Tag Archives: Evil

Daniel’s Disturbing Dream (Daniel 7:1-28)

Daniel, a godly prophet and a man of unshakable faith, has been steadfast in his daily walk of fellowship with God throughout the first six chapters of the Book of Daniel. Nothing has caused him to panic or depart from his faith and practice as a godly Jew. Neither peer opposition nor the king’s new law (chapter 6) greatly disturbed Daniel. Daniel’s first inner turmoil occurs in chapter 7. A revelation from God in his sleep discloses future events which Daniel finds most troubling. Twice in chapter 7 Daniel speaks of his distress:

“As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me” (verse 15).

“At this point the revelation ended. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts were greatly alarming me and my face grew pale, but I kept the matter to myself” (verse 28).

We should note Daniel’s distress in chapter 7 before turning to the other prophecies in Daniel, where we will find that prophecy very often produces distress. Where it has not caused distress, it should have. Nebuchadnezzar became distressed when he received his first night vision (2:1) because he did understand some of his dream. In his vision, the statue collapsed and disappeared, because a mysterious stone struck it at its feet. His vision in chapter 4 should have produced more distress than it did. He was “at ease” when he received the vision, and then he became fearful, and his mind alarmed him (4:4-5). Upon hearing the details of the dream, Daniel too was troubled (4:19). Unfortunately, the king did not heed the dream’s warning, and his kingdom was taken away for a time. In chapter 5, King Belshazzar’s dream should have greatly alarmed him, but apparently it did not. That night his life and his kingdom came to an end. Subsequent revelations in the Book of Daniel which Daniel received were closely associated with some kind of agony or distress (see 8:17, 27; 9:20-21; 10:2-3, 7-10, 17; 12:8).

A look through the Scriptures shows that Daniel’s response to the prophecies he received was not unique. Many Old Testament prophets shared Daniel’s distress as a result of the prophecies they received and often conveyed to others. Why does the prophecy of Daniel 7 cause this godly man so much consternation? What so upset Daniel about the future? Should we be troubled as well?

Prophecies are given so that we may look at history, especially events occurring in our own lifetime, from God’s perspective. Prophecy provides men the opportunity to think and act in a way which pleases God, who determines the future and who reveals future events to men.

Chapter 7 reveals in broad terms what the future holds. Our study of this chapter will isolate what troubled Daniel about the future. If taken seriously, we will find the future sobering as well. May the Spirit of God reveal the meaning of this prophecy to us and produce in us that which God desires to His glory and our good.

Structure of the Text

Two major divisions comprise our text: (1) Daniel’s dream—verses 1-14 and (2) the interpretation—verses 15-28. In more detail, the outline would be as follows:

(1) Daniel’s Dream verses 1-14

  • The Four Beasts — verses 1-8
  • The Ancient of Days — verses 9-12
  • The Son of Man — verses 13-14

(2) The Divine Interpretation — verses 15-28

  • Daniel’s distress — verse 15
  • A General Interpretation — verses 16-18
  • A Fuller Interpretation — verses 19-27
  • Daniel’s Response — verse 28

Interpretive Guidelines

Interpretations of Daniel’s prophecies differ widely. Liberals reject all prophecies, because they require a sovereign God and a miraculous revelation of future events. While conservative, evangelical scholars believe the prophecies in Daniel are true, their interpretations differ greatly. Whether liberal or conservative, our conclusions grow out of the premises and presuppositions governing the process and the product of our interpretation. For this reason, I wish to clearly state the foundational presuppositions and principles on which this exposition of Daniel is based.

(1) The Book of Daniel is a part of the Holy Scriptures, and thus inspired, accurate, and trustworthy.

(2) The prophecies of Daniel must be understood in relationship to and in light of the other prophecies of Daniel.

(3) These prophecies must be understood in light of their historical background as provided in Daniel, in the inspired revelation provided by other portions of Scripture,and the cautious use of supplementary information by reliable historical documents or study. Other biblical prophecies bear on the prophecies of Daniel, particularly preceding or contemporary prophecies.

(4) Prophecies not completely fulfilled cannot be fully understood until after their fulfillment. At least the final portion of chapter 7 has not been fulfilled. Even those portions which we believe have been fulfilled, students of prophecy differ about the way of their fulfillment.

(5) Above all, the prophecy in this chapter means precisely what God says it means in this text, nothing more and nothing less. How easily we turn from what is revealed to speculate about what has been concealed (see Deuteronomy 29:29). We should not spend a disproportionate amount of time and energy trying to fill in the blanks God has left. Our attention should be given to what is clearly and emphatically said. In our passage, Daniel asks for and receives an explanation. What God determined to reveal to Daniel should be enough for us.

Overall Observations

Note these general observations about our passage before we turn to a more detailed study.

(1) Daniel 7 is the last chapter written in Aramaic in the Book of Daniel. Daniel 1:1-2:4a was written in Hebrew. From Daniel 2:4b to the end of chapter 7, the original text was written in Aramaic (the language of Babylon in that day). After this chapter, the book returns to the Hebrew language.

(2) Chapters 7 and 8, while written in different languages, are written during the reign of Belshazzar and somehow linked by the author in Daniel 8:1.

(3) This chapter contains the major segment of Daniel, which is primarily prophetic, although it does not contain the first prophecy in the Book of Daniel.

(4) This is the first prophecy in the book revealed directly to Daniel. The other prophecies were revealed to King Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar and interpreted by Daniel.

(5) While the process involves wicked kings and nations and the suffering of the saints, the culmination is the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom.

(6) None of the kings or the kingdoms are identified.

(7) No identification is made of the saints as “Jews” or “Gentiles.” There seems to be no Jewish nationalistic emphasis here, as there will be later.

(8) The four beasts are all different, with the last standing apart from the first three.

(9) The interpretation of Daniel’s vision comes in two parts, beginning with a general interpretation and then a more specific one based on Daniel’s questions.

(10) Daniel’s preoccupation is with the last beast, rather than the first three.

(11) A distinction is made between God the “Father”—the “Ancient of Days” and God the Son—the “Son of Man”—with both playing a part in the establishment of the kingdom.

(12) No distinction between the first coming of Christ and the second is made in the coming of the eternal kingdom of God.

(13) In some sense, the last kingdom is still on-going. Since the last kingdom and the prophecies associated with it have not yet been fulfilled, we must in some way be a part of that kingdom. The day of judgment is still future and has not yet been fulfilled. Thus, the vision is yet unfulfilled in terms of its major emphasis. No wonder interpreters differ about the details (Just my thoughts.). Quite clear, however, is the identity of the “Ancient of Days” and the “Son of Man.”

Background

Chapter 7 moves from the historical accounts of Daniel and his three friends to the prophetic revelations received by Daniel in the last half of the Book. The following chart may help us visualize the relationship of Daniel’s prophecies to the historical setting in which they were revealed:

BABYLONIAN EMPIRE

MEDO-PERSIAN EMPIRE

Nebuchadnezzar

Belshazzar

Darius

Cyrus

Daniel 1-4

Daniel 5

Daniel 6

Daniel 12

Daniel 7-8

Daniel 9

Daniel 11-12

The first prophetic revelation is found in Daniel 2. A night vision is given to king Nebuchadnezzar, apparently early in his reign as king of Babylon. Through the vision of a magnificent, awe-inspiring statue, God reveals the future for Gentile kings and their kingdoms. The head of the statue was made of gold, the chest and arms of silver, the belly and thighs of bronze, and the legs and feet of iron and clay.

In his interpretation of the dream, Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar he was the head of gold. The identity of the kingdoms represented by the other body parts and metals was not revealed. The king is told that all of these earthly kingdoms would be destroyed by the “stone not fashioned by human hands,” and that an eternal kingdom would take the place of these temporal kingdoms. The subject of the vision in chapter 2 seems to be taken up again in chapter 7. The inter-relationship between the prophecies of chapters 2 and 7 is demonstrated on the following page:

THE FOUR KINGDOMS

C H A P T E R T W O

C H A P T E R S E V E N

Head of gold

The winged lion

Breast & arms of silver

The devouring bear

Belly & thighs of bronze

The winged leopard

Legs & feet of iron & clay

The indescribable beast

SIMILARITIES

A four-part statue

Four beasts

Statue represents kingdoms

Beasts represent kingdoms

Deterioration: Gold to iron mixed with clay

Deterioration: Nearly human to blaspheming beast

Statue destroyed

Beasts destroyed

Eternal Kingdom is established

Eternal kingdom is established

CONTRASTS

Nebuchadnezzar’s Vision

Daniel’s Vision

Daniel’s interpretation

Angel’s interpretation

Glorious statue

Horrible beasts

Human statue in four parts

Four (inhumane) beasts

Destroyed mysteriously by a stone

Destroyed in judgment by God

Daniel’s Dream
(7:1-14)

1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it. 2 Daniel said, “I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. 3 And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another. 4 The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it. 5 And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat!’ 6 After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it. 7 After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 “While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth uttering great boasts. 9 I kept looking until thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His vesture was like white snow, And the hair of His head like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames, Its wheels were a burning fire. 10 A river of fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The court sat, and the books were opened. 11 “Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire. 12 “As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time. 13 “I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. 14 And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations, and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.

The first recorded vision comes to Daniel in the form of a night vision, like those of Nebuchadnezzar (2:1; 4:5) during the first year of the reign of Belshazzar. How interesting! The vision comes to Daniel in Belshazzar’s first year. A subsequent and related vision comes to him in this king’s third year (see 8:1). The revelation of the “writing on the banquet hall wall,” already described in chapter 5, actually happened later, on the last day of Belshazzar’s life. According to verse 1, the written record of the revelation Daniel received in his first night vision is but a summary of the prophecy he received.

