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Proverbs 3, 5-12

Admonition to Trust and Honour God

3My child, do not forget my teaching,
   but let your heart keep my commandments;
2 for length of days and years of life
   and abundant welfare they will give you.


3 Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you;
   bind them round your neck,
   write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favour and good repute
   in the sight of God and of people.


5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
   and do not rely on your own insight.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
   and he will make straight your paths.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
   fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
8 It will be a healing for your flesh
   and a refreshment for your body.


9 Honour the Lord with your substance
   and with the first fruits of all your produce;
10 then your barns will be filled with plenty,
   and your vats will be bursting with wine.


11 My child, do not despise the Lord’s discipline
   or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves the one he loves,
   as a father the son in whom he delights.

The True Wealth


13 Happy are those who find wisdom,
   and those who get understanding,
14 for her income is better than silver,
   and her revenue better than gold.
15 She is more precious than jewels,
   and nothing you desire can compare with her.
16 Long life is in her right hand;
   in her left hand are riches and honour.
17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
   and all her paths are peace.
18 She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
   those who hold her fast are called happy.

God’s Wisdom in Creation


19 The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
   by understanding he established the heavens;
20 by his knowledge the deeps broke open,
   and the clouds drop down the dew.

The True Security


21 My child, do not let these escape from your sight:
   keep sound wisdom and prudence,
22 and they will be life for your soul
   and adornment for your neck.
23 Then you will walk on your way securely
   and your foot will not stumble.
24 If you sit down,* you will not be afraid;
   when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
25 Do not be afraid of sudden panic,
   or of the storm that strikes the wicked;
26 for the Lord will be your confidence
   and will keep your foot from being caught.


27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,*
   when it is in your power to do it.
28 Do not say to your neighbour, ‘Go, and come again;
   tomorrow I will give it’—when you have it with you.
29 Do not plan harm against your neighbour
   who lives trustingly beside you.
30 Do not quarrel with anyone without cause,
   when no harm has been done to you.
31 Do not envy the violent
   and do not choose any of their ways;
32 for the perverse are an abomination to the Lord,
   but the upright are in his confidence.
33 The Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
   but he blesses the abode of the righteous.
34 Towards the scorners he is scornful,
   but to the humble he shows favour.
35 The wise will inherit honour,
   but stubborn fools, disgrace.

Warning against Impurity and Infidelity

5My child, be attentive to my wisdom;
   incline your ear to my understanding,
2 so that you may hold on to prudence,
   and your lips may guard knowledge.
3 For the lips of a loose* woman drip honey,
   and her speech is smoother than oil;
4 but in the end she is bitter as wormwood,
   sharp as a two-edged sword.
5 Her feet go down to death;
   her steps follow the path to Sheol.
6 She does not keep straight to the path of life;
   her ways wander, and she does not know it.


7 And now, my child,* listen to me,
   and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
8 Keep your way far from her,
   and do not go near the door of her house;
9 or you will give your honour to others,
   and your years to the merciless,
10 and strangers will take their fill of your wealth,
   and your labours will go to the house of an alien;
11 and at the end of your life you will groan,
   when your flesh and body are consumed,
12 and you say, ‘Oh, how I hated discipline,
   and my heart despised reproof!
13 I did not listen to the voice of my teachers
   or incline my ear to my instructors.
14 Now I am at the point of utter ruin
   in the public assembly.’


15 Drink water from your own cistern,
   flowing water from your own well.
16 Should your springs be scattered abroad,
   streams of water in the streets?
17 Let them be for yourself alone,
   and not for sharing with strangers.
18 Let your fountain be blessed,
   and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19   a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
May her breasts satisfy you at all times;
   may you be intoxicated always by her love.
20 Why should you be intoxicated, my son, by another woman
   and embrace the bosom of an adulteress?
21 For human ways are under the eyes of the Lord,
   and he examines all their paths.
22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare them,
   and they are caught in the toils of their sin.
23 They die for lack of discipline,
   and because of their great folly they are lost.

Practical Admonitions

6My child, if you have given your pledge to your neighbour,
   if you have bound yourself to another,*
2 you are snared by the utterance of your lips,*
   caught by the words of your mouth.
3 So do this, my child, and save yourself,
   for you have come into your neighbour’s power:
   go, hurry,* and plead with your neighbour.
4 Give your eyes no sleep
   and your eyelids no slumber;
5 save yourself like a gazelle from the hunter,*
   like a bird from the hand of the fowler.


6 Go to the ant, you lazybones;
   consider its ways, and be wise.
7 Without having any chief
   or officer or ruler,
8 it prepares its food in summer,
   and gathers its sustenance in harvest.
9 How long will you lie there, O lazybones?
   When will you rise from your sleep?
10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
   a little folding of the hands to rest,
11 and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
   and want, like an armed warrior.


12 A scoundrel and a villain
   goes around with crooked speech,
13 winking the eyes, shuffling the feet,
   pointing the fingers,
14 with perverted mind devising evil,
   continually sowing discord;
15 on such a one calamity will descend suddenly;
   in a moment, damage beyond repair.


