Integrity is the missing ingredient in many leaders today. Nehemiah, however, taught and modeled a sacrificial lifestyle that was above reproach. Although he had a right to be pampered, he refused to place a heavy burden on the people (Nehemiah 5:15). Although others had lorded it over the people, Nehemiah devoted himself to the work on the wall (v. 16). In addition, he never demanded the fine food allotted to him as governor (v. 18). He was a man of rare integrity who led by his example.
A life of integrity demands a lifestyle of accountability that involves one's money, priorities, and motives. God was so blessed by Job's integrity that He described him as "the finest man in all the earth-a man of complete integrity" (Job 2:3). In the New Testament, Peter reminded the elders not to be greedy for money, but eager to serve; not to lord it over those entrusted to them, but to be examples to the flock (1 Peter 5:2-3).
Those you lead can tell if your heart is influenced by the work or the benefits of the work. If you aspire to leadership, seek integrity. God will be sure to make a place for you!
14 Moreover, from the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes,
17 Furthermore, a hundred and fifty Jews and officials ate at my table, as well as those who came to us from the surrounding nations.18 Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry
6 When word came to Sanballat, Tobiah,
But they were scheming to harm me;3 so I sent messengers to them with this reply: “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?”4 Four times they sent me the same message, and each time I gave them the same answer.
5 Then, the fifth time, Sanballat
“It is reported among the nations—and Geshem
8 I sent him this reply: “Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.”
9 They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, “Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.”
But I prayed, “Now strengthen my hands.”
10 One day I went to the house of Shemaiah son of Delaiah, the son of Mehetabel, who was shut in at his home. He said, “Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple
11 But I said, “Should a man like me run away? Or should someone like me go into the temple to save his life? I will not go!”12 I realized that God had not sent him, but that he had prophesied against me
16 When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God.
17 Also, in those days the nobles of Judah were sending many letters to Tobiah, and replies from Tobiah kept coming to them.18 For many in Judah were under oath to him, since he was son-in-law to Shekaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan had married the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah.19 Moreover, they kept reporting to me his good deeds and then telling him what I said. And Tobiah sent letters to intimidate me.
7 After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers,
4 Now the city was large and spacious, but there were few people in it,
6 These are the people of the province who came up from the captivity of the exiles
The list of the men of Israel:
|8 the descendants of Parosh||2,172|
|9 of Shephatiah||372|
|10 of Arah||652|
|11 of Pahath-Moab (through the line of Jeshua and Joab)||2,818|
|12 of Elam||1,254|
|13 of Zattu||845|
|14 of Zakkai||760|
|15 of Binnui||648|
|16 of Bebai||628|
|17 of Azgad||2,322|
|18 of Adonikam||667|
|19 of Bigvai||2,067|
|20 of Adin||655|
|21 of Ater (through Hezekiah)||98|
|22 of Hashum||328|
|23 of Bezai||324|
|24 of Hariph||112|
|25 of Gibeon||95|
|26 the men of Bethlehem and Netophah||188|
|27 of Anathoth||128|
|28 of Beth Azmaveth||42|
|29 of Kiriath Jearim, Kephirah||743|
|30 of Ramah and Geba||621|
|31 of Mikmash||122|
|32 of Bethel and Ai||123|
|33 of the other Nebo||52|
|34 of the other Elam||1,254|
|35 of Harim||320|
|36 of Jericho||345|
|37 of Lod, Hadid and Ono||721|
|38 of Senaah||3,930|
39 The priests:
|the descendants of Jedaiah (through the family of Jeshua)||973|
|40 of Immer||1,052|
|41 of Pashhur||1,247|
|42 of Harim||1,017|
43 The Levites:
|the descendants of Jeshua (through Kadmiel through the line of Hodaviah)||74|
44 The musicians:
|the descendants of Asaph||148|
45 The gatekeepers:
|the descendants of|
|Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita and Shobai||138|
46 The temple servants:
|the descendants of|
|Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,|
|47 Keros, Sia, Padon,|
|48 Lebana, Hagaba, Shalmai,|
|49 Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,|
|50 Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,|
|51 Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,|
|52 Besai, Meunim, Nephusim,|
|53 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,|
|54 Bazluth, Mehida, Harsha,|
|55 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,|
|56 Neziah and Hatipha|
57 The descendants of the servants of Solomon:
|the descendants of|
|Sotai, Sophereth, Perida,|
|58 Jaala, Darkon, Giddel,|
|59 Shephatiah, Hattil,|
|Pokereth-Hazzebaim and Amon|
|60 The temple servants and the descendants of the servants of Solomon||392|
61 The following came up from the towns of Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Kerub, Addon and Immer, but they could not show that their families were descended from Israel:
|62 the descendants of|
|Delaiah, Tobiah and Nekoda||642|
63 And from among the priests:
|the descendants of|
|Hobaiah, Hakkoz and Barzillai (a man who had married a daughter of Barzillai the Gileadite and was called by that name).|
64 These searched for their family records, but they could not find them and so were excluded from the priesthood as unclean.65 The governor, therefore, ordered them not to eat any of the most sacred food until there should be a priest ministering with the Urim and Thummim.
