The Parable of the Dishonest Manager
16 He also said to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had ja manager, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his possessions. 2 And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your kmanagement, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3 And the manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I have decided what to do, so that when I am removed from management, people may receive me into their houses.’ 5 So, summoning his master’s debtors one by one, he said to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 He said, ‘A hundred measures1 of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7 Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ He said, ‘A hundred measures2 of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8 The master commended the dishonest manager for his lshrewdness. For mthe sons of this world3 are lmore shrewd in dealing with their own generation than nthe sons of light. 9 And I tell you, omake friends for yourselves by means of punrighteous wealth,4 so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.
6 oLet all who are under a yoke as bondservants1 regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, pso that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are qbrothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.
False Teachers and True Contentment
rTeach and urge these things. 3 If anyone steaches a different doctrine and does not agree with tthe sound2 words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching uthat accords with godliness, 4 vhe is puffed up with conceit and wunderstands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for xcontroversy and for yquarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people zwho are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, aimagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But bgodliness cwith contentment is great gain, 7 for dwe brought nothing into the world, and3 we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But eif we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But fthose who desire to be rich fall into temptation, ginto a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that hplunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of iall kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.
The Way of Wisdom
9 vWisdom has built her house;
she has also aset her table.
from dthe highest places in the town,
4 e“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
fTo him who lacks sense she says,
5 “Come, geat of my bread
kand walk in the way of insight.”
7 Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
8 lDo not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
mreprove a wise man, and he will love you.
teach a righteous man, and he will oincrease in learning.
10 pThe fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and qthe knowledge of the Holy One is insight.
11 For by me ryour days will be multiplied,
and years will be added to your life.
12 sIf you are wise, you are wise for yourself;
if you scoff, you alone will bear it.
The Way of Folly
14 She sits at the door of her house;
she takes a seat on wthe highest places of the town,
15 calling to those who pass by,
who are xgoing straight on their way,
16 y“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
And to him who lacks sense she says,
17 z“Stolen water is sweet,
and abread eaten in secret is pleasant.”
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol.
Report from Jerusalem
1 The words of aNehemiah the son of Hacaliah.
Now it happened in the month of bChislev, cin the twentieth year, as I was in dSusa the citadel, 2 that eHanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and fshame. gThe wall of Jerusalem is broken down, hand its gates are destroyed by fire.”
4 As soon as I heard these words I isat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the jGod of heaven. 5 And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, kthe great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 llet your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, mconfessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even nI and my father’s house have sinned. 7 oWe have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules pthat you commanded your servant Moses. 8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, qI will scatter you among the peoples, 9 rbut if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, sthough your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them tto the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ 10 uThey are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 11 O Lord, llet your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”
Now I was vcupbearer to the king.
Nehemiah Sent to Judah
2 In the month of Nisan, win the twentieth year of King xArtaxerxes, when wine was before him, yI took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. 2 And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but zsadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. 3 I said to the king, a“Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, bwhen the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” 4 Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed cto the God of heaven. 5 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.” 6 And the king said to me (dthe queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me ewhen I had given him a time. 7 And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me fto the governors of the province Beyond the River, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, 8 and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of gthe fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, hfor the good hand of my God was upon me.
Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls
9 Then I came to ithe governors of the province Beyond the River and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent with me officers of the army and horsemen. 10 But when jSanballat the Horonite and kTobiah the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.
11 lSo I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. 13 I went out by night by mthe Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to nthe Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem othat were broken down pand its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I went on to qthe Fountain Gate and to rthe King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. 15 Then I went up in the night sby the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. 16 And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work.
17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, thow Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer usuffer derision.” 18 And I told them vof the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” wSo they strengthened their hands for the good work. 19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and xGeshem the Arab heard of it, ythey jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? zAre you rebelling against the king?” 20 Then I replied to them, a“The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim1 in Jerusalem.”