 

[2] Your beauty is more than mortal,

grace is shed over your lips:

therefore God has blessed you forever.

[3] Warrior, strap your sword on your thigh.

What glory and splendor!

 

[4] Good fortune attend you, as forth you ride

in the cause of good faith, and as champion of justice.

May your arm instruct you in deeds of dread.

[5] Sharp are your arrows; nations fall under you:

pierced to the heart are the foes of the king.

 

[6] Your throne shall endure for ever and ever

your royal sceptre a sceptre of equity.

[7] Right you love and wrong you hate:

therefore the Lord your God anoints you

With oil of gladness above your fellows.

 

[8] With myrrh, aloes, and cassia your robes are all fragrant,

you are gladdened by music of ivory harps.

[9] King’s daughters stand ready with jewels for you,

at your right hand the queen in gold of Ophir.

 

[10] Listen, daughter, and see; and incline your ear:

forget your folk and your father’s house.

[11] And when the king desires your beauty,

bow to him, for he is your lord.

[12] So shall the Tyrians come with gifts,

and the richest of people will do you homage.

 

[13] The king’s daughter is glorious altogether,

with dress of pearls inwrought with gold.

[14] In many-coloured robes she is led to the king,

with the virgin companions she brought in her train.

[15] The king’s palace they enter with joy and rejoicing.

 

[16] May sons of yours take the place of your fathers,

whom you will make princes in all the land.

[17] Your name will I celebrate world without end,

so that nations shall praise you for ever and ever.

[Psalms 46]

Psalm 46 – Our God is a Mighty Fortress

For the leader. Of the Korahites, on alamoth. A song.

[1] God is our refuge and strength,

a very present help in trouble.

[2] So we have no fear, though earth should change,

and the hills totter into the heart of the ocean.

[3] Let its waters roar and foam,

let the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.

On our side is the Lord of hosts,

our sure defence is the God of Jacob. Selah

 

[4] A river there is, whose streams make glad

God’s city, the home the Most High has hallowed.

[5] God is within her: she cannot be shaken.

God helps her at the turn of the morning.

[6] Nations roared, kingdoms tottered:

he uttered his voice, earth melted away.

[7] On our side is the Lord of hosts,

our sure defence is the God of Jacob.

 

[8] Come and see what the Lord has done,

working appallingly in the earth.

[9] He stills wars to the ends of the earth –

breaking the bow, snapping the spear,

burning the chariots in the fire.

[10] “Refrain; and know surely that I am God,

high over the nations, high over the world.”

[11] On our side is the Lord of Hosts,

our sure defence is the God of Jacob. Selah

[Psalms 47]

Psalm 47 – The Lord’s Universal Sovereignty

For the leader. Of the Korahites. A psalm.

[1] Clap your hands, all you peoples:

shout to God in ringing cries.

[2] For the Lord is most high and dread,

a great king over all the earth.

 

[3] He subdues the peoples under us,

the nations under our feet;

[4] he chooses our heritage for us,

the glory of Jacob whom he loves. Selah

 

[5] God is gone up with a shout,

the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.

[6] Sing praise to our God, sing praises:

sing praise to our king, sing praises.

 

[7] For king of all earth is he:

praise God in a skilful song.

[8] God is king over all the nations,

God sits on his holy throne.

 

[9] Princes of nations gather

with the people of Abraham’s God:

for the shields of the earth are God’s;

greatly exalted is he.

[Psalms 48]

Psalm 48 – The Marvelous Deliverance of Zion

A song. A psalm of the Korahites.

[1] Great is the Lord and worthy all praise

in the city of our God.

His holy mountain, [2] that rises so fair,

is the joy of all the world.

Like the mount of the gods is Mount Zion,

the city of the great king.

 

[3] Once God made himself known

as the defence of her palaces.

[4] For see! A concert of kings

passed over the frontier together.

[5] But one glance, and they were astounded;

they hastened away in dismay.

[6] Trembling took hold of them there,

like the pains of a woman in labor.

[7] They were shattered, as east wind shatters

the giant ships in pieces.

[8] What we heard, we now have seen

in the city of the Lord of hosts,

the city of our God.

God will uphold her forever. Selah

 

[9] We think, O God, of your love,

in the midst of your temple.

[10] Your fame, O God, like your name, shall extend

to the ends of the earth.

Victory fills your hand.

[11] Let mount Zion be glad;

let the daughters of Judah rejoice

because of your judgments.

[12] Walk about Zion, go round her;

count her towers.

[13] Set your mind on her ramparts,

consider her palaces;

that you tell to the next generation

[14] That such is God,

our God he it is who shall guide us

for ever and ever.

[Psalms 49]

Psalm 49 – The Problem of the Prosperity of the Wicked

For the leader. Of the Korahites. A psalm.

[1] Hear this, you peoples all;

give ear, all you who live in the world

[2] people of low degree and high,

the rich and the poor together.

[3] My mouth shall utter wisdom,

the thoughts of a seeing heart.

[4] I incline my ear to a proverb,

on the lyre I will open my riddle.

 

[5] Why should I be afraid in the days of misfortune,

when circled by wicked and cunning foes,

[6] who put their trust in their wealth,

and boast of their boundless riches?

 

[7] For assuredly no one can ransom themselves,

or give to God the price of their life,

[8] for the ransom of a life is costly,

no payment is ever enough,

[9] to keep them alive for ever and ever,

so as never to see the pit at all.

 

[10] But see it they will. Even wise people die,

the fool and the brutish perish alike,

and abandon their wealth to others.

[11] The grave is their everlasting home,

the place they shall live in for ever and ever,

though after their own names they called whole lands.

[12] Despite their wealth,

they perish like dumb animals.

 

[13] This is the fate of the confident fool,

and the end of those who are pleased with their portion. Selah

[14] Like sheep they descend to Sheol

with Death for their shepherd;

down they go straight to the grave,

and their form wastes away in their home below.

 

[15] But God will assuredly ransom my life

from the hand of Sheol;

for he will receive me. Selah

[16] So be not afraid when someone grows rich,

when the wealth of their house increases.

[17] Not a shred of it all can they take when they die,

wealth cannot follow them down.

[18] Though they count themselves happy, when they are alive,

and win praise from many for faring so well,

[19] they must join their ancestors,

who see the light nevermore.

[20] The wealthy are without understanding,

they perish like dumb animals.

[Psalms 50]

Psalm 50 – True Worship

A psalm of Asaph.

[1] The Lord God has spoken: He summons the earth

from sunrise to sunset.

[2] From Zion, perfection of beauty,

God’s glory shines forth.

[3] Our God comes, he cannot keep silence,

devouring fire is before him,

and furious tempest around him.

[4] He summons the heavens above

and the earth to judge his people.

[5] Gather to him his saints

by covenant-sacrifice bound to him;

[6] that the heavens may declare his justice,

for a God of justice is he. Selah

 

[7] “Hear, O my people, and I will speak,

and protest to you, O Israel:

I am the Lord , your God.

[8] Not for your sacrifices will I reprove you

your burnt-offerings are ever before me

[9] Not a bullock will I take from your house,

nor he-goats out of your folds;

[10] for all beasts of the forest are mine,

and the kine on a thousand hills.

[11] I know all the birds of the air,

all that moves on the fields is mine.

[12] Were I hungry, I would not tell you,

for the world and its fulness are mine.

[13] Am I such as to eat bulls’ flesh,

or drink the blood of goats?

[14] Offer to God a thank-offering,

pay the Most High your vows.

[15] Summon me in the day of distress,

I will rescue you, so will you honor me.”

 

[16] But to the wicked God says:

“What right have you to talk of my statutes,

or take my covenant into your mouth

[17] while you yourself hate correction,

and cast my words behind you?

[18] When you see a thief, you run with them;

with adulterers you keep company.

[19] You let your mouth loose for evil,

your tongue contrives deceit.

[20] You shamefully speak of your kin,

and slander your own mother’s son.

[21] And because I kept silence at this,

you did take me for one like yourself.

But I will convict you and show you plainly.

 

[22] “Now you who forget God, mark this,

lest I rend you, past hope of deliverance.

[23] Those who bring a thank-offering honor me;

but to those: who follows my way,

I will show the salvation of God.”

[Psalms 51]

Psalm 51 – God be Merciful to Me, the Sinner

For the leader. A psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet come to him after he had been with Bathsheba.

[1] In your kindness, O God, be gracious to me,

in your own great pity blot out my transgressions.

[2] Wash me clean of my guilt,

make me pure of my sin.

 

[3] For well I know my transgressions,

my sin is ever before me.

[4] Against you, only you, have I sinned,

and done that which is wrong in your sight:

you therefore are just when you speak,

and clear when you utter judgment.

[5] See! In guilt was I brought to the birth,

and in sin did my mother conceive me.

[6] It’s the innermost truth you desire,

give me therefore true wisdom of heart.

 

[7] Purge me clean with hyssop,

wash me whiter than snow.

[8] Fill me with joy and gladness,

let the bones you have broken rejoice.

[9] Hide your face from my sins,

and blot out my guilt altogether.

 

[10] Create me a clean heart, O God,

put a new steadfast spirit within me.

[11] Cast me not forth from your presence,

withdraw not your holy spirit.

[12] Give me back the joy of your help,

with a willing spirit sustain me.

 

[13] I will teach your ways to transgressors,

and sinners shall turn to you.

[14] Save me from blood, O God,

and my tongue shall ring out your faithfulness.

[15] Open my lips, O Lord ,

and my mouth shall declare your praise.

 

[16] For in sacrifice you have no pleasure,

in gifts of burnt-offering no delight.

[17] The sacrifice pleasing to God

is a spirit that is broken;

a heart that is crushed, O God,

you will not despise.

 

[18] Do good in your pleasure to Zion,

build the walls of Jerusalem.

[19] Then will you welcome the due forms of sacrifice,

then on your altars shall bullocks be offered.

[Psalms 52]

Psalm 52 – The Doom of Arrogance

For the leader. A maskil of David, when Doeg the Edomite came and told Saul that David had gone to Abimelech’s house.

[1] Why glory in mischief, you hero?

God’s kindness is all the day.

[2] Engulfing ruin you plot,

your tongue like a razor sharpened,

you practiser of deceit.

[3] Evil, not good, you love,

and falsehood, not words of truth. Selah

[4] But you love all words that devour,

and a tongue that is given to deceit.

 

[5] But God, on his part, shall destroy you forever,

grasp you and pluck you out of your tent,

and root you out of the land of the living. Selah

[6] Smitten with awe at the sight,

the righteous shall laugh at you.

[7] “Look” (they will say) “at the hero

who did not make God his stronghold,

but trusted in his great wealth

and in the strength of his riches.”

 

[8] But I am like a fresh olive-tree

in the house of God.

I trust in the kindness of God

for ever and evermore.

[9] I will render you thanks for ever

for what you have done.

I will tell how good you are

in the presence of those who love you.

[Psalms 53]

Psalm 53 – The Folly of Denying God

For the leader. On mahalath. A maskil of David.

[1] Fools say in their heart,

“There is no God.”

Vile, hateful their life is;

not one does good.

 

[2] From heaven God looks out

on humans, to see

if any are wise,

and care for God.

 

[3] But all have turned bad,

the taint is on all;

not one does good,

no, not one.

 

[4] Have they learned their lesson,

those workers of evil?

Who ate up my people,

eating, devouring,

never calling to the Lord .

 

[5] Sore afraid will they be,

where no fear was;

when God scatters the bones

of the godless people.

They will be put to shame,

when God rejects them.

 

[6] If only help from Zion

would come for Israel!

When God brings his people

a change of fortune,

how glad will be Jacob,

and Israel how joyful!

[Psalms 54]

Psalm 54 – A Prayer for Deliverance from Oppression

For the leader. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David, when the Ziphites came and said to Saul, ‘David is in hiding among us’.

[1] Save me, O God, by your name,

by your power secure for me justice.

[2] Listen, O God, to my prayer,

give ear to the words of my mouth.

[3] For proud men have risen against me,

and terrible men seek my life,

men who do not set God before them. Selah

 

[4] But see! God is my helper,

the Lord is sustaining my life.

[5] Let their evil fall back on my foes:

cut them off in your faithfulness, Lord .

 

[6] Then will I bring you glad sacrifice,

praising your gracious name;

[7] for from all distress you have saved me,

and feasted my eyes on my foes.

[Psalms 55]

Psalm 55 – Betrayed by a Friend

For the leader. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David.

[1] Listen, God, to my prayer.

Don’t hide yourself from my pleading.

[2] Hear me, and answer;

for bitter is my lament.

[3] I am wild with the noise of the foe,

with the clamor of the ungodly;

for they hurl disaster upon me,

and attack me with fury.

[4] My heart shudders within me,

terrors of deaths press on me,

[5] fear and trembling attack me,

and horror wraps me round.

[6] O for the wings of a dove:

I would fly away and rest.

[7] I would wander far away,

find refuge in the wilderness. Selah

[8] I would find myself a shelter

from raging wind and tempest.

 

[9] Confuse them, Lord , upset their plans;

for I see violence and strife in the city.

[10] By day and by night they make their rounds

on the city walls,

while within is crime and trouble,

[11] within is ruin.

Her market-place is never free

of deceit and tyranny.

The Treacherous Friend

[12] The taunts were not those of a foe

that I could have borne;

the disdain was not that of an enemy

I could have shunned them:

[13] but it was you, my equal,

my dear and familiar friend.

[14] We used to be so close,

together we walked in God’s house with the crowd.

[15] May death suddenly take them,

may they go down to Sheol alive,

for evil lives in their homes and their hearts.

 

[16] But I will call on God,

the Lord will save me.

[17] Evening and morning and noon

I lament and moan.

He will hear my voice;

[18] though I am attacked by many

he will rescue me,

unharmed from the war.

[19] God, who sits on his ancient throne

will hear and will humble them,

for they never change,

they never fear God. Selah

 

[20] My friend turned against me,

betrayed his word.

[21] His mouth was smoother than butter,

but war filled his heart.

His words were softer than oil,

but sharper than swords.

[22] Cast your burden on the Lord ,

and he will sustain you.

He will never let the righteous

be shaken.

[23] But you, God, will hurl them down

to the deepest pit.

Bloody and treacherous people

will not live out half their days;

but I will trust you.

[Psalms 56]

Psalm 56 – A Prayer of Trust in God

For the leader. On jonath elem rehokim. Of David. A michtam, when the Philistines seized him in Gath.

[1] O God, be gracious to me,

for people trample upon me,

all the day righting and pressing me.

[2] All the day enemies trample me;

many there be

who contend with me bitterly.

[3] In the day of my terror

I trust in you.

[4] In God I maintain my cause,

in God I fearlessly trust.

What can flesh do to me?

 

[5] They torture me all the day,

they ceaselessly plan to hurt me,

[6] banded together in secret,

watching my every step,

as those who hope for my death.

[7] Pay them out for their sin, O God,

hurl down the strong in your anger.

[8] You yourself count my wanderings.

Put in your bottle my tears

are they not in your book?

[9] Then shall my foes be turned back

in the day that I call.

Of this I am sure,

because God is for me.

[10] In God I maintain my cause,

in the Lord I maintain my cause.

[11] In God I fearlessly trust,

what can people do to me?

 

[12] Your vows are upon me, O God,

I will render thank-offerings to you;

[13] because you have saved me from death,

my feet from stumbling,

to the end that I walk before God

in the light of the living.

[Psalms 57]

Psalm 57 – A Prayer for Protection from Persecution

For the leader. Al tashheth. A michtam of David, when he fled from Saul into a cave.

[1] Be gracious, O God, be gracious to me,

for in you I take shelter.

In your sheltering wings I take refuge,

till ruin be over past.

[2] I cry to the Most High God,

to the God who accomplishes for me.

[3] He will send me his succour from heaven,

he will thrust away those who would trample me. Selah

[4] In the midst of lions I lie,

who devour human prey.

Their teeth are spears and arrows,

and their tongue is a sharpened sword.

[5] Be exalted, God, o’er the heavens,

and your glory o’er all the earth.

 

[6] They set a net for my feet,

but in it was their own foot caught.

Before me they dug a pit,

but they fell into it themselves. Selah

 

[7] My heart is steadfast, O God,

my heart is steadfast.

I would sing, I would make music;

[8] awake, my soul.

Awake, harp and lyre;

I would wake the dawn.

[9] I would praise you among the peoples, O Lord ,

and make music among the nations to you;

[10] for great to heaven is your love,

and your faithfulness to the clouds.

[11] Be exalted, God, o’er the heavens,

and your glory o’er all the earth.

[Psalms 58]

Psalm 58 – A Prayer for Vengeance on Unjust Judges

For the leader. Al tashheth. Of David. A michtam.

[1] Do you speak what is right, you gods?

With equity judge you your people?

[2] In the land you practise iniquity – all of you;

violence do you dispense with your hands.

[3] The wicked go astray from the womb

liars take the wrong path from their birth.

[4] Venom have they like the venom of snakes,

they are like the deaf adder that stops her ears,

[5] and refuses to listen to the voice of the charmer,

or binder of spells, no matter how cunning.

 

[6] O God, break to pieces the teeth in their mouth,

tear out the great teeth of the young lions, Lord .

[7] May they melt away like running water!

Like tender grass, cut down may they be!

[8] Like the snail that dissolves on its crawling path,

like the birth untimely which sees not the sunlight.

[9] Faster than a thorn-fire heats your pots,

he will come with his tempest and sweep them away.

[10] The sight of such vengeance will gladden the righteous;

their feet they will wash in the blood of the wicked.

[11] People will say, “Yes, the just are rewarded:

yes, on the earth is a God who is Judge.”

[Psalms 59]

Psalm 59 – A Prayer for Safety

For the leader. Al tashheth. Of David. A michtam, when Saul sent men to watch his house in order to kill him.

[1] Save me, O God, from my enemies;

secure me from my assailants.

[2] Save me from those who do wrong,

save me from the bloodthirsty.

[3] For see! They lay ambush for me,

strong men are banded against me

not for sin or transgression of mine,

for no guilt of mine, O Lord ,

[4] they run and make ready. Awake!

Come forth to meet me, and see!

[5] You, O Lord of hosts,

God of Israel, awake!

And punish the proud, every one;

spare none of the traitors vile. Selah

 

[6] At evening they come,

and, howling like dogs,

make their round in the city.

[7] Look at their venomous mouths,

tongues like swords,

they think no one

hears them.

[8] But you, Lord , laugh at them,

you mock all the insolent.

[9] My strength, I will sing to you,

for God is my sure retreat.

[10] My God with his love will meet me,

and feast my eyes on my foes.

 

[11] Slay them not, lest my people forget,

let your hosts keep them roaming and wandering.

[12] In their sinful speech snare them, O Lord ;

and may they be trapped in their pride,

for the curses and lies that they utter.

[13] In your wrath make a clean end of them,

that people, to the ends of the earth,

may know that God rules in Jacob. Selah

 

[14] At evening they come,

and, howling like dogs,

make their round in the city.

[15] They roam about for a feast,

and snarl, if they get not their fill.

[16] But I will sing of your might;

I will ring out your love in the morning.

For to me you have been a sure refuge,

a retreat in the day of my trouble.

[17] My strength, I will sing praise to you,

for God is my sure retreat,

my faithful God.

[Psalms 60]

Psalm 60 – A Prayer after Defeat in Battle

For the leader. On shushan eduth. A michtam of David (for teaching), when he fought with Aram-naharaim and Aram-zobah, and Joab returned and defeated twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.

[1] O God, you have spurned and broken us,

routing us in your wrath – restore us!

[2] You have shaken the land and cleft it;

heal its tottering breaches.

[3] You have made your people drink hardship,

and given us wine of reeling.

 

[4] You have given those who fear you a banner,

a rallying-place from the bow, Selah

[5] for the rescue of your beloved.

Save by your right hand and answer us.

 

[6] God did solemnly swear:

“As victor will I divide Shechem,

and mete out the valley of Succoth.

[7] Mine is Gilead, mine is Manasseh,

Ephraim is the defence of my head,

Judah my sceptre of rule,

[8] Moab the pot that I wash in,

Edom – I cast my shoe over it,

I shout o’er Philistia in triumph.”

 

[9] O to be brought to the fortified city!

O to be led into Edom!

[10] Have you not spurned us, O God?

You do not march forth with our armies.

[11] Grant us help from the foe,

for human help is worthless.

[12] With God we shall yet do bravely:

he himself will tread down our foes.

[Psalms 61]

Psalm 61 – Our God is a Strong Tower

For the leader. On stringed instruments. Of David.

[1] Hear my cry, O God,

be attentive to my prayer.

[2] From the ends of the earth I call

unto you, when my heart is faint:

lead me to the rock

that is high above me.

[3] For you are a refuge to me,

a strong tower in face of the foe.

 

[4] O to be guest in your tent forever,

hiding beneath your sheltering wings! Selah

[5] For you, O God, do hear my vows,

and grant the desires of those who fear you.

[6] Add many days to the life of the king;

may his years endure throughout all generations.

[7] In the presence of God be he throned forever;

may kindness and faithfulness watch over him.

[8] And I will sing praise to your name forever,

paying my vows day after day.

[Psalms 62]

Psalm 62 – Quietness and Confidence

For the leader. On jeduthun. A psalm of David.

[1] I wait alone in silence for God;

From him comes my help.

[2] Yes, he is my rock, my help, my retreat,

I shall not be shaken too sorely.

[3] How long will you, all of you, batter a man,

as one might a leaning wall?

[4] From his height

they are planning to topple him.

They take pleasure in falsehood; they bless with their mouth,

but inwardly they curse. Selah

 

[5] I wait alone in silence for God;

for from him comes my hope.

[6] Yes, he is my rock, my help, my retreat,

I shall not be shaken too sorely.

[7] On God rests my honor and safety,

in God is my strong rock, my refuge.

[8] Trust in him, all you people assembled,

pour out your heart in his presence;

God is a refuge for us. Selah

 

[9] The lowly are nought but a breath,

the lofty are but an illusion:

in the balances up they go,

they are lighter than breath altogether.

[10] Trust not in gain of extortion,

set no vain hopes in robbery.

As for wealth, if it bears fruit,

set not your heart upon it.

 

[11] One thing God has uttered,

two things there are which I heard

that power belongs to God,

[12] and to you, too, O Lord , belongs kindness;

for you requite each person

according to what they have done.

[Psalms 63]

Psalm 63 – Athirst for God

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

[1] O God, my God, you, you do I seek:

my heart thirsts for you,

my body faints for you

in a parched and waterless land.

 

[2] As I in the temple have seen you,

beholding your power and your glory,

[3] for better than life is your kindness:

my lips shall utter your praise.

 

[4] So, while I live, I will bless you,

and lift up my hands in your name.

[5] As with marrow and fat am I feasted;

with joyful lips I will praise you.

 

[6] I call you to mind on my bed,

and muse on you in the night watches;

[7] for you have been my help,

I joyfully sing in the shadow of your wings.

[8] I cling close after you,

your right hand holds me up.

 

[9] But those who seek after my life

shall go down to the depths of the earth,

[10] given o’er to the power of the sword,

or as prey for jackals to devour.

 

[11] But the king shall rejoice in God:

all who own his allegiance will glory.

For the mouth of the false shall be stopped.

[Psalms 64]

Psalm 64 – A Prayer for Deliverance from Malicious Foes

For the leader. A psalm of David.

[1] Hear, O my God, the voice of my lament:

guard my life from the foe who affrights me.

[2] Hide me from villains who secretly plot,

from the blustering throng of the workers of evil,

[3] who have sharpened their tongue like a sword,

and aimed bitter words like arrows,

[4] which from ambush they launch at the blameless,

shooting swiftly and unafraid.

 

[5] They strengthen their wicked purpose,

they tell of the snares they have hidden,

they say to themselves, “Who can see?”

[6] They think out their crimes full cunningly

hidden deep in their crafty hearts.

 

[7] But God with his arrow will shoot them,

swiftly shall they be smitten.

[8] For their tongue he will bring them to ruin,

all will shudder with horror at the sight of them.

 

[9] Then every person, touched to awe,

as they ponder what God has wrought,

will tell the tale of his deeds.

[10] In the Lord shall the righteous rejoice,

in him shall they take refuge;

and all the true-hearted shall glory.

[Psalms 65]

Psalm 65 – Hymn for a Thanksgiving Festival

For the leader. A psalm of David. A song.

[1] It is seemly to praise you, O God, in Zion,

and to you shall the vow be performed in Jerusalem.

[2] O you who hear prayer,

unto you shall all flesh come.

[3] Our sins are too mighty for us,

our transgressions you only can cover them.

[4] Happy the person who you choose

to live beside you in your courts.

O may we be filled with the joys

of your house, of your holy temple.

 

[5] In dread deeds you loyally answer us,

O God of our salvation,

whom all ends of the earth put their trust in,

and islands far away.

[6] By your strength you establish the hills,

you are armed with might;

[7] you still the roaring of seas,

and the turmoil of nations,

[8] so that those who live at earth’s bounds

are awed at your signs:

the lands of the sunrise and sunset

you make to ring with joy.

 

[9] You visit and water the earth;

you greatly enrich her

with the river of God, which is full of water.

You prepare the corn thereof,

[10] watering her furrows,

settling her ridges;

you make her soft with showers,

and bless what grows thereon.

[11] You crown the year with your goodness,

your chariot-tracks drip with fatness.

[12] The desert pastures are lush,

the hills greened with joy.

[13] The meadows are clothed with flocks,

the valleys are covered with corn;

they shout to each other and sing.

[Psalms 66]

Psalm 66 – Thanksgiving for National Deliverance

For the leader. A song. A psalm.

[1] Shout to God, all the earth,

[2] sing praise to his glorious name,

sing his glorious praise.

[3] Say to God, “How dread are your works,

so great is your might that your enemies cringe to you.

[4] All the earth does homage to you,

singing praises to you,

singing praise to your name.” Selah

 

[5] Come and see what God has done,

awe-inspiring is he in his works among people.

[6] He turns the sea into dry land,

and people cross the river on foot.

Let us therefore rejoice in him,

[7] the mighty Ruler eternal,

whose eyes keep watch on the nations,

that no rebel lift up his head. Selah

 

[8] O bless our God, you peoples;

sound aloud his praise,

[9] who keeps us in life,

and keeps our feet from slipping.

[10] For you, God, have tested us,

have tried us, as silver is tried.

[11] You did bring us into prison,

and put chains upon us,

[12] you did let people ride over our head.

We went through fire and through water,

but you led us out to a spacious place.

 

[13] I will enter your house with burnt-offerings,

I will pay to you my vows,

[14] which my open lips have uttered,

arid my mouth has declared in my straits.

[15] I will offer you offerings of fatlings,

with the odour of burning rams,

I will sacrifice bullocks with goats. Selah

 

[16] Come and hear my story

all who fear God –

of what he has done for me.

[17] For my mouth had no sooner invoked him

than his praise was under my tongue.

[18] Had I cherished sin in my heart,

the Lord would never have listened.

[19] But assuredly God has listened,

and attended to my loud prayer.

 

[20] Blessed be God, who turned not aside

my prayer, nor withdrew his kindness from me.

[Psalms 67]

Psalm 67 – A Harvest Thanksgiving

For the leader. On stringed instruments. A psalm. A song.

[1] Bless us, O God, with your favor,

let the light of your face fall upon us; Selah

[2] that the world may know your way,

and all nations your power to save.

 

[3] Let the peoples praise you, O God;

let the peoples all of them praise you.

[4] Let the nations ring out their joy;

for you govern the peoples with equity,

and guide the nations on earth. Selah

[5] Let the peoples praise you, O God,

let the peoples, all of them, praise you.

 

[6] The earth has yielded her increase

by the blessing of God, our God.

[7] May this blessing of ours win people to him

to all the ends of the earth.

[Psalms 68]

Psalm 68 – Victory

For the leader. Of David. A psalm. A song.

[1] God arises, his enemies scatter:

they who hate him flee before him.

[2] As smoke before wind is driven,

as wax melts before fire,

so before God vanish the wicked.

[3] But the righteous rejoice in God’s presence,

they exult with exceeding joy.

 

[4] Sing to God, make music to his name,

his name is the Lord , praise him who rides on the clouds,

and exult in his presence.

[5] Father of orphans, defender of widows,

is God in his holy abode.

[6] God brings home the lonely,

he leads forth the prisoner to comfort,

so that none but the rebel lives cheerless.

 

[7] God, when you went in front of your people

in your march through the desert, Selah

[8] earth shook, the heavens poured rain

at the presence of God, Sinai’s God

at the presence of God, Israel’s God.

[9] Rain in abundance, God, you did sprinkle,

restoring the languishing land of your heritage.

[10] A dwelling therein your people found:

in your goodness, O God, you did care for the poor.

 

[11] The Lord spoke the glad tidings of victory,

a great army of women proclaim it:

[12] “Kings of armies they flee, they flee,

and the housewife divides the spoil:

[13] dove’s wings covered with silver

and pinions with shimmer of gold,

[14] set with stones, like snow upon Zalmon.”

 

[15] A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan,

a mountain of peaks is the mountain of Bashan.

[16] You high-peaked mountains, why look you askance

at the mountain which God has desired for his home

whereon the Lord will live forever?

[17] The chariots of God are twice ten thousand:

the Lord came from Sinai, his holy place.

[18] You did mount the height with trains of your captives,

and gifts that you had received from the people.

The rebels shall live with the Lord God.

 

[19] Blest be the Lord who sustains us daily,

the God who is also our savior. Selah

[20] Our God is a God who is savior.

The ways of escape from death

are known to the Lord God.

[21] Yes, God will shatter the head of his foes

the rough scalp of those who strut on in their sins.

[22] The Lord said: “I will bring you home from Bashan,

home from the depths of the sea,

[23] that your feet you may bathe in blood,

and your dogs lick their share of the foe.”

 

[24] In the temple appear God’s triumphal processions,

processions in praise of my king and my God,

[25] with singers in front, and minstrels behind,

and maidens with timbrels between them, singing,

[26] “You of the well-spring of Israel,

bless the Lord God in the dance.”

[27] There, in front, is Benjamin the little,

the princes of Judah beside them,

the princes of Zebulon, princes of Naphtali.

 

[28] God, show your strength,

your godlike might,

as you did in the past,

[29] from your temple that crowns Jerusalem.

Kings shall bring tribute to you.

[30] Rebuke the beast of the reed,

the herd of bulls, with the calves of the peoples.

Trample down the lovers of lies.

Scatter the nations whose joy is in war.

[31] May they come from Egypt with gifts of oil,

Ethiopia haste with full hands to God.

 

[32] Sing to God, O you kingdoms of earth,

make melody to the Lord . Selah

[33] Praise him who rides on the ancient heavens.

See! He utters his voice, his mighty voice.

[34] Ascribe strength to the God over Israel,

whose strength and majesty live in the skies.

[35] Awe-inspiring is God in his holy place,

it is Israel’s God

who gives strength and might to his people.

Blessed be God.

[Psalms 69]

Psalm 69 – A Prayer for Deliverance and Vengeance

For the leader. On shoshannim. Of David.

[1] Save me, O God; for the waters

are threatening my life.

[2] I am sunk in depths of mire,

where ground there is none.

I am come into deep deep waters,

the flood overwhelms me.

[3] I am weary of crying, my throat is parched,

my eyes are wasted with waiting for God.

 

[4] More than the hairs of my head

are those who wantonly hate me.

More than my bones in number

are those who are falsely my foes.

That which I never robbed,

how am I then to restore?

[5] O God, you know my folly,

my guilt is not hidden from you.

[6] Through me let not any be shamed,

who wait for you, Lord God of hosts.

Through me let not those be confounded

who seek you, O God of Israel.

[7] It’s in your cause that I have borne taunts,

and my face has been covered with shame;

[8] I became to my kindred a foreigner,

to my mother’s sons a stranger.

 

[9] It was zeal for your house that consumed me,

and the insults they hurled at you fell upon me.

[10] When I chastened myself with fasting,

they took occasion to taunt me.

[11] When I put on a garment of sackcloth,

they made me the theme of a taunt-song.

[12] Those who sit in the gate make sport of me

in the music of drunken songs.

 

[13] But I pray to you, Lord ,

for a time of favor.

In your great love answer me;

with your loyal help, save me

[14] from sinking down in the mire.

Lift me out of the deep deep waters,

[15] that the rushing flood may not drown me,

that the deep may not swallow me up,

nor the pit close her mouth upon me.

[16] Answer me, Lord , in your gracious kindness,

turn to me in your great compassion.

[17] Hide not your face from your servant,

for I am in trouble; O answer me speedily.

[18] Draw near to me, redeem me;

because of my enemies, ransom me.

 

[19] You know how I am insulted;

in your sight are all my foes.

[20] Insult has broken my heart,

past cure are my shame and confusion.

For pity I looked – there was none!

And for comforters, but I found none.

[21] Poison they gave me for food,

and to slake my thirst they gave vinegar.

 

[22] May their table, outspread, be a trap to them,

and their peace-offerings be a snare.

[23] May their eyes be darkened and blind,

make them shake without ceasing.

[24] Pour your indignation upon them,

let your burning wrath overtake them.

[25] May their camp be a desolation,

in their tents be there none to live.

[26] For those whom you struck, they persecute,

and those whom you wounded, they pain yet more.

[27] Charge them with sin upon sin,

may they not be acquitted by you.

[28] From the book of life be they blotted,

may their names not be written with the righteous.

 

[29] Lift me, O God, by your help

above my pain and misery.

[30] Then will I praise God in song

and magnify him with thanksgiving,

[31] which shall please the Lord better than ox,

or than bullock with horns and hoofs.

[32] The oppressed shall rejoice at the sight.

You who seek after God, let your heart revive.

[33] For the Lord listens to the poor,

he does not despise his prisoners.

 

[34] Let the heavens and the earth sing his praises,

the seas, and all creatures that move in them.

[35] For God will bring help to Zion,

and build up the cities of Judah,

his people shall live there in possession.

[36] His servants’ children shall have it for heritage,

and those who love him shall live therein.

[Psalms 70]

Psalm 70 – A Cry for Help in Persecution

For the leader. Of David. For commemoration.

[1] Quickly, God, deliver me,

hasten to help me, Lord .

[2] May those who are seeking my life,

be ashamed and confounded.

[3] May those who delight in my hurt

be defeated and brought to dishonor.

[4] But may all who seek after you

rejoice and be glad in you.

May all who love your salvation

say, “Glory to God,” evermore.

[5] I am weak and needy:

make haste, God, to me.

You are my help and deliverer;

Lord , don’t delay.

[Psalms 71]

Psalm 71 – Forsake me not, when I am Old

[1] In you, O Lord , I take refuge,

let me never be put to shame.

[2] In your faithfulness save me and rescue me,

bend your ear to me and save me.

[3] Be to me a rock of defence,

a fortified house, to save me;

for my rock and my fortress are you.

 

[4] Save me, my God, from the hand of the wicked,

from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.

[5] For you, Lord , are my hope,

in whom from my youth I have trusted.

[6] On you have I leaned from my birth;

from my mother’s womb it was you who did draw me.

In you is my hope evermore.

 

[7] I have been as a wonder to many,

for you are my refuge and strength.

[8] All the day long my mouth

is filled with your praise and your glory.

[9] Cast me not off in the time of old age;

when my strength is spent, forsake me not.

[10] For my foes whisper against me,

they who watch me take counsel together;

[11] “God has left him,” they say: “pursue

and seize him, for he is helpless.”

 

[12] O God, be not far from me,

haste, O my God, to my help.

[13] Put my foes to shame and dishonor,

with insult and shame be they covered.

[14] But I will never stop hoping,

and more and yet more will I praise you.

[15] All the day long shall my mouth

tell your faithfulness and your salvation,

though I know not how they may be counted.

 

[16] I will tell of the might of the Lord ,

and your faithfulness praise, you alone.

[17] You have taught me, O God, from my youth,

and till now have I told of your wonders.

[18] Even in old age and grey hair,

O God, do not forsake me.

Still would I tell of your might

unto all generations to come.

 

[19] Your power and your justice, O God,

extend as far as the heavens:

for great are the things you have done.

Who is like you, O God?

[20] You have caused us to see troubles many,

but you will revive us again.

From the depths of the earth

you will bring me up again.

[21] You will multiply my greatness,

and comfort me again.

 

[22] So with harp I will praise you,

and your faithfulness, O my God;

and make music to you on the lyre,

O you Holy One of Israel.

[23] My lips shall ring out their joy,

my mouth shall sing praises to you;

all of me, which you have redeemed.

[24] Yes, all the day long shall my tongue

utter your righteousness;

for ashamed and confounded are they

who were seeking my hurt.

[Psalms 72]

Psalm 72 – A Prayer for a Just and Glorious Reign

Of Solomon.

[1] Give the king, O God, your own spirit of justice

your spirit of right to the son of the king,

[2] that with right he may judge your people,

and your downtrodden ones with justice.

 

[3] May the mountains bear weal for the people,

and the hills yield fruits of justice.

[4] The weak may he help to their rights,

may he save the sons of the needy

and crush the oppressor in pieces.

 

[5] May he live as long as the sun,

while the moon shines – for ages and ages.

[6] May he be like the rain on the meadow,

like showers that water the earth.

 

[7] In his days may justice flourish,

and welfare abound, till the moon be no more.

[8] May he reign from ocean to ocean,

from the river to the ends of the earth.

 

[9] May his foes bow down before him,

his enemies lick the dust.

[10] May tribute be rendered by kings

of the isles and of Tarshish;

may gifts be brought by the kings

of Sheba and Seba.

 

[11] May all kings fall prostrate before him,

and all nations yield him their service.

[12] For he saves the poor when he cries,

the helpless and the downtrodden.

 

[13] He pities the weak and the poor,

he saves the lives of the poor.

[14] He redeems them from wrong and from violence,

for dear is their blood in his sight.

 

[15] Long may he live;

and may gold of Sheba be given him;

prayer, too, be made for him ceaselessly,

all the day long may men bless him.

 

[16] May the land have abundance of corn,

to the tops of the hills may it wave.

May the fruit thereof flourish like Lebanon,

may men spring from the city like grass of the earth.

 

[17] May his name be blessed forever,

may his fame endure as the sun.

May all nations envy his blessedness,

all tribes of the earth call him happy.

 

 

 

[18] Blest be the Lord God, Israel’s God,

who alone does wonders;

[19] And blest be forever his glorious name.

Let all the earth be filled with his glory.

Amen and Amen.

 

[20] Here end the prayers of David, son of Jesse.

[Psalms 73]

Book Three

Psalm 73 – Fellowship with God Here and Hereafter

A psalm of Asaph.

[1] Yes, God is good to the upright,

the Lord to the pure in heart.

[2] But my feet were almost gone,

my steps had nearly slipped,

[3] through envy of godless braggarts,

when I saw how well they fared.

 

[4] For never a pang have they,

their body is sound and sleek.

[5] They have no trouble like mortals,

no share in human pain.

[6] So they wear their pride like a necklace,

they put on the garment of wrong,

[7] their eyes stand out with fatness,

their heart swells with riotous fancies.

[8] Their speech is mocking and evil,

condescending and crooked their speech.

[9] They have set their mouth in the heavens,

while their tongue struts about on the earth.

[10] Small wonder that people resort to them,

and drink deep draughts of their lore.

[11] “How does God know?” they say,

“And has the Most High any knowledge?”

[12] See! These are the godless,

with wealth and ease ever increasing.

 

[13] Yes, in vain have I kept my heart pure,

and washed my hands in innocence;

[14] for all the day long was I plagued

not a morning but I was chastised.

[15] But to resolve to speak like they do

would be treachery to your children.

 

[16] So I sought to understand it,

but a wearisome task it seemed:

[17] till I entered the holy world of God

and saw clearly their destiny.

 

[18] Yes, you set them on slippery places;

down to destruction you hurl them.

[19] One moment and then what a horror of ruin!

They are finished and ended in terrors.

[20] Like a dream, when one wakes, shall they be,

whose phantoms the waker despises.

 

[21] So my bitterness of mind

and the pain that stabbed my heart

[22] show how dull I was and stupid

just like a beast before you.

 

[23] But I am always with you,

you have hold of my right hand.

[24] By a plan of yours you guide me

and will afterward take me to glory.

 

[25] Whom have I in the heavens but you?

And on earth there is none I desire beside you.

[26] Though flesh and heart waste away,

yet God is the rock of my heart,

yet God is my portion forever.

 

[27] For see! Those who are far from you must perish,

you destroy all who are false to you.

[28] But I am happy when close to God;

the Lord my God I have made my refuge,

that I may recount all the things you have done.

[Psalms 74]

Psalm 74 – Lament on the Devastation of the Temple

A maskil of Asaph.

[1] Why, O God, have you spurned us forever?

Why smokes your wrath against the sheep of your pasture?

[2] Remember the community you purchased of old

to become by redemption the tribe of your heritage,

Zion, the mountain you made your home.

[3] Rouse yourself, visit its ruins complete.

In the temple the foe has made havoc of all things.

 

[4] Like lions your enemies roared through your house,

replacing our symbols by signs of their own,

[5] hacking, like woodsmen who lift

axes on thickets of trees,

[6] smashing with hatchets and hammers

all of its carved work together.

[7] They have set your temple on fire,

to the very ground they have outraged

the place where lives your name.

[8] They have said in their heart, “Let us utterly crush them.”

They have burned all the houses of God in the land.

 

[9] No symbol of ours do we see any more:

no prophet is there any more,

none is with us who knows how long.

[10] How long, O God, is the foe to insult?

Shall the enemy spurn your name forever?

[11] Why, O Lord , do you hold back your hand,

why keep your right hand in the folds of your robe?

 

[12] Yet God is our king from the ancient days,

in the midst of the earth working deeds of salvation.

[13] It was you who did cleave the sea by your might,

and shatter the heads of the ocean monsters.

[14] It was you who did crush many-headed Leviathan,

and give him as food to the beasts of the wilderness.

[15] It was you who did cleave the fountains and torrents;

it was you who did dry the perennial streams.

[16] Yours is the day; yours, too, is the night,

it was you who did establish the sun and the star.

[17] It was you who did fix all the borders of earth:

summer and winter it’s you who have made them.

 

[18] Yet, for all this, the foe has insulted you, Lord ,

and a nation of fools has reviled your name.

[19] Do not give your dove to the beasts,

do not forget your afflicted forever.

[20] Look to the sleek ones – how full they are:

the dark places of earth are the dwellings of violence.

[21] O let not the downtrodden turn back ashamed:

let the poor and the needy sing praise to your name.

 

[22] Arise, God, and defend your cause:

remember how fools all the day insult you.

[23] Do not forget the uproar of your enemies,

the din of your foes that ascends evermore.

[Psalms 75]

Psalm 75 – God the Judge

For the leader; al tashheth. A psalm of Asaph, a song.

[1] We praise you, God, we praise you:

we would call on your name and declare your wonders.

 

[2] “At the time I choose,

I will judge fairly.

[3] Though earth melt and all her inhabitants,

it is I who keep steady her pillars.” Selah

[4] I say to the boasters, “Boast not”;

to the wicked, “Lift not up your horn:

[5] lift not your horn on high,

speak not boldly against the Rock.”

 

[6] For not from east nor west,

not from desert nor mountains;

[7] but God himself is the judge,

humbling one and exalting another.

 

[8] In the hand of the Lord is a cup

foaming wine, richly spiced.

Out of this he pours a draught,

and all the wicked of earth

must drain it down to the dregs.

 

[9] But I will rejoice forever,

singing praise to the God of Jacob.

[10] I will hew all the horns of the wicked,

but the horns of the just shall be lifted.

[Psalms 76]

Psalm 76 – A Song of Victory

For the leader. With instrumental music. A psalm of Asaph, a song.

[1] God has made himself known in Judah,

his name is great in Israel.

[2] His tent is in Salem,

his dwelling in Zion.

 

[3] There he broke the lightning arrows,

shield, sword, and weapons of war. Selah

[4] Terrible is your splendor

on the everlasting mountains.

 

[5] Despoiled were the stout of heart;

in the sleep into which they had fallen,

none of the warriors

could lift a hand.

 

[6] At your rebuke, God of Jacob,

sank chariot and horse to sleep.

[7] Awful are you: who can stand

before you, when once you are angry?

 

[8] The judgment you gave from heaven

frightened the earth into silence,

[9] when God arose to judgment

to save the oppressed of the earth. Selah

 

[10] The fiercest will praise you,

to you will the remnant hold festival.

[11] Vow and pay to Lord your God,

and let all who are round him bring presents.

 

[12] He lops off the courage of princes,

and with terror fills kings of the earth.

[Psalms 77]

Psalm 77 – A Prayer for Preservation as in the Days of Old

For the leader. On Jeduthun. Of Asaph, a psalm.

[1] Loudly will I lift my cry to God,

loudly to God, so he hears to me.

[2] In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord ;

in the night I lift my hands in prayer,

refusing all comfort.

 

[3] When I think of God, I moan;

when I muse, my spirit is faint. Selah

[4] When you hold my eyes awake,

and I am restless and speechless,

[5] I think of the days of old,

call to mind distant years.

[6] I commune with my heart in the night,

I muse with inquiring spirit.

[7] “Will the Lord cast us off forever,

will he be gracious no more?

[8] Has his love vanished forever?

Is his faithfulness utterly gone?

[9] Has God forgotten to be gracious,

or in anger withheld his compassion?” Selah

 

[10] Then I said, “This it is that grieves me,

that the hand of the Most High has changed.”

[11] I will think of the deeds of the Lord ,

and remember your wonders of old.

[12] I will muse on all you have wrought,

and meditate on your deeds.

[13] Then your way, O God, was majestic:

what God was great as our God?

[14] You were a God who did marvels,

you did show your power to the world

[15] by your arm you rescued your people,

the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

 

[16] The waters saw you, O God.

The waters saw you and shivered;

to their depths they trembled.

[17] Clouds poured torrents of water,

thunder rolled in the sky,

your arrows sped to and fro.

[18] Loud was the roll of your thunder,

lightnings lit up the world.

Earth quaked and trembled.

[19] In your way, Lord , through the sea,

in your path through the mighty waters,

your footsteps were all unseen.

[20] You did guide your folk like a flock

by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

[Psalms 78]

Psalm 78 – The Warnings of History

A maskil of Asaph.

[1] My people, give ear to my teaching:

bend your ears to the words of my mouth,

[2] as I open my mouth in a poem

on the riddling story of the past.

 

[3] What we have heard and known,

and what our ancestors have told us,

[4] we will not hide from their children.

We will tell to the next generation

the praises and might of the Lord ,

and the wonders that he has done.

 

[5] He set up a testimony in Jacob,

a law he appointed in Israel,

which he commanded our ancestors

to make known to their children,

[6] that the next generation should know it,

that the children yet to be born

should arise and tell their children;

[7] that in God they might put their confidence,

and not forget God’s works;

but that they might keep his commandments,

[8] and not be like their ancestors,

a generation defiant and stubborn,

a generation with heart unsteady,

and spirit unfaithful towards God.

 

[9] Ephraimites, armed bowmen,

turned back in the day of battle.

[10] They did not keep God’s covenant,

they refused to walk in his law.

[11] They forgot what he had done,

and the wonders he had shown them.

 

[12] He did wonders before their ancestors

in the country of Zoan in Egypt.

[13] Through the sea which he split he brought them,

making waters stand up like a heap;

[14] he led them by day with a cloud,

all the night with a light of fire.

 

[15] From the rocks which he split in the wilderness,

he gave them to drink as of ocean’s abundance.

[16] He brought streams out of the rock,

and made water run down like rivers.

 

[17] Yet they still went on sinning against him,

they defied the Most High in the desert.

[18] They willfully challenged God,

demanding the food that they longed for.

[19] “Is God able,” such was their challenge,

“to spread in the desert a table?

[20] From the rock that he struck there gushed water,

and torrents that overflowed;

but can he also give bread,

or provide his people with meat?”

 

[21] When the Lord heard this, he was furious,

and fire was kindled on Jacob,

anger flared up against Israel.

 

[22] For they put no trust in God,

no confidence in his help.

[23] So he summoned the clouds above;

and, opening the doors of heaven,

[24] he rained manna upon them for food,

and grain of heaven he gave them.

[25] Everyone ate the bread of angels;

he sent them food to the full.

 

[26] He launched the east wind in the heavens,

and guided the south by his power.

[27] He rained meat upon them like dust,

winged bird like the sand of the sea.

[28] In the midst of their camp he dropped it,

all around their tents.

 

[29] They ate and were more than filled;

he had brought them the thing they desired.

[30] But the thing they desired became loathsome:

while their food was still in their mouths,

[31] the wrath of God rose against them.

He slew the stoutest among them,

and laid low the young men of Israel.

 

[32] Yet for all this they sinned yet more,

and refused to believe in his wonders.

[33] So he ended their days in a breath,

and their years in sudden dismay.

[34] When he slew them, then they sought after him,

they turned and sought God with diligence.

 

[35] They remembered that God was their rock,

and the Most High God their redeemer.

[36] But they flattered him with their mouth,

and lied to him with their tongue.

[37] Their heart was not steady with him,

they were faithless to his covenant.

 

[38] But he is full of pity:

he pardons sin and destroys not.

Often he turns his anger away,

without stirring his wrath at all.

[39] So he remembered that they were but flesh,

breath that passes and does not return.

 

[40] But how often they rebelled in the desert,

and caused him grief in the wilderness,

[41] tempting God again and again,

provoking the Holy One of Israel.

[42] They did not remember his strength,

nor the day he redeemed from the foe,

[43] how he set his signs in Egypt,

in the country of Zoan his wonders.

