The Satanic Verses
The first six chapters in the Torah are what Jews worship with a fervor: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua. These chapters have been at the heart of what made Jews feel entitled to steal and occupy Arab Palestine and cause untold misery and suffering upon the Palestinians and the rest of the world.
- What has claimed millions of Iraqi lives
- What instigated the Iraq war
- Why White European Jews feel that they are entitled to Arab Palestine
- Why Jews rained the-rain-of-hell upon the heads of the unprotected and unarmed people of Gaza
is because of what is written in the Torah. I have highlighted some of the more sadistic and satanic verses in red font. Please take the time to go over these verses and the bells should start to ring in your head loud and clear that the world is at war because of these satanic verses.
It also pays to pay close attention to the fact that Jews are disgusted by the notion of the Old Testament and the New Testament. They totally reject the New Testament and therefore the only valid words of God according to Jews are the satanic verses contained in the Torah where God favors only the Jews over all other mankind and even desires the elimination of every human being on earth except for his favored 'Israelites'. It makes perfect sense to me why Jews reject the New Testament, as that would take away their exclusive relationship to God and their entitlement to being the most privileged folks on earth.
Also keep firmly ingrained in your head that Jews are ashamed of these verses in public while quietly believing in them and cherishing them in private. Finding soothing and kind words in the Torah is like looking for needles in the haystack. They are extremely rare. But Jews do manage to find them and repeatedly quote them while never volunteering to disclose the satanic verses.
In a perfect world, we would expect one religious group to respect the rights of another religious group to practice its religion in peace and vice versa. But so much blood has soaked the earth because of the three Middle Eastern Religions. Iraq and Palestine are imperialist and at the same time religious wars. The former monkey in the white house by the name of W Bush did foolishly admit that the Iraq war was a 'crusade' against the Muslims. It was also a golden opportunity for Jews to eliminate one of the strongest Arab regimes -Iraq- that did not take kindly to European Jewry's encroachment upon Arab territories.
I must say that my attitude towards people of religion is live and let live. But it is not that easy to be that forgiving towards a specific religion whose basis is supremacy and choseness. The God of these 'chosen' folks does in fact encourage them to be brutal and not to show mercy towards the non-chosen. This God favors this group of people to such an extent that he promises them a 'land of milk and honey' that was already occupied by another people. The way to solve that problem was to get rid of those people for the benefit of the newcomers in the form of 'the chosen'. But not so fast. God is very thoughtful and considerate towards his 'chosen' and he tells them that it would not be wise to get rid of the gentiles all at once:
As you attack these nations, the Lord will force them out little by little. He won't let you get rid of them all at once--if he did, there wouldn't be enough people living in the land to keep down the number of wild animals.[Deuteronomy 28:22]
Therefore, it was God's wisdom that the undesirables not be eradicated all at once so that they would render service to the 'chosen' in the form of being wild animal killers in order to keep 'the chosen' safe and secure from harm's way. But the minute the land had been made secure for 'the chosen' then logic indicates that the Jews' God had planned to inflict genocide upon the undesirables to make room for his 'chosen'. One has to wonder why the all-knowing and all-powerful God could not just eradicate the wild animals all on his own and clear 'the land of milk and honey' for his chosen? Why did God create the wild animals in the first place if they were to be such a nuisance to God's 'chosen' and making their stampede towards the 'milk and honey' so worrisome on account of the wild animals? Why didn't the all-powerful God just create a beautiful planet oozing and overflowing with 'milk and honey', minus the wild animals and settle his most precious people on that land away from the people whom God referred to as 'disgusting'? So many unanswered questions!
Please see link of the source of these satanic verses at the bottom of this page. Not a word, a phrase or a sentence has been altered. If anyone has any doubt about the validity of these satanic verses, please compare them to your own bible or to the source link provided below.
Here are the Satanic Verses
the land of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites and Jebusites."On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram and said, "To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates- 19
After I punish the Egyptians, they will be so afraid of you that they will give you anything you want. You are my people, and I will let you take many things with you when you leave the land of Egypt. 22Every Israelite woman will go to her Egyptian neighbors or to any Egyptian woman living in her house. She will ask them for gold and silver jewelry and for their finest clothes. The Egyptians will give them to you, and you will put these fine things on your sons and daughters. You will carry all this away when you leave Egypt.
At midnight the Lord killed the first-born son of every Egyptian family, from the son of the king to the son of every prisoner in jail. He also killed the first-born male of every animal that belonged to the Egyptians. 30That night the king, his officials, and everyone else in Egypt got up and started crying bitterly. In every Egyptian home, someone was dead.
During the night the king sent for Moses and Aaron and told them, " Get your people out of my country and leave us alone! Go and worship the Lord, as you have asked. 32Take your sheep, goats, and cattle, and get out. But ask your God to be kind to me." 33The Egyptians did everything they could to get the Israelites to leave their country fast. They said, " Please hurry and leave. If you don't, we will all be dead." 34So the Israelites quickly made some bread dough and put it in pans. But they did not mix any yeast in the dough to make it rise. They wrapped cloth around the pans and carried them on their shoulders.
The Israelites had already done what Moses had told them to do. They had gone to their Egyptian neighbors and asked for gold and silver and for clothes. 36The Lord had made the Egyptians friendly toward the people of Israel, and they gave them whatever they asked for. In this way they carried away the wealth of the Egyptians when they left Egypt.
Our Lord, no other gods compare with you-- Majestic and holy! Fearsome and glorious! Miracle worker! 12When you signaled with your right hand, your enemies were swallowed deep into the earth. 13The people you rescued were led by your powerful love to your holy place. 14Nations learned of this and trembled-- Philistines shook with horror. 15The leaders of Edom and of Moab were terrified. Everyone in Canaan fainted, 16struck down by fear. Our Lord, your powerful arm kept them still as a rock until the people you rescued for your very own had marched by. 17You will let your people settle on your chosen mountain, where you built your home and your temple. 18Our Lord, you will rule forever!
The Lord said to Moses: You led the people of Israel out of Egypt. Now get ready to lead them to the land I promised their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 2-3It is a land rich with milk and honey, and I will send an angel to force out those people who live there--the Canaanites, the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. I would go with my people, but they are so rebellious that I would destroy them before they get there.
Even before the Lord said these harsh things, he had told Moses, " These people really are rebellious, and I would kill them at once, if I went with them. But tell them to take off their fancy jewelry, then I'll decide what to do with them." So the people started mourning, 6and after leaving Mount Sinai, they stopped wearing fancy jewelry.
You may eat 3any animal that has divided hoofs and chews the cud. 4-8But you must not eat animals such as camels, rock badgers, and rabbits that chew the cud but don't have divided hoofs. And you must not eat pigs--they have divided hoofs, but don't chew the cud. All of these animals are unclean, and you are forbidden even to touch their dead bodies. 9-12You may eat anything that lives in water and has fins and scales. But it would be disgusting for you to eat anything else that lives in water, and you must not even touch their dead bodies.
