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2 Chronicles 6:12-8:10

12 Then he stood before the altar of Adonai in the presence of the whole community of Isra’el, spread out his hands — 13 for Shlomo had made a bronze platform eight-and-three quarters feet long, eight-and-three-quarters feet wide and five-and-a-quarter feet high and had set it up in the middle of the courtyard. He stood on it, then got down on his knees before the whole community, spread out his hands toward heaven, 14 and said, “Adonai, God of Isra’el, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth. You keep covenant with your servants and show them grace, provided they live in your presence with all their heart. 15 You have kept your promise to your servant David, my father; you spoke with your mouth and fulfilled it with your hand; so it is today. 16 Now therefore, Adonai, God of Isra’el, keep what you promised to your servant David, my father, when you said, ‘You will never lack a man in my presence to sit on the throne of Isra’el, if only your children are careful about what they do, so that they live by my Torah, just as you have lived in my presence.’ 17 Now therefore, Adonai, God of Isra’el, please let your word, which you spoke to your servant David, my father, be confirmed.

18 “But can God actually live with human beings on the earth? Why, heaven itself, even the heaven of heavens, cannot contain you; so how much less this house I have built? 19 Even so, Adonai my God, pay attention to your servant’s prayer and plea, listen to the cry and prayer that your servant is praying before you, 20 that your eyes will be open toward this house day and night — toward the place where you said you would put your name — to listen to the prayer your servant will pray toward this place. 21 Yes, listen to the pleas of your servant, and also those of your people Isra’el when they pray toward this place. Hear from where you live, from heaven; and when you hear, forgive!

22 “If a person sins against a fellow member of the community, and he is made to swear under oath, and he comes and swears before your altar in this house; 23 then hear from heaven, act and judge your servants, paying back the wicked, so that his way of life devolves on his own head, and vindicating the one who is right, giving him what his righteousness deserves.

24 “If your people Isra’el sin against you and in consequence are defeated by an enemy; then if they turn back to you, acknowledge your name, and pray and make their plea to you in this house, 25 hear from heaven, forgive the sin of your people Isra’el, and bring them back to the land you gave to them and their ancestors.

26 “When they sin against you, and in consequence the sky is shut, so that there is no rain; then if they pray toward this place, acknowledge your name and turn from their sin when you have brought them low; 27 hear in heaven, forgive the sin of your servants and of your people Isra’el — since you keep teaching them the good way by which they should live — and send down rain on your land, which you have given your people as their inheritance.

28 “If there is famine in the land, or blight, windstorm, mildew, locusts or shearer-worms; or if their enemies besiege them in any of their cities — no matter what kind of plague or sickness it is; 29 then, regardless of what prayer or plea anyone among all your people Isra’el makes — for each individual will know his own plague and his own pain — and the person spreads out his hands toward this house; 30 then hear from heaven where you live, and forgive; also, since you know what is in each one’s heart, give each person what his conduct deserves (because you, and only you, know human hearts), 31 so that they will fear you and therefore live according to your ways throughout the time they live in the land you gave our ancestors.

32 “Also the foreigner who does not belong to your people Isra’el — when he comes from a distant country because of your great reputation, your mighty hand and your outstretched arm, when they come and pray toward this house; 33 then hear from heaven, from where you live; and act in accordance with everything about which the foreigner is calling to you; so that all the peoples of the earth will know your name and fear you, as does your people Isra’el, and so that they will know that this house which I have built bears your name.

34 “If your people go out to fight their enemies, no matter by which way you send them, and they pray to you toward the city you chose and the house I built for your name; 35 then, from heaven, hear their prayer and plea, and uphold their cause.

36 “If they sin against you — for there is no one who doesn’t sin — and you are angry with them and hand them over to the enemy, so that they carry them off captive to a land far away or nearby; 37 then, if they come to their senses in the land where they have been carried away captive, turn back and make their plea to you in the land where they are being held captive, saying, ‘We sinned, we acted wrongly, we behaved wickedly,’ 38 if, in the land where they were brought and are being held captive, they return to you with all their heart and being and pray to you toward their own land, which you gave to their ancestors, toward the city you chose and toward the house I have built for your name; 39 then, from heaven, from where you live, hear their prayer and pleas, uphold their cause, and forgive your people who have sinned against you.

