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ESV: Every Day in the Word
The popular reading plan features a reading from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs each day. This plan divides the text into 365 sections, so you can read through the entire Bible in one unforgettable year?in as little as 15 minutes a day. In one year, you read the Old Testament, the New Testament, and Proverbs once, and the Psalms twice.

  • September 20: Isaiah 33:13?36:22; Galatians 5:13?26; Psalm 64; Proverbs 23:23

    Old Testament: Isaiah 33:13?36:22 Isaiah 33:13?36:22

    Isaiah 33:13-36:22

      Hear, you who are far off, what I have done;
        and you who are near, acknowledge my might.
      The sinners in Zion are afraid;
        trembling has seized the godless:
      ?Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire?
        Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings??
      He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly,
        who despises the gain of oppressions,
      who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe,
        who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed
        and shuts his eyes from looking on evil,
      he will dwell on the heights;
        his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks;
        his bread will be given him; his water will be sure.
      Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty;
        they will see a land that stretches afar.
      Your heart will muse on the terror:
        ?Where is he who counted, where is he who weighed the tribute?
        Where is he who counted the towers??
      You will see no more the insolent people,
        the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend,
        stammering in a tongue that you cannot understand.
      Behold Zion, the city of our appointed feasts!
        Your eyes will see Jerusalem,
        an untroubled habitation, an immovable tent,
      whose stakes will never be plucked up,
        nor will any of its cords be broken.
      But there the LORD in majesty will be for us
        a place of broad rivers and streams,
      where no galley with oars can go,
        nor majestic ship can pass.
      For the LORD is our judge; the LORD is our lawgiver;
        the LORD is our king; he will save us.
      Your cords hang loose;
        they cannot hold the mast firm in its place
        or keep the sail spread out.
      Then prey and spoil in abundance will be divided;
        even the lame will take the prey.
      And no inhabitant will say, ?I am sick?;
        the people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity.

    Judgment on the Nations

    34   Draw near, O nations, to hear,
        and give attention, O peoples!
      Let the earth hear, and all that fills it;
        the world, and all that comes from it.
      For the LORD is enraged against all the nations,
        and furious against all their host;
        he has devoted them to destruction,1 has given them over for slaughter.
      Their slain shall be cast out,
        and the stench of their corpses shall rise;
        the mountains shall flow with their blood.
      All the host of heaven shall rot away,
        and the skies roll up like a scroll.
      All their host shall fall,
        as leaves fall from the vine,
        like leaves falling from the fig tree.
      For my sword has drunk its fill in the heavens;
        behold, it descends for judgment upon Edom,
        upon the people I have devoted to destruction.
      The LORD has a sword; it is sated with blood;
        it is gorged with fat,
        with the blood of lambs and goats,
        with the fat of the kidneys of rams.
      For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah,
        a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
      Wild oxen shall fall with them,
        and young steers with the mighty bulls.
      Their land shall drink its fill of blood,
        and their soil shall be gorged with fat.
      For the LORD has a day of vengeance,
        a year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
      And the streams of Edom2 shall be turned into pitch,
        and her soil into sulfur;
        her land shall become burning pitch.
      Night and day it shall not be quenched;
        its smoke shall go up forever.
      From generation to generation it shall lie waste;
        none shall pass through it forever and ever.
      But the hawk and the porcupine3 shall possess it,
        the owl and the raven shall dwell in it.
      He shall stretch the line of confusion4 over it,
        and the plumb line of emptiness.
      Its nobles?there is no one there to call it a kingdom,
        and all its princes shall be nothing.
      Thorns shall grow over its strongholds,
        nettles and thistles in its fortresses.
      It shall be the haunt of jackals,
        an abode for ostriches.5
      And wild animals shall meet with hyenas;
        the wild goat shall cry to his fellow;
      indeed, there the night bird6 settles
        and finds for herself a resting place.
      There the owl nests and lays
        and hatches and gathers her young in her shadow;
      indeed, there the hawks are gathered,
        each one with her mate.
      Seek and read from the book of the LORD:
        Not one of these shall be missing;
        none shall be without her mate.
      For the mouth of the LORD has commanded,
        and his Spirit has gathered them.
      He has cast the lot for them;
        his hand has portioned it out to them with the line;
      they shall possess it forever;
        from generation to generation they shall dwell in it.