 

[44] He turned their canals into blood,

their streams undrinkable.

[45] He sent forth flies, which devoured them;

frogs, too, which destroyed them.

[46] Their crops he gave to the caterpillar,

and the fruits of their toil to the locust.

[47] He slew their vines with hail,

and their sycamore trees with frost.

[48] He delivered their cattle to the hail,

and their flocks to bolts of fire.

 

[49] He let loose his hot anger among them,

fury and wrath and distress,

a band of destroying angels.

[50] He cleared a path for his anger,

did not spare them from death,

but gave them over to pestilence.

 

[51] He struck down all the first-born in Egypt,

the first fruits of their strength in the tents of Ham.

[52] He led forth his people like sheep,

he was guide to his flock in the desert.

[53] Securely he led them, and free from fear,

while their foes were drowned in the sea.

 

[54] To his holy realm he brought them,

to the mountain his right hand had purchased.

[55] He drove out the nations before them,

and allotted their land for possession,

and their tents for Israel to live in.

 

[56] Yet they tempted and angered the Most High God,

they did not observe his decrees.

[57] They drew back, false like their ancestors;

they failed like a treacherous bow.

[58] Their shrines stirred him to anger,

their idols moved him to jealousy.

 

[59] When God heard of this, he was furious,

and he spurned Israel utterly.

[60] He abandoned his home in Shiloh,

the tent he had pitched among people.

[61] He gave his strength up to captivity,

his glory to the hands of the foe.

 

[62] He gave his people to the sword,

he was furious with his own.

[63] Fire devoured their young men,

and their maidens had no marriage-song.

[64] Their priests fell by the sword,

and their widows could not weep.

 

[65] Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,

like a warrior flushed with wine;

[66] and he beat back his foes,

putting them to perpetual scorn.

[67] He disowned the tent of Joseph,

he rejected the tribe of Ephraim;

[68] but he chose the tribe of Judah,

Mount Zion, which he loves.

[69] And he built like the heights his sanctuary,

like the earth which he founded forever.

 

[70] And he chose David his servant,

taking him from the sheepfolds.

[71] From the mother-ewes he brought him,

to be shepherd to Jacob his people,

and to Israel his inheritance.

[72] With upright heart did he shepherd them,

and with skilful hands did he guide them.

[Psalms 79]

Psalm 79 – A National Prayer for Deliverance

A psalm of Asaph.

[1] Heathen, O God, have come into your land,

defiling your holy temple,

and laying Jerusalem in ruins.

[2] They have given the bodies of your dead servants

to the birds of the air to devour,

and the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the field.

[3] Round about Jerusalem

they have poured out their blood like water;

and there was no one to bury them.

[4] On every side our neighbors

revile us and mock us and jeer at us.

 

[5] How long will you be angry, O Lord ?

Will your jealousy burn like fire forever?

[6] Pour out your wrath on the nations that don’t know you,

on the kingdoms that do not call on your name.

[7] For Jacob they devoured,

they have desolated his home.

[8] Do not remember against us our ancestors’ sins;

O meet us soon with your pity,

for utterly weak are we.

 

[9] Help us, O God our savior,

for the renown of your name:

for your reputation deliver us

and cover over our sins.

[10] Why should the nations say,

“Where is their God?”

Let revenge for the outpoured blood of your servants

be shown on the heathen before our eyes.

[11] May the groans of the prisoner come before you;

free the children of death by your mighty arm.

[12] Pay our neighbors back sevenfold

for the scorn they have heaped upon you, O Lord .

 

[13] Then we, your people, the flock of your pasture,

will give thanks to you for evermore,

and tell your praise to all generations.

[Psalms 80]

Psalm 80 – A Prayer for the Preservation of Israel

For the leader. On shoshannim, eduth. Of Asaph, a psalm.

[1] Listen, Shepherd of Israel,

who leads Joseph like a flock of sheep;

from your throne on the cherubs shine forth

[2] before Ephraim, Manasseh, and Benjamin.

Stir up your mighty power,

come to our help.

[3] God, restore us:

show us the light of your face,

so we may be saved.

 

[4] O Lord of hosts,

how long is your anger to smoke,

despite the prayer of your people?

[5] You have fed them with bread of tears,

you have made them drink tears by the measure.

[6] The scorn of our neighbors you make us,

the laughing-stock of our foes.

[7] God of hosts, restore us:

show us the light of your face,

so we may be saved.

 

[8] A vine out of Egypt you brought;

you did drive out the nations, and plant her;

[9] in the ground you did clear she struck root,

and she filled all the land.

[10] The shade of her covered the mountains,

her branches the cedars of God.

[11] She sent forth her shoots to the sea,

and her branches as far as the River.

[12] Why have you torn down her fences, and left her

to be plucked at by all who pass by,

[13] to be gnawed by the boar from the forest,

and devoured by the beasts of the field?

 

[14] O God of hosts, return:

look down from heaven and see

and visit this vine, and restore her

[15] the vine which your right hand has planted.

[16] She is burned with fire and cut down

before your stern face they are perishing.

[17] Support the one you have chosen,

the one you have raised for yourself;

[18] then from you we will never draw back.

Preserve us, and we will call on your name.

[19] Lord , God of hosts, restore us:

Show us the light of your face,

so we may be saved.

[Psalms 81]

Psalm 81 – For the Feast of Tabernacles

For the leader. On the gittith. Of Asaph.

[1] Sing aloud to God our strength,

shout for joy to the God of Jacob.

[2] Raise a song, sound the timbrel,

sweet lyre and harp.

[3] On the new moon blow the horn,

at the full moon, the day of our festival.

[4] For this is a statute for Israel,

a ruling of the God of Jacob,

[5] a witness he set up in Joseph,

when he marched against Egypt’s land,

where he heard an unknown voice say:

 

[6] “I removed from your shoulder the burden,

and freed your hands from the basket.

[7] At your call of distress I delivered you,

from the thundercloud I answered you.

At Meribah’s waters I tested you. Selah

 

[8] “Listen, my people, to my warning,

O Israel, if you would but listen!

[9] There must not be a strange god among you,

you must bow to no foreign god.

[10] I am the Lord your God

who brought you up out of Egypt.

Open your mouth, that I fill it.

 

[11] “But my people did not listen to my voice,

Israel would have none of me.

[12] So to their own hard hearts I left them,

to follow their own devices.

[13] O that my people would listen,

that Israel would walk in my ways.

[14] Soon would I humble their enemies,

and turn my hand on their foes.

[15] Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him

in everlasting terror.

[16] But you would I feed with the richest wheat,

and with honey from the rock to your heart’s desire.”

[Psalms 82]

Psalm 82 – God the Upholder of Justice

A psalm of Asaph.

[1] God has taken his stand

in the divine assembly:

in the midst of the gods he holds judgment.

[2] “How long will you crookedly judge,

and favor the wicked? Selah

[3] Do right by the weak and the orphan,

acquit the innocent poor.

[4] Rescue the weak and the needy,

save them from the hand of the wicked.

 

[5] “They have neither knowledge nor insight,

in darkness they walk to and fro,

while the earth’s foundations totter.

[6] It was I who appointed you gods,

children of the Most High all of you.

[7] Yet like mortals you will surely die,

you will fall like any prince.”

 

[8] Arise, O God, judge the earth,

for all nations are yours by inheritance.

[Psalms 83]

Psalm 83 – A Prayer for the Destruction of the Enemies of Judah

A song, a psalm of Asaph.

[1] Do not keep silent, O God:

hold not your peace, be not still, God.

[2] For see! Your enemies roar,

those who hate you lift up their heads,

[3] laying crafty plans for your people,

and plotting against those you treasure.

[4] “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation,

so Israel’s name will be mentioned no more.”

 

[5] For, conspiring with one accord,

they have made a league against you

[6] Tents of Edom, and Ishmaelites,

Moab, and the Hagrites.

[7] Gebal and Ammon and Amalek,

Philistia, with the people of Tyre;

[8] Syria, too, is confederate,

they have strengthened the children of Lot. Selah

 

[9] Deal with them as you dealt with Midian,

with Sisera, with Jabin, at the torrent of Kishon,

[10] who at Endor were destroyed,

and became dung for the field.

[11] Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb,

all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,

[12] who said, “Let us take for ourselves

the meadows of God.”

 

[13] Whirl them, my God, like dust,

like stubble before the wind.

[14] As the fire that kindles the forest,

as flame that sets mountains ablaze,

[15] so with your tempest pursue them,

terrify them with your hurricane.

[16] Make them blush with shame;

until they seek your name, O Lord .

[17] Everlasting shame and confusion,

disgrace and destruction be theirs.

[18] Teach those who you alone

are most high over all the earth.

[Psalms 84]

Psalm 84 – The Song of the Pilgrims

For the leader. On the gittith. Of the Korahites, a psalm.

[1] How dearly loved is the place where you live,

Lord of hosts!

[2] How I long and yearn

for the courts of the Lord .

Now heart and flesh cry for joy

to the living God.

 

[3] Even the sparrow has found her a home

and the swallow a nest,

to lay her young,

near your altar,

Lord of hosts,

my king and my God.

[4] Happy those who live in your house,

praising you evermore. Selah

 

[5] Happy those whose strength is in you,

people with pilgrim hearts.

[6] As they pass through the valley of tears,

they make it a place of fountains,

clothed with the blessings of early rain.

[7] From rampart to rampart on they march,

till at last God reveals himself in Zion.

 

[8] Lord , God of hosts, hear my prayer,

give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah

[9] Behold, O God, our defender,

and look upon your anointed,

[10] for better a single day in your courts

than a thousand in my own chambers:

better stand at the door of the house of my God

than live in the tents of ungodliness,

[11] for the Lord is sun and shield,

the Lord gives grace and glory.

He withholds no good thing from the life that is blameless.

[12] Lord of hosts,

happy those whose trust is in you.

[Psalms 85]

Psalm 85 – A Prayer for National Restoration

For the leader. Of the Korahites, a psalm.

[1] Once, Lord , you did favor your land,

granting change of fortune to Jacob,

[2] forgiving the guilt of your people,

pardoning all their sin, Selah

[3] withdrawing all your fury,

turning from your hot anger.

 

[4] Restore us, O God our savior,

put away your displeasure against us.

[5] Will you cherish your anger against us forever,

prolonging your wrath to all generations?

[6] Will you not revive us again,

that your people may be glad in you?

[7] Show us your kindness, O Lord ,

grant us your salvation.

 

[8] Let me hear what God the Lord will speak;

for he will speak of peace

to his people, to those who love him,

and turn their hearts to him.

[9] Soon those who fear him shall see how he saves,

and glory shall live in our land.

 

[10] Kindness and loyalty meet;

peace and righteousness kiss.

[11] Loyalty springs from the earth;

righteousness looks from the sky.

[12] The Lord shall give all that is good,

our land yielding its increase,

[13] righteousness marching before him,

and peace on the path he treads.

[Psalms 86]

Psalm 86 – A Prayer for Divine Guidance and Favor

A prayer of David.

[1] Incline your ear, Lord , and answer me,

for I am afflicted and needy.

[2] Guard me, for I am loyal:

save your servant, who trusts in you.

[3] Lord , be gracious to me, for you are my God;

I cry to you all the day.

[4] Gladden the heart of your servant;

for to you, Lord , I set my hope.

[5] For you, Lord , are good and forgiving,

rich in love towards all who call on you.

 

[6] Listen, O Lord , to my prayer;

attend to my plea for mercy.

[7] In the day of my trouble I call on you,

with assurance that you will answer me.

[8] None of the gods is like you, Lord ,

nor are any works like yours.

[9] All the nations you have made

will come and bow down before you,

giving glory, O Lord , to your name.

[10] For great are you, and a doer of wonders;

you alone are God.

 

[11] Teach me, O Lord , your way,

that I may walk in your truth:

so my heart shall rejoice in your name.

[12] I will give you thanks, O Lord ,

with all my heart, my God,

I will honor your name forever.

[13] For great is your love towards me,

from the depths of Sheol you have saved me.

 

[14] Haughty men have risen up against me, O God,

a band of the violent seeking my life,

who think nothing of you.

[15] But you are a God of pity and grace,

patient and rich in kindness and faithfulness;

turn to me with your grace, O Lord .

[16] Grant your strength to your servant,

and save the child of your handmaid.

[17] Show me a sign of your favor,

which those who hate me may see with confusion,

since you, Lord , are my helper and comforter.

[Psalms 87]

Psalm 87 – Zion, City of God

Of the Korahites, a psalm. A song.

[1] On the holy mountain stands

the city he founded.

[2] The Lord loves the gates of Zion

more than all the dwellings of Jacob.

[3] Glorious things he is speaking of you,

you city of God. Selah

 

[4] “Among those who are mine I name Rahab and Babylon,

Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia,

their people will say I was born in Zion.

[5] As for Zion it will be said

each and all were born in her.”

The Lord will preserve her.

 

[6] The Lord will count, when enrolling the peoples,

“This one was born there, and that one was born there.” Selah

[7] Singers and dancers alike will say

“All my springs are in you.”

[Psalms 88]

Psalm 88 – The Prayer of Despair

[1] O Lord my God,

I cry for help in the day-time,

in the night my cry is before you;

[2] let my prayer come into your presence,

incline your ear to my cry.

 

[3] For I am sated with sorrow,

my life draws near to Sheol.

[4] I am counted with those who go down to the pit;

without strength am I.

 

[5] My home is among the dead,

like the slain that lie in the grave,

whom you remember no more

cut off as they are from your hand.

 

[6] In the deepest pit you have put me,

in shadows deep and dark.

[7] Your wrath lies heavy upon me,

waves of your anger roll over me. Selah

 

[8] You have put my friends far from me,

you have made them shun me.

I am shut in, and cannot escape,

[9] my eyes are wasted with sorrow.

I call on you, Lord , every day,

spreading my hands out to you.

 

[10] For the dead can you work wonders?

Can the shades rise again to praise you? Selah

[11] Can your kindness be told in the grave,

your faithfulness in the tomb?

[12] Can your wonders be known in the darkness,

or your help in the land of forgetfulness?

 

[13] I cry for help to you,

in the morning my prayer comes before you.

[14] Why, O Lord , do you spurn me,

and hide your face from me?

[15] From my youth I am wretched and dying,

I am numbed by the terrors I bear.

 

[16] The fires of your wrath have passed over me,

your terrors destroy me,

[17] surging around me forever,

hemming me in altogether.

[18] Those who love me you put far from me;

the dark is my only friend.

[Psalms 89]

Psalm 89 – The Promise to David

A song. A psalm of the Korahites.

[1] I will sing evermore of the love of the Lord ,

proclaiming to all generations his faithfulness.

[2] For your love you did promise to build up forever,

your faithfulness firm as the heavens themselves.

 

[3] “I have made with my chosen a covenant,

and sworn to David my servant,

[4] to establish his seed forever,

and to build up his throne to all ages.” Selah

 

[5] Then the holy assembly in heaven

praised your marvelous faithfulness, Lord .

[6] For who in the skies may compare with the Lord ?

Who is like the Lord among the gods?

 

[7] A God to be feared in the holy assembly,

awful and great above all who are round him.

[8] O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you?

Your strength and faithfulness, Lord , surround you.

 

[9] You are the Lord of the raging sea:

when its waves surge, it is you who still them.

[10] It was you who did pierce and crush Rahab in pieces,

and scatter your foes by your mighty arm.

 

[11] Yours are the heavens, yours also the earth,

the world and its fulness, it’s you who did found them.

[12] The north and the south, it’s you have created them;

Tabor and Hermon shout praise to your name.

 

[13] You have an arm with the might of a hero;

strong is your hand, high uplifted your right hand.

[14] Justice and right are the base of your throne,

kindness and faithfulness ever attend you.

 

[15] Happy the people who know the glad shout,

who walk, O Lord , in the light of your face.

[16] They exult in your name all the day,

and your righteousness they extol.

 

[17] For you are our strength and our pride.

Your favor will lift us to honor.

[18] For the holy Lord of Israel

keeps our defender and king.

 

[19] In a vision of old you did speak

in this way to the one whom you loved:

“A crown I have set on the hero

I chose to be over the people

 

[20] “I found my servant David,

and anointed with holy oil.

[21] My hand will be with him forever,

my arm will give him strength.

 

[22] “No enemy will dare to assail him,

nor the wicked to oppress him;

[23] but his foes I will shatter before him,

I will strike down those who hate him.

 

[24] “My loyal love shall attend him,

and I will lift him to honor.

[25] I will set his hand on the sea,

and his right hand on the rivers.

 

[26] “As for him, he will call me ‘My father,

my God, and my rock of salvation.’

[27] And I will make him my first-born,

highest of kings on the earth.

 

[28] “My love will I keep for him ever,

my covenant with him shall stand fast.

[29] His line will I make everlasting,

and his throne as the days of the heavens.

 

[30] “If his children forsake my law,

and walk not as I have ordained;

[31] if they profane my statutes,

and do not keep my commandments;

 

[32] “I will punish their sin with the rod,

their iniquity with scourges.

[33] But my love will I not take from him,

nor will I belie my faithfulness.

 

[34] “I will not profane my covenant

by changing the word that has passed my lips.

[35] Once have I solemnly sworn

and I would not lie to David,

 

[36] “that his line should endure forever,

and his throne as the sun before me,

[37] firm as the moon which for ever

and ever is fixed in the sky.” Selah

 

[38] But you have cast off in contempt,

and been furious with your anointed.

[39] You have spurned the covenant with your servant,

and his sacred crown dashed to the ground.

 

[40] You have broken down all his walls,

and laid his bulwarks in ruins.

[41] All who pass on their way despoil him,

the scorn of his neighbors is he now.

 

[42] You have given his foes the victory,

and made all his enemies glad.

[43] You have turned back his sword from the foe,

you did not lift him up in the battle.

 

[44] The sceptre you took from his hand,

and his throne you did hurl to the ground.

[45] You have shortened the days of his youth,

and covered him with shame. Selah

 

[46] How long, Lord will you hide you forever?

How long are the fires of your wrath to burn?

[47] Remember, Lord , the shortness of life

how fleeting you made all people.

 

[48] Who can live without seeing death?

Who can rescue their life from the clutch of Sheol? Selah

[49] Where, Lord , is your kindness of old,

which you in your faithfulness swore to David?

 

[50] Remember, O Lord , how your servants are mocked,

how I bear in my heart the scorn of all nations

[51] The scorn which your enemies hurl, O Lord ,

which they hurl at the footsteps of your anointed.

 

 

 

[52] Blest be the Lord , for ever and ever.

Amen and Amen.

[Psalms 90]

Book Four

Psalm 90 – Hymn of Eternity

A prayer of Moses, the man of God.

[1] Lord , you have been a home to us

one generation after another.

[2] Before the mountains were born,

or the earth and the world were brought forth,

from everlasting to everlasting

you are God.

 

[3] You bring us back to the dust,

you summon mortals to return.

[4] For you see a thousand years

as the passing of yesterday,

as a watch in the night.

 

[5] Your floods sweep them away;

they are like a dream,

or like grass which sprouts in the morning,

[6] which blossoms and sprouts in the morning,

but by evening is cut and withered.

 

[7] For your anger consumes us,

the heat of your wrath confounds us.

[8] Our sins you have set before you,

our secrets in the light of your face.

[9] For through your wrath our days are declining,

we bring our years to an end as a sigh.

 

[10] The span of our life is seventy years,

or, if we are strong, maybe eighty;

yet is their breadth but empty toil,

for swiftly they go, and we fly away.

 

[11] Who lays to heart the power of your anger?

Or who stands in reverent awe of your wrath?

[12] O teach us to count our days

so our minds may learn wisdom.

 

[13] Return, O Lord ; why so long?

Relent on your servants.

[14] Grant us your love to the full in the morning,

that all our days we may shout for joy.

 

[15] Make us glad for the days you have humbled us,

for the evil years we have seen.

[16] Let your servants see you in action,

show your majesty to their children.

[17] Let the grace of the Lord our God be upon us,

uphold what our hands are striving to do.

[Psalms 91]

Psalm 91 – In the Shelter of the Most High

[1] You whose home is the shelter of God Most High,

whose abode is the shadow of God Almighty,

[2] can say to the Lord , “My refuge, my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”

 

[3] For he saves you from fowler’s snare,

from deadly plague,

[4] he shelters you with his pinions,

and under his wings you can hide.

 

His truth will be a shield and buckler.

 

[5] You need not fear the terror of night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

[6] nor the plague that stalks in darkness,

nor the pestilence raging at noon.

 

[7] A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand:

but it will not draw near to you.

 

[8] You will only look on with your eyes,

and see how the wicked are punished.

[9] You have made the Lord your refuge,

you have made the Most High your defence.

 

[10] You will never be met by misfortune,

no plague will come near your tent,

[11] for he orders his angels to guard you,

wherever you go.

 

[12] They will carry you with their hands,

so you don’t hurt your foot on a stone.

[13] You will trample down lions and snakes,

tread on young lions and cobras.

 

[14] “Because of their love for me, I will deliver them,

I will protect those who trust my name.

[15] I will answer their cry and be with them in trouble,

bringing them forth into safety and honor.

[16] I will give them a life of many days,

I will show them my salvation.”

[Psalms 92]

Psalm 92 – The Ways of God

A psalm. A song; for the sabbath day.

[1] It is good to give thanks to the Lord ,

to sing praise to your name, O Most High,

[2] to declare your love in the morning,

and your faithfulness in the night,

[3] with voice and a ten-stringed harp,

with music that throbs on the lyre.

[4] For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord ,

at the work of your hands I will ring out my joy.

 

[5] How great are your works, O Lord ;

how deep are your thoughts!

[6] The insensitive cannot know,

nor can a fool understand,

[7] that, though the wicked flourish like grass,

and evil-doers all blossom,

they will perish forever.

 

[8] But you are exalted forever.

[9] For see! Your enemies, Lord

For see! Your enemies perish,

all evil-doers are scattered.

[10] But you lift me to honor,

and anoint me afresh with oil.

[11] My eyes will feast on my foes,

and my ears will hear of the doom of the wicked.

 

[12] The righteous will sprout like the palm,

will grow like a cedar of Lebanon.

[13] In the house of the Lord are they planted,

in the courts of our God they will sprout.

[14] They will still bear fruit in old age,

all sappy and fresh will they be

[15] So they proclaim the Lord to be just,

my rock, in whom is no wrong.

[Psalms 93]

Psalm 93 – The Lord, King of all the World

[1] The Lord has taken his seat on the throne,

clothed with majesty, armed with might.

Now the world stands firm, to be shaken no more,

[2] firm stands your throne from all eternity.

You are from everlasting.

 

[3] The floods, O Lord , have lifted,

the floods have lifted their voice,

the floods lift up their roar.

[4] But more grand than the great roaring waters,

more grand than the ocean waves,

grand on the height stands the Lord .

 

[5] What you have ordained is most sure;

most sure shall your house stand inviolate,

O Lord , for ever and ever.

[Psalms 94]

Psalm 94 – A Prayer for Vengeance on the Cruel

[1] Lord , God of vengeance,

God of vengeance, shine forth.

[2] Rise up, judge of the earth,

pay back the proud what they deserve.

 

[3] Lord , how long shall the wicked,

how long shall the wicked exult,

[4] with their blustering arrogant words,

their braggart and wicked speech,

[5] crushing your people, Lord ,

and afflicting your heritage,

[6] murdering widows and strangers,

slaying the fatherless?

[7] They think that the Lord does not see,

nor the God of Jacob regard it.

 

[8] Take heed, you dullest of people;

when will you be wise, you fools?

[9] Is he deaf, who shaped the ear?

Is he blind, who fashioned the eye?

[10] Can he who trains nations not punish them

he who teaches knowledge to people?

[11] The Lord knows the thoughts of people,

that only a breath are they.

 

[12] Happy are those whom you chasten,

and teach out of your law,

[13] keeping them calm in the day of misfortune,

till a pit be dug for the wicked.

 

[14] For the Lord will not leave his people,

he will not forsake his inheritance.

[15] For the righteous shall come to their rights,

and all true-hearted people shall follow them.

 

[16] Who will rise up for me against those who do evil?

Who will stand up for me against workers of wrong?

[17] Were it not for the help of the Lord ,

I would soon have gone to the silent grave.

[18] When I thought that my foot was slipping,

your kindness, Lord , held me up.

[19] When with cares my heart was crowded,

your comforts make me glad.

 

[20] Can corrupt justice be your ally,

framing mischief by statute?

[21] They assail the life of the righteous,

and innocent blood condemn.

[22] But the Lord is my sure retreat,

my God is the rock of my refuge.

[23] He will bring back their sin upon them,

for their wickedness he will destroy them;

the Lord our God will destroy them.

[Psalms 95]

Psalm 95 – For a Festival. A Hymn of Praise and a Solemn Warning

[1] Come! Let us ring out our joy to the Lord ,

let us merrily shout to our rock of salvation.

[2] Before his face let us come with thanks,

with songs of praise let us shout to him.

 

[3] For the Lord is a great God,

king above all gods.

[4] In his hand are the depths of the earth,

the heights of the mountains are his.

[5] The sea is his, for he made it:

the dry land was formed by his hands.

 

[6] Come! Let us worship and bow

on our knees to the Lord our creator.

[7] For he is our God; and we

are the people he tends, the sheep in his care.

 

If only you would heed his voice today:

[8] “Do not harden your hearts as at Meribah,

or at Massah, that day in the desert,

[9] when your ancestors tempted and tried me,

though they had seen my deeds.

 

[10] “For forty years I was filled with loathing

for that generation, so I said:

‘A people with wandering hearts are they,

and ignorant of my ways.’

[11] So I solemnly swore to them in my anger,

that never would they enter my place of rest.”

[Psalms 96]

Psalm 96 – The Lord’s Rule

[1] Sing to the Lord a new song,

sing to the Lord , all the earth.

[2] Sing to the Lord , bless his name,

from day to day herald his victory.

[3] Tell his glory among the nations,

his wonders among all peoples.

 

[4] For great is the Lord and worthy all praise;

held in awe, above all gods:

[5] for all the gods of the nations are idols,

but the Lord created the heavens.

[6] Before him are splendor and majesty,

beauty and strength in his holy place.

 

[7] Ascribe to the Lord , you tribes of the nations,

ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

[8] Ascribe to the Lord the glory he manifests:

bring you an offering, enter his courts.

[9] Bow to the Lord in holy array:

tremble before him, all the earth.

 

[10] Say to the nations, “The Lord is king.”

The world stands firm to be shaken no more.

He will judge the peoples with equity.

[11] Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice,

let the sea and its fulness thunder.

 

[12] Let the field, and all that is in it, exult;

let the trees of the forest ring out their joy

[13] before the Lord : for he comes,

he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with justice

and the nations with faithfulness.

[Psalms 97]

Psalm 97 – The Lord’s Judgment

[1] The Lord is king, let the earth rejoice:

let her many isles be glad.

[2] Clouds and darkness are round about him,

justice and right are the base of his throne.

[3] Fire goes before him,

and blazes around his steps,

[4] his lightnings illumine the world:

the earth quakes at the sight.

[5] Mountains melt like wax

before the Lord of all the earth.

[6] The heavens proclaim his justice,

all nations behold his glory.

 

[7] Shamed are all image-worshippers,

who make a boast of their idols.

All the gods bow before him.

[8] Zion is glad at the tidings,

the towns of Judah rejoice

because of your judgments, Lord .

[9] For you are most high over all the earth,

greatly exalted above all gods.

 

[10] The Lord loves those who hate evil,

he guards the lives of the faithful:

from the hand of the wicked he saves them.

[11] Light arises for the righteous,

and joy for the upright in heart.

[12] Rejoice in the Lord , you righteous:

give thanks to his holy name.

[Psalms 98]

Psalm 98 – A Song of Praise to the Lord

A psalm.

[1] Sing a new song to the Lord ,

for he has done wonders;

his right hand and holy arm

have won him the victory.

[2] The Lord has made his victory known,

and revealed to the eyes of the nations his righteousness.

[3] Mindful he was of his kindness to Jacob,

faithful he was to the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen

the victory of our God.

 

[4] Shout, all the earth, to the Lord :

break into cries and music.

[5] Play on the lyre to the Lord ,

on the lyre and with loud melody.

[6] With trumpet and sound of horn,

shout before the king.

 

[7] Let the sea and its fulness roar,

the world and the dwellers upon it.

[8] Let the streams clap their hands,

let the hills shout for gladness together

[9] before the Lord for he comes,

he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world with justice

and the nations with equity.

[Psalms 99]

Psalm 99 – The Lord’s Just and Holy Rule

[1] The Lord is king; let the nations tremble:

he is throned upon cherubs; let earth quake.

[2] The Lord is great in Zion,

he is high over all the nations.

[3] Let them praise your great and terrible name.

Holy is he.

 

[4] You are a king who loves justice,

equity you have established:

justice and right you have wrought for Jacob.

[5] Exalt the Lord our God,

bow down at his footstool.

Holy is he.

 

[6] Among his priests were Moses and Aaron,

Samuel among those who called on his name.

They called to the Lord , and he gave them answer.

[7] He spoke to them in the pillar of cloud,

they kept his commands and the statute he gave them.

[8] Lord our God, you gave them answer.

A God of forgiveness were you to them,

who suffered their deeds to go unpunished.

[9] Exalt the Lord our God;

bow down at his holy mountain.

For holy is the Lord our God.

[Psalms 100]

Psalm 100 – A Call to Worship

A psalm of praise.

[1] Shout, all the earth, to the Lord .

[2] Serve the Lord with gladness,

approach him with ringing cries.

[3] Be sure that the Lord alone is God.

It is he who has made us, and his we are

his people, the sheep of his pasture.

 

[4] Enter his gates with thanksgiving,

his courts with praise.

Give thanks to him, bless his name.

[5] For the Lord is good, his love is forever,

and to all ages endures his faithfulness.

[Psalms 101]

Psalm 101 – A Model King

Of David, a psalm.

[1] If kindness and justice I sing,

making melody to you, Lord .

[2] I would look to the way that is blameless,

and make it my own.

 

Within my own house I would walk

with an innocent heart.

[3] I would never direct my eyes

to a thing that is base.

 

The impulse to stray I abhor

it shall not cling to me.

[4] Far from me be perverseness of heart,

or kinship with evil.

 

[5] Who slanders their neighbor in secret,

I bring them to silence:

haughty looks and proud hearts

I will not abide.

 

[6] I will favor the true in the land,

they shall live in my court.

Those who walk in a way that is blameless

will be my attendant.

 

[7] No one will live in my house

who practises guile.

No one that speaks a lie

will abide in my presence.

 

[8] Morn by morn I will wholly wipe out

all the bad in the land,

and cut off from the Lord ’s own city

all workers of evil.

[Psalms 102]

Psalm 102 – A Prayer for Pity and for the Restoration of Zion

[1] Hear my prayer, O Lord ;

let my cry for help come to you.

[2] Hide not your face from me

in the day of my distress.

Incline your ear to me:

when I call, answer me speedily.

 

[3] For my days pass away like smoke:

my bones are burned through as with fire.

[4] My heart is scorched, withered like grass;

I forget to eat my bread.

[5] By reason of my loud groaning,

my flesh clings to my bones.

 

[6] Like a desert-owl of the wilderness,

like an owl among ruins am I.

[7] I make my sleepless lament

like a bird on the house-top alone.

[8] All the day wild foes revile me,

using my name for a curse.

 

[9] For ashes have been my bread,

and tears have been mixed with my cup.

[10] Because of your passionate anger,

you did raise me, then hurl me to the ground.

[11] My days come to an end, shadows lengthen,

I wither like grass.

 

[12] But you, O Lord , are enthroned forever,

your fame endures to all generations.

[13] You will arise and have pity on Zion;

it’s time to be gracious; her hour has come.

[14] For even her stones are dear to your servants,

even the dust of her ruins they look on with love.

 

[15] Then the nations will revere the name of the Lord

and all the kings of the earth his glory,

[16] when the Lord shall have built up Zion,

and revealed himself in his glory,

[17] in response to the prayer of the destitute,

whose prayer he will not despise.

 

[18] Let this be recorded for ages to come,

that the Lord may be praised by a people yet unborn.

[19] For he shall look down from his holy height,

from the heavens the Lord will gaze on the earth,

[20] to hear the groans of the prisoner,

to free those who are doomed to die;

[21] that people may recount the Lord ’s fame in Zion,

and the praise of him in Jerusalem,

[22] when the nations are gathered together,

and the kingdoms, to worship the Lord .

 

[23] He has broken my strength on the way,

he has shortened my days.

[24] I will say, “My God, take me not hence

in the midst of my days.

 

“Your years endure age after age.

[25] Of old you have founded the earth,

and the heavens are the work of your hands.

[26] They shall perish; but you do stand.

They shall all wax old like a garment,

and change as a robe you will change them.

[27] But you are the same, your years are endless.

[28] The children of your servants abide,

evermore shall their seed be before you.”

[Psalms 103]

Psalm 103 – Bless the Lord, O my Soul

Of David.

[1] O my soul, bless the Lord ;

and all that is in me, his holy name.

[2] O my soul, bless the Lord ;

and forget not one of his benefits.

[3] He pardons all your sins,

he heals all your diseases.

[4] He ransoms your life from the pit,

he crowns you with kindness and pity.

[5] He gives you your heart’s desire,

renewing your youth like the eagle’s.

 

[6] The Lord executes justice –

and right for all who are wronged.

[7] He revealed his ways to Moses,

his acts to the children of Israel.

[8] Full of pity and grace is the Lord ,

patient, and rich in kindness:

[9] he will not always chide,

nor cherish his anger forever.

[10] Not after our sins has he dealt with us,

nor requited us after our wickedness.

 

[11] For high as the heavens o’er the earth

is his love over those who fear him.

[12] Far as is east from the west

has he put our transgressions from us.

[13] As a father pities his children,

so the Lord pities those who fear him;

[14] for well he knows our frame,

he remembers that we are dust.

 

[15] A person’s days are as grass;

blossoms like a flower of the meadow.

[16] At the breath of the wind it is gone,

and the place thereof knows it no more.

[17] But the love of the Lord is eternal,

and his kindness to children’s children,

[18] to those who keep his covenant

and mindfully do his behests.

 

[19] The Lord has set his throne in the heavens;

the whole world is under his sway.

[20] Bless the Lord , you angels of his,

mighty heroes performing his word.

[21] Bless the Lord , all you his hosts,

you servants who do his will.

[22] Bless the Lord , all you his works,

far as his sway extends.

O my soul, bless the Lord .

[Psalms 104]

Psalm 104 – The Hymn of Creation

[1] Bless the Lord , O my soul.

O Lord my God, you are very great,

clad in awful splendor,

[2] covered with robe of light.

You stretch out the heavens like the cloth of a tent.

[3] He lays the beams of his chambers on water.

He takes dark clouds for his chariot,

and rides on the wings of the wind.

[4] He takes the winds for his messengers,

the fire and the flame for his servants.

 

[5] He founded the earth upon pillars,

to sustain it unshaken forever.

[6] With the garment of ocean he covered it,

waters towered over the mountains.

[7] But at your rebuke they fled,

scared by the roar of your thunder,

[8] mountains rose, valleys sank down

to the place appointed for them.

[9] They dared not pass the bounds set for them,

or cover the earth any more.

 

[10] He sent brooks into the valleys,

they meander between the mountains.

[11] The wild beasts all drink from them,

and the wild asses quench their thirst.

[12] The birds have their home by the banks,

and sing in the branches.

[13] From his chambers above he gives drink to the mountains,

and satisfies earth with the vials of heaven.

 

[14] He makes grass grow for the cattle,

and herbs for people.

He brings bread out of the earth;

[15] wine, to gladden hearts;

oil, to make faces shine;

bread, to strengthen hearts.

[16] The trees of the Lord drink their fill

the cedars he planted on Lebanon,

[17] where the little birds build their nest,

and the stork whose home is the cypress.

[18] The high hills are for the wild goats,

and the rocks are for coneys to hide in.

 

[19] He created the moon to mark seasons,

and told the sun when to set.

[20] You make it dark: night comes,

when all the wild beasts creep out.

[21] Young lions that roar for their prey,

seeking their meat from God.

[22] At sunrise they slink away,

and lie down in their dens.

[23] Then people go forth to their work,

and toil till evening.

 

[24] How many, O Lord , are your works,

all of them made in wisdom!

The earth is filled with your creatures.

[25] And there is the great broad sea,

where are countless things in motion,

living creatures, both great and small.

[26] There go the ships,

and the Leviathan you made to play there.

 

[27] They all look in hope to you,

to give them their food in due season.

[28] And you give with open hand;

they gather and eat to their heart’s desire.

[29] When you hide your face, they are terrified;

when you take their breath away,

they die and go back to their dust.

[30] But a breath from your lips creates them,

and renews the face of the earth.

 

[31] May the glory of the Lord be forever,

may the Lord rejoice in his works.

[32] A glance of his makes the earth tremble,

a touch of his makes the hills smoke.

[33] I will sing to the Lord while I live,

I will play to my God while I am.

[34] May my musing be sweet to him.

for I rejoice in the Lord .

[35] But may sinners be swept from the earth,

and the wicked vanish forever.

O my soul, bless the Lord .

Hallelujah.

[Psalms 105]

Psalm 105 – The Inspiration of the Past

[1] Give thanks to the Lord , call on his name:

make known his deeds among the nations.

[2] Sing to him, make music to him,

tell of all his wondrous works.

[3] Make your boast in his holy name,

be glad at heart, you who seek the Lord .

[4] Seek after the Lord and his strength,

seek his face evermore.

[5] Remember the wonders he did,

his portents, the judgments he uttered,

[6] you who are offspring of Abraham, his servant,

the children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

 

[7] He is the Lord our God:

in all the earth are his judgments.

[8] He remembers forever his covenant,

his promise for a thousand generations

[9] The covenant he made with Abraham,

the oath he swore to Isaac,

[10] and confirmed as a statute to Jacob,

a pact everlasting to Israel

[11] to give them the land of Canaan

as the lot which they should inherit.

 

[12] And when they were very few,

few and but pilgrims therein,

[13] wandering from nation to nation,

journeying from people to people,

[14] he allowed no one to oppress them,

even punishing kings for their sakes.

[15] He forbade them to touch his anointed,

or do any hurt to his prophets.

 

[16] When he called down famine on the land,

and cut off the bread which sustained them,

[17] he sent before them a man,

Joseph, who was sold as a slave.

[18] His feet were galled with fetters,

he was laid in chains of iron,

[19] till the time that his word came to pass,

the word of the Lord that had tried him.

 

[20] The king sent and freed him,

the ruler of nations released him.

[21] He made him lord of his household,

and ruler of all his possessions,

[22] to admonish his princes at will

and instruct his elders in wisdom.

 

[23] Thus Israel came into Egypt,

Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.

[24] His people he made very fruitful,

and mightier than their foes.

[25] He inspired them to hate his people,

and to deal with his servants craftily.

 

[26] He sent his servant Moses,

and Aaron whom he had chosen,

[27] portents he wrought in Egypt,

and signs in the land of Ham.

[28] Darkness he sent, and it fell:

yet they gave no heed to his word.

 

[29] He turned their waters into blood,

thus causing their fish to die.

[30] Their land was alive with frogs,

swarming even in the royal chambers.

[31] At his command came flies,

and lice in all their borders.

[32] He gave them hail for rain

and fire that flashed through the land,

[33] smiting their vines and figs,

breaking the trees of their border.

 

[34] At his command came locusts,

young locusts beyond all counting,

[35] which ate every herb in the land,

ate up, too, the fruit of their ground.

[36] He struck down in their land all the first-born,

the firstlings of all their strength

[37] Then forth he led Israel with silver and gold,

and among his tribes no one was weary.

 

[38] Egypt was glad when they left,

for terror had fallen upon them.

[39] He spread out a cloud to screen them,

and fire to give light in the night.

[40] He sent quails at their entreaty,

and heavenly bread in abundance.

[41] He opened the rock; waters gushed:

in the desert they ran like a river.

[42] For he remembered his holy promise

to Abraham his servant.

 

[43] So he led out his people with joy,

his elect with a ringing cry.

[44] And he gave them the lands of the nations,

the fruit of their toil for possession,

[45] that so they might keep his statutes,

and be of his laws observant.

Hallelujah.

[Psalms 106]

Psalm 106 – The Nation’s Sin against the Lord

[1] Hallelujah!

Give thanks to the Lord for his goodness,

for his kindness endures forever.

[2] Who can describe his heroic deeds,

or publish all his praise?

[3] Happy they who act justly,

and do righteousness evermore.

 

[4] Remember me, Lord , as you remember your people,

and visit me with your gracious help.

[5] May I see the good fortune of your elect,

may I share in the joy of your nation,

and in the pride of your heritage.

 

[6] We, like our fathers, have sinned,

we have done perversely and wickedly

[7] In the land of Egypt our fathers,

all heedless of your wonders,

and unmindful of your great kindness,

at the Red Sea defied the Most High.

[8] But true to his name he saved them,

in order to show his might.

[9] He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried;

they marched through the depths as through desert,

[10] saved from the hand of the hostile,

redeemed from the hand of the foe.

[11] The waters covered their enemies:

not one of them was left.

[12] So then they believed in his words,

and began to sing his praise.

 

[13] But soon they forgot his deeds:

they did not wait for his counsel.

[14] Their greed was ravenous in the desert;

they put God to the test in the wilderness.

[15] He gave them the thing they had asked for,

but sent wasting disease among them.

 

[16] The camp grew jealous of Moses

and of Aaron, holy one of the Lord .

[17] The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan,

and covered Abiram’s company.

[18] Fire broke out on their company,

flame kindled upon the wicked.

 

[19] They made a calf in Horeb,

and bowed to the molten image.

[20] They exchanged their glorious God

for the image of ox that eats grass.

[21] They forgot the God who had saved them

by mighty deeds in Egypt

[22] Wonders in the land of Ham,

terrors by the Red Sea.

[23] So he vowed, and would have destroyed them,

but for Moses his elect,

who stepped into the breach before him,

to divert his deadly wrath.

 

[24] They spurned the delightsome land,

they refused to believe in his word.

[25] They grumbled in their tents,

would not listen to the voice of the Lord .

[26] So he swore with uplifted hand

to lay them low in the wilderness;

[27] to disperse their seed among heathen,

to scatter them over the world.

 

[28] Then they joined them to Baal of Peor,

and ate what was offered the dead.

[29] They provoked him to wrath by their deeds,

and plague broke out among them.

[30] Then Phinehas stood between,

and so the plague was stayed;

[31] and it was counted to him for righteousness

unto all generations forever.

 

[32] They angered him at the waters of Meribah,

through them it went ill with Moses.

[33] They rebelled against his spirit,

and he uttered speech that was rash.

 

[34] They did not destroy the nations,

as the Lord had commanded them;

[35] but they mingled with the heathen,

and learned to do as they did.

[36] Their idol gods they worshipped,

and they were ensnared by them.

[37] They sacrificed their sons

and their daughters to the demons.

[38] They poured out innocent blood

the blood of their sons and daughters

whom they offered to Canaan’s idols,

and the land was polluted with blood.

[39] They became unclean by their works,

and adulterous in their deeds.

[40] Then the Lord ’s fury was on his people,

filled with horror at his inheritance.

[41] He delivered them to the heathen,

to the sway of those who hated them.

[42] Their enemies oppressed them,

and subdued them under their hand.

[43] Many a time he saved them,

but they rebelled at his counsel,

and were brought low by their wrongdoing.

[44] Yet he looked upon their distress,

when he heard their cry.

[45] He remembered his covenant,

and, in his great kindness, relented.

[46] He caused them to be pitied

by all who carried them captive.

 

[47] Save us, O Lord our God,

and gather us out of the nations,

to give thanks to your holy name,

and to make our boast of your praise.

 

 

 

[48] Blessed be the Lord , the God of Israel,

from everlasting to everlasting.

And let all the people say “Amen.”

Praise the Lord .

[Psalms 107]

Book Five

Psalm 107 – The Song of the Redeemed

[1] Give thanks to the Lord for his goodness

for his kindness endures forever.

[2] Let this be the song of the ransomed,

whom the Lord has redeemed from distress,

[3] gathering them from all lands,

east, west, north, and south.

 

[4] In the wastes of the desert some wandered,

finding no way to a city inhabited.

[5] Full of hunger and thirst,

their spirit failed.

[6] Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he saved them from their distresses,

[7] guiding them straight on the way,

till they reached an inhabited city.

[8] Let them thank the Lord for his kindness,

for his wonderful deeds for people;

[9] for the thirsty he satisfies,

and the hungry he fills with good things.

 

[10] Some sat in darkness and gloom

prisoners in irons and misery,

[11] for rebelling against God’s word,

and spurning the Most High’s counsel.

[12] Their heart was bowed with toil;

there was no one to help when they stumbled.

[13] Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he saved them from their distresses.

[14] Out of darkness and gloom he brought them,

and burst their chains.

[15] Let them praise the Lord for his kindness,

for his wonderful deeds for people.

[16] For he shattered the gates of bronze,

and broke bars of iron.

 

[17] Some were sick from their wicked ways,

and suffering because of their sins.

[18] All manner of food they hated;

they had come to the gates of death.

[19] Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he saved them from their distresses.

[20] He sent his word and healed them,

and delivered their life from the pit.

[21] Let them praise the Lord for his kindness,

for his wonderful deeds for people.

[22] Let them offer to him thankofferings,

and with joy tell what things he has done.

 

[23] Some crossed the sea in ships,

doing business in great waters.

[24] They have seen what the Lord can do,

and his wonderful deeds on the deep.

[25] At his command rose a tempest,

which lifted the waves on high.

[26] Up to heaven they went, down to the depths;

their courage failed them.

[27] They staggered and reeled like drunkards;

all their skills useless.

[28] Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he saved them from their distresses.

[29] He stilled the storm to a whisper,

and the waves of the sea were hushed.

[30] They were glad, because it was quiet;

they were led to the haven they longed for.

[31] Let them praise the Lord , for his kindness,

for his wonderful deeds for people.

[32] Where the people assemble, extol him,

and praise him in council of elders.

 

[33] He turns streams into a wilderness,

springs of water into thirsty land,

[34] fruitful land into a salt waste,

because of the sin of the people.

[35] A desert he makes pools of water,

a land of drought into springs of water.

[36] He settles the hungry therein,

they establish a city to live in.

[37] They sow fields and plant vineyards,

which furnish a fruitful yield.

[38] By his blessing they multiply greatly,

and he lets not their cattle decrease.

 

[39] Yet when they are bowed and diminished

by oppression, misfortune, or sorrow,

[40] he pours contempt upon princes,

and on trackless wastes leads them astray

[41] He lifts the poor out of misery,

and makes families fruitful as flocks.

[42] At this sight shall the upright be glad,

and all wicked mouths shall be stopped.

[43] Let those who are wise observe this,

and consider the love of the Lord

[Psalms 108]

Psalm 108 – A Prayer for Victory

A song. A psalm of David.

[1] My heart is steadfast, O God,

my heart is steadfast.

I would sing, I would make music;

awake, my soul.

[2] Awake, harp and lyre;

I would wake the dawn.

[3] I would praise you among the peoples, O Lord ;

make music among the nations to you.

[4] For great to heaven is your love,

and your faithfulness to the clouds.

[5] Be exalted, O God, o’er the heavens,

and your glory o’er all the earth.

 

[6] So those you love may be rescued,

save by your right hand and answer us.

[7] God did solemnly swear:

“As victor will I divide Shechem,

portion out the valley of Succoth.

[8] Mine is Gilead, mine is Manasseh,

Ephraim is my helmet,

Judah my sceptre of rule,

[9] Moab the pot that I wash in,

on Edom I hurl my sandal,

I shout o’er Philistia in triumph.”

 

[10] O to be brought to the fortified city!

O to be led into Edom!

[11] Have you not spurned us, O God?

You do not march forth with our armies.

 

[12] Grant us help from the foe,

for human help is worthless.

[13] With God we shall yet do bravely,

he himself will tread down our foes.

[Psalms 109]

Psalm 109 – A Prayer for the Lord’s Help

For the leader. Of David, a psalm.

[1] O God whom I praise, keep not silence;

[2] for their wicked mouths they have opened against me,

they speak to me with tongues that are false,

[3] they beset me with words of hatred,

and fight without cause against me.

[4] My love they requite with hostility,

while for them I lift up my prayer.

[5] Evil for good they reward me,

and hatred for my love.

 

[6] “Set over him one who is godless,” they say,

“an opponent at his right hand.

[7] From his trial let him come forth guilty,

may his prayer be counted as sin.

[8] Grant that his days may be few,

that his office be seized by another.

[9] Grant that his children be fatherless,

and that his wife be a widow.

[10] Up and down may his children go begging,

expelled from their desolate home.

[11] May all that he owns be seized by the creditor

may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil.

 

[12] “May none extend to him kindness,

or pity his fatherless children.

[13] His descendants be doomed to destruction!

Blotted out be his name in one generation!

[14] May his father’s guilt be remembered,

and his mother’s sin not blotted out:

[15] on record always before the Lord ,

and his memory root from the earth;

[16] for he gave no thought to show kindness,

but pursued the poor and the needy,

drove the downhearted to death.

 

[17] “May the curses he loved light upon him,

may the blessings he loathed be afar.

[18] Like a garment he clothed him with curses;

may they pierce to his inwards like water,

and cling to his bones like oil.

[19] Let them be like the robe he wraps round him,

like the belt he wears every day.”

[20] Be this the reward of my adversaries,

of those who speak evil against me.

 

[21] But you, Lord my God ,

be true to your name,

deal kindly with me;

in your gracious kindness

save me.