66 The whole company numbered 42,360,67 besides their 7,337 male and female slaves; and they also had 245 male and female singers.68 There were 736 horses, 245 mules,
70 Some of the heads of the families contributed to the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 darics
73 The priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the musicians and the temple servants,
When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns,
14 For the entire twelve years that I was governor of Judah—from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of the reign of King Artaxerxes
16 I also devoted myself to working on the wall and refused to acquire any land. And I required all my servants to spend time working on the wall.17 I asked for nothing, even though I regularly fed 150 Jewish officials at my table, besides all the visitors from other lands!18 The provisions I paid for each day included one ox, six choice sheep or goats, and a large number of poultry. And every ten days we needed a large supply of all kinds of wine. Yet I refused to claim the governor’s food allowance because the people already carried a heavy burden.
19 Remember, O my God, all that I have done for these people, and bless me for it.
6 Sanballat, Tobiah, Geshem the Arab, and the rest of our enemies found out that I had finished rebuilding the wall and that no gaps remained—though we had not yet set up the doors in the gates.2 So Sanballat and Geshem sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages
But I realized they were plotting to harm me,3 so I replied by sending this message to them: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?”
4 Four times they sent the same message, and each time I gave the same reply.5 The fifth time, Sanballat’s servant came with an open letter in his hand,6 and this is what it said:
“There is a rumor among the surrounding nations, and Geshem
“You can be very sure that this report will get back to the king, so I suggest that you come and talk it over with me.”
8 I replied, “There is no truth in any part of your story. You are making up the whole thing.”
9 They were just trying to intimidate us, imagining that they could discourage us and stop the work. So I continued the work with even greater determination.
10 Later I went to visit Shemaiah son of Delaiah and grandson of Mehetabel, who was confined to his home. He said, “Let us meet together inside the Temple of God and bolt the doors shut. Your enemies are coming to kill you tonight.”
11 But I replied, “Should someone in my position run from danger? Should someone in my position enter the Temple to save his life? No, I won’t do it!”12 I realized that God had not spoken to him, but that he had uttered this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.13 They were hoping to intimidate me and make me sin. Then they would be able to accuse and discredit me.
14 Remember, O my God, all the evil things that Tobiah and Sanballat have done. And remember Noadiah the prophet and all the prophets like her who have tried to intimidate me.
15 So on October 2
17 During those fifty-two days, many letters went back and forth between Tobiah and the nobles of Judah.18 For many in Judah had sworn allegiance to him because his father-in-law was Shecaniah son of Arah, and his son Jehohanan was married to the daughter of Meshullam son of Berekiah.19 They kept telling me about Tobiah’s good deeds, and then they told him everything I said. And Tobiah kept sending threatening letters to intimidate me.
7 After the wall was finished and I had set up the doors in the gates, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed.2 I gave the responsibility of governing Jerusalem to my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah, the commander of the fortress, for he was a faithful man who feared God more than most.3 I said to them, “Do not leave the gates open during the hottest part of the day.