Belshazzar’s rise to power and ascent to the throne seems to have inaugurated a new age for Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar was the first ruler of Babylon to have contact with Daniel. Having gained an appreciation for Daniel and his three Hebrew friends, over a period he came to faith in their God. His declaration, which resulted from the deliverance of the three Hebrews, made it unlawful to hinder the worship of the Jews; his decree recorded at the end of chapter 4 went much further. It not only bore witness to the conversion of this king, but encouraged all of the subjects of Babylonian rule to worship the God of Israel.

I believe some in Babylon, like their king, came to a genuine faith in God. Many others may have reluctantly professed or actually adopted the Jewish religion. King Nebuchadnezzar died apparently nine years before Belshazzar came to power. Public sentiment was turning against this “foreign religion,” and the Babylonians, including Belshazzar, wanted a return to their “old time religion” —the pagan worship of the gods of Babylon. With the commencement of Belshazzar’s co-regency may have come not only a rejection of the Jewish faith and worship, but a new wave of persecution directed toward it. The toasting of the gods of the Babylonians with the sacred temple vessels, recorded in chapter 5, may have been Belshazzar’s final act of blasphemy. As we shall show later, the content of the prophecy of Daniel 7 is very closely related to the reign of Belshazzar. The words of verse 1 point to the relationship between the prophecy Daniel received and its historical setting and context.

In his vision, Daniel observed the sea being stirred up into a raging storm by the “four winds of heaven.” This signifies that the events which follow have been ordained by God. God stirred up the sea, and from its foaming, raging waters came forth four horrifying beasts. These beasts, each different from the other, are described in verses 4-7.

The first beast was lion-like, with wings like that of an eagle. Its wings were plucked from it; if this happened in mid-air, he must have plummeted to the ground. If not, he could never have become airborne again. The beast was lifted up and made to stand like a man. The beast also was given a man’s mind.

Generally, it is agreed that this beast represents the Babylonian empire and king Nebuchadnezzar in particular. This description certainly fits the account of Nebuchadnezzar’s plunge from power and sanity in chapter 4. While God tells neither Daniel nor us that this beast represents Nebuchadnezzar, He does reveal that the “head of gold” in the vision of the great statue was Nebuchadnezzar (2:36-38). Since the head of gold seems to describe the same king and kingdom as the first beast, it may not be too far afield to conclude that Nebuchadnezzar is the king represented by the first beast.

By far, this first beast is the best of a bad bunch. He is more beastly in the beginning and more human in the end, paralleling the character of Nebuchadnezzar. This also underscores that these four kingdoms go from reasonably good to unbelievably bad. The only human things mentioned of the fourth beast are his eyes and his mouth. His mouth is used to speak boastfully.

The second and third beasts are briefly described in verses 5 and 6. The second is bear-like. The precise meaning of the symbols of the raised side and the three ribs is illusive. Encouraged to do so, it savagely devours. The third beast is leopard-like, with four wings and four heads, and it is given dominion.

The fourth beast receives greater attention and is of the most interest to Daniel. Different from the first three, this beast seems uglier, more powerful, and much more hostile toward God and His saints. Daniel finds nothing to compare to it. With iron-like teeth, horns (some with eyes), and feet, it is utterly destructive. What it does not destroy or consume with its teeth, it crushes under foot, much like a bull in a china shop.

This fourth beast has the distinction of ten horns. As Daniel continues to watch, another horn emerges, as three of the other horns are plucked out by the roots to make room for it. Looking about with its numerous eyes, no one can escape his look or hide from him. With its mouth, the beast continues to speak boastfully.

The scene of the four beasts arising from the sea, which Daniel saw in his night vision, is strikingly similar to the account found in the 13th chapter of Revelation:

1 And he stood on the sand of the seashore, and I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. 3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 4 and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” 5 And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7 And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them; and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him. 8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, every one whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slain. 9 If any one has an ear, let him hear. 10 If any one is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if any one kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints (Revelation 13:1-10).

As the beast continues to boast, a second scene commences in Daniel’s vision, and for a period of time both scenes run simultaneously. The second scene portrays the establishment of the thrones on which the Ancient of Days and those holding court are to be seated to pronounce judgment.

In the first scene, heavenly winds are employed to whip up the sea from which the four beasts emerges. In the second scene, heaven calmly prepares for court, which will determine that the time for judgment has come. The beasts are a horrifying and frightening sight; the heavenly court scene is one of regal splendor and beauty. The beasts emerge out of chaos and confusion; the heavenly court is calm and dignified. This scene in Daniel is also similar to a prophecy recorded in the Book of Revelation:

4 and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?”

11 And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon. 12 and he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 And he performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. 15 And there was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast might even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed (Revelation 13:4, 11-15).

Note that the description of the beasts is written in prose, while the description of the heavenly court in verses 9-10 and of the Son of Man in verses 13-14 is written in poetry form. The beasts are hardly worthy of prose, but the court of heaven deserves a description of the finest words.

The “horn” continues to sound off while the court is being set up for judgment. Suddenly, the boasting beast is silenced by death, and his body is cast into the burning fire. Even the fate of this fourth beast is different than his three predecessors, as his life and his kingdom seem to end at the same moment. The other three are removed from power but allowed to live for some time after their removal (verse 12).

As Daniel continues to watch, someone descends with the clouds of heaven, one like a “Son of Man.” He is presented to the Ancient of Days, and to Him is given dominion, glory, and the eternal kingdom. He will rule over all nations forever.

The expression, “son of man,” is not new to Daniel nor to the Jews of his day. Up to this time, it was simply a synonym for being human, a son of man. In the first use of this expression, being a “son of man” was contrasted with being God:

“God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19)

The expression is used in the Psalms in a more pregnant way, in reference to the coming Messiah.

Let Thy hand be upon the man of Thy right hand, Upon the son of man whom Thou didst make strong for Thyself (Psalm 80:17).

Daniel uses the expression “Son of man” twice. The first time in Daniel 7:13, he is referring to Messiah, who will sit on the eternal throne of His father, David. The second time, the expression is used in reference to Daniel himself, as it will be used very frequently in Ezekiel to refer to this great prophet:

So he came near to where I was standing, and when he came I was frightened and fell on my face; but he said to me, “Son of man, understand that the vision pertains to the time of the end” (Daniel 8:17).

Then He said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet that I may speak with you!” (Ezekiel 2:1).

Old Testament Jews would likely regard the reference to the “Son of Man” in Daniel 7 as a reference to the Messiah, although they would probably not understand Him to be both divine and human. Before the coming of Christ, who would? When Jesus came, He embraced this expression as a designation for Himself, giving the term meaning vastly beyond that previously held by any Jew.

A Divine Interpretation
(7:15-28)

15 “As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the visions in my mind kept alarming me. 16 “I approached one of those who were standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: 17 ‘These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. 18 ‘But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.’ 19 “Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet, 20 and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts, and which was larger in appearance than its associates. 21 “I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom. 23 “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. 24 ‘As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. 25 ‘And he will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 26 ‘But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. 27 ‘Then the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’ 28 “At this point the revelation ended. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts were greatly alarming me and my face grew pale, but I kept the matter to myself.”

Daniel’s response to the vision was far from assuring or calming. Some of his alarm arose from his not yet having been given the interpretation of his vision. Yet, his emotional response was valid and changed little after the vision was explained more fully.

This vision was an “interactive vision,” as Daniel was not only present in the vision but was able to approach one standing by to ask the meaning of what he saw. It seems safe to assume the interpreter was an angelic being; at least this is the case in chapter 8 (8:15-26). The interpretation of the events Daniel witnessed in his vision is given in its most concise form in verses 17 and 18: The four beasts were four kings, who will arise from the earth. In spite of these kings, the saints of the Highest One will possess the eternal kingdom forever and ever. In spite of all these beasts do and say, in spite of their power and even their success, neither they nor their kingdoms will last. The kingdom of God will be established and the saints will possess it forever.

The emphasis of this brief interpretation falls not on the enemies of God, their power, their brutality, nor their boasting, but on the kingdom of God, its certainty and its permanence for all the saints forever. The emphasis is positive. If Daniel had been shaken by the dark side of his vision, he is reminded in the interpretation of the outcome of these events—the establishment of God’s eternal kingdom.

The vision’s explanation was not thorough enough to satisfy Daniel. Desiring a more detailed explanation, he apparently asked for one and received it. Passing over the first three beasts, his questions focus on the last beast. He wants to know more about this dreadful beast, different from the rest, especially in the destruction he wrought. The ten horns are of interest to him, but most of all that final horn which arose, surpassing and replacing three others and speaking boastfully.

The vision plays on before Daniel, almost as though in answer to his desire to know more. The boastful beast becomes even more aggressive, waging war with the saints and even overpowering them. No wonder this vision causes Daniel such distress. This takes place until the Ancient of Days comes and judgment is given to the saints, at the time the eternal kingdom becomes their possession.

These are the things Daniel sees in the vision. Now, in verse 23, the angelic interpreter explains the relationship of the boastful beast and the coming of the eternal kingdom of God. The fourth beast is a fourth king, different than the others. He distinguishes himself by his ability to overcome the whole earth, crushing it under foot.

The ten horns, Daniel is told, represent ten kings who will emerge out of the fourth kingdom. An eleventh king then rises to power, different from the others, replacing three of the previous kings. This king’s boasting turns to blasphemy. He not only speaks against the Most High, he oppresses the saints. He intends to make changes in time and in law. Just what this means is unclear, but it suggests this arrogant king not only speaks against God, but, like Satan, he aspires to change the order God has established. He surpasses those before him by speaking boastfully, then blaspheming, and finally seeking to overthrow God’s order.

The final words of verse 25 are carefully chosen to let the reader know that while this king appears to be successfully opposing God, all he does is a part of the divine plan for the last days. The eleventh horn may hope to change the time, but in God’s plan this king is granted “a time, times, and half a time” —three and a half years to oppose and oppress the saints. God grants this king success and his saints suffering, but only for an appointed time.

When the court sits for judgment, his dominion is taken from him and he is destroyed forever. At this time the kingdom of God is established. The saints of the Highest One are given all the kingdoms of the earth for an everlasting kingdom. They will serve and obey Him forever.

