Verse of the Day 1-25-13


Verse of the Day

21 Jesus replied, “What I’m about to tell you is true. You must have faith and not doubt. Then you can do what was done to the fig tree. And you can say to this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea.’ It will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive what you ask for when you pray.” Matthew 21:21 NIRV

Matthew 21

New International Reader’s Version (NIRV)

Jesus Enters Jerusalem

21 As they all approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage. It was on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent out two disciples. He said to them, “Go to the village ahead of you. As soon as you get there, you will find a donkey tied up. Her colt will be with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them. The owner will send them right away.”

This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet would come true. It says,

“Say to the city of Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you.
He is gentle and riding on a donkey.
He is riding on a donkey’s colt.’” (Zechariah 9:9)

The disciples went and did what Jesus told them to do. They brought the donkey and the colt. They placed their coats on them. Then Jesus sat on the coats. A very large crowd spread their coats on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Some of the people went ahead of him, and some followed. They all shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Psalm 118:26)

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. The people asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus. He is the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Jesus Clears Out the Temple

12 Jesus entered the temple area. He began chasing out all those who were buying and selling there. He turned over the tables of the people who were exchanging money. He also turned over the benches of those who were selling doves. 13 He said to them, “It is written that the Lord said, ‘My house will be called a house where people can pray.’ (Isaiah 56:7) But you are making it a ‘den for robbers.’” (Jeremiah 7:11)

14 Blind people and those who were disabled came to Jesus at the temple. There he healed them.15 The chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did. They also saw the children in the temple area shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” But when they saw all of this, they became angry.

16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.

“Yes,” replied Jesus. “Haven’t you ever read about it in Scripture? It says,

“‘You have made sure that children and infants
praise you.’” (Psalm 8:2)

17 Then Jesus left the people and went out of the city to Bethany. He spent the night there.

The Fig Tree Dries Up

18 Early in the morning, Jesus was on his way back to Jerusalem. He was hungry. 19 He saw a fig tree by the road. He went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Right away the tree dried up.

20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree dry up so quickly?” they asked.

21 Jesus replied, “What I’m about to tell you is true. You must have faith and not doubt. Then you can do what was done to the fig tree. And you can say to this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea.’ It will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive what you ask for when you pray.”

The Authority of Jesus Is Questioned

23 Jesus entered the temple courtyard. While he was teaching there, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “Who gave you this authority?”

24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 Where did John’s baptism come from? Was it from heaven? Or did it come from men?”

They talked to each other about it. They said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But what if we say, ‘From men’? We are afraid of the people. Everyone believes that John was a prophet.”

27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Jesus said, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I am doing these things either.

The Story of the Two Sons

28 “What do you think about this? A man had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

29 “‘I will not,’ the son answered. But later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son. He said the same thing. The son answered, ‘I will, sir.’ But he did not go.

31 “Which of the two sons did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “What I’m about to tell you is true. Tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 John came to show you the right way to live. And you did not believe him. But the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. You saw this. But even then you did not turn away from your sins and believe him.

The Story of the Renters

33 “Listen to another story. A man who owned some land planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it. He dug a pit for a winepress in it. He also built a lookout tower. He rented the vineyard out to some farmers. Then he went away on a journey. 34 When harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the renters. He told the servants to collect his share of the fruit.

35 “But the renters grabbed his servants. They beat one of them. They killed another. They threw stones at the third to kill him. 36 Then the man sent other servants to the renters. He sent more than he did the first time. The renters treated them the same way.

37 “Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.

38 “But the renters saw the son coming. They said to each other, ‘This is the one who will receive all the owner’s property someday. Come, let’s kill him. Then everything will be ours.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard. Then they killed him.

40 “When the owner of the vineyard comes back, what will he do to those renters?”

41 “He will destroy those evil people,” they replied. “Then he will rent the vineyard out to other renters. They will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you ever read what the Scriptures say,

“‘The stone the builders didn’t accept
has become the most important stone of all.
The Lord has done it.
It is wonderful in our eyes’? (Psalm 118:22,23)

43 “So here is what I tell you. The kingdom of God will be taken away from you. It will be given to people who will produce its fruit. 44 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces. But the stone will crush anyone it falls on.”

45 The chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ stories. They knew he was talking about them.46 So they looked for a way to arrest him. But they were afraid of the crowd. The people believed that Jesus was a prophet.

Verse of the Day 12-15-12


“But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”” Luke 1:30-33 NIV

Matthew 1

New International Version (NIV)

The Genealogy of Jesus the Messiah

1 This is the genealogy[a] of Jesus the Messiah[b] the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac,

Isaac the father of Jacob,

Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,

Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar,

Perez the father of Hezron,

Hezron the father of Ram,

Ram the father of Amminadab,

Amminadab the father of Nahshon,

Nahshon the father of Salmon,

Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab,

Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth,

Obed the father of Jesse,

and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,

Solomon the father of Rehoboam,

Rehoboam the father of Abijah,

Abijah the father of Asa,

Asa the father of Jehoshaphat,

Jehoshaphat the father of Jehoram,

Jehoram the father of Uzziah,

Uzziah the father of Jotham,

Jotham the father of Ahaz,

Ahaz the father of Hezekiah,

10 Hezekiah the father of Manasseh,

Manasseh the father of Amon,

Amon the father of Josiah,

11 and Josiah the father of Jeconiah[c] and his brothers at the time of the exile to Babylon.

12 After the exile to Babylon:

Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel,

Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,

13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud,

Abihud the father of Eliakim,

Eliakim the father of Azor,

14 Azor the father of Zadok,

Zadok the father of Akim,

Akim the father of Elihud,

15 Elihud the father of Eleazar,

Eleazar the father of Matthan,

Matthan the father of Jacob,

16 and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.

17 Thus there were fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the exile to Babylon, and fourteen from the exile to the Messiah.

Joseph Accepts Jesus as His Son

18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about[d]: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit19 Because Joseph her husband was faithful to the law, and yet[e] did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus,[f]because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[g] (which means “God with us”).

24 When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. 25 But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.

Footnotes:

  1. Matthew 1:1 Or is an account of the origin
  2. Matthew 1:1 Or Jesus Christ. Messiah (Hebrew) and Christ (Greek) both mean Anointed One; also in verse 18.
  3. Matthew 1:11 That is, Jehoiachin; also in verse 12
  4. Matthew 1:18 Or The origin of Jesus the Messiah was like this
  5. Matthew 1:19 Or was a righteous man and
  6. Matthew 1:21 Jesus is the Greek form of Joshua, which means the Lord saves.
  7. Matthew 1:23 Isaiah 7:14

Proverb Chapters 2-9


Map showing the Kingdoms of Israel (blue) and ...

