Psalm 74; Acts 23:12–24

Arise, O God, Defend Your Cause

A Maskil1 of rAsaph.

74  O God, why do you scast us off forever?

Why does your anger tsmoke against uthe sheep of your pasture?

vRemember your congregation, which you have wpurchased of old,

which you have xredeemed to be ythe tribe of your heritage!

Remember Mount Zion, zwhere you have dwelt.

Direct your steps to athe perpetual ruins;

the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary!

Your foes have broared in the midst of your meeting place;

cthey set up their down signs for esigns.

They were like those who swing faxes

in a forest of trees.2

And all its gcarved wood

they broke down with hatchets and hammers.

They hset your sanctuary on fire;

they iprofaned jthe dwelling place of your name,

bringing it down to the ground.

They ksaid to themselves, We will utterly subdue them;

they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.

We do not see our lsigns;

mthere is no longer any prophet,

and there is none among us who knows how long.

10  How long, O God, nis the foe to scoff?

Is the enemy to revile your name forever?

11  Why odo you hold back your hand, your right hand?

Take it from the fold of your garment3 and destroy them!

12  Yet pGod my King is from of old,

working salvation in the midst of the earth.

13  You qdivided the sea by your might;

you rbroke the heads of sthe sea monsters4 on the waters.

14  You crushed the heads of tLeviathan;

you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.

15  You usplit open springs and brooks;

you vdried up ever-flowing streams.

16  Yours is the day, yours also the night;

you have established wthe heavenly lights and the sun.

17  You have xfixed all the boundaries of the earth;

you have made ysummer and winter.

18  zRemember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs,

and aa foolish people reviles your name.

19  Do not deliver the soul of your bdove to the wild beasts;

cdo not forget the life of your poor forever.

20  Have regard for dthe covenant,

for ethe dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.

21  Let not fthe downtrodden gturn back in shame;

let hthe poor and needy praise your name.

22  Arise, O God, idefend your cause;

jremember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!

23  Do not forget the clamor of your foes,

kthe uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually!


A Plot to Kill Paul

12 When it was day, uthe Jews made a plot and vbound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they had killed Paul. 13 There were more than forty who made this conspiracy. 14 They went to the chief priests and elders and said, We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food till we have killed Paul. 15 Now therefore you, along with the council, give notice to the tribune to bring him down to you, as though you were going to determine his case more exactly. And we are ready to kill him before he comes near.

16 Now the son of Paul's sister heard of their ambush, so he went and entered wthe barracks and told Paul. 17 Paul called one of the centurions and said, Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to tell him. 18 So he took him and brought him to the tribune and said, Paul xthe prisoner called me and asked me to bring this young man to you, as he has something to say to you. 19 The tribune took him by the hand, and going aside asked him privately, What is it that you have to tell me? 20 And he said, yThe Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire somewhat more closely about him. 21 But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him, who zhave bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink till they have killed him. And now they are ready, waiting for your consent. 22 So the tribune dismissed the young man, charging him, Tell no one that you have informed me of these things.

Paul Sent to Felix the Governor

23 Then he called two of the centurions and said, Get ready two hundred soldiers, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen to go as far as Caesarea at the third hour of the night.1 24 Also provide mounts for Paul to ride and bring him safely to aFelix bthe governor.