Psalm 120

A song of ascents.

I call on the Lord(A) in my distress,(B)
    and he answers me.
Save me, Lord,
    from lying lips(C)
    and from deceitful tongues.(D)

What will he do to you,
    and what more besides,
    you deceitful tongue?
He will punish you with a warrior’s sharp arrows,(E)
    with burning coals of the broom bush.

Woe to me that I dwell in Meshek,
    that I live among the tents of Kedar!(F)
Too long have I lived
    among those who hate peace.
I am for peace;
    but when I speak, they are for war.

Cyrus Helps the Exiles to Return(A)

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah,(B) the Lord moved the heart(C) of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:

“This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:

“‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed(D) me to build(E) a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah. Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the Lord, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them. And in any locality where survivors(F) may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold,(G) with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings(H) for the temple of God(I) in Jerusalem.’”(J)

Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin,(K) and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved(L)—prepared to go up and build the house(M) of the Lord in Jerusalem. All their neighbors assisted them with articles of silver and gold,(N) with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings.

Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god.[a](O) Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar(P) the prince of Judah.

This was the inventory:

gold dishes30
silver dishes1,000
silver pans[b]29
10 gold bowls30
matching silver bowls410
other articles1,000

11 In all, there were 5,400 articles of gold and of silver. Sheshbazzar brought all these along with the exiles when they came up from Babylon to Jerusalem.

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Footnotes

  1. Ezra 1:7 Or gods
  2. Ezra 1:9 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

Paul’s Change of Plans

12 Now this is our boast: Our conscience(A) testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity[a](B) and godly sincerity.(C) We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom(D) but on God’s grace. 13 For we do not write you anything you cannot read or understand. And I hope that, 14 as you have understood us in part, you will come to understand fully that you can boast of us just as we will boast of you in the day of the Lord Jesus.(E)

15 Because I was confident of this, I wanted to visit you(F) first so that you might benefit twice.(G) 16 I wanted to visit you on my way(H) to Macedonia(I) and to come back to you from Macedonia, and then to have you send me on my way(J) to Judea.(K) 17 Was I fickle when I intended to do this? Or do I make my plans in a worldly manner(L) so that in the same breath I say both “Yes, yes” and “No, no”?

18 But as surely as God is faithful,(M) our message to you is not “Yes” and “No.” 19 For the Son of God,(N) Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas[b](O) and Timothy(P)—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always(Q) been “Yes.”

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Footnotes

  1. 2 Corinthians 1:12 Many manuscripts holiness
  2. 2 Corinthians 1:19 Greek Silvanus, a variant of Silas