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English: Judgement of Solomon
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English: Solomon's Wealth and Wisdom, as in 1 ...

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Proverbs 1

1The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

2To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

3To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

4To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

5A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

6To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

8My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

9For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

10My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

11If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

12Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

13We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

14Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

15My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

16For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

17Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

18And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.

19So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

20Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:

21She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,

22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

23Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

24Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

25But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

27When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

28Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

29For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

30They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

32For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

33But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Proverbs 2

1My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

2So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

3Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

4If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

5Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

6For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

7He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

8He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

9Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

10When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;

11Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

12To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;

13Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

14Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;

15Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:

16To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;

17Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.

18For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.

19None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

20That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

21For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

22But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Proverbs 3

1My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

2For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

3Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

4So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

8It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

9Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

10So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

11My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

12For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

13Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

14For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

15She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

16Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

17Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

18She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

19The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

20By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

21My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

22So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

23Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

24When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

25Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

26For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

27Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

28Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

29Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

30Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

31Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

32For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.

33The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

34Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

35The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Proverbs 4

1Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

2For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

3For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

4He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

5Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

6Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

7Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

8Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

9She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

10Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.

11I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

12When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

13Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

14Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

15Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

16For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

17For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

18But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

19The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

20My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

21Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

24Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

25Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

26Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

27Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Proverbs 5

1My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:

2That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

3For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

4But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

5Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

6Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

7Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.

8Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

9Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:

10Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;

11And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,

12And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;

13And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

14I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

15Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

16Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.

17Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.

18Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

19Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

20And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

21For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

22His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

23He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

Proverbs 6

1My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,

2Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.

3Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.

4Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.

5Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

6Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

7Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

8Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

9How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

10Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

11So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

12A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.

13He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;

14Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.

15Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.

16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

20My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

21Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.

22When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

23For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

24To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

25Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

26For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life.

27Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

28Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?

29So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

30Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;

31But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.

32But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

33A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.

34For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

35He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.

Proverbs 7

1My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

2Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

3Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

4Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

5That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

6For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

7And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

8Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

9In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:

10And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

11(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

12Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)

13So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

14I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.

15Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

16I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

18Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

19For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

20He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

21With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

22He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

23Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

24Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

25Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

26For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

27Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Proverbs 8

1Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

2She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

3She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

4Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

5O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

6Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

7For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

9They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

10Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

11For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

12I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

13The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

14Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

15By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

16By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

17I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

18Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.

19My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

20I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

21That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

22The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

23I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

24When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

25Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

26While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

27When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

28When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

29When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

30Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

31Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

32Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

33Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

34Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

35For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

36But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Proverbs 9

1Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

2She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.

3She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,

4Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

5Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.

6Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

7He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

8Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

9Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

11For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

12If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

13A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

14For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

15To call passengers who go right on their ways:

16Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

17Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

18But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

Proverbs

This book is a compendium of proverb collections. Although Solomon inspired the development of the book, its entire content did not derive from him. A proverb is a short, pithy saying with practical implications. The ones included here cover a variety of subjects, for example, chastity, control of the tongue, laziness, knowledge, relations with others, justice. Perhaps above everything else on Proverbs there is the reiterated assertion that the source of true wisdom is “the fear of the Lord.”

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Mark 10:1-52


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Mark 10

1And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.

2And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? tempting him.

3And he answered and said unto them, What did Moses command you?

4And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.

5And Jesus answered and said unto them, For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept.

6But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.

7For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife;

8And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

9What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.

10And in the house his disciples asked him again of the same matter.

11And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her.

12And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.

13And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.

14But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

15Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.

16And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

17And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?

18And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

19Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

20And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

21Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

23And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

24And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

25It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

26And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?

27And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

28Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.

29And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,

30But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

31But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.

32And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,

33Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:

34And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.

35And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire.

36And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you?

37They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory.

38But Jesus said unto them, Ye know not what ye ask: can ye drink of the cup that I drink of? and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?

39And they said unto him, We can. And Jesus said unto them, Ye shall indeed drink of the cup that I drink of; and with the baptism that I am baptized withal shall ye be baptized:

40But to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

41And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John.

42But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them.

43But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:

44And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all.

45For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

46And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

47And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.

48And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.

49And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee.

50And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus.

51And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight.

52And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

Mark:

The gospel of Mark, the shortest, is also held by most to be the first of the Gospels to be written. A tradition dating from the 2nd century ascribes this book to John Mark, a companion of Peter and also of Paul and Barnabas in their missionary endeavors. The preaching of Peter may well have been the source of most of Mark’s material. Mark accounts for the ministry of Jesus from His Baptism to His Ascension. Most commentaries agree that Mark’s purpose was neither biographical nor historical, but theological: to present Jesus as the Christ, the mighty worker rather than great teacher. Hence, Mark makes fewer references to the Parables and discourses, but meticulously records each of Jesus’ “mighty works” as evidence of His divine power. Mark contains 20 specific miracles and alludes to others. Bible scholars quite generally agree that Mark wrote his Gospel in Rome for the gentiles.

Proverbs 1-17


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Proverbs 1

1The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

2To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

3To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

4To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

5A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

6To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

7The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

8My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

9For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

10My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.

11If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause:

12Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

13We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

14Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse:

15My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:

16For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

17Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

18And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives.

19So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

20Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:

21She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying,

22How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?

23Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you.

24Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;

25But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh;

27When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.

28Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me:

29For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD:

30They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.

31Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.

32For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

33But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.

Proverbs 2

1My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

2So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

3Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

4If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

5Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.

6For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

7He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

8He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

9Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

10When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;

11Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

12To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things;

13Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;

14Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;

15Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:

16To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;

17Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.

18For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.

19None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

20That thou mayest walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.

21For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

22But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

Proverbs 3

1My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

2For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

3Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

4So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

5Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

7Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

8It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

9Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:

10So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

11My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction:

12For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.

13Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.

14For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold.

15She is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.

16Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.

17Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.

18She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.

19The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

20By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

21My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion:

22So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck.

23Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble.

24When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

25Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

26For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

27Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it.

28Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee.

29Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.

30Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.

31Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.

32For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.

33The curse of the LORD is in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

34Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.

35The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.

Proverbs 4

1Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding.

2For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law.

3For I was my father’s son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother.

4He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live.

5Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

6Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

7Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

8Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

9She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

10Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings; and the years of thy life shall be many.

11I have taught thee in the way of wisdom; I have led thee in right paths.