Eagles, vultures, buzzards, crows, ostriches, hawks, sea gulls, owls, pelicans, storks, herons, hoopoes, and bats are also disgusting, and you are forbidden to eat any of them. 20-23The only winged insects you may eat are locusts, grasshoppers, and crickets. All other winged insects that crawl are too disgusting for you to eat.
Don't even touch the dead bodies of animals that have divided hoofs but don't chew the cud. And don't touch the dead bodies of animals that have paws. If you do, you must wash your clothes, but you are still unclean until evening.
Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri from the tribe of Dan, had married an Egyptian, and they had a son. One day their son got into a fight with an Israelite man in camp and cursed the name of the Lord. So the young man was dragged off to Moses, 12who had him guarded while everyone waited for the Lord to tell them what to do.13Finally, the Lord said to Moses:
This man has cursed me! Take him outside the camp and have the witnesses lay their hands on his head. Then command the whole community of Israel to stone him to death. 15-16And warn the others that everyone else who curses me will die in the same way, whether they are Israelites by birth or foreigners living among you.
The Lord said: I am the Lord your God! So don't make or worship any sort of idols or images. 2Respect the Sabbath and honor the place where I am worshiped, because I am the Lord.
Faithfully obey my laws, 4and I will send rain to make your crops grow and your trees produce fruit. 5Your harvest of grain and grapes will be so abundant, that you won't know what to do with it all. You will eat and be satisfied, and you will live in safety. 6I will bless your country with peace, and you will rest without fear. I will wipe out the dangerous animals and protect you from enemy attacks. 7You will chase and destroy your enemies, 8even if there are only five of you and a hundred of them, or only a hundred of you and ten thousand of them. 9I will treat you with such kindness that your nation will grow strong, and I will also keep my promises to you. 10Your barns will overflow with grain each year. 11I will live among you and never again look on you with disgust. 12I will walk with you--I will be your God, and you will be my people. 13I am the Lord your God, and I rescued you from Egypt, so that you would never again be slaves. I have set you free; now walk with your heads held high.
If you disobey me and my laws, and if you break our agreement, 16I will punish you terribly, and you will be ruined. You will be struck with incurable diseases and with fever that leads to blindness and depression. Your enemies will eat the crops you plant, 17and I will turn from you and let you be destroyed by your attackers. You will even run at the very rumor of attack. 18Then, if you still refuse to obey me, I will punish you seven times for each of your sins, 19until your pride is completely crushed. I will hold back the rain, so the sky above you will be like iron, and the ground beneath your feet will be like copper. 20All of your hard work will be for nothing--and there will be no harvest of grain or fruit.
If you keep rebelling against me, I'll punish you seven times worse, just as your sins deserve! 22I'll send wild animals to attack you, and they will gobble down your children and livestock. So few of you will be left that your roads will be deserted.
If you remain my enemies after this, 24I'll remain your enemy and punish you even worse. 25War will break out because you broke our agreement, and if you escape to your walled cities, I'll punish you with horrible diseases, and you will be captured by your enemies. 26You will have such a shortage of bread, that ten women will be able to bake their bread in the same oven. Each of you will get only a few crumbs, and you will go hungry.
Then if you don't stop rebelling, 28I'll really get furious and punish you terribly for your sins! 29In fact, you will be so desperate for food that you will eat your own children. 30I'll destroy your shrines and tear down your incense altars, leaving your dead bodies piled on top of your idols. And you will be disgusting to me. 31I'll wipe out your towns and your places of worship and will no longer be pleased with the smell of your sacrifices. 32Your land will become so desolate that even your enemies who settle there will be shocked when they see it. 33After I destroy your towns and ruin your land with war, I'll scatter you among the nations.
No matter what you have done, I am still the Lord your God, and I will never completely reject you or become absolutely disgusted with you there in the land of your enemies. 45While nations watched, I rescued your ancestors from Egypt so that I would be their God. Yes, I am your Lord, and I will never forget our agreement. 24:46 Moses was on Mount Sinai when the Lord gave him these laws and teachings for the people of Israel.
One day some worthless foreigners among the Israelites became greedy for food, and even the Israelites themselves began moaning, " We don't have any meat! 5In Egypt we could eat all the fish we wanted, and there were cucumbers, melons, onions, and garlic. 6But we're starving out here, and the only food we have is this manna."
The manna was like small whitish seeds 8-9and tasted like something baked with sweet olive oil. It appeared at night with the dew. In the morning the people would collect the manna, grind or crush it into flour, then boil it and make it into thin wafers.
The Israelites stood around their tents complaining. Moses heard them and was upset that they had made the Lord angry.Numbers 11: 11He prayed: I am your servant, Lord, so why are you doing this to me? What have I done to deserve this? You've made me responsible for all these people, 12but they're not my children. You told me to nurse them along and to carry them to the land you promised their ancestors. 13They keep whining for meat, but where can I get meat for them? 14This job is too much for me. How can I take care of all these people by myself? 15If this is the way you're going to treat me, just kill me now and end my miserable life!
After the Israelites heard the report from the twelve men who had explored Canaan, the people cried all night 2and complained to Moses and Aaron, " We wish we had died in Egypt or somewhere out here in the desert! 3Is the Lord leading us into Canaan, just to have us killed and our women and children captured? We'd be better off in Egypt." 4Then they said to one another, " Let's choose our own leader and go back."
We saw the land ourselves, and it's very good. 8If we obey the Lord, he will surely give us that land rich with milk and honey. 9So don't rebel. We have no reason to be afraid of the people who live there. The Lord is on our side, and they won't stand a chance against us!Moses and Aaron bowed down to pray in front of the crowd. 6Joshua and Caleb tore their clothes in sorrow Numbers 14:7and said:
The crowd threatened to stone Moses and Aaron to death. But just then, the Lord appeared in a cloud at the sacred tent.
The Lord told Moses and Aaron 27-28to give this message to the people of Israel:
You sinful people have complained against me too many times! Now I swear by my own life that I will give you exactly what you wanted. 29You will die right here in the desert, and your dead bodies will cover the ground. You have insulted me, and none of you men who are over twenty years old 30will enter the land that I solemnly promised to give you as your own--only Caleb and Joshua will go in. 31You were worried that your own children would be captured. But I, the Lord, will let them enter the land you have rejected. 32You will die here in the desert! 33Your children will wander around in this desert forty years, suffering because of your sins, until all of you are dead. 34I will cruelly punish you every day for the next forty years--one year for each day that the land was explored. 35You sinful people who ganged up against me will die here in the desert.
Ten of the men sent to explore the land had brought back bad news and had made the people complain against the Lord. 37So he sent a deadly disease that killed those men, 38but he let Joshua and Caleb live.