Daniel’s vision ends here, but its impact on him does not end. His thoughts alarm him, and his face pales. Nevertheless, Daniel tells no one, keeping the matter to himself and suffering a quiet agony over the future events God has revealed to him.

Conclusion

The message of this prophecy is really quite simple and may be summed up this way. Before the kingdom of God is established on the earth, four earthly kingdoms will rise and fall. These kingdoms go from bad to worse. Arrogant, boastful, and even blasphemous kings will reign over the nations, opposing God and oppressing His saints. All of this is by divine design. During times of oppression, it may appear the saints are being defeated and that God’s kingdom is but wishful thinking. When the sin and oppression of evil men reaches a predetermined point, God will remove them and establish His promised eternal kingdom. Then the saints will receive the kingdom which will never end.

A number of lessons from our text have broad application to our thinking and conduct as Christians. Consider these lessons as we conclude.

(1) Prophecy is necessary because God has chosen to settle His accounts with men slowly. God is eternal, and so is His plan for all creation. God is in no hurry to fulfill His promises, (even though it only encompasses 6000 years,) whether His promise of the eternal kingdom for all the saints or the promise of eternal destruction and judgment for sinners. Prophecy is necessary then so that men are reassured of divine deliverance and blessing, as well as divine judgment (see 2 Peter 2:4-9). Through the ages, the saints have learned that they must wait for the promises of God to be fulfilled and that this may not happen in their lifetime (see Hebrews 11:13-16, 39-40). God may choose to delay judgment on the wicked until their sin reaches full bloom; the possession of the land of Canaan would not happen in Abraham’s lifetime, but more than 400 years later after the suffering of the people of God (see Genesis 15:12-17). God also allows the wicked to persist and even to prosper, so that those whom He has chosen might be saved (Romans 9:22-24). God’s plan and program are carried out on His schedule, not ours (see 2 Peter 2:8-10). Prophecy becomes necessary from time to time to remind men of those things God has planned for the future which He will surely fulfill.

(2) While the timing of the fulfillment of divine prophecy may seem remote to the recipient, it still has relevance for him. According to our text, the prophecies of Daniel 7 will not be fulfilled for a considerable period of time. Four kings will establish four kingdoms, and some of these kingdoms have a number of kings. The last kingdom has at least eleven kings. Centuries must therefore pass before the prophecies of Daniel are fulfilled.

The distance in time of the fulfillment of Daniel 7 said something very important to the captive Jews of Daniel’s day. It would be but a very few years until Cyrus would come to power and assist the Jews to return to Jerusalem and the land of Israel. In the euphoria of this grand event, someone might well conclude the kingdom of God was to be established within the lifetime of those returning to Israel. Our text challenges such a conclusion, and later prophecies in Daniel further document that the coming of the King and of the kingdom will be some time further in the future. In those days, as in our own, there are always those are too quick to conclude that the kingdom of God has come (see Matthew 24:4, 6, 8, 24-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:1ff.).

The kingdom of God would not be established in Daniel’s lifetime, nor in the life of those who returned to the land of Israel from their captivity. The prophecy of Daniel 7 nevertheless had great relevance and application to those in Daniel’s day. Nebuchadnezzar may have started badly, but by the time we read of him in Daniel 4 he seems to be a true believer in God, urging the citizens of his kingdom to worship and serve Him. For the remainder of Nebuchadnezzar’s life, it seems that religion in the kingdom of Babylon was at least favorable to the worship of the God of the Jews. While most of those in this kingdom may not have had a true conversion, at least they tolerated the Jewish faith as the religion of the state.

With the death of Nebuchadnezzar comes a change in the people’s attitudes, especially their leaders toward Judaism. Belshazzar came to power several years after the death of Nebuchadnezzar and seems to have turned completely away from the God of Israel. Consequently, it is little wonder that in the events recorded in Daniel 5, Belshazzar was ignorant of Daniel and the abilities God had given him. He only called on him in a moment of sheer panic when no one else could help, and only then because of the recommendation of the queen mother.

The reign of Belshazzar was, in some measure, a foretaste of what was yet to come in full measure during the reign of the fourth beast, especially of the eleventh horn. Would this horn Daniel’s vision revealed oppose the people of God and even blaspheme God Himself? God would strike him down in the moment of His choosing to silence him once and for all and put an end to his kingdom. Would Belshazzar toast the gods of gold, silver, wood and stone with the sacred temple vessels? God would strike him down suddenly too and bring his kingdom to a swift end. The prophecies of Daniel 7 speak of a future day of reckoning, foreshadowed by the actions of Belshazzar and the judgment of God on him and his kingdom.

As I read through the statements men have made about the God of Israel in the first six chapters of Daniel, I find that what men came to know and to acknowledge through history, God declares through prophecy. I encourage you to compare the statements of Daniel 2:21-22, 44, 47; 4:3, 34-35, 37; 6:26 with the content and declarations of Daniel 7. What God declares in prophecy, He reveals as well in history. We are in harmony with God when our declarations conform to his. Those of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar, and Darius all agree with the prophecy of Daniel 7. God is able to raise up kings and put them down. God will establish His kingdom, and that kingdom, unlike the kingdoms of men, is eternal.

(3) The finest commentary on the prophecy of Daniel 7 comes from our Lord Himself. In the Old Testament, the expression “son of man” was used most frequently in reference to men, who were merely (as opposed to God) human. In the Psalms and also in Daniel 7, the expression “Son of Man” begins to take on a more technical meaning, referring to the Messiah, who will sit on the throne of His father, David, to rule over men forever.

When the Lord Jesus Christ came to earth, having added perfect humanity to His undiminished deity, He spoke of Himself very often as “the Son of Man.” In the Gospels, Jesus began not only to identify Himself as the Messiah, the promised “Son of Man,” but also to explain all that this involved. The Son of Man had the power to forgive sins, as well as to heal a paralytic (Matthew 9:6). The Son of Man was also “Lord of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8). He would rise from the dead (12:40). He will also send forth His angels to gather those who do not belong in His kingdom (12:41). He questioned His disciples so that they could confess that He, the Son of Man, was the Messiah (16:13f.). He would, after His death, burial, and resurrection come in His glory, rewarding men according to their deeds (16:27). His disciples were promised that they would share in His reign as King (19:20). The transfiguration of our Lord was but a foretaste of His coming glorious kingdom (16:28). When He came with His kingdom, they would be sure to recognize Him (24:27). However, the Son of Man must first suffer at the hands of men (17:22; 20:18).

Those who rejected the Lord Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of Man, would mourn when they saw Him returning in the clouds:

And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30).

As the destruction of the last beast and the blaspheming horn came as a complete shock to them, so the Lord’s coming will catch unbelievers unprepared as well (24:27-39). His followers too must be alert and ready for His return (24:44).

In my opinion, the most dramatic reference of our Lord to His identity as the Son of Man comes as the Lord Jesus stands on trial before the Sanhedrin and the high priest:

59 Now the chief priests and the whole Council kept trying to obtain false testimony against Jesus, in order that they might put Him to death; 60 and they did not find it, even though many false witnesses came forward. But later on two came forward, 61 and said, “This man stated, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to rebuild it in three days.’” 62 And the high priest stood up and said to Him, “Do You make no answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you shall see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, AND COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN” (Matthew 26:59-64).

In His response to the demand of the high priest, Jesus directly claimed to be the promised Messiah. That was bad enough, from the religious leaders’ perspective, but the way in which He answered them was the last straw. Jesus quoted the words of Daniel 7:13. They surely knew this text to be messianic, but they had always applied it to the Gentiles. They believed that the Messiah would come to establish the kingdom, to bless the Jews and to condemn the Gentiles. Jesus applied this text to them, not as those who would enter into His kingdom, but as those who would be judged at His return. No wonder His words stung and prompted them to act as they did. For the time, it was these Jewish leaders who were beastly, arrogant, and blasphemous, and because of this they would suffer divine judgment. The words of Daniel which applied to the beasts now found application to them.

(4) Suffering is to be expected by the saints, before they enter into the glorious kingdom of God. Daniel 7 indicates in the clearest way that prior to the coming of the kingdom of God the saints will suffer at the hand of the final “horn” and even be overpowered by him. Wherever I see the Scriptures speak of the coming kingdom of God, I find suffering closely associated with it. Before the Israelites were delivered out of Egypt and brought into the land of Canaan, they suffered at the hands of the Egyptians. Our deliverance from the power of sin and the penalty of death has been accomplished by our Lord, who suffered in our place. Those who will reign with Christ are those who have suffered (see Romans 8:17;Philippians 3:10-11; 2 Timothy 2:12). Suffering is an inseparable part of the process which leads to glory. So it was for our Lord (1 Peter 1:10-12), and so it will be for us.

(5) Prophecy is not written as hype but revealed to produce the hope of glory and endurance in present tribulation. Prophecy is not a pep rally, which generates a great burst of short-term enthusiasm but does little to inspire faith and endurance in the midst of suffering. Neither is prophecy written to make us happy or to feel good. Daniel’s response is testimony to this reality.

(6) Prophecy is written to sober the saints. Prophecy speaks not only of the joys and glories of God’s kingdom to come but of the suffering and tribulation preceding the eternal blessings of the kingdom of God. In the context of the coming of His kingdom and the suffering and trials which precede it, soberness is a vitally important quality which prophecy promotes:

1 Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. 7 For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night. 8 But since we are of the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:1-8).

Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:13).

The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer (1 Peter 4:7).

(7) Prophecy is revealed, not to give us the particulars of things to come, but to change our perspective. Prophecy is necessary because God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. We could never predict the goals God has determined, nor the means He has ordained for history to reach them. Prophecy reveals that which we would not and could not expect apart from divine revelation.

In God’s economy, things are not what they appear to be. We do not walk by sight, but by faith. We do not act on what we see so much as on what God has said. Abraham and Sarah were elderly and childless. Humanly speaking, it was impossible for them to have a child. And yet God said they would. And they did! Abraham had to believe and behave on the basis of God’s promises, rather than on the basis of his perception.

