I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13
The Proclamation of Cyrus
1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord, through Jeremiah’s mouth, might be accomplished, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying, 2 “Cyrus king of Persia says,
‘The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. 3 Whoever there is among you, of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the Lord, the God of Israel (he is God), which is in Jerusalem. 4 Whoever is left, in any place where he lives, let the men of his place help him with silver, with gold, with goods, and with animals, in addition to the free will offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.’ ”
The Exiles Plan Their Return
5 Then the heads of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, the priests and the Levites, all whose spirit the Lord had stirred to go up, rose up to build the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem. 6 All those who were around them strengthened their hands with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, with animals, and with precious things, in addition to all that was willingly offered.
Cyrus Restores the Holy Vessels
7 Also Cyrus the king brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought out of Jerusalem, and had put in the house of his gods. 8 Those, Cyrus king of Persia brought out by the hand of Mithredath the treasurer, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar, the prince of Judah. 9 This is the number of them:
30 platters of gold
1,000 platters of silver
10 30 bowls of gold
410 silver bowls of a second sort, and
1,000 other vessels.
11 There were 5,400 vessels of gold and silver in all.
Sheshbazzar brought all these up when the captives were brought up from Babylon to Jerusalem.
The List of Returning Exiles
1 Now these are the people of the province who went up out of the captivity of those who had been captured, whom Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had taken to Babylon, and who returned to Jerusalem and Judah, everyone to his city, 2 who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum, and Baanah.
The number of the men of the people of Israel:
3 The descendants of Parosh, 2,172.
4 The descendants of Shephatiah, 372.
5 The descendants of Arah, 775.
6 The descendants of Pahathmoab, of the descendants of Jeshua and Joab, 2,812.
7 The descendants of Elam, 1,254.
8 The descendants of Zattu, 945.
9 The descendants of Zaccai, 760.
10 The descendants of Bani, 642.
11 The descendants of Bebai, 623.
12 The descendants of Azgad, 1,222.
13 The descendants of Adonikam, 666.
14 The descendants of Bigvai, 2,056.
15 The descendants of Adin, 454.
16 The descendants of Ater, of Hezekiah, 98.
17 The descendants of Bezai, 323.
18 The descendants of Jorah, 112.
19 The descendants of Hashum, 223.
20 The descendants of Gibbar, 95.
21 The descendants of Bethlehem, 123.
22 The men of Netophah, 56.
23 The men of Anathoth, 128.
24 The descendants of Azmaveth, 42.
25 The descendants of Kiriath Arim, Chephirah, and Beeroth, 743.
26 The descendants of Ramah and Geba, 621.
27 The men of Michmas, 122.
28 The men of Bethel and Ai, 223.
29 The descendants of Nebo, 52.
30 The descendants of Magbish, 156.
31 The descendants of the other Elam, 1,254.
32 The descendants of Harim, 320.
33 The descendants of Lod, Hadid, and Ono, 725.
34 The descendants of Jericho, 345.
35 The descendants of Senaah, 3,630.
36 The priests:
The descendants of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, 973.
37 The descendants of Immer, 1,052.
38 The descendants of Pashhur, 1,247.
39 The descendants of Harim, 1017.
40 The Levites:
The descendants of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the descendants of Hodaviah, 74.
41 The singers:
The descendants of Asaph, 128.
42 The descendants of the gatekeepers:
The descendants of Shallum,
the descendants of Ater,
the descendants of Talmon,
the descendants of Akkub,
the descendants of Hatita,
the descendants of Shobai, in all 139.