Once, while the Israelites were traveling through the desert, a man was caught gathering firewood on the Sabbath. 33He was taken to Moses, Aaron, and the rest of the community. 34But no one knew what to do with him, so he was not allowed to leave. 35Then the Lord said to Moses, " Tell the people to take that man outside the camp and stone him to death!" 36So he was killed, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The next day the people of Israel again complained against Moses and Aaron, " The two of you killed some of the Lord's people!"
As the people crowded around them, Moses and Aaron turned toward the sacred tent, and the Lord appeared in his glory in the cloud covering the tent. 43So Moses and Aaron walked to the front of the tent, 44where the Lord said to them, 45" Stand back! I am going to wipe out these Israelites once and for all." They immediately bowed down and prayed. 46Then Moses told Aaron, " Grab your fire pan and fill it with hot coals from the altar. Put incense in it, then quickly take it to where the people are and offer it to the Lord, so they can be forgiven. The Lord is very angry, and people have already started dying!"
Aaron did exactly what he had been told. He ran over to the crowd of people and stood between the dead bodies and the people who were still alive. He placed the incense on the pan, then offered it to the Lord and asked him to forgive the people's sin. The disease immediately stopped spreading, and no one else died from it. 49But fourteen thousand seven hundred Israelites were dead, not counting those who had died with Korah and his followers. 16:50 Aaron walked back and stood with Moses at the sacred tent.
While Israel was camped in the lowlands of Moab across the Jordan River from Jericho, the Lord told Moses 51to give the people of Israel this message: When you cross the Jordan River and enter Canaan, 52you must force out the people living there. Destroy their idols and tear down their altars. 53Then settle in the land--I have given it to you as your own.
55If you don't force out all the people there, they will be like pointed sticks in your eyes and thorns in your back. They will always be trouble for you, 56and I will treat you as cruelly as I planned on treating them (that is, if you don't kick them out off their land).I will show you how to divide the land among the tribes, according to the number of clans in each one, so that the larger tribes will have more land than the smaller ones.
The Lord told Moses 2to tell the people of Israel that their land in Canaan would have the following borders: Numbers 34:3 The southern border will be the Zin Desert and the northwest part of Edom. This border will begin at the south end of the Dead Sea. 4It will go west from there, but will turn southward to include Scorpion Pass, the village of Zin, and the town of Kadesh-Barnea. From there, the border will continue to Hazar-Addar and on to Azmon. 5It will run along the Egyptian Gorge and end at the Mediterranean Sea.
The western border will be the Mediterranean Sea.
The northern border will begin at the Mediterranean, then continue eastward to Mount Hor. 8After that, it will run to Lebo-Hamath and across to Zedad, which is the northern edge of your land. 9From Zedad, the border will continue east to Ziphron and end at Hazar-Enan. 10The eastern border will begin at Hazar-Enan in the north, then run south to Shepham, 11and on down to Riblah on the east side of Ain. From there, it will go south to the eastern hills of Lake Galilee, 12then follow the Jordan River down to the north end of the Dead Sea. The land within those four borders will belong to you.
Then Moses told the people, " You will receive the land inside these borders. It will be yours, but the Lord has commanded you to divide it among the nine and a half tribes. 14The tribes of Reuben, Gad, and East Manasseh have already been given their land 15across from Jericho, east of the Jordan River."
belongs to the Amorites and their neighbors the Canaanites. This land includes the Jordan River valley, the hill country, the western foothills, the Southern Desert, the Mediterranean seacoast, the Lebanon Mountains, and all the territory as far as the Euphrates River. 8I give you this land, just as I promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Now you must go and take the land.People of Israel, when we were in our camp at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God told us: You have stayed here long enough. 7Leave this place and go into the land that
belongs to the Amorites now, but the Lord our God is giving it to us. He is the same God our ancestors worshiped, and he has told us to go in and take this land, so don't hesitate and be afraid."The Lord had commanded us to leave Mount Sinai and go to the hill country that belonged to the Amorites, so we started out into the huge desert. You remember how frightening it was, but soon we were at Kadesh-Barnea, 20-21and I told you, " We have reached the hill country. It
Then all of you came to me and said, " Before we go into the land, let's send some men to explore it. When they come back, they can tell us about the towns we will find and what roads we should take to get there."
It seemed like a good idea, so I chose twelve men, one from each tribe. 24They explored the hill country as far as Bunch Valley 25and even brought back some of the fruit. They said, " The Lord our God is giving us good land."
So attack and take it! 25Today I will start making all other nations afraid of you. They will tremble with fear when anyone mentions you, and they will be terrified when you show up.Moses said 24After we went through Ammon, the Lord told us: Israel, pack up your possessions, take down your tents, and cross the Arnon River gorge. The territory of the Amorite King Sihon of Heshbon lies on the other side of the river, but I now give you his land.
After we had crossed the Arnon and had set up camp in the Kedemoth Desert, I sent messengers to King Sihon of Heshbon, telling him that his nation and ours could be at peace. I said:
Please let Israel go across your country. We will walk straight through, without turning off the road. 28-29You can even sell us food and water, and we will pay with silver. We need to reach the Jordan River and cross it, because the Lord our God is giving us the land on the west side. The Edomites and Moabites have already let us cross their land. Please let us cross your land as well. 30-31But Sihon refused to let us go across his country, because the Lord made him stubborn and eager to fight us. The Lord told me, " I am going to help you defeat Sihon and take his land, so attack him!"
34Then we captured and destroyed every town in Sihon's kingdom, killing everyone, 35but keeping the livestock and everything else of value. 36The Lord helped us capture every town from the Arnon River gorge north to the boundary of Gilead, including the town of Aroer on the edge of the gorge and the town in the middle of the gorge. 2:37 However, we stayed away from all the Ammonite towns, both in the hill country and near the Jabbok River, just as the Lord had commanded.We met Sihon and his army in battle at Jahaz, 33and the Lord our God helped us defeat them. We killed Sihon, his sons, and everyone else in his army.
The Lord promised your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that he would give you this land. Now he will take you there and give you large towns, with good buildings that you didn't build, 11and houses full of good things that you didn't put there. The Lord will give you wells that you didn't have to dig, and vineyards and olive orchards that you didn't have to plant. But when you have eaten so much that you can't eat any more, 12don't forget it was the Lord who set you free from slavery and brought you out of Egypt. 13Worship and obey the Lord your God with fear and trembling, and promise that you will be loyal to him.
the land of the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. These seven nations have more people and are stronger than Israel, but when you attack them, 2the Lord will force them out of the land. Then you must destroy them without mercy. Don't make any peace treaties with them, 3and don't let your sons and daughters marry any of them. 4If you do, those people will lead your descendants to worship other gods and to turn their backs on the Lord. That will make him very angry, and he will quickly destroy Israel.People of Israel, the Lord your God will help you take
So when you conquer these nations, tear down the altars where they worship their gods. Break up their sacred stones, cut down the poles that they use in worshiping the goddess Asherah, and throw their idols in the fire.