[22] For I am poor and needy,

and my heart is wounded within me.

[23] I am gone like a lengthening shadow,

I am shaken off like a locust.

[24] My knees totter from fasting,

my flesh is shrivelled and spare.

[25] They heap insults upon me:

when they see me, they shake their head.

 

[26] Help me, O Lord my God,

and save me in your kindness.

[27] Teach them that this is your hand,

and your own doing, O Lord .

[28] Let them curse, if only you bless.

Put my assailants to shame,

and make your servant glad.

[29] My opponents be clothed with dishonor,

and wrapped in a robe of shame.

 

[30] I give thanks to you, Lord , with loud voice,

I give praise in the midst of the throng;

[31] for he stands by the poor, at his right hand,

to save them from those who condemn them.

[Psalms 110]

Psalm 110 – A Promise of Victory to the King

Of David, a psalm.

[1] This said the Lord concerning my lord,

“Sit at my right hand,

till I set your foot on the neck of your foes.”

 

[2] On Zion the Lord is wielding

your sceptre of might, and charges you

to rule over the foes that surround you.

 

[3] The day that you march to battle

your people will follow you gladly

young warriors in holy array,

like dew-drops, born of the morning.

 

[4] The Lord has sworn and will not repent,

“As for you, you are priest for ever

as Melchizedek was.”

 

[5] By your side will the Lord shatter kings

on the day of his wrath.

[6] He will execute judgment

filling the valleys with dead,

the broad fields with shattered heads.

[7] He will drink of the brook by the way,

and march onward with uplifted head.

[Psalms 111]

Psalm 111 – In Praise of the Divine Goodness

[1] Hallelujah.

I will thank the Lord with all my heart,

in the assembled congregation of his people.

[2] Great are the things that the Lord has done,

worthy of study by those who love them.

[3] Majestic and glorious is his work,

and his righteousness abides forever.

[4] For his marvelous deeds he has won renown;

the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.

[5] Food he gives to those who fear him,

always he remembers his covenant.

[6] His mighty works he has shown to his people,

in giving to them the nations for heritage.

[7] All that he does is faithful and right,

all his behests are firm and sure.

[8] They are established for ever and ever,

executed with truth and uprightness.

[9] To his people he sent redemption,

he has appointed his covenant forever.

His name is holy and awe-inspiring.

[10] The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

those who keep it are wise indeed.

His praise abides for ever and ever.

[Psalms 112]

Psalm 112 – The Blessings of Godliness

[1] Hallelujah. Happy are those who fear the Lord ,

and greatly delight in his commandments.

[2] Mighty on earth shall be their seed;

a blessing shall rest on the race of the upright.

[3] Wealth and riches are in their houses,

their prosperity stands forever.

[4] To the upright arises light in the darkness;

full of favor and pity and kindness are they.

[5] It is well with those who show pity and lend,

who support all their affairs upon justice.

[6] For they will never be shaken;

the just will be forever remembered.

[7] They will not be afraid of evil tidings,

with steady heart they trust the Lord .

[8] Their heart is firm and unafraid:

they know they will feast their eyes on their enemies.

[9] With lavish hands they give to the poor,

and their prosperity stands forever.

They are lifted to heights of triumph and honor.

[10] The sight of them fills the wicked with anger:

grinding their teeth with despair.

The hopes of the wicked will come to nothing.

[Psalms 113]

Psalm 113 – The Lord loves the Humble

[1] Hallelujah.

Praise the Lord , you his servants,

praise the name of the Lord .

[2] The name of the Lord be blessed

from now and for evermore.

[3] From sunrise to sunset

is the name of the Lord to be praised.

 

[4] High is the Lord above all nations,

above the heavens is his glory.

[5] Who is like the Lord our God,

seated on high?

[6] He bends down to look

at the heavens and earth.

 

[7] He raises the weak from the dust,

he lifts the poor from the dunghill,

[8] and sets them beside the princes,

even the princes of his people.

[9] He gives the childless woman a home,

and makes her the happy mother of children.

Hallelujah.

[Psalms 114]

Psalm 114 – The Marvel of the Exodus

[1] When Israel went out of Egypt,

Jacob’s house from a barbarous people,

[2] God chose Judah for himself,

Israel became his kingdom.

 

[3] The sea saw it, and fled,

Jordan river ran backwards.

[4] Mountains skipped like rams,

hills like the young of the flock.

 

[5] Why, sea, do you flee?

Jordan, why run backwards?

[6] Mountains, why skip ram-like?

Why, hills, like the young of the flock?

 

[7] Earth, tremble before the Lord ,

at the presence of Jacob’s God,

[8] who turns rocks into pools of water,

and flint into fountains of water.

[Psalms 115]

Psalm 115 – Israel’s Incomparable God

[1] Not to us, Lord , not to us,

but to your name give glory,

for your kindness’ and faithfulness’ sake.

[2] Why should the heathen say,

“Where is now their God?”

[3] Our God he is in heaven;

whatever he wishes, he does.

[4] Their idols are silver and gold,

made by human hands.

[5] They have mouths, but cannot speak;

they have eyes, but cannot see.

[6] They have ears, but cannot hear;

they have noses, but cannot smell.

[7] They have hands, but cannot feel;

they have feet, but cannot walk:

no sound comes from their throats.

[8] Their makers become like them,

so do all who trust in them.

 

[9] O Israel, trust in the Lord :

he is their help and their shield.

[10] House of Aaron, trust in the Lord :

he is their help and their shield.

[11] You who fear the Lord , trust in the Lord

he is their help and their shield.

 

[12] The Lord , mindful of us, will bless us:

he will bless the house of Israel,

he will bless the house of Aaron.

[13] He will bless those who fear the Lord ,

the small and the great together.

 

[14] May the Lord add to your numbers

to you and to your children.

[15] Blessed be you of the Lord ,

creator of heaven and earth.

 

[16] The heavens are the heavens of the Lord ,

but the earth has he given to people.

[17] The dead cannot praise the Lord ,

nor those who go down into silence.

[18] But we will bless the Lord

from now and for evermore.

Hallelujah.

[Psalms 116]

Psalm 116 – Song of Thanksgiving for Deliverance

[1] I love the Lord , for he hears

my voice, my pleas for mercy.

[2] For he has inclined his ear to me:

I will call upon him as long as I live.

 

[3] About me were snares of death,

the anguish of Sheol was upon me:

distress and sorrow were mine.

[4] Then I called on the name of the Lord :

“I beseech you, O Lord , deliver me.”

 

[5] Gracious and just is the Lord ,

compassionate is our God.

[6] The Lord preserves the simple;

when I was drooping, he saved me.

[7] Be at peace, my heart, once more,

for the Lord has been good to you.

 

[8] You have rescued me from death,

my eyes from tears,

my feet from stumbling.

[9] Before the Lord I will walk

in the land of the living.

 

[10] I held fast my faith, though I said,

“Ah me! I am sore afflicted,”

[11] though in my alarm I said,

“Everyone is a liar.”

 

[12] What shall I render the Lord

for all his bounty to me?

[13] I will lift up the cup of salvation,

and call on the name of the Lord .

[14] I will pay my vows to the Lord

in the presence of all his people.

 

[15] Grave in the eyes of the Lord

is the death of his loyal and loved ones.

[16] Ah, Lord ! I am your servant,

your servant, child of your handmaid.

You have loosened my bonds.

 

[17] I will offer to you a thank-offering,

and call on the name of the Lord .

[18] I will pay my vows to the Lord

in the presence of all his people,

[19] in the courts of the house of the Lord ,

in the midst of you, O Jerusalem.

Hallelujah.

[Psalms 117]

Psalm 117 – A Call to Praise

[1] Praise the Lord , all you nations:

laud him, all you peoples.

[2] For his mighty love is over us:

the Lord is faithful forever.

Hallelujah.

[Psalms 118]

Psalm 118 – Thanksgiving for Victory

[1] Give thanks to the Lord for his goodness,

his kindness endures forever.

[2] Let the house of Israel now say:

his kindness endures forever.

[3] Let the house of Aaron now say:

his kindness endures forever.

[4] Let those who fear the Lord now say:

his kindness endures forever.

 

[5] Out of straits I called on the Lord ,

the Lord answered and gave me room.

[6] The Lord is mine; I am fearless.

What can mere people do to me?

[7] The Lord is mine, as my help:

I shall feast my eyes on my foes.

[8] It is better to hide in the Lord

than to trust in mortals.

[9] It is better to hide in the Lord

than to put any trust in princes.

[10] Everywhere heathen swarmed round me;

in the name of the Lord I cut them down.

[11] They swarmed, swarmed around me;

in the name of the Lord I cut them down,

[12] they swarmed around me like bees,

they blazed like a fire of thorns:

in the name of the Lord I cut them down.

 

[13] Sore they pushed me, to make me fall;

but the Lord gave me his help.

[14] The Lord is my strength and my song,

and he is become my salvation.

[15] Hark! In the tents of the righteous

glad cries of victory are ringing.

The hand of the Lord has wrought bravely,

[16] the hand of the Lord is exalted,

the hand of the Lord has wrought bravely.

 

[17] I shall not die: nay, I shall live,

to declare the works of the Lord .

[18] Though the Lord has chastened me sore,

he has not given me over to death.

 

(The Procession arrives at the Temple)

 

[19] “Open to me the gates of victory.

I would enter therein and give thanks to the Lord .”

 

(The Welcome)

 

[20] “This is the gate of the Lord :

the righteous may enter therein;”

 

[21] I thank you because you have heard me,

and are become my salvation.

 

[22] The stone which the builders despised

is become the head-stone of the corner.

[23] This has been wrought by the Lord ;

it is marvelous in our eyes.

 

[24] This day is the Lord ’s own creation:

in it let us joy and be glad.

[25] O Lord , save us, we pray,

O Lord , prosper, we pray.

 

[26] Blessed the one who enters

in the name of the Lord .

From the house of the Lord we bless you.

[27] The Lord is God,

he has given us light.

Wreathe the dance with boughs,

till they touch the horns of the altar.

[28] You are my God, I will thank you;

O my God, I will exalt you.

[29] Give thanks to the Lord for his goodness:

his kindness endures forever.

[Psalms 119]

Psalm 119 – The Power and Comfort of the Word of God

[1] Happy they whose life is blameless,

who walk by the law of the Lord .

[2] Happy they who keep his charges,

and seek him with all their hearts;

[3] who have done no wrong,

but walk in his ways.

[4] You yourself have appointed your precepts

to be kept with diligence.

 

[5] O to be steadily guided

in the keeping of your statutes!

[6] Then unashamed shall I be,

when I look towards all your commandments.

[7] I will thank you with heart unfeigned,

when I learn your righteous judgments.

[8] I will observe your statutes:

O forsake me not utterly.

 

[9] How can a young person keep their life pure?

By giving heed to your word.

[10] With all my heart have I sought you,

let me not stray from your commandments.

[11] In my heart have I treasured your word,

to keep from sinning against you.

[12] Blessed are you, O Lord ;

teach me your statutes.

[13] With my lips have I rehearsed

all the judgments of your mouth.

[14] I delight in the way of your charges,

more than in riches of all sorts.

[15] I will muse upon your precepts,

and look to your paths.

[16] In your statutes I delight,

I will not forget your word.

 

[17] Grant that your servant may live,

and I will observe your word.

[18] Open my eyes, that I see

wondrous things out of your law.

[19] But a guest am I on the earth:

hide not your commandments from me.

[20] My heart is crushed with longing

for your ordinances, at all times.

[21] You rebuke the proud, the accursed,

who wander from your commandments.

[22] Roll away from me scorn and contempt,

for I have observed your charges.

[23] Though princes sit plotting against me,

your servant will muse on your statutes.

[24] Your charges are my delight,

they are my counsellors.

 

[25] I lie grovelling in the dust;

revive me, as you have promised.

[26] I told of my ways, you made answer;

teach me your statutes.

[27] Grant me insight into your precepts,

and I will muse on your wonders.

[28] I am overcome with sorrow;

raise me up, as you have promised.

[29] Put the way of falsehood from me,

and graciously grant me your law.

[30] I have chosen the way of fidelity,

your ordinances I long for.

[31] I hold fast to your charges:

O put me not, Lord , to shame.

[32] I will run in the way of your commandments,

for you give me room of heart.

 

[33] Teach me, O Lord , the way of your statutes,

and I will keep it to the end,

[34] instruct me to keep your law,

and I will observe it with all my heart.

[35] Guide me in the path of your commandments,

for therein do I delight.

[36] Incline my heart to your charges,

and not to greed of gain.

[37] Turn away my eyes from vain sights,

revive me by your word.

[38] Confirm to your servant the promise

which is given to those who fear you.

[39] Remove the reproach which I dread,

because your judgments are good.

[40] Behold, I long for your precepts.

Quicken me in your righteousness.

 

[41] Visit me, Lord , with your love

and salvation, as you have promised.

[42] So shall I answer my slanderers,

for my trust is in your word.

[43] Snatch not from my mouth the word of truth,

for in your judgments I hope.

[44] I will keep your law continually,

for ever and evermore.

[45] So shall I walk in wide spaces,

for I give my mind to your precepts.

[46] I will speak of your charge before kings,

and will not be ashamed thereof.

[47] Your commandments are my delight,

I love them exceedingly.

[48] I will lift up my hands to your commandments,

and muse upon your statutes.

 

[49] Remember your word to your servant,

on which you have made me to hope.

[50] This is my comfort in trouble,

that your word gives life to me.

[51] The arrogant utterly scorn me,

but I have not declined from your law.

[52] When I think of your judgments of old,

O Lord , I take to me comfort.

[53] I am seized with glowing anger

at the wicked who forsake your law.

[54] Your statutes have been to me songs

in the house of my pilgrimage.

[55] I remember your name in the night,

O Lord and observe your law.

[56] My lot has been this,

that I have kept your precepts.

 

[57] My portion are you, O Lord :

I have promised to keep your words.

[58] I entreat you with all my heart;

grant me your promised favor.

[59] I have thought upon my ways,

and turned my feet to your charges.

[60] I hasted and tarried not

to give heed to your commandments.

[61] Though the godless have wound their cords round me,

I have not forgotten your law.

[62] At midnight I rise to praise you

because of your righteous judgments.

[63] With all those who fear you I company,

aid with those who observe your precepts.

[64] The earth, Lord , is full of your kindness;

teach me your Statutes.

 

[65] Well have you dealt with your servant,

as you have promised, O Lord .

[66] Teach me discretion and knowledge,

for I have believed your commandments.

[67] Till trouble came I was a wanderer,

but now I observe your word.

[68] You are good and do good;

teach me your statutes.

[69] The proud have forged lies against me,

but I keep your precepts with all my heart.

[70] Their heart is gross like fat,

but I delight in your law.

[71] It was good for me to be humbled,

that I should learn your statutes.

[72] The law of your mouth is better to me

than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

 

[73] Your hands have made me and fashioned me;

make me wise to learn your commandments.

[74] Those who fear you shall see me with joy,

for in your word have I hoped.

[75] I know, O Lord , that your judgments are right,

and in faithfulness you have afflicted me.

[76] Let your love be a comfort to me,

for so have you promised your servant.

[77] Visit me with your quickening pity,

for your law is my delight.

[78] Put the proud to shame, who have wronged me falsely:

I will muse on your precepts.

[79] Let those turn to me who fear you,

that they may learn your charges.

[80] Let my heart be sound in your statutes,

that I may not be put to shame.

 

[81] My long for you to rescue me,

I put my hope in your word.

[82] My eyes pine away for your promise:

saying, “When will you comfort me?”

[83] Though shrivelled like wine-skin in smoke,

your statutes I have not forgotten.

[84] How few are the days of your servant!

When will you judge those who harass me?

[85] Proud people have dug for me pits

people who do not conform to your law.

[86] All your commandments are trusty.

With falsehood they harass me: help me.

[87] They had nearly made an end of me,

yet I did not forget your precepts.

[88] Spare me in your kindness,

and I will observe the charge of your mouth.

 

[89] Forever, O Lord , is your word

fixed firmly in the heavens.

[90] Your truth endures age after age;

it is established on earth, and it stands.

[91] By your appointment they stand this day,

for all are your servants.

[92] Had not your law been my joy,

in my misery then had I perished.

[93] I will never forget your precepts,

for through them you have put life in me.

[94] I am yours, O save me,

for I give my mind to your precepts.

[95] The wicked lay wait to destroy me,

but I give heed to your charge.

[96] I have seen a limit to all things:

but your commandment is spacious exceedingly.

 

[97] O how I love your law!

All the day long I muse on it.

[98] Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies:

for it is mine forever.

[99] I am prudent above all my teachers,

for your charges are my meditation.

[100] I have insight more than the aged,

because I observe your precepts.

[101] I refrain my foot from all wicked ways,

that I may keep your word.

[102] I turn not aside from your judgments,

for you yourself are my teacher.

[103] How sweet are your words to my taste,

sweeter than honey to my mouth!

[104] Insight I win through your precepts,

therefore every false way I hate.

 

[105] Your word is a lamp to my feet,

and a light to my path.

[106] I have sworn an oath, and will keep it,

to observe your righteous judgments.

[107] I am afflicted sorely:

revive me, O Lord , as you said.

[108] Accept, Lord , my willing praise,

and teach me your judgments.

[109] My life is in ceaseless peril;

but I do not forget your law.

[110] The wicked set traps for me,

yet I do not stray from your precepts.

[111] In your charges are my everlasting inheritance,

they are the joy of my heart.

[112] I am resolved to perform your statutes

forever, to the utmost.

 

[113] I hate people of divided heart,

but your law do I love.

[114] You are my shelter and shield:

in your word do I hope.

[115] Begone, you wicked people,

I will keep the commands of my God.

[116] Uphold me and spare me, as you have promised:

O disappoint me not.

[117] Hold me up, and I shall be saved:

and your statutes shall be my unceasing delight.

[118] All who swerve from your statutes you spurn:

their cunning is in vain.

[119] All the wicked of earth you count as dross,

therefore I love your charges.

[120] My flesh, for fear of you, shudders,

and I stand in awe of your judgments.

 

[121] Justice and right have I practised,

do not leave me to my oppressors.

[122] Be your servant’s surety for good,

let not the proud oppress me.

[123] My eyes pine for your salvation,

and for your righteous promise.

[124] Deal in your love with your servant,

and teach me your statutes.

[125] Your servant am I; instruct me,

that I may know your charges.

[126] It is time for the Lord to act:

they have violated your law.

[127] Therefore I love your commandments

above gold, above fine gold.

[128] So by all your precepts I guide me,

and every false way I hate.

 

[129] Your decrees are wonderful,

gladly I keep them.

[130] When your word is unfolded, light breaks;

it imparts to the simple wisdom.

[131] With open mouth I pant

with longing for your commandments.

[132] Turn to me with your favor,

as is just to those who love you.

[133] Steady my steps by your word,

so that sin have no power over me.

[134] Set me free from those who oppress me,

and I shall observe your precepts.

[135] Shine with your face on your servant,

and teach me your statutes.

[136] My eyes run down with rills of water,

because your law is not kept.

 

[137] Righteous are you, O Lord ,

and right are your ordinances.

[138] The laws you has ordered are just,

and trusty exceedingly.

[139] My jealousy has undone me,

that my foes have forgotten your words.

[140] Your word has been tested well;

and your servant loves it.

[141] I am little and held in contempt,

but your precepts I have not forgotten.

[142] Just is your justice forever,

and trusty is your law.

[143] Stress and strain are upon me,

but your commandments are my delight.

[144] Right are your charges forever,

instruct me that I may live.

 

[145] With my whole heart I cry; O answer me.

I would keep your statutes, O Lord .

[146] I cry to you: O save me,

and I will observe your charges.

[147] Ere the dawn I cry for your help:

in your word do I hope.

[148] Awake I meet the night-watches,

to muse upon your sayings.

[149] Hear my voice in your kindness:

O Lord , by your judgments revive me.

[150] Near me are wicked tormentors,

who are far from thoughts of your law;

[151] but near, too, are you, O Lord ,

and all your commandments are trusty.

[152] Long have I known from your charges

that you have founded them for all time.

 

[153] Look on my misery, and rescue me;

for I do not forget your law.

[154] Defend my cause and redeem me:

revive me, as you have promised.

[155] Salvation is far from the wicked,

for their mind is not in your statutes.

[156] Great is your pity, O Lord :

Revive me, as you have ordained.

[157] My foes and tormentors are many,

but I have not declined from your charges.

[158] I behold the traitors with loathing,

for they do not observe your word.

[159] Behold how I love your precepts:

revive me, O Lord !, in your kindness.

[160] The sum of your word is truth,

all your laws are just and eternal.

 

[161] Princes have harassed me wantonly:

but my heart stands in awe of your word.

[162] Over your word I rejoice

as one who finds great spoil.

[163] Falsehood I hate and abhor,

but your law do I love.

[164] Seven times a day do I praise you

because of your righteous judgments.

[165] Right well do they fare who love your law:

they go on their way without stumbling.

[166] I hope for your salvation;

O Lord I do your commandments.

[167] I observe your charges:

I love them greatly.

[168] I observe your precepts and charges:

all my ways are before you.

 

[169] Let my cry come before you, O Lord :

give me insight, as you have promised.

[170] Let my prayer enter into your presence:

deliver me, as you have said.

[171] My lips shall be fountains of praise,

that you teach me your statutes.

[172] My tongue shall sing of your word,

for all your commandments are right.

[173] Let your hand be ready to help me,

for your precepts have been my choice.

[174] I long, Lord , for your salvation,

and your law is my delight.

[175] Revive me that I may praise you,

and let your precepts help me.

[176] I have strayed like a wandering sheep

seek your servant, because

I do not forget your commandments.

[Psalms 120]

Psalm 120 – Prayer for Deliverance from Slander and Treachery

A song of ascents.

[1] In distress I cried to the Lord ,

and he answered me.

[2] “Deliver me, Lord ,

from the lip that is false

and the tongue that is crafty.”

 

[3] What shall he give to you,

you tongue that is crafty?

What yet shall he give to you?

[4] Arrows of warrior, sharpened,

with glowing broom coals together.

 

[5] Woe is me that I sojourn in Meshech,

that I live by the tents of Kedar.

[6] Already too long have I dwelt

among those who hate peace.

[7] I am for peace:

but when I speak of it,

they are for war.

[Psalms 121]

Psalm 121 – The Lord Our Protector
A song of ascents

[1] I will lift up my eyes to the mountains.

O whence shall help for me come?

[2] From the Lord comes help to me

the creator of heaven and earth.

 

[3] Your foot he will not let totter:

he who guards you will not sleep.

[4] The guardian of Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

 

[5] The Lord is he who guards you

your shelter upon your right hand.

[6] The sun by day shall not strike you,

nor the moon by night.

 

[7] From all evil the Lord will guard you,

he will guard your life.

[8] The Lord will guard your going and coming

from now and for evermore.

[Psalms 122]

Psalm 122 – The Joy and the Prayer of the Pilgrims

A song of ascents. Of David.

[1] I was glad when they said to me,

“We will go to the house of the Lord .”

[2] Now we are standing,

within your gates, O Jerusalem.

 

[3] O Jerusalem, built close-packed,

like a city without breach or gap,

[4] to you do the tribes come,

the tribes of the Lord ,

as the law has ordained for Israel,

there to give thanks to the Lord .

[5] There once stood thrones of justice

even thrones of the household of David.

 

[6] Pray that all may be well with Jerusalem,

and well with those who love you,

[7] well within your ramparts,

and well within your palaces.

 

[8] For the sake of my brethren and friends,

I will wish you now prosperity:

[9] for the sake of the house of the Lord

our God, I will seek your good.

[Psalms 123]

Psalm 123 – A Prayer for Mercy

A song of ascents.

[1] I Lift up my eyes to you,

who are throned in the heavens.

[2] As the eyes of a servant

turn to the hand of his master,

or the eyes of a maid

to the hand of her mistress,

so do our eyes turn

to the Lord our God,

until he is gracious to us.

 

[3] Be gracious, be gracious to us, Lord .

Scorn enough, and more, have we borne

[4] More than enough have we borne

of derision from those at their ease,

of scorn from those who are haughty.

[Psalms 124]

Psalm 124 – A Magnificent Deliverance

A song of ascents. Of David.

[1] “Had it not been the Lord who was for us”

let Israel say

[2] “Had it not been the Lord who was for us

when enemies rose against us,

[3] then alive they’d have swallowed us up,

when their anger was kindled against us.

[4] Then the waters would’ve swept us away,

and the torrent passed over us clean:

[5] then most sure would’ve passed over us clean

the wild seething waters.”

 

[6] Blest be the Lord who has given us not

to be torn by their teeth.

[7] We are like a bird just escaped

from the snare of the fowler.

 

The snare is broken,

and we are escaped.

[8] Our help is the name of the Lord ,

the Creator of heaven and earth.

[Psalms 125]

Psalm 125 – A Sure Defence

A song of ascents.

[1] Those who trust in the Lord

are like Mount Zion,

that cannot be moved,

but abides forever.

[2] Round Jerusalem are the mountains,

and the Lord is round his people

from now and for evermore.

 

[3] For he will not suffer

the sceptre of wrong

to rest on the land

allotted to the righteous;

else the righteous might put forth

their own hand to evil.

 

[4] Do good, O Lord ,

to the good,

and to the true-hearted.

 

[5] But those who swerve

into crooked ways

will the Lord lead away

with the workers of evil.

 

Peace be upon Israel.

[Psalms 126]

Psalm 126 – Sowing in Tears

A song of ascents.

[1] When the Lord turned the fortunes of Zion,

we were like dreamers.

[2] Then was our mouth filled with laughter,

our tongue with glad shouts;

then among the nations they said,

“The Lord has dealt greatly with them.”

[3] The Lord had dealt greatly with us,

and we were rejoicing.

 

[4] Turn our fortunes, O Lord ,

as the streams in the Negreb.

[5] They who sow in tears

shall reap with glad shouts.

[6] Forth they fare, with their burden of seed,

and they weep as they go.

But home, home, with glad shouts they shall come

with their arms full of sheaves.

[Psalms 127]

Psalm 127 – The Need of Heavenly Help

A song of ascents. Of Solomon.

[1] Unless the Lord builds the house,

those who build it labor in vain.

Unless the Lord guards the city,

the watchman wakes in vain.

 

[2] In vain you rise early,

and finish so late,

and so eat sorrow’s bread;

for he cares for his loved ones

in their sleep.

 

[3] Children are a gift of the Lord ,

the fruit of the womb, a reward.

[4] Like arrows wielded by warriors,

are the children of youth.

 

[5] Happy the man who has filled

his quiver full of them.

He will not be ashamed when he speaks

with enemies in the gate.

[Psalms 128]

Psalm 128 – The Blessings of Home

A song of ascents.

[1] Happy all who fear the Lord ,

who walk in his ways.

[2] You will eat what your hands have toiled for,

and be happy and prosperous!

 

[3] Like a fruitful vine shall your wife be

in the innermost room of your house:

your children, like olive shoots,

round about your table.

 

[4] See! This is the blessing

of the man who fears the Lord .

[5] The Lord shall bless you from Zion.

You will see Jerusalem nourish

all the days of your life.

[6] You will see your children’s children.

 

Peace upon Israel.

[Psalms 129]

Psalm 129 – A Prayer for the Discomfiture of the Enemies of Zion

A song of ascents.

[1] “Sore have they vexed me from youth”

thus let Israel say

[2] “Sore have they vexed me from youth,

but they have not prevailed against me.

 

[3] “The ploughers ploughed on my back,

they made their furrows long.

[4] But the Lord , who is righteous, has cut

the cords of the wicked.”

 

[5] Let all who are haters of Zion

be put to shame and defeated.

[6] May they be as the grass on the house-top,

which withers before it shoots up;

 

[7] which fills not the arms of the reaper,

nor the lap of the binder of sheaves

[8] whereof no one says as they pass,

“The blessing of God be upon you.”

 

In the name of the Lord we bless you.

[Psalms 130]

Psalm 130 – Out of the Depths

A song of ascents.

[1] Out of the depths

I call to you, Lord .

[2] Lord , hear my voice:

give heed with your ears

to my loud plea.

 

[3] If you should mark sin, Lord ,

O Lord , who could stand?

[4] But with you is forgiveness,

that you may be feared.

 

[5] I wait for the Lord ,

I wait for his word,

[6] I look for the Lord

more than watchman for morning,

than watchman for morning.

 

[7] Israel, hope in the Lord :

with the Lord there is love

with him plenteous redemption.

[8] And he redeems Israel

from all his iniquities.

[Psalms 131]

Psalm 131 – As a Little Child

A song of ascents. Of David.

[1] O Lord , my heart is not haughty,

my eyes are not lofty,

I walk not among great things,

things too wonderful for me.

 

[2] Yes, I have soothed and stilled myself,

like a young child on his mother’s lap;

like a young child am I.

 

[3] O Israel, hope in the Lord

from now and for evermore.

[Psalms 132]

Psalm 132 – The Ancient Promise to David and Zion

[1] Remember, O Lord , David

all his sufferings,

[2] the oath that he swore to the Lord ,

and his vow to the Strong One of Jacob,

[3] never to enter his tent,

never to lie on his bed,

[4] never to give his eyes sleep

or his eyelids slumber,

[5] till he had found a place for the Lord ,

for the Strong One of Jacob to live in.

 

[6] We heard of it in Ephrathah,

in the fields of Jaar we found it.

[7] We went to the place where he dwelt,

we bowed ourselves low at his footstool.

[8] “Arise, Lord , and enter your resting-place,

you and your mighty ark.

[9] Let your priests wear a garment of righteousness,

your faithful shout aloud for joy.

[10] For the sake of David your servant,

do not reject your Anointed.”

 

[11] The Lord swore an oath to David

an oath that he will not break;

“I will set on your throne

a prince of your line.

[12] If your sons keep my covenant

and the statutes I teach them,

then their sons, too, forever,

will sit on your throne.”

[13] For the choice of the Lord is Zion;

she is the home of his heart.

 

[14] “This is forever my resting-place,

this is the home of my heart.

[15] I will royally bless her provision,

and give bread to her poor in abundance.

[16] Her priests I will clothe with salvation;

her faithful will shout for joy.

[17] There will I raise up for David

a dynasty of power.

I have set my anointed a lamp

that shall never go out.

[18] Robes of shame I will put on his foes,

but on his head a glittering crown.”

[Psalms 133]

Psalm 133 – Family together

A song of ascents. Of David.

[1] Behold! How good and how pleasant

is the dwelling of kindred together!

[2] Like precious oil on the head

that ran down on the beard,

the beard of Aaron, running

over the collar of his robe:

[3] like the dew upon Hermon which falls

on the mountains of Zion.

For there has the Lord ordained blessing –

life that is endless.

[Psalms 134]

Psalm 134 – An Evening Invocation

A song of ascents.

[1] Come, praise the Lord ,

all you the Lord ’s servants,

who stand by night

in the house of the Lord .

[2] Lift your hands to the holy place,

praise the Lord .

 

[3] The Lord who made heaven and earth,

bless you from Zion.

[Psalms 135]

Psalm 135 – The Lord’s Power Revealed in Nature and History

[1] Hallelujah.

Praise the name of the Lord .

Praise the Lord , you his servants,

[2] who stand in the house of the Lord ,

in the courts of the house of our God.

[3] Praise the Lord , for the Lord is good:

Sing praise to his name it is pleasant.

[4] The Lord for himself chose Jacob,

Israel as his own special treasure.

 

[5] For I know that the Lord is great,

that our Lord is above all gods.

[6] All that he wills he does

in the heavens and on the earth,

in the seas and in all the abysses.

[7] Clouds he brings up from the ends of the earth,

lightnings he makes for the rain,

wind he brings out of his storehouses.

 

[8] The first-born of Egypt he struck,

both humans and animals.

[9] Signs and wonders he sent

into your midst, O Egypt,

upon Pharaoh and all his servants.

[10] Many nations he struck,

mighty kings he slew

[11] Sihon, king of the Amorites,

Og, king of Bashan,

and all the kingdoms of Canaan.

[12] He gave their land for possession,

possession to Israel his people.

 

[13] Your name, O Lord , is forever;

your memorial world without end.

[14] For the Lord secures right for his people,

and takes pity upon his servants.

 

[15] The idols of heathen are silver

made by human hands.

[16] They have mouths, but cannot speak:

they have eyes, but cannot see.

[17] They have ears, but cannot hear:

there is no breath in their mouths.

[18] Their makers become like them,

so do all who trust in them.

 

[19] House of Israel, praise the Lord :

house of Araon, praise the Lord .

[20] House of Levi, praise the Lord :

you who fear the Lord , praise the Lord .

[21] Blest be the Lord out of Zion,

who lives in Jerusalem.

Hallelujah.

[Psalms 136]

Psalm 136 – The Lord’s Love Revealed in Nature and History

[1] Give thanks to the Lord for his goodness:

for his kindness endures forever.

[2] Give thanks to the God of gods:

for his kindness endures forever.

[3] Give thanks to the Lord of lords:

for his kindness endures forever.

 

[4] To him who alone does great wonders:

for his kindness endures forever.

[5] Whose wisdom created the heavens:

for his kindness endures forever.

[6] Who spread forth the earth on the waters:

for his kindness endures forever.

[7] Who made great lights:

for his kindness endures forever.

[8] The sun to rule over the day:

for his kindness endures forever.

[9] Moon and stars to rule over the night:

for his kindness endures forever.

 

[10] Who struck the first-born of Egypt:

for his kindness endures forever.

[11] And brought Israel out from their midst:

for his kindness endures forever.

[12] With strong hand and outstretched arm:

for his kindness endures forever.

[13] Who cut the Red Sea in pieces:

for his kindness endures forever.

[14] And brought Israel right through the midst:

for his kindness endures forever.

[15] And shook Pharaoh with all his host into the sea

for his kindness endures forever.

 

[16] Who led his people through the desert:

for his kindness endures forever.

[17] Who struck down great kings:

for his kindness endures forever.

[18] And slew noble kings:

for his kindness endures forever.

[19] Sihon, king of the Amorites:

for his kindness endures forever.

[20] And Og, king of Bashan:

for his kindness endures forever.

[21] Who gave their land for possession:

for his kindness endures forever.

[22] Possession to Israel his servant:

for his kindness endures forever.

 

[23] Who remembered our low estate:

for his kindness endures forever.

[24] And rescued us from our foes:

for his kindness endures forever.

[25] Who gives to all flesh food:

for his kindness endures forever.

[26] Give thanks to the God of heaven:

for his kindness endures forever.

[Psalms 137]

Psalm 137 – By the Waters of Babylon

[1] By the waters of Babylon there we sat,

and we wept at the thought of Zion.

[2] There on the poplars we hung our harps.

[3] For there our captors called for a song:

our tormentors, rejoicing, saying:

“Sing us one of the songs of Zion.”

 

[4] How can we sing the Lord ’s song

in the foreigner’s land?

[5] If I forget you, Jerusalem,

may my right hand wither.

[6] May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,

if I am unmindful of you,

or don’t set Jerusalem

above my chief joy.

 

[7] Remember the Edomites, Lord ,

the day of Jerusalem’s fall,

when they said, “Lay her bare, lay her bare,

right down to her very foundation.”

 

[8] Babylon, despoiler,

happy are those who pay you back

for all you have done to us.

[9] Happy are they who seize and dash

your children against the rocks.

[Psalms 138]

Psalm 138 – The Constancy of the Lord’s Care

Of David.

[1] I will thank you, O Lord , with all my heart:

in the sight of the gods I will sing your praise,

[2] and prostrate before your holy temple,

will praise your name for your constant love,

for you have exulted your promise above all.

 

[3] When I called you, you answered;

you gave me strength, you inspired me.

[4] All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord ,

when they shall have heard the words you have uttered;

[5] and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord ,

and tell of the Lord ’s transcendent glory.

[6] For, high though the Lord is, he looks on the lowly,

and strikes down the haughty from far away.

 

[7] Though my way be distressful, yet you preserve me:

you lay your hand on my angry foes,

and your right hand gives me victory.

[8] The Lord will accomplish all that which concerns me.

Your kindness, O Lord , endures forever.

O do not abandon the work of your hands.

[Psalms 139]

Psalm 139 – The Ever-Present God

For the leader. Of David, a psalm.

[1] O Lord , you search and know me;

[2] when I sit, when I rise you know it,

you perceive my thoughts from afar.

 

[3] When I walk, when I lie you sift it,

familiar with all my ways.

[4] There is not a word on my tongue,

but see! Lord , you know it all.

 

[5] Behind and before you beset me,

upon me you lay your hand.

[6] It’s too wonderful for me to know

too lofty I cannot attain it.

 

[7] Whither shall I go from your spirit?

Or whither shall I flee from your face?

[8] If I climb up to heaven, you are there:

or make Sheol my bed, you are there.

 

[9] If I lift up the wings of the morning

and fly to the end of the sea,

[10] there also your hand would grasp me,

and your right hand take hold of me.

 

[11] If I say, “Let the darkness cover me,

and night be the light about me,”

[12] The dark is not dark for you,

but night is as light as the day.

 

[13] For you did put me together;

in my mother’s womb you did weave me.

[14] I give you praise for my fashioning

so full of awe, so wonderful.

Your works are wonderful.

 

You knew me right well;

[15] my bones were not hidden from you,

when I was made in secret,

and woven in the depths of the earth.

 

[16] Your eyes saw all my days:

they stood on your book every one

written down, before they were fashioned,

while none of them yet was mine.

 

[17] But how far, O God, beyond measure

are your thoughts! How mighty their sum!

[18] Should I count, they are more than the sand.

When I wake, I am still with you.

 

[19] Will you slay the wicked, O God?

And remove from me the bloodthirsty,

[20] who maliciously defy you

and take your name in vain.

 

[21] Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord ?

Do I not loathe those who resist you?

[22] With perfect hatred I hate them,

I count them my enemies.

 

[23] Search me, O God, know my heart:

test me, and know my thoughts,

[24] and see if guile be in me;

and lead me in the way everlasting.

[Psalms 140]

Psalm 140 – A Prayer for Preservation

[1] Rescue me, Lord , from evil people;

from the violent guard me

[2] from those who plot evil in their heart,

and stir up war continually:

[3] who make their tongue as sharp as a serpent’s,

and under whose lips is the poison of adders. Selah

 

[4] Preserve me, O Lord , from the hands of the wicked,

from the violent guard me

from those who are plotting to trip up my feet.

[5] The proud have hidden a trap for me,

cords they have spread as a net for my feet:

snares they have set at the side of my track. Selah

 

[6] I have said to the Lord , “My God are you;

give ear, Lord , to my loud plea.

[7] O Lord my Lord , my savior mighty,

you did cover my head in the day of battle.

[8] Grant not, O Lord , the desires of the wicked;

and what they have purposed, promote you not.” Selah

 

[9] Let them not lift up their heads against me.

May the mischief they prate bring themselves to destruction,

[10] may he rain upon them coals of fire,

may he strike them down swiftly, to rise no more,

[11] no place in the land may there be for the slanderer:

may the violent be hunted from sorrow to sorrow.

 

[12] I know that the Lord will do right by the weak,

and will execute justice for those who are needy.

[13] Surely the righteous shall praise your name,

and they who are upright shall live in your presence.

[Psalms 141]

Psalm 141 – A Prayer for Protection from Persecutors

A psalm of David.

[1] Lord , I call to you: hasten, to me,

give ear to my voice, when I call to you.

[2] Let my prayer be presented as incense before you,

and my uplifted hands as the evening meal-offering.

 

[3] Set, O Lord , a watch on my mouth,

put a guard on the door of my lips.

[4] Incline not my heart to an evil matter,

to busy myself in deeds of wickedness,

in company with workers of evil:

never may I partake of their dainties.

 

[5] A wound or reproof from a good person in kindness

is oil which my head shall never refuse.

In their misfortune my prayer is still with them.

 

[6] Abandoned they are to the hands of their judges:

they shall learn that my words are true.

 

[7] Like stones on a country road cleft and broken

so lie our bones scattered for Death to devour.

[8] But my eyes are turned towards you, O Lord .

Do not pour out my life, for in you I take refuge.

[9] Keep me safe from the trap they have laid for me,

from the snares of the workers of trouble.

[10] Into their own nets let wicked people fall;

while I pass by in safety.

[Psalms 142]

Psalm 142 – A Prayer for Deliverance from Persecutors

A maskil of David, while he was in the cave, a prayer.

[1] Loudly I cry to the Lord :

to the Lord plead loudly for mercy,

[2] I pour my complaint before him,

I tell my troubles to him.

 

[3] When my spirit is faint within me,

my path is known to you.

In the way I am wont to walk in,

they have hidden a trap for me.

 

[4] I look to the right and the left;

but not a friend have I.

No place of refuge is left me,

not a man to care for me.

 

[5] So I cry to you, O Lord :

I say, “My refuge are you,

all I have in the land of the living.”

 

[6] Attend to my piercing cry,

for very weak am I.

Save me from those who pursue me,

for they are too strong for me.

 

[7] Free me from prison,

that I may give thanks to your name,

for the righteous are patiently waiting

till you show your bounty to me.

[Psalms 143]

Psalm 143 – A Prayer for Deliverance and Guidance

A psalm of David.

[1] Listen, O Lord , to my prayer;

give ear to my plea.

In your faithfulness give me answer,

and in your righteousness.

[2] With your servant O enter you not into judgment,

for in your sight can no one alive be justified.

 

[3] For the enemy persecutes me,

crushing my life to the ground,

making me live in the darkness,

as those who have long been dead.

[4] My spirit is faint within me,

my heart is bewildered within me.

 

[5] I remember the days of old,

and brood over all you have done,

musing on all that your hands have wrought.

[6] I spread out my hands to you:

I thirst for you,

like parched earth. Selah

 

[7] Answer me soon, Lord ,

because my spirit is spent.

Hide not your face from me,

else become I like those who go down to the pit.

[8] Let me learn of your love in the morning,

for my trust is in you.

Teach me the way I should go:

for my heart longs for you.

 

[9] Save me, O Lord , from my foes:

for to you I have fled for refuge.

[10] Teach me to do your will,

for you yourself are my God.

Guide me by your good spirit,

O Lord , on a way that is smooth.

 

[11] Be true to your name Lord , spare me,

bring me out of distress in your faithfulness.

[12] In your kindness extinguish my enemies,

and all those who vex me destroy;

for I am your servant.

[Psalms 144]

Psalm 144 – The Warrior’s Song

Of David.

[1] Blest be the Lord my rock,

who trains my hands for war,

my fingers for fighting.

[2] My rock and my fortress,

my tower, my deliverer,

my shield, behind whom I take refuge,

who lays nations low at my feet.

 

[3] Lord , what are mortals

that you care for them,

humans,

that you think of them?

[4] They are like a breath,

their days as a shadow that passes.

 

[5] Lord , bow your heavens and come down:

touch the hills, so that they smoke.

[6] Flash forth lightning and scatter them,

your arrows send forth and confound them.

 

[7] Stretch out your hand from on high;

pluck me out of the mighty waters,

out of the hands of foreigners,

[8] who speak with the mouth of falsehood,

and lift their right hand to swear lies.

 

[9] O God, a new song I would sing you,

on a ten-stringed harp make you music.

[10] For to kings you give the victory,

and David your servant you save.

[11] Snatch me from the cruel sword,

rescue me from the hand of foreigners,

who speak with the mouth of falsehood,

and lift their right hand to swear lies.

The Prosperity of the Lord’s People

[12] May our sons in their youth

be as plants well tended:

our daughters like cornices

carved as in palaces.

 

[13] May our barns be bursting

with produce of all kinds.

In the fields may our sheep bear

by thousands and ten thousands.

 

[14] May our cattle be fat,

our walls unbreached,

may no cry of distress

ring in our streets.

 

[15] Happy the people

who fares so well:

and so fares the people

whose God is the Lord .

[Psalms 145]

Psalm 145 – The Kingdom Everlasting

A song of praise. Of David.

[1] I will exalt you, my God, O king:

I will praise your name for ever and ever.

[2] I will bless you every day:

I will praise your name for ever and ever.

 

[3] Great is the Lord and worthy all praise,

his greatness is unsearchable.

[4] One age to another shall praise your deeds,

declaring the mighty things you have done.

 

[5] Of your glorious majesty they shall tell,

and I will muse of your many wonders.

[6] Of the might of your terrible acts they shall speak,

and the tale of your great deeds I will tell.

 

[7] The fame of your abundant goodness

and righteousness they shall pour forth in song.

[8] The Lord is full of grace and pity,

patient and rich in loving-kindness.

 

[9] The Lord is good to all the world,

and his pity is over all things that he made.

[10] All your works give you thanks, O Lord ,

and you are blessed of those who love you.

 

[11] They shall speak of your glorious kingdom,

and of your might shall they discourse,

[12] making known to all his mighty acts,

and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.

 

[13] Yours is a kingdom that lives through all ages:

through all generations extends your dominion.

The Lord is faithful in all that he promises,

gracious is he in all that he does.

 

[14] The Lord upholds all who fall;

he lifts up all who are bowed down.

[15] The eyes of all look in hope to you,

and you give them their food in due season.

 

[16] You yourself open your hand,

and fill with your favor all things that live.

[17] The Lord is righteous in all his ways,

gracious is he in all that he does.

 

[18] The Lord is near to all who call him,

to all who call upon him in truth.

[19] He will fulfil the desires of those who fear him;

he will hear their cry for help and save them.

 

[20] The Lord is the keeper of all who love him,

but all the wicked will he destroy.

[21] My mouth will utter the praise of the Lord ,

and all life will bless his holy name

for ever and ever.

[Psalms 146]

Psalm 146 – The Great Protector

[1] My soul, praise the Lord .

[2] I will praise the Lord , while I live;

I will sing to my God, while I am.

 

[3] Put not your trust in princes

mortals, in whom is no help.

[4] When their breath goes out,

they go back to the dust:

on that very day

their purposes perish.

[5] Happy those whose help

is the God of Jacob:

whose hope is set

on the Lord their God,

[6] the Creator of heaven and earth,

the sea, and all that is in them.

 

He remains eternally loyal.

[7] For the wronged he executes justice;

he gives bread to the hungry;

the Lord releases the prisoners.

[8] The Lord gives sight to the blind:

the Lord raises those who are bowed.

The Lord loves the righteous.

[9] The Lord preserves the stranger,

upholds the widow and orphan,

but the wicked he leads to disaster.

 

[10] The Lord shall reign forever,

your God, O Zion, to all generations.

Hallelujah.

[Psalms 147]

Psalm 147 – The Lord’s Love and Power Revealed in Nature

[1] Hallelujah.

It is good to sing praise to our God,

for praise is sweet and seemly.

[2] The Lord builds up Jerusalem,

the outcasts of Israel he gathers.

[3] He heals the broken in heart,

and binds up their wounds.

[4] He counts the numberless stars,

he gives names to them all.

[5] Great is our Lord , rich in power,

and measureless is his wisdom.

[6] The Lord lifts up the down-trodden,

the wicked he brings to the ground.

 

[7] Sing songs of thanks to the Lord ,

and play on the lyre to our God.

[8] For he covers the sky with clouds,

he prepares rain for the earth,

makes grass to grow on the mountains.

[9] He gives the cattle their food

the young ravens when they cry.

[10] His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,

his joy is not in the speed of a runner;

[11] but the Lord has his pleasure in those who fear him,

in those who wait for his kindness.

 

[12] Praise the Lord , then, O Jerusalem:

sing praise to your God, O Zion.

[13] For he strengthens the bars of your gates,

and blesses your children within you.

[14] He brings peace to your borders,

and choicest of wheat in abundance.

[15] He sends his command to the earth:

his word runs very swiftly.

[16] Snow he gives like wool,

frost he scatters like ashes.

[17] He casts forth his ice like morsels:

who can stand before his cold?

[18] He sends forth his word, and melts them:

his wind blows the waters flow.

 

[19] He declares his word to Jacob,

his statutes and judgments to Israel.

[20] No other nation did he do this for,

they know nothing of his judgments.

Hallelujah.

[Psalms 148]

Psalm 148 – The Universal Chorus of Praise

[1] Praise the Lord from the heavens,

praise him in the heights.

[2] Praise him, all his angels;

praise him, all his hosts.

 

[3] Praise him, sun and moon;

praise him, all stars of light.

[4] Praise him, you highest heavens,

and you waters above the heavens.

 

[5] Let them praise the name of the Lord ,

for at his command they were made.

[6] And he fixed them for ever and ever

by a law which they dare not transgress.

 

[7] Praise the Lord from the earth:

you depths, with your monsters, all.

[8] Fire, hail, snow and ice,

and stormy wind doing his word.

 

[9] All you mountains and hills,

all you fruit trees and cedars,

[10] all you wild beasts and tame,

creeping things, birds on the wing.

 

[11] All you kings and nations of earth;

all you princes and judges of earth:

[12] young men and maidens together,

old men and children together.

 

[13] Let them praise the name of the Lord ,

for his name alone is exalted.

Over heaven and earth is his glory.

[14] He has lifted his people to honor.

Wherefore this chorus of praise from his saints,

from Israel, the people who stand in his fellowship.

Hallelujah.

[Psalms 149]

Psalm 149 – Song of Victory

[1] Hallelujah.

Sing to the Lord a new song,

sound his praise where the faithful are gathered.

[2] Let Israel rejoice in its maker,

sons of Zion exult in their king.

[3] Let them praise his name in the dance,

making music with lyre and with timbrel.

[4] For the Lord delights in his people,

adorning the humble with victory.

 

[5] Let the faithful exult and extol him

with glad ringing cries all night long.

