NWP.ORG

 

 

LEARN THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

JW.ORG

 

 

The Bible    The Holy Scriptures, the inspired Word of Jehovah, acknowledged as the greatest book of all times because of its antiquity, its total circulation, the number of languages into which it has been translated, its surpassing greatness as a literary masterpiece, and its overwhelming importance to all mankind. Independent of all other books, it imitates no other. It stands on its own merits, giving credit to its unique Author. The Bible is also distinguished as having survived more violent controversy than any other book, hated as it is by many enemies.

Name. The English word "Bible" comes through the Latin from the Greek word bi·bli´a, meaning "little books." This, in turn, is derived from bi´blos, a word that describes the inner part of the papyrus plant out of which a primitive form of paper was made. The Phoenician city of Gebal, famous for its papyrus papermaking, was called by the Greeks "Byblos." (See Jos 13:5, ftn.) In time bi·bli´a came to describe various writings, scrolls, books, and eventually the collection of little books that make up the Bible. Jerome called this collection Bibliotheca Divina, the Divine Library.

Jesus and writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures referred to the collection of sacred writings as "the Scriptures," or "the holy Scriptures," "the holy writings." (Mt 21:42; Mr 14:49; Lu 24:32; Joh 5:39; Ac 18:24; Ro 1:2; 15:4; 2Ti 3:15, 16) The collection is the written expression of a communicating God, the Word of God, and this is acknowledged in phrases such as "expression of Jehovah’s mouth" (De 8:3), "sayings of Jehovah" (Jos 24:27), "commandments of Jehovah" (Ezr 7:11), "law of Jehovah," "reminder of Jehovah," "orders from Jehovah" (Ps 19:7, 8), "word of Jehovah" (Isa 38:4), ‘utterance of Jehovah’ (Mt 4:4), "Jehovah’s word" (1Th 4:15). Repeatedly these writings are spoken of as "sacred pronouncements of God."—Ro 3:2; Ac 7:38; Heb 5:12; 1Pe 4:11.

Divisions. Sixty-six individual books from Genesis to Revelation make up the Bible canon. The choice of these particular books, and the rejection of many others, is evidence that the Divine Author not only inspired their writing but also carefully guarded their collection and preservation within the sacred catalog. (See APOCRYPHA; CANON.) Thirty-nine of the 66 books, making up three quarters of the Bible’s contents, are known as the Hebrew Scriptures, all having been initially written in that language with the exception of a few small sections written in Aramaic. (Ezr 4:8–6:18; 7:12-26; Jer 10:11; Da 2:4b–7:28) By combining some of these books, the Jews had a total of only 22 or 24 books, yet these embraced the same material. It also appears to have been their custom to subdivide the Scriptures into three parts—‘the law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.’ (Lu 24:44; see HEBREW SCRIPTURES.) The last quarter of the Bible is known as the Christian Greek Scriptures, so designated because the 27 books comprising this section were written in Greek. The writing, collecting, and arrangement of these books within the Bible’s canon also demonstrate Jehovah’s supervision from start to finish.—See CHRISTIAN GREEK SCRIPTURES.

Subdividing the Bible into chapters and verses (KJ has 1,189 chapters and 31,102 verses) was not done by the original writers, but it was a very useful device added centuries later. The Masoretes divided the Hebrew Scriptures into verses; then in the 13th century of our Common Era chapter divisions were added. Finally, in 1555 Robert Estienne’s edition of the Latin Vulgate was published as the first complete Bible with the present chapter and verse divisions.

The 66 Bible books all together form but a single work, a complete whole. As the chapter and verse marks are only convenient aids for Bible study and are not intended to detract from the unity of the whole, so also is the sectioning of the Bible, which is done according to the predominant language in which the manuscripts have come down to us. We, therefore, have both the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, with "Christian" added to the latter to distinguish them from the Greek Septuagint, which is the Hebrew portion of the Scriptures translated into Greek.

"Old Testament" and "New Testament." Today it is a common practice to refer to the Scriptures written in Hebrew and Aramaic as the "Old Testament." This is based on the reading in 2 Corinthians 3:14 in the Latin Vulgate and the King James Version. However, the rendering "old testament" in this text is incorrect. The Greek word di·a·the´kes here means "covenant," as it does in the other 32 places where it occurs in the Greek text. Many modern translations correctly read "old covenant." (NE, RS, JB) The apostle Paul is not referring to the Hebrew and Aramaic Scriptures in their entirety. Neither does he mean that the inspired Christian writings constitute a "new testament (or, covenant)." The apostle is speaking of the old Law covenant, which was recorded by Moses in the Pentateuch and which makes up only a part of the pre-Christian Scriptures. For this reason he says in the next verse, "whenever Moses is read."

Hence, there is no valid basis for the Hebrew and Aramaic Scriptures to be called the "Old Testament" and for the Christian Greek Scriptures to be called the "New Testament." Jesus Christ himself referred to the collection of sacred writings as "the Scriptures." (Mt 21:42; Mr 14:49; Joh 5:39) The apostle Paul referred to them as "the holy Scriptures," "the Scriptures," and "the holy writings."—Ro 1:2; 15:4; 2Ti 3:15,.

Authorship. The accompanying table shows that about 40 human secretaries or scribes were used by the one Author to record the inspired Word of Jehovah. "All Scripture is inspired of God," and this includes the writings in the Christian Greek Scriptures along with "the rest of the Scriptures." (2Ti 3:16; 2Pe 3:15, 16) This expression "inspired of God" translated the Greek phrase the·o´pneu·stos, meaning "God-breathed." By ‘breathing’ on faithful men, God caused his spirit, or active force, to become operative upon them and directed what he wanted recorded, for, as it is written, "prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit."—2Pe 1:21; Joh 20:21, 22; see INSPIRATION.

This unseen holy spirit of God is his symbolic "finger." Therefore, when men saw Moses perform supernatural feats they exclaimed: "It is the finger of God!" (Ex 8:18, 19; compare with Jesus’ words at Mt 12:2228; Lu 11:20.) In a similar display of divine power "God’s finger" began the writing of the Bible by carving out the Ten Commandments on stone tablets. (Ex 31:18; De 9:10) It would, therefore, be a simple matter for Jehovah to use men as his scribes even though some were "unlettered and ordinary" in scholastic training (Ac 4:13), and regardless of whether the individual was by trade a shepherd, farmer, tentmaker, fisherman, tax collector, physician, priest, prophet, or king. Jehovah’s active force put the thoughts into the writer’s mind and, in certain instances, allowed him to express the divine thought in his own words, thus permitting personality and individual traits to show through the writing, yet at the same time maintaining a superb oneness in theme and in purpose throughout. In this way the resultant Bible, reflecting as it does the mind and will of Jehovah, exceeded in wealth and in scope the writings of mere men. The Almighty God saw to it that his written Word of truth was in language easily understood and easily translated into practically any tongue.

No other book took so long to complete as the Bible. In 1513 B.C.E. Moses began Bible writing. Other sacred writings were added to the inspired Scriptures until sometime after 443 B.C.E. when Nehemiah and Malachi completed their books. Then there was a gap in Bible writing for almost 500 years, until the apostle Matthew penned his historic account. Nearly 60 years later John, the last of the apostles, contributed his Gospel and three letters to complete the Bible’s canon. So, all together, a period of some 1,610 years was involved in producing the Bible. All the cowriters were Hebrews and, hence, part of that people "entrusted with the sacred pronouncements of God."—Ro 3:2.

The Bible is not an unrelated assortment or collection of heterogeneous fragments from Jewish and Christian literature. Rather, it is an organizational book, highly unified and interconnected in its various segments, which indeed reflect the systematic orderliness of the Creator-Author himself. God’s dealings with Israel in giving them a comprehensive law code as well as regulations governing matters even down to small details of camp life—things that were later mirrored in the Davidic kingdom as well as in the congregational arrangement among first-century Christians—reflect and magnify this organizational aspect of the Bible.

Contents. In contents this Book of Books reveals the past, explains the present, and foretells the future. These are matters that only He who knows the end from the beginning could author. (Isa 46:10) Starting at the beginning by telling of the creation of heaven and earth, the Bible next gives a sweeping account of the events that prepared the earth for man’s habitation. Then the truly scientific explanation of the origin of man is revealed—how life comes only from a Life-Giver—facts that only the Creator now in the role of Author could explain. (Ge 1:26-28; 2:7) With the account of why men die, the overriding theme that permeates the whole Bible was introduced. This theme, the vindication of Jehovah’s sovereignty and the ultimate fulfillment of his purpose for the earth, by means of his Kingdom under Christ, the promised Seed, was wrapped up in the first prophecy concerning ‘the seed of the woman.’ (Ge 3:15) More than 2,000 years passed before this promise of a "seed" was again mentioned, God telling Abraham: "By means of your seed all nations of the earth will certainly bless themselves." (Ge 22:18) Over 800 years later, renewed assurance was given to Abraham’s descendant King David, and with the passing of more time Jehovah’s prophets kept this flame of hope burning brightly. (2Sa 7:1216; Isa 9:6, 7) More than 1,000 years after David and 4,000 years after the original prophecy in Eden, the Promised Seed himself appeared, Jesus Christ, the legal heir to "the throne of David his father." (Lu 1:31-33; Ga 3:16) Bruised in death by the earthly seed of the "serpent," this "Son of the Most High" provided the ransom purchase price for the life rights lost to Adam’s offspring, thus providing the only means whereby mankind can get everlasting life. He was then raised on high, there to await the appointed time to hurl "the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan," down to the earth, finally to be destroyed forever. Thus the magnificent theme announced in Genesis and developed and enlarged upon throughout the balance of the Bible is, in the closing chapters of Revelation, brought to a glorious climax as Jehovah’s grand purpose by means of his Kingdom is made apparent.—Re 11:15; 12:1-1217; 19:11-16; 20:1-3, 7-10; 21:1-5; 22:3-5.

This Kingdom under Christ the Promised Seed is the means by which the vindication of Jehovah’s name will be accomplished. Following through on this theme, the Bible magnifies God’s personal name to a greater extent than any other book; the name occurs 6,973 times in the Hebrew Scripture portion of the New World Translation. That is in addition to the use of the shorter form "Jah" and the scores of instances where it combines to form other names like "Jehoshua," meaning "Jehovah Is Salvation." (See JEHOVAH [Importance of the Name].) We would not know the Creator’s name, the great issue raised by the Edenic rebellion involving this name, or God’s purpose to sanctify and vindicate that name before all creation if these things were not revealed in the Bible.

In this library of 66 little books the theme of the Kingdom and Jehovah’s name are closely interwoven with information on many subjects. Its reference to fields of knowledge such as agriculture, architecture, astronomy, chemistry, commerce, engineering, ethnology, government, hygiene, music, poetry, philology, and tactical warfare is only incidental to development of the theme; not as a treatise. Nevertheless, it contains a veritable treasure-house of information for the archaeologists and paleographers.

As an accurate historical work and one that penetrates the past to great depths, the Bible far surpasses all other books. However, it is of much greater value in the field of prophecy, foretelling as it does the future that only the King of Eternity can reveal with accuracy. The march of world powers down through the centuries, even to the rise and ultimate demise of present-day institutions, was prophetically related in the Bible’s long-range prophecies.

God’s Word of truth in a very practical way sets men free from ignorance, superstitions, human philosophies, and senseless traditions of men. (Joh 8:32) "The word of God is alive and exerts power." (Heb 4:12) Without the Bible we would not know Jehovah, would not know the wonderful benefits resulting from Christ’s ransom sacrifice, and would not understand the requirements that must be met in order to get everlasting life in or under God’s righteous Kingdom.

The Bible is a most practical book in other ways too, for it gives sound counsel to Christians on how to live now, how to carry on their ministry, and how to survive this anti-God, pleasure-seeking system of things. Christians are told to "quit being fashioned after this system of things" by making their minds over from worldly thinking, and this they can do by having the same mental attitude of humility "that was also in Christ Jesus" and by stripping off the old personality and putting on the new one. (Ro 12:2; Php 2:5-8; Eph 4:23, 24; Col 3:5-10) This means displaying the fruitage of God’s spirit, "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control"—subjects on which so much is written throughout the Bible.—Ga 5:22, 23; Col 3:12-14.

Authenticity. The veracity of the Bible has been assailed from many quarters, but none of these efforts has undermined or weakened its position in the least.