12When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straitened; and when thou runnest, thou shalt not stumble.

13Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.

14Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.

15Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

16For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.

17For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

18But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

19The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.

20My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

21Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

24Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee.

25Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee.

26Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.

27Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.

Proverbs 5

1My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:

2That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.

3For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:

4But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.

5Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.

6Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

7Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not from the words of my mouth.

8Remove thy way far from her, and come not nigh the door of her house:

9Lest thou give thine honour unto others, and thy years unto the cruel:

10Lest strangers be filled with thy wealth; and thy labours be in the house of a stranger;

11And thou mourn at the last, when thy flesh and thy body are consumed,

12And say, How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof;

13And have not obeyed the voice of my teachers, nor inclined mine ear to them that instructed me!

14I was almost in all evil in the midst of the congregation and assembly.

15Drink waters out of thine own cistern, and running waters out of thine own well.

16Let thy fountains be dispersed abroad, and rivers of waters in the streets.

17Let them be only thine own, and not strangers’ with thee.

18Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth.

19Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.

20And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?

21For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.

22His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.

23He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

Proverbs 6

1My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger,

2Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth.

3Do this now, my son, and deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend.

4Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids.

5Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.

6Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

7Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

8Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

9How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?

10Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:

11So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

12A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.

13He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;

14Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.

15Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.

16These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:

17A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

18An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,

19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

20My son, keep thy father’s commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

21Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.

22When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

23For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

24To keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman.

25Lust not after her beauty in thine heart; neither let her take thee with her eyelids.

26For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adultress will hunt for the precious life.

27Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?

28Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?

29So he that goeth in to his neighbour’s wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.

30Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;

31But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.

32But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

33A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.

34For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

35He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.

Proverbs 7

1My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.

2Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.

3Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.

4Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

5That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.

6For at the window of my house I looked through my casement,

7And beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding,

8Passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house,

9In the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night:

10And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

11(She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house:

12Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)

13So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him,

14I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows.

15Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.

16I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt.

17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.

18Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.

19For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey:

20He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.

21With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.

22He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;

23Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.

24Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth.

25Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths.

26For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her.

27Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.

Proverbs 8

1Doth not wisdom cry? and understanding put forth her voice?

2She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths.

3She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors.

4Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man.

5O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart.

6Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

7For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips.

8All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.

9They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

10Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.

11For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.

12I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions.

13The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

14Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.

15By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.

16By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.

17I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.

18Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.

19My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.

20I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:

21That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

22The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

23I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.

24When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.

25Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:

26While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.

27When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:

28When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:

29When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:

30Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;

31Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

32Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.

33Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.

34Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

35For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD.

36But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Proverbs 9

1Wisdom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars:

2She hath killed her beasts; she hath mingled her wine; she hath also furnished her table.

3She hath sent forth her maidens: she crieth upon the highest places of the city,

4Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

5Come, eat of my bread, and drink of the wine which I have mingled.

6Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.

7He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame: and he that rebuketh a wicked man getteth himself a blot.

8Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

9Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.

10The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

11For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.

12If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself: but if thou scornest, thou alone shalt bear it.

13A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

14For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

15To call passengers who go right on their ways:

16Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

17Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

18But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

Proverbs 10

1The proverbs of Solomon. A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.

2Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but righteousness delivereth from death.

3The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

4He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.

5He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame.

6Blessings are upon the head of the just: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

7The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.

8The wise in heart will receive commandments: but a prating fool shall fall.

9He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.

10He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.

11The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

12Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.

13In the lips of him that hath understanding wisdom is found: but a rod is for the back of him that is void of understanding.

14Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.

15The rich man’s wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

16The labour of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin.

17He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.

18He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.

19In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

20The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth.

21The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom.

22The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

23It is as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.

24The fear of the wicked, it shall come upon him: but the desire of the righteous shall be granted.

25As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation.

26As vinegar to the teeth, and as smoke to the eyes, so is the sluggard to them that send him.

27The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.

28The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish.

29The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.

30The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

31The mouth of the just bringeth forth wisdom: but the froward tongue shall be cut out.

32The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable: but the mouth of the wicked speaketh frowardness.

Proverbs 11

1A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.

2When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.

3The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.

4Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death.

5The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness.

6The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.

7When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.

8The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead.

9An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.

10When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting.

11By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted: but it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.

12He that is void of wisdom despiseth his neighbour: but a man of understanding holdeth his peace.

13A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.

14Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

15He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it: and he that hateth suretiship is sure.

16A gracious woman retaineth honour: and strong men retain riches.

17The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.

18The wicked worketh a deceitful work: but to him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward.

19As righteousness tendeth to life: so he that pursueth evil pursueth it to his own death.

20They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD: but such as are upright in their way are his delight.

21Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

22As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion.

23The desire of the righteous is only good: but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.

24There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

25The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.

26He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.

27He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.

28He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.

29He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

31Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner.

Proverbs 12

1Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.

2A good man obtaineth favour of the LORD: but a man of wicked devices will he condemn.

3A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.

4A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.

5The thoughts of the righteous are right: but the counsels of the wicked are deceit.

6The words of the wicked are to lie in wait for blood: but the mouth of the upright shall deliver them.

7The wicked are overthrown, and are not: but the house of the righteous shall stand.

8A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised.

9He that is despised, and hath a servant, is better than he that honoureth himself, and lacketh bread.

10A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.

11He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.

12The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit.

13The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips: but the just shall come out of trouble.

14A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man’s hands shall be rendered unto him.

15The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

16A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.

17He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.

18There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

19The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

20Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil: but to the counsellors of peace is joy.

21There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.

22Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight.

23A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.

24The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute.

25Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.

26The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.

27The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious.

28In the way of righteousness is life: and in the pathway thereof there is no death.

Proverbs 13

1A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

2A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.

3He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

4The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

5A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.

6Righteousness keepeth him that is upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.

7There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.

8The ransom of a man’s life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

9The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

10Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.

11Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

12Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

13Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

14The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

15Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.

16Every prudent man dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open his folly.

17A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.

18Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

19The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.

20He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

21Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.

22A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

23Much food is in the tillage of the poor: but there is that is destroyed for want of judgment.

24He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

25The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.

Proverbs 14

1Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

2He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but he that is perverse in his ways despiseth him.

3In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

4Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.

5A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.

6A scorner seeketh wisdom, and findeth it not: but knowledge is easy unto him that understandeth.

7Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.

8The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.

9Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

10The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.

11The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.

12There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

13Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.