4 At that time the city was large and spacious, but the population was small, and none of the houses had been rebuilt.5 So my God gave me the idea to call together all the nobles and leaders of the city, along with the ordinary citizens, for registration. I had found the genealogical record of those who had first returned to Judah. This is what was written there:
6 Here is the list of the Jewish exiles of the provinces who returned from their captivity. King Nebuchadnezzar had deported them to Babylon, but now they returned to Jerusalem and the other towns in Judah where they originally lived.7 Their leaders were Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah,
This is the number of the men of Israel who returned from exile:
|8 The family of Parosh||2,172|
|9 The family of Shephatiah||372|
|10 The family of Arah||652|
|11 The family of Pahath-moab (descendants of Jeshua and Joab)||2,818|
|12 The family of Elam||1,254|
|13 The family of Zattu||845|
|14 The family of Zaccai||760|
|15 The family of Bani||648|
|16 The family of Bebai||628|
|17 The family of Azgad||2,322|
|18 The family of Adonikam||667|
|19 The family of Bigvai||2,067|
|20 The family of Adin||655|
|21 The family of Ater (descendants of Hezekiah)||98|
|22 The family of Hashum||328|
|23 The family of Bezai||324|
|24 The family of Jorah||112|
|25 The family of Gibbar||95|
|26 The people of Bethlehem and Netophah||188|
|27 The people of Anathoth||128|
|28 The people of Beth-azmaveth||42|
|29 The people of Kiriath-jearim, Kephirah, and Beeroth||743|
|30 The people of Ramah and Geba||621|
|31 The people of Micmash||122|
|32 The people of Bethel and Ai||123|
|33 The people of West Nebo||52|
|34 The citizens of West Elam||1,254|
|35 The citizens of Harim||320|
|36 The citizens of Jericho||345|
|37 The citizens of Lod, Hadid, and Ono||721|
|38 The citizens of Senaah||3,930|
39 These are the priests who returned from exile:
|The family of Jedaiah (through the line of Jeshua)||973|
|40 The family of Immer||1,052|
|41 The family of Pashhur||1,247|
|42 The family of Harim||1,017|
43 These are the Levites who returned from exile:
|The families of Jeshua and Kadmiel (descendants of Hodaviah||74|
|44 The singers of the family of Asaph||148|
|45 The gatekeepers of the families of Shallum, Ater, Talmon, Akkub, Hatita, and Shobai||138|
46 The descendants of the following Temple servants returned from exile:
Ziha, Hasupha, Tabbaoth,
47 Keros, Siaha,
48 Lebanah, Hagabah, Shalmai,
49 Hanan, Giddel, Gahar,
50 Reaiah, Rezin, Nekoda,
51 Gazzam, Uzza, Paseah,
52 Besai, Meunim, Nephusim,
53 Bakbuk, Hakupha, Harhur,
55 Barkos, Sisera, Temah,
56 Neziah, and Hatipha.
57 The descendants of these servants of King Solomon returned from exile:
Sotai, Hassophereth, Peruda,
59 Shephatiah, Hattil, Pokereth-hazzebaim, and Ami.
60 In all, the Temple servants and the descendants of Solomon’s servants numbered 392.
61 Another group returned at this time from the towns of Tel-melah, Tel-harsha, Kerub, Addan,
63 Three families of priests—Hobaiah, Hakkoz, and Barzillai—also returned. (This Barzillai had married a woman who was a descendant of Barzillai of Gilead, and he had taken her family name.)64 They searched for their names in the genealogical records, but they were not found, so they were disqualified from serving as priests.65 The governor told them not to eat the priests’ share of food from the sacrifices until a priest could consult the Lord about the matter by using the Urim and Thummim—the sacred lots.
66 So a total of 42,360 people returned to Judah,67 in addition to 7,337 servants and 245 singers, both men and women.68 They took with them 736 horses, 245 mules,
70 Some of the family leaders gave gifts for the work. The governor gave to the treasury 1,000 gold coins,
73 So the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Temple servants, and some of the common people settled near Jerusalem. The rest of the people returned to their own towns throughout Israel.
14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor in the land of Judah, from the twentieth year even unto the two and thirtieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that is, twelve years, I and my brethren have not eaten the bread of the governor.
15 But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.
16 Yea, also I continued in the work of this wall, neither bought we any land: and all my servants were gathered thither unto the work.
17 Moreover there were at my table an hundred and fifty of the Jews and rulers, beside those that came unto us from among the heathen that are about us.
18 Now that which was prepared for me daily was one ox and six choice sheep; also fowls were prepared for me, and once in ten days store of all sorts of wine: yet for all this required not I the bread of the governor, because the bondage was heavy upon this people.
19 Think upon me, my God, for good, according to all that I have done for this people.
6 Now it came to pass when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)
2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?
4 Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner.
5 Then sent Sanballat his servant unto me in like manner the fifth time with an open letter in his hand;
6 Wherein was written, It is reported among the heathen, and Gashmu saith it, that thou and the Jews think to rebel: for which cause thou buildest the wall, that thou mayest be their king, according to these words.
7 And thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem, saying, There is a king in Judah: and now shall it be reported to the king according to these words. Come now therefore, and let us take counsel together.
8 Then I sent unto him, saying, There are no such things done as thou sayest, but thou feignest them out of thine own heart.
9 For they all made us afraid, saying, Their hands shall be weakened from the work, that it be not done. Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands.
