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Proverbs 27:23-28:6 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

23 Be sure you know the condition of your flocks,
    give careful attention to your herds;
24 for riches do not endure for ever,
    and a crown is not secure for all generations.
25 When the hay is removed and new growth appears
    and the grass from the hills is gathered in,
26 the lambs will provide you with clothing,
    and the goats with the price of a field.
27 You will have plenty of goats’ milk to feed your family
    and to nourish your female servants.

28 The wicked flee though no one pursues,
    but the righteous are as bold as a lion.

When a country is rebellious, it has many rulers,
    but a ruler with discernment and knowledge maintains order.

A ruler[a] who oppresses the poor
    is like driving rain that leaves no crops.

Those who forsake instruction praise the wicked,
    but those who heed it resist them.

Evildoers do not understand what is right,
    but those who seek the Lord understand it fully.

Better the poor whose way of life is blameless
    than the rich whose ways are perverse.

Footnotes:

  1. Proverbs 28:3 Or A poor person
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Hebrews 13 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Concluding exhortations

13 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

‘Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.’[a]

So we say with confidence,

‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?’[b]

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings. It is good for our hearts to be strengthened by grace, not by eating ceremonial foods, which is of no benefit to those who do so. 10 We have an altar from which those who minister at the tabernacle have no right to eat.

11 The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

15 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honourably in every way. 19 I particularly urge you to pray so that I may be restored to you soon.

Benediction and final greetings

20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

22 Brothers and sisters, I urge you to bear with my word of exhortation, for in fact I have written to you quite briefly.

23 I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released. If he arrives soon, I will come with him to see you.

24 Greet all your leaders and all the Lord’s people. Those from Italy send you their greetings.

25 Grace be with you all.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 13:5 Deut. 31:6
  2. Hebrews 13:6 Psalm 118:6,7
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Ezekiel 30-31 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

A lament over Egypt

30 The word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, prophesy and say: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

‘“Wail and say,
    ‘Alas for that day!’
For the day is near,
    the day of the Lord is near –
a day of clouds,
    a time of doom for the nations.
A sword will come against Egypt,
    and anguish will come upon Cush.[a]
When the slain fall in Egypt,
    her wealth will be carried away
    and her foundations torn down.

Cush and Libya, Lydia and all Arabia, Kub and the people of the covenant land will fall by the sword along with Egypt.

‘“This is what the Lord says:

‘“The allies of Egypt will fall
    and her proud strength will fail.
From Migdol to Aswan
    they will fall by the sword within her,
declares the Sovereign Lord.
‘“They will be desolate
    among desolate lands,
and their cities will lie
    among ruined cities.
Then they will know that I am the Lord,
    when I set fire to Egypt
    and all her helpers are crushed.

‘“On that day messengers will go out from me in ships to frighten Cush out of her complacency. Anguish will take hold of them on the day of Egypt’s doom, for it is sure to come.

10 ‘“This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

‘“I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt
    by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
11 He and his army – the most ruthless of nations –
    will be brought in to destroy the land.
They will draw their swords against Egypt
    and fill the land with the slain.
12 I will dry up the waters of the Nile
    and sell the land to an evil nation;
by the hand of foreigners
    I will lay waste the land and everything in it.

I the Lord have spoken.

13 ‘“This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

‘“I will destroy the idols
    and put an end to the images in Memphis.
No longer will there be a prince in Egypt,
    and I will spread fear throughout the land.
14 I will lay waste Upper Egypt,
    set fire to Zoan
    and inflict punishment on Thebes.
15 I will pour out my wrath on Pelusium,
    the stronghold of Egypt,
    and wipe out the hordes of Thebes.
16 I will set fire to Egypt;
    Pelusium will writhe in agony.
Thebes will be taken by storm;
    Memphis will be in constant distress.
17 The young men of Heliopolis and Bubastis
    will fall by the sword,
    and the cities themselves will go into captivity.
18 Dark will be the day at Tahpanhes
    when I break the yoke of Egypt;
    there her proud strength will come to an end.
She will be covered with clouds,
    and her villages will go into captivity.
19 So I will inflict punishment on Egypt,
    and they will know that I am the Lord.”’

Pharaoh’s arms are broken

20 In the eleventh year, in the first month on the seventh day, the word of the Lord came to me: 21 ‘Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt. It has not been bound up to be healed or put in a splint so that it may become strong enough to hold a sword. 22 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt. I will break both his arms, the good arm as well as the broken one, and make the sword fall from his hand. 23 I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries. 24 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put my sword in his hand, but I will break the arms of Pharaoh, and he will groan before him like a mortally wounded man. 25 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh will fall limp. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he brandishes it against Egypt. 26 I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’

Pharaoh as a felled cedar of Lebanon

31 In the eleventh year, in the third month on the first day, the word of the Lord came to me: ‘Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes:

‘“Who can be compared with you in majesty?
Consider Assyria, once a cedar in Lebanon,
    with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest;
it towered on high,
    its top above the thick foliage.
The waters nourished it,
    deep springs made it grow tall;
their streams flowed
    all around its base
and sent their channels
    to all the trees of the field.
So it towered higher
    than all the trees of the field;
its boughs increased
    and its branches grew long,
    spreading because of abundant waters.
All the birds of the sky
    nested in its boughs,
all the wild animals
    gave birth under its branches;
all the great nations
    lived in its shade.
It was majestic in beauty,
    with its spreading boughs,
for its roots went down
    to abundant waters.
The cedars in the garden of God
    could not rival it,
nor could the junipers
    equal its boughs,
nor could the plane trees
    compare with its branches –
no tree in the garden of God
    could match its beauty.
I made it beautiful
    with abundant branches,
the envy of all the trees of Eden
    in the garden of God.

10 ‘“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height, 11 I gave it into the hands of the ruler of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside, 12 and the most ruthless of foreign nations cut it down and left it. Its boughs fell on the mountains and in all the valleys; its branches lay broken in all the ravines of the land. All the nations of the earth came out from under its shade and left it. 13 All the birds settled on the fallen tree, and all the wild animals lived among its branches. 14 Therefore no other trees by the waters are ever to tower proudly on high, lifting their tops above the thick foliage. No other trees so well-watered are ever to reach such a height; they are all destined for death, for the earth below, among mortals who go down to the realm of the dead.

15 ‘“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: on the day it was brought down to the realm of the dead I covered the deep springs with mourning for it; I held back its streams, and its abundant waters were restrained. Because of it I clothed Lebanon with gloom, and all the trees of the field withered away. 16 I made the nations tremble at the sound of its fall when I brought it down to the realm of the dead to be with those who go down to the pit. Then all the trees of Eden, the choicest and best of Lebanon, the well-watered trees, were consoled in the earth below. 17 They too, like the great cedar, had gone down to the realm of the dead, to those killed by the sword, along with the armed men who lived in its shade among the nations.

18 ‘“Which of the trees of Eden can be compared with you in splendour and majesty? Yet you, too, will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the earth below; you will lie among the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword.

‘“This is Pharaoh and all his hordes, declares the Sovereign Lord.”’

Footnotes:

  1. Ezekiel 30:4 That is, the upper Nile region; also in verses 5 and 9
New International Version - UK (NIVUK)

Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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