14The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

15The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

16A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

17He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

18The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

20The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich hath many friends.

21He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

22Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth shall be to them that devise good.

23In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury.

24The crown of the wise is their riches: but the foolishness of fools is folly.

25A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.

26In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.

27The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

28In the multitude of people is the king’s honour: but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince.

29He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.

30A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

31He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

32The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.

33Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but that which is in the midst of fools is made known.

34Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.

35The king’s favour is toward a wise servant: but his wrath is against him that causeth shame.

Proverbs 15

1A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

2The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

3The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

4A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit.

5A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

6In the house of the righteous is much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.

7The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish doeth not so.

8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

9The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.

10Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.

11Hell and destruction are before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

12A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.

13A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

14The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.

15All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.

16Better is little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith.

17Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

18A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife.

19The way of the slothful man is as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous is made plain.

20A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.

21Folly is joy to him that is destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.

22Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

23A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!

24The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

25The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.

26The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD: but the words of the pure are pleasant words.

27He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

28The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

29The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

30The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.

31The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

32He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

33The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.

Proverbs 16

1The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

2All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

3Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

4The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

5Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

6By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

7When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

8Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.

9A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

10A divine sentence is in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.

11A just weight and balance are the LORD’s: all the weights of the bag are his work.

12It is an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.

13Righteous lips are the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.

14The wrath of a king is as messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it.

15In the light of the king’s countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.

16How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

17The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

18Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

19Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

20He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he.

21The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.

22Understanding is a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly.

23The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.

24Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

25There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

26He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

27An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is as a burning fire.

28A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

29A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.

30He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.

31The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.

32He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he

that taketh a city.33The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

Proverbs 17

1Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

2A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.

3The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.

4A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; and a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.

5Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.

6Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.

7Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

8A gift is as a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.

9He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.

10A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.

11An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

12Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.

13Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

14The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

15He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.

16Wherefore is there a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing he hath no heart to it?

17A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

18A man void of understanding striketh hands, and becometh surety in the presence of his friend.

19He loveth transgression that loveth strife: and he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.

20He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.

21He that begetteth a fool doeth it to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.

22A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

23A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.

24Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.

25A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.

26Also to punish the just is not good, nor to strike princes for equity.

27He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.

Proverbs. This book is a compendium of proverb collections. Although Solomon inspired the development of the book, its entire content did not derive from him. A proverb is a short, pithy saying with practical implications.

The ones included here cover a variety of subjects, for example, chastity, control of the tongue, laziness, knowledge, relations with others, justice. Perhaps above everything else in proverbs there is the reiterated assertion that the source of true wisdom is “the fear of the Lord.”

Matthew 1:1-25


Islamic picture of Nativity of Jesus (Isa)

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Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Rubens)

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Matthew 1

1The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

2Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;

3And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;

4And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson; and Naasson begat Salmon;

5And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

6And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias;

7And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia begat Asa;

8And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias;

9And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias;

10And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;

11And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon:

12And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel;

13And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;

14And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim; and Achim begat Eliud;

15And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;

16And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

17So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.

18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

20But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

From the Theological Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg.

Chapter I.

verse 1. The look of the generation, &c. – By generations and nativities, in the Word, are signified spiritual generations and nativities, all which in general have reference to good and truth, for nothing else is generated and born from the Lord as a husband, and from the Church as a wife. AR 543

Verses 18-25. Many at this day think of the Lord only as of an ordinary man, like themselves; the reason is, because they only think of His Humanity;, and not at the same time of His Divinity, although His Divinity and His Humanity cannot be separated: “For the Lord is God and man, and God and man in the Lord are not two but one person, yea altogether one, even as the reasonable soul and flesh are one man;” as is taught in the doctrine received throughout the whole Christian world, called the Athanasian Creed, which has been confirmed by several councils. Let me, therefore, entreat the reader, that he may not henceforward separate in his thoughts the Humanity of the Lord from His Divinity, to read the passages quoted above from Luke, as also the following from Matthew: “The birth of jesus Christ was on this wise: When as His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the holy spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public, example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, you son of David, fear not to take to thee Mary your wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the holy spirit : and she shall bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins. Then Joseph, being raised from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took to him his wife. And he knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born Son; and he called His name Jesus.” Matt 1:18-25. From these words, as well as from the relation of the nativity given in Luke, and from the other passages adduced above, it is evident, that Jesus, who was conceived of Jehovah as a Father, and born of the Virgin Mary, is the Son of God, of whom all “the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” D. Lord, 21.

That the Divine, which is called the Father, was the Essential Divine of the Lord, from which His Humanity existed, and by virtue whereof the Humanity also was made Divine, appears manifest from His conception from the Essential Divine; as in Matthew 1:20, 25; and in Luke 1:81, 34, 35: from which it is evident that the Lord from conception is Jehovah God, and to be Jehovah God from conception is to be so as to the life itself, which is called the soul from the Father, from which the life of the body is derived; hence it also manifestly Appears, that the Humanity of the “Lord is what is called the Son of God, for it is said, “That Holy Thing which shall be horn of you, shall he called the Son of God.” AE 852.

That to come forth from the Father, denotes being, conceived of Him, is manifest from what is said concerning the Lord’s conception, in Matthew 1:18-25. AE 815; see also AE 1069.

That the Divine is in the Human of the Lord, as the soul in the body, the “Word teaches and testifies in Matthew 1:18, 20, 25. AE 1104.AE 613.

