Job 1f & 19 & 42
Psalms 1 & 19 & 23 & 40 & 51 & 103 & 139 & 145
Prov 3 & 11 & 28
Eccl 3 & 12
Song of Songs 2
I. The Prologue (1:1-2:13)
Job’s Good Life
1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. And that man was pure and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil. 1:2 Seven sons and three daughters were born to him. 1:3 His possessions included 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys; in addition he had a very great household. Thus he was the greatest of all the people in the east.
1:4 Now his sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one in turn, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. 1:5 When the days of their feasting were finished, Job would send for them and sanctify them; he would get up early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job thought, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s customary practice.
Satan’s Accusation of Job
1:6 Now the day came when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord – and Satan also arrived among them. 1:7 The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” And Satan answered the Lord, “From roving about on the earth, and from walking back and forth across it.” 1:8 So the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil.”
1:9 Then Satan answered the Lord, “Is it for nothing that Job fears God? 1:10 Have you not made a hedge around him and his household and all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his livestock have increased in the land. 1:11 But extend your hand and strike everything he has, and he will no doubt curse you to your face!”
1:12 So the Lord said to Satan, “All right then, everything he has is in your power. Only do not extend your hand against the man himself!” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.
Job’s Integrity in Adversity
1:13 Now the day came when Job’s sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 1:14 and a messenger came to Job, saying, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing beside them, 1:15 and the Sabeans swooped down and carried them all away, and they killed the servants with the sword! And I – only I alone – escaped to tell you!”
1:16 While this one was still speaking, another messenger arrived and said, “The fire of God has fallen from heaven and has burned up the sheep and the servants – it has consumed them! And I – only I alone – escaped to tell you!”
1:17 While this one was still speaking another messenger arrived and said, “The Chaldeans formed three bands and made a raid on the camels and carried them all away, and they killed the servants with the sword! And I – only I alone – escaped to tell you!”
1:18 While this one was still speaking another messenger arrived and said, “Your sons and your daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 1:19 and suddenly a great wind swept across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they died! And I – only I alone – escaped to tell you!”
1:20 Then Job got up and tore his robe. He shaved his head, and then he threw himself down with his face to the ground. 1:21 He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will return there. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. May the name of the Lord be blessed!” 1:22 In all this Job did not sin, nor did he charge God with moral impropriety.
Satan’s Additional Charge
2:1 Again the day came when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also arrived among them to present himself before the Lord. 2:2 And the Lord said to Satan, “Where do you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roving about on the earth, and from walking back and forth across it.” 2:3 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil. And he still holds firmly to his integrity, so that you stirred me up to destroy him without reason.”
2:4 But Satan answered the Lord, “Skin for skin! Indeed, a man will give up all that he has to save his life! 2:5 But extend your hand and strike his bone and his flesh, and he will no doubt curse you to your face!”
2:6 So the Lord said to Satan, “All right, he is in your power; only preserve his life.”
Job’s Integrity in Suffering
2:7 So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and he afflicted Job with a malignant ulcer from the sole of his feet to the top of his head. 2:8 Job took a shard of broken pottery to scrape himself with while he was sitting among the ashes.
2:9 Then his wife said to him, “Are you still holding firmly to your integrity? Curse God, and die!” 2:10 But he replied, “You’re talking like one of the godless women would do! Should we receive what is good from God, and not also receive what is evil?” In all this Job did not sin by what he said.
The Visit of Job’s Friends
2:11 When Job’s three friends heard about all this calamity that had happened to him, each of them came from his own country – Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to come to show sympathy for him and to console him. 2:12 But when they gazed intently from a distance but did not recognize him, they began to weep loudly. Each of them tore his robes, and they threw dust into the air over their heads. 2:13 Then they sat down with him on the ground for seven days and seven nights, yet no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his pain was very great.
Job’s Reply to Bildad
19:1 Then Job answered:
19:2 “How long will you torment me
and crush me with your words?
19:3 These ten times you have been reproaching me;
you are not ashamed to attack me!
19:4 But even if it were true that I have erred,
my error remains solely my concern!