Israel, you are the chosen people of the Lord your God. There are many nations on this earth, but he chose only Israel to be his very own. 7You were the weakest of all nations, 8but the Lord chose you because he loves you and because he had made a promise to your ancestors. Then with his mighty arm, he rescued you from the king of Egypt, who had made you his slaves.
You know that the Lord your God is the only true God. So love him and obey his commands, and he will faithfully keep his agreement with you and your descendants for a thousand generations. 10But if you turn against the Lord, he will quickly destroy you. 11So be sure to obey his laws and teachings I am giving you today.
If you completely obey these laws, the Lord your God will be loyal and keep the agreement he made with you, just as he promised our ancestors. 13The Lord will love you and bless you by giving you many children and plenty of food, wine, and olive oil. Your herds of cattle will have many calves, and your flocks of sheep will have many lambs. 14God will bless you more than any other nation--your families will grow and your livestock increase. 15You will no longer suffer with the same horrible diseases that you sometimes had in Egypt. You will be healthy, but the Lord will make your enemies suffer from those diseases.
When the Lord helps you defeat your enemies, you must destroy them without pity! And don't get trapped into worshiping their gods.
22As you attack these nations, the Lord will force them out little by little. He won't let you get rid of them all at once--if he did, there wouldn't be enough people living in the land to keep down the number of wild animals. 23-24But when you attack your enemies, the Lord will make them panic, and you will easily destroy them. You will defeat them one after another until they are gone, and no one will remember they ever lived.You may be thinking, " How can we destroy these nations? They are more powerful than we are." 18But stop worrying! Just remember what the Lord your God did to Egypt and its king. 19You saw how the Lord used his tremendous power to work great miracles and bring you out of Egypt. And he will again work miracles for you when you face these enemies you fear so much. 20Some of them may try to survive by hiding from you, but the Lord will make them panic, and soon they will be dead. 21So don't be frightened when you meet them in battle. The Lord your God is great and fearsome, and he will fight at your side.
After you conquer a nation, burn their idols. Don't get trapped into wanting the silver or gold on an idol. Even the metal on an idol is disgusting to the Lord, 26so destroy it. If you bring it home with you, both you and your house will be destroyed. Stay away from those disgusting idols!
The Lord your God is bringing you into a good land with streams that flow from springs in the valleys and hills. 8-9You can dig for copper in those hills, and the stones are made of iron ore. And you won't go hungry. Wheat and barley fields are everywhere, and so are vineyards and orchards full of fig, pomegranate, and olive trees, and there is plenty of honey.
So when you attack your enemies, it will be easy for you to destroy them and take their land. 4-6After the Lord helps you wipe out these nations and conquer their land, don't think he did it because you are such good people. You aren't good--you are stubborn! No, the Lord is going to help you, because the nations that live there are evil, and because he wants to keep the promise he made to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.Israel, listen to me! You will soon cross the Jordan River and go into the land to force out the nations that live there. They are more powerful than you are, and the walls around their cities reach to the sky. 2Some of these nations are descendants of the Anakim. You know how tall and strong they are, and you've heard that no one can defeat them in battle. 3But the Lord your God has promised to go ahead of you, like a raging fire burning everything in its path.
The Lord told me to chisel out two flat stones, just like the ones he had given me earlier. He also commanded me to make a wooden chest, then come up the mountain and meet with him. 2He told me that he would write the same words on the new stones that he had written on the ones I broke, and that I could put these stones in this sacred chest.
So I made a chest out of acacia wood, and I chiseled two flat stones like the ones I broke. Then I carried the stones up the mountain, 4where the Lord wrote the Ten Commandments on them, just as he had done the first time. The commandments were exactly what he had announced from the fire, when you were gathered at the mountain.
Then if you have loaned money to another Israelite, you can no longer ask for payment. 3This law applies only to loans you have made to other Israelites. Foreigners will still have to pay back what you have loaned them. 4-6No one in Israel should ever be poor. The Lord your God is giving you this land, and he has promised to make you very successful, if you obey his laws and teachings that I'm giving you today. You will lend money to many nations, but you won't have to borrow. You will rule many nations, but they won't rule you.Every seven years you must announce, " The Lord says loans do not need to be paid back."
After the Lord your God gives land to each of you, there may be poor Israelites in the town where you live. If there are, then don't be mean and selfish with your money. 8Instead, be kind and lend them what they need. 9Be careful! Don't say to yourself, " Soon it will be the seventh year, and then I won't be able to get my money back." It would be horrible for you to think that way and to be so selfish that you refuse to help the poor. They are your relatives, and if you don't help them, they may ask the Lord to decide whether you have done wrong. And he will say that you are guilty. 10You should be happy to give the poor what they need, because then the Lord will make you successful in everything you do.
There will always be some Israelites who are poor and needy. That's why I am commanding you to be generous with them.
Suppose a man has two wives and loves one more than the other. The first son of either wife is the man's first-born son, even if the boy's mother is the wife the man doesn't love. Later, when the man is near death and is dividing up his property, he must give a double share to his first-born son, simply because he was the first to be born.
Before you attack a town that is far from your land, offer peace to the people who live there. If they surrender and open their town gates, they will become your slaves. But if they reject your offer of peace and try to fight, surround their town and attack. Then, after the LORD helps you capture it, kill all the men. Take the women and children as slaves and keep the livestock and everything else of value.
Whenever you capture towns in the land the LORD your God is giving you, be sure to kill all the people and animals. 17He has commanded you to completely wipe out the Hittites, the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 18If you allow them to live, they will persuade you to worship their disgusting gods, and you will be unfaithful to the LORD.
A father and a mother may have a stubborn and rebellious son who refuses to obey them even after he has been punished. 19If a son is like that, his parents must drag him to the town gate, where the leaders of the town hold their meetings. 20The parents will tell the leaders, " This son of ours is stubborn and never obeys. He spends all his time drinking and partying."
The men of the town will stone that son to death, because they must get rid of the evil he brought into the community. Everyone in Israel will be afraid when they hear how he was punished.
Suppose a man starts hating his wife soon after they are married. 14He might tell ugly lies about her, and say, " I married this woman, but when we slept together, I found out she wasn't a virgin."
If this happens, the bride's father and mother must go to the town gate to show the town leaders the proof that the woman was a virgin. 16Her father will say, " I let my daughter marry this man, but he started hating her 17and accusing her of not being a virgin. But he is wrong, because here is proof that she was a virgin!" Then the bride's parents will show them the bed sheet from the woman's wedding night.
The town leaders will beat the man with a whip 19because he accused his bride of not being a virgin. He will have to pay her father one hundred pieces of silver and will never be allowed to divorce her.
But if the man was right and there is no proof that his bride was a virgin, 21the men of the town will take the woman to the door of her father's house and stone her to death. This woman brought evil into your community by sleeping with someone before she got married, and you must get rid of that evil by killing her.