    The Ransomed Shall Return

    35   The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;
        the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;
      it shall blossom abundantly
        and rejoice with joy and singing.
      The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
        the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
      They shall see the glory of the LORD,
        the majesty of our God.
      Strengthen the weak hands,
        and make firm the feeble knees.
      Say to those who have an anxious heart,
        ?Be strong; fear not!
      Behold, your God
        will come with vengeance,
      with the recompense of God.
        He will come and save you.?
      Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,
        and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
      then shall the lame man leap like a deer,
        and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.
      For waters break forth in the wilderness,
        and streams in the desert;
      the burning sand shall become a pool,
        and the thirsty ground springs of water;
      in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,
        the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
      And a highway shall be there,
        and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;
      the unclean shall not pass over it.
        It shall belong to those who walk on the way;
        even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.7
      No lion shall be there,
        nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;
      they shall not be found there,
        but the redeemed shall walk there.
      And the ransomed of the LORD shall return
        and come to Zion with singing;
      everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;
        they shall obtain gladness and joy,
        and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

    Sennacherib Invades Judah

    36 In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah, Sennacherib king of Assyria came up against all the fortified cities of Judah and took them. And the king of Assyria sent the Rabshakeh8 from Lachish to King Hezekiah at Jerusalem, with a great army. And he stood by the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer's Field. And there came out to him Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder.

    And the Rabshakeh said to them, ?Say to Hezekiah, ?Thus says the great king, the king of Assyria: On what do you rest this trust of yours? Do you think that mere words are strategy and power for war? In whom do you now trust, that you have rebelled against me? Behold, you are trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it. Such is Pharaoh king of Egypt to all who trust in him. But if you say to me, ?We trust in the LORD our God,? is it not he whose high places and altars Hezekiah has removed, saying to Judah and to Jerusalem, ?You shall worship before this altar?? Come now, make a wager with my master the king of Assyria: I will give you two thousand horses, if you are able on your part to set riders on them. How then can you repulse a single captain among the least of my master's servants, when you trust in Egypt for chariots and for horsemen? Moreover, is it without the LORD that I have come up against this land to destroy it? The LORD said to me, ?Go up against this land and destroy it.???

    Then Eliakim, Shebna, and Joah said to the Rabshakeh, ?Please speak to your servants in Aramaic, for we understand it. Do not speak to us in the language of Judah within the hearing of the people who are on the wall.? But the Rabshakeh said, ?Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and drink their own urine??

    Then the Rabshakeh stood and called out in a loud voice in the language of Judah: ?Hear the words of the great king, the king of Assyria! Thus says the king: ?Do not let Hezekiah deceive you, for he will not be able to deliver you. Do not let Hezekiah make you trust in the LORD by saying, ?The LORD will surely deliver us. This city will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria.? Do not listen to Hezekiah. For thus says the king of Assyria: Make your peace with me9 and come out to me. Then each one of you will eat of his own vine, and each one of his own fig tree, and each one of you will drink the water of his own cistern, until I come and take you away to a land like your own land, a land of grain and wine, a land of bread and vineyards. Beware lest Hezekiah mislead you by saying, ?The LORD will deliver us.? Has any of the gods of the nations delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Who among all the gods of these lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand???

    But they were silent and answered him not a word, for the king's command was, ?Do not answer him.? Then Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, who was over the household, and Shebna the secretary, and Joah the son of Asaph, the recorder, came to Hezekiah with their clothes torn, and told him the words of the Rabshakeh.