Bible history. Sir Isaac Newton once said: "I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever." (Two Apologies, by R. Watson, London, 1820, p. 57) Its integrity to truth proves sound on any point that might be tested. Its history is accurate and can be relied upon. For example, what it says about the fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians cannot be successfully contradicted (Jer 51:11, 1228; Da 5:28), neither can what it says about people like Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar (Jer 27:20; Da 1:1); Egyptian King Shishak (1Ki 14:25; 2Ch 12:2); Assyrians Tiglath-pileser III and Sennacherib (2Ki 15:29; 16:7; 18:13); the Roman emperors Augustus, Tiberius, and Claudius (Lu 2:1; 3:1; Ac 18:2); Romans such as Pilate, Felix, and Festus (Ac 4:27; 23:26; 24:27); nor what it says about the temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Areopagus at Athens (Ac 19:35; 17:19-34). What the Bible says about these or any other places, people, or events is historically accurate in every detail.—See ARCHAEOLOGY.

Races and languages. What the Bible says about races and languages of mankind is also true. All peoples, regardless of stature, culture, color, or language, are members of one human family. The threefold division of the human family into the Japhetic, Hamitic, and Semitic races, all descending from Adam through Noah, cannot be successfully disputed. (Ge 9:18, 19; Ac 17:26) Says Sir Henry Rawlinson: "If we were to be guided by the mere intersection of linguistic paths, and independently of all reference to the Scriptural record, we should still be led to fix on the plains of Shinar, as the focus from which the various lines had radiated."—The Historical Evidences of the Truth of the Scripture Records, by G. Rawlinson, 1862, p. 287; Ge 11:2-9.

Practicality. The Bible’s teachings, examples, and doctrines are most practical for modern man. The righteous principles and high moral standards contained in this book set it apart as far above all other books. Not only does the Bible answer important questions but it also provides many practical suggestions which, if followed, would do much to raise the physical and mental health of earth’s population. The Bible lays down principles of right and wrong that serve as a straightedge for just business dealings (Mt 7:12; Le 19:35, 36; Pr 20:10; 22:22, 23), industriousness (Eph 4:28; Col 3:23; 1Th 4:11, 12; 2Th 3:10-12), clean moral conduct (Ga 5:19-23; 1Th 4:3-8; Ex 20:14-17; Le 20:10-16), upbuilding associations (1Co 15:33; Heb 10:24, 25; Pr 5:3-11; 13:20), good family relationships (Eph 5:21-33; 6:1-4; Col 3:18-21; De 6:4-9; Pr 13:24). As the famous educator William Lyon Phelps once said: "I believe a knowledge of the Bible without a college course is more valuable than a college course without a Bible." (The New Dictionary of Thoughts, p. 46) Regarding the Bible, John Quincy Adams wrote: "It is of all books in the world, that which contributes most to make men good, wise, and happy."—Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son, 1849, p. 9.

Scientific accuracy. When it comes to scientific accuracy the Bible is not lacking. Whether describing the progressive order of earth’s preparation for human habitation (Ge 1:1-31), speaking of the earth as being spherical and hung on "nothing" (Job 26:7; Isa 40:22), classifying the hare as a cud chewer (Le 11:6), or declaring, "the soul of the flesh is in the blood" (Le 17:11-14), the Bible is scientifically sound.

Cultures and customs. On points relating to cultures and customs, in no regard is the Bible found to be wrong. In political matters, the Bible always speaks of a ruler by the proper title that he bore at the time of the writing. For example, Herod Antipas and Lysanias are referred to as district rulers (tetrarchs), Herod Agrippa (II) as king, and Gallio as proconsul. (Lu 3:1; Ac 25:13; 18:12) Triumphal marches of victorious armies, together with their captives, were common during Roman times. (2Co 2:14) The hospitality shown to strangers, the Oriental way of life, the manner of purchasing property, legal procedures in making contracts, and the practice of circumcision among the Hebrews and other peoples are referred to in the Bible, and in all these details the Bible is accurate.—Ge 18:1-8; 23:7-18; 17:10-14; Jer 9:25, 26.

Candor. Bible writers displayed a candor that is not found among other ancient writers. From the very outset, Moses frankly reported his own sins as well as the sins and errors of his people, a policy followed by the other Hebrew writers. (Ex 14:11, 12; 32:1-6; Nu 14:1-9; 20:9-12; 27:12-14; De 4:21) The sins of great ones such as David and Solomon were not covered over but were reported. (2Sa 11:2-27; 1Ki 11:1-13) Jonah told of his own disobedience. (Jon 1:1-3; 4:1) The other prophets likewise displayed this same straightforward, candid quality. Writers of the Christian Greek Scriptures showed the same regard for truthful reporting as that displayed in the Hebrew Scriptures. Paul tells of his former sinful course in life; Mark’s failure to stick to the missionary work; and also the apostle Peter’s errors are related. (Ac 22:19, 20; 15:37-39; Ga 2:11-14) Such frank, open reporting builds confidence in the Bible’s claim to honesty and truthfulness.

Integrity. Facts testify to the integrity of the Bible. The Bible narrative is inseparably interwoven with the history of the times. It gives straightforward, truthful instruction in the simplest manner. The guileless earnestness and fidelity of its writers, their burning zeal for truth, and their painstaking effort to attain accuracy in details are what we would expect in God’s Word of truth.—Joh 17:17.

Prophecy. If there is a single point that alone proves the Bible to be the inspired Word of Jehovah it is the matter of prophecy. There are scores of long-range prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled. For a partial listing, see the book "All Scripture Is Inspired of God and Beneficial," pp. 343-346.

Preservation. Today none of the original writings of the Holy Scriptures are known to exist. Jehovah, however, saw to it that copies were made to replace the aging originals. Also, from and after the Babylonian exile, with the growth of many Jewish communities outside Palestine, there was an increasing demand for more copies of the Scriptures. This demand was met by professional copyists who made extraordinary efforts to see that accuracy was attained in their handwritten manuscripts. Ezra was just such a man, "a skilled copyist in the law of Moses, which Jehovah the God of Israel had given."—Ezr 7:6.

For hundreds of years handwritten copies of the Scriptures continued to be made, during which period the Bible was expanded with the addition of the Christian Greek Scriptures. Translations or versions of these Holy Writings also appeared in other languages. Indeed, the Hebrew Scriptures are honored as the first book of note to be translated into another language. Extant today are thousands of these Bible manuscripts and versions.—See MANUSCRIPTS OF THE BIBLE; VERSIONS.

The first printed Bible, the Gutenberg Bible, came off the press in 1456. Today distribution of the Bible (the whole or in part) has reached over two billion copies in upwards of 1,800 languages. But this has not been accomplished without great opposition from many quarters. Indeed, the Bible has had more enemies than any other book; popes and councils even prohibited the reading of the Bible under penalty of excommunication. Thousands of Bible lovers lost their lives, and thousands of copies of the Bible were committed to the flames. One of the victims in the Bible’s fight to live was translator William Tyndale, who once declared in a discussion with a cleric: "If God spare my life ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of the Scripture than thou doest."—Actes and Monuments, by John Foxe, London, 1563, p. 514.

All credit and thanksgiving for the Bible’s survival in view of such violent opposition is due Jehovah, the Preserver of his Word. This fact gives added meaning to the apostle Peter’s quotation from the prophet Isaiah: "All flesh is like grass, and all its glory is like a blossom of grass; the grass becomes withered, and the flower falls off, but the saying of Jehovah endures forever." (1Pe 1:24, 25; Isa 40:6-8) We, therefore, do well to pay "attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place" in this 20th century. (2Pe 1:19; Ps 119:105) The man whose "delight is in the law of Jehovah, and in his law he reads in an undertone day and night" and who puts in practice the things he reads is the one who prospers and is happy. (Ps 1:1, 2; Jos 1:8) To him Jehovah’s laws, reminders, orders, commandments, and judicial decisions contained in the Bible are "sweeter than honey," and the wisdom derived therefrom is "more to be desired than gold, yes, than much refined gold," for it means his very life.—Ps 19:7-10; Pr 3:13, 16-18; see CANON.

Footnotes: Possibly, "as far as Lebi-hamath (Lion of Hamath)," the name of a place. See VT, Vol. II, 1952, p. 114

^

Online Bible Lessons

These free online Bible study lessons are for everyone. You don’t need to be religious to benefit from them—all you need is a desire to learn.

The entire interactive Bible study course, including access to an online Bible and supplementary materials, is free of charge. You won’t need to register or provide personal information. The lessons are self-guided, so you can progress at your own pace. Learn about the Bible and what it really teaches.

JW.ORG / OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
Bible Teachings
Publications
Newsroom
About Us
Quick Links
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIBLE CITATIONS

(Joshua 13:5) the land of the Ge′bal·ites and all of Leb′a·non toward the east, from Ba′al-gad at the base of Mount Her′mon to Le′bo-ha′math;

Or “the entrance of Hamath.”

(Matthew 21:42) Jesus said to them: “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone that the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone. This has come from Jehovah, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

(Mark 14:49) Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and yet you did not take me into custody. Nevertheless, this is to fulfill the Scriptures.”

(Luke 24:32) And they said to each other: “Were not our hearts burning within us as he was speaking to us on the road, as he was fully opening up the Scriptures to us?”

(John 5:39) “You are searching the Scriptures because you think that you will have everlasting life by means of them; and these are the very ones that bear witness about me.

(Acts 18:24) Now a Jew named A·pol′los, a native of Alexandria, arrived in Eph′e·sus; he was an eloquent man who was well-versed in the Scriptures.

(Romans 1:2) which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,

(Romans 15:4) For all the things that were written beforehand were written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.

(2 Timothy 3:15, 16) and that from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness,

(Deuteronomy 8:3) So he humbled you and let you go hungry and fed you with the manna, which neither you had known nor your fathers had known, in order to make you know that man does not live by bread alone but man lives by every expression from Jehovah’s mouth.

(Joshua 24:27) Joshua went on to say to all the people: “Look! This stone will serve as a witness against us, because it has heard everything Jehovah said to us, and it will serve as a witness against you, so that you may not deny your God.”

(Ezra 7:11) This is a copy of the letter that King Ar·ta·xerx′es gave to Ez′ra the priest and copyist, an expert in the study of the commandments of Jehovah and of his regulations to Israel:

(Psalm 19:7, 8) The law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring strength. The reminder of Jehovah is trustworthy, making the inexperienced one wise.  8 The orders from Jehovah are righteous, causing the heart to rejoice; The commandment of Jehovah is clean, making the eyes shine.

(Isaiah 38:4) Then the word of Jehovah came to Isaiah, saying:

(Matthew 4:4) But he answered: “It is written: ‘Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every word that comes from Jehovah’s mouth.’”

(1 Thessalonians 4:15) For this is what we tell you by Jehovah’s word, that we the living who survive to the presence of the Lord will in no way precede those who have fallen asleep in death;

(Romans 3:2) A great deal in every way. First of all, that they were entrusted with the sacred pronouncements of God.

(Acts 7:38) This is the one who came to be among the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Si′nai and with our forefathers, and he received living sacred pronouncements to give us.

(Hebrews 5:12) For although by now you should be teachers, you again need someone to teach you from the beginning the elementary things of the sacred pronouncements of God, and you have gone back to needing milk, not solid food.

(1 Peter 4:11) If anyone speaks, let him do so as speaking pronouncements from God; if anyone ministers, let him do so as depending on the strength that God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. The glory and the might are his forever and ever. Amen.