Verses 20, 25. That which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.-That by the Holy Spirit is meant the Divine which proceeds from Jehovah God, will be seen in the third chapter of this work. Who does not know, that the offspring has a soul and life from the father, and that the body is from the soul? What therefore is more plainly said, than that the Lord had a soul and life from Jehovah God, and whereas the Divine cannot be divided, that the Divine itself of the Father was His soul and life? wherefore the Lord so often called Jehovah God His Father, and Jehovah God called Him His Son. What, then, can be more ludicrous than to be told, that the soul of our Lord was from Mary the mother, as both the Roman Catholics and the Reformed at this day dream, not being yet awakened by the Word. That any Son born from eternity descended and assumed the Humanity, is a totally groundless idea, and is dissipated by the passages in the Word, in which Jehovah Himself says, that He is the Saviour and Redeemer, which are as follow: “Am not I jehovah,and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a saviour ; these is none beside me.” Isaiah 45:21, 22. “I [am] jehovah, and there is no saviour beside me.” Isaiah 43:11. “I jehovah [am] your god, and you shall not acknowledge a God beside me, and there is no saviour beside me.” Hosea 13:4. “That all flesh may know that I jehovah [am] your saviour and your redeemer.” Isaiah 49:26; 40:16. “As for our redeemer, jehovah zebaoth is his name.” Isaiah 47:4. “their redeemer, the mighty jehovah zebaoth 13 his name.” Jer. 1. 34. “Jehovah is my Rock, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14. “Thus says jehovah your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, I jehovah am your god.” Isaiah 48:17; 43:14; 49:7. “Thus says jehovah your redeemer, I jehovahmake all things, and alone from Myself.'” Isaiah 44:24. “Thus saith jehovah the King of Israel, and his redeemer, jehovah zebaoth, i am the First and the Last, and beside Me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6. “You jehovah art our Father, our redeemer: from everlasting is Your name.” Isaiah 63:16. “With the mercy of eternity I will be merciful, says your redeemer jehovah.” Isaiah 54:8. “THOU HAST REDEEMED ME, O JEHOVAH OF TRUTH.” Psalm 31:5. “Israel shall hope in jehovah, because with jehovah is mercy, plenteous redemption with Him; He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” Psalm 130:7, 8. “jehovah is god, and your redeemer the Holy One of Israel; the god of the whole earth he shall be called.” Isaiah 54:5. From these and very many other passages, every man who has eyes, and a mind open through his eyes, may see that God, who is one, descended and was made Man for the sake of an end, which was that He might perform the work of redemption: who cannot see this as in morning light, whilst he attends to those Divine declarations themselves which have been adduced? Nevertheless, they, who are in the shade of night, in consequence of continuing themselves in favour of the birth of another God from eternity, and of His descent and redemption, shut their eyes to those Divine declarations, and think under them how they may apply them to their falses and pervert them.

There are several reasons why God could not redeem men, that is, draw them out from damnation and hell, except by the Humanity which He assumed; for redemption was the subjugation of the hells, and the orderly arrangement of the heavens, and after these the new establishment of the church, which things God could not effect of His omnipotence, except by the Humanity in like manner as no man can work unless he has an arm; His Humanity also in the Word is called the arm of Jehovah: Isaiah 40:10; 53:1. in like manner, too, as no one can attack a fortified city, and destroy the temples of the idols which are in it, except by mediate powers; that God in this Divine work had omnipotence by His Humanity, is also evident from the Word; for God, who is in the inmost, and thereby the purest principles, could not in any other possible manner pass to the ultimates in which the hells are, and in which mankind were at that time, comparatively as the soul cannot act at all without the body; or as no one can conquer enemies, who do not come into his view, or to whom he cannot accede and approach with arms, as spears, shields, or muskets. To do the work of redemption without the Humanity was as impossible for God, as it is for a man to subdue the Indies, without transferring thither soldiers by ships; also as to cause trees to grow merely by heat and light, without the creation of air, through which heat and light may pass, and without the creation of earth, from which trees may be produced; yea, it is as impossible, as it is to catch fish by casting nets into the air, instead of casting them into water: for Jehovah, such as He is in Himself, from His omnipotence, cannot reach any devil in hell, nor any devil on earth, so as to restrain him and his fury, and to subdue his violence, unless He be in ultimates as He is in first principles; He is in ultimates in His Humanity, wherefore in the Word He is called the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. TCR 83, 84.

Verse 20. Inasmuch as by the Holy Spirit is meant Divine Truth, and this [Divine Truth] was in the Lord, and was the Lord Himself; John 14:6. and thus whereas the Holy Spirit could not proceed from any other source, therefore it is written, “The Holy Spirit was not yet, because Jesus was not yet glorified;” John 7:39. and after His glorification, “He breathed on the disciples, and said, Receive you the Holy Spirit.” John 20:22. The reason why the Lord breathed on the disciples, and so said, was, because breathing was a representative external sign of Divine inspiration: but inspiration is insertion into angelic societies. From these considerations, the intellect may be enabled to comprehend what was said concerning the Lord’s conception, by the angel Gabriel, “The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the virtue of the Highest shall overshadow you, therefore that Holy Thing which shall be born of you shall be called the Son of God.” Luke 1:35. Also, “The angel of the Lord said to Joseph in a dream, Fear not to take Mary your bride, for what is born in her is from the Holy Spirit; and Joseph, did not touch her until she brought forth her first-begotten Son.” Matt 1:20, 25. The Holy Spirit, in these passages, is the Divine Truth proceeding from Jehovah the Father, and this proceeding is the virtue of the Highest, which on that occasion overshadowed the mother. This, therefore, coincides with the following passage in John: ” The Word was with God, and God was the Word, and the Word was made flesh.” 1:1, 14. By the Word, in this passage, is meant the Divine Truth. TCR 140; see also TCR 188.

Hence it may appear how the angels spoke by the prophets, namely, that the Lord Himself spoke, although by angels, and that the angels did not speak at all from themselves. That the Word is from the Lord appears from many passages, as from Matthew 1:22, 23. AC 1925.

Verse 23. They shall call His name emmanuel.-By a name and calling a name is denoted the quality, of a thing; and this being the signification of names, therefore, to call, without making mention of a name, in the internal sense of the Word, signifies to be of such a quality; as in Isaiah, “Hear you this, O house of Jacob, called by the name of Israel, and from the waters of Judah they came forth, because they are called from the city of holiness, and stay themselves on the God of Israel;” Is 48:1, 2. where “to be called from the city of holiness” denotes to be of such a quality; and in Luke, “Behold you shall conceive in the womb, and shalt bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest.” Luke 1:31, 32. To be called the Son of the Highest denotes to be so. AC 3421.

It is also written in Isaiah, “A virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name God-with-us: butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to reprobate the evil and to choose the good;” Is 7:14, 15. that these words are spoken of the Lord, may be seen confirmed in Matthew 1:23: any one may see that by butter and honey, there mentioned, are not meant butter and honey, but somewhat Divine corresponding thereto; for it follows, “That He may know to reprobate the evil and choose the good,” which is not known by eating butter and honey; but by butter is signified the delight of spiritual good, and by honey the delight of natural good, consequently, the Divine-Spiritual and the Divine-Natural of the Lord are thereby signified, and thus His Humanity interior and exterior; that the Lord’s Humanity is what is understood, may appear from its being said, “That a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son;” and. that this is Divine, is evident from His name being called God-with-us; name denoting quality, here therefore, that it was Divine, AE 619.

