ESV Chronological

Over 365 days, read the events of the Bible as they occurred chronologically. For example, the Book of Job is integrated with Genesis because Job lived before Abraham.

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  1. Ecclesiastes 1–6

    Ecclesiastes 1–6 (Listen)

    All Is Vanity

    The words of the Preacher,1 the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

      Vanity2 of vanities, says the Preacher,
        vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
      What does man gain by all the toil
        at which he toils under the sun?
      A generation goes, and a generation comes,
        but the earth remains forever.
      The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
        and hastens3 to the place where it rises.
      The wind blows to the south
        and goes around to the north;
      around and around 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.
      All things are full of weariness;
        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.
    10   Is there a thing of which it is said,
        “See, this is new”?
      It has been already
        in the ages before us.
    11   There is no remembrance of former things,4
        nor will there be any remembrance
      of later things5 yet to be
        among those who come after.

    The Vanity of Wisdom

    12 I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I applied my heart6 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 children of man to be busy with. 14 I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity7 and a striving after wind.8

    15   What is crooked cannot be made straight,
        and what is lacking cannot be counted.

    16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

    18   For in much wisdom is much vexation,
        and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

    The Vanity of Self-Indulgence

    I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.9 I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines,10 the delight of the sons of man.

    So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

    The Vanity of Living Wisely

    12 So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done. 13 Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. 14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! 17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.

    The Vanity of Toil

    18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to the man who will come after me, 19 and who knows whether he will be wise or a fool? Yet he will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity. 20 So I turned about and gave my heart up to despair over all the toil of my labors under the sun, 21 because sometimes a person who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave everything to be enjoyed by someone who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil. 22 What has a man from all the toil and striving of heart with which he toils beneath the sun? 23 For all his days are full of sorrow, and his work is a vexation. Even in the night his heart does not rest. This also is vanity.

    24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment11 in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him12 who can eat or who can have enjoyment? 26 For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.

    A Time for Everything

    For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

      a time to be born, and a time to die;
      a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
      a time to kill, and a time to heal;
      a time to break down, and a time to build up;
      a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
      a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
      a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
      a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
      a time to seek, and a time to lose;
      a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
      a time to tear, and a time to sew;
      a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
      a time to love, and a time to hate;
      a time for war, and a time for peace.

    The God-Given Task

    What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.

    14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.13

    From Dust to Dust

    16 Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. 17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. 18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.14 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? 22 So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?

    Evil Under the Sun

    Again I saw all the oppressions that are done under the sun. And behold, the tears of the oppressed, and they had no one to comfort them! On the side of their oppressors there was power, and there was no one to comfort them. And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

    Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man's envy of his neighbor. This also is vanity15 and a striving after wind.

    The fool folds his hands and eats his own flesh.

    Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

    Again, I saw vanity under the sun: one person who has no other, either son or brother, yet there is no end to all his toil, and his eyes are never satisfied with riches, so that he never asks, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?” This also is vanity and an unhappy business.

    Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 11 Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 12 And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

    13 Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice. 14 For he went from prison to the throne, though in his own kingdom he had been born poor. 15 I saw all the living who move about under the sun, along with that16 youth who was to stand in the king's17 place. 16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

    Fear God

    Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. To draw near to listen is better than to offer the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they are doing evil. Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes with much business, and a fool's voice with many words.

    When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you18 into sin, and do not say before the messenger19 that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity;20 but21 God is the one you must fear.

    The Vanity of Wealth and Honor

    If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. But this is gain for a land in every way: a king committed to cultivated fields.22

    10 He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. 11 When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? 12 Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.

    13 There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, 14 and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. 15 As he came from his mother's womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. 16 This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go, and what gain is there to him who toils for the wind? 17 Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger.

    18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment23 in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. 19 Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. 20 For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.

    There is an evil that I have seen under the sun, and it lies heavy on mankind: a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity;24 it is a grievous evil. If a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul is not satisfied with life's good things, and he also has no burial, I say that a stillborn child is better off than he. For it comes in vanity and goes in darkness, and in darkness its name is covered. Moreover, it has not seen the sun or known anything, yet it finds rest rather than he. Even though he should live a thousand years twice over, yet enjoy25 no good—do not all go to the one place?