    [1] 34:2 That is, set apart (devoted) as an offering to the Lord (for destruction); also verse 5
    [2] 34:9 Hebrew her streams
    [3] 34:11 The identity of the animals rendered hawk and porcupine is uncertain
    [4] 34:11 Hebrew formlessness
    [5] 34:13 Or owls
    [6] 34:14 Identity uncertain
    [7] 35:8 Or if they are fools, they shall not wander in it
    [8] 36:2 Rabshakeh is the title of a high-ranking Assyrian military officer
    [9] 36:16 Hebrew Make a blessing with me


    New Testament: Galatians 5:13?26 Galatians 5:13?26

    Galatians 5:13-26

    For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ?You shall love your neighbor as yourself.? But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

    Keep in Step with the Spirit

    But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy,1 drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do2 such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

    If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.


    [1] 5:21 Some manuscripts add murder
    [2] 5:21 Or make a practice of doing


    Psalm: Psalm 64 Psalm 64

    Psalm 64

    Hide Me from the Wicked

    To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

    64   Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;
        preserve my life from dread of the enemy.
      Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,
        from the throng of evildoers,
      who whet their tongues like swords,
        who aim bitter words like arrows,
      shooting from ambush at the blameless,
        shooting at him suddenly and without fear.
      They hold fast to their evil purpose;
        they talk of laying snares secretly,
      thinking, ?Who can see them??
        They search out injustice,
      saying, ?We have accomplished a diligent search.?
        For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep.
      But God shoots his arrow at them;
        they are wounded suddenly.
      They are brought to ruin, with their own tongues turned against them;
        all who see them will wag their heads.
      Then all mankind fears;
        they tell what God has brought about
        and ponder what he has done.
      Let the righteous one rejoice in the LORD
        and take refuge in him!
      Let all the upright in heart exult!


    Proverb: Proverbs 23:23 Proverbs 23:23

    Proverbs 23:23

      Buy truth, and do not sell it;
        buy wisdom, instruction, and understanding.


  • September 19: Isaiah 30:12?33:12; Galatians 5:1?12; Psalm 63; Proverbs 23:22

    Old Testament: Isaiah 30:12?33:12 Isaiah 30:12?33:12

    Isaiah 30:12-33:12

      Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel,
      ?Because you despise this word
        and trust in oppression and perverseness
        and rely on them,
      therefore this iniquity shall be to you
        like a breach in a high wall, bulging out and about to collapse,
        whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant;
      and its breaking is like that of a potter's vessel
        that is smashed so ruthlessly
      that among its fragments not a shard is found
        with which to take fire from the hearth,
        or to dip up water out of the cistern.?
      For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel,
      ?In returning1 and rest you shall be saved;
        in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.?
      But you were unwilling, and you said,
      ?No! We will flee upon horses?;
        therefore you shall flee away;
      and, ?We will ride upon swift steeds?;
        therefore your pursuers shall be swift.
      A thousand shall flee at the threat of one;
        at the threat of five you shall flee,
      till you are left
        like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain,
        like a signal on a hill.

    The Lord Will Be Gracious

      Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you,
        and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
      For the LORD is a God of justice;
        blessed are all those who wait for him.

    For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ?This is the way, walk in it,? when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, ?Be gone!?

    And he will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. In that day your livestock will graze in large pastures, and the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. Moreover, the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day when the LORD binds up the brokenness of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

      Behold, the name of the LORD comes from afar,
        burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;2
      his lips are full of fury,
        and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
      his breath is like an overflowing stream
        that reaches up to the neck;
      to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction,
        and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads astray.

    You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart, as when one sets out to the sound of the flute to go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel. And the LORD will cause his majestic voice to be heard and the descending blow of his arm to be seen, in furious anger and a flame of devouring fire, with a cloudburst and storm and hailstones. The Assyrians will be terror-stricken at the voice of the LORD, when he strikes with his rod. And every stroke of the appointed staff that the LORD lays on them will be to the sound of tambourines and lyres. Battling with brandished arm, he will fight with them. For a burning place3 has long been prepared; indeed, for the king it is made ready, its pyre made deep and wide, with fire and wood in abundance; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of sulfur, kindles it.