10 Afterward I came unto the house of Shemaiah the son of Delaiah the son of Mehetabeel, who was shut up; and he said, Let us meet together in the house of God, within the temple, and let us shut the doors of the temple: for they will come to slay thee; yea, in the night will they come to slay thee.
11 And I said, Should such a man as I flee? and who is there, that, being as I am, would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in.
12 And, lo, I perceived that God had not sent him; but that he pronounced this prophecy against me: for Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him.
13 Therefore was he hired, that I should be afraid, and do so, and sin, and that they might have matter for an evil report, that they might reproach me.
14 My God, think thou upon Tobiah and Sanballat according to these their works, and on the prophetess Noadiah, and the rest of the prophets, that would have put me in fear.
15 So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.
16 And it came to pass, that when all our enemies heard thereof, and all the heathen that were about us saw these things, they were much cast down in their own eyes: for they perceived that this work was wrought of our God.
17 Moreover in those days the nobles of Judah sent many letters unto Tobiah, and the letters of Tobiah came unto them.
18 For there were many in Judah sworn unto him, because he was the son in law of Shechaniah the son of Arah; and his son Johanan had taken the daughter of Meshullam the son of Berechiah.
19 Also they reported his good deeds before me, and uttered my words to him. And Tobiah sent letters to put me in fear.
7 Now it came to pass, when the wall was built, and I had set up the doors, and the porters and the singers and the Levites were appointed,
2 That I gave my brother Hanani, and Hananiah the ruler of the palace, charge over Jerusalem: for he was a faithful man, and feared God above many.
3 And I said unto them, Let not the gates of Jerusalem be opened until the sun be hot; and while they stand by, let them shut the doors, and bar them: and appoint watches of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, every one in his watch, and every one to be over against his house.
4 Now the city was large and great: but the people were few therein, and the houses were not builded.
5 And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein,
6 These are the children of the province, that went up out of the captivity, of those that had been carried away, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had carried away, and came again to Jerusalem and to Judah, every one unto his city;
7 Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispereth, Bigvai, Nehum, Baanah. The number, I say, of the men of the people of Israel was this;
8 The children of Parosh, two thousand an hundred seventy and two.
9 The children of Shephatiah, three hundred seventy and two.
10 The children of Arah, six hundred fifty and two.
11 The children of Pahathmoab, of the children of Jeshua and Joab, two thousand and eight hundred and eighteen.
12 The children of Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
13 The children of Zattu, eight hundred forty and five.
14 The children of Zaccai, seven hundred and threescore.
15 The children of Binnui, six hundred forty and eight.
16 The children of Bebai, six hundred twenty and eight.
17 The children of Azgad, two thousand three hundred twenty and two.
18 The children of Adonikam, six hundred threescore and seven.
19 The children of Bigvai, two thousand threescore and seven.
20 The children of Adin, six hundred fifty and five.
21 The children of Ater of Hezekiah, ninety and eight.
22 The children of Hashum, three hundred twenty and eight.
23 The children of Bezai, three hundred twenty and four.
24 The children of Hariph, an hundred and twelve.
25 The children of Gibeon, ninety and five.
26 The men of Bethlehem and Netophah, an hundred fourscore and eight.
27 The men of Anathoth, an hundred twenty and eight.
28 The men of Bethazmaveth, forty and two.
29 The men of Kirjathjearim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, seven hundred forty and three.
30 The men of Ramah and Gaba, six hundred twenty and one.
31 The men of Michmas, an hundred and twenty and two.
32 The men of Bethel and Ai, an hundred twenty and three.
33 The men of the other Nebo, fifty and two.
34 The children of the other Elam, a thousand two hundred fifty and four.
35 The children of Harim, three hundred and twenty.
36 The children of Jericho, three hundred forty and five.
37 The children of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, seven hundred twenty and one.
38 The children of Senaah, three thousand nine hundred and thirty.
39 The priests: the children of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, nine hundred seventy and three.
40 The children of Immer, a thousand fifty and two.
41 The children of Pashur, a thousand two hundred forty and seven.
42 The children of Harim, a thousand and seventeen.
43 The Levites: the children of Jeshua, of Kadmiel, and of the children of Hodevah, seventy and four.
44 The singers: the children of Asaph, an hundred forty and eight.
45 The porters: the children of Shallum, the children of Ater, the children of Talmon, the children of Akkub, the children of Hatita, the children of Shobai, an hundred thirty and eight.
