1 Then Samuel said to all Israel, “Behold, I have listened to your voice in everything that you have said to me and have appointed a king over you. 2 And now, here is the king walking before you. As for me, I am old and gray, and here are my sons with you. I have walked before you from my childhood to this day. 3 Here I am; testify against me before the Lord and [Saul] His anointed [if I have done someone wrong]. Whose ox have I taken, or whose donkey have I taken, or whom have I exploited? Whom have I oppressed or from whose hand have I taken a bribe to blind my eyes [to the truth]? [Tell me and] I will restore it to you.” 4 They said, “You have not exploited us or oppressed us or taken anything at all from a man’s hand.” 5 Samuel said to them, “The Lord is a witness against you, and [Saul] His anointed is a witness this day that you have not found anything in my hand.” And they answered, “He is a witness.”
6 Then Samuel said to the people, “It is the Lord who appointed Moses and Aaron and brought your fathers (ancestors) up from the land of Egypt. 7 Now then, take your stand, so that I may plead and contend with you before the Lord concerning all the righteous acts of the Lord which He did for you and for your fathers. 8 When Jacob [and his sons] had come into Egypt [and later when the Egyptians oppressed them] and your fathers cried out to the Lord, then the Lord sent Moses and Aaron who brought your fathers out of Egypt and settled them in this place. 9 But when they forgot the Lord their God, He sold them into the hand of Sisera, commander of Hazor’s army, and into the hand of the Philistines and of the king of Moab, and they fought against them. 10 They cried out to the Lord, saying, ‘We have sinned because we have abandoned (rejected) the Lord and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth; but now rescue us from the hands of our enemies, and we will serve You.’ 11 Then the Lord sent Jerubbaal (Gideon) and Bedan and Jephthah and Samuel, and He rescued you from the hand of your enemies on every side, and you lived in security.
12 But when you saw that Nahash king of the Ammonites had come against you, you said to me, ‘No, but a king shall reign over us’—although the Lord your God was your King. 13 Now therefore, here is [Saul] the king whom you have chosen, and for whom you asked; behold, the Lord has set a king over you. 14 If you will fear the Lord [with awe and profound reverence] and serve Him and listen to His voice and not rebel against His commandment, then both you and your king will follow the Lord your God [and it will be well]. 15 But if you do not listen to the Lord’s voice, but rebel against His command, then the hand of the Lord will be against you [to punish you], as it was against your fathers. 16 So now, take your stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes. 17 Is it not [the beginning of the] wheat harvest today? I will call to the Lord and He will send thunder and rain; then you will know [without any doubt], and see that your evil which you have done is great in the sight of the Lord by asking for yourselves a king.” 18 So Samuel called to the Lord [in prayer], and He sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the Lord and Samuel.
19 Then all the people said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants, so that we will not die, for we have added to all our sins this evil—to ask for a king for ourselves.” 20 Samuel said to the people, “Do not be afraid. You have [indeed] done all this evil; yet do not turn away from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. 21 You must not turn away, for then you would go after futile things which cannot profit or rescue, because they are futile. 22 The Lord will not abandon His people for His great name’s sake, because the Lord has been pleased to make you a people for Himself. 23 Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceasing to pray for you; but I will instruct you in the good and right way. 24 Only fear the Lord [with awe and profound reverence] and serve Him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. 25 But if you still do evil, both you and your king will be swept away [to destruction].”
1 Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for Israel is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have a certain enthusiasm for God, but not in accordance with [correct and vital] knowledge [about Him and His purposes]. 3 For not knowing about God’s righteousness [which is based on faith], and seeking to establish their own [righteousness based on works], they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law [it leads to Him and its purpose is fulfilled in Him], for [granting] righteousness to everyone who believes [in Him as Savior].
5 For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law [with all its intricate demands] shall live by it. 6 But the righteousness based on faith [which produces a right relationship with Him] says the following: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into Heaven?’ that is, to bring Christ down; 7 or, ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ that is, to bring Christ up from the dead [as if we had to be saved by our own efforts, doing the impossible].” 8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word [the message, the basis] of faith which we preach— 9 because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile; for the same Lord is Lord over all [of us], and [He is] abounding in riches (blessings) for all who call on Him [in faith and prayer]. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord [in prayer] will be saved.”
14 But how will people call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher (messenger)? 15 And how will they preach unless they are commissioned and sent [for that purpose]? Just as it is written and forever remains written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
16 But they did not all pay attention to the good news [of salvation]; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So faith comes from hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the [preaching of the] message concerning Christ.