Verse 25. See AC 9356.

TRANSLATOR’S NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS.

Chapter I.

Verse 11. About the time, &c. – See Dr. Hammond on the proper construction of the Greek particle .

Verse 19. Not willing to expose her to public infamy.– See Doddridge’s Family Expositor, se100:8,

MATTHEW 1    Other translations  –  next  –  meaning  –  Matthew  –  B

Ecclesiastes 1:1-18


Solomon builds the temple

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Solomon_dedicates_the_temple

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Solomon builds the temple

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Solomon Dedicates the Temple at Jerusalem, c. ...

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The picture is a Greek Catholic icon depicting...

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The picture is a Greek Catholic icon depicting...

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King Solomon in Old Age (1Kings 4:29-34)

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Solomon and the Plan for the Temple, as in 1 K...

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Piero della Francesca: Legend of the True Cros...

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King Solomon, Russian icon from first quarter ...

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Ecclesiastes, (קֹהֶלֶת, Kohelet, "son of ...
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Ecclesiastes 1

1The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

2Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

3What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

4One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth for ever.

5The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.

6The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits.

7All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.

8All things are full of labour; man cannot utter it: the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.

9The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

10Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

11There is no remembrance of former things; neither shall there be any remembrance of things that are to come with those that shall come after.

12I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.

13And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

14I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.

15That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered.

16I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.

17And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit.

18For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.

The Search For Meaning:

Ecclesiastes is one of the favorite books of the Bible for skeptics, scoffers, atheists and certain of the cultists. The reason for that is that there are certain passages in this book which seem to deny that there is life after death, that it is all over when this life ends. Atheists love to contend that the book of Ecclesiastes seems to confirm that view. That is why they frequently quote from it. Hedonists love this book too because it apparently endorses a rather Epicurean lifestyle. Those who pursue pleasure as the chief aim of life — and there are a great many of them in this country today, as the United States is probably more hedonistic than any nation that has ever existed — love the book because again and again throughout it we are exhorted to an “Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we must die” philosophy. Then there are passages in this book which are the favorite texts of those who declare that even if we survive beyond this life we enter a period of quietness, a time when we have no knowledge or desires. This teaching falls in line with those cultists who teach “soul sleep,” i.e., that when the body dies the soul goes to sleep within the body.

But all of these groups fail to note what we must note right from the beginning, that this book is an examination of secular wisdom and knowledge. The book clearly states at the outset that it is limiting itself to that which is apparent to the natural mind. One of the key phrases of the book is the continual repetition of the words, “under the sun.” What does a man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?” Verse 3 asks. We find that phrase used again in Verse 9. That is the limitation put upon this book.

Ecclesiastes is a collection of what man is able to discern under the sun, i.e., in the visible world. The book does not take into consideration revelation that comes from beyond man’s powers of observation and reason. It is an inspired, an accurate book. It guarantees that what it reports is what people actually believe. but it is an examination of those beliefs. The book is not merely a collection of ancient philosophy, for what it talks about is very much up-to-date and extremely relevant. Here is what you will hear propounded in soap operas, in political speeches, in the radical or conservative movements of our day. Here is what you will hear in the halls of academia, or on the streets of any city. In this book the philosophies by which people attempt to live life are brought into consideration and examined. That is why Ecclesiastes is so practical and up-to-date.

The first three verses introduce the theme of the book:

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity
What does man gain by all the toil
at which he tolls under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 1:1-3 RSV)

First, we learn that the writer is, “the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.” We immediately recognize that that could refer to no one but King Solomon. “The son of David” could refer to any descendant of David who sat on the throne after him, but this particularly relates to Solomon, as several things in the book will confirm.

Many of the critical commentators of our day question that view, and very few of them accept it. They try to date the book after the Babylonian exile, some 500 years after Solomon lived. That is the habitual stance of critics of the Old Testament. But their views have been proved wrong again and again, based, as they think they are, upon an examination of the culture of the day. I think, however, that we shall have no problem accepting the fact that it is indeed Solomon who shares with us in this book the wisdom that God taught him throughout his life.

The translators, unfortunately, here refer to Solomon as “the Preacher.” I am sorry they used that term. I know the book sounds a little preachy at the beginning. On reading that second verse it would be so easy to affect a “stained-glass” voice. In a modern audience this, of course, would turn everybody off. The word for Preacher is the Hebrew word Qoheleth, which really means, “the one who gathers, assembles, or collects things.” This is an apt title for the author of this book who has examined and then collected together the philosophies by which men live. But I think a more accurate English word to translate this would be “the Searcher.” Here is a searching mind which has looked over all of life and seen what is behind the actions of people. That is the word which I am going to use wherever the word, “the Preacher,” occurs. It is not really a preacher or proclaimer but a searcher that is in view.

This is indeed a search, and, if you are concerned about what he discovered, he tells us. You do not have to read the last chapter to find out the results of his search because he puts it right here in Verse 2: “Vanity of vanities” — that is what he found. Vanity here does not mean pride of face. Some of you ladies — maybe even some of you men — spent too much time in front of the mirror this morning. Not only did you finish what you needed to do to make yourself presentable, but you admired it a little. We call that vanity, pride of face, but that is not what this Searcher is talking about. The word here, in the original, means, “emptiness, futility, meaninglessness, blah-ness.” That is what he is talking about. His view of what he found out in his search through life is put in those terms. Emptiness, a feeling of futility — that is what life brings.

Nothing in itself, the Searcher claims, will satisfy. No thing, no pleasure, no relationship, nothing he found had enduring value in life. That is why my sub-title for this study is, “The Things That Won’t Work.” Everybody is trying to make them work; everybody has seized on one or another of these philosophies, these views of life, and tries to make it satisfy him. But according to this Searcher, who has gone through it all, nothing will work. When he says, “Vanity of vanities, emptiness of emptiness,” that is the Hebrew way of declaring the superlative. There is nothing more empty, this man concludes, than life.

In Verse 3 we have the question which he continually used in his search: “What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?” What is the profit of it to him? This is an interesting Hebrew word, meaning, “that which is left over.” After he has sucked dry all the immediate delight, joy or pleasure out of something, what is left over, what endures, what will remain to continually feed the hunger of his life for satisfaction? That is the right question. It is the question we all are asking. Is there anything that will really minister continually to my need — that summum bonum, that highest good, which, if I find it, I do not need to look any further? Is there a key to continual pleasure, delight and joy in life?