40 “Now, my God, please, let your eyes be open, and let your ears pay attention to the prayer being made in this place.

41 “Now go up, Adonai, God, to your place of rest,
you and the ark through which you give strength.

“May your cohanim, Adonai, God, be clothed with salvation;
may those loyal to you take joy in good.

42 Adonai, God, don’t turn away the face of your anointed one;
remember the mercies of your servant David.”

When Shlomo had finished praying, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of Adonai filled the house, so that the cohanim could not enter the house of Adonai; because the glory of Adonai filled Adonai’s house. All the people of Isra’el saw when the fire came down, and the glory of Adonai was on the house; they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the flooring; prostrating themselves, they gave thanks to Adonai, “for he is good, for his grace continues forever.”

Then the king and all the people offered sacrifices before Adonai. King Shlomo offered a sacrifice of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. Thus the king and all the people dedicated the house of God. The cohanim stood at their appointed stations, while the L’vi’im used the instruments that David the king had provided for making music to Adonai in order to “give thanks to Adonai, for his grace continues forever,” by means of the praises David had composed. Opposite them the cohanim sounded trumpets; and all Isra’el stood up. Shlomo also consecrated the center of the courtyard in front of the house of Adonai; because he had to offer the burnt offerings and the fat of the peace offerings there. For the bronze altar which Shlomo had made could not receive the burnt offering, the grain offering and the fat. So Shlomo celebrated the festival at that time for seven days, together with all Isra’el, an enormous gathering; [they had come all the way] from the entrance of Hamat to the Vadi [of Egypt]. On the eighth day they held a solemn assembly, having observed the dedication of the altar for seven days and the festival for seven days. 10 Then, on the twenty-third day of the seventh month, he sent the people away to their tents full of joy and glad of heart for all the goodness Adonai had shown to David, to Shlomo and to Isra’el his people.

11 Thus Shlomo finished the house of Adonai and the royal palace. Everything that Shlomo had set his heart on making in the house of Adonai and in his own palace he accomplished successfully.

12 Adonai appeared to Shlomo by night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 If I shut up the sky, so that there is no rain; or if I order locusts to devour the land; or if I send an epidemic of sickness among my people; 14 then, if my people, who bear my name, will humble themselves, pray, seek my face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears will pay attention to the prayer made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and consecrated this house, so that my name can be there forever; my eyes and heart will always be there. 17 As for you, if you will live in my presence, as did David your father, doing everything I have ordered you to do, and keeping my laws and rulings; 18 then I will establish the throne of your rulership, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You will never lack a man to be ruler in Isra’el.’ 19 But if you turn away and abandon my regulations and mitzvot which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods, worshipping them; 20 then I will pull them up by the roots out of the land I have given them. This house, which I consecrated for my name, I will eject from my sight; and I will make it an example to avoid and an object of scorn among all peoples. 21 This house, now so exalted — everyone passing by will be shocked at the sight of it and will ask, ‘Why has Adonai done this to this land and to this house?’ 22 But the answer will be, ‘It’s because they abandoned Adonai the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and took hold of other gods, worshipping and serving them; this is why [Adonai] brought all these calamities on them.’”

At the end of twenty years, during which time Shlomo had built the house of Adonai and his own palace, Shlomo built up the cities which Huram had given to Shlomo and had the people of Isra’el live there.

Then Shlomo attacked Hamat-Tzovah and defeated it. He built Tadmor in the desert and all the cities for storing supplies that he built in Hamat. He also built Upper Beit-Horon and Lower Beit-Horon, fortified cities with walls, gates and bars; Ba‘alat; and all the cities that Shlomo had for storing supplies, all the cities for his chariots, the cities for his horsemen, and all the other buildings Shlomo wanted to build in Yerushalayim, in the L’vanon and throughout the land he ruled.