If a man's private parts have been crushed or cut off, he cannot fully belong to the Lord's people. 2No one born outside of a legal marriage, or any of their descendants for ten generations, can fully belong to the Lord's people.
When you lend money, food, or anything else to another Israelite, you are not allowed to charge interest. 20You can charge a foreigner interest. But if you charge other Israelites interest, the Lord your God will not let you be successful in the land you are about to take.
When you lend money to people, you are allowed to keep something of theirs as a guarantee that they will pay back the loan. But don't take one or both of their millstones, or else they may starve. They need these stones for grinding grain into flour to make bread.
Suppose two brothers are living on the same property, when one of them dies without having a son to carry on his name. If this happens, his widow must not marry anyone outside the family. Instead, she must marry her late husband's brother, and their first son will be the legal son of the dead man.
But suppose the brother refuses to marry the widow. She must go to a meeting of the town leaders at the town gate and say, " My husband died without having a son to carry on his name. And my husband's brother refuses to marry me so I can have a son."
The leaders will call the living brother to the town gate and try to persuade him to marry the widow. But if he doesn't change his mind and marry her, 9she must go over to him while the town leaders watch. She will pull off one of his sandals and spit in his face, while saying, " That's what happens to a man who won't help provide descendants for his dead brother." 10From then on, that man's family will be known as " the family of the man whose sandal was pulled off."
People of Israel, do you remember what the Amalekites did to you after you came out of Egypt? 18You were tired, and they followed along behind, attacking those who could not keep up with the others. This showed that the Amalekites have no respect for God.
The Lord your God will help you capture the land, and he will give you peace. But when that day comes, you must wipe out Amalek so completely that no one will remember they ever lived.
The Lord will open the storehouses of the skies where he keeps the rain, and he will send rain on your land at just the right times. He will make you successful in everything you do. You will have plenty of money to lend to other nations, but you won't need to borrow any yourself.
The Lord will make you suffer with diseases that will cause oozing sores or crusty itchy patches on your skin or boils like the ones that are common in Egypt. And there will be no cure for you! 28You will become insane and go blind. The Lord will make you so confused, 29that even in bright sunshine you will have to feel your way around like a blind person, who cannot tell day from night. For the rest of your life, people will beat and rob you, and no one will be able to stop them.
Moses again spoke to the whole nation of Israel:
3-5But he has promised that he and Joshua will lead you across the Jordan to attack the nations that live on the other side. The Lord will destroy those nations just as he destroyed Sihon and Og, those two Amorite kings. Just remember--whenever you capture a place, kill everyone who lives there.I am a hundred twenty years old, and I am no longer able to be your leader. And besides that, the Lord your God has told me that he won't let me cross the Jordan River.
Be brave and strong! Don't be afraid of the nations on the other side of the Jordan. The Lord your God will always be at your side, and he will never abandon you.
Then Moses called Joshua up in front of the crowd and said: Joshua, be brave and strong as you lead these people into their land. The Lord made a promise long ago to Israel's ancestors that this land would someday belong to Israel. That time has now come, and you must divide up the land among the people. 8The Lord will lead you into the land. He will always be with you and help you, so don't ever be afraid of your enemies.
My people, I will breathe out fire that sends you down to the world of the dead. It will scorch your farmlands and burn deep down under the mountains. 23I'll send disaster after disaster to strike you like arrows. 24You'll be struck by starvation and deadly diseases, by the fangs of wild animals and poisonous snakes. 25Young and old alike will be killed in the streets and terrified at home. 26" I wanted to scatter you, so no one would remember that you had ever lived. 27But I dreaded the sound of your enemies saying, We defeated Israel with no help from the Lord. "
But the living God will be with you and will force them out of the land when you attack. And now, God is going to prove that he's powerful enough to force them out. 11-13Just watch the sacred chest that belongs to the Lord, the ruler of the whole earth. As soon as the priests carrying the chest step into the Jordan, the water will stop flowing and pile up as if someone had built a dam across the river. The Lord has also said that each of the twelve tribes should choose one man to represent it.Joshua spoke to the people: Come here and listen to what the Lord our God said he will do! 10The Canaanites, the Hittites, the Hivites, the Perizzites, the Girgashites, the Amorites, and the Jebusites control the land on the other side of the river.
The Israelites packed up and left camp. The priests carrying the chest walked in front, 15until they came to the Jordan River. The water in the river had risen over its banks, as it often does in springtime. But as soon as the feet of the priests touched the water, 16-17the river stopped flowing, and the water started piling up at the town of Adam near Zarethan. No water flowed toward the Dead Sea, and the priests stood in the middle of the dry riverbed near Jericho while everyone else crossed over.
The Amorite kings west of the Jordan River and the Canaanite kings along the Mediterranean Sea lost their courage and their will to fight, when they heard how the Lord had dried up the Jordan River to let Israel go across.
While Israel was camped at Gilgal, the Lord said, " Joshua, make some flint knives and circumcise the rest of the Israelite men and boys." 3Joshua made the knives, then circumcised those men and boys at Haaraloth Hill. 4-7This had to be done, because none of Israel's baby boys had been circumcised during the forty years that Israel had wandered through the desert after leaving Egypt. And why had they wandered for forty years? It was because right after they left Egypt, the men in the army had disobeyed the Lord. And the Lord had said, " None of you men will ever live to see the land that I promised Israel. It is a land rich with milk and honey, and someday your children will live there, but not before you die here in the desert."
Everyone who had been circumcised needed time to heal, and they stayed in camp.
the land of Canaan. They ate roasted grain and thin bread made of the barley they had gathered from nearby fields.The Lord told Joshua, " It was a disgrace for my people to be slaves in Egypt, but now I have taken away that disgrace." So the Israelites named the place Gilgal, and it still has that name. 10Israel continued to camp at Gilgal in the desert near Jericho, and on the fourteenth day of the same month, they celebrated Passover. 11-12The next day, God stopped sending the Israelites manna to eat each morning, and they started eating food grown in the
belongs to the Avvites and the Geshurites, and the land around Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron belongs to the five Philistine rulers. The other Canaanite territory is in the north. Its northern border starts at the town of Arah, which belongs to the Sidonians. From there, it goes to Aphek, then along the Amorite border to Hamath Pass. The eastern border starts at Hamath Pass and goes south to Baal-Gad at the foot of Mount Hermon, and its southern boundary runs west from there to Misrephoth-Maim. This northern region includes the Lebanon Mountains and the land that belongs to the Gebalites and the Sidonians who live in the hill country from the Lebanon Mountains to Misrephoth-Maim. With my help, Israel will capture these Canaanite territories and force out the people who live there. But you must divide up the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea among the nine tribes and the half of Manasseh that don't have any land yet. Then each tribe will have its own land.Many years later, the Lord told Joshua: Now you are very old, but there is still a lot of land that Israel has not yet taken. 2-7First, there is the Canaanite territory that starts at the Shihor River just east of Egypt and goes north to Ekron. The southern part of this region
Moses had already given land east of the Jordan River to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and half of Manasseh. 9This region stretched north from the town in the middle of the Arnon River valley, and included the town of Aroer on the northern edge of the valley. It covered the flatlands of Medeba north of Dibon, 10and took in the towns that had belonged to Sihon, the Amorite king of Heshbon. Some of these towns were as far east as the Ammonite border.
