38 O Lord, do not rebuke me in Your wrath,
Nor discipline me in Your burning anger.
For Your arrows have sunk into me and penetrate deeply,
And Your hand has pressed down on me and greatly disciplined me.
There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your indignation;
There is no health in my bones because of my sin.
For my iniquities have gone over my head [like the waves of a flood];
As a heavy burden they weigh too much for me.
My wounds are loathsome and foul
Because of my foolishness.
I am bent over and greatly bowed down;
I go about mourning all day long.
For my sides are filled with burning,
And there is no health in my flesh.
I am numb and greatly bruised [deadly cold and completely worn out];
I groan because of the disquiet and moaning of my heart.
Lord, all my desire is before You;
And my sighing is not hidden from You.
My heart throbs violently, my strength fails me;
And as for the light of my eyes, even that has also gone from me.
My loved ones and my friends stand aloof from my plague;
And my neighbors stand far away.
Those who seek my life lay snares for me,
And those who seek to injure me threaten mischievous things and destruction;
They devise treachery all the day long.
But I, like a deaf man, do not hear;
I am like a mute man who does not open his mouth.
Yes, I am like a man who does not hear,
In whose mouth are no arguments.
For in You, O Lord, I hope;
You will answer, O Lord my God.
For I pray, “May they not rejoice over me,
Who, when my foot slips, would boast against me.”
For I am ready to fall;
My sorrow is continually before me.
For I do confess my guilt and iniquity;
I am filled with anxiety because of my sin.
But my [numerous] enemies are vigorous and strong,
And those who hate me without cause are many.
They repay evil for good, they attack and try to kill me,
Because I follow what is good.
Do not abandon me, O Lord;
O my God, do not be far from me.
Make haste to help me,
O Lord, my Salvation.
My earthly life clings to the dust;
Revive and refresh me according to Your word.
I have told of my ways, and You have answered me;
Teach me Your statutes.
Make me understand the way of Your precepts,
So that I will meditate (focus my thoughts) on Your wonderful works.
My soul dissolves because of grief;
Renew and strengthen me according to [the promises of] Your word.
Remove from me the way of falsehood and unfaithfulness,
And graciously grant me Your law.
I have chosen the faithful way;
I have placed Your ordinances before me.
I cling tightly to Your testimonies;
O Lord, do not put me to shame!
I will run the way of Your commandments [with purpose],
For You will give me a heart that is willing.
Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I will [steadfastly] observe it to the end.
Give me understanding [a teachable heart and the ability to learn], that I may keep Your law;
And observe it with all my heart.
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
Incline my heart to Your testimonies
And not to dishonest gain and envy.
Turn my eyes away from vanity [all those worldly, meaningless things that distract—let Your priorities be mine],
And restore me [with renewed energy] in Your ways.
Establish Your word and confirm Your promise to Your servant,
As that which produces [awe-inspired] reverence for You.
Turn away my reproach which I dread,
For Your ordinances are good.
I long for Your precepts;
Renew me through Your righteousness.
May Your lovingkindness also come to me, O Lord,
Your salvation according to Your promise;
So I will have an answer for the one who taunts me,
For I trust [completely] in Your word [and its reliability].
And do not take the word of truth utterly out of my mouth,
For I wait for Your ordinances.
I will keep Your law continually,
Forever and ever [writing Your precepts on my heart].
And I will walk at liberty,
For I seek and deeply long for Your precepts.
I will also speak of Your testimonies before kings
And shall not be ashamed.
For I shall delight in Your commandments,
Which I love.
And I shall lift up my hands to Your commandments,
Which I love;
And I will meditate on Your statutes.
24 As soon as Pharaoh’s daughter came up from the City of David to her house which Solomon had built for her, then he built the Millo (fortification).
25 Three times a year [during the [a]major annual festivals] Solomon offered burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar he had built to the Lord, and he burned incense with them before the Lord. So he finished the house [of the Lord].