43 The temple servants:
The descendants of Ziha,
the descendants of Hasupha,
the descendants of Tabbaoth,
44 the descendants of Keros,
the descendants of Siaha,
the descendants of Padon,
45 the descendants of Lebanah,
the descendants of Hagabah,
the descendants of Akkub,
46 the descendants of Hagab,
the descendants of Shamlai,
the descendants of Hanan,
47 the descendants of Giddel,
the descendants of Gahar,
the descendants of Reaiah,
48 the descendants of Rezin,
the descendants of Nekoda,
the descendants of Gazzam,
49 the descendants of Uzza,
the descendants of Paseah,
the descendants of Besai,
50 the descendants of Asnah,
the descendants of Meunim,
the descendants of Nephisim,
51 the descendants of Bakbuk,
the descendants of Hakupha,
the descendants of Harhur,
52 the descendants of Bazluth,
the descendants of Mehida,
the descendants of Harsha,
53 the descendants of Barkos,
the descendants of Sisera,
the descendants of Temah,
54 the descendants of Neziah,
the descendants of Hatipha.
55 The descendants of Solomon’s servants:
The descendants of Sotai,
the descendants of Hassophereth,
the descendants of Peruda,
56 the descendants of Jaalah,
the descendants of Darkon,
the descendants of Giddel,
57 the descendants of Shephatiah,
the descendants of Hattil,
the descendants of Pochereth Hazzebaim,
the descendants of Ami.
58 All the temple servants, and the descendants of Solomon’s servants, were 392.
59 These were the ones who went up from Tel Melah, Tel Harsha, Cherub, Addan, and Immer; but they could not prove their fathers’ houses, and their offspring, whether they were of Israel:
60 The descendants of Delaiah,
the descendants of Tobiah,
the descendants of Nekoda, 652.
61 Of the descendants of the priests:
The descendants of Habaiah,
the descendants of Hakkoz,
and the descendants of Barzillai, who took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name.
62 These sought their place among those who were registered by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore they were deemed disqualified and removed from the priesthood. 63 The governor told them that they should not eat of the most holy things until a priest stood up to serve with Urim and with Thummim.
64 The whole assembly together was 42,360.
65 In addition to their male servants and their female servants, of whom there were 7,337; and they had 200 singing men and singing women.
66 Their horses were 736; their mules, 245; 67 their camels, 435; their donkeys, 6,720.
Gifts for the Work
68 Some of the family leaders, when they came to the house of the Lord which is in Jerusalem, offered willingly for the rebuilding of the house of the Lord. 69 They gave according to their ability into the treasury of the work; 61,000 gold coins, and 5,500 pounds of silver, and 100 priests’ garments.
70 So the priests and the Levites, with some of the people, the singers, the gatekeepers, and the temple servants, lived in their cities, and all Israel in their cities.
1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Christ the Wisdom and Power of God
18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.
19 For it is written,
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise.
I will bring the discernment of the discerning to nothing.” a
20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the lawyer of this world? Has God not made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For seeing that in the wisdom of God, the world, through its wisdom, did not know God, it was God’s good pleasure through the foolishness of the preaching to save those who believe.
22 For Jews ask for signs, Greeks seek after wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.
The Foolish to Shame the Wise
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
26 For you see your calling, brothers, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, and not many noble, 27 but God chose the foolish things of the world that he might put to shame those who are wise. God chose the weak things of the world that he might put to shame the things that are strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of the world, and the things that are despised, and the things that do not exist, that he might bring to nothing the things that exist, 29 that no flesh should boast before God.
30 Because of him, you are in Christ Jesus, who was made to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption: 31 that, as it is written, “He who boasts, let him boast in the Lord.”
7 Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice.
Have mercy also on me and answer me.
8 When you said, “Seek my face,”
my heart said to you, “I will seek your face, O Lord.”
9 Do not hide your face from me.
Do not put your servant away in anger.
You have been my help.
Do not abandon me,
neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
then the Lord will take me up.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord.
Lead me in a straight path, because of my enemies.
12 Do not deliver me over to the desire of my adversaries,
for false witnesses have risen up against me,
breathing out cruelty.
13 I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage.
Yes, wait for the Lord.
22 Do not say, “I will pay back evil.”
Wait for the Lord, and he will save you.
23 The Lord detests differing weights,
and dishonest scales are not pleasing.