1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of[a] Zion, we were like those who dreamed.[b] 2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” 3 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes,[c]Lord, like streams in the Negev. 5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
My heart is broken within me; all my bones tremble. I am like a drunken man, like a strong man overcome by wine, because of the Lord and his holy words. 10 The land is full of adulterers; because of the curse[a] the land lies parched and the pastures in the wilderness are withered. The prophets follow an evil course and use their power unjustly.
11 “Both prophet and priest are godless; even in my temple I find their wickedness,” declares the Lord. 12 “Therefore their path will become slippery; they will be banished to darkness and there they will fall. I will bring disaster on them in the year they are punished,” declares the Lord.
13 “Among the prophets of Samaria I saw this repulsive thing: They prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray. 14 And among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen something horrible: They commit adultery and live a lie. They strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that not one of them turns from their wickedness. They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah.”
15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says concerning the prophets:
“I will make them eat bitter food and drink poisoned water, because from the prophets of Jerusalem ungodliness has spread throughout the land.”
7 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him,2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham.6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.7 And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater.8 In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living.9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham,10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
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