The Parable of the Prodigal Son
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me mthe share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided nhis property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in oreckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to1 one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he pwas longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But qwhen he rcame to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, sI have sinned against theaven and before you. 19 uI am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and vran and wembraced him and xkissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. uI am no longer worthy to be called your son.’2 22 But the father said to his servants,3 ‘Bring quickly ythe best robe, and put it on him, and put za ring on his hand, and ashoes on his feet. 23 And bring bthe fattened calf and kill it, and clet us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son dwas dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might ecelebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, fwho has devoured gyour property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, hyou are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting eto celebrate and be glad, for this your brother iwas dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”
16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those ywho are truly widows.
17 Let the elders zwho rule well be considered worthy of adouble honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, b“You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, c“The laborer deserves his wages.” 19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except don the evidence of two or three witnesses. 20 As for those who persist in sin, erebuke them in the presence of all, fso that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels gI charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, hdoing nothing from partiality. 22 iDo not be hasty in the jlaying on of hands, nor ktake part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23 (No longer drink only water, but luse a little wine mfor the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous, and neven those that are not cannot remain hidden.
The Blessings of Wisdom
8 Does not lwisdom call?
Does not munderstanding raise her voice?
2 On nthe heights beside the way,
at the crossroads she takes her stand;
at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud:
4 “To you, O qmen, I call,
and my cry is to qthe children of man.
O tfools, learn sense.
6 Hear, for I will speak unoble things,
and from my lips will come vwhat is right,
7 for my wmouth will utter truth;
wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
8 All the words of my mouth are righteous;
there is nothing xtwisted or crooked in them.
9 They are all ystraight to him who understands,
and right to those who find knowledge.
10 zTake my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 afor wisdom is better than jewels,
and ball that you may desire cannot compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
and I find knowledge and cdiscretion.
fPride and arrogance and the way of evil
and gperverted speech I hate.
I have insight; jI have strength.
15 By me kkings reign,
and rulers decree what is just;
16 by me princes rule,
and nobles, all who govern justly.1
17 lI love those who love me,
and mthose who seek me diligently find me.
18 nRiches and honor are with me,
and my yield than rchoice silver.
20 I walk in the way of righteousness,
in the paths of justice,
21 granting an inheritance to those who love me,
and filling their treasuries.
the first of his acts uof old.
23 Ages ago I was vset up,
at the first, wbefore the beginning of the earth.
when there were no springs abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains zhad been shaped,
abefore the hills, I was brought forth,
26 before he had made the earth with its fields,
or the first of the dust of the world.
27 When he bestablished the heavens, I was there;
when he drew ca circle on the face of the deep,
28 when he dmade firm the skies above,
when he established4 the fountains of the deep,
so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out gthe foundations of the earth,
30 then hI was beside him, like a master workman,
rejoicing before him always,
and delighting in the children of man.
32 “And now, lO sons, listen to me:
mblessed are those who keep my ways.
33 nHear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
34 oBlessed is the one who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.
and robtains favor from the Lord,
36 but he who fails to find me sinjures himself;
The People Confess Their Sin
10 jWhile Ezra prayed and kmade confession, weeping and lcasting himself down mbefore the house of God, a very great assembly of men, women, and children, gathered to him out of Israel, for the people wept bitterly. 2 And Shecaniah the son of Jehiel, of the sons of Elam, addressed Ezra: n“We have broken faith with our God and have married foreign women from the peoples of the land, but even now there is hope for Israel in spite of this. 3 Therefore olet us make a covenant with our God to put away all these wives and ptheir children, according to the counsel of my lord1 and of qthose who tremble at the commandment of our God, and let it be done raccording to the Law. 4 Arise, for it is your task, and we are with you; sbe strong and do it.” 5 Then Ezra arose and made the leading priests and Levites and all Israel ttake an oath that they would do as had been said. So they took the oath.