As the boasting horn of Daniel 7 seems to be getting away with his blasphemies and his oppression of the saints, it seems to him he can do whatever he wishes, including the changing of times and law. As the wicked prosper in their sin, it seems as though they can continue in sin without any fear of divine judgment (see Psalm 73:1-11; 2 Peter 2:3-4). Their perception is wrong, for suddenly and without warning their day of destruction will come upon them. When that day comes for them, it is too late to repent.

As the saints suffer at the hands of the wicked, it may appear all hope is lost. It may seem to them that their defeat is certain and that their hopes of entering into the eternal kingdom are lost. Things are not as they appear to be! When we expect it least, the Lord will return, the wicked will be punished, and the kingdom of God established forevermore.

I have heard a number of attempts to explain the “gaps” in Old Testament prophecy. One of those gaps is found in Daniel 7. The coming of the Son of Man is represented as one coming, and not two. We know that Jesus came the first time to die and that He will come again to subdue His enemies and establish His kingdom. We are told the Old Testament prophet could not see the distance between the first and the second coming of our Lord, just as one cannot see the distance between two mountains, when viewed from afar.

Considering this text has changed my opinion about the “gap” in the prophecies of the Old Testament. The gap is not the prophet’s problem; it is ours. The Old Testament prophet did not see the gap because he viewed the coming of Christ as God does. From an eternal perspective, the coming of Christ and His kingdom is but one coming. Our Lord’s first coming happened over a period of more than 30 years, and yet we view this as one coming. If, in God’s eyes, a day is as 1,000 years and 1,000 years as a day (2 Peter 3:8), then the coming of our Lord has only been a few days from beginning to end.

We see a gap—an almost insurmountable gap—between suffering and glory; God does not. Suffering and glory are a part of one work. Just so, Christ’s suffering and glory is but a part of one coming. Prophecy greatly benefits the Christian because it enables him to see things from the bigger and broader perspective—from God’s perspective—so that when he suffers, he knows it is but a part of the process of getting to glory.

Consider the birth of a child, remembering that God’s deliverance and salvation is likened to birth. The process of having a baby involves the pains of childbirth. They are far from pleasant but an unavoidable part of the process. The woman endures in the view of the final outcome of the process. When the child is born, the pains of suffering are quickly lost in the joys of seeing a new life, or a couple of hours of pain compared to many years of child rearing. Child-bearing is a process which involves suffering and glory. Salvation is likewise a process involving suffering—and then glory.

Prophecy is revealed to men to change their perspective, to urge them to see things as God sees them rather than as they appear to the human eye. We are not to base our thinking and actions on circumstances, but upon the Scriptures. What God says, He will do. History has shown this to be true in the past, and prophecy assures us that it will be true in the future. Let us listen then, and be sober, enduring the sufferings and trials sent our way, looking expectantly and certainly for His kingdom to come.

Daniel’s Disturbing Dream
Questions and Answers

(1) Why does Daniel indicate the historical setting of the vision he receives in chapter 7?

In verse 1 Daniel indicates his vision came to him in the first year of the reign of Belshazzar. The vision recorded in chapter 8 took place in the third year of Belshazzar. The account of the writing on the wall and the death of Belshazzar (obviously the last year of his reign) is found in Daniel 5.

Prophecy is not revealed in a historical vacuum. While most prophecies in the Bible reveal events which will take place after the death of the recipient of the prophecy, the prophecy is revealed for impact upon those to whom it was revealed. Prophecy is always practical and relevant to the person(s) receiving it.

At the outset of the account of his vision, Daniel wants his reader to know the historical context in which this prophecy was given and to consider its interpretation and application in the light of that context. Specifically, the account of “The Bad News at Belshazzar’s Banquet” (not a bad title for that lesson) in chapter 5 was given to us so that we could better understand the prophecies of chapters 7 and 8. We will deal with the meaning and application of Daniel’s vision later on in our questions and answers.

(2) Why do you think Daniel summarized his dream when he wrote it rather than tell it in full (see verse 1)?

Editing is often evident in the Bible (see John 20:30-31; 31:25). Editing allows an author to set aside details which are not significant and focus on the essence of the message he is trying to communicate. Daniel boiled down his vision to its essence, so we would not fail to understand the message he meant to convey to us.

(3) What principles should guide and govern our attempt to interpret the prophecy of this chapter?

First, the prophecies of Daniel are divinely inspired and revealed, and thus they are true and reliable. Second, the prophecies of Daniel are to be understood in the light of the entire Book of Daniel, of the Old Testament, and of the Bible as a whole. Thirdly (and most importantly), the prophecies of Daniel mean exactly what God says they mean, nothing more and nothing less. The prophecy of this chapter is divinely interpreted. God has revealed in this interpretation what He wants us to know and has kept back that which we need not know. We dare not ignore that which is revealed nor do we dare go too far afield in speculating about what is concealed (see Deuteronomy 29:29; 1 Timothy 1:4; 2 Timothy 2:23).

(4) What is the structure of Daniel 7?

The chapter falls into two major parts. Verses 1-14 contain the vision which God gave to Daniel. Verses 15-28 contain the divine interpretation of this vision.

(5) What do the four beasts represent? How was the fourth beast different from the first three?

Each of the four beasts represent a king and thus a resulting kingdom. Each beast has its own unique characteristics. The fourth beast appears to differ from the other three in that he is more beastly, more powerful, more destructive, and more arrogant. This beast is also unique among the four in that he grows 11 horns. These horns are also kings, from whom kingdoms arise (verse 24). This fourth beast seems to regenerate in the form of subsequent kings and kingdoms. His final offspring, so to speak, is the little horn which becomes the great blasphemer, whose life and kingdom is suddenly cut off by the Ancient of Days and the Son of Man.

(6) How important is it for us to identity the kings and the kingdoms mentioned in our text? Are we supposed to discover their identity?

Daniel was told that the beasts are kings, but he was not told the identity of any of the kings. There is fairly strong inferential evidence that Nebuchadnezzar was represented by the first beast, the winged lion. The point of this prophecy is not to tell us who future kings will be, but rather what they will be like. Until God’s eternal kingdom is established, kingdoms will progress from bad to worse. These kings will rise to power and dominate the earth. In the latter days, an unusually powerful and evil king will arise, who will blaspheme God and oppress the people of God. When his appointed time is over, God will destroy this king and his kingdom and establish His eternal kingdom on the earth. This is what we need to know from Daniel’s vision, rather than the identity of the beasts.

(7) Who is the Ancient of Days? Who is the Son of Man? What role do they play in relation to the four beasts?

The Ancient of Days is a designation for God, not found elsewhere in the Bible. This designation refers to God the Father in a way that stresses His eternality, dignity, and power. It is virtually the opposite of the term “beast.” The expression, “Son of man,” is not new to Daniel. In Ezekiel, and even in Daniel (8:17), it is used in reference to a prophet. Usually it refers to a person as a human being. But here in chapter 7, as in Psalm 80:17, the “son of man” is more than just a man, He is the Messiah. When the Lord Jesus came to the earth, He often referred to Himself as the Son of Man, gradually making it clear that He was the Messiah who was God incarnate.

When the iniquity of the blasphemous horn reaches full bloom and his appointed time to rule is fulfilled, God will destroy him, casting his body into the fire. It is at this time that all human kingdoms will become subject to God and to the saints in the eternal kingdom, which the Son of Man will establish when He comes to the earth to judge and to rule.

(8) Is there any relationship between Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter 2 and Daniel’s dream in chapter 7?

There seems to be a close connection between the vision of Nebuchadnezzar, which is revealed and interpreted in chapter 2, and the vision of Daniel in chapter 7. The statue has four parts; there are four beasts. Both the statue parts (made of different metals) and the beasts represent kings and kingdoms. Both series of four kingdoms begin well and end badly. Both sets of kingdoms are brought to a sudden end and are replaced by an eternal kingdom. It therefore seems that the two prophecies speak of the same four kingdoms by means of different imagery. The latter prophecy of Daniel 7 adds many more details than were revealed in chapter 2.

(9) What is the relationship between Daniel’s vision in chapter 7 and the events described in Daniel 5?

The blasphemous horn of Daniel 7, which goes so far as to oppose the people of God, is suddenly taken by death, and his kingdom is removed. In a similar way, Belshazzar becomes blasphemous and is suddenly removed by God for his wickedness. The death of this king brings about the end of his kingdom. Daniel 5 is an illustration and a prototype of what will happen in the end times, as described in the prophecy of Daniel 7. The fulfillment of the prophecy of Belshazzar’s demise underscores the certainty of the fulfillment of Daniel’s vision in the last days.

(10) What effect did the vision have on Daniel, and why?

Daniel is greatly distressed by the vision which he sees in chapter 7. We are not told precisely what it is that troubles Daniel. From the context, it would seem that Daniel’s distress is the result of the wickedness and oppression of the world kingdoms which are represented by the beasts, and by the knowledge that the saints will be oppressed and even overcome for a period of time. The fact that wicked men will prosper and prevail and that the righteous will suffer is hardly pleasant news.

(11) What is the point of the vision? What is its message to Daniel, to the Jews, and to us?

In the latter days, before the kingdom of God is established on the earth, kings and kingdoms will become worse and worse. The wicked will prosper and appear to get away with their opposition toward God and His saints. The righteous will suffer. But in the end, God will judge the wicked and establish His kingdom for His saints.

The saints should expect to suffer because of their faith, especially as the last days for the kingdoms of men draw near. The saints should also expect the wicked to prosper, for a season. The saints should neither believe nor behave on the basis of how things appear to be (the wicked prospering and prevailing over the righteous). The saints must believe and behave according to what God has promised about the future —the righteous will possess the kingdom of God forever.

Amen! Even so Lord Jesus Come Soon!