    Woe to Those Who Go Down to Egypt

    31   Woe4 to those who go down to Egypt for help
        and rely on horses,
      who trust in chariots because they are many
        and in horsemen because they are very strong,
      but do not look to the Holy One of Israel
        or consult the LORD!
      And yet he is wise and brings disaster;
        he does not call back his words,
      but will arise against the house of the evildoers
        and against the helpers of those who work iniquity.
      The Egyptians are man, and not God,
        and their horses are flesh, and not spirit.
      When the LORD stretches out his hand,
        the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall,
        and they will all perish together.
      For thus the LORD said to me,
      ?As a lion or a young lion growls over his prey,
        and when a band of shepherds is called out against him
      he is not terrified by their shouting
        or daunted at their noise,
      so the LORD of hosts will come down
        to fight5 on Mount Zion and on its hill.
      Like birds hovering, so the LORD of hosts
        will protect Jerusalem;
      he will protect and deliver it;
        he will spare and rescue it.?

    Turn to him from whom people6 have deeply revolted, O children of Israel. For in that day everyone shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.

      ?And the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of man;
        and a sword, not of man, shall devour him;
      and he shall flee from the sword,
        and his young men shall be put to forced labor.
      His rock shall pass away in terror,
        and his officers desert the standard in panic,?
      declares the LORD, whose fire is in Zion,
        and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

    A King Will Reign in Righteousness

    32   Behold, a king will reign in righteousness,
        and princes will rule in justice.
      Each will be like a hiding place from the wind,
        a shelter from the storm,
      like streams of water in a dry place,
        like the shade of a great rock in a weary land.
      Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed,
        and the ears of those who hear will give attention.
      The heart of the hasty will understand and know,
        and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.
      The fool will no more be called noble,
        nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.
      For the fool speaks folly,
        and his heart is busy with iniquity,
      to practice ungodliness,
        to utter error concerning the LORD,
      to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
        and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
      As for the scoundrel?his devices are evil;
        he plans wicked schemes
      to ruin the poor with lying words,
        even when the plea of the needy is right.
      But he who is noble plans noble things,
        and on noble things he stands.

    Complacent Women Warned of Disaster

      Rise up, you women who are at ease, hear my voice;
        you complacent daughters, give ear to my speech.
      In little more than a year
        you will shudder, you complacent women;
      for the grape harvest fails,
        the fruit harvest will not come.
      Tremble, you women who are at ease,
        shudder, you complacent ones;
      strip, and make yourselves bare,
        and tie sackcloth around your waist.
      Beat your breasts for the pleasant fields,
        for the fruitful vine,
      for the soil of my people
        growing up in thorns and briers,
      yes, for all the joyous houses
        in the exultant city.
      For the palace is forsaken,
        the populous city deserted;
      the hill and the watchtower
        will become dens forever,
      a joy of wild donkeys,
        a pasture of flocks;
      until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high,
        and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field,
        and the fruitful field is deemed a forest.
      Then justice will dwell in the wilderness,
        and righteousness abide in the fruitful field.
      And the effect of righteousness will be peace,
        and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust7 forever.
      My people will abide in a peaceful habitation,
        in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
      And it will hail when the forest falls down,
        and the city will be utterly laid low.
      Happy are you who sow beside all waters,
        who let the feet of the ox and the donkey range free.

    O Lord, Be Gracious to Us

    33   Ah, you destroyer,
        who yourself have not been destroyed,
      you traitor,
        whom none has betrayed!
      When you have ceased to destroy,
        you will be destroyed;
      and when you have finished betraying,
        they will betray you.
      O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you.
        Be our arm every morning,
        our salvation in the time of trouble.
      At the tumultuous noise peoples flee;
        when you lift yourself up, nations are scattered,
      and your spoil is gathered as the caterpillar gathers;
        as locusts leap, it is leapt upon.
      The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high;
        he will fill Zion with justice and righteousness,
      and he will be the stability of your times,
        abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge;
        the fear of the LORD is Zion's8 treasure.
      Behold, their heroes cry in the streets;
        the envoys of peace weep bitterly.
      The highways lie waste;
        the traveler ceases.
      Covenants are broken;
        cities9 are despised;
        there is no regard for man.
      The land mourns and languishes;
        Lebanon is confounded and withers away;
      Sharon is like a desert,
        and Bashan and Carmel shake off their leaves.
      ?Now I will arise,? says the LORD,
        ?now I will lift myself up;
        now I will be exalted.
      You conceive chaff; you give birth to stubble;
        your breath is a fire that will consume you.
      And the peoples will be as if burned to lime,
        like thorns cut down, that are burned in the fire.?


