Luke 1:39–56; Ephesians 2:1–10; Psalm 119:17–24; 1 Kings 4–5

Mary Visits Elizabeth

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into rthe hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth swas filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, tBlessed are you among women, and ublessed is vthe fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of wmy Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And xblessed is she who believed that there would be1 a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.

Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat

46 And Mary said,

yMy zsoul amagnifies the Lord,

47  band my zspirit rejoices in cGod my Savior,

48  for dhe has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

For behold, from now on all generations ewill call me blessed;

49  for fhe who is mighty ghas done great things for me,

and hholy is his name.

50  And ihis mercy is for those who fear him

from generation to generation.

51  jHe has shown strength with his arm;

khe has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;

52  jhe has brought down the mighty from their thrones

land exalted those of humble estate;

53  he has filled mthe hungry with good things,

and the rich nhe has sent away empty.

54  He has ohelped phis servant Israel,

qin remembrance of his mercy,

55  ras he spoke to our fathers,

qto Abraham and to his offspring forever.

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.


By Grace Through Faith

jAnd you were kdead in the trespasses and sins lin which you once walked, following the course of this world, following mthe prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in nthe sons of disobedience among whom we all once lived in othe passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body1 and the mind, and pwere by nature qchildren of wrath, like the rest of mankind.2 But3 God, being rrich in mercy, sbecause of the great love with which he loved us, even twhen we were dead in our trespasses, umade us alive together with Christvby grace you have been saved and raised us up with him and wseated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable xriches of his grace in ykindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For zby grace you have been saved athrough faith. And this is bnot your own doing; cit is the gift of God, dnot a result of works, eso that no one may boast. 10 For fwe are his workmanship, gcreated in Christ Jesus hfor good works, iwhich God prepared beforehand, jthat we should walk in them.


Gimel

17  gDeal bountifully with your servant,

hthat I may live and keep your word.

18  Open my eyes, that I may behold

wondrous things out of your law.

19  I am ia sojourner on the earth;

jhide not your commandments from me!

20  My soul is consumed with klonging

for your rules1 at all times.

21  You rebuke lthe insolent, maccursed ones,

who nwander from your commandments.

22  Take away from me oscorn and contempt,

pfor I have kept your testimonies.

23  Even though qprinces sit plotting against me,

your servant will rmeditate on your statutes.

24  Your testimonies are my sdelight;

they are my tcounselors.


Solomon’s Officials

King Solomon was king over all Israel, and these were his high officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was bthe priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha were secretaries; cJehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; dBenaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the army; eZadok and Abiathar were priests; Azariah the son of Nathan was over fthe officers; Zabud the son of Nathan was priest and gking’s friend; Ahishar was in charge of the palace; and hAdoniram the son of Abda was in charge of ithe forced labor.

Solomon had twelve officers over all Israel, who provided food for the king and his household. Each man had to make provision for one month in the year. These were their names: Ben-hur, in jthe hill country of Ephraim; Ben-deker, in Makaz, Shaalbim, Beth-shemesh, and Elonbeth-hanan; 10 Ben-hesed, in Arubboth (to him belonged Socoh and all the land of Hepher); 11 Ben-abinadab, in all kNaphath-dor (he had Taphath the daughter of Solomon as his wife); 12 Baana the son of Ahilud, in lTaanach, Megiddo, and all lBeth-shean that is beside Zarethan below Jezreel, and from Beth-shean to Abel-meholah, as far as the other side of Jokmeam; 13 Ben-geber, min Ramoth-gilead (he had nthe villages of Jair the son of Manasseh, which are in Gilead, and he had othe region of Argob, which is in Bashan, sixty great cities with walls and bronze bars); 14 Ahinadab the son of Iddo, in Mahanaim; 15 Ahimaaz, in Naphtali (he had taken Basemath the daughter of Solomon as his wife); 16 Baana the son of Hushai, in Asher and Bealoth; 17 Jehoshaphat the son of Paruah, in Issachar; 18 pShimei the son of Ela, in Benjamin; 19 Geber the son of Uri, in the land of Gilead, qthe country of Sihon king of the Amorites and of Og king of Bashan. And there was one governor who was over the land.

Solomon’s Wealth and Wisdom

20 Judah and Israel were as many ras the sand by the sea. They ate and drank and were happy. 1 21 sSolomon ruled over all the kingdoms from the tEuphrates2 to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. uThey brought tribute and served Solomon all the days of his life.

22 Solomon’s provision for one day was thirty cors3 of fine flour and sixty cors of meal, 23 ten fat oxen, and twenty pasture-fed cattle, a hundred sheep, besides deer, gazelles, roebucks, and fattened fowl. 24 For he had dominion over all the region west of the Euphrates4 from Tiphsah to vGaza, over all the kings west of the Euphrates. wAnd he had peace on all sides around him. 25 And Judah and Israel xlived in safety, yfrom Dan even to Beersheba, zevery man under his vine and under his fig tree, all the days of Solomon. 26 aSolomon also had 40,0005 stalls of horses for his chariots, and 12,000 horsemen. 27 And those officers supplied provisions for King Solomon, and for all who came to King Solomon’s table, each one in his month. They let nothing be lacking. 28 Barley also and straw for the horses and bswift steeds they brought to the place where it was required, each according to his duty.

29 cAnd God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding beyond measure, and breadth of mind dlike the sand on the seashore, 30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all ethe people of the east fand all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was cwiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 gHe also spoke 3,000 proverbs, hand his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from iall the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

Preparations for Building the Temple

6 Now jHiram king of Tyre sent his servants to Solomon when he heard that they had anointed him king in place of his father, kfor Hiram always loved David. And Solomon sent word to Hiram, lYou know that David my father could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God mbecause of the warfare with which his enemies surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet. nBut now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side. There is neither adversary nor misfortune. And so I intend to build a house for the name of the Lord my God, oas the Lord said to David my father, Your son, whom I will set on your throne in your place, shall build the house for my name. Now therefore command that cedars of Lebanon be cut for me. And my servants will join your servants, and I will pay you for your servants such wages as you set, for you know that there is no one among us who knows how to cut timber like the Sidonians.

As soon as Hiram heard the words of Solomon, he rejoiced greatly and said, Blessed be the Lord this day, who has given to David a wise son to be over this great people. And Hiram sent to Solomon, saying, I have heard the message that you have sent to me. I am ready to do all you desire in the matter of cedar and cypress timber. My servants shall bring it down to the sea from Lebanon, and I will make it into rafts to go by sea to the place you direct. And I will have them broken up there, and you shall receive it. And you shall meet my wishes pby providing food for my household. 10 So Hiram supplied Solomon with all the timber of cedar and cypress that he desired, 11 while Solomon gave Hiram 20,000 cors7 of wheat as food for his household, and 20,0008 cors of beaten oil. Solomon gave this to Hiram year by year. 12 And the Lord gave Solomon wisdom, qas he promised him. And there was peace between Hiram and Solomon, and the two of them made a treaty.

13 King Solomon drafted rforced labor out of all Israel, and the draft numbered 30,000 men. 14 And he sent them to Lebanon, 10,000 a month in shifts. They would be a month in Lebanon and two months at home. sAdoniram was in charge of the draft. 15 Solomon also thad 70,000 burden-bearers and 80,000 stonecutters in the hill country, 16 besides Solomon’s 3,300 uchief officers who were over the work, vwho had charge of the people who carried on the work. 17 At the king’s command wthey quarried out great, costly stones in order to lay the foundation of the house with dressed stones. 18 So Solomon’s builders and Hiram’s builders and xthe men of Gebal did the cutting and prepared the timber and the stone to build the house.