[6] High praises of God in their mouth,

and a two-edged sword in their hand:

[7] on the heathen to execute vengeance,

and chastisement sore on the nations,

[8] binding their kings with chains,

and their nobles with fetters of iron,

[9] to execute on them the doom that is written.

 

This is the glory of all his faithful.

Hallelujah.

[Psalms 150]

Psalm 150 – Hallelujah

[1] Hallelujah.

Praise God in his holy place.

Praise him in the sky, his stronghold.

[2] Praise him for his deeds of power.

Praise him for his boundless greatness.

 

[3] Praise him with blast of horn;

praise him with harp and lyre.

[4] Praise him with timbrel and dance;

praise him with strings and pipe.

[5] Praise him with resounding cymbals,

praise him with clashing cymbals.

[6] Let all that has breath praise the Lord .

Hallelujah.

Joel

[Joel 1]

[1] The Lord ’s message that came to Joel, son of Pethuel.

Locust plague and drought

[2] Hear this, elders,

pay attention, all inhabitants of the land,

Has anything like this happened in your days,

or in the days of your ancestors?

[3] Recount it to your children;

let your children tell it to their children,

and their children to the generation that follows.

 

[4] That which the cutting locust has left,

the swarming locust has eaten,

that which the swarming locust has left,

the hopping locust has eaten,

and that which the hopping locust has left,

the destroying locust has eaten.

 

[5] Awake, drunkards, and weep,

and wail, all drinkers of wine;

the new wine is cut off from your mouth.

[6] For a nation has come up on my land,

powerful, and numberless;

its teeth are the teeth of a lion,

and its jaw-teeth are like those of a lioness.

[7] It has laid waste my vines,

and barked my fig-tree;

it has peeled and cast it away,

bleached are the branches.

 

[8] Wail as a bride, clad in sack-cloth,

for the husband of her youth.

[9] Cut off are the cereal and drink-offerings

from the house of the Lord ;

in mourning are the priests,

who minister at the Lord ’s altar.

[10] The fields are blasted,

the land is in mourning,

for ruined is the grain,

the new wine fails

and the oil is dried up.

[11] Be dismayed, farmers;

wail, vine-dressers.

For the wheat and the barley;

for the harvest is lost from the fields.

[12] The vine fails to bear fruit,

and the fig-tree is drooping;

the pomegranate, palm, and apple,

all the trees of the field are dried up.

The people’s joy withers.

 

[13] Put on sackcloth, and beat your breasts, priests;

wail, ministers of the altar;

come, lie all night in sack-cloth, ministers of God;

for cereal-offering and drink-offering

are cut off from the house of your God.

 

[14] Sanctify a fast,

summon an assembly,

gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land

into the house of the Lord your God,

cry to the Lord :

[15] Alas for the day!

Near at hand is the day of the Lord ,

and as destruction from the Almighty it comes.

 

[16] Is not food cut off

from before us,

gladness and joy

from the house of our God?

[17] The grains shrivel under their hoes,

the storehouses are desolate,

the barns broken down,

for the grain is withered.

[18] How the herds of cattle bellow in distress,

for they have no pasture!

The flocks of sheep are forlorn.

 

[19] To you, the Lord , I cry.

For fire has devoured

the pastures of the wilderness,

and flame has scorched

all the trees of the field.

[20] The wild animals also look up to you longingly,

for the water-courses are dried up,

and fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

 

[Joel 2]

[1] Blow a horn in Zion,

sound an alarm in my holy mountain,

let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,

for the day of the Lord comes,

for near is [2] the day of darkness and gloom,

the day of cloud and thick darkness!

 

Like the light of dawn scattered over the mountains,

a people great and powerful;

its like has not been from of old,

neither will be any more after it,

even to the years of coming ages.

 

[3] Before them the fire devours,

and behind them a flame burns;

like the garden of Eden is the land before them,

and after them it is a desolate desert,

nothing escapes them.

 

[4] Their appearance is as the appearance of horses,

and like horsemen they charge.

[5] Like the sound of chariots on the tops of the mountains they leap,

like the crackle of flames devouring stubble.

like a mighty people preparing for battle.

 

[6] Peoples are in anguish before them,

all faces grow pale.

 

[7] Like mighty men they run,

like warriors they mount up a wall,

they march each by himself,

they break not their ranks,

[8] none jostles the other.

 

They march each in his path.

They fall upon the weapons without breaking.

[9] They scour the city, they run on the wall.

They climb up into the houses.

Like a thief they enter the windows.

 

[10] Earth trembles before them,

the sky quakes,

the sun and moon become dark,

and the stars withdraw their shining;

[11] and the Lord utters his voice before his army,

for his host is exceedingly great.

Mighty is he who performs his word.

For great is the day of the Lord ,

it is terrible, who can endure it?

 

[12] But now this is the message of the Lord :

Turn to me with all your heart,

and with fasting and weeping and mourning,

[13] rend your hearts and not your garments,

and turn to the Lord your God;

for he indeed is gracious and merciful,

slow to anger and plenteous in love,

and relents of the evil.

[14] Who knows but he will turn and relent,

and leave a blessing behind him,

a cereal and drink-offering for the Lord your God.

 

[15] Blow a horn in Zion,

sanctify a fast, summon an assembly,

[16] gather the people, make holy the congregation,

assemble the elders,

gather the children,

and the infants at the breast.

Let the bridegroom come forth from his chamber,

and the bride from her bridal tent.

 

[17] Between the porch and the altar,

let the priests, the ministers of the Lord weep aloud,

let them say:

Spare, the Lord , your people.

Make not your heritage an object of reproach,

for the heathen to mock them.

Why should it be said among the nations, ‘Where is their God?’

Future blessings

[18] Then the Lord became deeply concerned for his land, and took pity upon his people, [19] and the Lord answered and said to his people:

I will send you grain, wine, and oil.

You will be satisfied.

I will not make you again

an object of scorn among the nations,

[20] I will remove far from you the northern foe,

and I will drive it into a land barren and desolate,

its front into the eastern sea,

and its rear to the western sea.

And from it a stench will arise.

 

He has done great things!

[21] Fear not, land, exult.

Rejoice for the Lord has done great things!

[22] Fear not, animals of the field.

For the pastures of the wilderness are putting forth new grass,

for the trees bear their fruit,

fig-tree and vine yield full harvest.

[23] Be glad, then, children of Zion,

and rejoice in the Lord your God,

For he has given you the early rain in just measure,

and poured down upon you the winter rain,

and sent the latter rain as before.

[24] The threshing floors will be full of grain,

and the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

 

[25] I will repay you for the years

which the swarming locust has eaten.

The hopping, the destroying, and the cutting locusts,

my great army which I sent among you,

and my people will never again be put to shame.

[26] You will eat your food and be satisfied,

and praise the name of the Lord your God,

who has dealt so wonderfully by you,

[27] and you will know that I am in the midst of Israel,

that I am the Lord your God and none else,

and my people will never again be put to shame.

 

[28] Afterwards,

I will pour out my spirit on everyone.

Your sons and your daughters will prophesy,

your old men will dream dreams.

Your young men will see visions,

[29] and even on your male and female slaves

in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

 

[30] And I will show signs in the sky and on earth:

Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.

[31] The sun will be turned into darkness,

and the moon into blood

before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord .

[32] But whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, even as the Lord has said, and among the fugitives those whom the Lord calls.

[Joel 3]

[1] For, in those days and in that time, when I bring back again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, [2] I will also gather all the nations and bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and there I will enter into judgment with them for my people and my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and divided my land.

[3] They have cast lots for my people.

They have traded boys

for prostitutes,

and sold girls for wine,

and drunk it.

[4] What are you to me, Tyre and Sidon and all the districts of Philistia? Were you repaying any deed of mine, or were you doing something for me? Quickly will I return your deed upon your heads. [5] You who have taken my silver and my gold, and you have brought my goodly jewels into your palaces, [6] you have sold the people of Judah and of Jerusalem to the Greeks, so that you might remove them far from their own borders. [7] I am about to stir them up from the place to which you have sold them, and I will turn your deeds upon your own head. [8] I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hands of the people of Judah, and they will sell them to the Sabeans, to a nation far off, for the Lord has spoken.

[9] Proclaim this among the nations, sanctify war.

Arouse the warriors,

let all the fighting men muster and go up.

[10] Beat your ploughshares into swords,

and your pruning-hooks into lances;

let the weak say, I, indeed, am strong.

[11] Bestir yourselves and come,

all you nations round about.

Quickly gather yourselves together,

ask the Lord to bring his warriors.

 

[12] Let the nations rouse themselves

and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat,

for there will I sit to judge

all the surrounding nations.

[13] Put in the sickle,

for the harvest is ripe;

go in, tread,

for the wine press is full.

The vats overflow,

for great is their wickedness.

[14] Noisy multitudes, noisy multitudes

in the valley of decision

For near is the Lord ’s day in the valley of decision!

 

[15] Sun and moon have turned dark,

and the stars withdrawn their shining.

 

[16] Whenever the Lord roars from Zion

and utters his voice from Jerusalem,

earth and sky quake;

but the Lord is a refuge to his people,

and a fortress to the people of Israel.

[17] And you will know that I am the Lord your God,

I who dwells in Zion, my holy mountain,

and Jerusalem will be holy,

and strangers will not pass through her any more.

 

[18] In that day,

the mountains will drop sweet wine,

the hills will flow with milk,

all the channels of Judah will flow with water,

a fountain will spring from the house of Judah,

and will water the Valley of Shittim.

[19] Egypt will become a desolation,

and Edom a wilderness,

because of the violence done to the people of Judah,

because they shed innocent blood in their land,

[20] Judah will remain inhabited forever,

and Jerusalem from generation to generation.

[21] I will avenge their blood which I have not yet avenged.

 

The Lord lives in Zion!

The Vision of

Obadiah

Concerning Edom

[Obadiah 1]

[1] The vision of Obadiah; what the Lord said about Edom:

We have heard a report from the Lord ,

a messenger has been sent among the nations;

Rise up, let us rise against Edom in battle!

 

[2] I will make you small among the nations,

and despised by all!

[3] Your proud heart has misled you,

you who live in the clefts of the rock,

you who build on high your dwelling.

You say to yourselves,

‘Who can bring me down to earth?’

[4] Though you build high as the eagle,

though between the stars you set your nest,

from there will I bring you down,

says the Lord .

 

[5] If thieves had come to you, marauders by night

would they not have stolen only as much as they needed?

If grape-gatherers had come to you

would they not have left some gleanings?

[6] Descendents of Esau,

all your treasures are looted.

[7] To your border they have driven you,

all your allies have betrayed you.

Your avowed friends have overpowered you,

they have set a trap for you.

Where is your wisdom now?

[8] The Lord says:

On that day,

I will destroy the wise of Edom,

drive wisdom out of Mount Esau.

[9] Your warriors will be filled with terror, Teman,

none will be left alive on Mount Esau.

 

[10] Because of the violence done to your relatives, the people of Jacob,

shame covers you,

you are cut off forever.

[11] In the day when you stood aloof,

in the day when strangers carried away their wealth,

and strangers entered into their gates,

and over Jerusalem cast lots,

you were as one of those strangers.

 

[12] You should not have gloated over your relatives,

in the day of their misfortune.

You should not have exulted over the land of Judah

in the day of their destruction.

You should not have laughed loudly

at their distress.

[13] You should not have entered in at the gate of my people

in the day of their disaster.

You should not have gloated over their calamity,

in the day of their disaster,

nor stretched out your hand after their wealth

in the day of their disaster,

[14] nor stood at the crossroads

to cut down their fugitives,

nor should you have betrayed their refugees

in the day of distress.

 

[15] Near at hand is the Lord ’s day for all the nations.

As you have done so will it be done to you.

Your deeds will come back on your own head.

 

[16] As you have drunk upon my holy mountain,

so all the nations will drink in turn;

They will drink deep

and be as though they had not been.

 

[17] But on Mount Zion some will escape,

it will be again holy,

and those of the house of Jacob

will again enter into their possessions.

[18] For the house of Jacob will be a fire,

and the house of Joseph a flame,

but the house of Esau will become stubble.

They will kindle and devour it.

Not even one of the house of Esau will escape,

for the Lord has spoken.

 

[19] They will possess the Negeb and Mount Esau,

and the Shephelah of the Philistines.

They will possess the territory of Ephraim and Samaria,

and Benjamin will possess Gilead.

[20] The exiles of Israel will possess the land of the Canaanites

as far as Zarephath.

The captives of Jerusalem who are in Sepharad

will possess the cities of the Negreb.

[21] The rescued will come up on Mount Zion to rule Mount Esau,

and the kingdom will belong to the Lord .

Jonah

[Jonah 1]

Jonah runs away

[1] This message from the Lord came to Jonah, the son of Amittai: [2] “Arise, go to that great city, Nineveh, and preach against it; for their wickedness is known to me.” [3] But Jonah started to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord . He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went aboard to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord . [4] But the Lord made a furious wind blow over the sea, and there was such a great storm that the ship was in danger of breaking to pieces. [5] The sailors were terrified and each cried for help to his own god. They threw the ship’s cargo into the sea to make the ship lighter. Meanwhile Jonah had gone down into the bottom of the ship and lay fast asleep. [6] The captain of the ship went and said to him, “How can you sleep? Call on your god; perhaps that god will think of us, so that we may not be lost.”

[7] The sailors said to one another, “Come, let us cast lots to discover on whose account this evil has come upon us.” So they cast lots, and the lot indicated Jonah. [8] So they said to him, “Are you to blame for this? Tell us, what is your business, and where do you come from? What is your country and to what people do you belong?” [9] He replied, “I am a Hebrew, and a worshipper of the Lord , the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land.” [10] Then the men were greatly frightened and said to him, “What have you done?” For they knew that he was fleeing from the presence of the Lord , because he had told them.

[11] Then they said to him, “What should we do to you, to make the sea calm for us?” For the sea grew more and more stormy. [12] He said to them, “Take me up and throw me into the sea, and the sea will be calm for you, for I know that it is because of me this fierce storm has overtaken you.”

[13] But instead the men rowed hard to get back to the land; they could not, however, for the sea grew more and more stormy ahead. [14] So they cried to the Lord and said, “We beg you, Lord , we beg you, don’t let us die for this man’s life, and don’t let us be guilty of shedding innocent blood, for you are the Lord ; you have done as it pleases you.” [15] And they took up Jonah, and threw him into the sea; and the sea became calm. [16] Then the men greatly feared the Lord , and they offered a sacrifice and made vows to him.

[17] But the Lord arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was inside the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah’s song

[Jonah 2]

[1] Jonah prayed to the Lord his God, out of the belly of the fish, [2] and said:

I cried out of my distress, to the Lord

and he answered me;

out of the midst of Sheol I cried aloud,

and you heard my voice.

 

[3] For you cast me into the deep,

into heart of the seas,

and the great flood rolled about me;

all your breakers and your waves

passed over me.

 

[4] Then I said, I am driven out,

away from your sight;

How will I ever again

look towards your holy temple?

 

[5] The waters surrounded me,

the great deep engulfed me,

the sea weeds were wrapped about my head.

[6] I went down to the roots of the mountains;

the prison of the earth closed over me forever.

 

Yet you brought up my life from destruction,

O Lord my God.

[7] As my life slipped away,

I remembered the Lord ;

and my prayer reached you,

in your holy temple.

 

[8] Those who worship worthless idols

abandon their own mercy,

[9] but I will sacrifice to you

with loud thanksgiving!

I will pay that which I have vowed.

Salvation is the Lord ’s.

[10] And the Lord spoke to the fish, and it threw up Jonah upon the dry land.

[Jonah 3]

The message to Nineveh

[1] This message from the Lord came to Jonah the second time, [2] “Arise, go to that great city, Nineveh, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” [3] So Jonah started for Nineveh, as the Lord commanded. Now Nineveh was so large a city that it took three days’ journey to cross it. [4] Jonah began by going a day’s journey into the city, and he proclaimed, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be overthrown.”

[5] And the people of Nineveh believed God; and they ordered a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. [6] And when word came to the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, took off his robe, dressed in sackcloth, and sat in ashes. [7] And he made this proclamation and published it in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: People, beast, herd, and flock shall not taste anything; let them not eat nor drink water. [8] Let both people and animals put on sackcloth and let them cry earnestly to God; let them each turn from their evil ways and from the deeds of violence which they are doing. [9] Who knows? God may relent and avert his fierce anger, so that we may not die.”

[10] When God saw that they turned from their evil course, he relented the evil which he said he would do to them, and did not do it.

[Jonah 4]

Jonah sulks

[1] But this seemed very wrong to Jonah and he became angry. [2] He prayed to the Lord and said, “Ah, Lord , wasn’t this what I said when I was still in my own country? That was why I fled at once to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God, patient, and loving and ready to forgive. [3] Therefore, Lord , I beg you, take my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live!” [4] But the Lord said, “Are you doing right in being angry?”

[5] Then Jonah went out of the city and sat down on the east side, and there made a hut for himself and sat under it, waiting to see what would become of the city. [6] And the Lord arranged for a bush to grow up over Jonah as a shade for his head to make him comfortable. The bush gave Jonah great pleasure; [7] but at dawn the next day God arranged for a worm which attacked the bush, so that it wilted. [8] And when the sun rose, God arranged a hot east wind. And the sun beat upon Jonah’s head, so that he was faint and begged that he might die, saying, “It is better for me to die than to live.” [9] But God said to Jonah, “Are you doing right in being angry about the bush?” He replied, “I have every right to be as angry as I could possibly be!”

Jonah is rebuked

[10] The Lord said, “You care about a bush which has cost you no trouble and which you have not made grow, which came up in a night and wilted in a night. [11] Should I not care for the great city Nineveh, in which there are one hundred and twenty thousand people who do not know their right hand from their left; and many cattle too?”

Micah

[Micah 1]

The Superscription to Micah’s Sermons

[1] The Lord ’s message which came to Micah of Morsheth in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. The visions he saw about Samaria and Jerusalem.

The Lord’s Judgment on Guilty Samaria and Judah

[2] Listen, all you peoples!

Pay attention, all you inhabitants of the earth!

For the Lord God will be a witness against you,

the Lord from his holy temple!

 

[3] The Lord is coming from his holy place,

he descends and treads on the heights of the earth,

[4] so that the mountains melt beneath

like wax in the presence of the fire,

and the valleys break apart

like water poured down a steep descent.

 

[5] All this is because of the crime of Jacob,

and for the sin of the house of Israel.

What was the crime of Jacob?

Was it not Samaria?

What is the sin of Judah?

Is it not Jerusalem?

 

[6] “I will make Samaria a ruin in an open field,

and a place where a vineyard is planted,

I will hurl down her stones into the valley,

and lay bare her foundations.

 

[7] “All her images will be shattered,

and all her statues will be burned with fire,

and all her idols I will lay in ruins.

For they were acquired by prostitution,

and to prostitution they will return.”

 

[8] This is why I will mourn and wail,

I will go barefoot and naked,

I will howl like the jackals

and mourn like the desert owl.

 

[9] For the blow that Samaria has received is incurable.

It has spread over Judah,

it extends even to the gate of my people,

even to Jerusalem.

 

[10] Don’t tell this in Gath!

Don’t even cry – but sit in the dust at Beth-leaphrah.

[11] Pass by, inhabitants of Shaphir, naked and ashamed!

The inhabitants of Zaanan cannot leave their city.

Beth-ezel laments and removes its support from you.

[12] The inhabitants of Maroth wait anxiously for good!

But the Lord has sent disaster to the gates of Jerusalem.

[13] Harness the horse to the chariot, inhabitants of Lachish.

You led the daughter of Zion, Jerusalem, into sin,

in you are found the crimes of Israel.

[14] Therefore you must give parting gifts to Moresheth-gath.

Beth-achzib will betray the kings of Israel.

[15] I will hand you to a conqueror, people of Mareshah,

the leaders of Israel will hide in Adullam Cave!

[16] Shave your head in morning for the children you love,

until you are bald as vultures, because they have left you for exile.

[Micah 2]

The Oppression of the Poor

[1] Woe to those who lie awake planning evil,

who in the light of morning carry out their plan

because they have the power to do it.

[2] They covet fields and seize them,

desire houses and take them,

they crush householder and his household,

people and their possessions.

 

[3] Therefore the Lord says:

“I am planning disaster from which you cannot save your neck,

nor walk proudly because it will be a terrible time.

[4] On that day they will sing a taunt-song to you,

this mocking lament:

‘My people’s estate is being measured for sale,

our captors are dividing our fields.

We are completely undone.’

[5] There will be no one to measure out land for you

from the Lord ’s community.

 

[6] “‘Don’t rant!’ they urge, ‘Of such things one does not prophesy!

Shame will not overtake us!

[7] Is the Lord impatient, or are such things his deeds?

Are not his words favorable to the family of Jacob?’

 

Aren’t my commands good for those who obey them?

[8] But you, you stand up as a foe against those who are peaceful;

you strip the robe from those who pass by quietly, averse to conflict.

[9] Women of my people you drive out from their happy homes,

from their young children you take away my glory forever.

[10] Rise and begone, for this is no place to rest.

Your uncleanness brings destruction, severe destruction.

[11] If a person walking in wine and falsehood were to say,

‘I will prophesy to you of wine and strong drink,’

then he would be the perfect prophet for this people!”

The Lord Leading Back His Scattered People

[12] “I will assuredly assemble all of Jacob,

I will surely gather the survivors of Israel.

I will herd them together as sheep in a fold,

like a flock in the pasture,

and the land will resound with the sounds of multitudes.

 

[13] “The one who breaks out goes first.

They have broken forth and passed by the gate

and through it have they gone out.

Their king leads before them,

the Lord at their head.”

[Micah 3]

The Crimes of Judah’s Civil and Spiritual Leaders

[1] I also said:

“Listen now, leaders of Jacob,

judges of the house of Israel.

Is it not your duty to know what is the right?

[2] Haters of that which is good and lovers of evil!

 

[3] “They devour the flesh of my people,

and their hide they strip from off them,

and break in pieces and serve up their bones,

like meat in a pot or the cooking-pan!

 

[4] “Then they will cry out to the Lord ,

but he will not pay attention to them.

He will hide his face from them at that time

because they have committed such crimes.”

 

[5] Therefore the Lord says:

“To the prophets who lead my people astray,

who when they have food between their teeth declare peace,

but against one who puts nothing in their mouths,

they proclaim an open war!

 

[6] “Night will overtake you so that you have no vision,

and darkness so that there will be no divination,

and the sun will go down on the prophets,

and the day shall be dark over them.

 

[7] “The seers will be ashamed,

and the diviners will turn pale,

all of them will cover their mouths.

For there will be no answer from God.

 

[8] “But I, on the contrary am full of power,

and the sense of justice and strength,

to make known to Jacob his crime,

and to Israel his sin.

 

[9] “Hear this, leaders of the house of Jacob,

judges of the house of Israel,

you who spurn justice.

and make all that is straight crooked,

[10] who build Zion with acts of bloodshed,

and Jerusalem with crime.

 

[11] “The leaders render judgment for a bribe,

and her priests give oracles for a reward,

and her prophets divine for silver.

Yet they claim to rely on the Lord ,

‘The Lord ’, they say, ‘is in our midst.

Evil cannot overtake us.’

 

[12] “Therefore for your sakes

Zion will be plowed as a field,

and Jerusalem will become a heap of ruins,

and the temple mount a wooded height.”

[Micah 4]

The Peace and World-wide Renown of Zion

[1] In the days to come

the mountain of the Lord will be established,

the house of our God on the top of the mountain,

lifted above the hills.

 

All the nations will flow to it,

[2] and many peoples will go and say,

“Come, let us go up to the Lord ’s mount,

to the house of the God of Jacob,

so that he may instruct us in his ways,

so that we may walk in his paths.”

For from Zion proceeds instruction

and the Lord ’s word from Jerusalem.

 

[3] He will arbitrate between many peoples,

and render decisions for numerous nations,

They will beat their swords into ploughshares,

and their spears into pruning hooks.

Nation will not lift up sword against nation,

they will learn war no more.

[4] They will live each under his vine,

and under his fig-tree, with none to terrify them.

For the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

 

[5] Each nation trusts in the names of their gods,

but we will worship the Lord our God forever.

 

[6] “On that day,” says the Lord ,

“I will assemble the lame.

I will gather exiles I punished.

[7] I will restore the lame as a remnant,

the exiles into a great nation.

The Lord will rule over them

on Mount Zion from that time forever.”

[8] But you, watchtower for the flock,

hill of the daughter of Zion,

to you will return your former rule.

[9] So why do you now cry aloud? Haven’t you any king?

Or has your counselor perished, so you writhe in pain like a woman in labor?

 

[10] Writhe and scream, daughter of Zion, like a woman in labor!

For now you must leave the city and camp in the open field.

You will be taken to Babylon, but there will be rescued.

There the Lord will save you from the hands of your foes.

 

[11] But now many nations gather against you.

They say, “Let her be defiled, we will gloat over Zion.”

[12] But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord .

They do not understand his plan,

for he has gathered them like sheaves for the threshing floor.

 

[13] “Arise, thresh, daughter of Zion.

I will make your horns iron,

and your hoofs brass,

so you might beat in pieces many peoples,

and devote to the Lord their spoil,

and their wealth to the ruler of all the earth.

 

[Micah 5]

[1] “Now cut yourself in bitter grief,

daughter besieged by soldiers.

They have set a wall around you.

They strike the ruler of Israel,

in the face with a rod.

 

[2] “Bethlehem in Ephrathah,

small among the tribes of Judah,

from you will come a king

who will rule for me over Israel,

whose family line goes back to the distant past.”

 

[3] So the Lord will only abandon Israel to its enemies

until the woman in labor gives birth.

Then the survivors will be reunited with their own people.

 

[4] And he will stand and shepherd by the strength of the Lord ,

In the exalted name of the Lord his God;

And they will live in security, for now he will be great,

even to the ends of the earth.

 

[5] This will be our peace:

when Assyria comes into our land

and treads on our soil,

we will raise up against him seven shepherds,

eight leaders of men.

[6] They will shepherd Assyria with a sword,

and the land of Nimrod with bared blades.

They will deliver us from Assyria,

when they come into our land,

and tread within our borders.

 

[7] And the survivors of Jacob will be disbursed among the nations,

in the midst of many peoples

like dew from the Lord ,

like showers on the grass,

which don’t wait for people to come

or linger for mortals.

 

[8] And the survivors of Jacob will be disbursed among the nations.

in the midst of many peoples,

like a lion among the beasts of the forest,

like a young lion among the sheep-folds,

who, when he passes through, pounces.

He savages his prey. There is no rescuer.

[9] Let your hand triumph over your adversaries,

let all your enemies be cut off.

 

[10] On that day, says the Lord :

“I will slaughter your horses from your midst,

and destroy your chariots.

[11] I will devastate the cities in your land,

and tear down your fortresses.

[12] I will destroy your magic charms,

and you will have no soothsayers.

[13] I will cut down your idols and sacred pillars,

and you will not worship any more the work of your hands.

[14] I will uproot your sacred poles,

and destroy your idols.

[15] In my wrath and my anger

I will seek vengeance on the nations that ignore me.”

[Micah 6]

Israel’s False Conception of the Lord’s Character and Demands

[1] Hear now what the Lord is saying:

Arise, present your complaint before the mountains,

let the hills hear your voice!

[2] Hear, mountains, the Lord ’s accusation,

listen, foundations of the earth.

For the Lord has a case against his people.

He has a dispute with Israel.

 

[3] “My people, what have I done to you.

How have I displeased you? Answer me!

[4] For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,

from the land of slavery I redeemed you.

I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam to lead you.

[5] My people, what did Balak, king of Moab counsel?

And how did Balaam, the son of Beor, answer him?

Remember now the journey from Shittim to Gilgal,

so that you might realize the just deeds of the Lord .”

 

[6] With what should I come before the Lord ?

Bow myself before the God on high?

Should I come before him with burnt-offerings,

with calves a year old?

[7] Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,

With ten thousand streams of oil?

Should I give him my first-born son for my guilt,

the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

 

[8] The Lord has told you what is good,

what he demands of you:

Only to do justice and love mercy,

and to walk humbly with your God.

Guilt and Punishment of Jerusalem

[9] Listen! The Lord calls to the city!

Listen, tribe and assembly of the city!

 

[10] “Can I forget the hoarded treasures in the houses of the wicked,

and the accursed scant measure?

[11] Can I leave her unpunished because of evil scales,

and the bag of false weights?

[12] Whose rich people are full of violence,

her inhabitants liars,

whose tongues speak deceit?

 

[13] “But I indeed, have begun to punish you,

to lay you in ruins because of your sins.

[14] You will eat but not be satisfied,

your stomach empty within you.

You will store up but lose everything,

because whatever you save I will give to the sword.

[15] You will sow but not reap.

You will tread the olives but have no oil for rubbing,

tread grapes but drink no wine!

 

[16] “For you have followed the commands of Omri,

and all the practices of the house of Ahab.

You have acted in accord with their counsels,

so I will give you up to ruin,

the city’s inhabitants to derision.

The nations will treat you with contempt!”

[Micah 7]

The Utter Degeneracy of the People

[1] Woe, woe is me, for I have become

like a field after harvest,

like a vineyard after gathering;

not a cluster of grapes to eat,

not a fig that anyone desires.

 

[2] The honest have perished from the land,

of the upright among people there is none.

All of them lie in wait to shed blood.

They hunt one another with the net.

 

[3] Their hands know well how to do evil,

the officer and judge demands a bribe,

the high official decides as he pleases

and they conspire to pervert justice.

 

[4] The best of them are like a thorn thicket,

their most upright like a prickly hedge.

The day of their punishment has come,

now will be their confusion!

 

[5] Do not trust your neighbor,

do not rely on a friend.

From the wife who lies in your arms

guard your tongue.

 

[6] For son insults father,

daughter rises up against mother,

daughter-in-law against mother-in-law,

a man’s enemies are the people of his own household.

Zion’s Ultimate Vindication and Exaltation

[7] But I will look to the Lord ,

I will wait for the God of my salvation.

My God will hear me!

[8] Do not rejoice over me, my enemy.

If I have fallen, I will rise.

If I sit in darkness, the Lord is my light.

[9] The anger of the Lord I will bear,

for against him have I sinned –

until he champions my cause

and gives judgment for me.

He will bring me into to the light,

I will see his justice.

[10] So my enemy will see, and shame will cover them,

they who said, “Where is the Lord your God?”

I will look upon them,

they will be trampled on like mud in the street!

 

[11] It is a day for rebuilding your walls,

this day will your boundary will be extended.

[12] This day they will come to you,

from Assyria and the cities of Egypt,

and from Egypt even to the Euphrates River,

from sea to sea, and from mountain to mountain.

[13] Though the land has become a desolation

because of its inhabitants, because of their deeds.

 

[14] Shepherd your flock with your staff, the flock that belong to you,

who live alone in the forest, in the midst of meadows;

so that they may pasture in Bashon and Gilead as in the days of old,

[15] as in the days when you came from Egypt, gave us wonders to see.

[16] Nations will see and be ashamed of all their might;

they will put their hands to their mouth, their ears will become deaf,

[17] they will lick the dust like snakes, like creatures that crawl on the earth;

they will come trembling and in terror from their hiding places, in dread and fear.

 

[18] Who is a God like you, forgiving iniquity

and passing by the rebellion of the remnant of your people?

He does not retain his anger forever, but is one who delights in mercy.

[19] He will tread under foot our iniquity;

you will cast into the depths of the sea all our iniquities.

[20] You will show faithfulness to Jacob, and loving kindness to Abraham,

as you have sworn to our ancestors from the days of old.

Nahum

[Nahum 1]

[1] A message about Nineveh, a vision which came to Nahum from Elkosh.

God’s wrath

[2] The Lord tolerates no rivals.

The Lord is vengeful and fierce in wrath.

The Lord does not fail to punish his foes;

the Lord is vengeful against his enemies.

[3] The Lord is slow to anger,

great in power.

The guilty will not escape

his punishment.

 

Storm tempest is his path

and cloud is the dust of his feet.

[4] He rebukes the sea and dries it up

and makes all the streams run dry.

Bashan and Carmel are languishing

and the bloom of Lebanon is withered.

 

[5] The mountains tremble before him

and the hills dissolve.

The earth heaves before him,

the world and all who live in it.

 

[6] Who can stand before his wrath?

Who can withstand the heat of his anger?

His fierce fury pours forth like fire,

he shatters rocks.

 

[7] The Lord is good to those who hope in him,

a place of refuge in the day of trouble.

 

[8] With rushing flood an end he makes

of those who rise against him,

he drives his enemies into darkness.

 

[9] Why do you plot against the Lord ?

He will end you.

He only takes vengeance once.

 

[10] Thorns, tangled and drenched,

they are consumed like dry stubble.

 

[11] Nineveh! From you has arisen

one who plots evil against the Lord ,

a counsellor of wickedness.

Good news for Judah

[12] The Lord says:

“Though they are many and strong,

they will pass away and be gone.

Though I have afflicted you,

I will afflict you no more,

[13] and now I will break his yoke from your necks

and snap your chains.”

[14] The Lord has given this command concerning you, Nineveh:

“Your name will no longer be remembered.

I will destroy every idol and image

in the house of your God.

I will destroy even your tomb,

for you are worthless.”

 

[15] Look! On the mountains a messenger

bringing good news,

announcing peace!

“Celebrate the feasts, Judah,

fulfill your vows.

Never again will these enemies invade your land,

they are destroyed!”

[Nahum 2]

Destruction of the city

[1] Nineveh! The destroyer has come up against you;

mount guard upon the rampart;

watch the road; brace yourselves;

strengthen your might to the utmost.

 

[2] For the Lord is restoring the majesty of Jacob

and of Israel,

though the devastators have plundered them

and destroyed their vines.

 

[3] The shields of his warriors are dyed red,

his soldiers are clothed in scarlet,

his chariots gleam like fire

on the day he prepares for battle

spears are shaken.

 

[4] Chariots rush across the fields,

storm through the squares;

they flame like torches,

they dart like lightening.

 

[5] A leader rallies his nobles,

they hurl themselves forward.

They speed on toward the wall;

the storming-shield is set up.

 

[6] The water-gates are thrown open,

and the palace dissolves in ruins.

[7] The queen is stripped,

she is carried off.

Her maids moan like doves,

beating upon their breasts.

 

[8] Like a pool of water is Nineveh,

her waters fast ebbing away.

“Stand firm! Stand firm!” someone cries,

but no one turns back.

 

[9] “Loot the silver, loot the gold,

for there is no end to the treasure,

the wealth and precious things.”

 

[10] Nineveh is empty, desolate, devastated,

with faint heart and knocking knee.

There is weakness in every limb,

and faces grow pale.

 

[11] Where now is the den of lions?

Where now the lair of their young?

Where the lion used to withdraw,

with his cubs, with none to disturb them?

 

[12] The lion tore enough for his cubs,

and strangled prey for his lionesses.

He filled his caves with the kill,

he filled his lairs with fresh meat.

 

[13] “But see, I am against you,”

the Lord of hosts declares,

“I will burn your chariots in smoke and fire.

The sword will devour your young lions.

You will never again prey on the land.

No more will your messengers be heard.”

[Nahum 3]

Ruin

[1] Woe to the bloody city!

Full of lies and plunder,

without end is the spoil.

[2] Hear the crack of the whip,

hear the rattle of wheels.

Galloping horses,

jolting chariots.

[3] Horsemen charging,

swords flashing.

spears glittering,

a multitude of slain,

a heap of bodies,

no end to the corpses

over which people stumble!

 

[4] “Because you acted like a whore,

bewitching the nations,

enticing the peoples,

[5] I am against you, Nineveh”

the Lord of hosts declares.

“I will strip your clothes

and show the nations your nakedness,

and the kingdoms your shame.

 

[6] “I will fling loathsome filth at you,

and make you an object of contempt,

a spectacle,

[7] so that everyone who sees you

will flee from you and say:

‘Nineveh is laid waste,

who will mourn for her?’

 

[8] “Are you any better than Thebes,

which stood on the banks of the Nile,

with waters around as a rampart,

whose wall was the sea of waters?

[9] Her strength was Ethiopia and Egypt.

The Libyans were her helpers,

and Put with its countless people.

[10] Yet she was exiled

and made captive.

On all corners of the streets

her infants were dashed to pieces.

Lots were cast for her nobles,

all her great ones were bound in chains.

 

[11] “You too, Nineveh, will be drunk with fear;

you too will seek a place of escape from the foe.

[12] All your fortresses are fig-trees with the first ripe figs;

if shaken, they fall into the mouth of the eater!

[13] Your troops are weak as women before your foes;

the gates of your land are wide open;

your defenses burned down.

 

[14] “Draw water for the siege,

strengthen your forts.

Go to the clay pits and tread the clay;

take up the brick moulds.

[15] There the fire will consume you,

the sword will cut you down.

 

Multiply like the locust

or a swarm of grasshoppers.

[16] Increase the numbers of your merchants

until they are more than the stars of heaven,

[17] until your watchmen are locusts,

and your scribes like grasshoppers,

which swarm in the hedges on a cold day;

but when the sun rises

they fly away,

no one knows where.

 

[18] “King of Assyria:

your princes slumber,

your nobles sleep!

Your people are scattered on the mountains

with no one to gather them!

[19] There is no healing for your hurt,

your wound is incurable.

All who hear of your fate clap their hands in joy,

for who has escaped your limitless cruelty?”

Habakkuk

[Habakkuk 1]

Habakkuk’s message

[1] The message seen by the prophet Habakkuk.

(Habbakuk)

[2] How long, Lord , have I cried out

and without you hearing me!

I cry to you, “Violence!,”

but you do not help.

[3] Why do you make me look upon wickedness

and behold trouble?

Destruction and violence are before my eyes,

and fighting and quarrelling.

 

[4] Therefore the law is weak,

and justice is never rendered;

for the wicked surround the righteous,

so that justice is perverted.

(The Lord)

[5] Look at the nations, look well,

be shocked and amazed.

For I am about to do a work in your days;

you will not believe it when it is told.

 

[6] For I am about to raise up the Chaldeans,

a nation grim and quick of action

who sweep over the whole breadth of the earth

to seize dwellings not their own.

[7] They bring fear and terror.

They write their own rules.

[8] Their horses are swifter than leopards,

quicker than wolves hunting at dusk.

From afar they come swooping down,

like an eagle attacking its prey.

[9] They all come to do violence,

a horde like a desert wind,

they gather up captives like sand.

 

[10] At kings they scoff,

and princes are sport to them.

They laugh at every fortress.

and heap up earth to take it.

[11] Then they sweep on like the wind,

Their strength is their god.

(Habbakuk)

[12] Are you not eternal, Lord ,

my holy one, who does not die?

Lord you have appointed them to execute judgment,

my rock, you have established them to punish.

[13] Your eyes are too pure to look at evil,

you cannot condone iniquity.

So why do you regard the treacherous in silence,

while the wicked swallows the upright?

 

[14] You have made people like the fish of the sea,

like reptiles that have no ruler.

[15] The wicked sweep them all into their nets,

and gather them into their drag-nets,

and rejoice and celebrate.

[16] Therefore they sacrifice to their net,

and burn offerings to their drag-net;

for by their nets are their portions generous,

and their food is rich.

[17] Will they empty their nets continually,

slaughter nations unpityingly?

 

[Habakkuk 2]

[1] I will take my stand on my watch-tower,

and station myself on a turret.

I will watch to see what the Lord will say to me,

what answer he will make to my complaint.

(The Lord)

[2] Then the Lord answered me and said:

Inscribe the vision plainly on tablets,

so that even someone running by could read it.

[3] Though the vision waits for the time set,

it hastens to fulfilment and will not fail;

Though it linger long, wait for it.

For it surely will come and will not be delayed.

 

[4] The the strength of the proud fails,

but the upright lives by their faithfulness.

 

[5] Wealth is treacherous.

the arrogant never have enough,

They makes their desire as wide as Sheol,

are like death, unsatisfied,

For they gather to themselves all the nations,

bring together to themselves all peoples.

[6] Shouldn’t everyone mock them?

sing a taunt-song against them, and say:

 

Woe to the person who amasses what is not theirs,

and loads them self down with goods taken in pledge!

[7] Won’t your creditors suddenly rise,

and those who will overthrow you awake,

and you become their prey?

[8] For as you have plundered many peoples,

the survivors will prey upon you.

You have shed blood and committed violence

to the earth, peoples and their cities.

 

[9] Woe to you who seeks unjust gain for your dynasty,

who sets your nest on high to be safe from the reach of misfortune!

 

[10] You have planned only shame for your dynasty.

You have destroyed many peoples,

and brought guilt upon yourself;

[11] the stone will cry out from the wall,

and the beam from the timber will answer it.

 

[12] Woe to the person who builds a city by bloodshed,

and founds a town by crime

[13] while the peoples toil for what fires will consume,

and the nations weary themselves for nothing!

This the Lord of hosts has said, [14] and the earth will be as full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the seas are full of water.

[15] Woe to him who in fury gives drink to his neighbor

to make him drunk, and see him naked.

[16] You are filled with shame, not glory;

drink yourself and be uncovered.

The cup from the Lord ’s hand

will pass in turn to you,

and shame will cover your glory!

 

[17] For the violence done to Lebanon will overwhelm you,

the destruction of animals will terrify you,

because you shed people’s blood on the earth,

destroyed people and their cities.

 

[18] What use is an idol?

A human made it,

a metal image.

It cannot speak,

it cannot teach truth,

Why does its maker trust it?

 

[19] Woe to the person who says to a block, awake!

to a dumb stone, arise!

What can it teach?

It may be set with gold and silver,

but there is no breath at all within it.

[20] The Lord is in his holy temple.

Let all the earth be silent before him!

[Habakkuk 3]

Habakkuk’s psalm

[1] A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to the Shigionoth.

[2] I have heard, Lord , of your fame,

I have seen, Lord , your work;

through the years you have make yourself known,

in wrath you remember mercy.

 

[3] God comes from Teman,

and the Holy One from the mountain-land of Paran. Selah

His glory covers the heavens,

and his splendor fills the earth.

[4] Before him it is like the light,

rays he has at his side,

where his power is hidden.

[5] Before him pestilence stalks,

after him plague follows.

 

[6] He stands, and the earth trembles,

he looks, and the nations melt away,

and the mountains of old are scattered,

the everlasting hills bow down.

These are his ways from of old.

[7] The tents of Cushan are afraid,

the curtains of Midian tremble.

 

[8] Is your wrath, Lord , with the rivers?

Is your anger against the streams?

Or your rage against the sea?

Is that why you ride on your war-steeds?

Why you mount your chariots of victory?

[9] Why you bare your bow?

Why you fill your quiver with shafts?

 

You split the earth with torrents.

[10] The mountains see you and writhe.

The tempest of waters sweeps by.

The great deep sends forth its voice,

and lifts up its hands.

[11] The sun forgets to rise.

The moon stands still in its place.

 

Your arrows go forth to give light.

Your glittering spear is as lightning.

[12] In rage you stride over the earth.

In wrath you trample the nations.

[13] You go forth to save your people.

You go to help your anointed.

You crush the head of the wicked nation,

laying him bare from thigh to neck. Selah

[14] You pierced his head with his spears,

as his champions storm out to scatter us,

as they rejoice to devour the poor secretly.

[15] You tread the sea with your horses,

while the mighty waters roar.

 

[16] I hear, and my body trembles,

and at the sound my lips quiver.

My bones begin to decay,

and my footsteps totter beneath me,

while I long for the day of distress

to come upon those who attack us.

 

[17] Though the fig-tree bears no fruit,

and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive harvest fails,

and the fields produce no food,

though the flock is cut off from the fold,

and there is no herd in the stalls,

[18] yet I will exult in the Lord ,

and rejoice in the God who saves me.

[19] The Lord God is my strength;

he makes my feet as sure as the feet of deer,

and causes me to walk on the heights!

To the music director: Use stringed instruments.

Zephaniah

[Zephaniah 1]

[1] The Lord ’s message, which came to Zephaniah, son of Cushi, son of Gedaliah, son of Amariah, son of Hezekiah, in the time of Josiah of Judah who was son of Amon.

The Day of Judgment on Judah

[2] I will utterly destroy everything

from off the face of the earth,

says the Lord .

[3] I will sweep away human and animal,

the birds of the sky

and the fish of the sea.

I will cause the wicked to stumble,

and I will cut off humanity from the face of the earth.

says the Lord .

 

[4] I will stretch out my hand over Judah

and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem,

and I will cut off from this place the last remnant of Baal

and the name of the heathen priests,

[5] and those who worship on the housetops

to the stars in the sky,

and those worshippers of the Lord

who also pay homage to Milcom,

[6] and those who turn back

from following the Lord ,

And those who do not seek the Lord

nor strive to find him.

 

[7] Be silent before the Lord God ,

for near is the day of the Lord ,

for the Lord has prepared a sacrifice,

he has sanctified his guests.

 

[8] On the day of the Lord’s sacrifice:

I will punish the officers and the royal princes,

and all those who clothe themselves in foreign apparel.

 

[9] On that day:

I will punish all who leap over the threshold,

who fill the house of their lord with violence and deceit.

 

[10] Listen on that day, says the Lord :

A cry will be heard from the Fish Gate,

and a wailing from the New Quarter,

and a great din from the hills.

 

[11] Those who live in the Mortar wail,

for all the traders are silenced,

the money counters wiped out.

 

[12] I will search Jerusalem with a lamp,

I will punish those who are at ease,

who sit comfortably with their wine,

who say to themselves,

“the Lord brings neither prosperity nor calamity.”

 

[13] Their wealth will become a prey

and their houses a desolation.

Though they build houses,

they will not inhabit them;

though they plant vineyards,

they will not drink wine from them.

 

[14] Near is the day of the Lord !

Near and rapidly approaching!

Near is the bitter day of the Lord ,

and the scream of the warrior.

 

[15] That day is a day of wrath,

a day of trouble and distress,

a day of destruction and desolation,

a day of darkness and gloom,

a day of clouds and thick darkness,

[16] a day of the trumpet and battle-cry,

against the fortified cities

and against the high battlements.

 

[17] And I will bring distress upon the people

and they will walk as the blind,

because they have sinned against the Lord ,

and their blood will be poured out as dust

and their flesh as dung.

[18] Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them. For in the day of the wrath of the Lord and in the fire of his fury the whole earth will be consumed. For he will make a speedy end of all the inhabitants of the earth.

[Zephaniah 2]

The Imminent Judgment upon the Nations

[1] Be ashamed within yourselves, be ashamed,

[2] before you become as the drifting chaff,

before the anger of the Lord comes upon you,

before the day of the Lord ’s wrath comes upon you.

[3] Seek the Lord all you meek of the earth,

you who obey his law;

Seek righteousness, seek meekness;

perhaps you may be hidden in the day of the Lord ’s wrath.

 

[4] For Gaza will be forsaken;

Ashkelon a desolation;

Ashdod – by noon will they rout her

and Ekron be torn up!

[5] Woe to those who live by the sea coast,

people of the Cherethites!

The word of the Lord is against you,

Canaan, land of the Philistines!

I will destroy you so that you will be without inhabitants, [6] and you will become shepherds’ cots and folds for flocks. [7] The sea coast will belong to the survivors of the house of Judah. They will pasture their flocks there. In the house of Ashkelon they will lie down at evening. The Lord their God will be with them and restore their fortunes.

[8] I have heard the taunts of Moab,

and the revilings of the Ammonites,

how they have taunted my people,

and spoken boastfully concerning their border.

[9] Therefore as I live, says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel:

Moab will be like Sodom,

and the Ammonites like Gomorrah,

a breeding-place of nettles, and saltpits,

and a desolation, forever;

the residue of my people will plunder them,

and the survivors of my nation will inherit them.

[10] This will they have for their pride,

because they have taunted and spoken boastfully

against the people of the Lord of hosts.

[11] The Lord will terrify them;

he will reduce all the gods of the earth;

then all the peoples of the nations will worship him,

each in their own land.

 

[12] You, also, Ethiopians,

slain by his sword are you!

[13] And he will stretch out his hand

against the north and destroy Assyria;

And he will make Nineveh a desolation,

dry as the wilderness.

[14] Herds will lie down in it,

every beast of the earth,

Desert owl and screech owl

will lodge in its capitals.

The owl will hoot in the window,

the raven on the doorstep,

all stripped bare of cedar.

[15] This is the exultant city which sat secure. The city who said to herself, I am and there is none else! How has she become a desolation! A lair of beasts! Every passerby hisses at her, shakes their hand.

[Zephaniah 3]

Jerusalem’s Deep-seated Corruption

[1] Woe to the rebellious and unclean city of oppression,

[2] She has not obeyed the voice,

she has not accepted instruction,

In the Lord she has not trusted,

to her God she has not drawn near.

 

[3] Her rulers in her midst are roaring lions.

Her judges are evening wolves,

who leave nothing over until the morning,

[4] Her prophets are braggarts, faithless men.

Her priests profane what is holy

and do violence to the law.

 

[5] The Lord is righteous in her midst,

he does no wrong,

Morning by morning

he establishes his decree,

Light is not lacking,

an oversight is unknown.

But the unjust know no shame.

 

[6] “I have cut off nations,

their turrets are destroyed;

I have laid waste their broad streets,

so that none passes over them.

Desolate are their cities without people,

without inhabitants.”

 

[7] I said:

“Surely the city will fear me,

she will accept instruction.

Nothing will vanish from her eyes

that I have impressed upon her;

But the more zealously have they made all their deeds corrupt.”