19:5 If indeed you would exalt yourselves above me
and plead my disgrace against me,
19:6 know then that God has wronged me
and encircled me with his net.
Job’s Abandonment and Affliction
19:7 “If I cry out, ‘Violence!’
I receive no answer;
I cry for help,
but there is no justice.
19:8 He has blocked my way so I cannot pass,
and has set darkness over my paths.
19:9 He has stripped me of my honor
and has taken the crown off my head.
19:10 He tears me down on every side until I perish;
he uproots my hope like one uproots a tree.
19:11 Thus his anger burns against me,
and he considers me among his enemies.
19:12 His troops advance together;
they throw up a siege ramp against me,
and they camp around my tent.
Job’s Forsaken State
19:13 “He has put my relatives far from me;
my acquaintances only turn away from me.
19:14 My kinsmen have failed me;
my friends have forgotten me.
19:15 My guests and my servant girls
consider me a stranger;
I am a foreigner in their eyes.
19:16 I summon my servant, but he does not respond,
even though I implore him with my own mouth.
19:17 My breath is repulsive to my wife;
I am loathsome to my brothers.
19:18 Even youngsters have scorned me;
when I get up, they scoff at me.
19:19 All my closest friends detest me;
and those whom I love have turned against me.
19:20 My bones stick to my skin and my flesh;
I have escaped alive with only the skin of my teeth.
19:21 Have pity on me, my friends, have pity on me,
for the hand of God has struck me.
19:22 Why do you pursue me like God does?
Will you never be satiated with my flesh?
Job’s Assurance of Vindication
19:23 “O that my words were written down,
O that they were written on a scroll,
19:24 that with an iron chisel and with lead
they were engraved in a rock forever!
19:25 As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that as the last
he will stand upon the earth.
19:26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God,
19:27 whom I will see for myself,
and whom my own eyes will behold,
and not another.
My heart grows faint within me.
19:28 If you say, ‘How we will pursue him,
since the root of the trouble is found in him!’
19:29 Fear the sword yourselves,
for wrath brings the punishment by the sword,
so that you may know
that there is judgment.”
42:1 Then Job answered the Lord:
42:2 “I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted;
42:3 you asked,
‘Who is this who darkens counsel
But I have declared without understanding
things too wonderful for me to know.
42:4 You said,
‘Pay attention, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you will answer me.’
42:5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye has seen you.
42:6 Therefore I despise myself,
and I repent in dust and ashes!
VII. The Epilogue (42:7-17)
42:7 After the Lord had spoken these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My anger is stirred up against you and your two friends, because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has. 42:8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job will intercede for you, and I will respect him, so that I do not deal with you according to your folly, because you have not spoken about me what is right, as my servant Job has.”
42:9 So they went, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite, and did just as the Lord had told them; and the Lord had respect for Job.
42:10 So the Lord restored what Job had lost after he prayed for his friends, and the Lord doubled all that had belonged to Job. 42:11 So they came to him, all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and they dined with him in his house. They comforted him and consoled him for all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.
42:12 So the Lord blessed the second part of Job’s life more than the first. He had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 42:13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 42:14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-Happuch. 42:15 Nowhere in all the land could women be found who were as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance alongside their brothers.
42:16 After this Job lived 140 years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 42:17 And so Job died, old and full of days.
Book 1 (Psalms 1-41)
1:1 How blessed is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand in the pathway with sinners,
or sit in the assembly of scoffers!
1:2 Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the Lord’s commands;
he meditates on his commands day and night.
1:3 He is like a tree planted by flowing streams;
it yields its fruit at the proper time,
and its leaves never fall off.
He succeeds in everything he attempts.
1:4 Not so with the wicked!
Instead they are like wind-driven chaff.
1:5 For this reason the wicked cannot withstand judgment,
nor can sinners join the assembly of the godly.
1:6 Certainly the Lord guards the way of the godly,
but the way of the wicked ends in destruction.
19:1 For the music director; a psalm of David.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
the sky displays his handiwork.
19:2 Day after day it speaks out;
night after night it reveals his greatness.
