Dear friends, although I have been eager to write to you 1 about our common salvation, I now feel compelled 2 instead to write to encourage 3 you to contend earnestly 4 for the faith 5 that was once for all 6 entrusted to the saints. 7
The rest of humanity, who had not been killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so that they did not stop worshiping demons and idols made 1 of gold, silver, 2 bronze, stone, and wood – idols that cannot see or hear or walk about.
So let my lord the king now listen to the words of his servant. If the Lord has incited you against me, may he take delight in 1 an offering. But if men have instigated this, 2 may they be cursed before the Lord! For they have driven me away this day from being united with the Lord’s inheritance, saying, ‘Go on, serve other gods!’
Now Elisha was sitting in his house with the community leaders. 1 The king 2 sent a messenger on ahead, but before he arrived, 3 Elisha 4 said to the leaders, 5 “Do you realize this assassin intends to cut off my head?” 6 Look, when the messenger arrives, shut the door and lean against it. His master will certainly be right behind him.” 7
“All the servants of the king and the people of the king’s provinces know that there is only one law applicable 1 to any man or woman who comes uninvited to the king in the inner court – that person will be put to death, unless the king extends to him the gold scepter, permitting him to be spared. 2 Now I have not been invited to come to the king for some thirty days!”
The Lover to His Beloved: I have entered my garden, O my sister, my bride; I have gathered my myrrh with my balsam spice. I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey; I have drunk my wine and my milk! The Poet to the Couple: 1 Eat, friends, and drink! 2 Drink freely, O lovers!
I sent all my servants the prophets to warn you over and over again. They said, “Every one of you, stop doing the evil things you have been doing and do what is right. 1 Do not pay allegiance to other gods 2 and worship them. Then you can continue to live in this land that I gave to you and your ancestors.” But you did not pay any attention or listen to me.
Instead we will do everything we vowed we would do. 1 We will sacrifice and pour out drink offerings to the goddess called the Queen of Heaven 2 just as we and our ancestors, our kings, and our leaders previously did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and had no troubles. 3