The Future Vindication and Exultation of Jerusalem

[8] Wait for me, is the Lord ’s message, until the day when I stand up as a witness, for it is my fixed purpose to gather the nations, to collect the kingdoms, to pour upon them my wrath and my hot anger; for by the fire of my fury will all the earth be consumed.

[9] For then I will purify the lips of all peoples, so that they will all call on the Lord ’s name, to serve him with one accord. [10] From beyond the rivers of Cush my worshipers will bring me offerings.

[11] On that day you will no longer be ashamed of all your deeds by which you rebelled against me. For I will rid you of your proudly arrogant ones, and you will never again be haughty on my holy mountain. [12] But I will leave in your midst a people humble and poor, and the remnant of Israel will trust in the name of the Lord . [13] They will not do evil, nor speak falsehood, and a deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouth; but they will pasture and lie down, and no one will make them afraid.

[14] Cry out with joy, daughter of Zion,

shout aloud, Israel!

Rejoice and exult with all your heart,

daughter of Jerusalem.

[15] The Lord has put away your adversaries,

he has turned away your foes;

the Lord is king in your midst,

you will fear evil no more.

[16] In that day it will be said to Jerusalem:

Fear not!

Zion, let not your hands grow weak!

[17] The Lord your God is in your midst,

a victorious hero.

He will rejoice over you with joy,

he will renew his love,

he will exult over you with singing,

[18] as on a day of festival.

 

I will take away from you your disgrace,

and put away from you your reproach.

[19] I will destroy at that time

all who afflict you.

I will deliver the lame,

and gather the outcast,

I will make them an object of renown

and fame in all the earth.

[20] I will do good to you,

at the time when I gather you.

For I will make you an object of fame and renown

among all the peoples of the earth;

when I bring back your captivity before your eyes.

 

This says the Lord .

The addresses of

Haggai

to the temple builders

[Haggai 1]

The call to rebuild the Temple

[1] In the second year of Darius the king, on the first day of the sixth month, this message from the Lord came through Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest:

[2] The Lord of hosts says:

The people say that the time has not yet come to rebuild the temple of the Lord .

[3] Then this message from the Lord came to Haggai the prophet:

[4] Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your own well-roofed houses,

while this temple lies in ruins?

 

[5] The Lord of hosts says:

Consider your past experiences.

[6] You sow much,

but bring in little;

you eat,

but you do not have enough;

you drink,

but are not filled;

you clothe yourselves,

but not enough to be warm;

and those who earn wages,

put those wages in a bag with holes.

 

[7] The Lord of hosts says:

Consider your experiences.

[8] Go up to the mountains,

and bring wood

and rebuild the temple;

then I will be pleased with it,

and I will reveal my glory.

 

The Lord says:

[9] You looked for much,

and it came to little;

and when you brought the harvest home,

I blew it away.

Why?

 

The Lord of hosts says:

Because my temple lies in ruins,

while you shelter in your own houses.

[10] The heavens withhold the dew,

and the earth withholds its fruit,

[11] and I have called forth a drought upon the land

and upon the mountains,

and upon the grain and the new wine and the oil

and upon that which the ground brings forth,

and upon people and animals,

and upon all the labor of your hands.

[12] Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Joshua the son of Jehozadak the high priest, with all the rest of the people, obeyed the command of the Lord their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him to them. They showed proper respect for the Lord .

 

[13] Haggai, the prophet of the Lord , as the Lord commanded him, told the people: “The Lord says: I am with you.”

[14] And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak the high priest, and the spirit of all the rest of the people, so that they came and worked on the temple of the Lord of hosts, their God, [15] in the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.

The future glory of the new Temple

In the second year of Darius the king,

[Haggai 2]

[1] on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, this message from the Lord came to Haggai the prophet, [2] telling him to speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the rest of the people:

[3] Who is left among you that saw this temple in its former glory?

And how do you see it now?

Doesn’t it seem as though there is nothing there?

 

[4] The Lord says:

Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,

be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest,

be strong, all you people of the land.

 

The Lord says:

Begin the work, for I am with you.

 

The Lord of hosts says:

[5] When your ancestors left Egypt I made a promise to you,

and I am still with you.

Do not be afraid!

 

[6] The Lord of hosts says:

In a little while, I will shake the heavens,

and the earth, and the sea, and the land.

[7] And I will shake all nations,

and the precious things of all nations shall come here;

and I will fill this temple with glory.

 

The Lord of hosts says:

[8] The silver is mine,

and the gold is mine,

[9] The later glory of this temple

shall be greater than the former.

 

The Lord of hosts says:

In this place I will grant prosperity.

This is the message of the Lord of hosts.

Former displeasure and the new promise of blessings

[10] In the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, this message from the Lord came to Haggai the prophet: [11] The Lord of hosts says: “Ask the priests for a ruling: [12] ‘If one carries consecrated meat in the fold of his garment, and with that garment touches bread, or stew, or wine, or oil, or any food, will it become holy?’”

And the priests answered: “No.”

[13] Then said Haggai, “If one who is unclean by reason of a dead body touches any of these, will it be unclean?”

And the priests answered: “It would be unclean.”

[14] Haggai replied: “So is this people and so is this nation before me, the Lord declares, and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean. [15] Think back from this day, before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the Lord . [16] How were you? When you came to a heap of grain expecting twenty measures, there were only ten; when you came to the wine vat to draw out fifty vessels, there were only twenty. [17] ‘I struck all the work of your hands with blasting and blight, with mildew and with hail. Yet you didn’t turn to me,’ says the Lord , [18] ‘Think back from this day, think! From the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day when the foundations of the temple of the Lord were laid, and consider. [19] The seed is in the granary, but the vine and the fig tree and the pomegranate and the olive tree have not yet brought forth fruit. From this day will I bless you.’”

Zerubbabel

[20] This message from the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month:

[21] Tell Zerubbabel, governor of Judah:

I will shake the heavens and the earth;

[22] and I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms;

and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations;

and I will overthrow the chariots,

and those who ride in them;

and the horses and their riders shall come down,

each by the sword of his fellow.

 

[23] In that day,

the Lord of hosts says,

I will take you, Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel,

the Lord says,

and will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,

the Lord of hosts says.

Zechariah

[Zechariah 1]

The Lesson from the Past

[1] In the eighth month in the second year of Darius, this message of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo:

[2] The Lord was furious with your ancestors. [3] So tell the people this message of the Lord of hosts: “Return to me,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will return to you” says the Lord of hosts. [4] “Do not be like your ancestors to whom the former prophets cried, ‘The Lord of hosts says to turn now from your evil ways, and from your evil deeds’. They did not heed nor listen to me,” says the Lord . [5] “Your ancestors, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? [6] But did not my words and my statutes with which I charged my servants the prophets overtake your ancestors? And they repented and said, ‘Just as the Lord of hosts planned to do to us, according to our ways, and according to our deeds, so he has dealt with us.’”

The Lord’s Jealous Love for Zion

[7] In the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, this message of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo:

[8] I saw in the night a man on a red horse, among the myrtle trees that were in the valley-bottom. Behind him there were horses, red, sorrel, and white. [9] Then said I, “My Lord, what are these?” And the messenger who was talking with me said, “I will show you what they are.” [10] And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered, “They are those whom the Lord has sent to patrol the earth.” [11] And the riders answered the messenger of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone up and down through the world and behold, all the earth is still and at peace.”

[12] Then the messenger of the Lord said, “ Lord of hosts, how long will you have no pity for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah with which you have been angry for seventy years?” [13] And the Lord answered the messenger who was talking with me with kind and comforting words. [14] So the messenger who was talking with me said to me, “Proclaim now that the Lord of hosts says: I am deeply concerned for Jerusalem. [15] But I am deeply angry with the arrogant, complacent nations. I was only a little angry with Israel but they made the suffering worse. [16] Therefore, says the Lord , I am turning to show mercy to Jerusalem. My temple will be rebuilt in it, says the Lord of hosts, and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem. [17] Proclaim again: Thus says the Lord of hosts: My cities will again overflow with prosperity and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.”

Destruction of the Heathen Powers

[18] Now I looked up and saw four horns. [19] I said to the messenger who was talking with me, “What are these?” He answered, “These are the horns which scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.”

[20] Then the Lord showed me four smiths. [21] I said, “What are these coming to do?” He answered, “The horns scattered Judah, so that no one dared lift their head. But the smiths have come to terrify them, to crush the horns of the nations which lifted up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”

[Zechariah 2]

Promise that Jerusalem Will be Gloriously Restored

[1] Then I looked up and saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. [2] I said, “Where are you going?” He replied, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its breadth and length.” [3] Then the messenger who talked with me stepped forward, and another messenger went out to meet him, [4] and said to him, “Run and tell to that young man that Jerusalem will be inhabited like a village without walls, because so many people and cattle will live there. [5] For I, says the Lord , will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in the midst of her.

[6] Up! Away! Flee from the land of the north, says the Lord .

For I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heavens, says the Lord .

[7] Up, escape to Zion, you who live in Babylon.

[8] This is what the Lord of hosts says to the nations which plundered you:

Whoever touches you touches the apple of my eye.

[9] I will raise my hand against them.

They will be plunder for their own slaves; and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me.

 

[10] “Sing and rejoice, daughter of Zion! I am coming,

I will live among you, says the Lord .

[11] Many nations will join themselves to the Lord in that day,

and will be his people, and he will live among you.

You will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.

[12] The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land.

He will again choose Jerusalem.

[13] Be silent, everyone, in the presence of the Lord ,

because he is coming from his holy dwelling.”

[Zechariah 3]

Purification of the Priesthood and Nation

[1] Then he showed me Joshua, the high priest, standing before the messenger of the Lord and the Adversary standing at his right hand to accuse him. [2] And the messenger of the Lord said to the Adversary, “May the Lord rebuke you, Adversary! The Lord , who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a brand plucked out of the fire?” [3] Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments and was standing before the messenger. [4] The messenger said to those who stood before him, “Take off his filthy garments.” Then to Joshua he said, “I have taken your guilt from you and I will clothe you in priestly robes.” [5] And he ordered: “Set a clean turban upon his head.” So they set a clean turban on his head, and clothed him with garments. The messenger of the Lord was standing by.

[6] And the messenger of the Lord testified to Joshua: [7] The Lord of hosts says: “If you walk in my ways, and if you will keep my instructions, then you will rule my house and keep my courts and I will give you a place of access among these that stand by. [8] Hear now, Joshua the high priest, you and your associates who sit before me; for they are men who are a sign; for I am going to bring forth my servant the Branch. [9] On the stone that I have set before Joshua, on one stone, are seven facets. I will engrave it,” says the Lord of hosts, “and I will remove the guilt of that land in one day. [10] On that day,” says the Lord of hosts, “you will each invite your neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.”

[Zechariah 4]

The Supporters of the Temple Service

[1] Then the messenger who talked with me came again and woke me, as someone who is woken from sleep. [2] He said to me, “What do you see?” I said, “I see a candlestick, all of gold, with a bowl on its top, and seven lamps on it. There are seven pipes to each of the lamps, which are on its top, [3] and two olive trees next to it, one on the right side of the bowl, and the other on its left side.” [4] I said to the messenger who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” [5] Then the messenger who talked with me answered, “Don’t you know what these are?” And I said. “No, my lord.” [6] He said to me, “This is the message of the Lord regarding Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts, [7] will I make the great mountain before Zerubbabel a plain. He will bring forth the top stones with shoutings of, ‘Grace, grace, to it.’” [8] Moreover this message of the Lord came to me: [9] The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house. His hands will also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. [10] For who has despised the day of small things? They will rejoice, and will see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. (The seven lamps are the eyes of the Lord that search all around the world.) [11] Again I asked, “What are these two olive trees on the right side of the candlestick and on its left side?” [12] Again, “What are these two branches of the olive trees, which are pouring out the golden oil through the two golden pipes?” [13] He answered me, “Don’t you now what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” [14] Then he explained, “They are the two anointed ones who attend the Lord of all the earth.”

[Zechariah 5]

The Flying Scroll

[1] Then again I looked up and saw a flying scroll. [2] He said to me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a flying scroll; twenty cubits long, ten cubits wide.” [3] Then he said to me, “This is the curse that goes over the whole land. Every thief will be banished according to the writing on one side and everyone who lies under oath shall be banished according to the writing on the other side. [4] I have sent it out, says the Lord of hosts, and it will enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in the midst of his house and will consume it with its timber and its stones.”

The Woman in an Ephah

[5] Then the messenger who talked with me came forward, and said to me, “Look up and see what is now coming.” [6] I said. “What is it?” He said, “It is a measuring basket, full of the guilt of the land.” [7] A round leaden cover was lifted up, and there was a woman sitting in the middle of the basket. [8] He said, “This is Wickedness.” He thrust her down into the midst of the basket and he pushed the round leaden cover back on its mouth. [9] Then I looked up and saw two women, and the wind was in their wings. They had wings like the wings of a stork and they lifted up the basket between them. [10] Then I said to the messenger who talked with me, “Where are they taking the basket?” [11] He said to me, “To build her a house in the land of Shinar. When it is prepared, they will rest the basket there.”

[Zechariah 6]

The War-Chariots of the Lord

[1] Again I looked up, and saw four chariots come from between two mountains. The mountains were mountains of bronze. [2] The first chariot had red horses. The second chariot had black horses, [3] the third chariot white horses, and the fourth chariot dappled horses. [4] Then I said to the messenger who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” [5] The messenger answered me, “These are the four winds of heaven going out after standing before the Lord of all the earth. [6] The black horses are going toward the north country and the white toward the west and the dappled toward the south country.” [7] The strong horses came out, and were impatient to patrol the earth. So he said, “Go, patrol the earth.” and they did so. [8] Then he cried out to me, “The horses that went to the north country will quiet my spirit in the north country.”

Preparations for the Crowning of Zerubbabel

[9] Now this message of the Lord came to me: [10] Take the gifts from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah who have come from Babylon and go at once to Josiah the son of Zephaniah. [11] Take their silver and gold and make a crown and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak.

[12] Tell him: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, the man whose name is the Branch. He will branch out from his place and rebuild the temple of the Lord . [13] He will rebuild the temple and will sit and rule upon his throne, receiving the honor due to a king. A priest will stand by his throne and they will work together in peace and harmony. [14] The crown will be a memorial in the temple of the Lord for Heldai and Tobijah and Jedaiah, and Josiah the son of Zephaniah. [15] People from far away will come and build in the temple of the Lord and you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God.”

[Zechariah 7]

The Lord’s Real Demands

[1] In the fourth year of the reign of King Darius, on the fourth day of Chislev, the ninth month, the message of the Lord came to Zechariah. [2] The city of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men, to entreat the favor of the Lord , [3] and to ask the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts, and the prophets “Should I continue to mourn in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done for many years?” [4] Then this message of the Lord of hosts came to me: [5] Tell all the people of the land and the priests, “When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and in the seventh month, for these seventy years, did you really fast for me? [6] When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? [7] Wasn’t it this which the Lord proclaimed by the earlier prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, and her towns surrounding her and the Negreb and the Shephelah were inhabited?”

[8] The Lord gave this message to Zechariah: [9] The Lord of hosts says, execute true judgments. Show kindness and mercy to each other. [10] Do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the resident alien or the poor. Let none of you devise evil against another in your hearts.

[11] But they refused to listen, and turned a stubborn shoulder, and stopped their ears so they wouldn’t hear. [12] They made their hearts as hard as stone so they wouldn’t accept the teaching and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his spirit through the earlier prophets. Great was the anger of the Lord of hosts: [13] I called and they would not hear, so they call and I do not hear, says the Lord of hosts. [14] I scattered them by a whirlwind out among nations unknown to them. The land was left desolate behind them, with no one crossing or returning, for they made the pleasant land a desolation.

[Zechariah 8]

Promises that the Scattered Exiles Will Return and the Lord’s Rule be Widely Acknowledged

[1] Now this message of the Lord of hosts came to me:

[2] The Lord of hosts says:

I passionately care for Zion,

and I am fiercely protective of her.

[3] The Lord says, I have returned to Zion,

and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem

and Jerusalem will be called, ‘The City of Truth’

and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, ‘The Holy Mountain.’

[4] The Lord of hosts says:

Old men and old women will sit again in the squares of Jerusalem,

each leaning on a staff because of old age.

[5] And the streets of the city will be full of boys,

and of girls playing in its squares.

 

[6] The Lord of hosts says:

Just because it seems impossible to the remnant of this people in these days,

is it also impossible for me? says the Lord of hosts.

[7] The Lord of hosts says:

I will rescue my people

from the land of the east and the land of the west.

[8] I will bring them and they will live in Jerusalem,

and they will be my people,

and I will be their God,

in truth and righteousness.

[9] The Lord of hosts says: Let your hands be strong, you who hear in these days the words of the prophets spoken when the foundations for the house of the Lord of hosts were laid. [10] For before those days there were no wages for people or animals. No one could go out or return safe from enemies, because I set each against their neighbor. [11] But now I will treat the remnant of the people differently from former days, says the Lord of hosts.

[12] Peace will be sown.

The vine will bear its fruit and the ground will yield its produce,

and the skies will give their dew.

I will give the remnant of this people all these things.

[13] Just as you were accursed among the nations,

house of Judah and house of Israel,

so I will save you and you will be a blessing.

Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.

[14] For the Lord of hosts says: As I planned to do evil to you when your ancestors provoked me to anger, says the Lord of hosts, and I did not relent, [15] so again have I planned in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not be afraid.

[16] These are the things that you should do: Speak the truth to each other. Render peaceful decisions in your gates. [17] Let none of you devise evil in your heart against one another. Do not love perjury. All these are things I hate, says the Lord .

[18] And this message of the Lord of hosts came to me: [19] The Lord of hosts says: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, will be festivals of joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.

[20] The Lord of hosts says: Peoples, and the inhabitants of many cities will come, [21] and the inhabitants of one city will go to another, saying, “Let us go speedily to entreat the favor of the Lord , and to seek the Lord of hosts; I will go also.” [22] Many peoples and strong nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favor of the Lord . [23] The Lord of hosts says: In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, “We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”

[Zechariah 9]

The Conquest of Israel’s Foes

[1] An oracle:

The message of the Lord concerns the land of Hadrach,

it rests upon Damascus.

For the capital of Aram belongs to the Lord ,

as the tribes of Israel do,

[2] and also Hamath which borders on it.

Tyre and Sidon, for all their wisdom.

[3] Tyre built for herself a fortress.

Heaped up silver as dust,

and gold like the dirt of the streets.

[4] But now the Lord will dispossess her,

cast down her rampart into the sea.

She will be consumed in fire.

 

[5] Ashkelon will see and fear,

and Gaza writhe in anguish,

Ekron, also for her hope will be put to shame.

The king will perish from Gaza,

Ashkelon will remain uninhabited.

[6] A foreign people will settle in Ashdod,

and I will humble the pride of the Philistines.

[7] I will take their blood from their mouth,

and their abominations from between their teeth.

They also will be a remnant for our God,

like a clan in Judah,

and Ekron will be like the Jebusites.

 

[8] But I will encamp as a guard about my house,

so that none will pass through or return,

and no oppressor will pass through them again,

for now I have seen with my own eyes.

 

[9] Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion!

Shout aloud, daughter of Jerusalem!

Look, your king comes to you.

Vindicated and victorious is he,

humble, and riding on a donkey,

on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

 

[10] He will cut off chariots from Ephraim,

and war horses from Jerusalem.

The battle bow will be cut off,

and he will speak peace to the nations.

His rule will be from sea to sea,

from the river to the ends of the earth.

 

[11] And you, too – because of your blood covenant,

I have set free your prisoners from the waterless pit.

[12] To the stronghold will the prisoners of hope return.

This day I declare, I will restore double to you.

 

[13] For I have bent Judah to me,

like a bow which I have filled with Ephraim like an arrow.

I will urge your sons, Zion, against the sons of Greece,

I will make you like the sword of a hero.

[14] Then the Lord will be seen above them

and his arrow will go forth like lightning.

The Lord will blow a blast upon a trumpet,

and travel on the whirlwinds of the south.

[15] The Lord of hosts will defend them.

They will devour and tread down the slingstones,

they will drink their blood like wine,

they will be full like a bowl,

like the crevices of the altar.

 

[16] And the Lord their God will save them on that day,

as the flock of his people,

as the jewel of a crown

shining in his land.

[17] How good and how beautiful will it be!

Corn will make the young men flourish

and new wine the young women!

[Zechariah 10]

Victory and Restoration for the Lord’s Betrayed but Loyal People

[1] Ask from the Lord rain,

at the time of spring rain,

from the Lord who forms the storm clouds,

and the showers of rain he gives to you,

and green in the field.

[2] But the household gods speak nonsense,

and the diviners see lies,

and relate idle dreams.

In vain they offer comfort,

so the people wander like sheep,

They suffer because there is no shepherd.

[3] My wrath is hot against the shepherds,

and on the leaders will I bring punishment.

For the Lord cares for his flock,

the house of Judah,

and will make them his splendid war steeds.

 

[4] From Judah will come the cornerstone and the stay,

from them the battle bow,

from them goes forth every commander.

[5] Together they will trample on warriors,

as on the dirt of the streets in battle.

They fight, for the Lord is with them,

putting the riders on horses to shame.

 

[6] I will make strong the house of Judah,

I will bring deliverance to the house of Joseph,

I will bring them back for I have compassion on them,

they will be as if I had not driven them away

For I am the Lord their God and will answer them.

[7] The Ephraimites will be like warriors,

their hearts will rejoice as with wine,

their children will see and rejoice.

Their hearts will exult in the Lord .

 

[8] I will whistle for them, and gather them,

and they will be as many as they once were.

[9] I will sow them among the peoples,

but in distant lands they will remember me,

and they will bring up their children and come back.

[10] I will bring them home from the land of Egypt,

and from Assyria will I gather them.

Into the land of Gilead and Lebanon I will bring them,

until the land overflows with them.

[11] And when they pass through the sea of distress,

I will strike down the waves of the sea,

and all the deeps of the Nile will be dried up.

The pride of Assyria will be brought low

and the sceptre of Egypt turned aside.

 

[12] I will make them strong in the Lord ,

they will walk in his name,

says the Lord .

[Zechariah 11]

Fate of Judah’s Traitorous Rulers and the Ultimate Deliverance

[1] Open your doors, Lebanon,

so that fire may devour your cedars.

[2] Wail, pine-tree, for the cedar is fallen.

Wail, oaks of Bashan,

for the inaccessible forest has fallen.

[3] Listen to the wailing of the shepherds!

Their glory is destroyed.

Listen to the roaring of young lions!

Blasted is the thick forest of the Jordan.

[4] The Lord said to me: shepherd the flock destined for slaughter, [5] whose possessors slaughter them, and hold themselves not guilty! The people who sell them say, Blessed be the Lord , for I am rich! And their own shepherds have no compassion for them. [6] I will no longer have pity on the people of this earth, says the Lord . I will turn neighbor against neighbor, and put everyone under the power of a king, and when the land is devastated I will not rescue them. [7] So I shepherded the flock of slaughter for the sheep-merchants. I took two staffs: one I called Mercy and the other I called Union. So I shepherded the sheep. [8] I set aside three of the shepherds in one month; for I was indignant against them, and they also were displeased at me. [9] I said, I will not shepherd you. What is dead, let it die. What is set aside, let it be set aside. And let those who are left devour one another’s flesh. [10] And I took my staff, Mercy, and broke it, so as to break my covenant which I had made with all the peoples.

[11] In that day it was broken, and the sheep-merchants who watched me knew that it was the Lord ’s message. [12] And I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wage. If not, don’t.” So they weighed out my wage, thirty pieces of silver. [13] And the Lord said to me, Cast it into the treasury – the precious wage that at which I was valued by them! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and cast them into the house of the Lord , into the treasury.

[14] Then I broke my second staff called Union so as to dissolve the brotherhood between Judah and Jerusalem. [15] And the Lord said to me: Take again the implements of a worthless shepherd. [16] For I am about to appoint a shepherd over the land. Those who are thrust down he will not visit. Those who are scattered he will not seek out. The wounded he will not heal, the sick he will not make whole, but the flesh of the fat he will devour and even their hoofs he will tear.

[17] Woe to my worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock!

May the sword strike his arm and his right eye.

May his arm completely wither.

And his right eye be blinded.

[Zechariah 12]

Jerusalem’s Deliverance from Heathen Attack

[1] An oracle. This is the message of the Lord about Israel. The Lord who stretches out the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the human spirit within people says:

[2] Look! I am about to make Jerusalem

a cup of drunkenness for all the surrounding peoples.

There will be a siege of Jerusalem.

[3] On that day that I will make Jerusalem

a stone to be lifted up by all the peoples.

All who lift it up will surely hurt themselves!

And all the nations of the earth will be gathered together against it.

 

[4] On that day, says the Lord , I will strike

every horse with panic and its rider with madness.

But over the house of Judah I will keep watch,

though I strike every horse belonging to the peoples with blindness.

[5] And the chieftains of Judah will say to themselves,

“The strength of the inhabitants is in the Lord of hosts their God.”

 

[6] In that day I will make the chieftains of Judah

like a pan of fire in the woods,

like a torch among sheaves,

they will devour right and left all the surrounding peoples.

But Jerusalem will abide on its own site.

[7] And the Lord will first give victory to the tents of Judah,

so that the glory of the house of David, and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem be not exalted above Judah.

 

[8] In that day the Lord will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem,

and the feeblest among them will in that day be like David,

and the house of David like God, like the messenger of the Lord before them.

[9] And in that day I will seek to destroy all the nations who have come up against Jerusalem.

 

[10] And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem

the spirit of pity and compassion. They will look on him whom they have pierced

and they will lament for him as one laments for an only son.

They will bitterly grieve for him as one grieves for the first-born.

[11] In that day mourning will be as great in Jerusalem

as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

[12] And the land will mourn, each family by itself:

the family of the house of David by itself,

and their wives by themselves,

and the family of the house of Nathan by itself,

and their wives by themselves,

[13] and the family of the house of Levi by itself,

and their wives by themselves,

the family of the Shimeites by itself,

and their wives by themselves,

[14] and all the families who are left, each by itself,

and their wives by themselves.

[Zechariah 13]

[1] On that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David,

and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.

[2] And it will be on that day, says the Lord of hosts,

I will cut off the names of the idols from the land and they will be remembered no more.

And the prophets and the unclean spirit I will banish from the land.

 

[3] If any man prophesy any more,

his father and his mother who bore him, will say to him,

“You will not live, for you speak falsehood in the name of the Lord .”

And his father and his mother who bore him will stab him through when he is seized by the prophetic frenzy.

[4] And it will be in that day that the prophets will be ashamed, each of his vision,

and will not wear the hairy mantle in order to deceive.

[5] Each will say, “I am not a prophet,

a tiller of the ground am I, for the ground is my possession from my youth.”

[6] And they will say to him, “What are these scars on your back?”

And he will say, “The scars which I received in the house of my friends.”

 

[7] Awake, sword, against my shepherd,

against the man who stands near to me,

says the Lord of hosts.

I will strike the shepherd so that the sheep may be scattered,

I will turn my hand against the little ones.

[8] In all the land, says the Lord ,

two-thirds in it will be cut off and die,

but a third will be left in it.

[9] I will bring the third into the fire,

and melt it as one melts silver,

and test it as one tests gold.

Then they will call on my name,

and I myself will answer them.

I will say, “They are my people.”

They will say, “The Lord is our God.”

[Zechariah 14]

The Judgment upon the Heathen and the Exaltation of the Lord

[1] A day is coming for the Lord , when your plundered possessions will be divided while you watch. [2] And all the nations will gather to Jerusalem, to fight against it. The city will be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city will go into captivity, and the rest of the people left in the ruins. [3] Then the Lord will go forth and fight against these nations, as once he fought in the day of battle. [4] On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, (which is opposite Jerusalem, on the east). The Mount of Olives will be split into halves, from east to west, by an exceedingly great valley; and half of the mountain will slide northwards and half southwards. [5] You will escape through my valley – the valley between the hills will extend as far as Azel, and you will flee as you fled from before the earthquake, in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. But the Lord your God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

[6] And in that day, there will be no heat nor cold nor frost, [7] but it will be constant day – it is known to the Lord – with neither day nor night. Even at evening time there will be light. [8] And on that day living waters will flow from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; in both summer and winter. [9] The Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one, and his name one. [10] The land will be changed to plain, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, but Jerusalem will be high and inhabited as it stands, from the Benjamin Gate up to the place of the first gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate, and as far as the king’s winepresses. [11] Jerusalem will be inhabited, for never again will it be doomed to destruction, and its people will abide in security.

 

[12] This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples who array themselves against Jerusalem: he will make their flesh rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouth. [13] On that day a great panic sent by the Lord will fall on them. Everyone will seize their neighbours and attack them. [14] Even Judah will fight at Jerusalem, and the wealth of the surrounding nations will be gathered up – gold and silver and piles of clothing. [15] Plague will fall upon the horses, mules, camels, and asses, and on all the animals in all those camps.

[16] All who are left of all the nations which fought against Jerusalem will come up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the pilgrim-feast of tabernacles. [17] Whoever of all the peoples of the earth will not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. [18] If the family of Egypt does not go up nor enter in, on them also will come the plague with which the Lord will strike the nations. [19] This will be the punishment for the sin of Egypt and the punishment for the sin of all nations which do not come up to keep the feast of the tabernacles.

[20] On that day there will be inscribed upon the bells of the horses, ‘Holy to the Lord ’ and the pots in the house of the Lord will be as holy as the sacrificial bowls before the altars. [21] Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord of hosts and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and cook the sacrifices in them. There will be no more traffickers in the house of the Lord of hosts in that day.

Malachi

[Malachi 1]

The Lord’s Love for Israel

[1] An oracle. The message of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.

 

[2] “I have loved you,” says the Lord . “But you ask, ‘How have you shown love to us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” explains the Lord of hosts, “yet I loved Jacob, [3] but hated Esau, and made his mountains a desolation, and transformed his ancestral land into a wilderness. [4] When Edom says, ‘We are beaten down, but we will return and rebuild the ruined places’” the Lord of hosts says, “They may build, but I will throw down. They will be called, ‘The border land of wickedness,’ the people against whom the Lord is angry forever. [5] Your own eyes will see this, and you will say, ‘the Lord ’s greatness reaches beyond the border of Israel.’” [6]

Against the Priests

“A son honors his father and servant their master. If I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is the one who fears me? So says the Lord to you, priests who despise my name. You ask, ‘How have we despised your name?’ [7] You offer on my altar bread that is polluted. You ask, ‘How have we polluted it?’ Because you say, ‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’ [8] When you offer the blind animal for sacrifice, ‘It doesn’t matter!’ And when you offer the lame and the sick ‘It doesn’t matter!’ Give an animal like that to your governor; will he be pleased with it? Will he receive you favorably?” says the Lord of hosts. [9] Now, plead for the favor of God with such an offering, so that he may be gracious to us. “Would I receive any of you favorably?” says the Lord of hosts.

[10] “If only one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you could not kindle useless fires on my altar! I have no pleasure in you,” says the Lord of hosts, “Nor will I accept an offering from your hand. [11] For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name is great among the nations, and in every place they offer to my name a pure offering. For my name is great among the nations,” says the Lord of hosts.

[12] “But you profane me when you say, ‘The table of the Lord is polluted, and its food is contemptible.’ [13] You say also, ‘How tired we are of all this!’ and you sniff contemptuously at it. You have brought the blind, the lame and the sick as offerings. Should I accept this from your hand?” says the Lord of hosts. [14] “Cursed be the cheat, who has in his flock a valuable male, but vows and sacrifices to the Lord a blemished animal! For I am a great king,” says the Lord of hosts, “and my name is feared among the nations.”

[Malachi 2]

[1] “Now, you priests, this command is for you. [2] If you will not hear, and if you do not take it to heart, to give glory to my name,” says the Lord of hosts, “Then I will lay a curse on you. I will turn your blessings into curses. Indeed I have already done so, because you pay no attention. [3] I will punish your descendants! I will spread offal upon your faces, even the offal of your pilgrim feasts, you will be discarded. [4] You will then know that I have sent this command to you, so that my covenant with Levi may be preserved,” says the Lord of hosts.

[5] “My covenant with him was to give life and peace. I gave them to him so that he might revere me. He revered me, and stood in awe of my name. [6] The true instruction was in his mouth, and injustice was not found in his lips; He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many away from iniquity. [7] For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth, because he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.

[8] “But you have turned aside from that way. You have caused many to stumble in the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” says the Lord of hosts. [9] “So I have I made you contemptible and degraded before all the people, because you have not kept my ways, and have had no respect for me in imparting the law.” [10]

Unfaithfulness

Don’t we have all one father? Didn’t one God created us? Why do we deal faithlessly with one another, profaning the covenant of our ancestors? [11] Judah is treacherous, and abominations are committed in Israel and in Jerusalem because Judah has profaned the holy things loved by the Lord , and has married the daughter of a foreign god. [12] May the Lord banish from the community of Jacob anyone who does this, anyone awaking, testifying, and making an offering to the Lord of hosts. [13] And you also do this: You cover the altar of the Lord with tears, because he doesn’t accept the offering any more, doesn’t accept it from your hand. [14] Yet you ask, “Why?” Because the Lord is testifying against you on behalf of the wife you married when you were young. You have been unfaithful to her, even though she is your companion, and your legal wife.

[15] Did not the one God make everyone, so that all both flesh and spirit is his? And what does that one God seek but godly children? Therefore keep watch over your spirit, and let none of you deal faithlessly with the wife of your youth. [16] “A man who divorces or puts away his wife,” says Lord , the God of Israel, “overwhelms her with cruelty.” The Lord of hosts says: “Keep watch over your spirit, do not be unfaithful.”

The Lord’s Coming Judgment

[17] You have wearied the Lord with your words. You ask, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord , and he delights in them.” Or, “Where is the God of justice?”

[Malachi 3]

[1] “I am about to send my messenger and he will clear a path before me: And the Lord , who you are seeking, will suddenly come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant who you long for is already coming, says the Lord of hosts. [2] But who can endure the day of his coming? And who will stand firm when he appears? He is like a refiner’s fire, and like a launderer’s soap, [3] and he will sit as a refiner and purifier. He will purify the descendants of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, until they are fit to bring offerings to the Lord . [4] Then will the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant to the Lord , as in the days of old, and as in former years.

[5] “I will come to you in judgment. I will be quick to testify against the sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, those who cheat workers, or widows, or orphans, deny justice to immigrants, and do not fear me,” says the Lord of hosts. [6] “For I, the Lord , do not change; and you have not ceased to be descendants of Jacob.”

Paying the Tithe

[7] “From the days of your ancestors, you have turned aside from my statutes, and you have not kept them. Turn to me and I will turn to you,” says the Lord . “You say, ‘How should we turn?’ [8] Can a human rob God? Yet you robbed me. You ask, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In tithes and gifts! [9] You – your entire nation – are all cursed, because you rob me.

[10] “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there is food in my house. Test me in this way. See if I will not open to you the windows of the sky, and pour you out a blessing, until there is more than enough. [11] I will rebuke for your sakes the devouring locust and he will not destroy your crops, nor will the vine fail to ripen its fruit in the field, says the Lord of hosts, [12] and all nations will call you happy, for you will be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts. [13]

Future Reward of the Godless and Faithful

“You have said terrible things about me,” says the Lord . “You ask, ‘What have we said about you?’ [14] You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God, and what do we gain from the Lord of hosts by keeping his commands, and walking mournfully in funeral garb before him? [15] So now we call the proud happy, evildoers thrive: they dare God and escape unharmed.’”

[16] Such things those who revered the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord took notice, and a record was written before him of those who revered the Lord and those who keep in mind his name. [17] “They will be mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “my special possession on that day that I am preparing. I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. [18] Once again my people will see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between the person who serves God and the person who does not.”

[Malachi 4]

[1] “The day is coming that will burn like a furnace, and all the proud and all evildoers will be stubble, and the day that is coming will burn them up,” says the Lord of hosts, “leaving neither root nor branch. [2] But to you who revere my name there will arise the sun of righteousness with healing in its wings, and you will run free like calves let out from their stall. [3] In the day when I act you will tread down the wicked, they will be as ashes under the soles of your feet,” says the Lord of hosts.

[4] “Remember the law of Moses my servant, statutes and judgments which I gave him at Horeb for all Israel. [5] I am about to send to you Elijah the prophet, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. [6] He will turn fathers’ hearts to their sons and sons’ hearts to their fathers, so that I will not come and strike the earth with judgement.”

The

Good News According to

Matthew

[Matthew 1]

The Birth, Parentage and Infancy

[1] A genealogy of Jesus Christ, a descendant of David and Abraham. [2] Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac of Jacob, Jacob of Judah and his brothers, [3] Judah of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez of Hezron, Hezron of Aram, [4] Aram of Aminadab, Aminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon, [5] Salmon of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed of Jesse, [6] Jesse of David the King. David was the father of Solomon, whose mother was Uriah’s widow, [7] Solomon of Rehoboam, Rehoboam of Abijah, Abijah of Asa, [8] Asa of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat of Joram, Joram of Uzziah, [9] Uzziah of Jotham, Jotham of Ahaz, Ahaz of Hezekiah, [10] Hezekiah of Manasseh, Manasseh of Amon, Amon of Josiah, [11] Josiah of Jechoniah and his brothers, at the time of the Exile to Babylon. [12] After the Exile to Babylon – Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel, Salathiel of Zerubbabel, [13] Zerubbabel of Abiud, Abiud of Eliakim, Eliakim of Azor, [14] Azor of Zadok, Zadok of Achim, Achim of Eliud, [15] Eliud of Eleazar, Eleazar of Matthan, Matthan of Jacob, [16] Jacob of Joseph, the husband of Mary, who was the mother of Jesus, who is called ‘Christ’. [17] So the whole number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen; from David to the Exile to Babylon fourteen; and from the Exile to Babylon to the Christ fourteen.

 

[18] This is how Jesus Christ was born:

His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but, before the marriage took place, she found herself to be pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit. [19] Her husband, Joseph, was a just man and, since he did not want to disgrace her publicly, he resolved to put an end to their engagement privately. [20] He had been thinking this over, when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream.

“Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary for your wife, for her child has been conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. [21] She will give birth to a son; name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

[22] All this happened in fulfillment of these words of the Lord through the prophet, where he says –

[23] ‘The virgin will conceive and will give birth to a son, and they will give him the name Immanuel’

 

– a word which means ‘God is with us.’ [24] When Joseph woke up, he did as the angel of the Lord had directed him. [25] He made Mary his wife, but they did not sleep together before the birth of her son; and to this son he gave the name Jesus.

[Matthew 2]

 

[1] After the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem in Judea, in the reign of King Herod, some astrologers from the East arrived in Jerusalem, asking, [2] “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? For we saw his star in the east, and have come to worship him.” [3] When King Herod heard of this, he was much troubled, and so too was all Jerusalem. [4] He called together all the chief priests and teachers of the Law in the nation, and questioned them as to where the Christ was to be born.

[5] “At Bethlehem in Judea,” was their answer, “for it is said in the prophet –

[6] ‘And you, Bethlehem in Judah’s land,

are in no way least among the chief cities of Judah,

for out of you will come a ruler –

who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

[7] Then Herod secretly sent for the astrologers. He found out from them the time of the appearance of the star. [8] Sending them to Bethlehem he said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. When you have found him, bring word back to me, so that I, too, can go and worship him.” [9] The astrologers heard what the king had to say, and then continued their journey. The star which they had seen in the east led them on, until it reached and stood over the place where the child was. [10] At the sight of the star they were filled with joy. [11] Entering the house, they saw the child with his mother, Mary, and fell at his feet and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests, and offered to the child presents of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. [12] But afterward, having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their own country by another road.

[13] After they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and seek refuge in Egypt; and stay there until I tell you to return, for Herod is about to search for the child, to put him to death.” [14] Joseph woke up, and taking the child and his mother by night, went into Egypt, [15] and there he stayed until Herod’s death; in fulfillment of these words of the Lord in the prophet, where he says –

‘Out of Egypt I called my Son.’

[16] When Herod found out that the astrologers had tricked him, he flew into a rage. He sent and put to death all the boys in Bethlehem and the whole of that region, who were two years old or under, guided by the time which he had learned from the astrologers. [17] Then were fulfilled these words spoken in the prophet Jeremiah, where he says –

[18] ‘A voice was heard in Ramah,

weeping and mourning loudly;

Rachel, weeping for her children,

refusing all comfort for they were dead.’

[19] But, on the death of Herod, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, and said, [20] “Get up, take the child and his mother, and go into the Land of Israel, for those who sought to take the child’s life are dead.” [21] He woke up, and taking the child and his mother, went into the Land of Israel. [22] But, hearing that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as king of Judea, he was afraid to go back there; and having been warned in a dream, he went into the part of the country called Galilee. [23] There he settled in the town of Nazareth, in fulfillment of these words in the prophets – ‘He will be called a Nazarene.’

[Matthew 3]

The Preparation

[1] About that time John the Baptist first appeared, proclaiming in the wilderness of Judea: [2] “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” [3] John was the one who was spoken of in the prophet Isaiah, where he says –

‘The voice of one crying aloud in the wilderness:

“Make ready the way of the Lord,

make his paths straight.”’

[4] John’s clothes were made of camels’ hair, with a leather strap around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. [5] At that time Jerusalem, and all Judea, as well as the whole district of the Jordan, went out to him [6] and were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

[7] But when John saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to receive his baptism, he said to them, “You children of snakes! Who has prompted you to seek refuge from the coming judgment? [8] Let your life, then, prove your repentance; [9] and do not think that you can say among yourselves ‘Abraham is our ancestor,’ for I tell you that out of these stones God is able to raise descendants for Abraham! [10] Already the axe is lying at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that fails to bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. [11] I, indeed, baptize you with water to teach repentance; but he who is coming after me is more powerful than I, and I am not fit even to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. [12] His winnowing-fan is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor, and store his grain in the barn, but the chaff he will burn with a fire that cannot be put out.”

[13] Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan, to John, to be baptized by him. [14] But John tried to prevent him.

“I need to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why have you come to me?”

[15] “This is the way it should be for now,” Jesus answered, “because we should do everything that God requires.” So John agreed.

[16] After the baptism of Jesus, and just as he came up from the water, the heavens opened, and he saw the Spirit of God coming down like a dove and resting on him, [17] and from the heavens there came a voice which said, “This is my dearly loved son, who brings me great joy.”

[Matthew 4]

 

[1] Then Jesus was led up into the wilderness by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil. [2] And, after he had fasted for forty days and forty nights, he became hungry. [3] The Tempter came to him, and said:

“If you are God’s Son, tell these stones to become loaves of bread.”

 

[4] But Jesus answered, “Scripture says –

‘It is not on bread alone that a person is to live, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

 

[5] Then the devil took him to the Holy City, and, placing him on the parapet of the temple, said to him, [6] “If you are God’s Son, throw yourself down, for scripture says –

‘He will give his angels commands about you,

and on their hands they will lift you up,

so you do not even strike your foot against a stone.’”

 

[7] “Scripture also says,” answered Jesus,

“‘You must not tempt the Lord your God.’”

 

[8] The third time, the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain, and, showing him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor, said to him:

[9] “All these I will give you, if you will fall at my feet and worship me.”

 

[10] Then Jesus said to him, “Go away, Satan! For scripture says –

‘You must worship the Lord your God, and worship him only.’”

 

[11] Then the devil left him alone, and angels came and helped him.

The Work in Galilee

[12] When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he returned to Galilee. [13] Afterward, leaving Nazareth, he went and settled at Capernaum, which is by the side of the sea, within the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali; [14] in fulfillment of these words in the prophet Isaiah –

[15] ‘The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,

the land of the Road by the sea, and beyond the Jordan,

with Galilee of the Gentiles –

[16] The people who were living in darkness

have seen a great light,

and, for those who were living in the shadow-land of death,

a light has dawned!’

 

[17] At that time Jesus began to proclaim –

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

[18] As Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers – Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew – casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.

[19] “Come and follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will teach you to fish for people.” [20] The two men left their nets at once and followed him. [21] Going further on, he saw two other men who were also brothers, James, Zebedee’s son, and his brother John, in their boat with their father, mending their nets. Jesus called them, [22] and they at once left their boat and their father, and followed him.

[23] Jesus went all through Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people; [24] and his fame spread all through Syria. They brought to him all who were ill with any form of disease, or who were suffering pain – any who were either possessed by demons, or were lunatic, or paralyzed; and he cured them. [25] He was followed by large crowds from Galilee, the district of the Ten Towns, Jerusalem, Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

[Matthew 5]

[1] On seeing the crowds of people, Jesus went up the hill; and, when he had taken his seat, his disciples came up to him; [2] and he began to teach them, saying:

[3] “Blessed are the poor in spirit,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

[4] Blessed are the mourners,

for they will be comforted.

[5] Blessed are the gentle,

for they will inherit the earth.

[6] Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

for they will be satisfied.

[7] Blessed are the merciful,

for they will find mercy.

[8] Blessed are the pure in heart,

for they will see God.

[9] Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God.

[10] Blessed are those who have been persecuted in the cause of righteousness,

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

[11] “Blessed are you when people insult you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. [12] Be glad and rejoice, because your reward in heaven will be great; this is the way they persecuted the prophets who lived before you.

[13] “You are salt for the world. But if salt becomes tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown away, and trampled underfoot. [14] It is you who are the light of the world. A town that stands on a hill cannot be hidden. [15] People do not light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp-stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. [16] Let your light so shine before the eyes of others so that, seeing your good actions, they will praise your Father who is in heaven.

[17] “Do not think that I have come to do away with the Law or the prophets; I have not come to do away with them, but to complete them. [18] For I tell you, until the heavens and the earth disappear, not even the smallest letter, nor one stroke of a letter, will disappear from the Law until all is done. [19] Whoever, therefore, breaks one of these commandments, even the least of them, and teaches others to do so, will be the least esteemed in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps them, and teaches others to do so, will be esteemed great in the kingdom of heaven. [20] Indeed I tell you that, unless you obey God’s commands better than of the teachers of the Law, and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

[21] “You have heard that to our ancestors it was said – ‘You must not commit murder,’ and ‘Whoever commits murder will be brought to trial.’ [22] But I say to you that anyone who is angry at their brother or sister will be brought to trial; and whoever insults their brother or sister will be brought before the High Council, while whoever calls them a fool will be in danger of the fires of Gehenna. [23] Therefore, when presenting your gift at the altar, if even there you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, [24] leave your gift there, before the altar, go and be reconciled to them, first, then come and present your gift. [25] Be ready to make friends with your opponent, even when you meet them on your way to the court; otherwise they might hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the judicial officer, and you will be thrown into prison. [26] I tell you, you will not come out until you have paid the last cent.

[27] “You have heard that it was said – ‘You must not commit adultery.’ [28] But I say to you that anyone who looks at a woman and desires her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. [29] If your right eye causes you to sin, take it out and throw it away. It would be best for you to lose one part of your body, and not to have the whole of it thrown into Gehenna. [30] And, if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It would be best for you to lose one part of your body, and not to have the whole of it go down to Gehenna.

[31] “It was also said – ‘Let anyone who divorces his wife serve her with a notice of separation.’ [32] But I say to you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of some serious sexual sin, leads to her committing adultery; while anyone who marries her after her divorce is guilty of adultery. [33] Again, you have heard that our ancestors were told – ‘Do not break your oaths, keep your vows to the Lord.’ [34] But I say to you that you must not swear at all, either by heaven, since that is God’s throne, [35] or by the earth, since that is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, since that is the city of the Great King. [36] Nor should you swear by your head, since you cannot make a single hair either white or black. [37] Let your words be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from what is evil.

[38] “You have heard that it was said – ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ [39] But I say to you that you must not resist those who wrong you; but, if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to them also. [40] If someone sues you for your shirt, let them have your cloak as well. [41] If you are forced to carry a soldier’s pack for one mile, carry it two. [42] Give to anyone who asks and, if someone wants to borrow from you, do not turn them away.

[43] You have heard that it was said – ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ [44] But what I tell you is this: love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, [45] so that you may become children of your Father who is in heaven; for he causes his sun to rise on bad and good alike, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. [46] For, if you love only those who love you, what reward will you have? Even the tax-gatherers do this! [47] And, if you only welcome your brothers and sisters, what are you doing more than others? Even the Gentiles do this! [48] You, then, must become perfect – as your heavenly Father is perfect.

[Matthew 6]

[1] “Take care not to perform your religious duties in public in order to be seen by others; if you do, your Father who is in heaven has no reward for you. [2] Therefore, when you do acts of charity, do not have a trumpet blown in front of you, as hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that people will praise them. There, I tell you, is their reward! [3] But, when you do acts of charity, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, [4] so that your charity may be secret; and your Father, who sees what is in secret, will reward you.

[5] “And, when you pray, you are not to behave as hypocrites do. They like to pray standing in the synagogues and at the corners of the streets, so that people will see them. There, I tell you, is their reward! [6] But, when one of you prays, they should go into their own room, shut the door, and pray to their Father who dwells in secret; and their Father, who sees what is secret, will reward them. [7] When praying, do not repeat the same words over and over again, as is done by the Gentiles, who think that by using many words they will obtain a hearing. [8] Do not imitate them; for God, your Father, knows what you need before you ask him. [9] You, therefore, should pray like this –

‘Our Father, who is in heaven,

may your name be held holy,

[10] your kingdom come, your will be done –

on earth, as in heaven.

[11] Give us today

the bread that we will need;

[12] and forgive us our wrong-doings,

as we have forgiven those who have wronged us;

[13] and take us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.’