    All the toil of man is for his mouth, yet his appetite is not satisfied.26 For what advantage has the wise man over the fool? And what does the poor man have who knows how to conduct himself before the living? Better is the sight of the eyes than the wandering of the appetite: this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

    10 Whatever has come to be has already been named, and it is known what man is, and that he is not able to dispute with one stronger than he. 11 The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man? 12 For who knows what is good for man while he lives the few days of his vain27 life, which he passes like a shadow? For who can tell man what will be after him under the sun?

    Footnotes

    [1] 1:1 Or Convener, or Collector; Hebrew Qoheleth (so throughout Ecclesiastes)
    [2] 1:2 The Hebrew term hebel, translated vanity or vain, refers concretely to a “mist,” “vapor,” or “mere breath,” and metaphorically to something that is fleeting or elusive (with different nuances depending on the context). It appears five times in this verse and in 29 other verses in Ecclesiastes
    [3] 1:5 Or and returns panting
    [4] 1:11 Or former people
    [5] 1:11 Or later people
    [6] 1:13 The Hebrew term denotes the center of one's inner life, including mind, will, and emotions
    [7] 1:14 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (see note on 1:2)
    [8] 1:14 Or a feeding on wind; compare Hosea 12:1 (also in Ecclesiastes 1:17; 2:11, 17, 26; 4:4, 6, 16; 6:9)
    [9] 2:1 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verses 11, 15, 17, 19, 21, 23, 26 (see note on 1:2)
    [10] 2:8 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
    [11] 2:24 Or and make his soul see good
    [12] 2:25 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint, Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts apart from me
    [13] 3:15 Hebrew what has been pursued
    [14] 3:19 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (see note on 1:2)
    [15] 4:4 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verses 7, 8, 16 (see note on 1:2)
    [16] 4:15 Hebrew the second
    [17] 4:15 Hebrew his
    [18] 5:6 Hebrew your flesh
    [19] 5:6 Or angel
    [20] 5:7 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verse 10 (see note on 1:2)
    [21] 5:7 Or For when dreams and vanities increase, words also grow many; but
    [22] 5:9 The meaning of the Hebrew verse is uncertain
    [23] 5:18 Or and see good
    [24] 6:2 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath”; also verses 4, 9, 11 (see note on 1:2)
    [25] 6:6 Or see
    [26] 6:7 Hebrew filled
    [27] 6:12 The Hebrew term hebel can refer to a “vapor” or “mere breath” (see note on 1:2)

    (ESV)

  2. Proverbs 27–29

    Proverbs 27–29 (Listen)

