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Proverbs 7, 8, 9

The False Attractions of Adultery

7My child, keep my words
   and store up my commandments with you;
2 keep my commandments and live,
   keep my teachings as the apple of your eye;
3 bind them on your fingers,
   write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Say to wisdom, ‘You are my sister’,
   and call insight your intimate friend,
5 that they may keep you from the loose* woman,
   from the adulteress with her smooth words.


6 For at the window of my house
   I looked out through my lattice,
7 and I saw among the simple ones,
   I observed among the youths,
   a young man without sense,
8 passing along the street near her corner,
   taking the road to her house
9 in the twilight, in the evening,
   at the time of night and darkness.


10 Then a woman comes towards him,
   decked out like a prostitute, wily of heart.*
11 She is loud and wayward;
   her feet do not stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares,
   and at every corner she lies in wait.
13 She seizes him and kisses him,
   and with impudent face she says to him:
14 ‘I had to offer sacrifices,
   and today I have paid my vows;
15 so now I have come out to meet you,
   to seek you eagerly, and I have found you!
16 I have decked my couch with coverings,
   coloured spreads of Egyptian linen;
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh,
   aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love until morning;
   let us delight ourselves with love.
19 For my husband is not at home;
   he has gone on a long journey.
20 He took a bag of money with him;
   he will not come home until full moon.’


21 With much seductive speech she persuades him;
   with her smooth talk she compels him.
22 Right away he follows her,
   and goes like an ox to the slaughter,
or bounds like a stag towards the trap*
23   until an arrow pierces its entrails.
He is like a bird rushing into a snare,
   not knowing that it will cost him his life.


24 And now, my children, listen to me,
   and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Do not let your hearts turn aside to her ways;
   do not stray into her paths.
26 for many are those she has laid low,
   and numerous are her victims.
27 Her house is the way to Sheol,
   going down to the chambers of death.

The Gifts of Wisdom

8Does not wisdom call,
   and does not understanding raise her voice?
2 On the heights, beside the way,
   at the crossroads she takes her stand;
3 beside the gates in front of the town,
   at the entrance of the portals she cries out:
4 ‘To you, O people, I call,
   and my cry is to all that live.
5 O simple ones, learn prudence;
   acquire intelligence, you who lack it.
6 Hear, for I will speak noble things,
   and from my lips will come what is right;
7 for my mouth will utter truth;
   wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;
   there is nothing twisted or crooked in them.
9 They are all straight to one who understands
   and right to those who find knowledge.
10 Take my instruction instead of silver,
   and knowledge rather than choice gold;
11 for wisdom is better than jewels,
   and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12 I, wisdom, live with prudence,*
   and I attain knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil.
Pride and arrogance and the way of evil
   and perverted speech I hate.
14 I have good advice and sound wisdom;
   I have insight, I have strength.
15 By me kings reign,
   and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me rulers rule,
   and nobles, all who govern rightly.
17 I love those who love me,
   and those who seek me diligently find me.
18 Riches and honour are with me,
   enduring wealth and prosperity.
19 My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold,
   and my yield than choice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
   along the paths of justice,
21 endowing with wealth those who love me,
   and filling their treasuries.

Wisdom’s Part in Creation


22 The Lord created me at the beginning* of his work,*
   the first of his acts of long ago.
23 Ages ago I was set up,
   at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
24 When there were no depths I was brought forth,
   when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains had been shaped,
   before the hills, I was brought forth—
26 when he had not yet made earth and fields,*
   or the world’s first bits of soil.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there,
   when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he made firm the skies above,
   when he established the fountains of the deep,
29 when he assigned to the sea its limit,
   so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30   then I was beside him, like a master worker;*
and I was daily his* delight,
   rejoicing before him always,
31 rejoicing in his inhabited world
   and delighting in the human race.


32 ‘And now, my children, listen to me:
   happy are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction and be wise,
   and do not neglect it.
34 Happy is the one who listens to me,
   watching daily at my gates,
   waiting beside my doors.
35 For whoever finds me finds life
   and obtains favour from the Lord;
36 but those who miss me injure themselves;
   all who hate me love death.’

Wisdom’s Feast

9Wisdom has built her house,
   she has hewn her seven pillars.
2 She has slaughtered her animals, she has mixed her wine,
   she has also set her table.
3 She has sent out her servant-girls, she calls
   from the highest places in the town,
4 ‘You that are simple, turn in here!’
   To those without sense she says,
5 ‘Come, eat of my bread
   and drink of the wine I have mixed.
6 Lay aside immaturity,* and live,
   and walk in the way of insight.’

General Maxims


7 Whoever corrects a scoffer wins abuse;
   whoever rebukes the wicked gets hurt.
8 A scoffer who is rebuked will only hate you;
   the wise, when rebuked, will love you.
9 Give instruction* to the wise, and they will become wiser still;
   teach the righteous and they will gain in learning.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
   and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
11 For by me your days will be multiplied,
   and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
   if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

Folly’s Invitation and Promise


13 The foolish woman is loud;
   she is ignorant and knows nothing.
14 She sits at the door of her house,
   on a seat at the high places of the town,
15 calling to those who pass by,
   who are going straight on their way,
16 ‘You who are simple, turn in here!’
   And to those without sense she says,
17 ‘Stolen water is sweet,
   and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.’
18 But they do not know that the dead* are there,
   that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.

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Psalm 12

Plea for Help in Evil Times

To the leader: according to The Sheminith. A Psalm of David.
1 Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;
   the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
2 They utter lies to each other;
   with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.


3 May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
   the tongue that makes great boasts,
4 those who say, ‘With our tongues we will prevail;
   our lips are our own—who is our master?’


5 ‘Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,
   I will now rise up,’ says the Lord;
   ‘I will place them in the safety for which they long.’
6 The promises of the Lord are promises that are pure,
   silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
   purified seven times.


7 You, O Lord, will protect us;
   you will guard us from this generation for ever.
8 On every side the wicked prowl,
   as vileness is exalted among humankind.

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Ephesians 2

From Death to Life

2You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. 4But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us 5even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ*—by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.

One in Christ

11 So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth,* called ‘the uncircumcision’ by those who are called ‘the circumcision’—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— 12remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, so that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16and might reconcile both groups to God in one body* through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.* 17So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; 18for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.* 21In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; 22in whom you also are built together spiritually* into a dwelling-place for God.

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v 2.2.7
10 February 2011

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.7 10 February 2011.