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Some Have Said God Created Evil

Evil is what is morally wrong, sinful, or wicked. Evil is the result of bad actions stemming from a bad character. Biblically, evil is anything that contradicts the Holy nature of God (see Psalm 51:4). Evil behavior can be thought of as falling into two categories: evil committed against yourself or other people (murder, theft, adultery) and evil committed against God (unbelief, idolatry, blasphemy). From the disobedience in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9) to the wickedness of Babylon the Great (Revelation 18:2), the Bible speaks of the existence of evil.

For many centuries Christians have struggled with both the existence and the nature of evil. Most people would acknowledge that evil is real and has always had devastating effects on our world. From the sexual abuse of children to the horrific terrorist attacks on 9/11, evil continues to rear its ugly head in our own time. Many people are left wondering what exactly is evil and why does it exist.

The existence of evil has been used as a weapon by opponents of theism and Christian theism in particular for some time. The so-called “problem of evil” has been the subject of various arguments by atheists in an attempt to demonstrate that a God who is good simply cannot exist. By implying that God must be the creator of evil, God’s holy character has been called into question. There have been many arguments used to indict God as the cause of evil. Here is one of them:

1) God is the creator of everything that exists.
2) Evil exists.
3) Therefore, God is the creator of evil.

The logic of this syllogism is sound. The conclusion follows logically from the premises. But does this syllogism demonstrate that God is the creator of evil? The problem with this argument is its second premise, that evil is something. For evil is not a thing; it is a lack or privation of a good thing that God made. As Christian philosopher J. P. Moreland has noted, “Evil is a lack of goodness. It is goodness spoiled. You can have good without evil, but you cannot have evil without good.”

Evil-whatshotnGoodness has existed as an attribute of God from all eternity. While God is perfectly Holy and just, He is also perfectly good. Just as God has always existed, so too has goodness as it is a facet of God’s holy character. The same cannot be said for evil. Evil came into being with the rebellion of Satan and subsequently entered the physical universe with the fall of Adam. As Christian apologist Greg Koukl has said, “Human freedom was used in such a way as to diminish goodness in the world, and that diminution, that lack of goodness, that is what we call evil.” When God created Adam, He created him good, and He also created him free.

However, in creating Adam free, God indirectly created the possibility of evil, while not creating evil itself. When Adam chose to disobey God, he made this possibility a reality. The same scenario had previously played out when Satan fell by failing to serve and obey God. So it turns out that evil is not a direct creation of God; rather, evil is the result of persons (both angelic and human) exercising their freedom wrongly.

While evil is certainly real, it is important to recognize that evil does not have existence in and of itself. Rather, it only exists as a privation (or a parasite) on the good. It exists in the same way that a wound exists on an arm or as rust exists on a car. The rust cannot exist on its own any more than cold can exist without the existence of heat or darkness can exist without the existence of light.

Despite the horrible effects of evil on our world, the Christian believer can take comfort in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ recorded for us in the Gospel of John, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). More importantly, we look forward with great anticipation to our home in heaven where the ultimate evil, death, will finally be destroyed along with the “mourning, crying and pain” which it inevitably produces (Revelation 21:4).

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The Biblical Method of Evangelism

The Apostle Paul is often called the greatest evangelist. That said, Paul’s method of evangelism can be considered the “Biblical” method as recorded throughout the book of Acts. In all cases except one, Paul would go to a new city to the synagogue and begin preaching the gospel. He started this way because his audience would be Jews who had a strong Old Testament background. That saved him a lot of time. He could build on their foundation and lead them into the New Testament understanding without needing to go back through all of the prophecies etc. After some time, Paul would be required to move out of the synagogue because of the resistance of the Jews, at which time he would move his preaching to a local house, taking with him whatever converts he had from the Jews. This local house now became the local “Christian” church, open and inviting to all, Gentiles and Jews alike. Paul usually stayed for several months, and visited them as often as he could. He commissioned and trained other preachers. He wrote letters to instruct and encourage the new congregations and their pastors. The only time Paul deviated from this method of evangelism was in Athens (Acts 17:16). That time he was called by the Greek philosophers to the Aeropagus to defend himself on the charge of “proclaiming foreign gods.” This charge carried the death penalty for those convicted. Now, having an audience of Greeks who had no Jewish background or understanding, Paul brilliantly started with what they did understand – “The Unknown God.” He was acquitted and allowed to leave. He also took with him some converts, even from that situation.

When trying to decide how to share Christ with someone, the starting point should be the same as that of John the Baptist and Jesus Himself. Matthew 3:2 tells us that John began his ministry with the words “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” Repentance refers to a “change of mind,” which implies sorrow for past offences (2 Corinthians 7:10), a deep sense of the evil of sin as committed against God (Psalm 51:4), and a conscious decision to turn from sin to God. The first words Jesus spoke when He began His public ministry were identical to John’s (Matthew 4:17).

Biblical evangelism – The good news and the bad news
The word “gospel” means “good news.” While many well-meaning Christians begin their evangelistic efforts with the good news of God’s love for mankind, that message is lost on unbelievers who must first come to grips with the extent of the bad news. First, man is separated from a holy, righteous God by sin. Second, God hates sin and is “angry with the wicked every day” (Psalm 7:11). Third, death and judgment are inevitable (Hebrews 9:27). Fourth, man is wholly incapable of doing anything about the situation. Until the full extent of this bad news is presented, the good news cannot be effectively communicated.

LightBiblical evangelism – The holiness of God
What is missing from much modern evangelism is the holiness of God. In Isaiah’s vision of heaven, God’s holiness is being extolled by the seraphim around the throne. Of all the attributes of God they could have praised, it was His holiness-not His love-of which they sang. “And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory'” (Isaiah 6:3). When we understand just how holy God is, we can begin to understand His hatred of sin and His righteous wrath against sinners. Zechariah 8:16-17 and Proverbs 6:16-19 outline the sins God hates-pride, lying, murder, false witness, those who stir up trouble, and those with evil in their hearts. We cringe at the idea of God actually hating, because we are more comfortable with Him as a God of love, which He certainly is. But His hatred is real and it burns against evil (Isaiah 5:25; Hosea 8:5; Zechariah 10:3).

The unsaved person stands in mortal peril of the wrath of holy God, as Hebrews 10:31 reminds us: “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” An unbeliever is separated from God by his sin, which God hates, and there is nothing he can do about it. His nature is corrupt and fallen and he is “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1) with no hope of redeeming himself. He cannot save himself, in spite of good intentions or good works (Romans 3:20). Every good work that man thinks he can do is as “filthy rags” in God’s sight (Isaiah 64:6). No amount of good living will make us acceptable in God’s eyes because the standard is holiness, without which no one will see God (Hebrews 12:14).

Biblical evangelism – Salvation through Jesus Christ
But now comes the good news. What man could not do to save himself, God accomplished on the cross. Jesus exchanged His righteous, holy nature for our sinful nature so that we can stand before God completely clean and pure, new creations with the old sin nature gone forever (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). God provided the perfect sacrifice for our sin, not because we deserved it or earned it, but because of His love and grace and mercy (Ephesians 2:8-9). Only those whose natures have been changed can escape the wrath of God and live in the light of His love and mercy. If we believe these things and commit our lives to following Christ by faith, we will live eternally with Him in the bliss and glory of heaven. This is good news indeed.

Biblical evangelism begins with prayer for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in witnessing, open doors of opportunity, and a clear understanding of the bad news of sin and wrath and the good news of love, grace, mercy and faith.

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Proverbs 27-29

Proverbs 27-29

Proverbs 27

27:1-27 Comparisons, warnings, and instructions

1 Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.

2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

3 A stone [is] heavy, and the sand weighty; but a fool’s wrath [is] heavier than them both. 4 Wrath [is] cruel, and anger [is] outrageous; but who [is] able to stand before envy?

5 Open rebuke [is] better than secret love. 6 Faithful [are] the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy [are] deceitful.

7 The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.

8 As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so [is] a man that wandereth from his place.

9 Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so [doth] the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. 10 Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; neither go into thy brother’s house in the day of thy calamity: [for] better [is] a neighbour [that is] near than a brother far off.

11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.

12 A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, [and] hideth himself; [but] the simple pass on, [and] are punished.

13 Take his garment that is surety for a stranger, and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

14 He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.

15 A continual dropping in a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike. 16 Whosoever hideth her hideth the wind, and the ointment of his right hand, [which] bewrayeth [itself].

17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

18 Whoso keepeth the fig tree shall eat the fruit thereof: so he that waiteth on his master shall be honoured.

19 As in water face [answereth] to face, so the heart of man to man.

20 Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

21 [As] the fining pot for silver, and the furnace for gold; so [is] a man to his praise.

22 Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, [yet] will not his foolishness depart from him.

23 Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, [and] look well to thy herds. 24 For riches [are] not for ever: and doth the crown [endure] to every generation? 25 The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. 26 The lambs [are] for thy clothing, and the goats [are] the price of the field. 27 And [thou shalt have] goats’ milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and [for] the maintenance for thy maidens. (Proverbs 27:1-27 AV)

Proverbs 28

28:1-28 Comparisons, warnings, and instructions

1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

2 For the transgression of a land many [are] the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding [and] knowledge the state [thereof] shall be prolonged.

3 A poor man that oppresseth the poor [is like] a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.

4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.

5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all [things].

6 Better [is] the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than [he that is] perverse [in his] ways, though he [be] rich.

7 Whoso keepeth the law [is] a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous [men] shameth his father.

8 He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.

9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer [shall be] abomination.

10 Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good [things] in possession.

11 The rich man [is] wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding searcheth him out.

12 When righteous [men] do rejoice, [there is] great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.

13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.

14 Happy [is] the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.

15 [As] a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; [so is] a wicked ruler over the poor people.

16 The prince that wanteth understanding [is] also a great oppressor: [but] he that hateth covetousness shall prolong [his] days.

17 A man that doeth violence to the blood of [any] person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him.

18 Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but [he that is] perverse [in his] ways shall fall at once.

19 He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain [persons] shall have poverty enough.

20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.