 

[14] For, if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you also; [15] but, if you do not forgive others their offenses, not even your Father will forgive your offenses.

[16] “And, when you fast, do not put on gloomy looks, as hypocrites do who disfigure their faces so that they may be seen by people to be fasting. That, I tell you, is their reward! [17] But, when one of you fasts, they should anoint their head and wash their face, [18] so that they may not be seen by people to be fasting, but by their Father who dwells in secret; and their Father, who sees what is secret, will reward them.

[19] “Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. [20] But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal. [21] For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. [22] The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is unclouded, your whole body will be lit up; [23] but, if your eye is diseased, your whole body will be darkened. And, if the inner light is darkness, how intense must that darkness be! [24] No one can serve two masters, for either they will hate one and love the other, or else they will attach themselves to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

[25] “This is why I say to you, Do not be anxious about your life – what you can get to eat or drink, or about your body – what you can get to wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? [26] Look at the wild birds – they neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns; and yet your heavenly Father feeds them! Aren’t you more precious than they? [27] But which of you, by being anxious, can prolong their life a single moment? [28] And why be anxious about clothing? Study the wild lilies, and how they grow. They neither toil nor spin; [29] yet I tell you that even Solomon in all his splendor was not robed like one of these. [30] If God so clothes even the grass of the field, which is living today and tomorrow will be thrown into the oven, won’t he much more clothe you, you of little faith? [31] Do not then ask anxiously ‘What can we get to eat?’ or ‘What can we get to drink?’ or ‘What can we get to wear?’ [32] All these are the things for which the nations are seeking, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. [33] But first seek his kingdom and the righteousness that he requires, and then all these things will be added for you. [34] Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own anxieties. Every day has trouble enough of its own.

[Matthew 7]

[1] “Do not judge and you will not be judged. [2] For, just as you judge others, you will yourselves be judged, and the standard that you use will be used for you. [3] Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your friend’s eye, while you pay no attention at all to the plank of wood in yours? [4] How will you say to your friend ‘Let me take out the speck from your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own? [5] Hypocrite! Take out the plank from your own eye first, and then you will see clearly how to take out the speck from your friend’s.

[6] “Do not give what is sacred to dogs; they will turn and maul you. Do not throw your pearls before pigs; they will trample them underfoot. [7] Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. [8] For the person who asks receives, the person who searches finds, and to the door will be opened to the person who knocks. [9] Who among you, when their child asks them for bread, will give them a stone, [10] or when they ask for a fish, will give them a snake? [11] If you, then, wicked though you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask him!

[12] “Do to others whatever you would wish them to do to you; for that is the teaching of both the Law and the prophets. [13] Go in by the small gate. The road that leads to destruction is broad and spacious, and many go in by it. [14] For the gate is small, and the road narrow, that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

[15] “Beware of false teachers – people who come to you in the guise of sheep, but at heart they are ravenous wolves. [16] By the fruit of their lives you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? [17] So, too, every sound tree bears good fruit, while a worthless tree bears bad fruit. [18] A sound tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a worthless tree bear good fruit. [19] Every tree that fails to bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. [20] So it is by the fruit of their lives that you will know such people. [21] Not everyone who says to me ‘Master! Master!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [22] On ‘that day’ many will say to me ‘Master, Master, was not it in your name that we taught, and in your name that we drove out demons, and in your name that we did many miracles?’ [23] And then I will say to them plainly ‘I never knew you. Go from my presence, you who live in sin.’

[24] “Everyone, therefore, who listens to this teaching of mine and acts on it may be compared to a prudent person, who built their house on the rock. [25] The rain poured down, the rivers rose, the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, for its foundations were on the rock. [26] Everyone who listens to this teaching of mine and does not act on it may be compared to a foolish person, who built their house on the sand. [27] The rain poured down, the rivers rose, the winds blew and struck against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

[28] By the time that Jesus had finished speaking, the crowd was filled with amazement at his teaching. [29] For he taught them like one who had authority, and not like their teachers of the Law.

[Matthew 8]

 

[1] When Jesus had come down from the hill, great crowds followed him. [2] He saw a leper who came up, and bowed to the ground before him, and said, “Master, if only you are willing, you are able to make me clean.” [3] Stretching out his hand, Jesus touched him, saying as he did so, “I am willing; become clean.” Instantly he was made clean from his leprosy; [4] and then Jesus said to him, “Be careful not to say a word to anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift directed by Moses, as evidence of your cure.” [5] After Jesus had entered Capernaum, a captain in the Roman army came up to him, entreating his help. [6] “Sir,” he said, “my manservant is lying ill at my house with a stroke of paralysis, and is suffering terribly.”

[7] “I will come and cure him,” answered Jesus. [8] “Sir,” the captain went on, “I am unworthy to receive you under my roof; but only speak, and my manservant will be cured. [9] For I myself am a man under the orders of others, with soldiers under me; and, if I say to one of them ‘Go,’ he goes, and to another ‘Come,’ he comes, and to my slave ‘Do this,’ he does it.” [10] Jesus was surprised to hear this, and said to those who were following him, “Never I tell you, in any Israelite have I met with such faith as this! [11] Yes, and many will come in from East and West and take their places beside Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven; [12] while the heirs to the kingdom will be banished into the darkness outside; there, there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.” [13] Then Jesus said to the captain, “Go now, and it will be according to your faith.” And the man was cured that very hour.

[14] When Jesus went into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law prostrated with fever. [15] On his taking her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and began to take care of him. [16] In the evening the people brought to Jesus many who were possessed by demons; and he drove out the spirits with a word, and cured all who were ill, [17] in fulfillment of these words in the prophet Isaiah – ‘He took our infirmities on himself, and bore the burden of our diseases.’

[18] Seeing a crowd around him, Jesus gave orders to go across. [19] A teacher of the Law came up to him, and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”

[20] “Foxes have holes,” answered Jesus, “and wild birds their nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” [21] “Master,” said another, who was a disciple, “let me first go and bury my father.” [22] But Jesus answered, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their dead.” [23] Then he got into the boat, followed by his disciples. [24] Suddenly so great a storm came up on the sea, that the waves broke right over the boat. But Jesus was asleep; [25] and the disciples came and roused him. “Master,” they cried, “save us; we are lost!”

[26] “Why are you so timid?” he said. “You of little faith!” Then Jesus rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and a great calm followed. [27] The men were amazed, and exclaimed, “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!”

[28] On getting to the other side – the region of the Gadarenes – Jesus met two men who were possessed by demons, coming out of the tombs. They were so violent that no one was able to pass that way. [29] Suddenly they shrieked out, “What do you want with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before our time?” [30] A long way off, there was a drove of many pigs, feeding; [31] and the foul spirits began begging Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the drove of pigs.”

[32] “Go,” he said. The spirits came out, and entered the pigs; and the whole drove rushed down the steep slope into the sea, and died in the water. [33] At this the men who tended them ran away and went to the town, carrying the news of all that had occurred, and of what had happened to the possessed men. [34] At the news the whole town went out to meet Jesus, and, when they saw him, they entreated him to go away from their region.

[Matthew 9]

[1] Afterward Jesus got into a boat, and, crossing over, came to his own city. [2] There some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Courage, child! Your sins are forgiven.” [3] Then some of the teachers of the Law said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming!” [4] Knowing their thoughts, Jesus exclaimed, “Why do your cherish such wicked thoughts? [5] Which, I ask, is the easier? – to say ‘Your sins are forgiven’? Or to say ‘Get up, and walk’? [6] But to show you that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins” – then he said to the paralyzed man – “Get up, take up your bed, and return to your home.” [7] The man got up and went to his home. [8] When the crowd saw this, they were awe-struck, and praised God for giving such power to human beings.

[9] As Jesus went along, he saw a man, called Matthew, sitting in the tax office, and said to him, “Follow me.” Matthew got up and followed him.

[10] And, later on, when he was having dinner in the house, a number of tax-gatherers and outcasts came in and took their places at the table with Jesus and his disciples. [11] When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat in the company of tax-gatherers and outcasts?” [12] On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. [13] Go and learn what this means – ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice’; for I did not come to call the religious, but the outcast.” [14] Then John’s disciples came to Jesus, and asked, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast while your disciples do not?” [15] Jesus answered, “Can the groom’s friends mourn as long as the groom is with them? But the days will come, when the groom will be taken away from them, and they will fast then. [16] Nobody ever puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for such a patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made. [17] Nor do people put new wine into old wine-skins; for, if they do, the skins burst, and the wine runs out, and the skins are lost; but they put new wine into fresh skins, and so both are preserved.”

[18] While Jesus was saying this, a synagogue leader came up and bowed to the ground before him. “My daughter,” he said, “has just died; but come and place your hand on her, and she will be restored to life.” [19] So Jesus rose and followed him, and his disciples went also. [20] But meanwhile a woman, who had been suffering from hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind and touched the tassel of his cloak. [21] “If I only touch his cloak,” she said to herself, “I will get well.” [22] Turning and seeing her, Jesus said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has delivered you.” And at that very moment she became well. [23] When Jesus reached the leader’s house, seeing the flute players, and a number of people all in confusion, [24] he said, “Go away, the little girl is not dead; she is asleep.” They began to laugh at him; [25] but, when the people had been sent out, Jesus went in, and took the little girl’s hand, and she rose. [26] The report of this spread through all that part of the country.

[27] As Jesus was passing on from there, he was followed by two blind men, who kept calling out, “Take pity on us, Son of David!” [28] When he had gone indoors, the blind men came up to him; and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Master!” they answered. [29] Then he touched their eyes, and said, “It will be according to your faith.” [30] Then their eyes were opened. Jesus sternly cautioned them. “See that no one knows of it,” he said. [31] But the men went out, and spread the news about him through all that part of the country. [32] Just as they were going out, some people brought up to Jesus a dumb man who was possessed by a demon; [33] and, as soon as the demon had been driven out, the dumb man spoke. The people were astonished at this, and exclaimed, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!” [34] But the Pharisees said, “He drives out the demons by the help of the chief of the demons.”

[35] Jesus went around all the towns and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. [36] But, when he saw the crowds, his heart was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and harassed, like sheep without a shepherd; [37] and he said to his disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the laborers are few. [38] Therefore pray to the owner of the harvest to send laborers to gather in his harvest.”

[Matthew 10]

[1] Calling his twelve Disciples to him, Jesus gave them authority over foul spirits, so that they could drive them out, as well as the power of curing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. [2] The names of the twelve apostles are these, First Simon, also known as Peter, and his brother Andrew; James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John; [3] Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-gather; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; [4] Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot – the apostle who betrayed him.

[5] These twelve Jesus sent out as his messengers, after giving them these instructions – “Do not go to the Gentiles, nor enter any Samaritan town, [6] but make your way rather to the lost sheep of Israel. [7] On your way proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. [8] Cure the sick, raise the dead, make the lepers clean, drive out demons. You have received free of cost, give free of cost. [9] Do not provide yourselves with gold, or silver, or coins in your purses; [10] not even with a bag for the journey, or a change of clothes, or sandals, or even a staff; for the worker is worth his food. [11] Whatever town or village you visit, find out who is worthy in that place, and remain there until you leave. [12] As you enter the house, greet it. [13] Then, if the house is worthy, let your blessing rest on it, but, if it is unworthy, let your blessing return on yourselves. [14] If no one welcomes you, or listens to what you say, as you leave that house or that town, shake off its dust from your feet. [15] I tell you, the doom of the land of Sodom and Gomorrah will be more bearable in the day of judgment than the doom of that town.

[16] “Remember, I am sending you out as my messengers like sheep among wolves. So be as wise as snakes, and as blameless as doves. [17] Be on your guard against others, for they will betray you to courts of law, and scourge you in their synagogues; [18] and you will be brought before governors and kings for my sake so that you may witness for me before them and the nations. [19] Whenever they betray you, do not be anxious as to how you will speak or what you will say, for what you will say will be given you at the moment; [20] for it will not be you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father that speaks within you. [21] Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; and children will turn against their parents, and cause them to be put to death; [22] and you will be hated by everyone because of me. Yet the person who endures to the end will be saved. [23] But, when they persecute you in one town, escape to the next; for, I tell you, you will not have come to the end of the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. [24] A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. [25] It is enough for a student to be treated like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household! [26] Do not, therefore, be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed which will not be revealed, nor anything hidden which will not become known. [27] What I tell you in the dark, say again in the light; and what is whispered in your ear, proclaim on the housetops. [28] Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; rather be afraid of him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. [29] Are not two sparrows sold for a one copper coin? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. [30] While as for you, even the hairs of your head are numbered. [31] Do not, therefore, be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows. [32] Everyone, therefore, who will publicly acknowledge me, I, too, will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; [33] but, if anyone publicly disowns me, I, too, will disown him before my Father who is in heaven.

[34] “Do not imagine that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have come to bring, not peace, but the sword. [35] For I have come to set – a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. [36] A person’s enemies will be the members of their own household. [37] Anyone who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. [38] Anyone who does not take their cross and follow in my steps is not worthy of me. [39] The person who has found their life will lose it, while the person who, for my sake, has lost their life will find it.

[40] “Anyone who welcomes you is welcoming me; and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming him who sent me as his messenger. [41] The person who welcomes a prophet, because they are a prophet, will receive a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes a good person, because they are a good person, will receive a good person’s reward. [42] And, if anyone gives but a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because they are a disciple, I tell you that they will assuredly not lose their reward.”

[Matthew 11]

[1] After Jesus had finished giving directions to his twelve Disciples, he left that place in order to teach and preach in their towns.

[2] Now John had heard in prison what the Christ was doing, and he sent a message by his disciples, [3] and asked – “Are you ‘the coming one,’ or are we to look for someone else?” [4] The answer of Jesus to the question was – “Go and report to John what you hear and see – [5] the blind recover their sight and the lame walk, the lepers are made clean and the deaf hear, the dead, too, are raised to life, and the good news is told to the poor. [6] Blessed is the person who finds no hindrance in me.”

[7] While John’s disciples were going back, Jesus began to say to the crowds with reference to John, [8] “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed waving in the wind? If not, what did you go out to see? A man richly dressed? Why, those who wear rich things are to be found in the courts of kings! [9] What, then, did you go for? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and far more than a prophet. [10] This is the man of whom scripture says – ‘I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way before you.’ [11] I tell you, no one born of a woman has yet appeared who is greater than John the Baptist; and yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. [12] From the time of John the Baptist to this very hour, the kingdom of heaven has been taken by force, and people using force have been seizing it. [13] For the teaching of all the prophets and of the Law continued until the time of John; [14] and – if you are ready to accept it – John is himself the Elijah who was destined to come. [15] If you have ears, listen. [16] But to what will I compare the present generation? It is like little children sitting in the market-places and calling out to their playmates – [17] We have played the flute for you, but you have not danced; We have wailed, but you have not mourned. [18] For, when John came, neither eating nor drinking, people said ‘He has a demon in him’; [19] and now that the Son of Man has come, eating and drinking, they are saying ‘Here is a glutton and a wine-drinker, a friend of tax-gatherers and outcasts!’ And yet wisdom is vindicated by her actions.”

[20] Then Jesus began to reproach the towns in which most of his miracles had been done, because they had not repented, [21] “Alas for you, Chorazin! Alas for you, Bethsaida! For, if the miracles which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. [22] Yet, I tell you, the doom of Tyre and Sidon will be more bearable in the day of judgment than yours. [23] And you, Capernaum! Will you exalt yourself to heaven? You will be flung down to Hades! For, if the miracles which have been done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have been standing to this day. [24] Yet, I tell you, the doom of Sodom will be more bearable in the day of judgment than yours.” [25] At that same time Jesus uttered the words, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that, though you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, you have revealed them to the child-like! [26] Yes, Father, I thank you that this has seemed good to you. [27] Everything has been committed to me by my Father; nor does anyone fully know the Son, except the Father, or fully know the Father, except the Son and those to whom the Son may choose to reveal him. [28] Come to me, all you who toil and are burdened, and I will give you rest! [29] Take my yoke on you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest for your souls; [30] for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

[Matthew 12]

[1] About the same time Jesus walked through the cornfields one Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and began to pick some ears of wheat and eat them. [2] But, when the Pharisees saw this, they said, “Look! Your disciples are doing what it is not allowable to do on a Sabbath!”

[3] “Haven’t you read,” replied Jesus, “what David did, when he and his companions were hungry – [4] how he went into the house of God, and how they ate the consecrated bread, through it was not allowable for him or his companions to eat it, but only for the priests? [5] And haven’t you read in the law that, on the Sabbath, the priest in the Temple break the Sabbath and yet are not guilty? [6] Here, however, I tell you, there is something greater than the Temple! [7] Had you learned the meaning of the words – ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned those who are not guilty. [8] For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

[9] Passing on, Jesus went into their synagogue, [10] and there he saw a man with a withered hand. Some people asked Jesus whether it was allowable to work a cure on the Sabbath – so that they might have a charge to bring against him. [11] But Jesus said to them, “Which of you, if he had only one sheep, and that sheep fell into a pit on the Sabbath, would not lay hold of it and pull it out? [12] How much more precious a person is than a sheep! Therefore it is allowable to do good on the Sabbath.” [13] Then he said to the man. “Stretch out your hand.” The man stretched it out; and it had become as sound as the other. [14] On coming out, the Pharisees plotted against Jesus, to put him to death.

[15] Jesus, however, became aware of it, and went away from that place. A number of people followed him, and he cured them all; [16] but he warned them not to make him known, [17] in fulfillment of these words in the prophet Isaiah – [18] ‘Here is my chosen servant, who I love and who pleases me! I will breathe my spirit on him, and he will announce a time of judgment to the Gentiles. [19] He will not contend, nor cry aloud, Neither will anyone hear his voice in the streets; [20] a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he has brought the judgment to a victorious issue, [21] and on his name will the Gentiles rest their hopes.’

[22] Then some people brought to Jesus a possessed man, who was blind and dumb; and he cured him, so that the man who had been dumb both talked and saw. [23] At this all the people were astounded. “Is it possible that this is the son of David?” they exclaimed. [24] But the Pharisees heard of it and said, “He drives out demons only by the help of Beelzebul the chief of the demons.” [25] Jesus, however, was aware of what was passing in their minds, and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself becomes a desolation, and any town or household divided against itself will not last. [26] So, if Satan drives Satan out, he must be divided against himself; and how, then, can his kingdom last? [27] And, if it is by Beelzebul’s help that I drive out demons, by whose help is it that your own sons drive them out? Therefore they will themselves be your judges. [28] But, if it is by the help of the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God must already be upon you. [29] How, again, can anyone get into a strong man’s house and carry off his goods, without first securing him? Not until then will he plunder his house. [30] Anyone who is not with me is against me, and the person who does not help me to gather is scattering. [31] Therefore, I tell you, people will be forgiven every sin and slander; but slander against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. [32] Whoever speaks against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in the present age, or in the age to come.

[33] “You must assume either that both tree and fruit are good, or that both tree and fruit are worthless; since it is by its fruits that a tree is known. [34] You children of snakes! How can you, evil as you are, say anything good? For what fills the heart will rise to the lips. [35] A good person, from his good stores, produces good things; while an evil person, from his evil stores, produces evil things. [36] I tell you that for every careless thing that people say, they must answer on the ‘day of judgment.’ [37] For it is by your words that you will be acquitted, and by your words that you will be condemned.”

[38] At this point, some teachers of the Law and Pharisees spoke up. “Teacher,” they said, “we want to see some sign from you.”

[39] “It is a wicked and unfaithful generation,” answered Jesus, “that is asking for a sign, and no sign will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. [40] For, just as Jonah was inside the sea-monster three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. [41] At the judgment, the people of Nineveh will stand up with this generation, and will condemn it, because they repented at Jonah’s proclamation; and here is more than a Jonah! [42] At the judgment the Queen of the South will rise up with the present generation, and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon; and here is more than a Solomon! [43] No sooner does a foul spirit leave a person, than it passes through places where there is no water, in search of rest, and does not find it. [44] Then it says ‘I will go back to the home which I left’; but, on coming there, it finds it unoccupied, and swept, and put in order. [45] Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in, and make their home there; and the last state of that man proves to be worse than the first. So, too, will it be with this wicked generation.”

[46] While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and brothers were standing outside, asking to speak to him. [47] Someone told him this, and Jesus replied, [48] “Who is my mother? And who are my brothers?” [49] Then, stretching out his hands towards his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! [50] For anyone who does the will of my Father who is in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

[Matthew 13]

[1] That same day, when Jesus had left the house and was sitting by the sea, [2] such great crowds gathered around him, that he got into a boat, and sat in it, while all the people stood on the beach. [3] Then he told them many truths in parables. “The sower,” he began, “went out to sow; and, [4] as they were sowing, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. [5] Some fell on rocky places, where it had not much soil, and, because the soil wasn’t deep, sprang up at once. [6] As soon as the sun had risen, it was scorched, and, because their roots were not deep enough, withered away. [7] Some, again, fell into the brambles; but the brambles shot up and choked it. [8] Some, however, fell on good soil, and yielded a return, sometimes one hundred, sometimes sixty, sometimes thirty fold. [9] Let those who have ears hear.”

[10] Afterward his disciples came to him, and said, “Why do you speak to them in parables?”

[11] “To you,” answered Jesus, “the knowledge of the hidden truths of the kingdom of heaven has been imparted, but not to those. [12] For, to all who have, more will be given, and they will have abundance; but, from all who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. [13] That is why I speak to them in parables, because, though they have eyes, they do not see, and though they have ears, they do not hear or understand. [14] In them is being fulfilled that prophecy of Isaiah which says –

‘You will hear with your ears without ever understanding,

and, though you have eyes, you will see without ever perceiving,

[15] for the mind of this nation has grown dense,

and their ears are dull of hearing,

their eyes also have they closed;

Otherwise some day they might perceive with their eyes,

and with their ears they might hear,

and in their mind they might understand,

and might turn –

and I might heal them.’

 

[16] “But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear; [17] for I tell you that many prophets and good people have longed for the sight of the things which you are seeing, yet never saw them, and to hear the things which you are hearing, yet never heard them.

[18] “Listen, then, yourselves to the parable of the sower. [19] When anyone hears the message of the kingdom without understanding it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in their mind. This is the person meant by the seed which was sown along the path. [20] By the seed which was sown on rocky places is meant the person who hears the message, and at once accepts it joyfully; [21] but, as they have no root, they stand for only a short time; and, when trouble or persecution arises because of the message, they fall away at once. [22] By the seed which was sown among the brambles is meant the person who hears the message, but the cares of life and the glamour of wealth completely choke the message, so that it gives no return. [23] But by the seed which was sown on the good ground is meant the person who hears the message and understands it, and really yields a return, sometimes one hundred, sometimes sixty, sometimes thirty fold.”

[24] Another parable which Jesus told them was this – “The kingdom of heaven is compared to a person who sowed good seed in their field. [25] But, while everyone was asleep, their enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. [26] So, when the blades of corn shot up, and came into ear, the weeds made their appearance also. [27] The owner’s servants came to them, and said ‘Was not it good seed that you sowed in your field? Where, then, do the weeds in it come from?’ [28] ‘An enemy has done this,’ was the owner’s answer. ‘Do you wish us, then,’ they asked, ‘to go and gather them together?’ [29] ‘No,’ said he, ‘because while you are pulling up the weeds you might uproot the wheat with them. [30] Let both grow side by side until harvest; and then I will say to the reapers, Gather the weeds together first, and tie them in bundles for burning; but bring all the wheat into my barn.’”

[31] Another parable which he told them was this – “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a person took and sowed in his field. [32] This seed is smaller than all other seeds, but, when it has grown up, it is larger than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that ‘the wild birds come and roost in its branches.’”

[33] This was another parable which Jesus related – “The kingdom of heaven is like some yeast which a woman took and covered up in three pecks of flour, until the whole had risen.” [34] Of all this Jesus spoke to the crowd in parables; indeed to them he used never to speak at all except in parables, [35] in fulfillment of these words in the prophet – ‘I will speak to them in parables; I will utter things kept secret since the foundation of the world.’

[36] Then Jesus left the crowd, and went into the house. Presently his disciples came to him, and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.” [37] He answered, “The sower of the good seed is the Son of Man. [38] The field is the world. By the good seed is meant the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the wicked, [39] and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest time is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels. [40] And, just as the weeds are gathered and burnt, so it will be at the close of the age. [41] The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather from his kingdom all that hinders and those who live in sin, [42] and will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth. [43] Then will the righteous shine, like the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. If you have ears, listen.

[44] “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a person found and hid again, and then, in their delight, went and sold everything that they had, and bought that field.

[45] “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of choice pearls. [46] Finding one of great value, they went and sold everything that they had, and bought it. [47] Or again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net which was cast into the sea, and caught fish of all kinds. [48] When it was full, they hauled it up on the beach, and sat down and sorted the good fish into baskets, but threw the worthless ones away. [49] So will it be at the close of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous, [50] and will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

[51] “Have you understood all this?” Jesus asked. “Yes,” they answered. [52] Then he added, “So every teacher of the Law, who has received instruction about the kingdom of heaven, is like a householder who produces from his stores things both new and old.”

[53] When Jesus had finished these parables, he withdrew from that place. [54] Going to his own part of the country, he taught the people in their synagogue in such a manner that they were deeply impressed. “Where did he get this wisdom?” they said, “and the miracles? [55] Isn’t he the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother called Mary, and his brothers James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas? [56] And his sisters, too – are not they all living among us? Where, then did he get all this?” [57] These things proved a hindrance to their believing in him. But Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country and in his own house.” [58] He did not work many miracles there, because of their want of faith.

[Matthew 14]

[1] At that time Prince Herod heard of the fame of Jesus, [2] and said to his attendants, “This must be John the Baptist; he must be risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are active in him.” [3] For Herod had arrested John, put him in chains, and shut him up in prison, to please Herodias, the wife of Herod’s brother Philip. [4] For John had said to him ‘You have no right to be living with her.’ [5] Yet, though Herod wanted to put him to death, he was afraid of the people, because they looked on John as a prophet. [6] But, when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before his guests, and so pleased Herod, [7] that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she asked. [8] Prompted by her mother, the girl said ‘Give me here, on a dish, the head of John the Baptist.’ [9] The king was distressed at this; yet, because of his oath and of the guests at his table, he ordered it to be given her. [10] He had John beheaded in the prison [11] and his head was brought on a dish and given to the girl, and she took it to her mother. [12] Then John’s disciples came, and took the body away, and buried it; and went and told Jesus.

[13] When Jesus heard of it, he left privately in a boat to a lonely spot. The people, however, heard of his going, and followed him in crowds from the towns on foot. [14] On getting out of the boat, Jesus saw a great crowd, and his heart was moved at the sight of them; and he cured all the sick among them. [15] In the evening the disciples came up to him, and said, “This is a lonely spot, and the day is now far advanced; send the crowds away so that they can to the villages, and buy themselves food.” [16] But Jesus said, “They need not go away, it is for you to give them something to eat.” [17] “We have nothing here,” they said, “except five loaves and two fish.”

[18] “Bring them here to me,” was his reply. [19] Jesus ordered the people to take their seats on the grass; and, taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and said the blessing, and, after he had broken the loaves, gave them to his disciples; and they gave them to the crowds. [20] Everyone had sufficient to eat, and they picked up enough of the broken pieces that were left to fill twelve baskets. [21] The men who ate were about five thousand in number, without counting women and children. [22] Immediately afterward Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and cross over in advance of him, while he dismissed the crowds. [23] After dismissing the crowds, he went up the hill by himself to pray; and, when evening fell, he was there alone. [24] The boat was by this time some miles from shore, laboring in the waves, for the wind was against her. [25] Three hours after midnight, however, Jesus came towards the disciples, walking on the water. [26] But, when they saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they exclaimed, and cried out in fear. [27] But Jesus at once spoke to them. “Courage!” he said, “It is I; do not be afraid!” [28] “Master,” Peter exclaimed, “if it is you, tell me to come to you on the water.” [29] Jesus said, “Come.” So Peter got down from the boat, and walked on the water, and went towards Jesus; [30] but, when he felt the wind, he was frightened, and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Master! Save me!” [31] Instantly Jesus stretched out his hand, and caught hold of him. “You of little faith!” he said, “Why did you falter?” [32] When they had got into the boat, the wind dropped. [33] But the men in the boat threw themselves on their faces before him, and said, “You are indeed God’s Son.”

[34] When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. [35] But the people of that place, recognizing Jesus, sent out to the whole country around, and brought to him all who were ill, [36] begging him merely to let them touch the tassel of his cloak; and all who touched were made perfectly well.

[Matthew 15]

[1] Then some Pharisees and teachers of the Law came to Jesus, and said, [2] “How is it that your disciples break the traditions of our ancestors? For they do not wash their hands when they eat food.” [3] His reply was, “How is it that you on your side break God’s commandments out of respect for your own traditions? [4] For God said – ‘Honor your father and mother,’ and ‘Anyone who abuses his father or mother shall suffer death,’ [5] but you say ‘Whenever anyone says to his father or mother “Whatever of mine might have been of service to you is set apart for God,” [6] he is in no way bound to honor his father.’ In this way you have nullified the words of God for the sake of your traditions. [7] Hypocrites! It was well said by Isaiah when he prophesied about you – [8] ‘This is a people that honor me with their lips, While their hearts are far removed from me; [9] but vainly do they worship me, For they teach but human precepts.’” [10] Then Jesus called the people to him, and said, “Listen, and mark my words. [11] It is not what enters a person’s mouth that defiles them, but what comes out from their mouth – that does defile them!” [12] His disciples came up to him, and said, “Do you know that the Pharisees were shocked on hearing what you said?”

[13] “Every plant,” Jesus replied, “that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up. [14] Leave them be; they are but blind guides; and, if one blind person guides another, both of them will fall into a ditch.” [15] Peter spoke up, “Explain this saying to us.”

[16] “What, do even you understand nothing yet?” Jesus exclaimed. [17] “Don’t you see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is afterward expelled? [18] But the things that come out of the mouth proceed from the heart, and it is these that defile a person; [19] for out of the heart proceed evil thoughts – murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, perjury, slander. [20] These are the things that defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile a person.”

[21] On going away from that place, Jesus went to the country around Tyre and Sidon. [22] There, a Canaanite woman of that district came out and began calling to Jesus, “Take pity on me, Master, Son of David; my daughter is grievously possessed by a demon.” [23] But Jesus did not answer her a word; and his disciples came up and begged him to send her away. “She keeps calling out after us,” they said. [24] “I was not sent,” replied Jesus, “to anyone except the lost sheep of Israel.” [25] But the woman came, and, bowing to the ground before him, said, “Master, help me.”

[26] “It is not fair,” replied Jesus, “to take the children’s food and throw it to dogs.” [27] “Yes, Master,” she said, “for even dogs do feed on the scraps that fall from their owners’ table.”

[28] “Your faith is great,” was his reply to the woman; “it will be as you wish!” And her daughter was cured that very hour.

[29] On leaving that place, Jesus went to the shore of the Sea of Galilee; and then went up the hill, and sat down. [30] Great crowds of people came to him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, or dumb, and many others. They put them down at his feet, and he cured them; [31] and the crowds were astonished, when they saw the dumb talking, the cripples made sound, the lame walking about, and the blind with their sight restored; and they praised the God of Israel. [32] Afterward Jesus called his disciples to him, and said, “My heart is moved at the sight of all these people, for they have already been with me three days and they have nothing to eat; and I am unwilling to send them away hungry; they might faint on the way home.” [33] “Where can we,” his disciples asked, “in a lonely place find enough bread for such a crowd as this?”

[34] “How many loaves have you?” said Jesus. “Seven,” they answered, “and a few small fish.” [35] Telling the crowd to sit down on the ground, [36] Jesus took the seven loaves and the fish, and, after saying the thanksgiving, broke them, and gave them to the disciples; and the disciples gave them to the crowds. [37] Everyone had sufficient to eat, and they picked up seven baskets full of the broken pieces left. [38] The men who ate were four thousand in number without counting women and children. [39] Then, after dismissing the crowds, Jesus got into the boat, and went to the region of Magadan.

[Matthew 16]

[1] Here the Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and, to test Jesus, requested him to show them some sign from the heavens. [2] But Jesus answered, “In the evening you say ‘It will be fine weather, for the sky is as red as fire.’ [3] But in the morning you say ‘Today it will be stormy, for the sky is as red as fire and threatening.’ You learn to read the sky; yet you are unable to read the signs of the times! [4] A wicked and unfaithful generation is asking for a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and went away.

[5] Now the disciples had crossed to the opposite shore, and had forgotten to take any bread. [6] Presently Jesus said to them, “Take care and be on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” [7] But the disciples began talking among themselves about their having brought no bread. [8] On noticing this, Jesus said, “Why are you talking among yourselves about your being short of bread, you of little faith? [9] Don’t you yet see, nor remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you took away? [10] Nor yet the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you took away? [11] How is it that you do not see that I was not speaking about bread? Be on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” [12] Then they understood that he had told them to be on their guard, not against the leaven of bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

[13] On coming into the region of Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples this question – “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” [14] “Some say John the Baptist,” they answered, “Others, however, say that he is Elijah, while others again say Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.”

[15] “But you,” he said, “who do you say that I am?” [16] To this Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

[17] “Blessed are you, Simon, Son of Jonah,” Jesus replied. “For no human being has revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. [18] Yes, and I say to you, your name is ‘Peter’ – a Rock, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail over it. [19] I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be held in heaven to be forbidden, and whatever you allow on earth will be held in heaven to be allowed.” [20] Then he charged his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.

[21] At that time Jesus Christ began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem, and undergo much suffering at the hands of the elders, and chief priests, and teachers of the Law, and be put to death, and rise on the third day. [22] But Peter took Jesus aside, and began to rebuke him. “Master,” he said, “please God that will never be your fate!” [23] Jesus, however, turning to Peter, said, “Out of my way, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you look at things, not as God does, but as person does.” [24] Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wishes to walk in my steps, they must renounce self, and take up their cross, and follow me. [25] For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, and whoever, for my sake, loses his life will find it. [26] What good will it do a person to gain the whole world, if he forfeits his life? Or what will a person give that is of equal value with his life? [27] For the Son of Man is to come in his Father’s glory, with his angels, and then he will give to everyone what his actions deserve. [28] I tell you, some of those who are standing here will not know death until they have seen the Son of Man coming into his kingdom.”

[Matthew 17]

[1] Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter, and the brothers James and John, and led them up a high mountain alone. [2] There his appearance was transformed before their eyes; his face shown like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. [3] All at once Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. [4] “Master,” exclaimed Peter, interposing, “it is good to be here; if you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” [5] While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and there was a voice from the cloud that said – “This is my dearly loved son, who brings me great joy; listen to him.” [6] The disciples, on hearing this, fell on their faces, greatly afraid. [7] But Jesus came and touched them, saying as he did so, “Rise up, and do not be afraid.” [8] When they raised their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus himself alone. [9] As they were going down the mountain side, Jesus gave them this warning – “Do not speak of this vision to anyone, until the Son of Man has risen from the dead.” [10] “How is it,” his disciples asked, “that our teachers of the Law say that Elijah has to come first?”

[11] “Elijah indeed does come,” Jesus replied, “and will restore everything; [12] and I tell you that Elijah has already come, and people have not recognized him, but have treated him just as they pleased. In the same way, too, the Son of Man is destined to undergo suffering at people’s hands.” [13] Then the disciples understood that it was of John the Baptist that he had spoken to them.

[14] When they came to the crowd, a man came up to Jesus, and, kneeling down before him, said, [15] “Master, take pity on my son, for he is epileptic and suffers terribly; indeed, he often falls into the fire and into the water; [16] I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.”

[17] “Faithless and perverse generation!” Jesus exclaimed, “how long must I be among you? How long must I have patience with you? Bring the boy here to me.” [18] Then Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy; and he was cured from that very hour. [19] Afterward the disciples came up to Jesus, and asked him privately, “Why was it that we could not drive it out?”

[20] “Because you have so little faith,” he answered; “for, I tell you, if your faith were only like a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain ‘Move from this place to that!’ and it would be moved; and nothing would be impossible to you.” [21] [Note: Some later manuscripts add: But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. ]

[22] While Jesus and his disciples were together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is destined to be betrayed into human hands, [23] and they will put him to death, but on the third day he will rise.” The disciples were greatly distressed.

[24] After they had reached Capernaum, the collectors of the Temple-rate came up to Peter, and said, “Does not your Master pay the Temple-rate?”

[25] “Yes,” answered Peter. But, on going into the house, before he could speak, Jesus said, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do earthly kings take taxes or tribute? From their sons, or from others?” [26] “From others,” answered Peter. “Well then,” continued Jesus, “their sons go free. [27] Still, so we don’t offend them, go and throw a line into the sea; take the first fish that rises, open its mouth, and you will find in it a piece of money. Take that, and give it to the collectors for both of us.”

[Matthew 18]

[1] On the same occasion the disciples came to Jesus, and asked him, “Who is really the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” [2] Jesus called a little child to him, and placed it in the middle of them, and then said, [3] “I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven at all. [4] Therefore, anyone who will humble themselves like this child – that person will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. [5] And anyone who, for the sake of my name, welcomes even one little child like this, is welcoming me. [6] But, if anyone puts temptation in the way of one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be best for them to be sunk in the depths of the sea with a great millstone hung around their neck. [7] Alas for the world because of such temptations! There cannot but be temptations but sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting!

[8] “If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off, and throw it away. It would be better for you to enter the life maimed or lame, than to have both hands, or both feet, and be thrown into the fire that never goes out. [9] If your eye causes you to sin, take it out, and throw it away. It would be better for you to enter the life with only one eye, than to have both eyes and be thrown into the fires of Gehenna. [10] Beware of despising one of these little ones, for in heaven, I tell you, their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. [11] [Note: Some later manuscripts add, For the Son of Mana has come to save the lost. ]

[12] “What think you? If a person owns a hundred sheep, and one of them strays, will the person not leave the ninety-nine on the hills, and go and search for the one that is straying? [13] And, if they succeed in finding it, I tell you that they rejoice more over that one sheep than over the ninety-nine which did not stray. [14] So, too, it is the will of my Father who is in heaven that not one of these little ones should be lost.

[15] “If your brother or sister does wrong, go to them and convince them of their fault when you are both alone. If they listen to you, you have won them over. [16] But, if they do not listen to you, take with you one or two others, so that on the evidence of two or three witnesses, every word may be put beyond dispute. [17] If they refuse to listen to them, speak to the church; and, if they also refuse to listen to the church, treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax-gatherer.

[18] “I tell you, all that you forbid on earth will be held in heaven to be forbidden, and all that you allow on earth will be held in heaven to be allowed. [19] Again, I tell you that, if but two of you on earth agree as to what they will pray for, whatever it be, it will be granted them by my Father who is in heaven. [20] For where two or three have come together in my name, I am present with them.”

[21] Then Peter came up, and said to Jesus, “Master, how often am I to forgive someone who wrongs me? As many as seven times?” [22] But Jesus answered, “Not seven times, but seventy times seven. [23] Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. [24] When he had begun to do so, one of them was brought to him who owed him ten thousand bags of gold; [25] and, as he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold towards the payment of the debt, together with his wife, and his children, and everything that he had. [26] The servant threw himself down on the ground before him and said ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ [27] The master was moved with compassion; and he let him go, and forgave him the debt. [28] But, on going out, that same servant came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. Seizing him by the throat, he said ‘Pay what you owe me.’ [29] His fellow servant threw himself on the ground and begged for mercy. ‘Have patience with me,’ he said, ‘and I will pay you.’ [30] But the other would not, but went and put him in prison until he should pay his debt. [31] When his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and went to their master and laid the whole matter before him. [32] So the master sent for the servant, and said to him ‘You wicked servant! When you begged me for mercy, I forgave you the whole of that debt. [33] Shouldn’t you, also, to have shown mercy to your fellow servant, just as I showed mercy to you?’ [34] Then his master, in anger, handed him over to the jailers, until he should pay the whole of his debt. [35] So, also, will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each one of you forgives his brother or sister from your heart.”

[Matthew 19]

The Journey to Jerusalem

[1] At the conclusion of this teaching, Jesus withdrew from Galilee, and went into that district of Judea which is on the other side of the Jordan. [2] Great crowds followed him, and he cured them there. [3] Presently some Pharisees came up to him, and, to test him, said, “Has a man the right to divorce his wife for every cause?”

[4] “Haven’t you read,” replied Jesus, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ [5] and said – ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother, and be united to his wife, and the man and his wife will become one’? [6] So that they are no longer two, but one. What God himself, then, has yoked together people must not separate.” [7] “Why, then,” they said, “did Moses direct that a man should serve his wife with a notice of separation and divorce her?”

[8] “Moses, owing to the hardness of your hearts,” answered Jesus, “permitted you to divorce your wives, but that was not so at the beginning. [9] But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of some serious sexual sin, and marries another woman, is guilty of adultery.” [10] “If that,” said the disciples, “is the position of a man with regard to his wife, it is better not to marry.”

[11] “It is not everyone,” replied Jesus, “who can accept this teaching, but only those who have been enabled to do so. [12] Some men, it is true, have from birth been disabled for marriage, while others have been disabled by their fellow men, and others again have disabled themselves for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Accept this if you can.”

[13] Then some little children were brought to Jesus, for him to place his hands on them, and pray; but the disciples found fault with those who had brought them. [14] Jesus, however, said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for it is to the childlike that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” [15] So he placed his hands on them, and then went on his way.

[16] A man came up to Jesus, and said, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to obtain eternal life?”

[17] “Why ask me about goodness?” answered Jesus. “There is but One who is good. If you want to enter the life, keep the commandments.” [18] “What commandments?” asked the man. “These,” answered Jesus, – “‘You must not kill. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not say what is false about others. [19] Honor your father and your mother.’ And ‘You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.’” [20] “I have observed all these,” said the young man. “What is still wanting in me?”

[21] “If you wish to be perfect,” answered Jesus, “go and sell your property, and give to the poor, and you will have wealth in heaven; then come and follow me.” [22] On hearing these words, the young man went away distressed, for he had great possessions. [23] At this, Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you that a rich person will find it hard to enter the kingdom of heaven! [24] I say again, it is easier for a camel to get through a needle’s eye than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven!” [25] On hearing this, the disciples exclaimed in great astonishment, “Who then can possibly be saved?” [26] But Jesus looked at them, and said, “With people this is impossible, but with God everything is possible.” Then Peter turned and said to Jesus, [27] “But we – we left everything, and followed you; what, then, will we have?”

[28] “I tell you,” answered Jesus, “that at the new creation, when the Son of Man takes his seat on his throne of glory, you who followed me will be seated on twelve thrones, as judges of the twelve tribes of Israel. [29] Everyone who has left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or land, for my sake, will receive many times as much, and will gain eternal life. [30] But many who are first now will then be last, and those who are last will be first.

[Matthew 20]

[1] For the kingdom of heaven is like an employer who went out in the early morning to hire laborers for his vineyards. [2] He agreed with the laborers to pay them the standard daily rate of two silver coins, and sent them into his vineyard. [3] On going out again, about nine o’clock, he saw some others standing in the marketplace, doing nothing. [4] ‘You also may go into my vineyard,’ he said, ‘and I will pay you what is fair.’ [5] So they went. Going out again about midday and about three o’clock, he did as before. [6] When he went out about five, he found some others standing there, and said to them ‘Why have you been standing here all day long, doing nothing?’ [7] ‘Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. ‘You also may go into my vineyard,’ he said. [8] In the evening the owner of the vineyard said to his steward ‘Call the laborers, and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, and ending with the first.’ [9] Now when those who had been hired about five o’clock went up, they received two silver coins each. [10] So, when the first went up, they thought that they would receive more, but they also received two silver coins each; [11] at which they began to grumble at their employer. [12] ‘These last,’ they said, ‘have done only one hour’s work, and yet you have put them on the same footing with us, who have borne the brunt of the day’s work, and the heat.’ [13] ‘My friend,’ was his reply to one of them, ‘I am not treating you unfairly. Didn’t you agree with me for two silver coins? [14] Take what belongs to you, and go. I choose to give to this last man the same as to you. [15] Don’t I have the right to do as I choose with what is mine? Are you envious because I am liberal?’ [16] So those who are last will be first, and the first last.”

[17] When Jesus was on the point of going up to Jerusalem, he gathered the twelve disciples around him by themselves, and said to them as they were on their way, [18] “Listen! We are going up to Jerusalem; and there the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the Law, and they will condemn him to death, [19] and give him up to the Gentiles for them to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify; and on the third day he will rise.”

[20] Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to him with her sons, bowing to the ground, and begging a favor. [21] “What is it that you want?” he asked. “I want you to say,” she replied, “that in your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit, one on your right, and the other on your left.”

[22] “You do not know what you are asking,” was Jesus’ answer. “Can you drink the cup that I am to drink?” “Yes,” they exclaimed, “we can.”

[23] “You will indeed drink my cup,” he said, “but as to a seat at my right and at my left – that is not mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” [24] On hearing of this, the ten others were very indignant about the two brothers. [25] Jesus, however, called the ten to him, and said, “The rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them as you know, and their high officials oppress them. [26] Among you it is not so. [27] No, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to take the first place among you, must be your slave; [28] just as the Son of Man came, not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

[29] As they were going out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. [30] Two blind men who were sitting by the roadside, hearing that Jesus was passing, called out, “Take pity on us, Master, Son of David!” [31] The crowd told them to be quiet; but the men only called out the louder, “Take pity on us, Master, Son of David!” [32] Then Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he said. [33] “Master,” they replied, “we want our eyes to be opened.” [34] So Jesus, moved with compassion, touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight, and followed him.

[Matthew 21]

The Last Days

[1] When they had almost reached Jerusalem, having come as far as Bethphage, on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent on two disciples. [2] “Go to the village facing you,” he said, “and you will immediately find an ass tethered, with a foal by her side; untie her, and lead her here for me. [3] And, if anyone says anything to you, you are to say this – ‘The Master wants them’; and he will send them at once.” [4] This happened in fulfillment of these words in the prophet – [5] ‘Say to the people of Zion – “Your King is coming to you, gentle, and riding on an ass, and on the foal of a beast of burden.”’

[6] So the disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. [7] They led the ass and the foal back, and, when they had put their cloaks on them, he seated himself on them. [8] The immense crowd of people spread their cloaks in the road, while some cut branches off the trees, and spread them on the road. [9] The crowds that led the way, as well as those that followed behind, kept shouting, “God save the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! God save him from on high!” [10] When he had entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred, and asked – [11] “Who is this?”, to which the crowd replied – “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

[12] Jesus went into the Temple Courts, and drove out all those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers, and the seats of the pigeon-dealers, [13] and said to them, “Scripture says ‘My house will be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a den of robbers.” [14] While he was still in the Temple Courts, some blind and some lame people came up to him, and he cured them. [15] But, when the chief priests and the teachers of the Law saw the wonderful things that Jesus did, and the boys who were calling out in the Temple Courts “God save the Son of David!”, they were indignant, [16] and said to him, “Do you hear what these boys are saying?”

“Yes,” answered Jesus; “but did you never read the words – ‘Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings you have called forth perfect praise’?”

[17] Then he left them, and went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.

[18] The next morning, in returning to the city, Jesus became hungry; [19] and, noticing a solitary fig tree by the roadside, he went up to it, but found nothing on it but leaves. So he said to it, “Never again will fruit be gathered off you.” And suddenly the fruit tree withered up. [20] When the disciples saw this, they exclaimed in astonishment, “How suddenly the fig tree withered up!”

[21] “I tell you,” replied Jesus, “if you have faith, without ever a doubt, you will do what not only what has been done to the fig tree, but, even if you should say to this hill ‘Be lifted up and hurled into the sea!’ it would be done. [22] And whatever you ask for in your prayers will, if you have faith, be granted you.”

[23] After Jesus had come into the Temple Courts, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “What authority have you to do these things? Who gave you this authority?”

[24] “I, too,” said Jesus in reply, “will ask you one question; if you will give me an answer to it, then I, also, will tell you what authority I have to act as I do. [25] It is about John’s baptism. What was its origin? Divine or human?” But they began arguing among themselves, “If we say ‘divine,’ he will say to us ‘Why then didn’t you believe him?’ [26] But if we say ‘human,’ we are afraid of the people, for everyone regards John as a prophet.” [27] So the answer they gave Jesus was – “We do not know.”

“Then I,” he said, “refuse to tell you what authority I have to do these things. [28] What do you think of this? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the elder and said ‘Go and work in the vineyard today my son.’ [29] ‘Yes, sir,’ he answered; but he did not go. [30] Then the father went to the second son, and said the same. ‘I will not,’ he answered; but afterward he was sorry and went. [31] Which of the two sons did as his father wished?” “The second,” they said. “I tell you,” added Jesus, “that tax-gatherers and prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God before you. [32] For when John came to you, walking in the path of righteousness, you did not believe him, but tax-gatherers and prostitutes did; and yet you, though you saw this, even then were not sorry, nor did you believe him.

[33] “Listen to another parable. A man, who was an employer, once planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a winepress in it, built a tower, and then let it out to tenants and went abroad. [34] When the time for the grape harvest drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants, to receive his share of the produce. [35] But the tenants seized his servants, beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. [36] A second time the owner sent some servants, a larger number than before, and the tenants treated them in the same way. [37] As a last resource he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. [38] But the tenants, on seeing his son, said to each other ‘Here is the heir! Come, let us kill him, and get his inheritance.’ [39] So they seized him, and threw him outside the vineyard, and killed him. [40] Now, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” [41] “Miserable wretches!” they exclaimed, “he will put them to a miserable death, and he will let out the vineyard to other tenants, who will pay him his share of the produce at the proper times.” [42] Then Jesus added, “Have you never read in the scriptures? – ‘The stone which the builders despised – has now itself become the corner-stone. This corner-stone has come from the Lord, and is marvelous in our eyes.’ [43] That, I tell you, is why the kingdom of God will be taken from you, and given to a nation that does produce the fruit of the kingdom. [44] Yes, and he who falls on this stone will be dashed to pieces, while anyone on whom it falls – it will scatter him as dust.”