19:3 There is no actual speech or word,
nor is its voice literally heard.
19:4 Yet its voice echoes throughout the earth;
its words carry to the distant horizon.
In the sky he has pitched a tent for the sun.
19:5 Like a bridegroom it emerges from its chamber;
like a strong man it enjoys running its course.
19:6 It emerges from the distant horizon,
and goes from one end of the sky to the other;
nothing can escape its heat.
19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect
and preserves one’s life.
The rules set down by the Lord are reliable
and impart wisdom to the inexperienced.
19:8 The Lord’s precepts are fair
and make one joyful.
The Lord’s commands are pure
and give insight for life.
19:9 The commands to fear the Lord are right
and endure forever.
The judgments given by the Lord are trustworthy
and absolutely just.
19:10 They are of greater value than gold,
than even a great amount of pure gold;
they bring greater delight than honey,
than even the sweetest honey from a honeycomb.
19:11 Yes, your servant finds moral guidance there;
those who obey them receive a rich reward.
19:12 Who can know all his errors?
Please do not punish me for sins I am unaware of.
19:13 Moreover, keep me from committing flagrant sins;
do not allow such sins to control me.
Then I will be blameless,
and innocent of blatant rebellion.
19:14 May my words and my thoughts
be acceptable in your sight,
O Lord, my sheltering rock and my redeemer.
23:1 A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd,
I lack nothing.
23:2 He takes me to lush pastures,
he leads me to refreshing water.
23:3 He restores my strength.
He leads me down the right paths
for the sake of his reputation.
23:4 Even when I must walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no danger,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff reassure me.
23:5 You prepare a feast before me
in plain sight of my enemies.
You refresh my head with oil;
my cup is completely full.
23:6 Surely your goodness and faithfulness will pursue me all my days,
and I will live in the Lord’s house for the rest of my life.
40:1 For the music director; By David, a psalm.
I relied completely on the Lord,
and he turned toward me
and heard my cry for help.
40:2 He lifted me out of the watery pit,
out of the slimy mud.
He placed my feet on a rock
and gave me secure footing.
40:3 He gave me reason to sing a new song,
praising our God.
May many see what God has done,
so that they might swear allegiance to him and trust in the Lord!
40:4 How blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord
and does not seek help from the proud or from liars!
40:5 O Lord, my God, you have accomplished many things;
you have done amazing things and carried out your purposes for us.
No one can thwart you!
I want to declare them and talk about them,
but they are too numerous to recount!
40:6 Receiving sacrifices and offerings are not your primary concern.
You make that quite clear to me!
You do not ask for burnt sacrifices and sin offerings.
40:7 Then I say,
“Look! I come!
What is written in the scroll pertains to me.
40:8 I want to do what pleases you, my God.
Your law dominates my thoughts.”
40:9 I have told the great assembly about your justice.
Look! I spare no words!
O Lord, you know this is true.
40:10 I have not failed to tell about your justice;
I spoke about your reliability and deliverance;
I have not neglected to tell the great assembly about your loyal love and faithfulness.
40:11 O Lord, you do not withhold your compassion from me.
May your loyal love and faithfulness continually protect me!
40:12 For innumerable dangers surround me.
My sins overtake me
so I am unable to see;
they outnumber the hairs of my head
so my strength fails me.
40:13 Please be willing, O Lord, to rescue me!
O Lord, hurry and help me!
40:14 May those who are trying to snatch away my life
be totally embarrassed and ashamed!
May those who want to harm me
be turned back and ashamed!
40:15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be humiliated and disgraced!
40:16 May all those who seek you be happy and rejoice in you!
May those who love to experience your deliverance say continually,
“May the Lord be praised!”
40:17 I am oppressed and needy!
May the Lord pay attention to me!
You are my helper and my deliverer!
O my God, do not delay!
51:1 For the music director; a psalm of David, written when Nathan the prophet confronted him after David’s affair with Bathsheba.
Have mercy on me, O God, because of your loyal love!
Because of your great compassion, wipe away my rebellious acts!
51:2 Wash away my wrongdoing!
Cleanse me of my sin!