18 But I say, did they not hear? Indeed they have;
“Their voice [that of creation bearing God’s message] has gone out to all the earth,
And their words to the [farthest] ends of the world.”
19 But I say, did Israel fail to understand [that the gospel was to go also to the Gentiles]? First Moses says,
“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation (Gentiles);
With a nation that lacks understanding I will make you angry.”
20 Then Isaiah is very bold and says,
“I have been found by those who did not seek Me;
I have shown Myself to those who did not [consciously] ask for Me.”
21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have stretched out My hands [in compassion] to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
1 Concerning the sons (descendants) of Ammon.
Thus says the Lord:
“Does Israel have no sons [to reclaim Gad from the Ammonites]?
Has he no heir?
Why then has Malcam taken possession of Gad
And [why do] his people live in the cities [of Gad]?
“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord,
“When I will cause an alarm of war to be heard
Against Rabbah of the Ammonites;
And it [along with the high ground on which it stands] will become a desolate heap,
And its villages will be set on fire.
Then will Israel take possession of his possessors,”
Says the Lord.
“Wail, O Heshbon, for Ai [in Ammon] has been destroyed!
Cry out, O daughters of Rabbah!
Wrap yourselves with sackcloth and lament (cry out in grief),
And rush back and forth inside the enclosures;
For Malcam [your powerless god] will go into exile
Together with his priests and his princes.
“Why do you boast of your valleys?
Your valley is flowing away,
[O Ammon] rebellious and faithless daughter
Who trusts in her treasures, saying,
‘Who will come against me?’
“Behold, I am going to bring terror on you,”
Says the Lord God of hosts,
“From all who are around you;
And each of you will be driven out headlong,
And there will be no one to gather the fugitives together.
“But afterward I will reverse
The captivity of the children of Ammon and restore their fortunes,”
Says the Lord.
Thus says the Lord of hosts,
“Is there no longer any wisdom in Teman?
Has good counsel vanished from the intelligent and prudent?
Has their wisdom decayed?
“Flee, turn back, dwell in the depths [of the desert to escape the judgment of Edom],
O inhabitants of Dedan,
For I will bring the destruction of Esau (Edom) upon him
When I inspect and punish him.
“If grape gatherers came to you,
Would they not leave some ungleaned grapes [on the vines]?
If thieves came by night,
Would they not destroy [only] what is enough [for them]?
“But I have stripped Esau (Edom) bare;
I have uncovered his hiding places
And he cannot hide himself.
His descendants have been destroyed along with his brothers (relatives) and his neighbors;
And he is no more.
“Leave your orphans behind; I will [do what is needed to] keep them alive.
And let [those who are] your widows trust and confide in Me.”
12 For thus says the Lord, “Behold, those (Israel) who were not sentenced to drink the cup [of wrath] shall certainly drink it, and are you to remain unpunished? You will not be acquitted and go unpunished, but you will certainly drink [from the cup of wrath and judgment]. 13 For I have sworn [an oath] by Myself,” says the Lord, “that Bozrah will become an object of horror, a reproach, a ruin, and a curse; and all its cities will become perpetual ruins.”
I have heard a report from the Lord,
And a messenger has been sent to the nations, saying,
“Gather together and come against her,
And rise up for the battle.”
“For behold, [Edom] I have made you small among the nations
And despised among men.
“As for Your terror,
The pride and arrogance of your heart have deceived you,
O you who live in the clefts of the rock (Sela also called Petra),
Who hold and occupy the height of the hill.
Though you make your nest as high as the eagle’s,
I will bring you down from there,” says the Lord.
17 “Edom will become an object of horror; everyone who goes by it will be astonished and shall hiss [scornfully] at all its plagues and disasters. 18 As [it was] in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah with their neighboring cities,” says the Lord, “no man will live there, nor will a son of man dwell in it. 19 See, one will come like a lion from the thicket of the Jordan against the enduring habitation [of Edom] and its watered pastures; for in an instant I will make him (Edom) run from his land. I will appoint over him the one whom I choose. For who is like Me, and who will summon Me [into court] and prosecute Me [for this]? Who is the [earthly] shepherd who can stand [defiantly] before Me?”