    [1] 30:15 Or repentance
    [2] 30:27 Hebrew in weight of uplifted clouds
    [3] 30:33 Or For Topheth
    [4] 31:1 Or Ah,
    [5] 31:4 The Hebrew words for hosts and to fight sound alike
    [6] 31:6 Hebrew they
    [7] 32:17 Or security
    [8] 33:6 Hebrew his
    [9] 33:8 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll witnesses


    New Testament: Galatians 5:1?12 Galatians 5:1?12

    Galatians 5:1-12

    Christ Has Set Us Free

    For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

    Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified1 by the law; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

    You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion is not from him who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. But if I, brothers,2 still preach3 circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!


    [1] 5:4 Or counted righteous
    [2] 5:11 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 13
    [3] 5:11 Greek proclaim


    Psalm: Psalm 63 Psalm 63

    Psalm 63

    My Soul Thirsts for You

    A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

    63   O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
        my soul thirsts for you;
      my flesh faints for you,
        as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
      So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
        beholding your power and glory.
      Because your steadfast love is better than life,
        my lips will praise you.
      So I will bless you as long as I live;
        in your name I will lift up my hands.
      My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
        and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
      when I remember you upon my bed,
        and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
      for you have been my help,
        and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
      My soul clings to you;
        your right hand upholds me.
      But those who seek to destroy my life
        shall go down into the depths of the earth;
      they shall be given over to the power of the sword;
        they shall be a portion for jackals.
      But the king shall rejoice in God;
        all who swear by him shall exult,
        for the mouths of liars will be stopped.


    Proverb: Proverbs 23:22 Proverbs 23:22

    Proverbs 23:22

      Listen to your father who gave you life,
        and do not despise your mother when she is old.


  • September 18: Isaiah 28:14?30:11; Galatians 3:23?4:31; Psalm 62; Proverbs 23:19?21

    Old Testament: Isaiah 28:14?30:11 Isaiah 28:14?30:11

    Isaiah 28:14-30:11

    A Cornerstone in Zion

      Therefore hear the word of the LORD, you scoffers,
        who rule this people in Jerusalem!
      Because you have said, ?We have made a covenant with death,
        and with Sheol we have an agreement,
      when the overwhelming whip passes through
        it will not come to us,
      for we have made lies our refuge,
        and in falsehood we have taken shelter?;
      therefore thus says the Lord GOD,
      ?Behold, I am the one who has laid1 as a foundation in Zion,
        a stone, a tested stone,
      a precious cornerstone, of a sure foundation:
        ?Whoever believes will not be in haste.?
      And I will make justice the line,
        and righteousness the plumb line;
      and hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
        and waters will overwhelm the shelter.?
      Then your covenant with death will be annulled,
        and your agreement with Sheol will not stand;
      when the overwhelming scourge passes through,
        you will be beaten down by it.
      As often as it passes through it will take you;
        for morning by morning it will pass through,
        by day and by night;
      and it will be sheer terror to understand the message.
      For the bed is too short to stretch oneself on,
        and the covering too narrow to wrap oneself in.
      For the LORD will rise up as on Mount Perazim;
        as in the Valley of Gibeon he will be roused;
      to do his deed?strange is his deed!
        and to work his work?alien is his work!
      Now therefore do not scoff,
        lest your bonds be made strong;
      for I have heard a decree of destruction
        from the Lord GOD of hosts against the whole land.
      Give ear, and hear my voice;
        give attention, and hear my speech.
      Does he who plows for sowing plow continually?
        Does he continually open and harrow his ground?
      When he has leveled its surface,
        does he not scatter dill, sow cumin,
      and put in wheat in rows
        and barley in its proper place,
        and emmer2 as the border?
      For he is rightly instructed;
        his God teaches him.
      Dill is not threshed with a threshing sledge,
        nor is a cart wheel rolled over cumin,
      but dill is beaten out with a stick,
        and cumin with a rod.
      Does one crush grain for bread?
        No, he does not thresh it forever;3
      when he drives his cart wheel over it
        with his horses, he does not crush it.
      This also comes from the LORD of hosts;
        he is wonderful in counsel
        and excellent in wisdom.