51:3 For I am aware of my rebellious acts;
I am forever conscious of my sin.
51:4 Against you – you above all – I have sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
So you are just when you confront me;
you are right when you condemn me.
51:5 Look, I was guilty of sin from birth,
a sinner the moment my mother conceived me.
51:6 Look, you desire integrity in the inner man;
you want me to possess wisdom.
51:7 Sprinkle me with water and I will be pure;
wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
51:8 Grant me the ultimate joy of being forgiven!
May the bones you crushed rejoice!
51:9 Hide your face from my sins!
Wipe away all my guilt!
51:10 Create for me a pure heart, O God!
Renew a resolute spirit within me!
51:11 Do not reject me!
Do not take your Holy Spirit away from me!
51:12 Let me again experience the joy of your deliverance!
Sustain me by giving me the desire to obey!
51:13 Then I will teach rebels your merciful ways,
and sinners will turn to you.
51:14 Rescue me from the guilt of murder, O God, the God who delivers me!
Then my tongue will shout for joy because of your deliverance.
51:15 O Lord, give me the words!
Then my mouth will praise you.
51:16 Certainly you do not want a sacrifice, or else I would offer it;
you do not desire a burnt sacrifice.
51:17 The sacrifices God desires are a humble spirit –
O God, a humble and repentant heart you will not reject.
51:18 Because you favor Zion, do what is good for her!
Fortify the walls of Jerusalem!
51:19 Then you will accept the proper sacrifices, burnt sacrifices and whole offerings;
then bulls will be sacrificed on your altar.
103:1 By David.
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
With all that is within me, praise his holy name!
103:2 Praise the Lord, O my soul!
Do not forget all his kind deeds!
103:3 He is the one who forgives all your sins,
who heals all your diseases,
103:4 who delivers your life from the Pit,
who crowns you with his loyal love and compassion,
103:5 who satisfies your life with good things,
so your youth is renewed like an eagle’s.
103:6 The Lord does what is fair,
and executes justice for all the oppressed.
103:7 The Lord revealed his faithful acts to Moses,
his deeds to the Israelites.
103:8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful;
he is patient and demonstrates great loyal love.
103:9 He does not always accuse,
and does not stay angry.
103:10 He does not deal with us as our sins deserve;
he does not repay us as our misdeeds deserve.
103:11 For as the skies are high above the earth,
so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers.
103:12 As far as the eastern horizon is from the west,
so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us.
103:13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on his faithful followers.
103:14 For he knows what we are made of;
he realizes we are made of clay.
103:15 A person’s life is like grass.
Like a flower in the field it flourishes,
103:16 but when the hot wind blows by, it disappears,
and one can no longer even spot the place where it once grew.
103:17 But the Lord continually shows loyal love to his faithful followers,
and is faithful to their descendants,
103:18 to those who keep his covenant,
who are careful to obey his commands.
103:19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven;
his kingdom extends over everything.
103:20 Praise the Lord, you angels of his,
you powerful warriors who carry out his decrees
and obey his orders!
103:21 Praise the Lord, all you warriors of his,
you servants of his who carry out his desires!
103:22 Praise the Lord, all that he has made,
in all the regions of his kingdom!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
139:1 For the music director, a psalm of David.
O Lord, you examine me and know.
139:2 You know when I sit down and when I get up;
even from far away you understand my motives.
139:3 You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest;
you are aware of everything I do.
139:4 Certainly my tongue does not frame a word
without you, O Lord, being thoroughly aware of it.
139:5 You squeeze me in from behind and in front;
you place your hand on me.
139:6 Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension;
it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it.
139:7 Where can I go to escape your spirit?
Where can I flee to escape your presence?
139:8 If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there.
If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be.
139:9 If I were to fly away on the wings of the dawn,
and settle down on the other side of the sea,
139:10 even there your hand would guide me,
your right hand would grab hold of me.
139:11 If I were to say, “Certainly the darkness will cover me,
and the light will turn to night all around me,”
139:12 even the darkness is not too dark for you to see,
and the night is as bright as day;
darkness and light are the same to you.