46 The Nethinims: the children of Ziha, the children of Hashupha, the children of Tabbaoth,
47 The children of Keros, the children of Sia, the children of Padon,
48 The children of Lebana, the children of Hagaba, the children of Shalmai,
49 The children of Hanan, the children of Giddel, the children of Gahar,
50 The children of Reaiah, the children of Rezin, the children of Nekoda,
51 The children of Gazzam, the children of Uzza, the children of Phaseah,
52 The children of Besai, the children of Meunim, the children of Nephishesim,
53 The children of Bakbuk, the children of Hakupha, the children of Harhur,
54 The children of Bazlith, the children of Mehida, the children of Harsha,
55 The children of Barkos, the children of Sisera, the children of Tamah,
56 The children of Neziah, the children of Hatipha.
57 The children of Solomon's servants: the children of Sotai, the children of Sophereth, the children of Perida,
58 The children of Jaala, the children of Darkon, the children of Giddel,
59 The children of Shephatiah, the children of Hattil, the children of Pochereth of Zebaim, the children of Amon.
60 All the Nethinims, and the children of Solomon's servants, were three hundred ninety and two.
61 And these were they which went up also from Telmelah, Telharesha, Cherub, Addon, and Immer: but they could not shew their father's house, nor their seed, whether they were of Israel.
62 The children of Delaiah, the children of Tobiah, the children of Nekoda, six hundred forty and two.
63 And of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai, which took one of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite to wife, and was called after their name.
64 These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but it was not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
65 And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, till there stood up a priest with Urim and Thummim.
66 The whole congregation together was forty and two thousand three hundred and threescore,
67 Beside their manservants and their maidservants, of whom there were seven thousand three hundred thirty and seven: and they had two hundred forty and five singing men and singing women.
68 Their horses, seven hundred thirty and six: their mules, two hundred forty and five:
69 Their camels, four hundred thirty and five: six thousand seven hundred and twenty asses.
70 And some of the chief of the fathers gave unto the work. The Tirshatha gave to the treasure a thousand drams of gold, fifty basons, five hundred and thirty priests' garments.
71 And some of the chief of the fathers gave to the treasure of the work twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand and two hundred pound of silver.
72 And that which the rest of the people gave was twenty thousand drams of gold, and two thousand pound of silver, and threescore and seven priests' garments.
73 So the priests, and the Levites, and the porters, and the singers, and some of the people, and the Nethinims, and all Israel, dwelt in their cities; and when the seventh month came, the children of Israel were in their cities.
8 Now about food sacrificed to idols:
4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols:
7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge.
9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block
8 Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue. But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.2 Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much.3 But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.
4 So, what about eating meat that has been offered to idols? Well, we all know that an idol is not really a god and that there is only one God.5 There may be so-called gods both in heaven and on earth, and some people actually worship many gods and many lords.6 But for us,
There is one God, the Father,
by whom all things were created,
and for whom we live.
And there is one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things were created,
and through whom we live.
7 However, not all believers know this. Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as being real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated.8 It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do.
9 But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.10 For if others see you—with your “superior knowledge”—eating in the temple of an idol, won’t they be encouraged to violate their conscience by eating food that has been offered to an idol?11 So because of your superior knowledge, a weak believer
8 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
2 And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.
3 But if any man love God, the same is known of him.
4 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.
5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)
6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
7 Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.
8 But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
5 The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
their starry host
he puts the deep into storehouses.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
1 Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord;
it is fitting for the pure to praise him.
2 Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre;
make music for him on the ten-stringed harp.
3 Sing a new song of praise to him;
play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy.
4 For the word of the Lord holds true,
and we can trust everything he does.
5 He loves whatever is just and good;
the unfailing love of the Lord fills the earth.
6 The Lord merely spoke,
and the heavens were created.
He breathed the word,
and all the stars were born.
7 He assigned the sea its boundaries
and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs.
8 Let the whole world fear the Lord,
and let everyone stand in awe of him.
9 For when he spoke, the world began!
It appeared at his command.
10 The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations
and thwarts all their schemes.
11 But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever;
his intentions can never be shaken.
33 Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
2 Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
4 For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth.
5 He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
9 For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
10 The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: he maketh the devices of the people of none effect.
11 The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
8 The way of the guilty is devious,
but the conduct of the innocent is upright.
9 Better to live on a corner of the roof
10 The wicked crave evil;
their neighbors get no mercy from them.
8 The guilty walk a crooked path;
the innocent travel a straight road.
9 It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic
than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.
10 Evil people desire evil;
their neighbors get no mercy from them.
8 The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
9 It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
10 The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.