(Ezra 4:8-6:18) Re′hum the chief government official and Shim′shai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to King Ar·ta·xerx′es, as follows: 9 (It was from Re′hum the chief government official and Shim′shai the scribe and the rest of their colleagues, the judges and the lesser governors, the secretaries, the people of E′rech, the Babylonians, the inhabitants of Su′sa, that is, the E′lam·ites, 10 and the rest of the nations that the great and honorable As′e·nap·par took into exile and settled in the cities of Sa·mar′i·a, and the rest in the region Beyond the River, and now 11 this is a copy of the letter that they sent him.) “To King Ar·ta·xerx′es from your servants, the men of the region Beyond the River: And now 12 let it be known to the king that the Jews who came up here from you to us have arrived at Jerusalem. They are rebuilding the rebellious and wicked city, and they are finishing the walls and repairing the foundations. 13 Now let it be known to the king that if this city should be rebuilt and its walls finished, they will not give tax, tribute, or toll, and it will result in a loss to the treasuries of the kings. 14 Since we eat the salt of the palace and it is not proper for us to see the king’s interests harmed, we have therefore sent to make this known to the king, 15 so that there may be an investigation of the book of records of your ancestors. You will find in the book of records and learn that this city is a rebellious city, injurious to kings and provinces, and within it have been those stirring up sedition from ancient times. That is why this city was destroyed. 16 We are making known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls are finished, you will have no control of the region Beyond the River.” 17 The king sent word to Re′hum the chief government official and Shim′shai the scribe and the rest of their colleagues who were dwelling in Sa·mar′i·a and the rest of the region Beyond the River: “Greetings! And now 18 the official document that you sent us has been clearly read before me. 19 By my order an investigation was made, and it was found that from long ago the city has had uprisings against kings, and rebellions and revolts have taken place there. 20 There were powerful kings over Jerusalem who ruled the whole region Beyond the River, and tax, tribute, and toll were paid to them. 21 Now issue an order for these men to stop work, so that the city may not be rebuilt until I issue an order. 22 Be careful not to neglect acting in this regard, so that the king’s interests are not harmed any further.” 23 Now after the copy of the official document of King Ar·ta·xerx′es had been read before Re′hum and Shim′shai the scribe and their colleagues, they quickly went to Jerusalem to the Jews and used force to stop them. 24 It was then that the work on the house of God, which was in Jerusalem, came to a halt; and it remained at a standstill until the second year of the reign of King Da·ri′us of Persia.

5 Then the prophets Hag′gai and Zech·a·ri′ah the grandson of Id′do prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and in Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. 2 It was then that Ze·rub′ba·bel the son of She·al′ti·el and Jesh′u·a the son of Je·hoz′a·dak started to rebuild the house of God, which was in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them and supported them. 3 At that time Tat′te·nai the governor of the region Beyond the River and She′thar-boz′e·nai and their colleagues came to them and asked them: “Who issued an order to you to build this house and to finish this structure?” 4 Then they asked them: “What are the names of the men who are working on this building?” 5 But God was watching over the elders of the Jews, and they did not stop them until the report could be sent to Da·ri′us and an official document could be sent back concerning this. 6 Here is a copy of the letter that Tat′te·nai the governor of the region Beyond the River and She′thar-boz′e·nai and his colleagues, the lesser governors of the region Beyond the River, sent to King Da·ri′us; 7 they sent the report to him, and this is what they wrote: “To King Da·ri′us: “All peace! 8 Let it be known to the king that we went to the province of Judah to the house of the great God, and it is being built with large stones rolled into place, and timbers are being laid in the walls. The work is being eagerly done by the people and is making progress through their efforts. 9 Then we questioned their elders, asking them: ‘Who issued an order to you to build this house and to finish this structure?’ 10 We also asked them their names to inform you, so that we could write the names of the men who are taking the lead. 11 “This is the response they gave us: ‘We are the servants of the God of the heavens and the earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished. 12 However, because our fathers angered the God of the heavens, he gave them into the hand of King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar of Babylon, the Chal·de′an, who demolished this house and took the people into exile to Babylon. 13 Nevertheless, in the first year of King Cyrus of Babylon, King Cyrus issued an order to rebuild this house of God. 14 Moreover, King Cyrus took out of the temple of Babylon the gold and silver vessels of the house of God that Neb·u·chad·nez′zar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and had brought to the temple of Babylon. They were given to a man named Shesh·baz′zar, whom Cyrus made governor. 15 Cyrus said to him: “Take these vessels. Go, deposit them in the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt in its former place.” 16 Then this Shesh·baz′zar came, and he laid the foundations of the house of God, which is in Jerusalem; and it has been under construction from then until now, but it has not been completed.’ 17 “Now if it seems good to the king, let an investigation be made in the royal treasury there in Babylon, to determine whether King Cyrus issued an order to rebuild that house of God in Jerusalem; and let the decision of the king concerning this be sent to us.”

6 It was then that King Da·ri′us issued an order, and they made an investigation in the archives where the treasures were deposited in Babylon. 2 And a scroll was found in the citadel at Ec·bat′a·na, in the province of Me′di·a, and the following memorandum was written on it: 3 “In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued an order concerning the house of God in Jerusalem: ‘Let the house be rebuilt as the place where they are to offer sacrifices, and its foundations are to be set in place; its height is to be 60 cubits, its width 60 cubits, 4 with three layers of large stones rolled into place and one layer of timbers; and let the expense be paid from the king’s house. 5 Also, let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God that Neb·u·chad·nez′zar took out of the temple that was in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon be returned, so that they may be put in their place in the temple in Jerusalem and be deposited in the house of God.’ 6 “So now Tat′te·nai the governor of the region Beyond the River, She′thar-boz′e·nai, and your colleagues, the lesser governors of the region Beyond the River—stay away from there. 7 Do not interfere with the work on that house of God. The governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews will rebuild that house of God in its former place. 8 Furthermore, I am issuing an order as to what you are to do for these elders of the Jews for rebuilding that house of God: From the royal treasury, from the tax collected in the region Beyond the River, the expenses are to be promptly given to these men to continue without interruption. 9 And whatever is needed—young bulls as well as rams and lambs for the burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, just as the priests who are in Jerusalem say—is to be given them continually day by day without fail, 10 so that they may continually present offerings that please the God of the heavens and pray for the life of the king and his sons. 11 I have also issued an order that if anyone violates this decree, a timber will be pulled out of his house and he will be lifted up and fastened to it, and his house will be turned into a public latrine for this offense. 12 And may the God who has caused his name to reside there overthrow any king and people who lift a hand to violate this order and destroy that house of God, which is in Jerusalem. I, Da·ri′us, issue this order. Let it be done promptly.” 13 Then Tat′te·nai the governor of the region Beyond the River, She′thar-boz′e·nai, and their colleagues promptly carried out everything that King Da·ri′us had ordered. 14 And the elders of the Jews continued building and making progress, urged on by the prophesying of Hag′gai the prophet and Zech·a·ri′ah the grandson of Id′do; they finished building it by the order of the God of Israel and by the order of Cyrus and Da·ri′us and King Ar·ta·xerx′es of Persia. 15 They completed the house by the third day of the month of A′dar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Da·ri′us. 16 Then the Israelites, the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the former exiles held the inauguration of this house of God with joy. 17 And they presented for the inauguration of this house of God 100 bulls, 200 rams, 400 lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel 12 male goats, corresponding to the number of the tribes of Israel. 18 And they appointed the priests in their groups and the Levites in their divisions for the service of God in Jerusalem, according to what is written in the book of Moses.

(Ezra 7:12-26) “Ar·ta·xerx′es, the king of kings, to Ez′ra the priest, the copyist of the Law of the God of the heavens: May you have perfect peace. And now 13 I have issued an order that everyone in my realm of the people of Israel and their priests and Levites who is willing to go with you to Jerusalem should go. 14 For you are sent by the king and his seven advisers to investigate whether the Law of your God, which is with you, is being applied in Judah and Jerusalem, 15 and to take the silver and the gold that the king and his advisers have voluntarily given to the God of Israel, whose residence is in Jerusalem, 16 with all the silver and the gold that you receive in all the province of Babylon, along with the gift that the people and the priests voluntarily give to the house of their God, which is in Jerusalem. 17 And you are to buy promptly with this money bulls, rams, lambs, along with their grain offerings and their drink offerings, and you are to present them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem. 18 “And whatever seems good to you and to your brothers to do, you may do with the rest of the silver and the gold, according to the will of your God. 19 And all the vessels that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, you are to deliver before God at Jerusalem. 20 And the rest of the necessities of the house of your God that you are required to give, you will give out of the royal treasury. 21 “I, King Ar·ta·xerx′es, have issued an order to all the treasurers in the region Beyond the River, that everything that Ez′ra the priest, the copyist of the Law of the God of the heavens, requests of you is to be done promptly, 22 up to 100 talents of silver, 100 cor measures of wheat, 100 bath measures of wine, 100 bath measures of oil, and salt without limit. 23 Let everything that is ordered by the God of the heavens be done with zeal for the house of the God of the heavens, so that there may be no wrath against the king’s realm and his sons. 24 And you are further advised that it is not permitted to impose any tax, tribute, or toll on any of the priests and Levites, musicians, doorkeepers, temple servants, and workers of this house of God. 25 “And you, Ez′ra, according to the wisdom that you possess from your God, appoint magistrates and judges to judge all the people in the region Beyond the River, all those who know the laws of your God; and you should instruct anyone who does not know them. 26 And everyone who does not observe the Law of your God and the law of the king should have judgment executed on him promptly, whether it is death, banishment, a fine, or imprisonment.”

(Jeremiah 10:11) This is what you should say to them: “The gods that did not make the heavens and the earth Will perish from the earth and from under these heavens.”

(Daniel 2:4-7:28) The Chal·de′ans replied to the king in the Ar·a·ma′ic language: “O king, may you live on forever. Relate the dream to your servants, and we will tell the interpretation.” 5 The king answered the Chal·de′ans: “This is my final word: If you do not make the dream known to me, along with its interpretation, you will be dismembered, and your houses will be turned into public latrines. 6 But if you do tell the dream and its interpretation, you will receive from me gifts and a reward and great honor. So tell me the dream and its interpretation.” 7 They answered a second time: “Let the king relate the dream to his servants, and we will tell its interpretation.” 8 The king replied: “I am well-aware that you are trying to gain time, for you realize what my final word is. 9 If you do not make the dream known to me, there is only one penalty for all of you. But you have agreed to tell me something false and deceitful until the situation changes. So tell me the dream, and I will know that you can explain its interpretation.” 10 The Chal·de′ans answered the king: “There is not a man on earth who is able to do what the king demands, for no great king or governor has asked such a thing of any magic-practicing priest or conjurer or Chal·de′an. 11 What the king is asking is difficult, and no one exists who could tell the king this except the gods, who do not dwell among mortals.” 12 At this the king flew into a violent rage and gave the order to destroy all the wise men of Babylon. 13 When the order was issued and the wise men were about to be killed, they also looked for Daniel and his companions to put them to death. 14 At that time Daniel discreetly and cautiously spoke to Ar′i·och the chief of the king’s bodyguard, who had gone out to kill the wise men of Babylon. 15 He asked Ar′i·och the officer of the king: “Why is there such a harsh order from the king?” Then Ar′i·och informed Daniel about the matter. 16 So Daniel went in and asked the king to grant him time to tell the interpretation to the king. 17 Daniel then went to his house and informed his companions Han·a·ni′ah, Mish′a·el, and Az·a·ri′ah of the matter. 18 He asked them to pray for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this secret, so that Daniel and his companions would not be destroyed along with the rest of the wise men of Babylon. 19 Then the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision at night. So Daniel praised the God of heaven. 20 Daniel declared: “Let the name of God be praised for all eternity, For wisdom and mightiness are his alone. 21 He changes times and seasons, Removes kings and sets up kings, Gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those with discernment. 22 He reveals the deep things and the hidden things, He knows what is in the darkness, And with him the light dwells. 23 To you, O God of my forefathers, I offer thanks and praise, Because you have given me wisdom and power. And now you have made known to me what we requested of you; You have made known to us the concern of the king.” 24 Daniel then went in to Ar′i·och, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon, and he said to him: “Do not destroy any wise men of Babylon. Take me in before the king, and I will tell the interpretation to the king.” 25 Ar′i·och quickly took Daniel in before the king and said to him: “I have found a man of the exiles of Judah who can make known the interpretation to the king.” 26 The king said to Daniel, whose name was Bel·te·shaz′zar: “Can you really make known to me the dream that I saw, and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel replied to the king: “None of the wise men, conjurers, magic-practicing priests, or astrologers are able to tell the king the secret that he is asking. 28 But there is a God in the heavens who is a Revealer of secrets, and he has made known to King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar what is to happen in the final part of the days. This is your dream, and these are the visions of your head as you lay on your bed: 29 “As for you, O king, on your bed your thoughts turned to what is to take place in the future, and the Revealer of secrets has made known to you what is to happen. 30 As for me, this secret was not revealed to me because I have greater wisdom than anyone living; rather, it was to make the interpretation known to the king so that you may know the thoughts in your heart. 31 “You, O king, were watching, and you saw an immense image. That image, which was huge and extremely bright, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was terrifying. 32 The head of that image was of fine gold, its chest and its arms were of silver, its abdomen and its thighs were of copper, 33 its legs were of iron, and its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 You looked on until a stone was cut out, not by hands, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and of clay and crushed them. 35 At that time the iron, the clay, the copper, the silver, and the gold were, all together, crushed and became like the chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a large mountain, and it filled the whole earth. 36 “This is the dream, and we will now tell the king its interpretation. 37 You, O king—the king of kings to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the might, the strength, and the glory, 38 and into whose hand he has given men wherever they may dwell, as well as the beasts of the field and the birds of the heavens, and whom he has made ruler over all of them—you yourself are the head of gold. 39 “But after you another kingdom will rise, inferior to you; then another kingdom, a third one, of copper, that will rule over the whole earth. 40 “As for the fourth kingdom, it will be strong like iron. For just as iron crushes and pulverizes everything else, yes, like iron that shatters, it will crush and shatter all of these. 41 “And just as you saw the feet and the toes to be partly of clay of a potter and partly of iron, the kingdom will be divided, but some of the hardness of iron will be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom will be partly strong and partly fragile. 43 Just as you saw iron mixed with soft clay, they will be mixed with the people; but they will not stick together, one to the other, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. And this kingdom will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it alone will stand forever, 45 just as you saw that out of the mountain a stone was cut not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the copper, the clay, the silver, and the gold. The Grand God has made known to the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its interpretation is trustworthy.” 46 Then King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar fell down with his face to the ground before Daniel and paid homage to him. And he gave the order to offer a present and incense to him. 47 The king said to Daniel: “Truly your God is a God of gods and a Lord of kings and a Revealer of secrets, because you were able to reveal this secret.” 48 The king then elevated Daniel and gave him many fine gifts, and he made him the ruler over all the province of Babylon and the chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 And at Daniel’s request, the king appointed Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go over the administration of the province of Babylon, but Daniel served in the king’s court.

