The Narrow Door
22 mHe went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and njourneying toward Jerusalem. 23 And someone said to him, “Lord, owill those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, 24 p“Strive qto enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. 25 rWhen once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, s‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, t‘I do not know where you come from.’ 26 Then you will begin to say, u‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 But he will say, ‘I tell you, tI do not know where you come from. vDepart from me, all you workers of evil!’ 28 wIn that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see wAbraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but wyou yourselves cast out. 29 And wpeople will come from east and west, and from north and south, and xrecline at table in the kingdom of God. 30 And behold, ysome are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
Lament over Jerusalem
31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from zhere, for aHerod wants to kill you.” 32 And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day bI finish my course. 33 Nevertheless, cI dmust go on my way today and tomorrow and the day following, for it cannot be that ea prophet should perish away from Jerusalem.’ 34 fO Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that gkills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! hHow often would I have igathered jyour children together kas a hen gathers her brood lunder her wings, and myou were not willing! 35 Behold, nyour house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, o‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
Pray for All People
2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 vfor kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and wdignified in every way. 3 This is good, and xit is pleasing in the sight of yGod our Savior, 4 who desires zall people to be saved and ato come to bthe knowledge of the truth. 5 For cthere is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man1 Christ Jesus, 6 dwho gave himself as a ransom for all, which is ethe testimony given fat the proper time. 7 gFor this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (hI am telling the truth, I am not lying), ia teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.
8 I desire then that jin every place the men should pray, klifting lholy hands without anger or quarreling; 9 likewise also mthat women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 nbut with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11 Let a woman learn quietly owith all submissiveness. 12 pI do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 qFor Adam was formed first, rthen Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but sthe woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet she will be saved through tchildbearing—if they continue in ufaith and love and holiness, with self-control.
Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart
3 yMy son, do not forget my teaching,
zbut let your heart keep my commandments,
2 for alength of days and years of life
and bpeace they will add to you.
ebind them around your neck;
fwrite them on the tablet of your heart.
in the sight of God and man.
5 iTrust in the Lord with all your heart,
and jdo not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways kacknowledge him,
and he lwill make straight your paths.
7 mBe not wise in your own eyes;
nfear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with qthe firstfruits of all your produce;
10 then your rbarns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
11 sMy son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as ta father the son in whom he delights.
Blessed Is the One Who Finds Wisdom
13 uBlessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
14 vfor the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than wgold.
15 She is more precious than xjewels,
and ynothing you desire can compare with her.
16 zLong life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are ariches and honor.
17 Her bways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
those who hold her fast are called blessed.
19 eThe Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
by understanding ehe established the heavens;
20 by his knowledge fthe deeps broke open,
and gthe clouds drop down the dew.
21 My son, hdo not lose sight of these—
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
22 and they will be ilife for your soul
and jadornment for your neck.
23 kThen you will walk on your way securely,
land your foot will not stumble.
24 mIf you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, nyour sleep will be sweet.
25 oDo not be afraid of sudden terror
26 for the Lord will be your confidence
and will qkeep your foot from being caught.
when it is in your power to do it.
28 sDo not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it”—when you have it with you.
29 tDo not plan evil against your neighbor,
who udwells trustingly beside you.
30 vDo not contend with a man for no reason,
when he has done you no harm.
and do not choose any of his ways,
32 for ythe devious person is an abomination to the Lord,
but the upright are zin his confidence.
33 aThe Lord’s curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he bblesses the dwelling of the righteous.
35 The wise will inherit honor,
but fools get7 disgrace.
Adversaries Oppose the Rebuilding
4 Now when gthe adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the returned exiles were building a temple to the Lord, the God of Israel, 2 they approached Zerubbabel and the heads of fathers’ houses and said to them, “Let us build with you, for we worship your God as you do, and we have been sacrificing to him ever hsince the days of iEsarhaddon king of Assyria jwho brought us here.” 3 But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers’ houses in Israel said to them, k“You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we alone will build to the Lord, the God of Israel, las King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.”