    27   Do not boast about tomorrow,
        for you do not know what a day may bring.
      Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
        a stranger, and not your own lips.
      A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,
        but a fool's provocation is heavier than both.
      Wrath is cruel, anger is overwhelming,
        but who can stand before jealousy?
      Better is open rebuke
        than hidden love.
      Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
        profuse are the kisses of an enemy.
      One who is full loathes honey,
        but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet.
      Like a bird that strays from its nest
        is a man who strays from his home.
      Oil and perfume make the heart glad,
        and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel.1
    10   Do not forsake your friend and your father's friend,
        and do not go to your brother's house in the day of your calamity.
      Better is a neighbor who is near
        than a brother who is far away.
    11   Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad,
        that I may answer him who reproaches me.
    12   The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
        but the simple go on and suffer for it.
    13   Take a man's garment when he has put up security for a stranger,
        and hold it in pledge when he puts up security for an adulteress.2
    14   Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice,
        rising early in the morning,
        will be counted as cursing.
    15   A continual dripping on a rainy day
        and a quarrelsome wife are alike;
    16   to restrain her is to restrain the wind
        or to grasp3 oil in one's right hand.
    17   Iron sharpens iron,
        and one man sharpens another.4
    18   Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
        and he who guards his master will be honored.
    19   As in water face reflects face,
        so the heart of man reflects the man.
    20   Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
        and never satisfied are the eyes of man.
    21   The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold,
        and a man is tested by his praise.
    22   Crush a fool in a mortar with a pestle
        along with crushed grain,
        yet his folly will not depart from him.
    23   Know well the condition of your flocks,
        and give attention to your herds,
    24   for riches do not last forever;
        and does a crown endure to all generations?
    25   When the grass is gone and the new growth appears
        and the vegetation of the mountains is gathered,
    26   the lambs will provide your clothing,
        and the goats the price of a field.
    27   There will be enough goats' milk for your food,
        for the food of your household
        and maintenance for your girls.
    28   The wicked flee when no one pursues,
        but the righteous are bold as a lion.
      When a land transgresses, it has many rulers,
        but with a man of understanding and knowledge,
        its stability will long continue.
      A poor man who oppresses the poor
        is a beating rain that leaves no food.
      Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
        but those who keep the law strive against them.
      Evil men do not understand justice,
        but those who seek the LORD understand it completely.
      Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity
        than a rich man who is crooked in his ways.
      The one who keeps the law is a son with understanding,
        but a companion of gluttons shames his father.
      Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit5
        gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.
      If one turns away his ear from hearing the law,
        even his prayer is an abomination.
    10   Whoever misleads the upright into an evil way
        will fall into his own pit,
        but the blameless will have a goodly inheritance.
    11   A rich man is wise in his own eyes,
        but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.
    12   When the righteous triumph, there is great glory,
        but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.
    13   Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
        but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.
    14   Blessed is the one who fears the LORD6 always,
        but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
    15   Like a roaring lion or a charging bear
        is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
    16   A ruler who lacks understanding is a cruel oppressor,
        but he who hates unjust gain will prolong his days.
    17   If one is burdened with the blood of another,
        he will be a fugitive until death;7
        let no one help him.
    18   Whoever walks in integrity will be delivered,
        but he who is crooked in his ways will suddenly fall.
    19   Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,
        but he who follows worthless pursuits will have plenty of poverty.
    20   A faithful man will abound with blessings,
        but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished.
    21   To show partiality is not good,
        but for a piece of bread a man will do wrong.
    22   A stingy man8 hastens after wealth
        and does not know that poverty will come upon him.
    23   Whoever rebukes a man will afterward find more favor
        than he who flatters with his tongue.
    24   Whoever robs his father or his mother
        and says, “That is no transgression,”
        is a companion to a man who destroys.
    25   A greedy man stirs up strife,
        but the one who trusts in the LORD will be enriched.
    26   Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool,
        but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.
    27   Whoever gives to the poor will not want,
        but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.
    28   When the wicked rise, people hide themselves,
        but when they perish, the righteous increase.
    29   He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck,
        will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
      When the righteous increase, the people rejoice,
        but when the wicked rule, the people groan.
      He who loves wisdom makes his father glad,
        but a companion of prostitutes squanders his wealth.
      By justice a king builds up the land,
        but he who exacts gifts9 tears it down.
      A man who flatters his neighbor
        spreads a net for his feet.
      An evil man is ensnared in his transgression,
        but a righteous man sings and rejoices.
      A righteous man knows the rights of the poor;
        a wicked man does not understand such knowledge.
      Scoffers set a city aflame,
        but the wise turn away wrath.
      If a wise man has an argument with a fool,
        the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.
    10   Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless
        and seek the life of the upright.10
    11   A fool gives full vent to his spirit,
        but a wise man quietly holds it back.
    12   If a ruler listens to falsehood,
        all his officials will be wicked.
    13   The poor man and the oppressor meet together;
        the LORD gives light to the eyes of both.
    14   If a king faithfully judges the poor,
        his throne will be established forever.
    15   The rod and reproof give wisdom,
        but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
    16   When the wicked increase, transgression increases,
        but the righteous will look upon their downfall.
    17   Discipline your son, and he will give you rest;
        he will give delight to your heart.
    18   Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint,11
        but blessed is he who keeps the law.
    19   By mere words a servant is not disciplined,
        for though he understands, he will not respond.
    20   Do you see a man who is hasty in his words?
        There is more hope for a fool than for him.
    21   Whoever pampers his servant from childhood
        will in the end find him his heir.12
    22   A man of wrath stirs up strife,
        and one given to anger causes much transgression.
    23   One's pride will bring him low,
        but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
    24   The partner of a thief hates his own life;
        he hears the curse, but discloses nothing.
    25   The fear of man lays a snare,
        but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.
    26   Many seek the face of a ruler,
        but it is from the LORD that a man gets justice.
    27   An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
        but one whose way is straight is an abomination to the wicked.