139:13 Certainly you made my mind and heart;
you wove me together in my mother’s womb.
139:14 I will give you thanks because your deeds are awesome and amazing.
You knew me thoroughly;
139:15 my bones were not hidden from you,
when I was made in secret
and sewed together in the depths of the earth.
139:16 Your eyes saw me when I was inside the womb.
All the days ordained for me
were recorded in your scroll
before one of them came into existence.
139:17 How difficult it is for me to fathom your thoughts about me, O God!
How vast is their sum total!
139:18 If I tried to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
Even if I finished counting them,
I would still have to contend with you.
139:19 If only you would kill the wicked, O God!
Get away from me, you violent men!
139:20 They rebel against you and act deceitfully;
your enemies lie.
139:21 O Lord, do I not hate those who hate you,
and despise those who oppose you?
139:22 I absolutely hate them,
they have become my enemies!
139:23 Examine me, and probe my thoughts!
Test me, and know my concerns!
139:24 See if there is any idolatrous tendency in me,
and lead me in the reliable ancient path!
145:1 A psalm of praise, by David.
I will extol you, my God, O king!
I will praise your name continually!
145:2 Every day I will praise you!
I will praise your name continually!
145:3 The Lord is great and certainly worthy of praise!
No one can fathom his greatness!
145:4 One generation will praise your deeds to another,
and tell about your mighty acts!
145:5 I will focus on your honor and majestic splendor,
and your amazing deeds!
145:6 They will proclaim the power of your awesome acts!
I will declare your great deeds!
145:7 They will talk about the fame of your great kindness,
and sing about your justice.
145:8 The Lord is merciful and compassionate;
he is patient and demonstrates great loyal love.
145:9 The Lord is good to all,
and has compassion on all he has made.
145:10 All he has made will give thanks to the Lord.
Your loyal followers will praise you.
145:11 They will proclaim the splendor of your kingdom;
they will tell about your power,
145:12 so that mankind might acknowledge your mighty acts,
and the majestic splendor of your kingdom.
145:13 Your kingdom is an eternal kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord supports all who fall,
and lifts up all who are bent over.
145:15 Everything looks to you in anticipation,
and you provide them with food on a regular basis.
145:16 You open your hand,
and fill every living thing with the food they desire.
145:17 The Lord is just in all his actions,
and exhibits love in all he does.
145:18 The Lord is near all who cry out to him,
all who cry out to him sincerely.
145:19 He satisfies the desire of his loyal followers;
he hears their cry for help and delivers them.
145:20 The Lord protects those who love him,
but he destroys all the wicked.
145:21 My mouth will praise the Lord.
Let all who live praise his holy name forever!
Exhortations to Seek Wisdom and Walk with the Lord
3:1 My child, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
3:2 for they will provide a long and full life,
and they will add well-being to you.
3:3 Do not let truth and mercy leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
3:4 Then you will find favor and good understanding,
in the sight of God and people.
3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own understanding.
3:6 Acknowledge him in all your ways,
and he will make your paths straight.
3:7 Do not be wise in your own estimation;
fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
3:8 This will bring healing to your body,
and refreshment to your inner self.
3:9 Honor the Lord from your wealth
and from the first fruits of all your crops;
3:10 then your barns will be filled completely,
and your vats will overflow with new wine.
3:11 My child, do not despise discipline from the Lord,
and do not loathe his rebuke.
3:12 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
just as a father disciplines the son in whom he delights.
Blessings of Obtaining Wisdom
3:13 Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who obtains understanding.
3:14 For her benefit is more profitable than silver,
and her gain is better than gold.
3:15 She is more precious than rubies,
and none of the things you desire can compare with her.
3:16 Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
3:17 Her ways are very pleasant,
and all her paths are peaceful.
3:18 She is like a tree of life to those who obtain her,
and everyone who grasps hold of her will be blessed.
3:19 By wisdom the Lord laid the foundation of the earth;
he established the heavens by understanding.
3:20 By his knowledge the primordial sea was broken open,
and the clouds drip down dew.
3:21 My child, do not let them escape from your sight;
safeguard sound wisdom and discretion.