    The Siege of Jerusalem

    29   Ah, Ariel, Ariel,
        the city where David encamped!
      Add year to year;
        let the feasts run their round.
      Yet I will distress Ariel,
        and there shall be moaning and lamentation,
        and she shall be to me like an Ariel.4
      And I will encamp against you all around,
        and will besiege you with towers
        and I will raise siegeworks against you.
      And you will be brought low; from the earth you shall speak,
        and from the dust your speech will be bowed down;
      your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost,
        and from the dust your speech shall whisper.
      But the multitude of your foreign foes shall be like small dust,
        and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff.
      And in an instant, suddenly,
        you will be visited by the LORD of hosts
      with thunder and with earthquake and great noise,
        with whirlwind and tempest, and the flame of a devouring fire.
      And the multitude of all the nations that fight against Ariel,
        all that fight against her and her stronghold and distress her,
        shall be like a dream, a vision of the night.
      As when a hungry man dreams, and behold, he is eating,
        and awakes with his hunger not satisfied,
      or as when a thirsty man dreams, and behold, he is drinking,
        and awakes faint, with his thirst not quenched,
      so shall the multitude of all the nations be
        that fight against Mount Zion.
      Astonish yourselves5 and be astonished;
        blind yourselves and be blind!
      Be drunk,6 but not with wine;
        stagger,7 but not with strong drink!
      For the LORD has poured out upon you
        a spirit of deep sleep,
      and has closed your eyes (the prophets),
        and covered your heads (the seers).

    And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, ?Read this,? he says, ?I cannot, for it is sealed.? And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, ?Read this,? he says, ?I cannot read.?

      And the Lord said:
      ?Because this people draw near with their mouth
        and honor me with their lips,
        while their hearts are far from me,
      and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
      therefore, behold, I will again
        do wonderful things with this people,
        with wonder upon wonder;
      and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
        and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.?
      Ah, you who hide deep from the LORD your counsel,
        whose deeds are in the dark,
        and who say, ?Who sees us? Who knows us??
      You turn things upside down!
      Shall the potter be regarded as the clay,
      that the thing made should say of its maker,
        ?He did not make me?;
      or the thing formed say of him who formed it,
        ?He has no understanding??
      Is it not yet a very little while
        until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field,
        and the fruitful field shall be regarded as a forest?
      In that day the deaf shall hear
        the words of a book,
      and out of their gloom and darkness
        the eyes of the blind shall see.
      The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD,
        and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.
      For the ruthless shall come to nothing
        and the scoffer cease,
        and all who watch to do evil shall be cut off,
      who by a word make a man out to be an offender,
        and lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate,
        and with an empty plea turn aside him who is in the right.

    Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:

      ?Jacob shall no more be ashamed,
        no more shall his face grow pale.
      For when he sees his children,
        the work of my hands, in his midst,
        they will sanctify my name;
      they will sanctify the Holy One of Jacob
        and will stand in awe of the God of Israel.
      And those who go astray in spirit will come to understanding,
        and those who murmur will accept instruction.?

    Do Not Go Down to Egypt

    30   ?Ah, stubborn children,? declares the LORD,
      ?who carry out a plan, but not mine,
      and who make an alliance,8 but not of my Spirit,
        that they may add sin to sin;
      who set out to go down to Egypt,
        without asking for my direction,
      to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh
        and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
      Therefore shall the protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame,
        and the shelter in the shadow of Egypt to your humiliation.
      For though his officials are at Zoan
        and his envoys reach Hanes,
      everyone comes to shame
        through a people that cannot profit them,
      that brings neither help nor profit,
        but shame and disgrace.?