    Footnotes

    [1] 27:9 Or and so does the sweetness of a friend that comes from his earnest counsel
    [2] 27:13 Hebrew a foreign woman; a slight emendation yields (compare Vulgate; see also 20:16) foreigners
    [3] 27:16 Hebrew to meet with
    [4] 27:17 Hebrew sharpens the face of another
    [5] 28:8 That is, profit that comes from charging interest to the poor
    [6] 28:14 Hebrew lacks the Lord
    [7] 28:17 Hebrew until the pit
    [8] 28:22 Hebrew A man whose eye is evil
    [9] 29:4 Or who taxes heavily
    [10] 29:10 Or but the upright seek his soul
    [11] 29:18 Or the people are discouraged
    [12] 29:21 The meaning of the Hebrew word rendered his heir is uncertain

    (ESV)

  3. Proverbs 25–26

    Proverbs 25–26 (Listen)

    More Proverbs of Solomon

    25 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied.

      It is the glory of God to conceal things,
        but the glory of kings is to search things out.
      As the heavens for height, and the earth for depth,
        so the heart of kings is unsearchable.
      Take away the dross from the silver,
        and the smith has material for a vessel;
      take away the wicked from the presence of the king,
        and his throne will be established in righteousness.
      Do not put yourself forward in the king's presence
        or stand in the place of the great,
      for it is better to be told, “Come up here,”
        than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.
      What your eyes have seen
        do not hastily bring into court,1
      for2 what will you do in the end,
        when your neighbor puts you to shame?
      Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
        and do not reveal another's secret,
    10   lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
        and your ill repute have no end.
    11   A word fitly spoken
        is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.
    12   Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold
        is a wise reprover to a listening ear.
    13   Like the cold of snow in the time of harvest
        is a faithful messenger to those who send him;
        he refreshes the soul of his masters.
    14   Like clouds and wind without rain
        is a man who boasts of a gift he does not give.
    15   With patience a ruler may be persuaded,
        and a soft tongue will break a bone.
    16   If you have found honey, eat only enough for you,
        lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.
    17   Let your foot be seldom in your neighbor's house,
        lest he have his fill of you and hate you.
    18   A man who bears false witness against his neighbor
        is like a war club, or a sword, or a sharp arrow.
    19   Trusting in a treacherous man in time of trouble
        is like a bad tooth or a foot that slips.
    20   Whoever sings songs to a heavy heart
        is like one who takes off a garment on a cold day,
        and like vinegar on soda.
    21   If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat,
        and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink,
    22   for you will heap burning coals on his head,
        and the LORD will reward you.
    23   The north wind brings forth rain,
        and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
    24   It is better to live in a corner of the housetop
        than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.
    25   Like cold water to a thirsty soul,
        so is good news from a far country.
    26   Like a muddied spring or a polluted fountain
        is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked.
    27   It is not good to eat much honey,
        nor is it glorious to seek one's own glory.3
    28   A man without self-control
        is like a city broken into and left without walls.
    26   Like snow in summer or rain in harvest,
        so honor is not fitting for a fool.
      Like a sparrow in its flitting, like a swallow in its flying,
        a curse that is causeless does not alight.
      A whip for the horse, a bridle for the donkey,
        and a rod for the back of fools.
      Answer not a fool according to his folly,
        lest you be like him yourself.
      Answer a fool according to his folly,
        lest he be wise in his own eyes.
      Whoever sends a message by the hand of a fool
        cuts off his own feet and drinks violence.
      Like a lame man's legs, which hang useless,
        is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
      Like one who binds the stone in the sling
        is one who gives honor to a fool.
      Like a thorn that goes up into the hand of a drunkard
        is a proverb in the mouth of fools.
    10   Like an archer who wounds everyone
        is one who hires a passing fool or drunkard.4
    11   Like a dog that returns to his vomit
        is a fool who repeats his folly.
    12   Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes?
        There is more hope for a fool than for him.
    13   The sluggard says, “There is a lion in the road!
        There is a lion in the streets!”
    14   As a door turns on its hinges,
        so does a sluggard on his bed.
    15   The sluggard buries his hand in the dish;
        it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth.
    16   The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes
        than seven men who can answer sensibly.
    17   Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own
        is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.
    18   Like a madman who throws firebrands, arrows, and death
    19   is the man who deceives his neighbor
        and says, “I am only joking!”
    20   For lack of wood the fire goes out,
        and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
    21   As charcoal to hot embers and wood to fire,
        so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.
    22   The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
        they go down into the inner parts of the body.
    23   Like the glaze5 covering an earthen vessel
        are fervent lips with an evil heart.
    24   Whoever hates disguises himself with his lips
        and harbors deceit in his heart;
    25   when he speaks graciously, believe him not,
        for there are seven abominations in his heart;
    26   though his hatred be covered with deception,
        his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.
    27   Whoever digs a pit will fall into it,
        and a stone will come back on him who starts it rolling.
    28   A lying tongue hates its victims,
        and a flattering mouth works ruin.

