16 Send lambs as tribute to the ruler of the land, from Sela, across the desert, to the mount of Daughter Zion. 2 Like fluttering birds pushed from the nest, so are the women of Moab at the fords of the Arnon.
3 “Make up your mind,” Moab says. “Render a decision. Make your shadow like night— at high noon. Hide the fugitives, do not betray the refugees. 4 Let the Moabite fugitives stay with you; be their shelter from the destroyer.”
The oppressor will come to an end, and destruction will cease; the aggressor will vanish from the land. 5 In love a throne will be established; in faithfulness a man will sit on it— one from the house[a] of David— one who in judging seeks justice and speeds the cause of righteousness.
6 We have heard of Moab’s pride— how great is her arrogance!— of her conceit, her pride and her insolence; but her boasts are empty. 7 Therefore the Moabites wail, they wail together for Moab. Lament and grieve for the raisin cakes of Kir Hareseth. 8 The fields of Heshbon wither, the vines of Sibmah also. The rulers of the nations have trampled down the choicest vines, which once reached Jazer and spread toward the desert. Their shoots spread out and went as far as the sea.[b] 9 So I weep, as Jazer weeps, for the vines of Sibmah. Heshbon and Elealeh, I drench you with tears! The shouts of joy over your ripened fruit and over your harvests have been stilled. 10 Joy and gladness are taken away from the orchards; no one sings or shouts in the vineyards; no one treads out wine at the presses, for I have put an end to the shouting. 11 My heart laments for Moab like a harp, my inmost being for Kir Hareseth. 12 When Moab appears at her high place, she only wears herself out; when she goes to her shrine to pray, it is to no avail.
13 This is the word the Lord has already spoken concerning Moab.14 But now the Lord says: “Within three years, as a servant bound by contract would count them, Moab’s splendor and all her many people will be despised, and her survivors will be very few and feeble.”
3 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you?2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone.3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.
4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God.5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
The Greater Glory of the New Covenant
7 Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was,8 will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious?9 If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory.11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!
12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold.13 We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to prevent the Israelites from seeing the end of what was passing away.14 But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away.15 Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts.16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. 2 Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. 3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, 4 praise him with timbrel and dancing, praise him with the strings and pipe, 5 praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.
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