Psalms 35–36; Acts 25

Great Is the Lord

Of David.

35  Contend, O Lord, with those who ycontend with me;

zfight against those who fight against me!

Take hold of ashield and buckler

and rise for my help!

Draw the spear and javelin1

against my pursuers!

Say to my soul,

I am your salvation!

bLet them be cput to shame and dishonor

who seek after my life!

Let them be dturned back and disappointed

who devise evil against me!

Let them be like echaff before the wind,

with the angel of the Lord driving them away!

Let their way be dark and fslippery,

with the angel of the Lord pursuing them!

For gwithout cause hthey hid their net for me;

without cause they dug ia pit for my life.2

Let jdestruction come upon him kwhen he does not know it!

And let the net that he hid ensnare him;

let him fall into itto his destruction!

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord,

lexulting in his salvation.

10  All my mbones shall say,

O Lord, nwho is like you,

delivering the poor

from him who is too strong for him,

the poor and needy from him who robs him?

11  oMalicious3 witnesses rise up;

they ask me of things that I do not know.

12  pThey repay me evil for good;

my soul is bereft.4

13  But I, qwhen they were sick

I rwore sackcloth;

I safflicted myself with fasting;

I prayed twith head bowed5 on my chest.

14  I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother;

as one who laments his mother,

I ubowed down in mourning.

15  But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered;

they gathered together against me;

vwretches whom I did not know

tore at me without ceasing;

16  like profane mockers at a feast,6

they wgnash at me with their teeth.

17  How long, O Lord, will you xlook on?

Rescue me from their destruction,

ymy precious life from the lions!

18  I will thank you in zthe great congregation;

in the mighty throng I will praise you.

19  aLet not those rejoice over me

who are bwrongfully my foes,

and let not those cwink the eye

who dhate me ewithout cause.

20  For they do not speak peace,

but against those who are quiet in the land

they devise words of deceit.

21  They fopen wide their mouths against me;

they say, gAha, Aha!

Our eyes have seen it!

22  hYou have seen, O Lord; ibe not silent!

O Lord, jbe not far from me!

23  Awake and krouse yourself for lmy vindication,

for my cause, my God and my Lord!

24  mVindicate me, O Lord, my God,

according to your righteousness,

and nlet them not rejoice over me!

25  Let them not say in their hearts,

oAha, our heart’s desire!

Let them not say, pWe have swallowed him up.

26  Let them be qput to shame and disappointed altogether

who rejoice at my calamity!

Let them be rclothed with shame and dishonor

who smagnify themselves against me!

27  Let those who delight in my righteousness

shout for joy and be glad

tand say evermore,

uGreat is the Lord,

who vdelights in the welfare of his servant!

28  Then my wtongue shall tell of your righteousness

and of your praise all the day long.

How Precious Is Your Steadfast Love

To the choirmaster. Of David, the xservant of the Lord.

36  Transgression speaks to the wicked

deep in his heart;7

ythere is no fear of God

before his eyes.

zFor he flatters himself in his own eyes

that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.

The words of his mouth are atrouble and deceit;

bhe has ceased to act wisely and do good.

He cplots dtrouble while on his bed;

he sets himself in ea way that is not good;

fhe does not reject evil.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,

your faithfulness to the clouds.

gYour righteousness is like the mountains of God;

hyour judgments are like the great deep;

man and beast you isave, O Lord.

jHow precious is your steadfast love, O God!

The children of mankind take refuge kin the shadow of your wings.

They feast on lthe abundance of your house,

and you give them drink from mthe river of nyour delights.

For with you is othe fountain of life;

pin your light do we see light.

10  Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who qknow you,

and your righteousness to rthe upright of heart!

11  Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,

nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.

12  There sthe evildoers lie fallen;

they are thrust down, tunable to rise.


Paul Appeals to Caesar

25 Now three days after Festus had arrived in ithe province, he went up to Jerusalem from Caesarea. And the chief priests and the principal men of the Jews jlaid out their case against Paul, and they urged him, asking as a favor against Paul1 that he summon him to Jerusalembecause kthey were planning an ambush to kill him on the way. Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea and that he himself intended to go there shortly. So, said he, let the men of authority among you go down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them bring charges against him.

After he stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea. And the next day he took his seat on lthe tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. When he had arrived, the Jews who had come down from Jerusalem stood around him, bringing many and serious charges against him mthat they could not prove. Paul argued in his defense, Neither nagainst othe law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor pagainst Caesar have I committed any offense. But Festus, qwishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me? 10 But Paul said, I am standing before Caesar’s rtribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. 11 If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. sI appeal to Caesar. 12 Then Festus, when he had conferred with his council, answered, To Caesar you have appealed; to Caesar you shall go.

Paul Before Agrippa and Bernice

13 Now when some days had passed, Agrippa the king and Bernice arrived at Caesarea and greeted Festus. 14 And as they stayed there many days, Festus laid Paul’s case before the king, saying, tThere is a man left prisoner by Felix, 15 and when I was at Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews laid out their case uagainst him, asking for a sentence of condemnation against him. 16 vI answered them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up anyone wbefore the accused met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to make his defense concerning the charge laid against him. 17 xSo when they came together here, I made no delay, but on the next day took my seat on ythe tribunal and ordered the man to be brought. 18 When the accusers stood up, they brought no charge in his case of such evils as I supposed. 19 Rather they zhad certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about aa certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive. 20 Being at a loss how to investigate these questions, I basked whether he wanted to go to Jerusalem and be tried there regarding them. 21 But cwhen Paul had appealed to be kept in custody for the decision of dthe emperor, I ordered him to be held until I could send him to Caesar. 22 Then eAgrippa said to Festus, I would like to hear the man myself. Tomorrow, said he, you will hear him.

23 So on the next day fAgrippa and Bernice came with great pomp, and they entered the audience hall with the military tribunes and the prominent men of the city. Then, at the command of Festus, Paul was brought in. 24 And Festus said, King Agrippa and all who are present with us, you see this man about whom gthe whole Jewish people petitioned me, both in Jerusalem and here, hshouting that he ought not to live any longer. 25 But I found that ihe had done nothing deserving death. And jas he himself appealed to kthe emperor, I decided to go ahead and send him. 26 But I have nothing definite to write to my lord about him. Therefore I have brought him before you all, and especially before you, King Agrippa, so that, after we have examined him, I may have something to write. 27 For it seems to me unreasonable, in sending a prisoner, not to indicate the charges against him.