As for all the people still left from the Hitti, Emori, P’rizi, Hivi, and Y’vusi, who were not part of Isra’el, from their descendants remaining after them in the land, whom the people of Isra’el did not exterminate — from them Shlomo levied [his forced laborers], as it is to this day. But Shlomo did not raise any of his slaves from the people of Isra’el; rather, these were the soldiers, his chief commanders, and the officials in charge of his chariots and horsemen. 10 King Shlomo had 250 chief officers in charge of the people.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Romans 7:14-8:8

14 For we know that the Torah is of the Spirit; but as for me, I am bound to the old nature, sold to sin as a slave. 15 I don’t understand my own behavior — I don’t do what I want to do; instead, I do the very thing I hate! 16 Now if I am doing what I don’t want to do, I am agreeing that the Torah is good. 17 But now it is no longer “the real me” doing it, but the sin housed inside me. 18 For I know that there is nothing good housed inside me — that is, inside my old nature. I can want what is good, but I can’t do it! 19 For I don’t do the good I want; instead, the evil that I don’t want is what I do! 20 But if I am doing what “the real me” doesn’t want, it is no longer “the real me” doing it but the sin housed inside me. 21 So I find it to be the rule, a kind of perverse “torah,” that although I want to do what is good, evil is right there with me! 22 For in my inner self I completely agree with God’s Torah; 23 but in my various parts, I see a different “torah,” one that battles with the Torah in my mind and makes me a prisoner of sin’s “torah,” which is operating in my various parts. 24 What a miserable creature I am! Who will rescue me from this body bound for death? 25 Thanks be to God [, he will]! — through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord!

To sum up: with my mind, I am a slave of God’s Torah; but with my old nature, I am a slave of sin’s “Torah.”

Therefore, there is no longer any condemnation awaiting those who are in union with the Messiah Yeshua. Why? Because the Torah of the Spirit, which produces this life in union with Messiah Yeshua, has set me free from the “Torah” of sin and death. For what the Torah could not do by itself, because it lacked the power to make the old nature cooperate, God did by sending his own Son as a human being with a nature like our own sinful one [but without sin]. God did this in order to deal with sin, and in so doing he executed the punishment against sin in human nature, so that the just requirement of the Torah might be fulfilled in us who do not run our lives according to what our old nature wants but according to what the Spirit wants. For those who identify with their old nature set their minds on the things of the old nature, but those who identify with the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Having one’s mind controlled by the old nature is death, but having one’s mind controlled by the Spirit is life and shalom. For the mind controlled by the old nature is hostile to God, because it does not submit itself to God’s Torah — indeed, it cannot. Thus, those who identify with their old nature cannot please God.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Psalm 18:1-15

18 (0) For the leader. By David the servant of Adonai, who addressed the words of this song to Adonai on the day when Adonai delivered him from the power of all his enemies, including from the power of Sha’ul. He said:

(1) “I love you, Adonai, my strength!

(2) Adonai is my Rock, my fortress and deliverer,
my God, my Rock, in whom I find shelter,
my shield, the power that saves me,
my stronghold.
(3) I call on Adonai, who is worthy of praise;
and I am saved from my enemies.

(4) “For the cords of death surrounded me,
the floods of B’liya‘al terrified me,
(5) the ropes of Sh’ol were wrapped around me,
the snares of death lay there before me.
(6) In my distress I called to Adonai;
I cried out to my God.
Out of his temple he heard my voice;
my cry reached his ears.

(7) “Then the earth quaked and shook,
the foundations of the mountains trembled.
They were shaken because he was angry.
(8) Smoke arose in his nostrils;
out of his mouth came devouring fire;
sparks blazed forth from him.
10 (9) He lowered heaven and came down
with thick darkness under his feet.
11 (10) He rode on a keruv; he flew,
swooping down on the wings of the wind.
12 (11) He made darkness his hiding-place,
his canopy thick clouds dark with water.
13 (12) From the brightness before him,
there broke through his thick clouds
hailstones and fiery coals.

14 (13) Adonai also thundered in heaven,
Ha‘Elyon sounded his voice —
hailstones and fiery coals.
15 (14) He sent out arrows and scattered them,
shot out lightning and routed them.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 19:24-25

24 The lazy person buries his hand in the dish
but doesn’t even bother to bring it to his mouth.
25 If you strike a scorner,
the simple will learn to act wisely;
if you reprove the intelligent,
he will understand what you mean.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

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