3:22 So they will give life to you,
and grace to adorn your neck.
3:23 Then you will walk on your way with security,
and you will not stumble.
3:24 When you lie down you will not be filled with fear;
when you lie down your sleep will be pleasant.
3:25 You will not be afraid of sudden disaster,
or when destruction overtakes the wicked;
3:26 for the Lord will be the source of your confidence,
and he will guard your foot from being caught in a trap.
Wisdom Demonstrated in Relationships with People
3:27 Do not withhold good from those who need it,
when you have the ability to help.
3:28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go! Return tomorrow
and I will give it,” when you have it with you at the time.
3:29 Do not plot evil against your neighbor
when he dwells by you unsuspectingly.
3:30 Do not accuse anyone without legitimate cause,
if he has not treated you wrongly.
3:31 Do not envy a violent man,
and do not choose to imitate any of his ways;
3:32 for one who goes astray is an abomination to the Lord,
but he reveals his intimate counsel to the upright.
3:33 The Lord’s curse is on the household of the wicked,
but he blesses the home of the righteous.
3:34 Although he is scornful to arrogant scoffers,
yet he shows favor to the humble.
3:35 The wise inherit honor,
but he holds fools up to public contempt.
11:1 The Lord abhors dishonest scales,
but an accurate weight is his delight.
11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.
11:3 The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the crookedness of the unfaithful destroys them.
11:4 Wealth does not profit in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from mortal danger.
11:5 The righteousness of the blameless will make straight their way,
but the wicked person will fall by his own wickedness.
11:6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
but the faithless will be captured by their own desires.
11:7 When a wicked person dies, his expectation perishes,
and the hope of his strength perishes.
11:8 The righteous person is delivered out of trouble,
and the wicked turns up in his stead.
11:9 With his speech the godless person destroys his neighbor,
but by knowledge the righteous will be delivered.
11:10 When the righteous do well, the city rejoices;
when the wicked perish, there is joy.
11:11 A city is exalted by the blessing provided from the upright,
but it is destroyed by the counsel of the wicked.
11:12 The one who denounces his neighbor lacks wisdom,
but the one who has discernment keeps silent.
11:13 The one who goes about slandering others reveals secrets,
but the one who is trustworthy conceals a matter.
11:14 When there is no guidance a nation falls,
but there is success in the abundance of counselors.
11:15 The one who puts up security for a stranger will surely have trouble,
but whoever avoids shaking hands will be secure.
11:16 A generous woman gains honor,
and ruthless men seize wealth.
11:17 A kind person benefits himself,
but a cruel person brings himself trouble.
11:18 The wicked person earns deceitful wages,
but the one who sows righteousness reaps a genuine reward.
11:19 True righteousness leads to life,
but the one who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.
11:20 The Lord abhors those who are perverse in heart,
but those who are blameless in their ways are his delight.
11:21 Be assured that the evil person will certainly be punished,
but the descendants of the righteous will not suffer unjust judgment.
11:22 Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout
is a beautiful woman who rejects discretion.
11:23 What the righteous desire leads only to good,
but what the wicked hope for leads to wrath.
11:24 One person is generous and yet grows more wealthy,
but another withholds more than he should and comes to poverty.
11:25 A generous person will be enriched,
and the one who provides water for others will himself be satisfied.
11:26 People will curse the one who withholds grain,
but they will praise the one who sells it.
11:27 The one who diligently seeks good seeks favor,
but the one who searches for evil – it will come to him.
11:28 The one who trusts in his riches will fall,
but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.
11:29 The one who troubles his family will inherit nothing,
and the fool will be a servant to the wise person.
11:30 The fruit of the righteous is like a tree producing life,
and the one who wins souls is wise.
11:31 If the righteous are recompensed on earth,
how much more the wicked sinner!
28:1 The wicked person flees when there is no one pursuing,
but the righteous person is as confident as a lion.
28:2 When a country is rebellious it has many princes,
but by someone who is discerning and knowledgeable order is maintained.
28:3 A poor person who oppresses the weak
is like a driving rain without food.
28:4 Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law contend with them.