6 Then Ezra withdrew ufrom before the house of God and went to the vchamber of wJehohanan the son of xEliashib, where he spent the night,2 neither yeating bread nor drinking water, for he was mourning over the faithlessness of the exiles. 7 And a proclamation was made throughout Judah and Jerusalem to all the returned exiles that they should assemble at Jerusalem, 8 and that if anyone did not come within three days, by order of the officials and the elders all his property should be forfeited, and he himself banned from the congregation of the exiles.
9 Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin assembled at Jerusalem within the three days. It was the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. And all the people sat in the open square before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the zheavy rain. 10 And Ezra the priest stood up and said to them, “You have broken faith and married foreign women, and so increased the guilt of Israel. 11 Now then amake confession to the Lord, the God of your fathers and do his will. bSeparate yourselves from the peoples of the land and from the foreign wives.” 12 Then all the assembly answered with a loud voice, “It is so; we must do as you have said. 13 But the people are many, and it is a time of heavy rain; we cannot stand in the open. Nor is this a task for one day or for two, for we have greatly transgressed in this matter. 14 Let our officials stand for the whole assembly. Let all in our cities who have taken foreign wives come cat appointed times, and with them the elders and judges of every city, duntil the fierce wrath of our God over this matter is turned away from us.” 15 Only Jonathan the son of Asahel and Jahzeiah the son of Tikvah opposed this, and eMeshullam and fShabbethai the Levite supported them.
16 Then the returned exiles did so. Ezra the priest selected men,3 heads of fathers’ houses, according to their fathers’ houses, each of them designated by name. On the first day of the tenth month they sat down to examine the matter; 17 and by the first day of the first month they had come to the end of all the men who had married foreign women.
Those Guilty of Intermarriage
18 Now there were found some of the sons of the priests who had married foreign women: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib, and Gedaliah, some of the sons of gJeshua the son of Jozadak and his brothers. 19 They hpledged themselves to put away their wives, and their guilt offering was ia ram of the flock for their guilt.4 20 jOf the sons of Immer: Hanani and Zebadiah. 21 kOf the sons of Harim: Maaseiah, Elijah, Shemaiah, Jehiel, and Uzziah. 22 Of the sons of Pashhur: Elioenai, Maaseiah, Ishmael, Nethanel, Jozabad, and Elasah.
23 Of the Levites: Jozabad, Shimei, Kelaiah (that is, Kelita), Pethahiah, Judah, and Eliezer. 24 Of the singers: Eliashib. Of the gatekeepers: Shallum, Telem, and Uri.
25 And of Israel: of the sons of Parosh: Ramiah, Izziah, Malchijah, Mijamin, Eleazar, Hashabiah,5 and Benaiah. 26 Of the sons of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth, and Elijah. 27 Of the sons of Zattu: Elioenai, Eliashib, Mattaniah, Jeremoth, Zabad, and Aziza. 28 Of the sons of Bebai were Jehohanan, Hananiah, Zabbai, and Athlai. 29 Of the sons of Bani were Meshullam, Malluch, Adaiah, Jashub, Sheal, and Jeremoth. 30 Of the sons of Pahath-moab: Adna, Chelal, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattaniah, Bezalel, Binnui, and Manasseh. 31 Of the lsons of Harim: Eliezer, Isshijah, Malchijah, Shemaiah, Shimeon, 32 Benjamin, Malluch, and Shemariah. 33 Of the sons of Hashum: Mattenai, Mattattah, Zabad, Eliphelet, Jeremai, Manasseh, and Shimei. 34 Of the sons of mBani: Maadai, Amram, Uel, 35 Benaiah, Bedeiah, Cheluhi, 36 Vaniah, Meremoth, Eliashib, 37 Mattaniah, Mattenai, Jaasu. 38 Of the sons of Binnui:6 Shimei, 39 Shelemiah, Nathan, Adaiah, 40 Machnadebai, Shashai, Sharai, 41 Azarel, Shelemiah, Shemariah, 42 Shallum, Amariah, and Joseph. 43 Of the sons of Nebo: Jeiel, Mattithiah, Zabad, Zebina, Jaddai, Joel, and Benaiah. 44 All these had married foreign women, and some of the women nhad even borne children.7