Geshur and Maacah were part of this region, and so was the whole territory that King Og had ruled, that is, Gilead, Mount Hermon, and all of Bashan as far east as Salecah. Og had lived in Ashtaroth part of each year, and he had lived in Edrei the rest of the year. Og had been one of the last of the Rephaim, but Moses had defeated Sihon and Og and their people and had forced them to leave their land. 13However, the Israelites did not force the people of Geshur and Maacah to leave, and they still live there among the Israelites.
' The Lord gave the Israelites the land he had promised their ancestors, and they captured it and settled in it. 44There still were enemies around Israel, but the Lord kept his promise to let his people live in peace. And whenever the Israelites did have to go to war, no enemy could defeat them. The Lord always helped Israel win. 45The Lord promised to do many good things for Israel, and he kept his promise every time.
but the Lord has promised you their land. So when you attack them, he will make them run away. I have already divided their land among your tribes, as I did with the the land of the nations I defeated between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.The Lord let Israel live in peace with its neighbors for a long time, and Joshua lived to a ripe old age. 2One day he called a meeting of the leaders of the tribes of Israel, including the old men, the judges, and the officials. Then he told them: I am now very old. 3You have seen how the Lord your God fought for you and helped you defeat the nations who lived in this land. 4-5There are still some nations left,
Be sure that you carefully obey everything written in The Book of the Law of Moses and do exactly what it says. 7Don't have anything to do with the nations that live around you. Don't worship their gods or pray to their idols or make promises in the names of their gods. 8Be as faithful to the Lord as you have always been.
When you attacked powerful nations, the Lord made them run away, and no one has ever been able to stand up to you. 10Any one of you can defeat a thousand enemy soldiers, because the Lord God fights for you, just as he promised. 11Be sure to always love the Lord your God. 12-13Don't ever turn your backs on him by marrying people from the nations that are left in the land. Don't even make friends with them I tell you that if you are friendly with those nations, the Lord won't chase them away when you attack. Instead, they'll be like a trap for your feet, a whip on your back, and thorns in your eyes. And finally, none of you will be left in this good land that the Lord has given you.
I will soon die, as everyone must. But deep in your hearts you know that the Lord has kept every promise he ever made to you. Not one of them has been broken. 15-16Yes, when the Lord makes a promise, he does what he has promised. But when he makes a threat, he will also do what he has threatened. The Lord is our God. He gave us this wonderful land and made an agreement with us that we would worship only him. But if you worship other gods, it will make the Lord furious. He will start getting rid of you, and soon not one of you will be left in this good land that he has given you.
the land of Canaan. I blessed him by giving him Isaac, the first in a line of many descendants. 4Then I gave Isaac two sons, Jacob and Esau. I had Esau live in the hill country of Mount Seir, but your ancestor Jacob and his children went to live in Egypt.Joshua called the tribes of Israel together for a meeting at Shechem. He had the leaders, including the old men, the judges, and the officials, come up and stand near the sacred tent. 2Then Joshua told everyone to listen to this message from the Lord, the God of Israel: Long ago your ancestors lived on the other side of the Euphrates River, and they worshiped other gods. This continued until the time of your ancestor Terah and his two sons, Abraham and Nahor. 3But I brought Abraham across the Euphrates River and led him through the
But when the Egyptians tried to follow, I commanded the sea to swallow them, and they drowned while you watched. You lived in the desert for a long time, 8then I brought you into the land east of the Jordan River. The Amorites were living there, and they fought you. But with my help, you defeated them, wiped them out, and took their land. 9King Balak decided that his nation Moab would go to war against you, so he asked Balaam to come and put a curse on you. 10But I wouldn't listen to Balaam, and I rescued you by making him bless you instead of curse you. 11You crossed the Jordan River and came to Jericho. The rulers of Jericho fought you, and so did the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Girgashites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. I helped you defeat them all. 12Your enemies ran from you, but not because you had swords and bows and arrows. I made your enemies panic and run away, as I had done with the two Amorite kings east of the Jordan River.Later I sent Moses and his brother Aaron to help your people, and I made all those horrible things happen to the Egyptians. I brought your ancestors out of Egypt, but the Egyptians got in their chariots and on their horses and chased your ancestors, catching up with them at the Red Sea. 7Your people cried to me for help, so I put a dark cloud between them and the Egyptians. Then I opened up the sea and let your people walk across on dry ground.
You didn't have to work for this land--I gave it to you. Now you live in towns you didn't build, and you eat grapes and olives from vineyards and trees you didn't plant.
Then Joshua told the people: Worship the Lord, obey him, and always be faithful. Get rid of the idols your ancestors worshiped when they lived on the other side of the Euphrates River and in Egypt. 15But if you don't want to worship the Lord, then choose right now! Will you worship the same idols your ancestors did? Or since you're living on land that once belonged to the Amorites, maybe you'll worship their gods. I won't. My family and I are going to worship and obey the Lord!
The people answered: We could never worship other gods or stop worshiping the Lord. 17The Lord is our God. We were slaves in Egypt as our ancestors had been, but we saw the Lord work miracles to set our people free and to bring us out of Egypt. Even though other nations were all around us, the Lord protected us wherever we went. 18And when we fought the Amorites and the other nations that lived in this land, the Lord made them run away. Yes, we will worship and obey the Lord, because the Lord is our God.
Joshua said: The Lord is fearsome; he is the one true God, and I don't think you are able to worship and obey him in the ways he demands. You would have to be completely faithful, and if you sin or rebel, he won't let you get away with it. 20If you turn your backs on the Lord and worship the gods of other nations, the Lord will turn against you. He will make terrible things happen to you and wipe you out, even though he had been good to you before.
But the people shouted, " We won't worship any other gods. We will worship and obey only the Lord!"
Joshua said, " You have heard yourselves say that you will worship and obey the Lord. Isn't that true?" " Yes, it's true," they answered.
Joshua said, " But you still have some idols, like those the other nations worship. Get rid of your idols! You must decide once and for all that you really want to obey the Lord God of Israel."
The people said, " The Lord is our God, and we will worship and obey only him."
Joshua helped Israel make an agreement with the Lord that day at Shechem. Joshua made laws for Israel 26and wrote them down in The Book of the Law of God. Then he set up a large stone under the oak tree at the place of worship in Shechem 27and told the people, " Look at this stone. It has heard everything that the Lord has said to us. Our God can call this stone as a witness if we ever reject him." 28Joshua sent everyone back to their homes.
Not long afterwards, the Lord's servant Joshua died at the age of one hundred ten. 30The Israelites buried him in his own land at Timnath-Serah, north of Mount Gaash in the hill country of Ephraim.
