until I come and take you to a land just like your own – a land of grain and new wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive trees and honey. Then you will live and not die. Don’t listen to Hezekiah, for he is misleading you when he says, “The Lord will rescue us.”
He rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had destroyed; he set up altars for Baal and made an Asherah pole just like King Ahab of Israel had done. He bowed down to all the stars in the sky 1 and worshiped 2 them.
Each of the pillars was about twenty-seven feet 1 high. The bronze top of one pillar was about four and a half feet 2 high and had bronze latticework and pomegranate shaped ornaments all around it. The second pillar with its latticework was like it.
And who is like your people, Israel, a unique nation 1 in the earth? Their God 2 went to claim 3 a nation for himself! You made a name for yourself by doing great and awesome deeds 4 when you drove out 5 nations before your people whom you had delivered from the Egyptian empire and its gods. 6
Just like their relatives, the descendants of Aaron, they also cast lots before King David, Zadok, Ahimelech, the leaders of families, the priests, and the Levites. The families of the oldest son cast lots along with the those of the youngest. 1
Then listen from your heavenly dwelling place and answer all the prayers of the foreigners. 1 Then all the nations of the earth will acknowledge your reputation, 2 obey 3 you like your people Israel do, and recognize that this temple I built belongs to you. 4
Now don’t let Hezekiah deceive you or mislead you like this. Don’t believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to rescue his people from my power or the power of my predecessors. So how 1 can your gods rescue 2 you from my power?’”
they came to Zerubbabel and the leaders 1 and said to them, “Let us help you build, 2 for like you we seek your God and we have been sacrificing to him 3 from the time 4 of King Esarhaddon 5 of Assyria, who brought us here.” 6
And now, though we share the same flesh and blood as our fellow countrymen, 1 and our children are just like their children, 2 still we have found it necessary to subject our sons and daughters to slavery. 3 Some of our daughters have been subjected to slavery, while we are powerless to help, 4 since our fields and vineyards now belong to other people.” 5
Haman’s 1 wife Zeresh and all his friends said to him, “Have a gallows seventy-five feet 2 high built, and in the morning tell the king that Mordecai should be hanged on it. Then go with the king to the banquet contented.” 3 It seemed like a good idea to Haman, so he had the gallows built.
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a pure and upright man, one who fears God and turns away from evil. And he still holds firmly 1 to his integrity, 2 so that 3 you stirred me up to destroy him 4 without reason.” 5
But he replied, 1 “You’re talking like one of the godless 2 women would do! Should we receive 3 what is good from God, and not also 4 receive 5 what is evil?” 6 In all this Job did not sin by what he said. 7
May there be 1 an abundance 2 of grain in the earth; on the tops 3 of the mountains may it 4 sway! 5 May its 6 fruit trees 7 flourish 8 like the forests of Lebanon! 9 May its crops
For the music director; according to the shushan-eduth style; 2 a psalm of Asaph. O shepherd of Israel, pay attention, you who lead Joseph like a flock of sheep! You who sit enthroned above the winged angels, 3 reveal your splendor! 4
Yet when I reflected on everything I had accomplished 1 and on all the effort that I had expended to accomplish it, 2 I concluded: 3 “All these 4 achievements and possessions 5 are ultimately 6 profitless 7 – like chasing the wind! There is nothing gained 8 from them 9 on earth.”
For to the one who pleases him, 1 God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy, but to the sinner, he gives the task of amassing 2 wealth 3 – only to give 4 it 5 to the one who pleases God. This 6 task of the wicked 7 is futile – like chasing the wind!
For no one knows what is best for a person during his life 1 – during the few days of his fleeting life – for 2 they pass away 3 like a shadow. Nor can anyone tell him what the future will hold for him on earth. 4
Therefore, as flaming fire 1 devours straw, and dry grass disintegrates in the flames, so their root will rot, and their flower will blow away like dust. 2 For they have rejected the law of the Lord who commands armies, they have spurned the commands 3 of the Holy One of Israel. 4
So the Lord is furious 1 with his people; he lifts 2 his hand and strikes them. The mountains shake, and corpses lie like manure 3 in the middle of the streets. Despite all this, his anger does not subside, and his hand is ready to strike again. 4
Even if only a tenth of the people remain in the land, it will again be destroyed, 1 like one of the large sacred trees 2 or an Asherah pole, when a sacred pillar on a high place is thrown down. 3 That sacred pillar symbolizes the special chosen family.” 4