3 Neb·u·chad·nez′zar the king made an image of gold that was 60 cubits high and 6 cubits wide. He set it up on the plain of Du′ra in the province of Babylon. 2 Then King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar sent word to assemble the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the administrators of the provinces to come to the inauguration of the image that King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar had set up. 3 So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates, and all the administrators of the provinces assembled for the inauguration of the image that King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar had set up. And they stood in front of the image that Neb·u·chad·nez′zar had set up. 4 The herald loudly proclaimed: “You are commanded, O peoples, nations, and language groups, 5 that when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, zither, triangular harp, stringed instrument, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar has set up. 6 Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into the burning fiery furnace.” 7 So when all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, zither, triangular harp, stringed instrument, and all the other musical instruments, all the peoples, nations, and language groups fell down and worshipped the image of gold that King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar had set up. 8 Now at that time some of the Chal·de′ans came forward and accused the Jews. 9 They said to King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar: “O king, may you live on forever. 10 You, O king, gave the command that every man who hears the sound of the horn, pipe, zither, triangular harp, stringed instrument, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments should fall down and worship the image of gold; 11 and that whoever would not fall down and worship should be thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 12 But there are certain Jews whom you appointed to administer the province of Babylon: Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go. These men have paid no regard to you, O king. They are not serving your gods, and they refuse to worship the image of gold that you have set up.” 13 Then Neb·u·chad·nez′zar, in a furious rage, ordered Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go to be brought in. So these men were brought in before the king. 14 Neb·u·chad·nez′zar said to them: “Is it really true, Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go, that you are not serving my gods and that you refuse to worship the image of gold that I have set up? 15 Now when you hear the sound of the horn, the pipe, the zither, the triangular harp, the stringed instrument, the bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image that I have made, fine. But if you refuse to worship, you will immediately be thrown into the burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who can rescue you out of my hands?” 16 Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go answered the king: “O Neb·u·chad·nez′zar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. 17 If it must be, our God whom we serve is able to rescue us from the burning fiery furnace, O king, and to rescue us from your hand. 18 But even if he does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold that you have set up.” 19 Then Neb·u·chad·nez′zar became so furious with Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go that the expression of his face changed toward them, and he gave orders to heat the furnace seven times hotter than usual. 20 He ordered some of the mighty men from his army to bind Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go and to throw them into the burning fiery furnace. 21 So these men were tied up while still wearing their cloaks, garments, caps, and all their other clothing, and they were thrown into the burning fiery furnace. 22 Because the king’s command was so harsh and the furnace was exceptionally hot, the men who took up Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go were the ones killed by the flames of the fire. 23 But these three men, Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go, fell bound into the burning fiery furnace. 24 King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar then became frightened and quickly rose up and said to his high officials: “Did we not tie up three men and throw them into the fire?” They answered the king: “Yes, O king.” 25 He said: “Look! I see four men walking about free in the midst of the fire, and they are unharmed, and the fourth one looks like a son of the gods.” 26 Neb·u·chad·nez′zar approached the door of the burning fiery furnace and said: “Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go, you servants of the Most High God, step out and come here!” Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go stepped out from the midst of the fire. 27 And the satraps, prefects, governors, and the high officials of the king who were assembled there saw that the fire had had no effect on the bodies of these men; not a hair of their heads had been singed, their cloaks looked no different, and there was not even the smell of fire on them. 28 Neb·u·chad·nez′zar then declared: “Praised be the God of Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go, who sent his angel and rescued his servants. They trusted in him and went against the command of the king and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. 29 I am therefore issuing an order that any people, nation, or language group that says anything against the God of Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go should be dismembered, and their houses should be turned into public latrines; for there is no other god who is able to rescue like this one.” 30 The king then promoted Sha′drach, Me′shach, and A·bed′ne·go in the province of Babylon.

4 “From King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar to all the peoples, nations, and language groups dwelling in all the earth: May your peace abound! 2 I am pleased to declare the signs and wonders that the Most High God has performed toward me. 3 How great are his signs, and how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his rulership is for generation after generation. 4 “I, Neb·u·chad·nez′zar, was at ease in my house and prospering in my palace. 5 I saw a dream that made me afraid. As I lay on my bed, the images and visions of my head frightened me. 6 So I issued an order to bring in before me all the wise men of Babylon so that they could make known to me the interpretation of the dream. 7 “At that time the magic-practicing priests, the conjurers, the Chal·de′ans, and the astrologers came in. When I told them what the dream was, they could not make its interpretation known to me. 8 At last there came in before me Daniel, whose name is Bel·te·shaz′zar after the name of my god and in whom there is the spirit of the holy gods, and I told him the dream: 9 “‘O Bel·te·shaz′zar the chief of the magic-practicing priests, I well know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and no secret is too difficult for you. So explain to me the visions I saw in my dream and its interpretation. 10 “‘In the visions of my head while on my bed, I saw a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was enormous. 11 The tree grew and became strong, and its top reached the heavens, and it was visible to the ends of the whole earth. 12 Its foliage was beautiful, and its fruit was abundant, and there was food on it for all. Beneath it the beasts of the field would seek shade, and on its branches the birds of the heavens would dwell, and all creatures would feed from it. 13 “‘As I viewed the visions of my head while on my bed, I saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from the heavens. 14 He called out loudly: “Chop down the tree, cut off its branches, shake off its leaves, and scatter its fruit! Let the beasts flee from beneath it, and the birds from its branches. 15 But leave the stump with its roots in the ground, with a banding of iron and of copper, among the grass of the field. Let it be wet with the dew of the heavens, and let its portion be with the beasts among the vegetation of the earth. 16 Let its heart be changed from that of a human, and let it be given the heart of a beast, and let seven times pass over it. 17 This is by the decree of watchers, and the request is by the word of the holy ones, so that people living may know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he gives it to whomever he wants, and he sets up over it even the lowliest of men.” 18 “‘This was the dream that I, King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar, saw; now you, O Bel·te·shaz′zar, tell its interpretation, for all the other wise men of my kingdom are unable to make the interpretation known to me. But you are able to do so, because the spirit of holy gods is in you.’ 19 “At that time Daniel, whose name is Bel·te·shaz′zar, was alarmed for a moment, and his thoughts began to frighten him. “The king said, ‘O Bel·te·shaz′zar, do not let the dream and the interpretation frighten you.’ “Bel·te·shaz′zar answered, ‘O my lord, may the dream apply to those hating you, and its interpretation to your enemies. 20 “‘The tree that you saw that grew great and became strong, whose top reached the heavens and was visible to all the earth, 21 which had beautiful foliage, abundant fruit, and food for all, beneath which the beasts of the field would dwell and on whose branches the birds of the heavens would reside, 22 it is you, O king, because you have grown great and become strong, and your grandeur has grown and reached to the heavens, and your rulership to the ends of the earth. 23 “‘And the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from the heavens, who was saying: “Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump with its roots in the ground, with a banding of iron and of copper, among the grass of the field. And let the dew of the heavens make it wet, and let its portion be with the beasts of the field until seven times pass over it.” 24 This is the interpretation, O king; it is the decree of the Most High that must befall my lord the king. 25 You will be driven away from among men, and your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field, and you will be given vegetation to eat just like bulls; and you will become wet with the dew of the heavens, and seven times will pass over you, until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he grants it to whomever he wants. 26 “‘But because they said to leave the stump of the tree with its roots, your kingdom will be yours again after you come to know that the heavens are ruling. 27 Therefore, O king, may my counsel be acceptable to you. Turn away from your sins by doing what is right, and from your iniquity by showing mercy to the poor. It may be that your prosperity will be extended.’” 28 All of this befell King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar. 29 Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king was saying: “Is this not Babylon the Great that I myself have built for the royal house by my own strength and might and for the glory of my majesty?” 31 While the word was yet in the king’s mouth, a voice came down from the heavens: “To you it is being said, O King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar, ‘The kingdom has gone away from you, 32 and from mankind you are being driven away. With the beasts of the field your dwelling will be, and you will be given vegetation to eat just like bulls, and seven times will pass over you, until you know that the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he grants it to whomever he wants.’” 33 At that moment the word was fulfilled on Neb·u·chad·nez′zar. He was driven away from mankind, and he began to eat vegetation just like bulls, and his body became wet with the dew of the heavens, until his hair grew long just like eagles’ feathers and his nails were like birds’ claws. 34 “At the end of that time I, Neb·u·chad·nez′zar, looked up to the heavens, and my understanding returned to me; and I praised the Most High, and to the One living forever I gave praise and glory, because his rulership is an everlasting rulership and his kingdom is for generation after generation. 35 All the inhabitants of the earth are regarded as nothing, and he does according to his own will among the army of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth. And there is no one who can hinder him or say to him, ‘What have you done?’ 36 “At that time my understanding returned to me, and the glory of my kingdom, my majesty, and my splendor returned to me. My high officials and nobles eagerly sought me out, and I was restored to my kingdom, and even more greatness was added to me. 37 “Now I, Neb·u·chad·nez′zar, am praising and exalting and glorifying the King of the heavens, because all his works are truth and his ways are just, and because he is able to humiliate those who are walking in pride.”