    Footnotes

    [1] 25:8 Or presence of a noble, as your eyes have seen. 8Do not go hastily out to court
    [2] 25:8 Hebrew or else
    [3] 25:27 The meaning of the Hebrew line is uncertain
    [4] 26:10 Or hires a fool or passersby
    [5] 26:23 By revocalization; Hebrew silver of dross

    (ESV)

  4. 1 Kings 9

    1 Kings 9 (Listen)

    The Lord Appears to Solomon

    As soon as Solomon had finished building the house of the LORD and the king's house and all that Solomon desired to build, the LORD appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. And the LORD said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you have made before me. I have consecrated this house that you have built, by putting my name there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. And as for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ But if you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. And this house will become a heap of ruins.1 Everyone passing by it will be astonished and will hiss, and they will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’ Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the LORD their God who brought their fathers out of the land of Egypt and laid hold on other gods and worshiped them and served them. Therefore the LORD has brought all this disaster on them.’”

    Solomon's Other Acts

    10 At the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the two houses, the house of the LORD and the king's house, 11 and Hiram king of Tyre had supplied Solomon with cedar and cypress timber and gold, as much as he desired, King Solomon gave to Hiram twenty cities in the land of Galilee. 12 But when Hiram came from Tyre to see the cities that Solomon had given him, they did not please him. 13 Therefore he said, “What kind of cities are these that you have given me, my brother?” So they are called the land of Cabul to this day. 14 Hiram had sent to the king 120 talents2 of gold.

    15 And this is the account of the forced labor that King Solomon drafted to build the house of the LORD and his own house and the Millo and the wall of Jerusalem and Hazor and Megiddo and Gezer 16 (Pharaoh king of Egypt had gone up and captured Gezer and burned it with fire, and had killed the Canaanites who lived in the city, and had given it as dowry to his daughter, Solomon's wife; 17 so Solomon rebuilt Gezer) and Lower Beth-horon 18 and Baalath and Tamar in the wilderness, in the land of Judah,3 19 and all the store cities that Solomon had, and the cities for his chariots, and the cities for his horsemen, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. 20 All the people who were left of the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of the people of Israel—21 their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the people of Israel were unable to devote to destruction4—these Solomon drafted to be slaves, and so they are to this day. 22 But of the people of Israel Solomon made no slaves. They were the soldiers, they were his officials, his commanders, his captains, his chariot commanders and his horsemen.

    23 These were the chief officers who were over Solomon's work: 550 who had charge of the people who carried on the work.

    24 But Pharaoh's daughter went up from the city of David to her own house that Solomon had built for her. Then he built the Millo.

