Hushai went on to say, “You know your father and his men – they are soldiers and are as dangerous as a bear out in the wild that has been robbed of her cubs. 1 Your father is an experienced soldier; he will not stay overnight with the army.
Now you write in the king’s name whatever in your opinion is appropriate concerning the Jews and seal it with the king’s signet ring. Any decree that is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring cannot be rescinded.
Rejoice, young man, while you are young, 1 and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Follow the impulses 2 of your heart and the desires 3 of your eyes, but know that God will judge your motives and actions. 4
Sometimes I think, “I will make no mention of his message. I will not speak as his messenger 1 any more.” But then 2 his message becomes like a fire locked up inside of me, burning in my heart and soul. 3 I grow weary of trying to hold it in; I cannot contain it.
When they are ashamed of all that they have done, make known to them the design of the temple, its pattern, its exits and entrances, and its whole design – all its statutes, its entire design, and all its laws; write it all down in their sight, so that they may observe its entire design and all its statutes and do them.
Therefore you must wait patiently 1 for me,” says the Lord, “for the day when I attack and take plunder. 2 I have decided 3 to gather nations together and assemble kingdoms, so I can pour out my fury on them – all my raging anger. For 4 the whole earth will be consumed by my fiery anger.
‘You expected a large harvest, but instead 1 there was little, and when you brought it home it disappeared right away. 2 Why?’ asks the Lord who rules over all. ‘Because my temple remains in ruins, thanks to each of you favoring his own house! 3
Therefore, if I come, 1 I will call attention to the deeds he is doing 2 – the bringing of unjustified charges against us with evil words! And not being content with that, he not only refuses to welcome the brothers himself, but hinders the people who want to do so and throws them out of the church!
But I have a few things against you: You have some people there who follow the teaching of Balaam, 1 who instructed Balak to put a stumbling block 2 before the people 3 of Israel so they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. 4
The men of Israel replied to the men of Judah, “We have ten shares in the king, and we have a greater claim on David than you do! Why do you want 1 to curse us? Weren’t we the first to suggest bringing back our king?” But the comments of the men of Judah were more severe than those of the men of Israel.