Nehemiah 1:1-3:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah:
News from Jerusalem
During the month of Chislev[a] in the twentieth year,[b] when I was in the fortress city of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, arrived with men from Judah, and I questioned them about Jerusalem and the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile. 3 They said to me, “The remnant in the province, who survived the exile, are in great trouble and disgrace. Jerusalem’s wall has been broken down, and its gates have been burned down.”
4 When I heard these words, I sat down and wept. I mourned for a number of days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 I said,
Yahweh, the God of heaven, the great and awe-inspiring God who keeps His gracious covenant with those who love Him and keep His commands, 6 let Your eyes be open and Your ears be attentive to hear Your servant’s prayer that I now pray to You day and night for Your servants, the Israelites. I confess the sins[c] we have committed against You. Both I and my father’s house have sinned. 7 We have acted corruptly toward You and have not kept the commands, statutes, and ordinances You gave Your servant Moses. 8 Please remember what You commanded Your servant Moses: “If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples. 9 But if you return to Me and carefully observe My commands, even though your exiles were banished to the ends of the earth,[d] I will gather them from there and bring them to the place where I chose to have My name dwell.” 10 They are Your servants and Your people. You redeemed them by Your great power and strong hand. 11 Please, Lord, let Your ear be attentive to the prayer of Your servant and to that of Your servants who delight to revere Your name. Give Your servant success today, and have compassion on him in the presence of this man.[e]
At the time, I was the king’s cupbearer.
Nehemiah Sent to Jerusalem
2 During the month of Nisan[f] in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was set before him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had never been sad in his presence, 2 so the king said to me, “Why are you[g] sad, when you aren’t sick? This is nothing but depression.”[h]
I was overwhelmed with fear 3 and replied to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should I[i] not be sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”
4 Then the king asked me, “What is your request?”
So I prayed to the God of heaven 5 and answered the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, send me to Judah and to the city where my ancestors are buried,[j] so that I may rebuild it.”
6 The king, with the queen seated beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you return?” So I gave him a definite time, and it pleased the king to send me.
7 I also said to the king: “If it pleases the king, let me have letters written to the governors of the region west of the Euphrates River, so that they will grant me safe passage until I reach Judah. 8 And let me have a letter written to Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest, so that he will give me timber to rebuild the gates of the temple’s fortress, the city wall, and the home where I will live.”[k] The king granted my requests, for I was graciously strengthened by my God.[l]
9 I went to the governors of the region west of the Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent officers of the infantry and cavalry with me. 10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard that someone had come to seek the well-being of the Israelites, they were greatly displeased.
Preparing to Rebuild the Walls
11 After I arrived in Jerusalem and had been there three days, 12 I got up at night and took a few men with me. I didn’t tell anyone what my God had laid on my heart to do for Jerusalem. The only animal I took[m] was the one I was riding. 13 I went out at night through the Valley Gate toward the Serpent’s[n] Well and the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that had been broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14 I went on to the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but farther down it became too narrow for my animal to go through. 15 So I went up at night by way of the valley and inspected the wall. Then heading back, I entered through the Valley Gate and returned. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, for I had not yet told the Jews, priests, nobles, officials, or the rest of those who would be doing the work. 17 So I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned down. Come, let’s rebuild Jerusalem’s wall, so that we will no longer be a disgrace.” 18 I told them how the gracious hand of my God had been on me, and what the king had said to me.
They said, “Let’s start rebuilding,” and they were encouraged[o] to do this good work.
19 When Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard about this, they mocked and despised us, and said, “What is this you’re doing? Are you rebelling against the king?”
20 I gave them this reply, “The God of heaven is the One who will grant us success. We, His servants, will start building, but you have no share, right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”
Rebuilding the Walls
3 Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests began rebuilding the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and installed its doors. After building the wall to the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel, they dedicated it. 2 The men of Jericho built next to Eliashib, and next to them Zaccur son of Imri built.
3 The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate. They built it with beams and installed its doors, bolts, and bars. 4 Next to them Meremoth son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz, made repairs. Beside them Meshullam son of Berechiah, son of Meshezabel, made repairs. Next to them Zadok son of Baana made repairs. 5 Beside them the Tekoites made repairs, but their nobles did not lift a finger to help[p] their supervisors.
Old Gate, Broad Wall, and Tower of the Ovens
6 Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah repaired the Old[q] Gate. They built it with beams and installed its doors, bolts, and bars. 7 Next to them the repairs were done by Melatiah the Gibeonite, Jadon the Meronothite, and the men of Gibeon and Mizpah, who were under the authority[r] of the governor of the region west of the Euphrates River. 8 After him Uzziel son of Harhaiah, the goldsmith, made repairs, and next to him Hananiah son of the perfumer made repairs. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall.
9 Next to them Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler over half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. 10 After them Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs across from his house. Next to him Hattush the son of Hashabneiah made repairs. 11 Malchijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-moab made repairs to another section, as well as to the Tower of the Ovens. 12 Beside him Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler over half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs—he and his daughters.
Valley Gate, Dung Gate, and Fountain Gate
13 Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate. They rebuilt it and installed its doors, bolts, and bars, and repaired 500 yards[s] of the wall to the Dung Gate. 14 Malchijah son of Rechab, ruler over the district of Beth-haccherem, repaired the Dung Gate. He rebuilt it and installed its doors, bolts, and bars.
1 Corinthians 7:1-24 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Principles of Marriage
7 Now in response to the matters you wrote[a] about: “It is good for a man not to have relations with[b] a woman.”[c] 2 But because sexual immorality is so common,[d] each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. 3 A husband should fulfill his marital responsibility to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. 4 A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another sexually—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to[e] prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say the following[f] as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all people were just like me. But each has his own gift from God, one person in this way and another in that way.
A Word to the Unmarried
8 I say to the unmarried and to widows: It is good for them if they remain as I am. 9 But if they do not have self-control, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with desire.
About Married People
10 I command the married—not I, but the Lord—a wife is not to leave[g] her husband. 11 But if she does leave, she must remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband—and a husband is not to leave his wife. 12 But I (not the Lord)[h] say to the rest: If any brother has an unbelieving wife and she is willing to live with him, he must not leave her. 13 Also, if any woman has an unbelieving husband and he is willing to live with her, she must not leave her husband. 14 For the unbelieving husband is set apart for God by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is set apart for God by the husband.[i] Otherwise your children would be corrupt, but now they are set apart for God. 15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave. A brother or a sister is not bound in such cases. God has called you[j] to live in peace. 16 For you, wife, how do you know whether you will save your husband? Or you, husband, how do you know whether you will save your wife?
Various Situations of Life
17 However, each one must live his life in the situation the Lord assigned when God called him.[k] This is what I command in all the churches. 18 Was anyone already circumcised when he was called? He should not undo his circumcision. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? He should not get circumcised. 19 Circumcision does not matter and uncircumcision does not matter, but keeping God’s commands does. 20 Each person should remain in the life situation[l] in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? It should not be a concern to you. But if you can become free, by all means take the opportunity.[m] 22 For he who is called by the Lord as a slave is the Lord’s freedman.[n] Likewise he who is called as a free man[o] is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brothers, each person should remain with God in whatever situation he was called.
Psalm 31:19-24 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
19 How great is Your goodness
23 Love the Lord, all His faithful ones.