5 As regards King Bel·shaz′zar, he held a great feast for a thousand of his nobles, and he was drinking wine in front of them. 2 While under the influence of the wine, Bel·shaz′zar gave an order to bring in the vessels of gold and silver that his father Neb·u·chad·nez′zar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem, so that the king and his nobles, his concubines and his secondary wives could drink from them. 3 Then they brought in the gold vessels that had been taken from the temple of the house of God in Jerusalem, and the king and his nobles, his concubines and his secondary wives drank from them. 4 They drank wine, and they praised the gods of gold and silver, of copper, iron, wood, and stone. 5 At that very moment the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and began writing on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace opposite the lampstand, and the king could see the back of the hand as it was writing. 6 Then the king turned pale and his thoughts terrified him, and his hips shook and his knees began to knock together. 7 The king called out loudly to summon the conjurers, the Chal·de′ans, and the astrologers. The king said to the wise men of Babylon: “Any man who reads this writing and tells me its interpretation will be clothed with purple, a gold necklace will be placed around his neck, and he will rule as the third one in the kingdom.” 8 Then all the wise men of the king came in, but they were not able to read the writing or to make known the interpretation to the king. 9 So King Bel·shaz′zar was very frightened and his face turned pale; and his nobles were perplexed. 10 Because of the words of the king and his nobles, the queen entered the banqueting hall. The queen said: “O king, may you live on forever. Do not let your thoughts terrify you, nor let your face turn pale. 11 There is a man in your kingdom who has the spirit of holy gods. In the days of your father, enlightenment and insight and wisdom like the wisdom of gods were found in him. King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar your father appointed him as chief of the magic-practicing priests, conjurers, Chal·de′ans, and astrologers; your father did this, O king. 12 For Daniel, whom the king named Bel·te·shaz′zar, had an extraordinary spirit and knowledge and insight to interpret dreams, to explain riddles, and to solve knotty problems. Now let Daniel be summoned, and he will tell you the interpretation.” 13 So Daniel was brought in before the king. The king asked Daniel: “Are you Daniel of the exiles of Judah, whom my father the king brought out of Judah? 14 I have heard concerning you that the spirit of gods is in you and that enlightenment and insight and extraordinary wisdom have been found in you. 15 Now the wise men and the conjurers were brought in before me to read this writing and to make its interpretation known to me, but they are not able to tell the interpretation of the message. 16 But I have heard concerning you that you are able to provide interpretations and to solve knotty problems. Now if you are able to read the writing and to make its interpretation known to me, you will be clothed with purple, a gold necklace will be placed around your neck, and you will rule as the third one in the kingdom.” 17 Daniel then replied to the king: “You may keep your gifts and give your presents to others. However, I will read the writing to the king and make known its interpretation to him. 18 As for you, O king, the Most High God granted to Neb·u·chad·nez′zar your father the kingdom and greatness and honor and majesty. 19 Because of the greatness He gave him, all peoples, nations, and language groups trembled with fear before him. Whomever he wanted, he killed or let live, and whomever he wanted, he exalted or humiliated. 20 But when his heart became haughty and his spirit became hardened, so that he acted presumptuously, he was brought down from the throne of his kingdom, and his dignity was taken away from him. 21 He was driven away from mankind, and his heart was made like that of a beast, and his dwelling was with the wild donkeys. He was given vegetation to eat just like bulls, and his body became wet with the dew of the heavens, until he came to know that the Most High God is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind and that he sets up over it whomever he wants. 22 “But you, his son Bel·shaz′zar, have not humbled your heart, although you knew all of this. 23 Instead, you exalted yourself against the Lord of the heavens, and you had them bring you the vessels of his house. Then you and your nobles, your concubines and your secondary wives drank wine from them and praised gods of silver and gold, of copper, iron, wood, and stone, gods that see nothing and hear nothing and know nothing. But you have not glorified the God in whose hand is your breath and all your ways. 24 So the hand was sent from him, and this writing was inscribed. 25 And this is the writing that was inscribed: ME′NE, ME′NE, TE′KEL, and PAR′SIN. 26 “This is the interpretation of the words: ME′NE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end. 27 “TE′KEL, you have been weighed in the balances and found lacking. 28 “PE′RES, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.” 29 Then Bel·shaz′zar gave the command, and they clothed Daniel with purple and placed a gold necklace around his neck; and they heralded concerning him that he was to become the third ruler in the kingdom. 30 That very night Bel·shaz′zar the Chal·de′an king was killed. 31 And Da·ri′us the Mede received the kingdom; he was about 62 years old.

6 It seemed good to Da·ri′us to appoint 120 satraps over the whole kingdom. 2 Over them were three high officials, one of whom was Daniel; and the satraps would report to them, so that the king would not suffer loss. 3 Now Daniel was distinguishing himself over the other high officials and the satraps, for there was an extraordinary spirit in him, and the king intended to elevate him over the entire kingdom. 4 At that time the high officials and the satraps were seeking to find some grounds for accusation against Daniel respecting matters of state, but they could find no grounds for accusation or anything corrupt, for he was trustworthy and no negligence or corruption could be found in him. 5 These men then said: “We will find in this Daniel no grounds for accusation at all, unless we find it against him in the law of his God.” 6 So these high officials and satraps went in as a group to the king, and they said to him: “O King Da·ri′us, may you live on forever. 7 All the royal officials, prefects, satraps, high royal officers, and governors have consulted together to establish a royal decree and to enforce a ban, that for 30 days whoever makes a petition to any god or man except to you, O king, should be thrown into the lions’ pit. 8 Now, O king, may you establish the decree and sign it, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be annulled.” 9 So King Da·ri′us signed the decree and the ban. 10 But as soon as Daniel knew that the decree had been signed, he went to his house, which had the windows of his roof chamber open toward Jerusalem. And three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed and offered praise before his God, as he had regularly done prior to this. 11 At that time those men burst in and found Daniel petitioning and pleading for favor before his God. 12 So they approached the king and reminded him about the royal ban: “Did you not sign a ban stating that for 30 days any man who makes a petition to any god or man except to you, O king, should be thrown into the lions’ pit?” The king replied: “The matter is well-established according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be annulled.” 13 They immediately said to the king: “Daniel, who is of the exiles of Judah, has paid no regard to you, O king, nor to the ban that you signed, but three times a day he is praying.” 14 As soon as the king heard this, he was greatly distressed, and he tried to think of a way to rescue Daniel; and until the sun set he made every effort to save him. 15 Finally those men went in as a group to the king, and they said to the king: “Take note, O king, that the law of the Medes and the Persians is that any ban or decree that the king establishes cannot be changed.” 16 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the pit of lions. The king said to Daniel: “Your God whom you are continually serving will rescue you.” 17 Then a stone was brought and placed over the entrance of the pit, and the king sealed it with his signet ring and with the signet ring of his nobles, so that nothing could be changed with regard to Daniel. 18 The king then went to his palace. He passed the night fasting and refused any entertainment, and he could not sleep. 19 Finally at the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ pit. 20 As he got near the pit, he called out to Daniel with a sad voice. The king asked Daniel: “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you are continually serving been able to rescue you from the lions?” 21 Daniel immediately said to the king: “O king, may you live on forever. 22 My God sent his angel and shut the mouth of the lions, and they have not harmed me, for I was found innocent before him; nor have I done any wrong to you, O king.” 23 The king was overjoyed, and he commanded that Daniel be lifted up out of the pit. When Daniel was lifted up out of the pit, he was completely unharmed, because he had trusted in his God. 24 The king then gave an order, and the men who had accused Daniel were brought, and they were thrown into the lions’ pit, along with their sons and their wives. They had not reached the bottom of the pit before the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones. 25 Then King Da·ri′us wrote to all the peoples, nations, and language groups dwelling throughout the earth: “May you have abundant peace! 26 I am issuing an order that in every domain of my kingdom, people are to tremble in fear before the God of Daniel. For he is the living God and he endures forever. His kingdom will never be destroyed, and his rulership is eternal. 27 He rescues, saves, and performs signs and wonders in the heavens and on the earth, for he rescued Daniel from the paw of the lions.” 28 So this Daniel prospered in the kingdom of Da·ri′us and in the kingdom of Cyrus the Persian.

7 In the first year of King Bel·shaz′zar of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream; he recorded a complete account of the matters. 2 Daniel declared: “I was watching in my visions during the night, and look! the four winds of the heavens were stirring up the vast sea. 3 And four huge beasts came out of the sea, each different from the others. 4 “The first one was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were plucked out, and it was lifted up from the earth and was made to stand up on two feet like a man, and it was given the heart of a man. 5 “And look! another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Get up, eat much flesh.’ 6 “After this I kept watching, and look! another beast, like a leopard, but on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. And the beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule. 7 “After this I kept watching in the visions of the night, and I saw a fourth beast, fearsome and terrifying and unusually strong, and it had large iron teeth. It was devouring and crushing, and what was left it trampled down with its feet. It was different from all the other beasts that were prior to it, and it had ten horns. 8 While I considered the horns, look! another horn, a small one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were plucked up from before it. And look! there were eyes like human eyes in this horn, and there was a mouth speaking arrogantly. 9 “I kept watching until thrones were set in place and the Ancient of Days sat down. His clothing was white like snow, and the hair of his head was like clean wool. His throne was flames of fire; its wheels were a burning fire. 10 A stream of fire was flowing and going out from before him. A thousand thousands kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The Court took its seat, and books were opened. 11 “I kept watching at that time because of the sound of the arrogant words that the horn was speaking; I watched until the beast was killed and its body was destroyed and it was given over to be burned in the fire. 12 But as for the rest of the beasts, their rulerships were taken away, and their lives were prolonged for a time and a season. 13 “I kept watching in the visions of the night, and look! with the clouds of the heavens, someone like a son of man was coming; and he gained access to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him up close before that One. 14 And to him there were given rulership, honor, and a kingdom, that the peoples, nations, and language groups should all serve him. His rulership is an everlasting rulership that will not pass away, and his kingdom will not be destroyed. 15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me because the visions of my head frightened me. 16 I went near to one of those who were standing there to ask him about the true meaning of this. So he replied and made known to me the interpretation of these things. 17 “‘These huge beasts, four in number, are four kings who will stand up from the earth. 18 But the holy ones of the Supreme One will receive the kingdom, and they will possess the kingdom forever, yes, forever and ever.’ 19 “Then I wanted to know more about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others; it was extraordinarily fearsome, with iron teeth and copper claws, and it was devouring and crushing, and trampling down what was left with its feet; 20 and about the ten horns on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogantly and whose appearance was bigger than that of the others. 21 “I kept watching as that horn made war on the holy ones, and it was prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was rendered in favor of the holy ones of the Supreme One, and the appointed time arrived for the holy ones to take possession of the kingdom. 23 “This is what he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there is a fourth kingdom that will come to be on the earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour all the earth and will trample it down and crush it. 24 As for the ten horns, ten kings will rise up out of that kingdom; and still another one will rise up after them, and he will be different from the first ones, and he will humiliate three kings. 25 He will speak words against the Most High, and he will continually harass the holy ones of the Supreme One. He will intend to change times and law, and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 26 But the Court sat, and they took away his rulership, in order to annihilate him and to destroy him completely. 27 “‘And the kingdom and the rulership and the grandeur of the kingdoms under all the heavens were given to the people who are the holy ones of the Supreme One. Their kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all rulerships will serve and obey them.’ 28 “This is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts alarmed me greatly, so that I turned pale; but I kept the matter in my own heart.”

(Luke 24:44) He then said to them: “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was yet with you, that all the things written about me in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets and Psalms must be fulfilled.”

(2 Corinthians 3:14) But their minds were dulled. For to this present day, the same veil remains unlifted when the old covenant is read, because it is taken away only by means of Christ.

(Matthew 21:42) Jesus said to them: “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone that the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone. This has come from Jehovah, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

(Mark 14:49) Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and yet you did not take me into custody. Nevertheless, this is to fulfill the Scriptures.”

(John 5:39) “You are searching the Scriptures because you think that you will have everlasting life by means of them; and these are the very ones that bear witness about me.

(Romans 1:2) which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,

(Romans 15:4) For all the things that were written beforehand were written for our instruction, so that through our endurance and through the comfort from the Scriptures we might have hope.

(2 Timothy 3:15) and that from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

(2 Timothy 3:16) All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight, for disciplining in righteousness,

(2 Peter 3:15, 16) Furthermore, consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote you according to the wisdom given him, 16 speaking about these things as he does in all his letters. However, some things in them are hard to understand, and these things the ignorant and unstable are twisting, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

(2 Peter 1:21) For prophecy was at no time brought by man’s will, but men spoke from God as they were moved by holy spirit.

(John 20:21, 22) Jesus said to them again: “May you have peace. Just as the Father has sent me, I also am sending you.” 22 After saying this he blew on them and said to them: “Receive holy spirit.

(Exodus 8:18, 19) The magic-practicing priests tried to do the same and produce gnats by their secret arts, but they could not. And the gnats came on man and beast. 19 So the magic-practicing priests said to Phar′aoh: “It is the finger of God!” But Phar′aoh’s heart continued to be obstinate, and he did not listen to them, just as Jehovah had said.

(Matthew 12:22) Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and speechless, and he cured him, so that the speechless man could speak and see.

(Matthew 12:28) But if it is by means of God’s spirit that I expel the demons, the Kingdom of God has really overtaken you.

(Luke 11:20) But if it is by means of God’s finger that I expel the demons, the Kingdom of God has really overtaken you.

(Exodus 31:18) Now as soon as he had finished speaking with him on Mount Si′nai, he gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone written on by God’s finger.

(Deuteronomy 9:10) Then Jehovah gave me the two tablets of stone written on with God’s finger, and on them were all the words that Jehovah had spoken to you on the mountain out of the fire in the day of the assembly.

(Acts 4:13) Now when they saw the outspokenness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were astonished. And they began to realize that they had been with Jesus.

(Romans 3:2) A great deal in every way. First of all, that they were entrusted with the sacred pronouncements of God.

(Isaiah 46:10) From the beginning I foretell the outcome, And from long ago the things that have not yet been done. I say, ‘My decision will stand, And I will do whatever I please.’