[45] After listening to these parables, the chief priests and the Pharisees saw that it was about them that he was speaking; [46] yet, although eager to arrest him, they were afraid of the crowds, who regarded him as a prophet.

[Matthew 22]

[1] Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables. [2] “The kingdom of heaven,” he said, “may be compared to a king who gave a banquet in honor of his son’s wedding. [3] He sent his servants to call those who had been invited to the banquet, but they were unwilling to come. [4] A second time he sent some servants, with orders to say to those who had been invited ‘I have prepared my breakfast, my cattle and fat beasts are killed and everything is ready; come to the banquet.’ [5] They, however, took no notice, but went off, one to their farm, another to their business; [6] while the rest, seizing his servants, ill-treated them and killed them. [7] The king, in anger, sent his troops, put those murderers to death, and set their city on fire. [8] Then he said to his servants ‘The banquet is prepared, but those who were invited were not worthy. [9] So go to the cross-roads, and invite everyone you find to the banquet.’ [10] The servants went out into the roads and collected all the people whom they found, whether bad or good; and the bridal-hall was filled with guests. [11] But, when the king went in to see his guests, he noticed there a man who had not put on a wedding-robe. [12] So he said to him ‘My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding-robe?’ The man was speechless. [13] Then the king said to the attendants ‘Tie him hand and foot, and put him out into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’ [14] For many are called, but few chosen.”

[15] Then the Pharisees went away and conferred together as to how they might lay a trap for Jesus in the course of conversation. [16] They sent their disciples, with the Herodians, to say to him, “Teacher, we know that you are an honest person, and that you teach the way of God honestly, and are not afraid of anyone; for you pay no regard to a person’s position. [17] Tell us, then, what you think. Are we right in paying taxes to the Emperor, or not?” [18] Perceiving their malice, Jesus answered, “Why are you testing me, you hypocrites? [19] Show me the coin with which the tax is paid.” And, when they had brought him a coin, [20] he asked, “Whose head and title are these?” [21] “The Emperor’s,” they answered, at which he said to them, “Then pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and to God what belongs to God.” [22] They wondered at his answer, and left him alone and went away.

[23] That same day some Sadducees came up to Jesus, maintaining that there is no resurrection. Their question was this, – [24] “Teacher, Moses said – ‘should a man die without children, the man’s brother will become the husband of the widow, and raise a family for his brother.’ [25] Now we had living among us seven brothers; of whom the eldest married and died, and, as he had no family, left his wife for his brother. [26] The same thing happened to the second and the third brothers, and indeed to all the seven. [27] The woman herself died last of all. [28] At the resurrection, then, whose wife will she be out of the seven, all of them having been married to her?”

[29] “Your mistake,” replied Jesus, “is due to your ignorance of the scriptures, and of the power of God. [30] For at the resurrection there is no marrying or being married, but all who rise are as angels in heaven. [31] As to the resurrection of the dead, have you not read these words of God – [32] ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of dead people, but of living.” [33] The crowds, who had been listening to him, were greatly struck with his teaching.

[34] When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they collected together. [35] Then one of them, a Student of the Law, to test him, asked this question – [36] “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?” [37] His answer was, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. [38] This is the great first commandment. [39] The second, which is like it, is this – You must love your neighbor as you love yourself. [40] On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets.” [41] Before the Pharisees separated, Jesus put this question to them – [42] “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” “David’s,” they said. [43] “How is it, then,” Jesus replied, “that David, speaking under inspiration, calls him ‘lord,’ in the passage – [44] ‘The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies beneath your feet’? [45] Since, then, David calls him ‘lord,’ how is he David’s son?” [46] No one could say a word in answer; nor did anyone after that day venture to question him further.

[Matthew 23]

[1] Then Jesus speaking to the crowds and to his disciples, said, [2] “The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees now occupy the chair of Moses. [3] Therefore practice and lay to heart everything that they tell preach but do not practice. [4] While they make up heavy loads and pile them on other people’s shoulder’s they decline, themselves, to lift a finger to move them. [5] All their actions are done to attract attention. They widen their phylacteries, and increase the size of their tassels, [6] and like to have the place of honor at dinner, and the best seats in the synagogues, [7] and to be greeted in the markets with respect, and to be called ‘Rabbi’ for everybody. [8] But do not allow yourselves to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and you yourselves are all brothers and sisters. [9] And do not call anyone on the earth your ‘Father,’ for your have only one Father, the heavenly Father. [10] Nor must you allow yourselves to be called ‘leaders,’ for you have only one leader, the Christ. [11] The person who wants to be the greatest among you must be your servant. [12] Whoever exalts themselves will be humbled, and whoever humbles themselves will be exalted. [13] But alas for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, hypocrites that you are! You turn the key of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you do not go in yourselves, and do not allow those who try to go in to do so. [14] [Note: Some later manuscripts add: Alas for you teachers of the law and Pharisees, hypocrites! You devour widows’ property, and pray long prayers just for show! This is why you will receive a more severe punishment. ] [15] Alas for you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, hypocrites that you are! You scour land and sea to make a single convert, and, when they are gained, you make them twice as deserving of Gehenna as you are yourselves. [16] Alas for you, you blind guides! You say ‘if any answer by the Temple, their oath counts for nothing; but, if anyone swears by the gold of the Temple, their oath is binding them’! [17] Fools that you are and blind! Which is the more important? The gold? Or the Temple which has given sacredness to the gold? [18] You say, too, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, their oath counts for nothing, but, if anyone swears by the offering placed on it, their oath is binding on them’! [19] Blind indeed! Which is the more important? The offering? Or the altar which gives sacredness to the offering? [20] Therefore a person, swearing by the altar, swears by it and by all that is on it, [21] and a person, swearing by the Temple, swears by it and by him who dwells in it, [22] while a person, swearing by heaven, swears by the throne of God, and by him who sits on it. [23] Alas for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, hypocrites that you are! You pay tithes on mint, fennel, and caraway seed, and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law – justice, mercy, and good faith. These last you ought to have put into practice, without neglecting the first. [24] You blind guides, to strain out a gnat and to swallow a camel! [25] Alas for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, hypocrites that you are! You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are filled with the results of greed and self-indulgence. [26] You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the dish, so that the outside may become clean as well. [27] Alas for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, hypocrites that you are! You are like whitewashed tombs, which indeed look fair outside, while inside they are filled with dead people’s bones and all kinds of filth. [28] It is the same with you. Outwardly, and to others, you have the look of religious people, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and sin. [29] Alas for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees, hypocrites that you are! You build the tombs of the prophets, and decorate the monuments of religious people, [30] and say ‘Had we been living in the days of our ancestors, we should have taken no part in their murder of the prophets!’ [31] By doing this you are furnishing evidence against yourselves that you are true children of the people who murdered the prophets. [32] Go on then, finish what your ancestors began! [33] You snakes and children of snakes! How can you escape being sentenced to Gehenna? [34] That is why I send you prophets, wise people, and teachers of the Law, some of whom you will crucify and kill, and some of whom you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from town to town; [35] in order the blood on your heads may fall every drop of innocent blood split on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel down to that of Zechariah, Barachiah’s son, whom you murdered between the Temple and the altar. [36] All this, I tell you, will come home to the present generation. [37] Jerusalem! Jerusalem! She who slays the prophets and stones the messengers sent to her – Oh, how often have I wished to gather your children around me, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not come! [38] Verily, your house is left to you desolate! [39] For nevermore, I tell you, will you see me, until you say – ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

[Matthew 24]

[1] Leaving the Temple Courts, Jesus was walking away, when his disciples came up to draw his attention to the Temple buildings. [2] “Do you see all these things?” was his answer. “I tell you, not a single stone will be left here on another, which will not be thrown down,” [3] so, while Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, his disciples came up to him privately and said, “Tell us when this will be, and what will be the sign of your coming, and of the close of the age.” [4] Jesus replied to them, “See that no one leads you astray; [5] for, many will take my name, and come saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and will lead many astray. [6] You will hear of wars and rumors of wars; take care not to be alarmed, for such things must occur; but the end is not yet here. [7] For nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. [8] All this, however, will be but the beginning of the birth pangs! [9] When that time comes, they will give you up to persecution, and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. [10] And then many will fall away, and will betray one another, and hate one another. [11] Many false prophets, also, will appear and lead many astray; [12] and, owing to the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. [13] Yet the person who endures to the end will be saved. [14] This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world as a witness to all nations; and then will come the end. [15] As soon, then, as you see ‘the Foul Desecration,’ mentioned by the prophet Daniel, standing in the Holy place,” (the reader must consider what this means) [16] “then those of you who are in Judea must take refuge in the mountains; [17] and a man on the housetop must not go down to get the things that are in his house; [18] nor must one who is on their farm turn back to get his cloak. [19] Alas for pregnant women, and for those who are nursing infants in those days! [20] Pray, too, that your flight may not take place in winter, nor on a Sabbath; [21] for that will be a time of great distress, the like of which has not occurred from the beginning of the world down to the present time – no, nor ever will again. [22] Had not those days been limited, not a single soul would escape; but for the sake of God’s people a limit will be put to them. [23] At that time, if anyone should say to you ‘Look! Here is the Christ!’ or ‘Here he is!’, do not believe it; [24] for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will display great signs and marvels, so that, were it possible, even God’s people would be led astray. [25] Remember, I have told you beforehand. [26] Therefore, if people say to you ‘He is in the wilderness!’, do not go out there; or ‘He is in an inner room!’, do not believe it; [27] for, just as lightning will start from the east and flash across to the west, so will it be with the coming of the Son of Man. [28] Wherever a dead body lies, there will the vultures flock. [29] Immediately after the distress of those days, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give her light, the stars will fall from the heavens, and the forces of the heavens will be convulsed. [30] Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in the heavens; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn, when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the heavens, with power and great glory; [31] and he will send his angels, with a great trumpet, and they will gather his people around him from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

[32] “Learn the lesson taught by the fig tree. As soon as its branches are full of sap, and it is bursting into leaf, you know that summer is near. [33] And so may you, as soon as you see all these things, know that he is at your doors. [34] I tell you, even the present generation will not pass away, until all these things have taken place. [35] The heavens and the earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. [36] But about that day and hour, no one knows – not even the angels of heaven, not even the Son – but only the Father himself. [37] For, just as in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. [38] In those days before the flood they went on eating and drinking, marrying and being married, up to the very day on which Noah entered the ark, [39] taking not notice until the flood came and swept them one and all away; and so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. [40] At that time, of two men on a farm one will be taken and one left; [41] of two women grinding with a hand-mill one will be taken and one left. [42] Therefore watch; for you cannot be sure on what day your Master is coming. [43] But this you do know, that, had the owner of the house known at what time of night the thief was coming, they would have been on the watch, and would not have allowed their house to be broken into. [44] Therefore, you must also prepare, since it is just when you are least expecting him that the Son of Man will come. [45] Who, then is that trustworthy, careful servant, who has been placed by their master over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? [46] Happy will that servant be whom their master, when he comes home, will find doing this. [47] I tell you that their master will put them in charge of the whole of his property. [48] But, should the servant be a bad servant, and say to themselves ‘My master is a long time in coming,’ [49] and begin to beat their fellow servants, and eat and drink with drunkards, [50] that servant’s master will come on a day when they do not expect him, and at an hour of which they are unaware, [51] and will flog the servant severely, and assign them their place among the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

[Matthew 25]

[1] “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. [2] Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. [3] The foolish ones took their lamps, but took no oil with them; [4] while the prudent ones, besides taking their lamps, took oil in their jars. [5] As the groom was late in coming, they all became drowsy, and slept. [6] But at midnight a shout was raised – ‘The groom is coming! Come out to meet him!’ [7] Then all the bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, [8] and the foolish said to the prudent ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ [9] But the prudent ones answered ‘No, There may not be enough for you and for us. Go instead to those who sell it, and buy for yourselves.’ [10] But while they were on their way to buy it, the groom came; and the bridesmaids who were ready went in with him to the banquet, and the door was shut. [11] Afterward the other bridesmaids came. ‘Sir, Sir,’ they said, ‘open the door to us!’ [12] But the groom answered ‘I tell you, I do not know you.’ [13] Therefore watch, since you know neither the day nor the hour.

[14] “For it is as though a man, going on his travels, called his servants, and gave his property into their charge. [15] He gave five bags of gold to one, two to another, and one bag to a third, in proportion to the ability of each. Then he set out on his travels. [16] The servant who had received the five bags of gold went at once and traded with it, and made another five bags. [17] So, too, the servant who had received the two bags of gold made another two bags. [18] But the servant who had received the one bag went and dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money. [19] After a long time the master of those servants returned, and settled accounts with them. [20] The servant who had received the five bags of gold came up and brought five bags more. ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold; look, I have made another five bags!’ [21] ‘Well done, good, trustworthy servant!’ said his master. ‘You have been trustworthy with a small sum; now I will place a large one in your hands; come and share your master’s joy!’ [22] Then the one who had received the two bags of gold came up and said ‘Sir, you entrusted me with two bags pounds; look, I have made another two!’ [23] ‘Well done, good, trustworthy servant!’ said his master. ‘You have been trustworthy with a small sum; now I will place a large one in your hands; come and share your master’s joy!’ [24] The man who had received the single bag of gold came up, too, and said ‘Sir, I knew that you were a hard man; you reap where you have not sown, and gather up where you have not winnowed; [25] and, in my fear, I went and hid your money in the ground; look, here is what belongs to you!’ [26] ‘You lazy, worthless servant!’ was his master’s reply. ‘You knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather up where I have not winnowed? [27] Then you ought to have placed my money in the hands of bankers, and I, on my return, should have received my money, with interest. [28] Therefore,’ he continued, ‘take away from him the one bag of gold, and give it to the one who has the ten bags. [29] For, to him who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but, as for him who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away from him. [30] As for the useless servant, put him out into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.’

[31] “When the Son of Man has come in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory; [32] and all the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people – just as a shepherd separates sheep from goats – [33] placing the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on his left. [34] Then the king will say to those on his right ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, enter into possession of the kingdom prepared for you ever since the beginning of the world. [35] For, when I was hungry, you gave me food; when I was thirsty, you gave me drink; when I was a stranger, you took me to your homes; [36] when I was naked, you clothed me; when I fell ill, you visited me; and when I was in prison, you came to me.’ [37] Then the righteous will answer ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you? Or thirsty, and give you a drink? [38] When did we see you a stranger, and take you to our homes? Or naked, and clothe you? [39] When did we see you ill, or in prison, and come to you?’ [40] And the king will reply ‘I tell you, as often as you did it to one of these my brothers or sisters, however unimportant they seemed, you did it to me.’ [41] Then he will say to those on his left ‘Go from my presence, accursed, into the permanent fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels. [42] For, when I was hungry, you gave me no food; when I was thirsty, you gave me no drink; [43] when I was a stranger, you did not take me to your homes; when I was naked, you did not clothe me; and, when I was ill and in prison, you did not visit me.’ [44] Then they, in their turn, will answer ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or ill, or in prison, and did not supply your wants?’ [45] And then he will reply ‘I tell you, as often as you failed to do it to one of these, however unimportant, you failed to do it to me.’ [46] And these last will go away into lasting correction, but the righteous into lasting life.”

[Matthew 26]

[1] When Jesus had finished teaching all of that, he said to his disciples, [2] “You know that in two days time the Festival of the Passover will be here; and that the Son of Man is to be given up to be crucified.” [3] Then the chief priests and the elders of the people met in the house of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, [4] and plotted together to arrest Jesus by stealth and put him to death; [5] but they said, “Not during the Festival, or the people may riot.”

[6] After Jesus had reached Bethany, and while he was in the house of Simon the leper, [7] a woman came up to him with an alabaster jar of very costly perfume, and poured the perfume on his head as he sat at the table. [8] The disciples were indignant at seeing this. “What is this waste for?” they exclaimed. [9] “It could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to poor people.”

[10] “Why are you troubling the woman?” Jesus said, when he noticed it. “For this is a beautiful deed that she has done to me. [11] You always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. [12] In pouring this perfume on my body, she has done it for my burying. [13] I tell you, wherever, in the whole world, this good news is proclaimed, what this woman has done will be told in memory of her.”

[14] It was then that one of the Twelve, named Judas Iscariot, made his way to the chief priests, [15] and said “What are you willing to give me, if I betray Jesus to you?” The Priests weighed him out thirty pieces of silver as payment. [16] So from that time Judas looked for an opportunity to betray Jesus.

[17] On the first day of the Festival of the unleavened bread, the disciples came up to Jesus, and said, “Where do you wish us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

[18] “Go into the city to a certain man,” he answered, “and say to him ‘The teacher says – My time is near. I will keep the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” [19] The disciples did as Jesus directed them, and prepared the Passover. [20] In the evening Jesus took his place with the twelve disciples, [21] and, while they were eating, he said, “I tell you that one of you will betray me.” [22] In great grief they began to say to him, one by one, “Can it be I, Master?”

[23] “The one who dipped his bread beside me in the dish,” replied Jesus, “is the one who will betray me. [24] True, the Son of Man must go, as scripture says of him, yet alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is being betrayed! For that man it would be better never to have been born!” [25] Judas, who was betraying him, turned to him and said, “Can it be I, Rabbi?”

“It is,” answered Jesus.

[26] While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and, after saying the blessing, broke it and, as he gave it to his disciples, said, “Take it and eat it; this is my body.” [27] Then he took a cup, and, after saying the thanksgiving, gave it to them, with the words, “Drink from it, all of you; [28] for this is my covenant blood, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. [29] I tell you that I will never, after this, drink of this juice of the grape, until that day when I will drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father.”

[30] They then sang a hymn, and went out to the Mount of Olives. [31] Then Jesus said to them, “Even you will all fall away from me tonight. Scripture says – ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ [32] But, after I have risen, I will go before you into Galilee.” [33] “If everyone else falls away from you,” Peter answered, “I will never fall away!”

[34] “I tell you,” replied Jesus, “that this very night, before the cock crows, you will disown me three times!” [35] “Even if I must die with you,” Peter exclaimed, “I will never disown you!” All the disciples spoke in the same way.

[36] Then Jesus came with them to a garden called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit down here while I go and pray over there.” [37] Taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to show signs of sadness and deep distress of mind. [38] “I am sad at heart,” he said, “sad even to death; wait here and watch with me.” [39] Going on a little further, he threw himself on his face in prayer. “My Father,” he said, “if it is possible, let me be spared this cup; only, not as I will, but as you will.” [40] Then he came to his disciples, and found them asleep. “What!” he said to Peter, “could none of you watch with me for one hour? [41] Watch and pray so that you don’t fall into temptation. True, the spirit is eager, but human nature is weak.” [42] Again, a second time, he went away, and prayed. “My Father,” he said, “if I cannot be spared this cup, but must drink it, your will be done!” [43] And coming back again he found them asleep, for their eyes were heavy. [44] So he left them, and went away again, and prayed a third time, again saying the same words. [45] Then he came to the disciples, and said, “Sleep on now, and rest yourselves. Look – my time is close at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of wicked people. [46] Up, and let us be going. Look! My betrayer is close at hand.” [47] And, while he was still speaking, Judas, who was one of the Twelve, came in sight; and with him was a great crowd of people, with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and elders of the people. [48] Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them. “The man whom I kiss,” he had said, “will be the one; arrest him.” [49] So he went up to Jesus at once, and exclaimed, “Welcome, Rabbi!” and kissed him; [50] at which Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” The men went up, seized Jesus, and arrested him. [51] Suddenly one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword, and striking the high priest’s servant, cut off his ear. [52] “Sheathe your sword,” Jesus said, “for all who draw the sword will be put to the sword. [53] Do you think that I cannot ask my Father for help, when he would at once send to my aid more than twelve legions of angels? [54] But in that case how would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say that this must be?” [55] Jesus at the same time said to the crowds, “Have you come out, as if after a robber, with swords and clubs, to take me? I have sat teaching day after day in the Temple Courts, and yet you did not arrest me.” [56] The whole of this occurred in fulfillment of the Prophetic scriptures. Then the disciples all forsook him and fled.

[57] Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the teachers of the Law and elders had assembled. [58] Peter followed him at a distance as far as the courtyard of the offices, to see the end. [59] Meanwhile the chief priests and the whole of the High Council were trying to get such false evidence against Jesus, as would warrant putting him to death, [60] but they did not find any, although many came forward with false evidence. Later on, however, two men came forward and said, [61] “This man said ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God, and to build it in three days.’” [62] Then the high priest stood up, and said to Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is this evidence which these men are giving against you?” [63] But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I order you, by the living God, to tell us whether you are the Christ, the Son of God.”

[64] “It is true,” Jesus answered; “Moreover I tell you all that hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the Almighty, and coming on the clouds of the heavens.” [65] Then the high priest tore his robes. “This is blasphemy!” he exclaimed. “Why do we want any more witnesses? You have just heard his blasphemy! [66] What is your decision?” They answered, “He deserves death.” [67] Then they spat in his face, and struck him, while others dealt blows at him, saying as they did so, [68] “Now play the prophet for us, you Christ! Who was it that struck you?” [69] Peter, meanwhile, was sitting outside in the courtyard; and a maidservant came up to him, and exclaimed, “Why, you were with Jesus the Galilean!” [70] But Peter denied it before them all. “I do not know what you mean,” he replied. [71] When he had gone out into the gateway, another maid saw him, and said to those who were there, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth!” [72] Again he denied it with an oath, “I do not know the man!” [73] But soon afterward those who were standing by came up and said to Peter, “You also are certainly one of them; why, even your way of speaking proves it!” [74] Then Peter said, “I swear that I do not know the man! May God punish me if I am lying!” At that moment a cock crowed; [75] and Peter remembered the words which Jesus had said – ‘Before a cock has crowed, you will disown me three times’; and he went outside, and wept bitterly.

[Matthew 27]

[1] At daybreak all the chief priests and the elders of the people consulted together against Jesus, to bring about his death. [2] They put him in chains and led him away, and gave him up to the Roman Governor, Pilate. [3] Then Judas, who betrayed him, seeing that Jesus was condemned, repented of what he had done, and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. [4] “I did wrong in betraying a good man to his death,” he said. “What has that to do with us?” they replied. “You must see to that yourself.” [5] Judas flung down the pieces of silver in the Temple, and left; and went away and hanged himself. [6] The chief priests took the pieces of silver, but they said, “We must not put them into the Temple treasury, because they are blood-money.” [7] So, after consultation, they bought with them the ‘Potter’s Field’ for a burial-ground for foreigners; [8] and that is why that field is called the ‘Field of Blood’ to this very day. [9] Then it was that these words spoken by the prophet Jeremiah were fulfilled – ‘They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him who was valued, whom some of the people of Israel valued, [10] and gave them for the Potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.’ [11] Meanwhile Jesus was brought before the Roman Governor. “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked the Governor. “It is true,” answered Jesus. [12] While charges were being brought against him by the chief priests and elders, Jesus made no reply. [13] Then Pilate said to him, “Don’t you hear how many accusations they are making against you?” [14] Yet Jesus made no reply – not even a single word; at which the Governor was greatly astonished. [15] Now, at the feast, the Governor was accustomed to grant the people the release of any one prisoner whom they might choose. [16] At that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas. [17] So, when the people had collected, Pilate said to them, “Which do you wish me to release for you? Barabbas? Or Jesus who is called ‘Christ’?” [18] For he knew that it was out of jealousy that they had given Jesus up to him. [19] While he was still on the Bench, his wife sent this message to him – “Do not have anything to do with that good man, for I have been very unhappy today in a dream because of him.” [20] But the chief priests and elders persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas, and to kill Jesus. [21] The Governor, however, said to them, “Which of these two do you wish me to release for you?”

“Barabbas,” they answered. [22] “What then,” Pilate asked, “should I do with Jesus who is called ‘Christ?’” “Crucify him,” they all replied. [23] “Why, what harm has he done?” he asked. But they kept shouting furiously, “Crucify him!” [24] When Pilate saw that his efforts were unavailing, but that, on the contrary, a riot was beginning, he took some water, and washed his hands in the sight of the crowd, saying as he did so, “I am not answerable for this bloodshed; you must see to it yourselves.” [25] And all the people answered, “His blood be on our heads and on our children’s!” [26] The Pilate released Barabbas to them; but Jesus he scourged, and gave him up to be crucified.

[27] After that, the Governor’s soldiers took Jesus with them into the Government house, and gathered the whole garrison around him. [28] They stripped him, and put on him a red military cloak, [29] and having twisted some thorns into a crown, put it on his head, and a rod in his right hand, and then, going down on their knees before him, they mocked him. “Long life to you, king of the Jews!” they said. [30] They spat at him and, taking the rod, kept striking him on the head; [31] and, when they had left off mocking him, they took off the military cloak, and put his own clothes on him, and led him away to be crucified.

[32] As they were on their way out, they came upon a man from Cyrene of the name of Simon; and they compelled him to go with them to carry the cross. [33] On reaching a place named Golgotha (a place named from its likeness to a skull), [34] they gave him some wine to drink which had been mixed with gall; but after tasting it, Jesus refused to drink it. [35] When they had crucified him, they divided his clothes among them by casting lots. [36] Then they sat down, and kept watch over him there. [37] Above his head they fixed the accusation against him written out – ‘THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.’ [38] At the same time two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right, the other on the left. [39] The passers-by railed at him, shaking their heads as they said, [40] “You who ‘destroy the Temple and build one in three days,’ save yourself! If you are God’s Son, come down from the cross!” [41] In the same way the chief priests, with the Teaches of the Law and elders, said in mockery, [42] “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! He is the ‘king of Israel’! Why doesn’t he come down from the cross now, then we will believe in him. [43] He has trusted in God; if God wants him, let him deliver him now; for he said ‘I am God’s Son.’” [44] Even the robbers, who were crucified with him, insulted him in the same way. [45] After midday a darkness came over all the country, lasting until three in the afternoon. [46] About three Jesus called out loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabacthani” – that is to say, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ [47] Some of those standing by heard this, and said, “The man is calling for Elijah!” [48] One of them immediately ran and took a sponge, and, filling it with common wine, put it on the end of a rod, and offered it to him to drink. [49] But the rest said, “Wait and let us see if Elijah is coming to save him.” [Note: Some later manuscripts add: However another man took a spear, and pierced his side; and water and blood flowed from it. ] [50] But Jesus, uttering another loud cry, gave up his spirit. [51] Suddenly the Temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth shook, the rocks were torn asunder, [52] the tombs opened, and the bodies of many of God’s people who had fallen asleep rose, [53] and they, leaving their tombs, went, after the resurrection of Jesus, into the Holy City, and appeared to many people. [54] The Roman captain, and the men with him who were watching Jesus, on seeing the earthquake and all that was happening, became greatly frightened and exclaimed, “This must indeed have been God’s Son!” [55] There were many women there, watching from a distance, who had accompanied Jesus from Galilee and had been attending on him. [56] Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

[57] When evening had fallen, there came a rich man belonging to Ramah, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. [58] He went to see Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate ordered it to be given him. [59] So Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen sheet, [60] and laid it in his newly made tomb which he had cut in the rock; and, before he left, he rolled a great stone against the entrance of the tomb. [61] Mary of Magdala and the other Mary remained behind, sitting in front of the grave.

[62] The next day – that is, the day following the Preparation-day – the chief priests and Pharisees came in a body to Pilate, and said, [63] “Sir, we remember that, during his lifetime, that impostor said ‘I will rise after three days.’ [64] So order the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise his disciples may come and steal him, and then say to the people ‘He has risen from the dead,’ when the latest imposture will be worse than the first.”

[65] “You may have a guard,” was Pilate’s reply. “Go and make the tomb as secure as you can.” [66] So they went and made the tomb secure, by sealing the stone, in presence of the guard.

[Matthew 28]

The Risen Life

[1] After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary of Magdala and the other Mary had gone to look at the grave, [2] when suddenly a great earthquake occurred. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled away the stone, and seated himself on it. [3] His appearance was as dazzling as lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow; [4] and, in their terror of him, the men on guard trembled violently and became like dead men. [5] But the angel, addressing the women, said, “You need not be afraid. I know that it is Jesus, who was crucified, for whom you are looking. [6] He is not here; for he has risen, as he said he would. Come, and see the place where he was lying; [7] and then go quickly and say to his disciples ‘He has risen from the dead, and is going before you into Galilee; there you will see him.’ Remember, I have told you.” [8] They left the tomb quickly, in awe and great joy, and ran to tell the news to the disciples. [9] Suddenly Jesus met them. “Welcome!” he said. The women went up to him, and clasped his feet, bowing to the ground before him. Then Jesus said to them, [10] “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers and sisters to set out for Galilee, and they will see me there.” [11] While they were still on their way, some of the guard came into the city, and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. [12] So they and the elders met and, after holding a consultation, gave a large sum of money to the soldiers, [13] and told them to say that his disciples came in the night, and stole him while they were asleep; [14] “And should this matter come before the Governor,” they added, “we will satisfy him, and see that you have nothing to fear.” [15] So the soldiers took the money, and did as they were instructed. This story spread widely; the people of Judea still tell it today.

[16] The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus told them to meet him; [17] and, when they saw him, they bowed to the ground before him; although some felt doubtful. [18] Then Jesus came up, and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on the earth has been given to me. [19] Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the faith of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, [20] and teaching them to lay to heart all the commands that I have given you; and, remember, I myself am with you every day until the close of the age.”

The

Good News According to

Mark

[Mark 1]

The Preparation

[1] The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ.

[2] It is said in the prophet Isaiah –

‘I am sending my messenger ahead of you;

he will prepare your way.

[3] The voice of one crying aloud in the wilderness:

“Prepare the road for the Lord,

make a straight path for him.”’

[4] John the Baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism on repentance, for the forgiveness of sins. [5] The whole of Judea, as well as all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, went out to him; and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

[6] John wore clothes made of camels’ hair, with a leather strap around his waist, and lived on locusts and wild honey; [7] and he proclaimed – “After me is coming someone more powerful than I am, and I am not fit even to stoop down and unfasten his sandals. [8] I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

[9] Now about that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. [10] Just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens split open and the Spirit coming down to him like a dove, [11] and from the heavens came a voice – “You are my dearly loved son; you bring me great joy.”

[12] Immediately afterward the Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness; [13] and he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and among the wild beasts, while the angels helped him.

The Work in Galilee

[14] After John had been arrested, Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God – [15] “The time has come, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe the good news.”

[16] As Jesus was going along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net in the sea, for they were fishermen. [17] “Come and follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will teach you to fish for people.” [18] They left their nets at once, and followed him.

[19] Going on a little further, he saw James, Zebedee’s son, and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. [20] Jesus called them at once, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the crew, and went after him.

[21] They walked to Capernaum. On the next Sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. [22] The people were amazed at his teaching, for he taught them like one who had authority, and not like the teachers of the Law. [23] Now there was in their synagogue at the time a man under the power of a foul spirit, who called out, [24] “What do you want with us, Jesus the Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!” [25] But Jesus rebuked the spirit, “Be silent! Come out from him.” [26] The foul spirit threw the man into a fit, and with a loud cry came out from him. [27] They were all so amazed that they kept asking each other, “What is this? What is this, a new kind of teaching? He gives his commands with authority even to the foul spirits, and they obey him!” [28] His fame spread at once in all directions, through the whole region of Galilee.

[29] As soon as they had left the synagogue, they went to the house of Simon and Andrew, along with James and John. [30] Now Simon’s mother-in-law was lying ill with a fever, and they at once told Jesus about her. [31] Jesus went up to her and, grasping her hand, raised her up; the fever left her, and she began to take care of them.

[32] In the evening, after sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who were ill or possessed by demons; [33] and the whole city was gathered around the door. [34] Jesus cured many who were ill with various diseases, and drove out many demons, and would not permit them to speak, because they knew him to be the Christ.

[35] In the morning, long before daylight, Jesus got up and went out to a lonely spot, and there he began to pray. [36] But Simon and his companions went out searching for him; [37] and, when they found him, they exclaimed, “Everyone is looking for you!” [38] But Jesus said to them, “Let us go somewhere else, into the country towns nearby so that I can make my proclamation in them also; for that was why I came.” [39] And he went about making his proclamation in their synagogues all through Galilee, and driving out the demons.

[40] One day a leper came to Jesus and, falling on his knees, begged him for help. “If only you are willing,” he said, “you are able to make me clean.” [41] Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying as he did so, “I am willing; become clean.” [42] Instantly the leprosy left the man, and he became clean; [43] and then Jesus, after sternly warning him, immediately sent him away, and said to him, [44] “Be careful not to say anything to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and make the offerings for your cleansing directed by Moses, as evidence of your cure.” [45] The man, however, went away, and began to speak about it publicly, and to spread the story so widely, that Jesus could no longer go openly into a town, but stayed outside in lonely places; and people came to him from every direction.

[Mark 2]

[1] Some days later, when Jesus came back to Capernaum, the news spread that he was in a house there; [2] and so many people collected together, that after a while there was no room for them even around the door; and he began to tell them his message. [3] Some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, who was being carried by four of them. [4] Being, however, unable to get him near to Jesus, owing to the crowd, they removed the roofing above Jesus; and, when they had made an opening, they let down the mat on which the paralyzed man was lying. [5] When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”

[6] But some of the teachers of the Law who were sitting there were debating in their minds, [7] “Why does this man speak like this? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins except God?” [8] Jesus, at once intuitively aware that they were debating with themselves in this way, said to them, “Why are you debating in your minds about this? [9] Which is easier? – to say to the paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven’? Or to say ‘Get up, and take up your mat, and walk’? [10] But so you may know that the Son of Man has power to forgive sins on earth” – here he said to the paralyzed man – [11] “To you I say, Get up, take up your mat, and return to your home.” [12] The man got up, and immediately took up his mat, and went out before them all; at which they were amazed, and, as they praised God, they said, “We have never seen anything like this!”

[13] Jesus went out again to the sea; and all the people came to him, and he taught them. [14] As he went along, he saw Levi, the son of Alphaeus, sitting in the tax office, and said to him, “Follow me.” Levi got up and followed him.

[15] Later on he was in his house having dinner, and a number of tax-gatherers and outcasts took their places at the table with Jesus and his disciples; for many of them were following him. [16] When the teachers of the Law belonging to the party of the Pharisees saw that he was eating in the company of such people, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with the tax-gatherers and outcasts?” [17] Hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I did not come to call the religious, but the outcast.”

[18] Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting, and people came and asked Jesus, “Why is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, while yours do not?” [19] Jesus answered, “Can the groom’s friends fast, while the groom is with them? As long as they have the groom with them, they cannot fast. [20] But the days will come, when the groom will be taken away from them, and they will fast then – when that day comes.”

[21] “No one ever sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if they do, the patch tears away from it – the new from the old – and a worse tear is made. [22] And no one ever puts new wine into old wine-skins; if they do, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are lost. But new wine is put into fresh skins.”

[23] One Sabbath, as Jesus was walking through the cornfields, his disciples began to pick the ears of wheat as they went along. [24] “Look!” the Pharisees said to him, “why are they doing what is not allowed on the Sabbath?”

[25] “Have you never read,” answered Jesus, “what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and his companions – [26] how he went into the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which only the priests are allowed to eat, and gave some to his comrades as well?”

[27] Then Jesus added, “The Sabbath was made for people, and not people for the Sabbath; [28] so the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

[Mark 3]

[1] On another occasion Jesus went in to a synagogue, where there was a man whose hand was withered. [2] And they watched Jesus closely, to see if he would cure the man on the Sabbath, so that they might have a charge to bring against him. [3] “Stand out in the middle,” Jesus said to the man with the withered hand; [4] and to the people he said, “Is it allowable to do good at the Sabbath – or harm? To save a life, or destroy it?” [5] As they remained silent, Jesus looked around at them in anger, grieving at the hardness of their hearts, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” The man stretched it out; and his hand had become sound. [6] Immediately on leaving the synagogue, the Pharisees and the Herodians united in laying a plot against Jesus, to put him to death.

 

[7] Then Jesus went away with his disciples to the sea, followed by a great number of people from Galilee. [8] A great number, hearing of all that he was doing, came to him from Judea, from Jerusalem, from Edom, from beyond the Jordan, and from the country around Tyre and Sidon. [9] So Jesus told his disciples to keep a small boat close by, so that the crowd would not crush him. [10] For he had cured many of them, and so people kept crowding around him, so all who were sick might touch him. [11] The foul spirits, too, whenever they caught sight of him, flung themselves down before him, and screamed out, “You are the Son of God”! [12] But he repeatedly warned them not to make him known.

[13] Jesus made his way up the hill, and called those whom he wished; and they went to him. [14] He appointed twelve – whom he also named ‘apostles’ – so that they might be with him, and that he might send them out as his messengers, to preach, [15] and with power to drive out demons. [16] So he appointed the Twelve – Peter (which was the name that Jesus gave to Simon), [17] James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John (to whom he gave the name of Boanerges, which means the Thunderers), [18] Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, [19] and Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed him.

[20] Jesus went into a house; and again a crowd collected, so that they were not even able to eat their food. [21] When his relatives heard of it, they went to take charge of him, for they said that he was out of his mind.

[22] The teachers of the Law, who had come down from Jerusalem, said, “He has Beelzebul in him! He drives the demons out by the help of their chief.” [23] So Jesus called them to him, and answered them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan? [24] When a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot last; [25] and when a household is divided against itself, it will not be able to last. [26] So, if Satan is in revolt against himself and is divided, he cannot last – his end has come!

[27] “No man who has broken into a strong man’s house can carry off his goods, without first tying him up; and not until then will he plunder his house. [28] I tell you that people will be forgiven everything – their sins, and all the slanders that they utter; [29] but whoever slanders the Holy Spirit remains unforgiven to the end; he has to answer for an enduring sin.” [30] This was said in reply to the charge that he had a foul spirit in him. [31] His mother and his brothers came, and stood outside, and sent to ask him to come to them. [32] There was a crowd sitting around Jesus, and some of them said to him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are outside, asking for you.”

[33] “Who is my mother? And my brothers?” was his reply. [34] Then he looked around on the people sitting in a circle around him, and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! [35] Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

[Mark 4]

 

[1] Jesus again began to teach by the sea; and, as an immense crowd was gathering around him, he got into a boat, and sat in it on the sea, while all the people were on the shore at the water’s edge.

[2] Then he taught them many truths in parables; and in the course of his teaching he said to them:

[3] “Listen! The sower went out to sow; [4] and presently, as he was sowing, some of the seed fell along the path; and the birds came, and ate it up. [5] Some fell on rocky ground, where it had not much soil, and, because the soil wasn’t deep, sprang up at once; [6] but, when the sun rose, it was scorched, and, because their roots were not deep enough, withered away. [7] Some of the seed fell among brambles; but the brambles shot up and completely choked it, and it yielded no return. [8] Some fell into good soil, and, shooting up and growing, yielded a return, amounting to thirty, sixty, and even a hundred fold.” [9] And Jesus said, “Let anyone who has ears to hear with hear.”

[10] Afterward, when he was alone, his followers and the Twelve asked him about his parables; [11] and he said, “To you the hidden truth of the kingdom of God has been imparted; but to those who are outside it all teaching takes the form of parables so that – [12] ‘Though they have eyes, they may see without perceiving; and though they have ears, they may hear without understanding; otherwise some day they might turn and be forgiven.’”

[13] “You do not know the meaning of this parable?” he went on; “Then how will you understand all the other parables? [14] The sower sows the message. [15] The people meant by the seed that falls along the path are these – where the message is sown, but, as soon as they have heard it, Satan immediately comes and carries away the message that has been sown in them. [16] So, too, those meant by the seed sown on the rocky places are the people who, when they have heard the message, at once accept it joyfully; [17] but, as they have no root, they stand only for a short time; and so, when trouble or persecution arises because of the message, they fall away at once. [18] Those meant by the seed sown among the brambles are different; they are the people who hear the message, [19] but the cares of life, and the glamour of wealth, and cravings for many other things come in and completely choke the message, so that it gives no return. [20] But the people meant by the seed sown on the good ground are those who hear the message, and welcome it, and yield a return, thirty, sixty, and even a hundred fold.”

[21] Jesus said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under the couch, instead of being put on the lamp-stand? [22] There is nothing hidden that will not come to light and nothing is concealed that will not be brought into the open. [23] Let all who have ears to hear with hear.

[24] “Take care what you listen to,” said Jesus. “The standard you use will be used for you, and more will be added for you. [25] For, to those who have, more will be given; while, from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”

[26] Jesus also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like – like a man who has scattered seed on the ground, [27] and then sleeps by night and rises by day, while the seed is shooting up and growing – he knows not how. [28] The ground bears the crop of itself – first the blade, then the ear, and then the full grain in the ear; [29] but, as soon as the crop is ready, immediately he puts in the sickle because harvest has come.”

[30] Jesus also said, “To what can we liken the kingdom of God? [31] By what can we illustrate it? Perhaps by the growth of a mustard seed. This seed, when sown in the ground, though it is smaller than all other seeds, [32] yet, when sown, shoots up, and becomes larger than any other herb, and puts out great branches, so that even the wild birds can roost in its shelter.”

[33] With many such parables Jesus used to speak to the people of his message, as far as they were able to receive it; [34] and to them he never used to speak except in parables; but in private to his own disciples he explained everything.

 

[35] In the evening of the same day, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across.” [36] So, leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them, just as he was, in the boat; and there were other boats with him. [37] A violent squall came on, and the waves kept dashing into the boat, so that the boat was actually filling. [38] Jesus was in the stern asleep on the cushion; and the disciples roused him and cried, “Teacher! Is it nothing to you that we are lost?” [39] Jesus rose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Hush! Be still!” Then the wind dropped, and a great calm followed. [40] “Why are you so timid?” he exclaimed. “Have you no faith yet?” [41] But they were struck with great awe, and said to one another, “Who can this be that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

[Mark 5]

[1] They came to the other side of the sea – the region of the Gerasenes; [2] and, as soon as Jesus had got out of the boat, he met a man coming out of the tombs, who was under the power of a foul spirit, [3] and who made his home in the tombs. No one had ever been able to secure him, even with a chain; [4] for, though he had many times been left secured with fetters and chains, he had snapped the chains and broken the fetters to pieces, and no one could master him. [5] Night and day alike, he was continually shrieking in the tombs and among the hills, and cutting himself with stones. [6] Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed to the ground before him, [7] shrieking out in a loud voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? For God’s sake do not torment me!” [8] For Jesus had said, “Come out from the man, you foul spirit.” [9] And he asked him, “What is your name?” “My name,” he said, “is Legion, for there are many of us;” [10] and he begged Jesus again and again not to send them away out of that country.

[11] There was a large drove of pigs close by, feeding on the hillside; [12] and the spirits begged Jesus, “Send us into the pigs so that we can take possession of them.” [13] Jesus gave them leave. They came out, and entered into the pigs; and the drove – about two thousand in number – rushed down the steep slope into the sea and were drowned in the sea.

[14] Then the men who tended them ran away, and carried the news to the town, and to the country around; and the people went to see what had happened. [15] When they came to Jesus, they found the possessed man sitting there, clothed and in his right mind – the man who had had the ‘Legion’ in him – and they were awe-struck. [16] Then those who had seen it related to them all that had happened to the possessed man, as well as about the pigs; [17] so they began to beg Jesus to leave their region.

[18] As Jesus was getting into the boat, the possessed man begged him to let him stay with him. [19] But Jesus refused. “Go back to your home, to your own people,” he said, “and tell them of all that the Lord has done for you, and how he took pity on you.” [20] So the man went, and began to proclaim in the district of the Ten Towns all that Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.

[21] By the time Jesus had recrossed in the boat to the opposite shore, a great number of people had gathered to meet him, and were standing by the sea. [22] One of the leaders of the synagogue, whose name was Jairus, came and, as soon as he saw Jesus, threw himself at his feet and begged him repeatedly, [23] saying, “My little daughter is at death’s door. Please come and place your hands on her so that she may recover and live.” [24] So Jesus went with him. A great number of people followed Jesus, and kept pressing around him.

[25] Meanwhile a woman who for twelve years had suffered from hemorrhage, [26] and undergone much at the hands of many doctors, (spending all she had without obtaining any relief, but, on the contrary, growing worse), [27] heard about Jesus, came behind in the crowd, and touched his cloak. [28] “If I can only touch his clothes,” she said, “I will get well!” [29] At once her bleeding stopped, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her affliction. [30] Jesus at once became aware of the power that had gone out from him, and, turning around in the crowd, he said, “Who touched my clothes?”

[31] “You see the people pressing around you,” exclaimed his disciples, “and yet you say ‘Who touched me?’” [32] But Jesus looked about to see who had done it. [33] Then the woman, in fear and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and threw herself down before him, and told him the whole truth. [34] “Daughter,” he said, “your faith has delivered you. Go, and peace be with you; be free from your affliction.”

[35] Before he had finished speaking, some people from the house of the synagogue leader came and said, “Your daughter is dead! Why should you trouble the teacher further?” [36] But Jesus, overhearing what they were saying, said to the synagogue leader, “Do not be afraid; only have faith.” [37] And he allowed no one to accompany him, except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. [38] Presently they reached the leader’s house, where Jesus saw a scene of confusion – people weeping and wailing incessantly. [39] “Why this confusion and weeping?” he said on entering. “The little child is not dead; she is asleep.” [40] They began to laugh at him; but he sent them all out, and then, with the child’s father and mother and his companions, went into the room where she was lying. [41] Taking her hand, Jesus said to her, “Talitha, koum!” – which means ‘little girl, I am speaking to you – Rise!’ [42] The little girl stood up at once, and began to walk about; for she was twelve years old. And, as soon as they saw it, they were overwhelmed with amazement; [43] but Jesus repeatedly cautioned them not to let anyone know of it, and told them to give her something to eat.

[Mark 6]

[1] On leaving that place, Jesus, followed by his disciples, went to his own part of the country. [2] When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue; and the people, as they listened, were deeply impressed. “Where did he get this?” they said, “and what is this wisdom that has been given him? And these miracles which he is doing? [3] Isn’t he the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, and Joses, and Judas, and Simon? And aren’t his sisters, too, living here among us?” This proved a hindrance to their believing in him; [4] at which Jesus said, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his home town, and among his own relatives, and in his own home.” [5] And he could not work any miracle there, beyond placing his hands on a few infirm persons, and curing them; [6] and he wondered at the want of faith shown by the people. Jesus went around the villages, one after another, teaching.

 

[7] He called the Twelve to him, and began to send them out as his messengers, two and two, and gave them authority over foul spirits. [8] He instructed them to take nothing but a staff for the journey – not even bread, or a bag, or coins in their purse; [9] but they were to wear sandals, and not to put on a second coat. [10] “Whenever you go to stay at a house,” he said, “remain there until you leave that place; [11] and if a place does not welcome you, or listen to you, as you go out of it shake off the dust that is on the soles of your feet, as a protest against them.” [12] So they set out, and proclaimed the need of repentance. [13] They drove out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were infirm, and cured them.

[14] Now King Herod heard of Jesus; for his name had become well known. People were saying – “John the Baptizer must have risen from the dead, and that is why these miraculous powers are active in him.” [15] Others again said – “He is Elijah,” and others – “He is a prophet, like one of the great prophets.” [16] But when Herod heard of him, he said – “The man whom I beheaded – John – he must be risen!”

[17] For Herod himself had sent and arrested John, and put him in prison, in chains, to please Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip, because Herod had married her. [18] For John had said to Herod – “You have no right to be living with your brother’s wife.” [19] So Herodias was incensed against John, and wanted to put him to death, but was unable to do so, [20] because Herod stood in fear of John, knowing him to be an upright and holy man, and protected him. He had listened to John, but still remained much perplexed, and yet he found pleasure in listening to him.

[21] A suitable opportunity, however, occurred when Herod, on his birthday, gave a dinner to his high officials, and his generals, and the foremost men in Galilee. [22] When his daughter – that is, the daughter of Herodias – came in and danced, she delighted Herod and those who were dining with him. “Ask me for whatever you like,” the king said to the girl, “and I will give it to you”; [23] and he swore to her that he would give her whatever she asked him – up to half his kingdom. [24] The girl went out, and said to her mother “What must I ask for?”

“The head of John the Baptizer,” answered her mother. [25] So she went in as quickly as possible to the king, and made her request. “I want you,” she said, “to give me at once, on a dish, the head of John the Baptist.” [26] The king was much distressed; yet, because of his oath and of the guests at his table, he did not like to refuse her. [27] He immediately dispatched one of his bodyguard, with orders to bring John’s head. The man went and beheaded John in the prison, [28] and, bringing his head on a dish, gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.

[29] When John’s disciples heard of it, they came and took his body away, and laid it in a tomb.

[30] When the apostles came back to Jesus, they told him all that they had done and all that they had taught. [31] “Come by yourselves privately to some lonely spot,” he said, “and rest for a while” – for there were so many people coming and going that they had not time even to eat. [32] So they set off privately in their boat for a lonely spot. [33] Many people saw them going, and recognized them, and from all the towns they flocked together to the place on foot, and got there before them. [34] On getting out of the boat, Jesus saw a great crowd, and his heart was moved at the sight of them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. [35] When it grew late, his disciples came up to him, and said, “This is a lonely spot, and it is already late. [36] Send the people away, so that they may go to the farms and villages around and buy themselves something to eat.” [37] But Jesus answered, “It is for you to give them something to eat.” “Are we to go and spend almost a year’s wages on bread,” they asked, “to give them to eat?”

