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Psalm 86:11-17

11 Teach me to follow you,
and I will obey your truth.
    Always keep me faithful.
12 With all my heart I thank you.
    I praise you, Lord God.
13 Your love for me is so great
    that you protected me
    from death and the grave.

14 Proud and violent enemies,
    who don’t care about you,
    have ganged up to attack
    and kill me.
15 But you, the Lord God,
    are kind and merciful.
You don’t easily get angry,
    and your love
    can always be trusted.
16 I serve you, Lord,
    and I am the child
    of one of your servants.
Look on me with kindness.
    Make me strong and save me.
17 Show that you approve of me!
Then my hateful enemies
    will feel like fools,
    because you have helped
    and comforted me.

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Genesis 25:12-18

Ishmael’s Descendants

12 Ishmael was the son of Abraham and Hagar, the slave woman of Sarah. 13 Ishmael had twelve sons, in this order: Nebaioth, Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 Each of Ishmael’s sons was a tribal chief, and a village was named after each of them.

17-18 Ishmael had settled in the land east of his brothers, and his sons[a] settled everywhere from Havilah to Shur, east of Egypt on the way to Asshur.[b] Ishmael was one hundred thirty-seven when he died.

Footnotes:

  1. 25.17,18 sons: Or “descendants.”
  2. 25.17,18 Havilah to Shur. . . Asshur: The exact location of these places is not known.
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Revelation 2:8-11

The Letter to Smyrna

This is what you must write to the angel of the church in Smyrna:

I am the first and the last. I died, but now I am alive! Listen to what I say.

I know how much you suffer and how poor you are, but you are rich. I also know the cruel things being said about you by people who claim to be Jews. But they are not really Jews. They are a group that belongs to Satan.

10 Don’t worry about what you will suffer. The devil will throw some of you into jail, and you will be tested and made to suffer for ten days. But if you are faithful until you die, I will reward you with a glorious life.[a]

11 If you have ears, listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. Whoever wins the victory will not be hurt by the second death.[b]

Footnotes:

  1. 2.10 a glorious life: The Greek text has “a crown of life.” In ancient times an athlete who had won a contest was rewarded with a crown of flowers as a sign of victory.
  2. 2.11 second death: The first death is physical death, and the “second death” is eternal death.
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