20 Therefore hear the plan of the Lord which He has devised against Edom, and [hear] what He has purposed against the inhabitants of Teman: surely they will be dragged away, even the little ones of the flock; surely He will make their dwelling place desolate because of them. 21 The earth has quaked at the noise of their downfall. There is an outcry! The sound of its noise has been heard at the Red Sea. 22 Behold, He will mount up and fly swiftly like an eagle and spread His wings against [the city of] Bozrah; and in that day the heart of the mighty warriors of Edom will be like the heart of a woman in childbirth.
Concerning Damascus [in Syria].
“Hamath and Arpad are perplexed and shamed,
For they have heard bad news;
They are disheartened;
Troubled and anxious like a [storm-tossed] sea
Which cannot be calmed.
“Damascus has become helpless;
She has turned away to flee,
Terror (panic) has seized her;
Anguish and distress have gripped her
Like a woman in childbirth.
“Why has the renowned city not been deserted,
The city of My joy!
“Therefore, her young men will fall in her streets,
And all her men of war will be destroyed in that day,” says the Lord of hosts.
“I will set fire to the wall of Damascus,
And it will consume the palaces of Ben-hadad.”
28 Concerning Kedar and concerning the kingdoms of Hazor, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated. Thus says the Lord,
“Arise, go up against Kedar
And destroy the men of the east.
“They (the Babylonians) will take away their tents and their flocks;
They will carry off for themselves
Their tent curtains, all their goods and their camels,
And they will call out to one another, ‘Terror on every side!’
“Flee, run far away! Dwell in the depths [of the desert],
O inhabitants of Hazor,” says the Lord,
“For Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has planned a course of action against you
And devised a scheme against you.
“Arise [Nebuchadnezzar], go up against a nation which is at ease,
Which lives securely,” says the Lord,
“A nation which has neither gates nor bars;
They dwell apart and alone.
“Their camels will become plunder,
And their herds of cattle a spoil;
And I will scatter to all the [four] winds those who cut the corners of their hair [as evidence of their idolatry],
And I will bring their disaster from every side,” says the Lord.
“Hazor will become a haunt and dwelling place of jackals,
A desolation forever;
No one will live there,
Nor will a son of man reside in it.”
34 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning Elam, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, saying:
“Thus says the Lord of hosts,
‘Behold (listen carefully), I am going to break the bow of Elam,
The finest [weapon] of their strength.
‘And I will bring upon Elam the four winds
From the four corners of heaven;
And I will scatter them toward all those winds,
And there will be no nation
To which the outcasts of Elam will not go.
‘So I will cause Elam to be shattered (dismayed) before their enemies
And before those who seek their lives;
And I will bring disaster on them,
Even My fierce anger,’ says the Lord.
‘And I will send the sword after them
Until I have consumed them.
‘Then I will set My throne [of judgment] in Elam
And I will destroy from there the king and princes,’
Says the Lord.
‘But it will be in the last days (the end of days)
That I will reverse the captivity and restore the fortunes of Elam,’”
Says the Lord.
1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity;
I have [relied on and] trusted [confidently] in the Lord without wavering and I shall not slip.
Examine me, O Lord, and try me;
Test my heart and my mind.
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked [faithfully] in Your truth.
I do not sit with deceitful or unethical or worthless men,
Nor seek companionship with pretenders (self-righteous hypocrites).
I hate the company of evildoers,
And will not sit with the wicked.
I will wash my hands in innocence,
And I will go about Your altar, O Lord,
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving
And declare all Your wonders.
O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house
And the place where Your glory dwells.
Do not sweep my soul away with sinners,
Nor [sweep away] my life with men of bloodshed,
In whose hands is a wicked scheme,
And whose right hand is full of bribes.
But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
Redeem me and be merciful and gracious to me.
My foot stands on a level place;
In the congregations I will bless the Lord.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation—
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the refuge and fortress of my life—
Whom shall I dread?
When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though an army encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
Even in this I am confident.
One thing I have asked of the Lord, and that I will seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life,
To gaze upon the beauty [the delightful loveliness and majestic grandeur] of the Lord
And to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me;
He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
In His tent I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
Be gracious and compassionate to me and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face [in prayer, require My presence as your greatest need],” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I will seek [on the authority of Your word].”
Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor leave me,
O God of my salvation!
Although my father and my mother have abandoned me,
Yet the Lord will take me up [adopt me as His child].
Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me on a level path
Because of my enemies [who lie in wait].
Do not give me up to the will of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have come against me;
They breathe out violence.
I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait for and confidently expect the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord.