Ezra 7:1-8:20 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
7 After these events, during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Persia, Ezra—
Seraiah’s son, Azariah’s son,
6 —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. 7 Some of the Israelites, priests, Levites, singers, gatekeepers, and temple servants accompanied him to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes.
8 Ezra[a] came to Jerusalem in the fifth month, during the seventh year of the king. 9 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:
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
8 These are the family leaders and the genealogical records of those who returned with me from Babylon during the reign of King Artaxerxes:
2 Gershom, from Phinehas’s descendants;
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.
1 Corinthians 4 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
The Faithful Manager
4 A person should consider us in this way: as servants of Christ and managers of God’s mysteries. 2 In this regard, it is expected of managers that each one of them be found faithful. 3 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. 4 For I am not conscious of anything against myself, but I am not justified by this. The One who evaluates me is the Lord. 5 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
6 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. 7 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? 8 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! 9 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?
Psalm 30 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Joy in the Morning
A psalm; a dedication song for the house. Davidic.
1 I will exalt You, Lord,
4 Sing to Yahweh, you His faithful ones,
6 When I was secure, I said,
11 You turned my lament into dancing;
Proverbs 20:28-30 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
28 Loyalty and faithfulness deliver a king;
29 The glory of young men is their strength,
30 Lashes and wounds purge away evil,