28:5 Evil people do not understand justice,
but those who seek the Lord understand it all.
28:6 A poor person who walks in his integrity is better
than one who is perverse in his ways even though he is rich.
28:7 The one who keeps the law is a discerning child,
but a companion of gluttons brings shame to his parents.
28:8 The one who increases his wealth by increasing interest
gathers it for someone who is gracious to the needy.
28:9 The one who turns away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.
28:10 The one who leads the upright astray in an evil way
will himself fall into his own pit,
but the blameless will inherit what is good.
28:11 A rich person is wise in his own eyes,
but a discerning poor person can evaluate him properly.
28:12 When the righteous rejoice, great is the glory,
but when the wicked rise to power, people are sought out.
28:13 The one who covers his transgressions will not prosper,
but whoever confesses them and forsakes them will find mercy.
28:14 Blessed is the one who is always cautious,
but whoever hardens his heart will fall into evil.
28:15 Like a roaring lion or a roving bear,
so is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
28:16 The prince who is a great oppressor lacks wisdom,
but the one who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
28:17 The one who is tormented by the murder of another will flee to the pit;
let no one support him.
28:18 The one who walks blamelessly will be delivered,
but whoever is perverse in his ways will fall at once.
28:19 The one who works his land will be satisfied with food,
but whoever chases daydreams will have his fill of poverty.
28:20 A faithful person will have an abundance of blessings,
but the one who hastens to gain riches will not go unpunished.
28:21 To show partiality is terrible,
for a person will transgress over the smallest piece of bread.
28:22 The stingy person hastens after riches
and does not know that poverty will overtake him.
28:23 The one who reproves another will in the end find more favor
than the one who flatters with the tongue.
28:24 The one who robs his father and mother and says, “There is no transgression,”
is a companion to the one who destroys.
28:25 The greedy person stirs up dissension,
but the one who trusts in the Lord will prosper.
28:26 The one who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
but the one who walks in wisdom will escape.
28:27 The one who gives to the poor will not lack,
but whoever shuts his eyes to them will receive many curses.
28:28 When the wicked gain control, people hide themselves,
but when they perish, the righteous increase.
A Time for All Events in Life
3:1 For everything there is an appointed time,
and an appropriate time for every activity on earth:
3:2 A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot what was planted;
3:3 A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
3:4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
3:5 A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
3:6 A time to search, and a time to give something up as lost;
a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
3:7 A time to rip, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent, and a time to speak.
3:8 A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Man is Ignorant of God’s Timing
3:9 What benefit can a worker gain from his toil?
3:10 I have observed the burden
that God has given to people to keep them occupied.
3:11 God has made everything fit beautifully in its appropriate time,
but he has also placed ignorance in the human heart
so that people cannot discover what God has ordained,
from the beginning to the end of their lives.
Enjoy Life in the Present
3:12 I have concluded that there is nothing better for people
than to be happy and to enjoy
themselves as long as they live,
3:13 and also that everyone should eat and drink, and find enjoyment in all his toil,
for these things are a gift from God.
3:14 I also know that whatever God does will endure forever;
nothing can be added to it, and nothing taken away from it.
God has made it this way, so that men will fear him.
3:15 Whatever exists now has already been, and whatever will be has already been;
for God will seek to do again what has occurred in the past.
The Problem of Injustice and Oppression
3:16 I saw something else on earth:
In the place of justice, there was wickedness,
and in the place of fairness, there was wickedness.
3:17 I thought to myself, “God will judge both the righteous and the wicked;
for there is an appropriate time for every activity,
and there is a time of judgment for every deed.
3:18 I also thought to myself, “It is for the sake of people,
so God can clearly show them that they are like animals.
3:19 For the fate of humans and the fate of animals are the same:
As one dies, so dies the other; both have the same breath.
There is no advantage for humans over animals,
for both are fleeting.
3:20 Both go to the same place,
both come from the dust,
and to dust both return.
3:21 Who really knows if the human spirit ascends upward,
and the animal’s spirit descends into the earth?
3:22 So I perceived there is nothing better than for people to enjoy their work,
because that is their reward;
for who can show them what the future holds?
