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12 Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.(A)

13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
    he sees all humankind.(B)
14 From where he sits enthroned he watches
    all the inhabitants of the earth—
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
    and observes all their deeds.(C)
16 A king is not saved by his great army;
    a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.(D)
17 The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
    and by its great might it cannot save.(E)

18 Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
    on those who hope in his steadfast love,(F)
19 to deliver their soul from death
    and to keep them alive in famine.(G)

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
    he is our help and shield.
21 Our heart is glad in him
    because we trust in his holy name.(H)
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
    even as we hope in you.

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The Frustration of Desires

There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy upon humankind:(A) those to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that they lack nothing of all that they desire, yet God does not enable them to enjoy these things, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous ill.(B) A man may father a hundred children and live many years, but however many are the days of his years, if he does not enjoy life’s good things or has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he.(C) For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered; moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he. Even though he should live a thousand years twice over yet enjoy no good—do not all go to one place?

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Stephen’s Speech to the Council

Then the high priest asked him, “Are these things so?” And Stephen replied:

“Brothers[a] and fathers, listen to me. The God of glory appeared to our ancestor Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,(A) and said to him, ‘Leave your country and your relatives and go to the land that I will show you.’(B) Then he left the country of the Chaldeans and settled in Haran. After his father died, God had him move from there to this country in which you are now living.(C) He did not give him any of it as a heritage, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him as his possession and to his descendants after him, even though he had no child.(D) And God spoke in these terms, that his descendants would be resident aliens in a country belonging to others, who would enslave them and mistreat them during four hundred years.(E) ‘But I will judge the people whom they serve,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place.’(F) Then he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham[b] became the father of Isaac and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac did likewise to Jacob and Jacob to the twelve patriarchs.(G)

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  1. 7.2 Gk Men, brothers
  2. 7.8 Gk he