The Searcher raises a very pertinent question right at the beginning. This is the search which this book will take upon. Verses 4-11, where he amplifies this a little, are a brief introduction to exactly what he means, Verses 4-7 describe the sense of futility which nature gives us as we live in this natural world; and Verses 8-11 describe the sense of futility that every person individually feels as he faces life.

Verses 4-7:

A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains for ever.
The sun rises and the sun goes down,
and hastens to the place where it rises.
The wind blows to the south,
and goes round to the north;
round and round goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
All streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again. (Ecclesiastes 1:4-7 RSV)

— the endless cycles of life. The Searcher’s theme is stated in Verse 4: Humanity is transient, but nature is permanent. A generation goes and a generation comes — the human race passes on from this life, comes into life, lives its term and goes on — but the earth remains forever.

He has three proofs of this, the first of which is the circle of the sun. The sun rises in the east, runs across the heavens, apparently, and sets in the west; then it scurries around the dark side of the earth while we are sleeping, and there it is in the east again in the morning. That has been going on as long as time has been counted, as far back as we can read in human history. It is endless; it repeats itself again and again.

Then he speaks of the circuit of the winds, south to north. This is unusual, because we have no evidence that men understood scientifically the fact that the wind, the clouds and the great jet streams of earth run in circles. This is evident to us in our day because we can see from a satellite picture in any news broadcast the great circles of the winds. How they knew this back then I do not know. But Solomon knew it, though the scientific world of that day did not seem to understand it.

His third proof is the circuit of the evaporative cycle. Thirteen elders and pastors from this church have just returned from a backpack trip to the Sierras. There the mountain peaks were milking moisture from the clouds which passed over all you dry people down here. We had torrents of rain, hail, and even snow falling upon us while we were huddling in our little plastic tents, enjoying this backpack experience. Where does all the water which endlessly drops out of the sky come from? The answer, of course, is that it comes from the ocean. Out here to the west an invisible evaporative process is at work by which the water that runs into the sea never raises the level of the sea because there is an invisible raising of that water back up into the clouds. These clouds then move east by the circuit of the winds and drop their moisture again, and this goes on forever.

The writer is suggesting that there is something wrong in this. It is backwards, somehow. Man ought to be permanent and nature ought to be transient, he suggests. There is something within all of us that says this. We feel violated that we learn all these great lessons from life, but just as we have begun to learn how to handle life it is over, and the next generation has to start from scratch again.

The Scripture confirms that something is wrong. The Bible tells us that man was created to be the crown of creation. He is the one who is in dominion over all things. Man ought to last endlessly and nature ought to be changing, but it is the other way around. Man feels the protest of this in his spirit. We have all felt this. We all protest, inwardly, at least, the injustice of losing the wisdom of a Churchill, the beauty of a Princess Grace, or the charm of a John Kennedy. Something is wrong that all of this is suddenly taken away from us, while the meaningless cycle of nature goes on and on endlessly. Yes, the human spirit feels that strongly. That very pertinent question is going to be developed in the theme of this book.

But furthermore, the Searcher says, the present experience of every individual confirms this sense of futility. Verse 8:

All things are full of weariness;
[Actually, “full of weariness” is one Hebrew word which ought to be translated “restless.”]
a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done;
and there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there a thing of which it is said,
“See, this is new”?
It has been already,
in the ages before us.
There is no remembrance of former things,
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things yet to happen
among those who come after. (Ecclesiastes 1:8-11 RSV)

His thesis here is: “All things are restless.” He has observed that there is an inherent restlessness in everything. In fact, it is so widespread nobody can possibly describe all the restlessness of life.

He has two proofs of this. First, human desire is never satisfied: “The eye is not satisfied with seeing.” My wife’s mother is 95 years old. She is just a shell of a person now, but her mind is still sharp and clear. The other day we had her in our home and somebody mentioned a far-off place. Immediately she said, “Oh, I wish I could see that.” Despite her years, the eye is not tired of seeing; it longs yet to see other places, other realms, other customs. The eye is never satisfied.

Nor is the ear ever satisfied with hearing. We are always alert to some new idea or something new that has happened. That is why news programs are always popular. Television, radio and newspapers all cater to this hunger of the ear to hear something. Some juicy gossip about a Hollywood star will sell thousands of magazines and newspapers. That is why we tune in on soap operas. We just cannot tire of hearing something new. Some new way of making a profit, for instance, always makes its appeal. The Searcher’s argument is that the ear never tires because human desire is never satisfied; it is a consequence of the restlessness that is built into life.

But second, he says, even though we long to see or hear something new, nothing new ever really shows up. Life is a rehash of what has been before; it is the old played over and over again. That is his argument. This too is a result of the restlessness that is built into life. Although something looks new to us, actually, “there is nothing new under the sun.” Somebody immediately objects and says, “Wait a minute! They didn’t have radio, television, space travel or any such thing until just a few decades ago. Why even you, Ray Stedman, ought to be able to remember way back to the days before they had any of those things!”

When Don Broesamle and I were in Hong Kong recently, spending a couple days of rest after a rather exhausting travel and speaking schedule, we stayed at the wonderful old British Peninsula Hotel on the Kowloon side of Hong Kong. Right across the street from us was a newly built planetarium, and Don and I went to see there The Search For Other Civilizations. It is always exciting to me to sit in those domed rooms. The lights go down, the stars begin to appear above like the brightest stars on a summer’s night, and you suddenly feel the sense of eternity, you sense the greatness and the magnificence of the universe.

The show began by showing the great statues on Easter Island, in the Pacific Ocean, raising the question, “Where did these great statues come from?” These statues are huge, 20 feet or more in height, made of great stones that weigh hundreds of tons. Who erected them? Where did they come from, and how did they get there? Nobody has ever been able to answer those questions. Then the show took us into areas of South America where huge geometric patterns have been worked out over acres of ground. These designs have obviously been made by man, or some intelligent creature, yet they cannot even be seen unless they are viewed from the sky. This raises the question, “Why would any people draw figures on the ground so huge that they cannot be seen unless they are viewed from the air?” Many have surmised that past civilizations did have ways of rising above the earth. Perhaps visitors from space used these patterns. Other mysteries, such as Stonehenge in England, are propounded and compounded as one explores the earth. It struck me that that planetarium show was a confirmation of what the Searcher of Ecclesiastes declares, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done.” Other ages will repeat it. “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Why then do things appear new? His answer is in Verse 11: Man’s memory is faulty; we have forgotten things that once were. The planetarium show confirmed that. One excerpt showed the Mayans of Central America, the actual blood descendants of a race of intellectual giants who once lived in the area, who erected temples filled with mysteries that the present generation of Mayan Indians has long forgotten. They cannot explain them; they do not understand them. They have lost the knowledge of the past. This is what this writer declares. Our memories are so short that we lose what we know — and, he suggests, it may happen again. All these technological marvels that we are so proud of may one day disappear in a great nuclear holocaust. Viewing our television sets or some such things, future generations may well ask, “What in the world is this jungle of wires for? What did they do with this thing?” That is the problem. “There is nothing new under the sun.”

