34The senseless have vain and false hopes,
and dreams give wings to fools.
2 As one who catches at a shadow and pursues the wind,
so is anyone who believes in* dreams.
3 What is seen in dreams is but a reflection,
the likeness of a face looking at itself.
4 From an unclean thing what can be clean?
And from something false what can be true?
5 Divinations and omens and dreams are unreal,
and like a woman in labour, the mind has fantasies.
6 Unless they are sent by intervention from the Most High,
pay no attention to them.
7 For dreams have deceived many,
and those who put their hope in them have perished.
8 Without such deceptions the law will be fulfilled,
and wisdom is complete in the mouth of the faithful.
9 An educated* person knows many things,
and one with much experience knows what he is talking about.
10 An inexperienced person knows few things,
11 but he that has travelled acquires much cleverness.
12 I have seen many things in my travels,
and I understand more than I can express.
13 I have often been in danger of death,
but have escaped because of these experiences.
14 The spirit of those who fear the Lord will live,
15 for their hope is in him who saves them.
16 Those who fear the Lord will not be timid,
or play the coward, for he is their hope.
17 Happy is the soul that fears the Lord!
18 To whom does he look? And who is his support?
19 The eyes of the Lord are on those who love him,
a mighty shield and strong support,
a shelter from scorching wind and a shade from noonday sun,
a guard against stumbling and a help against falling.
20 He lifts up the soul and makes the eyes sparkle;
he gives health and life and blessing.
21 If one sacrifices ill-gotten goods, the offering is blemished;*
22 the gifts* of the lawless are not acceptable.
23 The Most High is not pleased with the offerings of the ungodly,
nor for a multitude of sacrifices does he forgive sins.
24 Like one who kills a son before his fathers eyes
is the person who offers a sacrifice from the property of the poor.
25 The bread of the needy is the life of the poor;
whoever deprives them of it is a murderer.
26 To take away a neighbours living is to commit murder;
27 to deprive an employee of wages is to shed blood.
28 When one builds and another tears down,
what do they gain but hard work?
29 When one prays and another curses,
to whose voice will the Lord listen?
30 If one washes after touching a corpse, and touches it again,
what has been gained by washing?
31 So if someone fasts for his sins,
and goes again and does the same things,
who will listen to his prayer?
And what has he gained by humbling himself?
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011