21 To have respect of persons [is] not good: for for a piece of bread [that] man will transgress.

22 He that hasteth to be rich [hath] an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.

23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.

24 Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, [It is] no transgression; the same [is] the companion of a destroyer.

25 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the LORD shall be made fat.

26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.

27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase. (Proverbs 28:1-28 AV)

Proverbs 29

29:1-27 Comparisons, warnings, and instructions

1 He, that being often reproved hardeneth [his] neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

3 Whoso loveth wisdom rejoiceth his father: but he that keepeth company with harlots spendeth [his] substance.

4 The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it.

5 A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.

6 In the transgression of an evil man [there is] a snare: but the righteous doth sing and rejoice.

7 The righteous considereth the cause of the poor: [but] the wicked regardeth not to know [it].

8 Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise [men] turn away wrath.

9 [If] a wise man contendeth with a foolish man, whether he rage or laugh, [there is] no rest.

10 The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.

11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise [man] keepeth it in till afterwards.

12 If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants [are] wicked.

13 The poor and the deceitful man meet together: the LORD lighteneth both their eyes.

14 The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.

15 The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left [to himself] bringeth his mother to shame.

16 When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increaseth: but the righteous shall see their fall.

17 Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.

18 Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he.

19 A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer.

Seest thou a man [that is] hasty in his words? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him

Seest thou a man [that is] hasty in his words? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him

20 Seest thou a man [that is] hasty in his words? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him.

21 He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become [his] son at the length.

22 An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression.

23 A man’s pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.

24 Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth [it] not.

25 The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

26 Many seek the ruler’s favour; but [every] man’s judgment [cometh] from the LORD.

27 An unjust man [is] an abomination to the just: and [he that is] upright in the way [is] abomination to the wicked. (Proverbs 29:1-27 AV)

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Proverbs 24-26

Proverbs 24-26

Proverbs 24

24:1-34 Moral, ethical, and spiritual precepts

1 Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. 2 For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.

3 Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: 4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. 5 A wise man [is] strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. 6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors [there is] safety.

7 Wisdom [is] too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate. 8 He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person. 9 The thought of foolishness [is] sin: and the scorner [is] an abomination to men.

10 [If] thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength [is] small.

11 If thou forbear to deliver [them that are] drawn unto death, and [those that are] ready to be slain; 12 If thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not he that pondereth the heart consider [it]? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth [not] he know [it]? and shall [not] he render to [every] man according to his works?

13 My son, eat thou honey, because [it is] good; and the honeycomb, [which is] sweet to thy taste: 14 So [shall] the knowledge of wisdom [be] unto thy soul: when thou hast found [it], then there shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.

15 Lay not wait, O wicked [man], against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: 16 For a just [man] falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.

17 Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: 18 Lest the LORD see [it], and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him.

A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back

A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back

19 Fret not thyself because of evil [men], neither be thou envious at the wicked; 20 For there shall be no reward to the evil [man]; the candle of the wicked shall be put out.

21 My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: [and] meddle not with them that are given to change: 22 For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?

23 These [things] also [belong] to the wise. [It is] not good to have respect of persons in judgment. 24 He that saith unto the wicked, Thou [art] righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him: 25 But to them that rebuke [him] shall be delight, and a good blessing shall come upon them. 26 [Every man] shall kiss [his] lips that giveth a right answer.

27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.

28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive [not] with thy lips. 29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to his work.

30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; 31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, [and] nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. 32 Then I saw, [and] considered [it] well: I looked upon [it, and] received instruction. 33 [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: 34 So shall thy poverty come [as] one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man. (Proverbs 24:1-34 AV)

Proverbs 25

25:1-28 Comparisons, warnings, and instructions

1 These [are] also proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah king of Judah copied out.

2 [It is] the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings [is] to search out a matter. 3 The heaven for height, and the earth for depth, and the heart of kings [is] unsearchable.

4 Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer. 5 Take away the wicked [from] before the king, and his throne shall be established in righteousness.

6 Put not forth thyself in the presence of the king, and stand not in the place of great [men]: 7 For better [it is] that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.

8 Go not forth hastily to strive, lest [thou know not] what to do in the end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame. 9 Debate thy cause with thy neighbour [himself]; and discover not a secret to another: 10 Lest he that heareth [it] put thee to shame, and thine infamy turn not away.

11 A word fitly spoken [is like] apples of gold in pictures of silver. 12 [As] an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, [so is] a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.

13 As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, [so is] a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.

14 Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift [is like] clouds and wind without rain.

15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

16 Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it.

17 Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour’s house; lest he be weary of thee, and [so] hate thee.

18 A man that beareth false witness against his neighbour [is] a maul, and a sword, and a sharp arrow.

19 Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble [is like] a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.

20 [As] he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, [and as] vinegar upon nitre, so [is] he that singeth songs to an heavy heart.

21 If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: 22 For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.

23 The north wind driveth away rain: so [doth] an angry countenance a backbiting tongue.

24 [It is] better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman and in a wide house.

25 [As] cold waters to a thirsty soul, so [is] good news from a far country.

26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked [is as] a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.

27 [It is] not good to eat much honey: so [for men] to search their own glory [is not] glory.

28 He that [hath] no rule over his own spirit [is like] a city [that is] broken down, [and] without walls. (Proverbs 25:1-28 AV)

Proverbs 26

26:1-28 Comparisons, warnings, and instructions

1 As snow in summer, and as rain in harvest, so honour is not seemly for a fool.

2 As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, so the curse causeless shall not come.

3 A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back.

4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

6 He that sendeth a message by the hand of a fool cutteth off the feet, [and] drinketh damage. 7 The legs of the lame are not equal: so [is] a parable in the mouth of fools. 8 As he that bindeth a stone in a sling, so [is] he that giveth honour to a fool. 9 [As] a thorn goeth up into the hand of a drunkard, so [is] a parable in the mouth of fools.

10 The great [God] that formed all [things] both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors.

11 As a dog returneth to his vomit, [so] a fool returneth to his folly.

12 Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? [there is] more hope of a fool than of him.

13 The slothful [man] saith, [There is] a lion in the way; a lion [is] in the streets.

14 [As] the door turneth upon his hinges, so [doth] the slothful upon his bed.

15 The slothful hideth his hand in [his] bosom; it grieveth him to bring it again to his mouth.

As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly

As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly

16 The sluggard [is] wiser in his own conceit than seven men that can render a reason.

17 He that passeth by, [and] meddleth with strife [belonging] not to him, [is like] one that taketh a dog by the ears.

18 As a mad [man] who casteth firebrands, arrows, and death, 19 So [is] the man [that] deceiveth his neighbour, and saith, Am not I in sport?

20 Where no wood is, [there] the fire goeth out: so where [there is] no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. 21 [As] coals [are] to burning coals, and wood to fire; so [is] a contentious man to kindle strife. 22 The words of a talebearer [are] as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

23 Burning lips and a wicked heart [are like] a potsherd covered with silver dross.

24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; 25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for [there are] seven abominations in his heart. 26 [Whose] hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the [whole] congregation.

27 Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.

28 A lying tongue hateth [those that are] afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin. (Proverbs 26:1-28 AV)

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Proverbs 19-21

Proverbs 19-21

Proverbs 19

19:1-29 Moral, ethical, and spiritual precepts

1 Better [is] the poor that walketh in his integrity, than [he that is] perverse in his lips, and is a fool.

2 Also, [that] the soul [be] without knowledge, [it is] not good; and he that hasteth with [his] feet sinneth.

3 The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the LORD.

4 Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.

5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and [he that] speaketh lies shall not escape.

6 Many will intreat the favour of the prince: and every man [is] a friend to him that giveth gifts. 7 All the brethren of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursueth [them with] words, [yet] they [are] wanting [to him].

8 He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul: he that keepeth understanding shall find good.

9 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and [he that] speaketh lies shall perish.

10 Delight is not seemly for a fool; much less for a servant to have rule over princes.

11 The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and [it is] his glory to pass over a transgression.

12 The king’s wrath [is] as the roaring of a lion; but his favour [is] as dew upon the grass.

13 A foolish son [is] the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife [are] a continual dropping.

14 House and riches [are] the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife [is] from the LORD.

15 Slothfulness casteth into a deep sleep; and an idle soul shall suffer hunger.

16 He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; [but] he that despiseth his ways shall die.

17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.

18 Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

19 A man of great wrath shall suffer punishment: for if thou deliver [him], yet thou must do it again.

20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

21 [There are] many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.

22 The desire of a man [is] his kindness: and a poor man [is] better than a liar.

23 The fear of the LORD [tendeth] to life: and [he that hath it] shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.

24 A slothful [man] hideth his hand in [his] bosom, and will not so much as bring it to his mouth again.

25 Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, [and] he will understand knowledge.

26 He that wasteth [his] father, [and] chaseth away [his] mother, [is] a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.

27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction [that causeth] to err from the words of knowledge.

28 An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.

29 Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools. (Proverbs 19:1-29 AV)

Provebs 20

20:1-30 Moral, ethical, and spiritual precepts

1 Wine [is] a mocker, strong drink [is] raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

2 The fear of a king [is] as the roaring of a lion: [whoso] provoketh him to anger sinneth [against] his own soul.

3 [It is] an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

4 The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; [therefore] shall he beg in harvest, and [have] nothing.

5 Counsel in the heart of man [is like] deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out.

6 Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?

7 The just [man] walketh in his integrity: his children [are] blessed after him.

8 A king that sitteth in the throne of judgment scattereth away all evil with his eyes.

9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?

10 Divers weights, [and] divers measures, both of them [are] alike abomination to the LORD.

11 Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work [be] pure, and whether [it be] right.

12 The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them.

13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, [and] thou shalt be satisfied with bread.

14 [It is] naught, [it is] naught, saith the buyer: but when he is gone his way, then he boasteth.