    25 Three times a year Solomon used to offer up burnt offerings and peace offerings on the altar that he built to the LORD, making offerings with it5 before the LORD. So he finished the house.

    26 King Solomon built a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom. 27 And Hiram sent with the fleet his servants, seamen who were familiar with the sea, together with the servants of Solomon. 28 And they went to Ophir and brought from there gold, 420 talents, and they brought it to King Solomon.

    Footnotes

    [1] 9:8 Syriac, Old Latin; Hebrew will become high
    [2] 9:14 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms
    [3] 9:18 Hebrew lacks of Judah
    [4] 9:21 That is, set apart (devote) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction)
    [5] 9:25 Septuagint lacks with it

    (ESV)

    2 Chronicles 8

    2 Chronicles 8 (Listen)

    Solomon's Accomplishments

    At the end of twenty years, in which Solomon had built the house of the LORD and his own house, Solomon rebuilt the cities that Hiram had given to him, and settled the people of Israel in them.

    And Solomon went to Hamath-zobah and took it. He built Tadmor in the wilderness and all the store cities that he built in Hamath. He also built Upper Beth-horon and Lower Beth-horon, fortified cities with walls, gates, and bars, and Baalath, and all the store cities that Solomon had and all the cities for his chariots and the cities for his horsemen, and whatever Solomon desired to build in Jerusalem, in Lebanon, and in all the land of his dominion. All the people who were left of the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, who were not of Israel, from their descendants who were left after them in the land, whom the people of Israel had not destroyed—these Solomon drafted as forced labor, and so they are to this day. But of the people of Israel Solomon made no slaves for his work; they were soldiers, and his officers, the commanders of his chariots, and his horsemen. 10 And these were the chief officers of King Solomon, 250, who exercised authority over the people.

    11 Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter up from the city of David to the house that he had built for her, for he said, “My wife shall not live in the house of David king of Israel, for the places to which the ark of the LORD has come are holy.”

    12 Then Solomon offered up burnt offerings to the LORD on the altar of the LORD that he had built before the vestibule, 13 as the duty of each day required, offering according to the commandment of Moses for the Sabbaths, the new moons, and the three annual feasts—the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Booths. 14 According to the ruling of David his father, he appointed the divisions of the priests for their service, and the Levites for their offices of praise and ministry before the priests as the duty of each day required, and the gatekeepers in their divisions at each gate, for so David the man of God had commanded. 15 And they did not turn aside from what the king had commanded the priests and Levites concerning any matter and concerning the treasuries.

    16 Thus was accomplished all the work of Solomon from1 the day the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid until it was finished. So the house of the LORD was completed.

    17 Then Solomon went to Ezion-geber and Eloth on the shore of the sea, in the land of Edom. 18 And Hiram sent to him by the hand of his servants ships and servants familiar with the sea, and they went to Ophir together with the servants of Solomon and brought from there 450 talents2 of gold and brought it to King Solomon.

    Footnotes

    [1] 8:16 Septuagint, Syriac, Vulgate; Hebrew to
    [2] 8:18 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms

    (ESV)

  5. Psalm 134

    Psalm 134 (Listen)

    Come, Bless the Lord

    A Song of Ascents.

    134   Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD,
        who stand by night in the house of the LORD!
      Lift up your hands to the holy place
        and bless the LORD!
      May the LORD bless you from Zion,
        he who made heaven and earth!

    (ESV)

    Psalms 146–150

    Psalms 146–150 (Listen)

    Put Not Your Trust in Princes

    146   Praise the LORD!
      Praise the LORD, O my soul!
      I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
        I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
      Put not your trust in princes,
        in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
      When his breath departs, he returns to the earth;
        on that very day his plans perish.
      Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
        whose hope is in the LORD his God,
      who made heaven and earth,
        the sea, and all that is in them,
      who keeps faith forever;
        who executes justice for the oppressed,
        who gives food to the hungry.
      The LORD sets the prisoners free;
        the LORD opens the eyes of the blind.
      The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down;
        the LORD loves the righteous.
      The LORD watches over the sojourners;
        he upholds the widow and the fatherless,
        but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
    10   The LORD will reign forever,
        your God, O Zion, to all generations.
      Praise the LORD!

