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Ezra 7:1-8:20 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Ezra’s Arrival

After these events, during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, Ezra—

Seraiah’s son, Azariah’s son,
Hilkiah’s son, Shallum’s son,
Zadok’s son, Ahitub’s son,
Amariah’s son, Azariah’s son,
Meraioth’s son, Zerahiah’s son,
Uzzi’s son, Bukki’s son,
Abishua’s son, Phinehas’s son,
Eleazar’s son, Aaron the chief priest’s son

—came up from Babylon. He was a scribe skilled in the law of Moses, which Yahweh, the God of Israel, had given. The king had granted him everything he requested because the hand of Yahweh his God was on him. Some of the Israelites, priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and temple servants accompanied him to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.

Ezra[a] came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, during the seventh year of the king. He began the journey from Babylon on the first day of the first month and arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month since the gracious hand of his God was on him. 10 Now Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey it, and teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel.

Letter from Artaxerxes

11 This is the text of the letter King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest and scribe, an expert in matters of the Lord’s commands and statutes for Israel:[b]

12 Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, an expert in the law of the God of heaven:

Greetings.

13 I issue a decree that any of the Israelites in my kingdom, including their priests and Levites, who want to go to Jerusalem, may go with you. 14 You are sent by the king and his seven counselors to evaluate Judah and Jerusalem according to the law of your God, which is in your possession. 15 You are also to bring the silver and gold the king and his counselors have willingly given to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, 16 and all the silver and gold you receive throughout the province of Babylon, together with the freewill offerings given by the people and the priests to the house of their God in Jerusalem. 17 Then you are to buy with this money as many bulls, rams, and lambs as needed, along with their grain and drink offerings, and offer them on the altar at the house of your God in Jerusalem. 18 You may do whatever seems best to you and your brothers with the rest of the silver and gold, according to the will of your God. 19 You must deliver to the God of Jerusalem all the articles given to you for the service of the house of your God. 20 You may use the royal treasury to pay for anything else needed for the house of your God.

21 I, King Artaxerxes, issue a decree to all the treasurers in the region west of the Euphrates River:

Whatever Ezra the priest, an expert in the law of the God of heaven, asks of you must be provided promptly, 22 up to 7,500 pounds[c] of silver, 500 bushels[d] of wheat, 550 gallons[e] of wine, 550 gallons[f] of oil, and salt without limit.[g] 23 Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven must be done diligently for the house of the God of heaven, so that wrath will not fall on the realm of the king and his sons. 24 Be advised that tribute, duty, and land tax must not be imposed on any priests, Levites, singers, doorkeepers, temple servants, or other servants of this house of God.

25 And you, Ezra, according to[h] God’s wisdom that you possess, appoint magistrates and judges to judge all the people in the region west of the Euphrates who know the laws of your God and to teach anyone who does not know them. 26 Anyone who does not keep the law of your God and the law of the king, let a fair judgment be executed against him, whether death, banishment, confiscation of property, or imprisonment.

27 Praise Yahweh the God of our fathers, who has put it into the king’s mind to glorify the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, 28 and who has shown favor to me before the king, his counselors, and all his powerful officers. So I took courage because I was strengthened by Yahweh my God,[i] and I gathered Israelite leaders to return with me.

Those Returning with Ezra

These are the family leaders and the genealogical records of those who returned with me from Babylon during the reign of King Artaxerxes:

Gershom, from Phinehas’s descendants;
Daniel, from Ithamar’s descendants;
Hattush, from David’s descendants,
who was of Shecaniah’s descendants;
Zechariah, from Parosh’s descendants,
and 150 men[j] with him who were registered by genealogy;
Eliehoenai son of Zerahiah
from Pahath-moab’s descendants,
and 200 men with him;
Shecaniah[k] son of Jahaziel
from Zattu’s descendants,
and 300 men with him;
Ebed son of Jonathan
from Adin’s descendants,
and 50 men with him;
Jeshaiah son of Athaliah
from Elam’s descendants,
and 70 men with him;
Zebadiah son of Michael
from Shephatiah’s descendants,
and 80 men with him;
Obadiah son of Jehiel
from Joab’s descendants,
and 218 men with him;
10 Shelomith[l] son of Josiphiah
from Bani’s descendants,
and 160 men with him;
11 Zechariah son of Bebai
from Bebai’s descendants,
and 28 men with him;
12 Johanan son of Hakkatan
from Azgad’s descendants,
and 110 men with him;
13 these are the last ones, from Adonikam’s descendants,
and their names are:
Eliphelet, Jeuel, and Shemaiah,
and 60 men with them;
14 Uthai and Zaccur[m]
from Bigvai’s descendants,
and 70 men with them.

15 I gathered them at the river[n] that flows to Ahava, and we camped there for three days. I searched among the people and priests, but found no Levites there. 16 Then I summoned the leaders: Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah, and Meshullam, as well as the teachers Joiarib and Elnathan. 17 I sent them to Iddo, the leader at Casiphia, with a message for[o] him and his brothers, the temple servants at Casiphia, that they should bring us ministers for the house of our God. 18 Since the gracious hand of our God was on us, they brought us Sherebiah—a man of insight from the descendants of Mahli, a descendant of Levi son of Israel—along with his sons and brothers, 18 men, 19 plus Hashabiah, along with Jeshaiah, from the descendants of Merari, and his brothers and their sons, 20 men. 20 There were also 220 of the temple servants, who had been appointed by David and the leaders for the work of the Levites. All were identified by name.

Footnotes:

  1. Ezra 7:8 LXX, Syr, Vg read They
  2. Ezra 7:11 Ezr 7:12-26 is written in Aram.
  3. Ezra 7:22 Lit 100 talents
  4. Ezra 7:22 Lit 100 cors
  5. Ezra 7:22 Lit 100 baths
  6. Ezra 7:22 Lit 100 baths
  7. Ezra 7:22 Lit without instruction
  8. Ezra 7:25 Lit to your
  9. Ezra 7:28 Lit because the hand of the Lord my God was on me
  10. Ezra 8:3 Or males; also in vv. 4-14
  11. Ezra 8:5 LXX, 1 Esdras 8:32; MT reads the descendants of Shecaniah
  12. Ezra 8:10 Some LXX mss, 1 Esdras 8:36; MT reads the descendants of Shelomith
  13. Ezra 8:14 Alt Hb tradition, some LXX mss read Zabud
  14. Ezra 8:15 Or canal
  15. Ezra 8:17 Lit Casiphia, and I put in their mouth the words to speak to

1 Corinthians 4 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

The Faithful Manager

A person should consider us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of God’s mysteries. In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one of them be found faithful. It is of little importance to me that I should be evaluated by you or by any human court.[a] In fact, I don’t even evaluate myself. For I am not conscious of anything against myself, but I am not justified by this. The One who evaluates me is the Lord. Therefore don’t judge anything prematurely, before the Lord comes, who will both bring to light what is hidden in darkness and reveal the intentions of the hearts. And then praise will come to each one from God.

The Apostles’ Example of Humility

Now, brothers, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the saying: “Nothing beyond what is written.”[b] The purpose is that none of you will be inflated with pride in favor of one person over another. For who makes you so superior? What do you have that you didn’t receive? If, in fact, you did receive it, why do you boast as if you hadn’t received it? You are already full! You are already rich! You have begun to reign as kings without us—and I wish you did reign, so that we could also reign with you! For I think God has displayed us, the apostles, in last place, like men condemned to die: We have become a spectacle to the world and to angels and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored! 11 Up to the present hour we are both hungry and thirsty; we are poorly clothed, roughly treated, homeless; 12 we labor, working with our own hands. When we are reviled, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; 13 when we are slandered, we respond graciously. Even now, we are like the world’s garbage, like the dirt everyone scrapes off their sandals.

Paul’s Fatherly Care

14 I’m not writing this to shame you, but to warn you as my dear children. 15 For you can have 10,000 instructors in Christ, but you can’t have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 This is why I have sent Timothy to you. He is my dearly loved and faithful son in the Lord. He will remind you about my ways in Christ Jesus, just as I teach everywhere in every church. 18 Now some are inflated with pride, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you soon, if the Lord wills, and I will know not the talk but the power of those who are inflated with pride. 20 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power. 21 What do you want? Should I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Corinthians 4:3 Lit a human day
  2. 1 Corinthians 4:6 The words in quotation marks could = the OT, a Jewish maxim, or a popular proverb.

Psalm 30 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Psalm 30

Joy in the Morning

A psalm; a dedication song for the house. Davidic.

I will exalt You, Lord,
because You have lifted me up
and have not allowed my enemies
to triumph over me.
Lord my God,
I cried to You for help, and You healed me.
Lord, You brought me up from Sheol;
You spared me from among those
going down[a] to the Pit.

Sing to Yahweh, you His faithful ones,
and praise His holy name.
For His anger lasts only a moment,
but His favor, a lifetime.
Weeping may spend the night,
but there is joy in the morning.

When I was secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
Lord, when You showed Your favor,
You made me stand like a strong mountain;
when You hid Your face, I was terrified.
Lord, I called to You;
I sought favor from my Lord:
“What gain is there in my death,
if I go down to the Pit?
Will the dust praise You?
Will it proclaim Your truth?
10 Lord, listen and be gracious to me;
Lord, be my helper.”

11 You turned my lament into dancing;
You removed my sackcloth
and clothed me with gladness,
12 so that I can sing to You and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise You forever.

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 30:3 Some Hb mss, LXX, Theod, Orig, Syr; other Hb mss, Aq, Sym, Tg, Jer read from going down

Proverbs 20:28-30 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

28 Loyalty and faithfulness deliver a king;
through loyalty he maintains his throne.

29 The glory of young men is their strength,
and the splendor of old men is gray hair.

30 Lashes and wounds purge away evil,
and beatings cleanse the innermost parts.[a]

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 20:30 Lit beatings the chambers of the belly

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