    An oracle on the beasts of the Negeb.

      Through a land of trouble and anguish,
        from where come the lioness and the lion,
        the adder and the flying fiery serpent,
      they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys,
        and their treasures on the humps of camels,
        to a people that cannot profit them.
      Egypt's help is worthless and empty;
        therefore I have called her
        ?Rahab who sits still.?

    A Rebellious People

      And now, go, write it before them on a tablet
        and inscribe it in a book,
      that it may be for the time to come
        as a witness forever.9
      For they are a rebellious people,
        lying children,
      children unwilling to hear
        the instruction of the LORD;
      who say to the seers, ?Do not see,?
        and to the prophets, ?Do not prophesy to us what is right;
      speak to us smooth things,
        prophesy illusions,
      leave the way, turn aside from the path,
        let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.?


    [1] 28:16 Dead Sea Scroll I am laying
    [2] 28:25 A type of wheat
    [3] 28:28 Or Grain is crushed for bread; he will surely thresh it, but not forever
    [4] 29:2 Ariel could mean lion of God, or hero (2 Samuel 23:20), or altar hearth (Ezekiel 43:15?16)
    [5] 29:9 Or Linger awhile
    [6] 29:9 Or They are drunk
    [7] 29:9 Or they stagger
    [8] 30:1 Hebrew who weave a web
    [9] 30:8 Some Hebrew manuscripts, Syriac, Targum, Vulgate, and Greek versions; Masoretic Text forever and ever


    New Testament: Galatians 3:23?4:31 Galatians 3:23?4:31

    Galatians 3:23-4:31

    Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave1 nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.

    Sons and Heirs

    I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave,2 though he is the owner of everything, but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by his father. In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles3 of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ?Abba! Father!? So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

    Paul's Concern for the Galatians

    Formerly, when you did not know God, you were enslaved to those that by nature are not gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? You observe days and months and seasons and years! I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

    Brothers,4 I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?5 They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.

    Example of Hagar and Sarah

    Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia;6 she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. For it is written,

      ?Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;
        break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!
      For the children of the desolate one will be more
        than those of the one who has a husband.?

    Now you,7 brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. But what does the Scripture say? ?Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.? So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but of the free woman.


    [1] 3:28 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
    [2] 4:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; also verse 7
    [3] 4:3 Or elemental spirits; also verse 9
    [4] 4:12 Or Brothers and sisters; also verses 28, 31
    [5] 4:16 Or by dealing truthfully with you
    [6] 4:25 Some manuscripts For Sinai is a mountain in Arabia
    [7] 4:28 Some manuscripts we


    Psalm: Psalm 62 Psalm 62

    Psalm 62

    My Soul Waits for God Alone

    To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.

    62   For God alone my soul waits in silence;
        from him comes my salvation.
      He alone is my rock and my salvation,
        my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
      How long will all of you attack a man
        to batter him,
        like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
      They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
        They take pleasure in falsehood.
      They bless with their mouths,
        but inwardly they curse. Selah
      For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
        for my hope is from him.
      He only is my rock and my salvation,
        my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
      On God rests my salvation and my glory;
        my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
      Trust in him at all times, O people;
        pour out your heart before him;
        God is a refuge for us. Selah
      Those of low estate are but a breath;
        those of high estate are a delusion;
      in the balances they go up;
        they are together lighter than a breath.
      Put no trust in extortion;
        set no vain hopes on robbery;
        if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
      Once God has spoken;
        twice have I heard this:
      that power belongs to God,
        and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
      For you will render to a man
        according to his work.


    Proverb: Proverbs 23:19?21 Proverbs 23:19?21

    Proverbs 23:19-21

      Hear, my son, and be wise,
        and direct your heart in the way.
      Be not among drunkards1
        or among gluttonous eaters of meat,
      for the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty,
        and slumber will clothe them with rags.


    [1] 23:20 Hebrew those who drink too much wine