Woe to the Idolatrous Elders
1 Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me.
2 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
3 “Son of man, these men devised inventions in their hearts, and placed before their face the stumbling block of their wrongdoings. Shall I indeed answer them?
4 Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord: “Any man of the house of Israel who devises inventions in his heart, and places before his face the stumbling block of his wrongdoing, and then comes to the prophet, I, the Lord, will answer him according to the things in which his mind is entangled,
5 so as to lead astray the house of Israel according to their hearts, which are completely alienated from Me in their inventions.’ ”
6 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord and Master: “Be converted and turn away from your practices and all your ungodliness; then turn your faces back again.
7 For any man from the house of Israel, or the resident aliens who sojourn in Israel, who alienates himself from Me, and devises inventions in his heart, and places before his face the stumbling block of his wrongdoing, and comes to the prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, then I, the Lord, will answer him according to the things that entangle his mind.
8 I shall set My face against that man, and make him desolate and ruined, and remove him from the midst of My people. You shall know that I am the Lord.
9 If the prophet is led astray and speaks, I, the Lord, have led that prophet astray; and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from the midst of My people Israel.
10 So they shall bear their wrongdoing—the one who inquired shall bear his wrongdoing according to his wrong, and likewise it shall be for the prophet,
11 so the house of Israel may not stray from Me, nor be defiled any longer with all their transgressions, but be My people and I their God,” says the Lord.’ ”
12 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,†
13 “Son of man, if a land sins against Me by committing a trespass, I shall stretch out My hand against it. I shall cut off its supply of bread, send famine upon it, and remove man and cattle from it.
14 Even though these three men: Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,” says the Lord.
15 “If again I bring wild animals upon the land and punish it, and it becomes desolate because men fear the wild animals,
16 even though these three men were in the land, as I live,” says the Lord, “neither sons nor daughters would be saved. Instead, only they themselves would be delivered, but the land would be desolate.
17 “Or again, if I should bring a sword on that land and say, ‘Let a sword go through the land,’ and I removed man and cattle from it,
18 even though these three men were in it, as I live,” says the Lord, “they would deliver neither sons nor daughters, but only they themselves would be delivered.
19 “Or if I should send death upon the land and pour out My anger upon it in blood, to destroy both man and cattle from it,
20 and Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live,” says the Lord, “neither sons nor daughters would be left. Only they by their righteousness would deliver their souls.”
21 Thus says the Lord: “But even if I send upon Jerusalem My four evil punishments—sword, famine, wild animals, and death—to destroy from it both man and cattle,
22 yet behold, the remnant in it, those of it who are saved, who bring out sons and daughters from it, behold, these shall go forth to you. You will see their ways and inventions and be sorry over the evils I brought upon Jerusalem, even all the evils I brought upon it.
23 Then they will console you, because you will see their ways and their inventions; and you will know I have not done in vain whatever I did in it,” says the Lord.
The Worthless Vine
1 Again the word of the Lord came to me, saying,†
2 “Son of man, of all the wood of the branches in the forest, what would be made from the wood of the vine?
3 Would they take wood from it to make something for profit? Would they take a peg from it on which to hang some object?
4 It is only thrown into the fire to be consumed, for the fire consumes what is pruned from it each year; thus nothing is left. So will it be useful for profit?
5 Not even while it was whole would it be useful for profit. How much less useful would it be once the fire devoured it?
6 “Therefore thus says the Lord: ‘As the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I give to the fire to be consumed, so I give the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
7 and I shall set My face against them. They will get away from the fire, yet fire will devour them. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I set My face against them.
8 Thus I shall give the land over to ruin, because they utterly transgressed,’ says the Lord.”
1 Alleluia. †Blessed are the blameless in the way Who walk in the law of the Lord.
2 Blessed are those who search out His testimonies; They shall search for Him with their whole heart.
3 For those who work lawlessness Do not walk in His ways.
4 You commanded us regarding Your commandments, That we should be very diligent to keep them.
5 Would that my ways were led, That I might keep Your ordinances.
6 Then I would not be ashamed When I regard all Your commandments.
7 I will give thanks to You, O Lord, with an upright heart, When I learn the judgments of Your righteousness.
8 I shall keep Your ordinances; Do not utterly forsake me.
9 How shall a young man keep his way straight? When he keeps Your words.
10 I searched for You with my whole heart; Do not drive me away from Your commandments.
11 I hid Your teachings in my heart So as not to sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord; Teach me Your ordinances.
13 With my lips I declared All the judgments of Your mouth.
14 I delight in the way of Your testimonies As much as in all riches.
15 I shall meditate on Your commandments, And I shall understand Your ways.
16 I shall meditate on Your ordinances; I shall not forget Your words.
Proverbs of Solomon 25
17 There is prosperity for kings in patience, And a mild tongue breaks bones.
18 When you find honey, eat what is sufficient, Lest being filled, you should vomit it up.†
19 Seldom visit your own friend’s house, Lest he become fed up with your company and hate you.
20 As a club, a sword, and a pointed arrow, So also is the man who testifies as a false witness against his friend.
21 The tooth of an evil man and the foot of a lawless man Shall perish in an evil day.
Lack of Faith and Works: Quarrels in the Church
1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members?†
2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
11 Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.†
12 There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?
Being Overly Confident
13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”;†
14 whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.
15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.”
16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.
17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.