25 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.
2 It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. 3 As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth, so the heart of kings is unsearchable. 4 Take away the dross from the silver, and the smith has material for a vessel; 5 take away the wicked from the presence of the king, and his throne will be established in righteousness. 6 Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence or stand in the place of the great, 7 for it is better to be told, “Come up here,” than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.
What your eyes have seen 8 do not hastily bring into court,[a] for[b] what will you do in the end, when your neighbor puts you to shame? 9 Argue your case with your neighbor himself, and do not reveal another's secret, 10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you, and your ill repute have no end.
11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. 12 Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear. 13 Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest is a faithful messenger to those who send him; he refreshes the soul of his masters. 14 Like clouds and wind without rain is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
15 With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone. 16 If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it. 17 Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house, lest he have his fill of you and hate you. 18 A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow. 19 Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips. 20 Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, and like vinegar on soda. 21 If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, 22 for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you. 23 The north wind brings forth rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks. 24 It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife. 25 Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. 26 Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked. 27 It is not good to eat much honey, nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory.[c] 28 A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
Proverbs 25:8Or presence of a noble, as your eyes have seen. 8Do not go hastily out to court
56 Thus says the Lord: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for soon my salvation will come, and my righteousness be revealed. 2 Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath, not profaning it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
3 Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”; and let not the eunuch say, “Behold, I am a dry tree.” 4 For thus says the Lord: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, 5 I will give in my house and within my walls a monument and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.
6 “And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, everyone who keeps the Sabbath and does not profane it, and holds fast my covenant— 7 these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” 8 The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, declares, “I will gather yet others to him besides those already gathered.”
Israel's Irresponsible Leaders
9 All you beasts of the field, come to devour— all you beasts in the forest. 10 His watchmen are blind; they are all without knowledge; they are all silent dogs; they cannot bark, dreaming, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 The dogs have a mighty appetite; they never have enough. But they are shepherds who have no understanding; they have all turned to their own way, each to his own gain, one and all. 12 “Come,” they say, “let me get wine; let us fill ourselves with strong drink; and tomorrow will be like this day, great beyond measure.”
Israel's Futile Idolatry
57 The righteous man perishes, and no one lays it to heart; devout men are taken away, while no one understands. For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; 2 he enters into peace; they rest in their beds who walk in their uprightness. 3 But you, draw near, sons of the sorceress, offspring of the adulterer and the loose woman. 4 Whom are you mocking? Against whom do you open your mouth wide and stick out your tongue? Are you not children of transgression, the offspring of deceit, 5 you who burn with lust among the oaks,[a] under every green tree, who slaughter your children in the valleys, under the clefts of the rocks? 6 Among the smooth stones of the valley is your portion; they, they, are your lot; to them you have poured out a drink offering, you have brought a grain offering. Shall I relent for these things? 7 On a high and lofty mountain you have set your bed, and there you went up to offer sacrifice. 8 Behind the door and the doorpost you have set up your memorial; for, deserting me, you have uncovered your bed, you have gone up to it, you have made it wide; and you have made a covenant for yourself with them, you have loved their bed, you have looked on nakedness.[b] 9 You journeyed to the king with oil and multiplied your perfumes; you sent your envoys far off, and sent down even to Sheol. 10 You were wearied with the length of your way, but you did not say, “It is hopeless”; you found new life for your strength, and so you were not faint.[c]
11 Whom did you dread and fear, so that you lied, and did not remember me, did not lay it to heart? Have I not held my peace, even for a long time, and you do not fear me? 12 I will declare your righteousness and your deeds, but they will not profit you. 13 When you cry out, let your collection of idols deliver you! The wind will carry them all off, a breath will take them away. But he who takes refuge in me shall possess the land and shall inherit my holy mountain.
Comfort for the Contrite
14 And it shall be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, remove every obstruction from my people's way.” 15 For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite. 16 For I will not contend forever, nor will I always be angry; for the spirit would grow faint before me, and the breath of life that I made. 17 Because of the iniquity of his unjust gain I was angry, I struck him; I hid my face and was angry, but he went on backsliding in the way of his own heart. 18 I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will lead him and restore comfort to him and his mourners, 19 creating the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and to the near,” says the Lord, “and I will heal him. 20 But the wicked are like the tossing sea; for it cannot be quiet, and its waters toss up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”
3 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives,2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct.3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you[a] of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
Suffering for Righteousness' Sake
8 Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.9 Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing.10 For
“Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; 11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil.
18 For Christ also suffered[b]once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,19 in which[c] he went and proclaimed[d] to the spirits in prison,20 because[e] they formerly did not obey, when God's patience waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through water.21 Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.
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