As long as Joshua lived, Israel worshiped and obeyed the Lord. There were other leaders old enough to remember everything that the Lord had done for Israel. And for as long as these men lived, Israel continued to worship and obey the Lord.
When the people of Israel left Egypt, they brought the bones of Joseph along with them. They took the bones to the town of Shechem and buried them in the field that Jacob had bought for one hundred pieces of silver from Hamor, the founder of Shechem. The town and the field both became part of the land belonging to the descendants of Joseph. 33When Eleazar the priest died, he was buried in the hill country of Ephraim on a hill that belonged to his son Phinehas.
One day, Samuel told Saul: The Lord had me choose you to be king of his people, Israel. Now listen to this message from the Lord: 2"When the Israelites were on their way out of Egypt, the nation of Amalek attacked them. I am the Lord All-Powerful, and now I am going to make Amalek pay!
"Go and attack the Amalekites! Destroy them and all their possessions. Don't have any pity. Kill their men, women, children, and even their babies. Slaughter their cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys."
They didn't want to destroy anything of value, so they only killed the animals that were worthless or weak.Saul sent messengers who told every town and village to send men to join the army at Telaim. There were two hundred ten thousand troops in all, and ten thousand of these were from Judah. Saul organized them, 5then led them to a valley near one of the towns in Amalek, where they got ready to make a surprise attack. 6Some Kenites lived nearby, and Saul told them, "Your people were kind to our nation when we left Egypt, and I don't want you to get killed when I wipe out the Amalekites. Leave here and stay away from them." The Kenites left, 7and Saul attacked the Amalekites from Havilah to Shur, which is just east of Egypt. 8Every Amalekite was killed except King Agag. 9Saul and his army let Agag live, and they also spared the best sheep and cattle.
The Lord told Samuel, 11"Saul has stopped obeying me, and I'm sorry that I made him king." Samuel was angry, and he cried out in prayer to the Lord all night. 12Early the next morning he went to talk with Saul. Someone told him, "Saul went to Carmel, where he had a monument built so everyone would remember his victory. Then he left for Gilgal."
Samuel finally caught up with Saul, and Saul told him, "I hope the Lord will bless you! I have done what the Lord told me." 14"Then why," Samuel asked, "do I hear sheep and cattle?"
"The army took them from the Amalekites," Saul explained. "They kept the best sheep and cattle, so they could sacrifice them to the Lord your God. But we destroyed everything else."
"Stop!" Samuel said. "Let me tell you what the Lord told me last night." "All right," Saul answered.
18When the Lord sent you on this mission, he told you to wipe out those worthless Amalekites. 19Why didn't you listen to the Lord? Why did you keep the animals and make him angry?"Samuel continued, "You may not think you're very important, but the Lord chose you to be king, and you are in charge of the tribes of Israel.
"But I did listen to the Lord!" Saul answered. "He sent me on a mission, and I went. I captured King Agag and destroyed his nation. 21All the animals were going to be destroyed anyway. That's why the army brought the best sheep and cattle to Gilgal as sacrifices to the Lord your God." 22"Tell me," Samuel said. "Does the Lord really want sacrifices and offerings? No! He doesn't want your sacrifices. He wants you to obey him. 23Rebelling against God or disobeying him because you are proud is just as bad as worshiping idols or asking them for advice. You refused to do what God told you, so God has decided that you can't be king."
"I have sinned," Saul admitted. "I disobeyed both you and the Lord. I was afraid of the army, and I listened to them instead. 25Please forgive me and come back with me so I can worship the Lord."
"No!" Samuel replied, "You disobeyed the Lord, and I won't go back with you. Now the Lord has said that you can't be king of Israel any longer."
As Samuel turned to go, Saul grabbed the edge of Samuel's robe. It tore! 28Samuel said, "The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel away from you today, and he will give it to someone who is better than you. 29Besides, the eternal God of Israel isn't a human being. He doesn't tell lies or change his mind." 30Saul said, "I did sin, but please honor me in front of the leaders of the army and the people of Israel. Come back with me, so I can worship the Lord your God."
Samuel followed Saul back, and Saul worshiped the Lord. 32Then Samuel shouted, "Bring me King Agag of Amalek!" Agag came in chains, and he was saying to himself, "Surely they won't kill me now." 33But Samuel said, "Agag, you have snatched children from their mothers' arms and killed them. Now your mother will be without children." Then Samuel chopped Agag to pieces at the place of worship in Gilgal.
Samuel went home to Ramah, and Saul returned to his home in Gibeah. 35Even though Samuel felt sad about Saul, Samuel never saw him again. The Lord was sorry he had made Saul the king of Israel.
David sang a song in memory of Saul and Jonathan, 18and he ordered his men to teach the song to everyone in Judah. He called it "The Song of the Bow," and it can be found in The Book of Jashar. This is the song: 19Israel, your famous hero lies dead on the hills, and your mighty warriors have fallen! 20Don't tell it in Gath or spread the news on the streets of Ashkelon. The godless Philistine women will be happy and jump for joy. 21Don't let dew or rain fall on the hills of Gilboa. Don't let its fields grow offerings for God. There the warriors' shields were smeared with mud, and Saul's own shield was left unpolished. 22The arrows of Jonathan struck, and warriors died. The sword of Saul cut the enemy apart. 23It was easy to love Saul and Jonathan. Together in life, together in death, they were faster than eagles and stronger than lions. 24Women of Israel, cry for Saul. He brought you fine red cloth and jewelry made of gold. 25Our warriors have fallen in the heat of battle, and Jonathan lies dead on the hills of Gilboa. 26Jonathan, I miss you most! I loved you like a brother. You were truly loyal to me, more faithful than a wife to her husband. 27Our warriors have fallen, and their weapons are destroyed.
Later the Jewish leaders came to me and said: Many Israelites, including priests and Levites, are living just like the people around them. They are even guilty of some of the horrible sins of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites.
2Some Israelite men have married foreign women and have let their sons do the same thing. Our own officials and leaders were the first to commit this disgusting sin, and now God's holy people are mixed with foreigners.
This news made me so angry that I ripped my clothes and tore hair from my head and beard. Then I just sat in shock 4until time for the evening sacrifice. Many of our people were greatly concerned and gathered around me, because the God of Israel had warned us to stay away from foreigners.
Our God, what can we say now? Even after all this, we have disobeyed the commands 11that were given to us by your servants the prophets. They said the land you are giving us is full of sinful and wicked people, who never stop doing disgusting things. 12And we were warned not to let our daughters and sons marry their sons and daughters. Your prophets also told us never to help those foreigners or even let them live in peace. You wanted us to become strong and to enjoy the good things in the land, then someday to leave it to our children forever.