4 Then mthe people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build 5 and bribed counselors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
6 And in the reign of nAhasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.
The Letter to King Artaxerxes
7 In the days of Artaxerxes, Bishlam and oMithredath and Tabeel and the rest of their associates wrote to Artaxerxes king of Persia. The letter was written pin Aramaic and translated.1 8 Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows: 9 Rehum the commander, Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their associates, the qjudges, the rgovernors, the officials, the Persians, the men of Erech, the Babylonians, the men of Susa, that is, the sElamites, 10 and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble tOsnappar deported and settled in the cities of Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River. 11 (This is a copy of the letter that they sent.) “To Artaxerxes the king: Your servants, the men of the province Beyond the River, send greeting. And now 12 be it known to the king that the Jews who came up from you to us have gone to Jerusalem. They are rebuilding that rebellious and wicked city. They are vfinishing the walls and repairing the foundations. 13 Now be it known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and the walls finished, they will not pay wtribute, custom, or toll, and the royal revenue will be impaired. 14 Now because we eat the salt of the palace2 and it is not fitting for us to witness the king’s dishonor, therefore we send and inform the king, 15 in order that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers. You will find in the book of the records and learn that this city is a rebellious city, hurtful to kings and provinces, and that sedition was stirred up in it from of old. That was why this city was laid waste. 16 We make known to the king that if this city is rebuilt and its walls finished, you will then have no possession in the province Beyond the River.”
The King Orders the Work to Cease
17 The king sent an answer: “To Rehum the commander and Shimshai the scribe and the rest of their associates who live in Samaria and in the rest of the province Beyond the River, greeting. And now 18 the letter that you sent to us has been xplainly read before me. 19 And I made a decree, and search has been made, and it has been found that this city from of old has risen against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made in it. 20 And mighty kings have been over Jerusalem, ywho ruled over the whole province Beyond the River, to whom ztribute, custom, and toll were paid. 21 Therefore make a decree that these men be made to cease, and that this city be not rebuilt, until a decree is made by me. 22 And take care not to be slack in this matter. Why should damage grow to the hurt of the king?”
23 Then, when the copy of King Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their associates, they went in haste to the Jews at Jerusalem and by force and power made them cease. 24 Then the work on the house of God that is in Jerusalem stopped, and it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Rebuilding Begins Anew
5 Now the prophets, aHaggai and bZechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. 2 cThen Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and dJeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and the prophets of God were ewith them, supporting them.
3 At the same time fTattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and their associates came to them and spoke to them thus: g“Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?” 4 They also asked them this:3 “What are the names of the men who are building this building?” 5 But hthe eye of their God was on the elders of the Jews, and they did not stop them until the report should reach Darius and then an answer be returned by letter concerning it.
Tattenai’s Letter to King Darius
6 This is a copy of the letter that fTattenai the governor of the province Beyond the River and Shethar-bozenai and his associates, the igovernors who were in the province Beyond the River, sent to Darius the king. 7 They sent him a report, in which was written as follows: “To Darius the king, all peace. 8 Be it known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God. It is being built with huge stones, and timber is laid in the walls. This work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands. 9 Then we asked those elders and spoke to them thus: g‘Who gave you a decree to build this house and to finish this structure?’ 10 We also asked them their names, for your information, that we might write down the names of their leaders.4 11 And this was their reply to us: ‘We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago, jwhich a great king of Israel built and kfinished. 12 lBut because our fathers had angered the God of heaven, he mgave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried away the people to Babylonia. 13 nHowever, in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, Cyrus the king made a decree that this house of God should be rebuilt. 14 oAnd the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple that was in Jerusalem and brought into the temple of Babylon, these Cyrus the king took out of the temple of Babylon, and they were delivered to one whose name was pSheshbazzar, whom he had made governor; 15 and he said to him, “Take these vessels, go and put them in the temple that is in Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its site.” 16 Then this pSheshbazzar came and qlaid the foundations of the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and from that time until now it has been in building, and it is rnot yet finished.’ 17 Therefore, if it seems good to the king, slet search be made in the royal archives there in Babylon, to see whether a decree was issued by Cyrus the king for the rebuilding of this house of God in Jerusalem. And let the king send us his pleasure in this matter.”