Wisdom and the Law of God
1 She is the book of the commandments of God and the law that endures forever. All those who keep her will live, but those forsaking her will die.
2 Return, O Jacob, and take hold of her. Walk toward the radiance of the presence of her light.
3 Do not give your glory to another or the things that are of advantage to you to a foreign nation.
Jerusalem Speaks to Her Children
4 O Israel, we are blessed, for what is pleasing to our God is known to us.
5 Be of good courage, my people, O memorial of Israel.
6 You were sold to the nations, not for destruction, but you were handed over to the enemies because you provoked God.
7 You provoked Him who created you by sacrificing to demons and not to God.
8 You forgot the eternal God, who nursed you, and you grieved Jerusalem, which nourished you.
9 For she saw the wrath coming upon you from God, and she said, “Give heed, neighbors of Zion, God has brought upon me great sorrow,†
10 for I see the exile of my sons and my daughters which the Eternal One brought upon them.
11 With joy I raised them, but with weeping and sorrow I sent them away.
12 Let no one rejoice over me, a widow and forsaken of many. I was made desolate on account of the sins of my children, because they turned away from the Law of God.
13 And they did not know His ordinances, nor walk in the ways of the commandments of God, nor did they walk on the paths of discipline in His righteousness.
14 “Let the neighbors of Zion come, and let them remember the exile of my sons and my daughters, which the Eternal One brought upon them.
15 He brought a nation from afar against them, a shameless nation speaking a strange language, which does not respect the elderly nor pity the young child.
16 They led away the widow’s beloved sons and left her who was alone destitute without daughters.
17 But how can I be of help to you?
18 For He who brought these calamities upon you will deliver you from the hand of your enemies.
19 Go, my children, go; for I am left desolate.
20 I have taken off the robe of peace and clothed myself in the sackcloth of my prayer. I will cry out to the Eternal One in my days.
21 “O my children, take courage, cry out to God, and He will deliver you from the power and the hand of the enemies.
22 For I hope upon the Eternal One to save you, and the joy from the Holy One comes to me, because mercy will soon come to you from the Eternal One, your Savior.
23 For I sent you out with sorrow and weeping, but with joy and gladness God will restore you to me forever.
24 For just as the neighbors of Zion have now seen your exile, so too they will soon see your salvation from your God, which will come upon you with great glory and the radiance of the Eternal One.†
25 “My children, endure in patience the wrath that has come upon you from God. Your enemy has pursued you diligently, but soon you will see his destruction, and you will tread upon their necks.
26 My pampered ones have been made to walk rough roads; they were carried off like a flock seized by enemies.
27 Take courage, my children, and cry out to God, for you will be remembered by Him who brought this upon you.
28 For just as you purposed to go astray from God, now having returned, seek Him with tenfold zeal.
29 For the One who brought these calamities upon you will bring you everlasting joy with your salvation.”
Jerusalem Is Comforted
30 Take courage, O Jerusalem, for He who named you will comfort you.†
31 Wretched are those who mistreated you and rejoiced at your fall.
32 Wretched are the cities in which your children served as slaves. Wretched is she who took your sons.
33 For just as she took pleasure in your ruin and rejoiced over your fall, so shall she be grieved at her own desolation.
34 I shall take away from her the rejoicing of her great multitude, and her arrogance will become sorrow.
35 For fire will come upon her from the Eternal One for many days, and she will be inhabited by demons for a long time.†
36 O Jerusalem, look eastward, and see the joy that is coming to you from God.†
37 Behold, your sons whom you sent away are coming, gathered together from the east to the west by the word of the Holy One, rejoicing in the glory of God.
31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for His mercies And His wonders to the sons of men;
32 Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people And praise Him in the seat of the elders.
33 He turned rivers into a desert And streams of water into dry ground,
34 A fruitful land into salt water, Because of the evils of those living there.
35 He turned the desert into pools of water, And a land without water into streams of water;
36 Then He caused the hungry to dwell there And established a city for habitation;
37 They sowed fields and planted vineyards, And produced much fruit;
38 So He blessed them, and they were multiplied exceedingly, And their cattle did not diminish.
39 But they were diminished and maltreated By the affliction of evils and pain.
40 Contempt was poured out on princes, And He made them wander in an impassible place, where there was no road.
41 Yet He helped the poor man out of his poverty, And made his families like a flock.
42 The righteous shall see this and be glad, And all lawlessness shall stop its mouth.
43 Who is wise and shall keep these things, And shall understand the mercies of the Lord?
Proverbs of Solomon 23
28 Who has woe? Who has tumult? Who has condemnation? Who has unpleasantness and gossip? Who has afflictions with no purpose? Whose eyes are pale?
29 Is it not those who linger long with wines? Is it not those who hunt for the whereabouts of drinking parties?
30 Do not be drunk with wine, but keep company with righteous men, And keep company in public walks;
31 For if you set your eyes to the bowls and cups, Afterward you will walk about more naked than ground meat.
32 And at last, he stretches himself out as one bitten by a serpent, And the venom spreads through him as one bitten by a horned serpent.
Priestly Orders: Levi and Melchizedek
1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,†
2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,”
3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.
The Rules of the Priestly Orders
4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.
5 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham;
6 but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.
7 Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better.
8 Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.
9 Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak,
10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?†
12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.
13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.
14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.
15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest
16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.
17 For He testifies: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,
19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
20 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath
21 (for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: “The LORD has sworn And will not relent, ‘You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek’ ” ),
22 by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.
23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.
24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.