1 ‘O Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, a soul in straits and a spirit of weariness cries out to You. 2 Hear, O Lord, and have mercy, for we have sinned against You. 3 You endure forever, but we are perishing forever. 4 O Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, hear the prayer of the dead of Israel and of the sons who have sinned against You, who have not obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, so calamities have clung to us. 5 Do not remember the wrongdoings of our fathers, but remember Your hand and Your name in this time. 6 For You are the Lord our God, and You we will praise, O Lord. 7 On account of this You granted in our hearts the fear of You, to call upon Your name, and we shall praise You in our exile, because we will turn away from our hearts all the iniquities of our fathers who sinned against You. 8 Behold, today we are in our exile, where You have scattered us to be a reproach and a curse and a punishment for all the iniquities of our fathers, who fell away from the Lord our God.’ ”
The Way of Wisdom
9 Hear, O Israel, the commandments of life; give ear to know wisdom. 10 Why is it, O Israel, that you are in the land of your enemies, that you have grown old in a foreign land, 11 that you are defiled with the dead and counted among those in Hades? 12 You have forsaken the fountain of wisdom. 13 If you had walked in the way of God, you would have dwelt in peace forever. 14 Learn where wisdom is, where strength is, where understanding is, so at the same time you may know where length of days and life are, where peace is and the light of the eyes. 15 Who has found her place? Who has entered into her treasures?
16 Where are the rulers of the nations and those who ruled over the wild animals of the earth; 17 those who sport with the birds of the air and those hoarding silver and gold, in which men trust (and there is no end to the acquisition of these), 18 those who scheme to obtain silver and are anxious, whose works are unsearchable? 19 They vanish and descend into Hades, and others have risen up to take their place.
20 Young men have seen the light and dwelt in the land, but they have not known the way of knowledge, 21 nor practiced it, nor understood her paths; their sons are far from her path. 22 It has not been heard in Canaan, nor seen in Tamar; 23 the sons of Hagar, who seek understanding on the earth, the merchants of Merra and of Tamar, the storytellers and those who search out understanding—none of these have learned the way of wisdom nor remember her paths. They do not know.
24 O Israel, how great is the house of God, and how far-reaching the place He possesses! 25 It is great and has no end; it is high and immeasurable. 26 The giants born there, those renowned from the beginning, being very large in size and skilled in war, 27 God did not choose them nor grant them the way of knowledge. 28 Instead, they perished because they failed to attain to wisdom; they perished through their thoughtless counsel.
The Author of Wisdom
29 Who has gone up into heaven and taken hold of her, and brought her down from the clouds? 30 Who has crossed the sea and found her, and brought her back for pure gold? 31 No one knows her way, nor does anyone ponder her path. 32 But the One who knows all things knows her; He has found her by His understanding—He who formed the earth for all time, who filled it with four-footed creatures; 33 the One who sends forth the light and it goes out; the One who calls to it, and it obeys with fear. 34 The stars shone in their watches and rejoiced. 35 He called them and they said, “Here we are!” They shone with gladness for Him who made them. 36 This is our God; no other shall be compared to Him. 37 He found the whole way of knowledge and gave it to Jacob His servant and to Israel His beloved. 38 Afterwards, He was seen upon the earth and lived among men.
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.
1 O Jerusalem, take off the garment of your sorrow and your oppression, and put on the beauty from the God of glory forever. 2 Put around you the double robe of righteousness from God; set upon your head the diadem of the glory of the Eternal One. 3 For God will show your brightness to every nation under heaven, 4 for your name will forever be called by God the Peace of Righteousness and the Glory of Godliness.
5 Arise, O Jerusalem, stand upon the heights and look eastward, and behold your children being gathered together by the word of the Holy One, rejoicing in the remembrance of God. 6 For they went out from you on foot, being led away by their enemies. But God will return them being carried back with glory, as on the throne of a kingdom. 7 For God commanded every high mountain and the everlasting hills to be made low, and all the valleys to be filled until made level, so that Israel may walk safely in the glory of God; 8 and at the command of God, the woods and every fragrant tree have shaded Israel. 9 For God will lead Israel with joy in the light of His glory, with mercy and righteousness that come from Him.
97 How I love Your law, O Lord;
It is my meditation the whole day long.
98 You make me wiser than my enemies with Your commandment,
For it is mine forever.
99 I understand more than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the elders,
For I search Your commandments.
101 I withheld my feet from every evil way,
That I might keep Your words.
102 I did not turn away from Your judgments,
For You taught me Your law.
103 How sweet to my taste are Your teachings,
More than honey and the honeycomb in my mouth.
104 I gained understanding because of Your commandments;
Therefore, I hate every unrighteous way.
105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my paths.
106 I swore and confirmed
That I would keep the judgments of Your righteousness.
107 I was humbled exceedingly;
O Lord, give me life according to Your word.
108 Be well-pleased with the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord,
And teach me Your judgments.
109 My soul is always in Your hands,
And I have not forgotten Your law.
110 Sinners set snares for me,
But I did not wander from Your commandments.
111 I inherited Your testimonies forever,
For these are the exceeding joy of my heart.
112 I inclined my heart to do Your ordinances
Forever for a reward.
14 A slothful man who is sent on his way says,
“There is a lion in the way.”
15 As a door turns upon its hinge,
So does a slothful man upon his bed.
16 When a slothful man hides his hand in his bosom,
He shall be unable to bring it to his mouth.
17 A slothful man appears wiser to himself
Than he who satisfactorily brings back a message.
1 Peter 5
1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:
2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;
3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
Submit to God, Resist the Devil
5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time,
7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.
9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
10 But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
11 To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Farewell and Peace
12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.
13 She who is in Babylon, elect together with you, greets you; and so does Mark my son.
14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to you all who are in Christ Jesus. Amen.