(Genesis 1:26-28) Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every creeping animal that is moving on the earth.” 27 And God went on to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 Further, God blessed them, and God said to them: “Be fruitful and become many, fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving on the earth.”

(Genesis 2:7) And Jehovah God went on to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living person.

(Genesis 3:15) And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and her offspring. He will crush your head, and you will strike him in the heel.”

(Genesis 22:18) And by means of your offspring all nations of the earth will obtain a blessing for themselves because you have listened to my voice.’”

(2 Samuel 7:12) When your days come to an end and you are laid to rest with your forefathers, then I will raise up your offspring after you, your own son, and I will firmly establish his kingdom.

(2 Samuel 7:16) Your house and your kingdom will be secure forever before you; your throne will be firmly established forever.”’”

(Isaiah 9:6, 7) For a child has been born to us, A son has been given to us; And the rulership will rest on his shoulder. His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.  7 To the increase of his rulership And to peace, there will be no end, On the throne of David and on his kingdom In order to establish it firmly and to sustain it Through justice and righteousness, From now on and forever. The zeal of Jehovah of armies will do this.

(Luke 1:31-33) And look! you will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you are to name him Jesus. 32 This one will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and Jehovah God will give him the throne of David his father, 33 and he will rule as King over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end to his Kingdom.”

(Galatians 3:16) Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “and to your descendants,” in the sense of many. Rather, it says, “and to your offspring,” in the sense of one, who is Christ.

(Revelation 11:15) The seventh angel blew his trumpet. And there were loud voices in heaven, saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule as king forever and ever.”

(Revelation 12:1-12) Then a great sign was seen in heaven: A woman was arrayed with the sun, and the moon was beneath her feet, and on her head was a crown of 12 stars, 2 and she was pregnant. And she was crying out in her pains and in her agony to give birth. 3 Another sign was seen in heaven. Look! A great fiery-colored dragon, with seven heads and ten horns and on its heads seven diadems; 4 and its tail drags a third of the stars of heaven, and it hurled them down to the earth. And the dragon kept standing before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she did give birth, it might devour her child. 5 And she gave birth to a son, a male, who is to shepherd all the nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away to God and to his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God and where they would feed her for 1,260 days. 7 And war broke out in heaven: Mi′cha·el and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon and its angels battled 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer in heaven. 9 So down the great dragon was hurled, the original serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, who is misleading the entire inhabited earth; he was hurled down to the earth, and his angels were hurled down with him. 10 I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! 11 And they conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing, and they did not love their souls even in the face of death. 12 On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”

(Revelation 12:17) So the dragon became enraged at the woman and went off to wage war with the remaining ones of her offspring, who observe the commandments of God and have the work of bearing witness concerning Jesus.

(Revelation 19:11-16) I saw heaven opened, and look! a white horse. And the one seated on it is called Faithful and True, and he judges and carries on war in righteousness. 12 His eyes are a fiery flame, and on his head are many diadems. He has a name written that no one knows but he himself, 13 and he is clothed with an outer garment stained with blood, and he is called by the name The Word of God. 14 Also, the armies in heaven were following him on white horses, and they were clothed in white, clean, fine linen. 15 And out of his mouth protrudes a sharp, long sword with which to strike the nations, and he will shepherd them with a rod of iron. Moreover, he treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his outer garment, yes, on his thigh, he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

(Revelation 20:1-3) And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven with the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. 2 He seized the dragon, the original serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for 1,000 years. 3 And he hurled him into the abyss and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he would not mislead the nations anymore until the 1,000 years were ended. After this he must be released for a little while.

(Revelation 20:7-10) Now as soon as the 1,000 years have ended, Satan will be released from his prison, 8 and he will go out to mislead those nations in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Ma′gog, to gather them together for the war. The number of these is as the sand of the sea. 9 And they advanced over the whole earth and encircled the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city. But fire came down out of heaven and consumed them. 10 And the Devil who was misleading them was hurled into the lake of fire and sulfur, where both the wild beast and the false prophet already were; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

(Revelation 21:1-5) And I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the former heaven and the former earth had passed away, and the sea is no more. 2 I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. 4 And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” 5 And the One seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new.” Also he says: “Write, for these words are faithful and true.”

(Revelation 22:3-5) And there will no longer be any curse. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his slaves will offer him sacred service; 4 and they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 Also, night will be no more, and they have no need of lamplight or sunlight, for Jehovah God will shed light upon them, and they will rule as kings forever and ever.

(John 8:32) and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

(Hebrews 4:12) For the word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of soul and spirit, and of joints from the marrow, and is able to discern thoughts and intentions of the heart.

(Romans 12:2) And stop being molded by this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, so that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

(Philippians 2:5-8) Keep this mental attitude in you that was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although he was existing in God’s form, gave no consideration to a seizure, namely, that he should be equal to God. 7 No, but he emptied himself and took a slave’s form and became human. 8 More than that, when he came as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, yes, death on a torture stake.

(Ephesians 4:23, 24) And you should continue to be made new in your dominant mental attitude, 24 and should put on the new personality that was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty.

(Colossians 3:5-10) Deaden, therefore, your body members that are on the earth as respects sexual immorality, uncleanness, uncontrolled sexual passion, hurtful desire, and greediness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of those things the wrath of God is coming. 7 That is how you too used to conduct yourselves in your former way of life. 8 But now you must put them all away from you: wrath, anger, badness, abusive speech, and obscene talk out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another. Strip off the old personality with its practices, 10 and clothe yourselves with the new personality, which through accurate knowledge is being made new according to the image of the One who created it,

(Galatians 5:22, 23) On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

(Colossians 3:12-14) Accordingly, as God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with the tender affections of compassion, kindness, humility, mildness, and patience. 13 Continue putting up with one another and forgiving one another freely even if anyone has a cause for complaint against another. Just as Jehovah freely forgave you, you must also do the same. 14 But besides all these things, clothe yourselves with love, for it is a perfect bond of union.

(Jeremiah 51:11, 12) “Polish the arrows; take up the circular shields. Jehovah has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes, Because he intends to bring Babylon to ruin. For this is the vengeance of Jehovah, the vengeance for his temple. 12 Lift up a signal against the walls of Babylon. Strengthen the guard, post the watchmen. Prepare those in ambush. For Jehovah has devised the strategy, And he will carry out what he has promised against the inhabitants of Babylon.”

(Jeremiah 51:28) Appoint against her the nations, The kings of Me′di·a, its governors and all its deputy rulers And all the lands they rule over.

(Daniel 5:28) “PE′RES, your kingdom has been divided and given to the Medes and the Persians.”

(Jeremiah 27:20) which King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar of Babylon did not take when he took into exile Jec·o·ni′ah son of Je·hoi′a·kim, the king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, together with all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem;

(Daniel 1:1) In the third year of the kingship of King Je·hoi′a·kim of Judah, King Neb·u·chad·nez′zar of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.

(1 Kings 14:25) In the fifth year of King Re·ho·bo′am, King Shi′shak of Egypt came up against Jerusalem.

(2 Chronicles 12:2) In the fifth year of King Re·ho·bo′am, King Shi′shak of Egypt came up against Jerusalem, for they had behaved unfaithfully toward Jehovah.

(2 Kings 15:29) In the days of King Pe′kah of Israel, King Tig′lath-pil·e′ser of As·syr′i·a invaded and captured I′jon, A′bel-beth-ma′a·cah, Ja·no′ah, Ke′desh, Ha′zor, Gil′e·ad, and Gal′i·lee—all the land of Naph′ta·li—and he took the inhabitants into exile in As·syr′i·a.

(2 Kings 16:7) So A′haz sent messengers to King Tig′lath-pil·e′ser of As·syr′i·a, saying: “I am your servant and your son. Come up and save me from the hand of the king of Syria and the hand of the king of Israel, who are attacking me.”

(2 Kings 18:13) In the 14th year of King Hez·e·ki′ah, Sen·nach′er·ib the king of As·syr′i·a came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and captured them.

(Luke 2:1) Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Au·gus′tus for all the inhabited earth to be registered.

(Luke 3:1) In the 15th year of the reign of Ti·be′ri·us Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Ju·de′a, Herod was district ruler of Gal′i·lee, Philip his brother was district ruler of the country of It·u·rae′a and Trach·o·ni′tis, and Ly·sa′ni·as was district ruler of Ab·i·le′ne,

(Acts 18:2) And he found a Jew named Aq′ui·la, a native of Pon′tus who had recently come from Italy with Pris·cil′la his wife, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. So he went to them,

(Acts 4:27) For truly both Herod and Pontius Pilate with men of the nations and with peoples of Israel were gathered together in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed,

(Acts 23:26) “Claudius Lys′i·as to His Excellency, Governor Felix: Greetings!

(Acts 24:27) But when two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and because Felix desired to gain favor with the Jews, he left Paul in custody.

(Acts 19:35) When the city recorder had finally quieted the crowd, he said: “Men of Eph′e·sus, who really is there among men who does not know that the city of the E·phe′sians is the temple keeper of the great Ar′te·mis and of the image that fell from heaven?

(Acts 17:19-34) So they took hold of him and led him to the Ar·e·op′a·gus, saying: “Can we get to know what this new teaching is that you are speaking about? 20 For you are introducing some things that are strange to our ears, and we want to know what these things mean.” 21 In fact, all Athenians and the foreigners staying there would spend their leisure time doing nothing else but telling or listening to something new. 22 Paul now stood in the midst of the Ar·e·op′a·gus and said: “Men of Athens, I see that in all things you seem to be more given to the fear of the deities than others are. 23 For instance, while passing along and carefully observing your objects of veneration, I found even an altar on which had been inscribed ‘To an Unknown God.’ Therefore, what you are unknowingly worshipping, this I am declaring to you. 24 The God who made the world and all the things in it, being, as he is, Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in handmade temples; 25 nor is he served by human hands as if he needed anything, because he himself gives to all people life and breath and all things. 26 And he made out of one man every nation of men to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he decreed the appointed times and the set limits of where men would dwell, 27 so that they would seek God, if they might grope for him and really find him, although, in fact, he is not far off from each one of us. 28 For by him we have life and move and exist, even as some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also his children.’ 29 “Therefore, since we are the children of God, we should not think that the Divine Being is like gold or silver or stone, like something sculptured by the art and design of humans. 30 True, God has overlooked the times of such ignorance; but now he is declaring to all people everywhere that they should repent. 31 Because he has set a day on which he purposes to judge the inhabited earth in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and he has provided a guarantee to all men by resurrecting him from the dead.” 32 Now when they heard of a resurrection of the dead, some began to scoff, while others said: “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul left them, 34 but some men joined him and became believers. Among them were Di·o·nys′i·us, who was a judge of the court of the Ar·e·op′a·gus, and a woman named Dam′a·ris, and others besides them.

(Genesis 9:18, 19) Noah’s sons who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Ja′pheth. Ham later became the father of Ca′naan. 19 These three were Noah’s sons, and all the earth’s population came from them and spread abroad.

(Acts 17:26) And he made out of one man every nation of men to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he decreed the appointed times and the set limits of where men would dwell,

(Genesis 11:2-9) As they traveled eastward, they discovered a valley plain in the land of Shi′nar, and they began dwelling there. 3 Then they said to one another: “Come! Let us make bricks and bake them with fire.” So they used bricks instead of stone, and bitumen as mortar. 4 They now said: “Come! Let us build a city for ourselves and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a celebrated name for ourselves, so that we will not be scattered over the entire face of the earth.” 5 Then Jehovah went down to see the city and the tower that the sons of men had built. 6 Jehovah then said: “Look! They are one people with one language, and this is what they have started to do. Now there is nothing that they may have in mind to do that will be impossible for them. 7 Come! Let us go down there and confuse their language in order that they may not understand one another’s language.” 8 So Jehovah scattered them from there over the entire face of the earth, and they gradually left off building the city. 9 That is why it was named Ba′bel, because there Jehovah confused the language of all the earth, and Jehovah scattered them from there over the entire face of the earth.

(Matthew 7:12) “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must do to them. This, in fact, is what the Law and the Prophets mean.

(Leviticus 19:35, 36) “‘You must not use dishonest standards in measuring length, weight, or volume. 36 You should use accurate scales, accurate weights, an accurate dry measure, and an accurate liquid measure. I am Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.

(Proverbs 20:10) Dishonest weights and false measures —Both are detestable to Jehovah.

(Proverbs 22:22, 23) Do not rob the poor man because he is poor, And do not crush the lowly man in the city gate, 23 For Jehovah himself will plead their cause And he will take the life of those who defraud them.