15 There is gold, and a multitude of rubies: but the lips of knowledge [are] a precious jewel.

16 Take his garment that is surety [for] a stranger: and take a pledge of him for a strange woman.

17 Bread of deceit [is] sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.

18 [Every] purpose is established by counsel: and with good advice make war.

19 He that goeth about [as] a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips.

20 Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.

21 An inheritance [may be] gotten hastily at the beginning; but the end thereof shall not be blessed.

22 Say not thou, I will recompense evil; [but] wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.

23 Divers weights [are] an abomination unto the LORD; and a false balance [is] not good.

24 Man’s goings [are] of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

25 [It is] a snare to the man [who] devoureth [that which is] holy, and after vows to make enquiry.

26 A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.

27 The spirit of man [is] the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.

28 Mercy and truth preserve the king: and his throne is upholden by mercy.

29 The glory of young men [is] their strength: and the beauty of old men [is] the gray head.

30 The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so [do] stripes the inward parts of the belly. (Proverbs 20:1-30 AV)

Proverbs 21

21:1-31 Moral, ethical, and spiritual precepts

1 The king’s heart [is] in the hand of the LORD, [as] the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

2 Every way of a man [is] right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.

3 To do justice and judgment [is] more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

4 An high look, and a proud heart, [and] the plowing of the wicked, [is] sin.

5 The thoughts of the diligent [tend] only to plenteousness; but of every one [that is] hasty only to want.

6 The getting of treasures by a lying tongue [is] a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.

7 The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.

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.

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD

The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD

10 The soul of the wicked desireth evil: his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes.

11 When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.

12 The righteous [man] wisely considereth the house of the wicked: [but God] overthroweth the wicked for [their] wickedness.

13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

14 A gift in secret pacifieth anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.

15 [It is] joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction [shall be] to the workers of iniquity.

16 The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.

17 He that loveth pleasure [shall be] a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich.

18 The wicked [shall be] a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.

19 [It is] better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.

20 [There is] treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.

21 He that followeth after righteousness and mercy findeth life, righteousness, and honour.

22 A wise [man] scaleth the city of the mighty, and casteth down the strength of the confidence thereof.

23 Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles.

24 Proud [and] haughty scorner [is] his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.

25 The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labour. 26 He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not.

27 The sacrifice of the wicked [is] abomination: how much more, [when] he bringeth it with a wicked mind?

28 A false witness shall perish: but the man that heareth speaketh constantly.

29 A wicked man hardeneth his face: but [as for] the upright, he directeth his way.

30 [There is] no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD. 31 The horse [is] prepared against the day of battle: but safety [is] of the LORD. (Proverbs 21:1-31 AV)

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Proverbs 16-18

Proverbs 16-18

Proverbs 16

16:1-33 Moral, ethical, and spiritual precepts

1 The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, [is] from the LORD.

2 All the ways of a man [are] clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits.

3 Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.

4 The LORD hath made all [things] for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.

5 Every one [that is] proud in heart [is] an abomination to the LORD: [though] hand [join] in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD [men] depart from evil.

7 When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

8 Better [is] a little with righteousness than great revenues without right.

9 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.

10 A divine sentence [is] in the lips of the king: his mouth transgresseth not in judgment.

11 A just weight and balance [are] the LORD’S: all the weights of the bag [are] his work.

12 [It is] an abomination to kings to commit wickedness: for the throne is established by righteousness.

13 Righteous lips [are] the delight of kings; and they love him that speaketh right.

14 The wrath of a king [is as] messengers of death: but a wise man will pacify it. 15 In the light of the king’s countenance [is] life; and his favour [is] as a cloud of the latter rain.

16 How much better [is it] to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!

17 The highway of the upright [is] to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

18 Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

19 Better [it is to be] of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.

20 He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy [is] he.

21 The wise in heart shall be called prudent: and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.

22 Understanding [is] a wellspring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools [is] folly.

23 The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.

24 Pleasant words [are as] an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.

26 He that laboureth laboureth for himself; for his mouth craveth it of him.

27 An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips [there is] as a burning fire. 28 A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends.

29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way [that is] not good. 30 He shutteth his eyes to devise froward things: moving his lips he bringeth evil to pass.

31 The hoary head [is] a crown of glory, [if] it be found in the way of righteousness.

32 [He that is] slow to anger [is] better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

33 The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof [is] of the LORD. (Proverbs 16:1-33 AV)

Proverbs 17

17:1-28 Moral, ethical, and spiritual precepts

1 Better [is] a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than an house full of sacrifices [with] strife.

2 A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren.

3 The fining pot [is] for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.

4 A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; [and] a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue.

5 Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: [and] he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished.

6 Children’s children [are] the crown of old men; and the glory of children [are] their fathers.

7 Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

8 A gift [is as] a precious stone in the eyes of him that hath it: whithersoever it turneth, it prospereth.

9 He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth [very] friends.

10 A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.

11 An evil [man] seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger shall be sent against him.

12 Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.

13 Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.

14 The beginning of strife [is as] when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both [are] abomination to the LORD.

16 Wherefore [is there] a price in the hand of a fool to get wisdom, seeing [he hath] no heart [to it]?

17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

18 A man void of understanding striketh hands, [and] becometh surety in the presence of his friend.

19 He loveth transgression that loveth strife: [and] he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.

20 He that hath a froward heart findeth no good: and he that hath a perverse tongue falleth into mischief.

21 He that begetteth a fool [doeth it] to his sorrow: and the father of a fool hath no joy.

22 A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.

23 A wicked [man] taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.

24 Wisdom [is] before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool [are] in the ends of the earth.

25 A foolish son [is] a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.

26 Also to punish the just [is] not good, [nor] to strike princes for equity.

27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: [and] a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. 28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: [and] he that shutteth his lips [is esteemed] a man of understanding. (Proverbs 17:1-28 AV)

Proverbs 18

18:1-24 Moral, ethical, and spiritual precepts

1 Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh [and] intermeddleth with all wisdom.

2 A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.

3 When the wicked cometh, [then] cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.

4 The words of a man’s mouth [are as] deep waters, [and] the wellspring of wisdom [as] a flowing brook.

5 [It is] not good to accept the person of the wicked, to overthrow the righteous in judgment.

6 A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes. 7 A fool’s mouth [is] his destruction, and his lips [are] the snare of his soul.

8 The words of a talebearer [are] as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

9 He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

The name of the LORD is a strong tower the righteous runneth into it, and is safe

The name of the LORD is a strong tower the righteous runneth into it, and is safe

10 The name of the LORD [is] a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

11 The rich man’s wealth [is] his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit.

12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour [is] humility.

13 He that answereth a matter before he heareth [it], it [is] folly and shame unto him.

14 The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?

15 The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.

16 A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.

17 [He that is] first in his own cause [seemeth] just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him.

18 The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the mighty.

19 A brother offended [is harder to be won] than a strong city: and [their] contentions [are] like the bars of a castle.

20 A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; [and] with the increase of his lips shall he be filled.

21 Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.

22 [Whoso] findeth a wife findeth a good [thing], and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

23 The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly.

24 A man [that hath] friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend [that] sticketh closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:1-24 AV)

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Proverbs 13-15

Proverbs 13-15

Proverbs 13

13:1-25 The wise and the foolish contrasted

1 A wise son [heareth] his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.

2 A man shall eat good by the fruit of [his] mouth: but the soul of the transgressors [shall eat] violence.

3 He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: [but] he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.

4 The soul of the sluggard desireth, and [hath] nothing: but the soul of the diligent shall be made fat.

5 A righteous [man] hateth lying: but a wicked [man] is loathsome, and cometh to shame.

6 Righteousness keepeth [him that is] upright in the way: but wickedness overthroweth the sinner.

7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet [hath] nothing: [there is] that maketh himself poor, yet [hath] great riches.

8 The ransom of a man’s life [are] his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

9 The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

10 Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised [is] wisdom.

11 Wealth [gotten] by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.

12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but [when] the desire cometh, [it is] a tree of life.

13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

14 The law of the wise [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors [is] hard.

16 Every prudent [man] dealeth with knowledge: but a fool layeth open [his] folly.

17 A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador [is] health.

18 Poverty and shame [shall be to] him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

19 The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but [it is] abomination to fools to depart from evil.

20 He that walketh with wise [men] shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

21 Evil pursueth sinners: but to the righteous good shall be repayed.

22 A good [man] leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner [is] laid up for the just.

23 Much food [is in] the tillage of the poor: but there is [that is] destroyed for want of judgment.

24 He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes.

25 The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want. (Proverbs 13:1-25 AV)

Proverbs 14

14:1-35 The wise and the foolish contrasted

1 Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

2 He that walketh in his uprightness feareth the LORD: but [he that is] perverse in his ways despiseth him.

3 In the mouth of the foolish [is] a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.

4 Where no oxen [are], the crib [is] clean: but much increase [is] by the strength of the ox.

5 A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies.

6 A scorner seeketh wisdom, and [findeth it] not: but knowledge [is] easy unto him that understandeth.

7 Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not [in him] the lips of knowledge.

8 The wisdom of the prudent [is] to understand his way: but the folly of fools [is] deceit.

9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous [there is] favour.

10 The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.

11 The house of the wicked shall be overthrown: but the tabernacle of the upright shall flourish.

12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.

13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth [is] heaviness.

14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man [shall be satisfied] from himself.

15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent [man] looketh well to his going.

16 A wise [man] feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.

17 [He that is] soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

18 The simple inherit folly: but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

19 The evil bow before the good; and the wicked at the gates of the righteous.

20 The poor is hated even of his own neighbour: but the rich [hath] many friends.

21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy [is] he.

22 Do they not err that devise evil? but mercy and truth [shall be] to them that devise good.

23 In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips [tendeth] only to penury.

24 The crown of the wise [is] their riches: [but] the foolishness of fools [is] folly.

25 A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful [witness] speaketh lies.

26 In the fear of the LORD [is] strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge. 27 The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

28 In the multitude of people [is] the king’s honour: but in the want of people [is] the destruction of the prince.

29 [He that is] slow to wrath [is] of great understanding: but [he that is] hasty of spirit exalteth folly.

