Psalms 72–73; Acts 26

Give the King Your Justice

Of qSolomon.

72  Give the king your rjustice, O God,

and your righteousness to the royal son!

May he sjudge your people with righteousness,

and your poor with justice!

Let the mountains bear tprosperity for the people,

and the hills, in righteousness!

May he defend the cause of the poor of the people,

give deliverance to the children of the needy,

and crush the oppressor!

May they fear you1 while uthe sun endures,

and as long as the moon, vthroughout all generations!

May he be like wrain that falls on xthe mown grass,

like yshowers that water the earth!

In his days may zthe righteous flourish,

and apeace abound, till the moon be no more!

May he have dominion from bsea to sea,

and from bthe River2 to the cends of the earth!

May desert tribes dbow down before him,

and his enemies elick the dust!

10  May the kings of fTarshish and of gthe coastlands

render him htribute;

may the kings of iSheba and jSeba

bring gifts!

11  May all kings kfall down before him,

all nations serve him!

12  For he delivers lthe needy when he calls,

the poor and him who has no helper.

13  He has pity on the weak and the needy,

and saves the lives of the needy.

14  From oppression and violence he redeems their life,

and mprecious is their blood in his sight.

15  Long may he live;

may ngold of Sheba be given to him!

May prayer be made ofor him continually,

and blessings invoked for him all the day!

16  May there be abundance of grain in the land;

on the tops of the mountains may it wave;

may its fruit be like Lebanon;

and may people pblossom in the cities

like the qgrass of the field!

17  rMay his name endure forever,

his fame continue as long as the sun!

sMay people be blessed in him,

tall nations call him blessed!

18  uBlessed be the Lord, the God of Israel,

who alone does vwondrous things.

19  Blessed be his wglorious name forever;

may xthe whole earth be filled with his glory!

yAmen and Amen!

20  zThe prayers of aDavid, the son of Jesse, are ended.

Book Three

God Is My Strength and Portion Forever

A Psalm of bAsaph.

73  Truly God is good to cIsrael,

to those who are dpure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,

my steps had nearly slipped.

eFor I was fenvious of the arrogant

when I saw the gprosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pangs until death;

their bodies are fat and sleek.

They are not in trouble as others are;

they are not hstricken like the rest of mankind.

Therefore pride is itheir necklace;

violence covers them as ja garment.

Their keyes swell out through fatness;

their hearts overflow with follies.

They scoff and lspeak with malice;

loftily they threaten oppression.

They set their mouths against the heavens,

and their tongue struts through the earth.

10  Therefore his people turn back to them,

and find mno fault in them.3

11  And they say, nHow can God know?

Is there knowledge in the Most High?

12  Behold, these are the wicked;

always at ease, they oincrease in riches.

13  All in vain have I pkept my heart clean

and qwashed my hands in innocence.

14  For all the day long I have been hstricken

and rrebuked severy morning.

15  If I had said, I will speak thus,

I would have betrayed tthe generation of your children.

16  But when I thought how to understand this,

it seemed to me ua wearisome task,

17  until I went into vthe sanctuary of God;

then I discerned their wend.

18  Truly you set them in xslippery places;

you make them fall to ruin.

19  How they are destroyed yin a moment,

swept away utterly by zterrors!

20  Like aa dream when one awakes,

O Lord, when byou rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.

21  When my soul was embittered,

when I was pricked in heart,

22  I was cbrutish and ignorant;

I was like da beast toward you.

23  Nevertheless, I am continually with you;

you ehold my right hand.

24  You fguide me with your counsel,

and afterward you will greceive me to glory.

25  hWhom have I in heaven but you?

And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

26  iMy flesh and my heart may fail,

but God is jthe strength4 of my heart and my kportion lforever.

27  For behold, those who are mfar from you shall perish;

you put an end to everyone who is nunfaithful to you.

28  But for me it is good to obe near God;

I have made the Lord God my prefuge,

that I may qtell of all your works.


Paul's Defense Before Agrippa

26 So lAgrippa said to Paul, You have permission to speak for yourself. Then Paul stretched out his hand and made his defense:

I consider myself fortunate that it is before you, King Agrippa, I am going to make my defense today magainst all the accusations of the Jews, especially because you are familiar with all the ncustoms and ocontroversies of the Jews. Therefore I beg you to listen to me patiently.

pMy manner of life from my youth, spent from the beginning among qmy own nation and in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews. They have known for a long time, if they are willing to testify, that raccording to the strictest sparty of our treligion I have lived as ua Pharisee. And now I stand here on trial because of my hope in vthe promise made by God to our fathers, wto which xour twelve tribes hope to yattain, as they earnestly worship night and day. And for this hope zI am accused by Jews, O king! Why is it thought aincredible by any of you that God raises the dead?

bI myself was convinced that I ought to do many things in opposing the name of cJesus of Nazareth. 10 dAnd I did so in Jerusalem. I not only locked up many of the saints in prison after receiving authority efrom the chief priests, but fwhen they were put to death I cast my vote against them. 11 And gI punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to make them hblaspheme, and iin raging fury against them I jpersecuted them even to foreign cities.

Paul Tells of His Conversion

12 In this connection kI journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me lin the Hebrew language,1 Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads. 15 And I said, Who are you, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and mstand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, nto appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 odelivering you from your people and from the Gentilespto whom I qam sending you 18 rto open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from sthe power of Satan to God, that they may receive tforgiveness of sins and ua place among those who are sanctified vby faith in me.

19 Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to wthe heavenly vision, 20 but declared first xto those in Damascus, ythen in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also zto the Gentiles, that they should arepent and bturn to God, performing deeds cin keeping with their repentance. 21 For this reason dthe Jews seized me in the temple and tried to kill me. 22 eTo this day I have had the help that comes from God, and so fI stand here testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what gthe prophets and Moses said would come to pass: 23 hthat the Christ imust suffer and that, jby being the first kto rise from the dead, lhe would proclaim mlight both to our people and to the Gentiles.

24 And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, nyou are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind. 25 But Paul said, I am not out of my mind, omost excellent Festus, but I am speaking ptrue and qrational words. 26 For rthe king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner. 27 King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know that you believe. 28 And Agrippa said to Paul, In a short time would you persuade me to be sa Christian?2 29 And Paul said, Whether short or long, I would to God that not only you but also all who hear me this day tmight become such as I amexcept for uthese chains.

30 Then the king rose, and vthe governor and Bernice and those who were sitting with them. 31 And when they had withdrawn, they said to one another, wThis man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment. 32 And Agrippa said to Festus, xThis man could have been set yfree if he had not appealed zto Caesar.