“Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel” (7:10).
“The good hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him” (8:22).
“But now, for a brief moment, the Lord our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage. Though we are slaves, our God has not deserted us in our bondage. He has shown us kindness in the sight of the kings of Persia: He has granted us new life to rebuild the house of our God and repair its ruins, and he has given us a wall of protection in Judah and Jerusalem” (9:8-9).
“O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel” (1:5-6).
“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name” (1:8-9).
“The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding” (2:20).
“Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes” (4:14).
“This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength” (8:10).
“Blessed be your glorious name, and may it be exalted above all blessing and praise. You alone are the Lord. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you” (9:5-6).
“You have kept your promise because you are righteous” (9:8).
“Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (4:13-14).
“For the Jews it was a time of happiness and joy, gladness and honor” (8:16).
JOB and the promises of God
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (1:21).
“Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (2:10).
“Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty” (5:6).
“What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention, that you examine him every morning and test him every moment?” (7:17-18).
“How can a mortal be righteous before God? Though one wished to dispute with him, he could not answer him one time out of a thousand. His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed?” (9:2-4).
“You gave me life and showed me kindness, and in your providence watched over my spirit” (10:12).
“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his. What he tears down cannot be rebuilt; the man he imprisons cannot be released” (12:13-14).
“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (13:15).
“If a man dies, will he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come” (14:14).
“Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high” (16:19).
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” (19:25-27).
“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (23:10).
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding” (28:28).
“The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress. Therefore, men revere him, for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?” (37:23-24).
“I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted” (42:2).
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (1:1-3).
“Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (2:12).
“Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for himself; the Lord will hear when I call to him” (4:3).
“For surely, O Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield” (5:12).
“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you” (9:9-10).
“The Lord is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face” (11:7).
“As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him” (18:30).
“Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him” (25:12).
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (32:8).
“Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him” (32:10).
“The Lord redeems his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned” (34:22).
“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart” (37:4).
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” (55:22).
“The Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O Lord Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you” (84:11-12).
“As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (103:11-12).
“The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore” (121:8).
“The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy” (145:17-20).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (1:7).
“The Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones” (2:6-8).
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (3:5-6).
“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in” (3:11-12).
“I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me. For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death” (8:17, 35-36).
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (9:10).
“The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, turning a man from the snares of death” (14:27).
“The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor” (15:33).
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” (16:3).
“The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe” (18:10).
“Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (19:21).
“The fear of the Lord leads to life: Then one rests content, untouched by trouble” (19:23).
“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord” (21:30).
“Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life” (22:4).
“A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness” (2:24-26).
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (3:11).
“I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it, so men will revere him” (3:14).
“Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God” (5:18-19).
“Although a wicked man commits a hundred crimes and still lives a long time, I know that it will go better with God-fearing men, who are reverent before God” (8:12).
“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil” (12:13-14).
SONG OF SONGS
“He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love” (2:4).
“My lover is mine and I am his” (2:16).
“I am my lover’s and my lover is mine” (6:3).
“I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me” (7:10).
“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal over your arm; for love is as strong as death . . . . Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away. If one were to give all the wealth of his house for love, it would be utterly scorned” (8:6-7).
“‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool’” (1:18).
“He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many people. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore” (2:4).
“In that day the Branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of the survivors in Israel” (4:2).
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel” (7:14).
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever” (9:6-7).
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord—and he will delight in the fear of the Lord” (11:1-3).
“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the whole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (11:6-9).
“Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation” (12:2).
“For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?” (14:27).
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you” (26:3).
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (30:15).
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” (30:18).
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (40:31).
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (41:10).
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go” (48:17).
“Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all” (53:4-6).
“I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite” (57:15).
“Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind” (65:17).
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart” (1:5).
“At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts” (3:17).
“If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, if you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your forefathers for ever and ever” (7:5-7).
“Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you” (7:23).
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth, for in these I delight” (9:23-24).
“I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for men to direct his steps” (10:23).
“After I uproot them, I will again have compassion and will bring each of them back to his own inheritance and his own country” (12:15).
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him” (17:5, 7).
“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve” (17:10).
“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness” (23:5-6).
“‘Am I only a God nearby,’ declares the Lord, ‘and not a God far away? Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?’ declares the Lord. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the Lord” (23:23-24).
“My eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them back to this land. I will build them up and not tear them down; I will plant them and not uproot them. I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart” (24:6-7).
“‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’” (29:11-13).
“‘This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,’ declares the Lord. ‘I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,’ declares the Lord. ‘For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more’” (31:33-34).
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (33:3).
“The Lord has done what he planned; he has fulfilled his word, which he decreed long ago” (2:17).
“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (3:21-23).
“I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’ The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord” (3:24-26).
“Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men” (3:32-33).
“Who can speak and have it happen if the Lord has not decreed it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?” (3:37-38).
“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God” (11:19-20).
“Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? Declares the Sovereign Lord. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live?” (18:32).
“I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will show myself holy among you in the sight of the nations. Then you will know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your fathers. You will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, O house of Israel” (20:41-42, 44).
“As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?” (33:11).
“I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice” (34:11-16).
“I will place over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he will tend them; he will tend them and be their shepherd. I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David will be prince among them” (34:23-24).
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you ; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. You will live in the land I gave your forefathers; you will be my people, and I will be your God” (36:26-28).
“Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land” (37:13-14).
“I will no longer hide my face from them, for I will pour out my Spirit on the house of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord” (39:29).