16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
   seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
   and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
   feet that hurry to run to evil,
19 a lying witness who testifies falsely,
   and one who sows discord in a family.


20 My child, keep your father’s commandment,
   and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
21 Bind them upon your heart always;
   tie them around your neck.
22 When you walk, they* will lead you;
   when you lie down, they* will watch over you;
   and when you awake, they* will talk with you.
23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light,
   and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,
24 to preserve you from the wife of another,*
   from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.
25 Do not desire her beauty in your heart,
   and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes;
26 for a prostitute’s fee is only a loaf of bread,*
   but the wife of another stalks a man’s very life.
27 Can fire be carried in the bosom
   without burning one’s clothes?
28 Or can one walk on hot coals
   without scorching the feet?
29 So is he who sleeps with his neighbour’s wife;
   no one who touches her will go unpunished.
30 Thieves are not despised who steal only
   to satisfy their appetite when they are hungry.
31 Yet if they are caught, they will pay sevenfold;
   they will forfeit all the goods of their house.
32 But he who commits adultery has no sense;
   he who does it destroys himself.
33 He will get wounds and dishonour,
   and his disgrace will not be wiped away.
34 For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury,
   and he shows no restraint when he takes revenge.
35 He will accept no compensation,
   and refuses a bribe no matter how great.

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.

Wise Sayings of Solomon

10The proverbs of Solomon.


A wise child makes a glad father,
   but a foolish child is a mother’s grief.
2 Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit,
   but righteousness delivers from death.
3 The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry,
   but he thwarts the craving of the wicked.
4 A slack hand causes poverty,
   but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
5 A child who gathers in summer is prudent,
   but a child who sleeps in harvest brings shame.
6 Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
   but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
7 The memory of the righteous is a blessing,
   but the name of the wicked will rot.
8 The wise of heart will heed commandments,
   but a babbling fool will come to ruin.
9 Whoever walks in integrity walks securely,
   but whoever follows perverse ways will be found out.
10 Whoever winks the eye causes trouble,
   but the one who rebukes boldly makes peace.*
11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
   but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
12 Hatred stirs up strife,
   but love covers all offences.
13 On the lips of one who has understanding wisdom is found,
   but a rod is for the back of one who lacks sense.
14 The wise lay up knowledge,
   but the babbling of a fool brings ruin near.
15 The wealth of the rich is their fortress;
   the poverty of the poor is their ruin.
16 The wage of the righteous leads to life,
   the gain of the wicked to sin.
17 Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life,
   but one who rejects a rebuke goes astray.
18 Lying lips conceal hatred,
   and whoever utters slander is a fool.
19 When words are many, transgression is not lacking,
   but the prudent are restrained in speech.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
   the mind of the wicked is of little worth.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many,
   but fools die for lack of sense.
22 The blessing of the Lord makes rich,
   and he adds no sorrow with it.*
23 Doing wrong is like sport to a fool,
   but wise conduct is pleasure to a person of understanding.
24 What the wicked dread will come upon them,
   but the desire of the righteous will be granted.
25 When the tempest passes, the wicked are no more,
   but the righteous are established for ever.
26 Like vinegar to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes,
   so are the lazy to their employers.
27 The fear of the Lord prolongs life,
   but the years of the wicked will be short.
28 The hope of the righteous ends in gladness,
   but the expectation of the wicked comes to nothing.
29 The way of the Lord is a stronghold for the upright,
   but destruction for evildoers.
30 The righteous will never be removed,
   but the wicked will not remain in the land.
31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
   but the perverse tongue will be cut off.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
   but the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.

11A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
   but an accurate weight is his delight.
2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace;
   but wisdom is with the humble.
3 The integrity of the upright guides them,
   but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
   but righteousness delivers from death.
5 The righteousness of the blameless keeps their ways straight,
   but the wicked fall by their own wickedness.
6 The righteousness of the upright saves them,
   but the treacherous are taken captive by their schemes.
7 When the wicked die, their hope perishes,
   and the expectation of the godless comes to nothing.
8 The righteous are delivered from trouble,
   and the wicked get into it instead.
9 With their mouths the godless would destroy their neighbours,
   but by knowledge the righteous are delivered.
10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices;
   and when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.
11 By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted,
   but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
12 Whoever belittles another lacks sense,
   but an intelligent person remains silent.
13 A gossip goes about telling secrets,
   but one who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a confidence.
14 Where there is no guidance, a nation* falls,
   but in an abundance of counsellors there is safety.
15 To guarantee loans for a stranger brings trouble,
   but there is safety in refusing to do so.
16 A gracious woman gets honour,
   but she who hates virtue is covered with shame.*
The timid become destitute,*
   but the aggressive gain riches.
17 Those who are kind reward themselves,
   but the cruel do themselves harm.
18 The wicked earn no real gain,
   but those who sow righteousness get a true reward.
19 Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live,
   but whoever pursues evil will die.
20 Crooked minds are an abomination to the Lord,
   but those of blameless ways are his delight.
21 Be assured, the wicked will not go unpunished,
   but those who are righteous will escape.
22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
   is a beautiful woman without good sense.
23 The desire of the righteous ends only in good;
   the expectation of the wicked in wrath.
24 Some give freely, yet grow all the richer;
   others withhold what is due, and only suffer want.
25 A generous person will be enriched,
   and one who gives water will get water.
26 The people curse those who hold back grain,
   but a blessing is on the head of those who sell it.
27 Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favour,
   but evil comes to the one who searches for it.
28 Those who trust in their riches will wither,*
   but the righteous will flourish like green leaves.
29 Those who trouble their households will inherit wind,
   and the fool will be servant to the wise.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
   but violence* takes lives away.
31 If the righteous are repaid on earth,
   how much more the wicked and the sinner!

12Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
   but those who hate to be rebuked are stupid.
2 The good obtain favour from the Lord,
   but those who devise evil he condemns.
3 No one finds security by wickedness,
   but the root of the righteous will never be moved.
4 A good wife is the crown of her husband,
   but she who brings shame is like rottenness in his bones.
5 The thoughts of the righteous are just;
   the advice of the wicked is treacherous.
6 The words of the wicked are a deadly ambush,
   but the speech of the upright delivers them.
7 The wicked are overthrown and are no more,
   but the house of the righteous will stand.
8 One is commended for good sense,
   but a perverse mind is despised.
9 Better to be despised and have a servant,
   than to be self-important and lack food.
10 The righteous know the needs of their animals,
   but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
11 Those who till their land will have plenty of food,
   but those who follow worthless pursuits have no sense.
12 The wicked covet the proceeds of wickedness,*
   but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
13 The evil are ensnared by the transgression of their lips,
   but the righteous escape from trouble.
14 From the fruit of the mouth one is filled with good things,
   and manual labour has its reward.
15 Fools think their own way is right,
   but the wise listen to advice.
16 Fools show their anger at once,
   but the prudent ignore an insult.
17 Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
   but a false witness speaks deceitfully.
18 Rash words are like sword thrusts,
   but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19 Truthful lips endure for ever,
   but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
20 Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil,
   but those who counsel peace have joy.
21 No harm happens to the righteous,
   but the wicked are filled with trouble.
22 Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord,
   but those who act faithfully are his delight.
23 One who is clever conceals knowledge,
   but the mind of a fool* broadcasts folly.
24 The hand of the diligent will rule,
   while the lazy will be put to forced labour.
25 Anxiety weighs down the human heart,
   but a good word cheers it up.
26 The righteous gives good advice to friends,*
   but the way of the wicked leads astray.
27 The lazy do not roast* their game,
   but the diligent obtain precious wealth.*
28 In the path of righteousness there is life,
   in walking its path there is no death.

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Acts 7: 44-56

44 ‘Our ancestors had the tent of testimony in the wilderness, as God* directed when he spoke to Moses, ordering him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. 45Our ancestors in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors. And it was there until the time of David, 46who found favour with God and asked that he might find a dwelling-place for the house of Jacob.* 47But it was Solomon who built a house for him. 48Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands;* as the prophet says,
49 “Heaven is my throne,
   and the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,
   or what is the place of my rest?
50 Did not my hand make all these things?”

51 ‘You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are for ever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do. 52Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold the coming of the Righteous One, and now you have become his betrayers and murderers. 53You are the ones that received the law as ordained by angels, and yet you have not kept it.’

The Stoning of Stephen

54 When they heard these things, they became enraged and ground their teeth at Stephen.* 55But filled with the Holy Spirit, he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!’

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Psalm 102

1  O Lord, hear my prayer 
   and let my crying come before you.
2  Hide not your face from me 
   in the day of my distress.
3  Incline your ear to me; 
   when I call, make haste to answer me,
4  For my days are consumed in smoke 
   and my bones burn away as in a furnace.
5  My heart is smitten down and withered like grass, 
   so that I forget to eat my bread.
6  From the sound of my groaning 
   my bones cleave fast to my skin.
7  I am become like a vulture in the wilderness, 
   like an owl that haunts the ruins.
8  I keep watch and am become like a sparrow 
   solitary upon the housetop.
9  My enemies revile me all the day long, 
   and those who rage at me have sworn together against me.
10  I have eaten ashes for bread 
   and mingled my drink with weeping,
11  Because of your indignation and wrath, 
   for you have taken me up and cast me down.
12  My days fade away like a shadow, 
   and I am withered like grass.
13  But you, O Lord, shall endure for ever 
   and your name through all generations.
14  You will arise and have pity on Zion; 
   it is time to have mercy upon her;
      surely the time has come.
15  For your servants love her very stones 
   and feel compassion for her dust.
16  Then shall the nations fear your name, O Lord, 
   and all the kings of the earth your glory,
17  When the Lord has built up Zion 
   and shown himself in glory;

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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.