(Ephesians 4:28) Let the one who steals steal no more; rather, let him do hard work, doing good work with his hands, so that he may have something to share with someone in need.

(Colossians 3:23) Whatever you are doing, work at it whole-souled as for Jehovah, and not for men,

(1 Thessalonians 4:11, 12) Make it your aim to live quietly and to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk decently in the eyes of people outside and not need anything.

(2 Thessalonians 3:10-12) In fact, when we were with you, we used to give you this order: “If anyone does not want to work, neither let him eat.” 11 For we hear that some are walking disorderly among you, not working at all, but meddling with what does not concern them. 12 To such people we give the order and exhortation in the Lord Jesus Christ that they should work quietly and eat food they themselves earn.

(Galatians 5:19-23) Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality, uncleanness, brazen conduct, 20 idolatry, spiritism, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these. I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom. 22 On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

(1 Thessalonians 4:3-8) For this is the will of God, that you should be holy and abstain from sexual immorality. 4 Each one of you should know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not with greedy, uncontrolled sexual passion like the nations have that do not know God. 6 No one should go beyond proper limits and take advantage of his brother in this matter, because Jehovah exacts punishment for all these things, just as we told you previously and also strongly warned you. 7 For God has called us, not for uncleanness, but for holiness. 8 So, then, the man who disregards this is disregarding, not man, but God, who gives you his holy spirit.

(Exodus 20:14-17) “You must not commit adultery. 15 “You must not steal. 16 “You must not testify falsely when you are a witness against your fellow man. 17 “You must not desire your fellow man’s house. You must not desire your fellow man’s wife nor his slave man nor his slave girl nor his bull nor his donkey nor anything that belongs to your fellow man.”

(Leviticus 20:10-16) “‘Now regarding a man who commits adultery with another man’s wife: The one who commits adultery with the wife of his fellow man should be put to death without fail, the adulterer and the adulteress. 11 A man who lies down with his father’s wife has exposed his father to shame. Both of them should be put to death without fail. Their own blood is upon them. 12 If a man lies down with his daughter-in-law, both of them should be put to death without fail. They have violated what is natural. Their own blood is upon them. 13 “‘If a man lies down with a male the same as one lies down with a woman, both of them have done a detestable thing. They should be put to death without fail. Their own blood is upon them. 14 “‘If a man takes a woman and her mother, it is an obscene act. They should burn him and them in the fire, so that obscene conduct may not continue among you. 15 “‘If a man has intercourse with a beast, he should be put to death without fail, and you should kill the beast. 16 If a woman approaches any beast to have intercourse with it, you must kill the woman and the beast. They should be put to death without fail. Their own blood is upon them.

(1 Corinthians 15:33) Do not be misled. Bad associations spoil useful habits.

(Hebrews 10:24, 25) And let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works, 25 not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you see the day drawing near.

(Proverbs 5:3-11) For the lips of a wayward woman drip like a honeycomb, And her mouth is smoother than oil.  4 But in the end she is as bitter as wormwood And as sharp as a two-edged sword.  5 Her feet descend into death. Her steps lead straight to the Grave.  6 She gives no thought to the path of life. Her course wanders, but she does not know where.  7 Now, my sons, listen to me And do not turn away from what I am saying.  8 Stay far away from her; Do not go near the entrance of her house,  9 So that you may not give your dignity to others Nor reap years of what is cruel; 10 So that strangers may not drain your resources And what you labored for go to the house of a foreigner. 11 Otherwise, you will groan at the end of your life When your flesh and body waste away

(Proverbs 13:20) The one walking with the wise will become wise, But the one who has dealings with the stupid will fare badly.

(Ephesians 5:21-33) Be in subjection to one another in fear of Christ. 22 Let wives be in subjection to their husbands as to the Lord, 23 because a husband is head of his wife just as the Christ is head of the congregation, he being a savior of this body. 24 In fact, as the congregation is in subjection to the Christ, wives should also be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, continue loving your wives, just as the Christ also loved the congregation and gave himself up for it, 26 in order that he might sanctify it, cleansing it with the bath of water by means of the word, 27 so that he might present the congregation to himself in its splendor, without a spot or a wrinkle or any of such things, but holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. A man who loves his wife loves himself, 29 for no man ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cherishes it, just as the Christ does the congregation, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and he will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh.” 32 This sacred secret is great. Now I am speaking about Christ and the congregation. 33 Nevertheless, each one of you must love his wife as he does himself; on the other hand, the wife should have deep respect for her husband.

(Ephesians 6:1-4) Children, be obedient to your parents in union with the Lord, for this is righteous. 2 “Honor your father and your mother” is the first command with a promise: 3 “That it may go well with you and you may remain a long time on the earth.” 4 And fathers, do not be irritating your children, but go on bringing them up in the discipline and admonition of Jehovah.

(Colossians 3:18-21) You wives, be in subjection to your husbands, as it is becoming in the Lord. 19 You husbands, keep on loving your wives and do not be bitterly angry with them. 20 You children, be obedient to your parents in everything, for this is well-pleasing to the Lord. 21 You fathers, do not be exasperating your children, so that they do not become downhearted.

(Deuteronomy 6:4-9) “Listen, O Israel: Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. 5 You must love Jehovah your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength. 6 These words that I am commanding you today must be on your heart, 7 and you must inculcate them in your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as a reminder on your hand, and they must be like a headband on your forehead. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

(Proverbs 13:24) Whoever holds back his rod hates his son, But the one who loves him disciplines him diligently.

(Genesis 1:1-31) In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and desolate, and there was darkness upon the surface of the watery deep, and God’s active force was moving about over the surface of the waters. 3 And God said: “Let there be light.” Then there was light. 4 After that God saw that the light was good, and God began to divide the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, but the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, a first day. 6 Then God said: “Let there be an expanse between the waters, and let there be a division between the waters and the waters.” 7 Then God went on to make the expanse and divided the waters beneath the expanse from the waters above the expanse. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day. 9 Then God said: “Let the waters under the heavens be collected together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, but the collecting of the waters, he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said: “Let the earth cause grass to sprout, seed-bearing plants and fruit trees according to their kinds, yielding fruit along with seed on the earth.” And it was so. 12 And the earth began to produce grass, seed-bearing plants and trees yielding fruit along with seed, according to their kinds. Then God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, a third day. 14 Then God said: “Let there be luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to make a division between the day and the night, and they will serve as signs for seasons and for days and years. 15 They will serve as luminaries in the expanse of the heavens to shine upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God went on to make the two great luminaries, the greater luminary for dominating the day and the lesser luminary for dominating the night, and also the stars. 17 Thus God put them in the expanse of the heavens to shine upon the earth 18 and to dominate by day and by night and to make a division between the light and the darkness. Then God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day. 20 Then God said: “Let the waters swarm with living creatures, and let flying creatures fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 And God created the great sea creatures and all living creatures that move and swarm in the waters according to their kinds and every winged flying creature according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 With that God blessed them, saying: “Be fruitful and become many and fill the waters of the sea, and let the flying creatures become many in the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 24 Then God said: “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds, domestic animals and creeping animals and wild animals of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God went on to make the wild animals of the earth according to their kinds and the domestic animals according to their kinds and all the creeping animals of the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every creeping animal that is moving on the earth.” 27 And God went on to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. 28 Further, God blessed them, and God said to them: “Be fruitful and become many, fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving on the earth.” 29 Then God said: “Here I have given to you every seed-bearing plant that is on the entire earth and every tree with seed-bearing fruit. Let them serve as food for you. 30 And to every wild animal of the earth and to every flying creature of the heavens and to everything moving on the earth in which there is life, I have given all green vegetation for food.” And it was so. 31 After that God saw everything he had made, and look! it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.

(Job 26:7) He stretches out the northern sky over empty space, Suspending the earth upon nothing;

(Isaiah 40:22) There is One who dwells above the circle of the earth, And its inhabitants are like grasshoppers. He is stretching out the heavens like a fine gauze, And he spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

(Leviticus 11:6) Also the hare, because it chews the cud but does not have a split hoof. It is unclean for you.

(Leviticus 17:11-14) For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I myself have given it on the altar for you to make atonement for yourselves, because it is the blood that makes atonement by means of the life in it. 12 That is why I have said to the Israelites: “None of you should eat blood, and no foreigner who is residing in your midst should eat blood.” 13 “‘If one of the Israelites or some foreigner who is residing in your midst is hunting and catches a wild animal or a bird that may be eaten, he must pour its blood out and cover it with dust. 14 For the life of every sort of flesh is its blood, because the life is in it. Consequently, I said to the Israelites: “You must not eat the blood of any sort of flesh because the life of every sort of flesh is its blood. Anyone eating it will be cut off.”

(Luke 3:1) In the 15th year of the reign of Ti·be′ri·us Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Ju·de′a, Herod was district ruler of Gal′i·lee, Philip his brother was district ruler of the country of It·u·rae′a and Trach·o·ni′tis, and Ly·sa′ni·as was district ruler of Ab·i·le′ne,

(Acts 25:13) After some days had passed, A·grip′pa the king and Bernice arrived in Caes·a·re′a for a courtesy visit to Festus.

(Acts 18:12) While Gal′li·o was proconsul of A·cha′ia, the Jews made a concerted attack against Paul and led him to the judgment seat,

(2 Corinthians 2:14) But thanks be to God, who always leads us in a triumphal procession in company with the Christ and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him in every place!

(Genesis 18:1-8) Afterward, Jehovah appeared to him among the big trees of Mam′re while he was sitting at the entrance of the tent during the hottest part of the day. 2 He looked up and saw three men standing some distance from him. When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them, and he bowed down to the ground. 3 Then he said: “Jehovah, if I have found favor in your eyes, please do not pass by your servant. 4 Please, let a little water be brought and have your feet washed; then recline under the tree. 5 Seeing that you have come here to your servant, let me bring a piece of bread so that you may refresh yourselves. Then you may go on your way.” At this they said: “All right. You may do as you have spoken.” 6 So Abraham hurried to the tent to Sarah and said: “Quick! Get three measures of fine flour, knead the dough, and make loaves of bread.” 7 Next Abraham ran to the herd and chose a tender and good young bull. He gave it to the attendant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then took butter and milk and the young bull that he had prepared and set the food before them. Then he stood by them under the tree as they were eating.

(Genesis 23:7-18) So Abraham got up and bowed down to the people of the land, to the sons of Heth, 8 and said to them: “If you agree to let me remove my dead for burial, then listen to me and urge E′phron the son of Zo′har 9 to sell me the cave of Mach·pe′lah, which belongs to him; it is at the edge of his field. Let him sell it to me in your presence for the full amount of silver so that I may have a property for a burial place.” 10 Now E′phron was sitting among the sons of Heth. So E′phron the Hit′tite answered Abraham in the hearing of the sons of Heth, and before all who entered the gate of his city, saying: 11 “No, my lord! Listen to me. I give you both the field and the cave that is in it. In the presence of the sons of my people, I give it to you. Bury your dead.” 12 At that Abraham bowed down before the people of the land 13 and spoke to E′phron in the hearing of the people, saying: “Listen to me, if you will! I will give you the full amount of silver for the field. Take it from me, in order that I may bury my dead there.” 14 Then E′phron answered Abraham: 15 “My lord, listen to me. This land is worth 400 silver shekels, but what is that between me and you? So bury your dead.” 16 Abraham listened to E′phron, and Abraham weighed out to E′phron the amount of silver that he had mentioned in the hearing of the sons of Heth, 400 silver shekels according to the weight accepted by the merchants. 17 Thus the field of E′phron in Mach·pe′lah, which was in front of Mam′re—the field and the cave in it and all the trees within the boundaries of the field—became confirmed as 18 Abraham’s purchased property in the presence of the sons of Heth, before all those entering the gate of his city.

(Genesis 17:10-14) This is my covenant between me and you, that you and your offspring after you will keep: Every male among you must get circumcised. 11 You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, and it will serve as a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 Throughout your generations, every male among you eight days old must be circumcised, anyone who is born in the house and anyone who is not one of your offspring and who was purchased with money from a foreigner. 13 Every man born in your house and every man purchased with your money must be circumcised, and my covenant in your flesh must serve as a lasting covenant. 14 If any uncircumcised male will not circumcise the flesh of his foreskin, that person must be cut off from his people. He has broken my covenant.”

