CAPH. My soul faints for thy salvation: but I hope in thy word. Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me? For I am become like a bottle in the smoke; yet do I not forget thy statutes. How many are the days of thy servant? When wilt thou execute judgment on them that persecute me? The proud have digged pits for me, which are not after thy law. All thy commandments are faithful: they persecute me wrongfully; help thou me. They had almost consumed me upon earth; but I forsook not thy precepts. Quicken me after thy lovingkindness; so shall I keep the testimony of thy mouth.
LAMED. For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abides. They continue this day according to thy ordinances: for all are thy servants. Unless thy law had been my delights, I should then have perished in my affliction. I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me. I am thine, save me; for I have sought thy precepts. The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider thy testimonies. I have seen an end of all perfection: but thy commandment is exceeding broad.
Woe to them that devise iniquity, and work evil upon their beds! when the morning is light, they practise it, because it is in the power of their hand. And they covet fields, and take them by violence; and houses, and take them away: so they oppress a man and his house, even a man and his heritage. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, against this family do I devise an evil, from which ye shall not remove your necks; neither shall ye go haughtily: for this time is evil.
In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields. Therefore thou shalt have none that shall cast a cord by lot in the congregation of the LORD. Prophesy ye not, say they to them that prophesy: they shall not prophesy to them, that they shall not take shame.
O thou that art named the house of Jacob, is the spirit of the LORD straitened? are these his doings? do not my words do good to him that walketh uprightly? Even of late my people is risen up as an enemy: ye pull off the robe with the garment from them that pass by securely as men averse from war. The women of my people have ye cast out from their pleasant houses; from their children have ye taken away my glory for ever. Arise ye, and depart; for this is not your rest: because it is polluted, it shall destroy you, even with a sore destruction. If a man walking in the spirit and falsehood do lie, saying, I will prophesy unto thee of wine and of strong drink; he shall even be the prophet of this people.
I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah, as the flock in the midst of their fold: they shall make great noise by reason of the multitude of men. The breaker is come up before them: they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it: and their king shall pass before them, and the LORD on the head of them.
And I said, Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of the house of Israel; Is it not for you to know judgment? Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them; and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and as flesh within the caldron. Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.
Thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that make my people err, that bite with their teeth, and cry, Peace; and he that putteth not into their mouths, they even prepare war against him. Therefore night shall be unto you, that ye shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark unto you, that ye shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them. Then shall the seers be ashamed, and the diviners confounded: yea, they shall all cover their lips; for there is no answer of God.
But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin. Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment, and pervert all equity. They build up Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity. The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the LORD, and say, Is not the LORD among us? none evil can come upon us. Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.
The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turns it whithersoever he will.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD ponders the hearts.
To do justice and judgment is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.
A high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness; but of every one that is hasty only to want.
The getting of treasures by a lying tongue is a vanity tossed to and fro of them that seek death.
The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
The way of man is froward and strange: but as for the pure, his work is right.
It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.
The soul of the wicked desires evil: his neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.
When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.
The righteous man wisely considers the house of the wicked: but God overthrows the wicked for their wickedness.
Whoso stops his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.
A gift in secret pacifies anger: and a reward in the bosom strong wrath.
It is joy to the just to do judgment: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity.
The man that wanders out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
He that loves pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loves wine and oil shall not be rich.
The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.
It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.
There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spends it up.
He that follows after righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor.
A wise man scales the city of the mighty, and casts down the strength of the confidence thereof.
Whoso keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps his soul from troubles.
Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who deals in proud wrath.
The desire of the slothful kills him; for his hands refuse to labor.
He covets greedily all the day long: but the righteous gives and spares not.
The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he brings it with a wicked mind?
A false witness shall perish: but the man that hears speaks constantly.
A wicked man hardens his face: but as for the upright, he directs his way.
There is no wisdom nor understanding nor counsel against the LORD.
The horse is prepared against the day of battle: but safety is of the LORD.