35One who keeps the law makes many offerings;
2 one who heeds the commandments makes an offering of well-being.
3 One who returns a kindness offers choice flour,
4 and one who gives alms sacrifices a thank-offering.
5 To keep from wickedness is pleasing to the Lord,
and to forsake unrighteousness is an atonement.
6 Do not appear before the Lord empty-handed,
7 for all that you offer is in fulfilment of the commandment.
8 The offering of the righteous enriches the altar,
and its pleasing odour rises before the Most High.
9 The sacrifice of the righteous is acceptable,
and it will never be forgotten.
10 Be generous when you worship the Lord,
and do not stint the first fruits of your hands.
11 With every gift show a cheerful face,
and dedicate your tithe with gladness.
12 Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
and as generously as you can afford.
13 For the Lord is the one who repays,
and he will repay you sevenfold.
14 Do not offer him a bribe, for he will not accept it;
15 and do not rely on a dishonest sacrifice;
for the Lord is the judge,
and with him there is no partiality.
16 He will not show partiality to the poor;
but he will listen to the prayer of one who is wronged.
17 He will not ignore the supplication of the orphan,
or the widow when she pours out her complaint.
18 Do not the tears of the widow run down her cheek
19 as she cries out against the one who causes them to fall?
20 One whose service is pleasing to the Lord will be accepted,
and his prayer will reach to the clouds.
21 The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds,
and it will not rest until it reaches its goal;
it will not desist until the Most High responds
22 and does justice to the righteous, and executes judgement.
Indeed, the Lord will not delay,
and like a warrior* will not be patient
until he crushes the loins of the unmerciful
23 and repays vengeance on the nations;
until he destroys the multitude of the insolent,
and breaks the sceptres of the unrighteous;
24 until he repays mortals according to their deeds,
and the works of all according to their thoughts;
25 until he judges the case of his people
and makes them rejoice in his mercy.
26 His mercy is as welcome in time of distress
as clouds of rain in time of drought.
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