So the question is raised, “Is this all life is about?” Is it merely an empty pursuit of that which never satisfies? Can no breakthrough be made whereby something can be found that will continually meet the hunger of man’s heart, to give an unending sense of delight, satisfaction and joy? That is the search.

Before the Searcher takes us into the details of this search — which begins in Chapter 2 — he gives us a word as to his qualifications, in Verses 12-18. These fall into two divisions, his position, and his diligence. Verses 12-14:

I the Searcher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven; it is an unhappy business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with. I have seen everything that is done under the sun; and behold, all is emptiness and a striving after wind.

What is crooked cannot be made straight,
and what is lacking cannot be numbered. (Ecclesiastes 1:12-15 RSV)

This man’s position gave him unusual opportunity. He was a king, the highest authority in the land; no one would challenge what he did. And he was a king in a time of peace. For 40 years during the reign of Solomon no armies battered at the walls of Jerusalem, as they had been doing all through history and are threatening to do today. His father had amassed great wealth of which Solomon was the heir, and he himself had increased this wealth. For 40 years of the nation’s life there was no demand for expenditure for munitions. It was a time of peace and great wealth. Furthermore, during this time the Gentile nations were sending delegates to Jerusalem. The Queen of Sheba came all the way from the ends of the earth, she said, to see and hear the wisdom of this man. Solomon had great opportunity.

Furthermore, he was able to investigate widely. “I applied my mind to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven,” he says. He could get into everything. But, with all candor, he has to state, “It is an unhappy business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with.” That translation misses something of what he meant. In the Hebrew it is not “the sons of men,” rather, it is “the sons of man.” The word is Adam, “the sons of Adam.” So the reference is not to the conglomerate of humanity, it is to the nature of man.

I think he is making reference here to the fall of man. He is recognizing the fact that it is difficult for men to discover answers. There is something wrong inside of man. It is a tricky business for a man, who senses an overwhelming curiosity to discover the secrets of life around him, yet he finds himself baffled all the time by an inadequate understanding. Man cannot put it all together.

Furthermore, he was able to investigate even the opposites of things. “I have seen everything,” he says. Yet there were certain limitations inherent in that. That is what he quotes in a proverb, “What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be numbered.” It is difficult for man to discover the answers to life, because when he sees something wrong there is yet somehow an inbuilt difficulty that prevents him from correcting it. Have you ever felt, as I have, that when things go wrong in your family, although you long to put them right somehow you cannot get hold of it, you cannot make it right? “That which is crooked cannot be made straight.” One of the great frustrations of life is that no matter how hard you try there are some things you cannot set straight. Also, no matter how much you may discover, there is information you would long to have that you cannot find. “That which is lacking cannot be numbered.” That was this man’s problem.

Then he speaks of his diligence, Verse 16:

I said to myself, “I acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a chasing after wind.

For in much wisdom is much vexation,
and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow. (Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 RSV)

For you students who have just gone back to school, that is a great verse to memorize. “He who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” That is true, sad, but true. It is no argument for not increasing knowledge, though, because the alternative is even worse; ignorance is foolishness.

Isn’t it remarkable that the Man who for all ages has been the personification of wisdom is also the one who is called “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief”? (Isaiah 53:3). Yet this Searcher kept on, despite the increasing frustration that the more he knew the more he knew he did not know. At the close of his life, Isaac Newton said, “I have been paddling in the shallows of a great ocean of knowledge.” He too felt the frustration of not being able to encompass more.

This gives us a clue as to when this book was written. It must have been in the latter years of the reign of Solomon, after he had had ample opportunity to investigate all the areas of life and had done so. Following that period, which the book of First Kings describes, he fell into spiritual decline, led away by the idolatry of the wives he had married from foreign nations. This enlightened son of David, with all his knowledge of the law of Moses and all the insight of the word of God, actually ended up bowing down to lifeless idols in the heathen temples which he built for his wives in Jerusalem. But there was, apparently, a time of recovery.

One of the Targums of the Jews has an interesting word here:

When King Solomon was sitting upon the throne of his kingdom, his heart became greatly elated with riches, and he transgressed the commandment of the Word of God; and he gathered many houses, and chariots, and riders, and he amassed much gold and silver, and he married wives from foreign nations. Whereupon the anger of the Lord was kindled against him, and he sent to him Ashmodai, the king of the demons, and he drove him from the throne of his kingdom, and took away the ring from his hand, in order that he should roam and wander about in the world, to reprove it; and he went about the provincial towns and cities in the land of Israel, weeping and lamenting, and saying, “I am Coheleth, whose name was formerly called Solomon, who was King over Israel in Jerusalem.”

There is no reference to this period in Scripture, so this may not be trustworthy. But it may be true. There is suggestion in Scripture that there came a time when King Solomon saw the folly of what he was doing, and repented. This book is his considered proclamation from a chastened mind of what he had learned from life. This is not an angry young man speaking. These are the words of a man who has been through it all and is sharing with us what he found in his search.

Did he find an answer? Did he find that key to life that makes everything yield up its treasure of joy? The answer to that is, Yes, he did, and he tells us the answer in this book. But his answer is not what he has started out with here. What he found “under the sun” was emptiness, but he went on to find something more than that. That is what this book declares.

Prayer:

Thank you, Lord, for this wise, wise word. Thank you that the answers to life are not found in the wisdom of man. No human institution can give us the key to living. It must come from your loving hand, often through much pain and sorrow as we work our way to these great answers of life. Guide us now, guard us and help us to wait and learn and be attentive, remembering that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Title: The Search for Meaning Author: Ray C. Stedman
Series: Things that Don’t Work Date: September 19, 1982
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www.RayStedman.org