Fear God Now Because Old Age and Death Come Quickly
12:1 So remember your Creator in the days of your youth –
before the difficult days come,
and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no pleasure in them”;
12:2 before the sun and the light of the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds disappear after the rain;
12:3 when those who keep watch over the house begin to tremble,
and the virile men begin to stoop over,
and the grinders begin to cease because they grow few,
and those who look through the windows grow dim,
12:4 and the doors along the street are shut;
when the sound of the grinding mill grows low,
and one is awakened by the sound of a bird,
and all their songs grow faint,
12:5 and they are afraid of heights and the dangers in the street;
the almond blossoms grow white,
and the grasshopper drags itself along,
and the caper berry shrivels up –
because man goes to his eternal home,
and the mourners go about in the streets –
12:6 before the silver cord is removed,
or the golden bowl is broken,
or the pitcher is shattered at the well,
or the water wheel is broken at the cistern –
12:7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was,
and the life’s breath returns to God who gave it.
Concluding Refrain: Qoheleth Restates His Thesis
12:8 “Absolutely futile!” laments the Teacher,
“All of these things are futile!”
Concluding Epilogue: Qoheleth’s Advice is Wise
12:9 Not only was the Teacher wise,
but he also taught knowledge to the people;
he carefully evaluated and arranged many proverbs.
12:10 The Teacher sought to find delightful words,
and to write accurately truthful sayings.
12:11 The words of the sages are like prods,
and the collected sayings are like firmly fixed nails;
they are given by one shepherd.
Concluding Exhortation: Fear God and Obey His Commands!
12:12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.
There is no end to the making of many books,
and much study is exhausting to the body.
12:13 Having heard everything, I have reached this conclusion:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
because this is the whole duty of man.
12:14 For God will evaluate every deed,
including every secret thing, whether good or evil.
(Song of Songs 2)
The Lily among the Thorns and the Apple Tree in the Forest
2:1 The Beloved to Her Lover:
I am a meadow flower from Sharon,
a lily from the valleys.
2:2 The Lover to His Beloved:
Like a lily among the thorns,
so is my darling among the maidens.
2:3 The Beloved about Her Lover:
Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest,
so is my beloved among the young men.
I delight to sit in his shade,
and his fruit is sweet to my taste.
The Banquet Hall for the Love-Sick
2:4 The Beloved about Her Lover:
He brought me into the banquet hall,
and he looked at me lovingly.
2:5 Sustain me with raisin cakes,
refresh me with apples,
for I am faint with love.
The Double Refrain: Embracing and Adjuration
2:6 His left hand caresses my head,
and his right hand stimulates me.
2:7 The Beloved to the Maidens:
I adjure you, O maidens of Jerusalem,
by the gazelles and by the young does of the open fields:
Do not awaken or arouse love until it pleases!
The Arrival of the Lover
2:8 The Beloved about Her Lover:
Listen! My lover is approaching!
Look! Here he comes,
leaping over the mountains,
bounding over the hills!
2:9 My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag.
Look! There he stands behind our wall,
gazing through the window,
peering through the lattice.
The Season of Love and the Song of the Turtle-Dove
2:10 The Lover to His Beloved:
My lover spoke to me, saying:
“Arise, my darling;
My beautiful one, come away with me!
2:11 Look! The winter has passed,
the winter rains are over and gone.
2:12 The pomegranates have appeared in the land,
the time for pruning and singing has come;
the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
2:13 The fig tree has budded,
the vines have blossomed and give off their fragrance.
Arise, come away my darling;
my beautiful one, come away with me!”
The Dove in the Clefts of En-Gedi
2:14 The Lover to His Beloved:
O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
in the hiding places of the mountain crags,
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.
The Foxes in the Vineyard
2:15 The Beloved to Her Lover:
Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes,
that ruin the vineyards –
for our vineyard is in bloom.
Poetic Refrain: Mutual Possession
2:16 The Beloved about Her Lover:
My lover is mine and I am his;
he grazes among the lilies.
The Gazelle and the Rugged Mountains