1 The word against Damascus: “Behold, Damascus will be taken away from among cities and will fall,†
2 abandoned forever. It shall be a fold and resting-place for sheep. No one will pursue them.
3 There shall no longer be a strong place for Ephraim to flee to, and there shall no longer be a kingdom in Damascus and a remnant of Syrians; for you are no better than the sons of Israel and their glory,” says the Lord of hosts.
4 “In that day, there shall be an eclipse of the glory of Jacob, and the riches of his glory shall be shaken.
5 It will be as when one gathers a standing harvest and reaps ears of corn with his arm. It shall be as when one gathers heads of grain in a rich valley.
6 It shall be as when straw is left in it, or as when the berries of an olive tree, two or three on the uppermost bough, or as when four or five are left on their branches,” says the Lord, the God of Israel.
7 In that day, a man will trust in Him who made him, and his eyes will look at the Holy One of Israel.
8 They will not trust in their altars, nor in the works of their hands, which their fingers made. They will not look to their trees, nor to their abominations.†
9 In that day, your cities will be abandoned, as the Amorites and the Evites forsook theirs, because of the children of Israel. They will be desolate,†
10 because you forsook God your Savior, and have not been mindful of the Lord your helper. Therefore you will be a faithless plant and a faithless seed.
11 In the day you plant, you will be deceived; but if you sow in the morning, it will blossom into a harvest, in which you will receive an inheritance in that day; and as a man’s father, you will obtain an inheritance for your sons.
12 Woe to the multitude of many nations; as the swelling sea, so shall you be troubled; and the surging of many nations will sound like water,
13 many nations like much water, as when much water rushes violently; and he will curse him and pursue him afar, as when the dust of chaff scatters before the wind, and a sudden blast of wind whirls the dust of a wheel!
14 Toward evening there will be mourning, and before morning, he will be no more. This is the portion of those who plundered you, and the inheritance of those who robbed you of your inheritance.
1 Woe, O farthest edge of the land of ships, beyond the rivers of Ethiopia!†
2 He sends hostages by sea and paper letters over the water, for swift messengers will go to an exalted nation and a strange and violent people. Who is beyond it, a nation without hope and trampled underfoot? Now all the rivers of the land
3 shall be inhabited, like an inhabited country. Their country shall be like a sign raised by a mountain and an audible sound like a trumpet.
4 So the Lord said to me, “There will be security in My city, as the light of the midday heat, and as a cloud of dew in the day of harvest.”
5 Before the time of harvest, when the flower has been completely formed, and the unripe grape has put forth its flower and produced sour grapes, then He shall take away the small clusters with sickles and the brushwood, and cut them off.†
6 Then He shall leave them together for the birds of heaven and the wild animals of the earth; and the birds of heaven shall gather upon them, and all the wild animals of the earth will come upon him.
7 At that time gifts shall be brought to the Lord of hosts by a people afflicted and peeled, and by a people great from now on and forever, a nation hoping and trampled on, which is in a part of a river of his country, to the place, Mount Zion, where the name of the Lord of hosts is called upon.
14 But I will hope continually, And I will add to all Your praise.
15 My mouth shall proclaim Your righteousness, Your salvation all the day, For I am not acquainted with learning.
16 I shall enter into the power of the Lord; O Lord, I shall remember Your righteousness, Yours alone.
17 You taught me, O God, from my youth, And from then until now I will proclaim Your wonders.
18 And even to old age and to my last breath, O God, do not abandon me, Until I proclaim Your arm to every coming generation, Yes, Your mighty deeds and Your righteousness.
19 O God, I proclaim the magnificent things You did, Even to the highest heaven; O God, who is like You?
20 How great and evil are the afflictions You showed me, And You returned, and made me live; And You raised me up again from the depths of the earth.
21 You multiplied Your greatness, And You returned and comforted me; You brought me up again from the depths of the earth.
22 Truly, I will give thanks to You with the instrument of a psalm, O God; I will sing to You with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
23 My lips will greatly rejoice when I sing to You; So will my soul, which You redeemed.
24 My tongue shall meditate on Your righteousness all the day long, When those who seek evils for me are dishonored and shamed.
Proverbs of Solomon 14
26 A faithful witness will rescue a soul from evil men, But a deceitful man kindles lies.
27 In the fear of the Lord there is hope of strength, And to His children there remains support.
28 The command of the Lord is a fountain of life, For it causes one to turn from the snare of death.†
29 The glory of a king is in a large nation, But the destruction of a ruler is in a lack of people.
30 A longsuffering man is strong in discernment, But the fainthearted man is strongly without discernment.†
2 Corinthians 11
Paul’s Reluctant Boasting
16 I say again, let no one think me a fool. If otherwise, at least receive me as a fool, that I also may boast a little.†
17 What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were, foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
18 Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast.
19 For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise!
20 For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face.
21 To our shame I say that we were too weak for that! But in whatever anyone is bold—I speak foolishly—I am bold also.
Jewish and Christian Credentials
22 Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I.†
23 Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.
24 From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.
25 Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26 in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27 in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—
28 besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to stumble, and I do not burn with indignation?
30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity.
31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying.
32 In Damascus the governor, under Aretas the king, was guarding the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desiring to arrest me;
33 but I was let down in a basket through a window in the wall, and escaped from his hands.