You punished us because of our terrible sins. But you did not punish us nearly as much as we deserve, and you have brought some of us back home. 14Why should we disobey your commands again by letting our sons and daughters marry these foreigners who do such disgusting things? That would make you angry enough to destroy us all! 15Lord God of Israel, you have been more than fair by letting a few of us survive. But once again, our sins have made us ashamed to face you.
While Ezra was down on his knees in front of God's temple, praying with tears in his eyes, and confessing the sins of the people of Israel, a large number of men, women, and children gathered around him and cried bitterly.
We must promise God that we will divorce our foreign wives and send them away, together with their children.Shecaniah son of Jehiel from the family of Elam said: Ezra, we have disobeyed God by marrying these foreign women. But there is still hope for the people of Israel, 3if we follow your advice and the advice of others who truly respect the laws of God.
Ezra, it's up to you to do something! We will support whatever you do. So be brave!
Ezra stood up and made the chief priests, the Levites, and everyone else in Israel swear that they would follow the advice of Shecaniah. 6Then Ezra left God's temple and went to spend the night in the living quarters of Jehohanan son of Eliashib. He felt sorry for what the people had done, and he did not eat or drink a thing.
The officials and leaders sent a message to all who had returned from Babylonia and were now living in Jerusalem and Judah. It told them to meet in Jerusalem within three days, or else they would lose everything they owned and would no longer be considered part of the people that had returned from Babylonia.
Three days later, on the twentieth day of the ninth month, everyone from Judah and Benjamin came to Jerusalem and sat in the temple courtyard. It was a serious meeting, and they sat there, trembling in the rain. 10Ezra the priest stood up and said: You have broken God's Law by marrying foreign women, and you have made the whole nation guilty! 11Now you must confess your sins to the Lord God of your ancestors and obey him. Divorce your foreign wives and don't have anything to do with the rest of the foreigners who live around here.
Everyone in the crowd shouted: You're right! We will do what you say. 13But there are so many of us, and we can't just stay out here in this downpour. A lot of us have sinned by marrying foreign women, and the matter can't be settled in only a day or two.
Why can't our officials stay on in Jerusalem and take care of this for us? Let everyone who has sinned in this way meet here at a certain time with leaders and judges from their own towns. If we take care of this problem, God will surely stop being so terribly angry with us.
Jonathan son of Asahel and Jahzeiah son of Tikvah were the only ones who objected, except for the two Levites, Meshullam and Shabbethai.
Everyone else who had returned from exile agreed with the plan. So Ezra the priest chose men who were heads of the families, and he listed their names. They started looking into the matter on the first day of the tenth month, 17and they did not finish until the first day of the first month of the next year.
These men divorced their foreign wives, then sent them and their children away.
King Xerxes of Persia lived in his capital city of Susa and ruled one hundred twenty-seven provinces from India to Ethiopia. 3During the third year of his rule, Xerxes gave a big dinner for all his officials and officers. The governors and leaders of the provinces were also invited, and even the commanders of the Persian and Median armies came. 4For one hundred eighty days he showed off his wealth and spent a lot of money to impress his guests with the greatness of his kingdom. 5King Xerxes soon gave another dinner and invited everyone in the city of Susa, no matter who they were. The eating and drinking lasted seven days in the beautiful palace gardens. 6The area was decorated with blue and white cotton curtains tied back with purple wheat cords that ran through silver rings fastened to marble columns. Couches of gold and silver rested on pavement that had all kinds of designs made from costly bright-colored stones and marble and mother-of-pearl.
The guests drank from gold cups, and each cup had a different design. The king was generous 8and said to them, " Drink all you want!" Then he told his servants, " Keep their cups full."
While the men were enjoying themselves, Queen Vashti gave the women a big dinner inside the royal palace.
By the seventh day, King Xerxes was feeling happy because of so much wine. And he asked his seven personal servants, Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carkas, 11to bring Queen Vashti to him. The king wanted her to wear her crown and let his people and his officials see how beautiful she was. 12The king's servants told Queen Vashti what he had said, but she refused to go to him, and this made him terribly angry.
The king called in the seven highest officials of Persia and Media. They were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan. These men were very wise and understood all the laws and customs of the country, and the king always asked them what they thought about such matters.
The king said to them, " Queen Vashti refused to come to me when I sent my servants for her. What does the law say I should do about that?"
Then Memucan told the king and the officials: Your Majesty, Queen Vashti has not only embarrassed you, but she has insulted your officials and everyone else in all the provinces.
The women in the kingdom will hear about this, and they will refuse to respect their husbands. They will say, " If Queen Vashti doesn't obey her husband, why should we?" 18Before this day is over, the wives of the officials of Persia and Media will find out what Queen Vashti has done, and they will refuse to obey their husbands. They won't respect their husbands, and their husbands will be angry with them.
Your Majesty, if you agree, you should write for the Medes and Persians a law that can never be changed. This law would keep Queen Vashti from ever seeing you again. Then you could let someone who respects you be queen in her place.
When the women in your great kingdom hear about this new law, they will respect their husbands, no matter if they are rich or poor.
King Xerxes and his officials liked what Memucan had said, 22and he sent letters to all of his provinces. Each letter was written in the language of the province to which it was sent, and it said that husbands should have complete control over their wives and children.
Why didn't I die at birth? 12Why was I accepted and allowed to nurse at my mother's breast? 13Now I would be at peace in the silent world below 14with kings and their advisors whose palaces lie in ruins, 15and with rulers once rich with silver and gold. 16I wish I had been born dead and then buried, never to see the light of day. 17In the world of the dead, the wicked and the weary rest without a worry. 18Everyone is there-- 19where captives and slaves are free at last.
Why does God let me live when life is miserable and so bitter? 21I keep longing for death more than I would seek a valuable treasure. 22Nothing could make me happier than to be in the grave. 23Why do I go on living when God has me surrounded, and I can't see the road? 24Moaning and groaning are my food and drink, 25and my worst fears have all come true. 26I have no peace or rest-- only troubles and worries.
Be quiet while I speak, then say what you will. 14I will be responsible for what happens to me. 15God may kill me, but still I will trust him and offer my defense. 16This may be what saves me, because no guilty person would come to his court. 17Listen carefully to my words! 18I have prepared my case well, and I am certain to win. 19If you can prove me guilty, I will give up and die.
I ask only two things of you, my God, and I will no longer hide from you-- 21stop punishing and terrifying me! 22Then speak, and I will reply; or else let me speak, and you reply. 23Please point out my sins, so I will know them. 24Why have you turned your back and count me your enemy? 25Do you really enjoy frightening a fallen leaf? 26Why do you accuse me of horrible crimes and make me pay for sins I did in my youth? 27You have tied my feet down and keep me surrounded; 28I am rotting away like cloth eaten by worms.
Life is short and sorrowful for every living soul. 2We are flowers that fade and shadows that vanish. 3And so, I ask you, God, why pick on me? 4There's no way a human can be completely pure. 5Our time on earth is brief; the number of our days is already decided by you. 6Why don't you leave us alone and let us find some happiness while we toil and labor?