30 A sound heart [is] the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

31 He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.

32 The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.

33 Wisdom resteth in the heart of him that hath understanding: but [that which is] in the midst of fools is made known.

34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin [is] a reproach to any people.

35 The king’s favour [is] toward a wise servant: but his wrath is [against] him that causeth shame. (Proverbs 14:1-35 AV)

Proverbs 15

15:1-33 The wise and the foolish contrasted

1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.

2 The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.

3 The eyes of the LORD [are] in every place, beholding the evil and the good.

4 A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life: but perverseness therein [is] a breach in the spirit.

5 A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.

6 In the house of the righteous [is] much treasure: but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.

7 The lips of the wise disperse knowledge: but the heart of the foolish [doeth] not so.

8 The sacrifice of the wicked [is] an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright [is] his delight.

9 The way of the wicked [is] an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.

10 Correction [is] grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: [and] he that hateth reproof shall die.

11 Hell and destruction [are] before the LORD: how much more then the hearts of the children of men?

12 A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.

13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.

14 The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness.

15 All the days of the afflicted [are] evil: but he that is of a merry heart [hath] a continual feast.

16 Better [is] little with the fear of the LORD than great treasure and trouble therewith. 17 Better [is] a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.

18 A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but [he that is] slow to anger appeaseth strife.

19 The way of the slothful [man is] as an hedge of thorns: but the way of the righteous [is] made plain.

20 A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish man despiseth his mother.

21 Folly [is] joy to [him that is] destitute of wisdom: but a man of understanding walketh uprightly.

22 Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.

23 A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word [spoken] in due season, how good [is it]!

24 The way of life [is] above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.

Proud of Myself!

Proud of Myself!

25 The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.

26 The thoughts of the wicked [are] an abomination to the LORD: but [the words] of the pure [are] pleasant words.

27 He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.

28 The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.

29 The LORD [is] far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

30 The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: [and] a good report maketh the bones fat.

31 The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.

33 The fear of the LORD [is] the instruction of wisdom; and before honour [is] humility. (Proverbs 15:1-33 AV)

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Proverbs 1-3

Proverbs 1-3

The basic meaning of the Hebrew word for proverb is “comparison”. “Proverb” is often used to refer to an aphorism, or concise statement of a principal or to a discourse. Wisdom is the key word of the book, and offers advice to increase the skill in living, moral discipline for one’s life, and distinguishing between true and false, good and bad, what matters most and what does not matter at all. Most of the book was authored by Solomon. The purpose of the book is clearly to show the reader how to live life wisely and skillfully, and the entire structure of the book is arranged to carry out this purpose to lead us to an abundant and successful life.

Proverbs 1

1:1 Title

1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

1:2-6 Purpose

2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity; 4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion. 5 A wise [man] will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels: 6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

1:7-19 Warning

7 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge: [but] fools despise wisdom and instruction. 8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: 9 For they [shall be] an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

10 My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. 11 If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: 12 Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit: 13 We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil: 14 Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: 15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: 16 For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood. 17 Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird. 18 And they lay wait for their [own] blood; they lurk privily for their [own] lives. 19 So [are] the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; [which] taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

1:20-33 Wisdom speaks

20 Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: 21 She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, [saying], 22 How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? 23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; 27 When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. 28 Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: 29 For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: 30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. 31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. 32 For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. 33 But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil. (Proverbs 1:1-33 AV)

Proverbs 2

2:1-22 The reward of heeding wisdom

1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, [and] apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, [and] liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as [for] hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding. 7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: [he is] a buckler to them that walk uprightly. 8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints. 9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; [yea], every good path.

10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; 11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil [man], from the man that speaketh froward things; 13 Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; 14 Who rejoice to do evil, [and] delight in the frowardness of the wicked; 15 Whose ways [are] crooked, and [they] froward in their paths: 16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, [even] from the stranger [which] flattereth with her words; 17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. 18 For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. 19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life. 20 That thou mayest walk in the way of good [men], and keep the paths of the righteous. 21 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. 22 But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it. (Proverbs 2:1-22 AV)

Proverbs 3

3:1-26 Exhortations to obedience

1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. 9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. 11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son [in whom] he delighteth.

13 Happy [is] the man [that] findeth wisdom, and the man [that] getteth understanding. 14 For the merchandise of it [is] better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. 15 She [is] more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her. 16 Length of days [is] in her right hand; [and] in her left hand riches and honour. 17 Her ways [are] ways of pleasantness, and all her paths [are] peace. 18 She [is] a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy [is every one] that retaineth her. 19 The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens. 20 By his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.

21 My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. 24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall

Proverbs 3

Proverbs 3

be sweet. 25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. 26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.

3:27-35 The treatment of neighbors

27 Withhold not good from them to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do [it]. 28 Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again, and to morrow I will give; when thou hast it by thee. 29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee. 30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm. 31 Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. 32 For the froward [is] abomination to the LORD: but his secret [is] with the righteous. 33 The curse of the LORD [is] in the house of the wicked: but he blesseth the habitation of the just. 34 Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. 35 The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools. (Proverbs 3:1-35 AV)

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Psalms 140-145

Psalms 140-145

Psalms 140

140:1-13 Prayer for deliverance from evil men

1 <<To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.>> Deliver me, O LORD, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man; 2 Which imagine mischiefs in [their] heart; continually are they gathered together [for] war. 3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison [is] under their lips. Selah. 4 Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings. 5 The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah. 6 I said unto the LORD, Thou [art] my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O LORD. 7 O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.

8 Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; [lest] they exalt themselves. Selah. 9 [As for] the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them. 10 Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again. 11 Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow [him]. 12 I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, [and] the right of the poor. 13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence. (Psalms 140:1-13 AV)

Psalms 141

141:1-10 Deliverance from temptation

1 <<A Psalm of David.>> LORD, I cry unto thee: make haste unto me; give ear unto my voice, when I cry unto thee. 2 Let my prayer be set forth before thee [as] incense; [and] the lifting up of my hands [as] the evening sacrifice. 3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. 4 Incline not my heart to [any] evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.

5 Let the righteous smite me; [it shall be] a kindness: and let him reprove me; [it shall be] an excellent oil, [which] shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also [shall be] in their calamities. 6 When their judges are overthrown in stony places, they shall hear my words; for they are sweet. 7 Our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth, as when one cutteth and cleaveth [wood] upon the earth. 8 But mine eyes [are] unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. 9 Keep me from the snares [which] they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. 10 Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape. (Psalms 141:1-10 AV)

Psalms 142

142:1-7 Thou art my refuge

1 <<Maschil of David; A Prayer when he was in the cave.>> I cried unto the LORD with my voice; with my voice unto the LORD did I make my supplication. 2 I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble. 3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.

4 I looked on [my] right hand, and beheld, but [there was] no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul. 5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou [art] my refuge [and] my portion in the land of the living. 6 Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. 7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me. (Psalms 142:1-7 AV)

Psalms 143

Psalms 143

Psalms 143

143:1-12 Teach me to do thy will

1 <<A Psalm of David.>> Hear my prayer, O LORD, give ear to my supplications: in thy faithfulness answer me, [and] in thy righteousness. 2 And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. 3 For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead. 4 Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. 5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands. 6 I stretch forth my hands unto thee: my soul [thirsteth] after thee, as a thirsty land. Selah.

7 Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. 8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. 9 Deliver me, O LORD, from mine enemies: I flee unto thee to hide me. 10 Teach me to do thy will; for thou [art] my God: thy spirit [is] good; lead me into the land of uprightness. 11 Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. 12 And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, and destroy all them that afflict my soul: for I [am] thy servant. (Psalms 143:1-12 AV)

Psalms 144

144:1-15 I will sing a new song

1 <<[A Psalm] of David.>> Blessed [be] the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, [and] my fingers to fight: 2 My goodness, and my fortress; my high tower, and my deliverer; my shield, and [he] in whom I trust; who subdueth my people under me. 3 LORD, what [is] man, that thou takest knowledge of him! [or] the son of man, that thou makest account of him! 4 Man is like to vanity: his days [are] as a shadow that passeth away. 5 Bow thy heavens, O LORD, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. 6 Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out thine arrows, and destroy them. 7 Send thine hand from above; rid me, and deliver me out of great waters, from the hand of strange children; 8 Whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand [is] a right hand of falsehood.

9 I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery [and] an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee. 10 [It is he] that giveth salvation unto kings: who delivereth David his servant from the hurtful sword. 11 Rid me, and deliver me from the hand of strange children, whose mouth speaketh vanity, and their right hand [is] a right hand of falsehood: 12 That our sons [may be] as plants grown up in their youth; [that] our daughters [may be] as corner stones, polished [after] the similitude of a palace: 13 [That] our garners [may be] full, affording all manner of store: [that] our sheep may bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets: 14 [That] our oxen [may be] strong to labour; [that there be] no breaking in, nor going out; that [there be] no complaining in our streets. 15 Happy [is that] people, that is in such a case: [yea], happy [is that] people, whose God [is] the LORD. (Psalms 144:1-15 AV)

Psalms 145

145:1-21 A song of praise

1 <<David’s [Psalm] of praise.>> I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever. 2 Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. 3 Great [is] the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness [is] unsearchable. 4 One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. 5 I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. 6 And [men] shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. 7 They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. 8 The LORD [is] gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. 9 The LORD [is] good to all: and his tender mercies [are] over all his works.

10 All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. 11 They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; 12 To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom. 13 Thy kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion [endureth] throughout all generations. 14 The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and

Psalms 145

Psalms 145

raiseth up all [those that be] bowed down. 15 The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.

16 Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. 17 The LORD [is] righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. 18 The LORD [is] nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. 19 He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. 20 The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy. 21 My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever. (Psalms 145:1-21 AV)

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Filed under KJV Bible, The Book of Psalms