(Jeremiah 9:25, 26) “Look! Days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “and I will hold an accounting with everyone circumcised and yet uncircumcised, 26 with Egypt and Judah and E′dom and the Am′mon·ites and Mo′ab and with all of those with hair clipped at the temples who are dwelling in the wilderness; for all the nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in heart.”

(Exodus 14:11, 12) They said to Moses: “Is it because there are no burial places in Egypt that you have brought us here to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us by leading us out of Egypt? 12 Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt when we said, ‘Let us alone, so that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it is better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.”

(Exodus 32:1-6) Meanwhile, the people saw that Moses was taking a long time coming down from the mountain. So the people gathered around Aaron and said to him: “Get up, make for us a god who will go ahead of us, because we do not know what has happened to this Moses, the man who led us up out of the land of Egypt.” 2 At this Aaron said to them: “Take the gold earrings from the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people began taking off the gold earrings that were in their ears and bringing them to Aaron. 4 Then he took the gold from them, and he formed it with an engraving tool and made it into a statue of a calf. They began to say: “This is your God, O Israel, who led you up out of the land of Egypt.” 5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. Then Aaron called out: “There is a festival to Jehovah tomorrow.” 6 So they got up early on the next day and began offering up burnt offerings and presenting communion sacrifices. After that the people sat down to eat and drink. Then they got up to have a good time.

(Numbers 14:1-9) Then all the assembly raised their voice, and the people continued crying out and weeping all through that night. 2 All the Israelites began to murmur against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly spoke against them, saying: “If only we had died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why is Jehovah bringing us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and children will become plunder. Is it not better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 They were even saying to one another: “Let us appoint a leader and return to Egypt!” 5 At this Moses and Aaron fell with their faces to the ground before the whole assembled congregation of the Israelites. 6 Joshua the son of Nun and Ca′leb the son of Je·phun′neh, who were among those who spied out the land, ripped their garments apart, 7 and they said this to all the assembly of the Israelites: “The land that we passed through to spy out is a very, very good land. 8 If Jehovah is pleased with us, he will certainly bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that is flowing with milk and honey. 9 But you must not rebel against Jehovah, and you must not fear the people of the land, for we will devour them. Their protection has been removed from them, and Jehovah is with us. Do not fear them.”

(Numbers 20:9-12) So Moses took the rod from before Jehovah, just as He had commanded him. 10 Then Moses and Aaron called the congregation together before the crag, and he said to them: “Hear, now, you rebels! Must we bring out water for you from this crag?” 11 With that Moses lifted his hand up and struck the crag twice with his rod, and much water began to pour out, and the assembly and their livestock began to drink. 12 Jehovah later said to Moses and Aaron: “Because you did not show faith in me and sanctify me before the eyes of the people of Israel, you will not bring this congregation into the land that I will give them.”

(Numbers 27:12-14) Then Jehovah said to Moses: “Go up into this mountain of Ab′a·rim, and view the land that I will give the Israelites. 13 When you have seen it, you will also be gathered to your people, just as Aaron your brother was, 14 because when the assembly was quarreling with me in the wilderness of Zin, you rebelled against my order to sanctify me before them by means of the waters. These are the waters of Mer′i·bah at Ka′desh in the wilderness of Zin.”

(Deuteronomy 4:21) “Jehovah became angry with me because of you, and he swore that I should not cross the Jordan or go into the good land that Jehovah your God is giving you as an inheritance.

(2 Samuel 11:2-27) One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the rooftop of the king’s house. From the rooftop he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful. 3 David sent someone to inquire about the woman, and he reported: “Is this not Bath-she′ba the daughter of E·li′am and the wife of U·ri′ah the Hit′tite?” 4 Then David sent messengers to bring her. So she came in to him, and he lay down with her. (This happened while she was purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Afterward, she returned to her house. 5 The woman became pregnant, and she sent a message to David: “I am pregnant.” 6 At this David sent a message to Jo′ab: “Send to me U·ri′ah the Hit′tite.” So Jo′ab sent U·ri′ah to David. 7 When U·ri′ah came to him, David asked him how Jo′ab was getting along, how the troops were getting along, and how the war was going. 8 David then said to U·ri′ah: “Go down to your house and relax.” When U·ri′ah left the king’s house, the king’s courtesy gift was sent after him. 9 However, U·ri′ah slept at the entrance of the king’s house with all the other servants of his lord, and he did not go down to his own house. 10 So David was told: “U·ri′ah did not go down to his own house.” At that David said to U·ri′ah: “Have you not just returned from a journey? Why did you not go down to your own house?” 11 U·ri′ah replied to David: “The Ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in temporary shelters, and my lord Jo′ab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. So should I go into my own house to eat and drink and lie down with my wife? As surely as you live and are alive, I will not do this thing!” 12 Then David said to U·ri′ah: “Stay here also today, and tomorrow I will send you away.” So U·ri′ah stayed in Jerusalem on that day and the following day. 13 David then sent for him to come and eat and drink with him, and he got him drunk. But in the evening, he went out to sleep on his bed with the servants of his lord, and he did not go down to his house. 14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Jo′ab and sent it by the hand of U·ri′ah. 15 He wrote in the letter: “Put U·ri′ah in the front lines where the fighting is fiercest. Then retreat from behind him, so that he will be struck down and die.” 16 Jo′ab had been carefully watching the city, and he stationed U·ri′ah where he knew there were mighty warriors. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Jo′ab, some of David’s servants fell, and U·ri′ah the Hit′tite was among those who died. 18 Jo′ab now reported to David all the news about the war. 19 He instructed the messenger: “When you finish speaking to the king about all the news of the war, 20 the king may become angry and say to you, ‘Why did you have to go so near to the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the top of the wall? 21 Who struck down A·bim′e·lech the son of Je·rub′be·sheth? Was it not a woman who threw an upper millstone on him from the top of the wall, causing his death at The′bez? Why did you have to go so close to the wall?’ Then say, ‘Your servant U·ri′ah the Hit′tite also died.’” 22 So the messenger went and told David everything that Jo′ab had sent him to tell. 23 Then the messenger told David: “Their men overpowered us, and they came out against us in the field; but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 And the archers were shooting at your servants from the top of the wall, and some of the servants of the king died; your servant U·ri′ah the Hit′tite also died.” 25 At that David said to the messenger: “Say this to Jo′ab: ‘Do not let this matter trouble you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Intensify your battle against the city and conquer it.’ And encourage him.” 26 When U·ri′ah’s wife heard that her husband U·ri′ah had died, she began to mourn her husband. 27 As soon as the mourning period was over, David sent for her and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But what David had done was very displeasing to Jehovah.

(1 Kings 11:1-13) But King Sol′o·mon loved many foreign women besides the daughter of Phar′aoh: Mo′ab·ite, Am′mon·ite, E′dom·ite, Si·do′ni·an, and Hit′tite women. 2 They were from the nations about whom Jehovah had said to the Israelites: “You must not go in among them, and they should not come in among you, for they will surely incline your heart to follow their gods.” But Sol′o·mon clung to them and loved them. 3 And he had 700 wives who were princesses and 300 concubines, and his wives gradually inclined his heart. 4 In Sol′o·mon’s old age, his wives inclined his heart to follow other gods, and his heart was not complete with Jehovah his God like the heart of David his father. 5 And Sol′o·mon followed after Ash′to·reth, the goddess of the Si·do′ni·ans, and Mil′com, the disgusting god of the Am′mon·ites. 6 And Sol′o·mon did what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah, and he did not follow Jehovah completely as David his father had done. 7 It was then that Sol′o·mon built a high place to Che′mosh, the disgusting god of Mo′ab, on the mountain in front of Jerusalem and to Mo′lech, the disgusting god of the Am′mon·ites. 8 That was what he did for all his foreign wives who were making sacrificial smoke and sacrificing to their gods. 9 Jehovah became furious at Sol′o·mon, because his heart had inclined away from Jehovah the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice 10 and had warned him about this very thing, that he should not go after other gods. But he did not obey what Jehovah had commanded. 11 Jehovah now said to Sol′o·mon: “Because you have done this and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes as I commanded you, I will surely rip the kingdom away from you, and I will give it to one of your servants. 12 However, for the sake of your father David, I will not do it in your lifetime. I will rip it out of the hand of your son, 13 but I will not rip away the entire kingdom. One tribe I will give to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

(Jonah 1:1-3) The word of Jehovah came to Jo′nah the son of A·mit′tai, saying: 2 “Get up, go to Nin′e·veh the great city, and proclaim judgment against her, for their wickedness has come to my attention.” 3 But Jo′nah got up to run away from Jehovah to Tar′shish; he went down to Jop′pa and found a ship going to Tar′shish. So he paid the fare and went aboard to go with them to Tar′shish, away from Jehovah.

(Jonah 4:1) But this was highly displeasing to Jo′nah, and he became hot with anger.

(Acts 22:19, 20) And I said: ‘Lord, they themselves well know that I used to imprison and flog in one synagogue after another those believing in you; 20 and when the blood of Stephen your witness was being spilled, I was standing by and approving and guarding the outer garments of those doing away with him.’

(Acts 15:37-39) Bar′na·bas was determined to take along John, who was called Mark. 38 Paul, however, was not in favor of taking him along with them, seeing that he had departed from them in Pam·phyl′i·a and had not gone with them to the work. 39 At this there was a sharp burst of anger, so that they separated from each other; and Bar′na·bas took Mark along and sailed away to Cy′prus.

(Galatians 2:11-14) However, when Ce′phas came to Antioch, I resisted him face-to-face, because he was clearly in the wrong. 12 For before certain men from James arrived, he used to eat with people of the nations; but when they arrived, he stopped doing this and separated himself, fearing those of the circumcised class. 13 The rest of the Jews also joined him in putting on this pretense, so that even Bar′na·bas was led along with them in their pretense. 14 But when I saw that they were not walking in step with the truth of the good news, I said to Ce′phas before them all: “If you, though you are a Jew, live as the nations do and not as Jews do, how can you compel people of the nations to live according to Jewish practice?”

(John 17:17) Sanctify them by means of the truth; your word is truth.

(Ezra 7:6) This Ez′ra came up from Babylon. He was a copyist who was well-versed in the Law of Moses, which Jehovah the God of Israel had given. The king granted everything he requested, for the hand of Jehovah his God was upon him.

(1 Peter 1:24, 25) For “all flesh is like grass, and all its glory is like a blossom of the field; the grass withers, and the flower falls off, 25 but the saying of Jehovah endures forever.” And this “saying” is the good news that was declared to you.

(Isaiah 40:6-8) Listen! Someone is saying: “Call out!” Another asks: “What should I call out?” “All flesh is green grass. All their loyal love is like the blossom of the field.  7 The green grass dries up, The blossom withers, Because the breath of Jehovah blows upon it. Surely the people are but green grass.  8 The green grass dries up, The blossom withers, But the word of our God endures forever.”

(2 Peter 1:19) So we have the prophetic word made more sure, and you are doing well in paying attention to it as to a lamp shining in a dark place (until day dawns and a daystar rises) in your hearts.

(Psalm 119:105) Your word is a lamp to my foot, And a light for my path.

(Psalm 1:1, 2) Happy is the man who does not walk according to the advice of the wicked And does not stand on the path of sinners And does not sit in the seat of scoffers.  2 But his delight is in the law of Jehovah, And he reads His law in an undertone day and night.

(Joshua 1:8) This book of the Law should not depart from your mouth, and you must read it in an undertone day and night, in order to observe carefully all that is written in it; for then your way will be successful and then you will act wisely.

(Psalm 19:7-10) The law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring strength. The reminder of Jehovah is trustworthy, making the inexperienced one wise.  8 The orders from Jehovah are righteous, causing the heart to rejoice; The commandment of Jehovah is clean, making the eyes shine.  9 The fear of Jehovah is pure, lasting forever. The judgments of Jehovah are true, altogether righteous. 10 They are more desirable than gold, Than much fine gold, And sweeter than honey, the honey that drips from the combs.

(Proverbs 3:13) Happy is the man who finds wisdom And the man who acquires discernment;

(Proverbs 3:16-18) Long life is in its right hand; Riches and glory are in its left hand. 17 Its ways are pleasant, And all its paths are peaceful. 18 It is a tree of life to those who take hold of it, And those who keep firm hold of it will be called happy.

(1 Chronicles 9:44) A′zel had six sons, and their names were Az·ri′kam, Bo′che·ru, Ish′ma·el, She·a·ri′ah, O·ba·di′ah, and Ha′nan. These were the sons of A′zel.

^

 Hit Counter