    He Heals the Brokenhearted

    147   Praise the LORD!
      For it is good to sing praises to our God;
        for it is pleasant,1 and a song of praise is fitting.
      The LORD builds up Jerusalem;
        he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
      He heals the brokenhearted
        and binds up their wounds.
      He determines the number of the stars;
        he gives to all of them their names.
      Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
        his understanding is beyond measure.
      The LORD lifts up the humble;2
        he casts the wicked to the ground.
      Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving;
        make melody to our God on the lyre!
      He covers the heavens with clouds;
        he prepares rain for the earth;
        he makes grass grow on the hills.
      He gives to the beasts their food,
        and to the young ravens that cry.
    10   His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
        nor his pleasure in the legs of a man,
    11   but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him,
        in those who hope in his steadfast love.
    12   Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem!
        Praise your God, O Zion!
    13   For he strengthens the bars of your gates;
        he blesses your children within you.
    14   He makes peace in your borders;
        he fills you with the finest of the wheat.
    15   He sends out his command to the earth;
        his word runs swiftly.
    16   He gives snow like wool;
        he scatters frost like ashes.
    17   He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;
        who can stand before his cold?
    18   He sends out his word, and melts them;
        he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
    19   He declares his word to Jacob,
        his statutes and rules3 to Israel.
    20   He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
        they do not know his rules.4
      Praise the LORD!

    Praise the Name of the Lord

    148   Praise the LORD!
      Praise the LORD from the heavens;
        praise him in the heights!
      Praise him, all his angels;
        praise him, all his hosts!
      Praise him, sun and moon,
        praise him, all you shining stars!
      Praise him, you highest heavens,
        and you waters above the heavens!
      Let them praise the name of the LORD!
        For he commanded and they were created.
      And he established them forever and ever;
        he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.5
      Praise the LORD from the earth,
        you great sea creatures and all deeps,
      fire and hail, snow and mist,
        stormy wind fulfilling his word!
      Mountains and all hills,
        fruit trees and all cedars!
    10   Beasts and all livestock,
        creeping things and flying birds!
    11   Kings of the earth and all peoples,
        princes and all rulers of the earth!
    12   Young men and maidens together,
        old men and children!
    13   Let them praise the name of the LORD,
        for his name alone is exalted;
        his majesty is above earth and heaven.
    14   He has raised up a horn for his people,
        praise for all his saints,
        for the people of Israel who are near to him.
      Praise the LORD!

    Sing to the Lord a New Song

    149   Praise the LORD!
      Sing to the LORD a new song,
        his praise in the assembly of the godly!
      Let Israel be glad in his Maker;
        let the children of Zion rejoice in their King!
      Let them praise his name with dancing,
        making melody to him with tambourine and lyre!
      For the LORD takes pleasure in his people;
        he adorns the humble with salvation.
      Let the godly exult in glory;
        let them sing for joy on their beds.
      Let the high praises of God be in their throats
        and two-edged swords in their hands,
      to execute vengeance on the nations
        and punishments on the peoples,
      to bind their kings with chains
        and their nobles with fetters of iron,
      to execute on them the judgment written!
        This is honor for all his godly ones.
      Praise the LORD!

    Let Everything Praise the Lord

    150   Praise the LORD!
      Praise God in his sanctuary;
        praise him in his mighty heavens!6
      Praise him for his mighty deeds;
        praise him according to his excellent greatness!
      Praise him with trumpet sound;
        praise him with lute and harp!
      Praise him with tambourine and dance;
        praise him with strings and pipe!
      Praise him with sounding cymbals;
        praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
      Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!
      Praise the LORD!

    Footnotes

    [1] 147:1 Or for he is beautiful
    [2] 147:6 Or afflicted
    [3] 147:19 Or and just decrees
    [4] 147:20 Or his just decrees
    [5] 148:6 Or it shall not be transgressed
    [6] 150:1 Hebrew expanse (compare Genesis 1:6–8)

    (ESV)

 

National MS Society News

This is a list of all national news for the National MS Society.