[38] “How many loaves have you?” he asked; “Go, and see.” When they had found out, they told him, “Five, and two fish.” [39] Jesus directed them to make all the people take their seats on the green grass, in parties; [40] and they sat down in groups – in hundreds, and in fifties. [41] Taking the five loaves and the two fish, Jesus looked up to heaven, and said the blessing; he broke the loaves into pieces, and gave them to his disciples for them to serve out to the people, and he divided the two fish also among them all. [42] Everyone had sufficient to eat; [43] and they picked up enough broken pieces to fill twelve baskets, as well as some of the fish. [44] The people who ate the bread were five thousand in number.

[45] Immediately afterward Jesus made his disciples get into the boat, and cross over in advance, in the direction of Bethsaida, while he himself was dismissing the crowd. [46] After he had taken leave of the people, he went away up the hill to pray. [47] When evening fell, the boat was out in the middle of the sea, and Jesus on the shore alone. [48] Seeing them laboring at the oars – for the wind was against them – about three hours after midnight Jesus came towards them, walking on the water, intending to join them. [49] But, when they saw him walking on the water, they thought it was a ghost, and cried out; [50] for all of them saw him, and were terrified. But Jesus at once spoke to them. “Courage!” he said, “it is I; do not be afraid!” [51] Then he got into the boat with them, and the wind dropped. The disciples were utterly amazed, [52] for they had not understood about the loaves, their minds being slow to learn. [53] When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret, and moored the boat. [54] But they had no sooner left her than the people, recognizing Jesus, [55] hurried over the whole country-side, and began to carry about on mats those who were ill, wherever they heard he was. [56] So wherever he went – to villages, or towns, or farms – they would lay their sick in the market-places, begging him to let them touch only the tassel of his cloak; and all who touched were made well.

[Mark 7]

 

[1] One day the Pharisees and some of the teachers of the Law who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus. [2] They had noticed that some of his disciples ate their food with their hands ‘defiled,’ by which they meant unwashed. [3] (For the Pharisees, and indeed all strict Jews, will not eat without first scrupulously washing their hands, holding in this to the traditions of their ancestors. [4] When they come from market, they will not eat without first sprinkling themselves; and there are many other customs which they have inherited and hold to, such as the ceremonial washing of cups, and jugs, and copper pans). [5] So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law asked Jesus this question – “How is it that your disciples do not follow the traditions of our ancestors, but eat their food with defiled hands?” [6] His answer was, “It was well said by Isaiah when he prophesied about you hypocrites in the words – ‘This is a people who honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far removed from me; [7] but vainly do they worship me, For they teach but human precepts.’ [8] You neglect God’s commandments and hold to human traditions. [9] Wisely do you set aside God’s commandments,” he exclaimed, “to keep your own traditions! [10] For while Moses said ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and ‘Let anyone who abuses their father or mother suffer death,’ [11] you say ‘If a person says to their father or mother “Whatever of mine might have been of service to you is Corban”’ (which means ‘Set apart for God’) – [12] why, then you do not allow them to do anything further for their father or mother! [13] In this way you nullify the words of God by your traditions, which you hand down; and you do many similar things.”

[14] Then Jesus called the people to him again, and said, “Listen to me, all of you, and mark my words. [15] There is nothing external to a person, which by going into them can defile them; but the things that come out of a person are the things that defile them.” [16] [Note: Some later manuscripts add, Let anyone with ears to hear, listen. ]

[17] When Jesus went indoors, away from the crowd, his disciples began questioning him about this saying. [18] “What, do even you understand so little?” exclaimed Jesus. “Don’t you see that there is nothing external to a person, which by going into a person, can defile them, [19] because it does not pass into his heart, but into his stomach, and is afterward got rid of?” – in saying this Jesus pronounced all food clean. [20] “It is what comes out from a person,” he added, “that defiles them, [21] for it is from within, out of the hearts of people, that there come evil thoughts – sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, [22] greed, wickedness, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, haughtiness, folly; [23] all these wicked things come from within, and do defile a person.”

[24] On leaving that place, Jesus went to the district of Tyre and Sidon. He went into a house, and did not wish anyone to know it, but could not escape notice. [25] For a woman, whose little daughter had a foul spirit in her, heard of him immediately, and came and threw herself at his feet – [26] the woman was a foreigner, from Syrian Phoenicia – and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. [27] “Let the children be satisfied first,” answered Jesus. “For it is not fair to take the children’s food, and throw it to dogs.”

[28] “Yes, Master,” she replied. “Even the dogs under the table do feed on the children’s crumbs.”

[29] “For saying that,” he answered, “you may go. The demon has gone out of your daughter.” [30] The woman went home, and found the child lying on her bed, and the demon gone.

[31] On returning from the district of Tyre, Jesus went, by way of Sidon, to the Sea of Galilee, across the district of the Ten Towns. [32] Some people brought to him a man who was deaf and almost dumb, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him. [33] Jesus took him aside from the crowd quietly, put his fingers into the man’s ears, and touched his tongue with saliva. [34] Then, looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to the man, “Ephphatha!” which means ‘Be opened.’ [35] The man’s ears were opened, the string of his tongue was freed, and he began to talk plainly. [36] Jesus insisted on their not telling anyone; but the more he insisted, the more perseveringly they made it known, [37] and a profound impression was made on the people. “He has done everything well!” they exclaimed. “He makes even the deaf hear and the dumb speak!”

[Mark 8]

 

[1] About that time, when there was again a great crowd of people who had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him, and said, [2] “My heart is moved at the sight of all these people, for they have already been with me three days and they have nothing to eat; [3] and if I send them away to their homes hungry, they will break down on the way; and some of them have come a long distance.”

[4] “Where will it be possible,” his disciples answered, “to get sufficient bread for these people in this lonely place?”

[5] “How many loaves have you?” he asked. “Seven,” they answered. [6] Jesus told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves, and, after saying the thanksgiving, broke them, and gave them to his disciples to serve out; and they served them out to the crowd. [7] They had also a few small fish; and, after he had said the blessing, he told the disciples to serve out these as well. [8] The people had sufficient to eat, and they picked up seven baskets full of the broken pieces that were left. [9] There were about four thousand people. Then Jesus dismissed them. [10] Immediately afterward, getting into the boat with his disciples, Jesus went to the district of Dalmanutha.

[11] Here the Pharisees came out, and began to argue with Jesus, asking him for some sign from the heavens, to test him. [12] Sighing deeply, Jesus said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? I tell you, no sign will be given it.” [13] So he left them to themselves, and, getting into the boat again, went away to the opposite shore.

[14] Now the disciples had forgotten to take any bread with them, one loaf being all that they had in the boat. [15] So Jesus gave them this warning. “Take care,” he said, “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” [16] They began talking to one another about their being short of bread; [17] and, noticing this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you talking about your being short of bread? Don’t you yet see or understand? Are your minds still so slow or comprehension? [18] Though you have eyes, do you not see? And though you have ears, do you not hear? Don’t you remember, [19] when I broke up the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets of broken pieces you picked up?”

“Twelve,” they said. [20] “And when the seven for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of broken pieces did you pick up?”

“Seven,” they said. [21] “Don’t you understand now?” he repeated.

[22] They came to Bethsaida. There some people brought a blind man to Jesus, and begged him to touch him. [23] Taking the blind man’s hand, Jesus led him to the outskirts of the village, and, when he had put saliva on the man’s eyes, he placed his hands on him, and asked him, “Do you see anything?” [24] The man looked up, and said, “I see the people, for, as they walk about, they look to me like trees.” [25] Then Jesus again placed his hands on the man’s eyes; and the man saw clearly, his sight was restored, and he saw everything with perfect distinctness. [26] Jesus sent him to his home, and said, “Do not go even into the village.”

 

[27] Afterward Jesus and his disciples went into the villages around Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples this question – “Who do people say that I am?”

[28] “John the Baptist,” they answered, “but others say Elijah, while others say one of the prophets.”

[29] “But you,” he asked, “who do you say that I am?” To this Peter replied, “You are the Christ.” [30] At which Jesus charged them not to say this about him to anyone. [31] Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo much suffering, and that he must be rejected by the elders, and the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law, and be put to death, and rise again after three days. [32] He said all this quite openly. But Peter took Jesus aside, and began to rebuke him. [33] Jesus, however, turning around and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter. “Out of my sight, Satan!” he exclaimed. “For you look at things, not as God does, but as people do.”

[34] Calling the people and his disciples to him, Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to walk in my steps, they must renounce self, take up their cross, and follow me. [35] For whoever wishes to save their life will lose it, and whoever, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, will lose their life will save it. [36] What good is it to a person to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? [37] For what could a person give that is of equal value with their life? [38] Whoever is ashamed of me and of my teaching, in this unfaithful and wicked generation, of them will the Son of Man be ashamed, when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

[Mark 9]

[1] “I tell you,” he added, “that some of those who are standing here will not know death until they have seen the kingdom of God come in power.”

[2] Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain alone by themselves. There his appearance was transformed before their eyes, [3] and his clothes became whiter than any launderer in the whole world could bleach them. [4] And Elijah appeared to them, in company with Moses; and they were talking with Jesus. [5] “Rabbi,” said Peter, interposing, “it is good to be here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” [6] For he did not know what to say, because they were much afraid. [7] Then a cloud came down and enveloped them; and from the cloud there came a voice – “This is my dearly loved son; listen to him.” [8] And suddenly, on looking around, they saw that there was now no one with them but Jesus alone.

[9] As they were going down the mountainside, Jesus cautioned them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. [10] They seized on these words and discussed with one another what this ‘rising from the dead’ meant. [11] “How is it,” they asked Jesus, “that our teachers of the Law say that Elijah has to come first?”

[12] “Elijah does indeed come first,” answered Jesus, “and re-establish everything; and does not scripture speak, with regard to the Son of Man, of his undergoing much suffering and being utterly despised? [13] But I tell you that Elijah has come, and people have treated him just as they pleased, as scripture says of him.”

[14] When they came to the other disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some teachers of the Law arguing with them. [15] But, as soon as they saw Jesus, all the people, in great astonishment, ran up and greeted him. [16] “What are you arguing about with them?” Jesus asked. [17] “Teacher,” answered a man in the crowd, “I brought my son to see you, as he has a spirit in him that makes him mute; [18] and, wherever it seizes him, it dashes him down; he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth, and he is pining away. I asked your disciples to drive the spirit out, but they failed.”

[19] “Faithless generation!” exclaimed Jesus. “How long must I be with you? How long must I have patience with you? Bring the boy to me.” [20] They brought him to Jesus; but no sooner did the boy see him than the spirit threw him into convulsions; and he fell on the ground, and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. [21] “How long has he been like this?” Jesus asked the boy’s father. [22] “From his childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire and into water to put an end to his life; but, if you can possibly do anything, take pity on us, and help us!” [23] “Why say ‘possibly’?” Jesus replied. “Everything is possible for one who has faith.” [24] The boy’s father immediately cried out, “I have faith; help my want of faith!” [25] But, when Jesus saw that a crowd was quickly collecting, he rebuked the foul spirit, “Deaf and dumb spirit, it is I who command you. Come out from him and never enter him again.” [26] With a loud cry the spirit threw the boy into repeated convulsions, and then came out from him. The boy looked like a corpse, so that most of them said that he was dead. [27] But Jesus took his hand, and lifted him; and he stood up.

[28] When Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

[29] “A spirit of this kind,” he said, “can be driven out only by prayer.”

 

[30] Leaving that place, Jesus and his disciples went on their way through Galilee; but he did not wish anyone to know it, [31] for he was instructing his disciples, and telling them – “The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of his fellow men, and they will put him to death, but, when he has been put to death, he will rise again after three days.” [32] But the disciples did not understand his meaning and were afraid to question him.

[33] They came to Capernaum. When Jesus had gone into the house, he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” [34] But they were silent; for on the way they had been arguing with one another which was the greatest. [35] Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wishes to be first, he must be last of all, and servant of all.” [36] Then Jesus took a little child, and placed it in the middle of them. Taking it in his arms, he said to them, [37] “Anyone who, for the sake of my name, welcomes even a little child like this is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming not me, but him who sent me as his messenger.”

[38] “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons by using your name, and we tried to prevent him, because he did not follow us.”

[39] “None of you must prevent the man,” answered Jesus, “for no one will use my name in working a miracle, and yet find it easy to speak evil of me. [40] He who is not against us is for us. [41] If anyone gives you a cup of water because you belong to Christ, I tell you, he will assuredly not lose his reward.

[42] “And, if anyone puts temptation in the way of one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be far better for him if he had been thrown into the sea with a great millstone around his neck. [43] If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It would be better for you to enter the life maimed, than to have both your hands and go into Gehenna, into the fire that cannot be put out. [44] [Note: Some later manuscripts add here or at verse 46: where their worm never dies and the fire is never quenched. ] [45] If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It would be better for you to enter the life lame, than to have both your feet and be thrown into Gehenna. [46] [Note: See the note on verse 44. ] [47] If your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It would be better for you to enter the kingdom of God with only one eye, than to have both eyes and be thrown into Gehenna, [48] where their worm does not die, and the fire is not put out.

[49] For it is by fire that everyone will be salted.

[50] Salt is good, but, if the salt should lose its saltiness, what will you use to season it?

You must have salt in yourselves, and live at peace with one another.”

[Mark 10]

The Journey to Jerusalem

[1] On leaving that place, Jesus went into the district of Judea on the other side of the Jordan. Crowds gathered about him again; and again, as usual, he began teaching them. [2] Presently some Pharisees came up and, to test him, asked, “Has a husband the right to divorce his wife?”

[3] “What direction did Moses give you?” replied Jesus. [4] “Moses,” they said, “permitted a man to draw up in writing a notice of separation and divorce his wife.”

[5] “It was owing to the hardness of your hearts,” said Jesus, “that Moses gave you this direction; [6] but, at the beginning of the Creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ [7] ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother, [8] and the man and his wife will become one;’ so that they are no longer two, but one. [9] What God himself, then, has yoked together no one must separate.”

[10] When they were indoors, the disciples asked him again about this, [11] and he said, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman is guilty of adultery against his wife; [12] and, if the woman divorces her husband and marries another man, she is guilty of adultery.”

[13] Some of the people were bringing little children to Jesus, for him to touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who had brought them. [14] When, however, Jesus saw this, he was indignant. “Let the little children come to me,” he said, “do not hinder them; for it is to the childlike that the kingdom of God belongs. [15] I tell you, unless a person receives the kingdom of God like a child, they will not enter it at all.” [16] Then he embraced the children, and, placing his hands on them, gave them his blessing.

[17] As Jesus was resuming his journey, a man came running up to him, and threw himself on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to gain eternal life?”

[18] “Why do you call me good?” answered Jesus. “No one is good but God. [19] You know the commandments – ‘Do not kill. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not say what is false about others. Do not cheat. Honor your father and your mother.’”

[20] “Teacher,” he replied, “I have observed all these from my childhood.” [21] Jesus looked at the man, and his heart went out to him, and he said, “There is still one thing wanting in you; go and sell all that you have, and give to the poor, and you will have wealth in heaven; then come and follow me.” [22] But the man’s face clouded at these words, and he went away distressed, for he had great possessions.

[23] Then Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for people of wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” [24] The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “My children, how hard a thing it is to enter the kingdom of God! [25] It is easier for a camel to get through a needle’s eye, than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”

[26] “Then who can be saved?” they exclaimed in the greatest astonishment. [27] Jesus looked at them, and answered, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for everything is possible with God.”

[28] “But we,” began Peter, “we left everything and have followed you.”

[29] “I tell you,” said Jesus, “there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or mother, or father, or children, or land, for my sake and for the good news, [30] who will not receive a hundred times as much, even now in the present – houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and land, though not without persecutions – and in the age that is coming, eternal life. [31] But many who are first now will then be last, and the last will be first.”

 

[32] They were on the road going up to Jerusalem, with Jesus walking in front of them. The disciples were filled with awe, while those who were following behind were overwhelmed with fear. Gathering the Twelve around him once more, Jesus began to tell them what was about to happen to him. [33] “Listen!” he said. “We are going up to Jerusalem; and there the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law, and they will condemn him to death, and they will give him up to the Gentiles, [34] who will mock him, spit on him, and scourge him, and put him to death; and after three days he will rise again.”

[35] James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, went to Jesus, and said, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

[36] “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. [37] “Grant us this,” they answered, “to sit, one on your right, and the other on your left, when you come in glory.”

[38] “You do not know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup that I am to drink? Or receive the baptism that I am to receive?”

[39] “Yes,” they answered, “we can.”

“You will indeed drink the cup that I am to drink,” Jesus said, “and receive the baptism that I am to receive, [40] but as to a seat at my right or at my left – that is not mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

[41] On hearing of this, the ten others were at first very indignant about James and John. [42] But Jesus called the ten to him, and said, “Those who are regarded as ruling among the Gentiles lord it over them, as you know, and their great men oppress them. [43] But among you it is not so. No, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, [44] and whoever wants to take the first place among you must be the servant of all; [45] for even the Son of Man came, not be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

[46] They came to Jericho. When Jesus was going out of the town with his disciples and a large crowd, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. [47] Hearing that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to call out, “Jesus, Son of David, take pity on me.” [48] Many of the people kept telling him to be quiet; but the man continued to call out all the louder, “Son of David, take pity on me.” [49] Then Jesus stopped. “Call him,” he said. So they called the blind man. “Have courage!” they exclaimed. “Get up; he is calling you.” [50] The man threw off his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. [51] “What do you want me to do for you?” said Jesus, addressing him. “Rabboni,” the blind man answered, “I want to recover my sight.”

[52] “You may go,” Jesus said; “your faith has delivered you.” Immediately he recovered his sight, and began to follow Jesus along the road.

[Mark 11]

The Last Days

[1] When they had almost reached Jerusalem, as far as Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent on two of his disciples. [2] “Go to the village facing you,” he said; “and, as soon as you get there, you will find a foal tethered, which no one has ever ridden; untie it, and bring it. [3] And, if anyone says to you ‘Why are you doing that?’, say ‘The Master wants it, and will be sure to send it back here at once.’” [4] The two disciples went, and, finding a foal tethered outside a door in the street, they untied it. [5] Some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the foal?” [6] And the two disciples answered as Jesus had told them; and they allowed them to go. [7] Then they brought the foal to Jesus, and, when they had laid their cloaks on it, he seated himself on it. [8] Many of the people spread their cloaks on the road, while some strewed boughs which they had cut from the fields; [9] and those who led the way, as well as those who followed, kept shouting, “God save him! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! [10] Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! God save him from on high!”

[11] Jesus entered Jerusalem, and went into the Temple Courts; and, after looking around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

[12] The next day, after they had left Bethany, Jesus became hungry; [13] and, noticing a fig-tree at a distance in leaf, he went to it to see if by any chance he could find something on it; but, on coming up to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. [14] So, addressing the tree, he exclaimed, “May no one ever again eat of your fruit!” And his disciples heard what he said.

[15] They came to Jerusalem. Jesus went into the Temple Courts, and began to drive out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers, and the seats of the pigeon-dealers, [16] and would not allow anyone to carry anything across the Temple Courts. [17] Then he began to teach. “Does not scripture say,” he asked, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” [18] Now the chief priests and the teachers of the Law heard this and began to look for some way of putting Jesus to death; for they were afraid of him, since all the people were greatly impressed by his teaching. [19] As soon as evening fell, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

[20] As they passed by early in the morning, they noticed that the fig-tree was withered up from the roots. [21] Then Peter recalled what had occurred. “Look, Rabbi,” he exclaimed, “the fig-tree which you doomed is withered up!”

[22] “Have faith in God!” replied Jesus. [23] “I tell you that if anyone should say to this hill ‘Be lifted up and hurled into the sea!’, without ever a doubt in his mind, but in the faith that what he says will be done, he would find that it would be. [24] And therefore I say to you ‘Have faith that whatever you ask for in prayer is already granted you, and you will find that it will be.’

[25] “And, whenever you stand up to pray, forgive any grievance that you have against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven also may forgive you your offenses.” [26] [Note: Some later manuscripts add: But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your offenses. ]

 

[27] They came to Jerusalem again. While Jesus was walking about in the Temple Courts, the chief priests, the teachers of the Law, and the elders came up to him. [28] “What authority have you to do these things?” they said. “Who gave you the authority to do them?”

[29] “I will put one question to you,” said Jesus. “Answer me that, and then I will tell you what authority I have to act as I do. [30] It is about John’s baptism. Was it of divine or human origin? Answer me that.” [31] They began arguing together. “If we say ‘divine,’ he will say ‘Why then didn’t you believe him?’ [32] Yet can we say ‘human’?” They were afraid of the people, for everyone regarded John as undoubtedly a prophet. [33] So their answer to Jesus was – “We do not know.”

“Then I,” replied Jesus, “refuse to tell you what authority I have to do these things.”

[Mark 12]

[1] Jesus began to speak to them in parables, “A man once planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine-press, built a tower, and then let it out to tenants and went abroad. [2] At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants, to receive from them a share of the produce of the grape harvest; [3] but they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty-handed. [4] A second time the owner sent a servant to them; this man, too, the tenants struck on the head, and insulted. [5] He sent another, but him they killed; and so with many others – some they beat and some they killed. [6] He had still one son, who was very dear to him; and him he sent to them last of all. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. [7] But those tenants said to one another ‘Here is the heir! Come, let us kill him, and his inheritance will be ours.’ [8] So they seized him, and killed him, and threw his body outside the vineyard. [9] What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and put the tenants to death, and he will let the vineyard to others.

[10] “Have you never read this passage of scripture? – ‘The stone which the builders despised has now itself become the corner-stone; [11] this corner-stone has come from the Lord, and is marvelous in our eyes.’”

[12] After this his enemies were eager to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd; for they saw that it was at them that he had aimed the parable. So they left him alone, and went away.

 

[13] Afterward they sent to Jesus some of the Pharisees and Herodians, to set a trap for him in the course of conversation. [14] These men came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are an honest man, and are not afraid of anyone, for you pay no regard to a person’s position, but teach the way of God honestly; are we right in paying taxes to the Emperor, or not? [15] Should we pay, or should we not pay?” Knowing their hypocrisy, Jesus said to them, “Why are you testing me? Bring me a coin to look at.” [16] And, when they had brought it, he asked, “Whose head and title are these?”

“The Emperor’s,” they said; [17] and Jesus replied, “Pay to the Emperor what belongs to the Emperor, and to God what belongs to God.” And they wondered at him.

[18] Next came some Sadducees – the men who maintain that there is no resurrection. Their question was this – [19] “Teacher, in our scriptures Moses decreed that, should a man’s brother die, leaving a widow but no child, the man should take the widow as his wife, and raise up a family for his brother. [20] There were once seven brothers. The eldest married, but died and left no family; [21] and the second married his widow, and died without family; and so did the third. [22] All the seven died and left no family. The woman herself died last of all. [23] At the resurrection whose wife will she be, all seven brothers having had her as their wife?”

[24] “Is not the reason of your mistake,” answered Jesus, “your ignorance of the scriptures and of the power of God? [25] When people rise from the dead, there is no marrying or being married; but they are as angels in heaven.

[26] “As to the dead, and the fact that they rise, have you never read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the Bush, how God spoke to him saying – ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? [27] He is not God of dead people, but of living. You are greatly mistaken.”

[28] Then came up one of the teachers of the Law who had heard their discussions. Knowing that Jesus had answered them wisely, he asked him this question, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

[29] “The most important,” answered Jesus, “is – ‘Hear, Israel; the Lord our God is the one Lord; [30] and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ [31] The second is this – ‘You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

[32] “Wisely answered, teacher!” exclaimed the teacher of the Law. “It is true, as you say, that there is one God, and that there is no other besides him; [33] and to love him with all one’s heart, and with all one’s understanding, and with all one’s strength, and to love one’s neighbor as one loves oneself is far beyond all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” [34] Seeing that he had answered with discernment, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

After that no one ventured to question him further.

[35] While Jesus was teaching in the Temple Courts, he asked, “How is it that the teachers of the Law say that the Christ is to be David’s son? [36] David said himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit – ‘The Lord said to my lord: Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies beneath your feet.’ [37] David himself calls him ‘lord,’ how comes it, then, that he is to be his son?”

The mass of the people listened to Jesus with delight. [38] In the course of his teaching, Jesus said, “See that you are on your guard against the teachers of the Law, who delight to walk about in long robes, and to be greeted in the streets with respect, [39] and to have the best seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at dinner. [40] They are the men who rob widows of their homes, and make a pretense of saying long prayers. Their sentence will be all the heavier.”

[41] Then Jesus sat down opposite the chests for the Temple offerings, and watched how the people put money into them. Many rich people were putting in large sums; [42] but one poor widow came and put in two small coins, worth very little. [43] Then, calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you that this poor widow has put in more than all the others who were putting money into the chests; [44] for everyone else put in something from what he had to spare, while she, in her need, put in all she had – everything that she had to live on.”

[Mark 13]

 

[1] As Jesus was walking out of the Temple Courts, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, look what fine stones and buildings these are!”

[2] “Do you see these great buildings?” asked Jesus. “Not a single stone will be left here on another, which will not be thrown down.”

[3] When Jesus had sat down on the Mount of Olives, facing the Temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew questioned him privately, [4] “Tell us when this will be, and what will be the sign when all this is drawing to its close.”

[5] Then Jesus began, “See that no one leads you astray. [6] Many will take my name, and come saying ‘I am He’, and will lead many astray.

[7] “And, when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; such things must occur; but the end is not yet. [8] For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This will be but the beginning of the birth-pangs.

[9] “See to yourselves! They will betray you to courts of law; and you will be taken to synagogues and beaten; and you will be brought up before governors and kings for my sake, so that you can bear witness before them. [10] But the good news must first be proclaimed to every nation. [11] Whenever they betray you and hand you over for trial, do not be anxious beforehand as to what you will say, but say whatever is given you at the moment; for it will not be you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. [12] Brother will betray brother to death, and the father his child; and children will turn against their parents, and cause them to be put to death; [13] and you will be hated by everyone because of me. Yet the person who endures to the end will be saved.

[14] “As soon, however, as you see ‘the Foul Desecration’ standing where it ought not” (the reader must consider what this means) “then those of you who are in Judea must take refuge in the mountains; [15] and a person on the house-top must not go down, or go in to get anything out of their house: [16] nor must one who is on their farm turn back to get their cloak. [17] And alas for pregnant women, and for those who are nursing infants in those days! [18] Pray, too, that this may not occur in winter. [19] For those days will be a time of distress, the like of which has not occurred from the beginning of God’s creation until now – and never will again. [20] And, had not the Lord put a limit to those days, not a single soul would escape; but, for the sake of God’s own chosen people, he did limit them.

[21] “And at that time if anyone should say to you ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ ‘Look, there he is!’, do not believe it; [22] for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and display signs and marvels, to lead astray, were it possible, even God’s people. [23] But see that you are on your guard! I have told you all this beforehand.

[24] “In those days, after that time of distress, the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give her light, [25] the stars will be falling from the heavens, and the forces that are in the heavens will be convulsed. [26] Then will be seen the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory; [27] and then he will send the angels, and gather his people from the four winds, from one end of the world to the other.

[28] “Learn the lesson taught by the fig-tree. As soon as its branches are full of sap, and it is bursting into leaf, you know that summer is near. [29] And so may you, as soon as you see these things happening, know that he is at your doors. [30] I tell you that even the present generation will not pass away, until all these things have taken place. [31] The heavens and the earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

[32] “But about that day, or the hour, no one knows – not even the angels in heaven, not even the Son – but only the Father.

[33] “See that you are on the watch; for you do not know when the time will be. [34] It is like a man going on a journey, who leaves his home, puts his servants in charge – each having their special duty – and orders the porter to watch. [35] Therefore watch, for you cannot be sure when the Master of the house is coming – whether in the evening, at midnight, at daybreak, or in the morning – [36] otherwise he might come suddenly and find you asleep. [37] And what I say to you I say to all – Watch!”

[Mark 14]

 

[1] It was now two days before the Festival of the Passover and the unleavened bread. The chief priests and the teachers of the Law were looking for an opportunity to arrest Jesus by stealth, and to put him to death; [2] for they said, “Not during the Festival, or the people may riot.”

[3] When Jesus was still at Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, while he was sitting at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of choice spikenard perfume of great value. She broke the jar, and poured the perfume on his head. [4] Some of those who were present said to one another indignantly, “Why has the perfume been wasted like this? [5] This perfume could have been sold for more than a year’s wages, and the money given to the poor.”

[6] “Leave her alone,” said Jesus, as they began to find fault with her, “why are you troubling her? This is a beautiful deed that she has done for me. [7] You always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you will not always have me. [8] She has done what she could; she has perfumed my body beforehand for my burial. [9] And I tell you, wherever, in the whole world, the good news is proclaimed, what this woman has done will be told in memory of her.”

[10] After this, Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests, to betray Jesus to them. [11] They were glad to hear what he said, and promised to pay him. So he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.

 

[12] On the first day of the Festival of the unleavened bread, when it was customary to kill the Passover lambs, his disciples said to Jesus, “Where do you wish us to go and make preparations for your eating the Passover?” [13] Jesus sent forward two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and there a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him; [14] and, wherever he goes in, say to the owner of the house ‘The teacher says – Where is my room where I am to eat the Passover with my disciples?’ [15] He will himself show you a large upstairs room, set out ready; and there make preparations for us.” [16] So the disciples set out and went into the city, and found everything just as Jesus had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

[17] In the evening he went there with the Twelve, [18] and when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “I tell you that one of you is going to betray me – one who is eating with me.” [19] They were grieved at this, and began to say to him, one after another, “Can it be I?”

[20] “It is one of you Twelve,” said Jesus, “the one who is dipping his bread beside me into the dish. [21] True, the Son of Man must go, as scripture says of him, yet alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is being betrayed! For that man it would be better never to have been born!”

[22] While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and, after saying the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is my body.” [23] Then he took a cup, and, after saying the thanksgiving, gave it to them, and they all drank from it. [24] “This is my covenant-blood,” he said, “which is poured out on behalf of many. [25] I tell you that I will never again drink of the juice of the grape, until that day when I will drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

[26] They then sang a hymn, and went out up the Mount of Olives, [27] presently Jesus said to them, “All of you will fall away; for scripture says – ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ [28] Yet, after I have risen, I will go before you into Galilee.”

[29] “Even if everyone else falls away,” said Peter, “I will not.”

[30] “I tell you,” answered Jesus, “that you yourself today – yes, this very night – before the cock crows twice, will disown me three times.” [31] But Peter vehemently protested, “Even if I must die with you, I will never disown you!” And they all said the same.

 

[32] Presently they came to a garden known as Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples “Sit down here while I pray.” [33] He took with him Peter, James, and John; and began to show signs of great dismay and deep distress of mind. [34] “I am sad at heart,” he said, “sad even to death; wait here, and watch.” [35] Going on a little further, he threw himself on the ground, and began to pray that, if it were possible, he might be spared that hour. [36] “Abba, Father,” he said, “all things are possible to you; take away this cup from me; yet, not what I will, but what you will.”

[37] Then he came and found the three apostles asleep. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch for one hour? [38] Watch and pray,” he said to them all, “so that you may not fall into temptation. True, the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” [39] Again he went away, and prayed in the same words; [40] and coming back again he found them asleep, for their eyes were heavy; and they did not know what to say to him.

[41] A third time he came, and said to them, “Sleep on now, and rest yourselves. Enough! My time has come. Look, the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of wicked people. [42] Up, and let us be going. Look! My betrayer is close at hand.”

[43] And just then, while he was still speaking, Judas, who was one of the Twelve, came up; and with him a crowd of people, with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests, the teachers of the Law, and the elders. [44] Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them. “The man whom I kiss,” he had said, “will be the one; arrest him and take him away safely.” [45] As soon as Judas came, he went up to Jesus at once, and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. [46] Then the men seized Jesus, and arrested him.

[47] One of those who were standing by drew his sword, and struck at the high priest’s servant, and cut off his ear. [48] But Jesus spoke up, and said to the men, “Have you come out, as if after a robber, with swords and clubs, to take me? [49] I have been among you day after day in the Temple Courts teaching, and yet you did not arrest me; but this is in fulfillment of the scriptures.” [50] And all the apostles deserted him and fled. [51] One young man did indeed follow him, wrapped only in a linen sheet. They tried to arrest him; [52] but he left the sheet in their hands, and fled naked.

 

[53] Then they took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, elders, and the teachers of the Law assembled. [54] Peter, who had followed Jesus at a distance into the courtyard of the high priest, was sitting there among the police officers, warming himself at the blaze of the fire.

[55] Meanwhile the chief priest and the whole of the High Council were trying to get such evidence against Jesus as would warrant his being put to death, but they could not find any; [56] for, though there were many who gave false evidence against him, yet their evidence did not agree. [57] Presently some men stood up, and gave this false evidence against him – [58] “We ourselves heard him say ‘I will destroy this Temple made with hands, and in three days build another made without hands.’” [59] Yet not even on that point did their evidence agree.

[60] Then the high priest stood forward, and questioned Jesus. “Have you no answer to make?” he asked. “What is this evidence which these men are giving against you?” [61] But Jesus remained silent, and made no answer.

A second time the high priest questioned him. “Are you,” he asked, “the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One?”

[62] “I am,” replied Jesus, “and you will all see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of the Almighty, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” [63] At this the high priest tore his vestments. “Why do we want any more witnesses?” he exclaimed. [64] “You heard his blasphemy? What is your verdict?” They all condemned him, declaring that he deserved death.

[65] Some of those present began to spit at him, and to blindfold his eyes, and strike him, saying, as they did so, “Now play the prophet!” and even the police officers received him with blows.

[66] While Peter was in the courtyard down below, one of the high priest’s maidservants came up; [67] and, seeing Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him, and exclaimed, “Why, you were with Jesus, the Nazarene!” [68] But Peter denied it. “I do not know or understand what you mean,” he replied. Then he went out into the porch; [69] and there the maidservant, on seeing him, began to say again to the bystanders, “This is one of them!” [70] But Peter again denied it.

Soon afterward the bystanders again said to him, “You certainly are one of them; why you are a Galilean!” [71] But he said to them, “I swear that I do not know the man you are talking about! May God punish me if I am lying!” [72] At that moment, for the second time, a cock crowed; and Peter remembered the words that Jesus had said to him – ‘Before a cock has crowed twice, you will disown me three times’; and, as he thought of it, he began to weep.

[Mark 15]

 

[1] As soon as it was daylight, the chief priests, after holding a consultation with elders and teachers of the Law – that is to say, the whole High Council – put Jesus in chains, and took him away, and gave him up to Pilate. [2] “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “It is true,” replied Jesus. [3] Then the chief priests brought a number of charges against him. [4] So Pilate questioned Jesus again. “Have you no reply to make?” he asked. “Listen, how many charges they are bringing against you.” [5] But Jesus still made no reply whatever; at which Pilate was astonished.

[6] Now, at the feast, Pilate used to grant the people the release of any one prisoner whom they might ask for. [7] A man called Barabbas was in prison, with the rioters who had committed murder during a riot. [8] So, when the crowd went up and began to ask Pilate to follow his usual custom, [9] he answered, “Do you want me to release the ‘king of the Jews’ for you?” [10] For he was aware that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had given Jesus up to him. [11] But the chief priests incited the crowd to get Barabbas released instead. [12] Pilate, however, spoke to them again, “What should I do then with the man whom you call the ‘king of the Jews’?” [13] Again they shouted, “Crucify him!”

[14] “Why, what harm has he done?” Pilate kept saying to them. But they shouted furiously, “Crucify him!” [15] And Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them, and, after scourging Jesus, gave him up to be crucified.

[16] The soldiers then took Jesus away into the courtyard – that is the Government house – and they called the whole garrison together. [17] They dressed him in a purple robe, and, having twisted a crown of thorns, put it on him, [18] and then began to salute him. “Long life to you, king of the Jews!” they said. [19] And they kept striking him on the head with a rod, spitting at him, and bowing to the ground before him – going down on their knees; [20] and, when they had left off mocking him, they took off the purple robe, and put his own clothes on him.

 

[21] They led Jesus out to crucify him; and they compelled a passer-by, Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go with them to carry his cross.

[22] They brought Jesus to the place which was known as Golgotha – a name which means ‘place of a Skull.’ [23] There they offered him drugged wine; but Jesus refused it. [24] Then they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots for them, to settle what each should take.

[25] It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. [26] The words of the charge against him, written up over his head, read – ‘THE KING OF THE JEWS.’ [27] And with him they crucified two robbers, one on the right, and the other on the left. [28] [Note: Some later manuscripts add: And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘He was counted among outlaws.’ ]

[29] The passers-by railed at him, shaking their heads, as they said, “Ah! You who would destroy the Temple and build one in three days, [30] come down from the cross and save yourself!” [31] In the same way the chief priests, with the teachers of the Law, said to one another in mockery, [32] “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! Let the Christ, the ‘king of Israel,’ come down from the cross now so that we can see it and believe.” Even the men who had been crucified with Jesus insulted him.

[33] At midday, a darkness came over the whole country, lasting until three in the afternoon. [34] And, at three, Jesus called out loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?” which means ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ [35] Some of those standing around heard this, and said, “Listen! He is calling for Elijah!” [36] And a man ran, and, soaking a sponge in common wine, put it on the end of a rod, and offered it to him to drink, saying as he did so, “Wait and let us see if Elijah is coming to take him down.” [37] But Jesus, giving a loud cry, breathed his last. [38] The Temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom. [39] The Roman officer, who was standing facing Jesus, on seeing the way in which he breathed his last, exclaimed, “This man must indeed have been God’s son!”

 

[40] There were some women also watching from a distance, among them being Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James the Little and of Joseph, and Salome – [41] all of whom used to accompany Jesus when he was in Galilee, and give him support – besides many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.

[42] The evening had already fallen, when, as it was the Preparation day – the day before the Sabbath – [43] Joseph from Ramah, a councillor of good position, who was himself living in expectation of the kingdom of God, came and ventured to go in to see Pilate, and to ask for the body of Jesus. [44] But Pilate was surprised to hear that he had already died. So he sent for the officer, and asked if he were already dead; [45] and, on learning from the officer that it was so, he gave the corpse to Joseph. [46] Joseph, having bought a linen sheet, took Jesus down, and wound the sheet around him, and laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of the rock; and then rolled a stone up against the entrance of the tomb. [47] Mary of Magdala and Mary, the mother of Joseph, were watching to see where he was laid.

[Mark 16]

The Risen Life Announced

[1] When the Sabbath was over, Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought some spices, so that they might go and anoint the body of Jesus. [2] Very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb, after sunrise. [3] They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” [4] But, on looking up, they saw that the stone had already been rolled back; it was a very large one. [5] Going into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on their right, in a white robe, and they were dismayed; but he said to them, [6] “Do not be dismayed; you are looking for Jesus, the Nazarene, who has been crucified; he has risen, he is not here! Look! Here is the place where they laid him. [7] But go, and say to his disciples and to Peter ‘He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.’” [8] They went out, and fled from the tomb, for they were trembling and bewildered; and they did not say a word to anyone, for they were frightened.

A late appendix

----

[9] After his rising again, early on the first day of the week, Jesus appeared first of all to Mary of Magdala, from whom he had driven out seven demons. [10] She went and told the news to those who had been with him and who were now in sorrow and tears; [11] yet even they, when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, did not believe it. [12] Afterward, altered in appearance, he made himself known to two of them, as they were walking, on their way into the country. [13] They also went and told the rest, but they did not believe even them. [14] Later on, he made himself known to the Eleven themselves as they were at a meal, and reproached them with their want of faith and their stubbornness, because they did not believe those who had seen him after he had risen from the dead. [15] Then he said to them, “Go into all the world, and proclaim the good news to all creation. [16] He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who refuses to believe will be condemned. [17] Moreover these signs will attend those who believe. In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; [18] they will take up snakes in their hands; and, if they drink any poison, it will not hurt them; they will place their hands on sick people and they will recover.” [19] So the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat at the right hand of God. [20] But they set out, and made the proclamation everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the message by the signs which attended it.

Another appendix
But all that had been revealed to them they reported briefly to Peter and his companions. Afterward Jesus himself sent them out, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.

The

Good News According to

Luke

[Luke 1]

Dedication

[1] To his Excellency, Theophilus.

Many attempts have been already made to draw up an account of those events which have reached their conclusion among us, [2] just as they were reported to us by those who from the beginning were eye-witnesses, and afterward became bearers of the message. [3] And, therefore, I also, since I have investigated all these events with great care from their very beginning, have resolved to write a connected history of them for you, [4] in order that you may be able to satisfy yourself of the accuracy of the story which you have heard from the lips of others.

Birth, Parentage, Infancy and Boyhood

[5] In the reign of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the division called after Abijah. His wife, whose name was Elizabeth, was also a descendant of Aaron. [6] They were both righteous people, who lived blameless lives, guiding their steps by all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. [7] But they had no child, Elizabeth being barren; and both of them were advanced in years.

[8] One day, when Zechariah was officiating as priest before God, during the turn of his division, [9] it fell to him by lot, in accordance with the practice among the priests, to go into the Temple of the Lord and burn incense; [10] and, as it was the Hour of Incense, the people were all praying outside. [11] And an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right of the Altar of Incense. [12] Zechariah was startled at the sight and was awe-struck. [13] But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, whom you will call by the name John. [14] He will be to you a joy and a delight; and many will rejoice over his birth. [15] For he will be great in the sight of the Lord; he will not drink any wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit from the very hour of his birth, [16] and will reconcile many of the Israelites to the Lord their God. [17] He will go before him in the spirit and with the power of Elijah, to reconcile fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, and so make ready for the Lord a people prepared for him.”

[18] “How can I be sure of this?” Zechariah asked the angel. “For I am an old man and my wife is advanced in years.”

[19] “I am Gabriel,” the angel answered, “who stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. [20] And now you will be silent and unable to speak until the day when this takes place, because you did not believe what I said, though my words will be fulfilled in due course.”

[21] Meanwhile the people were watching for Zechariah, wondering at his remaining so long in the Temple. [22] When he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they perceived that he had seen a vision there. But Zechariah kept making signs to them, and remained dumb. [23] And, as soon as his term of service was finished, he returned home. [24] After this his wife, Elizabeth, became pregnant and lived in seclusion for five months. [25] “The Lord has done this for me,” she said, “he has shown me kindness and taken away the public disgrace of childlessness under which I have been living.”

 

[26] Six months later the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, [27] to a maiden there who was engaged to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. Her name was Mary. [28] Gabriel came into her presence and greeted her, saying, “You have been shown great favor – the Lord is with you.”

[29] Mary was much disturbed at his words, and was wondering to herself what such a greeting could mean, [30] when the angel spoke again, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. [31] And now, you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will give him the name Jesus. [32] The child will be great and will be called ‘Son of the Most High,’ and the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David, [33] and he will reign over the descendants of Jacob for ever; And to his kingdom there will be no end.”

[34] “How can this be?” Mary asked the angel. “For I have no husband.”

[35] “The Holy Spirit will descend on you,” answered the angel, “and the Power of the Most High will overshadow you; and therefore the child will be called ‘holy,’ and ‘Son of God.’ [36] And Elizabeth, your cousin, is herself also expecting a son in her old age; and it is now the sixth month with her, though she is called barren; [37] for no promise from God will fail to be fulfilled.”

[38] “I am the servant of the Lord,” exclaimed Mary. “Let it be with me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

[39] Soon after this Mary set out, and made her way quickly into the hill-country, to a town in Judah; [40] and there she went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. [41] When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child moved within her, and Elizabeth herself was filled with the Holy Spirit, [42] and cried aloud, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is your unborn child! [43] But how have I this honor, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? [44] For, as soon as your greeting reached my ears, the child moved within me with delight! [45] Happy indeed is she who believed that the promise which she received from the Lord would be fulfilled.”

[46] And Mary said:

“My soul exalts the Lord,

[47] and my spirit delights in God my Savior,

[48] for he has looked with favor on his humble servant girl.

From now on all generations will call me blessed!

 

[49] “For the Almighty has done great things for me,

and holy is his name.

[50] He has mercy on those who revere him

in every generation.

 

[51] “Mighty are the deeds of his arm;

he has scattered the self-satisfied proud,

[52] he has cast down the mighty from their thrones,

and he uplifts the humble,

[53] he has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.

 

[54] “He has stretched out his hand to his servant Israel,

ever mindful of his mercy,

[55] as he promised to our ancestors

for Abraham and his descendants for ever.”

[56] Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months, and then returned to her home. [57] When Elizabeth’s time came, she gave birth to a son; [58] and her neighbors and relatives, hearing of the great goodness of the Lord to her, came to share her joy. [59] A week later they met to circumcise the child, and were about to call him Zechariah after his father, [60] when his mother spoke up, “No, he is to be called John.”

[61] “You have no relation of that name!” they exclaimed; [62] and they made signs to the child’s father, to find out what he wished the child to be called. [63] Asking for a writing-tablet, he wrote the words – ‘His name is John.’ Everyone was surprised [64] and immediately Zechariah recovered his voice and the use of his tongue, and began to bless God. [65] All their neighbors were awe-struck at this, and throughout the hill-country of Judea the whole story was much talked about. [66] All who heard it kept it in mind, asking one another – “What can this child be destined to become?” For the Power of the Lord was with him.

[67] Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and, speaking under inspiration, said:

[68] “Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel,

Who has visited his people and wrought their deliverance,

[69] and has raised up for us the Strength of our salvation

In the house of his servant David –

[70] As he promised by the lips of his holy prophets of old –

[71] salvation from our enemies and from the hands of all who hate us,

[72] showing mercy to our ancestors,

And mindful of his sacred covenant.

[73] This was the oath which he swore to our ancestor Abraham –

[74] That we should be rescued from the hands of our enemies,

[75] and should serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness,

In his presence all our days.

[76] And you, child, will be called prophet of the Most High,

For you will go before the Lord to make ready his way,

[77] to give his people the knowledge of salvation

In the forgiveness of their sins,

[78] through the tender mercy of our God,

Whereby the Dawn will break on us from heaven,

[79] to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadow of death,

And guide our feet into the way of peace.”

[80] The child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the Wilds until the time came for his appearance before Israel.

[Luke 2]

[1] About that time an edict was issued by the Emperor Augustus that a census should be taken of the whole Empire. [2] (This was the first census taken while Quirinius was Governor of Syria). [3] And everyone went to his own town to be registered. [4] Among others Joseph went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem, the town of David, in Judea – because he belonged to the family and house of David – [5] To be registered with Mary, his engaged wife, who was about to become a mother. [6] While they were there her time came, [7] and she gave birth to her first child, a son. And because there was no room for them in the inn, she swathed him around and laid him in a manger. [8] In that same country-side were shepherds out in the open fields, watching their flocks that night, [9] when an angel of the Lord suddenly stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were seized with fear. [10] “Have no fear,” the angel said. “For I bring you good news of a great joy in store for all the nation. [11] This day there has been born to you, in the town of David, a Savior, who is Christ and Lord. [12] And this will be the sign for you. You will find the infant swathed, and lying in a manger.”

[13] Then suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly Host, praising God, and singing –

[14] “glory to God on high,

And on earth peace among those in whom he finds pleasure.”

[15] Now, when the angels had left them and gone back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go at once to Bethlehem, and see this thing that has happened, of which the Lord has told us.” [16] So they went quickly, and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in a manger; [17] and, when they saw it, they told of all that had been said to them about this child. [18] All who heard the shepherds were astonished at their story, [19] while Mary treasured up all that they said, and thought about it often in her thoughts. [20] And the shepherds went back, giving glory and praise to God for all that they had heard and seen. It had all happened as they had been told.

 

[21] Eight days after the birth of the child, when it was time to circumcise him, he received the name Jesus – the name given him by the angel before his conception.

 

[22] When the period of purification of mother and child, required by the Law of Moses, came to an end, his parents took the child up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, [23] in compliance with the Law of the Lord that every first-born male will be dedicated to the Lord, [24] and also to offer the sacrifice required by the Law of the Lord – a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.

[25] There was at that time in Jerusalem a man named Simeon, a righteous and devout man, who lived in constant expectation of the Consolation of Israel, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. [26] It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not die until he had seen the Lord’s Christ. [27] Moved by the Spirit, Simeon came into the Temple Courts, and, when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the Law, [28] Simeon himself took the child in his arms, and blessed God, and said:

[29] “Now, Lord, you will let your servant go,

According to your word, in peace,

[30] for my eyes have seen the salvation

[31] Which you have prepared in the sight of all nations –

[32] A light to bring light to the Gentiles,

And to be the glory of your people Israel.”

[33] While the child’s father and mother were wondering at what was said about him, [34] Simeon gave them his blessing, and said to Mary, the child’s mother, “This child is appointed to be the cause of the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign much spoken against – [35] Yes, the sword will pierce your own heart – and so the thoughts in many minds will be disclosed.”

[36] There was also a prophet named Hannah, a daughter of Phanuel and of the tribe of Asher. She was far advanced in years, having lived with her husband for seven years after marriage, [37] and then a widow, until she had reached the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple Courts, but, fasting and praying, worshiped God night and day. [38] At that moment she came up, and began publicly to thank God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the deliverance of Jerusalem.

[39] When the child’s parents had