26 King Solomon built a fleet of ships in Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds), in the land of Edom. 27 And Hiram [king of Tyre] sent his servants with the fleet, sailors who knew the sea, along with the servants of Solomon. 28 They came to [b]Ophir and took four hundred and twenty talents of gold from there, and brought it to King Solomon.
10 Now when the queen of [c]Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to test him with riddles. 2 So she came to Jerusalem with a very large caravan (entourage), with camels carrying spices, a great quantity of gold, and precious stones. When she came to Solomon, she spoke with him about everything that was on her mind [to discover the extent of his wisdom]. 3 Solomon [d]answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king which he did not explain to her. 4 When the queen of Sheba had seen all the wisdom of Solomon, and the house (palace) which he had built, 5 the food on his table, the seating of his servants (court officials), the attendance of his waiters and their attire, his cupbearers, his [e]stairway by which he went up to the house (temple) of the Lord, she was breathless and awed [by the wonder of it all]. 6 Then she told the king, “The report which I heard in my own land about your words and wisdom is true! 7 I did not believe the report until I came and saw it with my own eyes. Behold, the half of it was not told to me. You exceed in wisdom and prosperity the report which I heard. 8 How blessed (fortunate, happy) are your men! How blessed are these your servants who stand continually before you, hearing your wisdom! 9 Blessed be the Lord your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, He made you king to execute justice and righteousness.” 10 She gave the king a hundred and twenty talents of gold and a very great quantity of spices and precious stones. Never again did such an abundance of spices come in [to Israel] as that which the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon.
11 Also the ships of Hiram, which brought gold from Ophir, brought in from Ophir a great quantity of almug wood (sandalwood) and precious stones. 12 From the almug wood (sandalwood) the king made pillars for the house of the Lord and for the king’s palace, and also lyres and harps for the singers. Such almug wood did not come in [to Israel] again, nor has it been seen to this day.
13 King Solomon [in turn] gave to the queen of Sheba everything that she wanted, whatever she asked, besides what he gave to her [f]from his royal bounty. So she returned to her own country, she and her servants.
3 Not many [of you] should become teachers [serving in an official teaching capacity], my brothers and sisters, for you know that we [who are teachers] will [a]be judged by a higher standard [because we have assumed greater accountability and more condemnation if we teach incorrectly]. 2 For we all stumble and sin in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says [never saying the wrong thing], he is a perfect man [fully developed in character, without serious flaws], able to bridle his whole body and rein in his entire nature [taming his human faults and weaknesses]. 3 Now if we put bits into the horses’ mouths to make them obey us, we guide their whole body as well. 4 And look at the ships. Even though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines. 5 In the same sense, the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things.
See [by comparison] how great a forest is set on fire by a small spark! 6 And the tongue is [in a sense] a fire, the very world of injustice and unrighteousness; the tongue is set among our members as that which contaminates the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life [the cycle of man’s existence], and is itself set on fire by [b]hell (Gehenna). 7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and sea creatures, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. 8 But no one can tame the human tongue; it is a restless evil [undisciplined, unstable], full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God. 10 Out of the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. These things, my brothers, should not be this way [for we have a moral obligation to speak in a manner that reflects our fear of God and profound respect for His precepts]. 11 Does a spring send out from the same opening both [c]fresh and bitter water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, produce olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce [d]fresh.
15 Early in the morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes and the whole Council (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), immediately consulted together; and they bound Jesus, they took Him away [violently] and handed Him over to Pilate. 2 Pilate questioned Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He replied to him, “It is as you say.” 3 The chief priests began accusing Him of many things. 4 Then Pilate again asked Him, “Have You no answer [to give]? See how many charges they are bringing against You!” 5 But Jesus gave no further answer; so Pilate was perplexed.
6 Now at the [Passover] feast Pilate used to set free for them any one prisoner whom they requested. 7 The man called Barabbas was imprisoned with the insurrectionists (revolutionaries) who had committed murder in the civil rebellion. 8 The crowd came up and began asking Pilate to do as he usually did for them. 9 Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to set free for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he was aware that the chief priests had turned Jesus over to him because of envy and resentment. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to get him to release Barabbas for them instead.